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Newt Gingrich - the Republican's next answer after all the rest

Don Hudson

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I'm trying to understand the sudden rise of Newt Gingrich as suddenly the most popular Republican candidate for President of the United States.

He has to be nominated of course, but my reasons for thinking that this candidate may actually get nominated ahead of the rag-tag bunch only because of his history with Big Business when he was Speaker of the House. Heaven knows that Big Business needs an antedote to the radical OWS Movement which is very, very slightly tilting the playing field as people ask serious questions about "why OWS?", and the fact that their own paychecks and futures are lower, and less secure than they ever were before the US became a multi-trillion dollar economy, designed for and by the wealthy since 1970. Who would have thought the issues could have grown larger and more serious after 2008?

Here's what I found in trying to understand Gingrich's sudden "popularity". It's long, but I think worth the effort. Agreement isn't the goal because most dismiss Chomsky but I think mistakenly so. All I ask for at least a reading. I'm not pushing any candidate or even a point of view so much as a challenge to thinking about the present political economy and how we got here.

Some who may think that Chomsky is just another left-wing nut may find his comment on Marxism and Intellectuals (as well as his thoughts on universities, found elsewhere) more than interesting.

Marxist Theory and Intellectual Fakery

"...one thing that's unattractive to me about "Marxism" is the very idea that there is such a thing. It's a rather striking fact that you don't find things like "Marxism" in the sciences - like, there isn't any part of physics which is "Einsteinianism," let's say, or "Planckianism or something like that. It doesn't make any sense - because people aren't gods: they just discover things, and they make mistakes, and their graduate students tell them why they're wrong, and then they go on and do things better the next time. But there are no gods around. I mean, scientists do use the terms "Newtonianism" and "Darwinism," but nobody thinks of those as doctrines that you've got to somehow be loyal to, and figure out what the Master thought, and what he would have said in this new circumstance and so on. That sort of thing is just completely alien to rational existence, it only shows up in irrational domains.

"So Marxism, Freudianism: any one of these things I think is an irrational cult. They're theology, so they're whatever you think of theology; I don't think much of it."Mitchell, Peter Rounds, Schoeffel, John ed. , Chomsky, Noam, Understanding Power. New York, The New Press , 2002. p.227,

The following is from Chomsky, Noam, Perspectives on Power. Montreal, Black Rose Books, 1997, pp.120 - 131. Some of it will be dated, but reasons we are in the state we are presently in, aren't.

'Free Market Conservatism'

"Following the same course, we can come to understand the concept of 'free market conservatism'. Its real meaning is revealed by a closer look at the most passionate enthusiasts for 'getting the government off our backs' and letting the market reign undisturbed. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is perhaps the most striking example. He represents Cobb County, Georgia, which the New York Times selected in a front-page story to illustrate the rising tide of 'conservatism' and contempt for the 'nanny state'. The headline reads: 'Conservatism Flowering Among the Malls', in this rich suburb of Atlanta, scrupulously insulated from any urban infection so that the inhabitants can enjoy the fruits of their 'entrepreneurial values' and market enthusiasms, defended in Congress by its leading conservative, Newt Gingrich, who describes his district with pride as a 'Norman Rockwell world with fiber optic computers and jet airplanes'.

"There's a small footnote, however. Cobb County receives more federal subsidies than any other suburban county in the country, with two interesting exceptions: Arlington, Virginia, which is effectively part of the Federal government, and the Florida home of the Kennedy Space Centre, another component of the system of public subsidy, private profit. When we move out of the federal system itself, Cobb County takes the lead in extorting funds from the taxpayer—who is also responsible for funding the 'jet planes and fiber optic computers' of the Norman Rockwell world. Most jobs in Cobb County, properly high paying, are gained by feeding ~ at the public trough. The wealth of the Atlanta region generally can be traced substantially to the same source. Meanwhile praises to market miracles reach the heavens where 'conservatism is flowering'.

"There is also an interesting sidelight. During the congressional campaign, when Gingrich propaganda about the nanny state and welfare excesses was resounding to the rooftops and the New-Democrats were on the run, no one was willing to issue a simple rejoinder: Gingrich is the country's leading advocate of the welfare state—for the rich. The reasons for the silence are easy to understand: class interests prevail over narrow electoral ones. It's greed across the board that the rich must be protected from market discipline by a powerful and interventionist welfare state.

