Why we Don’t Have the Promised Utopia Today

Out of a rather winding and over-philosophizing public talk, I have extracted an answer of why we don’t already have that wonderful world of prosperity and leisure for everyone promised to us a generation or two ago and made possible by our technology. (By over-philosophizing I mean that David Graeber looses track of who the decision-makers are, which is as bad as not following the money.)

It is clear that we could build this great society right now and could have been well underway 40 to50 years ago. I grew up at a time when everybody I knew believed that we were on the verge of it, but it didn’t happen. The world has actually gone in the opposite direction, gone down the drain, gone to the dogs, slid towards a precipice throughout my entire adult life. What a horror this has been to watch!

Furthermore, I did realize years ago that the ancient Greeks could have created the modern industrial age some two millennia before our time (they were experimenting with steam engines and robots back then). They didn’t because the decision-makers had slaves. So what would they have needed robots for, other than mere toys? Their robots and steam engines therefore were just toys, not labor-saving machines; and so it never became a serious development. So, had it not been for ancient slavery, the industrial revolution could have happened 2000 years ago. It’s stunning to try to imagine where we would be by today.

In his winding talk, David Graeber eventually gets around to state that the same thing happened back in the sixties and seventies when we seemed on the verge of creating Paradise on Earth.   Continue reading

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The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt

A hallmark of our dark current times is debt. More and more people are drowning in debt while banks get bailed out and bankster CEOs ride into the sunset with huge bonuses even after crashing the world economy. People often think that a system of credit and debt is the latest in economic developments, but in reality debt has a long and interesting history which explains why our almost religious worship of debt can lead to dreadful human suffering.

You have the option of listening to the following 1 hour and 21 minutes-long talk by David Graeber or read my short 598-word summary below:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: »David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google«)

Summary: Debt started, and is apparently inborn in us, as a way of social cohesion. Example: I gave you, my neighbor, a cow. So, some day, you help me build a new barn. Another neighbor gave me a bunch of chicken to start my chicken coup, and next year, when he has had a bad harvest, I give him and his hungry family several sacks of potatoes…  Continue reading

Xenophobic News: The United States of Aliens

heads-dd-col

Oh, my! We’re the United States of Aliens! We’re a Halloween Nation! Our monsters don’t all speak English at home! Write your last will! The end is near!

Xenophobic Americans — you know, Trump supporters convinced that poor immigrants rather than the establishment are responsible for our rigged system — are circulating news like this to reinforce their xenophobia.  Continue reading

Our System: Poverty Inc.

As the third installment of this week’s series about our rigged economy I present a documentary film I shared once before (on a video weekend) because it just fits so well in this place in the chain. There is another one vying for this place which I think is better shared next (tomorrow). It is beginning to look as if my original plan to keep it all to one week may not work unless you all have time to watch more than one long documentary per day, which – as working people – I doubt many of us have. So, I may extend this series a bit, at least into the coming video weekend. There will be very pertinent follow-ups (that I planned all along), but this series is intended to be a compact crash course of sorts giving a fairly comprehensive picture of our economic rigging. The follow-ups will largely focus on our way out of this trap (although at least one beam of light will also show up this week, Friday or Saturday). I hope the “crash course” will fit into one week when we include the weekend. We’ll see. Anyway, whether you have watched the below documentary from 2014 before or not, it is well worth watching again.

Main topics: Neoliberalism, financial capitalism, austerity, speculation, colonization of the first world much like was previously done to what thereby became the poor third world, American Empire, American poverty, heartless discrimination against the poor and turning the middle class into more and more poor, prison slavery, corporatism, stopping beneficial government spending to give subsidies and tax breaks to the richest of the rich, the rich no longer paying taxes and instead having the government borrow money from them so we have to pay interests on the loan through our taxes (all this when the federal government has the authority to issue its own money), entitlement thinking of the super-rich. Leveraged Wall Street buyouts that steal all we have (even our retirement) into the robber billionaire’s vaults. The new, modern form of large-scale slavery/feudalism is one where corporations (including banks) are the fronts of a very few global masters and the rest of us are their serfs sliding deeper and deeper into serfdom towards slavery. The system is rigged by the super-rich who want it all. We need a fundamental change.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Poverty Inc. a film by Gary Null “)

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Fascism, the Enemy of Democracy and Body Guard of Capitalism

