Thursday, March 19, 2009

Revolution?

My teenage years took place in a time and place in which the word "revolution" was as alluring to the young as it was forbidden by the elders. Decades later, I wonder what all that mouthing the r-word accomplished. Yet, as I watch a pauperizing worldwide crisis unroll before my eyes, I wonder ... isn't it time for revolution, a worldwide revolution?

Don't get me wrong. Millions of tortured, imprisoned, dead and "disappeared" people have convinced me that merely overthrowing a government accomplishes nothing. Indeed, most governments are not really the problem.

At the source of the economic crisis is a system of money power that serves the greediest few and corrupts the many. That's what needs overthrowing. Let's democratize economic decision-making and take it out of the hands of the tailor-suited financial elite. Profits generated by efficiencies and collective labor should be shared throughout the complex society that makes such profits even possible.

Could ordinary folks do any worse than these MBA geniuses have done? Let's try a few revolutionary steps:
  • Turn for-profit corporations into sectorally organized publicly owned and controlled enterprises, run by specialists serving councils of elected workers and citizens;
  • nationalize Chrysler and GM and turn them into producers of public, low-energy-consuming light and heavy rail and other systems of transportation, eventually making the car unnecessary, to be replaced by bicycles and light motorcycles.
  • Re-establish progressivity of taxation and higher tax brackets;
  • tax all inheritance 100% and put the proceeds into a fund for the education and support of all children and the support of those unable to work;
  • expropriate all capital fleeing the country to avoid revolutionary rules;
  • nationalize the banking system;
  • close all stock exchanges and other markets of speculation, compensating account holders up to $5,000,000 per household;
  • replace insurance companies with public trust funds;
  • merge private and public education into a national free system incentivized through vouchers;
  • abolish private medicine and private health institutions, creating a single health care system open to all.
What do you think?
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