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This Is What Resistance Looks Like

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Posted on Apr 4, 2011
AP / Reed Saxon

A woman who sympathizes with people whose homes have been foreclosed is arrested at a protest outside a Chase bank in Los Angeles.

By Chris Hedges

We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America.

“The political process no longer works,” Kevin Zeese, the director of Prosperity Agenda and one of the organizers of the April 15 event, told me. “The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life.”

If you are among the one in six workers in this country who does not have a job, if you are among the some 6 million people who have lost their homes to repossessions, if you are among the many hundreds of thousands of people who went bankrupt last year because they could not pay their medical bills or if you have simply had enough of the current kleptocracy, join us in Union Square Park for the “Sounds of Resistance Concert,” which will feature political hip-hop/rock powerhouse Junkyard Empire with Broadcast Live and Sketch the Cataclysm. The organizers have set up a website, and there’s more information on their Facebook page.

We will picket the Union Square branch of Bank of America, one of the major financial institutions responsible for the theft of roughly $17 trillion in wages, savings and retirement benefits taken from ordinary citizens. We will build a miniature cardboard community that will include what we should have—good public libraries, free health clinics, banks that have been converted into credit unions, free and well-funded public schools and public universities, and shuttered recruiting centers (young men and women should not have to go to Iraq and Afghanistan as soldiers or Marines to find a job with health care). We will call for an end to all foreclosures and bank repossessions, a breaking up of the huge banking monopolies, a fair system of taxation and a government that is accountable to the people.

The 10 major banks, which control 60 percent of the economy, determine how our legislative bills are written, how our courts rule, how we frame our public debates on the airwaves, who is elected to office and how we are governed. The phrase consent of the governed has been turned by our two major political parties into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. And the faster these banks and huge corporations are broken up and regulated, the sooner we will become free.

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Bank of America is one of the worst. It did not pay any federal taxes last year or the year before. It is currently one of the most aggressive banks in seizing homes, at times using private security teams that carry out brutal home invasions to toss families into the street. The bank refuses to lend small business people and consumers the billions in government money it was handed. It has returned with a vengeance to the flagrant criminal activity and speculation that created the meltdown, behavior made possible because the government refuses to institute effective sanctions or control from regulators, legislators or the courts. Bank of America, like most of the banks that peddled garbage to small shareholders, routinely hid its massive losses through a creative accounting device it called “repurchase agreements.” It used these “repos” during the financial collapse to temporarily erase losses from the books by transferring toxic debt to dummy firms before public filings had to be made. It is called fraud. And Bank of America is very good at it.

US Uncut, which will be involved in the April 15 demonstration in New York, carried out 50 protests outside Bank of America branches and offices on Feb. 26. UK Uncut, a British version of the group, produced this video guide to launching a “bail-in” in your neighborhood.

Civil disobedience, such as that described in the bail-in video or the upcoming protest in Union Square, is the only tool we have left. A fourth of the country’s largest corporations—including General Electric, ExxonMobil and Bank of America—paid no federal income taxes in 2010. But at the same time these corporations operate as if they have a divine right to hundreds of billions in taxpayer subsidies. Bank of America was handed $45 billion—that is billion with a B—in federal bailout funds. Bank of America takes this money—money you and I paid in taxes—and hides it along with its profits in some 115 offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes. One assumes the bank’s legions of accountants are busy making sure the corporation will not pay federal taxes again this year. Imagine if you or I tried that.


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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, April 19, 2011 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

@prosefights: I hate to argue, because I fully
support what you’re trying to do [educate]; BUT,
you’ve made some errors (I think), and as a fellow
scientist I’m sure you will either welcome my
feedback or kick my ass (fine with me either way!).
Isn’t that wonderful? There are no Anarsissies in our
world, and I love that to no end.

1. You state: “Heat rate is, by definition, a ratio
of input heat (from burning something) to output
electrical power.” but the “burning something” part
is not right. Burning something is not in any way
part of the definition, nor is it a necessary
condition (i.e. solar, geothermal, wind, wave, tidal,
hydroelectric, etc.)

2. You state: “For example, you seem to think that
the 3413 Btu/kWh should mean something more than it
does. It’s simply a conversion between energy units.”
But, sadly, no, that’s not right at all. It is not a
conversion of units. If it were, that would be a
great thing because every single method of spending
3413 Btu would always give us exactly 1 kWh. Which,
of course, it does not. Your statement that “It’s
equivalent to saying a foot has 12 inches.” is
therefore not even in any remote sense the slightest
bit true, in general. Again, take any of the above
(1.) mentioned methods for examples vs. burning
stuff.

3. You boldly state: “Of course every technology
(every single one of them that ever has or ever will
be) requires more than 3413 Btu to put out a kWh of
energy.” Which is wrong, wrong, wrong, in so many
ways. Geothermal plants have negligible inputs in the
order of about a tenth of what you propose.

4. You state: “The issue isn’t how much energy is put
in (whatever units one chooses to employ); rather,
it’s about how much in the way of natural resources
is required to produce that kWh. If I’m buring s**t,
then no matter how efficient I am (i.e. however good
my heat rate is) I’m still depleting resources.
Forever.” which, again, is completely wrong. For
instance, if you build a power plant and surround it
with a mere few tens of thousands of acres of the
right kind of scrub brush, you can burn that forever.
Forever! Nothing is lost. You are failing to
understand that via this means of plant husbandry you
are efficiently converting sunlight into heat in a
fully renewable mode. Furthermore, there are no significant, let alone prohibitive, startup (burn
investment vs. burn lifetime) energy costs. The
simplest of 1800’s boilers will and do operate
indefinitely under this cheap and ready regime.

But, please don’t get me wrong. I respect you very
much because you have stated your case in well
defined, non propagandistic terms. The anarcissies of
the world could and would never, ever, ever have been
able or willing to do such a thing.

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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, April 19, 2011 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

@anarsissy: “I thought the FDA had been cut back
considerably in the last few years.” ha ha ha ahahahaha
ha haahaha ha ah aha aaha haaaaaa ahaah aaa

“This turn out to be some kind of hoax or canard whose
intent seemed to be only to diminish the FDA.” aaaaaah
aha aha hahahahahah ah hhha hahaa ahaaaa

ow, owwww, owwwwww! My tummy hurts!

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By prosefights, April 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Cc: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), “mary homan” .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 1:51:58 PM
Subject: RE: an unloaded solar array supplies a high voltage even in poor lighting

Bill:

With respect to solar-driven technologies: There. Is. No. Heat rate.

By definition… that definition having been supplied to you several times by various people who understand engineering and energy-related terminology.

Heat rate is, by definition, a ratio of input heat (from burning something) to output electrical power. It is, as I suspect you inherently feel, a measure of efficiency. So if you want to blanket everything under one term, use “efficiency,” cuz heat rate’s already got a definition.

Your insistence that the term include more than it does is, apparently, leading you to some erroneous conclusions. For example, you seem to think that the 3413 Btu/kWh should mean something more than it does. It’s simply a conversion between energy units. It’s equivalent to saying a foot has 12 inches. Any attempt to say that some technology can’t work because it takes more than 3413 Btu to produce a kWh is nonsensical because the term is being misapplied. It’s like someone asking why that wall is so long when a foot only has twelve inches.

Of course every technology (every single one of them that ever has or ever will be) requires more than 3413 Btu to put out a kWh of energy. It has to. Otherwise the law of the Conservation of Energy would be being violated. I can’t put 3413 Btu of heat in and get 1 kWh out if there’s ANY form of energy conversion going on. Can’t be done. Not ever. Not by no one no how.

The issue isn’t how much energy is put in (whatever units one chooses to employ); rather, it’s about how much in the way of natural resources is required to produce that kWh. If I’m buring s**t, then no matter how efficient I am (i.e. however good my heat rate is) I’m still depleting resources. Forever. With PV or CSP or wind or whatever, the question shifts to how much stuff I use to build the device and how much it costs to get that kWh out. Because once I build it, it requires no fuel (ergo, no heat rate).
Does this make sense?

Frank Currie, PE
Project Engineer
Commonwealth Associates, Inc.
1599 S. St. Francis Dr.
Suite C
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-982-4012
http://www.cai-engr.com

___
When falls on man the anger of the gods, first from his mind they banish understanding.
Lycurgus

When divine power plans evil for a man, it first injures his mind.
Sophocles

Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first deprives of their senses.
Euripides

Whom God wishes to destroy he first makes mad.
Seneca

For those whom God to ruin has design’d, He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind.
John Dryden

Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

grin

http://www.prosefights.org/unmineable/unmineable.htm#currie

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

I thought the FDA had been cut back considerably in the last few years.  I remember when it was noised about that unprescribed vitamins were to be forbidden.  This turn out to be some kind of hoax or canard whose intent seemed to be only to diminish the FDA.  What exactly would be the right sort and level of public examination of food for pathogens?

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By Cliff Carson, April 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Mack

I also read this Bill and agree with you generally but here is a section of the bill that worries me:

SEC. 207. FEDERAL AND STATE COOPERATION.

(a) In General- The Administrator shall work with the States to carry out activities and programs that create a national food safety program so that Federal and State programs function in a coordinated and cost-effective manner.

(b) State Action- The Administrator shall work with States to—

(1) continue, strengthen, or establish State food safety programs, especially with respect to the regulation of retail commercial food establishments, transportation, harvesting, and fresh markets;

(2) continue, strengthen, or establish inspection programs and requirements to ensure that food under the jurisdiction of the State is safe; and

(3) support recall authorities at the State and local levels

It is the B(1) ....and fresh markets… inclusion that concerns me.

Think of all the Farmers Markets, or individual selling from out of gardens and orchards (harvest your own).  Think also of butcher shops that dress your deer, etc., think of the backyard BarBQ places that sell, the sidewalk vendors, etc.

Now I realize that it would be easy to say that these Mom and Pop concerns wouldn’t be affected.  But to say that, you have to assume the Government would act rationally.

In the case of the Canola Oil and the way the courts have ruled, do you think you might make that assumption safely?

My next door neighbor has a large farm just outside of town.  He raises and sells Watermelons, Tomatoes Cantaloupe, and other goodies both to his neighbors and for resale by other roadside vendors.

This is a very large business in America.

Could you guarantee these people would be safe from the Corporate pirates?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

Mack,
Having just cleaned up from planting 4 rows of onions, I was shocked to read your post on the food safety act of 2007.  I researched it and I’m not sure you’re right on the bit about prohibition from raising your own vegetables.  Here is the full text.  You can easily find other related information. 
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1148
Actually, to me, the bill sounds like a good idea, given the salmonela and E.Coli breakouts in the last decade, and resulting troubles in traceability through the food supply.  It might be that the ‘prohibition against gardening’ was a scare used to kill the effort?  I don’t know, but something is fishy here.

Regarding your incident at the Cosco site…....that is truly scary, and should be followed up.  Where are the so-called environmentalists?

I recommend a 1991 publication by Henk Hobbelink, “Biotechnology and the future of world agriculture” It’s only about 150 pages but chock full of illuminating data.  Predatory business practices aside, the trend toward more monoculture is a disaster waiting to happen. 

And on a more general topic, I’d like to ask if we might ferret out the personality type that gets in control of these corporations and directs them toward such destructive practices.  I think of an interview I saw with the Swiss president of Nestle (or perhaps a vice president) a few years ago, and he commented (and I paraphrase) that Nestle would be more than happy if we all continue to destroy fresh drinking water supplies, as Nestle would be ready to supply all the bottled drinking water we require.  His body language was telling, this guy was a nasty, nasty one.  This is the general problem I see, that ethical corporations are at a disadvantage against the unethical bastards who are willing to do whatever it takes to maximize dividends.  We need that damn justice department to work properly.


.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 17, 2011 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Gary Mont—This Wikipedia article contains the names of Monsanto’s various masks and avatars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto.  It also includes the precious sentence ‘The court held that Fox News had no obligation to report truthfully, and the First Amendment protects their right to lie.’  (Fox News had been ‘persuaded’ by Monsanto to order their reporters to lie about Monsanto’s activities.)

Incidentally, the Wikipedia article also mentions that Mr. O appointed a major Monsanto lobbyist to the FDA.  Fascinating stuff.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Monsanto no longer wears the name Monsanto. In order to avoid the bad press it has received over the years in almost every nation on earth, it changed its name.

If anyone remembers what the new name is, please post it here. It refuses to remain in my mind for more than a week.

When Monsanto’s genetically mutated seed spreads onto neigbouring farmlands, the farmers are not allowed to sue Monsanto for contamination of their clean crops by this adulterated seed. Instead, the courts find the farmers guilty of theft of Monsanto’s patented bacteria-fused seedstock and make them pay reperations to Monsanto.

After a visit to Canada by Monsanto, the Canadian government began to promote its genetically mutated rape-seed - an industrial oil crop that is absolutely not meant for human consumption - as a health food.

Rape-seed oil is normally used as a penetrating oil in machinery, and as a glossifier in printing inks for those shiny pictures in magazines.

