Archive for left

Populism, Elitism & Propaganda: The Continuing Failure of Liberals, Progressives & the Left

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2020 by jtoddring

Thomas Frank gives a good definition of populism in the US tradition: populism is a working class movement that seeks to reform capitalism. It is not anarchist or socialist, but simply seeks a greater fulfilment of the democratic dream, and a greater empowerment of the working class, or the 99% who are not among the ruling elite.

Not only is populism not to be equated with racism, xenophobia, demagoguery and authoritarianism, movements which often falsely present themselves as being populist to win public support; but in fact, populism gave birth to the labour movement, or at least tripled its ranks in the 1930s, resulting in the critical mass needed for FDRs New Deal, which ended the Great Depression and reformed Wall Street, and gave rise to what is today referred to in the US and its nearest vassal states as progressivism.

Did that come across clearly? It needs to. Populism gave birth to what is now called progressive politics. Let that sink in.

Populism therefore, far from being the great evil of the world, along with FDR, the New Deal and the broader labour movement, created the middle class. It forced a more just compromise between the ruling business elite and the other 99%. It also gave renewed life to democracy and countered the rising power of elites. For all these reasons, the elite have despised populism, for the same reason that they despise nationalism and they despise democracy: because it limits their oligarchic power. And yet, air head liberals, progressives and intellectuals on the left have been duped into using the term populist as a synonym for the dangerous violent mob – precisely the Orwellian propaganda misusage of the term invented by the same rabidly anti-democratic elite. Dumb move!

As I have been saying: accepting the elitist derogatory and vilifying use of the term populism as a synonym for all that is evil in the world is playing into the hands of the plutocrats. Yet, leading figures, groups and media sources among progressives, liberals and the left fell for the psyops bait en mass. Not surprising, given their mass failures on other major subjects, such as Obamamania, Russiagate, the Ukraine coup, Syria and the OPCW, the War On Terror, covid-1984, which is the new pretext for the continuing class war and the war on democracy…and on and on.

We need to do better. The people and the planet are being devoured by the global corporate fascist empire, and the propaganda must be seen through, not aided and abetted.

Got it, #CCPA? #theLeap, #TYT, #DemocracyNow….#IdleNoMore, #CounterPunch, #CanadianDimension, #CouncilofCanadians, #BlueDot……?

What’s wrong with the left? It’s the faux left, is the problem, more often than not. It is liberal centrist and pseudo-democratic elitist. And remember, the political spectrum has been driven far to one extreme over the past 50 years of the slow motion corporate coup. What is called the centre is now the far right: cosmopolitan, yes, but authoritarian, and fascist.

The true left seeks to empower the 99%. The faux left presents that facade, but like the faux populists on the right, offers simply a different flavour of elite rule. Wall Street Democrats, and the Liberal party of Canada since 1979, represent a smiley faced, deeply Orwellian, globalist neoliberal corporate fascism. Make no mistake. The Republicans and Conservatives are even further to the extreme right.

But even where and when the left is not faux left, the failure is in a lack of critical thinking. Even the better thinkers, activists, journalists, media sites and groups on the left, tend too often to be uncritical of elite-driven propaganda narratives. This must change, or we are dead in the water.

To clarify further, and distill it down as concisely and clearly as possible, we can say this. Populism is any popular movement which genuinely seeks to empower the great majority, or the 99%, who are not among the ruling elite, and which seeks a more participatory and robust form of democracy, as opposed to elite rule, authoritarianism or oligarchy.

If you are opposed to participatory democracy, then you are opposed to populism, and you are an elitist, if not an authoritarian – which is usually the case with elitists, almost by definition.

Again, the important point is what this Orwellian doublespeak, propaganda and confusion of terms reveals. It reveals: a) a long-standing and highly conscious class war waged by the elite against the 99% (see Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions, and Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine); and more disturbingly, b) it reveals a shocking lack of critical thought among liberals, progressives and the left. We are far too credulous. But oh, are we so very self-righteous in our foolish and dim-witted credulity.

