"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Saturday, July 19, 2008

please. read. this. carefully.

Economist Michael Hudson breaks down in devastating detail the looming financial crisis facing the nation in this essay originally posted on Counterpunch.org. Ever wonder why this kind of perspective never leads on 60 Minutes or Nightline?


Anonymous said...

It never makes it on those programs because they too refuse to reveal all as it might affect all those rich stockholders.


Coldtype said...

For sure. Trouble is coming whether we're ready or not. And no, we are not ready in the least.

Anonymous said...

I tell my fellow comradres on the job this all the time. We're lucky because when the shoe drops, hell both shoes drop, those of us with time on the job will still be employed. What about all the other poor schmuks? Then they will see the total failure of this so-called Commander-in-Chief.

Coldtype said...

There's no getting around the fact that some have to actually FEEL the pain before they believe.

concerned said...

cold type I love your blog. How can we as citizens defeat the machine in this city? I know voting gets them out of office but how can we propose term limits on these elected officials which is needed city, county, and statewide? I've read "they" have proposed a bill that connect all the cameras of the city including private and public for emergency purposes. What has happened to my city and country?

Coldtype said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coldtype said...

"What has happened to my city and country?"

One of the things that is happening here as elsewhere in the country is the rapid consolidation of what was once solidly in the public sphere into private hands. This development more than any other threatens democracy because private interests (i.e corporations) are concerned, to the exclusion of all else, with profitability for shareholders--not the public good. So, for example, when Mayor Daley privatized the Skyway, the downtown parking garages, and promised to do the same with Midway & O'Hare airports these public assets which once generated revenue almost exclusively for public benefit have been or will be lost forever. What's more is that the decision to go this route was a thoroughly undemocratic process for it was never put before a public referendum.

As far as the ruling class is concerned the public is just the problem. The policies being pushed down our throats are bound to incur resistance as the general public awakens to the realization that the endemic inequality in standards of living more commonly associated with the so-called Third World, are rapidly becoming a reality at home and, more crucially, that this is a result of POLICY in defense of private interests--not happenstance. This, not some mythical "war on terror" (how does one declare war on a tactic?) is what accounts for the emerging National Security State in the US with the accompanying erosion of our (formerly) Constitutionally protected rights. The formation of the FISA courts, Patriot Acts I & II, and the Military Commissions Act of 2006--all bipartisan efforts--have made a mockery of the Constitution (the 4th Amendment in particular) and the Bill of Rights.

What to do?

Any faith in the so-called "two-party" system at both the local and national level is hopelessly misplaced in my opinion. The neoliberal agenda of "free market" fundamentalism (i.e privatization of public assets with a corresponding corporate welfare program) has been a bipartisan affair from the beginning. Given this reality I can see no alternative to organizing and building democratic institutions at the grassroots level from the ground up. Take for example the pressure brought to bear on the Chicago City Council to introduce a living wage ordinance two years ago. Though this measure was narrowly defeated by Daley's first ever veto [first since previously such action had never been necessary with this rubber-stamp club] the issue is far from decided. My point is that a living wage ordinance would have never made it to the agenda if not for the agitation of broad-based coalitions such as unions, church groups and other interested parties holding the little clay feet of "our" elected representatives to the fire. This pressure came from below as is a near universal when it comes to progressive change whether that be women's suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, or ending the war in Vietnam.

Much of the problem is that we have been conditioned in the US to limit our political activism to quadrennial elections. We punch a ticket and drop a ballot in the ballot box--then go home. Our adversaries (corporations, developers and the major investor class generally) on the other hand lobby relentlessly and regardless of election cycles for their perceived self-interests. There is something to learn from that.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately political activism does not go far enough, and that is the disgrace of the Democratic Party. Then those so-called "progressives" fall lock, stock and barrel behind these leaders who are only for the party and not the cause.


Coldtype said...

"... those so-called "progressives" fall lock, stock and barrel behind these leaders who are only for the party and not the cause"

Exactly. If by "activism" one means agitating for more and better democrats, then you're wasting your time. Change will not come from within the duopoly which currently masquerades as an oppositional two party system.