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‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

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Posted on Jan 3, 2011
Flickr / Nick Bygon (CC-BY)

By Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim. The age of the practical is over. It is the impractical, those who stand fast around core moral imperatives, figures like Nader or groups such as Veterans for Peace, which organized the recent anti-war rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, which give us hope. If you were one of the millions who backed down in the voting booth in 2008, don’t do it again. If you were one of those who thought about joining the Washington protests against the war where 131 of us were arrested and did not, don’t fail us next time. The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation. 

“The left has nowhere to go,” Nader said. “Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power.

“Corporate power makes demands all the time,” Nader went on. “It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.”

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There is no major difference between a McCain administration, a Bush and an Obama administration. Obama, in fact, is in many ways worse. McCain, like Bush, exposes the naked face of corporate power. Obama, who professes to support core liberal values while carrying out policies that mock these values, mutes and disempowers liberals, progressives and leftists. Environmental and anti-war groups, who plead with Obama to address their issues, are little more than ineffectual supplicants.

Obama, like Bush and McCain, funds and backs our unending and unwinnable wars. He does nothing to halt the accumulation of the largest deficits in human history. The drones murder thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as they did under Bush and would have done under McCain. The private military contractors, along with the predatory banks and investment houses, suck trillions out of the U.S. Treasury as efficiently under Obama. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus, have not been restored. The public option is dead. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts, adding some $900 billion to the deficit, along with the reduction of individual contributions to Social Security, furthers a debt peonage that will be the excuse to privatize Social Security, slash social services and break the back of public service unions. Obama does not intercede as tens of millions of impoverished Americans face foreclosures and bankruptcies. The Democrats provide better cover. But the corporate assault is the same.

“Obama has the formula now,” Nader said. “You give the Republicans a lot of what they want. Many of them vote for you. You get your Democrat percentage. You weave a hybrid victory. That is what he learned in the lame-duck session. He gets praised as being a statesman and a leader and getting things done. Think of all the rewards he can contemplate while he is in Hawaii compared to what they were saying about him on Nov. 5. All the columnists and pundits say that now he can work with John Boehner. But once you take a broader view, it is the difference in the mph of corporatism. McCain is 50 miles per hour and Obama is 40 miles per hour.


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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, February 9, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (katsteevns):

“@ David Cyr, I think Chris Hedges would have to disagree with your advocacy of non-nonviolent protest.”
____________

Hedges is a still unreconstructed liberal, who is very painfully and desperately struggling with his agony in recognizing the objective reality of the massive amount of structural violence “nonviolently” done by (D) devious fucking liberals that he has lifelong loved.

Liberals developed a most sustainable fascism, in which coercively violent violence is seldom needed because the violence the system thrives upon is seductively “nonviolently” done. Whips and chains are not needed when people are persuaded to consider their enslavement to be freedom, and their exploitation to be a privilege.

Military dictator state repressed Egyptians are currently demonstrating that they have far more freedom and intelligence than Americans do. When they were attacked by government thugs, the peaceful demonstrators dug up the stones paving the street, with their bare hands, and they hurled a storm of stones that repelled the thugs.

The Violence of “Nonviolence” :

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=492&Itemid=1

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, February 9, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

“Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause. “
— Chris Hedges

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, February 9, 2011 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

@ David Cyr, I think Chris Hedges would have to disagree with your advocacy of non-nonviolent protest.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, February 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

I voted Nader….just for the record. :D

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By Justin, January 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is the point of understanding how our political
system as failed? Opinions here on the fringe may have
truth in them, but they do nothing to affect reality.
Americans can’t be asked to comprehend something as
complex as a political cycle. The only opinions that
can spread in our society are those simple enough to be
spoon fed by the media.

I keep reading this site and I keep feeling worse and
worse about this country. The only benefit to attacking
ignorance is the fading of bliss.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, January 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

I think the Civil Rights movement was a good example of nonviolent direct action producing a desirable result.  It is true that it was a liberal result—that is, what the activists wanted were only the liberal rights already guaranteed in the Constitution, and those they largely got (at least insofar as anybody has them any more).

Producing more radical results, for example, the material expansion of peace, freedom and equality, is problematical.  The state and its ruling class are sure to resist forcibly any attempt to change the order of things which they deem inimical to their position and interests, and which appears substantial enough to do so.  But meeting force with force requires military organization, which history teaches us results in only another and usually worse state, although it might save one’s life.

By a process of elimination, it seems that the way forward would be something that did not appear significant to the ruling class.  And the ruling class, because of their intrinsic sociopathy, definitely have blind spots.  So that’s what I would look for.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

What was the motivation for America’s “nonviolent” movement,
and what did the pacification of protest produce?

Article — The Violence of “Nonviolence” :

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=492&Itemid=1

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By Anti-Panoptic, January 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Clearly we are aproaching a time in which Jack London’s “The Iron Heel” shall
manifest itself as an actual force.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, January 10, 2011 at 2:27 am Link to this comment

My previous comment explained what is wrong with our
elections system and how to fix it. But it isn’t
going to happen.

In 2012 the corporations are going to give the
political parties billions of dollars to get out the
vote, and to terrorize fools with false arguments,
such as that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain
(the right to complain is an inalienable right, and
predates voting), if you don’t vote the bad guys will
win (in a rigged elections system, the bad guys
always win anyway, whether you vote or not), if you
don’t vote for the lesser evil, the greater evil will
triumph (the two evils have the same corporate
backers, so the corporations triumph no matter which
evil wins), not voting is abject submission to the
state (it is actually voting, doing your civic duty
to a state that is destroying you, which is abject
submission), not voting is “doing nothing” (refusing
to grant your power and authority to officials you
cannot hold accountable is not “doing nothing,” it is
doing the only responsible thing), a vote for a third
party or independent candidate is a protest against
the corporate candidates (no, any vote is your
consent to be governed by whoever wins the election,
so even if you didn’t vote for the winning candidate,
by voting in the election, you consented to be
governed by them), etc.

And the candidates will lie, since once in office
they cannot be held accountable, and people will
believe the lies because people want to believe.

The Democrats blame the Republicans, the Republicans
blame the Democrats, independents and third parties
blame both the Democrats and Republicans, and the
plutocracy, safe in the knowledge that our
Constitution ensures, as the framers intended, that
those who own the country, would always rule it,
laughs all the way to the bank.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, January 10, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

racetoinfinity, we also need an end to gerrymandered
districts, the abolition of the Electoral College and
the right to vote directly for all governnment
officials, the right to recall them during their
terms of office if they fail to represent their
constitutents, open, verifiable electoral processes
with no secret vote counts by computers or behind
locked doors where the public cannot oversee the
count, a way to ensure that the popular vote is the
final say and that political party superdelegates,
Congress, and the Supreme Court cannot overrule the
will of the people, and many more fixes to our
elections system. At one point I counted over a
hundred that are essential to ensuring free, fair,
open, honest elections.

Many of those fixes would require changes to the
Constitution, but that alone would not be sufficient
because our Supreme Court has the power to
“interpret” those changes to mean the opposite of
what they clearly say, and we have no way, short of
armed revolution, to challenge a Supreme Court
decision.

Now if there is one thing broken in your car, you can
fix it or have it fixed. The same if two, three,
five, or ten things are broken. But if you have a
cracked block, a broken transmission, and ninety
other things wrong with your car, it is time to get a
new car (or better still, a bicycle), because the
time, effort, and cost of making a hundred vital
repairs will be more than the time, effort, and cost
of getting a different car.

So what we need is a new Constitution, written and
voted on directly by the people. Don’t worry about
the violent and incoherent right wing—they’re a
minority, and if we had honest elections, the 50% of
us who don’t vote, would be proud to vote.

The problem is that we can’t get ANY reforms, because
we have no leverage. The major political parties and
the corporations that fund them are quite happy with
the way things are now. Ask them to fix things, and
they’ll form a committee and end up making things
worse, as happened with the introduction of voting
machines.

If I put a dollar in a vending machine and nothing
comes out, I might try it again. But after I’ve lost
a few dollars in that machine, I should have the
common sense to realize that the machine is broken,
and to put a note on it to warn other people so that
they won’t also lose their money. If people keep
putting money in the machine, the franchise owner
will keep collecting the money and won’t fix the
machine because there’s no motivation to provide
goods in return for money, if people will give you
money when they don’t get anything in return.

If we want honest elections, we have to start by
boycotting the elections we have now. We cant bring
about change by saying, “We demand honest elections,
and if we don’t get them, we’ll continue to vote in
rigged elections, because we voters are really too
apathetic to care if our votes count or not.”

The only way to get the vending machine fixed is to
stop putting money in it. The only way to get our
electoral system fixed is to stop voting—to say, “We
demand, free, fair, open, honest elections, and we
won’t vote until we get them.”

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racetoinfinity's avatar

By racetoinfinity, January 10, 2011 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

To quote Paul Street:  “I support (We need) a Democracy Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to fundamentally overhaul American elections in ways that would permit third and fourth parties to become relevant political and policy players. Election reforms required include proportional representation, full public financing (all private money out of public elections), a significantly shortened election season, the end of paid campaign ads, a totally different debate structure, etc.”

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By TAO Walker, January 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

“SuperMike1661”‘s own analysis of the condition our CONdition is in seems alright, as far as it goes.  The thing is, even the least analytical “individuals” this Indian knows are real clear in their sense of there being something loose in our Living Arrangement that is hell-bent on devouring all of us.  The absolute inseparability of whatever-it-is from what an earlier generation called “the money power” is not lost on anybody, either.

All the penetrating analysis in the world, however, and there is plenty to be found right here on this site, still does nothing (as “SuperMike1661 concedes) to effectively address whatever-it-is.  Nor does remarking upon the mere existence among us of a “class” fatally addicted to “the money power,” as such, and all its seductive charms, no matter how cogently, really get us any nearer to getting ‘hold of whatever-it-is driving the entire disease process.  All CW represents is that part of Humanity most grievously infected with it.

Perhaps the most devastating CONsequence of such events as yesterday’s in Tucson, beyond even the immediate carnage, is the diverting of so much precious Human attention away from the near-terminal “progress” of the disease process here now.  “SuperMike1661” feels this distraction was among the prime purposes of the string-pullers behind the scenes and, within the CONtrived limits of the virtual world-o’-hurt’s false-eCONomy operating-system, he’s quite correct. 

Our real “adversary” here, though, is not the CW, the feckless CONstituents of which can no-more resist the pull of its degrading depredations than your average committed coke-head, for example, could the “temptations” of an all-you-can-snort buffet.  It is the “self”-obsessed retro-viral entity itself we must respond-to.

We will either neutralize its process in-time to prevent the death of our Mother Earth, and help Her to recover from its after-effects, or we will ALL die trying.  In any case, the ‘thing’ its"self” will have eaten-alive its last Living World.

“SuperMike1661” seems pretty good at spotting the machinations of those he lumps together as the CW.  He admits to’ve been an aider-and-abettor of them at one time.  We might all benefit if he turns his analytical talents toward ferreting-out the modus operandi of the very undead ‘principal’ for which the CW is only its fleshed-out material manifestation in the Living Body of our Mother Earth.

We’re way past mere “politics” and even poker here, Sisters and Brothers….and well-into the do-or-die realm of plain old basic Biology.

HokaHey!

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By SuperMike1661, January 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

I partially non-posted earlier… due to a somewhat crazy day.  Here it is:

If you want to see how effective a few political murders can be in shutting down the Analytical Processes of even the most aggressive left-leaning thinkers, take a quick look at Juan Cole’s posting of this morning:

http://www.juancole.com/

Cole is so destabilized by this ruthless bloodletting, that he can not stray from the politically gruesome details of the Arizona scene.  So Cole fails to do the necessary class analysis to see WHO BENEFITS from murdering babies, judges and amateur politicians. 

As Deep Throat so harshly whispered at Bob Woodward in that parking garage many years ago, “follow the money!!”. The MONEY, THE MONEY… it is always about the MONEY… at the most strategic level.

Who indeed ALWAYS benefits when grizzly, brutal murders ‘chew’d, swallow’d and digested, appear before us’?

Thus our gaze is pulled away from ever growing hoards of gold possessed by ruthless, greedy, loathsome, class kings.

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By SuperMike1661, January 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker

My situation is that I post here under a very thin nom de plume.  Several truthdig readers know me, and truthdig has my business domain in its database… i.e. they know my company.

When I post under my own name, in a few months, my business will immediately be ended by clients whose political opinions are radically different than my own.

In the mean time, you can take what I say with as many grains of salt as you wish. 

I know what Strategies and Public Relations techniques that the Concentrated Wealth Class use to manipulate the diminishingly vibrant American polity.  I helped create and “war game” many of these concepts.

