Archive for the American Freedom Agenda Category

The struggle is not between left and right – it’s between democracy and corporatism

Posted in activism, AFA, AFC, alternative, alternatives, American Freedom Agenda, American Freedom Campaign, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, civil liberties, class, collapse, common ground, consciousness, conservative, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, fascist, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, imperialism, inspiration, left, liberal, money, national democracies, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, Patrot Act, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, social theory, sovereignty, sustainability, the right, Uncategorized, war, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2011 by jtoddring

We must unite the people now, or the people and democracy both will lose

Not only are partisan loyalties and divisions increasingly irrelevant and out-moded, but divisions along ideological lines of left and right are also outmoded and largely obsolete. The major parties function as rubber-stamp agencies, spin doctors and propagandists for the same ruling corporate elite, as the majority of people are now very aware. Romney and Obama, the Republicans and the Democrats represent two wings of the same corporate-run machine. Obama’s record is clear. I cannot possibly support him. Handing billions to banking elites, pushing for immunity for banking elites, expanding war overseas, refusing to challenge the Patriot Act, supporting torture, renditions, the continued destruction of civil liberties…How much evil is too much to be considered acceptable as the lesser of two evils? He is not remotely supportable in good conscience. Supporting a lesser of two evils is no longer tenable or conscionable, if it ever was. But to return to the central point, partisan zealotry and ideological fixations hinder us, and obstruct the way forward. Likewise, ideological factions and ideological partisanship and divisions will only impede us from the task at hand. The task is to unite the people so that they can reclaim their democracy and their future. If we fail to understand this most crucial point, then we have lost before we have begun, and nothing of significance will be accomplished, save for the familiar chanting of “We’re in the right! You’re wrong! (Or evil, or stupid, etc.)” – while the world and our future continues to burn. On this most central point we must be perfectly clear, or we will see no change for the better, but only a continued accelerating slide into a dark age of neo-feudal corporatism, the complete and final destruction of democracy and human rights, further environmentally suicidal behaviour, and a two-tiered society of corporate rulers and pillaged underclass.

The wealthiest 1% of the population now controls more than 30% of the wealth of America – more than the bottom 50% of the people. The biggest six banks on Wall Street now control 60% of the wealth of the country. The people are being pillaged and looted. They must defend themselves and reclaim their future and their country.

We must stand now to reclaim our democracy. And standing we are. The central question now is not whether we are left or right, Democrats or Republicans, liberals, conservatives or progressives, but whether we are populist democrats, standing up for rule of the people, by the people, for the people, or whether we prefer a corporatocracy in which the richest 1% rules over the rest, and democracy and justice, the prosperity and well-being of the other 99%, the environment, human rights, our civil liberties and our future are systematically destroyed.

The old battle lines of right and left are no longer as relevant today as they once were. The primary struggle is not between right and left, but between the vast majority of the people who support and favour constitutional democracy, be they liberal, conservative or progressive, and the ruling corporate elite and super-rich one percent who have usurped far too much power, and have come to dominate the economy, the media and the political process. What is needed is for the people to reclaim their power and their democracy. In order for that to be achieved, it is absolutely necessary that the people unite.

Everyone who favours constitutional democracy over rule by the corporate elite, or any kind of elite, must unite now, in order that democracy can be reclaimed by the people. Once the people have reclaimed their democracy, then we can discuss and debate everything under the sun, democratically, and go from there. Until we have reclaimed our democracy from the corporate elite who now dominate economy, the media and the political process, the point is moot, for we are stone-walled.

If we wish for justice, for peace, for environmental sanity, for human rights and constitutionally protected civil liberties, or for prosperity and well-being for all, then we must above all, and before anything else, reclaim our democracy: and in order to do that, the people will have to unite.

What has been said before is entirely and extremely relevant now: “We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately. United we stand, divided we fall.” (Benjamin Franklin) If the people do not unite, they will be unable to reclaim their democracy from the corporate elite who have usurped it; and if the people do not reclaim their democracy, then there will be an even darker time ahead for the people and for the world. These are the simple facts which we now face.

It`s time for us to reclaim our democracy. Unite the people now.

JTR,
October 6, 2011

Reclaiming democracy for the common good – and for the survival and future of our children: the political economy of environmental sanity and democratic renewal

Posted in activism, AFA, AFC, alternative, alternatives, American Freedom Agenda, American Freedom Campaign, analysis, books, capitalism, Chomsky, class, climate change, common ground, consciousness, conservation, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, democratic deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, Eric Fromm, fascism, Feudalism, fossil fuel, geopolitics, global warming, globalism, globalization, imperialism, inspiration, money, must-read, national democracies, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, oil, peak oil, people's movements, philosophy, police state, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, politics of oil, post-carbon, reading, renewable, resources, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, sustainability, the world's other superpower, tipping point, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by jtoddring

September 27, 2011, the Global Footprint Network declared as Earth Overshoot Day: the day that humans have used up all renewable resources available for the year. Not good. This obviously cannot continue. Limitless growth in material consumption and “production” clearly cannot be sustained on a finite planet. (We can have limitless growth in culture, the arts, science, the mind, spirituality and quality of life, but not in material production and consumption.) We are depleting our collective inheritance: which should rightfully be shared equitably, through democratic popular control of the commons to which we all share usafructory rights – despite our present unjust and unwise socio-economic, legal and cultural norms – as well as used wisely and compassionately, and not squandered. We are rapidly draining nature’s capital, to put it in crass economic terms, which are the only terms most politicians and pundits and corporate elites seem to understand. We are racing towards ecological bankruptcy at an ever-accelerating rate, and will see our children live as beggars in an ocean of toxic waste if we don’t change our course, and fast. Of course, most people – aside from the business and political elite – understand this by now. But awareness is not enough. It is high time for much more serious action.

“Climate change — human-made global warming — is happening.  It is already having noticeable impacts…. If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable…. It is time for all of us to get Tea-Party-angry about what our political system has become and about the intergenerational injustice being perpetrated on young people.”
– NASA’s leading climatologist

Addressing the present and rapidly escalating environmental crisis which humanity undeniably faces will require more of us than a simple act of recycling or “buying green.” It will require, above all, a restoration and a renewal of democracy – a reclaiming of democracy from the ruling and highly pathological corporate elite. We must reclaim our democracy, or the earth will not be a habitable place for any human beings to live, in just a few short decades or less. If you want a future for humanity on this planet, reclaim your democracy now, or there will be none. This is the reality of our time. Let us do what needs to be done.

Why don’t we have a massive infusion of investment of public funds in clean, renewable energy? Because the big oil, gas and coal companies don’t want it: they are profiting from the status quo, they have a vested interest in the status quo, so the answer is an emphatic, “No.” If we shifted the subsidies that are presently given out to the oil, gas and coal giants, and put it into clean, renewable solar, wind, co-generation and geothermal energy instead, we would be making rapid progress, by leaps and bounds every year, not only in greening our energy and transportation systems and becoming a truly sustainable society, but also in terms of energy self-reliance, economic strength and job creation. But Exxon and company have our politicians by the, um, purse strings: and so they pull the strings, and we the people, as well as the earth, lose out.

Why are we the people being treated as guinea pigs while the earth is being treated as a laboratory, when hundreds of responsible scientists have warned that genetically engineered foods and crops pose serious and largely unforseeable dangers to human health and the environment, and that such practices are unethical, irresponsible, highly imprudent, highly reckless and highly dangerous? The majority of people are rightly wary about genetically modified food and crops, and are generally opposed to these: but the biotech giants have the clout in our political arenas; they pull the purse strings of our politicians, and so, what big money wants, big money gets –  democracy and the people be damned.

Why don’t we shift our tax system from taxing employment through payroll taxes, which works directly against job creation, and also shift the tax burden off of small and medium businesses, the poor and the middle class, and instead tax pollution, thus easing the burden on the majority of families and businesses while creating incentives to pollution reduction? We don’t have sane and effective, just and fair and environmentally sensible tax laws, because while this would benefit the great majority of the people, create jobs and economic vitality, help clean up the environment and steer us in the direction of true sustainability – while improving the quality of our air, soil, food and water and also strengthening small business – it is not what the corporate giants want: so again, it is a no go.

Why do we not have a smog tax for vehicles that get less than 30mpg, and a government rebate for vehicles that get better than 40mpg or have ultra-low or zero emmissions? Because this would require the auto industry and the car manufacturing giants to improve their standards, and worse, it would mean that the oil companies wouldn’t make their usual obscenely stratospheric profits. Big oil and big auto says no, so again, this is a no-go, and the politicians defer as usual to their masters.

