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Desc:in three simple reasons. We're all screwed.
Category:News & Politics, Educational
Tags:Revolution, working class, economic crisis, government is a failure, giving up
Submitted:Rodents of Unusual Size
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Comment count is 25
exy - 2014-05-08
For those who prefer the written form: http://54evil.com/discussion/559/
Cena_mark - 2014-05-08
Blargh! I'm the liberal at my work place and I'm trying to explain why the recently voted down minimum wage was a bad thing. One of my co-workers was concerned that McDonalds food would go up in price if minimum wage was raised.
Its frustrating because Reich left out #4 which is a large percentage of middle and lower class people thinking these Reaganomic policies actually benefit them.
Meerkat - 2014-05-08
#4 is "Stupid People": People who cheerfully cost others something while gaining nothing, or losing something themselves.

The number of stupid people in any population is always greater than you imagine. This is Law of Stupid People #1.

Stupidity is independent of any other characteristic of a person; so regardless of education, colour, ethnicity, language, ANY other characteristic, the number of stupid people in all groups will always be greater than you imagine.

Cena_mark - 2014-05-08
What's really irritating is that this guy would probably be working at Walmart if he wasn't working for the government.

BorrowedSolution - 2014-05-08
Meerkat; that number is roughly 90%. Always has been, always will be.

Binro the Heretic - 2014-05-08
Not long ago, I was listening to the radio during my break at work. Diane Rehm had a group on to discuss raising the minimum wage and the issue briefly drifted into raising taxes on the wealthy.

One of my coworkers happened to be listening in. She works a full-time job and her husband works two part-time jobs all to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. At the mention of raising taxes, she balked. I explained to her they weren't talking about raising taxes on people like us, they were talking about taxing the mega-wealthy.

I pointed out a depressingly large number of low-wage workers have to receive food stamps and other assistance. I mean, seriously, Walmart has organizes food drives for its own employees. This is paid for by the American taxpayers while rich people continue to shovel profits into their own pockets while steadfastly refusing to put any money back into the economy in the form of job creation. So people like her and me were subsidizing the lavish lifestyles of the wealthy.

"But what about Obama's vacations?" she asked.

"What?" I asked

"Obama's vacations cost us millions of dollars while he goes to Hawaii to golf!"

And then the discussion became about how, in six years, Obama has taken less than a third of the vacation time Dubya had taken after six years in office and the Obamas don't enjoy the luxury of privately-owned vacation homes so of course their vacations would cost more.

"But he's taking luxury vacations while the country is in crisis!"

"Are you saying the man and his family shouldn't have a vacation now and then?"

"No, but maybe he should make them less expensive."

And the discussion about the economy fell by the wayside. I was angry at myself later for having lost focus. When I got home, I did a little research and found Sean fucking Hannity was the asshole responsible for turning the Obamas' vacations into a talking point.

As much as I despise FOX News, I have to admit they have this shit down to a science.

memedumpster - 2014-05-08
Five stars for the Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

Cena_mark - 2014-05-08
I don't believe the people are stupid, just misinformed. I'm sure many of you guys thought that I was stupid in the past. I would have been saying the same thing. My views weren't due to a lack of intellect, just that they were more so a product of my parents politics and the media. And yes Fox does have it to a science. They know how to keep these people fighting against their own interests, and it'll take a major shake up in their lives to make them change.

Old_Zircon - 2014-05-09
Re: #4, I read a great editorial a couple months ago someplace (probably The Baffler but I forget), which to VERY loosely sum up was about how a big problem in general but especially right now is that people tend to think they know things are broken and rigged, but everyone around them is blind to it, so they tend to just stay quiet about it and grow alienated, rather than talking and possibly organizing to change things. The irony being, of course, that most people actually have a pretty good idea of what's going on.

Meerkat - 2014-05-09
BorrowedSolution; no, Law #1 dictates that you are underestimating, so it must be > 90%.

Konversekid - 2014-05-09
OZ this is a great point that is made further troublesome due to the growing way in which we are alienated from each other. I watched a wonderful piece on the Real News Network in which they interviewed a university graduate who decided to get a factory job and become a working class organizer. He raised the point that over his few decades of working in factories, to eventually heading their union, that the increased automation of the car factory he worked in led to a decrease in workers and a greater distancing between what they actually did. Before, he said, that the nature of working at an arms length away with a group of other men ensured the sort of working relationship that inevitably led to a recognition of mutual strife, and almost necessitated the response of organizing.

