Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 8, 2014 3:25am-5:31am EDT

3:25 am
about making you free. it is about controlling your life immobile leaving the no better than you do how to make decisions. and when you start looking at the different issues you can really see how this breaks out because for several decades in washington the people who wanted to control things have been succeeding in so many areas. the federal government now has so much control over areas of our lives such as education, certainly health care, managing our energy resources, our transportation system, our banking and mortgage system which means they control housing, of the finance in our country which drives a lot of our total economy. and through regulations of almost every area of our lives the control is coming out of washington. under this idea that there -- they are helping us, there are a lot of good intentions, but
3:26 am
there is an old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. i can promise you, the road all around washington d.c., paved with that same material. people here claiming that they will help you by controlling your life. the difference in philosophy between conservatives and progressives is our ideas are based on those principles that we can see made this country strong in great, created the best life that has ever been created for humankind. it never was perfect. you can always find problems, but there has never been a nation like the united states of america. and we have done more not only to improve our own lives but people's lives all over the country and the world. our ideas of free market and enterprise are doing more than lift people out of poverty than any government program of the world. you can look at the statistics
3:27 am
around the world. our own index of economic freedom is keeping track of which countries are doing their right things to lift themselves up. and you can see what that does to improve the lives of people. and ironically and unfortunately so many countries around the world are copying the principles that made us prosper as well we are going the other way. but the key here is that we are not talking about two theories. and we are not arguing about things that we are not sure about what works and what doesn't. as a conservative you can go boldly out into the country and talk about this idea of limited government in a vibrant civil society of how far less taxes and less regulations actually improved lives for everyone. and you don't have to argue a theory. now, particularly now as you look at the policies which have
3:28 am
prevailed in washington for several decades because despite some republicans being in charge, basically they have all been spend more, borrow more, grow the government, give government more control over education, health care. it has been the problem with both parties. we not only have seen debt and dysfunction. these ideas have prevailed in cities and states around the country. you see massive failures, cities like detroit that have been controlled by liberal progressive ideas for over six decades. you can't blame that on a republican. there has not been a republican in detroit and a longtime. but this was america's premier city long before your time pretty probably don't even know which, but this was the pride of america where our auto companies were the best in the world. people actually went to detroit to vacation just to see the
3:29 am
place. and some of the wealthiest people in our country, wealthiest per-capita of any place in the world right there in detroit. now it is completely the opposite, completely devastated, run by gangs. there is not even a major supermarket in detroit. it is bankrupt. and so are the ideas of the left. if you look at other states controlled by those same ideas like illinois hopelessly headed toward bankruptcy with all of their union pensions and everything they have been doing for years, california running businesses off of high taxes and regulation, the policies of the left, progressives have failed. they are progressing away from the principles that create prosperity and freedom. we are building the future based on those principles and by applying those principles of work. steve more who works with us now
3:30 am
putting together a book about the comparison of the states. and it just shows time after time have the ideas that we believe in and making life better and people more prosperous. where there is less taxes or in some cases no state taxes. businesses flock. when you have toward reform, legal reform, you see doctors moving to practice in places like texas where they don't have to worry about trial lawyers as much as they do disease. they can practice their craft. the ec states that are going around the federal regulations on private land to develop energy like north dakota where only a decade ago basically a waste land, no one would consider going. now people are driving all over the country to find a better way of life. he see it in northern pennsylvania and other places.
3:31 am
but for years the left has kept us from developing the energy that would make america prosperous, help to solve our debt problem, our trade deficit, a lot of the issues that they complain about them make worse. but despite that the innovative spirit of americans, the independent spirit of a lot of states, america has become despite this president the largest producer of energy in the world. states that are expanding school choice are doing so much better than states that are following the federal regulation such as the new common core. our ideas work. and it does not just work for rich people. if you look at school choice it is closing the income gap of the most at risk kids in our nation today. you can be proud of what you believe because it is what works
3:32 am
the left is moving ahead away from the principles all under theories that this central planning and management can actually work. those policies have been on full display during the obama administration, and our economy despite spending trillions more than we ever have on economic stimulus, are still in a stagnant economy which puts people like you at eight -- in a terrible situation going through college, developing student loans and not even sure there will be opportunities on the other side. this is not something you have to stand for, it is not a permanent situation. these can turn around relatively quickly because all of the things that made this country work are still at work. a very oppressive federal government, oppressive taxes, regulations. in those people appear who think they can control your life when
3:33 am
they can't even run their own and they certainly can't run congress. i appreciate you. it is unusual for folks at a young age to begin to understand that actually freedom is your best path to prosperity and also your best path to security. the idea that government dependency will make use secure is a fool's errand. it is not true. you are most secure when you are most free. and we prove it every day here at heritage. i will set up. >> questions. >> let's have some questions. >> thank you. >> come on. >> there we go. down in front. >> my name is terry, and i am from taxes. have a question about common core. what are some ways as a
3:34 am
grass-roots activist you can push against common core and in light of their parents or other people's eyes about the dangers? >> this is one of those programs that on the cover sheet sounded wonderful. it was voluntary. after use of the rags and other basically tied up all the money it is another example of good intentions gone awry. jeb bush he did a great job as governor in florida with school choice, very innovative things which proved successful. the problem is once you see that happen you forgive the reason it happened is because he went outside the federal regiment and did something different. now if you want to take what happened and start creating national standards basically what you do is conform every state to something instead of
3:35 am
creating an environment where states are trying to improve and keep growing and making things better. so what we need to convince people of is this idea of federal standards which sounds wonderful and benign. ed actually keeps quality down and keep the federal bureaucrats controlling what happens at the state level. the best way for schools to operate is for teachers to have more control of their classroom, principals to have more control of their schools, local school boards along with parents to help to shape the curriculum there, and to create a best practice situation that has worked in so many industries where you can compare what you are doing with the others combined of the things that others are doing better, share good information, and keep building a better and better system rather than creating a static one-size-fits-all federal system. it does not work. if it did -- you know, we spend more per capita than any other
3:36 am
country in the world on education. everyplace and around the country like washington d.c. where we are spending over 20,000 per student per year you get the lowest quality because of the bureaucratic nightmare that is there. so i tell you -- and if we could get more teachers to break away from teachers' unions. that really hurts because the information that comes through teachers' unions about political issues is so skewed. they are a detriment to our whole education system. i appreciate you being willing to be a teacher, and i hope you can get in a system where you can be as good as you can be and not be in some kind of seniority tenure system controlled by unions. >> a question back there. >> thank you for being with us, senator jim demint. >> your name. >> helleri rose in jackson taxes you are talking about immigration reform.
