What scares me about corporate oligarchy is the repetitive nature of its successes.
What worries me about my fellow people is our repetitive failure to protect ourselves.
What I wish everyone wanted to prevent, was the combination of these two things.
There is a very real interest in maintaining the “facade” of a representative democracy. The Oligarchy needs that curtain to hide behind. This means, they need their puppets to be elected by us…creating a mirage that our “checks and balances” are still in place.
To achieve this goal, the people who use legal corporate structures to amass unnecessary and grotesque fortunes (and power) have put their focus on altering public opinion to align with their goals. This way, when the politicians serve the wealth class, they still get re-elected by us. WE, in other words, collectively make up the curtain behind which the modern aristocracy hides.
Distressingly, on most but not all issues, the minority voice is highly informed while the majority opinion gradually grows up around us, a result of people believing that if they’ve heard it said often enough…it must be true. Essentially, we begin to believe the popular lie.
Overwhelmed by the corporate narrative, pushed upon us through every mode of communication possible, we are worn down, day after month after year until our beliefs eventually crumble into a new, national mantra that flies in the face of logic.
How did 9/11 become about Iraq, when the planes were full of Saudis?
How was the war in the Middle East about 9/11 or WMDs and not oil?
Trump (a wealth class business failure) will make America great again?
Again and again. We get snookered. The corporate oligarchs hire experts to agree, journalists to create clickbait, sociologists & psychologists to advise propaganda companies who craft multi-platform advertising campaigns, and then, while we’re choking on their messaging, they stuff cotton in our ears & strap blinders to our heads, so we can’t hear or see any dissenting opinions.
The manipulation of the many by the few…the screwing over of the poor by the rich…the presence of corruption and criminals within our political system…has actually become Our Narrative. Americans, who love their myths of independence, bravery and honor are – as a society – depressed, overwhelmed and entirely lacking in self-confidence.
We’re also lazy. We know what’s being doing, and we’re letting it happen.
From doctors hired to say they prefer this brand of cigarette over that brand to the Oil Industry denying the long-term negative impact on climate (that they knew about in the 1960s) to every pharmaceutical company ON EARTH being involved in at least one major scandal, where we know they put money way, way, way over human life…the list of “hurting people to make a profit” is almost as long as there are corporations in the world.
To be fair, WE THE PEOPLE have occasionally tried to protect ourselves. Ever heard of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection? Its purpose is to stop unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigations, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights…and so on.
BUT. Do we ensure that this bureau is funded adequately? Do most Americans even know it exists? Is the BCP protecting us? Not even close.
This is why we need a Political Revolution.
The raccoons aren’t just sniffing around the edge of the field, grabbing an unwary hen here or there. We are under attack! There is a full-blown class war happening in the United States of America (across the planet, actually) and it is completely unethical, often illegal, and totally out of control. A hole has been ripped open in the coop wall and hens are being dragged out, under the cover of darkness (information control and manipulation), and WE, the farmers, are doing nothing about it.
No, it’s worse than that. They’ve literally come for our children, and still. We sit silent and dumb, waiting for someone else to save us. Guess what? There is only us.
Everyone wants to point fingers. Blame him or her or them or karma or gods or aliens or fate or even corporations! Anyone or anything…so long as it is someone else’s fault. Right? But, it’s not. It’s ours. OUR FAULT. Each and every one of us, and this is the good news. Because, the only thing we have power over is ourselves.
It is OUR internal narrative that must change. The values of our culture (currently: materialism as success and individual wealth over national health) must change. As long as we all secretly wish to be super-rich, the situation will remain the same. Think about that.
There are those who came to America, to rape and pillage and go home with a ship full of gold…so they could be someone important back in Europe. There are those who came to America, enslaved and powerless, forced to suffer and die at the hands of their wannabe aristocracy masters who coveted wealth and power. And then, remember the many who sought a simple life and freedom from the GROTESQUE European Aristocracy. People wanting land to grow food, a warm house, enough for their children, security in their old age, and time to create, love and be happy.
Which of those people are you?
