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The media has done a great job covering the 85 people who own more than the poorest half of the world's population (or roughly 3.5 billion people) statistic from the Oxfam report entitled: Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality. Media examples here, here, and here.

What I didn't realize until I read the report was that it has an excellent set of recommendations on how to improve the situation.

Since they're excellent, the mainstream media seems to have ignored them, and I don't think Oxfam would mind, here is their series of recommendations.

 photo oxfam-working-for-the-few_zps0680b0e0.jpg

From the Oxfam report Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality:

Call to those gathered at Davos

Those gathered at Davos for the World Economic Forum have the power to turn around the rapid increase in inequality. Oxfam is calling on them to pledge that they will:

• Not dodge taxes in their own countries or in countries where they invest and operate, by using tax havens;

• Not use their economic wealth to seek political favors that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens;

• Make public all the investments in companies and trusts for which they are the ultimate beneficial owners;

• Support progressive taxation on wealth and income;

• Challenge governments to use their tax revenue to provide universal healthcare, education and social protection for citizens;

• Demand a living wage in all the companies they own or control;

• Challenge other economic elites to join them in these pledges.

Policy recommendations

Oxfam has recommended policies in multiple contexts to strengthen the political representation of the poor and middle classes to achieve greater equity. These policies include:

• A global goal to end extreme economic inequality in every country. This should be a major element of the post-2015 framework, including consistent monitoring in every country of the share of wealth going to the richest one percent.

• Stronger regulation of markets to promote sustainable and equitable growth; and

• Curbing the power of the rich to influence political processes and policies that best suit their interests.

Some starting points from developing countries

The particular combination of policies required to reverse rising economic inequalities should be tailored to each national context. But developing and developed countries that have successfully reduced economic inequality provide some suggested starting points, notably:

• Cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging;

• Redistributive transfers; and strengthening of social protection schemes;

• Investment in universal access to healthcare and education;

• Progressive taxation;

• Strengthening wage floors and worker rights;

• Removing the barriers to equal rights and opportunities for women.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (158+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catkin, jan4insight, kurious, Horace Boothroyd III, Claudius Bombarnac, quiet in NC, anna shane, just another vet, thanatokephaloides, Rejoinder, Crashing Vor, kevinpdx, NYFM, CTDemoFarmer, Dartagnan, Matt Z, Assaf, cotterperson, Sylv, pvasileff, maggid, Crider, TrueBlueMountaineer, Most Awesome Nana, Glen The Plumber, isabelle hayes, Meteor Blades, TKO333, blueoasis, HoosierDeb, JanL, Danno11, Sandy on Signal, merrylib, Byblis, kurt, slowbutsure, mettle fatigue, Onomastic, divineorder, nicolemm, joe shikspack, peachcreek, Dragon5616, on the cusp, oceanview, tofumagoo, Cat Servant, vahana, OrganizedCrime, todamo13, RunawayRose, Gottlieb, ORswede, RJP9999, IowaBiologist, dot farmer, OHdog, ask, Chi, concernedamerican, Heart n Mind, jbob, Cedwyn, doroma, RepresentUsPlease, jamess, DRo, GDbot, ItsSimpleSimon, deha, Susipsych, Wee Mama, eeff, roses, LibrErica, sngmama, 3rdOption, CA Nana, hyperstation, reginahny, skod, ChemBob, ATFILLINOIS, mrmango, ichibon, HedwigKos, WisVoter, MartyM, juliesie, Dodgerdog1, semiot, wader, slakn1, science nerd, marina, PsychoSavannah, Bule Betawi, Panacea Paola, One Pissed Off Liberal, Buckeye Nut Schell, CJB, Airmid, chrississippi, MarkInSanFran, zerelda, goodpractice, NinetyWt, Gowrie Gal, Galtisalie, Simul Iustus et Peccator, Shockwave, elwior, Jim P, J M F, carpunder, dksbook, soarbird, paulacvdw, livingthedream, valkyrry, bsmechanic, YucatanMan, StellaRay, VA Breeze, shaggies2009, Thinking Fella, tb92, Odysseus, frostbite, Judgment at Nuremberg, TexDem, MJ via Chicago, alice kleeman, helpImdrowning, nomandates, Patango, ZhenRen, LOrion, Simplify, Critithinker, Mary Mike, grape crush, LinSea, chicagobleu, Arkenstark, DebFrmHell, Skyye, Jon Sullivan, number nine dream, rja, NanaoKnows, occupystephanie, burnt out, phrogge prince, Pixie5, cpr4life, grollen
  •  Problem #1... (34+ / 0-)

    Few to none of those 85 got to the place they are by exspousing any of thoes reccomendations.  If we expect them to change we will be sorry.

    It's all a Communist PLOT!

    by quiet in NC on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:42:37 AM PST

  •  We're gonna send them a firmly worded letter? (12+ / 0-)

    OK, sure, they'll see the error of their ways.

    •  Bring back the guillotine! (8+ / 0-)

      The threat alone will make those farts respond positively to that firmly worded letter.

      "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

      by Crider on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 01:25:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A Sternly Worded Letter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

      by kerplunk on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 02:34:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Niebuhrian coercion, which the powerful (4+ / 0-)

      capitalists will find distinctly unpleasant or it wouldn't be adequate: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...

      Forms of coercion will vary depending upon whether political democracies will develop into economic democracies by reform. The better the social welfare system the more likely that needed system change will occur in many countries. Therefore, Gramscian cultural hegemony, rather than guillotines, will be the best hope for system change in most places. But where people are truly desperate in sufficient numbers and democratic means for change are not reasonably available, people force will meet capitalist military force. It is happening every day around the world, but rarely makes it to the mainstream media (I wonder why?). By supporting occupations like Morocco in Western Sahara, the U.S. leaves the indigenous people no effective political choices. Global human solidarity is the best hope, but no guarantees exist either way. The powerful capitalists could win by divide and conquer and take humanity down with them. I hope not.

      I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

      by Galtisalie on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:45:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For change, all options are left on table n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie

        War is costly. Peace is priceless!

        by frostbite on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:39:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it depends on the circumstances, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unca Joseph, frostbite

          including how great the need that is involved. I don't take these matters lightly, so I will try to elaborate:

          If it involves basic human needs like adequate food to not be malnourished, clean water, and safe shelter, and which every human is entitled to, and which global neoliberalism does not and will not ever deliver to hundreds of millions of people, humans sometimes can't wait on ballots, so they often must resort to coping strategies of desperation, such as prostitution, gangs, or crime, where desperate people sometimes prey on each other, or they if can band together in large enough numbers, they may try revolution, but the capitalists (whether market, state, or religious capitalists) usually control the military, so it is tough going, and innocent people die, which is never good. That is why international solidarity of the working people in politically democratic countries with those in other places probably will be increasingly critical, so that capitalist hegemony is lessened, and where necessary revolutions of the people can have a chance to succeed if ballots are not available in a timely and adequate manner.

