By Henry McRandall
What does it say about the “leadership” of United States President Barack “Oreo” Obama that yesterday he was unable to get even his own Democratic senators to vote for a Bill aimed simply at preventing violent convicted felons and the severely mentally ill from obtaining assault rifles, etc. – a Bill that enjoys the support of 90% of Americans? And what does it say about the state of U.S. “democracy” that a single corporate lobby – the NRA (National Rifle Association) – was able to cow the U.S. Congress into defeating a Bill supported by 90% of Americans?
If the NRA has Washington by the balls, so do many other sinister lobbies that couldn’t care less about the public interest or the public’s welfare – such as the oil & gas lobby; the mining lobby; Monsanto & Dow Chemical; Wall Street; AIPAC (the America-Israeli Political Action Committee); right-wing so-called “Christian” front groups; the criminally corrupt mega-billionaire Koch(sucker) brothers; etc.
It used to be that the Top1% – the billionaires and the mega-millionaires – needed a robust, well-disciplined and thoroughly-brainwashed middle class to serve as a buffer between them and the many millions of poor and working-class Americans they were screwing over. Today, that middle class may no longer be robust, but it is, by and large, still well-disciplined and thoroughly-brainwashed. But the Top1% no longer needs them at all. The sordid overhauling that the political system and the economic system have undergone over the past 32+ years have made the middle class just as expendable to their masters in the socioeconomic elite as the poor and the working class have long been. Now, all the Top1% needs are the 2ndTop1% (the overpaid “managers” and other overpaid flunkies who serve as administrators and, if necessary, ready scapegoats for the criminal impunity of the ultimate masters) and the whole gaggle of puppet political prostitutes they’ve already bought and paid for.
The so-called Founding Fathers never intended for Amerikkka to be a democracy. What they wanted was a republic that would always and only be governed by rich, white males. (Read the un-amended Constitution.) It took almost 200 years, generations of unrelenting struggle and massive government-inflicted bloodshed against other Americans who wanted democracy – workers, women, the poor, African-Americans, Hispanics and many others – before Amerikkka finally became a “near-democracy” circa 1968. And no sooner did Amerikkka finally become a “near-democracy” than the felonious billionaires and mega-millionaires began putting their puppet political prostitutes; their mainstream media; and, most recently, their corrupt, right-wing U.S. Supreme Court whores to work dismantling that infant “near-democracy”. They were positively aghast at the notion that anybody but them should ever have any real say in the running of the country. And they were certainly not prepared to tolerate it for very long. Continue reading “The death of North American democracy”
By Henry McRandall
Canada’s federal NDP (its nominally social-democratic New Democratic Party, which is currently the Official Opposition in the House of Commons) today began a three-day policy convention in Montreal whose outcome could be either an extremely hopeful development or an enormous disaster for millions of poor and working-class Canadians.
Current NDP leader Thomas Mulcair (a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister in Quebec) – who inherited the leadership almost by default after the sudden and tragic death of heroic former leader Jack Layton shortly after the 2011 general election – is trying to shift the party toward the right (he calls it the “centre”) in the vain hope that by abandoning policies and principles in favor of naked opportunism, he can become the next prime minister of Canada.
As part of this effort, Mulcair wants delegates to approve overhauling the party’s official preamble, changing it from “a socialist party” to something like “a progressive party working within a free-market economy.” Adopting this change and other “centrist” proposals Mulcair is championing would be an unforgiveable betrayal of the tens of thousands of poor and working-class Canadians who built the party and would leave all Canadians with no party willing to put the legitimate and urgent needs of the Other99% ahead of the illegitimate and insatiable greed of the criminally corrupt Top1%.
What Canada needs – now more than ever – is not another “centrist” political party just as beholden to the savage corporate capitalist agenda as the extreme right-wing Conservatives of RWNJ Stephen Harper but a genuinely socialist political party that would be willing to challenge the unelected Establishment and drastically overhaul the status quo. And what the NDP needs – now more than ever – is to be that political force.
Although the NDP has never been able to win a federal or provincial election in Canada on a purely socialist platform, it has certainly not been because Canadians are unwilling to embrace genuinely socialist solutions to the country’s challenges. Polls conducted over many recent years on particular issues rather than on party preferences have generally shown strong public support for either leftist or leftish policies and principles. Why haven’t the demonstrably leftish inclinations of Canadians on a wide range of issues translated into NDP victories based on leftist platforms? For several reasons:
Firstly, the NDP has rarely been able to match the campaign spending of the Establishment parties – the Conservatives and Liberals – who receive massive funding from the Top2% and the banks and corporations they control -, funding which could never possibly be matched just by labour unions, and because those two parties that have most often governed Canada, its nine provinces and the province/nation of Quebec have always been willing to give government (taxpayer) money and plum political appointments to the Top1% and their banks and corporations in return for their financial support.
Secondly, the NDP has almost never received a significant amount of support from the corporate mainstream media cartel and never sought to establish an alternative mass-media edifice to combat the elitist, pro-Establishment, pro-status quo preferences of the mainstream media.
And thirdly, the NDP has never made a credible effort to educate Canadians about socialism or to aggressively promote a genuinely socialist alternative to the sordid corporate capitalist agenda.
A genuinely socialist agenda wouldn’t appeal to everyone. And not every element of that agenda would appeal to everyone inclined to be supportive of most items in that agenda. But most of the elements of such an agenda would appeal to – and be beneficial to – the vast majority of Canadians. What might some of those elements and policies be? Continue reading “The NDP must never abandon socialism”
By Henry McRandall
Whatever happened to the time-honored cliche about “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay” – especially in North America? It seems that while workers in the U.S. and Canada are working harder than ever and while worker productivity in both countries has soared over the past 30 years, very few employers are still willing to provide “an honest day’s pay” to their struggling rank-and-file employees.
