They have the money they won't spend

Jeremy Horne, Ph.D.
Alamogordo, NM

There are several factors we must bear in mind.

First, no one should be surprised about what is happening to jobs and the hoarding of cash, with CEOs ripping off even more wealth. How many bankster bailouts do we need? The ultimate aim of corporatism is maximum profits with least expense. Workers, along with land, labor, and capital, are simply part of the equation. There is no humanity in corporatism.

Two, poster no. 1, Karen Garcia, while well meaning, is barking up the wrong tree by saying, "The President must ... [to get] ... the progressive agenda ... We need to call the politicians ... ". The president doesn't have to do anything of the kind. He is corporate property, and the people have no say. He was bought and paid for by Goldman Sachs and BP, among others. This is part of what corporatism means - control of political and economic decision making. Look at 1922-1943 as an example. Second, calling the politicians is a waste of time, as the word was sent to them in the last election as to what people generally wanted. In essence, we have a failed state when it comes to doing the peoples' will.

Three, one of the fundamental fatalities of modern industrial political economies is that their viability depends upon production and growth. This is not sustainable environmentally or structurally. The new meaning of "progressivism" will have to incorporate this new direction.

Third, the economy will have to shift from being based in a velocity of capital being the sign of economic health to wealth being based upon labor hours spent. This means dispensing with parasitic income, such as that derived from speculation. Remember, this was one of the fundamental reasons for the current mini-depression.

Fourth, the policy makers for a humane political economy will have to recognize that the foundation of that economy - workers- must have meaningfully and economically available to them excellent health (including mental and dental) - not the pro insurance/big pharma scam that was recently enacted by Congress - care, education, housing, nutrition, and wages. Given the short sightedness of most corporations, one should not expect these things under the present system At least Henry Ford seemed to have a basic understanding in this area.

Fifth, to have any meaningful participatory society, the participants must be educated This presupposes s suitable school/educational system, and an ethos that values education. It must ranscend the current one of business, consumerism, sports, "entertainment", and greed.

Sixth, the political process needs a complete restructuring, from campaign financing, reversal of the SCOTUS decision on corporations, equal access by opposition political parties, term limits, and a requirement that anyone running for high public office be educated and minimally experienced in political/social/economic affairs. Plato and Aristotle would have had it so well.

The problem we face now is one of ethos and structure, and little patches like make work will not be long range enough to do anything in the room. The elephants in the room are corporatism, the present regime's obeisance to it, and the lack of the basic guts and brains of any group to do anything about it.

Mr. Herbert, you are a fantastic columnist, and perhaps socially/economically way ahead of your time, but I am asking you why you don't pick up the cudgel? I know that newspaper staffers have to be wary about becoming activists, but at least subtlety report on what others might be doing around this country that is effective, so we might take these as paradigms on how to organize in our own communities. We may be coming to a point of no return (from a final economic crash), and people will be asking what there is to lose, if the only way is up. I suggest starting with discussing some real humane and viable political economies, such a cooperatives and non growth and sustainable forms of participatory systems based after democratic socialism, where the means of production and distribution in in the participants' hands. Along with the systems, we might see discussions on the nature of participation, what sustainability means, and other alternative concepts. There is no better time than now to start. Obama and the other politicians surely aren't going to be leaders; they already have had their day in what sun there is left. It is up to us.

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