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tv   Democracy Now  WHUT  July 16, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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07/16/12 07/16/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> famously said in early 2003, it is one of the most absurd theory is you can imagine, if you remember. at the same time he was saying that, there was an internal secret document in the foreign office this set up british strategy toward iraqi oil and said britain has an absolutely vital interest in iraq's oil. >> "fuel on the fire: oil and
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politics in occupied iraq." greg muttitt today greg on iraq, libya, and syria. we go to baltimore for the green party national convention. >> the top 400 people on more wealth now than the bottom 185 million americans together. that is the medieval structure. >> gar alperovitz, author of, "america beyond capitalism: reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy." all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the syrian capital of damascus is seeing some its heaviest fighting to date since the uprising against syrian president bashar al-assad erupted over a year ago. heavy weaponry including tanks and mortar fire has reportedly
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been used in areas to the city's south. the intensified clasasasasasasasasasasasas committee of the red cross to join the united nations in describing the conflict in syria as a civil war. the red cross had previously kept its assessment to a handful of flashpoint areas, but now says the violence is nationwide. the observer mission meanwhile has confirmed heavy weaponry was used last week in the village of tremseh, where pro-assad forces were accused of massacring more than 100 civilians. a unitu.n. spokesperson announced the observers' findings earlier today. >> our observers confirmed the use of direct and indirect weapons including artillery and mortar shells and small arms. counts of 27 eyewitnesses' we interviewed, the consistent accounts indicated the attacks
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were 5:00 in the morning by shelling and ground forces. >> the al-assad regime has denied carrying out a massacre in tremseh, claiming it killed anti-government rebels. the an arab league peace envoy kofi annan is headed to moscow for talks on a new security council response to the ongoing violence in syria. speaking in lebanon dietarydeputy secretary state william burns called for new pressure on the assad regime. >> we need to act now for a resolution which carries consequences for the syrian regime's continuing and increasing violent noncompliance with its obligations. it is long past time to begin a democratic transition to a post al-assad syria to our featured the reflect legitimate aspirations of the people. >> hillary clinton has wrapped up her first visit to egypt since the election of president morsi last month.
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over the beacon, she helped separate talks with morsi and the armed forces tantawi. clinton said she was in egypt to support the country's democratic transition. >> democracy is hard. we have been at this for more than 236 years, and it requires dialogue and compromise and wrote politics -- and real politics. so we are encouraged and we want to be helpful but we know it is not for the united states to decide but the egyptian people to decide. >> clinton faced a number of protests during his visit -- during a visit with memories still fresh for her support of ousted egyptian leader hosni mubarak when the uprising broke out last year. her motorcade was pelted with projectiles as it had to the city of alexandria on saturday. in cairo, a former guantanamo
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bay prisoner took part in a protest against clinton, calling for compensation to victims of u.s. torture. >> the americans have imprison me a guantanamo for four years in completely tortured me and destroyed me. the military court deemed innocent of their accusations and i have a right to ask after four years of torture. >> in the west, president of a man brought his re-election effort to the battleground state of virginia. obama continued to focus on romney's record at the helm of the private equity firm bain capital. >> mr. romney has a different idea. he invested in companies that have been called pioneers in outsourcing. i don't one a pioneer in outsourcing. i want some insourcing.
