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Also published at raypensador.com

I'm sure many readers are familiar with the quote "In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act."  That has been the case throughout the entire history of civilization, an it is especially applicable today in the United States.  Although the process took several decades, the systemic level of corruption and deception has never been more ingrained.

Artwork Credit: R_Evolution, by Ghillen Marí.
We have crossed the Rubicon and are now living in a veritable corporate state protected by a truth-suppression/propaganda apparatus in the form of the media conglomerate, and a total information awareness surveillance police state.

Aside from plundering and pillaging, the ruling elite (powerful moneyed interests and their subservient lackeys in government) spends an extraordinary amount of effort in preventing us from acknowledging the true nature of the system, and for good reason... It would only take a few thousand people highly organized around this understanding to represent a real threat to the utterly corrupt but tiny ruling elite.

The level of corruption is systemic, and endemic; it engulfs the entire country, one city hall at at time, and it is mainly based on a system of legalized bribery.

Corporate cartels (Wall Street, BigPharma, Big Insurance, Military/Surveillance Industrial complex, etc.) and wealthy individuals basically select who is going to run for public offices (by and large) with unlimited amounts of campaign contributions.  Once the corrupt and treasonous lackeys (a servant, esp. a liveried footman or manservant) in government are in office they proceed to legislate in favor of their rich and powerful patrons.

It is very important we understand exactly what it means to "legislate in favor of these powerful interests:"  It means the enactment of legislation meant to bring about a legal and economic framework specifically designed to strip the citizenry off human and constitutional rights so we can be subjugated and exploited (enslaved) by their paymasters (Wall Street, BigPharma, MIC/Surveillance Industry, billionaires, etc.)

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
Here at home, this tiny group of people running what is essentially a proto-fascist system is beginning to slowly take off its mask, after having finally implemented the oppressive two-tiered justice system, the legal, and the total information awareness surveillance police state frameworks necessary to support it.

Having successfully done that, the country is now revealing itself to be a rogue nation in the world stage--a true in-your-face bully.

This is the true nature of the system, and that's why the tiny group who runs it spends an extraordinary amount of resources in truth suppression methods; in maligning people who try to get the word out... People like Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Jeremy Scahill, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, are truth-tellers, and as such the system tries to malign them and marginalize them.

Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.
And sadly, this corruption, this acquiescence to the will of the ruling class has now engulfed what Chris Hedges calls the "Liberal Elite."
The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told—the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again.  
The emphasis is mine

And this is why, as proto-fascism turns into the real thing, speaking truth to power is going to become increasingly dangerous--unless enough people unite in solidarity, with this common understanding.

Sometimes when I write about this some people misunderstand my intention, thinking that this type of "messaging" may be intended to discourage people from staying engage in electoral politics, or somehow say that there is no hope and that we should just throw in the towel in defeat.

I often wonder if that type of reaction is just one more manifestation of truth suppression, but I digress..

What is my intention when I focus on these things?  It should be obvious to some.  If you have a large number of people believing that the system is not rigged, that although compromised, it still works for the most part, and they act on that (I argue) mistaken belief, failing to put at least some of their attention on the root causes of corruption, then we will continue voting ourselves into outright fascism.

We have to do both... We have to remain fully engaged in politics, not give one inch on anything; we need to campaign, volunteers, hit the streets, put up signs, man phone banks, make contributions to the best candidates, and much more.

Unity & Solidarity


I believe in that; I've done it; I'm a registered Democrat and has been voting straight party line in every election for over 25 years, including mid-term and special elections. I've volunteer to help in campaigns, etc.

But I recognize that because the entire system is compromised by endemic influence-peddling corruption from top to bottom, being involved in the electoral system is not enough; it is hardly enough.

And so I also focus on understanding the sources of corruption at the root level (a life-long process), on trying to understand the exact mechanisms, on trying to unveil the deception employed by the ruling elite in order to keep us from fully understanding the true nature of the system....

Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash

The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.

That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it.

The emphasis is mine

As I think about these things I've come up with three key concepts I think are important to conceptualize: (1) Although there are some democratic aspects of our system, the true nature of it is Oligarchical, a Corporate State; (2) The entire corporate media conglomerate in the U.S. acts as powerful and effective a propaganda apparatus of the ruling elite; (3) The illegal and unconstitutional total information awareness police state's main function is to protect the Oligarchy; the second function is national security.

I argue that those three simple points, if fully understood and conceptualized by a large enough segment of the population, would represent the biggest threat to the corrupt ruling elite because the deception would have been unveiled.

