You Know In Your Heart That the Day of Real Resistance Is Coming

Yves here. Because ordinary people have accepted so much abuse at the hands of the top 10% and their manager-stooges, the powers that be assume that the public at large will continue to consume their shit sandwiches. But the lack of meaningful resistance in the wake of the financial crisis doesn’t translate into continued passivity now.

First, the rich took proportionately greater hits initially, although they then quickly wound up better situated due to the recovery in incomes and asset values disproportionately favoring the better off. Second, the big way the middle and lower middle classes took hits was via the loss of home equity, through 9 million foreclosures than in most cases could have been forestalled through modifications that would also have left investors better off than foreclosure. It was the mortgage servicers, who were paid to foreclose but not to modify loans, who were in charge of this destructive dynamic. The Obama Administration wasn’t willing to break a sweat to force them to behave, despite having ginormous legal leverage thanks to widespread failure to transfer mortgages properly to securitization trusts, a problem that for ~80% of the mortgage securitizations, could not be remedied absent having a time machine.

One reason this large-scale wealth stripping didn’t lead to a revolt was the afflicted homeowners were isolated. Most had fallen into foreclosure due to suffering a crisis-induced income hit. Under our value system of “borrowers are guilty if they can’t pay” even when other borrowers who couldn’t pay, namely banks, got ginormous bailouts with no executive or board member suffering, the borrowers were stigmatized. Many also were ashamed and didn’t know or find people in similar situations until it was too late to do much about their situation.

Another factor that kept a possible resistance in check was that food stamp use under the Obama Administration. Confirming that the “recovery” left a lot of citizens behind, the number receiving food stamps rose though 2013 and remained elevated for the rest of his term. Oh, and that data obscures the fact that the Obama Administration cut food stamp benefits by $8.7 billion in 2014, with 850,000 suffering reductions of an average of $90 a month.

So keeping food in citizen’s bellies looks to have gone a considerable way towards keeping people struggling to survive enough afloat to keep them from taking desperate measures. The initial astute Republican move of generous unemployment payments and some additional income, along with a freeze on evictions, helped preserve most people’s living circumstances during the Covid shock. That is now coming unraveled with no second stimulus in the offing, any further eviction halts being up to states and cities, and the Trump Administration having shred the fallback safety net, food stamps. See our related post today on how consumers are already spending less on groceries, an indicator of widespread stress.

And now there’s a focus for a long-simmering, well-warranted sense among large swathes of the public of having been exploited, with far too many people in charge either profiting directly or refusing to intervene because it might impair their social and financial status. Police abuse, and the unwillingness of the well-off to impose curbs or reconstitute particularly rancid police forces is serving as a focus for anxiety and anger on many fronts. And it’s not as if white people are naive about their risk exposure, given more and more video evidence of police roughing up journalists and clearly harmless old people deemed to be too close to protests.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

A general strike counts as real resistance.
—Yours truly

The next horrific murders are upon us. In the bland reporting of the New York Times:

Arrest in Overnight Shooting During Unrest in Kenosha, Wis.

An Illinois resident was arrested in violence that occurred during a confrontation between demonstrators and a group of men armed with guns as protests continued over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

KENOSHA, Wis. — An Illinois resident has been arrested in connection to a shooting that left two people dead and another person wounded during a chaotic night of demonstrations over the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., officials said on Wednesday.

A court document from Lake County, Ill., shows that Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested in Antioch, Ill., on Wednesday morning after being charged with first degree intentional homicide in the fatal shooting that took place only hours earlier. (emphasis added)

The Times report portrays the event as “chaotic,” and it’s filled with details like this: “Tuesday evening was spent in a shifting, hourslong standoff between the police and protesters. Protesters assembled outside a newly erected metal barrier protecting the courthouse and threw water bottles, rocks and fireworks at the police.”

As we’ll see, the event was a lot less chaotic than it was reported to be. The order behind the chaos was cops appearing to work with the right-wing thugs to suppress the actual protesters.

Kyle Rittenhouse

This brings us to the shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse.

According to the Huffington Post report of the incident, “Police are investigating a group of men with guns who were lined up outside businesses a few blocks down the road from the courthouse, according to The New York Times. Ostensibly, the vigilantes were there to “protect” businesses from fires that had been set during previous nights of demonstrations. Though Rittenhouse’s connection to vigilante groups is unclear, he was quoted before the shooting saying that he considers himself a militiaman and was willing to use his rifle to “protect” people and property.”

And Rittenhouse was very pro-cop. “A now-deleted Facebook page that appears to belong to Rittenhouse featured almost exclusively pro-police imagery and photos of the suspect carrying guns. At some point, he changed his profile image to a “Blue Lives Matter” sign and held a fundraiser for a police nonprofit called “Humanizing The Badge.”

Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha (source)

“We’re going to push them down by you, ’cause you can deal with them, and then we’re going to leave”

What’s missing from these reports, both of which whitewash police actions, are details like these:

and these (click through to the video to hear, “cops told us, we’re going to push them down by you, ’cause you can deal with them”):

and these:

Even Rashida Tlaib understands what happened:

There are more reports like these, which, of course, will either go viral, or go unreported by the media most people read and listen to.

Systemic Change by Non-Systemic Means

It’s more than obvious by now that cops are siding with right-wing thugs, using them even, against whoever stands with the protesters. When will this end?

It will never end by ordinary, electoral means…

…until those elections are backed by the kind of organized, 1960s-style movement…

Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on December 7, 1964.(AP Photo / Robert W. Klein)
…that adds the critical mass of the people, chaotic and unruly, to the orderly exercise of power by elected officials who, frankly, with cops, also want the real left to lose.

The nation may not be to that point yet, but it’s not far away. That’s why big-media outlets like the New York Times want to paint these protests, all of them, as either “chaotic” or left-wing-violent only, and why they hide the state violence that incites and encourages those violent responses. A real left-wing movement — a 1960s-style revolt, a real rising of the people — is the stuff of nightmares for editors at the Times, and many of its readers as well.

Yet … what will make a change that makes real change? Electing more Democrats? If they’re the right ones, yes, that’s needed but not enough.

Will the eighteenth protest after the thirtieth police murder of the hundredth or two-hundredth victim, black, brown or poor, of state-enforced austerity and racism — will that finally make a difference?

We’ve seen this movie. Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2012. How are things different today? What has America done since that sad day to make lives better and safer for the victims of our police — and the victims of the economic system that creates police victims?

I’ll say it again:

You know in your hearts that the day of Real Resistance is coming.

How about now? 

A strike counts as resistance; AOC understands that. A general strikecounts as real resistance. Will it take a general strike to make real change? If so, when should that start?

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  1. Glen

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    President Kennedy March 13, 1962

    There are now 55 million people on unemployment, and who knows how many trying to get it.

    1. Fritzi

      Still does not mean that all those people will come down on the side
      of even the most basic human decency.

      Becoming a death squad member will be the safer, more convenient and more fun option for many, quite possibly the only way to get semi reliably paid too.

      They don’t always recruit from the usual suspects (though many do), and there are/will be MANY woke and MCResistance types among them when push comes to shove, but:

      Yes, Virginia, there are deplorables!

      And while the entire establishment is deplorable to the max, and Democrats and their suburbanite supporters will be death squad cheerleaders in chief, we will see far more true (and specifically pro status quo) deplorability even among the disenfranchised.

      Being squeezed by the establishment does not magically turn people to solidarity and class consciousness, a great many people will always prefer a chance to rise in the pecking order to do some pecking, squeezing, stomping and crushing of their own, over the chance to abolish or at least truly flatten said pecking

      Personally I think it is dangerously naive to assume that the hard core of Trump supporters, who consistently poll as being unconcerned by extreme economic inequality, among other things, and who will never return the empathy this commentariat often showers them with, does not mostly consist of just such personalities, but again, while they constitute the probably largest pool of such individuals at the moment, they are everywhere, with many showing their true faces only when circumstances become much more extreme, many that will turn into true monsters not yet aware of their own potential for the Dark Side, quite likely existing in a bubble of smug moral superiority and certainty (with the worst of course keeping that smug moralism even while they murder with a smile in their hearts, just like the executors and executioners of the original Jakarta Option)

      And while many will unleash their true nobility as well, I suspect there will be much more people revealed to be truly monstrous than most people here would have wanted to believe, and of course much more than there would have been if modern society, and US society in particular, had not culturally conditioned people to go all out hobbesian.

      1. Mike

        Alas, all too sad, but in the American case, all too true. Our educational system and the ongoing post-high school system (i.e., the media) have hammered in the common response to being disadvantaged – either “they aren’t smart enough”, or ” they deserved what they got”. The economic system gladly reflects those values (which they originated) and jettisons workers when dollars can be reduced to dole-outs. A crisis in this system means YOU are the victim, unless you own a fabulously valuable business. The result is amajor part of the citizenry afraid or incapable of empathetic response.

        Attitude as such is fed by speed, as in “make fast decisions, fast moves”. A fast lifestyle also means you have no time to think – about yourself or others – too deeply. Details and “concern” lead to stepping aside from action, taking time to swallow the “boring” stuff.

        All the culmination of our history- a slave society needing obedient workers (kudos, Carlin) that don’t analyze or criticize. A total societal change is necessary to deal with all this – top to bottom. Cannot be done short of what is tragically a violent revolution, one which we cannot predict as to outcome, right or left.

        1. Susan the other

          Yes it can. I think. I like to think. We are looking at a system that has lost control. (How else did the Donald become president? And worse – Trump is far better than Biden.) I’d say our society is in a total shambles. Don’t give our delusional leaders credit for being capable of maintaining a remnant of society or of government. They are as lost as it gets. They don’t know how to govern. Everything they’ve tried to keep glued together (with relentless inflation and exploitation of the environment and labor – usually called kicking the can) has come to a screeching stop. Just thought I’d mention the obvious since it is so hard to see. Gotta wear shades, right? It’s mind boggling.

          1. JBird4049

            I just saw a quote from Hannah Arendt yesterday that approximately said in a totalitarian society talent, skills or training is not important. Loyalty is. It seems like neither the Republicans or the Democrats never mind the Woken Ones and most of our governments from municipal to federal. The police and the security for all their brutality are increasingly unable to protect anything.

            It all seems to come down to “winning” or at least the appearance of doing so. This is why we have those endless wars that are always lost.

            On a more local level we drug field tests and security cameras wrong more often than right usually meaning an innocent person is arrested. The clearance rate, not the conviction rate, has been going down for decades while police seized more money every year from innocent people than are lost to burglary.

            Basics like pandemic management, disaster relief, or unemployment pay is something almost impossible to do. Even trusting the economic data is getting harder to do because it does not match the real world.

            Yet, there books that will tell you how government worked decades, which puts the current regime to shame. It is not that it waS unaffordable, but that people chose to do.

            Who will get that bribe or getting the right appearance is what matters.

      2. tegnost

        Personally I think it is dangerously naive to assume that the hard core of Trump supporters, who consistently poll as being unconcerned by extreme economic inequality, among other things, and who will never return the empathy this commentariat often showers them with, does not mostly consist of just such personalities,

        Maybe you should chat with a PMC who has spent the lockdown never leaving their compound and ordering all of their supplies through instacart or amazon. I think you will find these people feel that extreme economic inequality is not not only not a bad thing, but is a sign of how great everything is, if it wasn’t for all those…
        “Yes, Virginia, there are deplorables!”
        or the “bernie bros” who just want everything to be free.
        Yes, fritzi, hyperbole is the word of the day.
        I don’t expect much, if any nobility especially not from these people…
        “nobility (noun) the group of people belonging to the noble class in a country, especially those with a hereditary or honorary title”
        People “here” are clearly aware of the true monstrosity of our country,maybe you’re new here? In your closing I find it comical that you see the hoi polloi as being the problem when it is also clear that the problem is the top .01%, the socialists of our country, and they ain’t sharing, and that will come back to haunt them, maybe as soon as nov.3 2020?, or maybe not for another 20 years.They’re addicted to money and power, and like with an alcoholic, rock bottom is the only place they will have any self realization. Do you consider bezos monstrous? He’s a democrat. Michael Bloomberg, not monstrous? Democrat. Bill Gates?… Real Champions of the Poor…
        I don’t see either side accepting the results of the election so stock up on water and canned goods. Congress threw enough dough at the economy to get them past the election, at which point they’re going to yammer away about “shared sacrifice” while they continue to fleece the commons for their own benefit. Remember, that homeless army out there is about to get a lot bigger.

        1. Fritzi

          Jeff Bezos and people like him, as well as the hypercorrupt politicians serving them are the worst of all monsters by a vast margin and the root cause of almost all our problems.

          I cheerfully support hanging those evil, omnicidal parasites.

