“If Not Us, Who?” – Redefining Power

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Every time a deluded, Rush-parrot neo-con spouts the mantra, I want to go head-spinner like Linda Blair.

It goes like this, “Do you really want a cradle-to-grave nanny state like country x or y, while country z or z-scarier becomes the world’s new Super Power?”

The grim apocalyptic horns bast dramatically, followed by an admonition that technology is a blessing, and that none of the Social Democracies could have survived but by the grace of our boot straps.

Then they tell us there is no Garden of Eden, and to click our heels and repeat, “Capitalism is good. Corporatism is good. Modern living is here to stay!”

Besides the unbearably mixed metaphor and the horribly unbelievable plot line, history tells us this movie has failed over and over and over at the box office.

Never do they use facts to support the shop-worn lines, never do they consider people as a source of Power. Its always, serve the known masters, the devil you know is far better than the devil you don’t know. “If you kill the Masters, the next Master you are sold to could be MUCH, MUCH worse!” They always paint people with any amount of freedom as lazy, worthless, powerless and in grave danger from themselves. They never want us to know how much happier they are.

“There could be a Power Vacuum, and if not us WHO?” They say.

Oh shut the fuck up already. We know what your lies are. We know you want us to think it is the Elites keeping us safe from “ourselves” or scary “outsiders.”



Sins of Omission – The Facts They Ignore.

Lets see how children do in “nanny states” versus the great, big, bad Super Power, that tries to brainwash us that our system, our Capitalist mantra is the VERY BEST notion EVAH!

Why? In the “Power States” all the assets go to those 1% holding the Power. Because in corrupt regimes, people are poor. Just look at all those goddamned “nanny states” there on the bottom of the graph, with their high, high taxes and no poverty!! How can that possibly BE? The neo-cons would have us believe if we pay taxes we starve, despite the obvious OPPOSITE being true statistically.

But, ya know, don’t let FACTS get in the way of your dogma, idiots.

They really want us to believe that THIS is GOOD for us. They want us to believe that if we keep giving to the rich, the jobs will come back, and we will prosper like we did in the 60’s and 70’s – despite the opposite being true. We did well then, because of Unions and Social Programs, and GOVERNMENT SPENDING on “We the People” not on making the Elites richer.

This is an example of how the top percent has grown from our bailouts alone this year:

Who has the cradle to grave Nanny State in the US?


Look at the places where the so called “nanny state” of the people do, in ranking of happiness and lack of struggle. What do every one of those countries have that we do not?

Nationalized Health Care. Social Safety Nets. Subsidized Higher Education.

How about “A CLUE?” You know, a clue to People being Important?


But lets now look at the SCARIER scary. If the US does not play “Master of the Universe” militarily, some other big bad country will overrun us, stack our bodies for kindling for the fires with which to cook our babies for brunch! Oh my! And Fat Chance!


We could half our budget, we could quarter our budget and still be untouchable. We are geographically well defended. We have nukes. We are FINE and would continue to be FINE.

It is not our huge military budget that keep us safe from other people, it is in place to make sure no one is safe from us – and our (or at least our Elites) ever endless greed in appropriating other countries wealth and assets. We want their oil. We want their cheap labor. We want dictators in place that will comply with privatizing their assets so that our Elites can make vast sums of money from creating slave-labor factories there producing whatever natural resources they have, and selling it back exponentially marked up to the People to which those assets truly belong.

Think about that. To the People to which those assets naturally belong.

We CREATE third world Countries out of Countries who were doing relatively well for their People. By Bomb, by Coup, by Military Threat, but mostly by Private Industrial takeovers.

There is no one in the World that is a threat to the United States, but those running it.

How to Redefine Power.

I read with interest the many fine ideas bouncing around the “Left” – creating local co-ops, or new businesses (with what seed moneys, I always wonder?) or detaching from the grid.

All fine ideas.

But it seems everyone stops short of the only answer that is truly the position of the far (wild, wild, even) Left.

A workers revolt.


It has to start with Unions. It has to start with demands for wages that meet the cost of living increases the past 40 years. It has to start with redefining Power.

