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Don't Blame the Masses


#1

Don't Blame the Masses

Stephen Kinzer

Whether or not the world is in an unusually bad state these days, it certainly seems so. Even Americans, famous for our lack of interest in world affairs, now closely follow news from far away. Much of it is frightening.


#2

As a "middle aged" white male who "grew up" in white bread "America", I will say empathy makes my heart quiver. I am no better nor worse than my fellows who live upon this orb. I am anxious for change. Peace to all...


#3

The Pathology of the Rich -- Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself 1/2


#4

We were promised a "peace dividend" when "the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991". By the end of Bill Clinton's first term in 1996 it was clear that all of that peace dividend would be spent on corporate welfare.


#7

" It requires farsighted leadership that takes the fate of ordinary people seriously and favors diplomacy over coercive force."

Sounds like Obama and the hope and change hw promised. He could of been all that but he co-opted by the 1% oligarchs and may have always been. Under his watch the Oligarchs grew in power and influence, merger and acquisitions and Sherman Anti Trust bill died another death.


#8

Where did 86% come from? This was a primary and many independents and Greens and Libertarians did not get to vote. Our precincts are a major problem ran by the two parties.


#9

A good idea would be to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, as opposed to government of, by and for royalists, the rich and powerful etc. The Supreme Court of the US (which has managed to become thoroughly undemocratic, unnecessarily so) consistently takes the opposite view: look at Citizens Unites. Their decisions can be worse than worthless and totally lacking in wisdom in matters of fundamental import. But they do well serve the plundering class.

Another good idea would be accountability for the blatant lying known as spin and propaganda. We are awash in it, so much that we can believe little of what we hear from the so-called 'elites', better known as the plundering class, the takers. This has so diminished our trust, that propagandists can deny the science of global warming yet remain in positions of power. In the economic field we are awash in lies, such as "tax cuts for the wealthy pay for themselves": this lie has taken us from being the biggest creditor nation in the history of the world, to being the biggest debtor nation, with suffering for the masses to match and much more to come,. This status change occurred in the 8 short years of the Reagan administration and it's damage just grows and grows. There's a guy running for President right now able to repeat the same lie, without being simply dismissed as a nut.

Two simple ideas the plundering class have sought to quash, one a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and two, honesty from our leaders and the main street media.


#10

A big problem with democracy is that with vast numbers of people voting it feels like one's vote does not count for much so most people do not spend a lot of time following politics. Also, there are large number of people who have never attended college and many have not even graduated from high school so they have a very limited knowledge of history, etc in most cases. So that adds up to vast numbers of people voting with a lack of knowledge and being easily persuaded by demagogues. We see that in the US where there is a very large difference between college-educated and non-college educated voters. Trump does extremely poorly with college-educated voters in just about all demographic categories. The Brexit vote in the UK had a similar breakdown between college-educated and non-college educated voters. It is just part of democracy and demagogues therefore always represent a danger.


#11

Did not Democracy began, and end with the Greeks? Everything since appears to be a charade.


#13

Clinton trollmaster David Brock has $6 million to spend on trolling in the next three months. Expect more, not fewer stories that distort facts or at least don't let facts get in the way of the story.

If Brock runs short of money the Democrat's corporate backers have unlimited contingency funds.


#14

Very good jackie, I stopped reading Lrx long ago, but I'm glad you called him/her out.


#15

...and making war elsewhere.


#16

I continue to read Lrx just for the entertainment value s/he provides.


#17

First, I am stunned to see that, neither in the article nor in replies do I see mention of Neo-con/dual-citizen Zionists, Israeli control of the US (as stated flat-out by the Israelis themselves.) Unfortunately the American people have no say in anything! The Neo.cons and Israeli dictate our entire foreign (and domestic) policy. See for instance the Wolfkowitz Doctrine, proclaimed by Neo/con, dual-citizen, fifth columnist, foreign agent David Wolfkowitz, which Israel-serving doctrine has directed our foreign policy through several administrations.

As to the importance of a college education, this is a means to enrich the bankers while plunging hundreds of thousands into debt penury. It is also a means of brainwashing young minds, filling them with the lies and propaganda of generations, while, also, attempting to deprive them of the freedom of speech and action, as for instance being labeled anti-Semitic for support of the boycott of an obviously rogue and criminal state. I for one took college courses that interested me, with no degree. I am the author of five books, three of them best sellers, and I am the founder and CEO of a very successful multi-million dollar-corporation. So much for the need of a college education. .


#18

A quarter century ago I was a professor at one of the top ten US research universities and quickly realized that universities had already become groupthink tanks groveling for corporate funding. I left after two years and never looked back.

Beyond training for technical careers, the most a University EDUCATION could ever provide was to enhance critical thinking skills. With ever increasing corporate influence, the few professors that strive to improve critical thinking have an ever more difficult task. My hat is off to them.


#19

The view from the defender of meritocracy. If only the "smart"
people were in charge (sigh). I suggest you read Listen, Liberal by Thomas Frank for a fine explication of the neoliberal focus on not democracy for all but power and a voice earned through "making it," albeit often by people with a leg up, or two.


#20

Just as people love to support winning sports teams and feel a part of them, they view politicians the same way...wanting to only associate with winners, even if the winner label is nothing more than a media construct.


#21

Keep in mind that that is 86% of the 29% of turnout for the primary - and renders a VERY different profile of the situation


#24

"Rather than shifting to a less assertive and more cooperative foreign policy, we continued to insist that America must reign supreme. When we declared that we would not tolerate the emergence of another “peer power,” we expected that other countries would blithely obey. Instead they ignore us. We interpret this as defiance and seek to punish the offenders. That has greatly intensified tensions between the United States and the countries we are told to consider our chief adversaries, Russia and China."

Trump says that rich countries like Japan, Germany, S. Korea, Saudi Arabia should pay for their defense. That we should not be paying them rent to have our military bases there to defend them. And that if they are attacked, we would have to send our military to help them, but if we are attacked they do not have to help us.

That does not fit in the Empire's plan. America must reign supreme and that means dominating militarily the same countries we have bases on to protect our unpatriotic corporations.

Trump is correct on this one. If we want to be a rich country, we need to stop trying to rule the world with our military. Instead of flushing half our taxes down the military drain, do like Germany, Japan and other rich countries that got rich by making and selling excellent products.

I still don't know what Trump means by "rebuilding our military" though. Does he mean pouring more money into the M/I/I Complex, or saving billions by closing hundreds of bases around the world and using some of that money to modernize it and to fix our infrastructure.

I hope Trump realizes that many Bernie voters would vote for him if he picks an equally conservative/liberal SCOTUS. The eagle needs both wings to fly.


#25

I would disagree to a point. First of all, that you are a successful capitalist says nothing except that you have figured out how to work within an economic system. Describing college educations as career training or a means of enriching hedge fund managers reduces an important step in a human being's intellectual development to something crass and irrelevant, and reflects the narrative that has been playing in the US ever since the release of the 1983 report A Nation at Risk. While it is true that education has become a marketable commodity in the US, that's a perversion of its role, which is to enrich the minds of young people and enlighten them as to the complexity of the universe within which they operate, as well as helping them develop cognitive skills they might not otherwise possess.