Skip to main content

Without sounding too dramatic, I believe that the survival of the Democratic Party depends largely on whether or not the base agrees or disagrees with the following statement:

Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing:  a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else's expense.  Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s.

This quote is from a recent post by Glen Greenwald, and it makes the case, in so many words, that concern for "corporatism" has fundamentally changed the political landscape in this country--forever.

Unless we decide if this argument is true or false, the Democratic Party will go down.  Evidence of this unfolding is already clear here on DailyKos.

Left vs. Right is Obsolete?
What Greenwald is responding to,  here, is Ed Kilgore's argument that the right's long-standing opposition to "corporatism" (extending all the way back to The New Deal) and the left's relatively new opposition to "corporatism" (extending mostly back to Clintonism) are irreconcilable positions joined by a common term:

To put it more bluntly, on a widening range of issues, Obama's critics to the right say he's engineering a government takeover of the private sector, while his critics to the left accuse him of promoting a corporate takeover of the public sector. They can't both be right, of course, and these critics would take the country in completely different directions if given a chance.  But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it.

In other words, Kilgore is saying that the left and the right have joined forces because of a common term ("corporatism"), but are in fact not joined in their ideology or their goals because they hold two opposite definitions of that term.

Greenwald then responds as follows:

This supposedly irreconcilable difference Kilgore identifies is more semantics than substance.  It's certainly true that health care opponents on the left want more a expansive plan while opponents on the right want the opposite.  But the objections over the mandate are largely identical -- it's a coerced gift to the private health insurance industry that underwrites the Democratic Party.  The same was true over opposition to the bailout, objections to lobbying influence over Washington, and most of all, the growing anger that Washington serves the interests of financial elites at the expense of the working class.

Note the claim at the heart of Greenwald's argument: "...the objections over the mandate are largely identical--it's a coerced gift to the private health insurance industry that underwrites the Democratic Party."

From this we begin to see Greenwald pushing to a new definition of the political landscape.  Greenwald is making a "lift-the-veil-before-your-eyes" kind of argument,  here, in which he makes the case that the political landscape we think we see before us is just an illusion--a production, as it were, put in place by the two forces that benefit from this image of political reality, at the expense of those who do not benefit from it (coroporations/ruling party vs. the people).  

There is no left vs. right.  There is only inside vs. outside.

Alliance Based on a Moment of Consciousness
Now, buried within Greenwald's argument are a series of other claims that are difficult to present for the simple reason that they offer judgment about key aspects of the Democratic Party, including the netroots.

So before I present them, I just want to make clear that unless these claims are understood and evaluated, it is impossible to avoid the total collapse of the Democratic Party--that may seem dramatic, but I believe it's true. Therefore: Try not to feel judged by these claims--instead focus on evaluating whether they are true or false.

Implicit Claim 1: Most Supporters of the Democratic Party are living in a state of false consciousness
Because most supporters of the Democratic Party see the political landscape in terms of left vs. right, which is the model produced by and for the benefit of corporations and the ruling party, ergo, most supporters ofthe Democratic Party are currently living in a state of false consciousness.  This means that most supporters are arguing, campaigning, donating, and otherwise working for a party that directly runs counter to their personal and collective interests.

Implicit Claim 2: The Only People With Consciousness are those who See the Battle Against "Corporatism" as the True Political Landscape
According to Greenwald's logic, those who no longer see the political landscape in terms of left vs. right, but not see it in terms of insider vs. outsider--they are the only people who are truly awake or conscious, meaning: they see reality for what it is, not for what the corporations and the ruling party want them to see. Right now, these people include so-called "right-wing" (obsolete term) Tea Bag Party adherents who fought against the bailouts and are now fighting against the current health care bill, and so-called "left-wing" (obsolete term) bloggers and activists who fought against the bailouts and lobbyists and are now fighting against the Senate health care bill.   These groups are conscious, whereas other groups are not, because they reject the left vs. right political fighting as a distraction, and focus instead on the inside vs. outside fight.

Implicit Claim 3:Those Fighting Against "Corporatists" are Fighting against Fundamental Negative Change, Those Fighting To Uphold the Parties are Fighting to Put in Place Fundamental Negative Change
This is a difficult claim to summarize neatly, but the logic is this:  given the split between those who are awake and those who are not, it follows that those who are not awake are advancing--with their advocacy, blogging, donations, volunteering, etc.--the "corporatist" agenda.  In other words, the "corporatist" agenda is being advanced by those who are doing it consciously (larger corporations, ruling party elites) and by those who are doing it unwittingly through their support for what they believe to be the correct side in the left vs. right split.  Those who unwittingly support "corporatism" will continue to do so until they wake up or gain consciousness about the true nature of the political landscape.

Implicit Claim 4: Political Activism No Longer About Support for Party, Is Now About Raising  Consciousness RE: "Corporatism:
This last claim follows on from the first three, is also implicit, and is the most sweeping of all.  In essence, if we follow Greenwald's argument to it's logical conclusion, our political orientation extends beyond critique of the Senate health care bill--beyond critique of the TARP bailout or the Fannie Mae funds or the Afghanistan Policy--to a unifying critique of "corporatism."  By seeing the truth in the corporatist argument we are pushing towards a broad recalibration of political understanding of the world--a geological shift away from seeing the surface of things, towards seeing what is really real underneath the surface.  In that new fight, the battle over party candidates, media pundits, cabinet positions--all of that is trivial, compared to the truth that lies beneath it all:  that if corporatism is allowed to entrench itself, the fundamental nature of American society will change, citizenship as we understand it will be a farce, and democracy will be little more than a fiction produced by the ruling party marketing arm and private corporations.  

How To Evaluate this Argument
I have a great deal of respect for Greenwald's argument, in part because the political problem Greenwald is trying to think his way out of is complicated that it requires many false steps before we really get to solution.  Kilgore's simple binary logic seems correct at first, and so it was incumbent upon someone to point out the weakness in it.  

But to evaluate Greenwald's definition of "corporatism" and the subsequent claims he implies, we should begin with a very basic question:

What is the alternative to "corporatism"?

If, in other words, we are arguing against one system, what is the system we are arguing for.

Now, there are several well-known examples of this kind of consciousness shift logic having been argued in history. Marx and Engels, as most of us know,  argued that the surface of political relations were illusory as compared to the truth in the conflict between labor and capital.  Either you were conscious of this truth, or you were unwittingly supporting the capitalist exploitation of labor.  The alternative, in Marx and Engel's vision was a system in which all capital was held in common by labor--an inversion of the system along the lines of already existing socialist ideology.

Another kind of consciousness shift logic argued in history can be found in religion.  Both Christ and the Buddha (just to pick two famous examples), argued that the world of appearances was false--what we see is not what is real.  The real world is the inner world, through which we discover either God or peace or true being.  Their alternative to the struggle of the world of appearances was a retreat into the inner self, a world based on selflessness.  

I offer these two suggestions not to say that either are relevant, here, but simply to say that there is a very wide range of possibilities when one makes a consciousness shift kind of argument, as Greenwald has done.  When thinkers in the past have asked the public to see what is really real beneath what they think is real, they have also directed that public to some kind of vision of what the world would be like if the vast majority of people woke up (e.g., a socialist state based on equality, a peaceful Buddhist retreat, etc.).

Greenwald offers no alternative vision--which puts us in a difficult position.  Fair enough, not all the heavy lifting can be done by the same individuals.  But how do we know what mass consciousness will bring unless we know what the alternative is?  Without an alternative, mass consciousness will bring mass outrage, but not the creation of a new system.

Separation of Private Businesses and State
Having giving this missing alternative some though, I believe one alternative--without simply dredging up the left vs. right split--is something like this:

a capitalism system with a constitutional separation of private corporations and the state

In other words:  what we should for as an alternative is a system where states and private corporations are forbidden, by law, from converging. Moreover, and this is a key term, the separation of corporations and the state as an alternative would be to guarantee that corporations would never encompass the state--where state power would never be a subset of a non-democratically governed private company.

Now, with this basic alternative to our current system in mind, I want to turn back to Greenwald's assertion that, "Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing."

In the current debate, the Tea Party movement claims that government, by taking over the health care sector, is imposing too much government control.  They see as the loss of that control a loss of freedom, meaning: individuals are not free to do whatever they want because government is limiting their expression and their ability to succeed, by taking control of private corporations.

What we find in this Tea Party argument is a very different vision from the one articulated above.  The alternative to "corporatism" that the Tea Party calls--and one which draws in new members on the belief that they have achieved consciousness--is a world where no government can ever encompass a private corporation.  

And, in fact, we find the lament about "government limiting freedom" under the Obama administration (and the Clinton administration, and FDR, etc.) to be a common theme of the Tea Party movement.

A different alternative.

Corporations Must Never Encompass Government
If we conclude that government can never encompass private corporations, then we would also need to conclude that a great bulk of our state and federal law was unconstitutional--given that a large part of what our legal system does is govern business.  We are, in other words, a nation with a deep history and belief in the idea that it is not only legal, but it is good for government to be more powerful than private business--of which the large corporation is the main example at the moment.

In our politics, very loud participants in the debate do not agree with this basic idea.  There are currents of conservative thought extending all the way back to the founding of the republic that argue against the power of government over private land holders, and slaveholders, and monopoly holders--and shareholders. These currents have found their expression in a politics of the right in this country that has and still does call for the dismantling of our government in order to advance a specific alternative:  an America in which the constitution forbids government to encompass private business.

Conclusion: Focusing Our Understanding of "Corporatism"
In the end, I have to reject Greenwald's argument about left and right critiques being identical because the left and right are divided by two very different visions of society.

In the left pushes for a system where private business entities are kept separate from the state, whereas the right pushes for a system where private business interests are left unfettered by government.

What does this mean vis-a-vis the health care bill?  It means that a health care bill that cedes too much ground to private business such that it can be said that private business encompasses the state and the expense of citizens--that is a problem.  The Senate bill is a problem.

The idea that only a select, small few are conscious enough to see the reality of the world as it really is--this too is a problem.

The reality of the world we live in is extremely messy.  That means that we must chart a path that banks short-term gains and long term gains.

Millions gaining access to community care via the Sanders amendment--is a short term gain.  It will directly improve millions of lives right away.

Millions being able to cut health care costs due to access to health insurance---however bad those policies may be objectively--is better than millions not being able to cut those costs in half without any health insurance.  That will improve lives right away.

Millions being forced to purchase health insurance from the very companies that have terrorized them for decades with a sinister system of coverage denial bureaucracies--that is a terrible step to take that will effectively force middle class people down the economic ladder like people trapped in an elevator that suddenly drops ten floors.   The cruelty of telling people who are already being abused by the system that they are now required by law to be abused by the system--is unethical.  

The difficulty is that neither the current political organization nor the current economic concepts in the debate are anywhere close to developed enough to offer a viable alternative.  Even with the existence of the elegantly effective "single payer" idea, there is no equivalently effective model of political organization to achieve it.  And so we are stuck with messy.

The question is:  can we keep dealing with more and more of the mess until we have something that is workable for the greatest number of people--and at the same time keep pushing to separate private business and the state--or will we be subsumed by claims that the only true way forward is through consciousness raising on a mass scale?

I have argued, here, that we are better served by actually understanding what we mean by "corporatism" than by leaping at the first definition we find--however well intentioned that might be.

Any initial, mass call to consciousness will create some short term chaos. Where we go from here is up to us.

Originally posted to Jeffrey Feldman on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:48 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (332+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pontificator, Kimberley, claude, Kitty, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Susan S, JWC, Phoenix Woman, copymark, alyosha, ctkeith, AaronInSanDiego, Superribbie, GussieFN, ljm, mem from somerville, emal, dengre, Yoshimi, rincewind, musicalhair, LynChi, Pescadero Bill, LEP, Troutfishing, Earwicker23, scorinaldi, autoegocrat, theran, shpilk, bumblebums, expatjourno, Caneel, RubDMC, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, bronte17, leveymg, magnetics, mbayrob, nyceve, pdrap, chuckvw, Frederick Clarkson, javelina, Clues, oceanspray, felagund, Bearpaw, sidnora, Eddie C, Melanchthon, Getreal1246, Eric Blair, emmasnacker, Dallasdoc, jlynne, ranger995, grannyhelen, TiaRachel, desmoinesdem, churchylafemme, noveocanes, a gordon, RebeccaG, coigue, Pohjola, walkshills, VerbalMedia, tnorwood, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, moggie12, valadon, rmx2630, mm201, greeseyparrot, Sajun777, soros, Into The Woods, chumley, tovan, Simian, radarlady, 3goldens, ManOnTheBench, Strat, glynis, JanetT in MD, CTPatriot, azygous, sangemon, Philoguy, willibro, grimjc, Luetta, clammyc, truong son traveler, eightlivesleft, ChemBob, Brooke In Seattle, owlbear1, NLinStPaul, cfk, Heartcutter, jimreyn, jabbausaf, Sandino, kaliope, FunkyEntropy, spunhard, The Raven, Cory Bantic, playtonjr, jj24, Ekaterin, ohcanada, rostekth, Indiana Bob, dancewater, TMP, jay23, xaxnar, Jim P, Mother Mags, martini, third Party please, plum, njr, Opakapaka, BlueInARedState, ActivistGuy, HoundDog, Gorette, Terrapin, buhdydharma, rhetoricus, IvanR, VictorLaszlo, mcartri, kck, greenearth, NBBooks, Libby Shaw, imabluemerkin, Frank Cocozzelli, CTLiberal, Preston S, Dinclusin, dirtfarmer, doinaheckuvanutjob, hlsmlane, Pilgrim X, richmonds, profh, GiveNoQuarter, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, means are the ends, RantNRaven, blueoregon, kurt, drdana, poxonyou, Picot verde, 20shadesofviolet, Friend of the court, sasher, Nulwee, john de herrera, tegrat, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, TheKost, dotsright, Cronesense, Duke S, camlbacker, FWIW, DAO, wiles, yoduuuh do or do not, kath25, david mizner, veinbulge2000, Cofcos, HeartlandLiberal, Matt Z, Jimdotz, terabytes, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, LamontCranston, deepeco, DWG, Desbrisay, Seneca Doane, jayden, vbdietz, Uberbah, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, Brahman Colorado, madgranny, electric meatball, wmholt, ImpeachKingBushII, trueblueliberal, Terra Mystica, TomP, Michael91, lisastar, flowerfarmer, ShadowSD, Thomas Twinnings, Felix Culpa, Fe Bongolan, lineatus, Mother of Zeus, wvablue, jamess, beltane, monkeybrainpolitics, pkohan, alliedoc, boatjones, happymisanthropy, geomoo, pickandshovel, rubine, Seamus D, change the Be, pragprogress, kyril, bakenjuddy, bob zimway, James Kresnik, Uncle Bob, Athenocles, allie123, billybam, SolarMom, statsone, ZhenRen, ACD, dreamghost, cameoanne, SciMathGuy, Pris from LA, Louisiana 1976, nippersdad, cybrestrike, J M F, ARS, greengemini, timethief, be the change you seek, h bridges, Mercuriousss, dRefractor, jemjo, pnn23, allep10, annapaxis, vadasz, Laughter Shrapnel, breakingsong, Sleepwalkr, ohmyheck, mahakali overdrive, etara, joe from Lowell, ruscle, BigVegan, Alec82, pyegar, JamesEB, 1000 Points of Fright, blueyescryinintherain, GeeBee, CcVenussPromise, cms126, Lost and Found, legalchic, polar bear, calichristi, ctlrick, ItsSimpleSimon, Kristina40, 2020adam, Cure7802, tassojunior, NYWheeler, Muggsy, Redneck Buddha, farbuska, MsGrin, Luis Mendoza, USHomeopath, Inspired By Nature, alamacTHC, TigerStar337, llee, Colorado is the Shiznit, CornSyrupAwareness, xgy2, escapegoat, Plox, CaliKitty, Amayi, QuestionAuthority, Hatrax, princesspat, AsianAfricanAmerican, me llamo sebas, LSmith, createpeace, Faroutman, daveusf, Vexed, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, lol chikinburd, Georgianna Darcy, MichaelNY, PrometheusUnbound, nandssmith, Farmer Labor, James Robinson, WesEverest, voodou, TheLizardKing, willing and able
    •  impressive diary (80+ / 0-)

      I tend to agree with Greenwald. As uncomfortable as it might make me, I do in fact take common issue with some on the right who would have stopped the bailouts, and who reject the Senate HCR bill. I think that the most interesting debates in American politics are essentially between the libertarians (who would return the country to a pre-New Deal state, i.e. Ron Paul) and the socialists (who would expand the State's internal mandate [Medicare for all, nationalization of banks, etc.].) Both philosophies are viable, and have been demonstrated as so in various places at various times. Our current neo-corporatist state is, in my opinion, hegemonic and tyrannical.  

      •  What's most profound about Greenwald's work (74+ / 0-)

        is that he gets back to the heart of what seperates liberals and conservatives, without trying to apply three shades of Lakoff or another analysis. Greenwald points out something that's increasingly hard for a polarized American public to do.

        And we are polarizing.

        That's exactly why people might find it surprising, but I agree with this frame. That we are enriching the corporate class.

        What prevents me from joining them is that, imo, the populist movement on the left and right misreads their history and misunderstands effective strategy.

        Corporations have Democrats by the proverbial balls, backed up against a wall. We can get into vivisections of when did Mr. X decide to accept his cynical role or which division of corporate power is he most liable to, but I think that's getting excessive. We can shout at them to jump but Democrats are pinned.

        So what do we do? Defeat the Democrats, so that the corporate money will run back to Republicans? I haven't seen a positive idea from the populists, only what they're against. Which was the Republican problem in 2006 and 2008. Don't be the people who are just "against" something. Be for something.

        (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

        by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:06:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's a very interesting question (10+ / 0-)

          re: strategy. And I don't have it figured out. Any ideas?

          •  What? Is this written correctly? (75+ / 0-)

            the right's long-standing opposition to "corporatism"

            The republic party IS the party of the corporations/elite.

            I have some answers, but every time I post them some VERY angry people scream SOCIALISM.

            For some reason, the animal we call capitalism, is allowed to run around wild and gorge itself on everyone's hard work.

            Fewer and fewer rules have created an increasingly socially irresponsible and rogue animal rife with criminality and cronyism.

            There are/were rules in place to bridle capitalism.  Rules that helped distribute prosperity, rules that insured some modicum of product safety, and rules that punished policies that damaged millions of Americans.

            We can reapply the rules so gleefully abandoned over the past 30 years.

            But we must begin with improvements on the State level to transparency in the selection of candididates and we must have state and federal publicly funded elections that cannot be gamed by corporations and individuals.

            It is shameful that millions are hungry and homeless and nearly a $billion is spent on the machines of the two presidential candidates.  

            That money can be better spent helping to create jobs.

            Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

            by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:34:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's because people hav been conditioned to (48+ / 0-)

              React in a certain way every time anybody proposes an idea that if considered, may actually present a real challenge to the status quo.  The status quo being a criminal corporatist Oligarchy that has taken over our government.

              I argue this is tantamount to a generalized mass brainwashing (albeit, very subtle), as the result of media conglomeration by the corporatist Oligarchs.

              This creates conformism, fear, and turns people into apologists of the current system.

              If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

              by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:44:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Corporations pay for campaigns, they need somethin (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mcartri, James Kresnik
                Since corporations pay for election campaigns and lobbyists, they should get something in return.  If corporations got nothing in return, they wouldn't spend hundreds of millions on campaigns and lobbyists.

                The good part of the health care reform is that poor people get subsidized insurance, and the insurance companies get more money.  This will be paid for by richer and richer people, because we can't really cut taxes any lower for average people.

                You might say the middle-class will be screwed, but a good portion of the middle-class is attached to corporations, who owe their existence to government policies.  So they sort of reap what they sowed....

              •  80% of Repubs Think Big Business Too Much Power (48+ / 0-)

                The following has remained almost unchanged over the last decade and supports the concept that the membership of both parties agree that the big corporations have too much influence on government.

                Whether the Party Organizations and elected officials reflect or implement policies reflective of that broad and lasting sentiment is of course an entirely different question.

                Very Large Majorities Of Americans Believe Big Companies, PACs, Political Lobbyists and the News Media Have Too Much Power and Influence in D.C.

                Nine in Ten Americans, However, Believe Small Business has Too Little Power and Influence in D.C.

                When one thinks of Washington D.C. and the power corridors, smoke filled rooms and shady deals with lobbyists may come to mind. There are certain groups in particular which are singled out by large majorities of the American public as having too much power in those corridors. Leading the list are big companies, as 86 percent of Americans say they have too much power and influence in Washington. These are followed by Political Action Committees (PACs), which give money to political candidates; 83 percent of Americans cite them as having too much power and influence.

                Four in five Americans (80%) say political lobbyists have too much power, while almost three-quarters (74%) say the same about the news media. Rounding out the top five are entertainment and sports celebrities, as over two-thirds (69%) of Americans believe they have too much power and influence in D.C. This is actually the first time celebrities have been included on this list and they start off right in the top five to being too powerful in Washington.
                ...

                The bigger takeaway:  

                GROUPS SEEN AS HAVING TOO MUCH POWER � BY PARTY ID

                "And now a question about the power of different groups in influencing government policy, politicians, and policy makers in Washington. Do you think . . . have/has too much or too little power and influence in Washington?"

                Percent saying "too much"

                Big companies

                Total: 86

                Republican: 80

                Democrat: 91

                Independent: 91
                ...

                http://www.harrisinteractive.com/...

                The more interesting question is given this level of consensus, why no action has been taken to address the situation - which is a self-proving equation - because big companies have too much influence on government.

                •  Progressive Democrats can talk to these (15+ / 0-)

                  people, if they don't own the mandate only legislation about to pass.

                  I've been having corporatism discussions and have found a ton of common ground with my Republican friends.

                  They disagree socially with Progressives, but there is very, very strong economic alignment.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:31:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are Correct ... (7+ / 0-)

                    I being a Ron Paul Republican would work with a Progressive and Attack Corporatism!

                    •  Well that's a nice, simple validation. (9+ / 0-)

                      Thanks!!

                      Well, here's my take on it.

                      We can't afford to do battle on the social issues, until we've bought the luxery time to do so with a joint effort economically!

                      You?

                      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                      by potatohead on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:38:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  In other words.... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ChemBob, Terra Mystica, nandssmith

                      the bottom 99% need to unite against the top 1%.

                      That is the only solution here.

                      Our republican neighbors (the rank and file) are not our enemies...the elites want us looking right and left for our enemies when all we have to do is look UP.

                      It is rich vs. poor.....everything else is a distraction and a misdirection done on purpose. People only think there are two parties because the rhetoric produced by the parties are designed to cater to the very real personality differences between the typical conservative and liberal mindsets.....but in actuality there is no difference at all between the two parties in substance or actual policy. They only serve as a nice smokescreen while the wealthy loot and pillage the wealth of the rest of us.

                      It's time to crank up the class war and actually fight back for a change and I have no problem allying myself with those we would consider right wingers if it means we can throw the corporatists under the bus.

                      "I am on nobody's side... because nobody is on my side" - Treebeard

                      by waf8868 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:39:16 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Class warfare has never been that simple (0+ / 0-)

                        Rich vs. poor is a very powerful, maybe even the most powerful, factor in our current political divide. But it's not the only factor, or even the only significant factor.

                        Which is to say, if you think that right wingers are going to be reliable or effective allies in pursuit of your goals, you're very likely to be disappointed. Even if you can make the accept your framing of the rich/poor issue, there are god-only-knows how many other speed bumps you're bound to encounter along the way.

                        "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

                        by seancdaug on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:14:34 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Super Rich v. Dwindling Middle Class (0+ / 0-)

                          I personally think it is more accurate to frame it as Super-rich v. dwindling middle-class.  Plus it is more appealing to hear...no one wants to be considered in the poor class.  

                          •  I'm not sure I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                            Rhetorically, perhaps, its a better frame from which to argue. But I think part of the reason I've differed so strongly from other progressives here is that the tendency to view the issue as rich vs. middle class effectively trims anyone in the poor or working classes out of the discussion.

                            It's not a new phenomenon, of course: the poor have been invisible in the United States for most of the past fifty years, and their problems tend to only be  approached indirectly through other groupings (like race or ethnicity). But by cropping the most negatively impacted group out of the framework altogether, it changes the nature of the discussion completely. It's considerably easier to treat the conflict and the debate surrounding it as intellectual, doctrinaire, and even dogmatic if its between the super-wealthy and the average-wealthy than if its between the super-wealthy and those without any significant wealth at all. Even as I accept the argument that the middle class is eroding, they're nowhere near as bad off as the poor, and can afford to draw certain lines in the sand that the poor simply cannot.

                            Ignoring or dismissing the poor helps both the rich and the middle class in different ways. But I find it distasteful, if not outright immoral. Even if people may not want to be considered poor, that doesn't mean that there aren't poor people in America, nor does it mean that what they want or need can just be lumped in with a larger "not-rich" grouping.

                            "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

                            by seancdaug on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:42:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  If this is the case, why are more of them going (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Farmer Labor

                  Libertarian?  How strong then are the social issues like abortion in influencing party identification and voting behaviors?

                  Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. Are we there yet?

                  by bkamr on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:40:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  While a big majority of Republicans (8+ / 0-)

                  may agree with a bigger majority of Democrats that big companies have too much power, they clearly disagree hugely on the role of government in addressing the problem.

                  Democrats are clear that government should be the primary conduit for circumscribing corporate power. The inherent problem in making that happen - the ease with which corporate power is manifest in the legislative process - being the crux of the conundrum we now find ourselves in (and the subject of this diary and the predecessors it refers to).

                  Republicans trust the government even less and, despite the glaring, to me anyway, logical inconsistencies, demand less government "interference" in corporate prerogatives. How it is that corporate power is then to be reduced when implementing such Republican philosophy is truly a mystery to me.

                  So I guess I'm with Jeffrey (or at least with what I think he's saying) that we may agree with the anti-corporate sentiment of the populist right, but most certainly not with any "solutions" they are likely to proffer and that our task is to come up with a progressive strategy for getting out of the conundrum, decreasing corporate control of the legislative process and putting effective government of, by and for the people back in the driver seat.

                  Democracy is a contact sport...

                  by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:12:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's the big question. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Philoguy, RJP9999, farbuska

                    How it is that corporate power is then to be reduced when implementing such Republican philosophy is truly a mystery to me.

                    From the Left, it looks like the various Republicans and teabaggers are doing the bidding of the corporations. They seem to want the government to get out of the way so the insurance companies can continue screwing us with abandon.

                    I heard some Republican jackass on the radio the other day complaining about the mandates, and I thought "Yes, you idiot, we don't like the mandates much either, but there's no other solution to the 'pre-existing conditions' problem. That's why we wanted a Public Option - to soften the blow of the mandates. But you guys wouldn't hear of it."

                    "Victor Laszlo, the purest of heroes..." - Umberto Eco

                    by VictorLaszlo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:43:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Perhaps the right question (4+ / 0-)

                      on this portion of the conundrum is if it is possible to get such folks to see the logical problem they face and thereby bring them around to support some measure of increased legislative controls, be it stronger anti-trust measures or higher capital gains tax rates on the uber-rich who don't pay their fair share on money they didn't "earn" the old fashioned way (that being by actually working).

                      Democracy is a contact sport...

                      by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:59:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Teabaggers can be swayed (20+ / 0-)

                      I had a conversation last election cycle with a friend..good guy...who is a Fox news Christian conservative from the South.  Not quite a teabagger..but not far off.  I asked what issues were inportant to him...he blinked for a few seconds like a deer caught in the headlights, and this was the conversation:

                      HIM: Well the family is important to me.  Famly issues.

                      ME: You mean gay marriage.

                      HIM: Yes, its importyant to preserve the family.

                      ME: Do you stay awake at night worrying about that?

                      HIM: (laughs) No.

                      ME: What do you stay awake at night worrying about?

                      (Here I regret not having a tape recorder because he was so eloquent)

                      HIM: I worry about big corporations taking over the world and running little guys out of business and squeezing profits from everyone and marketing to my kids (etc etc)

                      He blew me away and demonstarted to me how this issue does cross party lines. In reality it does.

                      •  Dean was able to bridge the gap, by finding (4+ / 0-)

                        commonality. Amazing # of Republicans who found Dean's arguments, when they actually listened to them, compelling and practical.

                        So why was he taken out by Bill Clinton Dems? His sin was seeding the dangerous idea of bottom-up management vs top down structures favored by DLC, CLinton, Rham, centrists.

                        It's unfortunate, also, that Dean was green, and we had a "corporatist" media with marching orders from Conglomerate Central: Dean made no bones about it: He was on the record actively intending to break up the huge media conglomerates. He got taken out by them as well in a series of faux outrage moments that Conglomerates fashioned into "outrage" and "Dean's a loose cannon"... The one we remember most is the one how could we forget. Not because anything was doen wrong. To this day I say there was nothing the least bit kooky about a rally cry to spur on the dejected campiagn volunteers who packed the ballroom where Dean had the audacity to sound like a football coach, psyching up the team for the games still yet to be played.

                        They were well-honed by then, so whatever opportunity came, the job was to magnify it, distort it, repeat it 400x in 2 days, and make their meme a fait de compli with the manufactured "he's demented" meme.

                        Prior though they'd honed their artillery -- by them I mean both the Conglomerates and the Pelosi Dems, intent to run their loser candidate Kerry, thus blow up Dean in any imaginable way. The prime example where Dean was bridging gaps between Dems & Repubs was in rural South... a place the DLC Dems X'd out of their 20-state strategies.

                        Dean's choice of words wasn't perfect, but then again same with Obama's when he made the "outrageous" comment that poor folk in West Virginia clinged to their guns and their (god? i cant remember) in times of great fear. As innocent a remark as any -- and one that West Virginians actually confirmed when people bothered to interview people without the explosive set-up.

                        Dean's outrage was to say he was going to campaign in SOuth because there was a lot in common between people driving trucks waving COnfederate flags and with gunrack in the back -- and a lot of middle class Democrats alos shut out from the economic system under Bush.

                        Anyway, I quite agree with this -- and it's one of the more potent insights on this thread, perhaps even on the whole site:

                        (Here I regret not having a tape recorder because he was so eloquent)

                        HIM: I worry about big corporations taking over the world and running little guys out of business and squeezing profits from everyone and marketing to my kids (etc etc)

                        He blew me away and demonstarted to me how this issue does cross party lines. In reality it does.

                        --
                        -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                        by rhfactor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:35:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  a real geek love moment, in a sad way (5+ / 0-)

                          and with disastrous consequences... the populist candidate taken out of the race thanks to highly evolved recording technology -- an omnidirectional microphone, designed to allow people to do radio production without a soundproof studio, that perfectly recorded his voice but none of the context of the overwhelming din of the room.
                          incredible, really.  more than five years on, still bums me out.

                          •  It wasn't the microphone (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rhfactor, fernan47, farbuska

                            It was the media.

                            If not for the scream, the media would have shown a clip of Dean saying 'chicken fried steak' and insisted that it showed that he was unfit for office.

                            The 'incident' was 100% manufactured. There was no more an 'incident' than when I tie my shoes in the morning.

                            "Victor Laszlo, the purest of heroes..." - Umberto Eco

                            by VictorLaszlo on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:12:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  it was both. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rhfactor, Terra Mystica

                            microphone technology made the initial deceit possible, and the SCLM was complicit in prolonging the gross misrepresentation resulting from the deletion of context.
                            ugh, i don't even want to think about it!

                          •  No, I'm saying the microphone was irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rhfactor, Farmer Labor

                            because the scream was irrelevant. The only story is "Media Decides to Kneecap Howard Dean."

                            The 'scream' was literally nothing.

                            Like I suggested above, as an event it's right up there with "VictorLaszlo's Disastrous Shoe-Tying Scandal of 2009."

                            That was the one where I put on my shoes and tied them before stepping outside.

                            Tying my shoes was not an event. It was nothing.

                            But if there had been media present, they could have photographed me while I was tying my shoes, and written something like "VictorLaszlo Shoe-Tying Incident Raises Questions - Is He Really Fit for Office?"

                            "Victor Laszlo, the purest of heroes..." - Umberto Eco

                            by VictorLaszlo on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:31:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you see it piercingly clear. they actually called (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            VictorLaszlo

                            him mentally unsound... among other poisoned lies.

                            --
                            -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                            by rhfactor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:12:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have gone on record as a nouveau Deaniac. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rhfactor

                            In 2004, all I wanted was an electable Democrat.  What a shit choice Kerry was.  I still shudder when I see his face.  God love his views but ... crappy candidate.

                          •  same here greeno... Really sad when you see the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fernan47

                            floor-shot video with full sound and visual context of 3000 American flags waving. It was an official count, there were at least 3000 Iowa Caucus volunteers and paid staffers there at the Val-Aire ballroom.

                            I've still got a video documentary to make. Not from that speech. Of all things I missed it. This is so ridiculous but true. I'd been shooting video across the state for 2 weeks, and also canvassing, and these are some of my best memories ever. I've just never met higher qaulity people in all my life. And it was so beautiful in the snow. Anyway, my caucus was at a big church, and I have great video of that from above.. showing how untrained the Dean group was (Joe T never thought to train the precinct captains in process)... by contrast Kerry's people were just all out organized and noise-makers, all as prescribed by the unique dynamics of the Iowa Caucuses. Prior to that night, when  it all counted, I had driven past that ugly Kerry headquarters just a blocm away from Dean HQ.. remember, it was in a closed, shuttered auto dealerhsip. Anyway, everything about the kerry campaiugn spoke "LOSERRR"... but that's when the big reveal happenedd for me. When it came to showtime, the Kerry people, who may not have been as innovative and passionate as Dean people, were totally organized at caucus, knew what they were doing strategically, cowbells clanking, flags on a pole... And from above you see the poor Dean group... completely outclassed, because thanks to Joe they were never thought to be trained in the actual mechanics of the show. And the caucus is a show, no 2 ways about it.

                            After we came in third at that caucus, behind Kerry then Edwards, I was stunned. How could this have been so. We were so far ahead in the polls! ... And I learned. You have to know every single element of the game, and the kerry people put all they had into SHOWTIME... While everyone else was scurrying off to the Val-Aire ballroom, a bunch of miles north, I was doing more behijd the scenes filming, and interviewed some Kerry team people, post game show... I learned so much... The place had cleared out.  I went out to the parking lot and only 2 cars were there. Mine and prob church staffer.  It was so frikkin freezing my hands were frozen. But i had to put my camera and tripod in the trunk, and i could barely tunr the key with the thick gloves I was wearing... my fingers hurt from that frozen cold. But I got it open and put the camera gear in, and quickly closed the trunk so i could get into the car and turn on heater and head to Val Aire.

                            Where were my keys? I looked everywhere. No.... Yes. I had locked them in trunk because I couldn't feel them slip betwen my gloves as i wrestlked with the canera.

                            There was an hour spent trying to find a coathanger, then trying to get help from priest inside, i remember calling triple A -- one and half hoiurs to get there. they were all backed up.

                            I cant recall excartly what happened but some passerbvy help[ed me get that car open and get the keys in the trunk. then hauled ass to Val Aire.

                            Even though we'd lost THAT caucus, I was certain it was just an abberation, and I was just as certain that we'd won, we HAD to have won. By time I got there there was big NBC network semi leaving the parking lot. I didn't get it. Lots of people were outside, peple were leaving. I wondered why? people don't want to celebrate?

                            as I entered with camera rolling i saw faces, they were stricken, andby the time I crossed over to the stage area, it wasd totally empty, stands emoty, some people were stiul thgere drnking and making best of it. Netwiork camera people were wrapping cxables and packing up to go. I still wasn't sure what happoned but it obviosuly was not good. I sot an extreme close up of one opf the network people's notepad, i think a reporters. I have never played back that tape (yet).

                            I learned we lost, i thibk third place overall. Then rapidly i got the story from colleagues, one of whom was shooting video... And she interviuewed me as I inteviewed her... but herre's the thing. There was NO sense at all of what was to come. No one at all said anyting like "DEan looked crazy on camera"... becaue no one saw anyting that resembled that. Person decsribed it as sad but Dean as always spoke to his voluntteer base first, comforting them, and she said rallying them for New HaMPSHIRE.