Why do we have massive farm subsidies benefitting mainly the agribusiness,  petrochemical, biotech and junk food giants, and an escalating war on organic farming? As Richard Heinberg has said, petro-chemical industrial agriculture has been nothing short of an ecological catastrophy – it is utterly unsustainable. We need to shift to clean, healthy and sustainable organic agriculture en mass, and as rapidly as possible, just as we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and switch to clean, renewable energy. But do we see a shift in the multi-billion dollar subsidies anywhere on the horizon? No, we do not, and the reason we do not is that the current government policies benefit the petrochemical, biotech, agribusiness and processed food giants. Monsanto, MacDonalds, Nestle and Kraft are making a killing on the existing system, quite literally as well as figuratively, and if they say no, our political elites say, “Ok boss – whatever you say.” Poison the people and the planet, just don’t cut off my re-election financing.

Why was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gutted over the past decade? Because that is what big business wanted, and what big business wants, big business gets – at least unless and until we the people reclaim our democracy, and push back the vested interests of the corporate elite so that democracy can function, and not simply be a hollow shell run by and for the ruling business elite, with little more than a rubber stamp action on the part of the bought and paid for political elite.

It is not widely known, but it is a fact: when the tar sands are counted, and the exaggerated claims of the Saudi reserves are corrected for accuracy, Canada has the largest remaining oil reserves in the world. And while Canada is rapidly expanding its environmentally devastating oil extraction from the tar sands and plans for a new pipeline are being laid to suck the black gold from out under the people’s feet, and the oil companies are raking in many billions of dollars a year in profits, why is it that it is unspeakable and unthinkable to charge a fair and just price for the extraction by these companies in the form of royalty payments made to the Canadian people? When certain Scandinavian countries charge $8 a barrel in extraction fees, paid as royalties to the people of the land, and Canada charges less than a dollar a barrel – while massively subsidizing the already profitable oil giants – something is clearly awry. Why is it that a fair price for extraction of a public resource, a resource of the commons, a resource that belongs to the people, paid to the people in return for the very lucrative opportunity to carry off this national treasure to whomever will pay the highest price abroad, is an utterly inexpressible, unutterable thought, and nary a word is whispered of this most obvious and patently just and sensible notion by the political elite or the mass media? The answer is as clear as the profits are exorbitant: big oil dominates the capital and the political process, and none dare speak the truth that stares us daily in the face, let alone challenge the situation and right the wrong. Raising the extraction rates by seven dollars a barrel would still leave the oil companies with large, fat profits, although admitedly, the tar sands might be less lucrative, and possibly not feasible economically for some few years, until the price of oil rises further on the world stage, as it will. Such a modest and completely justified increase in extraction rates, as decided upon and enacted by a democratic government of the people, by the people, for the people, would flood the public coffers with funds, making ample money available for the development and creation of a clean and green, renewable energy and transportation system for the nation, as well as for social programs such as health care, education, day care and affordable housing. But while this should be an obvious and immediate step that is taken at once to bolster funding for a transition to a green and just society as well as the funding of much loved and overwhelmingly popular social programs, it is not even possible to mention the idea without immediately being excommunicated from the mainstream political discourse, raising the fevered ire of the corporate elite, and possibly risking a burning at the stake. Oil companies rule this fair and gentle land, and once again, the people and the earth be damned.

Why do we not have a massive and much-needed investment by governments in infrastructure, creating not just the groundwork and foundation for an ecological society, but truly enormous job creation and economic stimulus in the process, launching continent-wide energy-efficient light rail, mass transit networks and a clean, renewable solar-hydrogen infrastructure? California put in place the first leg of a hydrogen highway, at a cost of $100 million. For under $20 billion we could have a zero-emmission, clean, renewable solar-hydrogen fuel and transportation network that spans all of North America – this may sound like a lot of money, and it is, but it is just 10% of the annual cost of maintaining the imperial wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone have now cost over $2.5 trillion. That is approximately 100 times the amount needed to build a zero-emmission, clean, renewable, energy self-reliant solar-hydrogen infrastructure for the entire continent of North America. The U.S. federal government has admitted that over $1.2 trillion goes missing every year into black ops – Congress is unable to trace it, but it is acknowledged. Get rid of the military-industrial complex and the CIA and there will be over $1.5 trillion a year for green infrastructure, environmental protection and remediation, and also funds to help the rapidly sinking great majority of the American people and create jobs through such green infrastructure projects. Why don’t we have an enormous and urgently needed green infrastructure program right now? Because vested interests oppose it – because the Wall St. kleptocrats and their political allies have pillaged the nation to the extent that the country is now on the brink of bankruptcy, and more importantly, because the corporate elite insist upon ongoing, astronomically expensive and murderous wars for oil and other natural resources, thus entailing an absolute paucity of funds for anything that matters in terms of ecological sanity or human well-being. Bringing the troops home and ending wars for oil and other natural resources would save more than enough to build a continent-wide clean and renewable, green transportation infrastructure, massively stimulating the economy and creating millions of jobs in the process – and it would still leave many hundreds of billions a year left over for funding schools, health care and other human needs. But we don’t have a green transportation infrastructure on the table, because this is not what the big oil, gas, coal, automotive and military-industrial giants want. Again, the people and the earth lose, because money rules over our politics, and not common sense, human decency, or environmental sensibility or even basic sanity.

Why do we still have millions of people dying and being killed in wars for oil and other minerals, bankrupting the country and draining off critically needed funds that could and should be used to create a green economy and infrastructure, employing millions of people in the process, and pulling the people out of a financial and economic tail-spin? Because the oil and military-industrial complex corporate giants want it this way, and the people and the earth can go to hell, as far as they are concerned – and because Wall St. dictates the policies of Washington, Ottawa, Paris and London. If we want a green economy, a full employment economy, a just economy, an end to poverty, an end to imperial wars, or a future for our children, we will have to wrest control over our democracy from the corporate elite that now dominate it and severely limit and constrain our policy choices.

Our financially dependent political elite are in the pockets of the oil, gas, coal, biotech, agribusiness, petrochemical and other corporate giants, so policies and programs that are good for the environment and for the people are just not on the table – regardless of whether they would be good for human well-being, regardless of whether they would stimulate the economy and create jobs, regardless if they are arguably necessary for human life to continue beyond the next couple of decades on this planet, and regardless of whether the majority of the people want them – which they do. The great majority of people now want stronger environmental policies, programs and legislation – as well as peace, social justice and meaningful democracy, human rights and civil liberties. The corporate giants do not, so the people get the shaft. This is not about being anti-business; it is about democratic control of our environmental policies and programs, our economy and the commons, for the benefit of all. Corporate influence is in the way. They are the barricade in the hall. They must be moved aside – and firmly if necessary.

You don’t have to be anti-business to be opposed to corporate rule, by the way: to be opposed to rule by corporate elites is simply to favour democracy; and frankly, to call it as it is: to oppose fascism. Corporatism, as Mussolini himself defined, is the merger of business with the state. Anyone who values freedom or democracy must therefore oppose corporatism: which is the unchecked power of business elites, and an empire of corporate dominance over all aspects of society, including the economy, politics, culture and the media. To be anti-corporatist is not to be anti-business: it is simply to understand that any form of unchecked power invariably leads to tyranny and the destruction of freedom; and therefore, to be opposed to such unchecked powers by any kind of elite.

You don’t have to be anti-business to oppose the take-over of democratic government by business elites – you simply have to be sane. You can be pro-business and anti-corporatist: and anyone who truly values democracy must, of logical and practical necessity, be anti-corporatist, regardless of their views on business. I am belabouring the point because the corporate-owned and dominated media repeatedly portray any kind of critique of unchecked corporate powers as leftist lunacy. Here is breaking news for anyone who still buys into this red-scare propaganda that lingers from the McCarthy era, like a can of rotting tuna stinking up the entire house and driving the people to nausea and revulsion: people on the right and the left and in the centre politically are, by an overwhelming majority, in favour of constitutional democracy, and opposed to any kind of dominance over the democratic political process by any kind of elite, including the now globally dominant business elite.

