If People Don’t Mobilize Nothing Will Change

by lizard

Politically, things are getting back to normal in Montana. Republicans are doing stupid stuff already by getting busted having a secret meeting to discuss their legislative agenda. Because it’s Republicans doing it, it’s obviously bad and therefore worthy of a Cowgirl post. I don’t recall if there was any criticism from Cowgirl when Bullock nominated 5.1 million acres based on the input of 7 people during 5 conference calls last April:

…Bullock’s office nominated 5.1 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land as priority for “restoration” (read: logging). Some touted the proposal as a collaborative effort among the timber industry and environmental groups, but the Great Falls Tribune reported that in fact it was cooked up by seven people over the course of five conference calls that included zero opportunity for public input. Those left out of the discussion are rightfully angry and calling out the governor for approving such a heavy-handed clearcut of public lands.

In the governor’s defense, spokesman Dave Parker told the Trib “vigorous” public participation will follow on a project-by-project basis, and he undermined those questioning the governor’s so-called “diverse coalition” by dismissing the critics as a “minority.” The merits of the proposal aside, a decision this large deserves a more transparent process, and the governor should know better than to try to strong-arm the public.

In other Montana blogosphere news, over at Intelligent Discontent, Don can’t think of anything new to say about the party he has learned to love, so he reposted his “Sellout Manifesto” written 3 years ago. Here’s a taste:

Why do I generally support a party that is often far to the right of my own positions? Because in today’s political climate, on many important national and local questions, they represent the last bulwark to protect rights gained and advances made in the past 100 years. Because real human beings will suffer greatly if we further empower a Republican Party so divorced from rationality and human ethics that it would destroy a program which provides economic and health security for our elderly, legally define our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as second class citizens, and accelerate the damage being done to our environment.

We progressives often talk about the importance of confronting privilege. Many of us on the left have the privilege of taking all or nothing positions on political questions because we will survive the fallout: our jobs, our rights, and our positions will be secure no matter which party takes power. In fact, perversely, some of us will even see our prestige and status increased the worse our government behaves.

I’m not so certain that the truly voiceless, the powerless, and the poor have that privilege. While I may have a position privileged enough to endure Republican rule, I believe that the truly powerless are much better served by a Democratic Party who will, co-opted as they may be, fight for them and the programs which offer them a decent standard of living.

In an article last week, titled Rising Inequality and Liberal Myopia, Andrew Levine writes about the futility of trying to revive the past:

Fond wishes for the return of Keynesianism will not bring those days back. (And, of course, if you weren’t a white male those days weren’t necessarily golden anyway.) The Keynesian consensus of the mid-20th century was a product of a particular set of circumstances that no longer exist. Keynesianism then depended on an industrial base and market expansion. A repeat of history isn’t possible because the industrial base of the advanced capitalist countries has been hollowed out, transferred to low-wage developing countries, and there is almost no place remaining to which to expand. Moreover, capitalists who are saved by Keynesian spending programs amass enough power to later impose their preferred neoliberal policies.

Capitalists tolerated such policies because profits could be maintained through expansion of markets and social peace bought. This equilibrium, however, could only be temporary because the new financial center of capitalism, the U.S., possessed a towering economic dominance following World War II that could not last. When markets can’t be expanded at a rate sufficiently robust to maintain or increase profit margins, capitalists cease tolerating paying increased wages.

And, not least, the massive social movements of the 1930s, when communists, socialists and militant unions scared capitalists into granting concessions and prompted the Roosevelt administration to bring forth the New Deal, were a fresh memory. But the movements then settled for reforms, and once capitalists no longer felt pressure from social movements and their profit rates were increasingly squeezed, the turn to neoliberalism was the response.

As we look forward to the social unrest that will continue to simmer under economic stagnation, political corruption and environmental catastrophe, the only thing that has ever worked is the threat of massive social mobilization against those who benefit massively from systemic exploitation. From the same article:

The top 0.1 percent — that is, the uppermost tenth of the 1% — have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of United Statesians. To put it another way, approximately 320,000 people possess as much as do more than 280 million. It takes at least $20 million in assets to be among the top 0.1 percent, a total that is steadily rising.

Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at the University of California, and Gabriel Zucman, a professor at the London School of Economics, examined income-tax data to reveal these numbers. They write that they combined that data with other sources to reach what they believe is the most accurate accounting of wealth distribution yet, one that shows inequality to be wider than previously imagined. The authors define wealth as “the current market value of all the assets owned by households net of all their debts,” including the values of retirement plans with the exception of unfunded defined-benefit pensions and Social Security. (The reason for that exclusion is that those moneys do not yet exist but are promises to be kept sometime in the future.)

The authors’ paper, “Wealth Equality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Data,” reports that, for the bottom 90 percent, there was no change in wealth from 1986 to 2012, while the wealth of the top 0.1 percent increased by more than five percent annually — the latter reaped half of total wealth accumulation.

The 22 percent of total wealth owned by the top 0.1 percent is almost equal to what that cohort owned at the peak of inequality in 1916 and 1929. Afterward, their total fell to as low as seven percent in 1978 but has been rising ever since. At the same time, the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent rose from about 20 percent in the 1920s to a peak of 35 percent in the mid-1980s, but has been declining ever since. Although pension wealth has increased since then, Professors Saez and Zucman report, the increase in mortgage, consumer-credit and student debt has been greater.

People, not party politics, will be the catalyst for actual change in this country.


  1. The attitude of Pogie and others, to place their hopes in the moribund and corrupt Democrats because they are marginally better than the energetic and corrupt Republicans, speaks of a deficit of fighting spirit, a weakness of reserve strength to endure loss and still fight on.

    It is the reason I cannot be a Democrat. They are losers.

  2. steve kelly

    “And there is a certain level of stupidity that seems particular to the Democratic Party. The Democratic leadership has a real knack for designing platforms and campaigns that ignore the working class, rural poor and much of that part of the U.S. population that is left of center. We know the left-of-center folks are out there and active because during most national elections, a number of progressive local ballot initiatives are passed into law.” -Lawrence Davidson http://consortiumnews.com/

    It is madness to still believe that Democrats are a little bit left and somewhat libertarian. Overwhelming evidence shows them to be steadily drifting further to the right of center and consistently authoritarian. It’s a mad, mad world.

  3. Matthew Koehler

    Here’s a comment I posted somewhere else….but it’s directly related to this post. Also, includes link to our lawsuit vs Bullock & DNRC. Hearing for the lawsuit is Dec 11th in Helena.

    Here’s the link to a copy of our lawsuit against the Governor Bullock and the DNRC over their secret meetings and process which resulted in 5 million acres of National Forest public lands in Montana being nominate for ‘fast track’ logging. http://forestpolicypub.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WildWest-v-Bullock.pdf

    Keep in mind there was no public notice for any of these meetings organized by Governor Bullock and his Natural Resource Policy Advisor, Tim Baker [Note: Baker was previously the executive director of the Montana Wilderness Association and Baker’s wife is State Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker].

    There were no minutes recorded and made publicly available for any of the meetings. No agendas for the meetings were provided to the public before the meetings were held.

    Only one agenda was prepared for the first meeting, which was only provided to the public on April 14, 2014 in response to Plaintiffs’ public information request. The agenda for the first meeting reflects an initial intention to provide the decision or recommendation to the Governor by April 1, 2014 “after broader input/review,” but no such input or review was ever sought or obtained.

    No opportunities were provided for the public – other than the few individuals selected for the collaborative group – to participate, or to submit data, views, or arguments before the group made its decision advising DNRC and the Governor of lands to nominate, or before DNRC and the Governor decided to nominate those lands.

    Finally, keep in mind that these 5 million acres of public National Forest lands nominated for ‘fast track’ logging through Governor Bullock’s secret, no public notice, no public input process will now be available for an unlimited number of 3,000 acre logging projects that are (according to the exact language of the Farm Bill) “Categorically excluded from the requirements of NEPA.”

