Welcome Ted Rall, and Host, David Axe.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread.  - bev]

The Anti-American Manifesto

As a cartoonist, columnist, radio host, TV guest and graphic novelist, Ted Rall has always been hard to categorize. Rall is liberal and an environmentalist, to be sure, but he’s a peculiar brand of both. He’s not scared of guns or all gun owners and he’s got a strong law-and-order streak. He seems to dismiss popular “peak oil” theories that anticipate a rapid and disastrous fall-off in petroleum production. He’s equally critical of Democrats and Republicans.

Rall is most notorious for his U.S. political commentary. A 2004 cartoon criticizing football player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman, who was killed by “friendly” fire in Afghanistan, is easily Rall’s most famous work. But arguably Rall’s most unique and important work has grown out of his infrequent jaunts through foreign conflict zones, particularly in Central Asia. A trip to Afghanistan in 2001 produced the graphic novel To Afghanistan and Back, one of the best and most prescient books on the now decade-old war. For all that, Rall’s most eloquent work isn’t political at all. His memoir The Year of Loving Dangerously recounts his turbulent but passionate youth.

Rall’s new book, The Anti-American Manifesto, is a polemic, a call to revolution against a U.S. government that Rall claims “has become so undemocratic and unresponsive that the only reasonable means of opposing it is to strive for its violent overthrow.” Equally, the book is a prism for viewing the rest of Rall’s work. In reading Manifesto, it becomes clearer what lies at the heart of Ted’s sometimes schizophrenic-seeming career. In short, Rall is a contrarian and a firebrand. He knows it. He believes it’s an important role to play. He admits as much in Manifesto: “I don’t want you to buy into everything I say. … I MAY BE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. I want you to THINK, dammit!”

The time has passed when Americans could afford to coast through their comparatively comfortable lives, neither caring about nor participating in politics, Rall argues. Indeed, he writes, “the U.S. is going to end soon. There’s going to be an intense, violent, probably haphazard struggle for control” owing to decades of economic, political and environmental decay. “A war is coming,” Rall concludes. “At stake: our lives, the planet, freedom, living. … Are you going to fight back?”

I know Rall well. We’ve shared publishers. We’ve worked with some of the same artists. We’ve written on similar topics for some of the same publications. We’ve both risked our lives reporting from Afghanistan and other conflict zones. We’re friends. I know him well enough to believe: if he’s right, and violent revolution is coming, Rall will fight back even if few others do. If he’s right, I just might join him.

But I don’t believe he’s right. Because as bad as things are in America in 2010, I’ve spent time in many places — Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, East Timor, Somalia, Chad, Congo — where conditions are far, far worse. For all our crises, we remain a comparatively sensible, prosperous and secure nation. Rall disagrees. In Manifesto, he’s asking Americans to at least consider the possibility that collapse is coming, and revolution is necessary. If you consider the issue, and decide collapse is not coming, and revolution is not necessary, Rall is probably just fine with that, as long as we “THINK, dammit.”

314 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ted Rall, The Anti-American Manifesto”

BevW October 24th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Ted, Welcome to the Lake.

David, Thank you for returning and Hosting today’s Book Salon.

egregious October 24th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Welcome to Firedoglake – it’s great to have you here!

dakine01 October 24th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Welcome to FDL this afternoon Ted and David

Ted, I have not had an opportunity to read your book so forgive me if you address this in it.

Given the firepower of the state compared to that of the citizenry, how do you perceive a violent revolution ending? What about all the so-called “collateral damage” that such a thing would bring?

(I tend to be squeamish about casual discussion of and cries of REVOLUTION as it tends to be a vile bloody business that at best leaves a war similar to our own for independence but seems to more frequently lead to the results of a French or Russian or Chinese revolution.)

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Thanks, everyone. Ted, are you online?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Hi, David et al.! Yes, I’m here.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Shall I reply to dakine01?

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:03 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 5

Great. Welcome.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:04 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 6

Please.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

OK…

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Ted, doesn’t it seem that the right wing types are far closer to enacting the violent overthrow of the government than the left? On our side we have more Obama apologists than revolutionaries. Of course the Tea Party types seem like sham revolutionaries, but they are using that rhetoric while our side shies away from it. What do you think?

emptywheel October 24th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Welcome, both of you.

Like dakine, I have not read the book. But piggybacking on his comment–it may well be that a collapse is coming (and that the US will push the rest of the world to catastrophe). But the form of the collapse is not, primarily, military (except insofar as the Military Industrial Complex is one of the tools that facilitate us dragging the rest of the world to catastophe).

So is it possible thta revolution is called for but not in a strictly militaristic sense?

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Great questions from duncan and dakine01. Let’s give Ted a chance to respond to both.

dakine01 October 24th, 2010 at 2:07 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 9

As a technical note, theres a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Presing “Reply” pre-fills the commenter name and comment number being replied to and helpts folks to follow the “conversation”

Note: Some browsers won’t let the Reply work correctly after a page refresh until the page completes loading

workingclass October 24th, 2010 at 2:08 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3

I thought we were not allowed to talk about this.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

“The Anti-American Manifesto” is attempt to create the space in our national politics to think outside the Democratic-Republican duopoly. There are other options. In the last year alone, there have been 12 revolutions in other countries. Why not here? Only revolution or the credible threat of revolution can bring about the scale of radical change needed to salvage the grim state of our economy and environment. I don’t attempt to predict in the book how the revolution would occur or conclude. I agree that revolution is frequently bloody, horrible, and can lead to something even worse than what we have now. It’s a Hail Mary pass. You shouldn’t start a revolution unless there’s no other viable option. Which is exactly our situation.

one_outer October 24th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for being here Mr. Rall. I haven’t read the book – as a matter of fact, this is the first I’ve heard of it. I am familiar with your previous work though, and will read it.

If you are right, and a violent cataclysm is on the way, do you foresee the increasing influence of extremist religious sentiments playing a role in how the active duty military responds? Personally, I would be scared that a military regime with strong millenialist and fundamentalist strains running through it would be immovable from power, even against a large citizen insurgency. What’s your take?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:10 pm
In response to duncan @ 10

Yes. Definitely. The far right is poised to fill the vacuum. In “The Anti-American Manifesto” I argue that the economic and political system is heading toward collapse, something analogous to what happened to the USSR in 1991. If that’s going to happen, factions to the right of the Tea Party are armed and mentally prepared to take over. I’m suggesting that we act first.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
In response to workingclass @ 14

We’re not. As Johnny Rotten said, I don’t need permission to do anything!

edur October 24th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Manning the Barackades! ACT, dammit!!

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 17

You know, Ted. There are quite a few armed liberals, too. Especially in my neck of the woods — the South. This revolution thing could get real nasty real fast.

Propagandee October 24th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Does this mean that Sharon Angle was right in calling for Second Amendment remedies?

Should we team up with the Teabaggers?

Or will the powers that be play the old divide and conquer game and use the one to attrit the other?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:13 pm
In response to one_outer @ 16

Even though you haven’t read the book it sounds like we’re on the same wavelength. The scenario that feels most likely from a dystopian standpoint is “The Handmaid’s Tale”–a combination of military coup fueled by right-wing Christian fundamentalism. That’s America’s brand of neofascism circa 2010, and the one we most have to worry about.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:13 pm
In response to duncan @ 10

I agree. If revolution and violence is coming, it’s coming from the right. Do you agree, Ted? And if so, do you have some thoughts about what it will actually entail?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
In response to David Axe @ 20

My concern would be if liberals didn’t fight back.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

My parents lived in Norway and my father worked in the government back in the 30′s and 40′s. My mother saw the threat of the Nazis and told my dad over and over that Norway would be invaded. My dad, king of protocol, said not a chance. Guess who was the last government person around busy shredding the country’s defense documents as the Nazis invaded…and eating crow….followed by 5 years of occupation. Things can happen anywhere.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Thank you for this wonderful book. I read it in two days. It was exactly what I’d been looking for after a long year of reading political and policy prescriptions from progressives and Democratic party operatives.

I agree the USA is done for. I think we’ve got to prepare. I think we could see violence immediately after the midterm elections, especially if close results and recounts leave control of both Houses up in the air, which ratings-hungry cablefests will call a ‘crisis.’ This will stoke the flames of radical right-wing activists and revolutionary militants.

I know it’s hard to talk about this, but how can we be ready? You’ve made your case, convincingly, Ted. But I’d like to know what steps you’ve taken to be ready should the spasm happen soon.

Thanks for the terrific, and scary, book. And thanks to David Axe for his thoughtful introduction.