Regarding the murders in Tuscon yesterday:  (note how studiously most media will avoid the word “murder” because it is too precise… better for now to tamp down the emotion of “Leftist Activists”)  These murders are just the tip of the ice burg.  As the ever-tinier, ever-richer Concentrated Wealth Class finishes its looting of America, they will be throwing more dead bodies on the ground at an increasing rate. The rate will depend on how many bodies it takes to be “Operationally Effective” in blotting out the Analytical Processes of thoughtful Americans.  The Concentrated Wealth Class is preparing to move on now.  They have taken down the United States to the tune of an easy Trillion USD over the last two years, and the low hanging fruit is gone now. But as they withdraw from the US, and the West, over the next decade, they will deploy Covering Fire (propaganda designed to block out Analytical Thought in the adversary’s mind… research Frank Luntz)

The Murders now put people like Anarcissie on the spot. Is he running from the Murderers, or does he actually have a viable Anarchistic survival technique in mind?  The Murders are a less than gentle call to real democrats across the planet: “Do you want us to kill you too?”  This is what the Headline Engineers want Anarcissie to think.  They certainly do NOT want him thinking about THEIR bottom line. Don’t misunderstand me here.  CWC does not care if their robots murder Americans or not.  They DO care that “Operationally Effective” propaganda is flooded into the Western political debate… EFFECTIVE in stifling penetrating thought.

In the mean time, if you MUST talk about the deaths in Tuscon, be certain to use the word “Murder” and “Murders”.  Do not let Fox and Friends push these Murders onto some fake Nut Case. The Trigger Man is only incidental.  Keep your eye on the FORCES that MANIPULATED him.  If you let Fox and Friends get away from the word, MURDER, you have given them the Leixical Advantage. You get it?  The Murders are only a small part of a much larger Propaganda Process that seeks to be Operationally Effective in plugging up the Analytical Processes of would-be CWC opponents.

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By siamdave, January 9, 2011 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

A false premise, much as I admire Hedges’ writing in general. The ‘left’ has many places it needs to go. First, don’t let the capitalists set the debate - we are not ‘the left’, we are ‘the center’ - where most people find themselves congregating naturally. Second, we find our way to light switches and truth, and stop accepting the lies of those who are indeed on the far right - those who desire capitalist plutocracy over democracy. And for some ideas on getting there - just go to Green Island   http://www.rudemacedon.ca/greenisland.html  .

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By Tom Edgar, January 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

300 million Americans.  Of which 150 million could vote, and about 75 million do. (Please don’t quibble about the figures.) On this site a couple of dozen Americans, and others, do quibble about the reasons and the cures of the non democratic America, whilst the rest neither know nor care of the existence of us or, for that matter, of this forum.

Venezuela isn’t alone with the “Power of recall”.  As for more democratic election procedures the majority of western nations are so. Noting it amongst we, who are more politically aware than the average Joe, will not change a thing.

It is not for this antipodean resident to advocate any sort of direct action to Americans.  But, unfortunately, any U S actions, especially in the economics area, affects my country, and most others also. I find it distressing that the myth of the “American Dream.” and the country, that in my, not so enlightened, youth I found so attractive. is losing all credibility at an exponential rate by allowing the powerful, and rich to dictate everything from exploitation of the people, both American and others, manipulation of the socio/economic areas and the management of, and entry into,wars or international trade agreements.

I’ll not even attempt to promote an agenda for a correction of America’s problems. I respectfully suggest that this little group, and your affiliates
won’t have a lot of influence either. You are vastly outnumbered by those who don’t know or don’t care.

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By TAO Walker, January 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Not that “SuperMike1661” (who only a few days ago was about to go “underground”), or anybody else here actually did, yet, but don’t panic, Sisters and Brothers.  The Chinese People are not as “dumb” as they might look to the perps of the PRC/Rockefeller CONs-piracy.

The best laid plans of “CONcentrated Wealth” may yet go disastrously (from the fucked-up point-of-view of the “self”-deluded damned fools possessed not of, but BY it) awry.  Best we do step away from the carnage….out of Harm’sway.  These CONgenital idiots need to experience finally, in all its magnitude and intensity, the naturally inevitable CONsequence of their addiction to “money” and “power”....the illusory seductions of the booby-trapped “self.”

There’s a lot more going on here in The Living Arrangement than meets the glassy eyes of those still stuck, for now, inside the virtual world-o’-hurt cum “global” maximum security forced-labor system.  Better if we let its owner/operators go ahead and slam the doors.  Otherwise they won’t get the big surprise they’ve got coming to ‘em.

Without going into the details just now, let’s just say it’s an Old Indian trick.

HokaHey!

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, January 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

again, the long trenches speak to us
the winding roads, the dusty tanks, the eminent voice,
clearly Harvard bazooka baritone

and what is it
to speak against
this entrenched machine?

in this time
only the wind
carving stone with dust

in a thousand years
perhaps
an etch will show

as it stands now
voices are mute on the national public radio
even Gross hedges her bets against Hedges

instead
there he is again
like a genital wart rearing its ugly head

this time on Rose
now on NPR
now on the MacNeil/Lehrer Turd Hour

just shallow Brooks
between a river of ignorance
and an ocean of war

how pleasant his smile
how friendly his round balding head
how moderate his gently bubbling voice

as if it were effervescent spring water
and not vile sulfuric steam rising from magma:
more war, perpetual war, IMF war, for the economy, stupid


01-08-2011. D.R. Zing, Why Brooks and Not Hedges in NY Times OP-ED? (for Chris Hedges, of course)

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, January 8, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Exactly, David. But it is a far trickier question
than I’d thought.

In pre-WWII and WWII Europe, there were two groups
that weren’t just passive supplicants. Not only were
they active militants, but they were also political
parties, the Communists and the National Socialists
(Nazis).

Many, if not most, of the people who belonged to and
voted for the Communist Party, were unaware that the
Communist Party leadership had orders from Moscow to
cooperate with the National Socialists, because they
had (as I also had until I read Jan Valtin’s book,
“Out of the Night”) identified the non-violent trade
unions, liberals, and progressives, the passive
supplicants, as standing in the way of revolution.

In other words, the Communists were willing to work
with the National Socialists because the Nazis,
unlike the moderates and liberals, were willing to
fight.

To firmly vote for those who would, if they could get
enough support, eliminate the thugs, isn’t an option
that the thugs offer. But the thugs will eliminate
anyone who gets in their way.

I also agree with Ward Churchill’s thesis of
“Pacifism as Pathology,” but so is violence unless it
is solely in self-defense.

What annoys me is that while knowing from the
Declaration of Independence that government derive
their just powers from the consent of the governed,
and that the way that governments demonstrate that
consent is by holding elections, many people insist
that they do not and will not consent, yet they
continue to vote, not realizing that their vote IS
their consent.

In Venezuela, according to a friend of mine who lives
in Caracas, not only are elections verifiable, and
the popular vote counted, but the popular vote alone
decides the result of the elections. No Electoral
College, no Supreme Court intervention, and the
people have the right to directly elect and directly
recall all their elected officials at any time.

So, because they have accountability, they don’t need
term limits. If, instead of having to beg Congress to
impeach an elected official who has betrayed their
constituents, their constituents could simply vote
them out of office directly and immediately, there
would be far fewer betrayals.

As things stand now, we can know for a fact long
before the polls open, who will be the next
President, by simply looking online to see which
candidate got the most corporate donations. That will
also be the candidate who best serves the interests
of the corporations, of course. So I knew Obama would
win, I knew why, and I knew what his agenda would be.

That wasn’t an election, that was a fixed horse race.

Compared to some more democratic countries, we are at
a distinct disadvantage, as programs like COINTELPRO
deliberately and systematically deprived us of our
most promising leaders. For decades, anyone who
opposed the system and was able to attract followers,
was eliminated or discredited.

It is sort of sickening to look around and think,
“Hey, I’m alive, I survived, so I must be second-
rate.” But that’s how it is.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, January 8, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (Mark E. Smith):

“If a gang of thugs is going to kill you, but before they kill you they say, ‘Before you die, we are going to give you the chance to vote. You can vote to authorize us to kill you, or you can vote to authorize somebody else to kill you.’ Well, there’s nobody else about to kill me, just them. And since they’re going to kill me anyway, I can refuse to vote to authorize it, as my last protest, since I’m going to be killed anyway.”
____________

Since you’re certain the menacing thugs will kill you, but they’ve allowed you to vote on that before you die, a more militant resister’s answer would be to firmly vote for those who would eliminate the thugs and their thuggery… if they could ever get enough support to do so from all those threatened by the thugs. Then you could at least die standing in assertive opposition, rather than calmly sitting there waiting.

However, passively refusing to assist the thugs would certainly be a far better answer than the “progressive” liberal’s “intelligent” response. Liberals would feverishly active manage a massive thug funded campaign to get more murdering thugs elected, so the liberals could then have a greater number of thugs preparing to kill them… so that, before they die, the liberals could busily first call, write and email the thugs to — on their knees — beg the thugs to not be the thugs they voted for.

Few can decide when they will die, but we can all decide how we will die.

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By SuperMike1661, January 8, 2011 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Mr. Smith, a multifaceted entity like USG often appears to be in conflict with itself. This is the nature of complex objects, e.g. the human body needs Oxygen but it also needs to create Carbon Monoxide.  Thus both gases, which could annihilate each other, are essential to the body’s viability.

Concentrated Wealth, CW, requires that we bicker while it beds its Whore, the PRC. This bedding is the central, culture-killing nation-rape of the Globalization Process, and CW needs us to argue among ourselves while it impregnates the whore to birth the ultimate soul killing monster: The undereducated, TOTALLY controlled PRC worker-slave.

This worker-slave is used to PERMANENTLY oppress Western workers… i.e., the FREE western worker NEVER Recovers BECAUSE he CAN NEVER COMPETE.

Now hovering well above this slaughter of one working class by another, is Concentrated Wealth, CW.  CW is the Goldman Sachs facilitators and their clients, Saudis, Bank of China, White House, etc. Goldman and its clients will be in permanent command after the globalization process is finished… unless the American Left pulls itself together and rides to the rescue. 

Keep your eye on the ball, my friend, and PUSH BACK IF YOU DISAGREE.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 8, 2011 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

SuperMike, I didn’t ask, “....why would we boycott
PRC goods if our government buys PRC goods.”

What I was trying to say was that a person is not
really boycotting PRC goods if they vote to
legitimize a government that uses their tax money to
buy PRC goods.

In other words, I’m not boycotting Brand X if,
instead of buying Brand X myself, I give you my money
while knowing that you are going to use it to
purchase Brand X. I’m still buying Brand X, I’m just
using you as my agent to do the purchasing.

It doesn’t matter what my reasons are for boycotting
Brand X, the reasons the government purchases Brand
X, or the manner in which they do it. If I truly wish
to boycott Brand X, I don’t authorize anyone else to
use my money to buy Brand X. In order to effectively
boycott Brand X, I have to be the one making the
purchasing decisions.

The analogy is that I cannot say that I am opposing
what my government does, as long as I continue to
vote to authorize them to do it. If I wish to make
the decisions about what is done, I have to stop
delegating my power and authority to the government
to make those decisions for me.

In ‘08, I knew that whether Obama won or McCain won,
the wars of aggression would continue. I also knew
that any vote at all, even for a peace candidate, was
a vote for whoever won the election, and that the
peace candidates had no chance of winning. So any
vote at all, was a vote for war. Since I’m opposed to
war, I didn’t vote. The wars continued, but I didn’t
vote to authorize or legitimize them. Nor did I vote
to authorize the government to use violence against
me if I protest the wars.

Many people say that it doesn’t matter, since the
government will continue the wars anyway, so why not
vote. If a gang of thugs is going to kill you, but
before they kill you they say, “Before you die, we
are going to give you the chance to vote. You can
vote to authorize us to kill you, or you can vote to
authorize somebody else to kill you.” Well, there’s
nobody else about to kill me, just them. And since
they’re going to kill me anyway, I can refuse to vote
to authorize it, as my last protest, since I’m going
to be killed anyway. I fail to see what good voting
to authorize them to kill me would do, except to
allow them to say (and perhaps show the video) that
before they killed me, I had consented, by voting to
authorize them to kill me.

Not voting won’t stop them from killing me, but at
least it doesn’t authorize them and grant them my
consent.

Not voting won’t stop our oligarchy from doing
whatever it wishes, but at least it doesn’t authorize
them and grant them our consent.

And there remains the very likely probability that if
the oligarchy saw that only the fewer than 20% of our
electorate that approves of what our government is
doing voted, and the other 80% stayed home, and
realized that they only had the consent of 20% of the
governed and were opposed by 80%, they might take
their money and leave before things got out of hand.

With only a 20% turnout, no democratic government in
the world could continue to recognize the U.S.
oligarchy as being a democratic or legitimate
government, so they would be forced to break
alliances, stop trade agreements, and withhold
credit.

That’s what happened in South Africa. After decades
of violence, the people decided to boycott an
election. With only 7% turnout, the United States and
other countries could no longer claim that the
Apartheid regime was the legitimate government of
South Africa. The Apartheid regime attempted to
install the winners of the election and continue as
usual, but without the open support of the U.S. and
foreign allies, they had to begin making concessions.

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By SuperMike1661, January 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Cyr is almost certainly correct.  The recent case of Lannie Davis, the liberal Whore who can not keep his pockets less than full from his lobbying client’s donations… Out of Africa… is a case in point.

