Progressive Calendar 11.08.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 15:20:58 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.08.10

1. Peace walk     11.08 6pm RiverFalls WI
2. War/warriors   11.08 6:30pm
3. Divest Israel  11.08 6:30pm Northfield MN

4. Save N High    11.09 4:30pm
5. FBI repression 11.09 5pm
6. NARAL          11.09 5:30pm
7. 9-11           11.09 6:30pm
8. Salon/poetry   11.09 6:30pm
9. Cuban 5 art    11.09 7pm
10. Bullied/Mpls  11.09 7pm

11. Charles Sullivan - Capitalism and the war on public education
12. Chris Hedges     - A recipe for fascism

--------1 of 12--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 11.08 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------2 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: War/warriors 11.08 6:30pm

Potluck and Program: "Peacemaker's Predicament: Opposing War while
Affirming Warriors"

Monday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 1600 County
Road B, Roseville. Lowell Erdahl, Bishop Emeritus of the St. Paul Area
Synod of the ELCA, will lead a discussion on whether it's possible to be
supportive of warriors while still sending a clear message of opposition
to war. Open to the public. Bring a dish to pass. Sponsored by: Every
Church a Peace Church (ECAPC). Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: 651-631-2510

--------3 of 12--------

From: Rowley Clan <rowleyclan [at]>
Subject: Divest Israel 11.08 6:30pm Northfield MN

6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8: "Why and How Minnesota Should Divest from
Israel." Library, 210 Washington, Northfield. Minnesota Break the Bonds.
(507) 645-7660.

--------4 of 12--------

From: lydiahowell [at]
Subject: Save N High 11.09 4:30pm

4:30pm Rally outyside/5:30pm Protest School Board Mtg inside
MEL REEVES: Stand with North High students to save their school

by Mel Reeves
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 11/3/2010
An open letter to the community

As most folks know by now, there has been a recommendation to close
Minneapolis North High School. However, 265 young people have taken a
stand and have committed to fight to keep their school open, and a few
hundred community folks and teachers have stood with them and, in some
cases, stood in for them.

If these children have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for
themselves, then who are the rest of us not to stand with them?

What's important for the community to know is that North High has not
closed, and despite rumors about what "they" are talking about doing,
there has only been a recommendation. So, many of your fellow community
members have rolled up their sleeves and begun to organize protests and
other tactics and strategies to ensure the school stays open.

Some say we ought to just give up, and that the closing of North is a
bygone fact. Pessimism and fatalism are perfectly understandable,
considering the David and Goliath relationship we have with the "system,"
with the community usually playing the role of David. We have a history of
bad and sometimes racist policies shoved down our throats.

So it makes sense that some folks are apathetic. But Biblical scholars
would tell you that the Davids win every once in a while, and they don't
win by not fighting!

In fact, it appears that it was the protest by more than a few hundred
parents, students and community members that caused the board to take a
more conciliatory approach and agree in principle to work with the
community on a proposal that would enable North to stay open . For the
record, the protesters did so in a very dignified and disciplined manner.

What may pass for undignified and even disingenuous conduct are
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson's claims about why she suggested that
North be closed.

While the superintendent said that North's enrollment was too low to
sustain it, it was the Minneapolis School Board that turned North into a
relatively small 500-student school.

It was the school board that failed to promote North while taking away its
more attractive programs. And there are persistent rumors that some
parents were in fact discouraged from sending their kids to North.

The superintendent also failed to inform folks that North High, unlike the
other schools, did not have a "home zone." That means that even kids
living across the street from North were not required to go there, but
were assigned to Henry instead.

It's also important to note that nearly half of the students at North are
in the high-achieving International Baccalaureate Program. Despite rumors
to the contrary, the vast majority of the 265 are not failing; only five
to 10 percent of the students are struggling academically.

And while there has been much fanfare about bringing in the Noble Charter
Schools, they are not even close to the panacea they promise to be.

According to a national study - the CREDO study conducted by Stanford
University - only 17 percent of all charter schools actually exceed the
performance of the public schools they replaced, and 37 percent performed
worse than the public schools they replaced . The other 46 percent
remained at the same level as the public schools.

