then we can step back and talk about the tactics to make change happen. I have been somewhat fixated on the controversy about the black bloc, the whole diversity of tactics debate since the Chris Hedges cancer of black bloc challenge. My friend Austin Kelley sent along an interesting link this morning that makes the point that while we argue about a single tactic, and while we argue about diversity of tactics as if it is one thing (diversity - doesn't that mean a bunch of things?) , we neglect the strategy that ties tactics together. Here is some of what Austin sent along:What is a demand?
“[A demand] is a goal which is not only a thing but, like capital at any moment, essentially a stage of antagonism of a social relation. Whether the [demand] we win will be a victory or a defeat depends on the force of our struggle. On that force depends whether the goal is an occasion for capital to more rationally command our labor or an occasion for us to weaken their hold on that command. What form the goal takes when we achieve it…emerges and is in fact created in the struggle, and registers the degree of power that we reached in that struggle.”
A friend asked me to post this:
Save Medicare Rally at Capitol at 12:30, Fri. July 30
Come Celebrate Medicare’s 45th Birthday!
See Street Theater!
Friday, July 30th, 12:30pm
On the steps of the Insurance Building—302 Sid Synder Ave.
Show your support for the government program that substantially decreased poverty for the elderly and their caregivers—all with an operating cost of 3%.
Today Medicare protects 45 million Americans and their children from the specter of crushing medical debt. But this program that we all count on is in danger….
The Deficit Reduction Commissionplans to cut Medicare and Social Security The “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” is packed with people advising cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The Commission won’t issue its report until December 1st—until after the November elections. An unaccountable lame duck session of Congress will vote up or down on the Commission’s plans without amendment or hearings.
According to the blog Fire Dog Lake, 14 of the 18 members of the commission are on record for cutting Medicare and Social Security. Many of these members of Congress and Washington insiders have ties to the finance industry—a clear conflict of interest. Co-Chair Erskine Bowles, who is on the board of Morgan Stanley, said that the Commission will “mess with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, because if you take those off the table, you can’t get there.” Co-Chair Alan K Simpson R-WY (ret) referred to older Americans as “greedy geezers” who “live in gated communities and drive their Lexus to the Perkins restaurant to get the AARP discount.”
One of the options that some Commission members favor is changing Medicare to be means tested. This would mean middle class Americans would have to first spend down their savings before being able to access Medicare benefits. This would create dire poverty for millions of the retired and put a strain on their families. But Medicare is a widely popular program. The Commission is meeting in secret because so many would be opposed to its plans to cut Medicare.
Cutting other programs, ending two wars, or raising taxes are all more popular than cutting Social Security and Medicare. Congress must be forced to listen to the people instead of Wall Street and those who think our tax dollars should go to wars, tax cuts and bank bailouts. Real health care reform is needed to reduce all medical costs, but if we fight, we can save Medicare.