Welcome Joseph Costello (AlterNet.org), and Host Jerome Armstrong (HuffingtonPost)

Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt, and Democracy

Joe Costello is big on political reform, and in his new book, Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt, and Democracy, he believes that there is something for people to do, who are disenfranchised. To stay involved in the electoral process? Yes, sure, but that system is largely broken, so something needs to be created alongside that where people can get involved, first through more awareness and education. For example, many have been learning how banking works, how everything went wrong, and we are reaching a critical mass of people who are aware. Secondly, through communication with other people. Talking with each other; getting beyond the bifurcated shut-down of conversation because of “conservative-liberal” or “Democrat-Republican” divide that seems set up to be permanently diversionary. Instead, let’s talk about banking, lets talk about money, and debt; how does the money system work, how should it work better? It’s with this sort of starting point (which is similar to how the Populists started over 100 years ago) that we can radically began to reform the political situation. All through history political reform has taken this path, and whether through occupy, tea party, or netroots, we can see the strands of the conversation beginning to take shape. The system is designed to split us, and we are the ones who have to engage in education and conversation in order to come together to reform the political structure.

As a way of introduction:

Costello wrote Of, By, For to help start a conversation on how to begin developing a politics of reform in America. He believes the foundation of any reform movement is democracy and the American people reclaiming, reviving, and evolving their roles as citizens. In Of, By, For he focuses on several issues he believes are key to 21st century democracy. These include; debt, money and banking, corporations, energy, and technology. He takes an historical look and examines the contemporary shape of these issues, asking what should they look like in the 21st century.

Costello firmly advocates our contemporary politics are both immensely corrupt and broken. The current processes will lead to no solutions, with solutions only being gained when the American people step in and redefine self-government in the 21st century. And that this is in the best tradition of the American experiment.

Joe Costello has been in or closely following American politics for over three decades. He started in 1979, joining Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge campaign against incumbent Democratic president Jimmy Carter. He spent 12 years running campaigns from the city council to congressional levels, and in 1992 was Communications Director for California Governor’s Jerry Brown’ 1992 presidential campaign. Having watched the dissolution of the New Deal Coalition throughout the 80s, he became increasingly concerned with the dominant role of money in electoral politics and the increasing corruption and dysfunction of our political system and government. He left electoral politics to work on renewable energy issues and the Internet, returning in 2004 to be a Senior Adviser for Howard Dean’s presidential run.

During Howard Dean’s campaign is where I met Joe, and began to engage with him in conversations. This book grew out of his Archean listserve which I have followed over the years. His political journey has landed him in a spot where he is ready and willing to engage what comes next. Like Joe, I came to a similar conclusion a couple of years ago; that we have to get rid of the partisan divide as a notion of identity and get beyond that in order to move to something different, writing that to fix this: “…its going to take progressives, libertarians, tea partiers, coffee partiers, conservatives… everyone that is not part of the problem (the financial/political/military elite).” Our government is big problem, and its not just ours, but global. Personally, I think ignoring it and moving onto one’s own life and community focus, is just fine. But if you are going to stay engaged through these political blogs and the online netroots, then we might as well look for a solution together.


[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

70 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Joseph Costello, Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt, and Democracy”

BevW June 24th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Joe, Welcome to the Lake.

Jerome, Welcome back to the Lake, and thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

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Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

thanks jerome and firedoglake pleasure to be here

Yes we need to reinvent politics and the best way to do that is start local and with the things in your life, start talking with your friends and co-workers, start using less oil, car pool, start educating each other on banking etc.

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

occurs to me Joe, that you might actually be an advocate of what I recommend as an alternative above (“Personally, I think ignoring it, and moving onto one’s own life and community focus, is just fine”), but that you might reply, that’s not ignoring it, but ‘a way to create processes and associations outside of the established system, and then confront it.’ Correct? 

dakine01 June 24th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Good afternoon Joe and Jerome and welcome to FDL this afternoon.

