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I was watching Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey and noticed that though we are having a tremendous class war in America, the people we are fighting with are in many ways identical to us.  Compared to what you see in Downtown Abbey my ultra rich arch nemesis and I have nearly the same educational background and lifestyle.  Sure the ultra rich guy took a longer vacation in Europe than I did.  We both ski but he goes more often.  No amount of his money will change the fact that unlike in Abbey Americans are not peasants

Currently, the U.S. ranks ninth in the world in a four-way tie for college completion and only 42 percent of young adults in the U.S., ages 25 to 34, have a college degree.

A hundred years ago the upper class had a radically different level of education.  In 1910 less than 20% of 15 – 18 years olds were enrolled in a high school; less than 10% of all American 18 year-olds graduated.  Furthermore many of the people in the other side's trenches are not richer than me at all but are nonetheless still happily cheering on the end of the American middle class.  So even as our government is now owned by bankers,
But while the financial sector continued to recover from its 2008 meltdown -- with profits jumping some $51 billion in the fourth quarter, a gain of 51 percent over the previous quarter -- non-financial firms actually saw profits fall by roughly $10 billion, according to the BEA figures.

I want to explore the idea that this "class" war might be less about money than we previously thought.

At it's base level the end of an era war we are participating in is about intellectual freedom.  Specifically its about whether or not our society can release the moorings of reality and allow some of it's citizens to believe whatever they want.  Letting bankers believe they are doing God's work while ripping off America is really just the tip of the ice berg.  Everyone believes they are making the world a better place and most simply are not.

In the Great Stagnation Tyler Cowen discusses how our society lacks economic measurements that can detect when an industry gets too large.  As our military, financial, heath care and other industries grow a point of diminishing returns and exponential costs is reached.  A natural political divide has formed between people who would like to ignore this reality and people who don't.

We have taken to calling this divide class war and pretending it has something to do with traditional "left" versus "right" politics but it is a new beast that has been raised up by the wealth and power of the American economy.  This goes well beyond a battle with corporatism.  The belief system people have adopted has become a rejection of reality entirely.  WMDs or not, creationism or not, gay marriage or not, taxes or not - these are all just different shades of encouraging a society to immerse in fantasy; to live in a political holodeck of sorts.

On the one hand one must somewhat admire the fierceness of people to deny the physical underpinnings of the world in their quest for happiness.  On the other hand there is really no tradition of this in our history to predict where it is going.  The people of a hundred years ago did not need to "reject" any reality - they were genuinely ignorant of the workings of science and the world that are now instantly available in America to all but the most lazy or unfortunate.  Having this much access to information and deliberately ignoring it is something new.

Sure the exact nature of peak oil is not known, there was some small percentage that a war in Iraq was a good idea or housing was not a bubble and there is lot not known about climate change but overall much of the political split in America is between those recognizing well known facts and those dismissing them.  Not to excuse those in the past that believed certain blood lines or races or genders might actually be superior but those beliefs at the time required just wishful thinking where many of today's politics require a war on rational thought.  To wake up each and everyday thinking, "I will believe whatever makes me happy and resent anyone deciding differently."

Back one hundred years ago over half all Americans worked in agriculture or manufacturing as opposed to now less than one fifth.  Americans in those days did not have much need of stretching reality to prove that their jobs were meaningful.  Their class war was about getting the rich people to behave enough that conditions would be bearable.  Now though much of America needs to invent a fiction around their daily work life that includes just how it is that other humans benefit.  And once you are able to develop a fiction like that might as well continue on into all of reality.

In this way we are more like the upper class of Downtown Abbey then the service people whom America's insane wealth inequality would seem to associate us.  Instead of taking advantage of the immense bounty our citizenship bequeathed us we are instead as Bob Herbert explains - Losing Our Way

So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living.


Sadly this will be Bob's last NYT column so please read it in full
Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed. The wars never end. And nation-building never gets a foothold here at home.

New ideas and new leadership have seldom been more urgently needed.

This is my last column for The New York Times after an exhilarating, nearly 18-year run. I’m off to write a book and expand my efforts on behalf of working people, the poor and others who are struggling in our society. My thanks to all the readers who have been so kind to me over the years.


I wish the enormous imbalance in political power were something the elite did to America by themselves.  Unfortunately, compared to Bob Herbert, most Americans live in self constructed dream world.  The war we fight is as much with delusion as it is with a sociopath 1%.

Originally posted to The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, German American Friendship Group, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Robert Steele has something to say about this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      disrael

      "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

      by bekosiluvu on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:06:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Couldn't Disagree More (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming

      You may want to define class class before dismissing class war.  

      You can choose to ignore it, but it's being waged and the working class is getting their collective asses kicked.

      "There’s class warfare, all right.  But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” - Warren Buffet

      The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

      by stewarjt on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Terrific diary, (0+ / 0-)

      but I beg you, learn the correct use of apostrophes.  And preview can be your best friend.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:23:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the great read! (0+ / 0-)

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 01:06:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great take on the situation (26+ / 0-)
    The belief system people have adopted has become a rejection of reality entirely.

    The excuse given to those from 100 years ago, that they could not reject reality because they didn't know it, is valid to a point.  The problem is, that in their need to be wise and superior, some people then invented explanations for things they did not understand and others believed them because of some perceived authority.  The ground-work for this rejection of reality has been being laid for a very long time.

    It is not a huge leap from:
    "If you don't know the truth, make something up."
    To:
    "If you don't like the truth, make something up."

    Fools are the teachers of the wise. It is foolish to disrespect one's teachers. - Old Man

    by A Voice on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:01:44 AM PDT

  •  Interesting. The class war, I think, can be (20+ / 0-)

    understood that most people still know what fairness is and those in power and with extreme wealth, have forgotten and its impact on the rest of the people. The school yard bully does not learn it until their own nose is bloodied by those who do.

