I know, I didn't participate in this one -- too much work to do here at home, and DC so far away -- but I did think that organizing some sort of event like this around now was a great idea, and even though I thought the One Nation rationale for this even was rather vague, I didn't think that was much of a hindrance to the prospects of a good rally. There are plenty of reasons to bring people together; they don't all have to be in the platform.
OK, so here's my question: what next?
As I've expressed to OPOL, briefly, it seems to me that if you ask for more jobs -- to use the mission statement's language:
We are people who got thrown out – thrown out of our jobs, schools, houses, farms and small businesses – while Wall Street's wrongdoers got bailed out. We are families who pray every day – for peace and prosperity; for deliverance from foreclosures; for good jobs to come back to urban and rural America.
that you need to be asking for more jobs via a route which will actually get you more jobs, and not through some neoliberal "tax cut" stunt.
I can tell you what the politicians will do. They will give money or tax breaks or whatever to their super-rich buddies and tell the rest of us that this is to promote "job growth." And then, of course, their super-rich buddies will create more jobs -- in India and China. Or they will create more jobs -- which don't pay anything. Or maybe they won't create any jobs at all.
So here's what I asked OPOL: will there be a march and rally at some point for jobs through direct government spending?
In one of my more well-ignored diaries, I suggested a path forward: "long-range public investment." Have the government directly hire people, in WPA-style programs. Make the government create "green jobs" programs, with five principles in mind:
- Minimal fossil-fuel use
2. Architecture which integrates its users into economic systems which are specifically NOT capitalist -- this means oriented toward the self-sufficiency of small groups, run democratically, with local production of necessities for local use
3. "Walking lightly on the land" -- with minimal impact upon resources
4. Restorative -- with spaces for the preservation of natural biodiversity
5. Educative -- but with a pedagogic vision centered around the management of ecosystems in more-or-less equilibrium states, rather than "capitalist discipline."
So when is the march and rally for anything of this sort?
Now, I do not mean to disparage the One Nation march and rally here. I await your great stories (and especially OPOL's forthcoming diary) about what happened in DC this weekend. But I do want to know what you all have in mind for the next step, because it seems to me that you will at some point have to get beyond rallies which can be portrayed as AP portrayed this thing:
Thousands flock to Washington, DC in support of Obama’s agenda
Was that what all you people were doing? I've received no indication from anyone who was there that this was a rally for "Obama's agenda." Wasn't the idea to make demands upon Obama's agenda, so that the government not remain satisfied with the current rates of unemployment and foreclosure and inequality and underfunding for educational services?
Or am I confused about this?
And then there is this diary, posted over at Firedoglake.
Now, I know that Firedoglake writers tend to be critical of the Democratic Party in a rather dawning way -- geez, some of those politicians are real supporters of big business. Who'da thunk? But kgosztola's piece over there seems to make a number of good points, especially this one:
The prospect of this rally impacting "the game" now depends greatly on whether the people start to ask questions, whether they choose to make demands, whether they come here today and they hear about the issues that are being talked about and in the back of their head they start to think there is an issue with how the Democrats and President Obama have not been responsive to the people.
Marches and rallies are great things. But will there be any "next step"? I await your reports!