The Canadian government renamed the mutated rape-seed, Canola - a word play on Canadian Oil - and now grows the stuff on nearly half of Canada’s farm land.

Because it is so cheap to grow and process (probably due to subsidies), it has become the favourite of Canadian Restaurants, replacing other cooking oils almost completely.

Health food stores bought the official line that it was a health food and sell it as such on their shelves. After all, government never lies and would never knowingly do anything to harm its subjects right. Not even for millions of dollars, right.

I assume the only reason Omega 3 fatty acids get such glowing press reports, is because its about the only thing in Canola Oil that is NOT bad for you.

By promoting Omega 3 as good for humans, they can promote Canola as a health food because it contains O3.

Studies showing the dangers of ingesting Canola Oil, while numerous, were quickly supressed. The message has been sent out and such studies have pretty much stopped now.

The genetic modification to the rape-seed is the standard Monsanto bacteria-fused seed crop mutation, that allows the rape-seed to survive the use of Monsanto’s defoliant plant-killer called RoudnUp.

No Monsanto genetic mutation has ever been done to make food more nutritious, tastier, or in any way better. Their purpose has been entirely to replace normal seedstock with their patented seed stock, which, because it does not reproduce, has to be re-purchased each year from Monsanto.

An unhealthy population is far easier to manipulate than one that is in prime health. Not only has govenment bent over backwards to allow Monsanto total freedom to poison the earth’s foodstock, it has indeed made it illegal to broadcast through labelling, that any product contain mutated food ingredients.

What kind of business can fail at every turn, pay out millions in bribes and fines, and make payoffs to politicians all around the world, and survive massive global bad press - for decades?

Only one that is being subsidized externally and needs not make a profit from its products and has no concern over public opinion.

That’s a military operation.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont—Your view of Monsanto is fairly realistic, based on what I’ve read.  To control the world’s food production will require some shots to be fired, however, or at least believably threatened.  No problem: Monsanto has plenty of people to fire shots on their behalf.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Monsanto

I realize that this will likley be considered as too radical to be real, but before you can understand what Monsanto’s goals are and how it manages to get away with the myriad crimes it commits globally with impunity, you’re going to have to consider that its a military operation, not a simple corporation doing normal business.

Its purpose is the destruction of the normal food chain, and control of food production and distribution world-wide. Its funded by the fascist billioniares and through federally collected tax-money and is immune to real prosecution under law.

Its the long range ace-in-the-hole that the multi-nationals hope will win the day for them.

Control food production and you control the world without a single shot being fired.

Okay, back to your normal dosage of white noise.

PS - I’ve always considered the creators of garbage posts to be simple Bunkers - posters of bunk or bunkum as it was once known. But now I’m showing my age. smile

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 16, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

John Best, April 15 at 11:37 pm:

‘... You’d better re-read and understand that last paragraph, because I’m not talking about some generic political situation and what the right would want.  I’m talking about the current political situation.  If you don’t agree with that I am correctly stating the current political situation, I am not interested in further discussion.’

I believe you brought up Washington, and you’ve been carrying on about a generic abstraction called ‘corruption’.  Now you don’t like theory any more?

I have a file of Monsanto’s misdeeds somewhere, which are indeed manifold, but I don’t see these as ‘corruption’ but as a natural development of liberalism-capitalism—one class taking advantage of another.  It seems to me we will be better equipped to deal with Monsanto and its kind if we have an understanding of the way they function and their place in our social order.  No?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 16, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Cliff, as you asked earlier, “is there some way we can avoid the stroke of Midnight?”  I think there are indeed many many tactics, but I don’t think they can be discussed in this forum.  Here you have clowns like ‘prosefights’, who’s tactic seems to be what I’ll call ‘distraction through relevant seeming noise’.  His/her tactic needs a succinct word to describe it, so we can efficiently continue a constructive conversation and avoid the clog of hair and other drain sludge these minions put in the system.  Good Christ….read that post by prosefights!  What a pile of irrelevant crap. we need to coin a tern for these ‘massive noise chatter’ generators, because their presence highlights the presence of a particularly irritating bit of information somewhere below in the general thread.  Part of prosefights tactic is 1. seeming relavence, 2. volume.  Between the two, they waste the readers time and energy.  The result is to wear out the legitimate interested reader. 

My thesis, and I apologize for straying off topic of Monsanto’s understandable, aggressive and predatory use of all tools at it’s disposal, an from the more generic topic of ‘resistance’, my thesis is, that these ‘lurkers’ like ‘prosefight’ get triggered by a serious hot topic.  Then they individually have what they perceive as a tactic to disrupt the conversation.  Some of these turds will launch into a predictable ideological argument and actually try to fight mano-a-mano.  ‘Prosefight’ has a different , and as such, deserves to be characterized as a special mutant form of minion, to be named.  A little help here???  Some form of troll?  I think the term troll is too generic, and if constructive participants can develop a language to filter out the disruptive, it might help. 

So, I ask any interested readers to skip back beyond ‘prosefights’, becasue he/she has been identified as a (name TBD).  The previous topics were sort of general corruption, and the forms of legal, semi-legal and illegal corruption that may be employed by the most aggressive corporate interests, Monsanto being an example.

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By prosefights, April 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Friday April 15, 2010 09:56


http://www.prosefights.org/nmlegal/prccrd/shaffer/shaffer.htm#shaffer

Ms Sheila Shaffer
Acting Director
Consumer Relations Division
Bureau of Insurance
New Mexico Public Regulations Commission
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
505-827-6979

Hello Ms Shaffer,

Schedule of up-coming events is required IMO.

Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union CEO Jillson deposits the stolen $22,036.00 into the accounts of William Payne and Arthur Morales, $11,018 each plus 10.49% interest computed from the day the monies were stolen until it is deposited on Friday April 22, 2011.

[Signature Credit: To 60 months as low as 10.49% - Mary conversation April 14, 2011]


Failure of 1 to occur, then NCUSIF pays insured saving account loss of $11,018 to both William Payne and Arthur Morales by Friday April 30, 2011.


Failure of 2, then the Insurance Division sends us the loss forms identified by by Mr Martinez and Mr Gaherty by May 7, 2011.


Failure of 3, then Payne files criminal complaint affidavit against Christopher Jillson for felony theft

Facts and evidence in writing support the conclusion SLFCU CEO Christopher Jillson committed a felony crime.

Whoever commits fraud when the value of the property misappropriated or taken exceeds twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a second degree felony.

Here’s the penalty.

(5) for a second degree felony, nine years imprisonment;

with the Albuquerque Police Department on Friday May 14, 2011.


Some people including

Sunday, January 07, 2001 5:52 PM

Dear Friend,

we saw some of these documents http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/8327/buehlerpayne.html but we would like your commentary about what happened and all circumstances so we can post it on our website but as well as a report to the mailing lists.

With thanks

On behalf of SMCCDI

A. Zoubin ( Information Committee) http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/

Wednesday, January 17, 2001 7:10 PM

Dear Friend,

A stand for Ahmad but why this question?

wish to discover whether

Nojeh Coup

In July 1980, Zbigniew Brzezinski of the United States met Jordan’s King Hussein in Amman to discuss detailed plans for Saddam Hussein to sponsor a coup in Iran against Khomeini. King Hussein was Saddam’s closest confidant in the Arab world, and served as an intermediary during the planning. The Iraqi invasion of Iran would be launched under the pretext of a call for aid from Iranian loyalist officers plotting their own uprising on July 9, 1980 (codenamed Nojeh, after Shahrokhi/Nojeh air base in Hamedan). The Iranian officers were organized by Shapour Bakhtiar, who had fled to France when Khomeini seized power, but was operating from Baghdad and Sulimaniyah at the time of Brzezinski’s meeting with Hussein. However, Khomeini learned of the Nojeh Coup plan from Soviet agents in France and Latin America. Shortly after Brzezinski’s meeting with Hussein, the President of Iran, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr quietly rounded up 600 of the loyalist plotters within Iran, putting an effective end to the Nojeh Coup. Saddam decided to invade without the Iranian officers’ assistance, beginning the Iran-Iraq war on 22 September 1980.

is true or not through a proper investigation.

Failure of 4 and failure to properly investigate and peacefully settle matters after 19 years may be unwise?
Please send an ack if you receive this email.

Regards,

William H Payne

____

What will happen?

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By Cliff Carson, April 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

John Best

U-North and the Movie Michael Clayton.  Oh yes.  I have a list of movies ( originally my effort at a top ten, that because of the difficulty in choosing just ten, is now over 300 movies long).  But rest assured Michael Clayton is on that list.  Great movie.  Back to Genetic seeding. 

I have been fearful of Monsanto because of its practices ( and others like Monsanto ) since they went after Rachel Carson (Silent Spring).  What I have wondered about Genetic Engineering is the long term effects of the experiment.  Since the food chain is being modified and since we eat the food chain, our Genetic make-up may be slowly changing and it could either for the better or for the worse.  The dangerous thing is that we will have no control over the effects whichever the direction of change.

Not only are you illustrating the current situation but the outcome may be past the tipping point as I asked earlier, is there some way we can avoid the stroke of Midnight?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarchisse…No offence here.  I don’t get offended, ever.  Washinton not revered, but I give various folks credit where due.  Not villifies, not revered, but accomplishments recognized and respected for what they were, and nothing more.

Most of your second paragraph is answered by reading Humes, Hobbs, Locke, Rousseau, etc. Then move on to their pupils, some of the founding fathers.  I’m not saying they’re on any pedestal, but they did some good stuff which does not need to be re-hashed.  Reinventing the wheel and rehashing the same questions, especially by the unstudied and un-dedicated is not for me.  That said, you ask a question: “where a few lived a good life on stolen land maintained by stolen labor—an arrangement we all now theoretically reject.  What does ‘corruption’ mean in such a context?”  There are many types of corruption, but I’ll cite just one: where we subsidize companies that do this kind of thing: http://www.truthistreason.net/vanity-
fair-covers-monsantos-evil-deeds-in-6-page-report You’ll have to read the article, it’s about some particularly nasty corporate agricultural practices, especially as regards patents, and bullying small farmers with said patents.  The corruption in this case is likely the classic lobbyist paying a batch of legislators for special provisions in the tax code, or direct subsidies of another form, perhaps direct grants in exchange for campaign contributions, jobs for relatives or other form of less traceable payoff. 

You mention ‘roll-over governments, carrying over the same corruption.  Seen it in Eastern Europe, and right here.  Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.  This is why I make the point that unless the various types of kickback, bribe, payoff, quiet money, etc are well understood by the general public, and District Attorneys are held accountable to prosecute it, well, unless you do that, it is not going to matter a wit what form of government you have. 

There is no point in getting into a semantic argument about the American right and their views of government.  The rhetoric and what they’d really want is all over the place.  If they actually got what they say they want, a hobbled government that consists solely of a Dept of Defense, we’d collapse so far and so fast it would be Lord of the Flies time on steroids.  Ugly, don’t want to think about it.  But, the mid and low level right wingers are being used by the true global-capable wealth holders, who are indeed bleeding us.  The big shots do not want government.  Government regulates unfettered capitalism.  That is important.  The real global big shots want us to be helpless consumers, at the mercy of a plutocracy/corpo-oligarchy.  Their minions, the mid and low level nighties do the bidding of the big shots and are indeed trying to neuter the US government, especially with regard to protecting the common good.  And by the way, the ‘corporate left’ is right there assisting them.

You’d better re-read and understand that last paragraph, because I’m not talking about some generic political situation and what the right would want.  I’m talking about the current political situation.  If you don’t agree with that I am correctly stating the current political situation, I am not interested in further discussion.

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By Anarcissie, April 15, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

John Best—You seemed to have a sort of reverence for Washington which takes him out of his historical context and lifts him to some Empyrean realm, impregnable to criticism, for you became quite annoyed when I replaced him in that context.  Now I have also offended your non-religion.  Sigh….

In the matter of government, I see a fundamental problem in that government requires force and the implementation of that force through a class system (some must govern others).  I thought Washington was a good example because, while he was himself a virtuous, noble and intelligent person, he was embedded in a system, a state, enforced by a government, where a few lived a good life on stolen land maintained by stolen labor—an arrangement we all now theoretically reject.  What does ‘corruption’ mean in such a context?  Later, another state headed by another demigod came along and destroyed this state; was that corruption, or the ending of corruption?  Later still, other individuals and groups noticed other possibilities in the use of force and a class system, symbolized in Faulkner by the Snopeses, who put together the pieces of the first state shattered by the second state into yet another state, one arranged to their advantage.  You seem to think there is some ideal in that sort of thing, but I’m not sure what you think it is.  Do you think you’re going to get selfless administrators of the state?  From what species?

The American Right, like any other Right, is quite happy with government.  It is not against government at all.  It just wants it to be used differently.  Of course the radicals, being an ideological rat-bag, are incoherent about this; but most of them are quite fond of war, imperialism, domestic repression of various kinds, and the strong defense of private property, all government functions.

I will appear to be de-constructive—or, more plainly, destructive—until we have agreed on what it is we’re going to be constructing.

