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What I'm about to suggest works.  I know it does because I'm well beyond getting angry, dismayed, upset, troubled, or even perplexed by the rapid-fire amalgamation of what is slowly (but surely) turning into a fascistic system.

What helped me get here?  Becoming aware of exactly what's happening, and who is behind it.  That realization is extremely powerful!  It's actually liberating.

Why?  Because now that I know the nature of the challenges we are facing, instead of being distracted by decoys, lies, misinformation and smokescreens, I can focus my attention like a laser beam at the real culprits behind the horrendous crimes being committed against the citizenry.

Folks, the political system in the final analysis is a farce... No, don't worry, I'm not going to suggest that people stop exercising their right to vote and engage in the political process.  We can't never give up on that front.

But it is essential that we understand at this point, given the circumstances, and again, in the final analysis, the entire system is rigged.

Here's the actual situation: For many reasons (which I'm not going to cover here), the "system" here in the U.S., and the U.K., and Greece, and Italy, and Spain, and other countries, has evolved into a plutocratic corporatocracy.

This has brought about a governance ethos based on the shared interests of a ruling elite composed of powerful moneyed/financial/corporatists actors and the political class here in the U.S., and in France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Germany, and other countries.  The latter is paid off by the former.

Everything else is pure noise, distractions, smokescreens, kabuki theater.

Here's the problem: If you think that the Democrats are the good guys and the Republicans are the bad guys, and you base your world view on that premise, then you're going to have the tendency to judge most issues using a partisan or tribal prism with a totally distorted understanding of the actual situation at hand.

Psychologically, that is very harmful because the things that are actually happening are totally incongruous with your flawed understanding of the supposed reasons.

The Democratic party establishment is under the total control of the same forces that are in control of the Republican party establishment.

They are both fucking you over, and are answering to the same masters.  There is a difference, of course.  You can think of it as a good-cop-bad-cop situation, but both having the same objectives: to serve their corporate paymasters.

The Republican party is like the loud-mouthed thug, overtly fascistic, content with putting a jackboot on your face, pressing it hard.  The Democratic party is more subtle, pretending to be your friend, greets you nicely, hugs you, back-slaps you, but when you turn around, it tells the same thugs to work you over, throw you inside the trunk of a car, drive you to a cliff, and push you over it.

They are both working for the same people: and it ain't you.

Why is having this understanding healthy?  It's not because now all of the sudden I, or anybody else, can take on the corrupt system.  It is because now I have a clear understanding of why the outrageous things I see happening (as we move further and further into fascism) are taking place.

The necessary condition for fixing this situation would be the acknowledgement of this truism (I'm describing here) by millions and millions of people, here in the U.S., and in the U.K., and France, and Spain, and Italy, and other countries under the control of the same nefarious forces.

And thus, at least to me, that's where I spend most of my activist energy on: trying to wake people up to this reality.

Will I (and countless others trying to do the same thing) be successful at it?  Nobody can say for sure, but in my heart of hearts I believe it is possible; otherwise I would not waste my time in the effort.

Again, and regardless of how long of a process is going to be before enough people wake up to this simple reality, knowing the true nature of what's going on is indeed therapeutic.  And that's why I don't get angry anymore by the dastardly things I see happening, from our institutions.  What else would one expect from a government on the take.  It's only natural; normal.  The system is rigged, and corrupt.

Finally, no amount of petition drives or complaining will ever make any difference.  The corrupt ruling class will only relent if they are forced to do so, with overwhelming power from the people.

But one thing at a time... First, we need to wake TFU.  The rest will manifest itself.

Let's get to it!

Each blue dot on the map below represents a member of a growing nation-wide network of social justice and anti-corruption activists committed to finding the best way forward.  Join us in the effort!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, American Legislative Transparency Project, and TrueMarket.

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  •  Tip Jar (159+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    profewalt, KJG52, Oaktown Girl, on the cusp, Publius2008, Pluto, Words In Action, Dumbo, Lujane, rmonroe, WheninRome, Panama Pete, Creosote, elwior, catilinus, Just Bob, reflectionsv37, NoMoreLies, jpmassar, lostinamerica, One Pissed Off Liberal, maryabein, expatjourno, dkmich, cal2010, chira2, markthshark, some other george, Raggedy Ann, Cassandra77, isabelle hayes, Yellow Canary, sodalis, Kristina40, shanikka, CTDemoFarmer, edie haskell, Justus, allenjo, SD Goat, marina, bluedust, srkp23, CitizenOfEarth, where4art, Sagebrush Bob, glitterscale, Sam Hill, scooter in brooklyn, cslewis, TracieLynn, quagmiremonkey, MNDem999, RMliberal, Gustogirl, congenitalefty, Geenius at Wrok, jdmorg, Egalitare, OldSoldier99, unfangus, Medium Head Boy, tommymet, DarkestHour, No Exit, CS11, zerelda, poliwrangler, Gowrie Gal, orlbucfan, Sun Tzu, leonard145b, chrississippi, high uintas, Sunspots, Einsteinia, Rizzo, CT Hank, ilex, Steve15, wonkydonkey, dotsright, onionjim, BlueDragon, Jim P, SlightKC, No one gets out alive, artebella, Don midwest, War on Error, Shockwave, Dem Beans, Chi, bruddaone, Victor Ward, shaharazade, Youffraita, fabucat, poopdogcomedy, Mentatmark, Byron from Denver, Azazello, Timothy J, northerntier, maybeeso in michigan, Sharon, javan, SouthernLiberalinMD, cpresley, lunachickie, divineorder, SeaTurtle, Gorette, aliasalias, Shelley99, Nada Lemming, majcmb1, 888, k9disc, midwesterner, SuWho, Mr Robert, Williston Barrett, grollen, deeproots, ItsaMathJoke, AoT, slatsg, Eddie L, artisan, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Brown Thrasher, wayoutinthestix, bsmechanic, RosyFinch, RFK Lives, cloudbustingkid, howabout, pioneer111, Jbearlaw, hungeski, emal, molunkusmol, WisePiper, BusyinCA, alice kleeman, rogeopa, billlaurelMD, denise b, TheMomCat, DeadHead, LucyandByron, Willa Rogers, Chaddiwicker, arendt, arreay, Jarrayy, revsue, fumie
  •  It seems to me, you'd have a clearer (10+ / 0-)

    ...understanding and more personal power, if you stopped trying to drag the non-Anglo nations into your grand perception. Stick to the English-speaking nations. They are the ones controlled by the Overlords you've recently become aware of. (The others have an entirely different problem stemming from bottom-up corruption.)

    And, if you are fully aware, then you know there is no "national" political solution to your structural concerns. Thus, you -- as a person -- have sovereignty and the power to transcend the situation yourself. We -- as a people -- do not.

    You have a talent as an organizer, but that only works on the small stuff, like winning elections. Not on the rigged structural foundation you are addressing.

    YMMV, but mine doesn't.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:06:10 PM PDT

    •  Recently? I've seen this trend take shape in (48+ / 0-)

      real time for at least 20 years now.  I know it has taken longer to get to where we are, but I've been acutely aware of it for at least 20 years.

      I'm not going to address the issue of telling somebody what to write about in diaries, since I think that would be a distraction.

      But suffice it to say, always know that before I write something I've thought about it very carefully.  Yes, like anybody else, I could end up being wrong on any given subject, but at least some sort of intelligent argument would have to be presented...

