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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,179

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Cancer is here to stay. Mend it, don't try to end it.

Got it.

You could substitute all kinds of ills for "free trade," or neo-liberalism. Disease. Violence. Greed. Fear. Hate. Ignorance.

Why would we not want to end those ills, any ills? Why the message of lost hope? It doesn't exactly motivate anyone to participate, to be active, to do anything but fearfully obey the overseers.

But then, that's the point.

How the European Union Turned Into a Neoliberal Nightmare

This is why the issue cannot be dumbed down to simplistic, ignorant, hateful xenophobia. It's a typical hallmark of neoliberalism, to divide social and economic issues, and keep the focus on social issues while keeping the economy in the hands of the 1%. It's dismaying, and, unfortunately not surprising, to see so many Americans from the supposed left supporting the neoliberal EU.

Some of us support a political revolution in the U.S. One major target of that revolution is the eradication of neoliberalism. To truly accomplish that, it's going to have to be a global effort. I don't know if leaving the EU is an effective step or not, but I know that it's not just about immigrants.

In the U.S., we've seen a season of great discontent. That's what's fueling the rise of Trump. Masses are angry. From the right, the rise of hate, the rise of fascism, is happening. From the left, it's a rise against neoliberalism. And neoliberalism is a cause of the anger from both sides.

For those who oppose Brexit...what alternative methods for abolishing neoliberalism are you suggesting? It seems like that might be a more productive conversation, rather than suddenly becoming a big supporter of the neoliberal EU.

Voting to leave the EU is a no-brainer for the Left. The European Union is remote, racist, imperialist, anti-worker and anti-democratic: It is run by, of, and for the super-rich and their corporations. A future outside austerity and other economic blunders rests on winning the struggle to exit the EU, removing us from its neoliberal politics and institutions. Corporate bureaucrats in Brussels working as agents of the big banks and transnationals’ now exert control over every aspect of our lives. Neoliberal policies and practices dominate the European Commission, European Parliament, European Central Bank, European Court of Justice and a compliant media legitimises the whole conquest. This has left the EU constitution as the only one in the world that enshrines neoliberal economics into its text. Therefore the EU is not—and never can be—either socialist or a democracy.

Against the left’s strategic case for exit is relentless blither and blather from the elitist liberal commentariat: the EU is a social-democratic haven that protects us from the nasty Tories is their litany and verse. This is an absurd fantasy: by design the EU is a corporatist, pro-capitalist establishment. Therefore, it strains credulity that the bulk of the Parliamentary Labour Party and a rump of the trade union movement believe in the myth of Social Europe. The late Bob Crow was bang on the money when he said: “social EU legislation, which supposedly leads to better working conditions, has not saved one job and is riddled with opt-outs for employers to largely ignore any perceived benefits they may bring to workers. But it is making zero-hour contracts and agency-working the norm while undermining collective bargaining and full-time, secure employment.”

The only thing that should remain is the truth: a social Europe was never part of the European Union super-state project. How could it be? The EU has always travelled on the “free trade” train alongside “free” movement of capital, business-austerity, flexible labour markets, low pay, privatisation of public services and the eradication of welfare states. These were not just random policy proscriptions, but specifically designed by ‘free-market’ fanatics. It was the deepening and integration of the EU project that allowed unelected policy makers, driven by the powerful EU corporate lobby, to circumvent and eradicate the social rights that were won by workers in the aftermath of World-War-Two. Creating democratic deficits in all the EU institutions and policy-making by unaccountable technocrats enabled and accelerated this process of dismantling rights. This arrangement ensured the neoliberal Holy Trinity of public spending cuts, privatisation and the removal of trade union rights could be enforced with little contestation.

Neoliberal logic is insidious and some trade union leaders in Britain seem bewildered by it all and continue to argue that some kind of utopian Social Europe exists, offering protection for workers in Britain. In reality the Social Chapter, while it potentially gave some extra legal protection on a few issues, was never much more than crumbs: a gesture to disguise the reality of the European Union as a bosses union. What protects workers in Britain is not the social rights from benevolent bureaucrats in Brussels, but our collective strength and ability to organise and take action.


