Ending the threat of authoritarianism is not a left-wing or right-wing problem, and the solution does not reside in building a bigger or a smaller government. Restoring political stability means structuring society’s public and corporate institutions so they can be governed by human beings and communities. It means protecting the property rights of citizens and not confusing property with arbitrary tollbooths erected by tech billionaires. And it means understanding that protecting competitive markets and preventing concentrations of power are essential components of democracy.
New research tries to spot the collapse of liberal democracies before they happen, and it suggests that Western democracy may be seriously ill.
- The inchoate rage of the working class (many of whom voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012) is a product of a half-century of structural decline coupled with conscious policy decisions that decimated the workforce. Clinton signed NAFTA, Obama failed to press forward on card-check unionization rules, and none of them moved to repeal Taft-Hartley.
Clinton signed NAFTA, Obama failed to press forward on card-check unionization rules, and none of them moved to repeal Taft-Hartley.
Average incomes declined by 0.9 percent last year. The wealthiest Americans were earning more before taxes.
In North Dakota, more than 100 Native Americans and allies fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline have been injured by police, who attacked them with rubber bullets, tear gas, mace canisters and water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday night. The attack was on a bridge near the main Oceti Sakowin resistance camp. It began after the water protectors attempted to clear access to the public bridge, which has been blocked by authorities using military equipment chained to concrete barriers. Medics on scene say multiple people were shot by rubber bullets.
Leland Brenholt: “My name is Leland Brenholt. I’m a medic here at Oceti Sakowin. And we have seen at least four gunshot wounds, three of them I know of to the face and head. Rubber bullets. Right now we’re trying to keep people warm. We’re trying to get them decontaminated, and treating all kinds of different wounds. People have been hit with canisters in the chest or the leg and that sort of thing.”
Water protectors say the police also fired rubber bullets at journalists, shot down drones being used to document the attack and fired flares which ignited grass fires. Legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild said multiple people temporarily lost consciousness after being shot. Witnesses say one elder also went into cardiac arrest and was revived on scene by medics. Both the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sent medical first responders. This is Angela Bibens, a lawyer with the Red Owl Legal Collective, speaking in a telephone interview recorded by Dallas Goldtooth Sunday.
Angela Bibens: “Right now we’ve seen people who have been maced. They deployed 20 mace canisters in a small area in less than five minutes, to the point where people have lost bowel function. At least one seizure has been witnessed at the front lines by our legal observation team. There have been people vomiting from the exposure to the mace. The water cannon has been mixed with the mace, and so even our legal observers have been exposed and are trying to deal with that while they’re doing up their notes. And canisters were shot at the medic area at the front line. There is at least one woman who has a broken kneecap. At least one elder went into cardiac arrest and was revived through CPR at the front line by medics.”
Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is now the scene of a battle for control between Iraqi, Kurdish, and ISIL forces.
Starting to define activism.