Are we a powerful nation because we bully others, bully our own?

A “Nation” per se is an arbitrary construct made only of individuals who agree to a common interest.

What is our interest? To be able to say we have the most and richest rich people, with the biggest guns, and the biggest infant mortality rate, child poverty rate?

Of course not. We want to eat, sleep, be educated, be healthy, feel valued and not have the constant stressors of survival. Is not the true Power of a Nation in the well-being of its citizens?

People have to come to the understanding that WE should be the owners of our own industry. WE, not one or two men. That WE should profit off the system we serve. That our profits should be reinvested in infrastructure that SERVES the PEOPLE.

We must divest every penny from Wall Street, remove every dollar from the Banks. We must shut down our places of business, and take them by any means necessary back for the workers.

Widespread strikes, demonstrations, lock downs, boycotts, refusal to purchase anything from anyone who does not pay a fair wage.

We need to Nationalize Utilities and Oil. Nationalize Education again. (they are talking about making U of M a private school, removing funding – grr) We need to insist upon being able to make Health Care free. Stop paying insurance premiums – all of us. When we go to the doctors, pay them directly, and when there is no other source of payment? They damn well will take it.

We need to INSIST on green technology and DEMAND that unsafe food practices, deadly pesticides and pollution become intolerable.

We need to refuse to pay whatever portion of our tax money goes to the military, 36 cents on every dollar you pay, until they change the budget.


If not us, who?

The US could become the most POWERFUL NATION ON EARTH when we show other countries what POWER THE PEOPLE HOLD. The US could be the most Powerful Nation on Earth, when we spend our time, efforts and energies on helping other countries become self-sufficient and PEOPLE-CENTRIC, rather than serving the Elites.

As the biggest trading partner? We could set the Standard of Goodness, rather than Rape and Pillage.

We could help Turkey and Mexico’s people, the other graph-losers regain power for their people.

A Nanny World that takes care of its People, rather than a Kleptomaniac Planet that impoverishes its People to serve only a very few.

A Leftist Revolution.

Is that really so hard to envision?

It cannot happen until we are able to imagine it, speak freely about it, will it into being by including it in the realm of possible.

“Do you really want a cradle-to-grave nanny state like country x or y?”

Why yes. Hell yes! You say it like its a bad thing, when it is the best possible outcome!

“While country z or z-scarier becomes the world’s new Super Power?”

Not gonna happen, in fact, we could eliminate every enemy we have by being a beacon of Peace and assistance to their People’s Revolution.

“If you kill the Masters, the next Master you are sold to could be MUCH, MUCH worse!”

Not if we are our own Masters, we tend to treat ourselves well. Duh.

“Capitalism is good. Corporatism is good. Modern living is here to stay!”

Um, no. Communism is good. Socialism is good. Modern living is sustainable and equitable living.

What century are THEY living in? I want to move on to the next one.

You in?

“If not us, who?”



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  1. Diane G

    a wild, wild LEFTIST!

    viva la revolucion!

  2. Xanthe

    in one of their centuries – not one of ours.

    But look at it this way – it’s early on in this century – a gal can hope.

  3. Diane G

    is a great companion piece to this.


  4. wolverine06

    It’s those metaphores of “wisdom” they dispense out like candy that become truisms, while in fact they only add confusion to the facts. One’s like, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. This is just an old accepted adage. I like to counter, “and the road to confusion is paved with good metaphores”.

    Jesus is a Liberal!!

    The revolt is on!

  5. Diane G

    now is the time for revolution, and never staying silent!

    Viva! Yell LOUDER!!!!!

  6. curmudgeon

    and by the way, great job on the essay, Diane G!  

    I’ve read a lot of scary stuff lately, but a recent article  by Alfred McCoy of the University of Wisconsin seems like a page from Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”  

    If you can convince yourself that the potential scenarios described over the next fifteen years will never happen, you’ll be fine and have yourself a good laugh.

    But to the extent that the possible futures so vividly detailed seem even remotely possible, in homage to Sinclair Lewis’ 1936 classic, “It Can’t Happen Here”, you may feel compelled to keep repeating that title over and over to yourself.  

