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Hello Daily Kos. First off this if my first post here since I rather enjoy this place and have for a good while. Whats more, I wished to make my own views on things heard. I generally like this place and the content it provides, and well I've never really published anything of this nature before so bear with me if I come off as stilted or awkward. I suppose I feel nervious for some odd reason. Anyway on to the point at hand.

First off, I'm going to be rather blunt about how I, as a young 20 something struggling to find a decently paying job and who has too much free time and a interest in politics and a extensive knowledge of history feel about things.
'
In all honesty, I feel as if we as a society are on the cusp of another major society upheaval similar to what occurred in 1848 with the spring of nations or in 1917 with the Russian revolution and the collapse of the old reactionary monarchies of Germany, Russia, Austria, and the Ottomans.

Our economies both in North America and Europe are going to pot and the upper classes in both are actively refusing to do anything to address the situation, and in fact go out of their way to worsen it because they ignorantly assume that because neo-liberal anti-nationalist capitalism works for them, it therefor works for everyone. And if you can’t make it then clearly it's your own fault and you deserve to suffer.

Nevermind the fact the majority of their wealth is accumulated through the looting of national treasuries and through the interest of wealth they already own instead of actually manufacturing or selling anything. As well as them paying literally zero taxes by pushing for both lower taxes and then taking advantages of tax loopholes and then tax havens that combined result in them paying ultimately nothing which forces the governments to put the cost on a already suffering middle class. And lets not ignore the fact that what little they do spend their money on is typically on the stock market with speculation, that when they make a mistake as they are often likely to do, can have disastrous consequences for the economy which they will of course never have to actually suffer or deal with because they will just lobby the government to bail them out.

Point is, despite whatever report about how the economy is improving, it’s actually not. Yes GDP might be getting higher and the economy might be still busy and profits for the rich might be at record highs, but where it counts most, the middle class, the situation is actually worse then it was before.

Poverty is increasing, the wealth disparity is getting roughly to the same point it was during the French and Russian revolutions and to compound things, every government’s response is, instead of pumping more money into their social services, is to cut these budgets. Whats more what little jobs are being made are actually not full time, lasting, economically healthy jobs but weak, temporarily part time jobs that pay little.

I mean already in Greece and Spain we see a increase support for radical political parties on the left and right and in Brazil there’s also a increased support for radical parties to fix the problem because moderate parties on both the left and right have demonstrated that they ultimately are more interested in towing the corporate line then fixing anything. And let's not even get into the mess that is Ukraine's current protests, which despite what western media would paint them as, are not pro-democracy rebels fighting a fachist government, but literally neo-nazi's of the most insidious sort.

And what should be concerning is that instead of doing something to fix these issues, much like the Tsarist aristocracy of Imperial Russia or the French nobility of Royal France, our so called elites instead feel they can simply ignore the problem and not do a thing to fix it or resort to brutish responses to keep the peasantry at bay.

Point is, history has demonstrated that there is a limit to how much poverty and abuse a entire nation will tolerate especially when they live in a country who’s government has promised them prosperity and fails to deliver.

And let’s be honest, how much of these austerity measures and openly corrupt governments are people gonna tolerate before they finally literally have nothing left to lose except for their chains?

And don't trust Obama to save us. I feel he means well, but out of both a lack of options and a genuine ideological support for, he's basically in league with the very same neo-absolutists trans-national capitalists that are responsible for the dismal and bleak state our nation and world is in. Despite comparisons to FDR, I personally feel he's more accurately a American Gorbachev. Someone who recognizes the failings and flaws of the economic and political system he's working with but who is simply too stymied by external forces to really be successful in the end. And much like his Soviet counterpart, I feel he's really too late at this point to fix the mess that is this nation. Much like the USSR, too many years of economic rot have finally taken their toll and at this point the whole house is mostly just waiting to fall.

But of course, as with all predictions, they must be taken with a grain of salt. And while I won't claim with total certainty that we will see a literal repeat of 1848 or 1917, I do feel that something cataclysmically big is gonna happen, and it's gonna be a massive and utterly terrifying wake up call for the parasitic upper classes of our world.

Let's just hope for once that should it happen we all actually succeed in ridding ourselves of them for all time for a change.

Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 9:55 PM PT: *after doing some extra reading I would like to apologize for my comment on the situation in Ukraine. while I have read some disturbing information about certain groups involved in the protests there, I was initially lead to believe that the opposition group there was solely made up of certain extremist far right groups when in reality the situation is far more complex. That being said I take responsibility for my mistake and apologize if I upset anyone for it.

Poll

Do you feel we're on the verge of a major societal revolution?

30%94 votes
27%84 votes
14%43 votes
27%83 votes

| 304 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (130+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZhenRen, richardvjohnson, Crashing Vor, DerAmi, whenwego, mookins, Gottlieb, Sandino, Eric Stetson, murphy, nirbama, WheninRome, defluxion10, elwior, ypochris, ozsea1, Vetwife, DRo, Ageing Hippie, golem, liberte, Ezekiel in Exile, jacey, NancyWH, Al Fondy, spooks51, Geenius at Wrok, flowerfarmer, nailbender, Powered Grace, Wendy Slammo, BlueDragon, democracy inaction, SpecialKinFlag, Sam Hill, Joy of Fishes, SphericalXS, Kristina40, jfdunphy, Blue Bell Bookworm, Byron from Denver, Eric Twocents, on the cusp, ctsteve, One Pissed Off Liberal, Upie, lightarty, Habitat Vic, marykk, Nebraska68847Dem, CTDemoFarmer, praying manatheist, OHdog, OllieGarkey, ExpatGirl, Preston S, Involuntary Exile, kurious, catilinus, TracieLynn, Toyotabob7, Kingsmeg, HeyMikey, Hirodog, zerelda, ratcityreprobate, pat bunny, Superskepticalman, mrfleas, dotsright, NoMoreLies, LSmith, NBBooks, Siri, Matilda, MarkInSanFran, o76, YucatanMan, Patango, Brian82, lcrp, cosette, Wreck Smurfy, JusticeSeeker68, parse this, Alumbrados, Major Tom, IndieGuy, Cassandra77, ColoTim, sny, 3rock, DavidMS, yellowdogsal, Debby, teabaggerssuckbalz, jbsoul, Paul Ferguson, Ice Blue, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, letsgetreal, collardgreens, blonde moment, tb92, Lady Libertine, AoT, hyperstation, eru, rapala, snoopydawg, Sun Tzu, slakn1, DuzT, mkor7, OhioNatureMom, jared the bassplayer, sillia, solesse413, poliwrangler, Louisiana 1976, Kombema, radarlady, johnnygunn, run around, tofumagoo, Linda1961, pvasileff, bobswern, Buckeye Nut Schell, RiveroftheWest
  •  You'll be happy to know that the (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, nirbama, Vetwife, mamamorgaine, ccyd, doroma, FG

    tax loopholes you speak of aren't nearly as effective as you fear. People with lots of income do not get away with paying no income tax, no matter how creative their accountant.

    •  Well... Buffet pays less than his secretary (27+ / 0-)

      "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 Feb 01, 2014 at 09:44:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And can afford to pay more than her. n-t (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen, kurious, YucatanMan, Patango, IndieGuy

        This better be good. Because it is not going away.

        by DerAmi on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:55:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Buffet paid a lower EFFECTIVE federal income tax (16+ / 0-)

        rate than his secretary. He paid a lot more in actual tax. Buffet paid millions in tax, his secretary paid thousands. Buffet and his secretary are an odd example because they both have similar salaries, about $125,000 and Buffet makes all of his money from long term capital gains. The typical CEO of a company the size of Berkshire would be making $5-10 million and paying the top marginal rate.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 10:02:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I know, I read the article that I posted (48+ / 0-)

          Buffet pays less than his secretary, relative to the size of his income. It is still less, and I can tell you who feels the pain of those taxes between the two - it's his secretary. He's doing fine, and he wants to pay more.

          Some people make a living from tax exempt interest and they pay no taxes (about 35,000 people):

          http://www.theatlantic.com/...

          Wealthy people often make most or all of their income from investment income and capital gains, which are taxed at a much lower rate than ordinary income to, um, "encourage investment".

          Too bad working people can't be taxed at a lower rate to "encourage the investment of work".

          Why isn't renting one's body as a laborer taxed as investment income? Because... they don't run the country.

          Here's an article which explains some of the tax loopholes. Yes, they still exist.

          http://www.truth-out.org/...

          "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 Feb 01, 2014 at 10:22:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ZR - nothing new in the Truthout article (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emelyn, PeterHug

            that I was not aware of although the article has several mistakes and infers that many historic treatments of income and asset appreciation are "loopholes" when they have been settled tax law for half a century or more. That doesn't mean that progressives shouldn't try to have Congress change the tax laws, but people who are following the law are doing nothing wrong.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:35:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "people following the law are doing nothing wrong" (30+ / 0-)

              I note in passing that everything the Soviet regime did in the USSR was entirely legal under the law. Ditto for the apartheid regime in South Africa and the Jim Crow regime in the US.

              On the other hand, everything that Martin Luther King did, was against the law. Ditto for Nelson Mandela.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:46:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  VClib (7+ / 0-)
              ZR - nothing new in the Truthout article that I was not aware
              And that has nothing to do with the point that was made about your imprecise statement

              Beware of people who talk in circles and deflection

              Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

              by Patango on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:39:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The original comment stated that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rarely comments, PeterHug, emelyn

                Buffett's secretary paid more income taxes than he did. If it had stated that his secretary paid a higher effective tax rate I would have never commented, because that is an accurate statement.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:35:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Just another example (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen, ozsea1

                  of talking in circles and pretending the point being made is elusive to "everyone" , not just yourself ...Demanding exact words that suit your personal dialogue was deflective and disingenuous in a forum such as this

                  And you did not object to " the wording " , you objected to the whole premise

                  Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                  by Patango on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:34:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  This is the false equivalency (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jbsoul, ozsea1, AoT, Patango

                  used by the wealthy class. It's the absurdity that a sum of money for taxes, say 10,000, is the same for a working class person as it is for a wealthy person.

                  This is where the lie is told, that 1 dollar is the same value for everyone.

                  To the working class person, that $10,000 paid in taxes represents the yearly vacation they never get, or the better diet they wish they could afford, or the better health care policy rather than the junk insurance they settle for, or paying off part of student debt or mortgage (rather than face default), or saving the home from foreclosure, or setting up a college fund for their kids which they can't afford...

                  While to the wealthy class, they hardly even notice its absence.

                  Sorry, but you're wrong. The difference between working class and wealthy is that for the working class, the income they get is already spent for basic needs, while for the wealthy class, most of their income is in excess of basic needs.

                  If you ignore this, then you're basically trying to bamboozle people.

                  "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 Feb 02, 2014 at 12:12:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ZR - I don't ignore it (0+ / 0-)

                    and think high income earners should pay higher marginal rates. I would have never made a single comment if the initial comment had been accurate. Buffet pays more taxes than his secretary, but pays a lower marginal rate. Those are facts and any discussion can include why it is unfair for Buffet to have a lower marginal rate, but no one can factually say he pays less income tax. The statement that Buffet pays less tax than is secretary has been repeated so many times that many people actually believe it, when he actually pays millions more in income tax.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:33:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  VClib (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tonedevil, ZhenRen
                      ZR - I don't ignore it and think high income earners should pay higher marginal rates. I would have never made a single comment if the initial comment had been accurate.
                      You present the exact opposite of that in here , and in other diaries
                      the statement that Buffet pays less tax than is secretary has been repeated so many times that many people actually believe it, when he actually pays millions more in income tax.
                      That is a flat out lie about how people are commenting in here , it is also standard conservative clap trap propaganda about progressives  

                       

                      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                      by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:21:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Patango - I have written, here at DKOS, more (0+ / 0-)

                        than 100 times that I favor higher marginal rates for high income earners. I favor them for all high income earners, not just CEOs.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:43:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Your comments are right there (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ZhenRen
                          VClib

                           He paid a lot more in actual tax. Buffet paid millions in tax, his secretary paid thousands. Buffet and his secretary are an odd example because they both have similar salaries, about $125,000 and Buffet makes all of his money from long term capital gains.

                           people who are following the ( tax ) law are doing nothing wrong.

                          Buffet pays more taxes than his secretary

                          The statement that Buffet pays less tax than is secretary has been repeated so many times that many people actually believe it, when he actually pays millions more in income tax.

                          The frame work for the argument presented by Buffet himself has been establish for about 2 years

                          Your counter arguments make clear your position and what you support , and your obvious misinterpretation of other peoples comments here only solidify what you stand for

                          You insinuate an argument no one presented , then from there proclaim the whole progressive argument is not  correct , most people in here are to bright to fall for all that

                          Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                          by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 04:42:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Buffet is not a representative example (0+ / 0-)

                            for two reasons. First he makes $125,000 for being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The other CEO's make millions and pay the top marginal rate. The second is that Buffet's secretary makes at least $100,000 and maybe a lot more based on her reported marginal rate. For 495 of the Fortune 500 CEOs, and their secretaries, the CEO pays a significantly higher effective rate than their secretaries. The other five are founders like Buffet and their income is from long term capital gains. The Buffet story makes it seem like it is common that CEOs pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries when it's not. Is the rare exception. This has led to the misperception that CEO compensation is eligible for long term capital gains treatment, when it isn't, and that some CEOs pay less actual tax than their secretaries, which is ludicrous.

                            So while I favor higher marginal rates for high income earners, something I have favored the many years I have been here, the Buffet discussions are one of my hot buttons because I think his specific situation is not well understood and his statements used without the proper context.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 06:31:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Buffet is a lot like many investors (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Patango, Tonedevil

                            who make their principle income from investment income and capital gains. Some CEOs get very high salaries, taxable at ordinary rates. Obviously this isn't the case for Buffet.

                            So the point still stands the Buffet is making. The idea the example is limited to just CEOs is a strawman.

                            "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 Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 06:40:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't think that most people (0+ / 0-)

                            when they read about the Buffet example understand that Buffet obtains nearly all his income from investments. They don't understand that he takes a nominal salary that hasn't changed in 25 years. They view Buffet in the context that he is the CEO of Birkshire Hathaway and assume that his income is primarily from his job. Virtually none of the people who write about Buffet on the internet put his statement, or his source of his income, in context.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:03:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  VClib says (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ZhenRen, Tonedevil
                            when they read about the Buffet example understand that Buffet obtains nearly all his income from investments.
                            Once again you imply people are just not very bright when it comes to this subject , you are a prime example for DBAD imo , I read DK and the comments in here and I am always impressed by the community , if anything you are the one coming off as " uninformed "

                            Buffet framed his argument in a very informative way , for you to claim "Virtually none of the people" can grasp it is a self centered narrow minded view , and I would imagine " offensive "  to most of the thinking people of this community

                            Such messaging is loud and clear , and your message is being nailed ,  and will not fly in my DK skies  

                            Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                            by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:56:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Everyone understands the context (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil

                            which is that an extremely wealthy man, on e of the wealthiest, pays a lower rate on his taxes than the person who handles his appointment schedule.

                            That's the only context they need to know.

                            There was a time I was involved in real estate investments. I made all of my money from those investments. There were some years I paid nothing at all in taxes.

                            "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 Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:00:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

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

                            I just remembered how my last debate ended with VClib , I introduced a person like Paris Hilton into a debate like this , and VC ended up basically saying

                            "what she pays in taxes on her inherited family investments were no ones business but her own "

                            And that is some how a completely separate issue when it comes to paying taxes  

                            But these people are all for making the tax system fair ?

                            FLOP

                            Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                            by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:34:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  VClib (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil
                            Buffet is not a representative example for two reasons. First he makes $125,000 for being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
                            Stanford Blog
                            Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation.
                            And Romney paid a 12% tax rate , his income that is on the books any way

                            So basically your position is that "capital investment income" is completely excluded in the accounting of  taxation on the public , that means your claims that you are for raising taxes on the wealthy are a complete farce , since you people refuse to accept that as INCOME    

                            Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                            by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:20:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How can anyone who grosses $60,000 (0+ / 0-)

                            have an effective federal income tax rate of 30%. It's not possible. The math doesn't work. The top marginal rate at $60,000 is 28%.

