Skip to main content



Much of the angst many people are feeling is the result of experiencing and witnessing the decline of democracy on the one hand, while being exposed to an overwhelming level of false narratives propagated by the ruling elite, on the other.

The results of the inconsistency between what's really happening, and the false narratives we are being exposed to is cognitive dissonance.  People become psychologically distressed.

Think of it as an assault on our cognition with the use of very powerful psychological weapons.  As a result, our understanding of the world around us has been severely distorted.

You hear talk about markets, about competition, about automation, about supply and demand... The problem with all of it is that it is being presented using the language and narrative that benefits the ruling elite.  And the reason for that is because they create the narrative and use very powerful psychological weapons to spread those self-serving narratives.

The bottom line in this system of crony capitalism is that the ruling elite wants to extract or squeeze the maximum amount of profits from both, human and natural resources.  The whole thing is actually very simple...  Your labor generates value; the crony capitalists want to retain the maximum amount of value (or profit) you generate by letting you keep the minimum amount possible.  That's when you get to subsistence wages (the lowest wage upon which a worker and his family can survive).

Knowing that these are the dynamics in play, an informed citizenry would then protect itself from this type of exploitation.  That's where regulations come into play.  For example, if there was a law (or constitutional amendment) requiring that all employees in the U.S. are to be part of a union, the problem of income inequality would be solved overnight...

Want to close a factory here and open one in China in order to pay slave wages and then bring those products back to the U.S.?  Fine, we set a tax/tariff that makes that product 200 percent more expensive that similar products manufactured in-country.

Everything is rigged.  Corporations keep trillions of dollars overseas so they don't have to pay taxes; income for the wealthiest people is taxed at ridiculously lower rates.

I'm not going to list all the abuses we are being subjected to since I think most people are aware of them by now.

Suffice it to say that economic insecurity, poverty, and ignorance are manufactured by the ruling elite (that's one thing they manufacture in the U.S.) in order to control, subjugate, and exploit the population.

Almost everything we "know" about how things are supposed to work is a lie.  If we had an informed and alert citizenry we could pass anti-predatory laws and regulations against media conglomeration (which is used as a propaganda machine), against outsourcing jobs to other countries, against genetically-modified organisms that are beginning to wreck havoc in our ecosystem; we could tax incomes above a certain level at 80 or 90 percent rates (like we did a few decades ago).  We could dismantle the military industrial complex, stop the NSA from illegally spying on citizens on behalf of corporations, reform the entire political system in order to remove the influence of money (by a few wealthy donors), have a universal single-payer health care system, and reverse all kinds of oppressive laws and regulations that have been imposed on the citizenry during the last several years.

Some ask, "In addition to pointing out the thousand and one ways the system has become predatory, what can we actually do in order to turn things around?"  The answer to that is surprisingly simple...

It starts with you.  First come to a full realization about the true nature of the system: captured by monied interests; predatory and exploitative.  Second, accept the fact that the overall effect of corporate media conglomeration is the massive spread of lies, half-truths, false narratives, and propaganda more powerful and effective than anything seen in history.  Third, short-circuit the effects of the propaganda by connecting with other people who have come to understand the true nature of the system...

This is very important because once you wake up and realize what's really going on, it is very likely that most people around you will remain subjected to the influence of the corporate state propaganda.  In some cases that may include your family members, your co-workers, neighbors, friends, associates.

This is where the distress or cognitive dissonance could affect you as you look around and increasingly notice things that are patently absurd, but are somehow accepted by those around you as normal.

If you try to talk about those things on your own, at work, at home, or with friends (who have not come to understand the true nature of the system yet) you are going to feel like the oddball, and that could take a toll on you.

But if you make an effort to seek out others who understand what's going on, and connect with them, then you build confidence in your understanding of the situation,  together you can work on reaching out to the population at large.

In fact, that's one of the main functions of an activist: to help bust the myths that have been propagated by the ruling elite, in the eyes of the public.  As you do that, together, in unity and solidarity with other activists, then the movement grows until it gains the sufficient strength needed to help bring about democracy and a just society.

A lot of this is already happening around the country and the world... We just need to join in the effort.