3:37 am
i am wondering if you could expand a little bit on that. the you think the talks will be successful or do you think anything good will come out of those things ? >> this is a human tragedy, and you have to recognize that first. a lot of these are teenagers, but you have younger children. what we have to go back to, the president mentioned in his talk, the root causes, and he acted like it was funding, like the root cause is funding. he has a half a trillion dollars to deal with on domestic issues including border security. the root cause of this is all of this talk of amnesty. if you make your way to america illegally, if you get here you are going to get amnesty, citizenship, and a better life. the human traffickers in central america for the last two years have been using obama's own words as they're
3:38 am
marketing campaign. it has encouraged parents to do the unthinkable in many cases and pay these people money to put these kids on that death train as it is called in mexico hanging off the sides in many cases to go from central america to our borders knowing that our laws and the president's executive order, if you can get there they will turn you away. what we have done is created an invitation for people all over the world, particularly central america to make their way to our borders. in now with the president wants to do is first of all ask for this irresponsible amount of money that will change things so that he can make it a battle between he and congress. he is smart politically because the media always buys into this. he said the solution is this giant amnesty that was proposed by some in the senate. what you see on the borders right now is just a small glimpse of what this massive
3:39 am
amnesty would do to our country. think about it. he needs nearly $4 billion to deal with about 50 or 60,000 children. what will it cost to deal with 11 million once you grant amnesty and get into the processing of these people and bringing them into the american system? it will not work. and what it will do is make the situation on the border much, much worse. back before your time and when ronald reagan made very few mistakes but said one of the mistakes was believing congress if they gave amnesty to 3 million illegals who were here at the time that they would then fix the border and fix our immigration system. all that it was encouraged millions and millions more to come here illegally and create hardships, not just for themselves and the families they left but hardships for americans,
3:40 am
those who immigrated here illegally. we are a country of immigrants. we need to reform our immigration system to welcome those who want to come here and be a part of who we are. but to say that our immigration system is based on those who get here illegally is just wrong, unfair to those who follow the legal process. and what we need to tell the president is to stop talking about amnesty, stop misleading people, particularly in central america that if they send their children with these human traffickers that they will get a better way of life. they are abused. many horrible ways. we are encouraging it, and it has nothing to do with what congress did or did not do. all of this is at the feet of president obama. >> next question. >> i and j t mansion from michigan. what is your position on the
3:41 am
global warming debate? >> the notice, they had to change the name of that. they call it climate change. we used to call that the four seasons. [laughter] you know, they're running into problems with this warming phenomenon because the globe is not warned in 15 years. the massive panic is a problem. i am afraid a lot of this global warming talk goes back to where i started. ..
3:42 am
3:43 am
produced my natural gas but who has been stopping that for years and continues to? the same people who want to get more control of our lives with his climate change phenomena on so i think we need to be all his conservatives in agreement that our environment is precious and we need to protect it and make it better but frankly a lot of good moves of the left in this area have hurt the environment more than they have helped. a lot of the additives in fuels that were supposed to make it less polluting have actually created more pollution so i
3:44 am
frankly think for most of it is a big power grab like just about everything else they are doing. let's agree to take care of the environment but if the globe is not warming let's don't panic and spend hundreds of billions of dollars that could be used in better ways right now. >> okay another question? on me and here. >> hi my name is katie and i'm from richmond virginia. a quick question. what would be the conservative argument for encouraging the keystone pipeline? what would you recommend we talked to her peers about that? >> okay. the country is using energy and we are using oil and a lot of it so comes from middle east. so getting more oil refined into gasoline from canada is not hurting the environment. in fact moving it by pipeline is
3:45 am
much safer for our environment and moving it by ships that can run aground and that can can leak in the hole transfer process where you get them loaded on ships unloaded in the harbor and on tankers are put in another pipeline in another part of the country, so the idea that somehow this pipeline is harmful to the environment it's absurd in the first place. candidates one of our biggest energy resources. they're an ally and they are next to us and what's going to happen is if we don't accept this as they are going to end up having to sell it overseas which makes us more dependent on countries like venezuela or wherever who don't like us. that's a very vulnerable situation for us to be in. so it's better for the environment. to move it from the pipeline rather than tankers and other transportation involved and it's
3:46 am
just good for us to have a north american security on energy. even the president's own people that he put in charge to study this have come back and said it has no impact on the environment. it's all political and if you look back and you follow the money some of his supporters who probably are promoting other forms of energy solar or whatever and just don't want the country to"falling in love with
3:47 am
america again". >> next up ann coulter speaking
3:48 am
on her book "never trust a liberal over 3 - especially a republican." >> our next speaker is ann coulter and her new book is called "never trust a liberal over 3 - especially a republica republican". she started out as a new york city lawyer and worked for the senate judiciary committee. now she is a columnist and the legal correspondent for human events. author of ten new york times best-sellers and one of the most poplar guest on fox, abc, hbo, and msn. it is privilege event to have her with us today. please welcome ann coulter.
3:49 am
>> i am so happy i final get to meet you. i am not that welcome of a guest on several of the stations she mentioned. things change. if you want to cement your career on television only make arguments on tv on liberal tv and you will get invited over. i want to start by saying things are not as bad as they seem to be. it seems like we are in the middle of the democrats thousand year rick. but when i was the most depressed i have been, after my parents died, i was going through -- my mother had the
3:50 am
largest north american collection of clippings on ann coulter and i found the clippings after bush was elected. and you all were in kindergarten then so you don't have that probably. it was what people were saying after the last election. democrats are going to have to come back under a new name and lost 5-7 elections. there was a smiling picture of me and sad looser picture of micha michael moore. it showed me it can change. but it takes activist like you and people talking and arguing
3:51 am
and make things change. remember, obama, he did win twice, but he has two charact characteristics that no other democrats had. number one, no record. and number two, likability. the history of the democrats is they are always going down. you remember john kerry throwing somebody's vietnam medals over the whitehouse lawn. with obama it was perfect. you had a 14-year-old with no record. and he is very likable. you have to admit he is a charismatic person.
3:52 am
people thought john f kennedy was charismatic but obama is the best they have produced in my lifetime. i think the only people fainting at a hilary clinton rally are the chubby girls that cannot take the heat. but americans keep telling the pollsters they like obama personal. he is the person you wish you could like his policies. he would probably make a great next door neighbor unless you were chinese and he would always be over borrowing something. i think after the mess of the past eight years the republicans have a good chance provided they run someone better than todd aikin. especially if they talk about
3:53 am
obamacare. i think there is one million hours i added up trying to find a health care plans. i am self-employed so i am subjected to the provisions and the entire time i was mumbling about my liberal friend who is a hypochrondriac and wants the entire budget spent on health care. so for all one million hours i kept saying screw you to him. and that was the title of my article. i forget to mention that it was named after him so at the last minute i sent an e-mail and said i mentioned you. we read it and said you make good points but you will have every liberal in the country pouring over web pages trying to
3:54 am
find a good plan for you now. but i e-mailed him back saying that is mathmatically in possible for obamacare to fund the uninsured and pay for smoking secession programs and marital counseling and aroma therapy, hearing therapy, and speech therapy and pay for my cancer treatment. something has to go. appare apparently it is the paying insurers cancer treatments. nancy pelosi said we had to pass obamacare to find out what is in it. we found out. and now we really don't like it. recall that obamacare became law not because the american people were clamoring for the federal government to please take over our health care. no it was because one party had 60 votes. the democrats always do this. it is the worst things passed in
3:55 am
american history is because of some fluke in history -- watergate, john mccain. they end up with a large majority and suddenly they have a to-do list. republicans never have a to-do list. bush had the house and senate the first six years of the presidency. what did we get done? obamacare passed with one party sneering ha-ha we have 60 votes. the history of liberalism is passing things that sound good on paper to replace things that actual work. americans kept saying really? do we have to replace our health care? but liberals explained my roommate and i were both road scholars and worked it all out on paper. now the entire health care system is run by the same people that run the department of motor
3:56 am
vehicles. you know? if you know that incredibly long lines and you are waiting in one now but wearing a paper hospital gown open in the back. that is hospital. thank you, liberals. the democrats only defense to this -- and you hear it all of the time -- is well, republicans don't have a plan. what is their plan. i have a plan. it is something i have been working on. it call it free market capitalism. my idea is we let individuals shop for health insurance on the free market. bear with me here, i know this sounds crazy. but with the history of the world is everything provided on the free market gets better and cheaper over time. everything provided by the government gets worse and more expensive over time. the government gave us the post
3:57 am
office, public schools -- that was one of my annoyances during the shutdown -- people on fox news even saying when something is failing you don't get tht in the way. the public school has failed and it is still with us. social security is a scheme you would be put in jail if you were in the private sector. earned income tax credit -- the most fraud ridden policy in history. and the food service for those of you on the east coast. you are familiar with amtrak and if you forget food you wait for the sign to come on saying the
3:58 am
food is available and you stand in line and wait 32 minutes for a cold turkey sandwich. last year, they lost $72 million dollars. the private sector has given us ever-cheaper cellphone service, flat screen tvs, jerry garcia chia pets. every single part of commercial air travel has gotten vastly cheaper in my time. the only part of commercial air travel that blows is the part run by the government: the airport security. i got the full pat down boy a handsome ta agent so i went through again on the way here. consequently my idea is, and the
3:59 am
republicans are free to share that, but we should get the health care from the same system that gave us fed-x and 48 varieties of orange juice and the i-phone. and not the system that gave us the internal revenue and harry reid. thank heaven democrats didn't decide back in the '80s that cell phones are very important and everyone should have a cellphone. if they had moved into obama cells back then cellphones would be the size of this and cost $8,000 each. the liberals can't learn from what is in front of them. viruses can learn. liberals can't learn. all we can do is beat them which would be a lot easier if they were not importing a million new democrats every year.
