May Day (“Mayday”, “M’Aider”)

To put progress in a bad light, no trick is base enough:

Fabre d’Églantine was a left-wing (“Montagnard”, Danton’s secretary) revolutionary. As a member of the National Convention, he was elected as a Member of Parliament of the Republic by universal voting, in 1792. In 1793, in his report on the calendar presented to the Convention, Fabre d’Églantine established a public holiday, to celebrate work and workers, with Saint-Just later setting a date, 1st pluviôse (fifth month of the French Republican calendar, in other words, May First). In 1848, the provisional government of the Second Republic abolished slavery in the Colonies, (27th April) and established May First a public holiday in the Colonies.

The International Labor Day, May First, date was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket massacre, which occurred in Chicago, USA, on 4 May 1886. That protest had asked for the eight-hour day. On 1st May 1886, under union pressure, 200,000 American workers had won the right to work an eight-hour day. But this battle was not won by all workers, and riots broke out in Chicago, to generalize the right. The protest was repressed in blood: eight were killed, and later four workers were hanged (plus another who committed suicide rather than letting himself be hanged).

The date had its origins at the 1885 convention of the American Federation of Labor, which passed a resolution calling for adoption of the eight-hour day effective May 1, 1886. Conservative “Democratic” President Grover Cleveland , concerned that a labor holiday on May 1 would tend to become a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair, imposed the September date. The rest of the world celebrates Labor Day on May First an old European festival, and to remember the revolt in Chicago and its bloody repression.

Technology offers ever more ways to exploit people, and, lest we slide into regression, the forces of progress have to stay vigilant. MSFT, Microsoft, wants what you own. Bill Gates’ mother was an official do-gooder, all the more as her hubby the top lawyer in Washington State. So she was made a director of IBM, which then gave control to young Bill on the software public universities had invented. This brought us Microsoft, and now they own the world, or, at least, how to steer it. Watch ex-presidents lick their toes. Besides they own, or control, all the US media, one way, or the other… And yes, they are max do-gooders, a family tradition, and watch the cash, and the GMOs, flow…

Labor studies professor William J. Adelman wrote:

“No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.”

Few countries bathe minds in as much deliberate propaganda as the USA. In the US, even entertainment is propaganda: watch full grown men, transfixed by hulks in tights grabbing each other on TV, or seven feet giants casually pushing a ball through a hoop. It looks innocent, but we have seen it all before: the Roman Plebs was kept quiet, for six centuries with “bread and circuses”, as Roman author Juvenal already observed, 19 centuries ago. Couch potatoes fascinated by steroid laden multi-millionaires put on a pedestal as much, most admired values: wealth, physique enhancing drugs, and the couch potato status, plus dead minds.

Roman Emperor Constantine decided that no free Roman citizen should work on Sunday. The usage was followed throughout the Middle Ages. However, up to the Nineteenth Century, with the invention of cheap artificial lighting, and industrial plutocracy, the situation of workers became reminiscent of slavery in Roman times. The laws which had to be passed are revealing:

In 1840 CE, a law was passed in France, making it illegal to make children less than eight years old, work in mines. In 1842, making it illegal to make women work in mines. Again in 1842, making children less than 12 years old work more than ten hours a day became unlawful!

New technology had enabled a degree of exploitation not seen before.

***

We sell your souls, and do it electronically, just smile, they say, and they chuckle:

It is the same today: our minds are for sale and traded, by the likes of Facebook. It could not have been done before. New tech enabled this new exploitation. New tech enabled this new exploitation. Nonlinearly, as we allowed Facebook & its ilk to acquire this sort of power, they amplified it even further, with considerable wealth, buying politicians, all the way to the president, who used to go there twice a month, to beg for crumbs like an overgrown, sick pigeon, anxious to please, drifting in a sea of greed, with no moral anchor…

US citizens can have Labor Day, as long as it isolates the USA, doesn’t mean much, and encourages to forget history… Especially US history! Well, the Gates will take charge of your education, so you are saved!

Beyond exploitation, there is sheer outrage. Microsoft made it so that a recycler got 15 months in jail. For restoring restore disks of used computers (which Microsoft depicts as theft!) Meanwhile Bill and Melinda Gates are all over TV (such as “60 Minutes”) because they helped finance 300 students, and they present this as the way to support high education. The Gates control more than 150 billion dollars (besides the likes of Obama and his ilk…)

In the 1960s, “60 Minutes” fought the establishment with truths about the Vietnam War. Nowadays, “60 Minutes” has becomes the Gates’ organ of aggrandizement. And so is the “Justice” system. For years, now, “60 Minutes” has been hard at work, opening wide the “Gates of Hell”. Gates of Hell, indeed!

And more is coming:When is a robot homeless? When it can’t get power.

Patrice Aymé

Note: Mayday! Is the call in aviation when needing help in an emergency. Sounds silly, but it is actually the French for “M’aider” (Help me), which is pronounced exactly the same. The French didn’t just fly the first three motorized planes (Avion I, II, III), but also named the field (Ader, who was the engineer who built the first, steam-powered, planes, named planes, “avions” from the Latin “Avis” for bird, and then thus, “aviation” and caused an aviation boom in France in the early 1900s. That’s why most basic aviation vocabulary is French… Including “Mayday”…)

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2 Responses to “May Day (“Mayday”, “M’Aider”)”

  1. ianmillerblog Says:

    In terms of propaganda, the last episode of this season’s “Homeland” struck me. Leaving aside the silliness of the plot, was not the ending aimed at Trump, inviting him to resign, or be impeached?

  2. pshakkottai Says:

    Hi Patrice. AVINA is bird in Sanskrit. Fascinating how M’aider became May Day!
    Partha

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