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posted on 16 October 2016

Considerations Of Compassion

by Carmine Gorga, The Somist Institute

This appeared in OpEd News 13 October 2016.

Stephen Dinan has opened up an important area of political research, an area that so far seems to be confined to a host of related disciplines--from psychology to religion to New Age studies. This is the new, stunning political imperative he has proposed: We must defeat Donald Trump for his own good.

This imperative, when fully understood, will give access to an untapped reservoir of political power: The power of men and women of good will to plunge head-on into the political fray. Their conscience will call them to action, if the ultimate purpose of the next election is, not to elect Hillary Clinton, but to defeat Trump--for his own goods and the good of the entire world.

The floodgate will be opened for Republicans and Independents to join the crusade.

Recourse to history should help prove the point. It is by now evident that Trump has an authoritarian bent just like that of Mussolini and Hitler. We need to remember how did they spend their last days on earth to realize that we must not let this fate befall Donald Trump. Deep inside Donald Trump is not that bad yet.

And fall, eventually would Trump inexorably fall. The autocrat does not tolerate opposing points of view; when he cannot silence his opponents, he will lock them up--and institute progressively worse actions of repression.

Donald Trump does not have the means to keep all his promises, hence not only will his enemies fight him tooth and nails, gradually his old friends and then his new friends will abandon him.

He hopes to accomplish things by sheer force of his will (do you still exalt Nietzsche?), and he can undoubtedly accomplish a few things he wants. Inconceivably, but possibly, he will win the election and become the next president of the United States. He is riding a wave of deep despair. No promises of the current political establishment have ultimately been fulfilled. Things for the middle class, the lower middle class, and the poor have grown progressively worse.

The point is this: Donald Trump does not have any program to change any of these conditions. He offers only bluster and threats of use of violence. Violence will not solve any real problem. Undoubtedly with many variations on the theme, violence will only recreate the horrible conditions that led to World War II. A next world war will be more devastating than that.

The media have a tremendous responsibility. They ought to make these social dynamics very clear by a relentless remembrance of history. Instant gratification is just that. The long record of history is there to be comprehensively investigated. The social media have to convince Trump's followers that Tramp's policies--or lack of--are not good for him, and ultimately not good for them.

Do bullies among the crowds supporting Trump really want to continue in actions that are despicable and leave them empty and angrier at any torque? The bully alone cannot control himself (or herself!), because pride makes bullies "fools" who "despise wisdom and instruction."

The victim alone cannot control the bully because s/he is too enfeebled by the process.

To coin a phrase, it takes a village to subdue a bully.

Most certainly, as a nation, we know how to control bullies--whether they are in a position of authority or powerless human beings.

Bullying and violence, so large a part of our city and country life, cannot be tolerated any longer.

The social media--and the political establishment--ought to call for a national rally of forces to control bullying. Certainly there are experts in this country who, given the proper platform will come forward with a thousand solutions to be applied in their own communities.

Lukewarm Democrats will discover that Hillary Clinton is most ready to lead us into this historical leap forward. Ever since she graduated at the prestigious Wellesley College she has been marching to a drum of her own making. Rather than the politics of the possible, she has been relentlessly trying to make politics achieve "the impossible".

What is politically impossible today? Fighting for economic equality and creating economic justice in this country seem to be impossible.

The reason is not lack of ideas, but the stodgy fact that mainstream media--at almost any level--prefers to address the shortcomings of locker room discussion to any analysis of solutions to our dreaded economic problems.

The fault is two-sided. Most reformers are stuck on Marxist proposals for re-distribution of wealth--and mainstream media cannot foster that type of discussion; it cannot fight for the equality of poverty. These policies are against the personal interests of nearly every member of the media.

Beyond that non-starter, Hillary Clinton--and the media--will be happy to discover that a whole gamut of proposals have already been advanced, and many have already been acted upon piecemeal, under the aegis of the "New Economy" moniker.

Viable solutions range from a great variety of microfinancing practices to the use of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs).

