Archive for uprising

Flash-Drive Revolution – and – Who To Trust?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2020 by jtoddring

 

Amidst Protests, Uprisings, Simmering Revolt and Revolution, and A New Renaissance Emerging,

vs

Reactionary Efforts of The Establishment Powers of Entrenched Global Neo-Feudal Corporate Oligarchy To Resist Change, and To Consolidate Their Power

Who Can We Trust, Who Is Worthy of Support, and Who Can Put Things Into Perspective?

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Humanity is experiencing a global awakening, and the birth of a new renaissance, along with the birth pangs of a new, global wave of popular protests, uprisings, and democratic revolutions.

At the same time, and deeply inter-related, there is a deep and growing crisis of legitimacy facing the world’s business and political “leaders” – the elite – along with the media, political and economic institutions, and social systems, structures, institutions and powers broadly.

We are now, in 2020, entering the global showdown phase of that most central conflict: between a global awakening of consciousness and culture, an emerging new renaissance, and a new wave of global uprisings and democratic revolutions; and the elite powers and oligarchies that wish to halt them, and to retain their stratospheric power and privilege, their oligarchy, and their de facto global rule.

It is, in short, a global showdown between the people and the oligarchy – between the people, and the ruling elite.

Public trust in political and business elites has crashed through the floor, and are at historically low levels. Public trust in the media has likewise collapsed.

Pundits, academics and “experts” are now routinely called into question as well – and not surprisingly, when we repeatedly discover hidden motives, blind spots, outright lies or delusions, and frequent alliances with vested interests.

Everywhere, icons are toppling, people are questioning more and more – as they should, and must.

Everywhere, people are re-assessing basic questions, including, who can we trust? Who can be relied upon for generally reliable, as well as honest, thoughtful, and accurate information, and informed commentary and analysis?

Furthermore, who is truly worthy of support, and who is not?

In short, whom to trust, has become one of the central issues of our time, as old orders crumble and slowly die, yet fight to hold on; and a new world is not yet born.

For myself, as a Canadian, and after 35 years and more than 50,000 hours of intensive research, studies and reflection, I can offer a very short and incomplete list of some of the groups and organizations that I feel are most worthy of support, along with the sources of news and analysis that I hold to be most reliable. Remember, though: Think for yourself – and question everything.

Remember also, that good sources and worthwhile groups can be corrupted, co-opted, high-jacked, taken over, simply become lost, or positively go off the rails.

I don’t expect that to happen with any of my most trusted groups or sources, but we do live in strange and unpredictable times – so I would urge we take nothing for granted.

Question everything, and everyone. Trust is good, when it is warranted. It is good to have confidence in something, and in at least some few, as well as in the people and the Earth broadly.

So too, are vigilance, fact-checking, and above all, thinking for ourselves, very good, and essential, things.

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Groups I feel are most worthy of support:

A very short and incomplete list, focused primarily on Canadian groups and organizations

 

Idle No More

The Canadian indigenous rights group that has transformed the environmental movement, positively fused the indigenous rights movement to the environmental movement, and brought non-violent direct action into the mainstream – where it belongs, and must remain, until the job is done, and we live in a just and free, clean and green world.

 

The Council of Canadians

Canada’s leading citizen organization: building grassroots activism for a clean, green, just and free, peaceful, democratic society

 

The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

Canada’s leading progressive-left think tank, and one of the best in the world

Publishes the journal, The Monitor

 

The David Suzuki Foundation

The leading environmental group in Canada, along with Idle No More and others

Founded by the most trusted person in Canada, according to a nation-wide poll: environmental scientist David Suzuki

 

News and Analysis:

 

Trends Journal

Not even the best of the alternative media compares to Trends Journal for trend forecasting, trend analysis, and weekly news and analysis – and of course the major state and corporate media don’t remotely compare, being the propaganda systems for the ruling elite, as Chomsky has said, and thus, utterly unreliable.

 

Z Magazine & Z Net

News and analysis, in-depth commentary, activism, networking and solidarity for social change: Z Net is a giant David, or army of Davids, in the global movement for a better world. It’s now being censored and suppressed, like many other sources and individuals that speak the truth, but it is alive and strong, and you can find them. And you should.

 

The Monitor

In-depth analysis from the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

 

Canadian Perspectives

News and analysis from the front lines of the grassroots movements for democracy, justice, sustainability and peace – from the Council of Canadians

 

Geopolitics & Empire Podcast

Quality varies with the guest, but generally excellent, in-depth global analysis here.