One of the things I try very hard to do (although, I’m sure I fail on occasion) is to avoid using labels. Especially for other people. Labels fail us. In your comment above, you used the label “Socialists/Progressives.” I have literally no idea what that label means to you. I am certain that my definition is different, so I can’t understand you. That is how labels fail us. They block communication.
I’ve noticed that every decision-making body within the dominant culture political and legal system is rushed. It boggles the mind, how we can expect well-thought out decisions when we choose to create schedules and deadlines that make it impossible to have a slow, careful conversation.
For example, to have this conversation, I need to start off by asking what you mean by “Socialists/Progressives.” You’ll give me your definition and I’ll tell you what I’m hearing and you can clarify if I got anything wrong. Once we know exactly who or what movements or which groups you are referring to, then we can move on to discussing which agendas throughout history you’re referring to, how their outcomes are perceived by you to be failures, and whether or not blame for flaws within the systems or outcomes are acknowledged. But, to have a conversation about simply that one sentence…will take time.
I’m willing to do that. And I encourage everyone to begin to be willing to do so, as well. Otherwise, we run the risk of talking past each other and getting upset about something that the other person in the room may have never even said, or meant to imply, and so on.
You’ve mentioned a lot here. Do you want to talk about that one sentence, to get things going?
I just looked up how many forms of “catholicism” there are in the world. It was hard to count, there are so many variations on the theme, so here’s the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholicity
I did this because it’s a concrete example of how labels fail us…even when we choose them for ourselves. One concern I have is people using labels to describe others. Often, these labels are used as weapons, rather than aids to communication, as I’m sure you know.
However, even if we are free to “self-label,” I have YET to find a label that applies accurately to me in a way that others can comprehend. For example, when it comes to vaccine medicine, I am “vaccine risk aware.” I know what this means. It means I recognize the broad array of benefits and risks presented to individuals and society by vaccine medicine. I do not see vaccines as all perfect or all evil. And so on. WHEN I get the chance to explain what this label means, to me, to a person who is actually curious to understand me…this label can be fairly useful.
BUT, usually a “self-label” fails, as the definition is generally in the eye of the beholder. Meaning, you say Catholic, I say Catholic, our friend says Catholic and **most likely** we all mean something slightly or glaringly different.
So, you have offered here what I would call an “early version” of the concept of socialism, when the term was being first thought up and coined, and perhaps defined by people other than the creators of the term, as I’m not sure that the original thinkers of “socialism” actually meant it to be a stepping stone toward communism.
It is MY opinion that ALL socialist democracies on Earth allow and encourage capitalism within a fairly regulated setting. In other words, people seem to want the benefits of capitalism (where people can creatively come together and work on goals that will yield them personal benefits) while also wanting the benefits of social consideration for circumstance – whether you are injured, born into a terrible family, bereft of parents early in life, or find yourself caring for an ill family member, etc.
Therefore, your presented definition of the term “socialism,” and my definition of “socialism” are different. AND, in my view, society and ideas change and evolve over time. The “monster in the closet” concept of socialism used to scare American children is an old, outdated concept that isn’t practiced anywhere on Earth. Meanwhile, the modern versions of socialism (called Democratic Socialism or Socialist Democracy and so on) are varied & intriguing blends of concepts yielding a mixed bag of results, in countries with very high voter turnout – suggesting the results may align with the goals of the population.
I don’t know who Stephen L. Carter is, but I find his use of labels throughout his comments to be unfortunate and unhelpful. If he replaced all of the labels with the words “people,” I think I would agree with much (not all) of what he is saying.
My understanding, from what Bernie Sanders has said and how he has acted throughout his life, is that he values the regulatory aspect of socialism (as classically defined) and that he would like to see the concept of “humans working together through government to improve quality of life for all” grow within our country. Currently, I believe he sees the system as being “beneficial to the power-holding class of wealthy oligarchs who control enough politicians to ensure that their needs are met far more so than the needs of the vast majority of our American citizenry.” I can not ascribe a political label to myself, because everyone has their own definition for every label I can imagine (left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, socialism, Berniecrat, progressive and so on)….so, I suppose it might be possible for people to understand my viewpoint best if I say, “I’m a political agnostic.” Or not. Essentially, I’m working on creating a New Narrative.