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Forum Post: "The Uprising Has Begun - A New Politics That Rejects Austerity and Wars of Whim", by John Nichols .

Posted 10 years ago on May 19, 2012, 12:46 a.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"The Uprising Has Begun - A New Politics That Rejects Austerity and Wars of Whim",

by John Nichols.

There’s something sick about a politics that tells children to give up their lunch money so that billionaire speculators can avoid paying taxes. And that sickness will only be cured by a new politics.

That new politics begins this week in Chicago.

When National Nurses United and the union’s allies rally on May 18 in Chicago on behalf of a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street speculation, the lie of austerity will be exposed.

The proponents of austerity—from Madison to Washington to Berlin to Athens—would have us believe that nations, states and communities must sacrifice public education, public services and healthcare in order to balance budgets. Yet the same politicians who preach that there is no money for vaccinations and school lunches can always find the money for corporate tax breaks, payouts to defense contractors and wars of whim.

Politicians in both parties tell austerity lies.

But the people are pushing back.

There’s an uprising brewing, not just in Europe but in American states such as Wisconsin and Ohio. There’s a dawning recognition that it is neither morally nor fiscally prudent to sacrifice human needs in order to pay for wars—or to redistribute more of the wealth upward. We do not need “shared sacrifice” and the lie of austerity. We need new priorities.

That’s the message behind the May 18 “Heal the World” rally in Chicago, where I’ll join National Nurses United executive director Rose Ann DeMoro, musician Tom Morello and others in advocating for a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street speculation.

NNU is rallying in Chicago because that’s where the G-8 Summit was supposed to be held, before the leaders of the planet’s wealthiest nations decided to avoid the “street heat” that was being generated in support of a financial transactions tax. Now, they’ll gather at Camp David—where security will be tighter. But the Robin Hood Tax, which takes a small chunk of change on each transaction by rich speculators and gives to programs that serve the great mass of people, will stll be mentioned at Camp David. Newly elected French President François Hollande is likely to bring it the increasingly popular proposal, as may German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In Chicago, the battle cry against austerity will be raised his weekend, along with criticisms of the broken priorities that have turned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into a vehicle for maintaining the occupation of Afghanistan.

Many of the activists who will rally with the NNU will also rally Sunday in protest of NATO policies. The causes are related, as they both address the question of budget priorities. Indeed, one of the key backers of the protests, Progressive Democrats of America, has mounted a “Health Care Not Warfare” campaign that brings the messages together.

There is a new politics afoot in America, a politics that challenges the lie of austerity and the lie that says unlimited military spending is necessary. As Americans and their allies from around the world rally, march and vote to put human needs ahead of corporate greed and the military-industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned, it is no surprise that activist unions such as NNU and their allies in groups such as PDA will be in the thick of it.

These are groups that understand that the next politics requires an inside-outside strategy that challenges the lie of austerity and the lies that lead to wars of whim. Those challenges must play out inside existing political parties, and outside them; in the corridors of power and in the streets. That next politics will be on display in Chicago on May 18. But it won’t stop there.

The uprising has begun, and it’s spreading.


per ardua ad astra ...


[Article copied verbatim under "Fair Use" from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31367.htm / http://www.thenation.com/blog/167952/new-politics-rejects-austerity-and-wars-whim - please use these links in order to access embedded links.]



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[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

In conjunction with and further to, the forum post - please also see :

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Damn Straight I'm a Socialist - and give your ear drums a massage with this as to why & possibly avail the forum-post and/or the links on this thread :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

You're a socialist you say? Well, mind you don't get shot by some gun freak for expressing solidarity with society! Here's insights into how we are in the state we're in - http://www.nationofchange.org/how-dark-money-helped-republicans-hold-house-and-hurt-voters-1356192842 - and also please reflect upon - http://www.nationofchange.org/center-releases-depth-study-conference-version-fy-2013-ndaa-1356194494 . Never Give Up Trying To Expose The Truth! Occupy The Issues! Solidarity and a very merry christmas and a happy new year to you :)

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

"Why I Am a Socialist ?" by Chris Hedges : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21586.htm & as you see, I'm not the only one !! Merry Xmas, peace, joy & happy new year A4C, to you and yours.

pax et lux ...

[-] 4 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

Chris Hedges is great. He is brutal with the truth and we need that in today's world when so many are blinded by allegiance to parties.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Chris Hedges is a warrior for The 99% - just like Matt Taibbi, whose early OWS cris de coeur, I append here :

Solidarity @ all your good work Trevor. Onwards, Upwards & Occupy 2013 !

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

Ha love the link!

"Occupy Wall Street... a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite."

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

also I love the trade tax idea. Probably one of the most legit, up there with living wage laws, and monetary reform like HR 2990.

love all 5 suggestions he made really.

great link! Makes me even more excited to read his book i ordered.

kind of responded like 3 times.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

I'm currently reading Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi civilians.

In it one soldier talks of sending an innocent man to Abu Grahib, after the man had been shot by a fellow soldier. The man the soldier talks about was an innocent civilian. However, in fear of investigation for shooting an innocent civilian, the fellow soldier had planted a gun on the man and filed a fake report. The soldier telling the story said he has felt guilty ever since, and explained he did it in fear of being perceived as a traitor to his peers and fellow soldiers.

