Skip to main content

For many years now I've been observing how the ruling elite in the United States has been putting into place the mechanisms to subjugate and exploit the population.  As I've observed this, year after year, I've marvel about how they've been able to do it while keeping the population in an eerie state of acceptance, passivity, acquiescence, apathy, powerlessness, and confusion.

And I mean, I'm talking about some serious stuff like the launching of wars of choice based on what were clearly lies and propaganda; war crimes; war profiteering; the wholesale undermining of constitutional protections; the enactment into law of the far-reaching and oppressive PATRIOT Act; direct assault and undermining of labor unions; and the establishment of what is in essence a increasingly oppressive surveillance police state.

Watching this stuff happening in real time during the last 12-plus years has been mind-blowing.  I've often though about the 1988 movie They Live as a metaphor.

Obviously, I've given this issue a lot of thought and just by simple observation what I've been able to discern as that the reasons why this type of massive deception seems to be so easy is because in fact it is not.  What I mean by that is that the ruling elite along with the government that protects them have put an extraordinary amount of effort and resources into what is essentially propaganda meant to control and manipulate the population.  The effort is massive, non-stop, and it reaches the entire population, 24/7.

Many people have tackled this issue, including Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky (The Propaganda Model), and many others.  

One recent book that addresses the current surveillance police sate is Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance, written by Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyer's Guild.

Heidi Boghosian's 'Spying on Democracy' is the answer to the question, 'If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you care if someone's watching you?' It's chock full of stories about how innocent people's lives were turned upside-down by public and private-sector surveillance programs. But more importantly, it shows how this unrestrained spying is inevitably used to suppress the most essential tools of democracy: the press, political activists, civil rights advocates and conscientious insiders who blow the whistle on corporate malfeasance and government abuse.

-- Michael German, senior policy counsel for the ACLU (and former FBI agent)

All along during this process of real-time observation of the encroachment of proto-fascism in our society, it has been clear to me that the massive deception and propaganda was being done deliberately, and systematically--and because of it, it has worked.

And all along I've understood that one of the main objectives of the propaganda, psychological warfare and misinformation campaign has been to prevent the establishment and evolution of a successful social justice or progressive movement.

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.

The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. COINTELPRO tactics have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI's stated motivation was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."

I believe that many of these tactics have not only continued, but have actually evolved to be even more sophisticated (and more widely used), especially in the current total information awareness surveillance police state.  Here's how Ms. Heidi Boghosian sees it:
As more individuals are entrusted with access to and oversight of vast troves of personal data, this information necessarily becomes more vulnerable to misuse, whether by the parties gathering and analyzing it or by foreign governments and private multinational corporations. Because this data literally contains information related to people's entire lives, it is ripe for bullying, blackmail, threats or other improper uses.

But this "top secret" information is already being used by our own government for reasons that have little to do with combating threats to national security. Ownership of this information affords the administration unlimited power to suppress dissent, inhibit free speech and intimidate would-be critics into adhering to the status quo.

The emphasis is mine

I've argued for a very long time that the key to start addressing this seemingly overwhelming and intractable challenge is to first address the issue of systemic and organized propaganda head-on.  I usually refer to it as counter-propaganda.

And here's what I mean by that... Unless people become fully aware about how the ruling elite is manipulating them, it will be almost impossible to find common cause to unite in solidarity against them and utterly defeat them.

They know that, and that's why they spend such an extraordinary amount of resources on an ongoing, relentless 24/7 misinformation and propaganda campaign.  And that's why Occupy Wall Street was crushed.

From its inception, the FBI has operated on the doctrine that the "preliminary stages of organization and preparation" must be frustrated, well before there is any clear and present danger of "revolutionary radicalism."

-- COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story

The emphasis is mine

I've often written that what we need to do is to start a nationwide counter-propaganda (public education) campaign using historical examples of progressive and social justice activism.  One such an example is chronicled in the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary The Abolitionists:

Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
The emphasis is mine

I watched the entire series and I saw many similarities regarding the challenges we face.  In essence, what those great Americans engaged in was a public relations/counter-propaganda campaign specifically designed to reach as many people as possible in the general population and educate them about the evils of slavery by appealing to reason and morality.