"Gingrich's 'Contract with America' neatly exemplifies the ideology of the double-edged 'free market': state protection and public subsidy for the rich, market discipline for the poor. It called for 'cuts in social spending' across the board—for the poor and defenceless, including children and the elderly. And for increasing welfare for the rich, in the classic ways: regressive fiscal measures, and outright subsidy. In the former category are increased tax exemptions for business and the wealthy, capital gains cuts, and so on.

In the latter are taxpayer subsidies for investment in plants and equipment, more favourable rules for depreciation, dismantling the regulatory apparatus that merely protects people and future generations. The formulations are remarkably brazen. Thus the proposals for business incentives, regressive tax cuts, and other such welfare for the rich appear under the heading The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act'. The section does indeed include a provision for measures 'to create jobs and raise worker wages'—with the added word; 'unfunded'. But no matter, given prevailing conventions, 'jobs' means 'profits', so it is indeed a 'job creation' proposal, which will continue to 'enhance' wages downwards.

"The contract also calls for 'strengthening our national defense' so that we can better 'maintain our credibility around the world'— so that anyone who gets funny ideas, like priests and peasant organisers in Latin America, will learn better. The phrase 'national defense' is hardly even a sick joke, which should elicit ridicule among people with any self-respect. The US faces no threats, but spends almost as much on 'defense' as the rest of the world combined. Military expenditures are no joke, however. Apart from ensuring a particular form of 'stability' in the 'permanent interest' of those who matter, the Pentagon is needed to provide for the likes of Gingrich and his rich constituents, so that they can fulminate against the nanny state that is pouring public funds into their pockets.

"Here again a look at history is instructive. As already mentioned, illusions about the viability of free market capitalism have been the domain of ideologists, not actors in the political and economic system. What illusions might have remained about the matter dissipated after the Great Depression and the success of the government-managed World War II economy in overcoming it, with vast growth of production and profits.

"The lessons were taught to the corporate managers who flocked to Washington 'to carry out one of the most complex pieces of economic planning in history', an experience that 'lessened the ideological fears over the government's role in stabilizing the economy', the leading business historian, Alfred Chandler, points out. They and others anticipated a return to depression unless such measures were retained, in some way.

"The business world recognised that advanced industry 'cannot satisfactorily exist in a pure, competitive, unsubsidized, "free enterprise" economy' and that 'the government is their only possible savior' (fortune, Business Week). The remarks refer specifically to the aircraft industry, established by public funds and wartime profiteering, but they were understood to generalise. For well-known reasons, the Pentagon system was preferred to alternatives and revitalised as the 'savior', sustaining and expanding the aircraft industry and its by-products, along with steel and metals generally, electronics, chemicals, machine tools, automation and robotics, and other central components of the industrial economy.

"As long as the fable could be sustained, the Cold War provided the pretext, often as conscious fraud. The first Secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington, put the matter plainly in January 1948: 'The word to talk was not "subsidy"; the word to talk was "security" '. As industry representative in Washington, Symington regularly demanded that the military budget 'meet the requirements of the aircraft industry', as he put it. The story continues without essential change until today, in just about every functioning sector of the economy, and surely in Cobb County. There as elsewhere, the 'private sector' relies extensively on welfare payments, subsidies often called 'security'.

Dramatically again in the Reagan years, industry has relied on advanced technology that is readily transferred from military to commercial use. This crucial factor in modern industrial development and economic progress has long been understood in the business world, and had been discussed on the left as well, though the debate has been confused by anti-militarist literature that concentrates on the fact that the military path is harmful to the economy as compared with civilian alternates. That is correct, but irrelevant to business leaders, who explained 50 years ago why they preferred the military alternative: primarily reasons of domestic power, not economic health. Some of these topics are at last being investigated even in mainstream academic work, which is useful, though misunderstanding persists in the belief that what is found is 'contrary to the beliefs of analysts from both the right and the left'; it has long been clear in the business press and among left critics.

"The same studies conclude that the 'defense industrial base' should be maintained—appropriately, on the understanding that the wealthy must be protected from market discipline and the population tricked into subsidising them.

"These are major reasons why military spending is increased while anything that might benefit the 'great beast' that threatens the opulent minority' must be sharply cut.

The general principles are clear and explicit: free markets are fine for the Third World and its growing counterpart at home. Mothers with dependent children can be sternly lectured on the need for self-reliance, but not dependent executives and investors, please. For them, the welfare state must flourish.

