Daily Archives: August 8, 2017

Gauis Publius: There Is No “Political Center” in Modern America

Naked Capitalism has the article Gauis Publius: There Is No “Political Center” in Modern America.

Has anything changed recently with the introduction of the Democrat’s “Better Deal” campaign? Richard Eskow convincingly argues no. It may be time to admit that the reason we have Republicans in power — in a majority of states as well as the federal government — owes less to Vladimir Putin than it does to mainstream Democrats themselves.

Americans have not much ability to “fix” Vladimir Putin. Do American have the ability to “fix” the Democratic Party, to cure it of its need to pursue money instead of voters? Perhaps, but not if the Party doesn’t want to be fixed.

This is why I get so perturbed by people who want to make Russia the focus of what we have to fix. We can stop Russia from doing everything some people believe it is doing, and our problems still won’t get fixed. Since Russia is telling us some truths about ouor country, our problems may actually get worse if we put a stop to evrything that Russia is doing.

For a long time, I have believed that Capitalism was forced to exhibit some humanitarian terndencies in order to compete against the threat of Communism (USSR and China). Now that the threat of Communism is almost non-existent, there is nothing to put a human face on Capitalism. It is not that I want Communism back, but we should face facts about the benefits of the competition of ideas when Communism existed as a threat. What are we going to do now to spur competition in ideas?

Concrete Material Benefits: “Better Deal” vs. “People’s Platform”

Naked Capitalism has the article Concrete Material Benefits: “Better Deal” vs. “People’s Platform”.

If you wonder what could have been proposed that is better than what the Democratic Party “leaders” proposed, then this article puts forth many ideas. I’ll cut to the chase, and go right to the conclusion.

For myself, I believe that a platform that delivers universal concrete material benefits, especially to the working class, is the way forward for a Democratic Party, or whatever party succeeds it, if Democrats go in another direction. Considerations of justice and electoral politics aside, a key form of collective brain damage inflicted over the last forty years by neoliberals of both parties is the belief that government can’t deliver benefits effectively. (Granted, neoliberals went out of their way to sabotage government’s ability to do just that, so the belief has a basis in reality.) I believe the remedy for that brain damage is, unsurprisingly, government that delivers benefits effectively (which is why #MedicareForAll is an important wedge issue, but adopting the simplest and most rugged form of single payer is also important, as opposed to some Swiss Watch-like program with lots of complications and dials and moon phases and such). A government that delivers benefits effectively is also a prerequisite for many other policies, chief among them dealing with climate change.

No more neoliberal shit for me.

Google Is Not What It Seems

WikiLeaks has an important article by Julian Assange – Google Is Not What It Seems.

If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony.71

A “don’t be evil” empire is still an empire.

The details in this article provide what was for me an astounding revelation of how widespread and invasive are the tentacles of Google.

Google’s political bias had already become apparent to me, but I had had no idea of these details.