Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Posted 10 years ago on June 8, 2012, 2:40 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Declaration of Independence 1776


"Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."

Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia) 1781


"Experience has taught us, that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good, without the intervention of a coercive power."

George Washington in a letter to John Jay dated August 1, 1786


"In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other."

Benjamin Franklin in his address to the Constitutional Convention dated September 17, 1787


"Those who contend for a simple democracy, or a pure republic, actuated by the sense of the majority, and operating within narrow limits, assume or suppose a case which is altogether fictitious. They found their reasoning on the idea, that the people composing the Society, enjoy not only an equality of political rights; but that they have all precisely the same interests, and the same feelings in every respect. Were this in reality the case, their reasoning would be conclusive. The interest of the majority would be that of the minority also; the decisions could only turn on mere opinion concerning the good of the whole, of which the major voice would be the safest criterion; and within a small sphere, this voice could be most easily collected, and the public affairs most accurately managed."

"We know however that no Society ever did or can consist of so homogeneous a mass of Citizens. In the savage State indeed, an approach is made towards it; but in that State little or no Government is necessary. In all civilized Societies, distinctions are various and unavoidable. A distinction of property results from that very protection which a free Government gives to unequal faculties of acquiring it. There will be rich and poor; creditors and debtors; a landed interest, a monied interest, a mercantile interest, a manufacturing interest. These classes may again be subdivided according to the different productions of different situations & soils, & according to different branches of commerce, and of manufactures. In addition to these natural distinctions, artificial ones will be founded, on accidental differences in political, religious or other opinions, or an attachment to the persons of leading individuals. However erroneous or ridiculous these grounds of dissention and faction, may appear to the enlightened Statesman, or the benevolent philosopher, the bulk of mankind who are neither Statesmen nor Philosophers, will continue to view them in a different light."

"Divide et impera, the reprobated axiom of tyranny, is under certain qualifications, the only policy, by which a republic can be administered on just principles."

A few selected thoughts of James Madison from a letter written to Thomas Jefferson dated October 24, 1787


"If, then, control of the people over the organs of their government be the measure of their republicanism, and I confess I know no other measure, it must be agreed that our governments have much less of republicanism than ought to have been expected; in other words, that the people have less regular control over their agents, than their rights and their interests require."

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor dated May 28, 1816.


"Hamilton’s financial system had then past. It had two objects. First as a puzzle, to exclude popular understanding and inquiry. Secondly, as a machine for the corruption of the legislature; for he avowed the opinion that man could be governed by one of two motives only, force or interest: force he observed, in this country, was out of the question; and the interests therefore of the members must be laid hold of, to keep the legislature in unison with the Executive. And with grief and shame it must be acknowledged that his machine was not without effect. That even in this, the birth of our government, some members were found sordid enough to bend their duty to their interests, and to look after personal, rather than public good."

Thomas Jefferson in "Anas" dated February 4, 1818


In the beginning...

The Founding Fathers, on September 12, 1787, had voted against a national Bill of Rights (that later had to be insisted upon as a consideration by certain state legislatures for the ratification of the Constitution and didn't protect people at the state level until the 14th Amendment).

During and after the Constitutional Convention, legislation for the People to recall their federal representatives had been rejected.

In 1791, the Whiskey Tax had been passed favoring eastern big business while burdening western small business resulting in rebellion.

In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts had been passed and only enforced against critics of the Federalist Party.

Consider the form of government that the Founders had instituted in contrast to a form of government similar to a Democratic Congress http://occupywallst.org/forum/amendment-for-a-democratic-congress/ that the Founders (including James Madison) would have been opposed to simply for being a democracy http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-democracy/ . Also consider the actual democracy that has existed in Switzerland since 1891 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_in_Switzerland that the United States Congress has never considered for the American people.

A democracy is rule by the people be it by direct initiative or by representatives directly accountable to the people through recall and the legally enforced obligation to represent their will.

The American form of government is a popular aristocracy by which the members of the aristocracy are legitimized to legislate via popular election.

The mere existence of popular election without direct control over those elected is not nor has ever been a democratic form of government.

The United States of America has never been a democracy.

As observed by Thomas Jefferson in 1816 and as confirmed nearly 200 years later by the 2014 study

"Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf

the well funded business interests of the American elites behind elected representatives have sustained conditions of political unaccountability resulting in a corporate run government unfavorable towards the interests of the American people.

We like to refer to our elected officials as being our public servants yet Thomas Jefferson had plainly referred to them as being our rulers. Under the form of government agreed upon by the Founding Fathers, the electing body must obey the laws of the elected body. The electing body cannot create laws for itself. The electing body cannot revoke the laws of the elected body and the most that the electing body can do to affect the members of the elected body who choose not to represent the interests of the electing body is to continue electing members to the elected body. We are obliged to abide by their decisions but they are in no way obliged to abide by our public interests. So, who is truly the servant? ("None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.") In short, while people talk of fascism as a growing danger to American freedom, the Founding Father republicanism of restricting the people to a popular aristocracy had been detrimental to American freedom from the start. What just and selfless cause in the interests of liberty could a group of men have had in establishing themselves (or their class) above the collective will and revocation of the people? As they had plainly known, a non-initiative, non-referendum, non-recall, representative republic is a restrained republic, an imposition upon the political freedom of the American people, denying them the status of being a sovereign people.


So, in the beginning, in what way had America been a free country?

If America hadn't been a free country at that time, then, at what point in history did America ever become a free country?



Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

Fighting for a Legitimate Democracy, By and For the People

Thursday, 24 April 2014 12:50
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Popular Resistance | News Analysis


Two weeks ago in reaction to the McCutcheon decision we touched on an issue that will become central to our movement: Has the democratic legitimacy of the US government been lost?

We raised this issue by quoting a Supreme Court Justice, former US president and a sitting US Senator:

“The legitimacy of the US government is now in question. By illegitimate we mean it is ruled by the 1%, not a democracy ‘of, by and for the people.’ The US has become a carefully designed plutocracy that creates laws to favor the few. As Stephen Breyer wrote in his dissenting opinion, American law is now ‘incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy.’ Or, as former president, Jimmy Carter said on July 16, 2013 “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”

“Even members of Congress admit there is a problem. Long before the McCutcheon decision Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) described the impact of the big banks on the government saying: ‘They own the place.’ We have moved into an era of a predatory form of capitalism rooted in big finance where profits are more important than people’s needs or protection of the planet.”

The legitimacy of the US government derives from rule by the people. If the US government has lost its democratic legitimacy, what does that mean? What is the impact? And, what is our responsibility in these circumstances?

We can go back to the founding document of this nation, the Declaration of Independence for guidance. This revolutionary document begins by noting all humans are born with “inalienable rights” and explains “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted” and that government derives its “powers from the consent of the governed.” Further, when the government “becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government….”

After we wrote about the lost democratic legitimacy of the United States, this new academic study, which will be published in Perspectives on Politics, revealed that a review of a unique data set of 1,779 policy issues found:

“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”

And, this was not the only study to reach this conclusion this week. Another study published in the Political Research Quarterly found that only the rich get represented in the US senate. The researchers studied the voting records of senators in five Congresses and found the Senators were consistently aligned with their wealthiest constituents and lower-class constituents never appeared to influence the Senators’ voting behavior. This oligarchic tendency was even truer when the senate was controlled by Democrats.

Large Majorities of Americans Do Not Rule

Let the enormity of the finding sink in – “the majority does not rule” and “even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”

Now, for many of us this is not news, but to have an academic study document it by looking at 1,779 policy issues and empirically proving the lack of democratic legitimacy, is a major step forward for people understanding what is really happening in the United States and what we must do.

Before the occupy movement began we published an article, We Stand With the Majority, that showed super majorities of the American people consistently support the following agenda:

  • Tax the rich and corporations

  • End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending

  • Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and provide improved Medicare to everyone in the United States

  • End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests

  • Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation

  • Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages

  • Get money out of politics

While there was over 60% support for each item on this agenda, the supposed ‘representatives’ of the people were taking the opposite approach on each issue. On September 18, the day after OWS began we followed up with a second article dealing with additional issues that showed, the American people would rule better than the political and economic elites.

While many Americans think that the government representing wealthy interests is new, in fact it goes back to the founding of the country. Historian Charles Beard wrote in the early 1900’s that the chief aim of the authors of the U.S. Constitution was to protect private property, favoring the economic interests of wealthy merchants and plantation owners rather than the interests of the majority of Americans who were small farmers, laborers, and craft workers.

The person who is credited with being the primary author of the Constitution, James Madison, believed that the primary goal of government is “to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.” He recognized that “if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.” As a result of these oligarchic views, only 6% of the US population was originally given the right to vote. And, the first chief justice of the US Supreme Court, John Jay believed that “those who own the country ought to govern it.”

This resulted in the wealth of the nation being concentrated among a small percentage of the population and their wealth being created by slaves and other low-paid workers who had no political participation in government. The many creating wealth for the few has continued throughout US history through sweat shops, child labor and now, poverty workers, like those at the nation’s largest employer, Walmart. By putting property ahead of human rights, the Constitution put in place a predatory economic system of wealth creation.

In fact, Sheldon Wolin describes the Constitutional Convention as blocking the colonists desire for democracy, as economic elites “organize[d] a counter-revolution aimed at institutionalizing a counterforce to challenge the prevailing decentralized system of thirteen sovereign states in which some state legislatures were controlled by ‘popular’ forces.” The Constitution was written “to minimize the direct expression of a popular will” and block the “American demos.” (For more see our article, Lifting the Veil of Mirage Democracy in the United States.)

