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  •  We need to engage in calls to conscience... (16+ / 0-) order to get the public involved.

    It's easy to say that the problem is apathetic voters, but that doesn't get us anywhere in terms of solving the problems. Me, I'm for problem-solving!

    •  then I hope you can solve the problem of people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, tkrawftg8

      threatening to quit if they don't get it all their way?  and then actually staying home and losing elections as in MA, VA and NJ. That seems to be a bit of a problem to me. But what do I know.

      •  You're completely right (9+ / 0-)

        We need people to participate. We all lose when they don't.

        I'm a big believer in small 'd' democracy, and in engaging the public in every way we can. I've been spending my time trying to do that in all kinds of ways, but it's a problem all of us have to work to solve.

        •  Although I have always been extremely interested (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ivan, cotterperson, boofdah, tkrawftg8

          in 'politics' in terms of life choices and reasons we make them in every aspect of our lives and have wworked in the fields of c iivil rights and cultural struggles for indigenous peoples in my work all my life,  it was NOT until I got interested in the mechanics of the process during the Kerry/Bush campaign that I became more active myself in political politics..

          It was only in the 2008 primary, when initially as a Clinton supporter, also for 'life' reasons as a career feminist and a single mother, and then later as a fervent Obama supporter in the general, that i atually understood how the 'donkey work' of making phone calls, knocking on doors, reminding people to vote, was what made the difference. I joined groups to debate issues, advocated for positions, and for me that was a biggie because i am pretty much a loner and not a joiner, a leader and not a follower, but I understood fully that it was only by group dedicated effort that elections could be won.

          I do NOT consider it essential that I need to fully embrace ALL aspects of my parties or candidates positions, but I do totally understand that NOT participating is tantamount to giving the election away without a fight.  And that even though no election solves all problems or changes everything, not being in power solves nothing.

          That is why, although I respect and admire passion, conscience and advocacy, in the final analysis i believe it is absolutely necessary to just hold your nose, if you have to, and VOTE your party into power. And continue to fight for change from a position of strength and not weakness.

          I realise that not everyone agrees, and believes in principle over everything. However, this movement on the right is truly frightening because they are singleminded in their absolute imperative of returning America to a past they long for. That past is rooted in the American revolution and we no longer live in the 18th century, but we shall be returned to it if we don't have the will to fight back. Like it or not.

          •  The right is rooted in the past, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, gmb, isabelle hayes

            but not in the ideals of the American Revolution. They ares rooted in an imaginary vision of the Revolution where the country is "based on the Bible" (most of the founders were actually Deists), and some ridiculous frontier idea where everyone was a hyper-individualist.

            "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

            by orrg1 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 03:28:38 PM PST

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            •  I am not talking of 'ideals'. I am speaking of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cotterperson, Terra Mystica, sharonsz

              tactics. Todays seminars were most instructive, a blueprint in how the Patriots picked the British off one a a time, by hiding behind a tree and sniping.  In this instance Democrats are a standin for the British.

              That is the reality of this Revolution. They truly believe they are on the right side of history and are doing the Lord's work. They quote Thomas Jefferson and  co-opt any philosophy that they can twist into the strands and weave their own tapestry of their vision of the past.

              Wake up. Ignore them at your peril.  Just like the British did, they thought they were a joke.  They brag about not having a standing army, this is a 'family values' revolution in their minds and the tracts written by the Christian Coalition are their Bibles.

          •  Unfortuantely (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            yes, that is true

        •  And when (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, gmb, kareylou

          you work 13hrs a day 4 to 5 days a week and there still ain't enuff of anything on the kitchen table.. distractions abound.

    •  A more expansive call to conscience is necessary. (12+ / 0-)

      This won't be popular, but I'll write it anyway.

      There is perpetual weeping and gnashing of teeth on this site about the politicians who are in the employ of the very corporations who are destroying our economy, denying us healthcare and poisoning us and our environment.  We moan endlessly about how these politicians take money from corporations, then do their bidding in Congress.

      Maybe we should all take a look in the mirror.  We just might see a hypocrite.  How many of us deposit our money in those corporations' banks?  How many of us shop at those corporations' places of business and buy their products.

      And the most uncomfortable one: how many of us are in the employ of those same corporations and do their bidding daily?

      Why should we expect our politicians to be better than we are?  If we're not willing to make hard choices and to sacrifice our comfort and security, why should they?

      Take a look at William Greider's The Soul of Capitalism.  Americans are funding their own destruction with their purchases, their investing and their labor.  We are collaborators in the destruction of a viable future for ourselves and our children.

      How foolish it is to think that we can serve corporate masters 90% of the time, then come together, donate a few bucks, make a few phone calls and defeat corporatism.

      "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

      by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 03:30:48 PM PST

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      •  The employees are not the problem, (6+ / 0-)

        except for the relative few at the top. I'm sure many Kossacks are employed by corporations and wouldn't fault anyone for that. We certainly shouldn't be divided about that.