Why do these Liberals whore around with Concentrated Wealth?

The Liberal whores around SIMPLY because he is greedy.  Greed is an Old Testament malady that was ranked right up there with Whoring. Lannie Davis is a whore because liberalism does not satisfy his need to be in the spot light. Most every Liberal is a Closet Corporate Democrat.  We need them but just barely.

We need to snuff some of these Whores Out however. They are no better then Henry Kissinger who earns huge fees in Beijing every month via Kissinger Associate. We will keep the Liberals who will take an open stance against CW.  The rest can be given up to the Tea Party.

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By Anarcissie, January 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, January 8 at 2:11 am:

‘... What good is boycotting PRC goods if you vote to
authorize your government to use your tax money to
buy the PRC goods you’re boycotting? ...’

Nation-state version of Emmanuel Goldstein.

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By SuperMike1661, January 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Smith asks why would we boycott PRC goods if our government buys PRC goods.

This is not a difficult question.  Under the WTO any PRC goods that are purchased by the USG are purchased under Open Bid conditions. Ergo, there is no decision to be made by USG Purchasing Managers.  If a Chinese company wishes to place a bid for 100 tons of Aluminum requisitioned by the DOE, then they are the automatic supplier if they are the LOW bidder.. end of story.  The USG MUST buy PRC goods if they are low bidder.

However, I want to focus our minds on the political opportunity that exists where Concentrated Wealth, CW, takes the PRC to bed as its whore… as does Walmart, the biggest non-local investor in the PRC.  This is only one case that we could cite: Why is The Walton Family romancing the PRC, builder of the 5th Generation Stealth Fighter, the P-20?  Why do they sleep with the whore that destroys American jobs, entire American Industries and now the whore threatens the last vestige of American power in the Pacific… its Carrier task forces?  (whether you are pro-military or not, our allies in Asia desperately need the assurance that our Carriers give them).

Or to take another case, we could ask why does the NYSE facilitate the job killers in China by raising tens of BILLIONS USD every month for Chinese Banks?  This is done in the raging IPO market in NYC. Why do they do this for the Western culture destroyers in the PRC??

Why does CW hate America?  Why does CW want tax breaks on its US income SO THAT IT CAN INVEST that INCOME IN THE PRC?  Why is General Electric, the world’s largest manufacturing company investing so much in job killer China?

Why is American Concentrated Wealth abandoning America??

Look, we kill them or they kill us.. politically. We need to get off the theoretical discussions and GET ON THE ACTION TRAIN… before they have command of the few communication media left open to us. 

DON’T KID YOURSELF.  CORPORATE STRATEGIC PLANNING REQUIRES THAT CORPORATIONS TAKE OVER THE INTERNET SO THAT the internet CAN BE PUT at THE SERVICE OF PROFIT OPTIMIZATION… LIKE THE CONGRESS, LIKE THE REST OF THE MEDIA.. LIKE EVERYTHING UPON WHICH ITS dead eye falls.

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By David J. Cyr, January 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (John Best):

“any popular, ‘philosophy’ which causes ones attention to be distracted from de-corrupting one of the parties, or at least populating the ranks of a new minimally corrupted party, is certainly buying more time for the present corruption.”
____________

The Right’s most useful “popular philosophy” that has time-tested proven itself to most effectively murder social justice movements, neutralize dissent, and nurture societal corruption is the philosophy of liberals. Liberals exist to ensure that a Left cannot exist.

Liberals make every best possibility an impossibility.

Whenever liberals fail to perfectly provide any evil, they try try again. They won’t be satisfied until they succeed in perfecting every evil.

The liberals who are not consciously intentionally consummately evil are all perpetually cognitive dissonant life forms. That’s why they can’t breathe without lying. They’re so removed from reality that they don’t even realize they are lying. Their devious lives are filled with honest lies.

We are all in the sorry state that we are because liberals are so very successful in being what they are.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Of course I want to be marginalized, John Best. It is
those “dunderheads” who vote and organize political
parties, who don’t want to be marginalized because
they prefer to try to be mainstream and part of the
system.

What good is boycotting PRC goods if you vote to
authorize your government to use your tax money to
buy the PRC goods you’re boycotting?

If you can comprehend the usefulness of boycotting
unhealthy products, perhaps someday you’re see the
usefulness of boycotting elections which legitimize
an unhealthy form of government.

Every argument you use against election boycotts
would apply to boycotting PRC goods. When our
government and many other governments are buying PRC
goods, your boycott only marginalizes you. If you’re
mainstream enough to vote, and to support the current
system by encouraging more political parties to seek
power within it instead of opposing it, why aren’t
you mainstream enough to buy PRC goods? Do you think
the PRC cares if you boycott them?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, January 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Way to go SuperMike1661!  Finally, a positive action item.  In your post just below, of January 8 at 1:24, you suggest a boycott of PRC manufactured goods.  I SAY YES! 

Let me add to your ‘Boycott the PRC’ move…...also, stop eating crappy food.  The body American is disgusting, because we eat processed shit, sugared and salted.  Grow your own!  Build your soils!  Don’t buy new Chinese crap! 


You also point out the waste of time that is the meaningless debates.  Bravo.  3 or 4 of these proponents of various ‘perfect schemes’ are worse than time wasters, they are mind poisoners.  To the 3 out of 4 dunderheads here: any popular, ‘philosophy’ which causes ones attention to be distracted from de-corrupting one of the parties, or at least populating the ranks of a new minimally corrupted party, is certainly buying more time for the present corruption.  If you want to be marginalized, withhold your vote, or support some unrealistic fringe philosophy.  Unfortunately, you’ll live to regret it.  End of speech to dunderheads.

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By SuperMike1661, January 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Smith says, “There is a global struggle against capitalism,imperialism, neoliberalism, globalization, colonialism, corporate exploitation, and injustice.”

Ok, but is this the most useful concept for political action?  I think it is stronger to assert that the Struggle is against Concentrated Wealth.  With this formulation, we can attack the most evil nexus in modern history: Corporate incest with the PRC and its hundred million slave manufacturing workers that are RAPIDLY destroying the viability of Western Culture. 

The point is that Globalized Concentrated Wealth hates everything that can not contribute to its bottom line and IT WILL DESTROY OUR CULTURE as it pursues endless profit. IT WISHES US DEAD. If it can stamp us out now, it can rule this century and beyond with its Chinese whore warmly buried in its bed. Concentrated Wealth hates human rights, and for the first time in 10,000 years, Concentrated Wealth, CW, has an opportunity, via Globalization, to snuff us out ... permanently.

We need to act against the obviously low hanging political fruit immediately. We must strike back by illuminating CWs dire threat to our very existence… there may be less then half a decade before EVERY potential point of resistance is wiped out, and we are permanently doomed.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for
dinner is what we have today. The two wolves are the
Democratic and Republican parties, both wholly
dependent upon and competing to curry favor with
their corporate donors, and the lamb is the American
sheeple. When the corporatocracy isn’t devouring us
and our economy, they’re eating our lunch. In a
democracy, the people would have a voice in
government, not just a referendum on which wolf they
prefer.

Michael Cavlan, what a political party does is seek
power within the existing system. Our system cannot
be reformed or changed from within and should be
opposed.

A few weeks back a dude named Jacob Appelbaum, who
does Tor and was associated with Wikileaks, tweeted
that “Out of the Night” by Jean Valtin might turn out
to be his alltime favorite book. With a
recommendation like that, I got it from the library
and read it. It is the autobiography of a guy who was
in the Communist Party before and during WWII. It
seems that both the Communists and the Nazis had
correctly identified progressives, liberals,
moderates, and reformists as the biggest obstacle to
change, so instead of fighting each other, they
cooperated to destroy the progressives.

Of course when Nazis and Communists purged the
dissidents in their ranks, they killed them. We have
made some real progress in that today’s dissidents
are usually banned rather than killed.

Both the Nazis and the Communists were extremely well
organized, while the progressives were not. But being
extremely well organized means that you have to have
a hierarchy and maintain party discipline. The more
organized you get, the more you become what you had
intended to change.

Right now 31% of voters are Democrats, 29% are
Republicans, and 38% are independents. If those
figures are correct, only 2% are third party voters.
But the half the electorate that doesn’t vote
outnumbers all the other groups. And in the only poll
that ever asked them, most gave their reason for not
voting as their believe that nobody on the ballot
would represent them. Sure, there are a few people in
Congress like Bernie Sanders who try to represent
their constituents, but the major parties, backed by
billions of dollars in corporate spending on
elections (for which, in return, the corporations get
trillions of dollars worth of drilling rights, no-bid
defense contracts, tax breaks, bailouts, State Dept.
and military pressure on governments that try to
resist corporate exploitation, and other benefits),
have an unbreakable lock on U.S. politics.

To seek power within a corrupt system is to invite
being corrupted by that power. Those who do not
become corrupted, are the ones who do not become
powerful. Bernie Sanders will never get a
Congressional leadership position, and Members with
much less seniority get better committee assignments.

There are no easy answers, but there are some simple
things that we can do. If we want our country back,
we have to stop voting to give it away. Trying to
form third parties at this point in time is sort of
like an elderly, obese person with diabetes,
arthitis, and heart disease, deciding to train for
and compete in the Olympics. The training will
probably do wonders for their health, but it won’t
put them on an even footing with healthy, young
athletes.

There is a global struggle against capitalism,
imperialism, neoliberalism, globalization,
colonialism, corporate exploitation, and injustice.
Those of us who oppose wars of aggression, torture,
environmental pollution, and tyranny, need to support
that struggle and to refrain, in every way that we
possibly can, from supporting or legitimizing the
things we oppose and the governments that embody
those things. You cannot oust an oligarchy or
bureaucracy by becoming part of it.

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By SuperMike1661, January 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

I miss the relevance of all this “what is Capitalism” analysis.  At the working level, we simply need to keep in mind that ANYWHERE that wealth is concentrated in a small number of hands, THAT is a target for political attack.  However, there are targets that are more attractive than other targets.  The two most attractive targets are Sovereign Wealth Funds, e.g. Saudis and The UAE and secondly are the “can not lose” banks that never fail at turning a profit because of the way that they are structured as “Toll Collectors”... Goldman is a prime example.

NONETHELESS… even the PRC is now an ally of Western Corporate money.  The NYSE now regularly raises hundreds of Billions in USD for big PRC banks and other Party-Owned entities via a continuous flow of IPOs.

My point is that we on the Left live in a target rich environment, and we only need to point our analytical guns and they will fall on a good target.

Out political enemies wish us dead in their killing hospitals and disgusting health uncaring systems. They WANT us wasting time over the “nature of capitalism”.  I say no! Let us get to the fight.  A lovely set of targets exist at the nexus of the PRC and its Western Corporate handmaidens.  Ergo, we can attack both parties by attacking PRC slave goods with a growing boycott in this decade.

Let the Left get Practical.

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By Anarcissie, January 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, January 7 at 12:33 pm:

Anarcissie: “I’m referring here to the whole capitalist thing, including ownership of capital through stock, differentiation of owning, managing and working classes, alienation of capital and labor, corporations, etc. etc. etc. ...”

That’s the problem. Capitalism is nothing more than the free exchange of goods and services. ...’

I think you’re going to have to restrict the meaning a bit more to come up with anything useful, analytically speaking.  What you’ve got there could include hunter-gatherer gift economies, which are even observed among non-humans.

Several developments have really made a difference since the days of the gift economy, such as the invention of military organization and slavery, the rise of city-builders, the ability to separate capital from labor, the development of markets, the invention of money, and so on.  One of them was the replacement of states ruled by feudal lords by states led by the bourgeoisie—one of the most revolutionary developments in human history.

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By TAO Walker, January 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Maybe John Best could lay-off this Old Wolf’s People.  We aren’t the ones eating-his-lunch….as just the appetizer before getting to his “self.”

The entire virtual world-o’-hurt is run by rapacious egos.

Hokahey!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, January 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, in your comment of January 7 at 2:41 pm you present the illusion that the ‘king’ or government owns everything.  The truth is quite the opposite: the finance/investment companies own the government, and especially the ‘puppet king’ Obama.  Obama’s top contributors in 2007 were all big Wall St. names.

But being fair, you so make a very good point in your first paragraph.  Accountability from CEO to CEO in a short-term profit driven environment makes for lack of investment in the US, and supports ‘globalizing out’ our wealth making ability to the highest bidder.  Meanwhile the brokers collect their commissions and bonuses.  Wall St. is being run by wolves, and our wealth is being depleted by them…......the government, corrupted, is complicit, but certainly not in control.

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By Fat Freddy, January 7, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

bnerin

real change comes
from boycotts, strikes and massive civil disobedience.

Let me expand on this, if I may by posing a question. Who owns BP? Who owns Apple? We know who manages them; the CEO, but who really owns them? If you have a claim on a pension, or a 401(k), there’s a good chance, you do. But because you hand over your money to an asset management company like BlackRock, or Morgan Stanley, and they put it in mutual funds, hedge funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), they retain the shareholder rights, not you. If you look at the top 20 shareholders of BP, they are all asset management companies, with BlackRock being #1. They are also the #1 shareholder of Apple. Beginning to see the picture? There is no real ownership of anything in this country, anymore. The banks and investment companies own everything. And who did Obama just appoint as his Chief of Staff? A former JP Morgan exec? (I don’t mean to single out Obama, or the Democrats, both sides do it.)