    An interesting diary. Much to comtemplate.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - W. A. Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:29:12 AM PDT

    •  Fairness is still an American value (7+ / 0-)

      But people with no idea of what is going on apply this standard wrongly.  They resent union workers who are guaranteed a living wage and benefits because they don't have that.  They never question why some people earn tens of million of dollars every year.

      "YES WE CAN!." Barack Obama Update: Well, apparently we can't.

      by Time Waits for no Woman on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  weapons grade propaganda (15+ / 0-)

        does amazing things to the idea of fairness.
        Like your example, or this; while bitching about union benefits, nobody seems to recall that the reason for the disparity between union and non union is that non union has gotten the shaft, while unions have (kinda, sorta, until recently) not.
        And that is a reality that millions of people have actually experienced. Yet somehow, they "forget" that the job Dad used to have paid enough so Mom didn't have to work two jobs. to me that's more alarming than merely blaming the wrong victim, they're not only rejecting reality, they're rejecting their own personal experience.

        though propaganda is nothing new, it has evolved (metastasized?) and is ubiquitous. It is a deliberate policy, and it is the policy of those with the most wealth and power. I think it does all cycle back; the interests of the wealthy and powerful dictate that the masses be disinformed and angry at the wrong people, so a vast infrastructure, from broadcast networks to school boards to the Supreme Court, was built to advance those interests. Though individual wealthy people in my experience often comport to the picture drawn by the diarist, in the aggregate (with their influential positions in work/social/political circles, their money, and let's admit it, their "cool" factor) they are a force, and not a force for the greater good. They are a force for selfishness, they have the means to enforce that selfishness, and they are quite willing to use them.

        Sexual orientation is as irrelevent on the battlefield as military rank is in the bedroom.

        by kamarvt on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:44:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is one of those "values" (0+ / 0-)

        honored more in the breach than the observance . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:20:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hip-hip-hooray ! For Reagan Day !! (0+ / 0-)

      That's a bit into the future dontcha know.

      First one is set for February 6th, 2061.

      After selling the public on Ron Reagan's wisdom destroying unions, doing the first deregulation "reform" that led to the S&L scandals, getting his people to bribe the Iranians to hold on to the American Embassy hostages till his Inauguration Day, killing 246 Marines in Lebanon, and then grabbing credit for downing Soviet Communism from Pope Jean-Paul II after Reagan had been out of office a good piece of time....

      Then they took to savaging any rights that attached to working people....

      Then finally they used their electronically controlled ballot boxes to push through the two final changes for a ReaganHeaven....

      1. Passage and ratification of Amend. XXX repealing the anti-slavery XIIIth Amendment; and,

      2. Amend XXXI which in the interest of racial fairness establishes "serfdom" as the white version of slavery.

      The ghosts of Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and John Wilkes Booth were observed that evening, sharing two quarts of bourbon and howling madly as they traipsed along the Reflecting Pool in pursuit of a light-footed female shade, possibly Fanny Foxe or Blaze Starr.

      Reagan's shade had to stay home as he was in the dog house with Nancy.

      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:07:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done (10+ / 0-)

    much food for thought.

    perhaps a reclassification of "class",
    from an economic/education difference to economic/access to power

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

    by ARS on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 04:55:54 AM PDT

  •  chimpanzees have a concept of fairness (21+ / 0-)

    http://planetgreen.discovery.com/...

    I think this supports your premise that drivers of inequity in this country have to develop a complex level of fantasy to sustain their behavior.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:09:57 AM PDT

  •  We no longer teach the value of civics. (25+ / 0-)
    "...those beliefs at the time required just wishful thinking where many of today's politics require a war on rational thought.  To wake up each and everyday thinking, "I will believe whatever makes me happy and resent anyone deciding differently."

    The last three or four decades of been ones of relentless focus on individual freedom and the elevation of one's personal well-being over everything else. It is quite easy, then, to reject anything that stands in the way of achieving "all you can be". Humans being what they are, any truth that involves sacrificing much on an individual level in order that many may benefit goes against the belief that one has a right to do whatever one wants.

    Eventually personal rights come up against the rights of society as a whole. With individual rights come societal responsibilites. While we should never stop teaching about individual rights, we need to counterbalance those lessons with ones about what it means to be a member of a society.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

    by marleycat on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:14:58 AM PDT

    •  The last three or four decades have seen an (25+ / 0-)

      attack on civics, history, science and all "social" sciences such as social geography and social studies.

      I went to a school board meeting and heard of others in which the early religious right and what is now the TP/gop types were agitating fiercely for "the basics" and to dump all that "fluff" such as "critical thinking" and the courses other than the "3 Rs" that one protest group (in a state near the bottom of the educational barrel) described as "redin, ritin and rithmatik" in a windshield leafleting campaign. That was in the 1970s.

      Somewhere, in a reference I have not recently found, one of those early European visitors to our shores said our democratic experiment was likely to work--until they discovered they could have anything they wanted through legislation. That seems to have come about. We can legislate away reality. Evolutionary science? Legislate it away. Paying for services we otherwise demand by legislation? Legislate the payment away.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:08:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your reference is (7+ / 0-)

        to  "Democracy in America" wriiten in 1835 by Alexis de Tocqueville . Very powerful insight and never so true as now.

        Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

        by side pocket on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:59:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was pretty sure it was Alexis de Tocqueville. (0+ / 0-)

          Do you have the exact quote? I have an extract that does not have that particular quote and have casually looked on line without success--probably because I only remember the concept rather than exact wording.

          It is one I'd like to have handy as I see it more and more in our legislative bodies from municipal to Congress. Don't like something? Legislate it away no matter how idiotic. Like something? Legislate it as required or even mandatory regardless of feasibility.