"A closer look at particulars again brings out the real meaning of what is happening. Not content with Clinton's increase in the Pentagon budget in radical opposition to the public will, Speaker of the House Gingrich, who represents Lockheed-Martin and other high tech industries, led the House in approving even more public funds for his wealthy constituents. Under his leadership, the House approved a US$3.2 billion 'emergency' supplement for the starving Pentagon, the funds to be drawn from programs for the vast majority. In a vain and pallid gesture that highlights what is at issue, House Democrat David Obey proposed in committee 10 replace a planned US$5-US$7 billion of cuts in child nutrition, housing, and job training by a five-year delay in deployment of Lockheed F-22 advanced fighters, a (surely underestimated) welfare program of $72 billion: delay, not discontinuation of the taxpayer giveaway. The suggestion was summarily rejected, and scarcely reported.

"The word to use remains 'security', not 'subsidy'. And as often in the past, current plans for 'defense' are designed so as to foster security threats. A minor one is Russia; though now an ally, it remains a potential threat to US 'preponderance', the currently fashionable term for global rule. But the primary threat is 'Third World weapons proliferation', Air Force Director of Science and Technology General Richard Paul informed Jane's. We must maintain military spending and strengthen the 'defense industrial base' because of 'the growing technological sophistication of Third World conflicts', the Bush Administration had explained to Congress while watching the Berlin Wall collapse, taking with it the most efficient pretext for 'subsidy'. No one who has kept their eyes on the 'security system' will be surprised to learn that both threats are to be enhanced.

"Some of the funding for the emergency Pentagon supplement is to be drawn from programs to help dismantle and safeguard the nuclear arsenals of the former USSR. To protect ourselves from the resulting threat, we will have to 'increase the Defense Department's budget', Florida Democratic Representative Pete Peterson commented. Furthermore, Third World weapons proliferation' is to be stimulated, with new contributions to its 'growing technological sophistication'. The US share in arms sales to Third World countries has reached almost three-quarters. We must therefore provide them with even more advanced weaponry, so that we can tremble in proper fear. The sale of F-16 aircraft with taxpayer-subsidised loans allows the Air Force to pay Lockheed to upgrade the aircraft and to develop the F-22 to counter the threat they pose.

"The welfare programs extend beyond Gingrich country General Paul emphasised, outlining the commitment 'to spin dual-use [science & Technology] outside the military' in 'the national interest', 'enhancing our economic security'. Particularly 'enhanced' is the welfare of corporate America, which is to 'transition our work', General Paul continued in standard bureaucratese.

"Gingrich’s favourite government-funded cash cow understands the scam perfectly. Lockheed propaganda warns that it ' a 'dangerous world' in which 'sophisticated fighter airplanes and air defense systems are being sold'—mostly thanks to its 'savior’. One of the authors adds: 'We've sold the F-16 all over the world what if [a friend or ally] turns against us?' To fend off that threat we have to sell potential adversaries still more advanced weapons and to transfer still more public funds to the shrinking sectors of the population that bear the burden of 'dazzling' profits. Quite simple, really.

"Arms sales to undemocratic countries—most of the recipients—are opposed by a mere 96 per cent of the population, these programs reflect the 'popular mandate' as well as their companions.

"The National Security State is a natural favourite of the advocates of private tyrannies. The device facilitates the transfer o: public funds to advanced industry and to wealthy sectors generally, with the public cowering in fear of foreign enemies so that planners can operate in 'technocratic insulation', in World Bank lingo. Furthermore, the 'great beast' has to be dealt with somehow and the easiest way is to frighten them. With internal enemies as well.

"Engendering fear and hatred is a standard method of population control, whether the devil is Jews, homosexuals, Arab terrorists, welfare queens (Black, by implication), or criminals lurking in dark comers (ditto). While crime rates have been stable for decades, perception and fear of crime has sharply increased, in large part artificially stimulated, criminologist William Cham-bliss concludes from the timing of inflamed public rhetoric and polls; the same was true, very dramatically, with regard to drugs.

