Archive for the Democrat 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

The Politics of Illusion

Posted in alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, Cheney, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, detention centers, elite, empire, empowerment, environment, fascism, Feudalism, free speech, freedom, geopolitics, global warming, globalism, globalization, imperialism, inspiration, labour, money, must-read, national democracies, neo-feudalism, neocon, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, peace, people's movements, police state, political economy, politics, propaganda, psychology, Republican, Republican Party, the world's other superpower, tipping point, trade, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war on democracy, work on September 24, 2013 by jtoddring

Or,

Politics and the illusion of choice

“The politicians are there to give you the illusion of choice. You don’t have choice – you have owners. They own you. These rich cock-suckers own the entire country.” – George Carlin

(Apologies for the poor choice of wording, but he does nail it here. You can find this short, powerful statement on politics in the real world on youtube. See “The American Dream”.)

The problem is, the people are given a false choice: the Democratic Party works for and is owned by the same big business interests which run the Republican Party, as Chomsky and many others have rightly said, and as the majority of the people are fully aware. And both of them are taking us rapidly into a dark age of global technocratic neo-feudalism, which is frankly fascist in nature, and is run by and for the world’s banking and corporate elite.

Look at what Obama did – not just what he said he would do. “You shall know them by their fruits.” He spoke of ending war, and instead expanded it. He spoke of peace, but has consistently served the interests of the military-industrial complex.

He dressed up like Kermit the Frog, metaphorically speaking, and presented himself as a green and an environmentalist. Then he went on to support fracking, which is destroying ground water quality across the nation. He continues to support the Keystone Pipline (appropriately named, as it is a keystone to the US corporate empire and its ravenous thirst for energy) and the burning of the Canadian Tar Sands – which, if allowed to continue, will be a disaster of global proportions. And he has catered loyally to Monsanto and the genetic engineering lobby, with serious and grave dangers for human health and even greater dangers with regards to global food security and the viability of continued food production on earth for human beings.

He presented himself as a populist, but then went on to hand the banking elite trillions of dollars of the people’s money, and bailed out the banks instead of the people; and then told the people “help is coming” – help which has never materialized, of course, since the government is broke, thanks to the bail-outs to the bankers, the continued policy of off-shoring of production and capital, the continued de-industrialization of the nation, the continued disastrous wars abroad and the whore-like service to the military-industrial-security complex and the financial elite, which, together, now rule the nation.

Obama posed as a democrat, a populist, a progressive and a friend of the people, and then intensified the Bush/Cheney/neo-con war on democracy, civil liberties and the Constitution, and further accelerated the creation of a police state at home, while giving the corporate and financial elite pretty much whatever they want.

Change? What change? Obama is Dick Cheney on steroids, with a pretty PR job and slick speech writers. He is a whore to Wall Street. His actions have proven it beyond any reasonable doubt. This man should be in prison, not running the country.

(Actually, he knows very well he doesn’t run the country – he serves the business elite who run the country, which is how and why he got into power in the first place.)

And by the way, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party – the two parties of the US branch of global corporate rule – are both deeply committed to abolishing all of the gains made by the people over the past two hundred years. They are both committed to returning us to Dickensian times, to the glory days, the golden age of unfettered capital, when there was no minimum wage, no social security or economic security of any kind, no restrictions on child labour, environmental degradation or workplace safety, and no right to organize or form unions for collective bargaining or simple self-protection; the days when the vast majority of people were so destitute and desperate that they would work for anything, even starvation wages, and the business class could rape and pillage freely, without any constraints, to their hearts’ content, and to the last dying gasp of their worker drones, who live little better than slaves.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats are committed to the continued off-shoring of production and capital, the continued de-industrialization of the nation, which means the creation of a largely jobless society and the third-worldization of the country – and the remainder of the world – in the drive for ever more astronomical profits and riches for the fraction of a percent of the population who are the ruling elite. It’s just a matter of whether you want the floor pulled out from underneath you, on the installment plan, by way of painful little pieces being cut away daily, or whether you want to take it on the chin with the Republicans, and get the blood-letting over with all at once. Either way, it is the same agenda, and the results will be indistinguishable in the end – because they work for the same people!

