Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The End of New Deal Liberalism

We need to remember that Wiliiam Greider who is now a "leftist" attacking "liberalism" was a "progressive for Obama."

Greider and a host of phony liberals, progressives and leftists are now hard at work attacking Obama for being a "liberal."

What is taking place here in the name of being "critical" of Obama and the Democrats is that Greider
and his friends are up to their same old dirty work as what they started out doing for Obama: splitting and driving a wedge--- fracturing the coalition--- (the only coalition capable of creating real change in this country, "the people's front," these same phony liberals, progressives and leftists have attacked in the name on the "new left."

Why else would they confuse "liberalism" with the pragmatism of Wall Street's "neo-liberalism" of which they and Obama are an integral part of?

Greider and his friends at The Nation and their Progressives for Obama, Campaign for America's Future, Progressive Democrats of America all know the difference between "liberalism" and
"neo-liberalism" yet they are intellectually so dishonest they choose to identify those liberals with good ideas who cast their lot with progressives and the left for real social and economic change that is good with falsely claiming that "liberals" are part of the same reactionary and right wing cloth as Obama's "neo-liberalism" which is Wall Street's agenda of war abroad and austerity at home.

I know lots of liberals and no liberals that I know support Obama's imperialist wars abroad nor do the liberals I know support Obama's austerity measures at home designed to force the burden of paying for these wars on the backs of the working class which taken together with the unending quest for maximum profits constitute Wall Streets complete agenda.

These aren't the "groaning spasms of New Deal liberalism" as Greider and his Obama supporting
friends working with The Century Foundation--- with "partners" like the Council on Foreign Affairs--- would have us believe; what we are witnessing and experiencing is neo-liberalism--- as completely distinct from liberalism--- advancing Wall Street's agenda.

"The power shift did not start with Obama," says Obama-backer Greider now pretending to be critical of Obama as he and his dishonest colleagues start trying to rope people back into the Obama fold in time for the 2012 Elections by using this confusing "criticism" of Obama as a pretext for once again preventing the unity of liberals, progressives and the left in an attempt to deepen the fractures they created in the first place by bullying, badgering and intimidating people into supporting and voting for
Obama based on the false image--- one they now pretend to oppose--- they created for Obama in the first place.

Here in this article, loaded with a lot of truths while continuing to perpetrate and further expand the really big lie that is coming once they deem the period for criticism is over just in time to urge
everyone to get behind Obama, again, because the prospect of Republicans taking over is so bad.

I find it really interesting that all these Obama supporters like Greider can write so much yet not mention the role of these dirty imperialist wars in the neo-liberals' imperialist Wall Street agenda...
one would think that Greider could have at least formulated one simple paragraph around the question we should all be asking over and over again:

How is Obama's war economy working for you?

Obama is one side and one aspect of the neo-liberal Wall Street agenda; the sleazy confusion being sowed by William Greider and his Obama supporting crowd who will claim as we get closer to Election Day that "if we are going to advance a progressive agenda we will need to make sure Obama wins a second term as they promise once again to "hold Obama's feet to the fire;" a fire Greider and his phony liberal, progressive and left friends have refused to strike the first match to ignite the flame top create the required heat during Obama's first term... does anyone really believe they will strike the match during Obama's second term?

Real liberals, progressives and leftists should be discussing the writings of those like William Greider who have served the Wall Street philanthropists so well for the pay-cheks they receive from the foundation whores whose empathy for working people ends after reciting statistics in the articles intended to sow confusion for which they are so well paid.

I find it interesting how Greider and his colleagues ALWAYS include the thoroughly reactionary warmonger Harry Truman who led the initial attack on the working class and democracy in their praise as if Truman is an equal of FDR and Lyndon Johnson.

Other than Obama, one would be hard pressed to find a more thoroughly reactionary president beholden to Wall Street's imperialist agenda supported by the ideology of pragmatism than Harry Truman--- and there have been some really rotten presidents in the interim between these two.