"It is therefore only reasonable that the new 'conservatives' should expand further the domestic security system organised and conducted by the powerful state they wish to nurture. Along with the Pentagon, the rapid growth of the prison system is to be accelerated while constitutional protections are dismantled—for example, by legislation permitting warrantless searches (considered a 'bad idea' by 69 per cent of those who conferred 'the mandate'). The harsh measures of the new crime bills make little sense for a 'war against crime', as experts have regularly pointed out. But they make good sense for a war against the population, with two aspects: frightening into submission the large majority targeted for reduction of quality of life and opportunity; and removal of the growing mass of people who are superfluous but must somehow be controlled as the Third World model is brought home.

"Under Reaganite enthusiasts for state power, the number of prisoners in the US almost tripled, leaving the main competitors, South Africa and Russia, well behind—though Russia has just caught up, having begun to grasp the values of its American tutors. The largely fraudulent 'drug war' has served as a leading device to imprison the unwanted population. New crime bills are expected to facilitate the process, with their much harsher sentencing procedures. The vast new expenditures for prisons are also welcomed as another Keynesian stimulus to the economy.

"'Businesses Cash In', the Wall Street Journal reports, recognising a new way to milk the public. Among the beneficiaries are the construction industry, law firms, the booming and profitable private prison complex, 'the loftiest names in finance' such as Goldman Sachs, Prudential, and others, 'competing to underwrite prison construction with private, tax-exempt bonds. Also standing in line is the 'defense establishment, . . . scenting a new line of business' in high-tech surveillance and control systems of a sort that Big Brother would have admired.

"These are the basic reasons, it seems, for the growth of what Chambliss calls 'the crime control industry'. Not that crime isn't a real threat to safety and survival—it is, and has been for a long time. But the causes are not being addressed. Rather, it is being exploited as a method of population control, in various ways. In general, it is the more vulnerable sectors that are under attack. Children are another natural target. The matter has been addressed in important work, including a UNICEF study by a well-known US economist, Sylvia Ann Hewlett.

Reviewing the past fifteen years, Hewlett finds a sharp split between Anglo-American societies and Continental Europe-Japan. The Anglo-American model, Hewlett writes, is a 'disaster' for children and families; the European-Japanese model, in contrast, has improved their situation considerably. Like others, Hewlett attributes the Anglo-American 'disaster' to the ideological preference for 'free markets'. But that is only half true. Whatever one wants to call the reigning ideology, it is unfair to tarnish the good name of 'conservatism' by applying it to this form of violent, lawless, reactionary statism, with its contempt for democracy and human rights, and markets as well.

"Causes aside, there isn't much doubt about the effects of what Hewlett calls the 'anti-child spirit that is loose in these lands', primarily the US and Britain. The 'neglect-filled Anglo-American model' has largely privatised child-rearing while placing it out of reach of most of the population. The result is a disaster for children and families, while in the 'much more supportive European model', social policy has strengthened support systems for them.

"A Blue-Ribbon Commission of the State Boards of Education and the American Medical Association pointed out that 'Never before has one generation of children been less healthy, less cared for or less prepared for life than their parents were at the same age'—though only in the Anglo-American societies, where an I 'anti-child, anti-family spirit' has reigned for fifteen years under the guise of 'conservatism' and 'family values'—a doctrinal triumph that any dictator would admire.

"In part, the disaster is a simple result of falling wages. For much of the population, both parents have to work overtime merely to provide necessities. And the elimination of 'market rigidities' means that you work extra hours at lower wages—OR ELSE. The consequences are predictable. Contact time between parents and children has declined radically. There is sharp I increase in reliance on TV for child supervision, 'latchkey children', child alcoholism and drug use, criminality, violence by and against children, and other obvious effects on health, education and ability to participate in a democratic society—even survival.

"Hunger is most severe among children, with effects that are permanent. Hunger among the elderly is also 'surging', the Watt Street Journal reports: 'several million older Americans are going hungry—and their numbers are growing steadily', while some 5 million, about 16 per cent of the population over 60, 'are either hungry or malnourished to some degree'—again, phenomena unknown in other developed societies.

"To comprehend what all this means, one has to bear in mind the unparalleled advantages of the United States. To give only one indication, health and life expectancy levels of mid-eighteenth century Americans were not reached until this century by the upper classes in Britain. The social and economic catastrophe of state capitalism is an extraordinary phenomenon—for the 'great beast', that is—not to speak of what it has wrought elsewhere.

