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We all learned as small children that democracy is the hallmark of the American political system.  The word “democracy” has its origins in the Greek language: demos meaning people, and kratos meaning power.  If you look up the meaning of the word democracy in a dictionary, you will find definitions indicating that democracy is a system of government in which power is shared among all people equally.  And most Americans grow up regarding themselves as fortunate to partake in such a system of government, and feeling we are some how special among all the nations of the earth because of that democratic government.

I am of the belief that we have been witness over the past few decades to a shift in our government away from democracy and towards corporatocracy.  This brief article will describe what I mean with the term “corporatocracy”, how that change in government has come about and what that shift might mean for our country.

Many Americans have noticed this change in our system of government even if they can't quite recognize exactly what has happened.  American notice that our government seems dysfunctional, and almost everyone complains that our law-makers do not seem to be listening or paying attention to the voters.  Well, let me assure you that our legislators are listening very carefully to their constituents and are doing their utmost to cater to the smallest whim of their constituents.  But you and I the voters are not the important constituents to whom those legislators are listening, corporations are.  And yes, legislators are listening very closely to those important corporate constituents.

If democracy is government in which the people hold the power, corporatocracy is government in which corporations hold the power.  Corporatocracy is government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.  The corporatocracy is made up of large and hugely wealthy corporate interests, including those in the banking, insurance, energy, media and communications, and manufacturing sectors of the economy, wealthy individuals in the stratospheric reaches of the income scale, and the bought-and-paid-for politicians who carry the water for these corporate and wealthy interests.

Indeed, the NY Times ran a recent front-page headline: “Obama Seeks To Win Back Wall St. Cash” to describe a meeting Pres. Obama held at the White House with Wall St. banking and investment executives.  Apparently, the topic under discussion was not the 2 years of 9% unemployment, or regulation to discourage investment firms from promoting investment instruments designed to lose money, or even feeding and clothing homeless veterans.  Instead, the president wanted to know what kinds of things Wall St. execs want in exchange for their generous donations to Pres. Obama re-election campaign.  Today, the corporatocracy is so well-entrenched, we get to read about it on the front-page of the NY Times when the president sells himself to the highest bidders.

How has the corporatocracy gained such influence?  To win elections requires money, and the more money you have, the greater the likelihood of your electoral success.  Politicians get that money by asking supporters for donations to help them win office.  Corporations want their businesses to grow and prosper, and seek laws and governmental policies that promote business profitability.  The corporatocracy is simply politicians and businesses joining together for mutual benefit: the politicians get the large amounts of  money and the electoral office they want, and the businesses get the laws, policies, and the profits they want.  Everybody wins, except the 300 million or so of us formerly proud  participants of a democracy that no longer exists who are not members of the corporatocracy.

The 2010 Supreme Court “Citizens United” ruling banned limitations on the amount of money corporations can give to political campaigns.  The Supreme Court ruled that to limit the amounts corporations can spend on political ads was a restriction of the rights of corporations.  The Supreme Court did not define what the rights of corporations are (except to indicate that freedom of speech was one of them), and what kind of entity a corporation is to benefit from constitutionally-derived personal civil liberties.  This is our and democracy's loss.  The “Citizen's United” ruling is a dangerous precedent giving corporations a status similar to citizens; albeit citizens of extreme wealth and with different priorities.  Living, breathing citizens tend to vote for better healthcare, safer workplaces, job security, access to educational opportunities, clean water and air, home goods that are safe and free of toxins, and better living standards.  Corporate citizens want one thing and one thing only; greater profits.  Greater profits require weaker labor laws, cheaper labor, reduced legal and regulatory restrictions, and minimal oversight, and that is how corporations vote.

Beyond simply giving money to law-makers, the corporatocracy has other methods to wield influence in government.  Someone needs to explain issues and upcoming votes to the politicians that make the laws.  The corporatocracy has an extensive fleet of lobbyists in Washington, ready to parse and define complex issues and feed pre-digested information to the harried law-makers.  And to tell those law-makers what is the best way to vote.  The corporatocracy is ever-ready to explain to law-makers how  laws should be written and enforced, and how “Americans” want the legislator to vote.  As one clever commentator put it, we could streamline our system of government and get rid of the middlemen, and simply allow the corporations to write laws and vote on legislation.      

The giving of money to politicians is not a new idea, but it has become the central focus of political life.  Dwight D Eisnehower himself warned Americans about the dangers of corporatocracy when he derided the power of the “military-industrial complex” back in the 1950s.  Since then, both the left and the right have made use of corporate donations.  The GOP was quicker than the Democratic Party to specifically target corporate sponsorship, and took an early lead in turning corporate dollars into electoral victories duing the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  Since the 1980s, democrats have caught up with the GOP in seeking and accepting corporate donations.  The corporations themselves care primarily about getting the laws they favor rather than political ideals, and will frequent donate to candidates on both the left and the right in the same race.

If you understand what the corporatocracy is and how it works, many seemingly strange political activities of the recent past become clear:    
**Have you wondered why the effort to capture a bunch of terrorists in the steppes of Asia turned into a full-on invasion of an oil-producing nation in the middle east?  That's because the petroleum industry make up a large share of the corporatocracy.
**Have you wondered why the US did nothing about the uprisings in oil-free Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Syria, but felt the need to intercede in the uprising in oil-producing Libya?  Again, the petroleum industry is a major player in the corporatocracy
**Have you wondered why states like Wisconsin have passed legislation weakening unions and worker rights?  And did you notice that no one in Washington has stood up for worker rights?  The corporatocracy wants cheap labor and to get rid worker unions for all time.  
**Did you notice that the recent debate about healthcare reform turned into a bill guaranteeing more business for insurance companies, despite the public popularity of the “public option” of  government-operated healthcare?  The insurance industry is also a big player in the corporatocracy.  
**Have you noticed that only one person from the banking or investment industry, lone-wolf frauster Bernie Madoff, has been prosecuted in the wake of the great banking and securities collapse of 2008, and that in fact bonuses for top execs in that industry are as great as ever, proving once again that collapsing banks is nice work if you can get it?  That's because banking and the financial investment sectors are also part of the corporatocracy.
**Have you noticed that budget plans calling for greater reductions in corporate tax rates are a consistent feature in Washington?  That's what the corporatocracy wants.  
**Have you wondered why no one in Washington has brought forth a plan to put Americans back to work, beyond offering up greater tax cuts for corporations?  Even when many corporations pay nothing at all in taxes in the US?  Again, that's what the corporatocracy wants.
**Have you wondered why so many seemingly sober and serious law-makers refute and deny the findings of the world-wide community of environmental and climate scientists regarding the facts of global climate change and how human activity is accelerating that change?  That's because companies that make huge profits from selling fossil fuels make up a large share of the corporatocracy, and want to continuing make those huge profits from selling fossil fuels, even if that means destroying the human habitat of the only planet on which profit-making takes place in the known universe .
**Have you wondered why nothing has been done about the problem of illegal immigration into the US?  That's because the corporatocracy would prefer to hire illegal and cheap laborers who will not complain to authorities about receiving below-minimum wages or working in unsafe conditions.
**Have you wondered why a major television news organization seems committed to promoting fictions and fantasies over facts and reality?  Because that “news” organization is the propaganda wing of the corporatocracy, dedicated to explaining to viewers why wealth and corporate profits are more important than the constitutional mandates of life and liberty.
**Have you ever wondered why no law-makers are interested in reducing gun and ammo sales, even as police and law-enforcement officials tell us we should reduce gun and ammo sales and Americans are slaughtered 10 and 20 at a time in broad daylight on American streets?  Go ahead: guess what other industry is a card-carrying member of the corporatocracy.

