BE THE LEADERS FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!
For those listening to my going on and on about the complete dismantling of Rule of Law and Public Justice in Maryland-----we know as well this is the case in the Bush and Obama's Administration. Neo-liberalism and Neo-conservatism does not recognize our US Constitution and instead considers documents like Trans Pacific Trade Pact as a 'NEW CONSTITUTION. Ergo, this Tammany Hall free-for-all.
The American people may be overwhelmed at the breath of criminality in government and corporations today but I want to visit a not too far past to show it was reversed before and we will reverse it now.
IF GOVERNMENT SUSPENDS RULE OF LAW-----IT SUSPENDS STATUTES OF LIMITATION.
We already know the rich and corporations are paying no taxes under Obama as the IRS is simply not auditing and estimates are hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue is lost. Don't worry----they cut it from Medicare and Medicaid so it is budget neutral. This is how third world nations operate------when the rich and corporations don't pay taxes then the working and middle-class pay more and when the working and middle-class get mad and don't pay taxes themselves as it starting to happen in the US-----you get the Greek economy and third world status
WHETHER YOU ARE REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT----IF YOU DO NOT DEMAND RULE OF LAW AND EQUAL PROTECTION----YOU ARE ALLOWING THE US CONSTITUTION TO BE DISMANTLED. YOU CANNOT SHOUT FOR ONLY THE PARTS OF THE CONSTITUTION YOU LIKE BECAUSE IF ONE GROUP LOSES IT'S RIGHTS------EVERYONE WILL LOSE THEIR RIGHTS.
3/16/2015 @ 9:05AM
Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, Lois Lerner Share Recordkeeping Tips
We may never get the full story of Hillary Clinton’s emails, or Lois Lerner’s for that matter. Both were savvy enough to be selective. One can add Al Sharpton to the clever trio, although his contribution to the game may be more old-fashioned: fires that destroy tax records. In his own low tech way, Rev. Sharpton has managed to keep tax problems under raps that would be catastrophic for mere mortals.
As Americans look for receipts and pour over their records, some may be struck by the odd serendipity. Maybe we all will learn that no one in government knows how to use email except Hillary Clinton. Even before we knew that Mrs. Clinton never used the State Department email system, President Obama was adamant that there was no smidgen of corruption at the IRS. Employees were confused. Cincinnati went rogue. Etc.
Yet in recent hearings of the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, the Treasury Inspector General testified that he is investigating possible criminal activity at the IRS. All this as Mrs. Clinton’s remarkable e-mail drama is acted out–and acted is right. Meanwhile, Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) introduced a bill to bar IRS employees from using non-official e-mail for government business. Lois Lerner allegedly also used her personal account to discuss IRS matters. Oh, texts too (listen up Mrs. Clinton). In 2013, when the IRS targeting scandal was already brewing, Ms. Lerner asked an IT specialist if the IRS saved texts? No, not automatically, he said, but the IT person also said saving them was possible, so be careful. “Perfect,” was Ms. Lerner’s response. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified that he was unaware of the instant-messaging system. Of course, he also testified at how hard the IRS looked for Lerner’s emails.
Remember all those many millions of dollars of taxpayer money the IRS spent looking? Yet House Members were recently told by the Inspector General that the IT staff of the IRS said they were never even asked for backup tapes to find Lerner’s emails. Deputy Inspector General Tim Camus said finding the emails was easy. “They were right where you would expect them to be,” he told the Oversight Committee on Feb. 27.
A probe for potential criminal activity related to covering-up Lerner’s emails? The fact that the C word is being used by the Inspector General is remarkable. That isn’t proof, of course, but it is astounding, even if that is as far as it goes. Records reveal that Ms. Lois Lerner received $129,000 in bonuses, averaging $43,000 a year on top of her salary during the time she was presiding over alleged discrimination against conservative nonprofits.
Even before Ms. Lerner became the face of the IRS targeting scandal, there were allegations she had prior history of targeting conservatives. She would become what George Will called the scowling face of the state. She repeatedly refused to testify, yet collects a nice federal pension. Proof is so terribly important.