          I am just saying that while pretty much all rich people are horrible, not all horrible people are rich, unfortunately.

          Especially among the oft cited segments that consider themselves temporarily embarrassed millionaires or even billionaires, people similarly horrible to the actual megarich are not surprising (and this is coincidentally pretty much the Kool Aid that Trump is selling).

          There are always plenty of horrible people who are powerless, yet itching to get and exercize a little share of true power.

          Using violence, cruelty and toughness glorifying, scape goating hard right scum ideologies has been been the tool of choice to recruit such people in large numbers to have them do the old “killing the other half of the working class” thing.

          I would assume that is relatively uncontroversial by itself.

          I am only pointing out this strategy has a long history of working very well.

          And while a fairer society in all likelihood will indeed make such movements MUCH less attractive, it won’t happen fast enough (and they’ll never go away entirely, not even if the current global predator class were to disappear without a trace, people persecuted, enslaved, otherwise oppressed, exploited and genocided each other for millenia before modern capitalism ever was a thing, after all).

      3. Buckeye



        Trump-lovers are your blood enemy. You were warned 4 years go. 12 years ago. 25 years ago with Gingrich. 40 years ago with Reagan.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Times change – those people you were warning about 40 years ago with Reagan now constitute the mainstream of the Democrat party. Do you think Obama was invoking Reagan positively over and over during his 8 years by accident?

          I’d look a little more carefully before declaring anyone a blood enemy.

        2. Shiloh1

          Most Trump supporters I knew from 4 years ago this time were voting for ‘Tilt’ on the rotten status quo game, not invoking Reagan, Newt or any political ideology.

          That Trump ran as and conquered Team Red was a lesson taught by the unfortunate fate of Perot.

      1. Fritzi

        Good for you.

        Though I guess the question is, do Kyle and his fellow travellers support you?

        I just like to point out that rightwing militias cozy with the police don’t have a positive history with the working class, anywhere, anywhen.

        And I don’t have enough faith to believe it will be suddenly different this time.

        Trump is not a true fascist, but plenty of his supporters are, and he did his fair share (together with the Democrats, of course) to make genuine fascism more likely.

        And fascism in whatever guise is allways class treason.

    2. Pym of Nantucket

      A general class struggle cannot emerge while the oligarchy maintains identity struggle among the poor. Popcorn eating Uber rich donors donate to both parties, get in the bulletproof limo and watch the riots on TV.

      A powerful unifying force or leader would be needed to break the false dichotomy and keep people focused on upending the structure of wealth. So far U See no sign of that kind of leadership.

  2. Acacia

    I stopped reading when he said electing more Democrats will bring about real change.

    Has Neuburger been living under a rock?

    This isn’t complicated. We got Trump because millions of people who voted for Obama gave up on Team Blue in 2016, and for 2020 the Democrats are offering voters nothing. Faced with the choice between cleanly winning the election on a platform of real change versus keeping the donor money flowing, the Democrat party chose the latter.

    It’s almost like Team Blue boosters need another four years of Trump to teach them a lesson, though of course they’ll probably never learn.

    1. BillC

      … and he proceeded, “If they’re the right ones, yes, that’s needed but not enough.” Given the accompanying video clip, I think he’s damning the democrap establishment pretty clearly, but conceding that in some cases electoral means could conceivably help reinforce stronger change agents.

    2. Carolinian

      I stopped reading when he said electing more Democrats will bring about real change

      Indeed. Here’s suggesting that should Biden be elected in November this so called revolution will suddenly stop because that is what it is really about. So in that sense it has far more to do with the Maidan where the goal was to remove a specific leader and the protesters were a mix of peaceful middle class and violent anarchists. Indeed it’s hard to see much of any parallel with the sixties, with MLK’s non violent marches or Vietnam war protesters who countered police thuggery by putting flowers in their gun barrels. To be sure there were violent groups and there were riots and looting in response to King’s murder. But it was the huge peaceful protests that got the nation’s attention, undermined the war and helped bring about civil rights.

      What the sixties also accomplished was to rouse TPTB to turn the tables and start using their own protests against things like abortion to gin up a counter revolution.Given the fact that our current “revolution” is so highly supported by corporate media and financial sharks like Jamie Dimon you have to at least suspect that is what’s happening now. One might also suspect that they are in danger of losing control of the narrative with pure anarchy taking it’s place. This will not further the cause of progressive reform and may even get Trump reelected.

      1. tegnost

        Jamie Dimon…Democrat?
        “Dimon donates primarily to the Democratic Party. In May 2012, he described himself as “barely a Democrat” stating, I’ve gotten disturbed at some of the Democrats’ anti-business behavior, the attacks on work ethic and successful people.”

    3. diptherio

      Try reading to the end of the sentence, ffs. He literally says that’s “not enough” which means that no, he does not think electing more democrats will bring about real change. This is what you call a reading comprehension fail. Neuburger supports a general strike, actually. Your knee-jerk reaction is completely off-base here.

      1. Carolinian

        Fair enough, but I’d say the odds of a general strike are between zero and zero so we are back to what’s happening now.

      2. Acacia

        As I read it (and of course I did read to the end of that paragraph):

        Electing more Democrats? If they’re the right ones, yes, that’s needed but not enough.

        Means: electing more Democrats is a necessary but not sufficient condition. What I would dispute is that more Democrats is even a necessary condition. We had eight years of a Democrat president and we now have a Democrat-controlled Congress, and what have they really accomplished in the last twelve years? What major legislation have they passed that speaks to the ills of this country? I guess our Congress did give shout outs to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Uyghurs, so they’ve been busy staking out the moral high ground against China. Are they working on, oh, I don’t know, economic inequality, or corporate accountability, or corruption, or prosecuting torturers and war criminals in this country, or are they mostly blame shifting to the GOP, Trump, and carrying water for the alphabet agencies, as usual?

        So, Neuburger supports a general strike, and points approvingly at a tiny minority of Democrats who have said they support it too. He says we need more of “the right ones”. So, are we to vote for more of these “right ones” Democrats — like AOC, who also supports Biden, pretty cool huh? — and then wait around for them to get onboard with a general strike, when meanwhile their leadership is busy neutering any real change (e.g. Sanders) within their party? If Neuburger is really interested in a general strike, maybe next time he could devote a whole article to how it might happen, instead of just asking when/if it should start.

    4. flora

      The sixties protest movements also gave us Nixon and Biden – elected in ’72. (The Wilmington, Delaware race riot in ’68 had a big effect on Delaware voters’ outlook toward law and order.)

      Here’s Nixon’s 1968 Convention acceptance speech. Listen just up to the 3 minute mark. Nixon could blame the disorder on the Dems. I expect the Dems to blame the current disorder on T.

  3. ambrit

    I am leaning towards watching the numbers and types of panhandlers and plainly homeless people on our streets. We already have a small but visible cohort of “street people” here in the NADS. Homeless ‘looking’ people already wander up and down the local residential streets and alleyways.
    Much as I hate to think in an ultra cynical manner, one triggering force for a “real” resistance will be the spike in crimes against non-homeless people by the newly homeless. Seeing someone, at first a stranger, suffer the indignities of poverty is demoralizing enough. When that person robs you to survive, if the activists have laid the groundwork of pointing out where the blame for the crime ‘wave’ actually rests, you will come to demand positive change to remedy the situation. In this instance, the perceptions are the key.
    Since perception management is a key element of the public discourse, things like the Underground Comix and incendiary leafletting, or the internet analogue thereof must be stood up and propagated. Tagging and ‘revolutionary’ mural work will play it’s part. Pirate radio will be useful in many places.
    All in all, an organized propaganda apparatus is needed to promote the left agenda.

            1. ambrit

              That covers too much of the geographical area of the United States to be of much use. It’s a regional thing.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          That was my first association — gonads. The number of acronyms is growing beyond comprehension. If someone feels compelled to use an acronym I can only hope they might adhere to DoD guidance that a first use — at a minimum — should state the full expression for which an acronym stands and enclose the acronym in brackets following its definition.

    1. Adam1

      One of my personal gauges of the economy is observations of panhandlers and homeless as well. One thing that I have noticed in the past month or so that wasn’t there even a year ago is an increasing number of people who are young (in their 20’s) and recently homeless/hungry as their clothing is still in quite good shape and they are still clean shaven. I also saw my first family panhandling the other day – dad and 3 kids.

      1. Mikel

        I just think you normally don’t see a lot of homeless youth because they usually get picked up for sexual favors. They get roofs over their heads and it could be for a good while if they have any social skills to go with that.

    2. Wukchumni

      One thing that will come about is the nouveau homeless suffering from past class, as they’re dropping down to ‘Caste’aways’, and people want to feel superior in such situations, so we’ll see a lot of weirdness on that front in regards to the old guard of homeless.

      1. ambrit

        I almost wonder if the Nouveau-homeless are suffering from a severe case of “passed ‘use by’ dateism.”
        I fear for the ‘original’ homeless population. The newly ‘downwardly mobile’ cohort will be made up of formerly neo-liberal compliant and functional people. the old guard homeless have a very large component of functionally ‘handicapped’ people. Many suffer from mental health and substance abuse problems. this cohort was suffering in that way from before they became homeless. The new homeless began their downward journey from a much more ‘capable’ situation. Mix in anger at fate, (for some iteration of fate,) a certain learned ruthlessness, and an extant population of ‘damaged’ co-homeless and we are setting up a classic experiment concerning the exploitation of one sub-class by another sub-class.
        As I like to say; hardship does not build character. It merely exposes and amplifies the ‘character’ that is already there. Modern neo-liberal society being what it is, I expect the poor ‘original’ homeless are going to suffer the worst of it.
        I suggest that the soon to be newly homeless do some reading of Dickens. It will be a survival manual of sorts.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I believe your comment is prescient and that realization disturbs me. The already homeless will suffer from the predations of the newly homeless and their “certain learned ruthlessness”. The already homeless will not be the only ones who will suffer from the newly homeless, and newly desperate.

          1. Janie

            I dunno about that. I have zero personal experience, but I would imagine the long-term homeless have acquired survival skills for protecting their property and their persons. Newbies will be babes in the woods.

            1. ambrit

              You miss my point. I observe that the mass of ‘homeless’ today are “damaged” goods. Mental health and substance abuse problems degrade an individual’s ability to navigate the vicissitudes of life. Most of the new homeless will have the skill sets to deal with basic reality and move on from there. The ‘old’ homeless have a hard time doing even basic tasks. They start out with a handicap. The ‘new’ homeless will take advantage of those weaknesses. A big experiment in Social Darwinism is beginning in America.
              America is becoming a place not worth living in, and thus, not worth defending from “enemies both foreign and domestic.”

              1. furies

                But perhaps many of them are ‘damaged’ by being *homeless*?

                Maybe not all but certainly some. Being homeless will wither your soul. Taking up drinking or medicating the pain away is not irrational behavior.

                1. ambrit

                  I have seen “taking up drinking or medicating the pain away” in the PMCs as well.
                  I have to watch myself about that possibility because I come from a long line of addictive personalities.
                  The ‘homeless’ problem is fast becoming an example of the dreaded metaphorical “self licking s–t sausage.”
                  Don’t smear some peanut butter on it and call out, “Here doggy, doggy.” This dog ain’t eating ‘that’ dog food!

  4. PlutoniumKun

    With some exceptions, revolutions tend to be, by their nature, chaotic and random. They rarely ended up as intended, even by their leaders. If a country is lucky, it either has a Ghandi or Mandela to maintain focus, or there is sufficient united purpose to achieve a satisfactory end (although they never really end, every single society on the planet has a reactionary force doing its best to find a chink in the armour of whatever progress ordinary people have made).

    The blogger AKK (frequently linked here) has a semi-joking theory that the trajectory of US politics lags South Korean politics. If this is the case, there is cause for long term optimism. But it takes patience. After three decades of oppression and rioting and suppression, a united front of students, trade unions and the urban middle classes revolted against a very authoritarian state in the late 1980’s and created a democracy. But it took another three decades of false starts and (elected) reactionary governments before it really emerged as a reasonably convincing progressive and equitable society (yes I know it has deep flaws, but given its history, its very impressive). Taiwan followed a similar trajectory – its often overlooked just how violent anti-government protests were before the KMT (the reactionary government, descendent of those thrown out of China by Mao) was tamed. Taiwan is also an impressively progressive society, and getting better all the time. You can trace a similar trajectory in plenty of European countries (Spain and Portugal for example), and a handful of South American and African countries.

    But I need hardly list all those revolutions that went horribly wrong, either by descending into civil wars and bloodbaths, or being hijacked by sociopaths. There are all too many examples. There are also plenty of examples of inspiring revolts that ‘worked’, but then slipped backwards, losing so much of their early potential – South Africa being one example. We’ve seen in South American some wonderful progressive movements getting sliced off at their knees, showing just how powerful reactionary forces can be.

