Archive for the Canadian politics Category

American and Canadian Politics – A brief comparison and lay of the land

Posted in alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, Canada, Canadian, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, climate change, common ground, consciousness, conservative, Conservative Party, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, deep integration, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, ecological crisis, ecology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by jtoddring

Canada and the US have the largest trading relationship in the world between any two countries, as well as the longest undefended border in the world, and share a great deal in common as friends and neighbours. The public opinion polls have shown repeatedly and for decades that, like most of the world, the values of the great majority of the people in both countries are centre-left, and frankly, democratic socialist – although most people, especially in the United States, are unaware of this fact; mainly because they get their “news and analysis” from the corporate and state-run media, and have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to believe, at least in the US, that socialism is the equivalent of Stalinism – which of course could not be further from the truth.

(Since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, when Leninism was finally thoroughly discredited, most socialists around the world have been highly wary of state power, and highly opposed to authoritarianism or tyranny of any kind. And for the far larger number of people world-wide who hold socialist values – the values of compassion, cooperation, solidarity, freedom and equality – but would not call themselves socialist, the same is true: there is a healthy skepticism and wariness toward government and the state, and a strong aversion and opposition to any form of tyranny, authoritarianism or abuse of power of any kind. This is what I mean by socialism being fundamentally at odds with such tyranny as we saw in the former Soviet Union.

Yes, the Soviet rulers called themselves socialists, and they called their gulag empire socialist – and they did that because they wanted to enhance their credibility with the people. And the Western powers, being pro-corporate, liked to call the Soviet tyranny by the name of socialism, in order to discredit socialism by associating it with tyranny. Both the Kremlin and the Western corporatists were lying however. Soviet style totalitarianism has nothing to do with genuine socialism. It was simply another form of neo-feudal elite rule, and the tyranny of the few over the many. Socialism is about freedom and the emancipation and empowerment of the people, or it is about nothing at all, and does not deserve the name.

Prior to the collapse of the Soviet empire and the final discrediting of Leninism, there were two camps of socialism, from its inception, which came out of the Enlightenment. There were those who followed Marx and later Lenin, and who were definite statists with a strong authoritarian, if not totalitarian streak; and there were the libertarian socialists, following in the tradition of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Rocker, Bookchin and Chomsky, who were and are adamantly opposed to the statists and to authoritarianism or tyranny of any kind. After the fall of the Soviet Bloc and the final, thorough discrediting of Leninism, outside of a few small pockets, such as North Korea, only the latter kind of socialists remain, by and large, and the vast majority of socialists now are passionately opposed any form of excess or abuse of state power.

But let’s stick to specifics, and skip over the labels and isms, which tend only to cause schisms, and lead to further misunderstanding.)

The great majority of the people in both Canada and the United States, as with the majority of the people in most nations today, are in favour of strong social programs to help the poor and the working class; a fair and equitable distribution of both wealth and also power; authentic, participatory democracy; rule by constitutional law, with respect for freedom, civil liberties and minority rights; strong environmental programs and regulations; peace, and an end to war and militarism; universal public health care; jobs for all, and other centre-left policies.

But despite what the people want, the corporate powers have taken over, and they rule the two countries to their pleasing, compromising with the people only when they feel they have no other choice, and only for as long and to the extent that they feel they must.

Still, there are, of course, major differences between Canada and the US, as well as commonalities, and these do not end with the very differing views and culture with regards to guns.

Here is a rough translation of Canadian political culture for Americans and others who may be unfamiliar with the political landscape of the second largest country on earth, the holder of the largest oil and mineral resources on earth, the pantry to the American empire, one of the richest nations on the planet, and a member of the G7 group of nations.

Generally speaking, a conservative Canadian = a very “progressive” Democrat. A liberal Canadian today – after the major slide of all of the major North American political parties to the right over the past thirty years – is to the left of that, but still centrist and pro-corporate, wittingly, or more often, unwittingly. A New Democratic Party supporter in Canada is minimally left of centre, on average – when viewed by world standards of course, and not the extreme right wing politics that now dominate both parties of the US – though NDPers are typically wishy-washy and passive, and by and large are content to moan from the sidelines, and let the two major parties of corporate rule, rule.

Far right Republicans seem to most Canadians to be straight out of Dr. Strangelove – there really aren’t many people in this country that would even call them sane. We kind of look at them as something akin to Frankenstein’s monster – surreal, almost a comic book fiction, but frightening and disturbing nonetheless.

Not that anyone in Canada with half a wit of political savvy is any fan of Obama now, if they ever were, with his incessant and ever-expanding wars, his murderous drone campaign, his shredding of civil liberties and the Constitution, his support for a global surveillance state and also fracking, the Keystone pipeline and generally ecological holocaust-inducing policies, or his on-going massive bail-outs and protection for the Wall Street elite and big banks who funded his election and put him in power, but that is an aside.

We must note also, at least in passing, though it is beyond the scope of this short article, that with the signing of the SPP, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, Canada and Mexico agreed to a “deep integration” with the United States in a new “Fortress North America”, as the elite who thought up and pushed through the agreement called it: a deep integration in the realms of economics, law and regulations, military, security and intelligence services – meaning, an essential union of the three nations, without calling it a union – the fate of Canada is now tied to the sinking ship of the United States, and worse, to the corporate powers which rule over it: at least until and unless the people decide to assert and to actively reclaim their sovereignty, and say no to the dissolution of national democracies and their submergence into larger power blocks under corporate rule. I have written on this extremely important subject elsewhere, so I will say no more about it here for the moment. I would urge all Americans, Canadians and Mexicans to look into the subject for themselves, however.

All that being said, and with the acknowledgment that US politics are far to the right of Canadian politics, to say nothing of Europe, it must be understood that neoliberalism, or the ideology of the super-rich who dominate and rule the country – which means, corporate globalization and corporate rule, or more simply, freedom for the ruling corporate elite to do as they please, and subjugation, soup lines and sweat shops for the rest – this corporatist ideology has, for the moment at least, conquered Canada, just as it has conquered the United States and most of the world.

The people of Canada, as in the US and most nations today, do not believe in the ideology of corporate globalization, neoliberalism, corporatism or corporate rule – which are essentially different ways of saying the same thing. This ideology has lost the battle in the propaganda wars, the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. The ideology of the ruling elite has been thoroughly defeated. But, and this is the big “but” – the corporate elite have seized power, and have put their ideology and their agenda into practice, the people be damned, and they are advancing it further every day. And they continue to rule, which means their failed and failing ideology continues to rule, despite the deep and growing crisis of legitimacy which they face; simply because the people have not yet embraced their power, but instead, passively acquiesce and do not challenge the illegitimate and unjust, frankly suicidal and ecocidal rule of the global corporate and banking elite. 

The corporate coup has taken over democracy here in Canada, and it is actively tearing it to shreds and devouring it, just as it has done and is actively doing in the US and most nations in the world today. The major difference between Canada and the US is that the drive towards full corporatization of the society is less brutal here than in the United States, primarily because Canada has a long tradition of tolerant, freedom-loving, constitutional social democracy, and the valuing of compassion and mutual aid; and the people would not stand for a gloves-off, rapid fire destruction of all social programs and safety nets, or a more rapid move towards stark neo-feudal corporate rule. But make no mistake: we are heading down the same road – and will continue to do so, until the Canadian people find their cajones, and stand up.

The same is true in America and Europe, and most nations world-wide.

Stand up people. It is time.

J. Todd Ring,
October 10, 2013

US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and examples of political theatre

Posted in American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, Canada, Canadian politics, Chomsky, collapse, consciousness, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crash, crisis of democracy, debt, deficit, democracy, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, far right, fascism, fascist, fiscal conservative, freedom, geopolitics, health care, imperialism, money, neo-feudalism, neocon, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, police state, policy, political economy, politics, propaganda, psychology, Republican, Republican Party, right, right wing, sociology, the right, truth, U.S., war, war on democracy, wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by jtoddring

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big banks and largest corporations, or the people? After all, both of the major parties are controlled by the same six big banks, the private banking cartel which is the Fed, the military-industrial-security complex, Wall Street and the biggest 500 corporations on the planet, so what is this charade really about? As Celente said, it’s WWF – the World Wrestling Federation: it’s all scripted; it’s all political theatre. They all work for the same people.

