Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kshama Sawant's Inauguaral Speech: "I wear the badge of socialist with honor."

During her speech, Seattle socialist and incoming city council member Kshama Sawant confused capitalism with crony capitalism and called for a number of measures that will only make things worse, not better for low income earners.  My highlights.-RW.

My brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your presence here today.

This city has made glittering fortunes for the super wealthy and for the major corporations that dominate Seattle’s landscape. At the same time, the lives of working people, the unemployed and the poor grow more difficult by the day. The cost of housing skyrockets, and education and healthcare become inaccessible.

This is not unique to Seattle. Shamefully, in this, the richest country in human history, fifty million of our people – one in six – live in poverty. Around the world, billions do not have access to clean water and basic sanitation and children die every day from malnutrition.

This is the reality of international capitalism. This is the product of the gigantic casino of speculation created by the highway robbers on Wall Street. In this system the market is God, and everything is sacrificed on the altar of profit. Capitalism has failed the 99%.

Despite recent talk of economic growth, it has only been a recovery for the richest 1%, while the rest of us are falling ever farther behind.

In our country, Democratic and Republican politicians alike primarily serve the interests of big business. A completely dysfunctional Congress DOES manage to agree on one thing – regular increases in their already bloated salaries – yet at the same time allows the federal minimum wage to stagnate and fall farther and farther behind inflation. We have the obscene spectacle of the average corporate CEO getting seven thousand dollars an hour, while the lowest-paid workers are called presumptuous in their demand for just fifteen.

To begin to change all of this, we need organized mass movements of workers and young people, relying on their own independent strength. That is how we won unions, civil rights and LGBTQ rights.
Again, throughout the length and breadth of this land, working people are mobilizing for a decent and dignified life for themselves and their children. Look at the fast food workers movement, the campaigns of Walmart workers, and the heroic activism to stop the Keystone XL pipeline!

Right here in SeaTac, we have just witnessed the tremendous and victorious campaign for fifteen dollars an hour. At the same time, in Lorain County, Ohio, twenty-four candidates ran, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as ‘Independent Labor’ and were elected to their City Councils.
I will do my utmost to represent the disenfranchised and the excluded, the poor and the oppressed – by fighting for a $15/hour minimum wage, affordable housing, and taxing the super-rich for a massive expansion of public transit and education. But my voice will be heard by those in power only if workers themselves shout their demands from the rooftops and organize en masse.

My colleagues and I in Socialist Alternative will stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who want to fight for a better world. But working people need a new political party, a mass organization of the working class, run by – and accountable to – themselves. A party that will struggle and campaign in their interest, and that will boldly advocate for alternatives to this crisis-ridden system.

Here in Seattle, political pundits are asking about me: will she compromise? Can she work with others? Of course, I will meet and discuss with representatives of the establishment. But when I do, I will bring the needs and aspirations of working-class people to every table I sit at, no matter who is seated across from me. And let me make one thing absolutely clear: There will be no backroom deals with corporations or their political servants. There will be no rotten sell-out of the people I represent.
I wear the badge of socialist with honor. To the nearly hundred thousand who voted for me, and to the hundreds of you who worked tirelessly on our campaign, I thank you. Let us continue.

The election of a socialist to the Council of a major city in the heartland of global capitalism has made waves around the world. We know because we have received messages of support from Europe, Latin America, Africa and from Asia. Those struggling for change have told us they have been inspired by our victory.

To all those prepared to resist the agenda of big business – in Seattle and nationwide – I appeal to you: get organized. Join with us in building a mass movement for economic and social justice, for democratic socialist change, whereby the resources of society can be harnessed, not for the greed of a small minority, but for the benefit of all people. Solidarity.


  1. scary and ignorant.... I'm sure we'll see more of this coming soon to a city near you.

  2. "I wear the badge of socialist with honor."

    A lot of people wear the badge of first class grade-A idiot with honor so you might as well get in line. There's plenty of dipshits ahead of you.

  3. Elected officials are 2 to 4 to 6 or longer term managers who oversee the misallocation of tax-payer funds. Now Seattle has an open Socialist who wants to destroy the local economy. It is amazing how anybody can hold an office. They don't need a stitch of economic sense. They get elected on rhetoric. And the tax-payer has to pay for their programs. Even when the tax-payer says no, the city, state, or nation must move ahead against nay-sayers. When will the great default start, or has it already?
    Whenever I hear about speeches given by mayors or governors or presidents, I can't help but think of the opening to Chaplin's "City Lights."