    The US has one big advantage for any revolutionary – there is still the bones of a fair society that can be built upon – never underestimate the value of having an existing strong structure that can be hijacked, rather than having to create one from scratch (the latter being the downfall of many African and South American nations). Its remarkable how little actually would have to be done to make the US a fair society. It is literally just half a dozen or so perfectly feasible and affordable laws away from it. Very few revolutionary movements in history had such an easy and achievable goal. When you look at the enormous task that faced successful revolutionary movements in Russia, South Africa, Cuba, and so on, it looks a piece of cake. In theory anyway.

    What strikes me most about the US situation (writing from afar) it is that even the billionaires and racists and their enablers are well aware of the dangers, and they know it actually would not take very much to fix the problem. Their problem is that they can’t work out a way of giving a little bit away without permanently weakening their own position. In the 1930’s and 1960’s most conservatives realised that that conceding ground to the oppressed was necessary to protect their own positions. Many of the components of social welfare systems in northern Europe were developed not by socialists or social democrats, but by conservatives, deliberately taking the sting out of popular unrest. I don’t think the current generation know how to do that, they’ve boxed themselves in, and thats what makes things so dangerous. If you look at the Brazilian situation, had the mainstream establishment conceded ground and made some sort of peace with Lula (as the South African establishment did with the ANC), then they wouldn’t have ended up with Bolsonaro. To me, the US establishment looks a lot more like Brazil than apartheid South Africa.

    But I would personally not be optimistic about a ground level uprising in the US. There are too many divisions within those with a genuine grievance (don’t get me started on how IdPol has divided working people). From the ‘on the ground’ reports from BTL people here I get the impression that many people, including the poor and minorities, will react to street disorder and protests by grabbing a gun and protecting their own property rather than join in the protests.

    I hate to be pessimistic, but I think the US had its chance with Sanders. He could have been a new FDR (or even a Johnson), had the mainstream centrist establishment had the good sense to realise that they needed to concede ground to protect their own positions. I fear history may judge his defenestration to have been a fatal and hugely destructive mistake.

    1. David

      Perhaps because so many of todays’s elites grew up with memories or accounts of the 60s and 70s, the word “revolution” has become so debased in their usage as to be practically meaningless. It is not synonymous with “change.” It means a fundamental and irreversible shift in the nature of the political system, and often the economic system as well, not just a series of reforms that can be reversed. (Indeed, no real revolution has ever been followed by the restoration of the status quo ante.) Thus, you have the French Revolution (from monarchy to secular republic and expropriation of the aristocracy) the Russian Revolution (roughly similar) the Iranian revolution (the other way round), and very few others, notably the Chinese. So revolutions involve the deliberate and willed wholesale replacement of one economic and social system and its actors by another, not just episodic changes of regime, however violent. That’s why we don’t call the fall of the Third Reich or the end of Communism “revolutions.” There are plenty of historical examples of widespread violence, social unrest, changes of government and fundamental reform. But they are not revolutions, whereas the British crisis of 1689 was a revolution in its effects, even though there was little or no violence. If you look at the “revolutions” in Tunisia or Egypt, for example, or that allegedly ongoing in Algeria, it’s striking how little has changed. In the former Communist world a “revolution” is generally the replacement of one corrupt elite by another.
      At this point, the Bearded One clears his throat and points out that all political systems are superstructures on top of the underlying systems of wealth and power and ownership of the means of production. So unless you change the underlying correlation of forces you cannot, by definition, have a revolution: the most you can hope for is a potentially reversible series of reforms – as indeed happened with the social and economic reforms from the 1930s to the 1970s in many countries. This, in the end, is what the ANC settled for in South Africa. In a situation where neither side could win, and a continuing struggle risked destroying the country, they went for universal political and economic rights for all, so taking political power whilst leaving much of the economic power in white hands. Lots of things have changed since, but much of the underlying power structure remains intact. (I remember a white SACP member, a friend of a friend, pounding the table in a bar in Johannesburg in 1995, and yelling “the revolution has been betrayed” to anyone who would listen.) But there was no revolution.
      A genuine revolution in the US would require the wholesale replacement of the current economic and political system. Murkin colleagues here will have a better idea than me if that’s possible. But unless the underlying structures are targeted, the most you can hope for is another reversible round of piecemeal reforms: and even that seems to be off the table for the moment.

      In the meantime, skirmishes between police, protesters and others don’t make, and can’t make, a revolution. What would such a revolution be about? What would its objectives be? Who are its leaders? What would the landscape look like afterwards? Etc. Etc. All this is, frankly, just theatre. It may be exciting and dramatic and it may make some people feel good, but it isn’t going anywhere.

      1. Thuto

        David, you make some valid points re: South Africa. Please see my response to PK when it (hopefully) makes it out of moderation.

          1. Thuto

            This, and the allied relentless push to abolish capital controls, definitely had an effect, turning the ANC into a left wing party governing from the right of centre.

        1. David

          Yes, thanks – I’ve replied, but there seems to be something about this subject that puts lots of comments into moderation today!

    2. Thuto

      The South African revolution worked only insofar as it was able to induce a post-apartheid euphoria in the populace post 1994. Not being old enough to vote in 94, I nevertheless got the palpable sense that people where embracing the “new South Africa” for markedly different reasons: for whites, it was grudgingly embraced if it meant the sting could be taken out of black anger over the decades of oppression, just enough so that whites who couldn’t pack up and head for friendlier climes could at least live with the comfort that a petrol bomb (molotov cocktail) wouldn’t come flying in through the window during dinner from the military wing of the ANC and PAC.

      For blacks, it was embraced because a lot of us thought that it represented a genuine reset in race relations in the country and what that reset meant for broad based access to true opportunity for all South Africans. With the hands on the levers of economic power remaining largely white (a reality that persists to this day), it took many black people, myself included, many years to realize that non-racialism means different things to blacks and whites. For most SA whites, it means the cosmetic solidarity seen at rugby games and during the 2010 soccer world cup, not dismantling the racialized economic power structure and the institutionalized racism that perpetuates it, a system that continues to benefit said whites.

      The post-apartheid ANC during Mandela’s presidency was too conciliatory in the early years of the “new South Africa”, naively thinking that all South Africans bought into the whole rainbow nation, one SA for all vision. Nothing could have been further from the truth, the previous ruling elites dangled a promise they never intended fulfilling. When Mbeki came into power and tried to adopt a more pro-black, quasi-radical agenda in an attempt to wrestle true concessions on the economic front from whites, he was derided as a backward radical unfit to govern a South Africa that was a shining light in the eyes of the world and a model for true non-racialism. Meanwhile, the corrupt, Zuma linked elements that would ascend to power once he was dethroned were beginning to take shape within the movement (or at least sensing their moment would soon arrive).

      The old timers like Sisulu and Mandela shed their mortal coils, the rot within the ANC deepened with the Zuma brigade coming to power, the reactionary forces had meanwhile successfully regrouped and sprinkled themselves with a bit of colour by making a few black faces mouthpieces for their agenda to roll back whatever little progress had been made and the whole thing unraveled. No serious South African with any marginal capacity for critical thinking still believes there is such a thing as a non-racial South Africa. The euphoria has flamed out.

      1. David

        A lot of older ANC people I met in the 90s thought that Mandela had given away too much in the negotiations, and that he had betrayed everything they fought for. But the inside story of the TRC negotiations (and I saw some of it) showed that actually what the ANC gave away was a lot less than what the white regime had hoped to gain – essentially cosmetic concessions. The ANC won convincingly on points, given that for practical reasons the revolution that some had dreamed of – a guerrilla army fighting its way into Pretoria – was never going to happen. To most observers, including me, it looked like the best deal that was feasible (I don’t say it was good, or even necessarily fair).

        As an outsider (with apologies, as always for discussing a country that’s not mine) I noticed two things around the transitional period that perhaps have a wider resonance. The first, of course, was the state of the country in 1993, where they were (literally) picking bodies up off the street every morning (no doubt you saw them). We tend to forget how close to civil war the country came, and how some forces were encouraging that tendency, and the sense of fear that that engendered. I was at ANC headquarters the week after Inkhata tried to storm it, and there were bloodstains outside and a bunch of very nervous MK people with AK47s. In some cases, a revolution, in the classic sense, is not what you want. Yes, a lot of early enthusiasm has been falsified, but I always remind people how easily and quickly the whole country could have descended into armageddon.
        The other was simply (and this is often forgotten) the Boers had been in the country for hundreds of years. Unlike the English-speakers, they were not Europeans, and the more you talked to them the more obvious it became. Given their hold on the security forces and the public services, this had to be acknowledged, and I think Mandela was right to take this factor into account.

        1. Thuto

          Having finished high school early, I left my hometown to study at the University of Cape Town and found myself as a wide eyed 16 year old in the crowd at Cape Town city hall when Mandela delivered his first speech as president of post-apartheid South Africa in 1994. Standing before us was a man with a piercing vision for our country, a belief in which led him to take perhaps too much good faith into the negotiating room at the TRC, a favour not returned by his counterparts on the other side of the table.

          As such I tend to side with the older members of the ANC that you met that believe he gave away too much in the negotiations. That said, I wouldn’t go as far as to characterize it as selling out as some people do (I rather think it was a miscalculation based on misplaced trust in the intentions of the other side).That he conceded too much too soon has only become more apparent in the fullness of time, the economic power and ownership of the means of production hasn’t shifted from where it was during apartheid and remains deeply concentrated in the same white hands that have held it for generations (the few token black financial elites with their white handlers don’t move the needle in this respect and their allegiance is with those who “made” them).

          While he might have been trying to be practical given the variables in play at the time, his decisions ultimately haven’t produced the outcome he spent 27 years of his life in jail trying to promote. Had he pushed a harder bargain, and he most certainly could have even with the NP’s hold on security forces because the last thing anybody wanted, including the boers, was a civil war. All this is a very long way of saying the ANC had more leverage than the boers and squandered it on playing open cards and showering their counterparts with unearned trust when a more careful strategy based on the “trust but verify” maxim might have proven far more effective in the long run (as opposed to the short run euphoria of a peaceful transition mentioned in my previous comment).

          1. Janie

            Thank you for your first-hand reporting. It’s hard even now with the internet to get a sense of other countries, other cultures, other histories.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Regarding Kyle Rittenhouse. At age 17, the US Army wouldn’t let him near an automatic firearm without full training, much less put him in a hazardous situation like this. If this incident had never happened, then in four years time when Rittenenhouse turned 21 you would see him soon after emerge as Police Officer Kyle Rittenhouse of the Chicago Police Department. He couldn’t join the police as he was far too young so he went with militia and now he never has to wonder where to go on a Saturday night for the rest of his life. His life is essentially over.

    But I don’t think that the resistance has jelled yet. The targets of the rioters are small businesses when they should be more in line with the centers of power opposing them. Perhaps banks, perhaps political headquarters of Democrat and Republican political offices. Perhaps more police stations. Better yet blockade Wall Street. Small businesses aren’t suppressing people and burning them is pointless. It is like during the Vietnam war the protestors targeted returning troops instead of those ordering them there. But I never thought that I would ever relive the sixties again.

    1. Jessica

      There have been reports that in at least some cities, the folks doing the burning and looting and the folks resisting are two sets of people.
      Also, it would be standard operations for the police, FBI, etc. to encourage destruction in order to create a backlash.

      1. Carolinian

        You are probably right which is why the Democratic politicians in those cities shouldn’t be pandering to group number one. I think to a lot of Americans this complacency about looting and burning and smashing is shocking.

        1. Brian (another one they call)

          good point. I do not see any difference in the reporting on protest v. riot. One news agency says riot, the other says protest. Problem is visual. Is it a riot or a protest? It is still the labeling that is foremost. A viewer must choose which one to believe is true. Once people realize that R or D doesn’t matter because they have not done one thing for the people of this nation without taking huge profits for themselves.
          And lets look at their accomplishments; ……………………..

          1. polecat

            It’s become increasingly hard to tell the diff between a peaceful riot .. and a violent protest ..

            .. in spite of the Democrat leadership’s uh, ‘efforts’.. to clarify!

      2. rd

        From what I have seen when they announce arrests for arsons etc., many of them are white anarchist/militia, often from out of state. They are usually arrested back in their hometowns after forensic investigation, not nby the police on the scene. This is similar to Rittenhouse who came in from Illinois, shoots three people (two die), walks past police while people are yelling that he just shot people, and went home to be arrested later by the police, who notably did not shoot him in the back with a no-knock warrant.

        1. furies

          I’d like some links for your assertions.

