Archive for policy

Six Founding Principles Of Good Government

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

Or,

Public Policy 101:

Tax “Bads”, Not Goods

Public policy, or government policy, should reflect certain basic principles. Let’s set out a few. Not everyone will agree, but polls repeatedly show the great majority, from the moderate grassroots right, across to the left, in general agree, and in general strongly agree, with much of what I will set out here. Where they don’t, we need to discuss further, until clarity and a general consensus are reached. This is critical, and it is also urgent, given the present, intertwined, severe crises we face: so we had best get on it.

1. Freedom should be protected and preserved. (Why? Because it is better to be free than to be a slave. And because freedom is best in light of, and most conducive toward, the fulfilment of human creativity and potential. Such things should not need explaining, but sometimes do.) That means, among other things, that constitutional law must be protected and preserved, and when necessary, ammended or changed to accomadate what is, hopefully, a growing, or rising cultural awareness and awakening. Attacks on our liberties and constitutional rights must be viewed with great wariness, at the least, and in general, strongly and forcefully opposed.

“States of emergency” do not justify a rollback of such liberties and rights, but only highlight our need to preserve them; and test our moral courage in difficult times, when it is easy to be seduced into throwing them overboard in pursuit of an eternally ellusive security that tends always to cost far more than it delivers.

(You don’t surrender your freedoms in order to preserve them, as we did after 9/11. Nor do sane people surrender the liberties of all in order to defend, theoretically, but in reality uselessly, against a germ. Epidemics and other disasters must be met with great compassion – not a police state.)

2. Since freedom is a core value to be preserved, democracy, or rule by the people, must therefore be preserved, and also advanced.

Excessive concentrations of power, alng with the inevitable abuses of power which stem from it, is the greatest danger, or certainly one of them. Freedom and constitutional democracy are among the core components of any serious answer to that very real and ever present danger.

(“When men are ready for it”, no government shall be what they have, as Thoreau said. But that time is not now. Right now, the people need the state to counterbalance the powers of the corporate oligarchs. Libertarians and anarchists need to realize this fact, as Chomsky also expressed, or else cease to pretend to be dealing with the real world.)

Elite rule, or oligarchy, is always the enemy of both democracy and of freedom. This is political-economy axiom number one.

In a heavily financialized, state-sponsored corporate capitalist economy, which is what neoliberalism represents – or corporatism, as it should be called, more precisely – and which is what now rules most of the world, we can either abandon democracy, freedom, civil liberties, an open society and constitutional rule, and embrace the new world empire of global neo-feudal corporate oligarchy, which is increasingly descending into a global police state; or we can vigorously assert our rights, and protect our vanishing freedoms, civil liberties and democracy, break up the big corporate empires, and apply bold, unflinching anti-trust legislation to make democracy and freedom real, and justice, peace, and survivability, real possibilities. Those are the two choices, broadly speaking. Right now we are heading for neoliberal corporate fascism. (In fact, it looks like we may well have arrived.) If we want something different, then we’re going to have to change course, and we’re going to have to act – and now.

Oligarchy and democracy cannot coexist. One must go. The elite want democracy to die. They naturally prefer oligarchy. We should be aware, however, if democracy goes, then freedom goes as well. We must be perfectly clear on this.

And of course, as US Presidents Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln understood, if the nation’s central bank, which prints and creates the nation’s money, is privately controlled by banking elites, rather than publicly owned and democratically controlled by congress, as the US Constitution set down, then “all talk of sovereignty and democracy will be idle and futile”, and freedom and democracy will be no more, because the banking oligarchy will rule the people, the nation, and the land. That is now the case in the US, as in most nations. Making the Federal Reserve publicly owned and democratically controlled, therefore, along with the ECB in Europe and other central banks, is essential if freedom or democracy are to survive. If we are serious about either freedom or democracy, then this very likely must be step one.

Step two is a global reset, by way of a debt jubilee, a mass debt cancellation. The people will continue in debt bondage and debt slavery until this happens. (See Ellen Brown and Michael Hudson.)

