(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
What follows is an email I sent to Naomi Klein, today, requesting permission to freely reproduce “The Shock Doctrine”. In a nutshell, teachers could distribute a serialized version to students after school, from the the comfort of a public sidewalk where they have First Amendment rights. They would do this, hopefully, not just out of concern for their own livelihoods, but for a broader concern for stimulating deep reform in the US.
Dear Naomi Klein (or her representative),
Howdy. I’m an activist, with some progressive aspects. I’m also a supporter of the “New Progressive Alliance” (NPA), which is a grassroots group that looks to leverage a primary challenge to Obama to catapult a new progressive organization, which is not beholden to the Democratic Party, into prominence. It’s expected to fail in displacing Obama, but the NPA candidate(s) are expected NOT to throw their support to Obama, but rather make good on a loyalty pledge, wherein they support an NPA candidate for President running as a third party candidate.
Of course, this candidate is likely to lose, also, but the idea is to break the stranglehold of the Democratic Party on people’s minds and voting behavior. The idea is also to grow an aggressive movement that transcends political personalities and promptly goes into abeyance at the end of each election cycle. You can grok more on the subject of strategic voting and ‘primarying’ by reading diaries at MyFDL by Noel, posting as themalcontent, and also the ‘Dump Obama’ diaires posted by jeffroby.
I had suggested to Anthony Noel, the main mover and shaker behind the NPA, that intelligently organizing teachers, and the NPA’s general mission, could be very synergistic. The Wisconsin protests showed some of the potential of teachers, but IMO what was demonstrated was rather weak compared to what could be achieved. What could be achieved is that teachers help to politicize the mostly a-political American electorate, by conducting political messages into homes that ordinarily wouldn’t get them, thus by-passing main stream media. The political messages will have value, in and of themselves, but the more important goal would not be education, but rather organization. Organization that is designed to have electoral consequences.
And how would they do this? They can’t legitimately ignore their teaching duties during class times. They really have no business talking about anything other than their subject specialties, while on duty. However, immediately after school, the last I checked, teachers had first Amendment rights, and are quite free to distribute pamphlets to any passer-by on the public sidewalk. Small crowds of teachers WILL be noticed by their students, and it will not take much effort to get them to accept pamphlets that the teachers are distributing.
I don’t think teachers should merely be passing out pro-teacher’s union literature. In fact, I’m opposed to such a limited mission. You can read my diary “American Unions are a Compliant, Selfish Disgrace, Compared to European Unions” at http://my.firedoglake.com/meta… for my thoughts on this subject.
In terms of organization, it’s to be hoped that teachers participating in after-school pamphleting would focus on NPA. But in terms of the secondary purpose of such after-school pamphleting, i.e., education, I can’t think of a better topic than “The Shock Doctrine”.
Early last year, I worked as a temp in an office where a discussion was being had about the new healthcare legislation. I could easily recognize the Republican and Democratic noise machine talking points. However, I wanted to test both groups employees, so asked them both “What do you think about Billy Tauzin’s deal with Obama?” Nobody, but nobody, even knew who Billy Tauzin was.
I was not surprised. If people did know who Tauzin was, I doubt that either the Democratic or Republican talking points would interest them so much!
My point here is that even if Naomi Klein’s thesis has gotten lots of exposure in blogs like FDL, and even TV exposure on Rachel Maddow’s show, I fully expect that most Americans are clueless about her thesis, and it’s relevance to, e.g., the recent events in Wisconsin.
Consequently, I’m requesting that Naomi Klein grant permission for her book to be freely serialized and distributed. I realize that this might entail some economic sacrifice, however, it might have the opposite effect – i.e, it might actually rebound in greater book sales than would otherwise occur. E.g., parents who are reached through such an effort might catch fire, metaphorically speaking, and decide to gift the complete book to their friends, relatives, and even neighbors for Christmas.
I would much appreciate serious and prompt consideration of this request. I have already floated this idea to Anthony Noel, but I’ve no idea if he presented it to Naomi Klein. My apologies if you’ve already been hit up with this request.
You can read more on the NPA in Anthony Noel’s diary “Pick Up the Cry!”, here: http://my.firedoglake.com/newp…
Please note that NPA boasts a steering committee which includes Cindy Sheehan, Cornel West, David Swanson, and others. Perhaps someday it will add Naomi Klein to that list. (Hint, hint.)