I've pondered this question for some years.

I've observed "my" side, and I've seen many of the same knee-jerk reactions, the same repeating of slogans about issues, and, often, the same rationalizing process when a Democrat doesn't do what would be expected in support of an issue.

Part of my observation has been to note the constant mantra of media, and the dangers of right-wing radio and tv, while "my" side is just as dependent, and just as needy when it comes to needing someone on the airwaves to justify a position.

I note this from the outside, because I've never really tuned in to political talk radio/tv. I have, though, seen, here at DU from the very beginning, daily multiple threads about what talking heads on tv or radio say.

I have noted that, at DU, it's perfectly acceptable to use epithets and name calling to put down Republicans, as long as we don't do the same to Democrats.

I've long thought that many Democrats and Republicans often mirror each other.

I don't hate anybody. I find hate to be counterproductive and self-destructive. I don't hate. I disagree, and I oppose, and sometimes I do so vehemently. That's not the same thing as hate. I find that so many people don't understand that; they automatically assume that opposing something or someone requires hate. I sometimes wonder if there isn't an addiction to hate, like adrenaline.

I also think that making sure that people are all caught up in fear and hate makes it easier to manipulate them, makes it easier to ensure that they won't question, won't dissent, will be "loyal."


Divided party
Two different directions
Distance grows forward

Leaving behind the
Establishment politics
Its revolution

Values betrayed make
the partisan betrayers
the worst enemies

It's not about her
It never was, then or now
It is about us

Dissent not silenced
Even if censored right here
It's still everywhere

I could go on all day.

These are interesting reads.

For myself, I'd say that, while some good points are made, there are other points to be made as well.

First of all, I'm a white woman in her 50s, if you want my demographics. I wouldn't try to determine my level of unconscious racism by those factors, though, because it wouldn't be accurate. I freely admit that I have not experienced the racism I've seen directed toward others, including some in my family. I have, though, experienced bigotry leveled against me. Some of it, the sexism, has been systemic.

That said...

To begin with, I have to say that I was absolutely horrified by the whole debacle in '08. I was horrified that the Democratic Party, and Democrats, were willing to make politics about identity instead of issues. I thought the party should equally represent all, especially all oppressed groups. To make the battle race vs gender disgusted me. And, to make it worse, the black man and the white woman were both neo-liberals, which made neither of them my choice. And they were all that were left standing MONTHS before my late primary rolled around. I was dis-invested in the entire process, and I was angry. I'm an issues voter; I'm not about identity nor symbolism. Yet, when November came around I cast a symbolic vote, since that's what my party forced upon me. I voted for a black woman. Obama was safe in my state, so it was safe to do so. I voted for McKinney. On election night, I watched and cried as the first AA won the presidential election. I sent him a letter and a book. Both were returned unopened. Apparently, Chavez could give him a book, but I couldn't.

Then I watched the appointments with growing horror. By his inauguration, I was totally dis-enfranchised. I never experienced the "hope," and didn't get the change I wanted.

When Bravenak explained, more than a year ago, why criticisms of Obama offended the AA population, I understood. Even though I've been a vocal critic. I understood, even if I wasn't there myself. I was still about issues, not about symbolism or identity.

When this primary rolled around, I was thinking, "Well, at least this time it's not going to be identity politics, it's not going to be racially based, and there's a strong candidate who is not a neo-liberal that I can support."

Boy, was I wrong. The race card was pulled very early on, with an organized, concerted effort to paint Sanders' supporters as racists, while touting Clinton's support among the black community despite her clear, obvious racial problems. Yes, I'm sure there is a racist element among some of Sanders' supporters, simply because racism exists; there will be racists in any population of U.S. citizens. I don't think that reflects upon Sanders; his record speaks for him for those who allow it to.

And I understand that some minority voters weren't convinced that Sanders would make racial reform a priority. I just don't understand why they'd think Clinton would. Between the two, Sanders seems the obvious choice.