In many respects, since the founding, the people of the United States have been working to democratize the United States. Gradually, the right to vote expanded to include all adults, direct election of US Senators was added as a constitutional amendment but these changes do not mean we have a real democracy. The work is not done. The legitimacy of people ruling has not been achieved.

While we have the right to vote, our carefully managed elections consistently give Americans a choice of candidates approved by the wealthiest; and through campaign financing, media coverage, ballot access, managing who participates in debates and other means, the ruling elite ensure an outcome that will not challenge the power of the wealthiest Americans and the country’s biggest businesses.

This week, Nomi Prins, a former managing partner at Goldman Sachs wrote about the long history of how the nation’s biggest bankers have controlled presidents throughout the last century. She writes: “With so much power in the hands of an elite few, America operates more as a plutocracy on behalf of the upper caste than a democracy or a republic. Voters are caught in the crossfire of two political parties vying to run Washington in a manner that benefits the banking caste, regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican is sitting in the Oval.”

In many respects, our task is to complete the American Revolution and create a real democracy where the people rule through fair elections of representatives and there is increased direct and participatory democracy.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

The Impact: The Status Quo Reigns

The actions of the illegitimate, corrupt government adversely impact every aspect of our lives. In order to protect the status quo the government takes extreme anti-democratic measures to keep the public uninformed about what they are doing so they can push the agenda of transnational corporations and the wealthiest.

A current example is the Trans Pacific Partnership, this trade agreement has been negotiated in secret for more than four years except for 600 corporate advisers who help write the agreement. The media and public have only seen leaked portions and Congress has to jump through hoops to see it and because the TPP is classified as a secret, they cannot discuss it with their staff or constituents. Now, Obama is pushing to fast track it through Congress with little congressional oversight and while stalled because of citizen pressure, both parties want to find a way to pass fast track. Can anything be more anti-democratic than a secret negotiation, with virtually no congressional review on an agreement that will affect every aspect of our lives and change numerous domestic laws? European nations may not even be able to protect themselves from NSA spying because of trade agreements.

On issue after issue, the American people want change but they get the status quo. There are so many examples. The choreographed political battle over healthcare is one; the US did not end up with change, we ended up with a healthcare system dominated by the insurance industry expanding the neoliberal model of healthcare designed for investors not patients. Despite the industry being among the most hated by Americans, the Affordable Care Act further entrenched its domination of healthcare. Americans were even forced to buy this hated product.

On energy, polls have shown people want a clean energy economy, want subsidies to big oil and nuclear energy ended, but instead they get the opposite. When people protest against pipelines, fracking, coal, off-shore oil and nuclear energy what do they get? They get more pipelines, fracking, coal, off-shore oil and nuclear energy and they get infiltrated and arrested for trying to get the government to respond to their demands.

And, this extreme extraction is directly tied to climate change. The most recent IPCC report shows that if we act now, we can minimize the impact of climate and do so inexpensively – but will the status quo powers that profit from climate change-causing energy allow the government to do what is necessary?

On banking, when the people want bankers to be held accountable, oppose bailing out the big banks when their derivative gambles fail and want transparency in the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve, we get minimal regulation, no criminal prosecutions, expansion of the big banks and minimal audit of the Fed.

These are just a few examples of many. A lot could be written about college tuition, corporatization of education, housing bubbles, lack of GMO labeling and more.

And, the lack of legitimacy is also highlighted by the lawlessness of the government. The soon-to-be-released (at least in part) CIA torture report is already showing through leaks that, among other things, the CIA had black-site torture centers around the world, lied to the Congress and American people about what they were doing and continued torturing despite its failure to protect the country. Despite the seriousness of the crime of torture under both domestic and international law, the only person to go to jail for torture was John Kiriakou who exposed it. Is this how a legitimate government behaves?

We also see the lawlessness approach to government in the dragnet surveillance program of the NSA. Does the Fourth Amendment mean nothing to the illegitimate government? Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, after being threatened by politicians and pundits with arrest, refused to be cowered by threats and returned to the United States this week and were not arrested. Instead, they came back to receive multiple awards, including the Pulitizer. All of these journalism awards show how out of step the US security state is with the thinking of journalists and is a vindication for Edward Snowden.

But, journalism is threatened. As Chelsea Manning’s appellate lawyers pointed out this week, the fact that Manning was convicted under the Espionage Act without being shown to have any intent to commit espionage puts all journalism at risk. The media better join in helping Manning challenge this issue on appeal or critical reporting will risk an espionage conviction.

Control of the government by big business and the wealthy means we get policies designed to enrich the already wealthy at the expense of the poor, working and middle classes. It means an expanding wealth divide and increasing poverty; a smaller share of profit going to workers while corporations make record profits; and destruction of the planet while a few profit from fracked gas, tar sands, nuclear energy and oil.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

How Do We End Plutocracy?

Now that we know we live in a plutocracy – a government ruled by the richest people – with only a false veneer of democracy, not a legitimate government where the people rule, what do we do about it?

The reality that the government has no democratic legitimacy is liberating. Our civil resistance, sit-ins, marches, protests and disobedience of their authority should escalate. At the same time, our efforts to build alternative democratic institutions where we can participate in decision making should also increase. From the community level up we now know we need to build institutions that are legitimate, i.e. that ensure our participation in deciding our future.

We essentially have to remake society, or as President Lincoln said in Gettysburg in 1863 we need “a new birth of freedom.” Lincoln thought we needed to ensure that a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” did “not perish from the earth.” In fact, our task is different – we need to create a government that is of, by and for the people; and we need to do so from the ground up, requiring transformation of the role of people in the economy and government.

Jerome Roos writes in ROAR Magazine that finding the US is not a real democracy is not the real issue. The real issue is “an even thornier question: what if oligarchy, as opposed to democracy, is actually the natural political form in capitalist society? What if the capitalist state is by its very definition an oligarchic form of government? If that’s the case, the authors have merely proved the obvious: that the United States is a thoroughly capitalist society.”

This question is not just the opinion of a European radical, Thomas Edsall writing in The New York Times in reviewing Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, points out that this powerful book makes the point that an expanding wealth divide is the inevitable result of capitalism, and that this creates a conflict with democracy. The book is being described as a watershed for economics, because it demonstrates how the profit of capital exceeds the rate of economic growth. This means a forever expanding wealth divide, unless we do something to change course.

What kind of economy would be consistent with a democracy where the people ruled? In our view, economic democracy where people have ownership of their workplaces, participate in the management of land and resources, as well as share the wealth created more equitably, would be consistent with a government that is of, by and for the people. As we’ve reported in previous articles we see signs of a new economy based on economic democracy growing in the nation. See our website, It’s Our Economy, for more on this issue.

In fact, the history of the United States shows that cooperatives and communal workplaces have been a consistent part of our economy from before our founding. It has always been tied to other movements like the American Revolution, abolition of slavery, women’s rights, worker rights and civil rights – even if the history books do not tell this narrative. You could say it is part of our genetic make-up. Now, we are seeing economic democratic institutions being formed as people share knowledge about how to create them.

Rootstrikers, puts forward a view held by many of us, “the corrupting influence of money in politics is the most fundamental threat to our civil rights this century.” Their view is that “people must recognize that corruption is not just one among many important problems. Corruption is the root problem that makes solving the others so difficult.” It is only the “people who can force lasting change on this broken system.”

And, what kinds of changes in government are needed to end the rule of the richest and empower the people? There are constitutional changes that are needed, whether this is done by amendments or by redrafting the constitution is too soon to say. An essential starting point is the agenda of Move To Amend. They call for a constitutional amendment to establish that: (1) money is not speech and (2) human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. These changes would reverse a string of Supreme Court decisions ending with Citizens United and McCutcheon and allow the people to demand that Congress change the way elections are financed, limit or even ban electoral donations and keep corporations out of politics. After-all the Constitution says ‘we the people’ not ‘we the corporations.’

But, there are other shortcomings in the 227 year old US Constitution. For example there is no right to vote in the Constitution, there are no equal rights recognized for all people, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not recognized, nor are the rights of nature.

And, rights which are recognized are being weakened. For example, our Freedom of Speech and Press, as well as Assembly have been weakened by court decisions minimizing them and police practices abusing them. They can be strengthened by recognizing our right to information and right to communicate with others. People need the right to express themselves publicly on a broad range of politically relevant subjects without fear of punishment. This will protect access to the Internet, or whatever communication tools are developed, as well as protect whistleblowers providing the information we need in order to participate in self-rule.

These changes can only be made by a mass movement that builds from the bottom up. It requires us to work in our own communities to put in place economic institutions that are democratic as well as political institutions like community assembles that are participatory in their exercise of democracy. It requires us to build an independent citizen’s media so people do not have to rely on concentrated corporate media’s propagandistic reporting. It requires us to say out loud that the US government has lost its democratic legitimacy.

This week, CBS News demonstrated once again that a top priority must be to build our own citizen media. CBS hired a former CIA director, Mike Morell as their senior security analyst, even though Morell has already made false, inaccurate and inflammatory statements on the air. Similarly, the new Washington Post owner garnered a contract with the CIA larger than the amount he paid to buy the Post.

A lot of this is already happening but none of it has matured or reached the critical mass needed. As more people awaken to the reality of the depth of corruption in our government and economy, and the mirage of US democracy, the movement will grow and the demands will get stronger.

