The Big Picture Vol.1

(I’ll be putting this in Orange in an hour or so)

There has been a sea change in the time since I have started working on Docudharma and neglecting my other blogging stuff. The anticipation of that sea change is one of the reasons I started Docudharma. I began to see that the Dems were locked in to their “Don’t Oppose Bush and We Will Win in ’08” strategy and were NOT going to make a serious effort to hold Bush accountable for his many crimes….and that they weren’t even SERIOUSLY going to try to end the war.

It occurred to me that ACTIVISM on blogs was about to become pretty irrelevant as far as Congress was concerned. Why spend time lobbying for something they have absolutely no intention of doing?

And with so much time left in Bush’s term….what should we do next? What do we do now? What is the Big Picture?

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Now I am in no way saying that political blogging is dead or a waste of time….What I am saying is that I need to change strategies, shift away from trying to lobby Congress to Impeach or Not Fund.

(A quick note, I do still plan to essay on impeachment…..on holding the criminals responsible, I/we just need a new strategy. I’m working on it!)


It seems like direct action such as last weeks protest and the idea of a General Strike are now the only viable options for short term change….I support these fully and will do all I can and all we can at Docudharma to organize and help with these efforts. As I say below….The People are the key now. Not Congress.

I try to stay away from huge declarations. I like asking questions better. After all, we are not dealing with a concrete monolithic unchanging reality, we are dealing with the political PROCESS and so our responses and tactics and strategies need to be an evolving process as well.

So I will list a few thoughts that are informing my thinking and then ask some questions. Now that I am calming down from all the excitement and firefighting of the launch of Docudharma, I can finally take part in THIS part of the ongoing, long term conversation that is part of the reason for creating this place. Iow….Blogging The Future!

Thoughts.

One of the big things that blogs have done is greatly increase the number of people that NOW have some real info on how our government works.

The same for Geo-politics.

The same for the political aspects of organized religion.

Many many people are now VERY informed on what the problems and challenges of the 21st Century are on a deeper and more detailed level than ever before.

.

We now have concrete proof that the government will not represent The People unless it is forced too. Our representatives in our representative democracy represent the money that gets them elected. The netroots are a small…but important, percentage of that. Public financing is the obvious solution here….but there are a few obstacles to that i e ….politicians and the money they represent!

While not a CONSCIOUS conspiracy en toto….It has become obvious that there are forces like the MIC (and Blackwater, to use the hot topic example) that actively work against peace and The Peoples interest. These forces constitute what can only be called an immoral force in the world. They kill and destroy for profit. What is immoral if not that?

The other part of the MOSTLY unconscious conspiracy are institutions like banks/financial institutions, insurance companies and of course…..Oil companies. All of whom, especially under Bushco….have gone hog wild on reaping as much profit as possible while totally disregarding anything else. Like…..humans, or ….the planet.

This unconscious conspiracy has been allowed to flower under Bush. In the process they have removed any doubt as to where there motivations and aspirations lie, and what they will do if left unfettered in their corporate personhood.

Republicanism gone wild.

Which of course was the whole point of Bushco. The one way in which they have succeeded. To say they had no intention of actually governing and are in power with the goal of raping looting and pillaging the planet while in office is a bit of an understatement, since they also wanted to create a permanent Republican majority to permanently rape, loot, and pillage.

Ok, that is enough for now….as I say, we know this now and you are all smart enough to extrapolate on this knowledge to see what kind of society, country and planet THEY are working to create.

But…..

Climate Crisis is a HUGE part of the world they want to create, and they have NO plan to deal with it, besides ‘getting theirs’ before it is too late. We are not just talking politics as a game, here!

The first question thus becomes….

Without the Dems to represent us in opposing them, how CAN we effectively do so?

The goal of electing more and better Dems is still a VERY good and valiant one and WELL worth working for….as it has been since Bushco gained power. Markos is RIGHT, that is the most effective medium range strategy. We can see it has pretty much failed in the short term, though.

We have a year and change left of Bushco. Most of that year will now be consumed by the campaign to elect more and better Dems and a Dem President. That WILL change things and of course we MUST do all we can to accomplish that. But that will merely change ….stuff. It won’t solve the deeper problems.

At the beginning of this piece I said I don’t like making big declarative statements….but I am going to here.

