…Detroit’s a microcosm of America. It reflects what’s spreading nationwide. It exposes venal priorities. Let ’em eat cake is dogma. Force-fed austerity assures it.

America’s criminal class is bipartisan. It conspires with Wall Street crooks. It’s allied with other corporate favorites. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter.

Ordinary people are marginalized and exploited. They’re entirely left out. Their lives are wrecked. They’re deprived of enough to live on. They’re heading for neo-serfdom.


With the appointment of an emergency manager on Thursday, Detroit became the largest city in US history to be taken over by the state government. The new manager, bankruptcy lawyer Kevin Orr, will have vast powers and one essential task: to carry out a brutal assault on the jobs and living conditions of the working class.

What is taking place in Detroit has national and international significance. The Financial Times of London cited one person involved in the discussions on the imposition of a financial manager as saying, “This will be the best case study of what it means to restructure a city.” In an editorial, the newspaper called for “radical—and unpopular—action” to address Detroit’s financial woes, a position shared by virtually every mass circulation newspaper in the US.

The “restructuring” of Detroit is a euphemism for a slash and burn policy of destroying city jobs, cutting wages and pensions, gutting social services from sanitation and firefighting to health care and education, and handing over city assets to private bankers and speculators. The very social forces responsible for the city’s present state are utilizing the crisis of their own making to step up their plundering of public resources and further redistribute the wealth from the bottom to the top.

Exhibiting the ruthlessness that is a hallmark of American capitalism, the ruling class, in the pursuit of its program of social counterrevolution, is dispensing with the trappings of democracy and imposing a bankers’ dictatorship over the city…

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