Some Americans, mainly on the right, and mainly the rich, want to shrink government and abolish social programs that help and protect the poor, as well as the middle class – and half of Americans are now living below, at, or just above the poverty line, so that means 50% of the American people would get badly shafted, and far more would be badly hurt.

Some Americans – the overwhelming majority, well over 70% – favour public, universal health care, such as Canada, Britain, Europe and most of the civilized world has. But Obamacare is nothing of the sort. Obamacare is Romneycare – Obama simply took Romney’s package and made it his own. Obamacare, like Obama’s entire presidency, is designed to appease and sooth the masses and post-pone real political action, popular uprising or social unrest, while continuing the facilitation of the rape and pillage of the nation and the world by the largest corporations and the wealthiest 0.01%. What is amazing is that more people do not yet recognize these facts, although a great many, and a growing number do. The Obamacare package averts public, universal health care, which the people want, props up a crumbling private, massively subsidized for-profit health care system, and will put even more money into private, for-profit health insurance and health industry corporations, with dubious benefit to the people, if any. So the entire debate is dishonest to begin with, and radically out of joint with reality.

Furthermore, for those who want to cut government debt and spending, it should be noted, and made clear, that one of the best ways to do that, along with ending war and de-funding the massive military-industrial-security complex, the imperial storm troopers, the goon squads and the surveillance state, is to switch to a public health care system. (See Chomsky for a clear-headed and honest analysis of these points.)

The for-profit private health care system of the US has been shown repeatedly to cost far more than the public, not-for-profit health care systems of Canada, Britain and Europe. So once again, the debate is a farce; is filled with deceit; and again, radically out of sync with reality.

In the face of all of this, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I tend to worry greatly for the American people, as I do for human beings and all life on earth generally; but I trust they will resolve these problems. In the meantime, I pray, and will do all I can to seek out and share the best information and ideas I can find – from the left, right, centre, and anywhere I can find them.

Will the government shut down? Hardly likely, it seems to me. If it does, it will be disastrous for millions of people – even though the US government is the biggest criminal syndicate on the planet, next to the billionaire oligarchs who control it, along with virtually every other nation and government on earth. But a shutdown of the US government probably would not last long in any case, and the big bureaucratic machine of the state will restart again, if for no other reason, than because the people who control it – the super-rich, the corporate and banking elite, rely on it as a cash cow, a welfare state for the rich, a constant source of dizzying subsidies, bail-outs and forced wealth transfers from the people to the ruling plutocrats (they call it a “stimulus” package); and as a protective hired thug which can be, and is being used to keep an increasingly unruly rabble and frustrated populace subdued and under control, so that the great global looting spree can continue unabated.

The US government has handed the biggest banks and the global banking elite $14 trillion since the economic crisis of 2007-2008 erupted – enough to pay off the mortgages of every American, and every student debt and credit card debt, and all personal debts in the US, with approximately $13 trillion left to spare: which is enough to eliminate global poverty many times over, or, enough to eliminate global poverty, and create the global infrastructure for a truly sustainable society. Other corporate sectors are receiving smaller sums, in the range of a mere few tens or hundreds of billions of dollars a year, in regular subsidies, bail-outs and props. The six biggest banks now control a huge swath of the US economy, yet they are now fully dependent on on-going government subsidies just to survive. Their profits now are roughly equal to what they are receiving in regular government “stimulus” moneys, meaning, they would be forced out of business if they had to go without massive public funding from the government. This is to say nothing of the giant military-industrial-security and surveillance complex and its over $1 trillion annual cash flood coming from Washington and the Federal budget. Do we really believe that the same people who fund and control both of the two major parties want this gravy train to end? Think again. Not on your life.

No, the true rulers, the global business elite, need the US government, and will not let it be shutdown for long, if at all. So again, I am inclined to view all of this melodrama and hyperbole as so much theatre: bread and circuses, my friends, bread and circuses.

Keep the people divided – divide and conquer being rule number one for any good power-monger; and feed them bread and circuses to keep them distracted while their pockets are picked, and to keep their eyes diverted from the shackles and chains around their necks, wrists and legs. And sometimes, soap operas, sit-coms, “reality tv,” sports and celebrity gossip are not enough – political theatre is also needed; and so, it is provided.

The reality is, there are far too many pigs that are neck deep with their heads in the trough for the government to shut down for long. The ruling oligarchs simply won’t allow it, so let’s be real here, and keep such facts in mind while the hysteria mounts.

If the US government, or either of the major parties was truly interested in reducing the debt and deficit, then the on-going wars of empire would be ceased immediately and sworn off, all foreign US military bases would be closed, the military-industrial-security complex would be radically de-funded and the global surveillance and police state apparatus shut down, with savings of close to $1 trillion a year – which would mean that were is no more fiscal crisis.

If, in addition to this, universally accessible, publicly funded not-for-profit health care was brought in, further enormous cost savings would be made, and there would be a windfall of money available for real economic recovery, job creation, infrastructure and urgently needed environmental programs.

But none of this is on the agenda, none of this is even open to discussion, for the simple reason that the ruling class of plutocrats and corporate tsars and robber barons don’t want this, because that wouldn’t benefit them.

This is the real story; the rest, a mere charade.

J. Todd Ring,
September 30, 2013

The Greatest Canadians Ever, Eh!

Posted in Canada, Canadian, Canadian politics, civil liberties, common ground, consciousness, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, empowerment, freedom, geopolitics, globalization, human rights, humor, humour, nation state, national democracies, nationalism, NAU, North American Union, political economy, political philosophy, political satire, political theory, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, Uncategorized, war on democracy on July 1, 2009 by jtoddring

Reflections on Canadian Nationalism

While I am not a fan of nationalism in the narrow sense of “us versus them” thinking, there is definitely something constructive and life-affirming about having a certain pride or basic dignity when it comes to one’s cultural heritage. If we can take pride in our own cultural heritage, while respecting the cultural heritage of others, then this seems to be something very positive, very helpful, and very empowering – mutually empowering in fact. Our errors and present challenges should be honestly acknowledged, and so too our strengths, talents, and true shining moments. Dignity, confidence and mutual respect are helpful attitudes to be cultivated and cherished. There are also other, equally important considerations on this day, Canada Day, and democracy is one of them.

Freedom requires self-determination, and self-determination requires some form of authentic participatory democracy, at the very least. If we value freedom or self-determination, as we should, then we should value democracy, and seek to preserve it at the least, if not to preserve it in order to evolve it further. Celebration, dignity, confidence and mutual respect are in order: so too is vigilance and awareness. We should dance, and we should also increase our awareness daily, and not only on this day.

More important perhaps than cultural pride within a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect, is this consideration: despite its faults, the nation-state is the primary vehicle of democracy at this time, and therefore, we would be very unwise to attack, undermine or dismantle it, at least until we have something with which to replace it: and that something had better be at least as democratic, if not more so, than the nation-state, or we will be selling ourselves into slavery. What has been happening for some four decades is that the nation-state has been under attack, and it has been under attack for one primary reason, which is to destroy national democracies. We should have no illusions about this. The trend is real, and the trend is not accidental. It is highly conscious, and it is highly deliberate.

Who would wish for such a thing? Who has the greatest vested interest in destroying national democracies? The answer should be clear: the trans-national corporate elite wish to destroy democracy, which means they must destroy the nation-state, which is still the principle forum and bastion of democracy, so that they can do as they wish without having to worry about anyone getting in their way, without that nuisance of the democratic process, and so that they can effectively rule the earth, as the business press has itself said, as the “de facto world government.”