So remember, the answer to "what can I do" is to fully participate in the political process, even if we understand that it is highly compromised by bribery and influence-peddling corruption; there are still some marginal benefits we can get from it.  Seek out others who have become fully aware of the true nature of the system, and join the fast-spreading social justice movement.  And very importantly, hit the streets in protest and opposition to the corporate state hegemony.  Nothing builds a movement faster than people of good will meeting face to face in the public square rising in opposition to oppression and corruption...

Other things we can do include boycotts of companies pushing for oppressive and exploitative policies, support small independent local businesses, and embrace collectivism in a number of areas, including food, housing, and business (i.e., employee-owned/run businesses).



The bottom line is that once you become "aware" you can take a thousand actions, big and small, that if done with purpose, could all be considered "revolutionary" actions, with the goal of defunding and undermining the corporate state.




----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Market For The People |Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook
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]
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

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

?

More Tagging tips:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment Preferences

  •  Ray, if we were all evacuated from purgatory (22+ / 0-)

    …I'd like to be on your ship.


    “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

    by Pluto on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:09:25 AM PST

  •  Ray, re your first image; check out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:36:16 AM PST

  •  Just throw Vicodin's at me & tell me I'm pretty. (7+ / 0-)

    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 Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:38:13 AM PST

  •  The system can end when most stop believing in it. (31+ / 0-)

    That's what happened to the Soviet Union. One day it was a superpower empire; the next day it ceased to exist. Most people living there decided they didn't believe in the system anymore -- that it was so thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional that it had become a joke.

    If a situation like that goes on long enough, eventually the system can fall, and it can happen very quickly and take everyone by surprise when it does. For a long time, everyone is pissed off at how powerless they are; but some day, all of a sudden, the power structures just crumble as people realize there's nothing holding up the system but their own false belief in their powerlessness and the system's supposed permanence and impossibility to change.

    Here in America, if things keep going the way they're going for the middle class, sooner or later we could be looking at our own "fall of the Soviet Union moment." It might not be as dramatic. It might not even involve street protests necessarily. But one day, some kind of a tipping point could be reached and the current system of economic exploitation and massive political and financial corruption that we have now in the U.S. could be swept away -- by large enough numbers of Americans deciding that the system no longer deserves to exist, and in various ways opting out of it and building their own alternatives: alternative political organizations and movements, alternative economic institutions, etc.

    Ray, you are right that what truly progressive, foward-thinking, big-picture-seeing Americans need to do most of all, right now, is to come together, get together, and work together. And in various ways, I'm sure we will. Thanks for the reminder that we can do it.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:03:41 AM PST

    •  this is what keeps me hopeful (6+ / 0-)

      i'm reading russian history, and have learned that this is what happened there; even the czarist govt collapse in 1917(?) and takeover by the "soviets" happened with almost no loss of lives

      (all the killing and murder took place later on)

      (it's some paean to humankind, has been russian history, for the informal societal cohesion)

      we've had to live through the takeover now becoming acknowledged

      joy is possible should americans shrug off their lassitude

    •  EXCELLENT (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Lujane, Eric Stetson

      comment!

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:41:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Millions no longer believe in our system (6+ / 0-)

      It seems, however, that a lot of them are channeled into teahadism, gun fetishism, and all the rest.  The system as currently structured doesn't allow for healthy dissent.

      There are many people who are agitating against KXL now.  There were many of us who were agitating for the PO in 2009-10.  We were ignored back then, and I think that the agitators will be ignored now.  That's the problem here.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:16:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope not, RFK. This one's a lot bigger than the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, RenMin

        PO.  And back then the activists were mainly TP.  They got a lot of what they wanted.  (If a Koch Bros robot can "want")

      •  The majority still tacitly approve of the system. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        Yes, millions have already lost faith in it, but most Americans still believe that we can fix our country's problems with just some minor reforms. I think that will eventually change, however -- perhaps after the next 2008-style financial crash, when the banks come to the government again for their next round of bailouts and the politicians give it to them and stiff the ordinary people.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:52:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your comment gives me hope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, Lujane, Eric Stetson

      I think that we are starting to see signs of this happening.  It could be part of what some theorists call a regeneracy where new ideas and thoughts set the stage for an impending crisis that forces people to change their ways.

      I thought this link was rather interesting, but a bit dated as it deals mostly with the 2012 election.  Even dated, it seems to still be relevant.  For example, it talks about the election with Hillary Clinton being a contender and the obstructionist tea party possibly throwing out a 3rd candidate with a fourth independent (Bloomberg ?).  