4:00 am
that is proving to be a challenge for us. americans just changed the voters. without teddy kennedy's immigration act romney would have won in a bigger landslide than carter in the '80s. romney got a higher percentage of the white vote an reagan did. in 1965 white vote was 95% and now it is 62%. immigrants are always more
4:01 am
liberal than the base population of america. as it has been shown in other reports those of us who have been paying attention notice on our own. republicans are the american party and democrats are the foreign policy. look at pierce morgan. they are always liberal. it is kind of a dirty trick democrats have pulled because the majority of immigrants with hispanics and they are such darn workers you cannot bear ill will toward them. but the problem is too many immigrants and too fast. eventually we will win hispanic voters i hope. but it took hundred years and reagan to win irish and italian immigrants. it wasn't until 1980 we got in numbers irish and italians to
4:02 am
vote republicans. they are coming from countries more liberal than america so people are coming from poorer countries and more left-wing countries. it happens within our own country. new yorkers have moving to vermont and new hampshire changed those two states. vermont used to be known as rock ribbed republican vermont. now it is represented by a far-left democrat in the senate and a socialist. we got to get away from new york. come to vermont. this state needs more liberalism. every poll on the subject shows recent immigrants of every ethnicity overwhelmingly support big government. hispanics support obamacare by 75% and that is compared to the population at large according to
4:03 am
an ap poll shows that only 26% of americans support it overall. this is a problem of immigration not of ethnicity. there republican party's response has been to think if only we bring in more immigrants. maybe hispanics will hate us less. no, they will still vote democrat. they may not hate you and vote with an angry look in their eye but voting machines don't register anger glances. only votes. if doesn't seem to occur to republicans if they can't vote they can't vote against you. more importantly hispanic voters don't care about amnesty. they are already in. the legal ones. again, hispanics support the democratic party because they
4:04 am
support big government. the democrats know this well as evidenced by obama's specifically spanish language ads. he didn't talk about amnesty in the ads. he said i am going to give you free health care. if they thought, if all of the democrat consultants thought the voters cared about amnesty, they would have mentioned it in. never in human history has one country decided to turn itself into another country like this. you don't have japan saying let's be sweden. finland isn't saying i want to be a little more germanic. i love these countries but i don't want to live in germany or finland or japan. i want to live in america. why don't democrats?
4:05 am
liberals act like it was a natural process and we are a canoe trying to hold back the tide. teddy kennedy's immigration law was specifically designed to bring in immigrants from countries that had not supplied immigrants to this country for the first 300 years of existence. since that passed in '65 and starting around 1970 we have been taking in a million legal immigrants a year 90% from the thirl third world. of course that is going to change a country. it is just a matter of who lives here and votes. we are told it is good news that immigrants take welfare at only 15% above the native rate. wait, only? that is like saying good news. only 15% of the food has rat
4:06 am
feces in it. no, we are thinking no rat feces. no immigrants on welfare is what we want. if we are bringing in people that immediately needs assistance from the taxpayer isn't that immigrants we don't want? if -- it is madness. we cannot pay for our own poor people. whose money do we use to pay for the poor of the world? we ought to care about our fellow americans more. the republicans have been the party that defended black people always. particularly against the segregase segregation policy but i don't think that is any reason not to do anything. african-americans are hurt the most by the low-wage jobs. jesse jackson used to be on the
4:07 am
border trying to stop the immigrants. blacks are hurt the most. we are not democrats. we should do the right thing. oh, you know, who else is hurt by the low-wage labor coming into the country is hispanic immigrants who came in last year. democrats love to say republicans only care about the getting until the baby is born. well i say democrats only care about immigrants until they can vote. democrats don't care that last year's immigrants were saying i don't want my wages to go down anymore. i promise you if immigrants voted for the democrats we will have chuck schumer on the border.
4:08 am
try calling up another country's embassy. say if i cannot make it in your country would you mind cutting me a check once a month? the greatest country in the world. this is how we decide who lives here and votes. the theory with anchor bankies is if i success fullly get break into your house, i get to own it. and if i don't get to own it at least my kids do. unskilled immigrants get to live here and bring their brother-in-law and third cause cousins. this is tribal redistribution. we are getting entire vimages from pakistan.
4:09 am
-- village -- this is the guy running the donkey court gets precedent to the danish doctor because his family came through. octo mom got in through this way and is costing the california residents millions of millions. this idea that has taken hold that the it is unfair to get the best immigrants we can get. yes, it is unfair for that top model to date a good looking guy. she should be forced to date a bald looser. and why don't college basketball teams have a lottery system for their players? why should a blind midget lose
4:10 am
out to the 7-foot stars? democrats realize they would never get americans to vote for them and had to bring in new voters. but i cannot understand why the republicans are helping them. just because the democrats need 30 million voters is no reason for the republicans to vote for them to wreck the country. republican donors need lots of cheap labors. i tell people if you are not sure on the immigration issues you ask yourself do i have a ma maid, nanny, cook, gardner -- because if you don't have those things, low-wage immigration is a net loss to you. we are taxed to subsidize to
4:11 am
slaver labors they are being paid. it is great for some but we are subsidizing their low-wage labor that is taking jobs from american citizens. republican politicians have to go to the donor class and tell them we are going to dpifb you osha reform, tax reform, tort reform, but you cannot have everything. if we pass amnesty we will never be in a position to help you again and you can take your chances are nancy pelosi. yes, i will and i am almost done. within a few years the entire country will be like california and i don't mean to be harsh but you will all be the kardashians.
