Many Americans recognize that the United States is neither a genuine democracy nor a real republic in which elected officials actually represent the people. Instead, the United States is a corporatocracy in which Americans are ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite, and corporate-collaborator government officials. There are at least three major pieces to the puzzle of transforming corporatocracy tyranny into something closer to democracy. First, it is necessary but not sufficient that Americans be informed about the truths of corporatocracy rule. The good news is that despite the corporate media’s failure to reveal many important truths, polls show that the majority of Americans—either through the independent media or their own common sense—know enough about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Wall Street bailouts, and health insurance rip-offs to oppose corporatocracy policies here.
Second, in addition to awareness of economic and social injustices, it is also necessary to have knowledge of strategies and tactics that oppressed people have historically used to overcome tyranny. Third, a routinely overlooked piece of the puzzle is overcoming the problem of demoralization. There are a great many Americans who have been so worn down by decades of personal and political defeats, financial struggles, social isolation, and daily interaction with impersonal and inhuman institutions that they no longer have the energy for political actions.
Polls Reveal the Myth of U.S. Democracy
Americans, for quite some time, have opposed the U.S. government’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but We the People have zero impact on policy. A March 10-13, 2011 ABC News/Washington Post poll asked, “All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, or not?”; 31 percent said “worth fighting” and 64 percent said “not worth fighting.” When a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll on December 17-19, 2010 asked, “Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan?,” only 35 percent of Americans favored the war, while 63 percent opposed it. For several years, the majority of Americans have also opposed the Iraq War, typified by a 2010 CBS poll which reported that 6 of 10 Americans view the Iraq War as “a mistake.”
The opposition by the majority of Americans to current U.S. wars has steadily increased for several years. However, if you watched only the corporate media’s coverage of the 2010 election between Democratic and Republican corporate-picked candidates, you might not even know that the United States was involved in two wars—two wars that are not only opposed by the majority of Americans but which are also bankrupting the United States.
How about the 2008 Wall Street bailout? Even when Americans believed the lie that it was only a $700 billion bailout, they opposed it. Their opinion was irrelevant. In September 2008, despite the corporate media’s attempts to terrify Americans into believing that an economic doomsday would occur without the bailout of so-called “too-big-to-fail” corporations, Americans still opposed it. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in September 2008, asked, “Do you think the government should use taxpayers’ dollars to rescue ailing private financial firms whose collapse could have adverse effects on the economy and market, or is it not the government’s responsibility to bail out private companies with taxpayers’ dollars?”; 31 percent of Americans said we should “use taxpayers” dollars while 55 percent said it is “not government’s responsibility.” Also in September 2008, both a CBS News/New York Times poll and a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Americans opposed the bailout. This disapproval of the bailout was before most Americans discovered that the Federal Reserve had loaned many trillions of dollars more to financial firms, other giant corporations, and foreign central banks (which, if this had been known, would certainly have upset even more Americans).
What about universal health insurance? Despite the fact that several 2009 polls showed that Americans actually favored a “single-payer” or “Medicare-for-all” health insurance plan, it was not even on the table in the Democrat-Republican 2009–2010 debate over health insurance reform legislation. And polls during this debate showed that an even larger majority of Americans favored the government providing a “public option” to compete with private health insurance plans. But the public option was quickly pushed off the table in the Democratic-Republican debate. A July 2009 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll asked, “Do you favor or oppose having a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of Medicare-for-all?” In this Kaiser poll, 58 percent of Americans favored a Medicare-for-all universal plan, and only 38 percent opposed it—and a whopping 77 percent favored “expanding Medicare to cover people between the ages of 55 and 64 who do not have health insurance.” A February 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll reported that 59 percent of Americans said the government should provide national health insurance. And a December 2009 Reuters poll reported that, “Just under 60 percent of those surveyed said they would like a public option as part of any final healthcare reform legislation.”