And that brings us to Rev. Al Sharpton. He has achieved much and rendered comfort to many. Yet his reputation is not exactly spotless. Mr. Sharpton has been accused , for example, by Eric Garner’s daughter, of being all about the money. Yet the reverend and activist owes New York State over $900,000 in taxes, and greater sums to the IRS. With about $4.5 million in tax liens, most taxpayers know they would be pushed and prodded to pay.
Mr. Sharpton seems unfazed. There might be some serendipity here too. Despite multiple run-ins with the tax man, on several occasions he suffered fires that destroyed his records just as he was about to turn them over to officials. He may have explained the tax receipts rule the IRS keeps quiet. In Cohan v. Commissioner, the Appeals Court rocked the IRS back on its heels with the Cohan Rule. It allows taxpayers to prove by “other credible evidence” they actually incurred deductible expenses.
In any case, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder defends Rev. Sharpton’s ties to the White House, although other people have questioned why President Obama would elevate Rev. Sharpton, when he owes millions in taxes. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that the Justice Department may try to pick up where the IRS and Ms. Lerner left off. The team Mr. Holder has assembled, including Richard Pilger, who first contacted Ms. Lerner in 2010 about going after certain organization, has been called Eric Holder’s speech police.
In 2010, Ms. Lerner relayed to the Justice Department a database of 1.1 million documents, including protected taxpayer information. Are you worried your tax records might be among them? Cheer up. With all the time Rev. Sharpton is spending in Washington, there could be a fire.
What Reagan and Clinton set in motion with neo-liberalism which is simply the same Republican idea that all regulations and oversight need to go to allow corporations to profit as they want is exactly what this article shows-----Tammany Hall. These neo-liberals knew that was what they were creating when they installed 'small government' and global markets and New York is ground zero today as it was in this 19th century article. Today Wall Street has installed Tammany Hall's in all US cities------so, in Baltimore O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake are the modern day Boss Tweeds with the rich-----in Baltimore that is Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development----simply tell Boss Tweed what to do. In return for pushing policies that enrich the rich----the general fraud and corruption becomes systemic.
As you see below this period of cronyism lasted a few decades at its peak and then faded as people rose up and sent these crooks on their way. For a place like Baltimore that would mean kicking Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development out of Baltimore City Hall and the Maryland Assembly-----and holding them accountable -----down-sizing Hopkins so as to rebuild Baltimore.
IT REALLY IS EASY PEASY FOLKS! WE SIMPLY NEED EVERYONE TO ENGAGE IN POLITICS----RUN IN ALL DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES TO GET RID OF THE LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS!
Tammany Hall New York City's Political Machine Was the Home to Legendary Corruption
By Robert McNamara 19th Century History Expert
Tammany Hall, or simply Tammany, was the name given to a powerful political machine that essentially ran New York City throughout much of the 19th century.
It began modestly as a patriotic and social club established in New York in the years following the American Revolution, when such organizations were commonplace in American cities.
The Society of St. Tammany, which was also called the Columbian Order, was founded in May 1789 (some sources say 1786). The organization took its name from Tamamend, a legendary Indian chief in the American northeast who was said to have had friendly dealings with William Penn in the 1680s.
The original purpose of the Tammany Society was for discussion of politics in the new nation. The club was organized with titles and rituals based, quite loosely, on Native American lore. For instance, the leader of Tammany was known as the “Grand Sachem,” and the club’s headquarters was known as “the wigwam.”
Before long the Society of St. Tammany turned into a distinct political organization affiliated with Aaron Burr, a powerful force in New York politics at the time.
Tammany Gained Widespread Power In the early 1800s, Tammany often sparred with New York’s governor DeWitt Clinton, and there were cases of early political corruption that came to light.
In the 1820s, the leaders of Tammany threw their support behind Andrew Jackson’s quest for the presidency. Tammany leaders met with Jackson before his election in 1828, promised their support, and when Jackson was elected they were rewarded, in what became known as the spoils system, with federal jobs in New York City.
With Tammany associated with the Jacksonians and the Democratic Party, the organization was viewed as friendly to the working people. And when waves of immigrants, especially from Ireland, arrived in New York City, Tammany became associated with the immigrant vote.
