[R-G] Rad-Green Digest, Vol 97, Issue 42

Mark E. Smith mymark at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 01:53:46 MDT 2011


Will, when you say, "I pray Obama gets re-elected otherwise we are in for
some really insane right wingers," have you forgotten that we survived eight
years of an insane right winger named George Bush? And that he did such
insane things as push through smaller bank bailouts that Obama and start
fewer wars of aggression based on lies than Obama, and did not assert his
right to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process, the way that
Democrat Obama has done?

The Democrats may once have been the party of Social Security, but now they
are the party of the Catfood Commission. The Democrats may once have
supported Civil Rights but the current Democratic administration has more
people of color imprisoned here in the US and is drone bombing more people
of color abroad, than any right-wing Republican administration ever did.

As for the Occupy Wall Street protests, I wrote this a few hours ago:

Protests and Progress
by Mark E. Smith

One of the things I'm always hearing from Democrats, liberals, progressives,
and even many socialists, is that protests have brought about progress in
the United States. This is a widespread myth. The most common things cited
are usually the Viet Nam War and the Civil Rights movement.

Here's Wikipedia on the fall of Saigon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Saigon

And here's a picture from the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon:
http://pictureshistory.blogspot.com/2010/07/stunning-pictures-from-vietnam-war.html

If the huge, ongoing protests in the United States had had any effect, the
United States would have organized a controlled withdrawal. Instead the US
remained until Saigon and the US embassy were completely overrun and the US
evacuation was hasty, unplanned and chaotic. We left because we lost the
war, not because protests had convinced our government to end the war.

As for the Civil Rights movement, we now have more people of color in prison
than before the Civil Rights movement. Blacks are still more apt to live in
poverty, to lack health insurance, to be sent to prison, and to die young
than whites. While it is true that blacks now have equal rights to sit in
the front of the bus, eat at restaurants, and attend school, blacks have
much more than equal rights to be poor, unemployed or in jail. Had the Civil
Rights movement been successful, there would be fewer blacks in prison.
Having a few token blacks in government does not mean that the Civil Rights
movement brought about progress. Blacks like Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice,
Clarence Thomas, and Barack Obama, represent the wealthy elite and are not
on the side of the poor. But more importantly, had the Civil Rights movement
been successful, slavery would have been abolished. Slavery has never been
abolished in the US. The 13th Amendment established slavery as legal
punishment for a crime. That means that it was never abolished. We still
have the death penalty in the United States while most European countries
have abolished it. The idea that we could abolish the death penalty by
adding an Amendment to the Constitution saying that it was henceforth
illegal except as punishment for a crime, is absurd. Slavery and capital
punishment are either legal punishment for crimes, or they have been
abolished. Neither one has been abolished in the US, so the Civil Rights
movement was not successful in abolishing slavery. While it may have
ameliorated the conditions for some, the fact that it did not abolish
slavery demonstrates that it cannot and should not be considered progress.
Some slaves have always had more privileges than others, depending on the
whims of their owners. The fact that some slaves were treated well did not
and does not justify the institution of slavery.

Protests really don't work. The biggest protests in US and world history
were against the Iraq war, but the US ignored them and invaded Iraq anyway.
Protests have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the US government, which
has stated clearly that it does not allow public opinion to influence policy
decisions, and therefore is not a democratic form of government.

While the Occupy Wall Street protests are a positive sign, and are an
excellent tool for raising public awareness and social consciousness, they
will have no effect whatsoever on the US government at the local, state, or
federal level other than to increase the budget of Homeland Security for
suppression of civil dissent through violent crowd control weapons and
tactics by law enforcement. Just as in Egypt, no matter how large the
protests become, the end result will be an even more repressive regime than
before.

Protests are not revolutions. While many Occupy Wall Street protesters are
out in the streets because they realize that voting cannot bring about
change, there are still many who continue to vote. Although most reject
political parties and candidates, they have not yet voiced support for an
election boycott to de-legitimize our corporate-owned government so that we
might have the possibility of a revolution that could bring about real
change. Only a revolution can disestablish our current government of the
corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, and establish
in its place a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
But as long as a substantial percentage of the population continues to vote,
failing to understand that no matter who or what they vote for, they are
granting their consent of the governed to be governed by the government
holding the election, our government can claim their consent and continue to
pass itself off as a legitimate government with the consent of the governed,
even when Congress has only a 13% approval rating because everyone knows
that it is owned by and operates on behalf of the corporations instead of
representing the people who vote.

