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View Diary: Ordinary people losing trust in the economic system - and doing something about it (191 comments)

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  •  no doubt - (23+ / 0-)

    No doubt, indeed.

    And yet, those holding the pitchforks never stood a chance, against the one holding them back.

    It is one of those things that totally destroys trust in government.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:06:28 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  those holding the pitchforks would rather not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, shypuffadder, Nada Lemming

      use them. They would rather government did its job. That's a characteristic of Americans. It was during the last Great Depression.

      Unfortunately, this time government is in no condition to do its job.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 11:56:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's why things will never change (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik, MrJersey
        those holding the pitchforks would rather not use them.
        When the aristocrats living it up in the palace know the peasants can't or won't act on their anger because they're afraid for their souls if they fight back, why would the aristocrats change anything?  Did you really think they'd mend their ways voluntarily?  That your magnificent pathos would move them to pity?  Did you think three spirits were going to visit them on Christmas Eve?

        There's no reason not to use the pitchforks because it's not like there'd be aristocrats left over after a peaceful revolution anyway.  Superficial reforms can always be undone by the raw power they've only papered over, especially after the peasants themselves go home satisfied and get back to the business of staying alive.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 07:54:58 AM PST

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        •  The primary characteristic of the western liberal (4+ / 0-)

          in comparison to more radical leftist elements, is the pervasive fear of losing their lives and luxuries.

          That fear is why wealthy liberals sold out the radical trade-unionists, communists and anarchists.

          In return the robber barons gave liberals a couple seats at the table, some temporary benefits and an extra large serving of smug.

          The whole decade needs an asterisk.

          by James Kresnik on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 08:56:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  most western liberals aren't peasants (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJersey

            The western liberal is looking to preserve and expand access to the fruits of a mature industrial society.  You could argue that there's a limit to how radical we can get before we risk destroying the very thing we're fighting over.  Marx and Lenin even thought that a mature industrial society was a necessary precondition for a socialist revolution - before Mao, for one reason or another it was thought that peasants (as opposed to urban factory workers and laborers) would not revolt.

            The radical leftist in the Third World is fighting to keep the corrupt government agents of international capital from kicking him off his small farm.  There's little around to be destroyed by violence, especially from his own perspective: "So long as I have my land and my life, I can literally rebuild my home, everything I own, and my source of food and income."

            That is much less of an option for us.  A revolution that destroys the vast and sophisticated physical infrastructure that our society depends on might not be worth it.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:26:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Liberals also specialise in pendantry. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gjohnsit
              The western liberal is looking to preserve and expand access to the fruits of a mature industrial society.
              Which can only be accomplished when sufficient political, economic or military pressure is brought to bear on the owners of industrial capital to force a new social contract.
              You could argue that there's a limit to how radical we can get before we risk destroying the very thing we're fighting over.
              There's no argument that the amount of radicalism is clearly insufficient to reverse a four decade long decimation of the working and middle class, all during a period of unprecedented productivity, the likes which the world has ever known.
              Marx. Lenin and even Mao even thought that a mature industrial society was a necessary precondition for a socialist revolution
              Marx and Lenin were only half-smart.

              They correctly identified that a large concentration of economic power in private hands lead to great abuse and inequality.

              They then concluded a complete shift of that economic power to the state would result in less abuse and greater equality.

              Modern liberals of various stripes are even dumber than that. Whether redistribution Keynesian, classical liberal (libertarian) or Chicago School, they all operate under the delusion that concentrating economic power in the hands of both capitalists and government would lead to less abuse and inequality.

              What all these failed ideologues missed is that all large concentrations of power lead to abuse and inequality. In addition, the self-dealing elitists utterly write-off both individual initiative and labor, replacing it with the authoritarian power of large institutions, always attracting sociopaths, and always yielding the same predictable consequences.

              The ugly truth is that concentrated power corporate or state, have the same corrosive effects. Concentrated power attracts people who only seek power and care nothing for individual human beings. Concentrated power inevitable leads to abuse and inequality. After a certain threshold of concentrated power is crossed, that power can't be negotiated or reasoned with, only bypassed, coerced or destroyed.

              This state can be best described as "power concedes nothing without a struggle."

              The radical leftist in the Third World is fighting to keep the corrupt government agents of international capital from kicking him off his small farm.  There's little around to be destroyed by violence, especially from his own perspective: "So long as I have my land and my life, I can literally rebuild my home, everything I own, and my source of food and income."

              That is much less of an option for us.  A revolution that destroys the vast and sophisticated physical infrastructure that our society depends on might not be worth it.

              It's amusing that you expect people to believe that this straw-man Thrid World leftist is somehow more odious than capitalist oligarchs effectively enslaving the surrounding population and strip-mining all the resources for himself.

              That aside, it's a false dichotomy, fueled by two, naturally authoritarian, assumptions:

              First, a significant re-balancing of the social contract is necessarily destructive. There have been innumerable revolutions that did not result in a destruction or reversal of civilization.

              Second, that concentrated political and economic power, i.e. authoritarianism, is both necessary and essential to civilization and society. This assertion may have had some weight in the past, but the historical fact is that vast concentrations of power have little correlation with health of societies or civilizations.

              What does appear to matter are happy productive, not abused citizens. This happy, productive state is best achieved with an engaged and proactive citizenry. An engaged and proactive citizenry has the ability to at least negotiate with power. In addition these citizen negotiators will be at least minimally cognizant that some degree of personal sacrifice may be necessary to confront authoritarian power structures.

              It's amazing how a bunch of racist hick farmers and debauched lawyers could figure this out in 1775, but we somehow can't figure it out today.

              Now, if you're actually arguing that a re-writing of the social contract can and does adversely affect the fortunes of hypocrites who have benefited inordinately from a unbalanced political or economic system, then you will have no argument from me.

              The whole decade needs an asterisk.

              by James Kresnik on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 10:45:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Odious? (0+ / 0-)

                It's amusing that you expect people to believe that this straw-man Thrid World leftist is somehow more odious than capitalist oligarchs effectively enslaving the surrounding population and strip-mining all the resources for himself.

                What do you mean?

                And what is pendantry?

                Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                by Noisy Democrat on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:29:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The ultimate challenge to plutocratic capital (0+ / 0-)

          is the peasants developing a much higher degree of self-sufficiency.

          Unfortunately, that requires a lot of work and an acknowledgement that some problems are best addressed by individuals and small communities rather than corporations and governments.

          The whole decade needs an asterisk.

          by James Kresnik on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:06:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  self-sufficiency requires ownership (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AshesAllFallDown

            Land, factories, etc.  Calling that the ultimate challenge to plutocracy is true but tautological.  Though it does reinforce the difference between taming the plutocracy and eliminating them.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:10:39 AM PST

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        •  Wow, don't jump down my throat. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not saying I'm personally against pitchforks, though I prefer using them as a last resort.

          I was describing a condition, not advocating for it.  

          A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:26:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm describing a condition too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gjohnsit

            The plutocracy is confident that no matter how bad things get for us, we will not take any meaningful action against them.  We'll keep voting, keep working and shopping, and half of us will just dig themselves deeper into religion and tribalism - otherworldliness and false consciousness - that will make them better cannon fodder for the plutocracy.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 09:29:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It'd be foolish to ever trust a government. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik, Cambridgemac

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:41:12 AM PST

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