This week is going to be loaded with highly informative, eye-opening presentations on the mess of our economy and ways to fix it. Please share them far and wide. Today begins with a thorough 30 minute review of fascist history showing many, many worrisome parallels to today. This lecture is likely to open your eyes on many issues. (If you prefer to read the script over listening to the lecture, you can do that here)

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Real History: Free Market Fascism”)

Terms like fascism, capitalism, and socialism – and their relations to democracy – have been so tremendously warped, overused, and intentionally turned upside down in demagogic efforts to confuse the public, that it has become dangerous to use them in conversation as they tend to make people misunderstand and demonize each other, killing all meaningful conversation before it has had a chance to touch upon anything of substance.  Continue reading

What is Monetary Oppression?

money-rules

In the old days, the 1% kept the rest of their fellow human beings in chains and unarmed. They had them handled by armed henchmen that were in their pay. In the modern age, the 1% instead control us by regulating the money flow and by manipulating our perception and thinking — the former through employment and housing conditions, loan interests, insurance premiums, fees, and taxes; the latter via the actions of think tank and mass media operatives, as well as politicians: the most visible modern types of their henchmen. Only when they squeeze us too much, so that we start rebelling, do their security forces and militarized police crawl out from under their rocks and the bought politicians get busy criminalizing dissent. Oppression then becomes obvious, something the modern oppressors like to avoid.  Continue reading

America’s Unsung Hero

To the younger among us who perhaps have never heard of this man, I want to introduce a great beacon of light in America who has been smeared very thoroughly out of the public consciousness. We owe him things like the Freedom of Information Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Clean Water Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (safety standards for motor vehicles and road traffic safety). In his lifelong fight for the people he evidently has saved thousands upon thousands of lives, and without him we would have a far worse America (if you can imagine that) than we have now. This most amazing of American activists is none other than Ralph Nader.

By the early 1970s Nader had become a household name, and suggestions arose that he should run for president. Yet, when he finally agreed to run for president in 2000 because his public interest groups could no longer get hearings in Bill Clinton’s Washington, our establishment smeared, defamed, (and even sued!) him so massively that I fear many of the younger folks, especially the millennials on whom many of our hopes now rest, have never heard of him. And many of us who still know of him may see him in the false light of those smears propagated across the corporate media. The “Democratic” Party arm of our duopoly branded him as the “spoiler” who gave us the Bush-Cheney regime (something Jeb Bush’s Florida election fraud, the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional halting of the Florida vote recount, and Al Gore’s own lame campaign and refusal to challenge the election fraud are far more responsible for than any of the third-party or independent candidates who ran for president that year), just as they have been trying to smear Bernie Sanders since last year for allegedly giving us Trump. (my latest Video Weekend post has more on this)

Last Saturday, I gave everybody a small taste of Ralf Nader, but he merits way more attention. Here, then, is a magnificent speech of his well worth watching:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Ralph Nader on inequality in the United States “)

Continue reading

Video Weekend 9-23-2017 (8 Videos)

Once again, a collection of fine videos to brighten your weekend with enlightenment and fuel for our political revolution:

I.
Jimmy Dore and Lee Camp together. A fine duo. Unfortunately, I felt they had both made the same statements before, and better, when they did them alone and better prepared. Still, I like what comes up 14:20 minutes into this clip (asking why you would donate to the “Democratic Party” when its primaries are rigged by its own admission!). The talk then moves to the topic of our rigged debates keeping out third parties… handcuffing presidential candidates to keep them away from the rigged debates… and record climate events in the past two months. Later Lee Camp, talking about Bannon, reveals how our corporate media lift up right-wingers by allowing only THEM to criticize corruption even though they are part of it):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Jimmy Dore On The Corporate State And The Power Of The Petrodollar “)

 

II.
Political wrangling surrounding Bernie’s Medicare for All bill:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Some Democrats Are Pretending Bernie’s ‘Medicare for All’ Bill Doesn’t Exist “)

 

III.
The usual lies about healthcare costs and single-payer:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Aetna CEO is Scared To Death of Single-Payer”)

Debunking one of the biggest lies: No, single-payer coverage such as Medicare for All is not single-provider healthcare, meaning a government-run healthcare, but merely a government-secured payment system. So, you can pick and choose your doctors as before, except this time their will be no question whether or not you can pay. It is simply our government doing its sworn duty to look out for its citizens.

