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Gender: Male
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,775

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Actually that is an excellent idea

The American people could chip in enough to offset these contributions. It might simply up the ante. But the other possibility is it would free congress-people to vote against the big money. They wouldn't necessarily have to get the most they possibly could, they just need enough to finance their elections independently from those interests. Truth is still worth something, it can overcome money to a certain extent in elections.

Someone should run with this idea, it needs expansion but I think there's gold in them thar hills.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Thu May 28, 2015, 01:46 AM (2 replies)

Thanks for trying

Pretty much the third rail around here, polarized to the max. Clinton supporters have long ago accepted the corporate agenda, driven by corporate money, as the best we can do, they just want a kinder version of it than the Republicans provide.

I would go along with that myself, if not for evidence that this is no longer sustainable. Corporations work against our interests on issues like climate change, which is the deal-breaker for me, we have no future whatsoever without radical change on that issue, and the powers that be refuse to embrace that kind of radical change, because they are too heavily invested in the current petro economy and resource wars. Hence, to accept that path is to accept our doom. The entire globalist approach to manufacturing and distribution is antithetical to a sustainable human future, you cannot ship logs to China to be milled there with cheap labor and ship the products back here for resale, that kind of shipping of everything burns too much carbon, things need to be done more locally. That is just one example.

They (corporations) also work against our interests on just about every other issue, unless we happen to be among the people who profit from stocks and wall street based pension funds.

Getting back to a heavily managed and regulated capitalism in a political framework of democratic socialism is about the least radical solution I can see that could actually be sustainable, and anything that isn't sustainable isn't acceptable.

I have heard the argument from some Clinton supporters that her SCOTUS appointments could lead to the reversal of Citizen's United. I think that is a good-faith argument they make. The probem with it is that, even if her appointments would be to justices who would overturn CU (and I by no means see that as a certainty), our system was already a captured regulatory deep state before Citizen's United, we need much more radical change than that or we can kiss everything we love goodbye.

I wish that was exaggeration, but all evidence is to the contrary, they will count their money as our planet overheats and ocean acidification and methane releases from the warmed sea floor destroy us.

So I will no longer support candidates who suck up to corporations for campaign war chests, to do so is to support our end as a species. If that is not true, the burden is on the corporations and their candidates to show that they have a path to stop climate change in time to avoid some of the unthinkable tipping points we are approaching.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat May 16, 2015, 11:46 PM (0 replies)

I actually think protectionism is a reasonable response

to countries who won't meet reasonable standards of environmental, regulatory, and labor concerns. This "treaty" is primarily written by corporate interests. I know they claim to have included environmental and labor concerns, but it's odd that environmental and labor groups are so united in their opposition.

Corporations should be required to pay wages that would provide at least a living wage in their own country if they are going to use labor in some other nation to produce goods to be sold in the country of the corporation's origin. And goods produced by foreign corporations should be subject to tariffs to offset the disparity in labor and regulatory standards. If we had polical representation for citizens rather than for the largest campaign donors, these issues would be getting a lot of consideration.

I know the left is supposed to be against protectionist policies, perhaps it's time to reevaluate that. Times and conditions have radically changed. The information revolution has made it possible for corporations to exploit the weakest labor and regulatory conditions anywhere, tracking projects with distributed workforces, and the massive infrastructure of modern ports and shipping enables goods produced offshore to be imported back and sold into price structures that reflect entirely different monetary and living conditions. The old free trade liberalism is no longer viable for anyone but the corporations. It's obvious, and would be obvious to many more people if it were explained to them, but the explainers are all on the corporate payroll.

Rather than regional agreements writtten by corporate interests and enforced by stateless courts whose members are appointed without public oversight, we should set the acceptable conditions for goods from other nations. If they won't meet those conditions, we can ban the imports or we can attempt to offset the unfair production environment with tariffs.

I'm sure not all of my ideas here are viable or are the proper response, but it's time for a rethink, and to think for ourselves, we're being sold a load of pain by bought and paid for politicians.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon May 11, 2015, 04:31 AM (1 replies)

Great discussion

I am to the right of you, but even I have to watch what I say to stay within the TOS, I very often bite my tongue or say less than what I believe.

If you look at who runs the site, and their views and posts, it's pretty much a mainstream corporate Democratic site that used the word Underground not in the sense of being for reform of the Democratic Party, but in the sense of, after the (s)election of GW Bush in 2000, they saw their centrist Democratic views as needing to go underground and network and grow to return to power. That meant, I think, a return of the likes of Clinton and Obama, not actual reform of capitalism.

It's great for people like you to stick around here, for one thing I like having people working to my left, makes it easier for me to advocate for a system closer to the Scandinavian democracies, which I think would go a long ways towards making a more sustainable and tolerable society.

I'm curious which, if any, nations you see as models for your views, I am not real informed about the manifestations of radical revolutionary socialism.

One thing I will say that I absolutely hate about this site is having to defend views that should IMO need no defense by Democrats, views such as corporate hegemony being the fundamental problem we are facing, that our military and police are for the most part forces deployed by coporate interests, there are a million such positions and I don't need to go into all of them now. I spend a lot of my time fighting off attacks from people invested in supporting bought-and-paid for pols and policies, which is counterproductive and a negative drag on my psyche. I used to think it was a battle that could be won, but as I learned more about who ran this place I came to realize it is really what this site is setup to advocate for, and if we don't, we're considered to be working in the interest of Republicans. So for that reason I often think of leaving here myself, or hope to find a place where the foundational purpose is to better the lives of the masses rather than to support a particular political party. If (when?) Hillary wins the primary I will probably take a break from here rather than suffer the get-on-board coersion, that for me is a bridge too far.

I read what you wrote about your fear of the Sanders campaign causing true revolutionaries to be assimilated (hopefully I am getting that right) and was surprised by that. I think Bernie does want a revolution, in that he doesn't think we are legitimately represented, seeing our representatives as serving their donor base rather than their electoral base, which I agree with, and in my mind changing that would allow us to exist in an imperfect but sustainable society that would provide a context for satisfying and decent lives for most of its citizens. I love Sanders but to me he is just a vehicle towards reigning in the beast, not necessarily the best vehicle but the best one at this moment to run a national campaign.

Re revolution, elections are so fraudulent right now (power doesn't really change with elections, though the people running it do) that I can understand working to bring one about, but I choose to work to remove the influence of money from our elections so that there would actually be the possibility of true reform through electoral politics. If that can't happen, though, and it is very much an uphill struggle, it will require an actual revolution, which would probably not end well but there would be no alternative.

Anyway, I hope you keep posting here, you can work elsewhere too, DU doesn't have to be everything, but DU can benefit by more people who seek actual systemic change or reform rather than just a change in how many bones are thrown to the proletariat.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sun May 10, 2015, 08:25 PM (0 replies)
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