In the 1850s, Tammany was becoming a powerhouse of Irish politics in New York City. And in the time before social welfare programs, Tammany politicians generally provided the only help the poor could get.
There are many stories about neighborhood leaders from the Tammany organization making sure that poor families were given coal or food during hard winters. The New York poor, many of whom were new arrivals to America, became intensely loyal to Tammany.
In the period before the Civil War, the New York saloons were generally the center of local politics, and election contests could literally turn into street brawls. Neighborhood toughs would be employed to make sure the vote “went Tammany's way.” There are myriad stories about Tammany workers stuffing ballot boxes and engaging in flagrant election fraud.
Tammany Hall's Corruption Expands
Corruption in the administration of the city also became a running theme of the Tammany organization in the 1850s. In the early 1860s, the Grand Sachem, Isaac Fowler, who held a modest government job as a postmaster, was living lavishly in a Manhattan hotel.
Fowler, it was estimated, was spending at least ten times his income. He was charged with embezzlement, and when a marshal came to arrest him he was allowed to escape. He fled to Mexico but returned to the US when charges were dropped.
Despite this constant atmosphere of scandal, the Tammany organization grew stronger during the Civil War. In 1867 a lavish new headquarters was opened on 14th Street in New York City, which became the literal Tammany Hall. This new “wigwam” contained a large auditorium which was the site of the Democratic National Convention in 1868.
William Marcy “Boss” Tweed By far the most notorious figure to be associated with Tammany Hall was William Marcy Tweed, whose political power made him known as “Boss” Tweed.
Born on Cherry Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1823, Tweed learned his father’s trade as chairmaker. As a boy, Tweed was a volunteer with a local fire company, at a time when private fire companies were important neighborhood organizations. Tweed, as a young man, gave up the chair business and devoted all his time to politics, working his way up in the Tammany organization.
Tweed eventually became the Grand Sachem of Tammany, and wielded immense influence over the administration of New York City. In the early 1870s Tweed and his “ring” demanded payoffs from contractors who did business with the city, and it was estimated that Tweed personally amassed millions of dollars.
The Tweed Ring was so brazen that it invited its own downfall. Tweed was eventually prosecuted and died in prison. But the Tammany organization continued, and its political influence endured under the leadership of new Grand Sachems.
Richard "Boss" Croker The leader of Tammany in the late 19th century was Richard Croker, who, as a low level Tammany worker on election day in 1874, became involved in a notorious criminal case. A street fight broke out near a polling place and a man named McKenna was shot and killed.
Croker was charged with the murder. Yet all who knew him said that Croker, who was a former boxer, would never use a pistol as he relied solely on his fists.
At a celebrated trial, Croker was acquitted of McKenna’s murder. And Croker went on to rise in the Tammany hierarchy, eventually becoming Grand Sachem. In the 1890s, Croker exerted enormous influence over the government of New York City, though he held no government post himself.
Perhaps mindful of Tweed’s fate, Croker eventually retired and returned to his native Ireland, where he bought an estate and raised race horses. He died a free and very wealthy man.
Legacy of Tammany Hall Tammany Hall was the archetype of the political machines that flourished in many American cities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The influence of Tammany did not wane until the 1930s, and the organization itself did not cease to exist until the 1960s.
As public media stated after the 2008 economic collapse------the corruption is so systemic that businesses that want to do right are being forced to join just to stay afloat. A few years ago The Afro-----a national black media journal had an article that stated as such. It said that black contractors were being made to join the fraud in order to do business and of course when that happens------you have to do as you are told or those with power will send turn over those guilty of not towing the line.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW BALTIMORE HAS OPERATED FOR DECADES WITH JOHNS HOPKINS CREATING THE 'SMALL GOVERNMENT' THAT ALLOWS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FRAUD EACH YEAR AND ENCOURAGES OTHER BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS TO JOIN IN. THEN, THOSE LEADERS MUST TOW THE LINE OR BE BUSTING----Baltimore is known for the phrase-----Don't Snitch----well, Tammany Hall drives this mentality.