          And I still don’t have a clue just who “antifa” *is*.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          There is at least one confirmed case: in Minneapolis, in the George Floyd demonstrations, a masked guy carrying an umbrella was smashing windows. Police ignored him. Some demonstrators tried to stop him.

          Later identified to be a white supremacist.

          1. furies

            Yeah I knew about Umbrella Man but Antifa?

            The “Antifa is being bused to location X to start burning and looting” my local sheriff blasted on farcebook…that kind of stuff is what I’d like to see some proof of.

            1. ambrit

              I don’t know about ‘Antifa,’ whatever that group is anymore. However, I did see some buses of BLM supporters come into Hattiesburg to ‘leaven’ the march last month. That is almost standard procedure for a “legitimate” movement. The “Freedom Riders” of the sixties were out of towners who came Down South to help with the voter registration drive that summer. The phenomenon of ‘bussed in crowds’ for demonstrations has been reported from South Korea recently.
              The real issue is the one of agents provocateurs who “turn” peaceful demonstrations violent. Such is also a standard tactic of ground level politics.
              Someone should make an app that uses facial recognition to collate and cross reference “agitators” in true riots. I’ll lay money on the Forces of Oppression already doing this to target opposition activists nation wide.

          2. TallSaintPaul

            Umbrella man has never been identified or charged as such. That was a single narrative drop from an anti-trump arson investigator. The warrant link can be found within this local news link.

            Third hand information from an anonymous source, two weeks after a news flash “white supremacist” claim in Stillwater, MN. And it just happens to be that Umbrella Man is linked to this incident? No further word has come out of the warrant for John Doe’s Sprint phone records. Hardly a verifiable claim.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Nice try. This is classic agnotology. The POLICE reported that Umbrella Man was a white supremacist, and the MSM widely re-reported it.




              Making me waste my time debunking people like you is grounds for banning. You are no longer welcome here.

    2. Wukchumni

      Coppers skew hard right politically, and of course they’re going to align themselves with the likes of a 17 year old white guy who seems like a nice kid, oh and did you see how he held that AR-15, he’s got promise.

      I heard that CCW requests in L.A. have risen dramatically, and they don’t issue very many of them. The people are spoiling for a fight, and that 1/3rd of us that have less than $400 in disposable income, more than likely have a gun and ammo worth that much, and that’s it.

      What’s that line:

      ‘Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.’

      1. Carolinian

        It’s a job that attracts authoritarian personalities because you spend much of your time telling other people what to do. One article I read said that cops used to be hired on the basis of physique and contrasted this with the Blake video where the cops are pathetically grabbing at his shirt tail trying to detain him before then shooting him. Guns the last resort of the un-intimidating?

        1. Oso_in_Oakland

          and in another year Rittenhouse would have achieved the minimum age and education requirements to be with his brethren in KPD.

    3. Fritzi

      At least the same people that never want to hear the sob stories of brown people who lost their way, will turn Kyle Rittenhouse into a tragic martyr.

      I wouldn’t write off that young patriot yet.

      Depending on how the dice fall, and quite possibly on who comes out on top in the coming civil war, he might easily return in triumph yet.

      There country may yet have a lot of work to do for a lot of Kyles.

      1. Copeland

        So unless Kyle is “Eppsteined” he may become a fabled Warlord in the year 2037?

        All hail Lord Rittenhouse!

        1. Fritzi

          I was thinking more of an honorary function as posterboy for actual fascist paramilitaries, helping with the effort to recruit kids, than someone who is a genuine bigshot, but who knows?

      1. Pym of Nantucket

        When that is more than just a stunt, the oligarchy will shut it down so fast that heads will spin.

        There is a _massive_ stockpile of firepower sitting on the sidelines now in case this incoherent and possibly stage managed rabble rousing starts putting the crosshairs in the unelected masters of the USA.

    4. Susan the other

      I’d think that Trump, Mr. Bankruptcy for Profit himself, doesn’t have the focus for revolution beyond pretending to be the law-and-order candidate. It’s reality TV at its best. The same people producing provocateurs at every venue (aka demonstration turned riot) are focused like lasers for some goal we don’t see. They are the same species as the people who brought Hitler to power, behind the curtains, making Hitler think he was the great Fuhrer. Whoever the puppeteers are, we can be confident they are there. Here’s my favorite example – How did Trump know there would be a riot in Stockholm a week before it happened? And further, why is he calling legitimate protests “fascist” and why is his strangelove-esque attorney general calling other demonstrators “bolsheviks”. It’s so they can go back and say it has been said. It’s pure propaganda, and not too subtle. The goal is crowd control, obviously. Like lighting back-fires – create a impasse so the fire can’t jump the line. That’s Trump’s assignment. But what is the agenda? Trump’s assignment is simply to act casual and get people to trust him while the devastation continues without much resistance at all.

    5. Steve

      Was it an automatic firearm as opposed to a rifle (not an automatic weapon)? I doubt it was but do not know the facts and it is a detail that is stated at the start and that makes a huge perception difference. Very important to distinguish automatic versus semi-automatic. Simply can not support removing rifles from the populace.

      1. Copeland

        I could not disagree more. Full auto or semi matters little. These semi-autos fire rapidly, and that is not needed to take down deer, etc., because they are not likely to shoot back. Non-autos (bolt action, lever, etc) are fine hunting rifles, semi-auto totally not needed.

        1. JBird4049

          Several issues that I have here.

          First, my rant is on somethings that serve The Powers That Be. Confusing and dividing people with inaccurate language and false categorization helps them stay in power.

          People tend to not use the right words. Words matter for they have meaning. Knowing these meanings allows you to communicate. Not knowing them, then prevents communication.

          For example words like communist, socialist, social democratic, democratic socialist, leftist, liberal, and moderate all have different meanings. Everything that is to the left of moderate is often called communist socialist in the United States. It makes having a conversation almost impossible because too many do not know the meanings of the words they are using.

          Back to the words automatic and semi-automatic, I have seen people describe every gun, with just the exception of revolvers as a “machine gun.” Like with politics and economics, this makes having a discussion difficult. It also, like with economics and politics, allow people like gun control advocatess to muddy the waters. I mean most gun deaths are deaths of despair using hand guns. Of course, some people are too concerned about the big, bad gangster coming to hurt instead of worrying about the danger to themselves. I guess decent healthcare for poor Americans is taboo.

          Further, people are being programmed to have an reflective, unthinking, emotional response. Guns, abortion, racism, whatever. Just say you are for or against whatever the thing a word represents and you are automatically among the Saved or the Damned. It is presumed that you have the standard “acceptable” ideology of either the Red or the Blue people. No nuance allowed. And the blurring of the meanings of words helps with that.

          This means that this Red (Socialist), anti-Identity Politics, extremely pro civil rights, American nationalist, democracy loving, gun rights supporter, LGBT rights supporter, and climate change believer cannot, just can not exist. I am supposedly anathema to 2/3 of the American population. I also have nowhere to go politically as both parties are wings of one very Conservative party. And of a very restrictive version of conservatism at that.

          I don’t think that I am very rare being that, which means that when whatever happens happen it will not be a clear divide. Even the Civil War wasn’t quite that with each side having large numbers of supporters on the other side.

          It is going to be very interesting. I just hope to live long enough to read the books about the post-whatever.

  6. Hank Linderman

    Seems like Election Day should be a General Strike Day. EVERY election day…


    1. TMoney

      I think you mean National Holiday, with every worker required to work (Docs, nurses, Nuclear Power operators etc) getting a 4 hour block off while the polls are open to vote.

  7. lakecabs

    As long as the Government keeps throwing the workers crumbs they will never stand up to take what they deserve.

  8. John Beech

    What are you guys smoking? Resistance and revolution in America? In your dreams! What part of people die to get here don’t you understand? Our poor have flat screen televisions, air conditioning, and food gifted by their fellow citizens (not begrudgingly as some may suppose because tax payers offer it string free and with no loss of face to the recipient). Moreover, there is housing assistance, and other bits of social safety net added to it (typically by churches).

    Bottom line? This isn’t 1790s France. We have justice that’s better than any justice for the common man the world has ever known. We have contracts and enforcement. Fire departments to keep your home from burning to the ground and a professional police to keep you safe.

    We also have a whiny bunch of losers who have never put all on the line and thus, have never taken the steps to advance their lives by accepting the responsibility for making money that entails signing the front of a pay check. Surely I’m not the only one who reads NC that does this, am I? I wonder because all I hear is BS about how we should give more, raise taxes, and punish the ones who actually make things happen, and worse, how bad things are.

    Wake up, people. Yes, there are instances where it could be better. I’m thinking First Peoples vs. blacks. The latter have been comparatively shielded and coddled for the last 50 years whilst the former are ignored. Farm labor living conditions are still mean, but nevertheless, the real disadvantaged of the world would rather come here for this version of a harsh life than what they have at home with often ‘socialist’ governments (here’s to you Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

    Oh my God, the hubris of coffee shop socialist whining about what they know nothing of. Get out more once the pandemic is over. Visit the outskirts of Mexico City and then come yap about the living conditions of our poor. What a load!

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Excuse me, you must be mistaken – the Time Machine you’ve arrived in may be malfunctioning.

      ….the 90’s are over that way. *points vaguely at a Clinton Speech*

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          You know, you may be right.

          I’ve found that ever since they started manufacturing Time Machine parts at the plant outside of New Hong Kong, Ireland, the results have been a lot better with regard to consistently reliable jumps, even with the increased dark-matter-interference we’ve been seeing lately from nibiru.

          Possibly Mr. Beech is still using one of the older models that was chock full of parts from the plant in Austin. After the nukes hit, I just never did trust their quality control again.

        2. ambrit

          The giveaway line for me was this; “We have contracts and enforcement.”
          Basic old fashioned Robber Baron Capitalism.
          I’ll put up with Mr. ‘Beech’ because he shows us what the reactionary class is thinking.

            1. ambrit

              Mack Reynolds wrote of such a situation in his Joe Mauser stories. Industrial disputes were settled by limited wars carried out by professional mercenary armies. The original story was called “Mercenary.”
              Kornbluth and Pohl did similar themed stories back in the 1950s!

    2. the suck of sorrow

      With each paragraph you clearly articulate that people not in your class are nothing to bother about. Do you really mean this?

    3. The Rev Kev

      There is a lot of truth to what you say John. The Belorussian protestors seemed to have folded when they realized what would be involved in a full-fledged revolution. ‘Rich kids’ the police there derided them as. But I once heard a throwaway line in an old film that galvanized me when I heard it and it is this-

      ‘Never cheat a person that has nothing to lose.’

      Think how far American life has dropped in the past half century and then ask yourself where average Americans will be in half a century more. When people look at what lay ahead, sooner or later you will have massive disruptions with strikes everywhere you look as people will demand what they have lost back again including by the way, their Bill of Rights. Why do you think that ‘Make America Great Again’ was such an effective slogan? People know.

      1. Lost in OR

        Great comment Rev. And I love your quote. In the last half century we have gone from a single-income cash economy (if you couldn’t afford it you didn’t buy it) to a credit economy to a sell off our capital with more credit economy. And we’ve gone from a semi-self sufficient, manufacturing, export based economy to a dependent, service, import based economy. But we still don’t have “nothing to lose”.

        I think that’s about to change. We have huge eviction and unemployment crisis unfolding. And what of the next pandemic surge or supply chain disruption? I am not optimistic.

        First, the very nature of this conversation. The reactive positioning and incendiary speech by all sides indicates that the capacity to engage has been lost. Besides the Rev Kev comment none allow that John may have a point but suggest that he temper his comments with some degree of humility. There is only condemnation.

        Second, the nature of the left, or resistance, or even “liberals”. Where are the “Never Trumpers”? I know there out there/here but I just don’t see them. BLM seems to be the only not rightwing movement. Maybe there’s hope in the People’s Party.

        Several years ago I tried establishing a Transition Town in my city. I ran into control issues (not my own), distrust of any hierarchy, white-male leader resentment, and finally, a reluctance to actually do the work. We-all just wanted to talk and point fingers. Organizing and/or getting sh!t done is hard work! I am not optimistic.

    4. furies

      You do not have a clue what it’s like to be poor in ‘Murica, John.

      and *you* a regular here…

    5. rob

      only someone who has been “coddled” for the last fifty years could have such a shallow and self centered view of the united states.
      Even people who are “doing what they can” can see that a country rife with corruption and a total abandonment of accountability, is a “bad” thing.
      The real patriots of a government, “of the people,by the people, and for the people”; can not stand idly by while the grossly incompetent and politically connected deprive the citizens of “natural choices of a people who govern themselves”,by making such bad decisions now, as to leave only bad choices later. The faux conservatives who espouse the “everything is fine” mantra, have just been taught inferior logic to make the crimes they are a part of, acceptable.
      It is the same as the faux “value voters” who mistakenly think they are religious, and blindly follow corrupt leaders, doing un-christian acts.. around the world and at home… Never realizing they are not religious…. but really just a sucker.