 

New Internationalist

Clarifying the real story on the biggest issues in the world for many decades now, NI is a rare gem, both as a journal, and as a grassroots networking organization, and also, as a publishing house

 

The American Herald Tribune

An independent media source that offers fiercely honest investigative journalism, news and analysis

(Watch for Anthony (Tony) Hall, Robert David Steele, Caitlin Johnstone, Philip Giraldi, Piers Robinson and Barbara Honeger in particular)

 

The Corbett Report

Another excellent source of independent research, news and analysis

 

The Centre For Research On Globalization

Also generally excellent for independent research, news and analysis

 

21st Century Wire

This source is new to me, but a recent episode of the weekly podcast was so exceptionally insightful, to such a rare level or degree, that I feel I have to list it here, among the best of the best. The host Patrick Henningsen has a level of understanding of global issues and power dynamics, and media manipulations, which is very rare. If one episode can impress me this much, like rare few sources ever do, then I am sure he must do a very good job of cutting through the fog on a regular basis.

 

John Pilger

Veteran investigative journalist and documentary film-maker John Pilger is a one-man media army. When the world is filled with the sound and fury of all-pervasive propaganda, lies, half-truths and illusions, and the echochamber of elite-spun narratives, which is the major media, seems to drown out all possibility for truth, or even basic sanity, you can count on John Pilger to cut through the fog and the lies and the convenient self-deceptions, to get to the truth, and the real story behind “the news”.

 

The Empire Files, with Abby Martin

A fiercely independent source of news and analysis, Abby Martin is what an investigative journalist looks like – along with John Pilger, Caitlin Johnstone, James Corbett, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and a handful of others left in the world.

 

GreenMedInfo

The most reliable, truly evidence-based source on health that I know of – in fact, the only reliable source remaining that I know of, now that most health information sources have fallen for the lies and hysteria that are broadcast and paraded, very much like a plague in fact, by the new axis of evil: Big Government, Big Media, and the Big Money powers that rule them both.

 

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There are many other groups, movements and organizations in the world that are worthy of our support, of course. And there are a few other sources of news and analysis that are reliable – although, they are now extremely few, and increasingly rare, as well as increasingly censored and suppressed. But with even these few sources, and these few groups, and others like them, there is hope.

Everything is possible, and the future truly is in our hands.

What we do with that power, is entirely up to us.

Please be sure to read the important notes below, as well: sources for big picture perspective, and Flash-Drive Revolution.

JTR,
March 26, 2020

 

Post-Script:

Sources for big-picture perspective:

To compliment the short list of groups and news sources that I would consider worthy of our trust as well as our support, I would like to add a very short and incomplete list of authors and thinkers that I feel are extremely helpful in gaining clarity in terms of the big picture, and/or, in terms of in-depth analysis.

Again, there are millions and billions of voices out there, but only a handful rise to the level, in my mind, of being generally reliable sources of information, much less understanding and perspective. (Remember, few people are omniscient, to put it mildly. Let’s not expect infallibility. Question everything.)

These, to my mind, are among the best of the best, in terms of voices for big picture perspective, or in-depth analysis, or sometimes, rarely, both. Other people would present a different list. Here is mine. (In no particular order – and again, very incomplete.)

Henry David Thoreau

Etienne de La Boetie

Noam Chomsky

Peter Kropotkin

Bertrand Russell

Murray Bookchin

Rianne Eisler

Howard Zinn

C. Wright Mills

Peter Phillips

George Orwell

Aldous Huxley

Erich Fromm

Max Weber

Alan Watts

Allan Wallace

Joseph Campbell

Joanna Macy

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Vandana Shiva

Jeremy Rifkin

Naomi Klein

John Pilger

Gerald Celente

Michel Chossudovsky

Michael Hudson

Ellen Brown

Max Keiser

Yanis Varoufakis

James Corbett

Caitlin Johnstone

Abby Martin

Matt Taibbi

David C. Korten

David Suzuki

Arundhati Roy

Margaret Atwood

Ronald Wright

Maude Barlow

Paul Craig Roberts

Morris Berman

Stephen Toulmin

EF Schumacher

Gandhi

Martin Luther King Jr.

Peter Dale Scott

Anthony Hall

John McMurtry

Michael Albert

Chris Hedges

Cornell West

Piers Robinson

And my own writings, I would humbly submit:

my essays, here on my blog, along with my first two published books:

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium (on Barnes & Noble)

and,

The People vs The Elite:

A Manifesto For Democratic Revolution,

Or, Survival In The 21st Century & Beyond

(Coming April 2020)

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Flash-Drive Revolution:

As I have said before, and others have begun to say as well: censorship is increasing. The elite are scared – scared of change, scared of losing power. They are cracking down – especially on freedom of speech, and on dissent, as well as freedom of travel and freedom of assembly. (“Papers please.”)