'Here's the main point: New Zealand - like all democracies - has corruption. But it doesn't have systemic corruption like the United States does'.
What is perpetuating this: National labor and justice organization leaders are joining in and back these Clinton neo-liberals every election as labor and justice is killed.
"Corruption" vs. "Systemic Corruption" -- and Why the Latter Is Much, Much Worse
Posted: 02/18/2015 4:30 pm EST Updated: 02/18/2015 4:59 pm EST
I won't say spending a lot of my time working with great groups such as the New Hampshire Rebellion, Mayday PAC, Stamp Stampede, Wolf-PAC, et al., fighting the systemic corruption of our broken election system doesn't take a toll. I am constantly fighting burnout. The task can seem Sisyphean; though that rock becomes easier to roll up the hill the more hands we have helping out.
Still, I think this issue takes such a toll on me, personally, because I know what we could have. Before I got involved in taking on "money-in-politics" issues in America, I was studying what it would take to create a less corrupt society. And I wrote a book (which I'm in the middle of writing the second edition of and might do a Kickstarter campaign for, so hold off on buying it) about what Transparency International has consistently ranked as the least corrupt country (or one of the top two least corrupt) in the world: New Zealand.
Right now, there's a major (by their standards) scandal in New Zealand involving the prime minister, John Key, his National Party (center-right), and the SkyCity Casino in Auckland.
Here's the background: One of the key efforts of the Key government has been the building of a convention center in Auckland, New Zealand to rival the ones in Sydney, in order to drive more business, tourism, and investment to New Zealand.
SkyCity, which currently holds a regulated monopoly to run a casino in Auckland, agreed to build a $402M (NZD) convention center attached to their casino, in part in return for some concessions from the government. Specifically, the government would grant them a long-term gambling licence extension, and they would be allowed to have more tables and more "pokies" (Slot machines & Video poker machines) in their casinos, once the convention center deal was finalized.
There were allegations and rumors (source:NBR) that SkyCity got this deal - rather than another company - because of personal connections between Key's chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, and SkyCity's government lobbyist, Mark Unsworth.
At any rate, the center was projected to bring in 800 permanent jobs and $49M in GDP; however, there is significant opposition to gambling expansion in New Zealand - so the deal was controversial.
One of the biggest reassurances though, was that the convention center would be entirely privately funded by SkyCity. Key held a press conference where he said: "This won't cost taxpayers or ratepayers one cent." The deal wasn't ever popular with the voters, but it was broadly acceptable because of the "not one cent" pledge.
Where the scandal has occurred is that recently, SkyCity has since revised its cost estimates to $532M (NZD) based on increased materials cost, and said that it would walk away from the project if the government didn't fund the remaining $130M. This put Key in a not-so-great position of either giving up the revenue and the jobs the convention center would bring, or reneging on his pledge that the deal wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime.
The National Business Review (a financial publication in NZ) published an opinion piece entitled "Close to Corruption" by Matthew Hooton. In it, Hooton wrote:
"The procurement process for the Auckland centre was a farce and as close to corruption as we ever see in New Zealand."
Close to corruption? Well... maybe, but is there systemic corruption - the type that goes on in the United States - here?
First, let's check - did Sky City ever fund the National Party's campaigns? Yes, but only in 2005, when "Sky City," "Sky City Entertainment Group," or "Sky City Management Ltd." contributed $60,000 to the New Zealand National Party.
However, that same year, they also contributed $60k to the center-right Labour party (which was in power at the time,) $12k to the libertarian ACT party, $12k to the Progressive Party, and $12k to the moderate United Future Party. The only ones they didn't give any money to were the NZ Green Party (who likely refused or would have refused if offered) and the nationalist-populist NZ First party (because nobody likes those guys.)
Sky City is NOT listed as a donor to the National Party for years 2006-2013. They could have donated anonymously - New Zealand allows for anonymous donations - but it must be anonymous to the recipient as well, so National wouldn't know who sent them the money.