I consider similar forms of alienation to exist due to a number of other factors that have changed since the height of organizing, such as: the increased ownership of vehicles and the resultant increase of isolated commuting time; the impersonal mechanization of shopping for goods; a general suspicion towards strangers and fear instilled by the media; and of course the increased use of televisions and the internet. All of which are not conducive to certain relationships that seem to be necessary for creating strong community structures.

Furthermore, this is exacerbated by the pacification of existing structures that traditionally offered a place for building relationships and social critique for the left. For example, universities or churches.

Hooker - 2014-05-08
So, from time to time, I've been saying the same thing on here. The answer to why people don't revolt is that things aren't bad enough. You look back at the history of civil disobedience / uprising / revolution / etc., either in America or human history as a whole, and the people in those positions were far worse off than people are today. None of the people on poeTV / the Internet / whatever complaining are in the position of pre-revolution France / turn of the 20th century Russia / industrial revolution America. Things have to get worse for people before their willing to risk what they still have.

Note that I'm not taking the "first world problems" stand. Things suck a lot more than they should right now and it is gross injustice, as it always has been, that the elite are keeping as many of the resources as possible to themselves. But perspective is important if you want your "let's overthrow society" nonsense to be entertained by the wider audience needed to actually create a revolution.
Rodents of Unusual Size - 2014-05-08
I think one of the main things he is missing out on is fear of surveillance. A revolution has to take part, ya know, secretly. It means keeping your mouth shut and sticking to who you trust. With the advent of surveillance of the internet on an all-pervasive level that is unsurpassed in the world, our country is pretty much able to root out anything it wants if someone is looking for the right thing. So a revolution would have to be reliant on pre-Internet methods of communication and that would be very difficult for this generation to pull off en masse.

I think if the US declares war on any more countries you will start to see a vicious backlash to that. If Obama had gotten away with the disaster that would have been a Syrian invasion I think it might have gone in that direction. People in America are sick of the government not taking care of #1 and depending on how the gap between rich and poor continues will be the greatest factor they will have to be concerned about. If the poor become so poor they become a large enough, hopeless contingent while the other classes scoot on by, it could ignite far more encouragement of violence than a few fat idiots with complaints about immigrants and gun boners would today.

Bort - 2014-05-09
"If Obama had gotten away with the disaster that would have been a Syrian invasion"

Oh not this shit again. While it's certainly healthy to start out from a position of skepticism where US foreign policy is concerned, if you refuse to engage your brain and see whether events hold up to your presuppositions, you're every bit as useless as Fox News devotees.

This is where you make noises about "neocons" and "petrodollars"; save it. Everything Obama has done with regard to Syria tracks with trying to prevent the use of chemical weapons but not with trying to invade or gather support for an invasion. For example, Assad's been dragging his feet on turning the chemical weapons over to the UN -- he's been turning weapons over, but he's missed deadlines repeatedly, and he's being especially difficult about the final batch -- and any of this could have been pretext to beat the war drum. Have you heard any drums? I sure haven't.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2014-05-10
Bort, don't talk down to me. I don't think Obama had any logical reason to go into Syria. It's all about the petrodollar and if you think he wanted to free anyone, you're just being naive.

Bort - 2015-12-22
I'll talk down to you when you goddamn well deserve it.

love - 2014-05-08
link without the layers of bullshit:

Caminante Nocturno - 2014-05-08
People like Robert Reich are useless defeatists.
Cena_mark - 2014-05-08
No he's not. He's awesome.

Monchiles Monchiles - 2014-05-08
Fucking hell Cami, how can one person be so wrong about so many things?

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-05-08
He's been brainwashed. He's the Loliconchurian Candidate.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-05-09
How is this defeatist?

Mister Yuck - 2014-05-08
Beyond Outrage was dumb and this is dumb. Why aren't people organizing in opposition? They are! But if they have any success they get thrown in jail. And then a bunch of people talk about how there's no opposition. Like Robert Reich. Who wrote a book about what to do in opposition called Beyond Outrage. And what did he say to do after you got Outraged? Wait for some leadership to emerge to organize some opposition. The useless shit.
Caminante Nocturno - 2014-05-09
That's one of the worst things about people like Reich. Their cries for revolution are always followed by the phrase "after you." When nobody starts a revolution for them, they declare defeat for entire swaths of society in the most insufferable way possible.

Cherry Pop Culture - 2014-05-09
I HATE how some intellectuals ignore a lot of fucking history. What the Hell about people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Sally Ride? What about the fact same-sex marriage is happening? What about being a woman that can afford birth control now because my insurance covers it fully? Fuck this guy and cock he sucked off for his PhD.

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