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Detail of Preamble to Constitution of the United States
We, The “Unwanted” People…
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2014 22:13 -0500
Submitted by Golem XIV via Golem XIV’s Thoughts blog,
The fact that the phrase sounds antique should warn us of the scale of our folly. We have lost, given away, pawned the power we once claimed. We have ceased to be who we once were. Or at least who we claimed and hoped to be – The People. Now who are we? The Consumer? The Unemployed. The Unwanted? ”We, the Unwanted” does not have the same ring about it does it? And yet that is what we are fast becoming. It is time to chose. Sit in front of your television or computer screen and let it sooth you, until one day you too find you have have become one of the unheard, unlamented, Unwanted. Or reach out to others and grasp hold.
It is surely time that we re-assert what the phrase “We, The People” once meant. It is suybolic I know. But symbols are powerful. And the powerful fear them.
For too long now we have been supine, docile and cowed. There have been sputterings of resolve when a million people took to the streets to oppose the War in Iraq. But the rulers of the day ignored us and ‘the people’ simply went home vaguely disquieted, perhaps a little hurt at being ignored but mainly just confused as to what to do next – if anything.
For decades now we have let others have the initiative, let others define what was acceptable and legitimate. When it was never their position to do so. This must stop.
Once, a certain people declared, “No taxation without representation.” It was and still is a simple idea. You may not tax me unless you represent my interests. Only those with my interests in mind may ask me for taxes. Today that definitiion of democracy has withered and been quietly replaced by another similar sounding but actually radically different version – I would say perversion – of democracy. Today we are taxed by people who represent every interest but ours. They are still representatives but not of our interests. Democracy has now become a kind of opera – more and more lavish in direct proportion to its separation from ordinary people and their lives. Every four or five years we get to chose between two teams who represent some interest which is not ours. They may represent the interests of bankers, or global corporations, or militarists and the industrial complex which gets rich from their adventures, or some other grouping within the machinery of the State, or the intersts of a powerful global 1% – whatever interest they serve it is never yours and mine. For those who will clamour and say the Democrats or Labour or La Gauche represent the interests of the labour unions, WAKE UP! It’s been decades since that was even partially true. Labour under Blair and Brown was Thatcherism by another name and ignored a million people who said very clearly and en masse, that the Bush/Blair war was unjust, illegal and unwanted. The Democrats under Obama followed the same financial and economic ideology as Bush, even chosing the same people to run things, and was as warlike and arrogant as well. Change? Tell it to a moron. He might believe you.
Democracy is broken. No one represents us. We are allowed only to chose between different teams of The Entitled who, once chosen, ignore us completely. The whole idea of a mandate has mutated. Once that idea meant that a government could do what it had said it would do when it was trying to win our votes. Beyond those things, it had to consider ‘The People’. Today all parties consider that being elected means to be handed absolute power to do whatever they feel like doing, whatever they can ram through the tattered remains of accountability and oversight.
Elected dictatorship in installments is what we have today. And when each installment, no matter the different names and colours of the teams, is almost indistinguishable from the last, what is representative democracy if not a street parade of oversized cartoon characters and their pantomimed arguments. Are we not amused?
If we do not speak up soon we will find when we finally do, nothing is heard but grunting and bleating. We are, to borrow a phrase from the brilliant Roberto Callaso, already walking through a vast slaughter house. And those who run it have no good intent.
It is past time when we must revivify what We the People means. We must stop reacting like frightened animals and take the initiative.We cannot allow those who presume to rule over us to continue to tell us what ‘must’ be done and to over-rule all debate by insisting ‘there is no alternative.’ We must state what We the People will accept and what we won’t, what we regard as legitimate and what is not. It is for us to decide these things not them. It may seem like just words and on one level of course it is. But it was only words when it was said the first time. What those words did the first time and can do again, is to stop our rulers’ proclamations always being against a blank and passive background. Simply by declaring what We will and won’t tolerate or accept we force their proclamations to appear as what they are – aggressive, partisan and debateable.
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Does the Left Have a Future?