What Greider and his colleagues refuse to discuss, is that Hillary Clinton would have been more like Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson--- neither of whom were ever anything to write home about much less "prizes." In Johnson's case, at least he had the good sense to step aside realizing that his continuing an illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and costly imperialist war had brought the country to the verge of civil war which required he step aside; Barack Obama lacks any such good judgement and if he is not successfully primaried which Greider and his co-horts refuse to address, we are headed for another very violent civil war.

We have a chance to head off plunging our country into chaos and unending violence by correcting the mistake of Obama by primaring Obama in 2010; like Roosevelt and Johnson, Hillary Clinton is no prize but she does offer some hope that if we get organized we can get SOME real change... Obama will fight any change to improve the lives of working people by ending these wars right to his bitter end.

Greider closes by stating:

"Somewhere in all these activities, people can find fulfilling purpose again and gradually build a new politics. Don't wait for Barack Obama tosend instructions. And don't count on necessarily making much difference,at least not right away. The music in democracy starts with people who
take themselves seriously. They first discover they have
changed themselves, then decide they can change others."

How convenient that Greider, who was part of a cabal forcing Obama on us with lies and under false pretenses now offers up such poetic and sage advice as if he sincerely means any of this when we all know it is just one more part of a scheme to rope us in to supporting Obama, again.

Greider now identifies himself as a "left-liberal," a "progressive" and even pretends to speak as a "socialist" adding more confusing rhetoric; all kinds of rhetoric except the need to defeat Barack Obama if we are to create real change.

I do find it interesting that Greider now wants us to believe that he is all those things he once helped to create a false image of who Obama was supposed to be: socialist, progressive and liberal.

This is "the end of New Deal liberalism, perhaps; if we don't get rid of this creep Obama.

Something to think about around the kitchen table.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki

The End of New Deal
William Greider
The Nation
January 5,

have reached a pivotal moment in government and politics, and it feels
the last, groaning spasms of New Deal liberalism. When the party of
government, faced with an epic crisis, will not use government's
powers to reverse the economic disorders and heal deepening
deterioration, then it must be the end of the line for the
governing ideology
inherited from Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson.

Political events of the
past two years have delivered a more profound and
devastating message:
American democracy has been conclusively conquered by
American capitalism.
Government has been disabled or captured by the
formidable powers of private
enterprise and concentrated wealth.
Self-governing rights that representative
democracy conferred on citizens
are now usurped by the overbearing demands of
corporate and financial
interests. Collectively, the corporate sector has its
arms around both
political parties, the financing of political careers, the
production of
the policy agendas and propaganda of influential think tanks,
and control
of most major media.

What the capitalist system wants is
more-more wealth, more freedom to do
whatever it wishes. This has always been
its instinct, unless government
intervened to stop it. The objective now is
to destroy any remaining forms
of government interference, except of course
for business subsidies and
protections. Many elected representatives are
implicitly enlisted in the

A lot of Americans seem to know
this; at least they sense that the
structural reality of government and
politics is not on their side. When
the choice comes down to society or
capitalism, society regularly loses.
First attention is devoted to the
economic priorities of the largest, most
powerful institutions of business
and finance. The bias comes naturally to
Republicans, the party of money and
private enterprise, but on the big
structural questions business-first also
defines Democrats, formerly the
party of working people. Despite partisan
rhetoric, the two parties are
more alike than they acknowledge.

these terms, the administration of Barack Obama has been a
disappointment for those of us who hoped he would be different. It
out Obama is a more conventional and limited politician than
more right-of-center than his soaring rhetoric suggested.
Congressional Democrats, likewise, proved weak and incoherent,
defenders of their supposed values or most loyal constituencies.
They call
it pragmatism. I call it surrender.

Obama's maladroit tax
compromise with Republicans was more destructive
than creative. He acceded to
the trickle-down doctrine of regressive
taxation and skipped lightly over the
fact that he was contributing
further to stark injustices. Ordinary Americans
will again be made to pay,
one way or another, for the damage others did to
society. Obama agrees
that this is offensive but argues, This is politics,
get over it. His
brand of realism teaches people to disregard what he says.
Look instead at
what he does.

