|Socialist Tony Benn|
John Nichols reviewed the life and work of British parliamentarian Tony Benn, an unapologetic socialist in a world which had moved past his political views. From Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's implementation of free-market reforms, which enabled working-class Britons for the first time in decades to own their own home, while breaking the power of insufferable, abusive trade unions, Great Britain embraced a renaissance of industry privatization, along with economic prosperity and renewed international preeminence in the world.Despite his wrong standing on economics (and for a time, history), Tony Benn's five questions are a remarkable introduction in the power and necessity of citizen participation in democracy:
'What power have you got?'
'Where did you get it from?'
'In whose interests do you use it?'
'To whom are you accountable?'
'How do we get rid of you?'
If one applied these questions to President Barack Obama, the following answers might come forth:
'What power have you got?' -- A pen and a phone (although President's power derives from the Constitution, and the consent of the governed.)
Where did you get it from?' - My pride and self-regard in the intellectual superiority of progressive principles and change of the sake of change.
'In whose interests do you use it?' - My own, and those of Wall Street and academic elites.
'To whom are you accountable?' - no one, unless Congress finally decides to impeach me then remove me from office.
'How do we get rid of you?' - see above, America!
For the record, President Obama's socialist policies have helped create a President who thinks that he is acountable to no one. Such is the face of all starry-eyed, true-believing socialists.