2020 Is Almost Done: What Next? Thoughts on Georgia, Democratic Socialism & 2021.

Another Monday post packed with information, links, actions, & video including a rich video from David Korten on what 2021 could look like if we want economic justice. We are almost to 2021 & to the GA Runoffs, so we report on that, as well.

David Korten on Democratizing the Workplace & the Economy

Please save time for a very important video from David Korten, suggested by Liz Copeland as a more useful piece than the one from Hedges last week. A frequent contributor to YES! Magazine, Korten is a most insightful thinker about our economy, our political system, and the need to merge participatory democracy with socialist principles. The video is but 12 minutes long, but is so worth your time. Find it at the bottom of the post.

Georgia’s Always on My Mind. How About You?

Eight days until this crucial runoff and it could hardly be closer or more important. If you’ve been tracking Congressional Covid relief negotiations, you know the stakes. Please, consider shipping some of your Covid check to Georgia and offering up just a bit of your time. Click here for how to contribute time or funds.

Retake Conversation with Sireesh Manne, NM Center on Law & Poverty Executive Director. This was a fabulous show and an insightful way to end the year as Manne zeroed in on how institutional racism underlies so many manifestations of economic injustice in NM from early childhood to health to education. This is well worth your time. I had not realized what an important role NM Center on Law & Poverty plays in our fight for justice.

Join the Fun! Raise Your Voice
Take & SHARE Retake’s 2021 Legislative Priorities Survey!

We can’t overstate the importance of not just taking this survey, but sharing it with others. We are floored by the response so far, as our outreach is now just begun and yet we are closing in on 800 responses, with every Democratic Senate District represented, 21 districts having over 10 respondents, 11 districts having over 20 and two having over 70. So people are taking the survey. But for this survey to be useful with our advocacy, we need 2-3 times this number to take the survey. We are reaching out to non-profit allies, to county Democratic chairs and to others to encourage their circulating the survey.

The survey will be immensely useful in advocating with legislators, showing them how strongly their own constituents feel about each bill. What’s more, it is also a recruitment tool as over 500 respondents have indicated that they want to be kept informed about the legislative session and have given us their email addresses. These are folks we will add to our Statewide Legislative Alert Network. So, please take the survey AND share the link on social media and in emails to friends and family. Onward!

Join Our 2021 State Senate Network Advocacy Teams

The response to our survey has been staggering and with just a couple weeks of outreach, we’ve recruited 150 members so far to our Senate District Teams. We are making it ever so easy for you to raise your voice. All you have to do is sign up below and the District Coordinator will do the heavy lifting of scheduling a Zoom meeting with your Senator. Then all you have to do is show up. If you have a bill you really want to see passed, you can comment in the chat or speak up yourself. If you are shy and retiring, then you can simply be part of the team without having to say a word. Merely having more constituents on the Zoom will make an impression.

We’ve staged one Zoom already, with 40 constituents meeting with Senate Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart and the value of these sessions couldn’t be clearer, as the Senator’s responses helped us identify bills where she was in need of better information from bill sponsors. The conversation went so well that Senator Stewart welcomed another conversation in January.

We have two other Senate District Zooms in the works, one with Senator Peter Wirth. who stated in our Zoom on Dec 1, that this strategy was the most effective way to influence your legislator and get bills you support passed. And we are convinced that communicating with your legislators in December and January before the session begins is even more important. This is an easy lift, let’s double our numbers.

Join our Statewide Network Conversation. We have a doodle poll circulating to set a meeting this week for our Senate District Advocacy Team. Our standing meetings have been on Friday from 4:30-5:30pm. But last week this fell on Christmas and this Friday falls on New Years, so we have circulated this doodle to identify a date and right now, we have two dates leading the polling, tomorrow from 3-4 and Wednesday from 12-1. If you want to meet other members and find out more about your team and the Senate Advocacy strategy, click here to take the doodle poll. This is a tremendous group.

News In Brief: Just two briefs today and there is no question which is more important, the second. We all need to become increasingly familiar with the ways to discuss democratic socialism and not allow the neo-liberal media to foist fear on any and all efforts to expand workplace democracy, economic justice and authentically democratic decision-making structures. Read on from YES!