Sports teams that find themselves behind late in the game spend little to
no time looking back. Instead they focus on the task at hand - winning the
game - which in our case is reaching the goal of keeping North High open.
In the same sense, pointing fingers at parents, the community and the
students at this point does no one any good. Either help us win or stay on
the bench (preferably quietly).

Historically, finger-pointing and naysaying only encourages our enemies,
as evidenced by the Star Tribune's article entitled "Loving North from

The story, written with the help of Strib hatchet man Steve Brandt, is a
prevarication and a not-so-subtle slap in the face that somehow blames the
Northside community for the failure of the Minneapolis School Board.

And make no mistake, it has always been protest in some form or other that
has helped win struggles in the past. Those who are criticizing the
protests only prove that they are poor students of history.

History indicates that all of the progress that has been made by Black
folks in this country, as well as others, have indeed come ultimately
through some form of protest. I am reminded of the words of Frederick
Douglass, who said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

They have closed Lincoln, Willard, and too many other schools. Shouldn't
we say, "No more"? Join the young people who have said they want to be
educated in this city, by this school board, at this high school. History
should record that the Northside community stood with them.

Mel Reeves is a longtime political and community activist who lives in
Minneapolis. He welcomes reader responses to mellaneous19 [at]

--------5 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: FBI repression 11.09 5pm

"Repressing Revolution at Home and Abroad"

Twin Cities area anti-war activists recently raided and subpoenaed by the
FBI to a grand jury share their experiences.  National Lawyers Guild
members describe some of the context of the raids and the impending grand
jury in Chicago. (October, 2010)

SPNN 15 viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)
Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am,
after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 11/9 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 11/10, 10am
"Repressing Revolution at Home and Abroad"

--------6 of 12--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: NARAL 11.09 5:30pm

November 9: NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Special Evening to Celebrate the
accomplishments of two very special women. The Jane Hodgson Reproductive
Freedom Award will go to Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and the
Volunteer of the Year Award will go to Ella Vincent. 5:30 - 7:30 PM in St.
Paul. RSVP.

--------7 of 12--------

From: shirley johnson <skjohnsn [at]>
Subject: 9-11 11.09 6:30pm

The next meeting of Minnesota 9/11 Truth will be held at the Rondo
Community Library, southwest corner of University Avenue and Dale Street,
on Tuesday November 9 at 6:30 pm.

We will have a speaker who will make a short presentation and lead a
discussion about the limited evidence of Israeli involvement in, or prior
knowledge of, the events of 9/11. That topic has been discussed
extensively elsewhere in the world, but seldom in America.  Guaranteed to
be interesting and informative.

Two Rules and one bit of Advice:
 1) When we have speakers on specific topics, let's try to stay on topic
and schedule separate meetings for separate issues.
 2) Courteously make your statement or question and then give everyone
else an opportunity to speak.  Diatribes do not help anyone.

The advice is, Be slow to judge others.  Millions of people around the
world jumped to conclusions about who did what on 9/11 when there was
virtually no evidence to consider.  Even the official 9/11 Commission
which had millions of dollars for staff support and years to spend
produced a report we now know is riddled with errors.  While we have all
rushed to judge others from time to time, this is especially bad when
covert operations are involved since they are designed to fool those who
rush to judgment.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't need to
worry about answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

--------8 of 12--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon/poetry 11.09 6:30pm

The salon for this Tuesday will be reading from Mary Oliver's poems.  She
does have a new book out, SWAN, but we can read from others, too.  Nice
time of year to read Mary Oliver.

The last Tuesday of the month we will be discussing our Nov. book, A
Town Called Alice, by Nevil Shute.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN
Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------9 of 12--------

From: Anya Achtenberg <aachtenberg [at]>
Subject: Cuban 5 art 11.09 7pm

The paintings, their content, technique and meaning
Tuesday, November 9, 7p
Homewood Studios, 2400 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, 612-587-0230

The gallery is open Tuesday, 5p to 9p; Wednesday and Friday, 1p to 6p;
Saturday, 1p to 4p. Viewing is also available by appointment; contact
612-721-8440 or MNCuba [at] The exhibition will run November 4 - 30.