Then, of course, the gender card was also played. "THE FIRST WOMAN POTUS!!!!" I wasn't moved. While I really, really want to see a woman president in my lifetime, I don't want a symbol. I want the right woman. Hillary Clinton is not she. She's an embarrassment.

Another factor I considered: I recognize that AA as a group, if not as individuals, are more conservative than I am. If identity politics is set aside, there may be a larger number who actually prefer Clinton's neo-liberalism to what they'd get from a left-wing administration. I don't agree with them about that, obviously.

I agree with you that local action is the most important, and that's where my time and energy will be going. As far as Trump is concerned? No, I don't want him to be president. Neither do I want Hillary Clinton to be president. My votes this November will not be about Trump, nor will they be about Clinton. If and when Clinton actually becomes the nominee, the presidential piece is over for me.

If the Democratic Party, including the key PoC voting block you refer to, chooses to nominate a candidate that cannot inspire voters to support her, that cannot beat Trump (and that's what polls have been telling us for many months,) that's on them. There is no honesty nor integrity in then turning blame on the people who you knew wouldn't be supporting Clinton in November. It does mirror Clinton herself, of course, who has some difficulties with honesty and integrity. There is no respect to be had, though, in playing the blame game, in refusing to be accountable for your own choices. There's also no respect to be had from me, anyway, in using fear and guilt factors to try to get people to shut up, get in line, and vote for someone they oppose.

Trump is not a factor one way or another for me. All the rationalizing in the world won't make it so.

As a woman,

I hope to see a woman president before the end of my life.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is not that woman. I have known that about her since the '90s. I'm not going to vote for, nor support in any way, a candidate based on gender when she fails most or all of my actual criteria for earning my vote, which is based on issues, not identity.

I'll be upfront: my support for Sanders has less to do with Sanders and everything to do with issues. In the spring of '15, all I wanted was a non-neo-liberal to run against HRC in the primaries. I didn't care who; any candidate who was not a neo-liberal would have done. I think Sanders stepped forward because he saw that need, and nobody else came forward. I embraced his candidacy with relief.

He's done so much better than I ever thought he could. I am inspired and energized by his campaign. I will continue to support him until the convention is over, and then I'll support him on whatever path he finds himself. I want him there until the end.

The bottom line: Hillary Clinton never had my support, is never going to get my support, and as a woman I find the whole effort to use her gender as a reason to nominate her or put her in the WH despite her many, many flaws when it comes to issues and record to be repugnant and a betrayal of what feminism should be about. It should not be about entitlement because of gender.

And speaking of arrogance...Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most arrogant Democratic candidate I can remember since the other Clinton. That arrogance, and the arrogance of the party establishment, and the extreme arrogance of her supporters, doesn't win any support from those who aren't already "with" her.

I think the Democratic Party

is rapidly approaching that point of no return, and I think it's deliberate.

Bernie? I want him to keep going. I don't agree with your assessment of his supposed actions. I don't want him to bow out.

If the point comes when he needs to bow out, which will happen, if at all, at some point during the convention, I'm sure he will do it gracefully. And I'm sure he will endorse HRC. I don't agree with you that those are the "right" things to do, but I understand why he will do so.

I'm also sure that he cannot, and he knows he cannot, "unite his constituency behind Hillary." His "constituency" supports him because of where he is on the issues. As he's said all along, it's not about him. The political revolution continues whether or not he wins the nomination, and that revolution working to, among other things, remove neo-liberals from power is not going to suddenly "unite" behind a neo-liberal.

For so much of his "contingency," it's not about the nominee, nor is it about the GE. It's about taking the party back from neo-liberals or abandoning it altogether. They will either stay to continue the fight, which, again, does not include uniting behind neo-liberals, or they will abandon the party.

I do agree that we have passed the point of no return, when it comes to uniting with neo-liberals, anyway. And that is not about Sanders, and not something that is under his control.

No. I'm not now, never have been, never will be,

a neo-liberal.

And no matter what label it's wearing, DLC, "New Democrat," "Third Way," "Centrist," or any other label, it's neo-liberalism: destructive to the 99%, destructive to the Democratic Party, the nation, and the planet.
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