The FTB! Manifesto

Mike Steindel (
Thu, 4 Feb 1999 01:09:29 -0800 (PST)

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I invested, I deposited, I voted every fall.
And if I ever saved a penny, the bastards took it all.

Ogden Nash, writing in the 1930's
The FTB! Manifesto

FTB! stands for FIGHT THE BASTARDS! The old adage was always true: the
poor get poorer, and the rich get richer. Today in our high tech era it
has gone into overdrive.

Glance through almost any newspaper, and you will see the truth of it.
The Ontario government trumpets that it has achieved an economic
recovery but cuts off a paltry sum from pregnant women on welfare,
intended as a nutritional supplement and equivalent to the cost of one
litre of milk a day.

Thousands of homeless people throng the streets of every major city,
most of them out in the cold because they cannot find work. Meanwhile
among stockbrokers the new status symbol is a wristwatch costing

Why are the people out of work? Because of the actions of corporations.
Xerox lays off 9,000 workers, not because the company is losing
money--it is highly profitable--but so that stockbrokers will bid up its
share price. Nike locates all its factories in low wage third world
countries and then brings the product home to sell at inflated prices.

Your government will do nothing to fight these trends. Virtually all the
governments in the world are helping along the process of globalization
to ensure that corporations can go wherever wages and taxes and
environmental controls are the lowest.

The governments will never do anything because the campaign funds of all
the major parties come from big business. Republicans and Democrats in
the United States, Liberals and Progressive Conservatives and Reform in
Canada, Labour and Conservatives in the United Kingdom.

Mostly in elections the people stagger back and forth between the right
and the far right, both parties funded by the same corporations, both
parties using spin doctors to sell images rather than to present

In some countries there is a social democratic alternative such as the
New Democratic Party which has strength in some regions of Canada. There
the situation is a little better. But not by much.
Governments around the world have mortgaged their sovereignty to the
international bankers. Even the political parties that would like to do
better for the people don't dare. 

They're afraid that the financiers will hammer them with even higher
interest rates if they try to help the disadvantaged. 
They're afraid that the industries will move away to third world
countries if they try to pass even mildly progressive labor laws. 
They don't have the power or the guts to effect more than minor cosmetic
And so it goes on and on.

The environment gets polluted in the short term interests of big
The children of the unemployed go hungry.

CEO's continue to award themselves compensation packages worth 1,000
times or more what they pay their workers.

The gap between the rich and the poor grows to create a class of wage
This is not going to change by voting out one party and voting in
This is only going to change when people all around the world get mad as

There needs to be a global mass movement of people who are as mad as
hell and are not going to take it any more.
We all need to get out and demonstrate and march and shake our fists and
scare the hell out of the bastards running our nations--and their
corporate puppet masters. 

Then, and only then, the bastards will be frightened into making real
FTB! stands for getting people as mad as hell.

It won't happen just by posting essays on the Internet for other
activists to read. The Internet is a pull medium, and we need a push
medium to reach everyone. 

Most of us can't afford TV spots and glossy ads. I have turned to
t-shirt transfers and home-made bumper stickers as a way of reaching the

Join in the FTB! Movement. Spread the word. Wear a t-shirt. (Click here
to download the image at the top of the page in 8.5 x 11 inch format.)
Get out and do it!


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