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Popular Resistance- Finding Empathy, Passion and Resistance

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page and our Organic Transitions page.

Public opinion is going through a major change.  The combination of the collapsed and languishing economy; and people standing up and speaking about taboo subjects out loud is creating a new political narrative.

The Brookings Institution, a mainstay of Washington, DC think tanks, found  that 42% of Americans do not think capitalism is working for the United States. Only 9% believe capitalism is working very well. The only age group that thinks they are better off than the previous generation is those over 66 years old.

Questioning capitalism?  When was the last time that was allowed in US political discourse?

And, Americans' view of government is mostly negative. Only 7% think it is generally working while two-thirds think it is either completely broken (26%) or broken but working in some areas (40%).  Americans want government to reduce the wealth divide (63%), provide assistance to people who need it (62%) and guarantee health care to all even if it means raising taxes (56%).  Obviously, government is out of step with the people; moving in the opposite direction on all these issues. The discord between what the people want and need; and what government is doing is the foundation of the growing resistance movement.

This week, the dysfunction of government was on display as the federal government partially shut down because of the Republican's new tactic of making demands in order to approve a budget.  Alan Mass and Lance Selfa describe the DC battle as two "warring brothers"  where "the mainstream media's simplistic analysis-Democrats vs. Republicans, Tea Party conservatives vs. the GOP establishment-camouflage what's really taking place: a bipartisan drive for austerity where both parties ignore what the public wants."  The war is particularly bad for the 800,000 furloughed workers but also for poor and working class Americans, groups that need healthcare and other services, and Native Indians who are essentially wards of the state.

The cause for the conflict between the two corporate political parties is ostensibly healthcare.  For those who follow this issue closely, it is a bizarre battle since Obamacare is simply the national version of Romneycare which originated in the right wing Heritage Foundation.  The truth is the United States needs a totally different approach one that neither corporate party will put forward but that the American people want - a national health care plan funded by the federal government.  A single payer system would end what healthcare advocate, Donna Smith, called "weaponized profits" at the expense of the health of Americans.
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