New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Global Rescue Plan

July 04, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Economy, Politics

Daring to Dream of a Just and Peaceful World

by David Swanson

When the wealthy nations of the world meet as the G8 or in any other gathering, it’s interesting to imagine what they would do if they followed the golden rule, valued grandchildren, disliked unnecessary suffering, or wished to outgrow ancient forms of barbarism, or any combination of those.

The United States alone is perfectly capable, if it chooses, of enacting a global Marshall plan, or — better — a global rescue plan.  Every year the United States spends, through various governmental departments, roughly $1.2 trillion on war and war preparations.  Every year the United States foregoes well over $1 trillion in taxes that billionaires and centimillionaires and corporations should be paying. (more…)

Revolutionary Maroons

June 27, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Fred Ho, Politics

Coming to a Class Struggle Theater Near You…

by Fred Ho 

Today I will address how all the traditions of supposed mass-organizing and revolutionary strategies heretofore practiced by almost the entirety of who would be self-identified as “the left” must be transcended and replaced with both a different revolutionary vision and method as to ending industrial-patriarchal-capitalist imperialism.

All revolutionaries in the Euro-centric tradition have believed that the struggle for reforms (usually considered mass organizing) are not ipso facto reformist, but can be struggled for in what has been conventionally touted as via a “revolutionary way.”  Simply, reformism is the reliance upon the system — whether electing different politicians, changing laws or allocations of funds and resources more favorable to the masses.

Our presumption of the importance and reason for why reforms must be fought in an anti-reformist, or revolutionary, way has been for two purposes: (more…)

Ending War Is Up to Us

June 22, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Building on Efforts from the Last Half Century

by Robert C. Koehler

“Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms…

“While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.”

That was President John F. Kennedy speaking to the 1963 graduating class of American University —announcing that the human race was ready to move beyond war. This was the speech in which he revealed that talks on a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union had begun, and that the U.S. was unilaterally suspending atmospheric nuclear testing. (more…)

Peace Over Plutocracy

April 16, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Economy, Politics

Conference Remarks: Building Bridges and Creating the Beloved Community

by David Swanson

Several years ago a bunch of peace activists were eating in a restaurant in Crawford, Texas, and we noticed George W. Bush.  He was actually a cardboard version of George W. Bush like you might get your photo with in front of the White House, but he was almost as lifelike as the real thing.  We picked him up and stood him in the corner of the restaurant, facing the corner.  We asked him to stay there until he understood what he’d done wrong.  For all I know he’s still standing there.

Of course, a piece of cardboard wasn’t going to really understand what it had done wrong, and the real president probably wouldn’t have either.  The benefit of standing him in the corner, if there was one, was for everybody else in the restaurant.  And the benefit of impeaching or prosecuting Bush for his crimes and abuses would have been, and still would be, for the world — not for him and not for those who are angry at him. (more…)

Incompatible Aristocracy

December 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Economy, Politics

The Rich Don’t Always Win…

by David Swanson

Many of us have heard the current period referred to as a second gilded age.  Or we’ve seen the current inequality in wealth in the United States compared to that of 1929.  But we have not all given sufficient thought to what ended the first gilded age, what created greater equality, what created the reality behind that category our politicians now endlessly pretend we are all in: the middle class.  We have a sense of what went wrong at the turn of each century, but what went right in between?

This is the theme of Sam Pizzigati’s new book, The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy That Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970.  I take away three primary answers short enough to include in a brief summary. First, we taxed the riches right out from under the rich people.  Second, we empowered labor unions.  And third — and this one came first chronologically as well as logically — we developed a culture that saw it as absolutely necessary for the greater good that the rich be made poorer. (more…)

Echoes of Howard Zinn

November 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

The More Things Change, the More We Need His Words

by David Swanson

We’re approaching three years since Howard Zinn left us, and to my ear his voice sounds louder all the time.  I expect that effect to continue for decades and centuries to come, because Zinn spoke to enduring needs.  He taught lessons that must be relearned over and over, as the temptations weighing against them are so strong.  And he taught those lessons better than anybody else.

We like to use the word “we,” and to include in it everything the Constitution pretends to include in it, notably the government.  But the government tends to act against our interests.  Multi-billionaires, by definition, act against our interest.  Zinn warned us endlessly of the danger of allowing those in power to use “we” to include us in actions we would otherwise oppose.  It’s a habit we carry over from sports to wars to economic policies, but the danger of a spectator claiming “we scored!” doesn’t rise to the same level as millions of spectators claiming “we liberated Afghanistan.”

We like to think of elections as a central, important part of civic life, and as a means of significantly impacting the future.  Zinn not only warns against that misperception with incisive historical examples, and with awareness of the value of the struggle for black voting rights in the Southern United States, but he was a part of that struggle and warned against misplaced expectations at the time. (more…)

Report from Palermo

November 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Nancy Mattina, Politics

Reflections from Abroad on Electoral Politics

by Nancy Mattina

Who says we can’t yet travel into the future? For the two weeks prior to the 2012 Presidential elections I woke up every morning in a proud republic that’s suffering from a bad case of stunned. A place where the national debt exceeds GDP and family savings have been drained by unemployed adult children, declining wages, and stone-faced lenders. Where abortion is illegal and ‘choice’ means having a family or a job. Where all media outlets, including public TV, are unapologetically affiliated with political parties. Where anti-immigration rhetoric demonizes the destitute. Where a prominent editorialist advises women to accept the fact that they are ‘sitting on their fortunes’, no metaphor intended. (more…)