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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Country Was Saved. Now It’s Time for a Revolution.

courtesy www.barackobama.com
The country was saved. Barely. From our vantage point in the liberal Bay Area, it is difficult to understand how half the country could vote for someone who, as I have said before, was basically a brown shirt in a rep tie. Or, at least, was advocating extreme right-wing madness. Sometimes it seems so complicated that I turn off and go back to listening to Leonard Cohen. Let’s go live on a Greek Island with a mistress of one kind or another for a while.

But basically it is the end of the hegemonic order and the unchecked power of the one percent. Citizens United meant that rich folks without values could run around doing whatever they wanted. That is, until a bloody revolution stopped it all. But that is not the preferred outcome. Almost every country with any kind of economic strength has a jumbled-up combination of socialism and capitalism. The question is, how much does the government check greed, and how? Large countries that said they embraced socialism, like China and the USSR, didn’t. And when they embraced capitalism, it became government-sanctioned thievery. Most of Europe has embraced socialism and allows capitalism to flourish as long as the basic needs of the citizens are met. Of course, that is no longer true in the US; the standard of living in several countries is better than ours. (Not that ours should be the best.)

We are confronted with a radically changing demographic. The era of the white man is almost over. Although minorities of all kinds are still oppressed by the right and the religions that cater to the right, the long arc of justice that Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about will happen. But the few straight white men who control the levers of capitalism are not going to give up without a fight. These few people outspent the Democrats and told lies and more lies in every possible media channel they could think of. There are reports that they tried to disrupt the voting process. The outcome of this election is so important because the Supreme Court will change its makeup in the next four years, and now the new justices will say no to the wreckage that the one percent has caused in the financial and oil industries.

courtesy www.ownieu.owni.fr 

But there are two tracks. There is the political track and the in-the-streets track. The Republicans will still control the House and will keep taking their kind of bribes. This is why we voted for Obama and will be in the streets in the coming years. We will see precious little happen in the political realm, because the Republicans and their corporations will pour their resources into resisting humane progress at every turn. And that’s why Occupy will be back. Next time it won’t be quite as ragtag and stinky. It will be slightly less democratic and slightly more organized. And it will push Wall Street into the gutter. When oil is no longer the blood of the economy and bankers are accountable, we can rebuild a country that is based on human dignity and the idea of service. It can’t happen under a Republican administration. What remains to be seen is whether it can happen under a Democratic one. As the political scientist Jodi Dean said the other day, it only takes ten percent of the population to start a revolution. So, ten to one it is. Good odds, even if the one percent has most of the money.

courtesy www.latimesphoto.files.wordpress.com

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