      It discusses the financial problems we've been facing and why they are unresolved, despite the GDP and stock market recovery; it also points out that this is not unique in history.  

      I also found it fascinating that it is on a UK site.  

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:22:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Right will walk out before the Left will, (0+ / 0-)

      … or so it would seem by all the neo-Confederate and "Second Amendment remedies" rhetoric.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:49:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But let's not forget what happened... (16+ / 0-)

      ...to that broken-up Soviet Union when people stopped believing in it (what actually brought it down was when the people at the top stopped believing in it, as the people below had done so long before). A huge chunk of the people who were running things before became the oligarch billionaires. And the whole place is overseen by a former KGB guy.

      Gotta always be alert for unintended consequences.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:26:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. But in our case oligarch billionaires already (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, IowaBiologist

        run things in America, to a large degree, so it's hard to imagine them getting even more power if more people decide they don't agree with the current system.

        But you're certainly right that there are always unintended consequences and risks whenever a socioeconomic or political system collapses. Probably anarchy would be the main danger here in the U.S., because of all the guns.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:02:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The oligarch billionaires of Russia are... (12+ / 0-)

          ...quite typically the same guys who ran things as apparatchiks under the Soviet system. They had power before and they have it now.

          Don't get me wrong. I am not arguing in favor of the status quo. But history provides us many examples of revolutions gone awry, with power transferred from one elite to a new one, which often is filled with reengineered bosses from the ancien régime. After Mao died, many Red Guards became bosses of the new Red Capitalism in China.

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

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:25:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  MB, that's a tired argument. What does it mean? (0+ / 0-)

            What message is it sending?  Don't demand "too much justice" because you don't know what could happen?

            I'd rather go by this one: When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty.

            We are there.  It is our duty to resist the imposition of injustice.

            •  Possibly, that when you start a journey (4+ / 0-)

              it's good idea to know the terrain you have to travel to get to your desired destination.  Likewise, to have a clear idea of what that destination is.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:04:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Please don't lecture me about duty to resist... (15+ / 0-)

              ...injustice. I was first in the trenches on that score half a century ago and I'm still willing to put myself at risk. I've done prison time, as have some friends. Some others are dead from fighting injustice. Some of us here have resisted all our lives. Our struggles against the ruling class didn't begin last year or 12 years ago.

              The message I'm sending is that revolutionaries must be alert not only to what the powers they seek to topple are doing but also to machinations of opportunists and elitists who use resistance to feather their own nests, who talk big and act little unless doing so is in their own interests, who harness the energy of others to gain power for themselves. Predators aren't exclusive to the existing ruling class as many a revolutionary has discovered to her or his dismay on their way to the abyss.

              As I made clear, this is not an argument for avoiding confrontation, for inaction, for passivity. I don't believe in any of that and have engaged in political action that has brought me into conflict with the powers-that-be repeatedly since 1963. Gaining the scars such conflicts inevitably produce. Some of them were delivered by people who supposedly were on my side.

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

              by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:22:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well said N/T (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too, erratic, duhban, raptavio

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:27:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Fear-mongering about unknowns in this context (0+ / 0-)

                tends to skew towards a pro-establishment argument; towards the status quo.  I'm just making a very basic observation about that.

                All your warnings about the possibility of the new boss being the same or worst as the old boss are meaningless.  You can't prove anything about how things are going to go down; you are just speculating.

                Yes, we've heard many times about what you did decades ago, and about the sacrifices... It's all very admirable.

                That is why it seems incongruous for you to now be putting forward the old and tire argument that tends to be pro-establishment.

                Again, if you and I both agree that "When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty," then we are both on the same page.

                Regarding opportunists, you have those in every endeavor.  People's actions speak for themselves.  Remember, Startfor already has that breakdown for us: radicals, realists, idealists, and opportunists.

                The radicals push for fundamental changes in the corrupt system, while the other three groups are more accommodating.

                •  You just can't help yourself, can you? (9+ / 0-)

                  Now you're accusing MB of making "pro-establishment" arguments.

                  FYI, consulting historical experience isn't "speculation", it's due diligence. Something you could do better at.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:37:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Fear mongering? That's a bit much, (9+ / 0-)

                  don't you think? If the history of Russia and China is too esoteric for you, perhaps the history of this country's Revolution will be simpler to accept; most of the people who were actually in charge beforehand ended up much more securely in charge afterwards.

