Three Important Items

My dear colleagues,

This week has seen significant movement for change. We hope it is not burdensome to share 3 items.

Item 1:  A letter by Gabe Gonzalez to Obama supporting the department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Arizona, which is worthy of your attention.

Item 2:  An article titled “Too Old for A Job, Too young for Medicare or Social Security” by David Johnson in the Huffington Post. This failure to provide an opportunity for all citizens to benefit from Social Security and Medicare is typical only of our country as distinct from all of the European capitalist countries. It is shameful. The details in this article should be distributed very widely to build up a movement against blatant age discrimination.

Item 3:  An article, “China to become urban country by 2015”. This is a fabulous undertaking when we consider the building of the West in our own country to have taken over one hundred years and destroyed the free lives of the Indian tribes. It is a fact that China, on the other hand, is planning to undertake the massive development of its West visibly by 2015. This five-year undertaking can be accomplished only with social capital investment and a socially planned economy, in contrast to individual, corporate planning. This lays the basis for greater mutual exchange between US and China, encouraging intensified diplomatic relations and avoids any military conflicts. It also solidifies the growth of bi-polar economic world relations in a process of change toward greater social responsibility. Call it “humanism” or call it “socialism” or call it creating “harmonious society”, whichever it augers a change in world relations in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Sidney Gluck

Elena Kagan Nomination

I would like to share with you a letter we just sent to President Barack Obama in the hopes that you will take similar action.

I firmly believe that if the right wing succeeds in knocking out Elena Kagan, it’s going to be reflected immediately in the elections of this year. While I’m not very happy with Obama and with the ways things have been operating, it would be much worse if the Democrats lose their shaking majority in the Congress. I’m sure you agree and hope we can get the president to talk up.

Sincerely,
Sidney Gluck

 

Subject: Elena Kagan Nomination
To: President Barack Obama
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Date: 6/28/10

From: SJGluck@aol.com

Dear President Obama,

It is urgent TODAY that you express a STRONG defense of your nominee, Elena Kagan, for the Supreme Court. She is under vicious attack from every right-wing source really directed at you and the Congress. You are absolutely right to change the balance in the Supreme Court with a voice that will limit the rightist trap established by the former Bush regimes. The New York Times article of June 27th rang the bell; YOU know this very well.

I urge your strong, public expression challenging all questions raised about her character that in fact reflects a strong, wide knowledge of the judiciary in her education and in her practice upholding equality in the eyes of the law. She is much more liberal than any of the present members of the Court.

If you do not take a stand NOW, AT THIS MOMENT confronting the current debate, you are RISKING the possibility of LOSING Democratic votes in an electoral defeat that will lead to an unending catastrophe in our country.

Sincerely,

Sidney Gluck

US-China Relations (Articles from Beijing Review – June 3, 2010)

Dear Friends,
These articles from the recent Beijing Review give a good background of US-China relations from a Chinese point of view:

A Meeting of the Minds
China-US strategic and Economic Dialogue
An envoy for Alternative Energy

We wanted to share them with you. As always, your thoughts, comments and questions are always welcome.
Sincerely,
Sidney

Hate in the USA

Dear Friends,

I am very much concerned with the development of hate groups in the Far Right which the Southern Poverty Law Center had succeeded in diminishing just a few years ago. However, in the last year or two, the Right has been in a rage and the Southern Poverty Law Center has just issued a special issue of their publication “Intelligence Report.” The special issue is titled “Rage on the Right.”

My great fear is the growth of fascistic attitudes which instead of centering on anti-Semitism is centering on anti-black and anti-immigrant and certainly anti-Obama who you can describe in your own way. I recommend very highly that pick this up from the Internet (link below). Unfortunately, there is a list at the back of the magazine from page 46-68 that contains a listing by type of the different hate groups in the USA that is neither on their website nor could we scan it for you (too large). We did, however, scan in a few charts that were available in the publication but not in the article on their website. They are attached.

Rage on the Right | Southern Poverty Law Center

I also recommend that you obtain this issue by writing to the SPLC.

As an aside, I must tell you that Morris Dees who founded and heads the organization, had put his life in danger to carry on this work: but he has won every law suit to put an end to hate groups throughout the years. He should be honored.

Sincerely,
Sidney

Jim Hightower Trading on Xenophobia in the Progressive Populist

Dear Friends,

I’ve just received a letter from one of our Listserv associates which he wrote in response to something he read by a devoted liberal “leftist” writer differing with an article that had appeared in The Progressive Populist. I believe that his letter gives us one of the best pictures of capitalist domination of society and how it works.