          That has been with us a long time and erupted in times past. At the moment the attitude seems to have just gone into delusional space.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:43:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alexis de Tocqueville quotes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray
            The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
            If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the omnipotence of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation and oblige them to have recourse to physical force. Anarchy will then be the result, but it will have been brought about by despotism.

            •  Thanks. I'll have to reread the full thing. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:36:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here is the one I was thinking of: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              disrael, marleycat
              A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

              Even though his quotes are often used by the right to justify their views there is more than a grain of truth in them. What we are seeing with the TP/gop right now is a flip side of the selfish coin. They have no interest in giving up the "socialist" programs that benefit them--just those that benefit all or some other "group."

              I will agree with them on the basic premise that there is too much government involvement and cash flow. Into propping up certain industries, tax breaks so that some of the wealthiest corporations pay not one cent, farm subsidies that have damn all to do with keeping the nation in food and much to do with industrial farming of things we don't even do well, "defense" projects even the services do not want and on and on.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 05:50:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's Tyler actually (0+ / 0-)
                This is a variant expression of a sentiment which is often attributed to Tocqueville or Alexander Fraser Tytler, but the earliest known occurrence is as an unsourced attribution to Tytler in "This is the Hard Core of Freedom" by Elmer T. Peterson in The Daily Oklahoman (9 December 1951): "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."
      •  It started on January 20th, 1981. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bekosiluvu, Nada Lemming, pelagicray

        I was there in the crowd for the speech.

        Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

        by vets74 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:09:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The attack in the schools started by the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          disrael, vets74

          mid-seventies and became rampant in at least parts of the country by 1980. The school board meeting I remember was in the late 1970s and the main thrust was evolution with collateral attacks on "critical thinking" explicitly and "social stuff" as an almost afterthought.

          One minister brought a bunch from his church and railed that they were tired of having their children come home from school and challenge "the scriptures" and parental views. In that particular place some of the school board probably read at a pre high school level and the thing got traction. The main reason for running was because each board member got to hand out patronage jobs in the cafeterias and contract bus routes. When there was a change it was amazing to see one set of "cousins" turned out and another in.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:50:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oh Come On. (35+ / 0-)

    Trillions have been spent over the last half century constructing this dream world brick by brick, by only a very few hundred of rich individuals. Sure some ordinary bottom-99%'ers have been helping out, preachers and new politicians. But this is no active doing of the common people.

    Thinktanks, media consolidation and buyouts, donor networks, lobbying, the transformation of the small apolitical evangelical movement into a rightwing GOTV machine exploding to 1/4 of the population --all planned, coordinated and implemented by a few of the super rich.

    The aggressive reality reversal program came into the mainstream with the Ronald Reagan campaigns, it's a classic execution of propaganda of the kind totalitarian movements have always used. They have to, because there's never a voting majority for conquest and rule. The people have to be divided against each other, and they need to be divided from thinkers and from reason. We sometimes compare rightwing propaganda to that of the Nazis, but the Nazis learned it from our own Madison Avenue.

    Those of us who have been pointing this out for two generations and pointing to the individuals and institutions and vast amounts of money driving it are facepalming at the suggestion that 1/3 billion people collectively spontaneously decided to dumb themselves down.

    Well nobody believed us for the 40 years we pointed to it all happening, and now we'll live out the rest of our lives with nobody believing that anybody saw it coming. And I guess we'll also see it come to be accepted that while we have the best system of government that could ever be developed, the 1/3 billion of us who come from every ethnicity and philosophy just happened to be the stupidest 1/3 billion from all walks, and aren't up to running the best of all democracies.

    A class war by those who are winning is a much simpler explanation.
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    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 Mar 26, 2011 at 05:51:03 AM PDT

    •  Gooserock, nice plot - 2 things (0+ / 0-)

      what do the numbers represent on the red line? according to the RH axis they should be around 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 - but instead they read 920, 1,926, etc. In other words they don't match the axis scale.

      also, where did it come from?

      thanks

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:27:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Axis Explanations - Label Explanations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        Axis at Left $ Millions - 1998 basis - colored lines on graphs denote demographic slices, bottom 90%, 91-99%, top 1%.

        Axis at Right -- Forbes 400, net worth in $ Billions.

        Labels on three lines tagged to Left Hand Axis -- $Millions value of households in 1989 and 1998 respectively.

        Labels on black line for Forbes 400, tagged to RH Axis -- $ Millions for 1982, 1989, 1998 and 2000-1 respectively.

        Values in such labels, $ 403 Million, $ 920 Million, $ $1,926 Million, $ 3,063 Million

    •  You give Reagan's regime too much credit (12+ / 0-)
      The aggressive reality reversal program came into the mainstream with the Ronald Reagan campaigns, it's a classic execution of propaganda of the kind totalitarian movements have always used.

      The split started before he even got in office.  The dreamworld groundwork was solidly in place when Nixon got into power and took advantage of it.

      Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), as he took over the presidency after the death of Kennedy, initially did not consider Vietnam a priority and was more concerned with his "Great Society" and progressive social programs. Presidential aide Jack Valenti recalls, "Vietnam at the time was no bigger than a man's fist on the horizon. We hardly discussed it because it was not worth discussing."

      On 24 November 1963, Johnson said, "the battle against communism... must be joined... with strength and determination." The pledge came at a time when Vietnam was deteriorating, especially in places like the Mekong Delta, because of the recent coup against Diem.

      Johnson had reversed Kennedy's disengagement policy from Vietnam in withdrawing 1,000 troops by the end of 1963 (NSAM 263 on 11 Oct.), with his own NSAM 273 (26 Nov.) to expand the war.

