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Most of the people in this country do not realize what is going on.  For a variety of reasons, they do not understand why our economy has deteriorated.  That should not be surprising, since the economy is a huge complex system, and most people can only see their own situation and that of family and friends.  I don't think we can get real change until the majority of people understand that our economy has to be restructured.  We are a long way from that.  We can't stop the conservative movement or even replace most of the corporate Democrats with real progressives until a change in public perception happens.

How many people realize that the economy has a different structure than it did during the more broadly shared prosperity of the 50s and 60s?  The economy has been financialized, increasing inequality and increasing vulnerability to financial crisis .  The union movement has been decimated.  Offshoring has workers competing with poor 3rd world peasants.  Technology is not only eliminating unskilled labor, but increasingly is eliminating information handling jobs.  Political and economic forces have been concentrating gains in the economy to the top 1%.

How much of this does the average person follow?  The conservative movement has been spending an enormous effort to spread a different message.  The average person needs a job.  He is looking for a business to give it to him.  So he thinks of criticism of business as harmful to his job prospects.  Conservatives depict any attempt to change the economic trends as attacks on business that could cost people their job.  If the government runs a deficit, that looks bad, so conservatives claim that the deficit causes job loss (at least if Democrats are in power).  It is not easy to counter such simplistic and misleading or false claims with simple slogans, because reality is complex and messy.

I am convinced that there are ways to try to restructure the economy to restore economic gains to the average person.  But as far as I can tell, most people do not believe that.  If they did, conservatives would have a much harder time winning elections.  Universal health care would be a great advance, but somehow the conservatives have convinced a lot of people that it is dangerous.  A lot of them might think that Obamacare will somehow take away their employee health insurance and raise their taxes.  Global warming is a theoretical abstraction to them, while the possibility of losing their job is much more immediate.  

A lot of people still have something, and fear of losing what they have is greater than hope that they could something better.

How can people be persuaded to change their minds?  I don't know.  We probably have to constantly repeat the message that the conservative economy does not work for them.  It will probably take years, just as it took years for the conservatives to wear down the New Deal consensus we had after World War II.  I wish I was not so pessimistic by nature.

Some people want to change society by letting a catastrophe happen, such as the Great Depression, which will force people to start looking for new ways of doing things.  In my opinion that is the strategy Ralph Nader was following in 2000.  In a smaller way, it is the strategy of those who hope the Supreme Court overturns the ACA, which they think will somehow lead to single payer being adopted.  Those who want to stand aside from reelecting Obama or supporting corporate Democrats are implicitly or explicitly following this strategy.  This strategy is extraordinarily dangerous.  Great suffering would happen.  During the Great Depression, we were very lucky that we ended up with Franklin Roosevelt.  Germany was not so lucky.  In a crisis you could end up with Lincoln, or you could end up with Lenin or Napoleon.

So how do we start to turn around public perception of our economy and society, without waiting for a catastrophe do it?

Originally posted to Thutmose V on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:19:36 PM PDT

  •  I hate to bring you bad news; (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoExistNow, Gorette

    but Only stubborn ignorant people vote republican.  With this President being just a little different; don't expect much change on that front.  Black people have been living with this problem for all/most of their lives.

  •  It's not the words of others that change minds (15+ / 0-)

    it's the experiences people have and the ability to put that experience into the overall context.   Preachifying and speechifying at people isn't going to get you where you need to go.  Helping people to organize themselves over their own situations, building their own power has historically been the only way progressive results have ever been eventually achieved, and even in those best-case scenarios, sometimes it took a long time to come to fruition.  Seneca Falls was 1848, women didn't vote nationally until 1920.  Increasingly the issues coming to the forefront are ones of economics, class, and worklife, so we should be thinking about how to go about building our own local self-organizations around these issues.  Inclusive, participatory organizations can breed the sort of independence of thought necessary to challenge the fortified ideological heights of our dysfunctional system.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 02:32:51 AM PDT

