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EP PODCASTSXML

September 9, 2011

Praxis

A thinkerI've admired David Swanson for a number of years. He's one of the most active progressive activists I know — indeed, both astonishingly productive and absolutely on message. Since he gets out and about all the time, and I don't, it was a real treat to hear his sense of where things stand politically, and his advice regarding what people should be doing. (Think getting arrested.) Thanks, David!! Total runtime thirty six minutes. Āctum est dē rēpūblicā.

Listen

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Comments


George,

A challenge to Obama from his left would certainly be helpful, but as you say, it is quite possible that the upcoming Presidential elections would feature Obama facing one of his GOP sparring partners. Where the oligarchy has once again presented the American people with a false choice, what to do?

Do not vote, at least not unless there is a "none of the above" box to check on the ballot. The oligarchic system of capitalist representative democracy is very good at diverting the energy of its opponents into futile petty partisanship. More than any other regime, it is a system that rules by lies, in particular the lie that just because the citizens vote every few years they are therefore the true holders of political power. Universal suffrage has been a powerful tool for the oligarchy to canalize popular discontent into manageable channels. Consequently, when the system presents the people with a set of false choices, the best course of action is to expose that false choice by refusing to participate in the electoral process. If there was a situation where only 10 percent of the American people voted and yet the spokesman for the oligarchy (the President) continued with the same policies as before, then it would be clear to even the dimmest voter that their interests count for nothing under the prevailing system. In the current context of economic collapse, that, more than any theoretical explanations, would demonstrate to the great mass of the American people who their real rulers are.

[The strange thing is, if a tiny minority — say, 1% — of the population declared overt war on everybody else, and overtly stole everything they could put their hands on, people would object. The fact that that is actually happening, but through stealth, seems to escape popular attention, though I'm certain that over the long run people will become aware. g.]

Hi George,

Great to get EP back on the weekly listings. I always look forward to Fridays, and EP is certainly a part of that. Let me just speak up for what I hope is the silent majority, and say that I love your longer podcasts, and physically shudder when they turn out to be so short. What a disappointment! I wait a whole week for your interviews and an hour flies by, so please, tell those short-attention span listeners how to use their pause button, so the rest of us can soak up a full dose! Thanks!

[I prefer the longer format myself, Mike, and there are a lot of good reasons to have it that way. Unfortunately, the audience is usually about 50% larger with the shorter shows. What to do? g.]

Mark me down for longer! Mike's note matches my Friday thought: "Oh, it's Friday - I get to hear George's interview!" But, if from where you sit, shorter seems best — I'll still listen with enthusiasm. Your interviews are much appreciated!

(Maggie)

Another informative interview, and I like the longer format. One critical comment: On the idea of being arrested as a positive experience: Tell that to people of color! I, too, appreciate my white male privilege, but for some reason, most people in the world didn't think about picking some up for themselves. To ground myself, I listen to the short but excellent daily podcasts at http://blackagendareport.com

Thanks very much for what you do.

I wonder if it would be practical to do a longer interview while you have your guest available and then divide it into 2 thirty minute interviews. You might post them on different days.

I personally prefer the longer format but I suspect that most people combine their listening with some undemanding task like jogging or commuting. The shorter format probably fits better.

[Thanks, Johnny. There are a number of longer interviews, btw, in the archives — one in particular I enjoyed, with Larry Devlin, talking about the Belgian Congo, is split into two but in total runs over two hours. g.]

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