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Note: My left click is broken and I can't afford a new computer. Thus I am unable to link or provide the graphics that make diaries so compelling. Recognizing that weakness, I feel strongly enough about the subject to push forward anyway.

There has been a tireless effort by Kossacks to document the drum beat of policies trending toward heavily favoring the rich. Understandably, we focus upon predicting the specific ways the poor or middle class will suffer.

The focus of this diary is more big picture. By definition, it is somewhat vague and imprecise. Too often I find myself focused upon the trees and not fully absorbing the forest of the philosophical trends pushing it.

Considered broadly, the picture is daunting and depressing. If unaddressed, it is also inevitable. Therefore, the doom we might feel is worth facing

"All men are created equal"

The Declaration of Independence

From the beginning the country failed to come close to this stated principle. The fact that slavery was accepted, America's original sin, is the most unforgiveable example - but not the only one.

It is inequality that has been the most enduring principle of this country.

And yet, it is hard to argue that, very generally speaking, the direction of the country's evolution was one of torturously slow progress toward equality.

Emancipation
Direct election of Senators
Women's voting rights
The New Deal
The Civil Rights Act
Lowering the voting age to match the age at which one can be called upon to die

Some social causes continue in that direction today. The beautiful and refreshingly quick pace to grant my many LGBT friends equality under the law is unquantifiable and we must push to see its full implementation.

And yet, over the last 30 years there is a well recognized imperialistic push backward in most other areas, especially economic equality. If the growing corporate/plutocratic push is not quelled, the country may be incapable of reversal. The future may be one that may function, in reality, as a corporate-elite fascist state.

Too many fail to see this happening. Too much faith in "the vote" as precluding the majority's loss of control is held. This faith is misplaced:

Citizen's United
First Amendment Rights of Corporations (perhaps broader civil rights
The "60 Vote" Senate
Refusal to sit the Directors of agencies that inconvenience the wealthy
Privatization
Free Trade
A separate tax code for investment income
Austerity as "solution"
Fixing Unemployment at rates compelling desperation
Dwindling Union Rights
"Walmartization" of corporate America and monopolization
Lifelong indebtedness

And on and on and on. The above list is simply made up of the current issues driving inequality. There is no indication that IF these goals are achieved that there will ever be "enough" policy favoring the rich, elite, corporate investment class. We have every indication that they will merely set the predicate for more forceful, permanent means of control.

The effort is bipartisan. But there can be no argument that it is the conservatives that push harder, more ruthlessly, with greater conviction and less apologetically for this future.

Indeed, the big picture leads me to conclude that conservatives recognize the incompatibility of corporate-wealth dominance and government by majority rule. Conservative leaders are establishing power outside of the framework of government, solidifying a future where concern for a majority vote is gratuitous. The "impeachment" attempts (it's coming) of the last two democratic administrations demonstrate a disdain for the choice of the American majority.

Obviously, one could go on and on. I am not going to. I am far more interested in stimulating a dialogue in comments or, failing that, encouragement of others to expand upon the big picture of democratic nullification, its insidious breadth and the bleak future.

I have a 5 year old daughter. We are not wealthy. I cannot see a future where she has the limited opportunities I had (and I am a white male from an upper middle class family - others have had far less opportunity than me). It is more likely that she will live with decreasing opportunity, shuffled early into a meager and capped future. I generally am unconcerned about my fate. Her fate, and the fate of all in her generation, means everything to me. It is why I write, why I fight. Spreading the message and fighting back may prove futile, it may be too late. But, we need to fight anyway. We owe it to them, we owe it to all that fought for the progress we have made.

We may not win, but we will deserve to win

John Adams characterizing the War for Independence - an appropriate, clarion call to stand up and not give up.

Edit to Note: There has been an excellent point made in the comments that economic inequality is inherent in the system, very true and I regret that much of my terminology seems like it could come out of the mouth of Marx.

I prefer the term equal economic opportunity, but it is actually bigger than that. For those who are working, those trying to work and those that physically cannot work, there needs to be a minimum baseline in living standards. This doesn't seem to much to ask in a country wealthy enough to provide the top percentages a standard of living that would shame the Tudors.

It is unforgiveable that the top percentage of people in this country have seen their standard of living rise because of this push to decrease the relative wages and benefits for the working class. This gap in economic opportunity is the desired result of these means of nullification and that is what we must fight against. Thanks for the interest in this matter and the compliments, rec listed is nice - seeing people note the inexcusable pattern is inspiring.

Originally posted to 4CasandChlo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Poll

We will. . .

26%80 votes
10%31 votes
53%164 votes
5%18 votes
4%13 votes

| 306 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (112+ / 0-)

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:38:14 PM PDT

  •  A quick additional note: (50+ / 0-)

    Joan McCarter has said that there is arguably a constitutional crises regarding the Senate's abuse of advise and consent, along with their abuse of majority vote.

    I agree with the caveat that it may not even be arguable. Noting that we may be in a constitutional crises is a powerful name for the Republican attempts at non-governmental use of power or majority nullification.

    It is worth thoughtful consideration.

    I also wrote this diary this morning, prior to Troubador's and Fishgreases call to get going on recognizing the problems. It is good to note that this diary is very much in concert with those two excellent diaries.

