Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Candidate Forum for Basic Needs

Tonight, I watched the last hour of the "Candidate Forum for Basic Needs" which was last year's Human Services Forum. It may have just been the last hour, but all the candidates appear have been justly humbled by the recession - You could see it in their faces.  They now know inside themselves what most of us have just begun to guess at: That the anarchic future of wealth destruction and massive poverty in Whatcom County is just beginning.

None of the candidates I saw tonight, whether they were arguing liberal or conservative viewpoints really have a handle on the intensity of the economic storm to come. How could they? All of them are just a bunch of neighborhood locals like ourselves, watching our world tear apart at the seams.  Some of them had heartfelt tragic stories about community members living in campers and people buying gas with change. All of them were using the political rhetoric "of the last war"; arguing for solutions whose possibilities don't exist anymore. The conservatives wants jobs for which there is no demand. The liberals want funding for social services for which there is no revenue. What will actually happen once democracy, capitalism, and the "rule of law" start to fail in small counties such as ours will present challenges considerably more chaotic than we should expect local politicians to be able to imagine.  No one talked about how we should restructure the social contract if government funding accelerates its current pace of revenue loss. No one addressed: "What happens if a recovery never comes?"

A communist party in the Pacific Northwest could help a lot with this transition. Look, we are going to have to throw out the old rules at some point: Our universities and hospitals will be defunded. Our 'basic services' funding will become zero. The opportunities for employment or capital will be non-existent. Under these conditions, the social contract between government and its citizens will degrade into anarchy unless we re-invent  a new social contract.  We will need new rules to establish social order, food production, wealth transfers. Rules based not on letting a few major corporations export our wealth, but a redistribution of all of Whatcom County's land,wealth, and resources to all of it citizens and families. And there is plenty of  land, wealth and resources here. No one in Whatcom County should really ever need "basic services". The arcane laws of property rights and private capital need to give way to socialized re-distribution for the good of all.

There is still currently A LOT of wealth in this county and many in poverty.  Sooner or later, by law or not, the current "recession" will "redistribute" and/or "de-construct" that wealth. The question for government now is how chaotic they want that redistribution/de-construction to become.  If we could each look forward five years to an anarchic, lawless social contract, would we prevent it now?  Would we prevent it now if it involved dramatic changes in the social contract  that we currently have constructed under capitalism and democracy?

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