And once people come to understand this, they will act accordingly... In other words, aside from politics as usual, the focus would also be on understanding the true nature of the Oligarchy, where it gets its power from, its funding.  Once one understand that the entire corporate media landscape main effect is propagandist, then one will start protecting him or herself from it.  Once one understands the true nature of the total information awareness surveillance police state, one can then start formulating strategies against the oppression.



P.S. I encourage people to engage in respectful discussion. New Community Guidelines / The 15 Rules of Web Disruption / Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression / Disinformation: How It Works.

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Comment Preferences

  •  silly question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, Nattiq, Matt Z


    why do you post a diary every day with the same two videos?  I have seen three diaries by you in the last several days with the Chris Hedges "Socialist' video and the George Carlin "American Dream" video.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:30:36 AM PDT

  •  Heh, (7+ / 0-)
    And once people come to understand this, they will act accordingly... In other words, aside from politics as usual, the focus would also be on understanding the true nature of the Oligarchy, where it gets its power from, its funding.  Once one understand that the entire corporate media landscape main effect is propagandist, then one will start protecting him or herself from it.  Once one understands the true nature of the total information awareness surveillance police state, one can then start formulating strategies against the oppression.
    It's not a RP diary without the a paragraph that skates riiiiight to the edge of calling for.....well, to maintain the euphemistic tone, "fighting back against oppression"

    It does give me a chuckle though. (Does that make me an enabler of the Oligarchy/MIC?)

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:39:08 AM PDT

    •  asdf (11+ / 0-)

      Does that make me an enabler of the Oligarchy/MIC?

      Maybe. It does make you a little jerky for posting a sarcastic remark rather than something constructive.

      •  It does make me a little bit of a dick (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phenry, raptavio

        As for something constructive, maybe I'll take the plunge along with the diarist.

        Look, I tried to be reasonable...

        by campionrules on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:52:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Without being particularly sarcastic, (9+ / 0-)

        Ray said

        Once one understands the true nature of the total information awareness surveillance police state, one can then start formulating strategies against the oppression.
        Since Ray, by his own admission, does understand this true nature, where, exactly, are his strategies against the oppression? And where are the tactics needed to back up that strategy?

        There is an implication that massive civil disobedience is right around the corner, but the diaries always end one step before calling for that, in what might be termed a wash of euphemism, with nothing much except platitudes as a substitute.

        Since I disagree with him about one or more aspects of the true nature of our current society, I obviously have no standing to have an opinion on his writing, but there it is.

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

        by serendipityisabitch on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:28:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't even know that it entails CD (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch, Chi

          If one believes that we're all under the spell of corporate media propaganda &c., then breaking the spell could free us to engage in many kinds of political action that aren't civilly disobedient, much less violent.

          At least, I think that is more or less the idea. It isn't at all clear how one would get from "a few thousand people highly organized around this understanding" to a transformation of consciousness -- but civil disobedience seems sideways to the problem, unless Ray hopes to monkey-wrench the media, of which I have seen no sign.

          I do suspect that this line of analysis goes nowhere, and that is why the discussion peters out in platitudes.

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:51:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure the discussion even starts. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark, Matt Z

            "the utterly corrupt but tiny ruling elite", if by which we mean the .01%, is still 300,000 people in this country - not counting any global affiliates. Figure in lackeys at, say, a 10:1 ratio, and that's three million people or so sitting up there preying on the rest of us.

            That would have to be one heckofa highly organized "few thousand people" to do the job, whatever it's supposed to be.

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

            by serendipityisabitch on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you mean 0.1%? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch, AoT

              Whatever.

              If one accepts that the first task is simply to turn off (or at least to reject) the propaganda, it doesn't necessarily matter much how many propagandists there are. However, I shouldn't try too hard to figure out what Ray's side of this might be.

              I don't think that one should accept that. Collective action is not a negation of something else, and does not emerge spontaneously through negating something else. I'm not espousing fatalism, exactly, but I don't see an apocalyptic choice between corporatist totalitarianism and popular rule, or whatever it is that I'm supposed to glimpse.

              "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

              by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:48:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that thinking of it (8+ / 0-)

              as some sort of smokey room conspiracy where every person involved has intimate knowledge of every mechanism of the machinery and intention to be a part of a conspiracy. Really it's a matter of competing groups and interests that are setting ground rules that allow them to minimize the number of people who have control over various things. It's achieved by legal means, or mostly legal, because it is achieved by changing the law.

              "the utterly corrupt but tiny ruling elite", if by which we mean the .01%, is still 300,000 people in this country - not counting any global affiliates. Figure in lackeys at, say, a 10:1 ratio, and that's three million people or so sitting up there preying on the rest of us.
              There are somewhere around 4 million people with security access in the US, so your numbers actually fit quite well.