    I think people here do sense that something fundamental is changing. We need to pass on this message to those outside our community.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:52:20 PM PDT

  •  Unless voting is severely restricted and we let it (31+ / 0-)

    happen the numbers are against the GOP corporatists, but the facist stuff, that is another matter, I think.  Violent social control via police, troops, etc. seems now to be the risk.  I never thought this before.  We must find ways to look at this and do something about it.  

    I hope your daughter will have a decent future otherwise what the hell is all this about. Enjoy your child, that is the best advice I got concerning my own daughter who is now 40 years old.

    •  It is the changing demographic that is the driving (8+ / 0-)

      force behind the mad rush by the right to cancel out the effect by whatever means necessary, including - especially - those that bypass the ballot box.

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly that is one reason: (8+ / 0-)

        But this country has always had a changing demographic.

        Perhaps I am idealizing the past too much. But, a good comparison is this. In the mid 50s, General Motors was the largest private employer in the country. The average worker was able to afford a home (small by today's standards), a car and take a week long vacation to Disneyworld or the Grand Canyon.

        The current largest private employer in the country is Walmart. The average Walmart employee with two children is eligible for Medicaid and EBT. The government is subsidizing the payroll of Walmart. And Walmart is the model for nearly every business. Pay the workers the bare minimum to be called a liveable wage while management makes salaries that are shameless and disproportionate to past ridiculously striated pay scales.

        The children of the many auto workers of the 50s-80s are now the baby boomers who are doctors, lawyers, teachers and business owners - I have no idea how the children of the Walmart workers achieve that kind of progress.

        So, I think that many of the changes are being pushed through by a powerful push to do it for the sake of riches by some, a level of greed beyond that which is the normal human condition. I have no doubt that Henry Ford would have run his business this way, if he thought he could get away with it.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:52:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Henry Ford COULD have run his business (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf, Janet 707

          that way- everyone else ran their businesses that way. But he didn't. It was out of enlightened self-interest, but Henry Ford did what he did and it improved the lives of his workers.
          I am not sure the incentives exist anymore for businesses to treat their employees decently- or at least better.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:38:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  even without restricited voting, look at (8+ / 0-)

      the 60 vote senate and it's impact on administrative and judicial appointments

      the gerrymandered house, with the popular vote favoring Dems but the GOP holding a majority

      and even many of the Dems that do get elected are more aligned these days with the wealthy and not the middle class

      and the 2010 fiasco gave way too many states to the GOP to make the gerrymandering so much worse - do we need to wait for 2020 to fix this?  and will that be too late?

      and the states that can undermine federal legislation - how may are not getting the ACA benefits because of GOP state level actions?

    •  Both Parties (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garveys Ghost, starduster

      Support the increasing militarization of the Police and let's not forget what Obama's Dept of Heimlat Security did to coordinate a mass shut down of Occupy camps across the nation.

      Don't look now but Fascism is here. We simply have the friendly faced version and the bug-eyed crazy version- it just depends on which variety the Plutocracy supports, or more precisely, which side the most money supports. Right now with the Krazy Koch Klan I'd say the bug-eyed crazies have the inside track.

      I don't think the end virtual end of the Republic surprises anyone, I mean can anyone call this a "government"? I simply remains to be seen which version of Fascism takes hold.

      •  Have heart: this fascism is unsustainable (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Rule, pengiep, ybruti, loftT

        See Al Fondy's comment about Venezuela.  You can also look at Argentina, Brazil, and most dramatically Bolivia.

        All the forms of fascism currently being promoted are based on delusions, false views of reality.  False economic doctrines; denial of the scientific evidence on the climate; belief that they can run a country without feeding the people and while treating the military grunts badly.  This sort of fascism will collapse on its own, though it can make a big mess while doing so.  

        The question I have, and the question you should have, is what comes afterwards, what replaces it.  Will it be an improved Republic, or a more stable and competent aristocracy?  That depends on how we organize now, among other things.

        •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhauenstein, 4CasandChlo

          It may be so destructive however, especially with the CO2 levels heading where they seem to be, that there may be nothing left to salvage.

          I would not be surprised if some of the Plutocrats actually think they can survive such a scenario and rebuild earth to their liking- the resurrection of eugenics and the master race stuff wasn't thought up by the Nazis after all, it was thought up by American and British Plutocrats whose descendants I wouldn't be surprised to learn weren't entertaining that same dream of running a world of 500 million people and the "Master Race" being culled from the Plutocrats own DNA. After all, they're so goddam superior donchaknow?

          After a huge die off of humanity, the plutocrats and their hirelings peek out from their safe compounds and see if it's safe yet to come out and put it all in motion.

          I'd think I was nuts to think of such things but then if you'd told me when I was 15 what the world would be like when I was 60 I'd say you were nuts. We thought of these nutbar wingnuts as the crazies they were back then and to be told the power they'd wield today? No way would I have believed you, no way. So is it so far fetched to think of the things the Plutocrats that pull the nutbars' strings are up to? I think not. Dreams of immortality and Supermen are not beyond their imaginations.

  •  OT: Can you afford an external mouse... (25+ / 0-)

    ...to attach to your computer? That will solve your left-click problem.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:59:20 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary. (7+ / 0-)

    I like your list of the great problems we face. Much reform depends on the Senate modernizing its rules so it doesn't take 60 votes even to consider a bill. It seems that would be possible.
         I wonder about this sentence:

    And yet, it is hard to argue that, very generally speaking, the direction of the country's evolution was one of torturously slow progress toward equality.
    Shouldn't it be "it is hard NOT to argue.....?