                            I certainly accept that investment income is income for tax purposes. That's the law and investment income should be taxed. Investment income was not initially included in the original (Post 16th Amendment) income tax, but was added many decades ago.

                            I do not believe that earned income and the long term capital gains rate should be the same.  For most of the post WWII period long term capital gains were taxed at one half your top marginal rate. The two tax rates have never been the same except for a short period after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 when both the earned income rate and the long term capital gains rate were both capped at 28%. Every country in the G20 has a lower tax rate for capital gains than for earned income. I think that if we raised the long term capital gains rate to 39.6% it would negatively impact economic growth, capital formation, and the balance of payments without producing much, if any, additional revenue for the Treasury.

                            "let's talk about that"

                            by VClib on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:15:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Economic growth (0+ / 0-)

                            at the expense of workers, where putting a higher tax rate on labor than on capital in order to create "growth" is used as an excuse to extract wealth from workers for redistribution to the rich, reveals the explotive nature of the system which serves the wealthy class.

                            This excuse has been used to resist increasing the minimum wage, shorter work days, and just about any benefit accruing to labor. It is the wealthy class basically saying, "give us all the money, we know what to do with it, and our behavior will enrich the majority working class, too."

                            The workers produce the wealth, they produce growth, and they deserve their share of the wealth.

                            "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 Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:44:41 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Well stated ZhenRen (0+ / 0-)

                    VClib made another comment you might want to address

                    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                    by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:24:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  They're Writing the Laws (5+ / 0-)

              The laws are wrong because the rich are writing the laws.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:06:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The wealthy class always (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbsoul, VClib, ozsea1, AoT

              make their behavior legal.

              This is why bankers not only get off without nary a slap on the wrist, while poor people stealing food from the grocery store end up with a criminal record.

              If you want to know who runs the country, just look at which laws are enforced, or how the laws are written, and what class of people are filling the jails.

              And who gets to spy on whom, etc.

              "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 Feb 02, 2014 at 11:28:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  his final tax payment is based on the EFFECTIVE (23+ / 0-)

          rate, not the marginal.

          C'mon VC, we do know better.

          You and doc act like the diarist hit a fear-based nerve.

          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

          by ozsea1 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:04:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  oz - Buffet's W2 income is so small (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ozsea1, emelyn, nextstep

            compared to his investment income that is really doesn't impact his effective rate. His charitable giving in any one tax year probably drives his effective rate more than anything else. That's another reason why the effective rate he pays and the effective rate of his secretary are so unusual. The typical Fortune 500 CEO and his secretary have an effective rate that is very different than Buffet's.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:40:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  More bullshit apologetics (21+ / 0-)

          for the wealthy.  It is the "EFFECTIVE federal income tax rates" that we're talking about and is the only measure that counts relative to this discussion, your attempt at distraction notwithstanding.

          Not to mention that this is the exact same red-herring argument I hear from right-wingers when they also attempt to apologize for income inequality.  What's up with that?!

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:30:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've heard it said that the wealthier you are, (4+ / 0-)

            the more pleasant surprises you find in the tax code.

            Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

            by FrY10cK on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:48:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, ok... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            ...even if we add in payroll taxes (which is kind of questionable, as they don't go into the general budget) you have a much higher effective tax burden on the wealthy as things stand now.

            •  pity the poor wealthy people. must suck terribly (17+ / 0-)

              to be so, ya know, repressed and downtrodden. Why, with all the horrid taxes they pay, I bet they can barely afford the chauffer for their newest Bentley.

              (snicker)

              Of course if the rich think they have it so bad, they can always give away their billions and go work at McDonald's instead.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:00:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Top 400 Americans (15+ / 0-)

              According to IRS data paid an effective federal tax rate of 51% in 1955. This same group paid just under 17 percent in 2007. Its probably a bit higher now somewhere around 20 percent due to the reversion of capital gains tax from 15 to 20 percent and the 3.5  percent Obamacare surcharge . It's still way too low when one considers the fact that someone making 80k pays the same or slightly higher effective tax rate plus the regressive social security tax and state and local taxes which are also regressive. When these taxes are factored in the super wealthy likely have an effective total tax burden of between 25 and 30 percent while a middle class family earning between 80 and 120k pays in the neighborhood of 40 percent effective total tax.

              •  Let's remember that those tax rates don't (15+ / 0-)

                include non-taxable income sheltered from taxes by various schemes and the literally Trillions of dollars they've stashed offshore in tax havens.

                When we talk about IRS effective tax rates, that is only on taxable income that the IRS knows about, not about total income.

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:34:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  YM - US taxpayers with assets held in "tax havens" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emelyn

                  have the same tax liability regardless of the domicile of the assets. It makes no difference if the assets are held in NYC or the Cayman Islands. If you have financial assets held offshore you have an affirmative obligation to disclose those to the IRS and pay the same tax as if the assets were held in the US. Holding assets secretly offshore, and not paying tax on the income, are both criminal tax fraud that will put you in federal prison if you are caught.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:40:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Is that right? How many billionaires has the US (9+ / 0-)

                    locked up lately? Seriously.

                    Offshore Tax Shelters Disclosed

                    Millions of leaked documents show a growing abuse of tax shelters by the rich around the world in an effort to avoid taxes, according to a report released Thursday.
                    ....

                     Those using the tax shelters include American doctors and dentists, middle-class Greek villagers, families and associates of long-time despots, and ultra-rich from around the globe. Also involved: Wall Street swindlers, Russian corporate executives and international arms dealers.

                    "We expected to find only the mega rich using [offshore accounts]," said Gerard Ryle, director of the consortium. "But in fact we found it was being used by a much broader section of society."
                    ....

                    The report said the money being sheltered included proceeds of Ponzi schemes as well as money drained from national coffers, adding that studies estimate that cross-border flows of global proceeds of financial crimes total between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion a year.

                    Super Rich Hide $21 Trillion Offshore, Study Says
                    A new report finds that around the world the extremely wealthy have accumulated at least $21 trillion in secretive offshore accounts. That’s a sum equal to the gross domestic products of the United States and Japan added together. The number may sound unbelievable, but the study was conducted by James Henry, former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, an expert on tax havens and offshoring. It was commissioned by Tax Justice Network, a British activist group.
                    ...

                     

                    at least £13tn [$21 trillion] – perhaps up to £20tn [$31 trillion] – has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, “protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy“. According to Henry’s research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than £4tn [$6.2 trillion] in 2010, a sharp rise from £1.5tn five years earlier.
                    So, while you poo-poo the concept and announce that it is against the law, that does NOT mean it is NOT happening. It is a most disingenuous way of denying the problem exists.

                    There is ample documentation that it does exist and in massive amounts.

                    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                    by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:08:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  YM - in many other counries tax avoidance (0+ / 0-)

                      is a civil matter. That doesn't excuse the behavior because all citizens have a legal and ethical obligation to pay taxes according to the tax laws in their countries. However, because tax fraud is a criminal matter, and because the IRS has targeted offshore accounts with some success, illegal offshore accounts for US taxpayers are much less common than for most other developed countries.

                      I support vigorous prosecution of any US taxpayer who has unreported offshore accounts and income. My primary point is that many people, including some at DKOS, think that if you have an account in a tax haven that you don't have to pay taxes on the income or that you are cheating on your taxes. The first is not true and the second is only true if you don't report the account to the IRS. There are numerous legitimate reasons for US taxpayers to hold assets offshore.  

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:10:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Legal and ethical are not coterminous (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ZhenRen, YucatanMan

                        even when it comes to taxes. As in everything else, you can do the legal thing and it may not be ethical.  You're arguing that people are doing the legal thing so it's ethical, but I don't see why that is true at all. Certainly, I don't expect the rich to act more ethically, but that doesn't mean I don't think they should do so.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:08:33 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Everyone needs to follow the law (0+ / 0-)

                          No one has an ethical obligation to pay more taxes than the law requires. No one said it better than Judge Learned Hand the most quoted federal judge never to serve on the Supreme Court.

                          "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

                          "let's talk about that"

                          by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:25:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And everyone is free to lobby the government (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NoMoreLies

                            for arranging the laws to their liking.  Except the fantastically wealthy have a voice a few million times louder than individual citizens.  So, we're all good right?

                            I mean, as long as it is legal.  Jim Crow was legal. So were segregated diners.  Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist and imprisoned -- that was legal too.  Your equating legal with ethical doesn't fly at all.

                            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                            by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:10:09 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Your continual defense of the fixing of the system (0+ / 0-)

                        by the 1% is duly noted.

                        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                        by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:08:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I recall reading that $21 trillion figure included (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NoMoreLies

                        about 20% from the United States. Hidden from taxes. Hidden.

                        Whether there is an obligation or not, at least some of the very wealthy DO avoid their taxes.  That $21 TRILLION is previously undisclosed money. And unpursued by the IRS.

                        Your comments are very revealing as they are passively voiced but convey a distinct shading of the truth. Very well done for propaganda purposes, but not entirely accurate.

                        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                        by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:18:52 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  and..... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NoMoreLies
                        The United States Senate revealed that offshore tax evasion accounts for a revenue loss of approximately $100 billion per year, and Congress’ stated purpose in passing FATCA was to combat such evasion.
                        Everything at that link  - the Columbia Business Law Review - seems to contradict your smokescreen:
                        International taxation, however, frustrates enforcement efforts. By holding funds in foreign financial institutions, U.S. taxpayers avoid the reach of the IRS. The IRS’s access to taxpayers’ information is especially difficult in tax haven countries like Switzerland, as was the case in the UBS matter. The United States Government Accountability Office uses four characteristics to define tax havens: (1) no or nominal taxes; (2) lack of effective exchange of tax information with foreign tax authorities; (3) lack of transparency in the operation of legislative, legal or administrative provisions; and (4) no requirement for a substantive local presence.

                        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                        by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:36:53 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Not Enough (8+ / 0-)

              All you've demonstrated is that the rich paying more than the less rich doesn't put any friction on their becoming ever more rich - at the expense of everyone else.

              They should be paying an even higher effective tax burden.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:08:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  democracy inaction , says (11+ / 0-)
            relative to this discussion, your attempt at distraction notwithstanding.
            There appears to be a group of them here that get called in on this issue , deflection and excuse making is their main goal , taxation inequality is supposedly a myth , and anyone suggesting balancing the budget by making the wealthy pay their fair share has a bad attitude

            Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

            by Patango on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:50:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The same bunch say the same tired shit about guns (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OhioNatureMom, mkor7, Patango, ozsea1

              here- "so what if Joe Blow managed to buy 50 fully automatic weapons via a loophole, it's legal". As if it being legal makes it somehow the right thing to allow others to be doing. Just shut up and go away, don't say shit, it's legal.
                Following these various subjects makes me wonder just how many are right wing plants to be quite honest. Watch too just who recs their comments up, always the same group it seems...

              Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

              by teabaggerssuckbalz on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:41:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many of them were also (0+ / 0-)

                pro George Zimmerman / pro ALEC jim crow laws

                It was vomit inducing , and they did not like being challenged on their positions when they defended the twisted way such laws are written  

                I am not use to this place as far as comments go , when I responded to  "democracy inaction" , does teabaggerssuckbalz see it as a NEW COMMENT also? When he checks his COMMENTS page?

                Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:41:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1

              pretty sensitive concern-troll-dar and the same group of contrary and "concerned" users sets it off every time.  There is a small but overly vocal group of users here whose commitment to the mission of and the ideals represented by this site I find highly suspect.  They have learned how to say a few agreeable things every now and then so that they accumulate mojo.  They have learned how to follow the rules just closely enough to be able to remain here as "respected" members of the community.  But they are prolific commenters whose "concerned" comments are often one of the first few comments to appear in practically every diary whose message they wish to challenge, undermine and/or subvert and when you look at the overarching tone of their commentary, it starts to become clear that they are not here to participate in good faith.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:40:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many of them were also (0+ / 0-)

                pro George Zimmerman / pro ALEC jim crow laws

                It was vomit inducing , and they did not like being challenged on their positions when they defended the twisted way such laws are written  

                Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

                by Patango on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:37:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  evr read the Biblical story of "The Widow's Mite"? (5+ / 0-)

          Ever understand its lesson?

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:36:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The typical CEO (8+ / 0-)

          Rarely pays the top marginal rate.

          http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

          "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

          by Steven D on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:32:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Steven D - they DO pay top marginal rates (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emelyn, virginislandsguy, nextstep

            and they should pay more.

            You are confusing two separate class of income earners. The wealthiest Americans aren't corporate CEOs with a handful of exceptions. People like Buffett, and the founders of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and a few others, own founders shares which make up nearly all their wealth. They have very low W2 compensation from their companies and the majority of their income is selling a portion of their founders shares which are eligible for long term capital gains treatment. Like the other billionaires, and top 1/10 of 1%, nearly all their income is investment income and qualify for long term capital gains treatment and low effective rates.

            The typical Fortune 500 CEO earns $3-10 million a year, ALL of which is W2 income and taxable at top marginal earned income rates. The CEO may have a significant investment portfolio, but in most cases the actual taxable income from that portfolio is very small in relation to the W2 income from their employer. Unlike those company founders NONE of the equity owned by the CEO that was obtained by stock options or restricted stock plans is eligible for long term capital gains treatment. All of the equity gains are taxed at the top marginal rate. There is a belief here at DKOS, and around the Internet, that stock options for senior executives at Fortune 500 companies qualify for capital gains treatment. They don't, they can't, and they aren't.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:52:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  This is all very simple. (11+ / 0-)

          Those with the money need to be the ones that PAY THE BILLS.  The money they have is from the investment the citizens have made in the country over the decades.  They are flourishing off the work and money of previous generations and they now want to not pay in to continue the process.  They are evil.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

          by tobendaro on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:45:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Their Class Is Advancing Against the decline (19+ / 0-)

      of the 90%.

      Seriously, learn to count.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:51:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're advancing BECAUSE of the decline (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OhioNatureMom

        of the 90%. Look sometime at that graph that shows what percentage of GDP goes to wages, from 1970s till now.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:32:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, well then (12+ / 0-)

      nothing to see here, move on people.

      But seriously, nice try but I'll believe my lying eyes over your well-sourced apologetic, ambiguous distraction of a claim.  Your "concern" for the wealthy has been noted.  Yet again.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:18:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, YucatanMan, Kevskos, OhioNatureMom

      that's why the rich fight so hard for them.

      I don't know if that's funny or just brain-dead.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:29:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh. General Electric would think you're funny. nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misterwade, YucatanMan, OhioNatureMom

      My idea of the ideal GOP speech invariably involves negligent intoxication together with breathing helium for that special vocal nuance.

      by Superskepticalman on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:01:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Romney's % of tax payments was 14% or (12+ / 0-)

      something like that, discounting what's hidden overseas. Many of us would LOVE to pay 14% of our money in taxes. There is a difference between the rich and the poor. That's why Romney wouldn't release his forms. There's too much TRUTH relating to the rich in them!

    •  corporations do get away with it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, OhioNatureMom

      Power to the Peaceful!

      by misterwade on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:26:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporate Perks (4+ / 0-)

      The rich spend most of their waking hours, and much of their sleeping, comfortably in the property of their corporations. That property pays no tax on the income used to buy it and severely reduced tax on the returns from the investment. The rich benefit from their property's property without paying taxes. The less rich don't live like that, and pay more taxes on the less valuable property.

      We all know all that. You're just protecting the rich from paying their way.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:11:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Historically there is one mechanism that has been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DKBurton, OhioNatureMom

    proven effective at relieving income inequality--it is called the guillotine.

      •  That was effective (10+ / 0-)

        because they were trying to avoid the guillotine, figuratively speaking.