I draw a clear distinction between businesses and finance companies. Finance companies operate only with the “permission” of government (The King). However, now, the finance companies own the businesses, so the businesses only exist by the permission of the government.

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By Fat Freddy, January 7, 2011 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

SuperMike1661,

Why would Fat Freddie claim that PRC Slavers are somehow enabled by the IMF and the Dollar (as the key Reserve Currency)?

Let me ask you one simple question. Why did Nixon close the gold window, and break the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971?

Trade protectionism, and currency manipulation are forms of Mercantilism. If you don’t understand what Mercantilism is, I suggest you do some research.

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By David J. Cyr, January 7, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar labeled bnerin):

“Why have not the brains, the leaders of all these progressive movements join (sic) together to come up with effective targeted boycotts, strikes, and disobedience?  WHERE IS OUR IMAGINATION”?
____________

The answer is transparently evident in the only polls that matter:

The corporate state compliant nice “intelligent” liberal sheeple routinely flock to the polls to combine all their (D) votes together with all those (R) votes of those mean and “stupid” conservatives to provide the 99% popular vote mandates for more war and less justice… every time they corporate (R) & (D) party obediently vote.

IMAGINE THIS:

What if all the liberal (D)upes stopped being (D)isgraceful, (D)elusional, (D)isingenuous, (D)ishonest, (D)evious, (D)eceitful, (D)ecadent, (D)espicable, (D)epraved, (D)egenerates?

What if all the liberals stopped being (D) Evil?

What if all the fucking liberals, who keep saying they really, really want progress, actually started to sincerely vote for progress (for a change), and therefore never voted for any Democrat ever again?

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By Fat Freddy, January 7, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I’m referring here to the whole capitalist thing, including ownership of capital through stock, differentiation of owning, managing and working classes, alienation of capital and labor, corporations, etc. etc. etc.

That’s the problem. Capitalism is nothing more than the free exchange of goods and services. My profit (capital) is nothing more than the goods I produce beyond what I consume (and expenses). To raise capital, is to use other people’s money in return for part ownership or interest upon repayment. The Crony-Capitalist system we have today is a result of collusion between private business and government. If you remove government, all you have is private business. Of course there needs to be some institution(s) for contract resolution, and such, the question is, do we want one specific institution to have monopoly power over those disputes, or do we want a system of private courts where the two parties, either agree on before the contracts are signed, or agree upon after the dispute? A “court” that is based on its reputation for fairness, not a court formed by political appointees, and “democratically elected” judges. Why even have lawyers representing each of the two parties?

The thing one needs to realize, is that business hate free competition, and free markets. Seriously. Joseph Schumpeter wrote about it. But even more recently, Veronique de Rugy has an article in Bloomberg: Why Businesses Can’t Stand Free Markets:

Think about it. Competition is good for consumers because it keeps prices low while increasing the quality and choices of products and services. Yet competition is hard work for businesses. They have to fight for customers by innovating and evolving in ways that consumers demand.

To avoid the gritty work of fighting it out in a free market, organized private interests—such as Louisiana’s licensed funeral directors—lobby the government for special regulations, preferential tax treatment and laws that keep out competition. They lobby lawmakers to constrain the same free markets in which they originally achieved success.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-23/why-businesses-can-t-stand-free-markets-commentary-by-veronique-de-rugy.html

Once government is removed from the equation, and replaced with a system of private arbitration and mediation, the markets will be free for competition. When businesses compete on a level playing field, both the consumer and the worker benefit. Businesses not only compete for customers, they compete for skilled labor, as well. To fight the free market, is to help corrupt businesses and politicians.

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By Tom Edgar, January 7, 2011 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

I keep seeing reference to this mythical country with a government of “Democracy”.

Can anybody actually show me to which country this term has ever applied?

PsychoBABBLER. quoting Johnny Cash’s.  “Everybody being being equal when the “MAN” comes around.” Is “THE MAN” that imaginary being who represents the ultimate in authoritarian,  undemocratic, totalitarian control of all life?

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By bnerin, January 7, 2011 at 2:20 am Link to this comment

We have more and more protests; we send thousands of letters to Congress and
the White House; we have brown bag lunches; we have hundreds of community
minded organizations all with idealistic goals for the common good; we have
131 handcuffed to the fence around the White House; we have Jon Stewart and
his 250,000 rally—and what has that brought us?  Zero in terms of real
change like ending both wars in 2010, single payer healthcare- the real reform
that would lower our healthcare costs, a true graduated income tax to reduce
the huge division between the mega-rich and most of the rest of us, a
government controlled by big money.

Why can’t we learn from Howard Zinn who put it concisely; real change comes
from boycotts, strikes and massive civil disobedience.  Why have not the brains,
the leaders of all these progressive movements join together to come up with
effective targeted boycotts, strikes, and disobedience?  WHERE IS OUR
IMAGINATION

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By Psychobabbler, January 7, 2011 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

kkken530,

What a knob you turned out to be. Democracy is the non-negotiable alternative to tyranny. “Two wolves and a lamb deciding whats for dinner” is two wolves and a lamb deciding whats for dinner. “Just static” is just something that happens on my television set.

Your fear of inferiority is based on stupid human notions of supremacy.

I will not be accepting you (or anyone else) as an authority on anything ever without actual proven evidence of your behavior as determined by me understand?

Talk down to people everywhere and anywhere as you choose, but your usefulness will be determined democratically, and if democracy is causing inconvenience to your ideal conditions than you need to come to terms with some things within your community unless your community is unjustly persecuting you as an individual in which case we will have to destroy them with revolution action.

Johnny Cash said that Everybody will be treated all the same when them man comes around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhtcaRRngcw

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By kkken530, January 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mark E Smith,You’re wrong about Democracy being the answer to Tyranny,as Democracy can be the Tyranny of the masses,running rip-shod over the minority.The true answer to Tyranny is a Republic,with strong laws to protect the minority.Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding whats for dinner..

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By SuperMike1661, January 6, 2011 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Michael Cavlan can speak for himself, but for me, “organizing” has come to mean going Underground. The huge Free Speech that money gives our microscopic rulers makes ordinary political combat with them less and less inviting.  Why play football against 5000 foot tall monsters?

Let us face facts Now: Through their careful infestation of the Globalization process, Middle Eastern and Western Owners (a few thousand people) have taken totally secure command of the World’s economy and therefore its political processes.  Competing with them is out of the question, and we need to clear the stage for political action that has, at least, a smidgen of success potential.

Will anyone argue that, now for the first time in world history, they have not achieved lasting victory in their blood sucking ruthless pursuit of Everything?

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By TAO Walker, January 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

(Sorry about that last lonely “use”....hit the wrong button.)  So to try again….

Would Michael Cavlan RN be so kind as to help this Old Indian out here?  What is it exactly he is “organizing”?  That is, what exactly are the to-be-organized constituents of the “organization” he means to establish…or is in the process of establishing?

Also, what exactly is the intended FORM of the “organization” itself, that he means to see established?  Would it be, for example, a political party, or maybe a mutual-aid society, or possibly a religious congregation, or (perish-the-thought) a paramilitary unit….just to name some common kinds of “organization”?

These questions are asked not to put him on-the-spot, but because it happens so often in discussions that participants will assume the meaning they intend for some term or concept is effectively “universal,” and so understood and agreed-to beforehand by everybody involved.  So, for instance, this Old Man is figuring that the ‘raw-material’ of Michael Cavlan RN’s “organizing” process is almost certainly going to be (is already?) that of the presently ubiquitous Human “individual.”

If so, does he mean to end-up with some size or another of a random collection of these “self”-CONtained ur-entities?  Or might it be his intention, using an ORGANizing process he’s no-doubt good-at, to help them become ORGANically formed into truly ORGANic Human Communities, with the ORGANic integrity necessary to their helping us surviving free wild Peoples to fulfill the given ORGANic function of Humanity within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth?  ‘Cause that would be as welcome here in Indian Country as it would be wonderful for the meta-ORGANIZATION of ALL-concerned.

ALL TOGETHER…NOW!!!!

HokaHey!

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By TAO Walker, January 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

use

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By Ralph Kramden, January 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s about time someone in the media started taking back the term anti-Semite from the Jews and applying it to anti-Arabs. Arabs are Semites too but in the US of Ignorance that is not aknowledged.
I voted for Nader every time he ran. Let us stop voting for these deceivers like Obama: he talks liberal but walks Wall St. He just handed the left a new slap in the face, his press secretary has close ties with Wall St. How much longer can he fool us or how much longer are we to allow his treachery?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661

Well I can only tell ya what I am doing.

In Minnesota a group of us have done the work of creating a new political party.
It is called the MN Open Progressives. We have aligned ourselves with some of
the other State Progressive Parties like Oregon Progressives, Vermont
Progressives, Washington Progressives, the California Peace and Freedom Party
and will work with SOME of the state Green Parties, like New York for example.

I am also working with a small group of former Greens who left the Green Party
(like myself) after the National GP did some, lets just say IMHO very
undemocratic stuff to the Nader supporters in the GP. All of them are former
National Green Party Delegates, as I was..

So find your state, look for a Progressive Party. If there is none, then contact
some of us who have and work (very hard work organizing BTW) to start one on
your state..

As a way to organize, as a platform to push the above agenda. Not to “win
elections” IMHO as the current corrupted system makes that impossible right
now but to start the very necessary work to CHANGE THE SYSTEM..

You can e mail me if you wish
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I have conacts with people all over the country..

OR you could sit here and blog…................................ Looking at the problem,
instead of working on the solution..

I choose to organize.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Mark Smith

Yeah, I do remeber all of that. It sucked, still does.

I have the same thing happen to me. When you speak politicaly on an issue,
those who carry water for power have one answer.. Smear..

Ccase in point, Ralph Nader. He is a “spoiler” and NEVER, I mean NEVER deal
with the ISSUES that he brings up. I have Dumbocraps who STILL whine about
Nader being a spoiler.

As for COMMON DREAMS and OP ED NEWS, I thank God that they are finally
being exposed, in a public forum for what they do. The second they loose
credibility, then thay are no longer effective as propaganda tools.

Rock on Mark. Good talking

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By SuperMike1661, January 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Why would Fat Freddie claim that PRC Slavers are somehow enabled by the IMF and the Dollar (as the key Reserve Currency)?

Is it not clear that if the Mexican Peso where the global reserve, endless, hopeless armies of Chinese slaves would still destroy the Western economies (but not the fortunes of the Western and Middle-Eastern rich?

There is too much misinformation on this page for rigorous debate to co-exist.

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By SuperMike1661, January 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Many of the posts that I have read here over the last few days are great, but as an old revolutionary and despiser of corporate imperialism, I am a little depressed.  We have only 12 months before the next election cycle.  Our traditional enemies, Objectivists and Corporate Lackeys (read Kissinger,etc.) have substantial political momentum… while we post excellent ... posts.

We have been beaten down over the last 20 years by excellent PR and Strategic Planning, disciplines in which I work, but we are not organizing for Counter Attack.  Can someone tell me where I can go, a site or organization, that will help me prepare for the ongoing death-struggle with these murders and blood suckers?
POLITICAL POWER GROWS IN THE MIND OF OUR FUTURE CONSTITUENTS:

You want to see Excellence in PR? Take a close look at the word “Obamacare”.  Here their experts excite their base by combining two reinforcing ideas in a SINGLE WORD: a “birther” sort of hatred for Obama with their even greater HATRED for the tiny gains we made last year in better health care for our beleaguered, sick people.  They play in a league far above ours, and we have not even begun to catch up.

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By Maryann T. Fox, January 6, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a life long Dem….I AM FINISHED VOTING FOR THOSE SCOUNDRELS!!!  YES, BRING ON NADER!!!!!  I’M READY FOR A PERSON WHO WILL REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.  I DON’T CARE IF PALIN IS UP AGAINST OBAMA….HE DOESN’T DESERVE THE PRESIDENCY AGAIN, MAKING BELIEVE HE WILL SUPPORT THE PEOPLE.  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY COUNTRY?

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By Anarcissie, January 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, January 6 at 1:08 pm:

‘“Anarchy can also be corrupted, when it becomes
capitalist. Without capitalism, there’s nothing wrong
with anarchy. But once it becomes capitalist, it has
to allow the rich and the strong to become richer at
the expense of the poor and the weak, so it becomes
nothing more than another tyrannical hierarchy.”

Wrong. Capitalism is anarchy. ...’

I don’t think so.  See Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia.  Note also that capitalism as we know it doesn’t begin to appear until the rise of relatively large, relatively stable states in the late Middle Ages.

