I saw that photo above and it was an "aha!" moment. I've thought about class struggles for a long time and I don't think I've ever seen a quote put it so succinctly. That divide, that goddamn divide. How the hell did the world allow billionaires to exist when people starve? I can remember when it first occurred to me that things were screwy. A minute and forty-one seconds that turned into a thought process that has endured. The Dils' second single "Class War" was the first song that made me really think about class struggle. They had already won my respect from their first 45, "I Hate the Rich", and live gigs, but "Class War" was a little more direct. Up to that point I had never really pondered far left politics and through the Dils it started to occur to me that there was a problem. When I started thinking about it, I realized I'd seen it. A kid I went to high school with was driving a brand new Porsche Carrera back and forth to school while just about everybody else walked, rode a bike or drove a beater.
Being far left isn't a bad thing. If you were to get out Occam's razor and boil it down, it amounts to this: Some people have too much. Far and away more than they need. Others don't have enough. Not enough food, clean drinking water, shoes, shelter,...shit, not even hope. There's no two ways about it. It is wrong. In 2002, when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, former President Jimmy Carter had this to say:
"At the beginning of this new millennium I was asked to discuss, here in Oslo, the greatest challenge that the world faces. Among all the possible choices, I decided that the most serious and universal problem is the growing chasm between the richest and poorest people on earth. Citizens of the ten wealthiest countries are now seventy-five times richer than those who live in the ten poorest ones, and the separation is increasing every year, not only between nations but also within them. The results of this disparity are root causes of most of the world’s unresolved problems, including starvation, illiteracy, environmental degradation, violent conflict, and unnecessary illnesses that range from Guinea worm to HIV/AIDS."
What the fuck people? Occam's my man on this one. Anyway, that image with the sign got me thinking about shit all over again. But now it's decades later and there are socialists that don't shy away from the label. Bernie and AOL, these are my people. Jimmy Carter and Occam are my people. The Dils in 1978 were my people.
Here's a few Dil's/"Class War" related things. If you're already familiar with them, check the version the Kinman brothers (2/3 of the Dils) did as Blackbird. Total WTF.
The Dils - Class War mp3 at Killed By Death 1978. Go there for the flip
Blackbird - Class War (streaming) at YouTube 1992
Mission of Burma - Class War (live) (streaming) at YouTube 2010
The Dils - Class War (live, Houston) at YouTube 1978