Both of the major US political parties are committed to increasing the already stratospheric wealth and power of the corporate and banking elite who have bought and purchased these parties, and whom they loyally serve – as their actions make abundantly clear. Anything that stands in the way of these core objectives must be demolished, and is actively being demolished – including the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Convention, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, all environmental, health and labour standards, media diversity, freedom of speech or the right to protest or even publically assemble peacefully for any purpose – other than sports games and other distractions, since the policy of “bread and circuses” is almost as core as the policies of “divide and conquer” and rape and pillage; the demolition of any meaningful sense of authentic democracy, actual freedom for the overwhelming majority of the people, and even the ability of the people to think for themselves, or to unite to discuss or pursue their common goals in solidarity and with the power of uniting the people. All these things stand in the way of ever increasing wealth and power for the few, so all of these things must be destroyed, and are now actively being destroyed. Those who are awake have seen this happening for some time now. It is high time the rest of the people woke up, before they get to the end of the cattle chute, and find out first hand, and most painfully, where all of this is leading.

In a word, what the business elite who control both major political parties in the US want, is a global labour camp – a global prison planet, where the vast majority of the people live in a sea of poverty, the great ocean of the ever-growing underclass, and the lucky few who have “jobs” are willing to work for the lowest possible pay, with zero security, so that they will be terrified of saying a word or making a peep about their abysmal lives and working conditions – and meanwhile, and of course, as the primary objective to all of this, the super-rich corporate elite can live like pharaohs on their private islands, in mansions and yachts, sipping champagne or quaffing Scotch and caviar, surrounded by private armies, heavily armed henchmen and security barriers, while the world slowly bleeds – or rather, is bled – to death.

They want a gulag. They want a return to feudalism. They are greedy little boys and girls, obsessed with their egos and their infantile sense of grandiosity, wanting ever more self-aggrandizement, and dreaming of being god-kings. It would be laughable, were it not also pathetic, and truly dangerous in the extreme.

We have seen such patterns in the past. Every empire has fallen, and every would-be Tzar or Caesar has failed in the end, and has tumbled and crumbled to dust. But that does not mean that these trends are not dangerous nonetheless. They are, and extremely so.

No, their is no real difference between the long-term trajectory, motives or agenda of either of the major US political parties. They are the parties of corporate rule, the parties which represent the aggressive drive to return us to the glorious reign of feudal kings and lords, sweatshops everywhere, and detention centres – labour camps – for those who are displeased with this arrangement of affairs. The only real difference between them is that the Democratic Party is far better at public relations, or what the industry itself calls “image management.” Either way, you get war, a police state, the destruction of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and civil liberties, a war on democracy and a steady drive towards a kind of global neo-feudalism under corporate rule. There is no real choice between them. They represent the same interests – those of the global business elite – and their long term objectives are virtually indistinguishable. These are the unpleasant facts of the matter.

So long as the Obamaphiles continue to prop up this failed regime – this regime which has pushed forward the Bush/Cheney/neo-con agenda further than that giddy little George Junior ever likely dared to dream; and pushed further ahead with the same policies of imperial warfare abroad, and the destruction of democracy, the Constitution and civil liberties at home, with the continued drive towards a police state – until this regime of Obama/Wall Street/neo-cons in neo-liberal Democratic guise and disguise is ended and brought down, there will be no real change. Let’s be perfectly clear on that.

The real choice is not between two parties of corporate rule, but whether we, the people, will continue to play along with this losing game, this deal with the devil; or whether the people will rise and reclaim their power.

When, not if the people rise to reclaim their power and their future, the game will be over, for the people always hold the greater power. Mark my words. Of this you can be sure. And the tipping point is fast approaching.

Look at the fall of the Soviet Empire. When the crisis of legitimacy reached a tipping point, the final threshold, the people threw off the old empire like water shaken off a dog’s back, and the USSR and five other Communist regimes collapsed, virtually overnight.

The same is coming to the West. This empire will not last forever – this empire of neo-feudal global corporatism. But, it will be deadly in its destructiveness and in the suffering and misery it causes, so long as it continues. Therefore, let it be brought down swiftly and decisively, and now, by peaceful means, by the people rising to reclaim their power.

It is time.