“America’s political classes would do well to listen to the grievances of those involved with Occupy Wall Street, for they undoubtedly represent a set of anxieties shared by a great deal of the population. The corporate take-over of the American political process has not gone unnoticed, neither has the disparity between continued Wall Street profits and the cuts to the welfare state. As unemployment continues at high numbers, resentment surely stirs among those whose lives are slowly being drained at the expense of the corporate state. Recently, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that there would be riots in the streets if Washington does not create more jobs, warning of an American Arab Spring.”
– Emily Manuel, In These Times

“There has been a corporate takeover of politics. You have something called ALEC—the American Legislative Exchange Council—where corporations literally will pay huge sums of money to get together with politicians, draft model legislation that is, then put across the US through state legislation, which is easier to pass than federal legislation.”
– Global Comment writer Anna Lekas Miller

Where once we had to wrest power from the church and the aristocracy who were overstepping their bounds, in order to secure democracy, human rights and freedom, we now must wrest power from an unwieldy and overbearing, frankly tyrannical and self-serving business elite – and everybody who is in the least way sane and rational, who is not neck-deep in denial and who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past fifty years, knows it.

Support for constitutional democracy and checks on corporate power, and the resultant or concomitant opposition to corporate rule, now cuts across the political spectrum. The people are no longer fooled by the red-scare tactics, nor by the broader corporate spin which seeks to mask the obvious: the emperor has no clothes, and everybody knows it – corporations have usurped democratic political powers, and are far over-stepping their proper bounds. Conservatives, liberals and progressives alike now understand this, and know this quite viscerally – and are rightly concerned and rapidly running out of patience in the face of an intolerable situation of corporate oligarchy that seeks limitless powers for itself, while undermining every human value and endangering our very survival on this earth.

We now have grassroots populist conservatives such as Ron Paul and Alex Jones, along with Texas Republicans and the Mainstreet Alliance of Small Business Owners saying the same thing as progressives and people on the left: corporations are out of control, pillaging the nation and the planet, threatening democracy and running rampant – and they need to be reigned in; the people must reclaim their democracy. It is clear now that what I had called for four years ago, which is a coalition of the grassroots, a new union of the people to restore democracy, is not only feasible – it is being born. And that is precisely what we need now.

The reality, which virtually everyone knows, is that the democratic governments of the world are now in hoc, in debt, in dependency and in servitude to a globally dominant international business elite; and virtually all of the major political parties are now the servile lackeys to the ruling corporate empire. Meanwhile, the people increasingly see through this whole pathetic charade, and are becoming quite fed up with it.

You don’t have to lean toward the left politically to be opposed to corporate rule: and at the level of the grassroots, people from the right and the left, conservatives, liberals and progressives, are now beyond wary of unchecked corporate powers – and wish to see democracy reclaimed by the people. What is needed now is a coalition of all those who favour democracy over corporate empire and corporate rule. This is beginning to emerge, and none too soon.

The suicidal kleptocracy of our presently reigning global order of neo-feudal corporatism must end – and now, before we extinguish ourselves from this small and beautiful, fragile, little blue planet. Democracy must be restored: and with power returned to the people, where it rightfully belongs, the commons can once again be protected and shared, wisely and judiciously, for the benefit of all.

If we wish for survival, for a future worth living, or for any future for our children and the children of the earth, then it is absolutely necessary that democracy be reclaimed by the people. This is the most urgent necessity of the time. If Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or Voltaire were alive today, they most assuredly would be urging it. We should heed their call, the call of their distant but ever-near voices of reason and common sense, and reclaim our power. Restore democracy now. Bring the power back to the people, and let us begin again.

Let it begin. The great turning is here. A new renaissance is being born. Let us work together to bring about a better future and a better world for all. The power is in our hands. We must simply own it, and acknowledge that it is ours.

We have run out of time for idle chit-chat, partisan zealotry and pleasant euphemisms, for polite evasiveness and meek avoidance of the realities that we face. Let us now renew and reclaim our democracy: and we shall in the process, and by this means only, renew and reclaim the commons, for the common good of all. It is this, or it is a dark age ahead – make no mistake. Make your choice wisely. Our future, and our children’s future, depend upon the choices we make now.

Be bold I say, and let us reclaim our future, and the future of humanity – if not for ourselves, then most certainly and assuredly, for the sake of the children of this earth. Their lives and their future cannot be written off, even if we are willing to write off our own. Act now.

“The other superpower” is beginning to stir: humanity is beginning to awake. And nothing, no reactionary force, can stop the rising tide of an awakened humanity. The future is in our hands. I urge all of us now to embrace that power, and to act together to reclaim our future and our world, by first reclaiming our democracy and our power.

Unite now, and let us restore democracy to its proper place – in the hands of the people. Our future and our children’s future hangs in the balance. Let us not hesitate now – we cannot afford to do so. Let us begin, or begin again with renewed energy and a deepened commitment: for we shall succeed, and humanity shall have a new day.

I would like to end this conversation, which I hope will be only the beginning of an ongoing conversation, and more importantly, the basis of strong, bold and dedicated collective action, with one of my favourite quotations, which seems ever-fitting – and especially so now:

“There is more day yet to dawn.
The sun is but a morning star.”
– Henry David Thoreau

And a second, which is equally powerful, equally apt, and equally appropriate to our time:

“It is within our power now to begin the world anew.”
– Thomas Paine

And one last quote: one that is oft-used, and yet profoundly underappreciated – and also extremely relevant to our time and to the task at hand:

“We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately….
United we stand, divided we fall.”
– Benjamin Franklin

As Arundhati Roy so eloquently and beautifully put it, another world is not only possible: she is already being born. Go now – reflect, read, ponder and discuss: then let us act together to bring in a new day and a new dawn for humanity and this earth. I urge you, act now. It is not too late, and what we do or fail to do now, will decide our future, and the future of humanity.

Above all, unite the people to reclaim their democracy. This is the most pivotal and most urgent of tasks at hand. Unite now, and let democracy reign!

The people will reclaim their power. It has already begun. The writing is on the wall. The corporate empire – the last of a series of empires that have risen and fallen through the past five thousand years of history, the clay feet that David spoke of – is teetering and about to fall. It is a wounded and dying, and still yet a dangerous beast, to be sure, but this latest of empires is now crumbling – even while it flails madly in its death throes to preserve its life and maintain its power, and flaunts its power with brazen disregard and sheer contempt for humanity, democracy and life on earth. Its legitimacy is destroyed, by its own acts of malfeasance and abuse of power; and it is only a matter of time before its final demise. The people should see and clearly recognize the opportunity, and reclaim their power and their democracy now.

Rise now and unite. It is time for the full flowering of democracy, and the healing of this fair earth and all our communities. Unite! And let us take back our democracy, for the benefit of all, and for the future of all life on earth, including our own children, and our children’s children. Act now. The time has come for a new dawn.

JTR,
September 28, 2011

 

See Daly and Cobb, For the Common Good, as a prime example of economics that are not insane.

See also:

The Corporation – Joel Bakan (Canadian constitutional lawyer)

Power To the People (In Suits) – Paul Bigioni on Z Net

A Brief History of Progress – Ronald Wright

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond

The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies – Richard Heinberg

Power Down – Richard Heinberg

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

The Poverty of Affluence – Paul Watchel

Small Is Beautiful- E. F. Schumacher

Year 501 – Noam Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills

Global Showdown – Maude Barlow

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Etienne De La Boittee

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

Links: videos, films, books and articles

Leading trend analyst Gerald Celente on economic crisis, plunder, corporate fascism and the emerging renaissance – YouTube

NASA’s Hansen: “If We Stay on With Business as Usual, the Southern U.S. Will Become Almost Uninhabitable.” | ThinkProgress

Power to the People (In Suits) How a whole new kind of business lobby is a threat to democracy by Paul Bigioni

Fears of a corporate police state – David Sirota – Salon.com

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail? | Rolling Stone Politics

Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal

Main Street Alliance Open Letter To Obama On Jobs

It’s Time to Unstack the Money in Politics Deck

Three Things That Must Happen for Us to Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy | Truthout

Occupy Wall Street: Creating Political Change? — In These Times

Big Ideas That Changed The World : DemocracyTony Benn

Talk – David Korten – The Great Turning – YouTube

Joanna Macy on The Great Turning – YouTube

The Corporation (complete, chapters 1 to 23) – YouTube

Life and Debt [HQ Full Movie] – YouTube

The Yes Men – Trailer – YouTube

The Secret Government: The Constitution In Crisis (1 of 9) – YouTube

The Shock Doctrine (2009) — Naomi Klein – YouTube – full length film

“The End of America” Full Length HQ Film – YouTube

Jared DiamondCollapse! part 1 – YouTube

Amazon.com: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (9780743247443): Joel Bakan: Books

The Corporation Film: About the Book

Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) – YouTube
Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Mass Media – 1/17 – YouTube
Confronting the Empire, by Noam Chomsky (Talk delivered at the III World Social Forum)
The Take – Trailer – YouTube
The Take (La Toma) English subtitles (1/9) – YouTube
The Project Gutenberg eBook – On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau

#Science Earth’s Annual Resources Used Up Today, Group Says bit.ly/n8flsq

Amazon.com: For The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (9780807047057): Herman E. Daly, John B. Cobb Jr.: Books

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Posted in American Freedom Agenda, Clinton, deep integration, democracy, fascism, Obama, war on democracy, War on Terror on February 16, 2008 by jtoddring


Let us start with a look at the current US presidential election. The patterns emerging are clear. Fascism is unfolding in America, and the coming elections promise to be utterly irrelevant.