The Corporatocracy in Control
In the U.S. corporatocracy, as in most modern tyrannies, there are elections, but the reality is that in elections in a corporatocracy, as is the case in elections in all tyrannies, it’s in the interest of the ruling class to maintain the appearance that the people have a say, so more than one candidate is offered. In the U.S. corporatocracy, it’s in the interest of corporations and the wealthy elite that the winning candidate is beholden to them, so they financially support both Democrats and Republicans. It’s in the interest of corporations and the wealthy elite that there are only two viable parties—this cuts down on bribery costs. And it’s in the interest of these two parties that they are the only parties with a chance of winning. In the U.S. corporatocracy, corporations and the wealthy elite directly and indirectly finance candidates, who are then indebted to them. It’s common for these indebted government officials to appoint key decision-making roles to those friendly to corporations, including executives from these corporations. And it’s routine for high-level government officials to be rewarded with high-paying industry positions when they exit government. It’s common and routine for former government officials to be given high-paying lobbying jobs so as to use their relationships with current government officials to ensure that corporate interests will be taken care of.
The integration between giant corporations and the U.S. government has gone beyond revolving doors of employment (exemplified by George W. Bush’s last Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who had previously been CEO of Goldman Sachs; and Barack Obama’s first chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, who in 2008 received $5.2 million from hedge fund D. E. Shaw). Nowadays, the door need not even revolve in the U.S. corporatocracy. For example, when President Obama earlier in 2011 appointed General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as a key economic advisor, Immelt kept his job as CEO of General Electric (which paid no federal taxes on over $14 billion dollars in profits last year).
The United States is not ruled by a single deranged dictator but by an impersonal corporatocracy. Thus, there is no one tyrant that Americans can first hate and then finally overthrow so as to end senseless wars and economic injustices. Revolutions against Qaddafi-type tyrants require enormous physical courage. In the U.S. corporatocracy, the first step in recovering democracy is the psychological courage to face the humiliation that we Americans have neither a democracy nor a republic, but are in fact ruled by a partnership of giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite, and corporate-collaborator government officials.
Psychological and Cultural Building Blocks
Activists routinely become frustrated when truths about lies, victimization, and oppression don’t set people free to take action. But as a clinical psychologist who has worked with abused people for more than 25 years, it does not surprise me to see that when we as individuals or a society eat crap for too long, we become psychologically too weak to take action.
Other observers of subjugated societies have recognized this phenomenon of subjugation resulting in demoralization and fatalism. Paulo Freire, the Brazilian educator and author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and Ignacio Martin-Baró, the El Salvadoran social psychologist and popularizer of “liberation psychology,” understood this psychological phenomenon. So too did Bob Marley, the poet laureate of oppressed people around the world. Many Americans are embarrassed to accept that we, too, after years of domestic corporatocracy subjugation, have developed what Marley called “mental slavery.” But unless we acknowledge that reality, we won’t begin to heal from what I call “battered people’s syndrome” and “corporatocracy abuse.” A vitally important piece of the solution is overcoming the problem of demoralization and fatalism and creating the “energy to do battle.”
There exist solid strategies and time-tested tactics that people have long used to battle the elite. However, these strategies and tactics by themselves are not sufficient. For large-scale democratic movements to have enough energy to get off the ground, certain psychological and cultural building blocks are required.
Historian Lawrence Goodwyn has studied democratic movements and written extensively about the Populist Movement in the United States that occurred during the end of the 19th century, what he calls “the largest democratic mass movement in American history.” Goodwyn concludes that democratic movements are initiated by people who are not resigned to the status quo or intimidated by established powers, and who have not allowed themselves to be “culturally organized to conform to established hierarchical forms.” Goodwyn writes in The Populist Moment: “Democratic movements are initiated by people who have individually managed to attain a high level of personal political self-respect…. In psychological terms, its appearance reflects the development within the movement of a new kind of collective self-confidence. ‘Individual self-respect’ and ‘collective self-confidence’ constitute, then, the cultural building blocks of mass democratic politics.”
Without individual self-respect, people do not believe that they are worthy of power or capable of utilizing power wisely, and they accept as their role being a subject of power. Without collective self-confidence, people do not believe they can succeed in wresting power away from their rulers. There are many battlefields—from schools to the workplace—on which self-respect can be either won or lost and it is in the interest of the elite to make sure that their opponents lose sight of these multiple battlefields. If we don’t recognize a battlefield, we can lose an opportunity to create those cultural and psychological building blocks necessary for democracy.