    •  Although the intellectual validity of what you (0+ / 0-)

      say is difficult to argue with, the way you choose to state it is, in fact, difficult, "Inclusive, participatory organizations can breed the sort of independence of thought necessary to challenge the fortified ideological  heights of our dysfunctional system".  This is a grand statement for those with an elite university education, however, those people are already voting one way or the other.  The challenge may really be in getting those who do not currently vote, to get to the voting booths, to vote.  Yours, and others, lofty language only validates the claims by the conservative right that we are all a bunch of intellectual snobs and elitists who do not have the best interests of regular people at heart.  Frankly, to hear that particular statement makes me a little wary of you as well.  Not because I don't understand the jist of what your are saying (although it is poorly said and obtuse), but because I don't understand  why you would state anything in this way except for your own ego gratification.  Sometimes simple is better.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:35:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is speaking (10+ / 0-)

        to other liberal elitists here.  What he advocates is ACTION, an on-the-ground kind of action that involves directly helping your average voters in their everyday lives.  I doubt that he uses that kind of language when discussing these issues with high-school-educated store clerks and auto mechanics.  I don't.  But the concept can be translated directly into everything from cooperative babysitting to community gardens to seed-sharing clubs to subscriber-owned auto-repair shops.  Independence of thought starts whenever you stop worrying about the partisan political message and start looking at the faces in front of you.

        •  All I can say to this is holy crap! Who do (0+ / 0-)

          you think "he" is?  Some kind of god?  Why would you allude to other "liberal elitists" here as if this were a good thing?  To me "liberal elitists" is a bad thing.  Everything you say is mind boggling bad.  To quote you, "I doubt that he uses that kind of language when discussing these issues with high-school-educated store clerks and auto mechanics", suggests an arrogance, high mindedness, and cult personality that is seriously lacking in what DailyKos is about.  I will however, make sure that Kos is alerted to you people and your sick ideology.  You do not belong here.  You sound like communists of the worst kind,  Like you know what is best for other people, while they know not what is best for themselves.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

          by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:01:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're either misunderstanding cynndara, (4+ / 0-)

            or overreacting, with all due respect to you, friend. :-)

            "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" "That's not enough Madam, I need a majority." A. Stephenson

            by CoExistNow on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:32:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My "sick ideology" comment and communists (0+ / 0-)

              of-the-worst-kind accusation is a misunderstanding and an overreaction and especially with regard to reporting it to Kos, I do not however, take back the rest of it.  Maybe you folks don't "hear" yourselves but when I read your comments, they still sound elitist and obnoxious and a reason (although not the only one) moderate or centrist Republicans or Conservative Democrats, (I'm talking regular people here, not politicians or evangelicals), find us obnoxious and won't even consider changing their opinions/political beliefs.  I am not a troll, I am a real, Progressive Democrat.  I happen to adore President Obama, although I do not think he is a god.  I know he has accomplished many really great things, and failed to accomplish some things.  I know drones are an ugly issue, but I do not purport to understand every detail regarding them; although I did make a pitiful attempt to completely exonerate President Obama's role in their deployment and I am still not ready to admit total defeat in this regard.  So, I am not perfect, but neither are you or cynndara.  Read her comment above and tell me I am wrong in finding her elitist and condescending to people she feels intellectually, economically, and/or socially "inferior".  She pretty much says it without question, please don't use "debating" tactics here, you know I am right in substance.  My response was overdone and I apologize, but not the basic premise of my comment.  I wish you and cynndara well.

              "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

              by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 09:08:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I thought we were talking about ideas (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            philipmerrill, happymisanthropy

            I see no problem in adjusting ones language and approach to the audience, as long as the message is internally consistent.

            Not good to personalize the dialogue like that. Please don't drown in your personal judgments and prejudices.

        •  ACTION (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pat bunny

          correct.

          ACTION(S) is/are not one of the things we do very well.

          First, we must discuss the our problems for a decade or two, reach consensus... then maybe we will act.

          "The fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired". Herbert Hoover December 2, 1930

          by Superpole on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:12:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, I Didn't Have any Problem (4+ / 0-)

        understanding AG.

        I guess I'm a lberal elitist egghead...

        "Sometimes simple is better".