Joe, I have not had an opportunity to read your book but based on Jerome’s intro, I do have a couple of questions

How do folks outside the beltway get the attention of the folks inside the beltway and make them understand how badly frosted folks are at seeing their democracy for sale to the corporations?

Do we have enough years before the globe falls apart to affect the necessary changes?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Let me also say, Im doing this book tour and wanting people to use this book as a way to start discussion, id be happy come to meet and talk with people, ill be on the West Coast last three weeks of july, email me joe@ofbyforbook.com if you want to set something up

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 4

You have to organize outside the beltway first, on issues that are impacting your life, like oil, banking, move your money out of the big banks, get your local government to quit doing business with them, when people start working locally they will see wherever they are, theyre up against the same large national/global forces, going straight at DC this point is pretty much a waste of time at this point, until your organized in way that if they dont do what you want, you throw them out

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I’ll add, I think events are in the saddle at this point, and most of our politics whether left or right are pretty reactionary, we need much more creative thinking

HelenaHandbasket June 24th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

If we agree that getting the influence of money out of politics is a good thing, beyond overturning Citizens United, what are the steps to campaign finance reform/public financing?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Well, I think we need to expand our view on this, money is a serious problem, in 92 I was Communications Director for Jerry Brown’s Democratic presidential primary run, we talked about if we didnt fix the election system it was only going to get worse and thats proven our case.

But its not just money, though its important, its the corporate media, there are no more parties in any real sense, and most importantly the concentration of wealth at this point, makes it impossible to have a functioning democracy, wealth redistribution is part of electoral reform

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

And Ill add much of the professional political class is a problem in stopping any reform

dakine01 June 24th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
In response to Joseph Costello @ 9

As a technical note, there is a “Reply” button in the lower right hand of each comment. Pressing “Reply” will pre-fill the commenter name and comment number being replied to and makes it easier to follow the conversation.

Note: some browsers do not like to let the Reply work correctly if it is pressed after a hard page refresh but before the page has completed loading

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

We need to look at politics much more than just the elections process and for the most part it doesnt exist, the last ten years has seen some hopeful movement, like blogs like these, but it needs to become much more, for example we need to forget about reforming the corporate media and create new media, where we can educate and talk with each other, you cant have a democracy based on people making decisions based on 30 second ads, thats marketing not democracy

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 11

ok thanks

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to Joseph Costello @ 5

Hope there will be an event in San Diego area? Will you post a schedule? I’m looking here: http://ofbyforbook.com/events

Mauimom June 24th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
In response to Joseph Costello @ 9

Joe, welcome to the Lake.

I noted in Jerome’s introduction your work with Jerry Brown, and you’ve mentioned it here yourself.

As a former Californian who used to really LIKE Jerry Brown [but I haven't lived in CA for years], what has HAPPENED to him? It seems to me he’s abandoned so many of the stands that previously made him popular.

Is it all the strangulation of the state budget caused by Prop. 13?

Is there ANY way to overcome this? What is Brown trying to do now, and why?

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Joe, have you seen anything over the last year or so that has inspired you with representing a new narrative than the current impasse?

dakine01 June 24th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I try to do some of that when I post at my own sucky little blog as well as when I share posts from FDL.. Don’t know if I have changed any minds but I know I have had some of my more conservative friends at least read and think

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

yes definitely going to be in San Diego around third week of July, will be on the events page as things get going. Also would very much like people to set up events and get a little organic growth, if you’d like to do that email me joe@ofbyforbook.com

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

In terms of getting people involved in their own self-governance, Mike Gravel supported the idea of a national initiative. Is that anything you looked at?

The central power of government in a democracy is lawmaking –– not voting. … American citizens can gain control of their government by becoming lawmakers and turning its purpose to public benefit …

Laws for public benefit… it’s been awhile.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to Mauimom @ 15

Yeah Prop 13 has definitely been a problem, the state had to start funding more and more of education especially as real estate taxes had been the main funding for education. So, yes a problem.