              It seems like some people just can't wrap their brain around the idea that systemic pressures could produce a police state. Like it's always intentional.

              •  Excellent point (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, serendipityisabitch, Chi

                To use a historical comparison, did the Roman Republic collapse due to a conscious conspiracy or because social and economic dynamics undermined it? Was the march towards empire and autocracy the result of intentional design or a confluence of events?

                Or, for a more recent example, was American Independence the goal of the founders from the beginning, or was it something they were driven to as conflicts with the Crown Government arose?

                There are plenty of other historical examples to illustrate the point.

                I have to say that I find the idea that historical developments turn on the actions of manipulative minorities, whether malignant or enlightened, to be equally problematic.

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:07:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  For the record, that's also my interpretation of (8+ / 0-)

                how things work.  I've mentioned this many times before, very explicitly.

                It's a confluence of interests, a cultural phenomena.

                There are some philosophical and movement-type underpinnings behind it, like the impact/influence of The Powell memo, and the different thing tanks funded by wealthy individuals, and the values/worldview espoused by organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, etc.

                The dynamics of this confluence of interests then moves the country towards fascism, since any counter-balance is purposely suppressed, attacked, undermined.

                I've never implied in any way that any of this has anything to do with people colluding in a smoke-filled room, and I've state so multiple times.

      •  My exact thoughts. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, gulfgal98

        That type of "extrapolation" is not helpful or warranted.

    •  Are you implying that formulating strategies (7+ / 0-)

      against oppression means violence? Because I really can't see any other way to read your comment. I guess you consider strikes violent?

      •  Oh No! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buddabelly

        Never violence! Ray would never advocate for a violent action. That would be wrong, right?

        Rather, let's just talk about how when the people are finally freed from their chains they will 'act accordingly'. When the Truth is revealed, people will surely know what is the 'right action' to take.

        We will just use rhetoric to try and whip up and motivate the sheeple of America so that they will eventually 'take action'.

        But no, never violence, rebellion or revolt. Tsk. Tsk.

        Look, I tried to be reasonable...

        by campionrules on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:14:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit (9+ / 0-)

          You're accusing him of wanting violence when he has explicitly said otherwise numerous times. And you are doing so by pretending that there are no non-violent options when there clearly are. Honestly, at this point you are just making shit up and pretty much deserve to be HRed. Of course, since you refuse to actually make an accusation, conveniently doing what you in fact accuse Ray of doing, so you won't get an HR.

          •  And here I thought nuance was lost in Anarchist (6+ / 0-)

            thought. More shame me.

            But any sophistry on my part aside, I really don't think Ray wants to advocate for violence. He aspires to be an agitator - under the classical, less pejorative understanding of that word - and yet despite all the rhetoric and shadowy enemies, he seems to fall somewhat sort.

            It's more amusing that anything.

            Look, I tried to be reasonable...

            by campionrules on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:30:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Have you read much Anarchist thought? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              campionrules, WB Reeves, gulfgal98

              A lot of nuance, seriously. I won't lie and say that passes down to all anarchists, and certainly not the one's you'll see talking on the TV, but it's there. People tend to miss it because of the rejection of various "truisms" that a lot of people take for granted. At this point I think most modern anarchist writings is just nuance with a lot of assumptions that don't get discussed. Which is true of any group really. Violence, what it really is and all that, being one of the assumptions we don't discuss here.

              •  Yes, actually (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Matt Z

                I would agree that there is plenty of fascinating philosophical underpinnings to the various anarchist theories. Unfortunately, some of the loyal practitioners who have assumed the mantle of 'anarchy' seem to be doing the whole lot of you a grave disservice.

                Most groups have these unfortunately, but anarchist just don't tend to have a large enough group to moderate it. But then again, the various anarchist philosophies are hardly a movement, let alone unified.

                Look, I tried to be reasonable...

                by campionrules on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:02:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hmm (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  campionrules, Ray Pensador, gulfgal98

                  Why did you bring anarchism into this discussion? While some of us are anarchists, Ray is not.

                  Speaking of nuance and innuendo:

                  Unfortunately, some of the loyal practitioners who have assumed the mantle of 'anarchy' seem to be doing the whole lot of you a grave disservice.
                  And who would these "loyal practitioners" be? Most anarchists writing today are rather well respected, from what I observe. Or are you referring to the few window breakers written about by the press coverage of OWS?
                  Most groups have these unfortunately, but anarchist just don't tend to have a large enough group to moderate it.
                  Moderate what? Using chalk on sidewalks in front of banks? And how? Follow around the small few who want to protest by breaking bank windows and physically stop them, using violence and force? Turn them over to the corrupt, capitalism-serving judicial system to be incarcerated for possibly a decade over a broken window? No, thank you.