McCain, Clinton, Obama – Good, Solid Republicans All

The far right is screaming that Republican Party US Presidential candidate John McCain is too liberal – remember, this is the man who said he’d keep troops in Iraq for the next hundred years – while warm words are spoken from the corporatist talking heads about both Clinton and Obama. It would seem we have a three-way race between good solid Republican candidates. More aptly, it is corporatist empire mouthpiece and military-industrial complex shill, numbers one, two or three. Door number one, door number two, or door number three? Surprise! All three lead to fascism. Aren’t you lucky.

This would not be the first time the Democratic Party allowed itself to be virtually indistinguishable in substance from the Republicans, sounds bites and PR scripts aside. The supposedly liberal Democrat Bill Clinton was referred to by former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan as “the best Republican candidate we’ve had in a long time.” Greenspan, acting unofficially as the voice of corporate America, went on to say that he agreed with Bill Clinton on about 80% of his policies.

Lefty-liberal Democrat and “human rights” president Jimmy Carter approved the Brzezinski plan of using the CIA to arm, fund and train militant Islamic extremists in the Middle East in order to destabilize the Soviet Union. CIA drug trading was further institutionalized under his watch, allowing billions of dollars in drug money to be funneled into black ops and Wall Street banking houses. Hand picked by the business elite’s own exclusive clubs, both the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg group, this liberal “democrat” stacked the executive branch with other elite club members, making the transition to Reagan and Bush largely a matter of changing the guard out front, while the real powers remained the same.

Under Lyndon Banes Johnson, mass bombing of civilians in South-East Asia continued, and the Great Society pronouncements were revealed to be hollow rhetoric and deceitful cover for brutal imperial crusades. Under LBJ the infamous Gulf of Tonkin lie was made to pass an unwitting populace, and the mass slaughter was escalated under grand and deceitful pretext. An estimated 80,000 Americans and 3 million people of South-East Asia, mainly peasants, were to liquidated for the empire.

We can go back further, but the record is clear enough. What corporate America wants, corporate America gets – at least as far as the Democratic and Republican party machinery goes. Dissenting voices within the parties are silenced, side-lined, or pushed into obscurity. The corporate controlled network media are of course happy to comply. There have always been truly noble, virtuous individuals within the two major parties in the US, and for the most part, they have not held power. The record is not impressive.

But let us return to the present farce of an election.

While McCain is slammed as being too soft, a glowing chorus surrounds the Democratic front-runners. You’d almost expect an angelic choir to be invoked by the mainstream media in support of the supposedly democratic candidates. Even the far right screaming harpie, corporatist toadie Ann Coulter, has said she’d actually support Hillary Clinton over Republican John McCain, “because she’s more conservative than he is.” What does this say about Clinton? Ann Coulter thinks anything to the left of Mussolini is dangerous ground. Now she’s speaking warmly of Hillary Clinton. Obama meanwhile is getting praise from the corporatist right as well. One telling statement was, “We can work with him.”

Remember, both Clinton and Obama voted for the war on Iraq, voted repeatedly to fund the war in Iraq, refused to back efforts to remove troops and end the military occupation of the coutry, voted in favour of the Patriot Act, voted a second time to make fourteen of its provisions permanent, have both said with regards to attacking Iran that, “Everything is on the table” – and now claim to be pro-peace, pro-Constitution, pro-civil liberties, yada, yada, yada……At the very least, their words and promises should be met with great doubt. At the very least, they should inspire absolutely no confidence. The best that can be said of them is that their integrity and commitment to their stated principles is seriously in question.

Most damning of all, aside from actual voting records, which no one seems to care about – a politician’s record of actual conduct, as distinct from their noble sounding proclamations and speech writer’s carefully crafted statements – is the fact that all of the leading candidates, both Democrat and Republican, have chosen as key advisors, individuals with long histories of establishment politics and imperial bloodshed. The advisors chosen by Clinton and Obama – the people who will be the architects of their foreign and domestic policies – are people who are solidly pro-empire, pro-military-industrial complex, and who are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If, for some bizarre reason, after all that has been said and discussed, you still feel the inclination to support one of the three amigos – McCain, Obama or Clinton – then at least get them to openly and publicly endorse the American Freedom Campaign or the American Freedom Agenda – the liberal and conservative coalitions which are working to preserve freedom and the Constitution in the US from the growing real homeland security threat, which is fascism. Get them to sign the legislation which has been drafted by these groups – and already signed by Congressman Ron Paul – which will re-affirm America’s commitment to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties and freedom. And get them furthermore, to sign an affidavit stating that they will, if elected to office, immediately act without delay to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, along with the executive signing orders passed by Bush which far exceed the limits of Constitutional powers of the executive branch. Good luck in that, by the way.

Maybe it’s time to switch off the network news, for those who haven’t already. When Obama and Clinton can pass themselves off as peace-loving, pro-freedom, pro-democracy, civil rights cherishing, Constitution-hugging progressives, while their record of voting as well as their choice of key advisors shows they are in fact the opposite of this, then we are reminded again of the power of the media to turn arsenic into strawberry jello, and have a large percentage of the people ready and eager to eat it up.

The death of the two party system in America

The Republican party is in full melt-down. It’s popular base is leaving in droves. People on the left and right in the US are disgusted with the Republicans. In the fall of 2006, the people of the US put the Democratic Party in power in Congress with very considerable popular support, in order to reverse the trends of escalating imperial warfare abroad, and the demolition of democracy and constitutional rights and freedoms at home, which the Republicans had taken to new levels. People who should have known better fell under the spell of false promises, as hopes ran high for a new Democratically controlled Congress. Eighteen months later, people are now almost as disgusted with the Democrats as with the Republicans – and this deep disillusionment toward the Democratic Party includes many of its most dedicated activists.

Since the fall of 2006, the Democratic Party has steadfastly stalled, blocked, hedged and equivocated on any action that would actually do something to address these issues of war and democracy, and war on democracy. Worse, the majority of Democrats in Congress have gone merrily along with the continued attack on democracy and civil liberties, most recently passing the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which criminalizes the freedom of speech, eliminating the basic rights of freedom of speech, association and assembly, while refusing to impeach Bush or Cheney, refusing to stop funding the war in Iraq, refusing to bring the troops home from Iraq, refusing to draw a firm line in opposition to any attack on Iran, refusing to renounce or even criticize the dangerous, illegal, immoral and criminal policy of pre-emptive war, refusing to cut military spending….in short, siding with empire and Corporatocracy over the people and democracy. Need we say more about the current state of the Democratic Party? It is no surprise that they too are in disgrace and in a deep crisis of legitimacy with the people of the United States.

While US presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was still in the race, he said he was trying to save the Democratic Party from destroying itself. It seems the Party is quite alright with its chosen path, popular support and credibility be damned.

A sinister take on these trends might be that the party machine, and the political elite within this wing of the corporate allegiance coalition – which spans both factions of the financial feudalism cartel, Republican and Democrat – are seeking only to deceive enough of the people to win just one more election. If the bottom of the barrel of credibility can be scrapped successfully enough, the political process which is now in a profound crisis of legitimacy can be tapped once more, in order to get a pro-corporatist imperial White House team elected – probably Clinton/Obama. With all that has been put in place, the legislative framework for full fascism now established, the thugs ready with the mercenary forces of Blackwater and company, the secret prisons and rendition networks already here, the detention centers ready with more being built, and the story line of the war on terrorism (inc.) presented as the official narrative, all that is needed is a catalyst, a match, an ignition source – a trigger event, as Brzezinski has predicted – and the trap can be sprung on the American people: corporate feudal fascism, with a smiling Orwellian Democratic face. Shock and denial will numb enough people long enough, it must be hoped, for the consolidation of the new order. The rest will be silenced. And a Brave New World will be born.

