Skip to main content

Before we entertain the notion that it is possible for average citizens to address the nation's problems, the most important step is to define the root causes of those problems.

It took decades of hard work and dedication by the "business activist" movement to help bring about the current situation in the United States, but they have largely succeeded in their goals.

Their focused and strategic approach helped turn the entire system of government into a tool used to extract profit from the population and from the environment.

From that decades-old process we now have a power structure and a power elite that consists of moneyed business cartels and a subservient political class (that has been co-opted/corrupted by financial incentives or payoffs from the business cartels).

It is because of this arrangement that during the last several years there has been a clear pattern of legislative steps (across the country) meant to first take down the proper regulatory framework that has been established to protect citizens from the effects of monopolistic/oligopolistic business cartels, second, strip citizens of protections against predatory business practices and of constitutional rights, and third (which is the ultimate aim), to extract the maximum amount of productivity/profit from the population and from the environment.

To illustrate this point, let me use one recent example, as reported by The San Francisco Chronicle: "Bills seek end to farm animal abuse videos"

Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.

Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours - which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws.

This is an interesting bill since it touches on different areas being targeted by the business cartels and their lackeys in government, including the role of whistlerblowers, social justice and anti-corruption activism, and investigative journalism.  
Formal opposition to the California bill comes from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Teamsters, the U.S. Humane Society and dozens of others. They say these attempts by the agriculture industry to stop investigations are a part of a nationwide agenda set by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think tank backed by business interests.

The council has labeled those who interfere with animal operations "terrorists," though a spokesman said he wishes now that the organization had called its legislation the Freedom to Farm Act rather than the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.

This pattern is repeating itself with increased speed all around the country, with these business cartels actually writing thousands of bills which in the final analysis are meant to undermine the economic security of average citizens, and chip away at our constitutional protections.

This approach, of course, is brutally efficient.  It's a well-oiled machine which if you use your imagination a bit, you can actually hear its swirling gears locking into place an increasingly fascistic system, or Corporate State.

So, here's the thing... There is a bit of both, good news, and bad news about this situation.  The good news is that not too long ago anybody pointing out these issues was instantly labeled a conspiracy theorist.  Not anymore.  This is remarkable, in my opinion.  There is a significant segment of the population that has come to understand these dynamics--and that is very good news, indeed.

The bad news is that the window of opportunity to mount a real challenge to the imposition of an increasingly oppressive system is closing very fast (as ALEC and ALEC-like business cartels continue to draft thousands of bills across the country), and that there seems to be a reflexive rejection by those who are aware of the situation to the concept of becoming highly organized against these undemocratic forces.

This to me is both, a very interesting anthropological observation, and extremely perplexing, since it would not take that much effort to mount a credible counteroffensive if those who have come to the realization of what's going on would unite in solidarity against these nefarious forces.

There is a meme that's starting to spread in certain (activists) circles, which says that we may be on the verge of a global awakening facilitated by information technology (social media, etc.), which helps spread ideas and information at lighting speed, globally.

I happen to believe that there is a very big possibility that this will indeed happen.

And I think the catalyst that will bring about the tipping point will be when people realize that all they had to do was to first understand the actual state of affairs, and second, to understand that they can indeed unite in solidarity against the corrupt power elites--in the U.S., and Italy, and the U.K., and France, and Greece, et al.

As I (and others) watch this process unfold (which I've been observing acutely for a at least 15 years now), I think one of two things will happen: If those who become aware of the actual situation refuse to unite and form a cohesive and strategic resistance movement against the power elites, then we will move towards an Orwellian dystopia; if people find a way to unite with the specific and strategic purpose of opposing the corrupt power elites, then we would have brought about another age of enlightenment.

I'm going to wager on the new age of enlightenment, and because of it will do my little part in trying to convince people that all they have to do is unite--"¡En La Unión Esta la Fuerza!"

Each blue dot on the map below represents a member of a growing nation-wide network of social justice and anti-corruption activists committed to finding the best way forward.  Join us in the effort!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, and TrueMarket.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "illegal to take photographs... (12+ / 0-)

    ...at a farming operation"?  

