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 I was entering the BART transit system last week and I saw BART workers handing out informational flyers. Suddenly I heard someone yelling "$30 an hour".
  Some middle-aged, white guy was yelling at the BART worker that they were getting $30 an hour. "I'm not making $30 an hour," the guy complained loudly. I didn't hear the BART worker reply, if he did.

  I don't know why, but I felt compelled to walk over there and give my two cents.
I approached the guy who was complaining and without introduction I said, "Mister, you are right."
  He turned to me, slightly surprised but pleased. But before he could say anything I said, "You DO deserve to make $30 an hour."

 The complaining guy started to respond, and then stopped. And then started to say something again. And then stopped again.
   I think I could just faintly hear his mind being blown.
 I walked away without waiting for him to form a response.

  I don't remember where I first learned that you need to listen to what someone means, rather than just what they say.
   But it seemed obvious that if this guy was rich he wouldn't have cared less how much the BART workers were making. He only cared because they were making more than him. The media had appealed to his petty side and struck gold.

  If people have a choice, they would rather move up in the world than pull everyone else down to their level. But if they can't move up, then they sure as Hell don't want the next guy to.
  Yes, we really are crabs in a bucket, and the right-wing, corporate media knows it.
   It's the same sort of pettiness that inspired impoverished white racists to support Jim Crow laws, eventhough they gained almost nothing by it except a false sense of worth. It's the same sort of pettiness that inspires a schoolyard bully to victimize a smaller kid because he needs an outlet for his anger.

  It's a shame the BART worker couldn't have articulated a decent response, but that is the sad state of labor unions today. When they ejected all their communists and socialists they also rejected the rhetoric and ideals of worker solidarity. They became nothing more than collections of guilds. They lost the ability to inspire.
  If the BART worker was a real union man, he would have told the guy exactly what I said. Because that's what union people do - they try to help each other up rather than drag each other down. Then he would have pointed him in the direction of a helpful union hall and gave him some words of encouragement. Finally, he would have said a few things about worker solidarity. Because that's one thing that the Occupy movement had figured out - it really is us workers against the ruling elite.

  We need to step outside of the paradigm that the politicians and right-wing corporate media has created. The guy next to you really isn't your enemy.
  That's how I blew the complaining guy's mind.
   He was so focused on how he was being victimized that when I turned his primary complaint on its head his mind locked up like the transmission of a truck when you suddenly shift into reverse on the highway.

  I clearly remember in the days after 9/11 how every politician wanted to have his picture taken next to a firefighter or policeman. Those guys were running into burning buildings and towards gunfire. You couldn't pay them enough.
   Now they are Public Enemy #1.

   What changed in 10 years? Did firemen stop running into burning buildings? Did policeman stop running towards gunfire? Or did someone decide that the lives of firemen and policemen weren't worth as much?
  I'll give you a hint: its the last one.

  I remember back in the 80's and 90's that comedians used to make jokes about how little public school teachers got paid. Now they tell us that teachers are paid too much.
   What changed? Did teachers suddenly start getting paid like Wall Street bankers and corporate executives? Or did someone decide that the value of educating our kids wasn't worth all that much?

  The complaining guy is right to be angry. Most likely he's getting poorer and so is everyone he knows. There's inflation and depression and war and crime. His list of reasons to get mad is exactly the same list as Howard Beale's.
   He's mad and he isn't going to take it anymore.

  That's what we have to understand here. The Tea Party people have legitimate grievances. The problem is the paradigm of their thinking.
  Their righteous anger has been misdirected. They've been taught to think that their real enemy is the guy that is shlepping next to them.  They can't get their minds around the idea that the source of their suffering is not the people most removed from power, but the people who actually shape and direct the policies and laws of the country.
   When you think about it, it seems obvious that if your financial position is shaky then you should blame the people who set economic policy for the hundreds of millions of us rather than some illegal immigrants, welfare mothers, public school teachers, or the people picking up your trash. The political paradigm of today is all about blaming other victims rather than the guys with the whips.

  The illogical insanity of this sort of thinking is maddening. And that is the mastery of it all. The right-wing corporate media has created a paradigm that defies logic.
  They've molded an insane world that creates its own anger, and then they direct the anger towards ever more insane thinking. It's destructive and evil, but it helps maintain the status quo, and that is the only objective.

 Ridiculing the Tea Party people will do nothing but push them further into the embrace of the same insanity they currently suffer from. What is needed is to expose their illogical thinking for what it is.
   To do that you don't just have to out-think the Tea Partier. It's not hard to intellectually defeat someone who is suffering from insanity. You need to out-think the architects of the right-wing, corporate media - a tougher challenge.