    P.S. I had an upper management person at Defenders of Wildlife in D.C. tell me that this Farm Bill logging “categorically excluded from the requirements of NEPA” was one of Sen Baucus’ final demands during the whole Senate-to-Ambassator deal which took place last year.

  4. Mobilizing? Sounds good to me.

    “There is a great deal more to be said about law and defense provision in a free society, and I discuss some of this literature at the end of Against the State. But the reason we focus on these issues in the first place is that we realize the State cannot be reformed. The State is a monopolist of aggressive violence and a massive wealth-transfer mechanism, and it is doing precisely what is in its nature to do. The utopian dream of “limited government” cannot be realized, since government has no interest in remaining limited. A smaller version of what we have now, while preferable, cannot be a stable, long-term solution. So we need to conceive of how we could live without the State or its parasitism at all.”-Rockwell

    • Rockwell is referring to the capitalist state, and he is absolutely right about the futility of reform.
      Witness Harry Reid calling a Senate vote on Keystone XL, willing to sacrifice the earth’s climate so Mary “Big Oil” Landrieu can survive. (which she won’t)
      Thanks for introducing Levine, Lizard, but as the pre-Iraq war demonstrations, or Arab Spring or even OWS showed, it takes more than mass mobilizations of people with signs and speeches. It takes a shared critique and demands.

    • Swede, you ahve but one idea bouncing around your head, repeated in so many forms: “Gubbmint bad, free market good.”

      That it is demonstrated to be wrong everywhere you might look has no effect. You keep chugging along like the little engine that could.

      • A great example on govt. vs free market would be the example on how well the CDC has been doing handling Ebola.

        Whereas that bumbling bureaucracy has repeatedly issued revisions in procedures, procedures originally which endangered nurses lives. Compare and contrast that with Goodyear handling of this crisis in the thick of it, Western Africa.

        • JC

          Goodyear? What do they have to do with ebola, besides having produced the first rubber glove? You must be thinking of Firestone. And they are only doing what they are doing to protect profits.

          Whose profits would Firestone protect if we allowed them to take over the CDC?

          • I guessing you need a link.

            http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/06/354054915/firestone-did-what-governments-have-not-stopped-ebola-in-its-tracks

            • Firestone or Goodyear. What difference does it make.

              • JC

                Would it make a difference if you took your truck to St. Vincents or the Billings Clinic to get the tires rotated?

              • The comparison was not that specific. We have a govt which tries to solves problems but makes them worse. Compared to a private company which has better solutions.

              • JC

                Is it the government that is unable to solve problems? Or are profiteers, who want (and act to ensure) government failure so they can insert privatization, the culprit here?

                You know, the more you call for corporate takeover of government, the more you sound like you would prefer to have oligarchs running our country.

                Is that true, Swede? Anarcho-capitalism and fascism really are mutually exclusive forms of governance. Pick one and stick with it.

              • Dammit JC! Three paragraphs. You lost him. He is a noun, a verb and a link.

              • Maybe Swede has lost faith in democracy and just wants his version of ‘philosopher kings’?

              • First question JC, yes. Second question, the govt. f’s up on its own.

                And finally I’m against crony capitalism. i’m thinking limited govt. can survive on its own.

      • And Mark, the internet is basically free. Are you looking forward to the govt. running it?

        • Swede, your stupidity is on display here. Bye.

        • JC

          So, “the internet is basically free”. Really? Why do I pay my wireless provider money for access? Why do I pay taxes so that the U of M can push fiber from Missoula to Yellow Bay, and allow a few small businesses in along the way? Why do I pay taxes so the U of M can run fiber from border to border to tie in with the bigger regional providers? Why do I pay taxes so the NSA can scoop up all that data to protect me from…?

          I thought that in anarchy-capitalist land that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

          But I’ll play along: if the internet is free, why isn’t healthcare?

          • You can live in a homeless shelter, pay no taxes and surf for porn in the library.

            Basically free.

            • lizard19

              you can get tax breaks, loopholes and subsidies, living large with actual paid sex workers basically free of consequence.

  5. Turner

    After the election, I scrubbed the Beaverhead Democrats site bare, or pretty much bare. I can’t think of anything to put on it right now.