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

imho as the gap continues to widen between the middleclass and the wealthy i can see the possibilty of revolution – folk in america are not used to this much dislocation in the workforce – we no longer manufacture anything and how many service jobs can u have?? where will the young folk work? how’s going to purchase all these made in china goods? its going to be on and popping soon…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:16 pm
In response to Propagandee @ 21

In “The Anti-American Manifesto” I say that–and this is really hard for me–we should make common cause with the Tea Party and anyone else who gets it, i.e. is angry and understands that the existing system is broken and cannot be reformed (Obama has demonstrated that). As Massoud, who led the Afghan resistance to the Soviets during the 1980s famously said, “First we kill the Russians. Next we kill each other.” If we can work with the Tea Partiers, who not? They’re wrong about who to blame, but they’re right that something’s wrong.

phred October 24th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for being here Ted. I haven’t had the chance to read your book either, but I’m curious why you think the revolution must be violent? Ghandi and King accomplished quite a lot with non-violent resistance. Why do you think that won’t work here?

one_outer October 24th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 22

Aw, crap. That’s exactly what I was afraid of. I’ve already been thinking about becoming one of David’s armed liberals. My anxiety level has been high lately, and as a poli sci kid who’s main research interest was religion in politics, Sara Robinson’s Fascist America series at Campaign for America’s Future rings all too true to me. If you haven’t seen it, the first in the series is here.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 23

It’s hard to predict how it will happen. But we can all feel the rightward drift of the country. I’m 47. The U.S. has steadily drifted to the right all my life, including under Democratic administrations.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Teddy. I agree it will be a tumultuous election. I still maintain that the “crisis” is not so bad as to warrant violence. Not that I’m opposed to violence per se. We just must be wise in its application.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:19 pm
In response to phred @ 29

Neither Ghandi nor King were in movements that eschewed violence. Both the Indian independence movement and the civil rights struggle required violence and the credible threat thereof to succeed. There have been pacifist leaders of successful liberation movements, but no radical movement has ever succeeded using non-violence alone.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:19 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 28

I’ve been saying this for the past 6 months, and all it got me is censorship.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Moderator, ca y est!

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
In response to David Axe @ 32

How to be ready, as I wrote, will depend upon your individual circumstance. Living in a city, for example, is different than living in the country. There are lots of books to advise you depending on your situation.

I don’t think the right-wing coup will follow the midterm elections, however. Of course, you never know. Methinks we’re going out with a whimper…or not.

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I am sorry. I just don’t believe violent overthrow from either side is or should be on the table.

Violence solves nothing and is only an excuse for primitive vengeance. It is like torture. When we begin to talk about it as a serious alternative we have taken the first step in defining it as “reasonable.” .

The means to the end does make a difference.

That said; it is psychologically understandable that a people can be so oppressed and convinced of their helplessness that they may resort to primitivism.

I would hope to see more conversation the empowering capacity of moral authority. And speaking of that the example given to us by the Danes and Norwegians during WW2 in effectiveness in enfeebling the Nazis is to be learned from

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
In response to David Axe @ 32

I don’t think that this is something anyone can control. We on the left could mitigate it.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:22 pm
In response to fuckno @ 34

Yeah, well, me too. The book is out, which is cool, and in mainstream bookstores, but the mainstream media is so scared of it they won’t review it even to slag it. Actually, that makes me feel good. If it sucked, they’d slag it.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

The most revolutionary thing people are doing these days is walking away from their mortgages.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 36

Ted, I tend to think that the SYSTEM we have is a good one. It’s the EXECUTION of the system that’s lacking. What do you think?

ottogrendel October 24th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 15

I’m jaded when it comes to apocalyptic scenarios. Having listened to many American iterations of “The World Will End Tomorrow at Noon!” ad nauseam since “Duck and Cover,” I have a knee-jerk skepticism when I read things like, “A war is coming,” and “there’s no other viable option.” What sets your analysis apart?

Thanks for your time with this post!

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to lsls @ 25

Can, and will. The U.S. will collapse. The question is, when and how?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:24 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 37

I’m not talking about lashing out because we’re helpless. I’m talking about liberating ourselves from violent goons. They won’t give us our freedom voluntarily, right? We know from the 2003 Iraq War protests than nonviolent protest doesn’t stop this regime.

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 2:24 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 33

Neither Ghandi nor King were in movements that eschewed violence. Both the Indian independence movement and the civil rights struggle required violence and the credible threat thereof to succeed. There have been pacifist leaders of successful liberation movements, but no radical movement has ever succeeded using non-violence alone.

I cannot speak with authority about Ghandi but certainly can re King. I seriously doubt this. Do you have references? I shamefully admit I have not read your book.

Margot October 24th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I am reading the book now, and it hits home. Particularly your use of the phrase “the helplessness of empathy.” Where you hear story after story of someone who’s been fucked over and you’re helpless to fix it, helpless to stop it…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:25 pm
In response to duncan @ 40

People who get foreclosed upon should move back into their homes and be protected against the banksters by their neighbors. Foreclosures should end permanently.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to David Axe @ 41

I respectfully disagree. Corporate capitalism is pure evil. It murders countless millions annually through war, poverty and disease. The system itself couldn’t possibly be worse.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 45

Ghandi was just one side of the coin, In the background there was a militant one.

phred October 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 33

Perhaps you are correct, I’m insufficiently familiar with the details of either movement to know. However, I do think non-violent resistance could be successful all on its own.

If people simply refused to go to work or school, the political elite would have to back down eventually because the economy would grind to a halt.

I suppose the real problem with such an approach though is the reality that there are always those willing to cross picket lines and to act as enforcers for the authoritarian powers that be, perhaps that limits the effectiveness of non-violent mass movements.

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 44

They won’t give us our freedom voluntarily, right? We know from the 2003 Iraq War protests than nonviolent protest doesn’t stop this regime.

And we will not achieve it through violence.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Agreed, Ted, and that could well be the flash point for revolution. The thing that brings together left and right.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 28

Doubt that the TPers will let the lefties in, esp since they are controlled by Koch Bros & all the other usual suspects.

I for one have made plans. I intend to move into my hunter friend’s house, who owns 24 guns. I’ve told him so, but he thinks I’m just being alarmist & kidding him. He’s a leftie-centrist, and was at my house for a small dinner a couple of months ago. I was the person at the table who spent the most time watching what’s happening in the U.S., and thus got plenty of time to expound in response to weak arguments that things weren’t really so bad. During dinner he said that I must be soo depressed & I told him I had left that emotional state behind a couple of years ago & was into the 12th stage of grief. He gave me (I’m a senior female) a great big hug as he left.

Sample of one, but I think the % of lefties-centrists who understand the dismal state of U.S. affairs is pretty low. And the activism on the angry left is muted, owing to the lack of money & organization provided by Koch et al on the right.

Comments?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to ottogrendel @ 42

Like I said in Chapter One of “The Anti-American Manifesto,” either you feel it or you don’t. You could be right. I kind of wish you were.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Whether we like it, or not,- as Ted mentioned – it’s coming!

That is one discussion that we failed to have here.

pants down…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 45

Well, there were countless riots in black-majority cities like Watts, Newark, etc…

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:27 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 48

Thanks.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:29 pm
In response to phred @ 50

“If everyone…” is always a recipe for failure. You can’t get everyone to do anything. That said, national strikes and boycotts, and local ones too, are always part of the revolutionary toolbox. They can be very effective as part of a concerted mass movement.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Sample of one, but I think the % of lefties-centrists who understand the dismal state of U.S.

Absolutely. When I compare today to the 1960s, at least in terms of people who self-identify as center left or left at least understanding that the system is fucked, it’s depressing.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:30 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 51

I hate violence. Like David, I’ve seen too much of it. But the violence is already here. The only question is: are we going to fight back, or let the state monopolize acts of brutality against the weak?

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 2:31 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 51

So it will not be achieved at all? We are therefore doomed to pass this utterly corrupted system on ad infinitum, getting only worse for our descendants, because neither violence nor non-violence will work to end its wrongs?

I don’t accept that. It’s not the country I love.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:31 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 53

Agreed. We don’t need to join the Tea Party. But an alliance of convenience could prove helpful and, indeed, necessary. Taking on state power is extraordinarily difficult. Anyone willing to fight at your side–even a right-winger–is your comrade. For a while.

kumari October 24th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

The Anti-American Manifesto, is a polemic, a call to revolution against a U.S. government that Rall claims “has become so undemocratic and unresponsive that the only reasonable means of opposing it is to strive for its violent overthrow.”
So this is OK??
AND THEN YOU WRITE:
Last week, a Dallas Teabagger running for Congress named Stephen Broden said that we just might have to resort to armed sedition to deal with this Obama guy.
Can you say, Hypocrisy!!!!!!

dirac October 24th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

“And we will not achieve it through violence.”
You’ve asked for evidence but where is the evidence for this assertion?

I’ve read Ted’s book and I think he’s saying we must be prepared to show that we will use force and start dismantling the system. I just don’t see us at the point of mass strikes like I see in France.