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  •  Tip Jar (216+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Jim P, hubcap, SherwoodB, Lily O Lady, One Pissed Off Liberal, a2nite, skillet, undercovercalico, James Wells, Gooserock, ferg, phonegery, aravir, MKinTN, Hillbilly Dem, Steve15, LynChi, artisan, bleeding blue, Mary Mike, northsylvania, Domestic Elf, bkamr, kharma, dance you monster, Floande, blueoasis, USHomeopath, Catte Nappe, grollen, jan4insight, poco, albrt, GAS, pfiore8, Yoshimi, MichiganGirl, ek hornbeck, sodalis, gooderservice, corvo, tidalwave1, PrahaPartizan, emal, Darwinian Detrius, wasatch, gulfgal98, FrankSpoke, Farugia, AoT, SpecialKinFlag, k9disc, No one gets out alive, jhecht, Shockwave, triplepoint, midwesterner, Jarrayy, GeorgeXVIII, Mortifyd, marina, ZhenRen, jrooth, tapestry, Matt Z, eeff, zerelda, BenderRodriguez, marathon, 3goldens, Dexter, markdd, Sun Tzu, Cassiodorus, Caddis Fly, Assaf, Laconic Lib, JekyllnHyde, VTCC73, turdraker, Kristina40, kenwards, Chi, prfb, terabytes, R rugosa alba, greycat, Habitat Vic, marleycat, Chaddiwicker, Simplify, TracieLynn, countwebb, ovals49, RandomNonviolence, wxorknot, banjolele, PhilK, enhydra lutris, ColoTim, Larsstephens, where4art, slowbutsure, Youffraita, Got a Grip, Matilda, Loudoun County Dem, lcrp, jds1978, bsegel, The Jester, Meteor Blades, fixxit, CA Nana, carpunder, kevin k, Eddie L, brainwave, AnnetteK, Prinny Squad, joe shikspack, YucatanMan, puzzled, Gemina13, Trixie2006, Trevin, Burned, Alumbrados, millwood, flowerfarmer, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, jlynne, tobendaro, pat bunny, shaharazade, Mighty Ike, katrinka, shortgirl, rat racer, Buckeye Nut Schell, roses, maggiejean, northerntier, zmom, no way lack of brain, Denver11, Debs2, YellowDogBlue, Medium Head Boy, karmsy, b33mm3up, mrblubitz, flatford39, Leftcandid, tegrat, Brooke In Seattle, Timothy L Smith, voracious, mooshter, FindingMyVoice, ridemybike, Pat K California, prettygirlxoxoxo, cama2008, glitterlust, leonard145b, Dumbo, Notreadytobenice, CT Hank, Blue Bell Bookworm, CanyonWren, deeproots, daveygodigaditch, bnasley, Miss Jones, Involuntary Exile, middleagedhousewife, Ray Pensador, Rosaura, pixxer, tardis10, SteveS Austin, Oh Mary Oh, greengemini, I am Spartacus, blueoregon, Jeff Y, splashy, BlueMississippi, serendipityisabitch, greenearth, Bryce in Seattle, Unitary Moonbat, Robynhood too, riverlover, catilinus, flitedocnm, Dogs are fuzzy, kurt, DRo, run around, Angie in WA State, Naniboujou, freeport beach PA, AlwaysDemocrat, jiffykeen, StrayCat, jadt65, WearyIdealist, jamess, pipercity1, semiot, Funkygal, FarWestGirl, unclejohn

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 09:48:48 AM PDT

    •  Double tipped (if I could) for the link (8+ / 0-)

      to the wikipedia page that references my favorite writer, Terry Pratchett. I now have to go re-read Unseen Academicals and pay attention to this.

      The concept figures prominently in Terry Pratchett's novel Unseen Academicals. A fishmonger does not bother to keep a lid on the crab bucket because "any that tries to get out gets pulled back". The protagonist comes to realize that her social status results not from external repression, but from her own low expectations of herself: "The worst of it is, the crab that mostly keeps you down is you".

      "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

      by voracious on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:42:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep American Generosity Ended About the Time the (45+ / 0-)

    middle class hit its economic high water mark in the late 60's.

    Very soon after, the early stages of today's rightwing revolution were sewing the seeds of jealousy and fear that minorities, government workers and welfare queens were taking good peoples' tax money and opportunity.

    And between the rightwing, the conservatives of both parties and the corporate public square, the generosity of the American people became a thing of the past.

    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 Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:03:19 AM PDT

    •  Greed is good (36+ / 0-)

      1984 wasn't supposed to be a how-to book, and Gordon Gecko wasn't supposed to be an ideal to aspire to.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:08:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the postwar economy was a giant bubble (15+ / 0-)

      predicated on a set of once-in-a-millennium circumstances that aren't ever going to return.

      Our vaunted manufacturing economy was a result of much of our competition being wiped out by WWII. Europe and Japan were in ruins, their manufacturing bases shot to hell, China and India had their own internal issues to deal with after the geopolitical landscape was reshaped and colonialism collapsed.