The trend toward the dissolution of the nation-state and national democracies began in earnest in the early 1970’s, with the unilateral cancellation of the Gold Standard by the US, the beginnings of the digital revolution in information and communications technologies, and the unparalleled global hegemony of the by then trans-national corporate elite. The trend can be called by many names: globalization, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, corporatism, globalism, corporatocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy, corporate neo-feudalism, corporate fascism, or most plainly, global corporate rule. Whatever we wish to call it, it is happening, has been happening for some four decades, is deliberate and highly conscious, and it amounts to the destruction of both freedom and democracy.

It would be wise for us to realize what is going on, that democracy is under attack, and that whatever more idealistic dreams we may hold, the nation-state still remains the principle vehicle or vessel of democracy at this time. Before we allow the nation-state to be dissolved, therefore, we should at least have something better in its place, or waiting in the wings, and this is not a world government of megalomanical elites and financial barons.

Democracy is, of course, power of the people, power to the people, and rule by the people. Democracy therefore becomes meaningless when the government is too far removed from the people; for when the government is far above and removed from the people, what we get is elite rule, or oligarchy, which in essence is a return to feudalism and the caste systems of the past, and not democracy in any meaningful sense of the word.

If democracy and therefore self-determination and freedom are to be presevered, then the minimum that must be done is to prevent the further concentration of powers at the trans-national or global level. This means that while we may further democratize the nation-state, we must not let this minimum of democracy as represented by national democracies be destroyed by allowing it to be castrated or effectively folded into unaccountable continental or global powers.

Democracy requires that power be closely connected to the people, as well as representative of the people. This means that power cannot be too centralized without democracy being destroyed. If we dissolve the nation state, or allow it to be dissolved, and do so without having or creating another forum of government that is closer to the people and the grassroots, then what we shall have is the evisceration of democracy, and the rule by an international elite.

What we will have is a kind of global corporate neo-feudalism unless we stand up to the assault on democracy; and we must begin by re-establishing the value and the functioning integrity of national democracies. Missing this point is living in a dream world.

It is important that we realize the value of national democracies now, and realize that where we are heading is not toward some kind of rosey world order, but toward a kind of Orwellian neo-feudal corporatism, in which democracy is no more, and freedom, human rights and dignity are destroyed, all under the guise of inevitability or the common good, to be sure. We must re-establish the integrity and independence of national democracies now. This is critical, and it is urgent. And of course, we should start at home.

So long as we avoid the “us versus them” thinking that often plagues nationalism, and realize that we are in fact interdependent, a certain pride or dignity is a very good thing. So too, are democracy and freedom worth preserving. For these reasons, we should generate confidence and a spirit of independence. In that spirit, let us celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up this land we call Canada, and celebrtate the land as well, which is our home.

*

Before celebrating the rich heritage, and the present lands and cultures which make up this place we call Canada, a note on the ideology of greatness may be in order as well. Greatness has nothing to do with fame, power or wealth. Hitler was famous, powerful and commanded great economic resources, but he was not a great man – he was, of course, a madman. Wealth, power and fame cannot measure greatness, nor even virtue or talent. Many of the greatest of Canadians or individuals from any country have been and will remain unknown to all but a few friends, family and community members. This does not reduce their status. We tend to worship those who have fame, as if being known meant something in itself. Paris Hilton is famous, but is she any greater than anyone you would meet on the street? It is unlikely. King Midas was wealthy in the extreme, but that did not give him character, virtue, wisdom or even happiness, let alone greatness. Stalin had great power, but he was a paranoid egomaniac, and a mass murderer. Let us cease to worship fame, wealth and power, and instead, respect that which is worthy of respect, which is talent, character, and above all, the qualities of the heart. And from a deeper persepctive, we can say this: if you want greatness, look in the mirror: realize your true nature. This is the secret of all the world, the perennial wisdom that all the sages have discovered.

If we can find our own dignity and empowerment by recognizing the good qualities and the true successes or victories of others, then let us do that; but let us always remember that the greatness we see in others merely reflects that which we have yet to uncover in ourselves. Just as the errors or stumbling of others reflects our own potential to err and to stumble, the true successes, virtues and victories of others reflect the potential within us to realize our own greatness. Dignity, mutual respect, and mutual empowerment are worth pursuing, and are also worthy of celebration. This Canada Day, let us celebrate with a new awareness, and sow the seeds for a beautiful future for all. In fact, let this be our celebration daily, and everywhere, no matter where we live or where what country we call home.

*

On a lighter note, as the title indicates, I would nominate Bob and Doug MacKenzie as the greatest Canadians ever. Bring on the beer and back-bacon eh! A sense of humour is one of our finest assets here in the great white North. Bring it on. I recommend the film Strange Brew for all new and old, young and young-at-heart Canadians. A mixture of Hamlet, Star Wars, 1984, and hockey – with beer, naturally – it is a very funny movie, and very perceptive to boot: the Canadian version of Doctor Strangelove. Along with this low-brow/high-brow humour, the film Canadian Bacon, with Canadian funny man par excellence John Candy, would be a perfect combination.

What else do we have to be proud of here in this land called Canada today? The list is as long. Recently Canadians voted Tommy Douglas as the greatest Canadian in our – relatively short and still unfolding – history. I for one, would not disagree. Look him up, if you are not familiar with this truly great man. One other brave heart from this land I would like to mention only: Louis Joseph Papineau – a democrat before his time. There are of course many, many others worthy of great honour, both past and present, and there will be more in the future. As to a further list of names and accomplishments in the on-going history of this country, I will leave that to others.

The lands and the peoples of Canada deserve to be celebrated. And the famous are not the only ones we should remember, take note of, or respect. Mutual respect will help us all. After all, it is only enlightened self-interest, as well as a matter of virtue and basic kindness. Let us celebrate the good in all peoples, everywhere. Today, the focus happens to be on Canada, and that is not a bad thing at all, and very well deserved.

There is no country. Any country is a name only. A country is a mental concept, lines drawn on a map. What is real is the people and the land. Real also is our democracy – or so it is if we preserve it. Let us celebrate the land, the peoples, and the freedom and democracy of Canada. Imperfect as these may be, they are precious, and worthy of both respect and preservation.

JTR,
Canada Day,
2009

Global Geopolitics: 2008 Update

Posted in 2008, 9/11, American politics, analysis, Brzezinski, Canada, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, collapse, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crash, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, currency, debt, deep integration, democracy, dollar crisis, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, Gulf of Tonkin, human rights, imperialism, Iran, Martial Law, Middle East, money, NACC, NAU, North American Union, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, oil, Operation Northwoods, peak oil, Pearl Harbor, pentagon, police state, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, Reichstag, Security and Prosperity Partnership, Sinking of the Maine, sovereignty, SPP, the world's other superpower, tipping point, Trilateral Commission, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror, WEF, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , on February 22, 2008 by jtoddring

“The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.” – Noam Chomsky


A number of long-term trends are coming to a head in 2008, particularly within the United States, but also more broadly, affecting North America, the Western nations and the world as a whole. Among them are, to name a few of the most pivotal, in brief: a global crisis of legitimacy, stemming primarily from broad and deep popular opposition to the emerging framework of world order, which is most accurately described as global corporatism, or more starkly but appropriately, global feudal fascism; the unfolding and escalating war on democracy and attempted consolidation of domestic and global dominance by Western elites; rapidly deepening economic crisis; peak oil repercussions; escalating ecological fallout; escalating geopolitical maneuvers for maintaining imperial hegemony; the stealth coup of continental corporatism under the Security and Prosperity Partnership; and pretexts for fortification of existing powers in the heartland of the Western empire, with rapid and highly conscious movement from corporate dominated liberal democracy to full corporatist fascism, under an orchestrated state of emergency. These trends continue to unfold with increasing speed, while at the same time, there are also signs of great hope, as “the other superpower” – the people of the world – begin to awake.