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue May 14, 2013 at 10:35:20 PM PDT

  •  Broken left click (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, figbash, jessical, sidnora

    mouse or trackpad? Either way the mechnical switch should be fairly easy to fix: give it a try :)

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Wed May 15, 2013 at 01:05:22 AM PDT

  •  A good, powerful diary (31+ / 0-)

    without any embellishments. Thank you for writing it.
    I suspect there has always been tension in this country between the very wealthy and everyone else. In the beginning the upper class colonialists needed immigration of the poor and middle classes to get a critical mass to outnumber the native population. Ever since then they've been trying to put the genie back in the bottle because the hoi polloi got uppity. The Progressive Era and the New Deal were setbacks for them, but those of us who grew up in the era between WWII and Reagan were spoiled, and need to realise that rights occasionally must be fought for, and fighting is never fun, whether you're trying to convince an obstreperous congressman or coworker, or facing down cops with pepper spray. Not fun at all.

    You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

    by northsylvania on Wed May 15, 2013 at 03:07:19 AM PDT

    •  Yes, it seems we made the mistake of taking (8+ / 0-)

      those rights for granted and become complacent about protecting them.  I am hoping that the recent progress on gay marriage might be an early signal that we are waking up to the effort that is needed to push back and continue forward progress.

      Unfortunately with Republican access to seeming unlimited financial and media resources and currently owning a structural advantage in so many government bodies and institutions, it will take a "super majority" push to effect change for the better.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A well written diary (10+ / 0-)

    ( like yours ) needs no links.

    •  Shhhhhh (5+ / 0-)

      I was born in Canada - lived there until I was 10 years old and am a dual citizen. It is very much a possibility that we will go back.

      There are several things that make me want to continue here as long as we can. One is simply that my wife and I are close to our immediate families (mine in the NW - where we live, hers in the deep south), one is that we would have to save quite a bit of money to do the move and that has not been possible recently and last, I don't like the idea of giving up without doing something first.

      Canada is far more enlightened (at least health care is a right) and even though Repubs keep telling us horror stories about it, try taking Canadians health care.

      And even thought it is better than here by comparison, Canada is definitely feeling the same pull.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

      by 4CasandChlo on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DARN IT!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuWho

        Posting before caffeine!

        This was in response to the comment below regarding moving to Canada.

        As to your comment about this being well written - - warm all over, thanks.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:34:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Canada's environmental stands could use some (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4CasandChlo

        improvement though. Since there's so much of Canada that's empty of significant population, there's probably not too many people to complain about despoilation. But that was the way it was here in the US not too long ago. I'm sure Canada will come around, especially since the rest of the political spectrum there is otherwise so progressive.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:42:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hate to say it, but your family might have more (9+ / 0-)

    opportunities in Canada or Europe.

    At least there, there's more resistance and more of a social safety net.

    •  I wonder the same thing for my kids (11+ / 0-)

      (11 and 8 come this Friday-I can't believe it!). As hubby's and my parents age, and siblings lives either fall apart or never really got off the ground to begin with, part of me sees less and less opportunity for my kids. At the same time, the other part of me wants to hunker down and say, "At least we have the 'social safety net' of family."

      The best I can do is to instill in them the sense of wonder and hope that allows them to dream big and keeps their imaginations flexible enough to imagine a success that isn't what Madison Avenue keeps trying to sell them.

      My son's school is having a career day on Friday. Most of the parents coming in are either in the arts (like me), public servants, or agriculture. Everyone else is either too busy, too embarrassed, or too unemployed.

      But yes, sometimes, I sit and wonder if I would be as brave as my great-grandparents (not that long ago) and leave my homeland for unknown shores and against great odds.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:00:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Every time I see the words "career day" I think of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScienceMom, Amber6541, 4CasandChlo

        the one in "City Slickers."  

        The first one, the construction worker, is hilarious.

        The second, the bored adman, is ironic, as there are so many millions who would give their right arm to be bored in a job with a steady paycheck.  At the time it was mildly humorous.  Now, not so much.

        Speaking of embarrassment though, I cracked up when the teacher asked the adman's (Billy Crystal) son (a very young Jake Gyllenhaal) what his dad did, and the kid, knowing that his dad's job would hold little interest for his pre-teen classmates, blurted that his dad was a "submarine commander."  lol  I imagine my career would have fared about as well in that class.  I DID regularly command a submarine, but it sailed out of Subway.

        Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

        by ZedMont on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:25:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  More of a safety net? I travel back to the .. (8+ / 0-)

      ...U.K. each year, if I can afford it.

      I am utterly disgusted to see how the once proud National Health Service and others organs of a welfare state, long promised and fought for, have been demolished/degraded/abolished.

      The latest 'attack' comes with a virtual 'tax' on having a spare room in your dwelling, if you live on benefits. You must give it up, or move out, or have your benefits cut to below poverty level.

      In effect, the rich and their enablers in the Conservative/Liberal alliance are de-housing the poor, and removing them from the inner cities and sending them 'who knows where' - just so long as they are not occupying potentially profitable real estate!!

