Endlessly reward elite failure, endlessly impose discipline on the vulnerable victims of that failure. The old games are the best games.
Today, Rep. Eric Cantor (VA), the chief deputy Republican whip in the House, unveiled his proposal to stimulate the economy. His legislation — the so-called Middle Class Job Protection Act — does nothing for the middle class. Instead, it reduces the corporate tax rate by 25 percent.
At a press conference today unveiling the stimulus proposal, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) justified the conservative plan to give tax breaks to corporations — instead of working Americans — by arguing that people actually like working long hours: I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.
Bachmann’s version of the American Dream is apparently working two full-time jobs and struggling to get by…. Bachmann may be taking her cues from her bosom buddy President Bush, who on Feb. 4, 2005, told a divorced mother of three: “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”
Almost the whole secret of peer-to-peer Netroots democratization in my view has been that it has lowered the personal costs (in terms of time, effort, money) of education, agitation, and organizing enough to facilitate citizen participation even by a deeply precarious, harassed, exhausted, distracted, terrorized citizenry.
The generosity, competence, commonsense, creativity, intelligence, sense of justice, and progressive sentiment have always been there in the American people as in great majorities of people all over the world, all just waiting to be tapped in the service of shared solutions to problems and proliferating lifeway diversity, planetary progress to peace and justice... but always beaten down by the lies, the bad faith, the guns, the money of fearful greedy parochial reactionary incumbent interests.
Against the politics of incumbency that would control the abundant diversity of human enterprise through socially engineered precarity and discipline, progressives must advocate for a basic income guarantee that secures basic needs, ends our fear for our lives and so opens our energies to the project of freedom, and, quite literally, subsidizes the practices of peer-to-peer democratization, problem solving, and creative expressivity which represent as much as anything else for our generation the very substance of freedom itself.