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No Difference

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_StaggenborgMD

The basis of any productive discussion is a common understanding of the definitions of terms used. In redefining conservative as distinct from "right wing" I am making the same sort of distinction Alan and No Difference make between "liberal" and "progressive." The point is to highlight the desirable characteristics of the "right" and "left" points of view where we can find common ground and invite people from the extremes to join us.



So you are making a distinction, whereas before, I was under the impression that you were using the terms interchangeably.  Discussion of people's "moral" stands on issues should not be relevant in a political discussion.  Obviously, their individual morality informs some of their political decision-making, but that sort of "left" or "right" leaning tendencies is a purely personal choice.    The left-right divide in politics, which predates religious or other moral guidelines, is a different matter.

Bringing morally conservative folks into the party is not an issue for me.  For that matter, inviting anyone at all, for that matter, is not an issue in the first place.  The discussion here is really about why the political Left should be forced to tolerate the austerity and other cruel and inhumane policies of the Right, all of which have one sole design, and that is to continue to consolidate their power to ensure they will always be at the top of the social and economic structures.

People who are religiously or morally conservative are not, and never were, the source of our current or past problems.   To say that is to totally ignore the fact that Tommy Douglas and his CCF were founded largely on a coalition that included rather conservative religious groups.  It is those who leverage their ill-gotten gains against the rest of society that we are fighting.

There are already plenty of organizations that accomplished integration of the sort you mean long ago, and continue to do so.  The Green Party, Socialist Equality, and a number of religious groups including Unitartian and Ethical Culture are a few examples.  There are no barriers to anyone in those groups.

What is it that is so unique or different that you feel needs to be done in the JP?  I don't get it.


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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #17 
Also, Doctor.  I have a number of friends who are deeply religious.  One is a devout Methodist, another is Mormon, and a whole lot are Catholic (mainly latinos).  They are actively involved with the Left, and always have been, despite the fact that their religion would be somewhere on the "Right" according to the misplaced use of the political scale in this context.

I'd like to suggest we dispose of the Left-Right distinction for personal choices of morality and religion and so forth.  Let's stick with the ORIGINAL meaning of Left and Right used only for the context of politics.  The enemy exists; the Koch brothers are not my friends, and I doubt they are considered friends of anyone other than other Right wing ideologues and their ilk.

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #18 
Alan:  With regards to your post above (http://justiceparty.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1276412123&postcount=18), all I can say is wow.  Thanks for those Tommy Douglas vids.  What a politician, spokesperson, intellectual, and just honest-to-goodness decent human being.  Nothing phony about him at all.

Now I can see why you are so clear-headed about all of what is going on here; I see you are not sidetracked by nonsensical babble about the left and the right; you have spent a lifetime out there in the field.  If someone like you were to lead the JP, I'd sign up in a heartbeat.  Of course, the corollary to that is that the party allowed you to lead without impediment; these smaller parties are notorious (unfortunately) for internecine cloak-and-dagger tactics, so we'd need to make sure that your visions are not hindered.

If you have any close allies who have the same mindset, you should encourage them to swarm this party.  There is hope here, but hope is only ... hope.  Action is what turns hope into reality.  The lalas that run this group now won't cut it, especially when they are all full of cliches like coming to "the middle," exactly where Obama has taken this country.  But with a small core army of people with your background and experience, the JP could be the one.

I could say more about your post, but it would just be to agree.

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #19 
Alan:  Just read this:  http://www.caw2012.ca/challenge-neo-liberal-capitalism-to-build-a-better-world-lewenza-says/

While I just devoured every last word said, I still admit to feeling very leery about union pronouncements, considering how so many of them have sold out to the capitalists.

In other words, I want to believe, but it is very difficult to.  The Left has been shystered so many times already by posers claiming to be our leaders.  What is your feeling about CAW and perhaps the other unions you encountered?

(I have to admit, it seems genuine.  After all, not too many "posers" would use terminology attacking neoliberalism, capitalism, etc.)

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Ajani

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Reply with quote  #20 

The idea of full employment sounds good, but I know at least a couple of dozen people who could--but just won't--work. And that's not the government. That's them. If government is responsible for full employment opportunity, so too are the people responsible for taking that opportunity.

