This is a little late, I received it last week, October 2nd. But it’s not one bit less relevant today, here in Canada and around the world, after yesterday. Thanks again to my ZNet monthly sustainer status I received a piece written by Howard Zinn titled From Empire To Democracy.
In it he outlines the various things, relating to American history of course, that he feels, and history has proven, will fix the current mess a bunch of needledick “neo-cons” created through reckless “incompetence and greed.”
I’m not too sure of any legal rights I have as a “sustainer,” or any permission I’ve been granted or denied in reproducing any commentator’s words here, or anywhere. So I’ll play it safe and post only some of what he wrote. But I urge everyone who is even half interested in where we’re headed to sign-up for ZNet.
Without further ado, I give to you…
“Let’s face a historical truth: we have never had a “free market”, we have always had government intervention in the economy, and indeed that intervention has been welcomed by the captains of finance and industry. They had no quarrel with “big government” when it served their needs.”
“It started way back, when the founding fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the constitution. The first big bail-out was the decision of the new government to redeem for full value the almost worthless bonds held by speculators. And this role of big government, supporting the interests of the business classes, continued all through the nation’s history.”
“The rationale for taking $700bn from the taxpayers to subsidise huge financial institutions is that somehow that wealth will trickle down to the people who need it. This has never worked.”
“The alternative is simple and powerful. Take that huge sum of money and give it directly to the people who need it. Let the government declare a moratorium on foreclosures and give aid to homeowners to help them pay off their mortgages. Create a federal jobs programme to guarantee work to people who want and need jobs and for whom “the free market” has not come through.”
“We have a historic and successful precedent. Roosevelt’s New Deal put millions of people to work, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, and, defying the cries of “socialism”, established social security. That can be carried further, with “health security” – free health care – for all.”
I’ll end this blurb exactly how he ended his piece. “Only such a bold approach can save the nation – not as an empire, but as a democracy.” Something to ponder…