Modern American Heroes Fighting For Their Lives

Above: Thugs Carrying Away A Heroic Peasant

What separates a citizen from a peasant? One thing is access to quality medical care. Sure, a peasant might be able to afford the odd inoculation or bone-setting, but if they get hit with something serious like cancer or diabetes they’re going to need to see a highly-trained physician or two.

The Republican party is not interested in governing citizens. It is interested in ruling peasants:

Chaos erupted outside the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Thursday, shortly after Republican leaders unveiled their closely guarded plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Capitol police were seen physically removing demonstrators, many of whom were in wheelchairs and holding medical equipment, as they chanted their disapproval of the draft legislation. [my emphasis]

“No cuts to Medicaid,” they said, while blocking hallway access from McConnell’s office.

Mother Jones, great as they are, is far too kind- this plan wasn’t “closely guarded”, it was secret. And the reason it was secret until now- basically the last possible moment- is because it will kill people, which is generally not a popular thing among voters:

A comprehensive look at all the terrible things in this proposed law, which would need to be hashed out in negotiations between House and Senate Republicans as well as the man illegally occupying the office of president of the United States, is really beyond my meager abilities; this is a good start. But isn’t it enough to say people WILL die? Not a few or by the score or even hundreds- tens of thousands people will die if this becomes law.

Why have Republicans been so secretive and defied basic norms of democratic government in order to draft a bill that would kill and generally spread misery and poverty among their constituents? Because they want to cut the wealthiest people’s taxes and shower the already rich with yet more riches. This bill, in addition to the taxes it cuts itself, is all a set-up to cut and cap government spending.  It’s nothing but straight class warfare by our modern day nobles who see no need to contribute to as petty a cause as the medical care of regular people.

If you don’t support the needless death of peasants to lavish riches upon the noble class, this website is a good tool to use- it also has a general script to use if you want to call a senator they don’t have highlighted. The Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121- ask for your senator’s office, and tell them that you know what they’re doing- a vote may occur as soon as Thursday, June 29th, before the July 4th recess. They’ve been secretive and evasive in their quest for literal blood money, but they can’t hide forever. The people above put their literal bodies on the line so that they and their loved ones can live healthy and fulfilling lives- they are heroes, and you can join their side by calling. Do it and stay dissident!

 

The Fork In The Road: Capitalism Is Not An Option

Obvious.

Via The Original Great Orange Satan, just a brief note to flag this wonderfully exact paragraph on the future of American politics:

Too many people are assuming that young voters came for Sanders and got socialism on their shoes by accident. They’re ignoring the fact that the current form of capitalism is damn near played out. With automation leaning over every job—every job—like a grim reaper, and income inequality grossly distorting the system, the road ahead seems to fork between socialism and feudalism. It’s hard to blame the potential serfs if one of those paths seems more attractive.

-Mark Sumner

All of that is exactly right. When The Dissident Peasant is feeling brave, he will often discuss this fact with his fellow peasants, and the push back he sometimes receives goes something like, “You’re too young to really know how awful socialism is; what about the Soviet Union/Cuba/East Germany!?”

What these people fail to understand is the false choice presented; either suffer our current system’s inequities, or prepare to wait in line for hours to receive toilet paper and a bag of dried rice! Obviously countries with socialist institutions like Canada, The Netherlands and Sweden are perfectly nice places to live, but more than that people seem to think “Capitalism” remains a viable choice.

Capitalism is fine as an academic construct, a theoretical exercise in efficiently distributing goods and services to a population in the absence of persistent scarcity. As practiced in the United States and other places, however, “Capitalism” no longer really exists. Instead we’ve developed a hybrid model where capital has organized itself to corrupt the democratic process, control wages and shifted most of their tax burden onto ordinary people. They bankroll propaganda and pseudo-academic studies, enrich themselves by suppressing the population, and create monopolies/oligopolies to set prices, control content and limit consumer choice. In short, the capitalist class has set itself up as lord and all others as serfs- and even this might be too generous, as nobles previously had a theoretical set of obligations to peasants.

Some with more Marxist leanings than I might counter that all of that IS the true face of capitalism, and maybe it is. But in some imaginations, at least, capitalism is often associated with free enterprise, meritocracy, efficiency and freedom. These are lies that need exposing.

The choice isn’t between capitalism as it is and a boogeyman future where we all live in gray state housing. The choice is between an intensifying 21st century neofeudalism and socialism- and you can hardly blame the young for abandoning “capitalism” for “socialism”, since capitalism isn’t really capitalism anymore, and socialism isn’t what moderates and conservatives say it is.

