Monday, April 16, 2012

Arbeit macht nicht frei

“My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy and getting good jobs for their kids and for themselves. They are concerned about gasoline prices, the cost of getting to and from work, taking their kids to school or to practice and so forth after school. That is what women care about in this country and my vision is to get America working again.”

That's what Mitt Romney said in a speech on April 4 to the Newspaper Association of America.

Here's what Hilary Rosen said on CNN on April 11:

"What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, 'Well, you know my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues and when I listen to my wife that's what I'm hearing.' Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future."

The rest is history, with most people revealing that they have thrown away their humanity in picking what political team they root for.

Mitt Romney and Hilary Rosen are saying the same thing. They deny the other's right to say it, because they are both expressing false concern. And both are wielding their comments as a weapon against the other.

What this whole stand-off illustrates is the false divide in U.S. politics.

Hilary Rosen is a right-wing corporate flack, famous for leading the Recording Industry Association of America's campaign against people sharing the music they've bought with friends. She still advises Obama on the issue. After quitting that job, for a short time she was interim director of Human Rights Campaign, which awarded their 2011 Workplace Equality Innovation Award to Goldman Sachs. While working at the Huffington Post, she was outed as a consultant for BP.

Ann Romney is married to one of the predatory capitalists that Rosen serves. They may not have anything in common in personal style and beliefs, but they both serve the same master.

At least Ann Romney only raised a few children and supported her husband on behalf of that system, whereas Hilary Rosen has actively contributed to its evil. Her dismissal of Ann Romney appears to be because the latter has only listened to women on the campaign trail, without a history of actively working to maintain their economic misery.

Many "liberal" commenters on this issue have expressed a hatred for women who choose to stay at home as a betrayal of feminism, as if feminism is only about a few women getting to the top of the exploitative pyramid and everyone else being forced to toil in "service" jobs as somehow liberating.

Rosen's strong support of Obama and the Democratic Party is clear evidence that the only difference between the parties is that one is slightly more tolerant of gays.

That's certainly a good to be counted, but it does nothing for the 99% of the people, women and men, gay and otherwise, who are not striving to triumph in a cut-throat system. It's good that Goldman Sachs extends benefits to gay partners, but that hardly makes it a benign force in the world. Human rights are rather a broader issue.

What is work for? Actively raising a family should not be the privilege only of the rich. Is either Mitt or Hilary suggesting an economic system that makes raising a family easier for everyone (as in many European countries)? They are both against women, against men, against families, against humanity.

Arbeit macht nicht frei. Work does not make you free.

human rights, anarchism, ecoanarchism, anarchosyndicalism