And have you wondered why Pres. Obama turns out to be a lot less progressive than he sounded when he was campaigning for president?  The fact is, Pres. Obama is a bought-and-paid for member of the corporatocracy.  As is everyone in Washington, inlcuding the most stalwart of liberals.  Chris Dodd was a famous “Friend of Angelo” (Angelo Mozilo, CEO of CountryWide Financial), and received many bribes (sorry, I mean “contributions”) from the banking and mortgage industries, and was given loans under very generous conditions.  In return, Dodd sponsored tax-payer bail-outs for CountryWide Financial and the mortgage industry during the 2008 mortgage banking crisis.  Pres. Bill Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act, repealing the Glass-Steagall Act that had blocked the unholy marriage of lending and investment banking since its inception in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930's.  Indeed, the number of law-makers who have refused to accept money from corporate donors and are willing to stand up to the corporations for the sake of the public welfare can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  

The fact is, both left and fight are now part of the corporatocracy.  The Democratic Party has been largely co-opted within the corporatocracy, and is not therefore a friend or ally of progressive causes.  The Tea Party famously shouted “We want our Government back!”  They focused their anger and upset on the black man in the White House, rather than the loss of our democracy to a corporatocracy.  I too want my government back: our democratic system of government.  As Abraham Lincoln once asked us, we must resolve that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.

Next up: how to remove the corporatocracy and restore democracy.

Originally posted to Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (154+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Edger, Louisiana 1976, Prospect Park, Emocrat, Dude1701, Sanctimonious, Gooserock, HoundDog, wblynch, radical simplicity, cotterperson, Margd, S M Tenneshaw, chazz509, MsGrin, ilovecheese, Permanent Republican Minority, LynChi, WineRev, Rick Aucoin, Mike08, GypsyT, coldwynn, HylasBrook, bob in ny, StrayCat, Mosquito Pilot, David Futurama, toosinbeymen, Pariah Dog, noise of rain, gulfgal98, neroden, Habitat Vic, cosmic debris, tonyahky, h bridges, wabird, OpherGopher, JonBarleycorn, dotsright, janislav, Dartagnan, GeeBee, banger, Jazzenterprises, notrouble, DEMonrat ankle biter, Ohkwai, Crazy like a fox, exoevolution, buckstop, Floande, pat bunny, chmood, irmaly, peregrine kate, LillithMc, Phoebe Loosinhouse, toys, bronte17, Preston S, Words In Action, TracieLynn, Only Needs a Beat, salmo, Johnathan Ivan, Lefty Coaster, Gowrie Gal, clarknyc, frisco, flowerfarmer, QuoVadis, disrael, Son of a Cat, 2laneIA, ctlrick, eeff, Regina in a Sears Kit House, TheGreatLeapForward, VaBreeze, GeorgeXVIII, Wolf10, targetdemographic, molecularlevel, cloudbustingkid, dkmich, One Pissed Off Liberal, Eric0125, native, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Limelite, mickey, jamess, Claudius Bombarnac, zerelda, politicjock, johnmorris, TalkieToaster, smiley7, Ice Blue, oldcrow, MKSinSA, GrannyOPhilly, Blue Knight, bleedingheartliberal218, 3rdOption, a2nite, gmats, maryabein, BlueDragon, robertlewiws, Einsteinia, FrY10cK, chimpy, Moderation, VTCC73, rogerdaddy, politik, Russgirl, bozepravde15, alnep, Oldowan, Ken in MN, farbuska, bibble, Magnifico, deeproots, Ignacio Magaloni, yet another liberal, bunsk, JVolvo, Agathena, Santa Susanna Kid, Trendar, albrt, vets74, NoMoreLies, Gustogirl, strangedemocracy, vacantlook, Quasimodal, bnasley, tmo, jazzbuff, Flint, wader, clutch1, chemborg, vahana, Badabing, TexasTwister, Whimsical Rapscallion
    •  Hugh Jim - Truth well spoken! (8+ / 0-)

      Corporate Greed & Corporate Wars, are the twin towers of Corporatocracy - What will it take to wake up the American people? Weiner's "junk mail" forces him to resign, yet the Corporatocracy can rob America blind from their citadels of power, Wall Street & the Pentagon, while Washington DC, our supposed capital has been demoted to the Corporatocracy's private brothel, where "our" so-called public servants only "service" their Corporate John's!

      America has become since September 11, 2001 - a blind, raging, insane, lumbering shadow of its former glory days, now long since past.

      As we approach the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 - America is at a cross roads - What kind of nation do we want to be? Even in death, is bin Laden still winning?

      On 9/11 bin Laden hijacked 4 airplanes. Since that day we now find that America has been hijacked by two American Imperial Gangs.

      Gang #1 consists of the Banksters of Wall Street, that have spent the last decade raping and pillaging America & the world.

      Gang #2 are the Pentagon Corporate Contractors the Warlords of perpetual wars.

      These two Gangs of Death and Destruction now own our government, they are squandering TRILLIONS of dollars and more than robbing us they are damaging and eviscerating the very heart and soul of We the People, the very people that our forefathers built this once great country for, to give to us all as our birthright, as our country's unique statement to the world, the glowing potential and power of "democracy". Instead today democracy has mutated into a radioactive, Kafkaesque, suicidal, monster of Hitlerian proportions, birthing the epic evil of Corporatocracy which threatens all of humanity.

      Now We the People "must" decide - What kind of America do "we" want?

      Do we want a country where Corporate Greed & Corporate Wars are who and what America stands for?

      "Our" country has been hijacked by insane, greedy, heartless, soulless, corporate "entities".

      Homo Sapiens (the current level of human consciousness that has given us Corporatocracy) have taken civilization to this point. Do we want to continue on this path that is clearly leading to a world ruled by Corporate Tyrants, where insatiable greed & endless wars have dominion over this now dying planet?

      Or is the world ready for a new kind of human? Is it finally time for the message of Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, Gandhi, King - of all the wisdom teachers, the light beings that have shown the way out of the darkness?  

      We need a new type, a new breed of human if we are to end this insanity, this nightmare.

      Only Homo Luminous can save us now. Every human can and must awake the sacred light within and ignite a new era, a new path for humanity.

      Homo Sapien has reached a dead end. Homo Luminous is the consciousness that is in each and every soul, a consciousness of light and love.

      We can continue being led by Corporations into an ever descending spiral of darkness or we can awake and ascend to become Homo Luminous. The choice is ours.

      The choice is between the darkness or the light.

      Only light & love can transform greed & war.

      We need only awake - the light, the love, will take us all home, aboard "our" floating blue orb with its life-giving protective atmosphere bathed with endless loving light as we sail across eternity hand in hand with our fellow Homo Luminous brothers & sisters all equal & free children of the LIGHT.

      Homo Luminous is coming!

      •  enlightened evolution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bunsk, jsquared

        I've always thought that if the end of the Mayan Calendar had any significance what so ever it may be in pointing to a global change in consciousness.

        Cuz it looks like that's what it's gonna take. Cuz I know it's never too late, and only pray that the suffering will be minimal.

    •  We all know it's there.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, QuoVadis, Gustogirl, Badabing

      What I want to know is how to cut its head off.  I eagerly await your next installment.  

      If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

      by dkmich on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:34:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent diary Mr Bissell. Straightforward, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuoVadis, Badabing

      logical, perfectly written. And true, most of all, true. I look forward to your next diary telling us

      how to remove the corporatocracy and restore democracy.

      I also have an idea or two, mostly tactical, but I'll wait until you've offered yours.

      Thank you very much.

  •  In the end the people will win (27+ / 0-)

    The corporatocracy can not survive without workers and customers.

    When the people lose all their corporate jobs and return to a more natural economy, we will not be working for the corpse, bringing in revenues, and we will not be purchasing from the corpse.

    The corpse will wither and die and we will learn to live without them.  But they can not live without us.

    The capitalist model can not survive the long run because of inherent greed.  Their greed has metastasized out of control and they will choke on their undigestible golden egg.

    We need to know we have the power, RIGHT NOW, to end the corporatocracy.  Stop buying their products and stop using credit.  Credit is the noose.

    •  I hope you are correct (14+ / 0-)

      Thanks for reading and your positive comment.

      I hope you are right, and that government in the US will return to the hands of the voters.

      I hope that such a change does not involve the collapse of the entire economy and government.

      •  Well, there's the rub. (9+ / 0-)

        In the end the people will win: the corporatists' model is unsustainable.  Unless the corporatists manage to drive humanity extinct, the people will win eventually.

        I hope that such a change does not involve the collapse of the entire economy and government.

        I hope so too, but it seems more likely that it will involve said collapse.  It has involved such collapse for most fascist regimes, Franco's being the exception as usual.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:55:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  a self-subsisting lifestyle (0+ / 0-)

        is not an easy one, nor can it be entirely self-subsisting without a lot of hardship.

