The best of what's reactionary: the Sanders platform

In a recent discussion online, I suggested that the best we could do in this time of decline was to invoke various species of reactionary nostalgia for the past. Right now our Presidential choices involve some guy who imagines America out of some nostalgia for the 1950s being challenged by some guy who is running on nostalgia for 2016. The guy who is running on nostalgia for 2016 is co-opting the followers of a guy who ran on nostalgia for FDR.

Well, someone in this meeting asked me why I supported the agenda of Bernie Sanders, or at least the agenda he had before he got caught up in this "task force" stuff, if I thought it was all reactionary. I responded that some of Sanders' agenda was composed of things we needed right away and that the primary focus needed to be upon disrupting the "Two-Party System" which empowers blindly-loyal (D) and (R) voters at the expense of everyone else and which empowers the plutocrats who lease their politicians while co-opting their NGOs. I therefore support the Movement for a People's Party even though the best they can come up with (for now) is the idea of starting a new political party based on the Bernie Sanders agenda.

At any rate, these are the parts of the Bernie Sanders agenda which I think are worth demanding right now:

1) Medicare for All. Global protests incited by the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd, including their backlash, are going to be spreading COVID-19 some more. The hospitals can't be throwing people out because they don't have insurance, and people can't be staying away from the hospitals because they know they'll be BANKRUPTED by the current system if they seek medical attention. We, therefore, need Medicare for All.

2) College for All. There's a lot of crappy criticism of this sort of thing floating around the Internet. "They won't learn anything in high school if they know that everyone can get into college and if they know it will be free" is the summation of all that crappy criticism. All the crappy criticism starts out from the same crap premise: students will only learn something if there's money in it. That premise is the reason why our public school systems and college systems are all crap now. We need colleges where people can put in the time and effort to solve our planet's most pressing problems without worrying if there's any sort of immediate payoff for what they're doing. "College for All" is the down payment upon those colleges.

I am not going to include the Green New Deal in this list, at least not yet. The Green New Deal might be a good thing if it were subject to a national debate and thought through so that it wouldn't be just a project for handing some rich corporations money to build solar panels with rare-earth metals which might not even be there (see e.g. "Planet of the Humans" -- oh, that's right, you can't, it's been taken down)

At any rate, my opinion on this is that we need some sort of utopian revisioning of the world if we are to "crack the green nut" in any serious way. I've written it up in a piece I wrote in 2016 called "Climate Change Mitigation in Fantasy and Reality" -- the password is AddletonAP2009. I'm not dismissing the problem outright -- obviously something has to be done. But the something to be done is more likely to be something to make someone rich while we feel good about doing nothing of consequence unless and until we know precisely what it is we're going to do.

Our problems, in general, will only be solved with something visionary, visionary far beyond what you saw with Bernie Sanders. And that's going to require a "political revolution" that will have to occur without Bernie Sanders, and perhaps despite him. Right now we're at "competing species of reactionary" -- we have a long way to go. At any rate, those two planks, the ones I mentioned above, are the ones I though were worth our militancy now.

Oh, and as for the protests, I yield the floor to Margaret Atwood:

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/margaret-atw...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

No state can succeed in the 21st century without a healthy and educated population.

With the exception of the US and other failing states, every nation in the world puts the health and education of citizens at the top of their priority lists.

The US has turned those two essentials of civilization into profit-humping rackets that actively asset-strip the disposable income of the People. And we've got a top-heavy, gullible, brain-rotted population that will vote to keep it that way. Or to paraphrase Joseph Goebbels: "Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs.”

Alas, time has run out on the political-change clock — in a practical sense. The Federal Government leadership is completely rogue. The retail vote was already a sham before I was born. The current Pandemic and the utter vulnerability of the United States could not make any of this any clearer. Consider this:

As of four days ago, the number of COVID-19 infected cases in America continues to soar, with 23,290 new cases and 1015 deaths for one day, reported on May 30th. On that day, there were 18,267 COVID-19 patients in critical condition.

