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tv   [untitled]    May 27, 2011 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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three years free. if free. and free broke your money field for your media projects a free media gun to our teeth on time. well i'm some are going to washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight the big picture award winning author walter mosley joins me for our first half hour for this week's conversations with great minds discuss the latest book which starts the discussion about how to get out of america's growing poverty rate and destructive way of life. with the recent democratic victory in new york's twenty sixth gresham history should the republicans just very silly now before things get any uglier and the nation's
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largest states are not represented capitol hill so what's the answer to this problem states a vision of great talent i'll break it down my top picks for the four chopping blocks and tonight still a take. it's friday which means it's time for conversations with great minds joining me tonight is an award winning american novelist who's written thirty four critically acclaimed books perhaps his best known work is it best selling series of historical mystery novels featured it's actually named easy rawlins this one and oh henry a war a grammy and an america lifetime achievement award his most recent work is entitled twelve steps toward political revelation examines an american struggle with poverty oppression and self destructive behavior and how we can turn things around pleased to welcome from new york walter mosley walter walker. try how you doing just great great to have you with us you open the book in fact in the introduction you talk
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about your own personal addiction alcohol and cigarettes when you were young how is that a metaphor for the american body politic we know. when you're human you're a social creature and if you're a social creature it means that necessarily you form dependencies on why some of these dependencies make sense you know you're dependent on food on water on love on . social communications you dependent on oxygen there are things that you need that are fine there are other things that you depend upon which aren't necessarily so good. there could be could be drugs to be alcohol would be cigarettes it could be fast food but also i think the government itself if you're dependent upon it for one thing and you're not getting that thing but which makes you need it all the more then you need to be questioning what your dependency on your body politic is
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and what form it does that dependency take right now in your in in your perspective here in the united states. well i believe that a lot of people think that america the government of america is there to help support protect and make sure that our lives are the happiest lives that we can live and indeed it's working completely against all of those schools working for. basically the economic system which we often. confuse for our democratic system and you kind of define as low as hierarchy of human needs and it's pyramid at the basis on your spaces where the safety and everything about that is the mental stuff you know the kind of good stuff and and it seems that the founders when they talked about you know life liberty and pursuit of happiness in the declaration are for the common. good the common good and
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that that this whole notion is providing people with that basis in the social safety net the nation on which we can build our laws. lives hollow are we not providing that to whom are we not providing that and how should we. but i think that to begin with the people who are not getting what they need is the working class now if you ask most americans what class they're and they're going to tell you i'm in the middle class that's not true eighty percent of america is in the working class you define the working class by saying that a middle class person if they quit their job nothing in their life will change for at least a year before they have to really somehow replace what they've lost a working class person two weeks in their complete life change their mortgage where their kids go to school where they eat everything changes the working class is not
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getting what they're needing they're not getting the right education they're not getting the the right medical care they're not able to retire in any kind of comfort they are able to age with dignity i mean there's a whole list of things that are just normal everyday needs and actually they're not just things that we need that we don't deserve there are things that we should have that are labor and that our country pays for or should pay for well and this leads to this concept of of wealth you know the republican module right now is the country is broke i can't tell you how many times i've heard that stated over and over and over again on network television and never ever challenged and yet you point out that not only are we not broke we're were wildly richer as a nation than anybody is willing to acknowledge even even on the democratic side you know if you want to put this on a political spectrum. well you know when you say republicans the democrats for me
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you know ever since the failure of the unions or the decimation of the unions by reagan the republicans the democrats are supported by the same groups of people supported by corporate america they take different roles they act in different you know slightly different ways but in the end nobody wants to tell the american worker what he or she is worth i mean if you look at america the all of america the public lands of america the air the wind but water the oceans the minerals the intellectual property if you look at what america is every person in america could be a millionaire. the fact that we're not allowed. to use or to exploit the wealth of our nation is what our government is keeping us from and it's not just the republicans the republicans are the you know the uglier face of it but the