        But I think the smart money among our ranks are growing gardens, raising chickens and implementing more self-sufficient sources of power and water.

        This achieves two things:  1.  becoming less of a consumer starts to starve the beast and 2.  it provides an increased ability to survive through a very uncertain future.

        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

        by Gustogirl on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:26:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In whose hands.... (0+ / 0-)
        I hope you are right, and that government in the US will return to the hands of the voters.

        Technically, it still is in the hands of the voters, its just that the voters are manipulated into believing things that are manifestly against their own self interest.  So, effectively yes, it seems that the voters have lost control.

        Voters will regain control when they perceive their self-interest as being separate from the interests of the corporatists (or at least understand that there is a difference).  In essence, that is what happened during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, our current calamity is apparently insufficient to elicit that response, instead providing fertile ground for the corporatists to double down on the "government is the problem" narrative.

        One shudders at the thought of what it will take to get voters to see their folly and reassert themselves. When politicians have a real fear of being voted out, their allegiance and the power of the corporatists will shift.

    •  Better Take a Look At the Scottish Highlands (17+ / 0-)

      which my ancestors were run out of.

      The owners came to see that their people were not wealthy enough for consumption nor productive enough for labor.

      What's located here is chunks of global economy, not national. The capitalists at the top of the chain are moving steadily toward the position of the old Highland chiefs, although yes still very far away from seeing us as so sweepingly useless, but they are abandoning us increasingly for both of our economic functions.

      The bottom 90% of us now do only half the consumer spending in the economy. That fraction can go a lot lower and a lot more of our present economic activity can just leave. Sure it'll hurt most businesses but like most people, they're not a factor in political funding.

      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 Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  --So the Highland People Were Almost All Run (7+ / 0-)

        out back then.

        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 Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:37:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was called the enclosures (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, chimpy, QuoVadis, farbuska, NoMoreLies

          It was a result of trading. The great British product was died and woven wool. In Scotland, for generations, the small farmers farmed a Lord's land and had a right to build a cottage on their little chunk of it. When wool became more profitable than grain, the Lairds tore down their houses and expelled them. The Duke of Orange gave them land in Northern Ireland from whence many migrated to western Pennsylvania in the early 1700's. See "Born Fighting; how the Scots Irish Shaped America" by James Webb

          http://www.amazon.com/...

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:44:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  At least they can't run us off the land we stole (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat, Floande, QuoVadis

        Hell, the banskters can't even prove who holds the note on a home, how can they round us all up and run us off?

        Fact remains, the Corpse is a parasite and we can stop them from sucking our blood.

        •  "Stole" as from the Natives...(not from the banks) (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, QuoVadis, ozsea1, farbuska

          I should have been clearer.

        •  Ever hear of (16+ / 0-)

          eminent domain? Or, barring that, there's our old friend property taxes - mine have doubled in the last seven years and there's a levy on the ballot this time around that will likely almost double them again.

          I watched a county, several actually, in NE Ohio cleared out and "re-seeded" using both these methods.

          My grandfather and his farming neighbors were eminent domained off their land so a highway system could be built to the county south of theirs. There was nothing but farms down there at the time and no one understood the need for a highway. But then, the farmers in that southern county were driven out by crushing property taxes and assessments for waterlines, sewer lines, gas lines etc. that they didn't need... but the planned housing developements certainly would.

          Thank the Real Estate Corporation  for that (and make no mistake, there is one). You know, the nice folks who brought us this dandy Depression redux.

          If they decide to get rid of us, there's nothing to stop them because the corporatocracy has really always been with us.

          Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

          by Pariah Dog on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:34:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            QuoVadis

            did they eminent domain them when the highway was a whole country away?

          •  The property tax game is an ancient one. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            QuoVadis, farbuska, Gustogirl

            When the mines needed miners in Northern Idaho, starting in the 1880's, it was easy enough to get them by persuading the Legislature to start charging property taxes on a bunch of homesteads that only recently had been "proved up" and become the property of the people working them.

            Poor in any sense, but particularly cash poor, those folks saw no choice but to take the only paying jobs around so they could save their land.

            "Dear Mr. President: I'm with Trumka." psnyder

            by JesseCW on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:26:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  More like the people have to be convinced that (6+ / 0-)

      they will win eventually, in some distant future.

      Which is why the corporatocracy spends a ton of money in their media convincing people that the reason why government is so messed up is because of labor unions and other progressive organizations. People understand they are getting shafted, but as long as they don't realize why they are getting shafted, the corporatocracy can continue.

      As we go along in time, the numbers of corporacrats get fewer and fewer. More people get thrown under the bus and get to join the "middle" class, who pray like hell that they don't become the poor.

      In the end, we may get the return of the 21st century equivalent of the British monarchy, save for giving the people "elections" as worthless as the ones given by American Idol.

    •  It may not survive as is (7+ / 0-)

      but it will evolve into neo-feudalism. The citizens of this country are not interested in being citizens. As long as they can engage in watching Cable and it's canned circuses with lots of potato chips, soda and beer the corporate elite are in like Flynn.

      The problem we face is not at the top but at the bottom. The people appear to want to be in some version of serfdom as long as it is comfortable and allows them to engage in their fantasies.

      Until I see a real bottom-up social movement emerging I see no hope for political change. We need to carve out our "space" from this in small communities, cooperatives, unions, and voluntary associations.

    •  Hippies (7+ / 0-)

      Hippies went back to the land and I wanted to go with them, but it was not easy.  "The establishment" followed them, the locals fought them and, like our ancestors, they had to dig in to stay.  Germans said they knew Hitler was a front for corporations, but they thought in the end the corporations would toss him out.  Hitler fooled them.  We also need to watch these private militias Cheney was busy installing around the US.  

    •  "In the long run, we're all dead" Keynes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuoVadis, vets74

      "Dear Mr. President: I'm with Trumka." psnyder

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:21:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is of course true... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuoVadis, farbuska, tmo
      The corporatocracy can not survive without workers and customers.

      As long as they can find them overseas - China, India - they won't give a shit about what happens to us here.

      We won't even qualify as impedimentia.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time." ~ Harry Truman

      by ozsea1 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The top guns will move overseas. (0+ / 0-)

        Or stay here and laugh/play_fiddles as America burns.

        They don't give a shit about us. My sig line....

        Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

        by vets74 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:34:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We Proved Unambiguously How to Prevent This (35+ / 0-)

    It's a national security imperative that most additional income be taxed away beginning beyond a modest number times the national median.

    The upper classes can't be allowed to gain share of the national wealth, they need to be held to a far lower share than they presently have, and progressive income-suppressing taxation has to begin down in the upper middle class.

    Progressives have completely abandoned any notion of protective income taxation, but it's absolutely essential no matter what other regulation is in the economy, to prevent the rise of a ruling class and to suppress all the sociopathic reckless business and financial practices that pursue unsustainable gains at great risk in the longer term.

    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 Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:41:40 PM PDT

    •  It's not only Taxes but Tarrifs we need (15+ / 0-)

      If we re-instituted import tarrifs and  killed subsidies (corporate welfare) then we can get back in balance.

    •  Yep. Scandanavia figured this out. (10+ / 0-)

      Hell, even Andrew Carnegie figured out that inherited fortunes needed to be destroyed.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:57:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go back further. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska, bunsk, Gustogirl, vacantlook, mike101

        Thomas Paine wrote eloquently about the need for an estate tax in Agrarian Justice. Taxation of huge accumulations of wealth prevents the creation of the rich and powerful families who plague us today. The passing of such enormous wealth has become a hereditary path by which families like the Bushes have come to rule. Back in the eighteenth century the founding generation understood that rule by birthright supported by wealth was a big reason for the necessary break with Great Britain. It continues to be an underlying struggle for the soul of American democracy and the primary obstacle to America ever reaching it's mythical promise. Those who have the wealth and power almost never give it up willingly. It takes a system of government and justice to hold the balance between the wealthy and the common man. Our system has always been under attack from the rich and powerful.

        They are winning. Today the system is tipped far in their favor by a compromised government intended to maintain the balance. Why is it we expect a bought and paid for government to right itself?

        Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by VTCC73 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 11:09:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Part of what we are seeing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101

        is a result of the weaknesses of character and intelligence that eventually visit an insular, inheritance-based wealthy class.