This, I am afraid, by all indications, is where the Democratic Party is taking America. I am sad to see that candidates of integrity of either party have been sidelined. Kucinich, Paul or Gravel – any one of them would make a president and leader of the country capable and willing to protect and preserve democracy, freedom, civil rights, the rule of constitutional law, and genuine peace. If none of these three win the next election, it will be fascism with a pretty face. Mark my words. I pray I am wrong, but everything points to this unthinkable conclusion. Consider the following, if you have any doubts.

Fascist legislation in place

The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act and Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act have put in place the legislative framework for fascist rule. Habeas corpus has been eliminated, along with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. 800 years of the growth and development of constitutional law and civil rights has been overturned. Executive signing orders give the president the ability to re-write laws passed by Congress or to ignore them, as the president sees fit, giving the president rule by decree. The signing orders along with the above legislation effectively annul freedom, democracy and human rights in America. These fascist laws allow anyone, US citizens or others, to be picked up off the street, or arrested in their homes or workplaces, taken to an undisclosed detention center or interrogation center, held without trial, without recourse to a lawyer, without a phone call or any notification of family members, indefinitely, and allow for them to be tortured or summarily executed, as the president or anyone he chooses to represent him deems necessary. The framework is in place, and needs only to be engaged. Just turn the key. A trigger event is all that is needed, and the fascist legislation is engaged in full.

The criminalization of dissent

The most revealing element in this whole development towards fascism, is the clear intent of the process: the criminalization of dissent. HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, makes this unmistakable. The act states openly that “violent radicalization” or “terrorism” will be defined under this law as any use of force or violence for the purpose of advancing political goals. It further states that the use of “logical argument” or “compelling” force of reason are defined as terrorism. Force under this act, even if non-violent, such as the political force of a popular movement or organization, peaceful protest or dissent, is defined as terrorism. A letter to the editor, blog post or newpaper article that criticizes the government with logically compelling force of argument – that is now defined as terrorism. Note also that violence is already illegal under US law, and so no new law is needed to deal with violence. This means that HR 1955 is solely about the criminalization of freedom of expression and the repression of dissent. This is the hallmark of fascist states. Racism, sexism, nationalism and xenophobia are often present as well, along with strange cultish ideology, but the defining marks of fascism are the demolition of democracy, freedom and civil rights, the institutionalization of unchecked totalitarian power, the reign of the few over the many by unlimited force, and the criminalization and violent suppression of opposition and dissent. In every fascist state, as Naomi Wolf makes clear, the first to go to the gas chambers or the detention centers are the outspoken journalists, editors, scholars, political opposition, outspoken clergy, trade union and labour activists – in short, all threats to the power elite. Fascism is designed to do one thing above all: concentrate all power in society in the hands of the few. HR 1955 makes clear what these trends are all about. And the Democrats as well as Republicans voted for it: 404-6.

Total Information Awareness, “Homeland Security” and Full Spectrum Dominance

The surveillance state is in place. The Pentagon’s very shadowy and Strangelovian DARPA (Defense and Advanced Research Projects) has announced the Pentagon’s goal. It was revealed as the original name for one of DARPA’s top priority projects: Total Information Awareness. Apparently the public found the name too overtly Orwellian, so it’s been changed, but the program remains, as does its intention. TIA is one element within a matrix of control, advancing the Pentagon’s stated overall objective: “full spectrum dominance.” They simply want to control everything, everywhere, world-wide. TIA integrates 17 US intelligence agencies under one umbrella, with a new intelligence Tzar to oversee this giant hydra-like beast. The new intelligence Tzar: John Negroponte. That name might be familiar. He was appointed for a stint as ambassador to Iraq, after having served in Latin America for many years. Before his post to Iraq, Negroponte was in charge of overseeing Central American death squads. Nice fellow to have as the head of a giant security apparatus. Heinrich Himmler would reasonably be described as a close cousin. With the long-established Project Echelon plugged into this network, gathering data on virtually all electronic communication in most parts of the world, including phone and cell calls, emails, fax, text messages, radio or tv via spy satellites and huge data processing computer centers, and an army of agents in the intel groups of course, surveillance cameras everywhere, and new identification and tracking technologies, the goal is to be able to track every person’s every activity everywhere, and to be able to eliminate all threats to the reigning powers before they arise. Forget about privacy – that is the least of our worries. The abuse of this system of extreme and unchecked power is the danger, and that is very real. The strategy of all such “security” apparatus creations, particularly when the reigning regime is clearly at war with democracy and in love with its power, is to frighten the public into submission, and to eliminate all who can not be intimidated.

A private army of thugs

Mussolini had his black shirts; Hitler liked the idea and created the brown shirts. Stalin was impressed and created his own band of goons. Now America has Blackwater. The head of Blackwater is a close ally and supporter of the Bush administration. Blackwater is a private corporation, a mercenary army, on hire to anyone who will pay, willing to kill, arrest, detain or torture anyone on a list they are given. No questions asked. They are not accountable to the public, as the military ultimately is, and have no code of honour, other than the code of sociopathic ruthless violence, and the loyalty needed among organized crime members toward their own and to their masters. Presently their role in Iraq seems to be destabilization – randomly shooting and killing civilians – in order to justify unending US and British military occupation of that country. “The country’s a mess – we can’t leave now!” Cerberus would welcome these thugs as kin, were it not for the fact that they do not guard the gates of hell, but open them. Blackwater specifically recruits individuals who have experience and comfort with repression, murder and torture of their own people – often former death squad members from Latin America. Blackwater’s goal for 2007 was to recruit an additional 35,000 loyal troops. With the recent wildfires in the US, Blackwater was unleashed on America. Get ready for the goons.

REX 84: Blueprint for martial law

“We are dangerously close to a situation where ~ if the American people took to the streets in righteous indignation or if there were another 9/11 ~ a mechanism for martial law could be quickly implemented and carried out under REX 84.

The Cheney/Bush administration has a plan which would accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens during times of emergency.

The plan is called REX 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984. Through Rex-84 an undisclosed number of concentration camps were set in operation throughout the United States, for internment of dissidents and others potentially harmful to the state.

The Rex 84 Program was originally established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.

Existence of the Rex 84 plan was first revealed during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987:

” These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.”

And there you have it ~ the real purpose of FEMA is to not only protect the government but to be its principal vehicle for martial law.

This is why FEMA could not respond immediately to the Hurricane Katrina disaster ~ humanitarian efforts were no longer part of its job description under the Department of Homeland Security.”

Allen L Roland, Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America,

Global Research, August 20, 2006

Detention centers ready

As of 2004 there were 800 prison camps in the US, all fully staffed and operational, but sitting empty. They have an average capacity of 20,000 detainees, making a total capacity of 1.8 million. This was before KBR, the subsidiary of Cheney’s Haliburton, announced in a press release in 2006 that they have been granted a $385 million contract to build a network of detention centers in the US. The press release added that the contract is “open ended” in terms of both time frame and scale. The stated intent of the detention centers is the detainment illegal aliens, “and other purposes.” All of the detention centers have railways leading in and out of the complexes. Most are nearby major airports. Now that HR 1955 is being passed into law, we can see who is to fill these detention centers: anyone who challenges, threatens or criticizes the government or its corporate backers.

Operation Endgame

A document issued by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO – an arm of the Department of Homeland Security) titled “Strategic Plan, 2003-2012 Detention and Removal Strategy for a Secure Homeland” describes Operation Endgame as follows:

Endgame is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) multi-year strategic enforcement plan. It stresses the effective and efficient execution of the critical service DRO provides its partners and stakeholders…

Operation Endgame, a plan officially acknowledged and run by the Department of Homeland Security, is stated to be concerned with the detention and deportation of all illegal aliens by 2012. However, in light of the above trends toward a clearly deliberate and highly conscious elimination of dissent and the creation of an all-powerful fascist state, it is highly doubtful that illegal aliens are the sole or even primary target for detention under the Endgame plan. We will see, but all evidence points to Endgame being a plan to eliminate all dissenting voices from the new “Fortress North America” under the “new security environment” – as the business and political elite are referring to it. (See: Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs & the Defense Establishment) Should we believe that all of the above developments are for the protection of US citizens, the fight against actual terrorism, or the arrest of illegal aliens? Given all that we know, this would seem about as plausible as the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. Unfortunately, believing in the Easter Bunny won’t hurt you, whereas willful ignorance and denial here may have very serious consequences.