4:12 am
if amnesty goes through there is no hope. any other bad law can be repealed. you cannot repeal who is a united citizen and who is voting in elections. sensible americans have to get together and agree only two things matter obamacare and immigration and allpub -- all republicans are against immigration so it leaves only one thing. you have to say if you vote amnesty we are out. we are done. thank you. i will take your questions now. >> who is first? in the back row there. >> i am hillary and i am from mississippi. this isn't regarding what you were talking about. i saw your comments a couple days, and i would like to know
4:13 am
what would you say to mississippians who are complaining and claim they will vote for childers because they are angry. >> i would ask you to get their addresses for them so i can fly in and hold their head under the water until the bubbles stop. i know, if they are such bad asses, why don't they cross the mississippi river and help cotton beat pryor. i understand the tea party patriots have pulled out on this. if you didn't see what i wrote this week was that this is killing chris mcdaniels. even when an election is outright stolen from it you should not contest it. installment two is coming next week but i will give you a preview. elections are dirty in a lot of
4:14 am
way. whatever they complaining the cochran team did -- the mcdaniels pulled the ugly nursing home incident. i am not blaming either one. i think it looks awful to have tea partyers out there challenging and claiming any vote by a black person was fraudulent. and by the way, cochran is part of the republican generation i describe in "mug" and that is they were the republicans fighting against segregation democrats. he won this first election from a majority black democratic district. the fact he got federal money for a black college and a martin luther king memorial? as for the only issues that i
4:15 am
think matter is not only did cochran vote against obamacare which all republicans did. he not only voted against marco rubio's amnesty and he didn't vote for cloture and then against it. the two votes were called closure and one is to begin debate and end debate. the vote to begin debate doesn't mean much. it is bad form to vote against. but very few republicans voted against beginning debate on the bill. cochran did vote against cloture to end the debate. only this audience understands what i said. he voted against marco rubio's amnesty bill and voted against reagan's 1986 amnesty bill.
4:16 am
that is impressive. you vote that way, i don't care how much bacon you bring back to the state. it accept like he is a specter who is constantly against us. he is a solid, conservative vote and has great relationships with the blacks in mississippi. >> next question over here. >> hi, catherine from northern virginia. i wanted to jump back to the talk about immigration and you it touched on this at the end and i heard you mention it before that if amnesty passes that is it for the republican party and game-over. what if amnesty doesn't pass? i know the demographics have changed and what do you think where we already where and what it means for the future of the republican party for that matter the democratic party.
4:17 am
>> i always say ammesty to include continuing the current immigration policy. that is amnesty on the installment plan. we need an immigration moratorium. wages are at rock bottom. if you want to end income quality? stop dumping low wage jobs on the economy. democrats say they care about the poor? they care about their ethnic lobbies, black voters and wall street -- block voters -- and republican party is the party of hard working americans, lower middle class. and we have been the party defended african-americans from the degradation of democrats. and we should continue that. continuing the status quo gets us to the same place: end of america. just a little more slowly.
4:18 am
>> i am andrea from san diego, california. you mentioned your hope is the republican party win over the hispanic votes and mentioned the democrats have tried to win their vote and have successf successfully. i am wondering what you think it will take for the gop to get their and the ace asian vote as well. >> the main thing it is going to take is time. it isn't just whispering sweet nothings in their ears. moses had to live in the desert for two generation until you had a generation born in freedom. it just going to take time in large part so we should not think there is a silver bullet here. right now, the only way is to offer even more obamacare.
4:19 am
these are people coming from places and living in freedom and choosing their own leaders. i mean obviously we have some hispanics but it is striking the longer they have been here the more likely they have to vote republican. one of my friend the another night reminded me our first year of law school there was a girl whose ethnicity was mexican and he said how long has your family been here? and she said a hundred years. how about you? and she was a good republican, that jan. there are plenty of hispanics who have been here for generations and we have them. we don't even have all of the irish yet. we need to work on the outreach to the irish. so the main thing is not to
4:20 am
think there is a silver bullet. >> i think there is a question. >> i am lindsey from missouri. you made a comment about todd aikin. we find of thing he is crazy and i was wondering if you could talk about what republicans and conservatives can do to keep people like todd aikin from running and ruining the stereotype for our party? >> maybe i am wrong but i don't think anybody saw it coming. he wasn't endorsed by national right to life, sarah palin, it was the democrat candidate pushing him. richard mur dock was the more shocking one. he was smart and you would think he would be a good one and he turns around talking about a pregnancy and the case of rape being a gift from god after the aikin thing. as just a political comenitator i argue with both points and
4:21 am
that is why you should never run me for any office. that is why -- one thing i think tea partyers and i say that about people who were not involved in politics but are getting involved -- you have to learn these are different skills of being a politician and running for office. you can see it with democrats having a lot of good politicians and i don't mean about their ideas just in political skills and i would recommend to you and you may laugh but i am right. joe biden, dick durbin, mcconnell is good politically and they know how to say things in a way that attracts voters. the job of a commenitator is we
4:22 am
are trying to change people's mind. a politician has to take the voters like they are and win their vote. aikin could have withdrawn. he claims he cares about abortion and he made it harder and impossible to overturn roe versus wade. the senate confirm supreme court nominees and we need to take the senate. it wasn't like the republican party went into the poll and said we think the other candidate is stronger would you withdraw? no this was a self-inflicted wound. he should have said say no more, i am out. he checks with his campaign manager, wife, his publicist, his son -- and they pray together and decide he is going to stay in the race and we lost
4:23 am
an easy pickup. keep your eye on the ball, republicans. we have to win elections. we cannot do anything if we don't win elections. you notice there is one senator, my second most-hated senator, mccain's number one, is lindsay grahm and i didn't say anything about that election because i didn't think he had a strong candidate. it didn't seem worth expending one ounce of my energy unless we are going to win. and that is how i look at races. if you are going to challenge a republican, i wrote a column about this, number one i don't want to hear about it unless he voted against amnesty. all republicans are against obamacare that only leaves amnesty. so first i am not interested unless you can tell me he voted against. second you better have somebody
4:24 am
good so they can beat them and third make sure it isn't a race where we will lose the seat all together. >> thank you very much for coming. >> thank you. one more thing, i am going to be signing. we have some books out there and there is one crazy thing yowl not have seen. these ann coulter's dvd's. it is now on sale because i don't want to have to kerry them on
4:25 am
send us an e-mail, tweet us or post on our wall. a panel from left forum. a left wing progressive conference held annually in new york city. the panel talks about thomas paine's most recent work. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> these are times angela davis
4:26 am
told the forum for deep thinking and feminist analysis of the interlinkage of our issues. among those we live in a nation that locks seven million of us behind bars. that is engaged in the longest, costly war on terror and 46 million face the terror of hunger and poverty at home. a terror that forces many to sign up to serve in the no-same wars. we live in a nation where the richest .01 percent, those with $20 million or more, doubled the system of wealth. the wealth of the top 1,000 compounds as does the poverty.