From The Huffington PostTrump Back At Mar-A-Lago, Raising Taxpayer Golf Tab To $151.5 Million” Recall on the campaign trail, Trump asserted: “I am not going to have time to play golf, I’ll be too busy working for you.” Two hundred and eighty-nine rounds later…. And he doesn’t plan to return to Washington until January and perhaps not until January 6 when he promises “wild” protests. 24 days until it is over.

From YES! Magazine: “10 Things You Should Know About Socialism.” We need to find language to begin to reframe our policy agenda and find a way to stop apologizing whenever we are accused of offering a reform or policy that is “socialist.” This is an excellent article that offers a starting point to that effort. The quote below is from the tenth thing we need to know about socialism, the critical importance of integrating democracy with socialism.

“A growing number of socialists stress that previous socialist experiments inadequately recognized and institutionalized democracy. These self-critical socialists focus on worker cooperatives as a means to institutionalize economic democracy within workplaces as the basis for political democracy. They reject master/slave, lord/serf, and employer/employee relationships because these all preclude real democracy and equality.”

YES! Magazine: “10 Things You Should Know About Socialism.”

The Week in Review

It is likely that the holidays caused you to miss one or more of last week’s posts. I always recommend the Monday post, as it reprises important posts from the prior week and this is no exception as the Dec 21 post offers summaries and links to excellent pieces on creating a state public bank and a NM-style Medicare-for-All program, The Health Security Act. But really, each of the posts from last week had value and so, if you missed one, go check it out today.

Cambodia & Thailand, 60 deaths 85 M People, California 40 M People, 22,600+ Deaths. Why? Plus, Who is Behind PRC Amendment 1 Dark Money! + Appeal for Navajo Nation

Monday, December 21, 2020. The usual ton of info from our Monday post along with links to last week’s posts. with one on how a state public bank could fuel development of a local food system & another on another study on Medicare for All. Plus what to do with your $600 Relief check as we offer a list of agencies to whom you might want to contribute and to devote some time to help your community. Read on.

Chris Hedges’ on Biden & His Cabinet Appointments,
NM Methane Regs Exempt 95% of G&O Operators, &
a Critique of the Covid Relief Bill

Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Part I. We examined the challenges ahead & what we all can do to face them. While Chris Hedges is always pretty tough to take, his message is important, as he is unflinching in reminding us that the “normal” life we were leading pre-Covid was a suicidal ride of gross over consumption. Plus more evidence of why the Georgia runoffs are so important and report on flawed Methane Regs pointing to the need for Green Amendment. Plus, Winona LaDuke video on Deb Haaland.

Click here to read the full post.

Richard Wolff, 9 Minute Video Shredding the Covid Relief Bill: Must Watch, Must Share, Must Remember.
THIS Is What Is Going On

Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Part II. No analysis, no actions, just 9 minutes of extraordinary video on the morally debase Covid relief bill just past by Congress. I didn’t include anything more, because I hope everyone watches this video, shares it, comments on it and remembers it. After viewing, we asked readers to offer their reaction and comment and many did, one offering up two videos that do an even better job of capturing where we are. See the end of the post for one of these videos. Thanks, to Liz Copeland for suggesting the video from Korten.

Click here to watch and listen to Richard Wolff.

Roxanne & I Celebrate You This Holiday &
Offer Some Observations & One Question

Friday, December 25, 2020. We ae inching towards January 1 and the end of 2020, January 20 and the end of Trump, and January 19 and the beginning of a new legislative session. Despite Trump, despite COVID, we have much to celebrate and much to look forward to. So for Christmas, we offered an upbeat note along with an opportunity to contribute to others less fortunate and more vulnerable than most of us.

Click here to read the full post.