There is only one thing that will work. Some new form of populism. The People uniting.

I will leave it to the many folks here that are smarter than me to define populism and recount its history and cyclical nature. (hint hint!) But our last real encounter with it here was during The depression and led to the NEW Deal…which defined the America we all grew up with and a LOT of the values we all hold.

Does anyone here think we don’t need a NEW New Deal?

There are also the Velvet Revolution and the Orange Revolution to study (I think! I am almost completely ignorant of these by blog standards.)

NOTE: I am NOT talking about Armed Revolution. For one thing, “they” have planned for that and it won’t work!

For anyone who missed it Kid Oakland had a great, great piece on where we are right now.

And I was semi-amazed that OPOL also wrote of much of this last night, but since it really is what needs to happen…I am not TOO surprised. I think it is the conclusion that a lot of us have…generally speaking….come to….Some sort of new populism to take the government back.

Some way to establish a new paradigm….it is unquestionably what needs to happen.

The question is of course….HOW do we do that?

Thanks to the blogs we have a huge number of informed and involved citizens. That will only grow and increase in power over the years.

So the two Big Questions of the Big Picture are:

What form will be most successful for a new populism?

And how do we make it happen.

This is just the start of this Loooooong conversation on Docudharma (and at Dkos hopefully, wedged in between candidate diaries.)….PLEASE jump all over me and tell me where I am wrong and stuff! We need to get this right and vigorous unfettered constructive debate is the only way to do that.

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  1. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Won’t you join me?

  2. As far as the blogs are concerned, there is too much fragmentation — the Jena 6 story is a great example of that.

    The Jena 6 story did not come to the traditional media via magic.  There were bloggers and grassroots folks who worked very hard, sometimes under great threat, to get this story out — so that we in the liberal (white) blogosphere could pontificate about it and also spread the word.

    Yet I haven’t read anything (correct me if I’m wrong) of substance in the liberal blogosphere about how this story really got out.

    There are issues of social justice that the liberal blogosphere simpy do not cover, or cover very badly.  There is mistrust by blogs of people of color (and I don’t mean that entirely literally – one of the bloggers who contributed to the outing of this story was white — it’s not a matter of skin color, but of point of view) towards what they perceive as the “whiteosphere.”  And again, I am not speaking of ethnicity or skin color but of viewpoint.

    There were millions who marched in the immigration progrests — tens of thousands who marched at Jena.  Why aren’t we in solidarity on this?

    I believe if anyone thinks we are going to solve our political problems without taking social justice issues as an absolute priority within that effort, not just some ornament so we can say we’re hip to the suffering of the po’ — they are sadly mistaken.

    Too often the large stories you are referring to — global warming, the MIC, the Republicans, the Do-Nothing Democrats, even the War in Iraq – cover over the issues that folks have had to deal with every day of their lives — we are only beginning to feel what daily oppression is — they have felt it all along.

    Until we can get this through our heads and join in solidarity with others on these issues, there will be no “populism,” no real change.  We need each other.  None of us can do this alone.

    • sharon on September 23, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    must take the dog out before the day is over.  but did i understand this to be a dismissal of garret keizer’s suggestion for a general strike on nov. 6?

    • snud on September 23, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    I’m one of those cynical SOBs who looks around and sees two major hurdles in the way of a “neopopulism”:

    1) Not enough Americans give a shit and we have become an entitlement society. Most don’t vote and for too many of our schoolchildren it’s just not cool to be smart. (The movie “Idiocracy” sums this up hilariously – which is good because it’s pretty depressing!)

    I’m firmly convinced that IF every American voted the republican party would be shit out of luck because poor and middle-class Americans voting republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

    I think a very small gain could be made by implementing a very simple idea: Voting Day should be a national holiday and we should all get a small tax break for doing it.

    I know – we shouldn’t have to incentivize voting and in a perfect world, I’d agree. But if we all had Voting Day off instead of President’s Day, I think we’d be a helluva lot better off. If we incentivize it with a small tax cut, it might make it worth it to more people to get off their dead asses and vote.

    This of course doesn’t educate anyone about what’s going on around them but I think making a holiday out of Voting Day could open an opportunity to tell more people about the most important document in our government – The Constitution. I bet half of our High School graduates couldn’t tell you what the hell it is and it’s damn important that they know.