Again, this must change, or we are doomed.

Think for yourself. Question everything.


September 22, 2020

By the way, I am not on the right, nor a Trump supporter, as trolls and fools might accuse or assume. I am democratic libertarian socialist, or libertarian progressive, if that is more understandable. (And no, none of those terms are in conflict, as people with some understanding of history, political philosophy, or political economy, understand very well.)

From Good Reads:

The People, No – by Thomas Frank

“Rarely does a work of history contain startling implications for the present, but in The People, No Thomas Frank pulls off that explosive effect by showing us that everything we think we know about populism is wrong. Today “populism” is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake. 

The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of American democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Taking us from the tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing Populist Party—the biggest mass movement in American history—fought Gilded Age plutocrats to the reformers’ great triumphs under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Frank reminds us how much we owe to the populist ethos. Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns. The anti-populist vituperations by the Washington centrists of today are only the latest expression.

Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement’s provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism. The People, No is a ringing affirmation of a movement that, Frank shows us, is not the problem of our times, but the solution for what ails us.”

Covid & the Left: An open letter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 29, 2020 by jtoddring

It matters not what group it was this letter was addressed to. What matters is the content. Please read:

(Note that WordPress randomly gets buggy on me and will not let me make paragraph spacing properly: hence the strange use of stars. * And WordPress strangely made my signature invisible as well. Sorry I am all thumbs with tech or I would fix it, somehow.)


With much respect, and solidarity, I urge you to check your facts.
You wrote, “On Friday, May 1, an ongoing General Strike campaign begins. This campaign could become the most powerful movement in the United States and reset the national agenda. It comes when the failures of the US political system have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered an economic collapse in a presidential election year.”
This is the beginning of a bold plan, which could be transformative – yet it is also based in delusion, due to lack of fact checking, and the succumbing to an elite-crafted propaganda narrative.
I am not going to argue my case again here. I have argued it many times already. Please see the articles on my blog: J. Todd Ring on WordPress. If that is not sufficient, please check the facts at Trends Journal.
If you base a major strategy, a key strategy, on a radically misinformed view, you will likely be discredited later for being revealed to have been terribly and dangerously  naive.
Worse yet, by supporting the standard narrative that covid-19 CAUSED an economic collapse and an  authoritarian lockdown, which is an obviously irrational and foolish view, since a virus cannot quarantine anyone, much less entire nations, then you are lending support to what is in truth a simple fascist power grab, a fascist coup, by a bipartisan neoliberal and neoconservative global power elite.
How this is not clear to the left is almost inconceivable to me. You need to rethink and do some basic fact-checking, immediately.
Under 200,000 people have died from covid-19, versus 300,000 to 700,000 ANNUAL deaths from the common flu. How is it that these numbers justify extreme authoritarian measures? Can you not see the obvious big lie in this? The covid-19 virus is not even an epidemic if the annual flu is not considered an epidemic with 2-3 times higher yearly death toll. Are these things not obvious?
Read my blog, see Trends Journal, and please, think again.

J. Todd Ring



The Herd Mentality – Trends Journal

Piers Robinson


My essays, including: Any Enemy Will Do

Crisis Point: Leadership Needed From…Anywhere, Now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2020 by jtoddring


Imagine if real leadership from the grassroots comes now from the moderate, democratic/republican right, and not the centre or the left. Considering that the centre and left, almost without exception, have their heads up their asses, this mortifying development is entirely possible.

Let us hope that basic sanity, in terms of resisting authoritarianism, comes from a broad-spectrum coalition, however; because that is what we will need to defeat the oligarchs in their current bipartisan neoliberal/neoconservative joint effort at a slow motion fascist coup. 

For the record, I supported Ron Paul in 2008 & 2012, because he was the only anti-authoritarian (and anti-imperialist) in those corporate coronations erroneously called elections. I supported Sanders in 2016 and 2020 because he was the only conceivably winnable candidate who is a genuine constitutional (small d and r) democrat or republican, and was not on the oligarch’s payroll or lackey squad. Left and right mean nothing if we do not have basic rights and freedoms. That is something the high-handed and supremely pretentious, blinkered centre and left need to figure out, and now.

