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View Diary: [UPDATE - MORE PHOTOS] 200,000 Rise Up in Brazil - "The People Have Awakened" (333 comments)

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  •  See all those protesters wanting more bank fraud? (2+ / 0-)
    "No, I think the take-home message is that American political life continues to operate much as it always has—where those who are capable of producing the greatest amount of political pressure are the ones who see their agenda put forward. "
    Yes - but notice the distinct lack of public protests/demonstrations for more bank fraud, or all those people marching for more deregulation of the petroleum industry, or the huge number of people saying they want tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

    These days political pressure is measured not by public support, but by the number of dollars you can give to a political party or candidates for office.  

    The agenda of the wealthy and corporate interests is served by our legislators because those wealthy and corporate interests are able to buy the legislators and the laws they want, not because they have massive public support.  Some weathy interests like the Kock Bros. tried to generate public support by creating the Tea Parties - but that public support has largely died.

    What we the people can do is obvious: become richer.  Of course, many Americans would like to do just that, except the laws these days make it difficult if you are currently not wealthy.

    But whether you have the wealthy enough to apply political pressure or not, the fact remains that our political system was originally founded on the idea of government of, by, and for the people.  Government of, by, and for the wealthy is antithetical to such a philosophy.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:08:33 AM PDT

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    •  That's not an immovable object. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Aquarius40
      These days political pressure is measured not by public support, but by the number of dollars you can give to a political party or candidates for office.
      That is how political pressure is measured "these days," because those who lack dollars to donate to a party, candidate, or super PAC have not effectively used the power they do have in an effort to make it otherwise.

      There are numerous examples just in the last five years of countries whose people had significantly less political power and were under significantly more oppressive regimes were able to make their voices heard and demand change—either by building a new power structure, or by scaring those in power to make government more responsive.

      So "money to donate" is obviously not a timeless or unchangeable measure of political pressure, but a condition that can and should be changed... and thus, the question shifts to how the people can change that condition.

      Or, in other words, as I asked above: "What can we do in order to put more pressure on American political figures to put forward our interests?"

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

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      •  Guns laws? Climate change? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        The topics of gun laws and climate change come immediately to mind.

        Both topics have massive popular support, yet despite that, the government does little to change either (my applause tho' to Pres. Obama for at least advocating for greater regulation of gun sales and use).

        Despite that very popular support and a great deal of direct activism, the policies in place oppose the popular wishes.  Money wins out over popular support and activism.

        So go ahead and tell us what we can do without money to move our government.  Yes, change has happened in other countries, typically only with violence (Iran, Libya, Egypt, ?Syria).  Is that what you are advocating?

        Of course we could try to get richer, because the government only responds to the political pressure of money, but that would only be pouring gasoline on our burning "democracy".

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:50:37 PM PDT

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        •  Direct activism? Hardly. (0+ / 0-)
          Despite that very popular support and a great deal of direct activism, the policies in place oppose the popular wishes.  Money wins out over popular support and activism.
          There's been a lot of popular support, but really not a lot of direct activism—at least, not on the scale that we're seeing in Brazil.

          Sure, there have been a lot of people signing online petitions, forwarding emails, and liking Facebook pages, and a few rallies and protests, but we haven't seen cities shut down because the people demand climate change legislation or better gun safety laws.

          We haven't seen oil refineries where the trucks can't get in or out due to the mass of humanity blocking the way. The NRA met just last month at a convention center in Houston with very little difficulty; members could get in and out easily, without being blocked outside by 100,000 protesters standing against their opposition to gun safety laws.

          So go ahead and tell us what we can do without money to move our government.
          200,000 Brazilians are telling you pretty clearly what we can do without money to move our government.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:04:03 PM PDT

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