Friday, May 30, 2014

European Elections and the US Empire - various articles

Totalitarianism US Style – neoliberalism as a totalitarian ideology and its 
destruction of democracy and society in general: 

The end of US domination as Russia, China and other countries get together:  

An  excellent overview of the European elections and what the future might 
hold for the neo-liberal right's attempts to destroy living standards and roll 
back social reforms: 

Ten lessons from the European elections  and how Russophobia didn't pan out: 

Another good analysis of the European situation: 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why the Dominators Hate Direct Democracy

Representative democracy, such as exists in Parliament and Congress, effectively isolates people. Once ever four or five years you get to have your five minutes of democracy, casting your vote for one group or another, groups over which you have zero control. Meanwhile, you have been subject to a 24-7 propaganda bombardment from the media. This onslaught works upon and bolsters your fears, anxieties and prejudices. In isolation, both at home in front of the TV and later the ballot box, you are more likely to vote against your own interests  with knee-jerk fears and prejudices.
Direct democracy links individuals, involves them in discussion in an assembly. Issues are debated, and without the censorship and demonization indulged in by the media, people can hear other viewpoints and make their own decisions. Fence-sitters can be swayed by the assembly in a positive direction, whereas in isolation and subject to propaganda bombardment, they might support policies that work against their real interests.
Direct democracy can only function in a relatively small group – no more than a few thousand people. This means a community or neighborhood assembly, and thus questions get discussed in relation to the needs and desires of that community and are not abstract debates at the provincial or national level. Positive NIMBY can take place. A possible example – no one wants a nuclear waste dump in their community, but in a national referendum they might allow one if they thought it might be put somewhere other than their region. If the vote was by community only, there would be no nuclear waste dumps allowed anywhere.
It isn't hard to see why the dominators hate direct democracy. Their power to dominate would quickly fade. The claim that right-wingers sometimes make that direct democracy is a form of tyranny is easy to understand. It seems like tyranny to them, because they are no longer in control and telling us what to do. Our freedom is despotism to them. Their freedom can only rest upon our servitude.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stolen Utopia – The Real Cost of Neoliberalism

Back in 1970 there was a low or non-existent government deficit and all the social reforms such as health care, pensions and unemployment insurance existed. We had the 40 hour week, paid vacations and statutory holidays. Indeed, we were better off back then, since UI has been savagely cut back and ,many other programs and services wrecked or terminated. All of this was done on a 1970 economy, but the economy today is 2-3 times larger, and we are told that cut backs must happen because “we can't afford it.” How is it we could afford reforms in 1970 but not now with a much larger economy? Do you smell a rat? I do.

The secret of how we have gotten screwed boils down to two different, but connected, issues:
The first is that the mega-rich and their corporations are not paying the same tax rate as back then. The govt has slashed taxes to its pampered puppet masters, and if that isn't enough, these same spoiled brats have taken up tax fraud in a big way, pretending their money is made in Bermuda or the Caymans. The govt, of course, has done nothing to stop this racket. The greed creeps are simply no longer willing to pay for that long list of government granted privileges that made them ricos in the first place. By this I mean privileges such as the corporation as fictitious person, limited liability, patents, corporate welfare and the magic money machine called a bank charter.
The second has to do with the Bank of Canada. Back in 1970 it still did what it was originally designed to do – lend money to the govt. at no interest, instead of borrowing from financial markets at high interest. (This was in large measure how Canada managed to pay off the massive cost of WW2 and build all that infrastructure in the 1950s and '60s without incurring a crippling debt.) The high interest charged since then by private lenders to Canadian governments has effectively crippled these institutions. The connection I referred to earlier? The private financing of government debt replacing the BofC was a gift to the banks and other financial corporations, i.e., the richest members of our society.
With 2-3X the economy, the BofC doing its rightful jobs, and the wealthy paying at least part of their way, we should be stacking up massive government surpluses. Or, that wealth could have been converted into reforms that in our present stage of degradation would seem pipe dreams. Guaranteed Annual Income? Easy! Retirement at 55? Why not? Four day work week? Let's do it. Free university tuition, free public transit? No sweat. This is the real crime of the neo-liberal counter-revolution - depriving us of a virtual social democratic utopia.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Madrid March 22 Documentary

Fine doc. about the March 22 movement in Madrid 
that saw 2 million people converge on that city. 
The movement was organized by syndicalists and 
other mass popular movements. The "orthodox" left 
was not involved. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

What Is Happening in the Ukraine?

This article is a good counter-balance to the pro-US, pro-fascist  propaganda put out by the mass media. See

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