                            So the story was simply: unexpectedly DEan came in third... but the NH primary was a week away, and we weer significantly ahead in the polls, so the vibe wass, well we lost this first ione,k but we're onto NH.

                            Some folks said, let's go to the Fort someting or other, or name of hiotel where Kerry's voictory party was. I  shot footage and it was okay, the Kerry people were taunting us, but hey had a right to celebrate, they'd kicked our ass on the one day that strategy mattered.  I aw some of the name brand news peple milling about, like chris matthews, but still, there was no inkling of what had already begun laying on TV in heavy rotation. NO ONE KNEW.

                            But I came across my friend Sally who'd also come from SF, and she told me something very disturbing.

                            She said she'd overheard something Chris matthews was sayig at the bar to some press colleague. I asked, she said she heard "it's too bad, it's all over for Dean"... and I questuoned "why? We're polled to win biug  in NH?"  She said she didn't know, but that she actually went up t him and brazenly asked "Chris, what did you mean by that?" and he said to her "you haven't seen the TV?"  and she had a troubled looks about her. but e STILL didn't know. no one was anywnere near a TV.

                            Some people left that night to make the drive to NH. There was sadness about Iowa, but people had alrewady shiufted to New Hampshire. Next morning i got to Dean headquaretrs, Tues Jan 22nd, and it was practically shuttered. what was cacaphonous and crowded just 24 hours befire, was deadly silent, empty, staff were ALL gone, all had gone on to NH... I shot footage of people sweeping up campaign signage, and I then left with a fibnal shot of Dean HQ, with some sign that indicated instructions on where NH people were to meet.

                            I went to my hotel -- red roof inn in outer circle of city... got good nights sleep then chatted for some fellow Dean people, and next day went to the airport. Flights were all delayed, no flights out. But I saw Tom Harkin  there, he too was stranded. I had already checked out but a dean colleague saiud you can sleep on floor in my room, i booked another night.

                            (insert complicated story or the conversation she had with Harkin the next day)

                            But I waqs back in SF, late night Wed,  settled in, then checked voicemail. 5 messages really distressed saying "call me the minute you get this message, I don't care how late, wake me up"....

                            I did... and she rolled out the storu of what she'd been seeing ion the news for the past few hours. She was the person with the other camera at the Val-Aire. She said "We've got to do so,ething. I asked her "did you get footage of the event?".. She said "i wasn't rolling right a that moment, biut i got stuff aftewrads and it was all flags waving , and deafening noise of cheers clapping etc."

                            I asked who else was shoting, do you know? There wasa guy named Joe who'd also shot stuff, and I had his number. he lived in Iowa. I called him and asked "did you happen to shoot Dean's speech at Val Aire?" "He said yes. I asked "was there some kind of scream?" He said no, but he'd been ewatching TV and was flabbergasted by what hey'd isolated... totally totally dfferent portray of event. NO CROWD SHOTS, no views of thoussands waving flags and screaming cheering, which was why he had to speak so loud, so he could hear himself over the huge noise....

                            I asked if he could package that video file and send to me, he said sure, no sweat.

                            (insert story of contacting Trippi's office and thleaving voicemails, emails, and no respoonses all day. Calling Mathhew Gross, the lead blogger, leaving message. Message for Zephyr Teachout. No replies.

                            24 hours later and he was branded a lunatic, mentally ill, incapable of leding the country. It was absurd, crazy, but what I was focused on was "WTF is wrong withj you trippi.You ashole." every mesasage was clear "we have floor footage of that moment and it conbtraducts the entire portrayal, we need to get this onot the air asap.  Never a reply, despite certainty they got the messages.

                            Later in the CNN doc they aired 6 months later, the CNN crew were speaking to Trippi, Triush Enright, the Commun Dircetor, and Steve McMahin, head of advertising.  Un forgettable shot of Trippis saying "there;s nothig we can do; it's over." Trish, the experienced? C ommuni Director slumps her head down to her plate. They are a collective portaruiat of total failure. They had the tool which would have reuted the whole charcaterizatuon, chnaged the ciontext, and shown the current news airings for what theu were. blatant distortions.

                            A month later Dianne Sawyer and Charlie Gibsin do their "deconstruction of the dean scream" show on Good mOrning america, where they demo the effect of a highly directyionall mic, filtering out crowd noise of fans all around asked t cheer.

                            Then they showede a video. It was Joe's footage. the one that Trippi and company were too stupid to act on.

                            That video was used to "exhonerate" dean, and diane did one of her breathless earnest "mea culpa"s. They then aired statements from 3 heads of netowrks, that yes, in retyrospect we handled this poorly, we would d it differentlyy next time.

                            Then there was a video segment of Howard and Judy, talking to Dianne..,"Did you KNOW how you were coming across?" "What did you think, Judy?" She said "I didn't see anything wrong with it, so i had reason to have concern.

                            This ABC special aired one week after Dean lost the NH primary, effectively knocking him out of the race. Exit interviews overwhelemingly showed that this thing called "the dean scream" "definetely affected the way I looked at him"

                            ==

                            So, when you speak about bumming you out... yeah.

                            what could have been. what should have been.

                            and the predictbale loss of kerry the stiff in his brand new LL bean hunting jacket... the reelection of Bush, intensificatiomn of war, the economy in shambles... and then 2008, and what we have instead now, the guy who learned from Dean's failures.

                            SO inspiring!  Yes we can!

                            --
                            -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                            by rhfactor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:08:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow. Interesting history. I think we have (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rhfactor

                            learned from the Obama campaign that it is all about organization.  When I volunteered for Obama, everytime I would go to the offices, there were piles of packages for each part of town.  There was no question what you were to do.  It was an army.  

                            I think Dean has learned this too and put the philosophy to work as DNC head.  Organization.  

                            If it weren't for Obama's logic and skill in running his campaign, we would be talking about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton corporatist mentality right now.

                          •  Axelrod, that P-name, and Obama ran a nearly (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            martini

                            flawless campaign, will be studied for decades.

                            I just wish he governed from the heart, vs triangulation. That's a step backwards.

                            --
                            -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                            by rhfactor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:04:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, my naivete takes another hit to the gut. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            martini
                        •  It would have been sad to see Dean elected (0+ / 0-)

                          and go the same route.  I think, at this point, things are so entrenched and the economy so dependent on big business that the changes have to be very selective.  It's like that game with the pegs ... if you take too many out at once, the whole things collapse.  I'm not going corporatist on you, just my basic ignorance of economics worries about HOW to go about change.

                          Which pegs do we take out first?

                          •  Dean is far too much a pragmatist to go same (0+ / 0-)

                            route as Obama. Meaning, in example after example:

                            (1) He would wave the olive branch once to GOP -- in name of bipartisanship. Upon their refusal to play ball, he would say fine, and move on without them, casting them aside where needed.

                            (2) He would have gone for the gold at start... asking for what you really want in healthcare, knowing quite well there would be negotiations downward.

                            (3) He would not have broken promises. If he did or had to based on  new information learned that was unknowable to him before security clearance, he would step up like a man and state it clearly and without any ambiguity:

                            I know I promised this, and I fully expected to deliver. I found snags based on classified information that I could not have known. So I can't do exactly what I said; it's just not possible, and I apologize for being adamant on the campaign trail that I could. But I will continue to fight to do XXXXXXX and attempt to acieve the underlying goal we were going for.

                            and so on .

                            The man is revered by many for exactly this candor. You don't have to go back and run tape and fact check what he said before. HE'll bring it up straight up and tell you what he promised that he cant now deliver and why.

                            There is no resemblance whatsoever in methodology or pragmatism between Obama and Dean. Obama mislabels "pragmatism" the things he would rather not piss off some segment about .

                            But to your question:  It's a great visual analogy, but I did not get it, to be honest. Please elaborate?

                            --
                            -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                            by rhfactor on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 04:43:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Teabaggers have not been given an alternative (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VictorLaszlo

                      Teabaggers I believe are angry and confused people.  In the health care debate, I hear tons of Reopublicans talk about a government bureaucrat standing between you and a doctor.  I never hear a Democrat talking about Wall Street accountants standing between you and your doctor.  

                      We need to give these people an alternative explanation of why their lives feel screwed up.  

                  •  Rescinding corporate personhood as common cause? (15+ / 0-)

                    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, and all that flowed from it.

                    Socialism stands for the golden rule; Capitalism stands for the rule of gold.

                    by Farmer Labor on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:25:59 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      farbuska

                      but then you have to be able to answer two questions:

                      1. How do you sell it to non-ideological GOPers?
                      2. What would have to happen to get Congress to pass legislation to make it happen?

                      I don't have an answer for either one.

                      Democracy is a contact sport...

                      by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:48:13 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You said, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Farmer Labor

                        "What would have to happen to get Congress to pass legislation to make it happen?"

                        Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha.  Oh, that is rich.

                        Actually, you have to sell it to the ideological GOPers.  The teabaggers could make this prominent and the Repubs would fall in line.  Maybe.

                    •  And, my big question is ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Farmer Labor

                      Why do Keith and Rachel obsess over their personal little favorite issues and ignore big things like this?  If I see Rachel dedicating her show to C Street one more time ...  Or South Carolina ... Or Uganda.  These are all important issues but THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO TALK ABOUT ....

                •  Part of the issue (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhfactor, farbuska

                  ...is that many of the people in the GOP who don't trust big business, also don't trust progressives to actually stand and fight when it counts.  Also, many of them are turned off by what they perceive as anti-American rhetoric on the progressive left.  I think some of the conservative concerns are justified-- many people on the left  (especially the ones most serious about confronting corporatism) ARE uncomfortable with strong assertions of patriotism.  At worst there is that "we're too good for America" kind of rhetoric.  At best, it's just a failure of framing-- progressives put things in terms of abstract human rights and international standards.  While that kind of talk may work well in a university setting, it fails at the grassroots level.  IF you had a progressive movement that spoke in terms of uplifting the nation, and showed courage in the face of conflict, then  many people who today self-identify as conservative would be ready to work with progressives.   In the end, sure we'll have differences over gay marriage, prayer in school, flag burning, abortion and what have you.

                  However, as Americans, we would be able to unify in pursuit of economic justice and a better life for our descendants.  

                  •  The winning common appeal is to inspire the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    richmonds

                    entrepreneurial and inventive greatness as part of the American Tradition -- the one that sent a man to the moon, and many other examples of creating a climate that encouraged people to strive towards great solutions -- and the world would beat a pathway to your door.  This is a non-ideological framework, one Dems would use if they were smart enough to learn how to bridge gaps in ways other than perfunctory "compromise" and "meet half way" and excessive use of meaningless phrases like "bipartisanship".

                    Obama could surely do it if he chose. But his advirsors are all Clinton centrists, and they favor mush over concrete inspiration toward fulfillment of our potential as Americans with easier access to resources than citizens of many countries across the world.

                    Aspiring to wage a war in Afghanistan is not what I am referring to.

                    --
                    -- FEEDBACK: CHANGE.gov - empty "marketing" of citizen access, or real idea-submit mechanism?

                    by rhfactor on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:41:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Entrepreneurial v. corporate: Sam Walton (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rhfactor

                      Entrepreneurial energy IS a key part of American development.  BUT there is a difference between entrepreneurial business energy and global corporate business energy.  Take Walmart. When Japanese imnports were seen as a threat to American manufacturers, and Sam Walton was still alive, he instituted a buy American program. He was a mortal individual that had a sense of patriotism, a desire for his nation's well-being, and a conscience. Since his death the global corporate Walmart has driven decision making, and the only sentiment driving decisions is the desire for profit.  Thus post Sam Walton they actively and aggressively drove manufacturing overseas.  

                    •  Ideology (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rhfactor

                      RH,
                      It's always ideology =)  What I'm talking about just isn't the dominant ideology-- it's something new.

                •  100% of those who are surveyed don't know (0+ / 0-)

                  anything about the topics they freely give opinion on.  Me included.  I'm farther along than 75% of those polled but honestly, giving poll data is dangerous.

                •  Liberals see fascism coming out of blind . . (0+ / 0-)

                  corporatism, which is true. Conservatives ignore fascism and focus on calling Liberal agendas socialism (as dictated by their corporatist paymasters' talking points). If we could ever get the conservatives to understand that fascism is what we're getting and that socialism is not what Liberals want, then all politicians would understand that the corporatist/fascist gig is up and that Liberals simply want fair principles used by our common society's framework of laws, politics, personal responsibility, and corporate greedmasters.

                  Willful Ignorance fathers the Self-Righteous and its evil twin Arbitrary Cruelty.

                  by ebiker on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:20:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, it is correctly written. (24+ / 0-)

              I had to go back and read it a couple of times before I got it, and I did that because I know Jeffrey is a careful writer.

              The point of the diary is that the word "corporatism" as used in contemporary political speech means different, and nearly opposite things, to the left and the right: to the left, it means government being taken over by corporate interests; to the right, it means "free enterprise" being taken over (and overly controlled) by the government.

              I realize that second idea is laughable to most people on this site, but it's the standard libertarian position, and as such it's pretty widespread.

              The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

              by sidnora on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:31:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree that both these are "corporatism" (46+ / 0-)

                Right-wing critics dissatisfied with the current relationship between corporation and government don't call the situation they object to "corporatism;" they call it socialism.  As anybody who ever took a political science course knows, these are very different and nearly opposite concepts.  Therefore I don't see Greenwald's point that they are describing the same thing.

                The Jainist parable of the Elephant and the Blind Men is a very useful story to keep in mind in all sorts of situations, and it may apply here.  While Left critics may feel an ear and declare the elephant is a fan, Right critics may feel the tail and declare the beast a rope.  Both are describing aspects of the larger truth, but are blind to other features their limited perception blocks.  The elephant here is the power balance in society: who has it and who doesn't.

                I agree with Greenwald that corporatism is the defining issue of politics today.  I've said often enough that the real two parties in American politics are People and Money, or populists and oligarchs.  Teabaggers seem to be beginning to understand this basic fact, but their prejudices twist their perception into seeing the problem as overweening government influence in the economy rather than excessive influence of money in government.  

                I don't know if that gap is bridgeable in the current political climate, but I do agree that it would be useful if attempts to bridge that gap are made.  Calling anybody trying to bridge that gap a racist or a traitor is not helpful.  As long as we are divided by false labels and propaganda, we are easy for the oligarchs to control.  Greenwald, and Feldman, are correct in saying that those who see the oligarchs as the real opposition are the ones who see politics today with the clearest eyes.

                To announce that we are to stand by the president right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -TR

                by Dallasdoc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:31:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Isn't the following a feature (21+ / 0-)

                  rather than a flaw used to maintain the status quo:

                  "I don't know if that gap is bridgeable in the current political climate, but I do agree that it would be useful if attempts to bridge that gap are made.  Calling anybody trying to bridge that gap a racist or a traitor is not helpful.  As long as we are divided by false labels and propaganda, we are easy for the oligarchs to control.  Greenwald, and Feldman, are correct in saying that those who see the oligarchs as the real opposition are the ones who see politics today with the clearest eyes."

                  One of the reasons I am leery of some of the people who post here it is too easy to manipulate tribal instincts in the way that they do here for the purpose of keeping potential opposition divided. I have no proof. Just gut instinct that because the tactics have been used in the past by others, it can be used now.

                  The irony here is that teabaggers are manipulated by corporate interests to fight against their interest due to racism, etc, but we may be manipulated by those same corporate interest (unknowingly) to miss chances for interest based temporary alliances. Both parties use these tribal instincts to control us. And we let them do it.

                  •  Ok. Yes. This has to change (6+ / 0-)

                    And I think those on the so-called left are the ones more capable of tolerating the right with.

                    In my fantasy, I would love to see the churches of the far right filled to over capacity by liberals and progressives who recoil at the lies and hate spewed by the Church Leader on Sunday.

                    We CAN Surround them (heh heh heh)

                    Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

                    by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:28:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  that's a really good idea! (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dallasdoc, War on Error

                      They should be surrounded by people who abhor their ideology for once! I live in DC and have to walk by the teabaggers more than I'd care to and it makes me sick. They should get a taste of their own medicine.

                      •  Well, I know this is a big stretch (5+ / 0-)

                        But could it be at all possible to find some compassion for them, not their misguided ideologies, and join them in numbers greater than they have.

                        And, yes, I know this sounds Pollyanna-ish, but I have a sense that if we could engage them in conversations on an issue that we can agree on, like the takeover of politicians by corporations, maybe, just maybe, we can find some common ground.

                        And, if we can, we can join on that common ground and work together to affect the necessary change.

                        Dare I dream?

                        Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

                        by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:28:27 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Have you ever met a teabagger? (0+ / 0-)

                          I grew up with these people in ND. It sounds pretty pesimistic to say this, but they are beyond hope. They believe every lie Faux News et al feed to them. By virtue of being a Liberal, you're an America hater and should leave the country, that's what I was told every time I tried to thoughtfully and respectfully engage these people. Really, don't waste your time.

                •  Well, we agree. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc, NewDealer, farbuska

                  But everyone has their feet stuck in their ideological cement boots.

                  What is true is that we are all in the same boat, the USS USA.

                  And the world outside of the USA is a bit tired of many of our imperial tactics.

                  If we, the crew of USS USA don't stop bickering and having to BE RIGHT all the time, it's just a matter of time before those "others in other countries" gang up and whoop our collective buttocks.

                  Even the US corporations are on this ship and they have lost quite a bit of ground.

                  But, we have a snowballs chance in hell of bridging the divides the nefarious invisible hand depends on, before it strikes its final blow to freedom everywhere.

                  Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

                  by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:32:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe you hadn't noticed, but i believe they (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc

                    already are and will continue to do so.

                  •  Sorry I got back too late to rec. (0+ / 0-)

                    Good comment, but I have got one bone to pick:"Even the US corporations are on this ship and they have lost quite a bit of ground."

                    I don't really think of them as "US" corporations any more. They are global, even if many of the controlling interests are US citizens for the moment. If they have lost ground in the last year or so, it has more to do with the tanking of the world economy than that of the US. Their ties to our nation are conditioned on the US providing them with whatever conditions best suit their business goals, and those ties are tenuous at best.

                    As the world economy begins to recover, I expect to see them disassociate themselves from most remaining investment and obligation they have in the US.

                    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                    by sidnora on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:57:51 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  well, I've never studied political science but my (4+ / 0-)

                  life experience in Great Britain, Africa, India, the Caribbean and America certainly shows me that there is one massive divide between the governing   concepts of capitalism (corporatism) and socialism

                  They are the opposite ends of the spectrum in all regards.

                •  I appreciated how you put this. Very (5+ / 0-)

                  helpful way to think about it.

                  Teabaggers seem to be beginning to understand this basic fact, but their prejudices twist their perception into seeing the problem as overweening government influence in the economy rather than excessive influence of money in government.  

                  Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. Are we there yet?

                  by bkamr on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:41:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It is bridgeable in many ways (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc, Pohjola

                  These people are poor, pissed off, and I'm sure they'd want higher wages, fewer hours, and better working conditions.

                  The problem is that big business is rarely attacked anymore. Too much focus is on politicians. There have been several struggles between labor and business in the past year alone, in addition to millions of layoffs. (Take a look at this for instance). During much of our countries past, there was community support for these labor struggles, but that is becoming increasingly rare and lukewarm.

                  I'm sure we could find a non partisan movement to repeal NAFTA/WTO and return to the better system of trade we had before the 1990's. We actually had that for a time with Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader, and Ross Perot all fighting unfair trade. Seattle '99, and later protests were getting larger, but it all fell apart after 9/11. This movement has things that appeal to Tea Baggers such as xenophobia (large cause of illegal immigration) and anti communism (trade w/china), while also appealing to left wing ideas of social and environmental fairness which these deals completely scrapped and bringing unions aboard.

                  •  The aftermath of 9-11 (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc, Dirtandiron

                    Seattle '99, and later protests were getting larger, but it all fell apart after 9/11. This movement has things that appeal to Tea Baggers such as xenophobia (large cause of illegal immigration) and anti communism (trade w/china), while also appealing to left wing ideas of social and environmental fairness which these deals completely scrapped and bringing unions aboard.

                    This is so true. In Seattle we saw redneck ranchers, union long shoremen, kids dressed like sea turtles and anarchists all rallying around similar issues. THAT is a powerful social magnet.  It was utterly submerged by 9-11, and in my opinion was one of the greater tragedies of that day.    

                •  I can't agree wth all of this (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc

                  although I think you make some good points.

                  First, I haven't heard many right-wing critics use the term "socialism" accurately, but I hear and see lots of teabaggers throwing it around loosely, often in the same company with Nazism, communism and other scattershot accusations of things they've been told are bad, but don't really understand in theory.

                  I do agree about corporatism being the defining issue, and that the teabaggers are starting to wake up to that fact. I don't think it's their "prejudices" causing them to misinterpret the problem, though. It's having been told and taught relentlessly, for the last 30 years, that government is always bad; if they feel like they're being screwed by some combination of corporate and government power, it's only natural for them to assume that it's the evil government fraction of this hybrid that's the problem. That's a conditioned response that's going to take a lot of work to overcome, especially as they see such a narrow spectrum of ideology on this in DC. Also, they learned it from Saint Ronnie, and that's a very large sacred cow to slaughter.

                  As to calling them racists or traitors (I am assuming that you were referring to people on the left calling people on the right those things), straight-out racism is a big obstacle for me. I'm not saying that I'm going out into the streets expressly to shout "racist" in their faces, but if I were having any sort of dialog and my interlocutor started saying racist (or anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anything like that) things, I would have to call them on it. It would be very dishonest of me not to do that.

                  And I seem to think that they call us traitors much, much more often than we call them the same. I don't even think of them as traitors, though I think of their leaders, who should and do know better, as such.

                  The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                  by sidnora on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:50:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm still struggling with what the right and left (0+ / 0-)

                mean by 'corporatism' and even here people don't seem to agree what the term means to both political philosophies that dominate the body politic in America. And igf it has a completely different definition where does the debate even begin, let alone end?

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                how can we make a collective decision as to a quantum change in consciousness if we don't start at the same place?

                •  wiki (4+ / 0-)

                  Wiki is good for bibliography and starting points. When it attempts to make pronouncements on controversial subject matter the attempt to placate all parties creates mush.

                  Wiki goes through a laundry list of historical antecedents of modern corporatism but the only one anyone cares about is Italian fascism. Nitpicks about the accuracy of the Mussolini/Gentile quote don't matter, it's now in the language, and most often quoted/summarized as "Fascism is corporatism." Bear that in mind when you use the word. Every auditor you may have that's my age learned that one as an undergraduate. That baggage in the word corporatism cannot be avoided.

                  The corporations or fasces that Mussolini brought into his system were simply his pals with ready cash and/or willing squads of thugs. Mussolini started as a unionist but the reality of power was that industrialists and aristocrats had the cash and he had a price. His thugs were happy to ditch their union brothers for a cut of the action. A cut might simply mean a meal, it was hard times.

                  The social elements drawn into the thuggish side of Fascism were exactly and precisely what we have now for teabaggers. And yes, I know teabaggers are not union - the same types of people would have been in '20's Italy. Throw in some demobilized soldiers, some irredentist patriots and you got a movement.

                  Dismissing teabaggers as stupid jerks is a mistake. That you or I can analyze their grievances and conclude they are based on fantasy does not mean shit. A thug's grievances are plenty real to him. The populist right has powerful and well-financed backers who will be happy with a little chaos, a little bloodletting.

                  •  Wiki is good as a starting point to encompass (0+ / 0-)

                    (hopefully) different perspectives and definitions.

                    It provides a few bricks to throw at the opposition and a little straw to make your own adobe bricks out of the mud they fling at you.

                    Wiki can provide some of the raw material building blocks of arguments.

                    And of course when all else fails one can always argue about whether wiki is of any use or value whatsoever to anyone.

            •  Republicans vs RNC. Democrats vs DNC. (43+ / 0-)

              To say that

              The republic party IS the party of the corporations/elite.

              is falling prey to exactly the mis-understanding that this diary is describing.

              Both national parties can be described as captured by the interests of "corporatism", while vast numbers of their membership believe in something quite different.

              On the left, we look at the "deluded masses of the GOP" who are manipulated into supporting the interests of those who are destroying them (See "What's the Matter With Kansas" etc.)

              The question being posed is whether that is equally true of us.

              The evidence before us, in the form of the bailouts, the structure of our economy, the policies embedded in our foreign policy - trade policy - climate change policy - energy policy - and now health care reform, would seem to give us the answer.

              Yes.  We too are deluded and are being manipulated into supporting the interests of those who are destroying us.

              •  What if the 60-Vote Senate Rule Didn't Exist? (9+ / 0-)

                Corporate America essentially owns the entire GOP, the Blue Dogs & almost all the MSM. What would the health care bill looked like if we only needed 50-Senate votes + Biden? Good luck with campaign funding reform helping us...too much money to fight. We can do the most good in the next elections by demanding Senate candidates pledge to change the 60-vote rule. Senator Harkin has a fine reform bill for cloture change. Until we bring majority rule back to the Senate, corporations will continue to own enough Blue Dog Senators to give us industry written bills. This health care reform bill is typical of what will come until change comes to the U.S. Senate.

                •  We have to either change the numbers or the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  magnetics, xaxado

                  equation.

                  Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. Are we there yet?

                  by bkamr on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:52:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The essential argument of this blog (5+ / 0-)

                  is that it would make little difference.  I have feared for months that the Obama administration wanted a very pro health insurance company bill.  There were many indications.  For example Obama said that he would rather have 80% of congress vote for a bill that would give him 51% of what he wanted rather than 51% voting for a bill that would give him 80% of what he wanted.  I do not believe this was simple naiveté.  I believe it was a signal that he wanted to compromise to the right.  Rahm Emanuel has apparently signalled over and over for months in private that the Obama administration was willing to abandon the public option.  The Obama administration wanted to make the health insurance industry happy and they got the bill they wanted.  So to answer your question, there are maybe 40 fairly  progressive Democratic senators and if the cloture bill was altered so that 50 could stop debate, 11 blue dog Democratic senators would vote with the Republicans unless they got the corporate-friendly bill they wanted.

                •  What if the Senate itself did not exist? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mcartri, farbuska

                  Please tell me why we need a Senate? It is a dysfunctional anachronism kept in power by corporatists because it is easier to buy 40 Senators than 220 Congressmen.

                  •  Bicameral legislature flows from separation of (0+ / 0-)

                    powers -- on the theory that contending parties will prove sufficiently jealous of each others' powers and perogatives to achieve dynamic balance in contention.

                    This theory alas does not foresee the purchase of both parties and both chambers, by a somewhat united set of corporate masters.

                    The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

                    by magnetics on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:25:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe It Would Look Exactly The Same (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mcartri, James Kresnik, farbuska

                  Perhaps they would just buy another 10 Senators, or perhaps they already have. In my more cynical momments I think that almost of them are in the pockets of corporate America and the ones that pretend they aren't are just putting on a show, knowing full well their protest vote is meaningless. We know the Republicans were famous for this game, requireing everyone to vote the party line if needed to pass legislation and only releasing people like Snowe to vote against the legislation they supposedly opposed when their protest vote would be meaningless. Why do we think the Democratic Party is any different? It is amazing how often they always magically manage to be shy that one vote of 60 when the legislation is not quite right for their corportist overlords.

              •  Well explained. It's not ALL rocket science. (24+ / 0-)

                The situation is complex, with much nuance and ambiguity.  It is difficult to understand the water we swim in.

                Otoh, certain aspects to the destructive polarization which is playing into the hands of the corporations are as simple as a sneer.

                Read John Taylor Gatto if you want to have your consciousness raised.  Here's a sample, but there is much more.  No author has more opened my eyes to what is right in front of us.  The collection of essays, A Different Kind of Teacher, is a good starting point.

                Shortly after I retired from teaching I picked up Conant's 1959 book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, and was more than a little intrigued to see him mention in passing that the modern schools we attend were the result of a "revolution" engineered between 1905 and 1930. A revolution? He declines to elaborate, but he does direct the curious and the uninformed to Alexander Inglis's 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education, in which "one saw this revolution through the eyes of a revolutionary."

                Inglis, for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table. Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses. Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever reintegrate into a dangerous whole.

                The success of this plan could not have been more spectacular.  What has been the role of us smart, good students in this strategy?  Why, we sneer at the ignorant, uninformed, naively religious folks who performed poorly on the SAT's.  Ha, they could never understand the Pythagorean Theorem.  Their writing is pathetic.  Poor gun-toting, god-worshiping, fetus-protecting ignoramuses.  A real commitment to progressive/enlightenment principles of a government which serves the common good must include concern for the suffering which corporatism inflicts on the right, even when they gullibly blame us for their problems.

                Sneering at other people's god, to take one prominent example, is a powerful force for the polarization which feeds into the tightening stranglehold of the corporate classes.  We can treat people with respect while still fighting their attempts to create a state of unfettered private corporations.

                A crucial notion to add to the diary--depriving corporations of the right of personhood would make a fine starting point.

                FDR: I welcome their hatred. Obama: I welcome their advice.

                by geomoo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:11:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (11+ / 0-)

                People confuse the fact that we have different emotional buttons to be manipulated with the idea that somehow we are better than the other side, when in fact these buttons leave us just an capable of being manipulated. Vote Democratic and progressive, and get NAFTA.

                •  there is... (18+ / 0-)

                  ..an incredible amount of denial on this site and that's exactly why the so-called discussions here have turned into screaming matches with slurs and insults used against allies that would make even a teabagger blush. Breaking through that kind of denial is extremely emotionally painful to those who place party and politician fealty above their political values. It's not that they don't know they're being sold out. It's that they simply can't bring themselves to admit it. (i.e. the "consciousness" that this diary mentions) Thus they lash out at anyone they can in order to protect their own egos while claiming to be acting for the good of their party or whichever politician it is they feel must be protected.

                  In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
                  -George Orwell

                  "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                  by catnip on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:15:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I suspect it would be helpful (4+ / 0-)

                    to differentiate between those who may well be "in denial" from those who get the problem but believe there are incremental steps that can be taken towards the goal.

                    One can just as easily suggest that those taking an anarchistic angle on the situation as being in denial.

                    Democracy is a contact sport...

                    by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:33:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  this is very true. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ChemBob, Darnell From LA, FreeWoman19

                      You know what Glenn, most of us get it. Money talks and bullshit walks. We're not in denial. Most of us are actually older than you Mr. Greenwald. We went to graduate schools, read the same books, tripped out on acid, had the same discussions, came to the same conclusions. We know what's going on, we knew when you were in junior high school. We just don't think revolutionary change is very productive and clearly don't believe that there isn't a dime worth of difference between say an Obama and a Bush. Because even if there is only a dime's width of light between the two, we still want that bit of difference. Because even if it is only the difference between one war and two, clearly one choice is materially very different from the other.

                      We aren't blind little sheepies waiting for the wise Glenn Greenwald to show us the light. Many of us realized the grim reality of "the system" in the gritty light of dawn  when he was waking up to watch cartoons on a Saturday morning.

                      We get the problem, we just don't think teaming up with shit bags like Norquist and raving maniacs like the T'baggers is part of the solution. And that's why Greenwald rubs so many people the wrong way. He acts like he is the first person to see what he sees. He isn't.

                  •  Cognitive Dissonance (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    northsylvania, bruh1, waf8868, Philoguy

                    Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1]

                    Like Republicans, many Democrats have confused their ideas and beliefs with a marketing message designed to appeal to their ideas and beliefs. When confronted with a plain-faced contradiction of their liberal ideas by the corporate-dominated reality of American politics, various state of denial prop up the marketing-based beliefs.

                  •  Mmm, not really, no (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    northsylvania, Philoguy, FreeWoman19

                    Believe it or not, I feel very little allegiance to the Democratic Party. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool socialist who has always viewed my current alliance with the Democrats as a marriage of convenience. I don't for a moment believe that the social or political end goals I'm working towards are shared by more than a handful of Democrats at the national level, and they're certainly not shared by the party-at-large. At the moment, the Democratic Party and I share certain incremental goals (certainly moreso than the GOP and I), but I would abandon and/or "sell out" the Democrats if I believed it was advantageous to do so, and I would expect the Democratic Party to pay little heed to certain aims of my own.

                    The fundamental problem with the traditional Marxist "false consciousness" argument is that it may be true, but it's an argument that is next to impossible to make. Politics are like snowflakes: mine may be quite similar to yours, and while neither of us may be able to put into words how we differ, the chances are we do differ in ways that may utterly change our "consciousness." Even if one of us might dare to make the claim that his or her politics are objectively correct, I don't think that's a claim that can be borne out except in hindsight (and even that is dubious). And, even if none of that were even arguably true, the entire premise smacks of condescension. Arguing false consciousness accomplishes very little other than to insult the awareness of the target, and it's a very dangerous frame to invoke in politics (by its nature, an art of persuasion).

                    Even acknowledging that it may very well not be true, any effective political argument must be made from the perspective that while one's opponent might be wrong, he or she is at least being honest and self-aware. Never make the mistake of assuming that anyone would agree with you if only they, a) had all the facts and b) are being honest with themselves. Very, very few political arguments are ever self-evident, and even those rare exceptions should not be treated as such.

                    In short, assume that I say what I mean, and that I mean what I say: assume not that mine eyes are shrouded with a veil of lies (false consciousness), and accept that, when all is said and done, not all questions may not be answerable with 100% certainty, and that it's entirely possible for two political actors to have a difference of opinion, belief, and tactics not rooted in misunderstanding, misconception, or even simple pride.

                    "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

                    by seancdaug on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:30:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  To the degree that "we" have been (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moggie12, James Kresnik, farbuska

                aware of the need to replace DLC-types with better Democrats and aware of the influence of corporate interests on elected officials and of the fact that Senators from mostly smaller states rely far more heavily on corporate contributions than others, I think its fair to say that we have our eyes pretty well open as to the nature of the situation.

                Crafting effective strategies with significant impact on the situation is another matter entirely. The power and influence of the huge sums of money available to corporate interests offers a very steep slope for us to climb.

                What I'd like to see is a strategy project which would, I think, include looking at where and how the libertarian/populist right might be engaged in support of certain opportunities.

                As for specific suggestions, I'd start with a major push for substantially higher marginal capital gains and income tax rates for the "McCain" rich ($5MM incomes) and especially for the Walton rich (unearned income in 10 figures).

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:26:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  yes, woods, yes! (0+ / 0-)

                The question being posed is whether that is equally true of us.
                The evidence before us, in the form of the bailouts, the structure of our economy, the policies embedded in our foreign policy - trade policy - climate change policy - energy policy - and now health care reform, would seem to give us the answer.
                Yes.  We too are deluded and are being manipulated into supporting the interests of those who are destroying us.

                a thousand times yes, and it is a big fat hairy deal, and i will not accuse you of being overly dramatic, because the fate of the world depends on successful resolution on all of the above.

              •  I couldn't agree more! (0+ / 0-)

                Some men see things as they are and ask, "Why?" I dream things that never were and ask, "Why not?" --R.F. Kennedy

                by farbuska on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:14:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Those rules can't readily be replaced (15+ / 0-)

              What I call "the 20th century synthesis" of regulated liberal capitalism/soft social democracy that prevailed in most industrialized countries didn't emerge in a vacuum.  Quite the opposite, it emerged after decades of brutal class struggle, first the massive accumulation and exploitation of the era of industrialization, and then the backlash years of the rise of socialism and unionization.  OUt of that deep social conflict between two active, organized forces, the 20th century synthesis represented an authentic compromise, an accomodation that left capital in control of the economy and the state, while guaranteeing labor a certain portion of the benefits of economic expansion, and certain social and economic protections.  

              However, what made the rise of Reaganism-Thatcherism that prevails now possible was the decline of the organized power of one side of the earlier conflict, of the working class forces.  Increasingly the only organized force in our society is that of capital, there is no social force organized and mobilized with the power to balance that of capital, the strength to extract concessions from capital.  Thus, in this era of entirely one-sided class war, a class rout if you will, it is inescapable that the consensus deriving from the earlier balance of forces will be discarded and can only be replaced with one that extends the spoils to the side of corporate, Reaganite-Thatcherite neoliberalism now sweeping to total victory.