      Just because there are cultural differences between English- and non-English speaking countries, it does not prove that my theory is wrong.

      There are powerful supranational business/financial cartels in both, the U.S., and Europe, which operate on a certain set of principles, interests, and beliefs.

      A lot of the "austerity" measures you see all these disparate government pushing down peoples throats are a direct cause of those interests.

      The effects are also very similar: deep cuts in wages and benefits for workers; rapid accumulation of wealth and power by ruling elites in the different countries; weakening of the public sector, and of the social safety net.

      It is systemic; and it is supranational; and it is connected.

      If you have a lucid argument to the contrary, I'd be glad to take a look at it...

      •  While certain neoliberal policies (11+ / 0-)

        ...tie Europe with the Anglo nations, I see lumping them together as clouding any real clarity about cause, effect, and remedy of structural flaws in the US. There is no comparison between Europe and the US. Talk to me about the children who go to bed hungry in the European nations you mention. Talk to me about the Europeans who go without health care. Such human rights, including social security, are written into their constitutions as laws, unlike the US, where there are NO human rights directly conferred upon the people -- and where children DO go to bed hungry and people DO die for lack of health care.

        I had a similar reaction to your work when you were convinced that Greece would fail and EU would break apart. This was absolutely impossible, and you could have only jumped to that rash conclusion by projecting near-sighted Anglo reasoning upon Europe. (Of course you weren't alone. Euro-skepticism runs rampant among Anglos. All of you were wrong about this for the same reason.)

        If I didn't think you were really talented and perceptive, I wouldn't comment at all. But, I can't build an argument for you on a blog. The information is widely understood in non-English language writings and news sources. The cultural and economic distinctions are a given. I just think your work would be so much better if you didn't feel the need to tie these European countries to your arguments, because this renders them flawed.

        IMO, of course.



        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:24:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Factoid: in 1964 the % of total corporate profits (52+ / 0-)

        in the US that went to the finance (FIRE) sector was 2%.  By 2004 it had grown to 40%.

        That's a big part of what we're up against.  No political party, leader, or nation can stand up to that much raw financial/political power.

        It's more than a heist, it's a takeover of the world.  And this doesn't even include the rest of the corporate power structure.  Energy, food, water, pharma.

        I still support Dems -- the good cop is in fact a lot less worse than the bad cop, imo -- but you hit it, Ray.  The whole system's been taken over.

        •  The only really solution is (23+ / 0-)

          to just fucking opt out, person by person, change culture through our habits and practices. Don't participate in corporate life to the extent you are able. Bring your life practices in line with your political beliefs as much as possible. I know a lot of us are trying to do this as much as we can. For me, this is where I'm putting a lot of my political energy--trying to live a different lifestyle. If a lot of us do this we can find ways of doing things that break out of the very narrow spectrum of normative life possibilities in 21century U.S.A. We can try to use the system to our advantage if we can, but really my dream is about non-corporate life-styles, not better corporatization of America.

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

          by srkp23 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:25:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right Livelihood (29+ / 0-)

            is part of it, along with Right Thinking and Right Conduct.

            We have to become much more mindful.

            Although we each need to take responsibility for ourselves, I think the transition is easier and more likely to succeed if we do it collectively, with support networks, through a combination of virtual and physical intentional communities.

            What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

            by Words In Action on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:37:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The "Opt Out" solution (25+ / 0-)

            is very empowering on a personal level. I live in a community where many people live this way and create alternative sources for most things a person needs.

            It will also be more and more effective as more and more people do it. My biggest frustration at the moment is that when enough people do this that it looks like a shift might take place, corporations change the game. Monsanto makes it hard for you to even know if you are buying GMOs. Laws are passed to make it harder to create alternatives to the corporate status-quo. They decide to hydro-frack the hell out of your CSA organic food region. They are in it for the whole pie and they have the power and the will to keep changing the game until there is no place that is not theirs.

            Of course, having said that, I'm hoping someone will be able to talk me out of it. It's just too depressing a thought...

            "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." - Terry Tempest Williams

            by your neighbor on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:16:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, it is removing money from politician's hands (7+ / 0-)

            Even that is not a silver bullet but until one is no longer required to buy a political seat, when it is even a liability to do so, corporate forces will be buying up the government for dimes on the dollar. It needs to be as common a topic around DKos, and DC and the Media as the sequester or DOMA. Until we have full disclosure of everyone spending over perhaps $200.00 per annum on political donations for 527c's and other ways to hide money we are not exercising an important option that isn't on the table. Corporations need to be required to disclose every last dime spent on political contributions to their shareholders who need veto power against it. We need a constitutional amendment whereby corporations aren't people and money isn't free speech (but be careful of Move to Amend, the second half of that proposal is poorly written and needs fixing. There are also other such proposals).

            Opting out from corporate influence is nearly impossible to do; how do you not feed them your dollars? Living in the woods? Sure, there are things you can do to feed them less money but what you feed them still goes to Washington and is not helping us. We need systematic change. We need to make it an issue that candidates need to get behind on both sides of the aisle. There are lots of conservative voters who are also tired of special interests buying up political influence. I've spoken to them; this is not only a progressive issue. We need to primary candidates who refuse to advance this admittedly uphill fight.

            Everyone gives it lip service among progressives but pitifully few do anything about it. I'm not sure if anything else could bring such sweeping change but we never make it an issue politicians must go on record about. We are not doing as little as making it a conversation between us and those we donate money to or volunteer our time to help campaign for.

            •  Oh, in terms of electoral politics, that is key! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade, elwior, hooper

              But the mindset of the population also needs to be liberated from the corporate consumerist life-style that supports these companies and gives them so much power in the first place. We are in the fight of our lives--last stages of the class warfare in the U.S. before downward spiraling to "developing nation" v.2.0

              We need to fight on every front! Campaign finance reform is key on the electoral politics front. But to really make the world into a peaceful, productive, creative place, major culture shift is needed  away from consumerism to other forms of enjoyment, mean-making and self-expression.

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

              by srkp23 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:12:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Without truth tellers in office that won't happen (0+ / 0-)

                Politicians dare not speak loudly against their corporate masters. The meme's won't change unless we demand it of our leaders and make a stink about it to the media which can't be ignored.

                •  The goal can't be to get Media (6+ / 0-)

                  to cover it, it has to be even louder than that. It has to be so loud that people don't need a media filter to hear or see it.

                  The information infrastructure in this country has been completely and utterly hijacked. Anyone reporting to a corporation can and will continue to ignore the vast majority of us, in favor of corporate-sponsored memes that ultimately benefit them.

                  It is time to #Occupy Media.

                  by lunachickie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:08:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They will if Democratic leaders talk about it... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GayHillbilly

                    ...all the time. And they won't do that until progressives hammer the leadership on it. I'd go so far as to say if moderate Republicans ever want control of their party again this would also be the way back in. If it comes from both sides of the aisle the media will be forced to cover it. And I would bet editorial coverage would mostly be in favor of it.

                    Or the other road to getting there would be for Democratic leadership  to insist on a constitutional amendment. Which again the media would not be able to ignore. But first we have to force it on them as an issue the base insists upon loudly and constantly.

                    •  Democratic leaders can shout it from (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DelilahOhMy, hooper

                      the rooftops. "They"--The Media--will not talk about it unless it benefits their owners.