Winning the “War on Terror”

A leaked Pentagon memo which was sent to high level military and civilian officials and reported by the Washington Post stated that the “War on Terror” (sic) is to be won by October 2008. Bear in mind that all the evidence shows clearly that the war on terror is a two part operation, neither of which has anything to do with fighting terrorism: 1) the “Global War on Terror” provides the story line, the narrative, that is, the pretext or cover for an unending war of empire around the world, including operations designed to secure control of the world’s energy reserves in the Middle East and elsewhere; 2) the “War on Terror” provides the pretext or cover for a war on democracy at home – the elimination of dissent and the consolidation of power in the hands of the business and political elite.

In the US as in the Western world generally, there has been an uneasy tension between liberal democratic institutions on the one hand, and real concentrations of very high levels of power in the hands of a business and political elite on the other. For a long time, elites have dominated the democratic institutions. Now that there is a crisis of legitimacy within the ostensibly democratic nations, the elite are resorting to their only remaining alternative, if they are to maintain power. They are moving from dominance to full control. In other words, we are now witnessing the drive to transform liberal democracies, which have been dominated by elites for generations, into full fascist oligarchy, in which the threat of democracy has been eliminated. Under this latest development, the agenda is to not simply dominate democracy, but to demolish it.

Given the undeniable nature and intent of the “War on Terror” – which is in truth a war on democracy and a war for empire – what does it mean when the Pentagon tells high level military and political officials that the firm target for winning the war is October 2008? It would seem then that the time-line trajectory has been speeded up. 2012 is apparently not soon enough. The war on democracy is to be decisively won, according to this new information, by the fall of 2008. We must conclude then, that the target is to achieve a stealth coup, and establish full fascist control in elite hands, by this coming fall.

Get ready. Mass resistance will be needed. The spirit of a Martin Luther King or Braveheart must be generated, or better, Jefferson or Thomas Paine.

“Never under-estimate the power of denial”

Lest there is any doubt as to whether such a pattern of events could happen here, let us look to a little known episode of history, from not so long ago. It was 1933, and the returning military hero General Smedley Butler had come home, after what he later would describe as “three decades as a gangster for capitalism.” He was approached by a go-between, who wanted General Butler to lead a fascist coup on Washington, to overthrow FDR, whom many of the business elite hated to his New Deal for Americans. Smedley smelled a rat, and shrewdly showed interest long enough to find out who was behind the plot. What came out in testimony under oath before a US Senate investigation was that a number of the most powerful business men and dynasties in the US, including Rockefeller, Morgan, and the heads of many of the biggest corporations, were the architects of what now is known as the Business Plot. Amazingly, this nefarious and treasonous plot to overthrow democracy in the US and install a fascist regime, has been wiped from history. Yet here we have a clear precedent for what is unfolding now. Had the courageous Smedley Butler not refused to lead the coup on Washington, America would have had a fascist regime in 1933. Today, the elite are more subtle. It is not a full frontal assault which has been launched against democracy, but an end-run, a coup by stealth. The effect, however, will be the same – if we allow it to succeed.

For anyone who still thinks that such a thing could not happen here, or that no one could be so despicable or deluded as to attempt a fascist putsch today, I would suggest a closer look at the past century of history. Do a key word search for some of these: Nazi backers, financiers, IBM, USB, Thyssein, IG Farben, Prescott Bush, CIA, Nazi recruitment, US intervention, Nicaragua, Italy, Gladio, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Chile, Pinoche, Pepsi, Kissinger, trials of, Brzezinski, Afghanistan, blowback, Iran-Contra, drugs, death squads, School of Americas, Business Plot, Palast, Chomsky, John Stockwell, Philip Agee, John Perkins, Naomi Klein, Peter Dale Scott, Mike Ruppert, ….It would be hard, after examining the evidence of history – including recent history – to hold the view that it can’t happen here, unless you’re committed to willful ignorance or denial.

Conclusion: Freedom and democracy, or feudal fascism?

It is revolution or slavery now. Regimes such as the one now arising, do not compromise. They can be dealt with only through decisive defeat. Our fathers and grandfathers defeated fascism sixty years ago. And we will defeat this beast again today.

It is unfortunate, but it is necessary: we must fight fascism once again, and we must undertake a democratic revolution, once again. The price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance. And more: when tyranny arises, it must simply be defeated. We have done it before, and we will do it again.

“I have sworn upon the altar of God,

eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

– Thomas Jefferson

I, for one, embrace this oath with all of my heart, my life, and my powers. Until all peoples live in freedom, in peace, and in justice, there is work to be done. I will not rest until that work is complete. And if I should die before that time, then my life’s work will have been meaningful. For myself, I can see no other way to live. For others, a choice is at hand. For me, there can be no choice.

Patriots, democrats, and all who value and prefer freedom to fascism, take note. This is the time for action. Whatever your political views or allegiances, left or right, liberal, conservative, progressive or otherwise, if you do not want to see the destruction of constitutional rule of law, civil rights or a voice for the people, if you do not want to live under a fascist regime, then you must take action now. Inform yourself, inform others, speak, write, share information, connect with others, get together, build bridges of understanding, common cause and solidarity, build networks and a broad-based popular coalition, united to preserve freedom and to defeat the fascism which is emerging.

People in Canada, Mexico, Britain and Europe, don’t think this will necessarily be contained within the US. Organize now to preserve freedom and democracy, while you can. The war on democracy knows no borders, nor does the ruling class of international business elites who are driving this agenda. Never underestimate the machinations of the power-hungry. History has proven that there will always be those few who hunger for supreme power. Vigilance, solidarity and mutual empowerment are the only remedies to tyranny, now, as always. If you rise to the aid of your brothers and sisters in America today, you will have a greater power to resist and defeat the war on democracy in your own countries tomorrow.

Renounce violence in all forms. A band of rebels with shotguns and rifles is no match for tanks and grenade launchers, or helicopter gun ships with infra-red sniper scopes at 1,000 feet. Martin Luther King Jr. was right: “If I did not reject the use of violence on moral grounds, I would reject it on practical grounds. To be throwing bricks at people with machine guns is not only violent, it is foolish.” Whether it be bricks or even assault rifles, in the arena of force, there is no contest. The battle must therefore be on grounds where popular movements have the greater strength. Read Sun Tzu: you do not attack where the enemy is strong. This should be a matter of common sense.

The power elite rely on the cooperation of masses of people. Remove that cooperation, and the power games collapse, like a house of cards. Remember the fall of the Soviet empire. When the people were sufficiently fed up that they ceased to give power to the reigning order, that order fell to pieces, virtually overnight. It is terrible what came in to replace it, but the point is that all empires and all social orders ultimately rest upon the acquiescence of the many. Power lies with the people. It is only when the people do not embrace their power that the few can dominate the many. Reclaim your power, and encourage others to do the same, and the possibilities are unlimited. Democracy and freedom now require, more than ever, the empowerment of the people. This is the crux of the matter.

Do not seek to grasp power. Do not flee from your power. Instead, embrace your power and seek to empower others, in freedom and equality. This is the basis for a sane and just society. This is the basis for freedom. And this alone is the basis for an authentic democracy, with recognition and protection of the rights and dignity of all.

Read Etienne de la Boittie. His essay On Voluntary Servitude, along with Thoreau’s essay On Civil Disobedience, and Sun Tzu’s Art of War (which is a treatise on peace and harmony and intelligent resolution of conflict) are the strategic manuals we need now.

Brains beat brawn. Heart defeats corruption. Maybe not instantly, but decisively, and inevitably.

Yet, what we do or fail to do at this time will be of enormous significance. The level of violence, suffering and destruction, or the level of peace in the transition to a fuller and more genuine freedom and democracy, depends upon our actions now.

What do the power elite understand? Money. Hit them in the pocket book. Economic warfare. Shut down the means of plunder. Redirect money, resources, human energies and economic flows away from the business elite and their political drones, and into the hands of the people and the communities of the earth.

If the popular movements to preserve and enhance freedom, democracy and human rights are to succeed, it will be through non-violent resistance and civil disobedience, along the lines of King, Gandhi and Thoreau, combined with an intelligent and good-hearted generation of viable, practical, just and sustainable alternatives. Raising a militia will not only likely be useless, not only bring on a protracted, long-term blood bath of civil war and chaos, but would immediately make it simple for the power elite to portray genuine defenders of freedom as terrorists, making the crackdown on dissent all the easier. No, the resistance must be moral, intellectual, spiritual and above all, strategically smart: communication, information, knowledge, truth telling, networking, coalition building, non-cooperation and peaceful civil disobedience, along with the building of concrete alternatives for the mutual benefit of all, will be far more effective than picking up your 22 and heading for the woods.

Unless you want to live under a rock, or in a cave, fascism is something we are simply going to have to face, and confront. And these are the terms of engagement. This is how we will defeat the most recent threat to freedom.

