Skip to main content

Wage slavery refers to a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person's livelihood depends on wages, especially when the dependence is total and immediate. It is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. The term wage slavery has been used to criticize economic economic exploitation and social stratification, with the former seen primarily as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital (particularly when workers are paid comparatively low wages, e.g. in sweatshops), and the latter as a lack of  workers' self-management, fulfilling job choices and leisure in an economy. The criticism of social stratification covers a wider range of employment choices bound by the pressures of a hierarchical society to perform otherwise unfulfilling work that deprives humans of their "species character" not only under threat of starvation or poverty, but also of social stigma and status diminution. - wikipedia
This past week I've been reminded once again how stark the difference is between two factions of this party on socioeconomic policy and economic justice. To be accurate, this distinction is never far. I see it every week. But this week especially, in the conversations about social security and the notion of "eliminate the cap, cap the benefit" (which I will refer hereafter to as ECCB).

In these discussions, a few different reasons were given as to why this was a bad idea. However, in each thread I saw in which these reasons were carefully examined, at base, in my view, they were fronts for an underlying resentment, a sense that somehow such an approach would not be fair to those who put in but do not get to take out of the insurance policy.

(This would be especially ironic for those who casually engage in other forms of insurance fraud--which is not rare at all, whether auto or homeowner's--as part of how they would get into a position of not being able to collect if benefits were capped.)

One group says that SS would cease to be wage insurance if ECCB were implemented. Huh? MOST categories and forms of insurance have caps and terms and conditions under which benefits either are not paid or their rates are reduced. So I find this argument a red herring, a decoy from real reasons for disliking ECCB.

This group also says that by introducing a "means test," by adjusting benefits based on income, we would open SS to other "means tests", such as being required to pee in a cup to receive your insurance benefit. As if any social program is not already and always under threat of being rolled back or eliminated. As if they could ever be more exposed. As if the whole goddamn reason we are having this discussion in the first place isn't because SS is on the chopping block as we speak! Christ on a cracker!

And then there's the yada-yada-yada about FDR and the careful maneuvering and such to implement the program in the first place, to make it more palatable and less susceptible to repeal, because there's such a large segment of society (including them, as it turns out) that worries more about whether someone making less would get an "unwarranted" benefit than they worry that someone making more may be getting an "unwarranted" benefit by the "earnings" they receive in the first place.

And this is where the chess board illusion disappears.

At this point ECCB opponents call it "wealth redistribution." This attack can go in a couple of different directions.

Down one path, "wealth redistribution" should be reserved for the income tax code. Which of course is how we deal with all the other safety net needs, right? And because we have been so effective at dealing with those needs upstream, such as through income taxes or say, the distribution of wealth where it happens. Yeah, our neoliberals are all over that.

Down another path, the "middle class is against people getting something for nothing," as if a) ECCB would give someone "something for nothing," and b) no segments of society other than those who retire completely dependent upon social security are the only ones ever in a position to "get something for nothing."

The rest of the twists on these arguments basically arrive at the same point: the neoliberals among us share with Mitt Romney and Republicans in general a sense that
1) The 47% (er, closer to 90%) basically deserve what they get out of the economy
2) The 1% (or 2%) "earn" what they get relative to the rest of the population, no matter how disproportionate
3) The economy is close enough to fair not to warrant much tinkering
4) Neither the 90% nor the 47% are so bad off
5) The private sector is better than the public sector
6) Extraordinarily concentrated wealth is absolutely necessary to have investment and run the economy (even though the capital is just as likely to sit on the sidelines or go gambling on derivatives...)

There is a debt crisis, of course, but no income inequality crisis.

And this is really what it is all about, folks.

This is the crowd that will also argue that executives deserve their $5, $10, $15 and $20 million dollar compensation packages, their exorbitant bonuses, and their 7-, 8-, even 9-figure parachutes, regardless of performance and in spite of the deprivation this forces upon the rest of the workforce.

Because nobody with any talent or self-respect would work for less. Which is why the Bank of North Dakota, that socialistic fortress, is doing so poorly. Because the bank President and CEO makes $232K. Which is why he and his exectuive team are so incompetent, the bank is floundering, and its patrons and the taxpayers are the worse for it. NOT.

This is a neoliberal lie. And our neoliberals support it.

This is the crowd that accepts globalization as a practical, even desirable, fact of life, and rejects the notion that trade policies would work or should even be considered. Because of course these would distort the market, put the U.S. at a disadvantage, etc., etc. Pull back those layers and once again the real reason is simply that the tippy top of the pyramid would have to sacrifice. Those in the 90% who suffer from globalization by constantly getting laid off and lower wages are simply facing things that cannot be changed. Sha-la-la man. Cue the serenity prayer.

These are neoliberal lies. And our neoliberals support them.

And this is why, after three decades of 1%er neoliberalism finally produced a financial collapse that would have destroyed the economy for the 1% at the expense of the 99% which once again save them, as is the new normal since the S&L crisis and BCCI, our neoliberals defend the banksters, not breaking up banks TBTF and lack of regulatory enforcement, rather than go to the mat for jailing them, putting derivatives in shackles, stopping the robo-signings, managing the foreclosures equitably, and slamming down some serious stimulus that scales to the size of the economic needs of the workers victimized by these criminals and their blatant scams.

Because not only have the aristocrats gained enormous power and influence, but the supply-side economics and the underlying socioeconomic attitudes have become not only socially acceptable but respectable. So much so that much of society, all neoliberals, to be sure, cannot even see the plutocracy, the concentration of wealth, the grossly constricted social mobility, the wage slavery that globalization and supply-side economics have created. If they did, we would know.

You can show our neoliberals those income distribution charts all you want -- you know, the ones that show what people think the distribution is, what they think it should be, and what it is? -- and they will give you a Dick Cheney. No, not "go fuck yourself," but "So?" Then again, that basically is "go fuck yourself." Because it sure as heck means they aren't going to sweat over it.

When neoliberals look at unemployment, they see a simple fact of the marketplace, of reality. They do not see something that could or should be eliminated. And they certainly do not see how its elimination would help them or the general welfare. What they do see are people who are lazy, won't make the effort to compete, won't take the jobs available, don't bother to make themselves marketable in the U.S. segment of the globalized marketplace, etc. And what they do see is a recovery of the 1% that is reducing the unemployment as being a good thing, even if it means that once again the 99% are trading down on earnings to remain or become employed. In spite of the fact that most have been trading down for three decades already.

When neoliberals look at under-employment, they don't see employers crafting part-time jobs in order to avoid the costs of benefits. They don't see workers caught between choosing unemployment benefits and non-livable earnings. They don't see the social impact of that. They don't see the economic impact of that. They surely don't see the injustice of it. What they do see is employers making logical choices to compete in our globalized marketplace, giving customers the goods and prices they want. What they see is an unavoidable, acceptable reality, one which they believe the "recovery" of the 1% is addressing.

