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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:04 PM

Why America in 2012 is Like France in 1789 (And Why You Should Care)

http://bluntandcranky.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/why-america-in-2012-is-like-france-in-1789-and-why-you-should-care/

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Reply Why America in 2012 is Like France in 1789 (And Why You Should Care) (Original post)
riqster Nov 2012 OP
a geek named Bob Nov 2012 #1
riqster Nov 2012 #3
a geek named Bob Nov 2012 #4
riqster Nov 2012 #5
a geek named Bob Nov 2012 #6
riqster Nov 2012 #10
a geek named Bob Nov 2012 #16
riqster Nov 2012 #44
riqster Nov 2012 #48
liberal N proud Nov 2012 #2
graham4anything Nov 2012 #7
riqster Nov 2012 #9
graham4anything Nov 2012 #11
riqster Nov 2012 #12
graham4anything Nov 2012 #18
graham4anything Nov 2012 #19
Speck Tater Nov 2012 #8
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #13
riqster Nov 2012 #14
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #30
riqster Nov 2012 #31
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #32
riqster Nov 2012 #33
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #43
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #45
riqster Nov 2012 #46
geek tragedy Nov 2012 #15
riqster Nov 2012 #25
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #26
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #17
downandoutnow Nov 2012 #20
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #28
pansypoo53219 Nov 2012 #21
dimbear Nov 2012 #22
riqster Nov 2012 #24
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #27
riqster Nov 2012 #23
rablrouzer Nov 2012 #29
cali Nov 2012 #34
riqster Nov 2012 #36
cali Nov 2012 #39
SammyWinstonJack Nov 2012 #35
99Forever Nov 2012 #37
riqster Nov 2012 #38
99Forever Nov 2012 #41
cali Nov 2012 #40
99Forever Nov 2012 #42
riqster Nov 2012 #47

Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:09 PM

1. I look forward to the next article... n/t

 

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:17 PM

3. Here's hoping you still feel that way after you've read it!

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Response to riqster (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:24 PM

4. worse comes to worse...

 

forewarned is forearmed...

Personally, I don't see the USA having an uprising ala 1789.

1.) The Tea baggers >ahem< sorry "The Tea Party Express" would probably fight against such an uprising.
2.) the forces of law and order can quell rioting fairly quickly. It's a question of political will.
3.) Unlike France of the 1760's throught the 1780's, we have more than one symbolic city. This makes it difficult to gather around one hated icon.

Instead, I foresee groups of communities linking together into economy networks, shutting out the hyper-rich.

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:28 PM

5. That would be a better outcome than the one I envision

But then, I am a pretty cynical guy by nature. Either way, we'd be better off fixing what's broken instead of waiting for things to go completely pear-shaped. Less misery and death by acting now.

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Response to riqster (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:30 PM

6. Doing what I can...

 

I'm a member of a local Maker community. We are creating 3D printers, and a few other objects, that will make design and production scaleably local or networked global. Many of the Makers I know are building their own urban gardens.

It's a start.

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:39 PM

10. Indeed it is.

I work on citizen empowerment and participation.

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Response to riqster (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:00 PM

16. I'm hoping that the linked systems can simply

 

outflank the whole FIRE complex.

Let them keep their money. They will see fewer and fewer people using their financial systems.

I figure a set of linked and localized currencies ought to be a bigger deal than "move your money" day.

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Response to a geek named Bob (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:30 PM

44. It's on the blog site now

I'll post it here later tonight.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:10 PM

2. Sounds like some country we all know love.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:33 PM

7. Why would we want anarchy? We had a peaceful revolution in 2008 and won. No to anarchy

 

forward to the future
not backward to 1789

btw, V should have been called M for Movie
vigillante anarchy is not a good thing

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:38 PM

9. Not an endorsement of anarchy - it's a cautionary tale

I doubt many people in France wanted anarchy either. But because of the factors named in the post (among others), that is what they got.

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Response to riqster (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:43 PM

11. having nothing to do with America. WE won the revolution in 2008, and ratified it in 2012.

 

The answer today is just keep electing democrats and not buying the bullshit of the ralph nader's out there.
no, the two parties are not one and the same.

But we do need to have France's healthcare system, the single best in the world.

HOWEVER, do people realize it is not free? Only no bills (zero) when one is sick.
It is called paying it forward.

NO to anarchy and violence.

and no to long time strikes either. It only hurts those who need it the most.

Forward. Not back.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

12. We won a partial victory

Reeps still have the ability to stop any and all legislative actions they choose. Money is still a corrosive influence on our political system. The 1% thumb their noble honkers at us.

We need to keep the pressure on by peaceful, democratic means. We ain't won shit yet.

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Response to riqster (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:08 PM

18. 1% is just a number. 5 to 4 is the more important number.