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i want to bring companies back. >> mitt romney has faced new scrutiny over following last week's revelation he remained the top executive at bank capital three years longer than he has previously disclosed. romney had maintained he left bain in 1999 to run the winter olympics in utah, but financial disclosures shows he remains in control of bain and a salary through 2002. bain shuddered a number of u.s. companies leading to outsourcing of u.s. jobs. on sunday, senior romney adviser ed gillespie said romney had "retroactively retired from bain" effectively stepped down three years earlier. he defended romney's outsourcing of u.s. jobs. >> what he believes is american companies and private shareholders and ceos should be free and our economy to make decisions. what we need to do is make
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policies that make those decisions easier to say, i am going to invest in the u.s. and not move my jobs overseas. the obama policies are forcing jobs overseas. >> romney's spokesperson ann gillespie on "meet the press" on sunday. in baltimore, the green party wrapped up its convention with the nomination of its presidential candidate the physician and activist jill stein, and her running mate, the anti-poverty leader cheri honkala. dr. stein called her ticket a viable third-party challenge to corporate bolden republicans and democrats. >> i agree that grassroots democracy grows from the community up. at the same time, we have a state of emergency at the national level. and to silence the only hope of an opposition voice in this election when so much is at stake, i think would be just a terrible loss for the american
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people. there is no reason why americans should have to walk into the voting booth in november and have only effectively two wall street sponsored choices. >> we will have more from the green party convention later in the broadcast. a number of major banks are facing at least to the criminal probes in the u.s. over major interest-rate fixing scandal that is already led to fines against the banking giant barclays. last month, barclays was fined $443 million by u.s. and british authorities for manipulating the london interbank offered rate, or libor, which provides the basis for rates on trillions of dollars in transactions across the globe. manipulation meant millions of borrowers paid the wrong amount on their loans. the justice department is confirming its criminal division is putting together cases against several large firms and their staffers for taking part
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in the rate fixing. the attorneys general of new york and connecticut meanwhile have announced they've been conducting a probe of the rate manipulation for the past six months, all told, a slew of civil and criminal cases could cross the financial sector tens of billions of dollars -- cost the financial sector tens of billions of dollars. a spate of extreme weather nationwide. government statistics show about 63% of u.s. land suffering moderate to extreme drought. corn producers in the midwest are struggling to keep their crops from dying in a season that initially had been expected to yield a record harvest. the department of agriculture estimate over 1000 counties in 26 states to be natural disaster areas, the highest such declaration ever. for surgeons agency warned of widespread devastation to crops in the midwest. >> we are approaching 1988 standards for a drought.
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this is the main area of the u.s. where all the crops are grown. iowa illinois, indiana nebraska missouri. we grow most of the corn and soybeans in the u.s. and this is right where the drought is centered this time. we are in d-2 and d-3 and . >> for our coverage of extreme weather linked to global warming, go to the new york times has revealed the food and drug administration conducted an extensive spying campaign against its own scientists. it began after the scientists warned the fda had falsely approved medical imaging devices that in danger to patients with high levels of radiation. the spying operation led the agency to monitor these scientists computers at work and home copying emails and thumb drives and even monitoring individual messages line by line
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as the irving composed in real time. in a statement, the national whistleblower association said -- the justice department has dropped its effort to halt florida's controversial voter purge through the use of a law enforcement database. the federal government had tried to stop florida from using the database to challenge the right to vote of residents suspected of being non u.s. citizens. a florida judge upheld the purge this month. florida will only be able to challenge voters to carry a number of a dinner fire commonly assigned to foreign workers in the u.s. it will prevent floridian from obtaining information based solely on the name or birth date of a suspected non-citizens.
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the new york judge and former political activist guston reichbach has died at the age of 65 after a lengthy bout with pancreatic cancer. he was a leading figure in students for democratic society at columbia university in the 1960's before going on to become a new york state supreme court judge in brooklyn. reichbach helped the the notorious 1968 columbia student strike, appearing on "democracy now!" to discuss the fourth anniversary, he reflected on the historic protest. >> there was some transcendent issues involved. we came together -- tom talked about the powerlessness people felt about being able to stop the war, the powerlessness in confronting an institution that had an incredibly controlling aspect to it. so part of this coming together
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and really a spontaneous coming together was because we thought in some small way that we could be agents or wanted to be agents in the course of history, and we shared this electric moment where collectively all our hearts were touched by a certain passion and fire. >> that was judge justin reichbach, 40 years ago, one of the leaders of the student strike at columbia. his most recent piece in the new york times appeared as an op- ed, an article about why he used medical marijuana to help deal with the pain of pancreatic cancer. he died this begin. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's broadcast in iraq. a new u.s. government report is found that much of the u.s. taxpayer money used for iraq's reconstruction has likely been squandered. and what has been called their final audit report the office of the special inspector general
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for iraq reconstruction funds pinpointed a number of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of american taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in u.s. history. the report concluded the precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known. while much of iraq is still struggling to recover from the 2003 invasion and occupation, the country's oil sector is quickly expanding. in june, iraq's crude production overtook iran for the first time in more than 20 years. iraq produced just under 3 million barrels of oil a day last month, second only to saudi arabia. the bloomberg news agency reports the rising rate of iraqi oil production comes as foreign investors such as exxon mobil and bp are developing new fields and reworking older deposits. we're joined by greg muttitt author of the new book, "fuel on the fire: oil and politics in occupied iraq." the book takes a close look at
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how energy interests played a crucial role in the u.s. invasion. he is a former co-director of the british group platform that exposed the environmental and human impacts of the oil industry. greg muttitt, welcome to "democracy now!" talk about "fuel on the fire." almost 10-year investigation of the reasons behind the iraq war. >> if we start with those two bits of news, u.s. special inspector general's report finding enormous corruption and iraqi oil production is increasing and catching up with iran, they are connected. what we have seen this since the -- for about two years corruption has blossomed in the oil sector. far from bringing transparency and ethical way of doing business, as we were told. they have created the conditions for much greater corruption.