When neoliberals look at employment, they do not see three decades of wage decline or stagnation for the vast majority as anything but an unavoidable result of globalization. They do not see the impact of neoliberalism and supply-side economics gorging a few and squeezing the many. Again, they do not see the possibilities and justice of trade policies broadly established and enforced by the world's lone superpower (we can police the world, but we can't regulate its economy). What they do see is things the way they are and the way they basically must and should be.

Neoliberals do not understand wage slavery. They believe that wages are set by fundamental laws of supply and demand, that people earn basically what a fair, free market determines they should make. They do not see a labor market rigged to outrageously inflate 1% of the salaries while dramatically deflating upwards of 80% of them. They do not see people forced to work under conditions and for wages that could be considered more than regrettable. They do not see the threat of not having a job or being homeless in this economy as chaining people to poor conditions and un-livable wages as being a form of bondage. No shackles, no bondage. In short, they do not see that the something that the 90% gets for nothing is the short, short end of the stick.

If you suggest as much, neoliberals will laugh at your claims of so-called "oppression."

Even worse than been flat wrong on all aspects of steroidal Reagonomics, in so doing, neoliberals of all stripes make the plutocracy not only possible but inevitable. And those neoliberals who are not in the 1% are in every way, shape and form exactly like the clan leaders and those who serve them enthusiastically in Braveheart.

When I say "do not see," I do not actually mean that in all cases neoliberals, especially Democratic neoliberals, are actually not aware or they do not care at all. What I do mean is that effectively, the net result of their efforts and actions on the above issues is such that these clearly have little priority for them. In fact, they will trade down on these on behalf of those who suffer for it at the drop of a hat, and have been doing so for three decades. And they will tell those who suffer and those who support those who suffer to suck it up and stop demanding ponies and unicorns.

They would cut social security, for example, before they would implement ECCB.

And Climate Change, well, let's not do anything rash that might disturb the status quo and their comfort level. They'll take their chances with the climate as long as they can get a decent tee time, drink the right single malt, and fatten their 401Ks in the meantime. They're not certain Climate Change is a big deal, anyway. Their pocketbook tells them so.

You see, the neoliberals in the Democratic Party clearly are getting enough of what they want. They are essentially satisfied.

Why do I say that?

1) Because if they find anything about the current socioeconomic conditions regrettable, it's clearly not enough to start a crusade over. It is certainly not enough to inconvenience themselves over. They can wait some indefinite, most likely infinite number of elections to address the needs of those with less.

2) And, if we were to say, look, if you want our votes next year, you'll have to fight for our issues our way this year, they wouldn't do it. They will say the outcomes next year are critical, but they would not lift a finger for us, join our protests, fight our battles, in order to win their elections. They would sooner lose the elections and blame us.

So they will not be fighting any harder for our causes. This much we know all too fucking well.

This, to my mind, highlights a fatal flaw in the strategy of the Democratic Party. As constructed, the Democratic Party will never, ever even embrace, much less achieve, the principles and goals in its platform. With its current strategy, which is to pursue the platform with a faction that cares so little about the general welfare it is not only willing but in some cases eager to attack it, whether economically or through the abridgement of civil rights, we can only continue to fail ourselves and those and that which we would help. The 99% will suffer. The planet will suffer.

Here's my new sig: "What is the point of letting neoliberals in the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?"

Some will argue that we will never win elections without them. That may be true. But let us not mistake them for being on our side. Let us not forget that they embrace the economic policies that destroy us. Let us not forget that all we are doing is taking a slower path to bondage and planetary destruction.

Some will argue that it will be even worse if Republicans are elected. That may be true. But we can save our energy from self-destructive tactics and pointless incrementalism and focus on strategies and tactics that provide solutions and attack our problems head on. Instead of being victims of "starve the beast" tactics, we can work outside the mainstream culture and economy and starve those beasts.

And who knows: perhaps if the pluto-democrats see that they can't get what they want without us, they will compromise with us instead of the Republicans. Perhaps instead they will jump over. Either way, we will know better what matters to them.

But given all these, what are we prepared to do?

Do we continue to work with neoliberals? Do we fight the neoliberals for our party, through primary battles and other means? Do we establish another party? Do we walk away from electoral politics and focus on protests and direct action?

Originally posted to Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

Poll

I think we should

3%5 votes
54%70 votes
10%13 votes
30%39 votes

| 128 votes | Vote | Results

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

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

?

More Tagging tips:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment Preferences

  •  The SS situation (29+ / 0-)

    shows how doubly screwed we are with neoliberals on "our side."

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:18:00 AM PDT

    •  I was all for trying to take (20+ / 0-)

      the party back from them--until the Social Security "crisis" was manufactured by their cohorts on the Right and they fell all over themselves to agree with them. And then proceeded apace with demonization of those of us who disagree.

      They think they're Democrats. That may have been true in the past, but the minute they agreed with The Right on dismantling the social contract, they ceased to be, IMO.  But because they think they are truly Democratic, it looks to me like they will never give up the party and they will never meet us halfway.

      Where to now, neolibs? If you won't meet me halfway, why should I stick with you?

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:26:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This means taking it to the people at every chance (7+ / 0-)

        We need to focus.  We need to remember that voters NEED TO REMEMBER why they voted against that bad lot, and we need to remind them.  We need to not take crazy bs seriously in the conversation, we need instead to scorn them and laugh at them and demand that they get serious, dammit....

        As attractive as the idea of a fresh political party may be, actual humans no longer have a real, physical commons on which to gather and hammer out such things;  the effort would be fatally compromised from the beginning.

        I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
        Weightless, frictionless, I fly

        by chmood on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:44:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The People don't need a reminder (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, Klusterpuck, chmood

          they need to know that all Democrats give a damn about them. And they see otherwise. It's why so many of them don't vote. And they're already willing to articulate that which some hardcore-plugged-in Dems--for whatever reason--refuse to face: these neolibs running the Democratic party apparatus look like they're beyond redemption.

           Actual humans gather in plenty of places, both in person and electronically. I reject the premise that an effort from the left to remove themselves from the neoliberal sphere is "fatally compromised"-that's based on nothing other than a personal assumption.

          It is time to #Occupy Media.

          by lunachickie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:23:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wish Obama would throw them out (4+ / 0-)

      Their bad advice led us into the electoral disaster known as 2010. And they tried to torpedo 2012 as well--Obama's first debate, when he said "I don't think there's much difference between me and Governor Romney on Social Security . . . "

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is one of them. (12+ / 0-)

        Why would he throw them out?    

        Thom Hartmann and Mike Papatonio on radio said the progressive movement didn't exist.  It was a bunch of people in solos looking out for their own special interest.   Until they can admit and correct this, the progressive movement will always lose.    

        Gay marriage, abortion, and immigration are shiny objects to keep the base fighting and distracted while they steal all of the money and power.  

