It's beyond me that I wasn't able to see that complaining about "you don't work, you don't eat", made about as much sense as complaining that, oh, say, in Bushitler's Amerikkka we don't have any freedom. You jump off a building and Rumsfeld's Gravity Beam is going to smash you into Cheney's Pavement, man. NO FREEDOM!!
Anyway, you can read some of Albert's latest Z Magazine thoughts here, complete with accompanying Ted Rall cartoon.
Criticizing Democrats for not running campaigns that address issues honestly is like criticizing owners of corporations for seeking profits or criticizing hit men for killing people. Democrats are just being who they are. Their behavior is continually reinforced by the institutional pressures of the positions they have navigated and now occupy and we should not expect it to change. Meanwhile, Republicans do whatever they want with plenty of funding, unlimited media visibility, and with no qualms whatsoever.
The upshot is that we need much more than a better Democratic candidate. We need a new electoral system and a new base of support for candidates, as well as new candidates. But even a good candidate—Nader, Cobb, Kucinich, Sharpton—is barely listened to. Why?
The U.S. population has a great mental failing. It is greater than its ignorance, which on many counts is profound. It is greater than its racism, which is often substantial. It is greater than its homophobia and sexism, which are substantial as well. This mental malady is that our population believes that nothing better than the corporate capitalist system is possible; that efforts at reform are largely fruitless—either these efforts are defeated or they are rapidly rolled back.
For those still mulling over the possibly venal mind-set of the U.S. population, try this thought experiment which I offered others while in Greece.
Imagine that the just completed presidential election was declared null and void. There is an overwhelming mandate for a new election to be held. Bush will run against someone new, Candidate Z, who puts forward an uncompromising program including:
universal health care
major moves toward ecological sustainability
withdrawal from Iraq
implementing international legality
replacing the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO with real internationalism
implementing effective affirmative action for gender, race, and class
redistributing wealth downward
establishing just wages
vastly improving work conditions
implementing structures for democratizing the political process
and on and on
The election campaign will last for six months. During that time, there will be a country-wide discussion/debate of all the issues and relevant facts in workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, and the media. Information will be fully presented and verified. Debates will be sustained and thorough. The election will then be held: Candidate Z vs. George W. Bush. Now add one more caveat. By some means or other everyone in the country is completely convinced that the winner will fully and successfully implement all campaign pledges. The whole program of either Bush or Z will be enacted, fully, successfully. And everyone believes and indeed is totally sure that we are going to get the list of changes above, or we are going to get four more years of Bush. How many people would vote in that case—only 60 percent; maybe 110 percent?
If you think the turnout be low and Bush would still win such an election then you are right to worry about the underlying psychology and morality of the U.S. population—and of all people everywhere, every when.
But if you think there would be a large turnout and Candidate Z would win in a landslide, then clearly the obstacle to people becoming activists is not that people don’t care, but that people doubt that their efforts can achieve much.
Albert is so darned shortsighted. Why didn't he add "abolishing death" and "repealing the second law of thermodynamics" to his list?
And, oh, yeah, hit men and profits. Pretty much the same thing, man.