The problem is one of social contract: the people delegate the use of force to a government that’s supposed to act in good faith to execute the social contract. The American government has been acting outside of that mandate for quite some time.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 62

Absolutely, and we can do it because many of their primary grievances are going to be put in stark relief, as being economic ones.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Exactly. We also have a responsibility to future generations. It wouldn’t be right, now that we have the chance to make things better, to abdicate that job merely because it’s hard or scary or icky. Why should only crazy Islamists be willing to fight and die for an idea? Why shouldn’t those of us who care about equality and justice–far better ideas–be willing to do the same?

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

France bekons unto me

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:34 pm
In response to phred @ 50

I have said for years that if U.S. consumers went on strike, meaning refusing to buy anything, for perhaps as short a period as a week or a month, it would bring the corporatist system down quickly. I remember when Carter said ‘Put away your credit cards.’ We all laughed the next day, but the economy went into a violent downdraft for one calendar quarter, forcing Carter to make another just-kidding speech, so everything rebounded.

But how to organize such a consumer strike?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
In response to dirac @ 64

Well said. Politics isn’t something you can outsource to the DC Beltway. We all have responsibilities as citizens to act, every single day–and not just in the voting booth.

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 47

My neighbors have been saying that for a long time. We need to start talking to one another about general strikes and what to do when the foreclosure police show up. Neighbors protecting neighbors is a good way for this to work.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

There is a huge difference between advocating for violence, and anticipating one. Being prepared, mitigating the situation, should be one of our primary debates.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

While I disagree that conditions warrant violence, I totally agree that they might do so one day soon. I recommend all responsible, principled people arm themselves. I did.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 68

start against anything Koch

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:36 pm
In response to kumari @ 63

It’s hard to reply, since I didn’t write the stuff about the Teabagger. Care to rephrase your question to address what I wrote?

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 70

remember blackaqua in NOLA?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 70

Definitely. Especially since hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of foreclosures were conducted illegally, using forged signatures and fake documents. If nothing else, keeping people in their homes prevents those houses from falling apart and further reducing the surrounding area’s property values.

Margot October 24th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

People I’ve talked to in my town know things are bad, but it has been gradual and this is the Rust Belt anyway. But now, they say things like “I can’t afford to have children. What kind of country is this?”

phred October 24th, 2010 at 2:38 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 68

I agree completely. The challenge is how. So many people seem so oblivious to the connection between how they exercise their economic power and how that manifests itself in our society, coordinating a consumer strike is daunting.

BTW, O/T (and in violation of Book Salon rules) just wanted to extend a quick thanks for the links you found for me the other night on the stay. I got called away from my computer and didn’t get a chance to thank you properly.

Ok, mods, I’ll be good and stick to the topic now ; )

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:39 pm
In response to Margot @ 77

a country where the ultra rich live well,others not so much

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
In response to fuckno @ 71

I hate violence. Only psychos enjoy violence. But the reality of the situation is, the blood is already running in the streets. We’re just not paying attention to the homeless, the people dying for lack of proper medical care, the Third World dictatorships propped up by U.S. taxpayers, etc. A revolution wouldn’t start violence, or even add to it to any measurable amount.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I was challenged yesterday to paint something other than a dystopia.

I failed miserably. All signs, all over the World are not supportive of rosy scenarios.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
In response to David Axe @ 72

I do like the Second Amendment. I suggest we keep it after the revolution.

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

i see the handwriting on the wall… it won’t be here tomorrow but it’s coming..

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:41 pm
In response to Margot @ 77

It’s the “frog being slowly boiled to death” syndrome. If it happens gradually, people tend to accept reduced living standards. The good thing about the current Depression that began in 2008 is that it started quickly and is not accelerating. There’s no avoiding the truth.

dirac October 24th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Ted: what is an obstacle to talking about revolution on the left? Are mainstream Left elites unwilling to admit that the system that gives them affluence is fundamentally flawed?

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

My husband and I are being foreclosed on. We are trying for a short sales before our time runs out. We are considering moving to Costa Rica. Should we stay or go?
We are in our sixties.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Ted, on a more personal, process note: in writing Manifesto, were you ever afraid that you might suffer reprisal?

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Extremely interesting conversation. I haven’t read the book, would probably agree with much/most of it, but I have to say the discussion thus far about “mitigating” violent revolution, et al, sounds really naive.

For example, given the current alliances of the Tea Party, including David Duke, American Neo-Nazis, et al, does anyone really think for a moment that ‘liberals’ — and you can read that as leftists, radicals, whatever — would ever be accepted by these folks as allies? Or that the outbreak of actual violence wouldn’t be immediately co-opted by corporate interests able to buy the strongest side?

Beyond that, the idea of “mitigating” violence in the most munitions-heavy country in the world sounds ludicrous. Am I wrong?

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:43 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 80

What was different about the 1960s when at least some of the U.S. population was able to risk violence to advance their agenda? I watched a panel on book-tv this afternoon, of about 5 (all women) panelists talking about a book of 52 essays, to which they are contributors, talking about the civil rights efforts in the south in the 1960s. All of them said they were scared all the time, and told tales of violence & close calls they stood up to. Why not now? What is different?

kumari October 24th, 2010 at 2:44 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 74

This is not a response to you or anything you wrote, but a response to the hypocrisy of FDL. It seems to not be the message, but the messenger.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:45 pm
In response to dirac @ 85

I think that’s exactly the case. Most people who benefit from the system tend not to want to see it overthrown. Liberal elites would prefer reforms, tweaks. As would I! I earn a higher-than-average income. I am white, male, Ivy League-educated, and in perfect health. If the system is overthrown, the odds are that I will lose a lot. Personally, I’m willing to press forward because I would rather sleep outside than live in a society that is so manifestly insane and wasteful and brutal and unfair. But most people tend to follow their narrow self-interest.

Revolt, when it comes, will have to come from those with more to gain than to lose. With unemployment over 20%, however, there are plenty of those.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:45 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 80

It’s odd that I am reduced to getting some of my news from Iran and Al Jazeera, Chinese media and Europe. If we pay attention only to our MSM, then indeed all’s well.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:46 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 86

Shit. Sorry to hear that. I’m no financial adviser, but I’d say a move to Panama might be better. They have this free healthcare plan for US citizens. Check it out online. Lots of US retirees go there, and it’s pretty.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:46 pm
In response to kumari @ 90

Kumari, please try to pose specific questions regarding Ted’s work and ideas.

jonathangelling October 24th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I hate to be the naysayer here but things aren’t nearly bad enough for violent revolution. There’s no conscription in this country. There’s no mass starvation. There’s no real military or industrial collapse. This isn’t the France of 1789 or the Russia of 1917.

So far the curtailment of liberty, freedom and prosperity in this country is pretty theoretical. Taxes are relatively low. We’re still the world’s largest economy by far. We still have one of the highest standards of living of any country on earth.

All our greatest problems are still a decade or more down the road. It won’t be until the bills come due on this massive borrowing, with the need for massive new taxes, followed by continued economic deterioration and real severe suffering will things get bad enough for a revolution. Right now, the vast majority of Americans are still comfortable, and the government hasn’t yet started imposing unreasonable demands on the people.

We’ll see if this Cat Food Commission starts imposing such demands… but it’s just not here yet, and there’s still a fair bit of time for a course correction. Even if things get so bad that the U.S. is ultimately forced to default (or more likely, devalue its currency radically) on its debt obligations, that still wouldn’t necessarily trigger a violent political revolution.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:47 pm
In response to David Axe @ 87

Yes, definitely. But living in fear isn’t living at all, is it?

phred October 24th, 2010 at 2:47 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 89

To follow up on eCAHN’s question, why didn’t the populace resort to a violent overthrow in the 1930s? The economic situation was much worse then.

jameshester12 October 24th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Ted
Given the current political situation how do feel, mad, frustrated, helpless or what. I dont think you ever supported any thought of violence when you mention revolution. Why dont we learn from Estonians.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I would urge FDL to open up a International News Desk/dump.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

kinda true….semi safety net for now

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I agree.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:49 pm
In response to phred @ 97

they did sporadically see bonus march

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

If a situation arises that restricts access to creature comforts this country has become accustomed to, such as food, gas, ipods, computers, texting etc.,; there could be violence. If the streets of cities are restricted by XE and/or troops for example, there could be violence. Oh wait, New Orleans…hmmmm.

The question is who’s doing the restricting. Only then will people make a decision about who are the bad guys and who to unite with.

Similarly, if some major investigation were to occur that showed the citizens who lied, who screwed them, etc., there could be violence. Oh wait…the banks..

We live in interesting times indeed.

LS

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 2:50 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 15

Also replying to everyone suggesting violent revolution because of lack of alternatives…

I must also say that I have not read your book, so I apologize if my comments are unwarranted..