    What is this?  An attempt at imposing a Soviet type of regime?

    A crime to "lie on an application to get a job at a plant."?

    We need a new name for this type of corporate totalitarianism.  Fascism and communism don't give credit to the creative and subtle corruption of the democratic system we think we have.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:18:32 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Ray Pensador, Shockwave, KJG52

    So, here's the thing... There is a bit of both, good news, and bad news about this situation.  The good news is that not too long ago anybody pointing out these issues was instantly labeled a conspiracy theorist.  Not anymore.  This is remarkable, in my opinion.  There is a significant segment of the population that has come to understand these dynamics--and that is very good news, indeed.

    I really get sick of the CT-ers dismissing simple human activity.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:34:23 PM PDT

    •  I'm actually encouraged. I've been pointing these (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Jim P, bluedust

      things out for over a decade and for much of that time the typical reactions were about tin foil hats and CT, so I got used to it.

      Now the understanding of what's really going is beginning to sink in, but only because the system is beginning to take its mask off... Again, the window of opportunity to push back on it is closing pretty fast, IMHO, but I think people will raise up just in the nick of time.

  •  Alas, I doubt it will be so simple (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, KJG52, flowerfarmer

    This diary shows the problem:

    Social media is a powerful tool, but without people willing to think critically it can be used both to inform and to misinform.  Just think of what has happened with cable news.  I think social media could end up being the same where you have agents of disinformation pre-emptively blasting out flase info or muddying the waters after something gets out that they wanted hidden.

    •  This is What Happened in the 70's. Activism Was (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, KJG52, Vetwife

      mostly a people's activity till the RW revolution organized in the mid 60's. By the 70's we had activism of the rich and their enterprises.

      Anything people can do, the rich can hire done better. Which they did and here we are.

      That's why richness itself needs to be severely constrained. We've spent half a century liberating it so getting back to being able to keep it constrained is a problem nobody so far has a practical plan for.l

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:39:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It turns out that the rich are not as good at (0+ / 0-)

        outsourcing these days as they think they are, and that we have tools not previously available to expose them when they try it.

        Consider the hamhanded voter registration program of the NRC last year. They contracted with a company that had committed electoral crimes and then changed its name. It got prosecuted for electoral crimes (specifically turning in Republican registrations and shredding Democratic ones) in several states, and the Party had to fire the company when it was too late to replace it. Contrast that with OFA and other Democratic GOTV using volunteers.

        Consider the difference between the Democratic and Republican software development projects for identifying voters to call and doors to knock on. The Democratic project did sound QA, setting up an assortment of attacks and failures for its teams to respond to. The Republicans apparently did no QA, with the result that the system was inoperable most of the time.

        Consider the data aggregation being done on advertisers on Rush Limbaugh's show, most of whom have no idea that any of the money they gave the network is going to him. Consider how many drop him when they find out.

        Consider how much of the flood of money to Republican candidates and SuperPACs last year was wasted, and how much more effective Democratic spending was.

        Consider that there is a Democratic majority in this country, and that there are even more of us who do not vote, and that GOTV plus busting gerrymanders would give us complete control of Congress. Not like last time, with the filibuster and the Blue Dogs. Actual control.

        And so on.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:44:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whenever I read things like this, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, matador

    my first question is:

    Ok. Lets assume you lead the Revolution (bloody or not) and you win, on your terms. Please describe the government formation you would be comfortable turning it over to.

    •  That is pretty remarkable. I've read these types (4+ / 0-)

      of replies before and I have to tell you, to me, it only shows the level to which people have been conditioned to accept a totally absurd situation.

      My friend, the criminals have taken over the government!  Don't you see that.

      What type of government we feel comfortable with?  OMG! About if we start by reading the Constitution?

      The type of government we deserve is the type of government we the people will allow, plain and simple.

      •  Criminals are always wanting to take over. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PowWowPollock

        To commit a crime is to deprive someone else of his/her rights -- i.e. crime = deprivation of rights.

