"Flint: An Attack on the Proletariat"

by Kaj Lucas


How the water crisis in Flint, Michigan relates to the unambiguous failure of capitalism.

In Flint, there has been a terrible injustice to the majority black populace in the city. It must be recognized the situation that lay long dormant in the city. In short, the Detroit government, under a provisional emergency government, disconnected from the DWSD (Detroit Water and Sewerage Department) water source and switched to the toxic, lead laden Flint River. This lead to the spreading of this lead filled water across the city, poisoning the residents. Early, there were immediate rejections of the state of the water. The officials in power acted swiftly, denying the poor state of the water. The officials stated that there should be no concern, almost as if they would succeed in coaxing the populace into silence. Now, this is not what occurred. The populace still spoke out, announcing the poor state of their water, its rancid brown, its sordid scent. From this, the long, sustained outpouring of complaints came to a fever pitch, drawing attention and an admission of a problem from the Detroit government.

The root of this problem is the caste divide in America and the immediate disregard for the lives of lumpen proletarians. This caste divide is solely created by capitalism. In capitalism, there must be those with labor that is worth less than the labor of higher castes. These citizens, black, men, women, and children, all are part of the lumpen proletariat, the lowest caste. Therefore, their lives and their labor is worth less than the labor of, say, the white working class. Therefore, their lives can be mangled and damaged by state actions that are immoral and improper. The state, in switching the water of this specific city, exemplifies the malicious attack on the lumpen proletariat. There is nothing that the state has exemplified besides their disregard for their majority black populace, and the state of their people. The state, in deciding to switch the water of Flint, has proven their disregard for human life in an attempt to maintain capital. The governor, Gov. Snyder, in an attempt to save money supported and defended the switch. This disregard is a hallmark capitalistic move, to compensate, to recover, through the degradation of another through chaotic capitalism. The fault falls into the hands of Gov. Snyder, and his administration. And neglectfully, they decided to discard the people. Class disparity has also influenced the state of Flint. Flint has been damaged by the bourgeoisie deciding they can soil the water of proletariat living facilities, for, they do not live there. Where the bourgeoisie don’t suffer, in their eyes, no one suffers.

There are long, spreading roots to this problem. Underlying the nature of this issue, is the placement of capital above people-- and further, the placement of people as lesser than other human beings. Flint is a shining example of how the nation has become a state where lives are placed below material capital. Flint, a single city has become an allegory for the entire United States, the wellbeing of people has been placed below capital. It is in the actions of companies It is in corporations, people are simply commodities that can be discarded. The people are not things that can be discarded, and the Nation must recognize this, lest it recognize it through revolution.

The people have been damaged-- the people have been damaged distinctly by the capitalistic system. To repair the system, there must be an overhaul. There must be some sort of revolutionary fervor that tears down the necessity for money saving techniques by the state. After a revolution, there must be a logical replacement. The nation must be swept over with socialism, the people must become a commune, relying entirely on each other and a state that does not over-impose on nature or the people. We, as a people, must act and force the nation to recognize our humanity, lumpen proletariat and white working class alike! We, as a people, must revolutionize the system!