Jun 1 2012

The house of Rothschild — the Money’s prophets

Secret History of the International Bond Market. The history of the Rothschilds and how they controlled banking since the 1700s. They where indispensable to politicians who wanted to finance their campaigns.

Are they still in control to this day? Or is that just a conspiracy theory?




Feb 14 2012

Payday Monsanto “The Complex” Music Video & Lyrics

Payday Monsanto “The Complex”

The Complex is about the military industrial complex controlling our government wanting to keep it in a perpetual war so they can get rich.

It’s time we ended control of the U.S. government by special interests. Make lobbying illegal, and prosecute politicians for bribery. Additionally campaign donations should only come from individual people who actually vote in the election of that official. Most elected officials get over 80% of their funding from other sates, so how can they represent their district when the people of their district are not funding them?

Payday Monsanto “The Complex” Music Video

Payday Monsanto “The Complex” Lyrics

(I hate your fucking games,
But I love you all so much
Sometimes you got overcome with greed.
It’s your arrogants I need.)

I got higher education for you
Vaccinations for you,
and all kinds of experimental medications for ya.
I got professors and doctors and indoctrinated kids
And media outlets to tell you how great it is.
We concentrated it, now you must depend upon,
Banking institutions integrated with the Pentagon.
It’s been said we spread malice and greed
But the benefits are limitless: We’ve got everything you need!
 

(Chorus)

While you were sleeping
We came and took it all away
You can bet the farm on that
You never saw us creeping
And that’s how it’s going to stay
That’s why they say, that’s why they say, that’s why they say.
I hate your fucking guts
But I love you all so much
You make me overcome with greed
But you’re everything I need.

You’re the only one that can make me leave my home.
It’s like you’ve got a gun pointed at my dome.
 
Who are you going to believe?
Kooky conspiracy theorists whose shits been discredited
Just because we said it is?
I know we’ve been noted to see
But we’ve improved upon our record
Just take our word for it in your sedative.
You’re inevitably headed towards a filthy dirty state
Your name is THX 1138
Whether you like it or not,
I’m George Orwell’s ghost,
Hosting a party and exposing the plot.
And talking about heat; giving you one in the dark.
Ask McDaddy Cain Bang will tell you I warm it up.
Please find this as infamous for givin niggers stitches
Ask I’m on a roll towards delicious riches (by gomez)
My philosophies coincide with Chris”
In so many ways stop the violence and kill the dissers.
He’s been saying that shit for 30 years
Still he got more mothers than ever him crying mercy tears.

(Chorus)

Knowledge is dangerous potentially used in the wrong fashion
The wisdom is safety: Distinguish between knowledge and wisdom.
Please….
Distinguish


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Nov 6 2011

Homeland Security Defines you as a Terrorist

Homeland Security Terrorism A Homeland Security document published in 2009 received little attention during at the time due to the media’s ongoing propaganda about the swine flu, shockingly lists the “alternative media”, leaderless resistance (such as Occupy Wall Street), the Militia Movement, the Patriot Movement, People who Disagree with Paying Income Tax, with NEO Nazis and other such extreme hate groups. The document implies that people who disagree with the mass media’s version of events are potential domestic terrorists and says, “A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.”

The groups covered in this document could describe any organized group in the U.S. One can take from this that any organized group is considered a terrorist group and that you just have to add extreme to the name of the group and magically it is now a terrorist group.

The DHS document was almost immediately rescinded, but the groups listed alongside Neo-Nazis, Aryan prison gangs and black power extremists again prove that the federal government is targeting American citizens who are merely knowledgeable about their rights and up on current issues as potential domestic terrorists to be treated as a “threat” to law enforcement. This document says it is an unclassified document, so that means that it is still an official Homeland Security Document and it is only a matter of time before it is issued again to the nations law enforcement agencies.

Here is the whole document from homeland security (this is a link to the document on their site).

(U//FOUO) Domestic Extremism Lexicon

(U) Prepared by the Strategic Analysis Group and the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division.

(U//FOUO) Homeland Security Reference Aids—prepared by the DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)—provide baseline information on a variety of homeland security issues. This product is one in a series of reference aids designed to provide operational and intelligence advice and assistance to other elements of DHS, as well as state, local, and regional fusions centers. DHS/I&A intends this background information to assist federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security and law enforcement officials in conducting analytic activities. This product provides definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States. Definitions were derived from a variety of open source materials and unclassified information, then further developed during facilitated workshops with DHS intelligence analysts knowledgeable about domestic, non-Islamic extremism in the United States. 

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

(U) Definitions    

(U) aboveground (U//FOUO) A term used to describe extremist groups or individuals who operate overtly and portray themselves as law-abiding.
(U) alternative media (U//FOUO) A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.
(U) anarchist extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who advocate a society devoid of government structure or ownership of individual property. Many embrace some of the radical philosophical components of anticapitalist, antiglobalization, communist, socialist, and other movements. Anarchist extremists advocate changing government and society through revolutionary violence.

(also: revolutionary anarchists)

(U) animal rights extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who ascribe equal value to all living organisms and seek to end the perceived abuse and suffering of animals. They believe animals are sentient creatures that experience emotional, physical, and mental awareness and deserve many of the same rights as human beings; for example, the right to life and freedom to engage in normal, instinctive animal behavior. These groups have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They have targeted industries, businesses, and government entities that they perceive abuse or exploit animals, including those that use animals for testing, human services, food production, or consumption.

(also: animal liberation)

(U) antiabortion extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are virulently antiabortion and advocate violence against providers of abortion-related services, their employees, and their facilities. Some cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities.
(U) anti-immigration extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, particularly along the U.S. southwest border with Mexico, and who have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals. They are highly critical of the U.S. Government’s response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend “rights” to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver’s licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education.
(U) antitechnology extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals opposed to technology. These groups have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They have targeted college and university laboratories, scholars, biotechnology industries, U.S. corporations involved in the computer or airline industry, and others.

(also: Neo-Luddites)

(U) Aryan prison gangs (U//FOUO) Individuals who form organized groups while in prison and advocate white supremacist views.Group members may continue to operate under the auspices of the prison gang upon their release from correctional facilities.
(U) black bloc (U//FOUO) An organized collection of violent anarchists and anarchist affinity groups that band together for illegal acts of civil disturbance and use tactics that destroy property or strain law enforcement resources. Black blocs operate in autonomous cells that infiltrate nonviolent protests, often without the knowledge of the organizers of the event.
(U) black nationalism (U//FOUO) A term used by black separatists to promote the unification and separate identity of persons of black or African American descent and who advocate the establishment of a separate nation within the United States.
(U) black power (U//FOUO) A term used by black separatists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the black race.
(U) black separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of black or African American descent who advocate the separation of the races or the separation of specific geographic regions from the rest of the United States; some advocate forming their own political system within a separate nation. Such groups or individuals also may embrace radical religious beliefs. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence directed toward local law enforcement in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) Christian Identity

(U//FOUO) A racist religious philosophy that maintains non-Jewish whites are “God’s Chosen People” and the true descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Groups or individuals can be followers of either the Covenant or Dual Seedline doctrine; all believe that Jews are conspiring with Satan to control world affairs and that the world is on the verge of the Biblical apocalypse. Dual Seedline adherents believe Jews are the literal offspring of Satan and that non- whites, who are often referred to as “mud people,” are not human beings.

(also: Identity, CI, Anglo-Israel)

(U) Cuban independence extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who do not recognize the legitimacy of the Communist Cuban Government and who attempt to subvert it through acts of violence, mainly within the United States.
(U) decentralized terrorist movement (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who pursue shared ideological goals through tactics of leaderless resistance independent of any larger terrorist organization.
(U) denial-of-service attack

(U//FOUO) An attack that attempts to prevent or impair the intended functionality of computer networks, systems, or applications. Depending on the type of system targeted, the attack can employ a variety of mechanisms and means.

(also: DoS attack)

(U) direct action (U//FOUO) Lawful or unlawful acts of civil disobedience ranging from protests to property destruction or acts of violence. This term is most often used by single-issue or anarchist extremists to describe their activities.
(U) environmental extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who use violence to end what they perceive as the degradation of the natural environment by humans. Members have advocated or engaged in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They target industries, businesses, and government entities that they allege are engaged in habitat destruction, citing urban sprawl and development, logging, construction sites and related equipment, and man-made sources of air, water, and land pollution.

(also: ecoterrorism)

(U) ethnic-based extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are drawn together and form extremist beliefs based on their ethnic or cultural background. Members have advocated or engaged in criminal activity and have plotted acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) extremist group (U//FOUO) An ideologically driven organization that advocates or attempts to bring about political, religious, economic, or social change through the use of force, violence, or ideologically motivated criminal activity.
(U) green anarchism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who combine anarchist ideology with an environmental focus. They advocate a return to a pre- industrial, agrarian society, often through acts of violence and terrorism.
(U) hacktivism (U//FOUO) (A portmanteau of “hacking” and “activism.”) The use of cyber technologies to achieve a political end, or technology-enabled political or social activism. Hacktivism might include website defacements, denial-of-service attacks, hacking into the target’s network to introduce malicious software (malware), or information theft.
(U) hate groups (U//FOUO) A term most often used to describe white supremacist groups. It is occasionally used to describe other racist extremist groups.
(U) Jewish extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of the Jewish faith who are willing to use violence or commit other criminal acts to protect themselves against perceived affronts to their religious or ethnic identity.
(U) leaderless resistance (U//FOUO) A strategy that stresses the importance of individuals and small cells acting independently and anonymously outside formalized organizational structures to enhance operational security and avoid detection. It is used by many types of domestic extremists.
(U) leftwing extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals that embraces anticapitalist, Communist, or Socialist doctrines and seeks to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. The term also refers to leftwing, single-issue extremist movements that are dedicated to causes such as environmentalism, opposition to war, and the rights of animals.

(also: far left, extreme left)

(U) lone terrorist

(U//FOUO) An individual motivated by extremist ideology to commit acts of criminal violence independent of any larger terrorist organization.

