Nick Biddle

A democracy, if you have property and privilege

A democracy, if you have property and privilege

Our democracy began not as an ideal but as a con by our Founding Fathers to spur colonists to war. In the country that emerged, the protection of property overrides civil rights, and the formula for protecting property centers on restricting the rights and power of the voting majority.

Please bear with me as I do my historian thing and take us quickly through the origins of the United States of America's so-called democracy.

Thomas Jefferson's famous words in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, were at the time common jargon.

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Zuckerman: keenly aware of damages from climate change

David Zuckerman is the better candidate for governor. He is the leading voice in the state for a living wage, green jobs, and racial and environmental justice. His opponent, Gov. Phil Scott, is a governor of vetoes. He has vetoed bills to raise the minimum wage, to provide paid...

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March toward unfreedom

Donald Trump provides the vitriol, while the Koch brothers and their ilk provide the partisan deadlocks that are sending us on a path to fascism

Scholars have debated fascism's definition and contours since its inception in 1919. All agree that it is a form of radical nationalist authoritarianism. As I peruse various interpretations, accounts, and analyses of fascism, the view that speaks most persuasively is that of Robert Paxton. In his 2004 book The...

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Our country’s psychotic foundation

The United States of America began in the Enlightenment-driven hope of human equality and the rights of self-determination most memorably articulated in the Declaration of Independence. Conflicts between creditors, debtors, and democracy arose immediately after the Revolution in 1781. By 1786, these conflicts turned into explosions of rebellion and repression, which pushed the leaders of the Revolution, the wealthy men who signed the Declaration of Independence, to convene what became the Constitutional Convention in 1787. There, the Founders contended with...

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Angry, fed up, and fighting

At the People's Summit recently held in Chicago, I saw several thousand people come together to celebrate the “political revolution” launched by Bernie Sanders and to confront the question of what next in the face of Hillary Clinton's presumptive nomination. Many came hoping Bernie will join with Jill Stein and the Green Party to continue his campaign. Most organizers understood that proposition unlikely. Bernie has made his bed in the Democratic Party, and that is where he is going to...

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Can people pull society back from the brink?

I went to the People's Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21. It was great to see 400,000 people geared up to make change happen - change for human and organic survival. There was peace in the crowd, a model for the world. There was urgency, too. I heard a term, “decade zero,” meant to identify the immediate period after climate change reaches the tipping point, the marker in time after which no amount of carbon reduction will...

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