Archive for the U.N. Category

Posted in Chomsky, corporatism, democracy, FTAA, globalism, Jefferson, NAFTA, political economy, political theory, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, U.N., WEF, World Social Forum, WTO on February 28, 2007 by jtoddring

What Must Be Done:
When corporatism and Leninism have both failed

Part Two: Building a World Federation, from the Grassroots Up

The U.N. is failing and in need of fundamental reform – people everywhere are rightly skeptical about its present and future role in the world. Corporate and financial power is clearly out of hand, to say it mildly, and great powers, in the traditional sense of powerful nation states, clearly also have to be reigned in. In this context, it is becoming clear to all that only the global human community, the people of the earth themselves, united in solidarity across our great and wondrous diversity, joined together by some few commonly shared principles, can reign in the unwieldy and anti-democratic, anti-ecological destructive powers which now dominate the earth.

The mood of humanity, if you can make such a broad statement, and I believe one can with a fair degree of accuracy (see the World Economic Forum global poll 2002), is one of deep concern for the future; deep discontent with the present state of global power, economy and relations; deep disillusionment with existing forms of power and institutions; and showing a clear and growing realization of the need to both deepen democracy, and simultaneously build bridges of world solidarity for mutual protection and creative action.

Can humanity agree upon a few basic principles, while allowing for mutual respect of our differences and diversity? I think this is not only a reasonable proposition, but one that has already been demonstrated. We have international agreements such as the Kyoto Accord, ratified by 141 nations, the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion, ratified and implemented around the world, the Ottawa Treaty, banning landmines world-wide, ratified by the majority of the world’s nations, and the Geneva Convention, to name just a few examples of human agreement and consensus internationally. We have the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, for example, which the vast majority of the world have accepted as a basis for international unity and understanding.

The basic principles of freedom, democracy, equality, peace and sustainability are acceptable to the vast majority of the global village. It is only the rogue financial and corporate powers, along with an unfortunately large number of political elites from many countries around the world, and a relative handful of extremists, who cannot or will not accept these principles as binding. The populace, as a whole, and world-wide, in virtually every nation on earth, already accepts these principles as foundational for any decent human society. Agreement is already there. It is solidarity that is lacking. Alienation and division must be overcome. We already agree on enough to build a better world. It is the unity across diversity that is missing, but that is changing quickly.

Some form of world federalism is needed now. Before this statement can be misunderstood, it must be said that I am not advocating the further institutionalization of hyper-concentrated global power. We do not need any further centralization or concentration of power in the world – in fact, what is needed is a radical decentralization and democratization of social, political and economic power. At the same time, however, it is clear that we need a greater degree of solidarity and cooperation amongst humanity and human communities world wide. We need thus, some form of global federation in which power is democratically held and concentrated at the grassroots level.

After the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle of 1999, just such a grassroots-based global network of solidarity began to emerge. Individuals and popular movements world-wide began to recognize the need to respond to social and environmental issues in a more comprehensive, systematic and globally linked fashion, with greater international solidarity, across all lines of geography, issue-orientation, race, class, gender and religion. Seattle `99 was a watermark, a turning point. Since then, much has been done to create and develop such a decentralized, democratic and popular-based unity amid diversity: a global network of peoples’ movements. This phenomenon shows great promise. It may be the only thing that can reverse the trend toward hyper-concentration of global power, the destruction of human rights, freedom and democracy, and the destruction of our home on earth.

The shining star to emerge out of this growth of grassroots global solidarity is the World Social Forum. The WSF is not a body with any direct political or economic power. It is a gathering, a place of networking and bridge-building. It is a place for individuals and popular movements to come together to exchange information and ideas, to discuss and debate, and most importantly, to generate greater solidarity and cooperation among peoples, communities and movements world-wide for the creation of a better world. It is not a centralized power, but a place where decentralized, democratic grassroots constituencies can discuss, come to certain agreements as to shared values and goals, and together, without the need for a centralized authority directing them, in the spirit of equality, freedom and democracy, bring about greater cooperative and effective action for the benefit of humanity and the earth. Noam Chomsky recently remarked that the World Social Forum is presently the most promising phenomenon on the planet.

Along with 1) the pervasive global questioning and challenging of all forms of power in society and all previously held assumptions, 2) the emerging spirit of democratic citizens’ empowerment world-wide, 3) the increasing realization by humanity of the interdependent nature of our world, 4) the dawning awareness that unity and diversity are not intrinsically contradictory, but in fact can be mutually enhancing, 5) the rapidly developing and growing global solidarity among diverse peoples, groups, communities and social movements world-wide, and 6) the rapidly unfolding genuine human renaissance which is perhaps unprecedented in its depth as well as its breadth; I would have to agree with professor Chomsky: the World Social Forum is one of the most promising things happening on earth at this time.

Along with the World Social Forum, we clearly also need a renewal and a deepening of democracy world-wide, in individual communities, states, provinces and nations. And, I would say, in order for this to be possible, a federation model, rather than a model of centralized power, needs to be developed or restored: otherwise we have the outer forms of democracy, but the democratic forms hide the real nature of power in society, which is oligarchy.
This needs to be done at the local level – the level of communities – and also at the state/provincial level, the level of the nation-state, and internationally. We need, in sum, a decentralization and democratization of power in society, along with a corresponding increase in global solidarity and cooperation: we need a decentralized and democratic world federation of some form.

It must be noted that it is absolutely critical that not only overt formal political power be decentralized and democratized, linked in a global federation of democratic communities (and perhaps for a time yet, also nation-states), but also economic and cultural power. We must swiftly, peacefully, and absolutely decisively deal with the exisitng hyper-concentrations of media power, and the parallel and even more fundamental hyper-concentrations of economic power – in the hands of banks, financial institutions, large corporations, family dynasties, old boys clubs, and trade agreements and bodies that effectively concentrate global power in the hands of the international investment class (such as the WTO, NAFTA, the FTAA, the SPP and the WEF).