    I’m tinkering with the idea of a New Democratic party, which would be like the Greens but with a broader agenda. New Deal Democrats like me need somewhere to go.

    New Democratics might not win any elections — at least not right away, but blue dog Democrats aren’t going to win, either. At least I could be on the losing side with people I respect.

    Meanwhile, I’m thinking more and more about civil disobedience.

    • JC

      Well, we had the New Party here in Missoula for a while. Won some local elections. But the Supreme Court denied fusion voting as a right in 1997, which pretty much tanked the New Party from doing anything more than local races, so it dried up.

      And civil disobedience? You saw what Obama did to OWC. Civil disobedience is going to have to get a lot more disobedient than Occupy to survive the suppression Homeland Defense would bring down on it if it started gaining any traction.

      I’m pretty well consigned to either waiting (if it happens in my lifetime) until the system collapses under its own weight, a radical revolution cleans house, or we get defeated in a war.

      Best to just hunker down and weather the storm. Any way it blows, it’s going to be a doozy. Of course, standing on a street corner holding a sign is a sure way to strike up a political conversation with strangers, or get interesting hand gestures pointed at you from passing cars, if you get bored.

      • Turner

        I’m not sure what you mean by “defeated in a war.” If you mean you’d like us to be overrun by a foreign power, I’m not for it. If you mean our arriving at an economic situation that makes continuing a war unfeasible, I’m OK with it.

        What is “fusion voting”?

        • Turner

          Never mind. I looked it up.

        • JC

          No, I’m not saying I’d like for us to have a war on our own shores, quite the contrary — I’m a noninterventionist and a pacifist. But it becomes more and more likely that we will, as long as we continue to force our hegemony on alliances that are not going to back down.

          Our current foreign policy on Russia is to push them harder and harder until they acquiesce to our demands. To those who understand and follow Russia know, they will not acquiesce.

          So it is just a matter of time until we engage in actual military actions with Russia. The question is: where and when?

          Russia does not want to fight another battle to protect their homeland. The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction is in shambles. Russia has adopted a policy where they can justify a first nuclear strike against an aggressor.

          So, all it takes is another false flag incident like MH-17 to ignite an escalation. And as the Cold War 2.0 tensions rise, if we begin to threaten Russia militarily (President Clinton might likely do so, President Bush rather more likely…) there is no diplomacy in place to prevent a nuclear standoff with hair triggers waiting to shoot first.

          Here, read an interesting report on the state of America’s peace movement, and tell me we don’t have a problem.

          • Turner

            The essay by Doctorow has one good point: persons interested in peace should pay more attention to the new cold war between Putin and the west.
            But Doctorow’s disdain for “special cause groups” and those guilty of “subservience to old concerns of injustices around the world” is way beyond peculiar. Many of us still believe in justice, or in opposing injustices. That doesn’t mean we’re “special interest groups.” It means were human beings who care about the plight of others.
            He states that Putin is not “likable” because of “years of denigration and information warfare coming from Washington,” especially “propaganda about an authoritarian regime that allegedly jails dissent[ers?], [and propaganda] about homophobia . . . .”
            “Allegedly”? Bullshit. Putin is unlikable because he’s an asshole, and so is Doctorow for pretending he’s not. Putin does jail dissenters – remember Pussy Galore? He condones the behavior of brutal anti-homosexual groups. Documentary films on these groups torturing “faggots” are not propaganda.
            For Doctorow to say that those of us who care about injustices are tied to “old concerns” and therefore irrelevant shows me that he is nothing but a propagandist for Putin, for whom ordinary morality is so yesterday.
            As for Putin’s apparent aggression in Ukraine, I’m not prepared to talk about it.

            • JC

              All I was referring to was Doctorow’s observation that the peace movement in the U.S. is completely neglecting to observe what is happening in Cold War 2.0, and weapon modernization. All the rest of the stuff you refer to are debates for another time and place.

              Without a peace movement focusing on the big picture, and its dangers, anything is possible with our neocon dominated foreign policy.

            • Turner

              I meant Pussy Riot.

