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Electoral Politics?

[You have to love Russell Brand. See the embedded video at the end of this post in which he waxes eloquent on the subject of electoral politics. It has since gone viral, and deservedly so.

He sounds a lot like Sahar on the subject, with an important exception. Here's a snippet from Chapter 6, book one:]

“Our domestic condition is a misery of financial neurosis for most Americans. Our chief global export is financial gangsterism, rapacious extraction, and military empire, along with the lie of affluence for the hard working, the lie of power of the people, and the lie of freedom of persuasion,” she said with blistering intent. “These are mere jingo markersfor the expansion mandate of corporate wealth. We liberate the rich where we conquer, to deepen their entrenchment and power.”

She paused, and I could see she was making an effort to simmer down. “These, you see, are words from my own anger and revulsion,” she added quietly.

She returned to the candle for a moment, as if for sustenance, then turned to face me again. The light was behind her now, her form a silhouette, the flame behind her head made her hair seem ablaze. She appeared supernatural for a moment, the impression lingering around her voice.

“We shall never know our talent in a world of need. That’s big bad Karl in ten words.” [read more...]

She quieted for a moment, stepping out from the fiery halo. I went over her words.

“Eleven,” I corrected, alertly, and she laughed in assent, “Even so.”

“I never heard it put like that,” I continued, damping down the swell of pride her laugh occasioned in me. “All I really know are slogans,” I confessed, “I don’t even bother to vote half the time.” Again I had a spell of goose bumps.

“Voting has become ineffectual as a challenge to the status quo,” she agreed. “The vote could fade away and not be missed, for all the good it does,” she added, pacing and turning to face me. “Indeed, the turnout shows it fading with each cycle. The minority who still trouble to vote push the button for democracy itself, holding their nose to pick from apologists and liars of the status quo, grateful for an occasionally articulate or charismatic one. There is no essence to issue politics when all issues are framed in capitalism.

"There is no inspired socialism in counterweight, and no basis for hope from an exclusive democracy, one privately owned by the capitalized few, with a vicious market as its god. Long ago gone, an itch alone remains. Democracy in America is a phantom limb.”

She had made my point in spades I thought.

“But no, it does not follow that electoral politics are a waste of time,” she corrected, “or that voting and parties must remain as they are. Voting is as dangerous to the status quo as participants may yet fashion it to be, and the governing cannot outlaw such fair opposition as may in time arise without inviting civil war. Voting remains the keenest vulnerability of the big business state, and with well applied resources it can be raised to transformative power.”

Citizens Cooperative originally shared:

Going viral. Russell Brand on Newsnight calling for genuine change, 'spectating a football match has greater impact than voting.'

[Originally posted on Google+]

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Noam Chomsky: On Power and Ideology

 

Noam Chomsky discusses the persistent and largely invariant features of U.S. foreign policy — in the words of U.S. planners, "the overall framework of order” — and its intimate relationship with U.S. domestic policy.

The U.S. foreign policy issues raised in his speech are explored thematically in book two of the Nine Inch Bride series, Suited For War.

 

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