        Take, for example, the great heist of 2008.  It was very nearly suicidal and may still turn out to be.  Trampling the consumer base has a natural limit for profitability, but they don't seem to recognize any limits at all.

        It is the behavior of entitled, spoiled brats; nascent sociopaths and psychopaths who destroy with glee without stopping to look around themselves to see what they have wrought.

        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

        by Gustogirl on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:48:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tax Rates (12+ / 0-)

      used to be much more progressive, with rates for the highest income earners in the 70-80% range before the days of Reagan.

      I believe Reagan was the first major president of the corporatocracy: he popularized the heretofore fringe idea that tax cuts for the rich were impportant for the greater good of all.  With Reagan and thereafter, there were a succession of "tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations" politicians, all leading up to the $14 trillion debt we have today.

      However, I am not opposed to wealth per se.  But I do believe the vote of a wealthy person should not be accorded any greater status than the vote of a poor person.

      •  Actually (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, QuoVadis, farbuska, TexasTwister

        I'd put the start of this crap on Nixon. He began taking apart the Great Society and even bit into some New Deal programs like parity pricing and surplus commodities. This part of the class war has been going on for a long time, maybe a century.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:48:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reagan was the plan coming to fruition (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, jsquared

        Reagan was nothing. He was a concept. He was a salesman and spokesman. He had nothing to do with government or foreign policy other than to sell an agenda to people who wouldn't want it if they understood it. He provided Americans with that wonderful 50's America that never really existed. He began the process of corrupting American cultural icons and concepts that were respected in their own right such as "democracy" and "freedom" and "president" and co-opting them for use in propaganda. People coming of age during and since the Reagan era have lived their entire lives in bullshit world and are probably approaching majority at this point if not alreaady there. They've been trained to believe in a corrupted version of America and many do. They can't bring themselves to believe it's all been sold out from under us. That is the success of the VRWC and the challenge we face. The tea party are pre Reagan people who liked his message (racism) and thought he was legitimate and thus didn't notice the corruptions of those American icons and concepts, and believe they're intact. Like "Reagan Democrats" they've been snowed and are literally asking - no - demanding to be screwed.

  •  I'm rec' ing this for moral support Hugh (9+ / 0-)

    based on speed reading, it.

    You would can more readers and support if you could make these more succint, I suspect.

    Or if text this dense is required to make the points, maybe breaking them up with some bold cap section headers that sums up the key points and message.

    Keep on trucking.

    (I may just be a shallow reader.  I'm not trying to be critical, just helpful.  )

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 12:52:59 PM PDT

    •  Thank You (9+ / 0-)

      for reading and your comments.  I apprecite your feedback.

      As for being too wordy, I am caught between making the article too long, and the complexity of the topic.  The topic itself is huge, and I allowed myself extra room to write about it, and worried that many reader would be put off by the time required to get through it all.

       

    •  Formatting can make all the difference (11+ / 0-)

      I used to write reports for local govt. elected officials and learned how formatting can really help sell a report.  IMHO, short paragraphs are important and subheaders are always good in a long diary.  The most important space on a page is the white space which helps focus the eye on the meat between the white spaces.

      I am recommending this diary because the topic is extremely important and the diarist has done a good job of researching it.  Your comment is very helpful, to not only this diarist but also to other diarists.  

      In order to be read, a diary must be presented in the same way as a house for sale, that is, it must have street appeal to get the customer to want to come in.

      Tiipped and recommended.

      More tax cuts would be gluttony in a time of starvation. That is not America. That is a nation about to be plundered, and a people laid to waste. - Charles Blow

      by gulfgal98 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 06:26:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't rec this enough gulfgal98 (0+ / 0-)

        I can't tell you how many cogent diaries I end up missing or skimming over because of insufficient paragraphing and run-on sentences.

        Bissell did a far better job than many and I read the whole thing through.  

        The part with the questions and **'s would have been a little nicer if each had been treated as its own paragraph, though.

        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

        by Gustogirl on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:52:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your point is well-taken, HoundDog (0+ / 0-)

      but I've sure seen far, far worse.

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

      by Gustogirl on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:54:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd, hotlisted and posted to my facebook (8+ / 0-)

    page.

    We need to be exposed to multiple articles like this every single day (especially in traditional media) along with multiple articles about global climate change.

    The only way to get enough attention to make people take action is if they know what's going on, and in the case of both corporatocracy AND global climate change, people need to be beat over the head with it.

    One person can make a difference--and everyone should try. --John F. Kennedy

    by GypsyT on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:12:56 AM PDT

  •  3 potential fixes (21+ / 0-)

    1)  Campaign Finance Reform - this route asks the corporatocracy to cut its own throat.  Not likely.

    2)  10th Amendment compliance - in Article 1, section 8 of the US Constitution, the People delegate power to the Congress to do 18 things.  The 10th Amendment says that unless a power is specifically delegated by the People to Congress, it is reserved by the states or by the people.  Corporations are willing to give money to politicians because the Congress exercises power to create winners and losers in the economy.  Taking away this power through strict interpretation of Article 1 section 8 and the 10th Amendment would remove the motive for corporate donations.  This is as unlikely as effective campaign finance reform for the same reason.

    3)  Popular Uprising - the reforms of the New Deal were won by making the corporatocracy fear the people.  They gave enough to quiet the masses.  Zinn covered this well in A People's History of the United States.

    Can a popular uprising succeed?  Only if it achieves a critical mass.  This requires 2 things--broad participation and loss of hope in electoral processes.

    Getting to broad participation - in some ways the Tea Partiers and libertarians are closer to us than either of us like to think.  One of the mistakes they make is thinking that if government is removed from a situation that freedom for the people is the result.  They believe government is their enemy.  At the same time, many of them have a growing distrust of global corporations.  If we can get them to recognize that the absence of government regulation invites corporate control and that lack of regulation is what is leading to their declining economic success, many will join us.  I have had this conversation with many libertarians.  Many are persuadable that ANY concentration of power is a threat to individual liberty.  Those people can be our allies.

    Loss of Hope in electoral processes?  This is the saddest prerequisite.  The malaise the diarist describes is the necessary precondition.  

    We all know government isn't working.  

    The diarist has named the problem.

    Kefaya!  

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:47:40 AM PDT

    •  Quite right. (11+ / 0-)

      We're actually quite close to the preconditions for a general revolution.

      The key is to make sure it goes WELL.  It could go down some very bad roads, or it could go well.  For modern examples, watch the "Arab Spring".  There are many historical examples of both cases.

      In order to encourage it to go well, we must organize the maximum number of people around a good agenda.  Wisconsin is a very heartening start.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 06:00:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great analysis! (6+ / 0-)

      I would go further and say that the Tea Party and Libertarians are the only forces that could spur change. The left is, as usual, convinced that political power is about competing sermons. They feel that if you can just talk to enough people they will be convinced that the progressive POV is the best. That's utterly ridiculous. While most people may pay lip service to some minimal moral position lower-brain considerations tend to triumph. That's why defense spending is so high and unassailable--it fulfills the hyper-violent fantasies and fears of Americans of all types. This is why we ought to support Ron Paul's stance -- he is the only visible politician (in media terms) who is anti-war and anti-police state, unlike nearly all mainstream Democrats.

      For a number of reasons, the left in this country is moribund. Those of us who are left ought to perhaps consider moving to make alliances with Ron Paul and his broad variety of supporters. I'd rather see a President Paul than a President Obama. At least I'd have hope that my children won't necessarily live in a police state which is where, if you actually follow the issue, we are headed--in fact, technically we are there already because everything is in place to allow the feds to do anything they want to any of us. Lettres de cachet will come for sure whenever there is another "terrorist" event.

    •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

      The biggest problem has been the successful communication of the right wing theme that government is an inherent evil.  When people lost faith in their government as a positive force, they enabled the right to dismantle all of the mechanisms the government possessed that enabled it to actually be a positive force.  The result was a self-fulfilling prophecy that served the corporate agenda.  This was all by design.

      People need to recognize that they still have ultimate control and will never get the best government as long as they keep electing people hostile to it (and therefore to them).

      We are supposed to have a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."  Therefore the government = the people.  This is the meme that needs to be advanced.