            • As I understand it, Pussy Riot was an American covert op, and their behavior would nave netted them jail here in the US too. Get real.

              Putin is widely respected throughout the world, has the support of 80% of the Russian population and the oligarch and military. He has done great things for Russia in it rebuilding period after the twin collapses of 1990 and the post-90 Wall Street reforms. Within Russia, he has far more support than our own Obama or Bush before him.

              But if you only get your news from American sources, he’s a tyrant, an asshole, a madman. Nonsense. That’s American agitprop.

  6. Fundamentally, the thing Democrats should be focusing on, IMO above all else, is wages. Wages have been falling as a percentage of productivity for decades now- http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/wages-as-a-percentage-of-productivity

    The problem is almost entirely about two things: the increasing cost of healthcare and employers simply keeping most of it for themselves- http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/division-of-productivity

    Those are two problems that the Republicans can’t even acknowledge, let alone fix. The Democrats have the tools to fix them- progressive taxation, stronger collective bargaining, minimum wage hikes, a public option, etc. The American people will get on board with a solution to the wage problem as long as it is forcefully and clearly presented, which the Democrats aren’t doing at present..

    • JC

      PTW, I applaud your call for attacking the wage problem. Unfortunately, I believe wages are just the canary in the coal mine. We’ve got a far greater problem here.

      How do you propose to tackle the problem with your tools,
      “progressive taxation, stronger collective bargaining, minimum wage hikes, a public option” in light of the political power wielded by those who have benefitted, and continue to benefit, from wealth inequity?

      Republicans are categorically opposed to all of the above, and democrats have not been able find the backbone to attempt to use them (outside of minimal minimum wage increases far below inflation). Where is your political constituency for focusing on wages?

      • Minimum wage hike ballot measures did extremely well in 2014, obviously divorced from partisan politics. If organizing (mobilizing people, as Lizard would have it) can be so successful with no regard to well-manufactured partisan bickering, it seems counter-productive to throw *voting* out of the people’s toolbox, doesn’t it? And yet so many are willing to that very thing.

      • That is obfuscatory, Rob. You surely know that too. You’ve reduced the matter to pure “voting” when it has always been the fact that D’s and R’s don’t give us a real choice. So why vote for either?

        MW campaigns, on the other hand, matter.

        • I hid nothing, Mark. Many crusade for ‘not voting’ as some kind of ‘sending a message’, even right here at this website. It sends a message alright. I don’t think I need to clarify to you what that message is.

          Cowgirl put up a guest post from an anti-trapping advocate lamenting the rather arcane and difficult manner Montana has for getting citizen initiatives on the Montana ballot. It was fricking amusing to me that those who walk that rather delicate line between ‘voting is useless’ and ‘the people need to retake control’ were as silent as church mice on that post, a post that actually mattered. I’m not holding up “voting” as a universal panacea for what ails this country. I am simply not blind to those who engage in counter-productive measures.

        • I think we have basic agreement here that voting for one of two bad candidates is not really a choice, so that voting is not important. Any way you look at it you lose.

          Is it difficult to get an initiative on teh ballot? Yes. I think that’s OK, but people disagree. I think the process should be the result of mobilization, and should be difficult, otherwise we’ll be flooded with ballot issues ala California. Reserve ti to an important matter or two.

          Where I would make things easier would be to make it easier for third parties to get on the ballot and get some public exposure and public funding to level the playing field a bit. That game is rigged. You know this.

          (In my world, there would be no party designations on ballots. If someone wants to belong to a party, fine. We have a primary, and let differences crystallize due to issues, as party distinctions are usually meaningless. My world.)

        • On the other hand, a five minute conversation with Swede is a strong argument against the vote.

          • ~Heh~

        • I agree with you that California shows the dangers of direct democratic control. Still:

          In Montana, 2/3 of our population live in 10 of 56 counties, yet our initiative process requires an inordinate agreement from low population areas, regardless of our population centers. Our legislature (ignoring party politics) can force initiatives onto a ballot serving well-funded minority rule (and out-of-state interest) wasting time and money and exposing the will of the majority to harm from the minority encouraged and motivated to vote. Similarly, in the US Senate, >2/3 of the US population is represented by the will of less than 36 Senators. Encouraging people not to vote for representation, out of disdain for party politics, is encouraging people to hand control over to the will of the minority.