Furthermore, if it’s going to be a stable currency, which is necessary for a stable economy, and which are both in turn needed for sovereignty, democracy, independence and self-determination,  then it will also require a Tobin tax, also known as a Robin Hood tax, a tax on financial speculation, to protect the currency and thereby also the people from finanical warfare and extortion. Further, some real world backing is needed, such as gold or silver, or perhaps most usefully, a combination of gold, silver, and Bitcoin. (See Ellen Brown, Max Keiser, James Altucher, Gerald Celente, and Michael Hudson.)

Another point that must be made clear regarding freedom and democracy, is that if loan agreements or “trade” agreements, or any other treaties or agreements, effectively nullify or over-ride the democratic powers of sovereign nations, parliaments or congress, and render the people therefore powerless – as is the categorically the case with regard to the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and NAFTA, or the SPP, for example – then these binding and positively anti-democratic ties, treaties, agreements, arrangements, or “advice”, must be rejected, severed, abrogated, and terminated, without hesitation or delay. Alternative, freer and fairer, more democratic agreements must be sought, and can and will be found, since the great majority of the people want exactly those kinds of alternatives, and immediately.

However these intertwined issues are addressed, our actions must now be bold and swift, clear-minded and unhesitating. Oligarchy, neo-feudal corporate rule, and the power of bankers in particular, are the principle threats to democracy and freedom now, as well as to the 99% of the people, and to the Earth. They must be stopped. (And by now, this means revolution is required –  and urgently so.)

3. Government policies should benefit the people broadly, and not only one select group – for example, the big corporations and the richest 1%, as it does in most nations now. (Hence the need for revolution. Jefferson would unquestionably agree. So, I am sure, would MLK.)

4. Government policy should follow a least harm, maximum social benefit model. Supporting the planet-killing fossil fuel industry, and other polluting industries, such as the chemical-biotech pesticide industry, for example, is both unwise, and self-destructive. It is also morally bankrupt, genocidal, ecocidal, and suicidal – that is, sociopathic, and insane.

Big Oil, Big Chem, Big Pharma, Big Agra, Big Tech, the military-industrial-security complex, and the big banks, among others of the Davos neo-feudal global corporate oligarchy, currently rule over most governments, as well as financial system, the major media, and the global economy. If this is not quickly changed, it will mean a toxic, barren, gulag society ahead, followed by extinction and collapse. (Revolution is needed, and now, I say once again.)

5. Government policy should impose and intrude as little as possible, while seeking to be a vehicle for the people to protect themselves from any and all threats, both foreign, and domestic.

From 1812 on, when Jefferson gave his clarion warning, the greatest threat to the people has been what Thomas Jefferson called, “the new monied aristocracy”.

(We are facing oligarchy and neoliberal fascism now because we failed to listen to prescient minds like Jefferson. We had better corect that error, and immediately.)

Government has been in the business, since that time, for over 200 years, and with few exceptions, of aiding and abbetting the mass rape, looting and pillaging of the many by the few – at least since that time, and to a very high degree, for many centuries before.

Placing some limits on economic predations by the rich upon the many, therefore, and requiring the rich to share some portion of what they have plundered from the many and the Earth, is not only fair, just, and legitimate, but is the moral responsibility of any and all moral governments. Until a more just economic system is created, this is the very least that honest men and women of good conscience can do.

It is also the least that the prudent can do – for the simple reason that, any growing, unchecked power, including in the form of great empires of wealth, will eventually devour all, including the merely afluent and rich, and including our freedom, as well as our democracy.

Both conscience, and also prudence, therefore, require checks and balances, and limits, on great wealth, so as to protect the people, and to preserve our freedom from being taken over and destroyed by any and all, new or old forms of tyranny.

(Libertarians and conservatives, who, in general, are conditioned to believe that any form of government action, other than keeping up an ever-expanding military industrial security complex, empire and war machine, is an unnecessary and dangerous action, should consider this: if you refuse to tax, regulate, and thereby reign in the great economic powers of the oligarchs and the giant fortune 500 corporations, then you automatically allow these same vast economic empires to continue to grow unchecked in power: that means, they will sooner or later devour all – including your precious liberty, your rights, your constitutional protections, and yes, your assets; and quite possibly, your personal freedom – and you may find yourself in a society that all too chillingly resembles, not Eisenhower’s America, but Stalin’s Russia. In short, you either help the people stop the plutocrats from destroying and devouring everything, and building a new global police state and a gulag society, and a ravenous neo-feudal global order; or else, very likely, you will be next in line to be devoured. Get it now. Understand this now. We need your help. Now. Right, bloody, now.)