--------10 of 12--------

From: Barry <bshillin [at]>
Subject: Bullied in Mpls 11.09 7pm

Free Screening of Bullied in Minneapolis
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 7 p.m.
Central Lutheran Church, 333 S 12th St, Minneapolis, MN

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)†will present a free Minneapolis
screening of the new Teaching Tolerance film "Bullied: A Student, a School
and a Case that Made History". SPLC Founder Morris Dees, President Richard
Cohen and Jamie Nabozny, the student portrayed in the film, will speak at
the event.

Too many children have taken their own lives after enduring relentless
bullying. In the Anoka-Hennepin school district near Minneapolis, for
example, several LGBT students have committed suicide.

Tickets are free, but seats should be reserved in advance. Please reserve
early as seating is limited.

https ://secure. splcenter .org/events/bullied/ minnesota ? ondntsrc =

Bullied chronicles the powerful story of a student from Ashland, Wis.,
Jamie Nabozny, who stood up to his anti-gay tormentors with a federal
lawsuit. The suit led to a landmark decision that held school officials
accountable for not stopping anti-gay bullying.

Despite that ruling, anti- LGBT bullying continues to be a severe problem.
Today, more than 80% of LGBT students report being harassed at school -
yet schools across the country are still unwilling or afraid to address
anti-gay bullying openly.

We know that nothing will change - and thousands more children will
continue to suffer violence and humiliation - until schools confront the
problem head-on. The Southern Poverty Law Center urges school districts to
adopt policies that specifically address bullying based on sexual
orientation and gender expression.

All children are entitled to a safe learning environment - one free from
harassment and abuse.

--------11 of 12--------

Capitalism and the War on Public Education
by Charles Sullivan
November 8th, 2010
Dissident Voice

My own experience indicates that the average college student is more
concerned with grades than with learning. Therefore grades are more of an
impediment to learning than they are an accurate measure of it. Scoring
well on tests is not an indication of comprehension of complex ideas or
the thought processes behind them.  Nevertheless, test scores are the Holy
Grail of the school reform movement that is sweeping the country as part
of a political agenda to privatize the public domain and put it under
absolute corporate control.

Right-wing politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties are
wrecking what remains of the public education system. They have been doing
so for decades. Some of them are castigating it as socialist. Under the
guise of reform, a movement is afoot to under fund public schools and
replace them with "for profit" charter schools. Firing qualified teachers
and busting teachers unions is part of the process. College and University
education is being priced out of the reach of working class people. We are
witnessing the death of the liberal arts. The war on public education is a
front in the broader class war that pits workers against owners and the
working class against the wealthy.

There is a widespread notion among neoconservatives, neoliberals, and
civil libertarians that government is the enemy of the people. Many people
believe that government is incapable of serving the public, that it is
incapable of doing good. I am not one of those people. After all,
government grudgingly provided social security, the minimum wage, Medicare
and Medicaid, and it restrained corporate power. This came as a response
to social unrest engendered by social agitators, but it was not enough.
Government that serves the needs of the people rather than corporate
interests is good government.

The problem isn't big government; it is the merging of corporations and
big business with government and the philosophical system that engenders
it: the market fundamentalism spawned by rapacious capitalism. When
corporations, which are motivated by profit rather than regard for the
public welfare, merge with government, people are removed from the
equation and they are replaced by capital. Thus money is equated with free
speech and corporations are given the rights of human beings without the
social and moral responsibility of citizenship. This is what capitalism
does. Free markets are not an expression of democracy; they are a
manifestation of corporate fascism and belligerence.

Ideally, from a purely capitalist perspective, corporations socialize
costs and privatize profits. We saw this policy in action with the public
bailout of banks deemed too big to fail. There will be more bailouts, many
more, to come. And there will be millions more foreclosures that leave
people living in the streets.