        I don't agree that like USA Today, we need to dumb it down to the eighth grade reading level. This is one of the reasons why we're in trouble.

        While we embrace Teh Stupid, other nations like Germany, etc., are passing us by.

        "The fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired". Herbert Hoover December 2, 1930

        by Superpole on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:10:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The only problem with your argument is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn, Angie in WA State

      it fails to address how we convince people not only that they need to organize, but to make them want to organize.

      And for that, we need to be having conversations.

      Telling our story.

      Over and over and over and over.

      Please come visit The Winning Words Project and help us get the messages out far and wide: Who are we? What do we stand for? Why should you want to support our policies?

      #Gratitude!

      Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

      by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:10:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, Jill - which is how the GOP spent 30some (0+ / 0-)

        years, building a "sea to shining sea" grassroots membership made up of voters who are willing to 'Walk n Knock' their neighborhood every 2 years.

        Telling their stories to their neighbors, season after season.

        Building a relationship between the Precinct Captain/Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) and the voters in the precinct, year after year.

        Telling their stories, again and again.

        It's how the GOP bent the entire nation Rightward, eventually; and it's how we're going to have to take the country back to a more progressive, forward-leaning policy stance.

        Person by person, telling our stories, again and again and again.

        Until we win.

        * * *
        I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
        -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
        * * *
        "A Better World is Possible"
        -- #Occupy

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 05:22:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Helping people (0+ / 0-)

      in any way builds progressive community. It doesn't need to be ideological, it needs to be real. There are often a lot of people nearby who wouldn't mind a little help. It's not political, it's human. But that translates somewhere down the line into a progressive community.

      "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

      by native on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  we better keep doing what WE do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, DBunn, ybruti

    The How isn't going to get simpler or more clear if we don't keep at it here at Daily Kos.

    One of the things that has impressed me most the last few years is how much good work is already being done, including by people in public service. Our ability to digest, evaluate and recognize a long list of worthy efforts should help us to keep boiling down slogans and perspectives that are backed up by solid studies and/or observable reality. That has already helped us pressure the media and candidates to edit their messages so those messages avoid misinformation.

    We're doing this in the face of consumer appetites for Better World(TM) that casually click around emotionally appealling alternative viewpoints without having a sophisticated yearning for better grounded viewpoints. And even in spite of that, polling often shows popular opinion to be more progressive and in line with dKos thinking than politicians or the media giants want to admit. If WE keep up our challenging discourse, we can get better at pressuring media and pols, and try to get the reality-factor reinvested through the channels of mass communication (investing in a better informed public -- wow, what a concept).

    It's so much work, but the simplicity comes on the other end of accomplishing it -- like scientific formulas that build on the enormous efforts of very many people and are finally arrived at.

    Thanks for this diary.

    •  Can you please explain to me the trade mark (0+ / 0-)

      necessary for an allusion to a Better World.  It is quite difficult to understand the need for trademarks relative to groups that are supposed to help the world become a better place for all human beings.  Seriously, what the hell is going on in the world where everything is trademarked?  Do you not see what an oxymoron this is?

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:32:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You say a bunch of buzz words that mean (0+ / 0-)

      absolutely nothing.  Wow.  What a complete sell-out you are.  "We're doing this in the face of consumer appetites for Better World (TM) that casually click around emotionally appealing alternative viewpoints without having a sophisticated yearning for better grounded viewpoints".  What the f*ck does any of this even mean?  You are full of crap.  It means nothing.  Go somewhere else to peddle your nonsense.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 04:49:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  uh, no (2+ / 0-)

        Not going away.

        I did not mean that we at Daily Kos don't have a yearning for better grounded viewpoints ... I meant that the mainstream consumer mindset doesn't.

        I'm sorry that I was guilty of word soup but the meaning does not equal zero. As for being full of crap and a sell-out, I do not feel free of sin but I don't especially feel sunk in it either.

        And what this means is that our work here must continue in order to package appealing and simple points that can spread as memes, BUT our ability to back these up with links and research is vital and a natural consequence of our work here.

        If I wasn't tired I'm sure I would have done a better job of expressing myself. My apologies.