The people had better wake up fast. The global showdown between democracy and oligarchy has now reached endgame.

The Brave New World is here. But the vast majority are asleep; and worse, they are sleep-walking while cheering on their slavers, and begging for their shackles and chains.

Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders, the grassroots right or left – it doesn’t matter now: we need leadership to resist corporate fascism, and it matters not where it comes from.

Unite the people. Wake the people. Defend democracy and freedom, before we lose them. And we are losing them now.


April 25, 2020

The Failure of the “Left” – Continued

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2020 by jtoddring


In addition to the giant blunders that I’ve already written about, and the clear absence of leadership on the left, there is the even more glaring indictment, which is this:

The US Democratic party, including all major self-proclaimed “progressives”, just voted unanimously, along with the Republicans, to give a $4.2 trillion bailout to the Wall Street corporate elite (after they crashed theeconomy by invoking the lockdown which caused the economic meltdown).

But, the fake left got the people a one-time $1,200 check per person – which won’t do anything – for which they are praising themselves like they are true messiahs.

That was, as it has been said, the cheese that baited the trap. But when the mousetrap snaps shut, as Jimmy Dore said, millions of heads will be crushed.

Millions of families are going to lose their homes – even more than the 5.1 million families who lost their homes in the last crash, in 2007-2009, when the faux left under Obama chose to bail out Wall Street instead of the 99% – which the faux left has just now done again.

Will someone please explain to the left, as well as the centre and right, that trickle-down economics don’t work? If you give billions or trillions to the business elite, it just makes the richest 0.1% richer – it doesn’t help the poor or the middle class, and it doesn’t stimulate the economy.

$20 trillion was transfered from Mainstreet to Wall Street between 2008 and 2010. It made the billionaires and the corporate giants even more astronomically wealthy and powerful. It caused stocks and assets to become super-inflated in an even bigger bubble (through stock buy-backs, which in an earlier era would have been called fraud). It post-poned the structurally inevitable major market correction, aka, crash. But it failed to revive the economy, which has remained in global recession since 2007. The richest got richer, while the 99% continued to be devoured.

Giving $20 trillion in debt relief to the poor, the middle class, and to small and medium business, instead of the Wall Street elite, would both help the people greatly, and also massively stimulate the economy – because they will spend the money, as they have to, to survive; whereas the elite just line their pockets further if you give it to them.

A Green New Deal to build renewable energy and transportation infrastructure would do the same – help the 99% greatly while powerfully boosting the economy – while creating millions of jobs.

For the $4.2 trillion that was just handed to Wall Street, both a job-creating, true economic stimulus of a Green New Deal, as well as debt relief for the struggling majority, could have neen done. Instead, the people have been looted, lied to, and swindled again.

Repeating the same failed multi-trillion dollar wealth transfer from the 99% to the ruling 1% in 2020 is not going to help the people or the economy this time, any more than it did the last time. In factm it is a giant swindle. It is economic warfare: class war. And “the left” legitimized it, and helped make it happen.


In the biggest single transfer of wealth from the 99.9% to the top 0.01% in history, “the left” was unanimously on board, just like the centre and the right. Clearly “the left” is, at present, devoid of leadership. Clearly, in fact, it is the faux left. There is no courage, vision, or leadership there.

Is the left leadership corrupt, cowardly, or simply deer caught in the headlights, momentarily shellshocked into a stupor of paralysis and brain fog? I don’t believe it is the first, in general. Let’s hope it is the last explanation, not the second. That would be the most promising.

Whatever the causes of the pervasive failure of the left, we need to correct it, and soon. Things are clearly in dire straights. Moreover, the people need to question everything, and everyone – including their “leaders”.