      Johnson was already presiding over a country deeply divorced from reality.  If you can sell people a war in Asia then all the swamp land comes up for sale.

      •  Nixon was the last moderate conservative, (4+ / 0-)

        Carter the first neoliberal Democrat. Reagan was instrumental, but so were Clinton, Bush...

        "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

        by aufklaerer on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:46:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't believe I agree with (5+ / 0-)

          that assessment of Nixon! When I was in my teens I considered him as the epitome of far-right (almost radical) conservatism.  I can't believe I look back on that era now somewhat wistfully - but only because what we have now is so-o-o-o-o much worse.

          A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

          by marleycat on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:00:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He founded the EPA. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marleycat, chimene, Nada Lemming

            Need I say more?

            And I agree, even in the nineties, Nixon was on a par with Reagan when it came to Republican evilness, a crooked, anti-semitic, racist paranoid. A liar. A criminal. And a war-criminal.

            If I look at Bachmann, Huckabee, Palin, et al, R.Milhouse Nixon looks reasonable, reliable, rational.

            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

            by aufklaerer on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  he didn't 'found' it, but saw an inevitability (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              disrael, baybelletrist, GypsyT, marleycat

              of being on the wrong side of a very popular piece of legislation and it was mainly a byproduct of the self concern that he 'signed' it into Law.  Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring was a best seller but people also saw nature as a toxic threat to themselves as well the danger to the birds, and usually when the threat gets personal Americans start listening.
              Then he set about doing everything he could against the EPA, and set it on its path from watchdog to lapdog.
               

              By the late 1970s, the EPA knew that some of the farmers' nerve-poison sprays were causing immediate and long-term neurological harm, decline of intellectual abilities and brain damage, especially to farmworkers. One did not have to have more than one accidental exposure to farm nerve toxins for suffering these unforgiving effects.

               "The EPA cited serious health effects from sprays and reported, in 1974, that weed killers would do much more than desiccate unwanted vegetation. They would also make the crops appetizing to insects while promoting larger insect populations."

              "What the EPA did not know was that protecting nature and public health from DDT had been a kiss of death. Chemical companies, agribusiness, and polluters took notice. They started lobbying the White House and Congress to teach the EPA who was the boss."

              "The White House and Congress unleashed the budget dogs of war, teaching the EPA a cost-benefit analysis it would never forget."

              Then later  on...
              "Ronald Reagan put Anne Gorsuch, a right-wing lawyer from Colorado, in charge of dismantling the EPA. Gorsuch started her reign by firing many of the lawyers responsible for enforcing the law. Gorsuch's deputy, a Hispanic academic by the name of John Hernandez, became the censor of EPA science, sending confidential EPA reports on Dow Chemical's dioxin contamination of large swaths of Michigan to Dow Chemical officials for approval."

              Finally, Reagan's vice president, George Herbert Walker Bush, put the icing on the cake, making the EPA a servant of the polluters. He launched a corporate give-away that he called "regulatory relief." He demanded that the entire government reorganize to facilitate the business of America's business.

              "In an Orwellian spectacle, in 1996, Republicans and Democrats in Congress and Democratic managers at EPA celebrated the abolition of the Delaney Clause, which prohibited carcinogens in processed food."
              snip

              "So did the EPA accomplish anything of value? We should be grateful to the EPA for its early work of banning DDT and several other poisons and cleaning the air and water from many hazards. The EPA also provides the model of what could still be done to improve the quality of life for both humans and animals."

              Environmental protection is human protection, in addition to being a moral act. It is a last-ditch effort to save the earth from its human masters.
              "That's why a new EPA, carefully crafted to repair and uphold the integrity of threatened ecosystems while protecting us from our own technics and poisons, could be America's greatest contribution to its own well-being and survival and that of the planet."

              (all emphasis mine)

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:23:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  see the blue line in 1968? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        disrael, Nada Lemming

        THAT's what pissed 'em off so much. For about two years, the peasants were actually gaining on the oligarchs.
        We. Musn't. Have. That.
        Right after the horrible, terrible, nearly the end of everything godly 1960's, the top 1% decided there would be no more of THAT, thank you very much.
        By the time a peanut farmer took the Oath, the blue line was back on the bottom, and it has gone way past irreparable now.

        Sexual orientation is as irrelevent on the battlefield as military rank is in the bedroom.

        by kamarvt on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:52:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kamarvt

          Women entered the work force and globalization kicked in.  Not saying that elites didn't participate - obviously Nixon helped kick of globalization but the American workers left themselves wide open because they were already deep in denial.  Otherwise Carter's peak oil concerns would not have hit such deaf ears.

          •  Women have always been in the workforce (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leaf123

            It was only in the early post WWII era that women stayed home in greater numbers.  And a lot of women going to work in the 1970s were inspired by the Women's Movement - like our mothers we graduated from college and went to work, the difference is we didn't quit when we had kids.  We had (have) careers.  But huge numbers of women without a college degree have always worked to keep their family afloat.

            The increasing acceptability of divorce during the same era had an effect as well.  We all know that stat that women's income plummets after divorce.

            Globalization, yes.  Women working, not so much.

    •  In some of the school board efforts I mention (11+ / 0-)

      above there was outside, "conservative" money at work. That was sometimes through once poor and marginalized churches. Little charismatic leaders of "flocks" on the fringes of town, suddenly growing into megachurches later, were getting donations to fight "Communism" in the form of everything from evolution to building codes. It was very interesting to watch churches, usually appealing to the less educated and well off, becoming so involved in fighting anything that could put a crimp in "business"; that strange phenomenon of the very people most damaged by such predatory practices supporting them! There was big money behind the takeover of some of our religious denominations, particularly the Southern Baptist Convention.