                  Now, if only Dems would moderate themselves by opposing the police violence against peaceful protesters which far, far eclipses the tiny fraction who damage a window here and there. And if only Dems would moderate the war mongering party that they support enough to stop the extrajudicial massacres of innocent civilians.

                  But then again, the various anarchist philosophies are hardly a movement, let alone unified.
                  Anarchist thought basically comes in two broad forms, Individualist anarchism (a smaller strain within anarchism) and social anarchism. Both of these are anti-capitalist and oppose wage slavery. Social anarchism is by far the most widely followed form, and represents most anarchists. Among this group, there are various forms of social anarchism offered as ways to structure a participatory community, but all are agreed to abolishing private ownership of the means of production and adopting a horizontal, egalitarian, bottoms up organizational structure.

                  So anarchism is actually far more unified than you suggest. And it is a growing movement, with many new members who are organizing.

                  Oh, and anarchists don't generally accept right wing corruption of the term anarchism, as expounded by self-described 'anarcho-capitalists" as being part of the traditional movement, since anarchism means without hierarchy, without oligarchy (forms of authority found in so-called "anarcho-capitalism").

                  And as to violence, lack of unity, and bad elements within a movement, the Democratic Part is much more representative of these than anarchists.

                  Most democrats have excused the massive violence waged by the State when it's under under Democratic leadership (such as the war crimes of failing to prosecute torturers, deliberate drone bombing of innocent civilians).

                  And lack of unity among dems is seen right here on this site.

                  Bad elements espousing violence, caving to Wall Street, while oppressing the citizenry with surveillance, curtailing speech and freedom of assembly are rather prominently supported by the rank and file Dems.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:54:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Flouting the DBAD rule ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              you're on the margins.  

      •  Actually, AoT (0+ / 0-)

        I've been on many picket lines, including the Greuhound and Teamster freight and grocery strikes, and yes, strikes are occasionally violent, especially large strikes involving hundreds or thousands of workers:

        The ILWU picketing against EGT.

        The Phelps-Dodge, Greyhound, Staley, I-Paper, and Boise Strikes.

        The Teamster nationwide freight strikes.

        The Massey and other coal strikes.

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

        by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:32:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But advocating for a strike is not (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, WB Reeves, ZhenRen, Chi, gulfgal98

          advocating for violence. There's a world of difference and we all know it.

          •  If a person advocates a strike, AoT (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch

            under a protofascist regime,  they are advocating either violence or a bloody defeat, in my opinion.

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

            by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:55:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That would be under a fully fascist regime (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              6412093

              There are plenty of strikes that aren't violent. I guess you could argue that a general strike would end up with violence, but that would more likely be from the owners than the people involved.

              •  I am trying to see (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch, AoT, Matt Z, Sylv

                the current political situation through your eyes and the diary's author's eyes.

                The analysis is that our political avenues are inherently and hopelessly corrupted and not available for redress.

                Nonetheless a potential solution is that we will be allowed to win a peaceful strike, even a large strike that would transfer considerable wealth from the privileged to the workers.

                Do you understand why I feel a disconnect between the analysis and the potential solutions?

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

                by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:27:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, thanks for the clarification (0+ / 0-)

                  I think some sort of violence from one side or the other is inevitable to some extent. In fact to do nothing means that mass violence continues in it's current form, be that our brutally violent prison system or the violence of millions of people removed from their homes by foreclosures. Resisting only makes the violence of the people in power more obvious, fascism or not.  I'm not sure what you call a country that brutally oppresses a specific group because of that groups race except fascist, although it doesn't fit exactly. Because that's what we do. Some people want to pretend that because I can say we do that it suddenly is repressive or a police state, but I call that nonsense. Violence is endemic in our system and almost certainly any significant structural change will be resisted by the system with violence. But not every strike involves violence, plenty are small scale enough that they aren't threatening enough to elicit a response. If there was a general strike I can guarantee the government or corporations would use violence. Whether that means using violence in self defense is debatable, but I don't think advocation for protecting yourself is a bad thing.

                  •  Thanks, AoT (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    for the detailed response.  The last time I participated in similar discussions, in about 1968-72, often folks did not pay adequate attention to our country's political nuances in their analyses, and in my opinion that led to some leftists making poor decisions.

                    So I'm concerned now, at matching an accurate analysis, with appropriate solutions.

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

                    by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:40:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  With this implied definition (7+ / 0-)

              any act of standing up for rights and justice is an act of violence. Meanwhile, the violence of the state is being ignored. Are you against any form of self defense? Is self defense violence?

