The Political Standoff Today and My “Resolution” (March, 2011)

The Wisconsin demonstrations against Governor Walker’s regime, as well as most other uprisings around the globe, have, I believe, a simple explanation, and I do believe my simplification is NOT an
OVER-simplification.

The “wealth” powers, whether in industry or politics, want to destroy what makes the “numbers” powers so strong, and one factor is collective bargaining (“the right of the people to peaceably assemble”). Break that rule’s back and there is no way to get into the marketplace of ideas. It just so happens that those who bank on capital wealth are significant constituents in the Republican Party. And it just so happens that the only way Democrats get into office is by the greater numbers of the worker class over the owners class.

The people who should be favoring the “numbers” side (the “workers”) are enticed (and I do not use that word loosely) by the lure of the attainment of wealth for themselves (“the American dream”), as if the everyday wage earners were serious aspirants to acquire the stores of money held by the very rich (unless they can find extremely creative avenues of labor, or the lottery). The main strategy of the wealthy is to attack the sober judgment of the “unwealthy commoners” in the labor force by enticing them to support candidates, who in turn end up working against the workers’ best interests (e.g., for collective bargaining). I suppose there are union members who would advocate a position against the right of collective bargaining for better working conditions, including higher wages.(I actually met one the other day, in a question I put to our unionized mailman as I was picking up my mail. In that brief encounter, I learned he had other interesting internal contradictions in his disclosed narrative.)

Wealth can “buy” an election, the wealthy believe. That is their one main hope, as judged by their advertising in an election. Another hope would be to disguise in clever ways their messages for their ultimate motive (overcoming the advantage of numbers) by advertisements using ad hominem and dissembling attacks on the opposition. The way they call names is to do something that is very subtle and effective: they hang labels on the opponents (treated as enemies), and the labels seem to stick. For example, calling health care “Obama care”. As if the Congress had nothing to do with its existence by majority consent! When they win, they have dug deeply into the advantage of superior numbers on the other side.

In such a stalemate, the method of communication between the two sides is mostly DEBATE, otherwise known as verbal warfare with winners and losers. In another so-called democratic method, there are also winners and losers, THE VOTE. (That is Glen Beck’s definition of democracy, “One man, one vote.” I heard him say it.)

One recent example of the strategy of the wealth-forces is the Supreme Court decision in “Citizens United v Federal Election Commission” (2010), a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court (loaded with Republican appointees) holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. In that way the corporation has been converted into a one-man-one-vote individual. BUT, what a whopping VOTE, outweighing the numbers of working people — one worker against a Sumo wrestler. Now, isn’t that special!

In a nutshell, then, the score should be tied and the winner undetermined. Who are the contestants? The strength in numbers versus the strength of wealth. But there is another force, the third force, the strength of the dominant force in the political offices. The advantage goes to the workers or the moneyed interests which take over the government. How the two forces interact through the auspices of the institutions of government is a critical question.

Voting is out. Debate is out, especially as it transpires in the judiciary process. The Supreme Court is out.

There is a process that will save the day, a process in a sustained phenomenon marked by gradual changes through a series of states that puts a premium on the outcome of consensus resulting in social harmony. That is special. That is the attainable ideal. Training for that must begin early in schooling.

Just now, the house is on fire, and it is too late to dig a well. I doubt very seriously that the “parties” to the present fight can suddenly get some educated, good sense, and do the right thing, as I conceive it. Their brains seem to have become fossilized in party ideology that has been set in the party caucus, preventing action by individual intelligence rather than “group-think” (a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics). And there is a group (Club for Growth) dictating from afar what is to be done to break the unions, furthering their wealth-enhancing scheme.

What is that process? Anyone curious what it might be? I know, and I am not telling. At least now. I want to see how many really care. There seems to be no demand.

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