Monday, November 23, 2009

Protests at Home and Abroad?

Robert Reich's Blog post of November 17th: Obama, China, and Wishful Thinking About American Jobs is very interesting. You can find it here

He quoted Pres. Obama: “We cannot go back...”
“...we're taking out a bunch of credit-card debt of home equity loans, but we're not selling anything to them.” Dr. Reich is discussing here the wish that the many Chinese will become consumers of American goods and services.

He went on to describe one reason the Chinese government will not, cannot, let that happen. Why they are building more factories to produce more than they can consume. If they do not create more jobs for the poor that are heading for the factories, they face possible “massive disorder”.

Thus China wants American “know-how”. So in order to sell products in China, US companies must cut deals to make goods in China not in the US. He ends this blog post with the following:

Both societies are threatened by the disconnect between production and consumption. In China, the threat is civil unrest. In the U.S., it's a prolonged jobs and earnings recession that, when combined with widening inequality, could create political backlash.

Why is it that in the U.S. The fear is only of political backlash? Why isn't there more “civil unrest” here? Of course civil unrest here doesn't need to be the same as in China. We don't need to worry about deaths to the demonstrators. We don't need to worry about trials for the demonstrators. Well mostly we don't have to fear these reactions. Why?

There are many questions in that paragraph. Maybe you have some good answers? Here are a few of my thoughts.

Maybe we are getting older and lazier? Maybe we are too busy watching TV? Maybe we are just too depressed to march? Maybe we no longer feel we have any way to make changes- “Our government doesn't listen no matter what we do.” ? Maybe we don't have the money to make the trip to ...? Maybe we have so much going on, or not as the case may be, we are in a state of confusion? (Sometimes that is me) Too many groups asking you to email, write, call, or march about so many good causes?

As for the last Why: Maybe the government and the politicians have figured out that if you let people march in protest without a lot of push back they won't get much coverage and they will pack up and go back to their meager little lives after their little protests. Think about it.

With all these questions and the many answers, the vote becomes more important than ever. My idea is that maybe instead of dread and disgust with politicians and politics we should start to study them now.
Remember 2010 could get very interesting.
Don't forget Vote Smart. It is a good way to keep up to date and keep track.

Photo is an edited photo taken by my Baby Brother.


  1. RE: "We don't need to worry about deaths to the demonstrators. .. "

    To paraphrase someone - Nixon didn't get us out of Vietnam, the peace protesters did. Reagan didn't tear down that wall, it was relentless committed people that did.

    Those same forces that ripped apart our country and parts of the world are still hard at work today; relentlessly distorting, exploiting and manipulating our minds, our media, our values, our religion and our freedoms - still relentlessly working to win at any cost, as long as it is not theirs, and force their self-serving ideologies and demagoguery on us and the world.

    These are the forces that caused Kent State, Watts, veterans living on the streets, the decimation of the middle class and it's values ... and most of the violence and waste all over this country and the world.

    But sadly it is our soldiers, our children, our protesters, our poor and less fortunate that pay and paid the price with their hearts, minds and bodies for the greed, avarice and self-serving stupidity of a few. And we the voters that keep allowing this to happen over and over.

    Is it going to take another Kent State to wake up this country again and start us "walking our talk"? I fear we are moving in that direction much faster than most people realize.

  2. Kanna, your post certainly gives me a lot to think about and it is so good to read what you write. Very nice work.

    You may be right about peaceful protests being ineffective because no one covers it on the TV's that people are watching at night instead of being out there with the protestors. We are all a little too comfortable today and we don't have to do anything about our situation as it stands and maybe a lot of people are afraid or lazy and would rather sit at home on their computers and bitch..

    I like Anon's comment and I agree with it... Good writing

  3. Thanks to both for the comments.
    Anon does write well. And makes great points here. I will probably read the comment and read it again so that it sinks into my pea-brain.
    Funny, my spouse and I were discussing Reagan ending communism, not. We often remember Nixon turning people out onto the streets. We were in DC for part of it. Now around KC they are working hard to get people out from under the bridges and overpasses. But, not by helping them just by moving them out.
    Thomas I am awaiting your post on Marxism and Lenin. So I will know why and what you were called.
    I admit to laziness, or tiredness, when it comes to protests the last year. I admit to selfishness.
    There were a couple of times after GW was elected I wanted to go join others but it didn't happen, lots of good excuses.
    So, I am considering the Vote Smart volunteer program. It would be a long trip but maybe once the roofing job is done and the son is safely ensconced I can pull it off.
    Always with me, and I am sure others, I say "for what it is worth..." I do not always trust my judgment.
    Thanks again to you both for commenting.