    Now for the next obstacle:

    2) Republicans. These guys are, in some ways, living in some mythical, John Wayne Land that existed 150 years ago and in the movies they watched as kids. Everybody’s got a gun; that’s how you solve problems and it’s your inherent right as a ‘Murican to pretty much crap on everyone to get to the top. Most Republicans feel no social responsibility whatsoever.

    Again, I beleve though that if more ideas like the first one I mention above are implemented and more and more of the poor and middle class in this country have a bigger and bigger voice, my second obstacle will be made moot. The ‘pugs wouldn’t stand a chance at the polls.

    Of course this is over-simplified. Of course there are holes in what I’ve stated that one could drive a Space Shuttle through. But it’s a start.

    Nice job, Buhdy!

  3. It is now a blogcrime at DKos to suggest a strategy for Democrats to win POTUS ’08. It is also blogcrime to comment in response to your own diary. DKos has jumped the proverbial shark.

    I say, General Strike!

  4. feel the uncomfortable real life squeezes of oppression through identity theft, surveillance, reduced earnings power, lost homes, lost opportunities, corporate bullying, and criminalization and the abuses of police power, Bush’s fascism will begin to work against him.  He will drive his own failure.

    People, informed or otherwise, take the temperature of the quality of their lives by the mundane:  being able to acquire, store and prepare nutritious food, being able to use safe and reliable transportation, being able to live in safe and acceptable shelter, being able to do the things they need to do in order to lead comfortable lives.

    Bush is actively taking those away, and that’s what will move people to action. When he vetoes SCHIP (if you don’t know what that is, for shame – go read), when he places yet another war profiteering budget demand before Congress, when he keeps sending worn out soldiers and marines to their eventual, but inevitable deaths, when the people suffering from PTSD in the military end up being warehoused in prisons – when people have had ENOUGH!  That’s when a move to change will occur.

    Since Congress now actively and publicly treats voters with contempt, I wonder how the people will take back power from the elected.

    Manufacturing is gone; precious farmland has been turned into sterile unproductive housing developments, mining has raped the land, water supplies are contaminated. Jobs are outsourced.  Education is oppressed. Privacy is gone. The population is suspicious and divided. The very wealthy have gutted the assets of the US and moved them out of the country.

    We will have what’s left – the remaining educated liberals to serve as leaders, innovators, scientists, artists and educators. And a vast underclass of people scrounging for bits.

    Is that enough to produce another Restoration and period of enlightenment?

  5. we need a true opposition party in this country committed to representing ordinary people against big monied interests.  The attractive fantasy of a viable third party notwithstanding, the easiest and quickest way to get there is to keep reforming the Democratic Party into the organization we want it to be.

    People are justifiably disappointed with the Dem’s performance right now.  But the party’s problems stem primarily from the cravenness of its Rostenkowski era political leadership that was simply unready for, and undeserving of, the power that has unexpectedly fell into its laps.

    Below the Leadership level, however, the party is continuing to undergo important and positive changes that bode well for its Progressive viability long term.  Howard Dean has quietly been making big strides in resurrecting the local party organizations, and attrition of old school Dems during the Newt years has resulted in Progressives making up a much larger percentage of the Congressional caucus than they have in a very long time.

    Indeed, especially in the House, things have gotten so bad for the Dem Leadership’s corporatist agenda that it had to resort to rigging floor votes in favor of the Republican version of the FISA bill (over the strong objections of all but about 40 members of its own caucus).

    Bottom line: there are plenty of rank-and-file Dems out there ready to move this country forward if only their party’s leadership were actually willing to lead.  As Progressives, we should be working hard to see that the Democratic Party gets the leaders it needs to make the changes we need.

    • jessical on September 23, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    I’ve tried to reply to this twice now, and am reduced to “that’s the right question, or almost!  And I’ve got no freakin answers!”

    I don’t know if we can make it happen; if things go south, some form of populism is going to happen.  The disconnect between society’s messages about what is good and true, and the individual reality of bad and false is getting too large. 

    Unfortunately I think the fascist components of society — and every society has them — are best marginalized by their own excesses.  The good news and the bad news are that those excesses are happening now, on a scale which is getting harder and harder to ignore.  The prison and legal system as the first line of social control; perhaps a million dead in Iraq; an economy with less and less space for the care of the poorest and least powerful, and all these trends accelerating.  Perhaps all we have to do now is tell the truth, over and over.  And not expect a win for our lifetimes :}

  6. reading other comments in full, so this may be redundant. First, I’m really glad to see you shift gears from internal minimeta to megameta!

