Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

BACK TO WILLIAM MCKINLEY'S TIME?

The Republicans are at last, after four years of Bush administration deficit creation, discovering the growing debt crisis in America. I've been monitoring "conservative" politicians statements in recent days and they are all following the pack, calling for massive cuts in social spending. "We can't saddle our children with this huge debt," they say. Funny they never worried about it when they were voting to create the debt by giving huge tax cuts to the rich and massively increasing Pentagon spending and throwing money at the war in Iraq like they were playing the Monopoly game.

The Republicans have of course done this on purpose. They created the debt crisis so they would then have to go to the people with their "final" solution. We've got to cut social spending across the board, they say, because we must reign in big government spending. They knew if they followed Ronald Reagan's perscription, cut taxes on the rich and increase military spending, they could finish the job that Reagan had begun in the 1980's. The right-wing sees this as their best chance ever to kill social progress in America and bring back the days of corporate domination of the people. I call it 21st century feudalism.

Bush's political advisor/guru Karl Rove says that his favorite president was William McKinley. Why McKinley? McKinley was the last president before we began to get social progress in America. Back in McKinley's day all we had was the poor house or the street. You lost your job - tough. You are sick and can't afford a doctor - too bad. You want public education for your kids so they can advance - no way. You need social security so you can survive in your old age -- tough luck. This is the vision for America that Rove and Bush and their team of greedy corporate operatives have.

Let's face it. The big corporations figure why pay some American $20 an hour to make TV's when they can go to China and pay someone 50 cents a day. So they move to China. Americans are left jobless and most importantly our local communities begin to feel the pressure as the local tax base dries up. No money for road repairs, no money for schools, etc... Then Bush cuts federal social spending and what do you have? Within one generation you have the Third Worldization of the U.S. It will happen before most people will know what hit them. Bush keeps saying "I'm optimistic" and about half the country believes him. Then one day they wake up to the whole shell game but it is too late. They are f_ _ ked.

I think most people, in their heart of hearts, understand what is going on. They can see the writing on the wall. But they were taught early on to keep their nose clean, don't rock the boat, climb the corporate ladder. They know that if you stick your neck out and say anything about all this you might get it chopped off in this corporate dominated society. They want someone else to do the dirty work for them.

It's what I call the "success mythology." Folks are more committed to being a "success" (fancy house, big car, big color TV, hot vacations) than they are to their children's future. They go along to get along. They tell people quietly behind closed doors, "Hey I am so glad you are out there working on these issues but I can't do it. I've got three kids to put through college you know." The problem though is that because they don't get involved they are getting ready to put their kids through the proverbial wringer.

So what is the answer? We've got to start talking about the success mythology and the responsibility of parents and grandparents to work NOW to protect the future generations from this impending economic tsunami. We've got to urge folks to muster up the courage to think of THEIR kids first.

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