      1. a different chris

        No, he said the opposite. …”the latter”..

        Still makes no sense at all, but John is John, whatdaya expect.

    6. Bob

      “Bottom line? This isn’t 1790s France. We have justice that’s better than any justice for the common man the world has ever known. We have contracts and enforcement. Fire departments to keep your home from burning to the ground and a professional police to keep you safe.”

      We also have police departments that sit astride heavily travel highways. Police departments that routinely stop, arrest, handcuff, beat, and incarcerate over the most minor of infractions. Infractions such as driving 1 mph over the speed limit. Or the New York PD who issue millions of dollars of summons for minor infractions. Or the NC click it of ticket program designed to raise revenue.

      We have DAs who routinely fail to follow rules of disclosure i.e. Brady.

      We have a political class who routinely accept bribes offered up as donations – Note that a million dollar donation to our dear leaders campaign results in the dropping of SEC charges.

      The point is that we can and should do better.


    7. Foy

      Do you ever consider macro level John Beech, say look at long term charts of the last 50+ years of share of GDP between Capital and Labour, or share of wealth by percentile, or increase of health costs or education any other macro indicators that show that something is fundamentally wrong? And that therefore it is way more harder to “make things happen” as you like to say.

      Yves’ work on foreclosure contracts and enforcement during and after the GFC demonstrates that that is going backwards at a rate of knots. Enforcement is increasingly only available for those with the cash, and as the wealth share of pie long term indicators/charts show, that group is shrinking by the day.

      Must admit I don’t know why I write this, John Beech only ever makes one comment and disappears, I really wonder if he even reads the replies.

    8. Krystyn Podgajski

      John Beech is voicing the same complaint of the people he is trying to “wake up”. He feels his hard work is not being recognized. But he only makes the mistake of blaming the wrong systems for making that so. He is blaming his comrades for keeping him down instead of blaming the generals where fault truly lay.

      John, I understand and appreciate the hard work you do everyday. But your life is not everyone’s life. And your ability to do hard work did not arise in isolation from society. We are only trying to embiggen that societal structure which has been chipped away by capitalism. Over the last 60 years corporate taxes have been lowered and lowered, yet here we are, with everything getting worse. So the idea that lower taxes will help society falls on its’ face when confronted with the evidence.

      And maybe you can look at the possibility that all the “socialist” countries you have listed have been interfered with by stronger U.S. forces so that they end up looking like failures for a reason? (And Mexico City is very capitalist, so another example that disproves your points.)

      1. Cú Chulainn's Third Eye

        Over the last 60 years corporate taxes have been lowered and lowered, yet here we are, with everything getting worse. So the idea that lower taxes will help society falls on its’ face when confronted with the evidence.

        I think John is asserting that things have not gotten worse.

        I disagree, but I’m fairly confident that there is nothing I could say, and no evidence I could present, that would change his mind.

    9. Anonymous

      by accepting the responsibility for making money John Beech

      And there’s a root problem, government-privileged banks, for the benefit of the so-called “credit worthy”, MAKE the money that the more honest must EARN.

      How about instead we have a Citizen’s Dividend to replace all fiat creation for private interests such as the banks and that we eliminate all other privileges by which the government-privileged banks and the richer loot the poorer?

      I agree though that the poor in the US have been bought off with a “mess of pottage” – so far. But events and the stupid may conspire to remove even that pittance.

    10. a different chris

      >Visit the outskirts of Mexico City and then come yap about the living conditions of our poor.

      Go, if there is such a thing still standing after another crazy-sized* hurricane, and sit in a black neighborhood in Louisiana that surrounds a petrochemical plant and yap about how good they have it compared to Mexicans. If you can draw enough breath that is.

      And comparisons are BS anyway. I make more money than all my neighbors, should I consider that I work hard enough? I have one and generally two more, and fancier college degrees than they do. So sit on my laurels?

      That’s the weirdest thing about today’s conservatives, the biggest problem with their worldview is that it is completely incoherent.

      *god how I long for the days when hurricanes were what now seems reasonable…

    11. TomDority

      You make overly broad assumtions regarding who or if people have put it on the line or not or even if a group of people is deserving or not of whatever delusions serve as your guidepost – suggest you research a word that describes your statements (hint – starts with a B) – I will put up my record to yours any day.

      “What part of people die to get here don’t you understand?” – really, i think you do not understand at all.

      ” I wonder because all I hear is BS about how we should give more, raise taxes, and punish the ones who actually make things happen, and worse, how bad things are.” I would wonder how you would fill in the blank created when you define Who we should give more?, Raise taxes on Who?, Who actually makes things happen?, What things are Bad.

      Most police are proffesional and I do not understand why they do not speak out against the bad apples. seems to me that the barrel of apples has been rotting for a long time – What do you say about the police who plant evidence, escalate situations for internal promotions (up-charge), Choke out unarmed and handcuffed individuals (mainly minorities), Shoot people in the back, Kill kill kill – murder murder murder, escalate protests in order to pack in overtime and tap out with an inflated nest egg?

      Never had a problem with fire departments – mainly a really great lot of people – I once came across a firefighter who was a frightened narcissist, all in it for himself and projecting a macho rugged individualist style to cover over his underlying fear, and ignorance — mainly fear.

      So please, tell us weak minded lazy folks why we had a revolution for this country, why did we write the Declaration of Independance, – try to do it without reference to anything but your current knowledge and understanding – without reference to your modified, streamlined and highly procured internet searches (TM).
      I have been to all the countries you have mentioned and more. I have traveled to a lot of places where disaster has been recent – spent a lot of time boots on the ground at these places in this country and elsewhere – civilian not military –
      Without exception – the people on the ground, affected the most by these disasters were and are and acted with the highest order of courage, good will, open hearts, solidarity and just cause – simply the best of these people were front and center even after tremendous loss of all types.
      Without exception – it was people from the outside who came in with predjudiced, bigoted and special interest concerns that smeared, defrauded and sabotoged those most affected.
      So there is a ton of good in this country and plenty who have died for the Constitution and what it stands for. Everyone always has and will always have to fight for its promises (sorry about – promises – seems every cheap political hack is using that term badly) – so all your memes seem to come from some sad people.
      Get real and find out who your real enemies are – same as its always been

      1. tegnost

        I expect one of the signs of the american apocalypse will be foreigners no longer coming here, and other countries refusing to let us in

    12. Biologist

      >often ‘socialist’ governments (here’s to you Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

      Honduras? You have no idea what you’re talking about. Since the US-backed coup 11 years ago (Obama/Clinton) Honduras has regressed to a right-wing authoritarian state, where political activists are murdered. Socialist? Stop spouting nonsense.

    13. freedomny

      Our poor have flat screen tvs, air conditioning etc. Do you know how many people don’t use air conditioning because they can’t afford the electricity? I personally know several working middle class people who will only turn on an air conditioner in the bedroom when they can’t bear the heat. It’s obvious you have it good and will be holding onto that however you can. Oh and BTW – we are becoming a third world country just like Mexico.

    14. sharonsj

      I think you need a reality check. Yes, I have a flat screen TV and air conditioners, bought years ago when I had more money. But I gave up satellite TV because of the cost (my evening entertainment now consists of YouTube) and I don’t turn on the air conditioner unless I’m dying (because of the outrageous cost of electricity). Oh, and I get food stamps. A whopping $15 a month. I have worked my entire life or found ways to make money but at my age (76) and because of the pandemic, that’s much more difficult. I don’t whine. I just think I should be getting a bit more help after a life time of paying taxes but the local Agency on Aging is useless and so are all my elected reps (most of whom I did not vote for). If a revolution does occur, I will be ecstatic. P.S. I’ve been to Mexico City and many other countries. Just because they have it worse doesn’t mean I need to shut up.

    15. rd

      This fall is going to be interesting.

      Cities, counties, and states are staring at their budgets in the toilet with shrinking reserves, and are starting to lay people off or major work reductions.

      PPP loans are are expiring and the layoffs are starting. These are often going to be middle class or upper class employees, many of whom will be white.The population is older now than in 2008, so more 55+ year old people likely to end up in financial distress. This may impact the emotions of the “base”.

      Companies are starting to look hard at their staffing requirements. Not a good time to be viewed as overhead or excess cost. This is when the home office people get cut even if front-line employees are reatained. The federal money was pumping a lot of money into corporate revenues. That has been drying up for a month now. I expect companies will be reacting as the thrid quarter comes to a close.

      Eviction, foreclosure, and student loan moratoriums have expired or are expiring. Expect significant housing stress over the next 3-6 months with rising homelessness.

      It took 2-3 years for the Great Depression to kick into full gear with the Veteran Bonus March etc. The GOP in Congress and Trump appear to be betting that that 8 months of economic collapse is not enough to undermine their base so they can win re-election on an austerity and “law and order” platform. We shall see what September and October bring in Covid cases along with layoffs.

    16. rd

      Read “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein to understand what the “coddling” has actually been.

      I had thought some of the same things you wrote here until I read this book and looked into it further. I was utterly stunned at how systematic the racial bias was built into housing, zoning, location of jobs (e.g. factories) in pretty much every community in the country. Much of US zoning law was structured to keep communities segregated after the various civil rights bills required “fair housing” and school districts are largely funded locally out of property taxes. This all then plays out in segregated communities without good jobs near them so that the incomes are low, education is poor, and wealth growth is non-existent to low. The wealth and income differentiation was deliberately created by federal, state, and local government laws and regulations.

      The New Deal provided for Social Security,. However, the FHA that was created in the New Deal immediately started structuring its mortgage subsidies and guarantees to block blacks and hispanics from qualifying as they were evidence of “urban blight” and created automatic “redlining”. Each subsequent civil rights bill was met with very creative restructuring of state and local laws and regulations to make segregation legal under the letter of the law. Even in the early 2000s, blacks were preferentially put into sub-prime mortgages even if they qualified for prime mortgages, and ended up with a high rate of foreclosure. This created greater profits for the financial sector than if they were in prime mortgages. This was theoretically legal, but try and find an example of even a wrist slap.

    17. GeorgeNYC

      I am sure the French in the 1790’s felt they were really advanced too. They were a Civilized European Nation not savage colonials. They probably had whatever the 18th century version of a flat panel was. Shame people for being poor and they react pretty harshly. I hate to say it but I remember reading about “revolutions” and thinking it would never happen here. And I will agree I am pretty comfortable, but if people started hanging corporate CEO’s I would probably watch it on my 4K flat panel.

      1. threeyedgoddess

        “….but if people started hanging corporate CEO’s I would probably watch it on my 4K flat panel”
        @ 7:25ish the execution of Nicolai and Elena Ceausescu dictators of Romania . A youtube video (no longer available) was filmed at a restaurant where the locals were glued to a TV showing a far more graphic execution – it was running on a continuous loop to the delight of the populace. One elated woman said “I can’t stop watching it it’s wonderful!”

  9. Bob

    Be careful of what you wish for —

    And yes we need real change to democratize the playing field.

    As a first step we ought to change the perception that government in particular the justice system should be run as a business.

    As a second step we ought to make simple concrete changes to the system of campaign donations (bribes). It is very difficult to compete against donors who can drop 10s if not 100s of millions of bribes.

  10. jefemt

    On a tangent, Rand Paul (R KY) was CONFRONTED by a mob as he exited the Repubs dog and pony. Media carefully uses attacked by mob as its diction.

    Words matter.

    Confrontation and verbal abuse evoke a different image than attack, in my addled mind. I have watched several videos (the age of instant video) and it looked like free speech and assembly to me.
    Paul is from KY, lots of “Say Her Name” and Breona Taylor chanting.

    I’m sure that Paul and his wife were scared, and I am sure there was more than enough adrenaline around to get a fair bit of energy expended.

    But it was no attack. Ted Cruz chimes in about the outrage of violence. Carrying the fear torch that was lit all week.

    Well, there is all sorts of violence in our midst— its a matter of perception, audience, and experience.

    Object lesson? Never bring a skateboard to a gun fight– escalation will not end well, but ‘leaderhip’ is not listening and appears to be failing at every turn.

    Google “Failed State”

    1. integer

      Like everything else in the current hyper-politicized climate, the framing depends on the ideological leanings of the media in question:

      Protesters confront Rand Paul outside White House after RNC Politico

      FWIW I found, and had a look at, the video of this incident and noticed a protester standing behind Paul with a professionally printed sign that said “Good Trouble” and #ThePeoplesHouse. I found the website, and noted that it was paid for by Party Majority PAC. I then had a look on Open Secrets and noticed that Adam Parkhomenko and ActBlue were among the top vendors/recipients of funds from Party Majority PAC. Make of that what you will.