    Populist movements of the past have always, I’m pretty sure, been attached to labor movements in this country, whether Agrarian or Industrial or both. They tend to focus on the bread and butter issues that affect most people in contrast to the issues that affect the wealthiest elites.

    John Edwards speaks (don’t scream at me Pinche!!!) populism with his two America’s bit, whether it is authentic or not I don’t know, but it is the only populist platform being expressed by the mainstream. Another more authentic contemporary Populist is Jim Hightower linky. I attended one of his Rolling Thunder Populist Reviews several years back and I think that is an excellent framework for the kinds of things we should be doing to accelerate the grassroots.

    The first step though is to identify what the primary concerns are for “we the people.” Labor has been so fucked up by the Bushistas that it isn’t the unifying thing in this country it was in the past. What unifies the entire lower, lower middle, middle and to some degree upper middle classes in this country?

    That is what needs to be determined first and foremost. That chunk of people contains multiple races, cultures, sub-cultures with all of their own special interests. What unifies those interests into a broad interest that can bring us together? It is going to have to be a bread and butter issue, because ideological issues won’t unite that diverse a group of people.

    Some quickies…

    Healthcare?
    Commodity prices? Food, gas
    Housing? Rent, mortgages

    Also, the right is already unified in a populist fashion via churches and their biggest issue these days is the immigras. We need to address that one as part of our process I think.

    I’d like to see immigration issues and policy discussed here in great depth. It is a biggie, a tough one, and we need to deal with it and come to a liberal concensus.

    Sorry for the rambles, scatter brainedness, but I wanted to get my thoughts down before reading other comments and getting back to my Sunday chores.

    • tjb22 on September 24, 2007 at 12:01 am

    still has to involve changing perceptions…well, changing perceptions that are based on language and ingrained conservative mythology.

    How do we change the conversation?  Yes, we need a new “New Deal”.  Do we need a manifesto?  Would that allow our politicians to discuss ways and means to go about enacting our new “New Deal” agenda, instead of having to allow them to constantly be defending the need for these things?  Seems like thats where we’re stuck…we can’t get to the nuts and bolts of having a national discussion about topics without always having to defend our need to even have such a discussion.

    • Pluto on September 24, 2007 at 12:16 am

    So the two Big Questions of the Big Picture are:

    What form will be most successful for a new populism?

    And how do we make it happen.

    This is no longer a job for the American people.

    After 2001, and the US became a rogue aggressor nation, the rest of the world stepped up to the plate. Just like they did with Nazi Germany.

    The US needs to go away — in order to make the world a safer place.

    That’s already been accomplished by the world’s global economic powers.

    Sure, it will cost a lot — for the rest of the world — to finish bankrupting the US and sending it spiraling into the shitpile of failed nations.

    But it is sooo worth it. And we owe them a debt of thanks for saving the planet and the human race for our children.

    The pathetic history of the Kyoto Agreement truly explains why the US was long ago (and stealthly) removed from the planet of nations.

    Meanwhile, we should take our collective power, and help rescue one another — and help the Democrats emigrate to nations that welcome decent, caring, hard-working people.

    :::pass the bong:::

  7. Abbie Hoffman, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture?  I am going to dig through my library and find it.  He talked a lot about how to get the media’s attention.  Much of what he did was street theater–things that could go over well in small public venues.  My favorite was when he called together all the representatives of different religions to levitate the pentagon–and cast out the demons of course.  Richard Nixon hated him and I am sure he was on the “Enemies List”.  He ended up in a lot of trouble–but made an impact. 

  8. I am looking forward to the ongoing conversation.  Populism always runs into problems, and no doubt any new People Powered movement with today’s technologies will too.  Technology can change the look, smell and feel of it, but at root it is always about power.

    That is why I believe the writers in 1787 and in 1790 took pains to LIMIT the power of the government.  Amazingly so.

    • Caneel on September 24, 2007 at 12:47 am

    Pocketbook issues. Always, pocketbook issues.

    More and more, we are feeling the brunt of the insanities of the GOP.

