Communication is the problem to the answer

I was discussing in chat the other night with a friend about congress and the Wall Street and how we could get real financial reform, among other things. One of the problems that I see with our current political mess is that the people on the left have a major communication problem. Not only do most not know how to communicate their ideas to the general populace, but far too often their message is hollow and hypocritical.

How can one preach about financial reform and how the uber rich do not pay enough tax or get obscene compensation or play fast and loose with the money they have when you yourself engage in or those activities or secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wish you could do so yourself ?

Those that are struggling to make it are not going to listen to some ones ideas if these ideas come from people who drive over priced BMW or Mercedes Benz SUVs, live in expensive gated communities and pull in 6 figure salaries and justify to the nines their right to do so.  And when they do speak, they talk at people rather than with them and come of as preachy, arrogant and self righteous.  Instead of honest gut level expression.

How can anyone talk about having a fair and just economy and society when they are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary themselves to bring it about.  You have to be willing to walk the walk before you earn the right to talk the talk.

The big news now of course is Egypt and the Middle East. I wonder how many on the left would be willing to take the risks and put out the effort and make the sacrifices the Egyptians have these last 12 or so days for what they say they want ? How many would be able to communicate their desires in an honest, gut level way instead of some intellectual BS that sounds good on the surface but says essentially nothing.

The left and the Democratic party was strong up through the 1960s because it consisted of working people, blue collar and white collar, that were able to express what they wanted and were willing to make the kind of commitments necessary to bring it about.  And tried to the best of their ability to live what they believed. Most had some humility and lived modestly. Not like Wall Street Wannabees or republicans in waiting.


19 thoughts on “Communication is the problem to the answer

    1. cmaukonen

      Thanks for the link TPC. I was going to reply to this here but the subject is to involved just for a reply and requires a separate blog in and of itself.

  1. MSNY

    How can anyone talk about having a fair and just economy and society when they are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary themselves to bring it about. You have to be willing to walk the walk before you earn the right to talk the talk.

    The left and the Democratic party was strong up through the 1960s because it consisted of working people, blue collar and white collar, that were able to express what they wanted and were willing to make the kind of commitments necessary to bring it about.

    The Democratic base may have been, and may still be, more ‘working class’ but not many of the iconic leaders of the party could describe themselves that way.

    No one could call FDR working class. He was able to articulate the plight of the poor well and able to enact legislation to address this, but you can’t really say that he walked the walk of the common man. JFK never walked the walk either, and the Kennedy’s particular strain of liberalism has irked the right considerably given their position of privilege.

    But, just as an aside, more often than not lately I’ve been asking myself whether the ruling class of this nation (left or right) have ever really had the intention of creating a ‘fair and just economy’?

    1. cmaukonen

      In a way both FDR and Kennedy did. FDR was an outcast of his class having grown up in almost complete isolation of it. Spending nearly all of his formative years on his parents estate. And JFK had a similar experience having grown up in a very devout Catholic family.

      As for the ruling class of this (or any other country) it has become a replacement for the Kings and Queens of the past. Trading in the Castles and Jewels of the crown for Estates and button down shirts of the present moneyed interests. From Royalty to those who believe they Royalty.

      1. MSNY

        Regardless, both FDR and JFK were raised without any financial concerns. Both lived with fantastic wealth. They both had staffs of servants to cater to them. Both were Harvard students.

        While I do admire them both, it’s a reach to say that they walked the walk of the struggling lower or middle class American.

        1. cmaukonen

          HA ! But it’s the same old song and dance. Back when countries were ruled by Monarchies, there were those who helped keep them in power. The groupies as it were, who made out very well under these Kings and Queens and Tsars and what not. That is until the people underneath, the poor and wretched finally had enough. Finally felt they had nothing left to loose and everything to gain, one by one removed these Royal despots – sometimes quite brutally – and installed their own form of government in their place. Sometimes better but oft times just as bad, if not worse.

          Complete with a different or different appearing set of groupies to help keep them in power. In other words people for some reason seem to want to replace one set of Robber Barron despotic slime with another set of Robber Barron despotic slime. Rather like an abused mate going from one abusive relationship to another. All the while telling themselves that this time it will be different.

