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View Diary: Red states show exactly who is going to 'sacrifice' and who is going to 'share' (72 comments)

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  •  Conservatives are committed to a (11+ / 0-)

    stratified society.  The believe that the strata are necessary to reward obedience and punish disobedience.  After strata defined by racial, ethnic or gender characteristics were effectively ruled out with the end of legal segregation and the implementation of universal suffrage, a new stratification tool had to be found.  Money, which leaves no fingerprints, turned out to be ideal, especially since it proved particularly easy to deny access to money to certain target populations (much the same as were targeted under the previous regime) and to relieve those who managed to acquire some by setting up a fee structure for public services that used to be free.  Privatizing public functions helped, as well, as did the changeover from cash to vouchers.
    Scarce money provided a perfect shield for continuing the transfer of public assets into private wealth with hardly anyone noticing where the money went.

    In a sense, the importance of social stratification was compounded by the fact that, in addition to universal suffrage, other legislative achievements such as FOIA and government in the sunshine requirements actually made it possible for the promise of government by the people to begin to be realized.  Without public access to records, it really wasn't possible for the public to know what was being done in their name and which resources were being given away.  Now that they are more aware, the stratifiers have to be in push-back mode.

    The people have to be kept under control and all institutions which subvert stratification (education, labor, communication, etc.) present a challenge that has to be confronted.  But, the bottom line is that the people are enemy number one and the public corporations they own have to be vitiated.

    'Tis treason under cover of law.  We have a long tradition of violating our principles and commitments to human rights with restrictive laws.  It started with slavery, continues with draft and "stop loss," and enjoyed a resurgence with DADT and DOMA.  When the object is to subjugate other humans, the rule of law is ideal because, unlike a flesh and blood tyrant, its head can't be offed.

    From a conservative's perspective, the rule of law is a sort of secular religion serving the nation, instead of a more traditional deity.  And, it has the advantage, denied to orthodox religions, of being able to resort to physical force when the people don't do what they're told.

    by hannah on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 04:35:45 PM PDT

    •  Fantastic insight-I seriously mean that!! (0+ / 0-)

      What's the endgame in your view?

      1. The serfs have to realize they've been made serfs. That will happen when ___.

      2. Then the serfs will revolt when ____.

      'We can make the trains run on time but if they are not going where we want them to go, why bother?' Neil Postman

      by history first on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:30:41 PM PDT

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      •  We're still at the beginning. (1+ / 0-)
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        Self-government or government by the people was only a vague promise as long as large portions of the population were excluded from participation.  But, even more important than the civil rights revolution (civil rights = misnomer, since citizenship is a bundle of obligations) has been the information revolution -- not just the freedom of information, but our ability to access it.  As long as people couldn't find out what was being done in their name, they couldn't know when to object.

        What we're seeing now is an effort by the traditional power players to halt the erosion of their positions.  Privatization, to a large extent, is mostly a rear-guard action to shift public functions into an arena (private corporations) where they aren't as easily monitored and inspected by the public.  The power mavens, both in the public and private sectors, feel challenged and rightly so.  What we, the challengers, don't fully appreciate is that we have the power, as Howard Dean proclaimed.

        Public corporations are man-made and ipso facto able to be modified and un-made -- as the Governor of Michigan is trying to demonstrate with his emergency power grab.  What hasn't gotten as much attention is that private corporations are also man-made, creatures of the public, and just as liable to being "reformed."  Indeed, that's being demonstrated momentarily as the health insurance companies/corporations are having their standards of operation reset for them.  States, mainly, are in charge of private corporations and setting standards for their operation.  That these standards have been, in the main, aimed at making their operations easier, less challenged by competitors, not responsible to customers and insuring a healthy profit are all things that can be changed.  That some states are resisting change can also be changed by setting up a public variant to provide what's needed by the clients.

        Our legislators have been inclined to let private corporations do the dirty work, real and electoral, for them and that's mainly why they've resisted exercising the authority they have over corporations and targeted the public, their enemy, instead.

        Government by the people means that public officials are servants, not rulers, and that's not a welcome development for our self-designated ruling class.  Neither the officials nor their supporters are happy campers.  What we the people need to understand is that man-made bodies (public and private corporations) are and are supposed to be subordinate to the natural person -- that human rights come first and property rights come last.

        There's a reason we haven't heard much about humanism lately.  Property rights, as exemplified by the ownership society, serve as a sop to compensate for the violation of human rights and property is much easier to manipulate.  Indeed, humans can be more easily controlled when their access to sustenance is restricted by the selective allocation of our resources as property rights, without assigning concomitant obligations to share the surplus.

        by hannah on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 03:17:04 AM PDT

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        •  Thank you on so many levels! (3+ / 0-)
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          RadicalRoadRat, hannah, avsp

          I appreciate the great intellectual exercise :-)  
          Just a couple quick thougths:

          This corroborates my thinking that the internet, the last/only real beacon of democracy, it doomed as we know it. Free-flowing information is dangerous says to the plutocrats.

          What I wonder is if the political leaders, who are so willing to outsource and off-load services to their corporate patrons, realize that, in doing so, they themselves run the risk of becoming serfs (see: Scott Walker)...

          'We can make the trains run on time but if they are not going where we want them to go, why bother?' Neil Postman

          by history first on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 06:00:57 AM PDT

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