I’m referring here to the whole capitalist thing, including ownership of capital through stock, differentiation of owning, managing and working classes, alienation of capital and labor, corporations, etc. etc. etc. —not just private enterprise (started by the bacteria) or markets (prehistoric, although may be later than the bacteria).  You need a pretty strong system of property law and public order to keep something like that going, especially with the destruction of feudal loyalties and relations coupled with the wide and increasing discrepancies of wealth which will arise.

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By RichardKanePA, January 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MarkASmith, and others banned by websites for little reason, let us demand to them and at them that they stop supporting wilkileaks. There is a native American statement “Walk a mile in his shoes”. I think sober coments in support of freedom will allow everyone to understand each other better leading to a lot more freedom. The young musician who committed suicide after very personal sexual pictures were posted to the internet also relates to what people are free and not free to expose.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 6, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Hello, Michael Cavlan. Yes, I was banned from OEN and
Rady Ananda was one of the editors who voted to ban
me, ostensibly because I had been disrespectful to an
editor. Coincidentally, of course, at the same time
that I was banned, it was made a banning offense to
mention election boycotts or not voting on OEN.

Later, after Rady herself had been banned from OEN,
and had posted some truly disrespectful comments
about the other editors there (I had merely referred
to an editor as “kid,” rather than using any
expletives or obscenities), Rady still insisted that
she had been right in voting to ban me and that I,
alone of everyone who had been banned, including
herself, was the only one who had deserved to be
banned, and everyone else was banned unjustly.

Rady has written some excellent articles lately, but
I have a lingering distrust for her. I stood up for
her and others for many years on an election
integrity mailing list that was plagued with attack
trolls, but she wasn’t going to risk her status as an
editor at OEN by being the only one not to vote to
ban me, and continues to insist her vote had been
justified.

OEN has a double standard. A Democratic Party
operative was allowed to post page after page of
vulgar personal attacks against me without being
banned. Unlike Rady, who was later attacked in the
same way by the same person and foolishly tried to
defend herself, which resulted in her being banned, I
didn’t fight back. I just noted each personal attack
by saying, “That was a personal attack and is against
the rules,” and then continued discussing the issues.
My arguments must have been too persuasive, as they
began looking for any excuse to ban me.

Someone who just posted a comment directed at me,
rather than at the topic under discussion, in another
thread, is likely to appear here momentarily and do
the same thing again. When people don’t like what I’m
saying, but can’t refute my arguments logically, they
resort to attacking me personally. The job that
political party operatives are paid to do is to
discredit anyone who opposes the oligarchy, is not
limited to working within the existing system, or who
displays any signs of anti-fascism, such as empathy,
mercy, compassion, or love of justice, equality,
democracy. Fascists have nothing but contempt for
such “effeminate” weaknesses. That’s why I don’t
allow political party operatives on Fubar.

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

What is laughable is the people think they belong to a group that will reward their loyalty.

No. Libertarians and individualist anarchists just want to be left alone. The only “groups” we want to be part of, are those of mutual, voluntary consent.

The “Kochtopus” is a derogatory name coined by the late Samuel Edward Konkin, III, an anarcho-libertarian, for the group of libertarian organizations [Cato Institute] funded by billionaire Charles Koch.

- David Gordon

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon37.html

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Traditional, Bakunin style anarchy, opposed
commodification of people, land, and resources. If
you want to see how fearsome (not!) anarchy is, talk
to some young practicing anarchists,

Would that include the anarchist states in Spain in the 1930s? They confiscated and banned all the money, and instituted a death penalty for anyone caught using money.

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

If modern slavery is an issue in our minds, why do we allow corporations to deal with (and make love too) the PRC on a daily basis?

Because trade protectionism is a form of Mercantilism and enslaves us. You need to take a long hard look at the IMF and the manipulation of currencies. You need to look at why the US insisted on the US Dollar be used as the world’s reserve currency in the Bretton Woods Agreement. We are our own victim. See: Triffin’s Dilemma.

http://www.aier.org/research/briefs/975-triffins-dilemma-reserve-currencies-and-gold

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Exposed!  It’s a plot between Ron Paul and Mao Tse Tung to steal Mickey Mouse!

You win the internets.

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Anarchy can also be corrupted, when it becomes
capitalist. Without capitalism, there’s nothing wrong
with anarchy. But once it becomes capitalist, it has
to allow the rich and the strong to become richer at
the expense of the poor and the weak, so it becomes
nothing more than another tyrannical hierarchy.

Wrong. Capitalism is anarchy. What you refer to, the “Robber Baron Myth” is the product of Mercantilism and a government controlled monopoly system of justice.

Capitalism is nothing more than the free exchange of goods and services. So long as the Natural Law is properly enforced there would be little to no poverty. Our government controlled courts have been violating the Natural Law since their inception. If people are not “allowed” to freely exchange goods and services, then someone else is in control. Do you want someone, or some institution violate your right to enter into a private contract? If you place “restrictions” on these freedoms to prevent “Robber Barons” you place restrictions on yourself and your neighbor.

The existing poverty would be rapidly removed, and future poverty almost entirely prevented, a more equal dis­tribution of property than now exists accomplished, and the aggregate wealth of society greatly increased, if the princi­ples of natural law, and of our national and state constitutions generally, were adhered to by the judiciary in their decisions in regard to contracts.

Full legal brief here:

http://lysanderspooner.org/node/32

What alternative do you offer to the free exchange of goods and services? Clearly, what we have today is not free markets, but the remnants of Mercantilism. Freedom is an illusion people are allowed to have by the powers that be, so that if and when they misbehave, there’s something to take away from them. Prisons use this system. They grant inmates certain privileges, then take them away when they break the rules. Freedom and rights can not be granted by government, they can only be taken away.

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By Fat Freddy, January 6, 2011 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith

I do not recognize the authority of the Constitution.

The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them.

- Lysander Spooner

Not only is the Constitution as a contract null and void, it was not even a democratic process which enacted it.

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By David J. Cyr, January 6, 2011 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a painting of a clown):

“The best person to speak to about the instant runoff is Bev Harris at Black Box Voting.  She was instrumental in helping counties in Florida revert back to a medium that could be recounted.”
____________

PBOS? Worse than DREs!

Yes, electronic voting is problematic, but it’s not The Problem. We have electronic voting because we have a sheeple problem… way too many sheeple, and way too few people.

In response to one corporate proposed evil — direct recording electronic voting machines (DRE’s) — as they habitually do, liberals flocked together their great sheeple numbers into well organized energetic activist herd support of the other corporate evil proposed means of electronic voting — paper ballot optical scanners (PBOS). Liberals feverishly advocated for a wrongly perceived to be lesser evil corporate controlled scanner technology. Liberals have proven themselves to be truly the most useful tools of the corporate state, because they so easily predictably and reliably support any and every evil the corporate state provides that’s specifically manufactured for liberals to dutifully and wrongly perceive to be a “lesser” evil. It is the mistaken — or willfully wrong — perception by liberals that the other evils they choose are “lesser” that makes the success of those evils so much greater. By their refusal to stand in support of truly good choices, liberals routinely ensure that greater evil is done… liberals ensure that problems become too big to solve. The cyclical grand Democrat delusions of liberals have kept creating ever grander disillusionments… because the fraudulent “solutions” of devious Democrats become greater problems.

In anything approximating a representative democracy votes would actually be really valued… and treated so. Votes would be cast on paper ballots **HAND** counted by residents of the community of each electoral district, with many other members of those communities carefully watching, witnessing the transparent counting of all votes — Hand Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB).

HCPB is faster, more accurate, more reliable, and far less prone to election fraud than any form of electronic voting. It is to voting procedures what Single-Payer is to healthcare. Its the only adequate answer. HCPB encourages participation of people in the process. Every form of electronic voting discourages the participation of people, and further alienates them from the process. A actual democracy would require people to meaningfully and substantially participate in the actual decision making processes. The governments of this nation and its states are nothing remotely similar to democratic governance. We live under dictatorship of the corporatariat.

Electronic voting is a minor impediment to the creation of a democracy here. It’s not particularly important how votes are counted, or whether they are even counted at all in this nation, because elections are so thoroughly rigged to ensure that it doesn’t really in any substantive way matter whom is mindlessly robo-voter approved in “electable choices” restricted to the two interchangeable part candidates corporate preselected for each office of any significance.

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By tropicgirl, January 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

dear Amy Hill—

The best person to speak to about the instant runoff is Bev Harris at Black Box Voting.  She was instrumental in helping counties in Florida revert back to a medium that could be recounted.

Some of these proposals, regarding elections, have deceptive names, as we have all experienced. Bev came out to Palm Beach numerous times and provided facts, at her own expense, and was always there with the results of actual testing. She is the best and we are lucky to have her. I believe she believes in honest elections, not partisanship. And she is kind enough to be willing to assist communities.

http://www.blackboxvoting.org

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By TAO Walker, January 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald’s thesis suffers from the deficiencies illustrated by the commentary on “too-short-a-rope,” in Hexagram 48, The Well, in The Book of Changes (which, one suspects, the Prince of “CHANGE!” presently occupying the Oval Office has probably never consulted).  The fingering here of “empire” as the culprit, the generator of this spate of ills to which “modern” homo domesticus is heir, comes-up empty.  “Empire,” for all its ugliness, is still only a sort of mega-symptom of the actual disease.

The captive peoples suffer, along with our Mother Earth and All Our Relations, with a near terminal case of the Galactic equivalent of AIDS.  It’s ‘name’ is “civilization.”  Its ‘agent’ is an un-dead retro-viral entity which persists in ‘time’ by systematically draining Living Worlds of their Natural Vitality, which it processes into the various kinds of degenerate “energy” it “powers” its own “self” with.

It effects this by co-opting a component in a Host’s natural immune system.  These (now-rogue) particles then attack their Hostess’s Living Arrangement, doing the agent’s “dirty-work.”  Its most devastating manifestation in HumanKind, which as-it-happens is a component in Earth’s natural immune system, is the process of “individual”-ization….the lethal infestation of an alien “self” into a Natural Person.

It’s pretty much all downhill from there.  “Individual”-ized Humans are collected in “cities,” which began the systematic destructive exploitation of their surroundings.  “States” are put together to amplify the process.  Empire follows as a matter of course, until today the thing’s gone “global.”

So going after “the empire,” as tempting as it might seem, will prove to be just one more feckless exercise-in-futility.  We need to get-at and neutralize the actual disease agent.  We do this by getting free of it’s “hook,” which is the “self” itself.

Hell no, it won’t be easy….though over the thousands of years we’ve been addressing this CONdition we have found some Ways to do it.  These are, in-fact, available everywhere. 

So The Medicine to cure “individual”-ty, freeing Natural Persons to coalesce again into the natural organic form of our Kind, call it “community,” recovering thereby the necessary organic functional integrity to respond to mutually beneficial effect to our Mother’s ailment, is simply to detach from the “self.”  Our Ancestors figured it out long ago, and its the Heart of every ancient “teaching” out there today.

So no excuses, tame Sisters and Brothers, because now it’s gotta be obvious….you have only your “self” to-blame.

HokaHey!

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By David J. Cyr, January 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar, being a holy rat):

“A lot of money, power and status is tied up with imperialism, and my guess is that if any anti-imperial types looked like they were going to get some real power, they’d be promptly neutralized in one way or another by the ruling class.”
_________________

No need to guess:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_V._Debs#Arrest_and_imprisonment

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By Anarcissie, January 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald, January 6 at 12:47 am:

‘Anarcissie, I didn’t hear anything about all those other candidates actually taking a principled, and public stand “Against Empire” (as Michael Parenti would say), and as you point out, maybe I didn’t hear anything because the corporatist/Empire media buried the story. ...’

I don’t know—I don’t bother much with the imperial media.  I do know several people have raised the issue, but it doesn’t seem to have any traction.  During the recent election season, Palin went out of her way to warn Rand Paul that anti-imperial talk would doom his otherwise bright future with the Republican Party.  A lot of money, power and status is tied up with imperialism, and my guess is that if any anti-imperial types looked like they were going to get some real power, they’d be promptly neutralized in one way or another by the ruling class.

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By Anarcissie, January 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

John Best, January 5 at 9:43 pm:

‘... So THIS is why these ‘libertarians’, and ‘anarchists’ (who see to be disguises for right wing tool/drones), harp on IP!  They’re happy to destroy our IP laws so China can additionally have it’s way. ...’

Exposed!  It’s a plot between Ron Paul and Mao Tse Tung to steal Mickey Mouse!

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By Korky Day, January 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Good comments above on pro-rep (proportional representation).


Nader and Hedges neglected to mention that’s the cure for the 2-party system.


In the shorter term, why can’t Nader and Hedges recruit (maybe in http://www.PledgeBank.com etc.) voters who agree to vote against both the Republicans and the Democrats IF a pre-set number of voters pledge to do likewise?


Then they won’t chicken out at the last minute because they will know they have the numbers to win.

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By Alan MacDonald, January 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, I didn’t hear anything about all those other candidates actually taking a principled, and public stand “Against Empire” (as Michael Parenti would say), and as you point out, maybe I didn’t hear anything because the corporatist/Empire media buried the story.