          The truly negative aspect of this is that far too often we get people in power that see anyone who was doing well under the former regime as the enemy and removes them as well. Such as the purges under Stalin and Mao where even the educated and intellectual were seen as enemies of the people and sent into exile or shot. That anyone who was not part of the movement was dealt with harshly to say the least.

          From a comment I made to a different post.

          What I am saying is that FDR and JFK were not members of the Robber Barron elites. They were what was once called Old Money. They were outsiders and had not motivation to support or protect them. Carter as well.

          I am not going to go into the political, economic or philosophical differences between the two parties because it really does not matter.

          They are but surrogates for those who do rule. Or proxies if you like. By funding the election of those who they know will do their bidding, the current Robber Barons are effectively choosing the government for us. So by definition are the government.

          And as I said those who espouse to be or make out under the current Robber barons will support them to the hilt.

  2. cmaukonen

    I am going to quote from the interview you liked to.

    And it’s even recognized by conservative scholarship. The leading studies of—scholarly studies of what’s called “democracy promotion” happen to be by a good, careful scholar, Thomas Carruthers, who’s a neo-Reaganite. He was in Reagan’s State Department working on programs of democracy promotion, and he thinks it’s a wonderful thing. But he concludes from his studies, ruefully, that the U.S. supports democracy, if and only if it accords with strategic and economic objectives.

    And this is the very jest of it. Both with foreign governments and here. “Strategic and economic objectives. In other words what the current crop of elite Robber Barons befit from. A truly free and open democracy does not benefit them at all. Either here or there. And unfortunately there are far too many on the left who also benefit financially from the Robber Barons as well and are just as schizoid about their convictions.

    Those on the right are not. They fully support the elite Robber Barons and make no bones about it.

    1. cmaukonen

      Another quote from Chomsky.

      And as soon as Obama came into office, he came in in the midst of the worst crisis since the Depression. In fact, Ben Bernanke, we know from recent testimony that was released, head of the Fed, said it was even worse than the banking crisis in 1929. So there was a real crisis. Who did he pick to patch up the crisis? The people who had created it, the Robert Rubin gang, Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, basically the people who were responsible for the policies that led to the crisis. And it’s not surprising. I mean, Obama’s primary constituency was financial institutions. They were the core of the funding for his campaign. They expect to be paid back. And they were. They were paid back by coming out richer and more powerful than they were before the crisis that they created.

      What I have been saying all along. That Obama is a Robber Baron groupy. These are the people he believes in and relates to. And not just him, but a lot of those in congress on both sides of the isle. As well as a good number that voted for them.

      The Limousine Liberals.

    2. I read that very passage and said to self, Duh!

      This is so in evidence it just smacks you silly. Day in and day out. You see it everywhere. It’s like friggin’ air. And it’s not like such objectives are inherently bad. They’re not. It’s when the specific devisement goes all out of whack and excludes recognition of human sensitivities that it all falls apart.

      I’ve been wondering for a while now where does this leave off and our humanity assert itself. I can’t say what passes for prayer but I so hope for this.

      1. cmaukonen

        And I refereed to the the followers in the upper tax brackets as groupies. What about those in the lower brackets who cheer them on as well ? They are the Roadies. The ones who do all the heavy work for minimum wage and believe they are absolutely necessary to the group even though no one in the group would give them the time of day and flatly don’t care whether they are there or not because there is always some other poor sucker that is more than willing to step in.

        But these roadies still worship the ground the group walks on just like the groupies do.

        Rather pathetic really.

        1. Changing this means finding the balance between compassion for others and individual self respect.

          Voluntarily subjugating ourselves can’t be an answer just as seeking domination over others isn’t an answer.

          However, the question that arises is can great things be accomplished in the presence of too much introspection? Could it be that if we have a little patience can we get where we want to go without disadvantaging our neighbor? Or is that an unavoidable part of the equation?

    3. I’ve thought of this a great deal over the years. We’ve descended from a natural world where there is both beauty and brutality. The argument that both must exist is very compelling. Survival is paramount.

      Escaping from the schackles of this contradiction is our burden and our challenge. Accompanying this understanding is a discomforting degree of awareness of our fraility and our limitations. Thinking about this stuff implies a journey through darkness to light. Personally, I can’t keep from making this journey. But honestly, it scares the hell out of me.

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