If we want to end wars and cut military spending, will we accomplish that by changing the faces of the military industrial complex’s representatives in Congress and the White House or by educating the public about the human costs, financial costs, environmental costs, civil liberties and democratic costs, and the endangerment of us all caused by dumping 65 percent of discretionary spending into the war machine? Will we get further by funding candidates or by using civil resistance to disrupt the work of the makers of war? We can do both. We must do both. But which should we prioritize? Which should we make subservient? Do we want a culture passionately demanding peace and compelling all elected officials to work for it, a culture we approached, for example, in 1928? Or do we want a country in which loyal Democrats denounce Republican war funders, but nobody at all denounces Democratic war funders?
Should we be dumping what resources we’re left after paying our war taxes into electoral campaigns or into independent activism? I don’t think this is a difficult question.
“Oh no! If the good people stop funding elections, only Republicans will have money!”
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Who would have thought a few weeks ago that hundreds of protestors from something called Occupy Philly would set up camp in Center City? The idea is almost as far-fetched as a tent city next to Wall Street. More here.
I was re-reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night (1934) and ran across this masterful description of the great divide between rich and poor, in the 1920s and now:
… She bought a dozen bathing suits, a rubber alligator, a traveling chess set of gold and ivory, big linen handkerchiefs for Abe, two chamois leather jackets of kingfisher blue and burning bush from Hermes… More here.