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Sanders at Fulcrum of Debate on Progressives


#1

Sanders at Fulcrum of Debate on Progressives

Rick Salutin

Paul Krugman — Nobel Prize economist, New York Times columnist — does it regularly, especially when a U.S. election impends. He’s superb on his own beat; few are better at dissecting the negatives of austerity. But then he gets the classic theorist’s itch for power, to be Aristotle tutoring Alexander the Great. I can picture him seething: at least Stiglitz got that three-year gig plus martyrdom at the World Bank. (Joseph Stiglitz also has an economics Nobel, then the World Bank fired him for holding views much like Krugman’s — Aarrgh!)


#4

If you want to obfuscate the meaning of a word, use it. Sustainable lost its meaning years ago when every development scheme, private or government, tagged it on to their enterprise as a green-washing tool.

Until about 2 days ago, progressive was an alternative word for liberal, which has been totally owned by the conservative media to mean something between devil worship and welfare queen.

The real ideological fight between Hillary and Bernie is the one between neo-liberalism, which Mr. Salutin defines here as "free trade, globalization, deregulation" and democracy which I define as government of the people.

What Hillary won't admit to is that the roots of her politics is Reagan and Thatcher, whose love child is neo-liberalism, which is characterized by privatization and a government primarily attuned to corporate interests as illustrated by the TPP and TTIP agreements.

The effect of neo-liberalism is very evident in the developing world where many governments have become little more than facilitators of the global neo-liberal establishment which include:

  1. Foreign aid development agencies (USAID, DfID, etc.) and government funded multi-lateral development banks such as the World Bank and the Asian and African Development Banks.
  2. Private foundations (Gates, Clinton, Rockefeller, etc.), that represent the interests of corporations and wealthy individuals which fund them through tax deductions and slush funds.
  3. Non-governmental organizations, which are dependent on the above two for funding.

The goal of these 3 types of organizations is to create a plutocratic global power structure that promotes corporate interests whose strategy is to diminish and eventually eliminate traditional government functions--which has already happened in much of the developing world.

The fight in this election between Hillary and Bernie, and in this time of global history, is between neo-liberalism and populism; plutocracy and democracy.


#5

And then "local" became something you purchase at Whole Foods, or at McDonald's. Long since every new shade of consumer product has been "revolutionary."

Massively funded PR, marketing and spin, swiftly obfuscate the meaning of any word. The effect is to strip language, consciousness and communication of the potential for a counter-narrative to their hegemony (capital, management, military, police, etc.) over all other social forces.

i think Sanders' campaign is doing a great job overall of sticking to concrete language about who is doing what to whom in the present political economy.

i'm not sure if getting into a protracted fight over the meaning of "progressive," and over who gets to claim the mantle of progressivism, is staying on message, or wandering off-message.


#6

Excellent comment. I would, however, add to #1 in that these "aid" organizations frequently serve as fronts for CIA and/or Deep State nefarious interests.

Otherwise, impeccable analysis.


#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

The term is non sequitur and it's doubtful you even know what it means, nor can you spell it.

And the ONLY frame that John Ellis repeats often is this 50/50 even split that is a crock of SHIT and even when confronted with actual financial facts, he still resorts to this ridiculous frame.

It's delusional, not a non sequitur!

You wrote:

"It's a big nonsecuitor."


#11

To 'nationalize' an industry can be a very tricky enterprise. Usually strong regulations of the company by the government can yield better results.


#12

I think you mean the upper half of the one percent.


#13

Excellent comment. Spot-on. Great point about the influence of Reagan, Thatcher and neoliberalism on Hillary. The "love child," though, was already born. A more likely set of "parents" might be F.A. Hayek and Henry Kissinger, given that: The first clear example of neo-liberalism at work came in Chile (with thanks to University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman), after the CIA-supported coup against the popularly elected Allende regime in 1973.

Not too surprising that Hillary is citing Kissinger as a mentor now, is it?


#14

Yep, not much juice left in that turnip. Bernie's does a great job staying on message, hell I can give his stump speech--though not with the hand motions like he's conducting an orchestra.


#15

I was stunned at her obliviousness when she accepted Kissinger's praise of her term as Secretary of State . . . the person I hold most responsible creating the conditions that led to the genocide in Cambodia.


#16

I know, right? That guy is a war criminal 15 ways.


#17

I have stated that Bernie Sanders not A Socialist. I have also stated his foreign policy leaves a lot to be desired and in particular when it comes to the Middle east, Israel and the MIC.

That said should he win the nomination for the Presidency for the Democratic party this is not a lessor of two evils choice. There is in fact something positive that came out of the Obama Presidency and that is the majority of the people would never have reached the point where they would consider a "Socialist" as President without an Obama,. Obama promised the many Hope and Change and demonstrated himself to be a liar and a fraud. Those people that had supported him because they felt he represented their own more progressive vision felt betrayed and THAT betrayal caused a good many of them to support a candidate seen as even more "extreme" rather than one of the Status quo.A guy claiming to be a Socialist which was once a dirty word in US Politics.

If bernie is elected and delivers on his promises, this will fuel the desire for even more bold moves and help fuel the rise of the left.If he turns ito another smoke and mirrors guy like Obama before him , then even more people will feel betrayed and abandon the Democratic party entirely.

Now there is a very obvious and real problem that might occur. The entire World Economy is in a fragile state, through no fault of the left and Sanders could take over just as there a collapse. This collapse would be used by those on the right and the 1 percent to claim it all the fault of those same policies Mr Sanders promotes.


#18

I should have mentioned that there are good NGO's. Oxfam, Medecins sans Frontieres, Mercy Ships I think are 3 excellent organizations. The Sisters of Charity are also above reproach--if the CIA infiltrates them, it's abandon all hope.


#19

Is Henry Kissinger a War Criminal?

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0611-03.htm


#20

An archive can be a powerful thing, can it not?


#21

Quite possibly one of the most venal crimes one can imagine. There mny people of good will who join those organizations out of a true desire to help those in need. The CIA uses this good will and the desire of people to do good to advance their own agenda. It sickening.


#22

Although State banks like North Dakota has should be part of the mix, I agree that in the current economy restoring New Deal banking regulations and updating them will be the most beneficial (to the 99%) option. When the next crash occurs, however, nationalization will be the only option to consider, just like it should have been the only option during the 2008 crash.

Nationalization need not be permanent...just long enough to restore solvency AND down size the banks to a size that they are under control.

During the Ford Administration in 1976 the US Government nationalized several bankrupt railroads and called it Conrail. Conrail went public in the 80s and was sold to two Class 1 railroads (NS and CSX) at a profit in the 90s. If Ford (who was a Republican) were running for president in 2016 the GOP would probably throw him in Guantanamo, and Hillary would be telling us how he was not pragmatic and too leftist to get elected.