I hope you agree.

Sincerely,
Sidney

Forwarded message:

From: Brett Barndt <brettbarndt@xxxx.com>
To: undisclosed recipient
Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:11:36 PM
Subject: Jim Hightower trading on xenophobia in The Progressive Populist
Hi there

I read your editorial segment “buying American with our dollars”, appearing in The Progressive Populist.

I’d like to point out to you that $9B or even $300B invested by China into US corporations is peanuts. As someone who has worked for 20 years in strategy and trends in global finance, and knows the structures of economies and stock markets all over this world, these numbers you cite and parlay with xenophobic undertones are paltry. They may sell headlines for you, I understand that nasty aspect of media business.

The real problem for Americans is the Top 1% who own a controlling 50% of the stock market, which is $ Trillions, and even more of the national wealth, who serve themselves with our congress, regulatory agencies, FCC licenses, Federal Reserve supervisors, Supreme Court appointees, 501c3s, university economics and polysci faculties, etc. to dismember the economic and political clout of middle-class and working families.

That and their media apparatus they also own and control which broadcasts dis-info 24/7 using FCC licenses to deliberately mislead voters all over this country into being lambs to the slaughter supporting regressive taxation for 30 years, or cryto- klepto- Keynesian war economies (isn’t Keynesianism supposed to be “socialist”? It is not, but it has been tarred as such by these crypto-kleptomaniacs in charge of naming things!).

The Fed published this data last year and you can read this “plutonomy report” from Citigroup anyway which outlines the grisly details of what has happened to this country after 30 years of regressive taxation, trickle up Keynesianism passed off as something else like “free-markets” or whatever!  A working lifetime of flat ungradated FICA taxes on wage earners from minimum wage capped at $97K for Social security/Medicare/Medicaid ending up as overblown Pharma and other healthcare company stock dividends thirty or forty years later for these controlling shareholders is a case in point you should think about.

Page 10 is especially good where it states that “one man one vote” is a big risk to this whole plutocracy, and the question should be asked about what factors in our media/information/political eco-system mean “one man one vote” hasn’t been working for 30 years? That is what you should be talking about here sir!

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20090907/citigroup-2006-americamodern-day-plutonomy.htm

Concerning China and foreigners, xenophobia is a terrible specter for you to trade on. I hope you won’t stoop to that. Our enemies are here, amongst us. They made sure we were taught at school that they didn’t exist. That there was no such thing as “class” in this country, and that “class warfare” is a big no no! Yeah, and who made sure those textbooks said that? Warren Buffet would beg to differ. He says “there is class warfare in this country, and his class is winning.” He’s the only one with integrity to say so. I hope instead of doing what Hitler and others routinely do to deflect from real culpability and causation, you will focus on the real suspects behind curtains and fully in charge of Oz, rather than play into tricks of demagoguery to sell your papers and page views.

In principle I like what you do. But, on principle I have to point out this grave moral error you’ve committed in this editorial. This move is very “low tower”!

Best regards,
Brett Barndt
NYC

for the bcc:

http://www.populist.com/current.html

http://www.jimhightower.com/

Corporations Are Not People



Dear all:

I was shockingly surprised yesterday to view a video response of me to the Supreme Court decision regarding the rights granted to corporations. The video is available on Youtube to view. It was shot on February 9th at the Chinese Consulate after I’d been cordially invited to visit. I have never had such a penetrating positive shock to hear myself up front in a political battle.

Sincerely,

Sidney

Hu Jintao Abides US Surveillance, Suspects in Prison, Torture, Rendition

Dear Friends,
We just pulled our file on Hu JIntao and found an article dated November 19th which you might find amusing and dismaying. I’d like to share it with you.
I’m very much impressed with the Chinese handling personal relations which have a particular political effect. It is so un-American that it leaves me with a sense of shame.
Sincerely,
Sidney

Letter to The Nation on the Blackout

Subj: To the Editor 
Date: 9/2/2003 8:31:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time 
From: SJGluck 
To: letters@thenation.com 
Dear Editor:

William Grider’s comments on “The Lesson of the Blackout” is a welcome call for a new deal that harnesses monopoly in the USA in its worst phase since the Golden Age. While little was done by Clinton to regulate private interests, the Bush administration, tied to the energy segments of corporate America, oil, natural gas, mining, automobile, aircraft, etc., has followed through with the right wing handover of power to the corporate CEO’s initiated in the Reagan administration. Grider’s analysis is well-founded. However, no mention is made of alternatives to the energy structure of the country, despite the fact that it is clearly vulnerable, not alone to breakdowns and disruption, but also to terrorists who learned a great lesson from the recent blackout on how easy it is to flip a few relays and switches if you find the right weak ones and there are many because of the failure of monopolies to plow back some of their super profits in order to improve their equipment.

