Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bill Moyers On Howard Zinn And The Plutocracy

Here is another of Bill Moyers's excellent presentations, this one at Boston University as part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series. Two of my most admired public figures, one living and one lamentably dead, combine to describe the nature of plutocracy as it works itself out in American government since Ronald Reagan. Here's a sample from the middle, but please read the entire piece:

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan also tried to warn us. He said President Reagan’s real strategy was to force the government to cut domestic social programs by fostering federal deficits of historic dimensions. Senator Moynihan was gone before the financial catastrophe on George W. Bush’s watch that could paradoxically yet fulfill Reagan’s dream. The plutocrats who soaked up all the money now say the deficits require putting Social Security and other public services on the chopping block. You might think that Mr. Bush today would regret having invaded Iraq on false pretences at a cost of more than a trillion dollars and counting, but no, just last week he said that his biggest regret was his failure to privatize Social Security. With over l00 Republicans of the House having signed a pledge to do just that when the new Congress convenes, Mr. Bush’s vision may  yet be realized.
So we've been cooked since Reagan's election. Not surprisingly, the middle-class sharing of the American dream has effectively vanished, starting at the same time as Reagan's election but continuing through every president since Reagan, Republican and Democrat alike. That is yet another reason why I am no longer a Democrat: the Democrats are a part of the plutocracy as surely as the Republicans. I am truly weary of being a servant of the wealthy, to no personal advantage. If wealthy Republicrats succeed in privatizing Social Security, it will be clear to all of us that both parties have nothing in mind for us but an infirm and impoverished old age spent in service to them. If that happens, at that point I will have to reevaluate my lifelong commitment to nonviolence.

(You dickheads in Washington: you got that? Fuck with my basic retirement, for which I have paid all my working life, and I will have no way to live... and hence no reason not to respond violently. You can not depend on my being a nice guy!)

(H/T ellroon for the link.)

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