              "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

              by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:06:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Corporatism IS FASCISM (19+ / 0-)

              Listen to Mussolini:

              "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."

              -- Benito Mussolini

              By this standard, both today's Republicans AND Democrats are fascists.  The only difference between them is one of style, more than substance:  The Dems give a "smoother," more polished, and more palatable face to this system (and sucker the partisans, especially the ones on this site), while the Republicans are just out and out bastards about it.

              Or, here what Gore Vidal had to say about our system back in the 1970s:

              "There is only ONE party in the United States, the Property Party...and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt—until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

              Unfortunately (and this is my beef with this site) too many people here on this site refuse to wrap their brains around these ideas, and instead deny their truth and relevance.  In fact, this whole's site's mission of electing "more and better Democrats" is nothing more than another denial of these realities.

              And yet, what has electing more and supposedly "better" Democrats gotten people on this site since 2006, other than more of the same corporatism, and no real change in the order of things?

              At times, I find the way people on this site think disgusting.  At other times, I find it pathetic.

              •  Are you suggesting another Nader campaign? (5+ / 0-)

                Because that worked out so well last time.  Gore would have totally invaded Iraq - you could see it in his eyes.   ;)

                <no flames!!!  just kidding!!!>

                Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

                by Terrapin on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:15:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nader 1998 (11+ / 0-)

                  Corporatism and Capitalism

                  The corporate globalization through autocratic systems of governance called GATT and NAFTA, which undermine our democratic processes and legitimate sovereignty, has turned numerous Senators and Representatives against similar future adventures like bailouts of foreign oligarchs and dictators deep in debt to
                  western banks.

                  Two hard-line conservatives, House Budget Chairman, John Kasich (R-OH) and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), reflect this split between conservatives and corporatists.

                  Kasich has upset his superiors, Newt Gingrich and Richard Armey, by loudly crusading against a list of corporate subsidies that he fought to terminate last year. He mostly failed, but the process of overcoming the corporate welfare state will take some time. And, as Kasich knows well, it will take a coalition of conservatives, liberals and progressives to break through.

                  On some corporate welfare issues, Kasich finds himself allied with Bernie Sanders (Independent from Vermont) who is one of the most outspoken critics of corporate power in Congress.

                  Charlie Norwood is even more shocking to his corporatist colleagues. Campaigning on a hate-the-federal-government-theme, Norwood won his Georgia Congressional seat in 1994. He soon began to fit the born-again definition of a modern conservative -- that is, a corporatist mugged by reality. In Norwood's case, he started listening to people back home complaining about HMOs and giant hospital chains blocking access to specialists and emergency rooms and arbitrarily rationing health care that folks needed.

                  Norwood then obtained an amazing bi-partisan number of House sponsors for legislation to stop these managed care behemoths from restricting people's choices and rights to get what they paid for. He wants to give patients the right to sue these HMOs when the latter are responsible for something that goes wrong. Two Hundred and Twenty Four members of the House signed on.

                  Listen to Norwood's rationale:

                  "A large number of Washington conservatives need to spend a lot more time with working people across America and a lot less time with lobbyists and politicos. For it appears that far from being defenders of individual freedom, they have convinced themselves that at least in terms of the debate on managed-care reform, the only freedom that counts is the freedom of corporations.

                  "In fact, average working families are just as opposed to big business running their lives as they are to big governments."

                  What Norwood says about the health care megacorporations applies to many other areas of our economy dominated by Big Business.

                  So are the Kasichs and the Norwoods the forerunners of realignment in Congress against corporate power? There certainly is a lot more room for realignment, what with many Republicans and Democrats still pushing to usurp the state laws of wrongful injury, to weaken the corporate criminal laws, to facilitate bigger mergers between banking and other lines of commerce, and to undermine the food and drug laws.

                  The saplings of legislative revolt against corporatism require more nourishment -- such as comprehensive Congressional hearings on corporate welfare rackets, more public dialogue and media attention, more essays and conceptual scholarship and more political leaders willing to make these issues of too much corporate power and control over our country prime campaign material before elections.

                  The people don't need much convincing. It's the leaders who need some political courage to really earn rather than just buy their leadership positions on Capitol Hill.

                  But Nader's the anti-Christ here. So what does he know?

                  "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                  by catnip on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:55:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People here are very open to Nader's message... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    willibro, Matt Z

                    ...and most would leap at the chance to help him build a party based on that message.  But it was Nader's failure to grasp the consequences of Presidential electoral math that has garnered the anger.  

                    If you can figure out a way to strengthen Naderism that does not throw every government institution into the hands of the Republicans then you might stand a chance.  But you can't.  Because there isn't one.  Until you do the equation is simple: helping Naderism hurts Democrats and hurting Democrats helps Republicans therefore Helping Naderism helps Republicans.  And if you really believe that the Dems are as bad as the GOP then I do not think you have been paying attention for the past ten years.

                    Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

                    by Terrapin on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:07:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "But you can't. Because there isn't one." (5+ / 0-)

                      That's self-defeating and that's exactly why the Dems don't feel any pressure from the so-called left to change their ways.

                      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                      by catnip on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:27:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Feel free to bounce an idea off me... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jsmagid, nickrud, Darnell From LA

                        ...because I would love to hear it.  But remember, it cannot cause the GOP to gain any more power.

                        If I could wave my hand and grant Naderism an equal share of political power then I would do it.  But I will not risk allowing the GOP to run any office higher than dog-catcher to do it.  If that means working to elect more and better Democrats then that is where I will be.

                        BTW:  The better in more and better Democrats means more Naderish.

                        Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

                        by Terrapin on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:06:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It must start at the lowest kevel..the House (0+ / 0-)

                          To me the desire for change always focuses on the top: a Presidential candidate.  That is an impossible task.  It must start at the bottom....the lowest rung of national politics:  The House.  Imagine 50-100 like minded independent candidates that were elected on a core platform of reigning in corporate influence...they agree to avoid any collective position on the devisive social issues, each taking on what their constituents demand in that deoartment.  That would be a powerful force for change.  The populist movement was succesful in changing American politics...and if I am not mistaken, occured very much in that fashion.  Remember that Gingrich created a Republican revolution in the house.  

                    •  No, you and others can't grasp that the outcome.. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      xaxado, James Kresnik, farbuska

                      ...in 2000 would have made little difference, unless of course Nader won which was not going to happen.

                      He knew that too, but he ran to educate the citizenry that real change was needed...and we still haven't got real change. Because he was just one man and a few followers speaking into the whirlwind of the corporate media's very unfree press and their stouges in both parties..

                      Many here support the Corporate oligarcy running bothe parties and of course they hate Nader or anyone elese that trys to up set their applecart.

                      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                      by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:16:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's crap (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Terrapin, seancdaug, Darnell From LA

                        on multiple points. There is not a chance in hell that Gore would have lowered marginal tax rates on the rich - you can't get any more benefit for the corporate elite than that - any more than that he would have invaded Iraq, assuming he would not have taken steps that would have prevented 9/11, which he may well have, any more than he would have failed to at least try to implement a carbon tax.

                        As for "supporting" corporate oligarchy, more crap. There is a huge difference between that vs. believing real and substantial change can be accomplished by electing more and better Democrats.

                        Nader sucked at just about every aspect of educating the citizenry. The fact that his and your statement that there was/is no difference between the Parties is total bunk consigns the entire message to the trash heap.

                        Democracy is a contact sport...

                        by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:47:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Yes he and Lieberman would have... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kresnik, farbuska

                  Gore would have totally invaded Iraq - you could see it in his eyes.   ;)

                  After 9/11 they would have invaded both Afgahinstan and Iraq because the same lobbys control them as controled BUSH. Have the last three years taught you nothing?

                  It is a hard to think otherwise.

                  That is why Nader ran.

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:08:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Please go find me a single quote from Gore (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Terrapin

                    in support of invading Iraq from any point after 9/11. Even one that implies it.

                    As you well know, you can't because there isn't any. Again, total unmitigated crap.

                    Democracy is a contact sport...

                    by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:50:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, if you truly believe that kind of thing... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...then you are probably right to continue to help Republicans destroy the country.  I mean, if there is no difference between the parties, then you are better off by helping the GOP destroy America quickly than by helping Democrats  destroy America slowly.  Of course, I completely disagree with you but at least I finally understand your strategy.

                    What I believe is that the Democratic Party contains a small handful of conservative, corporatist tools that are able to use the structural deficiencies of one of the legislative bodies of my government to skew otherwise-helpful efforts at making life better for the majority of Americans.  I also believe that in a representative democracy we get the Democrats we deserve based on the amount of work we put into selecting them.

                    The math is simple:  We have Lieberman because Connecticut Republicans voted for him.  He is not a Democrat.  We had Bush because you voted for Nader.  We have Republicans because there are a lot of people who think that Republicans have the answers or they just hate Democrats so much that they are no longer open to voting for anybody with a D next to their name.  

                    Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

                    by Terrapin on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:55:39 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Civil Rights didn't win the early elections (0+ / 0-)

                  either.

                •  It isnt about candidates its about ideas (0+ / 0-)

                  The problem in trying to conceive a plan of action is that people ALWAYS focus on candidates.  Candidates are people and are easily destroyed or self-destruct (Can you say John Edwards?)...ideas are durable.  Our nation was not founded by an individual charismatic leader...it was founded by a collection of ideas.  Ideas are durable, candidates are not.  

                  That is why I constantly promote the idea of a Constitutional Ammendment movement defining and limiting corporate rights. It is an idea that can survive an individual advoate's popularity.

              •  I thought I was the only one that felt this (10+ / 0-)

                I hate the Democratic party must be defended at all cost mentality.. when that makes us impotent to fight with the best weapons we have.. our vote and hard work to electt people. Withdraw that power and the party in quesiton will lose. So it makes sense to use it to force better options on the party  so that change can be had from within.. I know this one thing.. if we do not get this right soon the planet is doomed.. I am so glad I have no children.. cause I fear this planet will be a big ball of death within 100 years.

                •  It shouldn't. I've arrived there. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bigchin

                  It's nice to have lots of Democrats, but futile, unless Progressives can have a significant impact on legislation.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:32:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greeseyparrot, farbuska

                  cause I fear this planet will be a big ball of death within 100 years

                  .

                  ...It is going to happen, or not, those possible dire events do not hinge on the fate of this Democratic party. It is the whole system that is the problem and it includes Democratic Party.

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:21:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Thus Nader ran, and even with as few votes.. (3+ / 0-)

                  ...as he garnered he obviously scared the crap out of the establishment...thus all the unreasoned hatred aimed at him. A fine reward for selflessly fighting fifty years of fighting corrupt corporatism.

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:26:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  "Corporate" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lol chikinburd

                Mussolini (or maybe his ghostwriter Giovanni Gentile) had something rather different in mind, AIUI, when he used the word "corporatism".  A "corporation" in the Fascist system is something we don't have in our system, maybe a sort of state-sanctioned trade association:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

                by Panurge on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:31:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  What do you suggest we do then? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darnell From LA

                Let's all go support the Green Party!! Yeah that will work out really great won't it? Liberals like you are the reason we got robbed in 2000. Stop living in the clouds and join us in reality if you really want to make a different. I don't totally disagree with Vidal, but I'm also a pragmatist. Idealism is nice, but it doesn't win elections, and there won't be much progressive change if you don't win elections.

                •  there will be some kind of change coming (5+ / 0-)

                  because growing numbers of people on both sides are starting to get darn fed up and beginning to see thru the distractions and flak tossed up that is meant to throw us off.

                  Idealism is nice, but it doesn't win elections, and there won't be much progressive change if you don't win elections.

                  •  Right you are (6+ / 0-)

                    The tea baggers are a symptom.  They are among a lot of people that are angry at the way things have gone in this country over the past 30 years.  The tea baggers are being manipulated, obviously, but their reasons for anger are real.  I argue that we need to invest our efforts in establishing a vigorous extra-party progressive social movement to force our government to deal with the causes of our problems and I also argue that unfettered corporate power is the major cause of our problems.

                    •  We already have one. (0+ / 0-)

                      DFA, MoveOn and the like are already there.

                      •  Yeah and the teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

                        LOVE moveon don't they? I'm from ND originally, and when I would tell people I ocassionally donate to moveon, people would look at me like I'm giving money to Al Qaeda. Moveon et al are America haters, that's what they'll tell you. They are completely brainwashed and controlled by their corporate masters are shockingly easy to manipulate against the very issues that we are trying to implement to help them. Saying you're a Liberal is as bad as saying you're a terrorist to them. You can't engage these people; I tried every day since I was about 16 and then just gave up and moved.

                    •  Whatever is being smoked on this thread... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Timaeus, fille americaine

                      ....I want some! I think I can get a license to sell it here in California too!

                      "There's no difference between the parties"

                      "Gore would have invaded Iraq, too"

                      "The Teabaggers are just people who are sick of what has been happening in this country for 30 years"

                      Why does this thread read like someone over at FireNutLake put out an "Action-Alert" for those "jerks over at DailyKos?"

                      This entire thread is the kind of 'head in the clouds, feet on the grass, gnats flying around my dreamy eyes', kind of pabulum that says we should link arms with teabaggers and march on AIG.

                      I got $50 that says at least 2 dozen "Hamster followers" got together to scam the diary system over here at Dailykos.

                      It's called "reality". You know, out here, underneath the yellow sun? Here, let me give you a tour;

                      The right wingers ARE NOT intellectually honest, in any way shape or form.

                      The teabaggers can't even be called disingenuous because they lack the necessary self awareness possessed by most sentient beings, and therefore cannot conspire to 'lie' about what they believe. They are merely ciphers who respond to the most intolerant, improbable, hateful stimuli they are presented with.

                      From a result oriented, tangible benefit point of view, Ralph Nader has done MORE for corporate America than any man in American history, thanks to him being single-handedly responsible for Bush being elected in 2000, and the subsequent slurping at the trough by corporate America.

                      And to hold "common cause" with someone, that someone must actually have a cause.

                      The right wing in this country (right wing = STILL relevant and becoming more so by the day) is in essence a collection of deranged nihilists.

                      They do not hold beliefs that extend beyond what their side is doing or saying at the moment.

                      If Palin became President the RIGHT WING would applaud while she privatized every function of government. They would stand up and cheer as she handed trillions of tax payer dollars to private corporations. And the pungent aroma of Rush Limbaugh's wet dreams as she put Pfizer in charge of the FDA would melt noses from the Reagan library to Wasilla!

                      Amazing; it has taken less than a year for some otherwise bright people on the left to lose their bearings and go Line-Dancing back to Nader-Ville, this time with Sarah Palin and Teabaggers along for the Hoedown.

                      Anyway, I gotta go. I hear Jane Hamsher and Michelle Malkin are doing a joint webcast tomorrow to oppose Obama's immigration reform plan. Can't miss it...

                      "Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner"

                      by Darnell From LA on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:10:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hear hear! (0+ / 0-)

                        Just about the first sane comment in this thread.

                        This really does feel like something put together by the Firebaggers to justify the Hamsher-Norquist alliance.

                        Kick FDL off the rec list!

                        by Timaeus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:57:40 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  that is a no-no (0+ / 0-)

                        You put something within quotations that was not what was actually written. Talk about twisting things to try and make a point.

                        "The Teabaggers are just people who are sick of what has been happening in this country for 30 years"

                        Here is what was actually posted:

                        The tea baggers are a symptom.  They are among a lot of people that are angry at the way things have gone in this country over the past 30 years.

                        You should have saved yourself a lot of useless typing--Big Fail.

                      •  Thanks for the only sane comment here! (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm have NO respect for this Hamsher (sp?) person. If she really is speaking with Malkin against Obama, I'm thoroughly disgusted. Say what you want about conservative slimeballs, but at least they always sick together and defend their own! I'm not saying that we should blindly follow Obama in everything he does, but what she's doing is unacceptable. Why doesn't she run for president while she's at it? Worked out really great in 2000 right?

                  •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

                    Please tell me how my statement that you copied is not true. Because last time I checked it was.

              •  You got 18 recs for calling Democrats "fascists" (0+ / 0-)

                and for deeming the people on this site "disgusting" and "pathetic"?

                What a bunch of crap.

                Kick FDL off the rec list!

                by Timaeus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:55:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  31 years ago the SC Buckley decision (12+ / 0-)

              gave the power of citizen speech to corporations in the form of political donations. From that point on this has all transpired. You can stop the avalanche now without stopping the flow of money. It is just not possible once the avalanche starts.

              For me, this is cause-and-effect: the corporations could literally buy the Congress and effectively institutionalize their accruing influence. Thus, today we get a corporate oligarchy, from banking to health care to mass communications and defense and on and on. Legal authoritarianism, as far as I can see.

              In the beginning this country was empire, authoritarian rule from the corporate farms and plantations, trade and control of the north and south (English and Dutch). The impulse for democracy and the freedom from the empire nations (eventually just England as the French, Spanish and Dutch faded in North American influence) gave rise to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and finally The Constitution itself.

              However, despite being a new nation, the artifacts of authoritarianism still remained; the most obvious was slavery, but industrialist and bankers were not free of its precepts. So, the nation proceeded with dual systems (democracy and authoritarianism) and the Civil War did not eradicate the authoritarian impulse. American foreign policy has, in so many ways, favored the authoritarian in lieu of spreading democracy in places like Central and South American, Indonesia, the Philippines, Africa and the Middle East. We talk it but we don't do it.

              We have seen - and are seeing - another explosion of authoritarian impulse in the last 30 years.

              The anti-science and pro-religion elements in the South (Childress speech; pdf) go all the way back to critics of the Enlightenment. The big money elements of America, north and south, found a great vehicle in their own limited liability corporations and they're riding that battering ram over the public interest and the residual democratic impulse from WWII and the rise of the middle class. This is ultimately a destructive road, whether it leads to totalitarianism or not.

              Certainly the Buckley decision open the spigots that basically drowned all over individual voices, and in so doing, is erasing the public interest.

              The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

              by walkshills on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:32:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Republican party != The Right (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChemBob, James Kresnik, farbuska

              I think you are confused by this confluence of terms (much like Democrat party has become confused with The Left). There is, in fact, a long history of distrust of corporations on the right. Especially the banking industry.

              The genius of Reagan was that he created a fusion between the more radical elements of the right and the corporate interests. The DLC, under Clinton, attempted to do the same thing and have, to a limited extent, succeeded.

            •  Why do you think people start screaming (7+ / 0-)

              socialism? I get why it would disturb the finanical elite, but why do people who would benefit from it get upset by socialism?  And oddly, I've found that with disturbing frequency some of those whose hair goes on fire with the mere mention of the word actually have a family member receiving government assistance of some sort.

              Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. Are we there yet?

              by bkamr on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:34:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Scary fact (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Philoguy, xaxado, James Kresnik, farbuska

              The republican party IS the party of the corporations/elite.

              Fun fact, so are the Democrats.

              It's just not good enough. Or good at all.

              by jabbausaf on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:18:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  So explain this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik, farbuska

              We had an economic crisis under the Bush republican administration.  His principle advisors were out of Wall Street, primarily Goldman Sachs, and their response was to bail out Wall Street banks.

              Then we had a Dmocratic administration under Obama, during which the economic crisis continued. His porinciple advisors came ouyt oif Wall Street, primarily Goldman Sachs, and their response was to bail out Wall Street banks.

              What's the difference again?

            •  I thought the same thing when I read this (0+ / 0-)

              I think it's a typo.  "The right's long-standing opposition to coporatism".  Huh?

              Obama was for the middle class before he was against it.

              by nandssmith on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:08:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Add corporate to the political lexicon. (6+ / 0-)
            There are non-corporate people on both the left and the right.

            This reality is what is fracturing the Democratic Party.  If Progressives don't get cost controls with that mandate, the fracture will happen.

            I have found common ground with Republicans who have good economic sense, with both of us frustrated at the corporate representation being outta control, agreeing to disagree on social issues.

            This kind of messaging can strongly differentiate Progressive Democrats from ordinary corporate ones.

            IMHO, highlighting this and building on it is the correct strategy, as Progressive Democrats are the largest anti-corporate bloc that exists.

            This is why I have written what I have on the matter of House Progressives not passing mandate only, without cost control legislation.

            If Progressives own that, they cannot differentiate and the anti-corporate movement cannot grow.  If they don't own that, we will suffer losses as a party, but Progressives can point to that mandate and run against it, building it's numbers from the people who understand corporate power must be checked.

            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:29:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Here's an idea. (4+ / 0-)

            Attach our money to policy, rather than politicians. The guys who raised a million to oppose Lieberman, if he filibustered, kinda hit on it.

            How about an escrow fund for single payer, which would be distributed equally between the congresscritters who voted for it when it passes? No single payer this session? Let the money grow for future sessions or opt to move it over into an escrow fund for a carbon tax. Or an escrow fund for peace.

            We came up with, what, $150m or so from small donors for this Obama guy (correct me if I'm wrong). No more Bush was worth it, but that's about all we've gotten so far. If we could keep ponying up, only dangle the carrot out in front, pending results, we could maybe afford one or two real accomplishments in an election cycle.

            "Get hold of portable property." Dickens

            by ZAP210 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:36:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Past the illusion of the Two-Party System is (6+ / 0-)

            the very real internal contradictions of global corporatism, which is a post-Marxist term for advanced monopoly capitalism.  If the global system is going to be somehow harnessed to the common good, it will only happen when the people wake up to the fact that politics within borders as we have known it for the past two centuries is extinct.

            Strategies for American politics are almost beside the point when the governing decisions are made in Davos, Dubai, Riyadh and Beijing.  The western financial centers -- New York and the City of London -- still appear to be relevant, but don't mistake the importance of equity ownership.  Follow the money that deficit finances the federal debt back, and you'll see who really makes the big decisions for America today.  

            What we are entering is an age of Imperialism without any particular state, a situation which neither Marx, Lenin nor Mao had any inkling of, much less practical solutions formulated for its overthrow.

            The fact that these questions are even being raised is amazing, and a major step forward.
             

          •  I have thought about this for months (7+ / 0-)

            The only answer that I can come up with is that we need a vigorous progressive social movement independent of the Democratic Party.  Most of the critical legislation of the 20th century resulted from extra party movements--women's suffrage, civil rights and to a certain (but lesser) extent the reforms made under FDR.  Republican politicians are, collectively, a cruel joke and Democrats, collectively, will do little positive unless they are pushed.

            •  Count me in! I endorse your ... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pohjola, xaxado, James Kresnik

              conclusion.  I don't see any other way.  Of course, we could focus on electing progressive social democrats and that could be "vigorous progressive social movement independent of the Democratic Party".  But that does not change your conclusion at all.

            •  I'm in! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChemBob

              Or out, as the case may be.  Progressive Party.  Damn the C*rats!

              *orpo

              The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

              by xaxado on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:01:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Until you kill the "Opiate of the Masses" ...TV.. (0+ / 0-)

              you will have a hard time organizing anything. Too much supposed 'reality TV' has too many people hypnotized to be aware of what is falling down around them.

              "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

              by Mr SeeMore on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:50:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i don't think you have to worry much about TV (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mr SeeMore

                a few years ago i would not have thought so.  i think we'll see the major networks lose all their ad revenue, the distribution of programs will fragment, the cable and satellite providers will be obsolete.  a lot more programs will be available, on no set schedule, a lot of them very low quality.  
                a local blogger in a comment section questioned an assumption that blogs have killed real journalism, i.e. newspapers -- reminding the writer that news depts were always subsidized by ad revenue -- so it was really craigslist that killed newspapers.
                maybe all those couch potatoes won't suddenly go outside and start filming you tube videos... but they are going to have to find a new opiate in any case.

          •  Here's an idea: A Constitutional Ammendment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChemBob, James Kresnik, angeloftruth

            To me what the argument really is about is the massive amounts of lobbying and political marketing dollars deployed by corporations.  Since the mission of corporations is very singular in purpose (profits), that influx of political speech (SCOTUS: money = speech)distorts the political process in a powerful and destructive way.  We cannot restrain corporate political speech through statutes since they will claim their Constitutional speech rights in the courts.  The only way is to ammend the Constitution and clearly define and limit Corporate rights to certain property rights and other limited legal rights. But entirely remove any corporate claim to speech rights.  

            The Right has very succesfully utilized trivial issues in Ammendment movements to frame issues or motivate voters.  They fail of course because they do not deal with the fundamental architecture of givernment.  THIS issue is fundamental to the architecture of government.

            Living in the conservative south, I assure you that this issue appeals to right and left alike.

          •  We are "for" the government working for people. (0+ / 0-)

            I think this says it all.

            It is interesting to me that we have fought against the idea that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.  Remember Nader's meme?  Well, now this has become true it seems.  It means that the single issue voters are now correct.  The only issues worth fighting for are our social issues.  I don't necessarily believe that, just that it now becomes a good point worth arguing.

            Boycotting Tweety since, "netroots, not sure they're regular grown-up Democrats, troublemakers who get their giggles from sitting in the backseat and bitching."

            by alliedoc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:15:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Become" true? It's as true as it ever was... (0+ / 0-)

              ...or as false.

              I'm a little bit amazed to see many of the same people who lashed out bitterly against Nader now regurgitate the same arguments he used in his 2000 campaign, seemingly without any sense of humility (or irony).

              "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

              by seancdaug on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:09:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I still "lash out bitterly". My comment does not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timaeus

                indicate any softening to my view that he is a complete arrogant asshole.  Bitterly does not apply, however.  

                He was completely wrong in saying that there was no difference.  Gore would have made a huge difference.  But, as the corporatist program becomes more entrenched, there will be less difference in SOME aspects of governing.  

                There are so many ways that that is not true.  

                It's THE ENVIRONMENT, stupid.

                Boycotting Tweety since, "netroots, not sure they're regular grown-up Democrats, troublemakers who get their giggles from sitting in the backseat and bitching."

                by alliedoc on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:55:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I argue that we need to change the dialectic of (17+ / 0-)

          Democrat vs. Republican to neo-Fascist Corporatist Oligarchy vs. Democracy.  An important step is to Unite the people against the Oligarchy, as I argue in one of my diaries, which I include below:

          The divide-and-conquer axiom is one of the oldest and most effective tools ever invented to subjugate, oppress, and exploit people.  It's very interesting to see how this so very simple concept is being used today by the people who are manipulating you with such mastery.  The reason it's interesting is because it should not take a genius to realize something so obvious and transparent, being done in broad daylight--to you.

          The guys at RedState (and other Right-leaning organizations) sneer at liberals for being bleeding-hearts tree-huggers obsessed with taking their money and giving it to the poor.  We on the Left sneer at them for outrageous protest signs (that connote racist and hateful messages), and for their purported ignorance.

          In the meantime, both groups are being led to the slaughterhouse just the same.  One herd supposedly less sophisticated and full of hate.  The other herd supposedly smarter and full of self-assurance about really, really getting it.  It's time to wake up and take on the real enemy.

          There is no greater vulgarity and criminality than that of the people who are manipulating you and exploiting you, and turning regular folk against each other so they can satiate their disproportionate greed.

          No protest sign or racist slur or hateful speech (as disgraceful as they may be) can ever begin to match the depravity, avarice, and sociopathic character of the man, who already benefiting from extreme wealth and privilege, has no decency to ever say, "Ok, this is enough."

          For the actions of this man are multiple times more harmful to society than any hateful protest sign.  For the actions of this man are indeed responsible for the conditions that help perpetuate the type of ignorance in society that leads a man to carry a hateful protest sign.

          The level of destruction, pain, and suffering this man causes is hard to identify with words.  Parasite? Leech? Terrorist?  Each applies, but it falls way short of capturing the actual consequences of this man's actions.

          This is the man responsible for designing ponzi-like financial schemes with the express purpose of defrauding the nation, and stealing trillions of dollars, leaving behind a measure of destruction and suffering that again, is hard to quantify.  This man is the real enemy of the state.  His God is money, and his banner is greed.

          Like a puppet master, he's making you focus on anything and everything except him.  He buys off the entire media, and the politicians, and he gets control of the machinery of power, and uses all of it to manipulate you, to control you, to make you act against your own interests, and to exploit you.

          He instills fear in you so you don't dare even think at trying to look behind the curtain, or to ask too many impertinent questions.  He puts up a circus show every day on TV, and the rest of the media, meant to keep you focused on irrelevant things, on phony debates.

          In the meantime, day by day, your rights, and your economic well-being is chipped away, little by little, with your full consent.

          To the man, you are nothing but a walking and talking ATM; a thing to be exploited and manipulated for his own gain.

          It's time for a new awakening! The Urgency of Now Demands YOUR Involvement.

          If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

          by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:38:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  False Dichotomy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus

            Or with Marx, a false dialectic.

            My problem with these arguments is that they always try to reduce things down two one dimension, with two sides diametrically opposed to each other. It's either Left vs. Right or Insider vs. Outsider, with little room for nuance.

            The reality of the political landscape is too complicated to easily be boiled down to simply two sides. However, the mechanics of our political system with winner-take-all pretty much guarantee that you'll have two major parties with third parties mostly either supplanting one of the previous two major parties as it collapses (such as with the Whigs and Republicans in the 19th century) or act as a spoiler or dumping ground for people at the extremes. Where with a parliamentary system you often have multiple parties forming coalitions with each other to form a governing majority, in America those coalitions are prepackaged as either Democrat or Republican.

            As such, I don't think it is an exclusive or of Left vs. Right or Insider vs. Outsider, both matter, and there are even more divisions than that. There are outsiders on the right side of the political spectrum at odds with a Corporatist system, however their ideal system is still at odds with those of a socialist on the left who is opposed to a Corporatist system. The socialist and the libertarian may form an alliance of convenience to defeat the fascist, but that does not mean that they see eye to eye on anything beyond the necessity of eliminating fascism. This should be obvious just by paying attention to history, as the US and Soviet Union allied to defeat Nazi Germany before entering into a decades long Cold War with each other once they had fulfilled the purpose of their alliance.

            Divide and conquer works because of this, and the insiders are wise to use it against the interests of the public. However, they have enemies at all sides as well, which creates the risk of alliances of convenience between the Ron Pauls and the Alan Graysons to knock them off their throne.

            •  The implication of your line of argument (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pohjola, xaxado, FreeWoman19

              Demonstrate my point.  There is an implied frame within which political discussion is allowed, and this is done by design.  The reason for this is that the edges of that frame are set by the Oligarchs in power, knowing that anything that happens within that frame is not going to have any effect on their power and influence.

              If you step out of that frame, then there is a predictable reaction, which includes the allusion to Marxism, Leninism, Nazism, Socialism, etc.  Usually this tactic works with most people since they have been conditioned to fear being called any of those things, and this breeds conformism, and instills a certain amount of fear (of stepping out of the line drawn by the corporatist masters).

              Another tactic used by the Right includes turning an argument completely around, and claiming that up is down and down is up.

              For example, my world view, and my approach to these socio-economic issues, and power structures, is a far away from a black-and-white approach as it can be.

              I'm basing my conclusions (that the U.S. is a corporatist Oligarchy) on careful analysis and study of the current situation.  As a guide I always strive to have an open mind, reject dogma, reject social conditioning, and to a certain extent, reject "conventional wisdom."

              Hence, I'm always ready and able to make corrections on any of my views if I'm presented with a cogent argument, and evidence that shows I'm in error.

              If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

              by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:37:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, so let's for the moment concede (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                2020adam

                that you have accurately named the problem. Now what? What strategies do you derive from your analysis? What practical steps would you suggest, given the reality of the power held by the oligarchy?

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:26:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It seems like that's the question James almost... (0+ / 0-)

                  asks, then chickens out, telling us that all we need is a new constitutional amendment or something. Because clearly that's something that would happen within our present power structure. Obviously if we just ask nicely enough or vote harder or whatever, the Dems will just... do it, or whatever. Yea.

                  It feels like he saw how crazy it will be to get rid of the political parties, so instead he oversimplifies the problem (hey look! Glenn Greenwald says there's no such thing as progressive v. conservative!), then oversimplifies the solution.

            •  Sorry, 19th century rules no longer apply. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pohjola

              However, the mechanics of our political system with winner-take-all pretty much guarantee that you'll have two major parties with third parties mostly either supplanting one of the previous two major parties as it collapses (such as with the Whigs and Republicans in the 19th century)

              The 19th century information technology was utterly dependent on broadcast media, which gave national organizations the marketing edge. Currently, the extant political duopoly together relies on the same, decaying top-down messaging machine. Modern communications and viral marketing is making it easier for dissonant movements to shake-up the status-quo any particular political unit.

              Insert enough disaffected voters tired of both parties organizing using non-broadcast nodes of communication, and you can see the old top-down, nationwide, monolithic model of politics begin to break down. The Democrats and the Greens could duke it out in Northern California Congressional seat while the Libertarians and Republicans can dominate politics in West Texas.

              In short, expect many repeats Ventura bid or Sanders' off-the-reservation trek in both state and Congressional races, utterly disrupting the balance of the two-party state.

        •  Power of the purse. (9+ / 0-)

          Who will appeal to all ideologies?

          I would love to see people boycott the health insurance industry.

          Why are we so loathe to use our collective powers of the purse.

          Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

          by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:42:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good point. (5+ / 0-)

            If a enough people in enough states simply refused medical coverage as a point of standing with their fellow Americans, the system could be brought down in months.

            At worst, it would be an attempt.

            But everyone's afraid so they don't do anything except shout, and then shout to defeat the only attempt to prevent more uninsured from dying. Great help to us 30 million.

            (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

            by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:49:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Collective Action requires individual action. (10+ / 0-)

              And individual action ain't easy when it means going 'just a few months' without health insurance. This is why none of what we're talking about is easy. We could absolutely bring down the corporations themselves if the white collar employees of those corporations engaged in work slowdowns or strikes. But those are real people with real mortgages, etc.

              I'm right with you in saying that such action would accomplish quite a bit. But the question in the end is this (and it must be asked of everyone): so you'll go first?

              •  Strategic Nonviolent Conflict - the road to power (4+ / 0-)

                The power of the individual is the root of the power of our democracy.

                You cannot believe in one while denying the other.

                Both are potent beyond imagining, but only if we bother to exercise them.

                Again, a series of diaries from NorthDakotaDemocrat at Booman Tribune from the 'dark years' of the Bush administration is worth adding to your library:

                Sources of power are identified as residing among the people throughout society, with the power holder able to exercise only that power that the people permit.

                    In other words, the ruler can only rule with the consent and cooperation of the people [...]

                    ...the important point of the pluralistic model of power is that, since the people provide the ruler with the sources of his power, then the people can also withdraw their consent to be ruled by withholding the sources of power they collectively provide to the regime.

                --- Robert L Helvey On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: Thinking About the Fundamentals.

                [All text in boxes from the above source. Robert L Helvey is a protégé of Gene Sharp]

                http://www.boomantribune.com/...

                •  We need to give people something to fall into. (0+ / 0-)

                  Expecting people to jump (from capitalism, private 'insurance', private transportation, etc) strikes me as fairly unreasonable unless we provide something reliable for people to fall into when things don't go so well. (Which is why I intend to start my own lil' commune right here in pdx in a few decades.)

                  I will be sure to read NDD's Booman diary tomorrow when I get the chance though. Thank you!

              •  I let go of health insurance a few years ago (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bigchin, xaxado, 2020adam, angeloftruth

                why pay a fortune for something that won't pay when you really need it,

                Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

                by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:45:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Personally, even as as a young person, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  War on Error

                  I've had enough health issues that insurance has, in general, been 'worth it'. Honestly, I don't think the concept of a mandate is the worst thing in the world - I think you should have to be insured, given the insane costs of taking care of you once something does happen. But not without a legit option from the government. Otherwise, well... corporatism. Whether or not there is any longer a distinction between left or right (and I believe that, philosophically, there is), the dems have proven to us quite conclusively that they are in fact corporatists, plain and simple. I don't care what their intentions are, if they're nicer people than republicans, or if they peddle a gentler form of corporatism. It is what it is, and it's plainly insane that you're going to be compelled by law to deal with a soul-sucking corporation.