From Plutocracy to Democracy: David Korten: Korten offers not just a critique of our current institutions, but a path to a more authentically democratic workplace and political theater. Twelve minutes, a good way to close out the year.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Economic justice

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6 replies

  1. The power of plutocracy depends on keeping the people divided against each other along gender, racial, religious, or other fault lines. The goal is to divert our attention from themselves so that they can maintain their power and continue to amass wealth. —David Korten (Yes! Magazine, 7 February 2019)

  2. Hi Paul and Roxanne. From National Geographic – The ancient Greeks were the first to create a democracy. The word “democracy” comes from two Greek words that mean people (demos) and rule (kratos). . . In addition, it supports the idea that the people can replace their government through peaceful transfers of power rather than violent uprising or revolution. Thus, a key part of democracy is that the people have a voice. . . Athenian democracy developed around the fifth century B.C.E. The Greek idea of democracy was different from present-day democracy because, in Athens, all adult citizens were required to take an active part in the government. If they did not fulfill their duty they would be fined and sometimes marked with red paint. . . Each year 500 names were chosen from all the citizens of ancient Athens. Those 500 citizens had to actively serve in the government for one year. During that year, they were responsible for making new laws and controlled all parts of the political process. When a new law was proposed, all the citizens of Athens had the opportunity to vote on it. To vote, citizens had to attend the assembly on the day the vote took place. This form of government is called direct democracy.

    My add – In Athens, free men did not include women, children, slaves or people from other lands.

    From Wikipedia – Socialism was coined by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would later be labelled utopian socialism. Simon contrasted it to the liberal doctrine of individualism that emphasized the moral worth of the individual whilst stressing that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another. The original utopian socialists condemned this doctrine of individualism for failing to address social concerns during the Industrial Revolution, including poverty, oppression and vast wealth inequality. They viewed their society as harming community life by basing society on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources.[61] Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of scientific understanding to the organisation of society.

    For Andrew Vincent, “[t]he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and then medieval law was societas. This latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen”.[60]

    More from Wiki – While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world’s first nominally socialist state led to socialism’s widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism[51][52][53] or a non-planned administrative or command economy.[54][55] Academics, political commentators and other scholars tend to distinguish between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Soviet Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general, among others.[56][57][58][59]

    From tutor2u.net – Individualism (Liberalism) Individualism is the beating heart of liberal ideology, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the relationship between the individual and the state. Liberalism is a term which derives from the Latin word “liber” meaning free men.

    From the free dictionary.com – A prominent rights-based theory is what is known as liberal individualism. teleological theory a type of ethical theory that takes judgments of the value of the consequences of action as basic.

    My add – Among other things, liberalism relies on the acknowledgment of ownership, capitalism, free markets instead of mercantilism, representative democracy versus true citizen democracy and competition to resolve who ‘wins’ certain rights and who loses those rights.

    Also read up on John Locke, Robert Owen, Rosseau (especially the claim of ownership) and Karl Marx (private vs. personal property).

    When you have caught your breath, please read some practical commentary of The four Noble Truths of Buddhism, followed by The Eightfold Path.

    If you can find your open mind, you will realize that ANY form of responsibility involves the awareness of compassion and its constant practice.

    Without personal responsibility, freedom is just another word for savagery.

    This is my starting dialogue on the topics you presented and the questions you asked in the previous post – what to do and how to do it.

    Mick Nickel

  3. Much of what David Korten describes is spot on. His suggestion that we need to change the story/narrative, is also quite perceptive. I wish that I could envision the process or Impetus that might result in the transformation from plutocratic empire to something resembling democracy. Alas, I cannot. The system, the processes, and the very institutions of the US government are irredeembaly corrupt. Barring some cataclysmic event, more significant even than covid, how can change happen? While one can cheer on the handful of federal representatives with integrity–and they are, truly, just a handful–the only clear path to a just, humane society is at the local level. Which is why I value the activist work of Retake.

  4. I’m not sure where to put this comment or request. This is an article in Politico that may be the group to push their agenda of anti social democracy. The Force is a group of newly elected House
    Representatives. They are a conservative group who have lived in communist countries and rail against socialism. I would be interested in you take on their point of view.
    Thank you Phyllis Wilson Taos



  1. A Remarkable Report on Wounded Knee Massacre from Heather Cox Richardson MUST READ, Plus… – Retake Our Democracy
  2. An Inspiring Dive Into Worker Owned Cooperatives & What Could be Possible in NM & the US. Plus More Polls on GA & Info Tomorrow’s Electoral Vote – Retake Our Democracy

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