I would urge people to begin backing up important texts, images, posters, data sets, videos, films, art and music that can be used in the fight for a better, freer, more just and clean, green, democratic world – and now.

Many of the best and most important writings, for example, are in the public domain. Others, like myself, are offering their work for free distribution.

Like most writers, I feel I am spiritually, intellectually, and culturally rich, but I am financially poor. Naturally I would like people to buy my books. But I certainly did not become a writer or a philosopher for the money. So, whether you do or not, and I ask that you do buy my books (mainly for my childrens’ sake); what is far more important to me is that the ideas and the writing be shared.

So, buy one copy, then share a digital copy with everyone you know, please. Hard copies, ebooks and audiobooks will be available for purchase, and I will also make electronic copies available for free, via Project Gutenberg, Librivox, my youtube channel and my blog.

Please take this document above, and my first two books, if you find them useful, and save them to a USB flash drive, along with other public domain writings you feel are  valuable or important  -Henry David Thoreau’s essay, On Civil Disobedience, for example, along with the UN Charter of Human Rights – or whatever you find relevant to the task at hand: and share them widely, everywhere.

These essays in particular I would encourage you to share, among others, from my blog:

Six Founding Principles Of Good Government

The Myth Of Progress – Pricking The Bubble

The Decline, Decay, Death and Rebirth of Democracy and Freedom

The Maxims of Empire (And the Maxims of Liberation)

If freedom of speech and dissent continue their current trend towards being censored and shut down, we will need alternative means of communicating. A Flash-Drive Revolution, sharing information and ideas freely, hand to hand, world-wide, by-passing the internet completely, could circumvent the oligarchs, and beat them. I think it is important. And I think we should begin right away – right now.

250 MB, or even 1 terabyte, USB flash-drives are becoming cheap. Use them. Bypass the closing down of society and free speech – while we still can.

Vive la revolution! For a free and just, clean, green, democratic society, and a better world for all.

And remember, we, the people, are the world’s other superpower – the greatest superpower.

Embrace your power now.

Let’s go.

Consider that the revolution has begun.

JTR,
March 26, 2020

What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by jtoddring

“Much of the reporting by the mass media gives the impression that Venezuela faces a national rebellion. The reality, says Miguel Tinker Salas, is that the protests have been restricted to mostly middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, not entire cities.”
  – Truthout, What is happening in Venezuela?
(Many, many thanks, to the honest journalism presented here, in this article, and in general at Truthout.)

Yes, as with the situation in Ukraine – and as is the usual norm, the truly pathological and dysfunctional norm under the rule of Western plutocracy and the corporate state – the people are being systematically lied to with regards to recent events in Venezuela.

What is happening in Venezuela? The left has won 18 out of the past 19 democratic elections, and the right wing, which used to rule the country, before Chavez changed all that – the right wing which is supported almost exclusively by the minority who are rich or middle class – is furious. That is what is happening in Venezuela.

“There is no evidence that broad sectors of society, especially the urban poor who provide the most support to the government, have joined the protests initiated by middle and upper class sectors. This division led one Colombian commentator to state, “Venezuela is an odd country, the only place were the rich protest and the poor celebrate.” It is doubtful the opposition can sustain the present level of protests. By seeking Maduro’s ouster through undemocratic means and without majority support, the opposition has once again entered a “callejon sin salida,” a political dead end…. The opposition will find it difficult to save face after this round of protests and many question their commitment to democratic principles and their ability to unite all of Venezuela.  Having radicalized their base, they now face the daunting task of demobilizing their followers if they are to salvage any credibility in future elections.”
   – Miguel Tinker Salas, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Truthout, March 6

Reading the mainstream media, you are given the impression, as you are meant to, that there is a national rebellion going on that has broad popular support. It doesn’t.

Municipal elections we recently held across the country, and the left won 70% of the vote, confirming that the democratic socialist government of Venezuela has broad and deep support among the people – as it has since Chavez took power through free and fair elections.

The same thing happened between 2002-2004, when the right wing staged a coup, and when that failed, staged “popular” protests, trying to destabilize the government and force a crisis of ungovernability, in order to overthrow the democratically elected government.

But Washington and the big corporations, including the corporations which control 90% of US media, despise both socialism and democracy, and especially when they are combined – and worst of all, when they prove it to be an illusion and a lie that socialism and democracy are not compatible, or even that democratic socialism must be a tyranny of the majority, as the right wing often likes to sloganeer about.