(also: lone wolf)

(U) Mexican separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of Mexican descent who advocate the secession of southwestern U.S. states (all or part of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas) to join with Mexico through armed struggle. Members do not recognize the legitimacy of these U.S. states, including the U.S. Government’s original acquisition of these territories.
(U) militia movement (U//FOUO) A rightwing extremist movement composed of groups or individuals who adhere to an antigovernment ideology often incorporating various conspiracy theories. Members oppose most federal and state laws, regulations, and authority (particularly firearms laws and regulations) and often conduct paramilitary training designed to resist perceived government interference in their activities or to overthrow the U.S. Government through the use of violence. (also: citizens militia, unorganized militia)
(U) neo-Nazis

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who adhere to and promote Adolph Hitler’s beliefs and use Nazi symbols and ideology. Subjects subscribe to virulently racist as well as anti-Semitic beliefs, many based on national socialist ideals derived from Nazi Germany. Neo-Nazis may attempt to downplay or deny the Jewish Holocaust.

(also: national socialists, Nazis)

(U) patriot movement

(U//FOUO) A term used by rightwing extremists to link their beliefs to those commonly associated with the American Revolution. The patriot movement primarily comprises violent antigovernment groups such as militias and sovereign citizens.

(also: Christian patriots, patriot group, Constitutionalists, Constitutionist)

(U) Phineas Priesthood (U//FOUO) A Christian Identity doctrine derived from the Biblical story of Phinehas, which adherents interpret as justifying inter-racial killing. Followers of this belief system also have advocated martyrdom and violence against homosexuals, mixed-race couples, and abortion providers.
(U) primary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks directed by extremists against parties that are the focus of an organized campaign.
(U) Puerto Rican independence extremists (U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who engage in criminal activity and advocate the use of violence to achievePuerto Rican independence from the United States.
(U) racial Nordic mysticism

(U//FOUO) An ideology adopted by many white supremacist prison gangs who embrace a Norse mythological religion, such as Odinism or Asatru.

(also: Odinism, Asatru)

(U) racialist

(U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists intended to

minimize their extreme views on racial issues.

(U) racist skinheads

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who combine white supremacist ideology with a skinhead ethos in which “white power” music plays a central role. Dress may include a shaved head or very short hair, jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, a bomber jacket (sometimes with racist symbols), and tattoos of Nazi-like emblems. Some are abandoning these stereotypical identifiers.

(also: skins)

(U) radicalization (U//FOUO) The process by which an individual adopts an extremist belief system leading to his or her willingness to advocate or bring about political, religious, economic, or social change through the use of force, violence, or ideologically motivated criminal activity.
(U) rightwing extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of rightwing groups or individuals who can be broadly divided into those who are primarily hate-oriented, and those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

(also known as far right, extreme right)

(U) secondary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks directed against parties (secondary targets) that provide direct financial, logistic, or physical support to the primary target of an organized campaign, with the goal of coercing those parties to end their engagement with a primary target. Secondary targets can include customers of or suppliers to a primary target or employees of a primary target organization.
(U) single-issue extremist groups

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who focus on a single issue or cause—such as animal rights, environmental or anti-abortion extremism—and often employ criminal acts. Group members may be associated with more than one issue.

(also: special interest extremists)

(U) skinheads

(U//FOUO) A subculture composed primarily of working-class, white youth who embrace shaved heads for males, substance abuse, and violence. Skinheads can be categorized as racist, anti-racist or “traditional,” which emphasizes group unity based on fashion, music, and lifestyle rather than political ideology. Dress often includes a shaved head or very short hair, jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, and a bomber jacket.

(also: skins)

(U) sovereign citizen movement

(U//FOUO) A rightwing extremist movement composed of groups or individuals who reject the notion of U.S. citizenship. They claim to follow only what they believe to be God’s law or common law and the original 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) to the U.S. Constitution. They believe they are emancipated from all other responsibilities associated with being a U.S. citizen, such as paying taxes, possessing a driver’s license and motor vehicle registration, or holding a social security number. They generally do not recognize federal or state government authority or laws. Several sovereign citizen groups in the United States produce fraudulent documents for their members in lieu of legitimate government-issued forms of identification. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They often target government officials and law enforcement.

(also: state citizens, freemen, preamble citizens, common law citizens)

(U) tax resistance movement

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights. Among their beliefs are that wages are not income, that paying income taxes is voluntary, and that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed Congress to levy taxes on income, was not properly ratified. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They often target government entities such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

(also: tax protest movement, tax freedom movement, antitax movement)

(U) tertiary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks against parties with indirect links to the primary target of an organized campaign. Tertiary targets can include employees, customers, investors, and other participants in a company (the secondary target) that does business with or provides support services to the primary target; or parties who provide direct financial, logistic, or physical support to the secondary target.
(U) underground (U//FOUO) A term used to describe clandestine extremist groups, individuals, or their activities.
(U) violent antiwar extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to voice their opposition to U.S. involvement in war-related activities. They often target the military, seats of government power, and defense industry personnel, facilities, and activities.
(U) violent religious sects (U//FOUO) Religious extremist groups predisposed toward violence. These groups often stockpile weapons, conduct paramilitary training, and share a paranoid interpretation of current world events, which they often associate with the end of the world. They perceive outsiders as enemies or evil influences; display intense xenophobia and strong distrust of the government; and exercise extreme physical or psychological control over group members, sometimes isolating them from society or subjecting them to physical or sexual abuse and harsh initiation practices.
(U) white nationalism (U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists to emphasize what they perceive as the uniquely white (European) heritage of the United States.
(U) white power (U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the white race.
(U) white separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who believe in the separation of races and reject interracial marriages. Some advocate the secession of specific geographic regions from the rest of the United States. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) white supremacist movement

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who believe that whites— Caucasians—are intellectually and morally superior to other races and use their racist ideology to justify committing crimes, acts of violence, and terrorism to advance their cause. Some advocate racial separation/segregation. White supremacists generally fall into six categories: Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux KlanUSPER, Christian Identity, racist skinhead, Nordic mysticism, or Aryan prison gangs.
White supremacists have been known to embrace more than one of these categories.

(U) Reporting Notice:
(U) DHS encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI. The DHS National Operations Center (NOC) can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9685 or by e-mail at [email protected] For information affecting the private sector and critical infrastructure, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the NOC. The NICC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9201 or by e-mail at [email protected] The FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm. When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact.
(U) For comments or questions related to the content or dissemination of this document, please contact the DHS/I&A Production Branch at [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]
(U) Tracked by: TERR-020100-01-05, TERR-020600-01-05, TERR-060100-01-05

 


Nov 3 2011

Thomas Jefferson — “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day”

Thomas-jefferson tyranny conspiracy theory

 

This is for all those people who believe conspiracy is just theory. Thomas Jefferson will assure that it is not.

“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.”

— Thomas Jefferson



Sep 9 2011

Farewell to All That: Reflections of a Republican Operative Who Left the Club

By: MIKE LOFGREN

Barbara Stanwyck: “We’re both rotten!”

Fred MacMurray: “Yeah – only you’re a little more rotten.” -”Double Indemnity” (1944)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

Buy the Related Book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins

Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the condition of both political parties in modern America. Both parties are rotten – how could they not be, considering the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise well over a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate funds. The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern Gop.

To the millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling expansion, it might have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

Republican moneyIt was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.

The debt ceiling extension is not the only example of this sort of political terrorism. Republicans were willing to lay off 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, 70,000 private construction workers and let FAA safety inspectors work without pay, in fact, forcing them to pay for their own work-related travel – how prudent is that? – in order to strong arm some union-busting provisions into the FAA reauthorization.

Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care. This fact, which ought to be obvious, has nevertheless caused confusion among the professional pundit class, which is mostly still stuck in the Bob Dole era in terms of its orientation. For instance, Ezra Klein wrote of his puzzlement over the fact that while House Republicans essentially won the debt ceiling fight, enough of them were sufficiently dissatisfied that they might still scuttle the deal. Of course they might – the attitude of many freshman Republicans to national default was “bring it on!”

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

In his “Manual of Parliamentary Practice,” Thomas Jefferson wrote that it is less important that every rule and custom of a legislature be absolutely justifiable in a theoretical sense, than that they should be generally acknowledged and honored by all parties. These include unwritten rules, customs and courtesies that lubricate the legislative machinery and keep governance a relatively civilized procedure. The US Senate has more complex procedural rules than any other legislative body in the world; many of these rules are contradictory, and on any given day, the Senate parliamentarian may issue a ruling that contradicts earlier rulings on analogous cases.

The only thing that can keep the Senate functioning is collegiality and good faith. During periods of political consensus, for instance, the World War II and early post-war eras, the Senate was a “high functioning” institution: filibusters were rare and the body was legislatively productive. Now, one can no more picture the current Senate producing the original Medicare Act than the old Supreme Soviet having legislated the Bill of Rights.

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:


“Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

 

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the “respectable” media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness. Paul Krugman has skewered this tactic as being the “centrist cop-out.” “I joked long ago,” he says, “that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read ‘Views Differ on Shape of Planet.’”

Inside-the-Beltway wise guy Chris Cillizza merely proves Krugman right in his Washington Post analysis of “winners and losers” in the debt ceiling impasse. He wrote that the institution of Congress was a big loser in the fracas, which is, of course, correct, but then he opined: “Lawmakers – bless their hearts – seem entirely unaware of just how bad they looked during this fight and will almost certainly spend the next few weeks (or months) congratulating themselves on their tremendous magnanimity.” Note how the pundit’s ironic deprecation falls like the rain on the just and unjust alike, on those who precipitated the needless crisis and those who despaired of it. He seems oblivious that one side – or a sizable faction of one side – has deliberately attempted to damage the reputation of Congress to achieve its political objectives.

This constant drizzle of “there the two parties go again!” stories out of the news bureaus, combined with the hazy confusion of low-information voters, means that the long-term Republican strategy of undermining confidence in our democratic institutions has reaped electoral dividends. The United States has nearly the lowest voter participation among Western democracies; this, again, is a consequence of the decline of trust in government institutions – if government is a racket and both parties are the same, why vote? And if the uninvolved middle declines to vote, it increases the electoral clout of a minority that is constantly being whipped into a lather by three hours daily of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.