    Tying together two things: Iraq (the money pit) and the cost of health care will get the attention of the populace.

    These are cruelties on a grand scale.

    How about raising money for a strike fund for a General Strike?

  9. perhaps national is insufficient….
    perhaps we must join others in a global effort to shift all nation states together…
    perhaps nothing else will actually change anything at all….
    except of course the complete collapse of the biotic web of life…
    a minor detail in our anthrocentric soap opera…..

  10. my dream of a new populism would look amazingly like a political party.  a third option.  because i still think the principles of our founding are worth exercising, but have been left in the hands of the worst type of despots.  but ive been known to continue watering dead houseplants….

    making it happen is going to be tough.  people would die to defend the matrix….or whatever form their individual cave has taken…

    just lets be positive…please…  i dont think its wise to counter a fear-mongering and fear-manipulating and fear-exploiting system by instilling fear of the fear mongers.  ultimately, people will gravitate toward what’s more positive…at least i have faith they will…

  11. And there’s plenty for all of us to ask.

    OK I just got done typing a long exhange with Pluto on his insightful diary My Big Fat Rant: Saudi Arabia Set to ABANDON the U.S. Dollar.

    It has to do with how other nations buy into the Iraq occupation. 

    As to the national debt, people fail 1) to comprehend how utterly sold out we are as a nation, and 2):  how there is no way Congress even can possibly extricate themselves/us from the global finance net without taking the entire global economy down.  It’s not just that they’re not responding.  They literally can’t.  Because they have sold major sectors of the US economy to foreign interests… including the Iraq war.

    I’m just going to cite a single example that is being fluffed up and prettied in the MSM, concerning the gummnt of Abu Dhabi buying about 20% of Carlyle Group. 

    This is a big clue, everyone.  Carlyle is into defense, a little bit directly and much more indirectly, and what we are witnessing is another nation buying into profiteering on the Iraq occupation.

    When Congress compromises itself (and God help us, we the people) to this degree, there is no way they can just pull the plug on the Iraq occupation which is now a global enterprise.

    Wikipedia keeps getting rewritten, so while most of the entry for the Carlyle Group is up (last I looked) I’m going to post away an excerpt from the exchange with Pluto: 

    OK, the gumnt of Abu Dhabi is buying 20% of Carlyle Group, right?  I won’t even link to them – some shill group “public integrity” or whatever are trying to protest that Carlyle isn’t into defense contracts (right, and M&Ms doesn’t sell candy)… on the contrary here’s the wiki quote (and probably someone ‘official’ will quick go in and edit the page once my comment here goes up, so I’ll just paste away):

    Carlyle deals in the following industries: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Consumer & Retail, Energy & Power, Healthcare, Real Estate, Technology & Business Services, Telecommunications & Media, and Transportation. The Carlyle Group’s investments are focused on East Asia, Europe and North America, with most investment money coming from the United States (65%), Europe (25%), Asia (6%), Latin America, and the Middle East. Defense investments represent about 1% of the group’s current portfolio [citation needed] [this is hooey – Stonemason] – though this translates, for example, into a 33.8% ownership of QinetiQ, the UK’s recently privatized defence company.

    Then there’s this bit:

    Caryle acquired United Defense Industries in October 1997, bringing in over 60% of Carlyle’s defense business. United Defense went public on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2001 with Carlyle retaining a stock ownership position. Caryle completed the sale of all of its United Defense stock and exited the investment in April 2004[9]–in private equity terms, the investment was “realized” at that time.[10] (One major United Defense program was the XM2001 Crusader self-propelled howitzer which was cancelled by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in early 2002 causing United Defense stock prices to fall 27 percent.[11])

    What you’re quite possibly seeing in these stock market deals is a common Republican specialty of stock fraud.  People think George Bush was a “bad businessman.”  No, they have a technique for milking the stock market known as “pump and dump.”  Sadly he, or his handlers/coaches, knew exactly what they were doing with Harken Energy. 
    More from the wiki page before it goes extinct (and just watch, now that this deal is hitting the papers it will be rewritten, as I think may be the case with the “only 1% defense contracts” claim:

