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Showing posts from September, 2011

Power is In the Street

More political power lies in the street than is ever acknowledged by the media, or by politicians.   This is the context in which we should be seeing the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston and Occupy Washington.

By "the street", I mean people turning out with their bodies to make a political statement in a public place.  They don't have to be "ordinary" people, in the sense that they were previously not politically active to be very effective.

People turning out in the public square have had a great effect on our politics for the last twenty years.

What?

Weren't the days of the big demonstrations over in the 60's?

Some recent history:

1. 1994:  The Clinton Administration planned a bus tour to rally uninsured people to support the health care reform bill he had submitted.  The bus tour was to start in Seattle.  By the second stop, GOP activists had turned out in the street to meet the tour in opposition to what they called Hillarycare.  Their opposition…

Justice GA

Reports from those planning the 2012 Justice GA in Phoenix are positive.  It seems that planning groups are meeting productively, resolving differences, avoiding errors and producing a good plan.

This is a testament to their interpersonal skills and wisdom, something I have grown to expect from almost all UU leaders at the Association level.  People work well together, hear each other and make decisions with sensitivity and wisdom.

Our collective decision making process is not so good.  From what I can tell the decision to go to change the regular Phoenix GA to a new-style Justice GA was not made from a clear strategic vision.  Some felt bound by financial interests to go to Phoenix as we normally would have.  Some felt we should boycott Phoenix.  A compromise was reached that did not have any particular content and about which many have been skeptical.  The chances of failure have been pointed out numerous times.

But groups of leaders are in the process of making it work.  Who knows…

Class Talk vs Political Post Modernism

Our current political discourse is dominated by a kind of "political post modernism" which cannot evaluate the truth of anything, just report that "some say that..."

Is there global climate change?  Some say "yes"; others say "no".  Who can tell?

Will cutting back federal spending revive the economy?  The House GOP says "yes"; every major economist says "no".  Who can tell?

It IS hard to tell.  Climate change deniers and House Republicans have a wealth of facts, data and anecdotes that support their position.  The argument can be endless and always inconclusive and intimidating for those who are not similarly equipped.

But Class Talk does start to get at a truth behind all this seemingly multiple truths.  It asks "who benefits?"  "Who is paying for this research and this advocacy?"

Who benefits from minimizing climate change?  Well, the big oil companies for a start.   Who benefits from lower capital gain…

Class Talk Is Honest Talk

"Class" talk would be an improvement in the country's political life.
Right now, everybody talks as though we all agree on the end goals, when we don't, in fact.  Everybody wants "to get the economy moving again."  The phrase is meaningless.  Actually, it has so many different meanings, it might as well be meaningless.  Does it mean getting housing prices up?  Does it mean reducing the government deficit?  Does it mean lowering the unemployment rate?  Does it mean increasing lending by banks?  Or does it mean some impossible combination, like improving banks' balance sheets while lowering housing prices?

We live in a very unequal society: the inequalities of wealth and income are very real.  The differences of power in the society are very real.  The differences of role are very real.  People who hire people have a different interest than people who are looking for work.  The people who own a mortgage on an overvalued house have a very different inter…