    •  This: (2+ / 0-)
      To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

      and this:

      To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

      and this:

      To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

      and this:

      To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

      pretty much gives them the power to pick winners and losers. And I think we want them to do that we'd just like to be among the winners for once. We were for a while there and then it changed.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:55:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Corporatocracy" and our jobs (12+ / 0-)

    I've noticed over the years how many of the people who might otherwise be more active in the public interest are actually dependent on 'corporatocracy' for their livelihoods.

    Also, that the media targets (largely) the elite plus the top 20 percent who serve them, earn a living from them.

    Even the broad population with retirement accounts find themselves invested in the corporatocracy (this was done to make them feel more pro-corporate, more invested, literally and figuratively).

    I heard a psychologist give a lecture recently and she said that the Fascist or Fascistic minds want everything and want everything THEIR way. No divergent views allowed, no trial-and-error to see what works best (FDR's method to get out of The Great Depression).

  •  Excellent diary: thanks... However, (4+ / 0-)

    with such overwhelming analysis of totalized hegemonies, I tend to end up paralyzed: what is left? Fetal position? Guns and go down blazing? Marching, singing and blowing bubbles? Grabbing what scraps you can for you and your family and going sub-rosa?

    I don't mind this ennervation: anyone with a brain has likely experienced it frequently. But I do ask the question: is there any resistance that isn't a priori futile?

    There is an obvious scale difference (of magnitudes) between "people as people" and "corporations as people." This is the ludicrous cynicism behind Citizens United. Scale, however, works in various modalities. Size (= power) in this case is asymmetrical. Me to corporations is like a moth to the moon. Multiplicity, however, offers us something. The scale of the multiple is the remaining power of people. The question of resistance, if you buy the possibility of resistance, is how to invoke that multiplicity in meaningful ways.

  •  Uhhh, Couple of Things... (4+ / 0-)

    OK diary overall, but you lost me with "both left and 'fight' (I think you met right) are part of the corporatocracy".

    it depends on how you define left, doesn't it? i.e. sorry, but you can't really call yourself a "leftist" if you support the current "democratic" party, continually make excuses for why they've not accomplished much in 30 years, etc. doesn't hold water.

    second, you can't lump Mr. Madoff in with the recent/ongoing bankster scams/criminal actions-- he started his Ponzi scheme what, 25 years ago?

    If you want to posit the SEC is toothless, incompetent, and looked the other way in spite of being told flat out that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.. I'm with you on that.

    Cheers!

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 06:19:12 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps he meant the "left" ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... as portrayed in the MSM. To them "left" is Obama and the token progressive commentators who are allowed to present a very soft left argument which is really less than useless. Meanwhile it is the Ron Paul right that is the only opposition movement in this country. What was once "the left" in my day is now only visible on the internet and it is moribund.

      •  Correct, But I don't care how MSM (4+ / 0-)

        defines/portrays the "left" in the U.S.; obviously everything goes thru the corporate filter.

        I'm more interested in people here thinkking they are on the left when they're not-- because they've bought into how MSM and Bloggo world defines it-- and that's good enough for them.

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:23:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree completely-- that's very importand (0+ / 0-)

          The so-called left has yet to answer for it's ineffectiveness and lack of militancy. As I said most of the action to oppose the Imperial/globalist agenda is on the right and a few brave people of no particular ideology like Max Keiser.

          •  Exactly.... (0+ / 0-)

            the lack of street protest, utter lack of creativity in approaching our problems, the sophomoric partisanship, and totally redundant talking issues to death day in and day out here is a strong indicator of NON leftie existence.

            please, I lived thru the Vietnam fiasco, I had a draft card at one time-- I know what the F I'm talking about.

            "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

            by Superpole on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:31:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm of the same genertation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superpole

              And it's sad to see what is happening today--on the other hand, I'm convinced that there is a silver lining though it's indistinct in my mind right now. Perhaps it is to find communities and not get too involved in politics since it has been thoroughly gamed by an army of operators and bloggers who have agendas we cannot fathom. All I know is a lot of money is being thrown at social media by big K Street PR firms. How do I know that? I worked for one of the most notorious of them for a  few  months on the IT side.

    •  Thank you (6+ / 0-)

      for pointing out the type error.  My bad!

      I myself find the Democratic Party too far to the right for my tastes.  I did vote for Obama in 2008, and am happy to see the White House become multi-racial, even as I think Obama is too conservative.  

      But I am not a registered democrat or a de facto democratic voter.

      I mention Mr. Madoff only because he is the only Wall St. tycoon to be prosecuted.  And yes, Madoff is not really a Wall St. guy in that he was a solo act and not connected with any Wall St. banks of investment firms.

      And I agree totally: the SEC is toothless, looked the other way, etc.  No doubt, because that's how the coporatocracy likes their oversight: toothless, ignoring the obvious, etc.  

    •  You got that right superpole (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuoVadis, farbuska

      That's my problem with an otherwise good journal.  The author assumes that left = democratic party.  No such thing.
      The real left no longer considers itself to be part of the democratic party.  

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:29:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, which is why when Meteor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        QuoVadis

        Blades said something here recently about the "leftists", I had to ask how amy he thought there were.

        Response? the dull bovine stare.

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:25:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mooo. You saw a picture of me? ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101

          ...The Democratic Party and Democrats have come in for extensive critiques here at NN11, both by people who are part of the party and people who are not. There are 2500 participants here, and many more than the four you snarked about are on the left.

          The left itself is split (here and elsewhere) between those who seek to use the party as one of many tools for change and those who say there it's useless in that regard. That latter group is further into two groups: the small number who are actually doing something outside the party to  create change and the much larger group who are all talk and have shown no particular inclination beyond hammering their keyboards. I have a lot of respect for the first and second groups. I have zero for the third.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:40:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First of all, there is no Democratic Party (0+ / 0-)

            any more.. not in the sense of the party that handed down 61 federal indictments againt members of the reagan/bush I administration-- indictments which actually busted some people, and came damn close to the top-- if not for the Christmas surprise.

            that is really, IMHO, the last time we had representative government with checks and balances actually (sort of) working.

            sorry to rub you the wrong way; I think you know by now I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker.

            at any rate.. thanks for letting me hang around.. and have a great weekend.

            "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

            by Superpole on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 05:48:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Only (2+ / 0-)

    sane response is to vote

    NO TO THE BLUE CORPORATE WHORE IN 2012

    NO TO THE RED CORPORATE WHORE  IN 2012

  •  I think we are still not in a corporatocracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuoVadis, ozsea1

    Things can get much worse, and the people still, today, have the chance to change things, if they really wanted to.  During the Golden Age of Fascism, the corpos, unfortunately for them, got pwned by the leaders of the "government", and ended up in a world war they did not want, and they regretted that.  So now they've refined their methods to avoid that situation, ie pick weak leaders.

    Also, let's say a majority of the US decides that giving up their rights is best for them, who are we to stop it?  It's a "democracy" after all, and we'll all be so much "happier" watching the TV and letting the corpos do whatever they think best.

    •  But Americans haven't chosen to give up (7+ / 0-)

      their rights and sit around watching TV.  

      We elected leaders who swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and then signed off on torture and The Patriot Act.

      The genius of the corporatocracy is in giving us the opportunity to "choose" our poison: do we want Obama, or do we want McCain?  Either way, we get the corporatocracy.  

      As long as money decides who wins elections, the corporatocracy gets elected.  And this without anyone giving up any rights.

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

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 07:49:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By your own statement, you are saying (0+ / 0-)

        people have given up their right to choose who to elect.

        The genius of the corporatocracy is in giving us the opportunity to "choose" our poison: do we want Obama, or do we want McCain?  Either way, we get the corporatocracy.  

        Here you say people have no real choices, and have given up their right to change it, by not doing anything about it (ie sitting and watching TV).  

        And I disagree about the absolute control of money in politics.  That's not to say that currently money is the controlling factor, but I'm saying that if money were removed completely from the election, a corporatocracy would still find a way to manipulate the elections to suit them, since they control everything else.

        The only solution is real citizen engagement in the process forever.

  •  Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuoVadis, ozsea1

    See the links in my sig for some thoughts on the topic of your next diary.

    People Have the Power. Let's Use It! Start by burning the damn deck chairs already. Sheesh.

    by Words In Action on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 07:26:33 AM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary! Countering (6+ / 0-)

    the propaganda and the "front men" of the plutocracy will take hammering a message of reality over and over.