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i have, since 2003, since the war began a closely followed what has happened in the oil sector, working closely with iraqi trade unions and protect taylor and other civil society groups -- in particular, and other civil society groups. the story i tell us whatever from the one the government wanted us to know about. >> you talk about the oil industry promoting corruption. how does it? >> since 2010, vast quantities of cash had been injected into iraq by the likes of exxon mobil and bp, almost complete absence of oversight by government agencies. there are two corruption or bribery investigations going on in to western will companies operating in iraq. one is against the italian company in italy, the other is against leighton holdings, which
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is an australian company building the will export facilities in basra. an example of this i think is or an example of the problem is that bp, which won the first contract in iraq in 2009, they subsequently renegotiated the contract after it was awarded. they set a time limit on the iraqi society ability to approve or not approve subcontracts. when it came to awarding drilling contracts, $500 million worth of drilling contracts they were overpriced. they are awarded drilling contracts at $10 million, not $3 million, which is the normal going rate. because they put into their contract a time limit on the iraqi dissidents in the contract's ability to object -- participant in the country's ability to object, these overpriced contracts were
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awarded. looking closely, you find one of the contractors to the drilling is a subsidiary of bp's partner in the field. >> let's go back to the beginning, right before the war and look at the difference between the privatized oil fields today and the nationalized oil fields that, greg muttitt, you're marching in one of the largest mass protests in british history against the war in iraq. talk about how you then decided to embark on this investigation. >> it was fairly obvious to me as a was to many at the time in 2003 that oil was centrally involved. in spite of the government's insistence that it was not thinking about oil at all. you only have to look at the fact iraq had about one-tenth of the world's remaining oil reserves and put together with its neighbors, the persian gulf region as a whole had nearly two-thirds. to suggest the bush administration did not think
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about that is simply not credible. i was involved in the protest against the war, fear is about my government's decision to go to war. -- furious about my government's decision to go to war. i thought, let's see how the oil plays out. i followed it, especially using government and industry sources. the plans were shared far more in london in the war in baghdad or basra at the time. it was simply through asking the question, which i thought was an obvious one what is happening to oil? >> signs were everywhere, "blood for oil." how were you following the oil trail? ? >> during the first 18 months or so of the occupation, i was going to oil industry conferences in london, reading the magazines and journals the companies used. i was building up quite a clear picture of what they wanted from
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iraq. i went to iraq for the first time in 2005. i discovered i had much better access to information being in london and my friends and colleagues in baghdad and basra did, so i started sharing the affirmation with my colleagues. this went on for a few years. i went to several of the meetings between the iraqi government and international institutions such as the international monetary fund. the big get together is of all the oil companies and more through observing that. -- and learned more through observing that. led by the trade unions, i was involved in a supportive role from britain and providing information and political solidarity. in 2009, i started work on my boat. i wanted to dig deeper while i was working on the book, so i
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interviewed senior officials of the u.s. british, and iraqi governments. they also got a hold of a round 1000 government documents from the british and american governments under the freedom of information act's. through all of this, i was able to tell the story of how the struggle of oil played out during the occupation. >> we will take a break. when we come back, we'll speak with greg muttitt, author of a "fuel on the fire: oil and politics in occupied iraq." then we go back to the green convention. on saturday, the new presidential and vice- presidential candidates gave their acceptance speeches. then we will hear from gar alperovitz, who gave a speech about third-party worker movements. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> "the price of oil."
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this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. our guest is greg muttitt author of "fuel on the fire: oil and politics in occupied iraq." his book took about a decade of research. naomi klein called nothing short of a secret history of the war. talk about the oil law. >> this is the center of the story, the struggles over oil. the oil corporations wanted to wait until there's a permanent government and iraq so they could have secure contracts. the first permanent was in may 2006 under maliki. in the months before that, the u.s. britain, international monetary fund were saying your first priority has to be passant oil lot to give multinationals leading role in iraq. it would be for the first time since the 1970's. this will bank law was drafted quickly after the government was formed.