          Beyond basic needs situations, where, as in the U.S., political democracy is available or reasonably might become available, supplemented by workplace activism (i.e., unions and other forms of labor organizing) and other forms of assertive public participation like the Occupy Movement, I do value political democracy, for all its MANY weaknesses, as the best and usually only approach in most situations to support change. But it does have a great deal of difficulty delivering economic justice, as devastated places like Detroit and Opa-locka demonstrate, and as creeps like the Koch Brothers and the DeVos clan daily demonstrate in the way they have bought democracy. They are a textbook case of corruption of democracy, as Niebuhr observed: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...

          Meanwhile, in much of the world, political democracy does not exist, which is so easily corrupted anyway, and global neoliberalism does not care as long as the markets are open. But for the good of humanity, I will support the politically democratic route in most circumstances. Further, I agree with Joseph Schwartz and Jason Schulman:

          Even when a repressive regime necessitates a minority road to revolution, democratic socialists stand with Rosa Luxemburg—revolutionary Marxist leader in Germany a century ago—in her advocacy of the restoration of civil rights and liberties once the authoritarian regime has been overthrown.
          (12/22/12. Toward Freedom: Democratic Socialist Theory and Practice: The Democratic Socialist Vision. http://www.dsausa.org/...).

          I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

          by Galtisalie on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 02:27:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  85 is the same as 1 (5+ / 0-)

    might as well be one person owns half the world, and another one owns the next 45 percent, and one more the next 20 percent and the rest of us share what's left unequally.  

  •  Consider changing title...misleading (5+ / 0-)

    From the report:

    The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
    It is not true that the richest 85 people own half the world, which is implied.  It is true that they own the same amount as half of the worlds population....which, of course, ain't great....but its very different.
    •  I don't get your point...are you talking land... (8+ / 0-)

      ownership?   Because 85 people have control over as much money as 1/2 the entire world population--the title seems correct to me.

      It's all a Communist PLOT!

      by quiet in NC on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:10:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You Beat me To it (18+ / 0-)

      I just started reading the report and realized that the point was a bit off. Here are all of the points from the Oxfam report makes in the Summary:

      - Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

       - The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

       - The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.

       - Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality
      has increased in the last 30 years

       - The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.

      - In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

      I don't think think I've quoted too much here, but if I did, let me know.

      "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

      by uniqity on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 01:48:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those stats are even more obscene to me. (6+ / 0-)

        Unless those 85 people have only one inheritor apiece, those individual fortunes will spread back out a bit from generation to generation - many of those I've seen listed either amassed their wealth themselves, or are 'first generation' inheritors.  But even if they fall back out and split that wealth up among multiple descendants, it'll largely still remain in the grasp of the 1%.

        And without political policies designed specifically to combat such concentrations of wealth and power, it'll only keep getting more and more unequal.

      •  This is the legacy of Reagan and Thatcher. This (9+ / 0-)

        is the legacy of the synergy that began in the mid 70s, of corporate and state interests working hand in hand with right-wing religious and cultural interest groups to crush the liberal and democratizing constitutions, institutions, and social progress that had been put into place in the developed world following the crash of 1929 and continuing after WWII.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:12:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We probably should have expected it (5+ / 0-)

          The gains that working people made were the result of our organizing and working together through organizations we created to do our bidding.

          The wealthy lost ground and figured out that if they were going to regain the ground they lost, they'd have to organize too. And they did. Big time. And it worked. And because they have the benefit of having so many resources, the effect of their organizing is that much greater.

          We can't compete with their money. But we have more people. Waaaaaaaaay more people. And it's going to take even greater organizing among working people, and a widespread refusal to let them split us apart from each other (by appeals to racism, sexism, and other such appeals to our lower nature) for us to even be in a position to make progress.

          And I hate to say it, but the rich have got us over a barrel right now. Not only have they consolidated their position to its strongest in a century, but they've also invested in technologies that are going to replace 47% of the existing jobs of today with computers and robots (Why the Jobs Are Never Coming Back). So we'll all be competing for a smaller and smaller number of jobs, while they pocket the gains of automation.

          Women do 2/3 of the world's work, receive 10% of the world's income and own 1% of the means of production.

          by LibrErica on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:30:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You... (0+ / 0-)

      This has been bothering me too.

      85 people owning the same as 3.5 Billion poorest people does not 85 people own half of everything.  It could mean that 3.5 Billion poorest people could own 15% of everything, the 85 own 15%, and the other 3.5 Billion unaccounted for people own the remaining 60%.

      It could also mean that the 3.5 Billion have 5% of everything, the 85 have another 5%, and 90% leftover is owned by the other 3.5 Billion.

      But it is mathematically impossible to say that 85 own half, 3.5B own half.  Because then what do the 3.5 Billion "not poor" people own?  Are they the nuevo-poor?

  •  85 people out of 7 billion! (6+ / 0-)

    Time for some good old-fashioned left-wing anarchism!  As another Kossack put it all so well:

    Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. Anarchism is against any form of self-justified authority, and thus advocates horizontal, non-hierarchical social organization based on direct democracy. It is thus against patriarchy, oligarchy, racism, and all forms of unequal power relationships.  -- ZhenRen
    It's about time!

    Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

    by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:01:53 PM PST

    •  except anarchy builds no structure 4 those ideals. (7+ / 0-)

      isn't that kinda the definition of anarchy in practical terms, to just dismantle and hope the chaos among automatically coalescing little mutual-aid units (to the extent they have practical means to interact  ... and what happens to units too impoverished to meet their own needs, far less offer anything valued by sturdier units sufficient to produce cooperation?) produces human virtue and socioeconomic justice?

      there are actually a lot of spots of unintentional anarchy in many places of the world today, with women and children in particular used as commodities, racism and religious and sectarian hatred rampant, and force of arms rules.

      so far in history, iirc, anarchism doesn't actually produce its objectives and does tends to produce a power vacuum inviting better organized larger entities in to take over.  it appears to be a cause-and-effect misconception: the assumption that the elimination of governance eliminates all societal ills and causes equality and constructive peaceful relations among individuals and groups.

      but i could be mistaken, it's a while since i've read much in that area.

      •  No, you've not understood anarchism (5+ / 0-)

        Your misconceptions are fairly common, and completely wrong. I hope you read this short explanation which follows. It answers each of you points.

        Anarchism does not mean no social organization, no social structure. On the contrary, anarchist society would be highly functional and organized. It is simply organized on a different principle. Instead of a top down, central authority governing the majority, anarchist society is based on a bottom up, horizontal network of participatory communities and workplaces based on direct democracy, which federate together to form networks on a scale from local to international. Areas of self-management which affect more than one community would be dealt with by federations of those communities. Delegates to federations would be recallable and would be mandated from below. They do not "represent" but rather directly serve the desires of those who delegate them.

        Thus, anarchism replaces the central government with a different kind of organization. It doesn't simply eliminate the top down authority and then do nothing at all. Whoever wrote what you read was making things up our of the top of his or her head. For some reason people don't seem to think they need to inform themselves before going on and on about anarchism, as if knowledgeable.