        I'm done with the Democratic Party establishment and the progressive "movement".     I don't care if its a D or R cutting my Social Security, I'm tired of losing.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:24:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only reason I stay in the Democratic party (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, Klusterpuck

          is because my state party has strong progressive elements.

          Thom Hartmann is a brilliant guy but he does tend toward gloom a bit more than necessary: he predicted the polls were wrong in 2006 and Karl Rove had rigged a Republican victory, for instance.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 08:58:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But they are so brave standing up to the all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Klusterpuck, elwior

      powerful voters, eh?

      Something should be made of that.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The 147 people destroying the world. (6+ / 0-)

      http://www.alternet.org/...

      " the optimum number for a network of human acquaintances was 147.5, a figure which was then rounded up to 150 and became known as “Dunbar’s Number.” He found groups of 150-200 in all sorts of places: Hutterite settlements. Roman army units. Academic sub-specialties. Dunbar concluded that “there is a cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.”

      Around 150 or 200 people form a human being’s social universe. They shape his or her world view, his or her world.

      That means that 147 people can change the course of history. Not necessarily the same147 people, of course. But the small social groups which surround our world’s leaders have extraordinary power."

      Congress and the Administration and Wall Street are run by and for an interlocking social group. A new Versailles of aristocratic and courtiers who have no real idea about economics or sound policy and spout quotes that amount to "let them eat cake"

      To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

      by Bluehawk on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:41:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wrote a diary with an opposing view (8+ / 0-)

    yesterday as part of the Social Security Defenders blog-a-thon. A lot of good comments, including some from Words In Action.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:25:57 AM PDT

  •  Thanks WIA. (23+ / 0-)

    This is a very worthwhile discussion. A necessary one in fact.

    Personally, I think we need to sound off, make our displeasure known through protests and direct action while seeking new ways of being. The way of kuzushi has many lessons for us I think. That's why I so appreciate your recent work on intentional communities.

  •  Well then. That is one righteous rant. (9+ / 0-)

    It is clear that social security is under attack.. As so many other things that benefit us as a nation. A continued approach of more and way BETTER democrats is needed...hopefully now that the media tells us that the tea partiers and the GOP is heading into decline, it is a good time to pursue social justice.

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:32:31 AM PDT

    •  Obama was the better Democrat. (15+ / 0-)

      Ditto for most of our representatives.

      I don't think that approach is going to bear much fruit.

      We keep getting the same kind of candidates, those "who can get elected."

      And those who can get elected, in virtually every case, are those who would sacrifice the social safety net, support the MIC, curtail civil rights, stop us from getting redress for our grievances, etc.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:37:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well you know that I always try to look on the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, elwior, blueoasis

        Bright side...naive perhaps, but it gets me thru the day..;-)

        "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

        by UTvoter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:39:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You think ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emelyn, Clem Yeobright, elwior, unfangus

        that if Obama had clear supermajorities in the House and Senate, he'd be trying to cut Social Security? That's nonsense! He is desperately maneuvering to try to govern despite Republicans obstructing him at every turn. You can disagree with his strategy (indeed, in retrospect, he probably screwed up by not letting Bush's tax cuts expire completely) but sacrificing the social safety net is not his goal. And I don't believe he's going to touch security unless he gets Republicans to agree to a substantial tax increase.

      •  It's time for a litmus test... or a pledge... (5+ / 0-)

        to not touch the safety net, unless it's to do one or more of the following:

        really strengthen it
        • up the benefits
        • expand the programs to include more people.

        We like to laugh at Grover's pledge. But that's kinda foolish. In case anyone hasn't noticed, -- it works for the Republicans. One tax-hike in what 25-years? And that was only to bring rates back up to what they were before. I don't even know if one could technically call that a tax-hike.

        It's going to cost us plenty though to do it.. If a candidate signs the pledge then we have to have their back. They'll all have targets on their backs. The Pete Peterson gang will put bounties on their heads. (and on their seats too) So if you're used to spending a hundred dollars on a candidate during the election cycle you're impressed with; it'll cost you double that. And probably more often too.

        If once that candidate is elected and then steps out of line -- instant primary. Red district blue district -- doesn't matter -- primary

        I've heard there are a few left-leaning billionaires out there now (not named Bloomberg) who are ready, willing and able to put some proverbial skin in the game. They should organize quickly and start pushing Democrats to get on board.

        We'll need to organize better as well.

        This is the fight of our lives. And it's a fight we don't have to lose.

        The plutocrats are wealthy... but they are few.

        Alone, we don't have much wealth... but we are many.

        Thanks for the great diary, WIA.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:54:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We should draw up a short list of maybe five (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark, Mary Mike, Klusterpuck

          incumbents to target. Put them on notice. Make them pledge to support the 99% on every vote. Or we'll primary them. The moment they fail, immediately start building a war chest for the primary challengers on Act Blue.

          What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

          by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:03:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, and then start expanding the list when... (4+ / 0-)

            candidates realize that it's definitely in their political interest to comply.

            Having Democrats like Mark Warner say stuff like this is unacceptable:

            “You’ve got a whole lot of folks on the Republican side saying, ‘Well, we don’t really like what Ryan has done — premium support — but we want systemic reform,’ ” Mr. Warner said at a round table hosted by Bloomberg News.
            And even worse is Dick Durbin saying stuff like this that used to be blasphemy to Democrats:
            “The president has said this to the Republicans: ‘You want to do entitlement reform? I do, too. I can produce entitlement reform and bring Democrats to the table, because I am a Democratic president. And so I’m ready to sit down with you and work out an approach,’ ” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, a Democratic leader, said at a recent forum hosted by The Wall Street Journal.
            I've always respected and admired, Durbin. Till now.

            Democrats like these don't deserve to be called Democrats..
             

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:18:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Seriousness of US political candidates is based (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, Klusterpuck

        upon their ability to attract corporate sponsorship, what do you expect?

        We need to make money a liability in politics. Big spending=big sponsors.

        "NEVER vote for the dude with the most money."

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:13:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's an excellent point. A while back I saw a (3+ / 0-)

        discussion about possible Democratic Presidential candidates, which basically included nothing but corporatist Dems.  And the list was a long as my arms.

        So I Googled see what I could find about these potential Dem Presidential candidates.  Off-hand I recall two of the names.

        They were Kirsten Gillibrand from New York state.  A Google search turned up that she was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

        Another potential presidential candidate mentioned was Dem Governor Martin O'Malley.  And a Google search turned up that he was a DLC 'New Dem of the Week,' at one time.

        So, I'm beginning to wonder if part of the problem is that the Dem base (including activists) don't 'do their homework.'

        IOW, they just support anybody with a "D" in front of their name, accepting whomever the party puts forward, without question.

        If that's the case, maybe that needs to change.

        How can Dem activists fight anyone for control of the party, if they have no clue who it is that needs to be weeded out?
        IMHO, the Democratic Party needs some of what the late conservative Pastor Jerry Falwell would call "Plucking the Vine."