        •  I wouldn't apologize. (3+ / 0-)

          Reading the comment history of some of your detractors (and noting the high user ID)... well... let's just say I'm uncertain of their motivation.

          Was a cold and dark December when the banks became cathedrals...

          by althea in il on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:07:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a load of crap is your "noting of the (0+ / 0-)

            high user id's", just because someone is new to the site doesn't mean they don't understand the meaning of the site, or have just as meaningful an understanding of the goals of Democracy.  I would suggest you reread the comments of some others on this thread to gain an understanding of their "values" and "goals"; those I would suggest are very authoritarian and ugly in nature and very antithetical to this site.  Please do read my comment history to determine who is for Democracy and who is not.

            "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

            by helpImdrowning on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 07:36:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can read your comments here (2+ / 0-)

              and see you more than once challenging commenters on their choice of words in a fairly nasty manner.  

              What the f*ck does any of this even mean?  You are full of crap.  It means nothing.  Go somewhere else to peddle your nonsense.
              I will however, make sure that Kos is alerted to you people and your sick ideology.  You do not belong here.  
              You should know it's actually not good form to tell people with whom you disagree to "go away".  

              But I won't derail this thread further, so, have a nice day.

              Was a cold and dark December when the banks became cathedrals...

              by althea in il on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:02:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Really? Painting Nader with your crap? (0+ / 0-)
    Some people want to change society by letting a catastrophe happen, such as the Great Depression, which will force people to start looking for new ways of doing things.  In my opinion that is the strategy Ralph Nader was following in 2000.  In a smaller way, it is the strategy of those who hope the Supreme Court overturns the ACA, which they think will somehow lead to single payer being adopted.  Those who want to stand aside from reelecting Obama or supporting corporate Democrats are implicitly or explicitly following this strategy.
    Nader was actually pointing out the corruption of corporate power which is even stronger now than it was then.... and he was fucking right!  That should count for something, and with me it does.

    You seem to advocating nothing but political expedience for the sake of party, supporting whatever whoring corporate democrat comes along no matter how bought and paid for they are.  A truly weak and immoral position.

    John

    •  well that's a harsh attack (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madcitysailor, althea in il, native

      This diary is certainly provoking harsh critics. Just because Nader was right doesn't mean he didn't bring about disaster. And the expediency issue has everything to do with governing which includes winning elections. It's not as simple as "party." But even so I don't see this article as especially advocating expediency, let alone nothing but that.

    •  Philosphy aside, Nader's actions gave us Pres. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike08, philipmerrill

      Bush rather than Pres. Gore.  If you don't see how your comment actually reinforces the argument you try to attack, well, join the ranks of the irony challenged.  Lots of company these days.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:38:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A book that will help -- "Worse Than You Think" (5+ / 0-)

    This book provides a way for the general reader to understand the economic system; it is a book on political economics. Its strength and uniqueness is through the use of government statistics to provide the data for the policy argument. It is the first time that I have understood the economy. The slightly technical material is covered in the insightful Appendix. The book agent said that it is the best book she has read in 35 years.

    It is critical of both political parties so it could be read and used by conservatives if they were open to not placing the blame on government and realized the corporations run the place.

    My hunch is that if citizens knew what is in this book, they could actually understand enough of the economy and government policies to be enraged that the 1% and the corporations have taken over the government. This requires a citizen uprising strong enough to stand up to the power elite. Since both parties have rigged the numbers, it would be hard for some organizations, say labor unions, to endorse a book like this because they have to keep their place at the table with the Democratic Party.

    I have a dream about the book being used in a wide spread grass roots educational effort. After people understood the book, they would be ready for more advanced studies like yours. As the author points out, democracy is about power, not freedom.

    In the words of the author:
     

    "Americans have been kept in the dark about the real state of the economy. The government has rigged its economic statistics to hide declining wages, high unemployment, high inflation, and near zero GDP growth. By making loans cheap during the Clinton and Bush presidencies, Americans were able to borrow to keep their heads above water. The era of easy credit ended with the financial collapse of 2008. Since then, Americans have discovered how bad things have really become.

