I'm going to ask you a few questions: Can you imagine a situation where hundreds or potentially thousands of financial criminals from the Wall Street racketeering cartel are properly investigated, indicted, charged, tried, and convicted to serve very long prison sentences? About government officials that have committed war crimes since 2001 being held to account? Or what about government officials who have violated their oath of office by acting on behalf of corporate cartels in exchange for campaign contributions and lucrative positions once hey leave office; can you imagine a time where they will be investigated, indicted, charged, and convicted?
Here are a couple of other questions: Can you picture a time when the too-big-to-fail, too-big-too-jail banks that make up the supra-national financial criminal racketeering cartel are totally dismantled in favor of publicly-owned, non-profit financial institutions? About this: The for-profit, corporate-controlled security/surveillance organizations, starting with the NSA, who are now committing massive crimes and rights violations, totally dismantled (insiders investigated and charged with crimes), in favor of new and real national security agencies totally free from profiteering motives, acting on behalf of the people of this country instead of being tools of oppression on behalf of the Corporate Totalitarian State?
And finally, can you imagine a time where poverty, being an artificial creation of the ruling elite used to manipulate the population, is eradicated, where education, from preschool to graduate school is a right for every citizen, where every person willing and able to work can find employment, when all those in need are taking care of, where we find a way to live in harmony with the environment by tossing aside the sick, destructive and predatory consumerist society in favor of needs-based systems?
Now, here's the thing: I really don't know if all those things will happen, but I have no problem whatsoever not only imagining them, but seeing them as distinct possibilities--for real.
We have been and are being lied to at a massive scale. For many decades now our senses have been under constant and unrelenting attack, the weapon being a highly sophisticated propaganda apparatus that has implemented the most advanced mass control psychological techniques the world has ever known.
As a result we have internalized certain narratives that end up perpetuating the illegitimate control by corporate cartels over the levers of power, including our (debased and corrupt) political parties and government institutions.
Those narratives, those myths, are now crumbling down as the result of the increased brutality and oppression of the system. And that explains the ongoing and fast-growing uprising sweeping the nation (and in fact, many other countries as well).
And now that the uprising is spreading, I think it is a good idea we in the movement continue working on finding ways to accurately articulate both, the true nature of the challenges we face, and how we are going to confront those challenges... This is my humble contribution to that discussion.
When I think about these things what I try to understand is the process by which a very tiny group of people are able to have so much control over the population, through some sort of reverse-engineering approach.
So by now many readers are familiar with how a handful of billionaires and corporate cartels dominate our government institutions; in the final analysis we're talking about bribery of our debased and corrupt political class, although it takes different forms. One of them is of course is the financing of political campaigns. Another one is influence peddling facilitated by the revolving door of corruption, where politicians sell their offices to the highest bidder.
And then, of course, you have these mass media conglomerates peddling propaganda, false narratives, and misinformation, in a direct assault to our senses, 24/7. And behind that you have a web of corporate public relations firms, and think tanks constantly working on the mind-numbing messaging...
And if that wasn't enough, you have tens of thousands (or god-knows how many) of treasonous impersonators being paid by corporate PR firms (or spy government agencies) to cognitively infiltrate the national communications infrastructure (press, TV, radio, blogs, non-profit groups, activist groups, etc.), which represents another front on the constant attack and assault on our cognition capabilities, on our senses.
And finally you have an entire total information awareness surveillance police state infrastructure comprised of government agencies and some of the largest corporations in the country, tasked with monitoring, infiltrating, and disrupting the efforts of social justice activists and groups.
So those are some of the challenges we face. I seems to me that now that the movement is underway and getting stronger, we should start working on our own enemies list, so our efforts can be more efficient.
Before I continue, and for those needing a little refresher as to the true nature of the system, I recommend they review the work of these people: Henry A Giroux, Bill Moyers, John Nichols, Mark Leibovich, Chris Hedges, David Kay Johnston, Matt Taibbi, and Richard Wolff (Economic Update, Democracy at Work)...
Now getting back to the enemies list, what should we be looking for? Why are they the enemy? Well, the reason is because these entities are using their wealth and power to buy off corrupt politicians and instructing them to put in place a regime designed to subvert democracy, prevent workers from unionizing, tear down the regulatory infrastructure that protected us against predatory practices and massive environmental damage, and undermine the public sector in favor of corporate profiteering (neoliberalism), and build detailed dossiers of social activists and groups in order to disrupt their efforts to seek justice.