                  "You can't prove anything about how things are going to go down; you are just speculating" that there will, in fact, be a power shift.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:07:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  this sounds very condescending to me (10+ / 0-)
                  Yes, we've heard many times about what you did decades ago, and about the sacrifices... It's all very admirable.
                  Meteor Blades has fought injustice just about all his life and STILL fights injustice. He's written about some of his resistance and fights for injustice here at DK, and some he has discussed privately. If he ever wrote a book, it would be a best seller and good foundation for other activists. When i need advice, he's the first person i contact because he has the practical experience, knowledge and wisdom.

                  You might try listening instead of attacking with condescending BS.

                  •  I'm going to ignore you calling my comment BS (0+ / 0-)

                    and will instead bring the issue back to the argument at hand... I would hope that you don't mean to imply that one must ignore obvious observations just because someone has some sort of rank, right?

                    I don't question MB's contributions to the cause, or what he did throughout the years, and what he's still doing.

                    I'm just arguing that given all that I find it odd that the what I consider to be a tired argument.  Here's what he wrote:

                    The oligarch billionaires of Russia are quite typically the same guys who ran things as apparatchiks under the Soviet system. They had power before and they have it now.

                    Don't get me wrong. I am not arguing in favor of the status quo. But history provides us many examples of revolutions gone awry, with power transferred from one elite to a new one, which often is filled with reengineered bosses from the ancien régime. After Mao died, many Red Guards became bosses of the new Red Capitalism in China.

                    [The emphasis is mine]

                    Notice that even he puts the disclaimer regarding the status quo... Why do you think is that?  Could it be that that type of argument is often associated with the status quo?

                    What is the issue we need confront?  The wholesale takeover of the levers of power by undemocratic forces, right?  There are many consequences that come out of that, including increased exploitation, oppression, corruption, injustices.

                    So we need to rise up in opposition to the status quo, just as we've always have throughout history.

                    Now, you call my argument bullshit; you are doing so in my diary and you are demanding that I turn off my thinking cap in favor of rank.  I just don't operate like that...

                    •  Could it be that he knows your methodology (6+ / 0-)

                      well enough to foresee that you'd raise the "defense of the status quo" straw man? You are, after all, nothing if not predictable.

                      Likewise, your bogus introduction of "rank". It's not a question of rank. It's question of having a decent respect for the contributions, effort and opinions of others. The recognition that you might actually have something to learn from those with greater experience. A quality that you're apparently short of.

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:59:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Most of the people I most closely... (14+ / 0-)

                      ...associate with, years ago and today, don't disagree with the need to resist, to rise up, to confront. Because that is what they have been doing along many fronts. That's what their lives are about: fighting injustice. They don't need to, as you say, wake up. Their eyes are wide open about how the system works and who for. But, in resisting that system, they don't just look in one direction. That's because they have met more than their share of people who say there is a simple solution, one way to do things, one place they should put all their political energy. None of that is true.

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

                      by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:30:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're a straight shooter, right? I know I am. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm going to ask you something straight up... Are you insinuating that you and your folks are the real thing, and that I'm not?  Is there an insinuation about me calling for "simple solutions," or "one way to do things," or "one place they should put all their political energy?"

                        I'm going to assume that since you've been there done that, that if you are making insinuations you may as well come out say what you mean directly.

                        If you are indeed making those insinuations (I'll wait for your confirmation), it seems you're not familiar with my writing.  I'm far from advocating one way of doing things, or simple solutions... I'm far from advocating putting our political energy in one place.

                        Why the put downs?  Why the insinuations and the "you know who I am and what I've done" approach?

                        Lead by example.  If you have an approach and if you are out there fighting for social justice in your own way, good for you.

                        Why do you have to put someone else down, and demand respect for what you've done in the past at the same time?

                        That doesn't work with me in any way shape or form.  I respect people who earn my respect.

                        Notice that when I first engaged you here I focused on the "tired argument," not on you personally.

                        If this the type of argumentation you use, pulling rank, demanding respect for things your done in the past, I find it underwhelming to tell you the truth.