    How could our leaders let this happen? They did so knowingly, but for what they believed was a greater purpose. Since Truman, presidents have sacrificed our economy first to win the Cold War and then, after the fall of the Soviet Union, to prop up a military empire. Our presidents have slept peacefully as Americans suffered, for they believed they acted for a higher purpose.

    The solution for this mess is not radical. It is a return to policies that worked in the past. By reviving the 1944 tax code, and bringing back the protectionist trade policies that made our workers the highest paid in the world, we can return to prosperity."

    The author of the book is Keith Qunicy. "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington's Rigged Statistics, And where To Go From Here." It is $13 for a paper back from amazon.com or available in a Kindle edition for 99 cents because the author wants to get the word out. A Kindle reader can be downloaded to read the book on the computer.

  •  How can people be persuaded to change their minds? (5+ / 0-)
    I don't know.

    Wrong, you do know how:

    We probably have to constantly repeat the message that the conservative economy does not work for them
    I get it, but couple of things:

    First, we don't have a "conservative" economy. we have a quickly moving, dog-eat-dog, profits before people, profits before the environment, short term plan, radical sort of economy. There's nothing conservative about it.

    Probably.. probably??

    I think most people, particularly the millions of UNemployed, get that the economy no longer works all that well for them. They get it.

    The question is, what actions are people willing to take to do something about it?

    Based on what I see-- not much. But a tipping point is coming-- history shows that it always does.

    "The fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired". Herbert Hoover December 2, 1930

    by Superpole on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:31:25 AM PDT

  •  Yes, design a just economy for a future in which (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Killer of Sacred Cows

    labor share of output is constantly declining. An enormous challenge that requires us to abandon the idea that work is a moral imperative.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 06:42:01 AM PDT

  •  This is what The Winning Words Project is trying (6+ / 0-)

    to do -- change the narrative and re-tell the story from the Progressive perspective.

    Please visit our site (and tell everyone you know!), especially the "What You Can Do" section.

    And if I may, I'd like permission to republish this post there, as well, as it fits in perfectly with our message.

    Thanks,
    Jill
    Founder & Managing Editor

    Stop the party of Gut & Spend policies that gut our Earned Benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare and spends on tax breaks for the wealthy elite.

    by jillwklausen on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 08:04:44 AM PDT

  •  Uh.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, Killer of Sacred Cows

    A few of us have been watching the way it works in American politics for many years.

    Here's essentially the way it goes, in my opinion.

    There is a problem, but our attention as a people is absorbed by some other one(s) and primarily evolving- and that is a painful thing- on those.  So nothing much occurs- we take minimal measures that don't solve the problem and, with annoyance, mostly just try to  suppress the people and forces that are causing upset.  Sober people look at the problem and say we need to do a lot of rethinking as a People, and change a lot of things and put in a pretty huge amount of money, to actually solve it.  So we procrastinate on it, defer it, ignore it.

    But then the problem either becomes a crisis orr the other stuff resolves well enough that we we have spare time and attention.  And this problem turns into the principal annoyance and limitation on the quality of our day.

    We go from a collective decision to Do Nothing to a collective decision to Do Something As Moderate As Possible.  From center rightish do-nothingism/do the least thing possible to an active centrist-conservative government approach to the problem.  In the current mess Bush's governance was the first and McCain had to commit himself to the same.  Obama got elected because he saw the willingness to over to the second and fit the niche.  

    Obama got, as is the case, an fully economically centrist-conservative run Congress to pursue the policy with the appropriate activist governing but restricted to conventional means, conventional goals, and conventional centrist consensus politics.  The policy goal is to restore the status quo ante and means and politics incompatible with the status quo ante are not permitted by The People and their elected representatives.  This is given a very real chance to work out- time, money, people, etc.  And that's what the past three years have been about.