    Critics of the Carlyle Group frequently note its connections to various political figures. Some of the sectors and companies in which it invests are highly sensitive to political activity; indeed, its actions may be viewed as a form of political arbitrage. This may create conflicts of interest when political decision makers have their own personal wealth [4] linked to such investments. Carlyle is the largest private equity firm located in Washington, D.C. – its corporate headquarters are located on Pennsylvania Avenue. Some have also linked Carlyle to some of lesser-known companies that have been linked to US Intelligence, such as Centre Analytics and In-Q-Tel.
    In the book House of Bush, House of Saud, author Craig Unger states that Saudi Arabian interests have given $1.4 billion to firms connected to the Bush family. Nearly 85% of the $1.4 billion, or about $1.18 billion, refers to Saudi Arabian government contracts awarded to defense contractor BDM in the early to mid 1990s. Carlyle, however, sold its interest in BDM before former President George H. W. Bush joined as an advisor.

    Now they will argue that the Bush family stepped down as directors, but such entities as these have sub-entities, spin-off entities… one critic said Halliburton had about 70 subsidiaries, many of which were no more than papers in some obscure attorney’s file drawer.  So when you hear that this or that private equity group has “gotten out” of this or that, remember:  Yeah right, it’s a shell game.  They never abandon interests in these games, just change the paperwork so it appears some other entity is in charge.  But I guarantee you that the top echelons of the US-based defense industry are a very small club and none of them ever dump their pet projects.

    To sum it up, if a foreign gummnt owns a big chunk of Carlyle, guess what.  They’re invested in the war.  Even the telecommunications stuff, the medical things (e.g. Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Consumer & Retail, Energy & Power, Healthcare, Real Estate, Technology & Business Services, Telecommunications & Media, and Transportation)… all of these could well be side contracts to the Iraq occupation without ever listing it as defense contracts.

    Should other nations be invested in US wars?  But hey, them’s the pipers to whom Congress does march.

    Just one other example:  the Monday following Congress’ capitulation on Iraq war funding, China bought

    a 3 billion share in Blackstone, another private equity group with military endeavors which is peopled by, of course, the emporer’s family.  This timing is not a coincidence.  Congress had to prove something to China to attract “investor confidence.”

    I could write for hours, and am glad to answer questions/supply links.  Basically with hedge funds and private equity groups being unregulated and offshore, there is infinite potential for all kinds of entities, including foreign governments, to make a killing (sorry) off the Iraq occupation and that is exactly what we’ve got.

    We might really get further in protesting the Iraq situation by appealing to invisible investors (say China/Saudi Arabia) than to Congress.  In the end, it isn’t who you know but what they own with that crowd.

    • dkmich on September 24, 2007 at 1:29 am

    I see Open Left is done with the Dems as well.  Let’s see, that makes 20 million of us.  Do we need a New Deal?  You bet. 
    When I was a kid, I was surrounded by extended family, America with streets paved in gold, specifically the industrialized north, and warm and fuzzy stuff like “Leave it to Beaver”.  Today, we have welfare reform on babies and corporate welfare at an all time high.  If you want someone to talk about populism, this is your guy. Please take some time to check him out.  I love his work, and his ideas and knowledge of populism is unbounded.  For me, I am near giving up.  I have zipped my wallet, cancelled my democracy bond, and am considering whether or not I will bother to vote in 08.  As OPOL said, voting for the lesser of two evils elects evil.  I can’t bear the thought of a Hillary presidency and four more years of establishment bull shit.  By the time she gets done with “national healthcare” it will be so tainted it will take another 200 years to get it back on the table. 

    • MattK D1 on September 24, 2007 at 1:43 am

    When the non-gentry get enough time and money that they have the breathing space to think about how things are, and whether there might be room for improvement, I would imagine that the situation is unpleasant for those who would like their hands on the levers exclusively. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the American nobility and their courtiers were given multiple servings of items they really did not like or want, and that they hoped to never see again.

    They have been tremendously successful in their work at this.

    Easy credit and no growth in real wages, combined with cooperation with businesses inventing new rules and punishment, have made for a “gotcha” society, in which the average family rebounds from one crisis or challenge to the next, just getting by, with the specter of ruin always vaguely in the background. Add to this their remarkable success in convincing people that there is no organization in whom they can place their trust, and the potential troublemakers have no time, no money, and no hope, and thus are no problem. Make sure the media stays in line (easy when it is almost entirely owned by a handful), and everything keeps rolling along.

