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Single Payer and the Case Against 'Clicktivism'


Single Payer and the Case Against 'Clicktivism'

Russell Mokhiber

Obamacare, with its promise of healthcare reform, took the wind out of the sails of the single payer movement.

In the House of Representatives, the number of co-sponsors of the single payer bill, HR 676, today is at 53 — down from a high of about 100.

Under Obamacare, 30 million Americans are still uninsured and tens of millions more are underinsured.

It’s a down year for single payer and activists are asking — what to do?

What’s the next step?


Hindsight is 20:20 but, imo, the window of opportunity to develop a single payer system was in the early 1900s. Many hospitals at the time were trying to figure out how to stay funded but the concept of singelpayer healthcare wasn't at the forefront. Instead, it was decided to run hospitals as for-profit businesses. So, we ended up with the grossly inflated and expensive health care industry we have today and the ACA only perpetuates the for-profit model of healthcare. If we really moved to a single payer, nonprofit system, all those fingers in the pie and administrative fat can be trimmed off of the cost of healthcare. We got the ACA instead of a single payer system because all those fingers in the pie would have erupted in protest because their businesses would have become obsolete. The ACA may have reduced the cost of health insurance a wee tad bit but it won't reduce the cost of health care.


So, let me just see if I have this right. Bernie Sanders is leading in Iowa and New Hampshire ... is within 10 points of HRC nationally, has no SuperPAC, is raising his money through mass meatspace support and online organization ... several articles have been written about how this is happening, focusing on Social Media and technology use and outreach to the Millennials, who are not a-sceered of the dreaded "Socialism" .... and the upshot of this article is that the same strategy used for Single Payer will NOT work. Come on. Just come on. Ridiculous on its face. Do people need to get out on the streets? For damn sure. An how, pray, do you get people out on the streets? Through Social MEDIA!!! Single Payer Now needs to hire some frikkin' Social Media activists and fire whoever thought that attacking "Clickticism" was a good idea. I suppose there MAY be some value to Malcolm Gladwell's "Strong and weak" social ties theories. But you can use the weak ties -- Social Media -- to organize and create the strong ties - meeting face to face. This is not hard to understand.....


Social media has been a total failure at turning people out in the streets - all it does is de-aggregate people into increasingly tiny cloistered micro-interest-based Facebook pages or twitter-tweets. The massive protests of 2001-2005 were all organized by traditional street posters, hand bills and phone-banking plus the now-sadly-defunct Indymedia sites - plus ordinary websites and e-mail lists having a large part too.

What has there been since the "Twitter Revolution" and Facebook replacing the older methods? Well, the sadly disorganized, tiny and fizzled "Occupy".

The difference is that all of the earlier successful organizing tools - including the older internet-based ones - notably Indymedia - whose demise was tragic, were broadcasters of ideas. Web pages and the Indymedia news site were accessible to everyone via an easy to remember URL on a poster or handbill or word-of-mouth. E-mail lists, phone solicitation, hand bills and posters - or browsing local news headlines on Indymedia were things that commanded attention - requiring no initiating interest or action on the part of the recipient. These actions are a megaphone for which the speaking is done from the proper (narrow) end.

In stark contrast, social media is "narrowcasting". To even be aware that organizing efforts exist at all, I have to know (how???) the specific facebook page or twitter hashtag, and have an account with these services - and if I know if these Facebook pages, then I'm already a member of the self-preaching choir! Using social media for organizing It is like shouting into a megaphone from the wrong end!

And make no mistake - the billionaire Ayn-Randite tech capitalist interests designed Facebook and Twitter to produce exactly this effect of dispersing and atomizing all effective mass organizing against their capitalist interests. And the truly tragic thing is that those who are think that Facebook and Twitter is the best thing for organizing since sliced bread are completely clueless that they are the very victims of the capitalist's social-consent engineering process!


We, my generation stopped a War, how? By being in the street. It was never done before and hasn't been done since. American's have gotten Fat and Lazy, they are obese and stupid.

Bernie Sanders is doing well because he's in the street, in the halls, in church's. Have you ever heard him? He speaks very loudly, with passion. You can not do that with a click!!


Nancy P. in charge of congress at the time said "single payer is Not on the table"...there is only one finger to point and at only one person.


"The window of opportunity to develop a single payer system" also opened at the turn of the 21st century when then California Governor Gray Davis was posturing to sign single-payer into law in California, an action that would have created the momentum for nationwide single-payer.

In 2003, in order to stop single payer in its tracks, the 1% dug deep into their bottomless money pits to fund the recall of Davis and install Arnold the Governator who twice vetoed California single payer.


The mouse doesn't roar


Too bad Jim Haught (today's edition of Common Dreams) didn't get the real story from fellow West Virginian Russell Mokhiber before including Obamacare as a victory.


As part of his stump speech, Bernie Sanders ALWAYS talks about the need for singlepayer healthcareforall. For God;s sake, support Bernie Sanders!
Here are some things you can do to help the campaign of the most authentic HONEST w/o anySuperPAC $$$$--BERNIE SANDERS.
1. Call the DNC HDQRTRS DEMOCRATICNATIONALHEADQUARTERS: [202]683-8000. I called today and was able to leave a detailed specific message on DebbieWassermanSchultz's voice mail: SCHEDULE MORE DEBATES. Get the hell out of the way,trying to block other candidates to improve Shillary's chances. Makes my blood boil!!
2. Go to www.revoltagainstplutocracy.org & PLEDGE TO WRITE IN the name of Bernie Sanders should the DNC try dirty tricks to shove HRC DOWN OUR throats. The pledge also asks that you enroll 2 other like-minded folks. GO,BERNIE!


They needed to have been much larger and disruptive - but if you recall, the Seattle protests (and later Quebec, Genoa, Goteborg and DC) did succeed in shutting down the WTO meetings and preventing most of the agreements from being concluded there and delaying future agreements. Some agreements, like the Multilateral Agreement on Investments were cancelled altogether under fear of massive global disruptive action.

On the Iraq invasion front, the world-record-in-scale protests were ineffective in the end, but we were certainty were much further along in our organizing than the present sorry situation - and that was my point.



The protests organized by ANSWER and UPJ grew larger through 2005-2006 or so. The largest by far of the UPJ or ANSWER protests in DC was in September 2005. The election of Obama - UPJ being run by Democrat operatives is what destroyed the antiwar activism almost overnight.

Internet "petitions" are the very definition of utterly useless activity!


from an old-timer, you don't know jack, you're still wet behind the ears


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying its impossible to go to single payer. I'm just saying that way back when was the real time to have gone single payer and that would have avoided to current monstrosity that is our current health care system with these insurance companies and all.