      Oh, and regarding Breona Taylor:

      Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act to prohibit no-knock warrants, which allow law enforcement officials to forcibly enter a home without announcing their authority or purpose.

      The bill is named in memory and honor of Breonna Taylor, a Louisville resident and EMT who was killed during a police raid on her home in March 2020, which was conducted under the authority of a no-knock warrant.

      “After talking with Breonna Taylor’s family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s long past time to get rid of no-knock warrants. This bill will effectively end no-knock raids in the United States,” said Sen. Paul.

  11. tagio

    Hate to be a party crasher, but if the 60s resistance created real change, then how are we here, exactly?

    Didn’t these 60s guys and gals go on create the most rabid greed, consumption, conspicuous status-oriented and “express-yourself” society the world has ever seen? Aren’t they the guys who blew right passed the significance of The Limits to Growth? Who’s been running the war machine, investment banking, finance, vulture capital funds, big pharma and off-shoring jobs these last four decades?

    1. Keith Newman

      Tagio you are right. I lived through the sixties in Canada and never believed there was a revolution going on because there wasn’t. However two major things of significance did happen.
      First there was considerable turmoil in the US against the Vietnam war. This was largely driven by the fact that with conscription even the middle and upper classes could be called up. There were ways to avoid the draft but still the danger was there lurking in the background. The war was also very bloody with horrendous scenes in the media every day. The US military massacred millions of Vietnamese and US-ians with a conscience were dismayed by the brutality inflicted on poor peasants in their name. This was a problem for the US elite so it ended conscription and ensured future massacres were conducted out of sight with a compliant media.
      The second big thing was the relaxing of sexual and overt racial oppression. Sex out of marriage became acceptable and it was no longer acceptable to openly discriminate against non-whites. This eventually led to gay rights, etc., and more diversity in job openings. These did not constitute a social and economic revolution by any means but they did make life much easier for many many people.
      A third smaller, yet significant thing, was raised awareness of environmental issues leading to some improvement in environmental regulation.
      All of these things, not revolutionary but of significance, occurred following popular political organisation on a vast scale.
      The elite responded by ensuring US political parties were 100% under its control and that political dissatisfaction was repressed, think Occupy Wall Street, pipeline protests and the vanishing of dissident journalists from the mainstream.
      The result is a country permanently at war, looted by big finance, the healthcare industry and the military, and unable to solve any of its problems, even small ones.

      1. rd

        There was a revolution going on in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. It was the Quebecois vs. Anglaise. The FLQ crisis in 1970 shook many Canadians and resulted in many English-Canadians leaving Quebec. Over the past 50 years, there were several referendums for Quebec separation but the Parti Quebecois and Bloc Quebecois were never able to get it over the top and make it happen. At the federal level, there was substantial bilingual education that came out of it with many service organizations,especially federal government, airlines, etc. requring bilingual staff.

      2. baldski

        The elite response to the ’60s was the infamous “Powell memo” commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce and looking around today one can see they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    2. Calypso Facto


      I kept reading ‘we need a 60s style movement’ and wondering what good that would do considering it was fully smothered by the early 70s.

      NB I am too young to have been there so the era holds no romantic appeal to me whatsoever.

      1. Ford Prefect

        Bear in mind that Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are products of the 1960s. The flower power children and black power activists got the press. But ultimately, it was the Trumps, McConnells, Milkens etc. that ended up controlling the politics and the corporate world.

    3. tegnost

      Didn’t these 60s guys and gals go on create the most rabid greed, consumption, conspicuous status-oriented and “express-yourself” society the world has ever seen?


      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Some of “these ’60’s guys and gals” created that grotesque society you describe; others did their best, and were defeated by the wealthiest and most powerful Overclass in human history.

    4. savebyirony

      I would prefer people expand their references beyond the 60’s to include the 30’s and 40’s labor and social actions (plus throw in some tactics of 80’s/early 90’s ACT-UP, as well).

      But today’s revolutionaries will create many of them own organizations and tactics as well. Really not much choice left for a growing many. It is coming down to rebel or suffer,suffer, suffer, die.

      1. Ford Prefect

        The real change happened due to the generations in the 30s-50s. That is where the major legislation came from.

        The late 60s protests just ended up electing Richard Nixon. Didn’t even end the war in Vietnam which continued to expand into Laos and Cambodia in the early 70s. Eventually, it was the Greatest Generation adults tired of their kids coming home in body bags that made the war politically unfeasible to continue.

        1. savebyirony

          Oh yes, the silent majority that was not so compliant when it spoke. But do not forget the factor of rising rebellion in the troops making it dangerous for the officer class.

          I wonder how many people now days have a grasp of the civil unrest of the 30’s and 40’s, or the vast numbers of labor actions that took place? Oddly, you do not get much info on that in school or many (any) splashy, star studded Hollywood propaganda films inspiring the imaginations of the masses. Hell, not even much of a sanitized PBS peep. But people are going to live it for themselves in the not so distant future. I believe the times they really are a changing (or reverting).

          1. ambrit

            Hell, bring back the IWW! (I know you’re out there, but do keep a low profile in these days of snitches and informers.)

            1. Lambert Strether

              I think liberals and some leftists are of the view that many, many organizations* — NGOs and so forth — joining a march or protest, as evidenced by different logos, signifiers, etc., it is a sign of strength. It’s not. What would be a sign of strength is one organization.

              NOTE * Metaphors include “beautiful mosaic,” quilt, garden…

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          “Eventually, it was the Greatest Generation adults tired of their kids coming home in body bags that made the war politically unfeasible to continue.”

          You mean Country Joe finally woke them up?

          Well come on mothers don’t delay,
          Pack your boys off to the Gulf today.
          Come on fathers don’t hesitate,
          Send them off before it’s too late.
          Be the first one on your block
          To have your boy come home in a box!

          Sorry, but the idea that Brokaw’s Greatest Generation ended the Vietnam War out of concern for deaths strikes me as ludicrously revisionist.

    5. Buckeye

      Very true!

      You also do not look to old wars for guidance in fighting the modern
      one right in front of your face.

      New strategies and tactics must be developed.

  12. Pookah Harvey

    “I love pitting people against each other. My whole life is based on that.”
    Donald Trump
    Kyle Rittenhouse is just the beginning. Do we really need 4 more years of this?

  13. Pelham

    I dunno. The police shooting in Kenosha appears to have been justified. Blake, who had a record of violence, was ordered to get down on the ground but instead lunged for his car door and had it open when he was shot. Should the officers have waited to find out whether he would whip around with a weapon and begin firing at them? It doesn’t matter whether Blake would have actually grabbed a gun; in the situation as it developed, he gave every indication that he posed a danger.

    I’ve understood since boyhood that if a police officer orders me to do something, I need to comply right away or run the risk of a justifiable physical response, possibly including gunfire. Is this not common knowledge?

    As for cops in general, isn’t there a bit of a contradiction in the growing sympathy for the sorry plight of the nation’s blue-collar workers and the near universal condemnation of police, a unionized part of the blue-collar class? Adjusting for economic class, about as many whites proportionately die in police custody as blacks. So the routinely accepted charge of systemic racism is at least questionable. And there seems to be a lot of talk about police training with little evidence that the speakers know the first thing about it.

    1. Mason

      If it was justifiable, it’s a maybe but we don’t know for sure. I think I read there was knife in his vehicle and he may of been reaching for it. Of course the police couldn’t of known if it was a knife or a gun. The only point I can make is it’s not clear-cut as say Breonna Taylor’s horrific death. It will take months to sort this out.

      As for your ‘contradiction’, sure the police are essentially and usually blue-collared literally but they are cops. They don’t just enforce the law. They enforce the status quo. They enforce the economic system and generally opt to protect the interests of the wealthy over the poor. Therefore, they are considered some of the worst class traitors. When public order is disrupted by populist anger, they always will be the first res ponders.

    2. Lost in OR

      Lot’s to consider here. Yes, for Blake, non-compliance has it’s consequences.

      For cops, resorting to shooting people has it’s consequences. There were four cops there vs one non-compliant man and an unruly crowd. It sucks for cops to have to resort to it, but Blake was within tackling distance the whole trip around that SUV. And there were four of them.

      Perhaps we need less-scared cops or the cops need more training. As soon as they pulled their guns, they precluded any other action.

    3. rd

      Rittenhouse shot three people and walked past the police with an AR-15 with the crowd yelling he had just shot people. Hard to believe that the police would not have heard AR-15 rifle shots. The police didn’t make a move while George Floyd and Blake were suffocated or shot based on a phone call complaint and some non-compliance.

      I think that is what these protests are about in a nutshell.

      1. rob

        i agree that the response of the police after the shooting is a prime example of “un-even policing”.
        Here is a kid who is carrying a gun.
        Earlier in the night seen with the group of cops giving him water. Did any of those cops think to see if this young looking kid was old enough to carry a gun?. they should have. On camera, the cops are giving this kid thanks and good job…. BS… while other people are getting told to “disperse”. at the same time and the same place…. right there… different people getting entirely different treatment at the same time in the same place..
        The cops should be charged with accessory to this crime.
        In another video where the kid shoots the people who were trying to catch/stop him after he shot someone else down the street. He is a fleeing suspect of a shooting. he shoots more people on camera, who were trying to subdue him. then he gets up… keeps everyone back with his rifle. and walks past the cops, with his rifle hanging and his hands in the air… but grabbing his rifle to “re-adjust” a half a dozen times…. and the cops walk/drive/move right past him…. not interested in the least….. WTF?…
        These two shootings which were on the tape show he shot those people. He left his house with a gun, which is illegal for a minor… which shows he had intent to have it to use… in case… ( but really for an ego trip)… he is guilty of murder and attempted murder… but the cops walk right past him…. WOW.. even with the people yelling he just shot people….
        The cops should be charged. If they didn’t allow these vigilantes to be running around, and just let the people voice their opinions about police conduct… this entire bon fire might not have been lit. but the cops provided the kindling with moron kids walking around as wanna be cops… who get to “deal with people”… This is at least criminal negligence… regular people get charged every day when they make mistakes… the cops ought to in a situation like this… when they were running around playing army… there was no shortage of time to make a better decision. And the cops ought to suffer the same laws they enforce on everyone else.

    4. m sam

      Should the cops wait to see if Blake posed a danger before filling him full of bullets? Of course they should have. Did you really say it doesn’t matter if he grabbed a gun? Are you sick? The quickly human life is debased in this situation is shocking.

      Actually non-compliance is not a capital offense, never has been. Shooting an unarmed person is never justified. Governments that claim such uses of violence are valid are generally dictatorships, and is very indicative of where segments of the US citizenry’s minds are.

      After living through the decades of building up this police state I do not think it is unreasonable to believe that there is no way to dismantle (or even reform) it through normal civic means, and believe revolt is completely justified in this case. If there was another way to effect change it would have happened already. Instead of reform the situation has only grown worse with time.

        1. integer

          Blake didn’t die, he was paralyzed, and it’s amazing, given that BLM has been your sole focus since you started commenting here, that you don’t know that. Honestly, I expect if you grabbed any BLM protester/rioter at random and asked them a few pertinent questions they they would fail miserably.

    5. fajensen

      FWIW, Danish police would have had two cops grab him and handcuff him. Just like that. Before he got into the car, where he might have had a weapon or in any case be a royal pain to drag back out of.

      This looked very unprofessionally handled. They don’t control the situation, then when they find out that they have lost it, they shoot the person.

  14. semiconscious

    ‘You Know In Your Heart That the Day of Real Resistance Is Coming’

    actually, no. no, i don’t. ‘#SixtiesStyleMovement’? smh. i mean, seriously – c’mon, now…

    we’ve gone from right trying to drag us all back to the ’50’s, to the left trying to drag us all back to the ’60’s. never appreciating that both decades ended up leading us directly to – surprise! the present!…

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “both decades ended up leading us directly to – surprise! the present”

      I have no interest in returning to the 50s, but the 60s are a different issue. There are plenty of things I miss about the 60s, first among them being young.

      I do think there is a reason to revisit the 60s for exactly the reason you cite. We find ourselves having arrived at a destination where very few of us want to be, and what do you do when you’ve been traveling merrily along and find yourself lost? Retrace your route to find out just where you took a wrong turn.

      In the 60s, we began piling up thesis/antithesis pairs, one after another: Progress/Tradition; Autonomy/Authority; and a sharpened contradiction between an old pair, Science/Religion. We’ve been stuck with those for 50 years without reaching any kind of synthesis with any of them. It’s now reached a point where a person on one side of any of these divides finds it almost impossible to communicate with someone on the other which is especially bad since hardly any problem or issue arises in our society now (e.g. masks) without being force-fit into those conflicts.