      The "vast right wing conspiracy" begins to take on real shape as you dig into money flows, particularly since the integration battles. Much of that money came from "self made" billionaires out of the resources extraction field. The great old companies of the nation, those that are now so often just brand names on foreign products, were not much involved. It was the unreconstructed robber barons that were busily financing an attack on every progressive check on robbers of that sort since TR's trust busting.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:18:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear, hear! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm with ya, gooserock!

      There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

      by Phil T Duck on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:35:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'false reality' = Society of the Spectacle nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Trillions have been spent constructing (5+ / 0-)

      the dream world a lot of us embrace as reality. I really don't buy the diarist's argument. There is full blown class war being waged against us by the rich. It's no coincidence, nor is it the result of mass delusion, that all these new republican governors and legislatures launch the same  anti-Democratic agenda simultaneously. This is a carefully thought out, nationally orchestrated  campaign to subvert democracy in the service of the oligarchs. It's no accident we're getting screwed.

      Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

      by orson on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 12:18:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fascinating diary and comments (8+ / 0-)

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:13:42 AM PDT

  •  a great diary, and not getting much play (5+ / 0-)

    which is unfortunately not uncommon here on dkos

    if we should be lucky enough that the repubs keep self-destructing ala walker et.al.,

    and the electorate becoming ever more diverse and democratic may just bring forth in 2012 a more progressive congress as well as giving pob the consensus needed

    then we'll see some more obvious movement toward social democracy here in the usa

    let it be so

  •  We need to always remember that we are lied.... (25+ / 0-)

    to constantly, and by highly paid experts.

    It drives me nuts when people on this site call the neocons "stupid." They may be unethical, greedy, and sometimes downright vile, but they're not stupid.

    Take the term "death panels." On this site, we snarked and sneered. Who's going to believe that?

    To me it was obvious.....the kind of person, and this is a lot of Americans, who needs someone or something to be against. When your life seems to be doing downhill and you don't know why, you're almost desperate for a boogeyman to blame. Get rid  of the boogeyman and things will get better.

    So, we have the God-hating, socialist, totalitarian liberals, their not quite-a-real-American-president, and the evil, tax-gobbling "government."

     That wants to establish "Death panels."

    "Death panels" was a brilliant piece of work and a superb example of neocon propaganda. They never actually said that the health-care bill established death panels. That would be an obvious lie. So they just implied it.

    Here's the infamous "pull the plug on grandma" quote from Grassley:

    There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life," Grassley said. "And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on Grandma."

    This is a brilliant piece  of propaganda. Brilliant. Vague, based on a tiny nugget of truth..."counseling for end-of-life." And from that, he (or whoever wrote this speech for him) goes from half-truth to distorted truth to implied lie, ending with the "money" phrase--"pull the plug on Grandma."

    And that is what everyone remembered. I think it was Palin who first used the term "death panels" and I imagine that phrase was fed to her as well.

    Remember, these people have access to the best writers money can buy. And they know their audience. They know human nature. They know that scared people, or angry people,  don't make  rational decisions.

    Right now, the term "class war" is working for them. Because most Americans think of themselves as anything but "lower class."  We have no obvious line between the haves and the never-will-haves. In a country where many people literally believe they'll win the lottery and be a millionaire someday, the term "class war" serves the neocons, not us.

    We need to come up with something better. Anyone know a good advertising writer who works cheap?

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:49:18 AM PDT

    •  I don't believe just "Ad-men" would suffice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ms badger, emal

      There's a slew of social scientists of different disciplines delving into the human psyche on every level feeding the advertising people insights.

      Pollsters and focus group-gropers fine tuning the messaging too. And the spokesmen on AM radio and FOX, and in the pulpits, and..

      An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think they are very concerned about "class war" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ms badger, Nada Lemming

      The question is would the army shoot the revolutionairies? Would the airforce bomb the universities? No one to declare a no fly zone -eh?

      •  I think the fat cats are concerned about it. (7+ / 0-)

        But they're smart enough to use the phrase against us.

        "Class war!" With connotations of wild-eyed Communists taking everything anyone has, no matter how little.

        They can use that phrase, to good effect. We need to find something different.

        It's like railing against capitalism. Every small business owner in this country, every mom-and-pop store owner, every person who sells anything on the web, hell, the kid selling lemonade on the corner, thinks of themselves as a capitalist. And they actually are right. They are the classic, true capitalists, people who put their own time, effort and money into a business.

        The problem in this country are giant corporations, run, not by the stockholders, but by executives who serve on each others board of directors, write and approve each others employment contracts, never think beyond the next quarterly profits report (and how big their bonuses will be) and have no hesitation in obtaining the most favorable laws their money will buy.

        So go after them. Don't rail again capitalism, denounce corporatism. It's more accurate and millions more Americans will agree with you.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:18:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But which way will the soliders turn to fire? (0+ / 0-)
          •  Probably both ways. Are you aware of Infragard? (0+ / 0-)

            There may be many more involved than you think in any significant social unrest.

            Based on what the Infragard website outlines, it seems possible we'd see a wide variety of people prepared and organized in advance emerge to quickly grapple with the issues of settling down large groups of agitated people.

            Infraguard

            It seems to me to be an interesting way to connect and form public/private partnerships between FBI, private business, law enforcement, private security guards, ex-military, and many others dealing with the public; all to 'maintain order' don't you think?  And yet, we rarely hear about this organization.

            Any DKos members better able to address the nature of Infragard?  You may even have friends or relatives in it but it seems likely they may not have felt a need to mention it.

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:03:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  People DO need something to be against. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice

      I learned this best when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Thinking it was exciting news, I called my dad--only to find that he was angry about it. "Who am I supposed to hate now?" That's what he said. I realized then that he identified himself as an American by his hatred of his perceived enemies. Suddenly finding himself with no enemies cast him into patriotic limbo.