      We had a totally clear field when it came to manufacturing and exporting, because other countries had no choice but to import from us--and with the Marshall Plan, we had a chance to rewrite the rules of the European economy and European trade to our advantage.

      Not surprisingly, once those other countries had a chance to catch up and rebuild, we didn't have so much of an edge anymore. People stopped buying our goods and started buying from other countries because it was cheaper--and so began the deindustrialization of America.

      Cheap fossil fuel energy led to an enormous boom in consumption. We could build build build, it was cheap, it was practically free, didn't matter how big it was or how costly in terms of resources. The economy was predicated on this.

      America hit peak oil in the 1970s--and not coincidentally, around that time, Detroit began its slow, terminal decline. The automobile economy that had been a linchpin of our economic strength was no longer sustainable.

      I repeat, the postwar boom was the biggest bubble in all human history. It was an aberration, not a norm. The circumstances that created it are never coming back, unless we discover cheap energy on another planet. If we had been even a little smarter we might have prepared for the inevitable crash. But like the grasshopper in the story, we didn't.

      The bubble burst, that's all that happened. People were no more or less intrinsically good or generous than they are now. It was circumstances that changed.

      A gambler feels flush when he's riding high, buying drinks for everyone, he's everybody's best friend. Talk to him after he's lost his shirt, you'll find him yelling at the cocktail waitresses and picking fights with anyone smaller than he is.

      It's the same principle.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:50:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What you say is partly accurate, but doesn't tell (39+ / 0-)

        the full story. "Circumstances changing" are not sufficient to explain what has happened in response to the tightening of the past thirty years or so.
        The decoupling of wage increases from productivity increases has played a major part in the widening gap between rich and poor, and the lack of growth to keep pace with inflation since the late 1970s.
        Similarly, the massive bloating of top executive pay to 200 times or more than what the entry-level workers make has also exacerbated our problems.
        Different policy choices could have been made even within this framework so that we would not be in as bad a predicament as we are in today.
        I agree that people aren't necessarily intrinsically more greedy--but it is true that the oversights and protections against greed have been dismantled.
        We are in a political fix at least as much if not more than in a resource fix. Don't dismiss the willfulness of those who have acted to produce the conditions we struggle under now.

        Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:24:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  in my opinion, the politics of the postwar era (7+ / 0-)

          couldn't have turned out much better than they did. We did more or less about the best we could.

          True, choices could have been made that deferred bits and pieces of the pain for a couple more years, and some cosmetic things could have been different, but we would have suffered this big crunch no matter what we did.

          Just as old age can be managed, and the process rendered more comfortable perhaps, but eventually you reach the inevitable end no matter what is done.

          No doubt a Clinton is better than a Reagan, but neither one could have seriously arrested the decline--assuming, of course, that either was even aware of its causes.

          You say there's a lack of growth. But that's not for lack of trying. There can't be growth in the way there was before. The elites didn't seek to bring it back because there was none to be had. The era of cheap fossil fuel energy is over. However our economy works in the future, it will have to be on a different basis from how it has worked since the Industrial Revolution.

          As for wages: temporarily labor had a strong position relative to capital after the Great Depression, and the New Deal programs were too popular to roll back immediately. But before that, workers were treated like cattle. And now we're headed back to those days.

          As long as American labor was the only game in town that could provide quality product, businesses had to pay reasonable wages. Once labor elsewhere became competitive and the American manufacturing monopoly was ended, then they could play one set of laborers off against another in a race to the bottom, as they have in fact been doing.

          Graceful, intelligent decline is not an art that the human race has mastered. Some individuals can do it, but collectively, at the level of societies, we haven't yet figured it out. No surprise that America didn't handle it well.

          Then, too, very few people saw the problems whole. The political will to address these problems holistically did not exist because not enough people saw the problems. Or if they did, they disagreed on the causes. Even now the awareness of these problems is still somewhat inchoate.

          A meaningful political consensus can only exist when a large enough majority sees the problem, agrees on what the problem is, and agrees on its causes. If not, then everyone is talking at cross-purposes. And then politics is left to the greedy and cynical, who have the money and the organization to override the incoherently expressed will of the disorganized and fragmented many.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:13:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was a bit facile in saying there's been no (9+ / 0-)

            growth. Most of the growth that has taken place has been sucked up by the very wealthy; it's not been shared proportionately.

            I don't think it is accurate to say that U.S. workers are as vulnerable as we are now simply because the world is flatter, though that is part of it. Other Western economies have done better at protecting their working classes (and their manufacturing base, for that matter).

            I also think that the phenomenal increase in FIRE-based sectors has been a huge disadvantage for most of us, and that that move was not inevitable.

            I agree that a measure of decline is inevitable; I disagree that it has to be so badly handled. Perhaps the truest sense of "American Exceptionalism" will be realized when those of us who hold to that ideology most strongly fail to look elsewhere for solutions, even stopgap ones, that would have cushioned the blow. Shorter version: Pride goeth before a fall.