Dark as this all is and apprehensive as I am about those with power choosing correctly, it’s worth it to note that it might be just a matter of time before we come to the obviously correct conclusion that modern capitalism is a dead-end. I just hope we have time enough until then.

 

From Citizen To Peasant: Disposability

It’s easy to get bogged down in the specifics of modern peasantry- there are just so many specifics! There’s nothing wrong with that- this is a good post that drills down on some changes coming up for anyone who works for a living.

But whilst I was in a particularly dark mood, it occurred me that one way to explain how the modern citizen in the US (and many other 1st-world countries) is becoming a serf can be summed up in one word: disposability.

Continue reading “From Citizen To Peasant: Disposability”

From Citizen To Peasant: Central Bank Nuttery

This sort of thing is mostly out of my area of expertise, but it’s important enough that I’m going to take talk about it anyway (in this brave new world you apparently don’t need prior knowledge and expertise even to run a cabinet level department, so I think I’m probably ok):

The tame inflation and weak retail-sales data released Wednesday won’t deter the Federal Reserve from raising short-term interest rates later in the day but do raise doubts about another rate hike in September.

Economists said the Fed will not want to back away from a rate hike Wednesday that has already been signaled.

[…]

Consumer-price index posted the second decline in three months, the government said Wednesday. The rate of inflation over the past 12 months slowed to 1.9% in May from a five-year high of 2.7% just four months ago.

 

Continue reading “From Citizen To Peasant: Central Bank Nuttery”

“Best call we’ve had in ages.”-Master Of The Core Brand Proposition @_michaelbrooks

What does a Dissident Peasant do in his down time? Surely he doesn’t just slave away at a low-paying job and complain on the Internet, does he?

He does not. In addition to more mundane pursuits like housework and minding his friendbeast, he engages in more peculiar activities, like trying out his comedy routine on an actual Jewish person:

Just press play and listen for about a minute. Hope you enjoy.

#ShameOnNBC For Giving Air Time to Alex Jones.

 


Alex Jones is an alleged human being and all-around weird dude. I’m not going to go through the entire list of reprehensible and weird stuff he has said on camera for attention- and there’s a lot more than that- the point is he’ll say nearly anything for more hits’n’clicks. But what makes him a true asshole his choice of victim- the worst people attack and manipulate those who can’t defend themselves. And who’s less capable of defending themselves than dead children?

I don’t care that Megyn Kelly challenges him on this in the interview, and I don’t care about a free and fair exchange of ideas. Some people just shouldn’t be given a massive media platform, because that means they win an opportunity to promote themselves and their garbage. And it’s not too late to do the right thing and pull it! Don’t give this dangerous moron more influence than he already has.

Fantastic Hire By The New York Times Continues to Become More Fantastic

This man is definitely well-qualified and not at all the personification of the lie of meritocracy.

Via Lawyers, Guns and Money,  Bret Stephens, having so recently come to my attention, was probably going to coast for a bit, but man the hits just keep coming:

My first thought about this was basically just a series of expletives shouted aloud to an empty house. But after I finished, my second thought was, “Thank you, rich political hack. Thank you for being straight with us.”

You won’t find any bellicose posturing here about Muslim countries. No demonizing of illegal immigrants or black people or LGBTQ people. No lies about voter fraud, or fear-mongering terrorist attacks, or culture war bullshit. None of the ONE SIMPLE TRICK! conservatives keep reinventing in order to keep peasants voting for anti-peasant candidates.

No, he lays out the game. Because Donald Trump is an actual fascist buffoon out to destroy this country’s best features. He is openly obstructing justice and making a mockery of the emoluments clause – the rule of law is what separates us from dictatorships and monarchies. He wants to institute a religious test for travel into and out of this country- the state’s neutrality concerning matters of religion is what separates us from theocracies. On and on we could go- the point is, millionaire columnist and mouthpiece for our noble betters Bret Stephens thinks all that every bit as grotesque as increasing taxes on the wealthy to pay for a better life for the poor.

THAT’s the Republican agenda. The GOP doesn’t represent millions of voters, it represents a relatively few wealthy people who want to preserve that wealth and the accompanying privilege for themselves and their children. That sort of agenda is never going to win in a democracy, so they use the tricks I described above to carry the day, but it’s all auxiliary.  For them, destroying America and taxing a higher percentage of their money for social programs are the same.

What Will You Do When Democracy Fails You?