      There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

      by Phil T Duck on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:44:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  22 years ago.... (0+ / 0-)

        Seems like yesterday.
        "he whose name cannot be said" seems much longer. I remember good things and want bad memories to go away. Ruined our Counry.
        Aux Armes Citoyens

      •  Why people hate. (0+ / 0-)

        Fear breeds the need for scapegoats.

        Someone to blame for your troubles. Because if you can just get rid of "them", your troubles will go away. And it helps if "they" are someone it's socially acceptable to hate: another race, an "ism", the welfare queens, the illegals--and it's also helpful if "they" are someone without much power, someone you think you can get rid of or defeat.

        Nothing is scarier than not knowing who to blame. If "they" are not responsible, how the hell do you get out of the mess you're in?  

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:09:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  'Regular' Americans are indeed (6+ / 0-)

    not peasants, but we need to remember that we are looked down upon as peasants by the American "aristocrats" attempting to secure complete control of this society. They have this Louis XVI-Marie Antoinette view of the "peasantry," and that view shapes their thinking. Unfortunately, as with all aristocratic despotisms, many in the "peasantry" ally themselves with the aristocrats instead of with their own interests.

    Republicans have [shown they are] for government that use[s] its power to transfer money from regular people to the rich. -- Larry Beinhart

    by Black Max on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:46:39 AM PDT

  •  sorry to see Bob Herbert go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Virginia mom, ItsSimpleSimon

    Any word on his replacement?  

    U. S. Chamber of Commerce not working for US. Stop outsourcing American jobs!

    by MJ via Chicago on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:58:58 AM PDT

    •  Joe Nocera? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ItsSimpleSimon, MJ via Chicago

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      Great column.  It should have its own diary.  At the end he says:

      This is my last Talking Business column; as you may have read I will soon be moving to the Op-Ed page. It has been a joy and a privilege to be entrusted with this space each Saturday, and what has made it especially rewarding has been interacting with so many passionate, thoughtful readers. I look forward to re-engaging with you when my Op-Ed column begins next month.

      "YES WE CAN!." Barack Obama Update: Well, apparently we can't.

      by Time Waits for no Woman on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:16:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Money" quote from that Nocera column (2+ / 0-)
        No. Charlie Engle wasn’t a seller of bad mortgages. He was a borrower. And the “mortgage fraud” for which he was prosecuted was something that literally millions of Americans did during the subprime bubble. Supposedly, he lied on two liar loans.

        “The Department of Justice has made prosecuting financial crimes, including mortgage fraud, a high priority,” said Neil H. MacBride, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a statement. (Mr. MacBride, whose office prosecuted Mr. Engle, declined to be interviewed.)

        Apparently, though, it’s only a high priority if the target is a borrower.

        Pithy writing, for sure. That said, I'll hold acclaiming Nocera an adequate Herbert stand-in till we see his work in the less constrained venue of the NYT Op-Ed pages.

  •  Almost exactly a year ago, (0+ / 0-)

    I addressedthis same topic.

    It is good to see others that have drawn the same conclusion. We are dealing with folks who, mostly, choose to live in a dream world and refuse to acknowledge the utter and complete dominance that human beings have at the top of the food chain.

    If we do not begin to wrest our country from this state of illusion, we will be the first species (that we know of) to consciously commit collective suicide.

    •  Sort of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jay23
      Who is telling them these lies?

      The uber wealthy. The top 5%, and especially 1%, are the ones who call most of the shots these days. Their power is well documented. We can try to pretend that the massive wealth disparity in this country has nothing to do with our current situation, but that would be idiotic. We have classes in this country.

      I disagree with this narrative.  Many of the wealthy got rich because the lies agreed with them not the other way around.  I think cause and effect have been reversed in this version.  The people living in the fantasy came first - then the wealth inequality followed.

      •  I wasn't writing about who created the lies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        disrael

        in the first place.

        The quote you use in speaking in present tense, speaking about what his happening now. If I said, "Who told them these lies" then I would have had to explain the persons who crafted the myth over time. I think it is undeniable that the top 5% and especially 1% are promoting the lies, just take a look at the Koch Brothers.

        I completely agree that the fantasy allowed the uber wealthy to become what they are.

        •  In other words, who is lying to them now? (0+ / 0-)

          The monied elites of this country, thats who. And since this has been ongoing for decades, they repeat these lies in their echo chamber to each other.

          •  Okay but even if no one told them lies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FinchJ

            they would still be living in a fantasy world.  The people telling lies might be slowing down our efforts to get them out of the fantasy world - or then again maybe our efforts would have failed anyway.

            •  How did they enter a fantasy world (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              disrael

              if there was no one invited them in?

              (Not trying to derail the diary or anything, I'm honestly curious. I have to go to work in about a half hour but I'll keep following this thread until then. It is a good discussion to have and I'm all ears!)

              •  Their jobs required it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FinchJ

                They were pushed off the farms and out of factories into more abstract positions.  They then became open to adopting whatever it took to make their new positions seem reasonable - and also as a rec list rant points out they lost their communities that were based on the old producing things jobs.  And the population jumped also.  Of course this is also an over simplification of what happened but in short the suckers came first and then the circus.

  •  For me- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, ms badger, kamarvt, RosyFinch

    I've always believed that political  conservatives do not think in terms of the consequences-nor do they have any sense of personal or social responsibility.

    It's as if they have no ability to see the future ramifications of any of their actions: the big picture-so to speak.

    Everything for them is "the here and now" and instant gratification: the immediate enforcement of what they believe.

    Do they really understand what the destruction of our labor unions will do to this country?

    To our way of life?

    To their neighbors-friends-relatives?

