We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Socialist Senator Explains the Difference Between Democrats and Republicans

Click here to access article by Mike Whitney from CounterPunch

No, Whitney is not referring to Bernie Sanders. He is referring to Huey Long who was governor of Louisiana and then US senator back in the early 1930s. Long thought he could fight and win against major corporations. Well, he won some minor skirmishes, but his character was severely attacked by the press media of that time, and in the end he was literally assassinated. Whitney draws a very limited lesson from his history to conclude that all we need today is another candidate like Long!
This is exactly what the country needs, a brassy-brawling chest-thumping populist who likes a good slugfest and doesn’t mind stretching the rules a bit when necessary. And if he happens to have some less-than-admirable human frailties, then so be it.
I simply don't understand Whitney and other such critics of the status quo. Surely he knows the sordid history of corporate takeover of all political institutions in the US since the 1930s. This history has led the US to what it is today: a capitalist Empire governed by a hidden "deep state" of financial, industrial, and military directors that control everything behind a facade of a democratic government staffed by their loyal employees. Surely he knows this! He has certainly written a number of articles describing it.

So, why does he write such articles as this one? Is it because he, like so many others, has also learned the real lesson of the Huey Longs of American history: that you can't fight and win against them in their system? Is it that he, too, has decided to play it safe because he fears the powers of the deep state to destroy people who fight against their system?

What we really need today are revolutionary-minded people who are willing to risk all and join together to end the ownership and control of our economy, country, and much of the world by capitalists.


  1. I don't see any contradiction with this piece and any other critiques by Whitney. Indeed he compares Long's treatment with the treatment given to true revolutionaries like Castro and Chavez. He writes, "Long of course has been given the same treatment as Castro and Chavez. Anyone who opposes glorious capitalism and works for the poor, the needy, the uneducated, the underrepresented or the unemployed, has to be discredited, denounced and demonized. And, so he has been. But he was a great leader who put the corporations in their place, helped to lift millions of people out of poverty, and single-handedly dragged Louisiana into the modern era." He concludes with "Booyah, Kingfish. We could use you now, buddy, that’s for sure." That's hardly playing it safe.

    Booyah, Kingfish. We could use you now, buddy, that’s for sure.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    I was trying to make the point that fighting individually against the system doesn't accomplish anything, and I think that Huey Long's life is a perfect illustration of that. The ruling class doesn't mind people who support individual opposition to their rule because they have many ways of dealing with such people. What they really fear, as they did in the 1930s, is organized efforts to oppose their rule and their system. Thus, I think Whitney is playing it safe.


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