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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“Equality Movement” or “Black Lives” Pageantry and Pandering Politics

Significant struggle, Substantive movements must triumph over self
Editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

The thoughts of Patrick Martin and Lawrence Lessig interest me. Martin published an article this week at World Socialist Web Site. Lessig spoke in interview this week on Democracy Now but has also spoken and written in other sources including his website. These writers articulate essential truths that are intentionally or unintentionally omitted in varieties of mass media, independent and corporate.

dentity/ Race/Self-centered Politics and Politicians domain of the Deliberately Mentally Impaired
“Black Lives Matter”: “pseudo-radical phrase-mak[ers]”

A “Black Lifer” addresses one of the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential campaigners as someone

“I’ve looked up to … since I was like a baby.” [How do you spell “sycophant”, a base or servile attentive flatterer, self-seeker, slavishly currying favor with the [queen]—a flunky, gopher, lackey, slave, stooge, etc.? (Merriam Webster defines)]
The speaker further states, as if it were true but is patently untrue about the candidate and doubtful about the speaker, “I’m an ardent feminist”.

Looking through a clearer set of lens Patrick Martin describes this Democratic Party candidate more honestly as

A ‘leading representative of the American imperialist bourgeoisie…, a highly experienced political operative of the most ruthless ruling class on the planet, the American financial aristocracy …; an experienced ruling class politician [who is] able to easily twist Black Lives Matter activists around her finger [as] the political outlook … lends itself quite readily to this exercise in twisting.’

The pageantry in duplicity, the deliberate exercise in stupidity is not about “equality” or “inequality”—is surely not a struggle for the former or against the latter. It is about “me” politics.  

angerously Narrow Identity Politics

Patrick Martin writes that activists in the recent encounter with Hillary Rodham Clinton presented issues “entirely within the framework of race and identity politics, which has been the semi-official program of the Democratic Party since the mid-1970s” [Of course the “Democratic” Dixiecrats of the 1940s were out and proud, far less the dissemblers in their rabidly regressive politics].

Martin observed that nothing in the comments of the activists “suggested the slightest opposition to the capitalist system or the class exploitation of working people” of any kind or kin—“black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or immigrant.”

This callous collusion of Clinton and “Black Lifers” manages to reduce, pervert, debase the social structure of the United States [into] entirely black-white terms, painting white workers as inherently racist”—and embodies or effects another arm of the oppressive, oligarchic cabal. The characters, activists and Clinton, feed on each other in a ridiculous and selfish play for their own aims—not the needs of society as a whole. When was it said that “We hold these truths to be self evident” that all are created equal?

“Black Lifers,” Martin writes, “represent a section of the privileged middle class, seeking greater access to positions of influence and a share in the spoils of American capitalism” and they are “happy to play the role set out for them by Clinton.”

But the justifiable anger and grievances in the United States and elsewhere “over ever-rising economic inequality, unemployment and poverty as well as racism by police directed at African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities” is not part of their agenda. Their goal is self. They speak, Martin correctly asserts,

‘on behalf of a section of the middle class, wedded to race politics, that is looking for more perks and positions, particularly within or through the intercession of the Democratic Party.’
Raise the Level of Debate to Equality of the Citizen 

A real concern for equality and its importance in the larger society goes beyond itself, beyond self, beyond politicians and political parties and definitely beyond identity politics and race preachers and professionals.

Lawrence Lessig speaks to a more fundamental and imperative movement, a way of thinking that is decisively different from the pageantry makers and panderers.

“This is about achieving the fundamental equality of our democracy,” he says. “If we raise the level of the debate” to “talking about the commitment of a representative democracy—as Madison said: … ‘…where the rich would have no more power than the poor in this democracy’—we could build the political movement we have to build to win.”

This is the fight to be waged, he says, “and it has to be a fight “in the court of public opinion where, if the public is reminded of this COMMITMENT OF EQUALITY in our democracy, they could see how we could get a democracy that could work again; and if we did, these problems” such as “climate change or the debt or student debt or Wall Street or gun control—all of these problems would be problems we could actually solve.”
We need an actual “responsive democracy, he says, in which “inequality, corrupted inequality, has been removed.” Moreover, we would have a world in which no one has “to stand and say ‘Black Lives matter’ because we would have equality in the system” such that “that statement would be crazy even to imagine the necessity of uttering.…” He concludes,

We’ve got to stop with the fantasy politics and address the reality that we [must] fix our democracy if we’re going to have a democracy that works.

he problem with selfishness—whether among politicians or activists, industrialists, sycophants or propagandists—is that it burns the forest. It leaves so much out that is essential for human development, society’s progress. To maintain the status quo in its favor, selfishness does what is unthinkable to a sane person; and in so doing, it fuels regress; never progress. Sustained long enough in the character, human beings become desensitized to all other in creation except self. Like an addict of one kind or another, they reduce the larger context to worthlessness; they annihilate all around them, including themselves, in order to achieve and maintain a zombie-like, anesthetized oblivion.

A conscious nation remembers and reaffirms:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all … are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted …, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to [achieve] their Safety and Happiness.

“Prudence … dictate(s) that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes …. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” [In Congress, July 4, 1776, the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America]

Sources and notes

“Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter: A revealing confrontation”  by Patrick Martin , August 22, 2015, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/22/clin-a22.html

“We Need to Fix Our Democracy: Lawrence Lessig Weighs Presidential Run to Rid Money from Politics,” August 24, 2015 Democracy Now Lawrence Lessig interview, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/24/we_need_to_fix_our_democracy

LESSIG author of: “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It”

CITIZEN EQAULITY ACT 2017 Lessig, https://lessigforpresident.com/the-act/
Lessig’s website: https://lessigforpresident.com/meet-lessig/

Entered this week on my Facebook page

HEAR! HEAR! ● Lawrence Lessig: “The CITIZEN EQUALITY ACT of 2017: The Citizen Equality Act is presented here as a template for three fundamental reforms that must happen if we are to have equal citizens. We are presenting this package now, pointing to the proposed legislative source for each element. If the campaign is launched after Labor Day, then in the fall, we will crowdsource a process to complete the details of this reform, and turn it into proposed legislation by January 1. At this point, you should read the act as embracing at a minimum the reforms included within the source for each element: EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE: We must have a system that guarantees a meaningfully equal freedom to vote. To achieve that, we must at a minimum enact the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 and the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015. We should as well add automatic registration, and shift Election Day to a National Holiday.● EQUAL REPRESENTATION: Equal citizens must have equal representation in Congress. That means, districts must be drawn, and election systems structured, so as to give each citizen as close to equal political influence as possible. FairVote has offered the most comprehensive solution to achieve this equality. At a minimum, the Citizen Equality Act would incorporate their proposed “Ranked Choice Voting Act,” which ends political gerrymandering and creates multi-member districts with ranked choice voting for Congress. ● CITIZEN FUNDED ELECTIONS: A core corruption of our political system is the concentration of funders of political campaigns. That concentration creates extraordinary inequality. The Citizen Equality Act would end that inequality, at a minimum by adopting a campaign funding proposal that is a hybrid between John Sarbanes’ Government by the People Act, and Represent. US’s “American Anti-Corruption Act.” That hybrid would give every voter a voucher to contribute to fund congressional and presidential campaigns; it would provide matching funds for small-dollar contributions to congressional and presidential campaigns. And it would add effective new limits to restrict the revolving door between government service and work as a lobbyist.” Lawrence Lessig, https://lessigforpresident.com/the-act/


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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