        The direct action preceding the reforms had some of them worried about full scale revolt.

        "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 Feb 01, 2014 at 09:55:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe on the margin (28+ / 0-)

          In 1932, you had farmers in Kansas talking about revolution.

          But if you look at the first few years of the Roosevelt Administration, I don't think that fear of revolution really cowed the rich.  They fought the New Deal like hell.  Managed to get the Supreme Court (as nasty group as our current gang of losers) to limit much of the Administration's agenda.  But fear didn't motivate these people.  It was the fact that Roosevelt put together enough of a coalition that it simply wasn't possible to tear down most of what the New Deal accomplished for about a half a century.

          We need to be very concentrated, very persistent, and fairly ruthless in dealing with folks like that Kochs and the Waltons.  You're not going to get very far by making them fear for their physical safety -- back in the 1930s, it was autoworkers and coal miners getting killed by the bosses, and not the opposite.  But you can make it difficult enough to for them to run business as usual that most of the business class, and much of the rich will decide that cutting a deal with the middle class is worth their while.  You won't defeat the Kochs so much as you'll isolate them.  Which is all that is really required.

          Violence is unnecessary.  Making the country ungovernable if things don't change is both possible, though, and would be effective.  And necessary.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:40:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (15+ / 0-)

            It is threat of the vast working majority not cooperating, of not legitimizing the minority ruling class by refusing to defer to their instruments of power and their authority. People were massively striking and rebelling, and that always makes the 1% ruling class get nervous. They know that the working class is an overwhelming majority.

            It makes the elites look bad to resort to brutality to keep the wage slaves in their place, so the smarter ones prefer not to do it with violence if it can be avoided. However, that does not preclude violence on the part of the state. It is always the state which resorts to violence. The people merely need to refuse to obey. That the state would feel the need to violently crush labor movements reveals the degree to which these movements are a real threat.

            But the wealthy class come in two kinds: Liberal, and conservative. The more liberal of the capitalist ruling class smartly believe in political reforms in order to maintain capitalism, while the more conservative would simply resort to violence and repression.

            Roosevelt used both. He was no anti-capitalist by any means.

            And, by the way, he allowed US corporations to go around the non-intervention accord and send fuel and thousands of trucks to the Francoist fascists fighting against the democratically elected left-wing Spanish Republic. Some believe it was this supplying of needed items which enabled Franco to prevail.

            FDR was primarily trying maintain stability of the capitalist market, and only secondarily did he have an interest in helping the poor. To capitalists, the market comes first.

            Direct action and civil disobedience (not in itself violent by definition) do put enormous pressure on the ruling class. These actions de-legitimize the power structure, and the ruling class fears that if people can get away with disobedience, it will spread like fire, so their instinct is to crush 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 Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:44:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  After the Palmer raids and the red scare (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7, ZhenRen

            A lot of the radicals had been purged from the country explicitly because of their political opinion. They were often exiled. Politicians in 1932 knew what the threat was in regards to revolution, they saw it all over the world. It was in the newspaper every day. Not to mention things like axe handle auctions, and the violent strikes the country has seen in the teens. And the wave of sit down strikes. The bonus marchers. These were some of the top issues of the times. I guarantee they knew.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:21:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  without the threat of violent revolution (19+ / 0-)

        the liberals would never have gotten concessions. once the soviet union and the eastern bloc ceased to threaten capitalism, liberal governance has been impotent globally.

        as with peaceful revolution, it works best if there's a credible "or else" waiting visibly in the wings.

        •  When? (12+ / 0-)

          In most of Europe and in the US, the fight was gradual.  It certainly was not bloodless;  we forget how many people died for the right to organize.  But mostly, the fight was local, and fought in thousands of individual communities.

          Having the middle classes grab power from the landed aristocracy did lead to a fair number of wars, including the English Civil War, the revolutions of 1848, and arguably the French Revolution as well.  But once the middle classes established themselves, enough time has passed to create a class of people who are effectively a new aristocracy.  This was already visible a century ago (arguably longer -- Jefferson liked to talk about "the money power").  And in that fight, we still haven't seen anything like the sort of revolution that Marx wrote about.  Since what Lenin did was not the sort of revolution that Marx thought we'd see.

          That doesn't mean that Marx didn't have a lot of insight into the long term trends.  But that a sane upper class can conciliate the masses a lot better than Marx thought they could.

          Until now, anyway.  Over the last 40 years, the rich have won far too many battles for even their own good.  But I still expect that the political system will be able to contain the dispute without completely breaking down.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:51:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  we often forget that the US itself exists (5+ / 0-)

          not because we politely asked the Brits to leave, but because we stuck a musket in their face and said "get out".

          I do not admire Chairman Mao for many things, but one thing he WAS right about---political power ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun.

          That may make liberals nervous and uneasy, but it nevertheless remains true.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:40:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, give me a break! (6+ / 0-)

          The only credible threat of violent revolution during the Depression was from the right, when a cabal of Wall Street types attempted to subvert a retired Marine general to lead a coup against Roosevelt.  Yes, things were horrible, but America was never close to revolution, and you know it.

          Ditto Great Britain, where the biggest threat to the government wasn't a revolution, but the attempt by King Edward VIII to marry a divorcee and keep his throne.  

          Good God, read a history book.  Better, read a book like Since Yesterday, which was written just before the United States entered World War II.  

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:23:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Edward VII (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            wasn't actually a threat to the system of government in the UK, merely to the then ruling Party.

            Removing the King was a pretty straightforward process, albeit one employed reluctantly.

            He was simply told to choose between Wallis Simpson, and the Crown. He made his choice and was quickly retired to the Bahamas.

            Had the King been a more sympathetic character he might have been able to persuade the government to amend the Act of Succession, but I don't think many people liked him.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:51:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, but contemporary records (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              Do not agree with this.  There was a genuine Constitutional crisis since this was the first time a British king had been forced to abdicate since Richard II.  It was not straightforward, amending the law to allow a morganatic marriage (or the head of the Anglican Church to marry a divorcee at all) was impossible, and a lot more people than the "ruling party" would not have accepted the King marrying Wallis Simpson.

              I repeat:  go read a history book.  The whole "royal romance" of Edward and Mrs. Simpson was much more than a bunch of mean ol' conservatives hating on the King for falling in love.

              This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

              by Ellid on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:54:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Smedley! (11+ / 0-)

            Gen Smedley Butler, author "War Is A Racket"  He was never featured in any history class I had. Should be required reading for those who think "it can't happen here."

            -7.50 -6.51 "How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Politicians tell lies to journalists and then they believe what they read." - Karl Kraus

            by Hirodog on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:06:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He was a great man, and a true patriot (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hirodog, RiveroftheWest

              I'm actually glad that the plutocrats tried to suborn him instead of, say, Douglas MacArthur.  MacArthur not only ignored orders not to fire on the Bonus Marchers, he was a right-wing loon who wouldn't have had the slightest problem with "saving the nation" by overthrowing Roosevelt.  Butler told them to go to hell even though he was a conservative who intensely disliked Roosevelt; as far as he was concerned, he'd taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, the President had been duly elected, and that was that.

              God bless General Butler!

              This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

              by Ellid on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:57:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The right should be scared (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, AoT

          I don't know what OWS2.0 will look like but I do know that the fast food and warehouse strikes are becoming more common and these protests are becoming more effective.  

          Many people are recording traffic stops and are engaging in legal resistance.  Asking questions like, "Am I being detained?"  I keep thinking that given the state of things, a traffic stop that goes very wrong while being cell phone recorded and goes viral online could have unpredictable effects.  I don't want to find out what they are.  

          I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

          by DavidMS on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:08:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But is a fleeting moment in history? (25+ / 0-)

        I hope you saw, this past week, Bob Swern's diary on Tom Piketty's new book on capitalism and inequality. In his review of the book, New York Times writer Thomas Edsall provides an excellent summary of the historical trends that allowed the rise of the middle class, and what some economists call "the golden age of capitalism":

        According to Piketty, those halcyon six decades were the result of two world wars and the Great Depression. The owners of capital – those at the top of the pyramid of wealth and income – absorbed a series of devastating blows. These included the loss of credibility and authority as markets crashed; physical destruction of capital throughout Europe in both World War I and World War II; the raising of tax rates, especially on high incomes, to finance the wars; high rates of inflation that eroded the assets of creditors; the nationalization of major industries in both England and France; and the appropriation of industries and property in post-colonial countries.
        The one important trend Edsall missed was the effect of mass college education that was created by the G.I. Bill. Millions of people who before World War 2 never would have dreamed of going to college, suddenly had the means for a higher education. The resulting increase in innovation and wealth creation unleashed by that unique tidal wave of college graduates in the 1950s and 1960s is incalculable.

        The creation of the middle class was supported and promoted by a literal jungle of government programs, from the federal government surveys and Corps of Engineer water projects that made the arid west more hospitable to human habitation, to the USDA laboratories that perfected frozen foods. But the fundamental point you have to infer from Edsall's summary is that the historical trends that allowed the New Deal basically reversed the power relationship between capital and citizens. The most egregious depredations and exploitations of capital - speculation, usury, and economic rent seeking behavior - were banned altogether or strictly limited.

        The conservative movement of the past three quarters of a century has been pretty clearly directed at removing those bans and limitations on capital. The result, not surprisingly, has been to shift the balance of power away from citizens and back toward capital. Those on the left who are now engaged in a full throated denunciation of capitalism are, I believe, making a huge mistake in not distinguishing between the social democratic capitalism of the New Deal legacy, and the predatory financial capitalism that has emerged since Reagan.

        And we must be clear about the vital role of heavy taxes on the rich. Conservatives and Republicans and such as VCLib argue persuasively that placing more taxes on businesses and the wealthy undermines job creation. But the historical facts show otherwise. The highest rates of growth in the U.S. economy in the past century occurred under the tax regimes that took as much as half the income from rich people. The reasons why this would lead to higher economic growth is not hard to understand, but very, very few on the left bother to learn this, and use it in arguments showing that the conservatives are liars.

        First, the rich generally do not like actually investing in the creation of new industrial capacity and technological progress as much as they like investing in speculative schemes that make only paper profits.

        Second, too low a tax rate encourages rich people to take profits out of a company. When tax rates are higher, it make more sense to reinvest profits back into the company, and write them off as capital expenditures. That's why we have corporate balance sheets showing marvelous piles of cash, tens of trillions of dollars sitting in off shore tax havens, and never ending programs of stock buybacks, while at the some time we have a disastrous drought of capital spending.

        Third is the simple fact that more widely distributed income results in more widely distributed demand. This was the basic cause of the First Great Depression, as explained by Franklin Roosevelt's Federal Reserve chairman Mariner Eccles.

        Let's look at a company of 1,001 people that has $100 million in sales and $10 million in profit. There are 1,000 employees and one CEO. If every employee is paid $25,000 a year, that's $25 million. Let's say the CEO is paid $10 million. From this company of 1,001 people with a total payroll of $35 million, how many new cars can local auto dealers expect to sell?

        The answer is: not many. $25,000 a year is not much on which to live. Buying a new car is pretty much out of the budget of people with so low an income, except if they're still living at home with their parents and not supporting a family. Only the CEO making $10 million can really afford to buy a new car.

        But what does the local market for new cars look like if the CEO's income is cut in half, and the $5 million is used instead to increase the pay of the 1,000 employees? Each employee gets $30,000 a year instead of $25,000, or an extra $417 a month. $417 is more than enough for a new car payment. Suddenly the local market for new cars is tens, hundreds of times larger than it was before.

        If the CEO in our example is too greedy - or too stupid to follow this logic - to stop insisting that his workers' wages be held down do he can be paid $10 million instead of $5 million, then we the people (remember us - we're the ones trying to Establish a More Perfect Union) have a pretty clear means of bettering our local economy by taxing away half the CEO's bloated salary, and redistributing it in our economy through government programs of some sort or another.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:06:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NBBooks, I've gotta tell you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern, CenPhx

          You are one of the best posters here. First rate analysis backed up by good sourcing all within a solid historical framework.

          Damn! Well done! I have learned a lot from you. Thanks!

        •  More from you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern

          That was very good.  More please!

          One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above. Michael Harrington

          by tporky on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:57:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Social democratic capitalism" (0+ / 0-)

          was imposed on capital, against its will, by working people, organized in precisely anti-capitalist struggle.  So the rhetoric of today's left matches exactly the rhetoric of those who imposed social democracy on capital 75-100 years ago.  However, there's also a fundamental difference.  At that time there was a social openness to collectivist solutions that has completely evaporated in modern American society, where the dogma of "rugged individualism" holds total sway.  The collective organizing of 100 years ago, of the Wobblies, the CIO, the Share Our Wealth clubs and the Farm Holiday Association may simply be an imposibility in our times.  Then what?  You really think pols are going top stand up against big money?  And can I laugh in your face if you do?  It wouldn't be...all together now..."pragmatic" to resist the demands of big money.

          So we have this huge problem, the runaway hegemony of capital, and not even a potential counter-hegemonic force.  Exactly what do we do, besides get on our knees before big money?  How do we confront it without seeking to discredit it?

          "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

          by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:34:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  sent to Top Comments (0+ / 0-)

          thanks.

          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

          by ozsea1 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:56:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you do that? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, ozsea1

            I keep meaning to but I can never figure out how exactly.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:55:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's very easy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, ozsea1

              Click on the date/time stamp of the comment you want to submit and copy the link.  Send that link to Top Comments either by Kos Mail or our G Mail Account (topcomments@gmail.com) along with your DK user name and a brief description of why you think it's a Top Comment.

              For ease of access, I recommend that you bookmark the Top Comments DK message page so you can quickly get there when you find an excellent comment.

              Submissions received by 9:30 PM Eastern are included in Top Comments which publishes every night at 10 PM Eastern.

              Hope that helps.

              There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

              by Puddytat on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 03:41:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

            Your submission will appear in tonights Top Comments.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 03:42:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  This comment was sent to Top Comments (0+ / 0-)

          and will appear tonight.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 03:42:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. That's why they got rid of it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        They like the Marxist narrative. They're just confused about who's the hero and who's the villain, and they disagree with Mr Marx on who ought to win.

        But they love the story. They keep telling it all the time. In their version, it ends with the brutal barbaric masses rising up against a stable fair society and being heroically put down by that society's pillars, ensuring that a true meritocracy continues.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:36:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Known in the USA, (10+ / 0-)

      Where we don't like fancy French words, as the Freedom Blade.

  •  What do you think it will take for your generation (27+ / 0-)

    to really demand major change? I mean, something revolutionary such as voting as a bloc against all mainstream politicians and for true insurgents who want radical change in the economic system? Or perhaps huge street protests that will make Occupy Wall Street seem like an appetizer in comparison? Or maybe a mass movement to reject the consumer capitalist economic system through systematic nonparticipation in its institutions, forming cooperative nonprofit enterprises, intentional communities, a simple back-to-the-land lifestyle, etc.?

    Regardless of the form that the demand for major change may take, how close do you think we are to the majority of your generation refusing to go along with the current economic system (i.e. not just being pissed off about it, but actually doing something about their anger and frustration)?

    And what do you think are some of the most helpful things that could be done by older progressives to help encourage your generation to take that next step?

    Thank you for your diary. Tipped and rec'd. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in response to my questions.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:00:10 PM PST

    •  Tipped and recommended as well. And I'm curious (7+ / 0-)

      to what extent younger people see themselves being able to change the system, either from the inside or outside?

      I do think we are living in times where the inequality has grown far too large. I fear, however, that the systems in place today are so much stronger at repressing the masses that it will be very difficult to affect change. I believe NSA mass surveillance is there for a reason, likely the coming water, food, and survivability issues from climate change.