There are plenty of news/blog networks (such as FDL) that could be utilized to spread the news about candidates that will actually make change in the government. What party would be able to truly act pursuant to that end, and not fall victim to the corporate lobbying that inevitably buys any politician, left or right?

I’m only twenty years old, and I only attend a community college in MD, but there is a party that seems to be able to fulfill that role: the Green Party.

Grassroots Democracy, Sustainable Development, Full Funding to Schools and Universities, Ending Ridiculous Prohibitionist Policies, Equal Opportunity & Gender & Racial Equality, Ending Corporate Personhood, Universal Health Care, etc, etc…. it’s all there. There may be a few points that people can take as controversial, but the one huge difference between the Green Party and the Big 2 is this: no corporate funding.

Their entire platform is a break from the duopoly’s downward spiral that is their political policy, and if their candidates stay true to their Party’s constitution, then I think we actually can make a difference…

This is why I actually am starting a Green Party chapter at my college. I want to get the word out, and I also have a few friends at other universities that are potentially interested in doing the same. If we can get the movement to spread across the nation… the kids could influence their families, and we could legitimately make the Green Party a major political force driven by individual contributors from around the nation. We could take back the country, through nonviolent means, from the corporations and bring back government of, by, and for the people…

Is this too impossible not to try? With the aid of blog networks like FDL, DailyKos, etc… we could help spread the wor dand possibly make it happen… or are my dreams inevitably going to be for naught in the long run… with no other means but violent ones…?

Thank you in advance if you take the time to answer this. Looking forward to reading your book.

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Ted, I really appreciate your book and your coming here to present your views. It is making for a great discussion. I hate I have to leave soon. Even if I don’t agree with you I respect your work.

Second note: It seems to me the right wings 15 yr assault on the manhood of liberal men may be having its effect as they become so overt. I just want to say that for me the most attractive and sexy men are those that show their power in their creativity and not destruction. Hang in there guys. You are appreciated. :-)

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

You’re probably right. I tend to be early with these things. Ah, if only people had paid attention to my warnings about Afghanistan in 2001! But I digress.

Still, I don’t think the US has to get as bad as, say, Mali before people rise up. We have a higher disparity of income than a lot of far-crappier countries to live in. So there is a lot more resentment among the poor. More than that, diminishing expectations increase social stability. The more that the ruling classes promote austerity on those who can least afford it, the greater the odds of rebellion. The question is not how bad is it, but rather how much worse is it?

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I tend to agree with you. Trends, like bubbles, tend to last much longer & get much worse, after when you identify them until they come to their predictable catastrophic fruition.

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I’m glad we’re having this discussion; it’s long overdue. Too many people are still locked within the mind-frame of working within or in attempts to rescue the two-party system, and continue to subscribe to the narrative that we have a democracy/republic that is still viable.

While I too have not read the book (but definitely plan to), I have thought this through for quite some time, and I reached the conclusion long ago that this country will either go through a second civil war or a revolution. Coupled with the breakdown in resources that will eventually occur (whether you like it or not, our inability to seriously get on track with alternative energy will come back to bite us in the ass), we’re going to be in for some interesting times.

As I told a friend a few years ago, “think Amish with guns.” The best way to prepare will be to either possess or have access to farmable land or the fruits thereof, the ability to adapt, and knowledge about both modern and traditional means of living. This is because some aspects of our society and how we operate things will continue, while some other aspects of our lives will revert to practices from an earlier time. This is all long-range, of course.

Short-term, I’m not yet sure. It’s going to depend largely on how this happens and when it happens.

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to fuckno @ 92

touche!

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to phred @ 97

Good one.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:51 pm
In response to phred @ 97

It got close. Communism had a real chance of prevailing at that time. But FDR’s New Deal, as they say, “saved capitalism from itself.” This time around, Obama hasn’t even bothered to propose a single jobs program.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
In response to jameshester12 @ 98

I feel hopeful. Now, for the first time in decades, Americans are paying attention to the nature of the system. Soon they will start to notice that disgusting corporations and a tiny coterie of superwealthy elites are stealing the fruits of our labor. That is good. Only now can change become possible.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 102

And Hoovervilles.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 106

So when economic disparity in the U.S. was at its prior peak, it took a long time for unions to get going, and they also suffered quite a bit of violence in the process. Like Pinkertons being sicced on their tent cities.

kumari October 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 76

That is completely untrue. ” using forged signatures and fake documents”
The mortgage meltdown and the consequent boom in foreclosures put pressure on banks to move as many home seizures as possible through their systems as quickly as possible. Banks moved foreclosure filings across their desks at maximum speed, sometimes failing to make sure they were following all the necessary legal steps. Legally, each foreclosure is supposed to be inspected carefully by an employee. In reality, some bank employees may not have taken enough care reviewing the documents. Most mistakes were merely clerical, but in a worst-case scenario for a bank, the foreclosures could be thrown out by the courts.
There was no malice here.

dirac October 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I don’t think that’s naysaying. I too don’t think we’re at that point yet, but I do think that collapse is closer than we think. The reason why people feel comfortable is usually because we’ve enjoyed economic benefits from either using force or relying on an unequal relationship with trade partners like China–that is going to change. Japan has a far greater debt/GDP ratio and they’re able to handle it. There’s other factors on the horizon like peak oil, our lack of skill or education, etc. The book is merely a call to be prepared and not a prediction, AFAIC.

spocko October 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Ted:

I think that any kind of physical violence directed toward the people who have been actually destroying this country (right wing rich) will unleash a massive response against whomever starts it.

The rich really aren’t scared by treats of violence. What they are scared of is losing money/power. (Which is where I choose to focus my energies) The rich are determined to direct the anger of people like the tea partiers to the government or minorities.

Every time I see a comment about “get out the guillotines” I want to say, “Stop with the violent fantasies and focus on doing some real damage- take away their money.”

If some still want to use the tea partiers, they should suggest that they direct their anger at the rich. Let them die for their “freedoms” fighting the people who are really oppressing them. The rich will call up their private security forces and call their buddies in the government and put down any kind of mob faster than you can say, “Freedom fries.”

Fight the true enemy, not the one who he tells you to fight.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Third parties don’t stand a chance in this system. Any Green or Libertarian organizer can explain how the two major parties game the system to keep third parties off the ballot. Unfortunately, the system appears to be ossified and impervious to internal reform.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:55 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 105

Thanks!

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

So it will not be achieved at all? We are therefore doomed to pass this utterly corrupted system on ad infinitum, getting only worse for our descendants, because neither violence nor non-violence will work to end its wrongs?

That’s your opinion. I don’t think the evidence supports it but I respect it.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:57 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 114

That’s true. These things take time. In “The Anti-American Manifesto” I mentioned that the elapsed time between the publication of the Communist Manifesto and the Russian Revolution is 69 years.

dakine01 October 24th, 2010 at 2:57 pm
In response to kumari @ 115

sometimes failing to make sure they were following all the necessary legal steps

Doing that millions of times becomes systemic fraud, whether there was initial malice or no.

But malice is not required when laws are broken. And that’s what “failing to follow all the necessary legal steps” is, by defintion

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I agree. We’re not there yet, but at the rate things are going, we will be. Without changes, I foresee this happening in about a generation’s time. It really will depend a lot on how foolishly our “leaders” let things progress. Right now it’s a race to the bottom, but there is a point just before bottom where it’s possible we’ll just quietly go out with a whimper, devolving as we go along. However, if that line is crossed, that’s when you have very fertile grounds for an uprising, whether civil war or revolution.

As always, it’s going to be those with nothing left to lose who determines what happens. Whether they do so of their own volition or they are controlled by outside forces, those whose lives have been reduced to sheer desperation will provide the spark. Those who do have *something* to lose, as Ted points out, are going to try to make minimal changes, little tweaks. But that’s what people who are still “comfortable” have been doing for a long time now.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to spocko @ 117

“If some still want to use the tea partiers, they should suggest that they direct their anger at the rich.”

They did, they railed against the Wall Street bailouts, -we chose to concentrate on the 10% of racial/religious signage. The MSM at work.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to kumari @ 115

I’ve worked for banks.

The decision to cut corners was deliberate and ought to be punished harshly. It’s not like they were broke.

Also, they don’t actually have to foreclose, you know. It’s a choice.

cbl October 24th, 2010 at 2:58 pm
In response to phred @ 97

I’m of a mind that Bernanke’s ZIRP is going to bring it all back on steroids

Welcome to Ted and David – thanks for being with us today

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 2:59 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 118

TOTALLY ENTRENCHED,with offspring filling in for elders..see Dodd or Russert

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 2:59 pm
In response to spocko @ 117

“Take away their money.” But how? They won’t give it up of their own accord.

jameshester12 October 24th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Ted
Would you be willing to direct your humorous pencil on the issues of the so called safety at the air ports vs. safety in daily life., i.e., railway stations, casinos, subways, highways, deaths because of pollution etc. Why our Govt. is obsessed with saving airlines only.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 121

and they thought it would take place in England

kumari October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

So true, So true

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 118

But if we can inform voters of fairer voting methods, such as instant runoff voting, and proportional representation, and actually get those policies placed into effect throughout the country (by means of the aformentioned grassroots movement), then, as a side-effect of IRV, wouldn’t 3rd parties become viable?