Earlier in American history capitalism produced fabulous wealth for a few
at the expense of the many through the institution of chattel slavery.
Ever since the emancipation of the slaves, multinational corporations and
the captains of industry have sought to recapture those glorious days of
prosperity when plantations dotted southern landscapes and the crack of
bull whips and screams of agony rented the air. To the capitalist ear,
that was the sound of fortunes being made via free labor, socialized cost,
and privatized profit. The high priests of capital on Wall Street are
pining for a return to the plantation.

Like the raw materials of industry, workers are not only dehumanized and
alienated from their work and from one another; they are commodified and
exploited like chattel. Because workers do not own the means of
production, they are essentially the leased property of their employers,
who use them up, wear them out, and discard them on the scrap heap to rust
and disintegrate.

This explains why much of the US manufacturing base was sent elsewhere,
and with it, US jobs. The purpose of off-shoring jobs was not to provide
workers anywhere in the world with good working conditions or with living
wages and health care; it was to maximize corporate profits any way
possible and to allow corporations carte blanche to abuse the work force
and to pollute the earth with impunity.

It was Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, aided by the toadies in Congress,
who brokered the free trade agreements known as NAFTA and GATT. These
agreements garnered strong bipartisan support. As a result, US
manufacturing jobs left the country, global wages fell, and corporate
profits soared. Inner cities became sites of depravity and hopelessness,
testifying to the rapacious legacy of capitalism. Those jobs are never
coming back.

The effects of market fundamentalism are profound and global in extent.
Locally owned small businesses were forced out, behemoths like Wal-Mart
and Target, with their slick advertising campaigns and corporate bribes,
moved in. Diversity was exchanged for monoculture and monopoly. The
Walton's took in billions of dollars, but workers at every point of the
supply chain suffer both in the US and in sweatshops around the globe. A
few people are getting fabulously wealthy while the people who produce the
products we buy so cheaply are exploited, the majority of them forced to
live in squalor and poverty. None of the blue collar employees at Wal-Wart
and Target earns a living wage.

According to the dictums of capitalism, profits matter but people do not.
To understand what is being done to working people, one has to examine the
entire production and distribution chain, not just the terminus at
Wal-Mart and Target. Low prices at big box retail exact a high social and
environmental cost. These are concealed from public view.

The war on public education is part of a broader capitalist agenda to
produce a global plantation of private owners and worker drones. Their
purpose is not to produce an educated citizenry, but to deliver an
obedient and cheap work force to the corporate plantation. Community
colleges are enthusiastically fulfilling this role.

Virtually every aspect of our culture, including its financial
institutions, its media and its education system, as well as organized
religion, has fallen under corporate control. None of these institutions
functions in the public interest anymore. Market fundamentalism, the idea
that deregulated markets are the arbiter of all values, not Christianity,
or Islam or the philosophy of Thoreau and Emerson, is America's real
religion. The shopping mall is the holy shrine of the gluttonous
consumption demanded by capitalism. This provides an example of people
serving the economy rather than the economy serving the people.

In this inhospitable landscape of consumerism and greed, the idea of
democracy remains a utopian dream rooted in socialism and class struggle,
a philosophy we have been programed to despise, just as we were
conditioned to loathe our own emancipation by falsely equating market
fundamentalism and capitalism with democracy. These institutions of usury
and greed find their grotesque expression through the corporation and the
corporate state. Government is an antagonist to freedom when corporations
infest the hallowed halls of our so called democratic institutions. They
are a cancer that erodes hope and eats away at human dignity.

Market fundamentalists and their servants in government are in control of
virtually all of the institutions of society. They hate liberals and
progressives because liberals, real liberals, not the kind associated with
the Democratic Party, but the kind related to socialism and communism,
those who brought us the eight-hour work day and the weekend, protect
ordinary working class citizens from the naked greed of the corporation.
It protects them from the wealthy sociopaths who operate in secrecy behind
corporate masks. The extremists cringe behind the camouflage of the
corporation like the public servants that once donned white hoods and
burned crosses in the night in order to terrorize black folk and to keep
them in their place.

These were the people: racists, sexists, homophobes, and white
supremacists one and all, who were employed as newspaper editors, court
clerks, school teachers, corporate executives, and sheriffs by day. Many
of them were church deacons and some were ministers. But no facade of
respectability can conceal their black hearts or the venomous hatred they
harbor for coal miners, cleaning ladies, environmental sanitarians, taxi
drivers, liberal arts professors, and the department store employees they
so coldly regard as chattel.