With overwhelming majorities in Congress
and economic crisis tearing up
the country in 2009, incumbent Democrats opted
for self-protection first,
party principles later. Their Senate leaders
allowed naysayers to
determine the lowest common denominator for reform-
halfway measures
designed not to overly disturb powerful corporate-financial
interests, and
therefore not able to repair the social destruction those
interests had
wrought. Senate Democrats say they didn't have the votes.
Imagine what
Mitch McConnell would have done if he were their leader: Take
prisoners. Force party dissenters to get in line and punish those
don't. Block even the most pedestrian opposition

Democrats are not used to governing aggressively. They haven't
done so for
decades, and they may no longer believe in it. For many years,
Democrats survived by managing a precarious straddle between the
forces of
organized money and the disorganized people they claim to
represent. The
split was usually lopsided in favor of the money guys, but one
believe that the reform spirit would come alive once they were back
power with a Democratic president. That wishful assumption is now

Obama's timid economic strategy can be described as successful
only if the
standard of success is robust corporate profits, rising stock
prices and
the notorious year-end bonuses of Wall Street. Again and again,
hesitated to take the bolder steps that would have made differences
social conditions. Now it is clear that the bleeding
experienced by the overwhelming majority of citizens will not
substantively addressed because Democrats, both president and
have chosen to collaborate in the conservative cause of deficit
cut spending, shrink government, block any healing initiatives
that cost
real money.

Republicans, armed with strong conviction, are
resurgent with what amounts
to ideological nihilism. Leave aside their
obvious hypocrisies on fiscal
rectitude and free markets. Their single-minded
objective is to destroy
what remains of government's capacity to intervene in
or restrain the
private sector on behalf of the common welfare. Many of
government's old
tools and programs are already gone, gutted by deregulation,
crippled by
corporate capture of the regulatory agencies originally intended
to curb
private-sector abuses and starved by inadequate funding. The right
smaller government for the people, but not for corporate capitalism.
will fight to preserve the protections, privileges and subsidies that
to the private sector.

* * *

Once again, Republicans are
mounting an assault on liberalism's crown
jewel, Social Security, only this
time they might succeed, because the
Democratic president is collaborating
with them. The deficit hysteria
aimed at Social Security is fraudulent (as
Obama's own experts
acknowledge), but the president has already gravely
weakened the program's
solvency with his payroll-tax holiday, which undercuts
financing for
future benefits. Obama promises the gimmick won't be repeated,
but if
employment is still weak a year from now, he may well cave. The GOP
accuse him of damaging the economy by approving a "tax increase" on
workers. Senate Democrats are preparing their own proposal to cut
Security as a counter to the GOP's extreme version. In the end, they
split the difference and celebrate another great compromise.

is capitulation posing as moderation. Obama has set himself up to
make many
more "compromises" in the coming months; each time, he will
doubtless use the
left as a convenient foil. Disparaging "purist" liberals
is his way of
assuring so-called independents that he stood up to the
allegedly far-out
demands of his own electoral base. This is a ludicrous
ploy, given the
weakness of the left. It cynically assumes ordinary people
not engaged in
politics are too dim to grasp what he's doing. I suspect
Obama is mistaken. I
asked an old friend what she makes of the current
mess in Washington.
"Whatever the issue, the rich guys win," she
responded. Lots of people
understand this-it is the essence of the
country's historic

To get a rough glimpse of what the corporate state looks
like, study the
Federal Reserve's list of banking, finance and business firms
received the $3.3 trillion the central bank dispensed in
loans during the financial crisis (this valuable information is
only because reform legislators like Senator Bernie Sanders fought
disclosure). If you were not on the list of recipients, you know
place in this new order.