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 106

Don’t you think it’s possible, though, that one of their own (possible Mike Bloomberg) might rally the elite to their own obvious self-interest, as FDR did, despite their hatred of him at the time? The idea that this system can exist without poor people attacking one or more of the wealthy peoples’ homes — they can’t guard them all, all the time — seems inherently unbalanced to me, but I don’t think a populist can become president and force the elites to heel.

It’s gonna need to be someone truly mega-rich and odious, like Bloomberg, who can speak their language and make them see that the system will come crumbling down around them and their privilege, in order to reduce the huge disparities and get the have-nots reinvested in the success of the American system.

Do you think someone like this could head off the collapse?

phred October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 111

So perhaps if the mood of the country sours further, Obama might finally implement policies that pull us back from the brink again?

Letting them eat cake was disastrous for the French elite. I would imagine our own elite will push things right to the edge, but then pullback rather than risk losing everything.

Of course in a world where Xe is on call, perhaps the elites feel they can always buy whatever protection they need…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
In response to fuckno @ 124

True. The Left should make common cause with the Tea Party re: the bailouts. Which, remember, began under Bush and continued under Obama.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
In response to cbl @ 126

The promise of Special Drawing Rights, will do the trick, for the baggers.

Lorraine Watkins October 24th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 56

So it will not be achieved at all? We are therefore doomed to pass this utterly corrupted system on ad infinitum, getting only worse for our descendants, because neither violence nor non-violence will work to end its wrongs?

Practically the last thing MLK said before he was murdered was his fears of violence being associated with his movement. It was not the Watts riots or the riots of the twenties in Tulsa that brought ab out the change in law.

dakine01 October 24th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 125

Yeah, I worked for a bank after I first got out of the USAF back in the early ’80s.

They were scrupulous about following the rules completely in those days.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Not in time, as the situation is deteriorating and changes from within require generational commitment. Doesn’t compute.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:02 pm
In response to jameshester12 @ 129

Well, airlines are a vital conduit for the transacting of corporate business. Can’t have them going under, can we? Of course, we could just nationalize them since it’s impossible to run a profitable airline.

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:02 pm
In response to spocko @ 117

Spocko, the rich are sitting prettier than they were in times past. The effectiveness of past boycotts, protests, etc. came about because of the proximity of the wealthy to the rest of the population. It’s very easy to take action when the factories are where you live and the rich guys who own it live just up the hill. It’s a bit harder when the factories and manufacturing centers are half a world away and the wealthy have multiple homes and offices they can flee to with just a jet ride away.

Comparisons and parallels to past revolutions and uprisings can give us some clues, but this one is going to be a bit different. It also will take time because many people in this country don’t have the same approach and mentality to public discourse and popular protest that they do in Europe, for example.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

teh brillant comment!

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Those are a lot of “ifs.” Anything is possible, but it doesn’t seem likely that the MSM would ever allow these issues enough coverage to gain traction with the general public.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

As I think about the TPers, one reason why they don’t attack the actual entities that are oppressing them, besides the fact that if their oppressors didn’t organize them they wouldn’t have any political power, is that they think they’ll benefit if they’re on the winning side. I saw that often on Wall St. While the analogy is far from perfect, the sense in which I mean it is that women & people of color who wanted to succeed on Wall St. worked with the MOTUs, rather than banding together to get more power for all women & people of color & other underrepresentated groups. And those who went along were right from their own POV. They succeeded much more than the rest of us.

jonathangelling October 24th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Still, I don’t think the US has to get as bad as, say, Mali before people rise up.

You’re right: it really seems like the global elites are trying to sloooowly boil the water on the frog to get us accustomed to new standards of austerity. The water’s already way above tepid, that’s for sure.

But so far, the U.S. government has done nothing but borrow money and continue the same level of spending. If anything, the federal government has been increasing social welfare spending – longer and longer unemployment extensions, more Medicaid funding, Social Security COLA increases in excess of CPI, the promise of subsidies for health insurance (we’ll see if they ever appropriate the money for that), etc. etc.

For your thesis to pan out, we’ll have to see the Republicans sweep in, and strike a deal with Obama for a pretty drastic Cat Food Commission plan. But people on the ground are going to have to see real changes in their daily lives to start a revolution, and it’ll have to be less than gradual. They’re going to try to get by cutting things 10-20 years down the line so no one notices the differences today, I can imagine.

phred October 24th, 2010 at 3:05 pm
In response to spocko @ 117

Beat me to it and said it better. I agree with you, we will be far more effective waging economic warfare (if you’ll excuse the expression), than drawing weapons, to achieve the change we seek.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened yet. Well, it has: people like Saul Price and Warren Buffett and George Soros have argued in favor of more equitable income distribution. But those in power don’t seem to be listening.

This is the point of “The Anti-American Manifesto”! Things. Have. Changed.

A few decades ago, this sort of self-correcting mechanism could have restored order. Not now.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:06 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 144

that has been my hypothesis on Whats the Matter with Kansas….wanting to be on the winning team meme

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Ted, there’s a risk in revolution, that the revolution will fail to result in positive change and might mire us in decades of cyclical violence. See Congo for an example. How do we avoid that?

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Mr. Partridge, I commented here last week about the desire among some here to “put aside petty differences” such as insanity and racism and make common cause with the Teabaggers and was told “nobody’s ever said that here”.

I rest my case.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
In response to TalkingStick @ 137

I disagree. Historians say that LBJ, for example, was terrified that blacks would lead a violent revolution against the US unless they were given additional rights and freedoms.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Easy now. Be nice.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 143

Well that’s why I mean to emphasize the importance of the grassroots movement, and the usefulness of sites such as FDL to allow people to essentially “be the news” themselves. We’d have to find ways to increase the visibility of these things, and of course it wouldn’t be easy, but I’m sure there are plenty of dissatisfied Democrats out there who would be willing to at least try something new if the option presented itself.

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 147

Hey Ted, love your stuff.

I’m sure Barry Obama knows that raising taxes is the solution but he can’t bring himself to do because of ideological blinders (ie he loves supply side Raygunomics).

That’s my take any way.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

We’ve already seen the “budget cuts of the future” approach with Social Security. My generation already has an age 67 retirement age. Betcha didn’t know that.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:09 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 143

And don’t you think the government will shut down the internet when it appears to be the tool too-well informing the American people about what’s being done in our name across the world? Look at the multiple CIA campaigns against wikileaks, for example. This is just a sample of the state security apparatus swinging into action against an enemy.

If the ‘net is how people organize against the violent overthrow, or for violent overthrow, the ‘net is history.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:09 pm
In response to phred @ 146

Gotta do both.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:10 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 148

My latest animated cartoon (rall.com/rallblog) about the Tea Party depicts this phenomenon.

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

People in this country no longer have the ability to survive via the basics. The poor are clustered in ghettos or suburbia. People cannot live off of the land in any meaningful way. They don’t have the skills. If the economy worsens or violent revolution should happen people will divide up into groups to take things from one another. Can it really get this bad? One in eight Americans is on food stamps now.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:11 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 147

When you have elites like car-czar Steve Rattner openly advocating a Congressless federal government (he manages Bloomberg’s personal money) I think their planned revamp of the system is more comprehensive than simply moving into the Oval Office in 2013.

Shoto October 24th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 28

They’re wrong about who to blame, but they’re right that something’s wrong.

Given the wretched state of the main-stream media these days, trying to get the Tea Party on board would seem to be an enormous challenge.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to mercury @ 150

Yes, you predicted this Book Salon uncannily.

How do you do it?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
In response to David Axe @ 149

That’s a HUGE risk. The French and Russian Revolutions led to untold misery and chaos. On the other hand, imagine a world where the idea that people were equal had never been enshrined into a state constitution. It would be even worse.

There is no guarantee. The odds are long. I wouldn’t promote a revolution as necessary unless I thought there was no other way.

A broad-based movement and lots and lots of smart planning is the only way to improve the odds of long-term success. But it’s still very, very hard.

It’s like chemo: it might kill you, but you’ll die for sure without it.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

That’s a scary thought. I think if they did that there really WOULD be violent revolution, though…

I want to believe that, with enough of my generation getting involved (by starting Green chapters at their schools, persuading their parents to vote green, etc..), positive reform to both govt and society can be achieved, or is at least worth attempting before resorting to violence…

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:13 pm
In response to ShotoJamf @ 161

You don’t need them on board, you only need the perception that they are.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 159

Our charter schools will save them!
/Arne Duncan

phred October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 157

I remain unconvinced, but that’s what your book is for : ) I look forward to reading it and I have enjoyed the conversation. Thanks again for being here!