        •  I am for something (12+ / 0-)

          I'm for a government that works for common good. One that is not wholly owned by the corporations and is not about 'creating wealth' for those who sit on the top. I'm for no taxation without representation. I'm for regulation and economic equality, thrust busting comes to mind. I'm for peace not geopolitical neocon war. I'm for jobs and labor that are more then a profit loss and shipped to places that employ slaves. I am for change bottom up. I'm for what I mistakenly thought Obama was running on. I'm for the constitution and the bill of rights. But mostly I'm for democracy.  

          There is no reason in hell that this cannot be the reality other then the fact that the government does not intend to represent the common good it is against their interests which have nothing to do with we the people.. Who are we compromising with? not the loney defunct right but the faceless greedy neo liberals who own our government and our thoroughly corrupt political system.  

          The corporations do not have the Democrat's by the balls, the Democrats willingly sold them their balls, long ago. They are allowed to use them periodically to whip the populace to war, or stage faux battles in the joke of our legislature or to mandate some more money to the top, but all in all their balls are busy busting ours, by partisanly.

          In what way do populists misread history? I say the opposite we are in this mess because we have excepted the historical fictions the pols, all of them pass off as reality, and we fall for it every time. Being for what the ruling class tells you is inevitable and buying there lame excuses when they screw all Americans isn't being for anything. The main thing your for by supporting this is fear which just holds you hostage and blinds you to your power.

          Mushroom clouds, too big's falling on you, terrorist's, Taliban, teabaggers, and any other bogeymen/enemies they use to hide behind are the least of our problems they are cooked up distractions designed to keep you from dealing with the real one sitting in our halls of government.  Don't Tread On Me should be the part of our history we remember. Do not give them your consent until they start governing for and representing something other then 'wealth creation'.            

        •  Yes, but what? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          how do you in esence create a 'Goldilocks' world, not just a nation, but an entire planet, where none has too little, no one has too much, but everyone has exactly the right amount?

          •  Nothing so fanciful, please. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soccergrandmom, FreeWoman19

            How about a nation where corporations can be executed and their profits completely imprisoned for dastardly crimes like real people and their power and influence is utterly separate from sovereign governments.

            How about taxing financial firms to cover the collective risk of their schemes; truly allowing labor in every nation to receive the same collective-bargaining rights to earn something above near slave-wages? How about politically and economically cutting off nations that try to rig their systems to create a slave-class to feed their oligarchs?

            How about nations where people are allowed to have more direct representation, and where information about products and services is required to be fully disclosed, so we can see true Adam Smith style capitalism in action?

            How about treasuries controlled by the people rather than distant central bankers who inflate and manipulated currency to create bigger speculative bubbles?

            How about a policy where nations only protect their borders, rather than protecting the interests of trans-national ententes who indulge in risky ventures that they have no business with in the first place?

          •  Short, pithy answer: you don't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soccergrandmom, FreeWoman19

            As you say, it's impossible.

            But improvements don't happen by achieving perfection, they happen through the process of striving for perfection. In all likelihood, we'll never have a nation, let alone an entire planet, "where none has too little, no one has too much, but everyone has exactly the right amount." But that doesn't mean it's not something to shoot for.

            As for the best ways to shoot for it, well, James Kresnik before me provides a number of ideas with which I wholeheartedly agree.  In the more immediate sense, reject the reasoning behind corporate personhood (if not the concept itself), and the idea that corporations deserve rights and privileges equal to that of the individual.

            "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

            by seancdaug on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:53:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  So What's New About Any Of this? (8+ / 0-)

          The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry by Lawrence E. Mitchell ought to be required reading for anyone following this debate. One major reason is that Mitchell makes a vital distinction between industrial capitalism and finance capitalism, which to my mind is far more useful than the rather vague term "corporatism".

          Put simply, Mitchell's thesis is that since the 1890s the United States has been living under a high finance capitalist regime which is hard-wired to favor major investment banks and Wall Street. He ends his story in the 1920s by which time the finance capitalist order--reinforced by among other things the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913--was firmly established.

          Of course, Mitchell's hardly the first to point all this out. Gabriel Kolko went over some of the same ground some 45 years ago (!) in his Triumph of Conservatism .  But it seems that a good many lefties--who sometimes resemble ducks in that every day they wake up to a whole new world--still had trouble getting the message. Either that or they simply didn't care.  After all, the system "worked", at least as long as cheap land, cheap energy, cheap natural resources and a commanding position on a global scale (thanks largely to the two world wars) could power the industrial and commercial sectors of the economy.  The finance sector could be as parasitical as it wanted without doing much harm. Nor did it matter that terms such as "Left", "Right", "Liberal", and "Conservative" were pretty much detached from economic realities

          Needless to say, fun time began drawing to a close around 1970...

          More later.

          •  So What's New... (4+ / 0-)

                Starting around 1970, the factors which had powered the industrial and commercial sectors of the economy began turning sour.  Cheap energy, cheap land, cheap resources, and the commanding heights on the international economic scene could no longer be taken for granted after 1973.
                It was at this point that the disconnect between political and ideological perceptions on the one hand and economic realities on the other began to matter.  Neither "Left", nor "Right", nor "Center" had much of a clue then or later as to how to respond to US economic decline.  Most of the Left had forgotten how to think about economic policy.  Most of the Right continued to soldier on with anti-Big Government oratory whose net effect was to further privilege the economic sector which was already throughly advantaged within the political process, namely the financial sector.  The Center naturally followed the line of least resistance which was also the best bet for hefty campaign contributions, namely support for the financial sector.
                After the early 70s bankers and brokers were handed a mission for which they were and had always had been totally unfitted--guiding the nation's economic growth. And now there were no robust industrial and commercial sectors to cover for the financial sector's mistakes.

            To be continued...

            •  Paul, Alan, & Ben: Giants In The Earth (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pohjola, xaxado, James Kresnik

                  Beginning in 1978, the United States has had three administrations:  the Volcker Administration, the Greenspan Administration and the current Bernanke Administration.  There was nothing wrong with this. In fact, given the inability of the political process to come up with anything approaching a coherent response to the underlying problems of economic decline, Paul, Alan, & Ben probably constituted the best possible solution.
                  For they had the task of overseeing the one sector of the economy entrusted with the job of growing the economy--the financial sector.  Any other approach--an industrial policy, a foreign trade policy which emphasized US economic interests--would have involved decision-making by elected officials in the White House and on Capitol Hill.  And America's elected officials, trapped in decades-old ideological and rhetorical webs of their own making, were simply not capable of making those decisions. Given the political climate of a quarter-century ago, it seemed sensible to leave economic decision-making in the hands of people who presumably knew how to make those decisions. Bankers and brokers.  And who would be better fitted to superivise the bankers and brokers than the Central-Banker-in-Chief?
                  You ain't seen nuthin' yet...  

              •  Bubbles! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pohjola, xaxado, James Kresnik

                    Nothing new about them, of course.  The possibility of speculative bubbles has always been an inherent characteristic of vigorous economic growth.  But was it possible to have economic "growth" driven almost entirely by bubbles?  And could the nation's financial sector--now in full command of the economy and whatever components of the political system still mattered--come up with an alternative means to achieve growth?
                    The evidence of the past 25 years seems to answer these questions with a Yes and with a No.    
                    Yes, the US economy has been driven mainly by bubbles since the early 1980s--the commercial real estate bubble, the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble, all contemporaneous with a longer-term credit bubble.
                    No, the financial sector is not capable of devising any alternative.
                    So where does that leave us?

                •  Politics...Not as Usual! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pohjola, James Kresnik

                      There's been a good deal of wailing lately about the allegedly "dysfunctional" state of affairs in Washington.  In fact, the political system as a set of institutions is functioning no better or worse than it always has.  For example, during the just-concluded Senate debate on health care reform, nothing happened that hadn't happened plenty of times before or that wasn't hard-wired into the very structure of the institution (Nebraska has as many Senators as California--this is news?).
                      Something is happening here, though, even if what it is ain't exactly clear.  It's called real political decision-making based on economic realities, and it's not something we're accustomed to or terribly comfortable with. The fact is that Americans are horribly out of practice at that sort of thing. There's no guarantee that the decisions made will be the right ones (this is, after all, a democracy!).  But what is more apparent day by day is that Americans now have no choice but to choose.  Not even Person of the Year Ben Bernanke can avert that.

                  •  "I seem to be a verb" -- Buckminster Fuller (0+ / 0-)

                    Interesting narrative, thank you, but the conclusion falls short.  I would put it this way:

                    We are seeing a global power struggle between transnational pirates (finance, military, life-rationing corporations) and: China.  The pirates have atempted to embed themselves into the DNA of each and every nation state.  The US is so filled with that cancer that it will never recover.  So far China has resisted.  The pirates want to bring it into line by cutting off its energy.  But China is very resilient, so far at least, at beating that game.

                    We are entering a period that will be more driven by events than policies.  Policies are like nouns, events are like verbs.  Finally, we will stop talking and do something.  I can't wait!

                    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

                    by xaxado on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:23:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Actual discussion & decision-making - Horror! (0+ / 0-)

                    Thank You for Series!

        •  Didn't Obama's campaign prove anything? (5+ / 0-)

          Take a populist stand agaisnt the status quo in DC and excite small donors by the millions.

          Seemed like a good alternative, problem is, once in DC there tends to be a commitment meltdown.

          And that's a politically demoralizing tact to take. Leaves people feeling swinddled and not wanting to participate. Which just happens to work out very well for the corporate money pushers.

          So that'd be my suggestion. Run a campaign promising to "change" the status quo of the corporate/governmnet butt-buddy relationship. Then actually deliver on it as best you can once elected.

          Suddenly it's Christmas The longest holiday. When they say 'Season's Greetings, They mean just what they say It's a season, it's a marathon Retail eternity

          by Pescadero Bill on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:39:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Perkins term corporatocracy is better (5+ / 0-)

          than the term corporatism.  That one sounds more like a religion than a form of government, even when the government is dictatorial.  Perkins latest book Hoodwinked talks about this very thing.  He doesn't look at capitalism as a bad thing, but the multinational for of corporation is like a mutant virus or cancer in his book.  He would agree that we need to stop fighting each other as left and right and start finding issues we agree on to fix what's wrong with our world.  An example would be Monsantos lock on the seed market with their having patented just about every sort of seed and stopping farmers from recultivating their own seed for planting the next year.  Clearly, there are people of all political stripes who can come together over that one.  This is precisely the point.  As for our government and the people in it at all levels, they are in the pocket of the corporatocracy.  This is what the American revolution was about, breaking the bondage set up by the King of England in the colonies for the sake of the corporations of that time ie The East India Tea Company, for example.  We have become pretty much a feudal system once again.  We all have to make the decision that we are supposed to be a democracy for the people and not the slaves of corporations.  We need to make the elected officials do the right thing.  Left to their own devices, they will never do the right thing. Ending the mistake that gave corporations the rights of a citizen in that bogus Supreme Court case in the 1800s would be a start.  Imagine how different it would be if all companies had to function as partnerships as opposed to having the security of a corporation.  "Honesty might actually become the best policy" again.

          Winning without Delay.

          by ljm on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:43:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So what do we do? Defeat the Democrats? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          We support progressive Democrats who move us forward. We get involved with the local Democrats and push for progressive policies. We support Progressive groups that put pressure on the party. I don't think we can jump ship and look for a third party, but we don't have to accept the status quo. "Corporations have Democrats by the proverbial balls, backed up against a wall." We don't have to give to the non-responsive party organizations like, the DNC, OFA or the DSCC. We can channel our money to individual candidates.

          We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

          by Duke S on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:44:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've been thinking about these "spectrums" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pohjola, Nulwee, xaxado

          of left to right, or corporatist to, what? anti-coporatist is the best we have right now.

          Too bad I didn't think of this before. And too bad techno doesn't drop in and write a few comments. But it seems to me the most useful spectrum is probably going to be Thorstein Veblen's Producer Class versus Leisure Class. Techno has refined it as Producer Class versus Predator Class. But Leisure Class may be more useful, especially in understanding cultural corruption as one of the key methods by which the Leisure Class propagates and maintains its dominance of the national economy and polity. I believe this is pretty much what Naomi Klein was revealing and discussing in her first book, in 2000, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, which deals with how advertising by big corporations creates a cultural acceptance of even the ill effects of globalization.

          Daniel Gross wrote earlier this year, afte rre-reading Veblen's classic The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899.:

          To Veblen, the rise of a conspicuously consuming leisure class wasn’t a sign of progress. It was a relic of barbarism, an evolutionary step from feudalism, and, hence, un-American. The equation of luxury with British tyranny and decadence, which took hold in the revolutionary era, persisted through much of the 19th century.

          Unfortunately, even Daniel Gross did not quite Veblen, and concluded that our modern Leisure Class is much different than what existed in Veblen's time.

          What I think Gross misses (and probably most other people who read only Veblen;s best known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class) are two things. First, what Veblenites have come to call institutional analysis. At the cost of gross oversimplification:  an example of institutional analysis is that bankers are bankers because they act like bankers. Second, is the application of Vebeln's insights to the popular culture, to understand the ways that culture is shaped, for what purposes, and by whom. How come we have not yet seen a television ad for a new bank that says something like, "Yeah, Citi and Chase are killing you with 23 percent interest rates. But switch to our credit card, and you'll only be charged eight percent!"

          A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

          by NBBooks on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:43:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Greenwald is BAD, BAD, BAD b/c (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ctkeith, bruh1, potatohead

        he doesn't know that Obama and the Democrats are dreamy.

        Therefore, everything that he says should be ignored by posters on this site until he learns to toe the party line.

        Isn't that right, Kossack partisans?

      •  But those on the right (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc, Eric Blair, jsmagid, Micheline

        oppose the same things we do for different reasons. I'd measure to guess that most of us on this site would like the U.S. to look more like Canada; the teabaggers want either an Ayn Rand type of "paradise", or a theocracy mixed with her ideals. There are big fundamental differences between us, so while me we oppose similar issues, we are in no way alike in our ideals.

      •  An analysis just as impressive as the diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxado, James Kresnik

        Which ideology would create a "more perfect Union"?

        If one considers the US Constitution a device to protect The People from Government, then the Libertarian's argument should be supreme.

        If one considers the US Constitution a device to protect The People from Business, then the Socialists argument should be supreme.

        Unfortunately for both groups, there is a growing population who believe that the US Constitution is a device to protect The People from both Government and Business.  

        Maybe we need a new Party, one who will champion that viewpoint.

        •  Jefferson had such a view (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Angie in WA State, James Kresnik

          He wanted "Freedom from Monopoly" to be in the Bill of Rights.

          Everything is backwards - and it is just accepted and the argument takes place within the approved parameters.

          Ex: "Personal Responsibility" vs "Moral Hazard". Under these prescribed boundaries, when the powerless confront hardship or commit criminal acts, the blame lies entirely with them. No system is at fault, nor can any environment be used to even examine, let alone excuse, and it is up to them to correct their situation. Compare that to the powerful. When they are caught committing far more devastating and influential crimes, effecting literally everyone on earth, it is the fault of a system that created criminal opportunities that were just too tempting to resist. A "moral hazard". And this is just accepted as it has become expected of the powerful that they will ignore law and morality. And people actually WANT THEM TO. A large segment of society has been convinced that it is this way because the powerful will bring economic opportunity and freedom, and were we to treat the powerful with the same viciousness with which we treat the powerless, everyone would suffer. The opposite is true, of course. But the conversation is controlled and myths are offered and constructed without anyone to question the narrative.

          Jefferson understood, put aside for a moment who he considered worthy of such a society, that government should be established to protect people from the powerful - corporations (much, much less powerful in his day, even though the East India Co was an international corporation backed by an imperial military - sound familiar?) and government.

          Individual Liberty, Organizational Responsibility.

          ...the alternative is revolution

          by 1000 Points of Fright on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:27:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the Article V Convention (5+ / 0-)

      it's time to dust off the u.s. constitution and put it to work for us here and now. the convention clause of article v would allow state delegates to convene, build consensus about 1) what can be done 2) what could possibly be ratified.

      the merging of the private sector and government is most dangerously exhibited in the fact that we now have private corporations telling us who won or did not win an election. no transparencey in elections, no freedom.

      this group is the national group heading up the effort to coerce the convention call out of the 111th congress: http://www.foavc.org

      while their website needs work, there is a good bit of information there to be considered.

      •  I dont' want the teabaggers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JWC

        re-writing the constitution.

        (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

        by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:08:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  nulwee, they can't: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polar bear

          the Article V Convention is a non-partisan deliberative assembly to propose ideas not re-write the constitution. the convention can only put things on the table and adjorn. those proposals must then garner the approval of 38 states for ratification.

          with a ratification bar that high, anything even slightly questionable will go nowhere. think about how special elections for delegates will open up a window of ideas corporatists do not discuss. think about how the convention would allow american citizens to discuss things with legal authority, not simply another never-ending string of complaints on the blogsphere. the convention clause is part of our constitution for a reason. i trust the wisdom of those who wrote it.

          p.s. since all the applications for the convention are on record, and one congress after the next has not met its constitutional obligation to issue the call, what you fear, has and is happening: they're attempting to re-write the constitution into one without the right to alter or abolish.

          •  Wouldn't a "non-partisan deliberative body" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            willibro

            be a pipe-dream, if by that you mean neither conservative or liberal?  Of course there are other kinds of partisan.  But I imagine that the minute such an assembly was considered, the intense partisan jockeying (warfare) would begin for partisan delegates.  After which, any proposed ideas would be equally partisan.  As in, a healthcare type "debate" revisited, with equally dismal results.

            "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." Will Rogers

            by tovan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:39:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hang on a minute (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              willibro, PurpleMyst, polar bear
              this would be individuals elected by the people of their states, sent to the convention to propose particular amendments. of course there will be partisan amendments proposed, but of course the delegates will also recognize--having just been through a campaign to get there--that their job is to build consensus. those delegates are not going to be blind to the fact that whatever they put on the table, it'll have to have overwhelming and broad support. of all the subjects under consideration, there will be some with such support: an effective national standard for voting and voter registration, perhaps. or, an end to gerry-mandered districts? or, perhaps even an amendment to end corporate person-hood--the root of this discussion.
              •  Any chance that corporate interests (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Kresnik

                won't dump a zillion dollars to hijack this any less than they do any other political process?

                That's not to say don't investigate the possibility, but do so with open eyes as to the inherent difficulties in obtaining the outcome you/we would desire.

                Democracy is a contact sport...

                by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:36:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  they've already done that--dumping zillions-- (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kresnik

                  so if they could do that in this case, don't you think they would've already manufactured consent and utilized this? think about what would need to happen: the states would have to hold elections for delegates, those delegates--likely citizens who want nothing to do with politics, and/or not looking to win a re-election--would make their way there. they will have a say, and the shills will be exposed for what they are because the very purpose of a convention is to take power away from the interests which have taken root. think about the dynamic of such an event. it's the antithesis of trying to buy and sell, it's an open discussion. we have an open discussion daily on the internet, but nothing with legal teeth. the convention would provide that.

                  having said that, corporate interests now count our votes. that means the end. we're at the end. if we can't trust in this option, then why not just get on our knees? i trust what is there in our constitution. think about this, think about the chain of events which would take place before the actual convention. do you think corporate interests want to deal with that can of worms?

                  •  A few points (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Kresnik

                    so if they could do that in this case, don't you think they would've already manufactured consent and utilized this?

                    No. They've no need. They've got all the levers they want and need. I'm just saying that if a convention were able to get off the ground they would use their considerable leverage to try and ensure that the outcome was as benign to them as possible.

                    IOW I have doubts as to the efficacy of this route in accomplishing the end goal of significantly reduced corporate power and influence.

                    delegates--likely citizens who want nothing to do with politics, and/or not looking to win a re-election

                    I really don't think you can make such assumptions. There is no reason why those standing for election are any less likely to be very politically involved as anyone running for any elected position.

                    the shills will be exposed for what they are because the very purpose of a convention is to take power away from the interests which have taken root.

                    It's hardly clear as to what would make someone a "shill" vs. someone lobbied incessantly regarding every idea that is brought to the floor with more than token support. Nor is it clear that the purpose of the convention would be to take power away from rooted interests. The purpose could just as well be to modify the structure of government to make it work better, whatever that means.

                    Democracy is a contact sport...

                    by jsmagid on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 08:04:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                      1. yes, they've got everything they need, so why risk their power at convention?
                      1. not an assumption, but based on statisitical research. i travelled the country this summer and spoke with almost 350 americans about this at length. these people were not politicians and politics disgusted them, as they do many here at daily kos. if a convention call is coerced out of the congress, many of them, and many of the thousands of sterling individuals across the country right now will make their way to americas first Article V Convention.
                      1. it's very clear what a shill is--someone who wants to keep the status quo in place by proposing ideas with no real affect on current power.
                      1. to argue that it is not clear the convention would take power away from rooted interests is arguing against all facts we know them to be true, including human nature, including all of the human condition. if this subject is new to you, i hope you turn it over for a few days and think about how a convention would stop dead in its tracks "politics as ususal." doing that, indeed takes power away from rooted interests.

                      in the end, the convention clause is part of our constitution for a reason. if so, what reason?

                      •  I guess I just don't have any where near (0+ / 0-)

                        the faith you do in this avenue. The level of complexity involved in obtaining a successful outcome, IMO, makes it just as likely that the outcome will not be to your liking as it is to be to your liking.

                        As for your research, absent a report and details of your approach, I cannot make any judgment about the veracity of your claims. What I know from my own experience over 25 years or so in and around local/regional politics leads me to believe that people who are disgusted by politics are unlikely to sign up to spend days on end enmeshed in what will be a political process, even if one that is set up outside the existing political processes.

                        Democracy is a contact sport...

                        by jsmagid on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:56:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  You're assuming that either there's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxado, James Kresnik

        no corruption by corporate influence on the state level to block such an action.

        Or that the corporate influence couldn't go there to interfere with it.

        It's like campaign finance reform. It takes those already in the pockets of the corporate elite to vote for it. And that's not going to happen.

        Where does that leave us? Well for now, just trying to educate more and more people about it. I'll even suggest a good deal of those that voted for Obama wanted to see that kind of change take place. So, perhaps we're close to a critical mass that will foster change. And yet, the corporate roots sink further and further into the soil of our democracy.

        That's why this health care bill is like so much rich compost for the weed of the insurance industry already well rooted in DC.

        Suddenly it's Christmas The longest holiday. When they say 'Season's Greetings, They mean just what they say It's a season, it's a marathon Retail eternity

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:59:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. Wonderful diary. (8+ / 0-)

      You truly get it.

    •  Job loss/foreclosures/uninsured are bipartisan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik, allie123, polar bear

      Can we put aside our human need to "be right" in order to begin to heal the divides that will leave a disaster for our children and grandchildren if we fail to unite?

      As crazy as I know this sounds, and as difficult as this seems to be, I think we can best accomplish this by joining them in body while quietly standing for resolutions to our shared problems.  

      By being patient, good listeners, compassionate to their fears, and firm in our resolve to stand together to cure our common problems, we can overcome the well-financed machine of Chaos.  

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Will we work now?
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

      by War on Error on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:40:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  THE topic of the day. (21+ / 0-)

      thank you so much for focusing in on the real debate and what we need to decide.  i agree with you wholeheartedly that this is the topic, and we need to clearly formulate answers in order to move forward.

      Hell hath no fury like a woman disenfranchised.

      by jj24 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:45:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "It's the vision, er, um, communication thing." (10+ / 0-)

      Jeff, I enjoyed your piece; but, as a person who came from the fringe right to enjoy progressives on Daily Kos and then vote a straight Democratic ticket starting in 2004, my view differs somewhat from yours.

      I believe the main problem is one of communication around fundamental beliefs, not raising consciousness.

      I am one of those mystifying persons that could easily support Kucinich and Ron Paul without apparent conflict much to the consternation of both the "Right" and the "Left".  The vocabularies are vastly different, and often the method to achieve a goal and the ultimate goals themselves maybe different - but, the emotions on both sides - of getting fucked and the feeling of powerlessness - are shared.

      Both the "Right" and the "Left" have this extreme tendency to try to put everyone in some easily defined box. Unfortunately, this is usually untrue for the individual case. The lower down working class type, in fact tends to hate both big government and large corporations for a multitude of practical reasons. It is not a matter of raising "consciousness".

      Few have any real experience of "the Left" - in a good way, but have vast experience in the "liberul" telling them how "this" will be "good" for them only to be fucked over. They are called - stupid, irrational, selfish, etc. - as seen here on Daily Kos, even. This attitude towards many working folk raises consciousness, too. They come to viscerally hate your guts and all "liberuls". Giving the "Right" wing an inherent edge; in spite of the sheer cynicism the "right" will employ in actual governance.

      My problem with much of the "Right" arose from 3 main issues - outright racism, sometimes extreme religious views taking precedence over government, and sheer exhaustion. Ultimately, I was tired of being angry. Burned out. The sheer rage to be found in some on the "right" is the main difficulty in establishing any kind of rational dialog.

      I agree with Greenwald - but we have no language or common reference to even truly begin the work of just talking to each other much less achieving a common understanding of the issues.

    •  Funny (15+ / 0-)

      Reading the quotes by Kilgore and Greenwald, their arguments sound refined, rational, nuanced. Then it switches to you - hyperbole, exaggeration, lack of nuance, oversimplification. For example:

      Even Kilgore, who's exaggerating somewhat himself, goes from "But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it." in his words to, "In other words, Kilgore is saying that the left and the right have joined forces" in yours.

      Reading this diary, I quickly came to loath the phrase "in other words."

      "In other words", Greenwald's subtle and nuanced examination of an interesting but by no means new phenomenon, where the interests of the left lower classes merge with the interests of the right lower classes against the very non-ideological, non partisan, neither left or right corporatist class. gets turned into "There is no left vs. right.  There is only inside vs. outside".

      Outside of Ponyland(here), where everything is not seen through the orange tint of almost hormonal loyalty to the Democratic party, we've been talking about this convergence for years. It was discussed when there was talk of a Kucinich Ron Paul ticket.

      There are many issues where common people of a rightward tilt agree with the more economic populist ideas of the left. Back when Lou Dobbs was acting kind of sane, and had his "War on the Middle Class" segment, or whatever it was called, and was always railing on outsourcing and corporatism, he attracted a wide cross-segment of viewers.

      There has always been this larger political bloc where economic populism trumps the now far too common wars over cultural issues.(This is what gave the Democrats a supermajority throughout so much of the 20th century)

      Some may even argue the the constant fanning of the flames of these distractions/divisions are merely to prevent that larger bloc from forming. And they would be precisely correct.

      Ironoically though, this mandate/no mandate bullshit is not even an example of the common interests convergence.

      Because another thing that prevents the superbloc from forming is 800 right wing propaganda outlets blanketing the country. I know a lot of people who have been sucked in to the right wing brainwash program. Most of them are natural Democrats who, without being programmed otherwise, would love to join labor unions, support most economic populist measures like raising the min. wage.

      They are not like the cartoon characters portrayed everywhere of the tea baggers. They are just people who have been lied to.

      But they hate the corporations they have to deal with. They hate being on the losing side of the class war. And they are ripe for the taking by any movement that dares to fight for real economic justice above all else.

      •  Spot on. Thank you. (9+ / 0-)

        I would have vastly preferred Mr Feldman asking Glenn Greenwald for permission to reprint the post in question, and offering his own response in whatever way he sees fit.

        Mr Greenwald's position is an incredibly nuanced one, and Mr Feldman seems to have glossed over much of that nuance. It's entirely possible that this was not intentional - that this is simply how he views the world, keeping him from understanding the nuances of this argument.

        In the end, there absolutely is a difference between teabaggers and kill the billers on the left. Where there is much less of a difference is between establishment Democrats and Republicans. Both parties throw bones to their party faithful, but in general they seem to be doing as much as possible to keep the status quo in place, at absolute best. Again, there's no use in getting into what their intentions are: it appears to be the American way to support your favorite corporation, so why should these folks be any different. But either way, that is the fact that Mr Greenwald seems to be pointing to, if I read him correctly.

        •  You captured their intentions: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, J M F, 2020adam

          Maintenance of the status quo. Which will inevitably lead to the set of policy recommendations captured in  The Lugano Report.

          In the meantime: We make excellent pack animals.

          If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it's eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed. - Ezra Klein, June 8, 2009

          by willibro on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:22:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We do indeed. (0+ / 0-)

            Never heard of this Lugano Report. Care to offer a very brief summary?

            •  Book by Susan George (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              2020adam

              The amazon link has plenty of precis of the message. But basically, it's a rationalized, semi-controlled reduction in population. Per natural causes, wherever that can be arranged. To get things back to a manageable set of limits.

              She rationalizes it very well. And the moral implications are: "Regrettable, but of course, noblesse oblige."

              If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it's eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed. - Ezra Klein, June 8, 2009

              by willibro on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:35:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it's worse than I thought (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, tatere, xaxado, 2020adam

          Now that I've had a change to read Mr Feldman's diary a bit further, I am forced to conclude that his intentions are not honest. Otherwise he couldn't have excreted such contemptible nonsense as this:

          Implicit Claim 2: The Only People With Consciousness are those who See the Battle Against "Corporatism" as the True Political Landscape

          According to Greenwald's logic, those who no longer see the political landscape in terms of left vs. right, but not see it in terms of insider vs. outsider--they are the only people who are truly awake or conscious, meaning: they see reality for what it is, not for what the corporations and the ruling party want them to see.

          This is sophistry propaganda at its worst. Greenwald said no such thing. Continuing on, and also "according to Greenwald's logic":

          Right now, these people include so-called "right-wing" (obsolete term) Tea Bag Party adherents who fought against the bailouts and are now fighting against the current health care bill, and so-called "left-wing" (obsolete term) bloggers and activists who fought against the bailouts and lobbyists and are now fighting against the Senate health care bill.   These groups are conscious, whereas other groups are not, because they reject the left vs. right political fighting as a distraction, and focus instead on the inside vs. outside fight.

          This is just a motherfucking lie. Feldman,m who I once respected, is just performing political hackery.

          NO ONE IS CLAIMING that tea baggers are anything but morons. Their reason for opposing the Obama objective is not because they share our disdain for neoliberal corporatism. It's because they have been lied to by Glenn Beck that Obama is a secret socialist and they are stupid enough to fall for it.

          There is a large percentage of the population who you could call soft Republicans. They are not devout followers of Limbaugh or Beck. But they have been conned into believing some seriously stupid shit.

          But unlike the tea baggers, they don't like globalization, outsourcing, or Republican's attempts to re-create the Middle East when our own country is falling apart.

          These people can be reached. They are natural Democrats in a different, non-corporatist Democratic party.

          Feldman's attempt to associate progressive populists, who have the nerve to tell the corporacrats to fuck off, with tea bagger nutjobs, is nothing but Feldman trying to use his silly jedi mind tricks on susceptible people.

          Have fun with this one Jeffrey.

          •  There are in fact huge distinctions. (0+ / 0-)

            Jeffrey seems to imagine that Glenn wants to envision a world where the concepts of left and right are eliminated - that the idea itself is not worth anything. Instead, what I think he wants is to move beyond the false left/right drama classically depicted on shows like Crossfire. Democrats and Republicans in the establishment do not represent real left and right - even nutjob republicans aren't, in general, representing the Right.

            The problem with the teabaggers (the rare non-racist, non-xenophobic, etc. ones) is, in my very humble opinion (so please disagree), that the prescription they are being offered by folks like Beck is pure insanity if we're talking about their self-interests. They're being conned into believing that the good corporations are the cure to what ills us. I really think somewhere around half of what he says is fairly sensible. And if he really were non-partisan, I'd probably listen to the guy. But he's clearly just peddling whatever sells, and at the moment that's rightist, racist, xenophobic paranoia. Otherwise, his corporatist flag? Amen. Yes, even including the SEIU. I spent my two years in a union. Pure bullshit. Like having your job protected by Harry Reid himself. The only thing worse, as with dems, would have been having our boss be the only one in control.

          •  I wouldn't use such harsh language (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            2020adam

            against the diarist, but I agree with your point.

            I read with an open mind till I got to that "false consciousness" point, at which point I realized I thought the diary was a load of crap. You do a good job of explaining some of the problems with that section of the diary.

            Kick FDL off the rec list!

            by Timaeus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:07:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, Pohjola, Matt Z, J M F, labor in vain

        You caught exactly the real situation.

        I tipped and recced this diary for the attempt to start a dialog on this issue, which Greenwald picked up from Kilgore at least a week ago, and then dropped like a stone. And while I think Jeff is sincere in his take, he did bowdlerize and oversimplify what needed to be analyzed.

        If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it's eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed. - Ezra Klein, June 8, 2009

        by willibro on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:18:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem of the merger of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        those with a rightward tilt and those with a more economic populist tilt I would think would come down to decisions regarding taxation.

        I could see it as a major rift. I know it has been for me. Start talking to most anyone of a right-leaning persuasion and you often get around to taxes being too high, yadda, yadda, flat tax, blah, blah, blah.

        Even when you mention cuts for the middle class and higher rates for the wealthy they start defending the ruling class by saying things like they already paying most of the taxes, yadda, yadda, and cripple the economy, etc., etc.

        I don't know how Paul and Kucinich could ever get along.

        Suddenly it's Christmas The longest holiday. When they say 'Season's Greetings, They mean just what they say It's a season, it's a marathon Retail eternity

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:18:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Such a grand colitionion movment would mean (0+ / 0-)

          taking down the established duopoly and transitioning to a new political knife fight dialogue among more honest actors. For example, both sides can agree that the Federal Reserve has to go, and to return to the tax squabble after the Fed is put out of our misery.

      •  Very good post, labor in vain. (0+ / 0-)

        Kick FDL off the rec list!

        by Timaeus on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:05:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can hardly wait for the next (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, James Kresnik

      Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York where Pres. Obama will get to make the sama Joke as W did about the attendees being his "base".

      Yeah,that's exactly where we are.

      http://dumpjoe.com/

      by ctkeith on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:42:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting diary (9+ / 0-)

      though I am very surprised you have left out what has to be the biggest intellectual trend of the past year, which is the rise of "Austrian" thinking in the public consciousness.

      Aside from the Obama movement, the big news of 08 in retrospect was the emergence of Ron Paul as a kind of public intellectual of the far right.  The FDL-ers, whether they know it or not, are essentially parroting Paul and the other goldbugs.  The problem for the extreme left here is that they seem to not properly understand the things they are advocating.

      In particular, the point of the Paul movement is to destroy the tools of liberal government.  A secondary effect would be to dampen Bush-ism, but that's not the goal of the exercise.

      "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

      by theran on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:47:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a misunderstanding of what "corporatism" (3+ / 0-)

      The "corporate" in "Corporatism" is not business corporations, but civil society organizations (outside of the state).  Mussolini used it in the sense of the word "corpus", which means body, as in a body of individuals, a group.  In this sense, corporatism includes relations between businesses and the state, but also unions, churches, and other organizations outside of the state.

      "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

      by James Allen on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's a more classical definition (12+ / 0-)

        and is also where I began--largely because my scholarly background includes the history of Italian fascism.  

        But...

        In the past ten years or so, a new definition of "corporatism" has emerged that roughly matches what Greenwald suggests":  strong influence in government of private business.

        This shifting or growing or morphing definition is also part of the reason that the term "corporatism" creates confusion.  But I think it's fair to say that this newest version is also a legitimate definition--albeit not one used (yet) by historians to describe situations, say, prior to the 1950s.

        •  I appreciate that you know the difference (0+ / 0-)

          but for the sake of mutual understanding I err on the side of purity of language, and don't use the term for both meanings.

          "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

          by James Allen on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:42:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well then you must err often (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigchin, xaxado, James Kresnik

            Language is a living, breathing thing. To understand language is to understand culture. The term corporatism has risen up out of a culture that has grown to despise corporate culture like that represented daily on television and in government.

            We slowly awoke from the lies of a better life with free markets and globalization and financial deregulation.

            We realized it was all a big scam to take the age old war on labor and wages and repackage it as something new and inevitable and exciting.