    The crucial event, though, was passage of the ACA.  This was/is in fact a set of laws that really doesn't do much more than make the health care system more consistent with the status quo existing within and around it.  But this making of the economic system and its status quo condition more consistent with itself and its own rules...well, it exposed the whole thing.  The hybrid, convoluted, compromise-based admixing of profiteering capitalism and partial social democracy is an inherently inconsistent and dysfunctional thing to intelligent people.  Well, trying to restore it to health (so to speak) and perfect it on its own terms generated contradictions and abuses and coercions that couldn't be ignored.  Plus, it didn't solve the problems of cost and inefficiency and the unresolved social problems and attitudes underlying those in the healthcare system.  Basically, the ACA (and other things) meant well but revealed undeniably that the status quo 'system' was in fact not a system in a meaningful sense, it was/is a kludge that requires constant corrections and workarounds.  It can't deliver what The People needs from it without constant refinancings and tentative fixes and readjudications- constant financial hole pluggings in which some interest has to be cheated or shortchanged.

    This leads to the next phase in which center right, centrist, and center left- all the moderate- approaches are viewed as failing to deliver.  More has to be done, and people radicalize even though they may not believe in the particular solution they supposedly espouse.  The Tea Party energized and gathered in populist economic Rightists.  After that Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots energized and populist economic Leftists had a front.  The center doesn't hold.  And when this happens the country chooses between devolution and revolution.  It doesn't do revolution, because that messes up a lot more than just the matter at hand.  So this point is where control of government moves from center/center Leftism control with smatterings of Leftism (the Obama Administration and the 2009-10 Congress) to the Rightists, though Rightists being destructive are always only given a small margin of control so as to limit the extraneous actions they do.  And that is the what happened in the 2010 elections and probably will be taken to its peak in power, though it is already past that in credibility and initiative, this November.

    So, when we have a big problem as a country the basic dynamic is Do Nothing (center Right) -> active measures but moderate-conservative ones with regard for the worst hit (center, center Left, Left) -> constrained radical i.e. status quo breaking measures with little regard for the worst hit people (Right).  

    The next stage, at which we are not, is the painfully evident failure of the Rightist policy followed by a short run to the final inadequate position, the reactionary one.  In which really perverse and inhumane and hateful things are said in public- "let them die on the streets, serves them right" level- and to some degree, done.  The People vote them out.

    The other stances being discredited, the election(s) see people hate on the liberals on the matter and sneer at them, but they do get voted into taking control after much harrumphing and venting and rationalization by nonliberals.  The liberals get a very thin margin of control and only on that single policy area.  The reality is simply that the status quo in that area is broken and not restorable, things are razed to the foundations, to the point of everyone sensible saying "ok, we have to start over from the bare cold empirical facts and what we really need, forget all the preciousness about jobs and ego and precedent and credit and institutions and ideology and taking on debt to do this.  It simply has to be done."  And everyone other than the liberals has lost their political credibility.

    Do nothing Center Right -> benign conservative Center/Center Left/Left -> quite radical and nasty Right/reactionary -> exhausted whiny starting over from basics, with liberals imposing a functional reformed order.  In my opinion that's how power and developments in public attitude seems to go/evolve/shift in most things in recent years and often earlier- in revamping the social order (e.g. gay rights), foreign policy (Iraq) and domestic political order (state level issues), and now the American economic order.  We give everyone a shot, within constraints, and in the end the liberals are right and get their way.

  •  We now live in a plutocracy, the govt being (2+ / 0-)

    dominated by corporate and the 1% interests. Without changing that, the economic system will not be improved.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 12:11:01 PM PDT

  •  overturning Citizens United (4+ / 0-)

    seems like, singularly, the most critical step in order for this country to move forward at all, economically, socially and internationally. Because...until we stop simply allowing corporations to purchase themselves political offices and stooges to serve them in those political offices, it's highly unlikely that this country will be seeing any progress on anything signfiicant any time soon.

    The next most important step is to have a sane Supreme Court (unlike the current crop of five deranged, corrupt Supreme Court Injustices who think that letter corporations purchase political offices is a good thing.

  •  Great work, Thutmose V! (3+ / 0-)

    Whomever controls the narrative wins.  The Democratic Party has not been able to control it since President Obama was elected.  The narrative was seized by the rightwing opposition assisted by the popular news media.  The Democratic Party's narrative is hardly ever more than a defensive response to the rightwing's version.  