                      We have to get past the mindset that says "if we make enough noise, The Media has to cover it". Because that is no longer true.

                      It is time to #Occupy Media.

                      by lunachickie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:45:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The owners need their quasi-monopolies broken (0+ / 0-)

                        Trust me, if we can bend the liberal leadership to our will and talk about election reform all the time are you saying they will stop covering them? Really? C'mon. And if we have them going after corporate personhood do you think it won't scare the bejesus out of them?

                        And it all gets covered, just not as much as we might like. But people do hear about it. Perhaps I'm lucky where I live. My local NPR station covers pretty much of it and it is the most listened to station in my major metropolitan area. Most people I talk to have some knowledge of the pertinent issues. Do you ever read Google news? You don't see anything there in the media anywhere at all? You're not watching too closely. Look to FDR if you want to see how government can push big business around when necessary. Take the money away from the politicians and they'll have the motivation to do so.

                        And to a large extent, who cares anyway about 'big media'? Other than lots of old folks? There's this thing called the Internet that they must compete with. And it is a news and information source that is eating their lunch. And will do so every more over time unless they adapt. If they need to increase revenues they will be forced to cater more towards liberals or we'll simply turn them off. They can't afford losing that kind of market share. Money is more important to them than ideology.

                        Forget about #Occupy Media. # Occupy the Democratic Party.

                         

                        •  No (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DelilahOhMy
                          if we can bend the liberal leadership to our will and talk about election reform all the time are you saying they will stop covering them?

                          They will only cover what their ownership allows them to cover.  Where have you been?

                          Want them to cover "election reform" because the Democrats think it's a good idea? You'll be assigned to find the "down side" of such a thing and anything on the upside will be edited out. Want them to cover shenanigans at the ballot box? Oh, heavens to mergatroid, Both Sides Do It, and you will make Both Sides look equally bad even when they're not, or your story will be reassigned.

                          That is, in fact, how it works TODAY--what FDR did to "arm twist the press" is no longer relevant in 2013 like it was during World War II. You need to disabuse yourself of "How It Used To BE".

                          You're not watching too closely.
                          I'm sorry to note it thusly, but you're extremely naive at best. Good luck with "occupying the Democratic Party". I'd love to do that--I mean, it sounds good and all--but you'll not get one soul behind you on a mass scale (ie. other than your own little circle of contacts and maybe a blog or two online and a Facebook page or five) unless The Media is reporting you as a hero. And that ain't gonna happen, either.

                          Either learn to think outside the box, or perish. It's come down to that.

                          It is time to #Occupy Media.

                          by lunachickie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:42:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Campaign election reform is out of the box (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a radical (for America) idea that will likely require a constitutional amendment to keep the current SCOTUS' hands off of it. It will require enough Americans to say 'enough' to governmental corruption, which will come in part, as it always has, from the too-heavy collapse of extremist intent such as we have with neocons and teabaggers. None of this is a new thing that has never happened before in America.

                            Sure, the FDR example was itself extreme. But it's a reminder of how much power the government has if pressed by necessity to use it. My point is that it has enormous leverage if it needs to be used. It is not helpless against a small consortium of moguls.

                             Again, I think that run of the mill market forces will bear down on the media and ultimately quash the current system. Do you not see the widespread cynicism everywhere and distrust of the media on all sides? The media is not an impenetrable obstical to be obsessed over. We can go around it and through it by direct access to the government if we choose to use it. THAT is direct democracy.

                            My friend, I believe you need to climb out of the box. Taking the money out if the hands of politicians and putting them on a level playing field where we don't pay them to campaign will make the start of many great changes we need. An uphill battle for certain. But we have a window, I believe, that is opening over the next few years as we speak.

                          •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)
                            It is not helpless against a small consortium of moguls.
                            Good luck with that. That small consortium controls the entire information infrastructure in this country. All of it.

                            That being said, I do agree that we have somewhat of a window, but we're already working it. It's called The Internet, but even that's well on its way to total corruption. The large carriers monitor your every keystroke already, but they have a hard time doing much with it yet. Which is exactly why our government has zombiefied CISPA legislation. Every time we beat that shit down, it comes back with a new acronym.

                            If you're going to "Occupy the Democratic Party", you'll be fighting an uphill battle until you curtail or fully stop the propaganda that everyone around you is having beat into their heads, 24/7. Because you're not going to "force" that "consortium" to broadcast anything that does not benefit the one percent unless you occupy it first.

                            It is time to #Occupy Media.

                            by lunachickie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:13:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fully stop propaganda?? That'd be a first. (0+ / 0-)

                            It's never been that way anywhere and never will be. I agree that there are attempts to corrupt the Internet. And so far the pushback has won every time. Support against these attempts are wide ranging and powerful. Furthermore by design it is decentralized and now international. It is by design (originally by fear of widespread nuclear destruction) built to get information routed one way or another to where it was meant to go.

                             And still furthermore there are many people, mostly in the Democratic Party that want it upgraded to fully fiber optic nationwide which would to dust turn these current attempts to control it. The bandwidth would become exponentially larger and could change the very way we are currently connected to one another in the US.

                            Again, remove the need to talk to any given lobbyist in order to become re-elected for another term and you kick the chair out from under this particular set of moneyed interests as well as hundreds of other who try to rule by having control over a politician's future income. Public campaign reform, in the end, is the mother of all our fairness issues and the immediate solution to most of what divides America.

                          •  And are you suggesting it's easier to Occupy media (0+ / 0-)

                            than it is to gain control over a political party? Seriously, I have no idea what makes you think that. By what mechanism do we have more options for control against many diverse private interests as opposed to public ones designed for our participation with direct mechanisms to have the public's will acted upon, IF we choose to?

                          •  I never said it was easier (0+ / 0-)

                            I said it was more important.

                            But hey, believe what you want. Good luck trying to work inside that box of corrupt public system that's run by private interests.

                            It is time to #Occupy Media.

                            by lunachickie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:25:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And good luck to you too (0+ / 0-)

                            ...Taking on the private interests on their own turf where they make the rules while they buy up the government for dimes on the dollar and turn that ever more against you.

                          •  thanks for making my point! (0+ / 0-)
                            while they buy up the government for dimes on the dollar and turn that ever more against you.
                            This fact alone will stop you from "occupying" either Party, which is a concept by which your available avenues of action are fairly limited anyway. OTOH, nobody knows what an occupation of media will actually look like. Media is everywhere--and there's far more of it than there is 'government'.....

                            It is time to #Occupy Media.

                            by lunachickie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:06:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for making my point (0+ / 0-)
                            OTOH, nobody knows what an occupation of media will actually look like. Media is everywhere--and there's far more of it than there is 'government'.....
                            You haven't explained how you intend to bend private media interests to the will of the people. Other than raising tens of billions of dollars to buy them up what do you intend to do? Do you think they are less corrupt or more accessible than government? Have we never, ever changed the course of our government when it has been corrupted at other times? Which included a yellow press to support it?  And what are the models for the occupied media you espouse? Oh, that's right. You have no idea. That's not quite a confidence builder.

                            Public funding isn't some pie in the sky idea. It's a real, pragmatic strategy that has been adopted by half a dozen states with more looking to do so. Done through a variety of methods. It would not be easy, but it can be done. And it has been done by other nations as well.