4:27 am
and the two parties of property with their police and their borders and their drones and their detention camps keep it that way and our money media calls it a democracy. these are the times that try men's souls wrote thomas paine in 1776 speaking of life under british rule. in this special, three men acustomed to deep thinking are applying themselves to the legacy of thomas paine and considering the standards be identified for rebellion. are they met today in the corporate age of the coch brothers as they were under the george the third east india company. davis urged us to call on our
4:28 am
history. i briefly sketched thomas paine and i would say his common sense and rights of reason were the most commonly read essays in the 18th century. "common sense, the rights of man, and the age of reason" gave retoreical fire and a vision of a state without a constitution. he gave us the terms united states and counter revolution, too. and he lived long enough to see and participate in his way in both. he died in 1809. the idea of the book came from the uk where he was born in 1737. it was rebellious times where the levelers and diggers hung in the air. common people who fought private
4:29 am
land and incarcerated people because they wanted natural rights. he was a carpet maker and women were being taken down from being equal participants in life to child bearers. at least women of a certain class. in 1757, he went to sea bord the king of pressure as the sailors and pirates protested impressment, forced labor, forced service in the military. he stood up against impressment and the rights of man. aboard ship as historians taught us he would have served with people from all over the world including africans, irishs and blacks from the caribbean. he would have participated or witnessed their grumbling and perhaps their rebellions on
4:30 am
board ship. he certainly was aware of their rebelli rebellions against the british throughout the 1700s in which caribbeans, blacks, africans, irish and some of the colonized americans, too. but certainly the hetero, homo multi general mob carried with them the word of slave revolt in the streets of what would be new york city streets. jamaica, bermuda, surnom, british honurus, st. croix, saint thomas, saint kits. there were rebellions throughout the 1760s. they moved to the south.
4:31 am
alexander, virginia, perth, new jersey, st. andrews, south carolina. thomas paine arrived in america in 1774 and immediately wrote against slavery. we have it in our powers to begin the world over again, he wrote in "common sense" and 20 years later in agarian justice he acknowledged that after independence the world still needed remaking. he wrote it is odious and unjust and the opposite of what it should be and it is necessary that a revolution should be made in it. the contrast of influence meeting and offending the eye is like dead and living bodies chained together. it was a global party and the great mass of the people in the country and it is next to
4:32 am
impossible for them to get out of that state for themselves. for the sake of justice and humanity he said not in '76 but 1796 that it is necessarily to make change and make property productive of blessing extending to every individual not just a few. are we in times that try our souls? for sure. let's hear it. are we? are we in revolutionary times? that is the question we are going to address today. and we will recall angela davis who said we should not be afraid to ask for what we want. what kelly is calling our freedom dreams and need not bear the imprint of compromise. to address all of this and more we have richard wolff, professor
4:33 am
at the university of massachusetts amherst and author of many books including democracy at works and capitalism hits the fan. host the update on wbfim in new york. chris hedges spent 15 years with the new york times and was part of a team that won the pulitzer prize and he is the author of empire of the illusion and war is a force that gives us meeting and writes a weekly column for the website truth day. [applause]
4:34 am
>> cornel west is a blues man in the life of a mind. he is best known for race matters, democracy matters and his memoir brother west living and loving out loud. he is on many programs frequently when they let him. as well as on his dear brother's smilely pbs show and can be heard weekly on smilely and west. and i believe heard on wb as well. thank you, all. [applause] >> the format is as follows. we distributed cards and if you have questions you should write them down. we don't guarantee to answer of them but we will sort through and discover themes and post questions to the speakers once they laid out their argument.
4:35 am
for about 45 minutes i will get a chance to pose questions of my own and we will have you out of here in 90 minutes or fewer. enjoy! [applause] >> we collected -- -- louder! >> how is that? >> we selected thomas paine for a couple reasons. he is the only real revolutionary theorist that america has produced. we have some anarcist and powerful prophetic voices from opressed communities whether
4:36 am
that is fredrick douglas or malcolm-x or cornel west and others. but revolutionary we have almost none. he never tied himself to a political party. i thought i would open the discussion with rick and cornel by highlighting some of the major strengths. ones i think we can learn from. the first would be that paine understood the monarchy and bribri britibrit british power. part of his job in "common sense, the rights of man, and the age of reason" was to
4:37 am
explain the structure of powers for people that didn't them. even benjamin franklin up to the last minute wanted to build a relationship with the king and it was part of paine's job to say this isn't possible. i think there has been a misreading on the part of the american left and even among the progressive community of the structures of power and that rendered us impotent. we have been channelling our energy into a dead system. i wrote many of nader's speeches in 2008 and there were a lot of people on the left forum who had drank the cool aid for obama and i think that was because they were diverted into a personal narrative of a candidate which is irrelevant in terms of und
4:38 am
understanding the mechanisms of power. and just as paine understood the imperil power of the british blinded itself and was hubris made it impossible of listening. and that is why you had 350 ships descend on new york. i think we are in a similar moment as well. and maybe begin cornel west with you and talk about the idea of structure of power. >> yeah. did you want to say something brother wolff before i do? it isn't just a question of the structural power. it is true thomas paine comes at 37 years old to the new world and already has a critique of not just good and bad kings but monarchy as a whole. he is talking about an analysis
4:39 am
that most of the americans at the time had not moved toward. in 1776 there were ever 400 pamphlets published and one is what we read: common sense. this 37-year-old lays bear the critique of the power. but keep in mind who he was. his father was a quaker and he inherited a fundamental solidarity with those who were excluded. he was always cutting radically against the grain and his conception of himself at 37 was he was going to be willing to die if it would ensure he would act honorablely, think critically and he would be willing to sacrifice his
4:40 am
popularity for truth and justice and would always fuse what other folks on the ground and grass roots movement. even with the power he has the conception of himself that is quaker-li quaker-like. he was a diest and hated religious dogma and viewed himself as first and foremost a member of those people called every day people. he was a commoner to the core and engaged in a revolutionary act in how he wrote and not just what he wrote because how he wrote was a critique of the absecurity of the latin, greek language of the edminburgs and others. he was going to speak a language that was so clear.
4:41 am
he said i want to write as plain as the alphabet for the common folk because i come out of the common folk. it was a revolution in form and style and the first time folks could read it at all and read through and get through a language that was part of their style. it was part of how they communicated. he was an artson and he identified with the common folk. what we don't have today is intellectuals who haven't been seduced by the professional manager characters and the subculture of the university who are committed to the flight and predicament of commoners, every day people and poor people and
4:42 am
viewing their calling not their career as having an organic connection with their struggles. the are some that do that fewer and fewer. why? because he didn't have to do with the backdrop of possible nuclear cata nuclear catastrophic. the sipping teas in the cafes with the sharp analysis and the no willingness to cut radically against the grain. and of course he dealt with the consequences. he died right here in greenwhich village. 72 years old. 6 people at this funeral.
4:43 am
two people were black because of the critique of the slavery led to the first abolition in the new world. he critiqued white supremeacy which was rare. the list is so short we can call it off. i am not taking about making a symboling gesture. then you make the connection and that was the kind of brother thomas paine was and it is very difficult to build on his legacy even though we have to acknowledge how crucial the challenge is. >> i want to pick up on something you all did when laura was speaking before he started.
