The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. . . .
All the major correctives to American democracy have come through movements and third parties that have operated outside the mainstream. Few achieved formal positions of power. These movements built enough momentum and popular support, always in the face of fierce opposition, to force the power elite to respond to their concerns. Such developments, along with the courage to defy the political charade in the voting booth, offer the only hope of saving us from Wall Street predators, the assault on the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry, the rise of the security and surveillance state and the dramatic erosion of our civil liberties.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any,” Alice Walker writes.
It was the Liberty Party that first fought slavery. It was the Prohibition and Socialist parties, along with the Suffragists, that began the fight for the vote for women and made possible the 19th Amendment. It was the Socialist Party, along with radical labor unions, that first battled against child labor and made possible the 40-hour workweek. It was the organizing of the Populist Party that gave us the Immigration Act of 1924 along with a “progressive” tax system. And it was the Socialists who battled for unemployment benefits, leading the way to the Social Security Act of 1935. No one in the ruling elite, including Franklin Roosevelt, would have passed this legislation without pressure from the outside.
- What’s wrong with lesser evilism (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
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Best I can tell Mike is either an Any Rand or Ron Paul libertarian, a laissez-faire capitalist, or possibly an anarchist (whatever happened to those fine folks?). What’s interesting about the post and Mike’s response is that they each seem to think something different represents the “authority” that must be questioned. I infer that Mike thinks we are already a socialist economy that saps free will and free enterprise whereas others think a corporate state, ruled by a shadowy oligarchy, really runs things. They don’t agree then on who is really in charge and both have identified largely mythical wizards as managing the controls behind a curtain. Demonizing the opposition is part of ‘getting one’s blood up’ to challenge the status quo… I get that.
I think it is fairly clear we are a blend of both socialist and capitalist systems. And the reason we are is that the blending of the two provides a balance that people seem to like. Our consumerist economy produces lots of things and toys to keep us distracted and amused while social programs (like Social Security, Medicare, subsidies) are there to stabilize us when we have maxed out our credit cards. From time to time this merger gets out-of-whack leading to abuses either from a completely unchecked capitalism (2008 financial industry near-collapse) or an overweening socialism.
I guess my ultimate argument here is that ‘authority’ in an of itself is not necessarily evil. As Bob Dylan sings, “everybody’s gotta serve somebody.” Authority should be challenged. We just don’t agree on who or what should be questioned the most. Maybe, just maybe, we are actually in charge we, deep down, like things the way they are… messy, with no one really in authority. Wait, I just described the current U.S. Congress.
You say you “question authority”, and yet you support the income tax?
You seem to support authority here. So always support authority would seem to be more fitting.
Same thing in supporting the Green Party. Support authority.
As for the nonsense about radical labor unions fighting to end child labor or get a 40 hour work week, again, support the authority propaganda. It was the free market, no government authority needed that did those things. Not violent unions, but businesses investing in capital advances that made the economy more productive that enabled those advances.
It wasn’t laws but real, physical production that led to those things.
And supporting the criminal Social Security system is by no means questioning authority.
You cannot support socialists and still question authority, or even pretend to care about civil liberties. These are antithetical ideas.
As for “always question authority”… you should try it.
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