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By Cliff Carson, April 15, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Extremely well said John Best.

Un-Corrupted is the Key.

Unfortunately it is the one thing that a majority of the common man shies away from addressing.  And yet it is the single most important in need of fixing.

You mention Quality.  I am a Quality Professional and after retirement as a Quality Director, I have continued to be a consultant as I creep on into old age.

I want to witness a better government in place for my survivors before I leave this place.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 15, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Anarchisse,
I don’t know why you’d think you’d trampled on my ‘religious sensibilities’, I am absolutely secular.  Perhaps you’re just trying to move away from the meat of the posting?  To imply that my posting was something that it is not?  To get personal and distract???

I’ll re-state what many modern political fanatics, ultra-right and ultra-left hate to consider: Government is not the problem, CORRUPTION of the government is the problem.  Cover your ears, run in circles and scream ‘not gonna listen, blah-blah-blah’, but that is a concept that the right wing, and some other nuts would like to suppress. 

The popular right wing meme is: ‘Government is the problem’.  Never is the argument about Quality.  It’s always about size, quantity.  A pitifully inadequate and simplistic waste of time, pointed straight at the stupid. 

Well, an uncorrupted government (though never totally attainable) can serve the interests of the common good against the special interests who suck the blood out of the system.  If these parasites can further weaken government by killing the notion that UNCORRUPTED GOVERNMENT CAN BE DAMN GOOD, then their position, though very short term oriented, gets stronger.

What the morons won’t realize is that ultimately, without a return to a decent less corrupted government, the bit of ‘wealth’ (paper wealth) the ‘right-wing minions’ possess will become worthless as we continue our drift to third world status. 

So, whether your obfuscation of my point is intentional or not, I don’t care.  Your effect is de-constructive in my view.

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By Anarcissie, April 15, 2011 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

John B—I see have offended your religious sensibilities.  My apologies.  I never know when I’m going to step on the tail of somebody’s religion, there are so many of them….  Nevertheless, let me try to move along.  If we don’t know what ‘corruption’ is, I don’t see how we can attribute great power to it, or whatever it is the mask of.  If it is what I defined it as, the use of existing political institutions for personal gain at the expense of others, I don’t see any way of getting rid of it in a liberal or authoritarian polity, since the class system of such communities is set up precisely for that purpose.  This is what I said before; now that I am off sacred ground, perhaps you can deal with the proposition instead of huffing up.

MarthaA—It is true that states tend to get rid of communities that don’t fit their favored patterns of social organization.  For example, Canada got rid of the Dukhobors (as a separate community; they didn’t kill them physically) because the Dukhobors were anarchistic and lived in communes, instead of being good lower-middle-class English types living in capitalism.  But there are some such communities—those who have learned to lie low and tread very softly.

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By johncp, April 15, 2011 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

Curious, that you report that there is “no way,” of dealing with Goldman Sachs.  There certainly “was” a way, at the time of the last presidential election.  Obama received vastly more campaign money from Goldman Sachs than either Hillary or McCain.  Why?  Why would Goldman Sachs give Obama a 1,000,000 dollars to beat Hillary?  Even more important, why did Obama accept the money?  Could it be that he didn’t know there was a string attached somewhere, in this largesse?  Obama has done nothing but lie to the American people, especially the American voters.  I’ve never heard him speak of Goldman-Sachs’ huge contribution to his campaign.  I notice, that this payoff, oops, sorry, this contribution, was “never” mentioned in this article of yours, where you pretend that there’s no way of dealing with Goldman-Sachs.  Of course there is.  When you voted for Obama, you voted for Goldman-Saches, didn’t you?  But, lending strength to your side of the argument, to say the least, the outcome of the “people’s vote” at the end of the nomination was inconclusive, through CNN, via the mouth of Wolf Blitzer, who revealed that Hillary had “won” in 2 of the 3 possible scenarios, it would make more sense to speak of Obama having won with the Delegates, a group whose resistance to the almighty dollar is dismal.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Anarchisse, are you saying stupid things to get atention?????  You said, “When people they didn’t like won the battles, they called it ‘corruption’.”  What Bullshit.  Great meme for a political party hack….perhaps you can sell that one to some political consultant.

You smear Washington and his crew, fine, and they might indeed be the rat-bastard devils you say, and they might not, and though they are certainly not Gods, if you have the ability to read objectively, I suggest Washington’s farewell address.  I treat any political writing skeptically, including what I see here, but that address reads sincerely, and what he says about political parties being a serious breeding ground for corruption has proven to be true. And so, Cliff Carson, you are in good company. 

As for the Founding Fathers: men of their times, just men.  Their work shouldn’t be treated as some holy scripture, nor as purely worthless political speech.  They were a direct product of the enlightenment, and this was a time in which some people were so optimistic about humankind’s potential, and they wanted to get out from under the iron thumb of the church, that some of them really tried for a moonshot of sorts with regard to the Social Contract.

That’s the thing everybody screams about, our communal responsibilities, a better world, a better government, and it’s nothing new.  These old farts thought it through every which way available to them, and if one actually takes the time to read some things like the Federalist papers, you can get a glimpse into the thinking.  Some of it is not evil, some is.  They don’t all deserve to be painted by the same brush whether the paint is God colored or Devil colored.  But you know, that would take some actual reading.  Critical, skeptical reading of original source material.

Sure, they didn’t have as much history as we have to go on, sociology, psychology, and other areas of knowledge, but politics, and special interests, they knew about.  Those things go way back, so it’s worth not wasting time re-learning what was known very well.  Corruption IS the major problem, and it MIGHT be mitigated, and it is certainly not “When people they didn’t like won the battles, they called it ‘corruption’.”  What corruption IS, is an entire discussion in itself.  There are 1000 forms.  And all it takes to get the flames of corruption fanned to an inferno is to destroy confidence in the Social Contract, then look out, it’s every man for himself, gimme some of that corruption.  Lack of faith in your fellow citizen spawns corruption, that’s human nature, that’s survival, and some intentionally kill, then thrive off destroying faith in each other.  How the heck are you going to fix that?  Shit, we have free speech!  That’s all a nasty political parasite needs to work their magic.

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By Cliff Carson, April 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Yes Public Service includes many forms with the ultimate being Military Service and all manner of others such as Fire, Police, and too many others to list here.

Those who seize the opportunity to scam the peoples trust are every thing from super rich to desperately poor.  But it is the Super Rich who can do the most damage to the public.

Political Parties have seized that opportunity to enhance their ( and their insiders ) Power, Position, and Wealth by abusing that trust.  And their corruption is all the more insidious because they are the ones trusted to maintain the public good.

In fact what I see is a One World ruling Cabal composed of the Financial Arm, Political and Policies Arm, War Empire Industries Arm, and Corporate International Firms who have joined together into an incestuous unholy alliance to scalp the common people of the world.

The fact that only the Dictatorial puppets have been tried and punished, usually by being overthrown by those who enabled them in the first place, speaks volumes about what infinitesimal control the people have over the what I call the Shadow Government.

The fact that no punishment has been administered by the common people indicates things are not going to get any better before they get worse.

Was it Thomas Paine who said “If there is going to be trouble please let it be in my days so that my children may have peace.”?

Tom Best, there is a savage day coming to this world, is there any way to change our world and avoid that day?

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By MarthaA, April 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

When one quits voting, one needs to separate one’s self from the
U.S. Economy and form a separate community; and it is plain to
see what happens when
one separates one’s self from the U.S. Economy and makes it
known, through what happened to Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge,
Idaho in the following links, and also David Koresh at Waco, Texas:

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/weaver/weaveraccount.html

http://land.netonecom.net/tlp/ref/weaver.shtml

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/cops_others/randy_weaver/1.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/conger3.html

Also, David Koresh and the Branch Davidian’s that were murdered
by the government at Waco, Texas is another withdrawal incident
of relatively the same thing, as they had done no harm to the
government.

http://www.carolmoore.net/waco/

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/09/09/waco

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By Anarcissie, April 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Well, of course, after George Washington, or rather, his immediate ancestors, exterminated the Indians and stole their land, and imported numerous African slaves to do all the heavy lifting, so that they could live the good life, they looked around and saw only people like themselves—the others were scarcely visible—and wondered why there should ever be party and faction and political conflict.  As far as they were concerned, they had arrived at the End of History, and it was cool.

But class, the institutionalization by force of advantage, domination, exploitation, never rests.  Soon they were trying to exploit one another.  When people they didn’t like won the battles, they called it ‘corruption’.

And so it goes.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Cliff,

That’s not what the previous discussion was about, but I couldn’t agree more with you and George Washington.  Washington warned us about political parties.  And I think you are absolutely right that probably the single biggest, perhaps the only problem, is corruption of government.

If I can paraphrase what I think you’re saying: corrupt officials are the enablers of all manner of theft from the common good, the common man, the common wealth.  Certainly, rich people are not villains, but when an unethical person, one who has no compunction against theft by corruption, gets a taste of money, they continue, and some of them do end up with a pile of the stuff.  I think it is absolutely important to draw that distinction between the hard working rich, and the ones who made their money the old fashioned way: by stealing it. 

Certainly I’d say, regarding the unethical ones who hide among the rich, that ‘their’ money is only possible because of many generations of hard work, infrastructure, and all sorts of ‘non-rich’ people working hard, paying taxes, making their kids study, etc, etc.  The wealth of the Nation exists because we’ve re-invested it, and to those who want to take what they claim is ‘their’ money and piss it away, I say they have no right.  American capitol should be invested here, and I am on a rant.

Somebody posted a while back that we need binding contracts for our ‘public servants’ that allow us a new and enforceable means to make it more difficult to get away with corruption.  Of course this will only catch the stupid ones…...so we need that “ever vigilance”. 

It should be understood that ‘public service’ means one is willing to accept compensation that is exactly the same as the average in the locality they serve.  No better health, or retirement benefits than the average Joe.  NO private retirement benefits: social security only.  If these clowns knew their only hope was to enact legislation that ensured the improvement of the general well-being, perhaps we’d be a little less reckless int eh investment and regulation of our capitol.

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By Anarcissie, April 14, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

In my opinion, anarcho-capitalism is a contradiction in terms, so I can’t defend the idea.  Capitalism in the United States has developed within a strong state framework.  I don’t know of an instance anywhere of a traditional capitalist community or organization existing otherwise.

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By Cliff Carson, April 14, 2011 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

Well John Best

You asked about totally unregulated Government,etc.

Wasn’t The New American Nation a totally unregulated economy?  And when that economic system led to Super Rich Robber Barons, didn’t the Country go to totally regulated Economic Theory and when that System failed, the Country tried to hit a happy medium.

I wondered why this, that, and the other, all failed resulting in the same condition - the super Rich preying of the common people.

So I started looking for a common denominator.

I finally settled on corruptible man in a position of trust going unpunished for unethical and immoral conduct.  The lack of sure and swift punishment makes criminals of us all.

Originally the new United States didn’t have Political Parties but it wasn’t long until some wanna be criminal seized on the perfect corruption machine - a Political Party.

This what you mean?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Too much crap to wade through.  Missed it….apologies sort of.  I already read more of your stuff than I should.  But credit where credit is due, Mondragon was a good reference, and is worth discussion. 

Anarchisse…...
Anarco-capitalism: the ‘justice by contract’ arrangement always get some very strange looks when it gets discussed around here.  Mainly the issue is that it seems so ‘law of the jungle’, might makes right, the brutal rule, and all that.  Actually, I think there should indeed be modern or present day examples.  Where do we have laisse faire economics, unregulated, and a minimal government approzimating anarcchy?  Surely you can name a place and time in which these conditions prevailed?  Anybody?? Seriously? Anybody??

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By Anarcissie, April 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

John B.—Obviously we are not going to find a large arachno-communist society within a modern industrial state.  What difference does that make?

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By Mark E. Smith, April 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Well, that’s part of the problem, John.

John Best writes, “...Finally!  Good Christ what an amount of horrific nasty rhetoric might have been saved has you merely surrendered the words ‘Mondrgon Corporation’ some paragraphs ago!”

The problem is that if you scroll back a ways you’ll see where I posted this:
——————————————

By Mark E. Smith, April 12 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment


John, local decentralized self-governance differs from imperialism in that it doesn’t seek to control the world or even large nation-states.

My local food cooperative has been in business for 40 years. http://obpeoplesfood.coop/

You can also google Mondragon and a little research will let you find the history of other collective movements around the globe.
[...]

—————————————

All your excess sarcasm is wasted, John, as I had indeed posted it earlier, and it is still there for everyone to see. I don’t know if you just don’t bother to read my posts before responding, or if you deliberately ignored the fact that I had posted it earlier so that you could break out your savage sarcasm, but in either case, your illogical and pointless attempts to get out the vote are based on nothing more than your willful ignorance. Anyone who cared would have done the research and learned about collectives and cooperatives on their own, and could hardly have missed Mondragon with even the most cursory search, regardless of whether or not I’d specifically mentioned it. Which I had.