While China, India, Russia and other powers rise rapidly as economic giants, and these BRIC alliance economies in particular, the global hegemony of the Western business elite is threatened, both from these rising external powers, along with rising popular opposition to neocolonial dominance abroad, and from within, by a growing and deep crisis of legitimacy, very much as former right hand man to French President Jacques Chirac, Jacques Attalie had predicted in his candid analysis, Millennium. Western elites believe the barbarians are at the gates, and worse, are in their midst – the masses becoming restless. In response, they grow increasingly desperate. A wounded predator is in its death throws, but as Chomsky has noted, a wounded predator is a dangerous animal. The following is an extremely concise overview of where we stand in light of global geopolitics, as of early 2008.

The Western political and business elite – particularly and most imminently with regard to the United States – face a severe and highly volatile crisis of legitimacy which is set to explode; in response, the elites want to lock-down their power while they have it. (See World Economic Forum global poll, 2002.) As international financier George Soros said recently, “We have to make major compromises now, or we will lose everything.” Clearly, the business elite do not wish to compromise, nor do they want to “lose everything”. The only alternative to these two options, therefore, is a power-grab: lock-down and consolidate while it is still possible. This is end-game. As Maude Barlow put it, it has come to a “global showdown” between the corporate elite and their empire of greed, and the people of the earth and democracy. The business elite may see a temporary victory, even though power lies ultimately with the vast majority, who in reality can only be ruled so long as we concede power and submit. In the not too distant future, the cooperation of the many with this unfolding corporate-fascist order will fall to critical levels, and the order will collapse. In the short term, a heightened and very ugly struggle between the forces of empire and those of democracy is likely – and is in fact, unfolding now at escalating speed.

Internal documents as well as public statements by the Western business and political elite show (corroborated by historical evidence of their actions, patterns, motives and methods) that a) they want global dominance secured in their hands; b) that this will require control over world oil supplies – primarily in the Middle-East and Canada; c) that imperial war, particularly for control over oil, will be necessary; d) that “catalyzing events” – aka false flag operations, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident and others, as the Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods set out – will be necessary in order to provide a pretext for the imperial wars; e) that maintaining control over the homeland and heart of the empire during the present time of propaganda failure will require resort to force – ie: fascism; and f) that these considerations have been well thought out, and have been found acceptable to these same elites.

Western business elites seek control of world oil reserves as means of securing global dominance; are escalating and broadening the military and paramilitary operations across the oil rich Middle East for this purpose, along with others; are preparing for an attack on Iran sometime in the very near future; need, as Brzezinski also pointed out, another “Pearl Harbor type event” to provide cover for such operations; and will likely launch a “catalyzing event” to provide the justification and cover for their planned action – another 9/11.

The next 9/11 will provide a pretext for a) the attack on Iran to secure mid-east oil reserves, and b) the lock-down on power in the homeland, the heart of the empire – North America and Europe – via martial law and the full emergence of a police state.

The U.S.-led NATO forces that have been deployed to the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean since late August 2006 indicate a military build-up of a scale that can only mean two things: war is planned for the near future; the scale of the planned war is much greater than Iran alone. It could be said that the size of the build up is a precaution, due to the foreknowledge that this is an extremely dangerous gambit: China and Russia are almost certain adversaries if the U.S. and NATO attack Iran. In either case, the time-frame is clear: such a massive deployment of military force – on the part of the U.S., with the involvement of French, German and British forces – is for a clear and imminent purpose. Military build-up as well as the usual preliminary saber rattling, statements by political officials, spin and PR deluge indicates a Western attack on Iran is not far off.

With Western elites set to attack Iran, the question is whether another false flag operation will be conducted to provide cover for the operation: ie: the “war on terrorism” propaganda stepped up by the artificial creation of another terrorist attack on “the Homeland” in order to squeak through one more imperial war before the lock-down on power is complete. And the indications are, yes. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. and Western powers would dare launch an extremely unpopular attack on Iran when the population of the world, including in Europe and the U.S., are deeply opposed to such an act, unless they first create a very strong pretext and justification for invasion. This is the need for another 9/11.

The next “terrorist attack” will destroy the constitutions of the Western world, and democracy, once and for all – or so it is hoped by the business and political elite who wish to rule unencumbered by “the masses.” As General Tommy Franks declared, the next attack will be the end of democracy. (It is hoped.) As 2008 unfolds, the war on democracy and the move toward fascism is becoming increasingly undeniable, particularly within the United States. What was unthinkable only a short time ago is now rapidly becoming a reality. It is furthermore becoming obvious that the attack on democracy is highly conscious. This is a power grab, a stealth coup. Another major terrorist attack would provide the rationalization for the full implementation of emergency powers and the suspension of all remaining civil liberties and democracy.

With the Western elites preparing for imminent attack on Iran, a pretext needed, and the “war on terror” fears needing to be stirred up to fever-pitch to allow for such an arrogant and extraordinarily dangerous, reckless and brazen move, the next “Pearl Harbor-type event” will likely be soon; and that event will usher in the fascist state: for all of the “North American Homeland” – as the Pentagon has declared the continent, echoing Nazi terminology – commencing with the United States, and soon after, for as much of the world as the Western elite can control, including, of course, Europe.

Also planned for 2007-2008 is the completion and implementation by stealth of the “regulatory framework” for the SPP/NAU: that is, the new government of North America is to be in place and fully functioning as a shadow government by 2007-2008. This is the unfolding of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, whereby Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are merged into one continental body, with one continent-wide corporatist regime, in what is being called the North American Union. That government is called the NACC: the North American Council on Competitiveness; and it is composed of 10 representatives from each of the three nations. This council of 30 which is the NACC, the new North American government, is already appointed – appointed by the business elite of North America; and it is composed of representatives from the biggest corporations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (We already know their names, and which corporations they come from.) 30 CEO’s will govern the entire continent. “The Homeland” becomes a full-fledged corporate-fascist state.

At the same time, also to be expected from an attack on Iran – in fact, a guaranteed result, which is why the attack was likely delayed for some time until the financial elite had prepared their positions securely – is a huge spike in global oil prices. The effects on the destabilization of the U.S. and also the global economy will be very great.

Also at the same time, the U.S. dollar is already falling. Central banks the world over are pulling out. A run is about to commence. Capital flight will bring down the dollar, and the U.S. economy with it. Already the head of China’s central bank has said “We have enough [U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds].” The U.S. relies on $2.8 billion a day in foreign money coming into the U.S. system via the purchase of U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds, in order to off-set its $70 billion per month trade deficit. The main prop holding up the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar is the enormous inflow of money from China. Now China has said “We have enough.” The U.S. dollar is about to sink, and with it, the U.S. economy. In January of 2008 the S&P index of stocks of the 500 biggest corporations traded on Wall Street showed a 14.5% drop in value over the previous three months, showing a deepening of these trends.

When the U.S. dollar crashes, not only the U.S. economy follows with a crash, but the global economy as well. 66% of world currency reserves held by the central banks of the world’s nations are in U.S. dollars. With the crash of the U.S. dollar comes a global economic depression, if not system collapse. This is expected anytime over the near future by anyone who is paying attention.

As if all of that were not already enough crisis and turmoil for one very short period of time, to this we can add the reality of peak oil. In the fall of 2006 I predicted that, according to the best evidence available, and some of the best analysts on the subject, peak oil would hit between 2006 and 2008. When it does, oil prices will spike dramatically, and will continue to climb, likely quadrupling or more. As of February 2008, at the time of this writing, it is now being admited, not only that peak oil is a geolocial and economic reality, but that it occurred in 2007: peak oil is here. Oil prices did rise dramatically, going from US$50/barrel to US$100 a barrel in just over a year, following a slightly longer trend from $20 a barrel in 2004 to $100 a barrel at present, and rising – a five-fold increase in three years. As oil prices skyrocket, the cost of all shipping and transport becomes far more expensive. Virtually all consumer goods rise dramatically in price, including basics such as food. Costs for all businesses relying on transport or inputs or goods over long distances – most businesses now – go through the roof, and widespread bankruptcies, layoffs and unemployment ensues. In short, peak oil means global economic depression, and mass unemployment, poverty, homelessness and hunger. And this is hitting at approximately the same time as we are dealing with the new unfolding of a North American corporate-fascist state under the SPP and NAU/NACC, led by the business elite and their lobby groups, such as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Business Round Table and the Council on Foreign Relations.