I have great respect for Jerry, he has been of the most imaginative politicians we’ve had in the last 40 years in this country. But he’s now locked into the same straight jacket all our politics is right now, between taxing and cutting, we all need to get more imaginative

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I think in general people are starting to understand the importance of economics, and we need to rethink it, and thats beginning, occupy was an attempt, but we have long way to go, but I think the understanding is growing

Phoenix Woman June 24th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Welcome, Joe!

Joe, it almost seems as if the only way to get through positive change is to a) sneak it through and/or b) play the powers that be off against each other. Can you comment on that?

Siun June 24th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Welcome Joe and Jerome,

It’s great to see the focus on shifting to local organizing outside the standard party duopoly.

You mention banking as a focus but do you also see other localized issues as potential foundations for major change?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 17

I think its really important we all get beyond liberal/conservative dem/rep, it stops conversation, ive had a lot of good conversations with “conservatives” about banking and money, they’re very concerned about it. We need to look at reforming politics from an issue basis to start, realizing some of these things dont have an immediate solution and were going to have try different things, and that as far as things like banking, energy, corporate reform, it cut across established lines

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I dont think thats the right way, i think the way to reform american politics is to start from the bottom-up, city and county governments are very powerful, they can tax, do bonds, thats money. People can participate, DC is far away, not to mention very corrupt and very broken, and they are related

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:47 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 22

Organizing is a lost art in America. The structure of life is very much determined by large centralized forces, either corporate or out of DC, as far as the associations that so impressed Toqueville in the 18th century, almost non-existent. We need to learn how to organize again and education and conversation are the basis for any organization, than action. The American people can be very very powerful in any number of ways if they act together, and to do that, they need to organize

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Have you followed the Just Say Yes movement for decriminalization efforts around pot, that FDL has been behind over the last couple of political cycles, and how do you see this sort of issue reform that goes on nationally in the netroots working with your ideas about reform? I think they’ve been very successful with generating a discussion that isn’t rooted within the partisan divide.

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I thought the national initiative WAS bottom up, people initiate. Gravel impressed me and I was sorry he didn’t get a better chance to explain it before he was disappeared.

masaccio June 24th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

My experiences talking with republicans have been really unpleasant. It’s almost as if they can’t stand to agree with me on anything.

On edit, maybe that’s just me.

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Are you still in touch with Jerry Brown? I miss the old (young) Jerry Brown, I loved Governor Moonbeam. Does he (miss his old ideals)? I can’t tell you how it hurts to see him raiding the mortgage settlement fund, especially the part that would have helped homeowners bring legal challenges that the atty gen won’t.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to Siun @ 23

Yes most importantly oil. The great change that we continue through in American political economy happened with the oil shocks of the 70s. In short the era of cheap oil is over, but the American economy runs on cheap oil, thats a major problem and in the last couple years, everytime the economy seems to have little force, price of oil rises and kills it, thats where we are.

Oil is part of all our lives, we can all do something about of it. I think we should start and say, in five years we’re going to cut American oil consumption by a third, going to leave the car at home once a week to start, use mass transit, walk, bike, car pool. And then start working with our local governments in figuring how to make our communities less oil dependent, really there’s no more important issue than this.

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Also would love to hear your opinion on Occupy — are you coordinating with them, energized by them… ?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

No havent followed it closely, its pretty clear the “War on Drugs” has been a complete failure, we need to rethink this fundamentally, prohibition was a failure too. So, yes I think this amongst other issues, are ways to get beyond the atrophy of our current bipartisan politics

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 2:57 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 22

Hi there, good to see you again. Or confront their exposed weaknesses. McCain-Fiengold in 2002 passing to get Bush’s signature was a good example of timing and strategy, right during the Enron fiasco–God, that seems like such small fries compared with the looting going on lately.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I think we need more focus about what were doing in our lives and what were doing in our communities, DC was never supposed to be such a focus in the american system, remember Jefferson said “divide the counties into wards” if you want democracy it needs some sort of distributed network order, this could be one of the great creative politics periods in history, in fact it has to, but we need to be imaginative and historical at the same time

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

What are you’re thoughts on the debt Joe, in regards to the framing of it by both sides, and what they are not saying– ie, how will it be resolved?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to masaccio @ 29

The majority of people in this country have no real political identity, most who call themselves D or R, even then its limited, and we talk using the accepted political vocabulary, and that immediately ends all conversation, have political conversations about issues, and say at outset, we’re not going to use dem or rep or liberal or conservative. It opens things up.