    Their failure to even accept the existence of climate change and global warming is a danger- not just to people in this country-it's a danger to people everywhere-and yet they continue to deny it-while the danger grows.

    But as long as their belief system is safe {even if it's only in the short term} who cares about anyone else-and the future-right?

    No concept whatsoever of the consequences-zero sense of responsibility.

    They live in their own reality-with no thought of any kind for anyone or anything.

    Their reality exists in neat-tidy-packaged-soundbites fed to them by the republican party-who's actual stated mission-is to preserve the way of life and the standard of living for major corporations-and those who are very wealthy.

    Their "reality" is absolutely dictated to them-and they are actually frightened by anyone or anything that tampers with this fragile dynamic.

    Life with both a blueprint-and an instructional booklet is what they choose.

    It absolves them of any sense of responsibility-or the need to deal with consequences of any kind.

    God forbid......................a life where you have to do your own thinking-where you are responsible for yourself-where you have a responsibility to others-and a life where you have only yourself to blame-because you and you alone OWN THE CONSEQUENCES-is just too frightening for them to contemplate.

    I've always believed that's why their eyes glaze over when they're exposed to the political left.

    For them there is no life without a neatly packaged-provided-ideological blueprint and instructional booklet.

    These are the people that conservative ideology built-and when you are constructing-assembling-putting together-what it is that  you have purchased-there are precious few deviations from the blueprint-the instructional guide.

    The finished product.

    "Reality has a well known liberal bias."--Stephen Colbert

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

    by lyvwyr101 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:21:48 AM PDT

    •  I don't think so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101
      Their "reality" is absolutely dictated to them-and they are actually frightened by anyone or anything that tampers with this fragile dynamic.

      They are only being fed what they want to hear.  What they came up with themselves anyway.  The need to believe whatever makes them happy came first - then the people feeding on it.

      •  I see your point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        disrael

        I think the only difference is that you're giving them credit for being self starters-somewhat-and having a few more brains than I normally give them credit for!

        But yes-they are only being fed what they want to hear-and it is all about what does make them happy.

        "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

        by lyvwyr101 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:00:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This diary is really on to something (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, jay23, NoMoreLies, judyms9

    The USA today is such an historical anomaly that it's hard to wrap a sane head around what is happening.  We really do have large numbers of people who have unhooked from reality and the environment allows this without the immediate negative feedback that would normally come with such foolishness.  Of course reality will intrude on the fantasy but with a delay likely to make the "correction" more severe when it comes.  Our cultural mix if religion, insularity form the world, Disney, advertising, and sheer size, has created a unique environment for fantasy over reality.   Unless someone can figure out how to change this course we are hurtling toward unspeakable tragedy.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:23:23 AM PDT

  •  the conservatives miss the 19th century (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, NoMoreLies

    check out the similarities of the Victorian Era that the conservatives want to take us back to:

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

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

    http://www.hiddenlives.org.uk/...

    i recently read this oped in the Guardian - that kind of sums the above links  Conservative nostalgia for Victorian era is dangerous

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:26:02 AM PDT

  •  How right you are! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, jay23, FinchJ, judyms9

    This closing caught my attention:

    Unfortunately, compared to Bob Herbert, most Americans live in self constructed dream world.  The war we fight is as much with delusion as it is with a sociopath 1%.

    I refer to this condition as the people being opiated by the electronic mass-media drivel of our lives: TeeVee "reality" shows, sensationalist "news" reporting about the latest missing blonde teenager and the ogling into the lives of celebrities. It's exacerbated by the dis-connectivity of everyone living in their "own private Idaho"; retreating into the isolated, self-selected worlds of their iPod ear-buds, X-boxes and yes, the echo-chambers of blogs & Facebook.

    The populace is drugged into an electronic stupor and inertia, and those in power would like for nothing to upset that stasis.

    "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by frisco on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:37:06 AM PDT

  •  Mother Earth Is Only So Big (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, jay23, FinchJ, judyms9, RosyFinch

    The author of this excellent post points out one result of the magical thinking he describes.

     

    As our military, financial, heath care and other industries grow a point of diminishing returns and exponential costs is reached.  A natural political divide has formed between people who would like to ignore this reality and people who don't.

    Why is this true?

    Because our economy is based on the childlike belief that resources are infinite.  In our economy MONEY will buy you as much as you want.  Make enough MONEY and you can buy ANYTHING.

    This is not true.  The earth is finite.  We have the evidence:

    Peak Oil

    Water Shortages and widespread droughts.

    Environmental Degradation

    7+ billion human animals eating 2,000 kilo-calories per day

    Climate Change

    Etc.

    Many have chosen to believe these facts cannot be true, largely because of a chosen scientific, political, and economic ignorance.  A simple and mature conclusion is demanded by these facts:

    We must figure out a way to organize our society and economy democratically, so that population growth is controlled.  We must also educate, research, design, and engineer our way to a RATIONAL and sustainable future, starting yesterday.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:44:47 AM PDT

    •  glamorizing the life boats (0+ / 0-)

      one population segment starts to pull away from the rest on this shrinking island... naturally that segment does not want to look back or feel much empathy outside that segment

      For this to be work old-fashioned class distinctions are not required - just that everyone fantasizes and identifies with that lucky "in" crowd

  •  Back in my youth... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, judyms9

    I remember my first year of college. I met some exchange students one from Greece and the other from Britain.  Both of them were honest to goodness "marxists" and supporters of the "Militant" faction of the U.K. Labour party.

    Now at the time this was a eye opening interaction for me, they gave me books and articles to read about Marx and "class warfare" etc. After reading the information given, I told them, well there were some good points BUT this is America the people are too well fed and complacent and would have no time for all this "class struggle" stuff and frankly I would never believe that the "people" calling the shots would ever let things deteriorate to the point that the "average" Joe Blow All-American would ever really want to  rock the boat.  Now over 30 years later I am not so sure!