      No, it is FAR worse than you can imagine in Europe...and the U.K. in particular.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:19:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My Paternal Grandparents were born in Canada, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo

      and had I known I was thus eligible for Canadian citizenship when I was drafted for the Vietnam war, who knows where I'd be now.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the future of my children, we emigrated to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, srkp23, 4CasandChlo, Amber6541

    ASEAN. Yeah, the USA currently has a higher standard of living, but in my children's lifetime, the two will switch places. I blame the Republicans, but this is little consolation.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Wed May 15, 2013 at 05:36:40 AM PDT

    •  I am going to start splitting my time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo, Amber6541, ybruti

      between US and Asia--6 months here, six months there.

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:30:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good luck - 2 homes is not for everyone. I would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4CasandChlo, srkp23

        not do it. At which house do you keep your bowling ball and golf clubs? Do you have health care set up in both places? I know people who do this, but I don't recommend it unless you have really, really thought about ALL of the details. Please don't be offended, I am just alerting you to common pitfalls that too many Americans fall for. I tried to take 5 week annual trips out here and it didn't work, so I just took an early retirement and moved here.

        I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

        by shann on Wed May 15, 2013 at 09:41:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, living in Kathmandu costs about $200/mo (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4CasandChlo, adrianrf

          and my BFF sublets my place in NYC, but we split the rent when I'm here. And when I'm in SE Asia, I'm with relatives and friends. And the expat insurance policy I have at reasonable cost covers North America too, as long as I'm not here for more that 3 months at a stretch. And I don't own a lot of stuff, cuz it bogs me down and my freedom is the most important thing to me. No kids, no mortgage, I'm good to go!

          There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

          by srkp23 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:38:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Plutocrats have won, almost entirely (11+ / 0-)

    we are stuck fighting rear-guard skirmishes that the plutes are happy to be portrayed as real.

    I'm not saying throw in the towel, but 2000-2013 (and counting) has given me no hope that the owners can be defeated in any real way.

    •  it's coming for them, too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      Climate change's effects, that is. Nature ain't impressed by money.
      In fact, anthropogenic climate change is at once the most destructive expression of man's insatiable greed and the cure for it.  Nature's cures aren't typically pleasant.
      All of the rigging of the system described in this diary and beyond are for naught in the medium term. All of the hegemony and power of wealth will become useless as economic systems fall apart under the onslaughts of storms, droughts, crop failures, refugee crises, and drowning coasts.
      I'd go one step further than the diarist; he posits that the Right has decided consciously that the amassing of wealth is incompatible with democracy, so democracy must go. I think they've seen that their preferred lifestyle is incompatible with a long term future so they've decided to just loot the place.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  May well be, but that doesn't comfort me (0+ / 0-)

        much, as they're taking down the ship with them.

        In fact, we might have had a chance to fight AGW if the sociopath plutes hadn't fought it at every turn.

        •  the ultimate "general welfare" (0+ / 0-)

          to promote; a livable planet for millenia.
          Oh, well.
          It would seem our last desperate hope is to somehow get the .01% to realize their money is not edible, and will not protect them from nature's reset button. Then there might be some interest in preserving civilization among those who can actually make a big enough impact to stave off the worst of what has already been unleashed. But so far, that particular group has remained highly resistant to logic and reality. Denial is very strong among the comfortable.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Thu May 16, 2013 at 11:29:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your excellent diary. (11+ / 0-)

    I have always felt that gerrymandering districts is also a way to suppress the outcomes of voting.  Consider the past election where there were more democratic votes in the house - and yet still a clear majority for republicans.  

    If cats could talk, they wouldn't.

    by gypsytoo on Wed May 15, 2013 at 05:54:28 AM PDT

  •  I hate (6+ / 0-)

    that we call it "inequality".  The problem is really suppression of the middle class.  Inequality, to a degree, is to be expected in any meritocratic culture.

    •  yeah, but plutocracy isn't based on meritocracy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo, SuWho

      at least, not the American version, anyway.

      The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

      by ozsea1 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:33:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Societies that are not meritocracies can be quite (0+ / 0-)

        stable. I'd not depend on the gross inequities that exist in societies with essentially hereditary aristocracies to result in any changes for the 99%ers. In fact meritocracies are the exceptions rather than the rule. If we expect change and fairness for the 99%, we are going to have to fight for it. It will not just happen.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:47:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed: Biggest regret in my terminology. . . (6+ / 0-)

      As I woke up this morning, I thought "it sounds like I am arguing for communism" - which, is not the place to end up.

      I regret using the words "economic equality" - I should have used "equality in opportunity." And yet, I am after a little more here.

      There is something to the increasing gap between rich, middle and poor that is new. There is a huge push to roll back the baseline in the social safety net. In a nation that provides its wealthy with a degree of luxury that would make the Tudors blush, it would seem that there would strong safeguards as to the lowest one who worked full time (or wanting to work full time) could fall.

      I see a huge push to increase the wealth of the wealthiest and an intentional push away from ensuring all who work are able to have a living wage.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

      by 4CasandChlo on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:44:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Increasing the gap between the rich, middle and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4CasandChlo

        poor is new only in the US. World wide and historically, that has been the situation for mankind since we developed agriculture.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:48:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Overpopulation (0+ / 0-)

          There are too many people for everyone to make a good wage.

          If there were less people "the 1%" would be "the 2%". Additionally, middle class and poor people could demand better wages since they wouldn't be replaceable as easily. As it is, labor is trivially replaced.