We, the people, the other 99.99%, can and must challenge the ruling order, which is rapidly devolving into a kind of neo-feudal, global corporate rule. The people always have the greater power, but in order to exercise our power, we must first recognize and embrace it. We can start by inspiring and empowering ourselves and one another. We must also unite the people. United, the people will be victorious. Divided, they will continue to be subjugated, and they will be doomed to great and increasing sufferings and tyranny.

Empower, inspire and unite the people. The rest will follow naturally from there. Remember, all empires fall, sooner or later. This too shall pass. It is up to us to hasten the transition to a better world, and now.

J. Todd Ring, September 24, 2013

The global financial coup and the coming revolution

Posted in American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, consciousness, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, Democratic Party, Financial coup, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2012 by jtoddring

The Real Story
of the
2012 US Presidential Election
– the story the mass media missed altogether –

And the critical lessons from history that
we must learn now


“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
– anonymous

“Evil can flourish only when good people do nothing.”
– anonymous

“Repeating the same actions and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.”
– Albert Einstein

A recent article from the Huffington Post splashes a headline that declares that the mass media completely missed the biggest story of the 2012 US presidential election. Then the usually banal and blindly partisan Huff-Post does its usual job, and goes on to completely obfuscate the matter entirely. The article not only completely misses the point, not only further distracts the people from the real issue, the central issue, but gives yet another gloss of the 2012 election. But the important point is not the sloppy and uncritical, virtually mindless “journalism” of the Huffington Post. The far bigger issue is the complete misrepresentation of the election and the entire state of politics in the US by a compliant and subjugated mass media broadly – both mainstream and “alternative.” The bigger issue yet, the central issue, is the state of democracy in America, and the questions of a) where does real power lie? And b) what is to be done about it?

The biggest issue of the 2012 election – and overwhelmingly so – was that it was a total farce. The two candidates and the two parties share virtually identical policies on the major issues, both foreign and domestic. That is, they both 1) favour the interests of the business elite at the expense of the people and the earth – which is not surprising, because that’s who funds their elections and gets them into office; 2) They both favour a domestic policy of a police state at home – Obama simply expanded and intensified Bush’s war on democracy, civil liberties, human rights and freedom at home as well as abroad; 3) they both favour an aggressive militarism and imperial warfare abroad – again, Obama expanded and intensified Bush’s wars; 4) they are both in favour of austerity measures for the people, spending cuts to old age security, Medicare and Medicaid; 5) they are both in favour of tax cuts for the super-rich and the corporate elite – they just disagree on how big they should be; and 6) they both favour multi-trillion dollar “bail-outs” for the too-rich-to-fail who rule the country and fund their “elections.”

So the American people had fascist war monger A or fascist war monger B to choose from. That was the real story of the 2012 US presidential “election.” The real story is that for the moment at least, democracy is dead in America.

Chomsky has rightly said that “Obama is the biggest human rights abuser in the US” – yet Obama is portrayed in the media as a progressive. This is madness. Some are simply being deceitful; some are being deceived. The fact is that Obama and Romney are the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of militarist, anti-democratic corporate rule.

“What we have undergone in this country is a kind of coup d’etat in slow motion – a corporate coup d’etat, where all the impediments to corporate capitalism have been lifted, by both of the major political parties…..And it is now incumbent upon all of us who care about those who suffer, to make the personal commitment which is required by civil disobedience to stand up against these forces.” – Chris Hedges, “Third World America”

The big story is that the American people are asleep, while their country is being pillaged and turned into a police state. That is the real story.

Fortunately however, the people are beginning to awaken. That’s why approximately half of Americans voted “No confidence” – and didn’t vote. Obama won with a “sweeping victory” we are told – ya, he got a sweeping victory with approximately 29% of the American people voting for him. In any other country, we’d call this election a sham if we saw figures like that. But not in the good ol’ USA. Here it’s proclaimed as a stunning populist victory. It’s a joke – a very bad joke.

Roughly 20% of the people voted for Romney, and 29% for Obama. Roughly 51% didn’t vote, and most of them refused to vote because they rightly viewed the election as a choice between two candidates who both work for the same ruling corporate elite who fund their elections and put them in power, demanding favours and preferential treatment in return.

It’s time to put the sham aside, and call it like it is: America has become a fascist nation, where the business elite has merged with the state. As Mussolini himself defined it, that is fascism, and that’s what America has now. Obama has sided with the elite fraction of a percent on every major issue, and at the expense of the people, democracy, constitutional rule and the environment.

