- "The Economy" refers to the fortunes of the 2%
- "The Economy" is the only thing that matters
- "The Economy" is the only option on any public menu
To even the most casual eye of the kind of Democrat who believes in the Democratic Party platform, the neoliberal approach to "The Economy" is inherently, categorically, undeniably a system of Economic Discrimination. Neoliberal capitalism, embraced by the Third Way, is an attack on Economic Civil Rights.
I am as committed to Economic Civil Rights as I am to any others, even more so now because too many people are being made ever more vulnerable to the predation of the rich. Among other things, lack of economic rights impairs our ability to achieve and defend all other individual rights. These Rights include wages, benefits SUCH AS SOCIAL SECURITY, working conditions, available employment, the tax code, global trade laws and all other policies that affect livable economic conditions and the equitable, healthy distribution/concentration of income and wealth. I won't accept and I will fight against every form of discrimination, including the ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION AND INJUSTICE inherent in Third Way neoliberal capitalism.
There was a time that neoliberal capitalism was predominantly a Republican thing. Democrats were more likely to consider factors in addition to profits and more likely to think of "the economy" as being healthy when it worked for everyone. Not always, but more likely.
Democrats knew, as even George H.W. Bush knew, that supply-side neoliberal capitalism is a make-the-rich-richer scheme masquerading as economic theory.
Democrats knew from history that capitalism in a democracy required a robust Mixed Economy, with strong regulations and regulatory enforcement to protect all parties from avoidable catastrophic risk and bad actors.
Democrats knew from history that social programs are sometimes the best or even only way to pursue and maintain certain aspects of the general welfare.
Twenty years ago, Third Way Democrats embraced neoliberalism, agreeing with the titans of capitalism and their enthusiasts in the Republican Party that the profits and the economy of the wealthiest few were of preeminent importance to the general welfare.
By "virtue" of the Third Way, neoliberal capitalism became a mainstream government thing.
And that's why sticklers may now accurately describe our form of government as an oligarchy or plutocracy: a government of, by, and for the most wealthy.
So we have that going for us.
The politicians who run our plutocracy and their supporters who understand "The Economy" are VSPs. Remember that. This means they may be eaten last. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise. No guarantees. And that's all they ask. That they stand a decent chance of not being eaten before you or me. I know, right?
In reality, neoliberal capitalism and the Third Way have been incredibly destructive to 98% of the population and democratic institutions in general.
Add that to what has and continues to happen to wages, benefits, working conditions and the availability of employment at all and, well, some people are concerned. The ones not receiving "supplements" from the Third Way matrix.
Modern U.S. Democracy
As of now, in our non-democracy we are as yet allowed to:
- work on and donate to campaigns and vote in elections of candidates who will almost unanimously become members of the Third Way
- write letters and sign petitions that will be ignored
- ask for information that will largely be denied and/or redacted
- engage in whistleblower activity to create transparency where none is forthcoming and be viciously detained and prosecuted
- assemble and/or march briefly in pre-designated areas under heavy surveillance and threat of serious military intervention and be ignored
Third Wayers will not draw the line. They will not stop Third Way policies even as they do more destruction to the 98%. In fact, they will defend these policies against us in every way necessary -- using brute force if necessary -- to prevent us from interfering with the Third Way.
Third Wayers have reasons for their beliefs and behaviors...
They do not matter.
Ideology, strategy, pragmatism...
It matters the fuck not.
What matters is that the Third Way serves the plutocracy, not the 98%, and it shows no awareness, much less remorse for the damage it has done and continues to do. There is no future in the Third Way for the 98%. And, for all intents and purposes, the Third Way IS the Democratic Party.
I have the Democratic Party's back every two years. The Party is incredibly finicky and stingy about when it has mine. No more.
Here is my own quid pro quo to the Third Way/Democratic Party:
I will not support any candidate who supports the Third Way and is perpetuating the downfall of the 98%.
I will not support any party operatives or supporters during elections unless they actively and aggressively support the advancement of Economic Civil Rights in every way undertaken by the Left between elections.
The Democratic Party was swept into power in 2008 on the HOPE that it would represent the 98% against a 2% that had so recklessly and criminally taken us to war, ignored the environment, and destroyed the economy.
The Democratic Party proved in 2009-2010 that it will lose an election if it serves the plutocracy.
The Democratic Party won against a gift plutocratic candidate in 2012.