Although they ran into many difficulties (harassment by the government and established economic powers/interests, violence, derision by the public, internal infighting) they were nevertheless relentless in their efforts, year after year, decade after decade.

I argue that today, to a certain extent the population is being subjugated (enslaved), and that it is being done deliberately and systematically.  And I argue that the reason thus far that the increasingly ruthless ruling elite has been able to get away with it is because the majority of the population doesn't have a clear understanding about what's happening and about who's behind these things.

And so we need to engage in an new type of abolitionist movement in order to achieve emancipation of all citizens from the choke-hold of illegitimate corporate power in our lives.

A New Kind of Abolitionist Movement Against Corporatism

I'm sharing some ideas here but I'll ask you to cut me some slack... I'm just one guy in front of a computer, who suffers from really bad neck pain, and is neglecting (at this very moment) engaging in taking care of my consulting business (thus possibly losing some income) to write this... The propaganda we're being exposed to 24/7 is backed up by an almost incalculable amount of money and resources.

So my recipe may not be as polished as what the Koch brothers and Third Way Democrats (funded by billionaires) are able to put out, but I hope you give me some points for trying...

Here's what I envision... Let's get back to Ms. Heidi Boghosian (executive director of the National Lawyer's Guild) and author of the new book Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance.

She's basically speaking truth to power.  She's cutting through the smokescreens and lies and misinformation, and informing the people about the real reasons the total information awareness surveillance police state is so dangerous to democracy and freedom.

Another person who has been speaking truth to power for a very long time is Chris Hedges.  Here's how he describes it in the truthdig article "Rise Up or Die:"
Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.


A handful of corporate oligarchs around the globe have everything—wealth, power and privilege—and the rest of us struggle as part of a vast underclass, increasingly impoverished and ruthlessly repressed. There is one set of laws and regulations for us; there is another set of laws and regulations for a power elite that functions as a global mafia.

The emphasis is mine

Both of these individuals are speaking the truth, and yet just like in the mid-1830's during The Abolitionist Movement, the public remains unaware of this truth.

Here's what I would do: I would contact these two individuals (or others like them) and invite them to participate in a series of events around the country, specifically designed to share their insights about the system with as many people as possible.

The key would be to start doing this non-stop with no end in sight, in hundreds of cities around the country.

Here's how I would do it: I would go to the truthdig website and call their 310 number (in Los Angeles) and inquire about the possibility of booking Chris Hedges for an event here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Once I get the details, if he is able, agreeable and available, I would book a venue (and date) for the event.

Then I would put together a professional-level advertising and marketing campaign for the event.  To raise revenues to cover costs (and the speaker's fees), I would sell tickets for admission.

I would market it just like a professional seminar, communicating to potential attendees that they will learn something of immense value to their lives, beneficial to their social and economic well-being.

The advertising campaigns would include print (newspapers, magazines), social media, and possibly radio and TV (if I was able to raise the funds).

The day of the event would be a special day with related activities.  For example, I would try to organize (protest) rally during the day.  Press releases to all local media would have been sent; and all local activists, progressive groups, etc., would have been notified.

The "Seminar" featuring Chris Hedges and Heidi Boghosian (or speakers like them) would take place in the early evening.

I would have a very specific objective for the event:

  1. Awareness: Attendees should come out of the seminar with a very clear understanding of how the system really works; who is really pulling the levers of power; how they control politicians; how they act against the interests of the citizenry
  2. Unity and Solidarity: Attendees should come out of the seminar with a desire to establish unity and solidarity with others who have become aware of the situation, both locally, and nationally.
  3. Defunding The Corporate State: Attendees should engender a desire to study ways of defunding the corporate state.  That could involve understanding how corporatist cartels are funded (mainly we the people funnel money to them), and then coming up with strategies to stop the money flow, and diverted back to our communities.
  4. Sustainability: This process is going to take some time, so in the meantime we need to find quick ways to make some changes (where we can) and embracing local sustainability concepts, employee-owned/run businesses, food and housing collectives, etc.
At this point I'm going to ask readers to take a few minutes and watch this video (below).  I think it adds very important context to what I've written so far:

Finally, for the day of the event I would have arranged for it to be live-streamed online so people in other cities could watch it at pre-planned events at homes, community centers, and other venues.