Although their vision and example was imperfect, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine both held a clear and sensible, and in some regards, a noble view of the world as it could be – as can be yet. Thomas Paine, the primary political theorist for the American democratic revolution, along with Jefferson, took his inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, not the ancient Greeks, as is commonly believed. The Iroquois Confederacy still offers perhaps the best model for the future of humanity. Five nations lived in peace in a grassroots, community-based federation for mutual protection and prosperity. The people of these nations lived with greater peace, freedom and authentic democracy than almost any other peoples before or since. Jefferson himself admitted that the new American democracy was a pale imitation of the superior, more free and equal, and more democratic form of government which he saw in these native communities. Despite their faults, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, along with the Iroquois Confederacy, offer us now among the best and clearest inspiration for a better world, as we together look to our future on earth, and together face the ominous and simultaneously hopeful trends of the present.

Jefferson saw it clearly: either keep political power decentralized and out of any one group or individual’s hands (beware the ostensibly benign oligarchs), or watch tyranny arise, and freedom, democracy, human rights and even decency of life, decay and die. He also saw clearly that if the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of the corporations is not checked, democracy will be overthrown by stealth: consumed and digested by the dominant power of money. He was right on both counts. We are late in heeding his warning, but not too late. There is still time to rescue the dream of democracy from the threats which surround her. There is still time to found a beautiful and just, free and fair world for humanity on earth. It is not to late. But we must act now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 2007

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism have both failed – part 1

A “Must-Read” Short List: Author’s Picks

Overview: Geopolitics 2006-2008

Posted in Chomsky, corporatism, democracy, FTAA, globalism, Jefferson, NAFTA, political economy, political theory, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, U.N., WEF, World Social Forum, WTO on February 28, 2007 by jtoddring

What Must Be Done:
When corporatism and Leninism have both failed

Part Two: Building a World Federation, from the Grassroots Up

The U.N. is failing and in need of fundamental reform – people everywhere are rightly skeptical about its present and future role in the world. Corporate and financial power is clearly out of hand, to say it mildly, and great powers, in the traditional sense of powerful nation states, clearly also have to be reigned in. In this context, it is becoming clear to all that only the global human community, the people of the earth themselves, united in solidarity across our great and wondrous diversity, joined together by some few commonly shared principles, can reign in the unwieldy and anti-democratic, anti-ecological destructive powers which now dominate the earth.

The mood of humanity, if you can make such a broad statement, and I believe one can with a fair degree of accuracy (see the World Economic Forum global poll 2002), is one of deep concern for the future; deep discontent with the present state of global power, economy and relations; deep disillusionment with existing forms of power and institutions; and showing a clear and growing realization of the need to both deepen democracy, and simultaneously build bridges of world solidarity for mutual protection and creative action.

Can humanity agree upon a few basic principles, while allowing for mutual respect of our differences and diversity? I think this is not only a reasonable proposition, but one that has already been demonstrated. We have international agreements such as the Kyoto Accord, ratified by 141 nations, the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion, ratified and implemented around the world, the Ottawa Treaty, banning landmines world-wide, ratified by the majority of the world’s nations, and the Geneva Convention, to name just a few examples of human agreement and consensus internationally. We have the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, for example, which the vast majority of the world have accepted as a basis for international unity and understanding.

The basic principles of freedom, democracy, equality, peace and sustainability are acceptable to the vast majority of the global village. It is only the rogue financial and corporate powers, along with an unfortunately large number of political elites from many countries around the world, and a relative handful of extremists, who cannot or will not accept these principles as binding. The populace, as a whole, and world-wide, in virtually every nation on earth, already accepts these principles as foundational for any decent human society. Agreement is already there. It is solidarity that is lacking. Alienation and division must be overcome. We already agree on enough to build a better world. It is the unity across diversity that is missing, but that is changing quickly.

Some form of world federalism is needed now. Before this statement can be misunderstood, it must be said that I am not advocating the further institutionalization of hyper-concentrated global power. We do not need any further centralization or concentration of power in the world – in fact, what is needed is a radical decentralization and democratization of social, political and economic power. At the same time, however, it is clear that we need a greater degree of solidarity and cooperation amongst humanity and human communities world wide. We need thus, some form of global federation in which power is democratically held and concentrated at the grassroots level.

After the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle of 1999, just such a grassroots-based global network of solidarity began to emerge. Individuals and popular movements world-wide began to recognize the need to respond to social and environmental issues in a more comprehensive, systematic and globally linked fashion, with greater international solidarity, across all lines of geography, issue-orientation, race, class, gender and religion. Seattle `99 was a watermark, a turning point. Since then, much has been done to create and develop such a decentralized, democratic and popular-based unity amid diversity: a global network of peoples’ movements. This phenomenon shows great promise. It may be the only thing that can reverse the trend toward hyper-concentration of global power, the destruction of human rights, freedom and democracy, and the destruction of our home on earth.

The shining star to emerge out of this growth of grassroots global solidarity is the World Social Forum. The WSF is not a body with any direct political or economic power. It is a gathering, a place of networking and bridge-building. It is a place for individuals and popular movements to come together to exchange information and ideas, to discuss and debate, and most importantly, to generate greater solidarity and cooperation among peoples, communities and movements world-wide for the creation of a better world. It is not a centralized power, but a place where decentralized, democratic grassroots constituencies can discuss, come to certain agreements as to shared values and goals, and together, without the need for a centralized authority directing them, in the spirit of equality, freedom and democracy, bring about greater cooperative and effective action for the benefit of humanity and the earth. Noam Chomsky recently remarked that the World Social Forum is presently the most promising phenomenon on the planet.

Along with 1) the pervasive global questioning and challenging of all forms of power in society and all previously held assumptions, 2) the emerging spirit of democratic citizens’ empowerment world-wide, 3) the increasing realization by humanity of the interdependent nature of our world, 4) the dawning awareness that unity and diversity are not intrinsically contradictory, but in fact can be mutually enhancing, 5) the rapidly developing and growing global solidarity among diverse peoples, groups, communities and social movements world-wide, and 6) the rapidly unfolding genuine human renaissance which is perhaps unprecedented in its depth as well as its breadth; I would have to agree with professor Chomsky: the World Social Forum is one of the most promising things happening on earth at this time.

Along with the World Social Forum, we clearly also need a renewal and a deepening of democracy world-wide, in individual communities, states, provinces and nations. And, I would say, in order for this to be possible, a federation model, rather than a model of centralized power, needs to be developed or restored: otherwise we have the outer forms of democracy, but the democratic forms hide the real nature of power in society, which is oligarchy.
This needs to be done at the local level – the level of communities – and also at the state/provincial level, the level of the nation-state, and internationally. We need, in sum, a decentralization and democratization of power in society, along with a corresponding increase in global solidarity and cooperation: we need a decentralized and democratic world federation of some form.