          The game is rigged. Where I disagree with you at times is that the cheat is insurmountable.

          • “whether or not the cheat is insurmountable”. I was unclear.

        • Never thought the conversation would extend to another dysfunction of our system, the power of land ownership in the legislature. It is no accident. It is by design. Ranchers have disproportionate power. That’s why a simple stuttering sheep rancher like Baucus lasts 24 years.

          • I have believed and argued for years that wealth in agriculture is a flaw of our Constitution, state and Federal. It was the greatest coup of the MIC that turned that strength, not to manufacturing, but to corporate control of the very resources that the Founding Fathers (of state and country) sought to protect in granting land rights based on federal control of surface and sub-surface and sky. ‘Land ownership’ is a falsehood. It’s resource ownership that matters, and the resource is granted by the state, just as if we had kings. Ranchers have penultimate power as long as the State grants them such, so they fall in line very quickly with State objective.

            • It’s a serious flaw, one among many. Our system is far from perfect.

  7. steve kelly

    It is futile to argue with the Oracle of Northeast Bozeman, who’s prophetic words come straight from The Great Spirit, or from Helena, I’m not sure which. Only he knows what actually matters, and what is “productive.” We should thank our lucky stars that he is so often amused by our triflings. Praise the Oracle. Bless us Great One, bless the unwashed heathens (left of center), with your pixie dust and magic wand.

    Go Oakland.

    • Oakland is likely *going* to 0-16. Mark and I were not ‘arguing’, we were actually discussing from different viewpoints, something you’ve proven rather incapable of. And frankly, Steve, not for the first time you are just going out of your way to be a dick. Sorry, your opinion just doesn’t mean that much anymore.

      But by all means, please rally the believers against the infidel in your midst! And you seriously have to wonder why I am laughing?

  8. lizard19

    I don’t know if others feel a sense of urgency to get medicaid dollars into this state, but those on the front lines know (I cringe to use a war analogy, but it is a class war) exactly how painful conservatives denying medicaid dollars has been for actual people. that’s why, despite my cynicism, I do vote and will continue to vote.

    but again, it’s been really REALLY difficult to pencil in the oval for D’s, even locally. instead of the rallying cry for medicaid expansion the issue became a primary punching match over strategy, and that was the focus.

    what no one realized during the bickering was Tim Fox quietly stonewalled the effort to get signatures and sunk the ballot initiative efforts. who knows if Democrats showing a united front on behalf of their constituents for medicaid expansion would have gotten the initiative passed, giving Bullock more leverage for a special session. it would have been nice if someone was paying attention—or better yet, FUNDING the signature gathering efforts to get this thing on the ballot.

    do Democrats in this state have some kind of strategy to make this a top concern for the session next year?

    • The top Democrats do, but it’s just the Governor and his ‘gang’ against Barrett and her coalition. The question is this: Can the Democrats, as disparaged as they are as a party, separate a good idea from the seemingly awful people who promote it, being icky Obama Demonrats and all?

      There are aces in the hole. Monica Lindeen is clearly focused on getting the greatest benefit from the national funding from ‘Obamacare’. She has huge support from the Lt. Gov. and hopefully Bullock in this. The national Republicants will not be able to repeal the ACA because the Insurance industry won’t let them, but the Supremes (imagine Roberts in a sequined black dress) still have a say. If it needs to go to ballot, then it’s kind of up to the efforts of those who don’t hate the Democrats so much they would wish to see them fail miserably in favor of … What now?

      • lizard19

        big picture, ACA is still deeply flawed policy, and Democrats have earned much of the contempt directed their way. the urgency comes from seeing what austerity actually means, from street to hospital to jail.

        • Not disagreeing.

  9. steve kelly

    The Oracle knows. Please, help us see. Someday, tell us your secret. What makes you so much smarter than everybody to your left?