Then I would have arranged for professional photographers and videographers to document the event, the talk, and then have the media edited to create powerful advertising and marketing material....

Then another group does the same in Chicago, and Miami, and Dallas, and Seattle, and Houston, and New York City, an hundreds of cities across the country.

We share resources (from ticket sales and donations?) and start buying billboard ads, newspapers ads, TV and radio advertisement, all over the country.

We can do this... Here's what I suggest: Let's put together teams in different cities.  You can start with a few people.  Think about what it would take to plan one event like this.  It's pretty straight forward (I've been involved in planning of dozens of events): Select a date and venue; book the speaker(s); put the advertising/promotional material together; sell tickets for the event (or get donations, etc., according to your team's resources).

We could even end up producing a documentary about it (from all the photo and video footage at the different events around the country).

But most importantly, if we are able to come together with a common purpose in in a highly organized and strategic manner, we could help bring about a really powerful and independent (if it is to be legit, it would have to be non-partisan IMHO) new progressive movement.

I'm fully aware that there are many progressive groups and activists out there doing great work.  I'm not seeking to re-invent the wheel.  This approach I'm suggesting is a call to add something (structured and strategic) to the mix of activism that's already happening.

Here's the key about the approach I'm suggesting: The machinery of the power structure is acting upon us (our livelihoods, our psyches) 24/7, non-stop.  If we are going to liberate ourselves from it, our approach should likewise be constant, non-stop, relentless.

That's why I suggest people watch The Abolitionists Documentary to get inspiration.  Actually, most of the progressive and social justice movements that were successful came to embrace the concept of direct action, organization, strategic thinking, and relentlessness.

I'm putting together some online tools to move these concept forward at: Market For The People.

My homework?  I'm actually going to reach out and see if I can get in touch with Chris Hedges, Heidi Boghosian, and other high-profile activists, writers, academics and intellectuals to see what it would take to book them.

I share my findings later...

I welcome ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticism about what I'm proposing.  The key for me is to find ways of taking action; not for the sake of it, but with the idea of making a real tangible impact.

P.S. I welcome spirited debate about this topic, and I'm especially interested in hearing from people who do not agree with my position.  However, I will not engage in discussion with people who write first-person personal insults, or engage in disruptive behavior.  I ask other serious people to do the same.  To learn more about this subject, please visit the following links: The 15 Rules of Web Disruption / Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression / Disinformation: How It Works.

Market For The People |Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook

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

  •  A recollection from the late 90s: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Ray Pensador, mookins

    Right up until 9-11 there was a growing anti-corporate thing in the air. I remember Adbusters on every coffee table in my part of Brooklyn and, more importantly, a real urgency about the environment.

    I was, even then, quite aware that I did not agree with this (loosely-speaking) movement, but I shared a great many of their concerns, if not always their goals. (I'm pretty sanguine about advertising and personally think we need to cultivate a better education system and work on the infrastructure. I'm immensely distrustful of revolutionary talk.)

    We all know that things got a lot more tight-assed after 9-11, and you've elaborated on many of the details quite well: concern with safety, greater tolerance for federal and local authority, and an apparently permanent demotion of the environment to back-burner status.

    I think the shocks to the system from 2007 on make many of us wish to pamper the corporations lest we lose our jobs.

    All of this makes up a tide that needs to be pushed against in some way. I won't join you, because we don't desire the same outcomes; however, I agree with some of your diagnoses, and indeed some of your prescriptions.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:52:37 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for that. Let's examine something... (4+ / 0-)

      What's your desire outcome?  I just want to make sure that it is clear that we in fact don't desire the same outcomes.

