Class Struggle – “Life Underground” by Tom Otterness

Tom Otterness has this fantastic art work at the subway at  4th Street and 8th Ave in New York called  “life underground.” His work shows the class struggle and how rich people thrive on the exploitation of the poor worker class. However, it has many things unfolding there. I took some pictures and made short comments about it using also the book by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco “Days of Destruction Days of Revolt” Nation Books, 2012 . See below.

Who divided us into those who are exploited and those who exploit?

Who made us believe that unequal distribution of wealth is fine?

Who made us fear that we should be equal under God’s love? Our fear of losing what we have have made us lose what we thought we had. We are under the spell of an ideology that promotes inequality under the banner of Patriotism, an ideology of the ruling classes who say that capitalism is freedom and socialism is absolutism.

“The ideology embraces the belief that societies and cultures can be regenerated through violence. It glorifies profit and wealth.”


“the ruthless hunt for profit creates a world where everything and everyone is expandable. Northing is sacred. It has blighted inner cities, turned the majestic Appalachian Mountains into a blasted moonscape of poisoned water, soil and air.”
Under the ground of our houses, people are dying without homes, health insurance and proper conditions. Brothers and sisters we call expandable people! This ideology

” has forced workers into a downward spiral of falling wages and mounting debt until laborers in agricultural fields and sweatshops work in conditions that replicate slavery. It has impoverished our working class…

“The belief that human being and human societies should be ruled by the demands of the marketplace is utopian folly. There is nothing in human history to human nature that supports the idea that sacrificing everything before the free market leads to a social good. And yet we have permitted this utopian belief system to determine how we structure our economy, labor, education, culture, and our relations with foreign nations, as well as how we treat the ecosystem on which we depend for life.”

“Shut up! they say! You are unpatriotic! We have built a system where those who work hard can have whatever they want!” They repeat it so many times that we finally believed and we teach our children the same, not realizing that this ideology is plain lie to keep the rich to continue to control our lives and our access to things. The ruling class is  controlling the natural resources that should be given to all. While they have the best technology in health systems available to them, others must be denied under the truth that they are lazy and cannot work hard as the rich did. This system of exclusion…

… has enriched a tiny global elite that has no loyalty to…anybody but themselves. and we believe they are caring for us!

1% of USA population controls almost 50% of its wealth and why we don’t do anything to stop it? is the fear of socialism the reason for most of the lack of bold actions and going to the streets and demeaning rights and justice and solidarity?

Why are we fearful of workers rights, of equal payment, of distribution of wealth, of socializing our sources?

Why we don’t rise up and say NO! to few individuals who own most of what should be common to all.

The result is that these few rich people in our societies, churches and private clubs create/dominate what this picture shows: The fat wealth rich man, hides the exclusion, sickness and annulment of the poor. This poor must not have so few others can have way more than their share.  We are responsible for it. We have let this man be rich and the man behind the rich man be excluded from our societies, destined  to live in the underground of our very lives.

Surveillance, police and military might is what has been used now to protect the rich from the poor. And we say that is fine because they use “the law” to protect order and decency. And there is no law under which the poor can say: I cannot go hungry, I cannot live in this place, my dignity must be kept. We confuse law with sacredness, politicians with sincerity, economic system with providence, fear with hatred, poverty with laziness, inequality with fate, military power with protection.

BUT WAIT! Look at this woman below. She is fighting against what this rich man represents: injustice, inequality and greedy! She is reading and learning about her rights, about the power of the people. She has learned that together things can change! She has believed that united workers and the poor together can start a revolution! She is learning to fight for justice and not accept this way of being.

 The mighty will be put down! Those who control the lives of many will lose their power and God will be on the side of the poor! The poor will together find a way to create a new narrative where hope can appear, where solidarity will be at the center of things, where new life can be imagined and justice will flow like a might river. Not only the 1% will go down but also the 20% of the richest will go down as well until the least of these can finally have a life with dignity and justice.

Watch out for revolution and solidarity! The ruffling of wings of dissent and transformation are being waved everywhere! Like this person above here, look around! Along with the Days of Destruction we will always create Days of Revolt! We shall overcome! Together! Venceremos! Juntos!

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