    Education is the key to raising awareness.

    The leaders of the Democratic Party are wholly owned by the plutocracy and play the role of keeping us from electing officials who would oppose the plutocrats.

    As a hardcore Democrat, Obama has shaken my faith. Imagine what he's done for independents.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 07:40:13 AM PDT

  •  decline of the middle class (9+ / 0-)

    “The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension of the society.  On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.”  -- Adam Smith, father of capitalism, from The Wealth of Nations, 1776.

    Everyone over forty years old knows how recessions work. Some unforeseen disruption in the nation’s economic machinery causes financial distress for significantly large groups in our society, public confidence ebbs, people stop buying, producers stop producing, and the economy slows down markedly. After a while, the pain becomes too much, the government steps in to correct the problem, and the economy again roars to life, giving all of us opportunities to live even better than we did before the recession began.

    But with this current recession, there is a growing uneasiness about the ability of anyone to correct the problem. There is the cry for “jobs, jobs, jobs” from both sides of the aisle, but many, many victims of the fallout of the housing bubble and the Wall Street scandals are finding few opportunities for employment.

    There have been efforts to cultivate those jobs. The Obama administration enacted a stimulus bill that promised not only to provide jobs, but also to shore up the nation’s infrastructure. This is the demand side solution. It is generally agreed that 3 million jobs were either saved or created, most in the public sector. But the consumer demand fostered by the stimulus proved to be all too weak to persuade the private sector to invest in job creation.

    On the other side of the aisle, Congressional Republicans insist that the continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would be the answer to the jobs crisis. This is the supply side solution.  But the tax cuts have been in effect for over a decade and middle class job creation has been anemic, for good reason. I clearly remember in 2001 watching NBC when President Bush assured us that the extensive tax cuts he engineered would generate millions of jobs. A couple days later a financial advisor for Goldman Sachs was asked on CNBC how he would recommend his clients spend their tax cut windfall. He said he would tell them to look first at American companies “working to reduce their labor costs.” He also said that he would advise them to consider “emerging markets,” such as China, Brazil, and Indonesia. Not many American jobs in those investments.

    According to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics, in the last decade, American multi-national corporations eliminated 1.5 million jobs in the United States and created 1.9 million jobs in other countries. Compounding that staggering job loss is the fact that, while outsourcing has been targeted as a key cause of U.S. unemployment, U.S. capital investment has eliminated more jobs through technological advancement than it has sending jobs overseas. Thus tax cuts can eliminate more American jobs than they create.

    Why is this recession apparently more dire than the other ones we have experienced?

    We may find the answer in the writings of Adam Smith. In his book, The Wealth of Nations, Smith spoke of an “invisible hand,” a concept modern free market advocates like to cite. The invisible hand, rooted in the law of supply and demand, moderates the market by forcing everyone – who naturally acts in his or her own self-interest – to act in the interests of the larger society. If a person pushes for excessive profits or wages or prices or rent, supply and demand will bend those excesses toward reasonable levels.

    But the one time Smith mentions the invisible hand in his book, he couches the reference in an explanation of what he called “home bias.” Smith said that managers of capital and corporate leaders may always focus on the bottom line, but they will incline to keep their businesses in their own country. (His book is titled, after all, The Wealth of Nations.)

    If, however, he warned, the desire for greater profits overwhelm loyalty and commitment to the home nation, the results would be disastrous. Capital can easily cross national borders, but labor will find it difficult. And with a vast reservoir of global labor – both cheap and educated -- particularly in poorer countries, demand for labor goes down, wages stagnate, and the profits, which come from the same source as wages, will grow substantially. That’s what has happened here. It’s why the middle class has been losing in the U.S. for the last twenty-five years.

    What does the future hold?  In 2000, the middle class in developing countries comprised 56% of the world’s total. In 2030, it is expected to comprise 93%. In fifteen years, it is estimated that China will have a middle class larger than the entire population of the United States.  And when American capital goes to other nations, it isn’t just for cheap labor. It’s also for the increasing purchasing power of the middle classes in other nations.  

    So here’s a powerful salient fact that few leaders will say out loud: American capital, in order to prosper today, does not need a large, vibrant, productive, and consuming American middle class. Capital can target rapidly growing global middle classes in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) that can design, build, market, and buy U.S.-capitalized products. And we could wind up with increasing numbers of Americans slipping into subsistence living and semi-permanent unemployment, with a continually diminishing tax base, and with a host of social and financial problems that far exceed the capacity of our democracy to solve.

    Maybe it’s time we look beyond the usual, tired ideological responses to which we have been wedded in the past and start looking at far more creative and comprehensive initiatives to try to restore what we can of the American Dream. Our posterity depends on it.  

    •  Good posting. This is the logical consequence of (0+ / 0-)

      the McDonaldization of America.  When McDonald's was getting started, some people worried that lower middle class jobs in restaurants were being replaced by "entry level" jobs in fast food outlets.  Their worry was more than well-founded.  Many businesses saw McDonald's as a brilliant business model and found ways to downgrade jobs and cut labor costs, until we arrived where we are today.

      Part of the problem is American faith in a "meritocracy" which provides a rationalization for outsized paychecks for those at the top and not much for people at the bottom.  Our national policy should be that everyone deserves a decent wage (including even illegal immigrants).  A much more modest difference between top and bottom pay would be sufficient to motivate people to work hard--in fact, it might even motivate them more.  

    •  Free trade is based on comparative (0+ / 0-)

      advantage, what corporations are taking advantage of now is absolute advantage. It is not free trade.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 01:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A point I noticed missing re: illegal immigration (5+ / 0-)

    An available pool of illegal workers effectively caps wages on the legitimate workforce, as well as suppressing expectation of the benefits that were once common (yeah, back in the socialist boom days of the 60s & 70s).

    More than that, immigrant labor comes to this country from lands where there is no concern about the health or welfare (or even survival) of workers.  In the US, this gives us a pre-marginalized labor force that is more prepared to take risky or unsafe jobs, work with inadequate safeguards, damaged or insufficient equipment.  This not only increases the probability that these workers will end up in emergency rooms, it also increases the pressure on the citizen workforce to compete with illegals on the same playing field, or learn to manipulate them in turn, in order to compete with the employers of the illegal workforce.

    To recap:  the Corporarchy likes illegal-immigrant labor, they're cheaper, easier to abuse, and by being in play, they make EVERYONE cheaper and easier to abuse.

    "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

    by chmood on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:00:36 AM PDT

  •  Madoff (3+ / 0-)

    It's no accident that Madoff is the only major fraudster on Wall Street who was prosecuted for his crimes--many of his victims were wealthy investors.

  •  no democracy while ignoring 1000 RW radio stations (3+ / 0-)

    there is NO organized challenge to what is by far the most effective weapon in undercutting democracy the last 20 years.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:20:42 AM PDT

    •  You're living in the 90's. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuoVadis

      Radio becomes less and less relevant every year.  People under 30 barely know what it is.

      "Dear Mr. President: I'm with Trumka." psnyder

      by JesseCW on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:29:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tell that to those who were lied into iraq by (0+ / 0-)

        radio.

        ignoring it is why we're in this mess

        you must live in a city, in most of the country it is the only free alternative for politics.

        it does the groundwork for everything the GOP does and they can't do shit without it- but still the left ignores it like a hole in the head, waiting for internet in every pickup.

        wake up.

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 04:04:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most of those duped into supporting that attack (0+ / 0-)

          on the Iraqi people were duped by Telivision.

          Right-Wing radio doesn't win converts anymore than Christian Radio does.

          It certainly does get the true believers into a frenzy, though.

          I've spent my fair share of time living in very rural areas.   Right Wing radio is entirely about confirming existing biases.

          Mayan culture was strong enough to save the Mayan people from Mayan civilization.

          by JesseCW on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 07:22:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're wrong, tv can't repeat lies like radio can (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LeftOverAmerica

            fox has a smaller audience and the only reason those liars and pols can say such shit on tv is because it's already been pounded into the earholes of 50 mil.

            bush/war critics who got on TV were named on radio as traitors and hounded by the teabagger/dittoheads, same with the media outlets and producers who dared to put them on. that shit you can't do on TV. can't do that coordinated repetition on TV or in print.

            fox is viz whipped cream on the radio lie turd pie.

            ignorance of the radio's importance in politics the last 20 years is why we're in this mess.

