» Archive for 2010


Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by Darin Robbins

The following is a series of letters to the editor that has, over time, expressed the political awakening of 2010 that can happen with the Howie Hawkins for Governor campaign in New York.

As we enter into a new decade, we must understand the great ideological divergence that occurred in the past decade. A politics of fear using patriotism as a weapon predominated, sacrificing democracy, civil liberties, and economics for the people. By last year, we reached a point where there are two mutually exclusive realities about America and the real question is not whether Obama is a dangerous radical or too liberal. He campaigned left-of-center and is now right-of-center. The vital question is whether we will see substantial change or a perpetuation of the status quo in the near future. This authentic question transcends the imaginary conflict between the Republicans and Democrats. For one thing that can not happen in our nation is a return to the past 30 years of corporate greed, environmental degradation, and weakening of democratic empowerment. Those who falsely propose that the current administration is socialist or communist are either willfully ignorant or deliberately lying. Their goal is not to save America, but condemn it to a seamless continuation of power regardless of party affiliation. The issues that people care about never went away, and the past year of business as usual proves that neither Democrats or Republicans will address those issues. This year, the Green Party in New York will run candidates for statewide offices, including Governor and U.S. Senate. Instead of doing the same thing expecting different results, voters can choose real change, new ideas, and begin to draw the line between the old America and the new America.

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 by Darin Robbins

In order for democracy to be a positive force in a society, it must expand beyond a simple ritual of voting for representatives.

The nature of democracy is such that it can only be a force for good if it is practiced. And it must be practiced across the entire space that is set up by the social field in order for its goals to be fulfilled. For the sake of clarification, it can be said that if democracy is to have any goal it must be both autonomy and equality of power. Autonomy and equality of power are interrelated to the degree that self-law or self-determination requires a direct end to hierarchy that an equality of power would provide. A hierarchy is an inequality of power that is also a divergence of ownership and participation. Those who have control are those who are considered owners, while there is those who are controlled and who participate in the structure of power. The separation of those who own and those who participate precedes a more technical class formation in an economy. The left has a much longer record of critiquing class formation, but it should be understood that class formation is a specific mode of hierarchy that goes beyond economics. Objective class formation is the imposition of hierarchy upon humans and it develops into a ubiquitous acceptance as something natural. Subjective class formation, on the other hand, is the conscious act of group organizing with the goal of apparent resistance that brings the artificial nature of hierarchy to the foreground. The movement from objective class formation to subjective class formation is autonomy.

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 by Darin Robbins

The recent statements of Rand Paul reveal the inherent limits of defining freedom as liberty, and the failure of containing libertarianism within conservatism.

When Rand Paul won the Republican Kentucky primary to become the candidate for U.S. Senate, it was assumed that it was a major victory for the Tea Party movement. A few days later the candidate, the son of outspoken libertarian-minded Congressman Ron Paul, stated that if he were in Congress at the time he would probably alter the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Particularly, he found a problem with private businesses having to comply with this law. Paul added that private businesses that discriminated should be publicly condemned and not be patronized, but that these businesses had the right to not be “forced” by the government to allow everyone. The media coverage of these statements has greatly expanded to such a degree that it was seriously questioned whether Rand Paul was fit to be a candidate for any office. But the media coverage appears to portray the statements as more a case of racist attitude rather than the cognitive dissonance that can occur with a strict adherence to defining freedom as solely liberty.

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