The Roman philosopher and statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero said “Freedom is participation in power.” It is time for the American awakening that ensures we achieve the participation in power that is consistent with our inalienable rights as human beings. That is the task we face. Building the movement to achieve it will be one of the great transformations in human history.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

Now Make Me Do It: The Mythical Apathy of the Electorate


By: mymarkx Friday October 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Many liberals and progressives, not to mention conservatives and wingnuts, bemoan the apathy of the electorate. It isn’t enough to just vote, they insist, once you elect somebody you have to actively force them to represent you, and they cite Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” The problem, they claim, isn’t with the system or with our representatives, but with us for not being organized and active enough to make our representatives represent us. Many elected representatives claim that they would like to represent their constituents, but, like FDR, they can’t unless they are made to.

If true, this would reflect poorly on us as a people. We have a basically good system, and some good representatives, but we are just too lazy and apathetic to make our representatives represent us.

This is all a lie. Let me give you an example. Back during the Bush administration a lot of people wanted to see Bush and Cheney impeached. In one district the desire for impeachment was so high that activists were able to collect signatures from more than 80% of the residents asking their representative, John Olver, to support impeachment. But when he was formally presented with the petition, his response was, “Spare me! I’m well aware that the overwhelming majority of my constituents want me to support impeachment. I will not.” His response would have been the same if the petition had signatures from 100% of his constituents. It wasn’t that people were too apathetic to care, or too lazy to try to make him represent them, it was that our Constitution never gave people the power to exercise their will through their elected representatives. As both the Bush and Obama administrations made clear, our government does not allow public opinion to influence policy decisions. We are not a democracy or a republic. In the United States power is vested in the hands of the government, not in the hands of the people.

In both a democracy and a republic, by definition, supreme power over government is vested in the hands of the people. In a democracy, the people exercise their power directly by voting on budgets, policy issues, and other matters of import, but in a republic the people exercise their power indirectly through their elected officials. In the United States we have no such power. We can ask our representatives to represent us, we can protest if they don’t, but we have no way to make them do our will because we have no power over them. Once they are elected, they are free to represent us, if they wish, or they can, if they choose, represent their big campaign donors, their personal ideologies, the interests of a foreign country, or anything else they want. We can petition until we turn blue and protest until we get ourselves shot, but we have no way to sway them. Sure we can wait until their terms of office, the only time they’re supposed to represent us, are over, and then try to elect somebody else who can’t be held accountable, but while our representatives are in office, while they are supposed to be representing us, we cannot make them do so.

Of course we can ask Congress to impeach them, but Congress doesn’t like to impeach its own Members. If one Member was impeached, other Members might be subject to impeachment in revenge, so that’s a can of worms they prefer not to open. Sometimes they threaten impeachment, or even begin impeachment proceedings, but they don’t impeach. There have been impeachments of some district judges, but no sitting President, Supreme Court Justice, or Member of Congress has ever been impeached: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States

If your representatives appears to be representing you, it is because they chose to or their big donors told them to, not because you made them do it. You have no power to make them do anything. When you vote, you are not voting for representatives, you are voting for petty tyrants who may or may not represent you and over whom you have no power whatsoever. Once their term of office is over and they are no longer representing you, you cannot bring back to life the dead from the wars they funded with your taxpayer dollars or renounce the debts they incurred that your granchildren will still be paying . The damage they do while in office can be irreparable and you have no control over them while they’re in office. You can try to elect somebody else, somebody who tells smoother lies, but you will have no real power over them either.

Of course with corporate money even in local politics, gerrymandered districts, easily hacked and totally unverifiable central tabulators, you can never know for sure that your vote for a new representative was counted at all, no less counted for the candidate you tried to vote for.

Yet approximately 50% of the electorate vote anyway, hoping against hope that their vote might be counted and that they might be represented. The other half of us know better.

In a democratic form of government, a vote is the most precious right of all because it is the way that people exercise their power over government, either directly or through their representatives.

We do not have a democratic form of government in the United States. The Constitution gave us a plutocracy where we have no power over government to exercise.

So don’t berate yourself and your neighbors for not making your representatives do their jobs. You can’t. The 39 plutocrats who wrote the Constitution, the wealthy elite 1% of their time, made sure that you wouldn’t have that power, as they didn’t trust the “mob and rabble” of democracy and wanted those who owned the country, people like themselves, to always rule the country.

You’re not apathetic. You’ve been had.

[-] 4 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 9 years ago

That was the best explanation I've ever seen on this forum. Hammer, meet nail head.

[-] 4 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 10 years ago

I like that quote. I used to believe America was a free country. Then I joined the military and learned how disgustingly false that assumption was. I guess we've all made mistakes.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

What particularly brought you to that realization?

[-] 3 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 10 years ago

Once you're in the military, you're no longer a human being. You're a disposable piece of government property, and you're treated as such. Just another part of the machine, your value is determined by rank. Rank is a way to show how indoctrinated one is to the militaristic core values and for how long.

But there wasn't any single particular thing that brought me to that realization. It was more of a snowball effect, and connecting the dots.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Well, even though I agree with your assessment, lack of freedom in the military isn't quite the same as a lack of freedom in the counrty a military serves. In fact, short of illegal abuses, a certain lack of military freedom is expected in facilitating the discipline required for soldiers to protect their country. Was there something made known to you in the military that affected your perspective of freedom in general American society?

[-] 2 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 10 years ago

Well no, there was nothing I had discovered through "being on the inside" that changed my perspective of freedom in American Society. But the experience as a whole presented me with the ability see our society from a different angle once I'd finished serving. Something along the lines of: everyone is supposed to be in a certain place in order for the system to function properly.

And maybe it wasn't necessarily the military, I'm sure there were other factors

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

GI = Government issue.

My Dad ran a close risk of facing courts martial in WWII when he was on a two day furlough in Hawaii and got severely sunburned - damaging Government property.

[-] 2 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 10 years ago

Wow, I want to say it's surprising that they go as far as a court martial for sunburns. But it's to be expected I guess. If someone doesn't like you all they have to do is find something in military misconduct code that could apply and nail you with it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

The reasoning was sabotage. Taking military resources out of operation in a time of war. You were very much considered property - war material. I doubt if much has changed in this regard to military personnel.

[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Through the federal income tax, a person's labor becomes the property of the government or more precisely, of the Federal Reserve bankers to receive our tax payments http://occupywallst.org/forum/free-democracy-amendment/#comment-752291.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 10 years ago

I have seen this post before and admit I have not yet stopped in to take a really good look yet - but just skimming through right now it looks to contain a lot of good food for thought and discussion. I am not in a particularly good place with my health at the moment and this provides obstructions to my ability to contribute in a meaningful way at the moment. I look forward to getting more in depth with the post though as these are things that need fleshing-out.

[-] -1 points by auargent (-600) 9 years ago

dk is lying

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

The Crime of Peaceful Protest

Monday, 28 April 2014 11:41
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed


New York - Cecily McMillan, wearing a red dress and high heels, her dark, shoulder-length hair stylishly curled, sat behind a table with her two lawyers Friday morning facing Judge Ronald A. Zweibel in Room 1116 at the Manhattan Criminal Court. The judge seems to have alternated between boredom and rage throughout the trial, now three weeks old. He has repeatedly thrown caustic barbs at her lawyers and arbitrarily shut down many of the avenues of defense. Friday was no exception.

The silver-haired Zweibel curtly dismissed a request by defense lawyers Martin Stolar and Rebecca Heinegg for a motion to dismiss the case. The lawyers had attempted to argue that testimony from the officer who arrested McMillan violated Fifth Amendment restrictions against the use of comments made by a defendant at the time of arrest. But the judge, who has issued an unusual gag order that bars McMillan’s lawyers from speaking to the press, was visibly impatient, snapping, “This debate is going to end.” He then went on to uphold his earlier decision to heavily censor videos taken during the arrest, a decision Stolar said “is cutting the heart out of my ability to refute” the prosecution’s charge that McMillan faked a medical seizure in an attempt to avoid being arrested. “I’m totally handicapped,” Stolar lamented to Zweibel.

The trial of McMillan, 25, is one of the last criminal cases originating from the Occupy protest movement. It is also one of the most emblematic. The state, after the coordinated nationwide eradication of Occupy encampments, has relentlessly used the courts to harass and neutralize Occupy activists, often handing out long probation terms that come with activists’ forced acceptance of felony charges. A felony charge makes it harder to find employment and bars those with such convictions from serving on juries or working for law enforcement. Most important, the long probation terms effectively prohibit further activism.

The Occupy Wall Street movement was not only about battling back against the rise of a corporate oligarchy that has sabotaged our democracy and made war on the poor and the working class. It was also about our right to peaceful protest. The police in cities across the country have been used to short-circuit this right. I watched New York City police during the Occupy protests yank people from sidewalks into the street, where they would be arrested. I saw police routinely shove protesters and beat them with batons. I saw activists slammed against police cars. I saw groups of protesters suddenly herded like sheep to be confined within police barricades. I saw, and was caught up in, mass arrests in which those around me were handcuffed and then thrown violently onto the sidewalk. The police often blasted pepper spray into faces from inches away, temporarily blinding the victims. This violence, carried out against nonviolent protesters, came amid draconian city ordinances that effectively outlawed protest and banned demonstrators from public spaces. It was buttressed by heavy police infiltration and surveillance of the movement. When the press or activists attempted to document the abuse by police they often were assaulted or otherwise blocked from taking photographs or videos. The message the state delivered is clear: Do not dissent. And the McMillan trial is part of the process.