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 08:58:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  wiener is a great eg of RW radio success (0+ / 0-)

            the difference in the way wiener was treated and vitter or many of the other repubs with more serious problems is radio.

            the pressure that makes wiener an 'overwhelming' distraction and stops everything else and requires dems to get him to resign is just like why van jones became a 'distraction' - coordinated radio repetition that creates 'public outrage'.

            all they have to do is get all the RW radio talkers to give it regular time- it doesn't go away.

            that radio repetition is not only absent re the vitters, the radio can be used to create a dem mountain from a molehill to distract from a vitter. it happens all the time.

            the global warming 'email gate' was another eg of a RW radio success- i wrote about it here:

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

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 09:11:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  did you notice you local RW radio station selling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuoVadis

    this facism 24/7, for the last 20 years?

    the fact is the left has not, has ignored it, and now is still trying to play catch up.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:25:40 AM PDT

  •  The Left is NOT part of Corporatocracy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skex, QuoVadis, farbuska, vacantlook

    The problem with what you are saying is that the Democratic Party is by and large NOT the Left.  Th real Left rejects government by corporations and calls for public financing of all elections.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 08:28:04 AM PDT

  •  Your premise is incorrect (4+ / 0-)

    America was never a democracy by design. We have always been an Oligarchy. Most people did not even have the franchise at the birth of the nation. No vote for women, slaves, indigenous persons. After the failure of the Articles of Confederation we got the Senate as anti democratic an institution as there was. The government has a long history of violent attack on true democracy shooting down union folks in the street. They even shot down war veterans when the marched on Washington in the 1930's. Your back to democracy is as much bullshit as the Teabagger's "take back the country."  If you don't know where you are you never get where you want to be.

    I am of the belief that we have been witness over the past few decades to a shift in our government away from democracy and towards corporatocracy.
  •  The roots of the problem lay in globalization (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, ozsea1, QuoVadis

    Here's an interesting discussion by Takis Fotopoulos:

    this is an important multi-part interview for every citizen who would like to know the history and nature of what the Reformist Left and the mass media call just "neoliberal politics", in a simplistic, if not suspicious, way , disorienting people from the crucial fact that, as long as markets remain open and liberalised, governments of countries integrated into the system of the internationalised market economy will have to follow basically the same policies, either they are conservative, or "socialist", green or fundamentalist.

  •  Occasionally I get a break from my inner cynic (5+ / 0-)
    Many Americans have noticed this change in our system of government even if they can't quite recognize exactly what has happened.

    I'm hoping that the gnawing, intuitive "something is terribly wrong" feeling becomes endemic - and that real citizens will unite.

    But then again.. I also want a pony.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 09:05:41 AM PDT

  •  The term you are looking for is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuoVadis, farbuska, vacantlook

    Fascism

    Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.

    Benito Mussolini
  •  TWO terms missing: Capitalism and Socialism (6+ / 0-)

    Much has been made in the above comments about the diarists's choice of words.  The general consensus is that "corporatism" and "corporatocracy" should be replaced by "fascism."  This is pretty close to correct and you guys have the Mussolini quotes to prove it.

    But I disagree.  Fascism and coporatism are merely different words for capitalism.  You can't have fascism without first having a capitalist economy based on private ownership of the means of production and the use of capital to generate more capital.

    The diary (and these comments) also have a term that is conspicuous in it's near-absence: Above all else, this diary was a wonderful restatement, in modern terms, of socialism.  And you can't have capitalism without an eventual socialist uprising of the masses once they've been pushed to the brink by capitalist forces.

    Much of the points made by Marx, Engels, and Gramsci were alluded to in this diary.  I don't know if you've done any reading of 19th and 20th century socialist literature, but all of us would do well to.

    We would also do well to follow the example Lawrence O'Donnell has set and start proclaiming ourselves socialist once we've discovered that we are.  The right-wing has for over a century turned the thing into a dirty word, but take heart: in Michael Moore's recent film Capitalism: A Love Story, it is revealed that us young people are about evenly split, one-third supporting socialism, one-third supporting capitalism, and one-third with no inclination (likely a result of captialist alienation blending with capitalist propaganda).

    You are on the right path.  We just need to start talking about it in a way that redefines and adds power to the debate.  By defying capitalism by name and taking back (and taking pride in) the word socialism, we'll be taking further steps down the right path for democracy, social justice, and a more perfect union.

    Be of sound mind and politcs -SP

    by Soundpolitic on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:01:08 AM PDT

  •  Thanks nt (3+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:13:42 AM PDT

  •  I hear the causes, but not the outcome (5+ / 0-)

    Good diary. The corporate ethos has been absorbed so thoroughly into the national consciousness that it is easy to miss all the tentacles seeping into and encircling our human way of life.

    To me the pernicious effect of the mainstream media is an underrated catalyst in all this. The quiet consensus-driven censorship of real non-corporate alternatives is pervasive. In a very real sense the media no longer speak for the people, but most don't recognize why.

    But diaries such as this need to be sequeled and built upon. What's next? Once people begin to recognize the cancer that is corporate media propaganda; the cancer that is pro-corporate legislation; the cancer that is the wholesale abandonment of the middle class on the part of policy makers - once people really recognize this, what do they do?

    Voting for D's or R's is irrelevant. How do they "vote with their feet"; how do we adjust our life styles and habits such as to undercut the power they have? What is the forum or vehicle for alternative consensus building? It's certainly not "Meet the Press" or "Morning Joe". It's also not yet any of the weblogs, really.

    I want to believe that we're close to a tipping point where the whole USA will start doing what they're trying to do in Madison Wisconsin. But so far even that level of protest and activism has not turned the tide  (to wit; the anti-union bill was just approved by the judiciary there). The sad truth is that if there were widespread public protests most of us would only know it from the leftie weblogs. The MSM will just ignore it.

    I want to believe that there is a deep wellspring of populism out there that will mobilize. But in bleaker moments I see this as romantic and wishful thinking. The resistance is splintered and relatively isolated. Furthermore, even when organized they don't have a fraction of the firepower that the corporate media/business roundtable/Pentagon has. So let's not kid ourselves about the outlook for going to to toe with them in the near term future.

    Eventually the laws of nature dictate that the fascist edifice that substitutes for government and white market commerce here will collapse. My crystal ball says it will be swift and messy, not slow and stepwise. Before this, as it becomes harder to hold it all together, the need to tightly control people and their opinions will increase.

    Question remains - now that more people are getting a grip on the scope of the problem, how best to channel that energy and move forward? Where best to direct that energy such that we can move towards a more human balance here? And on a purely practical level, with the economic imperative of a roof overhead and food on the table, where to find the time and energy to devote this work?

    Please let me know...

  •  AARP one-ups Obama by surrendering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, QuoVadis

    before Obama has a chance to.

    Doesn't the AARP understand that you don't surrender until our Dear Leader officially issues the call?

    Talk about a breach in protocol.

    /snark

    As a hardcore Democrat, Obama has shaken my faith. Imagine what he's done for independents.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:20:12 AM PDT

  •  Welcome KOCH SCHOOLS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuoVadis, vets74
    Well, they deleted the chapter on the workers' rights movement

    And, well, their screening placement tests to "customize" learning programs for your children don't bother teaching algebra to kids --the future unemployed--who are never going to use it

    And if you want a computer for their workbooks your family better be able to afford $1,500 a year in addition to their monthly short fall of $600 minimum per child

    And if your child is sent to the principal's office more than twice, they will sent to their for-profit prison.


    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 10:33:56 AM PDT

  •  Republicans oppose the U.S. Government! (3+ / 0-)

    When will the Mainstream Media cover the actual news? Today's Republican Party wants to Repeal the entire United States Government while waving the flag with the stars and stripes. The Republican Party does not like Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, OSHA, EPA, the Minimum Wage, the US Postal Service, or any federal regulation of the banking industry. I want to know what it is exactly that any Republican candidate likes about the United States Government. Come on! Be Honest! Step Forward and let's hear from some Republican.