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democrats are supporting the so are you suggesting that for example our mineral wealth should be held as part of the commonwealth and we should do as as it has as a rock did as venezuela has done as as in large part of mexico has done it nationalize our oil nationalize our minerals and save the money from that is going to pay for a national health care program and produce retirements and things like that what i think i think that we should be able to say in clear terms look the bottom line wealth of america is and tell every american will your piece of this you know it when you get a little thing from social security this is how much you're going to get when you retire and you can say your wealth is as an individual citizen taxpayer of this nation two million dollars three million dollars that's what you're worth and it's broken down into all these various things after that we can decide ourselves what should we use this maybe for our education should part of it say well maybe we should nationalize you know natch. or marble on the ocean so you know i
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mean if we felt that we were that the oceans that surround the united states were of value we might care more about the ecology of our of our oceans the well being of our if each one of us i think that i'm not i'm not i'm not trying to say that you know i don't need to make the statement that we need to socialize that i need to say well this is what you're worth how do you want to use what your work. that's an important concept for us to be discussing and yet there's no discussion of this whatsoever in the in the in the corporate media there's no discussion of this in the in the political no realm and there's frankly little discussion of this even even among intellectuals in the in books and things why do you think that is raw is it that we know that so many americans think that they're in the middle class when they're in the working class as you point out and the discussions of dialectical materialism for example are just don't exist you know the way it which is the
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essence of what you're discussing. what our so-called leaders on both sides i believe don't trust the work. i had a meeting with a group of political progressive when first bush and then obama was bailing out all of the you know the banks and financial corporations that stole the money in the first place and i said listen we got what we have to do is push this that instead of bailing out the corporations let's give them money to every taxpayer who made let's say less than forty thousand dollars last year let's just split up the whole amount of the bailout give it to the taxpayers and let them decide who to give it to and what corporations and what parts of america they want to bail out the progressive left we can't do that and the reason i said is because they don't trust the work i think that the thing is and when we really are kate political system our political system is like late nineteenth century you know here we are
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living in the age of you know the internet and facebook and you know we go when you know into a booth once every four years and put make an x. and we need to decide for ourselves what to do what would you want to do with that money i don't think anybody want to give it to the banks well and except the banks and in fact franklin roosevelt did exactly what you're talking about i mean within a couple of weeks of the time that he was sworn into office he had ten thousand people hired by the c.c.c. his statement was you know the best welfare program is a job and you know was following keynesian economics john maynard keynes famously said if you hire one guy to dig a hole hire another guy to fill it pay them both and eventually that money that you're paying them is going to work its way into the larger economy stimulate the economy which i think is is what you just described so it's not like there's not a precedent for particularly among liberals. astounded frankly would be in a group of progressive some would say no we shouldn't do that i i think that there
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are a lot yeah well take me out of that list you would know these are people's names yeah there are but you know this is there's a thing there's a separation there's a class separation. among all the people america the everyday people the working people the people who you know get up every day and go to a job and you know which is you know not you know any kind of a highly touted position those people. others think that they're not smart enough they're not good enough they're not capable of defining their own lives and then they use experts and other experts are smarter and they do know more but they're hired by the corporations and so experts positions is to lie to the rest of us so the corporations and get what they want i mean that's just the way it is i mean any expert anybody who's an expert you shouldn't trust an expert as colin powell putting it yellow dots in the desert and we saw this in the back of companies we saw it with the best as companies you know the express is out but it was you know
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in the nineteen or the saw some companies today everybody else and every other medical group in the world says cell phones cause brain cancer in america they said no no we're not so sure about that you know it's we're we're overwhelmed by the power of well i'm and we need to separate ourselves out and come together one of the things that i'm saying in the book is that the way we vote we vote against things rather than for things if we could set up an online system where people say there are ten most important political goals. and let people work not for we don't trust each other before we come together then you know a living wage medical insurance aging with dignity safety for our children education for our children all of this would come before anything else and we wouldn't have to fight over those who know him sooner or later we have to argue about stuff but in the beginning the most important things most americans agree and
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yet we were having that discussion at one point franklin roosevelt just shortly before he died articulated his second bill of rights it was exactly the list that you just went through and and that discussion now is off the table and you point out it's because the you know the corporate elites are basically running what we're hearing and what we're saying how do we break that. we know what i'm saying is i think that we have that number one the republicans and the democrats are not political organizations they're special interest corporations their constituency is the very rich and their power base is the working class it's the working class has the pull that power base away and come together and none of the things that the you know we can't use the old system of politics we have we need a new system of politics that that's much more viable and much more every day you know people young people and old people alike on facebook that we could have like.
