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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Obama outlines right-wing program in “jobs” speech

Click here to access article by Bill Van Auken from World Socialist Web Site.
While hailed by his Democratic supporters as the return of a new combative Obama, his phony populist demagogy about the need for immediate action and commitment to ensuring that every American received a “fair shake” stood in stark contrast to the actual content of the policies advanced in the speech. All the proposals, moreover, will be paid for by even deeper attacks on core social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The following quote I found particularly interesting as a contrast to the lack of labor militancy that is still mostly typical of today's workers in the US.
Three quarters of a century ago, the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt found the resources to put millions of Americans to work through programs like the Works Progress Administration, that were responsible for nationwide construction and repair of basic infrastructure, from highways to airports to national parks.

Driven by tumultuous struggles of the American working class and the fears that example of the 1917 workers’ revolution Russia could be repeated, Roosevelt set about to save capitalism from itself.
The success of the revolution in Russia inspired working people everywhere and severely shook the capitalist ruling classes. Few Americans realize this and give too much credit to President Franklin Roosevelt and little credit to working class militancy in Russia and the US. The only people who will improve the lot of working people iare working people themselves.