Archive for the ‘Open Left’ tag
At Open Left, contributor progrimm has come up with a proposed information and electoral strategy for progressive forces, including ,one hopes, at least part of the Democratic party. I agree with progrimm’s analysis and action plan. Get a load of this, for example:
Ask yourself what do all these things have in common…
Trade policies that ship millions of jobs overseas for multinational corporations who work with governments like China that have essentially created an economic system that is best described as modern day slavery.
A fucked up tax system that has billionaires, the 400 richest people in America paying a smaller percent in federal taxes than millions of middle class Americans
Deregulation across several sectors that allowed Wall Street to defraud millions in the middle class out of their money, blow up our economy, and on top of all of that allowed them to get rich doing it.
Deregulation that recently created the largest environmental disaster in our countries history in the gulf.
A lack of regulation that has allowed private for profit health insurance companies to murder thousands and bankrupt millions of Americans by rescinding their care when they needed it the most.
And all of the above forming an equality crisis which allowed
The Walton family (The owners of Walmart), a single family to gobble up more wealth than the bottom 40% of the United States population combined.
The overwhelming majority of economic growth to go exclusively to the rich.
And long list of facts on the collapse of the middle class are
What do all these things have in common?
A. They are the strongest campaign issues we have that all tie together and form a powerful narrative thats in the mind of most progressive activists that the Republican Party is not merely another political party, but a corporate tool that’s policies have systematically stolen the wealth of the middle class in our country and have radically restructured our economy from one that use to grow every Americans wages to one where the wages of the richest rocket, while everyone elses actually fell and continue to fall.
Yes, there is class warfare being waged in this country and it has been being waged against the majority of Americans by corporations, the wealthy and their Republican puppet voters for the last several decades.
B. They largely have been sitting on the shelf, gathering dust. This tragic, powerful, populist narrative that should right now which should be kicking the utter living shit out of the Republican Party is being unused.
Oh sure, this election year you will see Democrats in October say, Republicans are Crazy tea baggers who want to privatize Social Security and Medicare, Give more tax cuts to the rich, etc.
But that misses most of our most powerful points which are not about what they will do, but about what they already have done.
progrimm correctly notes that this narrative, whgile shared by nearly all progressives and liberals, doesn’t get the attention it deserves:
So how do you change that? How can a net roots movement spread the “details of reality” through the minds of Americans?
Thats what I asked myself when I started thinking about this problem.
We obviously can’t depend on our political leaders most of whom are a bunch of pussies, scared to death of the thought of using populism. Our supporters however, the unions, the people who mostly fund our party actually believe we should fight for a middle class! (The audacity!)
Before I get to that I want to say, lets not beat around the bush here, Novembers probably going to be ugly for us short of a game changer and the DNC right now sure as hell doesnt have that.
Attacking the Tea Party surely should be part of the strategy, but our main strategy really?
Look at the shear amount of damage the Republican Party has done to our country in the last few decades that reached its boiling point in 2008 and our strategy mainly revolves around what the Teapublican party might do?!
Their philosophy has been destroying this countries middle class for decades, thats the lead what they did, not what they will do. What they will do is important as well, but it’s a side piece compared to the wave of destruction they’ve already sent through our country.
He then provides a demonstration script and video which I find effective. progrimm’s approach can no doubt be tweaked, but it’s one heckuva template and starting point. If the Democrats and progressive groups like Moveon don’t use the ammunition here, they are either incompetent or working for the opposition.
Here’s the video.
Gislebertus, at Open Lefttackles a big subject I have been wrestling with for decades. One property which distinguishes civilization as we know it from earlier or less advanced forms of social organization is the tendency of civilization to be hierarchical. This results in inequalities of all kinds and diminishes the quality of life for millions (not to mention the needless loss of millions of lives).
So what is the alternative? Marx, I believe, had some thoughts on the matter, and Gislebertus provides us with a similar but more high level view.
In early human civilizations, a small ruling class of people controlled society. The ruling class was composed of military leaders and priests, and wealth and power were concentrated in their hands. This ruling class directed the vast majority of people, who made a living as farmers and tradesmen.
Babylonian, Assyrian, and Egyptian societies were all structured this way. This sort of aristocracy appeared wherever civilization sprang up, not only in the Fertile Crescent, but in Asia (the Shang dynasty) and the Americas (the Olmec empire).
Gislebertus’ analysis continues to the present.
I don’t necessarily agree with every historical point made here, but I recommend the article as brain food and encourage everyone to read the whole thing.