The only nonviolent way to delegitimize a government is to boycott its
elections and to withhold from it the consent of the governed. In the case
of a military superpower which has and is willing to use overwhelming force
to suppress dissent, an election boycott is the only way to delegitimize it
without bloodshed.

Many brave Occupy Wall Street protesters are risking jail to speak out. But
in a country that has more prisoners than any other country in the world,
how will having a few more prisoners make a difference? It didn't in Egypt
and it won't here. My article on not voting
http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1172 appears to be getting quite a few hits,
but I have yet to see any public call for an election boycott from Occupy
Wall Street protesters. Locally, I haven't yet found any way to bring it up
as a proposal at General Assembly, and my two attempts so far have been
rejected out of hand. Occupy Wall Street is clearly angry that the banks got
bailed out while we, the 99%, got sold out. But they still seem to imagine
that if the protests got large enough and enough people were arrested, our
Wall Street owned and financed government might stop acting in its own best
interests and start thinking about the good of the country and the general
welfare. That will never happen no matter how big the protests get or how
many people go to jail. The only chance of there being any real change and
real progress will be if we stop asking this government to listen to us,
stop supporting this government, withhold our consent from this government,
and work to establish a democratic form of government where we the people
will have real power and a real voice in policy decisions. Most of us
opposed the bailouts, but the government ignored us and pushed them through.
Most of us oppose the wars, but the government ignored us and started more
wars. This government is not responsive to protests and will not bring about
progress, so, as the Declaration of Independence said, it is our right and
our duty to replace it with a government that will. The first step in that
direction is to recognize that voting and working within the present system
will not achieve our goals, and to stop voting and work towards a system
that can.

http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1209

-----------------------------------------------------------

As long as you continue to have faith in the Democrats and in our electoral
system, you are incapable of working towards bringing about change because
you support the status quo and believe that a few temporary reforms, such as
those introduced by FDR after the Great Depression, will be sufficient to
avert the inevitable planetary extinction that is being brought about by
predatory capitalism. Even if Obama and the Democrats wanted to make such
reforms, which they don't, they couldn't because they need to raise billions
of dollars from Wall Street, big corporations, and the military-industrial
complex for the 2012 election campaign. And those billions of dollars will
ensure that the Democrats continue to represent their big donors rather than
their voters. Those billions of dollars will also ensure that no nuclear
power plant in the United States is shut down before it melts down like
Fukushima, because to shut down a power plant while it is still profitable
would be an illegal violation of the fiduciary duties of the corporation
that owns it to maximize profits for its shareholders. Any political party
or candidate that advocated such a thing would never get the big donations
that they need to compete with each other for the big donations they need to
buy enough mass media time to make the rigged election results appear
plausible to the millions whose votes aren't counted anyway. Have a happy
camp-out at Occupy Providence until Homeland Security orders local law
enforcement to shut you down.

--Mark



On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 11:18 PM, will colwell <will_colwell at yahoo.com>wrote:

>
> Subject: Re: [R-G] warning from a former tea party member to the
>     Occupy    Wall    St movement
> Message-ID:
>     <
> 1789380459.576861.1318632668928.JavaMail.root at sz0140a.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net
> >
>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
>
> It is called co option.
>
> Borosage, Move On etc eagerly want to harness OWS into the Obama
> Re-Election campaign. The Obama and the Dem leadership are - and have been
> -  the party of Wall Street. and have no interest in implementing the
> demands of OWS. Better OWS to be an independent movement than to be
> swallowed up by the Dems. SR
> -----------
> I pray Obama gets re-elected otherwise we are in for some really insane
> right wingers.
>
> The dems are also the party behind social security and the voting civil
> rights act.  Yes they are partly the party of wall st. They are the party of
> imperialism as well. they are also partly the party of organized labor, the
> civil rights movement and the LBGQTT community.  the democrats can be
> partially co opted as well by the people.  this happened partly in the 30s
> and the 60s.  It better happen today or otherwise the US system is done.
>
>   What do you have against Borosage? As far as I can tell he is a fairly
> minor writer connected to the Nation.
>
> I am excited about tomorrow. Occupy Providence will have its first night in
> the park. The governor of Rhode Island, ex-Republican now Independent
> Lincoln Chafee has said he supports Occupy Providence.  This means
> practically that we get to camp in Burnside Park for a month minimum.  The
> police are acting as if occupy providence has a permit, even though the
> general assembly has rejected getting permits.  Things are very interesting
> right now.  I am going to sleep in the park for the first 2 nights, then go
> to work on Monday.  Will this turn into a real tent city or will it just be
> a sleep over?
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