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-- was formed in 2006. its other role was to deprive contracts of parliamentary scrutiny. according to exist the law, if the government signs a contract was summoned to develop an oil field, it has to go to parliament to get a yes or no amendment. one of the major functions was to repeal the existing legislation and allow the executive branch, which was populated by u.s. allies, to sign contracts without parliament getting in the way. this is the function of the oil law, drafted in august 2006. the u.s. hoped it would pass quickly without anyone knowing about it because the vast majority of iraqis are very keen oil stays in the iraqi hands. it did not turn out that way. in october 202006, the draft
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started to leak out. in december 2006, i attended a meeting of iraq's trade unions in which they decided they would fight the law. during the course of 2007, this became a central struggle over iraq's will bring. as you remember, amy general 2007, bush said he was sending an extra troops into iraq. the troops were sent to achieve control over iraq. the second part of the strategy was to use that control, that influence, to pressure iraqi politicians to achieve what they call benchmarks. as reported at the time, the foremost among these was getting an oil law passed. throughout 2007, there is constant pressure from the bush
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to administration on iraqi politicians. at the same time the trade unions' organizing to try to stop the oil law because they thought would be a disaster for the country. that campaign spread. because of the strength of iraqi feeling about it, over the subsequent months, the more it was talked about, the more people opposed it and the more it was talked about, and opposition to the oil lost spread throughout the country. civil society groups talked- about it in sermons and mosques. it spread into the iraqi parliament. it became a political threat to their futures to support the oil law, and an opportunity to get one up on their rivals by joining the popular cause. the american set a deadline of september 2007 to pacepass the oil law. the september deadline came and the oil law was not passed.
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the reason it was not passed was because of this grassroots civil society campaign. to me, that is very inspiring. it is why i feel hopeful about the future of iraq. operating the most difficult circumstances a vaginal, civil society was able to stop the u.s. of achieving its objectives. >> talk about libya and syria. in august 2011, the new york times reported "the fighting is not yet over in tripoli, but the scramble to secure access to libya's oil wealth has already begun." the article went on to name some of the oil firms in libya including bp of britain, total of france, repsol ypf of spain u.s. companies like hess conocophillips, and marathon. talk about the significance of oil politics in libya. and what we understand of what is happening in syria today. >> beginning with libya, about three weeks into the military
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intervention in april of last year there was an interview i found surprising with the british foreign secretary in the newspaper. he was asked, why is it we are intervening in libya and not elsewhere? the time, the country was descending into civil war. william hague said and both libya [unintelligible] and with a principal concern about democracy. but in libya, we of interest. those interests include we do not want terrorist training camps in the desert, we don't want libya and african refugees getting into europe so we want to stop that flow, but most importantly, if we did not intervene, it would have terrible consequences for the price of oil. this is quite a contrast with how the iraq war was talked about. when i looked at this, it seemed, in my analysis, the big
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concern was -- it was oil behind a humanitarian concern. what they were worried about was if gaddafi had attacked benghazi, as a look like he was going to in march 2011, the international community with a felt compelled to apply sanctions to libya. and taking about 1.5 million barrels of oil off the market without constraint it and pushed up the price. it was a humanitarian concern in front, but an oil concern behind. >> and syria? >> what i have learned by studying iraq since 2003 is that a lot of the people involved in the occupation fought genuinely they were acting in the interest of iraqis. what the. it was a complete disaster. the reason they created a disaster was because their roots -- there were costly u.s.
