Sunday, November 14, 2010

Boycott The Simpsons It Might Save Our Lives [Anthony McCarthy]

Going back over what I've written about his administration, this past week, I've made a partly unjust charge against Barack Obama, I've accused him of cowardice. If there is one thing that is universally and uncontroversially believed, it is that the first black president of the United States would be an unprecedented target for would be assassins. It's so obviously true, based on the firm record of violence and threats of violence against black Americans, that fear of assassination has been among the possible explanations of Barack Obama's irrational attempts at continuing conciliation with a Republican Party which has sponsored candidates who have encouraged violence as a political tool. That they have left off the names of their targets for reasons of politics and the law, in that order, means nothing. As I said yesterday, Barack Obama isn't stupid. He certainly knew that if he ran for president, if he looked like a viable candidate and became president, he would attract an enhanced level of violent intent. When I called him a coward, it certainly wasn't meant to ignore that fact. I will continue to be critical of the failures of President Obama, of his clear lack of POLITICAL courage, but not of a lack of personal courage, nor that of Michele Obama and other members of his family.

When Republicans, overtly and through their front groups, began showing up at presidential appearances, carrying serious guns over the past year, I couldn't believe I was living in the same country I've always lived in. At the time I pointed out that these people were threatening violence and had the means of delivering it. I am certain that they really mean it, they have the means of delivering violence and they clearly believe they have the right to kill their political opponents. Those more genteel Republicans who have enjoyed the havoc in our country that the groups and candidates have unleashed, and the political gains it has brought share in that responsibility by virtue of their tacit condemnation and rejection of it. They have not rejected the results of it.

This week a new book by Ted Ralls predicts the violence I've also warned is very likely to come. He believes it is already too late to avoid it, and it is hard to discount his case for it seeming like a natural event that is determined in its inevitability.

In 2008, like the people of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, we put our hopes into a young new leader. He is the kind of fresh-faced reformer who just might have been able to do some good had he been put into power decades ago. "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job," read the headline in the satirical weekly newspaper the Onion after Barack Obama won. He has failed. It is by design that internal reformers like Mikhail Gorbachev and Obama inevitably come too late to actually accomplish anything. Even if a leader like Obama were inclined to push for the sweeping reforms that might save American late-stage capitalism from itself, as did Franklin D. Roosevelt -- and there is no evidence that the thought has crossed Obama's mind -- his fellow powerbrokers, fixated on quarterly profit statements and personal position, would never allow it.

The media talks a lot about reform. But it's too late for nips and tucks. Reform can only fix a system if the system is viable and open to change. Neither is true about the United States of America.

In what I've read of Rall's book online, I've seen many points I've made about the near impossibility of reforming the American system because many of the reasons our system is hurtling towards catastrophe are found in the supposedly inerrant scripture of the Constitution and those states which some of the worst of those give vastly more power than their populations merit hold a veto over making those essential changes. Short of a wall of resistance by larger states, vetoing any and all laws benefiting the states holding democracy hostage, I don't see any alternative but a SUCCESSFUL civil war. And, as I've also pointed out, it's the enemies of democracy and equality who have a clear arms advantage. I neither believe it is absolutely impossible to avoid a civil war which will end up in many of us, on the left, dead, nor do I think it is something to expect will come out the way we'd hope it might. Clearly the right expects they will prevail in any violence, just as the Confederate states believed they would

Googling for information about Rall's book, the first page was a solid right wing reaction to it, unsurprisingly attributing his conclusions and program to everyone to the left of Dick Lugar. Even as the comfortable center and left reject the warnings about the increasing probability of violence, the right will use this to rally their insane insurgents. The time to do something might be out but the size of the disaster that another civil war would be means we have to try to avoid it. I would encourage you to read the excerpt of Rall's book which I linked to, because I think it contains ideas that might be necessary to your survival but I also encourage you to look at ideas for alternative action, which could prevent the violence that Rall believes is inevitable.

BOYCOTT! We do not have to take up arms to get the real powerbase of this country to pay attention and change. The real powerbase of this country isn’t the tea party, or Fox News, the fascist propaganda channel, or the Senate with all its well groomed, rhetoric spewing puppets; it is the Military Industrial Machine. It is the big American corporations.

THEY lobby the politicians to get the pro-business legislation they want. Every “populist” bill put forth by congress with the supposed intent of helping regular people is filled with small print that at minimum makes it a wash or even benefits the businesses supposedly regulated. The fix is in, and yes a revolt IS necessary. But we do not have to do it by force of weapons. That is sooo 19th century. Nor can we do it with the lazy click of a mouse as we send another $20.00 to No, it can only be done by a radical change, and I mean RADICAL, namely, a radical change in HOW WE SPEND OUR MONEY.

If there is something predictable about a call for a real boycott that would have a real impact, it is that the cynics and the slackers will discourage even considering trying it. They will say that it is unrealistic because it is destined to fail. Well, I'm sick and tired of those who begin with the idea that everything the left tries is going to be an impotent failure. It is ahistorical, it ignores the most successful campaign of civil rights in our history, other than the civil war. Given the relative cost of the boycotts that helped shatter legal segregation as compared to war, it is, by far, the more realistic first resort.

One of the first things the left could do would be to BOYCOTT ALL FOX PROGRAMS, ALL OF THEM AND ALL OF THE MURDOCH EMPIRE'S MEDIA PRODUCTS . A left that can't give up The Simpsons to avoid fascism and civil war is a left that has already given in. Rupert Murdoch is the primary propagandist of right wing violence in the United States, his media empire is the loudest promoter of the violence that is targeting us.