It must be noted that it is absolutely critical that not only overt formal political power be decentralized and democratized, linked in a global federation of democratic communities (and perhaps for a time yet, also nation-states), but also economic and cultural power. We must swiftly, peacefully, and absolutely decisively deal with the exisitng hyper-concentrations of media power, and the parallel and even more fundamental hyper-concentrations of economic power – in the hands of banks, financial institutions, large corporations, family dynasties, old boys clubs, and trade agreements and bodies that effectively concentrate global power in the hands of the international investment class (such as the WTO, NAFTA, the FTAA, the SPP and the WEF).

Although their vision and example was imperfect, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine both held a clear and sensible, and in some regards, a noble view of the world as it could be – as can be yet. Thomas Paine, the primary political theorist for the American democratic revolution, along with Jefferson, took his inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, not the ancient Greeks, as is commonly believed. The Iroquois Confederacy still offers perhaps the best model for the future of humanity. Five nations lived in peace in a grassroots, community-based federation for mutual protection and prosperity. The people of these nations lived with greater peace, freedom and authentic democracy than almost any other peoples before or since. Jefferson himself admitted that the new American democracy was a pale imitation of the superior, more free and equal, and more democratic form of government which he saw in these native communities. Despite their faults, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, along with the Iroquois Confederacy, offer us now among the best and clearest inspiration for a better world, as we together look to our future on earth, and together face the ominous and simultaneously hopeful trends of the present.

Jefferson saw it clearly: either keep political power decentralized and out of any one group or individual’s hands (beware the ostensibly benign oligarchs), or watch tyranny arise, and freedom, democracy, human rights and even decency of life, decay and die. He also saw clearly that if the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of the corporations is not checked, democracy will be overthrown by stealth: consumed and digested by the dominant power of money. He was right on both counts. We are late in heeding his warning, but not too late. There is still time to rescue the dream of democracy from the threats which surround her. There is still time to found a beautiful and just, free and fair world for humanity on earth. It is not to late. But we must act now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 2007

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism have both failed – part 1

A “Must-Read” Short List: Author’s Picks

Overview: Geopolitics 2006-2008

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism have both failed – part two

Posted in activism, alternative, Canada, Chomsky, common ground, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, ecological crisis, ecology, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, freedom, FTAA, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, good news, history, human rights, imperialism, inspiration, Jefferson, left, liberal, Martial Law, NAFTA, neoliberalism, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political theory, politics, right wing, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, sociology, SPP, the right, the world's other superpower, tipping point, trade, U.N., U.S., WEF, World Social Forum, WTO on February 28, 2007 by jtoddring


Building a World Federation, from the Grassroots Up

The U.N. is failing and in need of fundamental reform – people everywhere are rightly skeptical about its present and future role in the world. Corporate and financial power is clearly out of hand, to say it mildly, and great powers, in the traditional sense of powerful nation states, clearly also have to be reigned in. In this context, it is becoming clear to all that only the global human community, the people of the earth themselves, united in solidarity across our great and wondrous diversity, joined together by some few commonly shared principles, can reign in the unwieldy and anti-democratic, anti-ecological destructive powers which now dominate the earth.

The mood of humanity, if you can make such a broad statement, and I believe one can with a fair degree of accuracy (see the World Economic Forum global poll 2002), is one of deep concern for the future; deep discontent with the present state of global power, economy and relations; deep disillusionment with existing forms of power and institutions; and showing a clear and growing realization of the need to both deepen democracy, and simultaneously build bridges of world solidarity for mutual protection and creative action.

Can humanity agree upon a few basic principles, while allowing for mutual respect of our differences and diversity? I think this is not only a reasonable proposition, but one that has already been demonstrated. We have international agreements such as the Kyoto Accord, ratified by 141 nations, the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion, ratified and implemented around the world, the Ottawa Treaty, banning landmines world-wide, ratified by the majority of the world’s nations, and the Geneva Convention, to name just a few examples of human agreement and consensus internationally. We have the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, for example, which the vast majority of the world have accepted as a basis for international unity and understanding.

The basic principles of freedom, democracy, equality, peace and sustainability are acceptable to the vast majority of the global village. It is only the rogue financial and corporate powers, along with an unfortunately large number of political elites from many countries around the world, and a relative handful of extremists, who cannot or will not accept these principles as binding. The populace, as a whole, and world-wide, in virtually every nation on earth, already accepts these principles as foundational for any decent human society. Agreement is already there. It is solidarity that is lacking. Alienation and division must be overcome. We already agree on enough to build a better world. It is the unity across diversity that is missing, but that is changing quickly.

Some form of world federalism is needed now. Before this statement can be misunderstood, it must be said that I am not advocating the further institutionalization of hyper-concentrated global power. We do not need any further centralization or concentration of power in the world – in fact, what is needed is a radical decentralization and democratization of social, political and economic power. At the same time, however, it is clear that we need a greater degree of solidarity and cooperation amongst humanity and human communities world wide. We need thus, some form of global federation in which power is democratically held and concentrated at the grassroots level.

After the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle of 1999, just such a grassroots-based global network of solidarity began to emerge. Individuals and popular movements world-wide began to recognize the need to respond to social and environmental issues in a more comprehensive, systematic and globally linked fashion, with greater international solidarity, across all lines of geography, issue-orientation, race, class, gender and religion. Seattle `99 was a watermark, a turning point. Since then, much has been done to create and develop such a decentralized, democratic and popular-based unity amid diversity: a global network of peoples’ movements. This phenomenon shows great promise. It may be the only thing that can reverse the trend toward hyper-concentration of global power, the destruction of human rights, freedom and democracy, and the destruction of our home on earth.

The shining star to emerge out of this growth of grassroots global solidarity is the World Social Forum. The WSF is not a body with any direct political or economic power. It is a gathering, a place of networking and bridge-building. It is a place for individuals and popular movements to come together to exchange information and ideas, to discuss and debate, and most importantly, to generate greater solidarity and cooperation among peoples, communities and movements world-wide for the creation of a better world. It is not a centralized power, but a place where decentralized, democratic grassroots constituencies can discuss, come to certain agreements as to shared values and goals, and together, without the need for a centralized authority directing them, in the spirit of equality, freedom and democracy, bring about greater cooperative and effective action for the benefit of humanity and the earth. Noam Chomsky recently remarked that the World Social Forum is presently the most promising phenomenon on the planet.