                            People get lots of information from lots of sources other than the merde-stream media. Schools, friends, small weekly newspapers, churches, correspondences with lots of people on the web in forums, blogs, international news etc. etc. etc. How does taking over the media stop government corruption? You still aren't dealing with the root of the problem even if you succeeded controlling the media or whatever it is you propose to do.

                            You don't stop government corruption without dealing with it head on. Stop looking for an easy way out or a scapegoat to blame government corruption on. Door to door, person to person, face to face activism will always be more powerful leveraging a government than will a media which most people don't trust in the first place.

          •  Opt out - plus - make it cost politicians (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, shaharazade, elwior

            There is a strong current of people looking for local self-reliant alternatives, which at a minimum can make us healthier, happier, and more independent of the plutocrats.

            But we can still act politically, we just need to deal strictly with actions.  They aren't influenced by polls or by what we want [unless there's no profit in it either way], we have to consistently punish and reward.  And forget their statements, look at what they actually do

            This is Game Theory's Prisoner's Dilemma, and the only winning strategy [for influencing policy] is tit-for-tat.  

            Your first move should be cooperative [we've certainly killed ourselves doing that], and after that you do whatever your opponent did last.  You have to be consistent in punishing moves that hurt you, and you have to be consistent in rewarding moves that help you.  

            To get your opponent to cooperate consistently, you have to consistently be willing to get hurt - in single cases - and stay with tit-for-tat.  Forget promises, respond predictably to actions.

            Always supporting the Lesser Evil is the always-cooperating policy, which is a sucker's losing strategy.

        •  Nature of the beast. Since when has a politician (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hooper

          been generally regarded as an honest and principled player?  Let's keep our eyes open!  But, I agree, as least some Dems will work for us, and some of the rest of them will pretend to care about us, which is the only thing moving the ball forward.  Gotta work with the system you have, changing it little by little by little.  Republicans on the other hand?...dastardly bastards and worse. You'll get nothing but misery from them.  

    •  I was a democratic delegate and I learned that (17+ / 0-)

      the "democratic party" has been taken over by the corporatists now that they ALL need blood money to keep in the game.

      I learned the the purer end of the party was "Progressive Caucus"  and the furthest left might be folks like "Code Pink" whereas the mid-range would be Howard Dean.  (I still LOVE Howard Dean!)

      Foreshadowing in a Shameless Display:  
      And then on the far right of the democratic party are candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Obama.  When they both ran for President I recall there were not supposed to be any banners on the delegate convention floor, but both of the camps for Hillary and Obama flagrantly ignored the rule by shamelessy parading around with top dollar campaign regala including huge Soviet propaganda-style head-shot posters on sticks, etc., while they "lesser dollared" candidates followed the rules, and therefore appeared to have no presence.

      This show-down was like an illustration of all I had been told exemplified in a show of their dollar power and disregard for rules that need no longer apply to them.

      SOLUTION:  To get out of this plutocracy, we need to do two things:

      1.  Reclaim the election tabulation process:  Stop letting corporations tally our votes in back rooms.  We need to tally our votes at the precinct level with local witnesses--just like we used to do.  (In other words, stop centralized vote tabulation in back rooms by rogue-able software, which makes it one-stop shopping for thuggery.)  

      2.  Vote Money out of Political Pockets:  If we want these folks to work for us, we have to be their breadwinner.

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:28:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's going to be harder than (37+ / 0-)

    we think. The rox crowd is all over the place. They cannot separate the man from the policy. I am talking about regular people that are real lefties on FB and elsewhere that are buying the chained CPI and they are also devoted to the 11 dimension chess thing too. They don't have the nomenclature down as we do here, but they are doing the program.

    I am disheartened.

    I also have a group that are like minded to me that are holding fast, but the rox crowd are starting to sound like teabaggers.......rabid and apologetic.

  •  Precisely...... (35+ / 0-)

    The little people of this country are being bamboozled.  The Dems, with few exceptions, are just as bad as the repugnant Republicans.

    Both parties have the same agenda.....their re-election.  That's it.  As soon as they get re-elected, they start worrying about their next re-election.  They spend most of their time phoning & schmoozing w/ lobbyists & donors.

    We're an after thought.  All we've got is Bernie Sanders & the Progressive caucus.  

  •  Threading the needle is difficult when one (20+ / 0-)

    person's Kabuki is another person's red-line issue. Actually, I'll drop that line of thought. I'll just say, keep on nailing it Ray.

    Tipped & recc'ed.

    America's greatest political dynasty...the Ka'an

    by catilinus on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:21:08 AM PDT

    •  We all need to take our Red Line issues and get to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, catilinus, dotdash2u

      the root.

      Red Line issues are most often addressed by treating the symptoms, not the disease. We have to be better at demanding proper care, even if it hurts, instead of settling for a bandaid.

      The root, almost all the time, is that someone is profiting from the status quo or that changes will affect someone's profit. Corporate sponsored public policy and the corporate agenda is almost always the enemy we face.

      Of course the bigots, haters, and incompetents are a problem, but they are not the problem.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:16:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need Kos to get active and start giving brief.. (24+ / 0-)

    ...lessons on crashing the gate at least weekly. Some webinars would also be helpful.

    This place needs to evolve from talk into action. It's past time for that, in fact.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by expatjourno on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:12:25 AM PDT

  •  This has been going on for a LOOONG time (23+ / 0-)

    Ray, I agree with you when you speak about...

    the horrendous crimes being committed against the citizenry...  it is essential that we understand ... the entire system is rigged.
    What I don't agree with is how, they way you say it, you seem to be implying that this is something new, that is just now happening these days.

    It's not. The system has been rigged all along. Ask people of color if the system only started to be rigged recently. Ask women. Ask workers who lived through the 1920s, those few who are still alive. Ask the historians of the IWW. Ask native peoples of North America. Or for that matter Central America. or South America, or Polynesia, or other places. Much more, of course, going back earlier.

    Plutocratic corporatocracy? Sure, absolutely. Recent? No way. Those folks have been trying to game the system and corner the market since, well, forever. This is the story of humanity, the story of the struggle between the takers (the 1% as we call them today) and the vast majority of homo so-called sapiens.

    Totally agree with you on the worthiness of working against this trend, and for the good of all. But this trend is nothing new.

    •  What has changed, however, in the past 30 yrs (43+ / 0-)

      is that the plutocracy has become MUCH more successful than they were during the great expansion of the Middle Class from 1947-1979.

      In 1979, the 1% took 8.9% of the income. Today? 23.9%? Almost identical to the year before the Great Depression. You see the same picture if you look at wealth. And if you look at the top 2, 5 and 10%, it grows. The bottom 50% have 1% of the wealth. 1%!

      What's also changed is the reduction in union membership, good paying blue collar jobs, much of the middle class, the world's leading benefits...

      Now, we had all these problems during the Gilded Age, before Teddy Roosevelt and again in the run up to the Great Depression, before FDR. The point is, we had a break and had built some hope for the Middle Class.

      And that has been dramatically eroded, first by taking all the profits from productivity gains of the last 30 years. Second by reducing or flatlining wages, depending on the quintile. Third, by hacking away at job-related benefits. And fourth, by hacking away at the safety net.