April 9, 2020


Immediately after writing this short essay, I see the announcement: Fed To Approve Another $2 Trillion In Stimulus. The business elite are tripping over themselves to give themselves ever greater wealth transfers from the people. They jusy can’t plunder the people fast enough, it seems.

Revolution is brewing, mark my words.

Why The Left Is Once Again Wrong

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2020 by jtoddring


Also happening now, and further showing the continued failure of the left: the left is shouting in defence of payroll taxes – which kill jobs, as they are a tax on hiring and employment, as well as a regressive tax that hurts small and medium business the hardest.

The smart policy would be for the left to say to Trump, yes, we agree payroll taxes should be cut, and in fact eliminated – but we need to make any tax cuts revenue neutral at least, so as to not increase the deficit and debt without good reason.

(Sometimes that is ok, to run or to increase a running deficit, even wise, temporarily, as the Keynsian New Deal showed; but you don’t want to further run up deficits and debt if you can easily avoid it. The central point is, there are two sides to a budget, not one: revenue (taxes) and spending. You must naturally address both, or you are quite clearly, simply insane: either delusional, that is, or else deceitful.)

That means, cutting payroll taxes must be linked with a carbon pollution tax – with temporary transitional excemptions for small and medium business, and poor and middle class households, but serious pollution taxes for the big corporations and the rich.

And of course, if you are going to cut taxes again – this time, sensibly, for a change – you must reflect on whether forty years of neoliberal and neoconservative tax cuts for big business and the rich have helped the economy, and the people broadly, or not. Clearly they have harmed both.

What the left needs to say, therefore, is, Look, we know that more than four decades of neoliberal and neoconservative policies, including massive tax cuts, bailouts and subsidies for big corporations and the richest 1%, have balooned the debt load, and gutted the economy as well as the middle class.

We will give you your payroll tax cut, because that helps small and medium enterprises and will create jobs. But we demand an end to the feeding trough of multi-trillion dollar give-aways to big business, in the form of bailouts, subsidies and tax breaks.

Again, we are aiming for a balanced budget here, remember, as well as job creation.

Imagine the right being accused of budgetary indescretions, which of course they are notorious for, with corporate tax cuts and subsidies and military/police state spending far outweighing any savings from slashing much-needed programs that help and protect the environment, the poor and the middle class.

Imagine the left being the ones fighting for budgetary sensibility, and showing the right to have been full of deceit on that count for decades.

Now that would be an intelligent policy for the left. But that’s not what we see. We see unthinking knee-jerk reactions, and a patchwork of ideas with no systematic or even truly strategic approach. This must change, and now.


In addition to the giant blunders that I’ve already written about, and the clear absence of leadership on the left, there is the even more glaring indictment, which is this: the Democratic party, including all major self-proclaimed “progressives”, just voted unanimously, along with the Republicans, to give a $4.2 trillion bailout to the Wall Street corporate elite (after they crashed theeconomy by invoking the lockdown which caused the economic meltdown).

But, the fake left got the people a one-time $1,200 check per person – which won’t do anything – for which they are praising themselves like they are true messiahs.

That was, as it has been said, the cheese that baited the trap. But when the mousetrap snaps shut, as Jimmy Dore said, millions of heads will be crushed.

Millions of families are going to lose their homes – even more than the 5.1 million families who lost their homes in the last crash, in 2007-2009, when the faux left under Obama chose to bail out Wall Street instead of the 99% – which the faux left has just now done again.

In the biggest single transfer of wealth from the 99.9% to the top 0.01% in history, “the left” was unanimously on board, just like the centre and the right. Clearly “the left” is, at present, devoid of leadership. Clearly, in fact, it is the faux left. There is no courage, vision, or leadership there.

Is the left leadership corrupt, cowardly, or simply deer caught in the headlights, momentarily shellshocked into a stupor of paralysis and brain fog? I don’t believe it is the first, in general. Let’s hope it is the last explanation, not the second. That would be most promising.