Along with 1) the pervasive global questioning and challenging of all forms of power in society and all previously held assumptions, 2) the emerging spirit of democratic citizens’ empowerment world-wide, 3) the increasing realization by humanity of the interdependent nature of our world, 4) the dawning awareness that unity and diversity are not intrinsically contradictory, but in fact can be mutually enhancing, 5) the rapidly developing and growing global solidarity among diverse peoples, groups, communities and social movements world-wide, and 6) the rapidly unfolding genuine human renaissance which is perhaps unprecedented in its depth as well as its breadth; I would have to agree with professor Chomsky: the World Social Forum is one of the most promising things happening on earth at this time.

Along with the World Social Forum, we clearly also need a renewal and a deepening of democracy world-wide, in individual communities, states, provinces and nations. And, I would say, in order for this to be possible, a federation model, rather than a model of centralized power, needs to be developed or restored: otherwise we have the outer forms of democracy, but the democratic forms hide the real nature of power in society, which is oligarchy.
This needs to be done at the local level – the level of communities – and also at the state/provincial level, the level of the nation-state, and internationally. We need, in sum, a decentralization and democratization of power in society, along with a corresponding increase in global solidarity and cooperation: we need a decentralized and democratic world federation of some form.

It must be noted that it is absolutely critical that not only overt formal political power be decentralized and democratized, linked in a global federation of democratic communities (and perhaps for a time yet, also nation-states), but also economic and cultural power. We must swiftly, peacefully, and absolutely decisively deal with the exisitng hyper-concentrations of media power, and the parallel and even more fundamental hyper-concentrations of economic power – in the hands of banks, financial institutions, large corporations, family dynasties, old boys clubs, and trade agreements and bodies that effectively concentrate global power in the hands of the international investment class (such as the WTO, NAFTA, the FTAA, the SPP and the WEF).

Although their vision and example was imperfect, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine both held a clear and sensible, and in some regards, a noble view of the world as it could be – as can be yet. Thomas Paine, the primary political theorist for the American democratic revolution, along with Jefferson, took his inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, not the ancient Greeks, as is commonly believed. The Iroquois Confederacy still offers perhaps the best model for the future of humanity. Five nations lived in peace in a grassroots, community-based federation for mutual protection and prosperity. The people of these nations lived with greater peace, freedom and authentic democracy than almost any other peoples before or since. Jefferson himself admitted that the new American democracy was a pale imitation of the superior, more free and equal, and more democratic form of government which he saw in these native communities. Despite their faults, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, along with the Iroquois Confederacy, offer us now among the best and clearest inspiration for a better world, as we together look to our future on earth, and together face the ominous and simultaneously hopeful trends of the present.

Jefferson saw it clearly: either keep political power decentralized and out of any one group or individual’s hands (beware the ostensibly benign oligarchs), or watch tyranny arise, and freedom, democracy, human rights and even decency of life, decay and die. He also saw clearly that if the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of the corporations is not checked, democracy will be overthrown by stealth: consumed and digested by the dominant power of money. He was right on both counts. We are late in heeding his warning, but not too late. There is still time to rescue the dream of democracy from the threats which surround her. There is still time to found a beautiful and just, free and fair world for humanity on earth. It is not to late. But we must act now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 2007

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism have both failed – part 1

A “Must-Read” Short List: Author’s Picks

Overview: Geopolitics 2006-2008

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism h…

Posted in Chomsky, corporatism, democracy, FTAA, globalism, Jefferson, NAFTA, political economy, political theory, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, U.N., WEF, World Social Forum, WTO on February 28, 2007 by jtoddring

What Must Be Done:
When corporatism and Leninism have both failed

Part Two: Building a World Federation, from the Grassroots Up

The U.N. is failing and in need of fundamental reform – people everywhere are rightly skeptical about its present and future role in the world. Corporate and financial power is clearly out of hand, to say it mildly, and great powers, in the traditional sense of powerful nation states, clearly also have to be reigned in. In this context, it is becoming clear to all that only the global human community, the people of the earth themselves, united in solidarity across our great and wondrous diversity, joined together by some few commonly shared principles, can reign in the unwieldy and anti-democratic, anti-ecological destructive powers which now dominate the earth.

The mood of humanity, if you can make such a broad statement, and I believe one can with a fair degree of accuracy (see the World Economic Forum global poll 2002), is one of deep concern for the future; deep discontent with the present state of global power, economy and relations; deep disillusionment with existing forms of power and institutions; and showing a clear and growing realization of the need to both deepen democracy, and simultaneously build bridges of world solidarity for mutual protection and creative action.

Can humanity agree upon a few basic principles, while allowing for mutual respect of our differences and diversity? I think this is not only a reasonable proposition, but one that has already been demonstrated. We have international agreements such as the Kyoto Accord, ratified by 141 nations, the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion, ratified and implemented around the world, the Ottawa Treaty, banning landmines world-wide, ratified by the majority of the world’s nations, and the Geneva Convention, to name just a few examples of human agreement and consensus internationally. We have the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, for example, which the vast majority of the world have accepted as a basis for international unity and understanding.

The basic principles of freedom, democracy, equality, peace and sustainability are acceptable to the vast majority of the global village. It is only the rogue financial and corporate powers, along with an unfortunately large number of political elites from many countries around the world, and a relative handful of extremists, who cannot or will not accept these principles as binding. The populace, as a whole, and world-wide, in virtually every nation on earth, already accepts these principles as foundational for any decent human society. Agreement is already there. It is solidarity that is lacking. Alienation and division must be overcome. We already agree on enough to build a better world. It is the unity across diversity that is missing, but that is changing quickly.

Some form of world federalism is needed now. Before this statement can be misunderstood, it must be said that I am not advocating the further institutionalization of hyper-concentrated global power. We do not need any further centralization or concentration of power in the world – in fact, what is needed is a radical decentralization and democratization of social, political and economic power. At the same time, however, it is clear that we need a greater degree of solidarity and cooperation amongst humanity and human communities world wide. We need thus, some form of global federation in which power is democratically held and concentrated at the grassroots level.

