The situation gets more bizare by the day and I have to wonder. about what is really going on. Do the plutocrats who run this country believe they can repeat what they pulled off with the shrub? It begins to look that way. Florida is flaunting its wiping off the voter rolls everyone they want to ahead of the election. Election day should be quite a scene in that state. Romney is unbelievable as a candidate yet do you see signs that the plutocrats are worried?This thing smells to high heaven and I suspect that once again the Dems are impotent to deal with it as they were in 2000. I hope I am wrong. Meanwhile we continue to project an substantial Obama victory in the electoral college. Why can I not feel good about this? I sense something is being overlooked by the optimists. Again I hope I am wrong. Meanwhile I listened to something that made lots of sense today and want to share it below the break.
The context for this speech is controversial here at the least. I still think the man makes sense and want to share it. We can easily adapt his words to our own context if we wish. The speech was the keynote speech for the Green Party byGar Alperovitz
Gar Alperovitz, a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. Alperovitz is the author of, "America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy." In his remarks, Alperovitz spoke of "Systems in history are defined above all by who controls the wealth," Alperovitz says. "The top 400 people own more wealth now than the bottom 185 million Americans taken together. That is a medieval structure."Those words alone seem to define where we are better than most, even my hero Bernie Sanders. The word "medieval" is not used casually here. This man is a historian and chose the word deliberately. The level of consciousness we are dealing with is far short of that kind of identification.
Let us just look at a few of the points he made:
Very briefly, all too briefly, in the 19th century when you ran into problems, you threw land at it, and took more and more land when there was a problem until you’d taken the whole continent, killing a lot of Indians and others on the way, but managing a system that was a tiny sea-board colony and then took over a continent as it tried to solve problems, and they ran out of land at the end of the 19th century. In this century, not by design, in the first quarter of the century there was the beginning of a major recession, probably a depression in 1914 and World War II solved the problem in the first quarter of the century. I am not offering a conspiracy theory, that is just what happened. In the second quarter of this century, it collapsed again, and World War II bailed out the system but not by design. That is how it worked in the second quarter of the century. And in the third quarter of the century, having defeated the Germans, having defeated the Japanese and having lost the productive power of many other corporate competitors plus the Cold War, plus the Korean War, plus the Vietnam War, plus high defense expenditures, that boom third quarter of the century was run that way. We are in a different era. Think about it this way. It is all but impossible to have massive industrial scale war like the first and second world wars, land wars, 42% of the economy spending on war expenditures, and the reason is, nuclear weapons now make that impossible. It isn’t going happen that way, we my blow ourselves up. But, we’re not going to have that massive injection of economic power into the economy to solve the problems. In fact, big/small wars are also getting less and less powerful; people don’t like them, they don’t like sending their kids, they don’t like spending money on that. It isn’t just us. And if you look at those expenditures, they are very big. But, as a percentage of the economy, they are declining to 3% already and going down. A lot of waste there. But you are not solving economic problems that way. I could go into great detail, but I won’t; globalization, etc., competitors, of all sorts of problems coming up that are economic. The bottom line is, you cannot solve the problem any more by throwing land at it, and we are running out of war, which means lots of problems grow because the political system can’t manage it the way it is structured, and the opposition that can’t get themselves together to make things happen, and the Republicans stopping and Tea Party stopping and you know all the contradictions, but the bottom line is, you can’t solve problems. That is obvious.He goes on to say:
Most people know Washington is broken. They have not quite realized that the systemic problems are coming to the surface, that it’s a systemic crisis. You may get ripples of increased gain and jobs and so forth, but you can’t deal with climate change, you can’t deal with unemployment, you can’t deal with poverty, and we keep getting more and more decay. That’s light bulb time. That’s when people begin to asking very serious questions. Now, remember, when I say that I come at it as a historian. You got to throw a couple of decades of your life on the table, not a couple of weeks and not a couple elections. But, there is growing sentiment on all sides that either we transform the system or profound difficulties, violence, probably repression, possibly something like fascism when the violence begins, there is great danger. But lots of folks sense something is wrong. The first in my adult life that you find millions of people responding. Listen to the response; Occupy. Occupy was critical, far more important. The American people responded to Occupy. They got it, they know, they know who runs this game. It’s no secret, and it’s a new kind of awareness that something is going on with those big banks and something’s going on with these corporations that don’t quite know how to get a handle on it, but it is not like if we just elect a Democrat it’s all going to be fine and the progressive era will start again. There is a sense that is very deep, and in my view, given the inability to solve the problems, that’s going to be worse, and the pain is going to increase and the number of people saying, there has got to be a better way, something different has got to happen, somehow we’ve got to start in a different place, somehow either we build something new or this thing is a sham. That’s a big deal in history. That’s a big deal when people begin asking those kinds of questions. Now, it takes a long, painful process, but notice this system probably does not reform in the old liberal way for all the reasons we know including the labor movement has collapsed from 35% to down to 7% in the private sector. But, probably it doesn’t have a classic revolution, because government is 30% of the big floor under the economy. You get decay and stagnation, pain and difficulty. That is a very unusual moment in history because it goes on and gives time for people to be aware and to build democratically from the bottom up. If it collapsed tomorrow, the right wing would take over. And if it collapsed to the left, we wouldn’t be prepared. And above all, we wouldn’t know from the bottom of our own experience how to build and run and change and transform the system. This is an era where things are beginning to open up over time.I don't know if people here can actually hear what he is saying. I have been saying similar things here for a long time and few hear me. That is why he is talking to a "Third party". We all know the futility of third parties in this system. However his words go beyond that limited context. He took time to show how change is happening. He related many examples of people doing things that are laying down the foundations for the new order. It won't come from the Third party he spoke to and he was well aware of that. He is also aware that it won't come from who we elect in November. It will come from people who understand the gravity of the situation and who are willing to build the new society now.