consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"The election of Kshama Sawant, a socialist, to the city council of Seattle seems like dropping a pebble in the ocean – particularly given the Tea Party’s inroads into Congress and the Republican hold on state legislatures. With one lone vote, we can’t expect Seattle to collectivize Starbucks and Amazon anytime soon. But her election does show that not only was she not afraid to be a socialist, people were not afraid of electing one. It’s not just that socialism is coming into fashion; people are finding out that maybe they’ve been socialists this whole time and didn’t know it."

Headline language is from here. Think about this, (from the same item):

Further, millennials, a demographic acutely and adversely affected by the economic downturn, have little to no memory of the hammer and sickle, and when one thinks where socialism exists in the world, they don’t think of Russia, they think of social democracies like Denmark. Even Switzerland, a country most closely associated with the banking industry, is considering a universal basic income.

Without the ideological duel with the Soviet Bear, Americans are better able to understand socialism for what it really is: a system that ensures that wealth can provide food, housing, education and basic needs for the population. And more and more people – out of work, in debt and feeling betrayed by the promises of market capitalism – see that as a good thing.

It isn’t just the Fox News anchors of the world who try to denounce any progressive economic policy as dreaded socialism. The American left has also had aversion to go all-in with the term. The 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle were called “anti-corporate”, rather than “anti-capitalist” as similar protests Europe were called, broadly stating what activists were against, but not putting forth what kind of alternative economy they wanted to create. Occupy Wall Street, for all its progress in reigniting a conversation about economic equality, marked the ascendence of a brand of anarchist rhetoric that turned its back on unions and sought to avoid making demands on the state.

However, there’s been a realignment. OWS did rekindle interest in Marxist theory. Even the business press is quick to unveil the inequality that exists as a result of financial deregulation. It’s not a coincidence that in the airport town of SeaTac, near Seattle, voters approved a $15 per hour minimum wage, in part inspired by the recent wave of fast-food worker strikes. Kshama Sawant’s ascendence signifies a movement that is tired of the same market solutions to every economic problem, which is the basic platform of both major American political parties.

Try this.

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