If the truth be told, the plutocrats who are running the country so loathe
and detest working people, and they feel so superior to them, that they do
not want us to have anything, least of all, autonomy. Their goal, both
stated and unstated, is to eradicate the last vestige of liberalism from
the earth.  They may succeed in driving us underground for a while, but
they will never succeed in eliminating traditional liberalism. Extremism
always breeds resistance.

Empowerment should never be conferred by others; it is the right of every
individual to grant oneself power. Nor is it attained through the vote.
Replacing one capitalist with another does not offer progressive change;
it perpetuates the established orthodoxy. We must change the dominant
paradigm that drives social, economic, and political philosophy.
Empowerment comes from organized resistance to tyranny. It can only be
attained through class struggle. If the vote is ever to become meaningful,
democracy must first be won in the streets. We, the people, must be
willing to fight and die for it.

Charles Sullivan is a naturalist and free-lance writer residing in the
hinterlands of geopolitical West Virginia.

--------12 of 12--------

A Recipe for Fascism
by Chris Hedges
Published on Monday, November 8, 2010 by
Common Dreams

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended
into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of
ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global
economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly
assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly
bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally
driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning
Rasmussen Reports as "mainstream Americans" now view the tea party
favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is
passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring
Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job
creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the
financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who
view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down,
with the odd exception of the military and the security state,
accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate
state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings
and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They
sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and
the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that
money - hundreds of billions of dollars - is funneled upward from the U.S.
Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing
passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own
enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global
warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are
vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos
and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of
control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by
right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency.
This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they
have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult
common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has
lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes
placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands
the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters.
And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire
spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of
our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the
criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our
political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy,
embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years
of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to
justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing
capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and
educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional
liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good.
All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the

The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left
us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were
the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the
powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as
well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the
American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was
the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our
manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent
underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or

The "inevitability" of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the
country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of
Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and
house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class
argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in "The Collapse
of Globalization" points out, "the role of charity should be to fill the
cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good
hasn't yet focused or can't. Dealing with poverty is the basic
responsibility of the state." But the state no longer has the interest or
the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is
Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by
citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades.
They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The
propagandists of globalization - from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama
to Thomas Friedman - do for globalization and the free market what
Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite
interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who
alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth
on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed
as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these
propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in
globalization's empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead
system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function
only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a
casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a
solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored
by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and
economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies
of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart's gross annual revenues of $250
billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political
theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and
impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised
and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt
liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea
party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their
puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims
to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the
interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism.
Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the
market decide. Greed is good.

The old left - the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the
Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications
such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses - would have known what to do with
the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed
and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on
the eve of World War I. This was the time when socialism was not a dirty
word in America but a promise embraced by millions who hoped to create a
world where everyone would have a chance. The steady destruction of the
movements of the left was carefully orchestrated. They fell victim to a
mixture of sophisticated forms of government and corporate propaganda,
especially during the witch hunts for communists, and overt repression.
Their disappearance means we lack the vocabulary of class warfare and the
militant organizations, including an independent press, with which to
fight back.

We believe, like the Spaniards in the 16th century who pillaged Latin
America for gold and silver, that money, usually the product of making and
trading goods, is real. The Spanish empire, once the money ran out and it
no longer produced anything worth buying, went up in smoke. Today's use in
the United States of some $12 trillion in government funds to refinance
our class of speculators is a similar form of self-deception. Money
markets are still treated, despite the collapse of the global economy, as
a legitimate source of trade and wealth creation. The destructive power of
financial bubbles, as well as the danger of an unchecked elite, was
discovered in ancient Athens and detailed more than a century ago in Emile
Zola's novel "Money." But we seem determined to find out this
self-destructive force for ourselves. And when the second collapse comes,
as come it must, we will revisit wrenching economic and political
tragedies forgotten in the mists of history.

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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