Bring back welfare (Was RE: (Spanish) Venezuela: agrarian reform, turmoil expected.)

ermadog at ermadog at
Mon Apr 9 18:13:04 MDT 2001

On Thu, 5 Apr 2001, Charles Brown wrote:

> CB: I am proposing a demand in the U.S. :  Bring back welfare !


I am viewing the "charities for choice" initiative with extreme alarm.
Imagine the entire social safety net placed in the hands of the

Two recent Zmag commentaries have focused on the "slush fund" aspect of
charities. Because the finances of charities are shielded from public
view, the right wing routinely uses them as a cash cow to fund extremist
activities, including Watergate plumber type activities and bombing
abortion clinics.

As well, faith based charities are exempt from government regulations
regarding health and safety, certification of professionals such as
therapists, and so on.

This to me is the most alarming aspect. Totalitarian regimes function in
part because they place mechanisms of ad hominum attack in the hands of
ordinary citizens. All-purpose charges such as "hooliganism"(the former
Soviet Union), being "un-Aryan" (Nazi Germany), "withcraft" (all of
Christiandom under the Inquisition), "un-Americanism" (McCarthy-era
America), allow for populist policing as a subjunct to official policing.
I'm sure everyone on this list understands better than I the difference
between a totalitarian state and an ordinary police state.

I feel that this faith based initiative is an invitation for
"right-thinking" people to excercise unregulated control over "the
faithless". I understand that Attorney General Ashcroft is on record as
saying that disability is the result of sin and that he advocates

What is truly alarming, however, is the fact that the Bush administration
feels it can dispense with the support of the people who put it there.
People such as Pat Robertson oppose this plan, in part because there is no
stipulation as to who will get the monies (the Hare Krishnas? Church of

Anyone who has followed the growth of the industrial prison system in the
U.S. knows where this is going - the gulags are already in place. See, for
instance, the Critical Resistance link at It is no
accident that there is virtually no social safety net left in the U.S.
(see, for instance, the report at

So far, private prisons have been resisted here in Canada - but for how
long can we hold out?

Joan Cameron

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