              By your definition, weren't Martin Luther King and Gandhi (influenced by Tolstoy, a Christian anarcho-pacifist) violent? They stood up to systemic oppression, and the authorities fought back with violence.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:53:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Both MLK and Gandhi (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch

                both has political redress, MLK to the federal government, and Gandhi lobbied the British parlimentary system and also the British citizens.

                In both cases they brought political pressures against their oppressors.

                My impression from the diary's political analysis is we are facing a situation more like Nelson Mandela faced in South Africa, than what MLK and Gandhi confronted.

                Do you think I understand this diary correctly? I'm not being snarky.  I'm trying to accurately summarize this and other diaries' contentions.

                In this and similar diaries, I've read that political solutions in this country are inherently impossible because our representatives are corrupted and indirectly bribed.

                 And without political redress, what are we supposed to do?  The responses to comments suggested I go back and read older diaries for the solutions.  The only plain solution I remember, were on-line calls for "flash mobs" to block traffic and so on.

                Oh, believe me, I'm all for self-defense, and unfortunately self defense could be violent, especially against a protofascist regime.  

                Most of the time, in labor situations, I won't encourage a strike if I think the workers aren't up to that stressful challenge, even absent violentce, even if they are talking great abuse from the boss.

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

                by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:38:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's nice you've been reading my diaries with (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen, gulfgal98

                  such interest... I've written 454 diaries so far the peaceful protest tactics is just of the many topics I've discussed.

                  So let me help you out so at least we don't have to go over the same thing next time around since your question would have been clearly answered...

                  First, let me state that all your impressions about this diary, as you describe them, are totally wrong.  Although it is absolutely astonishing how anybody would come up with those impressions, as I continue interacting here with folks, one must always err on the side that the misccharacterization is born out of error; out of a genuine attempt at understanding the theme of what has been written...

                  Let's start with this:

                  Sometimes when I write about this some people misunderstand my intention, thinking that this type of "messaging" may be intended to discourage people from staying engage in electoral politics, or somehow say that there is no hope and that we should just throw in the towel in defeat.

                  [REDACTED]

                  What is my intention when I focus on these things?  It should be obvious to some.  If you have a large number of people believing that the system is not rigged, that although compromised, it still works for the most part, and they act on that (I argue) mistaken belief, failing to put at least some of their attention on the root causes of corruption, then we will continue voting ourselves into outright fascism.

                  We have to do both... We have to remain fully engaged in politics, not give one inch on anything; we need to campaign, volunteers, hit the streets, put up signs, man phone banks, make contributions to the best candidates, and much more.

                  So it can't be more clear than that...

                  In the nation's history we've faced similar situations, much of them chronicled in "The People's History of The United States," and other historical accounts.

                  In times of extreme corruption and oppression it has always been the case (without fail), that citizens, social justice activists, have engage in both, the political process, and putting pressure on the system from outside of the political process.  That was what the late 1800's, early 1900's progressive movement was about, and that was what the labor movement and the civil rights movement were about.

                  I'm actually very hopeful, very optimist in the capability for people to free themselves fro the choke-hold of the oppression by the few.

                  That hope, that believe in the irascible human spirit is what keeps me motivated, is what energizes me.

                  The thing about making sure a large enough segment of the population are fully aware of the actual situation at hand, i.e., awakened the reality of the situation, is what all social justice activists try to do, at whatever level...

                  There is a Malcom X quote I often use, that goes something like this: "The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals.  You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action."

                  Actually that quote perfectly fits with the theme of this diary, and with most of what I write.

                  Here's a little historical background:

                  So in closing, I don't think you'll be confused when it comes to my intentions when you visit all my diaries in the future to share your insights...

                  I'm very hopeful, very optimist about the capacity of the people, the citizenry to make a much needed course correction, both within the system as it is, and from without by putting pressure on the corrupt actors (the same way it has always been).  I don't advocate violence of any kind, and will never do.  I don't believe that there is group of people who meet secretly in a smoke-filled room to hash out conspiracies against the people...

                  I think the problem arises from a confluence of interests, and that has led to a breakdown of the mechanism to prevent oligopolistic predatory practices by those in power.

                  It's a cultural phenomena, something that took decades... There are philosophical influences, like The Powell Memo, and billionaires-funded think tanks, and the effects of corporate media conglomeration, etc.  It's cultural.

                  Now, we need to address these things and fix them, just like we've always have.
                   

                  •  Hi brother Ray (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ZhenRen, mahakali overdrive

                    Thank you very much for your response. I may not have read all 400-odd of your diaries, but I've read many of them.

                     I appreciate your references to statements that you support political actions including phone banking.  

                    Yet I'm troubled because that support is co-mingled with narratives like this:

                    They have ... (snip)  bought off the Democratic Party ... (snip) With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.
                    So on one hand the diary states incremental reform is eviscerated, and the Democrats are bought off.