Whatever the causes of the pervasive failure of the left, we need to correct it, and soon. Things are clearly in dire straights. Moreover, the people need to question everything, and everyone – including their “leaders”.

April 5, 2020

Hurray For the Daft! (That’s Us)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2020 by jtoddring
(My apologies for the strange formatting again – WordPress gets glitchy on me and refuses paragraph spacing, forcing me to use awkward-looking stars. Bear with me.)
The left is loudly proclaiming, amidst the coronavirus (largely manufactured disaster capitalism) disaster: bail-outs for the people not the corporate elite, health care for all – and a green new deal!
Yes, that is entirely sensible. But what about civil liberties for all, basic constitutional law, and functioning democracy, all of which requires a functioning resistance to the clear and present, unfolding imposition of neoliberal fascism, as a solution for a vastly exaggerated health crisis – fascist measures which are not likely to be reversed after the crisis has passed.
Without those three things – civil liberties for all, basic constitutional law, and functioning democracy – all your wishes and demands – for universal health care, aid to the people and not just big business and the rich, and a green energy infrastructure and jobs program – are just pipe dreams.
With real democracy these things and more are all possible. Without standing up for these three essentials, they are nothing but that – pipe dreams.
But to ask the left (or “progressives”) for presence of mind is something that is too much to ask, it seems. They can quote Marx, but they really need to be quoting Huxley, Orwell, or Thomas Jefferson right now – and they seem to realize it not, but are oblivious.

It is well-documented that US and other Western elites have armed, trained, funded, used, and colluded with Islamic terrorists for murderous geopolitical and imperial objectives for decades. There is no question that Western elites have for decades, and repeatedly, lied to the people, falsified evidence, colluded with terrorists, and engaged in mass murder for oil and other resources, while imposing a kind of global economic apartheid and predatory economic imperialism upon the world, resulting, among other things, in the on-going deaths of 20,000 children per day due to hunger, in a world that produces enough food for all. Yet the people broadly, and the left in particular, are quite cheerfully willing to believe that the same Western elite are telling the truth now, while they use the present coronavirus crisis to usher in literally fascist measures, and to believe that they have only a deep and abiding concern for human health as their motivation. Clearly the people, including the left, have lost all capacity for rational thought, and have temporarily lost their minds.

We need a little more Sun Tzu, and a little less Homer Simpson here, people. Think! Wake up! Question!
If this doesn’t soon change, we are doomed to slavery under a corporate-run, technocratic, neo-feudal Orwellian order which I and others have warned about for decades – and it will not be pretty, I assure you, but will make COVID-19(84) look like a child’s picnic.
Unless, of course, this is just the warm-up, the prelude to the final putsch: in which case, the people are being conditioned to accept “emergency” fascist measures, so that whenever the elite feel the need, they can flick the switch again – and this time, people disappear for good, and en mass (think Jakarta, or labour camps) – dissidents, activists, anybody who gets in the way or opposes the elite’s rule in any way. And nobody questions enough to stop it, until it is too late. If that is what we are experiencing, it is perhaps even more dangerous.
In any event, complacently and meekly, slavishly, obediently, foolishly allowing our civil liberties to be stripped away, while sweeping, literally fascist powers are granted to, or usurped by, elites both West and East, is terrifyingly dangerous in the extreme.
We should not be so foolish as to be complacent about this. How much can that be emphasized? Not possibly enough.
April 3, 2020
Naomi Klein wrote the book that best describes what we have been experiencing since 9/11, with the “war on terror”, the “regime change” wars that resulted, and the war on democracy which it represented, and the rise of disaster capitalism – The Shock Doctrine: the book that still, to my mind, best describes what is happening right now. We need to make sense of this, in the most obvious sort of way. How is this not obvious that it is another power grab? A real event, hyped to the maximum degree possible, is being exploited by power hungry elites in the West, as in the East. This is not complicated to understand.
PSII: Karl Marx, as well as being brilliant (as a sociologist, though a daft philosopher and a terrible political theorist), was fiery as well. He managed to piss off virtually the entire left of Europe. But a fiery spirit goes with the left, generally speaking. Look at Tommy Douglas, or Martin Luther King Jr. These guys were not pussy cats. Fiery is what we need. So, sorry if I ruffle feathers at times. It is not my intention, but it is sometimes unavoidable. Truth comes first. Always.

