Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Democracy and the middle class.

Here is an article by Thom Hartman of interest: Sentient Times Oct/Nov 06 Mr. Hartman observes that our Democratic structure was based on the Iroquois Confederacy of 5 Native American tribes that helped build our Constitution. It is ironic that the Native American Supreme court that had final say was made up entirely of women. Of course, they had been practicing Democracy for thousands of years. Basically Mr. Hartman outlines how the middle class came about and the dangers of having a society of Rich vs. Poor. I can see a dangerous correlation with what is happening nation wide. We are starting to see a great chasm of people who have to those that have not. The middle class seems to be shrinking and we need not look any further than the percentage of people who can afford to buy homes to those who can not locally. Humboldt Association of Realtors Search properties And the trend becomes disturbing nation wide. - Fewer families can afford a home And we are seeing an escalation of people in need. Think Progress » Working Americans ‘Still Can’t Afford To Eat’ and Some Americans Lack Food, but USDA Won't Call Them Hungry - What are the answers? We need to get back to focusing on raising wages by organizing or at least coalition building against corporate greed. We need to cultivate and grow the middle class and get back to our democratic roots laid down by our Native American forefathers.


Anonymous said...

Democrats need to unite.

Anonymous said...

So, Democrats get into office, and now were sending MORE troops to Iraq? I'll give them a few months but my god, things can still get much much worse...

Anonymous said...

In that story:
"The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans -- 35 million people -- could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined "very low food security" to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.
Among several recommendations, the panel suggested that the USDA scrap the word hunger, which "should refer to a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation."

This is typical government agency word trickery. Politically correct B.S. And the report to change the word "hunger" to "very low food security" probably cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce.
It's all bureaucratic Bulls***.

Bet me that the two-class society that exists here in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties may well be made up of government workers representing the uppercrust of our residents. A for instance is the new Park Services building in Orick dominating the landscape (or is that viewshed) of the town. While the regular Joe is toiling in the burl shops and whatever else to survive, I wonder what the park service administrators are making
in wages.

Back in the late 1960's, my father predicted a two-class society would rise up in America by the time his grandkids were retirement age.

Anonymous said...

Your grandfather had it right, and the park administrators are definitely in the upper tier, especially in Humboldt County. The middle class life some of us enjoy is to be treasured, because it's fragile. My neighbors are farmworker families living in old motels. Yet, there are those who criticize an increase in the minimum wage. It's not the world we once thought it would become.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to see Native American democracy in action should request a copy of the minutes for the most recent meeting of the Bear River Tribal Council. You won't get it.

Something I don't get is Greg's joke about democrats uniting. We've been telling him all year long that we can't unite behind a local central committee run by people who won't even call themselves democrats and who insist on pursuing the personal vendettas of the few at the expense of the middle-class aspirations of the many.

Anonymous said...

yes, yes, yes,----but the native americans had no idea what the term capitalism meant and from what I read on this blog and others, they also have no understanding of the meaning. You are here to capitalize on what ever your heart desires, and I mean what ever your heart desires...

so, in other words--go forth thy, reap the rewards of your desires for it is in your blood, thy sole.. And for that middle class, well, we may not need you any more but we will always remember you...

Anonymous said...

8:04 must be Steve.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we've ever had a real democracy in America at the national, state and most county and big-city levels. And with a draconian, two-party, winner-take-all system I don't see how we ever could. We need a multi-party, parliamentary system, like they have in Europe, if we want any hope for real democracy.

Here are some good quotes which shed some light on our political system as it actually is, (as opposed to what the government, the schools and the corporate mass media say it is):

"But we're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy."

-- Ramsey Clark
former U.S. Attorney General
interview in The Sun magazine
August 2001

"We can have a democratic society or we can have the concentration of great wealth in the hands of the few. We cannot have both."

-- Louis Brandeis
Supreme Court Justice from 1916-1939

"The whole fabric of society will go to wrack if we really lay hands of reform on our rotten institutions. ... From top to bottom the whole system is a fraud, all of us know it, laborers and capitalists alike, and all of us are consenting parties to it."

-- Henry Adams
American politician
(I presume this was private correspondence!)

"We have never had a popular government... nor are we in any danger now. Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic. But Henry Adams figured all that out back in the 1890s. 'We have a single system,' he wrote, and 'in that system the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold, the bread and circuses.'"

"Or, as Brooks Adams [Henry Adams' brother] put it, the sole problem of our ruling class is whether to coerce or to bribe the powerless majority."

-- Gore Vidal
The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

"Nowhere do 'politicians' form a more separate, powerful section of the nation than in North America. There, each of the two great parties which alternately succeed each other in power is itself in turn controlled by people who make a business of politics, who speculate on seats in the legislative assemblies of the Union as well as of the separate states, or who make a living by carrying on agitation for their party and on its victory are rewarded with positions.

"It is well known that the Americans have been striving for thirty years to shake off this yoke, which has become intolerable, and that in spite of all they can do they continue to sink ever deeper in this swamp of corruption. It is precisely in America that we see best how there takes place this process of the state power making itself independent in relation to society, whose mere instrument it was originally intended to be.

"Here there exists no dynasty, no nobility, no standing army, beyond the few men keeping watch on the Indians, no bureaucracy with permanent posts or the right to pensions. And nevertheless we find here two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt end -- and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality exploit and plunder it."

-- Frederick Engels
c. 1871
speaking of Democrats and Republicans

"In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena.

"In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times."

-- Robert W. McChesney
author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy

"Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers.

"This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature.

"It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other."

-- John Locke
The ideological progenitor of the American Revolution

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience..."

-- John Locke

Anonymous said...

The American political system invented by our founding fathers, who were all very wealthy and powerful, was designed to keep them wealthy and powerful at the expense of the peasants. It has worked for over 200 years and has kept the wealthy and powerful wealthy and powerful. They don't give a hoot about the rest of us and they never have.

Anonymous said...

Steve didn't write 8:04 p.m. He could never string together a sentence that nice and not take credit for it.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what makes our system work is the middle. The middle class. The middle managers. Etc.
The folks in the middle are getting things done. They run the corporations...CEO's don't. The middle class is making our capitalistic society work through purchasing power. Yes, the very wealthy own it all. But how often do you see them at a Giants game or shopping at the malls or providing aid to New Orleans or helping America's farmers. I believe the top 5% have acquired the wealth, but the lower 95% actually control it through spending. But, I could be wrong.

When Bill Gates built his home in Redmond, Washington for $40 million dollars a few years back, they said it was the equivolent of a person who makes $40,000 per year spending $40 total to build a home. That my friends is wealth. But, I'm also told he planned to give away 95% of his personal worth to charity at the age of 50. I wonder if that ever happened?

samoasoftball said...

Wow. Great answers and observations by all. I sure wish I knew who some of you anonymous types were. Sometimes I am overwhelmed and awed by the intelligent discourse brought forward by people not wanting to be identified.

Anonymous said...

They're all on the run from the government.

But seriously, you're pretty intelligent yourself, Richard. And there are many types of intelligence. Some people, like lawyers and journalists and others who are clever with words, seem intelligent, but it has no depth. And they have very little moral intelligence, the most important type of all.