      The "terrorists" they are trying to gather information upon are "we the people." Militarized police with 18ton armored trucks and heavy weaponry aren't used for catching corporate embezzlers or fraudsters. Nationally-coordinated security officials in every single county in the nation, tied directly to "Homeland Security" are not necessary or needed for issues regarding a few dozen malcontents in the middle east with pipe bombs and underwear bombs.  That's far more wide-spread than at all necessary for anything other than social control.

      Democracy was declared dead in the 2000 coup.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:45:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hunger. (0+ / 0-)
      •  The GOP is working on that one. (0+ / 0-)

        If I didn't know better I'd think they wanted people to go hungry so there will be riots.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:39:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would like to see this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stetson, AoT
      maybe a mass movement to reject the consumer capitalist economic system through systematic nonparticipation in its institutions,
      How about a large-scale movement rejecting their currency? Taxes would be tough, and that's probably the main way such a movement would be attacked, but I think it's a promising idea.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:54:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been thinking about this as well. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        I first became interested in the idea of rejection of the currency as a form of protest when I learned about what exactly the Federal Reserve's policy of "quantitative easing" (QE) is. Essentially, the Fed has been creating lots and lots of new dollars by giving them to banks. The banks then invest them in the stock market and other financial assets. Very little of the QE ever makes it to the people themselves. It's pretty much a form of welfare for banks, disguised as a policy to stimulate the economy. If banks would actually use the QE funds to make lots of loans to small businesses and people who need help, then it could be legitimately stimulative, but instead, most of the new dollars being created are being hoarded by already-wealthy institutions, in the form of financial assets.

        There is a specific way to create an alternative to the dollar which is legal and could be managed by a nonprofit institution which would share/distribute the wealth of that alternative currency equitably and democratically. The technology already exists to do it. It's just a question of putting together a team of software developers and others who care about making it happen.

        If you want to talk about this idea in more detail, send me a PM.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:37:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do, and will. Sadly, no time tonight to pick (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Stetson

          up this incredibly cool discussion.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:01:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Rule #3 (0+ / 0-)

        The Rules:
        1.  You can't win.
        2.  You can't break even.
        3.  You can't drop out of the game.

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

        by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:46:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not true. More and more people are dropping out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD

          of the ultra-capitalist rat race game, by forming intentional communities, worker-owned coops and nonprofits, and/or living off the land. It's not easy, but it's possible. I think the main reason more people aren't choosing such a path is because it's very challenging and requires creativity and dedication; also that it marks you as a "freak" and thus hinders your social life in mainstream society. Most people, in any society, want to fit in rather than depart from the norm. But the option to exit the normal mode of life and choose a radically different alternative still exists for those who wish to pursue it.

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:01:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're talking the barter system. (0+ / 0-)

            That's what happens when wages drop so low it's no longer worth going to work. Governments have a bitch of a time collecting taxes on it.

            Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

            by Ice Blue on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:12:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Possibly. But also worker-owned nonprofit corps. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              Let's say a bunch of unemployed or underemployed or social democratic people get together and start a business to make widgets or provide some service. But they incorporate it as a nonprofit, or they give each worker in the company an equal share of the stock. Because they don't allow the CEO and upper management to make obscene salaries and bonuses, they can reduce costs that way, and thus be competitive with normal ultra-capitalist businesses.

              This is the kind of thing I think our economy needs more of.

              The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

              by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:17:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Community manufacturing coops would be another (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eric Stetson

                possibility. Imagine if a neighborhood could save up collectively and buy a space locally and install a textile production facility that is largely automated. Figuring out the same for food would be the primary problem, but doable. Use those places to help spread other manufacturing coops. The point would be primarily providing for the needs of people.

                It's important to remember that accessibility needs to be one of the key goals of these sort of projects. That means in terms of money, location, and socially as well. A lot of people will stay out of these spaces because of the various social norms that generally are associated with them. That generally means that white middle and upper class people are the norm. There are clear exceptions to this but they are rarer than should be. How to change that I'm not completely clear.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:36:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The fact that everything was built around (0+ / 0-)

                  the technology of the internal combustion engine makes things more difficult.

                  I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:03:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  At the beginning of O's first term (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Eric Stetson

                there were some factory workers in a window-making company that did something like this.

                Workplace democracy is one name for it, I think.

                I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:02:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Nope, there are systems other than barter (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              Quite a few of them. The myth of barter is a creation of economists. There have been numerous other types of systems that aren't barter or money. The rise of money paralleled in time the rise of writing and as such when we look at history it appears that we have always had money. Economics breaks down when people don't just exchange things, but also share them. And that was the dominant mode of distribution in the past. How we decided on sharing them varied greatly, but "the market" was never one of them until money, and it's "the market" that bartering takes place in.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:25:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We should all read _Debt the First 5000 Years_ (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                by Graeber and Web of Debt by, I think, Ellen Brown.

                I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:04:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  sounds like (0+ / 0-)

            1969 and we all know how that ended

            •  I wasn't alive in the '60s, but I think the reason (0+ / 0-)

              why the hippies didn't succeed is because most of them were too unrealistic. America has a long history of socialist commune experiments, most of which eventually failed. It's not as though the people in the '60s were the first to try it.

              The reasons for the failure needs to be studied (and probably already has been by some sociologists), but if I had to guess the main reason, it's probably because they went too far toward pure communism.

              Some kind of worker-owned businesses is a middle ground that could actually work. What doesn't work is a bunch of people sitting around "sharing the wealth" while smoking weed and not working hard.

              The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

              by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:16:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, and also, from what I hear (0+ / 0-)

                the communes involved some people, often the women, working their asses off, and others sitting around smoking weed and not working hard.

                I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:07:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Interesting. It wouldn't surprise me. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  The only communes that have survived are the ones that have well-planned and strictly enforced policies about work requirements for all members.

                  Twin Oaks in Virginia is an example of one from the '60s that has lasted and succeeded, because of this. I just visited there last fall. They own profitable businesses and everyone there works 42 hours per week, gets room and board, health insurance, and a small monthly stipend. There were some aspects of that community that didn't appeal to me, but as for being a successful worker-owned business and residential community, it's one of the best examples around.

                  The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

                  by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:07:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's also The Farm, which worked. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Eric Stetson

                    Probably a few others that I haven't heard of.

                    I hear that co-housing has a higher success rate.

                    A good book has been written on this by the way Creating a Life Together

                    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 06:06:14 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  it ended with a civil rights act, the end of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              Jim Crow, and a US withdrawal from Vietnam.

              Didn't it?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:37:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nah. The 60's were by choice. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eric Stetson

              This is because people have little or no choice. It's not that the mainstream is immoral (though it is); it's that the mainstream is fucking self-destructing in completely in-your-face intrusive ways that screw with people's day-to-day lives--and this is probably going to keep getting worse.

              That gives people an additional motivation for making alternative systems work.

              IMO, this looks more like the 30s than the 60s.

              I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:06:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree. I think we need a more organized (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Stetson

            movement around all these efforts.

            I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:01:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know a few people who are working on this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              There's some really cool stuff going on, but most of it doesn't get much attention. I think the main problem is lack of money. But I do think that problem can be overcome, with a combination of innovative thinking, lots of outreach and networking, and the willingness of people to work together to create an alternative economic system existing in parallel to the mainstream, rather than everyone just going off and doing their own isolated project.

              The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

              by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:13:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Well, let's all find a relatively painless (0+ / 0-)

          form of suicide, then.

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 04:59:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Any candidate that would actually change anything (0+ / 0-)

      Would be scorned to the margins, support for that candidate ridiculed and denounced, long before election day.  The election system and the corporate media work together to guaranty that nothing. ever. changes.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:42:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why I mentioned other alternatives besides (0+ / 0-)

        electoral political movements.

        I understand that it's indeed possible that a majority of Americans will always continue to vote for mainstream candidates who will screw them, rather than ever voting for radical change that could help them.

        I hope that's not true, but I accept it as a fairly likely possibility. So, we always need to be thinking about other ways of making change besides the ballot box.

        I'm personally not much of a fan of street protests (Ray Pensador is your go-to guy if you want to get involved in that). But I tend to be more a fan of Gandhi-style noncooperation/nonparticipation in corrupt systems, and creating parallel alternatives that people can shift their lives into. Hence, I mentioned that possibility as well. Maybe this kind of method would resonate more with the American character, since it's based on individual choice (e.g. boycotts, creating nonprofit worker-owned businesses, alternative currencies, etc.)

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:50:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What it will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      take is solidarity and sacrifice and I don't see much of that

      •  Well, don't expect it to get covered on the news (0+ / 0-)

        Or even really here. The day to day work necessary isn't especially photogenic. It never really is. If it were we'd be a very different country right now.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:38:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  media (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          is business and always has been.  Do not expect anything more.  In fact expect nothing from anyone that you yourself are not willing to give.

          I recently joined a union.  As a federal employee it was of course a useless gesture since this union has no power whatsoever.  Still, I felt the need to do so after watching young people here trying hard to get just the right to have a union.   The $50 it costs me a month I can ill afford to lose but just maybe that sacrifice will help just one other person find the courage to act.

  •  We're more likely to be on the verge of another (16+ / 0-)

    financial meltdown as that of 2008, but much, much worse.

    Such would destroy the American working and middle classes.

    Anything could happen then, and it wouldn't be peaceful.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:09:30 PM PST

    •  In that scenario, the key issue would be bailouts. (7+ / 0-)

      Huge supermajorities of Americans would be against bailing out the banks again. If both political parties collude to have another bailout for the super-rich (which is what would likely happen), then probably a third party or a Tea Party style political insurgency movement would be formed or arise to oppose the rule of our country by the corporate special interests.

      Major reform could proceed peacefully, if such a political movement would win. If the corporatist politicians found a way to prevent it from winning, then America's democracy would be all-but-officially dead.

      The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

      by Eric Stetson on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 11:18:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think people lust for catastrophic drama (6+ / 0-)

        and long for something  huge and cinematic to happen. And I don't think it will. Things will either continue to get slowly worse or will reverse and get better in tiny increments. And I know that makes the drama queen in us impatient.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:21:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I call that "revolution porn" (5+ / 0-)

          Yes, most of the radical left is very good at dreaming about it.

          Not so good at actually organizing for it, though.

          Reality isn't a movie.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:41:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll add to this ... (9+ / 0-)

            It is not in the nature of Americans, as a people, to confront authority. I'm not saying they would never go down that road, but they would be more reluctant to do so than many other nations.

            This country is the most beaurocratic, and compliant place I have ever encountered.

            The most frequent response I ever see to someone trying to defend even the most minor trangression is "He broke the law".

            The relative merits of the particular law come a very poor second in the discussion.

            Yes, there are some noted exceptions but the usual response to someone caught speeding, or "rolling through" a stop sign is to suggest that the miscreant is at fault, not to question the validity of the stop sign, or the way the speed limit is used for revenue-raising.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:57:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I quite agree (6+ / 0-)

              Despite all our tough-talk, deep down we are a servile and compliant culture who likes being told what to do. "Democracy" is just a word to us--few of us would actually lift a finger to defend it.  Indeed, given our societal attitudes towards unpopular views and cultural minorities, we don't even WANT any democracy, at least not for those we don't like.

              Just as the Romans, we care little about the Emperor as long as he makes sure we have bread and circuses. And we care even less about the barbarians outside our borders.

              When the world collapses around us, we'll be the last to know--and the most surprised by it all.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:17:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  On that last point ... (3+ / 0-)

                and as an example ...

                The biggest problem the folk around here have with politics right now is that Barack Obama was re-elected.

                They simply cannot comprehend how that happened and the result is simply a wave of hate. What irks them the most is that they generated a "wave of hate" during his first four years and America responded by massively re-electing him.

                They think there must be some "Grand Conspiracy" at work, because they know the truth yet the White House was again stolen.

                With this mentality, borne of ignorance and fear, there is zero chance that America will ever achieve the insight required to organise an effective revolution.

                I know I speak of the Right in this example, but I am far from convinced that the "Left" is much better in this respect.

                Witness the opprobrium heaped upon Snowden and Manning.

                "We know that we need to defend the 4th Amendment, but HE BROKE THE LAW"

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:52:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  As usual, right on target. There are advantages to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              twigg, Major Tom, Cassandra77

              being aware of other nations and other forms of participation and response.

              I spend stretches overseas, observing the USA from afar, then returning to see it up close, but with different glasses. Your observations about the USA are very much on target.

              It's a shame most Americans are not more worldly, in the meaning of understanding the differences between nations and social responses to government actions.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:48:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I always give a pass (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan, Cassandra77, AoT

                to Americans who do not travel abroad.

                Everything is "long-haul" from here, and expensive. It is costing us near $3000 to send our daughter to Ireland for a week with her school band.

                But there are Congressmen and Senators who do not travel abroad either. They do not take the trouble to inform themselves of other options, or learn to open their eyes to possibilities.

                Not only do they not avail themselves of opportunities they can afford, they are proud that they do not.

                This attitude is damaging to our national interest, and I'd solve it by making a law that said that if Congress votes for military action overseas, then 25% of Congress has to go on active service with them.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:58:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Mexico has a vastly different attitude toward (6+ / 0-)

                  government and millions visit there every year. But they don't speak the language and don't follow politics.

                  Canada, especially prior to the current govt of Cons, has had vastly different attitudes toward government as well.  Having some Canadian friends in the USA frequently illustrated that at shared meals or drinks.

                  Maybe I'm harder on "my people" but even trying to educate themselves about the rest of the world would help. And even when "there" in another country, we generally don't care a whit about understanding social attitudes and politics.

                  Living there, dealing with the government, extended contact with local people and their perceptions of government or social mores, you get a whole different viewpoint.

                  I was actually in Mexico during the Katrina disaster. The first day after, the newspapers proclaimed that nothing much had happened (as they did in the USA to a great extent).  But then the TV footage started rolling in while we were still reading the "All OK" newspaper.

                  The shock of people was palpable everywhere and I was often stopped and questioned.  There was no shock about the flooding itself, but the lack of response of the government. How could the most powerful nation on earth simply stand by and not act with haste to help their own people? As the days went on, the attitude became more one of disgust than of shock. Mexico sent a military ship to lend assistance which arrived off the coast before Bush had gotten his ass in gear and noticed that a major American city was under water.

                  I guess I'm rattling on, but I guess I'm not so willing to give people a pass for not trying to understand their relationship with the rest of the world.

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:12:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your points are well made. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    YucatanMan, NearlyNormal, mkor7

                    However, I don't consider a trip to Cancun as "visiting Mexico" :)

                    It is easier for Europeans to visit many different countries, and as a result those people have extensive contact with each other ... Not just through vacations, but school and cultural exchange programs, etc.

                    For example, most cities in the UK are "Twinned" with at least one city abroad, and school students, local officials and all sorts of people meet and mix regularly.

                    I can leave my home in NE Oklahoma and drive 830 miles to South Padre Island, TX. Along the way I get to see Oklahoma, and Texas.

                    In England, I could leave home, drive 830 miles, and be in Rome having traveled through England, France, Switzerland and Italy.

                    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                    Who is twigg?

                    by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:27:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  US cities also have overseas "sister cities," but (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      twigg

                      we generally only use those for commerce or politicians political purposes.  It's sad, but the interchange of people and ideas is much more limited here.

                      Just for grins, I looked up Dallas, TX sister cities:

                      Sister cities:

                          Brno, Czech Republic
                          Kolkata,West Bengal, India
                          Dijon, France
                          Monterrey, Mexico
                          Riga, Latvia
                          Saratov, Russia
                          Taipei, Taiwan
                          Recife, Brazil

                      Friendship cities:

                          Sendai, Japan
                          Tianjin, People's Republic of China
                          Qingdao, People's Republic of China
                          Dalian, People's Republic of China
                          Nanjing, People's Republic of China
                          Trujillo, Peru
                          Taguig City, Philippines

                      Yet your average Dallas resident couldn't tell you squat about any of those. Sad.