But I would submit that if that is the case, then the first candidate in 2012 who is truly able to break through the corporatist media blockade and sensoring of commitments to the American people that Empire IS the seminal problem, the causal cancer in our system, and who can convey a compelling narrative story of how Empire is the hidden cause of all their sorrows and disgust will be the clear leader and winner of the popular vote.

In order to get out this shocking and revealing story that puts all the pieces together, all that should be necessary is to forcefully present that compelling narrative (and explaination) to the people, by getting through the blocking and sensoring of the media—- and the candidate who does that first and best will have an energize, massive, and unstoppable support of followers and voters across the entire spectrum of non-elite America (which, of course, is the vast vast majority of all average people; left, right, middle, of all but the ruling-elite).

A formula for victory for whoever compellingly makes the case, wouldn’t you say?

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By Alan MacDonald, January 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, yes, I’ve got Taibbi’s “Griftopia” on my Kindle, and will complete it after I finish Loretta Napoleoni’s “Rogue Economics”.

I don’t know if I would say Empire is as much “ill defined”, as it is not presented to the American populace.

They could be as disgusted as you are with the effect of Empire’s economic oppression and inequality, that you point to, if they understood that the same Empire which launches the wars that kill their kids ‘abroad’, is also the Empire, which loots their savings, jobs, and homes ‘at home’.

I can appreciate your concern with having “self-propelled issues on the ground” to inform the thinking and increase the disgust of the populace.  Issues like anti-war, economic oppression, terrible inequality, increasing spying and police-state, etc.—- and these individual issues on the ground, as you say, are getting both exposure and traction ‘on the ground’ through the efforts of many “issues groups”, alternative media (like FSTV), and the better web sites.

However, I think there is some additional and integrated value in understanding a meta-narrative which connects and provides a common thread between and among these problematic issues that each can disgust and motivate people —- and the only narrative that I can suggest which both enlightens the whole story and actually is causal of all these individually disgusting trends is that Empire is the common driver.

Admittedly, Empire is only understandable as the common pathology and driver of all problems ‘abroad’ and troubles here ‘at home’ if one can understand the currently hidden fingerprints of Empire on all these individual issues, problems, offenses, and attacks on people.

My hope, with some conviction, is that the common causal thread (and threat) of Empire can be woven into an understandable and compelling ‘narrative’ story—- which is the only way that most people actually absorb, believe and act on anything.

Quite simply, I don’t think there is any other common thread and causal driver, except Empire, is behind all these issues, nor anything else that actually plays the role of antagonist in this morality play/narrative.

What other factor than Empire could be the hidden antagonist in this story, but Empire?

In a strong sense today, the right, through the forceful and effective propaganda of Frank Luntz et al, have woven a believable, if false, narrative around the hyped central character of ‘free marketism’, ‘American exceptionalism’, Bush’s inane “Freedom Agenda” and “Democracy Project” agaisnt the false protagonist of ‘terrorism’ in order to con people and engender extreme fear and faux patriotism.  And despite the clear facts that the average American people are getting screwed blue and trapped in this false narrative, the left is offering no such complete, correct, and provable narrative to counter the complete fabric of this elaborate lie.

The accurate narrative of Empire as the real, though disguised, protagonist/villain causing all these otherwise unexplainable problems, pains, crises, and shocking disasters ‘abroad and at home’ is the a progressive counter-tale that rings more true—- and actually is more provably true.

“They don’t hate us for our freedom (which we really don’t have anyway)—- they hate us (and we hate our own domestic oppression) because of our Empire”

One final point, Mike, the “sustainable excitement” and interest of the whole narrative, and its evil protagonist of Empire, can also be the basis, plot-line and theme for bringing up all those individual issues and problems that are disgusting, shocking, and motivating of action, which you speak of..

Best,
Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By rollzone, January 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

hello. united in consumptive complacency. indentured
servitude to the banks. rights defined by the moment
of need. absolute power in authority. life to be
rationed according to merit. America is a lone wolf
heroic spirit. the spirit will survive individual
defeat. its manifest destiny will root in alternative
fertile environments, or America will prevail. the
only direction for the left could be full disclosure.
the direction for the right is complete secrecy. a
third party as always is a wasted vote. it is easier
to kill the oligarchy than to say it. in every town
we know where they live. politics solved. just
stating the facts. returning to consuming
electricity.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, January 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, your comment of January 5 at 7:59 pm woke me up to a political tactic, it reads, “Progressives can put corporations of the defensive in a very serious and permanent way:  We need to continually ask them why they are in bed with murdering”, “IP stealing” and “slave running” politicians of the Peoples Republic of China.”

So THIS is why these ‘libertarians’, and ‘anarchists’ (who see to be disguises for right wing tool/drones), harp on IP!  They’re happy to destroy our IP laws so China can additionally have it’s way.  And of course, they try to make ‘progressive’ a dirty word.  I wonder exactly when Rove pulled the trigger on the word ‘progressive’. 

What is laughable is the people think they belong to a group that will reward their loyalty.  As if it’s all as simple as picking the winning team at a football game.  Perhaps they don’t understand ‘the arrogance of power’.  It’s ‘What have you done for me lately’?  Better be the best little rabid dogma-spewer in the kennel, or master gonna turn you loose.

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By Amy Hill, January 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can you please mention Instant Runoff Voting and the impact of the voting system
on the polling booth phenomenon?  It is crucial.

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By Anarcissie, January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald, January 5 at 9:03 pm:

‘Anarcissie, I only recall one candidate in 2008 presidential election who was asked, and more importantly answered, “What is your position on the Empire in the US”? ...’

Besides Nader, Democrats Kucinich, Gravel, Richardson, Republican Paul, and McKinney (Green), Barr (Libertarian), Baldwin (Constitution) and Moore (Socialist) all made anti-imperial noises.  There were probably others.

In spite of mostly being opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other imperial business, people didn’t vote for these nominally anti-imperial candidates.  The facile explanation is that they were deceived by the media, but that merely begs the question.

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald: what you say is great!

Yet we need to put our Empire war into terms that some voter will get excited about, and I fear that “empire” is too ill-defined to create sustainable excitement. Suggest we put Self-Propelled issues on the ground.

Example: Why is the United States going broke while WALL STREETers continue to rake in millions per year?... Goldman Sachs bonuses are usually about $10 Billion per year for less than 30,000 employees… DISGUSTING!

Is Goldman Sachs an American Company?  Answer: It could not BETRAY America and BE American at the same time.  It is too full of smart people for that.  GS has sold American out, and we need to bring this corporate blood sucker to account… read Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia.

we need to create DISGUSTED fellow travelers… by the Millions!

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By Alan MacDonald, January 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, I only recall one candidate in 2008 presidential election who was asked, and more importantly answered, “What is your position on the Empire in the US”?

I know of only one candidate who answered this question and committed to confront it exactly as it was asked——because I asked it publicly to Ralph Nader in the Unitarian Church in Portland Maine during his campaign event—- and he publicly said that Empire was the seminal and initial problem and enemy of our founders, and that it still was, and that he was dedicated to exposing, confronting, and overcoming the same type of combined political and economic (corporatist) Empire that the British Empire (and its military might) were in the First American Revolution. In summary, he agreed that EMPIRE is the focal problem in the United States today.

If Edwards, Clinton, Obama ever said boo about the disguised ruling-elite Empire that is the cancerous cause of all our various ‘symptom problems’—- like foreign oil wars, financial looting, domestic economic oppression, spying, secrecy, torture, tyranny, etc.—- I must have missed their eloquent answers.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By TAO Walker, January 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

....and the mutual-masturbation-fest goes on.  Maybe if we just close or eyes and pretend a run-amok “self”-obsessed virtual subspecies, homo domesticus, isn’t insanely destroying the very Living Arrangement that birthed them, and apart from which they’re all completely non-viable, we’ll wake-up one morning in a workers’ paradise, and this’ll all’ve been just a bad-dream….NOT!!

Pay no attention to the death-cult behind the crime-syndicate behind the prescription-drug dealership behind the show-business behind the curtain.

HokaHey!

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

We need to CORNER our Liberal friends on the PRC issue. Do they support PRC slavers? Yes or No!


Do they support the “S Stamp” for Slavery?  Yes or No!!

Do they support the continuing slaughter of innocent Chinese citizens? Yes or No!! (currently the PRC targets religious minorities for the Gulag. Next year it will be someone else)

Do they support FREEDOM for the Noble Peace Prize Winner?? Yes or No!!

We need to light fires on this red hot issue.  No other issue is as Strategic as is the PRC.  It cuts into the Repub party too.  Many Tea Partiers had businesses that where destroyed by PRC slave competition, but the DO NOT know this.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike

I did just that. As a candidate for Congress and for US Senate in Minnesota. I
made the point that China was involved in loss of jobs and brutal oppression of
the people of Tibet and elsewhere. I also pointed out just how BOTH political
parties are in bed with the Chinese government. Pointing out how they both
wanted China to have most favored trade relations. I used the campaign as a
way to get that message out, amongst others.

Our merry little campaign was ignored by liberals, often who sported bumper
stickers like Free Tibet and End The Wars. Who are/were big Bill Clinton
supporters and LOVE Hillary Clinton.

I only buy New Balance and Redwing shoes (made in the US) or Sorrell Boots
(made in Canada. All product that I buy I check to see if it is made in China. If it
is, I will not buy it unless I absolutely have to. I always look for an alternative.

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Progressives can put corporations of the defensive in a very serious and permanent way:  We need to continually ask them why they are in bed with “murdering”, “IP stealing” and “slave running” politicians of the Peoples Republic of China.  We need to demand action of US consumers by boycotting China exports.  We need to insist that all goods coming into the US from China be stamped with the “S” for Slavery.

In the same way that the Tea Party gets great mileage from the “illegal immigrant” issue, WE can get great returns from the “sleeping with China Pols” issue.

But wait: we would actually have to DO something if we seek political power in this way.  Would we rather just talk?

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

If modern slavery is an issue in our minds, why do we allow corporations to deal with (and make love too) the PRC on a daily basis?  With 100 million slave manufacturing workers, the PRC is the greatest slaver in the history of the world. Its slaves compete with and destroy the jobs of our free workers, yet we do not BOYCOTT its products.  In fact the PRC is not even on the progressive hit list. Why? 

Why do we whine and whine about theoretical issues of slavery?  Clearly we have a practical issue confronting us each and every day as jobs and whole industries flee the United States for the PRC.  Yet we are mute on this real, practical and death-dealing issue.  Progressive’s silence on this matter allows huge US private money to flow into job creating projects in the PRC… now openly in the SEC IPO Market.

If we are to beat down the vicious corporate leach that brutally sucks on our necks, we need to go about the practical business of building political POWER… now!  When do we start on this? When do we stand up and call for a national boycott of the country that has slaughtered over 60 millions of its people and counting? (the data is in the public domain if we want to wake up and get off our asses).

“China” is one of dozen issues that progressive activists can speak out on, and we can CHANGE MINDS. But when do we start?

The time for hazy theoretical discussions is over.  Do you want the Tea Party to give you permission?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Mark E Smith

How ya doing Sir? You were one of us regular contributors who were banned
from Op Ed News, right? One of the infamous COTO Brigade? Good old tough,
liberal, progressive Op Ed News. Amongst us was Rady Anannda who had been
managing Co-Editor of Op Ed News. Similar to the Common Dreams mass
banning. All for the same basic reason. Telling the uncomfortable truth about
Obama, BEFORE and right after the (s)election.

You are absolutely right about anarchists being very decent people, as well as
police provocateurs at protests. I was a Street Medic during the RNC in St Paul
2008. I even wrote a story about it on Op Ed News. Before I was banned
obviously.

When the Macy’s window was smashed by black clad and hooded individuals,
this is what is reported to have happened.

The police lines opened up and two persons, clad in black and ski masks ran
out with a large pole. They ran up and smashed the window, then ran down the
street and the police lines opened up and they were gone.

Of course they did it right in front of TV cameras who showed it over and over.
The corporate media refused to listen to us as we tried to tell them this.

I also know the RNC 8, who are fine young people. One of them, Garrett takes
care of kids for a living. During his court case, he used Mr Seuss as his defense
and to explain himself and his motives. Or at least he tried to before the Judge
told him to be quiet.

They are all self described Anarchists and I am proud to call them friends and
allies. I am not an anarchist myself but I have a great deal of respect for these
fine folks.

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By elisalouisa, January 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

By tropicgirl, January 4 at 6:53 pm
We have to realize that big business IS big government IS big
globalism.

By tropicgirl, January 5 at 5:16 pm
And, denying the truth about 911 reminds one of the citizens of Germany,
and even the Allies, at first, denying the death camps.

By tropicgirl, January 5 at 3:29 pm
  .  you have the globalist mobsters that have squatted in the (progressive)
movement, since its inception.  .  .I suggest the way to the answers that are
needed today, is to admit the truth about 911, the truth about progressivism and its relationship to globalism.  .  .  

I agree tropicgirl. Such topics may be too sensitive, even for Truthdig.

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By tropicgirl, January 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

I get a real kick about so-called “progressives” bemoaning slavery in the south in the 1800’s. You don’t have to look back that far to see the acceptance of slavery, yes even by “progressives”.