    The Republican Senate agreed to march in lock step to oppose everything that President Obama proposed so that they could run in the 2012 election on the platform that they had made his administration fail. You heard it it in the New Hampshire Debate.  They bragged that they made Obama Fail!  The country voted in 2010 and elected a Republican Majority in the United States House of Representatives and the House has not presented ONE Bill to the Senate with a plan that would provide jobs and employment to the American People.

    What is the difference between America and the United States? Let's hear somebody ask the question and let's hear some Republican Politician answer the Question!

    If you want to see what Government Programs can do, look at what used to be called the "American Dream".  The United States Government took a bunch of kids from the Depression of the 1930's and after a destructive war called World War II, a Republican President, Eisenhower, working with a Democratic Congress, began a series of public works programs leaving our nation with an Interstate Highway system, with bridges and dams across this nation.  A Supreme Court integrated our nation's schools and restaurants and public facilities.  The GI Bill initially offered free public education and our state universities provided low-cost, affordable education to all.  Workers in union plants and factories could plan on retiring with previously unbelievable wealth after a 25 - 30 years of working and buying into their company's pension plans.

    Thirty years of trickle-down economics have destroyed that structure.  Our bridges, dams and highway are collapsing.  Our children who complete their education are emerging with student loans that have effectively restored a 21st Feudal system with workers struggling to pay off their debts with little or no hope of retiring hat debt before they begin to face the prospect of facing the cost of educating their children.

    Government can work, but only when people who believe in the possible benefits of government are elected.  When working people believe the lies of Republican politicians and vote against their own economic interests and vote to transfer more of this nation's wealth to the people who have more than they have earned, then Americans lose hope.  

    This is where our nation is now.  Our people have voted against their interests for too long.

  •  United Airlines (0+ / 0-)

    Their 1960's level computer system crashed creating chaos.  The executive level down through administration intensively attacked workers and paid themselves obscene salaries and perks even though the workers bailed out the company from bankruptcy.  The past CEO was brought in by the board from an oil company because he was willing to bash workers.  Glenn Tilton was hated by workers enough they had a plane fly over Chicago with a trailer saying we hate Tilton.  How did smart people like pilots and doctors allow their industries to be corrupted by the corporation model?

  •  Decline of Democracy: Banned in the USA (0+ / 0-)

    by a liberal foundation. "The War You Don't See" is a documentary by an Australian filmmaker about the media's role in beating the drums for war. It is currently banned in the USA. But it is available online.

    Democracy is threatened when so-called liberal supporters like the Lannan Foundation are shutting down freedom of expression.

    The War You Don't See

    The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal center of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:07:09 PM PDT

  •  Important Diary, thank you!! (0+ / 0-)

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:07:45 PM PDT

  •  This is our fault too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    We progressives need to accept our share of the blame for this mess.  Only when we admit where we fucked up can we truly move forward.

    1. We supported the democratic party during this dark decade instead of building something new.  The dems are absolutely part of the corporatocracy, and we allowed them (and the Obama campaign in particular) to undermine a real movement for real change.

    2. We got lazy and complacent in the 1990s and allowed the groundwork of this mess to be laid almost uncontested.  Because the 90s were so good for so many of us, an entire generation of Americans took their collective eyes off the ball.  The result:  Graham-Leech-Bliley and the Commodities Futures Modernization act.  Any time some Dem apologist brings up how good Clinton was, I remind them that is was he who signed those two atrocities into law.

    3. We have utterly failed to speak the language of "Middle America".  The problem isn't that the so-called "red states" have a disproportionate number of asshats, ignorami and sociopaths, but that we failed to translate our message into language that those not politically inclined would understand and would be willing to listen to.  Its easier for the Reichwing to do this, no doubt, but history does not grade on a curve.  We surrendered not only large chunks of this nation to the RWers, but we also surrendered large chunks of the English language to them too.  

    I could go on, but id be too much for an already long comment.  But before we can truly win this fight we must recognize how and were we fucked up to get this nation where it is, and how we can change our tactics to correct those errors.

  •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

    Greider article in this week's (maybe it was last week's) Nation:

    Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas for a New Economy

    Personally, i'd like to see the baby thrown out right along with the bathwater (not gonna happen anytime soon, i know), but the article is thoughtful and worth a read, imo. Gotta start somewhere.

    thx for the diary & the conversations - t/r'd

    Money speaks for money, the devil for his own... Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?

    by LeftOverAmerica on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:16:16 PM PDT

  •  Constitutional Amendment: Strip Corps' personhood (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    Seriously -- at this point, it is the only way we're going to save this country.

    The whole personhood thing wasn't even an actual SCOTUS ruling.  It was a clerical mistake, and a farce.

    We need to stop treating business entities as if they are people with rights -- but apparently a far lower bar for responsibilities as compared to flesh & blood citizens.  The people who operate corporations already have all the rights and privileges they deserve.  Why should they then be allowed to come together and create a legal entity that itself has rights often in excess of persons.  For example, a criminal citizen can be imprisoned or even executed.  A corporation can only be fined, and perhaps dissolved -- but this does not stop the people who created it from going off to create another corporation.

    The language can be simple:

    No corporation, partnership, firm, for-profit, non-profit, or any other business or commercial entity, whether by these terms or others which may be invented to cover a new type of business concern shall be considered a person or legal entity analogous to a person for the consideration of the rights and privileges normally associated with actual citizens under the Constitution and federal law.  This amendment in no way is intended to abridge the rights of the individual persons involved in the business concern.  Congress shall enact laws implementing this, etc. etc.

    "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

    by Technowitch on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:18:38 PM PDT

  •  Campaign Finance Laws =EQ= The Playing Field (0+ / 0-)

    This is thrown out as though there's a practical laternative:

    And have you wondered why Pres. Obama turns out to be a lot less progressive than he sounded when he was campaigning for president?  The fact is, Pres. Obama is a bought-and-paid for member of the corporatocracy.  As is everyone in Washington, inlcuding the most stalwart of liberals.

    Hell, kiddo, it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run a modern presidential campaign.

    If you don't get the money together, you're out in the primaries. If you don't go to the big money, you're out of it.

    So please, spare us whining about Obama.

    "How does Obama compare to what is possible under the present financing laws ?"
    -- that is the proper balance of left-side reality with right-side fantasy.

    Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

    by vets74 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 12:20:38 PM PDT

  •  Interesting diary, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftOverAmerica

    the historical component of its underlying premise is entirely false.

    Democracy is a system of government in which power is shared among all people equally.  And most Americans grow up regarding themselves as fortunate to partake in such a system of government, and feeling we are some how special among all the nations of the earth because of that democratic government. . .I am of the belief that we have been witness over the past few decades to a shift in our government away from democracy and towards corporatocracy.

    When exactly did the country fit the definition of democracy that you posit?  
    .
    .

    You've been fooled by April, and she's gone. . .

    by cardinal on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 01:33:23 PM PDT

  •  Guess I'm less of an idealist these days (0+ / 0-)

    In my younger years I firmly believed corporatocracy could be defeated by strictly democratic/peaceful means and replaced with a socialist-democratic state.  These days it's obvious that the corporate/religious radical right cannot be stopped by purely democratic means.  All it takes is one election of a teabagger majority in Congress combined with a teabagger President to cement the neofascist right-wing government in power for good.  Think it can't happen?  Think again.  If the economy doesn't bounce back strong in 2012, which seems more and more likely, it absolutely will happen.  We're already seeing an early preview of what's to come on the national level with the "election" of fascist/far-right Governors/legislatures in Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin, with erosion of civil rights and mass voter suppression.  If they have the power nationally it'll be too late for the left to recover.  Be vigilant people, be prepared to fight in the streets when the time comes.  The time is drawing near.

  •  Sorry Hugh Jim Bissell (0+ / 0-)

    but... this is one of those diaries that I'm going to have to print out and read while I'm on the the elliptical tread milll. And I hate to do that and I love to do that. I hate it because I'll be late in commenting and I love it because it's a subject that I'll enjoy.

    What I do is highlight and copy to MS Word in a font like 16 point. I put the treadmill on something like 10 minutes and before I know it - I'm done. Makes the time go fast -

    So thanks, thanks for your time - when you could have been doing something else. Time is valuable and your work will be a work that is worthwhile to us...

    "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

    by FakeNews on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 04:12:09 PM PDT

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