I do not share Occupy Democrats posts but this one carries important news so PLEASE SHARE. For those who cannot find their way to an organized event, DO SOMETHING. Stand in the street, hang from a window, make noise, stand in the way, make business as usual impossible.
The trumpsnotabovethelaw.org site says that Carson City will be a gathering site.
Careful my progressive friends in how you proceed in your work to reform politics in this United States of America. Remember how we go to where we are now, the most progressive party of the but two we have that currently get notice is not at all very progressive. The joy that should be felt for the Jones’ win should be tempered by the fact that, even though he had done some good things in his public life and holds some decent values, a progressive he is not.
But this is not about Doug Jones. It is about the problem of giving into the idea that progressives—real progressives—cannot win election and, therefore, because winning elections is important, vote for the most progressive of candidates even though that most progressive candidate gets us nowhere toward solving the problems with which we should be concerning ourselves–real economic reform that attacks with vigor income inequality, a system that works to keep wages low and profits high, safe and sane means for accumulating and keeping pensions and retirement funds, job security and health and welfare security, clean air and pure water (that we serve ourselves through our municipally owned water providers, not Nestles or Coca Cola), safe streets and safe everywheres without worry of getting shot and killed by idiots toting high power firearms, good—no, great schools that insure that the public is so well educated as to want to participate in the democratic decision making process and know how to go about keeping themselves informed about what really is and doing with that information what well educated citizens of a democracy do.
Yes, progressives, real progressive ARE about redistribution of wealth and they are about government services and government programs that serve the people well, are so well funded that they can do the work necessary to insure that people have good, safe, and healthy foods available to them, that they have the information they need to live healthy lives, that they have access to good medical care and the medicines and treatments they need to be well and live full lives, that they have access to medicines that they need that are safe always and never unaffordable.
Real progressives want solid and sensible infrastructure of the kind that is as efficient, clean, and effectively serves the needs of the people and those who provide the goods and services people need to live a very good life on a very healthy planet.
Add to the list what you wish, if it is a wish for real progress, of the kind that helps create and support a truly humane society.
To begin the process of making progress we need to hold tight to those things called principles and ethics. We cannot win even a single day if we continue to support those who do not really support what they should. Good enough is not good enough if we are ever going to make things better. I really do not care about party anymore and I certainly do not think the current two major parties can be very helpful in pushing through even a half way decent progressive agenda.
Two choices here: Radically reshape one of the extant parties or start a new one, the latter option a hard one to achieve if it is going to be viable, but probably the only real path to progressive reform given what the democratic and republican parties are now.
This may be about old history but it has to also be taken to be about something called principles and principles, if proper ones, do not get so old as to become obsolete and retrospect is a necessary aspect of any perspective that is legitimately principles, principles violated in the past proper exemplars for conduct in the present and future.
I remember really liking Bill Clinton and seeing him as the president who would take us into a better future (I was not paying attention to important details such as who Robert Rubin was or the polishing up of predatory capitalism that was going on or the make the streets safe for the haves by jailing forever those who made the haves feel unsafe). So, when the scandals were coming to light, I tried to make dim their significance.
I have wondered, more so now than before, but before too, about how I and others dismissed those who were making look ugly our pretty boy, our champion, thought about the fact that getting a blow job from a rather young woman in the confines of the White House, should be looked upon as deviant behavior, perversion, less so, foolishly, in terms of power dynamics, but wrong in so many ways, the enemies of the man right in their condemnation of the behavior, those enemies enemies of so many things I believed in, right though to excoriate Bill for his actions.
I remember cursing him for giving THEM, these self-righteous religious bigots (as I saw them), a reason for being self-righteous and I was righteously appalled by the sheen of dignity he put upon him by acting so disgracefully.
But I was happy that he stayed in office, continued to see him as the good against the bad and was angered by the accusations from other women who came forth to complain of his abusive behavior, dismissed them as surrogates for the bad people out there who wanted to have America be what they wanted it to be, not what I wanted it to be.
So, now, these many years hence, I really do not care to have Bill or the woman who stood by his side punished. I do want to have sensible people consider the principles and how they may have treated them then and how, now, they should consider that treatment and what it means for moving forward in a principled manner.
In order to sustain “our” standard of living, we will live by their rules, and their rules become our standard way of living.
The conversation below began with my post calling for a post passing of the tax bill boycott of Christmas. The response, in my mind, is a sensible one and one indicative of a future in which the moneyed will have their way every day on every issue, because it is the moneyed who we cannot resist, cannot fight because of what they can take away if we really do rebel against their usurpation of power that should be in the hands of the vast majority of people and not a very few.
We will not resist, there will be no meaningful rebellion because in doing so, because of the way the system runs, we hurt ourselves. If we were to boycott, the made to be inevitable consequence would be punishment in the form of lost jobs and lower pay, a loss of what we have come to understand to be prosperity.