        Deprivation of rights is also supposed to be the punishment for crime. However, in the beginning, the U.S. Constitution, in making adjustments in the allocation of representative agents of government to take the ownership of slaves into account, as well as the recognition that the female half of the population would have no say in governing, made the deprivation of human and civil rights legal.  In other words, the deprivation of rights under cover of law has been with us from the start. Human rights never even got a mention, except for the "endowment" by the Creator, which the Cons interpret as meaning that when man reconnects with his Creator that's when those rights will be effected.

        "God gave him rights. Let God respect them."

        We will never be shut of deprivators, legal or illegal. That's because some humans are incompetent to do anything for themselves and, needing servants, are inclined to coerce. What we should do is make a hard rule that such people, if they ask nicely ("Ask and you shall receive"), will be accommodated. But, if they resort to deception and coercion, they will be cared for under physical restraints.

        It's what we actually do now when we put malefactors in prison. However, I think we waste a lot of time and effort and put up with a lot of malfeasance unnecessarily as a result of not recognizing the incompetence early enough and being slow with the restraints. The social safety net tends to be withheld until somebody is seriously hurt.

        Perhaps it's just a matter of not understanding whom the net is supposed to help. We think it's the individual caught in the net, when it's really the society as a whole that benefits when members are protected from getting hurt.

        Who benefits from pension checks? It's not the individuals who get them in the mail or whose bank account is topped up. Nobody can eat, wear or shelter under dollars. Never mind electronic blip in a computer. No, the people who benefit are the people who get compensated for the goods and services they provide for the aged and the sick. They can't eat the dollars either, but they can trade them for a restaurant meal of a bushel of wheat from a farmer. Dollars are symbolic renditions of value, made tangible to make them easy to hand around.
        That this handing around has been considerably retarded is evident in this graph:

        MZM is money that earns no interest, but does show up in bank accounts, which is where it is available to be counted.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:45:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's fine. So, after your success (0+ / 0-)

        you are willing to let our current system of biannual elections take their course with no structural changes?

        I'm asking what are your proposed structural changes, if any.

    •  The same one we have now, but with (0+ / 0-)

      Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, real filibuster reform, and Scalia's eventual replacement on the Supreme Court. At that point, without Republican intransigence in the way, the debate would be between the Democratic and Progressive platforms.

      There is historical precedent for this in the Era of Good Feeling after the implosion of the Federalist Party, the original Party of No in opposition to President Thomas Jefferson. Until the Whigs got themselves together as the new party of big business, there was one-party government under the Democratic-Republicans.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I appreciate the post and the sentiment, (0+ / 0-)

    but I cannot yet share your enthusiastic optimism. I hope very much that you are right and I am wrong.

    I think one of the things that need to be placed at the forefront of this new movement forward is the necessity to instill critical thinking ability in everyone involved. Schools aren't doing it, most people don't realize they don't have it, and that is the aspect of all the social media muck that bothers me the most.

    Setting an example of questioning the status quo is a good place to start, and for that I salute you. However, I encourage each and every one of us who are willing to unite to think about those who don't question enough and help them. In other words, if there is a meme to spread it's "question everything". I think it would help.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    by achronon on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:16:02 AM PDT

  •  Here you go....... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flowerfarmer, bluedust, AoT, WheninRome
    Senate Passes Monsanto Protection Act
    By Anthony Gucciardi, NaturalSociety
    24 March 13

    n the typical slippery nature of Monsanto's legislation-based actions, the biotech giant is now virtually guaranteed the ability to recklessly plant experimental GM crops without having to worry about the United States government and its subsequent courts. The Monsanto Protection Act buried deep within the budget resolution has passed the Senate, and now nothing short of a presidential veto will put an end to the ruling.

    In case you're not familiar, the Monsanto Protection Act is the name given to what's known as a legislative rider that was inserted into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill. Using the deceptive title of Farmer Assurance Provision, Sec. 735 of this bill actually grants Monsanto the immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous. Under the section, courts would be helpless to stop Monsanto from continuing to plant GM crops that are thought even by the US government to be a danger to health or the environment.

    Senate Passes Monsanto Protection Act Despite Outcry

    Everybody is too big to jail but poor people and black males.   The only thing that will stop it now is a veto by the Pres.   Anybody taking bets on that one?

