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Capitalism takes on democracy

The strategy being used to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership has parallels elsewhere. Global and local efforts by corporations to increase profits are showing a strong preference for bypassing citizens.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

Stockholme Syndrome and the Left

Sound familiar, anyone?

"Every syndrome has symptoms or behaviors, and Stockholm Syndrome is no exception. While a clear-cut list has not been established due to varying opinions by researchers and experts, several of these features will be present: Read below the fold...

Permanent Crisis Blog

I stumbled across the Permanent Crisis blog via Continental Drift (which is written by a performance artist) and found it most interesting. It assumes a good bit of foundational knowledge of Marxism, so if you don't have that, you may not get as much out of reading the entries as you would if you did, but they are still worth reading. Two posts, in particular, are required reading, in my book. Read below the fold...

AUSTERITY Most Savage! (some statistics)

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America’s Hunger Epidemic: 'A Place at the Table' and 'American Winter' by Michael Shank

50 million Americans live in food-insecure households

1-out-of-2 American children will rely on federal assistance for food during their childhoods

106 million Americans, over 1 in 3, live below twice poverty line (less than $36,000 for a family of three)

Richest 1 percent now possess 40 percent of the nation’s wealth

----------------------------- Read below the fold...

Dr. Margaret Flowers Helps Clear the ‘Fog of Greed’

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In a 1/24/13 article in Aljazeera entitled “Top CEOs plan to loot US social programmes”, Dr. Margaret Flowers powerfully calls out the motives of a mendacious “Fix the Debt” campaign launched by 80 CEOs who are determined to cut their corporate taxes even further by decimating social programs beneficial to us, the lower whopping 99% of the American citizenry.

Flowers writes: Read below the fold...

Don't Feed the Animals. Why People Who Don't Vote Could Be the Smart Ones and the Real Rebels

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(cross posted at The Montana Maven )
Or so Dimitri Orlov would like us to ponder. It's not a new idea, but it is an idea that doesn't get much play in the media and in our discussions with neighbors. We are told over and over that voting is the patriotic thing to do. People died for the right to vote. We get little flag stickers to put on our coats like the purple fingers of Iraqi voters. That the conventional wisdom. So why do so many Americans sit the elections out? And at the same time, if Americans do participate why do we hear over and over from pundits and comments on the blogs that those folks in Kansas and other reddish places just don't get it. "Why do they vote against their own self interests? " progressives ask. The wags note that these voters are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. But on the other hand, vast numbers of people including women and minorities vote for the blue team and get nothing substantial out of that too. So what's up? And yes, why do they even vote at all?

Orlov is a linguist and an engineer who has a blog called Club Orlov. He has also written several books, one of which, "Reinventing Collapse", I am reading for advice on how to survive such a collapse besides our two month's supply of Nalley's Chili and two generators. He emigrated to the U.S. in the mid-Seventies and made several trips back to Russia during the Soviet rule and then after the Soviet collapse. He believes that there are many lessons we in the U.S. can learn from the collapse of the other late 20th century super power. That there are more similarities than differences between the two super powers, as Orlov describes them, gave me pause. It's always interesting to look at a common question through a different set of glasses.

Both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. derived their identities from being either capitalist or communist and the "extreme adherence to one or the other" as opposed to healthier countries that mix it up is what Orlov believes led to the doom of one and the coming doom of the other. Ideologies are all well and good, he says, if they actually work. But when it becomes clear that the average working citizen is not doing so well, the legitimacy of the rigid system begins to unravel and finally collapse. He points out that Albert Camus made the observation that the two superpowers were more alike than not back in the 1950s. Camus said that a specific failure of both systems was their inability "to provide creative, meaningful work." This Orlov says leads to mass depression. Read below the fold...

Crack Capitalism

I stumbled across this book, by John Holloway, entitled Crack Capitalism. No, it doesn't have anything to do with crack cocaine - it has to do with looking at the world completely differently, something that I've recently started to do. I'm so very, very tired of all the pointing fingers and daily atrocities. I'm posting pp. Read below the fold...

"A Decent Life" or It's the Respect, Stupid

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"Necessitous men [women] are not free men [women]," said FDR in his 2nd Bill of Rights speech. This phrase is said to come from a English property law case in 1762.

This morning in the second hour of "UP" with Chris Hayes, Chris had on Greg Fletcher of Our Walmart, Raymond Castillo of Warehouse Workers United, Heather McGee of Demos, and David Frum of free market vampirism. I watch this show to get a bead on what the Democrats are up to and occasionally something really good slips in like hearing real workers talking economics. Read below the fold...

Alternatives to capitalism

Well, many of us are against capitalism. Some are not entirely completely against it, but rather want to reform it, limit it, whatever. But it's often asked of those who are against capitalism whether there is a viable alternative. After all, the Soviet Union collapsed, right?

Of course, those who consider themselves socialists can attempt to set the record straight as to what socialism is about. But that's not what this post is going to be about. Read below the fold...

Pulling Up Stakes: Secession? Seriously.

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Secession is often derided by liberals as some kind of cock-a-mammy right wing nut idea from Texas. But the idea of being free to leave an organization or union or union of states should not be dismissed out of hand. In modern times, thoughtful people have come up with pretty solid theories to support this kind of freedom that both right and left should think about. Read below the fold...

A chicken or egg story

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"The reality is that representative democracy, at the core, has to be about people voting, has to be about people engaging in political parties, has to be about people having contact with elected representatives, and having faith and trust in elected representatives, as well as those representatives demonstrating they can exercise political power effectively and make decisions that tend to be approved of," said Wilks-Heeg." Read below the fold...

War! What is it Good For? Capitalism.

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While trying to research the REAL truth of what is going on with Syria, since clearly the big US media propaganda machine is stenographically on board for yet another massive destruction of a country on the US and NATO’s bloody faux-humanitarian-regime-changing clipboard, I came across a remarkable article by William Hathaway entitled “America Is under Attack!”

Capitalism is inherently predatory. It demands aggressive growth. It’s either dominate or go under.

snip Read below the fold...

Capitalism & the Internet

For those interested in an analysis of how capitalism has affected the Internet, there is an interesting article on the subject at The Monthly Review. Read below the fold...

Post Empire Survival Guide by Sam Smith

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Sam Smith is one of my favorite thinkers and commentators. He has been editing the Progressive Review since 1964. Every Monday he is on the Mark Thompson radio show on Sirius Left. Each Monday he comes up with original ways of looking at the week's events and has a generous and positive way of criticizing the Democrats as well as Republicans. He can put down Obama with such grace and sweetness that he does not get the blow back that Glen Ford gets when he does the same thing on Wednesdays. (Glen is another favorite of mine and speaks truth in a powerful voice.) Read below the fold...

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