This tactic of inducing public distrust of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document. This is not to say that there is not some theoretical limit to the size or intrusiveness of government; I would be the first to say there are such limits, both fiscal and Constitutional. But most Republican officeholders seem strangely uninterested in the effective repeal of Fourth Amendment protections by the Patriot Act, the weakening of habeas corpus and self-incrimination protections in the public hysteria following 9/11 or the unpalatable fact that the United States has the largest incarcerated population of any country on earth. If anything, they would probably opt for more incarcerated persons, as imprisonment is a profit center for the prison privatization industry, which is itself a growth center for political contributions to these same politicians.[1] Instead, they prefer to rail against those government programs that actually help people. And when a program is too popular to attack directly, like Medicare or Social Security, they prefer to undermine it by feigning an agonized concern about the deficit. That concern, as we shall see, is largely fictitious.

Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove’s dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer’s New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.

This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don’t want those people voting.

You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn’t look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama’s policy of being black.[2] Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some “other,” who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear.

It is not clear to me how many GOP officeholders believe this reactionary and paranoid claptrap. I would bet that most do not. But they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base with a nod and a wink. During the disgraceful circus of the “birther” issue, Republican politicians subtly stoked the fires of paranoia by being suggestively equivocal – “I take the president at his word” – while never unambiguously slapping down the myth. John Huntsman was the first major GOP figure forthrightly to refute the birther calumny – albeit after release of the birth certificate.

I do not mean to place too much emphasis on racial animus in the GOP. While it surely exists, it is also a fact that Republicans think that no Democratic president could conceivably be legitimate. Republicans also regarded Bill Clinton as somehow, in some manner, twice fraudulently elected (well do I remember the elaborate conspiracy theories that Republicans traded among themselves). Had it been Hillary Clinton, rather than Barack Obama, who had been elected in 2008, I am certain we would now be hearing, in lieu of the birther myths, conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s alleged murder.

The reader may think that I am attributing Svengali-like powers to GOP operatives able to manipulate a zombie base to do their bidding. It is more complicated than that. Historical circumstances produced the raw material: the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class – without job security (or even without jobs), with pensions and health benefits evaporating and with their principal asset deflating in the collapse of the housing bubble. Their fears are not imaginary; their standard of living is shrinking.

What do the Democrats offer these people? Essentially nothing. Democratic Leadership Council-style “centrist” Democrats were among the biggest promoters of disastrous trade deals in the 1990s that outsourced jobs abroad: NAFTA, World Trade Organization, permanent most-favored-nation status for China. At the same time, the identity politics/lifestyle wing of the Democratic Party was seen as a too illegal immigrant-friendly by downscaled and outsourced whites.[3]

While Democrats temporized, or even dismissed the fears of the white working class as racist or nativist, Republicans went to work. To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations’ bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it’s evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists.

How do they manage to do this? Because Democrats ceded the field. Above all, they do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?

You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. “Entitlement” has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is “entitled” selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them “earned benefits,” which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the “estate tax,” it is the “death tax.” Heaven forbid that the Walton family should give up one penny of its $86-billion fortune. All of that lucre is necessary to ensure that unions be kept out of Wal-Mart, that women employees not be promoted and that politicians be kept on a short leash.

It was not always thus. It would have been hard to find an uneducated farmer during the depression of the 1890s who did not have a very accurate idea about exactly which economic interests were shafting him. An unemployed worker in a breadline in 1932 would have felt little gratitude to the Rockefellers or the Mellons. But that is not the case in the present economic crisis. After a riot of unbridled greed such as the world has not seen since the conquistadors’ looting expeditions and after an unprecedented broad and rapid transfer of wealth upward by Wall Street and its corporate satellites, where is the popular anger directed, at least as depicted in the media? At “Washington spending” – which has increased primarily to provide unemployment compensation, food stamps and Medicaid to those economically damaged by the previous decade’s corporate saturnalia. Or the popular rage is harmlessly diverted against pseudo-issues: death panels, birtherism, gay marriage, abortion, and so on, none of which stands to dent the corporate bottom line in the slightest.

Thus far, I have concentrated on Republican tactics, rather than Republican beliefs, but the tactics themselves are important indicators of an absolutist, authoritarian mindset that is increasingly hostile to the democratic values of reason, compromise and conciliation. Rather, this mindset seeks polarizing division (Karl Rove has been very explicit that this is his principal campaign strategy), conflict and the crushing of opposition.

As for what they really believe, the Republican Party of 2011 believes in three principal tenets I have laid out below. The rest of their platform one may safely dismiss as window dressing:

1. The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America’s plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect), his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused, because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction – and even less spending reduction! – than Obama’s offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our society’s overclass.

Republicans have attempted to camouflage their amorous solicitude for billionaires with a fog of misleading rhetoric. John Boehner is fond of saying, “we won’t raise anyone’s taxes,” as if the take-home pay of an Olive Garden waitress were inextricably bound up with whether Warren Buffett pays his capital gains as ordinary income or at a lower rate. Another chestnut is that millionaires and billionaires are “job creators.” US corporations have just had their most profitable quarters in history; Apple, for one, is sitting on $76 billion in cash, more than the GDP of most countries. So, where are the jobs?

Another smokescreen is the “small business” meme, since standing up for Mom’s and Pop’s corner store is politically more attractive than to be seen shilling for a megacorporation. Raising taxes on the wealthy will kill small business’ ability to hire; that is the GOP dirge every time Bernie Sanders or some Democrat offers an amendment to increase taxes on incomes above $1 million. But the number of small businesses that have a net annual income over a million dollars is de minimis, if not by definition impossible (as they would no longer be small businesses). And as data from the Center for Economic and Policy Research have shown, small businesses account for only 7.2 percent of total US employment, a significantly smaller share of total employment than in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Likewise, Republicans have assiduously spread the myth that Americans are conspicuously overtaxed. But compared to other OECD countries, the effective rates of US taxation are among the lowest. In particular, they point to the top corporate income rate of 35 percent as being confiscatory Bolshevism. But again, the effective rate is much lower. Did GE pay 35 percent on 2010 profits of $14 billion? No, it paid zero.

When pressed, Republicans make up misleading statistics to “prove” that the America’s fiscal burden is being borne by the rich and the rest of us are just freeloaders who don’t appreciate that fact. “Half of Americans don’t pay taxes” is a perennial meme. But what they leave out is that that statement refers to federal income taxes. There are millions of people who don’t pay income taxes, but do contribute payroll taxes – among the most regressive forms of taxation. But according to GOP fiscal theology, payroll taxes don’t count. Somehow, they have convinced themselves that since payroll taxes go into trust funds, they’re not real taxes. Likewise, state and local sales taxes apparently don’t count, although their effect on a poor person buying necessities like foodstuffs is far more regressive than on a millionaire.

All of these half truths and outright lies have seeped into popular culture via the corporate-owned business press. Just listen to CNBC for a few hours and you will hear most of them in one form or another. More important politically, Republicans’ myths about taxation have been internalized by millions of economically downscale “values voters,” who may have been attracted to the GOP for other reasons (which I will explain later), but who now accept this misinformation as dogma.

And when misinformation isn’t enough to sustain popular support for the GOP’s agenda, concealment is needed. One fairly innocuous provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill requires public companies to make a more transparent disclosure of CEO compensation, including bonuses. Note that it would not limit the compensation, only require full disclosure. Republicans are hell-bent on repealing this provision. Of course; it would not serve Wall Street interests if the public took an unhealthy interest in the disparity of their own incomes as against that of a bank CEO. As Spencer Bachus, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, says, “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

2. They worship at the altar of Mars. While the me-too Democrats have set a horrible example of keeping up with the Joneses with respect to waging wars, they can never match GOP stalwarts such as John McCain or Lindsey Graham in their sheer, libidinous enthusiasm for invading other countries. McCain wanted to mix it up with Russia – a nuclear-armed state – during the latter’s conflict with Georgia in 2008 (remember? – “we are all Georgians now,” a slogan that did not, fortunately, catch on), while Graham has been persistently agitating for attacks on Iran and intervention in Syria. And these are not fringe elements of the party; they are the leading “defense experts,” who always get tapped for the Sunday talk shows. About a month before Republicans began holding a gun to the head of the credit markets to get trillions of dollars of cuts, these same Republicans passed a defense appropriations bill that increased spending by $17 billion over the prior year’s defense appropriation. To borrow Chris Hedges’ formulation, war is the force that gives meaning to their lives.

A cynic might conclude that this militaristic enthusiasm is no more complicated than the fact that Pentagon contractors spread a lot of bribery money around Capitol Hill. That is true, but there is more to it than that. It is not necessarily even the fact that members of Congress feel they are protecting constituents’ jobs. The wildly uneven concentration of defense contracts and military bases nationally means that some areas, like Washington, DC, and San Diego, are heavily dependent on Department of Defense (DOD) spending. But there are many more areas of the country whose net balance is negative: the citizenry pays more in taxes to support the Pentagon than it receives back in local contracts.

And the economic justification for Pentagon spending is even more fallacious when one considers that the $700 billion annual DOD budget creates comparatively few jobs. The days of Rosie the Riveter are long gone; most weapons projects now require very little touch labor. Instead, a disproportionate share is siphoned off into high-cost research and development (from which the civilian economy benefits little); exorbitant management expenditures, overhead and out-and-out padding; and, of course, the money that flows back into the coffers of political campaigns. A million dollars appropriated for highway construction would create two to three times as many jobs as a million dollars appropriated for Pentagon weapons procurement, so the jobs argument is ultimately specious.

Take away the cash nexus and there still remains a psychological predisposition toward war and militarism on the part of the GOP. This undoubtedly arises from a neurotic need to demonstrate toughness and dovetails perfectly with the belligerent tough-guy pose one constantly hears on right-wing talk radio. Militarism springs from the same psychological deficit that requires an endless series of enemies, both foreign and domestic.

The results of the last decade of unbridled militarism and the Democrats’ cowardly refusal to reverse it[4], have been disastrous both strategically and fiscally. It has made the United States less prosperous, less secure and less free. Unfortunately, the militarism and the promiscuous intervention it gives rise to are only likely to abate when the Treasury is exhausted, just as it happened to the Dutch Republic and the British Empire.

3. Give me that old time religion. Pandering to fundamentalism is a full-time vocation in the GOP. Beginning in the 1970s, religious cranks ceased simply to be a minor public nuisance in this country and grew into the major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa Caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. The results are all around us: if the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution versus creationism, scriptural inerrancy, the existence of angels and demons, and so forth, that result is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary or quaint beliefs. Also around us is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science; it is this group that defines “low-information voter” – or, perhaps, “misinformation voter.”

The Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, there is now a de facto religious test for the presidency: major candidates are encouraged (or coerced) to “share their feelings” about their “faith” in a revelatory speech; or, some televangelist like Rick Warren dragoons the candidates (as he did with Obama and McCain in 2008) to debate the finer points of Christology, with Warren himself, of course, as the arbiter. Politicized religion is also the sheet anchor of the culture wars. But how did the whole toxic stew of GOP beliefs – economic royalism, militarism and culture wars cum fundamentalism – come completely to displace an erstwhile civilized Eisenhower Republicanism?

It is my view that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism (which is a subset of the decline of rational problem solving in America) may have been the key ingredient of the takeover of the Republican Party. For politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes – at least in the minds of followers – all three of the GOP’s main tenets.

Televangelists have long espoused the health-and-wealth/name-it-and-claim it gospel. If you are wealthy, it is a sign of God’s favor. If not, too bad! But don’t forget to tithe in any case. This rationale may explain why some economically downscale whites defend the prerogatives of billionaires.

The GOP’s fascination with war is also connected with the fundamentalist mindset. The Old Testament abounds in tales of slaughter – God ordering the killing of the Midianite male infants and enslavement of the balance of the population, the divinely-inspired genocide of the Canaanites, the slaying of various miscreants with the jawbone of an ass – and since American religious fundamentalist seem to prefer the Old Testament to the New (particularly that portion of the New Testament known as the Sermon on the Mount), it is but a short step to approving war as a divinely inspired mission. This sort of thinking has led, inexorably, to such phenomena as Jerry Falwell once writing that God is Pro-War.

It is the apocalyptic frame of reference of fundamentalists, their belief in an imminent Armageddon, that psychologically conditions them to steer this country into conflict, not only on foreign fields (some evangelicals thought Saddam was the Antichrist and therefore a suitable target for cruise missiles), but also in the realm of domestic political controversy. It is hardly surprising that the most adamant proponent of the view that there was no debt ceiling problem was Michele Bachmann, the darling of the fundamentalist right. What does it matter, anyway, if the country defaults? – we shall presently abide in the bosom of the Lord.

Some liberal writers have opined that the different socio-economic perspectives separating the “business” wing of the GOP and the religious right make it an unstable coalition that could crack. I am not so sure. There is no fundamental disagreement on which direction the two factions want to take the country, merely how far in that direction they want to take it. The plutocrats would drag us back to the Gilded Age, the theocrats to the Salem witch trials. In any case, those consummate plutocrats, the Koch brothers, are pumping large sums of money into Michele Bachman’s presidential campaign, so one ought not make too much of a potential plutocrat-theocrat split.

Thus, the modern GOP; it hardly seems conceivable that a Republican could have written the following:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill. It is not in my pragmatic nature to make a heroic gesture of self-immolation, or to make lurid revelations of personal martyrdom in the manner of David Brock. And I will leave a more detailed dissection of failed Republican economic policies to my fellow apostate Bruce Bartlett.

I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine, to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country’s future; and contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them. And, in truth, I left as an act of rational self-interest. Having gutted private-sector pensions and health benefits as a result of their embrace of outsourcing, union busting and “shareholder value,” the GOP now thinks it is only fair that public-sector workers give up their pensions and benefits, too. Hence the intensification of the GOP’s decades-long campaign of scorn against government workers. Under the circumstances, it is simply safer to be a current retiree rather than a prospective one.

If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren’t after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté.[5] They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be “forced” to make “hard choices” – and that doesn’t mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.

During the week that this piece was written, the debt ceiling fiasco reached its conclusion. The economy was already weak, but the GOP’s disgraceful game of chicken roiled the markets even further. Foreigners could hardly believe it: Americans’ own crazy political actions were destabilizing the safe-haven status of the dollar. Accordingly, during that same week, over one trillion dollars worth of assets evaporated on financial markets. Russia and China have stepped up their advocating that the dollar be replaced as the global reserve currency – a move as consequential and disastrous for US interests as any that can be imagined.

If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America’s status as the world’s leading power.

Footnotes:

[1] I am not exaggerating for effect. A law passed in 2010 by the Arizona legislature mandating arrest and incarceration of suspected illegal aliens was actually drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative business front group that drafts “model” legislation on behalf of its corporate sponsors. The draft legislation in question was written for the private prison lobby, which sensed a growth opportunity in imprisoning more people.

[2] I am not a supporter of Obama and object to a number of his foreign and domestic policies. But when he took office amid the greatest financial collapse in 80 years, I wanted him to succeed, so that the country I served did not fail. But already in 2009, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, declared that his greatest legislative priority was – jobs for Americans? Rescuing the financial system? Solving the housing collapse? – no, none of those things. His top priority was to ensure that Obama should be a one-term president. Evidently Senator McConnell hates Obama more than he loves his country. Note that the mainstream media have lately been hailing McConnell as “the adult in the room,” presumably because he is less visibly unstable than the Tea Party freshmen

[3] This is not a venue for immigrant bashing. It remains a fact that outsourcing jobs overseas, while insourcing sub-minimum wage immigrant labor, will exert downward pressure on US wages. The consequence will be popular anger, and failure to address that anger will result in a downward wage spiral and a breech of the social compact, not to mention a rise in nativism and other reactionary impulses. It does no good to claim that these economic consequences are an inevitable result of globalization; Germany has somehow managed to maintain a high-wage economy and a vigorous industrial base.

[4] The cowardice is not merely political. During the past ten years, I have observed that Democrats are actually growing afraid of Republicans. In a quirky and flawed, but insightful, little book, “Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred,” John Lukacs concludes that the left fears, the right hates.

[5] The GOP cult of Ayn Rand is both revealing and mystifying. On the one hand, Rand’s tough guy, every-man-for-himself posturing is a natural fit because it puts a philosophical gloss on the latent sociopathy so prevalent among the hard right. On the other, Rand exclaimed at every opportunity that she was a militant atheist who felt nothing but contempt for Christianity. Apparently, the ignorance of most fundamentalist “values voters” means that GOP candidates who enthuse over Rand at the same time they thump their Bibles never have to explain this stark contradiction. And I imagine a Democratic officeholder would have a harder time explaining why he named his offspring “Marx” than a GOP incumbent would in rationalizing naming his kid “Rand.”

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Mike Lofgren retired on June 17 after 28 years as a Congressional staffer. He served 16 years as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees.

Aug 22 2011

Immortal Technique, The Cause of Death—Music Video & Lyrics

Immortal Technique, “The Cause of Death”

Felipe Andres Coronel (born February 19, 1978), better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper of Afro-Peruvian descent as well as an urban activist.

“The Cause of Death” is about the suppressive actions undertaken by some members of the U.S. government and what some have called the New World Order.

Enjoy Immortal Technique, “The Cause of Death” music video.

Immortal Technique, “The Cause of Death” Lyrics

Immortal Technique Revolutionary Vol 2

Immortal Technique: Revolutionary Vol 2

Immortal Technique
Revolutionary Volume 2
Yeah, broadcasting live from Harlem, New York
Let the truth be known..

You better watch what the fuck flies outta ya mouth
Or I’ma hijack a plane and fly it into your house
Burn your apartment with your family tied to the couch
And slit your throat, so when you scream, only blood comes out
I doubt that there could ever be…a more wicked MC
‘Cause AIDS infested child molesters aren’t sicker than me
I see the world for what it is, beyond the white and the black
The way the government downplays historical facts
‘Cause the United States sponsored the rise of the 3rd Reich
Just like the CIA trained terrorists how to fight
Build bombs and sneak box cutters onto a flight
When I was a child, the Devil himself bought me a mic
But I refused the offer, ’cause God sent me to strike
With skills unused like fallopian tubes on a dyke
My words’ll expose George Bush and Bin Laden
As two separate parts of the same seven headed dragon
And you can’t fathom the truth, so you don’t hear me
You think illuminati’s just a fucking conspiracy theory?
That’s why Conservative racists are all runnin’ shit
And your phone is tapped by the Federal Government
So I’m jammin’ frequencies in ya brain when you speak to me
Technique will rip a rapper to pieces indecently
Pack weapons illegally, because I’m never hesitant
Sniper scoping a commission controlling the president

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know right from wrong
The truth will set you free, written down in this song
And the song has the Cause of Death written in code
The Word of God brought to life, that’ll save ya soul..

Save ya soul motherfucker…save ya soul..

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I hacked the Pentagon for self-incriminating evidence
Of Republican manufactured white powder pestilence
Marines Corps. flack vest, with the guns and ammo
Spittin’ bars like a demon stuck inside a piano
Turn a Sambo into a soldier with just one line
Now here’s the truth about the system that’ll fuck up your mind
They gave Al Queda 6 billion dollars in 1989 to 1992
And now the last chapters of Revelations are coming true
And I know a lot of people find it hard to swallow this
Because subliminal bigotry makes you hate my politics
But you act like America wouldn’t destroy two buildings
In a country that was sponsoring bombs dropped on our children
I was watching the Towers, and though I wasn’t the closest
I saw them crumble to the Earth like they was full of explosives
And they thought nobody noticed the news report that they did
About the bombs planted on the George Washington bridge
Four Non-Arabs arrested during the emergency
And then it disappeared from the news permanently
They dubbed a tape of Osama, and they said it was proof
“Jealous of our freedom,” I can’t believe you bought that excuse
Rocking a motherfucking flag don’t make you a hero
Word to Ground Zero
The Devil crept into Heaven, God overslept on the 7th
The New World Order was born on September 11

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know right from wrong
The truth will set you free, written down in this song
And the song has the Cause of Death written in code
The Word of God brought to life, that’ll save ya soul..

Save ya soul motherfucker…save ya soul..