Of course if you happen to be one of those people who gets paid by the post, you wouldn’t want to waste time actually reading the posts you’re responding to. I don’t know if that’s the case—you might just be one of those people who doesn’t read what others say because they think they already know it all.

I’m unsubscribing to this discussion. You can say whatever you wish about me, but unless you manage to get this comment deleted, the readers will know to take anything you say with enough salt to send their blood pressure through the ceiling. Good luck to you in getting out the vote.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: please skip below to the last paragraph.  First I must address the good Mr. Smith, who appears to be getting more productive.

Mr. Smith…...FINALLY!  That was certainly a stubborn tooth to pull! 

First, I am not the one who suggest abandoning the ability to cast a vote in our “Democracy” without citing at least something of an alternative vision, and without some pathway from here to there that might occur without said votes.  Therefore, the onus is not on me to provide justifications/examples/googling, the onus is on the proposer. 

That said….bravo!  bravo!  a real world example!  Now we have something to discuss other than hot air!  The Mondragon Corporation!  Fascinating!  Indeed.  Finally!  Good Christ what an amount of horrific nasty rhetoric might have been saved has you merely surrendered the words ‘Mondrgon Corporation’ some paragraphs ago!  Perhaps you might get out of the ditch you’ve dug after all.  Good show.

Now, finally, I find the Mondragon corporation quite, quite interesting.  Good points, bad points?  Objectivity and neutrality are essential.


Shenonymous: I find the area interesting.  You mention opposites on some presumably linear scale: “.....anarcho of extreme freedom to fascistic socialist of extreme coercion”.  I suppose you agree that for a moment in time, each of these ‘pure theoreticals’ might exist, but I would say the underlying forces originating with human nature assure that change remains continually destroying and rebuilding any ‘pure theoreticals’.  The ‘best’ you say?  By metrics of quality of living, the Scandanavian countries top all lists.  But, so many western countries have a short (few hundred year at best) history, one must ask what will survive.  That’s why I asked Mr. Smith the question.  Evolution, particularly under the influence of the dynamic “variety of minds and preferences of each individual” as you put it, seems to be a much more chaotic system when applied to ‘intelligent’ societies, than when it is applied to species.  So, we go on the internet, a very new connection between our individual minds, and we advocate some action, or inaction, right?  And, we may or may not really have a reasonably well backed vision of where we think we can go, or how to get there.  So I think what needs done is to challenge assertions when they are poorly supported.  And here on the interweb, many argument makers really don’t know or care what adequate substantiation might be.  To not consider those for whom one writes seems to be the height of arrogance, and one thing I have observed is that if someone treats you with what I’ll call ‘intellectual disrespect’, they are probably not going to act in anybodies best interests.  So, my gig is simply to try to ask questions, that by the nature of the response might serve to either focus a point, substantiate an assertion, or expose the various trolls.  It is a fantastic thing the internet, but if we find and force some academic rigor upon it, perhaps it’ll turn out not to have been a waste of time?  Dunno.

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By Shenonymous, April 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Seems to me, John Best, that if there ever was a society that had a
better vision of society/government, then it would have been
recorded somewhere, and might exist today.  It is certainly possible
that all systems whether from the anarcho of extreme freedom to
fascistic socialist of extreme coercion, with all the democratic
systems (there are more than one) in between, have not come up
with a perfect ideal.  Searching for ideals is mostly an intellectual
exercise because one has to take into account the variety of minds
and preferences of each individual, even individuals within closed
societies.  Asking for perfection might be just too Platonically idealistic
because of the random collection of minds that exist in reality. 

Maybe the “best” humans can do would be more reasonable?  So
then we are left with deciding what is the best.  In that case we need
parameters to guide what could be the best.  Those parameters might
include what has or has not yet worked?  That means some work to see
sociological results.  A lot of investigation and analysis.  Who is up for
it?  It would be worth a Ph.D.!

Research might take you to google searches…but within the family of
democracies, the best the world has come up with seems to have its
flaws, the Constitutional United States.  Many other countries have tried
to model their governments on the U.S. unless they were tyrannized by
monarchies, chieftans, or other coercive central committees.  A google
search on the question:  What has been the best government in history? 
will give you some definition, you will have to conclude yourself. 

Whatever you do conclude, please share it with us as I am intrigued by
your questions… and answers!

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By Mark E. Smith, April 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

John, the corpo-oligarchs don’t donate to both major parties in almost equal amounts because they support one and oppose the other. You may not like the fact that I use logical arguments instead of smears, but I don’t lie and say I’m leaving and keep coming back again the way you do. Why you imagine that I’m trying to convince you or others of your ilk of anything is just immature ego-centrism. I put my arguments out for everyone to accept or reject as they see fit. Those who not only reject them, but desperately try every tactic imaginable to attempt to convince others to do so, using tons of excess verbiage in their fanatacism to get out the vote, are often paid political party operatives and can never be convinced to give up their corpo-oligarchal paychecks.

Google Mondragon for the historical example you claim to want, but is actually just another tactic to dismiss logical arguments you can’t refute. I’m not going to do your googling for you.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 13, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

The question was not, “human beings living outside state authority”.  My question, still unanswered, is:  “point me to a specific ‘decently documented’ period in US or European or some other history when this mystic ‘local, organic, democratic, arachno society’ existed.”

My ‘local, organic, democratic, arachno society’ construct was merely to indicate anything that resembles someones idea of a better societal organization.  Choose whatever suits you.

By the way, it is pure dyslexia that made my type arachno instead of anarcho, but somehow the spider image fits, so half-apologies, but I’m going with it.  Remove whatever descriptors you’d like and add whatever best describes your ‘better vision’ of society/government.  But the thing I’m interested in researching is what is the best example of it.  Has anyone’s vision been tried on some scale?  What went right?  What went wrong?  If the society still exists, what helped it survive?  How did/does it fare against the forces of ‘societal Darwinism’? 

For example…...look at the aborigines…...does that situation have parallels with what people propose?  My underlying point is that we espouse various grand schemes and visions, but so often we are too timid or lazy to present anything resembling research or data.  And I am getting tired of this sort of ‘baseless ideology pushing’ sort of ‘discussion’.

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By Shenonymous, April 13, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Class systems maintain themselves by their intentional or de facto
cooperation with external forces.  Otherwise they would rebel and
change the dynamics.  Class systems are hypothetical constructs
and not real entities.  To speak of a class or set of classes is only
a way of speaking about an often boundary-undefined group whose
wherewithal and resources are within a constructed range that
hypothetically separates one group from another.

Humans who live outside a state authority might include an entity
as the Vatican considered sovereign and completely autonomous.  I
can’t think of any others.  If one lives in any country, then they live
within a ‘state’ authority of some sort.

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By Anarcissie, April 13, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

If the question is human beings living outside state authority, there are lots of examples.  What we don’t have are examples of large industrial organizations operating outside of state authority, which suggests that there may be some kind of relationship between industrialism and violence.  Certainly there is between capitalism and state force, because a class system cannot be maintained without force; and capitalism is the most successful mode of organizing industrial development thus far known.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 13, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Mr. Smith, Contrary to your blanket statement that corpo-oligarchs are interested in getting out the vote, they are interested in getting out their voters, and suppressing all others.  ID laws, restricted voting days and hours, etc.  Therefore you cannot portray yourself as being ‘opposite’ them.  If you were objective and introspective, you would admit this. 

You argue with disregard for facts and use childish bullying tactics rather than address the issues. 

Your extensive efforts to suppress voting, and the ‘logic’ behind it, and given your forum, precisely serves the interests of the corpo-ologarchy.  I did not say you are one of them, nor did I associate you with them.  I said precisely that your argument serves their purpose.  You twisted my statement, and that is not cricket.  Good Day.

One last thing…...given the extreme volume of verbiage you expel in attempt to convince expel not to vote, and your disregard for iintellectual honesty in examining the issue, yes, you appear to be a fanatic.  I will go ahead and say it: I believe you are some sort of fanatic who intentionally or not, serves the purposes of the plutocracy, the corpo-ologarchy.  Now Good Day.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

They like close votes because with the manipulation of the voting machines they create just enough phantom votes to win by margins as small as 1%-2%.

Actually the core voter numbers of hard liners (right wingers) is closer to 32%.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt the “core voters” of the major parties combine constitute no more than 10% of the US electorate. Most voters aren’t voting for their parties—both parties have about 10% approval ratings among their own voters, but are panicked by smear attacks into voting against the other major party. They vote for candidates they don’t really want, hoping they’ll prove a bit less evil than the other party’s candidates. But since both major parties rely on the same big corporate donors, the results are the same no matter which party wins.

If, however, only their core voters, that is, those who approve of their party, its agenda, and their party’s candidates, were to vote, the turnout would be around 10% and our government would no longer be able to claim legitimacy.

Obama has been doing with an axe what Bush only did with a scalpel, particularly when it comes to funding the wars, protecting war criminals from prosecution, supporting torture, and taking money from the poor to give to the rich. Anyone who checked online during the ‘08 campaign and saw, as I did, that the big corporations were giving slightly more money to Obama than to McCain, would have known that Obama was going to out-Republican the Republicans.

Since both parties are competing for the same big corporate donors, the only conmpetition is which party can do more for Wall Street and less for Main Street. Right now the Democrats are winning. If it had been McCain expanding the wars of aggression based on lies, protecting torture, announcing an assassination hit list, and giving more money to the rich than Bush had done, Democrats would be screaming bloody murder. But of course Democratic politicians, except for the designated shills, would still vote for the Republican agenda whether it is being fronted for by a Democratic or a Republican President. And their apologists would insist that they didn’t really want to do what they do, but Ralph Nader made them do it.

The trap is thinking that if you don’t vote, the bad guys will win. No matter how faithfully you vote, the bad guys always win because there are no good guys the corporations will fund at a level enabling them to compete in federal elections. Only bad guys get enough corporate funding to have a chance of winning, so only bad guys win. What you do when you vote is consent to be governed by bad guys because you think that they aren’t really bad guys, they just have assassination hit lists because Ralph Nader made them do it.

The Magna Carta forced kings to stop having assassination hit lists and to bring people to trial instead of just killing them. Even really bad people like mass murderers and genocidal maniacs. If you want to be a modern day leader, and by modern-day I mean more recently than the 14th Century, you don’t have assassination hit lists and you don’t claim that your assassin is a a diplomat and an Embassy official when he isn’t, as Obama, Hillary, and John Kerry (all Democrats last time I checked) did with CIA hitman Raymond Davis, who was apparently responsible for attacks on Pakistani civilians which were blamed on the Taliban so that the US could provoke greater hostilities and sell more weapons. You can’t be the biggest arms dealer in the world if you care about peace, you have to have constant wars, bigger wars, and more violent wars to increase your market share.

If you vote at all, knowing that the end result of the “election” no matter who you vote for or how you vote, will be more wars because war is our biggest industry, you are supporting war crimes. Of course if you publicly advocate peace you risk being called a terrorist and sentenced to a super-max prison (prisons being our 2nd biggest industry), because it could be interpreted as having the intent to interfere with the corporate profits of the arms industry under the bipartisan Homegrown Terrorist Act. Genocide “R” US.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Suffice it to say that the oligarchs have planned for those refraining from voting and those desperately voting for a third party. In both cases it will work in the oligarchs favor. Not voting just gives their core voters more power to win more seats. Any party not of the two established parties—-in mumnmy cases, will not get sufficient coverage or money and will not get enough votes to win.

It wasn’t and accident, it was planned. Paint us into a corner, drive us into chutes leading to predetermined places. Both leading to the slaughter. Only one seems more friendly and reassuring. But we will see what Obama says tomorrow about the budget cuts. If he doesn’t tell the Republicans to go to hell but says he can cut with a scalpel while they cut with an ax—-we are doomed. And I told you so way back when he came into office in 2009.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

John, if there was a logical fallacy in anything I wrote, it would take somebody capable of thinking logically to find it. People who think only in terms of popular fallacies, propaganda, and smear tactics, don’t have that capability.

While the people you think you elected to your school board may be committed to doing good, they are being defunded at the federal level, so their commitment will be frustrated.

John writes: “But last…..your basic advocacy…to simply ignore elections…..is indistinguishable from what some very nasty corpo-oligarch’s and plutocrats are advocating, so be prepared that only fools will follow you if you are unwilling to provide the academic rigor I demand.”

Really? Name a corpo-oligarch or plutocrat who isn’t involved in getting out the vote, raising campaign money to get out the vote, and doing everything that they possibly can to get out the vote. Those who fall for their persuasive, bullying, and sometimes even terrifying tactics are the fools because they’re doing exactly what the oligarchs and plutocrats are spending billions of dollars to get them to do.

I think it is kind of funny that you would attempt to associate me with people who advocate, to the tune of billions of dollars, that people vote, on the grounds that I advocate the opposite. That’s as obvious a lack of logic as I’ve ever seen in my life.

John writes: “So, I’m out of time for you, so if you want another convert, do the job right next time.”

There is no way to persuade people who can’t think logically, John, and I wouldn’t waste my time trying. I respond to you only because people who CAN think logically are also reading this discussion and it helps them to understand the sleazy tactics that are used to convince people to vote.