        As to woman and children being used as commodities, that is ridiculous! Anarchism means no hierarchy, using a different form of organization which avoids this. It is anti-patriarchy, and anti-oligarchy, anti-racist. It creates social structures which prevent one person from having unjustified authority over another.  

        Anarchist Spain which lasted nearly three years before being crushed by forces representing nearly all sides of the civil war (many people don't realize there was a revolution that occurred in the midst of the civil war) is a good example. During that short period anarchists transformed industrial and agricultural society into an anarcho-socialist region, involving more than three million people. They improved the lives of the population, increasing innovation, production, increased consumption (some had been starving before). It was on the road to great success. But all the forces during the war, despite the adverse interests, had the mutual interest of crushing this egalitarian movement, the only movement in that war which actually was benefiting the people themselves, rather than competing Powers. No movement of any nature could have overcome the overwhelming forces which combined.

        As to your notion of power vacuums, and better organized entities taking over, this is simply false. Anarchism produces highly organized, very capable social structures. In fact, during the civil war initiated by the fascist nationalist rebels, it was the state, the Spanish Republic, which experienced a power vacuum, since it had no idea how to fight against its own army rebelling. Guess who won the day for Spain, in those early months of the war? It was the anarchist militias which formed out of anarchist bottom-up, self managed unions, the CNT/FAI, who fought back while the State sat in confusion. They procured arms, fought the fascists, and slowly the Republic organized an army out of the citizenry. But without the anarchists, the coup would have been over in weeks, rather than nearly three years. The anarchists were a major force in that war.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:52:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  your answer to mettle fatigue (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, Unca Joseph, Lonesome Jeff

          ..... was F'ing awesome! As it was posted exactly simultaneously with my answer to the same comment, I wish I would have waited to read yours first!

          I especially liked the references to 1930's Spain. (Or 's Pain as it well could have been called!)

          Methinks most of mettle fatigue's problems stem from an embedded meme in the English Language: the use of the term "anarchy" to mean "unbridled raw social chaos". This meme is grievously unfair to anarchism. In fact, and in fairness as well, mettle fatigue him/herself recognized this linguistic shortcoming when invoking the term "unintentional anarchy"; howbeit not giving the injustice of that shortcoming the recognition that we do.

          And once again, ZhenRen, my thanks to you for restoring this anarchosyndicalist's faith in what he believes in!!   :-)

          Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

          by thanatokephaloides on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:48:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't see your post when I posted (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, Unca Joseph

            Thanks, I almost missed it.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:54:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  actually (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, ZhenRen

            see http://www.dailykos.com/... below. As more or less indicated, my firsthand experience living in and learning real-world implementation of the philosophy under discussion pre-dates the invention of the term "meme" by several decades, and the communities mentioned were formed by contemporaries of, for example, Emma Goldman.

            We did dance. They still do. It's their revolution.

            i'm looking forward to reading more below. much appreciation for your interesting comments.

            •  Emma Goldman, the Wobbles/IWW, and levoanarchism (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, mettle fatigue
              actually see [this comment] below.
              Read, approved, and recced. Good thinks there, mettle fatigue!
              As more or less indicated, my firsthand experience living in and learning real-world implementation of the philosophy under discussion pre-dates the invention of the term "meme" by several decades, and the communities mentioned were formed by contemporaries of, for example, Emma Goldman.
              And it's not your meme, either. It's a prejudice built into the language. As I said, you also (for reasons now a little clearer than when this discussion began) made an effort to work around that prejudice to keep the discussion clearer -- and I appreciate that.

              My sensitivities about built-in prejudicial memes in the American English language had been excited by my needing to compose a comment here without revealing any personal information about someone while still telling that one's story (it was appropriate to the thread). Try composing a telling of another person's story without revealing that person's gender. Although doable, it does take some work! But rest assured, mettle fatigue, that I am now well aware that this prejudice isn't yours. It's wired-in to the language we all need to use.

              I did not know the items in your history that you described in the comment you linked, of course; so I could not have encredited you with that experience. Thank you for revealing that. Your experience is/was lived in communities designed by Emma Goldman's contemporaries to apply the ideals we're discussing. My experiences with the levoanarchist movement -- the movement which gave us Ms. Goldman, Joe Hill, August Spies, U. Utah Phillips, and many more like them -- run closer to the I.W.W. and its ideas than to any separate-community implementation of the ideals we're discussing.

              (The Wobblies (I.W.W.), as an organization, eschew any political alignment; but their ideas and ideals are pretty levoanarchistic, whether they want to admit it or not.)

              The Wobblies advocate creation of a new human society worldwide through the mechanism of "forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old." (Cited from the Preamble to the IWW Constitution) And, as I think we can agree, that's the only way humanity is going to be able to ditch our current structure without degenerating into the "libertarian paradise" of global social anErisian chaos that has been the unfortunate fate of Somalia in recent times.

              We did dance. They still do. It's their revolution.
              Ours, too. It would be wrong (and evil) to just let it die. And it's either make it our own or let it die. My choice: make their revolution my own. It's why I was so pleased with ZhenRen's comments. The rightists want us to think that they represent anarchism via their libertarian-leaning useful idiots; but the "freeDUMB" they advocate is really only freedom for those who can afford it, with poverty, poisoning, and bondage for the rest of us. We know better.

              The Wobblies are known as the singing union. They sing the music to which Emma Goldman danced, and her descendants still do today.

              And long may they ever!

              Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

              by thanatokephaloides on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 06:45:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If you want to hear the voices (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Unca Joseph, mettle fatigue

              of people who were authentic anarchists who fought a revolution, lived it among over three million persons in industrial and rural Spain, and who loved it, here's a documentary.

              As to your experience, I'm sorry, I don't know you, but anyone who would describe anarchism the way you did in this comment:

              except anarchy builds no structure 4 those ideals. (7+ / 0-)

              isn't that kinda the definition of anarchy in practical terms, to just dismantle and hope the chaos among automatically coalescing little mutual-aid units (to the extent they have practical means to interact  ... and what happens to units too impoverished to meet their own needs, far less offer anything valued by sturdier units sufficient to produce cooperation?) produces human virtue and socioeconomic justice?

              ...doesn't know much about real anarchism. There are a lot of good and bad ways to implement anything, but the people in the video sure have a different view and experience than you do. And there are countless other examples.

              One persons anecdote does not speak for all who have lived this way. It isn't necessarily any particular persons concept of hippie lifestyle, it is about ending wage slavery, making the workplace worker managed, and taking wealth back from the wealthy elites who have extracted it by theft from the working class.

              If your particular example of the lifestyle wasn't to your liking, it may well have been the way it was conceived by the people in your group. But your description gives away your misconceptions. Many people think they are living anarchically, but I'm referring to worker self-management, and participatory communities, not necessarily any group which calls itself socialist.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 10:58:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  worker self-management,and participatory community (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen

                in existence 70 to 100 or more years now are the ones i've experienced.  

