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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Re: [CCDS Members] Democrats and democrats --


Thank you. Posted on Facebook??

On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 1:29 PM, John Case <> wrote:
Democrats and democrats

Keep talking and a way will open.

One of the more satisfying narratives explaining the divisions in the Democratic party surrounding the campaign(s) of Bernie Sanders is a contest of class perspectives. Its not the only narrative, but it reveals features no other perspective does. The fundamental legitimacy of Sanders campaigns and candidacy is that it puts aggravated income inequality at the top of the list of challenges imperiling US democracy. Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg (Independent~Republican), Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Barack Obama ALL agree its an IMPORTANT problem. But 1) they think its very hard to achieve absent very risky structural and institutional changes; and 2) they do not believe the coalition representing labor, civil rights, peace, environmental, and progressive forces are either united enough or capable of managings this economy. 

Without getting long winded, both objections have some merit. And yes, there is considerable risk entrusting the nation's and the world's fate to left wing leadership. Even the most widely supported Left demand -- Medicare for All -- would be a program whose scale, both in term of bureaucracy and diversity of delivery systems, would dwarf any other health care system in the world by an order of magnitude. The costs of such scale will be impossible without restructuring pharmaceuticals, medical schools, national education and the private insurance system (the third largest concentration of US capital, I believe). This means structural changes in the US economy, which means significant shifts in the class structure of US society, including the division of wealth. There are many risks there between the cup and the lip. But, despite these risks, there is a bigger and more devastating one, represented by Trump and the gangster billionaires (and their various backers). The scrambling for crumbs economy an culture that is the consequence of 45 years of aggravated inequality gives fascists multifarious opportunities to grasp a third of the people by the throat with false enemies. That direction is decay and war. But the way out, it seems to me, includes progressives getting more involved in governing at local and grass roots levels and solid experience in the ARTS OF THE POSSIBLE. But the "liberal elites" -- despite their apprehensions, must not repeat errors of the last century's battle with fascism. Ordinary people may be naive about many of the complexities of governing. But they can learn fast. And You can't win without them.  

John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV
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