The only trend in party politics in america for the past 50 years has been the decline of both parties and the rise of independents, and they have almost no political idenity, the disenfranchisement of the majority of Americans from politics is a real problem, a danger Id say. But it offers the opportunity to create something new, define the citizen for the 21st century

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Not much, Jerry was Attorney General, he should have suited the banks, if he stayed there he could be establishing monetary policy in America right now

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

the American economy runs on cheap oil, thats a major problem

Thinking of Who Killed The Electric Car? documentary — California had a zero-emissions mandate, electric cars were built to meet that mandate, but the mandate was quashed in a CARB board vote and electric cars disappeared — GM recalled all theirs and shredded them. The advanced battery patent was sold to an oil company that locked it away in a closet. One of the CARB board members who voted away the mandate in the face of massive public testimony going the other way was Ron Roberts, who has been a fixture of San Diego County government and is now chairman of the Board of Supervisors. What can you do?

Who Killed The Electric Car? trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsJAlrYjGz8

joelmael June 24th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

“we need to forget about reforming the corporate media and create new media, where we can educate and talk with each other”

I am glad you used ‘with’ and not ‘to’. each other. Lining up with our side against their side and yelling across the room or across the street or across the innertubes has not and will not get us anywhere. Blogging needs to change, someone has to take the lead to promote decent useful conversation…that someone is us.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I dont have a strong opinion of Occupy, I dont know what it was, and I don’t think they did. It made sense in a political system thats so corrupt and people disenfranchised at some point a group would show up and say, “this sucks”, we want to do something.

I hope they’re still meeting, talking and reaching out, we all need to occupy our lives, that would be a start.

karenjj2 June 24th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Thank you, Joe, for your reality-based appraisal of our broken system; and promoting the rebuilding our communities at the local level where we can have an effect.

blenkinsop June 24th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Joe, what is your response to the Paul Ryans of the world when they harp on the debt as a percentage of GDP and rant about how catastrophic that is?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Well, I think the debt brings up a couple bigger questions. First is money, and money is a political construct. The definition and processes of money became settled with the establishment of the Fed in 1913, it gave the banks tremendous power in this country, and with ever further consolidation has given a few people extraordinary power, unprecedented in american history. So, like the Populists in 1880s, we need to have a national conversation on money.

Second, the ever increasing debt is signalling problems with the economy, we have to change it, the simplistic notion we either cut or spend more doesnt add much to anything. Lets remember its military spending and our oil dependency that our the biggest contributors to the debt

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to joelmael @ 40

i think an essential element to moving politics on the net to the next stage is organizing face to face meetings

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Am in NYC this weekend seeing that Charlie Rangel goe down, and stopped by Zuccotti, yes, still meeting. About 3-4 groups of 6-12 each, airing it out. I rec the compilation book, Occupy: Scenes from Occupied America. I think the narrative around 99% is a good start, but the most potential happened and left too quickly– that of taking money out of the banks and moving it to credit unions. Occupy The Boardroom was one of the early organizers of it.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to blenkinsop @ 43

Again, the increasing debt signals problems with real economy, thats what we need to talk about, the military is and has been the biggest contributor to the debt for decades, and remember since the 70s oil shock a big part of that has gone to “secure” the Gulf, I dont think much of the political class talks about that

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Yes, I think its healthy to begin a much needed discussion about economy, no democracy can function with such great disparities of wealth. The crushing and to be honest the self-destruction of labor had great impact on American politics, it had alternative economic views.