    With the events in Wisconsin/Michigan/Ohio/Maine/Florida/Pennsylvania, I am having a difficult time recognizing 21st Century America!  But one thing is for sure the present "system" is not sustainable and we as a society have to hit the "reboot" button and soon or the shit will really hit the fan! And that my friends will not be a pretty picture!

    RMD  

  •  a viewpoint like this (0+ / 0-)

    has been vaguely taking shape in my own mind as events go on - thank you for a coherent and nonstandard framing

  •  Actually this may be a good thing (0+ / 0-)

    If the pundit class decides to get involved in a more hands on manner that may actually be good.  It all depends on what are they willing to do.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 11:14:47 AM PDT

  •  If you can't see that it's a class war (0+ / 0-)

    then the odds are very heavy that as an objective measure, your status is among the ruling class.  Those of us below know we are peasants because we've been treated as such for decades by those above us.  They call us criminals while they steal from us, they call us lazy while they make their money on the profit from our labor, they call us stupid while their decisions drive the world's economy and its environment into ruins, they call us violent while the earth shakes from  the explosions of their wars.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 12:30:36 PM PDT

    •  Peasants using 1/5 world oil production? (0+ / 0-)

      Peasants so awash in food that obesity is our worst disease?  (Well actually obesity can hit the truly poor also as they eat a lot but don't get much nutrition.)
      Peasants that each and every one owns his own big house and parcel of land?

      Yes of course the ruling class is fck$ng us but what did anyone expect to happen when we adopted such a head up our ass approach to economics?

  •  goldman propaganda (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael

    have you seen this yet?  Goldman is making videos about how they are doing so much good for people.  Of course projects like this arena are just a way for Goldman to profit off of taxpayers, but with a good marketing budget, the truth doesn't matter.  Studies show that these large tax payer funded arenas and convention centers do not deliver the economic growth that was promised when it was sold to the taxpayers.

    http://www2.goldmansachs.com/...

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:10:40 PM PDT

  •  The war isn't over intellectual freedom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disrael, equern

    And it's only partly about money.

    What it's really about is security, flexibility, opportunity and dignity.

    Specifically, whether these are things that all people deserve by virtue of their common humanity and shared need for meaning and purpose in their lives -- or whether these things should be the sole prerogative of a fortunate few who obtain them at everyone else's expense.

    Freedom is nothing when failure means oblivion.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:01:40 PM PDT

  •  The Class War is a horrible thing. (0+ / 0-)

    Especially since no one is willing to do anything about it.

    A Democrat will only stab you in the back. A friggin' Republican will shoot you in the face! For Pete's sake, vote Democrat! - Democratic Party elevator pitch

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:48:24 PM PDT

  •  As your thesis is that class war is really (0+ / 0-)

    "class war" - that it is the phony holodeck environment which is most injurious to our political process, perhaps this next question might seem to miss that point.

    Would you mind if this diary were republished into the Class Warfare Newsletter?

    It doesn't, I think, miss your point. Rather, rather it embraces the underlying concept as one worthy of discussion, and inclusion in anything titled Class Warfare Newsletter.

  •  ...don't forget Evangelicals role in this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leaf123

    The selling out of Christianity as an effective enrollment arm of the GOP fits into all of this sublimely.

    If you are indoctrinated into a means of believing one fictitious reality, how much easier it is to believe another!

    Evangelical Christianity really got its foothold in the mid-70's when Jesus became hip and Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell transformed Jesus into a rock star.

    This legion of zombies formed the base for Reagan and they and their brainwashed minions have been the driving force behind the push of the GOP to transform itself into the powermad behemoth it has become.

    You may succeed in cutting off various heads of this demon Medusa, but you will never kill it until you are willing to wake people up from the religious miasma they have been spoonfed.  Nothing is more critical in this civil war than exposing evangelical Christianity for the fraud that it is and bringing to social awareness the immense harm this, like other brands of fantaticism has brought.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:05:37 PM PDT

  •   To wake up each and everyday thinking, "I will be (0+ / 0-)

    "I will believe whatever makes me happy and resent anyone deciding differently."

    Surely this is criminial. Maybe you can explain how a reverse opinion would get us out of the mess we are in

    Lets say all of us wake up with this thought:-
    "I will be unhappy every single minute of the day as I thrive on criticizing and on criticizm. No matter what anyone does, I will never be happy or satisfied. Since I am unhappy (as opposed to happy in ur quote), it is obvious (!)that I will not resent anything."

    - The bankers are ripping us -(I am already unhappy, this can't drag me down)
    -President didn't keep his promise(I am already unhappy...this was expected)
    -People are screwing me over(well that was expected)
    -No one agrees with my viewpoint (Darn, they musy be happy in their lives as they resent me for having a different view point)

    Hard work and perseverance always pays off...never give up.

    by leaf123 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:30:33 PM PDT

    •  Other more rational countries are pulling away (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      from the United States in most measures of individual satisfaction.  Believe happy ideas philosophy is a failure but like trade and financial de-regulation, free markets and other failed policies people keep doubling down on proven wrong strategies.

      •  An interesting (0+ / 0-)

        read.

        Personal well being and national satisfaction

        Indeed, that’s what they found. No matter where you are in the world, feeling good about your country turned out to be highly associated with personal well-being. But this association was stronger for people with low incomes, people who live in poorer nations

        For people with high incomes and people in Western countries, well-being was more closely linked to personal factors like health, standard of living, and job satisfaction. Morrison says, “This shows that those who are very rich or live in a Western culture assess their well-being in different ways than those who are poorer or live in non-Western country.”


        Hard work and perseverance always pays off...never give up.

        by leaf123 on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:00:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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