People seeking democracy, in addition to individual self-respect, must also have collective self-confidence—the belief that they can succeed as a group—if their goal is to be achieved and sustained. They must have faith that, though imperfect in their decision making, they are capable of creating a freer and more just society than one organized and controlled by the elite. Thus, in this battle against the corporatocracy, human relationships are vitally important. It is in the interest of the elite to keep people divided and distrusting one another. It is in the interest of people working toward democracy to build respectful and cooperative human relationships across all levels of society.
The Energy to Do Battle
Whether one’s abuser is a spouse or the corporatocracy, there are parallels when it comes to how one can maintain enough strength to be able to free oneself when the opportunity presents itself—and then heal and attain even greater strength. This difficult process requires:
Honesty that one is in an abusive relationship
Self-forgiveness that one is in an abusive relationship
A sense of humor about one’s predicament
The good luck of support, and the wisdom to utilize this good luck
It is a waste of our precious energy to beat ourselves up for having succumbed to corporatocracy abuse. Our energy is better spent redefining ourselves as human beings who have beliefs and values that define us more than our fears and greed (which the corporatocracy exploits to control us). We need to redefine ourselves as worthy of respect and capable of effecting change. And then we can use our energy to provide respect and create confidence in others, which will produce even more energy for ourselves. This is part of “liberation psychology,” in which critically thinking people can regain morale, discover the various ways people are energized, learn how to combat social isolation and build community, and understand how we can forge alliances among anti-authoritarians.
Critical to healing from “battered people’s syndrome” and “corporatocracy abuse” and gaining strength is a liberation from one’s fatalism, which has become an internal oppression. External oppression, left unchallenged, results ultimately in fatalism, which makes it less likely one will challenge oppression. One way of extricating from this fatalistic vicious cycle is through what Freire, Martin-Baró, and others have called conscientizacao or “critical consciousness.” With critical consciousness, an individual can identify both external oppression and self-imposed internal oppression—and free oneself from self-imposed powerlessness. Critical consciousness cannot be learned in a top-down manner. It is essentially a self-education process among equals. Liberation from fatalism and powerlessness is a process in which participants are not mere objects of instruction or of treatment. Instead of being acted upon, they are taking actions, learning, and then taking even more powerful actions.
Recent History and Realistic Hope
The lesson from history is that tyrannical and dehumanizing institutions are often more fragile than they appear, and with time, luck, morale, and the people’s ability to seize the moment, damn near anything is possible. We never really know until it happens whether or not we are living in that time when historical variables are creating opportunities for seemingly impossible change.
Until shortly before it occurred, the collapse of the Soviet empire seemed an impossibility to most Americans, who saw only mass resignation within the Soviet Union and its sphere of control. But the shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland did not see their Soviet and Communist Party rulers as the all-powerful forces that Americans did. And so Polish workers’ Solidarity, by simply refusing to go away, provided a strong dose of morale across Eastern Europe at the same time other historical events weakened the Soviet empire.
Arrogance by oppressive authorities makes them miscalculate the fear and greed variables, important in keeping people passive. In the case of Hosni Mubarak, his greed and arrogance resulted in him not spreading enough of his loot around with enough thugs, so not enough of them cared about his fall from power. Once Egyptians lost fear and took action, they found even more courage. Arrogance of oppressive forces makes them a lot more fragile than they appear.
And in the United States, when it appeared to the elite that American workers and their supporters had become completely pacified, once again, arrogance by corporate-collaborator government officials resulted in miscalculation. In Wisconsin, for example, public employees had actually agreed to eat considerable crap, accepting a major increase in how much they would pay toward their pensions and healthcare benefits. But even those major concessions were not good enough for Wisconsin’s governor, who continued to demand the elimination of collective bargaining in key areas. Eliminating collective bargaining rights on health insurance, pension, and work safety is a blatant attempt to completely crush a union. By this “union death threat,” workers and union leaders were put in a position of having virtually nothing left to lose in terms of retaining a meaningful union. And when people feel they have nothing left to lose and let go of their fear, watch out.
First, I’d like to say that I’ve been resisting against this corporate control in my own small way, as you suggest, but it’s caused a lot of problems in my life. Because most ppl I meet are NOT resisting, so I’ve been branded a crazy radical and am pretty isolated. There are few ppl I can even talk to anymore. After all, why don’t I just conform and accept the police state?