Venezuelan democracy is more populist, more grass-roots-based and more constitutionally based, not to mention far more free and fair and robust, than US politics have ever been, even before Wall Street consolidated its hold over the US “democratic” process. If we want to point to an anti-democratic tyranny, we don’t have to look very far. It is right here, in North American society, where the business elite rule, and democracy be damned.

Chavez re-drafted the Venezuelan constitution – not to give himself more power, but to write into the constitution, the right of the people to hold a presidential re-call vote, and to remove him or any other president from power. What dictator re-writes the constitution so that he can be removed from power by the people at any time? More to the point, which of our “democratic” and “freedom-loving” political elites – or prostitutes to the super-rich and the corporatocracy, I should say, to be more accurate – would even tolerate, let alone initiate, re-drafting the constitution to allow them to be removed from power at any time? Very, very few. In sum, Venezuela has been made, not only more prosperous, not only more equal, but also more free and more democratic under Chavez and his democratically elected successor, Nicolás Maduro.

Arguably, Venezuela is more democratic than the United States, which by every single measure, is run by and for Wall Street and the plutocratic, rabidly anti-democratic, quite literally fascist corporate elite. Washington should hang its head in shame, and bow low before the positive actions and the courage being demonstrated by the Veneuelan people and their elected government.

The rich, the right wing, Washington and the global corporate giants – and especially the oil giants, who do not like having to pay higher royalties to the Venezuelan people now, for the privilege of extracting the black gold from the country – are livid. But the people of Venezuela, aside from a rabidly anti-democratic and frequently violent, rich minority, support the democratic socialist government.

With Iraq, the US invaded – for the sake of the oil. In Ukraine, the US just staged a successful coup, as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has made clear, and as Illinois professor of international law, Francis Boyle, also corroborated – in part, to gain control of gas pipelines supplying energy to Europe. In Libya, Washington staged a coup using Al Queda forces as their hired thugs – for oil. In Venezuela, Washington is backing the extreme right, in efforts to overthrow the democratically-elected government. So far, the people of Venezuela have held strong against such anti-democratic attempts to overthrow their widely supported and much-loved, elected government. I pray they will continue to succeed, and I believe they will. With the strength and solidarity of MERCOSUR, the powerful and fast-rising Latin American trade block, and with solidarity from people around the world, they will continue to win, I hope, I pray, and I do believe.

That is what is happening in Venezuela.

That, and the steady reduction of poverty and a fairer sharing of the wealth that comes from the country’s massive oil reserves (which are among the largest in the world), among other economic sectors as inequality shrinks, and constitutional, populist democracy is enshrined.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Canada and Europe, poverty and inequality are rising fast, while freedom, civil liberties and democracy are under attack. And who is pointing the finger at whom?

Really now. The hypocrisy of the Western, or rather, the North-Western media of North America and Europe, along with that of the political and business elite, would be shocking, if it were not so routine to have become banal. But it is certainly sickening and nauseating, nevertheless.

 

An aside: Routine media distortions, illusions and lies

I just read – or read as much as I could stomach – the CBC’s “in-depth analysis” of the situation in Ukraine. It was titled, “Ukraine in crisis: key facts, major developments.” Well, they failed to report any of the truly central facts, and they completely misrepresented and distorted all of the major actual facts and the truth of what is happening. So much for honest journalism in Canada. For the real key facts on the situation in Ukraine, see the article I wrote yesterday: http://jtoddring.com/2014/03/06/ukraine-cia-coup-geopolitical-analysis-and-wwiii/  – Ukraine: CIA coup, geopolitical analysis, and WWIII.

(CBC is Canada’s most-watched television news network, a state-run corporation that is widely, and very confusedly believed to be liberal to centre-left, neutral, objective, free and fair – as it presents itself. Some “necessary illusions” die hard. The CBC may compare favourably to, say Fox News, MSNBC or CNN, but that is a pretty low bar to surpass – you really have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to do worse than them.)

CBC, in terms of international news, you are a complete write-off, I am sorry to say. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I look upon my fellow countrymen with commiseration when they believe that by reading the papers they have learned something about the world. Those who never read the newspapers are better off than those who do, for it is better to know nothing, than to have one’s head filled with lies, half-truths and illusions.”

Better to shut off the mainstream corporate and state-run media altogether. What a wasteland of lies, distortions, falsifications and misinformation. Shut it off. Turn off the morphine drip. The mainstream media, the corporate and state-run media, have become the opiate of the people. Pull the plug.

For the real story, turn to Truthout, the Centre For Research On Gloobalization, Gerald Celente of Trends Research, Z Magazine, Democracy Now! and The Real News Network, or other carefully chosen independent media. Many people are already fed up with the mainstream media, and all the figures show it: the major media are losing their audience in droves. For the rest of the population, who still tune into the old guard media, I would suggests the alternatives mentioned above – here, real journalism lives, and the truth can be told, and spoken freely.

