Monster Makers

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Monster Makers

Postby d0rkyd00d » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:42 pm

I've never read any of this person's work before, but this really resonated with me.

Some interesting lines from the piece. Interested to hear dissent, as most of this rings true to me.

Obama’s attempt to reconcile irreconcilable forces, to paper over the chasms, arguably gave Donald Trump his opening. Rather than confronting the banks whose reckless greed had caused the financial crisis, he allowed his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, to “foam the runway” for them by allowing 10 million families to lose their homes. His justice department and the attorney general blocked efforts to pursue apparent wrongdoing by the financiers. He pressed for trade agreements that would erode workers’ rights and environmental standards, and presided over the widening of inequality and the concentration of wealth, casualisation of labour and record mergers and acquisitions. In other words, he failed to break the consensus that had grown around the dominant ideology of our times: neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism disenchants politics by sucking the power out of people’s votes. When governments abandon their ambition to change social outcomes or deliver social justice, politics become irrelevant to people’s lives. It is perceived as the chatter of a remote elite. Disenchantment becomes disempowerment.

Biden has turned leftwards since he was Obama’s vice-president. There are some strong policies in his platform. But there is also a determination not to break the consensus by directly confronting the donor class. His “clean energy revolution”, which envisages massive investments in renewables and greener infrastructure, covers half the necessary effort to prevent climate breakdown. But without an active programme to retire dirty infrastructure and leave fossil fuels in the ground – in other words, directly confronting fossil capital – it will be less effective than he imagines.

His measures to support small business are positive, but they will count for little unless he also breaks up big business, starting with big tech. He has promised to raise taxes for the rich. But the plutocrats will laugh at him until he wages war on tax havens and secrecy regimes, starting with his home state of Delaware. Unless Biden unites the people against the oligarchs who dominate the nation, the people will remain divided against each other.

Before we consider solutions, I think we have to recognise the possibility that US politics might not be fixable. The system is constitutionally padlocked; beholden to the power of money, which is reinforced by the supreme court’s catastrophic Citizens United decision, removing the caps on political spending by lobbyists; perhaps now terminally confused, frightened and angry. But if there is a solution, it must involve the re-enchantment of politics.

What does this look like? I suspect it means a tub-thumping left populism, inveighing against billionaires, against big money in politics, against the stripping away of public protections, against white collar crime and in favour of the radical redistribution of both wealth and political power. It would reach past an obstructive Senate and supreme court to appeal directly to the people. It would build and sustain social movements that are bigger than the Democratic party, using its activist base not just to win elections but also to drive home political change.
"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." -Voltaire

"If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do."
-Bertrand Russell
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Re: Monster Makers

Postby MagsJ » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:36 pm

I agree with his statements.. with all the best intentions in the world, implementing positive changes is going to be an uphill struggle, when faced with a couple of centuries of ingrained stubborn socio-cultural mechanisms that have been put in place.. and then there’s the newer ones, of the last few decades.

There are therefore many layers of bureaucracy to get through, before anything of any helpful relevance can be confidently implemented.. a country has to want change and be behind it, in order for any change to be had. A case of too many cooks spoiling the broth/too many hands in too many pies?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Monster Makers

Postby Gloominary » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:34 pm

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Re: Monster Makers

Postby Mr Reasonable » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:12 pm

whats crazy is that mnuchin made all that money off all those foreclosures then trump put him in at treasury, yet this dissenter is still talking about obama.
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