While we continue to feed the system that, because of the way we have allowed the system to develop, because we want to be able to live a life that we have learned to be the prosperous life, that is the kind of prosperity we have come to accept as the standard even though our acceptance of it has led to and will continue to lead to the degradation of democracy and planet and what we may, at some point, discover to be an unacceptably low real standard of living, life without natural beauty, without access to those places where natural beauty still exists, a place where poverty grows worse, affects even more people, where wages never move upwards, where education of the kind needed to be informed and thoughtful citizens is not readily available, where racism and sexism grow more virulent and…
You cannot fight those who in order to be fed and content (there are other ways to achieve contentment, but they have been advertised out of our consciousness) if we have to feed them in order to feed ourselves. We can find better and more democratic and humane ways to feed ourselves, but it is very difficult to do away with the only diet we know.
Here is the telling conversation. This is in no way meant to say that the individuals involved are the problem. The problem is that they live within a system that is terribly problematic and unfair but, to contend with it in any meaningful way, in a way that might bring about the kind of change that would be right change, they would be forced to give up things the UNDERSTANDABLY do not want to give up, SINCERELY believe they cannot give up because of the way their lives would be affected, the way in which their children’s lives would be affected.
What is problematic about living what we got because it is enough is that the children might find, in the world that is the result of the pragmatic and cautious approach, a world in which we would not ever wish upon them.
Me (on poster): Tax Bill Christmas Boycott
Me (in comment following posting of poster): Use the money to fund change. Go downtown and meet people in the park. Buy food for those without much. Buy Tax Bill Christmas Boycott shirts (proceeds going to the anti-wealth in the hands of a few campaign–somebody needs to make them), beer and wine only from non-corporate brewers and vintners, gifts only from non-corporate entities, and whatever else to make this the kind of holiday we need.
Respondent 1 Also a great way to hurt small businesses. I try to shop local and keep it small, anyway.
Respondent 2: While I agree with you, there also has to be a balance. My family relies on sales in a corporate store and if sales slump even more, hours get cut. The people who will lose hours (or their jobs) are the ones that are likely going to be hit hardest by this tax plan.
Me (to respondent 2): So Ms. _____, you prove the point that we are caught up in a system that hurts us that we cannot rid ourselves of or even adjust because it gives us back what we need and want. Indeed, the corporations will cut hours and do other things to show us who is boss and we will be somewhat made miserable by it. The cost, of course, is giving into a system that allows for corporations whose stockholders and executives make more off the workers labor than the laborers do. There is a better way but the path there is one that we probably never take for the very reasons you offer in your statement. The tax bill passed because we have chosen to empower, have chosen to give up our power to the corporations who use that power to buy legislation that benefits them at our expense. Merry Christmas. Keep feeding the monster and he will continue to eat us alive.
Respondent 3: I wanna spend my yuge tax break windfall.
Respondent 3: I don’t see what that boycott is going to do. And I might point out you are a big fan of pine of the most egregious offenders… Apple. And here we are on Facebook.
Me: The implied charge of hypocrisy should not be used to undercut the viability of my argument for a boycott. I do buy goods that are made by bad companies and Apple is but one amongst many that do what they can to insure that investors are made wealthy and by means by which I do not approve. I want things and I go where I can get what I want with some consideration of the significance of the brand in regard to decent treatment of people and the role the company plays in the world as a corporation.
That said, the call for a boycott is not contradicted or made unreasonable by my buying habits. I refuse to be a part of a boycott by one because such a boycott would do nothing to change the conditions I wish to change through a boycott.
What a massive boycott, and not a tiny one, would do is damage the economy. That is the purpose, to make the economy hurt, to make those who benefit most by the current economic system hurt the most, the investors and the executives who are constantly finding ways to make the system better for themselves by making life worse for others. Consider the post-Christmas scores that are rendered and the glee or tears shed depending on how much consumers spent. Note that, as Julie said, the slower the season the more the working people suffer. That is, the less they by, the greater they are in jeopardy of earning less money or being laid off. The American public has to spend the money it earns so that it can have the work needed to buy enough to keep the economy strong enough to support their employment!
So, it is harmful to save, to refrain from purchasing! That is quite an insane way to be forced to live. And, yet, we tolerate the system because we need the jobs that do more to insure a luxurious life for the wealthy than they do to enhance the quality of life those who are doing the work live. And, as our purchases make those millionaires and billionaires ever more wealthy, they use it to fix the system so that it works to give them always more and less to the rest if such is necessary to buoy the profits.
Something has to give and I think recent history shows what it will be, the people of this country giving into a reality they cannot affect without hurting themselves, a reality that is not the one they would have if they had the power to make change, but the reality they must accept if they are to continue getting along. To change the reality we currently have and complain about, we have to change the dynamics of the society and to do that we have to bear for a time the repercussions of messing with what is, what we are used to.
We won’t do that. Our children’s children will likely be beaten up by a system even worse than the one we have now. They will feel the pain of our not finding a way to do something about our odious present so that their futures will be truly good ones. Very sad.
Respondent 3: I wish I had a realistic answer but this isn’t realistic either. It doesn’t have a chance to gain the numbers to make it effective.
Me: You are right. For this reason the reaction to the royal screwing we took the other night will maybe be a march or some phone calls but nothing that will really help to change the reality that allowed for such a travesty to occur.