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appal_jack

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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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My thread regarding such did not claim that the vote was logical.

When voters are only offered two choices, they will often gravitate to "B" after years of "A" failing to deliver on its promises. It often does not matter that "B" is a total shit sandwich, 10x worse than "A."

In the Brexit vote, the neoliberal EU with its distant, unaccountable, meddling Eurocrats was "A." I agree with you that "B"ritain (see what I did there?) will not suddenly become a grass roots workers' paradise just due to the vote. But I still ardently maintain that the failures of neoliberal Europe contributed heavily to the results of the Brexit vote.

-app

It's worth asking why people embraced such hatefulness and believed such lies.

I recall a conversation I had with one of the Hanford nuclear waste site activists back in the early 1990's. He told me that as the cancers climbed and the local economy fell apart through the 1970's, and the full scope of pollution on the Hanford Reservation in Washington became known many hate groups and fringe activists attempted to leverage the issue to their own ends. The KKK recruited there on the basis that the nuclear waste was due to Jewish bankers, Stormfront types said in local meetings that the USA cared more about giving welfare to black urbanites than helping rural white people, LaRouch-ites said whatever nonsense they always do, the Revolutionary Communist Party said that capitalism depended upon poisoning the working class, etc. All of them saw the crisis of nuclear waste ruining a whole community not as something that needed to be solved, but as an opportunity to spread their preferred narrative. My activist friend was smart enough to ignore these campaigns, and stuck to pressuring the US Department of Defense to clean up its mess (an issue not yet resolved today, from my understanding). But some of his neighbors embraced the Klan or other hatemongers. Desperate people will take desperate measures.

I see the failure of modern western neoliberal entities as a similar moment, but on a global scale. If we don't fix the underlying issues, the racists and xenophobes will definitely make hay of it. But their hateful opportunism does not excuse modern western neoliberal institutions for their oligarchic and anti-democratic practices that cause the underlying problems.

-app

Greenwald calls-out the dominant Brexit narrative

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/25/brexit-is-only-the-latest-proof-of-the-insularity-and-failure-of-western-establishment-institutions/

Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions

THE DECISION BY UK VOTERS to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that – for once – their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting one’s own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object.

The Los Angeles Times‘ Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for thirty years”; in particular, “since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.” The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the UK vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: “the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact.”

In an interview with The New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the west generally: “a large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labour, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalisation, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties.” After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, “the centre left” – Blair and Clinton and various European parties – “managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which ­became empty and obsolete.”

(snip)

Corrupt elites always try to persuade people to continue to submit to their dominance in exchange for protection from forces that are even worse. That’s their game. But at some point, they themselves, and their prevailing order, become so destructive, so deceitful, so toxic, that their victims are willing to gamble that the alternatives will not be worse, or at least, they decide to embrace the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of those who have displayed nothing but contempt and condescension for them.


(boldface emphases added by me)

As I write this, two of the top five "Greatest Threads" here at DU are precisely the dominant Brexit narrative that Greenwald eviscerates above (with plenty more detail and evidence at the link). I think that DU can and should bring a more critical eye to the Brexit issue, and take the lessons of it to heart before the USA's politics goes similarly off the rails.

-app

I will use speech on the internet to correct your error regarding 18th-Century weapons

Semi automatic air rifles did in fact exist back then. These were not Daisy Red Riders either:

http://blog.catherinedelors.com/air-guns-the-automatic-weapons-of-the-18th-century/

As the above article notes, these semi-auto weapons of the late 1700's were sufficiently deadly to be fielded by the Austrian military, and to provide protection to the Lewis & Clark Expedition across the entire continent.



Who needs 'to drop the act' again?

-app

Southern workers deserve labor protections too!

Right to work laws be damned.

k&r,

-app

Hillary Clinton needs to change direction with regards to Central America.

Clinton's support for the Honduran coup is inexcusable, and we voters need to help set her straight. Berta Caceres saw it coming:

http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/11/before_her_assassination_berta_caceres_singled

There is no reason why a Democratic candidate should be supporting violent coups, military juntas, or neoliberal orthodoxy: neither here nor abroad.

k&r,

-app

Well everybody, we have a presumptuous nominee.

Get with the program as you see fit.

Me, I'll educate, agitate, and organize for Bernie all the way through the Convention!

-app
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