      •  Thanks. I'd like to see us ideally start over (4+ / 0-)

        From the status quo before 9-11 and then experiment via elections with changes: mostly the changes would be at the margins, the idea being that some issues (environment, education, healthcare, gay rights, finance regulation) might improve by leaps and bounds, but the economy and state would simply be evolving without major cataclysms, violence, revolution, or radical right or left wing majorities.

        Alas, we are not going to get a mulligan on the last decade; nevertheless, we could still get close to that time. It wasn't so great, remember. I'd just like to have our national brilliance and fortune turned more to those goals.

        One major thing preventing this refocus of national energy is fear, of terrorism and other even less specific things. I think you need to consider not only how ubiquitous information and news has altered our consciousness, but also how far this change has emerged just because of communications changes. There are malevolent forces in the universe, but they are petty and small and are dwarfed by the storm of distraction and information that engulfs the world.

        “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

        by jeff in nyc on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:17:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's very informative. Here's the thing where (7+ / 0-)

          I think we may have two very different views: I still think it is important to not give one inch when it comes to involvement in the political process, in elections, in campaigning.  But as you suggest, I think that any "progress" will be minimal and at the margins, and not enough to halt our transition into corporate fascism.

          The quandary we're running into is that the Republican and right wing are outright honest to goodness fascist and nihilistic, while the Democratic party establishment, although working for the same corporatist masters (Wall Street, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, K Street, et al) are more moderate.

          The typical good-cop-bad-cop strategy.

          So because the Republicans and the right wing is so outrageously fascistic, we on the Left focused on doing everything we can to make sure they don't take over.

          And that means focusing on electoral politics and voting for the Democrats... But that fear then takes away from the other things we should be doing, which is putting pressure on the entire system (so it can be reformed) from outside as well, i.e., a true independent progressive movement.

    •  ok (0+ / 0-)  I agree with some of your diagnoses, and indeed some of your prescriptions.

  •  Please take pictures (10+ / 0-)

    of yourself, without a mask, in the streets.  

    I'm always interested in internet activists who, like those from WI and elsehwere, actually put their bodies on the line -- no matter the weather or police force.

    We've had pics of folks involved with OWS.  With Moral Monday.  Can't wait to see you putting your liberty on the line -- as Biden would say -- literally.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:04:13 PM PDT

  •  I don't understand the whole action thing. (3+ / 0-)

    Since we would presumably continue to be a country of laws, with institutional continuity, how would protests that eschew the political process have an impact on our country's reality, that reality being subject to laws and institutions?  Or is there some moment where the protest energy somehow gets funneled into a currently unimaginably better kind of Democrat, who goes on to win primaries and then general elections?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:18:19 PM PDT

    •  I'm always down with doing everything we can (6+ / 0-)

      to elect better kind of Democrats who go on to win primaries and general elections.  That will always be important to me.

      In the current system what we have are the worst kind of money-grabbing corrupt party establishment Democrats, so at least for this registered Democrat, it would be important to find ways to eject them in favor of honest politicians.

      Does that makes sense to you?

      •  I still see a missing link. (3+ / 0-)

        So the country is swept by protests, let's say.  What happens?  Republican legislators become Democrats, Democratic legislators become progressive Democrats, etc?  Protests shut the country down until incumbents resign and there are special elections everywhere?  I just don't understand the mechanism by which protest of the sort you hope for turns into political change, because the intervening mechanism we'd expect in many countries (a coup of some sort) won't and shouldn't ever happen here.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:42:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Rightwing Did This to the Republicans Beginnin (10+ / 0-)

        in the early to mid 60's by operating as a party within the party. Today's tea party is nothing new, it's the same core leadership funders and membership it's been since at or shortly after the inceptions.

        Even with billionaire power they realized going 3rd party would strengthen the liberals and possibly end rightwing hopes forever.

        They started working on back channels of communication to get their message out to potential voters, since they had no voice in the mainstream media. Broadcast evangelizing gave them one outlet, and they developed others such as database driven direct mail.

        Politically they went to work at the local level, building up systems to create more and winger candidates into races for school board, town council and local party organizations.