The USA is the only major industrialized country in the world that has structured its energy supplies on massive grids that cover major sections of the country. The real issue is getting away from the grid system which is vulnerable to terrorist acts, as we are learning such possibilities from the accidents of switching and relaying.

It is the resolution of the restraints which the existing oil monopolies have exercised against the technological development and investment in renewable and safe forms of energy that have been available in other countries for decades. We have not had any supports or tax breaks for capital investment in solar, wind, thermal, etc. etc. energies.

From an economic point of view, the promotion of such investment could create as many as 1,700,000 new jobs in 7 years with little disturbance of existing jobs in the energy fields. There is a new energy bill being discussed in Congress and an opportunity to inject proposals that will stimulate the economy as new technology is injected into our means of production, giving impetus to capital investment and job creation. This is a way to increase the growth of the GNP without creating a bubble. The introduction of new technology has always been the lever of development of our economic system that is now sputtering from such failure.

Sincerely,

Sidney J. Gluck
Chairman, New Energy Policy Association, NYC

The Ideology and Danger of the Extreme Far Right That Has Captured the Administration and the Republican Party

Dear Colleagues,

We recently had an exchange on another listserve among Marxist philosophers on a new book, “Made in Texas” by Michael Lind which we would highly recommend for a deeper understanding of the nature of extreme conservatism of the Bush administration in Washington. As you will see, we were particularly impressed with the analysis which reveals the ideological, political and class line of Bush not only represents but is very much the leader rather than one who is being influenced. What it reveals is a combination of Southern slave owner mentality coupled with corporate control of government – a combination much more threatening than I had expressed in a position paper on the fascist like developments coming to a head in the Bush administration and the danger posed by a “reelection” in 2004. We are attaching Terrence’s original document and the exchange which followed.

In the last few days, new thoughts have been gushing. Why have decent minded Republicans been leaving the administration like Ambassadors or CIA and FBI leaders, Senators who switch parties, groups of Republican leaders who express differences with Bush on domestic economic policy as well as taking a more moderate position on working with the UN rather than following a unilateral course towards war with Iraq or the incarceration of thousands of Muslims without legal aid or failure to deliver on commitments to Mexico to ease relations with immigrants, and extreme penalties for minor theft while the Enronizers go scott free having robbed the workers and middle class of their savings. The drive to war smacks very much of Germany’s Third Reich, even as Bush sacrifices Blair, his only major ally. Today, Bush’s effort to get a second resolution from the UN has been abandoned in favor of unilateral decision, a major blow towards destruction of the UN and abrogation of US commitments to the UN charter.

We must become more vocal about the nature of this administration as an extreme threat to our liberties and self-determination and integrity of the rights of all nations.

Someone wrote recently that there are in fact two superpowers, the USA and the mass movements around the world. The mass movements are developing in our own country. That is the only hope of maintaining our sanity and democracy. As we join in mass protests, respecting particular interests among the groupings that are coalescing, we must begin to expose the fascist character of what is happening to our own country. Our manner should not isolate us but raise this as a serious question, making comparisons between a Hitler and a Bush who were both appointed and hand picked by the far right in their respective countries.

Sincerely,
Sidney J. Gluck

PS: This is a capsulized expression of where we’re at:
Our hope is in moving with the masses for democracy – revealing the face
of the real enemy – insipient fascism.

Email Discussion: “Review: Made In Texas”

Subj: Review: Made in Texas
Date: 3/4/2003 9:25:06 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: terence@xxx.com
To: SJGluck@aol.com

I write to recommend the book “Made in Texas” by Michael Lind, which I have just finished reading. I picked up the book at the local public library, hoping to find some social-cultural background on Bush which might illuminate his (backwards) way of thinking and his ability to resonate with a substantial portion of the American population.

What I found here was not only an erudite and satisfying social, cultural and political analysis but much more. Lind gives us an explanation of the Bush phenomenon on every level: economic, historical, cultural, ideological, religious and political. This is not just the usual patchwork of anecdotes and statistics crafted into a plausible political position statement. Lind persuasively places Bush in the context of the social/political/cultural structure of the Old South, the south that has battled for hundreds of years now to perpetuate a social system that is fundamentally different from, and antagonistic to, that of the North. The Bush II presidency and the triumph of the Republicans in the last election is only the latest chapter in that long American story of class warfare–the chapter in which the once apparently defeated southerners are now on top.