                      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                      by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:40:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  people in England often told me . . . (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ice Blue, twigg, YucatanMan

                      "The difference between the US and UK is that in the US, you think 200 years is a long time, and in the UK, we think 200 miles is a long distance".

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:19:17 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Americans are a self-selected nation of escapists. (0+ / 0-)

              We are a nation of immigrants who chose to come here in order to escape from a bad situation in their homelands. Perhaps it's in our genes our our national character to run from societal problems rather than fight to fix them.

              If so, then the most likely way that Americans could change things would actually be by dropping out of the mainstream economic system and creating alternative economic systems through private free choice. Maybe it's more in our national character to try stuff like that, rather than political protests.

              The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

              by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:44:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, but it is in the nature of Americans (0+ / 0-)

              to ignore authority. We tend to do our own thing unless we have a damn good reason to cooperate.

              Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

              by Ice Blue on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:29:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Advice to all: Don't click on the doomer porn (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra77

            Those "sponsored links" at the bottom of this and other pages, just ignore them--whether from the right or the left.

            Whether it's the Evil Obommer taking away our guns, or the starving masses of the poor about to guillotine the 1%, it isn't going to happen that way.  

            What we're in the middle of is long-term, grinding adjustment and change.  Our duty is to develop sustainable and resilient economic and social systems in American society, mostly from the bottom up, not to sit on our asses and buy into somebody's clickbait.

            /rant

          •  radical left? seems to me all talk of revolution (0+ / 0-)

            in these times has come from the radical right;  The so - called Tea Party, founded and funded  by The Kochs & their minions.   The revolution - the takeover - is already in progress.  If the senate goes red, the war will be over.

            I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

            by Cassandra77 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:12:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Frankly, (7+ / 0-)

          I hope you're right, but powerful people are usually inclined not to give up their power. The police over here are considering ordering water cannon while the newspapers are claiming that the economy is improving. That makes me wonder how non-violent things are fixing to get.

          "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

          by northsylvania on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:41:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The police everywhere are adding riot control gear (4+ / 0-)

            and massive 18ton bomb-proof trucks from the military. They've long since added heavy weaponry and combat (swat) teams.

            I liked the response of the grandmothers in Ukraine:  mirrors to show the police/soldiers their faces.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:50:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  18 Ton armored cars (0+ / 0-)

              may be intimating but for a police department they are white elephants.  They are gas guzzlers and require extensive maintenance.  

              I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

              by DavidMS on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:29:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And some places have asked for another (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                in addition to their Humvees and other armored vehicles. And it is all paid for by the friendly Department of Homeland Security "anti-terrorism" grants.

                Because even little burgs and places like Ohio State University are all overrun with IED-making terrorists these days.

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:13:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Colonialism coming home (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ActivistGuy, northsylvania

            They learned these tactics in North Ireland and now they're being brought back home. Same as it ever was.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:47:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Some also lusted for war against any & all (0+ / 0-)

          Muslims after 9/11. That didn't turn out well.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:21:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes drama (0+ / 0-)

          on BOTH sides

      •  The key issue will be FOOD. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Cassandra77, AoT

        The last meltdown came perilously close to stopping transport, which would have had millions of Americans starving within a week or two. In that situation, all bets are off when it comes to social order.  This is what the banksters were threatening, and that blackmail is what got them their bailout.  But with a Tea Party congress?

        190 milliseconds....

        by Kingsmeg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:55:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that too. (0+ / 0-)

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:54:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The situation in America today is so (24+ / 0-)

    different from 1917 that it's sort of baffling anyone would even try to make that comparison.  Russia in the teens was still reeling from a violent, failed revolution in 1905, the total destruction of its naval fleet, regular political assassinations, pogroms, famine, peasant revolts in the countryside, mass overcrowding in the urban areas... I mean, it's literally a long list of things entirely unlike 21st century America.  If the only things we can come up with are wealth disparity and the complicity of the ruling class, then there are a lot better parallels, none of which are quite so apocalyptic.

    Also, this:

    And let's not even get into the mess that is Ukraine's current protests, which despite what western media would paint them as, are not pro-democracy rebels fighting a fachist government, but literally neo-nazi's of the most insidious sort.
    Lord, I don't even know where to start with this.  Suffice to say that it's neither of these things, short of my writing a long diary about the protests (which I probably need to do anyway.)

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:18:29 AM PST

    •  But maybe not so different than 1848 (19+ / 0-)

      Oppressing the poor is a historical constant, and unfortunately, the bad guys tend to get away with it.

      Pissing off the middle class, though, is what drove the American Revolution and the instability of the 1840s.  And slowly, but surely, the middle class is beginning to realize in the US that They Have Been Screwed.

      I don't see any kind of traditional Marxist movement getting traction.  But the kind of thing that's been happening in places like Greece, Spain, or now, the Ukraine, is probably closer than we think.

      For the last 10 years or so, a lot of people who were previously politically inactive got involved in the Democratic Party, and I do think it's made a difference.  It certainly did elect Barack Obama.

      But Obama is a very centrist, pro-business Democrat, and enough people look at his presidency as a missed opportunity that there's space for more confrontational, more class based politics.  

      We're beginning to see the start of some interesting political careers of folks who are mainstream, but a lot more confrontational.  DeBlasio, the new mayor of NYC, is a good example.  And we need to encourage the Democrats to keep pushing on the "1% vs. the 99%" theme.  Increasingly, people are aware the system is rigged against them.  In that kind of world, class is a lot more potent motivator than it was a generation ago.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:29:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The thing to remember about 1848 (13+ / 0-)

        is that the revolutionaries lost. Across the board. Skunked. In every case except France, the monarchists' power increased in the end -- and in France, they ended up replacing a parliamentary legislature with a military dictator.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:07:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  revolutions are too often hijacked (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kj in missouri, marleycat, Bronx59

          by entities that put the least work and heart into them. Entities that have no ideology other than the seizing of more assets and power. Powerful outliers feigning neutrality/indifference while salivating at their opportunities when everyone else is bloodied up they sweep in, coalesce and consolidate. Sometimes it's the really quiet ones that you have to watch.

        •  most revolutions lose, or at least end up far far (7+ / 0-)

          away from what their originators had expected . . .

          The 1789 Revolution led to Napoleon's Empire.

          In 1848 the monarchies crushed everyone.

          In 1917 the Leninists established a new dictatorship that lasted 80 years.

          The Revolutions in 1949 in China and 1959 in Cuba led to police states.

          In 1990 the Second Russian Revolution was taken over by former Party apparatchiks who eventually established the Putin regime.

          In 2011 the Egyptian Revolution was taken over by the military.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:47:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pretty much the only revolution that worked (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            parse this

            was the American Revolution, and there was plenty of unrest afterwards.

            This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

            by Ellid on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:29:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  in large part, the American Revolution worked (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies, parse this, Kevskos, mkor7

              because we were just a political, economic and military backwater that nobody cared about. No one interfered with us, and we had no outside interests of our own to goad us into interfering with ourselves. Even France, who made our Revolution to a greater extent than we did (there were more French troops at Yorktown than American, under a French General), abandoned and ignored us afterwards.

              Few nations today have that luxury.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:34:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Without the support of the French, the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kevskos, Ellid

                American Revolution very likely would have been lost.  

                We had neither the money nor the military goods to succeed without them. Even our national lore celebrates the contributions of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. And French support also legitimized the cause in the eyes of much of Europe.

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:57:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think the American Revolution worked (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                because the United Kingdom had overreached, politically and geographically. America was simply too remote to hold onto effectively.

                "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

                by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 05:04:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Difference was that the American Revolution (3+ / 0-)

              wasn't an internal revolution.  We threw off our colonial overlords, but the ruling social structure mostly remained intact.  

              Ejecting colonial oppressors generally works well.  See the American Revolution, India booting the Brits out, etc.  Internal revolutions almost never turn out well.  They are bloody and usually result in an even more repressive regime.  

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:00:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Revolutions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mollyd

              There seems to be a difference between a revolution of a colony against an imperialist power and a revolution against your own rulers. The former often works, despite claims in every colony that people were better off before independence. Of course, a failed revolution of this sort is just a civil war. The latter is just a fight between two groups (typically the top and second-from-top) for power.

            •  On the grandest scale (0+ / 0-)

              The French Revolution was a smashing success.  The modern world as it is would be simply inconceivable without it.  We'd still be under the "divine right of kings".  It was 1789 France that put an end to that as an impregnable regime for the entire world.

              "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

              by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:59:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do agree with this (0+ / 0-)

                The American revolution was the first to successfully challenge the right of Kings to rule, and introduced democratic government (of a sort), but alas the American colonies were a faraway backwater that most people never heard of and didn't give two shits about.

                But FRANCE was the superpower of its time, right in the heart of Europe--and when the King there fell, it spelled doom for feudalism all throughout Europe.

                The French Revolution really changed the world, in a way that others did not (though of course the Russian Revolution tried).

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:44:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Revolutions are bad choices (0+ / 0-)

            The 1789 revolution ushered in over a century of political instability, revolt, dictatorship and could be argued to have ended when Capt. Dreyfus was pardoned.  

            1848 marked the beginning of the end of the various German principalities.  That process was completed in 1991 when East Germany was annexed by West Germany.  

            I don't favor revolution because the results historically do not favor the average citizen.  

            I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

            by DavidMS on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:38:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not to mention that the ancien regime (0+ / 0-)

          Was several orders of magnitude worse than anything in the United  States right now.  

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:28:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's ALWAYS different (0+ / 0-)

        and it's dangerous to try to say this year = that one, even in much closer historical proximity.

        Too much has changed. It is not the same world in too many very basic ways.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:22:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  but dont (0+ / 0-)

        forget that ALL Americans think thy are middle class

    •  Thanks for raising questions about the protests in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Toyotabob7, Kingsmeg, Anima, pico

      The Ukraine. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on there and would welcome a diary from you on the subject. From what I understand, there is no monolithic opposition, and certainly not one that is overwhelmingly "neo-nazi". There are at least four different factions united primarily by their opposition to the current government's tilt towards Russia. The Christian Science Monitor has a cursory primer on the factions here.

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:40:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More importantly WW1 (9+ / 0-)

      Of all the factors that drove the Russian Revolution the trenches of WW1 were one of the most significant.  The other monarchies did not fail until 1919 when Germany, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottermans lost and were broken up by the victors.  One could argue that the Austrian Empires decline and rebellions in Serbia, Bohemia, and Slovakia predated the war but it was the War that brought the whole edifice crumbling down.

      In Russia the loss of Naval power was a minor inconvenience, an embarrassment, but as a continental power with limited overseas empire that loss was not near so keenly felt as it would have been for say a Britain or France.  The only place where the Russian Navy mattered at that time was in the Pacific, Tsushima was decisive but not as much as historians tell us other than it made the Romanovs look weak.  It did stop Russian expansion to the east but in reality there was no where else to go in that direction, perhaps Korea but at the time that was no great prize, certainly they would never have got to India.

      But a starving oppressed population being conscripted in to an Army that was being slaughtered in the trenches to fight for an monarchy that by all appearances cared not one whit for their welfare is enough to drive revolution.  Especially when no one could provide an adequate reason for why they were at war or what they were fighting for.

      A famous British socialist stated during the second world war, this time we wont let them steal the fruits of victory from us, them was not the Germans, them were the Oligarchs (or nobility) who had messed up in the first place.  For Britain it took two world wars to get there, and no revolution just the recognition that there is no point in fighting for "them" if you do not get to share in the common wealth.  

      there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

      by Bloke on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:43:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I do disagree completely about this: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT
        In Russia the loss of Naval power was a minor inconvenience, an embarrassment, but as a continental power with limited overseas empire that loss was not near so keenly felt as it would have been for say a Britain or France.
        Quite the contrary, for a lot of reasons.  The loss of the navy is what led to both the nationwide industrial strikes (beginning at the Putilov Factory the week after the surrender of Port Arthur) and the military mutiny that precipitated the 1905 revolution - and if you read the newspapers from 1906 onward, it's not just an embarrassment, it's the proximate reason the military went into WWI demoralized, angry, and unwilling to stay behind Nikolai once it looked like the army was going to repeat the navy's destruction at an even larger scale.  Keep in mind that the Russo-Japanese was was also the first time a European(ish) power had lost to an East Asian one in the Imperial Era, proving Russia's inability to compete on an international stage, which wounded a national identity that still considered itself second-rate in comparison to England, France, etc.  In response to the humiliation Nikolai instituted the "great military program" that sucked resources out of infrastructure funding.

        I wish more of the sources were available in English, but the Japanese loss looms over the rest of late Imperial Russia in ways that may seem strange to us, but were keenly felt then and there.  (A situation Japan exploited by funding Lenin's journal Вперед.)  And of course rear-admiral Robert Viren, who so embarrassed himself at Port Arthur, was the military governor of Kronstadt when the navy mutinied in 1917.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 04:28:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was the first time a colonial power (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          had been soundly beaten. And Russia wasn't much of a colonial power at the time. We can't forget the power of racism at the time either. Being beaten so soundly by an Asian nation was humiliating and in many ways made Russia less white. I don't think people really understand what it meant at the time.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:21:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your are correct BUT (0+ / 0-)

          Everything you state is factually correct, but I think that you over state the importance of Naval might to a continental power. Accepted that everything in politics is to some extent psychological, and that the psychology drives a nation state, however, Russia and Russian might was driven not by its need to control the seas, and certainly not be an empire connected by those seas.

          Russia controlled land, vast acreage, even in 1904 it dominated the sphere of influence, but had no influence outside of that land based control.  The goal was always India, Russia spent some effort but never got close.  Why did Britain waste so much in Afghanistan, not for any value of the country but because they through the Russians were meddling and looking to expand from the caucuses to India.

          I hear all that you state, I too wish that i could read the original Russian, but as a student of the British empire, I can tell you that they were more concerned over a couple of diplomats in Kabul rather than how many ships sank in the Sea of Japan.  The Romanov's could have given a little early on and prevented revolution, but that was too much to ask.

          there is only one reality, republicans just forget at times

          by Bloke on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 06:40:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, mkor7, ActivistGuy, pico

      It is actually more valid to take a look at the regimes that flourish without there being revolution, to see how far it is likely that the government could go before there is a violent reaction.

      One could easily, and reasonably describe the current treatment of minorities by law enforcement, and in prison as extreme, and a model of just how far they could go against all of the population.

      Americans are far too keen to suggest that "he must have done something wrong", than they are to blame the system.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:02:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you need to do that diary about Ukraine. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, pico, kalmoth
  •  Welcome to Daily Kos but I do think (7+ / 0-)

    it has to be that generation to even begin to start fixing the inequality.   Good writing and glad to see so  many young engaged in their worry of this mess.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:56:10 AM PST

  •  No, of course we're not. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LookingUp, DiesIrae, virginislandsguy

    Anyway, the reactionaries won 1848 everywhere, and 1917 wasn't an especially good thing in the end.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 04:48:51 AM PST

  •  I'd say no, at least in the US. (The European (7+ / 0-)

    austerians are playing with fire, though.)
       The level of unemployment that we have means that maybe 85% of the labor force is fully employed.
        People who have jobs have bills to pay and are relatively well off in absolute terms.
        So, the Tea Party aside, there simply isn't enough support to sustain a revolution.
        I think, though, that we have to make a societal change such that a person can have a decent life without becoming a wage slave for a corporation.
        And, we need to build a society that doesn't require the endless consumption of disposable junk for everyone to be employed.
       Revolution is a fun fantasy, but it isn't happening. And, if it were to happen, you'd find dodging artillery fire a bit tedious after a while.

    •  Well, (3+ / 0-)

      The austerians have had differing levels of success in different countries.

      In Iceland they utterly failed and the country is stable.

      In Greece they've almost completely succeeded, and Greece is likely to fall into civil war as a result.