            It is a systemic problem, however, as you note, that the political arena as it now exists seems to promote the success of the greedy, cynical, and unprincipled.

            Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

            by peregrine kate on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:10:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  to take your point farther... (5+ / 0-)
              It is a systemic problem, however, as you note, that the political arena as it now exists seems to promote the success of the greedy, cynical, and unprincipled.
              The system is only there to promote the greedy and they like what is in place so all they have to do is fight changing it.

              The problem is not that the economy can no longer grow because of global limitations, the problem is that in order for it to grow, we need resources to be freed from their hoarded locations and distributed to those who can do something with them.  This simply requires two things:  Vision and rapid inflation.

              The rich fear inflation and they tell us to be afraid of it as well but inflation is a poor man's friend if we demand that wages stay up with it.  Inflation stops people from hoarding money because it loses value if it is not invested.  Inflation reduces debt as a percentage of your income because dollars borrowed when they where worth X are repaid when they are worth x/n.  

              If the government raises the  minimum wage and then ties it to real inflation, the result would shrink the wealth gap significantly.  

              Vision is what the country should invest in.  Investing a couple trillion dollars on revamping the electrical grid and repairing all of our bridges and infastructure would be a great start but some of that money should go towards developing new technologies like artificial photosynthesis to eat CO2 from our atmosphere and turn it into energy and other useful byproducts.  We need the vision to save the world and learn how to prevent it from ever being in jeopardy again.  These are not crazy aspirations.  

              It will require all of the 99% to work together towards a common goal.  It will require the tea party activists and the OWS activists to put aside their differences and work together to fight the oppression of the oligarchy.  We must reach out to them and, like the diarist suggested, make them see that they should not begrudge others success, they should be fighting for their own success, with us.

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 04:43:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The part about post-WWII competition is debatable. (13+ / 0-)

        I know Krugman, for one, objects to that line, saying that while WWII wiped out the competition, it just as well wiped out our potential customer base. IOW, it's no good to be the only people making cars if you're also the only people buying them.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 02:44:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just. Not. True. The truth goes back to the Torah. (12+ / 0-)

        WWII was effectively a debt jubilee. Growth happened across the world from Europe to America to Japan. The war ended the power of the owners over the debtors and set the world economy free from the control of usurers. Even Japan, which had been under the control of authoritarian elites, was set free to engineer and develop new industries.

        In the past 30 years America's economy has gone from 10%  to 20% FIRE. The usury business is exacting a 10% tax on GDP for zero added benefits. I dare you to show how finance insurance and real estate has increased value added since 1965.

        The superwealthy have clamped down on creativity, progress and economic growth for their personal benefit.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 03:51:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Beg to differ (4+ / 0-)

        I'm old enough to remember and people were much more courteous and helpful to each other in the 50's and 60's.  It wasn't "Leave it to Beaver", but much different than now.

      •  I don't think that explains the growing (6+ / 0-)

        income and wealth inequality.  Might address our growth rate overall (although others responding to you have some evidence and points to the contrary), but not the great divide that is reemerging.

      •  Your point is right on. (0+ / 0-)

        Paul Baran did the detailed economic analysis in "Monopoly Capital". Conclusion: Stagnation is the norm in advanced capitalism. The post war boom was an anomaly.

        We cannot win a war crime - Dancewater, July 27, 2008

        by unclejohn on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:28:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, it's Congress that controls the money. (17+ / 0-)

    Having dollars laundered through the Federal Reserve, which distributes them for nothing to the banks and then the banks lending it back to the Treasury to collect a dividend is a shell game constructed by Congress to hide that they have the ultimate obligation.
    Congress spends dollars into existence. THEN it levies taxes to make the dollars come back. If it doesn't do that, if, instead, it only uses dollars the banksters have lent back to the Treasury, then the dollars don't circulate properly. Instead they end up in Wall Street accounts and banksters vaults.
    What has irked the financiers lately is that the spread is only about three percent. At that rate they do not double their money in ten years, much less seven. Compare that to back in 1991 when the Treasury was paying 8.1% on money it borrowed back from the markets. At that rate, money assets doubled in less than ten years.

    Why did Congress hand over the management of the currency to the Federal Reserve? Because it wanted deniability. And the Congress critters found it convenient to have banksters indebted to them and eager to help finance their election campaigns.

    The ACA turned out to be a dirty trick. Because, while the insurance industry stayed in business, if not as profitable as before, banks all over the country lost the guaranteed income from student loans -- lending which had actually served to sustain students and marginal families, even as it spurred the development of "education" and "training" programs by the bankster's cronies to prepare the unemployed for non-existent jobs.
    What we need to remember is that, while lenders get free money, borrowers just end up further in debt. Which is why, if they were honest, Republicans would admit that what they are after is "lend, lend, and lend." It's a triple treat. At every step the lenders get free money and fees.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:10:32 AM PDT

  •  can't fight city hall... (19+ / 0-)

    can't stem the tide...
    Can't fix the weather...

    when pointing out to people that the true source of the scarcity they feel is not the other guy grabbing crumbs on the floor, but the remote and powerful pigs at the table so high above who are dropping those crumbs; this is the sentiment that often takes hold.
    Too Big To Fight.
    Often followed by; I'd rather take my chances duking it out with the other guy my size. I've got a chance at a double ration of crumbs, and I might even win this fight. I got no chance against THEM. Besides, someday, maybe, if I work hard enough...