I find the title of the book misleading, for it emphasizes the connection of Bush with Texas, which in turn is connected in the popular conception (including my own conception prior to reading this book) with the West, ranching, cowboys, etc. The subtitle I think is more apt: “The Southern Takeover of American Politics,” for Lind makes clear that the culture and history of Texas is divided, and Bush represents not the Texas of the West and the cowboys, nor of its modernist trends represented by L. Johnson and Perot, but that part of Texas which is and has been for two centuries a part of the Deep South, the south of the confederacy, the plantation system, slavery, racism, the bitter fight against Reconstruction, the peonage of immigrant labor, rape of the land and minerals, genocidal removal of the Indians, Protestant fundamentalism, etc.

“The Southern ruling class is not, and never has been, bourgeois. The wealthy families who for centuries have dominated politics and the economy in the South, from Virginia to Texas, have roots in Britain, not among the civic burghers but among the rural aristocracy.” (p. 162) Lind, a Texan himself, clearly draws out the differences in values, thinking and culture between these latter-day feudal-like aristocrats and the capitalist values we are more familiar with. I will not go into detail here, but what is most satisfying about Lind’s analysis is that it goes all the way down to the roots of the quite different economic structure of the South. Dramatizing some of those differences he writes: “Running out of oil and gas? Don’t make car engines more efficient or power vehicles with hydrogen or electric batteries; drill in wildlife preserves and conquer oil-producing countries in the Middle East . . . . Is there a tight labor market? Don’t invest in a machine that permits one worker to do the work of three; hire illegal aliens, while lobbying the government for guest-worker programs and increased immigration quotas.” (p. 95) Lind argues that the Southern economic system differs essentially from that of the North because of its principal reliance on super-exploitation of labor (slavery, near-slavery, illegal aliens peons) and rape of the land (wasting of agricultural soil, seizure of minerals, strip mining, conquest of foreign lands), rather than on the development of industry, technology, machinery and skilled labor. The ideology corresponding to this is Christian fundamentalism, a form of Puritanism, that does not value hard work, but believes in pre-destination, millennialism (things will get worse until the next coming of Christ), and its own superiority to every other form of thought or religion. After reading this book, I think the Arabs are on to something when they call Bush a Crusader.

Lind is not an economist, nor am I, and I am sure there are things that some of you better educated than I can criticize about his analysis. If so, I certainly would like to hear what your criticisms are, for this book is a serious and quite worthy attempt at a holistic social understanding of the current political situation. It was for me highly informative, and the some of the best writing I have read about current events. This is not a dry academic exercise. Lind is partisan and passionate, and repeatedly insists on the imperative of defeating Bush, Delay, Armey, Wolfowitz and the Republican party they have taken over as the only way to return to a progressive agenda. I wholeheartedly join him in those sentiments, and am glad to have found someone in the intellectual establishment who so clearly understands the social phenomenon that Bush represents and the urgency of defeating it. I urge you also to examine him as a possible ally in your ideological struggles, or at least take his work as a starting point for a more complete critique of the present Republican regime. Comments please.

Subj: Re: Made In Texas
Date: 3/10/2003 1:11:41 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: SJGluck
To: terence@mindspring.com, spsm-list@listserve.buffalo.edu
File: Bush statement.doc (28672 bytes) DL Time (50667 bps): < 1 minute