To add further complexity, the U.S. government under Bush has snuck through a law that makes mandatory the holding of a “REAL ID” national identity card for all Americans by May 2008. Since by May 2008 Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will have ceased to exist as nations in any meaningful sense – having been stripped of both sovereignty and democracy, the NAU/SPP being in place in operation if not public announcement, and “regulatory harmonization” under the NACC also having been quietly implemented by accommodating executive branches and high level bureaucrats – the “smart card” micro-chip-based REAL ID will become continent-wide. “Papers please.” The stage is then set for the introduction of electronic currency, via the universal smart card, which will be offered as a solution to both security issues and currency crashes. No card, no food. And since all personal data is stored on central databanks, accessed by a swipe of the card, being dubbed an “enemy combatant” without notice or trial can mean having all means of sustenance cut, with a few strokes on a remote keyboard, or one mouse-click, somewhere in the netherworld of the surveillance state. Any who hold the wrong opinions – that is, opinions that do not correspond to those the corporate rulers want us to have – can be silenced without even having to dispose of them to the detention centres (which are also under construction).

All of this is within the context of the greatest challenge humanity has faced in recorded history: the ecological crisis which we have set in motion, and which is now bearing fruit in the form of increasing and compounding disasters, leading towards systems breakdown and collapse, as Jared Diamond, David Suzuki, Ronald Wright and many others have warned.

It would seem that it is critical for anyone who does not wish to become a slave, or simply to be submerged in the deepening and interwoven crises of the time, to start to come together, and quickly, to build alternative means of sustaining ourselves and one another during the present time of rapidly unfolding troubles. Most will be swept into poverty by the global depression, compounded by the effects of energy shortage and growing ecological disaster. The middle class will be essentially vaporized across the Western world. Government services will be gutted – far beyond the mere cut-backs of the past twenty years – as corporate rule takes hold in full. Hunger and homelessness will be widespread and epidemic as poverty becomes the norm, as Jacques Attalie and others predicted some time ago. Meanwhile, those who can buy or sell in the new economy will be able to do so only insofar as they are willing to be silent and obedient slaves: dissidents will be shut down electronically, via the symbiosis of the electronic currency system, the universal smart card/ID, and the global surveillance state which serves corporate rule.

To be free in the new economy will mean being economically independent – and that does not mean being an employee, or relying on the monetary system. It means we need to establish parallel economies, whereby human needs and human freedom come first, not service to giant corporate feudal lords. We will need to establish sustainable cooperative local economies based in creative problem solving and mutual aid and common sense, and which operate parallel to and largely outside of the new economy: an economy which will leave only poverty under fascism for the majority, and slavery with perks for the “lucky” few.

There is not much time to prepare for such an unthinkable, but unfortunately real unfolding of events. The time to act is now, both to resist, to prepare to survive this ordeal, and to build alternatives for this ugly feudal fascist system’s inevitable demise.

The popular opposition to global corporatism has already reached great breadth and depth – as the World Economic Forum’s 2002 global poll showed, as well as the collapse of the WTO talks, as further noted by Canadian philosopher and former Governor General John Ralston Saul – and continues to grow, despite the unsuprising lack of coverage of this phenomenon in the corporate dominated network media. It is precisely because of this crisis of legitimacy and failure of the propaganda system that the Western elite are now seeking to consolidate power while they still can: through the resort to increasing use of fear as a means of public control, and more directly, through the use of force and state terror. But the crisis of legitimacy indicates the end of their reign approaches, just as it did for the regime of the former Soviet Union, less than twenty years ago.

Along with opposition to the present corporatist form of globalization, popular movements have for decades been busy experimenting with and developing working models of alternatives, in everything from green energy and transportation, organic farming and fair trade, to tools and models for authentic democracy and sustainable, just and peaceful communities. Everything we need to build a better world is here. We need only to act. And the time is ripe. Furthermore, there is no time to lose.

“In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last.”
– U.S. long-term strategic planner and Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinksi,
The Grand Chessboard

Not only will the U.S. be the last nation state superpower, the last of the nation state empires: the end of empires more broadly – including the present trans-national corporatist empire – is about to be witnessed by a thankful and newly empowered humanity. Sadly, it seems we must first live through a period of darkness before the age of empires can be closed.

Do not forget that the sun also rises. Let us work together now for a better world for all. A new dawn is already on the horizon. I can see it clearly. It’s birth may be painful, but its splendour will be magnificent.

J. Todd Ring,

February, 22, 2008

Links and references:

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

Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

Money, Banks and Democracy

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Earth 101: Essential Reading

Preparations for an Attack on Iran:

The Next War: Public in the Dark about Government’s Plans for War in Iran – Daniel Ellsberg

* “Cold War Shivers”: War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia

Debating World Domination: Bilderberg Meets in Canada’s Capital

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


9/11:

False Flag: A “Pearl Harbor Type Event”

Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

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

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

9/11: The “Perfect Opportunity” for North American Integration

Ex-Italian Prime Minister – ‘9/11 Carried Out By CIA and Mossad’ // Current

Former German Minister Says Building 7 Used To Run 9/11 Attack

9-11 Research: Insider Trading

More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money? God forbid

911 Proof

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Question from 9/11 (pt.1) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.2) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.3) – video

THE TRUTH & LIES OF 9/11 – Michael Ruppert – video

War and Globalization – The Truth Behind September 11 – Google Video

American Scholars Symposium

** Senior Military, Intelligence, and Government Officials Question 9/11 Commission Report

9/11 Statement Signed by Prominent Americans

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

ONE IN 3 AMERICANS SAY U.S. AIDED 9/11 By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III – New York Post Online Edition: News

* Scientific Poll: 84% Reject Official 9/11 Story

* Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job

* Over 80% supported the stance of Charlie Sheen

9/11: Why the Official Theory Has Collapsed (opinion)

* Alex Jones warns about attacks before 911

ABC News: U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

National Security Archive – Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962

Venezuela’s Chavez says Bush planned 9/11 attacks – video

Reichstag Fire, Hitlers 9/11 Fake terror to grab control! : SF Indymedia – video

TerrorStorm Delxue High Quality (Alex Jones) – Google Video

The Pentagon’s “Second 911”

Dynasty of Death: Historical perspective on the Bush family

***Amazon.com: 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out: Books: David Ray Griffin,Peter Dale Scott

book – Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor: Books: Robert Stinnett

9/11: Press for Truth – DVD Documentary

Celcius 9/11 – World Takeover and the War of Terror – CRG

9/11 Key Articles – Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)


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


SPP/NAU/NACC: The new corporate fascist government of North America, 2007

* Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

CBC – Top secret: Banff security meeting attracted U.S., Mexico officials

* CNN Video: Lou Dobbs Slams CFR & North American Union

*** De Facto North American Government in the Making: “Canadians must take back Canada”

Deep Integration – The Council of Canadians

**CFR Task Force Report – Building a North American Community

* CRG – Continental Integration of Military Command Structures: A Threat to Canada’s Sovereignty

* Documenting the rush to globalism – The August Review

* North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports – SourceWatch

*** Paul Martin’s Big Texas Adventure


Politics of Oil:

Video – Robert Newman History of oil – Google Video

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror – Google Video

“It’s the Crude, Dude” Linda McQuaig book launch


Peak Oil:

AlterNet: Will the End of Oil Be the End Of Food?

AlterNet: WireTap: Has the Long Peak – Oil Emergency Begun?