Yeah, yeah, yeah

And just so Conservatives don’t take it to heart
I don’t think Bush did it, ’cause he isn’t that smart
He’s just a stupid puppet taking orders on his cell phone
From the same people that sabotaged Senator Wellstone
The military industry got it poppin’ and lockin’
Looking for a way to justify the Wolfowitz Doctrine
And as a matter of fact, Rumsfeld, now that I think back
Without 9/11, you couldn’t have a war in Iraq
Or a Defense budget of world conquest proportions
Kill freedom of speech and revoke the right to abortions
Tax cut extortion, a blessing to the wealthy and wicked
But you still have to answer to the Armageddon you scripted
And Dick Cheney, you fucking leech, tell them your plans
About building your pipelines through Afghanistan
And how Israeli troops trained the Taliban in Pakistan
You might have some house niggas fooled, but I understand
Colonialism is sponsored by corporations
That’s why Halliburton gets paid to rebuild nations
Tell me the truth, I don’t scare into paralysis
I know the CIA saw Bin Laden on dialysis
In ’98 when he was Top Ten for the FBI
Government ties is really why the Government lies
Read it yourself instead of asking the Government why
‘Cause then the Cause of Death will cause the propaganda to die..

[Man talking]
He is scheduled for 60 Minutes next.
He is going on French, British, Italian, Japanese television.
People everywhere are starting to listen to him.
It’s embarrassing




Aug 18 2011

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot, Music Video & Lyrics

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot

Born Paul Francis in Miami, Florida, Sage Francis is a rapper/writer/performer from Providence, Rhode Island. He is the founder and CEO of the independent hip-hop record label Strange Famous Records.

Conspiracy to Riot is produced by Reanimator. It was originally recorded as a way to raise money to help out protestors who were falsely arrested at 2008′s Republican National Convention. Jared Paul (lead vocalist of Prayers for Atheists) can be heard at the beginning and end of this song. He was one of the many people who were unjustly thrown in jail at this protest only to have all charges dropped at a later date.

Enjoy this video.

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot Lyrics

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!
‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot.’

Peep the game, dummy. You can’t keep the reign from me.
It’s us who put in the over time, they who make the money.
Snickering at trickle down economy.
We got nickled and dimed? It’s more like highway robbery.
Drive in the fast lane. Eyes on the gas gauge.
Listen to neo-cons cry about black rage.
It doesn’t stop there.
They’re the blowhards. They puff out their chest. They’re full of hot air.
Providing entertainment for the status quo.
Then once every 4 years they pander to the black vote.
Oh, religion ain’t a tool of control?
Then why they pull the God card once they’re losing in the polls?
Foolish. I know. We’re victims of circumstance.
It ain’t coincidence we’re children of the worker ants.
While those in power ain’t never owned a pair of dirty pants
But they’re quick to kill your health insurance plans.
The rich cheat death with their cheap survival.
They found more than one way to beat the Bible.
Street disciple… my beats are trifle mega.
Don’t repeat the cycle, just live your life better.
I’m gonna defeat my rival. That’s why I’m writing this letter
to let em know we ain’t givin’ up the fight ever.

‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot’

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!
‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot.’

Oh yeah; I’ve got a weapon of mass destruction’;
Parked in the back and it’s a vessel of gas consumption.
Rebels of rap production never adapted to nothing.
Imagine my laugh whenever ask me for something.
Like I ain’t gave it my all.
You came fashionably late to the headbanger’s ball.
After the mob scene lost steam,
And after we spilled pig’s blood on the prom queen.
I’ve been told with old age comes wisdom,
But I’ve found with old age comes old age.
We’re stuck in our old ways like everything was done much better
in some forgotten era. Thumb sucking America.
I can’t begin to name the ways I’d pin the blame
on an administration acting inhumane.
If it’s killing season let’s start within.
When the hunter becomes the hunted they outlaw hunting (ain’t that something.)
Confiscate the ammunition!
Cuz there’s a wolf in sheep’s skin. A pit bull with lipstick.
A pig in a blanket. Some lame duck President
privatizing profit and socializing debt.
Collapsed credit. Journalists get arrested.
Watch the Blackwater operatives go domestic.
Oh, that’s a problem? Well don’t agonize.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. A whole pack of lies.
Summer spring and autumn. Now bring the wintertime.
I don’t protest snow. I shovel it with picket signs.

‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot’

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!

We have the right to assembly and it’s the duty of the patriot
to protect his country from the government.
But when we try it; but when we try it;
But when we try it;
it’s CONSPIRACY TO RIOT!

Peace rally with my friends. Conspiracy to riot.
When we have no defense. Conspiracy to riot.
Rubber bullets to our heads. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.

When we find voter fraud. Conspiracy to riot.
When we defy overlords. Conspiracy to riot.
When we finally pull the cord. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.

‘Til the truth is revealed. Conspiracy to riot.
We ain’t choosing to kneel. Conspiracy to riot.
Let me be the human shield. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.


Help support Sage Francis by going to his web site.


Jun 21 2011

Democratic Government: The Thickening of Thin Democracy:

Taken from Karl Rogers, Participatory Democracy, Science and Technology (Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 163-72

Harry S. Truman, Dr. John L. Childs, Alex Rose, and David Dubinsky look over a campaign poster urging people to register to vote, 1944. Benjamin Barber’s idea of “thickening thin democracy” involved achieving participatory democracy (which he termed “strong democracy”) through a gradual process of increasing the level of public participation in the existing institutions of representative democracy (which he termed “thin democracy”) rather than dismantling them. This would allow participatory democracy to emerge within a liberal tradition of respect for law, rights, and individual liberty, alongside the public tolerance of differences within a pluralistic, diverse, and open civic society. He also argued that participatory democracy would be a development of the communitarian and “classical” republican traditions, which advocates strong local government and a high level of public commitment to fostering good citizenship, civic virtues, and the development of civic society as a public good.

Public commitment cannot be ideologically imposed through either intervention or revolution, on the part of some external agent (such as an invading and occupying army) or any internal intellectual elite (such as a “revolutionary vanguard”), as if seizing power, setting up elections, writing a constitution, and declaring the beginning of a democracy was sufficient for the creation of a democratic society. Democracy is an ongoing process, not a state or particular set of institutional arrangements. It is a civic society defined internally by its citizenry and the decisions they make to constitute themselves as the demos.

The emergence of democracy, on such an account, is inherently a grass-roots movement, within which the development and differentiation of the form, structure, and content of society are brought-together into three aspects of a unity through the democratic participation of the citizenry. It is the outcome of a social evolution, rather than a political revolution. This can only be achieved as the result of an ongoing historical and cultural process of the development and differentiation of how to best understand “democracy” in theory and practice.

The possibility of participatory democracy depends on the widespread public education and consciousness about this historical process and the cultural traditions from which the current institutional arrangements have emerged. The potential for democratic participation very much depends on the existence of an educated and committed citizenry, without which civic society cannot exist at all. In this respect, participatory democracy should not be understood as an abstract, utopian political philosophy, but as giving political form to situated and ordinary acts of civic participation, volunteer work, and helping one’s neighbours, as performed by citizens in their local communities.

The theoretical task for advocates of participatory democracy is not to provide models for how ordinary citizens should cooperate to develop their communities, workplaces, schools, hospitals, action groups, etc., but, rather, theory should relate such ordinary civic practices to the ideals of participatory democracy and, thereby, connect them with the historical process of the development of democratic participation in both theory and practice. It is this educational aspect of democratic participation that is crucial for the purpose of understanding how the transition from a representative to a participatory democracy could occur in practice.

Even though widespread public participation is the crucial foundation for any genuine democracy, the development of the democratic ethos requires the prioritisation of universal access to high quality education and impartial protection under the law, which must prescribe the norms and ideals of the vast majority of citizens. By combining the liberal ideals of liberty (or negative freedom) and respect for private property with the “classical” republican ideals of civic responsibility and citizenship, Barber argued that participatory democracy would be

“…a much less total, less unitary theory of public life than the advocates of ancient republicanism might wish, but it is more complete and positive than contemporary liberalism. It incorporates a Madisonian wariness about actual human nature into a more hopeful, Jeffersonian outlook on human potentialities…”

Barber was also inspired by anarchism, especially in its social libertarian form, which promotes the ideals of equality, voluntary cooperation, and positive freedom. However, one important difference between Barber’s strong democracy and social libertarianism is that the latter calls for the revolutionary destruction of the state apparatus, whereas the former is an evolutionary development from “actually existing democracy” and calls for a gradual withering away of the State as more and more of its functions become absorbed into civic society. Participatory democracy would be an evolution of liberal democracy, rather than a radical break from it, but it would transcend the limitations of liberalism by recovering the communitarian and social libertarian aspirations for positive freedom and local autonomy, as a social evolution of human communicative and cooperative capabilities within an open-ended, complex, and changing world.

Unlike anarchism, participatory democracy does not require some “year zero” revolutionary event for its possibility, but, instead, would continually develop a participatory civic society in direct proportion to the public willingness and ability for people to administrate, legislate, and magistrate their own affairs. Rather than emerge from some great historical act of mass violence or enlightenment, a participatory democracy involves the continuous development and differentiation of participatory opportunities for societal development. Democratic communities will succeed or fail on the basis of the trust, commitment, respect, and compassion for each other that the members of those communities have and cultivate, as ordinary citizens come together and take personal responsibility for the local administration and development of civic society.

Liberalism assumes that human beings are essentially private, asocial beings that engage in public affairs only to preserve their private interests, and, public administration and legislation requires a level of expertise that is only possessed by the minority of well educated and wealthy citizens or those citizens with specialised, technical training in bureaucratic administration or law. Theories of participatory democracy challenge these assumptions and assert that human beings are both private and social beings, and, the distinction between the private and the public is a product of political activity, not its condition. Specialised training, wealth, or privileged education does not provide or guarantee the acquisition of knowledge of universal truth, morality, or goodness, and, there are not any necessary or sufficient connections between political expertise, rationality, and civic virtue. The relation between political expertise and rationality is open to deliberation and exploration; citizenship and civic virtue would be outcomes of democratic participation. Public participation in the development of civic society (including administrative, legislative, and judicial affairs) would be the educational and transformative means for the development of civic virtue, political efficacy, and social responsibility for the majority of citizens.

Historically, the city has been one of the primary loci (alongside the rural commune) for theories of direct democracy. Barber considered neighbourhood and municipal assemblies to be the most important sites of negotiation, wherein citizens and their delegates could deliberate and coordinate the administration and legislation of their local affairs, including healthcare, education, sanitation, transportation, lighting, etc., through the cooperation between other assemblies, local workplaces, and other organisations. Regional, national, and international assemblies would be convened, whenever deemed necessary, through alliances between city based assemblies to achieve common goals and develop economic relationships. A federation of modern cities would be able to perform all the functions of the modern state (including organise mutual defence through trained citizen militia and reserves), without requiring any centralised authority or bureaucracy. Barber argued that neighbourhood assemblies are important for recovering democratic participation and restoring the sovereign power of the citizenry.

