By Peter Montague

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Yes, it’s exciting to have fresh ideas in the White House and in Congress, but how much has changed, really?

** We are still a fundamentally and deeply racist nation in profound denial of our history and our current realities. Our racism is so deep that most of us white people aren’t normally aware of it at all, just as fish don’t notice water. Most of us would have to undergo anti-racism training to begin to comprehend our complicity, and, yes, some pubic schools are beginning to provide it, so there’s hope. White men and boys, especially…


Photo credit: Shutterstock.

By Peter Montague

What is stopping us? Why can’t we give America a much-needed raise, provide all our kids a decent education, reverse climate change, make sure billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes, eliminate policies that sustain racial and gender discrimination, and finally assure simple, secure voting for everyone? Large majorities of us want all these things, so why can’t we have them?

It’s because we are ruled by the few, not the many. Majority rule — self-rule by the people — has been intentionally eliminated from our political system. …


By Peter Montague

Trumpist Republicans are on track to win back control of Congress in 2022 and perhaps the White House in 2024.

Even if Trump is not the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, the next Republican nominee seems certain to be equally lacking in conscience and empathy and also likely to be far more capable and focused, and therefore much more dangerous to people Of Color, women, immigrants, and one-person-one-vote democracy itself.

Given the Republican Party’s present commitment to white supremacy, theocracy, male dominance and anti-democratic authoritarianism, the impending Republican resurgence threatens the bedrock of the U.S. political system…


By Peter Montague

Four African American men lynched on the “old proctor lynching tree” where “a total of nine men [were] lynched on this tree.” Taken at dawn August 1, 1908 at Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

After the Civil War ended in 1865, white people conducted a public campaign of intimidation ­– torturing and murdering thousands of people in public (73% of them Black), a practice called lynching.

Lynching was so common that we still have no accurate count of those public murders. According to the Jim Crow Encyclopedia, 4,760 people were lynched between 1882 and 1930. A recent report from the Equal Justice Initiative has documented an additional 2,000 lynchings between 1865 and 1877, bringing the known total to 6,760 victims, an average of two public murders each week for those 60…


Image credit: Shutterstock

By Peter Montague

In the U.S., a philosophy called “neoliberalism” began to dominate economic and political thinking when Ronald Reagan became president, in 1981. As Robert Kuttner puts it, “The basic argument of neoliberalism can fit on a bumper sticker. Markets work; governments don’t.”

Neoliberalism vs. Progressivism

Neoliberals and progressives disagree on the role of government in society. Progressives want government to do for “the people” what people cannot do for themselves individually. For example, progressives (aka liberals) believe everyone deserves health insurance; therefore, progressives want government to help make that happen. In contrast, neoliberals assume that the universal need…


Crowd on 7th Avenue in Seattle, Washington Nov. 29, 1999 protesting against the World Trade Organization.
Crowd on 7th Avenue in Seattle, Washington Nov. 29, 1999 protesting against the World Trade Organization.
Protesting the World Trade Organization in Seattle Nov. 29, 1999. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives. Image #176886.

By Peter Montague

Neoliberalism is an economic and political philosophy that has dominated the U.S. since 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the presidency. In addition to being a set of policies, neoliberalism is an ideology that allows the super-rich to justify why they deserve to be super-rich.

Neoliberalism says the “free market” (unrestricted competition, without government oversight) produces a world in which everyone gets what they deserve. If you’re poor, it’s your own fault, not the result of luck or circumstance.

Since 1980, neoliberalism has served the super-rich very well, but for at least half of us, it has been…


By Peter Montague

The riotous assault on the U.S. Capitol Building Jan. 6, 2021 came from the bottom of society (though generously supported from the top). Insurrection from the bottom will not succeed. However, an even more serious threat to democracy is unfolding at the top. Its success hangs in the balance.

In the U.S., an emerging “grandiose system, of social, economic, and political management” has the power, and the intention, to eliminate majority rule, to end democracy.

A wealthy elderly woman wearing pearls and sun glasses looks straight into the camera and gives the finger.
A wealthy elderly woman wearing pearls and sun glasses looks straight into the camera and gives the finger.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

This story is laid out in a 7000-word essay, “The Silenced Majority,” by the British-Indian writer Rana Dasgupta in Harper’s magazine (Dec…


By Peter Montague

Military flag of the former slave states carried by a seditious insurrectionist on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Jan. 6, 2021.

Who are the Trump-supporting democracy-hating insurrectionists who swarmed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021? Bottom line: They are the screwed.

Babies are not born racists or Nazis or misogynists or religious fanatics. Yes, a few are born sociopaths or suffer from severe narcissism and cannot help themselves, but mainly we should recall the song “Carefully Taught,” from the play South Pacific (1949):

You’ve got to be taught To hate And fear You’ve got to be taught From year To year It’s got to Be drummed in your dear little ear You’ve got to…


By Peter Montague

Military flag of the former slave states carried by a seditious insurrectionist on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Jan. 6, 2021.

Who are the Trump-supporting democracy-haters who swarmed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021? Bottom line: They are the screwed.

Babies are not born racists or Nazis or religious fanatics. Yes, a few are born sociopaths or suffer from severe narcissism and cannot help themselves, but mainly we should recall the song “Carefully Taught,” from the play South Pacific (1949):

You’ve got to be taught To hate And fear You’ve got to be taught From year To year It’s got to Be drummed in your dear little ear You’ve got to Be carefully Taught…


Public Health Requires a Political Fight for Social Justice

By Peter Montague

[This essay was first published in the Dec. 2020 issue of The Networker.]

The main purpose of government is to assure the well-being of the people — all the people. In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote, “The success or failure of any government in the final analysis must be measured by the well-being of its citizens. Nothing can be more important to a state than its public health; the state’s paramount concern should be the health of its people.”

A valid way to measure a community’s well-being is…

Peter Montague

Anti-racism, pro-labor journalist and historian focusing on where we are, how we got here, & where we could go if we developed a simple common agenda together.

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