        The kind of educational movement you're talking about could provide the voter information services the rightwing provided in its different ways back then; but maybe there are other ways in our new environment that we could develop. Seminars and rallies are pretty old school in this technological age but they could be an effective part of a strategy to connect with average Americans.

        Remember the right wing had to stick to back channels for some 20 years before it had enough power in government and economy to start capturing mainstream channels which is suggestive of the possibility that we may need to focus on non mainstream channels too for quite some time to come.

        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 Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:59:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Remember, I've mentioned I'm a tech guy with (0+ / 0-)

          experience in advertising, marketing, sales... Seminars, rallies, then documenting everything (photos, articles, blogs, videos), then editing content, working on messaging, then spreading info. in multiple channels/media, online, social media, billboards, then build on the last event.  Leverage impact by broadcasting events as they are happening via livestreaming...

          Yes, it would make sense to use all the modern tools of communications available and the latest developments in advertising, marketing, promotion, sales...

  •  Cheers Ray! (5+ / 0-)

    I think this is a good idea, and appreciated watching Chris Hedge's video. We've not always agreed in the past, and may or may not in the future, but I appreciate this diary as a proposal for a constructive action.

  •  It took a Civil War... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and centuries of oppression and black folks still have to deal with shit because they're black.

    First off, we never had control of the government. At certain points in history the powers that be were forced to change things, but we never had the power. Ever. Rich white guys founded this country and they still run things.

    I have said this before and I will say it again it is going to take a violent uprising to change things. I am not endorsing violence but violence has been a tipping point for change in quite a few turning points in history.

    And you still fail to grasp that people do not respond to reason and morality, they respond to emotional appeals and optimism. If you tell them they are being being brainwashed and they need to be reeducated they are going to zone out, and probably tell you to fuck off for calling them stupid.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:59:01 PM PDT

    •  Wow, that's pretty civil compared to previous (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, truong son traveler

      communications.  I'm encouraged.

      I disagree with the characterization that commenting on the effects of propaganda means I'm calling people stupid.

      Also, I don't agree that only through violence we'll be able to turn things around.  And I'm thinking about people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi, and many others here, and other countries.

      •  The Civil Rights movement... (0+ / 0-)

        had violent factions. MLK and hos peace marches did not happen in a vacuum, same for Gandhi in India. Both of them were a peaceful alternative to the violent leaders in other factions.

        You may not intend on calling them stupid but that is how it comes across. When crafting a message remember to not piss off, confuse, or otherwise leave them having to guess your intention. Marketing is your friend. It's evil, but effective.

        and I can be a dick if you want.

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:15:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whether you want to be a dick or not is totally (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jeff in nyc, truong son traveler

          irrelevant to me... As I say before, go into dick mode, I don't engage; act as a respectful person, I'm all ears.

          Now, it may be that for some reason it is you who are taking too personally, the intention and meaning of my diary notwithstanding.  I don't think I can't help you with that either.

          Hint... I can't imagine going into one of your diaries and telling you how to write what you write.

          I'm fully aware of the historical dynamics of struggles for social justice.

          •  I pay attention... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WakeUpNeo, terrybuck

            to how people react to my diaries and what content gets what kind of reaction and who is reacting to what. Paying attention to your audience and their response is important when crafting a message. Especially If you want to reach outside of your core audience.

            I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

            by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:46:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is an honest observation: I think you're (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jeff in nyc

              projecting.  My intention in all my diaries is to be respectful of the readers, and to engage in intelligent and meaningful debate.

              A tiny group of people whom I've identified as a tag-team landing in my diaries resorting to vitriolic insults and vulgarities does not an audience make.

              •  here we go... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too, WakeUpNeo, terrybuck

                whining about trolls picking on you. Go on youtube and watch the masters deal with their hecklers and apply what they did to the hecklers in your diaries. I used to get hecklers in my diaries, I don't anymore.

                But this is your cage on you line it with whatever paper you'd like to catch your shit with. I lined mine with the NY Times, I like my propaganda caged in Ivy League intelligence. Plus shitting on Tom Friedman's face is fun.

