Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang in conversation

Over at Breaking Points I saw this:

First off, the Williamson-Yang exchange isn't a debate. Secondly, I think Krystal and Saagar are leaning too heavily upon history here. And they're leaning on a version of history that leaves some important stuff out. To say the Bryan candidacies led to Woodrow Wilson is not a good thing -- Wilson resegregated the White House. At any rate, the current moment is unique in history. Our moment reveals a party duopoly completely beholden to a super-rich few and completely incapable of responding effectively to the situation at hand, which devolves into crisis more deeply with each year's climate disasters.

They are, however, right to criticize Yang's agenda, though they are somewhat vague about what its big concern is. Here's the big concern. If you look at the Forward Party's web page, you can see that there's something in there about "human-centered capitalism." The problem is that there is really no such thing. Capitalism is about manipulating "value" to turn a profit. Ultimately, this principle leads to the capitalism we have now: the elites buy a Congress, who directs the Federal Reserve to print money and hand it to them (this is diplomatically called "a loan"), and lo-and-behold profit. Capitalism, then, means there must be profit, even if society has reached a historical nexus that that has become completely unprofitable.

"Human-centered economy" might be better. Why not? The President could declare an emergency and save some humans. But it's understandable why it's this way. Yang is a capitalist. His program, then, appears as a sort of "necessary stage." How could smashing the duopoly be bad?

Perhaps it's not important. The duopoly makes increasingly obvious fools of us all. Go ahead! Offer your plan for saving the Democratic Party from certain defeat in 2022 and 2024. Let me guess. Some god will descend from the sky and make it possible for an aging and increasingly senile President who has reneged on all his major promises to win a second term while saving Congress from its abysmal poll numbers. Earth is not going to save the Democrats from being the pointless Whig Party of 2024 -- perhaps outer space will do the trick.

At any rate, here's the conversation between Yang and Williamson:

"There is going to be a revolution." -- Marianne Williamson

Both of these people are worth a hearing because they've both tossed aside the rationalization of "OMIGOD WE'VE GOT TO SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO MUCH WORSE." Oh, sure, they don't quite get to the problem of "chances" -- as long as we spend all of our time calculating chances, we aren't out there improving them. "Never tell me the odds" is what Han Solo said. But they do pretty well, portraying important facts about the political system for those who are discovering them as if such discoveries were the dawning of a new day when many of us feel that this discussion is something that also would have made sense had it been conducted several years ago. May it all amount to something!

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I haven't finished listening yet, but the "human centred capitalism" got me. If a person has OCD, or a drug, alcohol or gambling disorder it's viewed as an addiction, a compulsion, to attain a certain state of being even if it's possibly detrimental to their overall wellness.

That's how I view capitalism, except it's a disorder imposed on us, essentially by our government. In any disorder there are always detrimental effects. Unless a person is wealthy everything is subservient to the conditions the disorder demands. Obligations to self and family take a back seat to the "addiction". That's where we are now. Once the capitalists set their eyes on the things we took for granted, health care, education, food, transportation and shelter, life became unaffordable. Unaffordable in the sense everything now had to be weighed in relationship to need, or do without. Two earner families are not twice as well off as a single wage earner was in the 60's, an increase in productivity while decreasing wages.

I think we have always had a 2 party system. There was the seat of power, the kings and Caesars, and there was the priests and their own seat of power. While the kings could demand and confiscate what they wanted from the people, the priests needed to at least give lip service to keep the favour of the people. They promised a better life after this one, essentially giving hope, and had to directly interact with people. For me this all was "human centred capitalism" because the greed was immediate and personal.

With capitalism, there is no hope for a better life. It's a machine to acquire wealth and power. There is no 2 party conflict, no religious opposition, and the machine continues to invade our lives and devour our planet. We can't trust the information we get, we can't afford what used to be the "basics" of life, we're always off balance, we're divided right down the middle and angry as hell at each other. We're told our "2" party system will save us while we watch the favoured squirrels get all the nuts.

Our blind spot is that we are told, and actually believe, we are equal participants in capitalism. And that's the way the capitalists want it.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Snode there was a one-party system in the US, as the Federalists folded and the Democrats were the only party. Then during Andrew Jackson's presidential tenure an opposition was formed -- the Whig Party. By 1850 it was apparent that both parties were appendages to the plantation aristocracy in the South. So, when the Whigs lost in 1852 to the Dem functionary Franklin Pierce, the antislavery remnant of the Whig party formed the Republican Party.

The Republicans of 1854, you see, didn't freak out and say OMIGOD IF WE FORM A NEW PARTY THE OTHER PARTY WILL WIN AGAIN!!! like what you see in the Democrats of today. Probably the big difference between the Republicans of 1854 and the Democrats of today is that the Republicans of 1854 believed in what they were doing -- limiting the ability of the slave state in the South to expand -- whereas the Democrats of today continue to put up this great pretense that their Party will someday do something about what they claim are their beliefs.

Let's be clear. Sometime this year the United States Supreme Court will make America into what Ireland was before 2018, except with present-day restrictions on international travel, and enormous numbers of women will be looking for ways to leave the country so they can have abortions. The liberal Democrats will have to be reminded that this happened on their watch. Are liberal Democrats freaked out about this eventuality? It's hard to say, with America rabidly engaged in a "debate" about coronaviruses and vaccines and masks that is already irrelevant in the UK and will be completely irrelevant in two weeks here when the Omicron variant completely displaces the Delta.

It's easy for me to imagine that the real party-killer will be 2024, when the Democrats will once again run Joe Biden -- unopposed within his party -- against whomever the Republicans choose. The pandemic will long have been over, but climate change will ravage America every summer amid food shortages and crop failures. Now and then people will ask why Biden doesn't do anything about the country's accumulating problems, and then they will all remember that it was and is of no use. At what point -- WHAT POINT -- do the current (though not future) Democrats imagine that all that reality will blow away like fairy dust and we will be "back to normal"?

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead