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From the Editor

After a major time-out, Progressive Democracy has returned.

Originally, there should have been a quarterly issue out on October 1. But the run-up to the November election and the necessity of electing progressives interfered with the preparation of that – then came the holidays and the vital Georgia elections in January – then the attack on the U.S. Capitol – followed by the inauguration. Come to think of it I’m lucky to be getting this published at the beginning of February!

Some of the pieces published now were submitted for the planned earlier publication – I don’t think anything here is out of date however (since we publish perhaps not for the ages but are not reporting the news of the day).

This journal is intended for the intelligent progressive reader. It is not meant to be an academic journal.

The articles in this issue (#43) run from being academic to being those of thoughtful progressives. (And there are poems also.) The first and last piece are reactions to the attempted coup of January 6. In between the topics are public banking, green energy, the history of capitalism (twice), immigration and the great divide in our political life.

Notes on Contributors

Clayton Becker is a recent graduate from Columbia University's Dual Degree with the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) with degrees in economics, political science, and international law.

David Depew taught the History of Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and rhetorical theory and criticism at the University of Iowa.  He is retired and lives in Bend, Oregon.

Bob Gerecke, a retired financial administrator, is a frequent contributor to Progressive Democracy making highly original suggestions about how things might be done differently in our economy and in our lives.
Laurence Houlgate, now Professor of Philosophy Emeritus from CSU San Luis Obispo, is the author of several books in philosophy and has been a Congressional candidate.

Ivan Light is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles; his most recent book, written with Léo-Paul Dana, is  Entrepreneurs and Capitalism Since Luther (2020).

Roger Niesen is an intelligent and well-educated American citizen now living in Humboldt California

Cassady O’Reilly-Hahn has just graduated from Claremont Graduate University. He is Assistant Editor of Foothill Poetry Journal and is himself a poet.

Andy Winnick is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Statistics from CSU Los Angeles, President of The American Institute for Progressive Democracy and a a member of the Public Bank Pomona Valley Study Group.

A Response to Donald Trump’s Assault on Democracy

By Laurence D. Houlgate

“America is an idea. An idea that’s stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant.” Joseph R. Biden

On January 6, 2021, my wife and I joined millions of people who turned on their television sets to witness what most thought would be a contentious but traditional event at the U.S. Capitol. This was the day when the entire Congress would assemble, count, and accept the electoral votes for President of the United States. The task of the presiding officer, Vice President Mike Pence, was to open the envelopes containing the votes and announce the results.

Trump as Messiah

By Ivan Light

How can they still back him? During the Trump presidency, this question arose again and again when, despite a relentless succession of failures, lies, outrages, and scandals, his voters loyally backed Trump. The question remains unanswered because, standing outside Trump’s political base, opponents who asked it could not answer it. To explain extreme political loyalty, one must dispassionately examine political ideas for their consequences, not their truth value.

Democracy and the Consent of the Governed: “All Black and Blue Lives Matter”

By Roger Niesen

I have given some thought to the “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” movements, and how our democracy relates to them. These thoughts do not come much from specific personal experience or research, but from general knowledge, observation, and my own sort of analysis. In order to speak about large scale dynamics, I make sweeping generalizations that may make no sense on a smaller scale. I hope I have not I mischaracterized things I have little personal contact with. Sometimes the views of an external observer may be useful.

Priorities in the Second Age of Mass Migration: Should the United States Prioritize “Merit-Based” Immigration?

By Clayton Becker

Immigration is one of the hottest political issues in the world today, as the modern era of globalization has seen immigrant populations in the developed world explode to historic or near historic peaks. This increase has sparked an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment and contributed to the rise of far right, nationalist parties, from the Freedom Party in Austria to Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, to Donald Trump’s brand of nationalism here in the United States. According the Pew Research Center, a 51% median of Europeans would prefer immigration be reduced or stopped altogether, as would nearly 30% of those in the US and Canada, and nearly 40% in Australia.

Haiku

By Cassady O’Reilly-Hahn

Leaves Change
A day passes by.
Breonna Taylor’s still dead.
Fall comes when leaves change...

A Few Thoughts on Why We Need Public Banks

By Andrew Winnick

First let’s get one issue out of the way. The idea of developing a public bank, or a whole system of public banks, is not new and not radical or left wing.

A Better Clean Power Source

By Bob Gerecke

Most of the clean power discussion – as well as the actual construction - focuses on wind and solar power.  Opponents point to the disadvantage that both are variable and intermittent.   The debate ignores two sources of continuous clean power: ocean swells and waves.

Forms of Capital and Moral Legitimation of Capitalism

by Ivan Light

The class system routinely provides people with resources they need to enact their inherited status. These resources are Pierre Bourdieu’s four forms of capital: financial, human, cultural, and social. A coal miner’s son will not need and is unlikely to receive a college education, uncles on Wall Street, and a trust fund. He will need and will receive expert instruction in use of a pickaxe and in the supreme value of manly strength.

Democracy and My Teachers

By David Depew

The insurrectionist end of Donald Trump’s presidency was foreshadowed on its first day, when he said that the crowd at his inauguration was bigger than President Obama’s, or any previous president’s. Insisting that you should believe him rather than your lying eyes was the hallmark of the Trump regime. His favored way of arguing was a double fallacy. It was circular reasoning based on what’s called the argumentum ad populum: Let groundless falsehoods fly, get people to swallow and amplify them, and then claim they must be true because so many people say so. A perfect and perfectly empty circle.

Submission Guidelines

Having developed far enough to expand our ‘stable’ of writers to those not on the TAIPD board or connected thereto and so to ask others to submit appropriate material for publication here, it is important to develop and explain guidelines.

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