  7. Jacob Freeze

    I saw “the wisdom of crowds” at Daily Kos and in the 2008 Democratic primaries, and it made me nostalgic for the smoke-filled rooms full of insiders who nominated Stevenson and Eisenhower in 1952.

    The charts and stats about well-being which you reproduced are inevitably convincing to liberals and progressives, because all sorts of egalitarian assumptions are already built in.

    But for economic gamblers who want a shot at getting rich and sending their kids to Phillips Exeter, while the other guy works a minimum or sub-minimum wage job and sends his children to disintegrating public schools, equality isn’t particularly inspiring.


  8. banger

    If that revolt is to withdraw their labor. In the global marketplace unions have little political levarage unless they are highly trained workers that are the only ones that can do a particular job.

    Unions can, however, help organize disruptions and boycotts and that’s the direction I’d like to see. Anything that would get people focused and excited. The left is so dispirited–we need more parties and face-to-face celebrations of not being robots.

    I will repeat my mantra–get off the internet and cable TV and work the face-to-face high bandwith connections and enjoy the contact before you forget how. Not that it’s easy not that you’re “wrong” if you don’t. Start with more parties!

  9. Diane G

    from The Wild Wild Left and also appearing, as always, on writing in the rAw

  10. Diane G

    for the life of my son, my family, all of you, the world.

    There is no other path to ending suffering than stop allowing the extraction capitalists to drain the whole of the bottom for the benefit of the few.

  11. Diane G

    I’m gonna use that rebuttal :)


  12. Diane G

    but it still focuses on whose hedgemony will prevail, with little possibility of China & India’s following suit and rising up against slavery.

    Not that it isn’t a possibility, I just don;t want it to be the ONLY possibility, dig?

  13. curmudgeon

    I think the author was suggesting that China and India were on course to overtake the United States for economic dominance, however, I don’t think he sees China or India achieving the global hegemony exercised by the United States, most particularly from the end of World War II to the early 2000s.  In fact, he states:

    Yet both China and Russia evince self-referential cultures, recondite non-roman scripts, regional defense strategies, and underdeveloped legal systems, denying them key instruments for global dominion. At the moment then, no single superpower seems to be on the horizon likely to succeed the U.S.

    The author seems to allow for the possibility, albeit slim, that the United States could take steps to slow or reverse the decline, however, that would represent a clear departure from the self-destruction of failed empires during the past several millenia.  

    What was most striking to me was the gathering of evidence from a variety of sources, including U. S. based news organizations, all seeming to point in the direction of a significant, imminent, and severe decline of the U. S. as a global power.  

    For yet another grim indicator, try taking the most recent Pew Research Political Quiz. I don’t consider myself to be the most savvy person in the world in terms of keeping up with current events, however, this quiz seemed to be embarrassingly simple. I was shocked to learn that only 1% of the U. S. population was able to answer all twelve multiple choice questions correctly. The average college graduate answered less than seven of the questions correctly (where one would expect at least three correct merely based upon chance alone).  

    Chris Hedges, in his 2009 book, Empire of Illusion, indicates that of those graduating from high school in this country, one-third will never read another book for the rest of their lives, which still pales when one considers that fully 42% of those who, once graduated from college, will never do so either.  

    I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion. — Thomas Jefferson

    A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people. — James Madison

  14. Diane G

    so no, not about any essay there.

    This was purely out of my own thought processes watching the “left” frustrated by the rightward move of the country really react in centrist ways… speaking of modifying a failed system instead of rebuilding it on purely leftist constructs.

    Your last paragraph begs the eternal question…. is there are cure fro the greed/ego gene?

    Wow, that might create whole different essay today :)

    Good question, very good question.

  15. Diane G

    It seems the only answer to that is a fiction that can never happen.


    Essayed it.

  16. Diane G

    to get three wrong…. but I really don’t know what the government reports unemployment as, I just know its inaccurate.


    I guess I need to get my nose back into my newsfeeds and out of my books :)

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