                        •  *I'm* not the one claiming I've awakened... (13+ / 0-)

                          ...while almost everyone else is asleep. I didn't write a headline or make an argument about simple solutions. Nor am I succumbing to the more-revolutionary-than-thou trope that has done so much to splinter and undermine the left in this country.

                          I am obviously not disagreeing with the need to confront, rise up, fight back. On that, you and I are in sync. As ought to be clear from the fact I recommend many of your diaries, I often agree with your overall take or recommend in other cases because I think the premises you put forth are worth discussing.

                          What I find difficult to take is how touchy you are about even mild criticism of your descriptions and prescriptions.

                          My comment in response to Eric's remark here, which I quite agreed with, was to point out in the historical example he used of the collapse of the Soviet Union that the outcome there should spur people to remain alert for misdirection and misleadership in any uprising. My comment was neither addressed to you nor voiced in disagreement with your take in this diary.

                          You didn't just find my comment "tired" about ... call it revolutionary caution. You used it to imply that I don't think we should push too hard to gain justice, that I don't understand that we have a moral duty to resist injustice. And now you insist that you meant nothing personal.

                          My response was not an insinuation. It was directed at something I have long objected to whenever it arises, the loss of crucial nuance and detail in the what-is-to-be-done debate when it turns into sloganeering. That is how I took your "duty to resist" remark. Sloganeering has its place, but when directed at those who are already awake, it is, as you might say, underwhelming.

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

                          by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:08:59 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So I assume you don't give credence to the (0+ / 0-)

                            harmful effects of corporate media conglomeration.  That media ownership in the hands of a few corporate entities is not a problem since we're all awake; we're all aware about how we're being manipulated.  

                            Did you read this diary...

                            It starts with you.  First come to a full realization about the true nature of the system: captured by monied interests; predatory and exploitative.  Second, accept the fact that the overall effect of corporate media conglomeration is the massive spread of lies, half-truths, false narratives, and propaganda more powerful and effective than anything seen in history.  Third, short-circuit the effects of the propaganda by connecting with other people who have come to understand the true nature of the system...
                            So remember, the answer to "what can I do" is to fully participate in the political process, even if we understand that it is highly compromised by bribery and influence-peddling corruption; there are still some marginal benefits we can get from it.  Seek out others who have become fully aware of the true nature of the system, and join the fast-spreading social justice movement.  And very importantly, hit the streets in protest and opposition to the corporate state hegemony.  Nothing builds a movement faster than people of good will meeting face to face in the public square rising in opposition to oppression and corruption...

                            Other things we can do include boycotts of companies pushing for oppressive and exploitative policies, support small independent local businesses, and embrace collectivism in a number of areas, including food, housing, and business (i.e., employee-owned/run businesses).

                            If you read those few paragraphs, do you really find my descriptions and prescriptions so extreme?

                            You may remember I've quoted the late Bill Moyer's book:  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…~snip~

                            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]

                            But if I'm understanding what you're saying, if anybody claims to understand the true nature of the system (or have awakened in the realizations that the societal myths being promulgated by the ruling elites are invalid), it would mean little since everybody else is also fully aware, right?

                            But here's the conundrum with that approach.  How did we get to the situation we're in if the citizenry is aware about how corporations are controlling the levers of power (causing all this)?

                            Regarding me calling your reply to the other use "tired," you are absolutely right on that point.  I jumped in in the middle of your thread with that user and by doing so your intent was taken out of context.

                            I didn't do it on purpose, but after reading this latest reply from you I see what you mean on that point.  I should have ask you for clarification before using the "tired" characterization.

                          •  I have never called your prescriptions... (9+ / 0-)

                            ...extreme. And I never said everyone has been "awakened." But when you're addressing people here, imo, it makes sense to assume that your readers are awake. Assuming otherwise is often viewed as condescending even though you didn't mean it.  

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

                            by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:21:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you think that I'm addressing my readers in (0+ / 0-)

                            that way with this diary?

                            Either way, I'm moving on and will give you the last word.

                            I do appreciate your restrain in this interaction.  I'm pleasantly surprised by it.  I disagree with some of your characterizations, but all in all, you've showed professionalism at the right moment, IMHO.  

                          •  You address your readers (6+ / 0-)

                            in that way with nearly every diary, Ray. That's why you get the pushback you do, and why you feel the need to have your little trolls-in-a-box suffix on every diary.