    You are right, Kailey, my opinion means nothing. True as rain. I will not, however, quit having opinions, or expressing myself because of what you think, so keep on laughing all you like, at whatever you like. As I’ve told you before, I’m happy you are so amused.

    • Whatever, Steve. Still, you have influence, name and ability. Instead of cutting people down, a skill you ply but obviously don’t excel at, why don’t you be an Oracle? Why don’t you actually lead people to agreement, instead of pissing on them for not agreeing with your vaunted pronouncements? What you got, Bro?

  10. Since I’s just an ignert dude from Nor’eastern Bozee-man, I dont know so’s much about revolution. So, I lookeded it up on the Wiki-thingy. Here’s what I noticed.

    Most revolutions in history had the rich surviving and remaining rich after the ‘event’ was over. Ain’t that weird? Not those who was ‘in control’, mind you. They all got they’s heads chopped off or hung or such. In most them Asia countries, the rich either came to ‘Merka or had their rich stolen, but then there’s just more difernt rich in the countries of ‘the Peoples’. Money do find a way.

    I know enough about chaos theory, even the math of it, to know that all things we can see in history have not been displayed before (Sorry Roland Barthes, you’re wrong.) It is entirely possible that we could have a citizen’s revolution in the technological age without the physical violence, or the static nature of wealth. Much of that possibility does rely on those who see beyond simple party politics. All of it relies on convincing people that what we know now is not all that can be known; there must be a new paradigm. The tools we have are violence (tried and failed), organizing (must have a focus and a method of statement. That would be voting) or individual effort (Guy Fawkes? Really?) So I have to ask those who seem incapable of anything beyond bitterness: Why support a known possibility when you can have the courage to support the unknown, if it’s only given a chance?

    • It is true that most revolutions end up replacing old tyrants with new ones. That’s why smart men like Martin Luther King advocated nonviolence. He was not a wimp, far from it, faced certain death with admirable courage. But he knew that real change could only come about with resolute resistance without resort to violence.

      If you know history as you claim to know history, then you surely will understand how the fall of the Soviet Union and its client states was free of bloodshed, and how the leadership of those countries was replace with more enlightened types. That was a resolution free of violence. You need to incorporate it into your narrative.

      You also surely know, if you know history, that the first move of entrenched power to a resistance movement is to seed it with agents provocateur, to give it an excuse to use violence to put it down. Thus was “Earth First!” introduced into the environemntnal movement, windows smashed in Seattle, shots fired into crowds in Caracas.

      You know all this.

  11. lizard19

    gotta love this lipstick post from cowgirl to pretty up the pork show Tester now runs.

  12. steve kelly

    Great razzle dazzle. The way I see it you’re here to sabatage the honest efforts of anyone feeling their way out of the mess Democrats have put us in. Your passive aggressive hostility does not go unnoticed. Everyone must find their own way to deal with it. Most will give you a pass. That’s their business.

    It’s not believable when you talk about having “the courage to support the unknown” and all the while showing hostility to those most willing to take those risks exploring real possibilities for change. I suspect you are more hostile to proponents of change than you realize. I engage your hostility as a choice, not from a place of bitterness. But no more free passes.

    • It’s curious, this insight you think you have to my motives. Please do expose me with reasons. The difficulty factor is you can’t just dismiss me because of ‘money’. JC has as much as admitted he’s on the verge of giving up. I don’t cotton to that idea for reasons well expressed. Lizard and I have a reached a point of wary detente, and Mark and I are actually having civil discussions about relevant ideas. So why on Earth do you think I’m here to sabotage anything, and what do you think I get out of it? That is other than crap from you just because I’m me (a person you don’t know at all)?

  13. Turner

    AlterNet has a good story on the media’s role in dumbing down the American electorate. I think this fact hasn’t received enough attention. http://www.alternet.org/print/media/how-our-media-is-helping-America-turn-into-a-land-of-political-idiots.

    • Link not working.

      • Turner

        Maybe someone delete the post?

      • Oh well. I liked the premise.

  1. 1 Freedom to browse | Piece Of Mind

    […] the meantime, our intellectually crippled friend Swede predictably popped up with this image over at […]




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