          Europe in the Middle Ages is a great example. After the Black Death killed off a third of the population there was a marked increase in living standards for the survivors, especially poor and middle class survivors.

          But what do I know, let's shoot for 8 billion people!

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Thu May 16, 2013 at 02:41:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is not suppression of the middle class (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      because "middle class" is an obsolete concept and a distraction. The problem is suppression of everyone who is not living in luxury, in particular those who are not part of the executive-financial elite.

      Inequality of income and wealth is one thing; inequality of rights and dignity is another. I do not accept that the latter is to be expected in a meritocratic culture. Nor do I accept that we live in a meritocratic culture, however incessantly it's claimed that we do.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Wed May 15, 2013 at 03:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "middle class' is a buzzword only (3+ / 0-)

        politicians always like to contrast the rich with the middle class.
        "poor" is a dirty word.
        "Working class" is commie.
        Everyone in America likes to think of themselves as middle class, from the gym janitor to Richard Branson.

        There is no middle class.
        you are right; there are the wealthy, and there are the rest of us. It would do this nation a shitload of good for more people to realize that.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:10:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "ownership class" or "rentiers" and the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4CasandChlo, kamarvt, Geenius at Wrok

          "working class" to which even doctors, lawyers, judges, and ministers/priests/etc belong.  

          Anyone who depends on a paycheck to live is "working class" even though folks don't like to admit that.  

          The simple test: Stop working.  Will you still have money to eat, pay the mortgage, utilities, buy food, etc?  If you will become homeless or starve without that regular paycheck, then you are working class.

          The ownership lives off the rent that people pay them in many ways, whether it is outright rent on housing or fees or interest on investments, etc.  They never have to worry about "going to work" because their resources can keep them alive without working.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu May 16, 2013 at 09:19:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You nailed it. (12+ / 0-)

    "Indeed, the big picture leads me to conclude that conservatives recognize the incompatibility of corporate-wealth dominance and government by majority rule. Conservative leaders are establishing power outside of the framework of government, solidifying a future where concern for a majority vote is gratuitous."

  •  IMO, the single most important reason for why (17+ / 0-)

    the wealthy elites are winning the battle to create a fascist corporate plutocracy is because of The Big Lie......this is the false neo-liberal economic belief that the Federal Govt's finances are just like a household or business.  Namely, that the like households, the Federal Govt must either collect taxes or borrow money in order to spend US dollars.  This is patently false, the US Govt is the source of all NET financial assets for the non-govt.  Nobody has the legal authority under Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution to create a monetary system except for Congress.  The US dollar is a public monopoly, there is no such thing as the creator and issuer of the national currency running out of dollars or needing to get its own money from its citizens before it can spend a dollar.  This is The Biggest Lie, IMO.  Because, it allows the Govt to reduce benefits and investment into the public and the people wholly based off the strange belief that the US Govt finances are just like your household or business budget.  And it backstops the effort by banks to privatize public services (education, health care, retirement, etc) which force people to take on debt to pay for services that the Govt should be providing for the citizens.  Banks make much of their money off of debt so its in their interests for the people to be indebted to them.  The Federal Govt is the only source of money for the people that doesn't come with a private sector debt.

    Please follow our group 'Money and Public Purpose' here at Kos and familiarize yourself with the only school of economic thought that is concerned with the truly seismic paradigm shift that occurred to our nation's monetary system after August 15, 1971 when Nixon ended the gold standard and created our modern purely fiat currency system.....commonly known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), post-keynesians, or heterodox economists

    MMT = Reality
    neweconomicperspectives.org
    http://mythfighter.com/....

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

    by Auburn Parks on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:19:23 AM PDT

  •  Get a usb mouse. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

    by dskoe on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:28:41 AM PDT

  •  Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness are also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo

    self evident truths in that sentence from our Decalartion of Independence. There exists a tension between equality and liberty. As Dean Kagan mentioned in his address at Yale this Spring, there must exist a balance between equality under the law and liberty. The Right bickers about how the pendulum has swung too far away from liberty while you bemoan the slow arc of equality especially in the form of economic fairness. This is precisely the tension that was foreseen and is natural to be fearful unless you understand that the give and take defines democracy and is essential to its existence.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:43:04 AM PDT

  •  your diary is a proof (9+ / 0-)

    for the divide and conquer tactics of the wealthy.  Gut education to dumb'em down then raise a hundred smaller fights as distractions whale you buy off politicians and pass GATT, NAFTA, retreat from pollution laws, etc...

    thanks for the effort

    did you do what you said you'd do?

    by blue71340 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:44:05 AM PDT

    •  only social progress is allowed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Konnie, YucatanMan

      anyone else feel the sudden collapse of the authoritarian right's support of anti marriage and anti pot causes might be a sop to the people meant to placate us while their looting accelerates even more? The really greedy ones don't give a damn who pokes who or who tokes what as long as the money is theirs, all theirs.
      Yes, I understand that these issues are suddenly electoral liabilities, but in a media-saturated culture, isn't that itself suspect?

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:18:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think of concentric lines of defense (12+ / 0-)

    that the new oligarchs have established.

    First are those citizens who are almost completely uninformed because they throw themselves into some entertainment frenzy or another: the Kardashians, Trekkies, sports teams, a particular band or genre of music. These citizens more are less embrace the totality of the spectator society, to the point that they willingly cease functioning as citizens.