                I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:03:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Hi Ray, I think jbou was providing an (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                honest observation as well. It may not be information that you consider useful, and it may not have been perfectly "packaged", but I think it was well-intentioned, and based on experiences that jbou has had that may be similar to yours. Suggesting that he's "projecting", even if it's honest observation, implies that jbou's comment is based on personal insecurity and has no relevance to you.

                Maybe it doesn't, but I don't feel that your reply conforms with your intention "to be respectful of the readers, and to engage in intelligent and meaningful debate". For example, a simple "thanks for your input" would acknowledge the comment, without escalating a potential conflict. But that's just my perspective.

                I've read diaries and comments by you in the recent past that were much more conflict-oriented in my opinion. You have previously questioned my motives for writing a diary in a way that I don't consider to be intelligent or meaningful debate.

                I feel that it's very understandable that people would engage guardedly in discussion with you now, and that it would take time to adjust their expectations. You probably feel the same way.

                •  I disagree. Read the thread of the interaction (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jeff in nyc

                  from the beginning.  Look at tone, language, and attitude.

                  Also, notice how I've been communicating with you.

                  There's something thought which may help you understand a little better about my approach; I've been at this for years.

                  Actually, when I started engaging people online it was at right wing blogs where I would debate the Iraq war, torture, constitutional protections, habeas corpus...

                  I don't mind head on confrontations when they're called for.  I just don't engage in vulgarities; I think that's the easiest and laziest thing in the world; anybody can talk (or write?) tough and engage in personal insults, ad hominens and insinuations.  I find that boring, to tell you truth.

                  Have you ever been at a meeting (business, whatever) and some asshole, loud-mouth says something nasty, intimidating, and everybody just stays quite?  I'm the guy who's going to call him on it, straight frontal, but in a calmly.

                  I promise you something... Any time you want to interact with me here, if you do it respectfully I will engage and treat you with respect.

                  And that doesn't mean you have to agree with me... This is an example.  You totally disagree with me, and you let me know in no uncertain terms, but you are doing it in a civil manner, and likewise I'm engaging in the same way.

                  That's what you'll always get with me.

              •  I need harder drugs when dealing with you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You're really difficult to communicate with. You have so many rules for engagement.

                I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

                by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:45:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  If you advocate violence then so be it. I will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          Be on the other side.

          Question for Ray: I liked your diary today, and it strikes me that it has gotten far less attention than some of your others where you wrote in a more spirited or even hyperbolic mien.

          Any thoughts?

          “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

          by jeff in nyc on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:52:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now you want me to reveal the sausage making (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jeff in nyc, lostinamerica, annan

            recipe?  I'm very patient; I've been at this for many years in different settings and formats and audiences.

            I'm not as crazy as I sometimes look, and I'm not as sane as I sometimes appear to be.

            But one thing you can count on: My intentions are purely altruistic; I have no hidden agenda other than trying to find ways to communicate to as many people as possible what I believe to be the process by which those who have attained illegitimate power over us have and are doing it, in order to motivate people to act against the abuse.

            Also, I'm always ready to make corrections in my assessments if I become aware of evidence that contradicts my conclusions.

            So I'm in for the long run and don't pay too much attention to rec list hierarchy.

    •  Hey jbou (5+ / 0-)

      I think that effective change has sometimes been accomplished through civil, peaceful actions. Violence has certainly "been a tipping point for change in quite a few turning points in history", but not always constructively so, especially from a long-term perspective.

      I agree with you that telling people that "they are being being brainwashed and they need to be reeducated" isn't very constructive in my opinion, I do think that this particular diary does propose a reasonably constructive step, in providing a platform for alternative voices to reach a larger audience.

      •  I really wish... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erratic, WakeUpNeo

        we could have the dream media machine for folks like Hedges so they can learn what the folks in the right wing have learned no matter how many people are spewing the same message over and over again in neatly packaged formats you are not going to change people's minds.

        I used to think that all we needed was to just educate people and that hasn't worked for the right wing and their slick well funded machine I doubt it is going to work for the left.