It’s time we speak the truth, and stop telling ourselves lies. It’s time to face the facts. Democracy in America has been high-jacked by the corporate elite, who have thrown the people and the constitution overboard. That is the real story. Now, it is time for democratic revolution. Let’s get on with it, and stop pretending we’re living in some other reality.

The Obamaphiles are going to have to come back to earth some time. Reality will force them too, sooner or later. It’s shocking that it hasn’t yet with even more people, but it will definitely happen to the rest. The gloves are coming off, and the mask is about to slip. A class war is being waged by the 0.1% on the other 99.9% – and the class warfare is just getting into high gear. We haven’t seen anything yet – compared to what is unfolding now, and what is coming.

Obama isn’t the messiah. He isn’t even a democrat. He’s a member of the democratic party of course, but he is no democrat. Let’s try to deal with reality here. He is a corporatist – he believes in the merger of business and the state – and we can ask Mussolini what that means. Moreover, Obama is working for someone – and it is not the American people.

Where does real power lie in the world today? The United States continues to dominate the world economically and militarily, and through this leverage, also diplomatically, through sabotaging international agreements – for example, blocking international agreements which seek to create serious action on climate change.

The US empire is in obvious and rapid decline, and is crumbling, although it is still very powerful, and extremely dangerous. But real power does not lie with the elected “democratic” government of the United States in Washington. Real power does not lie with the White House or Congress. Real power resides, as it has since the National Security Act was passed in 1947, with the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community which dominates and controls both of these powers, as Gore Vidal, Bill Moyers and others have pointed out.

Taking the analysis further and deeper, it is clear that in turn these forces are controlled by the business elite of the country, and in particular, by Wall Street, by the financial elite. But Wall Street itself is just a junior partner in the new global empire of trans-national corporate rule. Wall Street and the entire corporatist empire are controlled by old money from Europe, as they have been for a very long time.

The US empire has now been completely swallowed by the larger, more powerful, and now globally dominant trans-national corporate empire. The bankers have taken over the world. The Pentagon, the CIA and the elected US “government” – the politicians who work as vassals and servants to the international financial masters – are most definitely real powers in the world today, of course. But these powers of the waning US empire are now simply the bought and paid for, hired thugs of the global financial elite. The game has changed. We now live in a different world.

What we are looking at is rule by a neo-feudal band of corporate and financial oligarchs that have no real allegiance or loyalty to any nation, or to the people of the earth. What is to be done in response? Certainly the response needs to be far more thoughtful and far more bold than continuing to pretend that federal elections in the United States mean anything. Local and state elections may still be relevant, and are, and much can be accomplished there. But at the federal level, elections are a distraction and a waste of time.

The two parties of the business elite continue to rule, no matter who wins. In such a situation, where the democratic process has been taken over by a small band of elites, and the democratic system is no longer functioning – other than as a charade, a mechanism for lulling the people to sleep, or keeping them distracted, docile and bemused, and a system which continues to perpetuate the anti-democratic rule of a handful of international bankers and financial elites – elections and petitions are utterly insufficient to the task, and are in fact a blood-letting: they drain away the vitality of the people which could otherwise be used for real social change, and for winning their democracy back.

In such a situation where the electoral and democratic process has been high-jacked by the richest few who have seized power and rendered democracy effectively null and void, and where, furthermore,  rule by the elite is leading to the destruction of life on earth and the end to human beings on this planet, the only two remaining responses are revolution, or death. One would hope the more intelligent choice would be made.

There is no greater master of the art of strategy than Sun Tzu, the author of the Chinese classic, The Art of War. What is not widely known is that Sun Tzu’s manual is not just about war, but about peace. His first principle is that war has a horrific cost to nations, communities and human lives, and therefore, peace should be sown and sought, harmony maintained, and war avoided at all costs. What is also not widely known is that there is no better textbook on the art of strategy that has ever been written. And if we are interested in success, then we must also be interested in strategy: for if we know nothing of strategy, then we will not likely succeed – in fact, without intelligent strategy, we will almost certainly fail.

Sun Tzu shows us how we can succeed – even against what appear on the surface to be overwhelming odds. And one element of which he speaks, one element in the art of strategy and attaining victory, is becoming increasingly relevant today, in light of the accelerating global ecological crisis.