The world needs our help. If we are not informed, then it will be difficult for us to help anyone, or even to help ourselves. Stay informed, and get the real news. Change the channel, if you haven’t already.

J. Todd Ring, March 7, 2014

 

 

Go Back To Sleep America, At Your Own Peril

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Todd

Go Back To Sleep America.

Occupy Wall Street: The emerging global pro-democracy movement, where it stands, what it means, and where we go from here

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, civil liberties, class, common ground, consciousness, conservative, conservatives, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, currency, democracy, democratic deficit, ecological crisis, ecology, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, freedom, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, human rights, imperialism, inspiration, labour, left, liberal, libertarian, libertarianism, Media, media analysis, money, must-read, oil, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, political theory, politics, politics of oil, psychology, resources, right, right wing, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, sustainability, the right, the world's other superpower, Uncategorized, war, war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by jtoddring

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has already become a global grassroots populist pro-democracy movement, if we have eyes to see, has clearly already won a broad and growing base of support. What is needed now, I believe, is to further clarify and crystallize the issues – and I would say that many people now realize that the central issue is the question of whether we live in a plutocracy or a democracy, whether we have rule of the people, by the people, for the people, or rule by the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite. The second urgent task is to further broaden and build the emerging world-wide pro-democracy movement, and create a popular coalition that can reclaim democracy from the ruling corporate masters who are looting and pillaging at will, and who have usurped far too much power, politically, economically, and in the media. To this second aim, this brief reflection is geared. Unite the people now.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, or more accurately, the fast-growing global pro-democracy movement, has broad support from progressives, the left and labour, considerable support from students, youth, the environmental and peace movements and the liberal centre, and also, although it may be surprising to some, considerable support from the grassroots right.

What many do not understand is that the grassroots right is increasingly wary of and outraged by the same ruling corporate elite that the left has fought against for generations. A growing number of people who consider themselves conservatives are now highly aware that big business and the super-rich have taken over the political process as well as the economy and the media. They are not happy about this fact, to say the least.

There is common ground here, between left and right, liberal, conservative and progressive, and we should not be fooled by the corporate-dominated and corporate-owned media who always want to spin and sow division among the people. The power-hungry have always known that divide and conquer is the best and first line of defence of their vested interests and imperial powers. We should not be surprised when the corporate-run media both inflames and also inflates and exaggerates the divisions which do exist, and severely downplays the common ground that could unite the people. When the people unite, democracy will rule, and the ruling elite will be deposed from power – the elite know this very well, and therefore do everything they can to sow division and discord among the people. Do not let them win!

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At the level of the grassroots, many people are fiscal conservatives, and many fiscal conservatives realize that spending $1.5 trillion a year on imperial wars, the military-industrial complex and CIA black ops – and this is the figure that has been acknowledged by the U.S. government, by the way – is completely unsustainable, and is in fact, economic suicide. While there are major differences of opinion and views between right and left, there is also strong common ground – common ground that is routinely overlooked, and that is vital that we acknowledge and come to realize. Many fiscal conservatives realize that the vast sums spent on war and empire are leading to a collapse of the currency and a bankrupting of the nation. Many also realize that it is the vested interests of the corporate elite – the big oil companies and military-industrial contractors, for example – that drive the wars and the imperial hubris and sheer insanity.

The grassroots right and conservatives are not as out to lunch as most liberals, progressives and people on the left tend to believe. Neither right nor left has a monopoly on truth, on intelligence, or on moral high ground. The sooner we realize that none of us are infallible, that we can learn from one another, and most importantly, that we have a strong basis of unity in common ground, the better.

If the left and progressives and liberals can get over their long-standing self-righteousness and presumed superior moral high ground and intelligence, they will find that they have allies in surprising places. If the right will overcome their habitual paranoia and rabid, overly zealous partisan hatred and hostility toward the left, and realize that the vast majority of people on the left today are neither Stalinists nor statist authoritarians, they too will realize that they have allies in surprising places. We need to realize this now: there is common ground; and unless we find it, we are all in for a very dark time ahead. Divided we will fall – make no mistake about it.

The right and the left may forever disagree, and disagree strongly, on many major issues; but when it comes to the core issues, the most central and fundamental of issues, most people on both right and left are in favour of constitutional democracy, limited powers of the state, civil liberties, freedom and authentic democracy, and are opposed to any form of elite rule. This fact, and this common ground, is critically important for us all to realize now.