A neighbourhood assembly should be convened whenever any citizen wishes to raise a matter of concern or suggest a proposal to his or her neighbours. Even though a neighbourhood should have a dedicated space for assembly, an assembly does not need to be formal, it does not need regular hours, and attendance should be voluntary. The citizen should merely inform his or her neighbours that s/he wishes to convene the assembly in advance and invite all interested parties to attend. Given that participatory democracy operates through enrolment, rather than consensus, the purpose of the assembly is to communicate and coordinate voluntary participations, contributions, information, and distribute resources. Decisions would be non-binding in the sense that they would be voluntary agreements between citizens to cooperate to achieve a shared goal. They are statements of intent and plans, rather than decrees and resolutions, and do not involve citizens who either disagreed or did not attend, unless those citizens change their views at a future date.

It is in this respect that participatory democracy can be considered to be a libertarian and collectivist form of democracy, within which citizens decide how to organise their own efforts and resources, rather than based on “majority rule”, wherein the majority dominates dissenting minorities, once a consensus has been established. Neighbourhood assemblies would be meeting places and mobilisation centres for neighbourhood residents, and, they could be used to communicate and cooperate with other neighbourhood assemblies and enhance each neighbourhood’s capacity to administrate its own affairs. They would also have educational value for helping citizens to develop their understanding of the meaning of citizenship, civic virtue, social responsibility, and community.

For Barber, New England town meetings offer a starting point for how we could envision local democratic assemblies. Despite their limitations, town meetings, as a local branch of legislative government, are capable of dealing with complex local agendas and concerns, while also helping develop civic virtues and skills, such as cooperation, sociability, social responsibility, civility, solidarity, tolerance, restraint, and humility. They also help develop communitarian commitments and values, which despite the risk of parochialism, are fundamental for genuine democracy based on common enterprise and cooperation between citizens.

Despite his fear of the excesses of democracy, Madison’s federalist ideas of the Republic were dependent on the existence of a citizenry that knows how to govern local affairs and take an interest in national affairs. Otherwise, on what basis could citizens be expected to recognise and choose good representatives? On what basis could citizens hold their representatives accountable? Individual self-interest and ambition must be balanced by the cooperative discovery and realisation of common goods, visions, and responsibilities in order for any system of democratic governance to work for the benefit of the vast majority of people. The State is only able to effectively protect the constitutional checks and balances, including the institutional separation of powers and the rights of the individual citizen, if citizens are able to participate in maintaining the political conditions for the preservation of their political freedoms.

Liberal critics of participatory democracy have often failed to take this into account when they argue that participatory democracy places too heavy a burden upon the citizenry. One needs to take the realities of preserving the conditions for political freedom into account, if one wishes to preserve political freedom. Politically passive citizens, only concerned with the private realm and the satisfaction of their individual preferences, will not be able to develop the skills needed to preserve their political freedoms and, therefore, will be overly reliant upon a politically active minority to do it for them. Under such circumstances, one should not be surprised when the majority have their freedoms radically curtailed by the minority, acting in their own interest. The administration and legislation of public affairs may well be time consuming, but the level of complexity in modern society requires a high level of attention and participation in order to acquire the skills and political efficacy required to deal with that level of complexity. If citizens are unable or unwilling to exercise the required level of attention and participation then they will be unable to protect their own rights and freedoms.

Equal rights will depend on equal participation. Political freedom requires the defence of negative freedom through exercising the positive freedom to participate in the societal development of the institutional arrangements of political and economic relations and activities. It is through democratic participation in securing political freedom (over and above the necessary means to satisfy and protect private interests) that the public realm of human relations can be liberated from the technocratic “nation-wide administration of house-keeping”.

By emerging from within the liberal tradition, democratic participation will afford pragmatic and progressive opportunities for citizens to improve their confidence and political efficacy, while avoiding many of the possible mistakes and injustices that could occur through “excesses of democracy” while the citizenry are inexperienced in governance, and also provide institutional frameworks and support for the ongoing development of democratic processes and opportunities. The liberal tradition would also provide standards of legitimacy and constitutionality that can ground the legal basis to challenge the continuance of any antidemocratic efforts undermine or dominate democratic participation.

By participating in the administration and legislation of local affairs, citizens will also gain the skills and experiences required to develop political efficacy at a national or international level and make alliances and associations that will further empower their local communities and workplaces. Participatory democracy requires a dynamic and revisable process of interpreting how democratic participation should be conducted, within local contexts, which allows citizens considerable latitude and flexibility in their experiments in how to conduct assemblies at local, region, national, or even international levels. It requires a dynamic and revisable process of interpreting the nature of citizenship and the boundaries between the public and private aspects of human life. Decentralised and localised experiments would gradually emerge as a careful and practical form of societal development. Should any experiment make mistakes, these would be localised and their impact of wider society would be dampened, while providing useful experiences and information for other communities and workplaces as well.

By maximising societal pluralism and diversity, there would be a societal stock of alternatives, while citizens would be able to continue any traditional practice that they found to be satisfactory for their local communities or workplaces. The motivation for experimentation would be to discover better ways of organising practical activities, rather than something done for its own sake, and, the decision where and when to experiment must remain a local matter made by the people likely to experience the consequences of such a decision. A strong democracy could be achieved by creating cooperative free-associations between various democratic assemblies which agree to cooperate in accordance with shared respect for the right of each assembly to govern their own affairs.

Participatory democracy advocates the grass-roots collectivisation of political and economic organisations among citizens in order to create alliances capable of effectively resisting and opposing powerful governmental agencies and corporations. By collectively negotiating contracts and the conditions of their participation, without relying on the authority and power of a centralised state apparatus, citizens can confront and challenge organised power, whether corporate or governmental, through the organised power of the citizenry. Participatory democracy radically transforms the conception of the role of the political party. The “traditional” role of the political party is to gather support for a policy platform or agenda, in order to achieve an electoral mandate for administration and legislation. Participatory democracy would transform political parties into educational, persuasive, and consciousness-raising organisations that enrol citizens into collective action to implement and develop particular programmes and projects. The political party would be transformed from being a “representational” to an “ideological” instrument of organisation and coordination. Many citizens would have “overlapping membership” of several political parties and multi-party alliances would be commonplace for specific issues, concerns, or proposals.

The political form of a participatory democracy is that of a decentralised society wherein citizens have sovereign authority to develop an egalitarian, libertarian, and rational society through democratic assemblies, free-associations, and alliances. Such a society requires a high level of knowledge, skills, and political efficacy among the citizenry in order for local problems to be solved through collective action and political parties should help citizens meet these requirements. Citizens would make decisions through enrolment into cooperative efforts, resulting in a decentralised structure of local-outwards efforts to build networks of participants, through a process of enrolment, rather than either a top-downward hierarchy or a bottom-upward process of consensus formation. In this respect, it would radically differ from competitive elitism and democratic centralism.

It is important that democratic participation provides the means for the successful harmonisation of individual goals and social purposes, but the discovery of what constitutes examples of successful harmonisation, as well as deciding the criteria under which we would make such qualifications, needs to remain exploratory and pluralistic – effectively decided in context at a local level– rather than prejudged in terms of theory. The process by which such decisions are tested must remain laissez-faire in relation to other communities and workplaces, rather than decided through centralised planning and coordination, on the basis that, through trial and error, stable alliances and agreements would arise between different workplaces and communities simply on the assumption that it is in their own best interest to achieve them. Theories should be critically developed as heuristics to help us propose experiments in workplace and community democracy, rather than axiomatic models for defining democratic participation, which is something that must remain at stake, discovered and decided through democratic participation.

There are also irreducibly aesthetic and contextual aspects of face-to-face communication that are essential for the development of meaningful democratic participation, within local contexts, which cannot be understood in the general terms of theory. Different communities and workplaces will develop democracy in different ways and an over reliance on any theoretical account will result in a definition of democratic participation that will not be universally applicable or meaningful. Even with the best intentions, over-reliance on theory will tend towards ideological dogmatism and its concomitant impractical and coercive democratic centralism. Of course, at a theoretical level, we can specify a universal set of minimum conditions for the possibility of freedom from coercive power and equality of participation, for example: individuals must be able to learn how to develop their diverse qualities and abilities in order to realise their potential; communities must be able to collectively protect themselves; individuals must agree to respect privacy and tolerate differences; freedom of association and freedom of expression must be valued and practised; individuals must have the right to choose the economic conditions of their labour, given their abilities, skills, and available resources; society must provide free and public access to scientific knowledge and technological innovation, as well as open and free access to communications; and every citizen must have the right to participate in any public assembly on any matter of direct concern. However, in order for these to be meaningful as a set of minimum conditions, they must be recognised by the vast majority of citizens, and whether they are satisfied in local contexts will be a matter of interpretation.

Whereas there is little doubt among theorists that direct democracy is possible in homogeneous societies, its practical value is open to question, but we face the reverse situation in heterogeneous societies, wherein the practical value of direct democracy is evident, but its possibility is in doubt. Participatory democracy offers the possibility of developing a heterogeneous society into a dynamic polyarchy of allied associations of citizens, forming powerful groups and organisations. Alliances between confederated democratic assemblies, alongside courts, organisations, and networks, would provide the means by which citizens are able to communicate and cooperate with each other, while preventing the possibility of the centralisation of power and authority. It is on this basis that citizens could have the direct sovereign power to administrate, legislate, and magistrate public affairs, without having to be Rousseauesque gods, while our lack of divine foresight or perception is the best reason why we should divide this sovereign power among us in equal measure.

This would empower democratic participation and collective action through polyarchic and decentralised networks of free-associations, forming alliances to deal with specific issues and particular projects, without any need for authoritarian and centralised government. A polyarchic citizenry would form an allied majority only for the purpose of satisfying over-lapping interests and concerns. An allied majority would not be forthcoming for extreme or excessive proposals, given that there will be a low level of over-lapping interest in the success of such proposals. It is also highly likely that the polyarchic majority would counter the possible emergence of any dominant faction, except on matters with a high level of common agreement, and a polyarchic majority would fragment in response to extreme or excessive proposals. A polyarchic majority would be incapable of acting in a tyrannical manner because it relies on a high degree of commonality and consent among the citizenry.