                (the word "lifestyle" is such an americanism in its implication of much greater choice than most of the world's people actually possess, and in its hint at fashion, that I can't really engage with it in this context, but it appears that my boundless admiration for, and learning from, those who built, embraced, struggled to figure out the daily ordinary how-to, and still do, was inadequately expressed.)

                thanks for providing this remarkable oral-history first-person video.  it's irreplaceable documentation, and brings back memories as well of family friends who had been volunteers in the Int'l Brigade & A.Lincoln Brigade, then the ww2 Resistance, Partizans, and fighting ghettoes (those who survived) who brought to America ideals to implement here.

                you are correct that i no longer "know much about real anarchism" if the words "real anarchism" mostly means written theory and written histories and analyses of past communities that no longer exist.  i left the books and theorizing behind upon discovering that multi-generational daily life in communes ---walking the walk-- is a very different kettle of fish from talk, theorizing and debate.   the communes of my experience were not --as you'll have gathered from their multigenerational spans of existence-- "my group[s]" (my opinion of hippies and the hippie "era" is, like the opinion of these real communes is, to put it diplomatically), but it's understandable how, in this discussion, the possibility of hippie games might come to mind.  dismiss it, i beg you!

                i'm glad it gave you a lead-in to be so emphatic about the aims/goals, 'though, and the opportunity to relegate amateur/prolonged-vacations-from-responsibility gameplayers to a position of not being taken seriously.

                quite correct as well that one person'sanecdotes ---let's be candid, we're talking of my own anecdotes-- of temporarily living that life as a student fortunate to be afforded employment that helped support my somewhat prolonged college education (college can take a while if one is putting oneself thru without parental assistance, student loans, or anything like that), and my observation of the views and outlook of the citizens of that life, don't speak for those citizens. (using "citizens" advisedly, not sure what other word would be better).  what i'm contributing are simply what i learned first-hand, as a result of earning the generosity and trust of those communities by hard labor, meeting all my commitments (unlike other American students who had worked there - no doubt the great difference worked in my favor) and going above&beyond shoulder-to-shoulder with them when a bit of weather disaster hit requiring 12-hr workdays and i dropped my classes to help instead of leaving.  And (i have to laugh to remember) not lecturing these citizens on what they ought to do different, which a group of french communist students persistently did while there a rather more abbreviated time   ;)

                this has been a very interesting discussion i appreciate being included in.  my few years of first-hand experience is essentially exhausted at this point, i think, and extensive bodily ill-health precludes my being much at the desk, so i have to bow out now, with thanks again for the exchange, and wishing you all good luck in your endeavors.

                •  My point is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Unca Joseph

                  there are many forms of anarchic organization. Based on your initial description of anarchism, I'm not sure I understand what your experience was. There are all sorts of ideas about anarchism, how to structure it, and lots of ways to implement it. And not all who were in the International Brigade were anarchists. Most were not, being more Marxist or simply anti-fascist.

                  As was said elsewhere, a separate commune in the midst of a capitalist society is not the same as an entire region working this way. A commune can mean different things to different people.

                  Kropotkin spoke of the need for each family to have its own home, share its own meals together (rather than at a community hall, for example). Thus, this kind of commune would not appear much different than any neighborhood we see today, especially since, obviously, it would be difficult to destroy all structures and start over.

                  Of course some things would change. The workplace would change. If you worked at Nike, you might want to keep working there in an anarchist society, but you would be working in a democratic environment, with equal participation in self-management of the workplace. There would be no autocratic bosses. Cooperation and reciprocity would be the model. Social needs would be provided, such as free health care, free education, equal retirement income. Fewer hours of work would be required, since useless jobs based on the capitalist system would be eliminated, and more people would be helping with necessary work.
                  This would be impossible to duplicate in an individual small commune in the middle of a non-supportive capitalist society.

                  So, you didn't really experience the kind of larger scale anarchism we're envisioning.

                  This kind of anarchism is very hands on and practical, and the individual voice is valued. You aren't required to "submit" since it is based on voluntary free association. The loner should be able to fit in as well as the gregarious person who is comfortable in a social environment. Coercion of any kind would be discouraged.

                  Anarchist society, on a larger scale, would allow people to be themselves, lead their own lives, have a high degree of independence, and no one would be forced to "belong". Hard to see that being the same in the typical small struggling commune in the middle of a capitalistic environment. It could be a tough life, going that route without the level of community support which would exist on a larger scale. Much more personal sacrifice might be involved, depending on how it is arranged.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 10:57:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  um... sorry to contradict, but in fact (0+ / 0-)

                    your saying

                    So, you didn't really experience the kind of larger scale anarchism we're envisioning.
                    is not correct.  i really thought there were enough details to give indication where i had been for scholars in this topic area to recognize without ... adjacent... issues inflaming the discussion.

                    i was talking about kibbutz.  there are about 80 on the far left alone, of the total 270 or whatever.  there was in past years an urban kibbutz in japan (they came to the source to learn how to do it) that lasted some years, but whether it's still there and/or there are others anywhere i don't know.

                    what can be done as demonstrated by what has been, and continued to be, parts ways somewhat sharply with speculative projections of what "could" be done, where reality is the cross-roads.  "could be" is always in the future but has to built in the present upon the foundations of the past, and giving one's entire life to it in faith of being part of the building of that, is a commitment little of the world has been able to make. i don't claim to have, 'tho i hope that if i'd had the freedom to make that choice perhaps i would have.

                    if you're living or have lived longterm in an egalitarian collective that deals egalitarianly with its neighbors whether they are different or same, that's good, that'll help the world.    if you haven't, i hope you'll get the chance some day to get

                    hands on
                    into all the messy, passionately hopeful often disappointed yet persevering human nitty gritty that real life involves there just as everywhere.

                    thanks again for the discussion and responses.

        •  Native American anarchism . . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, mettle fatigue

          Anarchist Spain was a prime example of anarchism.
          It is my belief that many other primitive cultures were,  also . . .
          To me the Nez Perce people (who called themselves 'the people')
           also represent a natural example of anarchism . . .
             http://www.danielnpaul.com/...

        •  tl;dr version: Anarchism means "no hierarchy" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, mettle fatigue

          not "no order", as it's commonly misunderstood.

        •  having lived in permanent socialist community, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, ZhenRen

          my grasp of theoretical details and historical episodes learned in 12 years of my teens/20s is probably overshadowed by the practicalities of daily real life.

          however, communities like the ones i knew still exist in forms evolved to meet the challenges of the longterm, even after the "glue" of survival in the face of mutual enemies is a far less binding factor.   I.e., in which all the usual community and interpersonal conflicts and unanticipated needs (e.g., care of frail elders, congenital handicaps, etc etc etc etc) that come with being human have to be met with creativity, flexibility, and adaptation, just as individual human personalities, strengths, weaknesses, failings, and changes over time, as well as the ups and downs of the community's economic survival and what endeavors it engages in to sustain itself, also have to be accommodated for permanent community to be possible and valuable to individual self-realization as well.

          If you and like-minded individuals are not living longtime in communities that have met the innumerable challenges, I hope you'll have opportunity to realize and and implement your ideals, working together decade after decade to overcome obstacles and build self-sustaining communities generations after generations, the test of time which does, after all, prove what can work beyond theory in books and on paper.