McMillan, who spent part of her childhood living in a trailer park in rural Texas and who now is a graduate student at The New School for Social Research in New York, found herself with several hundred other activists at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan in March 2012 to mark the six-month anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall Street. The city, fearing the re-establishment of an encampment, deployed large numbers of police officers to clear the park just before midnight of that March 17. The police, heavily shielded, stormed into the gathering in fast-moving lines. Activists were shoved, hit, knocked to the ground. Some ran for safety. More than 100 people were arrested on the anniversary. After the violence, numerous activists would call the police aggression perhaps the worst experienced by the Occupy movement. In the mayhem McMillan—whose bruises were photographed and subsequently were displayed to Amy Goodman on the “Democracy Now!” radio, television and Internet program—was manhandled by a police officer later identified as Grantley Bovell. [Click here to see McMillan interviewed on “Democracy Now!” She appears in the last 10 minutes of the program.]

Bovell, who was in plainclothes and who, according to McMillan, did not identify himself as a policeman, allegedly came up from behind and grabbed McMillan’s breast—a perverse form of assault by New York City police that other female activists, too, suffered during Occupy protests. McMillan’s elbow made contact with his face, just below the eye, in what she says appeared to be a reaction to the grope; she says she has no memory of the incident. By the end of the confrontation she was lying on the ground bruised, beaten and convulsing. She was taken to a hospital emergency room, where police handcuffed her to a bed.

Had McMillan not been an Occupy activist, the trial that came out of this beating would have been about her receiving restitution from New York City for police abuse. Instead, she is charged with felony assault in the second degree and facing up to seven years in prison. She is expected to take the witness stand this week.

McMillan’s journey from a rural Texas backwater to a courtroom in New York is a journey of political awakening. Her parents, divorced when she was small, had little money. At times she lived with her mother, who had jobs at a Dillard’s department store, as an accountant for a pool hall and later, after earning a degree, as a registered nurse doing shifts of 60 to 70 hours in hospitals and nursing homes. There were also painful stretches of unemployment. Her mother, from Mexico, was circumspect about revealing her ethnicity in the deeply white conservative community, one in which blacks and other minorities were not welcome. She never taught her son and daughter Spanish. As a girl McMillan saw her mother struggle with severe depression and, in one terrifying instance, taken to a hospital after she passed out from an overdose of prescription pills. For periods, McMillan, her brother and her mother survived on welfare, and they moved often; she attended 13 schools, including five high schools. Her father worked at a Domino’s Pizza shop, striving in vain to become a manager.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

Racism was endemic in the area. There was a sign in the nearby town of Vidor, not far from the Louisiana state line, that read: “If you are dark get out before dark.” It had replaced an earlier sign that said: “Don’t let the sun set on your ass nigger.”

The families around the McMillans struggled with all the problems that come with poverty—alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic and sexual violence and despair. Cecily’s brother is serving a seven-year sentence for drug possession in Texas.

“I grew up around the violence of poverty,” she told me as she lit another cigarette while I interviewed her Thursday night in an apartment in Harlem. She smoked nearly nonstop during our conversation. “It was normative.”

Her parents worked hard to fit into the culture of rural Texas. She said she competed as a child in a beauty pageant called Tiny Miss Valentines of Texas. She was on a cheerleading team. She ran track.

“My parents tried,” McMillan said. “They wanted to give us everything. They wanted us to have a lifestyle we could be proud of. My parents, because we were ... at times poor, were ashamed of who we were. I asked my mother to buy Tommy Hilfiger clothes at the Salvation Army and cut off the insignias and sew them onto my old clothes. I was afraid of being made fun of at school. My mother got up at 5 in the morning before work and made us pigs in a blanket, putting the little sausages into croissants. She wanted my brother and myself to be proud of her. She really did a lot with so very little.”

McMillan spent most of her summers with her paternal grandparents in Atlanta. They opened her to another world. She attended a Spanish-language camp. She went to blues and jazz festivals. She attended a theater summer camp called Seven Stages that focused on cultural and political perspectives. When she was a teenager she wrote collective theater pieces, including one in which she wore the American flag as a burka and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a character dressed as Darth Vader walked onto the stage. “My father was horrified,” she said. “He walked out of the theater.”

As a 13-year-old she was in a play called “I Hate Anne Frank.” “It was about American sensationalism,” she said. “It asked how the entire experience of the Holocaust could be turned for many people into a girl’s positive narrative, a disgusting false optimism. It was not well received.”

Art, and especially theater, awakened her to the realities endured by others, from Muslims in the Middle East to the black underclass in the United States. And, unlike in the Texas towns where she grew up, she made black friends in Atlanta. She began to wonder about the lives of the African-Americans who lived near her in rural Texas. What was it like for them? How did they endure racism? Did black women suffer the way her mother suffered? She began to openly question and challenge the conventions and assumptions of the white community around her. She read extensively, falling in love with the work of Albert Camus.

“I would miss bus stops because I would be reading ‘The Stranger’ or ‘The Plague,’ ” she said. “Existentialism to me was beautiful. It said the world is shit. It said this is the lot humanity is given. But human beings have to try their best. They swim and they swim and they swim against the waves until they can’t swim any longer. You can choose to view these waves as personal attacks against you and give up, or you can swim. And Camus said you should not sell out for a lifeboat. These forces are impersonal. They are structural. I learned from Camus how to live and how to die with dignity.”

She attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., under a scholarship. After graduating, she worked as a student teacher in inner-city schools in Chicago. She joined the Young Democratic Socialists. She enrolled at The New School for Social Research in New York City in the fall of 2011 to write a master’s thesis on Jane Addams, Hull House and the settlement movement. The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began in the city six days after she arrived at the school. She said that at first she was disappointed with the Occupy encampment in Zuccotti Park. She felt it lacked political maturity. She had participated in the political protests in Madison, Wis., in early 2011, and the solidarity of government workers, including police, that she saw there deeply influenced her feelings about activism. She came away strongly committed to nonviolence.

“Police officers sat down to occupy with us,” she said of the protests in Madison. “It was unprecedented. We were with teachers, the fire department, police and students. You walked around saying thank you to the police. You embraced police. [But then] I went to Occupy in New York and saw drum circles and people walking around naked. There was yoga. I thought, what is this? I thought for many protesters this was just some social experiment they would go back to their academic institutions and write about. Where I come from people are hungry. Women are getting raped. Fathers and stepfathers beat the shit out of children. People die. ... Some people would rather not live.”

“At first I looked at the occupiers and thought they were so bourgeois,” she went on. “I thought they were trying to dress down their class by wearing all black. I was disgusted. But in the end I was wrong. I wasn’t meeting them where they were. These were kids, some of whom had been to Harvard, Yale or Princeton, [who] were the jewels of their family’s legacy. They were doing something radical. They had never been given the opportunity to have their voices heard, to have their own agency. They weren’t clowns like I first thought. They were really brave. We learned to have conversations. And that was beautiful. And these people are my friends today.”

She joined Occupy Wall Street’s Demands Working Group, which attempted to draw up a list of core demands that the movement could endorse. She continued with her academic work at The New School for Social Research. She worked part time. She was visiting her grandmother, who was terminally ill in Atlanta, in November 2011 when the police cleared out the Zuccotti Park encampment. When she returned to the New School she took part in the occupation of school buildings, but some occupiers trashed the property, leading to a bitter disagreement between her and other activists. Radical elements in the movement who supported the property destruction held a “shadow trial” and condemned her as a “bureaucratic provocateur.”

“I started putting together an Affinity Group after the New School occupation,” she said. “I realized there was a serious problem between anarchists and socialists and democratic socialists. I wanted, like Bayard Rustin, to bring everyone together. I wanted to repair the fractured left. I wanted to build coalitions.”

McMillan knows that the judge in her trial—who in one comment on the lawyers’ judge-rating website The Robing Room is called “a prosecutor with a robe”—has stacked the deck against her.

The British newspaper The Guardian reported that Bovell, the policeman who McMillan says beat her, has been investigated at least twice by the internal affairs department of the New York City Police Department. In one of these cases, Bovell and his partner were sued for allegedly using an unmarked police car to strike a 17-year-old fleeing on a dirt bike. The teenager said his nose was broken, two teeth were knocked out and his forehead was lacerated. The case was settled out of court for a substantial amount of money. The officer was also captured on a video that appeared to show him kicking a suspect on the floor of a Bronx grocery.

In addition, Bovell was involved in a ticket-fixing scandal in his Bronx precinct.

Austin Guest, 33, a graduate of Harvard University who was arrested at Zuccotti Park on the night McMillan was assaulted, is suing Bovell for allegedly intentionally banging his head on the internal stairs of an MTA bus that took him and other activists in for processing.

The judge has ruled that Bovell’s involvement in the cases stemming from the chasing of the youth on the dirt bike and the Guest arrest cannot be presented as evidence in the McMillan case.

The corporate state, which has proved utterly incapable of addressing the grievances and injustices endured by the underclass, is extremely nervous about the mass movements that have swept the country in recent years. And if protests erupt again—as I think they will—the state hopes it will have neutralized much of the potential leadership. Being an activist in peaceful mass protest is the only real “crime” McMillan has committed.

“Everyone should come and sit through this trial to see the facade that we call democracy,” she said. “The resources one needs to even remotely have a chance in this system are beyond most people. Thank God I went to college and graduate school. Thank God Marty and Rebecca are my lawyers. Thank God I am an organizer and have some agency. I wait in line every day to go to court. I read above my head the words that read something like ‘Justice Is the Foundation of Democracy.’ And I wonder if this is ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ People of color, people who are poor, the people where I come from, do not have a chance for justice. Those people have no choice but to plea out. They can never win in court. I can fight it. This makes me a very privileged person. It is disgusting to think that this is what our democracy has come to. I am heartbreakingly sad for our country.”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

Ivy League Study Says the General Public Has Virtually No Influence on Policy

Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:13
By Anton Woronczuk, The Real News Network | Video Report


More at The Real News


Benjamin Page says that the analysis he conducted with Martin Giles of public opinion surveys and elite policy preferences of the last 20 years shows economic elites virtually determine governmental policy.