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On another line, many on the grassroots right and many who would call themselves conservatives, are libertarians. Traditionally, libertarianism has been a term that has been co-opted by the libertarian right. The libertarian right has traditionally been wary – rightly so – of excessive powers of the state; and it has also traditionally been laissez-faire, or willfully ignorant, as to the dangers of excessive powers in the economic realm. But this has been changing over the past two to three decades, and libertarians that were or are conservatives or rightist, have begun to realize what Thomas Jefferson knew very well two hundred years ago: excessive concentrations of either economic or political powers will result in tyranny.

A growing number of libertarians are now highly aware that in order to preserve constitutional democracy, civil liberties and freedom, the corporate elite must be pushed back, and firmly reigned in. Again, there is a good deal of common ground here between conservatives, liberals, progressives, right and left now, at least at the level of the grassroots.

Of course most politicians are partisan zealots: they have to uphold the charade that they represent widely differing views between widely differing political parties, and to mask the fact that both of the major political parties in the U.S., and most of the major political parties around the world, are bought and paid for by the same ruling corporate elite.  As George Carlin put it, “The politicians are there to give you the illusion that you have a choice. You don’t have a choice – you have owners. They own you. It’s a big club folks – and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the club. And by the way, it’s the same club they use to beat you over the head with every god-damn day, telling you what to think, what to believe.”

We are presented with a false set of choices, and asked to choose between corporate lap dogs A, B, or C. More and more, the people are aware that this is no choice at all, and that the entire system is failing us, and has been co-opted, high-jacked, by the same 1% who control and dominate the global economy and the major media, and are pillaging the earth and the people.

It is time for the people to fully see through the smoke screen, to recognize that the central question at hand is whether we have a plutocracy in which the richest 1% rule over the rest, or whether we have government of the people, by the people, for the people, and to reclaim our democracy, our lives, our world and our future.

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Environmentalists are coming to realize that there will be no serious action to protect our environment or save our collective asses until and unless we depose the ruling corporate powers from their dominance over the political process, the economy and the media – that is, until we the people take the power back and reclaim our democracy and our future.

The progressives and the left generally realize that there will be no justice and no authentic democracy until and unless the people reclaim their power, take back their democracy, and push the corporate elite to the side, reigning them in and allowing decisions to be made, as they should and must, by the people, and not by the super-rich.

The labour movement is coming to realize that perpetual rear-guard action is necessary, but entirely insufficient to create a just and equitable society – that the goals of jobs, decent working conditions and pay, and a decent life for all, are impossible to attain until and unless the people reclaim their power and their democracy from the corporate elite who have usurped these.

The peace movement is beginning to realize that imperial warfare will never end until the military-industrial complex and the big oil companies, and more broadly, the reigning corporate elite, are deposed from power, and the people reclaim their democracy.

The traditionally wishy-washy and banal centre is coming to realize that the middle class dream of a peaceful, reasonably just, free and democratic society in which they and their children can do well and prosper, is a dream that is systematically being destroyed, that the middle class is being eviscerated and is falling into the underclass, and that these goals and values briefly exposited above are by now an impossibility until and unless the people say no to the corporate giants and the financial elite who have overstepped their bounds and come to dominate the entire political process, the economy and the planet. The habitually somnambulent and deferential centre is beginning to awaken.

This is already a broad coalition of interests, people and movements, and it will be even broader when the grassroots left, right and centre realize that they have a common foe: and that is the super-rich 1% and the corporate elite who are destroying democracy, civil liberties, constitutional rights and freedoms, waging unending, murderous and economically bankrupting imperial wars, and endangering all our lives and futures by continuing to disregard the environment in the pursuit of short-term profits and rape and pillage economics.

On the right, there may be 10-20% of the population that is authoritarian and quasi- if not wholly fascist. On the left, there may be 10-20% that is naively, cynically or stubbornly elitist and authoritarian. The 60-80% of the people who are in between these two extremes of right and left prefer and strongly are in favour of constitutional democracy and the rule by the people – and opposed to rule by any kind of elite. This is the majority which we must now unite, and this majority which supports constitutional democracy and is opposed to any form of elite rule, spans both the left and right, liberals, conservatives and progressives. We can and must unite the majority now, and reclaim our democracy from the plutocrats and the – frankly speaking, and to put it plainly – crypto-fascists.

Act now. The time is late. And the time has come for a change.

Unite the people. It is time for the people to take back their democracy and to renew the world.

JTR,
October 19, 2011

Occupy Wall St. – Letters to friends and family, and an overview of what is unfolding now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2011 by jtoddring

What is happening is momentus. It could go wrong, it could fizzle out, or it could be co-opted, but at present, by all I can see, it is hopeful: here are a few letters I sent to friends and family on the subject, that aimed to clarify and also to empower and embolden – peace to all of you reading this, and I send you my love.