If the Democratic Party cares about winning more than serving the plutocracy, which many suspect it does not, then it can woo the voters in 2013-2014 with populist policies and win the mid-term elections.
It's the Democratic Party's choice to continue as the Third Way Party and lose in 2014 as it did in 2010 or once again become the Democratic Party and win.
Don't blame me for the consequences of your decision, Dems.
And from now on, you pay as you go. Economic justice. NO THIRD WAY PLUTOCRACY SCRIP ACCEPTED.
In October 1967, [the Diggers] staged The Death of Hippie, a parade in the Haight-Ashbury where masked participants carried a coffin with the words "Hippie--Son of Media" on the side. The event was staged in such a way so that any media that simply described it would be transmitting the Digger message that Hippies were a media invention. This was called "creating the condition you describe" and was used skillfully by the Diggers to control the media. Their own publications, notably the Digger Papers, are the origin of such phrases as "Do your own thing" and "Today is the first day of the rest of your life". - wikipedia
Perhaps we ought to be preparing for a Death of the "Democratic" Third Way parade and ceremony, one that forces media and the Party to discuss the fact that the Third Way is a plutocratic invention. The Third Way is a destructive tool, created by plutocratic forces, taken up by the Democratic establishment. It mines the 98% for the 2%.
Maybe the 4th of July? or some other Independence from the Third Way Day? With a reception/party/dance afterwards, like a real celebratory funeral?
I've read the coffin for Hippie was 15'.
I've read that groups of 75 or less may march without a permit in D.C. How about hundreds of groups carrying coffins all around D.C., then arriving un-announced somewhere for a large ceremony with someone like Bernie Sanders presiding?
FYI, I know of one original Digger kossack. (Well, not the 1649 Diggers...)
Alternatively, how about a public exorcism of Third Way from Democrat?
Whatever we do, if we do it and it's not in June, I will fly to D.C. to participate.
I came to this thought by way of Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, a book and website with a fascinating collection of Tactics, Principles, Theories, Case Studies, Practioners -- all about various forms of social activism. I really think anyone who knows that electoral politics is only a small piece of the solution going forward ought to treat this like a reference work and a bible and just keep going back to it over and over until light-bulbs flash and action happens and change occurs. It's going to be trial and error from here on out. There's no map for taking apart this monster with TR or FDR slugging it out at the top. So we're going to have to kick out the pillars of support and topple it from below.
Modern Neoliberal Capitalism: What's "Good for the Economy?"
- Institutional and individual concentration of wealth
- Mergers and acquisitions that consolidate markets, like media
- Ever-increasing executive compensation and stratified income
- Union-busting and globalization; exploiting employees and the environment
- Deficit spending for the MIC and for tax cuts for corporations and the rich
- Austerity for everyone but corporations and the rich
- Maximum expense, minimum result healthcare & insurance
- All of the above energy solutions (even during a climate crisis)
- De-regulation and/or regulatory abdication
- Corporate welfare
- Offshore tax havens for corporations and the rich
- Bail-outs for criminal financial institutions but not their victims
- Tax and regulation free derivatives gambling casino
- Legal immunity for Wall Street institutions and individuals
DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th
(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. Guest crosspost by Yves Smith
3:00 p.m. poopdogcomedy
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Friday April 12
1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find email contact information here
2. Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!". Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Email contact page is here.
3. Petitions. There are a number of petitions available. Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.
a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
4. Social Media. Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary. Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.
Blogathon diaries you might have missedMonday:
Hell No! #NoGrandBargain: "Pushing back at the Grand Bargain" by Roger Fox
Hell No! Chained CPI will reduce eligability for EITC #noChainedCPI by Roger Fox
Hell No! Dan Pfeiffer: "The President's Budget Shows That He is Serious About Solving Deficits" by eXtina
Guest Crosspost, Yves Smith: Obama Wants to Be the President Who Rolled Back the New Deal by Yves Smith via joanneleon
IA-Sen: Tom Harkin (D) Needs Our Help Telling Obama Hell No To The Chained CPI by poopdogcomedy
Hell No! Stop crushing the poor by Horace Boothroyd III
Hell, No! Social Security Contributes Nothing To Deficit by slinkerwink
Hell No! No Grand Bargain: Chained CPI: Social Security Means So Much To So Many by joedemocrat
Hell No! No Grand Bargain Liveblog 2014 Budget press conference by joanneleon