Free for All Trade deals are slavery, just out of sight, on an island, or another country.

Illegal immigration is slavery, and human trafficking, in front of us.

Yet, the “progressives” are peachy with it. Truth deniers, of a sort.

And, denying the truth about 911 reminds one of the citizens of Germany, and even the Allies, at first, denying the death camps. At this rate, the progressives, including Nader, would have us all holocaust deniers, marching into the ovens, or into the FEMA camps, in our case, with the locks on the outside.

But time will change that, like it did in the past. Truth will out. Then a lot of people will probably be regretful. The way things go.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 5, 2011 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

John Best, the alternative to tyranny is not anarchy,
the alternative to tyranny is democracy.

A hierarchy is not a democracy. You seem to be stuck
on a hierarchical party structure—anything else
looks like anarchy to you.

Power corrupts, so it has to be distributed widely
and equitably. That’s the only possible solution to
corruption. While good, courageous, uncorruptible
candidates might act only out of conscience, or might
fear party discipline if they didn’t, the oligarchy
has no qualms about assassinating anyone who doesn’t
go along to get along.

For the umpteenth time, are you going to try to put
good people into the Mafia or the KKK to reform them?
Will a few non-criminal, non-racist people change the
nature of the Mafia or the KKK?

Our government is much more racist than the KKK and
has killed more people of color to steal their
resources than the Mafia could ever dream of killing.

You are talking about putting good people into a
totally corrupt system. Sure, some of them might
survive, as have people like Bernie Sanders, Alan
Grayson, Howard Dean, John Conyers, and others, but
the price of their survival is to know that they can
rant all they wish, but they will not be able to
bring about change, and if they don’t like it, they
can quit their jobs or risk being anthraxed. So they
carefully observe the limits on what they’re allowed
to do, and they act as part of the system rather than
in opposition to the system. In other words, they’ve
been co-opted to the service of fascism, wars of
aggression based on lied, torture, and everything
that they consistently oppose.

Because they are a part, if a powerless part, of the
system, they serve the system well by allowing dupes
to believe that it is possible to bring about change
from within. Were they to actually try, they’d be
JFKed or Wellstoned in an instant.

Anarchy can also be corrupted, when it becomes
capitalist. Without capitalism, there’s nothing wrong
with anarchy. But once it becomes capitalist, it has
to allow the rich and the strong to become richer at
the expense of the poor and the weak, so it becomes
nothing more than another tyrannical hierarchy.

Traditional, Bakunin style anarchy, opposed
commodification of people, land, and resources. If
you want to see how fearsome (not!) anarchy is, talk
to some young practicing anarchists, like your local
Food Not Bombs group. The bomb-throwers, window-
smashers, and advocates of chaos you’ve been taught
to fear were mostly police provocateurs and they know
no more about anarchy than you do—only that it is
something to fear. That’s what the oligarchy wants
you to think, that the only alternative to tyranny is
violent chaos. Well, I’ve got news for you—violent
chaos is what we’ve got now, even if most of the
violence, except for the police brutality and the
torture in our open and secret prisons, is in foreign
countries. Our government practices violent chaos and
allocates trillions of dollars every year to
practicing violent chaos.

Not even a President Chris Hedges could change that,
because if he tried, the military-industrial complex
would have him assassinated, probably in broad
daylight, blame a patsy, orchestrate a cover-up for a
hundred years or so, and continue the violent chaos
for profit that is its only purpose.

The problem isn’t that the wrong people are in power,
the problem is that our system does not allow an
equitable distribution of power in the way that a
democratic form of government would.

You seem to feel that there’s nothing wrong with
despotism as long as you have a benevolent despot.

I disagree.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, January 5, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, following up on your initial view stated at January 5 at 5:50 am…............give the idea a few election cycles with the right sorts of contracts.  You are absolutely right, money will work hard to find the weak links, it always will.  Ever vigilance. 

The idea rests on a party hierarchy that can itself resist corruption since it would write and enforce contracts.  Damn near impossible task, but I the alternatives I hear regarding anarchy?  Get serious.

But back to the idea…....surely we can find people who can better resist corruption.  I nominate Hedges.  Chomsky?  Who are the serious, tough, principled, knowledgeable people out there? 

Two core principles so far: 1. Legislators will be limited in compensation to no greater than the average for the region they are entrusted with.  This includes present wages, future wages, pensions and health care.  2. Should the party smell corruption of the ‘public servant’, (the term now has more meaning) they now face punitive action.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 5, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, read “Slavery’s Constitution: From
Revolution to Ratification” by David Waldstreicher.

The real abolitionists never had a chance. In order
to form a union, the framers needed the slave states
to ratify the Constitution, and the slave states
wouldn’t have ratified a Constitution that abolished
slavery.

Progressives point to the fact that slavery was
eventually abolished anyway, as being progress, but
that’s another lie. The 13th Amendment didn’t abolish
slavery, it established it as legal punishment for a
crime.

Compare slavery to another gruesome barbarity, the
death penalty. Many countries have abolished the
death penalty. We have not. Do you think it would
held if we had a Constitutional Amendment that said
that the death penalty or Capital Punishment was no
longer legal within these United States except as
punishment for a capital crime of which the person
has been duly convicted?

Would that abolish the death penalty?

Of course not.

Well, that’s how we “abolished” slavery. Our Supreme
Court even went so far as to find that actual guilt
or innocense didn’t matter, so long as the proper
legal rituals were performed and the person was duly
convicted of a crime. The fact that they didn’t
commit the crime is irrelevant, the only important
thing is that something was defined as a crime, they
were charged with it, brought to trial, and convicted
(often on perjured testimony) of that crime. They can
spend the rest of their life in prison, and some of
our prisons are former slave plantations which are
still run exactly as they were when the slaveowning
ancestors of the present prisons guards who still
live in their ancestral homes on those
prison/plantations ran them, or even be put to death,
for something they didn’t do, as long as the
formalities of the legal procedures were adhered to.

One of the leading abolitionists in the country at
the time of the Constitutional Convention was
Benjamin Franklin. He was sent to the Convention to
present an anti-slavery petition, but realizing that
if the Constitution abolished slavery, it would never
be ratified by the slave states, he withheld his
petition from the Convention. Then he lied and told
people that the Constitution had given us a republic,
when he knew full well that it had given us a
plutocracy. A republic is a form of democracy where
the supreme power is vested in the people, but rather
than exercising it directly, they exercise it through
their elected representatives. Franklin knew that our
Constitution gave us no right of recall and no way to
hold our elected officials accountable during their
terms of office, which is the only times they’re
supposed to represent us and the only time they have
power, so we have no way to exercise our will through
them, which means that the Constitution did not give
us a republic. He withheld his petition and he lied.
And this was one of the lesser evils of the delegates
to the Constitutional Convention.

We were given a tyranny and told that it was a
democratic form of government. Some people still
believe it. They rationalize, well, maybe we can’t
hold our officials accountable while they’re in
power, but we can elect different officials once
their terms are up. But we can’t hold those officials
accountable either.

Because we can’t hold them accountable, they can take
away every right the Constitution granted us, like
the right to be free from unreasonable search and
seizure (TSA anyone?), the right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment (Hang in there,
Bradley!), the right to due process (unless Obama
thinks you might be an enemy, in which case he can
have you assassinated), and anything else. When there
is no accountability, there is no possibility of
democracy.

And it was the Constitution that ensured that we
would have no way to hold them accountable.

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By David J. Cyr, January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Actually… The Left Has Somewhere That It Must Go!

BOOK REVIEW: Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=490&Itemid=1

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By tropicgirl, January 5, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

There won’t be any more progressive “uprisings” because the entire world view of the progressives is in question. Then, more importantly, you have the globalist mobsters that have squatted in the movement, since its inception.

Fresh air and truth are what is needed. Circular arguments and mantras about who would be faithful in office beg the question as to what people should be faithful to?


That is why the left will not mobilize again, in our lifetime. There is no longer a credible message.

I suggest the way to the answers that are needed today, is to admit the truth about 911, the truth about progressivism and its relationship to globalism. No triangulating, no more addiction to nostalgia, fairy tale political leaders, no more delusion. Just face it. Its all hidden in plain sight. And facing these things will send things in another direction than the past. It has to.

The messengers speaking about these things are having no problem with funding, mobilization and skyrocketing audiences. They ARE having problems with censorship, which increases their appeal. Obviously there will always be inaccurate information in any venue, but that is where people should be, in that discussion, wherever it leads, not over in a corner with a worn-out, compromised, snow-job of an ideology.

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By Fat Freddy, January 5, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith,

Government of, by, and for the people, which is known
as a democratic form of government, is not a dirty
word, it just isn’t something that our Constitution
allows us.

That’s a joke, right? The Constitution? The Constitution has been under attack since before the ink was even dry with the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Constitution creates an illusion. You need to research the people who were removed from you textbooks, like Lysander Spooner, and Ben Tucker; the real abolitionists.

No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

http://lysanderspooner.org/node/44

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By Fat Freddy, January 5, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Your goals are clear, among other things, to smear the word ‘progressive’, and perhaps continue to make ‘government’ a dirty word.  It’s that simple.

No shit? Government is a dirty word. I am an Individualist Anarchist. The “V” on my avatar represents Voluntaryism. I seek only freedom from the initiation of force/violence. Look at what government has done.

Feudalism—-> Mercantilism—-> Democracy

Each a means of controlling the masses, and granting favors and privileges to a select few. Each step building on the illusion of freedom while maintaining its grasp on society. An illusion designed to keep people in line. Not the Corporo-oligarchs, like you suggest, but the masses; the victims of the thievery of the State. The select oligarchs are the “beneficiaries” of the thievery of the State. The King’s Lords were Oligarchs in the Feudal period. Corporations were the oligarchs in the Mercantile Period. Bankers are the Oligarchs in the Democratic Period.

In Feudal times, Lords were granted special privileges to own land. This gave them an advantage over the masses. In Mercantile times, corporations were granted special privileges to own businesses. In current times, banks are granted special privileges to control the currency. The masses are serfs to the Oligarchs. The Oligarchs use government to gain special privilege. The government has the guns, the police, and the cages. The government only functions through the initiation of force. Therefore, even in a Democracy, you are not free. You must submit to the Will of the government. The masses are only granted the freedom to choose their elected officials in a Democracy. Thus, freedom, is an illusion in a Democracy.

If you are not free, you are a slave. That may be too loose a definition for you, but if a government is in control, then you are not. If you are not in control of yourself and your own Will, you are a slave.


You side-step a very important factor, the issue of corruption.  Both Corporations and Government can be wonderful tools of humanity if minimally corrupted!

Government was founded on the pretense of corruption. See: Feudalism. Even at its very “best”, it is a means for the majority to force its Will on the minority, and the smallest minority is the individual. You are a slave to the majority. You must sacrifice when the majority demands it. If you resist, they come for you with the guns, the police, and stick you in a cage. The government uses intimidation through the use of the threat of force to gain the sanction of its victims*. The government is nothing more than “thuggery”. It can not be used for “good”, since its very creation was founded on “evil”. See: Feudalism.

The Enlightened thinkers like John Locke and Adam Smith understood that free markets were the result of a free people, which is why they attacked Mercantilism. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison understood that government control of the money supply, represented a form of Mercantilism. Our protectionist trade policies also represent a form of Mercantilism. We are still serfs, and always will be, as long as some one, or some institution is controlling the money, and the markets. You are a slave and don’t even realize it. That is the sign of a perfect con.

*A phrase coined by Ayn Rand in her analysis of Religion. It can also be applied to government as shown by Samuel Konkin III in An Agorist Primer

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By RayLan, January 5, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

The Left has only had influence in the form of political dissent for human rights. The major strides in leftist reform were accomplished by grass roots protests as in the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately more and more the ideas of freedom and equality became anti-thetical because freedom took on an economic sense. Democracy has been reduced since the Regan era to ‘free’ unregulated capitalism - which does nothing but undermine the foundation of democracy - which is equality. Left is a bad word now - because it connotes the Socialist boogey man. The American people have been endoctrinated to respond with knee-jerk horror at this, as a threat to democracy, just the opposite of the truth.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 5, 2011 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Johncp, I believe that if Gore had won, we’d be in an
even worse situation than today.

First of all, had anything happened to Al Gore, we’d
have had Joe Lieberman as president. He was Gore’s
running mate, remember? Gore apologists tried to
claim that Gore, the ultimate D.C. insider, a
Senator’s son, a Senator himself, and Vice-President
for eight years, didn’t know who and what Liberman
was. I knew, so if Gore didn’t know he’s stupider
than Bush.

Instead of helping to block the Bush presidency, Al
Gore smoothed the Bush path to power by ordering all
Democratic Senators not to sign the Congressional
Black Caucus petition to protest the fraudulent
Florida Electoral vote. Gore didn’t care how many
Democratic voters had been illegally disenfranchised.
And then he smirked as he told the CBC that he
couldn’t accept their petition without a Senator’s
signature, knowing that he himself had order the
Democratic Senators not to sign it.