After the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle of 1999, just such a grassroots-based global network of solidarity began to emerge. Individuals and popular movements world-wide began to recognize the need to respond to social and environmental issues in a more comprehensive, systematic and globally linked fashion, with greater international solidarity, across all lines of geography, issue-orientation, race, class, gender and religion. Seattle `99 was a watermark, a turning point. Since then, much has been done to create and develop such a decentralized, democratic and popular-based unity amid diversity: a global network of peoples’ movements. This phenomenon shows great promise. It may be the only thing that can reverse the trend toward hyper-concentration of global power, the destruction of human rights, freedom and democracy, and the destruction of our home on earth.

The shining star to emerge out of this growth of grassroots global solidarity is the World Social Forum. The WSF is not a body with any direct political or economic power. It is a gathering, a place of networking and bridge-building. It is a place for individuals and popular movements to come together to exchange information and ideas, to discuss and debate, and most importantly, to generate greater solidarity and cooperation among peoples, communities and movements world-wide for the creation of a better world. It is not a centralized power, but a place where decentralized, democratic grassroots constituencies can discuss, come to certain agreements as to shared values and goals, and together, without the need for a centralized authority directing them, in the spirit of equality, freedom and democracy, bring about greater cooperative and effective action for the benefit of humanity and the earth. Noam Chomsky recently remarked that the World Social Forum is presently the most promising phenomenon on the planet.

Along with 1) the pervasive global questioning and challenging of all forms of power in society and all previously held assumptions, 2) the emerging spirit of democratic citizens’ empowerment world-wide, 3) the increasing realization by humanity of the interdependent nature of our world, 4) the dawning awareness that unity and diversity are not intrinsically contradictory, but in fact can be mutually enhancing, 5) the rapidly developing and growing global solidarity among diverse peoples, groups, communities and social movements world-wide, and 6) the rapidly unfolding genuine human renaissance which is perhaps unprecedented in its depth as well as its breadth; I would have to agree with professor Chomsky: the World Social Forum is one of the most promising things happening on earth at this time.

Along with the World Social Forum, we clearly also need a renewal and a deepening of democracy world-wide, in individual communities, states, provinces and nations. And, I would say, in order for this to be possible, a federation model, rather than a model of centralized power, needs to be developed or restored: otherwise we have the outer forms of democracy, but the democratic forms hide the real nature of power in society, which is oligarchy.
This needs to be done at the local level – the level of communities – and also at the state/provincial level, the level of the nation-state, and internationally. We need, in sum, a decentralization and democratization of power in society, along with a corresponding increase in global solidarity and cooperation: we need a decentralized and democratic world federation of some form.

It must be noted that it is absolutely critical that not only overt formal political power be decentralized and democratized, linked in a global federation of democratic communities (and perhaps for a time yet, also nation-states), but also economic and cultural power. We must swiftly, peacefully, and absolutely decisively deal with the exisitng hyper-concentrations of media power, and the parallel and even more fundamental hyper-concentrations of economic power – in the hands of banks, financial institutions, large corporations, family dynasties, old boys clubs, and trade agreements and bodies that effectively concentrate global power in the hands of the international investment class (such as the WTO, NAFTA, the FTAA, the SPP and the WEF).

Although their vision and example was imperfect, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine both held a clear and sensible, and in some regards, a noble view of the world as it could be – as can be yet. Thomas Paine, the primary political theorist for the American democratic revolution, along with Jefferson, took his inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, not the ancient Greeks, as is commonly believed. The Iroquois Confederacy still offers perhaps the best model for the future of humanity. Five nations lived in peace in a grassroots, community-based federation for mutual protection and prosperity. The people of these nations lived with greater peace, freedom and authentic democracy than almost any other peoples before or since. Jefferson himself admitted that the new American democracy was a pale imitation of the superior, more free and equal, and more democratic form of government which he saw in these native communities. Despite their faults, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, along with the Iroquois Confederacy, offer us now among the best and clearest inspiration for a better world, as we together look to our future on earth, and together face the ominous and simultaneously hopeful trends of the present.

Jefferson saw it clearly: either keep political power decentralized and out of any one group or individual’s hands (beware the ostensibly benign oligarchs), or watch tyranny arise, and freedom, democracy, human rights and even decency of life, decay and die. He also saw clearly that if the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of the corporations is not checked, democracy will be overthrown by stealth: consumed and digested by the dominant power of money. He was right on both counts. We are late in heeding his warning, but not too late. There is still time to rescue the dream of democracy from the threats which surround her. There is still time to found a beautiful and just, free and fair world for humanity on earth. It is not to late. But we must act now.

J. Todd Ring,
February 2007

What Must Be Done: When corporatism and Leninism have both failed – part 1

A “Must-Read” Short List: Author’s Picks

Overview: Geopolitics 2006-2008

Posted in class, common ground, conservative, far right, fascist, left, liberal, North American Union, paranoid, police state, right wing, Security and Prosperity Partnership, the right, U.N. on November 18, 2006 by jtoddring

The Paranoid Right Is Partly Right

When I think of the paranoid right I think of wild-eyed militia men, bible-thumping, extremist Christian fundamentalists, black helicopters, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg group, shadowy banking and financial elites, detention centres, U.N. troops abusing their power and the U.S. becoming a fascist police state. Well, I’m not a fundamentalist, nor am I a supporter of the political or religious right; the U.S. militia movement seems pretty scary to me, and anti-semitic conspiracy theories make me think of racist lunatics. That being said, however, the “paranoid right” is partly right.

Many people still do not realize it, but the U.S. is now undeniably becoming a fascist state. Just as the U.S. went from being the world’s leading creditor to the world’s biggest debtor nation, and (what is closely related) from world’s leading oil exporter to world’s leading oil importer, it is now moving from “land of freedom” to land of the police state. The unthinkable is happening. The Patriot Acts and Military Commissions Act create the “legal” framework for martial law and the destruction of the constitution. Torture has been made legal. Contracts have been granted for a network of detention centres. And U.N. troops have shown in Haiti that they can be used as willing tools of oppression. As to the shadowy banking and financial elites, anyone who underestimates the arm-bending power of big money is not living in the real world. (And of course, the elite have their clubs.)

The left tends to place a large part of its focus on class analysis, and rightly so – the area to which the right is often (though not universally) oblivious. But the left may do well to look more deeply into the machinations of power-seekers – which many among the grassroots of the right legitimately fear.

