by Jerome Armstrong, Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 06:57:07 AM EDT
Am on Joe Costello's archein21 list-serve and wanted to share a few. I don't even gamble, but wound up spending the night at Harrah's Grand Casino in Atlantic City yesterday, and gmail was available at 4 am, so I read through his latest 50 or so posts. Here's something:
Nothing better illustrates the bankruptcy of American politics, where bipartisan insolvency combine into what can only be described as fatal incompetency, looting, and ever encroaching militarism. Here you have the unaccountable National Security state feasting on New Deal democratic philosophy of centralized government, combined with the neo-Republican love to privatize activities that are by definition of the government. In this case, you create a system not only making us less safe, but so riled with corruption and waste it helps drain the rest of the economy. Nothing better illustrates the insolvency of contemporary politics.
The silly season fast approaches, and I have little to say, and really, no one should talk about elections in this country if you're not being paid. The two parties only advantages are each other, it looks like the Reps understand this, while the Dems are still struggling with the idea that the only thing they have going for them in November is the Republicans. Few tears will be shed if the Dems lose the Congress, but the thought of the Rep side of our political class taking power, and Im not talking about the "Tea party," but the criminal element that's lurked in DC for the past couple decades, is distressing, but that's where we are until we create an alternative.
And something else:
So, in 2010, the trajectory of an American life is you grow up a Republican in Cincinnati, attend Princeton, and eventually become a big-shot editor at the Washington Post, and finally end up giving speeches to the Democratic Socialists of America, to which the only immediate response is, "Are they still around?" The next question, how does one get there? Well that's easy, you quit the Post, write the seminal book on the Fed, Secrets of the Temple, follow that up five years later with Who Will Tell the People, a documenting of the corporate take over of Washington DC, and then just to make sure you're never invited to another bigwig dinner party, you write One World Ready or Not, a scathing indictment of corporate globalization in the middle of the "high" Clinton years, where the Democratic party became a wholly owned subsidiary of Global INC and Wall Street. Such is the American life of Bill Greider.
Greider's speech is excellent. It is a shot against way too much pessimism and despair currently gripping this republic. It is a reminder, that this country is a very wealthy place and we need to embrace our history, and more importantly embrace the opportunities to meet the challenges of this era. We need to change, we can change, and it can be better. We can have, as Greider puts it, "larger lives." But we need to rethink many many things and simultaneously we need to begin to act. Let us first and foremost embrace our heritage of self-government -- the democratic idea -- as a reconstructed foundation. What is the democratic idea, "Every person has the ability to participate in the decision makings that affect their lives." Reforming our political economy to the realities of the 21st century, based on this fundamental principle, will get us a very long way.
And one more:
A liberal education -- Barbara Ehrenreich has a piece in The Nation in which she states, "the federal government, avatar of liberal hope for at least a century, has become hopelessly undemocratic, poisoned by corruption and structurally snarled by partisan divisions." It even gets better, though there's a gratuitous slam at the Tea Partiers at the end. The final step of a liberal education will be the over, and too often badly educated left understanding it does indeed have some common ground with "angry white-boy America", that would be trouble indeed.
Liberals of the United States run from DC, you have nothing to lose but your chains.
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