Another good find by Mike,
Till there be property there can be no government, the very end of which is to secure wealth and to defend the rich from the poor (Adam Smith 1978: 15).
The limitation of governmental powers, of governmental action, means the enslavement of the people by the great corporations (Theodore Roosevelt 1912).
An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics (Plutarch).
Abstract(pdf): This article addresses the political meaning of
President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 declaration that “government is the problem.” Whereas historically the state had been used by elites to extract as much surplus as possible from producers, with democratization of the franchise, the state became the sole instrument that could limit, or even potentially end, the extraction of workers’ surplus. Once control of the state is in principle democratized by the ballot box, the fortunes of the elite depend solely upon controlling ideology. In 1955, Simon Kuznets offered the highly influential conjecture that while rising inequality characterizes early economic development, advanced development promises greater equality. However, rising inequality in most wealthy countries over the past four decades has challenged this hypothesis. What those who embraced Kuznets’ conjecture failed to recognize is the dynamics by which the rich, with their far greater command over resources, education, and status, inevitably regain control over ideology and thereby the state. Over the course of history, only the very severe crisis of the 1930s discredited their ideology and led to a sustained period of rising equality. However, by 1980 they had regained ideological ascendancy. This article examines how this struggle over ideology has unfolded in the U.S. since the democratization of the franchise in the late nineteenth century. It concludes with reflections on whether the current crisis holds promise of again de-legitimating the elites’ hold on power and ushering in another period of rising equality.
This is part of the reason, if not the biggest reason that the Citizens Untied decision was so despised by moderate minded Americans. Money buys speech. It buys legislation. It buys politicians. And far more free speech than the average person has access to. Much of the conservative movements on going anger management issues has to do with their perception that they are powerless against overwhelming echoes of liberalism. While they see liberalism as code speak in everything that comes out of Hollywood, every front page news story, what America generally gets is watered down corporate media. NBC, ABC and the rest have parent corporations with a vested interests in maintaining the status quo of inequality – even PBS, which is better is far from unbiased in favor of conservatives. The more power Jane and John Doe has, the less power corporations have. The tax debate or the framing of the deficit and jobs in terms of high taxes, rather than low revenues has been reported on extensively in the last four years. Yet with all the research and the published reports, conservatives are either convinced the tax burden is THE major barrier to growth and like Romney, repeat the lie because the more money concentrated in the lands of lazy plutocrats, the more power they have.
We all know by now that some issues and words are just triggers for Republican temper tantrums. We say less more sugar please, Republicans scream about the liberal plot to force people to add vinegar to their coffee. Liberals said there were no WMD in Iraq, conservatives just screamed louder that there were. Some of the conservative pundits could not bear the embarrassment of such a momentous and obvious lie so they switched to the he might have them some day so your husband or daughter has to die now just in case. Guns are another trigger. Lou Dobbs’ Paranoid Theory: Obama Will Seize Guns, Remove Bill Of Rights
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs pushed the extreme conspiracy theory that President Obama wants to destroy the Second Amendment as a first step in eliminating the entire Bill of Rights. But Obama has consistently voiced his support for the Second Amendment, including during the Monday press conference that Dobbs referenced on his show.
During his program, Dobbs aired a partial clip of Obama saying at the press conference, “The issue here is not whether or not we believe in the Second Amendment. The issue is: Are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in Newtown can’t walk into a school — ”
Dobbs responded by claiming that Obama is “so committed to constraining or dismissing outright our Second Amendment rights, it makes you wonder why he’s not ridding the Constitution of the First Amendment as well.” He later said, “You’ve got to wonder why the president doesn’t double down in his assault on the Constitution, taking on not only the Second, but the First Amendment, the Fourth, the Fourteenth.” Dobbs then suggested that the reason Obama has “begun with the Second Amendment” is because “[w]ithout our rights under the Second Amendment, removing the rest of our Bill of Rights would be a lot easier.”
Lou Dobbs and other conservative spinmeisters listen to what President Obama actually said, “I think that those of us who look at this problem have repeatedly said that responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don’t have anything to worry about.” He also said that he believes we can reduce gun violence “in a sensible way that comports with the Second Amendment.” The words go through the Conservative Word and and Meaning Confabulator, and come out as a ban against guns and an assault on the entire Bill of Rights. Making English the official national language has been a conservative obsession for years. That might be a good idea, Conservatives would be forced to learn and understand American English. Of course some day there might there be some kind of miracle in the way of epiphanies, and conservatives might take making rational reality based arguments about public policy out for a test drive. Though I’m not betting on it. These are the executive orders that are supposedly an attack on the Bill of Rights, 1. Making background checks universal. 2. Improving state reporting of criminals and the mentally ill. 6. Funding police officers. 7. Strengthening gun tracking on guns used for crimes. There are three things that President Obama and most Americans want that will have to pass a House with a conservative majority, which some analysts already see as doomed: 3. Banning assault weapons. 4. Capping magazine clip capacity at 10 bullets. And a complete purge of armour piercing or what some call ‘cop killer” bullets. Their sale in currently against the law, but he wants to make possession of bullets bought when they were legal, against the law, Even though most of the public favors the executive orders ( Poll: NRA households support background checks) the assault weapons ban, conservatives might be willing to go berserk and risk reelection if they oppose such modest gun safety changes.
Some interesting history behind the language of the 2nd Amendment. The main impetus was not fear of gov’mint tyranny or even foreign invasion, but slavery, The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery
Sally E. Haden, in her book Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, “Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller.” There were exemptions so “men in critical professions” like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work. Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 – including physicians and ministers – had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South. Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
Conservatives keep linking freedom with unrestricted gun regulation. You have to have guns to preserve liberty. Conservatives have done fairly well in taking away freedom just using money and gerrymandering without firing a shot, Republicans Brag They Won House Majority Because Of Gerrymandering
History buffs might enjoy this, Excerpt: ‘The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin’ by Benjamin Franklin
In our house there lodg’d a young woman, a milliner, who, I think, had a shop in the Cloisters. She had been genteelly bred, was sensible and lively, and of most pleasing conversation. Ralph read plays to her in the evenings, they grew intimate, she took another lodging, and he followed her. They liv’d together some time; but, he being still out of business, and her income not sufficient to maintain them with her child, he took a resolution of going from London, to try for a country school, which he thought himself well qualified to undertake, as he wrote an excellent hand, and was a master of arithmetic and accounts. This, however, he deemed a business below him, and confident of future better fortune, when he should be unwilling to have it known that he once was so meanly employed, he changed his name, and did me the honour to assume mine; for I soon after had a letter from him, acquainting me that he was settled in a small village (in Berkshire, I think it was, where he taught reading and writing to ten or a dozen boys, at sixpence each per week), recommending Mrs. T—— to my care, and desiring me to write to him, directing for Mr. Franklin, schoolmaster, at such a place.