In fact, as more and more people come to view the corporate and business elite as dominating the economy, political process, media and life in general, the polarization between right and left – at the grass roots at least – may be narrowing. There is more common ground than we may imagine. At the level of the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals, neither right nor left, nor the centre (whatever that means nowadays) wants fascism; at the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals want “Fortress North America”, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, a “North American Union”, or the destruction of national democracy or sovereignty. There is more in common between conservatives and liberals, right and left, than most would imagine.

In Canada the Conservative Party came to power on a platform promising to “Stand up for Canada”. Grassroots conservatives clearly supported such a proposal. Yet the Harper government immediately carried forward with deep integration with the U.S., effectively selling out the country, and carrying further the policy of North American “Homeland” integration that Martin and the Liberals had already endorsed. At the level of political elites, virtually all are aboard for the new “Fortress North America” and the “New Security Environment.” At the grassroots, across the political spectrum, the great majority shudder at the thought. Which explains why the Conservative representatives met their American and Mexican counterparts behind closed doors on September 12-14, 2006 at the Banff Springs Hotel to further plan and implement “military, intelligence, economic and judicial integration” in “Fortress North America” – a.k.a., the new continental police state.

If some greater common ground can be found between the grassroots right, left, liberal, conservative and radical – at least on certain issues – perhaps a greater common democratic front can be built for the protection of democracy and freedom. The common foe is the tiny minority of financial and corporate elite, along with their political and media lap dogs, who would make of this world a single grand labour camp, with themselves as the beneficiaries and masters of the universe. Most citizens, be they in Canada, the U.S., Mexico or anywhere else on earth – on the right and left – would agree that this is a hideous vision for humanity.

In any case, the long-standing fears of “the paranoid right” seem to be coming true – sans global Jewish conspiracy. Those nutty militia men – half blinkered, half clear-eyed; part red-neck racist fool, part down-to-earth common sense.

If we value democracy, this is a time not just for vigilance, but for determined action. Freedom and democracy in the United States and across the Western world are now under a great and imminent threat: and that threat is from within; the U.S. government itself has become the agent of destruction of American freedom and democracy. This may not be news for some, but the extent of present developments takes this trend to an entirely new level.

And, since Canadian and Mexican political and business elites have already signed on to continental integration in the North American “Homeland”, we are witnessing the destruction of freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as constitutions, in three nations, across the continent. Is this 1933, Germany? Sometimes I have to wonder.

Speak up Canada. Speak up people of Mexico. It may be harder than you think to reverse such a precipitous fall into fascism. Speak now.

Speak now America. This is your hour to shine, or to self-destruct. Speak now people. Speak and act against this creeping fascist coup.

JTR

***

Endnote:

“If the Nuremburg trials were held today, ever U.S. president since WWII would be hung.” – Noam Chomsky

Perhaps we cannot easily come to terms with the actions of our “leaders.” But we must. Failure to do so will cost us more than we care to imagine.

The former U.S. attorney general under L.B.J., Ramsey Clark, along with many others, is calling for the impeachment of the president of the U.S. for lying to the American people about Iraq, and for war crimes, as defined by international law and the Geneva Convention. However, it is not appropriate to speak of impeachment for George W. Bush. It is appropriate, given his actions, for him to be arrested by a U.S. military officer, police officer, or a bounty hunter, and taken to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes.

This may not be as unlikely an event as one might think. In fact, in the not too distant future, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, George Tenet, Porter Goss, and other U.S. political elites will wish they had resigned, rather than serve life sentences for war crimes in a maximum security prison. Robben Island, in South Africa, might be an appropriate place for these criminals, seeing as they and their corporate masters have been engaged in what can only be honestly described as a ruthless and brutal global economic apartheid, backed by extreme violence, aggression and bloodshed. All empires fall. This will be the last.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – video

”… don’t you think they aren’t among us today in a concentration of power that is just unparalleled”

– October 2005, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Powell’s chief of staff from 2001 to 2005 and when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces during the administration of former president George H.W. Bush

“We have to understand that the war on terrorism is fabricated – it is a complete fabrication – but at the same time it is the doctrine which justifies all these actions both internally and internationally: the police state inside, the militarization of the Middle East, and Central Asia. On the other hand, it is part of the national security doctrine – it is a big lie. It’s perhaps the biggest lie in U.S. history, and it is absolutely essential that a consistent anti-war movement reveal the lie.”

– Michael Chossudovsky

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other–instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.”

Edward Abbey

Links & References:

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

– Noam Chomsky

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case

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

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Bowing To The Police State

Senate-White House compromise sanctions CIA torture of detainees

Bush strikes a deal that lets him keep fighting dirty

The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos – by News

The USA Patriot Act: What Are You Reading?

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

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

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

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

Is this Bush’s secret bunker?

The War on Terror – Chomsky – audio

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

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

Haiti – Democracy Now! | Shocking Lancet Study: 8,000 Murders, 35,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Haiti During U.S.-Backed Coup Regime After Aristide Ouster

Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood

EXCLUSIVE: Haitian Political Prisoner So Anne Released After Over 2 Years in Haitian Jail

Women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at Hearing Against Haitian Death Squad Leader Emmanuel Constant – Democracy Now!

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

The Paranoid Right Is Partly Right When …

Posted in class, common ground, conservative, far right, fascist, left, liberal, North American Union, paranoid, police state, right wing, Security and Prosperity Partnership, the right, U.N. on November 18, 2006 by jtoddring

The Paranoid Right Is Partly Right

When I think of the paranoid right I think of wild-eyed militia men, bible-thumping, extremist Christian fundamentalists, black helicopters, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg group, shadowy banking and financial elites, detention centres, U.N. troops abusing their power and the U.S. becoming a fascist police state. Well, I’m not a fundamentalist, nor am I a supporter of the political or religious right; the U.S. militia movement seems pretty scary to me, and anti-semitic conspiracy theories make me think of racist lunatics. That being said, however, the “paranoid right” is partly right.

