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Mon Jul 16, 2012, 02:09 PM

'We Are Laying Groundwork for the "Next Great Revolution"'

from Democracy Now!:

At the Green Partyís 2012 National Convention in Baltimore over the weekend, Massachusetts physician Jill Stein and anti-poverty campaigner Cheri Honkala were nominated the partyís presidential and vice-presidential contenders. We air the conventionís keynote address delivered by Gar Alperovitz, a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. Alperovitz is the author of, "America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy." In his remarks, Alperovitz stressed the importance of third-party politics to challenge a corporate-run society. "Systems in history are defined above all by who controls the wealth," Alperovitz says. "The top 400 people own more wealth now than the bottom 185 million Americans taken together. That is a medieval structure."


AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Stein and Cheri Honkala accepted their nominations on Saturday, and then the keynote address was given byó-at the Green Partyís National Convention, in Baltimoreó-by Gar Alperovitz. Gar Alperovitz is a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, author, most recently of "America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy."

GAR ALPEROVITZ: First I want to say is I am from Wisconsin. Some Wisconsin people back there. Wisconsin knows something about third parties. The Republican Party, original Republican Party, was a party to end slavery started in Ripon, Wisconsin and it got lost along the way, but it showed one big push on the really important issue of slavery in its early days. Fighting Bob La Follette from Wisconsin. Another historical issue that you may remember coming out of that state and starting very small and making a powerful impact. Third, if you look closely at what became the best parts of the New Deal, the labor law legislation, some parts of Social Security, some parts of health care and some parts of the other welfare programs, a lot that came up and was was incubated in Wisconsin. I am proud to be a Wisconsin guy, but the bottom line there is not about Wisconsin, it is about historical change. How you begin fighting small and you expand when the time is right, and you make an impact because the other things are failing. That is what has happened in many, many cases. Revolutions are as common as grass and world history, and they begin in rooms like this.

So, so I say that really as a historian, not trying to blow smoke in your ear. That is how it works. That is how it works. When I say I take you all seriously, first, Iím talking to the person in your personal seat. So when I say I take you seriously, you, maybe more seriously than you take yourself, I mean to say that the beginnings of the next great historic change come from a us taking ourselves that seriously. So, I urgeó-and I think many people here doó-but I urge that you sit back and say, am I up to that or am I just doing politics, or am I really up to that. Now the that is transforming the most powerful corporate capitalist system in the history of the world. That is what it is about. And to say that I take you seriously is to say that that is what youíre stepping up to, not simply a gesture, not simply a new party, not simply a green movement. It is that, and that is the challenge. Now, I am very cold eyed realist. I did run House and Senate staffs, Iíve even done stuff for my pains and for my sins, planning U.N. policy in the State Department before I left that world many years ago. I have been involved in the nitty gritty of ugly politics. I am no naive guy. And I say again that we have the possibility, if we look at the stage we are at and what is happening to the era and who we are existentiallyó-I am talking to the person in your chairó-and if we know who we are and take ourselves that seriously, we have that possibility. So, let me go on. The second thing I want to say is, I donít think that is always true. But I do think that the emerging era of history into which we are living our lives, the era into which we are living, may well be the most important period of American history bar none. Now, I say it as a historian and others would disagree, but I donít say it lightly. And when I say bar none, I mean including the American Revolution and including the 1960ís and the Civil War. Whoa, that is a heavy rap, as we to say in the 1960ís. What I mean is that in many ways, the system is running out of options, and we are beginning to see more and more people aware of the difficulties that cannot be managed the old way.

The complete piece is at: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/16/gar_alperovitzs_green_party_keynote_we

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Reply 'We Are Laying Groundwork for the "Next Great Revolution"' (Original post)
marmar Jul 2012 OP
brooklynite Jul 2012 #1

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jul 16, 2012, 02:37 PM

1. If there Green Party wasnt anyone to take them seriously...

...they're going to have to stop running Presidential candidates for the next 10 year and focus their efforts on actually getting some people elected at the State and Local level.

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