Then the Democratic establishment — Clintons, Schumers, Baucus’ go down the list, all capitulated to the Reagan Revolution, Wall Street, the banks and mega-corporations, we need new views of what poliitcal economy in the 21st century looks like.

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
In response to blenkinsop @ 43

I think it’s pointless trying to argue the premise, like the typical wonk liberal response. Instead it’s a good opening to leap frog their talk of social spending as ballooning, and talk of the spending problem being increased military,, police and pentagon-spending as ballooning, whereas military, police and pentagon-related expenditures, deficit bailouts/spending (money going to banks and lenders), and corporate welfare and handouts are what a progressive would point to foremost with the spending and priorities problerelated expenditures, deficit bailouts/spending (money going to banks and lenders), and corporate welfare and handouts foremost the problem. Not the reason, but the solution of what we need to cut.

blenkinsop June 24th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

But then they come back and say “It’s just math” as though that ends the discussion and proves that nothing is as important as cutting spending. Unless it’s military spending of course.

CTuttle June 24th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Aloha, Joseph and Jerome…! That’s exactly what Occupy Hilo is doing these days, Joe…! We’re ‘occupying’ our County Council and forcing them to pass favorable legislation…! We’re constantly meeting with other grassroot orgs, like the environmentalists from Pele’s Defense Fund, to the gun-toting, Pig Hunters Association, we’re all pissed…!

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Where do you think the populists ultimately succeeded, and where also they fell short?

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Electric vehicles are part of the future only part. Best thing is to think about how you can use less oil, everyone can do that, tomorrow.

Ludwig June 24th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The military/economic responses have not been reactionary — they are opportunistic. The political class does not plan for such exposure.

Jerome Armstrong June 24th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

No offense meant Joe with the hacking slam on wonks :)

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
In response to blenkinsop @ 50

The debate about the budget is meaningless without the context of the larger economy, thats what needs to be talked about, and again talking about it the context of our current left/right divide gets no one nowhere.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:33 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 51


Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Well they lost the big questions on money, which the NY banks won, and on figuring out the politics of technology, particularily in this case the railroads, which was a major cause of deflation in that era.

however, they also won over time, direct election of the senate, progessive taxing, and initiatives, all of which were instituted in the next twenty years by the “progressives”, but i think the greatest thing about the populists is the effort itself, it was one of the great small “d” democratic movements of history, it has a lot of lessons about how to organize. I highly recommend Lawerence Goodwyn’s “The Populist Moment” a great book of American history

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Sorry for the length of this question, you can skip over it here, but it’s where I start when I think about what’s gone wrong with America and how to fix it:

Jefferson said “divide the counties into wards”

He also said

THOMAS JEFFERSON (1789): I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

Do you look at recovering jury power/jury nullification as the legitimate, constitutional, lost way of people gaining back control of government?

There is no doubt that jury nullification was one of the rights and powers that the people were exercising in 1791 when the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution was adopted. As legal historian Lawrence Friedman has written (PDF):

In American legal theory, jury-power was enormous, and subject to few controls. There was a maxim of law that the jury was judge both of law and of fact in criminal cases. This idea was particularly strong in the first Revolutionary generation when memories of royal justice were fresh. Jury nullification is therefore one of the “rights…retained by the people” in the Ninth Amendment. And it is one of the “powers…reserved…to the people” in the Tenth Amendment.

Jury nullification is decentralization of political power. It is the people’s most important veto in our constitutional system. The jury vote is the only time the people ever vote on the application of a real law in real life. All other votes are for hypotheticals.

The fact that a jury nullification is anathema to courts now says it all. You can’t be seated on a jury without agreeing to pack your conscience away and follow whatever the court tells you, if you are seated you will be told not to use your conscience and not to decide right and wrong, and Julian Heicklen, who was passing out FIJA leaflets outside a New York courthouse, was prosecuted. He was acquitted, but not because the court discovered nullification was included in what “jury” meant in the Constitution. Brings us back to Jefferson:

The Obstinate Dr. Heicklen

Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson noted with disdain that judges were working hard to bury jury nullification. It reflected a pernicious “slide into toryism,” he remarked in a letter to James Madison in 1826. In Jefferson’s view, judges and prosecutors who rejected the jury’s right of nullification were betraying the values of the Constitution and instead embracing those of the British Crown. “They suppose themselves… Whigs, because they no longer know what Whigism or republicanism means.” The fundamental question to put to the “tory” prosecutors who have brought the Heicklen case is simple: what about the First Amendment?