            And we saw how our completely bought and paid for politicians allowed corporate power to grow and centralize until only a handful of banks owned almost everything in the world.

            And, not being idiots, we realized this was dangerous and bad. And so we fight it.

            That's where the term came from.

      •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxado

        Corporatism, in its current incarnation and context, is a new term. It refers to the trend of the last 30 or 40 years let corporate interests completely dominate the governments of the world.

    •  I see the struggle in economic terms between (8+ / 0-)

      what is today left and right like this, and disagree strongly that Left and Right can ever coalesce 'against corporations'.

      Lack of government control and oversight is the problem. Corporations filled in the vacuum left when government walked away.

      The Right embraces the Puritanistic/Algeristic view: the streets are paved with gold for those who work hard. Variations are the rugged individualist, the maverick, the iconoclast should be allowed to operate without interference or rules from government because to today's right, wealth itself is the tantamount achievement. Wealth then trickles down from the top, favoring those below as available. It's very important to note that this is not conservatism. Conservative thought rejected this type of dynamic until roughly 40 years ago. Even Nixon was not afraid to use price controls to contain economic processes. Something changed in the 1980s; it was like a switch was thrown inside the Republican Party than enabled a mad dash towards the extreme greed where we've ended up today.

      I'd like to think that The Left believes in Common Wealth, in the old English sense: that the actions one takes have consequences to everyone, and the real costs of actions should be an active part of government policy and regulation. We have not seen this type of attitude expressed uniformly since the 1970s in the Democratic Party. Party players have again and again rolled over to tax cuts, loosening of government regulations and oversight and walked away from holding corporations to their social responsibilities to the American worker.  

      Government has been disassembled wholesale since the 1980s. This is what Stockman and Norquist have wrought. This is a Trickle Down, what GHWB mockingly described in the primary against Reagan as 'VooDoo Economics'.

      Clinton made weak and ineffectual attempts to re-establish oversight, granted he had to work with Republican majorities most of his term. It was already way too late. The inherent damage has been done; the engine that drove America's economy was destroyed before Clinton even took office. The tech bubble which artificially blew up the 90s was mostly made on imported labor.

      Obama still has yet to address this core issue: without effective rules or control, the economy will continue to be unstable go critical until those control rods are pushed back in. Without addressing some of the core problems of a huge country without a core industry base, we'll never recover.

      'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

      by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:00:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I'm more in line with Clinton's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, xaxado, James Kresnik

        merging and morphing of Corporate and Public.

        His Education Czar, Lou Gerstner wrote some absolutely horrific ideas on education that really speak to this core problem of Clinton/Obama, DLC, etc...

        There is a Public/Corporate merger concept that is different and scary.

        I see this as Big vs Small.

        Big 'people' cheat for Trillions? They get Billion$$ bonuses. Little people cheat and they get hammered.

        Big people kill thousands? And nothing happens. Little people hurt a big person and they go to jail.

        The interest of big corporatons are taken care of, Mom and Pop? Screw you!

        Big people set the price of the market to push little people out.

        Big vs Small. That's the way I see it.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:35:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How can you have been around so long (0+ / 0-)

        And still be so completely uninformed? That must take effort.

        "Corporations filled in the vacuum left when government walked away."

        This sentence is wrong on so many different levels it's hard to know where to start. Government didn't walk away. There's no vacuum.

        It's called racketeering. Oh nevermind. They have these things. They're called libraries.

    •  I've recced you, but with A LOT of reservations (0+ / 0-)

      First and foremost because I don't think this debate is nearly as critical as you.

      I also had a hard time exactly where you are coming from, there seems to be a dichotomy between how you start and how you finish.

      And lastly because I don't like Greenwald in general, the man has appointed himself 'one of the few' that 'gets it' and I find the man's arrogance largely insufferable.

      All that said my reservations aside it's obvious you're trying to treat the issue intelligently and with the seriousness you think it deserves and for that alone you have earned a rec.

    •  I think you may have mistunderstood some of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tatere, k9disc, xaxado, James Kresnik

      what Greenwald said. But thanks for getting discussion of the column up on the Rec List where people can see it.

      Implicit Claim 1: Most Supporters of the Democratic Party are living in a state of false consciousness

      I'm fairly sure Greenwald meant BOTH major parties, and put that way, I agree.

      Greenwald offers no alternative vision--which puts us in a difficult position.

      No, it simply means we should create our own and sell it to the American people.

      To put it more bluntly, on a widening range of issues, Obama's critics to the right say he's engineering a government takeover of the private sector, while his critics to the left accuse him of promoting a corporate takeover of the public sector. They can't both be right, of course, and these critics would take the country in completely different directions if given a chance.  But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it.

      If teabaggers could be taught how to follow the money (starting with who funds their astroturf movement... AND GOP politicians AND Democratic politicians) the "government takeover of the private sector" meme would die a horrible and deserved death.

      Of course, given that the very corporations who are taking over the public sector are funding their movement for the specific reasons of making their takeover more profitable, an accurate analysis of this out of their movement is by definition impossible.

      Anyone who isn't aware that Grover Norquist is just as much a corporate tool as Joe Lieberman is probably should be listening to public policy discussions because that person is incapable of contributing.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:51:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bernie Sanders has the answer to this, it's (6+ / 0-)

      social democracy, or in Europe: Democratic Socialism.

      I like the idea of a separation of corporation and state, I think that would have vast bipartisan support (amongst the populace). It similar to the all or nothing approach I have personally on the state vs capital. That is to say, some things must be all state or all capital, with the lines unblurred.

      "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it." - Andre Gide

      by Desbrisay on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:02:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Democratic socialism is not enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desbrisay

        A party can always be pulled to the right, by led by a misguided party leader, etc. That's unfortunately been the trend with the main socialist and social democrats in Europe (Labour, French PS, Scandinavian social democratic parties, etc). Even the American Democratic Socialist Party and Communist Party continuously advocate for their supporters to vote Democrat. They long ago gave up on real change (or forced by constant government pressure to weaken their position in the case of the CPUSA) and have resigned to the lesser-of-two-evils mentality.

        People need to have more power on the grassroots. We need real unions that work together across trades and are not tied to a political party. Likewise, we should look at reforming the structure of companies to be democratic without a strict hierarchical structure. Companies also should not be free to move around the globe so easily to pit country against country, worker against worker in a race to the bottom to benefit a small few at the top. We also need to transform the political system to prevent corruption and detachment from the population.

    •  Excellent diary, Jeffrey, which already has (0+ / 0-)

      too long of a comments section for me to go through.

      I'll settle for one quibble: no, this is not the potential end of the Democratic Party.  This is more likely a potential end for part of the blogosphere to have much influence on the Democratic Party, but the Party itself will toddle along.

      As for my part, I think that anyone trying to reject a left-right distinction had better ask themselves which party is more likely to appoint judges that will overturn Roe -- or, as the teabaggers may wish, take us back to the Slaughterhouse era.  There's life in the old subtending dimension yet, even if libertarians deny it.

    •  I am with Greenwald. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poxonyou, James Kresnik

      The folks like Krugman -- one of the best, I grant you -- who claim to support this bill, are those who believe that the current system is not entirely, irrevocably, unrecoverably corrupted.

      My view is that the Watergate scandals and their aftermath were the last episode in American history, in which our public and private institutions showed themselves capable of lancing a boil on the butt of the body politic, and initiating the subsequent healing.

      Unfortunately, the apologetic words of Republican Sen. Howard Baker "We are the party of Watergate" were soon forgotten; and under Reagan, with the renewed ascendance of rethuglicanism,  it became clear that the only thing wrong with the Watergate Conspirators was that they got caught.

      Reaganism was corporatism, (no secret there), and Clinton (despite the Herculean accomplishment of balancing the federal budget) did little to slow its progress  -- in despite of which I still believe Hillary would have  been less a corporatist president than anyone else in the last 30 years.

      So, oddly enough, I do feel some kinship with the right wing crazies -- they think their country is being stolen, and they're right about that.  They are wrong about who the crooks are, and unfortunately the strongest populist voices in the media are all corporate shills.

      Nonetheless, although a city person myself, I spent many of my formative years in gun-rack country (state of Maine) and learned, among other things, to have great respect for redneck competence.  A populist alliance of left and right?  Who knew?

      The greatest obstacle, unfortunately, is the degree to which populism on the right is driven by naked hatred -- another Reagan legacy -- and I don't know how to crack that nut.

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:19:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thought provoking and intelligenty written. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Luetta

      We will have to think about these issues a lot more before we know how best to move foreward.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 12:30:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the essence of the argument now (0+ / 0-)

      Any initial, mass call to consciousness will create some short term chaos. Where we go from here is up to us.

      Life's little instruction book "Loosen up. Wear audacious underwear under the most solemn business attire.".

      by Luetta on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 01:34:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  fantastic diary (0+ / 0-)

      thanks for working to introduce this important idea into dkos.

    •  This may be the best diary I have ever read. (0+ / 0-)
    •  If? If? It established itself early last century. (0+ / 0-)

      ....the truth that lies beneath it all:  that if corporatism is allowed to entrench itself, the fundamental nature of American society will change, citizenship as we understand it will be a farce, and democracy will be little more than a fiction produced by the ruling party marketing arm and private corporations.  

      Secondly:

      The idea that only a select, small few are conscious enough to see the reality of the world as it really is--this too is a problem.

      Since this has been going on for generations despite lots of evidence shows how strong a hold it has. In my experience here and throughout my 66 years I would say that it is still only that "small few" who are aware of the corporatist hold over our government and way of life today. This became even more stark to me when I read because of a link here a couple of years ago about corporate influence during WWI. I hadn't realized the military-industrial thing went back that far.

      But, Jeffrey, you are right about the fact that a movement needs to have something more concrete to move toward lest it lead to chaos. Revolutions are messy and this would not be a velvet one. Yet since I came here nearly five years ago there is a strong and distinct difference in people's consciousness about corporatism. I am sure of that because it was economic injustice that moved me to come here and advocate for change.

      Love Glenn Greenwald and this was a constructive contribution. Thanks! We need much, much more clarification in our own thinking here on what we want.

      I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

      by Gorette on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:53:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you misunderstand (28+ / 0-)

    Greenwald (or I do) becasue I do not see him saying that left and right critques' of coroporate domination are the same.  I hear him saying that they have similarities.  

    Clearly, in my view, even with some similarities the solutions of the left and right differ with respect to the domination fo government by the wealthy.

    I also do not think the future of the Dem Party depends on this. Democrats are with working people.  

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by TomP on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:53:38 AM PST

  •  You've made an interesting case (12+ / 0-)

    The problem is, you're assuming Greenwald, etc., are the Democratic party and represent Obama's base.

    They aren't and they don't. Greenwald et al. represent a specific class of people who have the time and the education and the $$ to spend their time writing and blogging.

    FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

    by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:54:37 AM PST

      •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        henna218, mahakali overdrive

        Most bloggers (from what I've seen) are sorely out of touch with his base.

        Furthermore, I don't see that they've developed a comprehensive or workable philosophy. It's alluring to a certain class of people, but doesn't go much beyond that.

        FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

        by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:59:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You have yet to define (12+ / 0-)

          who "his base" is. A year ago fifty seven percent of voters elected essentially a blank slate based upon alternatives that were not. Three years from now that issue will not be present in the sense that Obama will have an extensive track record upon which to vote. If the "bloggers" are out of touch eleven months into the first term, actuarily speaking, you need to hope that they do not represent over seven percent of the voting public.

          That is not a bet that I would not be willing to take were I a part of his "base." If you do not recognize a comprehensive or workable philosophy in the writings of, say, Greenwald, I would suggest that now is the time to start working with him to find one that is easily messaged to such as yourself. We already get it.

          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

          by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:28:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The base I work with (8+ / 0-)

            ... is minority and low income.

            I'm not sure Daily Kos/the Netroots comprehend the "under"swell of support he has in this base, primarily I suspect because they're too busy assuming the Netroots is his base.

            Nope.

            FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

            by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:32:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  substantial support amongst the neigbors I have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indubitably

              even some amount of Republicans, independents etc.

              "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

              by ban nock on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:43:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  In other words, the very (0+ / 0-)

              segments of our society that vote the least and are least likely to be politically aware? That sounds like a foundation built upon sand.

              A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

              by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:48:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hooboy (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yoshimi, Nulwee

                You really need to get out more often.

                Perhaps moving beyond your own circle would help.

                FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

                by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:54:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Look, I have been an activist forever. (7+ / 0-)

                  Anyone who watches polling knows that there are some demographics that are less reliable than others. The poor and minority segments of our society are notorious for their unreliablity, as are the young. If you look at the Black and Hispanic caucuses right now in Congress you will note that they are some of the very ones standing up to Obama, and you cannot tell me it is because they are worried their constituents are thrilled to death with what Obama is doing.

                  Tack on the lefty political junkies/activists who are used to get out that vote who now seem to be bailing and you need to start worrying about the "Base" you have so much faith in. Those gubernatorial elections were not outliers.

                  A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                  by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:03:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "The poor and minority segments of our society (14+ / 0-)

                    are notorious for their unreliablity"

                    ???

                    The most reliable voting block for Democrats has been African-Americans.  Not sure what you are trying to say here.

                    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:18:27 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  En bloc, you are correct. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      James Kresnik

                      The point that I am trying to make is that the overall numbers are variable. A coalition, therefore, is required.

                      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                      by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:35:22 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Let me put that a different way. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      willibro, blueoasis, James Kresnik

                      The most common refrain I hear when attempting to get out the vote in poor and minority communities is that their vote makes no difference whatsoever. Establishment policy making does nothing whatsoever to eliminate this refrain; it, in fact, reenforces it. Voter participation by these communities can be volatile based upon perception; that has no effect upon voter affiliation.

                      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                      by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:41:34 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't see that (6+ / 0-)

                        among the poor (and I was poor) and what I heard was that people died for the right to vote.  People voted.  I will be honest and tell you some poor people I knew were felons and not allowed to vote, but believe me they wanted to.  And when I say poor and they I am referring only to people I knew I am not trying to say that is true for every poor person.

                        Color me surprised that capitulation to the Republicans and moneyed interests isn't quite working out for us... by banjolele

                        by allie123 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:59:56 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are absolutely right. (4+ / 0-)

                          I am trying to speak generically, I am sure that there are sub groups for whom the rule does not apply. I am just trying to say that this is not a bloc that will carry you through to victory regardless of performance. They have to feel like their votes will make a difference, and right now there is no reason to believe that Obama and our present Congress are going to give them that perception.

                          We have vast stores of poor and minority potential voters. Those here who do not actively vote against their own interests are not motivated to vote by Republican lite policy making. I see this all the time! It is one of our greatest stumbling blocks. Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are black holes of poverty and look at what they routinely vote for!

                          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                          by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:15:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

                            Where are you getting your data from about "they"?

                            Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, have more black elected officials than any other part of the country.

                            I am just trying to say that this is not a bloc that will carry you through to victory regardless of performance.

                            How do you think Bill Clinton got elected?

                            "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                            by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:00:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I really think that you both are (0+ / 0-)

                            arguing past each other. AFAIK, you're right, but in different respects.

                            I vote for numbers from both sides to back their arguments. More light and less heat, please.

                          •  I was following the debate on taxation and (0+ / 0-)

                            reform of the state Constitution in Alabama a few years ago. They were attempting to make the taxes levied there less regressive. The move failed several times in spite of the vast majority of the state's inhabitants being comparatively low income.

                            Please explain this dynamic. As you KNOW EVERY DAMN THING about how laws are passed in a region that has a large proportion of poor and minority inhabitants, I would like for you to explain to me how we routinely end up with the likes of Jeff Sessions in Districts where he should have his ass whupped every damn time.

                            If you cannot answer that simple question then I wonder what your purpose in arguing with me really is. I would like to know in the event I ever choose to organize another vote down here. Please burden me with your immense stores of wisdom.

                            A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                            by nippersdad on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 02:40:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Um, Actually, They Were. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nina, divineorder, indubitably

                    Those gubernatorial elections were not outliers.

                    We already debunked GOP talking points in November.

                    (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

                    by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:19:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Those segments are "notorious" for (5+ / 0-)

                    their unreliability, but improperly and unfairly so.  They aren't loyal to a letter, such as to the letter "D", but to goals, ideal, ideals and accomplishments.  It is more often the party that is unreliable, not the voters.  I have cringed time and again at some of the candidates that the party tosses out, on all levels, anticipating, very often correctly, no-shows and third party votes.

                    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                    by enhydra lutris on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:30:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  EXACTLY (0+ / 0-)

                      Thank you thank you thank you.

                      FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

                      by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:48:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  The Democratic Party in my County (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      James Kresnik, enhydra lutris

                      put forward a candidate for Chairman that campaigned on "conservative values," religious fundamentalism, strict fiscal discipline with regard to social services and tax cuts for business in order to bring in new manufacturing and distribution facilities (notably, an extremely regressive property tax has since been implemented to support these initiatives). Two thirds of our county electorate voted for the Republican candidate who was running on essentially the same platform. I would venture to say that two thirds of those eligible to vote had no idea who was running.

                      I don't blame Democrats of any stripe for not being enthused, I just wonder why anyone would expect them to be. This is exactly what I have seen and I am glad that you were able to put it in a way that I apparently could not. Thank you.

                      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                      by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:53:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree (13+ / 0-)

              his base is all of us, that was part of the beauty of his campaign.  I see some people, my mother in particular, that feel they have to support him.  she tells me, "look how horrible they are to him"  I agree with her and do support him against them.  But I believe Obama to be a conservative dem.  He campaigned as a liberal but has not fought for liberal programs.  His programs help his rich supporters, not the middle class or the poor.  
              So my mother is no more his base than me.  She thinks he is awesome.  I think that he had the potential for his bills and cabinet to be much more progressive.
              He still has time to do great things.  I hope he does. But so far I feel betrayed.
              If I had it to do over again, I would vote for him, but I wouldn't have given him any money or made calls and convinced friends to vote for him in the primary.  It is Bill Clinton all over again, SO FAR.

              Color me surprised that capitulation to the Republicans and moneyed interests isn't quite working out for us... by banjolele

              by allie123 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:51:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I will agree with that (4+ / 0-)

                My problem is the certainty that the Netroots are his base. Nope.

                FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

                by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:53:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Eh, you whole point is bullshit (2+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cville townie, alliedoc
                  Hidden by:
                  James Kresnik

                  You claim a better understanding of who Obama's base is because you, what? work with poor minorities?

                  Well, so do I. And absolutely, our African American brothers and sister love Obama. But that doesn't mean shit about who his "base" is.

                  In fact, the term "base" is just another one of those corporate media whore words to try and delegitimize the political significance of the smart people on the left.

                  I mean, that is who it's always been directed against - "his liberal base" which is meant to immediately preced "oh, those people" in bumbleheaded bleach blond media whore land.

                  Figures it would find its way here from someone who's too stupid to tell the difference between FDL and tea baggers.

              •  Nope, not so easily categorized ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NLinStPaul, Micheline

                That's the problem. If you listen carefully, he is neither a progressive nor a conservative, at least as they've been understood in the past. He has a POV that is different from traditional liberalism. Personally, I think that's a good thing. A lot of the attitudes and assumptions of traditional liberalism is pretty stale by now.

                We already have "death panels". They are called health insurance companies.

                by ohiolibrarian on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:09:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Funny you tell (4+ / 0-)

                  me not so easily categorized and then you put him in you new category.  The truth is it is all our opinion. I don't know his motives anymore OR Less than you.
                  I think that you are wrong.  The HCR bill subsidies and the expansion of Medicaid are traditional Welfare.  Not that I am against them.  The problem with this is he takes it from the working and middle class, with his fines and tax on "cadilac" health plans, and his mandates that people must buy but coves as little as 60% of costs.  So this inflames the old class war, which is a perfect destraction from who is really robbing us blind the corupt politicians and lobbyists and CEO's.  The people with no insurance that are fined and still left with no insurance and the people with huge premiums, dectubiles are going to suffer and many that don't have the time because they are working their asses off will misdirect their anger at the poor.  
                  This is everything wrong with "traditional" liberalism.

                  Color me surprised that capitulation to the Republicans and moneyed interests isn't quite working out for us... by banjolele

                  by allie123 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:35:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Oooookayyyy, where is a little linkie, poll, etc (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allie123

              to support your view of "His base"?  Or do we just take your word for it?

              www.yesweSTILLcan.org

              by divineorder on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:31:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  There is even more (4+ / 0-)

              disillusionment brewing with the African American lower class as per the disappointment of the Congressional Black Caucus. So, I am not sure what "base" you are discussing either.

              •  Thank you, I was wondering what (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Kresnik

                alternative universe I was living in.

                A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:55:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think there is a lot of (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poxonyou, James Kresnik, nippersdad

                  questionable claims about race here. I am not an expert. I follow the basic information by the CBC, by other black folks in my neighborhood, etc. I know what people are saying, and although they can't speak for everyone it is nothing like what people here claim. I just think most of the people I meet keep saying "well we got to give him a chance" and while they are disaffected over where their lives are, they don't associate that with Obama yet, but they do associate it with the government not doing right by them.

              •  Really the CBC has no credibility amongst most (0+ / 0-)

                blacks. Besides most members of the CBC were Hillary supporters.

                Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

                by Micheline on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:29:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, that's why they keep voting for them (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poxonyou, James Kresnik, nippersdad

                  since many of their districts happen to have a high concentration of people of color. Also, having spoken to enough people to listen- and knowing the unemployment rate for AAs is extremely high, I am just not buying claims that they are more in accord with what the Congress or president are doing. They are simply more willing to be flexible because of identity politics, but on the issues, they are less support of corporatism. As a rule, we as a group have been burned by such alliances in the past.

            •  I am low income and I don't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik
              know anyone that supports Rahm and the bankers.  Obama supporters have more time to blog than his critics.
        •  This is silliness (15+ / 0-)

          I don't see that they've developed a comprehensive or workable philosophy

          Oh, I don't know, let's try liberalism, the kind that prevailed from FDR to LBJ, which, for all its flaws and weaknesses, created a relatively equitable society, a real counterbalance to Big Business, and which is eminently superior to the corporate new liberalism that grew up with Clinton and now drives Obama.

        •  please... even my wingnut father who is basically (5+ / 0-)

          a parrot set to "Limbaugh" has a kernel of an idea in his small brain that "corporatism" is a bad thing.

          Obama has AHIP and Pharma, why should he give a shit about you?

          by The Dead Man on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:40:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Marx worked in the dank basement of a library (4+ / 0-)

        every night at one point in his life and came home to hear his mother ask him, "When are you going to get a real job."

        He wasn't one of the elite with time and $$ on his hands. He spent a good deal of his adult life in poverty.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:56:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly we have a rich segment of the population (0+ / 0-)

          that refuses to admit they're rich, right now.

          And guess what? They're mostly better educated and get to call all the shots for the progressive movement.

          To amazing results.

          (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

          by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:22:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's so confused (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, sidnora, willibro, andrewj54

          Marx worked in the dank basement of a library every night at one point in his life and came home to hear his mother ask him, "When are you going to get a real job."

          Karl Marx studied in the bright and spacious Reading Room of the British Library.  I can't find any information about him working in a library.

          He did have a real job, as a journalist; but he continually overspent in an effort to live up to what he thought his social status was.

          It was actually pretty respectable.  His father was a middle-class lawyer; Karl himself married a baron's daughter.  He had an expensive first-class education.  He was, however, more interested in making big theories than in holding down a steady job, and as a result had to depend largely on the largesse of friends, such as his industrialist partner, Friedrich Engels.

          •  Picked up the library aspect somewhere along the (0+ / 0-)

            way in my studies in international economics. It stuck... for whatever reason.

            Marx did indeed grow up in a respectable home with an outstanding education... but he (and his wife and children) did spend a good deal of his life in poverty.

            Yes, he was a deep thinker and writer, yet somehow he didn't manage to earn a great deal of money while composing his grand theories.  

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:44:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Marx (0+ / 0-)

              The Classics Comic Books approach to Marx is very widespread.
              I thought your line about his mother was priceless.
              He lived simply and at times near poverty but with the fallback safety net of a bourgeois.

              •  The safety net didn't save some of his children (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                James Kresnik

                who died from that poverty.

                Just like Rousseau. Great minds who left great works behind, yet could not provide for their children.

                Adam Smith, OTOH, lived with his mother. No wife, no family to support. His employment and writing went hand-in-hand together.

                <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                by bronte17 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:23:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  heh... and I'm not a big fan of Marx so (0+ / 0-)

                I have no problem being irreverent with language.

                <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                by bronte17 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:07:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't matter. (0+ / 0-)

          Intellectuals don't have to be wealthy.

          Historical facts seem to point towards a life that was upper middle class, at least through most of his life.

          'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

          by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:24:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pointing out the discrepancies that bloggers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik

            (and their compatriot forebears) are not necessarily the "elites" with wealthy backgrounds. Like Jeffrey says, "political movements have intellectuals" and there's nothing wrong with that.

            The problem is, you're assuming Greenwald, etc., are the Democratic party and represent Obama's base.

            They aren't and they don't. Greenwald et al. represent a specific class of people who have the time and the education and the $$ to spend their time writing and blogging.

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:53:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who's in the bubble, I wonder (17+ / 0-)

      People like Greenwald and Taibbi who see a new populism arising and common ground on the Left and Right, or DK Obama supporters and centrists in the Left/Right beltway paradigm?

      I'm not a pollster so I can't speak definitively about where public sentiment lies (then again, neither are you) but on a personal level I think by far the greatest threat we face is entrenched corporate power. And I'm not rich or a professional blogger.

      On another note, I've noticed this new narrative arising about the out of touch intellectual Left more concerned with theorizing than helping people. To me its the height of out of touch ideological paternalism to assume that people are either so uninformed about how corporations are bleeding them or so desperate and in need that they would be unwilling to fight for better than the government has been able to secure for them.  

      "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

      by Grassee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:13:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I absolutely do not disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Micheline

        ... about the rise of a new populism. In fact, I feel like I've been watching it - and applauding it - for years now.

        The problem is, much of the Left is out of touch, horribly so. I don't think they understand much of the derision which they're garnering. If they weren't out of touch, though, they'd get it.

        FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

        by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:22:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please cite examples (12+ / 0-)

          "Much of the left" would be who exactly?  Aside from being a gross generalization, this is an all too convenient dodge for folks who don't want to address the issue at hand.

          Who defines "the left"?  Who determines what is "much of" it?  You?  A committee of self-appointed, responsible, salt-of-the-earth centrists?

          A substantial number of people who came out for Obama based on a brilliant campaign, didn't come out in 2006 and may not come out in 2010.  His "base" has a lot of moving parts, some of which may have been unique to the 2008 cycle.

          I agree with Greenwald that we would be wise to analyse the current situation and present an image of it that most people would recognize, a situation in which Wall Street feasts on the future prospects of their children.

          ...People like my sister who almost lost her house last year, people like my young cousin who enlisted in the army because it was the only job he could find, or people like me, for that matter, who got laid off two weeks before Thanksgiving... I'm a leftist and proud of it.  I very much doubt you are more "in touch" than I am.

          www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

          by chuckvw on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:01:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Plugging back into the base (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw, NLinStPaul

            During the time of maximum intensity of the Obama campaign, if you were plugged in, you were getting texts, IMs, e-mails helping you to position your efforts to best effect. This should never have stopped.

            The Obama campaign really organized supporters and engaged them and I for one had a hope that this would be part of a new kind of politics that would be undefeatable. President 2.0 was almost here but we only got a hint of it.

            Regarding corporatism, if you are trying to create your own retirement assets, you probably found the Bush years to be a complete disaster. The markets were basically flatlined for 8 years and, ending in a crash, you saw a lot of your wealth disappear. Under Obama, in just 2009 you saw all of it come back and then some.

            His economic policies are working and helping to create conditions for mutual prosperity. This feels like a very citizen friendly administration and there are many bright notes to it. I'm still cautiously optimistic but there are many elements of the Bush era still in place that I'd like to see repealed.

            Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

            by The Raven on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:18:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess I'd have to say (0+ / 0-)

              that I'm not completely pessimistic...:)

              www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

              by chuckvw on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:09:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Did Clinton's policies (0+ / 0-)

              create conditions for mutual property? Perhaps, but that statement should come with a huge qualifier indicating the events of 1999-2001.

              Fluffing Wall-Street and creating false value in the form of cheap-imported goods creates false prosperity in the form of asset bubbles and inflating credit balances. Creating such large-scale wealth transfers appears to be a thoroughly bipartisan effort.

              How is President Obama handling the problem? Apparently the same as Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43: Reward Wall-Street for speculative collapse, inflate the asset bubble and buy more credit from abroad.

            •  Plugged -Unplugged, that is the question n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  As for uninformed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, blueoasis, Micheline

        Alas, I don't think you're talking to the same base I talk to. The base I talk to has a pretty good idea exactly what's going on. For the most part, after all, they've been historically victimized by it, after all. No one's pulling the wool over their eyes.

        FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

        by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:24:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right, well then we agree (13+ / 0-)

          At least on the aspect of people understanding the real nature of the crisis.

          You know my introduction to the power of corporatism? The New York Yankees. I lived in the South Bronx, which is a ghetto made up primarily of blacks, hispanics and immigrants. You see that shiny new Yankees stadium? it was built on the corpse of our park, where the neighborhood kids used to go and play. The Yankees stole it with support from every single elected official in NYC. It was all about money.

          Now I've lived in many countries - developed and developing. The US is the ONLY country that I've lived in that something like that could happen. Simple, sheer corporate power.

          So anti-corporatism isn't some textbook, leftist intellectual vanity conceit. Its real and it has real consequences for peoples lives.

          "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

          by Grassee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:33:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I talk to many of the people you do (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, James Kresnik

          They are even more in tuned with this. So I am surprised that you are claiming they are less. They may not yet link it to the president. That has nothing to do with whether they understand the nature of the problem.

          •  Something tells me he is not having the same (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tacet, James Kresnik

            conversation that you and I are having.

            If I'm at all careful or don't say something stupid, I can have great discussions on the intricacies of the problem, but the solution, government action cannot compute.

            There are no receivers in their brains. It's like they don't get the joke. Very funny, actually, you probably know what I mean, bruh.

            You can get some headway by building your case...
            Talking the NAFTA Narrative (Why is that not a talking point? Why doesn't anybody know about Chapter 11?), the Corporate Media, Corporate Sponsored Politicians, Corporate Sponsored Public Policy and Legislated Profits, etc. Their heads nod through it all.

            Then you talk about the solution of Government Regulation, trust busting and public financed elections? Kaplooey! Their brain explodes.

            No receivers for that - cognitive disconnect.

            Sound familiar?

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:00:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am african american (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              k9disc, poxonyou, James Kresnik

              I grew up poor. Most of my family remains it. I live in a working class neibhorhood that is predominantly people of color. My point is I see the struggle daily.

              •  I grew up poor, hang out with the working class (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bruh1, James Kresnik

                and I see the struggle daily. Perhaps not as bad as we're all above the poverty line, but we struggle here in rural michigan.

                Corporate Sponsored Public Policy is offensive to me and it's pretty easy to communicate that to people.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 06:51:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think we agree (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc, poxonyou, James Kresnik

                  I thought you were saying that somehow they don't see how the rich are getting richer, and mean while they continue to have to struggle. If anything, the real problem is that people accept that as the norm. I went to get a hair cut a few months ago, and I mentioned the public option. Everyone said right away "they ever going to let that happen." They were pessimistic about it.

                  •  Sure, but many of them will bitch about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Kresnik

                    the Government.

                    It's like the $1000 toilet seat.

                    Always conveniently forgotten that a Private Company Stole that money from the taxpayers. Also forgotten is that medicaire fraud is done by Private interests.

                    "Fuck it! You Can't fight City Hall!"

                    Very sad...

                    ps - I knew we were on the same page...

                    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                    by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:11:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Greenwald isn't saying (8+ / 0-)

      anything that labor leaders and activists haven't been saying for years--do they not represent Obama's base. (Actually, you're right, they probably don't. Goldman Sachs execs on the other hand...)

      In any case, this notion that critics of Obama are all white effete Howard Dean (wine-track, to use Brownstein's phrase) liberals--and possibly racist too!--is has no grounding in the truth.

      Even if it did, even if all his critics wealth wealthy white people (when in fact these people are among Obama strongest supporters), that fact wouldn't undermine their claims, not unless you wanted to engage in a wingnut kind of anti-intellectualism.

    •  I propose no one should be "Obama's base" (4+ / 0-)

      Our first problem is that the term "Democrat" is as ill-defined as "Corporatism" today and before we analyze concern for party divisions we need to define "Democrat" with respect to the primitive notion of "Obama's-base" or I should say "any politician's base".

      Unless you give up power to make decisions and his re-election supersedes the importance of policies and principles.

      HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

      by kck on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:42:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting read (28+ / 0-)

    Good as far as it goes, but when I try to discuss this with my bagger friends we never get anywhere.

    They don't like the corporate domination either, but they are sure that government is corrupt to the core, that it is government that corrupts business and not vice versa, and that the only solution is small government, low taxes and deregulation.

    They are in serious denial about the crash of 08. It's all ACORN and CRA and Barney Frank.

  •  Hmmm... (21+ / 0-)

    I have to think more about the other pieces.  But this part caught me up:

    Millions gaining access to community care via the Sanders amendment--is a short term gain.  It will directly improve millions of lives right away.

    I actually think this is a long term gain.  My spidey-sense says this is the first piece of the foundation for something more akin to NHS--setting up the infrastructure in more locations to have basic care available.  

    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

    by mem from somerville on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:00:08 AM PST

  •  I often find these arguments shockingly naive (28+ / 0-)

    We must never allow corporatism to encompass government?  Open a damn history book sometime.

    Business interests and government interests are fundamentally intertwined, and are such by definition.  

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:00:51 AM PST

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, sherijr, solar thermal

      FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

      by indubitably on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:04:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of Fundamentally Intertwined (4+ / 0-)

        apparently people think that government programs like the TVA and the welfare created by FDR was the bulk of what he did?

        What most refuse to acknowledge is that FDR's programs were vastly larger than those measures taken to day, but whether or not they were progressive depends on how many acceptable dead people you can count.

        In other words, millions of people were still unemployed, the Great Contraction really took after the Depression despite FDR's taxes.

        40 years have passed with people dying for want of health care that politicians refused to create. And rather than be grateful for life and for opportunity we're going to pretend we should just condemn more people to death by "killing the bill"--just because corporations will make profit?

        Jane Hamsher won't die because she's uninsured.

        (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

        by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:28:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  correction: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willibro, James Kresnik, indubitably

          "apparently people think that government programs like the TVA and the welfare created by FDR was the bulk of what he did?"

          Was the bulk of what the poor experienced. Clumsy wording in prior comment. EOM.

          (-7.00, -6.21) Jobs, Liberty, Peace.

          by Nulwee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:31:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're also forgetting the Authorities (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee, James Kresnik

            Most of the NYC landscape was built during the 1930s-50s by quasi-public "authorities" (e.g., Port of New York/New Jersey) that were essentially no-oversight stockholder corporations with govermental powers equivalent to eminent domain.

            After the coming collapse, I'll expect Obama's sucessor to try the same stuff. Right now, the sparks would fly.

            If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it's eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed. - Ezra Klein, June 8, 2009

            by willibro on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:03:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Fuck Jane Hamsher (0+ / 0-)

          is the appropriate response here.

          Do we really want to relive whitewater/ the starr report again? Apparently she does, in order to exact some kind of misdirected revenge.

          'Tis the actions of an unhinged sociopath.

          Greenwald is now offering intellectual support for her shark jumping behavior!

          And he's wrong! This inside/outside dichotomy is false! Neither the elite nor the working class are monolithic.

    •  Robert Reich argues... (42+ / 0-)

      that we should regulate corporations where appropriate, and we should make sure the punishments are enough to deter the crime and then we should stop tying personal benefits to your job, benefits like health care and retirement should be a country wide collective to make sure we can get the best benefits possible. If we relied on corporations for less we wouldn't have to worry about corporatism as much.