 

tossing away good because of someone's pet issues like democrats have done continuously (see Jimmy Carter 1980 and LBJ 1968 directly affected what happened in America.)

calling Nader's bullshit out back then and Gore being seated would have resulted in 2 other justices besides Alito and Roberts.
5 to 4 would have been the other way.

and America was not built quickly. a little here, a little there.

and it never was idealized as the Rockwell paintings pictured.

patience is needed.

It took 50 years from LBJ signing the voting rights acts, to having someone who could not vote, win an election

Single best thing we can do peacefully right now would be 100% amnesty and citizenship instantly.

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Response to riqster (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:09 PM

19. vote them out in 2014 and no faux protests because Obama didn't do enough in 2012

 

see Lincoln
not pretty but that is how victory is won

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:35 PM

8. I'd get involved in the revolution except there's a TV show on tonight I can't miss.

 

And a movie I've been waiting months to see finally came to Netflix.

Besides, it's cold. The nights are getting down below 40 now.

And it's going to rain all next week.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

13. There are some parallels, but there a great many differences not the least of which is

 

Americans lack of contact with other nations. The most common knowledge of another nation consists of Canada and Mexico, Canada is pretty much a suburb of the US and Mexico is worse off than we are, so there is not a pervasive example of how far much worse we have it.

And of course the biggest difference is television. It is impossible to overstate the somnambulistic effect that the smooth blue light has on us. Television is truly the opiate of the American masses today.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:54 PM

14. Granted, but people are getting pissed off

This was the angriest election cycle I can remember (and I am well past 50). You make valid points, but the situation can't hold indefinitely. If we don't make it better, it'll get bad enough that even our population will lose it.

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Response to riqster (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:12 PM

30. They are indeed and they are justified in their anger. I just don't see them or anybody

 

being willing to do something about it, yet. I also agree with you that it will come eventually, but I think that by the time enough people wake up it will be too late.

You might want to look at this for a good picture of where this is all going.

Please tell me what you think.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:22 PM

31. I think he has some very good points

Last edited Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:56 AM - Edit history (1)

It might be too late to save the economy as you suggest: but it will not be too late for a horrible amount of human suffering and misery. every step we can take now is worth taking.

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Response to riqster (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:59 AM

32. Oh no, the suffering and misery is already happening and it's going to get worse,

 

and it isn't too late yet but we are running out of time. There are dozens (hundreds?) of things we can do to head it off, I just don't see any will to fix it yet.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:00 AM

33. Agreed. Which is why I wrote the blog post

You have to start somewhere.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:59 AM

43. Americans lack of contact with other nations? A full 13% of Americans were born

in another nation. That indicates strong international ties without even going into the second generation people, or those who are married to those who were born elsewhere.
How that leads to thinking we have less international contact than the 1789 French is beyond my grasp. The 1789 crowd was traveling the world and sharing messages with pals on all continents?

And if you really think that only the US has TV or watches crappy stuff on their TVs, you are mistaken. Not only do other nations create crappy TV for themselves, many of them also adore the same crappy TV we make and enjoy here. The show 'American Idol' is really a Brit import, it was called 'Pop Idol' there. Have you seen any Japanese TV? Try a game show, get back to me about how great it is....

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #43)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:46 PM

45. Very good, now remove Canada and Mexico from that stat.

 

I understand your goal here and I sympathize with it, but the fact is that the the overwhelming majority of us have to idea how far behind we are, nor how little we get for our labors. Are there worse places? Of course, in abundance, but since when do we compare the USA with the lowest bar we can find?

And there is no nation that comes close to the ubiquity of television culture that dominates our society. It's not merely a matter of crappy TV, most entertainment is bad everywhere, its the 24/7/365 propaganda machine. "You don't have enough, you're not good enough, conform, obey, work harder, accept less, that's the best we can do, lower your expectations, someday you'll be on top..."

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #45)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:58 PM

46. Having spent quite a bit of time in the U.K.,

I can tell you they are have it at least as badly as America in terms of TV and associated brainwashing tools.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:58 PM

15. Do people who write stuff like this have any contact with ordinary Americans?

There are some superficial similarities, but it ignores things like elections and life expectancy (about 35-45 years in France in the 18th Century).

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:27 PM

25. For the record

You have the best screen name in the universe.

As to your point, I replied to it (and others) farther down.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:28 PM

26. do you? median wage is about $15/hour, meaning half of everyone working makes less.

 

the walton family makes more every year than half the population.

sounds pretty fin de siecle to me.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:07 PM

17. the wealth gap is second only to climate change on the big problems facing us chart.

 

nt

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:11 PM

20. Nonsense. Look at life expectancy.

 

In France in 1789, life expectancy was in the 30s, for those who survived infancy, it was around 50. In the US today, life expectancy is 78.

No comparison.

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Response to downandoutnow (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:40 PM

28. i'm curious as to why you think life expectancy is so significant in this case. maybe you'll

 

appreciate this:

U.S. Life Expectancy Declines

Life expectancy has dropped slightly for all Americans except for black men, who gained around two and a half months in longevity, according to a recent report.