The book is incredible really. Chris speaks with 50 soldiers that served in Iraq at different times, and includes direct quotes to describe the actions taken against Iraqi civilians.

Another soldier describes how it was policy to shoot civilians that got close to KBR convoys. Even though Iraqi civilians do not know the shipment times and have no way of planning their drive around them, nor know what to expect simply for driving on the same road.

I'm still waiting on his newest book Days of Destruction Days of Revolt. I also am expecting Griftopia by Matt Taibbi.

Thanks for the good words Shadz! And as always, for the great links as well! Peace!

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

'If Barack Obama does not end the flagrant theft of taxpayer funds by corporate slugs and the disgraceful abandonment of our working class, especially as foreclosures and unemployment mount, many in the country will turn in desperation to the far right embodied by groups such as Christian radicals. The failure by the left to offer a democratic socialist alternative will mean there will be, in the eyes of many embittered and struggling working- and middle-class Americans, no alternative but a perverted Christian fascism. The inability to articulate a viable socialism has been our gravest mistake.' - from your excellent link which I read several times over the holidays so thank you again. Hedges says it like almost no-one else in our country.

Dennis Kucinich is another such truth-teller - http://www.nationofchange.org/dennis-kucinich-fiscal-cliff-why-are-we-sacrificing-american-jobs-corporate-profits-1356713202 - Never Give Up Educating & Explaining! Occupy A Future Fit For Our Kids! Solidarity & best wishes for 2013.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Dennis Kucinich is quite simply second to none in US 'poly-tricks' & thanx for your excellent link and Hedges excerpt. Re. 'The Fiscal Cliff', I append the following important articles :

Thanx for all your good links and comments & Happy 2013 A4C to you and yours.

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

Dr.Michael Hudson's article is an education in itself and I will be rereading it again, as it has so much information and facts. It is as good as a college course I think and to follow the shorter article by the ever excellent Robert Reich, please see - http://www.nationofchange.org/ongoing-war-after-battle-over-cliff-battle-over-debt-ceiling-1357137256 .

The 'Fiscal Cliff' is just a big ploy to keep us confused and stressed as our 'One Party-Two Factions' system softens up for more and more cutbacks and the hollowing out of what is left of civil society here. Thank you for your excellent links and Never Give Up on The 99%! Occupy The 1%! Solidarity for 2013.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

The Dr. Michael Hudson ( http://michael-hudson.com/ ) article above is highly recommended but does need and will reward - some effort and perseverance. Never Give Up A4C ! Occupy 2013 !! Solidarity !!!

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

'The median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation, even though the economy is growing. And the share of the economy going to wages rather than to profits is the smallest on record.'

'Increasingly it’s looked like the game is rigged, especially when people see government bailing out Wall Street (the Tea Party movement grew out of the bailout, as did the Occupiers), and handing out corporate welfare to big agriculture, big pharma, oil companies, and the insurance industry, to name but a few of the recipients.'

'The outrage grows when average working people are told – falsely — that a growing portion of Americans don’t pay taxes and live off government handouts.'

from - http://www.nationofchange.org/ongoing-war-after-battle-over-cliff-battle-over-debt-ceiling-1357137256 - by Robert Reich.

Never Give Up Exposing The Oligarchy! Occupy Peace, Love & Light! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Great excerpts from a very good short article by the ever insightful Robert Reich and with a further view to Dr. Michael Hudson's essential work, please also consider :

Read it and weep but also realise - Forewarned Is Forearmed ~*~

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

That's a brilliant and chilling article. Bankers and TPTB still aspire for Neoliberal lunacy backed by Neocon conceits, while denying & decrying the public they propagandise for private profit and all along, shit like this - http://www.nationofchange.org/tax-avoidance-rise-it-s-twice-amount-social-security-and-medicare-1357569601 - continues to happen! Read it and seethe! Never Give Up! Go Occupy! Solidarity.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

The proponents of austerity—from Madison to Washington to Berlin to Athens—would have us believe that nations, states and communities must sacrifice public education, public services and healthcare in order to balance budgets.

austerity is a misnomer

an efficient(austere) government would provide for the basic needs of the people

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

I'm personally rather unsure about the equation of "efficient" with 'austere' and also question that the idea that 'The Government' should be a phenomenon outside and external to "the people" !!!

We, The 99% need to re-establish Democracy at the heart of our societies in order to Reclaim The Government (of, for & by 'The People') and thus provide for Our Own Needs !!

Or am I merely being pedantic about semantics ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by Pequod (17) 10 years ago

what are basic needs and how do you prevent loafers?

[-] 4 points by PR1 (120) 10 years ago

By excluding the 1%.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

A beautifully succinct answer that deserves a tune :

pax et lux ...

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Further to the tune, something a little more substantial :

  • "Desperate Times Demand Revolutionary Measures" by Peter Phillips, inspired by ..... “Don’t waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate-—just enough to register your obstruction and defiance—and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided.” (Chris Hedges, May 2012) : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31335.htm .