                    And on the other hand, you urge full throated support for those presumably bought off Democrats, and pursuit of incremental reform.

                    You cite the "Peoples History" for examples of potential responses to today's erosion of our rights.

                    What I remember most from the "Peoples History" are the accounts of the big strikes; Pullman, Homestead, and so on.

                    Is there a portion of the Peoples' History that strikes you as particularly relevant to our current times?  Do you have a favorite chapter or portion of the Peoples History that speaks strongest to you?

                    I'm referring to you as Brother Ray, because that was once a requirement at union meetings when responding/criticizing to another members' views.

                    It helped remind everyone that we are all brothers and sisters, despite our disputes, and we need to speak respectfully to each other.

                    Of course, not everyone who calls you a "brother" these days is an ally, but I'm not utilizing that salutation here as a sarcastic adjective, as some may think.

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

                    by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:34:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Graeber on violence: (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, 6412093, Ray Pensador, codairem, gulfgal98

              Graeber (author, anarchist, anthropologist), writes a very good piece on violence here in this article (I provided an excerpt on Gandhi, but the entire article is a great read):

              Actually, why limit ourselves to Egypt? Since we are talking about Gandhian tactics here, why not consider the case of Gandhi himself? He had to deal with what to say about people who went much further than rock-throwing (even though Egyptians throwing rocks at police were already going much further than any US Black Bloc has). Gandhi was part of a very broad anti-colonial movement that included elements that actually were using firearms, in fact, elements engaged in outright terrorism. He first began to frame his own strategy of mass non-violent civil resistance in response to a debate over the act of an Indian nationalist who walked into the office of a British official and shot him five times in the face, killing him instantly. Gandhi made it clear that while he was opposed to murder under any circumstances, he also refused to denounce the murderer. This was a man who was trying to do the right thing, to act against an historical injustice, but did it in the wrong way because he was “drunk with a mad idea.”

              Over the course of the next 40 years, Gandhi and his movement were regularly denounced in the media, just as non-violent anarchists are also always denounced in the media (and I might remark here that while not an anarchist himself, Gandhi was strongly influenced by anarchists like Kropotkin and Tolstoy), as a mere front for more violent, terroristic elements, with whom he was said to be secretly collaborating. He was regularly challenged to prove his non-violent credentials by assisting the authorities in suppressing such elements. Here Gandhi remained resolute. It is always morally superior, he insisted, to oppose injustice through non-violent means than through violent means. However, to oppose injustice through violent means is still morally superior to not doing anything to oppose injustice at all.

              And Gandhi was talking about people who were blowing up trains, or assassinating government officials. Not damaging windows or spray-painting rude things about the police.

              Emphasis is mine

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 05:13:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, Zhenren (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen

                for the excerpt. Interesting reading.

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

                by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:40:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like to see more cognizance (4+ / 0-)

          and concern over the police violence of the State against free association of workers (a human right) in the State role of protecting the owner class and its enslavement and exploitation of workers, than the few random acts of push back and resistance that spontaneously erupts from oppressed people.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:13:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's a good thing (0+ / 0-)

      To have more diaries where the tone comes as close as possible to the edge you refer to without the user getting banned.  (And perhaps it would be a good thing to have a corner of the internet somewhere else where people do not face that restriction.)

    •  Thanks for your insights. I'm firmly against (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, churchylafemme

      advocating violence of any kind.  I've written many, many times that I find the idea of advocating violent revolution against what I consider to be an increasingly fascistic system armed to the teeth, ruling over a docile population utterly absurd, and naive.

      What the system is not equipped to deal with is with the concept of consciousness awakening by a large enough segment of the population.

      It is not equip to deal with a highly organized social justice movement that operates at a national (and international) level, that is highly focused and disciplined, and that is able to act in concert...

      This type of social justice movement, if it becomes highly cohesive and organized would represent the biggest threat to the hegemony.

      I've written several diaries with very specific suggestions about possible courses of actions--all peaceful.

      And I will continue to do so.

      Again, never will I advocate anything remotely violent, or illegal.

  •  If you are talking about (30+ / 0-)

    this country, the Rubicon was crossed when landed gentry made the rules back in the 1600s forward.  The Rubicon was crossed when the Constitution was drafted.  The Rubicon was crossed when blacks didn't actually "win" in the Civil War.  The Rubicon was crossed when the RR barons ruled the roost.  The Rubicon was crossed in 1927 when the bankers blew the levees in New Orleans to save the banks and drown the poor.  The Rubicon was crossed in the roaring 20s.  The Rubicon has been crossed with every fucking war/"conflict"/intervention we've been involved in.  