As Dahl argued, the fear of “mob rule” or “the excesses of democracy” are actually overstated within a modern pluralistic society, given that the majority is actually an equilibrium state of overlapping membership. Furthermore, each citizen has over-lapping membership of several associations, groups, and organisations, which allows them to democratically participate in societal development and political institutions on many different levels and in different capacities. Of course theorists of participatory democracy should be concerned with problems that might occur through “excesses of democracy”, such as lynch mobs, pogroms, or other injustices or excesses of zeal, but one must ask, should such abuses occur, whether they are more likely to be stopped and corrected through a decentralised democratic alliance of powerful organisations, or through a massive state apparatus of centralised bureaucratic, police, and military power controlled by a minority in the name of the majority? It is arguably the case that both systems would localise abuses and dampen conflicts in more or less equal measure, but, whereas local abuses may go unchecked for longer in direct democracies, they would be unlikely to spread beyond the locality without being opposed, but in an indirect democracy, even though there are checks and balances against the minority abusing its position of power, if should it overcome these checks and balances (through conspiracy, public manipulation, or a coup d’état) then it will be extremely difficult for the majority to stop these abuses of power, due to the power of the state apparatus in shielding the minority from the majority through the use of police and military forces.

The risk that a participatory democracy could degenerate into chaos or civil war can be avoided by strengthening the democratic assemblies through cooperative federations and alliances in accordance with their over-lapping interests and concerns. During the process of decentralising power and increasing local community power, through federations and alliances, citizens would have sufficient time to learn how to cooperate and administer their own local affairs through reasonable and practical deliberations. The process of gaining power through cooperative action (rather than competition) should teach people how to collectively coordinate their actions, without resorting to violence or coercion. The “thickening of thin democracy” is not to be mistaken with reforming the state apparatus because, from the outset, it amounts to eroding the State through an ongoing process of deconstructive decentralisation and constructive participation as citizens learn how to govern their own affairs to their own satisfaction.

Withering away the State would be the direct democratic process of gradually making the State obsolete by absorbing its operations into civic society as citizens take over its administrative, legislative, and judicial functions, in that order, as a social evolution from a mass society to a rational, egalitarian, and libertarian society. It is only after citizens have become proficient in administering their own affairs that they should begin to legislate for themselves through citizens’ assemblies and democratically write their own constitution. It is only after citizens have become proficient in legislation that they can democratise the judiciary, without risking injustices or excesses of zeal. During this transitional stage, wherein citizens take over the administration of society, the liberal constitutional framework of law and the appeal to the judiciary will act as essential guides to avoid abuses of power and excesses of zeal, while citizens are learning how to be good citizens and deepening their commitment to the practical value of participatory democracy by learning how to deliberate and make decisions in the absence of centralised standards or arbitration, and, by critically examining their habitual norms and practices.

A participatory democracy would not be a system of local, autocratic “majority rule”; lynch mobs and kangaroo courts do not constitute legitimate expressions of democratic participation, if they contradict the Constitution. By refining and developing the liberal tradition of law and jurisprudence, while citizens are learning how to administer local affairs, a conception of constitutionality acts as a guide to the process of transition, after which citizens can learn how to legislate through democratic assemblies and magistrate through juries.

Once the administration of society is conducted through democratic participation, citizens will be in a position to take over the legislative powers of the State as well. The ongoing deliberation and refinement of the Constitution, through democratic assemblies and referenda, will be a crucial component of successfully navigating this transition. It is only once citizens have embodied their own constitutional understanding of the nature of democracy and citizenship (including their rights and duties) in legal practices and conceptions of justice, will they be able to competently transcend the liberal tradition and achieve participatory democracy. The Constitution should be an agreement between all citizens (or at least the vast majority) if it is to act as a General Authority against which the legitimacy of local sovereignty can be challenged. This allows individual citizens to challenge the legitimacy of the legislative and judicial decisions of their neighbours, through appeals to the Constitution, claiming that particular local decisions contradicted the Constitution, as agreed by the same neighbours. If necessary, it is only on the basis of appeals to the Constitution that citizens could enrol the aid of other citizens to defend them, without risking degeneration into factionalism or a civil war. This is essential for the development of political efficacy among an active citizenry capable of learning how to deal with the problems of local self-governance.

By taking the liberal tradition as its point of departure and holding that the General Authority of the Constitution is an essential educational aspect of the transition from representative to participatory democracy, by acting as a heuristic focus for how the demos assembles and understands itself, the limits of democratic participation can be balanced with the individual expectation of negative freedom. It is only in virtue of having these limits and this expectation that positive freedom can be a part of political activity at all. John Rawls argued that a liberal constitutional protection of pluralism was necessary because

“…a basic feature of democracy is the fact of reasonable pluralism – the fact that a plurality of conflicting reasonable comprehensive doctrines, religious, moral, and philosophical, is the normal result of its culture of free institutions. Citizens realise that they cannot reach agreement or even approach mutual understanding on the basis of their irreconcilable comprehensive doctrines.”

If public institutions embodied the comprehensive doctrines of some citizens rather than others, then any cooperative enterprise deliberated and decided through such institutions would tend to endorse these doctrines as positive freedoms, while also treating them as negative freedoms and, thereby, preventing others from challenging them. Hence, Rawls argued that public reasons for mutually binding forms of social organisation and cooperation should be decoupled from comprehensive doctrines and appeal only to “free-standing political values”, as explicitly stated in the constitution. The institutional structures of deliberation and decision making in the public realm should only be based on “free-standing political values”, shared by all citizens, while the employment of comprehensive doctrines should be confined to civic society and the private realm. However, this is all well and good as an abstraction, but how do we decide what “free-standing political values” are? The “free-standing political values” that Rawls endorses in the US Constitution have emerged from a cultural background and entail comprehensive doctrines regarding conditions for human freedom, equality, and happiness, hence allowing us to agree that (and understand why) freedom, equality, and happiness are goods.

Given that “free-standing political values” entail comprehensive doctrines in defining the boundaries of constitutional protections of pluralism, it is essential that the citizenry (or at least the vast majority) are involved in collectively deliberating and deciding what these values should be. The citizenry must be able to deliberate and agree upon the Constitution, which must remain open to re-evaluation and revision, and in this sense “free-standing political values” are the political values agreed by the vast majority, if not all. Otherwise the Constitution will assert the comprehensive doctrines of a minority as “free-standing political values”, which will either distort public reason, by only permitting the outcomes that benefit that minority at the expensive of the majority, or it will simply become an historical document without practical value. It is in this sense that participatory democracy becomes a condition for the preservation of liberal pluralism. By recognising that every comprehensive doctrine is equally worthy of consideration and it should be left to particular citizens in particular circumstances to decide for themselves which comprehensive doctrine they wish to try to live by, theories of participatory democracy are able to embrace liberal pluralism at a societal level, preserving negative freedom through the societal commitment to a principle of localisation, while also embracing the practical value of particular comprehensive doctrines at the local level as an expression of positive freedom through a principle of free-association. In this respect, the tension between the local and societal levels will constitute its own check and balance against the centralisation of power and authority. A participatory democracy would satisfy Galston’s requirements for constitutional liberal pluralism that the demands placed on the citizens are not too heavy for them to bear; the “free standing political values” are not too diverse to exist in the same society; and its broad outlines must correspond to the moral sentiments and circumstances of members of that society.

Once we take Galston’s requirements into account, alongside the recognition that Rawl’s “free-standing political values” entail comprehensive doctrines, then we can answer Dahl’s claim that there are some universally accepted values, rights, and liberties that override the democratic process and majority consensus. Such values, rights, and liberties could only be universally accepted through the democratic process and majority consensus. In my view, any such universal values, rights, and liberties would by discovered through the process of discovering what the democratic process means in context, and these values could only maintain their universality due to the commitment of the vast majority to their reasonableness (as universals) on the basis that it is a condition of having such individual rights that the individual respects the individual rights of others. Without the agreement of the vast majority, it would be impossible that any set of rights could be universally respected. Instead they would be based on the imposition of assertions and privileges of a minority over the majority. Any such overriding values, rights, and liberties would be based on coercive power relations.

In Dahl’s example of “a fair trial”, he claimed that it is only the individual’s right to due legal process that overrides the desire of the majority to punish whomever is accused of some vile crime, but he failed to recognise that any such act of “mob justice” would also require the suspension of democratic values, such as free speech (of the defendant and the accusers) and free association (having skilled representatives to aid the defendant and the accusers), which would involve the suspension of the democratic process, as well failing to satisfy the practical need to actually protect the public from the guilty party by correctly identifying them. If we possessed absolute foresight or universal epistemological principles of jurisprudence then we would have no need of the democratic process at all, but, in their absence, the democratic process is the best means to “a fair trial”. Of course, even with all due diligence, sometimes the democratic process will make mistakes, such as convicting the wrong person for a crime, but this is due to human fallibility, rather than a failure of the democratic process. Human fallibility is the reason why the democratic process has practical value in the first instance and the individual’s right to “a fair trial” inherently involves the democratic process, as the best means to realise the public good (correctly identifying criminals and protecting the public from them), and, if the majority did not respect this right (by stringing up the first suspect from the nearest tree) then this would not be an outcome of the democratic process, but, rather, a failure on the part of the majority to engage in the democratic process. A lynch mob cannot be considered as an outcome of a democratic process in the same way that a cattle stampede cannot be considered as an act of democratic agreement formed by cows to decide which direction they should run. In this sense, once we consider the practical value of the democratic process as the means to realise the public good, we can recognise that “majority consensus” is necessary but not sufficient for a decision to be democratic, if that consensus has been achieved without a process of public deliberation directed towards discovering the best course of action. Instances of ‘”mob rule”, lynch mobs, or the exclusion of minorities would be incompatible with participatory democracy because they would be the consequences of failing to engage in democratic processes of deliberation and decision making among those concerned with the consequences of any course of action.

Who is Karl Rogers?