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.When it comes to the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel, a good list can be found at the PBS FRONTLINE documentary link: The Untouchables.
Now, the point I'm trying to make is that although at first blush it may seem difficult to identify the actual culprits behind the rise of the illegitimate corporate state, it is actually possible to name names, to identify actual offenders.
And this is important because these cowards do everything they can to hide behind the corporate veil, while they continue to tear down whatever is left of democracy.
Once identified, all of us together can come up with non-violent tactics to target them with direct action.
Let me review briefly something I've written about before, which relates to the role of the activist and of social justice movements. Let's start with the work of the late Bill Moyer: "Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements"
Social movements involve a long-term struggle between the movement and the powerholders for the hearts, minds, and support of the majority of the population. Before social movements begin, most people are either unaware that a problem exists or don't believe that they can do anything about it. They believe the powerholder's societal myths and support the high-sounding official policies and practices, all of which seem to be consistent with the culture's deeply held held values and beliefs...So as you can see, it is very important that activists already in the movement work on reaching out to the community at large in the struggle for their "hearts and minds," and their support.
The strategy of social movements, therefore, is to alert, educate, and win over an ever increasing majority of the public. First the public needs to be convinced that a critical social problem exists. Then it must be convinced that policies need to be changed. And then a majority of people must be mobilized into a force that eventually brings about an acceptable solution.
[The emphasis is mine]
And what does it take succeed in the struggle? Here's what university professor and researcher Dr. Erica Chenoweth found:
When an average 3.5 percent of any given population engages in non-violent (civil) resistance on a sustained basis, "no single campaign failed." She also finds that "every single campaign that surpassed that 3.5 percent was a non-violent one." She goes on to say that "In fact, the non-violent campaigns were on average four times larger than the average violent campaign, and they were often much more inclusive and representative in terms of gender, age, race, political party, class, and the urban role distinction. Civil resistance allows people of all different levels of physical ability to participate. This could include the elderly, people with disabilities, women, children, and anyone else who wants to. If you think about it, everyone is born with a natural physical ability to resist non-violently..."Because of the mass surveillance by the police state, the struggle against corporate totalitarianism calls for a non-hierarchical approach to organizing direct action against targets. The reason for that is because the treasonous corporate goons building huge databases and putting together dossiers of activists tend to focus on those who they consider "leaders," and then work on ways to neutralize them.
Here's an approach by Wave of Action:
Comedian Lee Camp: “What if Occupy was just the beginning? What if Occupy was just a wake up call for many actions that are yet to come? I want to tell you about a crowdsourced global wave of action…. If even a small percentage of the world population participates, it’s unstoppable.”Warning: This video contains explicit language.
I'm actually pleasantly surprised at seeing this type of approach being embraced by the movement, as I think that once it is put into practice, it will spread like wildfire. I shared a similar idea in 2013 in the following diary: "Protest 3.0 - A Leaderless, Strategic, And Distributed Network Approach to Activism"
As Lee Camp mentions in the video, people could focus on all kinds of targets (for direct non-violent action), according to their interests. They could be banks, politicians, media organizations. Many different tactics could be used, including flash mobs, boycotts against corporations associated with ALEC, for example. Light brigades, posters, flyers, sit-ins...
I'll be conducting more research on these new tactics and share my findings. In the meantime, I will continue to promote the concept of the "100 Weeks of Revolt" emphasizing the need for the direct non-violent action campaigns to be highly organized, focused, disciplined, and sustained.
Finally, and just to make sure there is no confusion, my point on all this is that I (and many others) believe that relying only on the political process is not going to be enough to turn things around. Yes, we need to stay fully engaged in the political process, but we also need to put pressure on the core of the system (the corporate state) from without. It seems to me that throughout American history, during times of crisis, that has always been the approach. We are undergoing a time of crisis now, having lost most of our democracy to the hands of an illegitimate corporate state.
My priorities when it comes to the movement? I would start by restoring the rule of law, and to me that means criminally charging banksters, who should face prison. Also, all public officials who have violated their oath of office by engaging in influence peddling, racketeering, and protection of those who have committed criminal activities should be properly investigated.
Either way, we pretty much have a good idea of what we want: Democracy, justice, respect for the Constitution, and the rule of law (applied equally to all).
But we can't wait on other people to do it. The time is now, and it is our responsibility to rise up against the illegitimate power of the Corporate State.
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Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues. Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people. They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies. A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption." Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll. Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them. [Image credit: Jacob Bøtter from Copenhagen, Denmark]