On the night of the 2016 presidential election, I went through many thoughts and feelings, few of them positive. A tear or two may have been shed. And in my despair, one thing I reminded myself was how rare anything like democracy is throughout human history. The vast stretch of time before human civilization really took off notwithstanding, most people in most places lived under a king or a noble, a Roman Emperor or a military dictator, etc. Even when elected politicians did exist, like the consuls and tribunes of Rome, or Athenian assemblies, or in the United States circa 1789 or even 1889 for that matter, the franchise was severely limited by blood, wealth, race, gender, and other factors. The franchise has been steadily expanded since then, but we once again live in an age where the quirks of our election systems combined with greed and voter suppression have resulted in the less popular candidate assuming the US presidency. And as gut-wrenching as this is, the idea that popular will should carry the day is a relatively recent one. People lived then, and we will live now.

So I told myself, and Mrs. Dissident Peasant. And I still believe all of that. But it has occurred to me since that there is enough good about the ideals detailed in the US Constitution and its trappings that a sizable number of people won’t acquiesce to this fact. I suspect most people in our age of rising fascism and authoritarianism will remain apathetic or accommodating; some others will collaborate. But some will want to fight- the same sorts of people who want to do something now, like call their Congresscritter or phone bank or canvas or even start a humble little website.

All that is great and worthy work, and I say that with great surety. But I fear that we may ultimately discover that the ballot box is never going to deliver the changes we desperately need in order to survive and thrive. There are days I feel woke to that fact, and days I don’t. The 2018 Congressional elections will inform my judgement, as well as state and local races, and whatever happens in 2020. But in the medium to long-term, I worry about what those same people active now are going to do, and what happens after they do it.

Many of them will decide they have no choice but to put their bodies on the line. They will risk arrest and violence themselves to protest and obstruct the state, just as they did during the civil rights movement or Occupy, or Black Lives Matter. But some others will conclude that violent resistance is their only recourse- that also happened during the civil rights movement. And once a certain threshold of violence is reached and the nascent police state we’ve built up in this country is activated, you can bet that 99% of their fury will be focused on the left, not the right. That is not a fight the left can hope to win or even survive.

I understand that I just strung together a pretty long string of hypothetical statements, and I could be wrong anywhere in there. But the world’s peasant class has been taking it pretty hard here recently. And while most people have been poor and ruled by people they didn’t vote for most of the time, we made pretty good progress in the latter half of the 20th century. Backsliding means depriving people of what they used to enjoy, and that makes them a special kind of pissed off. Let’s hope it never comes to any of this and that common people get a break or twelve here relatively soon. Step one is removing this bloated orange-faced sexual predator and his cowardly GOP enablers and collaborators from office through impeachment and/or election. Because if we can’t do that, American democracy might finally give it up for good.

Happy Comey Day!

THIS fucking guy…

This peasant would like to wish everyone a happy Comey Day. If you have the opportunity to day drink and watch C-SPAN I would encourage you to do so!

But whether you do or don’t, there are three important facts keep in mind:

There is little chance anything that happens at the hearing will move the GOP to impeach Trump.

Simply put, the Republicans want to cut taxes for rich people and scale back the modern welfare state to pay for it- as much as they can, in both cases (everything else is window dressing). Some true-believers may actually love Trump, but most are simply tolerating him because they need things from him. Either way, a majority in the US House of Representatives will probably never vote to impeach him as long as that majority is GOP, regardless of what happens tomorrow or in the near future.

This Trump-Russia investigation should not distract us from pressing issues.

And I’m not talking peasant-type stuff here, like jobs and wages and healthcare. I mean immediate stuff, like the fact that hurricane season is here- who’s feeling confident about the government’s response to that right now?  What if a large terrorist attack occurs in the US and Trump blunders us into another land war in Asia while becoming a vicious autocrat? Every day, every MOMENT is one potential national event away from beginning a massive chain of suffering and misery, simply because no one can count on the federal government right now and everyone knows it. Trump must be removed from office immediately for a host of reasons unrelated to Russia.

Nonetheless, the investigation is important and useful to anyone who cares about this country.

Figuring out exactly who ratfucked us and how, if anyone successfully did, is important. Our democracy is old and rickety enough without someone pouring sugar in the gas tank, if you get my metaphor. Hopefully we get around the fixing it up soon (it is necessary), but it needs protection in the mean time. It also remains to be seen if the investigation becomes less The Americans than The Sopranos, and we don’t just find out about a bunch of crooked oil deals, money-laundering, some light solicitation, etc. But every second Republicans fret about this is a second they aren’t actively working to make you poorer, sicker, and dumber, so it remains useful. It isn’t warmongering or demonizing Russia, it’s a commitment to caring about what is true while hobbling a cruel agenda.

Happy Comey Day!