The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

Robert McChesney and John Nichols (2016)

Film Review

An extremely inspiring public presentation in which McChesney and Nichols talk about their latest book (of the same name)

McChesney begins with research indicating that 50% of current jobs will be eliminated by robots and artificial intelligence in the next 10-20 years. He also talks about the inherent inability of a scarcity/profit based economic system to address this crisis.

For me, the most interesting part of his presentation was a discussion of Franklin D Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights.* According to McChesney, both Germany and Japan incorporated this Second Bill of Rights into their constitutions after World War II. This, in his view, explains why both countries have become economic powerhouses.

Both men talk about the crucial need to form a post-capitalist society and economic system. Nichols talks more about the large global movements which have formed to build this new system. He, like McChesney, has been surprised by the popular candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. The book predicts the appearance of proto-fascist and democratic socialist candidates in response to growing popular resistance movements. However neither expected it to happen so quickly.

The best part of Nichols’ talk is his discussion of the massive Luddite and Chartist movements in Britain (and the populist and progressive movements in the US) that would ultimately lead to universal suffrage, honest elections and the rise of the trade union movement.

Nichols stresses that none of these reforms resulted from the heroic efforts of a political savior – they all resulted from the dedicated and persistent mass organizing of ordinary people.

 


*Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights included the basic right of all Americans to

• Employment (right to work)
• Food, clothing and leisure, via enough income to support them
• Farmers’ rights to a fair income
• Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
• Housing
• Medical care
• Social security
• Education

 

11 thoughts on “The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

  1. I will watch the main video over the next few days. And you’re right, I do like the tone of this! I hope they also see the need for the resurrection of the individual in the collective, and the need for self-governing/sustaining, smaller communities all around the world.

    I did watch the FDR video. And this is what struck me: these are all universal rights he’s speaking of, these are not political rights that need to be granted us by some monarch. Every human being is born with these rights, as well as the right to a world without borders, governments, nations, states, economic systems and armed, full-time militaries, etc, etc,

    So if the world had been the way it should have always been, when FDR made this speech, people would have laughed at him and said, “Why are you stating the obvious? Why are you stating something that we already know to be true. You have not given or granted us these rights, we have had these rights since we were born!”

    It’s just what came to me as I listened.

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      • LOVE TO ALL TRUTH SEEKERS, IN REALIZING ALL GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT IN FAVOR OF THE BODY OF PEOPLE. WE MUST REALIZE, THAT GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER FORM OF ORGANIZED CRIME TO ENSLAVE. IF IT WERE NOT, HOW COME THINGS ARE SO EVIL??? LOVE TO ALL WHO RESEARCH, SEEK THE TRUTH, AND COME TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER THE CREATOR, WHO SHALL ELIMINATE GOVERNMENT.

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      • Maybe from today’s point of view it is surprising. However at the time some clever people in the US government seemed to know that this would work in keeping people on the side of the Western powers away from the terrible system under Sowjet control. It was the time of the Cold War!

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  2. Pingback: REBEL YELL: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy | RIELPOLITIK

  3. I’m very surprised that nowhere in this video (I dont know about the book) did they mention the money system and how much it impacts not only with the way we are headed, but also how changing it, could lead the “revolution.” They both appear to think that money is a hard and fast thing that cannot be changed. There are community currencies that have been developed and even put into practice, in some places. There are other forms of payment for work, not using the formal currencies that would have a very big impact on each person.
    Whenever we buy something, we continue to support the people who have all the money, and one of the ways common people can gain more voice is buy exploiting this.

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  4. Pingback: Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights | auntyuta

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