        I'll give the conservative Republican base credit for one thing--they are not willing to be doormats.

        And as a result, their Party Leadership appears 'to be afraid of them.'

        And our Party Leadership appears to hold us in contempt.

        Truthfully, I don't have the answer, or know exactly what we should do.  But something needs to give-- and soon.

        Maybe we can have a week of brainstorming on 'solutions' in regard to how to rid the Democratic Party of so many corporatist and/or neoliberal lawmakers.

        Now that would make for a real interesting discussion!  ;-)

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:02:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unions are the best antidote to Wage Slavery (18+ / 0-)

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:38:03 AM PDT

  •  We Need to Expand a Progressive Movement to (10+ / 0-)

    the point where we can create candidacies rather than waiting for them to spontaneously arise in the party. That's how the rightwing took over the Republicans. Even with billionaire backing they wouldn't take the risk of 3rd party nor did they believe they could get far mainly with protests.

    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 30, 2013 at 08:40:51 AM PDT

  •  Electoral Politics has failed (16+ / 0-)

    in the US.

    It's currently  a sham, and it's completely top down.

    No change will ever come of messing in it, until the top 1% is scared of us in other ways, whether via protests, union activism (not old boy's clubs) or whatnot. Maybe THEN and only then will the political class begin to respond to the needs of actual Americans.

    That's how the new deal happened; the fear of much more sweeping changes, caused the robber barons of the day to blink and bend a little bit. The same with the things we got out of the 1960's - it was fear of the left in the streets that caused the political establishment to give a little bit.

    Today, the closest we have had to that has been OWS, and the pushback against it has been harsh as the political class, and those they work for, do not want real change.

    When they fear us more, they will give us a bone, but right now liberals have proven that they will roll over and do nothing, other than maybe whining online, or hoping yet another corporate democrat will do something the last 10 corporate democrats before him or her didn't do.

  •  The way I see it, neoliberals need to prove to us (12+ / 0-)

    that they are

    1) More interested in working with us than the Republicans,
    2) Willing to sacrifice more than their time and money on elections,
    3) Willing to earn our support in electoral politics.

    At this point, I have absolutely no faith that they are on our side, that we can achieve our goals by working with them.

    And, frankly, don't think they are interested in winning our trust. Especially if it means expressing their dis-satisfaction and dissent in public, where their neighbors, bosses, peers and customers might see them taking a stand.

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:57:03 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for the diary WIA.. (5+ / 0-)

    I appreciate it. I have favored raising/eliminating the tax cap (without a corresponding benefit increase). And I said so during the last few days...

    We also need to do something about the 99ers...way too many people lost their jobs in the great recession and weren't able to find living wage employment again..

    I think we need to do everything we can to reverse the race to the bottom for the last 30 years - that includes improving the safety net, fair trade, corporate tax reform, health care for all (which we did make good progress on but still isn't finished), living wage laws, etc...

    If you look at how quickly things changed on issues like marriage equality, the war, maybe it can happen?

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:59:47 AM PDT

    •  Ahh. Good example...marriage equality has seen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, Words In Action

      A paradigm shift in recent years.

      "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

      by UTvoter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:03:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It could happen. (7+ / 0-)

      But we either need our neoliberals to actually side with us, in full force, or we need to focus on our own strategy and basically divorce the mainstream culture and economy, pull its funding, to starve the plutocracy. And hammer D.C. unrelentingly in irresistible masses.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I think it could and has to.. (5+ / 0-)

        if we are to solve our problems..

        I do see signs. For example, there's a lot more support for a living minimum wage than there was 10 years ago. I see a lot more articles by people supporting an increase not to just $9, but $10-$12...

        As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

        by joedemocrat on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:10:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I would be more optimistic (6+ / 0-)

          if there were more people actually outraged that it isn't.

          People should be boiling mad about it, IMHO.

          What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

          by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:13:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A real living wage would have to be... (4+ / 0-)

          something like 20 per hour. With paid health care for the entire family. In other words, more than double than it is now. People need enough to buy a house, buy education, enough to stay out of another form of slavery, which is debt slavery. Even 20 per hour is probably not enough.

          And ending wage slavery isn't simply increasing wages. It is allowing worker control and self management.

          This is where run-of-the-mill authoritarian/statist socialists and anarcho-socialists differ: Anarchiosts believe we must not only share the wealth, but share power and management.

          Anything less than that is still slavery. There are countless examples of the way the lives of employees (servants to the owner class) are owned by the elites. Its far more than money issues, but gets into such issues as being forced to live in areas of the employers choosing, how personal time is spent, censorship of political voice, suppression of free association, micro management of employees time, invasion of privacy with blood testing, monitoring internet expression, spying on personal finances through credit and background checks, spying on arrest records (which may reveal activism and civil disobedience), pressure to conform in religion and other social rituals, regulating manner of dress, how you wear your hair, and on and on...

          And some people call this freedom.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:50:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I've just scratched the surface. (7+ / 0-)

            Worse than all of this is the way workers are treated as if automatons, with hierarchical suppression of personal development and capabilities. They are kept in a state of dependency, or the illusion of it. Many workers have talents that never get realized and experienced, since upper level elites have a self interest in keeping them down, in their place.

            There is also the lack of job security. Employers can terminate wage employees at anytime, with no notice in most cases. They can decrease hours, switch them to different shifts, rearrange schedules, make them work weekends, holidays, demote them, transfer them.

            But the worst is the sudden lay-off or termination, that casts the employee into very real threat of bankruptcy, losing possession of homes, cars, property. Hopeless levels of debt accumulate, often not paid off for a lifetime (another form of slavery to the elites).

            The lack of equality is also quite glaring. Donald Trump can file for bankruptcy, and he trumpets the event as if a sage act on his part, while the lowly employee is stigmatized with blacklisting and is thus impoverished for years. Employers maintain dossiers (credit reports) on employees, and even may not hire the job seeker with bad credit, permanently keeping the person in a vicious circle of homelessness and poverty.

            My own employer (chairman of the board) filed for personal bankruptcy, and yet he discriminates against consumers if they have bad credit. Different rules apply to the elites. Employees are punished and go to jail for mere misdemeanors, while employers can commit felonies (wholesale fraud) and are given a bonus and a promotion or a bailout.

            Education? Forget it, it has become too expensive to go back to school. Lack of public funding and various student loan financial schemes have made getting an education a bog of quicksand one may never escape from. I'm currently delinquent in student loans, and this has cascaded into other debts I can't pay, ruining my credit and causing me to face looming bankruptcy.

            Police exist in large part to enforce property rights of the elites. If a bank window is broken by protesters, the police will raid and arrest suspects, as well as harass and brutalize, but if I am personally damaged in some way by an employer, justice is slow in forthcoming, if at all. And who can afford lawyers? Employees are relegated to the least skilled legal aid, while the employers have not only the police (another servant class) but also often have cadres of lawyers at their beck and call.  