                            People don't like being condescended to.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:58:32 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm going to ask you an objective question... (0+ / 0-)

                            Because of some research/projects I'm working on, related to activism, theory, etc., I estimate that by summer's end I  will have a following here of about 1,000 users, would have increased my email list from about 425 I have now to 2,000+, and my Twitter following from 309 now to about 1,500+

                            I'm basing that on certain objective observations I'm seeing...

                            Now, my point is that there is an average of 5 to 6 trolls (give or take) who have been landing on my diaries for months engaging in a character assassination campaign.

                            Here's the question for you: If my readership increases as I project, what do you think is more likely true, that I'm correct about the fab-six, or that the fab-six represent a larger audience.

                            Today is Thursday, February 6th, 2014.  Regarding these metrics, it is kind of easy to follow along and see what happens.

                            I'm moving on to other things now, but I do look forward to reading your unbiased and objective reply.

                          •  Congratulations (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hey338Too, erratic, duhban

                            on your progress in achieving your goals of popularity. Not sure how long it'll be before you can monetize that following, but good luck.

                            That said.

                            Remember "trolls" is a designation made by you, by your own subjective criteria, subjectively evaluated, and not by any objective measure. (Likewise, it is impossible for me or anyone to give an unbiased and objective reply to your comment.) Which means you self-select and your desired outcome can influence your selections.

                            Also, those whom you term "trolls" may simply tire of what they may perceive as your disingenuous handling of their pushback or criticism and simply move on. You're assuming that their numbers will grow along with those of your ersatz fans, who very possibly have much lower rates of attrition.

                            For example, Meteor Blades, whom I suspect you would label a "troll" for his participation in this thread but for the fact that he is a highly regarded member of this community, is not likely to continue to push back against your screeds because he typically knows when not to waste his time.

                            Also, I'm leaving all the "Character assassination campaign" folderol right where it is. I think Meteor Blades did a very nice job saying a lot of things that reflect my thoughts on the matter.

                            tl;dr -- Your measures are subjective and uneven, therefore no conclusions can be accurately drawn from them.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:41:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  MB obviously is not a troll. That's why I engage (0+ / 0-)

                            with him, even if the interactions can sometimes get contentious.  He doesn't land on every single one of my diaries and posts dozens of trollish messages, and he often recs and/or tips some of my diaries, as I do some of his.

                            So your assumption that I consider him is troll is wrong...

                            Regarding the nature of a troll, it is actually very easy to ascertain.  The "15 Rules of Web Disruption" provide a pretty good guide about how trolls behave.

                            If you click on that link you can clearly read the characteristics exhibited by trolls.  All you have to do is observe whether users consistently engage in the type of behavior described there.

                            Regarding popularity, I've never been one to worry about it.  If I wanted to be popular here (with some folks) I would become a my-party-and-my-leader-right-or-wrong hyper-partisan political hack.

                            Either way, I was hoping to get an objective answer; at least I tried.  Now, it is your choice whether to follow the progress and come into my diaries and post these types of comments, or whether to skip the whole thing all together.  I don't mind either way.

                          •  I'm well familiar (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Hey338Too, erratic, duhban

                            with your 15 rules of web disruption, you post them quite frequently. (I also believe you frequently violate the first of those rules, but of course by saying that, I get labeled a troll because reasons.) But the point is those rules are also not objective; they are subjective, and can only be interpreted subjectively.

                            If you truly would not regard MB a troll because he's tipped your diaries, then great. I guess I get the same consideration because I have too? Right?

                            Regarding popularity, the fact that you're tracking your own popularity over time puts the lie to any claim that you're not worried about it.

                            I would have been happy to give you an objective answer were that possible. It's not; nobody could answer that question objectively. But it's also true that your premises were flawed and/or incomplete in the question so the only valid answer would be "Unknown." And those flaws and gaps I endeavored to detail as clearly as possible. You apparently reject that. Oh well.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:53:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Paraphrasing someone, "revolutions are messy," (0+ / 0-)

        regardless of whether they are peaceful or violent.  If those in power had not succumbed to such level of depravity and corruption people would not have to rise up and take matters into their own hands.

        The level of corruption and increased oppression and exploitation have gotten to the point that people have no option but to rise up in opposition...

        Regardless, at least when it comes to American history it seems that after every revolutionary period, or popular uprising we've come out ahead (voting, workers' rights, women's rights, protection of the environment, etc.)