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interests behind it. all of the decisions were shipped by interest, even if people talked about them and thought about them. it the interest give them a particular perspective of what they thought iraqis needed and wanted. the disaster came because of u.s. interests being involved. however, well-meaning some of the individuals were. : now, we must do something in syria. at the suggestion of a military intervention i think would be disastrous simply because as much as it would like to claim it is, the usa is not a neutral party in syria anymore than it is an iraq. it would steer the country down a route that would not serve -- >> is it too simplistic to say the iraq before and after the war with u.s. is at the oil was owned by the country and afterwards the oil is now owned by private corporations? wording profited by private
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corporations? >> it is a little more complex than that. in that the oil law was never passed in 2007. it is still not pass today because of the civil society campaign. without that, the existing legislation is still in place which says the contracts have to be approved by parliament. technically, those are illegal if they are not doing such. what is says to me is although on its face it looks like a victory for big oil, it is a temporary one. a future iraqi government if they did a more representative and genuine iraqi government they can get a last one, it could potentially tear up the contracts and say these are not in iraq's interest and the companies would not have a legal come back against that. >> thank you, greg muttitt, for joining us, author of, "fuel on
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the fire: oil and politics in occupied iraq." we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to the 2012 election. the green party has officially nominated massachusetts physician jill stein and anti- poverty campaigner cheri honkala as its presidential and vice-presidential contenders for the 2012 presidential election. stein's ticket easily won over whenever 90 delegates compared to 72 for her closest competitor, the comedian roseanne barr. >> first i want to say i am from wisconsin. [applause] wisconsin knows something about third parties. the republican party.
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>> gar alperovitz. first, i want to introduce him. dr. stein and cheri honkala accepted their nominations on saturday. then the keynote address was given by gar. he is a professor of political economy at the university of maryland, co-founder of the democracy collaborative. he is the author of most recent, "america beyond capitalism: reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy." >> first guy went to say i am from wisconsin. [applause] wisconsin knows something about third parties. the republican party, our original republican party was a party to end slavery starting in wisconsin and got lost along the way, but it showed one big push on the really important issue of slavery in its early days.
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fighting bob from wisconsin. another historical issue you may remember coming out of that state and starting very small and making a powerful impact. third, if you look closely at what became the best parts of the new deal, some parts of welfare program in health care, a lot of that was incubated in wisconsin. i am proud to be a wisconsin guy, but the bottom line is not about wisconsin. it is about historical change. how you begin fighting small and expand when the time is right and you make an impact because the other things are failing. that is what has happened in many, many cases. revolutions are as common as brass and world history. they begin in rooms like this. [applause]
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so i say that really as a historian, not try to blow smoke in your ear. that is how it works. that is how it works. when i say i take you all seriously, first, i'm talking to the person in your personal seat. so when i say i take you seriously, you, maybe more seriously than you take yourself, i mean to say the beginnings of the next great historic change come from a bus taking ourselves that seriously -- from us taking ourselves that seriously. i urge you to say, "am i up to tha?" the "that" is transforming the
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most hapless system in the world. that is what it is about. [applause] and to say i take you seriously is to say that is what you're stepping up to, not simply a gesture, not simply a new party not simply a green movement. it is that, and that is the challenge. i am very cold eyed realist. i did run house and senate staffs even done stuff for my pains and since, the u.s. state department before i left the world many years ago. i have been involved in the nitty gritty of ugly politics. i am no nike guy. i say to you that we have the possibility, if we look at the stage we are at and what is happening to the era in who we
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are essentially, i am talking to the person in your chair. if we know who we are and take ourselves as seriously we have that possibility. so let me go on. the second thing i want to say is, i don't think that is always true. but i do think the emerging era of history into which we are living our lives, the era into which we are living, may well be the most important period of american history bar none. now, i say it as a historian and others would disagree, but i do not say it lightly. when i say bar none, i mean including the american revolution and the 1960's and the civil war. whoa that is a heavy rap as we to say in the 1960's. in many ways the system is
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running out of options. we are beginning to see more and more people aware of the difficulties that cannot be managed the old way. very briefly, all too briefly in the 19th century when you ran into problems, you through land at it, and more and more land into yet taken the whole continent, killing a lot of indians and others along the way. the managing a system that was a tiny colony and then took over a continent as it tried to solve problems. they ran out of land at the end of the 19th century. in this century, not by design and the first quarter of this century there is the beginning of a major recession probably a depression in 1914 and world war ii solve the problem in the first quarter of the century. i am not offering a conspiracy