As an overview of the phenomenon, and to offer some thoughts to the movement as well, I would say this:

We need to be clear on not only what we’re against, but also what we’re for. We’re opposed to corporate greed, yes. We’re not anti-business, but we’re against the richest 1% dominating the economy, the media and the political process, and basically ruling the world. That is, we’re opposed to corporatism – to corporate rule, plutocracy or rule by the super-rich. We’re passionately in support of democracy, human rights and justice for all. This is not an anti-corporate movement: this is a pro-democracy movement! And it is about time! Let it roll. We need it.

Todd

*

Hi papa,

I hope you’re well. I had to write, `cause the uprising that’s going on is very interesting and very exciting, I think. I’m not sure if you’re following it. I wasn’t at all inititally, but over the past couple of days I’ve read and listened more, and it is momentus, I now think. It’s hard to say that it’s not. It gets dismissive treatment, and moreover, largely silence and a media black-out from the corporate-dominated (via advertising dollar dependency) and corporate-owned media, but that is no surprise.

Anyway, I love you very much, and miss the conversations. (It’s been too long since I’ve been by.) I’ve put up a bunch of “Tweets” on Twitter – which is an excellent news and analysis agreggator if you know how to choose your sources well (I have a few hundred news feeds coming into my Twitter account now) – tweets or posts of articles and videos that have very interesting content on the subject. You can find the feed on my blog if you want. I’d love to hear what you think.

I’m cautiously optomistic. This emerging pro-democracy movement in the U.S., which is rapidly spreading to cities across the U.S. and internationally, could be co-opted or derailed, or simply sputter out, but I think it has the potential to be the beach-head that drives forward a radical renewal of democracy, and a reclaiming of power by the people from the 1% corporate and financial elite who have usurped far too much power and have come to dominate the economy, media, culture and poltical process. (It’s not an anti-business movement – it’s anti-corporatist: meaning, business is fine, but big business should not, and cannot be allowed to rule our society or the world.) I hope this is the thin edge of the wedge to restore power to the people. I believe it very well may be.

As I see it, nothing is going to change for the better, and we will have no future at all, unless we retake power from the corporate elite who have usurped it. The people may be less than fully aware and fully enlightened, but the polls routinely show that what the people want is far better than what we have now. When the people want better than the status quo, on social as well as environmental issues, and by a wide margin, then we have to ask what is in the way – what is obstructing the peoples’ will? The answer of course are the vested interests that Ronald Wright spoke of, who are profiting highly from the present state of affairs, and who do not wish to see a change. The answer then is to restore power to the people, and to wrest power from the financial elite who have taken it without due legitimacy.

This is what is happening now with the Occupy Wall St. movement: it is the beginning of a revolt of the people, whereby the people retake their power and reclaim their democracy and their future. I am hopeful. There is much to be done, and all doors are open. It is up to us.

Comfort the suffering; discomfort the comfortable. Even the table and let us see a new day.

This is building so fast. It’s just three weeks in, and it’s spreading across the U.S. and around the world. The time was ripe; this is a tipping point. This has major potential. Everything is up in the air, everything is possible. It is rapidly becoming an exciting time – it is an exciting time. Shit is happening now. And the revolution will not be televised.

Paltry partisan politics function at such an abysmally lower level than this. This is the beginning of a revolution.

Love,
T

P.S.: The essay that I have attached has not been read by anyone. It was written September 14, three days before the Wall St. occupation, which I had not heard about until some days later. I hope you enjoy it.

Post, post-scrpit:

“Ideas that can be easily assimilated meet with responsiveness. Ideas that force us to re-think our views of the world tend to meet with hostility.”  (James Gleick) Although the present popular uprising which is demanding a renewal of democracy is in accord with the sentiment and views of the great majority of the people, the power elite, along with the timid, the fence-sitters and the infantile who long for a parental figure in government and society, and the stubbornly partisan loyalist zealots and ideologues, will rally in joint force with a hostility which has yet to be seen in its fullness. Be ready for it. We cannot expect this to be a peaceful transition to a genuine government “of the people, by the people, for the people” – the power elite and their loyal servants will defend the existing regime and order ferociously. We should be prepared. “Biting Through” is the I Ching hexagram which comes to mind: this is where we stand now. A beginning has been made. The future is up to us, as always.