        It looks like it is time once again for people to set things straight.

  •  You break it down well, Ray... (14+ / 0-)

    Quite articulate.

    I hope your audience is larger than just us here at Dkos. If not you should reach out to other outlets around the internet as well.

    More people need to be exposed to this kind of language (RE: the truth) for us to accomplish anything positive in this country.

    'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

    by markthshark on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:42:50 AM PST

  •  Life is suffering (15+ / 0-)

    The cause of suffering is desire.
    There is an end of suffering.
    The Eightfold Way.

    Right View.
    Right Intentions.
    Right Speech.
    Right Action.
    Right Livelihood.
    Right Effort.
    Right Mindfulness.
    Right Concentration.

    Some people claim it's a religion.  It's simply a description of the human condition.

    My Teacher died and got off the wheel.

  •  In the nation's, the US, form of governance, (7+ / 0-)

    where the major news outlets are controlled by the 1% and the talking heads who read the news are making salaries that place them in the top 20% of wage earners; it is impossible to not be biased.
    With the exception of a Warren Buffet or others of his ilk, the people holding the reins only deal with about 1000 people in their entire world or sphere of interaction with others. I say 1000, but the closer one gets to the 1% mark, the interaction drops exponentially.
    This is why the 'Joe the Plumber' or 'Bette in Spokane' are so important as spokespeople for the middle class and why they are fundamentally flawed. They are flawed because the low per centers don't really know what a true middle class is.
    To them all plumbers are 'Joe the Plumber' and they all think alike and we are all part of this amorphous blob of protoplasm who can be divided by percentages and once you find the resonant meme, you have the answer to manipulation.
    One of the biggest examples is our Headlines vs other countries headlines of the same publication.
    Another example is the form of mild panic, the cessation of Civil Rights and the downright ugly portrayal of the OWS movement. The good part about that is they seem to have written that off as being done, when it is now part of the nation's psyche and its tentacles are growing longer and stronger.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:59:36 AM PST

  •  Dkos use to be such a place in the early days, but (8+ / 0-)

    seems a locked step, more and better group, just won't let the truth be heard without hi-jacking, snide remarks, sock puppets etc., etc. Old habits are beliefs are hard to 'break'.

    Have a great day Ray!! I appreciate your tenacity:)

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

    by roseeriter on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:35:03 AM PST

  •  Mornin', Ray. (5+ / 0-)

    Snowed in, more snow coming here in the Southern Tier of NYS.  Nothing to do but housework, cruising Facebook and Daily Kos,  posting comments and sharing links, and just generally getting my blood flowing for the next step.  This is a journey, not a destination, after all!

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:22:59 AM PST

  •  Another good one Ray... (17+ / 0-)

    All is not lost and many are waking up.
    The other day my stepson came to me and said (he's 30) "Pops, I owe you an apology."  
    "Really?  Why?"
    "Remember all those times we argued about politics?"  He's always been right-wing because his father told him that's what he was so he always parroted the RW talking points.  "Well, you always told me to not take your word or my dad's word or anyone else's and just read up.  Well I've been doing that and I came across some very interesting reads and I see I have been wrong all along.  This system is rigged and we are being f@#ked."
    "That's great that you are reading, any one I might know?"
    "Among others a guy named Chris Hedges."
    "You go kiddo"  I was walking on a cloud for days.  There's hope for my granddaughters after all.  :)

    The change it is a comin' Ray, keep it up.

    If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

    by kharma on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:31:29 AM PST

  •  good post, Ray (5+ / 0-)

    some days it feels like just clicking on this little RECOMMEND button here is a revolutionary act.

    Big IF...

    If we had an informed and alert citizenry...
    and TPTB know that of course, and they do everything in their power to control, manipulate and diminish anyone or anything that threatens their stranglehold on that.

    Keep fighting back.

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:51:22 AM PST

  •  I'd only (9+ / 0-)

    note one tiny thing more/different/changed:

    And the reason for that is because they create the narrative and use very powerful psychological weapons to spread those self-serving narratives.
    The weapons being used aren't just psychological, they're actual physical things: the airwaves via the corporate information infrastructure that they built and control outright; and your Twitters and your Facebooks.