Ajani

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Reply with quote  #21 

I get what you're saying. [Must be the moderate in me talking ] and despite what I think about my associates who sit around and watch Judge Joe all day, full employment (~95%) is definitely a worthy stance that JP should take--probably one of the key issues which will differentiate it from Dems & the GOP in 2014.

Robert

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Reply with quote  #22 
Not sure how full employment is being defined here. Certainly we don't expect everyone in the workforce to be working at a given point of time. The unemployed includes seasonal workers such as people who make all of their income at summer resorts, construction workers who aren't working because of cold weather, people who quit jobs or were let go but are in fields where they can quickly find work, people like actors who are temporarily unemployed until their next movie or play, people who are trying to start their own businesses but have no income, multimillionaire football and basketball coaches who have been fired, etc. In other words, there are always a lot of people not working who we should not be worried about. I think we need to define who we should be worried about. My preference is for the government to make sure they have the opportunity to obtain the skills needed to get work and to have a strong safety net for those who do fail but not to directly employ them. Certainly we don't want people doing menial government jobs when they could better spend their time receiving education and vocational training to advance themselves. We need to keep in the mind the overall goal of the country is to have a highly educated and skilled workforce that is internationally competitive. We don't want to be in the situation of needing to import large numbers of skilled workers to keep our businesses running but this appears to where we may be headed if we can't get our educational systems up to speed.
Greg King

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Reply with quote  #23 
Alan, sure we need a Movement that can successfully pressure the government to enact measures for full employment, like the new WPA program that George Fish has written about.  However, such a movement doesn't appear out of nowhere.  It has to be built.  Bulding a strong enough movement is no easy task.  It involves a lot of slow, patient organizing.  I have been involved with the trade union movement (mostly as a rank-and-file member-activist) for much of my life.  As one consequence, I have come to see the trade union movement as essential to any rebirth of democracy -- genuine, radical democracy -- in this country.

Therefore, to have any successful push for a full-employment program, we have to first rebuild the unions, in my view.  We need real, determined organizing campaigns in which existing unions partner with community organizations like churches, tenant groups, anti-foreclosure groups, civil and human rights organizations, women's, gay, senior and differently abled groups, along with anti-war and environmental organizations.  The only way, in my view, that we can successfully rebuild the trade union movement is in partnership with all of those other kinds of organizations.  In other words, we need to put together a massive coalition, similar to We Are One, but more effective and much longer-lasting.  If we can re-invigorate workers'  organizations alongside all those other groups, we can successfully fight not only for full employment, but to radically democratize our society.



Anthony Noel

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Reply with quote  #24 
Well first of all, thank goodness this topic has surpassed the participation figures (and, I must say, political relevance) of the one on "barefooting." Sheesh.

Second, for all the great thoughts and dialogue being shared here, there is, very frankly, not a new one in the bunch. That would be okay, were it not also so exemplary of exactly what has prevented the Left in this country from leading a true workers' revolution for more than 100 years: ad nauseam debate that is too concerned with nuance, when it is DEMANDS that have ALWAYS been the true currency of change the world over, and particularly in this stealthily authoritarian-cum-fascist nation of ours. (Or more accurately, of THEIRS.)

Alan, you are the most intelligent, pragmatic, dedicated guy I have had the honor of working with. And while I agree with you that it is important to reach out to and (hopefully) enlighten (which is notably and crucially different from "educate") the delusional masses who say they agree with fascist (let's call "conservativism" what it REALLY is...) policies and ideology, here's a link that may help clarify exactly what we'd be up against in such an undertaking: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/even-critics-of-safety-net-increasingly-depend-on-it.html?pagewanted=all

For those not inclined to read it, I'll paraphrase. But believe me, reading it is well worth the time invested.

The story documents how middle-class people who say they are "self-sufficient" and who support "conservative," "Tea Party" and "small government" policy and ideology increasingly rely on government money and programs - FEDERAL government money and programs - to make ends meet. AND IN MOST CASES, DO NOT EVEN REALIZE IT.