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theory that is just what happened. and the second quarter of this century, a collapsed again. world war ii build out the system but not by design. that is how i work in the second quarter of this century. in the third quarter of this century, having defeated the germans and the japanese and having lost the protection power of many other corporate competitors plus the cold war plus the korean war, plus the vietnam war, plus high defense expenditures the third quarter of the century was run that way. we are in a different era. think about it this way. it is all but impossible to have a massive industrial scale war but the first and second world wars landor's, 42% of the economy spending on war expenditures. the reason is, nuclear weapons
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now make that impossible. it is in going happen that way. we're not going to have the massive injection of economic power into the economy to solve the problems. in fact, big/small wars are also getting less and less powerful. people do not like spending money on that. it is not just us. if you look at those expenditures, they are very big. as a percentage of the economy they are declining to 3% already and going down. a lot of wages there. but you are not solving the economic problems that way. i could go into great detail, but i won't. competitors of all sorts of problems coming up better economic. at the bottom line is, you cannot solve the problems any more by throwing land at it, and we are running out of war which
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means lots of problems both in the political system cannot handle it the way it is structured and the opposition cannot themselves together to make things happen, and republican and tea party outfit and in all the convictions, but the bottom line is, you cannot solve the problems. that is obvious. most people know washington is broken. they have not quite realized the systemic problems are coming to the surface, that it is a systemic crisis. you cannot do with climate change, unemployment, cannot killed poverty. that is lightbulb time. that is when people began asking very serious questions. remember i, as a historian. yet to throw a couple of decades that it, not a couple of weeks or elections. there's growing sentiment on all sides that either we transform
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the system or profound difficulties, violence probably repression possibly something like fascism when the violence begins, there is great danger. but lots of folks sense something is wrong. the first, my adult life you fine millions of people responding. listen to the response. occupy was critical, far more important. the american people got it. they know. [applause] they know who runs this game. it is no secret. it is a new awareness the something is going on at the big banks and corporations and do not quite know how to get a handle on it but it is not like we just elect a democrat it will all be fine and the progressive era will start again. there is a sense that is very deep. in my view given the inability to solve problems, that is going
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to be worse. the pain will increase and the number of people saying, there has got to be a better way somehow with the start and a different place, somehow either we build something new or this thing is a sham -- that is a big deal in history, a big deal when people begin asking those types of questions. it takes a long, painful process. but notice the system probably does not reform in the old liberal ways for all the reasons we know including the labor movement's collapse [unintelligible] it probably does have a classic revolution in. you have it decay and stagnation and painted difficulty. that is a very unusual moment in history because it goes on and gives time for people to be
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aware and built democratically from the bottom up. if it collapses to mark, the right wing would take over. if it collapsed to the left, we would not be prepared. above all, we would not know from the bottom of our own experience how to build and rent and change entrance from the system. this is an era when things are beginning to open up over time. time for us. including the person standing here and in your seat. the me put it another way. the third thing i want to say systems in history are defined above all by who controls the wealth. no secrets. in this feudal era, land was the critical piece. if you have land and or the lord, he commanded. in the 19th century, there was a kind of capitalism that was sort of free enterprise. most of the free enterprise small business capitals of the
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19th century were farmers. they ran a small business called a farm. but that was a different, maybe a free time in some ways, but a very different time. state socialism was a different way to own capital throughout the system. that is another way to go about it. now we live is essentially a one is called corporate capitalism. if you look at who owns the system and the power you all know the income number distribution -- income distribution numbers think about it. going from 10% to 20% in 30 years. who lost that money? but wealth is even worse. the way you define the system is who owns the capital wealth. one%.
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5% owns 70%. the top -- and no. yet to get your head around, really hide and i checked many times the top 400 people not%, people 400 own more wealth now than the bottom 185 million americans taken together. that is a medieval structure. i do not mean that -- [applause] i do not mean that rhetorically. i mean that technically it that is the way the concentrated wealth in the medieval era really was. so the question becomes, and the third thing i think a lot about we do a lot with, is there any sign if you do not like
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corporate capitalism or state socialism that we can build a democratic system from the bottom of that also changes the ownership of capital and is also inherently green? how do we do that? we -- we. one of the things happening, and the press simply does not cover it, they do not have an interest. if they did, they would let the other way because they do not have any money to do it. the press is being stripped of all capacity to report. but on the ground there is still missing people involved in worker owned companies. did you not -- 10 million people involved a worker owned companies. did you know that? [applause] americans. 130 million are involved in co- ops bangkok credit unions. 40% of society [applause] .