Workers are the people who, in reality, create all wealth – through the blood, sweat and tears that that they “invest” in the creation of that wealth. But it is the other “investors” – the Top1% – the billionaires and mega-millionaires – the gangster banksters and the corrupt captains of criminal capitalist corporations who are stealing almost all of the wealth that is being created.
Right-wing nut jobs would, of course, object – arguing that financial “investors” are “risk-takers” and that they “deserve” to make a profit in return for the “risks” they take. The RWNJs would also argue that these financial “investors” are “job creators” and that they “deserve” to be rewarded for “creating jobs.”
Before addressing these and some of the other myths, deceptions and outright lies that corporate capitalists have promoted about themselves, let’s consider the State Of The Workplace today – the place where labor “investors” (workers) and financial “investors” (the ownership class) meet to exchange inputs and divvy up rewards.
Business profits in both the U.S. and Canada are now at all-time record highs – and have climbed steadily throughout the six years since unregulated banks and corporations crashed the global economy in 2008 as a result of their massive mortgage and derivatives frauds and a variety of other felonies – for which no one has ever been prosecuted or even charged. Executive compensation – including routine annual “bonuses” in the millions of dollars per executive per year – have soared dramatically since 1981, to the point where a CEO earning thousands of times as much as his – or her – average employee, is no longer a rarity. Taxes for corporations and the wealthy have almost totally disappeared since 1981 when that lunatic Ronald Reagan cursed America and the world with the introduction of Reaganomics – supply-side economics – trickle-down economics – voodoo economics. The corporations and the Top1% have amassed such enormous, undeserved windfalls over the past three decades that they now typically have so much cash they literally don’t know what to do with it.
On the other side of the ledger, 2.5 million Canadians and 25 million Americans are now either totally unemployed or so woefully underemployed that they can barely survive. Despite the massive increase in worker productivity and the massive amount of new wealth they have created over the past 30 years, they have received no benefit whatsoever from their increased productivity or from the massive new wealth they have created. Every penny of benefit has gone exclusively to the Top1%. Millions of North Americans are working full-time but being paid nowhere near a living wage. Company pension plans are disappearing rapidly, as are all other employee benefits. Families that once could survive on a single income can now barely scrape by on two incomes. Continue reading “The screwing-over of the working class”
By Henry McRandall
Ever wonder why it was that during the 2012 U.S. election, GOP Teabagger presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded robocalls for congressional candidates across the country and acknowledged local candidates at every stop, while Democratic President Barack Obama recorded a robocall only for a single candidate and refused to introduce local party candidates at any campaign stop?
It was because if the Democrats had won the White House, a majority in the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, the whole sham of U.S. “democracy” would have been exposed and the entire corporate capitalist edifice built upon it would have been at risk of total collapse.
Simply put, the capture of the whole electoral system by the Top1% and the criminally corrupt banks and corporations they control would be gravely imperilled if not for the congressional “gridlock” that saves all their sorry asses.
If there were no congressional gridlock and the Democrats had total control of Washington, they would be forced to live up to their rhetoric and campaign promises and pass legislation that would serve the best interests and legitimate needs of the Other99% rather than the vested interests and insatiable greed of the Top1%. As a consequence of abandoning the sordid and destructive corporate agenda, the Democrats would lose 90 percent of their financing and face total collapse at the next election. And the Democrats winning total control of Washington and failing to abandon the savage corporate agenda would strip naked the entire facade of a two-party “democracy.” It would prove, once and for all, that regardless of which party they vote for, Americans are going to get a perpetuation of the cruel and corrupt corporate agenda that is bankrupting the U.S. and world economies. Continue reading “‘Gridlock’ saves the system’s sorry ass”
By Henry McRandall
There is a United States tourism ad currently playing on Canadian TV in which some unknown woman sings about Amerikkka being a “land of dreams,” and urging Canadians to come and, presumably, share those dreams. The ad was so laughable that it got me thinking, in general, about overwhelming Amerikkkan jingoism and, in particular, about such monumental fictions as “the American Dream” and the mind-numbing lyrics in the Amerikkkan national anthem about Amerikkka being “the home of the brave and the land of the free.”
Can any thinking American – let alone anyone else in the world – actually believe this delusional claptrap?
Before I examine in greater detail the entire fiction and the attendant brainwashing about U.S. “democracy,” please bear with me for a moment while I explain the belly-laugh the thought of Amerikkka being the “home of the brave” evokes.
Throughout its entire 237-year history, there has almost never been a time when the United States of America has not been at war with someone – typically someone unable to compete with the most powerful – technologically speaking – military empire in history. Yes, Amerikkka’s very “brave” about invading poor, tiny countries with little or no ability to fight back, imposing brutal right-wing dictatorships on those countries and sticking around to rape, loot and pillage the survivors long after the Amerikkkan onslaught and the rampant Amerikkkan war crimes and crimes against humanity have ceased.
The “raping, looting and pillaging,” of course, actually involves a much wider variety of crimes against the defenceless people it has just “conquered” in its never-ending quest to impose Amerikkkan-style so-called “democracy” on the rest of the world and steal whatever wealth that vanquished country might possess – by forcing it to supply cheap labor, cheap resources, a complete absence of environmental or worker health-and-safety protections, immunity from criminal or civil prosecution, and a captive market for Amerikkkan multinational corporations. This is “brave”? Continue reading “Amerikkka: ‘The land of the free’? LOL”