In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
From pekka's comment . . .

Yesterday, pekka commented on Badger's posting ("How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America", an article by Zbigniew Brzezinski) with an excerpt from a Bill Moyers article.  I thought the comment important enough to re-post here, cleaned up a little.  I found the original Bill Moyers article at Sojourners Magazine, August 2004.  Thank you, pekka

This is a remarkable essay [referring to Badger's post] by the man who has a remarkable name, Zbigniew Brzezinski. There is another absolutely great one by Bill Moyers and I take the liberty to post it here with appologies for taking so much space. But if you read it, you understand, I am sure, why.

We are talking about nothing less that a class war declared a generation ago, in a powerful polemic by the wealthy right-winger, William Simon, who had been Richard Nixon's Secretary of the Treasury. In it he declared that "funds generated by business... must rush by the multimillions" to conservative causes. The trumpet was sounded for the financial and business class to take back the power and privileges they had lost as a result of the Great Depression and the New Deal. They got the message and were soon waging a well-orchestrated, lavishly-financed movement. Business Week put it bluntly: "Some people will obviously have to do with less... .It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have more." The long-range strategy was to cut workforces and their wages, scour the globe in search of cheap labor, trash the social contract and the safety net that was supposed to protect people from hardships beyond their control, deny ordinary citizens the power to sue rich corporations for malfeasance and malpractice, and eliminate the ability of government to restrain what editorialists for the Wall Street Journal admiringly call "the animal spirits of business."

Looking backwards, it all seems so clear that we wonder how we could have ignored the warning signs at the time. What has been happening to working people is not the result of Adam Smith's invisible hand but the direct consequence of corporate activism, intellectual propaganda, the rise of a religious literalism opposed to any civil and human right that threaten its paternalism, and a string of political decisions favoring the interests of wealthy elites who bought the political system right out from under us.

To create the intellectual framework for this revolution in public policy, they funded conservative think tanks that churned out study after study advocating their agenda.

To put muscle behind these ideas, they created a formidable political machine. One of the few journalists to cover the issues of class, Thomas Edsall of the Washington Post, reported that "During the 1970s, business refined its ability to act as a class, submerging competitive instincts in favor of joint, cooperate action in the legislative area." Big business political action committees flooded the political arena with a deluge of dollars. And they built alliances with the religious right - Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition - who gleefully contrived a cultural holy war that became a smokescreen behind which the economic assault on the middle and working classes would occur.

From land, water, and other resources, to media and the broadcast and digital spectrums, to scientific discovery and medial breakthroughs, a broad range of America's public resources have been undergoing a powerful shift toward elite control, contributing substantially to those economic pressures on ordinary Americans that "deeply affect household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, political participation and civic life."

7 comments:

LittleBill said...

Thanks, Karma, for posting Pekka's very fine article by Bill Moyers on the front page where it will get even more attention. It deserves it.

pekka said...

Oh boy, am I relieved that my space hogging was taken the way you did, Karma! I have never done this sort of a brutal invasion before, and I was scared to death that the editorial board here would have dispatched Moyer's thoughts into a waste basket as an insult.

I just couldn't pass it without posting it, because these two articles, which I read the same day, lifted my spirits high like a kite and I knew that this might have a wider therapeutical benefits.

Thanks again for not hating my indiscreet assault on this site!

LittleBill said...

Hi, Pekka: If you would just email me at LittleBill's email address, we have things to discuss. Did you see my comment re Life's Rhythms? I want you to see what I have posted there, but you have to accept my invitation.

Also, if you find something else that would be great to post on my site, I will be happy to do it if you email it to me. Your email address will not appear on my site or comments, so you would be safe as far as that's concerned. LittleBill's address again, is littlebilly_littlebill@verizon.net

PLEASE! Then I can even email you back with my regular email address.

pekka said...

LittleBill, I must be going through some sort of mental meltdown! I left you an earlier message, which seems to have vanished, concerning my inability to access your email address or Life's Rhythms which I am dying to read.

All I have achieved so far is the "This page cannot be displayed" sign. Could this be the nightmarish combination of my innability with the technologies that occurred after the Model T was first concieved and the fact that "my" pc is roughly from the same era? The only alternative left to me is that I purchase a flock of homing pigeons, unless your hip son-inlaw can think of something.

I am both embarassed and sad for the trouble I am causing! I am also flatered for yor kindness, LittleBill!

Messenger said...

I'm confused. This reads more like it was written by Bill Moyers, not Zbigniew Brzezinski.

LittleBill said...

Pekka, I'm glad you finally answered (or that I finally got it). Don't worry about Life's Rhythms yet. I need your email address to fill a form that gives you permission. The main thing is to go to YOUR email to go LittleBill's EMAIL and give him your email address. Don't give up we'll try until we figure it out.

KarmaDogma said...

My apologies, Messenger. When I posted this, I didn't adequately explain that the first paragraph referred to a previous post ("How a Three-Word Mantra has Undermined America", by Zbigniew Brzezinski), and that the following text was Bill Moyer's.

I have added an editorial clarification to the text. Please let me know if you think it still isn't clear enough.