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thousands of social enterprises. on pieces here and there like sarah palin's alaska, they use the oil revenue that everybody gets a piece. where did that come from? it is a maverick company. they do not do that in texas. [laughter] we will do that lots when we get to where we're going to get. if it carefully on the ground their social enterprises popping up, credit unions, etc., and many more benchmark experiments. at something like 20 states have legislation before them like the bank of north dakota, the state owned bank. [applause] and another 20 states are considering single payer. [applause] here is the issue. as the pain deepens that is why the era is critical. the pain it deepens and we have
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time to build. we work to build more and more people begin to see, you've got to come up with an answer. my judgment -- and i think i'm not blowing smoke -- those kinds of experiments are the only way to build the popular base with politics in the projects. there is a beautiful thing going on in cleveland ohio we have been involved with. in 1977 when the first big deal closing occurred -- still closing occurred and they got clobbered, a lot of people were involved. in ohio, it is a bigger idea of worker ownership. people understand it. in cleveland there are a series of worker own integrated co-ops in cleveland in the neighborhood where the average income is $18,000 per family.
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they have these co-ops not to standing alone but linked together. non-profit corporations. the idea is to build community and worker ownerships, not to spend a couple of workers richardricher and use the purchasing power of hospitals and universities, the tax money, buy from these guys in the community. it is one of the greenest laundry in that part of the country. it uses about one-third of the heat and electricity and water. they're on track to put in more solar capacity -- these are not think the co-ops. there's another in just about to open that is a greenhouse. it will be the largest in the united states in an urban area, the largest in the worker co-op
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worker co owned kabul of producing something like 5 million heads of lettuce a year. a-- capable of producing something like 5 million heads of lettuce a year. you could force the politicians to help you do that. they're pointing out i'm getting limited time. there is a website where you can find thousands of things happening on the ground that change the ownership of wealth and began to green the economy. it is part of the new deal. that is the direction. [applause] binney say, just a couple of other things, those are the kinds of things that are the pre history of the next great revolution. that is how you build it.
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you begin to protect national ideas out of real experience and commitment. did you happen to notice, we did not bashful as the two big auto companies when the crisis came. we pretty much nationalize the banks before we give them back. so when those crises come, and they will come if we're prepared with a highly democratic vision and know something until the politics, i'm not just talking about committees. it is critical. but the ideas like wisconsin pointing to the new deal, those ideas also generate vision for the large, er scale as time goes on and we build forward. i am saying we are laying the foundations bit by bit in an extremely unusual period of
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history, the most important moment in history because we're running out of options -- in my view. suggesting wiccan take a ford in a positive way. i got one minute left. let me tell you. i want to say something far more radical than i have said before. this is the most radical you here. i think there is hope. [applause] it is going to be hard and tough and a lot of things will go wrong and a lot of pain and difficulty but i don't think they have all the answers and i don't think that all the power and i don't think they can solve it. i do believe -- why i take you seriously, can you wrap your heads around, really, i mean, really, that we are in the
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position to lay down the foundation for the next great transformation? really? not just doing token politics, not just building the party. that is critical. not justling the foundation, the release of wang the groundwork for transformation into a highly democratic new system be on the old traditions, one that is sustainable and gives? that is our question. one last thing just a little fragment more of the book. two fragments, actually. they have been polling under people, not people my age, but people in the range of 18-29. these are people who really will be the next politics. it turns out in the latest polls, it turns out when you
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look at it, about 45% 43% have a positive reaction to the word "capitalism" and 49% of a positive word toreaction to the word "socialist." [applause] i don't know that anyone knows what the word "socialism" means but the idea is that they understand something different really that has got to happen is embedded in those policies. one last one i did a piece for "sojourn" magazine. a group of radical christians. one piece of data is saul, a 36% of all americans polled, 36 percent undecided and were quite sure that capitalist
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christianity and capitalism cannot be reconciled. [applause] my urging, i am pleased to be here but i do not think anybody moves the ball like people in this room when they get serious. >> i urge you to remember this wisconsin kid who has all this weird history of gaylord nelson and his party said did something, my suggestion is we together are in fact capable, if we rise to that level of existential self awareness people want to do projects, politics, but do not want to get as serious as it takes to revisit and transfer the system. i think that is our challenge. i still lot of people up and ready to do it. t [applause] thank you. >> gar alperovitz that was
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delivering the keynote speech at the green party or the party nominated massachusetts physician jill stein and anti- poverty campaigner cheri honkala as its presidential and vice-presidential candidate. visit for our interviews with stein and honkala. gar alperovitz's latest book "america beyond capitalism: reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, and our democracy." in the coming days, we'll look at the largest worker cooperative in the world in spain where we broadcast earlier this month. tuesday, our interview with chris hayes. author of a new book "twilight of the e lead." you can e-mail your suggested questions or comments to democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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