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R_P

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Posted: Aug 27, 2012 - 3:12pm

Authoritarian Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism
The United States has entered a new historical era marked by a growing disinvestment in the social state, public goods, and civic morality. Matters of politics, power, ideology, governance, economics, and policy now translate unapologetically into a systemic disinvestment in institutions and policies that further the breakdown of those public spheres which traditionally provided the minimal conditions for social justice, dissent, and democratic expression. Neoliberalism, or what might be called casino capitalism, has become the new normal. Unabashed in its claim to financial power, self-regulation, and its survival of the fittest value system, neoliberalism not only undercuts the formative culture necessary for producing critical citizens and the public spheres that nourish them, it also facilitates the conditions for producing a bloated defense budget, the prison-industrial complex, environmental degradation, and the emergence of “finance as a criminalized, rogue industry.” It is clear that an emergent authoritarianism haunts a defanged democracy now shaped and structured largely by corporations.  Money dominates politics, the gap between the rich and poor is ballooning, urban spaces are becoming armed camps, militarism is creeping into every facet of public life, and civil liberties are being shredded.  Neoliberalism’s policy of competition now dominates policies that define public spheres such as schools, allowing them to stripped of a civic and democratic project and handed over to the logic of the market.  Regrettably, it is not democracy, but authoritarianism, that remains on the rise in the United States as we move further into the 21st century. (...)

R_P

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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 11:04pm


Umberdog

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Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 9:21pm

 kurtster wrote:
2 ¢
 
With inflation it's probably a couple bucks these days. But you won't get what you pay for.
steeler

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Location: Perched on the precipice of the cauldron of truth


Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 9:16pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
But I think what it would take is some shared national consensus about how we define a decent and responsible life in the modern complex world. I don’t think we have that. We have slogans about being successful. We have slogans about “job creators.” We have slogans about everybody having the right to reach the sky in the quest for material self-satisfaction. We have a definition of the good life, which involves the accumulation of material goods plus entertainment.

These are clusters of issues that are interrelated, and it will require a real jolt for us to start thinking seriously about how we can re-create a healthy society here that is still the compelling image for the world that it once was. Then, the American dream was widely shared. Today, it isn’t.


 



Very interesting.
kurtster

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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 7:59pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
But I think what it would take is some shared national consensus about how we define a decent and responsible life in the modern complex world. I don’t think we have that. We have slogans about being successful. We have slogans about “job creators.” We have slogans about everybody having the right to reach the sky in the quest for material self-satisfaction. We have a definition of the good life, which involves the accumulation of material goods plus entertainment.

These are clusters of issues that are interrelated, and it will require a real jolt for us to start thinking seriously about how we can re-create a healthy society here that is still the compelling image for the world that it once was. Then, the American dream was widely shared. Today, it isn’t.


 
I'll say it like this ...

Back then (?), the American Dream was working, there was indeed a consensus of what it was.

The economy and the American Dream have been ruined in the same way as a forest.  Destruction (ala fire) is good and healthy for a forest.  We have learned that lesson most recently in Yellowstone where natural fires were prevented as much as possible, so when a fire finally broke out in the wrong place, it nearly burned the whole place down because the underbrush and old fallen stuff just got too dense to allow new growth.  Had fires been allowed to burn in the past naturally, clearing out the dead wood, the big one wouldn't have happened, or at least like it did.

Today we have prevented old or poorly managed businesses and even banks to fail and go bankrupt when they should have in a constant, ongoing natural cycle of business(es).  We will have a disaster when the House really does catch on fire because it is full of too big to fail things that are going to fail, all at once.  And really screw the pooch, good.

2 ¢
R_P

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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 7:44pm

But I think what it would take is some shared national consensus about how we define a decent and responsible life in the modern complex world. I don’t think we have that. We have slogans about being successful. We have slogans about “job creators.” We have slogans about everybody having the right to reach the sky in the quest for material self-satisfaction. We have a definition of the good life, which involves the accumulation of material goods plus entertainment.

These are clusters of issues that are interrelated, and it will require a real jolt for us to start thinking seriously about how we can re-create a healthy society here that is still the compelling image for the world that it once was. Then, the American dream was widely shared. Today, it isn’t.

kurtster

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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 4:55pm

 RichardPrins wrote:


 
All roads lead to Madison Ave.

Follow the money who pays them.

Jagger warned us way back when ...

Umberdog

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Location: In my body.
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 25, 2012 - 12:02am

We whirl up a euphemism of words to cherish and justify our wicked deeds... and pen gets bloodier than the sword.


R_P

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Posted: Aug 24, 2012 - 9:27pm


Servo

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Posted: Aug 24, 2012 - 5:08pm

 RichardPrins wrote:


 
I wonder how many people have read that and laughed, forgetting that they themselves locked into a lifestyle of "more".


sirdroseph

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Posted: Aug 24, 2012 - 10:59am

 RichardPrins wrote:


 

Great illustration! Until our society comes to the full realization that our entire capitalist system is unsustainable and shift the paradigm completely, we are doomed regardless of what the mainstream candidates tell us.
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Posted: Aug 24, 2012 - 10:57am


(former member)

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Posted: Jul 26, 2012 - 11:16am

 pjcle wrote:

Good video.  
I don't see the connection between capitalism and consumerism though.  The only reason we in the US consume so much, is because we have so much available, and money to buy it.  Socialists, communists, people who live in dictatorships, all people really, will fill their houses with kick knacks if given an opportunity.   There are plenty of "capitalist" countries in the world in which people don't consume.  It's because they don't have any money, because it's all at the top.  LIke the man said ^

We have an opportunity to make our country whatever we want.  Because we can vote.  If we are on the cusp of an oligarchical world, and it does seem that way to me, we have the opportunity, and still the time, to change it. 
 