4:44 am
she asked how much change was needed or some words that affected that and it was a strong clear statement. yes! and she asked about revolution. much less strong. much more wobbly. thomas paine is exactly about that difference. just as the name of the conference, the name we chose for the conference is reform and revolution. faced with a situation that is becoming more and more unfair, unjust and intolerable -- what are we going to do? what makes thomas paine stand out is the care he takes to go after that question. and the way i hear it is this: we now face, he says about his
4:45 am
time, more than enough evidence, decade upon decade of accumulated outrages, injustice, attacks on our freedoms, our rights and our security. in this sense, we have tried to address this one and that one, to work out an accommodation and get a reform over there. we have been there. and we have done it. and it hasn't worked. and we got to face that. we can't make reforms most of the time because the power structure against us blocks us. but even worse, when occasionally we get a reform, that same power structure loosing the effort to block it goes to work to undo and reverse and go back to where they were. therefore the conclusion he reaches and tries to teach the
4:46 am
american people then is the same one i think many of us want to teach now. you have to change the system. not because it is an alternative to being achieving reforms but because changing this system is the only way to make a reform that is durable. revolution is the way you complete the reform process just as it is the condition for the reforms you get to last and mean what you wanted them to mean when you fought for them. that is why the word revolution rang and things work so powerfully. it is big change. but that we have to say in the king of england go home. you are out of here. it is over. the british empire.
4:47 am
hundreds of years of dominance. you are out of here. a powerful ending of the colonial relationship that gave this country its modern birth. its whole history. an amazing thing to say to the people to separate. and yet aren't we in the same? isn't that the legacy for us, too? to finally, and let me pick up on one theme here because i think many of you have encountered references to or if you had a lot of time you read the book by thomas spaghetti. it is 600 pages. he is a good economist but writing? not so much. his point is the same, isn't it? he says he studies capitalism for 250 years. he and his colleagues in
4:48 am
california at berkeley are the go-to statisticians to understand this. and he said capitalism anywhere and everywhere it is established reduces the growing inquality of health and income. periods have people getting freaked, pushing back and we are a reform and then the same capitalism undoes the reform and we know that. ...
4:49 am
and when chris said to me initially let's start with thomas paine, now i see what was in his mind. he is teaching us the you've got to have the courage to make a systemic change. you've been to the reform and you've tried it repeatably. you have to learn that lesson that we are at this stage of taking this major step. so we are a little bit nervous as was indicated. but the logic now is something
4:50 am
that we can understand thank you paine, thanks to him pushing through. >> i think that the thing about paine is that language. what a linguist called mutual knowledge and steven pinker has written about this that the language is a vehicle by which reality is filtered through this. part of his power, which is the power of all great revolutionary writers is that he has ended that language to the extent that he redefined the terms like democracy and republicanism was pejorative. so he reclaim those words and the other thing which he also mentioned which is important is that spoke in the language what he wrote in the language of everyday people.
4:51 am
as a writer, that is deceptive because it is extremely difficult and he once said that as a writer i want to be that clear windowpane by which people can see through and he did that. and so when he writes his response in the rights of man, he goes after his very florid style and i think that language is extremely important because we live in a society now we're those who have power and we have specialized vocabularies that shut the rest of us out. economists have been particularly good at this. and we have a specialized
4:52 am
vocabulary that those of us on the outside are not able to penetrate and that becomes a kind of barrier in terms of our ability to exercise our right as citizens and that is why his writings are so effective. common sense is arguably one of the greatest essays of english. when he writes the rights of man come it becomes extremely important. in the second part of "rights of man", he outlines the whole welfare state. and the pit government goes nuts and they pass this law which bans, just as we see large public gathering and makes it a lot easier to prosecute people for treason and he has tried for sedition and have to flee to
4:53 am
france and he ends up as one of two foreign delegates and a national convention and stands up and opposes this and ends up in prison. and it was in far worse economic state in the white working class in the united states and three out of four and that includes worker organizations and the pit government drives it underground and i bet they make this point that one of the reasons that they are actually better known is because they gave him the whole vocabulary to the time untracked kind of working-class radical labor movement.
4:54 am
and we are still in the process of searching for the language by which we can describe we have fundamentally working alongside and struggling alongside and socrates says that this was because of our own popularity and this is plain speech, unintimidated speech. frank speech. speech that is unafraid.
4:55 am
and it is cutting for specialized language and giving their but doesn't remain there and that is also lacking. and part of the problem is when we do have persons with those voices in his 11 months in prison in paris and he locally makes it out and he comes back here and he had a critique of evangelical religion in the midst of the first awakening. and this includes this icon that one worships rather than using them as part of a movement.
4:56 am
we go on and on and on and on in this. so the challenge is we are living in a much more interesting state than he was. and that is the lesson and those that have the national security state that is on your and the spies are operating on the inside and you thought you could rely on us, but not at all, they are cowardly and complacent and who do you rely upon there. and that is who he was wrestling with most of his life. and so the next thing you know, george wanted him out of the clinker in paris.
4:57 am
and this includes their critique of george washington is so unrelenting that he has pulled this on the demagogue and nobody talks about george. he chopped down the cherry tree. nobody talks about george, he sacrificed and waited a minute and let's tell a story about george washington and especially his view is not just people. and they were talking to and these are my brothers and yours and these indigenous people, that is a vanilla brother named thomas paine talking that way. we don't even have been talking that way with indigenous people with brown people and black people and we have some of those as well because you grew up in such compartmentalized basics
4:58 am
where you had very little situations with these nice little elites and so forth that are in any way connected to what these struggles have been. and thomas paine refused that when he was 12 and a half and i'm not recommending now. [laughter] >> and that is also a way in which he was not in agreement so easily. by the gentleman that he'd never accepted thomas paine or john adams even when he said good things about him, he was still a commoner. and still so unsophisticated and all the lies that were important than he had to think about.