Karl Rogers is a Professor of Philosophy, co-founder of the John Dewey Center for Democracy of Education, affiliated with the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Minnesota. He is the author of a number of books including Modern Science and the Capriciousness of Nature; Participatory Democracy, Science and Technology; and, On the Metaphysics of Experimental Physics. His latest book is Debunking Glenn Beck: How to Save America from Media Pundits and Propagandists is available from Praeger, ABC-CLIO


May 20 2011

You’re Not a Conspiracy Theorist if You are Willing to Investigate Things That Don’t Make Sense

explosion conspiracy theorist talk
I have a viewpoint to express here.

There is a contention that getting into “conspiracy theories” is just bad news and should be avoided. Keep everything rosy and everything will come out alright.

I personally think that at this juncture in history, this is just another form of non confront and actually destructive and a wrong action.

Here is why I say this about “conspiracy theories”. Here’s an analogy…

A group are all walking through a grassy area of southern California in the dry season in the summer. They enter the forest and are strolling along on a very nice day.

Some bum in the woods, went to sleep with a lit cigarette and the inevitable brush fires start.

Pretty soon, someone in the group starts to smell smoke and says, “hey, I smell smoke.”

One person in the group, who has some stature, says, “Knock that off, that’s just bad news. We are here taking a walk to enjoy the forest, so just chill. We don’t need that crap.”

The guy hushes up and keeps walking. Soon, the smoke gets heavier and it begins to become hard to breathe. That same guy, plus a few others start to say, “Someone must have set fire to this place. Smell that smoke?”

The big guy again says, “Hey man, knock of the fire theories! It’s just bad news!” They quiet down, but they are losing their composure, as the smoke is thick in the air.

It starts to get so bad that they have to put their shirts over their noses, as the smoke begins to sting. Eyes are watering and it’s getting hard to breathe, but they have been reprimanded several times about spreading bad news…

“You are broadcasting bad news – it’s a generality and there’s no handling. This is upsetting the rest of the group.”

Meanwhile, the majority of the group has put on their sunglasses, to block the bright flashes from the flames and they’ve got Kleenex over their noses to keep them from choking on the smoke.

Many are coughing, but blame it on having been smokers for so long…

Soon, they encounter flames to the rear and they try to escape, but can’t because they are engulfed in flames from a raging fire…

They all die in that fire, but if they had heeded the warnings early, they could have put it out, by calling the fire brigade.

This is a very mild version of what is happening right now on planet earth. The place is on fire, and the media says, “No fire. Everything is just fine.”

The planet is in the hands of the most insane bunch of crooks who are on a stepped up timetable to take out the U.S. as it blocks their strategy of enslavement.

The machinery is in motion and some courageous Americans are raising hell, only to be told “you’re a conspiracy theorist.” As if that admonition constituted any real investigation…

Alex Jones, being criticized for interrupting others he interviews is beyond me. He is the guy on the bridge of a sinking ship, yelling his lungs out and the blind ones, say, why is he so loud?

I post this stuff, because if we as Americans are aware of it, there are things all of us can do—such as vote in the next Presidential elections for the few politicians that are still in existence that could change the game before it gets too late. Such as not having vaccines injected into your children and demanding enmasse that GMO foods be abolished. Demanding that the US government stops it’s reckless printing of money and realizing that our economic troubles and unemployment is not at all random—but well planned. How about abolishing the Federal Reserve?

If we knew what was going on, we could prevent the inevitable disaster that is about to happen. We have the power to stop it, if we know it. Keeping everything nice and rosy while the ship is sinking is just plain s-t-u-p-i-d.

Just because it gets upsetting is no reason why you don’t know what is actually going on in your environment. Maybe it’s time to get upset and get into a confront. There are many things you can do—but if you have no clue what’s going on, you will only do what everyone else is doing—keeping their heads in “comfortable” dark holes in the ground.

I say, the time is urgent and the time is now to get some real info—not the false data pumped out by the mainstream media, but do some investigation to sort out the facts from the B.S. and then we work out what to do.

That someone else in authority has the facts does not take away your own responsibility in knowing what the devil is occurring around you. You investigating it and not agreeing with them does not make you a “conspiracy theorist”.

Since when did the great leaders of the world, the true leaders, say to not know and not confront? Every individual is fully responsible for awareness of the factors that influence his life. Living is a team activity. It cannot be conducted separate from one’s fellows. What happens in Washington, or in Keokuk will come back to Los Angeles or New York or Clearwater or San Diego and Italy and France and China and vice versa.

If you think the riots in Egypt have nothing to do with Americans and the inflation here, you are missing some vital facts. If you think that the saber rattling on Iran has nothing to do with you and you can do nothing about it, you are sadly mistaken.

World War III, which is being planned and has everything to do with the sentence above, will impinge on every single one of us. It won’t be nice. Even if you never see a gunshot, it will change everything about your life and liberty.

So, I take this opportunity to say to everyone, open your eyes and look. What you see will likely shock you, if you are just looking really for the first time. But we have numerous action steps that anyone and everyone can take. We don’t have the necessity level though, because if we did, there would be a lot more fur flying in the political arena—on things which we have complete power to control.

I don’t apologize for shaking things up, because, I know that if I know what I know about the real agenda for the planet and I keep my mouth shut because I am worried about upsetting someone and we don’t do the things in society that we can do now, down the road I will owe one and all a huge apology for being plain treasonous, but you know what? That will be too late.

Planet earth is on fire and if you don’t smell the smoke, open your nose.

That doesn’t give you an okay to cave in or collapse or go into worry or upset. It is your chance to work out what you can do right now and get going on it.

The first thing is to look at who is actually qualified to replace the current White House puppets and work with them to get the USA back on its feet.

After that, get moving on your next steps to personally flourish and prosper.

This message isn’t to say I am perfect. I am far from it. It isn’t to criticize anyone, or say that what you are doing isn’t okay. I am saying that if you don’t know what is really going down, you are going to be ineffective in stopping it.

I say, that if you are sitting in an illusion that all is well, you will never raise your necessity level sufficiently to meet reality. And necessity is the mother of invention isn’t it?

Wake up. Conspiracy is no theory. It’s as old as mankind and unfortunately it’s time to see and act. Not out of fear or reactivity, but out of knowledge and common sense!

I also have a pretty long list of simple steps that everyone can do and if everyone does, we will see changes. So, this is not bad news, it’s screaming cuz the ship is on the rocks. All is not well, and it’s only common sense to know that there’s a nut outside your house with a gun—you don’t send you kids out and you call the cops, right?

I am here to answer questions and help anyone who needs it. There are answers, but if you don’t know the situation, you will be applying the wrong tools to handle it.

Al
Components of Success



Apr 29 2011

Lowkey “Blood, Sweat & Tears” Ft. Klashnekoff—Lyrics & Music Video

Lowkey “Blood, Sweat and Tears” Ft. Klashnekoff

Lowkey “Blood, Sweat & Tears” Ft. Klashnekoff was produced by Nutty P. taken from the highly anticipated album “Soundtrack To The Struggle”.

This song is about the people that these artists are doing music for, the under privileged. And the fact that Lowkey’s songs are censored by radio stations, because he talks about politics in his songs.

Enjoy Lowkey’s “Blood, Sweat and Tears” Ft. Klashnekoff Music Video

Lowkey “Blood, Sweat and Tears” Ft. Klashnekoff Lyrics

Lowkey Soundtrack to the Struggle

Buy Lowkey's "Blood, Sweat & Tears"

[Verse 1: K-Lash-Nek-Off]
As lightning strikes and thunder pounds
Over the grey skies of east London town
Prophecy K returns from the underground
Signified by the people’s cryin’ trumpet sounds
Yeah, the system, it tried to shut me down
But I been on my ting before Onyx was flinging guns around
Blood, sweat and tears for years
Feels like my career’s been in the dumping ground
Yeah, this is how hunger sounds and I’m the hunter now
Lash the lion heart, A.K.A. the man behind the iron mask
For ten years straight, I’ve been raising the iron bar
Tryna breathe the life back into this dyin’ art
So why try and par? When you’ll meet the same fate as that lion Scar
This game is fake; full of two-faced lyin’ ras
Who would sell their soul and arse just to climb the charts
Yea, but me, I put in too much time in the graft
Refinin’ my craft for labels to sign me for a minor advance
Picture K-Lash, mimin’ on trance
Now picture Dr. Dre beats lash rhymin’ with Starks
It’s all fate and I got mine in my grasp
They’re all snakes, let ‘em die in the past
But who knows what the future holds?
These N.W.O. soldiers will probably shoot me cold
All because the truth was told
You should know I did it from the heart

[Chorus]
I’m still here, pushin’ after several years
I’m still here, standin’ strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here, after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here, after the blood sweat and the tears
I’m still here, pushin’ after several years
I’m still here, standin’ strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here, after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here, after the blood sweat and the tears

[Verse 2: Lowkey]
I don’t do this for the happy ravers or the aggy haters
I do this for the warriors and the gladiators
Do this for those whose lives you never cared about
Can’t pronounce their names, their origins or their whereabouts
Those brought up around tragedy and sadness
Who adjusted and found normality in the madness
Fight the power ’til I’m out of breath like Malcolm X
You empower the powerful, I empower the powerless
They’ll play you on the radio if you rap about a Gucci belt
But rap about the government; you might as well shoot yourself
Industry fairies say I rap about conspiracy theories
Just to hide the fact they lyrically fear me
Got that eye of a tiger, the heart of a lion
The mind of a lifer, my stance is defiant
I rise like a phoenix, immediate from the ashes
My existence is inconvenient for the masses
Though we are equal, I despise an imitation
I live for my people and die for liberation
I stand as a visionary; some have got plans of killin’ me
To literally vanish me physically like Aborigines
Hannibal with the mask, an animal with the bars
I’m grappling with my shackles, I channel it through my art
Feel it in the ambience, champion, heavyweight
My life is nothin’ but my pride is somethin’ that you can never take
They think I’m elusive or think I’m a nuisance
I swear these major labels think that I’m a stupid
Keep your 360′s you’re convincing these dudes with
Like I’ll give you the blueprint for pimpin’ my music
I say that like K-Lash, he’s another lion
Every hardship from gettin’ scared to my brother dyin’
Spit all of it with or without a big audience
Through the blood, sweat and tears, I stand victorious

[Chorus]
I’m still here, pushin’ after several years
I’m still here, standin’ strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here, after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here, after the blood sweat and the tears
I’m still here, pushin’ after several years
I’m still here, standin’ strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here, after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here, after the blood sweat and the tears