      The U.S. lies somewhere between these extremes. The outcome here is still substantially in doubt, and it's hard to say which side is winning.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:36:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not accurate about Iceland. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pat bunny, virginislandsguy, AoT

        We had tons of austerity (half of our shortfall was made up through cutbacks, really massive ones), and they're still cutting more back today. And while our economy is improving, it isn't really "stable".

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:02:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  More like 1968 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok, BlueDragon, srkp23, Ellid

    in Europe, but worldwide this time.

  •  Republicans point the finger of blame. . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aseth, HeyMikey, Kingsmeg, Major Tom

    . . .at the Democrats. And thanks to an extensive propaganda network, they can easily convince a majority of voters that it really is the fault of Democrats.

    Nothing is likely to change soon here in 'Merica.

  •  the problem with revolutions is . . . (21+ / 0-)

    that they are not made to order.

    Alas, in the US, too many "revolutionaries" are actually just dreamers who think revolutions are like pizzas--easy to make, done in 15 minutes, and made to order. They're not.

    And of course too many revolutionaries are like the Egyptians--they think a "revolution" simply consists of a mass uprising that takes to the streets until the government collapses, and then all is well, the birds sing, the sun shines, and everyone lives happily ever after. They neglect all the work that must come BEFORE a revolution, building up an alternative power structure that is ready to take over once the current state falls. In every successful revolution, that has been the key--someone with a plan has to be ready to take over. In the American Revolution it was the Committees of Correspondence and then the Continental Congress, in the French Revolution it was the General Estates, in the Russian Revolution it was the regional and national Soviet councils.

    In Egypt, there was no such structure, and when the government fell it merely created a power vacuum that was filled by the best-organized entity who happened to be around, the military--resulting in a military dictatorship that undid the entire revolution as "the masses" stood around the park impotently and watched.

    In the US, we also have no alternative power structure, and any "revolution" here would lead to that same result. Alas, too many "revolutionaries" in the US don't want to get their hands dirty with the actual work of building up such an alternative power structure. That takes years or maybe decades of long hard boring drudge work, and most "revolutionaries" are too good for that---they prefer to make lots of speeches and spout out lots of their opinions about everything, without doing any of the actual organizing work that is necessary. (And no, preaching at people on the Internet is not "organizing".)

    Endless speechifying about revolution-porn doesn't help. Alas, though, it's all that most "revolutionaries" are interested in.

    And that is why not only is there no revolutionary movement in the US, but "revolutionaries" themselves are universally ignored and/or laughed at by virtually everyone. Talk is cheap.  

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:37:42 AM PST

    •  I like this comment except . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok

      As a student of the French Revolution, I never heard of the "General Estates."  If you are referring to "Estates General," then that was a totally anachronistic holdover from 150 years before that no living person had ever seen.  The Jacobin Club was actually the power structure, but they did not have much advance planning.  They simply responded to fast-moving events.

      I'm from Johnson City.

      by Al Fondy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:56:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what makes the TP militia types so scary (4+ / 0-)

      Its not the the society the think they could form would actually happen. It's that what they advocate for would result in complete anarchy aggravated by the presence of a lot of heavily armed unskilled egotists.

      I'm thankful these psychos don't have the numbers to actually pull anything off.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:43:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  fascism is always just as much a probability as (7+ / 0-)

        socialism.

        Look at Germany in the 20's. It seemed ripe for Socialist Revolution, and indeed there were revolutionary parties all over Germany--they'd even begun organizing local Soviet councils to take over from the government.

        And what happened instead? Into the power vacuum stepped the Nazis--heavily armed, well-organized, and offering solutions that (whether we like their methods or not) worked. The Nazis turned Germany from a prostrate economic disaster into a world power with a booming economy, in less than a decade.

        All they asked in return was unquestioning obedience to their police state. And most Germans took that deal.

        Sadly, I think THAT is the most likely future for the US, as well.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:11:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Pragmatic centrists" (0+ / 0-)

          like von Papen and Hindenburg, embraced the Nazis, to do their dirty work for them.  The elitists thought they could just make the Nazis go away when they were done with them.

          "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

          by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:14:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Paris Commune (8+ / 0-)

    If we are going to use history to estimate what the future might hold, then we need to remember the Paris Commune of 1871.  We are not dealing with a centralized country here in the USA.  It is quite possible to play upon the prejudices of rural people vs urban people.

    Paris was taken over by true revolutionaries, yes.  But the aristocrats and bourgeois were able to rally troops from the hinterlands and come in and fight the city people doing much damage in the process.  The proletariat was completely beaten. The winners were in a position to restore the monarchy, but the luck of their fighting among themselves caused the Third French Republic to be formed instead.

    I see--if actual revolution started--much more likelihood of rural vs urban fighting in this country.

    I'm from Johnson City.

    by Al Fondy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:06:51 AM PST

    •  In the United States, I foresee another civil war (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, ozsea1, Matt Esler

      before another revolution.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:11:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's little difference practically (0+ / 0-)

        A civil war is just longer I suppose.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:06:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A revolution is the people against the state (0+ / 0-)

          A civil war is the people against the people.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 05:00:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In theory, sure (0+ / 0-)

            But a revolution requires building a new state in nearly every historical instance. The Russian revolution was the new state against the old for quite a while.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:35:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Or 1989, we have the Pope on our (0+ / 0-)

      side as Afghanistan bankrupts the empire.

    •  as an aside, I always find it amusing that (4+ / 0-)

      American "revolutionaries" always cite their examples from the 18th century, like the 1848 rebellions or the 1870 Commune or the 1905/1917 Russian Revolution (and indeed they still use the very same "proletariat vs peasantry" imagery). I hardly EVER see any "revolutionary" cite examples from modern revolutions and rebellions, like the 2011 Arab Spring or the 1990 Second Russian Revolution.

      I suspect that is because most "revolutionaries" get all their history lessons from reading hundred-year-old socialist tracts. They know lots and lots about the world as the socialists saw it in 1914, but almost nothing of the world as it is in 2014.

      The US in 2014 is not France in 1870.  Not even remotely.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:54:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course, that only happened after Prussia (0+ / 0-)

      had defeated the Second Empire of France and were sitting around outside Paris....

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:01:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are far more urban people now (0+ / 0-)

      than there were then. By a large margin, both absolutely and relatively.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:04:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep. our entire social structure is different than (0+ / 0-)

        it was in 1848 or 1870 or 1917 or even 1945.

        Indeed, the rise of the global economy (and supra-national corporations) has made a far-reaching deep change in EVERYONE'S social structure, worldwide, which I fear most American revolutionaries today have utterly failed to grasp . . . . The very notion of overthrowing a national government no longer has any meaning--they no longer hold the real social and economic power. The world is entirely different now than it was in 1995.

        The corporados have gone global.  We must, too.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:49:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've never seen any revolutionary here in the US (0+ / 0-)

          address corporate control of the food supply in a practical manner. It's always some sort of hopeful thinking about coops and organics. I certainly haven't seen people talk about staples much at all. Vegetables are important but things like rice, wheat, and corn make up the bulk of people's diet.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:53:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is the big danger of global warming . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            Humans as a whole get nearly all of their calories from just a handful of plant and animal species--nearly all of them from temperate climates, and only viable within a pretty narrow range of conditions. There MAY be some tropical species we could turn to instead, but generally tropical species can't be produced at the same level of intensity as things like wheat or potatoes. There's no way we'd ever be able to produce enough food for the current human population.

            Currently, lack of food is more a problem of inequitable distribution, not of inadequate production. But that may not be true in the future.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:10:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bread fruit? (0+ / 0-)

              Plantains?

              Rice can be produced in pretty tropical environs, right?

              And here we see the problem. I have no clue about a lot of this stuff even though I realize I should. We've got Pollan pitching a fairly regressive model of food security aimed at the shrinking middle class and because of that the debate on the left rarely talks about this. Automation makes this a completely different debate.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:54:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting Piece (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, cardinal

    I don't mean to discourage you, because the thinking here and the organization of this piece are really good.  But people will take your writing more seriously if you run spell check and fix more of the grammatical errors.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:15:22 AM PST

  •  We have more circuses now - maybe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hirodog, NoMoreLies

    not better.  And we've been well-trained in the Protestant Work Ethic.  As a society, we have internalized the concept that hard work is the key to success.  We are bombarded 24/7 with propaganda supporting these concepts.

    Change will be hard to come by.

    •  the thing about propaganda is (4+ / 0-)

      it only works if it tells people what they already want to hear.

      When propaganda is nothing more than bullshit with not even the remotest connection to reality, it fails utterly.  Just ask the Soviet Communist Party, who after 70 years of relentless 24/7 propaganda, was easily pushed over without even a fight in the space of just a few days.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:57:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People always forget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      that the phrase is 'bread and circuses'.

      They're cutting back on the bread, because bread costs money, whereas the circus, in it's present form, makes them money.

      A breakdown in the financial sector that leads to a stop in importing and/or distributing food would have the USA on the brink of total collapse in less than a month. Stopping food stamps altogether might take a little longer.

      190 milliseconds....

      by Kingsmeg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:07:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mmmm... (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't forget.  My comment was on one aspect of that saying.  In fact, today, we celebrate one of our culture's bigger circuses.

        And, yes, we are fast approaching the "let them eat cake" arena - to mix a metaphor or two.

  •  No. Because we are a democracy. Period. (14+ / 0-)

    In a democracy, if you can't get the majority of voters behind your program, you don't deserve to have it enacted. And if you can, then a revolution makes no sense. A democracy always offers a chance to make major change peacefully, which is why revolutions don't generally happen in functioning democracies.

    Yes, our democracy is flawed, dominated by elites, absolutely. But not so badly so that people believe that a real majority of voters who wanted something can't get much/most of what they'd want enacted, or at least enough of it to the point that revolution -- which is always bloody and far more costly than imagined -- is not worth the cost even if it succeeds, which, as 1848 shows, it may not.

    Revolution is the absolute last alternative in a society where the people have no voice. Do the people have an equal voice to the elites here? No. But they have enough of a voice where revolution, and all it's costs, are not worth it in the minds of most. Right now, the overwhelming majority of Americans are satisfied enough that they don't need to take a chance on revolution (note, I didn't say satisfied, I said satisfied enough), with blowing everything up and risking a violent death on the chance for something better.

    •  a very good point (12+ / 0-)

      One basic lesson that too many "revolutionaries" fail to learn is one that my political hero, Saul Alinsky, repeated over and over and over again: "You have to deal with people from where THEY are, not from where YOU are."

      People will not embrace "revolution" until every other alternative has been tried and failed. We are nowhere near that point yet. WE may realize that the political system is not capable of bringing the change we want, but MOST PEOPLE don't realize that--and will need to see it for themselves.

      That is where THEY are--and that is where WE must deal with them from.

      That is why we have been preaching "revolution" for decades now, and it has all fallen on deaf ears. We are preaching from where WE are, not from where THEY are. Indeed, listen to the American "revolutionaries" long enough, and invariably you will hear them gripe and complain that people are just too stupid to listen to us blah blah blah how can they be so dumb blah blah blah.

      As long as we keep doing that, we will remain just an ignored and impotent debating society talking only to ourselves.  (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:04:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  Alinsky was a masterful genius (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, virginislandsguy

          Everyone who calls themselves a "revolutionary" and a "political organizer" should be tied up and forced to read Alinsky's books.  Twice.

          ;)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:25:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's funny and sad (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ian Reifowitz

            to realize that the likelihood that a Tea Partier has read "Rules for Radicals" is MUCH greater than that of the average "progressive".

            "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

            by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:29:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  He knew some good tactics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ian Reifowitz

            But his tactics were more short term than long term. The plan of going in and teaching people how to organize ad then leaving doesn't work in most cases. I'd highly suggest this book for a different idea of how to go about organizing.

            In Accompanying, Staughton Lynd distinguishes two strategies of social change. The first, characteristic of the 1960s Movement in the United States, is “organizing.” The second, articulated by Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, is “accompaniment.” The critical difference is that in accompanying one another the promoter of social change and his or her oppressed colleague view themselves as two experts, each bringing indispensable experience to a shared project. Together, as equals, they seek to create what the Zapatistas call “another world.”
            I think that Alinsky has a lot to offer, but we need a lot more than just him. His point about needing a victory is key in my opinion.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:44:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (5+ / 0-)

      My favorite example here is the 2010 Arkansas Senate race. Incumbent Blue Dog Blanche Lincoln had watered down healthcare reform, watered down the stimulus. The obvious thing to do was replace her with progressive Bill Halter. But in the Dem primary runoff, less than 5% of the population of Arkansas bothered to turn out for Halter.

      Repeat the pattern nationwide and you get a Congress that went from not progressive enough (2009-10) to not progressive at all (2011-present).

      When less than 5% of the population can be bothered to educate themselves and avail themselves of an easily available better alternative, no revolution is in the cards.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:57:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A democracy? (0+ / 0-)

      That implies a place where the voice of the people, the demos, carries some weight.  As opposed to an oligarchy, where only the wealthy, powerful and/or connected are heard.  I'd suggest we are the dictionary definition of the latter.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:24:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a circular argument (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy
      Revolution is the absolute last alternative in a society where the people have no voice. Do the people have an equal voice to the elites here? No. But they have enough of a voice where revolution, and all it's costs, are not worth it in the minds of most. Right now, the overwhelming majority of Americans are satisfied enough that they don't need to take a chance on revolution (note, I didn't say satisfied, I said satisfied enough), with blowing everything up and risking a violent death on the chance for something better.
      It's not any sort of given that we're at a place where people have it bad enough to revolt, but this argument is circular, basically saying it's never time for revolution until people are already revolting. That means it will literally never be time for a revolution. If there is a need for revolution then it must be organized, it doesn't simply happen because the time is ripe. The time has never "been ripe" for a massive social change. Changes have always been organized for, they never happen except through this method.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:27:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ian, I think you're basically correct, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      I also think that there's something to be said for the idea that the majority of people in any society are almost never willing to go against the established order -- because most human beings are hard-wired for conformity and obedience to authority -- and thus societies tend to experience a great deal of suffering before government policy changes for the better.

      Necessary changes are almost always driven by a minority -- sometimes a small minority -- of forward-thinking, courageous individuals. In a political system of winner-take-all districts, rather than proportional representation, the innovative minority usually has no voice in the legislature. This is a serious flaw of the American system of electoral democracy, compared to some other democracies.

      As a result, I think in America the innovative minority are more likely to use other methods rather than the electoral system to push for major change. However, ultimately, the majority of people have to be persuaded to vote for such change. But the process of persuasion usually arises from a small minority of committed activists and innovators who try to get their voices heard. If they find that their voices cannot be heard, then they tend to drop out of the national political process and seek other ways to make change. Those other ways, in many cases, involve some aspect of "giving up on" fixing the country as a whole, and refocusing on local politics in specific places where innovative ideas are more welcome, or else working through technology, business and the nonprofit sector to promote positive change in society.

      The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

      by Eric Stetson on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think we are on the verge of the (6+ / 0-)

    collapse you envision, but neither should we - ever - become complacent about such possibilities.

    Thank you for the thought-provoking diary.

    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

    by BeninSC on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:31:29 AM PST

  •  When a long train of abuses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    (see this dkos diary with a great list of current abuses) and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:37:10 AM PST

  •  In the Ukraine... It Appears Another 1917 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, pat bunny, NoMoreLies

    for "we the people" there.

    their president what's his name-- recently disappearing for three days.. because he was "sick".

    Bullshit. it was a planning session probably with Putin on the red phone. they're going to crack down in some shape or form.. and the people are going to push back with equal or greater force.

    as far as here in the estats unis... it's mehhh... the senseless gun carnage continues... reckless companies spilling poisonous shit, ruining the water supply of an entire city..

    oh yeah-- and the state of CA begins to turn off the spigot/water supply to 25 million people in the state... Nah, there's no freakin' climate change..