    Second are the DNC types, including Obama, the Clintons, and most Congressmen and Representatives. They have some moral inclination toward equality, but are unwilling or unable to understand and accept a political stance of complete rejection of and hostility to the present system of corporate power dominated by neo-liberal economic (shock doctrine) policies. They do not understand the full conception of the general welfare as it was understood at the time the general welfare was established as one of the major reasons for adopting the Constitution and a North American republic. They do not, for example, have any sense of how privatization destroys the commons of public education. They are unable and unwilling to understand and accept that the rich, by the mere fact of being rich, are one of the deadly threats to a republic.  

    Third are the economic theorists and teachers, such as von Hayek, von Mises, Milton Friedman, Glenn Hubbard, Larry Summers, and N. Gregory Mankiw, who provide the ideological justification, and veneer of polite society acceptability, for economic inequality and injustice.

    Fourth are the conservatives and libertarians. On the top level are those like some of the economic theorists and teachers, plus such as William Buckley, Norman Podhoretz, and Andrew Sullivan - and let's not forget the windbags like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and Bill O'Reilly. The bottom level, of course, are such as your coworker or uncle you see once or twice a year, and by whom you have to endure a seemingly incessant effluence of xenophobia and crack-pottery.

    Fifth are the police, military, and intelligence apparatus. Probably just under half the people in the entities of this apparatus are of like mind with the bottom level conservatives and libertarians. And, like the DNC types, despite their explicit role in defending freedom and the republic, most of these people have no understanding of what the republic is supposed to be, or of the general welfare.

    I agree with Chris Hedges that it all hinges on the police, military, and intelligence apparatus.  Hedges, who was eyewitness to the collapse of the communist dictatorship of East Germany, notes that popular uprisings only succeed at the point that the military and police become unwilling to follow orders to pull their triggers and slay their fellow citizens.

    Getting to the point that the police and military will not use state sanctioned violence to resist socio-economic change requires that we educate, or ostracize and exclude, the DNC types, and de-legitimize the neo-liberal economic theorists, and conservatives and libertarians. We must be ruthless in using the spectacular failure of neo-liberal economic ideas and political conservative policies against them. The best weapon is humor, as shown by George Carlin, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

    Many in the first group of citizens, wandering the wilderness of the Spectator Society, can also be educated, and roused to a sense of their civil duty, while the rest can be ignored.

    Many in the  police and military can also be educated, and roused to a sense of their civil duty, but the rest cannot be ignored.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:55:36 AM PDT

  •  "How shall the new environment be programmed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, adrianrf

    It all happened so slowly that most men failed to realize that anything had happened at all."
                                           -SRT*, the hologram in THX-1138

    The hologram, clearly an existentialist whom I can only describe as a sort of ethereal android of remarkable intelligence, was an articulate philosopher "living" among anatomical humans who were largely mute, with those actually exhibiting characteristics common to a philosopher imprisoned for crimes against the state.

    I have after all these years concluded that the hologram's name, "SRT," was a tongue-in-cheek reference to "Sartre."

    Speaking of whom, your diary begs a couple of quotes:

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
                                                   - Jean-Paul Sartre
    A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.
                                                  - Jean-Paul Sartre

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:58:02 AM PDT

  •  We tell our 11yr old that she needs to think (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo, SuWho, Bob B, adrianrf

    globally, she may want to be able to work internationally so she can leave the US if the Gun-crazed christianists take over

  •  "capped futures" as we have seen in the developing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kenwards, adrianrf

    world leads (and even in France) leads to demonstrations, violence and instability.  

    I have never understood why, if the right wants to discredit Marx, why they continue to make him right.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

  •  Good diary (7+ / 0-)

    We focus too much on symptoms and not the disease.

    The bottom line is more and more money and power being grabbed by fewer and fewer people.
    It can only be sustained by nullifying majority rule, and/or keeping the majority divided among themselves.

    The media used to act as a counterbalance but they have simply become another branch of the plutocracy.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:11:42 AM PDT

  •  What gives me hope: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, 4CasandChlo, pengiep, adrianrf, loftT

    we've been in worse straits before, during the Great Depression. There was massive income inequality and a liberal president facing off against a very conservative and obstructive SCOTUS. We were able to rescue the country, but I attribute that in no small part to the particular genius and and courage of FDR. We need to see more of that - lots more, whether from this president or from a future one.

    What makes me lose hope: even in the depths of the Depression, it was a generally accepted truth that a more educated populace was desirable, and that a good education was the key to a better individual life. The right has realized that a well-educated populace is also more cognizant of its rights, demanding of its share, and difficult to control, so they've set out to make the American people as ignorant as possible.

    Thanks to them, the people of the US are less well-educated than they were formerly, whether by undermining the teaching of critical thinking skills, promoting the teaching of pseudoscience,  underfunding and privatizing public education, demonizing educators, or by forcing every HS graduate into debt in order to obtain a degree that they may not need (not everyone should go to college, or needs to: some countries, such as Germany, have very successful apprenticeship programs that train graduates who are happier working with their hands for well-paid, skilled blue-collar work).