Sun Tzu speaks of what he calls “death ground.” He said that to ensure victory, place your men where they cannot retreat, and they will be victorious against all odds. When individuals know there is no option of retreat, and that the only options are to fight or die, they will draw forth tremendous strength from within. We saw Sun Tzu’s principle of death ground on the beaches of Normandy. There was no option of retreat. The ocean was behind the allies when they landed on the beaches. Men were loaded with gear and could not possibly swim back to England. Because they could not retreat, but were on death ground, they fought with uncommon courage, and were victorious in what seemed like an utterly hopeless situation. That battle on the beaches of Normandy was decisive of course, and the Nazis were defeated precisely because the allies stood on death ground, and were forced to fight or die.

In may be appalling to think about, and it is certainly horrible, but it is a fact, nonetheless: at the beginning of the 21st century, all of human kind is now standing on death ground. The basis of life on earth is rapidly being destroyed. Scientists and even the World Bank say that we will be extinct in as little as fifty years or possibly less if we do not make major changes now. And yet, it is the reigning corporate and financial elite, who have taken over both the global economy and the political process, and who have high-jacked democracy, who are now the major obstacles to the very changes we most urgently need. The long and short of it is this: we either have a second wave of democratic revolutions, and remove the corporate and financial elite from power, or we die, and humanity will be no more.

As the awareness of this new reality begins to sink in, and the people awaken to the gravity of the danger and the urgency of action, it will become clear to all that we are on death ground, environmentally speaking, and often in other ways: and we must fight or die.

Many baby boomers and people who are older, and many young people as well, remain complacent, despite the growing and obvious dangers, thinking, presumably, that they won’t live long enough to witness the extinction of humanity, so the environmental crisis won’t affect them. This is not only grossly unethical towards the nearly half of the world’s population who are children, but it is also extremely short-sighted. Unless we are stupid enough to launch World War III and destroy the planet with a bang, if we are foolish enough to allow the corporate and financial elite to continue to effectively rule over the world, and are not wise enough to make a stand now, we will go out with a whimper. And as we continue to sow destruction on the earth, we will increasingly move into a very dark time, where life is not worth living – far before we actually go extinct. So the question is not only democratic revolution or death, it is worse: democratic revolution, or slow death by self-asphyxiation and poisoning, through a short-lived but very ugly dark age.

It makes sense to stand now, clearly. Anything else is mindless, as well as obscenely unethical, disgraceful and cowardly – and anything else means a slow and painful self-destruction.

Democratic revolution is now urgently needed. And it is going to happen, mark my words. The people are waking up, and the people are fed up. The writing is on the wall.

It is time for real change.

The Normandy invasion teaches us another critical lesson as well. When the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and successfully fought their way against overwhelming odds, pushing back the Nazi forces, another element became decisive as well.  The Nazis needed reinforcements to hold back and defeat the Allied forces, but Hitler kept a strict command and control structure, and no major troops deployments could be conducted without his direct approval. Hitler has also given strict instructions that he was not to be woken up while sleeping. At  a critical moment, it happened that Hitler was sleeping when the Nazis desperately needed reinforcements sent in. But the reinforcements could not be sent, because Hitler did not ok them. The result was the turning point in the war, and the ultimate defeat of the Nazis. The Nazis were defeated precisely because they had over-centralized power.

Had Hitler not centralized power so excessively, had power been more decentralized, the Nazis would have been far more powerful, and far harder to defeat. But of course, the central idea of fascism is to centralize all power in the hands of the few. It is for this reason that fascism will always be defeated, sooner or later.

When power is over-centralized, the head can be cut off, or as in the case of the Normandy invasion, the communication between the head and the body can be disrupted. In either event, the over-centralization of power leads to the collapse of that power, as Normandy and the defeat of fascism shows.

Over-centralization of power leads to a rigid inflexibility, as well as a diminished pool of minds and creativity that are drawn upon, and both of these factors lead to weakness and instability. As the Taoist teachings say, soft overcomes hard: what is fluid and flexible can bend, shift, adapt, maneuver, and will triumph over what is rigid, hard and inflexible. And overly centralized powers are always monolithic, rigid and inflexible, and therefore doomed to self-destruction and collapse.