    We've crossed the Rubicon so many times we should have a regatta -- if it weren't so shallow.  Crossing the Rubicon means a point of no return -- and yet, we start at GO over and over and over again.

    Fascism, proto-fascism, neo-fascism, doodeeheadism are facile terms.  The world has been run in this manner forever.  The reason Orwell could equate truth telling to revolutions is because he wasn't sitting in front of a computer.  He personally knew about folks in the streets being killed by their governments -- our government -- for wanting their rights recognized via telling the truth.

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

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:40:49 AM PDT

  •  perspective (5+ / 0-)

    Once you release the "truth" into the world you lose control over how it gets digested by your audience and that's where the shit gets surreal.

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

    by jbou on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:51:01 AM PDT

    •  And the truth (8+ / 0-)

      does remain subjective to time and space and who writes the review.

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

      by gchaucer2 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:15:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps chaos is a good thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou

      If you want to knock down oppressive institutions, perhaps you need to kindle a populist wildfire that becomes a general conflagration that metaphorically (or perhaps not so metaphorically) blows everything up so that you can raze everything and build anew.

      I currently flirt with the idea that there can be no true reform unless we reach a situation where the consensus is that the system is so broken that we pretty much have to scrap the Constitution completely and start over without any guarantees that any right recognized by the old regime will carry over to the new regime.

  •  I think most people recognize that we do not (12+ / 0-)

    live in a true democracy.  Ask about anybody if the rich control our politicians and they'll say yes.  That's a big part of why the approval rating of Congress is perpetually in the teens now.  That's why Occupy was such a thing, the 99% vs 1% theme was hard to argue with.  That was two years ago and as we saw recently, the rich keep getting richer and the wars keep piling up.  We're still at the age old question of what the hell can we do about it.  Mother Jones over 100 years ago called for Hellraisers.  That's what we need now, more hellraisers.  
    The propaganda fed to the public is incredible.  Most people understand the concept but can't recognize it when they see it.  It's very difficult if you don't wean yourself off the mainstream/state media and seek out alternative sources of information, i.e., the real truth.  This Syria war is a prime example.  

  •  What's that one thing? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm confused about what your title is referring to. Is it the truth? Because it seems to me that pretty much everyone knows that corporations run the government, or at least that they have a massive amount of influence on writing legislation.

  •  Rephrased (8+ / 0-)

    The one thing that they are afraid of is that we will start using government for our benefit -- the common good -- in the way that they use it for their own benefits -- the private good.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:21:28 PM PDT

  •  On that quote.. (6+ / 0-)
    House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it.
    That is very informative, is there a copy of the vote breakdown that can be sorted by state so we could circulate it?  TIA

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:27:14 PM PDT

  •  Something that needs pushing-back on (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Ray Pensador, PhilK, 3rdOption, gulfgal98

    In every sphere of our political discussion, is this idea that people are working in secret, on our behalf, doing things we'd rather not know about.

    That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it.
    The blunt fact is, if our government is spending our tax dollars, we have a right to know on what, and how much.  End of discussion.  There can be no super-secure, secret, bullshit going on anymore.  It is OBVIOUS AS ALL HELL that the reason that stuff is secret is because it is illegal, immoral, vile, and despicable and it would embarrass the hell out of the people doing it if they were paraded around on the evening news with their "accomplishments" of despicable infamy.

    When I hear "top secret" or I hear things are so dangerous I'd just shit my pants, I immediately think "bullshit you are stealing something, killing someone, lying, or trying to get away with a scam that would put you in jail if it were revealed."  I NEVER give anyone the benefit of the doubt when I read or hear that some person does all this altruistically for my own good.

    We have to stop allowing our government to disguise or hide what it does from us under the rubric of national security.  I am completely convinced that it is utter horseshit, and that there is no "national security" behind all of that cloak-and-dagger garbage.

    Sunlight.  Now.

  •  hate to burst your bubble (8+ / 0-)


    but the 'Orwell' quote is of dubious origin.  It does not appear in any of Orwell's writings.  Ref;  Wikipedia discussion - no authoritative source for your quote.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:18:36 PM PDT

    •  You got me looking, too. The most interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      source I found was this one: http://quoteinvestigator.com/...

      The most that can be said is 'ascribed to', not 'by'.

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

      by serendipityisabitch on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:43:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Certainly within the spirit of Orwell's writing, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, ZhenRen, lostinamerica

      if not actually written by him. You see it "quoted" many places.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:02:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's so hopeful that I doubt he would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, WB Reeves

        write something like it. And it's so broad. He didn't have a lot of those sort of aphorisms really.