BBC NEWS | Business | ‘Peak oil’ enters mainstream debate

CNN – We Were Warned: Tomorrow’s Oil Crisis

Peak Oil alert – Houston Business Journal:

Peak Oil: The Energy Crisis of Oil Supply Depletion – full video

Re-Energizing America: Rescuing America from its Costly Fossil Fuel Addiction – Google Video

Mike Ruppert on Peak Oil – video

www.oilempire.us

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century: Books: James Howard Kunstler


U.S. Faces “Economic Armageddon”:

* The Dollar’s Full-System Meltdown

Economic ” Armageddon ” Predicted

Dollar Catching Asian Flu – Asia Times

Arab central banks sell dollar

As Dollar Plunges, Watch for US Government Bonds Sell -off – DEBKAfile –

The War To Save The U.S. Dollar – Trinicenter.com –

Fears for dollar as central banks sell US assets

BBC NEWS | Business | Is the global economy set for trouble?

Collapse of the Petrodollar Looming

Iranian Oil Bourse Opens for Business: A Final Step Toward US Dollar Collapse & Preemptive Nuclear Strike

An empire at twilight:

Superpower’s global dominance in question

50 Years After Suez, US Hegemony Ebbing Fast

“The United States is Terrified” – Noam Chomsky on Latin America’s Move Towards “Independence and Integration”

The Crumbling Empire: Latin America and Asia Breaking Free of Washington’s Grip – Noam Chomsky


The crisis of legitimacy:

Global corporate rule is now fragile

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky at the World Social Forum

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy – Social and Economic Policy – Global Policy Forum


REAL ID: Universal ID Cards

US National ID Cards by May 2008

National nightmare – ACLU of Southern California Campaign: Stop The Abuse of Power

Globalization and the rise of corporate power:

The Corporation – video

Iraq for Sale

On Globalization – Noam Chomsky

On the New World Order – Chomsky

Rollback – Chomsky

* Thirdworldization of America

Chomsky: Global Economy – excerpts from The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Profit Over People – excerpts – Noam Chomsky

Emerging Framework of World Power – Chomsky – audio/video

Institutions vs. People: Will the Species Self-Destruct? – Chomsky – MIT video

150 CEOs rule Canada: Time to tame corporate power – Murray Dobbin

No Nonsense Guide to Globalization – book

Book Review – All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust, and the New Capitalism by Linda McQuaig – Alternative News Media on Democracy, Politics, Trade, Environment, Military and Money in Canada

The Globalization of Poverty – Chossudovsky


Alternatives:

Global Showdown: How the new activists are fighting global corporate rule – video

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky – audio

Chomsky – Dismantling Empire, Building Democracy – audio – Chomsky

Taking Control of Our Lives: Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species, Noam Chomsky, 2/26/00

Another World: Alternative Ways to Globalization – audio/video

Noam Chomsky speaks at Binghamton University 3/4/06 – “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” – on WSKG Radio

Dismantling empire – chomsky

Rise Up Against the Empire – Chavez speach to UN

International Project for a Participatory Society – Z net

Strategy/Vision – Z net

Peak Oil Primer/What Can Be Done? | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

The Relocalization Network

The Community Solution to Peak Oil

The Local Future Network

The Community Solution: The Solution to Peak Oil

Ruralisation: Integrating settlements and agriculture to provide sustainability – Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University

Cohousing Association of the United States

Global Ecovillage Network

Intentional Communities Web Site: Home Page

The Earth Charter

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil – order video

Making Sweden an OIL-FREE Society

Nordic Countries Design Sustainable Communities: The Natural Step for Eco-Villages

How to pass a peak oil resolution | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

LETSystems home page – http–www.gmlets.u-net.com-

LETS Groups around the world – LETS-Linkup International LETS Directory

Hometown Money Starter Kit & Video

Toronto Dollars

Transaction Net – How Currency Systems Work (a Money Map)

Reinventing Money.com

ZNet Parecon – Life After Capitalism – And Now Too

Parecon – ZNet

Amazon.com: Roads to Freedom: Books: B. Russell

Powers and Prospects – Chomsky

Mutual Aid A Factor of Evolution – Kropotkin – libcom.org library

Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau – full text

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy: Books: Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future: Books: Riane Eisler

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh: Books: Helena Norberg-Hodge

Good News for a Change: How Everyday People are Helping the Planet: Books: David T. Suzuki,Holly Dressel

Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power

* Amazon.com: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (BK Currents): Books: David C. Korten

Amazon.ca: Another World Is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism: Books: David McNally

South End Press | Earth Democracy – Vandana Shiva

Looking Forward – Albert and Hahnel

No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade – book

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World: Books: Richard Heinberg

Amazon.ca: One Big Party: Books: Paul Hellyer

* Amazon.co.uk: Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior ( Shambhala …

Scientific American Mind: The Samaritan Paradox

Amazon.com: World as Lover , World as Self : Books: Joanna Macy


The Right Kind of Confusion: Conservative Divisions and the Collapse of the Right

Posted in American politics, Bush, Canada, Canadian politics, capitalism, Clinton, conservative, Conservative Party, conservatives, corporate rule, corporatism, debt, deficit, Democratic Party, election, FDR, fiscal conservative, Global War on Terrorism, Harper, Hilary, Hobbes, Keynesian economics, liberal, libertarian, Martin, Mulroney, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, New Deal, Obama, politics, Reagan, Republican Party, right, social conservative, Thatcher, Trudeau, U.S., Uncategorized, war on democracy, War on Terror on May 16, 2007 by jtoddring

The Conservative Party seems to be a strange mixture of competing and conflicting ideologies, as Devin Johnston pointed out in Countdown Until the Conservative Party Disbands Again. His post sparked reflections on the state of conservative parties and alliances in Canada and the U.S. Here are a few thoughts. To begin with, I think it’s helpful to distinguish some of the ideological or philosophical currents that are lumped together under the label of “the right” or “conservative”. The first that comes to mind for many is crass servility to corporate power, however, there is of course, much more complexity to the right than that.

One element within that loose category called “conservative” or “the right” is the current which comprises social conservativism. As Devin again, nicely summarized: “Social conservatism is the premise that there is one “right” way of living in a community and one “right” set of values, beliefs and ideals. Social conservatives advocate the suppression of the rights and freedoms of minorities through the state imposition of white male Christian heteronormative values. [In Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, it would be Arab male Islamic heteronormative values; and in both cases, class prejudice and class warfare are more than a little present – they are in fact central.] Classical liberals precisely reject any attempt by the state to dictate beliefs and values to citizens.” Well put. You could say it is Thomas Hobbes versus Thomas Paine.

Another current is populist, with strong values of grassroots democracy. Closely related but more emphatic in its wariness of centralized power is the libertarian current. Populists may be social conservatives, although there is an uneasy tension in this inherent contradiction; but any genuine libertarian will disavow state interference in the lives of citizens, including same sex marriage, de-criminalization of marijuana and other hot-button issues for social conservatives.

Classical liberalism places a high value on freedom, and distrusts what libertarians call the “nanny state.” Libertarians therefore have an uneasy alliance with the right, as the right is uncomfortably full of social conservatives who want to regulate everything from who you sleep with to how you brush your teeth. Libertarians can for these reasons be found forming alliances with the left when conditions are right. (No pun intended.) It is not necessarily that they are fickle, but more that they are looking for political representation within a system and political climate that is far more statist, centralist, elitist and authoritarian than they would like to see. Depending upon the policies – or promises – of the right or left, they may go either way, and this can at times be an informed and intelligent choice.

Thus, libertarians have more in common with classical liberals – or even left libertarians, who are in truth their estranged cousins – than with social conservatives. It is the espoused values of limited government, freedom, populism, and fiscal conservatism of the right that has attracted the support of libertarians, but if we look to the actual record of the right in Canada and the U.S. we can see that these values were only for public consumption, not for actual practice. Libertarians, populists, fiscal conservatives and advocates of freedom have been sold a bill of goods. More directly, they have been lied to.