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by PR1 (120) 10 years ago

"I'm mad as hell and I'm . . . just going to take it some more!"

The battle cry from the "rugged individuls" on the liberatarian right.

You have to say that last part really quietly.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Paradoxically it could just as easily be "The battle cry" of The 99% who could understand that we as "rugged individuals" - nevertheless, almost all live within the ambit of something that we call 'Society' !

Do "libertarians", grow their own food ; weave their own cloth ; forge their own metal tools ; pave their own roads or do they rely on healthcare and all other ancillary services from Other People In Society ?

minima maxima sunt ...

[-] 5 points by PR1 (120) 10 years ago

The American "rugged individul" is a coward, first and formost, and secondly a fool.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

Alas, you may well have a seriously important point but IF you called 'The American' a cowardly fool, he may well see fit to shoot you with a gun, manufactured by and bought from - someone else !

"Rugged Individual Libertarian(ism)" is the 'Kool-Aid' liberally purveyed by the 0.01% via the 1%, in order to stupefy, intoxicate and distract The 99% from pursuing their own collective best interest !!

Consider the nature of "Groupon" and how Americans can contemplate coming together to excercise a collective will in order to secure concessions and savings for the purchase of Pizza but some how fail to utilise the same rationale in order to secure Free at The Point Of Use Universal Healthcare !!!

The mind boggles but alas, none are as enslaved as those who would shackle themselves ...

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 5 points by PR1 (120) 10 years ago

The American right-leaning "rugged individul" is completely unwilling to stand up for either himself or anyone else. He would be the last person to face down the police, or anyone except maybe his own wife and children, or others he sees as being completely powerless.

There isn't anything he isn't afraid of. He doesn't have the courage to fight his countries wars, or the courage to oppose them. He lets "longhairs," (who he makes a big show of despising) fight for his civil liberties, and lets little girls from Appalachia fight "his" wars for him. (I say "his" wars only because he's afraid to admit that those wars aren't even his wars and are fought instead for the very people who have stolen his freedom from him, without having heard so much as a wimper.)

He needs to have a fraudulent daddy-figure like Ron Paul, or Pat Robertson tell him what to do, because his daddy was a fraud and so it just feels right, and also because he's afraid to think for himself.

There isn't ANYTHING that he isn't afraid of. and that's why he owns a dozen guns. He's afraid of the opposite sex, of minorities, of free-speech, of gay rights, of his boss, and more than anything, of appearing the slightest bit different from all the other idiots like himself.

He is the most dependent of all men who have ever lived, not only for his survival, but the bolstering of his preposterously fragile ego through the constant reinforcement of the rituals of football, and the approval and attention of other "manly men" like himself.

He's afraid of getting one inch out of line except in completely socially sanctioned ways, such as shooting a gun or riding a motorcycle, or hunting. More than anything he wants to be like everybody else, and needs constant reassurance, like a child, that he's just one of the boys.

Really, what he needs, is a diaper and a bedtime story.

So there's your American "rugged individul," your liberatarian and your neo-con. Suffer him with a couple of asperin, or maybe just take the whole damned bottle.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

That is one of the most cogent, heartfelt and in the final analysis - moving, 'cris de coeur' that I have ever read on this forum, further to which I append :

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

This is an old sociological phenomena. The poor resent the wealthy, but still defend the right to be wealthy. We might think it's paradoxical, or we might think their belief that they have a chance of becoming wealthy themselves is unrealistic and misguided, but these are the same sort of arguments and sociological paradoxes (and observations regarding those arguments and paradoxes) we've had in this country for probably the better part of the last two centuries.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 10 years ago

I fear that you are right but I'd argue that the above could NOT happen without a culture of concentrated, concerted and continuous propaganda !!

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

I guess I would say that whatever we endorse as a way to give the 99% dignity, we should understand that the desire to better one's self, achieve great things, and the idea that extraordinary achievement deserves to be rewarded, is a part of human nature. Even competition is a very natural thing (it's a vital part of biological evolution).

This is where those who have endorsed some brand of state socialism have always run into problems (and most profoundly in the United States). I have no doubt that many of our inclinations are the byproduct of cultural indoctrination, but many are probably not (and represent a deeper and more ingrained aspect of our nature). I see no reason why this dynamic should preclude a more just society, but these are aspects of human nature that need to be acknowledged and honestly addressed in any viable proposal to improve our society.

For example, I think most of us would support the idea that more companies should be employee owned, and management should be participatory (to the full extent possible), but does this mean we stand against all convention companies, even the small shop employing a few high school kids? I mean, not all people are at the stage in life where committing themselves to an employee owned enterprise makes sense (if you're a high school kid, you shouldn't have to make that sort of commitment). So I think we should maintain flexibility in our ideas (and try to avoid dogmatic rhetoric).

[+] -5 points by vtexan (-17) 9 years ago

The LIE of austerity? Tell me how that works out next time you spend more money than you have asshole. It's called DEBT...you dumb mother fucker

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

No Shit Sherlock !!! No flies on you, I see - despite your toilet-mouth !!

If you can - feel free to revert after having read, digested & considered :

Now, now - try to play nice & at least one of us may learn something !

ne quid nimis ...