      We will not be delivered from these debilitating divisions until syntheses (or one Grand Synthesis) arrives to resolve these battles. A more thorough understanding of those 60s issues (dust off the Roszak) is one way to start looking for solutions.

  15. Rod

    The question isn’t will they rise up, but how will they revolt?is the question raised by Thomas Neuburger I found sobering.
    Ambrit adds:
    Since perception management is a key element of the public discourse, things like the Underground Comix and incendiary leafletting, or the internet analogue thereof must be stood up and propagated. Tagging and ‘revolutionary’ mural work will play it’s part. Pirate radio will be useful in many places.
    All in all, an organized propaganda apparatus is needed to promote the left agenda.

    but it should go Further: from- –a fresh(2019) Document ,with a lot of tips, that we all paid for. This is from the Chapter entitled OFFENSE. Not for the timid.

    3-44. All offensive planning addresses the mission variables. During offensive planning, commanders and
    staffs place special emphasis on—
     Missions and objectives, including task and purpose, for each subordinate element.
     Commander’s intent.
     Enemy positions, obstacles, strengths, and capabilities.
     AOs for the use of each subordinate element with associated control graphics.
     Time the operation is to begin.
     Scheme of maneuver.
     Targeting guidance and high-payoff targets.
     Special tasks required to accomplish the mission.
     Communicating risk.
     Options for accomplishing the mission.
     Transition to stability operations once large scale combat ceases.

    just saying it would be helpful to those uninitiated who may not realize what the playbook looks like

    1. ambrit

      Thank you for this. It is a resource for every ‘movement.’
      For once, I can say without irony; “Your tax dollars at work.”

  16. upstater

    Yves, I think we need a “Wishful or Magical Thinking” topic category. Neuburger’s article belongs there, along with almost anything by Marshall Auerback.

    The notion that resistance can be constituted and organized without some sort of large popular organizations outside of the DNC and AFL-CIO or AstroTurf groups funded by Soros and that ilk is “Wishful or Magical Thinking”.

    While the 1960s had mass movements for civil rights and antiwar, they were built on a significant organizational infrastructure (churches, college campuses). In my high school, almost everyone talked politics. Same was true in the early 70s college, but the end of conscription really dampened things. ROTC was kicked off many campuses,only to return in the 80s. BTW, walking home from HS passing the University of Buffalo, anytime there was a large antiwar demonstration that was attacked by cops, the windows of the banks were always smashed, but never other shops.

    Likewise in the 1930s there were very large “outside the box” popular organizations driving change (can we imagine a sit-down strikes at Amazon warehouses?) Media was often hardcopy and independent of the mainstream. It was not platform dependent, nor anywhere near as oligopolistic.

    Contrast that to today… Unions are insignificant. There are no personalities with the stature of MLK (nor would MSM allow it to develop; e.g., The Poor People’s Campaign). Platforms lend themselves to manipulation and censorship. There is nothing approximating a Socialist alternative with wide membership. Endless wars and unprecedented DOD and national security spending draw scant notice. Even locally, the Syracuse Peace Council seems mired in every form of IDPOL imaginable. Class is not a topic for discussion in most environments.

    I have a very hard time seeing anything but a soft fascism developing here. We’re half way there already and there are no credible opposition groups. The deep state got the memos in 1917, 1930s and 1960s.

    1. Anarcissie

      It may be there are Left organizations and groupings which don’t follow the expected organizational evolution. I imagine if and when they appear they will seem to spring out of nowhere. In any case there is really not much use in imitating failed revolutionary models of the past.

      1. upstater

        BLM, etc are examples of spontaneous combustion. Once the fuel is gone, it goes out. As Cat says below, where is a clear direction for BLM and the necessary leadership and organization? Same could be said for Occupy.

        There is no substantive historical example of a leaderless, organization-less development of a left movement that accomplished change.

        Further, TPTB have followed a pretty consistent playbook to repress progress. Tactics, propaganda and levels of violence differ over time and locale, but there is always substantial organization of reactionary forces and they are always class based, whether they wrap themselves in flags or religious clothing.

    2. Cat Burglar

      I agree with you, Neuberger is being romantic about the 60s, about revolution, and about the prospects now for revolutionary change. It looks to me as some form of authoritarian control of political action is about as likely as continued and increasing unrest and chaos. For now, our handlers seem to have decided that managed unrest and chaos will be the cheapest way to run us.

      You are right on target to point to popular organizations as the sine qua non of any resistance or revolutionary movement.

      Most political organizing now seems intent on lining up blocks of voters for direction by mainly DC-based political leaderships, and delivery of their letters and votes and money, and volunteers are usually not used. My sense is that there is great untapped potential for popular organizing, but the organizers in most political groups are channeled toward serving existing political networks, not mass organizing for maximum direct popular power — to put it kindly, they have a blind spot.

      While much of the 1960s movement had a narrow college youth social basis, they did manage to break SDS off from its milquetoast parent organization to create one of the largest revolutionary socialist organizations in US history, on a shoestring budget, mainly on the strength of a wave of popular support and direct personal involvement in everything from mailings to direct resistance. ( Read the classic history SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale). Now, in their terms, they lost — there was no revolution, and they did not force the war to a halt in 1968 or 1969. But they succeeded in turning a majority of the population against the war (such that funding it became impossible, even for many legislators that personally supported the war) and ultimately leading to a pullout of US forces from Vietnam.

      The breakup of the 1960s movement generated plenty of toxic products and turncoats, but my own encounters with people around the country during my days as a banner-hanging environmental activist in the 90s suggest that it also spread many politically conscious people around the country, like spores. They formed a large number of local organizations and people that supported them, they multiplied, and they are all still “out there.” Even living in a small town in the desert, people showed up at the Post Office to protest the Iraq invasion, there was a large march to support Occupy, and an even larger one to protest Obama’s immigration policy — nothing like this ever happened in the 1960s. My experience in the 90s with a big environmental organization that could connect local groups to each other, and involve local activists in direct action protests — with a little technical help from us — that could create serious political impact showed me that many people are ready to do something, almost anything, to get things moving.

      But, so far, that potential remains untapped by nominally progressive organizations. Indeed,the organization I worked for had a large political split between a DC leadership oriented toward elite decision-maker lobbying, and regionally based activists. The regional activists worked to connect local groups fighting against large corporations, state governments, and the federal government; being connected to an international organization gave them legal, media, political, and other (like the ability to sneak into a polluting factory and hang a protest banner on a smokestack the night before a poorly-noticed regulatory hearing their opponents thought they had stacked) — something that not only won local victories, but also cemented local and national connections between groups — the building blocks of a popular movement. But the DC faction held the national office and the purse-strings, so they won. Funny how fundraising revenue fell off after that. It isn’t that nominally progressive groups don’t know how to do popular organizing, it is that they do not want to, they do not think it is their job.

      The forces arrayed blocking a popular movement are large. As you point out, the media platforms are either blocked, or blockable. The PMC is largely installed as a neoliberal asset, though most of them will personally admit that things cannot go on this way. IDPOL, which began as a tactic to heal splits in the working class caused by divide et impera by our controllers, has been reverse engineered to create divisions (think of the hilarious Politico article this week about a proposed lobbyist ban as threat to lobbyists of color, or CAP’s “Medicare For All won’t end racism” meme).

      Out in the middle of the desert, I cannot figure out what is happening with the BLM-related protests. I am looking for a program of legal (ending qualified immunity, for example) and institutional (direct community control of hiring and firing of police, opening personnel files, publicly controlled and conducted police abuse tribunals) from protest leaders, covered by the press. Nada, as far as I can see. The presentation, at least, has morphed into something else.

      So things do not look good, though there is potential out there, waiting to awake. but we are a long way from anything you could call a revolutuon.

      1. Baldanders

        “While much of the 1960s movement had a narrow college youth social basis, they did manage to break SDS off from its milquetoast parent organization to create one of the largest revolutionary socialist organizations in US history, on a shoestring budget, mainly on the strength of a wave of popular support and direct personal involvement in everything from mailings to direct resistance. ( Read the classic history SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale). Now, in their terms, they lost — there was no revolution, and they did not force the war to a halt in 1968 or 1969. But they succeeded in turning a majority of the population against the war (such that funding it became impossible, even for many legislators that personally supported the war) and ultimately leading to a pullout of US forces from Vietnam.”

        Right now I’m reading “Days of Rage” by Brian Burrough which is a pretty unsympathetic look at the various leftie terrorist groups that popped up in the late 60s/early 70s, most extensively the Weathermen/Weather Underground. SDS went from “milquetoast,” to an ever-decreasing but more “hardcorps” vanguard group that started having orgies to “smash monogamy” and thrilled at Manson’s “revolutionary” murders, and started acting questions like “would killing white babies be a revolutionary act?”

        I’m very cynical, but I think the fact that the draft was real for many young men and their families was a far bigger factor in ending the Vietnam War than any one radical organization. Unfortunately, we have no such lever to use to end the Forever War.

        I also wonder if the SDS and the like had actually been able to communicate and form ties with the working classes they claimed to be in solidarity with, instead of becoming bombers, would we have seen political changes that would have corrected the systemic problems that still haunt us today?

        I have very little faith in “revolution” making the US a better place to live. If you can’t do it at the ballot box, how are you going to get it done post-revolution when you will be contending with a bunch of other revolutionaries with different visions from yours?

        Of course, fighting in the streets is much more exciting than voter drives. Who cares if it helps Trump?

    3. Chris

      Interesting to contrast what is happening now in modern times then. I know most high school students in well to do areas are counseled to not talk about politics. Or, in my case, I tell my kids to keep quiet in public and only ask questions or have discussions in private. All of my peers and friends have also gotten the message that you have to go along to get along or else you won’t continue to earn what you need to maintain your family’s standard of living.

      That’s all to say that if we do have a revolution I doubt the PMC will know about it until it’s their houses which are burning. If things are out of sight, out of mind, and not permissible topics of discussion, they won’t be perceived until it’s right up on you.

  17. bulfinch

    Yes, darling…but is it revolution?

    If comfort is the enemy of progress, revolution is the opiate of the intellectual. Just doing a Ctrl F for the word on this page alone, we see a few dozen instances.

    For something that has seemed to me, for most of my life, to be an inevitable world event simmering on the horizon, I now fear there’s only sound and fury. There are no proper Robin Hoods; no Spartaci. There’s no change in the weather and nothing blowing in the wind (other than the miscellaneous jetsam propelled there by the latest hurricane sloshing through the South).

    My true hope is to be wrong; but I think the best we’ve got anymore is to each do our bit as visceral transceivers of love & light.

  18. calltoaccount

    PEOPLES PARTY CONVENTION This Sunday 8/30/2020 3-5PM Eastern
    Streaming lIve:
    Official Trailer:

    Dr. Cornel West
    Sen. Nina Turner
    Marianne Williamson
    Sen. Mike Gravel
    Danny Glover
    Chris Hedges
    Jimmy Dore
    Ryan Knight
    Amaya Wangeshi
    Nick Brana
    Chris Smalls
    and more.
    The People’s Convention will discuss plans to build the largest party in America in the next four years, including building local hubs and state parties, sending representatives to Congress and local office in 2022, and winning the presidency in 2024. We will discuss why we must finish the political revolution in a major new people’s party and how we can do it.
    The Convention will feature live speakers, recorded video montages and presentations, and a regional organizing breakout session.
    We will broadcast video compilations of hundreds of people across the country sharing why they need a people’s party and how they are organizing to bring it to life.
    At the conclusion of the Convention we will hold a historic vote on forming a major new corporate-free political party in America.
    Four years from now, at the People’s Convention of 2024, when The People’s Party stands poised to sweep Congress and the White House, we will look back and celebrate this gathering as the moment that our country turned the page on the Second Gilded Age. The moment that we took fate into our own hands. The moment that we gave rise to a new progressive era.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      “Four years from now, at the People’s Convention of 2024, when The People’s Party stands poised to sweep Congress and the White House, we will look back and celebrate this gathering as the moment that our country turned the page on the Second Gilded Age.”

      I hope you’re right. I hope we have until 2024 to start responding to the many external threats Humankind faces. It’s clear to me nothing ‘good’ will come of 2020, regardless of the outcome of the election.

    2. rob

      there is already the green party.
      wouldn’t it be nice if there were actually more than one progressive party, with enough support from the public to leave the democrats and republicans wasted on the side of the road.

      But as far as I am concerned, if people were to think people’s party.. at least they would be thinking alternative from the duopoly.
      And of course, were any third party to get popular, in any way… it would be the driving purpose of the duopoly to co-opt the leadership and make it “one of theirs”…. like the libertarian party.

      Jp morgan syndicate @ 100 years ago…. had a foot in every camp… republican,democrat,socialist/communist, white supremacists,and later the fascists.
      By giving funding, the monied power always has a way in to control fledgling and established political parties alike.Its smart business.