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a national virtual parliament where people could actually at least express their opinions if not actually make many of the decisions that congress is supposed to be making i think that we need to do that because if we don't. the the the lag and also all the barriers been built up between the working class and the elites keeps us from ever making decisions we're always two or three years behind whoever's making decisions whether that you know is newt gingrich or you know barack obama really the man. fascinated by it well we'll continue this week's conversations of great minds with author walter mosley in just a moment after this break.
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let's not forget that we had an apartheid regime right now and. i think the money is even on the well. we never got the shows for the keeping safe get ready because you get their freedom . you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you
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don't i'm sorry is a big issue. for . welcome back to conversations of great minds i'm speaking with award winning american novelist walter mosley who's written thirty four critically acclaimed
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books his most recent is titled twelve steps toward political revelation over walkabout you write and talk about one of my favorite topics that we don't like leaders we like representatives and if we don't get out there and make clear to them what we want we shouldn't be surprised when we don't get it and you elaborate on that concept and how it runs up against the wall of corporate cash that's been unleashed by the supreme court and so those in the united decision. but i think that the that. there americans. have been stunted we've been kind of kept in in the past and we've also been misled you hated we i talk to most people and they say well yeah i voted that's what none and voting is the first step after that you have to continually put pressure on your elected officials in order to make them do what they said they're going to do because the corporations they have people in there every day they have people lobbying the
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people in congress them the most important representatives every single day you voted you know two years ago or six years ago whatever it is whichever house it is and you're expecting that they're listening to that vote they're not don't worry about your vote again until a few months before the next election and then all of this you know kind of you know flummery will come out on television and i billboards and stuff but one of the big problems is night i want to keep going back to it is that there we need to develop structures to put pressure on those structures and most likely would be online structures internet structures in which we would have not a town meeting but national meetings every other week we would all get online and say well this is what i think is what i think people would talk people would think people would vote you know these might not be binding votes but it would be it would it would least show the congress what we're thinking now if we told congress last week hey listen we want to pass this bill and congress doesn't do it they
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would they will know that we just told them and we will know that they haven't done it as it is we're kind of waiting in a limbo in which you know congress so we didn't know what you were thinking we're go about doing our jobs so we have to develop a mechanical structure in order for us to put stronger pressure on congress and on the president wasn't easy on the court is not a piece of that structure a series of grassroots movements isn't. well i think that there need to be grassroots movements but you know one of the things is is that we have you know the grassroots political movements are all good and but you know you and i both know in order to really work and make these grassroots movements work we have to you know donate your whole life to it you got to work twelve hours a day eight days a week fourteen hours a day and for nothing. and that's why i'm so concentrated on trying to create a mechanical method that we can to say listen on thursdays at seven thirty the
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whole country is going to get together you know we get together watch television you know who is going to be you know the next star who's going to lose the most weight we can get together and actually make political decisions thirty five forty minutes a week you know so even though i think it is grassroots i want to redefine grassroots i want to pull us out of the late nineteenth century and enter into the twenty first century where we can start to talk together we can start to make a difference it's fascinating because if you point out in your book twelve steps toward political revolution america is actually an oligarchy you use a word in small d. a democratic clothing most americans don't know what an oligarchy is and interestingly after i'd read that the next day i noticed in the washington post in the same newspaper on the same day a reference to russian oligarchs and chinese presence and no reference you know and i'm starting to think of the koch brothers as the american oligarchy and the bottom
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end any way of america's working class as america's presence or we don't use that kind of language to describe ourselves what we used to describe others doesn't this betray just a fundamental misunderstanding by americans about a sikh economics and politics and how do we resolve that if so if you agree with me really it's absolutely true that i think that americans don't understand what value is they don't understand what cost is there on the. stand with labor is and that's because we're not taught and we're also taught that if you start to talk about something like capitalism that makes you a socialist that makes you a communist and therefore you are anti democratic which you know is completely ridiculous america is an oligarchy it's the many ruling the few the many holding the power to rule the few but i want to add and i just want to say this and something i say that in the preface of that book that even though these there are these capital this they're also bound by
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a certain set of rules you cannot succeed in capitalism unless you perform the evils of capitalism if you all of a sudden you own some major corporation run a corporation say listen i'm going to give child care to all my. workers i'm going to make sure that they all have the best medical care you're going to go out of business if you are you will know you have said that at that moment major self no longer a member of the capitalist class you in order to be a capitalist you have to perform these evils and so understanding the whole system is really important it's not like there's a bad guy it's not bernie made off the bad guy it's the system and we have to become a part of that system in order to change it and we're not we're not citizens we are denizens we do not our votes don't make that difference it's the corporate dollars that make the difference you use the word american ism it's it's