I do find it amusing that you characterize my arguments as attempts to “convert” people, as if I was some proselytizing fundamentalist or a political party operative trying to get out the vote. All I do is attempt to raise social consciousness so that people can think for themselves—exactly the opposite of what agents of religions and political parties do when trying to convert people to their dogma.

As for saying that I’m advocating an “‘anarchy-corpo-plutocratic-freelove whatever’ system,” that is hilarious. You’ve put together a bunch of very conntradictory things that you hope that the gullible might find offensive, and tried to use that to discredit me because you can’t refute any of my arguments. But if you’re trying to persuade people to vote, you’re going about it all wrong. If you can convince people in this sex & porn obsessed society that not voting will lead to free love, I can assure you we’ll have a bigger election boycott in 2012 than even I ever thought possible. wink

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Mark, you wrote: “if somebody had insisted a hundred years ago that since no serious flying transports had ever existed, they could never seriously be considered a possibility, they’d have been wrong.”  There’s a logical fallacy in this statement, but I can’t innumerate it at the moment. 

Certainly, there may indeed be perfectly good historical examples, and I conceed that a complete lack of any history does not necessarily preclude the idea that your whatever-it-is ‘anarchy-corpo-plutocratic-freelove whatever’ system won’t work flawlessly.  However, if what you’re saying has any importance, it deserves research, and historical precedents may indeed exist which support you, but you make no effort.

And you give the example of the presidential election…...perhaps it was a fraud, but then again, I’m fairly certain the persons I elected for the local school board are committed to doing good.

But last…..your basic advocacy…to simply ignore elections…..is indistinguishable from what some very nasty corpo-oligarch’s and plutocrats are advocating, so be prepared that only fools will follow you if you are unwilling to provide the academic rigor I demand.

So, I’m out of time for you, so if you want another convert, do the job right next time.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

During the ‘08 election campaign, John, both the leading contenders, Obama and McCain, said clearly that they were pro-war and pro-bailout. Since I opposed both the wars and the bailouts, and since only one of the two pro-war, pro-bailout candidates had any chance of winning, the predetermined outcome of the election, no matter who won, was more war and more bailouts.

That’s what everyone knew and that’s what the people who voted, knew they were consenting to when they voted.

Oh, they may have had all sorts of excuses or hopes, but they knew as well as I did that the only possible outsome of the ‘08 election would be more war and more bailouts. Voters were so apathetic that they didn’t care, and they voted, knowing full well that the result of the election, no matter who won, would be more war and more bailouts.

I cared, so I didn’t vote. If the results are known beforehand, it can’t properly be called an election because the element of choice is lacking. If the results will be the same no matter how people vote, it isn’t a free, fair, honest election.

Your only response to my arguments is that I can’t point to history. I can’t point to a history of doing things differently in the US because we haven’t tried it yet. But I can point to a history of doing things the same way, over and over, and getting the same results every time. If you intend to do the same thing again in 2012, and you expect different results, you’re the one who should do some research.

Progress comes about when somebody says, “Hmmmm. Every time I do this, this happens. And every time I do that, that happens. Maybe if I try doing something differently, something different might happen.” And that is done without any proven history, as an experiment to see if it will bring about change. Because continuing to do things in the same old way has been historically proven to NOT bring about change.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

No, you frame the debate in a way that un-succinctly says I am ‘one of them’, to discredit my legitimate skepticism.  If you can’t or won’t cite anything from history, there’s just not enough substance to your argument, despite the amount of verbiage expended.

I’m not putting down the coop efforts…....that’s a very good thing, but I am saying it’s not an adequate substitute for a historic comparison and analysis which passes some standard of academic rigor.

For the record: Wal Mart sucks as does the MBA pro-ignorance religion which supports it.  Now do some homework.  Your research won’t be pretty, but if it’s at least honest and open, it deserves consideration.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

John, if somebody had insisted a hundred years ago that since no serious flying transports had ever existed, they could never seriously be considered a possibility, they’d have been wrong.

The future may not have existed in the past.

As for your right to cast a ballot that the Supreme Court says need not be counted, for candidates who can’t be held accountable during their terms of office (the only time they’re in power and the only time they are supposed to represent their constituents), nobody is trying to take it away from you. You can cast uncounted ballots for unaccountable candidates all you want, and keep wondering why nothing changes.

I can’t convince a person who thinks that casting an uncounted ballot for unaccountable candidates is important to them or to society, to consider not voting, any more than I could convince somebody who think that smoking crack is the most important thing in their life, to stop doing it. People will do what they think is important to them, whether or not it actually betters their lives.
 
Maybe food co-ops can’t move your opinion, but they’ve moved the opinions of those who work and shop at them. Collectives aren’t proselytizing religions or billion dollar election campaigns, they’re self-help groups for people who prefer equality to hierarchy.

John writes: “Know what I’m talking about, this mystical perfect society everyone thinks will erupt if we just do nothing?  What’s the best we’ve achieved so far?”

Who you calling “we,” paleface? If you haven’t been part of a collective, you haven’t achieved anything in that direction so far. I’m a member of a collective and it has improved my life and given me hope that others, seeing the examples set by collectives all over the world, will eventually follow suit.

It is easy to look at Wal-Mart and see that it is big, employs a lot of people, and is a successful business enterprise. Looking at my local food co-op, it appears to be small and nowhere near as successful. But if you look at the lives of the workers, the Wal-Mart workers get low wages without much in the way of benefits. The co-op workers get high wages, full benefits, an equal voice in decisions, and are much happier. If you want a proven successful model, you’ll choose Wal-Mart every time. If you care about the quality of human life, you’ll choose the co-op model over Wal-Mart.

Being low income, I have to forego things like a cell phone and cable TV so that I can afford to shop at the co-op. If I didn’t have priorities, I couldn’t do it. I’m sure you have priorities also. The reason that I could never convince you is because your priorities are different from mine.

If somebody had come to you when they first started out and offered you a chance to invest in MicroSoft or Apple, I’m sure you’d have turned them down and chosen the proven IBM stocks instead. There’s nothing wrong with being risk-averse, and many dot.coms did go broke, but progress isn’t made by sticking with the status quo and refusing to try anything new or different.

Some day, if you live long enough, you may start to wonder why it is that no matter how faithfully you vote, and no matter who you vote for and no matter who is actually elected, nothing seems to change. If you’re a regressive, you won’t think about it much because keeping the status quo will make you happy. But if you’re a progressive who wants change, you may eventually consider changing your own habits, because that’s the only way kind of change you really have the power to make in this world. And when you change, you change the world an infinitesimal bit, and when more people make such small changes, the world itself begins to change. It won’t be me convincing you, but you getting to the point where you no longer feel you need other people to make policy decisions for you.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

The question stands unanswered:  “point me to a specific ‘decently documented’ period in US or European or some other history when this mystic ‘local, organic, democratic, arachno society’ existed.”

If someone suggests to me that I ought to give up a right, then the responsibility is theirs to provide justification.  What I requires is simply an example.  You must choose your best example for consideration if you hope to convince me. 

A food coop which exists in the context and dependent on an oil based agriculture system and the “military-industrial complex” is not really close enough to a self sufficient free-standing society to move any seriously formed opinion.

Know what I’m talking about, this mystical perfect society everyone thinks will erupt if we just do nothing?  What’s the best we’ve achieved so far?

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

John, local decentralized self-governance differs from imperialism in that it doesn’t seek to control the world or even large nation-states.

My local food cooperative has been in business for 40 years. http://obpeoplesfood.coop/

You can also google Mondragon and a little research will let you find the history of other collective movements around the globe.

The seem to perform much better than the capitalist model, but only in terms of serving their worker-owners and the community. They don’t make a few people rich at the expense of everyone else and the despoliation of the planet.

They’re not flashy cinematic myths of the type that you appear to be seeking. If you want a council of magic elves and a beautiful fairy princess, try studying the history of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, particularly with reference to Operation Northwoods, and the history of the FBI when headed by J. Edgar Hoover. The Joint Chiefs found a magic way to create wars when none existed, called “false flag operations,” and due to Hoover’s mystical powers, during the entire time he headed the FBI, the Mafia simply didn’t exist. Later, of course, the CIA enlisted that mythical Mafia to try to kill Fidel Castro, but somebody must have forgotten a magic amulet, as they failed. Still, great profits were made, many powerful men became even more powerful, and the multinational corporations flourished, thanks to the assassinations and genocides we committed on their behalf.

If that’s the kind of practical, down-to-earth government you prefer, you’re welcome to it.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

I am right on the verge of surrendering the one legal means by which the citizenry can legally transfer legislative power and legal authority. 

I am willing to believe that there will be a transfer of power from this sort of corpo-oligarchic situation to some new ‘local’ anarcho-heaven…....probably assisted by the wisdom of a council of majic dwarves and a beautiful fairy princess…....or was that a porn flick? 

In any case, I am perfectly willing to surrender my vote, should anyone be able to point me to a specific ‘decently documented’ period in US or European or some other history when this mystic ‘local, organic, democratic, arachno society’ existed.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect match…...but just to show at least some humility and understanding of history, please point out said period?  Otherwise…...don’t waste my time.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Response to Sheronymous, #2 of 2.

The Egyptians only had a small percent of their population supporting their revolution and the tyranny there is not anywhere near as bad as the tyranny here in the United States. We have greater income disparities, a larger percentage of our population in prison, and a government that not only has torture as official policy, but a tyrant who has an assassination hit list—something no democratic leader would ever do, yet he calls himself a Democrat.

The Egyptian revolution failed because they were focused on the puppet dictator and failed to see the US/Israel-funded military junta hiding behind him, which the US quickly insisted was a “transition government” even though it has been in power since 1952 and is still arresting and torturing people as if nothing at all has changed. The US then directed its paid Egyptian military junta to hold sham elections and the Egyptian people, like the people here in the US, will be caught up in a well-financed election frenzy that will divide them against each other into political parties so that they, like people here in the US, will be unable to unite against the system that is oppressing them. And no matter who they elect, just as is the case here in the US, the military will keep right on calling the shots and the people will keep blaming the puppets and trying to elect different puppets instead of uniting to change the system behind those puppets.

I don’t know what you think is going on in Libya, but the reality is that NATO, which is led and controlled by the United States, is savagely bombing and killing civilians, just as we do in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our bombs cannot distinguish between rebels and government forces, and kill indiscriminately.

While you say that you, “...would not subject my family and friends to a savage armed confrontation,” you have been supporting a government that has subjected the family and friends of other people in other countries to savage confrontations—countries that never attacked us and that even Bush admitted hasd not responsibility for 9/11. We have killed over a million innocent civilians and continue to kill more every day. The US is the world’s biggest earms dealer and needs constant wars and bigger wars in order to expand its market share of arms and increase profits.

Not voting is nonviolent. It is also the most effective form of nonviolent revolution known, as it has succeeded in ousting oligarchies and delegitimizing governments in South Africa, Haiti, and other places. Neither voting nor civil disobedience can bring about change as long as there are regressives (I don’t care what you call yourself) who keep voting to legitimize a government that doesn’t give a damn about its own people, has no respect for human life, and doesn’t even bother to count the votes if it doesn’t feel like it.

To vote in elections held by a government which states openly that it has no Constitutional obligation to even count the votes (which the Supreme Court found in 2000 and then proceeded to stop the vote count), is the height of apathy, so voters need to stop calling other people apathetic. You can’t get more apathetic than casting votes that nobody really needs to bother to count.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Response to Sheronymous, #1 of 2.

Funny that you posted to the wrong forum, Shenonymous, and funnier still that you accuse somebody of name-calling by name-calling them juvenile. Perhaps both of you are the same mental age?

No, liberalism is not dead. It is now called neoliberalism and is more evil than neoconservatism.

As for not voting being, in your opinion, as well as the oft-stated opinion of hordes of paid Democratic Party political operatives, being the same as “capitulating to the Republicans completely,” to what extent do you insist on capitulating to the Republicans? 100% as the Democrats did during the Bush administration by supporting everything the Republicans did, or 150% as Obama has been doing by expanding the Republican agenda beyond Bush’s wildest dreams with bigger wars, a new war, and bailouts, handouts, and tax breaks for the rich that Bush only timidly expanded?
 
I will not do that, nor will any liberal who still has a breath in them.

As for the numbers, please recall Margaret Mead’s words: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The Democrats are not spineless, as their apologists like to claim. It takes spine to push through an agenda that 90% of your voters oppose, and the Democrats do that constantly.

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By Shenonymous, April 12, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Oops, wrong forum.  But it is relevant since a comment here was
referred to there.

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By Shenonymous, April 12, 2011 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Your brow-beating style and name-calling is juvenile.  It puts
your minimal mind on display, LtlBlueDot, and your feeble attempt
to prevent a comment from me has nothing to do with not
disappointing you.  This is as much interest as it elicits:  Zilch

The kind of anarchy Hedges is advocating is not what I can get
excited about.  I read the article and Mark E. Smith’s comment on
the other forum and yours, MarthaA, that follows it as well. Hedges
has been advocating not paying taxes, for years.  I don’t believe
liberalism is dead as Hedges also for years has been moaning.  Not
voting in this country is capitulating to the Republicans completely. 
I will not do that, nor will any liberal who still has a breath in them.