4:59 am
.. how does the united states produce such a person? it that we generated someone who could oppose the reform and revolution question so dramatically that even though his coming down on the side of revolution which frightens so many people returns now to
5:00 am
something we want to talk about and that we want you to return to read and learn from as we have about whether it is we face now. and we do in this country face an extraordinary structure that has done the things that were so upsetting. one example referred to by all of us, democracy in those days was a word that was akin to a chaotic, disorganized, messy, negative, negative, negative. we lived in a bizarre reversal. now it is the holy of holies. we celebrated democracy the way
5:01 am
we celebrate cowboys in the old days. a complete fantasy, a makeup so that we can indulge this desire as an economist i keep saying this and i know some of you have heard it from me before. we go to work. we spend five out of seven days a week and when we go to work we enter a place in a capitalist society that is the absolute opposite of democracy. a tiny group of people, major shareholders and boards of directors make all the decisions thousands of employees not to speak of the communities where they work have to live with them their participation in those decisions is completely excluded in principle, law, and fact. so we spent most of our adult lives in an institution that is fundamentally undemocratic and
5:02 am
pretend we live in a society where the fundamental commitment is to democracy. this is crazy. [laughter] but it is a craziness that has to be opened up by the genius kind of vision so that you kind of shock a population into recognizing that all along that is what has been bothering me. it is not just that i am poor, living in a polluted environment in an overcrowded city. i am not treated like a human being. this is revolutionary stuff. that moment of revolution, if you can help it along with the kind of writing that lights the fire, very, very powerful. i want to talk about the two weapons that were used most effectively. the first was vilification. and when you stand up and speak a truth as powerfully and
5:03 am
eloquently the state @booktv this was true in colonial america and the england of william pitt and even finally in the jacobin revolutionary france where they were terrified of his riding which is why he ends up on the luxembourg. he is slated for execution. and the only reason he is not executed is because there would mark the doors of the people to be guillotined, and the door to his cell was open. denmark to the inside of the door. and at night the guard closed it he sat in the room holding his breath, waiting as the guards past to pull those people out who would be guillotined. and they passed him by. that is the only reason he is alive. there is actually an amazing scene where danton had been an ally is brought to the
5:04 am
luxembourg and they embrace before the anton is executed. so vilification, he was followed the government, as they do here, funded all sorts of front organizations, letter-writing campaigns. and they destroyed him. the power of vilification should not be diminished. it works. and he was being burned in effigy by the very people that he was writing for. in france, of course, he almost dies because he opposes the reign of terror. he was a quaker. in that sense he was not a good quaker. but he opposed the death penalty. including the regicide of the king. he stood up in the national convention and gave quite an eloquent and moving speech as to why you must even protect your enemies because once you begin this kind of rain of terror
5:05 am
against those who oppose it come back to haunt you, very prescient as to the direction of the french revolution. that is the first thing. i know speaking the truth about the administration, suffered from this kind of vilification, but it is a perfect example of what a truth teller has to undergo. the second is historical amnesia. [applause] and let's think about it. thomas paine was one of the most important founders of our country. where are the monuments to thomas paine? he has been erased as a kind of visible figure. and this gets into the in frightening erasure of the entire radical tradition which has been extremely effective in the united states. in a sense it is a way of in a
5:06 am
kind of the stalinist way of rewriting our own history. the communist party in this country, and if you were a black person in the 1920's where were you -- it was integrated. all of the tactics that the king used came out of communist tactics that were being used in the 20's and 30's. you are aware of it. but thomas paine represents that radical tradition that the establishment has worked from the beginning to erase so that thomas paine even in his own lifetime as cornel west rightly pointed out becomes a pariah. he has pushed away. and maybe we can talk a little bit about the mechanism that the state uses, vilification and historical amnesia and ordered to blunt and destroyed their radical prophetic voice.
5:07 am
>> and that is so very important . the 100 year anniversary, they refuse to have a statute anywhere in the city in tribute to him. philadelphia, that is where he struggled. he walked on foot from trenton to philadelphia in support of the u.s. military working with the military under nathaniel greene and george washington. and that is the kind of gratitude. why? because he was so genuinely revolutionary that once the revolution and it was over in the united states we got to move toward the counter revolutionary status quo as the federalists set in, as the french revolution set in, john adams, but i do want to add, the greatest black revolutionary socialist and the early part of the 20th-century was a brother named herbert harrison, founder of local five
5:08 am
socialist party. the most popular in this city of new york. it was reading thomas paine that turned him into not simply a revolutionary but also an agnostic. thomas paine was not an agnostic, but when hubert harris said -- a genius -- came to vote, came to harlem. and when he died there was just seven folks there in an unmarked grave to this day. read the biography. that is just volume one, you see . hubert harrison, historical amnesia. everybody knows about booker t. washington. god bless the negro. founded the black institution. old white money, old white elite money against the unions,
5:09 am
precious immigrants coming in, deeply proud catholic. everyone knows pulchritude washington. what about cuba garrison in the legacy of thomas paine. we could go on. another powerful, magnificent voice. who knows about the great victoria garvin? we need to know more. historical amnesia again. we reached a point where the truth has to emerge. we're going to be so hungry for these voices because we will be need full of their insight and most importantly they're courageous example. they're courageous example. at that point you are either courageous or you go under. we are not at that point now. revolutionary times. i don't think we live in revolutionary times. i wish it were. thomas paine arrived at the moment with a revolution already in place. he just drop sen.
5:10 am
i wish we could just drop in. [laughter] help black folks and white and red and yellow already organized, already anti imperialists, anti homophobic, anti-catholic, anti against jewish hatred or hatred of muslims and so forth. we just drop in on that and then write a pamphlet. [applause] we are going to get together tonight and right that pamphlet. we work all night and write that pamphlet. these are counterrevolutionary* revolutionary awareness escalating given the defeat, the relative defeat of the left in the last 35 or 40 years. triumphing in the name of capital and white supremacist. even when you get black figures who are the public faces of the. that is our moment, it seems to me. one of the reason folks are
5:11 am
leery a little bit. we want to be honest about what we're up against. none of us are going to live through the revolution we are talking about at all. some of us will get crushed like cockroaches because the powers that be are powerful. if i believed that the people organize are always mightier than the gangsters who run things. but the gangsters are powerful. very powerful. no doubt about that. >> and vilification. >> well, i would not confirm my case. i mean, i just think that it is impossible to tell the truth, especially about the vicious legacy of white supremacy and the connection to capitalist exploitation without knowing you are a candidate for character
5:12 am
and literary assassination. that is just a fact. over 400 years there has never been a person from john brown on the vanilla side to nat turner. told the truth about white supremacy and its connection to capitalism who was not targeted chronically, systematically across the board. that is why you have to have your spirit intact. you can keep it intact in a secular way. i get it intact loving jesus. i have my mother for king live to lift. i have my integrity to preserve. how do you bear witness in the face of those kinds of lines and crimes? that is what they are, crimes against humanity. jim crow is a crime against humanity. the educational systems in our cities, crimes against humanity the way those precious children are treated. a working class abuse.
5:13 am
that is a crime against humanity the drones dropping bombs on innocent children. crimes against humanity in the name of the u.s. people. call it for what it is. using that kind of language will just get you in trouble. it can get you killed. one last thought of this. maybe there is product of tension. we don't know where we are in the revolutionary process. >> you only know that afterwards was it the right time? was it possible? where the conditions in place? you never know. part of what it means to be a critic in the spirit of thomas paine is that you have always cut to push. you have got to push to see where and how far it could go.
5:14 am
we are here. [applause] and you are here. [applause] and this is probably the biggest attendance that -- that is the whole three days here -- that the left forearm has ever enjoyed. very interesting bits of an affirmation. i think we have to always be willing both to be cautious and honest about what we are up against. absolutely right. but always with a little space left for that unknowable reality when the things begin to happen really quickly. a author i referred to earlier from another place and time made famous that question of what is to be done. famous for another remark made about this question. he said, sometimes for decades
5:15 am
nothing happens. and then in a few weeks decades happen. you have to be open. thomas paine was open. if you are not open you cannot write that way. it is not just the effect that his writing has on the revolutionary situation. it is also the fact that a revolutionary situation, even when not grasped consciously, plays its role in shaping what it -- when it was possible to write. we have to be in sync with that unknowable extra house that is their party to live in a time like this and partly to be able to be progressive and a time like this. >> alexander bergman in an essay rights about precisely that point where he talks about a
5:16 am
life in a revolutionary society being like a cattle that is boiling. you don't actually see anything. all of the traditional edifices of power and structures not only remain in place but appear monolithic and that when they collapse, when they go down it appears to be absolutely sudden and unpredictable. as a foreign correspondent that was something i experienced covering the revolution in eastern europe. including the east german stasi state. where intel our security and surveillance state was the most pervasive security apparatus in human history. we have, of course, done things that stasi did not even dream of. and what happened was you had in leipzig mostly lutherans holding candle lit vigils, and they were not even very clear.