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:40:41 AM PST

  •  Actually ... we may not even be close (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parse this

    Let's remember that the Russian people lived in poverty as serfs since the 11th century.   Poverty alone does not appear to be enough of a reason for a revolution.  You also need brutal repression to trigger a reaction.  So far, we are not there.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 06:41:45 AM PST

    •  the radical lefties in the US like to congratulate (12+ / 0-)

      themselves on how "repressed" they are as they play at Revolution . .  after all, didn't the cops pepper-spray Occupiers ??!!??!!!

      They should talk to some activists from Guatemala or Chile or Indonesia or Egypt or Syria or China or Russia or Myanmar, and see what REAL political repression looks like.

      When tens of thousands of American dissidents "disappear" only to show up one morning in a roadside ditch with their heads cut off after being tortured with cattle prods for three days--THEN we can start talking about how "repressed" we are here . . .  Until then, we're just weiner-wanking ourselves in Monty Python fashion. "Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?"

      Even the revolutionaries in the US have a privileged status that they don't even realize. Activists elsewhere WISH they were as, uh, "repressed" as we are . . . .

      When the US really becomes repressive, they won't be cutting off our voting rights--they'll be cutting off our hands and our heads.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:23:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To use an analogy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ActivistGuy, mkor7

        That sounds like when conservatives tell us that we don't really have poor people because they're not living in third-world squalor.

        Just because someone elsewhere has it worse is no reason to let things get worse here.

        Being better than Guatemala is setting the bar pretty damn low.

        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 Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:42:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, I was part of the "sanctuary" movement back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves

          in the 80's. (For those of you too young to remember, that was a movement that smuggled Central American activists into the US, usually illegally, to shelter them from the rightwing death squads that were running rampant there.) I personally knew more than one person who turned up in a town square with his head and genitals cut off, with every square inch of his body covered with cattle prod burns.

          So it's hard for me to take seriously the cries of "help! help! I'm being repressed by the fascist police state !!!!" from people here. Heck, even folks like MB and Denise from the 60's can tell us stories from COINTELPRO, back when activists often turned up dead. My encounters with COINTELPRO back in the 80's were kid's play compared to that.

          I've been in plenty of protests and rallies since the early 80's.  I've been tear-gassed, clubbed, and arrested--more than once. Is it wrong? Yes.  Is it undemocratic? Undoubtedly.  Is it fascist police-state repression?  Puh-leeeeze. The US is not Chile, or El Salvador, or Myanmar, or Egypt.

          And I thank all our lucky stars for that.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 11:09:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Perceptions are relative (0+ / 0-)

        Given almost any set of circumstances, some of us will focus on the positive while others will focus on the negative. I believe that many of us are predisposed to generally fall into one camp or the other as a default perspective, though we certainly have the ability to consciously shift our perspective.

        I, personally, see our current, collective environment as pretty bad right now. But I'm aware that I generally fall into the "glass half full" camp.

        I totally get your point made in this comment and elsewhere. Unless and until the majority of folks perceive things have reached a point where they believe that institutional change must occur, those of us talking about change are just engaged in some pointless wanking.

      •  Oppression on the left is much larger than Occupy (0+ / 0-)

        And the fact of the matter is that there has been plenty of COINTELPRO style tactics going on in the last 15 or so years. And let's not mention the toll the drug war has on organizing and the left.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:49:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome, DerKommissar (4+ / 0-)

    Keep writing!  And I suggest also participating in comments - both in your own diary and in other diaries.  Many times the greatest fun here is interacting with other kossacks in the comments sections.  In addition, if you are ever looking for "how to" stuff, the New Diarists group has lots of tips in their colleciton of diaries - http://www.dailykos.com/...  

  •  Rather than 1848 or 1917, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    it seems more like the country is almost as divided as it was before the Civil War--when the political question involved Free States or Slave states. The country is split so that a very small swing vote can determine whether the country elects Democrats or Republicans.
        There have been a few attempts at a third party movements--Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, the Tea party, among others.
         But as yet the issues have not developed to the point where there is one over-riding issue as clear as that of the pre-Civil War period. But the inequality issue certainly has the potential to do so---or related issues like dismantling the "too big to fail" support of failed banks and financial institutions, etc. These are related, as it seems the institutions of business and government are tilted so strongly against the aspiring individual that it leads to a growing and more frustrated middle class and poorer classes.
           Which is why the legal struggles around Citizens United court case, whether the Fed should retain its "powers," the corrupting influence of corporate fundraising just to stay in Congress, are important: they suggest legal avenues of redress to help lessen the burden of inequality.
          The question becomes, how long will people wait to have their grievances addressed? While people wait for the legal process, real bills have to be paid, interest on student loans pile up, people put off getting married, people leave the country in pursuit of at least a job---not even a better job--just a job. And the job, according to surveys, often turns out to be one that 75 percent of jobholders would like to leave, if they could, so workers could put their talents to use more productively.
          if you're looking for a peaceful way to achieve progress, one could do worse than encourage a massive migration to the red states, to break the stranglehold on Congress, and progress, currently being exerted by the GOP and its Tea Party extremists. There is still a lot of power in the vote, especially if voting reform efforts are successful. i still think Al Gore won his election. Votes do make a difference.

  •  Your history is muddled (7+ / 0-)

    While I think the issue of income equality is deeply important, I'm not sure that using a frame of historical fantasy helps the argument. I'm mean this statement is a total fantasy and removed from historical fact:

    In all honesty, I feel as if we as a society are on the cusp of another major society upheaval similar to what occurred in 1848 with the spring of nations or in 1917 with the Russian revolution and the collapse of the old reactionary monarchies of Germany, Russia, Austria, and the Ottomans.
    While income inequality was a significant factor 97 years ago, the main trigger of the Russian revolution was World War One. Without the war, the revolution would not have happened. And by the end of 1917 the monarchies in Germany and Austria were still solidly in place--they only  fell when they lost the war. The monarchy behind the Ottoman empire had effectively fallen years before to a military coupe led by The Young Turks. In 1917 the Ottomans were still actively and aggressively fighting the war with the support of their population. Post-war, the governments of these countries changed, but as a result of the war and peace terms laid down in 1919--not because of a popular uprising of any kind.

    Even in Russia, the Soviet state was just a switch of one group of elites for another. Millions were killed by the Soviet State post-1917 while freedom and human rights were more restricted than they were under the Czar. That rebellion did not improve the lives of the people very much and fewer would have died if Russia had been allowed to take a different path to a post-Czar government. WWI cut off that option and made the revolution possible.

    The 1848 Revolutions in Europe were more like the current Arab Spring--ultimately about new elites replacing some of the old elites. Factors of identity and nationalism were the drivers and as strong or stronger than any appeal to income inequality.

    While revolutions use the rhetoric of income inequality to get people into the streets, they rarely deliver justice.

    A better model to win would be the fight to end slavery and the ongoing effort for civil rights. After all, having enough income to live and thrive is a basic human right--a right that needs universal recognition. This is a long fight and we stand on the shoulders of the activists who have fought and won many, many victories. It is our turn now to be persistent, focused and real.

    When it comes to violent revolutions, history tells us that more often than not, that the elites--even if they are new elites--get stronger and people are killed. History also tells us that most revolutions are sold and promoted with historical fantasies.  

    I think arguments based on historical fantasies are not very useful for justice. OTOH, promoting  historical fantasies is how the elites to keep people divided and distracted. I don't think it is a tactic that a reality based community should embrace.

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:27:30 AM PST

    •  alas, your history needs some fixing too . . . ; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Librarianmom, mkor7
      the main trigger of the Russian revolution was World War One. Without the war, the revolution would not have happened.
      Nope. The main trigger of the Russian Revolution was the failure of Alexander III to effectively abolish serfdom. That led directly to the wave of political unrest against the Tsarist system from the 1870's all the way up to 1917. That's why the FIRST major Russian Revolution happened in 1905. The 1917 Revolution was Round Two.

      World War One was an enabling factor (as it also was in Ireland in 1916), but it was not a causal factor.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:55:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

        but WWI still stands as the main driver. There were reforms made after the 1905 revolutions and more were in progress in 1914. Without the war these would have been made and the Russia transition away from autocratic rule would have moved forward. The war stop that progress and the revolution replaced one form of autocratic rule with another.

        Even to this day Russia still has an autocratic ruler with equality, rights and liberty pretty limited and a larger gap between the super rich and everybody else than we have in the USA.

        Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

        by dengre on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:57:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Funny you should mention 1917 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Librarianmom, pat bunny, Subterranean

    I had a theory the 2010s were most similar to the 1910s that I posted a couple of years ago. The conceptual heart of my comment here is in this:

    Quick edit: This kinda went on. Apologies.


    Sometimes, people look to the past for information on what to think of these latter-day fiscal tribulations. A common exhortation, strongly felt by many, is: how about that jobs program? How about packing on not cutting back government employment, given that private-sector corporations openly post “unemployed need not apply” these days? If companies are doing that – and the practice is so pervasive a recruiter is calling me and saying “We only place winners – people who have the proven ability to keep their jobs in this tough environment.”… well that’s just not raising my confidence that the level of public policy technology (read;: that we need to make room for private direct investment and jobs growth) is anything but up to specs.

    Which brings us to the great meta question of the overall public policy debate: WHY NOT a jobs bill? This is past the hyper-partisan obstructionism of our right-wing brethren.  And why are taxcutstaxcutsdidImentiontaxcuts not working? Why is everything we (left and right alike) thought we knew about public policy and economics wrong?

    ...

    I think it may have to do with the cyclical pace of innovation – the introduction and testing of new idea, the developing of practical applications and proliferation of their uses in many markets, improvements in production processes and supply inputs, the activity generated by first their replacement of older products and practices and – eventually their own obsolescence and extinction.

    Before I never went further back than the 1900s...and my best data reaches back to the 1840s, so perhaps it's time to peek a bit further back.

    In terms of overall world growth in both GDP and population, all three eras (1840s, 1910s, 2010s) are similar. Gross stats like that are relatively easy to assemble.

    Yet the devil is in the structural details. GINI and other income and wealth disparity indicators can be somewhat thin even for the industrialized countries with good record-keeping for the 19th century (which, I think, was exactly one - Britain - for much of that era).

    One type of statistic that is fairly easy to track for the comparative era is inventions, one, because of the prestige and economic value of them and, two, the high pace over the past several centuries means plenty of data points. We have information we can work with. We know when research and in a broader sense thought around new concepts of how to get things done or to govern society began and how and when it was hashed out and introduced to general consumption....or not.

    More, we can take a simple product life cycle model to map these events in terms of an ongoing process of eureka moments, product rollouts, dissemination of products and services and ideas about freedom(!) and justice and the like through the global milieu. We can even track how some notions never quick got off the ground like, say, pneumatic railroads...though those might come back if Mr. Musk has any say in the matter.

    Why even bother? Because the structure of a society's portfolio of innovation - most basically, whether it even has any - describes that society rather nicely. Marx made a go at it with his attempt to tie ownership of the means of production to political economy - and his comments had such currency that not only adherents but critics have had to keep Marxist thought in mind ever since.

    Yet, Marx didn't have the richness of data we have available, data that can support finer-grained analyzed. We don't have to limit our discussion to one of  'labor versus capital' - that framing is obsolete. It had a good near-two century run and now it's not enough.

    We need to be discussion modes of innovation - and control of those decisions, because it's rare for any one segment of a society to dominate all of them.

    Where does basic research come from? Who wants to shut down public institutions conducting same? What's up with that, if not an attempt at monopolization?

    Who wants to control the airwaves and the bandwidth, because essential to marketing and dissemination of goods and services both economic and political, even the unwanted and unhealthy ones? Another tug of war.

    Who wants to decide what's conserved and replaced in terms of social norms, the environment and on down the list? Again, contention.

    And where does that leave us for comparing 2014 with 1848 and 1917?

    I mentioned before that all three are similar in gross characteristics. I stipulate it's not especially easy to use orthodox wealth concentration indices across this wide a time span. I advocate peering at the breakout of innovation modes, so I should get on with it.

    the 1840s were a period of modest innovation overall compared to the 20th century and (so far) the early 21st Century. It was the tail end of a long period where more new inventions, products, markets and job opportunities were created than destroyed by the same changes.

    Worldwide population growth in the 1840s was actually slowing down off earlier peaks - not sure why the slump but it's there in the records and would not trough for a couple more decades and which point it would pick up again like crazy. The same pattern is in place in the 1910s (see: a couple of world wars, the Spanish Flu). Yet overall, the trend from 1840 to 1960 is one of accelerating population growth - and then growth really taking off as health and wealth indicators in the former European colonies takes off.

    In sharp contrast, the 2010s are an era of dramatically slowing population growth world wide, a trend that has been underway since the 1970s and won't likely stop or at least another century if not more. The average world family have gone from having just over five kids each to just over two kids - and it's everywhere. We're moving toward not an expanding but a SHRINKING world population....though it will take some time before global negative net population growth sets in on the order of 50 to 100 years depending on who you ask. (Me? I think it's coming sooner than later.

    Yet at the moment, this difference between 1848/1917/2014 is one of degree not of kind. Those earlier slumps were blips, scary ones in the World War One instance for sure, but blips nonetheless. The fertility slowdown and the impact in terms of 'graying' of society and back-weighting of social services and political influence cannot be overstated. Before, the blips never dented much the opportunities for young folks to find work or to obtain public services in event they needed them.

    Now those services are being openly disparaged and rolled back, because austerity. And yeah about those jobs...

    The 1840s saw more jobs of some type being created because new modes of activity - new factories, need for persons to transport the goods, build the infrastructure (rail and roads and telegraph lines) to transmit them and news about same and handle the huge amount of paperwork generated to keep track of the business of colonial and corporate empire-building alike meant there was demand for work  - enough that labor and students were in position to make demands. (And get beat up for doing so.)

    Later on we have the 1910s. New modes of activity are popping up about the same pace as old ones are being replaced.  It's like the 1840s, only a tighter squeeze but opportunities are there - but the core industrializing societies of the era have the upper hand, even more than before. The radical revolutions take place this time out on the newly industrializing periphery, that is eastern Europe and Asia, most prominently in Russia. In nations like the United States there is labor unrest and yet there are also diligent campaigns to suppress 'Reds' that would continue well into the 20th Century and seek to conflate activism with Communism henceforth.

    And the 2010s are like neither era. We are coming off a local peak in innovation of basic ideas at the same time we're hitting a trough in exploiting on on-the-shelp opportunities AND the highest peak in destruction of older industries and economic sectors. Prior 'downsizing' peaks of this nature that coincided with market saturation events were the 1970s and the 1930s (and the 1900s the decade before World War II and the October Revolution).

    Yet never has the gap been so glaring, nor coincided with very long term slowdown trends in population growth, GWP growth, basic research and development of ideas.

    For terms of the 1848 versus 1917 comparison, we are closer to the latter.... but only in that the 1917 situation wasn't nearly as extreme or as hapless in terms of turnaround.

    For in the 1910s, the developed world had reached the limits of empire to sustain its competing-yet-colluding paradigms.

    In the 2010s we've reached the limits of the planet to sustain them.

    If there is silver lining to this story, it is that the world will adjust to a slower-growth paradigm. There will be jobs growth but it will be spaced out over decades not years. The economic cycles of peaks and troughs are flattening and drawing out.  Good times will be meh and last longer. The bad times will be meh, not so such, and last longer. But it will suck to be young in the proposed age of austerity and those who like that paradigm are ready to crush revolution in ways the elites of the 1910s couldn't possibly imagine or hope to have.

    For the same reason, what radical upheaval takes place will not take place in the developed downsizing core. It will be discussed and blogged here, and those discussions will be VERY closely followed here, but I wouldn't bet on such upheaval putting a dent in the bipartisan consortium we call a two-party system for another two or three decades.

    By that time, everyone who is upset about how things are now will be old, too.

    The real question is how kids who are learning to ride bikes, right now, will choose to handle things...because after a while, things are likely to tighten up yet again, same as how the 1920s and 30s followed the 1910s.

    And that's the sort of unsettling prospect that should get everyone's attention.