Some people react with fury when their world view is challenged. We should not be surprised. It is a clinging to ideology, and to the illusion of security and comfort. Even when the ground is being swept out from underneath them, even when their future is clearly at risk, even when things are so undeniably going wrong, there are those who will rally to the defence of the dying – and killing – existing order. Many simply do not want to be bothered with having to think or make decisions, and wish desperately for someone to think and decide for them, and to take their power from them, as Dostoyevsky and Huxley, among others, described. Others react with rabid rage when their priviledge and power is threatened, being unafraid to take power, and rather, are eager for it. Likewise, we should not be surprised, nor dismayed, nor disuaded from our goal.

The goal is the healing of this world, which requires, first and foremost, the reclaiming of democracy by the people. It shall be done. And it is in progress. The people have more courage, more heart, more intelligence, and more basic decency and common sense than is commonly ascribed to them. If we are to create a better world, it will be with the rising and the uniting and the solidarity of the people, and in no other way. The people are uniting and arising now. We should stand with democracy, and with the people. I trust you will. I have no choice.

******

(new letter, online friend)

I rly don’t know you well at all, and you barely know me, but I saw your disposition and views to some degree online, and you seem a good-hearted and intelligent person, so I am writing you now with a thought; a thought which would not be wasted on the selfish, the greedy or the paralytically closed-minded. Occupy Wall St.: the movement is on!

As far as I can see, this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world. Get behind it. Let me know your thoughts: I’d love to hear them. I’m just pumping the insurrection that is happening now, and that is MUCH needed. Take care, and talk to me anytime. Would love to know what you think.

******

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

******

Hi George. I hope you are well! You should write to me! Would love to hear from you.

I’ve got politics on the brain, as usual, and things are heating up! Holy fuck! Have you been following what is going on with the Wall St. occupation? Damn! I’m not going to write again what I’ve been writing all night: this shit needs and deserves support: this is the birth of a much-needed pro-democracy movement in the Western world. John Lennon would be proud.

Please, don’t be offended that I paste a short letter on the subject that I have now sent to a few people. I love you, frankly, as a human being and as a friend. I just cannot write the same thing to dozens of people. Please read what I have sent here. We need your help. Jump in. Up to you now.

*

Hi Anne. I hope you are well. I am writing because I am an unabashed hopeful, idealistic, and also brutally realistic politico: and shit is happening now. You’re probably following the occupation of Wall St. Here is my succinct view: this is a nascient pro-democracy movement for the Western world, which is much needed – urgently needed. It is nascient, but it is powerful, and gaining steam by the hour. I am unable to contain myself, and have to ask everyone I know to look into it; and if they feel it makes sense to them, to get behind it; or better, to get involved in it. Sorry Anne, I haven’t seen you since jr high, but I still trust in my instincts and my intuition, and you I know have a good and strong heart. Let me know what you think. I just had to put this out there. Forgive me if I’m in the wrong, but it seems to me that it just needs to happen.

*

Get in there George, pls. I respect you, whatever you decide. I am asking you now to jump in. Please do.

*****

Fuck Mike! Do you see what’s going on w occupy Wall St? Holy fucking shit!!! Mass unrest. People are pissed, and rightly so. Beginnings…. Tell me what you think. I think it is the beginning, possibly, of something very good. Argh!! Shit man, take the opening where you find it! This is an opening! Make some positive shit happen! I am rallying all the support I can find for this movement, which I sincerely believe is the beginning of a pro-democracy movement for the Western world. God help us, we need that!!! Get behind it, or in it, or with it – or simply let people know that the corporatocracy is no longer immune from popular revolt!

If you have any doubt as to what I mean, remember who I am: I do not bullshit. This is real. From my best analysis, on the fly, this looks to me like it has major fucking potential. We’ll see what happens when it happens. To me, you have to take the open doors when they open, or cry in vain that you let them close. Better to just jump, and see what happens, I would say. Compassion knows no fear – we should strive to embody that.

Todd

A few articles and videos on the occupation of Wall Street, along with tools and resources and important background information:

#OccupyWallStreet: There’s Something Happening Here, Mr. Jones | techPresident

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Remain Defiant After Brooklyn Bridge Arrests (PHOTOS)

WGA East Endorses Occupy Wall Street Protests (Exclusive) – The Hollywood Reporter

It’s the Inequality, Stupid | Mother Jones

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)”

Threat/Promise | Declaration of the Occupation of New York City As…

FreakOutNation » The Marines are coming to #OccupyWallStreet to Protect the Protesters

Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich Speak to Occupy Wall Street – YouTube

Map: Occupy Wall Street Spreads Nationwide, Major Unions Sign On | Mother Jones

Occupy Wall Street-Inspired Protests Spring Up Around the Country, World – Democracy Now! | Headlines for October 04, 2011

Wall Street protests spread in U.S. and Canada

How to Support #Occupy Wall Street | The Nation

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