          I appreciate your taking the trouble to go formulate an extensively detailed response - thanks and good luck.

      •  levoanarchism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen, k9disc
        sn't that kinda the definition of anarchy in practical terms, to just dismantle and hope the chaos among automatically coalescing little mutual-aid units (to the extent they have practical means to interact  ...
        Actually, that's more like right-wing anarchism or hyper-libertarianism. Anyone familiar with the recent history of Somalia knows how that turns out. Or, as you yourself put it so well:
        there are actually a lot of spots of unintentional anarchy in many places of the world today, with women and children in particular used as commodities, racism and religious and sectarian hatred rampant, and force of arms rules.
        The operant term in this passage is unintentional. Failed States have these evils as consequences. Failed States are one example of how the current human organizational model of the State has failed in general.

        Levoanarchists -- the anarchists of the left -- recognize that this is a problem and have made several proposals to deal with it.

        Check out the Syndicalist movement, for just one example. Syndicalist anarchists (anarchosyndicalists in some of the literature) advocate the elimination of the State and severe curtailment of any business or private fortune which has amassed enough assets to constitute power. What power must exist to get humanity's needs met shall be as widely shared as possible and applied as little as possible, for the least amount of time possible, to get the needs met. The way Syndicalists have most often advocated this be accomplished is some form of radical democracy, such as "The One Big Union Of All Workers" which would undertake the State functions which could not be completely abolished.

        I recommend checking out the IWW in all its aspects. The Preamble to the IWW Constitution does a better job explaining both levoanarchism and anarcho-syndicalism than I can.

        The point ZhenRen and I are making, along with all our fellows in the levoanarchist movements worldwide, is that we can and must do better than toss all power to the richest, greediest, and least ethical 1% amongst us if we are to make any headway at all against the serious challenges which beset us all as members of humanity.

        We really couldn't do much worse than the way we're doing it now. In my own humble opinion, anyway.

        Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

        by thanatokephaloides on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:30:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good clarification. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, ZhenRen

          Interesting reading, and please see http://www.dailykos.com/... if you haven't already.

          Perhaps some of you can add examples of existing such communities in the present?

          Either way, glad to have found your thoughts/comments.

          •  anarchistic communities (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, mettle fatigue
            Perhaps some of you can add examples of existing such communities in the present?
            The "separate community" model of socialistic anarchism is something you may well know more about than I do, mettle fatigue. The movements I have direct experience with aimed to remake all of human society along these ideological lines at once.

            Please have some patience with me here. I'm just getting used to having my ideals alive again after literally decades of listening to RW [expletive of choice] trolls in my home town's media channels tell me that they represent the ideas and ideals of anarchism! This despite the fact that what they beLIEve in would make any of America's historical anarchist activists hurl their cookies in a trice!

            Yes, I know. Get the F out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Would that I could; but I have family obligations requiring me to do otherwise.   Sigh.  

            Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

            by thanatokephaloides on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 07:01:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is abit of resurgence going on (3+ / 0-)

              with anarchism, it seems.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 11:05:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  anarchist resurgence (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen, mettle fatigue
                There is a bit of resurgence going on with anarchism, it seems.
                Especially the genuine, leftist article.

                I'm so happy about folks not buying into this crapola the RW is peddling about them being the modern expression of the likes of August Spies. That makes about as much sense as stating that Vidkun Quisling was an Israeli Patriot.    :-)

                Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

                by thanatokephaloides on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 12:05:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you haven't seen these: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  thanatokephaloides, Unca Joseph

                  150 years of Libertarian

                  Isn't Libertarian Socialism an Oxymoron?

                  Is 'Anarcho' Capitalism a Type of Anarchism?

                  I'm in agreement with the views presented in the links. Most anarchists don't accept capitalists of any kind as part of anarchism. Proudhon came up with the term anarchism (as a sociopolitical theory) in 1840, and the  term libertarian dates back to 1858:

                  150 years of Libertarian
                  The first anarchist journal to use the term “libertarian” was La Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social. Somewhat ironically, given recent developments in America, it was published in New York between 1858 and 1861 by French communist-anarchist Joseph Déjacque. The next recorded use of the term was in Europe, when “libertarian communism” was used at a French regional anarchist Congress at Le Havre (16-22 November, 1880). January the following year saw a French manifesto issued on “Libertarian or Anarchist Communism.” Finally, 1895 saw leading anarchists Sébastien Faure and Louise Michel publish La Libertaire in France. [Max Nettlau, A Short History of Anarchism, pp. 75-6, p. 145 and p. 162]

                  It should be noted that Nettlau’s history was first written in 1932 and revised in 1934. George Woodcock, in his history of anarchism, reported the same facts as regards Déjacque and Faure [Anarchism: A History of libertarian ideas and movements, p. 233] Significantly, Woodcock’s account was written in 1962 and makes no mention of right-wing use of the term “libertarian.” More recently, Robert Graham states that Déjacque’s act made “him the first person to use the word ‘libertarian’ as synonymous with ‘anarchist’” while Faure and Michel were “popularising the use of the word ‘libertarian’ as a synonym for ‘anarchist.’” [Robert Graham (Ed.), Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, p. 60 and p. 231]

                  Which means, incidentally, that Louise Michel is linked with anarchists both using the term “libertarian” to describe our ideas and with the black flag becoming our symbol. Faure subsequently wrote an article entitled “Libertarian Communism” in 1903.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 01:05:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  haven't seen those (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ZhenRen
                    I'm in agreement with the views presented in the links.
                    bookmark this page.....bookmark this page.....bookmark this page......

                    1: I had not seen these (or their yum o'licious host sites)  yet.
                    2. Thank you for providing these!

                    Most anarchists don't accept capitalists of any kind as part of anarchism.
                    And would toss their cookies at some of the complete RW dweebuses claiming the term libertarian today!
                    Which means, incidentally, that Louise Michel is linked with anarchists both using the term “libertarian” to describe our ideas and with the black flag becoming our symbol. Faure subsequently wrote an article entitled “Libertarian Communism” in 1903.
                    I actually attempted to start an underground anarchist newspaper on the old FidoNet called The Black Banner. Now I know who I owe my chosen symbology to!

                    WOW!!

                    And Thank You again, ZhenRen!

                    Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

                    by thanatokephaloides on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:18:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  And--how timely--Republican Party (26+ / 0-)

    vows to repeal US law clamping down on overseas tax dodgers.

    They may have a crazy "base" they need to sway, but they really only have one constituency...

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:04:12 PM PST

  •  The only thing that ever corrects this sort (11+ / 0-)

    of thing historically could referred to as the "French Solution." Ugly and brutal and wildly indiscriminate, but the oppressors invariably force it on their populations ultimately.

    I'd not be surprised to one day see quiet bands of battle-hardened, but now downtrodden and PTSD-ladden veterans bringing it directly to bankers, the super rich, etc.