Yes, you make a lot of good points, and I agree with you in theory— it is all a matter of choice...  but what choices do we have, really?  The times they are a-changin'...  just look at the dire warning professed by one of our elected leaders—


The Road to Oligarchy
by Senator Bernie Sanders
HuffingtonPost
July 24, 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening a hearing on the monumentally important issue of "Taking Back Our Democracy." Unfortunately, that title exactly describes the challenge facing us today.

The history of this country has been the drive toward a more and more inclusive democracy — a democracy which would fulfill Abraham Lincoln's beautiful phraseology at Gettysburg in which he described America as a nation "of the people by the people for the people."

We all know American democracy has not always lived up to this ideal. When this country was founded, only white male property owners over age 21 could vote. But people fought to change that and we became a more inclusive democracy. After the Civil War, we amended the Constitution to allow non-white men to vote. We became a more inclusive democracy. In 1920, after years of struggle and against enormous opposition, we finally ratified the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. We became a more inclusive democracy.

In 1965, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, the great civil rights movement finally succeeded in outlawing racism at the ballot box and LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act. We became a more inclusive democracy.

One year after that, the Supreme Court ruled that the poll tax was unconstitutional, that people could not be denied the right to vote because they were low-income. We became a more inclusive democracy. In 1971, young people throughout the country said; "we are being drafted to go to Vietnam and get killed, but we don't even have the right to vote." The voting age was lowered to 18. We became a more inclusive democracy.

The democratic foundations of our country and this movement toward a more inclusive democracy are now facing the most severe attacks, both economically and politically, that we have seen in the modern history of our country. Tragically, as I say this advisedly, we are well on our way to seeing our great country move toward an oligarchic form of government — where virtually all economic and political power rest with a handful of very wealthy families. This is a trend we must reverse.

Economically, the United States today has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth and that inequality is worse today in America than at any time since the late 1920s.

Today, the wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom half of America — 150 million people.

Today, one family, the Walton family of Walmart fame, with $89 billion, own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of America. One family owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent. 

Today, the top one percent own 40 percent of all wealth, while the bottom sixty percent owns less than 2 percent. Incredibly, the bottom 40 percent of all Americans own just 3/10 of one percent of the wealth of the country.

That is what is going on economically in this country. A handful of billionaires own a significant part of the wealth of America and have enormous control over our economy. What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires: "You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we're going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government." That is the essence of what Citizens United is all about — and that's why it must be overturned.

Let's be clear. Why should we be surprised that one family, worth $50 billion, is prepared to spend $400 million in this election to protect their interests? That's a small investment for them and a good investment. But it is not only the Koch brothers. 

There are at least 23 billionaire families who have contributed a minimum of $250,000 each into the political process up to now during this campaign; my guess is that number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret. In other words, not content to own our economy, the one percent want to own our government as well.

The constitutional amendment that Congressman Ted Deutch and I have introduced states the following:

• For-profit corporations are not people, and are not entitled to any rights under the Constitution. 
• For-profit corporations are entities of the states, and are subject to regulation by the legislatures of the states, so long as the regulations do not limit the freedom of the press.
• For-profit corporations are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in political campaigns. 
• Congress and the states have the right to regulate and limit all political expenditures and contributions, including those made by a candidate.

I'm proud to say the American people are making their voices heard on this issue — they are telling us loud and clear it is time to reverse the trend. Six states, including my home state of Vermont, have passed resolutions asking us to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. More than 200 local governments have done the same, including many in Vermont. I'm proud to sponsor one such amendment. My colleagues here, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Udall, and Ms. Edwards, all have good amendments, and I thank them for their hard work on this issue.

 


pjcle

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Location: Sticks
Gender: Female


Posted: Jul 26, 2012 - 9:58am

 romeotuma wrote:




Good video. 
I don't see the connection between capitalism and consumerism though.  The only reason we in the US consume so much, is because we have so much available, and money to buy it.  Socialists, communists, people who live in dictatorships, all people really, will fill their houses with kick knacks if given an opportunity.   There are plenty of "capitalist" countries in the world in which people don't consume.  It's because they don't have any money, because it's all at the top.  LIke the man said ^

We have an opportunity to make our country whatever we want.  Because we can vote.  If we are on the cusp of an oligarchical world, and it does seem that way to me, we have the opportunity, and still the time, to change it. 
 


(former member)

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Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 25, 2012 - 9:46pm




katzendogs

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Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male


Posted: Sep 27, 2011 - 5:13pm

Oy!
Kids. Can't live with em'. Can't kill em'.
JrzyTmata

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Posted: Sep 27, 2011 - 4:58pm

 oldslabsides wrote:

Did you even watch the video, buzz?  Nowhere in it is government-mandated birth control advocated.  Haven't you known me long enough to know that I would never support such a thing?  The message is to choose to have no more than two children.  It's really starting to boggle my mind that people don't even want to think about the fact that the world is finite.

 

Average Children Per Family

In the USA, it's 2

Red_Dragon

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Posted: Sep 27, 2011 - 4:38pm

 buzz wrote:

I think that Obama should make you Breeding Czar. You can decide who among us may breed and how many times. its a gov job. should get ya a good pension.
 
Did you even watch the video, buzz?  Nowhere in it is government-mandated birth control advocated.  Haven't you known me long enough to know that I would never support such a thing?  The message is to choose to have no more than two children.  It's really starting to boggle my mind that people don't even want to think about the fact that the world is finite.
buzz

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Location: up the boohai


Posted: Sep 27, 2011 - 4:09pm

 oldslabsides wrote:

 
I think that Obama should make you Breeding Czar. You can decide who among us may breed and how many times. its a gov job. should get ya a good pension.
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Sep 27, 2011 - 4:05pm



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