Great concentrations of centralized power may look impressive, but they are castles made of sand. And the people are the sea. The tide of history always erodes the foundations of such sand castles, until finally they collapse, and are washed away.

Coordination and unity are essential, but centralization of power is not. In fact, the over-centralization is a weakness. Decentralized power provides more adaptability, flexibility, maneuverability and resiliency, and is therefore stronger. For this reason, among others, the people are always more powerful than any empire or centralized power in society. The people should take this lesson to heart, and act with courage, confidence and boldness. They will triumph.

What is happening in the world today is an extreme over-centralization of power, as Catherine Austin Fitts and others have said. The trend is obvious and unmistakable. Excessive centralization of power has taken place within the US, and in virtually every country world-wide, with few exceptions, by way of a financial coup: and power is being centralized globally as well, and at increasing speed, in the hands of a few ruling global financial elites. Such over-centralization of power is not only antithetical to democracy, and completely at odds with democracy, leading to a showdown between democracy and elite rule, but over-centralization also and invariably leads to greater instability. It is like building a house of cards: the higher the tower of cards, the more unstable it becomes, until finally, it collapses.

The financial elite are busy building a ziggurat. It is the tower of Babel. And the higher the tower, the more unstable it is. The greater the centralization of power, the more assured it is of collapse. With power in the world now extremely concentrated and centralized globally, this newest of empires is anything but stable. In fact, it is ready to collapse.

We should not be overly impressed by the staggering concentration of power in the world, or the centralization of power globally in the hands of a few bankers and financial elites. It is exactly this over-centralization of power that guarantees the house of cards will fall, and this latest of empires will crumble.

The people will be victorious, for the excessive centralization of power is doomed to failure; and furthermore, the people always hold the greater power, even though their power is spread out among the grassroots – and precisely because their power is diffuse, decentralized, and without a single centre. The people will triumph in the end. And the turning point is upon us now.

*

Sun Tzu, the unrivalled master of the art of strategy says, “To win one hundred battles is not impressive. To win without fighting is.” Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. would agree – and for moral as well as strategic reasons.

The people and the earth are presently being defeated, and they are being defeated, generally speaking, without fighting. They are being defeated, in general, not by ordinary weapons, but by what Max Keiser calls “financial weapons of mass destruction.” They are being defeated by a global financial coup.

What is needed now is a Gandhi-style revolution. But for that to happen, first the people must embrace their power – and they do not embrace their power by continuing to yield it up to the powerful, which they are doing now.

Sun Tzu also says that it is more important to out-think your enemy, than to fight him. This bodes well for the people, since the ruling elite have the overwhelming advantage when it comes to raw force or physical power – military force, paramilitary and security forces, control over the mass media and the cultural power that yields, and also financial and economic power. But superior force does not ensure victory. Vietnam proved that beyond all shadow of a doubt.

The world’s leading superpower, with incomparably greater military and economic power than any empire in the history of the earth, was defeated by a tiny population, with almost no military or economic power by comparison.

The defeat of the greatest empire in history by a tiny population with almost no military forces, compared to the giant powers of the US empire, showed not only the victory of strategy over raw power, but the victory of the mind over the brute forces of guns, bombs and money.

This is what Gandhi called “soul force” – and it also enabled an impoverished and demoralized people, with virtually no weapons and no money, to break the back of what was at that time, the largest and most powerful empire in history, the British empire, and to claim and win freedom and democracy for the people of India. It can be done. It has been done before. And it will be done again.

Only those who are ignorant of history believe they are powerless. History shows beyond any doubt or question, that when the people embrace their power and unite, they are successful, and victorious – no matter what the opposition may be, or how great it may seem.

All empires fall, sooner or later, and this latest empire, the empire of global finance, will fall as well – and democracy will be reborn when it does. And we don’t have to wait for it, or convince the emperors to change their minds. Both responses would be foolish, and would lead to the destruction of humanity, as the earth is ravaged and destroyed, and human life is extinguished from the planet. What is needed is decisive action, and now.

When the people begin to use their common sense, and cease to shun it, as they do now, they will win, and they will reclaim their democracy from the financial and corporate elite who have stolen it. And in order to reclaim their common sense, they must also reclaim their dignity, and their power.