For ex, I went to take the subway and the police inspected the contents of my bag. If I didn’t agree to it, I wouldn’t have been able to get on the subway. I had to take the subway or I wouldn’t have made it to work, would have gotten fired and then I would have been in real trouble. However, I (politely) questioned the police as to why they were doing this and mentioned the 4th Amendment (which clearly states we are NOT to be searched unless there is evidence that we’ve done something wrong.) So now I have to worry the police might start harassing me as a “suspicious” character for being reluctant to participate. Also I mentioned the incident to a coworker (in my ongoing effort to inform ppl of the dangers of the police state) and my coworker then regarded me with suspicion and said, “I would wonder whether someone had done something wrong if they refused to allow themselves to be searched. They’re doing that for your own safety.” Subsequently, I began having problems at work, but I think that had more to do with my democratic (nonfacist and uncorporate) approach to the work place. (That’s a whole other story altogether and I’m limited as to how much I can say here. I do have a blog u can chk out if u want to find out more about what I’ve been doing.)
Anyhow, I think what’s missing in our society is social support. Americans are very detached from each other and keep reducing societal problems to individual problems. The mortgage crisis is an example. “People lost their homes because they signed a mortgage agreement they shouldn’t have signed,” is mostly what I hear. Instead of thinking, “Wow, that could have happened to me. I’m lucky I didn’t lose my home,” Americans are quick to judge each other rather than form some solidarity. We keep reducing social problems to individual problems. He/She made a mistake, used wrong judgment or was irresponsible, is what most Americans will say–even when millions of people are suffering. Honestly, when millions of us are suffering, I think that should be a clear indication that it is a societal and not individual problem that needs to be solved…
Same thing with the student loan issue. Financial aid students are forced into taking out loans as a part of their “assistance.” Then we’re attacked when we can’t afford to pay off the loans. “Why’d you sign the loan agreement?” “Why did you major in the liberal arts?” “Why didn’t you study something more practical?”
My point being, Americans just aren’t supportive of each other, and, frankly, are, for the most part, just as greedy and self-absorbed as the corporatists.
So while I’d like to believe there’s a chance at saving this country, political activism for me has become just a catharsis for the anger and pain I’ve been experiencing as a result of GW’s policies. I don’t, sadly, believe anything will come of it.
When Nazi Germany fell it was because other countries (most notably the U.S.) intervened. At least 300 resistance movements were discovered that had been attempting to stop the Nazis from within but, apparently, they didn’t know about each other as there were spies everywhere so ppl had to be very careful about whom they could trust. So Germany couldn’t save itself. And there’s a question as to whether the Resistance had much of an effect at all.
Morris Berman at http://www.MorrisBerman.blogspot.com wrote an interesting blog related psychiatry’s role in the U.S.’s demise, very similar to what you’ve been talking about for the past few years.
I’m sorry it has taken days for me to comment…I’m rarely at a loss of words or ways to articulate them, but reading this piece was like experiencing months of therapy, so the emotional steps I was put through were even more overwhelming than the “ah-ha” moment. It has taken me days to absorb it and my attempts to edit my reaction have been unusually difficult and slow. Every word, concept and analysis are so concise and accurate I have saved the article saved to favorites and been reading it every day for strength to go back into the “corporatocracy”.
As I am forced by financial need and the sheer boredom of inertia to go back out there, the insights, I hope, will help me make better decisions, or at least reinforce my intuition, – reputation be damned, -to know when it’s time to “leave the party” for the sake of my emotional and physical health. Since I resigned from my last internment (e.g. “job”) 2 months ago, which was 12 months of shear and emotional hell that it has taken me this long to get the courage to go back out there into the ring again. I only hope that I can find a challenging – but pleasant – environment this time, a place where I am free to do my job – without harassment, and than have the mental freedom to leave it there behind me when I walk out the door.
