When I watch a video like Robert Reich’s piece on our economic decline (presented below), I have mixed feelings. I agree with much and find it good to share with many for a little economic nutshell that even the life-long brainwashed and continuously deluded among us may understand. However, it also irks me that he makes little strategic exemptions for the mainstream party he has been associated with all his life (and the administration he served in). It makes him a fence sitter when he leaves out that Bill Clinton also contributed to our decline and that $Hillary Clinton rigged the 2016 primaries away from Bernie Sanders whom the American People wanted and would have elected over Trump.
He shouldn’t leave out that – even though each country has dark and dumb elements – Bernie’s message of us needing a political revolution to overcome our economic rigging resonated better than Trump’s neo-fascist message that he is a strong and “wonderful” “leader” who is sooo much better than democracy and that blaming weak ethnic groups like immigrants and Muslims is all the cure we need.
There are always some who will buy such baloney, but not the majority of us. Our majority was deprived of its president, and also many other elected posts, as sadly has become the way our country is run. Reich himself hints at it when he draws politicians as puppets on strings held by the rich who pick who gets on the ballot and keep them loyal with continued bribes:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Big Picture: How We Got Into This Mess, And How Get Out of It I Robert Reich”)
It’s good to have such alternatives to the establishment’s main media. But for us to make true and real change, we will need a great shift from such fence-sitting so-so alternatives to the still largely unknown voices who go all the way, show the whole picture, point out the high aim we need, and pull few punches.
(And, no. This isn’t self-advertisement. I don’t have to be part of it. If others did enough, I could take it easy and work on my own troubles, such as a livable income and a still extremely unlikely dignified retirement, or the fun novels I really want to write. I only weigh in because I don’t see enough sufficiently deep analyses and bold visions out there.)
The video has several points that stood out to me:
Great quote from Louis Brandeis in 1924: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Beware though: The rule of law (which Reich placed on a pedestal in is video) can equal a dictatorship (and oligarchy) when the laws are written on behalf of the rich!
To finish, I’ll expand on what Robert Reich tried to construct at the end of his video: What is American patriotism? Or what should it be? We used to see ourselves as the shining beacon for the world, the guiding light of humanity. That was our patriotism then. It wasn’t selfish. It wasn’t exclusive. We didn’t hermetically shut our borders, send away desperate refuges created by our war industry, and focus all our attention on saluting a piece of cloth (our flag) while spreading myths about Russian interference (any real portion of which would be negligible compared to our own oligarchy).
No, back when we had reason to be proud Americans, we placed a sign on our Statue of Liberty inviting the less fortunate to our community:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Those in whose tracks we stand fought slavery, fought cruel dictatorships in other countries, and built a country that was rich and the envy of the world, proudly promoting democracy as the recipe for all mankind to follow. To this day we celebrate our first American Revolution. But with things gone the way they have, our nation now being enslaved by global corporations that our armed forces fight for and which our corrupted laws protect and empower to rape, oppress, and raid us, what we need to do now to ever be able to look our ancestors and oldest seniors in the eyes again, is to go for a second American Revolution.
We have learned enough to be able to make it a political rather than violent revolution, without decapitations and blood running in the streets. Although I wonder, if the plutocracy continues to dig in its heels, whether blood won’t be spilled in the end. As President John F. Kennedy famously said (to then be assassinated): “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” The fact that he was assassinated should tell us that the class war we are in was started from above, and we have the right to fight back every which way. If we manage to do it peacefully, it is kindness on our part (and wisdom, since violent revolutions produce many innocent victims). Once again, it is plutocratic oligarchs who (for instance by rigging the 2016 elections) are pushing us in the direction of the worst possible outcomes. All the more reason for us, the people, to fight hard for the best outcome.
Hello, 2018! May we make great leaps forward this year! Leaps towards “taking back America,” as Robert Reich concludes. And hopefully leaps beyond his aim, since we (or those who came before us) never fully had America. The rotten apple of plutocracy sat in our basket from the days our nation was founded. This time, we must throw it out. A mere revival of FDR’s New Deal won’t be enough. It will help one or two generations, as FDR’s New Deal did. To make change that lasts, however, we must end our plutocracy at its root: namely the legalized huge and unfettered wealth imbalance that automatically creates lords and serfs and a government bought and controlled by the lords. Let’s be honest. We have no democracy now, no matter how well our oligarchs stage the dog and pony show of a sham democracy every two or four years. Remember the “Democratic” National Convention show of 2016? Disgusting! Corporate lobbyists as candidate-determining superdelegates at the end of massive voter suppression. Balloons instead of ballots! RNC with a “D”.
So, let’s commit to great steps forward this year. How about realizing a People’s Coalition of third parties and independents, an electoral alliance which lets all our pro-people, anti-corporate, anti-oligarchy minor parties and independents work together, supporting the same candidates (and not just one, mind you!), not running against each other, thus giving us, the American People, the voice it deserves? (with Public Campaign Financing a top priority)
Or how about my own dream: a syndicate, agent, and/or people’s online newspaper to give envelope-pushing visionaries and citizen journalists (and commentators), and thus deeper understandings, achievable visions, and powerful activist ideas their necessary reach?
Let’s make the phrase Happy New Year more than hollow this time! Twin-party tyranny, corrupt politicians, and your billionaire puppet masters, here we come!
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