The power shift did not start with
Obama, but his tenure confirms and
completes it. The corporates began their
systematic drive to dismantle
liberal governance back in the 1970s, and the
Democratic Party was soon
trying to appease them, its retreat whipped along
by Ronald Reagan's
popular appeal and top-down tax cutting. So long as
Democrats were out of
power, they could continue to stand up for liberal
objectives and assail
the destructive behavior of business and finance
(though their rhetoric
was more consistent than their voting record). Once
back in control of
government, they lowered their voices and sued for peace.
Beholden to
corporate America for campaign contributions, the Democrats cut
deals with
banks and businesses and usually gave them what they demanded,
corporate interests would not veto progressive legislation.

has been distinctively candid about this. He admires the "savvy
atop the pinnacle of corporate power. He seeks "partnership"
with them. The
old economic conflicts, like labor versus capital, are
regarded as passé by
the "new Democrats" now governing. The business of
America is business.
Government should act as steward and servant, not

deferential attitude is reflected in all of Obama's major reform
not to mention in the people he brought into government. In
the financial
rescue, Obama, like George W. Bush before him, funneled
billions to the
troubled bankers without demanding any public obligations
in return. On
healthcare, he cut deals with insurance and drug companies
and played cute by
allowing the public option, which would have provided
real competition to
healthcare monopolists, to be killed. On financial
reform, Obama's Treasury
lieutenants and a majority of the Congressional
Dems killed off the most
important measures, which would have cut Wall
Street megabanks down to
tolerable size.

Society faces dreadful prospects and profound
transformation. When both
parties are aligned with corporate power, who will
stand up for the
people? Who will protect them from the insatiable appetites
of capitalist
enterprise and help them get through the hard passage ahead?
One thing we
know for sure from history: there is no natural limit to what
will seek in terms of power and profit. If government does not
stand up
and apply the brakes, society is defenseless.

enough, this new reality brings us back to the future, posing
questions about the relationship between capitalism and
democracy that
citizens and reformers asked 100 years ago. Only this time,
the nation is no
longer an ascendant economic power. It faces hard
adjustments as general
prosperity recedes and the broad middle class that
labor and liberalism
helped create is breaking apart.

My bleak analysis is not the end of the
story. Change is hard to visualize
now, given the awesome power of the status
quo and the collapse of
once-trusted political institutions. But change will
come, for better or
worse. One key dynamic of the twentieth century was the
long- running
contest for dominance between democracy and capitalism. The
balance of
power shifted back and forth several times, driven by two basic
that neither corporate lobbyists nor timid politicians could control:
calamitous events that disrupted the social order, such as war
depression, and the power of citizens mobilized in reaction to
events. In those terms, both political parties are still
vulnerable-as twentieth-century history repeatedly demonstrated,
cannot survive the burdens of an unfettered corporate

People are given different ideological labels, but Americans are
not as
opposed to "big government" as facile generalizations suggest. On
issues, there is overwhelming consensus that media and pundits
(check the polls, if you doubt this). Americans of all ages will fight
defend social protections-Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,
others. People are skeptical to hostile about the excessive power
corporations. People want government to be more aggressive in
areas-like sending some of the financial malefactors to

One vivid example was the angry citizen at a town hall meeting
who shouted
at his Congressman: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"
I heard
a grassroots leader on the radio explain that basically the Tea
people "want government that works for them." Don't we all? In the
few years, both parties will try to define this sentiment. If they
to the corporate agenda, they are bound to get in trouble, and the
of insurgent citizens will grow. Nobody can know where popular
might lead, right or left, but my own stubborn optimism hangs by

Whatever people on the left may call themselves, they
have a special
burden in this situation because they are deeply committed to
the idea
that government should be the trustworthy agent of the many, not
powerful few. Many of us believe further (as the socialists taught)
the economy should serve the people, not the other way

The current crisis requires people to go back to their roots
re-examine their convictions-now that they can no longer
automatically on the helping hand of government or the Democratic
Obama's unfortunate "hostage" metaphor led Saturday Night Live to
that the president was himself experiencing the
syndrome"-identifying with his conservative captors. Many
groups, including organized labor, suffer a similar dependency.
They will
not be able to think clearly about the future of the country until
get greater distance from the Democratic Party.

