Young people are often depressed thinking that “nothing anyone does can make a difference.” This is a self-fulfilling idea, unfortunately. The irony is that 45 years ago, no one would ever have thought such a thing, because it was obviously untrue. The civil rights movement showed clearly that people were making a difference. The 20th century was a time of many mass social and political movements, all more or less successful—labor, civil rights, peace, anti-nuclear, women’s rights, gay rights, environmental, and on and on.
Okay, we can debate that point or not. You can come down on any side of the issue, that's fine. But I think we can all follow where Mark's falling on the issue. Shortly afterwards, he declares:
The left, including myself, engaged in a lot of magical thinking concerning Obama. He was going to change everything. But we conveniently forgot that this is an oligarchy (or maybe a plutocracy), and that the government is entirely owned by corporate and financial and military interests. One man can’t change that. We neglected to build a real progressive movement: the Democratic Party is not that, for sure. So even if Obama wanted to change the direction of this country, he couldn’t. I’m not sure he does, though I do think he understands what a progressive policy might look like.
While I give him credit for owning his enchantment, I do not give him credit for the excuses he makes for Barack. Barack is a Corporatist War Hawk. No different, in fact, than Jimmy Carter which is why I first started comparing Barack to Jimmy here in 2007. Both were supposed "change agents" but they worked for the corporations.
So the issue here is when people give up before trying because they don't feel they can make a difference maybe they're encouraged to continue believing that when Barack's not held accountable for his crimes but instead gets off with "one man can't change that."
How many times does Barack have to stab democracy in the back before people get outraged? Drone attacks weren't enough. Claiming that he can kill any US citizen he wants to without even a trial wasn't enough. Forking over tax dollars -- and America's savings -- to the corporations didn't do the trick. The ObamaCare swindle which turns citizens into consumers by law didn't do the trick. Continuing illegal wars wasn't enough. At what point does Barack get held accountable?
If Mark Rudd wants to help a younger generation, he can start by holding Barack accountable and cease and desist on the excuse making for a War Hawk.
Barack actually is worse than Bush and who would ever have thought that was possible?
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):