    Unless this trend is reversed, I believe we're looking at a future of de facto indentured servitude, and ultimately, violent revolution. And that terrifies me.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:16:39 AM PDT

    •  the 30s vs now (0+ / 0-)

      The difference between then and now is that the 30s succeeded several left wing movements. These include Farmer-Labor, several (2 I thik) Progressive parties, and Socialists, and they actually had a small amount of success at all levels. Many of FDR's new deal policies were moderated versions of policies pushed by these parties.

      In the post-Clinton era, the left is mostly marginalized. The most successful 3rd party movement of the last few elections was Perot whose primary issue was the deficit (I'm not saying that his policies would have actually achieved that, but thats what his voters were voting for). The biggest 3rd party today is the Libertarians, and any true left wingers are dismissed as cranks. Where exactly are the progressive policies going to come from???

  •  Teach your daughter (0+ / 0-)

    to use a gun.  There is every possibility that the US will become a "failed state" within her lifetime.  We should hope otherwise, of course, and work towards that goal.  But while hoping for the best, you need to prepare for the worst.  The worst is a situation where women will quickly be relegated to the status of sex-slaves once again.  Teach your daughter the things she needs to prevent it happening to her.

    •  Even if she knows how to use a firearm, if things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      really do go "Lord of the Flies", having a gun won't change what her end will be, it will only allow her to take as many evil doers with her as she has rounds. It would only delay the end.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Wed May 15, 2013 at 01:14:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  for what? to eat it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loftT

      your concept of 'the worst' needs updating. In a world where women are routinely relegated to sex slave status, I'd expect the rule of law to be a cold dead body. Which would strongly imply things like commerce would be similarly inert. Which makes eating a big priority, since the grocery store doesn't grow the food it sells...

      IOW, "the worst" case is a place where bands of marauding rapists are only one of many, many problems, and not the worst of them, either. If we are headed for such a hellscape (and I think we are, thanks to climate change more than oligarchical overreach), the girl would be better served with weapons training that doesn't rely on expendable ammunition, and can be used to hunt food. If you think that world is coming, there are far more useful things to be doing. Like getting far from any city, for starters. Those will be the first and worst casualties.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:33:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regrettably we are a nation in decline (5+ / 0-)

    That is the elephant in the room. That is our problem. Saying this is not popular, but with every passing day more people realize that their children's futures offer less opportunity and security than we have, and that our futures in retirement will offer much less than our parents.

    Conservative nullification? That's not the elephant. The elephant is that our democracy is corrupt. Our government is for sale. Our government works only for the rich, and the rich use the power of government, not the marketplace, to enrich themselves. Our current system is a disgrace and nothing like what our founders envisioned; it has become what they feared.

    Being the land of opportunity used to mean our government worked to provide as much opportunity as it could. There were, of course, many stumbles along the way, but the trajectory was always upward. The American Dream came to be. And now our government works against the economic interests of the vast majority of this country, openly offers two tiers of justice and opportunity for its citizens: one for the rich and one for everyone else.

  •  Watch Venezuela to see our future (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, loftT, YucatanMan

    We need more attention to South America here.  The Fascists are doing the same thing here as in Latin America, and they may have the same success/non-success.  Too often we think of the USA working through the CIA to finance counter-revolutionary groups down south.  But actually in the USA, the billionaires who finance the Tea Party and other fascist groups are doing the same thing to our own elected officials.

    Once you study Latin American history, you find that many of their national leaders resemble Union leaders in the USA.  They are trying to take care of their people.  The tactics of hiring goons and death squads has worked too often for USA companies in Latin America.

    Now, those same tactics, in service to the plutocrats, are being developed right before our eyes in the USA.

  •  I am hopeful that we will prevail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    loftT

    if, as you suggest, we hold the bigger picture in our vision, and care for our children in all the little ways that matter.
    It's clear that you are contributing to that picture, thank you.

    'A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit' Greek Proverb

    by janis b on Wed May 15, 2013 at 12:55:40 PM PDT

  •  "The Space Merchants" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo

    is a science fiction story written by Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth in the 1950's depicting a world run by (and for) trans-national corporations.  We're getting closer to it every day.

  •  I don't know about winning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo

    but frankly even if you had a crystal ball and could tell me everything I would do would be a failure I would still fight anyways.

    The future is ever changing so don't buy too much into fate or predestination, do the best you can and know that having done so there is nothing more you can do

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:16:51 PM PDT

  •  This article gave me some hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    But it's over a year old now and I still vacillate between fight-or-flight--but where to go and how to fight seem to be unanswerable questions for me.

    This also gave me hope. Maybe I'm not serious about fighting and too scared and poor for flight. Hmmm.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Thank you for this diary. It really IS time to get off my backside where I sit paralyzed with fear, isn't it.

    Divide And Conquer only works if we allow ourselves to be divided--let's not

    by EverGrateful on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:54:35 PM PDT

    •  ?--Here's a question mark (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4CasandChlo

      that should have been in my comment--proofread twice, post once is my new advice to myself. Hard to believe I've been earning my living at a keyboard for decades, eh?

      Divide And Conquer only works if we allow ourselves to be divided--let's not

      by EverGrateful on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:59:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I went to a Democratic Party meeting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, loftT, 4CasandChlo

    recently.  Less than a dozen people showed.  The energy level was zilch.  The leadership at a quilting bee is more exciting.  Democrats aren't organizing where I live, and I suspect because they do not get involved until the day of the election.  Has to change.  The hour is late.  Great diary.

