Department of Analytical Tools
"That is why the politics of freedom refuses to view the state as the conservative does: as a constraint. Or as the welfare-state liberal does: as a distributive machine. Instead, it views the state the way the abolitionist, the trade unionist, the civil rights activist and the feminist do: as an instrument for disrupting the private life of power. The state, in other words, is the right hand to the left hand of social movement." Read more about More From Corey Robin
I'm browsing around Corey Robin's site, after being pointed in that direction by Lambert. There's some challenging writing over there. For those of us who are committed to the de-centralization and localization movement as a response to the crimes of the centralized State, there is lots of food for thought over there. You might want to start with this essay. Quite interesting. Read more about Anarchism, Libertarianism & the Coercive State
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent column on the consternation Ron Paul causes progressives. He makes the point that I've been trying to make all along:
"It’s unfortunate that both political parties, and the current President, are largely in agreement on these vital issues. Finding ways to subvert that consensus is imperative for anyone who actually believes in their importance."
The "vital issues" that Greenwald refers to are, among others, shredding the Constitution, authoritarian secrecy, civilian deaths, and legal black holes. Read more about Glenn Greenwald on Democrats
On December 30th, Roman Berry posted a comment on the Robert Scheer on Ron Paul diary about the Overton Window. When I followed the link to the Corrente blog post about the Overton Window, I thought, what a great idea. But it wasn't until I started doing some research on the concept that I found out that Joseph Overton, who came up with the idea, was employed by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which was established in 1987. Read more about The Overton Window
Several times in the last few days, I have posted this quote from Paulo Freire:
"One of the gravest obstacles to the achievement of liberation is that oppressive reality absorbs those within it and thereby acts to submerge ... [our] consciousness. Functionally, oppression is domesticating. To no longer be prey to its force, one must emerge from it and turn upon it." Read more about A Fool's Paradise?
I'm sure everyone here has heard all of the arguments for why we shouldn't vote for a third party candidate. I never seriously considered voting third party until being betrayed by Obama, though there is plenty of evidence to indicate that the betrayal is my own fault. But I have plenty of company there - there are lots of liberals and progressives who fell for Obama's rhetoric, too. All I can do is say, "mea culpa" and promise to do better. Read more about Lesser Evilism
Ohio voters last night voted overwhelmingly against both Republican and Democrat corporate-favoring policies in a referendum. Senate Bill 5, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature and signed into law by Republican governor John Kasich, was shot down by sixty-one percent, too large a margin for the GOP to rig the vote count in its favor. Read more about Ohio Voters Reject Senate Bill 5, Obamacare; Mississippi Defeats Anti-Abortion Amendment
I've been a big fan of Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn for many years, as no doubt many here are also. I'm not sure how I stumbled across the title, but I recently bought You Call This a Democracy?, by Paul Kivel. I have a few books by G. William Domhoff but haven't read them yet for some reason. Kivel takes the ideas of Domhoff and applies them to a critical examination of the social and economic structures in this country, with predictable results. If you haven't heard of Paul Kivel, go to his website and learn more about him. Here is a sampling of chapter titles to whet your appetite for the book:
How Does the Power Elite Communicate?
How Do Members of the Ruling Class Increase Their Wealth?
Protecting Their Power Read more about You Call this a Democracy?
On the Open Salon version of my previous entry, some right-winger who supports Obama kept trying to lay the blame for next year's results on the left for failing to properly support the candidate who has done far more to pass the Republicans' agenda than any GOP office-holder could have.
Read more about Obamabots On the Attack
"My apologies to the Roman Empire, but politics is now part of bread-and-circus time in the increasingly chaotic American version of empire. The circuses are, of course, for us, the bread (and I mean dough, moolah) for them. They grow fat. We remain riveted to our many screens. Meanwhile, out there in the real world, where towers are falling all the time, even American decline is undoubtedly being gilded, and readied to be put up in lights, and sold as yet more fun for the masses: disintegration, the last word in on-screen entertainment. With the magisterial Mike Davis’s eulogy at the graveside today, TomDispatch switches off the TV and embarks on a triple look at American decline." -- Tom Engelhardt Read more about Mike Davis: Edward Gibbon at America's Grave