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:41:07 AM PDT

  •  Yes, the answer is simple, even for progressives! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, Mokurai

    There are a couple of obvious actions those of us here, along with the majority of other citizens in this country could easily take.  (Does anyone remember that event that took place the first Tuesday in November 2012??) We just have to acknowledge the power that resides with us.  Darden restaurants (Olive Garden) took an immediate hit last year with their opposition to healthcare for their employees.  Papa John had to issue a public apology for his hysterical reactions on the same topic.  One Denny's franchisee's public blathering just about tanked the whole chain for a time till he was brought to heel also.  Wal Mart pretty much said their core customers are economically dead, even though their own wage policies were part of that death.  January and February sales stunk for them this year, and they were very worried.  How do we exploit these wonderful real-world vulnerabilities?  (1) Quit our bitching, and join up. (2) Get the word out that next month we all (all of us) cut waaaay back on Wal Mart purchases.  Jist an occasional drop-in for a pair of socks, not a $250 full cart of stuff every week.  Same thing for pizzas and restaurants.  Guess what.  $250-300 X a few million protesters is real money, even for a Wal Mart, et al.  Not so much because it is crippling, but because they would know it could turn into something so much bigger and threatening for them.  (3) Get the word to the labor unions that we all want to join up at a nominal rate (or free), and that they will have thousands or millions who will try to support them in any job action they lead.  (Ich bin ein union member!) We will march and vote with our money.  Guess what, noone can fire us.  Noone can take away health benefits from those who are not directly employed by them.  We would have become part of the solution Ray advocates.  Who will lead?  Where are you Trumka?  Where are you Howard Dean?  Why aren't you, and those other progressives who have the ability and positions to lead not on the phone with one another every day?  The Koch's and their fellow believers certainly are.

  •  You need to put your simple solution near the top (0+ / 0-)

    of your Diary and label it clearly. As it is, your idea is buried where most people will not find it. As near as I can tell it is simply this: get organized.

    If that isn't it, you need to state it in a single sentence and let us know which sentence it is.

    But that isn't news. Here is a relevant piece of news: Battleground Texas means to turn Texas Blue by helping Latinos there become citizens, register to vote, and get to the polls. Then they can undo the Texas gerrymander, which is almost enough by itself to give Democrats a House majority, even without the other projects under way in other states.

    If we can overcome the filibuster in the Senate plus the gerrymanders of House seats and state legislatures, and replace Scalia on the Supreme Court, we can enact the entire Democratic agenda and much of the Progressive agenda nationally and in almost all of the Blue and Purple (swing) states.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:02:39 PM PDT

  •  It's weird, because (0+ / 0-)

    the ASPCA types are fascistic from their side as well. It seems like it's harder to adopt a pet than it is a child. And they are always reporting people for letting their cats outside or something stupid.

    I was at a party once and the talk found itself about race horses. I related how my ex-husband had a horse that loved twinkies and he would go to the track every day with a twinkie pack in his pocket. Now this wasn't a stakes winner but still a very accomplished horse as he won over 35 races and raced until he was 9 or so, so he was extremely sound. He was never injured, he just got older and heavier and then was retired. 35 wins is pretty much unheard of. There may be a handful of horses in that category.

    So this woman goes off on me about how feeding twinkies to a horse is animal abuse. I told her that horses eat all sorts of things and a pair of twinkies fed to a 1200 lb horse wasn't really going to make a dent. [I also had a horse as child who liked hamburgers and hot dogs occasionally, he lived a long life and went on to be grand champion 3 gaited saddlebred after my cousin took him when we moved. My step father got him at an auction.] But anyway, the woman got enraged and kept raving to the point I was surveilling the house looking for exits and eyeing the furniture as possible defensive weapons......it was that bad. I found my exit and she was still raving as I walked out the door conscious of my rear flank.

    So my point is I guess, is that we are being squeezed by both ends. The people who want no scrutiny and the people who want absolute scrutiny of every little thing you do and there is no common sense middle ground. Maybe they are the same people. Seems like it.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site