    To me, this explains a lot of that reaction. They've forgotten their parents' work load vs standard of living. They don't remember one full time job could mean a decent living for four people, without constant insecurity. And that the demise of unions and declining wages are not unrelated, or that dollar stores are everywhere in America, the richest land on Earth. Gentle reminders along these lines can take root, I have found. As did the diarist. Good job..

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:56:55 AM PDT

    •  I hate cynicism (14+ / 0-)

      because nothing ever comes from it. You gain absolutely nothing from defeating yourself before ever starting.

       But cynicism is "cool" these days. It's even been co'opted by the elites.
      "Why bother to vote when both parties are the same?" Why? Because are far as the ruling elite are concerned not voting is as good as voting for them. That's why.

       There was a time when things like slavery was considered simply part of the human condition. After all, it had been around since before written history, so why should anyone ever dream of getting rid of it? Right?
         And then some dirt poor slaves defeated the three greatest empires on the face of the Earth (Britain, France, and Spain) and within a generation slavery was no more.

       There was a time when things like feudalism was considered simply a part of the human condition. It had been around for thousands of years.
         And then some dirt poor peasants in France not only ran the aristocracy out of the country, but also defeated the combined royal armies of Britain, Prussia, Spain, and Austria. In a couple generations feudalism was no more.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:38:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and it will probably take (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        a bloody revolution to turn this ship around too.  

        Is the problem really cynicism?  or is it denial?  

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 03:47:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Feudalism wiki: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        https://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.
        600 years not thousands.
        •  The elements of feudalism started long before that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth, StrayCat, semiot

          You can see it in the late Roman Empire.

           These tenant farmers, eventually known as coloni, saw their condition steadily erode. Because the tax system implemented by Diocletian assessed taxes based on both land and the inhabitants of that land, it became administratively inconvenient for peasants to leave the land where they were counted in the census.[1] In 332 AD Emperor Constantine issued legislation that greatly restricted the rights of the coloni and tied them to the land. Some see these laws as the beginning of medieval serfdom in Europe.

          None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

          by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:33:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wiki on serfdom: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth

            https://en.wikipedia.org/...

            However, medieval serfdom really began with the breakup of the Carolingian Empire around the 10th century. During this period, powerful feudal lords encouraged the establishment of serfdom as a source of agricultural labor. Serfdom, indeed, was an institution that reflected a fairly common practice whereby great landlords were assured that others worked to feed them and were held down, legally and economically, while doing so.
  •  no need to out think the architects (10+ / 0-)

    don't put energy there. we can't stop them or change them or fix them. why do we keep trying? we don't need to out think, we simply have to move on, away from, do something other...

    let's simply change the game, the board upon which it is played, and the rules. let's stop playing by their rules. we can jettison national politics and start working in our communities to exert influence, sanity, secularity, and common good. of course, simple isn't always easy. but it's clear to me.

    consider the sig line:

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 10:57:25 AM PDT

    •  I'm not saying you have to defeat the architects (11+ / 0-)

      Please don't misunderstand me.
         What you have to do is defeat their arguments on a individual level.

       Those Tea Partiers are the myna birds of the right-wing corporate media. They've been trained to respond to certain stimuli with select phrases.
         What we need to do is work outside of that paradigm.

       For instance, I didn't respond to complaining guy with "BART workers are only trying to get back what they gave up five years ago."
        While true, it was still a response inside of the paradigm. Complaining guy's training was ready for that.

       You are right that we need a "new model" of debate. Many of the answers are actually very old models that were discarded generations ago.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:45:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i just don't think so. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, shaharazade, greenearth, kurt

        those tea partiers have to defeat it themselves. we will never convince them or change them.

        what you did was perfect. you planted something in this guy's brain and that is more powerful... getting him to think and come up with it on his own.

        we have to stop TELLING people. and start inciting their ability to think ....

        “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

        by pfiore8 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:58:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gotta stop getting mad at the wrong people. (18+ / 0-)

    It's not the desperate people one step below you on the economic ladder clutching at your ankles;

    The proper target of your rage is the plutocrat trying to kick the entire ladder away from the castle wall.

  •  Obviously you need to read the diary (5+ / 0-)

    up on the recommended list poking fun at the Fox News talking heads poo pooing those fast food workers asking for a decent minimum wage.