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:38:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ironically, the process actually started near the (10+ / 0-)

        beginning of the great expansion of the middle-class with the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act.  Then LBJ set the stage for the emergence and success of the Reagan "revolution" by dividing the Democratic party with his hubris and folly in Vietnam.  Yes, his pushing of civil rights and anti-poverty efforts had a major divisive effect that was intensified by the pretty politically clumsy way that he pursued those otherwise admirable struggles.  But that divisiveness was greatly compounded by the split in the country over Vietnam, which was primarily a split within the Democratic party.

        "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

        by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:27:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Shaft-Heartlessly Act (6+ / 0-)

          I started a list of what Labor lost in this enactment, but just found it better enumerated by this from the Taft-Hartley Act Wikipedia entry:

          The amendments enacted in Taft-Hartley added a list of prohibited actions, or unfair labor practices, on the part of unions to the NLRA, which had previously only prohibited unfair labor practices committed by employers. The Taft–Hartley Act prohibited jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary boycotts, secondary and mass picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns.
          Disarm them, they DARE defend themselves.
          It also required union officers to sign non-communist affidavits with the government.
          My Union was particularly hard hit by the requirement for the non-communist affidavits requirement. We refused to comply for a number of years. The United Electrical Workers was decertified by the NLRB and then our locals were raided by the AFL-CIO unions. We went from 750,000 members to less than a tenth of that in less than a decade. Some very bitter feelings have been held by us against the raiders, though that generation is now retired.
          Union shops were heavily restricted, and states were allowed to pass right-to-work laws that outlawed closed union shops. Furthermore, the executive branch of the federal government could obtain legal strikebreaking injunctions if an impending or current strike imperiled the national health or safety, a test that has been interpreted broadly by the courts.
          My friends from Railroad Workers United have suffered from this injunctive restraint all to many times. While the strike was all that was left to the worker, even that needed to be quashed if the bribe was big enough. I don't know if it is the Taft-Hartley Act or some law that is related to Rail specifically that allows this for them.

          The remainder of this quote is a mistake by those with short term vision.

          Though smaller unions were negatively affected as a result of the act, the labor movement as a whole was not greatly impeded by Taft-Hartley.
          Like a minor nick to the femoral artery during a death match, it did not seem too bad then.

          Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

          by Mentatmark on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:03:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  1947 - 1979 is arguably the high water mark for (15+ / 0-)

        Any American middle class.

        The Great Depression / gilded age is a more apt comparison to where we are now and more representative of where we have always been.

        Perhaps it's time to revive the American socialist party.

        Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

        by No Exit on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:56:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  well said, WiA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, Klusterpuck

        We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

        by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:35:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you (7+ / 0-)

    The part I am trying to understand from an academic standpoint (which I hope will inform our actions) is how do economies evolve.  It's happened before (feudalism evolved into capitalism).   What are the forces are work and can we give it a push in another direction?  I think until we evolve this system it will continue to fail us and get worse and worse.  There is no guarantee that something getting bad will trigger change.  Look at how bad it is in Greece and yet nothing changes over there.

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

    by noofsh on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:57:17 AM PDT

  •  The young need to get on board. (7+ / 0-)

    I was watching Bill Maher last night and that was discussed - the young need to get more involved because it is they who will inherit the system.

    Another good post, Ray.  Talk is talk - action is necessary.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:00:20 AM PDT

  •  Watch Lawrence Lessig TED presentation... (5+ / 0-)

    and see that he has your same thoughts. You are right on point and until we deal with it little good will happen.

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:02:37 AM PDT

  •  Another (10+ / 0-)

    good one, Ray.

    As you can see, the message still resonates. We simply need a good way to make it concrete.

    Personally, I think we need to link together virtual and physical intentional communities that can work on:

    1) Disentangling themselves from the mainstream culture and those who are fed by it.
    2) Starving the beat that feeds on us.
    3) Creating sustainability in our interactions and our lifestyles, including our economy.
    4) Creating pathways to make it easy for people to join us.
    5) Incorporate a key mission to keep applying pressure on the pillars of support for the power structure -- those institutions and social behaviors that give the vampires blood.

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:12:52 AM PDT

  •  The lefts Tea Party, world conspiracies! (8+ / 0-)

    When people here write diaries about how they're all the same, and part of a vast world conspiracy, it just makes me shake my head.

    How can intelligent people fall for this false equivalency and scream "THEY'RE ALL THE SAME"!  The Democratic party has it's problems with corruption, but to claim that the whole party is simply a more clever version of the Republican party is simply ridiculous.  We have a relatively small number of corrupt Dems who have the power to hold up and stop most of what the rest of the Dems want to do.

    If we spent half the time fighting for the good Dems in the primaries, where it really counts, instead of wasting our time with the vast world conspiracies and the false equivalencies, maybe we could start making some real progress in fighting the Oligarch controlled Republicans.

    •  I think the truth lies somewhere betw you and Ray. (11+ / 0-)

      I do think the whole system is corrupt. The whole political system is basically a Rube Goldberg machine for bribery. the complexity hides the fact that it's all basically just bribery. The more "vulgar" instances of straight-up bribery/corruption that are tut-tutted in the media and possibly prosecuted -- this is what the Rube Goldberg machine of lobbying/fundraising is designed to make more palatable.  

      That said, I don't think there's a cabal or even conscious strategery. Culture is more than agentic; it takes on a life of its own, and becomes naturalized for those thoroughly embedded in it. Once naturalized and internalized, it really grows, gets passed on, strengthened through repetition. Now it's as if global finance capitalism and the corporate way of life itself are TBTF, as if something other than global finance capitalism is absolutely unimaginable. This is not just the lack of imagination of the powers that be and the 1%. Even on the so-called left side of the political spectrum in the U.S., many think our systems are basically fine if we could tweak them/regulate them into fairness.

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

      by srkp23 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:05:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't have to be a conspiracy to believe that (15+ / 0-)

      we live in an elitist form of government.  Hell, the signs were all there when I was young.  You can call it what you want, Corporatocracy, Oligarchy, Plutocracy...I am sure at least one fits.

      I won't say that both sides are exactly the same because there are issue on which they clearly differ, but when it comes to handing the keys to government to the rich and powerful, they are virtually identical.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:34:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then the Oligarchs are piss poor at their agenda (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott5js

        If the Oligarchs really controlled both parties, there would be NO regulations, NO controls, NO Social Security, NO Medicare, NO environmental controls, NO wild places, NO unemployment ins. NO minimum wage, NO Dems would be allowed to vote...

        And we've seen over and over in states like WI, PENN, KA... when the Oligarchs get real power through their Republican party, they make BIG changes!

        The truth is, the majority of Democrats are the only thing standing between the hard fight to keep the U.S. a partially reasonable place, and the self fulfilling plutocratic prophecy that left wing conspiracy diaries like this are helping bring about.

        Remember: the left wing Tea Party gave us Richard Nixon in 1968, and George Bush in 2000.  

        •  The regulations happened before (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, fastwacks, emal

          system became corrupt.  What Obama is doing to social security represents an erosion of those things.  Don't you see this?  We are heading that direction because of corrupted Dems.

        •  But do you not also see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          It's one things to have regulations, it's another to enforce them. It's one things to have regulators and controls, it's another to have industry friendly regulators in positions of power overseeing enforcement of them. Have you not seen the whose who in the Revolving door between govt and big industry private sector.

