Thursday, February 12, 2009

Truth Teller William Greider



I first read William Greider as a kid in the 1980s (yes, I was a nerd!) after his Atlantic Monthly article entitled, The Education of David Stockman was published in 1981. My Dad had left the article lying on top of the sports section which was my usual reading preference. For me personally, Greider's article was a seminal moment in my political awareness.

In the video above, Greider is essentially telling us Democrats that we can no longer be a little bit pregnant. Either Democrats opt to work on behalf of wage earners or the fat cats. Given the current economic crisis, straddling with half measures as recently offered by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is no longer sustainable. We liberals have an opportunity to seize this moment of crisis and restore the Democratic Party to what it was from FDR to LBJ.

I believe in President Barack Obama personally even as my critique of his administration so far may seem harsh. In our political system, Presidents are hesitant to be too out in front when it comes to bringing systemic progressive change. Legend has it that FDR once instructed a group of liberal reformers to "make me do it." That is the best way to support both Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Winning in 2008 was stage one. Taking over the party so it can become an agent of peace and economic and social justice is stage two.

Obviously, stage two remains a far more formidable challenge than stage one. So called moderates will continue to rationalize kickbacks to agents of America's plutocracy as a way of keeping Democrats in the "center." It's up to us however to keep up the fight on behalf of the decency center.

UPDATE: A few weeks after this post I actually did a podcast interview with William Greider. Click here to access that post.

3 comments:

christian_left said...

I love Greider's work too! If I see an article by him, I am always eager to read it. His book, One World, Ready or Not from the late 1990s provides a great synopsis of the global economy that exposes its fundamental weaknesses. (A nice antidote to Thomas Friedman...) What I find extremely interesting in the present moment is how one of his former "enemies" (in the intellectual sense, as a harsh critic of the aforementioned book) is none other than Paul Krugman, who seems to be joining with Greider lately in an all-out intellectual assault on our country's financial elite and their allies in politics (Geithner et al.) I'd like to think that Krugman has come a long ways to recognizing some of the fundamental weaknesses of prevailing economic wisdom, but I suppose they still may have some disagreements.

jude cowell said...

Yes, Greider is the man! Thanks for posting the video, jude

Ahma Daeus said...

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William Thomas
National Community Outreach Facilitator
The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
P.O. Box 156423
San Francisco, California 94115