6. When taxing, or raising funds for public projects, that is, tax “bads”, not “goods”. This should be obvious. Taxes, fees, fines, etc., discourage certain things, are a disincentive to certain things. Spending, funding, grants and loans are inducements, stimuli, incentives, to certain things. We want to create jobs, so we ban payroll taxes, which create disincentives to hiring and job creation, for example. We tax pollution, if we wish to survive, or to breathe.

If you want a market economy at all, whether in a mixed economy, which is best, or in any form, then you have to tax big business and subsidize small business. You put checks and balances, or strong disincentives, on the growth of monopolies and cartels, by taxes or anti-trust legislation for example, otherwise, you get monopolies and cartels dominating both the economy and the government, as we have now, and a neo-feudal economy and social order, which we also have now. At present, most nations are neoliberal, thus, taxing the 99% to lavishly feed the 1%. This is economically foolish, and sociologically, politically, and ecologically, suicidal.

We tax luxury goods as well as pollution; but we put no tax on general consumer spending, because: a) it is regressive and hurts the poor, the middle class, and small and medium businesses, by far the hardest; and b) because it discourages economic activity in a crude and unthinking way.

(“No” to sales taxes, but yes to luxury taxes and pollution taxes. This should be a “no-brainer”, an obvious principle.)

We tax great wealth, because great wealth should be shared; but more importantly, because great wealth means great power – and you cannot let great power accumulate unchecked, either economically or politically (or in finance or the media, equally critically), or you will have oligarchy in the end, and one or another form of fascism; and both democracy and freedom will be destroyed, and the people will be reduced to serfs once again – and worse, will be enslaved.

If we do not soon come to understand, and soon apply, these six most basic and fundamental principles of good government, of justice, of democracy, and of freedom, then these warnings will come to pass.

It is two minutes to midnight now – if not later. We have lost all time for delay. Now, we must be swift, for we are in darkest peril, as the oligarchy of business elites, have clearly taken over.

JTR,
April 5, 2020

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”.

JTR,
April 5, 2020

Free Trade, CETA, TPP, and the US and Canadian Federal Elections: Some Critical Perspective

Posted in activism, Canada, economics, politics, trade, US with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2015 by jtoddring

The following is critical to understand – for the people of Canada, the US, Europe and the world: “free trade” deals such those already signed (NAFTA), and those being pushed through with great secrecy now (CETA, TTIP and TPP), are agreements which grant supra-national powers to transnational corporations, powers over and above democratically elected governments, and therefore, they are agreements which are disastrous to everyone but the few – the global corporate elite.

In both Canada and the US, the major parties all support “free trade,” aka, neoliberalism, and the wrongly labelled “trade deals” which are in fact corporate rights agreements.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada are in open support of such democracy-destroying, sovereignty annihilating, economically, socially and environmentally devastating “trade agreements,” making them the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of political prostitution to corporate rule.

In the US, the Republicans and Democrats are both staunch supporters of neoliberal policies of “free trade” – not surprisingly, since Wall Street pays for their elections, and Wall Street gains from such policies, while the middle class is wiped out, poverty and inequality soar, and the nation is eviscerated, and eaten live.

The one exception in the US seems to be Senator Bernie Sanders: a rare, sane and honest voice in US federal politics. I wish there was such a one, and such a one with such fast-rising prominence and popular support, in the Canadian federal election – but that does not appear to be the case so far.

In Canada, the Greens show promise, but require two things now to be relevant: much greater boldness and focus – for example, in terms of a strong stand on core, critical issues such as the quite monumentally significant and potentially disastrous trade deals, including CETA; and much stronger and broader popular support. So far, both seem to be sadly lacking. I beg to be proven wrong, however, and would be thrilled to see it.

Nevertheless, the Greens have shown more courage and integrity on the critical subject of trade than any of the three major Canadian political parties, and that alone places them head and shoulders above the old-guard parties of the past which still, sadly, dominate the Canadian political landscape – or have to date.