Dear Terence,

I just got round to reading your Made In Texas critique this weekend and cannot find the words to thank you enough for your initiative and insights. I have just ordered the book so my reactions are based on the very clear presentation of Lind’s thesis. Some years ago, a book titled, “North, South and West,” whose author I do not remember and which I loaned to someone who never returned it, developed a corollary thesis of the relationship within geographic sections of the capitalist class which revealed the dominance of Wall Street (Northern capital) over the development of capital accumulation and investment in the West (California in particular) and in the South. It did not indicate the duel character of developments in Texas and its ties and roots in slavocracy, though lumping Texas with West and South as it related to Northeastern capital. Northeast capital dominated the political scene in Washington, so much so that it ordered the Bank of California as late as 1940 to split up, since it had become the single largest bank in the country, and only two years later, under pressure of production for WWII, allowed Western capital to dominate aluminum and aircraft since it was the most likely area for such production. Until now, I understood the nature of Western and Southern capital joining politically to capture the power in Washington, starting with the 1948 Republican party program to develop candidates for state and national office that would ultimately achieve their purpose through capturing their party. They succeeded through compromises with Eisenhower as President, tucking in Nixon, who had succeeded in defeating Helen Gahagan Douglas in a vicious campaign for Congress in 1948. The same Western Republican groups built up Reagan. They did not succeed with Nixon in the White House because of opposition to the Vietnam War. However, they achieved their purpose with Reagan in the White House. This put conservatism and the right wing into dominance within the Republican party and they began the process of turning the country over to the corporate elite. Within that process it is now revealed in Michael Lind’s remarkable analysis (I am relying at the moment on your presentation) that the old slave Southern bourbons used their influence in the Republican party to turn it beyond the mere question of controlling “normal” politics in Washington but to change the whole philosophy to ultra-right wing fundamentalist conservatism. The threat of corporate control of government functions, in itself, according to Mussolini or Palmero Tagliati, who both characterized fascism as corporatism, that is corporations plus government equals fascism. This is the core of the danger of the current Bush administration. We have witnessed, and note the horror of another Southerner, Senator Robert Byrd, that the country is being turned into (though he does not use the word) a fascist-type state, if they can get away with it. Trace everything that is happening around us in small or large increments, fascist-like moves and recommendations that come from the Administration way beyond the struggle against terrorism or the pressure to go to war without full justification and in complete disregard of allies and international commitments. This is imperialism at its worst with a potential of greater destruction than we witnessed in WWII where we fought the fascist Axis. If Bush succeeds in 2004 to be reelected ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, I feel sorry for the next two generations as it struggles to bring this country back to decency. The combination of Lind’s analysis of the nature of the Bush administration and the knowledge of the struggle within the capitalist class itself, resulting in the sad stealing of an election in 2000, requires the strongest mass movements in this country to put an end to the pressure for war and fascism on our soil.

Sincerely,

Sidney Gluck

Subj: Made in Texas: Website available
Date: 3/11/2003 8:06:32 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: terence@xxxx.COM

Hi Sidney and others,

Since posting the description of Lind’s book I have discovered that he has published an abundance of political essays over the past few years. These are available free, on-line to anyone interested at the website www.newamerica.net . I have read two of them and find them incisive and provocative. He is sponsored by an organization named New America Foundation, which evidently is some kind of think tank. Does anyone out there know anything about this organization and their general orientation? Would appreciate a comment.

In “Made in Texas,” Lind draws a parallel between present American imperialism and that of Germany, Japan, England, etc. The analogy lies in the capture of the modern capitalist productive engines by social forces representing largely pre-capitalist or neo-feudal formations–the Junkers in Germany, the samurai-style in Japan , etc. “In these countries, various landowning military and political castes, threatened with irrelevance and extinction by industrial progress and democracy, managed to retain political power and to enlist the new techniques of science and industry to promote premodern aristocratic goals of plunder [Marx's 'primitive accumulation' of wealth?] and martial glory ….” (p. 166) and resulting in the undermining and reduction of the position of the working classes.

I think you are correct in your view of the threat posed at this moment. It is no less than that posed by that of fascist Germany, indeed may be much greater in view of the military and economic predominance of the U.S. in 2003. I believe that the situation calls for the widest possible alliances with any democratic and pro-capitalist groups, for the danger now is to that we will be swept back into neo-feudalism. There has already been a severe loss of democratic rights that will take generations to correct, in view of the appointments to the federal courts, the Patriot’s Act, etc. The group that is in power now represents a (mainly Southern) point of view that not only did not accept the outcome of the Civil War, but also resented such Constitutional institutions as the Bill of Rights and the counting of slaves as partial (3/5) people. If it is not quickly defeated it seems clear that we and the World will have to re-fight all those battles that we assumed were settled hundreds of years ago in the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, and perhaps to do so from a position of political and legal inferiority. I think there are very few Americans who as yet see the enormity of what is at stake, though thankfully many are at last seeing that this administration stands for naked imperialism and suppression of civil liberty. I think it is difficult for the public at large to comprehend that this administration, and the turn that the Republican party has taken in supporting it, represent a point of view that is breathtakingly different in its attitudes towards democracy, economics and religion from anything that has preceded it in our life times; the Republicans’ thin veiling of their position through such words as “compassionate” and “security” has of course had much of the desired effect on the electorate. I think your piece on fascism is on the right track and wish you well in publication.