A leading coronavirus model often cited by the White House is now projecting nearly 135,000 deaths in the United States by early August, up from its earlier prediction of 74,000 deaths. But common global models predict that the US death rate will hit 148,000 by early August and that between October 2020 to February 2021 up to 1.3 million individuals in the US will die. And, that's a best case scenario! The global model excludes the impact of the flu season, which will compound the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Political party building via video chat might be on People's front burner while they are being stalked by a virus. However, in 2020, Trump will be running against China, and not against Biden, who is hiding in his basement. And Trump may have immunity from the virus (see below).

The US is the worst managed developed nation in the world when it comes to the COVID-19 crisis. Clueless government and health authorities dictate stupid policies and treatment protocols to healthcare professionals who should know better. The US is a chaotic mess and most Americans, themselves, are living in denial about the seriousness of the COVID 19 threat. By this time next year, at least 68 percent of the country will have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It doesn't matter if their symptoms were mild, or whether they remain asymptomatic. What matters is that the residual SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is going to affect their health conditions for the rest of their lives.

Our problems, in general, will only be solved with something visionary, visionary far beyond what you saw with Bernie Sanders. And that's going to require a "political revolution" that will have to occur without Bernie Sanders, and perhaps despite him. Right now we're at "competing species of reactionary" -- we have a long way to go.

.

Political transformation hit its opportunity deadline during the 2020 primaries, and it failed spectacularly. Goebbels' herd of pigs voted against it. Those who hope to survive what is coming should leave the US now. Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down in a sane nation. This can be done. There is plenty of information out there to show you how.

I am someone who is not in denial about the fact that we are dealing with an intelligent depopulation. The profile that has developed shows specifically who is to be culled. Now that the virus death statistics are being compiled and we have a chance to study them, we can see who the victims are and examine their profiles. Data about risky conditions, specific chemical deficiencies and imbalances, and certain blood profiles that act as triggers for viral attack resulting in death are coming to light. Those who have developmental disabilities are up there at the top. (This should sound a familiar alarm.) Those who are targeted also include diabetics, people with any form of heart disease or blood disease or related kidney or liver disease, people with cancer detected and undetected, those with hypertension, and any of the common diseases of aging, except for rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, a variety of autoimmune diseases that are being treated with certain specific drugs are being spared by the coronavirus.

Which brings me to another point. Don't put all your eggs in the vaccine basket. I'm not going to get into all the reasons why a universal vaccine is unlikely to emerge. All that I will say now is this: Do not inject a for-profit vaccine. If the vaccine is not in the public domain, don't take it. More on this another time.

In the end, this all comes back to politics and political leaders. Expect to notice that Political leaders and the Oligarchs seem to have an immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Obviously, there are effective prophylactics and preventives out there. Donald Trump and his family are using them. More are being uncovered in our current formulary, for example PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which blocks HIV infections. Many new drugs are now being developed for this purpose alone, since vaccines are unlikely to be the frontline.

You will recognize effective preventatives immediately because they will be demonized and vilified by Western (capitalist) governmental medical institutions and regulatory agencies to frighten the public away from them until they can be properly monetized. But you knew it would come to this, didn't you?

As an aside, I joined the Peace Movement for a People's Party newsletter after I saw your note the other day. Hopefully others will keep the organization mindful and responsive to the immediate reality that we are facing. Ancient Chinese philosophy teaches us that times of great danger are times of great opportunity. For those who act.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic One question: what's the Peace Party?

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cassiodorus

The Movement for a People's Party.

And it is an amazing and talented group. The right people are self-selecting. Folks should take a look at what could be. Once you flush the Democratic Party out of the mix it's incredible what that feels like.

A People's Party

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Imagine a political party of the People without the contamination and corruption of the Democrats!

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

RantingRooster's picture

@Pluto's Republic If I could bug out of this country, I would be gone, ba-bye. However, my health and finances are the key issue preventing me from exiting stage left.

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"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Shahryar's picture

@RantingRooster

other countries are now selective in who gets let in. For example, Canada has a points system that makes it difficult for older people who aren't wealthy.

Plus there's another, worse problem. Several years ago shaharazade and I discussed how Glenn Greenwald smartly left the US to go live in a more welcoming country, Brazil. And now...

There's the strong possibility that any country that seems like a good alternative will eventually become a rightwing hell, thanks to the support of the U.S., specifically because it's a good alternative!