All empires fall. But this one will take some effort to vanquish. Inaction is no longer morally conscionable. Stand now.

Prepare for an onslaught, keep hope alive, and organize for the resistance now. The deer in the headlights syndrome will not be helpful. Denial will not be helpful. A paralysis of fear will not be helpful. Avoidance will not be helpful. Passive hand-wringing will not be helpful. Couch-perched pronouncements of disapproval will not be helpful. We must get out there, get connected, and build the resistance to what clearly is unfolding. Divided we fall. Only united do we stand.

The unthinkable is emerging. The beast is here. Fascism is coming to America.

J. Todd Ring,

February 12, 2008

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening


Further Resources:

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps | World news | The Guardian

Naomi Wolf: Finally, Action! Ron Paul Introduces Bill to Defend Constitution! – Politics on The Huffington Post

American Freedom Agenda

American Freedom Campaign – The American Freedom Campaign Agenda

“The End of America”: Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Fascism – Democracy Now!

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

The Secret Raids of Alberto Gonzales: Operation Falcon

Endgame – Official plan and commentary – ACLU Massachusetts

The Corporation

Rep. Ron Paul: Police State, USA


Election farce:

Break the spell

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners – Democracy Now!

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama & John Edwards Equal No Change

Noam Chomsky – The Political system in the USA

Changes – Presidential Candidates feat. Bowie

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Bombs Away over Iraq


A brief interlude of levity and satire:

Stephen Colbert: Enjoy the Police State

Bush is not a Nazi – So stop saying that!

Extraordinary rendition or free surprise vacation?

Backyard Blitzkrieg

CIA Backed Saddam: Thanks for the Memories

The Neocon Gameshow

How the news works – once again

And more resources:

ZNet |Foreign Policy | We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It

The Folly of Attacking Iran Video

Noam Chomsky on U.S. policy towards Iran

Chomsky: Do the Democrats have a different answer on Iran?

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

Brzezinski warns of Pearl Harbor type event, a pretext for war on Iran

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance

Noam Chomsky on Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

The Power of Nightmares: BBC Dissects War on Terror – Part 1: Baby it’s Cold Outside

“Shock Doctrine” Author Naomi Klein on State-Sanctioned Torture and Disaster Response for the Chosen – Democracy Now!

Keith Olbermann – Jonathan Turley – Habeas Corpus 1789-2006

Olbermann: the beginning of the end of America

Stephen Colbert: Enjoy the Police State

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 1

Definition of “force” – Webster’s Dictionary:

Strength or energy exerted or brought to bear : cause of motion or change : active power; moral or mental strength; capacity to persuade or convince (eg. the force of the argument); an individual or group having the power of effective action (eg. a labor force; join forces to prevent violence); a force in politics; the quality of conveying impressions intensely in writing or speech; in great numbers (eg. picnickers were out in force).

synonyms see power

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 2

HR-1955 turns Patriotic Americans into Terrorists – YouTube

Noam Chomsky – Class War (Part 1)

Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Noam Chomsky on human destiny

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (2/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (3/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (4/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (5/5

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Money, Banks and Democracy

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

Further background –

The emergence of fascism in the West:

*** Habeas Corpus Your words are lies Sir – YouTube – olbermann 10-18-06

***Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky video

The Return of Total Information Awareness – Bush Asserts Dictatorial “Inherent” Powers

Examples of the president’s signing statements – The Boston Globe

***The Secret Government – PBS – Google Video

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – Video: 1961 Farewell Address

Power of Nightmares – BBC Documentary

Mind Control: America’s Secret War – History Channel Documentary

***Commission Finds President George W. Bush and His Administration Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Bush’s 9/11 Reichstag Fire

9/11 – the American Reichstag Fire and the Fourth Reich

The Pentagon Declares War on America

The limits of liberty: We’re all suspects now

Are YOU the Enemy?

Maher Arar: The Horrors of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’

*** Torture Inc. – America’s Brutal Prisons – BBC Documentary

* National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate | bushcommission.org

* A Constitutional Shredding — Rounding Up U.S. Citizens | bushcommission.org

The End of Habeas Corpus and the Belligerent Despot-in-Chief – Ralph Nader

Ambassador to Death Squads – Who is John Negroponte?

On the Rise of Fascism – “The Great Transformation” Revisited

LIBERTY V.S. SECURITY

Harsh law set to live on, unexplained

*CRG – Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws – Rocco Galati

FSTV video – Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Amazon.com: Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War: Books: Christopher Simpson

Amazon.com: The CIA’s Greatest Hits (The Real Story Series): Books: Mark Zepezauer

Amazon.com: Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press: Books: Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair

Amazon.com: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion: Books: Gary Webb

Amazon.com: Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency: Books: James Bamford

* Amazon.com: Police State America: US Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning: Books: Tom Burghardt, Tom (ed) Burghardt

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Chomsky, online text

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky, online text

Amazon.com: Open Society and Its Enemies (Volume 1): Books: Karl Raimund Popper

Noam Chomsky on the Trilateral Commission – from The Carter Administration: Myth and Reality

Amazon.com: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management: Books: Holly Sklar

Amazon.com: Trilaterals Over America: Books: Antony C. Sutton

TC’s own manifesto – Amazon.com: The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission: Books: Michel Crozier,Samuel P. Huntington,Joji Watanuki

Amazon.com: Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time: Explore similar items

Skull and Bones K.O.’d – video

Zbigniew Brzezinski – The Grand Chessboard

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Notes on the Progress of the Counterrevolution

America: The Fourth Reich

How the Nazis Won the War – Chomsky Nazis Odonian

The Nazi Parallel – NSS & Fascism – NSS Churches US Fascism Herman

Trading with the Enemy The Nazi – American Money Plot 1933-1949

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

Air Force chief : Test weapons on testy US mobs – Sep 12 …

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance – audio

War on Terrorism Watch: CAUT Resource Website – Home Page

The State of Democracy – counterSpin final edition

* Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky, Freespeech TV

A Marxist Threat to Cola Sales?

Who are the Global Terrorists, by Noam Chomsky

On the Long and Bloody History of U.S.-Sponsored Terrorism – Chomsky – audio

Amazon.com: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II-Updated Through 2003: Books: William Blum

America’s “War on Terrorism” – Chossudovsky

Amazon.com: The COINTELPRO Papers : Documents from the FBI’s Secret …

Ten Minutes to Midnight: The Emerging Police State – Z Store

Fascism watch

GlobalResearch.ca – Police State – Centre for Research on GlobalizationZNet Repression Watch

The Logan Act: Secrecy, Sovereignty, Democracy and Freedom of Speech

Posted in American Freedom Agenda, Bilderberg, CFR, corporate fascism, corporatocracy, democracy, elite, Logan Act, sovereignty, SPP, Trilateral Commission on January 30, 2008 by jtoddring

The Logan Act (US federal law, 1799), like the US Fourteenth Amendment (1868), falls into the category, I would say, of ambiguous legislation, which may be applied to serve the interests of the people, or alternately, to strip the people of their rights and deprive them of their interests. It must therefore be amended, as with the Fourteenth Amendment, in order to clarify its intent and application. I am not a lawyer or legislator, but these are my thoughts, and I believe they are worthy of serious consideration.

The Logan Act should allow citizens to hold discussions or correspondence with foreign nations’ peoples, governments or representatives, but not as official representatives of the US government unless duly authorized, and not in secret – this would thereby give the protection of sovereignty which was intended, while upholding freedom of speech, assembly and association.

Allowing small groups of powerful men to meet secretly to discuss affairs of state pertaining to one or more nations is undemocratic and unwise, and leads easily to the tyranny of the few over the many. The closed door meetings of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which seek to integrate the laws, regulations, economies, military, security and intelligence of Canada, the US and Mexico, as well as the secretive meetings of elite clubs such as the Bilderberg group, CFR and Trilateral Commission are four clear examples of such meetings which undermine the democratic process and leave open wide, the door to oligarchic anti-democratic rule.

Absence of checks on such extra-parliamentary, unaccountable and anti-democratic concentrations of power constitute grave and immediate threats to the functioning of democratic processes, to national sovereignties, as well as to the rights and freedoms of citizens in the US and other nations. Let the super-rich and corporate elite have their clubs. But let us not be so foolish as to allow them secretive meetings pertaining to national and international affairs of the greatest importance. Open the doors, if they wish to discuss. Power confers responsibility, not the prerogatives for skirting and avoiding accountability. This applies equally to economic power as to political power, if not more so – or, at least it will when we choose to exercise our common sense.

