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View Diary: Beyond Views of Barack Obama: "We're All In It Together." (274 comments)

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  •  Your response is what I feared (5+ / 0-)
    I suppose the question I am asking is what do you think this is about? I think people with power don't give it up. The centrist are not looking for allies. The powerful interests in our society like Wall Street certainly are not. I have met them.  They are looking to retain power. That's what this is about. Your approach is what progressives would like to believe is everyone's interests, but it is not everyone's interests.

     I am describing how his behaviors fit into the greater society. I am not calling him a corporatist. I am saying that it does not matter whether he is one or not since that is the result of the power struggles and the centrism that he chooses to use in addressing struggles with the powerful.  The whole frame is irrelevant. It is Obama-focused. Obama is a tool. He is either our tool or those of the powerful. It comes down to that.

    •  I understand that (4+ / 0-)

      people with power don't give it up.  But see South Africa re end of apartheid.  That, however, took years of struggle.  

      I understand that the 1%ers are looking to retain power.  

      My approach is not this:

      Your approach is what progressives would like to believe is everyone's interests, but it is not everyone's interests.

      I believe in class conflict, with the working class struggling to gain a better life.

      We just see two things differently.  First, I think Obama is fundamentally with working people more than with Wall Street, notwithstanding some of his policies that suck.  Second, I see this as a very long struggle in which Obama is just an important person now, but will not and cannot determine the eventual outcome.  

      The 1%ers have grown very strong.  Defeating them and changing America will take far more than the next few years.  Obama moving a bit left won't do it.  It might help, but this is a very long struggle.

      I'm not naive.  I just disagree on tactics and the idea that Obama "is either our tool or those of the powerful."

      I think improving the lives of people is worth a reform path and Obama is a left of center reformist who MAY, and just may, lay the groundwork for future, deeper changes.

      But your critique is necessary.  We need left voices who push.  

      "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

      by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:48:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not South Africa (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, TomP
         since that was as far as  I understand it a racial struggle.

         I am not  a leftist. I am a moderate politically speaking and believe strongly in capitalism, but of a different kind than that  which is practiced in America right now.  The leftist doctrines are great as critique but like anything taken too far it can cause just as many problems.

        I simply find the laissez faire/plutocratic type capitalism that came into power as a result of Reaganism destructive. I am a follower of main street or middle class capitalism, pragmatic policy making not based on entrenched interests and appreciates the complexity of markets as not being simply a matter of black and white government bad slogans. Under this view, capitalism is for maximizing the wealth of the maximum number of people rather than just the few.

        I can give you some practical examples if you do not understand what middle class capitalism entails. The Cap Gains rate would be used to focus on investment in main street rather than in the paper finance economy. Diversify economies are a good thing because it prevents economic shocks. Smaller banks are preferred not because I am against large companies but because they promote more efficient allocation of resources for technical developments and innovations that will help the most number of people.  We want to change the dynamics of healthcare because it wastes GDP and resources. These are all things I believe. I use the leftist critique for describing the political nature of the debate. That power is not given up easily is true regardless of whether one agrees with leftist about all their solutions.

        •  I'm to your left, (2+ / 0-)

          although we agree on much.

          "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

          by TomP on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:43:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I appreciate that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie, CWalter, TomP
            I used to get in trouble with this guy Matt Stoller over at Open left and when he was at because I am not particularly leftist.  He has this thing about copyright, and I felt he did not know what he was talking about, but that's a digression.

            My focus is different than being a leftist. I am a moderate, but I have seen the country shift so far right that people now define what used to be moderation as leftist.

             My belief is that the country is skewed so far to the right that we are entering not a working market, but a plutocracy, and that last year's bailout for example was kleptocracy. Those concepts are not particularly leftist other than in the sense that they are to the left of free market extremism as touted by Reaganism, the Washington Consensu, neoliberalism and other ideological rather than pragmatic understanding of how markets and economics work.

            Another practical example- I am for energy diversification, or the green economy, because for moderate reasons- our economy should not be dependent on oil as that affects our economy aversely rather than for what are probably different reasons for leftist.  If you look at Brazil, it has a growing energy diverse economy, and was the last to go into the recession and  one of the first to come out of it.

      •  There is a book I recommend (4+ / 0-)
        The Great Risk Shift. The point is that over the decades Reaganism has shifted natural risks from the corporation to individuals. Risks such as mortgage risks that one would expect of businesses, the cost of education being so expensive that people are not able to start businesses, the cost of healthcare being so high that people are forced to stay in jobs, etc. All of this produces a bad economic outcome overall for the economy and reduces the chance for wealth for as many people as possible.
    •  someone who thinks of people as tools (4+ / 0-)

      is surely not the people I will follow, or probably give much attention to.

      •  yes I am sure my analogy is why you feel the way (0+ / 0-)
        you do.
        •  no. your objectivization of individuals into (0+ / 0-)

          things you will utilize to achieve your agenda. You know, tools.

          •  TomP got my point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie
            And you are mischaracterizing because you don't like the arguments. It is pretty sad that this is the best you can offer as rebuttal.
            •  There is no point that should be more relevant (0+ / 0-)

              to progressives than the inherent value of people, and in my experience anyone who is willing to call anyone a tool is not a progressive. Leftist maybe, progressive never. Corporations consider people cogs that fit a role, and that to me considering someone (anyone) a tool for their use is exactly the same thing. You may think it's in a good cause, but it's to me it's a flaw that should be decapitated where ever it shows it's head.

              •  You really don't understand analogies (0+ / 0-)
                •  I do understand anologies (0+ / 0-)

                  but I don't think you were actually using it as an analogy.

                  •  No you do not (0+ / 0-)
                    You go on and on and on completely missing the point. This is like the discussions that I eventually had to end with people in the early 90s who went on an on about whether we should call ourselves black or African American. It missed the point. You do the same here. I will have to just bow out. I am just not equipped for this kind of conversation. There is too much actually important things to discuss.

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