            I could go on and on. This is not at all a state of freedom and equality for most of the working class.

            And I am still just scratching the surface.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:24:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            something like 20 per hour. With paid health care for the entire family. In other words, more than double than it is now. People need enough to buy a house, buy education, enough to stay out of another form of slavery, which is debt slavery. Even 20 per hour is probably not enough.
            Many, many jobs are going to be automated away if humanly possible in that circumstance.
            Carla Hesseltine is considering buying a few tablet devices for her bakery so customers can place orders for her signature M&M cupcakes on their own, straight from the counter.

            The reason: She fears the $7.25 an hour that she currently pays her 10 customer-service employees, mostly college students, could rise, perhaps to $9 an hour under a pledge by President Barack Obama earlier this month.

            In order for her Just Cupcakes LLC to remain profitable in the face of higher expected labor costs, Ms. Hesseltine believes the customer-ordering process "would have to be more automated" at the Virginia Beach, Va., chain, which has two strip-mall locations as well as a food van. Thus, she could eliminate the 10 workers who currently ask customers what they would like to eat.

            Businesses will furiously invest in automation technology at a rate never before seen in the history of man. Everyone will do it: places like Burger King, this cupcake place, Target, supermarkets, you name it. Getting rid of human workers will be priority #1 and businesses will get very creative about it.

            So, people like automation and software vendors will do well, but those people already make good money. Low skill workers won't be able to get a job at $7.25, $9, $20, or any other wage since the few people still working at $20 will be terrified of losing their job to the hordes of unemployed.

            In order to pay $20/hr, a business needs a job done that's worth more than $20/hr to them.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:24:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They will be automated away anyway. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Klusterpuck, joedemocrat, ZhenRen

              And who's going to prepare for that eventuality? The neoliberals? Hardly.

              With higher wages, a flatter compensation pyramid, and muscular trade policy and enforcement to prevent labor and environmental exploitation, we'd have an economy that would boom.

              There's no point having $7.25/.hour jobs, for anyone. Nobody can live on that. So then we have to subsidize those jobs through government.

              What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

              by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:58:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So... (3+ / 0-)

              That's why workers need to take control of Labor, occupy the workplace, equally and democratically  share the fruits of production, and send Ayn Randian libertarians off to... whichever regime will take them.

              Automation is fine. Guess who created these machines? And guess who should enjoy the leisure time these machines create?

              You're stuck in an outdated, elitist paradigm that serves the ruling class.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:09:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  is your boss a member of the ruling class? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                I've yet to meet one of them after 20+ years in the labor market.

                To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

                by soros on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:38:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Klusterpuck

                  My boss is worth about 20 million or more.

                  And he treats me as if I'm an ant, despite the fact I am wayyyyy more educated than he is. He uses me as if I'm an inanimate asset he owns.

                  What's your net worth?

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:04:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My networth is irrelevant to this conversation. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk

                    And so the net worth of your boss but you seem convinced that because your education he should be asking you for advice.  

                    Why aren't you the boss?  

                    Maybe, you should just tell him how to properly run his business.

                    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

                    by soros on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:20:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your net worth (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Klusterpuck

                      would inform me of your economic interests in capitalist society, and thus would give me useful information as to your status. It is highly relevant. And you don't get to dictate what sort of information is useful to me. You aren't in control here.

                      The net worth of my boss is, for the same reasons, highly relevant. Enormous wealth provides privilege. That is undeniable in capitalism if you've been paying attention. I've known many wealthy persons. There are recognizable patterns of behavior that are perceptible.

                      As to your question:

                      Why aren't you the boss?  

                      Maybe, you should just tell him how to properly run his business.

                      My, the overtones of social Darwinism that laces this query. I'm not the boss because I've chosen a different path in life. But I could do my employers job far better than he, at this juncture. I simply don't like this form of exploitation, and thus have gone a different way.

                      Implicit from your remark is he is one of those "job creators" we've all insufferable heard about from right wingers. And yet, without people like me he wouldn't be able to organize his enterprise. We, his staff, make him successful. Without us, he would not succeed. It is only due to private property that he can dominate the rest of us. He is a fool, but his ambition has driven him forward in an industry in which once one has a bit of wealth, it can be easily expanded. I've once been in his shoes, and I decided it wasn't for me.

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:36:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  " I've chosen a different path in life" (0+ / 0-)

                        That's your choice and maybe one day you'll be the the person everybody calls Boss but until then you should butt out of their affairs, unless specifically asked.

                        To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

                        by soros on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:29:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I've been the boss... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Klusterpuck

                          It didn't conform to my principles.

                          Being a boss is inherently exploitative, due to owning the means of production. It is one of the most selfish, authoritarian acts I've ever committed.

                          And no one has some sort of inherent right to have dominion over others.

                          Tell me, who made exploitation a human right?

                          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                          by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:34:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I had an employee leave this week (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            zero notice.  Should I sue them because obviously they were so valuable to my business but I just couldn't see through the fog of exploitation?

                            To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

                            by soros on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:02:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What makes you think... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            you are owed anything at all from the employee? Have you ever fired an employee without notice? The employee effectively fired you as a boss. But you most likely have far more wealth than the employee who worked as you wage slave.

                            Why should the employee consider your pain?

                            I'm curious: How much was the employee paid?

                            Are you actually thinking that the relationship was equal? Really?

                            I've had a glass of two of champagne, so I'm in a good mood, by the way. ;)

                            Heh.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:12:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Why should the employee consider your pain?" (0+ / 0-)

                            Why should I consider theirs?  

                            To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

                            by soros on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:27:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why should workers (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action

                            (the vast majority) put up with you at all?

                            If they all rose up, as they have in other periods of history, and decided you were expendable (which you clearly are) you might end up sweeping the floor of your enterprise, or at least making an equal wage, as part of the team.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:33:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You know... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            It wouldn't be so bad for you if this happened, depending on how much you make.

                            During the Spanish Civil War, where anarcho-socialists took control of large regions of Spain, some business owners actually experienced improvements in their lives.

                            Ya never know... it could be good for you. Less stress.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:44:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Soros, you obviously don't (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Klusterpuck

                            consider employee's pain?

                            But someone has to, unless you prefer living in a world of misery. Maybe you do.

                            The only question is whether you are going to be a force for making something positive or negative out of capitalism. Nihilists can't make anything positive.

                            What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                            by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:14:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  champagne? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            maybe you watched the Shockers advance to the Final 4?

                            Thank you very much.

                          •  Oh fuck... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            I am one of those strange souls who knows nothing about sports. LOL!

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:35:43 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  very good (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            knowing your champagne is really all that matters

                          •  Now that... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                            is the best thing I've heard all day!

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:39:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Obviously you didn't have a very good rapport. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Klusterpuck

                            In all my years of business with literally over a thousand employees, I didn't have more than a handful like that.