ANTON WORONCZUK, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Anton Woronczuk in Baltimore.

A new study titled "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens" says what we've all long felt to be true: the rich and powerful have much greater influence than the rest of us. Political scientist Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern looked at about 1,800 survey questions of public opinion between 1981 and 2002, and they concluded, quote, economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

Now joining us to discuss the report is one of its authors, Benjamin Pages. Benjamin is a professor of political science at Northwestern University.

Thank you for joining us, Benjamin.


WORONCZUK: So, Benjamin, tell us how you came to this conclusion. Tell us about the data that you looked at. And give us some concrete statistics to show that democracy gap between the public and the economic elites.

PAGE: Well, Marty Gilens and his people worked for about ten years to do this. It's a very difficult study. You described it a bit. It involved gathering a lot of information about public opinion, about what affluent people think, and about what interest groups stand for. And we then looked and how public policy came out on these 1,800 cases. And it turns out, if you wanted to predict it, the average citizen simply appeared to have no influence whatsoever, no measurable influence, but organized groups had quite a bit, and affluent citizens even more.

WORONCZUK: So you looked at about two decades' worth of surveys of public opinion. Do you see a change in influence of economic elites over that time? Or is it relatively constant? And also, do you see a change in the kinds of elites that have influence over policy?

PAGE: Well, there appears to be some change over time. As economic inequality has increased and there's more money among the most wealthy people, they seem to use more of it for politics and have more influence. And, of course, the study data ended some time ago. This was before the Supreme Court decisions that increased the power of money still for further.

WORONCZUK: And so what kind of issues do we see the wealthy having a greater influence over? What kind of policy choices do they seek that differs from that of the desires of the public?

PAGE: Well, there are certain kinds of issues on which wealthy Americans tend to disagree quite a bit with the average. One of the biggest is Social Security, where the average American really likes the program, wants to increase it, and wealthy Americans tend to want to cut it to reduce budget deficits. Then there are a lot of policies that have to do with jobs and incomes where you get the same kind of situation--the wealthy people, of course, don't particularly get anything from those, and I think they may underappreciate their importance to average people. There are also disagreements about economic regulation. The average American's much more keen on regulating big corporations, for example. And there are difference about tax policy. The average American would like to close loopholes and have high-income people pay a substantially larger share, whereas upper income people are less enthusiastic about that.

WORONCZUK: Do you see any policy desires of the public or the economic elite that tend to converge?

PAGE: Yes. There are many of them, and particularly in this study. [incompr.] affluent [incompr.] things were just moderately affluent people, the top 10 or 20 percent or so, and the differences are not enormous. So in many cases, the average person agrees and they get what they want, but apparently it's only because the affluent want it.

What we suspect but don't really have evidence for is that much wealthier people may be exerting most of that political influence. And they tend to have much more different policy preferences from the average person.

WORONCZUK: Okay. So judging this democracy gap that exists between the public and the economic elite, let's say that Obama called you tomorrow and put you on economic reform task force. What recommendations would you make to him?

PAGE: Well, I would do better on a political reform task force, I think. And what I would suggest is that we really work hard to reduce the role of money in politics. The Supreme Court's made it a little harder, but there's still things you can do--full disclosure of all kinds of political donations, for example; limiting lobbying; and probably public financing of campaigns. Most people don't want to give a bunch of tax money to politicians, but the alternative is to have them rely on private money, and public funding would probably help quite a bit reduce that reliance.

WORONCZUK: Okay. Professor Benjamin Page, thank you so much for coming on to discuss your report.

PAGE: Thank you very much.

WORONCZUK: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

The Discours sur la servitude volontaire of ÉTIENNE DE LA BOÉTIE, 1548

Rendered into English by HARRY KURZ

[Published under the title ANTI-DICTATOR]


I see no good in having several lords; Let one alone be master, let one alone be king.

These words Homer puts in the mouth of Ulysses,[1] as he addresses the people. If he had said nothing further than "I see no good in having several lords," it would have been well spoken. For the sake of logic he should have maintained that the rule of several could not be good since the power of one man alone, as soon as he acquires the title of master, becomes abusive and unreasonable. Instead he declared what seems preposterous: "Let one alone be master, let one alone be king." We must not be critical of Ulysses, who at the moment was perhaps obliged to speak these words in order to quell a mutiny in the army, for this reason, in my opinion, choosing language to meet the emergency rather than the truth. Yet, in the light of reason, it is a great misfortune to be at the beck and call of one master, for it is impossible to be sure that he is going to be kind, since it is always in his power to be cruel whenever he pleases. As for having several masters, according to the number one has, it amounts to being that many times unfortunate. Although I do not wish at this time to discuss this much debated question, namely whether other types of government are preferable to monarchy,[2] still I should like to know, before casting doubt on the place that monarchy should occupy among commonwealths, whether or not it belongs to such a group, since it is hard to believe that there is anything of common wealth in a country where everything belongs to one master. This question, however, can remain for another time and would really require a separate treatment involving by its very nature all sorts of political discussion.

For the present I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him.[3] Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they, but simply, it would seem, delighted and charmed by the name of one man alone whose power they need not fear, for he is evidently the one person whose qualities they cannot admire because of his inhumanity and brutality toward them. A weakness characteristic of human kind is that we often have to obey force; we have to make concessions; we ourselves cannot always be the stronger. Therefore, when a nation is constrained by the fortune of war to serve a single clique, as happened when the city of Athens served the thirty Tyrants,[4] one should not be amazed that the nation obeys, but simply be grieved by the situation; or rather, instead of being amazed or saddened, consider patiently the evil and look forward hopefully toward a happier future.

Our nature is such that the common duties of human relationship occupy a great part of the course of our life. It is reasonable to love virtue, to esteem good deeds, to be grateful for good from whatever source we may receive it, and, often, to give up some of our comfort in order to increase the honor and advantage of some man whom we love and who deserves it. Therefore, if the inhabitants of a country have found some great personage who has shown rare foresight in protecting them in an emergency, rare boldness in defending them, rare solicitude in governing them, and if, from that point on, they contract the habit of obeying him and depending on him to such an extent that they grant him certain prerogatives, I fear that such a procedure is not prudent, inasmuch as they remove him from a position in which he was doing good and advance him to a dignity in which he may do evil. Certainly while he continues to manifest good will one need fear no harm from a man who seems to be generally well disposed.

But O good Lord! What strange phenomenon is this? What name shall we give to it? What is the nature of this misfortune? What vice is it, or, rather, what degradation? To see an endless multitude of people not merely obeying, but driven to servility? Not ruled, but tyrannized over? These wretches have no wealth, no kin, nor wife nor children, not even life itself that they can call their own. They suffer plundering, wantonness, cruelty, not from an army, not from a barbarian horde, on account of whom they must shed their blood and sacrifice their lives, but from a single man; not from a Hercules nor from a Samson, but from a single little man. Too frequently this same little man is the most cowardly and effeminate in the nation, a stranger to the powder of battle and hesitant on the sands of the tournament; not only without energy to direct men by force, but with hardly enough virility to bed with a common woman! Shall we call subjection to such a leader cowardice? Shall we say that those who serve him are cowardly and faint-hearted? If two, if three, if four, do not defend themselves from the one, we might call that circumstance surprising but nevertheless conceivable. In such a case one might be justified in suspecting a lack of courage. But if a hundred, if a thousand endure the caprice of a single man, should we not rather say that they lack not the courage but the desire to rise against him, and that such an attitude indicates indifference rather than cowardice? When not a hundred, not a thousand men, but a hundred provinces, a thousand cities, a million men, refuse to assail a single man from whom the kindest treatment received is the infliction of serfdom and slavery, what shall we call that? Is it cowardice? Of course there is in every vice inevitably some limit beyond which one cannot go. Two, possibly ten, may fear one; but when a thousand, a million men, a thousand cities, fail to protect themselves against the domination of one man, this cannot be called cowardly, for cowardice does not sink to such a depth, any more than valor can be termed the effort of one individual to scale a fortress, to attack an army, or to conquer a kingdom. What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice, a vice for which no term can be found vile enough, which nature herself disavows and our tongues refuse to name?

Place on one side fifty thousand armed men, and on the other the same number; let them join in battle, one side fighting to retain its liberty, the other to take it away; to which would you, at a guess, promise victory? Which men do you think would march more gallantly to combat — those who anticipate as a reward for their suffering the maintenance of their freedom, or those who cannot expect any other prize for the blows exchanged than the enslavement of others? One side will have before its eyes the blessings of the past and the hope of similar joy in the future; their thoughts will dwell less on the comparatively brief pain of battle than on what they may have to endure forever, they, their children, and all their posterity. The other side has nothing to inspire it with courage except the weak urge of greed, which fades before danger and which can never be so keen, it seems to me, that it will not be dismayed by the least drop of blood from wounds. Consider the justly famous battles of Miltiades,[5] Leonidas,[6] Themistocles,[7] still fresh today in recorded history and in the minds of men as if they had occurred but yesterday, battles fought in Greece for the welfare of the Greeks and as an example to the world. What power do you think gave to such a mere handful of men not the strength but the courage to withstand the attack of a fleet so vast that even the seas were burdened, and to defeat the armies of so many nations, armies so immense that their officers alone outnumbered the entire Greek force? What was it but the fact that in those glorious days this struggle represented not so much a fight of Greeks against Persians as a victory of liberty over domination, of freedom over greed?

It amazes us to hear accounts of the valor that liberty arouses in the hearts of those who defend it; but who could believe reports of what goes on every day among the inhabitants of some countries, who could really believe that one man alone may mistreat a hundred thousand and deprive them of their liberty? Who would credit such a report if he merely heard it, without being present to witness the event? And if this condition occurred only in distant lands and were reported to us, which one among us would not assume the tale to be imagined or invented, and not really true? Obviously there is no need of fighting to overcome this single tyrant, for he is automatically defeated if the country refuses consent to its own enslavement: it is not necessary to deprive him of anything, but simply to give him nothing; there is no need that the country make an effort to do anything for itself provided it does nothing against itself. It is therefore the inhabitants themselves who permit, or, rather, bring about, their own subjection, since by ceasing to submit they would put an end to their servitude. A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it.


[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

III: Mental Slavery – Conditioned Consciousness

“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 246 BC

The mainstream media is the most effective weapon of mass oppression humanity has ever known.

Since the early 1900’s and World War I, a massive propaganda system has been in place. This is not a conspiracy theory; it is all well documented. Research Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, Ivy Lee, George Creel and the Committee on Public Information for starters. In fact, you don’t even need a conspiracy theory; you just need a basic understanding of propaganda, social psychology and behaviorism – more on that later.

The bottom line, as Dewey once said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion humanity has ever experienced.” Speaking from personal experience, having been born and raised inside this propaganda system, and still obviously living inside it, I have come to realize that even the most independent minded among us vastly underestimates how mentally conditioned we all are. Most people are no more consciously aware of this mental domination than they are aware of gravity. It’s like the air we breathe.

For two obvious examples, let’s start with television consumption and advertising. The average American watches more than five hours of TV a day, every single day of their life. American children view more than 40,000 ads per year, every single year of their life. Think about that. That’s intensive mental domination administered on a daily basis, from the cradle to the grave.

Ultimately, as Phil Merikle summed it up, “It’s what advertisers have known all along: if we just keep the exposure rate up, people will be influenced.” Repetition, it’s all about repetition.

Repetitive messages fill our mental atmosphere. To paraphrase Philip Lesley in Managing the Human Climate, ‘When a message appears all around you, you tend to accept it and take it for granted. You find yourself surrounded by it and your subconscious mind absorbs and becomes immersed in the climate of repetitive ideas.’ They form the origins of your thoughts. It’s where your desires, opinions and perspectives are born.

To spin a McLuhan riff, the mainstream mass media is the software on which our minds run; it’s our operating system. It’s an extension of our nervous system. Repetitive mainstream propaganda creates a belief system, popular reference points, symbols, archetypes, mental patterns, a mindset and groupthink, all based on repetition – and groupthink is a highly contagious infectious disease.

It’s hard to escape groupthink. As with freedom and democracy, you must be ever vigilant to avoid the tyranny of groupthink and cultural conditioning. As Walter Lippmann said, “In the great blooming, buzzing confusion of the outer world, we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.” To remix a quote from Dostoevsky, ‘Leave people alone without mass media and they will be lost and confused. They will not know what to support, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise.’

Malcolm X said it best, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

The mainstream media keeps everyone isolated inside a false reality, a pseudo mental environment. People are trapped in a bubble of status quo supporting reality, in a bubble of what’s good for shortsighted, short-term corporate interests.

People’s consciousness and awareness gets conditioned and contracted, they become isolated and detached from wider reality. People are born and raised inside mass media created illusions. As Eduardo Galeano put it, “The majority must resign itself to the consumption of fantasy. Illusions of wealth are sold to the poor, illusions of freedom to the oppressed, dreams of victory to the defeated and of power to the weak.”

As Harold Lasswell said in 1927, “The new antidote to willfulness is propaganda. If the mass will be free of chains of iron, it must accept its chains of silver. If it will not love, honor, and obey, it must not expect to escape seduction.”

Now, let’s sharpen our focus a bit and look from a more practical perspective.

IV: The Spectrum of Thinkable Thought

The censorship that is most prevalent today is the most dangerous form. Not censorship of explicit words, sex or violence, but censorship of any thoughts outside of shortsighted corporate ideology. Any thoughts that lead to critical thought on the established power structure or veer outside of the spectrum of status quo supporting opinion are left out of the debate, out of mainstream public consciousness.

The mainstream press does not cover the most vital social, economic and political issues. The more important something is, the less they report on it. If mentioned at all, it’s mentioned in passing, with little, if any, in-depth reporting, discussion and debate on it. It’s censorship by omission and bullshit on repetition.

As Noam Chomsky observed, this is how propaganda and social control posing as freedom and democracy works: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum…. That gives people the sense that there’s freethinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” To paraphrase Alex Carey, they create ‘the spectrum of thinkable thought. They set the terms of debate, to determine the kinds of questions that will dominate public consciousness, people’s thoughts. They set the political agenda in ways that are favorable to shortsighted corporate interests. The debate is never about the curtailment of the manipulative power of entrenched global corporations.’

Imagine wall-to-wall 24/7 news coverage of the trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity that got us into this mess. Imagine in-depth coverage of the corruption of our political process through a system of bribery that makes the mafia look like amateurs.

What about the staggering consolidation of wealth? Imagine if the media kept discussing how a small percentage of the population has 50 trillion dollars, then they started debating how we could use just a fraction of that money to solve problems, create solutions and evolve society.

What if they reported on all the wealth and resources that a small number of corporations control, then debated how that wealth and those resources could be redeployed to get us onto a sustainable and thriving path?

When you understand what is possible, you see how truly corrupt, shortsighted, ignorant and obsolete our system of rule is. You then realize that our mainstream media system is pure propaganda. When you see the reality that they don’t tell you about, it becomes all too clear. If you were to just look at what they don’t tell you, you would see. Mainstream media is the most effective weapon of mass oppression humanity has ever known. It’s hard to break free, when you are always told you are free.

As Huxley put it in Brave New World Revisited, “The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that they are a victim. To them, the walls of their prison are invisible, and they believe they are free.”

You can’t break free until you see the walls. The whips and chains have evolved into TVs and radios. As William Blum said, “Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorships.” If television was around in the 1770s, we would still be living under British rule.

In the land of propaganda, tyranny is democracy. It’s “enlightened despotism.” When it comes to oppression, it’s all cyclical yet evolutionary. Most people live in a mental cage now, they toil on mentally conditioned plantations.


[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

Congressmen Pocan and Ellison Introduce "Right to Vote" Constitutional Amendment

Saturday, 18 May 2013 11:25 By Brendan Fischer, PRWatch | Report


"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected," wrote Thomas Paine in 1795.

Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. This gap in our founding document has provided an opening for the wave of voter suppression measures that swept the country in recent years, and before that, the poll taxes and Jim Crow restrictions that disenfranchised millions. This week, two Congressmen -- both from states at the epicenter of today's voting rights struggles -- are seeking to fix that.

“The right to vote is too important to be left unprotected,” said Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, who is co-sponsoring an amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote.

“Even though the right to vote is the most-mentioned right in the Constitution," added Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the bill's other sponsor, "legislatures across the country have been trying to deny that right to millions of Americans, including in my home state of Minnesota. It’s time we made it clear once and for all: every citizen in the United States has a fundamental right to vote.”

U.S. Constitution Does Not Protect Voting Rights

Under the U.S. Constitution, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments ensure the vote cannot be denied on the basis of race, the Nineteenth prohibits discrimination based on gender, the Twenty-fourth outlaws the poll tax, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment extends voting to age 18. When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the franchise was limited to white, property-owning men, and these amendments have edged the document closer to its democratic aspirations.

But beyond those amendments -- and a few federal statutes, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which might be neutered by the Supreme Court this term -- the right to vote is mostly a matter of state law. And states in recent years have hardly been careful about protecting access to the ballot box.

After Republicans gained new statehouse majorities in the 2010 elections, a majority of states introduced proposals to enact restrictions on the right to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 25 laws and 2 executive actions passed in 19 states between 2011 and 2012 to impose strict ID restrictions, or shorten early voting, or limit registration drives, among other measures. More restrictive bills have been proposed in 2013.

Wisconsin's Constitution Includes Express Voting Protections

Pocan's state, Wisconsin, passed one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country in 2011 after Governor Scott Walker and a GOP-dominated legislature took power. The law threatened to disenfranchise more than 300,000 voters who did not have the required forms of ID, primarily people of color, students, and the elderly. (Like many of the restrictive voter ID laws proposed since 2011, the bill tracked a "model" Voter ID Act from the American Legislative Exchange Council). But just months after Wisconsin's law was enacted, a state court struck down the law based on the Wisconsin Constitution's protections for voting rights.

"Every United States citizen age 18 or older who is a resident of an election district in this state is a qualified elector of that district," the Wisconsin Constitution reads.

Four years earlier, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court found that Indiana's relatively similar voter ID law did not violate the U.S. Constitution -- which unlike the Wisconsin Constitution, does not expressly safeguard the right to vote.

Pocan and Ellison are seeking to ensure that citizens across the country can share the voting rights protections that have (so far) been enjoyed by Wisconsin residents.

Pocan: "Our country is at its strongest when everyone participates" The Pocan/Ellison proposal, if approved by Congress and ratified by two-thirds of state legislatures, would affirmatively guarantee the right to vote, prohibiting not only restrictive ID measures, but also new limits on early voting, and measures to crack down on registration drives or same day registration, and other voter suppression efforts.

The proposed amendment language is simple, yet broad:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

“At a time when there are far too many efforts to disenfranchise Americans, a voting rights amendment would positively affirm our founding principle that our country is at its strongest when everyone participates," Pocan said Monday at a press conference in the Wisconsin Capital.

