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View Diary: The banana republic in which we stand (196 comments)

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  •  democracy (8+ / 0-)

    We will have some semblance of democracy when we have countervailing powers--when unions get strong, measured by membership, money, and STRIKES.  Right now, what unions we have, for the most part, beg--not fight--for benefits and conditions.  Playing nice is the same as playing dead.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:02:17 AM PDT

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    •  Gandhi didn't play nice, neither did MLK (9+ / 0-)

      Non-violence is not impotence.  Action against profit or property is a form of non-violence.

      Gandhi's Salt March is a good example of this.  It was a strike not just against an unjust law, but against the profit-making ability of the British in India.

      Mass civil disobedience spread throughout India as millions broke the salt laws by making salt or buying illegal salt. Salt was sold illegally all over the coast of India. A pinch of salt made by Gandhi himself sold for 1,600 rupees (equivalent to $750 at the time). In reaction, the British government arrested over sixty thousand people by the end of the month.

      What had begun as a Salt Satyagraha quickly grew into a mass Satyagraha. British cloth and goods were boycotted. Unpopular forest laws were defied in the Maharashtra, Carnatic, and Central Provinces. Gujarati peasants refused to pay tax, under threat of losing their crops and land. In Midnapore, Bengalis took part by refusing to pay the chowkidar tax. The British responded with more laws, including censorship of correspondence and declaring the Congress and its associate organizations illegal. None of those measures slowed the civil disobedience movement.

      Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:17:00 AM PDT

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      •  Who was it who called non-violent resistance (5+ / 0-)

        "moral jujitsu"?  It's from from passive or "nice." However, while it's good for stopping a war or obvious injustice--such as British colonialism or legally-enshrined American apartheid--IMO, it's difficult to sustain long enough to effect structural changes in less blatant injustices in economic and/or political power.  For the latter, some institutional base is needed, and the most obvious (only feasible?) base for progressive change in America has been almost fatally weakened over the last 60 years -- unions.  There IS a reason, after all, why American plutocrats have always hated them so much.

        "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

        by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:18:50 AM PDT

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    •  One sided trade agreements (8+ / 0-)

      that allow companies to pit American workers against third world competition making $1 per hour, along with the sorry state of labor law enforcement, have led to a situation where striking will get you permanently replaced--not fired, mind you, that would be illegal--and refusing to accept pay cuts will get your job sent to Malaysia.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:59:47 AM PDT

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      •  Dean Baker often points out (4+ / 0-)

        how fortuitous it was that doctors, lawyers, bankers, et al (aka the donor class) were exempted from the effects of unfettered "free trade".

        Strange that.    

        "The philosophy of conservatism is inevitably doomed by its adherents' willingness to accept bluster as a sign of character and thick-headed devotion to meaningless symbols as sign of moral fiber." (Albert Einstein)

        by Jim R on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:30:44 PM PDT

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