      I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

      by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:06:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i agree with (16+ / 0-)

        stop tying personal benefits to your job, benefits like health care and retirement should be a country wide collective

        how many people stay in a job they hate just for the "benefits?"  how many people are able to find a job today WITH benefits?

      •  To a degree he's right... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbou, willibro, Nulwee, Sleepwalkr

        ...but at the same time, no matter who directly provides health benefits and retirement benefits, it is the overall economy and the surplus value it creates which will determine the source of personal benefits, regardless of the details of how they are distributed.   No matter how you look at it, the money comes from the surplus value - be it in salary provided in the form of benefits or tax revenues based on various economic factors like income and property values.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:13:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes (6+ / 0-)

          the money needed to run the benefit system needs to be collected and allocated and how we do it now would have to be changed in order to wrestle control of the benefit process from the corporations. This would free up the corporations to make more money and it would allow the government to tax some of that added profit to help provide the benefits the corporations no longer provide.

          I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

          by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:17:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see that as truly possible (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glynis, willibro, J M F, Sleepwalkr

            Even if there are no more insurance companies providing the benefits or corporations providing insurance as a form of compensation, corporate interests will still be involved.  It will still be corporations which manufacture pharmaceuticals and MRI machines, still be corporations who train physicians, still be corporations who determine who gets paid how much and what talents and skills are valued.

            There are a myriad of ways that we can and should improve the disbursement of benefits generally and health care particularly.  I just find the notion that we can separate the issue entirely from the notion of profits, corporate and otherwise, and therefore remove the influence of corporations from health care, to be absurd.  They are a huge part of our society and our government, and any plan that depends on their exclusion is destined for failure.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:24:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  agree totally with this (5+ / 0-)

              They are a huge part of our society and our government, and any plan that depends on their exclusion is destined for failure.

              People who are criticizing Obama fail to remember that in his speeches he never said he was against profit for insurance companies.  He said he was against profit taking when they don't provide the service they are intended to provide by exclusions, recissions, etc.

              Obama never promised to get rid of insurance companies and take over health care regardless of what the right was saying.  

              That's why Sheldon Whitehouse was right in his floor speech.  When people see that what the right was saying was nothing by lies there will be, in his words, "a day of reckoning".  

              Coalition does not equal unholy alliance--Deoliver47

              by glynis on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:32:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All true... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glynis, willibro, Sleepwalkr

                ...but I don't think the point is made or lost on what Obama intended or promised.  Someone was going to profit, be it the insurance companies or someone else.  Therefore the corporate interest was a fundamental part of the issue from the beginning.  No matter who is President, or what s/he intended.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:35:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  agree completely (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jay Elias, Thomas Twinnings

                  I only point that out because Obama is getting heaps of scorn from those unhappy with the HCR bill right now as if he reneged on a campaign promise to get rid of or severely incapacitate insurers.

                  Coalition does not equal unholy alliance--Deoliver47

                  by glynis on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:42:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That overstates the case (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    k9disc, polar bear

                    I don't think anybody voted for Obama because they imagined he had promised to "get rid of or severly incapacitate insurers". I voted for him because he promised to create a public health care system that worked for the benefit of patients.

                    If the public plan exists, liberals have won. If it's eliminated, or neutered, then conservatives have triumphed. - Ezra Klein, June 8, 2009

                    by willibro on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:07:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  not quite (7+ / 0-)

                Look around the globe and you will see that the health care delivery system is pretty much a not for profit venture. There is profit to made made within the system: ie providing equipment and such, but the people who administer the benefits do not make a profit which is the way it should be.

                I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

                by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:39:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I am not saying we can (5+ / 0-)

              Of course there is still going to be profit made but we can make the process more streamlined and done in a collective fashion, and not be done so piecemeal the way it is done now.

              I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

              by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:33:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  More than 25% of jobs are temporary (7+ / 0-)

        This is a reason why administering benefits based on employment is becoming more and more difficult.

    •  But to what extent? (7+ / 0-)

      Why don't you open an international newspaper and compare how other developed countries have handled their financial crisis, their healthcare systems, their labour relations, etc, etc. It's a matter of degree. Your history books should tell you that, no?

      "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

      by Grassee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:16:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do... (0+ / 0-)

        ...how is what I'm saying a defense of the present state of things?

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:17:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if you think corporatism encompassing (9+ / 0-)

          government is somehow natural, normal and common throughout history you are wrong. In Democratic societies there are very few instances where corporations have the kind of unchecked power we are seeing here. In fact, I would say the US is the ONLY example of such.

          By the way encompassed and intertwined don't mean the same thing.

          "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

          by Grassee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:26:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't say they meant the same thing (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glynis, Sleepwalkr, Alec82, polar bear

            ...nor did I use them interchangeably.

            I think that the balance of power between the state and its most powerful institutions is in a state of ebb and flow; sometimes the power of one is excessive, and sometimes the power of the other, and it is rarely in equilibrium.  That said, I don't think that the instances of unchecked power of corporations are in the least bit few and far between, in democratic societies or otherwise.  The lack of visible conflict, particularly to foreigners, may create that appearance to the untrained eye.  But that hardly means that corporate interests are somehow checked by the French or British or Swiss governments at present, much less in the past.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:31:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Its a matter of degree (11+ / 0-)

              Of course everywhere has it, but not to this extent. And the reason I'm making a big deal about this is because I frankly feel people don't understand the urgency of this. There aren't even strong trade unions to act as a counter weight.

              To me that is the fundamental divide that this diary is discussing. How serious a threat is corporatism? If you don't see it as such then what the "Left of the Left" is doing seems self-destructive and as you say "naive". If you do see it as an emergency then you can understand the use of emergency measures.

              One more thing about history (I'm a HUGE history buff by the way). Where we are today isn't the natural outgrowth of anything. We are here today because specific people made specific choices that determined the course of the nation. Just listen to FDR denounce the moneyed interests. He sounds further to the Left than Noam Chomsky. This was the President of the United States. We got from there to here. We can go elsewhere.  

              "Viva the Patriarch! For the people get the leader they deserve!"

              by Grassee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:43:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I feel we have a semantic disagreement (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                willibro, Sleepwalkr, polar bear

                I feel that everywhere has it, but not in the way we have it here, while you seem to feel it is a matter of degree rather than manner.  

                Therefore, my feeling is that the threat isn't from corporatism itself, which will always be with us, but from the manner in which corporatism is presently causing society harm.  Some of those forms of harm are emergencies, and demand urgent remedy.  The fundamental situation however, is not something which can be remedied in an urgent fashion.

                Corporations are the amalgamation of capital and interests; that they have influence commensurate with the scope of said amalgamation is the natural outgrowth of the combination of interests.  FDR did not exist in a vacuum; nor did the inevitable pushback against him.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:54:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  "Intertwined" is not the same as identical (6+ / 0-)

      It is clear that there are "winners" and "losers" in politics - and that the "losers" are often those who can least afford it - while the "winners" prosper. Substitute "Insider" for winner and "Outsider" for loser, and it becomes clear that there are indeed different interests in a political field such as Feldman describes.

      An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

      by Thomas Twinnings on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And in these history books (5+ / 0-)

      the People's interests has counted for naught?

      Medieval peasant turns to another "Sigh. The droit de seigneur has been with us for centuries, get used to it and send your wife up to the manor."

      18th century unfree Brit turns to another "Sigh. If the British East India company wants to impress you off the street, they've been doing it for 2 hundred years, and there's no way that's going to change."

      Opening up history books is good. Reading them is better. Comprehending the meaning and trend of what you read is best.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:23:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How we respond to them has changed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, James Kresnik

      Your argument is ahistorical.

    •  Additionally, this sounds like ivory tower (5+ / 0-)

      baloney.

      The teabaggers didn't exist before Obama became president, even though "corportism" existed before Obama's presidency.  Where were the teabaggers back then?  Where was this wingnut populism during W's, Clinton's, HW's, Reagan's, Carter's, Nixon's time?

      We know why the teabaggers didn't care about "corporatism" back then, but suddenly do now.  It's evident in the signs that the teabggers carry, the emails they write, the shirts that they wear.

      Sorry, I'm not going to make common cause with a bunch of hicks whose primary beef is that the President is African American.  Greenwald dressing up the teabagger "movement" is malarcky.

      Racism is the teabaggers' motivation.

      As for what motivates the "left", we had this thing called "Democratic Primaries".  One of the candidates ran explicitly on angry anti-corporate populism.  He painted all the world's ills as the fault of corporate greed.  I remember a debate (I think the DesMoines Register debate), where this candidate's answer to every question was "it's because of corporate greed!"  (Reminded me of Jack Kemp's inept performance against Gore in a 1996 VP debate, where Kemp's answer to every question was "capital gains tax cut!!".)  Anyway, this candidate's anti-corporate populist message was placed before the Democratic voters.  Those rank and file Democratic voters (as opposed to far left ideologues and ivory tower philosophers) rejected that message, soundly.

      •  Piss off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        I have no truck with people who embrace false tropes like ivory towers.

        Good day to you.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:10:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Greenwald/Hamsher's main mistake (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mveit, lol chikinburd

        is thinking teabaggers have a cogent political theory.

      •  tipped for this sentence (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Micheline, FreeWoman19

        Racism is the teabaggers' motivation.

        as it's the only acknowledgment of this aspect of the motives of the "populist right" that I've seen thus far between these comments, the diary, and the Kilgore and Greenwald articles it discusses.  To gloss over it in our analysis -- whether willfully or, more likely, out of the limitations of one's perspective -- is ultimately to lie in our analysis, in ways that hurt our closest allies and ourselves.

        Deoliver47 was right and deserves some apologies

        by lol chikinburd on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:51:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not listening. (0+ / 0-)

          Many anti-corporate Republicans also bear a large amount mixture of disdain for the following: labor arbitrage, corporate dictated international trade agreements, media consolidation, large banks, imperialist wars, the expanding para-military police state, the drug war and corporate welfare.

          The problem is that they're catered to by a right-wing media ready to feed them false narratives and distracting goals. Ethnic conflict is the favored distraction used by Republican hacks.

          The ones who finally leave the Republican plantation largely become Libertarians or small-government, 'isolationist' paleoconservatives. In a growing number of areas, the off-reservation types are a veritable political army, practically ready to do war with the Republican establishment for control of their local party.

          It pays to remember that a a majority of these people's grandparents were New Deal Democrats who enjoyed the fruits of their parent's labor and agrarian agitation.

    •  So what is your point? I'm not being (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, polar bear

      Facetious in asking that question.  Is your point to say that we must accept the status quo and that there is anything new here, so let's move on?

      It is true that the monied elite, Church, and State have always colluded to manipulate, control, and exploit the population, but by the same token it is also true that with varying degrees of success you the populace have always fought back against it, and thus you have the women's rights movement, the emancipation movement, the civil rights movement, etc.

      If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

      by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:10:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is that what is painted... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro

        ...as a fundamental conflict isn't.  We are trying to harness and steer something, not battle against it.

        I oppose the false dichotomy portrayed.  I think it works against our interests in making our nation a better place.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:13:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see your point, and I fundamentally disagree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, willibro, FreeWoman19

          With it.  But I do thank you for making it clear.  I'm going to answer your point with this brief three-minute video.  It makes my point (fully)

          "The people who gave us whatever liberty and democracy we have in this country..."

          -------------------------

          If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

          by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:22:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Naive to imply intertwining need not be balanced (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willibro, polar bear

      By definition, large and powerful economic interests will attempt to dominate and distort the market to their own interests - and government is a useful tool in pursuing that end.

      Adam Smith acknowledged that threat to the free market and many since have acknowledged that threat to democracy.

      To assume that the intertwining of interests equates to the commonality of interests or that it necessitates no powerful efforts to maintain a healthy balance both within the market and between business and government - that would be the true definition of naive.

      •  Government IS.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        willibro, polar bear

        ...a large and powerful economic interest.  It is the largest employer of Americans, the largest borrower and largest lender.

        Because of this, in addition to a myriad of other related factors, the government shares in many ways many interests with other large and powerful economic interests which may not be shared by the people who support the government.  In this and in many other cases, the problem is not between government and business, but between the people and the shared interests of business and government.  The government created and supports this bill.  

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:27:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Government As Guardian of People's Interests (4+ / 0-)

          I agree with much of what you say, but it describes a system in which the interests of the government have become unbalanced and too much aligned with the that of large companies even when such interests are in conflict with the great majority of the country's citizens.

          The other role of government is to stand as the guardian of the people's interests and as guardian of those institutions and governing principles that protect and support the people (constitutional rights and regulations protecting against anticompetitive distortion of the marketplace come to mind).

          The balance of government acting as an economic interest and as guardian of the people against threats from other powerful and concentrated interests is always in play and must be fought for like any other balance.  

          •  Our government feeds our people to the (0+ / 0-)

            economy.

            Totally agree.

            Giant economic interests dominating and dictating a healthy nation's public policy at the expense of it's people is not the natural state of a healthy body politic.

            It is a state that we've existed in before, to the misery of millions, I'm sure, but it is not the default.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 05:19:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  This would have been a great debate ... (10+ / 0-)

    ... to have had, say, in June of 2008.

    So instead of having a public healthcare option, what we have is a situation in which government money is given to individuals with a mandate that they use the money to boost the profits of some approved private corporation.

    That's big-F Fascism. That's reality.

    It's democracy and capitalism that are the myths.

    -5.38 -4.72 T. No public option? No mandate.

    by trevzb on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:01:35 AM PST

  •  Greenwald is right in my view (17+ / 0-)

    The idea is to re-level the playing field by defeating the insider corporatists.

    I believe on a level field we would then kick the butt of the Right-conservative philosophical agenda.

    But as long as the field is tilted, there is no chance for the average person.

    Obama's policies, thus far, have tilted the field even further in the wrong direction.

    •  so you would agree that the challenge here on out (7+ / 0-)

      is to raise consciousness about corporatism?

      •  Yep...because even in disagreement... (17+ / 0-)

        with the Right over how government works or does not, corporate, entrenched power skews the role of government as it exists and de-legitimzes the democracy from the aspect of popular sovereignty.

        Let's get back a good balance, then take the Right on.  We win in that way.

        Moyers said recently that the corporate role was to create and maintain dysfunction because in that environment it can thrive.  I agree.

        •  so, what is the alternative (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, chumley, glynis, Pris from LA

          that you see emerging once mass consciousness is raised?

          •  Good question. I do not have to have an answer. (7+ / 0-)

            In truth, I do not know.  But I will take my chances on more level playing field.  I think that more and more people, Left and Right, see that the trend of losing our self-determination.

            In addition, I think it's becoming clear to more people that many problems, here and internationally, are interrelated and that we will need to cooperate more in a cosmopolitan way, or perish.  That is why a level playing field will increase the possibility of real change occurring.

            Corporatism looks only at the bottom line, and certainly not in the long term.  However, if there is a true opportunity to bring change, meaning by restricting the role of corporations to rule over us, directly and indirectly, I think people are ready for it.

          •  The alternative is going to (5+ / 0-)

            look a lot like what we saw in the fifties and sixties; prior to the rise of knee jerk corporatist policy making. What I fear is not the alternative that will ultimately prevail, but what you pedict in the interim:

            (the) mass call to consciousness will create some short term chaos.

            There is a populist vacuum out there. Who will fill it is anyone's guess, and all the choices are not good.

            A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

            by nippersdad on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:43:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Better pandering (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polar bear

            ...as politicians recalibrate to a more informed populace. Better oversight. A better position on the spectrum from which actions are takan.

            HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

            by kck on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:45:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well at the very least the corporations won't (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo, Byrnt, polar bear

            be using us like farm animals who breed, bleed and die for them.

            Look at the pharmaceuticals the FDA is approving for Petes sake ... recent study places medicine as the 3rd leading cause of death. That is exactly what the FDA was created to prevent. But it has become a partner in marketing new drugs as safe when they patently aren't. We take far more drugs as a nation than is really necessary because they are marketed. I worked in a Drs office where they came weekly to push new ones.

            If corporations want to be quasi humans with the power to influence government then they should face the same punishments. If they commit mass murder for profit they should be fined and broken up to compensate humans for thier deaths.

            We should NOT go to war for corporate benefit (who the hell do you think was really the source of anger that led to 911). WE pay for those wars with our young and our taxes. Corporations have weaseled thier taxes down to nearly ZILCH. All the while they utilize the benefits of our civilization to enrich themselves at our expense.

            •  You sound like someone from the Right... (6+ / 0-)

              in what you say, which goes to show, in my opinion, that those who see this in the new dimension of corporatism as the culprit are on the cusp of creating a new reality where we get beyond the Left-Right dimension as the sole criteria for decision making.  It will come down to conflicts of regimes and rationalities over time.  But until corporations have less ability to facilitate dysfunction, nothing much will change, except for the worse.  

              •  It Rings true, too, doesn't it? (0+ / 0-)

                But then you draw up the lines of the 'sensible' from the 'extreme' with the corporate center protecting their way of life and apple pie and shit. That's where I think the problem will come from. The Corporate Center is the potential fascist organization. The poles are already marginalized and exploited.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:07:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Clearly, corporations such as Blackwater (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              polar bear

              (now Xe Services) need to be more accountable.  Government agencies such as the CIA and NSF need to be more accountable.  In the intertwining of Xe and CIA we are clearly losers of our freedoms, and even our moral compass.  Alot of the Popularist argument against government is addressed by transparency and accountability.

              An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

              by Thomas Twinnings on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:35:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The alternative is "democracy" with a small "d" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Byrnt, poxonyou, polar bear

            Which means, enacting reforms to LIMIT the power and political influence of the big players.

            Unfortunately, such reforms will never take place by the people in power, because they will undermine their power.

            The ballot box itself, then, is truly limited in what it will accomplish.

            If you look at the history of struggle in this country (and here, I refer to Howard Zinn's work), you come away with the sense that real "democratizing" change only took place in response to social movements that took place outside of the electoral system and threatened the status quo.

            As Noami Klien, for example, has observed:  "The New Deal was a compromise.  The alternative was REVOLUTION."

            The Civil Rights movement, while working simultaneously with a liberalizing trend among American political elites after WWII (the Sup Ct and Republicans and northern Democrats), involved actions such as bus boycotts, marches in the face of police brutality, sit ins, etc.  

          •  A marketplace of ideas (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Byrnt, polar bear

            and the hope for more rational debate of ideas.  That's one alternative.

            I'm an ardent anti-corporatist, and have been for a long time.  One of the biggest results of the rise of corporatism that I see is the loss of real ideas and real debate.  One of the goals of eliminating corporatism is the return to a more fact-based political process.

            If we consider the debate on health care reform for example, what points would the politicians be trying to make if it weren't for the influence of corporations in the process?  There are clearly a number of them in the pockets of some part of the HC industry who began with the idea that their industry must be protected, then tried to craft their statements with that end in mind.  This is where we get nonsense like "killing grandma".  The desperation on the part of some of these politicians has led them to some really outrageous speech and behavior.

            Campaign finance reform would be a great place to start this effort.  If an elected official doesn't have to spend 3 out of every 5 days worrying about how they'll finance their next campaign, these desperately silly positions may moderate.  It would certainly give a lot of power back to the voters, who currently have very little.

      •  Unabashedly YES!! (0+ / 0-)

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:35:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Grenwald's fundemental formulation (19+ / 0-)

    is incorrect.

    The right is arguing that government intervention is inherently corrupt, and responsible for the current economic mess.  The right has no problem with corporate power.  They regularly defend all manner of corporations.  In the Health Care debate they defend all manner of corporate interests.

    The left should argue, it it were coherint, and it isn't right now, that the current government intervention is not succeeding entirely because it has not challenged corporate power enough.  

    The right correctly sees the current moment as their greatest opportunity since the New Deal. They realize that a general attack on the bailouts builds their broader case against government generally.

    In this sense their political program is far coherent than anything coming from the left, and I find that very worrying.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:02:40 AM PST

    •  so, push back enought to prevent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, polar bear

      private business from fully encompassing the domain of the state (e.g., requiring direct payment from citizens to private industry), but not so much as to separate completely.  Is that the coherency that's missing?

      •  What is missing (11+ / 0-)

        is any real sense of the forces at work today.

        The biggest factor in people's economic lives is globalization.  There are studies around showing as much as 25% of all US jobs will be offshored in the next 3 to 5 years.

        I have never seen a diary on this subject at DKOS, and you rarely see attempts on the left to address this in any real way.

        The simple truth is the collapse of Marxism has lead to a poverty of intellectual thought on the left.  Certainly this is true in economics.  

        The political incoherence reflects, I think, an intellectual incoherence.  

        The push back has to come from trying to understand capitalism as a system, and then an articulation of what role the state should play.  This articulation would make clear where we depart from the Obama Administration and from the right.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:05:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you, but disagree because to me... (9+ / 0-)

      we are on the cutting edge of a new paradigm.  There is a movement on the Right that now is starting to see that the corporations themselves subvert the necessary role of government and individual freedoms.

      They see the threat that concentrated power holds, even to them, although in general they seek a much more limited role of government that is far from what the Left wants, a limited government with a large component of communitarianism.

    •  Conservatives ENABLE corporatism through (0+ / 0-)

      their steadfast belief in Market Fundamentalism (fladem is so correct).  They fight for it!

      Conservatives despise any regulations and regulatory bodies like the FDA, the SEC, OSHA, the EPA, anti-trust, etc.

      The result is unbridled corporatism.

      For crying out loud!  The base assumption in this diary is completely erroneous!

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:31:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There isn't one "right" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolf10

      There is the right of George Bush, which embraces the big government model, but uses it to jack up profits.

      There's also a gold bug (more properly "Austrian") right, which imagines a very different structure.  Ron Paul is the primary exponent of these ideas in the Republican party.

      Where Greenwald goes wrong is to assume that what Ron Paul is saying is in any way compatible with a liberal project.  If you listen carefully, it's clear this is not correct.

      "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

      by theran on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:51:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  IOW, money talks and bullshit walks, and everyone (3+ / 0-)

    knows it.

    •  Except now money=bullshit & bullshit=$$$ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      and the truth has to take a walk, and be unemployed and without healthcare or a stable roof.
      Fuck money and fuck bullshit.

      "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody's giving booze to these goddamn things!"-Hunter S. Thompson ;-)>

      by rogerdaddy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:16:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jeffrey, I've written extensively about this (19+ / 0-)

    In the diaries I list below.  One of the diaries was listed in Thom Hartmann's January 7th Newsletter, A Silent Coup d'état Has Already Happened in the U.S..

    I also address how people are being manipulated, here.

    My proposal to address this reality is that the first step is for people to admit the following:

      1.  Both major political parties in the United States of America are corrupt, and mainly serve the interests of corporatist cartels.  This situation threatens the survival of a free and democratic society where the average woman and man has a fair chance to live in dignity.

      2. The mainstream media in the United States mainly serves as a powerful propaganda apparatus for the corporatist Oligarchs, and its net effects (1) divide the citizenry to turn against each other, (2) exploits fears, (3) manipulate people to act against their own interests.

      3. The only way to take on the well-financed and highly organized Oligarchy is to join a highly-focused, organized, disciplined, and militant (non-violent) movement with staying power.

      4. For this movement to be effective it has to be able to PROJECT REAL POWER through massive nationwide protests characterized by highly motivated, focused, and disciplined participants.

    If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

    by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:04:31 AM PST

    •  so you believe raising consciousness is what (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, blueoasis, Luis Mendoza

      politics should be about at this stage--otherwise our system is in peril? Just want to check, before I respond further.

      •  Raising consciousness is a concept progressives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon, polar bear, Kristina40

        May use because it connotes a positive of addressing this important issue of corporatism.  My position is that this is only one piece of the strategy needed to take on the current challenge, albeit a very important strategy.

        I argue that the widespread conformism, fear to accept reality, and apologist (of the status quo) tendencies are the direct result of the constant barrage of propaganda and manipulation people are exposed to on a daily basis in the United States.

        Thus my argument is that (1) it is extremely important that we focus our attention on the actual issue (accept the U.S. is a corporatist Oligarchy), and you do that by educating and "raising consciousness" and (2) it is equally important to come up with a highly organized, disciplined, and relentless strategy to effectively challenge the current system.

        The biggest challenge I see is that on the Left there is a lack of understanding about how precarious the situation is for the survival of a democratic Republic.

        Let me put it another way.  What is the correct course of action for a man of good will that's just standing there minding his own business and a bully comes and punches him in the face with all his might, for no apparent reason?

        Is it to cower in fear, or is it to have the courage of closing your fist and punch back with equal or greater force?

        I think that's the main challenge we face.  The criminal corporatist Oligarchy is bent on manipulating, subjugating, exploiting, and destroying the middle class.  They are 70% there, and it has happened with the full consent of the people being exploited.

        If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

        by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:09:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i would argue it is not "raising consciousness" (0+ / 0-)

          as much as getting control of the media, education, etc.  Every movement has a "building" phase, e.g., not every farm worker was immediately ready to march with Cesar Chavez.  But the broadcasting of the fights for civil rights, and so on, even the DFHs, coupled with on the ground meetings and an intuitive knowledge that they were being badly used eventually ended in at least some improvement for immigrant farm workers.

          "raising consciousness" implies that you are better than me and will not bring about coalitions.

    •  So let me get this straight... (8+ / 0-)

      ...before I sign up for anything:

      For this movement to be effective it has to be able to PROJECT REAL POWER through massive nationwide protests characterized by highly motivated, focused, and disciplined participants.

      Your plan is to set up a counter Teabag movement that is not funded by lobbyists and corporations?  I am going to fight corporate power by standing in the cold while waving a clever sign that I printed at Kinko's?

      IMHO, the battle against corporate power and corporatism is a legal one.  Corporations exist only because they are described as legal entities in our law books.  Their abilities exist only as far as those abilities are described in our law books.  That is where the battle must take place and that is where we continue to lose.  

      And you can thank Lieberman for his cheek-spreading compromise during the Bush-era judicial nominee battles.  Conservative judges are corporate judges.

      Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

      by Terrapin on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:40:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Terrapin, maybe you haven't taken the time to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bearpaw, polar bear, Kristina40

        read my diaries in order to form a fully informed opinion of my approach.

        The approach I proposed is multifaceted, highly focused, and disciplined.  I argue that this approach is extremely important (to consider) because the corporatist Oligarchy that has taken over the United States government has a very focused approach: The rapid acquisition of money (wealth) and power through the manipulation, subjugation, and exploitation of the citizenry.

        I argue that facts, reason, empiricism, progressive principles, and ethics ought to be the foundation of a nationwide (focused, and highly disciplined) movement to take on the criminal cabal that has taken over the United States government.

        I argue that the Left and progressives so far have been highly inefficient in doing so, and the results of that are self-evident, as Elizabeth Warren argues in "American Without a Middle Class."

        I'm not talking about playing games, and Kinkos-printed protest signs.  I'm talking about a true powerful (well-financed) counter-attack on those criminals.  Nothing short of a revolution (non-violent), as if the notion that the United States of American has become a corporatist Oligarchy (which it is today) became widely accepted, that would be a revolutionary first step to address the challenge: Remove the Oligarchs from power, and establish a true representative democratic Republic system of government.

        If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

        by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:25:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are right, maybe I haven't, but... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I still do not understand what you intend to do other than 'counter-attack' with a '(non-violent) revolution' in order to 'remove the oligarchs from power'.  If you are still just talking about consciousness-raising then at some point somebody is going o have to go to Kinko's and print out a clever sign.  If you have a more specific plan then please enlighten me because we certainly agree on the problem.

          As I said, I think we need to focus on a legal strategy to limit the expansion of corporate power and we can do this by setting up a legal team that mirrors The Federalist Society.  As far as I am aware there is nobody out there to counter the strict constructionist onslaught to which we have been losing ground for thirty years.

          Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

          by Terrapin on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:07:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have some very specific ideas about how to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polar bear

            Proceed.  I cover them in this diary: Revolt!  How to Take on The Corrupt System.

            I'll be posting a follow up diary later today.  But basically the steps are: 1. Accept reality (the US is an Oligarchy).  2. Find other people who have awaken to this reality, and unite forces.  3. Engage in a new form (never tried before) of social and political (militant, non-violent, enduring, organized, intelligent, forceful) activism.

            If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

            by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:55:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The American Constitution Society is a legal club (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terrapin

            formed to counter balance The Federalist Society.  Not sure if they are anywhere near using corporate law yet, i should find out.

            I agree that changing corporate law should be a priority, along with other things mentioned.  If you are young and bright and love the earth and America, I would urge you (the general you) to consider an education that might allow you to change this, like becoming a judge.

            I'm wondering if we might not be able to use human rights and/or environmental rights violations to argue for a change in corporate law, not just compensation and punishment.

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polar bear

        The counterweight to Corporatism must be an empowered (and opposing) legal and judiciary system.  As it stands now, the legal system is largely bought by corporate interests.

        An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

        by Thomas Twinnings on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:46:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your whole diary amuses me (8+ / 0-)

    you make this big long drawn out case and it just comes down to you championing your support for the HCR bill, and it does nothing to address the corporatism problem.

    I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

    by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:07:58 AM PST

    •  I know there are people who will join this thread (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, sc kitty, DAO

      just to insult me based on how I conclude.  

      All I can say is: please do not do that.  

      •  I am not insulting you personally (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pkbarbiedoll, Nulwee, 0wn

        I read your diary all the way through and i found your conclusion lacking and I pointed that out. We can discuss your diary on its' merits. Do you have a solution to corporatism. I offered a solution that is  attacted to Jay Elias's comment it is one that Robert Reich writes about in Supercapitalism.

        I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

        by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:13:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

          I don't have a solution to "corporatism," because I think the problems we face or more complicated than my expertise.  Reich raises good points.

          But I do not think that shifting the focus from party politics to raising consciousness is the best way forward.  I think that will lead to increasingly strident factionalism, possibly even democratic centralism.  

          Nobody loves this bill.  Nobody loves the party right now.  But as I see it, the "corporatism" definition is pushing is an unproductive direction.

          •  I think you are wrong (12+ / 0-)

            I think it is a major problem it needs to be addressed. i think that our Democratic party is taking too much money from the corporations. When the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC hold events where the big corpo donors drop twenty grand to hear Obama or some other Democratic leader speak and then there is a meet and greet and some dinner we still have a problem. Regular folks can't afford that access and that puts us at a disadvantage.

            I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

            by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:30:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  what about unions? (0+ / 0-)

              Regular folks get access to unions and unions get access to the party and the administration. And regular folks get access to bond holder meetings, if they want it.

              I mean, I want publicly funded elections and far greater regulation of big business.  But I don't think the path to either of them is arguing that our conception of the political landscape is a corporatist fiction.

              •  really? (5+ / 0-)

                Unions do not have power anymore. I realized this in 1996 as I watched the Democratic national convention with all its' corporate sponsorship and how the unions took a backseat.

                Bond holder meetings? Seriously? Are you really this naive?

                I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule!

                by jbou on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:22:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've been reading through Jeffrey's comments... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jbou

                  and it seems clear to me that he's not especially interested in discussing the truths you point to. Maybe I'm wrong, but it feels like he skimmed one blog post by Glenn Greenwald and decided that he had a sufficient understanding of the argument. I don't see him arguing with any of the facts that people like Greenwald or Moyers regularly offer to support this case. I see Mr Feldman arguing with the weaker, somewhat more hyperbolic comments in one post by Mr. Greenwald.

                  He keeps on asking in the comments if people really really think that "consciousness raising" is what's really needed, as if it's big news that we have to let the general public know that their government and media are bought and paid for by corporations. He says it so calmly, but it seems that he's just avoiding having to explain how simple our case is.

                  Does he really really expect to get things like campaign finance overhaul and corporate regulation without big scary things like letting the general public know that, well, campaigns are financed by corporations, so they need reforming, and corporations are bilking us so they need regulating? Or maybe he's just arguing that we need another dozen or so (D) seats in the Senate, then we liberals can have our pony. See?? No need to scare everyone! Just win more elections!

              •  Our politics is fiction (4+ / 0-)

                That's why this pie fight between various factions of the left playwright into the corps "hands. " jane's marriage of convience mirrors something that Somersby has been blogging about for months. His critique has been that Oberman and Maddow have been fools for dismissing the econmicconcerns of the baggers. That theirresponse, incoherent that it might be is a populist moment that can bring the working/middle class together against the corps.

                That our discourse and ourpolitics as tgey'recurrently constituted are a dangerous distraction.

                I'm starting to believe it. Concious raising was the first step for the women's movement.

                Click!

                I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

                by Sharon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:41:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  hah! you ever joined a union? (0+ / 0-)

                yea, good luck using that shining example of democracy to send a message to your representatives. when you're done sending your message through your kind local union representative who is just so interested in hearing your political concerns, let me know how much fun you have hanging out in the lobbies of congress, getting your representatives to insert your pet project into the latest omnibus spending bill. I'm sure that'll go over just great, given how much campaign cash you aren't willing to offer.

                If you're so disinterested in learning about the case anti-corporatists make, unless they offer a new path, what exactly is your path towards publicly funded elections and regulating businesses more? Another dozen Democrats in the Senate?

                Maybe it all sounds like hyperbole, but I mean every sentence Mr Feldman. I think you're not seeing all the facts if you think any of what you want, (beyond a few astoundingly meager changes every decade or so) will get done without fundamental changes to the way we govern ourselves in this country. I'm not angry because "oh no! we didn't get what we wanted! someone broke their promises!" This isn't all hyperbole and theatrics and paradigm shifts or whatever. I'm angry because every election, we get hyped up rhetoric about how much things are gonna be different if we'd just give our guys another chance, only to have them bitch and moan about how hard it is to get anything done without capitulating to corporations and the GOP at every turn. Some call it triangulation, others call it compromise, I call it just plain sad.

  •  the thinking is becoming very melodramatic (6+ / 0-)

    Booman has a good front pager on his blog about this this morning and it made me see that our side, at least on the blogs, is getting very melodramatic in the thinking.
    That the evil corporation, or whatever else, are taking over everything and everyone.
    While I hate the corporate world I do not think there is this big conspiracy, ect. going on.
    yes, there is too much money influence and need for corporate help in politics but, I think things are getting overwrought rather then common sense being used in the thinking here.

    •  well...the argument is that the senate bill (5+ / 0-)

      fundamentally changes the nature of our government buy requiring payment directly from citizens to private corporations.  I think that's a huge, huge problem, but I am not sure that focusing on consciousness raising and recalibrating the political landscape is the best way to go about it.  My sense is that will lead to chaos, not progress.

    •  Corporations aren't "evil" (13+ / 0-)

      They operate in keeping with raising their bottom lines, an activity that by itself has no moral content. The effects on society that ensue from allowing their activity free rein could be described as evil, I guess. So a corporation is no more evil than a hungry shark is, doing what a shark does, but it must be contained when it gets too close to humanity.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:40:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly so ... not evil, just amoral (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rollotomasi

        By definition, the only bottom line corporations have is the financial bottom line.  The ethics of the people who make up a corporation are constrained by that institutional tunnel-vision, and the behavior of corporate entities reflects that fundamental limitation.

        "All progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw

        by Bearpaw on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:22:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anti-corporatism is a misleading term (0+ / 0-)

        Believing that corporations have accrued too much power or that privitizing inherently governmental functions is bad policy does not mean that one is anti-corporate.  Proposing any stepback of corporate power is no more anti-corporate than proposing a stepback in our involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan is anti-military or anti-war, or raising taxes as a means to balance the governments books is just tax-and-spend.

        The question that needs to be answered before, "What should the Democratic Party do?" is "Is it good policy?", because I can see issues and conditions where corporations should have some leeway and others where that should not have as much.  Also, there are short-term and long-term considerations on any policy, which is very applicable to health care.

        In healthcare, I - and I'm sure many others here - have seen first-hand evidence of the rapidly expanding power of the healthcare industry.  So the question needs to be:  is the healthcare bill good policy, not just in view of its short-term benefits (more insured), but in terms of its long-term impact (enabling if not speeding up the expansion of political/financial power of the medical industry).

        Imo, Greenwald's is a seminal piece on the underlying divisions in the debate, in that he advises that we need to look at issues in something other than the left-right continuum.  While I don't feel nearly as antagonistic as some others on the thread and believe the author similarly recognized the importance of Glenn's piece, the piece was more about better defining the split of opinion, not that one definition is 100% correct and the other is 100% wrong.