"An even more vulnerable target is future generations, who have no 'votes' in the market so that costs can be freely transferred to them in the wealth-concentration frenzy. That is the long-term effect of dismantling the regulatory system, which the Gingrich army hope to achieve across the board by imposing cost-benefit assessment conditions on all environmental and health regulations. The huge federal bureaucracy required to administer the system can be undercut by refusal to fund it, and any corporate lawyer should be able to tie up proceedings for long periods in this domain of guesses and uncertainties.

"Related changes in the legal system are designed to protect corporate crime by imposing onerous conditions on victims who seek redress and compensation, eliminating protection for consumers and small time investors, and reducing enforcement powers. That will be a boon for the 'unscrupulous people' who 'steal tens of billions of dollars, maybe hundreds of billions', in financial and insurance frauds, business law professor Benjamin Stein observes, the costs falling on the vulnerable, including the taxpayer, who is expected to pick up the tab when things go sour, as in the savings and loan fiasco, which added many billions to the Federal deficits. It is also an important gift to such corporations as Philip Morris, the biggest corporate donor to the Gingrich army, which needs government protection for marketing its lethal addictive drugs, responsible for far more deaths than the illegal variety, including non-users (unlike hard drugs).

Towards the End of History: the Utopia of the Masters

"For most of the population, conditions of life and work are declining, something new in the history of industrial society. The latest edition of the annual scholarly study of 'the state of working America' concludes that during the recovery from the deep Reagan recession of 1982, 'the vast majority of families lost wealth as the economy grew'; all but the top 20 per cent, the authors estimate. As the economy stagnated and fell into recession in 1988-91, 'wealth declined among nearly every income group', and through the Clinton recovery, median wages have continued their steady decline since 1980.

"Wages for entry-level jobs—a predictor for the future—fell 30 per cent for male and 18 per cent for female high school graduates (3/4 of the work force), and for the college educated, fell 8 per cent for males and rose 4 per cent for females. Hourly wages dropped over 10 per cent, more for high school graduates. For men with high school education, real income fell a 'stunning' 21 per cent from 1979 to 1990, the 1994 Economic Report of the President reported, falling further since. Poverty rates reached double the level of other industrial countries; child poverty is particularly high, far beyond any other industrial society, almost three times the average.

"Meanwhile salaries for CEOs rose 66 per cent, second only to Britain's 123 per cent rise, though the US retains its huge lead in CEO/worker pay ratio. The slow growth in wealth was concentrated in financial assets, overwhelmingly held by the wealthy. There was a 'spectacular redistribution' of wealth, with inequality now far higher than any other country of the developed world. The share of marketable net worth held by the top 1 per cent is now twice that of England and 50 per cent higher than France, the nearest competitor in the Mishel-Bernstein list. In 1980, differences among these countries were slight, but Reaganite programs directed 60 per cent of marketable wealth gain to the top 1 per cent of income recipients, while the bottom 40 per cent suffered an absolute loss of net worth in real terms; other measures are still more stark.

"Mishel and Bernstein identify several factors in the wage decline: primarily a severe drop in the minimum wage and de-unionisation, rapid expansion of low-wage service jobs (80 per cent of new jobs created were in the lowest-paying service sector industries), and globalisation of the economy. They find little if any impact of technology on wage and employment structure. A closer look shows extensive state initiative in each of these developments, favouring some economic forces, undermining others; consistently, in ways that serve 'the minority of the opulent'.

"One indication is that 'the emergence of greater wage disparities has been evident only in the United States and Great Britain, the two countries that have moved fastest to "deregulate" their labor markets', though other factors (technological change, etc.) do not single out these cases.

"The general situation is similar in England, less so in continental Europe and Japan, though in an increasingly globalised economy, those who pursue the harshest and most inegalitarian policies will carry others along. The end of the Cold War offers new weapons to private power in its battle against the 'pampered Western workers' who are going to have to face reality and give up their 'luxurious life-styles' in the wondrous new world order, the business press warns. But some are doing fine, as the same sources exult. After four straight years of double-digit profit growth, profits—now at a 45-year high—are expected to continue their 'stunning' growth, while real wages and benefits are expected to continue their steady decline. Earnings per share have more than doubled since 1991 for the top 500 corporations, and are expected to double that growth rate in 1996; return on capital for non-financial corporations has more than doubled since 1980, even surpassing the growth of poverty, though not keeping up with the increasing prison population.