    I do agree that we need to listen to what the true complaint is but I don't agree that people who are paid well want everyone else to be paid well.

    •  Good points. (15+ / 0-)

      I'm a retired airline pilot, a union member and a well paid one. Many, if not most, of my colleagues couldn't be bothered to support the struggles of lesser beings even when they were fellow employees fighting the same disaster conjuring management that wanted to take away every hard won work rule, benefit, and pay rate of the past 50 years. I heard it all: the bag smashers were unskilled labor who didn't deserve to be so well paid, the flight attendants were no different, and the mechanics, while skilled, were over paid. Their thinking was no different when speaking about teachers, firemen, or the fry guy at McD's. But somehow they always were worth every last penny they made and more. Because.  

      What none of them seemed to understand is that those who benefited from our concessions were the common foe. Not even a 40% pay cut, a frozen pension, and loss of 50 years of battles to make work safe, liveable, and efficient managed to drive home the message. Union members who should have known the strength of unity had all allowed themselves to fall prey to the divide and conquer campaign based on extreme self interest and greed.

      I think most Americans see the economy as a zero sum game. How do you support those less fortunate than yourself if you believe allowing another person a better life diminishes your own? (I really think this is the basis for the opposition to the PPACA. Why else would people with good insurance through their job oppose their neighbor getting insurance?) It is a very easy idea to nurture.

      Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

      by VTCC73 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:32:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until the 99% realize that... (17+ / 0-)

    ...all are in it together, the 1% will continue squeezing the last drop of blood from all and push us all into a new form of slavery.  Oligopoly, paycheck to paycheck slavery or whatever we call it.

    Your BART action has to go viral for this to change.

    The Tea Party is manipulated by the Koch bros and other evil 1%ters. Racists,  theocratic/fundamentalists and Ayn Randists among them may be unreachable, but some Tea Partiers may be reachable.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:57:14 AM PDT

  •  I did a diary series -- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, Larsstephens, Chi, greenearth

    on "excuses for why we can't have socialism."  You might have read some of them.  I will produce a list of diaries on request.

    Is there another "excuse for why we can't have socialism" lurking in this diary here?

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

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 12:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Excellent. Except you overrate right-wing media. (7+ / 0-)

    This sleight-of-hand, 3-car-monty blame game has not been invented by them.

    In various shapes and forms, it has been present since the dawn of civilization. The worst man-made catastrophe of modern times, World War II, was brought about largely because of such Big Lies told to desperate and insecure sections of the European public.

    They're just giving it another go. One might argue it's part of human nature - we love taking a cognitive dissonance and turning it as an axe to grind against some innocent bystander.

    Our job as progressives, is to try and build on the other, better parts of human nature, a narrative and a power structure to counter this tendency.

    •  disagree, talk radio made the difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, gjohnsit

      now they not only have a unique media tool for selling the big lie, the targets of the lies and attacks have no idea what's kicking their ass.

      the idea this is just another cyclical turn turn to the right, or money is now a problem a healthy democracy can't regulate, underrates the real problem- 1200 think tank-cordinated radio stations reaching 50 mil a week, ignored by the left for the last 25 years.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 07:31:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say what you say I said :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        In particular, I never said you cannot regulate money in politics.

        Also, not talking about a "cyclical turn to the right", but about human tendency to blame a convenient scapegoat for their suffering, rather than actions and powers they are (at least partially) accountable for.

        And the huge negative political energy this tendency represents, energy that has been (and will be) leveraged towards dangerous ends.

        In other words, it's not Faux News and friends who have invented this trick. And while it's important to counter their ill effects, it is more important to keep a broader perspective and not hyper-inflate things out of proportion.

        Fact of the matter, young people - supposedly less knowledgeable and easier to influence - are completely tuned out of right-wing talk radio, Faux News, etc. etc. It's not that young people are so much better. It's just that their cognitive dissonances and socio-emotional grievances look quite different from those of the target audience.

        So far less than any devilish Rovish ingenuity at work that we all should freak out about 24/7, this is a story of a cohort of mostly stupid angry white men these leeches have zoomed into and sucked dry in order to undeservedly (and intermittently) hold onto power for 20 extra years or so. This right-wing noise machine is literally a one-trick pony, and now their trick is gradually dying out.

        •  It's so much easier to blame the victim (0+ / 0-)

          If its the victim's fault then you don't have to do anything. You don't even have to feel sorry for him/her.
             It's an complete "solution" for the self-centered.

          None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

          by gjohnsit on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 12:00:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  what i'm saying is that we have a unique problem (0+ / 0-)

          now, a relatively recent one that falls outside the historical or behavioral norms often used to analyze and problem solve.

          talk radio cannot just be lumped with other RW media - it is the cause of many of the problems activists talk about on this blog all the time but it is usually lumped in or dismissed as old media fading away, effecting a particular dying demographic. it is ubiquitous and pervasive and dominating in most parts of the country yet it is invisible to those who never listen and only read and watch.

          global warming means we can't keep ignoring it and hoping for humanity to become enlightened enough or shocked enough by some disaster that it finally figures it out. the main cause of the disaster we're in, and why a minority has  so much power even though it lives in an alternate reality is that the left has ignored talk radio.