Trump Says Up, You Say Down: Psyops 101

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2020 by jtoddring

The deep state steers Trump. Smart move would be to nudge him to dismiss the coronavirus as over-hyped. Then the lemmings will trip over themselves to avoid guilt by association. But even idiots can be right sometimes, remember. Even a broken watch tells the right time twice a day. But the centre and left reacted like Pavlov’s dogs. Now they are loathe to admit they made a mistake, so they refuse to look at facts, and dig in. The majority are easily manipulated by elites playing power games…. It’s terrifying how easily the majority can be manipulated. That is the real danger.


Trump is a tool of the Deep State. He thinks he’s a brave rebel, at war with the Deep State. Or so he thought until the generals schooled him. Now he obeys orders.

Trump may be unpredictable and a loose cannon, but by and large, the Deep State has him firmly under control. They steer him, letting him believe he has far more power and autonomy than has actually has. He is another pawn – a pawn they wish to remove from the board, but a pawn so long as he is in play, nonetheless.

That considered, and that summary of Trump and the Deep State is pretty much unquestionable, it is interesting to note how an intelligent psyops campaign might be played out, if the ruling neoliberal elite wanted to:

a) get rid of Trump; and more importantly,

b) distract the people from the major crises –  the economy, poverty, inequality, injustice, climate change, pipeline protests, an explosion of protests world-wide, simultaneous with growing oligarchic and fascist powers, class warfare, imperial wars abroad, and the rapidly growing crisis of legitimacy of the ruling elite and the entire global corporate oligarchy – distract the people by a greatly exaggerated public health crisis (see my earlier articles, especially, Coronavirus: Facts & Fallout); and

c) use the public health crisis as a way to further intensify class warfare, crash the economy for this purpose, and loot the people further, in the process hopefully removing Trump in the 2020 election, and bring about police state measures in response to the largely manufactured crisis.

Nudging Trump to initially dismiss the virus as greatly overblown – which it is (see WSJ article, re-posted on my blog, written by Standford University professors, saying exactly this); and now to signal he wants an end to “social distancing” soon; would have the predictable response from the centre and left: they would, and did, trip over themselves stampeding to avoid any association with Trump.

Trumps says Up, so we say Down. Trump says black, so we say white. Trump is crazy, scary, stupid, and bad (all true) so we must disagree with everything he says (a foolish and childish reaction).

Everyone in the centre and on the left wants to avoid guilt by association with Trump. It is an unconscious but powerful reaction. Trump says X; Trump must be wrong, always; so we say Y.

But remember, even idiots are right sometimes. And even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day.

Look at the evidence. Avoid knee-jerk reactions. We are being manipulated, and played.

Investigate. And think for yourself.

The centre and left are acting like Pavolv’s dogs. They are cheerleading for a narrative that is demonstrably false, proven false by the facts; and worse, they are cheerleading for the removal of our rights and freedoms, and the imposition of a police state.

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” – H. L. Mencken

“We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.” – Sydney Schanberg

“If you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid.” – Arthur Sylvester, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, to American journalists, 1965

“This is a business-run huckster society, whose cardinal virtue is deceit.” – Noam Chomsky

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

Can you spell, (self-) L-O-B-O-T-O-M-Y?

At present, to repeat, the centre and left are being misled and manipulated, en mass, into:

a) accepting a narrative which is patently false (remember Saddam’s WMDs?), and does not fit the facts (see the Italian government’s study on the true death toll from the coronavirus, and the WSJ article by two Stanford professors);

and, more terrifyingly, into:

b) screaming loudly in defense of a normalization of the very authoritarian measures they should be fighting against.

Now that is a psyops/propaganda/social engineering coup.