When the people begin to awaken to their power, and to embrace their power, they will be victorious, and they will reclaim their democracy, their world, and their future. Fortunately, that is exactly what is beginning to happen now.

JTR,
December 12, 2012

 

Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, civil liberties, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economy, election, elite, empire, empowerment, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, health, health care, human rights, imperialism, Iran, jobs, liberal, must-read, NDAA, neo-feudalism, Obama, oil, Patriot Act, peace, peak oil, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, psychology, quotes, Republican, Republican Party, sustainability, the world's other superpower, truth, U.S., war, war crimes, war on democracy, wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by jtoddring

I never reprint other people’s writings, no matter how good – but I will make an exception for this. This article is a true must-read. Please, take the time to read it. Then act.

Good morning America. It’s time for a new day.

Kudos and warm thanks to Jill Dalton at recoveringarmybrat. I will definitely read your book, Is It Fascism Yet?

Sincerely,

Todd

Go Back To Sleep America.

Why Occupy Wall Street does NOT need the Democratic party

Posted in alternative, alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, elite, empire, empowerment, people's movements, political economy, politics, the world's other superpower, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2011 by jtoddring

Some people are now calling for Obama and the Democratic Party to get behind (or is that take over or co-opt) the Occupy Wall Street movement; this at best a strategically unwise misdirection of energies, I would argue, and at worst, a dangerously naive idea. The focus on petitioning and lobbying or even emphasizing at all such a party establishment, seems to me both a waste of time and also a very serious danger to the extremely hopeful pro-democracy populist movement that has sprung up around the globe, and which is being called the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. Obama’s campaign contributions from Wall Street this year exceed all Wall Street contributions to all Republican candidates combined. Follow the money. It is time to see through the veil, and time to get money out of politics. Occupy everywhere. The major political parties have failed us. Leadership must now come from the streets – again, as it always has.

It is a wonderful thought, that the Democratic Party machine could be convinced to start siding with the people and disavow it’s long-standing servility toward, and service to the ruling corporate elite and richest 1% that funds them and puts them in office, and stand honestly and sincerely with the Occupy Wall Street movement which is pressing for true democracy and real power to the people; and I can sympathize, but I am extremely sceptical of both major parties now, and highly wary of the present rapidly growing global pro-democracy movement being co-opted by a few lapdogs who will say the right words, then continue to sell us all out to the same corporate elite – after we have acquiesced, out of a naive false hope, and laid down our metaphorical arms and become once again complacent and disenfranchised spectators.

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. We are too close to a genuine second wave of democratic revolutions to have some tepid and highly dubious politicians play saviours and messiahs and water down or simply dissolve the peoples’ movement into a charade. Leadership must now come from below – from the streets. The “leaders” of the Democratic Party (sic) have already chosen their path. Their path is not our path. We need a grassroots coalition of the people now, not the attempted resurrection of the long-dead Democratic Party. Vive le revolution! The people will lead themselves!

Sincerely and respectfully,
J. Todd Ring
aka @prajnaseek

> Obama and Wall Street: follow the money | Campaign 2012 http://bit.ly/npS7Gu

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

The system is broken: strategic voting, coalitions, and the political regime under which we live

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, Chomsky, class, collapse, common ground, communism, conservative, Conservative Party, conservatives, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, Democrat, elite, empowerment, Feudalism, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, good news, inspiration, left, liberal, Media, money, nation state, national democracies, Noe-feudalism, people's movements, philosophy, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, propaganda, reading, Republican, Republican Party, resources, right, right wing, social theory, sovereignty, the right, tipping point, truth on May 28, 2011 by jtoddring

While I can of course see the rationale for strategic voting, there is much to be said for voting with one’s conscience. When we consistently choose the lesser of two evils, our choices are reduced to evil, and the results are evil. When everyone holds their nose and votes, essentially, for one of the parties or candidates of the status quo, believing no other option is feasible or can succeed, this collective act of despair becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: and low and behold, all other options are nullified – by our own act of choosing not to support them.

Put the blame where it belongs: the dominant parties are ensconced through the powers of the major media, which are controlled by the business and political elite who are in turn in bed with the party elite of the major parties: if we had a free press, and not a propaganda system, the people’s representatives would more closely resemble in action as well as words the views and values of the people, the great majority of whom by clear and consistent polls wish for more justice, equitability, sustainability, peace and compassion in the land and in the world.