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

be interesting to hear how the young people feel about all this? they will most assuredly catch the brunt of this… i worry about my grands entering adulthood with dim prospects of earning a decent living.. i’m just thinking out loud – this salonis running over my head..

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

being on the winning team by the way,is far more PSYCHOLOGICAL imho

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Thanks! Of course, the rich could keep their ridiculous Bush tax cuts if Barry brought home the troops and closed all the overseas military bases.

There’d be change left to buy everyone pizza, I bet.

I like peperoni and mushrooms.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Guys, please keep the comments on-topic.

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Well, we could have a positive social revolution built on mutual aid, if capitalism crumbled. We can dream!

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Maybe. But the powers that be rely on the Internet for commerce. So I doubt it. And so what if they do?

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 163

For me, the risk of a revolution-gone-bad outweighs the medium-term risk of a collapsing state.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:16 pm
In response to ShotoJamf @ 161

I imagine this sales pitch: “OK, so I’m a Godless pinko f****t. But I’m a Godless pinko f****t who knows how to shoot a gun and wants to get rid of the oppressive government. Are we gonna fight, or what?”

We don’t have to agree on ideology to fight next to someone.

[Edited by Moderator]

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:16 pm
In response to juslin @ 168

I am one of those youth you are referring to, and it’s &*^%*&^ scary. FDL has opened my eyes to a lot of the recent issues going on in america today, and it’s not pretty. It’s what inspired my entire Green Party move… lol

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to David Axe @ 174

doesn’t one flow from the other?

spocko October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 128

First off we make t-shirts with great slogans and sell them to each other to fund our efforts…

(That was from your EschaCon talk back in 2008 in Philly.)

I spoke there about my campaign to defund the right wing radio station K S F O. It was very effective. It cost them millions of dollars. I taught the techniques to HateHurtsAmerica and they cost Michael Savage 2 million in revenue. Because the K S F O hosts weren’t making enough money, the parent corp, Citadel, fired them. If you were there during my talk you might remember I got a standing ovation. Others in the crowd were Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman and your friend res ipsa loquitur

My point is that physical violence is easy to put down and shifts the sympathies to the people who are being injured. When someone gets their economic comeuppance people aren’t jumping to their defense. “It’s just business” Economic “violence” is what we have been subjected to, to reverse the tide the rich law breakers need to be subjected to a similar force.

You know what the Koch brothers are afraid of? Losing money. Jane Meyer’s said so in her article on them. They are hiding their involvement in so many things because if you start looking into their companies you will start to see lots of fraud as well as give them bad PR. And there is such a thing as bad PR.

I have developed other plans to hurt the rich economically but I’m done auditioning to prove I know what I’m doing. How many millions of dollars to I need to cost nasty corporations who support right wing bigots until other people get it?

I wish the left would get that economic “warfare” has a greater chance of succeed than falling for some fantasy of tumbrels and headless bad guys..

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

wasnt the Kibbutz,supposed to organize this sort of lifestyle

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 151

You bring up an interesting point. What role will non-whites have in what plays out? I wonder about that…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
In response to phred @ 167

Thanks for dropping by.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I admire your efforts, I really do.

But I think you need to learn more about the history of the Green party if you hope to convince my generation (your parents’) of its purity. Greens have been funded by the GOP across the country to elect their own by dividing the vote away from Democrats. It’s proven. Now, democrats are doing the same in some places (Palm Springs, against the odious Mary Bono Mack).

So many in my generation are wary of Greenishness — we don’t want to be unknowing pawns of the GOP. Are you very sure of your group’s funding? Are you very clear about where the money comes from, ultimately?

Please take reasonable steps to ensure that your group is really what it says it is, and not a stalking horse to ensure GOP control of a Democratic district by dividing the left-y vote.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Good for you.

Chance favors the prepared mind. Pasteur?

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:18 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 173

that would be an obstacle,well theres always smoke signals!

dakine01 October 24th, 2010 at 3:18 pm
In response to David Axe @ 174

Agreed.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:19 pm
In response to David Axe @ 174

That’s a reasonable assessment. But what about the environment? The fish are dying, the ice cap is toast, they’re going to have to relocate the populations of entire nations. What if we’re walking down the street in 18 years and suddenly there’s suddenly…no…air

?

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:19 pm
In response to David Axe @ 171

Yes, my apologies.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
In response to spocko @ 178

touche,and bravo!

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
In response to spocko @ 178

Direct action, like what the French are doing, is the only answer to corrupt capitalists. If they lose money, they get very scared.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:20 pm
In response to spocko @ 178

Lead the way; many of us will follow!

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
In response to MrSandman @ 180

What role will non-whites have? Ever seen one of those MSNBC “Lockdown” shows on segregated prison riots? I think that’s what violent revolution would turn into in this country.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
In response to MrSandman @ 180

There’s a section in “The Anti-American Manifesto” about that. I think the role of minorities, particularly African-Americans, will be very important in What Comes Next.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
In response to fuckno @ 177

What I mean is that I’m not yet so convinced that our state is collapsing that I’m willing to risk revolution.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:22 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 186

ROFLMAO…..Halloween is next week! No air..you are funny

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:22 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 186

but they are building islands shaped like boats in the sea alongside the desert, their warfighting mercenaries are moving to these tax havens in the middle east, and their children appear on our television sets as wise pundits, having never earned an honest living. Why will the elites believe it’s in their interests to save America when there’s — for example — lots of Canada to colonize.

It’s the people left behind with no rich people to rebel against that I worry about. What if we wait too long for our rebellion, and there’s only other poor people to do battle with, whilst the elites send their war correspondents to study our civil war as if it was entertainment?

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

you better believe it

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

The Dems are way more corrupt than the Greens anyway. The kid is right to vote for the Greens!

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Well… perhaps I should start my own party then… and just start literally from scratch…. but use the same means for the same ends?

That’s like me vs the world though, jeez….

@IsIs – lol well, ignorance is bliss, and I think that seems to be the mentality that the govt is trying to impose on us to kind of accept everything thats being done to us. unfortunately (for my sanity at least), I just can’t accept that…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

God, I love the French. Granted, they’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible, but it’s great to see people refuse to accept austerity to pay for the crimes committed by the rich. I would be more willing to share the price of the busts if we all shared equally in the booms…but it doesn’t work that way, does it?

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
In response to David Axe @ 193

The state may not be but the economy most definitely is.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 186

Ted, I disagree about the state of the environment. I think we should pay very close attention to fisheries protection and forestry while enacting and enforcing tough pollution-control standards, but I do not believe we are on the brink of environmental collapse. I’ve spent too much time in too many jungles to believe we can easily “defeat” Mother Nature.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 192

The elite’s selection of Obama to be the Next Leader was a very clever was to immunize their system against revolt by minorities, I think. Not just ‘look how far you’ve come’ but also ‘give our man a chance.’

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 3:25 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 199

We could start the “Austerity for the Rich Party”.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Your Green move isn’t such a bad way to go.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Actually, I think WE chose Obama. He wasn’t elevated by some secret cabal.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 199

its worse than that,we pay for all of it,boom or bust

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
In response to David Axe @ 201

I hope you’re right. But I’m terrified. Flying back from Europe a few weeks ago, the pilot announced that we would arrive a few hours early in New York because the jet stream had begun to stall: i.e., the “Day After Tomorrow” scenario. He said that other pilots with long experience had never seen that before.

In Tajikistan, glaciers that were thousands of years old have melted away to slush…

spocko October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Exactly. When you want to attack women’s rights you get a woman spokesperson.

GDC707 October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Go for it. Just filled out my ballot and voted straight Green down the line. Many are moving in that direction.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

Read Paul Street’s books on O before you draw your conclusion.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 203

The term ‘rich’ is one that the PTB will exploit. We need to have a common purpose with the baggers. Replace with Bankers, and it could have legs.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Definitely, it helps. But black people aren’t stupid. They understand the nature of the system perfectly. All that Obama bought was 3-4 years, tops. They’re already starting to get over him.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:28 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

We do not choose, we’re merely being offered their selections, That is not choice!

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Oh, those at the top, those super-rich who are in power or prescient enough, will get out of the way. It’ll be the modestly rich or those living in upper-class areas that get the initial brunt of it.

Your scenario is one possibility though, which is why I cautioned anything that happens here will be different from past revolutions. Apples and oranges as it were. There are lessons to be had from 1789 and 1917, to be sure, but if you really want real clues, look at the economic rumblings from the early 1930s and the racial strife from the late 1960s, remove the unions from the mix (they’ve been emasculated; it’s the public unions that are now under attack), and you have your clues as to what might happen.

