Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's time we got over it

GUEST: Rebecca Martin, local water rights activist and founder of Kingston Citizens, talks about the adverse environmental impacts of the proposed Niagara Bottling Company and its plans to bottle water from Cooper Lake reservoir in Woodstock.

We haven't done much on water rights, except for some news stories about Detroit. Water privatization has been coming for some time, and may represent the Brave New World of neoliberal thinking. Can the privatization of air be far behind?

I was impressed with how much and how little Ms. Martin had to do with local officials. She is obviously good at organizing local meetings and inviting elected representatives. But she keeps away from local politics. In other words, her Kingston Citizens group is obviously much more than a front group for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. By keeping her organization independent, she does not risk it shriveling away after any given election (like the peace movement after Obama's first win).

Although we didn't talk about it, the approach is much closer to Howard Zinn than to Move On. Zinn teaches us that social movements create change. Party affiliations only detract from a movement's effectiveness.

You would think everyone would know that by now anyway. Look and Andrew Cuomo or Hillary Clinton. Could there be any two candidates closer to Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and neoliberal privatization? Can anyone still believe that party matters? 

Voting the "lesser of two evils" only makes sense when the parties stand for something different. They don't, and it's time we got over it. 

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