    The latter is SO apparent to me, after that fiasco with Coca-Cola and the "speak Amurkin" smears. That was contrived bullshit from the git-go. I know NO ONE who was saying stuff like that. I'm not saying people like that don't exist--they certainly do--but the meme itself was kicked off by propagandists trying to start shit, and they used Twitter and Facebook to do it. I've had a good dozen or more posts cross my timelines since Sunday night, stating variants of "man, where ARE all those people? Am I that lucky, that I'm not friends with any of them?"

    So someone starts these psych-out memes and watches them come to life on the very social medias we think are so helpful to us. They are, but that's a double-edged sword, just like the DK is.

    I love it when they overdo it, though. They always do :)

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:47:26 AM PST

  •  At the risk of sounding like a broken record... (6+ / 0-)

    I'll reiterate the same point I always make.  We have to come together as a nation to do this:  both conservative AND progressive.  Ray, I think your diaries are spot on.  They are very clear as to the problems that we face but we cannot do this without the buy in from the right half of the 99%.

    We cannot change the direction of the conservative half all at once.  We will have to nudge it around and that will take patience and an empathetic, caring view that these people have indeed been brainwashed and take it as our mission to save them from their delusions.  We need to start simple on things we can agree on such as the equality of justice between the working class and the elite.  Everyone should be accountable for their actions whether they are simple factory workers or billionaire mogels.  Everyone agrees with that.  We need to set aside the social divisions used by the elite to keep us separated.  

    I understand that abortion and gay rights and gun control are important issues but they are not a priority over the very construct of our government that decides whether those things are legal or illegal and therefor, are meaningless arguments without the fundamental framework that either prosecutes them or protects them as rights.

    If we stay within homogenized groups, preaching to the choirs, we create an us vs. them mentality against the very people we need to recruit to challenge this government plutocracy.  We will never change all of their views at once but we need to start by nudging them in the right direction and thinking of these conservatives as real people instead of thugs and worse epithets that dehumanize our fellow 99%ers.  They have been brainwashed by the media and their churches and their parents and their co-workers and we need to understand that and work to counter that slowly and methodically and compassionately.  It is our only chance to take on the power structure that currently exists and is getting stronger every day.

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:48:27 AM PST

  •  Why hasn't it been done before now? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, Ray Pensador, WB Reeves

    I gotta ask: if the solution is so simple, why hasn't the problem been fixed before now?

    The solutions are clear and obvious; implementing them is not.

    Solution #1: get Americans to stop spending their dollars on corporations that harm them.  Clearly, when Americans use their pocketbooks and wallets collectively, great pressures can be applied (note what happened in 2008-2009 when Americans stopped a lot of spending - businesses and the government got very concerned).  However, getting Americans to use their spending power to achieve social goals is very difficult to do.

    Solution #2: public financing of elections.  Theodore Roosevelt advocated this idea back in 1908, but it is very difficult to implement and has not been done.

    I agree that Americans working together can achieve remarkable things, economically, politically, socially.  We need to work together now more than ever.

    I'm not sure it helps to say "salvation is right around the corner".  Americans have heard that "it's really very simple" theme too often from the corporations trying to sell them bunk.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:05:04 AM PST

    •  I don't know where the reference about (4+ / 0-)

      "salvation being around the corner" comes from, but I pretty much agree with the two points you put forward.

      Regarding how long it's going to take, no one knows.  I've been basically saying the same thing for over 12 years now (about the nature of the system, about the media as propaganda, about the need for a cohesive movement, about the corporate state, about the international financial cartel)... For most of that time many replies included little cats with tin-foil hats.  Look at the second diary I wrote here in 2011.

      I'm very patient.  These things take a long time

      •  So, I suggest the message should be... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, WB Reeves

        So, I suggest that saying "it's really simple" should be replaced with "this is a big problem, the solutions are available to us but we need to do a lot of work to fix the problem".  This is more realistic, IMO.

        Your patience and willingness to take the long route is a testament to your strength.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:22:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We have to remove the obstacles to freedom and (5+ / 0-)

    democracy and implement a human proof system that will not allow a small group of people to consolidate power.  Sounds like the same discussions they had hundreds of years ago when trying to escape the chains of the British empire.  
    The rich have got to go.  The Federal Reserve and all private central banking have got to go.  The CIA, NSA, DHS, all have to go.  
    We have a lot of cleaning to do before we can put our house in order.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:24:27 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site