Much is being said about the nature and purpose of the “Women’s March” and similar demonstrations of collective power. The urban newspapers reflect only a fraction of what was said or felt by the working class. The Charleston Gazette’s unchallenged “leaders” of the marches spoke of ‘unity, solidarity, and citizenship’ as the crux of their political strategy; yet, how that unity or solidarity might manifest was not to be found in print or in the speeches of those given the microphone.
“Citizenship is not a spectator sport,” Tara Martinez cried out to less than 2% of the population of West Virginia. Even such an insignificant portion of the state’s population could barely fit in the capitol’s steps, but it isn’t as if the capitol was built for the working class to gather to it as the newspapers and the nonprofit leaders are suggesting. This finds itself lending to the idea that is incessantly propagated; that is, the members of the legislature are by default our ‘public servants.’
To anyone who has studied the development of the United States or any nation-state for that matter, this comes simply as a farce. Everything about our “representatives” suggests the opposite of a servant. One who serves, and without a doubt the working women and men know what it is to serve, is one who helps or fulfills a useful purpose. A servant comes to the one being served to ask what it is that he or she might accomplish. If it were the legislators being the servants, then why must we come to them pleading that they “respect our rights.” A master does not plead with the servant to serve, she demands of the servant.
What then is their position to the working class? Behind the immense stone walls of the capitol sit the spokespeople and servants of the ruling, wealthy class. It is with those insignificant few that our ‘servants’ go so that they may better serve them and their interests.
Meanwhile, organizers and leaders of the finest nonprofits a republic could afford make their appeals to the crowds. They tell us to vote and make donations so that one day we’ll have a society built on the ideals of unity and solidarity for at least a term of four years. Such lovely words they prepare for us so that we may remain silent; for they are interested in positioning and posturing to receive the most benefit from the institutions that the working class struggle against. How could they do otherwise, if the people were allowed to openly criticize the government? With that in mind, it is clear to see why they have little purpose, themselves, in criticizing the societal structures that built the political system we have become trapped.
So, who is the true servant in this relationship? If asked if they felt served, overwhelmingly, the people would answer in the negative. The nonprofits would lay the blame at our feet because we don’t show up to vote, but such an argument ignores the nature of the system that generates discontent and frustration to the point that noncompliance is preferred. The reality remains true; the government does not represent the working class.
Every day we serve the owners and rulers of society, and the governors in the state houses find in us only opportunity for competition of charisma and stage presence. It is not difficult to imagine when one considers the avenues of holding representatives accountable for misrepresentation. Notice the relationship the state’s officers have with us and our “public servants;” on the one hand, they guard the meetings and routes of the legislators, while on the other, they survey our streets seeking those who break the laws our very own “public servants” write for us. Such thoughtful servants we have!
No, it must be known that regardless of the size of our marches and the turnout of our votes, we shall receive not one benefit by their legislative pens, alone. Yes, write your letters. Tell the men and women who build castles for themselves your thoughts; for they should know, but only in our ability and willful determination can we expect to achieve our goals of such ends as creating a just and equal society. We must build organizations that empower the working class and actually serve the public. Then, we may fully ignore the government of the rich and express solidarity and unity with the oppressed peoples of the Earth.