Passive resistance is a fine action.  It is definitely a way to express
one’s views and voicelessness is a strategy.  But I have responded for
years that it is pissing in the wind unless, as you noted accurately,
without the numbers it is a useless waste of energy.

Again, I prefer to work from the inside out.  Lingua franca is the
language that is widely used.  Republican mumbo-jumbo redefines
meanings of words in our language and use it as propaganda.  But the
Democrats, Independents and third partiers also use language as
propaganda.

The Republicans use language that seems to catch the attention of the
70% majority as you call them. Their propaganda has effect.  The
spineless Democrats mumble their language and bows to the coercive
language of the Republicans.

Passive resistance, or non-violent resistance except on the scale of
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and actually most recently in Egypt must
have huge support or at least a good percentage of the country that is
besieged by tyrants.  That was their secret weapon, numbers of
sympathizers.  There have been many nonviolent resistances throughout
history.  But successes were attributable to the general and highly
passionate emotion of the people in huge numbers.  Egypt almost did
not work, but with the usurpation of the government by the military
junta, it is possible the people will have to resort to a Libyan militant
resistance.  A rebellion in the United States has no traction at least
there are too little signs that there is.  Nor is violence an answer.

I would not subject my family and friends to a savage armed confronta-
tion.  Would you?  M’thinks Hedges has been infected by what he sees
happening in the Middle East.  And those people cannot be said to have
succeeded and not without a lot of bloodshed.  Is that what you are
advocating too?

Collecting empirical information, in 2008 an published in depth
analysis, “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent
Conflict”, in International Security, showed a completely detailed
analysis of the rate of success of civil resistance campaigns, as
compared to rebellions or revolutions.  From their study of over 300
cases of both types of campaign, from 1900 to 2006, they concluded
that “nonviolent resistance methods are likely to be more successful
than violent methods in achieving strategic objectives.”  However, their
article noted specifically that “resistance campaigns that compel loyalty
shifts among security forces and civilian bureaucrats are likely to
succeed.  Without those domains one of actual power the other with
only potential residual power among the members, any movement is
likely to not succeed and loss of ground can be expected.

I am afraid that is what is happening in Libya and it looks like that
condition is emerging in Egypt. Hedges April 15 plan is going to be
very telling.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Thank you, MarthaA. Unfortunately, I cannot get everybody not to vote. But a few years back when I urged people on various forums not to vote, there was never a single person who agreed with me. Now there are usually several, and there are some who advocate boycotting elections on their own initiative.

It isn’t easy to counter the big mass media machine and hundreds of paid political party operatives backed by billions of dollars in corporate money, so I’m pleased to see any progress at all.

In Haiti, when Aristide was kidnapped by the US and his political party, the most popular in Haiti, was taken off the ballot, only between 3% to 7% of Haitians voted. In their most recent election about a third voted. But if Aristide and his Lavalas party are allowed back on the ballot, the turnout will be over 95%. That’s how the world can tell if a government has the consent of its people.

But forced turnout or turnout purchased with billions of dollars in media campaigns isn’t popular sentiment. Most people in the US want change, but half still don’t realize that they cannot bring about change through elections.

In order for it to be possible to bring about change through elections, you first need a level playing field, a direct vote, and honest elections. The only way to get such things is to refuse to vote until you do. If you’ll settle for sham elections, there’s no reason for anyone to consider allowing honest elections.

It is important to remember that the corporations who will be spending billions of dollars on the 2012 election, will be donating almost equal amounts to both major political parties. So they don’t really care who people vote for, as long as they can convince people to vote. With billions of dollars, they can get the best marketing, public relations, and advertising agencies money can buy, so they’ll convince a lot of gullible people.

And then there will be those who insist on voting because they want to cast a protest vote against the major parties, and who can’t seem to understand that their vote is their consent to be governed by whoever wins the election, not by the candidate they voted for. They’re making a symbolic statement, a statement of their faith in the system and their belief that it can be reformed and doesn’t need to be removed and replaced.

But I’m not sure that we’re really ready for an election boycott. People usually ask me, “What if nobody votes? What then? If we refuse to grant our consent to this system, what will we replace it with?” Until we’ve reached the point of social consciousness where people realize that they are just as capable of governance (and in most cases more capable) as their elected leaders, we’re not ready yet.

As local sustainable collectives form and flourish, more and more people begin to experience self-governance and understand not only that they are capable of it, but that it benefits them far more than any other kind of governance. So while we urge people to remove their consent from a repressive and unaccountable government, we need to simultaneously help people gain confidence in themselves.

As children, we had to ask our parents or guardians for everything. When we get older we’re supposed to learn how to provide for ourselves and make our own decisions. It isn’t easy when previous generations never had that opportunity and therefore can’t pass it on. but it can be done.

We need to remember that if we want to end wars, oppression, and corporate rule, we can’t petition the military, the government, and the corporations to end themselves, we must replace them with local collectives that are not dependent upon them, so that eventually it will be the people making the decisions, not military-industrial-political puppets.
Their interests are not our interests and they will never act in our interests, so it is up to us.

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By MarthaA, April 12, 2011 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, April 12 at 7:27 am,

Great, but how are you going to get everyone not to vote?

I reposted your post on Truthdig’s, ‘Obama’s Fatal Addiction”.

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By Mark E. Smith, April 12, 2011 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is correct in saying that, “The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke,” and also in observing that, “There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.” Only his conclusion that, “Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left,” is wrong.

Civil disobedience is not effective. It results only in the repression of those taking part. Our tyrannical government has stated clearly many times that it does not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions.

There is an effective way to bring about change, one I’ve been advocating for many years, and I’m glad to see that RedwoodGuy and DieDaily, among others, understand it. Of course the numerous political party operatives are horrified, but boycotting elections and refusing to vote is the only effective way we have to bring about change. Yes, our government can remain in power without the consent of the governed, but it could not claim legitimacy or claim to be a democratic form of government.

What demonstrators are protesting are their own votes to empower the government that is harming them. Stop empowering that government and it loses the authority you grant it to use violence to govern you. It may still use violence, but without your consent it is illegitimate violence and the world will recognize that.

When you join a union, no matter how progressive that union, you are recognizing and authorizing capitalist bosses to exploit you, and asking only that they be somewhat less exploitive.

When you vote, no matter how progressive the party or candidates you vote for, you are recognizing and authorizing the system that holds the election to govern you, and asking only that it be somewhat less brutal and destructive.

The United States is ruled by a military junta (the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs of Staff) against which neither the President nor Congress have any power. This military junta, like the President and Congress, is wholly dependent upon funding from the wealthy elites on whose behalf it exists. Of course our government gives everything they want to the wealthy elites, the corporations, and the military, because that’s who they exist to serve, not we the people.

The corporations are going to spend billions of dollars on the 2012 election. The Supreme Court says they can spend as much money as they wish. If you’ve seen the documentary film, “The Corporation,” you know that corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize profits. If those donations didn’t maximize profits, their shareholders could and would sue them and would replace them with more compliant Boards of Directors.

We the people don’t have billions of dollars with which to wage an equal and opposite media campaign to urge people not to vote. So once again, most people will get caught up in the election frenzy, focus on individual candidates rather than the repressive system behind them, and choose what they hope might be the lesser evil, but, as always, will turn out to be the same old evil with a new face.

We know that we can’t hold elected federal officials accountable while they’re in office and can only wait until the next election to try to replace them. We also know that the Supreme Court ruled that there is no Constitutional requirement that the popular vote be counted. To vote in elections where your vote need not be counted, for candidates you can’t hold accountable, is sheer idiocy. And to then allow yourself to be arrested for protesting the results of your vote is even worse. If you don’t like what government is doing to you, stop delegating to them the power to do it. Don’t vote.

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By Cliff Carson, April 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

Thank you MarthA

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By prosefights, April 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Resiting BS might be a good idea too?

http://www.prosefights.org/eprishumard/currie/currie.htm#resistbs

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By MarthaA, April 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Ownership on credit is not ownership, as thousands and thousands
of people that thought they were owners found out, and these folks
all work.

Any member of society who has to work for a living has having to
work for a living in common with all the other people who have to
work for a living—all these people are members of the 70% Majority
Common Population, the American Populace that need to unite and
stand up for being represented in the making and enforcing of
legislated law and order, because neither the Democratic Party nor
the Republican Party represent the common population as a class
and culture; individual representation is NO REPRESENTATION.

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By Anarcissie, April 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

In depends on how you define ‘working class’.  At one time it meant people who had to sell their labor power to an employer to live, as opposed to the petite bourgeoisie, who owned their own means of production (small business, shops, and so on) and the haute bourgeoisie, who owned the big stuff and employed the working class.  However, the economic term became conflated with the idea of social class, so that a working-class person was supposed to speak with poor grammar and pronunciation, not go to school, and have bad taste in the arts.  Whereupon everyone (in the U.S., anyway) said they were ‘middle class’.

You can make up as many schemes of categorization as you like, I guess.  The interesting question is what you’re going to do with them.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t the working class made up of the Middle and lower classes? That the poor also encompasses the working poor? (Getting larger by the day.)

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By MarthaA, April 10, 2011 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

In the United States why are there three supposed
classes and cultures on the Left:  the Middle Class,
the Working Class, and the Poor Class?  Doesn’t all
three supposed classes on the Left have “having to
work” in common?

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By Anarcissie, April 10, 2011 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

I imagine the economy is wrecked, it’s just taking a long time to fall over.  ‘There is a lot of ruin in a nation’* and it takes a good while to work it out.  The question then would be what comes next—who picks up the pieces, and what they do with them.

(*Or, ‘... in a country.’  According to Google, attributed to Milton Friedman, Lord Keynes, Winston Churchill, Adam Smith, John Adams, and Dr. Johnson.  The vote heavily favors Smith, but it sounds like Dr. Johnson to me.)

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By Night-Gaunt, April 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

We must not be atomized and fragmented. One of the oligarchs old tricks is to sow problems between groups that are against them, to drive wedges using provocateurs put in their midst. And as our economy skews to the top 10% with the upper most 2% getting most of that redistributed wealth the rest of us are being pulled down into the muck of misery and want. That flat part Thomas Friedman talks about. If we can get together we might still have a chance of stopping them from wrecking our economy and taking over. That is what I see them wanting to do. So Glenn Beck is right only its the oligarchs he is aligned with who want such economy and plenary power. They have plenty of wannabe followers.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

By racetoinfinity, April 7 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

Not to beat [a] yesterday’s troll, however:

re:  By JDmysticDJ, April 4 at 11:31 am

Thebeerdoctor is a sad and pathetic iconoclast who is as responsible for tyranny as the tyrants themselves.


“The bd troll is a self-styled iconoclast.  True ones have courage, however misguided or low-consciousness they may be.  And not
understanding a larger “we” that transcends and includes “Is” is low-consciousness.  They only understand the pre-modern
“we”, apparently.”


=================================================


Huh? Unfortunately I am unable to decipher your esoteric linguistic writing. I’m out of the loop on this kind of jargon. I’m unable to decipher, if you are insulting someone, who you’re insulting, and what the nature of that insult is. A “bd troll” is…?


Premodern: “Existing or coming before a modern period or time: the feudal system of premodern Japan.”

Postmodernism: “Genre of art and literature and especially architecture in reaction against principles and practices of established modernism;”

 

Being in the dark, I’ll restate my belief that the “we” is social, and the “I” is anti-social. That being said, it’s also my belief that the we’s and I’s are suffering from a karma so bad that the we’s and I’s are currently living in a failed state and a failed democracy. When a tiny little group of they’s or us’s control over 90% of the nations wealth, have the equivalent income of anywhere from $400 to $100,000 per hour, and corporations that have annual profits in the multi-billions while receiving, not rebates, but subsidies amounting to billions coming from our tax coffers, and are able to manipulate our government, and tax policy, then the we’s and I’s have a serious problem relating to social and economic justice.


It’s true that we live in a nation with a high standard of living, and that our nation controls abd consumes a huge disproportionate percentage of the worlds wealth and resources, but much of that wealth is currently found in the debt column of the ledger, and the only people actually in the Black are the tiny little percentage of citizens who control the wealth of the nation, the rest of us are seriously and heavily in the Red, though some of us may not realize this fact yet.


In my humble opinion, empire abroad does equal tyranny at home, and unless the “I’s” come together as a “we, ”to end the futile, destructive, wasteful, tragic, and cruel adventures of empire, “we” will be governed by tyranny, and iconoclastic apathy will avail us of absolutely nothing except tyranny, and the ostrich head in the sand sense of welfare.


