A fluid struggle

No not a GatorADE cage match. But the struggle about how much of the economic stimulus will be devoted to what seems quite fluid at the moment, i.e., pertains to a substance that easily changes shape. So, too, the question of what to do about the “toxic” assets of the major banks. The very misuse of that adjective is even coming into view and the route through nationalization toward a someday re-normalization of the financial sector, while not inevitable in the least, is at least being shoved out onto the stage for a kind of hearing. These whispers need to grow into impatient yelling.

Because unless there is fighting, screaming, wailing all about, little will change. Frederick Douglass spoke of the nature of reform often – how it won’t be, and can’t be, anything less than a torrid affair.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal.

A kind of hearing is not enough. We’re vastly afraid of words, especially nationalization, and particularly covetous of the our wealthy, and loathe to spread wealth for the greater good. These blaspheme a specific strain in the paradox of our egalitarian right to prosper and guard our prosperity, and this contradition won’t be reconciled with incrementalist calculation of the possible.