The reason it makes such sense to me is that it provides a check and balance on the Supreme Court that was there originally but got lost I think in Marbury vs Madison. If one of the branches isn’t checked and balanced, the ring architecture is lost and you’re back to top-down/monarchy.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to Ludwig @ 54

Oh i think theyve been plenty reactionary, but either way, not helpful

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

its a good point

Siun June 24th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Unfortunate you’re not in touch with Occupy on a regular basis since local Occupy groups – and there are tons of them – are doing really interesting local organizing and making a difference. For example, in Austin, they are supporting tenants in a disastrous housing complex and coordinating with union members from Indiana who are having trouble with a company owned by Austin based investors.

If we encourage people to organize more locally, we also have to realize that the important stories may not be national news type events and will not happen just in NYC or Oakland or DC. We need to look more closely and honor those local efforts.

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

this is a very good point, the jury as the final judge is an important element of self-government. For example in the Roman Republic, the final court that is the Supreme Court, was an assembly of the people.

But it gets into a larger point ive been thinking more about later. If we want democracy, we have to create a politics that is much more dynamic, that allows people to make decisions and change they’re minds. Our system whether corporate or DC has become much too bureaucratic, that is the death of self-government. We have all this new technology, which allows the ability to revive and just as importantly evolve our systems of democratic self-government.

We have to remember politics is a process, its not a product, this whole idea of making government run more like an industrial corporation is inane. But back to your point, the jury system is the height of democracy.

CTuttle June 24th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
In response to Siun @ 62

Well said, Siun…! *g*

BevW June 24th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

As we come to the end of this Book Salon,

Joe, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book – Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt, and Democracy

Jerome, Thank you for Hosting this Book Salon.

Thanks all, Have a great week.

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Siun @ 62

I agree 100%. I’ve figured things must be going on, and Ive heard of some from people, and I think thats great. But your point on national media is really really important.

One thing I’ve learned in my political experience is, “you live by the corporate media, you die by it.” And lets be honest the whole occupy experience came to most people’s attention when the corporate media covered, and then they pulled the plug, and it was gone off most people’s radar screen.

This is a very important lesson, using the corporate media is at best a double edged sword, its important to understand a lot of the “press strategies” of the last half-century, just aren’t effective anymore. We need to build new independent communications, news, organizing. So, Im glad thats what’s happening, thats really healthy!!

Joseph Costello June 24th, 2012 at 3:59 pm
In response to BevW @ 65

Thanks to FiredogLake, Jerome and all, I very much appreciate.

BevW June 24th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Joe, Thank you. Safe Travels on the book tour.

thatvisionthing June 24th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

that allows people to make decisions and change they’re minds.

That’s it! They keep thinking, and they keep talking with each other. They meet on the same page today (note the big print) and try on all the hats and come back and meet on the same page tomorrow, as equals, freshened. They stay alive and they keep trying and thinking new things and reality checking. Does it float? Are we holding hands? It’s natural perpetual maintenance of law and citizens. The point isn’t to find the witches and cast them out and feel that justice has been done when that happens. Courts were meant for reasoning together, and flow, not rising levels of distance and royal hubris and sclerosis.

CTuttle June 24th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

The MSM pulled the plug because it behooves them to look away, our local rags are owned by the real RW, Stephens Media Group…! And as much noise as we’ve made, they still refuse to cover us, and/or they’ll cite other community groups. When we were the ones spearheading the actions…!

Mahalo Nui Loa, Joseph, Jerome, and, Bev, for another excellent Book Salon…! *g*

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