Sunday, September 1, 2013

Robert Jensen on US American Democracy

I agree with many of the sentiments here and think they apply to Canada as well.
Let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that there is nothing democratic about the contemporary United States, nor am I suggesting that we live in a fascist state. It’s important to avoid rhetorical overkill. Rather, I’m simply recognizing that, counter to the mythology of the United States, no existing nation-state is a democracy in any deep sense. The question is, to what degree are the features of a society—not just the formal political process, but the economic and social structures as well—truly democratic. Formulating the question that way opens up a more meaningful discussion of those realities.
Worth the read.


Alison said...

A good companion piece :
8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance

A particularly Canadian moment in the article :
"schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner"

thwap said...


I read that. Excellent.

Another loss though, is the organization of work.

Young people aren't farmers. They're not manufacturers.

But brainwashing the young is a big accomplishment for the system.

Alison said...

Re your bid for organizing

Young people vs corp money in Boulder Colorado.

The combination of volunteers plus smart net organizing vid seems crucial.

thwap said...


I've got my fingers crossed for them.

The complainer in me says that they're dealing with symptoms in one small area.

But these initiatives are important. As was the effort to save Clayoquot Sound.

Then another company bought the logging firm that signed the accord with the environmentalists and they were at square one again.

It should be OUR governments, controlled by the majority. Our businesses should likewise be run democratically.

Or else we're constantly dealing with symptoms.

But I'm not doing anything and those people are.

Alison said...

All politics is local, honeybun, ie where you live, and no battle is won forever.
Reason for massive US anti-war protests in the 60s? The draft - where they lived.
That there is too big a gap between one blogger and bringing down Harper and changing the way gov works is not your failure - it's logistics.
Something will happen in your nabe and having already thought through how to organize effectively, you'll be on it.
And that will start something other people will learn from by participating in the experience. It's what we all have to do now.

thwap said...


I'm not denying the worth of what they're doing.

But until we steel ourselves to strike at the heart of our enemies, we'll just be engaged in the sisyphean task of forever cleaning-up their messes, or trying to prevent the fires they want to start.

And I would think that a stolen election is "local" to all of us. All of us who have spent two years complaining about it and asking that something be done.

I had no intention of doing this as one blogger. I was trying to get other people, other organizations to listen and work with me. We all work together.

Again; all the people who think that what harper did and is doing is a travesty; ... it turns out, when you reach out to them in the 3-d world, they're not there.

Or they are there, but they reply to your emails that they're too busy posting links from rabble, or straightgoods or somewhere else, to their facebook page, to be able to help you.