 

IV.
Cha-Ching:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Obama Enriches Self With Back Room Oil Deal”)

 

V.
We have a responsibility not only for ourselves to fix our country:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Propaganda Buries Facts & Manipulates Emotions – Abby Martin with Chris Hedges”)

Various revelations about our country’s dark history. Also: an interesting and creepy revelation from former war correspondent Chris Hedges. He explains how the despotic regime in a foreign country went through the same motions as our southern states with their glorification of the Confederation: basically, when people are getting desperate over their worsening lives, give them a myth to feel good about, the better to control them. In our case, that myth would be the ‘noble heroism’ of our civil war’s slavery defenders, building up a white-against-black and south-against-north mentality that keeps us from uniting against the blood-sucking establishment controlling and exploiting us from above. The more divided we are, the better controlled from the top we are.

 

VI.
An older but very nice conversation:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about Capitalism and White Supremacy”)

How much better off are freed slaves when they become enslaved by a wage slavery system? When one king of a company can hire and fire you, abuse you, rip you off and make you lick his boots – and every alternative job is just as bad – it is anathema to democracy!

 

VII.
Nice historic review of the last century of our economy and politics – the New Deal and its repeal:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Full Show 11/11/15: How Reaganomics Killed America’s Middle Class”)

Conclusion: we can’t keep a golden age after getting it, if we don’t topple the plutocrats who will roll back everything to resume their godlike status among a sea of serfs. The pendulum will always swing back to the dark side if we do nothing to lock it in place.

 

VIII.
And not to forget: the environment we depend on. One thing apparently forgotten in this conversation was the great danger that lies in our getting the permafrost soil to melt, releasing huge amounts of methane, which is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2. Basically, we are terraforming ourselves off this planet:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “After Maria “Obliterates” Puerto Rico, Trump Pushes Dangerous Climate Policy”)


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Why a High Corporate Tax Rate is Actually Good

There is a meme-pic on mematic.net, picturing America’s 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, during whose term our corporate tax rate was the highest ever (90%!). It explains that tax rate quite logically as follows:

Corporate Tax Rate: 90%

Why? Because high corporate tax rates create incentive for big business to spend earnings and expand (i.e. new locations, new hires, new equipment, and product R&D) which are deducted from taxable earnings, thus driving reported wealth into a lower tax bracket. Better to spend a majority of earnings on expansion than to horde it and pay Uncle Sam 90% of it. It’s not Communism, it’s responsible economics.

Continue reading

Reading Weekend 8-26-2017: The People’s Party Looms

Fork In The National Road: A New Progressive Supermajority Party Is Forming (HuffPost )

How will Senator Bernie Sanders react? Which path will you take?

The time is ripe. The Democratic and Republican parties, private political clubs, are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and do not represent the people who elect them, yet have a stranglehold on our electoral system. People are fed up. Hemorrhaging voters, the Dems and Reps are each down to around a fourth of the voters, already minority parties. Progressives — those who support minimum wage, social justice, strong environmental protection, 21st century infrastructure and universal healthcare and oppose corruption, invasive wars and corporate welfare — are meanwhile 66%, two-thirds of voters, the U.S. supermajority.

We as a people therefore stand at a fork in the national road.

The country’s Progressive supermajority could sweep every local, state and federal election if it united.

This weekend, I recommend taking a break from watching videos and suggest that we instead take the time to read a very worthwhile long piece for which a busy work week rarely leaves any time. Why? Because this is a really good piece, a great follow-up to my popular piece from last April: Is the Time Ripe for a New Party? The article I recommend, appeared a few days ago and has critical updates. It announces the upcoming People’s Convergence Conference and details why America is at the doorstep to forming a new party. It also gives a thorough review of Bernie Sanders and the 2016 election, including its rigged primaries, election fraud, corporate media collusion, and how the Clinton Camp got us the Trump presidency. It reviews the decades-long corruption of neocons and neoliberals, and how their Property Party with its two right wings (the Republican and “Democrat” wing) keeps us, the working people from having a say in our government. It’s all there. So, despite its length and a startling bunch of typos (which suggest there was no editor involved!), this article is worth reading. That it made it onto the Huffington Post is also enough of a miracle to make it a must-read.

Here is the link: Fork In The National Road: A New Progressive Supermajority Party Is Forming (HuffPost)

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