Furthermore, in 2005, the leader of the National Party was not John Key but instead Don Brash, a political rival of Key's, who Key beat in a challenge for leadership of the National Party in 2006. (Brash would eventually leave the National Party and join the libertarian ACT party in 2011.) None of the money from SkyCity came in under Key's leadership.
So, no, I don't think those 2005 campaign contributions had anything to do with the deal in this case.
Keep in mind - New Zealand doesn't have public funding. They do have public airtime (which helps lower the costs significantly, I'm sure), but New Zealand elections are privately funded otherwise. Yet, New Zealand has not (yet?) developed a system of corruption like the one in the U.S. That is - NZ Members of Parliament are not (yet?) dependent upon their funders the way they are in the U.S. Indeed, one party in particular, the NZ Green Party remains more or less independent of funders by primarily funding their party from a mandatory 9% contribution of the salaries of their elected MPs - and raises a competitive amount this way.
Here's the main point: New Zealand - like all democracies - has corruption. But it doesn't have systemic corruption like the United States does.
Systemic corruption is when politicians must give favors to the donors of their campaigns, but here the favors (if any) were due to personal connections.
Systemic corruption is when bad behavior is rewarded - but in New Zealand it is punished. People are expressing their discontent and as a result, the government held fast to it's pledge of no public funds for private works, despite the temptation, because they knew that the people wouldn't stand for it. Regardless of whether or not Key or his staff did anything wrong, this scandal will hurt his party in the next election, and his party may even lose the next election in 2017 due to it.
Systemic corruption is when politicians continue to do what is in the best interests of their funders because they fear the funders more than they fear the voters. However, Key clearly fears the voters and is trying to do what he believes will get him re-elected, which in this case, is holding strong to his pledge despite the temptation.
Certainly I think there's much that can be improved with New Zealand's campaign financing laws; but unlike the United States, candidates who run for office in New Zealand are not dependent upon special interests and crony capitalists to raise the money they need to campaign.
That is what a working democratic system is like. And we could have that here in the United States, but it will take a hard and long effort, which only starts with citizen-funded elections and continues through electoral reforms and beyond.
So yes, I know what I'm missing. But I also know what we could have, and that helps keep me going.
The reason I keep hitting labor unions and justice organizations like the NAACP is that their mission is to organize for labor and justice voice giving the 95% of Americans a voice and an organized activism. Unions and the NAACP are not the only ones needed for voice.
ALL LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE SHOUTING THESE ISSUES.....EDUCATING THE PUBLIC.
Union members are being thrown under the bus by AFL-CIO and SEIU leadership as they join the corruption for their personal gain while membership is driven into poverty. As this article from 1999 stated-----the AFL-CIO would have been better sending its money to court for labor justice rather than continuing to fund Clinton neo-liberals. Flash forward to today and TRUMKA/HOFFA/ ET AL and the other major international union leaders are all doing the same-----and US workers are heading to third world status.
I encourage individual unions to break from what is basically a consolidation of unions that leads to the same operations as consolidated corporations of one industry. A monopoly never works for the people----it simply enriches the people at the top.
As corruption scandals mount, US trade union leaders meet in Miami Beach
By Jerry White World Socialist Network
25 February 1999
The 54 members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council gathered at the Hotel Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida last week for their annual winter retreat. The executive council is made up of the US labor federation's top three officers--President John Sweeney, Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson--and the presidents of 51 affiliated unions.
At the top of their public agenda was the decision to spend some $40 million to elect a Democratic president and Democratic-controlled Congress in 2000. They had nothing to say about the union-busting attack on American Airlines pilots that occurred on the eve of their meeting. The AFL-CIO tacitly supported a federal judge's decision to levy a multi-million-dollar fine against the Allied Pilots Association because the APA is not part of the labor federation. Among the union chiefs assembled in Miami Beach there was the hope that a defeat for the American pilots might create an opening for the Airline Pilots Association, an AFL-CIO affiliate, to challenge the APA for the union franchise at the second largest airline in the US.
The Executive Council passed a series of resolutions highlighting the reactionary outlook of the AFL-CIO bureaucracy. These included calls for the Clinton administration to impose more draconian protectionist measures against steel imports and extend a moratorium against Mexican truck drivers operating in the US.