How does a new party or a minor party build itself to a major force in politics? Certainly not by people choosing between the lesser of two evils and voting “strategically.” I’d almost be inclined to say that voting strategically is voting idiotically, for it is a vote of despair, a fatalistic action that presumes no major change is possible. While this is not entirely true, there is a great deal of truth to that picture painted. Maybe we should trust our conscience and common sense more often, and leave the horse racing to the track. This is not a game: it is our future.

Would it be better to vote for the devil if we thought he had a better chance of winning? Have we lost our reason and our faculties, our moral compass altogether? Politics is not about winning: it is about doing something virtuous in the world, for the benefit of all – or else it is truly a devil’s bargain, and we are both the prisoners and the captors ourselves. A vote is never wasted if it is the expression of our voice and true belief. Moreover, if it is an expression of our common sense and humanity, it would be a waste to thwart that and conceal it behind a shroud of “realpolitique” or imagined “realism.” When everyone defers to the present norm and the dominant powers, the present norm, no matter how profoundly abnormal or even pathological, becomes further entrenched, and real change, intelligent change, humane and sane and good-hearted change, becomes pushed ever farther off.

At the very least, we should make our views and values known, otherwise, democracy cannot function, and is reduced to a reification and endorsement of the existing structures of power and the dominant players. That scenario is dismal, to say the least. Let’s break it open. It is time to broaden the debate, broaden the discourse, and look to our options in a much wider field. The future is only as narrowed as our minds.

As to the dominant political parties in North America, they are all – Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal – beholden to the corporate elite who rule this continent. Whoever wins of this pack of four cronies and lapdogs, we get corporate rule; and whichever of them wins, we get either the fast-track or the sugar-coated program for bringing us a global neo-Dickensian corporate feudalism in which the elite rule, the privileged servile few prosper, and the rest suffer in misery and disenfranchisement. If we are serious about social change, then we need to break out of this stranglehold. A coalition is one way to break the hegemony of the forces of corporate power and their political lackeys, and that is something I would like to see emerge sooner rather than later.

What I believe could work, is now truly viable, and perhaps is our only hope within the arena of formal party politics, is a coalition that spans left, right and centre: it would be a coalition of everyone who prefers authentic democracy and rule by the people, to corporate rule and the rapidly emerging neo-feudal order. I will leave that to the organizers and political strategists to ponder, and hope that the call does not go unheeded. Our future is waiting.

For myself, while I admire the best and brightest of party activists, representatives and candidates – few and far between as they are – I have very little faith in the existing electoral and political system, for reasons of money and media corruption, and so, choose to focus my energies elsewhere. The system is broken. Everyone by now knows it, and the polls world-wide show a dramatic and profound crisis of legitimacy and loss of confidence in the political and economic structures and powers that rule us. To change this, the media monopoly must be broken, and serious, major and fundamental electoral reform brought in. However, the existing media powers and electoral financing system benefits the dominant political players and parties, so they are not willing to do what needs to be done, hence, the broken system perpetuates itself, via a self-serving political and business elite who dominate the political, economic and media spheres which are by now fully intertwined and mutually reinforcing. Choice under this political-economic system is largely an illusion: a small elite rule, and have for a very long time. As George Carlin so aptly put it, “You don’t have any choice – you have owners.” Or as John Lennon said, “You’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.” Democracy is a dream yet to be fulfilled. (See C. Wright Mills, David C. Korten or Noam Chomsky if this is not immediately self-evident.)

A break must come somewhere, and the growing and deepening global crisis of legitimacy of the ruling powers and systems guarantees that it will come. Remember the collapse of the Soviet Union and the entire Communist bloc just a few short decades ago: when a crisis of legitimacy reaches its culmination, a breaking point occurs, and the game is over: the entire edifice collapses, and something new – depending upon what the people do, arises to replace the old order. “Let them eat cake” did not stave off the demise of the old regime. In fact, such smug and cold arrogance hastened the coming change, and every repressive action in defence of the old and dying system, fuelled the fires of the imagination, of indignation, and of revolution. Stay tuned, stay alert, and keep your good heart. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over `till it’s over.” Remember Ozymandias. This is not the end of history, and democracy is yet being born.

J. Todd Ring,

May 27, 2011