    As a society, we do a terrible job of self-correction until the problems become acute.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:15:31 PM PST

  •  The only real way to do this: (19+ / 0-)
    • Curbing the power of the rich to influence political processes and policies that best suit their interests
    is through public financing of elections.
    Make every candidate for Congress agree to pledge to support a bill requiring public financing. If they refuse to do so, or back out on their promise, vote them out.

    Do this en masse and get younger voters involved. Income inequality resonates but it's amorphous as a policy goal. The rich aren't going to give up their money nor are companies going to seek every avenue, legal or shady, to try and maximize their profits. That's done in the U.S. through the buying of Senators and Congressmen.

    If you want to end income inequality, you have to get money out of the political system.

    •  100% Agree. How? (5+ / 0-)

      Candidates still need money to win, more than ever. So they listen to people with deep pockets or big groups who will fund their elections.

      So how do we "make every candidate for Congress agree to pledge to support a bill requiring public financing"?

      I like your agree about getting younger voters involved and young people to vote.

      You're on the right track Dartagnan

      •  A lot is possible with social media (5+ / 0-)

        in terms of collective action, but you would need something as a catalyst--some person or event that would put the issue into focus.  Then it takes on a life of its own, like Occupy Wall Street. The biggest problem in my view with OWS was the lack of any correlated political action. The feeling at the time was that the movement would be co-opted and corrupted by political involvement. The lack of identifiable leaders in the movement wasn't helpful either.

        What OWS accomplished was to get people talking about the issue. That's not enough, unfortunately. Either you compromise and work within the confines of the existing system (which is what I would favor) or you create a system of your own, either way the existing power structure has to be made to feel the heat.

      •  Even now, the middle class could do it ... IF we (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnj, Chi, Don midwest, Dartagnan, semiot

        had the will to short ourselves just a leetle more every single one of us in order to pay the pragmatic costs of leafletting etc for recruitment and public education efforts.  

        and IF we had the will to set aside just a couple or 3 or 4 hours every week to do the work involved.

        (i say "we" because it kind of takes a middle-class education to have pulled together the resources and knowledge to get online and communicate like this.)

        tangential comment: most of the republicans i interact with (which in real life is about there is to interact with where i live, which i have no choice about) are pretty decent, kind, charitable people, who have some of them been surprisingly sharing and friendly with me despite how different i am from them.  their vision seems to be limited simply in that the further away from them literally that are other folks in hard times --far away in the sense of geographical distance and perceivable difference--  the less and less confident they feel about the work-willingness and non-vice of such distant and different folks who need help to bootstrap up.  Sometimes some organization or individual whom they do trust finds a way to bridge those distances and differences by powerfully enough emphasizing either or both the actual samenesses and the potential value to themselves of those distant/different folks.
                and from talking with them about their lives, i get a really strong sense that these decent republican folks are suspicious about the intentions of others distant/different from them through having been themselves so extensively cheated and robbed back 'thru their families' histories, by other entities distant and different from them even tho the not the same distant place or differentness as the folks they're reluctant to extend/deprive themselves to help now.
                 their thinking is within an expectation-of-being-robbed-and-cheated mentality by anyone who isn't close enough to be just about literally watched and seen to be honest.
                  there also seem to be across america a lot of in-name-only democrats with the same memories of being robbed and the same suspicion of anyone they can't keep their eyes on so as to stay assured.
                  except when something or someone has persuaded them that they can trust.

        if we could come up with the ideas and words to reassure these anxious people that trusting is a 'good investment' as well as 'good deed' to help the needy of the world and the needy of the community by legislation that bootstraps us all, , we'd have the majority necessity to push EVERY good piece of legislation through and regain every good legislation that's been trashed by the greed mongers.

        my father made some progress on that, putting himself in not entirely safe situations in order to learn the underlying feelings and thoughts of people different in many ways but basically needing the same as 'liberals' say everyone needs.  but the he was faced with a life-or-death gamble which if he won (lived) would have helped make a significant difference in bridging that divide.  so he took the chance, for the greater good.  he died.

        •  what, don't you realize middle class is enemy? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EliseMattu

          the oligarchs don't want to share power

          they don't want democracy

          so they are taking down the middle class

          i didn't figure this out until recently myself

          i thought that the middle class was a good thing

          •  I was taught in HS or college (2+ / 0-)

            sociology class that no society has ever had a democracy without also having a middle  class.

            And when you read Orwell, he points out it isn't just about gaining wealth - the bastards at the top aren't happy unless they have ruined someone else's life. Plus so many of the upper five percent spend their lives trying to be perfect - they can't be happy having to be that perfect all the time. This furthers the inner insanity of needing to lord it over others.

          •  middleclass income makes good education possible (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides

            not only for its own children but also ---because of the demand/pressure by the middle class that institutions of higher education be built and sustained by the society in which they live-- for all in that society, to the extent the society overall provides means for students of lower income to also participate.

            middle class education in both technology and philosophy is, realistically, the root of how a forum like DailyKos can come into being and then exist this long.

            people who make use of this forum do so by having access to the technology, and time to learn the skills and then exercise them.  people in the u.s. who can't afford to buy the equipment for themselves or don't have homes where the equipment can safely be kept can sometimes still use the equipment at public libraries, community colleges(altho the latter have become in some states unaffordable to precisely the students they were meant to serve, thanks to public education de-funding), community center organizations, etc, are sometimes created by the uppermost income classes, but as is proven in greedy times like theses, it takes middle class willingness to pull the belt in and pay taxes to support these institutions that determines how extensive access can be.

            middle-class has many meanings and the time-bound meanings of the past are not the only valid ones.

            additionally, commitment to fairness and social justice is an individual human choice, not reliably predictable in terms of socioeconomic class.

    •  What about 3rd party funding? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dartagnan

      Republicans are already relying more and more on external advocacy groups to do their advertising to skirt federal rules.  You'd have to essentially ban this as well - and I don't think that would pass the 1st Amendment test.

  •  Let's Take Their Money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UntimelyRippd, a2nite, BaldEagle

    It sounds like a crude solution -- but hey -- the average person on the planet would double their net worth.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:21:11 PM PST

  •  I think we could take 'em (11+ / 0-)

    By my calculations we outnumber them 83,988,235 to one.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 12:29:33 PM PST

  •  Simply such framing establishes a common sense... (7+ / 0-)

    ...of public virtue and righteous mission which goes a long way toward a paradigm shift. The plutocrats don't have to agree but we do need this shared language on the moral high ground and the measure of a healthy economic environment and what is considered optional, acceptable, desirous, good or bad for society.

    I don't need or want to demonize the 1%- let them fund the fixes! But the names and faces of the clearly demonic can and should be common, public fodder. Whoever wants to oppose these common sense changes should have to step forward and be counted and own the fact that they're despised and growing more and more obsolete by the day.

    Great diary. Thanks.

  •  Here Are A Few Of Them. (8+ / 0-)

    Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecommunications mogul, whose family’s net wealth is estimated by Forbes business magazine at $73bn.

    Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, whose worth is put at $67bn and is one of 31 Americans on the list.