          Plus, Its another thing when those controls are designed by those corporations who lobbied and made campaign contributions to legislators that write the laws/rules that imapct them. Do you not see that? Look at  Dodd- Frank, look at Energy and Environmental policy and enforcement. Take a look at Lanny Breuer and a long list of those currently a part of  who left Obama's cabinet. Look at all the big industries and how they lobby and write the laws ..look at BigPharma and their impact on ACA,...it's rigged...it's corrupted by big money and big corporation. Who can hire an army of lobbyist that make the "regulations"

          The game is rigged how do you not see that.

          Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

          by emal on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 03:52:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Really then why does Obama surround himself (11+ / 0-)

      With corruption from the banking industry.   Why does his attorney general say that there are institutions too big to jail?  Holder should have been fired for even saying that.  

      Something is rotten in the Democratic Party.  And this latest sell out on social security is all the prove I need.

      As far as coordination goes between the parties I doubt that is true.  But if in effect all they do is serve similar interests then on core issues aren't both parties the same?  It's just sophistry to say that they are identical but I don't think that is the issue.

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

      by noofsh on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:20:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This analysis is almost as one dimensional (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, owlbear1, blukat, FG

    as "we live in a democracy". It is true that analyses of policy and legislative agendas mirror those of the 1%, not true that there aren't significant differences between wings of each party. However, to paraphrase Gandhi, "I think a Democratic Party would be a good idea".

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:20:27 AM PDT

  •  Great can I call it Fascism Now? (14+ / 0-)

    Because that's what it is. Fuk both Corrupt Parties.

    That, in its essence, is Fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." - Morpheus

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:30:48 AM PDT

  •  While I would accept there's a certain level (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, scott5js

    of truth to what you're saying, I still think it's critical that we accept a certain level of "tribalism" and keep working with the "lesser of two evils" to make it stronger.

    Otherwise they will nimbly divide and defeat us by exploiting our assorted individual levels and areas of focus.

    As they have for the last 30 years, which is why we're in this pickle now.

    We need to stay more or less united, and use their wedge issues to split them apart and ultimately separate the "suckers" from the plutocracy.

    Revolution ain't gonna happen. Our only hope is evolution.
    Requires the same level of focus, but it requires more perseverance.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:05:28 AM PDT

    •  At some point we need (4+ / 0-)

      to rethink the whole lesser of two evils thing - that phrase is fast becoming the one that keeps us down.

      In fact I am really beginning to question this:

      I'm not going to suggest that people stop exercising their right to vote and engage in the political process.  We can't never give up on that front.
      I am fast coming to the conclusion that enough of us sitting one two year cycle out completely may be the only way to get the Democrats to move away from the center right.
      •  We did that in 2010. It didn't turn out so well. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle, scott5js

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:51:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  O RLY? (0+ / 0-)
          I am sick of this fucking goddamned lie...

          ...that continues to be spread about who exactly "failed to show up" for the Democrats in 2010. And I am going to HR it every time I see it from now on.

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

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 10:22:08 PM PST

          Surely you must've meant something else, I hope.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
          ~ Jerry Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:03:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok. touche. (0+ / 0-)

            I think it's obvious Dems got their asses kicked in 2010 and there was a lot of whining on the left about single payer.
            I'm not afraid to disagree with MB though, even if it means a million HR's and being thrown into the bowels of Hell.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:19:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What I think really happened is this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DeadHead

            We thought we had achieved a knockout blow to the gop and we relaxed.
            We expected Obama to "magic lefty wand" us into a progressive utopia.
            We let the gop up off the mat and they got a second wind.

            We may have technically "shown up" in 2010, but it was too late to fix things. We should have hovered over the gop/tea party and smacked the shit out of them every time they lifted their head.

            There's lots of blame to go around for 2010. However, the most important thing is to learn the lesson.
            That's why I'm saying we should not get wrapped up in a pointless exercise about whether Obama is "one of us" and we should stay focused on the policy and maintain solidarity on the thing on which we all agree.
            That was the point of my original post.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:29:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  We must have a tally to be counted. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scott5js

        We can't just drop out and not vote, or our votes and our values don't get counted and figured into the political zeitgeist.

        If we all just drop out, then we still have a 45-55 split or something... if we vote for someone else we have a 45-43 split with 13% up for grabs.

        Having our votes up for grabs is important to push politicians into courting us by pushing our policy and values.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Evolution could be brought about by revolution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, ozsea1

      But we need to be careful.  Just replacing one government with another does not necessarily change the societal structures underneath.  A revolution that is achieved through weakening the pillars of a society can bring on evolution but there must be a well though through system that takes place of the old one.

      This is a hard issue.  We will all have to think this through more carefully.  In the meantime by all means get organized.  I can't think of any answer that would not involve mass movements.

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

      by noofsh on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:15:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Revolution ain't gonna happen in this country. (0+ / 0-)

        especially a revolution that would be worth the effort.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:57:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not now. Not yet. It may be delayed, but change (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RosyFinch

          will come.    I think we are in the window where the coming revolution can still be shaped and modified to be a series of less damaging, bearable changes rather than a complete collapse.  

          But you have a good point.  Revolution implies the interest and involvement of the populace, and we're still too distracted to participate.   Ennui to complete collapse might be in the cards.  

          We have to find a way to change.

          •  Change will come. Change comes every day. (0+ / 0-)

            Change never stops happening.

            However, a revolution is not possible short of the worst case scenario of a total breakdown of civilization in this country, which is entirely possible.
            Then, what kind of revolution it will be is anyone's guess.

            I hate to go all "old adult fart" on you, but sometimes slow, steady, tedious, well-thought-out change may be the best.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 02:20:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Lesser Evilism - giving up all policy influence (6+ / 0-)

      This is Game Theory's Prisoner's Dilemma, and the only winning strategy [for influencing policy] is tit-for-tat.  

      Your first move should be cooperative [we've certainly killed ourselves doing that], and after that you do whatever your opponent did last.  You have to be consistent in punishing moves that hurt you, and you have to be consistent in rewarding moves that help you.  

      To get your opponent to cooperate consistently, you have to consistently be willing to get hurt - in single cases - and stay with tit-for-tat.  Forget promises, respond predictably to actions.

      Always supporting the Lesser Evil is the always-cooperating policy, which is a sucker's losing strategy.

      •  I don't think we should restrict ourselves to (0+ / 0-)

        supporting the lesser of two evils.
        We should be working on making it better.
        However, we got into the mess we're in now because too many people didn't vote for the last 40 years and ceded power and responsibility to the lobbyists and the money and the corruptible pols.

        We have to keep making gains with the system and the pols we have, but we also have to do the other things.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:55:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's why (10+ / 0-)

    It's illegal to talk bad about the meat industry

    Why they can sneak a GMO law in a bill and pass the bill.

    Why the American Heart Association says that fats like coconut oil are bad, or that eggs increase cholesterol.   Same is true for the food pyramid.   None of that can be changed because that impacts the profits of huge industries and drug companies.   Cholesterol lowering drugs is big business.

    Same with diabetes.  It's more profitable to make the world fat.  Lot's of money to be made in chronic illnesses.

    All this is the same for every industry.  Oil and Gas will continue to make it so that solar and wind has a hard time making it onto the electrical grid.

    The list goes on.... fracking, pipelines, pensions, 401Ks, minimum wage, etc.

    The best thing we can do is vote with our wallets.  Think about where you spend your money and who is getting it.