"Along with democracy, markets are under attack. Even putting aside massive state intervention, increasing economic concentration and market control offers endless devices to evade and undermine market discipline, a long story that there is no time to go into here; to mention only one aspect, some 40 per cent of 'world trade' is intrafirm, over 50 per cent for the US and Japan. This is not 'trade' in any meaningful sense; rather, operations internal to corporations, centrally managed by a highly visible hand, with all sorts of mechanisms for undermining markets in the interest of profit and power.

"In reality, the quasi-mercantilist system of transnational corporate capitalism is rife with the kinds of 'conspiracies' of the masters against the public of which Adam Smith famously warned, not to speak of the traditional reliance on state power and public subsidy. A 1992 OECD study concludes that 'Oligopolistic competition and strategic interaction among firms and governments rather than the invisible hand of market forces condition today's competitive advantage and international division of labor in high-technology industries', as in agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, services, and major areas of economic activity generally. The vast majority of the world's population, who are subjected to market discipline and regaled with odes to its wonders, are not supposed to hear such words; and rarely do.

"The globalisation of production puts tremendous weapons into the hands of private tyrannies. Another critical factor is the huge explosion of unregulated financial capital since Richard Nixon dismantled the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s. The consequences of the deregulation of financial markets were quickly understood. In 1978, Nobel Prize laureate in economics James Tobin proposed that foreign exchange transactions be taxed to slow the haemorrhage of capital from the real economy (investment and trade) to financial manipulations that now constitute 95 per cent of foreign exchange transactions (as compared with 10 per cent of a far smaller total in 1970). As Tobin observed at this early stage, these processes would drive the world towards a low-growth, low-wage economy. A study directed by Paul Volcker, formerly head of the Federal Reserve, attributes about half of the substantial slow-down in growth since the early 1970s to this factor.

"International economist David Felix makes the interesting observation that even the productive sectors that would benefit from the Tobin tax have joined financial capital in resisting it. The reason, he suggests, is that elites generally are 'bonded by a common objective, . . .to shrink, perhaps even to liquidate, the welfare state'. The instant mobility of huge sums of financial capital is a potent weapon to force governments to follow 'fiscally responsible policies', which can bring home the sharply two-tiered Third World model to the rich societies. By enhancing the shadow cast by big business over society and restricting the capacity of governments to respond to the public will, these processes also undermine the threat of democracy, another welcome consequence. The shared elite interest, Felix suggests, overcomes the narrower self-interest of the owners and managers of productive sectors of the economy.

"The suggestion is a reasonable one. The history of business and political economy yields many examples of the subordination of narrow gain to the broader interest of the opulent minority, which is unusually class conscious in a business-run society like the United States. Illustrations include central features of the modern world: the creation and sustenance of the Pentagon system of corporate welfare despite its well-known inefficiencies; the openly proclaimed strategy of diversion of soaring profits to creation of excess capacity abroad as a weapon against the domestic working class; the design of automation within the state system to enhance managerial control and de-skill workers even at the cost of efficiency and profitability; and many other examples, including a large part of the foreign policy.

"I'm afraid this barely skims the surface. It's easy to see why the masters see a real hope of rolling back the hated welfare state, driving the great beast to its lair, and at last achieving the 'daring depravity of the times' that so shocked Madison in its very early stages, with private tyrannies, now released from even limited public accountability, assuming their proper role as 'the pretorian [sic] band of the Government, at once its tool and its tyrant; bribed by its largesses and overawing it by its clamours and combinations'. It is also easy to understand the mood of desperation, anxiety, hopelessness and fear that is so prevalent in the world, outside of wealthy and privileged sectors and those who sing their praises.

"To stem and reverse this course and restore a modicum of respect for the values of the Enlightenment, for freedom and human rights, will be no simple matter. The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world, then to organise and act to change it. That's never been impossible, and never been easy. It's not impossible now, and not easy either. There has rarely been a time in history when that choice carried such dramatic human consequences."

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"To stem and reverse this course and restore a modicum of respect for the values of the Enlightenment, for freedom and human rights, will be no simple matter. The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world, then to organise and act to change it. That's never been impossible, and never been easy. It's not impossible now, and not easy either. There has rarely been a time in history when that choice carried such dramatic human consequences."

Newt's always been a creepy guy, thug and an insult to decency! That aside; the closing paragraph above says it all imo, but can we achieve the 'fix' before 'they' get us all in line with their game and plan?