This article is one of the most intelligent, insightful, truthful, and rational pieces I’ve read in ages (and I read a LOT). And I know what it’s like to walk in MBL’s shoes – I have walked in them every day of my life (and I too, since I am looking for a job, can not put my full name here either – I believe, when they changed the settings on “Facebook” that I was investigated and immediately became a target). I’m not paranoid – but I do feel their eyes on me – they listen to the phones at work, they have camera’s everywhere (to watch you speaking on the phone!). Anyone from upper management NEVER spoke on the landline or their cells in the building – they left the building, even the VP, to place or take private calls. They are spying on us everywhere, and if you don’t conform and blindly believe Fox News as gospel you are most definitely “marked”. I am acutely aware of everything that Dr. Levine is stating and know in every cell in my body that in his wisdom is absolute truth. As I was transported to an extremely fragile state while reading this article, every word so spot on, I found myself reliving the stress of the abuse as if I was still in that building. I experienced a few very “raw” hours, as I do suffer from PTSD dating back from childhood and I have been, through these horrific job experiences with Glen Beck devotees, suffering from the reopening of these wounds old and new – just from the daily experience of working with these fascists. I seem to get less and less opportunities to heal from them these days as they have occurred abundantly, seemingly exponentially, since the “Bush-Cheney” experience of organized plutocracy and the erosion of workers rights. I have been leaving one abusive hostile work environment for another these last few years, where it has become apparent that I seem to be the perpetual scapegoat. It’s like living at home with “mom and dad” all over again – although I am a responsible, college educated adult now in my early fifties. I believe it’s because of my extreme aversion, and perception, of fascism, and my very strong belief in democracy, in the workplace as well as in the home they become threatened. Because I believe in the dignity of the individual – humanism – that is not particularly popular in the corporate environment, and even more so in the extremely conservative republican geographical area in which I live, they pick up on me, I’m assuming, by my dignified interactions with others –particularly those “below” me. It just seem to me that our society is becoming sicker and more repressive, the polar opposite of my idealistic views of a future I thought would come to fruition and be our inheritance as a result of the progressive views we held coming of age in the sixties and seventies. Now the workplace seems to be a mix of enforcers, sycophants and spies – that form of cooperation we use to refer to as “team work” in the workplace seems to be a lost concept, as I have not seen in at least twelve years – and instead, fellow employees are so mired in turning on one another in competition and knife twisting they can not even see that they have been set up to act upon each other as such. Morale? Talk about providing the most pleasant, professional experience or product for the consumer – rhetoric. The company is so busy imploding on itself by keeping the workers at each others throats they cannot even see it’s antithetical to their supposed mission. It’s all about control – keeping the workers from cooperating with one another – lest they get a moment to speak frankly or gain insight and then they might just possibly realize how manipulated and degraded they actually are. This is their greatest fear. What might come next? Degraded workers might organize, maybe start demanding things for themselves like the basic rights they are allegedly “entitled” to – beginning with the enforcement of the laws of the state (and supposedly of the company, or at least they go through the motions of stating it in their literature – even the insult of actually posting these regulations all over the walls) – laws and regulations the company already knows the system does not care about anymore anyway. Your word against “the companies” – who do you think wins that one? Well, I know, because I’ve dared to exercise it. Even the vilest sexual harassment – putting pictures of their erect penis’s on my personal cell phone – the VP and head IT – “unfounded”. I found even the most informal and basic form of cooperation between us was such a rarity – they jump in immediately and let you know they see “cooperation” at my latest job. Overt surveillance, verbal intimidation or humiliation, or worse: instill the fear of demotion or the most frightening threat of all – the loss of the means to provide for oneself and their families. It gets to a point that if someone new comes in and is pleasant employees fear that management has planted a “mole”! …. DL
Thanks, DL, for your kind words about this piece. And best of luck dealing with your particular situation–Bruce
Can we take this information, and our renewed motivation, and translate it into activism in the real world? How can we protest against our tyrants in a way that is effective? If our elected officials are their minions then electing others in their place is useless since the system is a farce. We could boycott all of the products that are provided us by the tyrants, but some are essentials, like water and fuel and electricity, and alternatives are few. Perhaps one of the best ways we can combat the system is to maintain individual self-sufficiency as much as possible, and avoid debt of any kind so that we aren’t slaves to banks and mortgage lenders. I know it will tank my credit rating, but I’m tempted to close all of my credit cards, simply in protest over a system that encourages and thrives on indebtedness slavery. They all have a zero balance at the moment, but the principle they stand for still rests in my wallet, the contents of which the issuing entity would like to seperate me from continuously and rapaciously. This is one idea. Can others think of more ways we can break the tyranny through activism?