  •  Unless you support overturning capitalism.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    owlbear1

    .....you're always going to get shades of gray.

    In a capitalist system, money rules.

    So, just be clear on that. Purity will not win in a capitalist system.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:21:06 AM PDT

    •  That's what we need to think about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, Chi

      Michael Moore sort of copped out in capitalism a love story when he said that democracy replaces capitalism.  I don't think that's an answer.  

      One thoughts:

      Cooperatives - employee owned business.  But this still is a form of capitalism.

      Time sharing - getting away from money and trading time instead.  There are some examples of time sharing out there.

      We need to think on how the system will evolve into something that is more responsive to the mass of human beings.  Otherwise we will be stuck in degrees of quagmire ever fighting those with all the power for scraps.

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

      by noofsh on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:09:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is not "capitalism." This is basically a (9+ / 0-)

      scam, pay-to-play corruption propping up monopolies, oligopolies and business cartels at the expense of the population.

      None of it follow sound economic principles or theories.  It is basically crass corruption.

    •  I suggest that capitalism is less important (6+ / 0-)

      than survival. And unless capitalism gets with the program pretty soon, capitalism will destroy human chances for survival on this planet.  So, honestly, though I prefer a capitalist system, it's actually capitalism itself that's on the ropes here and needs to prove itself--evolutionarily speaking. When it comes down to it, political "reality" and political pragmatism will fall before the inexorable logic of "there's not enough water to drink and farm with." Human civilization is going to start coming apart at the seams unless change starts really soon. And no matter what "capitalism" and its more Randian advocates think, "capitalism" can't survive without human civilization, just as money means nothing outside human culture.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:08:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make a choice (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, ozsea1, Timothy J, k9disc, FG

    Somehow, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, under the sway of the same economic overlords, manage to end up on opposite sides of issues such as voting rights, immigration, abortion and reproductive rights, labor collective bargaining rights,  sex education, guns, LGBT rights, the environment, etc. etc.

    It would seem that the economic overlords who control both parties are satisfied with this state of affairs.  Presumably because it splits the vote that would otherwise unite on economic issues to the detriment of the economic overlords  (though some of the issues on which the parties differ that I've listed above have significant economic consequences).

    I think then, in this worldview,  to unite the 99% of Americans behind an economic program that is not contrary to their interests, and that would be implemented using the force of the 99% behind a Federal Government that they elected despite the economic overlords, you have to come to a compromise.

    I think that compromise would be an ideology and agreement that the Federal Government would not attempt to use its powers in any of the issues I've listed above, and those disputes will be settled state-by-state; and with that agreement Americans can forget the wedge issues that divide them and unite behind a common economic program that is in their self-interest, instead of being against their self-interest so often.

    I think that is a choice you have to make.  Or else you have to count on driving the Republican side of the argument in the wedge issues into a totally impotent minority, and only then will you have the chance of taking on the economic overlords.

    Or else, you have to shed your worldview and see the two parties as different coalitions of various interests, and because of the need for money to run campaigns, increasingly beholden to those who can provide the money.  That suggests a different solution - make people more involved politically so that big money counts for less; and use new technology to find cheaper and more effective ways to reach people than television (television advertising is what requires the big bucks).

  •  The importance of a post like this is (6+ / 0-)

    it makes people think - and possibly re-engage - if nothing else, mentally.  Yesterday I was (am still am to a point) thinking - the hell with it - I'm old, I'm tired of the disappointments, and I don't want to do this activism crap anymore.  It's time to dopr out - withdraw, let somebody else do the work.  While for the most part, this morning, I am still in that place - this reminds me that maybe, with help from friends - all may not be lost.

    I remember the first time I used "the f word" in relation to ALEC on DK.  All kinds of comments that "the f word" shouldn't be used, wasn't appropriate - lots of HR's.  So, I didn't mention it again - one of the reasons I rarely post here on ALEC anymore, cause you can't write about ALEC without using "the f word".  It is your steady and continual voice of reason in relation to this that is slowly but surely creating an awakening.

    Thanks Ray - You have no idea how much I look forward to reading your posts.

  •  interesting theory, however.... (5+ / 0-)

    to make such broad-based generalizations...doesn't seem helpful to me.

    While your conclusions may seem right, in theory, especially as it applies to some Democrats and almost all Republicans, the fact is that these are broad generalizations that do not even apply to all Republicans, let alone all Democrats. They seem to apply to some.

    To broadly characterize all Democrats as being in the same league with Republicans is simply...not accurate, in my opinion.

    You are right, though, that this country (more so here in the U.S. than most other countries) has a deep-seated corruption whereby monied elites can simply purchase their way to influence.

    There are many Democrats who do not fit the description you've mentioned.

    What would be more accurate to me would be the following:

    While most politicians should be approached warily, since we all know that they can, at any time, compromise in order to achieve specific goals (be they personal or policy),
    there has been a tendency by most Democratic politicians to try to represent everyone, including the wealthy elites, but also, at least on occasion, average, everyday, middle class Americans and even, on rarer occasions, the poor of this country. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of Republicans seem only interested in representing the wealthy elites who give them massive amounts of money, with little or no regard whatsoever for the middle class, least of all the poor of this country.

    Neither party is anywhere near where this progressive wants them to be, but at least we stand a fighting chance of enacting progressive legislation with Democratic majorities (not guaranteed, of course), whereas, we stand no chance whatsoever of enacting progressive policies with Republican majorities.

  •  The one thing that scares this old (6+ / 0-)

    warhorse socialist is that things worsen to the point where the vaste majority of people are literally starving to death, and they riot/explode. Example: 1789 France. Add in the fact that this country is flooded w/guns and other lethal weapons. This pattern is activating again. I hope Ray's ideas will help stanch the flood before it breaks. T and R!!

    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

    by orlbucfan on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:57:13 AM PDT

  •  I made this comment last night (10+ / 0-)

    right before going to bed.

    IMO (5+ / 0-)
    In the bigger sense you are right. I see it happening all over the world. In the smaller sense we are making great gains in equality and just general social liberalism.

    I don't mean this in a CT way, but I believe we are in the grips of an oligarchy on a global scale and individual moves by this leader or that Prime Minister or our President will not stop what is essentially Power that has no national allegiance.

    If and when we can actually do something about that we can begin to undo the damage. I may be wrong.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:33:32 PM PDT

    [ Parent | Reply to This ]

    I think we are on the same page.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:06:52 AM PDT

  •  Petitioning does have some impact... (16+ / 0-)

    ...on some issues of importance, just as voting does, just as being in the street grappling the militarized police does. Activists in the aggregate must be engaged at all levels if there is to be any permanent movement against the plutocratic juggernaut we face. There is no single solution. But one thing is for certain, being deeply involved in local politics (that applies to elections but far, far more as well). Local is where innovations arise because opposition there is less powerful and easier (not easy) to circumvent, undermine, co-opt, defeat head-on.

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

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:41:21 AM PDT

    •  People can see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Meteor Blades

      the problems and the results much easier on a local regional level. Money is easier to override as people are affected directly and know, talk about what is going on in their city or community. The myth perpetuated by the national Democratic Party Machine that  'conservative' districts or states can only be won by Blue Dogs and that liberals are unelectable can be overridden in raced not financed or controlled by the Party Machine.