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a word that i hadn't encountered before what is it and why is it wrong. well i use american isn't the same when you use alcohol because you know we feel we are deeply the end on this notion of a nation that doesn't exist is what you were saying before we believe that we're in the middle class we believe that we're in the greatest democracy in the history of the world we believe that is our church. boyce and if anything fails it is our problem we don't understand that there's an under underlying system that betrays us and you know so you know it's like you're doing a drug you're happy so all this make me happy is a no no no it's destroying you know you go to me you know to go fast food restaurant eat the stuff said this is good food the no no no it's poison it's killing it and this is the thing that we don't know we don't understand that we have to. overcome this notion of nationalism and actually become
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a real nation that cares about individuals and people and in that would be like the old time notion of america we're actually worried about the rest of the world. and about our own people what is i mean how do we as a culture ranch the power from america's ruling class we have at the top one percent taking twenty five percent of the income only forty percent of the wealth without the i mean it where would you start. you know for me. it's easy it's a very difficult question for me is very easy i started writing the book but that we're talking about you know twelve steps i say listen i can defy i can show you where you're worth millions of dollars individual and as as just a member of the corporation of america i can i can show you where you are not able to make decisions the way that we do it again i'm going to keep getting back to this is we have to figure out how to unite how to come together outside of the
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obfuscation of the republican and democratic party and to say listen i'm an individual because listen you could be. a white area and separatists in idaho or a black nationalist separatist in detroit but you're both thinking the same things you're both thinking i want a living wage you're both thinking i want medical care for my grandparents you're both thinking i want to age with dignity these people actually want the same things and could work together if we create the right system i still am i'm going to say i'm going to keep saying that i think that the best way to do this is is the most advanced technology because technology is how human beings live and that technology the facebook we just develop a political face and we say ok what's the most important things to you and everybody says the most important thing to me we don't have to care about if your gender your race. your sexual preferences how much money you have which is that
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you are you have to say what's most important to you most of us have the same things in common and that the whole nation will change. aren't you concerned suggesting this technological solution. if for example right now you can get a job working at home for one of several actually right wing think tanks editing. facebook editing with editing content to make it more to conform with the right wing worldview if you try to look for information as favorable for example to win in johnson or franklin roosevelt it's actually buried on now electronically you know in the on the internet under piles of right wing stuff are you concerned that if we if we turn to this technology the koch brothers and figure out a way to co-opt it just like they are they're rewriting we compete. no i'm not i'm
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not i'm you know the because what they're doing is they're dealing with the passive internet i'm talking about a very aggressive and it would definitely be two prong one would be a place where each individual says this is what i want. this is what i mean that in that what's the information is there i know i want to job where i make enough money to live i don't need somebody to i don't need to look bad up on google i know that that's what i want i know when i get sick i want to be able to pay for my medical care i know i don't have any teeth in my head but i'm worth three million dollars so i want to be able to go to a dentist and get some teeth in my head i think that's one thing and another thing is i think that would be one to undergird it would be something like twitter coming on and saying hey listen i said i wanted this would you say and people would be able to talk outside of it but i'm not talking about a system but that that's putting information on top of us i'm talking about us being very aggressive with the technology and of course is going to be problems with it but you should listen the problems that we have today in america are
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monumental some are saying well i'm worried that i might not you know be doing good and i know a guy who was a therapist he had a guy come from he said well you know i do drugs and i do. think that the sex and. and the guys that will listen i think you should come to therapy show no i can't do that so why would someone i don't want to be dependent. but the truth is we're already dependent we're already living under a system in which all of our money goes to these corporations we're already you know if we make one hundred dollars we really only get about twenty that's already a fact so yes we have to take risks but i think if if we aggressively try to take risk we can undo what the corporations have done and also the corporations will acquiesce i mean they're not really living beings they're in cities their structures if we limit how they make profit they'll fit into the. extraordinarily optimistic and refreshing perspective and i thank you so much for sharing it with
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us tonight walter mosley thank you so much for being with us. thank you thanks for having to watch this conversation as well as previous conversations with great minds go to our website conversations with great minds dot com. coming up conservative columnist brian darling democratic strategist erica community and conservative radio talk show host guy benson join me after the break for our big picture weekly rumble. that's my view of that we had an apartheid regime groet.


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