So as nice as the IDEA of enlightening the masses about the importance of government programs to the expansion of opportunity to ALL Americans may be, it is an idea that we Lefties need to either abandon or decide, VERY consciously, to devote time and energy and resources we frankly DO NOT HAVE, to making a reality. The debate here is perfect example of what I mean: Just by debating whether government "should" be responsible for full employment (of course it should!!) we are participating in a circular discussion and expending the ONLY resource we TRULY have - TIME - to do it.

Time that would be much better spent signing up people who already agree and are willing to sign up OTHERS.

We on the Left have been wasting time in this way - and with minor party after minor party further dividing us into pointless little subdivisions of our larger, commonsense-based, real-world-proved policies - for over 100 years. And if anyone doubts it, they need only watch the film "Reds" to wipe their doubts away.

Until the JP and Greens and Socialists and the myriad others on the Left - whether organized into actual parties or "mere" individuals - UNITE in one movement that (1) DEMANDS policy rooted the 10 or 12 undisputedly humanist, Progressive ideas that can actually move our nation and humankind forward, together; and (2) leaves the corporate-owned parties fully and finally behind once and for all, government will not take responsibility - let alone be accountable - for the things it absolutely should be: full employment, peace, environmental protection, free universal healthcare and education, equal rights for all, caring for elders and the disabled, publicly owned infrastructure, corporate accountability, and ballot access.
ed2291

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #25 
The New Progressive Alliance agrees with the need for peace and full employment.
 
We are glad to see full employment getting attention here in this forum. Check out our web site; these ideas need to be brought front and center into the public square. The following has more information.

http://newprogs.org/unified-progressive-platform-ratified

People, Peace and the Planet:
The Unified Progressive Platform

1. Peace First

A world of increasing population, diminishing resources, and unstable climate is a world poised for conflict.

2. Full Employment at a Living Wage

We hold that reordering our national priorities to make peace, the welfare of all people, and the protection of our planet our topmost concerns will result in long-term Economic Sustainability.

While it is great to run for congress in the Justice Party, any post you run for is good in getting our message across. If you run for city council, school board, or any post, please consider contacting me at eh.griffith@yahoo.com to see if we can work an NPA endorsement.
Greg King

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Reply with quote  #26 
Anthony and Alan, for those things to happen, we need a solid working-class base for both door-to-door canvassing and money.  In my view, we have to rebuild the trade union movement before we can either put forward a demand for a new WPA & a new CCC or build and unify alternative parties.

Bases do not materialize out of thin air.  They have to be built  The Left is way too small to do anything else unless we rebuild the trade union movement first.  I think we have to do that in concert with a lot of other popular organizations, in the various communities and organized around issues. 
Greg King

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Reply with quote  #27 
Okay, Alan, so then let's use full employment not only as a goal but also as an organizing tool.  Perhaps we can build a movement around it.  After all, similar efforts are underway.  The organization I belong to, CCDS, is circulating two petitions -- Jobs Not Wars, which originated with USLAW, and Jobs Not Cuts.  We all seem to be working toward a similar goal.
No Difference

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Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #28 
In a time of increasing automation and diminishing energy resources (other than solar which is still underdeveloped), does it make sense to encourage full employment based on the 40 hour work week?  Yes, for a short time a massive stimulus could well put a lot of people to work, but at what cost to the environment?

I think the only way "full" employment will make sense and not cause further damage to our already stressed-out planet is to recommend a much, much shorter work week that counts as full-time.  Wages must be adjusted accordingly.  With shorter work weeks and higher wages, more people could be gainfully employed without the need to burn energy unnecessarily and further destroy this one planet of ours.

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

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Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #29 
You know, another reason for unemployment, in part at least, is the fact that companies are refusing to hire back more senior, experienced workers.  This contributes to unemployment levels that are artificially higher for older Americans than they need to be.

Perhaps, along with demanding jobs for youth, we should also be demanding that companies put the older people back to work, and maybe even consider lowering the retirement age by a decade or so.  (I actually suggested this to Dean Baker, and he said his group was actually looking into that very possibility; the only problem is that he would only like to see the retirement age lowered temporarily, whereas I'd like to see it made permanent!)

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
ed2291

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #30 
Great Greg! Let us all work together. The only point of disagreement I have is people who say we must do things in chronological order. (Start with local candidates, trade unions, the environment, etc.)  We need to hit them all at once with everybody doing what they are called to do. Good luck with CCDS and trade unions!
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