      Here in OR the DCCC and the DNC refused for decades to give money or help to any liberal Dem.candidate that took on Gordon Smith who for decades was sold even by the Dems as a moderate. lol. The higher the office like governors or senate house reps the more difficult it is to circumvent the machine and money. I don't know how we managed to get Merkley elected but locally everyone Dem, I know regardless of their ideological stance was enthusiastic about voting for him. Then there is this...

      The 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly convened beginning on January 14, 2013, for the first of its two regular sessions. All of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives and 16 of the 30 seats in the State Senate were up for election in 2012; the general election for those seats took place on November 6, 2012.

      The Democratic Party of Oregon retained its 16–14 majority in the Senate, and took a 34–26 majority in the House, which in the previous session had been split evenly with the Oregon Republican Party.

         

  •  I'm trying to remember..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Why was Marx's analysis of capitalism wrong again??

    "The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs."-Karl Marx

    by RMD1035 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Corporate Democrats and Limousine Liberals (6+ / 0-)


    are not really Democrats. They are Reagan Republicans. They are like the whites in South Africa in 1979 who sat in theaters eating popcorn and living in gated communities who "in principle" were opposed to the Botha government and intervention in Zimbabwe, but who could not muster the courage or time to do one jot about any of it. While the townships burned and the children of the Zulu died.

    The best aspect of Obama's Grand Deficit Bargain is that he may think he is dealing in "the center" of the American electorate, but he is only awakening the complacent liberals and progressives to the plight of the poor. They have not had Progressive or Liberal support for decades. Now, the Progressives and Liberals have a personal dog in the hunt. Their own economic future. Poverty in old age.

     We may in the future thank Obama for doing what needed to be done all along; shaking the nominal but ineffective Democrats out of their comfortable popcorn eating stupor and making them get off their asses, off their keyboards and into the public arena to do personal and policy battle with the Theo, Neo and Fascisto Republicans.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:50:21 AM PDT

  •  Petition drives, rallies, etc (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, scott5js, 3goldens

    only useful for visibility. Must be combined with other efforts.

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:56:06 AM PDT

  •  This diary is partly wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott5js

    Yes, money and the concentration of media ownership and corporate power have warped our political system, but we still have a grand system if we would only USE it.

    We still have plenty of freedoms. But too many Americans are not active citizens. It's about more than just voting.
    I heard Al Gore talk about this when he was promoting one of his books:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    If FDR was able to make big changes, it was through coalition- building.

    I feel bad how much time I spend reading all the bad news and hand-wringing when I could be  doing more activism such as writing LTEs, etc.

    Fair.org Media Contact Kit:
    http://www.fair.org/...

  •  I'd avoid using loaded terms like "fascist" (2+ / 0-)

    and "corporate overlords" with people who are mostly clueless about all this, because it tends to make them view you as a tinfoil hat wearer. IMO the best way to get people to see what's really going on is to throw facts at them and let them figure it out on their own. People are good at seeing contradictions if they're able to see them for the first time or in a new light.

    But yeah, I agree, getting more people to simply SEE what's going on without partisan or cynical filters is perhaps the single most important thing one can do to stand up to all this. Once that happens, they tend to be less accepting of it.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:26:14 PM PDT

  •  Are you ready to take to the streets yet? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, DelilahOhMy, 3goldens, leema

    I don't understand some of you. This writing was on the wall for months.

    It is our own fault if we chose to hide our heads in the sand like ostriches, digging worms for Obama because we so very much feared Mr. Romney.

    I don't doubt anything the poster says. But there is an automatic "disconnect button" in the American psyche when it is confronted with conspiracy theories. Even the most likely of them do not have majority support.

    Although that doesn't mean it can't be repackaged in a way that IS palatable to the American psyche and temperament.

    But it really doesn't matter in the long run. It doesn't matter if it's the banks, a oligarchy, the Carlyle Group, or the Illuminati, WE THE PEOPLE have the power to change it.

    It may not happen overnight. There may be reversals before victory is achieved, but there is only ONE way we'll ever fix our broken system:

    TAKE TO THE STREETS!

    Organize. Heck, this is the social media age. If we can't pull ourselves together now, with all the tools at our disposal, we're hopeless.

    I can't imagine seniors, who have tons of time on their hands, aren't upset enough to join forces and help.

    Sure, I have no doubt that what the poster says is true, but it's BIGGER than that, because we have the religious crazies in almost every corner of America, if not the world.

    Maybe the oligarchs are jerking their strings too, but it isn't just an economic message that we need, but more.

    FAIRNESS
    EQUALITY
    REASON
    COMMUNITY

    Maybe this needs to be its own diary.

    The last item, community, is key. In this post-post-post world we live in, there's precious little sense of community. Perhaps the biggest reason why the South is as politically potent as it is, is because there, there is still a sense of community among the people who live there.

    Sure, we have DKos, but do I really KNOW any of you? Can I trust you? What about your neighbors, the very people you see regularly. Do you really know them?

    If this is not our moment to galvanize us to take action, then we, as a progressive, liberal base will have failed.

    If we let our leaders cross our lines of sand without a fight, our lines are figments of our own imagination.

    There is still time. Obama's budget is (hopefully) DOA. We can't let this continue. We can't let this stand.

    Organize. Meet. And take to the streets!

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:32:04 PM PDT

    •  I've been looking for YOU! Please see my next (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      equern

      diary... And please join my email list.  Taking to the streets needs to be part of an overall strategy.  I'm with you on this.  Let's stay in touch.

      •  Ray, I like the ideas here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        and I've come to some similar conclusions, but I'm not confident of even the "take to the streets" strategy anymore. Look what happened with Occupy...the "deep security state" no matter the country, will send the dogs out... otherwise known as our militarized police forces and Homeland Security. This is a global problem, we need a global solution. What that is I haven't figured out yet...

        "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

        by valadon on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 02:40:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  On taking to the streets: Will probably come to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        that given the increasing power of the vulturizing Elites and the decreasing wealth of the 99%...but not as long as we remain too comfortable and retain HOPE of regaining a GROWTH economy.   Till then join Progressive Democrats of America....find a local chapter or make one cause if enough of us did that we might find a way to avoid the street chaos.

        Problem is the Growth economy was dependent largely upon the use of now decreasing natural resources and the fossile fuel world killing industry.     Our next economies will need to be much more sustainable if we are to survive as a species & world but it is damn hard for both the Elites and the couch potato and all between to relinquish their comfort zones.   Which is why it will be awhile before they take to the streets!  

        “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

        by leema on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:28:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brother George Carlin was correct all along, and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Ray Pensador

    left us all to soon.

    "Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check, That Your Butt Can't Cash."

    by LamontCranston on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 02:34:56 PM PDT

  •  sounds like you may have seen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, leema

    this TED talk by Lawrence Lessig. It's from February 2013.

    How is taking a hundred dollars worth of food from hungry kids or from old poor sick people equal to taking a hundred dollars from billionaires? -- howabout, 19 Dec 2012

    by billlaurelMD on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:04:09 PM PDT

    •  I've never seen a TED presentation. I'm going to (0+ / 0-)

      check out that link right now.  Either way, this is stuff I've been harping about for over ten years now.

      •  I think it'll strike a chord with you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, leema

        it did with me n/t.

        How is taking a hundred dollars worth of food from hungry kids or from old poor sick people equal to taking a hundred dollars from billionaires? -- howabout, 19 Dec 2012

        by billlaurelMD on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:08:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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