We've talked about New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica. Like you say, finances make it difficult to seriously plan for such a move.

I'd prefer the busting up of the U.S. Let the weirdos have the South. Although they'd probably then want to start a war with us.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Shahryar https://www.amazon.com/American-War-Omar-El-Akkad-ebook/dp/B01LXK1HBB/re...

Since you brought it up. I'll just post the blurbs on Amazon without comment...

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

Shahryar's picture

@Cassiodorus

2074 is optimistic....unless I'm misreading this and the story takes place well after the war.

I can see it happening in 2022. Or else next month.

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@Shahryar It's not exactly wild-eyed insanity to consider that events concerning a possible nationwide civil war are much closer at hand.

Even 2022 might be optimistic.

Imagine if yet another George Floyd event happens in the near future, so soon after this latest. That might be what would trigger it.

Other possibility: Trump refuses to step down after losing the "rigged" election.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wokkamile

...the next President of the United States orders Trump removed from the White House.

Other possibility: Trump refuses to step down after losing the "rigged" election.

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I have never understood how this notion gains a foothold in the imagination. But I've seen it often stated, so it must be buoyed up by a strong emotion, like fear, I suppose. I like my fantasies to at least be somewhat in the realm of possibility.

Frankly, with the tide going out the way that it is, exposing his incompetence and the backing away of his hillbilly fans and the ventriloquists for Republican Jesus, I wouldn't be too surprised to see him step down and retreat to Florida before Election Day.

I still have an outstanding bet that he won't finish his first term.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic when Trump himself refused to say, in a televised debate, whether he would accept the results of an election defeat.

Then when his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress and stated

“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump,” Cohen said, “I fear that if he loses in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”

I suggested one possible cause of a civil war in this country as Trump refusing to concede an election loss. I doubt if the excitement would suddenly start at Inauguration. Several days after the election, once enough mail-in ballots are counted and an EC majority declared for Biden, which looks likely right now, at that point the trouble could start. That is the scenario.

This is hardly original with me, and a number of people, some noted in the cite above, have been talking about it for a few yrs. Perhaps they don't have their feet as firmly planted in reality as you, but as some are election and constitutional experts and don't give their views anonymously, their analyses shouldn't lightly be dismissed.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wokkamile @wokkamile

...about whether Trump would concede if he lost of the 2016 election. I remember that debate and assumed that the strategic question was dropped by one of Hillary's media surrogates. It was a completely bizarre question.

It seemed like a taunt or publicity stunt to build up tension in viewers. Was it was tossed into the narrative to boost turnout? Perhaps I dismissed the issue of Trump conceding because I was certain that Hillary would lose. The votes were counted. The electoral college weighed in. The Next President was announced. The transition began at once.

But I read that article you cited, "How Trump Could Lose the Election and Remain President," ...and it has given me pause.

Especially troubling, is the coming Election mess in the midst of an Epidemic — and it is going to be an upsetting and contestable mess. Federal voting has always been a notorious mess, not to be trusted. But 2020 is something else.

I confess, I do like the idea of total chaos breaking out and no President able to claim the win. I can see the possibility of that for awhile. For me, both candidates are duds. But the struggle could completely expose and ruin both parties, which would be a win for the People.

So, thanks for that link. Things are looking interesting again.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Pluto's Republic

They made sure there was a decision in 2000 by putting their fat butts on the scale. And they'd do it again in a New York minute, in spite of all their talk about it "not setting a precedent".

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Creosote.'s picture

@Pluto's Republic
It throws new light on an event that took place here last fall. I had asked a friend if X still had an active practice in friend's same building. The answer was No, and that after nonpayment of rent for several months all X's things were put out on the street. A few days later I thought: X had been careful to manage things so that if friends were asked to reveal particulars they could honesty say they didn't know. X's partner has vanished too.
-- My sense is that X sensed the seriousness of this very early.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Creosote.

...that must be very spooky when the loose ends suddenly tie themselves together in a neat package.

I've gotten spooked like that before. Disturbing.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Creosote.'s picture

@Pluto's Republic
but had analyzed the oncoming health danger. Both were published writers amomg other high-level skills and I suspect are now in a location safer during the pandemic.