        For two summers during college, I worked on an assembly line for a corporation, then called Baxter Laboratories. Twenty-five years later, I was working at the local newspaper and the CEO of Baxter Healthcare International came in to explain the latest lay-offs and proclaim the wonders of globalization.

        In return, they sent some of their engineers into the high school to help students learn to make robots. Now other corporations are involved -- all in robotics. Talk about a bitch slap!

        They are the borg. They must be defeated (if it's not already too late).

        •  I think that's too easy. (4+ / 0-)

          They are the borg.

          Corporations don't hire people.  They assimilate them.  It's easy to see that around here.  We have plenty of people employed in the financial industry who may be great progressives on war/peace issues, LGBT issues, even healthcare.  But they will defend their industry even in these times when their employers are indefensible.  Part of that is self-interest (like the politicians we love to criticize), but part of it is a blindspot carefully developed by the employers with the tacit consent of the employee.

          But the larger problem is that corporations don't function without income from consumers, investment money from pension funds and other sources, and most importantly, without workers.

          If you're saying that lower level employees have no say in how the corporation is run, you're absolutely right.  Greider points out that workers and corporations have entered into a bargain.  The workers give up having any say in how the corporation is run.  The corporation gives the workers "absolution" for any effects their work has on the broader community.  Nobody ends up being responsible for their own actions.

          Once you acknowledge that, working for the Corporate Masters (and employment in the U.S. is clearly a master/servant relationship) begins to sound a lot like "I was only following orders."

          But I appreciate your response.  My intent is to be provocative.

          "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

          by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:08:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except, of course, that lower level (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gmb, goinsouth, Terra Mystica

            employees have all the say in how corporation is run, when they exercise their power.

            That power isn't easy or cheap to exercise...but workers certainly have it.

            Laura Compton, spokesperson for "I've always said that it's a coalition and the Mormons are Goliath."

            by JesseCW on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:30:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No say institutionally. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cotterperson, shaharazade

              At least in most circumstances.

              Some exceptions:

              When employees assume part of the ownership of a corporation, usually in times of distress.  Even then, it's very tough for employees to actually gain a role in managing a company--see United Airlines.  Greider has a few examples of when employee ownership has succeeded in changing corporate culture.

              When employees organize and form a union. BUT, the Wagner Act and its subsequent interpretation limits employees' say to matters of wages, hours, working conditions.  Workers have no collective bargaining rights when it comes to what a company sells or how it markets its products.

              There are other forms of organization where employees do have a say, like worker cooperatives.  That form of organization fosters worker involvement and responsibility.

              "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

              by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:48:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Now you're talking. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Those folks are likely to be short-timers though.

              It beats a resignation letter.  It sure as hell beats "go along, get along."

              "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

              by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 05:40:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  "They assimilate them." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, island in alabama

            LOL! That's exactly what the borg did ;)

            Yes, lower-level employees' lack-of-say is exactly what I mean. My intent, on the other hand, is to be inclusive of them to strengthen our numbers and efforts against the beast.

            "Too big to fail" needs to be broken up at the highest levels. If we can "assimilate" the workers into our group, we'll be that much stronger.


            •  Who co-opts whom? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade, island in alabama

              That's the question.  Looking around the Democratic Party these days, I think the answer is pretty apparent.

              And, given the dire economic and political straits we're in, I don't think it's the wrong time for a community that professes belief in progressive ideals to call itself and its members to account for their behavior and activity beyond the very narrow realm of conventional, i.e. electoral political activity.

              "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

              by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:50:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, they are. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gmb, shaharazade

          We all make choices about what we will or will not support, what we will or will not enable.

          Just because none of us are innocent doesn't mean we're not all guilty.

          Laura Compton, spokesperson for "I've always said that it's a coalition and the Mormons are Goliath."

          by JesseCW on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:27:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  People would rather not think about it. (0+ / 0-)

            It's much easier to congratulate ourselves on how we're so much smarter, so much more progressive, so much more compassionate than the Tea Baggers and the neo-cons.  We vote the right way.  We donate to Act Blue.  Aren't we great?

            Then we spend the other 95% of our time, effort and money supporting corporatocracy.

            How the politicians and their corporate owners must laugh at us and our hypocrisy.

            "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

            by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 05:58:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Are today's ehtics (0+ / 0-)

        In serious jeopardy?

        •  Do we have ethics today? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, shaharazade

          Beyond "look out for no 1?"

          I hope so.  But we sure have some blind spots around here about who is responsible for the ascendancy of corporatism.

          There are not enough Republican and DINO Dem politicians in this country to fund the multinationals, buy their products and staff them.  Somebody else must be involved.

          "Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system." -- Emil Brunner

          by goinsouth on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:21:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  you have a point (0+ / 0-)

        but we meed a reliable list of who to boycott and why and it must not be just rumor but based on fact. Then the boycotters sign a petition and send it to the companies to be boycotted and let them decide where they stand and what positions and candidates they will support and then boycott.

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