    Warren Buffett, whose estimated worth is $53.5bn,

    Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, with $23bn

    Liliane Bettencourt, sits on a family fortune of $30bn derived from L’Oréal, the cosmetics company.

    Duke of Westminster, whose property empire has boosted his wealth to $11.4bn.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 02:43:58 PM PST

  •  Math check (4+ / 0-)

    It's a third, not half.  According to OXFAM, 85 of the richest people have the same wealth as 3.5 billion of the poorest.  The remaining wealth belongs to the other 3.5 billion of us.  

    •  How do we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristin in WA

      Organize the 3.5 billion and engage the 85.

      I am not asking any of the 85 to give up all of their wealth but surely they can give up the idea that this is a sustainable, desirable or necessary disparity.

      "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

      by FiredUpInCA on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 07:00:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "The best way to know the future ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        ... is to invent it."
        -Alan Kay.

        How do we [...] Organize the 3.5 billion and engage the 85.
        There is plenty of opportunity at every scale to build real wealth for the lowest income.  Just do it.

        It costs very little to open and operate a school in Africa or India.  China might be a bit harder.

        Building infrastructure in developed countries is much more expensive than in developing countries.  A national power grid, Internet, and cell phone network would allow many countries to rapidly develop.  Training both doctors and nurses to provide primary medical care doesn't take any new development - just effort.  And effort is fungible with money.  There are many huge opportunities just waiting.

        The visions aren't the problem.  Even the resources to realize the visions aren't the problem.  Just do it.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 11:02:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Technically, no (5+ / 0-)

      The amounts of the 85 and the poorest 3.5 billion people are approximately equal.  That suggests nothing about the size of the remaining portion.

      Looking at the actual numbers, the poorest 3.5 billion and the richest 85 people each control 0.71% of the wealth (approx $1.7 Trillion), leaving 98.58% (~$237.4 Trillion) for the other 3.5 billion people.

      The top 1% or 70 million people control almost half the wealth.

  •  If You Want One Billion Dollars You Only (0+ / 0-)

    need to walk up to a bowl that contains a bunch of

    'one-million-dollar-bills' and pull out 1000 of them.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 05:12:58 PM PST

  •  Greedy capitalism is a crime against humanity. (4+ / 0-)

    Capitalism has to be redefined, so that because of the things these few people do to earn their massive profits, doesn't cause millions, or even billions of people to suffer around the world as a consequence.  Crimes against humanity, if there ever was such a thing and using many of OUR earthly resources to do it.

  •  Sorry, but the list reads like a joke. (4+ / 0-)

    Doing every single thing in that list is precisely the behavior exemplified but the Davos crowd. Might as well ask dogs to stop raising their ears when they hear a whistle.

    If turning around the fact that a few own most of what is in the world is left to those few to decide - or make pledges to do - we are as effed as it appears we are.

    Pledges are bullshit. The time is long past for that crap. The wealth will need to be removed from them at the tips of bayonets. It plays right into their hands to so flower-childishly hope for anything else.

    It's this kind of magical thinking in fact that dooms us.

  •  The Monopoly game is over. (7+ / 0-)

    One player has all the money and real estate. Time to begin a new game.  Yet we can't even get a decent raise of the minimum wage.

    Our priorities have gotten all mixed up. The poor classes need to be drenched in resources. Not punished, further.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:47:29 PM PST

  •  Thank you!!! (0+ / 0-)

    What a great message to those at Davos--especially the Americans!!

    @StewartAcuff www.stewartacuff.com

    by StewartAcuff on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 06:38:45 AM PST

  •  A couple more: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice, Odysseus, skinflower

    * Put an end to structural adjustment policies

    * Stop the land grabs, especially from indigenous peoples

  •  How to beat the oligarchy at its own game (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice, BigAlinWashSt, mkor7

    Because all the people are always ahead of the politicians, it is time the people have real power.   Not the kind of power that depends on oligarchy candidates looking after their corporate paychecks and revolving doors.  There is a winning issue that will put any candidate ahead of all others; establish direct grassroots democracy in one simple, extremely popular step:  

    Incorporate 300 million Americans and issue all citizens equal non-negotiable shares in the trillions of dollars worth of publicly owned resources like public lands, public airwaves, national parks, mineral resources, marine resources, public buildings, the Defense Department, government institutions and everything our taxes pay for.  

    The dividends 300 million people accrue from existing and renegotiated leases of public resources and uses thereof would lift everyone out of poverty.  

    We the People Inc. can then control the use of our natural resources, stop fracking in our public lands, finance renewables, decide what some of our dividends will pay for, what corporations we will deal with, set the salaries of our corporate employees, decide who and what we will support, ensure honesty and integrity in corporate dealings, decide where the people's corporation will do its banking, hire and fire our management and much more by voting one person, one vote at online stockholders meetings like any other corporate giant. The difference is that there would be no powerful majority stockholders dictating outcomes in their favor with squadrons of lawyers, economists and politicians pushing to maximize profits above all else. In other words, the People's Corporation can eliminate greed and oligarchy from the equation and substitute it for democracy, direct and decentralized through the corporate model.  

    Studies have shown that popular decisions consistently beat politician's decisions by a wide margin.  Being larger and richer than Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Nuke, Military Industries and all other corporations combined, the People's Corporation would effectively control all others.  The PC would democratically set the tone and become the catalyst for the laws that run our country.

    The key to its success is to make our public's stock non-transferable and non-negotiable. Otherwise Wall Street Casino politics will guarantee its failure.

    The goal of a tiny Ruling Class is to privatize all public resources by corporate takeover. This would effectively enslave the public. We the people must incorporate before Wall Street corporations succeed in their privatization scheme and we lose all of our public property and the dividends that should accrue to all the people, the actual owners of the public treasure.

  •  Oh ya, let's let them decide. My sig line says (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man, frigate, Lonesome Jeff

    what I think about that.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:08:49 AM PST

  •  What? Trickle down doesn't work? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frigate, mkor7, skinflower

    But seriously, how many houses, closets filled with clothing, cars, private jets, how much food does one person really need?  It's an addiction...they are slaves to their money...driven always and always to try to make more and more.  I just don't get it.  

    Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 09:14:04 AM PST

  •  This is the Result of Incessant Attacks on Labor! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BaldEagle, frigate

    The Right wing attacks on organized labor, on the rights of working people to speak, to organize, and to work to improve their common lot has been the target of the Right Wing since before the Karl Marx, and before the Russian Revolution.

    The Koch Brothers Daddy went to Russia to undermine the Revolution, and then came back to the USA to begin the John Birch Society.  

    When Labor has no rights, working people have no value.

    My wife, daughter and granddaughters should have more privacy in their doctor's office than I have buying another rifle or shotgun.

    by NM Ray on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 10:19:01 AM PST

  •  85 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frigate

    What are some of their names?

