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View Diary: News for My Liberal Friends: Today's Radical Right-Wing Insurgency is Over 50 Years Old (27 comments)

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  •  Kossites might want to know some history (10+ / 0-)

    if they expect to stop the right wing bandwagon. Making fun of the RWNJs does nothing; we need to understand how they think, how they plan and how they fund their operations and then implement real plans to build a sustainable liberal effort. Ignoring the ideas, insights and wisdom of the old folks who lived through the 60s, 70s and 80s is not a winning plan. I'm a voice crying here that history repeats and repeats and repeats until we learn it and take a lesson from it.

    Many liberals continue to imagine that a tsunami of anti-right wing sentiment will put a halt to this right wing lurch. I love the idea; but the reality is something else again.

    •  'Powell plan' in place 40+ years (7+ / 0-)

      I just happened across this 2011 article this morning, on the 1971 'Powell plan' to "plan to take control off all the institutions that determine the direction of the United States, not just the government but the media and academia as well."  A long read, but chilling and necessary to our understanding of how the Chamber of Commerce and the Right Wing gained the power they have today.  Here's the intro to that article:

      This month is the 40th anniversary of a memorandum sent by Lewis Powell Jr., then an attorney for the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Powell had been a corporate lawyer and lobbyist for the tobacco industry with the Virginia legislature. The memorandum laid out a plan to take control off all the institutions that determine the direction of the United States, not just the government but the media and academia as well. Powell described an “Attack on the American Free Enterprise System” from all quarters of America and urged reversal of: “The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism came from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians.”

      Powell had been asked to join the Supreme Court by President Nixon in 1969, but he refused the offer as he did not want to leave his lucrative practice in corporate law.  He was asked again in 1971, which he accepted and his nomination announced two months after this memorandum was sent. The Powell Memo was not made public until long after Powell’s confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to columnist Jack Anderson who thought the document gave reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity when it came to issues of interest to corporations. Indeed, Powell discusses the courts in this memo, noting that “an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.”

      Forty years later we can see that this plan has been followed, pro-business think tanks have been developed along with pro-corporate publications, colleges and universities have been greatly influenced by corporate funding and the power of corporations to influence elections has dramatically increased thanks to a series of court and legislative decisions.  Today, concentrated corporate power has a grip on all of these institutions and sets the direction for U.S. policy through government and other institutions.

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