A People’s Party?

On Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, 4-7 pm, eastern time, there was televised on the internet, a convention to create a new political party. The live stream does not seem to be available from the producers. But there is the following version:

To get oriented about what is going on, watch the interview below.

Nick Brana, founder, executive director of Movement for a People’s Party talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

My initial reaction

It is abundantly clear that both the Democratic and the Republican Parties represent the interests of the rich. And this message was superbly expressed by Chris Hedges (see below):

I found most of the other speakers boring and the whole program too long. Anyway, if the goal is to push for a third party, why out of all the speakers only Chris Hedges urged people to vote for the Green Party, and everyone else spoke as if there is no existing third party?

Putin’s Russian Invasions

I want to remind viewers that under Putin, in 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and is still occupying the Donbass region.

In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia, occupying Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In 1994 and in 1999 Russia invaded Chechnya.

In 1992 Russia’s army supported the breakaway war of Transnistria from Moldova.

Richard Wolff’s failed definition of capitalism

I have watched Richard Wolff many times in his insightful criticisms of capitalism. And I agree with these criticisms. However, I disagree with him about his solution to capitalism, which is the establishment of worker-controlled enterprises as contrasted with privately-owned enterprises. This is not a solution, mainly because this does not address the problem of the unemployed. And the reason for Wolff’s non-solution is that Wolff does not really know what capitalism is as is evident from his attempt to define it.

First, capitalism is not an economic system, as he says; it is a political one, just as are slavery and feudalism.

It is a political system which prohibits people from taking land for free for subsistence. This forces people to work for other people. And the forcing is not done by the kind of laws, as in slavery or feudalism, or by laws against vagrancy (homelessness), but simply by laws forbidding free access to subsistence land.

Watch the episode below. You will hear nothing about a free access to subsistence land.

In the debate below, Gene Epstein argues convincingly that worker-owned enterprises are compatible with capitalism.

Bill Maher: Champion of the Lesser of Two Evils

I have watched Bill Maher, the comedian and political commentator, for a very long time. What has been appealing is the fact that he — like George Carlin — has couched his political [and, incidentally, religious] commentary in a comedic way by sarcasm, ridicule, pun, images — by whatever works.

He has also brought together all types of celebrities for interviews and discussion panels. All this is admirable and captured my interest.

What has displeased me is his insistence on rooting for the lesser of the two evils — I mean his preference of Democrats over Republicans (among other preferences). Consequently, he becomes annoyed when the evils of Democrats are pointed out — always saying that the evils of Republicans are much worse.

Few of his guests take the position that both Democrats and Republicans are evil — perhaps even to an indistinguishable difference. Two stand out: George Carlin and Cornel West.

Below is a clip of Bill Maher defending what he thinks is the lesser of two evils.

Below is Jimmy Dore commenting on how Trump is almost even with Biden in the polls. How does one really distinguish the lesser of two evils?

Capitalism = def. a political system which by barring people from a free access to subsistence land creates a market economy and a monetary way of life

From a sociological perspective, I don’t think people are aware of this definition or are concerned with this definition. Why?

First, because the so called “intellectuals” do not offer such a definition.

Second, because most city people’s concern (including students’ concern) is to succeed in this (capitalist) system by either getting a good job, or by creating a good business.

Third, because if city people had access to land, they would not know what to do with it. People have become alienated from the use of land except in some aesthetic or romantic way of walking through it or viewing it. People do not know how to grow food or how to care for animals.

However, the correctness of this definition is known instinctively by peasants, who when they have rebelled or protested did so invariably under the slogan “land and liberty.”