        THAT is Glenn's alternate vision, that we need to use one.

  •  Greenwald is simply rephrasing (9+ / 0-)

    the longstanding question of the role of government:

    Now, with this basic alternative to our current system in mind, I want to turn back to Greenwald's assertion that, "Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing."

    What functions are properly left to the government and what should be left to the private sector.

    This argument has been going on for decades, if not centuries.

    What is somewhat new is the outsourcing of government functions to the private sector.

    And, I always laugh at statements such as this:

    The idea that only a select, small few are conscious enough to see the reality of the world as it really is--this too is a problem.

    The "elite knowers of truth" concept is as funny as this is over-dramatic:

    Unless we decide if this argument is true or false, the Democratic Party will go down.

    Those type of hyperbole is better suited for a Star Trek Movie -- "the future of the world is in your hands, Scotty, I need more power!"

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:15:35 AM PST

  •  Corporations = Equal Opportunity Greedmongers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, happymisanthropy

    Corporate trash are all about worshipping money, and money doesn't subscribe to any political philosophies.  (It's Strictly Business!).**  Corporations will gladly take money from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Socialists, Communists, or any other politically-affliated person or group in possession of it.  They'll also give obscene amounts of money to anyone, especially Congresspeople these days, who can guarantee a nice return on that investment.

    **Thank you, come again.  Have a nice day.

  •  Did you read (14+ / 0-)

    Booman's take on it?

    The Anti-Corporatist Movement

    This is what jumped out at me

    We elected Obama to do what he is doing, which is reform the health care system, expand coverage, increase regulation, protect customers, and do it in an affordable way. We did not elect him to wage a principled but losing jihad against the private insurance industry. He never promised that.

    I agree with others who said that corporations are intertwined in our society and no matter how much you try to educate people they will not respond to an anti-corporate message.

    I think our biggest problem is the steady march over the last 30 years of deregulation.

    I don't believe that to save the village we have to destroy it.  

    All you end up with is ashes.

    Coalition does not equal unholy alliance--Deoliver47

    by glynis on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:24:12 AM PST

  •  I have been (7+ / 0-)

    I have been saying something similar for a couple of years now. (inspired by readings of history and by modern day smart people like Ian Welsh hehe).

    Our system itself is collapsing because the party structure we all grew up with is collapsing. It no longer meets our needs. Instead of having 2 groups of people (mostly) adequately represented by 2 parties, we have been transitioning into a situation where the parties themselves are fragmenting into mutually hostile coalitions, with a growing third group of people refusing to join either of the two parties. At some point the coalitions will no longer be able to work with each other, and the parties will officially split. The genius of the Bush admin was its ability to hold together its warring coalitions for as long as it did (religious zealots, pro-Corporatists and neocons).

    The vast sea of Independent Voters has been the key to winning elections for a long time now, since both Dems and Repubs each "control" only around 30 percent of the voters. As more fragmentation occurs, the country will become increasingly ungovernable. (What happens to our constitutional system in such a scenario is a whole other discussion).

    If we want our party to survive this intact, we DO need to change our focus...and pushing an anti-Corporatist agenda would be a good way to go. I know people love Obama because he is not-Bush, but he is proving to be a quintessential Corporatist, and his administration will never take on corporations the way the party needs it to.

    "More and better Democrats" will only work going forward if it is understood to mean "More and better anti-Corporatist Democrats".

  •  If government takeover of the "healthcare sector" (3+ / 0-)

    results in us spending 9% of GDP on healthcare instead of  the 18% we currently do while providing universal coverage I really don't care what you call it. I would certainly have mixed feelings about other parts of our economy.

    "Let's remember, we should care about people even after they are born." Representative Alan Grayson

    by irate on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:34:02 AM PST

  •  before i could even begin to wrap (8+ / 0-)

    my head around the political implications of this premise or thesis or whatever it is, I would really need to know what people believe is the ECONOMIC alternative to global or international corporatism in order to either restore or maintain America's prosperity and competiveness in the global marketplace.

    In the 19th century America's edge was couched in terms of mercantilism, in the 20th in terms of international trade and expansionism, what is the supposed or projected basis for America's economic foundation to be in the 21st century?

    What exactly do people want to replace 'corporatism' with?

    •  I Know What the Owners Want (13+ / 0-)

      They don't give a rat's ass about "America" one way or another, they're long past such trivia. They just want global markets of giant finance and corporations.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:38:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's regulated capitalism (13+ / 0-)

      As opposed to free rein or free market capitalism.

      •  OK, and I am certainly not looking for an (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Jeffrey Feldman

        argument because I am not an economist or even an ideologue, but as almost ALL of these 'corporations' are already global internationally traded investment entities in which people's retirement funds, pension funds, state, local and federal revenues are invested in and traded on the open market, and they are in fact not owned by individuals but rather operated by CEO's and Boards of Directors, what is the world going to replace this systm with?

        Not to mention the major source of venture captital and captital to expand and build new factories   comes from investment funds on a  global level, where is the money going to come from to re-build the global economy?

        And if it is regulated capitalism surely that will only work if the entire global economy paricipates. America surely cannot do it unilaterally and still compete globally.

        So, is what you are reporting on a trend in the US alone, or is this a global trend to overthrow free market capitalism in return for protected limited regulated capitalism?

        Wasn't that one of the HUGE hurdles Obama had in the first G20 summit when the European Central banks were reluctant to regulate as much as the Americans wanted or was it the other way around. Now it has expanded to the G70 industrial nations. Are they all in synch?

        I mean its all very well to rip the entire structire of the global economy down but what are you planning on replacing it with?  Or is that immaterial?

        •  no argument, don't worry (8+ / 0-)

          The answer is that we would not replace them so much as split them up into smaller pieces so that we could keep track of them better. Even early the calls for nationalizing the banks were ultimately a call for breaking them up.  

          This would mean restoring Glass-Steagall, strengthening and applying the Sherman Act, and instituting  new regulations for the current situations we have.

        •  "regulated capitalism" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Byrnt, polar bear, angeloftruth

          And if it is regulated capitalism surely that will only work if the entire global economy paricipates. America surely cannot do it unilaterally and still compete globally.

          Nearly all countries that use any sort of capitalism regulate it to some extent, and many (most?) of them do so to a far greater extent than the US.  I have little fear that we'll somehow leapfrog the rest of the world in any significant way.

          Plus, being able to "compete globally" is a chimera, a false frame created to distract.  Global economics is still being presented as if it's a competition between countries, but it's really a competition among corporations.  Economic treaties (NAFTA et al) aren't really being negotiated as if the actual people of one country are in opposition to the actual people of another country.  They're negotiated on behalf of corporate interests, and the effects on any individuals below corporate upper management are incidental.

          "All progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw

          by Bearpaw on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:42:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Regulated, yes, but with what basis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        What is the basis of power for the legal and regulatory function? It cannot be dollars.

        An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

        by Thomas Twinnings on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:04:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  alternative: democracy (6+ / 0-)

      The issue is not with the existence of regulated corporations; it's with corporations controlling the government to set their own regulations. Do you see the difference?

      It's easy to argue against people who want all corporations abolished. Granted, it's hard to find those people.

      But if you believe corporations should be regulated by the government, then it's a problem when the corporations control the government, because then the corporations regulate themselves. That control of the government by corporations is what most people are calling "corporatism", not the existence of corporations.

  •  "Who Is This Policy For: The People or Business?" (18+ / 0-)

    I think that's our simple formula for expanding the movement by winning countless small battles of policy and viewpoint.

    The reason is that progressives favor people over business when they conflict, and because progressives use government as a tool to achieve results and improvements.

    So, frame the issue as people vs business whenever there's a conflict.

    The right has its own formula. They frame everything as a matter of rights and freedoms.

    They do this because that framing confines government to setting fixed rules at the beginning then getting out of the way. They like that because the rich and business are sure to win in a hands-off, set-it-and-forget-it approach to government.

    "Who is this policy for: the people or business?" That frames government as a tool of the peoplem, not the Republicans' fixed proclamation from God.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:37:11 AM PST

  •  Another way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffrey Feldman, chumley, blueoasis

    the different between Right and Left
    is illusionary:

    http://www.followthemoney.org/...

    I may be wrong

    but kind of looks like
    the Health Industry Lobbyists,
    played both sides against the middle?

    The middle being,
    What they want.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:38:41 AM PST

    •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

      that's the question this diarist is asking.

      There is the reality you point to...the question is, what do we do about it?

      What is the alternative system we're looking for?

      In the context of the health care debate, is our ultimate goal to remove private insurance from the market? If so, are the other markets where private corporations should be eliminated? And if so, what replaces them? Are we working for true socialism? Have we given up on the idea of regulated capitalism?

      These are all questions I have as I listen to progressives discuss the current debate about health care reform.  

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:22:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ideological, not structural, problem (18+ / 0-)

    Defining the problem as "corporatism" gives it a structural identity, whichever of the two structures Jeffrey explicates is meant by it.  As I see it, though, the structural issues emerge from the underlying ideological triumph of Reaganite-Thatcherite neoliberalism.  The reason that any merger of corporate interest and state power can occur is that Reaganism-Thatcherism as our society's hegemonic ideology has allowed the destruction or dessication of any existing social forces that could have successfully resisted or encroached on the convergence of State and Corporation, and by fostering a culture of hyper-individualism and the dissolution of any earlier traditions and cultures of class consciousness and social solidarity has precluded the emergence of new social forces to contest the new arrangement of power.

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:43:06 AM PST

    •  that's such a great point (4+ / 0-)

      I used to bring up Thatcherism more often, but we seem to have passed through so many shitstorms, lately, that it seems lost.  Thanks for putting that point  back in the discussion.

    •  wow, that's a m'effing long sentence ;) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:50:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it really so new? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy

      Some of the things I've read about the involvement of the investments of Morgan Stanley in Europe and their pressure on the US to enter WWI to protect them certainly seems to make the argument that its always been this way.

      And how about the role of the US government in protecting corporate investments in Central and South America in the 70's and 80's?

      Anyway, perhaps I'm missing some of the historical context that makes these developments different since Reagan/Thatcher. So please educate me if I'm wrong.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:27:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Note your examples are international (7+ / 0-)

        and certainly on that level economic imperialism has changed little if at all over the years.  I was discussing it more in the domestic political-social sphere, where there is no longer a meaningful labor movement nor any other substantive organized embodiment of working class people, interests and power.  In its place Reaganism-Thatcherism has cultivated a social context where the only meaningfully organized political and social forces are those of capital and its allies, where there is no class consciousness or social solidarity that manifests as oppositon to and counterbalance to corporate power.  Thus the treatment that has long happened internationally, particularly to colonial and neocolonial subject populations are increasingly applied to the mass of the population within the imperial states themselves.

        "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

        by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:55:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "fostering a culture of hyper-individualism " (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, ActivistGuy, TexasTwister

      It's bizarre that corporations have managed to nearly completely co-opt the concept of individualism to their own benefit.

      "All progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw

      by Bearpaw on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:37:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd on title alone! (8+ / 0-)

    THIS is the debate we should be having

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:49:48 AM PST

  •  Al Giordano (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, NLinStPaul, Thomas Twinnings

    wrote a great essay a few days ago about the born-again anti-corporatism of the left.

    We Have Met the Corporation and It Is Us.

  •  There's one small thing we could do (6+ / 0-)

    Disallow corporate campaign donations. Allow publicly funded campaigns only. It would change Washington enormously without requiring any re-structuring of the private sector.

    --Free thinkers shouldn't go around thinking just anything. (Terry Pratchett)

    by HPrefugee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:54:14 AM PST

    •  could that get through the courts? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NLinStPaul, HPrefugee

      I thought constitutional protections for donations had been tested...

    •  I thought direct corporate contributions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Escamillo

      were already disallowed. Corporate PACs are allowed, but there are limits on those I think.

      Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

      Your argument is not Scottish.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:44:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why shouldn't individuals be able to contribute (0+ / 0-)

      to campaigns, even if those individuals happen to work for a corporation?

      What's a "corporate campaign donation" anyway?  I don't consider donations made by employees of corporations that decide on their own accord to make campaign contributions "corporate donations".

    •  One of the questions I have about a purely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NLinStPaul

      publicly financed campaign system is, would this system fund the campaign of anyone who applied? If so, it could end up being either very costly or useless. If not, how would the determination be made of who could receive funds?

      Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

      Your argument is not Scottish.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:32:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many such systems require a candidate to raise a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego

        certain amount of money from individuals (you could even limit the amount of the donation, say $25).  This seems fairly equitable.  Using taxes seems like a huge expense, but it's much, much cheaper to have laws made that benefit us rather than corporations, when there is a conflict, such as the health insurance industry need to deny care in order to fulfill their "duty" to shareholders.

        •  That might be reasonable. (0+ / 0-)

          My thought was that a purely publicly financed system would not allow for individual donations. Of course, there still might be an issue with soft money, which seems to be where there are more potential constitutional issues.

          Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

          Your argument is not Scottish.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:14:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jeff, I am impressed (7+ / 0-)

    Great observations, and this is increasingly true for many in the "center"/undecided realm

    There is no left vs. right.  There is only inside vs. outside.

    Dontcha know is the first phrase that comes to mind

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:54:25 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much for this (7+ / 0-)

    I haven't figured out how much of it I concur with yet, but what an insightful piece.

    Bravo, sir.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:56:00 AM PST

  •  I think we might have hit that wall already (8+ / 0-)

    the truth that lies beneath it all:  that if corporatism is allowed to entrench itself, the fundamental nature of American society will change, citizenship as we understand it will be a farce, and democracy will be little more than a fiction produced by the ruling party marketing arm and private corporations.  

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 10:57:55 AM PST

  •  I don't even respond (5+ / 0-)

    To people who use the word "corporatism" because I have no idea what they mean.

    Well, I know that they mean "a socio-economic/political system in which private entities can charter corporations", but beyond that I really don't know what the position is.

    Are they against all corporations?  Some corporations?  Corporations larger than a certain size?  Corporations that make a certain amount of money?

    Do they want to do away with corporations?  Increase regulations on corporations?  Change certain laws and/or judicial rulings regarding corporations?

    It seems that "anti-corporatism" can embrace anything from the local activist who doesn't want sludge in the lake, to communists who want to do away with private ownership of production, to that right-wing nut who shot somebody at the post office because the bank had ordered his trailer repossessed.

    How am I supposed to know if I agree with it or not?

    •  in scholarly terms, it has changed definitions (3+ / 0-)

      quite dramatically.  It used to mean government takeover of the private sector along the lines of what Mussolini did--and worked in concert with the mandated establishment of municipal guilds.  But in the past 10 years,  it has come to be shorthand for the influence of big business in government.

    •  Exactly... (0+ / 0-)

      these are just the kinds of questions I have as well.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:33:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporatism is not just the influence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polar bear

      of big business in government - shorthand or otherwise. It is the name of a movement. Another name for it is neoliberalism. But corporatism is etymologically more accurate.

      The corporatist movement seeks to replace or at least, greatly diminish the role of democratic government and replace it with corporate governance. They place no value in the democratic institutions of the united states, the values put forth in our constitution, or even in the concept of a sovereign United States. As the blueblood former chairman of Citicorp, Walter Wriston put it, "The old political boundaries of nation-states are being made obsolete by an alliance of commerce and technology." This quote is from his book "The Twilight of Sovereignty". It's not a secret what these people want.

      The movement is largely a success with total dominance in most countries of the world. Through lobbyist groups, front organizations, PR operations, intelligence contractors, bought off politicians, and almost complete control of radio and television around the world, the corporatist have been able to put in place policies that are largely unpopular with the people. This is true in Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America.

      The overwhelming majority of people who have been forced to live under corporatist regimes with neoliberal policies don't like them.

      As for Americans, the twilight of our sovereignty will happen over our dead bodies.

  •  Food for thought (3+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    "I would much rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Georgianna Darcy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:04:54 AM PST

  •  More than anything else, THIS must change: (22+ / 0-)

    CORPORATE PERSONHOOD

    It was a mistaken interpretation in the late 1800's of a Supreme Court ruling on the 13th Amendment (ending slavery) that gave us the monster that has become Corporate Personhood. The effort to give former slaves all the rights of citizenship was extended to corporations.

    That has come to mean that corporations have free speech rights, ownership rights, political contribution rights, et al.

    THAT is what must end, but it will take a Supreme Court ruling to make it so. Good luck getting that through the Roberts Court.

    Bush is now working as a motivational speaker. Who better to turn to than the guy who invaded the wrong country and started a depression -- David Letterman

    by Jimdotz on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:08:38 AM PST

    •  I wish someone would really dig into that (9+ / 0-)

      and lay out the arguments over a series of posts.  It's an important topic.

      •  Corporate personhood is an important topic (7+ / 0-)

        and one that was raised by our newest Supreme Court Justice on her first day on the bench.

        But Justice Sotomayor suggested the majority might have it all wrong -- and that instead the court should reconsider the 19th century rulings that first afforded corporations the same rights flesh-and-blood people have.

        Judges "created corporations as persons, gave birth to corporations as persons," she said. "There could be an argument made that that was the court's error to start with...[imbuing] a creature of state law with human characteristics."

      •  It has been written about. (4+ / 0-)

        Author and radio host Thom Hartmann in his 2002 Unequal Protection: the Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights asserts that this right was never actually part of a Supreme Court decision.
        The story goes that the Supreme Court decided in 1886, in a case called Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad, that corporations were indeed legal persons.  However Mr. Hartmann found the contemporary casebook, published in 1886, and read Santa Clara County in the original. Nowhere in the formal, written decision of the Court did he find corporate personhood mentioned.
        In the casebook headnote, however Mr. Hartmann found this statement: The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Here, corporate personhood was provided in the headnote, instead of the formal written decision of the Supreme Court.
        What is a headnote? It is the summary description of a court decision, written into the casebook by the court reporter. It is similar to an editor's abstract in a scientific journal. Because they are not products of the court itself, however, headnotes carry no legal weight; they can establish no precedent in law.
        I've heard Mr. Hartmann speak on this before.  What I don't understand is if the orignal documents exist, why hasn't there aver been a real challenge to this concept.  I suspect that there are precedents that have subsequently been ruled into law.  But if the foundation is false, how could they stand?

        Nevermind, it was a rhetorical question.  For being such 'strict constructions' I have never read more Constitutionally tortured SCOTUS opinons then those of Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts.

  •  Jefferson (9+ / 0-)

    " I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] . . . will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." -- Thomas Jefferson -- The Debate Over The Re Charter Of The Bank Bill, (1809)

    Rhetoric of the paradigms of left-right, corporatism-socialism, etcetra are inconsequential except but distract from the meaning of what Thomas Jefferson so clearly articulated in the quote above.

    It seems pretty clear what has happened to government with fiat currency system run by private banking interests, whatever term it may be labelled with.  Anybody here write their representatives to legislate free trade policies?  I suspect the answer is no, so who did?  Corporate interests ... big businesses not small businesses.
    K street runs DC not main street.

    Hope for American workers isn't Wall Street's agenda.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:08:53 AM PST

  •  Corporations already HAVE encompassed State (9+ / 0-)

    since their initial design, Corporations are able to operate multinationally, single states can not. Logically Corporations have the HUGE advantage and it stays that way.

    I think Greenwald was being to nice

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:12:35 AM PST

  •  California and power brokers (4+ / 0-)

    Arnie was put in office by power brokers like the ones who also recruited Reagan. Arnie likes to set up committees and then say the results allow action without a vote much like Bush in the White House.  It is an end run around representative democracy as is the proposition system. Diane Feinstein among others wants a committee to look at the economy.  This is where we are heading or where we are at.  The "power brokers" claim our system is broken often from what they have done.  Then they by-pass pesky democracy. Both Democrats and democracy are now at risk.  In the back rooms are not only the multinational wealthy, but organized corporations who prefer the stream-lined approach of the rulers of China.

  •  I approve of OperationChaos (3+ / 0-)

    Any initial, mass call to consciousness will create some short term chaos. Where we go from here is up to us.

    I say we start ASAP.

    So how do we wake people up?

    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:20:26 AM PST

    •  I say we need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, sephius1

      WAY more than that.

      Chaos means a loss of control. I'm not willing to join any movement that doesn't know what it wants, where it wants to go, how it will do that, and what the consequences are.

      I recognize that all of those questions can't always be answered perfectly. But to just move to chaos is irresponsible.

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:36:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant in regards of creating conciousness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poxonyou

        of the Corporatist paradigm, summed up in Unfettered Capitalism/Capitalists + Political power VS We The People

        If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.' ~ George Orwell, 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:01:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the whole point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sephius1

          of this discussion to me is...then what?

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:08:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Knowing is half the battle. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polar bear

            If we don't act on this then the 'Baggers, Corporate Sponsored Populism, will eviscerate 'Government' to fully release the Hounds of Capital on the People as they completely eradicate the concept of General Welfare by defining this issue as Government.

            Start to craft language and policy that highlights the Corporate Agenda and forces it out into the open and Democratize media.

            It's there right now, too. The technology, the receptors in people's brains, the situation we're in...

            It's a People's Party that stands up for the Citizens of our Country or Populism, Inc. that lays down for the Corporate Agenda.

            Also, keep in mind that the side that challenges corporate will be totally demolished in the corporate media - like that's anything new - but it'd be different if there was outright opposition.

            Perhaps that is why you're reluctant to start...

            I do think that crafting a message and policy that points to the real problem is extremely important.

            The HCR Bill is totally a case study in Corporate Sponsored Public Policy, and should be an easy win of hearts and minds by a Party of the People.

            We could grab 1/4 of the baggers and tons of independents and non voters, invigorate the Base and Fight the Right, the Real Right, not that caricature that we get on TV, at Ground Zero. Let's take on their base. Tattoo them with it!

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:10:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not hesitant to start... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              k9disc, kj in missouri

              I've been talking about these issues for years. The hesitation I mentioned was in response to MoT's call for chaos. I'm not interested in that.

              We need to not only craft the message of corporatism, we need to offer a viable alternative. I haven't seen much clarity about that.

              Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:44:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  aren't we already in chaos? nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc
  •  there is no "false consciousness" in Greenwald (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tatere, k9disc, Marja E

    and it really weakens your piece to build it around that claim. The diary basically reads as an over-complicated strawman, because Greenwald doesn't argue for anything like the false consciousness, yet the diary spends a good deal of time attacking your invented argument.

    I mean, attack Greenwald, fine. No problem there: he's making a controversial argument and should be tested on it. But attack the actual article.

    •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)

      I mean...it may be too obvious a response to your critique, but--I disagree.  

      Greenwald's definition brings forth exactly the kind of logic I outline.  And I bend over backwards not to "attack Greenwald," but rather to take his work and his heavy lifting seriously. So if you're trying to weave me into the ongoing "attack Greenwald" theme on this blog--which is not what I'm doing--please, don't.

      •  where is the false consciousness in the piece? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tatere, k9disc, polar bear

        You conclude

        The idea that only a select, small few are conscious enough to see the reality of the world as it really is--this too is a problem.

        Where is this coming from in Greenwald's piece? I see nothing at all in Greenwald's article to merit that conclusion, and no evidence in your piece backing it up. It's an assertion without evidence.

        Near as I can tell, you just made it up out of thin air because it sounded good.

      •  "brings forth" (0+ / 0-)

        well there's the problem. you may believe that your statements are the logical extrapolation of what Greenwald said, but that's based on your own interpretation of it, with thin support in the text.

        [T]his growing opposition to corporatism -- to the virtually absolute domination of our political process by large corporations -- is one of the many issues that transcend the trite left/right drama endlessly used as a distraction. ... Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s.

        (emphasis added)

        that is not absolutist language. all of this stuff about "false consciousness" is your own invention. the outdated left-wing phrase sounds more like a subtle discrediting to my ears than anything else, but that's just my take on it.

        there is nothing in this world of humans that is absolutely this way or that. except maybe death.

        a somewhat unrelated point: the governments-nom-corporations or corporations-nom-governments choice is to some degree a false one, because there is a distinct third case that is worse than either, and which i think is what people mean by corporatism. that is when the coercive power of the state is used in service to the private personal interests of a wealthy elite. Tony Judt calls it a new form of tax farming:

        This process was well described by one of its greatest modern practitioners: Margaret Thatcher reportedly asserted that "there is no such thing as society. There are only individual men and women and families." But if there is no such thing as society, merely individuals and the "night watchman" state—overseeing from afar activities in which it plays no part—then what will bind us together? We already accept the existence of private police forces, private mail services, private agencies provisioning the state in war, and much else besides. We have "privatized" precisely those responsibilities that the modern state laboriously took upon itself in the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

        What, then, will serve as a buffer between citizens and the state? Surely not "society," hard pressed to survive the evisceration of the public domain. For the state is not about to wither away. Even if we strip it of all its service attributes, it will still be with us—if only as a force for control and repression. Between state and individuals there would then be no intermediate institutions or allegiances: nothing would remain of the spider's web of reciprocal services and obligations that bind citizens to one another via the public space they collectively occupy. All that would be left is private persons and corporations seeking competitively to hijack the state for their own advantage.

    •  Where does Greenwald (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sephius1

      offer solutions or alternatives?

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:38:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ?? he's explaining HCR opposition to the Village (4+ / 0-)

        Why would Greenwald's article offer solutions or alternatives? He's not writing as an activist trying to get things done; he's writing as a journalist explaining reality to his dimwitted profession. That may be where this diary got confused.

        Look, much of the Village still thinks liberals care only about giving money to lower-income people. From their thinking, liberals should be happy because the Senate health care bill gives $1T to expand medicaid and give subsidies. But many liberals are not happy and the Village is very confused why?

        It's not complicated, except to the nuance-challenged people who live in Washington DC. People here get it, but Greenwald really isn't talking to us. With some very few exceptions (who may be DC professionals), DKos posters are not simple-minded left-vs-right political thinkers.

        Corporatism isn't a new problem. Teddy Roosevelt made a career attacking the trusts. FDR busted the bankers and tied them in chains for 50 years. Ike warned about the MIC. You could even say the original Boston Tea Party was anti-corporate, because the main benefit was the privately-owned/government-run East India Company. It's just not a topic the corporate-employed newspeople and their corporate-employed lobbyist friends want to hear.

        I don't know how the diary writer got the idea that Greenwald thinks the public is dim and doesn't know corporations are a problem. Americans understand that very well; that's why so many people are mad at the bank bailout. It's Washington DC which thinks the public are idiots, with a simple-minded division between liberals who want to give money to the poor, conservatives who want to lower all taxes, and moderates who understand the virtues of balance in everything. No one but DC would believe that crap.

        In a sane world, Greenwald's article would be a no-brainer, a politics 101 overview of public concerns. Maybe his simple came across as patronizing, but in a world where David Broder is the Dean of Journalism, what's the alternative?

        •  If for nothing else, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sephius1

          I'll thank you for explaining to me why I don't find much helpful in Greenwald's writing.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by NLinStPaul on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:13:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We're not dim witted, we're mis-informed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polar bear

          And do not know.

          We have been fed Corporate Propaganda for 90 years.

          I agree that people see the crime, but they've misidentified the perp because of corporate propaganda like,"You can't Fight City Hall!" WTF is that.

          So what we're left with is a Right Wing and Corporate attack on Government as the prevailing Conventional Wisdom. Absent any pushback from Democrats since McGovern for fear of being labeled something by their opponents and their Corporate Sponsors, it has not been a very sane world and will not be one.

          I really like your post and I am very tired of the the "what's your solution?" counter.

          If a solution were proposed it would be shot down as not feasible, a fantasy or Purity.

          peace

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:23:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary (4+ / 0-)

    I don't know that the situation for Dems is a dire as you make it out to be. All of this is basically a retread of 1993-6, with Clinton and NAFTA, the health care fiasco, welfare reform, crime bill, etc. I don't think you have to be a radical communist, or even a populist, to understand "corporate" as a commonly-used adjective that essentially means faceless, value-less, organization that exists to maximize profits at all opportunities, and for nothing else.

    The crux of the problem is that corporations have to many political rights in our society. The rich in general do, as well, but corporations are even worse than just the rich, because the rich are actual people who can be expected to have some kind of conscience, some kind of social responsibility, even if it's just writing checks to their alma mater and to the local opera. But the corporation is required by law to maximize profit for its shareholders; the managers of the corporation can be disciplined, fired or even face charges for failing to carry out that responsibility.

    That's fine as far as it goes, but when it comes into the political sphere what you get are laws and policies that serve no socially beneficial purpose other than the enrichment of those corporations that are large enough to exert influence within the political system. I think that's the "corporatism" that Greenwald is worrying about, and I think he's absolutely right to be concerned.

    Now, whether there's a possibility from that for an alliance with the Tea Partiers, I don't know. I'm willing to ally myself with anyone to oppose laws and policies that, as mentioned above, serve no socially beneficial purpose other than to enrich the shareholders of private corporations, but I do recognize however that I have a fundamentally different philosophy of the role of government in society, assuming that we can limit the power of private corporations to influence that government in some way. If we can't then maybe I will go teabagger.

    I'd also like to comment on the "alternative". I think a fair alternative is modeled by what we see in many local communities around the country with police, fire, parks and rec, etc. Local government takes over certain functions that need to be collectively funded and provided free of charge, and it does those things as best it can, with government employees. Other things are left to the private sector, largely unfettered by government except to regulate it for public health and safety. The main question is which activities fall into which categories.

    WRT health care, I think the Sanders Amendment times ten (or fifty) could've been the whole bill, IMHO. Just establish a functioning public health care delivery system that provides basic health care to anyone, whether or not they have insurance, or can afford to pay. Then leave the private health insurance sector as it. You would guarantee that no one would die or stay ill because of lack of health insurance, you could provide much more health care for the same money, without the health insurance companies taking 20-30% off the top, and you wouldn't stir up the teabaggers because the existing system would be left in place.

    •  You'd still need a public health insurance, too, (0+ / 0-)

      for all the ills that lie outside of basic care, imo.

    •  Community Health centers Are Urgently Needed. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that expanding the Sanders-Cartin provision providing for community health centers would mean real reform.

      Mandating that everyone buy private insurance policies when there is little regulation of cost and rules for coverage is a terrible step.  Not only will it cost many people more money, but its sets up private insurance as the model, rather than government single-payer or direct provision of health care.

      But, if Sanders-Cartin were sufficiently well funded, that would provide health care at affordable rates.  Taxpayer subsidies would be going to providing real health care, not junk private insurance.

      I was for killing the Senate bill completely until I read the Sanders-Cartin provision in the manager's amendment to the Senate Bill.  The health clinics in that provision will provide needed basic health services to anyone who walks in the door, with or without insurance, with charges on a sliding scale depending on income.  These health clinics will include dental care.  In the future, these centers can be expanded to cover specialized treatments and hospital care.   We must insure that ever American has access to such centers.

      I'm currently living in Venezuela where the Chavez administration has set up thousands of neighborhood clinics throughout the country which provide basic medical and dental services and refer patients to free specialists as needed. Hospitalization is free as well.  

      These clinics provide great service, just as good as I had with Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii, with no huge premiums and no co-pays either.

      The one problem here is some drugs are not free and, as most come from global drug companies, the drugs are very expensive.  (Although people with serious or chronic diseases such as cancer, MS, diabetes, and the like can get all their drugs free through government drug stores.)  The Venezuelan government is in the process of building factories to provide generic drugs at much lower costs.  

      Venezuela is a good example of how services can be organized when a government puts the human needs of its citizens before private corporate profits.  

      It is such a relief not to worry about paying for an expensive insurance policy and worrying whether it will actually cover all the services I might need if I fall ill.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care and unions.

      by Justina on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:21:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, polar bear

    And a great, intelligent  discussion here in comments.  I'll admit that I'm still trying to figure a lot of this, but I know it's an important discussion.  Less fascinated by the issue of left/right alliance, though I know it relates to the larger points.

    In any case, thanks.    

    Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

    by chumley on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:27:37 AM PST

  •  Excellent presentation......and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, ActivistGuy, RJP9999

    I agree with Greenwald and know exactly what he means.
    Count me among the conscious.

    There are those who are not alarmed by "cor"pro"tism" and will say it has always been that way.
    Well, yes and no.
    There have been some periods of "balance" between labor and capital... and there has been the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons.

    I don't have time to take you on a trip from the 1966 GATT hearings I went to Geneva for as a student up to today. But that is what set in motion the economic decline of industrial and production America and therefore the declining jobs and switch to less economically desirable service and consumer based economy.
    The testimony I heard from US businessmen,the middle stratus of anywhere from 50 to 1000 employee employers has come true right down the line.
    I am not going into a long diatribe on this..I done it for 40 years already.

    Let me just say that those who think the majority of dems are any different from the majority of repubs in their support for and subservience to corporate governance probably also believe the politicians who say the money they receive from corps doesn't influence their votes.

    The fight against government for,by and of,corps and the "parties" hasn't quite joined and jelled yet for conservatives and liberals.

    But it might...if the followers of both parties can turn on their intelligence, be objective, drop their gang identities and agree on the bottom line reform that has to happen to prevent the current corporate Gilded Age from becoming permanent.

    This subject doesn't require a thousand words or theories or studies...if you are breathing and not  blind and deaf it is self evident....our political system and many politicans are coprrupted and work against the people's interest.
    Simple as that.

    I don't care what pet personal issues or ideologies each political side of followers have.....those who aren't unconscious will have one priority.

    Clean up and clean out Washington.

    Then you all have a chance at fairness,regardless of differences.  

    "Something happens. Then you have to make a choice and take a side."...."The Quiet American", Graham Greene

    by renfro on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:29:49 AM PST

  •  Except big business loves "anti-government" GOP (4+ / 0-)

    Only problem with Greenwald's analysis is that Reagan/GOP has been pushing the line of "corrupt goverment" favoring special interests as a means of promoting the interests of the corporations who fund the GOP and the lobbyists.

    Big business thrives when there's no regulation.

    The real trick is driving a wedge between the libertarian, anarchic, racist, religions GOP and the corporate GOP which benefits from the "populist" front the GOP puts up.

  •  Regulation vs. deregulation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhetoricus

    What about the issue of regulation vs. deregulation.  The Republicans are fighting against all corporate regulations, including environmental protection, non-discrimination in employment, labor law, etc.  How would the left and the right be united against corporatism in this case?  Please explain.

    •  I think the logic is short term (0+ / 0-)

      So...enemy of my enemy is my friend--right now.  Worry about the long term later because without this short term alliance, there won't be a long term.

      That seems to be the logic.

      •  That type of logic brings a price too high to pay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom, sephius1

        as witnessed in history over and over again.

        Lie down with dogs, get fleas.
        Work with terrorists, get attacked.  

        We don't need to be in alliances with right wingers.
        We need the government to do it's job.

        Greenwald, like Hamsher doesn't bother to look at the price they will pay, working with right wingers whose core values are antithetical to ours.

        'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

        by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:09:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would say the same (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, Pohjola, unclejohn, triv33

          Greenwald, like Hamsher doesn't bother to look at the price they will pay, working with right wingers whose core values are antithetical to ours.

          I would say the same about those who choose to work with the Geithners the Bernankes and the Summerses whose core values are also antithetical to ours.

          "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

          by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:31:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You offer a false choice (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive, BoxNDox

            Either I accept Jane, and Cenk, and Glen misguidedness, or I accept Geithner and that ilks misguideness.

            No.

            We can do what we need to do as progressives, without aligning ourselves with the likes of Norquist, and Schafly.

            We as progressives want to affect "big boy" politics, but we have no foundation.

            All of our time is spent trying to elect people at the federal level. We need to spend MORE time electing mayors, school board member, city council memeber, and state representatives, so when Congress passes legislation we have the pieces in place to benifit. During the distribution of the stimulus money you had republican governors, mayors and the like threatening not to use the stimulus money. That shouldn't be.

