(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
None of us here believe that we have a healthy political situation. You have to be utterly deluded and living in the Matrix to believe that our Presidential elections are anything but tragic reality shows that are mainly staged and mainly fiction. The candidates are surfing the always slightly shifting mythological frameworks of “the people.” These frameworks are shaped and formed by corporate oligarchs in order to 1) make people insensitive to the sufferings of others; 2) make them confuse fantasy and reality; and 3) tell them that the narrow band of possible opinions and choices is “all there is.” The two Presidential candidates claim to be on the right or the left but are neither. They are both conservatives in the sense that they seek to conserve the power of the current oligarchy with slightly different means.
What this election signifies, however, is important. The election may well be about the strength of our social contract. Should we get on with the process of dismantling the social contract that has been in place since FDR? A vote for Romney is a vote for that process of dismantling. A vote for Obama is a vote for keeping it propped up with duct tape and wire. In fact, either way the world that FDR and his “brain thrust” created will shortly be a thing of the past–the question is whether a majority of Americans clearly wants it to end. If they choose Obama they will choose a “soft landing” of that system and perhaps a new minimalist national system can be created–though I doubt it. The oligarchs are so firmly in control at this time that they can easily create the system that works best for them and what works for them is neo-fuedalism.
What is the solution if we want to avoid or ameliorate the neo-feudalism? The soulution is to unite the libertarian right with the social democratic/socialist/anarchist left. Neither side has a chance without the other. On the surface this seems silly. But, they can make common cause on the essentials.
Issue number one is that these segments of the left and right both favor Constitutional democracy and liberty and the return of habeas corpus and due process and the end of secret police activity against dissenters on both the left and right.
Issue number two is an agreement of pulling back from the imperial project that is costing us so much money and the re-evaluation of national security threats. I believe, as many on the left and right agree, that the so-called War on Terror is phony and en excuse to feed the military-industrial complex and the various intelligence contractors that operate on the edge of legality (and mainly on the other side of legality).
Issue number three is to begin to establish some means to defang the current propaganda/PR/Entertainment structure that dominates national opinion. This would not be done by passing laws but by creating more robust alternative networks and boycotting the major cable and other networks completely and supporting the many diverse alternative networks.
Issue number four would be to agree to disagree by using a series of debates and compromises that would form a possible model of a joint rule through all sides accepting a series of dialectic to arrive at common efforts and compromises that go into the details of what I detailed above.
I believe such a coalition is emerging in miniscule ways somewhat under the radar and is the only hope we have of balancing the power of the oligarchy. Certainly the American left has painted itself into a hopeless corner. There has never been a time when the left in America has been so powerless–even moderate social democrats have no place in the Democratic Party which, despite its rhetoric, is first and foremost taking the place of the Republican Party of George Bush the elder not that of Lyndon Johnson and FDR. The view generally accepted here is that progressives like we find at Daily Kos are perpetually supporting anyone who is not a Republican and that the result is that we are going to gradually lose everything we on the left consider important.
Finally, in my own case, I support the libertarian movement though I’m a social democrat because I currently believe the government is so corrupt (I worked for much of my career as a government contractor) that it has to be dismantled before much good can come of it. Mind you, there are many agencies and extraordinary professional who man/woman them who are doing great work but they are now in a minority and the incentives currently in place are largely perverse. The Federal gov’t today has shifted from a structure that balanced the needs of the people with the needs of the business community. Today the Feds are more interested in benefiting the big players who now control Congress (and thus budgets) not just the corporate community but the community of highly powerful consultancies.
I believe we on the left need to understand that the Feds were, on balance, on “our” side but today they most certainly are not on our side. I saw the system get worse, in part, as a result of the fraud called “downsizing government” which I leave it to you to look into but the net effect was that in brought to power huge and powerful interests who survived by overcharging the government for often inferior services but are kept in the game by revolving doors and the buying off Congress.
I’m asking here for people to entertain the possibility that the situation is now hopeless if you are a true social democrat/socialist or anarchist. Our only hope is to re-establish democratic institutions which are close to being snuffed out (we have no certainty that our votes are counted) and the rule of law that means that whether you are rich or poor you will face, more or less, some equivalent form of justice. As long as clear law breakers at the top can break laws that have major consequences on our lives without fear of being brought to justice we do not have a Constitution democracy. As far as I’m concerned the main opposition activity lies on the Libertarian right and we should be making overtures to them.