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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-31-13 05:23 AM
Original message
That was the way we used to believe.
Now we are mired in G H W Bush's New World Order. He let the cat out of the bag.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-31-13 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. Did we really believe it then? I don't know enough history to judge for myself.
Edited on Wed Jul-31-13 09:49 AM by No Elephants
What I do know of history tells me we talk one way and act another.

First Nations. Slavery. Internment in the U.S. of people of Japanese, German and Italian descent, especially the Japanese.

Jim Crow. Abu Ghraib. Bagram. Extraordinary rendition. Assassinations. Serial drone killings.

Obama explains that he arrested Snowden because we are a nation of laws.

I'm sensing a pattern.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-01-13 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah, it's a pattern all right.
We portray one sort of nation, one deserving of the highest respect, when in fact our actual history tells us something altogether different.

The Soviet Union acted as a sort of buffer or counter balance to excess in the modern era. The POWERS THAT BE found it necessary to demonstrate the superiority of the capitalist system over communism. This was mostly demonstrated through a high living standard and pretty sound judicial system (for people of European extraction).

Then, in 1999, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, PTB felt they were safe when they dismantled depression era protections like Glass Steagal. Bush The Lesser further dismantled protective measures and oversight. But look what happened. Those responsible for the collapse were actually rewarded. Yet now all we hear is how regular people must stop being greedy in their over sized pensions and expectations of social security.

What I'm saying is, they never would have done this while communism was a major force in the world because it could serve as an alternate model. At least the USSR served as proof that regular people could rise up and take power back from the aristocrats.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. "our actual history"
Well, what we know of it, anyway. The victor gets to write the history.

(Just as a total aside, I wonder how much the Greeks--or whatever Alexander the Great was--really gave us, as opposed to, say, the Egyptians. Anyway....)

You did mention about how Roosevelt's New Deal (and Truman's Fair Deal) may have been born out of a fear of a second US revolution. (IMO, the very same fear resulted in rapidly acceding to demands for the Bill of Rights.)

That brought me up short, but was consistent with so many other things that I already knew, like Joe Kennedy's comment that he would gladly have given up half of everything he owned if he knew that he would be able to enjoy the other half in peace. Also, a statement from a PBS whitewash of Hoover, to the effect that, the campaigns of Hoover and Roosevelt sounded as though the two had switched positions, FDR having run on more of an austerity platform than Hoover.

What would have caused Roosevelt to run one way, govern another, then pull back back sharply before full recovery? One version is that he gave in to Republican deficit hawks. But, why would he have done that? Did the New Deal decrease his poll numbers? (Were they even doing polls every five minutes then?)

Anyway, I have yet to find anything inconsistent with your theory. (Just think what the Cold War cost the nation.)

The POWERS THAT BE found it necessary to demonstrate the superiority of the capitalist system over communism. This was mostly demonstrated through a high living standard and pretty sound judicial system (for people of European extraction).


And, above all, freedom v. tyranny. The U.S. was a free country, while the Russians were being oppressed by the likes of Stalin and Kruschev. Apples and oranges. It was a convenient conflation of an economic system with a form of government.

The conversation was about capitalism vs. cruel and oppressive dictatorship, not about capitalism, as an economic system, vs. socialism as an economic system. Now, it well may be that you cannot achieve or sustain communism in a republican nation. You may need a ruthles dictatorship to achieve and sustain it, but we never needed to get that far analytically. We had mom and apple pie, truth, justice and the American way. They had propaganda, gulags, purges and the KGB. End of discussion.

"Today, we are ending welfare as we know it," Clinton said at a White House ceremony, where he was flanked by three former welfare recipients. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."

Clinton's endorsement of the bill, which requires recipients to work and limits benefits to five years, fulfills a 1992 campaign promise that came to symbolize his image as a centrist Democrat. But yesterday, as the bill passed its final hurdle, there seemed to be less an atmosphere of celebration than a cloud of controversy hanging over the Rose Garden.

Gone were the Marine Band and Democratic congressional leaders who had attended bill-signing ceremonies earlier this week for bills increasing the minimum wage and making health insurance more accessible. Republicans, who had prodded Clinton for months to sign a welfare bill, refused to give him credit. And the divisions among Democrats over the legislation were readily apparent.

Even as Clinton signed the measure, women's groups and advocates for the poor protested along Pennsylvania Avenue, vowing to carry their dispute to the Democratic convention in Chicago next week.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/w...


Dismantling of the Soviet Union was not the only thing that emboldened the plutocrats and the plutocrat wannabes. We did. We picked Clinton as the Democratic nominee and we voted for him as President. IMO, had the composition of Congress remained the same and Bush been President, Glass Steagall would never have gotten Democratic votes.

Now, Democrats have been convinced that so-called "centrism" is the way to go. So, I don't know how much party labels matter. And then, there is the No Labels movement, begun by Bushies and Clintonites.











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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. No Elephants,
you are a top notch thinker. I see you as such.

That Clinton presidency sure catapulted the third way into prominence. When I look back I can't help but wonder if the right wing noise machine and the Lewinsky thing was not an elaborate ruse or smoke screen behind which they damaged the hell out of the nation. Looks like a repeat going on right now.

"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history
is the most important of all the lessons of history."

Aldous Huxley
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thank you, enthusiast. You are more knowledgeable and thoughtful than I.
I really was not interested in politics or history until about 2003. More the shame on me.

And I never would have thought of the connection between continental movements and the present. Or between the New Deal and the Cold War.

What I seem to have a native ability for, though, is the Sesame Street game for pre schoolers--"Which of these things is not like the others?" It comes in handy in a lot of contexts, so I finally get why Sesame Street tries to teach the skill.


"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."


Maybe. Hard to tell, though. For example, were we in Iraq to make some people rich, and maybe also to ensure Dummya's re-election, or were we in Iraq simply because we did not learn much from Vietnam? Hard to know.

Do people repeat the things that led to the downfall of the Roman Empire because they learned nothing, or because they figure it took Rome a long time to crumble and their attitude is "After me, the deluge?" Hard to know.

One lesson I have learned is "Never underestimate the intelligence of your opponent." If you overestimate it, you'll probably come out okay anyway, If you underestimate, you're prolly going to be screwed.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. ....
At least the USSR served as proof that regular people could rise up and take power back from the aristocrats.


But did they take power? Or did they trade rule by military-backed royals for a military-backed, security state dictatorship?

"Take back" assumes that the people of Russia had some kind of power before the czars. Did they, though?

What did the American Revolution do?

Less than 6% of the population of the thirteen colonies had the right to vote on the Constitution of the United States--and none of those living outside the 13 colonies had a vote.

Before we "threw off" the yoke of King George what percentage of those living in what is now the continental US had a say in what was happening to it? Was it really a lot less than 6%?

What say do you and I have today, really?

Sorry. I guess this must be one of my un-hopey changey days.



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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thanks for the thought provoking responses.
Edited on Fri Aug-02-13 01:36 PM by Enthusiast
You are right, of course, that the people of Russia never had any power to take back. But they did rid themselves of the hereditary monarchy. As bad as the Soviet Union was, for most of the citizens, it was an improvement.

Yeah, I wish we had more say. Right now we have about next to none.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-02-13 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I think I was just feeling powerless and hopeless this morning.
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