Let us pray it is short-lived, and the people recover their senses, and their sanity, and soon.

March 27, 2020

Revolution and Uniting the People: Bernie Sanders, Thomas Jefferson and FDR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2016 by jtoddring

I would say that Bernie Sanders is not only a good candidate for US President, and beyond that, the only serious candidate for the people, since he is the only one who is not thoroughly indebted to the Wall Street money masters, owned by Wall Street, and in service to Wall Street; but he would be the best US president since FDR, and arguably, since Thomas Jefferson.
Of course, it is Congress which holds the greater power, and not the President, but having a true populist progressive in the White House would be an enormous stride in the right direction – especially when it is one who is so passionately and fiercely determined to reign in Wall Street and get big money out of politics.
I realize that conservatives tend to despise FDR, or at least despise his policies, but they should remember that it was FDR’s policies which got the US out of the Depression, put millions of Americans back to work, and, along with the labour movement, helped to create the middle class – which is now being systematically eliminated by the neoliberal/neo-fascist/globalization policies of the super-rich billionaire class of business elites, the very people that both FDR and Bernie Sanders so fiercely oppose.
(And no, war did not end the Great Depression, as some people imagine. The policies of FDR, and his very real stimulus package, which built or re-built the US infrastructure and put millions of people back to work (unlike the current neoliberal “stimulus” packages which rob billions and trillions of dollars from the treasury and the people and give it to the super-rich banking elite) is what began the long road to US and global economic recovery. Once the economic recovery was underway, WWII began, and the US prospered from it – mainly for three reasons: one, the US did not suffer the disastrous effects of waging a war on its own soil, as the European powers did; two, after the war, the US emerged as the world’s “first truly global super-power” and globally dominant power, precisely because war had left the great powers of Europe in ruins; and three, because US business elites profited handsomely by trading with the enemy, (that includes George Bush’s grand-daddy, Prescott Bush) and by selling to both sides – for example, IBM providing the office machines and data management for the extermination camps and gas chambers. War is disastrous to economies invariably, except for these very unusual conditions, and in any event, the economic recovery was well under way before the war even began.)
More to the point, the majority of Americans, well over 70%, are not conservatives, but center-left in their views, as poll after poll has shown for decades – so if Bernie Sanders does become the next President of the United States, conservatives will simply have to – pardon my expression – suck it up.
But it is also a fact that many sensible conservatives, and even many sensible Republicans – and yes, there is such an animal, believe it or not – support Bernie Sanders, or at least respect and admire him for his integrity, and his honesty and courage. They may not like all of his policies, but they realize that he is the best choice available at this time, and the only candidate who is willing to stand up to the greatest threat facing the country and the world – Wall Street and the international corporate elite. The more sensible also recognize that the Republican candidates, along with Hilary, represent the interests of the same crypto-fascist (and more and more brazenly fascist) corporate oligarchs and plutocrats. In short, Bernie is not only the best the people have at this time – he is all the people have at this time, at least in terms of presidential candidates.
“Before you Republicans and Hillary supporters say anything about Bernie, let’s look at his history. He was the only one in Senate to stand up for gay soldiers in 1995. He actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement along with Martin Luther King Jr. He voted against the Iraq War. (Which Hillary still considers a “mistake”.) He practically predicted the Wall Street Crash of 2008.He has been consistent with his political views for the past 30 years [and] ever since he joined the senate. He is the longest serving independent in Senate history. He believes climate change is the most threatening problem we have today. He has over a million individual donations from actual people donating whatever they can to support the campaign without any Super PACs. (Rest of the candidates would be struggling to equal Bernie’s collections without SuperPac money.) I just have to say Bernie is the real deal. Believe it or not.” – Arnav Garg
Actually, it’s 2.5 million individual donations now, which Bernie has raised, averaging less than $30. (And Bernie is setting all new records for the fastest rate of raising individual donations in US history.) All the other candidates are deeply indebted to Wall Street, and in service to Wall Street. Bernie is the only serious candidate for the people. Period.