          What changed in 10 years? Did firemen stop running into burning buildings? Did policeman stop running towards gunfire? Or did someone decide that the lives of firemen and policemen weren't worth as much?
            I'll give you a hint: its the last one.

            I remember back in the 80's and 90's that comedians used to make jokes about how little public school teachers got paid. Now they tell us that teachers are paid too much.
             What changed? Did teachers suddenly start getting paid like Wall Street bankers and corporate executives? Or did someone decide that the value of educating our kids wasn't worth all that much?

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:12:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You hit the nail on the head (11+ / 0-)

    at least as far as the attitudes of average working stiffs goes.
    But it's not just the Tea Party or right wing media.

    It's more pervasive than that.

    The media, the pundits, the powers to be get us fighting among ourselves and asking the wrong questions.

    I've seen it at my local Democratic town committee meetings where intelligent well-meaning people rail against public union employees and how the taxpayer can't afford to give them decent benefits or retirement packages. They go on about how the unions have to face reality like those of us working in the private sector have had to.

    As a private sector worker myself I'm always the one who says you're asking the wrong question. Instead of looking at the public worker and asking how they can in good conscience be asking for health plan coverages with low co-pays and low premium cost share rates, how about asking why at a time of record corporate profits we have to settle for flat raises and shrinking benefits?

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 01:13:35 PM PDT

  •  Absolutely one of the best pieces I've ever read (6+ / 0-)

    on Kos. There's so much right with it I hardly know what to praise first.

    "The Tea Party people have legitimate grievances." Absolutely. They may wallow in misinformation and ignorant prejudice, but they are human-type persons with understandable motives.

    If we are so freakin' brilliant, as educated, liberal, progressive, etc. persons why can't we learn to leverage human character the way it is toward our own ends, (as opposed to Fox News' goals)?

    My compliments for citing the old-time union spirit - those people literally bled for solidarity, and they knew how to bring it.

  •  Terrific. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    But I think the TP blames all status quo politicians, Republicans as well as Democrats.  I'd find significant affinity with that except, particularly for short term goals, except that they utterly fail to see the scourge of corporate control and instead fall back on some vague notion of "elites" they've been spoon fed.

  •  Tipped and rec'd for this remark: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, greenearth, Naniboujou
    But it seemed obvious that if this guy was rich he wouldn't have cared less how much the BART workers were making. He only cared because they were making more than him. The media had appealed to his petty side and struck gold.
    Divide-and-conquer is alive and well. Personally, I've really been walloped by the recession. I trained (and took on student-loan debt) to enter a dying public-sector career. And what do I focus on? I colleagues who "had it a lot easier" than I did, but, for all their advantages, were "only mediocre."

    I struggle, personally, with the pettiness the oligarchs most want to foment in the little people.  

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 05:15:41 PM PDT

  •  So much wisdom here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, greenearth, Naniboujou
     I don't remember where I first learned that you need to listen to what someone means, rather than just what they say.
    When religious people take this advice, it destroys  fundamentalism.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 06:38:19 PM PDT

  •  I just got back from SF, CA (4+ / 0-)

    A few things I noticed:

    1. SF is a hugely expensive place to support human existence. Hotels have many big city hidden charges, and the extra person charge seems most Japanese. So it has the hidden charges of many big cities. $30/hour roughly translates to $60K/year. I can only wonder how far your commute is if you have to find a place to rent inside of that budget.

    2. People love the BART. They ride it a lot. The locals need to have the "you can't ride the car and must use the BART" with visitors. Seriously: if you drive in SF you'll find very limited and extremely expensive parking options, and just have a crazy bad time you don't need to have if you follow the advice of the locals. I don't know much about SF, but I do know that. The city pass is a great deal for visitors, and you can get it at union square.

    3. All those hills can seriously impair your drinking progress. I hate falling down and rolling around while sober.

    I think a BART strike will be a de facto general strike if it comes to pass.

    •  Comments on Bart strike noted $60K doesn't... (5+ / 0-)

      cut it in SF but that Bart goes out to suburbs where it's an o.k. wage. Diarist noted the decline of unions when they kicked out the socialists. Not a coincidence me thinks.

      I was in a militant union in the 1980's and 1990's. The President and Executive committee were very left wing. Plenty of speeches had socialistic threads.

      Heard Richard Trumka, now president of afl-cio several times.
      He would cut right to the chase. Didn't mince words.

      Being a member of a "real" union is rare nowadays. A worthy experience if you get the chance.