  •  But what should I do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frigate

    That question is never asked. We quote Gandhi time and again but we keep doing things that perpetrate the current dysfunction.  Let's keep a check on our use of fossil fuel, conserve it and cut it right back wherever we can...let's stop buying items made from new resources - there is plenty already mined that we could repurpose...let's keep our purchases to local as much as possible even leaning towards postponed gratification ...let's get our money right out of the big banks and stop sponsoring all big business wherever we possibly can. Let's see that GDP plummet. Don't expect the "supplicantees" to do anything different until we do.

    •  "let's get our money right out of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      big banks..."

      There's a better alternative to banks.  Credit unions!  I've never stood in a line at my credit union.  I've never been charged for checking, been hit with hidden fees or charged high interest rates at my credit union.  I do most of my banking online at my credit union, and I feel comfortable knowing that my credit union didn't sell subprime loans or have any part in the 2008 crash and the Great Recession.  Can you say the same about your bank?

      Credit unions are run by members for members.  Banks are run by greedy assholes who only care about the money, and how much of it they can squeeze out of their customers.

  •  Where the hell is the complete list of names? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frigate, skinflower

    That's what I want to know:  who are these 85 people--complete list please.

    "When and if fascism comes to America...it will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15

    by demongo on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 12:06:46 PM PST

  •  What's the difference between (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    Public-Private Partnerships and Fascism?

  •  righting the wrongs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frigate, Don midwest

    REVOLT against FASCISM. If 99% of humanity cannot wrestle control and grab power, commerce and wealth from the 1% and their criminally corrupt and criminally compromised enablers, then ALL of Humanity deserves to perish and this is what the future holds for Humanity. Humanity will NOT be allowed to DESTROY planet Earth, and all of her inhabitants, animals, sea life, plants, trees, fauna , resources, waters , atmosphere etc and All other life forms that visit or reside  on her, terrestrial, non terrestrial alike. The Universal Community will not allow humanity to cause this corrupt and criminal act, humanity will be rendered a null set, this is FACT, count on it.  And this will happen very soon unless Humanity acts appropriately. This is real and no joke, Humanity has had they're chance and they can either get-it together, or they become the null set, 0.

  •  All I want... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, akadjian

    Is for the American economy to be run like it was in the nineteen fifties and sixties. Ever since Reagan and his Neo-con slave drivers bought off our government, America has gone to hell in a Walmart shopping basket.

    If you like bicycles, check out the newest and coolest products at my site, "ZiggyboyBullet.com." You can also find my products at e-Bay under the name, "Ziggyboy." See all the products on my "See seller's other items" link.

    by JohnnieZ on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 01:46:36 PM PST

  •  1789 (0+ / 0-)

    While not all republicans are bigots, all bigots are republicans.

    by Maximilien Robespierre on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 03:57:25 PM PST

  •  85 persons owning as much as 3,500,000,000 folks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    what if those 85 persons

    are comatose and are life support?
  •  The problem with most of the recommendations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    is that they depend on the generosity of the aforementioned 85 super wealthy people, and the rest depend on the generosity of governments that in almost all cases are subservient to the super wealthy.

    The super wealthy are supremely greedy, but they are not stupid.  They already know that they could improve the standard of living for the poor and struggling middle class if they wanted to, but one doesn't become a member of the super wealthy class by being generous to the proletariat.

  •  true but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, thanatokephaloides

    It's awesome that this is now common knowledge. It will help everyone decide whether to be active in changing this or settle for being a looser and supporting this.
    Unfortunately the suggestions above, while awesome, are doomed to failure for two basic reasons.
    1. These suggestions are for the 85 and their puppets. The 85 didn't get that way by caring about people. Will they start at Oxfams suggestion? And the policy changes for the governments of the world are based upon these governments being willing to fight all this money and power. We see what happens to small governments who fight for the welfare of the people. Big governments who are controlled by the 85 through their money, power and corruption kill governments who try to make the changes Oxfam proposes. Asking the system that creates this inequality to stop it is like asking the Nazis to see their racism in a new light.
    2. It doesn't propose how real change can happen. It doesn't talk to us. The people. But then if they did they would be labelled as a terrorist organization just like any who proposes change from the status quo.
    As with every major change we've seen in the world. It takes mass support to do it. The 85 only know survival of the fittest. Only if you put fear into their hearts will they change. It will take massive support for human dignity to make this change. It will take all of us.

  •  "Oxfam has recommended policies ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    ... to strengthen the political representation of the poor and middle classes ... "

    I think that the statement above actually points to the root of the problem - the "economic royalists", as FDR called them, who attend events like Davos tend not to believe that the poor and middle classes are deserving of ANY political representation, because we are, obviously, not even marginally capable of figuring out what we need to succeed in "their" world (after all, if we did, we'd be rich, too, wouldn't we?)

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 11:01:48 AM PST

  •  Make giving Wealth away the new Status symbol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    Sort of like the idea behind the Potlatch but not so much calculated to consolidate power. Imagine those 85 or so people competing with each other to see who can make the biggest contribution towards really helping to make the world better for everyone. (Not just phoney PR stunts or favorite charity donations.) Make it clear that obscene wealth is as offensive and worthy of ridicule as Donald Trump's really stupid looking hair.

    •  Make giving Wealth away the new Status symbol (0+ / 0-)
      Sort of like the idea behind the Potlatch but not so much calculated to consolidate power. Imagine those 85 or so people competing with each other to see who can make the biggest contribution towards really helping to make the world better for everyone. (Not just phoney PR stunts or favorite charity donations.)
      My understanding is that Warren Buffett is planning on doing just that. If (and only if) that is correct, then I say "Not bad for a plutocrat!" Leave each kid a reasonably large starting chipstack and give the rest away.

      It's an idea whose time has come.

      Anarchism is anti-capitalist, and advocates egalitarianism, mutual aid, and reciprocity, and goes back centuries. -- DailyKos User ZhenRen

      by thanatokephaloides on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 07:12:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  UNITED NATIONS AND SUPER-ELITE PLUTOCRATS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    Perhaps the time has come for the United Nations to tax these super-elite plutocrats.   They think of themselves as world rather then national citizens so paying a tax to the world body makes for good policy.  The General Assembly could pass a few laws or rules of good conduct for these elites concerning working conditions, health care, safety environmental regulations, banking rules and wages.

  •  Just signed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    This is wonderful, Well over 7,000.

    We need to take advantage of the one two punch of Oxfam and Pope Francis at Davos.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 05:14:00 PM PST

  •  Recommendations (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent Recommendations!  I would also add the 8:1 cap on CEO pay.  Excessive executive pay must be controlled by us, since the executives can't do it themselves!

  •  Let them show us (0+ / 0-)

    I would like to offer a challenge all the billionaires who say that if the poor would just work harder, they can get out of poverty: Demonstrate for them how to do it, starting with only the resources they have available. Step into the shoes of one of them. It shouldn't take you long to set them on the path of progress and self-realization-- what, maybe a month or so? Then you can get back to your normal routine, earning as much in a day as that person did in a lifetime. Benefits for you? People will get off your back about the poor and you'll have bragging rights. You will save more and more people from misery as, obviously, more and more poor people will learn from your example, and people will think you are a saint.

    (Sounds like a good idea for a reality show, if no accepts the challenge.)

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