                            I always talked to them up front, said, "look, I understand people change their minds about jobs. If you get to the point you feel you need, don't just disappear. Talk to me and we'll work something out so you can look for a job and I can prepare for your departure. That and developing a relationship based on trust pretty much always does it."

                            Let me guess, you always give them two weeks notice (and or a severance) when you let them go... Somehow, that doesn't sound like you.

                            What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                            by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:17:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Private property (0+ / 0-)

                      puts my employer in a position to take economic and social advantage of other individuals by exploiting them with the power derived from his control of assets.

                      It is not due to some vast ability he has that others lack, but rather the power of owning the means of production.

                      No one should be able to control the rest of us simply due to exclusive domination of assets.

                      That is akin to asking the "owner" of a well for a glass of water, after crawling through a desert for miles in blistering sunlight, only to come to an oasis, habituated by a person who has taken possession of a natural spring, who demands the thirsty traveler to become a slave for the rest of his useful life, if he wants to survive.

                      Who decides who owns what? Basically, outside of a collective community or family, it is the one with the greatest degree of strength. I say "outside of a collective community" because only strangers tend to treat other strangers with such callous indifference. Capitalism renders us all as strangers, "free" to exploit each other as if there is no mutual relationship between us beyond one of power and greed.

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:20:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You think you live in a meritocracy? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Klusterpuck

                      You hiding behind that one?

                      Look, I spent 15 years as a corporate executive and another 10 as a small business owner. I've seen it all. I've seen all you people who think you've earned and deserve everything you can take. Well, very few of you do.

                      Let me spend a couple of days, people with whom you've worked, employees, customers,  and going over your books, and I will lay out an ironclad case that demonstrates that you didn't build it, Mitt. Not nearly as much as you are prepared to credit for.

                      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                      by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:26:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  By the way... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Klusterpuck

                  Most employers are by definition the ruling class if they can hire and fire wage employees.

                  They have authority over other individuals, and are in a position to inflict severe economic control and thus economic damage to workers. The have the power to ruin lives. Thus, they rule over worker's lives. That is a fact, no matter how much money employers make, or don't make. It is the nature of the beast.

                  If you haven't met them, then you don't understand the nature of the labor market, and don't perceive the power of the owner class, or... you are somehow insulated from experiencing this.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:14:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Then you obviously don't friends in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Klusterpuck

                  high places.

                  I've worked with them and I've had them as customers. Either way, you do it long enough, you'll see the worst humanity has to offer. The stories are true.

                  Jamie Dimon amd Lloyd Blankenfeld are not anomalies.

                  These are people who not only want your last dime, but would just as soon have you working exactly as they did back in those Dickens' novels. How do I know? That's exactly what they do when they can in some part of the world they think know one is watching.

                  And these are the people you not only defend and protect, these are the people you emulate.

                  That's why I say: we have nothing in common. We as party cannot achieve the goals set down in the party platform with people like you propping up supply-side economics, vulture capitalism and disaster capitalism at every turn.

                  What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                  by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:22:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  No one cares (0+ / 0-)

                You can 'take control of labor' all you want.

                They will invent a machine to replace laborers and then do so.

                Automation is fine. Guess who created these machines? And guess who should enjoy the leisure time these machines create
                So... supermarket checkout cashiers design and manufacture self checkout machines? Who knew?

                The people automated out of a job are never the machine designers, who pretty much just go on to automate something else afterwards.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:30:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You may not realize this... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                  but engineers are part of the working class.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:38:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And those designs (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Klusterpuck

                  are made using the efforts of countless other developments, made by countless other individuals through history. Why should a step forward belong to a few private individuals?

                  There is no way to measure the contributions of society to make possible that one small step forward in technology. No one creates anything in a vacuum, all due to one's own efforts.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:41:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                    are made using the efforts of countless other developments, made by countless other individuals through history.
                    All of whom were compensated for their individual contributions when they made them.
                    Why should a step forward belong to a few private individuals?
                    Because they took the step, and other people didn't.

                    Besides, everyone benefits from better technology in the form of lower prices and improvements.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:14:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Exhibit F: the 'deification of money' fallacy (0+ / 0-)
                      are made using the efforts of countless other developments, made by countless other individuals through history
                      All of whom were compensated for their individual contributions when they made them.
                      I'm guessing you like 'work for hire' laws, where anything you do at all belongs to your employer because you're employed by them.  After all, they're being compensated by their regular paychecks - no need to even discuss how much more you'll make off of them by appropriating their so-called private efforts, right?  I mean, they got paid, so we're all square!

                      Right?

                      I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
                      Weightless, frictionless, I fly

                      by chmood on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 10:53:54 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  The point is whether or you are (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Klusterpuck

                  involved in making something positive or negative out of that situation.

                  Capitalism is nihilistic.

                  If we want to make sure we don't have a world of suffering and misery, at least some of us have to come up with a way to avoid that.

                  Because I know, from my experience as both a corporate executive and as a small business owner, it's all too easy to ignore the people involved and just focus on the numbers, which is exactly what most people in those positions wind up doing.

                  So which side are on you on?

                  What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                  by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:10:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I was just introduced to this recently (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk

              At a Jack-in-the-Box in California..  there's a little ATM like terminal sitting next to the counter.   Just walk up, totally touch screen operated.. punch in your order with coupon codes if applicable and they cook your order without any human interraction.

              I don't know if this is at every JinB franchise but it was very convenient not having to deal with a person behind the counter.

              To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

              by soros on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:36:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that's going to happen no matter what. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Klusterpuck

                Labor expenses are always going to be minimized.

                The question is whether you are going to do something positive or negative with that. Because the neoliberals aren't going to think about anything but their own bottom line.

                That's one of the problems with pure capitalism that we as a society to need address.

                Unless you want to climb over homeless people every where you go. Perhaps you do.

                What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                by Words In Action on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:06:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The key to the problem right there (0+ / 0-)
                  Labor expenses are always going to be minimized.
                  Maybe one day that will be one of the line-item failings of capitalism @ Wikipedia, but as long as we continue to consider all economic questions, answers and circumstances from the perspective of the capitalist, that quote means that people will die under the illusion that fairness and justice have been served.
                  Labor expenses are always going to be minimized.
                  conceals the fact that capitalists kill people as indifferently as homeowners kill roaches.  People CANNOT matter if capital is to be preserved and "given its due".

                  Money and power are their own value system, and not a value system like is taught in any real society on earth.  These are, it seems, the values of the ruling class itself.  Everyone else exists to be used or disposed of.  There is no appeal;  requesting one is insulting.  If you have the upper hand, use it - ruthlessly - and if you don't, negotiate what you can and bide your time.

                  Indeed, it's "people's" fault if they've allowed themselves to be injured by the singularly self-interested pursuits of others.  They should have made "better choices".

                  The rush into the New Feudalism has picked up alarming speed.