Many people still do not realize it, but the U.S. is now undeniably becoming a fascist state. Just as the U.S. went from being the world’s leading creditor to the world’s biggest debtor nation, and (what is closely related) from world’s leading oil exporter to world’s leading oil importer, it is now moving from “land of freedom” to land of the police state. The unthinkable is happening. The Patriot Acts and Military Commissions Act create the “legal” framework for martial law and the destruction of the constitution. Torture has been made legal. Contracts have been granted for a network of detention centres. And U.N. troops have shown in Haiti that they can be used as willing tools of oppression. As to the shadowy banking and financial elites, anyone who underestimates the arm-bending power of big money is not living in the real world. (And of course, the elite have their clubs.)

The left tends to place a large part of its focus on class analysis, and rightly so – the area to which the right is often (though not universally) oblivious. But the left may do well to look more deeply into the machinations of power-seekers – which many among the grassroots of the right legitimately fear.

In fact, as more and more people come to view the corporate and business elite as dominating the economy, political process, media and life in general, the polarization between right and left – at the grass roots at least – may be narrowing. There is more common ground than we may imagine. At the level of the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals, neither right nor left, nor the centre (whatever that means nowadays) wants fascism; at the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals want “Fortress North America”, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, a “North American Union”, or the destruction of national democracy or sovereignty. There is more in common between conservatives and liberals, right and left, than most would imagine.

In Canada the Conservative Party came to power on a platform promising to “Stand up for Canada”. Grassroots conservatives clearly supported such a proposal. Yet the Harper government immediately carried forward with deep integration with the U.S., effectively selling out the country, and carrying further the policy of North American “Homeland” integration that Martin and the Liberals had already endorsed. At the level of political elites, virtually all are aboard for the new “Fortress North America” and the “New Security Environment.” At the grassroots, across the political spectrum, the great majority shudder at the thought. Which explains why the Conservative representatives met their American and Mexican counterparts behind closed doors on September 12-14, 2006 at the Banff Springs Hotel to further plan and implement “military, intelligence, economic and judicial integration” in “Fortress North America” – a.k.a., the new continental police state.

If some greater common ground can be found between the grassroots right, left, liberal, conservative and radical – at least on certain issues – perhaps a greater common democratic front can be built for the protection of democracy and freedom. The common foe is the tiny minority of financial and corporate elite, along with their political and media lap dogs, who would make of this world a single grand labour camp, with themselves as the beneficiaries and masters of the universe. Most citizens, be they in Canada, the U.S., Mexico or anywhere else on earth – on the right and left – would agree that this is a hideous vision for humanity.

In any case, the long-standing fears of “the paranoid right” seem to be coming true – sans global Jewish conspiracy. Those nutty militia men – half blinkered, half clear-eyed; part red-neck racist fool, part down-to-earth common sense.

If we value democracy, this is a time not just for vigilance, but for determined action. Freedom and democracy in the United States and across the Western world are now under a great and imminent threat: and that threat is from within; the U.S. government itself has become the agent of destruction of American freedom and democracy. This may not be news for some, but the extent of present developments takes this trend to an entirely new level.

And, since Canadian and Mexican political and business elites have already signed on to continental integration in the North American “Homeland”, we are witnessing the destruction of freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as constitutions, in three nations, across the continent. Is this 1933, Germany? Sometimes I have to wonder.

Speak up Canada. Speak up people of Mexico. It may be harder than you think to reverse such a precipitous fall into fascism. Speak now.

Speak now America. This is your hour to shine, or to self-destruct. Speak now people. Speak and act against this creeping fascist coup.

JTR

***

Endnote:

“If the Nuremburg trials were held today, ever U.S. president since WWII would be hung.” – Noam Chomsky

Perhaps we cannot easily come to terms with the actions of our “leaders.” But we must. Failure to do so will cost us more than we care to imagine.

The former U.S. attorney general under L.B.J., Ramsey Clark, along with many others, is calling for the impeachment of the president of the U.S. for lying to the American people about Iraq, and for war crimes, as defined by international law and the Geneva Convention. However, it is not appropriate to speak of impeachment for George W. Bush. It is appropriate, given his actions, for him to be arrested by a U.S. military officer, police officer, or a bounty hunter, and taken to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes.

This may not be as unlikely an event as one might think. In fact, in the not too distant future, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, George Tenet, Porter Goss, and other U.S. political elites will wish they had resigned, rather than serve life sentences for war crimes in a maximum security prison. Robben Island, in South Africa, might be an appropriate place for these criminals, seeing as they and their corporate masters have been engaged in what can only be honestly described as a ruthless and brutal global economic apartheid, backed by extreme violence, aggression and bloodshed. All empires fall. This will be the last.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – video

”… don’t you think they aren’t among us today in a concentration of power that is just unparalleled”

– October 2005, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Powell’s chief of staff from 2001 to 2005 and when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces during the administration of former president George H.W. Bush

“We have to understand that the war on terrorism is fabricated – it is a complete fabrication – but at the same time it is the doctrine which justifies all these actions both internally and internationally: the police state inside, the militarization of the Middle East, and Central Asia. On the other hand, it is part of the national security doctrine – it is a big lie. It’s perhaps the biggest lie in U.S. history, and it is absolutely essential that a consistent anti-war movement reveal the lie.”

– Michael Chossudovsky

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other–instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.”

Edward Abbey

Links & References:

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

– Noam Chomsky

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case

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

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Bowing To The Police State

Senate-White House compromise sanctions CIA torture of detainees

Bush strikes a deal that lets him keep fighting dirty

The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos – by News

The USA Patriot Act: What Are You Reading?

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

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

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

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

Is this Bush’s secret bunker?

The War on Terror – Chomsky – audio

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

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

Haiti – Democracy Now! | Shocking Lancet Study: 8,000 Murders, 35,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Haiti During U.S.-Backed Coup Regime After Aristide Ouster

Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood

EXCLUSIVE: Haitian Political Prisoner So Anne Released After Over 2 Years in Haitian Jail

Women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at Hearing Against Haitian Death Squad Leader Emmanuel Constant – Democracy Now!

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

Posted in class, common ground, conservative, far right, fascist, left, liberal, North American Union, paranoid, police state, right wing, Security and Prosperity Partnership, the right, U.N. on November 18, 2006 by jtoddring

The Paranoid Right Is Partly Right

When I think of the paranoid right I think of wild-eyed militia men, bible-thumping, extremist Christian fundamentalists, black helicopters, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg group, shadowy banking and financial elites, detention centres, U.N. troops abusing their power and the U.S. becoming a fascist police state. Well, I’m not a fundamentalist, nor am I a supporter of the political or religious right; the U.S. militia movement seems pretty scary to me, and anti-semitic conspiracy theories make me think of racist lunatics. That being said, however, the “paranoid right” is partly right.