  •  Great first effort, and the poll (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously you do know quite a bit about history. I wonder if most history majors are left of center. The more you know about history the more you are appalled, especially lately, in watching it repeat itself. And I wasn't even a history major!

    Anyway, I particular like the poll. Sure, compared to a diary itself a poll is a trivial effort. But I haven't seen (I could be wrong if it's there but as I said I haven't seen) any poll like this here. It's good to take the pulse of what the bright people here think about the direction we are headed.

    I myself think we are going over the edge. Even if it were only going to get a bit worse but we'll make it (last option, basically...and right now the least voted for option), that will likely be thrown by climate change and possibly a serious pandemic, likely flu (hopefully the universal flu vaccine will be fully available by then-flu evolves more quickly than many human viral pathogens in part because it is passed back and forth between other species-mainly pigs and birds). But I digress. I was a microbiology major, after all.

    I've found myself guiltily glad not to be young anymore, but possibly that is because I'm barely making it in the current more stable (I suspect) times as it is.

    Anyway, good job! Nice to meet you!

  •  Agreed, but, those elites have rigged the system.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, Major Tom

    ...by capturing our media and downgrading our education system.  The young people of today (yourself, perhaps, excluded) are so distracted by the 24 hour a day media circus that most won't be able to disengage from it until it is too late.  

    The rot isn't only in the economic systems.  The pillars of our democracy; an educated and informed populace, a free and honest press, and freedom to assemble and redress or grievances to the government, have already been undermined!  Unless the societal revolution happens soon - and I think it will be escalated by the rapidly growing impacts of climate change - the people won't have the information, will or ability to fix things.

    "They call it 'the American Dream' because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin, 2005

    by Elasg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:49:06 AM PST

  •  The moneyed class is not (6+ / 0-)

    oblivious to the danger.  Hence the militarization of police forces (armored cars and machine guns for drug raids? really?) and the NSA (which apparently has failed to stop a single 'terra'ist', but is being used to spy on domestic 'dissidents').

    What they did to the Occupy movement is a clear indication of how seriously they take the threat.  Yes, they could have done worse, but they were patient enough to wait til the movement was down in numbers before acting, so as to not risk a much larger uprising.  In other words, they used the authoritarian arm of a police state to professionally crush a populist movement; violently, but in such a manner as to minimize concern from marginally-involved citizenry.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:50:02 AM PST

  •  Congrats on your first diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pat bunny

    I've been wondering about people your age lately. You grew up under the manipulative Bush Administration which made fear the central world view. Then, during the Obama Admin, the absolute worst of our society has spun out of control and been given a megaphone (Fox, Rush, etc.) while doing so.

    America is a funny place right now. On one hand, there is constant talk about violence and chaos, on the other, life carries on the same as it ever was and is pretty good for most, all things considered.

    I promise you that the crazy you are seeing here does not mirror what is happening in the rest of the world the way you think it does. What is happening here is crazy and in no way based on reality.

    I do believe that it is almost inevitable that we will see some truly ugly events along the lines of a Kent State level horror and the violence of the civil rights era. It will be awful and people will die but the shared horror will eventually serve to tone down the escalating rhetoric we are hearing from 'leaders' on the right because society will no longer tolerate it the way it does now.

    My thinking on this assumes, of course, that we do not see a far right Republican presidency come to the fore in the next election. If that happens, all bets are off.

  •  Not yet. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies

    I think that there is some possibility of our nation evolving into a corporate oligarchy based on corporate control of the media and economic levers such as blacklisting opponents.  A more modern version of the usual form of society for most of history.

    If the convergence of right wing ideology, outsourcing, climate change, and technological advances, especially in AI, cause mass unemployment, under employment, and destitution in a potentially wealthy society, then the possibility of mass upheaval will increase.  This could get very bad.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:23:27 AM PST

  •  It's Up to You (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fastwacks

    The path of history is paved by the consensus of 20-somethings "with too much time on their hands" trying to make sense of what current events mean within their understanding of past results and future possibilities.

    So far America's many young people (and even more of its older people) aren't finding any consensus about the future, and not even apparently about the present - or the meaning of the track record of the past.

    Meanwhile the oppressive powers have unprecedented power and insight into the past, present and future. Even the degree to which it's unprecedented is unprecedented.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:44:55 AM PST

  •  If you want real change... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango

    ...you have to find a way to make the decision makers suffer the consequences of their decisions. If they don't, their behavior isn't going to change.

    Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

    by Alumbrados on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 08:59:30 AM PST

    •  Like listening to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom

      the GOP still champion "tax cuts" as a solution to everything , because the dems refuse to hold them accountable for their failed policies , thus allowing the MSM to give the GOP a pass also , so the GOP suffer zero consequences

      And after everything , Obama and dems are still beating that drum , it makes me nauseous  

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:20:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  it may be a global catastrophe, either natural or (0+ / 0-)

    human events: (meteor, volcanic eruption, grid failure), and pandemic chaos may determine history so it will be more like 1348–50 CE than 1848 or 1917....or 1949

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:08:11 AM PST

  •  Our minds go automatically (0+ / 0-)

    to armed revolt , what is easy to forget is we are in the " communication " age , Dr King , Mandela and Gandhi's movements would not have been possible in other ages

    And the tipping point might be to address it before the powers that be take complete control of our advancement in communication technologies

    Effective peaceful movements completely disarm corporate war mongers , the problem is convincing people who are easily passivide to get outraged enough to take action

     

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:11:12 AM PST

  •  Very c00l 1st diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul

      If I may offer,
       Where are you? I.e. replies to comments...
       I'm 63, totally into music but with me it's the notes of both instruments & voices that register. I.e. What band or words of what song? My spasticmotic. So I totally get your name Derkommissar. When I hear the song from which, I'll go Oh Ya but right now my guess, totally without thinking would be the YEAR 1988, 1989... :) Long/short, I'd add a simple new wave band/.../like to your profile. DKOS has a lot of "elders." That might ring a bell...
       g00d Wishes...

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:28:53 AM PST

    •  PS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul

        Understand nervous. Keep it simple... Nice thought, Thank You... thinking... this is fun? Appreciate your comment.
         Though I'd probably be the same in a 1st diary, to get caught in a long/scroll... uyk (yuk:) :)

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:38:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The more things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb

    change the more they remain the same.  

    I am old but I do have a 20 something daughter.  She is in exactly the same place I was at her age.  Working at a low wage job, living alone in a very expensive city (Seattle), no car, tiny savings but no debt.

    Nothing has really changed except for a skewed expectation by way too many.  Your generation will find its way just like mine did.  Some will fail and some will be wildly successful.   Most will simply lead basic lives.

    We will have more wars and more politicians, some we will support and others we will not.  Don't worry too much over that.

    Also don't look to history or other academia to make your choices for you.  Pay attention and base your choices on what you see not what you hear.

    •  The plural of anecdote is not data (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, mkor7, Choco8

      In your (and my) day we had opportunity to move out of those low wage jobs.

      Those opportunities are becoming fewer and further between.

      It's one thing to be living that way at 20. It's quite another if you're still living that way at 30 or 40.

      Even worse if you're forced into at 50 because you get downsized - your odds of finding a decent job at 50+ are scarce.

      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 Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:46:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damn Pony Chasers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul

      Nothing has changed?

      I guess once you get used to the Great Sucking Sound, it kinda sounds like music.

  •  Great first diary-thanks! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, 3rock
  •  Two Main Form Of Income In The US (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, fastwacks, mkor7

    In the United States economy there are two main forms of income.

    - Wages: money earned for direct labor
    - Rent: money earned via ownership.

    Cutting taxes at the top allows the wealthiest to earn more. This additional earning is recycled into the purchase of ownership. More ownership means more rent. More rent means more income. More income means greater purchase of ownership. More ownership means more rent...

    You get the picture.

    This accelerating process of wealth accumulation is made much worse by the accumulation of power also associated with ownership. Owners have substantial corporate and political power and thus are able to shape the rules of the system. Common ploys include:

    a) Installing oneself as 'board members' or 'CEOs' and then paying oneself an outsized wage. In effect, this allows a partial owner -- with the help of board member friends -- to obtain a status as a special shareholder. These wages thus represent not labor, but preferential capital payments (increased rent at the expense of the other, less powerful, capital owners).

    b) Using the associated corporate power of ownership to put in place policies that increase shareholder payouts at the expense of wage labor (increased rent at the expense of wages).

    c) Accumulated ownership can result in effective control over a wide variety of companies by a select group. This creates defacto monopoly power even where no monopoly exists on paper (thus increasing rent extraction from consumers).

    d) Accumulated ownership results in massive political power. This increases the ability of special interest to influence the base rules of the game (thus increasing rent extraction from everyone).

    Since 'rent' is automatic and unattached to labor, the amount of wealth that can be accumulated by an individual via accelerating ownership is essentially unchecked. Progressive taxation, especially taxation of capital earnings (dividends, interest, capital gains, inheritance, etc...) create resistance against this natural acceleration. Thus, these taxes can generate a sort of 'terminal velocity' for maximum wealth accumulation.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:02:32 AM PST

    •  You forget to include the outsize influence that (0+ / 0-)

      the power holders have through non-profit institutions that they subsidize.   They not only control through outright ownership, they effectively run charities, churches, colleges, museums, and even grade school and athletic programs through leveraging their donations.
         Red Cross has always been a high paying haven for the wives of the connected (Libby Dole?).  The chairs of many universities are selected on the basis of contributions by donors -- hence the influence of corporations on food science (I think one of the buildings at Stanford has a plaque indicating huge contributions from Campbell Soups built it.)  
          Southern Baptist churches were so heavily influenced by donations that Carter was compelled to resign.  
          History is written by the victors, and museum exhibits are funded by donors that have a huge hand in choosing what goes on display to the public, and what doesn't.
          Every wonder why some lines of research in archeology, genetics, air quality, aren't followed up on?  Look to who funds the research -- if it conflicts with their ideology, permits will not be issued,  it won't be done, or it will not be published, or it will be 'frozen out' of the peer review process.  Credentials (backing by established interests) are checked at the door ...

  •  In 1848 and 1917 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, mkor7

    there were live, popular and radically progressive ideological alternatives.  If you look about the world today, the only live and active ideological alternatives to corporate capitalism are even further to the right.  In Ukraine, Svoboda, in Greece, Golden Dawn, huge organized movements based on gay-bashing from Russia to Uganda, even Sweden and Denmark show rapidly rising fascist movements.  Marx is finally dead and buried; even in places like Nepal which nominally adopt the slogans of the radical left, the practice is the banning of strikes and other working class militance which was of course the unifying thread between 1848 and 1917.  In the US, left opposition to the bailout of Wall Street by the taxpayer was so thoroughly crushed and discredited, that critique of the bailouts became the sole province of the Hard Right.  The so-called "left" in the US is constantly about the business of justifying forcing working people to finance the bonuses of the corrupt bankers.  Here at dkos we were repeatedly told to STFU about the bonuses in 2009.   This is 2014, and Reaction is rampant.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:11:34 AM PST

  •  I think that we are in a pre-revolutionary society (0+ / 0-)
  •  Can't really take the poll, b/c my answer is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidMS

    "Yes, and I'm scared to death it will make things worse, b/c the elites are ready for an uprising and to some extent even want one." cf "Krystallnacht" article in WSJ.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:30:48 AM PST

  •  Don't turn around. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    spitemissile

    Welcome to Daily Kos. FYI, as others have noted, it's good form to participate in the comments (at least pop in and say hi). It's an important signal that helps separate the promising new members from sock puppets and saboteurs.

    You won't believe what this gay dolphin said to a homeless child. First you'll be angry, but then at the 1:34 mark your nose will bleed tears of joy.

    by cardinal on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:58:00 AM PST

  •  The only revolution I want (0+ / 0-)

    is of hearts and minds.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 10:58:05 AM PST

  •  I'm Shocked, Shocked! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    Why there is still plenty of cake.

  •  1848 and 'Globalization' (0+ / 0-)

    If I recall my history, wasn't 1848 or thereabouts a crisis in the control of the British Empire when it was a tossup over whether the Queen would actually survive as Empress?
      Most of Europe was still headed up by monarchs, of one sort or another, and most of them were related by marriage or blood -- really, a connected society that helped globalize Europe.  Public Politics was rigged to help maintain their power, so not much blood was shed.
      Their reach was extended to the rest of the world by monarchy controlled trading companies that maintained their own standing armies in Africa, East and Southeast Asia, and the Islands.  Bloodshed and slavery were rampant and not accounted for, as long as resources were controlled and directed to the benefit of the monarchies and business managers.  
       Newspapers and muckrakers made abuses apparent, and changes were forced.   Over time they began to control the news, and we got rock music and radio and then TV to get information and ideas out, but they began to control those.     For a while we had an internet .....
        The more things change, the more they stay the same ...

  •  1917: February or October? (0+ / 0-)

    Which Russian "revolution" do you have in mind, or might be inclined to support?

    The more-or-less democratic February revolution that overthrew the Tsar?

    The Bolshevik October putsch that overthrew the regime that overthrew the Tsar?

    The Bolshevik January 1918 dissolution of the Constituent Assembly following their smashing electoral defeat and the refusal of the assembly's majority to support Lenin's policies?

    (In elections held in November 1917, following the Bolshevik putsch, the Socialist Revolutionaries won 48.1% of the vote and 380 deputies, including the Ukrainian SRs; the Bolsheviks won only 24% of the vote and 168 deputies.)

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 02:02:19 PM PST

    •  a little of both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      another American

      I had both in mind when I wrote it and generally my views on it are complicated and difficult for me to clearly and adequately define.

      Politically I'm more inclined to support the menshiviks policies who I felt were far more moderate and willing to cooperate with the other parties.

      However, I support the first less radical overthrow of the tsar led by the provisional government than the later one lead by the bolshiviks

      however-however, the inability of the SR's, or more accurately the SR-Right to actually make good on the most desired demands namely the end of the war and the recognition of the various independence movements while the Boshiviks were willing to live up to these puts my sympathies towards them in that specific regard.

      Generally speaking it's difficult for me to accurately get my feelings across on this and the topic of this diary because my own politics are a confusing hodge-podge mix of various different ideologies.

      And I understand there are vast difference between those revolutions and what we are experiencing today, my point is that I feel we're are, as we stand today, getting close to conditions for a general societal upheaval. Of what sort and kind I can not say exactly. I just feel that something really big is in the works.

      And of that I don't feel anything is inevitable, my point was that the leaders of society make them so by a lack of effort to make reforms which based on my own perception of events I feel is currently the case. I don't trust our leaders to do what is right because they are either ignorant of how bad it really is or they know but don't care. Whats more I also feel that traditional means of effective non-revolutionary forms of protest are either no longer effective or even exist such as labor unions that would allow us to make our needs be more heard or major democratic shifts since the increasingly corrupted processes of our government by the rich has me both worried and disillusioned.

      I brought up those revolutions as a example because whatever their outcome and differences from our own situation, I feel they are a good example of what happens when the government/elites of society refuse to listen to the needs of their people for too long.

      sorry for the long response. I'm rather new to this and most of the points I wished to respond to have somewhat been lost in the comments.

  •  We've all been tamed, bamboozled (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think we're on the verge of a revolution; I think it's more likely that we'll all be fighting amongst ourselves for the crumbs.  That's the American hegemony--our media has convinced us that it's some other lower class guy that's stealing from us, not the very, very wealthy and connected, and that otherwise, there'd be plenty of opportunity and resources to go around, when in reality a very few are monopolizing everything.  Until we come up for an antidote for that particular brand of b.s., that's what it'll be like--disenfranchised battling it out over immigration, gun control, low wages, water shortages, energy issues.  I like Obama in many ways, but he hasn't advanced our cause in this area much at all, and it may be too great a shortcoming to forgive at this critical moment.  He could've done so much more if he'd played hardball right from the start of his first term.

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