                  I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
                  Weightless, frictionless, I fly

                  by chmood on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:15:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Got it: Property is theft. (0+ / 0-)

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:21:21 AM PDT

  •  they see and accept this (6+ / 0-)

    They certainly see this.  But they accept it. It is the result of globalization.  What has happened was expected.  

    The companies that own American politicians are not American companies. They have no country.  They are multi national.  They own politicians in many countries.  

    If you want to get elected, you have to do what they want.  Obama understands this.  As do Pelosi and Reid.  

    Democats like Andrew Cuomo understand this well.

    For the second consecutive year, a coalition of business leaders supportive of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spent more money on lobbying in New York State last year than any other group, according to a report the state ethics commission released on Thursday.
    And, of course, Hillary got it all a long time ago.
  •  I have missed so many diaries you've done (5+ / 0-)

    On intentional communities.
    But now I'm following thanks to OPOL's link up there. Probably won't be there when they're live because I'm at work all the time but I really really appreciate all the research you're doing.
    There's a lot to catch up on.. and then the links are going to go places too.

    Kind of OT but kind of not.

  •  all that hope we had (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks Words for the excellent diary!

    When you think back to November 2008, all that hope we had, can we find a way to get it back?

    Mr. President,
    Who are you and what did you do with the man I voted for?

    I remember November in 2008........
    We had the audacity to hope

    Take good heed cause the world still needs the man I voted for.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:58:03 AM PDT

  •  Good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Klusterpuck

    but I don't think all that bolding is doing what you intended. At least to my eyes.

  •  I don't think we can work with the neoliberals (6+ / 0-)

    anymore than we can work with the neocons.  Two philosophies that are antithetical to democracy and justice.  Working within the two party system isn't going to work either.  Even if the democratic party is improved there is still the other half of the plutocracy, the republican party.  Establishing another third party could be part of a solution but not under the current system which is hopelessly corrupted. There are constant roadblocks at every turn.   It needs to be torn down and rebuilt, like an old motor.  
    I prefer direct democracy at this poiint, representative democracy is never going to work.   Humans are too fallible.  Direct democracy has brought us gay marriage and legalization of marijuana to name a couple recent issues.  
    I still think we should try one thing and see if it works.  We are all under the thumbs of the very rich, particularly the central banks.  We should start by abolishing them and establishing true public banks.   Then abolish US imperialism and call for our own New World Order of Peace with all global citizens.  

    "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:17:24 AM PDT

  •  Sorry but you are wrong. You can name call me if (0+ / 0-)

    you want but I disagree with you.

  •  Why do you think Simpson and Bowles want means (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    Testing? Do you think that's compassion or strategy by Simpson and Bowles?

  •  By "wage slavery" do you mean jobs? Who here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    Can say honestly their job is compable to the suffering of a real slave?

    •  Read the definition and then the diary. (3+ / 0-)

      As I said:

      Neoliberals do not understand wage slavery. They believe that wages are set by fundamental laws of supply and demand, that people earn basically what a fair, free market determines they should make. They do not see a labor market rigged to outrageously inflate 1% of the salaries while dramatically deflating upwards of 80% of them. They do not see people forced to work under conditions and for wages that could be considered more than regrettable. They do not see the threat of not having a job or being homeless in this economy as chaining people to poor conditions and un-livable wages as being a form of bondage. No shackles, no bondage. In short, they do not see that the something that the 90% gets for nothing is the short, short end of the stick.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:33:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you looking at it from an anarchist or liberal (0+ / 0-)

        perspective?

        •  Human. (4+ / 0-)

          One with empathy.

          Not only did I read Nickled and Dimed, I get it. I know it's true. And it's getting worse every year, including during the "recovery" that the 1% has been enjoying.

          What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

          by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:45:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you know the history of the term Wage slavery? (0+ / 0-)
            •  Well... (3+ / 0-)

              Wiki:

              The view that working for wages is akin to slavery was already present in the ancient world, beginning with the notion of prostitution as temporary slavery.[25] At a time when self-sale contracts were one of the most direct ways to become a citizen in ancient Rome,[26] Cicero wrote in his De Officiis that

                  whoever gives his labor for money sells himself and puts himself in the rank of slaves.

              The first articulate description of wage slavery was made by Simon Linguet in 1763:

                  The slave was precious to his master because of the money he had cost him . . . They were worth at least as much as they could be sold for in the market . . . It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm labourers to till the soil whose fruits they will not eat and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live . . . It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him . . . what effective gain [has] the suppression of slavery brought [him ?] He is free, you say. Ah! That is his misfortune . . . These men . . . [have] the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is, need. . . . They must therefore find someone to hire them, or die of hunger. Is that to be free?[19]

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:06:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  From the article you linked (0+ / 0-)
                The view that wage work has substantial similarities with chattel slavery was actively put forward in the late 18th and 19th centuries by defenders of chattel slavery (most notably in the Southern states of the US), and by opponents of capitalism (who were also critics of chattel slavery).[10][27] Some defenders of slavery, mainly from the Southern slave states argued that Northern workers were "free but in name – the slaves of endless toil," and that their slaves were better off.[28][29] This contention has been partly corroborated by some modern studies that indicate slaves' material conditions in the 19th century were "better than what was typically available to free urban laborers at the time."[30][31] In this period, Henry David Thoreau wrote that "[i]t is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself."[32]
                The description of wage workers as wage slaves was not without controversy. Many abolitionists in the United States regarded the analogy as spurious.[33] They believed that wage workers were "neither wronged nor oppressed".[34] The abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass declared "Now I am my own master" when he took a paying job.[35] Abraham Lincoln and the republicans "did not challenge the notion that those who spend their entire lives as wage laborers were comparable to slaves", though they argued that the condition was different, as laborers were likely to have the opportunity to work for themselves in the future, achieving self-employment.[36]
                •  Indeed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                  and that period is subsequent to the historical references, dating back to the Romans, given earlier in the article.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:16:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Seems to me you are being obtuse. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen, Klusterpuck, Mr Robert

                  Hiding behind an almost comical literalness?

                  They do not see the threat of not having a job or being homeless in this economy as chaining people to poor conditions and un-livable wages as being a form of bondage. No shackles, no bondage.

                  What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                  by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:19:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A choice between homlessness and wage slavery (3+ / 0-)

                    (which of course isn't merely lack of a home, but lack of food, decent clothing, a place to bathe and practice normal hygiene, a place to rest, as well as the liberty that goes with that...)

                    is not freedom.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:36:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Then all of us are "slaves" (0+ / 0-)

                      The things you mention require work to maintain. If workers don't do the work, it doesn't get done and there is no food, clothing, bathing, etc.

                      Reality enslaves people because maintaining a standard of living requires work. No work means no living standard and you starve.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:27:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                        You're ignoring the class difference between the owner class and the worker class. One has enormous power over the working class, while the other has realistically very little power.