I suggest three
steps for progressives to recover an influential role in
politics. First,
develop a guerrilla sensibility that recognizes the
weakness of the left.
There's no need to resign from electoral politics,
but dedicated lefties
should stake out a role of principled resistance. In
the 1960s uncompromising
right-wingers became known as "ankle biters" in
Republican ranks, insisting
on what were considered impossible goals and
opposing moderate and liberal
party leaders, sometimes with hopeless
candidates. They spent twenty years in
the wilderness but built a cadre of
activists whose convictions eventually
gained power.

Where are the left-wing ankle biters who might change the
Party? It takes a bit of arrogance to imagine that your activities
change the country, but, paradoxically, it also requires a sense
humility. Above all, it forces people to ask themselves what they
believe the country needs-and then stand up for those convictions any
they can. Concretely, that may lead someone to run for city council or
senator. Or field principled opponents to challenge feckless Democrats
primaries (that's what the Tea Party did to Republicans, with
results). Or activist agitators may simply reach out to young
people and
recruit kindred spirits for righteous work that requires

Second, people of liberal persuasion should "go
back to school" and learn
the new economic realities. In my experience, many
on the left do not
really understand the internal dynamics of capitalism-why
it is
productive, why it does so much damage (many assumed government
politicians would do the hard thinking for them). We need a
re-examination of capitalism and the relationship between the
state and
the private sphere. This will not be done by business- financed
tanks. We have to do it for ourselves.

A century ago the
populist rebellion organized farmer cooperatives,
started dozens of
newspapers and sent out lecturers to spread the word.
Socialists and the
labor movement did much the same. Modern Americans
cannot depend on the
Democratic Party or philanthropy to sponsor small-d
democracy. We have to do
it. But we have resources and modern
tools-including the Internet-those
earlier insurgents lacked.

The New Deal order broke down for good
reasons-the economic system
changed, and government did not adjust to new
realities or challenge the
counterattack from the right in the 1970s. The
structure of economic life
has changed again-most dramatically by
globalization-yet the government
and political parties are largely clueless
about how to deal with the
destruction of manufacturing and the loss of
millions of jobs. Government
itself has been weakened in the process, but
politicians are too
intimidated to talk about restoring its powers. The
public expresses
another broad consensus on the need to confront "free trade"
and change it
in the national interest-another instance of public opinion not
seeming to
count, since it opposes the corporate agenda.

today face conditions similar to what the Populists and
Progressives faced:
monopoly capitalism, a labor movement suppressed with
government's direct
assistance, Wall Street's "money trust" on top, the
corporate state feeding
off government while ignoring immoral social
conditions. The working class,
meanwhile, is regaining its identity, as
millions are being dispossessed of
middle-class status while millions of
others struggle at the bottom. Working
people are poised to become the new
center of a reinvigorated democracy,
though it is not clear at this stage
whether they will side with the left or
the right. Understanding all these
forces can lead to the new governing
agenda society desperately needs.

Finally, left-liberals need to start
listening and learning-talking up
close to ordinary Americans, including
people who are not obvious allies.
We should look for viable connections with
those who are alienated and
unorganized, maybe even ideologically hostile.
The Tea Party crowd got one
big thing right: the political divide is not
Republicans against Democrats
but governing elites against the people. A
similar division exists within
business and banking, where the real hostages
are the smaller,
community-scale firms imperiled by the big boys getting the
gravy from
Washington. We have more in common with small-business owners and
Party insurgents than the top-down commentary suggests.

in all these activities, people can find fulfilling purpose
again and
gradually build a new politics. Don't wait for Barack Obama to
instructions. And don't count on necessarily making much difference,
at least
not right away. The music in democracy starts with people who
take themselves
seriously. They first discover they have changed
themselves, then decide they
can change others.