As things now stand, I believe, it’s not necessary that we lop off a bunch of heads, or sacrifice our lives en mass in order to turn things around, but that it is necessary that “we” take action. I agree with Hedges that it is of the utmost importance that “we” protest, use civil disobedience, and become politically active. “I” will do so, but my action, and the actions of other I’s will have little affect, unless “we,” many of us, do so.


It may be that our karma and moral character are so bad, and damaged, that “we” will do nothing, that our fate has already been sealed, and that tyranny and self-destruction are our destiny, but “I” personally will not surrender to tyranny, or stand idly by while reprobates lead us to murder, mayhem, and destruction. The futures of children, ours, and others, are at stake. We will not able to save the world from all iniquities, but “we” should endeavor to make our world better, not by firing bullets, missiles, and dropping bombs, but by struggling for peace, justice, equality, and equity.

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By MarthaA, April 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, April 8 at 7:41 pm,

Hear, hear, I’m with you.  Social Democratic Party sounds like it
could lead Socialized Capitalism, instead of Privatized Capitalism.

The Bank of North Dakota is a socialized State owned bank and is
the only state-owned bank in the United States, established by
legislative action in 1919, to promote agriculture, commerce and
industry in North Dakota. The Bank acts as a funding resource in
partnership with other financial institutions, economic development
groups and guaranty agencies. The Bank of North Dakota has four
established business areas: Student Loans, Lending Services,
Treasury Services and Banking Services.

http://www.banknd.nd.gov/

This type of banking should be encouraged all over the United
States and profit should be by preset ratios without all the owners
and managers of companies/corporations reaping exorbitant profit
far above the employees.  It is done in Cuba and Cuba has
survived everything the United States has thrown at them, so it
could be done here.  Hope you can get it going.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, April 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

SOCIETAL INJUSTICE

JB: We cannot relax, trust one another, and work together.

Interesting post and thank you.

The above is correct. America is an individualist country which espouses the virtues of excellence and success. To the victor, the spoils - as the Romans would have said.

But we know what happened to the Roman Empire, don’t we? It fixated on personal aggrandizement that required continual conquest of new lands to obtain the riches that would enhance the lives of Romans. That system inevitably self-destructed because it was unsustainable.

COLLECTIVIST CULTURES

A collectivist culture, as exists in many European countries, was forged by Marxian thought. Communism was rejected for its inherent economic deficiencies. It presumed that all labor was to be reimbursed equally. But Marxist principles remain intact. They espouse that the collectivism* prevails over individualism**.

Humans are willing to accept risk but expect to be rewarded for success due to risk. But such is not the only social value of merit. How can Americans come to understand that the same mechanism that rewards achievement is that which renders them slaves to a system that requires lowering the cost of labor and enhancing the result of market performance (in terms of corporate profit) all for the benefit (profit) of Free Enterprise?

The answer to that question is very simple. The values of the collective* must prevail over those of the individual**. Or in simpler terms, what benefits the collective benefits all individuals. But the reverse is not true. What benefits the individual benefits mostly only the individual.

This is no argument for Communism. It is an argument, however, for the Collective Good - a principle that those who colonized America cherished greatly, because they were inter-dependent - but that we have somehow lost on our way in becoming a nation.

Not all is lost, however. One must have faith in human nature. A nature that knows intrinsically right from wrong. One that therefore understands that the present circumstance is far from being the right.

SOCIALISM? SO WHAT?

The path ahead is one to a collective value of social progress, by which no one is left behind. No, not by hand-outs to the poor but by a hand-up to each individual that needs one.

Some will misconstrue that statement to mean “socialism”. I know socialism and its many errors, I live in a country with a very large socialist sentiment.

Which is why I am convinced that America, under new leadership of a Social Democrat Party, can change and bring betterment to a large part of its people.

We are not fools but have been taken for fools by the establishment of a plutocrat class, accomplished by allowing some individuals to accumulate riches beyond even the imagination of Croesus. Societal injustice is rampant in our nation.

If anyone knows another way to bring Income Fairness to America other than increased taxation and redistribution of the revenue on Public Services (thus allowing Public Health Care and Primary-to-Tertiary Level Education), then they should say so here.

MY POINT

If this is “socialism” and I am painted as a Socialist, then so be it. Once beyond the name-calling, however, we must ask: What is best for our country and our people? All our people and not just a select class of individuals.

And for our children, we are also obliged to answer that question. Because our system of governance and the market economy, as both exist presently, just aren’t good enough for as long as Income Unfairness prevails in America.

FOOTNOTES
*The practice or principle of giving the group priority over each individual in it.
**A social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.

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By Anarcissie, April 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, April 8 at 4:50 pm

‘... In fact, all this bitching-in-a-blog is a wasted effort. I suggest that what is needed is a well-written Progressive Agenda that captures the imagination of America’s Poor and downtrodden as well as our Middle-Class….’

Well, go ahead and write it, and post it somewhere.  Get back to us with the results.

Or, wait, practically nobody reads.  Make a video of a cat reading it while playing the piano in front of a blackboard with arrows and circles drawn on it.  That ought to do it.

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By Gary Mont, April 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette:That error is esaily correctable. We need no revolution since there is no occupying force as in 1776.

—-

If you actually believe that the multinational billioniares currently occupying your government offices are NOT an occupying force merely because they mostly have American citizenship, than not only are you the one who is mentally masturbating, but you’re dry humping your pillow, to boot.

Did you think that an occupying force must be foreign before it can be labeled as such? Does a Nazi need to have German citizenship, wear jackboots and brandish a swastika before it becomes apparent to you what he stands for?

You have no government to appeal to. Your notion that all that is needed is to appeal to the better nature of your leadership and they will see the light, is patently absurd.

You’re eternal faith in the notion that all of this is mere coincidence and not a literal conspiracy, is amusing but infantile. You’re obviously still hoping to become one of the elite yourself, if you cannot see that the evidence before you proves their absolute willing opportunistic complicity in this matter.

I’ll bet you think GWBush actually won the office of POTUS twice through normal legal methods.

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By Lafayette, April 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

MENTAL MASTURBATION

CH: There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.

No, CH, this is not the truth and please stop peddling it.

We live in a democracy. We, the sheeple, decide who governs us. Unfortunately, we’ve chosen the wrong kind.

That error is esaily correctable. We need no revolution since there is no occupying force as in 1776.

We must simply change the political system we have in place. It is NOT Mission Impossible - but it IS difficult. Because those that can influence Congress, that is our plutocrats, have been allowed to do so.

In fact, all this bitching-in-a-blog is a wasted effort. I suggest that what is needed is a well-written Progressive Agenda that captures the imagination of America’s Poor and downtrodden as well as our Middle-Class.

So, please, stop peddling Conspiracy Theory as the cause of all evil. If there is a Manichean effort to influence Congress, it is being done in perfectly legal ways. Ways that should be illegal.

So, reform is a matter of changing the laws that allow BigMoney to influence politics. We’ve tried to achieve that objective any number of times and always failed miserably. So, how do we do it now,

By means of a national referendum! Mission Impossible, Not if a sufficient number of people can be assembled to undertake the effort of pushing such a referendum through to a popular vote.

Democracy, as you should know well, was always a matter of assembling a majority vote of the constituents. That rule still exists.

Unfortunately, assembling a majority from the minorities takes not only wits but money.

MY POINT

Regardless, negative rhetorical journalism will accomplish nothing. It is just so much sterile Mental Masturbation. Thinks otherwise, write better articles.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Layfayette, on April 5 at 10:26 mentions: “.....electing those who adhere to a Charter o f Congressional Honesty and Responsibility….” 

If a binding legal agreement existed, and elected officials had not ambition (or ability) to rise above some average level of well-being….......if their only hope would be to work toward improving the lot of the common man…......NO hope of special privilege, special health care, special pensions…........perhaps it would be a different world.  But in devising, revision, and administering such charters and contracts, people, corruptible people are involved. 

To me it seems underlying all is the fear that we must hustle for for allegiances to keep other allegiances from stealing that bit of pie we are trying to accumulate for our security.  We cannot relax, trust one another, and work together.  Fear and mistrust are easily amplified any time the Overlords sense we may be acting as though we don’t need them.  A humane government, uncorrupted in it’s purpose of serving the common good, is the only tangible and effective tool to inspire a sense of trust, a sense of common purpose, in the population. 

It is understandable then why the parishioners of the church of “Global Greed is Good” would destroy government, rather than attempt to purge the corrupted from it.

On another topic…...it’s no longer neutral, our noisy popular media…..it’s slowly become more and more counterproductive.  In a time when intelligent rational action is needed, we continue to dumb down.  The ‘public airwaves’ have been sold to commercial interests to market all forms of crap, and if this train-wreck is going to be at least cushioned, we can’t afford to spew all manner of corrosive notions and call it all ‘free press’ or ‘free speech’.  It’s an affront to those terms.  Boycott’s have been mentioned….......boycotting the advertisers who support inane programming might be worth considering.  It’s an area where letter-writing might have an impact.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 8, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

By rico, suave, April 6 at 12:12 am Link to this comment
Can you imagine this woman smiling after being arrested in, say, ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY for a similar offense?

The smiling face seems to me, to be smiling from a kind of nervous pride. I like that photograph, the photograph of your smiling face on the other hand causes me to be nauseas. I have to be careful about not eating prior to visiting truthdig because I might be exposed to your vomit inducing picture. On the plus side, I’ll never need to purchase an emetic. Did anyone ever tell you that you have the eyes of a demented demon? Just wondering… Is it just me? 
If you want to see the real face of empire, there are other pictures available that are more representative; pictures from Abu Graib, and other places. As far as MUSLIM COUNTRIES go, there are pictures from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., there are many pictures from these “MUSLIM COUNTRIES,”(Grrr, much teeth gnashing) and video too, video that has been censured by the empire’s highest court. If you keep an eye out, you might be able to catch a glimpse, somewhere, of the face of the psychologist who was formerly in charge of designing interrogations at Gitmo who is now facing charges that he was responsible for the torturing of people; people not charged with a crime in any court, people not given adequate legal representation, people who have little legal recourse; people who will be tried in secret military tribunals, free from controversial, and troublesome media coverage.

Your naiveté seems to be the result of ignorance, and a kind of myopic patriotism, rah rah, zis boom bah. I doubt that many people here will fail to see your little post for what it is. I’ll bet that you thought you were being very clever and enlightening with your small minded little post utterly devoid of any compassion for the victims of empire, and of any recognition of what’s been occurring for the last fifty or sixty years, and before.

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By MarthaA, April 7, 2011 at 2:28 am Link to this comment

The Left Wing Middle Class are Beau Brummel’s type that use
credit to appear wealthy, and the Right-Wing wealthy have
allowed many people of the common population to consider
themselves Middle Class, like the frog in the water, now the
Right-Wing’s wealthy are heating the water and the once Middle
Class are going to have to learn who they are and jump out of the water
and declare for representation of their class and culture, because they
really have
been deserted.

The 20% upper crust of the Middle Class is the only Middle Class
there is now, which is the Academic Professional Class, the Corporate
New Class, that divided out of the rest of the
population, and they represent themselves and double talk the
common average people, because the majority of the people are
no longer in the Middle Class that they represent—the Corporate
New Class is now all the Middle Class there is, and the New Class
Corporate Democrats represent the Common Population relatively
the same way the
Republican Corporate Elite represent the
Common Population—double talk without
representation, and the sooner the majority
population learn this, the better off they will be,
because then they will be seeking political
representation, instead of thinking they have
some kind of representation.

Believe it or not, there are 70% of the population
left out of the Corporate New Class and they are
the Common Population and
need to organize as a class and culture for
political representation, because the whole class
and culture has been dumped and needs
representation in the Congresses of the United
States in the making and enforcing of legislated
law and order.

It is a hard pill to swallow, but it must be
swallowed, because this is what has happened,
which is why few, if any, beneficial laws are left
that represents the 70% majority common
population of average folks.

The Common Population are going to have to
realize they are not the Middle Class because
when they don’t, they divide their whole class
and culture, and it is impossible for them to get
any real representation any other way, other
than by recognizing their class and culture and
demanding in every which way they can
representation for their class and culture equal
with the Democratic Party and the Republican
Party, as both are separated from the Common
Population. 

The Common Population will 1st have to start
recognizing themselves as the class and culture
of the common population before they will be
able to get recognition for representation of their
70% majority population class and culture, and
as long as they do not come together and
recognize that they are a united 70% majority
common population, the class and culture will be
divided and there will be no possibility of equal
power for the people, because divided, there is
no power for the people. 

We the Common Population as a class and
culture must have more than two equal political
parties, we need to have many political parties
and be able to form new equal political parties
when needed, that are all equal with the
Democratic Party and the Republican Party, so
that the Right Wing will be unable to control
them all, if we contend for only one political
party, the Right will take it over; the average
person has to have a means of having political
representation in the making and enforcing of
legislated law and order, and now they do not.

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racetoinfinity's avatar

By racetoinfinity, April 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

Not to beat [a] yesterday’s troll, however:

re:  By JDmysticDJ, April 4 at 11:31 am

Thebeerdoctor is a sad and pathetic iconoclast who is as
responsible for tyranny as the tyrants themselves.