                        And as I've said to you before, your "left -libertarian" label is incorrectly used. Libertarianism, as a political philosophy, began with libertarian socialists (anarchists) in the 1800s in Europe. The American usage is completely wrong, since there is nothing truly "liberating" about Ayn Randian "free" market nonsense, in which people are treated not as people, but as machines or wage slaves.

                        Let me guess: You're fairly well off.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:38:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Under other circumstances (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Klusterpuck, ZhenRen

                        people would have employment options and working conditions and pay would be more equitable. If an employer was creating exploitative conditions, one could leave. Today, almost the whole market on the bottom half of the economy offers lousy jobs for even worse pay and no benefits.

                        Over the past three decades, neoliberal culture has destroyed all that. Destroyed it. Without even putting up a fight.

                        What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

                        by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And the people at the bottom (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Words In Action, Klusterpuck

                          realistically can't quit employment even under full employment conditions, since there are barriers to employment if one has poor credit (due to earning inadequate wages) or has inadequate skills (due to lack of educational opportunities).

                          The idea that workers can just quit and go elsewhere is a myth perpetrated by the free market zealots. It simply doesn't reflect reality.

                          And one doesn't need to be at the bottom to experience this. Employers have all the power: They can give a poor recommendation, write unfair, disparaging work performance reports, and a host of other assaults, leaving the victim unemployable.

                          Again, I'm just scratching the surface. Most intellectuals of the professional class (the typical dkos habitue') are completely clueless about the true powerlessness of the working class.

                          Oh, but they can write fine diaries... and get rec'd up to the high heavens.

                          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                          by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:06:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  And this is a really awful strawman (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Words In Action, Klusterpuck
                        If workers don't do the work, it doesn't get done and there is no food, clothing, bathing, etc.
                        I'm sorry, but who the fuck said worker's don't do the work? Workers do all the work. Workers love to work and be productive. It makes them feel worthy and wholesome. It makes them feel as if they have value.

                        That is why they are called working class. Because they labor most days of their lives.

                        My god... you're out of touch.

                        In the anarchist regions of Spain during the Spanish Civil War, involving as much as 7 to 8 million people for a period of almost three years, workers were incentivized more than ever to go to work (since the workplace eliminated bosses) and the workers who had always performed well and knew their jobs well were able to democratically self manage the workplace.

                        It's always been the rank and file workers who know how to keep utilities functioning, keep the railroads working, and the factories producing. Guess what? The management class isn't as indispensable as they have mesmerized themselves into thinking. They fled to the fascist regions of Spain, or they stayed on and received equal wages, but the workers got along just fine with or without them.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:24:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, Klusterpuck, Mr Robert

              But I don't come to it from a school of thought, socialist or anarchist, so much as from observations of what has evolved the past thirty years, the existence and import of which neoliberals seem completely oblivious.

              What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

              by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 12:13:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Desribe what these labels mean to you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, Klusterpuck

          and people might be better able to answer this question.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well then, form your own party. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Personally, I like this point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, UTvoter
    And, if we were to say, look, if you want our votes next year, you'll have to fight for our issues our way this year, they wouldn't do it. They will say the outcomes next year are critical, but they would not lift a finger for us, join our protests, fight our battles, in order to win their elections. They would sooner lose the elections and blame us.
    That says it all.

    It will be horrible if the Republicans win, but not so horrible that they will work with us in the meantime.

    “Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers -- and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers." - Chris Hedges

    by Klusterpuck on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:13:23 PM PDT

    •  Yeah. Imagine them compromising and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klusterpuck

      cooperating with US for a change.

      Can you imagine them coming to our rallies and supporting us and the Party platform in public, where their neighbors, family members, bosses, peers, workers, vendors, customers, etc., might actually see them standing up for what are presumably their principles?

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:22:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I understand where you are coming from (0+ / 0-)

    but this is where liberalism and I part ways: paying in and not getting anything back when it is designed that way OR not paying in and getting something out. How do you morally justify this? Isn't that part of the idea so that those we do know and love will also benefit from the system and not always the nameless faces for the 'greater good' and 'societal benefit'? To toil and pay so you can die doing your civic duty while no one you know can benefit sounds like a hollow call to action that can only be sustained passionately for so long. And it's not a ME/MINE mentality to want to see it this way.

    •  How do you morally justify (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klusterpuck

      letting 1% take 24% of the income? How od you morally live with 50% of the population having 1% of the wealth? How do you live with people earning and trying to live with $7.25?

      That's what the neoliberals have created. That's what we have allowed, working with them.

      Isn't that part of the idea so that those we do know and love will also benefit from the system and not always the nameless faces for the 'greater good' and 'societal benefit'?
      They would still get some amount up to whatever the cap is (I don't know, $50K/yr?). But of they otherwise have income of $200K or more during retirement, then they wouldn't get more than the $50K from SS, for example.

      Give the immorality of our entire economy, yeah, I could morally live with that.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would say that if someone has a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, UTvoter

      retirement income of $500,000, then maybe they wouldn't get any SS check.

      Cause at that point, I'm going to guess they got more than their share in earnings and tax breaks and government services on the way to retirement already.

      “Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers -- and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers." - Chris Hedges

      by Klusterpuck on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:53:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  100 votes in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klusterpuck, UTvoter

    96 for ditching the neoliberals.

    87 for taking back the party or focusing on protests and direct action.

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:06:09 PM PDT

  •  Dangerous territory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Klusterpuck

    You're talking about Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. We saw the beginnings of this fight in the lead up to 2000. George W Bush was able to rally the democrats together to some extent, even as the Iraq War betrayal by much of the Dem leadership exacerbated the tension. In 2008 many of us saw what we wanted to see in the rorscharch test that was Barack Obama's candidacy. But the administration's handling of the financial sector quickly brought these tensions bubbling back up. The effect of the Bush/Gore/Nader situation I think is finally starting to wear off and those of us who oppose the neoliberal agenda are getting tired of going along to get along just because there are currently plenty of Republican boogeymen to point to. I think there might be room growing for a populist economic reform candidate, but I could be wrong. It could be that the masses really are pacified enough to accept the continuing downward spiral. I worry though that when we eventually do reach that critical moment in which the masses do radicalize that the people best poised to embrace and mobilize them will be the more fascistic movements rather than the more socialistic movements.

    "Today is who you are" - my wife

    by I Lurked For Years on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:11:01 PM PDT

    •  You could be right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klusterpuck
      I worry though that when we eventually do reach that critical moment in which the masses do radicalize that the people best poised to embrace and mobilize them will be the more fascistic movements rather than the more socialistic movements.
      The longer we continue on the "downward spiral" that the neoliberals have us on, the greater that chance. The guns aren't being stockpiled for nothing.

      Populism sells on the campaign trail. It would kill in office.
      Our problem is getting any kind of critical mass of good representatives in office. You can count 'em on one hand, and we need hundreds.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:21:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am re-reading the grapes of wrath. it is (4+ / 0-)

    interesting to hear the characters rail against 'them'. the bankers. not alot has changed.

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:12:13 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site