What is more, now that Bernie Sanders has begun to unite progressives, liberals, the left, environmentalists, labour, large segments of the black community, including, most notably, leading black American scholar and activist Cornel West, along with many sensible conservatives – due to his fierce opposition to Wall Street, big money in politics, and the increasingly fascist police state which Bush and Obama have created – Bernie stands a serious chance, not only of winning the next US presidential election, but winning by a landslide – as he should.
This is enormously significant: Robert F. Kennedy, leading black American activist and scholar Cornel West, and now, the major US progressive organization, Move On, amongst many others, including diverse figures ranging from actor John Cusack, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, have come forward to endorse US President – oops – US Presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders.This could be the straw the breaks the back of the ruling political elites and their Wall Street masters, and puts a true progressive populist democrat into the White House. Let us pray we are so lucky – or so determined.
“MoveOn has spent more than 17 years bringing people together to fight for progressive change and stand up against big money interests. MoveOn’s fight to give the American people a voice in our political system was reflected in the group’s internal democratic process. I’m humbled by their support and welcome MoveOn’s members to the political revolution.”
– Bernie Sanders, As reported by Fortune Magazine
(I would like to see Bernie seek out and receive the support of Ron Paul, by the way: the maverick, anti-establishment conservative Senator who consistently fought for the people, and against the same crypto-fascist, pro-war, neo-feudal big money interests which Bernie so strongly opposes – a person who has tremendous integrity, and who also has tremendous support among conservatives and many thoughtful people on the grassroots right. This, Sanders should do, and do immediately, and this support he should gain. Someone please notify Ron Paul that his help is needed here, and now.)
I also realize the some people on the left are very critical of Bernie Sanders, feeling that he is not radical enough for their liking. But while such individuals have valid points to make, and useful criticisms, they too will, I am afraid to say, and will bluntly say, have to suck it up, because the policies of Bernie Sanders, while they do not go far enough in some important ways, not only represent a very good starting place, but are also supported by the majority of Americans.
The criticisms from individuals on the left with regards to Bernie’s foreign policy, where he is admittedly weak, are particularly valid and important; but frankly, despite that valid criticism, I think that Bernie’s critics on the left are not only throwing the baby out with the bath water, but are simply out to lunch, and out of touch with reality. And there is one simple reason for that statement.
At this time, when a crypto-fascist corporate oligarchy has taken over the nation, as well as the economy, the financial system, the monetary system, most of the media, the culture and the political process, there are only two options available to the American people – at this moment at least. One is revolution – and as much as I have been urging revolution, I do not think that there is reason to believe that the American people are yet ready for it. The other is Bernie Sanders. Say what you will about Bernie, but he is the best hope for America at this time.
Do I think that Jill Stein would make a better president than Bernie Sanders? Possibly she would. Do I think that Jill Stein has any chance of becoming president at this time? No. Therefore, I will support Bernie Sanders, as the only legitimate choice amongst candidates who stand any chance of winning the election – and again, a person who would make the best president since FDR, if not Thomas Jefferson. Is he perfect? No, but I, for one, am not looking for a messiah, but simply a person who will serve the people, as Bernie Sanders has done for over 30 years, and will continue to do. There will always be critics. Let’s just get the job done, shall we, and get on the with urgent business of creating, at least a starting point, for some urgently needed social change.
What would be wise for Bernie to do is to continue to reach out to the black and Hispanic communities, immigrants, progressives, labour, environmentalists and the left, as well as independents; but also to reach out to sensible conservatives and people on the grassroots right, who share his passionate opposition to the domination of Wall Street and corporate America over the economy, the political process and the country.
If he does this, Bernie Sanders may very well become the next president of the United States. And that, I would say, would be a very good thing, and the beginning of some very hopeful, and very real change.
J. Todd Ring,
January 12, 2016
For more analysis and social commentary, see my recently published book, Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium – available now on

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 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.

October 6, 2011

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