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but for me basic income, food, shelter, education and health care are the 5 minimum things a citizen should take for granted. Not a safety net, but a foundation.

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and I hope Bernie and others can help bring Biden to his Obamacaring senses on this. If Sanders concentrates just on this issue and achieves a breakthrough in influence, he can easily redeem himself for his disappointing 2020 campaign.

College for All, ok. It's abundantly clear that costs for colleges/universities have long gotten out of hand, mostly bc in recent decades these institutions have added lucrative and unnecessary administrative positions. What a ripoff.

Dunno if Bernie ever proposed the following (doubt it -- this one is probably too radically bold), namely a substantial defunding and eventual elimination of our "punishment infrastructure" of policing as local gov'ts increasingly are financially strapped while police depts continue to request or are unilaterally given additional funding, while continuing to receive Pentagon surplus military equipment handouts to go to war against the communities they terrorize. In my view most of the police depts around the country come from the same callous cookie cutter of over militarization, brutal tactics and racist attitudes, and are equally incapable of reforming themselves in a direction that is less punitive and more community oriented. Time to kill them all and start over anew.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile There needs to be a restructuring of the universities' research agendas as well, away from "let's pander to private industry so we can get foundation grants" and toward "let's try to solve our civilization's problems for once."

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

RantingRooster's picture

There has got to be some form of a UBI. 40 million recently lost their jobs and it's been estimated that about 40% of those jobs are not coming back. I was having a really, really, hard time finding work before the pandemic, now it's damn near impossible.

But this, is what bothers me greatly.

I am someone who is not in denial about the fact that we are dealing with an intelligent depopulation.

quote-speaking-of-a-future-at-most-only-decades-away-an-experimenter-in-intelligence-control-zbigniew-brzezinski-65-48-94.jpg

The following excerpt is from the Video - Rule from the Shadows - from StormCloudsGathering youtube channel.

In 1951 psychologist Solomon Asch set out to study and measure the effects and causes of social conformity and its ability to alter perception.

To do so he ran a series of experiments in which he asked groups of students to participate in what he told them was a "vision test." In reality, all but one of the participants in each test were actually actors, each of whom had been prepped to give specific answers at specific times.

The subjects were shown a card with a line on it, followed by another card with 3 lines on it labeled 1, 2, and 3. They were then asked which line in the second card matched the line on the first card in length. The lines were made in such a way that correct answer was obvious. Each member of the group was asked to give their response one at a time, and the "real" participant always answered last or next to last. For the first two trials the actors gave the obvious, correct answer, however beginning on the third trial, they would all give the same wrong answer.

The goal was to ascertain how many people would conform to the perception of those around them when the group's position contradicted their own senses. The results surprised Asch. He had believed that the majority of participants would not conform and give an answer that was obviously wrong; however, results showed that 37% of people would conform to the crowd consistently and 75% conformed at least some of the time. Asch was uncertain as to whether this conformity was limited to social compliance or whether it was actually influencing perception at the neurological level.

In 2005 neuroscientist Gregory Berns sought to answer this question. Berns created a variation of Asch's experiment, this time measuring brain wave activity during the test to determine at what level of the brain this conformity was taking place. The results showed very clearly that the Occipital and Parietal lobes were the most active when the participants were answering incorrectly.

This meant that conformity was actually altering the perception of the test subjects at the neurological level.

Take a moment and register what that means. Social conformity literally causes the brain to rewrite our reality.

(Bold emphasis mine)

Here's the video

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"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Cassiodorus's picture

@RantingRooster all the other countries are giving their citizens in light of COVID-19.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cassiodorus

According to Caitlin Johnstone, that conversation goes like this:
.

‘May we please have our basic needs met?’

“No. Can’t afford to.”

‘Hey why are you killing all those people overseas?’

“They need killing.”

‘Doesn’t it cost money to kill them though?’

“… ”
“… ”
“… ”
“You’re Russian propaganda.”

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Geez-Loueez; if EVER there was a campaign platform built to fail...

...this, of course, from the same campaign that'd been brainstorming ideas for this decade's equivalent of Dukakis-in-a-tank: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/joe-biden-...

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.