It's been said; a minimum of 25% of the populace must be thinking a certain way before the 'mass' necessary to effecting change is reached. As it is; the majority continue to receive their information from sources such as the CBC, CNN, FOX and the like. Being, mainstream media is for the most part, owned by and operated in support of the dark force, the distribution or purveyance of truth is unlikely and will instead, favour said dark agenda. In that regard, I believe we've got a very long way to go before we're collectively enlightened?

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Not to turn this thread into a lobby for Newt but I kind of like the guy....surprise to some right. I am not saying he is going to get the nomination. This related article shows he is well connected and has probably been planning this run for President for 15 years. Lets face it, he should be able to handle the current man child we now have for a President in a debate. Newt certainly has gall and brazen nerve and is gutsy when it comes to handling the media. Chutzpah comes to mind.


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Not to turn this thread into a lobby for Newt but I kind of like the guy....surprise to some right. I am not saying he is going to get the nomination. This related article shows he is well connected and has probably been planning this run for President for 15 years. Lets face it, he should be able to handle the current man child we now have for a President in a debate. Newt certainly has gall and brazen nerve and is gutsy when it comes to handling the media. Chutzpah comes to mind.



Well, as long as we don't know too much about him, what's not to like about Newt Gingrich? Chutzpah yes, and he was as Speaker of the House and is presently very well connected. People like people who are well connected and who leave the impression that he can do things for you. His record however does not reflect such generosity of spirit and action.

He was, and is Big Business's friend and that represents the potential for a very different turn in the Republican campaign given the mess of doubtful hopefuls gathered so far. I think he may just turn this into a race and he may even win it, which is the reason I took the extraordinary step of posting such a long section from Chomsky's book so the issue can be argued and debated.

In fact, a careful reading of that selection will provide clear explanations for why ordinary people are angry, why people from all walks of life joined the OWS Movement and why this anger is not going to go away.

Newt Gingrich is nothing less than a symbol of all that is wrong with America and why its powerful world position has been squandered.

He has been and remains old-boy backroom power politics and business loves such friends, unfettered by rules and ethical considerations and clearly driven to power alone. He is precisely what the United States loves best in its leaders - a true and proven believer in state welfare for the rich, unafraid of any challenger because few are actually capable of playing as dirty and as smoothly as this man. All in all, a perfect selection for corporate America who have seen their power diminish under Obama. By comparison George Bush's two terms will be tame should Gingrich actually be elected. I think when business starts to affect this campaign, Newt's election is a serious possibility.

All this, while ordinary people are given a devil's choice, likely between Newt and Barack. Obama is pursuing presence in the South Pacific, an area of strong traditional US military presence and China does not like it one bit. There is a hint of isolationism in the far right corners of the Republican campaign and Newt would advance this at US Foreign Policy expense.

I thought 2008 was fascinating. With Newt as a possible candidate, the likely disappearance of the European Union and the Euro, and China a serious contender for the power vacuum that the US provided through its historical policies of preemptive invasions, exceptionalism and its boom-bust speculation economy, 2012 is going to be an election like no other. I really hope people get involved with the issues and argue these points and show up and vote; one gets the feeling of momentous occasions unfolding and it is no time to be standing on the sidelines.

In all this, Chomsky is as steady as one of those beacons built upon rocks. Neither "left" nor "right", his views provide ways to examine our own understandings of what powerful people are saying, and why. Chomsky decodes politics, he does not advance partisan views. The shrillness of the religious and media right is drowning out intelligent thought and commentary but a reading of Chomsky's views provides some support to counter that sense that we're not crazy if we actually disagree with, and do not grant our trust in people like Mr Gingrich.


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Not to turn this thread into a lobby for Newt but I kind of like the guy....surprise to some right. I am not saying he is going to get the nomination. This related article shows he is well connected and has probably been planning this run for President for 15 years. Lets face it, he should be able to handle the current man child we now have for a President in a debate. Newt certainly has gall and brazen nerve and is gutsy when it comes to handling the media. Chutzpah comes to mind.


Really? It is Newt's turn now that all of the flavor of the week clowns and wingnuts in the GOP field have flamed out, Bachmann, Perry and Cain are all virtually unelectable.

While I don't hold a politcian's personal life as completely indicative as how they would govern, the fact that Newt has been a complete S%$^bag in his personal life should give anyone with half a brain a pause. It takes a special breed of bottom feeding low life to serve divorce papers on your cancer stricken wife as she lays in a hopsital bed.

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