"As the world’s leading democracy, we must demand of ourselves what we demand of others—a guaranteed right to vote for all.”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

Lifting the Veil of Mirage Democracy in the United States

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:00 By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers , Truthout | News Analysis


We live in a mirage democracy," Zeese and Flowers assert, as they trace the history and describe the institutions of a not-so-robust US democracy.

"Democracy" demokratia = demos+kratia; or democracy = people+power.

The "greatest democracy on Earth" is how the United States is portrayed to its people and the world. The hallowed words "We the people" and "Of, by and for the people" echo in the minds of Americans to characterize the United States. But do they accurately describe the "democracy" we have?

In reality, a constant conflict that has existed throughout US history, indeed throughout the history of democratic states, is present between the elites and the people. Justice Louis Brandeis said it well when he stated, "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Over the past 40 years, income inequality in the United States has exploded from its lowest level in 1978 . What kind of democracy exists under these circumstances? And is real democracy possible for a global empire? How does nation-state democracy exist within the new globalized economy that serves transnational corporations?

A New Vocabulary for "Democracy"

A new vocabulary is developing to describe the current state of democracy in the United States. We begin with some key words and phrases.

Managed Democracy: A governmental system that includes widespread voter franchise and competitive elections, but the elections are managed so that no matter what candidate(s) are elected, the elites win. The role of citizens in government is to choose between two pre-selected candidates, neither of whom will represent the people's interests and both of whom will represent the elites' interests. Chris Hedges refers to this as "political theater."

Polyarchy: A term highlighted by Cliff DuRand, author of "Recreating Democracy in a Globalized State," that is very similar to managed democracy. He calls it a low-intensity democracy that veils the rule of elites and allows citizens to think they are participating in power through contested elections that do not change the elite power structure.

Inverted Totalitarianism: Classical totalitarianism is the model of Hitler or Mussolini, an all-powerful government led by a charismatic leader that partners with business interests in a security state. Inverted totalitarianism is a similar marriage of government and business, but the measures employed to maintain this relationship are more subtle. It is the coming of age of corporate power, maintained through a security state working in tandem with corporate propaganda that permeates influential institutions such as the media, education, popular culture and evangelical religion.

Globalized State: This is a government that serves the interests of transnational capital devoid of any real connection to the people of the nation. The globalized state rules through economic structures such as trade agreements, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization and through international military actions.

Capitalism: An economic system based on private ownership of capital, goods and the means of production. Goods and services are produced for profit. It is an inherently unequal system. In feudalism, political power and the economy were united in the noble class. Under capitalism, there is a separation of political and economic power, which gives people the impression of participation.

Neoliberalism: The dominant economic ideology of the last three decades which insists upon an extreme separation of government and capital so that the market can operate "freely." The market operates only in the interests of individuals without allegiance to the collective society. Government exists solely to provide basics such as standards for weights and measures, laws and courts to protect property and infrastructure for the market. Neoliberalism welcomes state intervention only when that intervention is to corporate advantage as in trade agreements, bailouts or corporate welfare. Under neoliberalism, state resources and public programs are decreasingly funded and increasingly privatized. DuRand states that neoliberalism is the "default position of capitalism to which it reverts unless restrained by popular struggles."

Neofeudalism: This is the reconfiguration of political and economic systems to create an empowered tiny oligarchic elite class. Chris Hedges points to the structure described by George Orwell in "1984" in which there is an inner party (2 to 4 percent) of corporate and political managers, an outer party (12 to 14 percent) that consists of managers, the security state and the propaganda arm, and the rest of the population exists as "proles."

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

The Birth of US "Democracy"

The United States celebrates the founding of the country and the so-called "Founding Fathers" as the birth of democracy, but the real democracy movement occurred before the American Revolution. In fact, it was the founding fathers, a group of propertied elites, slave holders, noted lawyers and wealthy merchants, who created a system designed to prevent a truly democratic state.

In the pre-Revolutionary period, the American democracy movement involved small farmers, laborers, artisans, shopkeepers, seamen, women, African slaves and native Indians who revolted against the grievances of the day. There existed abolitionists who opposed slavery and slaves who rebelled against plantation owners. Disputes over taxes, ordinances, and land titles and of being ruled over by a royal governor, who represented a distant British government or a corporate monopoly like the British East India Company, were sources of democratic revolt.

Colonial governments were structured for the elites and only those with substantial property ownership had any right to participate. Sheldon Wolin, in Democracy Inc. describes the rise of a "fugitive democracy" in this period. There were spontaneous protests, assemblies, petitions, tarring and feathering of government officials, burning effigies of officials, surrounding courthouses and removing government officials from office and storming jails to free their own. Committees of correspondence were formed to coordinate actions with counterparts in other colonies. This democracy movement was born out of necessity, out of the struggle for survival against deep-seated grievances and was improvisational rather than institutionalized.

Ray Raphael in The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord describes colonists in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, filling the courthouse to prevent British judges from entering. And, in Worcester, 4,622 militiamen from 37 surrounding communities lined Main Street as crown-appointed officials walked the gauntlet, reciting their resignations 30 times each, "so all could hear." Raphael reports that these common people were intensely democratic, disavowing all leadership. In fact, "when they elected representatives, they did so on a day-to-day basis."

Wolin writes that in the period from 1760 until the Constitutional Convention, there was intense political interest that formed an "American demos" that "began to establish a foothold and to find institutional expression, if not full realization. State constitutions were amended by provisions that broadened voting rights, abolished property qualifications for office, and in one case, instituted women's suffrage. There were also efforts to ease debtor laws, even to abolish slavery." It was these attacks on property that prompted several "outstanding politicians" (also known as the founding fathers) to "organize a counter-revolution aimed at institutionalizing a counterforce to challenge the prevailing decentralized system of thirteen sovereign states in which some state legislatures were controlled by 'popular' forces."

These outstanding politicians were some of the wealthiest property owners in the United States, slave holders, well-known lawyers and merchants. James Madison, credited as being the "father" of the Constitution, wrote in The Federalist Papers #10: "Democracies have ever been . . . incompatible with . . . the rights of property . . . [because it would threaten] the unequal distribution of property." The founders were concerned with "the excess of democracy" as one delegate to the convention said. The new Constitution put property rights ahead of human rights.

The "founders" proposed a new system of national power that discouraged the "American demos," removed people from the councils of government and reduced the power of states. The Constitution favored elite rule and protection of property. It established a republic in which courts protected minority rights and property rights from majority sentiment, and government power was limited.

Only the House of Representatives would be directly elected by the people, at least the limited group of six percent of the white, male property-owning population that was allowed to vote. Wolin writes, "The Constitution of the Founders compressed the political role of citizen into an act of 'choosing' and designed it to minimize the direct expression of a popular will." The president was not directly elected, but rather citizens voted for electors who chose the president in the Electoral College. Senators were selected by state legislators, and judges were appointed by the president. It created a representative, not participatory or direct, democracy. The "right to vote" is not even mentioned in the Constitution.

While people were declared "sovereign," they were, in fact, "precluded from governing." "From the beginning," Cliff Durand writes, the country "was designed to be undemocratic." The role of the people was limited to choosing from among the political elite the representatives who would rule them. This managed democracy or polyarchy is far removed from the people power of real democracy. As Durand writes, "Democracy means people's power, not the legitimizing of elite rule."


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

''One solution'' ! ''Massive amounts of bloodshed'' !! Anyone else would've been banned for such an idiot comment, you violent, gun-obsessed half-wit !!! Another Yank lone-nut who has no fkn idea of The 99%.

fiat lux ; fiat justitia ; fiat pax ...


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Boring, conservative and anti-OWS scumbag !!! You need to be taken to the Vet !! And have your testicles re-implanted ! Here's what OWS is all about mthrfkr :

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 9 years ago

Freedom is an ideal we need to work towards with the rights secured by the constitution.

There is a missing concept. Free speech. It played a bigger role than history records from 1776. There was competition for what was to be included in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution.

The right to alter or abolish must be exercised with informed unity. Therein is where the greater meanings of free speech needed to be placed but there were elements that did not want it.

If the greater meanings of free speech were held by the people, it would be much harder to dominate them and nullify any part of the coming contract. Those meanings include a respect for understanding. Without knowledge, that doesn't happen. If the greater meaning of free speech had been included, people would have NEVER allowed the dumbing down documented by the Reese commission, a basic conspiracy.

If the greater meaning of free speech had been a part of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitutions Bill of Rights, citizens would never have allowed media to take over social communications.

The greater meaning of free speech is found in an understanding between people. From the understanding can come; forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, respect, trust, friendship and love, protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That philosophical doctrine comes from the same place as the concept of the 13 United States as demonstrated by Chief Canasatego to Benjamin Franklin in 1744.





[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Yo, SchizoDog ! Leo is sharing information but maybe it appears to Leo, me & others that it sounds like ''you are advocating a state of conditioned helplessness'' !! You certianly DO NOT ''reject'' that !!! Proof ?

ipse dixit ...


[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Shameless Hitlary Tit Suckler !!!

She'll be the next the POTUS ffs !!

So - you reckon OWS should fold ?!

nosce te ipsum ...



[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Name these ''Libertarians'' and I'll name the DNC plants !!! Wanna play ?!! Keep your ''pessimism'' to yourself and if you can't educate or agitate or encourage '99% Organisation' .. then STFU you stupid, reactionary mthrfkr !!! Your final bombastic flourish sure sounds like 'Yank Libertarian' b-s to me, btw.

To paraphrase Dennis Kucinich questioning Neel Kashkari at some Senate hearings ; 'I don't question your ''commitment'' .. it's who you are 'committed' for - that I question'. Now as per The 99%, consider :

multum in parvo ...