    Except, the reason why it has been established over and over again that plutocracy, monarchy, and dictatorship do not work is the tendency of rule by small, unmoderated groups to take everyone over a cliff.

    I hope your perspective wins out, Buhdy, because it’s that or the cliff, and these things will out. 

    • TheRef on September 24, 2007 at 3:06 am

    Though they claim to be representatives of the people, in fact they are representatives of the person, the first person.

    The majority of our politicians, much like bloggers and other mortal souls, look out for themselves. In the case of politicians, the objective is to hold office. Unfortunately, the work of the framers of our Constitution, the growing body of our law require that to hold an office one must be elected, and periodically, re-elected. Since election and re-election are such primary requirements, politicians spend much of their time campaigning, begging, promising, etc. Anything to raise a buck. This groveling for dollars is like a cancer on the souls of our political leaders. They grow to despise and discount those to whom they loudly proclaim constituents.

    In our society we allow office holders to use us. It is time that we turned the tables and became the users. The masters and not the slaves. How do we do that?

    First, we must coalesce around a set of principles, a set of values, policies for making the country what we want it to be.

    Second, we must build this coalition to a size that has the weight that will make us heard, that has the savvy to continue to build on its values, its principles, to keep reaching until we have gathered a majority position in the voting public.

    Third, we must develop candidates who are driven by the collective whole and not by personal ambition.

    Fourth, we must support these candidates with our time, our intellect, our bucks.

    It takes a commitment that will, most likely, extend beyond the lifetimes of those of us contributing to this blog. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor will our country be turned to a new course in a day.

    The country satisfies a majority of the votes of electors at a point in time every two, four or six years.

    There is no use whining about who got elected, the majority, whatever the majority is always declared the winner …either by the count of the vote, or in some cases, decision of the Courts.

    Personally, I don’t believe there are enough people committed enough to change to do anything other than elect our next president from one of the stable of lack-luster candidates that the two parties have presented to us.

    • icosa on September 24, 2007 at 3:32 am

    Wonderful essay and so much said in this thread.  Much ‘out of the box’ thinking to take our country/planet back.  The foundation  has been poured, time for the building to begin.  Bravo.

    • Twank on September 24, 2007 at 5:14 am

    Buhdy … Sir (or Ma’am, you choose.)

    As I type this there are already 81 comments ahead of me and I don’t have the time right now to read them all.  I’m busy putting together my first ever … essay … diary … whatever is the current popular word … for my next Sunday’s “sermon” and that will take me all week.  But we will talk some more on the topic of this essay somewhere down the line.

    Good show!

  12. we must find the right fertilization of them and bring about their growth into a meaningful and powerful effort in solidarity.

    There are many excellent comments herein that I’m not sure what I could add anything that would be much different from anything already said.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if America could become a world leader in combatting global warming, instead of outside of the effort (not even a part of Kyoto)?

    Setting about 3 goals or so — the strongest ones and pushing forward on them, using “good” mantras (truth-based) with constant repetition (sounds Bushy, but it works) is one way in which to cause a “reversal” in thinking.

  13. But this is great.

    I very much like the idea of linking to nonpolitical lifestyle blogs. If you link there, and they link back, you can start the process of expanding viewship beyond the usual suspects.

    I believe expanding the number of eyeballs is a key part of building the new populism you seek.

    Cheers.

    1. Bottom line: there are plenty of rank-and-file Dems out there ready to move this country forward if only their party’s leadership were actually willing to lead.  As Progressives, we should be working hard to see that the Democratic Party gets the leaders it needs to make the changes we need.

      I think a change of leadership in the Dem caucus is absolutely necessary.

    2. The Dems could reap HUGE benefits….that would benefit progressives and the country ….if they can adapt to the new reality that is forming.

      Howard Dean is what rebirthed my hope for change inside the system….but until we either eliminate the corporatist Dems or they decide to actually act in the Peoples interest we won’t have an Opposition Party.

      As I say in the essay we have to keep doing that…but we also have to be the think tanks that lead them to where we need to go. They are only politicians…they are not all geniuses like us, lol.

      Everything is poised and ready, and I hope the Dems can take advantage of that…iow…I hope Howard wins. But we need to be ready if the opposite comes true and The Money wins the battle for the Dems soul.

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