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  •  The prime reason for apathy (1+ / 0-)
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    4Freedom

    is a sense of helplessness. What mobilized people during Occupy was the feeling that we could actually do something, that we could in fact create some sort of change. I think direct actions targeting banks should be next on the list.

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:01:30 AM PDT

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    •  I agree that the financial institutions bear (1+ / 0-)
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      AoT

      much responsibility for the decline in global economic wellbeing, as do many corporations. They are under increasing scrutiny in countries everywhere. Russian oligarchs are feeling the pinch, as are many Chinese employers looking to profit from low wages and overwork. The Chinese government will not permit dissent, so many restrictions are being eased, even the one-child rule.

      This seachange will take years to accomplish. The power elite is very entrenched, and their minions are still in power positions. But global elections are defeating the oligarchs one by one. Egypt is boiling over with dissent. Elections in Indonesia are indicating a desire for change.

      Change is happening and will continue to do so until more people are satisfied with their living conditions. But, without some major external stimulus, that change will be slow, much slower than we progressives would wish.

      The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. Woodrow Wilson

      by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:15:23 AM PDT

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      •  That's certainly not the case in Europe (1+ / 0-)
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        4Freedom

        And in Russia the oligarchs may be under control, but they're under the control of Putin and his psuedo-fascist regime. There has been a lot of noise around the world and there have certainly been a lot of things to lead me to be hopeful, but the idea that there is some sort of wave of elections making people freer just doesn't really fit with the reality I see out there.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:07:44 PM PDT

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        •  I'm taking the long view, because the short (1+ / 0-)
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          AoT

          view is, and I think it will continue to be, quite oppressive for the workers of the world. But I was part of the action in the sixties, and I see the same upswelling among youth today that happened back when. Society can never successfully compress the activism of youth, once engaged.

          In the US, the stimulus of enlisting young men to fight an imperialist war accelerated the rate of change back then. Now the power elite have a "volunteer" army instead of a proscribed military. But that is because they helped create the economic conditions that made enlistment the only option for many who lacked other opportunity. That sort of motivation can only last until there are other job opportunities for our youth, and the slow economic upturn will be creating more and more opportunity over the next few years.

          The enlistments will slow. Lack of veteran care and diminished benefits are disenchanting many who might otherwise enlist. And the downturn has caused military defunding, so the war drums aren't quite as loud.

          As to engaging younger Americans to vote, the kids are asking why in heavens name they should vote when there is so little opportunity for them. This will change as the dollar continues to soften and foreign goods become more expensive. There will be an even greater resurgence in manufacturing, creating many more jobs. Our agricultural sector will grow, as imports become more expensive.

          For this and many other reasons I am hopeful for our future. Even an event like CBS replacing Letterman with Colbert gives me hope, because CBS won't be able to contain Colbert's activism. Here and there are glimmers that our near future contains more hope for working Americans than our present.

          At least that is my hope and my wish and why I am active in politics.

          The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy

          by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:59:19 PM PDT

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          •  I'm hopeful about the long term (1+ / 0-)
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            4Freedom

            I just don't want to look through rose tinted glasses at what is happening now. We've got a metric fuckton of work to do to make these things a reality.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:18:23 PM PDT

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            •  I couldn't agree more. Our economy has been (0+ / 0-)

              on a downward spiral for the better part of a decade. It wasn't only the '08 market break that broke the back of our economy. It was purposefully shoved over the edge by those who could exploit economic weakness with financial manipulation.

              However there have been some serious prosecutions of fairly top-tier financiers, and the TBTF banks are on high alert. As the Fed just increased loan margins, speculative bank activities will slow. The TBTF high velocity traders won't have such huge leverages to play with. Thus the cash-clogged financial institutions will finally be forced to loan into the consumer market to remain so profitable.

              But little, if any, big improvement in the economy seems to be in the cards for 2014. This is going to be another difficult year for smaller businesses seeking loans, jobseekers, and underemployed workers.

              As you say, there is that metric fuckton of work to do to achieve any substantial improvement.

              The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy

              by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

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