Congratulations! Once again, historic events beckon the progressive movement, and even though it took a little too long for it to start showing signs of a spine to take on the contemporary challenges brought about by yet another iteration of big business and political class corruption, it seems like the vertebrae is finally in place, and the results are piling on.
ALEC--the most radical, antidemocratic threat to the country--is on the defense, as their previously under-the-radar, behind-the-curtain machinations to turn this country into a plutocratic Banana Republic have been exposed.
And the reason exposing ALEC has had such an impact is because what they do is representative of the way an entire system of government is taken over by powerful monied interests. For a very clear and graphic example of the new type of graft and bribery that has infected our system of government from coast to coast, I highly recommend this article in Los Angeles Times: AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento
It forges relationships on the putting green, in luxury suites and in Capitol hallways. It gives officials free tickets to Lady Gaga concerts. It takes lawmakers on trips around the globe and all-expenses-paid retreats in wine country. It dispenses millions in political donations and employs an army of lobbyists. It has spent more than $14,000 a day on political advocacy since 2005, when it merged with SBC into its current form.This, of course, is bribery by any other name. Just because the self-serving, money-grabbing, treasonous politicians have made it "legal bribery," it does not make it any less offensive or damaging to society.
But I digress... We all (pretty much) know what's happening, not thanks to the worthless U.S. mainstream media, but because the devastating effects of rampant thievery by the financial ruling class and their political stooges have reached us where it hurts, and that has forced an awakening--an awakening of the progressive movement.
Now to the topic at hand... Lately, there has been much discussion about the rising hostility between those who claim to represent the "real" Occupy movement, and those who claim to represent a broader, more mainstream spectrum of the political Left. Specifically, the debate has focused on whether the Democratic party establishment is co-opting the Occupy movement (and its message) through proxy organizations under its control, like MoveOn.org, and Van Jones' Rebuild the Dream.
Let me give you (what I believe to be) an authoritative answer to this question... It should not be that difficult.
Walking and chewing gum... Yes, it's possible
Do you want to know what is "pure" and "genuine?" That's easy. First understand that you (yes you, the individual you, the lonesome you, by yourself) are responsible for the government you have, if one is to believe in the democratic system. As such, you have an enormous responsibility as a citizen. You have the responsibility to stay informed about how the government works (or doesn't work), and about helping bring about a decent society--a more perfect union.
As such, as an informed citizen, your allegiance is to the country as a whole, to the Constitution, to your fellow citizens.
Within this context, party politics does not apply. This is about the moral you; the good citizen.
As such, you have the responsibility to oppose and challenge injustice and corruption whenever they may appear.
You see, at this level we're talking about your conscience; about the basic definition of morality. This "moral you" knows no political party nor special interest group. At this level it's a matter of right and wrong.
Therefore, any group of citizens that join together to oppose injustice and corruption at the most fundamental and basic level, not influenced by special (narrow) interests groups nor political party establishments, is therefore pure, and when it's able to keep that purity, it will gain the street cred it needs to take on the type of corporatist-led corruption resulting from the sellout of the debased, greedy, money-grabbing political stooges that permeate every city hall and state legislature in the country.
As such, it is imperative that the Occupy movement keeps this purity and does not let itself be corrupted, nor co-opted by the self-serving Democratic party establishment.
Now, having said that, this doesn't mean one needs to be unrealistic about the current state of affairs in the country, and about the very important need to move the cause of freedom, democracy and justice for all, forward, even if inch-by-inch.
But again, that's another realm... As such, it is my assessment that when the two wings of the corporatist one-party system are compared, common sense tells me that we have a better chance to help bring about democracy and clean government, and shared prosperity, by aligning with the Democratic party when it comes to "party politics."
I understand that both wings of the one-party system are totally corrupt, but that the Republicans have an additional downside in that they are outright FASCISTS, while the Democratic party establishment, while still being immoral, debased money-grabbing, self-serving opportunists (by and large), at least they have not yet crossed that line (yet).
And that, my friends, makes a huge difference in my book...
Therefore, when it comes to social activism, one needs to know what we're dealing with. Those organizations or movements that remain totally untouched by the self-serving and corrupt political party establishment serve as the core conscience of a true progressive movement, and have the higher moral ground to help identify the problems (without prejudice or bias), and the solutions. And that moral high ground is essential in inspiring and motivating others to follow.
Any organization that is highly influenced by the corrupt Democratic party establishment is therefore suspect and should be treated as such.
In my opinion MoveOn.org, and Rubuild the Dream are that type of organization, and therefore I tend to look at everything they are proposing or doing with a healthy dose of skepticism.
But again, it does not mean that I'm going to reject everything they suggest or do. I will follow my conscience (the purity of the Occupy movement spirit) and use it as a guide to evaluate the initiatives and activities of Democratic party establishment fronts, like MoveOn.org or Rubuild the Dream, and when I find common cause, I will join forces, and when I find hypocrisy and deception, I will call them out.
And that's how you move the country to where it needs to go... By engaging, and by influencing. Not by letting yourself be hoodwinked or co-opted by wolves dressed in sheep's clothing.
My advice? Engage. Reach into every aspect of society, government, and business, and plant the Occupy Movement flag, clearly stating that we have not only arrived, but that we intend to take over and clean house. Do it with conviction, bravery, heart, and enthusiasm... And the rest will follow.
Let's hear it for a resurgent powerful progressive movement in the making! And let us make our presence known, one more time, this May 1st.