5:17 am
the first demand was that they be legally recognized as a group. they hardly appeared revolutionary. yet they captured as kind of zeitgeist which i think is there within the american society the king for a language to express itself. and thomas paine gave revolutionary american that language. but i think in that sense we are rapidly losing faith in the institutions, the formal structures of power which have been -- become a wholly owned subsidiary at the corporate state. but language is key. he makes that point. as long as you continue to speak in the false language of american democracy, liberty, how can you use the word liberty. every single one of us in this room has all of our electronic communications down loaded and is stored in perpetuity.
5:18 am
you cannot use the word liberty for a population that has wholesale surveillance. you have to use the word slavery and any government that has the capacity to use that mechanism will use it. the purpose of wholesale surveillance in a totalitarian state is not defined crimes but to gather evidence so at the moment that you seek to criminalize an entire group of people you have the trivia. it is not evidence because at that point crimes and truth and all of this is a fiction. but you have the material. that is precisely what is happening to us. so when that stasi state fell, it fell in a week and it fell when suddenly this handful of protesters in leipzig were joined by 70,000 people.
5:19 am
and eric sent out an elite paratroop division to fire on the crowd. they would not do it. just in this same way the cossacks would not fire during the bread riots which forced those are to get into a railway carriage and abdicate before he got back. and so the same thing happened in east germany. gone within a week because the paratroopers would not shoot on the crowd. >> it complex to that question completely unrelated to what you just said. the anatomy of revolution and the counterrevolution and how if we are talking about a man who was an abolitionist and a great irritation of the revolution we end up with a republic. how it was that the u.s. -- not colonial, but u.s. forces did fire on rebels in shays' rebellion and the uprisings.
5:20 am
in that time between the declaration of independence and the writing of the constitution. thomas paine supported the banks being paid. he was against the mob. he said you get changed by the rule of law or the military or the mob. he was on the side of the law. our laws come out of that time. i would love you to address the anatomy of the counterrevolution >> the thing to remember was that in pennsylvania there was notified between way and tory. the pennsylvania elite were wholly on the side of the british monarchy. the pennsylvania assembly back to the property class. and so on like in the other colonies, the opposition to the king in the independence movement was expressed. radical constitutional us who had no connection with pre
5:21 am
revolutionary power. and so in pennsylvania after the revolution those who take power, and like every other colony, had not been in power before. now, this alliance was extremely uneasy because as you correctly point out with the slave holding class -- and let's not forget that we had at the beginning of the revolution african-american soldiers and tell george washington, a slaveholder, banned the conscription of blacks into the continental army the only reason that the southern slave holding class supported the republic and had a rebellion of land liz weiss in the 17th century. the only reason they supported it was the labeling class who were black and enslaved were pushed out of the political system. so you have this kind of false narrative or false language that
5:22 am
is used by figures like jefferson while ignoring huge percentages. so once the revolution is over -- and they knew this before the revolution -- they have to push thomas paine out as fast as they could. that egalitarian movement was even at the time of the revolution an alliance of convenience that made them uncomfortable. on the issue of the bank's -- and i will let rick deal with this more. i would just say that the conception of thomas paine of laissez-faire capitalism came out of adam smith. and adam smith had a very benign view -- i am about to embarrass myself. miami your understanding. there was a kind of naive few that capitalism was creating a kind of equality. i think thomas paine was wrong on this, just as i think thomas
5:23 am
paine was now used about human imperfection. an inability to understand san and human corruption. so when thomas paine is in support of the banks and against the paper currency which did cause hyperinflation it comes out of this minute believe that that was a democratizing force. >> well, i mean, a developing view about the economy. very different. common sense. what he says in "the rights of man." and the second volume which is basically a social democratic. the first person to call for a guaranteed minimum income. guaranteed minimum income. and the very front page, every citizen ought to receive a lump of money when they are 15 and another major love when they are 45.
5:24 am
no matter what. he breakdown the inheritance transmittance of wealth at the top then people get a chance to start their teenage years in new police and then right before the warrants give you x45 start and again with another injection . it is not systematic. go to the banks. thomas paine did not receive 1 penny from the money he got from "common sense" or from "the rights of man". the two best selling texts in the history and he did not receive a penny. every penny went to the movement the cause. when he called early on that was away of supporting and providing financial support for the war. we had to have a national entity that would provide some resources to keep the war going in and an anti imperial way.
5:25 am
>> he did have a suspicion. the mob can be run by gangsters. you have to be very critical. when you talk about the people you had a critical view. whether there was democratic sensibility and vision. now, i would argue he was still wrong. i am not defending him. but is larger vision and sensibility. >> i raise the question because of its relevance today as we try to decide where our allies are and define the basic composition of the community of the population we are in. my other question to you has to do with this question of the intellectual revolutionary today i think i disagree with you, cornel west. attkisson and.
5:26 am
[laughter] >> tv every week we are interviewing grass-roots intellectual revolutionaries. i am thinking of people. for i am thinking of the dreamers with no access to power, no access to the system changing our entire comfort in the congress. even occupy. they got a lot of help and heard from the media. but they raised the question of capitalism in no way that we can talk about it in no way we have not been able to for years. my suspicion of the mob makes me uncomfortable. some of my favorite people are in the mob.
5:27 am
it is hard to tell who is to. >> to you want to jump in? >> all right. let's be generous. he thought that many of the problems he saw accumulating in this society at the time of our colonial link could be overcome by cataclysmic act, a revolution cutting us off from this society and of which we have been a colony rejecting the monarchy, rejecting. unbelievable. he then had to face as many revolutionaries have what it was he thought was the problem turned out to be only part of the problem. it was a necessary but not a
5:28 am
sufficient step to take to achieve their goals he so brilliantly put forward for us, that he so brilliantly expressed so we learn in the aftermath of thomas paine either with him or after he dies that there is more to be done, that being an independent country cut off from their colonial master is necessary but not sufficient. how many nations have been discovering that in the last 200 years? particularly in the so-called third world. it is necessary, but it is not sufficient. what else has to be done. we have to understand that if we actually want to realize the goals of thomas paine, whether articulated in the american idiom or liberty, equality, more has to be done.
5:29 am
that is what inspired, if i may be so bold, karl marx. he is born in the euphoria of the american and french revolutions. he is caught up in all of that. he believed in it. he loved it. when he looked around germany and his time, it was not happening the way it was supposed to. the end of the feudal regime had not brought liberty and equality and fraternity. it had brought capitalism which they only thought might be the road to liberty, equality, and fraternity. and then made this crucial discovery that capitalism is not the bearer of liberty, equality, and fraternity. it is the biggest obstacle imaginable. and then begins the learning that we are part of. the next revolution inspired and even made possible by the likes
5:30 am
of tom paine now have to be informed by what is our problem. that is in the king. that is a piece of theatrics. we feel empathy for the money they pass away on that. our problem is an economic system. it's not that he was wrong. he needed to open the space so we could get to what is on the agenda for the human race now. that is an enormous debt that we have. >> right. other questions coming from the audience. the center of anti capitalist revolutionary has switched to the third world. to you agree? >> i don't think we can talk about the third world as monolithic. it depends on w


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on