More and more Americans are waking up the reality of abusive corporatism and your words will help us face up to overcoming it with confidence and solidarity. We are following the approach described at http://october2011.org. Have the courage and self-worth to join us. The corporatocracy is in a fragile state. They know the economy continues collapse around them — because of them; but more important they know we know and that the people will organize to end their corrupt rule. We have the answers to create a better world. We have the power. We just need the courage to exercise it, in unity and trust in each other.
Stop the Machine: Create a New World
People in USA are acting like the Germans as the Third Reich was manifest…I went to Hawaii for 7 years and then had to just leave all Amerikan direct control…Cambodia for over 10 years,yet the feds bribe every poor country. Nowhere else to run???
I have believed for a long time now that voting in small, local elections is just as important as voting in the Presidential elections. After all, would you want Michelle Bachmann on your school board? This seems to be how they get themselves and others of their kind into key positions that can destroy at a state level. Look at Wisconsin! School boards is the best example I can think of, too many (one is too many) conservatives and you will see book banning, and many other curriculum being banned. That’s just my opinion. We need to make small victories from the ground up. There are only 20 democratic governors out of 50 right now. So who cares about the gubernatorial races? I do!
Thank you for these insights we all urgently need in order to gather our individual and collective strengths. I see this strength growing every day and believe that it will soon coalesce into an undeniable action for change.
Every planned Action for this year is bringing more people together while creating local and national networks, empowering us to create the changes we seek. I believe we will succeed.
National activists are calling for a People’s Congress to be held on the Mall in Wash., D.C. in the late spring of 2012.
There are many, many calls to action. What seems missing from any at this time is a direct approach to fix the systemic dysfunction in Washington. It is widely agreed that the corporate buyout of Washington has twisted any form of democracy we used to have. Policies in Washington prevent us from implementing sane environmental regulations or prevent corporate media from dominating the airwaves. Add to this long overdue election reforms that would stop stolen elections.
These are the four main intentions of The People’s Congress. One week, for starters, in DC on the Mall. A democratically elected People’s Congress to write legislation to be ratified and enacted.
No less than a massive outpouring of citizens can accomplish what needs to be done. All people and organizations interested in implementing these changes will be The People’s Congress. The legislation will be written by and for those who choose to do it. The National Steering Committee will be in place by October 15, 2011. Participating organizations may each nominate 1 member. The Mission Statement for the People’s Congress will be the guide. Participants will create everything else.
It is no longer enough to speak truth to power. Now we must be that power. If we are to govern successfully we must have a very clear and effective agenda. We must be united.
One place, one time, one utterly clear message.
Please review details, learn how you can work toward the changes you seek and join or endorse The People’s Congress at http://www.peoplescongress.org
When you endorse the People’s Congress, a “count us in” graphic will appear next to your name.
Your only obligation as an endorser is to help spread the word. After that you are invited to be as involved as you choose. This action is a national grassroots effort comprised of individuals across our country and as many local, state or national organizations as are wishing to participate. It’s power is only possible through the people.
The National Steering Committee for the People’s Congress will be installed on October 15, 2011. Participating organizations may each nominate 1 member. Individuals and organizations alike will contribute within the forums and elsewhere to shape the final People’s Congress.
Our presently elected Congress is broken. We are running out of precious time. If we do not organize to directly challenge the ongoing
abuse of power, we will have to live with the consequence of our failure to meet this challenge. I hope you will
participate in this action of direct democracy.
It is no longer enough to speak truth to power. Now we must be that power.
“It is time for us to reflect on the root causes of our common concerns. This is the focus and intention of the People’s Congress. Here and now, organizations, individuals, children, grandmothers, teachers, nurses, environmentalists, soldiers, the working poor, and the jobless are coming together to express their desire for a return to a truly representational form of government. We the People are coming together here, now, to express our desire for a more just society. And it is not only those goals which we seek to fulfill, but more specifically, a reform of the laws and abuses which foster the criminal takeover of our banking system, the endless barrage of propaganda by the media, the notion that war is an endless condition which needs to be fed by tax dollars which could otherwise be used for building community and truly protecting our future. We seek a restoration of our electoral system, and finally demand transparency returns to Government.”