  •  YES! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4CasandChlo

    This, simply, is THE issue.  We are heading toward an aristocracy, with all the power permanently in the hands of the one percent. We are witnessing the entire destruction of the middle class; the descent of all of us into real poverty.  Already we can't afford college and healthcare. The urge for power through money is insatiable.  Yet even to most progressive and liberal voices seem content to fiddle while the USA burns.  Occupy was a spark of light.  Should we turn Occupy into a third party?  

  •  Stay strong anyway (0+ / 0-)

    No matter what happens to our great nation, it becomes more clear to me every day that I have to take good care of myself. There is no fight left in anyone who is sick because of poor diet and couch potatoe-ness. Educate yourself and children and make self-sustainable the watchword in all things. Grow it, read it, build it, bargain for it, care for it.

    We can't stop fighting.

  •  Income inequality is increasing is our country, (0+ / 0-)

    with no end in sight.  Inevitably, this leads to an unstable society, to civil unrest, as the people being abused gradually become aware.

    Obama was elected largely on the hope that he would alleviate this trend, that policies enacted during his administration would be turned towards social justice and economic equity, a stark departure from his predecessor.  This has not happened indicating to me that we may have already lost, that even a person elected with the best of intentions cannot stem the tide of fascism.

    To the questions: When will this unrest happen?  When will it begin?  It already has.  Despite a general downplay and whitewashing by the media, it’s not hard to discover the increased incidence of events that demonstrate the destruction of our societal and social structure.  As income inequality increases so will these events.  

    The people orchestrating the transfer of our nation’s wealth are well aware of these facts, and are prepared to deal with it; just give them a reason to target you.  Homeland Security has already brought about a greater level of surveillance of our citizens than ever before.  The for-profit prison industry is all-too-eager to host larger numbers of “enemies of the state” in their facilities.  The government has not ruled out the use of drone aircraft against our own population.

    This leaves us as individuals to decide how we choose to deal with these realities.  Some common paths:
    •    Ally with the Dollars, the “primal forces of nature,” and sell your soul
    •    Ignore the “terror of the situation” and just react to things as they happen (sedation helps here)
    •    Attempt to flee to a “safety zone” untouched by “Greedy, Lying, Bastards
    •    Throw in with the Happy Warriors and wage a battle likely to destroy you, but with soul intact

    I would hope that your choice would be “none of the above”.

    The fact is that war was declared on We the People 40 years ago by the radical right (aka white male establishment).  They had seen their power and control gradually slip away, especially since FDR became president in 1933.  Laws favoring unions, children, senior citizens, women, minorities and environmental protection had limited their power and produced a thriving middle class.  They longed to undo the 20th century and return to the Gilded Age.

    In 1973 the first shots were fired.  Paul Weyrich took Joseph Coors’ millions and started the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.  It was the beginning of a brilliantly diabolical strategy: let’s harness some of our nation’s best and brightest minds to devise ways to undermine the social progressive movement and get laws passed that will benefit us and our circle of the Power Elite.  That same year the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was formed.  This group takes the strategies devised by the think tanks and writes them into legislation, which it then passes on to Republican politicians who they wine and dine and other legalized bribes (as well as threats).

    The radical right realizes the critical importance of creating the proper climate to promote their agenda, the key strategy being propaganda, naturally.  (In 1996, the blueprint for a propaganda channel developed by Roger Ailes in 1970 was finally realized with his creation of Fox News.)  They are ardent disciples of the principles of Joseph Goebbels.  Their first target was the Ideologues, who are their most public warriors.  Conservative arguments give their campaign a patina of intellectual legitimacy.  These are just one group of Useful Idiots that the radical right employs (or pretends to be among).

    This highly organized, determined and usually covert 40-year campaign by our Enemies Within has been hugely successful, since the opposing forces have largely remained unorganized and underfunded.  Much of this is due to the enemy’s efforts to divide us, while also mostly controlling the purse strings.

    So what should we as individuals do?  First, realize there is no political solution; at this point the system is too sick, too infected to heal itself.
    •    Start by studying The Art of War, which embodies universal principles for effectively engaging in any conflict.  The radical right has comprehensive understanding of these principles, you should, too.
    •    Realize that the mass (corporate) media is purely info-tainment, designed to control people, nothing else.  The less time you spend with it the better off you will be.
    •    Seek out like-minded people and organizations to ally yourself with.  One man can do nothing.  It takes an army to defeat an army.
    •    Look for opportunities to shine light on their activities.  Exposing evil to the light of day is often enough to dispel it.
    •    Lighten up!  Fear is their biggest weapon, constantly amping up the noise machine and magnifying what they want you to see, to keep you from seeing the reality.

    Hope this helps.

  •  I assume you have a laptop with its left button (0+ / 0-)

    broken? You can usually assign the corners of the touch pad functions and one of them is a left mouse click. I'm not sure what OS you're running or what laptop, but if you ask a computer aware person they should be able to show you how to reassign the corners of the touch pad, provided you have one, to act as a left click. You can also get a corded or cordless mouse that will plug into a USB slot to have full mouse potential. If you can't afford a cordless one, look at thrift shops for corded ones, just make sure it's a USB cord, should be able to get one of those for a buck.

    Great diary, T&R'ed.

    Radio Free Moscow -- A Blue Beacon in the Red State of Idaho -8.5219, -2.0592

    by brentbent on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:22:03 PM PDT

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