[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

I don't claim to have any original ideas. I look to lob info-grenades whilst ''standing on the shoulders of giants'', ergo see the 'Truth-Out' links & try not to cultivate an over-inflated sense of your own opinions.

You want to talk about Leo, hc, flip ... take it to them. When you say - ''I have no idea'' above - that was the moment of unfettered & simple truth but you do like to use the 'first person singular' a lot don't you ?

I'm bored, hungry and tired so I will slap your head again tomorrow when I may or may not open your links or come across your twaddle and gobbledygook again. G'night, be a good Dog & find your Zen.

vale ...


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

LOL ! You don't ''get'' shit, LoonDog !! Keep on tryin' to differentiate arse from elbow tho' !!!

cave - bellum se ipsum alet ...


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

So you advocate for Hitlary, the ''Neocon's Neocon'' (Joe Scarborough) & a Neoliberal espousing uber-friend {or should that be fiend ? lol} of The Banksters ... who has very few issues with The 1%, bar lip-service occasionally for the plight of The Austerity Afflicted 99% - and WHAT ?! I'm ''the clown'', huh ?!!

You encapsulate and epitomise all that is wrong with your country and are little more than yet another MSM-programmed, conservative, nationalist nincompoop and you should look in a mirror at those over-sized shooz, comedy spinning bow-tie, big red nose and funny facial hair to see who - ''the clown'' is !!!

However, as ever and just like 'Trashy' did before, you still serve a real purpose here. Ergo, once again :

IF you choose to reply .. I will probably comprehensively de-construct your longer, highly reactionary ; somewhat deluded and deeply conservative reply-comment above, later today - if time and tide allows.

fiat lux ...


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

You obviously live on this forum and I suspect ever more strongly, that you are a mod but if not, then you certainly have their protection here. Your over-repetitive and desperate b-s was comprehensively addressed on your utterly self-defeating thread, where you saw fit to try to call me out and which I've comprehensively refuted and I encourage all readers (and indeed yourself) to peruse top to bottom :

where my most placatory and comprehensive response was here :

You seem to think that you are accomplishing something here and indeed you are ... ... just NOT in any way that you can possibly imagine. Be calm 'Dog' ; it's Friday dude (lunchtime for me) and the weekend beckons. Please try to cultivate some 'Zen' & re. your final embedded link in that long screed above, do you have the patience to read this fundamentally important piece by Seymour Hersh ?

fiat lux ; fiat justitia et fiat pax ...

EDIT #1 : Re. below ... GIANT YAWN & you are called on ''unapologetically'' shilling for Hitlary here, lol !

EDIT #2 : Good advice flip. Correcting conservatives only makes them more conservative & reactionary !!

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

ok, it is my turn to give some gentle advice - don't engage that moron. seems you are getting in deep with him and I cannot see how it can be productive. I can understand countering some of his nonsense (that is the nicest word I can think of just now) so that others reading will know the real score but you cannot convince an idiot that the moon is not made of green cheese. and god knows he is an idiot! I have wondered if he is paid to disrupt. he seems to have nothing better to do and his comments are really not coherent or rational. anyway I just thought I would throw that out there.





[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Shadz, hchc, flip and LeoYo are some of the best posters here. You are way off.


[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Flip is rock solid, politically. He is with Occupy Wall Street all the way. He's not a Dem lover, like hchc and LeoYo aren't, so you don't like them. They can see, and talk often, about Obama's shortcomings.

See, ZenDog (but you really need to find your Zen) if you are truly on the left, you are not a Dem shill. You point out the Dem's shortcomings so that the 99% can truly have their interests put forth.

[-] 4 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

thanks - you're the best!


[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

and who might be paying them - they certainly are disruptive





[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

That is a load of crap. And, quit your campaign against LeoYo now, as well as your post about Shadz. Both threads should be taken down. They are two warriors for the 99% and you have no business attacking them here the way you are.

I can only sit here and wonder why other people are shadow-banned and banned outright while you are allowed to post violent thoughts and lies. Who is running this thing?


[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Right, but only because I won't bump your bull shit posts. Anyone with half a brain can read their comments and posts over the past 2 plus years to see how strongly they support the 99%. And, I will say whatever I want, wherever I want.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

wow - go to it beauty! it seems these two have some weird death spiral going and they are sucking people into it. I think we should ignore them except to rebut certain postings so others reading are not confused


[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23646) 8 years ago

Your posts are bull shit. There is never any reason to refute bull shit. I would not waste my time. Get control of yourself.


[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago


Yeah, right.


Yeah, right.


Yeah, right. My consistent advocating of political and economic democracy instead of hopeless reliance upon unaccountable corporate-owned partisan politicians is just a state of conditioned helplessness.


[-] 7 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

First, weren't you? It's certainly no secret to shooz, jart, and everyone else I had interacted with on that day why 'LeoYoh' had been required for that time. Now, it simply serves as a means of making two posts without having to wait 3 hours.

Second, if the baseless and incorrect ramblings you refer to as being your thesis has an essence as you claim, you can simply state it rather than being vague about it.

Third, asking if a post I made with no references or links to anyone else as being the author is rather redundant.

Fourth, I've never suggested or denied being a republican or a leftist. Everyone has ever been free to label me as they see fit as I have always stood by my words and not by the ideologies of others.

Fifth, do you honestly have nothing better to do than to create posts in which you're just rambling to yourself? I mean, it's not as if anyone either for or against you can take it seriously. I must admit however that I am just a little bit flattered to have somehow become the focus of your deranged speculations and conclusions. I wouldn't even have known that your post about me had existed had you not referred me to it. Thanks.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

nice job again - well said



[-] 6 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

I was able to correctly copy your use of the words conditioned helplessness from your reply http://occupywallst.org/forum/none-are-more-hopelessly-enslaved-than-those-who-f/#comment-1029721 that I was responding to as anyone can plainly see yet you wish to dishonestly claim that it was a response to a post in which you spend a lot of speculative effort in making the abbreviation of my name out to be anything other than just my personal reference while calling it all a linguistic construct http://occupywallst.org/forum/none-are-more-hopelessly-enslaved-than-those-who-f/#comment-1029830. So where's there any clarity in all of that?

And why do you blatantly lie about an admission of deliberately attempting to foster a state of complete and total helplessness with regard to a system of governance when you're the one who clearly said

"I'm sure you are quite right. There is but one solution: massive amounts of bloodshed until such time as we do, indeed, secure our freedom."? http://occupywallst.org/forum/none-are-more-hopelessly-enslaved-than-those-who-f/#comment-1029719

You obviously deliberately attempted to foster a state of complete and total helplessness for which you clearly endorse the use of massive amounts of bloodshed as the only recourse just like an agent provocateur.

You do not find any source of pride in honesty or shame in constantly lying and engaging in baseless speculation supported by self-justified conclusions to suit your own disruptive agenda. You even go as far to infer that the political and economic democracy I clearly advocate




somehow suits right wing ambitions very very well. Such dishonesty combined with the advocating of massive amounts of bloodshed on an OWS forum dedicated to peaceful protest and democracy exposes attributes clearly identifiable as being those of a traitor.

Ramble on and on INCORRECTLY as much as you're allowed to but everyone on this forum clearly understands what you are and that despite how many ridiculous lies you may continue to tell, your purpose on this forum is not to deceive but merely to disrupt and even to be an agent of provocation for all of the law enforcement agencies we know to be monitoring Occupy.



[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

You were ''finished'' a long time ago ! I recommend NO ''more coffee'' !! And certainly .. ''no more'' methamphetamine or alcohol for you .. Ever Again !!! It's NOT a ''game'' idiot - it's all for The 99%.

e tenebris lux ...


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

LOL !!! ''Obsequious'' ; ''servile . . . and sacharine'', huh lolol ?!! If that is so for The 99%, then I accept it .. but I'm NOT EVER to you or The 1% though right - you Hitlary Tit Suckler and wannabe brown-noser of Oligarchs you, lololol !

If you think that LeoYo is a ''repelican'' and that I am somehow a ''libeRtarian'', then as I've said before LoonDog, your head is now sooo faaar up your arse that talking shit is now an Anatomical Inevitability.

I've got a bunch of things to do now but do please continue with your mental masturbation - as empty vessels do indeed, make the most noise but I'll use your b-s to inform, educate & agitate for The 99%.

nosce te ipsum ...


[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Nope, you ''understand'' very little it seems as that really was a Very Poor response, which didn't get my points at all.It indicates that you aren't following the conversation, never mind opening the links provided.

Re-read my ^reply^. I read everything that I link to & often use the links more than once, tho' you should just restrict yourself to just playing with your weaponry maybe but don't make yourself any blinder now !

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

verum ex absurdo ...


[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 8 years ago

Hmmm. I'll echo ''nice trite insubstantial'' from :

Now perhaps you'd like to take the opportunity here to answer the questions I asked you after your short ''n t i'' comment ^there^, OR conversely maybe you would like to take another chance to reply to my very important ''points'' and genuine questions here :

Or you can just address yourself to the MLK piece above if you like. Up to you but please try to be civil.

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

EDIT #1: Re below, Vacuous, repetitive & boring. No more 'Mr. Nice Guy' with u then, u useless mthrfkr.

EDIT #2 : FYI https://occupywallst.org/forum/leading-questions-shape-perception/#comment-1030027 !!!

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

hey - your latest response to me does not show up in my recent comments section. seems that something is afoot - no surprise - can you find my post from 2 days ago - this one - "matt taibi says bush tougher than obama on corporate crime"