Saturday, May 19, 2012

The politics of uprising

photo by AP Photo/M.Spencer Green from the Nation

Important  piece here from the  US Nation magazine by John Nichols on the new politics, which is arising not from established political systems or political parties, but from the streets.

As Nichols points out this is a politics of "uprising". This is a politics that challenges policies of austerity and corporate power and marches and votes to put human needs ahead of corporate greed.

The  focus of these uprisings is increasingly on the excesses of corporate capitalism and the merging of corporate power with political and state power, what the distinguished American political scientist Sheldon Wolin calls "inverted totalitarianism".

And importantly it is an uprising that positions itself outside the existing political structures and political parties. 
The proponents of austerity—from Madison to Washington to Berlin to Athens—would have us believe that nations, states and communities must sacrifice public education, public services and healthcare in order to balance budgets. Yet the same politicians who preach that there is no money for vaccinations and school lunches can always find the money for corporate tax breaks, payouts to defense contractors and wars of whim.

Politicians in both parties tell austerity lies.

But the people are pushing back.

There’s an uprising brewing, not just in Europe but in American states such as Wisconsin and Ohio. There’s a dawning recognition that it is neither morally nor fiscally prudent to sacrifice human needs in order to pay for wars—or to redistribute more of the wealth upward. We do not need “shared sacrifice” and the lie of austerity. We need new priorities.

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