Sylvan Beach, NY
I see these things quite as you do, and what a pleasure to read something so clear and articulate.
There is a point at which it will take more than just a nominal victory in the elections to actually change the real structure of power in America. The electoral and legislative machine has been completely usurped by not just the people of the corporatocracy, but by the momentum of the great beast-like organisms of state and corporation and data and force and mind-shaped masses, and always the money. It is much bigger than the TV reality show called The Elections. Ergo, the solution you and I seek must transcend elections, not merely win them. Personally, I think that solution will not be a Guillotine, though the target group seems the same. That revolution produced the strutting militant messianic Napoleon, and the same act in Russia produced not a benign socialism, but Stalin. I suspect we would get a provincial-minded religious zealot who brooked no dissent from the enemies of God and Party. I think the answer will come from what we are calling “social networks” — an unexpected shift in the way knowledge of the truth is used by masses of people without their being organized and told to do so — something like government becoming a running referendum in which we elect office holders who WRITE the bills, but they do not vote. The bills are voted upon directly by registered voters just like the Idol Dancer shows on TV.
I have listed “Get Up, Stand Up” on a couple of my aStore bookstores where I think it will be welcome. I would like to invite you and your readers to one of my blogs: http://jamesnpost.blogspot.com/
Thanks Meagan. That’s a ‘real world’ contribution.
Robert Greenwald posted this on Michael Moore’s site. It speaks again to activism at the local level and how insidious the corporate infiltration can be to undermine American children’s eduational freedom. Watch, then call the Koch brothers with your opinion of their actions.
It’s nice to hear my experiences and perception so clearly articulated (found this link from most recent AlterNet article) – yet I have a hard time imagining what I could do that would make any difference in how the world operates. Haven’t human beings and societies been corrupt for as long as people have existed? Is there an example anywhere of a “functional” society? So, I gave up a long time ago, partly due to a sense of futility, but also fear. At best, it seems, those who are politically active keep rolling the same rock up the hill, only to watch it roll back down… maintenance of small gains seems to be the best outcome, and people usually pay a high price for speaking out. I look forward to reading “Get Up, Stand Up,” but it sounds like the sort of book a person gets put on a list for reading. There’s no privacy on the web (good reason to stay off it, probably). Quaint ideas like civil rights & liberties are paid lip service but I doubt upheld for anyone who questions the status quo. As long as we keep saying and publicly agreeing that we have freedom, it must be true – it feels like questioning that position is inherently dangerous.
A People’s Congress blends vision with activism…long overdue. Go to
Facebook and PeopleForANewSociety.org for the way we as true democrats can use peaceful elections and Article 5 to complete the process our foremothers&fathers began: to create institutions & legal frameworks PEACEFULLY thru our still-existing political process, our candidates! NOT Demopublicans…. to build a New Society based on DEMOCRACY where we live & where we work. After profit & Capitalism has led to a poisoned our earth & disbelief in cooperation & rational progress, we see a New Society based on these ideas being even more powerful because Capitalism just doesn’t work anymore!! Replace it, Start Now. Humanity is at a crossroads of renewal and needs to confront what to do NEXT : go to Facebook & look for our greenprint model, view the videos of our October2011/DC Freedom Plaza Teach-In & our more complete website & tell us what you think. We need unity to go from 99% to 100%!
Please, all readers, go to ourwebsite and Facebook….PeopleForANewSociety.org. Katheryn’s questions are SO IMPORTANT…but together we can answer them…with the internet, we have a new way to enter & build a parallel Peaceful People’s Political Process …work to evolutionarily send WeThePeople to Congress & Senate,
use Article 5 to amend those institutions & frameworks (ending profit, private ownership of our productive industries & resources, corporate control of the State & two-party/one-party dictatorship, the wage, debt & financial system that enslaves us all)…Just as we ended Slavery, we can end OUR slavery. Hear & see our ideas, new for today yet combining all the better angels of our nature in a workable, 21st C model of cooperation, dignity and grassroots participation in a true DEMOCRACY. Thanks for this inspiring article Bruce! You are helping to raise the level of discourse &
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