Today On The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel will be back Monday but until then David Bender continues to fill in for Dr. Maddow this evening.  On tonight’s show David will be talking to former Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.  He will also be taking your calls so if you want to get on the line, call us at (866) 303-2270

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One Response

  1. I went to the Town Forum at the Seattle Center on Saturday night. Thanks to all the panelists for standing up in public day after day. At the Forum there were initial problems with the sound, but once we all clustered closer to the stage, and the panelists began speaking clearly into the microphones, it mostly seemed to work.

    I’m not a listener to talk radio, because it mostly seems to be focused on the outrage of the moment, and the titillations of the immediate electoral campaign. We also need to stand back and take the long, deep view. We are so far off track that the important things that we need to accomplish are not susceptible of being handled in a few weeks or even in a few years.

    Some examples:

    The two-party system: Randi Rhodes mentioned this on Saturday night, and noted its essential restriction on the freedom to choose a party that actually represents your views. the two-party artificiality is largely dictated by an electoral system of single-member districts with winner-take-all elections. In such a system, third (or fourth, or fifth) parties result in throwing the election to people you really don’t want (the spoiler phenomenon). So then you are forced to vote for someone that you just don’t want less. This is democracy?! This is representative government?!

    Electoral government of any kind was a great advance in 1789, but most of the rest of the world’s democracies went to proportional representation 100 years ago. We are way behind. The corresponding concept for offices with just one holder (e.g. President, Governor) is instant runoff voting.

    Private control of the money system: Within months of signing the bill that set up the Federal Reserve System, President Woodrow Wilson acknowledged that he had “ruined” the country, and he had. Under that system the money center banks get to choose the controllers of the money system. This is democracy?

    “Growth”: the ideology of the cancer cell or the plague organism. Sacrifices everything for proliferation and the profiteering of banks. Necessary only in order to finance interest and the war system. Of no conceivable overall benefit.

    Labor and employment law: The US has the puniest system of protections for workers in the world. The fear that this induces forces workers in the richest country in the world to work close to the longest hours in the world at jobs that are intrinsically destructive and abusive, and to submit to this abusiveness “willingly” like slaves.

    Economics: the ideology and apologetics for corporate greed and abusiveness.

    The primacy in American public discourse of neo-classical economics: beginning in the 50s and 60s the RAND Corporation, funded by the US Air Force (?!), began awarding lavish scholarships to economics grad students who favored neo-classical ideas. In the course of time, these people have taken over all the leading economics departments in the country, the professional journals, and the talk shows. Science is not the word for their “professional” work, or for this campaign.

    The corporation: legalized psychopathy. It is long since overdue that our leading form of business organization should be judged exclusively by how much money it makes.

    The corporation: subverter of civil rights. Under rulings of the Supreme Court beginning in 1886, corporations have arrogated to themselves the civil rights that humans fought and died for. We have handed over our civil rights, theoretically the foundation of our democracy, to legal abstractions, and what’s more legal abstractions controlling big piles of money. Because the legal system gives such an advantage to those with money, endowing corporations with civil rights in essence deprives flesh and blood people of those same rights. That is the greatest threat to — no, subversion of — civil rights in our time.

    Civilization: Up to now what you usually refer to in adulatory terms as “civilization” has been a system based on social, political and environmental abuse. It all started with settled agriculture about 8000 BCE. With agriculture came the need for slaves and standing armies, the origin of social classes, and the beginnings of religion and art as the ideology of the status quo (or as Marx put, “the opiate of the people”). Then also began the war system, first among city-states, and then among “nations.” Then also began the system of environmental devastation: the important thing was to exploit the territory that you did control as fast as possible. There was always other territory near by, and if you were rich you could hire an army to conquer and enslave your neighbors and to protect you from their attempts at conquest.

    Property: the basic idea arose with the rise of “civilization.” If you lot don’t get off my “property,” I will kill you. And since I control the land and therefor the food supply, and you don’t, if you don’t do what I say, I will starve you to death — even if you’ve stopped “trespassing.”

    Just some thoughts.

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