No doubt in the hallways and bars of the Fontainebleau Hotel a major topic of discussion was the mounting legal problems facing the union officials. While corruption scandals are no stranger to the American trade union movement, what was extraordinary about this year's gathering was the number of Executive Council members who are facing possible indictments and the number of unions that are embroiled in scandal. Any consultant worth his weight would have advised the AFL-CIO leaders to spend their $40 million on top-notch attorneys, rather than once again shoveling cash into the coffers of the Democratic Party.
A large portion of the New York City labor movement has been implicated in one scandal or another. Over the last two years, union locals representing 300,000 workers, nearly one-quarter of the city's unionized work force, have been placed under trusteeship by their parent union or a court of law.
New York's District Council 37, the largest single affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), is under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office for fraud, corruption and gangsterism. Last week Stanley Hill, the longtime executive director of DC 37, officially resigned from his $262,000-a-year post. A fellow bureaucrat, who entered a plea bargain for stealing more than $50,000, testified that AFSCME officials were involved in stuffing ballot boxes during the 1996 city workers' contract vote in order to obtain ratification for a wage freeze sought by Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Gerald McEntee, chairman of the AFL-CIO's political committee and president of AFSCME, has dispatched Lee Saunders, a functionary from the national office, to carry out damage control in DC 37. Saunders expressed indignation that union officials had treated DC 37 as their own private "candy store" and attributed the loss of more than $10 million in union funds to "irresponsible spending" by top bureaucrats. The investigation has thus far revealed that the pilfering of union members' dues money and the stuffing of ballots is a long-standing and time-honored practice in DC 37.
Trouble is also brewing in AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in New York. Gus Bevona, the president of SEIU's Local 32B-32J for nearly two decades, left office at the beginning of the month amid scandal over his $530,000-a-year salary and his private penthouse on the top floor of the union headquarters building. The local represents 55,000 New York City janitors, doormen, elevator operators and other building maintenance workers, many of them immigrants, who average $30,000 a year.
Bevona's 3,000-foot spread included a walk-in vault, two marble-walled bathrooms, two dressing rooms, seven stainless steel refrigerators, and an electronic climate-control and lighting system.
The SEIU leadership pressured Bevona to leave, but not before he collected another $850,000 in severance pay and $650,000 for unused vacation time. A union trustee recently revealed that roughly 45 of the local top officials received a total of $1 million for unused vacation time and were owed $5.3 million under the local's severance plan. John Sweeney is still collecting his six-figure salary from his SEIU local in New York.
Another topic of discussion was the fallout from the scandal involving ex-Teamsters President Ron Carey, who was forced out of office for embezzling nearly $1 million from the union's treasury to finance his 1996 reelection bid. In July 1998 a three-member federal oversight panel expelled Carey from the union and barred him for life from holding any union office. (Carey's name still appears on the AFL-CIO Executive Council's letterhead as head of the Teamsters union.)
In April 1998 a federal grand jury in New York indicted William Hamilton, Carey's top political lobbyist, on six counts of fraud, perjury, embezzlement and conspiracy. The indictment also cited top AFL-CIO leaders--including Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, McEntee, another high-ranking AFSCME officer, Paul Booth, and SEIU President Andrew Stern--for their involvement in Carey's money-swapping scheme.
One of the supposed highpoints of the executive council meeting was a press conference where John Sweeney and newly elected Teamsters President James P. Hoffa stood side by side. Hoffa is a fitting addition to the Executive Council. He has long been associated with "old guard" Teamsters officials who are notorious for their ties to the Mafia and their violent attacks on critics and opponents within the union.
Much of the week was consumed with intramural warfare over which unions are to have jurisdiction in fast-growing areas such as healthcare, public employment and hotels. As the percentage of the work force enrolled in the AFL-CIO continues to shrink--falling to the level of union representation in private industry of the old craft-based American Federation of Labor, going back some 70 years--turf wars among rival gangs of union bureaucrats inevitably grow more heated.
In every sense the assembly at the Fontainebleau underscored the unbridgeable chasm that separates the putrescent labor bureaucracy from the interests of the working class.