Data gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that life expectancy for most American men was 75.3 years in 2008, down by one-tenth of a year from 2007.

Women also saw a drop in the number of years they can expect to live, from 80.4 years to 80.3 years, the data show.

Black men, on the other hand, bucked the trend and reached a record-high life expectancy of 70.2 years in 2008, up by 0.2 years compared to 2007.

They were still the shortest-lived Americans, though, with life spans around 10 years less than white women, who have the highest life expectancy, followed by black women and white men.

http://news.discovery.com/human/united-states-life-expectancy-101210.html


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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:34 PM

21. i read the history of france in my 1891 encyclopedia britannica last year + thought the same

so i have been bloging it since the convention. hit the revolution around the election. luckily obama did not pay for georgee/LXIV.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:40 PM

22. Looking forward to the sequel: Why America is like Weimar Germany in 1929.

Should be disturbing.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:19 PM

24. I'll keep it in mind. (nt)

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Response to dimbear (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:37 PM

27. We came very close to skipping the Weimar step and going straight to....

....goose-stepping with the Tea-Nazis.

The far-right ingredients are all in place, but they couldn't steal the election to make it look legitimate.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:18 PM

23. "Like" does not mean "identical"

Similarities exist side-by-side with differences. 1789 had shorter life expectancies: 2012 has faster information transmission. 1789 had less education; 2012 has more (and deadlier) weapons. We could go back and forth for quite some hours, tossing such things up in the air and batting them around. Which I find to be quite fun, especially when people are into it. :-D

But the point of the blog post is this: societies can either recognize the risks they face and take steps to fix their problems...or ignore them and deal with the consequences.

Say, for argument's sake, that I am an alarmist. Could well be. But I submit that taking steps to increase citizen involvement; reforming our monetized governmental system; and working towards greater equity for all Americans is a good thing regardless of whether or not America is facing an imminent existential threat.

And doing nothing solves nothing.

So, let's DO something.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:56 PM

29. Be REVOLTING !

Louis XVI and Marie lost (their heads) because their government had OUTSOURCED tax collection to private industry.

Private industry cared nothing for taxpayers, or the government, just did as private industry does and maximized profits by squeezing the populace to increase the % paid the tax collectors.

Needless to say, the populace eventually revolted.

That is happening here. Lockheed contracts with cities to set up traffic enforcement cameras, then reduces the time given to caution (yellow) to increase tickets given for running red.

Wrecks result. Just collateral damage that cost Lockheed nothing, but do generate additional ticket receipts and court costs.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:32 AM

34. Mr. Blunt and Cranky didn't study enough history and he sure as shit

didn't study historiography. There's just so much wrong with this lame piece. For one thing did Mr. B&C consider that there are many example of nations with similar circumstance where there was no revolution? Furthermore, comparing the malnutrition and poverty of pre-revolution France with that extant in the U.S. today is a fool's comparison.

This is really utter nonsense from a historical point of view.

Damn, I hate ignorance masquerading as intellectual acumen.

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Response to cali (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:02 AM

36. So, shall I assume that you think things are hunky-dory in the USA?

Either you are disagreeing with the writer's point (that the US is on a path to social upheaval); or you're not happy with how he arrived at his point.

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Response to riqster (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:26 AM

39. that would be an exceedingly poor assumption and

smacks of poor critical thinking skills. I think nothing of the kind, honey and nothing I wrote could possibly have given you that idea.

Is the U.S. on the path to social upheaval? It's hard to discern at this point in time. In any case, whatever form it takes, it's unlikely to be a revolution that even remotely resembles the French Revolution. he arrived at ignorant conclusions via a faulty argument.

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:50 AM

35. rec!

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:15 AM

37. What's truly amazing to me...

... is the level of denial, in so many. The blinders of "but I'm doing okay" seem to function quite well. Worked great in France, didn't it?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:20 AM

38. Agreed, which is why the blog is written like it is

Some people need a brick lugged at their heads to get a point across. And as you say, sometimes even that does no good.

Those who will not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them, to coin a paraphrase.

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Response to riqster (Reply #38)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:32 AM

41. What's even harder for me to understand...

.. is that the actual message of that blog is that we don't have to go down the road of revolution, if we do something about the rampant dehumanizing of those of lesser means. Yet, what so many only seem interested in doing, is pointing at "them" and saying it's "their fault," meanwhile doing jack squat themselves to make things better. Revolutions don't happen because a "majority" want them to, they happen when enough people foind themselves in a position of having nothing much left to lose and they aren't willing to take it any more. Desperate people do desperate things. There are millions of desperate people in this Nation, and those numbers are climbing every day.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #37)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:29 AM

40. *sigh*. One doesn't need to be blindered to the

fracturing of our society to recognize that this is a shit article.

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Response to cali (Reply #40)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:35 AM

42. That all you've got.

Juvenile, shoot the messenger insults?

If so, why bother answering at all?

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Response to riqster (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:25 PM

47. Yes, America is not the only country in this mess

But one has to focus to some extent.

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