The bd troll is a self-styled iconoclast.  True ones have courage,
however misguided or low-consciousness they may be.  And not
understanding a larger “we” that transcends and includes “Is” is
low-consciousness.  They only understand the pre-modern
“we”, apparently.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, April 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Just hope you can survive it since the USA uses a tear gas (CT) found lethal and has been banned by the UN.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Capt Suave,

Can you imagine this woman smiling after being arrested in, say, ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY for a similar offense?

Wait til the teargas starts.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel:Ardee, Funny how Rico suave drops one in this thread and disappears? One doesn’t need to ponder his intent really, same MO as any typical troll in a hit and run! Same MO as the Zionist Troll brigades that run out of Tel Aviv in using Anti-Semitism to silence or enflame the resistance!

——

I don’t mean to preach, but the absolutely best way to deal with trolls of all flavors is to simply pretend they’re not there.

Methinks they get paid by the number of responses they can elicit from a single posting. Thus the “hit and run” tactics.

In many cases, the angrier the responses, the greater their personal joy at the attention they generated and perhaps the greater their monetary reward as well.

Ignored long enough, they disappear, having proved themselves ineffective to their employers. Of course they will be quickly replaced by others - there is never a shortage of minions during a global depression.

However, depriving them of the attention their job demands is both fun and rewarding and cuts the amount of white noise down a tad.

On the other hand, should a troll make a comment on a subject near and dear to your heart, you can always use them as a launch pad to post your own basic article on that subject.

Just never give them the credit for the opportunity. Quote the sentence/paragraph that generated the response, but not the handle they used to post it.smile

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By keepyourheaddown, April 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

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By prosefights, April 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Audio of how we are going to continue to resist theft of our $22,036.

http://www.prosefights.org/nmlegal/prccrd/varela/parishtips/110406_000.mp3

Goggle ‘admiral william h payne’ for detains.

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By morpheus, April 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not resistance. Their minds and hearts are in the right place but it will do very little to fix the multitude of problems we face in this country. We need much more than resistance. We need to fundamentally change the way our government works. We need a smart revolution.

Wake up America. It’ time…

“THE REVOLUTION HAS STARTED”
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolu­tion2.osix­s.org )

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM
“Spread the News”

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, April 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald:Gary, thank you greatly for helping me turn my internal thoughts into publicly shared communication, and also improve/extend my own thoughts.

—-

Its a shitty job but somebody’s gotta do it eh. smile

It may not be widely known, but the fall of the Russian Empire was “assisted” by the CIA, the Vatican and the Russian Pope. (Constantine variety??).

Through the Vatican, the Russian Pope had his people do acts of social espionage all over Russia. The Americans rewarded the Vatican Pope with a big telescope - the location of which I’ve forgotten.

While it is true that the world pretty much turned its back on Russia during that period, a lot of the reason for its disolution was plain old feet-on-the-ground sabotage by one of the oldest secret networks in the country.

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, April 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Ardee,
Funny how Rico suave drops one in this thread and disappears? One doesn’t need
to ponder his intent really, same MO as any typical troll in a hit and run! Same MO
as the Zionist Troll brigades that run out of Tel Aviv in using Anti-Semitism to
silence or enflame the resistance!

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By ardee, April 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

rico, suave, April 6 at 12:12 am Link to this comment


Can you imagine this woman smiling after being arrested in, say, ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY for a similar offense?

I had become accustomed, I thought, to the simplistic bullshite found in this persons posts here. Turns out I was wrong.

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MK Ultra's avatar

By MK Ultra, April 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

I have a great deal of respect for Chris Hedges not only because of his foresight and leadership but also because he is the only one out there of the progressives or lefties or anti-imperialists or whatever they call themselves that has the testicular fortitude to put his money where his mouth is.  Bravo to Chris for being an inspiration and a true leader.  We need many, many more like him to lead the long-overdue revolt.

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By ACT I, April 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another solution is for the host to remove itself from the picture so that the parasites have no “visible means of support.”

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By Alan MacDonald, April 6, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

By Gary Mont, April 6 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

Gary, thank you greatly for helping me turn my internal thoughts into publicly shared communication, and also improve/extend my own thoughts.

I feel somewhat absurd admitting that I needed your patient help in this arena, since my career was in marketing communications—- but for the last many years I have been too close and wrestled too tightly with the opponent of Empire.

The dialog with you has been immeasurably refreshing and enlightening and creative—- as all human discourse is.

For now I will simply report that the breakthrough which you precipitated in my clogged thinking can be summed up in saying that Christopher Hedges’ fine personal thinking book “Empire of Illusion” needs to be followed-up with an expanded publicly communicated discussion of the “Empire of Deceit” or “Empire of Lies”.

Likewise, John Perkins’ excellent personal thoughts in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” needs to be expanded with an external communication of the truth of the “Exposure of the Economic Hit Men”.

Also along the same line of vision that you precipitated in me, Gary, Kevin Zeese’s event that Hedges is promoting in with this article, the “Sounds of Resistance” concert with the political hip-hop/rock powerhouse Junkyard Empire needs to be refocused for public understanding as “Sounds of Empire”.

Also, the rumored “Empire State Rebellion” in NYC by A99 Anonymous or merely promoted by AmpedStatus needs to be more clearly and publicly communicated as a rebellion against the State of Empire, not a Rebellion in the perversely named ‘Empire State’ of New York.

Lastly, Gary, an example of how quickly an empire can fall when even its partial disguise as the Soviet ‘Union’ can be confronted and exposed by even a phony old GE TV pitchman faux-president/Emperor of the “Vichy” US faux democracy, is the real world example of that moron Reagan just ‘calling-out’ the nominal Soviet Union as really being an “Evil Empire” and changing the public perception of that poorly disguised, and next-to-the-last empire for what it really was, turned out to be an existence proof of what we Americans could do if we but call the much more guileful, and far more sophisticated disguise of the US democracy for what it really is——global EMPIRE.

Thanks again, Gary

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty & democracy over violent empire—People’s Party 2012
Global People’s Movement—2011/NOW

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By jimch, April 6, 2011 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

It will be a delight if the efforts suggested on these boards ever come to fruition.

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By RedwoodGuy, April 6, 2011 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

@Pasca1228—
Now you’re talking! Indeed, to disobey an order, one must have an order to begin with. I am not sure if Mr. Hedges is ready to go that far…just yet.

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By ocjim, April 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Chris,
You are absolutely right. Nothing is accomplished through the political system. Polls are consistently ignored by both parties. Time and time again polls have shown the desires of the American people and the Dems have ignored them.

For example, the public option was favored by a majority and the majority was ignored. A large majority wanted an end to tax cuts for the rich. They were ignored.

The only solution is a general strike or a refusal to pay taxes.

Only that would get any attention. Even at that, the rich are trying to assure we don’t have the means to organize in unions.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 5, 2011 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

RedwoodGuy—Not everyone is ready to withdraw their labor from the death machine.  They have to work up to it by whatever means are available to them.  For some people, going to a some demonstrations are part of the path.  Some people are not even ready for that.  Maybe Hedges’s article will set them off.  Others will proceed by other routes.

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entropy2's avatar

By entropy2, April 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

@Angel Gabriel - sounds like you’re doing it right down in NZ! I’m jealous.

If your trade system is working OK, then you may not need a formal LETS. The E. F. Schumacher Society has a lot of info on it.

http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/index.html

Your community system also shows a lot of similarity to some ideas that Carson talks about in “The Homebrew Industrial Revolution.”

http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com/

Keep it up!

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By gerard, April 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Pascal 1228:  All disobedience is not civil disobedience.  Let’s make that clear from the start.

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By pasca1228, April 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Picketing and building cardboard buildings is not civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is disobedience, not face-painting, listening to music, holding placards, cheering or chanting. All that is illusion, as Mr. Hedges should know.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

I am not familar with LETS - living in NZ, we follow an approach with our
community that is based on “Social Credit” instead of cash.  It does sound
interesting, and may be better directed to this thread rather than me personally so
that you are opening the eyes of the Homeland audience to the availability of this
resource for their direct consideration.
Thanks for posting this, and i encourage anyone who knows about this program to
suggest how it can be incorporated in your domestic communities benefits of
pulling away from the suck hole of Globalism!
Cheers!

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By Gary Mont, April 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

To Angel Gabriel

Have you considered:

Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) also known as LETSystems are locally initiated, democratically organised, not-for-profit community enterprises that provide a community information service and record transactions of members exchanging goods and services by using the currency of locally created LETS Credits.[1] In some places, e.g. Toronto, the scheme has been called the Local Employment and Trading System. In New South Wales, Australia, they were known as Local Energy Transfer Systems.

Michael Linton originated the term “Local Exchange Trading System” in 1983 and for a time ran the Comox Valley LETSystems in Courtenay, British Columbia.[2] The system he designed was intended as an adjunct to the national currency, rather than a replacement for it,[3] although there are examples of individuals who have managed to replace their use of national currency through inventive usage of LETS.[citation needed]

LETS networks use interest-free local credit so direct swaps do not need to be made. For instance, a member may earn credit by doing childcare for one person and spend it later on carpentry with another person in the same network. In LETS, unlike other local currencies, no scrip is issued, but rather transactions are recorded in a central location open to all members. As credit is issued by the network members, for the benefit of the members themselves, LETS are considered mutual credit systems. The time-based currency mentioned in United Nations Millennium Declaration C6 to Governments was a UNILETS United Nations International & Local Employment-Trading System to restructure the global financial architecture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Exchange_Trading_Systems

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By Angel Gabriel, April 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Rico,
I see the smile on her face more out of cynicism at the audacity of a system that
arrest the victims of their Capitalist greed driven Crimes rather than the perpetrators! Maybe
you should clean your Red, white and Blue fundamentalist sunglasses that filter
prejudice for all things you consider “un-American”, therefore an enemy of the
State’s fundamentalism!  Or, clarify your message so it doesn’t sound like you’re
condemning Muslim’s for their beliefs and Culture which differs from yours so
therefore must be bad!
Geez, where do you Trolls get off!

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By Gary Mont, April 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Alan MacDonald:Remember Gary, that simply, broadly, consistently, and publicly “calling an Empire” an ‘Empire’ is the only thing that Empire can not stand or counter.

That was much better, thanks.

You are absolutely correct that the concept that the current regime in control of the US is an Empire, must be driven home to the general public.

They are completely cowed by the simple notion that those who control their lives and country are NOT blessed angels sent by God to prevent bad things from entering their lives.

The idea that the most respected men and women in america, have secretly invaded their nation and stolen their government for personal gain, is not something many civilians can even ponder let alone realize and admit.

How about a classic definition of Empire, so that folks don’t have to wonder “What is Empire?”.

However, you mention the strangest of unicorns - something I have absolutley never encountered in over half a century - an honest politician.

While I’ve no doubt that such a thing is possible, I have to state that I have my doubts that any politician professing to be anti-empire, isn’t going to turn out to be just another Obama - a lion dressed up as a lamb - once they’ve been elected to office.

In fact, it behooves the Empire to plant apparently anti-empire moles among the ranks of wannabe anti-empire politicians vying for office. Its their modus operandi. It is also their modus operandi to have their operatives sneak into the bedrooms of the children of those who oppose them and take snapshots for later hand delivery, in order to insure compliance by those they deem dangerous, but possibly useful. Those deemded dangerous and not useful are simply eliminated accidentally, or suicidally, or rendered invisibly.

You’re certainly not going to find viable anti-empire candidates among the present cadre of rental politicians.

In my humble opinion only of course.

No matter how I balance the eqaution, I simply cannot see the very thing that got us into this mess, getting us out of this mess.

I can see no possibility for a political solution to this manufactured and orchestrated by politician crisis.

Politics is the game best played by the Empiricists - as evidence look around you.

Its like Hitler’s Revenge out there today.

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By rico, suave, April 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Can you imagine this woman smiling after being arrested in, say, ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY for a similar offense?

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By Night-Gaunt, April 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

DieDaily, who then would be doing the voting? Why that minority of 35%-25% who are the hard core supporters of the corporate fascists like the Koch‘s and theocrats who want to remake the country into a corporate theocracy and you will just be helping it along. We need to do the opposite. But we might be too late anyway. I am against violence and our adversaries want us to be violent so that they can unleash the national security state apparatus on us and crush us. (They have had plenty of experience in occupied Iraq and other countries to apply them here like LRAD.

Mac they are called psychopaths and they don’t think the way we do. They are without pity or remorse or empathy. So when they move to get power it is only their intelligence and will to survive that governs what they and their like minded cronies will do to get it. The leaders are the ones we can only guess at but they are quite the planners. Long term planners like playing three dimensional chess.

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By pasca1228, April 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Picketing and building cardboard cities does not constitute civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is exactly that: disobedience. Picketing and listening to music and face-painting and building cardboard cities is mere illusion, as Mr. Hedges should know.

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By Angel Gabriel, April 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Jackie, I can’t find a link for an “inBox”. If you know how to use it maybe you
can get me there??

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