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

Don’t you think it a little odd that the first black president turns out to be a super conservative? Maybe we didn’t understand who we where voting for but on the other hand we didn’t have a lot of choice.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

That would be a reasonable fear if the Greens actually had money.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

Oh, come on. First of all, there are only two parties. So yeah, we chose between two choices. Funny that a nation that expects a dozen brands of beer at their local bar settles for two candidates for office.

Second, remember the primaries? How John Edwards received no airtime or press coverage? How Hillary was shunted aside? The corporate media picked Obama. We just went along, as usual.

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 212

African Americans are the most savvy voters in this country. They never vote against their interests like the white working class.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 215

eggszactly

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 217

Ted, we ARE the media.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

LOL, David.

Sure, we’re in the media. But we’re little pipsqueaks. The power brokers who run the major TV networks and outlets like the NYT and WashPo are pulling the strings.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

you also bring up the importance of instant runoff voting being implemented unilaterally…

when you can rank your votes (such as #1 Green Party, #2 Dem…. no vote for Rep), then you immediately make a multiple party system viable because it removes the spoiler vote stigma associated with third parties.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:33 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 212

Yes, we also understand the nature of the types of people which make up the Tea Party and the pro-Revolution Right these days. Ally with them?

Sorry. Can’t see it.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

The problems are media coverage, financing, and ballot access. Without those three components, no political party stands an ice cap’s chance.

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

That’s because of the class/race stratification put in place ages ago. The white working class may have been “trash,” but other whites made common cause with them against blacks. It’s the story of the South, really.

Those at the top adapted the same strategy elsewhere, and tweaked it as needed. It’s why you have shrill shrieks about “class warfare.” Divide and conquer is a tried and true strategy, people. It’s why, despite any reservations we have, the suggestions here about allying with strange bedfellows just might work, if done right…

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to mercury @ 223

Besides, look at these people. They use violent rhetoric and own guns, but there just aren’t enough plus-size cammies to go around, even in America. An army fights on its stomach, up to a point.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Obama is an American. His father was literally African and his mother American, but he does not descend from slaves in this country, therefore, he may have an easier time being conservative than other Americans who do descend from slaves and thought making him the first “black” president meant something a little different. You would think that his wife would have more influence on him.

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to mercury @ 223

yes stupidity is a big deterrent

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to mercury @ 223

Probably not. Certainly not most. But we should be open to the possibility. Remember, the only difference between the Tea Party and the real Left (not to be confused with the Obama pseudo-liberals) is who’s to blame. They think it’s immigrants and minorities. We think it’s the rich and the corporations. If we can agree on the problem, perhaps it’s less important that we agree about its cause.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Hey everyone, just a heads-up: if you do kick off an armed revolution before moderates like me are ready for one, beware the counter-revolution.

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

trust & believe .. it WON’T be minorities initiating this revolt

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to lsls @ 227

Is there any evidence that Michelle is a leftie?

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to duncan @ 226

A no-cammy army would make them enemy combatants.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

His largest single pile of money came from Goldman Sachs, very early on.

This was not a coincidence, do you think?

Sure, we were given the illusion of choosing.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
In response to David Axe @ 230

Ready to stand up for Wall Street, but not for the 50 million living below the poverty line? Is that what moderate has become?

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 224

a large enough grassroots movement, such as the one i am attempting at the university level, could (in my mind) remedy financing and ballot issues, and social media sites could partially help at getting the word out. It won’t be easy, and I think a lot of direct action by members of the grassroots movement would be key in making it work. Sitting on your @%# promoting the party on facebook won’t get you anywhere… talking to people directly about the issues and informing them of the alternatives, ourselves, is the way to do it, I believe…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In response to David Axe @ 230

You’re too grouchy to be moderate, David.

That’s a compliment, BTW.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 232

Good point. Heck if I know.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In response to MrSandman @ 214

Your scenario is one possibility though, which is why I cautioned anything that happens here will be different from past revolutions.

Vastly. Where has there been a revolution among a population this non-homgenous and this well-armed? I used to fantasize about stuff like this in my younger days — visions of BATTLE OF ALGIERS dancing in my head — but it would be hell on earth, I think.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to David Axe @ 230

Yeah, we can duck to avoid the barrage of sarcasm, chiding, glares and condescension coming back at us from moderates. :)

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I admire your energy and wish you luck.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to David Axe @ 230

No one on FDL would kick off an armed revolution. Let’s make that clear.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to lsls @ 233

Throw them in GTMO and no more Slim Jims until they repent.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:40 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 237

Thanks, Ted.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
In response to mercury @ 239

I agree. It will probably suck big-time. But if it’s going to happen anyway, it’s probably better to get ready than to hide in the basement next to boxes of Cold War-surplus water biscuits.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Yes, re-electing William Jefferson, getting themselves an eventual GOP replacement who was not even of their race, was incredibly self-interested. As were Marion Barry’s repeated electoral successes.

Black voters aren’t any smarter, or dumber, or more or less self-interested than any other American voters, and making such a broad-brush statement is inexcusably bigoted.

veganrevolution October 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 232

In Chicago, Michelle tried to direct poor folks into neighborhood clinics instead of the major, more affluent “white” hospitals. You do the math.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:41 pm
In response to mercury @ 239

Revolutionary movements have a life of their own. Obama can stop it, otherwise the deteriorating conditions will run their course.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:42 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 229

Seems that you’re talking about undoing the strategy that has kept poor whites and minorities pitted against each other from the founding of this country: the ‘crabs in a barrel’ syndrome.

If you can figure out how to undo that one, then maybe you’ve got something. But as long as there are wealthy people and as long as most of those wealthy people are White, it just isn’t going to happen. It’s too easy a tool to use in keeping the rabble down.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:42 pm
In response to duncan @ 243

Can’t. GTMO will be too filled with Bush and Obama Administration officials, not to mention bankers.

sona October 24th, 2010 at 3:43 pm
In response to phred @ 29

neither gandhi not king or mandela for that matter shied away from violence – they insisted in not instigating violence but never shied away from from facing it

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Speaking for myself, I’ve always been impressed that 90%+ of African-Americans vote Democratic. At least they know not to vote for a party of racists.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Yes, but the only places IRV has been successfully implemented, it’s been in entirely one-party areas. Why would the two hegemonic parties change a system that’s served to exclude others so well for so long? And, in one area where IRV was implemented, the very first Supervisor to be elected under the quirky consequences of the system is in federal prison now.

He was found, very very quickly, to be a crook, which discredited IRV throughout California. To the two parties’ benefit.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:44 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 241

Thank you for the time you’ve taken to talk to me, and I wish all of well in our collective future. I can only hope things work out, but I guess if it really does come down to the worst possible scenario, I’ll be ready…

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:44 pm
In response to lsls @ 242

No one on FDL would kick off an armed revolution. Let’s make that clear.

Can you imagine the early Woody Allen-ness of the lot of us field stripping our AK-47s blindfolded?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:45 pm
In response to fuckno @ 248

He can, but he won’t. First and foremost, I don’t think he knows enough history to understand the situation that he is in right now. Also he’s so owned by business that he can’t ask them to take a breather in their rape-and-pillage routine.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

You’re welcome, and thanks for participating in the discussion.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:47 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 252

Speaking for myself but actually for all Black people, I can say that you got that right. If there’s one thing — ONE thing most Black people get right, it’s spotting folks who will not act in their interests as Black people.

This entire discussion is one that’s been a constant in the Black Community, as you might expect. Have you spoken to many veterans of the 60′s movement to contruct your strategy?

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Well….$#&%.

There’s no way to overcome those flops? Surely no system is perfect, but can’t we at least agree that one is more-fair, despite that?

sadlyyes October 24th, 2010 at 3:47 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 256

he knew enuf to tell banksters he was between them and the pitchforks….he is just unprincipled imo

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 252

But that’s not always been the case, of course.

Blacks voted with the Party of Lincoln until FDR put together the fragile New Deal coalition, busted open shortly after his death by Hubert Humphrey on one side and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond on the other. Once whites had completed their migration to the GOP, blacks to the Democrats, our current configuration was in place.

marymccurnin October 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I thought BP gave him the most.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 256

Why is O so blind, since he did spend some time community organizing & presumably saw what those lives were like?

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to duncan @ 255

Lock and load…..the batteries into our laptops…

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
In response to lsls @ 242

Ten minutes left!

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 263

That was simply to build up his leftie cred.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
In response to mercury @ 258

“The Anti-American Manifesto” doesn’t really address strategy in detail. I am, however, planning a follow-up book that suggests how to implement a post-American government that would transition into a better way of life for most people.