        •  Here's a quote I found about the "quote" (6+ / 0-)

          Quote Investigator:

          The origin is unclear, but it is possible that the statement began as a proposed summary of Orwell’s position, and it was later incorrectly converted into a quotation.
          I'm not arguing at all, because I do think you have a very good point about Orwell's style and method.  

          It seems, perhaps, someone who had read his work used the phrase as a summary of his work.... and then it became a "quote."

          In 1984, with pervasive double-speak, telling the truth was certainly a revolutionary act.  And, in 1984, double-speak was a time of universal deceit about anything and everything.  

          So, it works as a summary and I'll declare myself "Right" and "King of the Hill" as being "in the spirit" even though it may not be a real quote. Bwahahahaha

          Please note I'm just being silly. I really don't care to argue about this at all. I guess I have too much time on my hands today. And, plus, you're "Right" too, but sorry, NOT "King of the Hill."   Only one at a time. ;-)

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:01:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's pretty interesting how this discussion about (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lostinamerica, AoT, YucatanMan

            the author of the quote started... Thanks for your input.

          •  Just a quick note (5+ / 0-)

            along the same lines of quotations that tend to 'drift'. There is no "double-speak" in Nineteen Eighty-Four: there is "doublethink" and "Newspeak".

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:16:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In Spain (1936-1939) (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, AoT, YucatanMan

            speaking the truth was a revolutionary act. Orwell experienced the threat of that first hand, by the propaganda campaign waged against the POUM, the organization behind the militia that Orwell joined to fight against the fascists.

            The Stalinist influenced communists allied with the Republican army spread malicious lies that the POUM and the Anarchists were in league with the fascists.

            Orwell fled Spain in fear for his life, since the Republicans and the Stalinists were out to apprehend him to imprison and possibly execute him.

            Thus, speaking what to Orwell was the truth, in his support for a revolutionary egalitarian society, nearly cost Orwell his life. The Republican forces and the Stalinists were ostensibly for liberating the people, except they were willing to oppress the people using lies, torture, and murder to maintain power.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:16:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the history angle. The Spanish Civil (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              War was a fascinating preview to what was to come. Sounds like Bush/Cheney acolytes were running the Spanish Republicans back then too:

              they were willing to oppress the people using lies, torture, and murder to maintain power.
              I hope none of our wars today - Iraq? - Afghanistan? - are previews of a future larger war to come.  That's one of the biggest reasons I oppose involvement in more wars, particularly in flashpoints like the middle east. It often doesn't take all that much for them to explode into much larger conflict.  

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:08:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is certainly in the spirit of his view (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, AoT

        So many ignore Homage to Catalonia and thus miss a very big insight into what shaped Orwell's thinking.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:22:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're well into conspiracy theory territory (4+ / 0-)
    We have crossed the Rubicon and are now living in a veritable corporate state protected by a truth-suppression/propaganda apparatus in the form of the media conglomerate, and a total information awareness surveillance police state.
    And there goes Icarus flying just a little bit closer to the sun.

    I've seen some hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're about twenty minutes

    by harrylimelives on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:07:32 PM PDT

  •  The same diary over and over. Seems like a (0+ / 0-)

    propaganda ploy repeating the same thing over and over and a over again. I guess if you repeat something enough people start believing it. Or not.  

    When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:40:00 PM PDT

    •  or people read the same diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, DeadHead

      over and over and still keep their heads buried and don't face facts.
      Why don't you refute the things Ray brought up instead of posting a comment that says nothing?  
      Can you really say that our government is working for the PEOPLE and not the ELITES, CORPORATIONS.  
      How has Obama made the lives that were ruined under Bush better?  
      People are still getting thrown out of houses.
      Millions need food stamps.
      But the rich are richer and we haven't gotten any relief.
      Compare Obama's presidency to Clinton's.
      I see corporations getting more power v
      More sreas are being opened up for drilling and fracking.
      We are soon to have our own tar pits here around UT.
      More invasions by drones creating more wealth for the defense companies.
      Monsanto and other powerful corporation heads appointed to his cabinet.
      More Freedoms lost with more Acts. Especially the NDAA, which means you can be disappeared.
      Think it won't happen?  
      Then why was it written on Obama's order?  
      The TPP is giving foreign corporations a lot of power.
      You should reread his diaries, listen to what he is saying and wake up.

      Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

      by snoopydawg on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:07:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The same comment over and over (0+ / 0-)

      thestructureguy never adds anything useful to the conversations taking place within Ray's diaries.

      He just posts the same comment whining about the diary he was forced to open and read.

      He figures if he keeps posting that same comment over and over again, people might start to give a fuck what he thinks.




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

      by DeadHead on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 12:23:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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