The U.S. became the world’s biggest debtor under Reagan, who ballooned the debt to record levels with his tax cuts for the rich and corporations, combined with massive military spending, which is piped through the Pentagon system to form what amounts to corporate welfare for the military-industrial complex – all the while praising the free market, fiscal prudence and shrinking big government. Orwell would nod to Reagan’s handlers. Bush I carried on the tradition, and Bush II has pushed the debt up to $8 trillion – to the point where the dollar, the U.S. economy, and likely the U.S. government will soon collapse, as leading economists have noted with urgency.

All the while, throughout this spending spree by the right in the U.S., government got bigger and bigger, encroachment on personal lives and liberty grew, and erosion of civil rights and freedom is now at crisis point: the constitution itself is at question. It is not clear that democracy will survive in America. The merger of the state and corporate world has been taken to near complete lengths. Eisenhower’s warning has become stark reality.

Both of these trends – wildly indulgent corporate welfare, bringing the nation to the brink of bankruptcy, and grossly inflated powers of government encroaching on civil liberties and freedom – disgust and revolt the libertarians who have in the past supported the Republican and Conservative Parties.

In Canada, Mulroney took the conservatives into the realm of Thatcher, Reagan and neoconservatism – a flat betrayal of the history and traditions of the party. It was under Mulroney that the deficit and debt ballooned, while Trudeau is wrongly blamed. Trudeau and the Liberals faced recession and the OPEC crisis, Mulroney simply sold out the country to the corporate barons. I am no fan of the Liberal Party, but the truth must be told. It was not spending on social programs that drove up the debt, as the right wing media and “think tanks” (read corporate propaganda tools) convinced many to believe.

It was a combination of deliberate slashing of government revenues under Mulroney and successors (including Martin) by way of lavish corporate tax cuts, combined with the strong arm tactics of the international financial community which held our national debt and demanded increasing returns on “investment” by way of interest payments, which created the inflated deficits and growing debt. In the U.S. and Canada, as well as Britain and other Western nations, Keynesian economics and New Deal policies was blamed for fiscal imbalance, cynically and dishonestly, while the real culprit was welfare-state capitalism: hand-outs and tax breaks for the rich and the business elite – with a roll-back for ordinary people of all the gains made over decades and generations, with wages falling and social programs slashed.

This is the true story of the `80’s and `90’s in Canada: cut social spending by claiming a debt crisis – a debt crisis that was created consciously by slashing corporate taxes. It is a win-win situation for the corporate sector: greatly reduced taxes, and a disintegrating social safety net which means people are increasingly desperate and will work for less and less pay. Wonderful for corporate Canada. A tragic betrayal for the people of the country. And this scheme was authored and orchestrated by both Liberals and Conservatives from Mulroney on, all the while speaking of fiscal responsibility and loyalty to the people of Canada. Sickening deceit is what it is.

What we have in the Liberal and Democratic Parties, is a divide between traditional liberals and neoliberalism. Traditional liberals value freedom, democracy, and at least some measure of equality. Neoliberalism surrenders all values to one: compliance with the corporate masters. In the Republican and Conservative Parties, we have a similar division: between traditional conservatives and neoconservatives. Neoconservatives, like neoliberals – being two sides of the same boot-licking serve-the-man philosophy – have surrendered all values to the one over-riding principle: don’t bite, but fervently serve the hand that feeds you – that is, corporate America, or in Canada, Bay Street.

The conflict between social conservatives and libertarians within the broad realm of the right makes political alliances on the right tenuous at best. When you add in the split between genuine fiscal conservatives on the one hand, and on the other hand, neoliberals/neoconservatives (two sides of the same coin) who dominate the party leadership of the right in both the U.S. and Canada (along with all of the major parties), and who speak of fiscal responsibility while engaging in patronage, pork-barreling and corporate welfare to obscene degrees and in grossly hypocritical if not Machiavellian fashion, you have a potential rift that can quickly turn explosive. Witness the present meltdown of the American Republican Party. These divisions are tearing the party to pieces, and not even the most shrill and Orwellian fear-mongering or GWOT rhetoric can keep this machine from flying apart.

Social conservatives are fleeing the Republican Party, as are fiscal conservatives. Libertarians are simply appalled, and feel they have been lied to and betrayed. Republicans under the neocons have alienated the Christian right, the traditional conservatives and the libertarians. All that is left is a few scared suburbanites and the handful of super-rich who are the real constituency of the neconservatives. The party is disintegrating. The game is now open. The political landscape in the U.S. is shifting rapidly.

A maverick like Ron Paul could potentially seize on this disruption in the Republican Party, and capture support that would normally go to someone like Bush or Giuliani. With the Democrats making themselves the party of spineless non-opposition to the horrors and corruption of the neocons (Hilary and Obama being two cases in point), the dark horses like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich actually stand a chance.

Not that I place much hope or even interest in electoral politics in the present or immediate future, believing that they are largely irrelevant by virtue of a general vacuity of both vision and courage, and viewing grassroots movements as the real source of social change, both historically and in the foreseeable future; but some basic sanity and human decency in the realm of parliamentary politics would be a refreshing change.

Getting back to Canadian politics, if the rhetoric versus reality chasm is exposed more thoroughly in the case of the Conservative Party, and the already existing internal divisions made clear, so that a healthy debate among conservatives can occur, the results will likely be the splintering of “the party” but also the resurrection of democracy among the right. That would not be a bad thing.

Basically, the Conservative Party in Canada, as well as the Republican Party of the United States, are parties of, by and for big business and the corporate lobby, but they have to get elected by voters, and not simply gather “donations” from the business elite to get elected; thus they have to lure social and fiscal conservatives, populists and libertarians into thinking that these parties actually have some substantial allegiance to something other than the pursuit of money and power through service to the corporate elite. This is the primary flaw and fatal internal division within the parties of the right: they are built upon a lie.

Of these five elements that we have identified within the right – social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, populism, libertarianism, and service to corporate power – it is almost without exception the one single principle of service to the corporate elite which consistently wins out; all other values are for rhetorical purposes only – they can, will be and have been dispensed with whenever they conflict with the over-riding principle: serve the masters.

Show the people the lie, and the façade falls apart. Then you have a party exposed for what it is: neoconservative, not genuinely conservative – which is a party of class warfare: serve the moneyed aristocracy, as Jefferson decried, and fool the people into serving themselves up on the altar of mammon.

Devin Johnston hits the nail on the head when he says, “At any rate, it is clear to me that the Conservative Party is a pathetic attempt to unite people who are in fact completely at odds with one another in order to destroy a common enemy: godless socialism.” (At least that was the case up until the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the official enemy.) It can be added however that polls in Canada as well as the U.S. show consistent and overwhelming popular support for socialist-leaning policies and views. There is in Canada and the U.S. overwhelming popular support for universal public health care. Overwhelming support for universally accessible education. Overwhelming support for a guaranteed social safety net to protect the poor, ill, injured, disabled and elderly from the ravages of an unfettered monopoly capitalism. An overwhelming majority – generally approaching 80% – believe that the economic system is inherently unfair, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and that the rich get richer while the poor get…..something other. (This latter point by the way is not socialist, but simply a matter of the intelligent or merely common sense observation of the undeniable facts.)

In a nation-wide poll of American citizens the core socialist dictum of “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need” was felt to be such a matter of common sense and common human decency, that over 70% of Americans believed it must have come from the U.S. Constitution. It was, of course, a statement made by none other than Karl Marx. This is why the New Deal policies of FDR in the U.S. Democratic Party and Trudeau in Canada, were so immensely popular: they approximated the ideals of fairness, justice, equality and compassion, even though they were watered down by virtue of existing within an fundamentally unchallenged economic framework of monopoly capitalism. The populace leans left, as it has for generations, while the economic system maintains power in the hands of the few, with the results that political parties have done more to serve the interests of the powerful than those of the people.