Gore ran on an environmental ticket and he made a
corporate-sponsored movie about global warming. But
he has known about global warming and spoken out
against it for decades. As a Senator’s son, he didn’t
have enough power to do anything about it. As a
Senator, he didn’t have enough power to do anything
about it. As Vice-President he didn’t have enough
power to do anything about it. As President, or even
as Lord of the Universe, he still wouldn’t have
enough power to do anything about it, because to
offend their big corporate donors would destroy the
Democratic Party, which would no longer be able to
compete with the Republican Party in catering to the
rich so as to attract big corporate donors, which is
the only thing the two parties compete in.

Gore would have been a war criminal just like Clinton
and Bush, otherwise the Democratic Party would have
lost the donations of the military-industrial
complex. He’d have bailed out the rich just as Bush
and Obama have, because otherwise the Democratic
Party would have lost the donations from the
financial sector, like Goldman Sachs.

Had Gore intended to oppose the Republicans, he could
have done so during the 2000 campaign. He didn’t. He
ran the typical lackluster campaign of a Democratic
Party candidate, careful not to offend their big
donors on the right, and using all their venom
against candidate on the left who they knew couldn’t
win anyway, as they spent millions of dollars keeping
them off the ballot and smearing them.

Gore is a member of the oligarchy and he serves the
oligarchy, not the people. But because the Democratic
Party base is so blindly loyal, Gore, like Obama,
could have, and would have, gotten away with a lot
more evil than Bush, just as Obama has. We’d have had
bigger wars of aggression, bigger tax cuts for the
rich, and bigger bailouts for the banksters, earlier.

Gore chose Lieberman as his running mate, not because
he didn’t know who and what Joe Lieberman was and is,
but because Gore covertly has the same agenda that
Lieberman has overtly.

I’m going to hope that nobody is still as ignorant as
you, and that you are just one of the hordes of paid
political party hacks trolling the internet on behalf
of the corporate parties and the oligarchy. Because
if you’re not, we’re in big trouble.

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By Mark E. Smith, January 5, 2011 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

Sorry, Chacaboy, but there won’t be any sanity in
2011, nor in 2012.

The problem is that approximately half the American
electorate believes that casting an uncounted vote
for somebody they can’t hold accountable, is a way to
bring about change.

They define political activism as trying to persuade
oligarchs not to be oligarchs, and then attempting to
elect different oligarchs.

They cannot imagine not voting and shudder in horror
at the thought, because they believe that casting an
uncounted ballot for someone they can’t hold
accountable is a precious right that people fought
and died for. They don’t know the difference between
a vote and a real voice in government.

They think that only stupid people and poor people
don’t vote. They think that if they don’t vote it
would be a sign of apathy, of doing nothing, of
submitting without a fight. The opposite is true.
Voting in unverifiable elections for people you can’t
hold accountable is apathy, doing nothing, and
submitting, showing your obedience to tyranny, by
doing your civic duty as defined by the oligarchy—
voting to grant them your consent of the governed.

They think that if they don’t vote the bad guys or
the greater evil will win. They don’t understand that
the bad guys always win and that the lesser evil
works for the same people as the greater evil. While
it may seem reasonable to vote for a lesser demon
than to vote for the Devil Himself, that lesser demon
works for and takes his orders from the Devil you
thought you were voting against. There is a
difference between the good cop and the bad cop, in
that they have different techniques of persuasion,
the bad cop using brutality and the good cop using
friendliness, charm, bribes, and rhetoric, but they
both have the same boss and the same goal—they’re a
team.

Voters believe that the only alternative to voting,
is armed revolution. That’s because they don’t know
the history of South Africa, Cuba, Haiti, and other
countries where election boycotts delegitimized
governments and succeeded where violence failed.

Unlike not paying taxes, not voting is still legal in
the U.S. When you vote, you grant government the
right to tax you and the right to imprison you if you
don’t pay up. They might still do it if you don’t
vote, but at least you didn’t consent. If you
consent, you don’t have a legal case. You agreed and
you asked for it.

Voters think that if they don’t vote, they don’t have
the right to complain. The Declaration of
Independence is a long list of complaints by this
country’s founders at a time when they did not have
the right to vote. The right to gripe is an
inalienable right and it is not granted by
governments, nor is it exercised by voting.

Dave Lindorff has a very good article here:

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/377

We do not live in a democracy. Both Bush and Hillary
Clinton (on Obama’s behalf) were explicit in stating
that they would not allow public opinion to influence
their decisions.

When you don’t live in a democracy, and you vote, you
are consenting to continuing tyranny.

But I am one voice on a few small websites. The
corporations will spend billions of dollars
terrifying people into voting. And many people will
believe the campaign lies. Democrats, for example,
were so terrified of having another Republican win
(many of them don’t know that Bush never won the
popular vote) that they voted for Obama, whose Senate
voting record was virtually identical with that of
his Republican opponent, McCain, thinking Obama would
be the lesser evil. Obama proceeded to expand upon
the Bush Republican agenda in ways that Bush himself
had never dared.

Our only hope for real change is if the 50% who still
vote learn to think outside the ballot box.

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By johncp, January 5, 2011 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith.
I hope you’re not assuming that Hillary would have been just as much a disappointment as Obama, simply because she would have also “made a deal,” to save her party, with the corporations.  Small differences in the way two different candidates govern, can, in the long run, make large differences. 

It disturbs me, that we now have Nader complaining that the republicans are doing such disastrous things in media and in the country at large.  Didn’t he campaign, as much against the democrats as against the republicans, with the mantra that, democrat or republican, it meant little, because a vote for the democrat, Gore, Kerry, etc., was simply a vote for “the lesser of two evils.”  Whether this philosophy is expressed in an effort, when we try to imagine what would have been, to equate the outcome for the country, of a vote for Hillary rather than Obama, or when we try to influence public opinion to ignore the apparently small difference between Gore or George W. Bush, the outcome, it turns out, is, in too many cases, a disaster.  If Nader, who ended up getting under a million votes for his campaign, and whose ignominous and pathetic loss with the voters simply added to his discredit and made him seem all the more irrelevant, had actually sought, however reluctantly, to support Gore, if only “because” he was the lesser of two evils, and in doing so, had tipped the vote in Gore’s favor, by an additional million or, likely, more votes, do we really believe we’d be in the situation we face today?

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Dear chacaboy,

I feel your pain!  But let’s face it.  We proto-revolutionists have lost tremendous ground over the last 20 years.  With their PR and Strategic Planning techniques, the corporate owners have stolen a dangerous march on us.  Thus I beseech you, let us move on to building our political base. If we lose more ground, we may NEVER recover.  We have a story to tell but Nader is not telling it now.  Example: Why do we let the corporatists continue to sell us on China as a viable nation state, when it is VERIFY-ABLY run by a political party that has slathered upwards of 60 million innocent Chinese… AND continues the slaughter in its Gulag to this very day??

Do we really have to sit by while they put their newly tax-reduced funds into PRC IPOs?

This is a story that needs telling. Wake me up please, when we are ready to start the fight. ZZZZZZzzzzzz.

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By chacaboy, January 5, 2011 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

This is a strange time and a strange politics we have here, where the strongest
of convictions, opinions, and moral imperatives are confined to computer
internet exchanges. The entire Democratic party, the party that ushered in the
civil rights movement and ultimately ended the Viet Nam war, have become a
great big posse of impotent slut bunnies for their love of wealth. While the U.S.
conducts sleazy occupations and aggression in the Middle East, our first black president
condones it all and facilitates it.
    Obama is a man that many of us thought would finally learn from history, a
man with a seemingly intelligent demeanor and refined intellect. This is a man
who we thought carried with him the consciousness and painful memories of a
once abused, enslaved and impoverished race and we believed this
consciousness would make a difference. Yet he is as smooth with the spin as
the most jaded and the most cynical. This guy was elected with a sweeping
mandate that cut across all racial and economic boundaries and replaced one of
the most hideously stupid presidents in the nations history, yet his policies
show almost no change from his predecessor. This after a grassroots campaign
built on a mandate for change that brought in substantial funds from people
who could barely afford to give anything at all. He should be ashamed. His
mama should have taught him better. and maybe did.
    And with all this there is no unrest. Chris Hedges and a handful of the
faithful chained themselves to the White House fence. It should have been
250,000 or 2,000,000 at the White House to end a hideous war that is all about
control, profit, and aggressive power, and is driving us rapidly into bankruptcy.
I never thought I would live to see anything quite as weird and disappointing as
this. Strange times, strange politics. Let’s all hope for some sanity in 2011.

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By Ron Wolf, January 5, 2011 at 4:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I took Scott McLarty’s advice from his well-worded and motivating post here (January 4 at 11:42 pm) to read his article:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Memo-to-Progressives-Gree-by-Scott-McLarty-101216-690.html (Title: “Memo to Progressives: Green or the Graveyard ... Why progressive, antiwar, and eco voters must lead a popular revolt against two-party rule”)

and I urge others of you to do the same. Scott, I added your OpEd stream to my RSS newsfeed and will look forward to reading more of your posts. I’d be interested in other suggestions for coherent effective progress from you or others.

I will complement all on the thoughtful discussion here. But its also fairly pointless. In a short time we will all have moved on from this single article forum, and to what?

In that regard, I checked out the Green Party pages and I found them to be far improved from what I had remembered. For instance, the platform is generally something that I could support and recommend to others. The self-congratulatory tone, the lack of significant momentum or broad support, and the mostly spotty and weak local organizing, leave me discouraged and less than motivated to plug-in to the GP. This might be all we have, but its not enough.

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By SuperMike1661, January 5, 2011 at 3:35 am Link to this comment

Nader is on to something, but he is unusually inarticulate.  I think he is really trying to say that we proto-revolutionists need to recruit constituents.  And…

I sense much frustration here because, I think, we in the proto-revolution, lack clear analyses and policies to expand OUR political base.  For example, why can we not find a constituency among students who are being pushed into huge debt and face diminishing opportunities?  Again, why can we not find a constituency among small business MANUFACTURING people who are being destroyed by rightless workers in the PRC? AGAIN, why can we not find constituents among sick people who are still marginalized by a health care system that is so expensive that it constitutes nearly 20% of US GDP?

Some day we will wake up to the practical political work at hand.  Plz call me when we do.

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Mark E. Smith's avatar

By Mark E. Smith, January 5, 2011 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

keepyourheaddown, nuclear war isn’t a way to stop
worldwide insanity, it is worldwide insanity.

But it is probably inevitable. The reason is money.
One of the reasons there is so much police brutality
is that in order to increase your budget, you have to
show that you’ve used what you got last time. So if a
police department gets tasers, they use them every
chance they get in order to justify the budget
allocation for tasers and request an increased budget
allocation for tasers in the next fiscal year. That’s
how everything works here.

Since we (and, of course other countries like Israel)
have enough nuclear weapons to totally obliterate
this planet and a few dozen more the same size, it is
difficult for nuclear weapons companies to keep
getting new contracts. They’re constantly faced with
the fact that they got trillions for nuclear weapons
and haven’t used the ones they already have. So in
order to justify their budget allocations and request
increased budget allocations, they really have no
choice but to look for ways to use nuclear weapons.

Even without nuclear war, many experts say that we
are doomed anyway. Depleted uranium is radioactive,
carcinogenic, and stays that way for thousands of
year. It is released when it is used in weapons, in
the form of microscopic particles that are carried
all over the planet by the tradewinds. We’ve used
tons and tons of depleted uranium in our wars of
aggression. The particles from those weapons are now
all over the globe, in the earth, in the oceans,
everywhere. There is no way to identify and collect
such tiny particles from the ocean or the land, and
we don’t have the technology to safely dispose of
them if we could.

So even if you only eat organic veggies, a particle
of depleted uranium could have been dropped by the
trade winds on the field where it grew and there is
no way for the farmer or for you to know it. It can
be absorbed by a plant and end up in your healthy raw
vegan diet. And when you get cancer, they’ll tell you
that it must have come from second-hand smoke when
somebody with a cigarette walked down a street just
before you did. Wouldn’t you rather believe that than
believe that your organic non-GMO veggies were
radioactive?

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, January 5, 2011 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” - Eugene Debs

If you put fertile seeds into sterile ground, it doesn’t grow.

The problem isn’t that Nader isn’t ‘presidential’ (whatever that means, I guess George Bush and Obama are presidential). The dilemma is how people, even on the supposed liberal/progressive side, are still ruled by fear.

Rather than encourage people not to vote, encourage them to vote third party (or write in Mickey Mouse). This will serve a strategic purpose. It will lower the percentage of the winning vote. If you sit on your ass and not vote, the winners will get 55% of the vote and that is all that will be reported (and not that people didn’t vote in record numbers, that is already happening).

If all the disillusioned people vote in 2012 (and 2011) and the ‘winner’ only gets 35% of the vote, they certainly can’t claim to have a mandate. Whether that will change anything is another question, but isn’t it worth a try?

http://www.NotOneMore.US - Take the Pledge for Peace

http://www.AttilaAndTheHUNZ.com - listen to the song “Don’t Trust the Government”

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