At the same time, banning citizens’ discussion with foreign nations or foreign citizens is clearly in violation of basic principles of human rights and freedom. To say for example that a US Senator, or any US citizen, is forbidden to speak with a member of a foreign government, and will be sanctioned, censured or imprisoned for doing so, as some tried to impose recently, is clearly draconian, unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, anti-democratic and antithetical to the principles of freedom.

The clarification recommended here would resolve both dilemmas.

Alternately, the previously proposed HR 6252 would vacate the law, rendering it next to useless, while Steve King’s proposed amendment would make it, as described above, draconian and unconstitutional as well as incompatible with basic rights and freedom.

This is a law which presently may be of service or of harm to the people, and no clarity is presently available within its current framing. It must therefore be amended, and it can be argued compellingly, immediately so. The significance of the act is in terms of two not unrelated realms, that of basic freedoms, and that of unchecked concentrations of un-elected and unaccountable, undemocratic powers. It is vital that both of these be addressed, and this act must be amended, along with other measures which must be taken, in order to accomplish this.

In the meantime, if the Logan Act can be utilized to protect the sovereignty, rights, freedoms and interests of the people of the United States, then of course it should be utilized immediately for that purpose. Though it is in need of clarification, it may even now be a vehicle to advance the public interest over the special interests of the highly influential corporate lobby. It would seem obvious that this should begin at once.

In sum, clarification and proper utilization of the Logan Act, the Fourteenth Amendment – stripping corporations of the unconstitutional and illegitimate, absurd claim to personhood – along with strengthening and full utilization of the competition and anti-trust laws, would go a considerable way to protecting the democratic process, the Constitution, and the sovereignty, rights and freedoms of the citizens of the United States, all of which are now under attack, and are in very real and immediate danger of being submerged by a transnational un-elected, undemocratic, unaccountable “defacto world government” – as the leading business journal in the Western hemisphere, the Financial Times, has itself described the emerging global corporatist order.

It is not too late to act, and all the tools and peaceful means at the disposal of the citizenry must be rallied and utilized in defense of freedom. There is no time to lose. A new form of tyranny is undeniably arising, and swiftly so.

People involved with the American Freedom Agenda, people opposed to the SPP and NAU, note this. It may be one more tool for protecting democracy and freedom from the rapidly encroaching corporate rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

http://jtoddring.blogspot.com

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Posted in AFA, AFC, American Freedom Agenda, American Freedom Campaign, democracy, fascism, HR 1955, police state, Ron Paul, Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Preventi, war on democracy on January 22, 2008 by jtoddring

What is HR 1955, and why should we be interested? Here is a short introduction. More than we may imagine rides on the peoples’ response to this newest development in the war on democracy.

Passed by a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives with a vote of 404-6, October 23, 2007.

Freedom of speech, association and assembly will be illegal in the US once the Senate and President sign on – and neither oppose it.

With this law, dissent will be illegal.

The unmistakable import of this new law is the criminalization of dissent.

The FBI’s infamous Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) stated clearly, in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that, “through counter-intelligence, it should be possible to pinpoint potential trouble makers (sic) and neutralize them.” J. Edgar Hoover said of his COINTELPRO operation that his intent was to “neutralize political dissidents.” The FBI’s COINTELPRO operated illegally. HR 1955 now makes legal the mechanisms for neutralizing dissent. Expressing an opinion or view that is not favourable to the current ruling powers may be met with repression. America is now officially a fascist state.

The bill is moving rapidly through Congress, and may be signed into law by February. Dissent and debate in the US House of Representatives was virtually non-existent. The media networks have been silent. Spread the news: the internet and face to face communication seem to be the only means to get this critical information out.

“Legislation such as this demands heavy-handed governmental action against American citizens where no crime has been committed,” Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul stated to the House in December, after missing the vote while campaigning. “It is yet another attack on our constitutionally protected civil liberties. It is my sincere hope that we will reject such approaches to security, which will fail at their stated goal at a great cost to our way of life.”

“It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding,” Paul predicted in his House speech. “But it may do so at great further expense to our civil liberties.” It is, he concluded, an “unwise and dangerous solution in search of a real problem.”

“If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest,” said Dennis Kucinich. “This is the way our democracy, little by little, is being stripped away from us.”

“There is no way to overstate how crucial this piece of legislation is. We are at a turning point, and without the restoration of the rule of law the “blueprint” for what I have called a “fascist shift” — the closing down of democracy — calls for scarier recriminations against citizens, greater tightening of social controls — the ever-growing, disturbingly political TSA watch list is, alarmingly, due to go from the airlines’ administration to that of the TSA itself — and more corruptions of the electoral process. Blackwater is a truly terrifying wild card. Without the rule of law we will be powerless as each of these assaults on liberty continue to escalate. With it we can fight back.” – Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America, and American Fascism, in 10 easy steps.

“The most pressing liberty Ron Paul, the ACLU, Dennis Kucinich and pretty much most left- and right-leaning organizations fear outright is a restriction on the right of internet access, since the House Subcommittee hearings and text of the resolution seized upon it with almost draconian intent. “The Web as a Weapon?” The question begs another: How do you disarm that weapon?” – Punishing Thought Crime: Would New Bill Make YOU a Terrorist?by Scott Thill, AlterNet. January 17, 2008.

Look at the definition of terrorism in this bill. It is defined “the use, planned use or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious or social beliefs.” Note that the bill states that terrorism may be the use of violence or force to advance political goals. The bill then specifies that the use of “intellectual force” by way of “compelling logical argument” falls under the definition of terrorism. This should make us all shudder. Thought crime. This is the destruction of democracy, civil rights, the constitution and freedom of speech.

It is important to remember that violence is already illegal, and therefore this bill is not about dealing with violence. Hence, this bill is about the use of non-violent “force” – the force of opinion, intellectual force, the force of a logical argument. In short, the bill is designed to combat free speech, and further, to suppress any form of protest, through association, assembly or expression. There is no other way to describe such legislation in any milder terms: this is fascism.

HR 1955 marks the beginning of the police state in America. When this bill is signed into law, dissent will be punishable by arrest without trial, and indefinite incarceration in the detention centers which Haliburton is busy constructing across the “homeland,” not to mention torture, which the Military Commissions Act of 1996 already made legal. Speak now, while you can. (See Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps and YouTube – Olbermann: the beginning of the end of America.)

Write, speak, blog, send letters to your representatives, email the news outlets and let them know that this critical unfolding of events, designed deliberately to destroy democracy and constitutional rights and freedoms, including this latest and most heinous of fascist legislation.

Here are some contact listings for getting the word out.

totn@npr.org, morning@npr.org, atc@npr.org, letters@latimes.com, fair@fair.org, ireport@cnn.com, netaudr@abc.com, evening@cbsnews.com, ftn@cbsnews.com, today@nbc.com, letters@nytimes.com, nytnews@nytimes.com, editor@usatoday.com, wsj.ltrs@wsj.com, letters@newsweek.com, letters@washpost.com, letters@usnews.com, info@ap.org, zmag@zmag.org, countdown@msnbc.com, mail@democracynow.org

People of America, here is a coalition, across right and left, that is working to defend freedom, democracy and your constitutional rights. You might want to get involved. The hour is late.

the American Freedom Agenda

American Freedom Campaign

“This is the answer both to those who say “What we can do?” and to those who claim (actually, sometimes whine) “there is nothing we can do.” And if we don’t act on this now we will get the democracy we deserve — which is no democracy at all.

“Put aside your partisan ideal world — sometimes issues simply transcend partisanship — and if ever there is an issue that is above and separate from party politics, it is the restoration of the democratic system we inherited. There are good people and passionate patriots across the political spectrum.

“Let’s do it. There is no excuse now. The restoration of democracy is up to you — as the Founders intended it should be.” – Naomi Wolf

Get informed, get involved. There is much to be done, and little time.

J. Todd Ring,
January 22, 2008

Declaration of War vs. The People

YouTube – Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 1

Thinking for Yourself is Now a Crime – Paul Craig Roberts

ZNet |Repression | The House of Reps Vote 404 to 6 to Pass the Bill that Legalizes COINTELPRO?

Punishing Thought Crime: Would New Bill Make YOU a Terrorist?

ZNet |U.S. | Congressional Shame and Duplicity

Naomi Wolf: Fascist America, in 10 easy steps | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

*****“The End of America”: Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Fascism – Democracy Now! |

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot – Naomi Wolf

America: A Fork In the Road – Writings of J. Todd Ring