    It was during the Occupy protests in the autumn of 2011 that the rightwing briefly lost control of the narrative.  Occupy didn't exist in relation to the rightwing agenda.  It had its own story to tell.   There's a lesson for the Democratic Party in the example of Occupy protesters who did succeed, at least for a time, in interrupting the rightwing narrative.

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 01:13:05 PM PDT

  •  It really is about Media consolidation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, greengemini

    and the effective monopoly held over what the people hear and see. Media Central decides who gets access, what gets access, and, having gained access, how it gets treated.

    (And it's not just about news, either. It's about values being undermined/instilled through almost all the programming. Adult values the former, adolescent values the latter.

    That aside...)

    Until we force a change in Media content, we'll keep getting the same crap pushed at us. Economic "debates" where no regular working/unemployed are involved; political "debates" where only sideshows of claims and charges are featured and hyped and no status quo value is challenged; foreign policy issues where... oh, never mind foreign policy is never discussed in public.

    There simply is no means which equals the mass-reach Media's ability to tell 300 million people an identical story -- true or false; relevant or not -- within a day or two.

    The internet is cute and fun, and a great way to atomize the various factions in the nation as we pursue what we like, but the promise that someday -- and we've had this promise since 1992 or so -- the internet will change everything is really silly. When? 2012? 2016? 2018? 2030? 2036? Yes yes yes, plenty of ephemera and social habits and some faces of protest happen. Some minor victories as far as cosmetics go.

    And you know what? The Powers That Be don't really care that much. Do that all you like. Just leave them the most effective propaganda apparatus in all of human history. That's how they have been winning the War and will continue to win the War.

    Anybody thinks we can really afford to let mass media run as it does for another 20 years while we wait for rightwingers to start seeking out DKos for information and perspective?

    Mass-Reach, Centralized Media: 300,000,000 hear the identical thing in a day or two whether they want to or not
    Internet: a few thousand volunteer to seek out something and having found it, it takes days, weeks, months, or even years to get a million or two to note the thing. If any, if ever.

    Can anyone tell me which is the more powerful instrument in determining political outcomes in both the short and longterms?

    If I want to really clean my floors, I have to first move the furniture around. If I want to have a picture hung on the wall, I first have to get my tools. Everything real in life requires doing things in order.

    If you want the citizenry to be informed, you have to remove Media Central as the determinative factor in what the public sees, hears, and discusses. I fear we (the left blogosphere) are much in the position of the fish unaware of water, as people seem continually flummoxed at the idea that mass-reach Media has held, does hold, and will continue to hold, the reins over what the American people see and hear, and there is no actually effective alternative open to us but changing that reality.

    There simply is no way around that, and we will keep losing until we break up the media monopoly on the public space. Guaranteed.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sat Jun 23, 2012 at 03:04:17 PM PDT

  •  Pitchforks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    This means of course that the worst will happpen and that pitchforks will be the response. In the course of human history more than 14,000 wars have been fought, only ten or so made any difference. Revolutions, on the other hand, always make a difference. Even the Peasants Revolt in 1381, which was crushed, ultimately brought change to England. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Take the long view. And remember what Plutarch said of republics:

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.
    We're nearly there. I dare Congress to eliminate gov't food assistance to fifty million Americans.
  •  Persuade the Persuaders (0+ / 0-)

    We'll never get anywhere unless this topic shows up in the national debate. But even our best liberal pundits don't talk about the structural problems with the economy.

    The key structural problem is our trade policy. Since we decided to outsource jobs we've lost at least a quarter of our manufacturing jobs. Since manufacturing jobs are the basis of creating wealth shipping them overseas is like shipping our wealth overseas.

    The result since the 1970s is that typical workers in the U.S. are earning now about one-half what we should be earning. Productivity soared while wages stagnated. Not only workers, but everyone dependent on them, which means small business owners as well.

    This is responsible for the huge increase in income disparity. Investors can go to China to increase their income, but workers can't.

    Until we change trade policy we will continue to see this country lose ground and the 99% on the lower rungs suffer for it.

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