Greens in Canada and Europe have made a clear stand on CETA – a trade deal which would allow corporations to overrule the sovereignty and democracy of member nations by allowing corporations to sue governments for passing legislation which impinge upon their profits.

The Council of Canadians, a leading citizens’ action group in Canada, sums up CETA in a few stark and lucid words:

“CETA is a “next generation” free trade and investment pact that Canada and the EU have been negotiating since May 2009. But it is better understood as a corporate power grab. The Harper government clearly sees CETA as a way to further deregulate and privatize the Canadian economy while increasing corporate power and undermining Canadian and European efforts to address the climate crisis.”

And the Liberals under Justin Trudeau have also declared their support for CETA.

The Greens have said no to CETA. The Liberals and Conservatives are pro “free trade” and openly support CETA. And the NDP policy under Muclair on CETA and other similar “trade deals” – which have to date universally been corporate rights agreements? That’s anyone’s guess, since Mulcair’s NDP have been notoriously vague, ambivalent, and decidedly wish-washy, at best: or worryingly soft, to be more honest and blunt.

The Greens appear to be the only party in Canada which at present to have any resolve, conviction, clarity or vision on the matter of such disastrous “trade” deals which are in truth corporate rights agreements. The position which the big three parties have taken, it seems clear, is effectively, to roll over for corporate interests – at the expense of the Canadian people, the economy, the environment and democracy.

We must understand this:

More “free trade” = more corporate rights agreements = corporate rule and the death of democracy.

This is not the way to conduct trade – by handing over supra-national, anti-democratic powers to large corporations, over and above democratic governments. The major parties don’t agree – because they have either lost their courage, or their integrity, or both, and have become wholly subservient to the ruling oligarchy of global neo-feudal corporate rule and the billionaire class. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff: on this key issue, and others like it of similar gravity.

The policies of political parties and political candidates on such “trade” agreements – which, again, must be understood to be corporate rights agreements – such as CETA, the TTIP and the TPP, FIPA, the SPP and the FTA, are the litmus test for whether these parties and candidates are in service to the ruling corporate powers, or whether they stand with the other 99% of the people. And, unsurprisingly, most parties and most candidates fail that test.

In Canada, I would say, vote Green, since they are the only party now worthy of support.

In the US there is similarly only one choice, and one candidate who in any way, or by any stretch, merits support – and that is Bernie Sanders.

There are a great many well-meaning people out there – both Democrats and Republicans, and also, Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrat supporters – who frequently fall for pretty words and hollow promises. And there are many more people yet, who can and do fall for parties and candidates with some genuinely good policies on this or that issue, while the voters miss the bigger picture entirely, and do themselves severe injustice as a result. If we do not understand what is going on with these giant, nation-dissolving, sovereignty-eviscerating, and democracy-destroying “trade agreements”, then we do not understand what is happening at all.

This is critical to understand. This is central. This is, as I say, the litmus test of a party’s or a candidate’s legitimacy in this hour. If we fail to understand this, then we understand nothing of what is happening in the world at this time.

We need to be clear, and we need to vote with clear minds. Our choices have narrowed: we can vote for the parties and the candidates of the super-rich and the ruling corporate powers, or we can vote for the rare ones who still stand with the people. The time to decide is here. Let us use it wisely.

Political parties and political candidates can have the prettiest, loftiest speeches and policy platforms on earth, but if they are not firmly and unequivocally opposed to the corporate rights agreements which are being pushed through now, then they are either deeply confused and misinformed – in which case, their words and promises will come to nothing – or they are effectively owned by the corporate elite, and are in service to them. These are the simple facts. We should vote accordingly.

J. Todd Ring,

September 29, 2015

Please see:

Picking apart one of the greatest lies in American politics: “Free Trade” – Thom Hartmann, Alternet

http://www.alternet.org/economy/picking-apart-one-biggest-lies-american-politics-free-trade

Here is an excellent analysis of the three major political parties in Canada, by Toronto Star journalist Thomas Walkom, PhD in Economics from University of Toronto. (In a nutshell, they are all shills.)

Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau Offer Little On Economy

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/stephen-harper-tom-mulcair-and-justin-trudeau-offer-little-on-economy-walkom.html

And one more brilliantly clear-headed analysis of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals:

With Justin Trudeau, Canada Now Has Two Conservative Parties, by Will Dubitsky

http://commonsensecanadian.ca/with-justin-trudeau-canada-now-has-two-conservative-parties/

And another excellent article by Walkom, on the gleeful embrace of the failed policies of neoliberalism and “free trade” by the three major Canadian political parties:

Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair buy into free-trade theory that doesn’t work: Walkom

Other countries ditch free-trade orthodoxy to protect jobs. But not Canada.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/04/19/justin_trudeau_stephen_harper_thomas_mulcair_buy_into_freetrade_theory_that_doesnt_work_walkom.html

What do you get the corporation that has everything? CETA. – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/ceta

Liberal Party Statement by Justin Trudeau on CETA

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVrhbx8lVmXgAR9MPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1439315932/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.liberal.ca%2fstatement-liberal-party-canada-leader-justin-trudeau-ceta-2%2f/RK=0/RS=quEeYwXf8HagopNPlS7zn2QTnqs-

Fact Sheet: No More NAFTAs! No to CETA-TPP-FIPA-FTA… – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/publications/factsheet-no-more-naftas-no-ceta-tpp-fipa-fta%E2%80%A6

One Million To Stop The Corporate Death Star – Avaaz

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_corporate_death_star/

BUSTED! What corporations are hiding about TPP

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

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, books, capitalism, collapse, consciousness, conservation, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crash, debt, deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, elite, environment, Kropotkin, must-read, policy, political economy, political philosophy, political theory, politics, renewable, resources, social theory, sociology, sustainability, tipping point with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by jtoddring

Yesterday, September 27, the Global Footprint Network declared as Earth Overshoot Day: the day that humans have used up all renewable resources available for the year. Not good. This obviously cannot continue. Limitless growth in material consumption and “production” clearly cannot be sustained on a finite planet. (We can have limitless growth in culture, the arts, science, the mind, spirituality and quality of life, but not in material production and consumption.) We are depleting our collective inheritance: which should rightfully be shared equitably, through democratic popular control of the commons to which we all share usafructory rights – despite our present unjust and unwise socio-economic, legal and cultural norms – as well as used wisely and compassionately, and not squandered. We are rapidly draining nature’s capital, to put it in crass economic terms, which are the only terms most politicians and pundits and corporate elites seem to understand.

We are racing towards ecological bankruptcy at an ever-accelerating rate, and will see our children live as beggars in an ocean of toxic waste if we don’t change our course, and fast. Of course, most people – aside from the business and political elite – understand this by now. But awareness is not enough. It is high time for much more serious action.

Addressing the present and rapidly escalating environmental crisis which humanity undeniably faces will require more of us than a simple act of recycling or “buying green.” It will require, above all, a restoration and a renewal of democracy – a reclaiming of democracy from the ruling and highly pathological corporate elite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JTR,
September 28, 2011

(My apologies for the Surf-Canyon highlighted link on the word “clothes” – a shopping link, no doubt, and I certainly did not put that in there: another example – a mildly annoying one this time, unlike the subject of the survival of humanity – of corporate overshoot, and the over-stepping of proper bounds. Time to whack them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, and push them back. Enough is enough – in so many regards.)

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

See also:

The Corporation – Joel Bakan (Canadian constitutional lawyer)

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

A Brief History of Progress – Ronald Wright

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

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

Power Down – Richard Heinberg

Mutual Aid – Peter Kropotkin

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

The Poverty of Affluence – Paul Watchel

Small Is Beautiful- E. F. Schumacher

Year 501 – Noam Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky

Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

The Power Elite – C. Wright Mills

Global Showdown – Maude Barlow

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Etienne De La Boittee

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

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

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

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

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

Big Ideas That Changed The World : DemocracyTony Benn

Talk – David Korten – The Great Turning – YouTube

Joanna Macy on The Great Turning – YouTube

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

Life and Debt [HQ Full Movie] – YouTube

The Yes Men – Trailer – YouTube

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

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

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

Jared DiamondCollapse! part 1 – YouTube

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

The Corporation Film: About the Book

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

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

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

 

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