Many people still do not realize it, but the U.S. is now undeniably becoming a fascist state. Just as the U.S. went from being the world’s leading creditor to the world’s biggest debtor nation, and (what is closely related) from world’s leading oil exporter to world’s leading oil importer, it is now moving from “land of freedom” to land of the police state. The unthinkable is happening. The Patriot Acts and Military Commissions Act create the “legal” framework for martial law and the destruction of the constitution. Torture has been made legal. Contracts have been granted for a network of detention centres. And U.N. troops have shown in Haiti that they can be used as willing tools of oppression. As to the shadowy banking and financial elites, anyone who underestimates the arm-bending power of big money is not living in the real world. (And of course, the elite have their clubs.)

The left tends to place a large part of its focus on class analysis, and rightly so – the area to which the right is often (though not universally) oblivious. But the left may do well to look more deeply into the machinations of power-seekers – which many among the grassroots of the right legitimately fear.

In fact, as more and more people come to view the corporate and business elite as dominating the economy, political process, media and life in general, the polarization between right and left – at the grass roots at least – may be narrowing. There is more common ground than we may imagine. At the level of the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals, neither right nor left, nor the centre (whatever that means nowadays) wants fascism; at the grassroots, neither conservatives nor liberals want “Fortress North America”, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, a “North American Union”, or the destruction of national democracy or sovereignty. There is more in common between conservatives and liberals, right and left, than most would imagine.

In Canada the Conservative Party came to power on a platform promising to “Stand up for Canada”. Grassroots conservatives clearly supported such a proposal. Yet the Harper government immediately carried forward with deep integration with the U.S., effectively selling out the country, and carrying further the policy of North American “Homeland” integration that Martin and the Liberals had already endorsed. At the level of political elites, virtually all are aboard for the new “Fortress North America” and the “New Security Environment.” At the grassroots, across the political spectrum, the great majority shudder at the thought. Which explains why the Conservative representatives met their American and Mexican counterparts behind closed doors on September 12-14, 2006 at the Banff Springs Hotel to further plan and implement “military, intelligence, economic and judicial integration” in “Fortress North America” – a.k.a., the new continental police state.

If some greater common ground can be found between the grassroots right, left, liberal, conservative and radical – at least on certain issues – perhaps a greater common democratic front can be built for the protection of democracy and freedom. The common foe is the tiny minority of financial and corporate elite, along with their political and media lap dogs, who would make of this world a single grand labour camp, with themselves as the beneficiaries and masters of the universe. Most citizens, be they in Canada, the U.S., Mexico or anywhere else on earth – on the right and left – would agree that this is a hideous vision for humanity.

In any case, the long-standing fears of “the paranoid right” seem to be coming true – sans global Jewish conspiracy. Those nutty militia men – half blinkered, half clear-eyed; part red-neck racist fool, part down-to-earth common sense.

If we value democracy, this is a time not just for vigilance, but for determined action. Freedom and democracy in the United States and across the Western world are now under a great and imminent threat: and that threat is from within; the U.S. government itself has become the agent of destruction of American freedom and democracy. This may not be news for some, but the extent of present developments takes this trend to an entirely new level.

And, since Canadian and Mexican political and business elites have already signed on to continental integration in the North American “Homeland”, we are witnessing the destruction of freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as constitutions, in three nations, across the continent. Is this 1933, Germany? Sometimes I have to wonder.

Speak up Canada. Speak up people of Mexico. It may be harder than you think to reverse such a precipitous fall into fascism. Speak now.

Speak now America. This is your hour to shine, or to self-destruct. Speak now people. Speak and act against this creeping fascist coup.

JTR

***

Endnote:

“If the Nuremburg trials were held today, ever U.S. president since WWII would be hung.” – Noam Chomsky

Perhaps we cannot easily come to terms with the actions of our “leaders.” But we must. Failure to do so will cost us more than we care to imagine.

The former U.S. attorney general under L.B.J., Ramsey Clark, along with many others, is calling for the impeachment of the president of the U.S. for lying to the American people about Iraq, and for war crimes, as defined by international law and the Geneva Convention. However, it is not appropriate to speak of impeachment for George W. Bush. It is appropriate, given his actions, for him to be arrested by a U.S. military officer, police officer, or a bounty hunter, and taken to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes.

This may not be as unlikely an event as one might think. In fact, in the not too distant future, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, George Tenet, Porter Goss, and other U.S. political elites will wish they had resigned, rather than serve life sentences for war crimes in a maximum security prison. Robben Island, in South Africa, might be an appropriate place for these criminals, seeing as they and their corporate masters have been engaged in what can only be honestly described as a ruthless and brutal global economic apartheid, backed by extreme violence, aggression and bloodshed. All empires fall. This will be the last.

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – video

”… don’t you think they aren’t among us today in a concentration of power that is just unparalleled”

– October 2005, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Powell’s chief of staff from 2001 to 2005 and when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces during the administration of former president George H.W. Bush

“We have to understand that the war on terrorism is fabricated – it is a complete fabrication – but at the same time it is the doctrine which justifies all these actions both internally and internationally: the police state inside, the militarization of the Middle East, and Central Asia. On the other hand, it is part of the national security doctrine – it is a big lie. It’s perhaps the biggest lie in U.S. history, and it is absolutely essential that a consistent anti-war movement reveal the lie.”

– Michael Chossudovsky

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other–instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.”

Edward Abbey

Links & References:

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

– Noam Chomsky

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case

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

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Bowing To The Police State

Senate-White House compromise sanctions CIA torture of detainees

Bush strikes a deal that lets him keep fighting dirty

The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos – by News

The USA Patriot Act: What Are You Reading?

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

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

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

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

Is this Bush’s secret bunker?

The War on Terror – Chomsky – audio

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

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

Haiti – Democracy Now! | Shocking Lancet Study: 8,000 Murders, 35,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Haiti During U.S.-Backed Coup Regime After Aristide Ouster

Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood

EXCLUSIVE: Haitian Political Prisoner So Anne Released After Over 2 Years in Haitian Jail

Women Recount Gang Rape, Abuse at Hearing Against Haitian Death Squad Leader Emmanuel Constant – Democracy Now!

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