            But this kind work takes time. It takes time to convince people to see an issue your way. Whether that issue is HCR, Global Warming, Gay Marriage, etc, I have found people are willing to hear you out if you are willing to him them out. I actually had a conversation with a gentlemen that demonstrated this. We both were getting our car worked on and were looking at TV. A news story came on about Tiger then a news story about gay marriage. He made a comment about the gay marriage issue, then I humorously quipped "...if it weren't for all those gay people wanting to get married, Tiger would've had a successful marriage...". He cracked a smile and laughed, and said "...alright you got me...". Now I could've been all impatient, giving him the eyes of disdain. But I didn't. Never discount the planting of "good" seed in furtile ground.

            Grover Norquist is NOT furtile ground.

            Some people are like Slinkies . . . Not really good for anything . . . . . But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

            by sephius1 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:22:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think the place to hook up with them (0+ / 0-)

      is on Corporate and Labor Sponsorship of Public Policy.

      That's a fair trade, dontcha think?

      Also IRV would be an easy place to work together.

      Outside of that, I don't think there's much to work together on.

      Although, I do think that some of our stuff would rub off on the rank and file. So many of the People following the Hard Right could be skimmed with the Corporate Sponsored Public Policy message.

      Universal Healthcare, Clean Renewable Energy, and Social and Civic Infrastructure could be much more lean than our current Corporate Military Finance Complex.

      Jesus chrisT! Look at us! That's all we got. The Corporate Media Finance Complex. Don't need many people for that do you. And poor, sick people would much better serve that system wouldn't it?

      Corporations are jumping off the sinking ship, abandoning their workers that built the business for Cheap Labor. A worn and breaking Military that can't even feed itself without Civilian Assistance forward deployed in every corner of the world. Finance Companies that hold us hostage us with threats of financial armageddon.

      Business is Good.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:45:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  False consciousness (15+ / 0-)

    Here's Greewald's problem, in my view. The teabaggers are ignorant. They don't deserve the intellectual respect that the progressive populists do. They don't understand that deregulation makes things worse for them, not better. It's fine that they say they don't want to depend on government systems, but in reality they do--"don't touch my Medicare!" Even if they don't trust government, they reject antitrust regulation, which means no relief will ever come from the private sector. This makes them unviable in terms of offering a solution.

    So the people suffering from false consciousness are the teabaggers (because they don't realize they're tools of the corporatists) and the "moderate" Dems (who don't realize they're tools of the corporatists).

    The ONLY awake people are the progressive populists.

    The alternatives can be seen in Europe--public funding for elections. A limit on the distance between the highest and lowest wages/compensation in a corporation. Heavy regulation in terms of hiring, wages, work environment, pollution, etc. Glass-Steagall. Usury laws. Laws that protect the Commons. Laws against war profiteering. Laws limiting profit in some sectors (like healthcare) to, say, 5%. Repeal drug laws. Laws penalizing outsourcing and offshore tax shelters. Laws forcefully penalizing employers that hire undocumented workers to skirt labor laws. Laws mandating that more and more of our energy sources come from local, sustainable sources. Etc.

    We can't rid the government and private sector of each other. But we can continue to define their relationship to each other.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:40:02 AM PST

  •  Thoughtful diary (2+ / 0-)

    Last week I linked to GG's closing graph here because for HCR I couldn't agree with it more:

    Even if one grants the arguments made by proponents of the health care bill about increased coverage, what the bill does is reinforces and bolsters a radically corrupt and flawed insurance model and an even more corrupt and destructive model of "governing."  It is a major step forward for the corporatist model, even a new innovation in propping it up.  How one weighs those benefits and costs -- both in the health care debate and with regard to many of Obama's other policies -- depends largely upon how devoted one is to undermining and weakening this corporatist framework (as opposed to exploiting it for political gain and some policy aims).

    I'm non-ideological by nature and can only see truths on a spectrum. I can't ignore the other points on the spectrum to make binary choices. Decisions are case by case. Balance of power is more important to me than "who's in control" since anyone/anything "in control" gets corrupt.

    We conduct business on a global stage now yet are tied to old, local organizations and human resource constructs. How we  protect our tribes(s) must be transformed long before we'll convince the conservatives of the "if we should" answer. Corporate regulations need to be radically different today, not after we clean gov't of the so-called New Democrats who get elected just like the Old Democrats do. Education takes longer than the time we have left to make change for these big things.

    With that, I'll be crunching on your food for thought for the afternoon...

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:40:08 AM PST

  •  Your answer: Common Human Decency & Common Sense (7+ / 0-)

    We are unfortunately befuddled by layers of political analysis and jargon--almost all of which are inadequate, self-defeating, irrelevant remnants of the thinking of Europe's intellectuals and politicians of 120 to more than 200 years ago.

    Build on the core appeal of the progressive strain: Look at a problem for its effects on people, allow basic human fellow-feeling to motivate, and then employ an informed common sense to make solutions.

    In the real world, imo, politics, like economy, most times follows psychology. Our real divide is between informed adults who wish the best possible for themselves and their fellows vs. selfish and fearful children who are compelled to grab as much as they can, they rest be damned.

    Politics-as-is prefers to misinform, and its attendant jargon functions as a fog machine, and a manipulative tool. Boil it down to the core, humanly-expressible, divide and build from there.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:52:21 AM PST

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P

      In the real world, imo, politics, like economy, most times follows psychology. Our real divide is between informed adults who wish the best possible for themselves and their fellows vs. selfish and fearful children who are compelled to grab as much as they can, they rest be damned.

      I agree that this is a key difference between the left and the right.

      I would add that it is also about a willingness to change and take risks vs. a desire for familiarity and constancy.

      Lakoff: progressivism = empathy, responsibility, and improvement

      by J Ash Bowie on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:58:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Build on human decency, and I suspect (0+ / 0-)

        you attract a lot of religionists.

        The hypocrite nuts like Palin, the Christian Coalition, and the American RC bishopric are a large part of people who profess Christianity, but they are not the only part.

        Your average Chrisitan, in my experience, is mainly concerned with living as a good person. But they get bamboozled by the appeals to fear and vanity, with no organized counter to these degenerate qualities in their rhetorical world.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:13:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  YES. The most enduring of all liberal values: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P

      Common Wealth.

      A sense of true community for all people, not just the ones we select from our class and cultural group. Western civilization, and whole empires were founded upon it. An understanding that all actions have costs, both obvious and hidden and that government is responsible to ensure that concentration of wealth and power does not allow the minority to create an oligarchy, or a dictatorship.  

      Rabid American Horatio Algerism broke away from that ideal and eschewed Common Wealth in the 1980s. Today, it's perverse variant is "The Maverick", "The Rogue". The one functioning overarching concept of today's right is greed.

      For Greenwald to presume we can never
      form an alliance with these people is insane.

      'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

      by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:18:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The issue is the flow of wealth and who benefits (7+ / 0-)

    I think the underlying issue behind the anti-corporatist movement is about the use of public resources and the flow of wealth. There is an active and passive side to this position:

    Active: Public resources should not be given to corporate interests when it is perceived to benefit the corporation at the expense of the public (think the bank bailouts, insurance mandates).

    Passive: The government should not prevent a benefit to the public because said benefit would be at the expense of corporations (think drug importation, industry pollution).

    But the left and the right look at these things differently. The left believes that government needs to regulate business because doing so benefits the public. The right believes the opposite.

    The left also believes it is a net public good to move public resources to certain non-corporate individuals and groups based on need (think the social safety net, assistance to minority businesses, grants for science, education, and the arts). The right does not.

    These are very real and profound differences, and not easily reconciled. And each does have an alternative. The right suggests that we should eliminate all taxes except for those necessary for what they see as fundamental needs, like a strong military, road maintenance, and a working justice system, leaving businesses to operate unfettered.

    The left generally supports the existence of corporations and the ability to make a profit, but that the cost for this privilege should be insuring that the public good is protected and comes before the good of the corporation. In other words, any good the corporations receive comes after the good of the public is assured.

    Lakoff: progressivism = empathy, responsibility, and improvement

    by J Ash Bowie on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:54:18 AM PST

    •  yeah...& I think that sums up Obama exactly (0+ / 0-)

      ...your last paragraph.  I think he believes that corporations can and should thrive in a system where they are compelled by government to put the public good before private gain.

      •  He might... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimberley

        ...but he is not perceived by many on the left as following through on this. I myself think that Obama has been convinced that giving huge short term benefits to corporations will lead to long term public benefits. So we see him giving resources to banks, but little or none to the homeowners, who are the victims in this debacle, perhaps because he believes that the banks will square things with the homeowners in the end.

        Many see this as being incredibly naive (i.e. that corporations are good faith actors) on the one hand, or even "corporatist" on the other (i.e. willing to benefit the corporations at the expense of the public). This is bad news because Obama is getting pounded on both his left and right flanks, only leaving the mushy middle.

        This is why Obama and the Congressional Dems are making a huge mistake in not doing more to directly benefit the public. When people hear that the big banks are making record profits again while unemployment is still growing, it's hard to have faith that the party in power cares for public well-being. I think the problem is that Washington is simply too averse to doing anything seen as detrimental to corporations, in part because of money and also because (perhaps) of the false belief that what is good for corporations is ultimately good for the public.

        Lakoff: progressivism = empathy, responsibility, and improvement

        by J Ash Bowie on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:17:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He has a Democratic Congress and a year (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimberley, TracieLynn, bigchin

        and not much to show in putting back in strong regulation.

        Belief isn't good enough.

        Legislation, strong legislation is required to reestablish rule of law to an economic system which has been able to run amok for 30 years.

        'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

        by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 01:05:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Corporatism is not a new word (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Escamillo

    Corporatism is not a neologism requiring full quotes.
    Why do these discussions always start absolutely da capo?
    If you force your personal views onto words that won't contain them you'll never get anywhere.
    Hint: Try searching Google or even Wiki under "corporatism" and under "Mussolini". Throw out anything from noise machine of the past few months. Find a book to read.
    The social dynamics of fascism, corporatism, and civil war are not new, not a secret. Has anyone on this list ever read history?

    •  "book"? Is that a new iPhone app? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, musicalhair, BoxNDox

      (and that's all you get for that grumpy question...)

      •  the grump (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unclejohn, TexasTwister

        Good! My comment was grumpy and you read that well. These intertoobs conversations always get so mangled it's a thrill to be understood.
        The historical parallels between our present situation and proto-fascist 20th century Europe are so striking it seems obvious that one would seek counsel from the past.
        Events that occurred some decades ago are best studied  in "books". And strangely enough "books" have a much higher information density than the net. Part of that density comes from a creature called a "copy editor" who knows what full quotes are and when not to use them.

        •  the parallels are not really there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexasTwister, BoxNDox

          Sorry.  You're talking to someone who has written scholarly papers on European fascism (I've read those pesky books).

          The situation we are dealing with is probably more like pre-Glass-Steagall USA--the time period after trust busting, but before banks were regulated.   We're in that kind of mess, right now, which makes sense since GS was repealed a decade ago.  Perfect amount of time for the cancer the GS Act once prevented to metastasize throughout the system again.  Also, since monopoly power is being extended not controlled, we're suffering from pre-Sherman Act problems, too.

          •  Huey Long (0+ / 0-)

            In which case I'll say you are making your argument far too complex. Even your last reply is darn woolly. The original diary barely readable.
            Tighten it up. Academic publishing rarely budgets proper editing but you should oughtta go through the process at least once. I'm not an editor. Don't call me. But I'll tell you publishing is in rough shape and seasoned freelancers are available cheap. All your papers and certainly your diaries would be better received if you had an edit function.(You got heaps of replies here but wildly unfocussed since first terms thrown up for grabs.)

            You can't use the word corporatism without invoking Mussolini.
            I think my comparison apt. Weakened state (though not so weak as 1920 Italy). State allows independent foci of power, both within and without government. Aggrieved victims of modernity as fodder for demagogs. Oh well, you think different.

            Note that my title line is a red herring. Example of bad form.

  •  Life, Inc (3+ / 0-)

    by David Rushkoff is a superb book    on this topic. Ditto lots of Thom Hartmann's work.

    Ass-crack vodka shots: the official energy drink of the Republican Party.

    by CitizenJoe on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:56:49 AM PST

  •  It Is a Two-Way Street (17+ / 0-)

    It's quite true that government control of business (which, in our mixed economy, we have) tends to lead to business control of government. Within  this system, business interests recognize that controlling government gives them opportunities to suppress competition, get away with harmful practices, and obtain subsidies. Thus it becomes more profitable for them to invest in Washington than in their own businesses, and they spend millions on influencing voters (through pre-election advertising) and influencing legislators (through lobbying). This is not a good situation.

    One solution is to minimize this entanglement--i.e., laissez-faire capitalism. Having been within the Ayn Rand cult back in the day, I can understand this argument but also recognize that it leads to corporate abuses of other kinds (pollution, monopoly, harmful products). The Right traditionally argued for disentanglement, but nowadays it merely uses this rhetoric to advance the interests of its corporate backers, many of whom depend on government largesse for their profits and would actually be harmed by a true separation of government and business.

    The Left has traditionally argued for increasing or at least maintaining government's hand in business, with the added measure of trying to keep business's power from sullying government. Specifically, you must make it impossible for businesses (or any other special interest group, for that matter, such as the Catholic bishops or the AK-47-wielding gun nuts) to invest in Washington. That is, you minimize the power of dollars over elections and legislators. In brief: Take the money out of politics, and you have a climate where government can tame business abuses but businesses can't grasp the levers of political power.

    To do this we have to reverse the equation of political advertising with protected speech. It would also help to shorten the time span of political campaigns.

    •  good comment (4+ / 0-)

      entanglement is a great way to describe it--total disentanglement being a problem, but entanglement itself leading to problems.

      Governing is messy as compared to ideology.

      Shorter campaigns would be wise, I think.  And a total shift in how campaigns can use broadcast media.

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein

      I think it's possible to take the money out of government, but only with severe restrictions on how much individual, corporate, PAC, and lobbying "persons" can contribute - not just in cash dollars, but in time donated (all those lobbyists spend a lot of time trying to get to OUR elected reps) and ads made and aired.

      What would Congress look like if every single person (corporate, PAC, or other) was permitted to spend no more than X dollars and Y hours on each CongressYoyo?

      Health insurance is not the same as health care. Insurers may have to provide COVERAGE, but they'll still deny CARE.

      by SciMathGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:13:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  time to crash the gates... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot

    ..again..

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 11:57:51 AM PST

  •  "Left" and "Right" are NOT outdated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, sephius1

    There are two major types of large gangs that human beings can form in the type of society that we have: public gangs (the government) and private gangs (corporations, unions). They are constantly competing and negotiating for power between themselves. The division between left and right is about the negotiation of power between the two most powerful types of gang: the government, and corporations.

    The left thinks it's better, all things considered, for the government to have more power than corporations, because at least the government is subject to some mild forms of public accountability, and is technically obligated to the public welfare. The left sees that while corporations may perform some valuable services, they are essentially (literally, ESSENTIALLY) out for only themselves and that they will screw everyone else in their way to get what they want. While the government can assume these characteristics, it is at least somewhat easier to rein in than the corporations, so the left is comfortable with it having more power.

    The right thinks it's better, all things considered, for the corporation to have more power than the government, because the right thinks that the government is somehow UNIQUELY corruptible and evil. The corporation represents the striving individual and the sacred results of enterprise and thus needs to be protected; the right often doesn't even see the "gang-like" nature of the corporation, representing them as victims even when they are at their most powerful. This is why the right is so incoherent: they take an ideology developed for a pre-corporate era (the colonial era) and apply it to "individuals" who are really giant, powerful, unaccountable gangs.

    In truth, things would be better if unions, run democratically internally, were the most powerful type of gang. But we are far from such a society. The point is that only the left even conceives of that as an ideal, and thus alliances with the right are not really possible.

    •  forgot to add... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sephius1

      so the left sees "convergence" of state and corporate power as invariably tending to the greater empowerment of corporations, who are likely to be the ones really running the show. the right sees it the opposite way. yes, either side wishes to oppose this, IN THEORY (the republicans actually don't care), so in that sense it may be possible to form some tactical coalitions to create measures such as campaign-finance reform, although we have seen how easily such measures can fail or be ineffective.

  •  That's what I don't like about the Greenwald (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drache, Escamillo

    and a lot of the "activist" left, they have this self-congratulatory smugness to their writing which suggests they have "figured it out" and those that haven't are "corporate pawns".

    Guys like Greenwald are why liberals get tagged with the "elitist" label.

    •  So why did Howard Dean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn

      have no chance of winning; while young, inexperienced politicians like Obama, Bush and Palin are embraced by the establishment? Why is Geithner treasury secretary, and not Volcker? Why was Hillary palling around with Rupert Murdoch before the election?

      My guess is that Geithner is young and inexperienced enough to yield to Bernanke (who is partially owned by the banks) while Volcker was not. Obama is a "consensus builder" while Dean was not. Bush and Palin were stupid enough to do whatever their hand-picked (by the corporates) advisors told them. Clinton was establishing her corporatist credentials.

      There is some truth to this.

      You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

      by Opakapaka on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:15:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you have to be kidding? (0+ / 0-)

        Obama is a "consensus builder" while Dean was not.

        it's just the opposite.

        •  aoeu (0+ / 0-)

          Dean began his campaign by emphasizing health care and fiscal responsibility, and championing grassroots fundraising as a way to fight special interests. However, his opposition to the U.S. plan to invade Iraq (and his forceful criticism of Democrats in Congress who voted to authorize the use of force) quickly eclipsed other issues. By challenging the war in Iraq at a time when mainstream Democratic leaders were either neutral or cautiously supportive, Dean positioned himself to appeal to his party's activist base.

          This is a consensus builder? Someone who seeks consensus with the powers that be?

          You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

          by Opakapaka on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:44:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well, what is your take? Let's say you don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn

      Believe he hasn't "figured it out" yet.  Do you have a theory or view about the current state of affairs?

      For example, mine is that the entire U.S. government has been taken over by a corporatist Oligarchy.  I try to back up this conclusion with the following arguments:

      1. Unite Against The Real Enemy
      1. The Result of Media Conglomeration on public opinion.
      1. How to Take on The Corrupt System

      If your take is that you don't agree with these conclusions, then of course, that's your view.  But it would be even more interesting to learn about why you don't.

      If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

      by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:18:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I first noticed this when my RW brother and I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal

    both were against the bank bailouts. Lately when we argue over some political point, I tell him it's more that R vs. D.
    It really is corp/fascist (the haves and have mores) against us (the little people).

  •  THANK YOU for illuminating us!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry but you haven't firgured out anything but how to claim that only you and those who agree with you 'see' the truth.  That is what you share in common with Tea Baggers.  Delusions fueled by ignorance and pride.  

    You may be well intentioned but you are not wise.  

    And you haven't said one single statement that hasn't been said before for decades and centuries.

    Keep thinking, but slow down on your solidifying of your thought. You are just setting yourself up to marginalized yourself in both your influence in politics and in life.  Once you start drawing battle lines and declaring enemies you begin down a narrowing path that will lead you into hate and paranioa.  Just look at the people who have gone down that road and what they have become and what they have done.

    The truth is not ever simple because life and people are not simple.  The moment you begin to think they are is the moment you blind yourself to truth.

    I say this for the record of someone here having said it.  I don't expect you to change your mind until you learn the hard way.

    They've sent us a message... that they can take whatever they want. Well we will send them a message. That this... This is Our LAND!

    by AntonBursch on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:12:59 PM PST

  •  Campaign Finance Reform (6+ / 0-)

    Corporations exercise their power over government in two main ways: paying for elections and swamping officials with lobbyists. The officials can choose to reduce the access lobbyists have to them, but they cannot refuse corporate sponsorship in campaign finance.

    We should fundamentally reform campaign finance. Let any natural person donate money, but no corporation or other organization that's not a live human, American citizen. Let any donor donate to a single fund for each office for which each campaign is run. Let the fund be drawn equally by every candidate registered to run on it. Let campaigns spend only money drawn from the shared fund, audit them to be sure.

    Then candidates will have no money advantages over each other. The amount of money for campaigning will be fairly small, so journalism will be heard above commercials.

    And elected officials will take office without owing a debt to corporate or other sponsors. They will not have to spend large amounts of time in office selling their power to finance reelection.

    And then the power of corporations will be second to that of the people overall, because only the people will be paying for them to be elected, without advantage determined by their corporate allegiance.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:13:11 PM PST

    •  3 ways at reform (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, Justina

      a) Conflict of interest and recusal rules when it comes to bills. Someone like a Baucus should have been required to take hiimself out of the health care debate

      b) banning lobbists from writing bill. Language. Return that furnction to congress

      c) set aside of free air time for candidates rather than requiring candidates to pay for advertising.

      •  And forcefully limit the length of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justina

        campaigns. Shorter campaigns automatically mean less need for cash, and so limit its influence.

        Imagine if primaries and general elections were limited to just 90 days each, that is, no one could solicit (hard to enforce) nor receive (easy to enforce) campaign contributions except during that 90 day window.

        90 days too long?? Why not 60 days?

        If other industrial democracies can have short elections, we can too. It just takes the will.

        •  Not sure if that would be constitutional (0+ / 0-)
          •  Why not? n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Off top my head wondering (0+ / 0-)

              what the court would say considering Valeo. YOU can certainly require the networks to provide free ads because the air waves are licensed to them by the public, and you can simply include that as a condition of the license. However, spending out side of that, including timing of speech, could be argued to be violative of Valeo (if I am remembering the right case). The better solution is public funding with reciprocal requirements. If someone spends their own money, the networks are required to provide additional air time. This would create a private pressure to not give air time. They could argue that it is stiill denying speech, but that argument is more tenous and difficult to make. Again, just a theory.

        •  How? (0+ / 0-)

          What's stopping an elected official from campaigning throughout their entire term, "reporting back to their constituents"? That privilege of incumbency vs challengers limited in their run would raise incumbency reelection from 95% to practically 100%.

          No, just ensure there's no money advantage between competing candidates, and there will be less money. Which will pay for only much shorter campaigns. Leaving much more time to actually govern between elections.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:05:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Enforcement (0+ / 0-)

        There's already plenty of interest conflict rules, and even some that require recusal, that are mainly violated. New ones will be violated even more. Likewise, there's not going to be enforcement of prohibitions on lobbyists or any other party providing language for legislation, especially since there's no clear control points to enforce. What those ways lack is the more fundamental balance of power against official corruption, where some competing interest has the power to stop the official from being corrupt. A more fundamental control point is necessary, like removing from ethics committees the monopoly on enforcing ethics rules, and instead making it easier for the people to sue for violations.

        Free air time isn't going to be enough to compete with the better funded candidate who buys more time on top of their free time, and overwhelms the less funded candidate. We don't really have a problem of a candidate unable to afford getting their message out at all, especially not with the Web, YouTube, etc. We have the problem of candidates able to drown out competing messages, and the interest corporate mass media has in richer candidates, which drowns out competing messages.

        The reform needs to be more fundamental, and more simple. Enforcing equal access to spending money with a shared account and expense audits does most of that. Excluding corporations from influencing which races have more money to spend does most of the rest. And that major cleanup at the foundation will leave a less corrupted government able to do most of what remains in fine points.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:03:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reciprocal (0+ / 0-)

          rule addresses the funding issue. Any air time to one must be equalled by air time to another so that money ceases to be a factor. One can not out spend the other in air time.

          I agree, however, about enforcement, but I also think the rules need to be more draconian. So harsh that the penalities frighten people into not even trying to break the rule.  Ie, jail time.

          •  Reciprocal Rule? (0+ / 0-)

            How does that work? Candidate A buys airtime on Network 1, and so Network 1 must give that amount of time free to Candidate B? Why should Network 1 do the work for free to keep the studio running while Candidate B is using it? Does Daily Kos have to give front page privileges to Glenn Beck?

            If we just let people donate however much to whoever they want, but divided by everyone in that recipient's race, we'll be preserving everything our system's supposed to be, except the advantaging of people with more money. We'll keep the government out of forcing people to work for free, too.

            The penalties for violating any law by a public official in the course of their public work should all be more severe than for anyone acting on their own, not representing the public. When we reverse the current leniency for those more powerful people, we'll have actually shown we're more interested in justice than in power.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 03:08:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The networks don't need to give (0+ / 0-)

              air time to anyone. There is no law that requires them to do so. What the law can require is equal air time if they so choose to give that time , for whatever (including for their financial interest), reason to others, then they must give the same equivalent under their license- they are owned by us. They merely license that right from us. There is no constitutional question on this issue that they can fight.

            •  the other forms of media are different from (0+ / 0-)

              network TV, which is licensed by the FCC, and the public air waves are owned.

  •  Wherever one comes down ... (9+ / 0-)

    ...on this issue, it's a crucial discussion that we must have. We are far from the last word, but thanks to you, Jeffrey, Glenn, and Booman for taking on the task of dissecting it in such a clear manner.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:15:14 PM PST

  •  Not the same thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Aji

    Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing:  a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else's expense.

    No, it's not the same thing so right out of the gate we have a problem with this line of thinking. When teabaggers talk about "a government takeover of the private sector" they are referring to a perceived assault on our right to live free and prosper without government interference. It's about government intrusion to them. When the left talks about a "private sector takeover of government" we are referring to just that: Corporation that have captured our government and now use it as a revolving door to maximize profit at the expense of everyone else.

    I don't see how anyone could confuse these two very different attitudes. Government can't be interfering with the private sector's ability to prosper in the free market, and at the same time, be a puppet of the private sector. Those ideas are diametrically opposed.

    As for the alternative to corporatism, that would be democracy as outlined in our Constitution. A government for the People by the People. And this might be where both the left and right share some common ground (however fleeting). But because the left and the right have very different ideas about what a government for the People, by the People would look like, it's easy to keep us bickering amongst oursleves while the corporatists rob both camps blind.

  •  IMO corporatism is soft core facism (7+ / 0-)

    Basically, that means the marriage of government with big business allows those in control of our laws and economy a free hand to exploit the vast majority of us.

    The Government pretends to run the show and keep us "safe" while Big Business keeps brainwashing us to buy needless shit while they cut our wages and sell our future for their own gain.

    They know they can't get away with crushing us under a repressive system, so they continue their dance. Convincing us that shopping at Wal-Mart is saving us money and helping us live better. Convincing us that a small group of men on the other side of the planet is somehow an existential threat to our very freedom.

    And that is what we have today in this country.

    To whom it may concern: I am an American citizen. Not an American consumer. I am a human being, not a variable in the capitalist system.

    by FinchJ on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:22:33 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Jeffrey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, Plox

    This is real food for thought.

    A pleasure to read, and to rec.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:23:58 PM PST

  •  Patriotism is no obidience to a corrupt Gvmnt (0+ / 0-)

    Patriotism is obedience to the principles to which government is supposed to stand for.

    -----------------------------------

    If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

    by Luis Mendoza on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:27:04 PM PST

  •  Interesting post and lots of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, k9disc, mahakali overdrive

    food for thought over the Holidays.

    I do have to reject the framing that Greenwald is advocating as you frame it. I find it a bit of a half-baked idea at best.

    And yet, regardless of how one chooses to define the problem on corporate influence or capture of our government, it is clear that this is a problem that requires some serious debate and some policy solutions to address.

    I think you get to the heart of a policy solution when you state:

    In other words:  what we should for as an alternative is a system where states and private corporations are forbidden, by law, from converging.

    This would be a good progressive framing to deal with the synergies between the left/right or inside/outside or whatever you wish to call these attracting and repulsing energies in our political discourse.

    Perhaps a Constitutional Amendment that clearly separates corporations from the rights of individuals as far as our Constitutional rights go and then bans corporate influence and money in a wide array of government programs and processes would be a good place to start.

    As I said this is a fine problem to contemplate over the Holidays.

    Cheers

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:30:31 PM PST

  •  Techonology enables more absolute (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, ActivistGuy

    power and control. The corporatist stranglehold is more complete now, because of economy of scale and advanced technology. This whole argument reminds me of Fukuyama's false 'End of History' concept. It's not about corporatism per se, but that corporatism is the most efficient way to accomplish
    what the two major political parties apparently want, a convergence, a shift towards concentration of wealth.

    It's the obscene concentration of wealth that is enemy; corporatism is just the vehicle being used to get there.

    The most dangerous dynamic, the most anti-democratic of all trends in the last 100 years not only in the US but in the world has been severe and near absolute concentration of wealth.

    American folklore is loaded with poison, absolutist Horatio Algerish nightmares of excess are the one constant perversion that drives the economic narrative for millions, mostly on the right.

    The ideals of Common Wealth, upon which the foundation of Western Civilization depends is being stomped to death by the extreme cartoonish nature of Alger's vision.

    Look at popular culture as the guide: Madison Avenue has crammed forthright American culture into every nook and cranny on the planet. We've convinced everyone, everywhere that Gordon Gecko is really the right person to try to emulate.

    It's about greed and corruption.

    Corporations are just about the most efficient way to vertically distribute the obscene wealth gotten from organized crime. Look at the structure of any major drug or terrorist group, and they mirror western corporations.  

    Criminality is threatening almost all governments, everywhere. It even threatens the Chinese government, as they cannot adapt quickly enough from the relatively staid and placid oligarchical corrupt dictatorship to outright rabid capitalism, it's tearing their social structure apart. Their answer is to take these criminals out back and shoot them in the head.

    It's not an alternative to corporatism that's needed, it's adherence to common sense about laws and commerce, a set of rules that was thrown out by Reaganomics over 30 years ago.

    Without a return to self-accountability and social responsibility [both traditional conservative values] we continue to pitch forward into yet more economic and social bedlam.

    Our path is already set: We're going to destroy this planet with 7 billion people all trying to reach for the gold ring.

    'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

    by shpilk on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:31:07 PM PST

    •  great comment... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, Opakapaka, richmonds

      Corporations can and do form Cartels that transfer wealth.

      Of the top 100 economies on the planet, 50 of them were corporations a few years ago.

      When they get together on an issue there is astonishing autocratic power embodied in very few passionate, competitive people. That power is able to be levied for or against that issue.

      Since Reagan their power and leverage has increased exponentially. We are currently following Reagan's trajectory and have been since he came into office.

      The whole house of cards just tumbled down last year. And what did we do? We picked up all their cards for them.

      Pleasure to read that shpilk.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 04:09:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teabaggers and Firebaggers are part of the same (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, Darkmoth, solar thermal

    paranoid tradition in American politics.  Corporations and governments are all seen as shadowy, malevolent monolithic conspiracies.  The only honest voices are in the wilderness--those with power are presumed evil.  

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:32:18 PM PST

    •  it is not a pressumption (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      richmonds, Jon Says

      to say that health insurance (which is a monopoly) or finance (which lead to the melt down last year) are interwined with government in that they a) are writing the language of the bills coming out of DC that regulate them and b) pay off politicians for this influence. If you can not specifically address teh arguments, that's because you are the one engaged in fantasy.

      •  Sweeping reductivism is for simple minds. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran

        This is not a tv movie with noble heroes and transparent villains.  The issues, interests, processes, and actors are all complex both analytically and normatively.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:18:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of the signs of the problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          richmonds

          is misuse of language. There is nothing reductive about what I am describing. What I am describing in the process in DC. And trying to pretend that someone is cartoonish is only a projection on your part. Someone else just wrote an excellent response to your sort of behavior:

          " there is... (1+ / 0-)
          ..an incredible amount of denial on this site and that's exactly why the so-called discussions here have turned into screaming matches with slurs and insults used against allies that would make even a teabagger blush. Breaking through that kind of denial is extremely emotionally painful to those who place party and politician fealty above their political values. It's not that they don't know they're being sold out. It's that they simply can't bring themselves to admit it. (i.e. the "consciousness" that this diary mentions) Thus they lash out at anyone they can in order to protect their own egos while claiming to be acting for the good of their party or whichever politician it is they feel must be protected.
          In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. 
-George Orwell”

          Denial is not substantive argument. If I am wrong, provide arguments with links and facts that are non partisan rather than conclusions masquerading as argument. You can sure that I can prove my position. But, I don't need to. You need to in the face of all that is out there in the public realm to illustrate how corporate influence is not that great in DC as we describe or stop trying to just avoid the conversation by denying it.

          •  The old Marxian false consciousness ruse. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theran, seancdaug

            Learned that one decades ago.  Merely another flavor of religious fundamentalism.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:43:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I doubt your consciousness (0+ / 0-)

              Is false. It's just that of a blackguard.

              the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

              by Salo on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 07:09:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I've always struggled with Marxism... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geekesque

              ...precisely because of the false consciousness silliness. For all of Marx's insight into social and political structures, he and his followers fell into the same sort of condescending paternalism they (not incorrectly) ascribed to others.

              "Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead." - H.P. Lovecraft, 1936

              by seancdaug on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 09:06:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  O Mr. Hofstadter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      What has become of liberalism since it accepted as absolute dogma your (classist) major thesis that all populism all populism is paranoid, delusionary, racist and anti-semitic, proto-fascist if not the full-blown creature?  Was not liberalism the dominant current in American society when it accepted your elitist nostrums?  Is it now marginalized and powerless in today's American politics?  Is it not just possible that your contemptuous dismissal of the needs and interests of the working classes have had something to do with this political decline?  How has your doctrine that all populism is the evil that eats the soul out of democracy when your elitist liberalism has been steamrollered by the right and the far right in a manner that simply did not happen when the liberal coalition included and was often led by populist elements?

      "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

      by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 02:08:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bud...It's not being paraniod if it is the truth. (0+ / 0-)

      Teabaggers and Firebaggers are part of the same
      paranoid tradition in American politics.  Corporations and governments are all seen as shadowy, malevolent monolithic conspiracies.  The only honest voices are in the wilderness--those with power are presumed evil.

      OH BOY. Yes, let's expand that conspiracy tag chestnut since it has worked pretty well in the past.

  •  The Citizen Media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, k9disc

    Despite not being a whole new paradigm, this does give us something real to work for: the strengthening of the citizen media.

    I'm not sure how much I can blame any one politician or group of politicians - they are just trying to keep their jobs. Not in some lofty "to fight another day" sense, but simply trying to keep their jobs. Just like people all over this country (working for the evil corporations we're talking about) are doing every day.

    And I can't really blame the corporations, either. They are, essentially, headless horsemen, constantly trying to please the mob we call the stock markets. The executives at these firms absolutely are working their asses off every day, trying to figure out how to enrich themselves, but that's what absolute power does. Do we really expect them to play nice when all our government says is pretty please?

    And I can't blame those same corporations for buying up media properties, either. Given that our capitalist system puts absolutely everything up for sale, what separate moral code is supposed to stop GE (or, now, Comcast) or NewsCorp from buying as much media as they like?

    Even the corporate 'journalists' are just another group of people trying to please their bosses and move up the ladder. Maybe these people dreamed of being 'real journalists' at one time in their lives, but how is that any different from almost every other American, toiling away at every other profit-hungry corporation?

    What we need is citizen journalism and citizen 'opinion-making'. We need more Josh Marshalls, Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwalds. We need more sites like Daily Kos where citizen voices can be heard. We need an ActBlue for journalists and public thinkers. Not just for the left or the right, and not for the sole purpose of fighting for or against corporations.

    Then we're not relying on donating to someone else's political campaigns or sitting on our hands, waiting for the next great hope to show up. We're supporting journalists campaigning for truth, not office. Maybe that sounds idyllic, but in the end, we're talking about something that can be accomplished with a new funding structure instead of promoting a vague conceptual framework.

  •  Campaign Finance Reform (8+ / 0-)

    Is the only answer to the corporate takeover of Government, which is what we have seen over the past 15-20 years.

    In order to achieve this, it will require redefining the rights of Corporate personhood.

    I wrote a diary about this about recently.

    "Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day" - Thomas Jefferson

    by sangemon on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:35:15 PM PST

  •  American corporations are always (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, richmonds, Thomas Twinnings

    angling for more power to make more money. Without the presence of this corporate power progressives believe we could get single-payer universal health-care. But in France (via French Imp's diary) we see the corporations actually run the universal health care system. American corporations must be greedier. Change one aspect and it changes the whole paradigm.

    There is some false consiousness within the Democratic party. The corporate power enabled by the Democratic party through such measures as NAFTA are at the expense of the rest of society.

    Abolish the Homeland Scrutiny Department.

    by hoplite9 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 at 12:47:19 PM PST