        The peaceful movements did not happen in a vacuum. MLK had the Malcolm X and his any means necessary message is just one example.


        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:22:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed jbou (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          There is no dream media machine, and peaceful movements do not happen in a vacuum. I haven't adequately studied the role of violence in the Civil Rights movement, nor others, to be able to speak informedly about them.

          One example of a peaceful movement that was successful that I came up with was the women's emancipation campaign, and the resultant and ongoing work for women's equality. The gay rights movement has been mostly non-violent, as has the environmentalist movement. Arguably, these have all been empowered by white privilege, but I'd argue that an acknowledgement of a shared humanity also played a strong factor.

          I don't consider what Ray's proposing her to be a complete solution, but I do see it as a positive and achievable step in the right direction.

  •  Evening Ray, I have a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Could this be a problem with regards to getting started ?...

    Splintering of the Internet community can occur when members of specific interest groups use the Internet to exclude or avoid views that contradict their own cherished beliefs and theories. Called Cyberbalkanization (or sometimes cyber-balkanization), it refers to the division of the Internet or the world wide web into sub-groups with specific interests, where the sub-group's members almost always use the Internet or the web to communicate or read material that is only of interest to the rest of the sub-group.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

    by lostinamerica on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:17:28 PM PDT

    •  just seems as though the internet likes to herd (0+ / 0-)

      us all around, whether your buying a toaster online or researching the history of socks

      imo internet search engines are not as helpful as they used to be, i.e. less choice, harder to find stuff, distractions...etc

      In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

      by lostinamerica on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's my suggestion regarding that question: (0+ / 0-)

      The entire security apparatus in coordination to corporate interests have invested decades in techniques and tactics specifically designed to prevent any real social justice/progressive movement from even getting started.

      But all of it is in our minds; we've been conditioned.  Do a little research (it will take you a couple of minutes) and find out where the slogan "¡Si Se Puede!" came from, as it related to the United Farm-workers Union (and Cesar Chavez).

  •  We have to go global. And yes it's time for (3+ / 0-)

    action.   The ruling class is going to take us all down.  And that's a global ruling class.  The idea should be to use the United Nations.  It's corrupted as well but there are many countries now fighting back.  Latin America is ready to submit a resolution to the U.N. demanding the U.N takes steps to insure peace on earth and end U.S. and NATO imperialism and espionage.  There are people in every country that are ready to help, the task is to bring them together with a common agenda and goal.  Like Occupy only global and more specific.  

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:22:05 PM PDT

  •  Yes, but ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, bwren

    Mr. Ray, you've diaried many times about how corporate propaganda in all of its  many forms has stifled the ability of many folks to understand how the 1% rules the 99% in our deformed democracy.

    You've  essentially concluded in several diaries that we need a media campaign of our own to educate folks about who is sticking it to them and why, to spur folks into action to reverse this deplorable course of events.

    I suggest an additional factor.  The vast majority of folks are actually well aware they are getting screwed by most of the politicians and most of the bosses.

    What they don't know is how to fight back and win without losing their jobs, and/or getting arrested.

    For decades I've worked to unionize work places to address the economic disparities. Often workers are skeptical, not always because they buy the anti-union propaganda, but also because they rightfully fear retaliation when the union fails.

    And in truth, often some of them will suffer along the way, even if the union wins. Similar outcomes hold true for political action.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:09:55 AM PDT

    •  There's definitely a cost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      especially at being on the forefront of change.  Look at the long history of struggles.   Look at the most recent examples, Chelsea Manning and others.

      And then referring to what you're mentioning, people struggling coping to make a living, it's hard to even get informed (watching the news isn't going to do it)
      It's a tough situation, but in regards to the fact we're allowing big companies to call the shots to destroy the ecology that we depend on for the survival of the species, either we make the decisions and changes now, or we delay until down the road more painful suffering is forced upon us.

  •  "They Live" (0+ / 0-)

    Spot on, Ray.

    Whose Streets? Our Streets? Whose Country? Our Country!

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:56:59 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site