A lot of 1960s activists have been coming to my book signings. Some great discussions have taken place there. An amazing number of them are still energized and ready to finish what they started.

cbl October 24th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 229

Jane Hamsher has spoken to this – frequently mentioning the success of the Audit The Fed efforts as a direct result of so called disparate groups joining forces – it’s out there alright – they’re not all the racist eliminationists we see on the teevee

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Of course it’s more fair — to everyone but the parties who control whether it gets implemented everywhere. You’re asking entrenched interests to put in place a system that will generate challenges in the general election that each is used to co-opting in a primary. How will that implementation happen, exactly?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
In response to sadlyyes @ 260

Unprincipled=definition of politician. Also not as smart as advertised.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 267

You’ll need a real fucking huge and clear crystal ball for that, Ted. Good luck, tho.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 263

That was anthropology, pure and simple.

Study. And learning how to act, walk, and talk.

To fool people, to blend, and to pass.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Technically, of course, you’re correct. But Republicans then were the party of inclusion; in other words like today’s Republicans in name only.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Thank you Ted; I will be buying your book.

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I obviously haven’t read the book, but I’m wondering what role, if any, regionalization will play in this potential breakdown/revolution/devolution? After all, the original state of our country was essentially a treaty between independent states that was then developed through the Constitutional convention into a federal republic (actually a timarchy, really).

Do you think it possible that the country will undergo a balkanization of sorts?

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Everyone should buy this book.

I can’t imagine having continued FDL discussions without everyone having read it. Beg or borrow it if you can’t afford it. It’s wonderful.

Thanks, Ted, thanks David.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
In response to duncan @ 274

Thanks, duncan!

Economic recovery begins here.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Suddenly all the talk about him being conceived as part of a plot to get a turncoat Muslim elected President doesn’t sound so nutty after all!!

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
In response to David Axe @ 265

Hahaha

BevW October 24th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

As we come to the end of this great Book Salon,

Ted, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and the future.

David, Thank you again for returning and for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:
Ted’s website, book
David’s website, book

Thanks everyone,
Have a great week.

duncan October 24th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 277

I seek to undermine the consumer fascist economy by, uh, participating in it.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
In response to MrSandman @ 275

Yes, I do. It’s easy to imagine occupied territories like Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, the Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, etc. breaking away during a collapse scenario. Also fairly self-sustaining areas like California and New York/New England.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:54 pm
In response to lsls @ 279

I mean, for the discussion. Not the country.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for the plug, Teddy!

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’m guessing the answer ISN’T a large-scale grassroots movement? Do the people really have NO power anymore, whatsoever? Really…nothing at all, then? Is violence, then, the default answer? If so, how do we keep from destroying each other instead of building towards a truly better future for all of us? I feel like I’d regret it if I didn’t at least try the nonviolent way first… so I’m gonna follow my heart/guts/intuition/whatever you wanna call it. I don’t even want to think of revolution, honestly… I’m not a fan of warfare and pointless death…

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
In response to BevW @ 280

Thanks, Bev, for setting this up. It was very fun.

David Axe October 24th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Okay, I’m out. Thanks, all!

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 282

That’s what I suspect as well. Thanks. We may yet see the return of the Nullification Crisis in a different form…

Thanks for spending time with us. I enjoyed it and hope you did too.

eCAHNomics October 24th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
In response to fuckno @ 266

Seems so, but still, why did it leave NO impression on him whatsoever. My life has been economically blessed, as has been that of most of the people I know, yet small contacts and books and articles about those who have not been so lucky have made a great impression on me.

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Neither am I. But some things are worth risking everything for, including the struggle to save the world and the people who live in it from pointless misery.

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 3:56 pm
In response to David Axe @ 283

lol. Actually, I would definitely fight to my maximum ability if I had to. During the occupation in Norway, my mother smuggled guns for the resistance.

fuckno October 24th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 289

soulless opportunism?

Ted Rall October 24th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thanks, everyone! Thanks, David! Feel free to contact me directly through my blog:

http://www.rall.com/rallblog

cbl October 24th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I ordered it based on your comments about it – can’t wait ;D

MrSandman October 24th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Not when you have one hundred different messages at rallies and protests. It’s why the early civil rights movement succeeded, because the message was one: desegregation, and desegregation NOW. While the anti-war movement was less successful, it endured because it too had one message: end the war NOW.

The last couple of times I went to any protests, I saw so many diverse messages and signs, it became difficult to tell just what the demonstration was about. Single-issue messages/memes work best. It’s a lesson we need to re-learn.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thank you all for having this salon. This was really my first actual interaction with anyone on this site, so I’ll definitely be around here and there, as it was great talking to all of you.

Petro October 24th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Ha ha. Those islands will be underwater soon enough.

Ted & Dave, This is an absolutely fascinating discussion and it is quite uplifting to see the perception spreading.

And thumbs up to FDL for the courage to host it.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 4:00 pm
In response to MrSandman @ 295

what about this: GOVT: OF BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!!

that’s what it’s all about right? that about sums up what I’m going for… lol

lsls October 24th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Check “notifications” at the top of the page in the blue bar. Also, don’t worry…the People have the power.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
In response to Ted Rall @ 290

What he said, i.

mercury October 24th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

But who are “THE PEOPLE”? It might depend on who you ask.

Teddy Partridge October 24th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Welcome!

Great debut.

knowbuddhau October 24th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
In response to David Axe @ 205

O brother, my Brother David, gotta bow into the ring on that note, as one who distinctly remembers how the parties rigged the debates to choose our candidates for us. You gotta be effing kidding me.

Given all we now know about secret Koch conclaves, is it so far fetched that a concerted effort was made to make the selection long before election day? Must you dismiss the idea out of hand by alluding to some comical cabal?

It’s very well known that Obama was getting the Wall Street money, which has always gone to the frontrunner, long before he was the frontrunner. Doesn’t take one singular group of sinister cabalists to meet in darkened rooms to accomplish that. Isn’t it odd that Goldman Sachs is Obama’s biggest backer?

As far as I can tell, it’s how businesses shape politics, not a nutty conspiracy to be dismissed out of hand.

All due respect, the assertion that “We” elected Obama, in an fully free and fair expression of our collective political will, is a myth of the type with which we keep getting jacked to hell and stuck with the bill in every freakin way.

Election theft happens, brother. And I’m sure top corporate Dems have few scruples when it comes to taking power (Robert freakin Rubin comes to mind).

Our elections aren’t as free and fair as you might think.

intentionality October 24th, 2010 at 4:08 pm
In response to mercury @ 301

Ah the problem of definition…. seems like it could apply to a few other things I know of… quite a problem it is, at that….

@IsIs: Thanks, I really hope that’s the case lol

@Teddy: Thank you, as well. I’ve read some of your posts already, great stuff. Looking forward to talking with you all about well, all of this and everything else, in the future :)

knowbuddhau October 24th, 2010 at 4:08 pm
In response to duncan @ 255

No, but who needs arms when we have wireless keyboards and broadband? ; }

juslin October 24th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

excellent salon today.. great comments as usual ;o)

maizenblue October 24th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Ted, congrats on all your success! I admire you for courage and for not losing your youthful idealism.

dirac October 24th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
In response to knowbuddhau @ 303

Well said. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but we’re pretty much reduced to a plebiscite AFAIC. Sheldon Wolin says that much in Democracy, Inc.

Thanks, Ted, for writing your book and I look forward to your next one. Take care.

seaglass October 24th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I’ve heard all this before. Americans aren’t going to start a Revolution. Even if suddenly tens of millions found themselves inexplicably starving and on the streets they still wouldn’t start a Revolution. Americans are sheep.

Bluetoe2 October 24th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Corporate capitalism is today what the slave trade was in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. A morally bankrupt system that rewards the few at the expense of the many.

Bluetoe2 October 24th, 2010 at 6:18 pm
In response to phred @ 97

Why do you think Roosevelt initiated the reforms of the New Deal. Revolution loomed on the horizon.

workingclass October 25th, 2010 at 7:51 am

When the dollar goes to zero the empire will collapse Soviet Union style and domestic chaos will ensue. The revolution will consist of several secession movements by various self identified regions and/or States. The governance of the resulting sovereign States (or semi autonomous regions) will vary but the socialist influence of South America will be important. How long and how bloody will this period be? I have no idea.

I like your attitude Mr. Rall and will read your book even though I only read a few books each year. Americans are about to be plunged unexpectedly into a third world economy. Revolution is inevitable.

Missouri Mule October 25th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Remember this? He missed his June-July prediction, but the prediction itself is just creepy– and not beyond the realm of imagination, either.

As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.
In Moscow, Igor Panarin’s Forecasts Are All the Rage; America ‘Disintegrates’ in 2010

In preview, it looks like the link isn’t showing, so you can find it here (and many other places):
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

egregious October 28th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Great salon – thanks all!

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