  4. She sings all the glorious sweet song of slavery. How noble.

  5. Economically retarded.

  6. I view the badge of socialist with horror.

  7. Who is racing towards its own demise faster, NYC or Seattle?

  8. Well said my darling, because Socialism has proven time and again to, you know, just work SO FUCKING WELL...

    [Honestly, how do people manage to get their heads that far up their asses? It has to take years of prolonged, diligent effort to entomb oneself in such overpowering, mind-numbing ignorance.]

  9. This sounds like an UN acceptance speech...not one for city council! I am guessing with all that finger wagging, she is not exactly lovely to be around...

    It will be interesting to see what kind of "solutions" this socialist will propose, as central planning has proven to be an abject failure as well as the most dangerous form of government for people who live under it in the 20th century. Has she ever heard of Mises? Hey Sawant! Google "democide"!

  10. Regardless of her pure intentions, by wishing to use the power of the violent state to achieve her ends, Ms.Sawant is no better or less evil than the Croniest billionaire Capitalist.
    She wears a badge of immorality and/or ignorance too.

  11. Socialism is the opiate of the masses. How can one consider a centrally planned monetary system wherein the “proletariat” is unable to accumulate capital capitalism? Zero percent interest rates and monetary debasement that destroys savings isn't capitalism. How can you have capitalism without a store of value?

    What's her opinion on the banking cabal and its fiat currency? Nil... I suppose. She’s a fool. The banking cabal must be roaring with laughter. They have these naive people so conned.

  12. I would give her a break, excusing this as "elite brainwashing of young things from the third-world," except for her insistent use of several code words, showing she is indeed a tool:

    1. 99 percent - 1 percent - this is Occupy Wall Street agitprop - the financial crisis wasn't caused by any generalized "one percent." It was government policy used by a cartel of bankers, journalists, speculators, and others, deliberately engineered.

    2. The "greed" meme was pushed by the establishment through the Financial Times and other papers.
    Greed has always existed and, sure, "greed is good" is an attitude that is socially malevolent. But greed alone didn't create the crisis.

    Anyway, tens of thousands of the middle-class and poor were also greedy and joined the speculative casino, using their homes as ATM where does that leave her analysis?

    3. Social justice. Nice word that I trust only when someone voluntarily works with others for the betterment of the oppressed. However, in the mouths of state socialists, this just means redistribution via taxes, Same ole same ole.

    4. Solidarity is a Marxist sign off, as in "yours in solidarity." Some libertarians do the exact opposite - "yours in liberty," which shows they are kissing cousins of the left when it comes to sloganeering.

    6. "Working people." As Zhivago said when the commies came to his house in the name of the workers, "my family has always worked...." (paraphrasing..)

    7. $15 minimum wage. As I posted here before, the minimum wage is ALREADY $15 in many parts of the country. Nobody will work for less, because they get benefits that compete with that. Meanwhile, small business men and women and dedicated professionals routinely routinely put in hours that would make the heroic working-class faint in horror. Same goes for PhD students, interns, church workers, artists, and many others classes of low-paid workers. The more entrepreneurial workers inevitably leverage their skills into better paid work, at which point they become KULAKS and targets of the socialists...I suggest that Kshama read the Russian novel, "Smoke," which describes the true relationship of intellectuals and working class.

    8. No question CEOs are paid too highly for what they produce in many companies. But who's at fault - shareholders who don't question it, right? Company law needs restructuring to correct that. That whole question - which is at the heart of the financial crisis, by the way - is a complex product of incorrect incentives resulting from the democratization of the capital markets and it is too complicated to be explained in a comment, but it certainly won't be put right by after the fact redistribution, which becomes an instrument of political targeting of certain sectors at the expense of others (in other words, more govt meddling by lawyers and bureaucrats).

    If you really wanted CEO salaries to come down in a hurry, allow small businesses to compete fairly with big businesses...which means stop senseless regulations which raise the threshold of entry into business.
    But, of course, this brand of socialism is the step-child of big business...

    9. Mass movement of workers. Good for them. Nothing wrong with people voluntarily joining together to better their working conditions or gain greater bargaining strength....

    Just so long as they let those who don't want to join their movement work at whatever wages they want to.

  13. It's too bad she's an idiot and has no understanding of how the world works. She's probably sincere; even though she's totally wrong.