Microfinancing is often dismissed, for a whole slew of faulty reasons, but mostly because of the smallness of the results. Does it really matter how many families are helped to live in dignity? As far as I am concerned, even one family is enough. But undoubtedly this program ought to be strengthened. How about communities celebrating the first milestones achieved: the first dollar saved, the first thousand dollars saved per family? Saving money today seems to be a dirty word, a "capitalist" word. And certainly, families that engage in saving delay spending. But does the economy need one more dollar of expenditures based on debt?

Capitalism--and certainly we ought to use something better than this discredited word--has functioned splendidly for the few: our challenge is to create a social, economic, and political system that functions well for all.

How well is the fact known that there are more people covered by ESOPs than by Labor Unions in the United States today? The weakening of the Labor Unions by itself is not a fact to be celebrated, but the weakening of their wrong-headed policies is to be celebrated. Of what use is a wage raise, if it is followed by a price rise? Union members at best are stuck in position, while people on fixed incomes are abandoned to suffer the pains of inflation. By the way, this is also the open door to cheaper merchandise from foreign competition.

A better solution is converting the policy of Labor Unions from sharing income to sharing ownership through ESOPs. Union dues should be tied to this measure, not to distribution of wealth before it is accrued: Do wait for profits to be generated; do not ask for advances on future profits.

Then there are CSOPs. As I have written on the pages of Mother Pelican, A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability,

"Can you imagine the world in which McDonalds, Stop and Shop, and Macy's at the end of the year distribute a fair portion of their income among the consumers who have been keeping them alive all year long?"

Sales slips, easily accountable today, are proof of stake-ownership.

More fundamental solutions, such as MEND THE FED and DEFUSE THE BOMB of the next financial crisis, are circulating on the Internet and are being discussed on the pages of Mother Pelican and Econintersect . (Econintersect is "One of the Top 100 Websites for Enlightened Economists".) They deserve massive discussion.

Economic justice can be discussed under the heading of preventing bullying just as well as under any other more traditional socio-economic-psychological heading. There is no more blatant bullying of women than resisting the policy of equal pay for equal work.

There is no more blatant bullying than the practice of the Pac Man economy: growth by acquisition, rather than growth by gradual internal expansion.

Steven Dinan has suggested methods to encourage all people who have been damaged by Trump to come forward en masse, first to protect themselves from the threat of further abuse and then to build a massive case whose claims cannot be denied.

It is high time for abuses of economic justice to be fully exposed.

South Africa, with the encouragement of Mandela, Bishop Tutu, and the spirit of Gandhi set in motion mechanisms of reconciliation between abusers and abused. America might be the first nation to set up such a mechanism before bullying cases reach their deep horrific ends.

But we have to have a very broad view of bullying. It is systemic in the United States. Let's face it. It took a bunch of rugged rednecks, bullies really, to settle the Wild Wild West in relatively short amount of time. But why the hurry? Time is not money, as my only hero, Benjamin Franklin, pointed out. Time is life.

Bullying should not be tolerated any longer. Donald Trump should be the first human being to publicly acknowledge the fault of his ways. It would be good for him; it would be splendid for our beloved country.

As Stephen Dinan suggests, if foreign nations somehow participate in calling for a catharsis of bullying in the United States, America will become the great beacon of hope for mankind again. Is not this that The Donald wants for America?

Economic justice will not so much assure victory for Hillary Clinton, as peace afterwards. Economic justice is what the followers of Bernie Sanders have been clamoring for. Economic justice is what the very own followers of Donald Trump have been clamoring for. The Democratic and Republican establishment will gradually discover that in the Age of Plenty--the age to come, the age that is almost here--privileges for the few can be safely transformed into rights for all.

America is not Italy! America is not Germany! No matter the boils on her complexion, America is great, as Tocqueville realized, because America is good.

The land Frontier was closed more than a century ago. The Frontier of the Spirit is now wide open in front of us.

As I have only recently realized, and as I am happy to announce from Varanasi, where I have been taken by an Invisible Hand and the visible hands of my wife Joan, in the Spirit, there is no death; only Resurrection.

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