If the rhetoric is cut through, the popular support vanishes; and all that is left of the parties of the right in Canada and the U.S. is a servile allegiance to corporate America and Bay Street. Poke the balloon. The time is right to burst this bubble of delusion.

The only other prop holding up this rape and pillage party apparatus of the right is the scare tactics of the Global War on Terror; and that too, is failing. A whole other discussion would be necessary to dissect this campaign of state terrorism which is in effect, and by design, a war, not on terror, but on democracy. For the time being, let it suffice to say that this is not a war that the power elite – being the corporate elite and their political servlings – can win.

When it comes to dismantling the basic structures of democracy, disemboweling the safeguards of basic human rights and freedom, and nullifying a two-hundred year old tradition of constitutional democracy, they will fail. The values of democracy, freedom and human rights have been too deeply imbued in the people of the Western world for these to be given up without a fight – in fact, without a powerful resistance movement.

600,000 or more dead in Iraq to “fight terrorism” and “sow democracy” – in truth, as most now admit, to fight imperial wars for control of world energy supplies – this is terrorism at its finest; or most brutal. The anti-terrorist legislation of post-9/11 paranoia and propaganda, most notoriously the U.S. Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act: this is not the safeguarding of “our way of life” – this is not the “defense of liberty and freedom.” This is the destruction of constitutional democracy and civil rights. This is the criminalization of dissent. This is a Machiavellian lie of the greatest proportions. And this is becoming evident even to the staunchest defenders of the “war on terror.”

The propaganda war that upholds corporate power now, after the red scare days have passed – the tactics no longer effective with the absence of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc – the only rhetoric that upholds this fragile and crumbling edifice of corporate power, short of brute force itself, is the lie of the war on terror. Frighten the people, and they will support “strong leaders” and repressive measures at home, as well as imperial warfare abroad, disguised as self-defense. But the propaganda war is failing. Either there will be another terrorist incident, which will bolster the effectiveness of the propaganda, and again rally the people into supporting their own slavery, the surrender of their rights and freedoms, and the wars of empire around the globe, or the propaganda campaign will collapse, and with it, the power elite that serves, and is in power to serve, the power of the rich and the corporate world. The latter is not likely to be allowed to happen, so watch out for the former.

In the short term, a renewed campaign of what the political elite and agencies like the CIA call “political warfare” and “psychological warfare” – what used to be called propaganda when there existed a bit more honesty in the political arena – is likely to be invoked; and in the short term, there may yet be temporary, Pyrrhic victories for the corporate elite and their servants who present themselves as popular leaders of the right (or the center or left, a la Clinton, Martin, Blair). This is, or should be, a cause for concern. In the not too distant future however, and in fact, in the very near future, such Machiavellian machinations as are won by acts of great deception are unsustainable, and will collapse. They are indeed collapsing as we speak. We need to hasten the demise of these dangerous delusions – at least, that is, if we are at all alive to our human hearts and minds, and care not to see unnecessary suffering, madness or destruction on this small and beautiful, fragile planet. We need to break open these bonds of confusion, examine them, and tear them asunder. They will collapse upon examination. All that is required is the light of day.

 

J. Todd Ring

May 16, 2007

 

Posted by: jtoddring, in New Deal, Trudeau, Keynesian economics, debt, FDR, Democratic Party, social conservative, fiscal conservative, Liberal, deficit, Reagan, Mulroney, Martin, Harper, Hilary, Obama, Thatcher, Bush, Clinton, libertarian, Global War on Terrorism, conservatives, Canada, Canadian politics, capitalism, corporate rule, Hobbes, war on democracy, corporatism, election, Conservative Party, Republican Party, neoconservatism, war on terror, American politics, U.S., neoliberalism, right, conservative, politics

Continental Integration and the War on Democracy

Posted in Blogs for Democracy, Canada, Canadian politics, capitalism, corporate rule, corporatism, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democratic deficit, election, fascism, globalization, neoliberalism, North American Union, police state, Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP, war on democracy on May 15, 2007 by jtoddring

I can think of no better starting place for discussion for Blogs for Democracy than the single most immediate threat to democracy in Canada: continental integration and the Security and Prosperity Partnership, signed by Paul Martin, George Bush and Vicente Fox in Waco Texas, March 2005.

The SPP is a corporate-led agenda to integrate the economies, military, security, laws and regulations of the three nations of North America. It is not a theory or a “what if?” but a big business plan that is already being implemented – quietly, and without public discussion or parliamentary debate. Meetings of the highest echelon of political representatives, the corporate sphere and the top military brass from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have held a number of meetings since Waco to further the program. The last meeting was held in Ottawa, this past February, with Michael Chertoff, Condoleeza Rice and Paul McKay in attendance.

What the SPP does is to transfer real political power out of the realm of parliament and democratic forums, where public involvement and oversight is at least possible, to a 30-member council which will create policy for all three nations, and later “brief” parliament and congress. This new defacto continental government has already been created.

The corporate lobby which initiated the deep integration agenda has appointed its own ruling forum, which is by all indications meant to be the real locus of power, and a thoroughly anti-democratic one at that, serving the interests of the corporate elite, and shutting out the public from all discussion or participation in the process of re-writing our laws and shaping our future. The new defacto government of what the big business lobby calls “Fortress North America” has been named the North American Council on Competitiveness (NACC). Meet your new masters. Unless we challenge and defeat the SPP, these 30 CEO’s will, in fact, be our new masters.

What the SPP is, in a nutshell, is the creation of a corporate ruled society, a power bloc that spans the continent of North America, and is meant to compete with the power blocs of Europe and Asia. What is seen by its architects as dispensible are things like democracy, individual rights and freedoms, public scrutiny and involvement, or accountability of the new ruling elite. It is an expansion of NAFTA – “NAFTA on steroids” it has been called – but it goes far beyond NAFTA in concentrating real social, economic and political power in the hands of the elite investment class.

As Toronto lawyer Paul Bigioni and others have aptly described, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and its unelected and anti-democratic continental governance body, the North American Council on Competitiveness, is the institutionalization of corporate rule. It is the natural, though by no means inevitable, unfolding of the corporate-dominated globalization process, which is gutting democracy, enshrining the rights and power of the global investment class, and creating the mechanisms for global corporatocracy – all in the pursuit of extractive, predatory and grossly unsustainable economics, ever higher quarterly profits for the few, and a new form of feudalism for the rest of us. It is the neoliberal globalist agenda writ large, and the natural, although deliberate, and again, by no means inevitable, continued concentration of real socio-political and economic power in the hands of the few: the new oligarchs.

The mass media, major political parties, and to an embarrassing extent, the alternative media and grassroots, are continuing to ignore the issue, while the substance of our democratic forums is quietly being eviscerated by the Canadian and American corporate lobby.

We need to pay attention to this. This should be a focal issue for Canadians. (In fact, the up-coming federal election will be a sad joke, a hollow sham, if this issue is not made central. But so far, no major party has seriously addressed the subject. If you are a member or supporter of one of the major political parties in Canada, please write, email, phone or visit your party’s leaders and activists, and ask them why they are not responding to this issue with the seriousness it merits. You could even be more blunt than that.) There are a number of citizen’s groups in Canada working to stop the SPP and the creation of “Fortress North America” – they need your support. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives are among the few who have realized the urgency of the subject. Please get involved. If this is new to you, a number of excellent links and resources can be found in the following article: The SPP: Stealth Coup?.

J. Todd Ring

May 15, 2007

See also:

Power to the People (in Suits)


An excellent, brief analysis of the Conservative Party of Canada

Posted in Canada, Canadian politics, Conservative Party, conservatives, election, neoliberalism, politics on May 15, 2007 by jtoddring

Kudos to Devin. Worth reading: a very interesting and thoughtful article on the Conservative Party – it’s present dilemma, future prospects, and troubled history.

Countdown Until the Conservative Party Disbands Again