  19. carbpow

    This may be a radical thought to most but in my devious mind I hope all incumbents of both parties and Trump are reelected. The majority of people have not been injured enough yet to demand true change. Sometimes it takes great hurt to cause great change.

  20. Karl Burger

    I’d say that the day of conflict is coming. Resistance I’m not so sure. The 60s resistance was pretty feeble and the war that we were supposed to end with our “Days of Rage” dragged on until the Vietnamese finally won a military victory, forcing us to flee in total disgrace. Remember the last US choppers clearing out off the embassy roof as the triumphant NVA and VC rolled into Saigon? Or recall the day the Sandinista citizen commanders (many of them women) rolled into Managua after defeating the Somoza regime, the Contra thugs and the whole miserable collection of U.S. killers? The unbreakable will of the Venezuelan people in the face of implacable evil, the immeasurable suffering of illicit sanctions, and blatant theft of national treasure. That is true resistance, bathed in blood and forged in the deaths of the defenders.

    You say you want a revolution? You ready to die for it? I seriously doubt it. But go ahead – surprise me.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I share your assessment of the effectiveness of the 1960s movements in the US. But I wonder at your notion that one need to be willing to die for a revolution. I prefer GEN Patton’s admonishment to his soldiers:
      “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Just to be sure — this isn’t the Green Party — right? I don’t think I could stomach watching another Green Party convention.

  21. Susan the other

    The best, least destructive, revolution we could possibly achieve for establishing equality and environmental justice would be much simpler than storming the Bastille. It would be a monetary revolution. A Modern Money Revolution. I think it is well underway, but I don’t want to jinx it. In the interim, which might be long, we are stuck with a legislature that is the quintessential “sack of potatoes” Marx joked about. Congress is indeed a joke. It might not be a bad idea to devise some coalition of states to form regional treasuries to fund sustainable progress in spite of our morbidly corrupt “representatives” – that would be revolutionary as well. In the sense that we finally just go “Oh god, it isn’t worth even bothering with these guys; it’s pointless.”

  22. Edward

    What is the alternative to voting for a corrupt, duplicitous Democratic party whose leadership is actively hostile to the left? I would say supporting a third party, which hasn’t really happened yet. If the Democratic party establishment and their behind-the-scenes backers don’t offer to share some power with the left, though, I think frustrated leftists are going to consider this alternative more seriously. The bottom line is both parties risk their own demise with their terrible policies. What does it take before a political party self-destructs?

  23. Paul P

    “An organized propaganda apparatus is needed to promote the left agenda.”


    Even educated people of liberal spirit are ignorant of the details of kleptocracy
    Yves mentions in her introduction. They are apolitical, too. Not members of a
    political club, not visiting their representatives at the local office regularly or at
    anytime, not reading about things that are everyday discussions on NC or some
    other source of critique. Some of these people may attend a demonstration, but then
    go home to an apolitical existence, whose main public participation is voting. Not
    public citizens of the Ralph Nader definition.

    During Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security, the AFL-CIO website had a “Social Security” button on its face page. After privatization got defeated–thanks, in good part
    to Monica Lewinsky (who should be on Mount Rushmore)–the AFL-CIO took Social
    Security off the face page of its website. To get to Social Security, you now had to click
    on “Retirement” where you would find Social Security among other retirement items.

    Clicking on Social Security in its new placement under “Retirement” and the first thing that came up was an speech by Obama supportive of Social Security. This came up after he had appointed the Simpson-Bowles Commission, aka, the Cat Food Commission, whose
    goal was to cut entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare.

    That Obama attempted to cut Social Security with his Cat Food Commission and, as readers here know, with a chained CPI definition of the cost of living bump, is not generally known … or reacted to, if known.

    Bernie put Medicare for All, free college and post high school vocational training, and other
    items on the agenda. But no neighborhood echochamber is carrying the effort forward.

    Now, thanks to the Democratic Convention, we know Biden found love after his wife died.
    But, no mantra that Trump wants to cut and eliminate Social Security and Medicare. People don’t generally know that or that Biden is no defender of these programs.

    Ask them. I do.

  24. Billy

    The simplest, safest, easiest and most effective resistance would be withdraw your cash from the bank and refuse to pay bills and taxes.

    1. tegnost

      This is a finance blog, and recommending unsound financial practices will get you banned faster than being just generally annoying

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        It is not an “unsound practice”. It’s breathtakingly stupid.

        Since there’s no mass movement, it’s a fast track to having your assets garnished, having a terribly credit report (= unemployable) and bankruptcy. This is the financial equivalent of setting yourself on fire. And there’s only one case in history I can recall of all the self-immolations that made any difference, the guy who wound up kicking off Arab Spring…which in even the intermediate run changed nothing.

        1. periol

          So far, we’ve absorbed the ever-growing number of homeless people who are living the financial horror you describe. Who really knows if the system can keep absorbing them? But I have had thoughts in the past that our homeless crisis could be likened to a mass movement of sorts, even if it’s the opposite of organized. There are more and more people setting up tents – there’s a semi-permanence that leads to that kind of decision.

          For better or worse, I made the decision to financially set myself on fire in 2008. Would not change that decision if I could, nor will I go back. It may have been and may still be breathtakingly stupid, but I do think the only way we could break the system would be for this idea to become a mass movement. Only way it becomes a mass movement is one person at a time.

          That said, I would never recommend this path to anyone else, unless they were ready. An easy path with little resistance it is not.

          p.s. Wasn’t there a famous self-immolation by a Vietnamese monk in the 60s that made an impact?

          1. JBird4049

            Yes. I think Life Magazine had a full spread. Erie seeing someone in a lotus position while on fire calmly as can be. I think that there were a number of monks who immolated themselves.

  25. Tom Bradford

    Watching from outside the US sink into civil nightmare I see some very nasty echoes to the rise of Hitler in 1930’s Germany. Flu pandemic (tick), Great Depression (tick), demonising minorities (tick), “Make Germany Great Again” (tick), Rallies whipping up hysteria (with light shows/fireworks a’la Nurenberg) (tick), militarised police-force let loose on opposition (tick), stretching and then ignoring the Constitution (tick), debasing truth (tick), cult of personality (tick).

    Yes the 1918-20 flue pandemic (and a lost war) was a decade earlier but it left its scars in public distrust of the ‘establishment’ Hitler stood to overthrow, and the Great Depression of the 1920’s left an impoverished, barely surviving, hopeless mass he could recruit from by providing scapegoats and promising stability and hope. From that mass came a hard-core minority which was willing to use violence to intimidate the majority into remaining cowed and with their fingers crossed until it was too late, and that’s all you need.

    I fear the polite, intellectual calls for ‘resistance’ like this article is just an exercise in finger-crossing and genuinely fear for the US.

  26. KLG

    Coca-Cola announces major layoffs.

    Stock price goes up 3.3%.

    How much did denizens of the C-Suite and recent retirees from same make today?

  27. Chris

    Looking around… I think we all will live to see another US revolution, and soon. But it will start by chance and happen by accident. All it takes is one of these natural disasters to coincide with a large homeless population, and a number of recently downsized employees with no options. The chaos starts there and ends with something no one will be able to control.

    Once someone runs to the head of a big enough mob that’s been unleashed by those forces, you’ll have a revolutionary force and their leader. Or leaders. It seems like anything like that will take lessons from Al-Qaeda now and have decentralized command and control.

    1. JBird4049

      Every six months the military used to excitedly announce to have killed the number three or two man in in al-Qaeda. Like clockwork. It never seemed to have done anything for good or bad. I guess like with most organizations set up along military lines, it was expected to happen and planned for.

      I have noticed that the protesters have gradually set up in a decentralized way. It had been organized with a clear leadership although I suspect it was like being first among a clowder of cats. It seems to have started sometime after the Battle of Seattle. Certainly after Occupy Wall Street as the very first thing the police do to is go after the supposed leadership.

      It is disturbing to see that the protest movement already organized rather a resistance movement instead of a protest movement. The police and the national security do tend to treat them like terrorists. Maybe I should not surprised.

      1. ambrit

        Don’t be too surprised. It is basic cause and effect. If a police force treats a population like an occupied populace, expect those people to react like an occupied populace would, with resistance.
        I am seriously expecting any time now to read about someone using IEDs against police vehicles in America.

        1. rob

          me too.
          when someone figures out the can set a whole line of cops on fire with a flame thrower, of sorts… even if it takes a few people to drench the cops shins with gasoline… and someone else light it up… that gear and those shields the cops are holding won’t do anything for the cops except be impossible to get off quickly… and being all close together like they are; will make that tactic go bye bye..
          people get creative after a while.

          1. Baldanders

            Expect a return to police “sharpshooters”(it was common in the 60s-70s) on rooftops in protest areas if folks get that “creative”…along with anyone with anything that looks like a flamethrower getting shot without hesitation, and public support for it.

    1. JBird4049

      What about the voting patterns? Which of the duopoly’s pre-selected candidates should I vote for? Should I vote for roughly 8 minor parties, none of whom besides the Greens, haven’t a chance in Perdition in getting any office unless it’s some podunk village in West Nowheresville? Perhaps half a step up from Bodie, Nevada? The problem is that probably a majority of people are locked out of power while the wealthy and their patrons get even more wealthy. Everyone outside this relatively small group is welcome to go away and die on the streets in the open air.

      I think most of us here see that soon, maybe next month, next year, or just perhaps during the next presidential elections there will so many people without of shelter or food. Just what will be our Bastille or Winter Palace nobody knows?

      Just be aware that the Russian Revolution started IIRC as a wildcat strike/protest by the women working at a St. Petersburg arms factory. They were unhappy about the poor conditions including the lack of food. They were not intended to overthrow the Romanovs. They just wanted to eat. If they could get the male members of their families back from a losing fight, they would have that also. Revolution was not the goal. It just started the process.

  28. Wukchumni

    It’s all a blur of past revolutions and collapses, QE in the form of assignats which led to the French Revolution, armed forces pretty much defeated afar, but the fatherland was pretty much untouched, as in post WW1 Germany, climate change doing in the magnificent Anasazi culture of Chaco Canyon, inept leadership-as in French politics of the late 1930’s, and so on.

  29. Baldanders

    Dear me, all the cities in chaos and flames are solidly Democratically controlled, but somehow more Democratic politicians in power will bring Social Justice and peace?

    Just like more HIV cures AIDS.

    “The Simpsons” hit the nail on the head almost 30 years back with banners for both parties–Democrats–“We can’t govern.” Republicans–“We’re just plain evil.”

    If anyone else thinks Dems have the even the slightest notion of how economics work, please explain how Democratic-led Marijuana legislation led to black markets bigger than the legal markets in every case. Either they’re dumb as bricks or they like corruption. Take your choice.

    1. rob

      obviously, they like corruption.
      the only reason legalization of pot has contributed to “black markets”, is because they are trying to over regulate markets so the wall street crowd and people with deep enough pockets for campaign contributions, can jump in front and center…. with an eye on controlling the WHOLE market…
      And exactly how , is what they are trying to figure out…
      Rather than actually just allowing it to be legal… and letting people do what they will…
      If they wanted to make it work out, they would just let a voluntary regulatory and testing agency be created so that the growers who wanted the certifications and “science” of their product to be able to be marketed as such… which would allow high end to market itself as such… and all else can do whatever they want.
      Like if there was an actual meaning of the claim of “organic” at the supermarket… where sellers could pass the test, and sell for the money to people willing to pay…. but that wouldn’t stop everything else that wasn’t “organic” ,from being sold.

      But you know, none of the places where weed is legal, is regretting the move. They are making a lot of money, and they are saving a lot of money. Even though to the end user; different regulations wouldn’t force “black market” prices. to be lower. but really… if it is legal… is there a “black market”…. once something is legal… and it grows wild… or in your back yard…. they just call that “free”.
      People need to forget this whole “black market” paradigm.
      Maybe they just ought to think of a farmers market.

      1. Baldanders

        Hopefully, the current legalization schemes will drop insanely high taxes once federal legalization happens (a when, not if, IMO) and some competition between legal weed starts happening. But I’m not holding my breath.

        I have a lot of sympathy for the “farmer’s market” approach you outlined, but the inherent opportunities for graft and corruption of the current set-ups worry me at lot.

        I tend to think “sunlight is the best disinfectant” and we are better off with commerce being mostly conducted in a legal way. The USA is certainly better off with alcohol being a legally traded product than it was when moonshine was common.

        There is a third option—pols are convinced that tax revenues are higher under extremely high taxation than they ever would be under a lower tax regime, but if something like 60% of the market is untaxed, I don’t understand how dropping taxes by 30-40% doesn’t make sense.

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