John Stauber on Wall Street’s Political Monopoly
This week I spoke with John Stauber, an investigative journalist, author, founder of Center for Media and Democracy, and most recently a self-professed outside agitator, on the benefits of voting two party.
In an article you wrote for CounterPunch back in March, you zeroed in on the “Progressive Movement” a democratic money and propaganda machine/echo chamber run by liberal elites like OFA, Mother Jones, Van Jones, The Nation, and largely MoveOn.org to name a few who sometimes fool progressives into supporting corporate causes and have co-opted messages from OWS to appear populist. Considering the far right has the left beat in the messaging game, how successful has the professional left been at advancing their neoliberal agenda on a larger scale? Are liberals really buying it?
A. These terms — progressives, liberals, left, populist, far right, neo-liberal — have different meanings for different people. I like to keep things simple and get back to basic principles and terms like democracy, individual rights and liberties, corporate power, concentrated wealth. The situation today is this: both the Democratic and Republican Parties represent the interests of the most powerful corporate elite in America. Neither party will ever represent the fundamental radical democratic changes we need to take wealth away from the small percentage who have concentrated it in their hands, and to empower people in a democracy. Let me repeat that: neither party will ever serve economic and political democracy.
The so-called “progressive movement” is made up of corporations run by paid staff and contractors who believe that the key to the future is to defeat the corporate Right, the Republicans, in elections. They believe that their own elite-funded propaganda campaigns on behalf of the environment, social justice, human rights, anti-monopoly politics, unions, can mobilize a public that can move the Democratic Party as a whole in this direction. That’s a farce and a fraud.
The crises facing us — poverty, ecological devastation, increasing concentration and power in the hands of the super rich and their economic institutions — are simply worsened by both corporate Parties, and those Parties run on elite wealth and massive propaganda. They are fully supported by all the established institutions of the society, including the corporate media.
But of course those of us who are radicals outside the corporate political parties are depicted as friends of fascism and the far right when we refuse to lend our support to electing Democrats. That will always be the case. And the extremely articulate and financially well rewarded pundits, flacks, and hacks of the professional “progressive movement” are dependent on the myth of two-party “democracy” to pay their bills, put their kids through school, buy houses, appear on TV, sell their books, and further their careers. They need deeply to believe this myth of American Democracy being advanced best through the Two Party system, because if they didn’t they’d be lousy at their jobs and would have a hard time living with themselves. It’s the cognitive dissonance of the salespeople; if you stop believing in the car or shoes or whatever you are peddling, you won’t be very good at selling it. So, they believe!
The problem we face is simple. It is the capitalist corporate economic system itself that is destroying the very ability of the planet to sustain life. Massive global poverty, super concentrated wealth and power, mindless consumerism, final destruction of the biosphere’s ability to sustain the industrial civilization — these are not issues that will be solved by the “professional progressives” with their clicktivism, talking points, game changing PR campaigns, and their support for reform via the existing political establishment. The evil shit is going to just continue to hit the fan, with no effective mobilized response because the professional reformers and their big NGOs suck all the air out of the room, and pose as a viable path to change. They are not.
Hillary Clinton is playing coy about her eventual presidential run in 2016 by saying, “I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision next year.” Like Obama, she talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk and like Obama’s skin color, her gender is a driving force behind propelling her back into the White House. What can we expect from a female President Clinton?
A. Nothing will come from any Clinton but more of the same concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the corporate elite. Spying, war, destruction of the main street economy is what we can expect. But of course the billion-dollar sales pitch will be, “save our country from the Tea Party extremists, elect the first woman president!” It might work to get her elected, but don’t expect change.
Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton appear to be polar opposites, 99% vs 1%. Can Warren’s passion for economic justice rebrand and revive the long-dead democrat party? She’s got the brains and influence but given her defense of Obama and the Clintons at last year’s DNC, I highly doubt it.
A. Nothing can “revive” the Democratic Party. Democratic “progressives” promote this myth that somehow “we” can “take back” the Party of the people and need saviors like Elizabeth Warren to do it.
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