    •  Re: (3+ / 0-)
      3. All those hills can seriously impair your drinking progress. I hate falling down and rolling around while sober.
      I empathize. I really do.
      It takes practice.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:54:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time for a nationwide general strike? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, greenearth, StrayCat

    Like say on Election Day, even if only for an hour? For horrible socialist goals like a living wage, the right to unionize, bank re-regulation, an end to corporate 'personhood,' etc. No DC rally-on-the-mall, but local protests in front of the crooked banks, the Walmarts, greedy corporate hq's etc?

    Election day is perfect - both a regular workday and a symbol of our democracy, the one that seems to not so slowly being taken away from us.

    Just thinking out loud, that's all...

    A nationwide general strike this election day? Why not?

    by Miscweant on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 07:59:34 PM PDT

  •  i always thought the teaparty was a legitimate (3+ / 0-)

    movement. all the conditions were right for a rebellion. peoples savings had been wiped out. their pensions cancelled. college costs were killing them. they had to work til medicare kicked in no matter what. their kids couldn't find jobs. all these things affect the right wing just as much as the left.

    of course it was ripe for the manipulators making sure that there was a massive consistent hysterical cry that liberals and Obama had caused it all.

    drones are a cost effective way of generating enough new terrorists that calls to cut military spending will fail.

    by just want to comment on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:06:25 PM PDT

  •  its a war of propaganda (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, greenearth

    both sides do it, I think the right is better at it. after all, Obama is a divider who leads from behind and wants government to control everything.

    teaparty people are stupid who cant spell.  there is a sheriff somewhere who wants to shoot Pelosi. they are all like that.

    the recent emails from the right wing meme generator group, forgot its name, Clarence Thomas' wife is a member, were quite clear how it operates. generate a phrase, work on it, get it sounding right, then repeat and repeat. if people begin to accept it, they soon will eat news designed to reinforce it.

    the other day a guy at work told me Obama was a divider.  what does that mean I said.

    ultimately I assume appealing to a higher intelligence will win out. I don't want to be involved in a propaganda war.

    drones are a cost effective way of generating enough new terrorists that calls to cut military spending will fail.

    by just want to comment on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 08:25:54 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant response to the person at BART. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth
  •  I thought Paul Krugman nailed this issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot, gjohnsit

    just recently.

    I was wrong.

    " Ridiculing the Tea Party people will do nothing but push them further into the embrace of the same insanity they currently suffer from. What is needed is to expose their illogical thinking for what it is.
       To do that you don't just have to out-think the Tea Partier. It's not hard to intellectually defeat someone who is suffering from insanity. You need to out-think the architects of the right-wing, corporate media - a tougher challenge."
    To fix what's wrong with America, we need to start with the Free Press, which is neither free nor much of a pressed ink media these days - and which has fallen down on the job of providing America with an Informed Electorate.

    For proof to anyone, have them watch this YouTube clip of the beginning of the first episode of the HBO show "The Newsroom".

    Then tell them to Google those statistics. They'll find that The Business Insider.com appears to think they are true, in their article entitled "25 More Signs That America is not the greatest nation in the world".

    Excerpt:

    Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom premiered last night and everyone is talking about protagonist Will McAvoy's tirade on how America isn't the greatest country in the world:
    "We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories. Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending..."

    In Sorkin's honor, here are 25 other things America isn't number one in:

    America ranks 13th in starting a business, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.
    The U.S. ranks 47th in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. So much for freedom of the press.
    The U.S. ranks 20th in international trade, according to the Doing Business rankings compiled by The World Bank.
    The U.S., which ranks 15th in dealing with debt insolvency according to the Doing Business rankings.

    Please see the Business Insider.com piece for the rest of the list


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:09:27 AM PDT

    •  Socialst statistics. And SOCIALISM DOESN'T WORK! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit

      The latter being what my tea party brother-in-law says whenever I demonstrate how he's being screwed by crony capitalists.

      Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

      by semiot on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:03:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell him to take a look at modern Germany (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, semiot

        which is now a Democratic Socialist nation.

        It has the strongest Union/Employee laws found anywhere. Members of the Workers Unions sit on the boards of corporations and have a voice in determining the future of the company.

        It also has some of the strongest pro-clean energy, closing nuclear energy plants after Fukishima and building new green energy at a furious rate (wind and solar).

        Oh, and they have one of the European Union's STRONGEST economies right now, lending money other EU struggling economies like Greece.

        While pure Socialism may not work, it appears that Democratic Socialism works quite well.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:29:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just witnessed this ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot, gjohnsit

    Crab mentality with my own sister. She just got a job with a coal company in chapter 11 and blames the company's problems on those darn coal miner union workers who were getting better pay and benefits than she has ever seen. Instead of directing her ire at the CEO who was making an annual base salary of $800k with millions in stock options, all for mismanaging a company into bankruptcy, her resentment is directed toward other working class people like her. Instead of asking why she doesn't get more, she asks why everyone else doesn't accept less. It's a pretty remarkable phenomenon.

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