Obama Admin coordinated brutal crackdown on OWS.

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Resist the duopoly as Chris Hedges says in his article Colonized by Corporations.

Vote for a 3rd party to let the powers know you are on to them!

Scappoose's picture
Mar. 30, 2012 7:49 am


Another of Hedges well done philosophical perspectives on our current circumstances, specifically our failing global house of cards that is on its way to tumbling down and failing all of us. What concerns me is that so many people reading it do not understand the full complexity of Hedges argument. His depth of understanding simply cannot be presented in one essay. Yet many if not most of us are not tuned into that complexity and thus it's easy to dismiss an individual point of warning such as he makes with this one. The idea that there really is some choice between Democrats and Republicans even if neither seems worth our votes is one of those compromises with complexity and contradiction.

First, as Chris points out, face the reality:

Quote Chris Hedges:

The response of a dying regime—and our corporate regime is dying—is to employ increasing levels of force, and to foolishly refuse to ameliorate the chronic joblessness, foreclosures, mounting student debt, lack of medical insurance and exclusion from the centers of power. Revolutions are fueled by an inept and distant ruling class that perpetuates political paralysis. This ensures its eventual death.

Then, get educated enough to understand the complexities so you can sort through the propaganda and stay on track with the truth. In other words, if this is to be a truly grass roots change for the good of everyone, we must all strive to be the déclassé intellectuals, who will have to stand up against those who are unwilling to face the need for change that is obviously coming -- at least to those who have taken the trouble to understand how systems work, and the trouble to understand their key fundamental factor (energy) to maintaining their complexity (see Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies for starters):

Quote Chris Hedges:

In every revolutionary movement I covered in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the leadership emerged from déclassé intellectuals. The leaders were usually young or middle-aged, educated and always unable to meet their professional and personal aspirations. They were never part of the power elite, although often their parents had been. They were conversant in the language of power as well as the language of oppression. It is the presence of large numbers of déclassé intellectuals that makes the uprisings in Spain, Egypt, Greece and finally the United States threatening to the overlords at Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil and JPMorgan Chase. They must face down opponents who understand, in a way the uneducated often do not, the lies disseminated on behalf of corporations by the public relations industry. These déclassé intellectuals, because they are conversant in economics and political theory, grasp that those who hold power, real power, are not the elected mandarins in Washington but the criminal class on Wall Street.

There will always be a group who do not want change. (From .ren's folk law of human nature)

Chris chooses his titles carefully. The title of this piece is: Colonized by Corporations. How many people were informed in their high school American History classes that many of the thirteen colonies were actually corporations? That they were chartered by the King of England to extract resources. That their governing structure in each of those chartered colonies was a chartered corporate governing structure and that some were, to some extent, maintained and modified to adapt to the new concept of a United States Republic?

The transition from those governing structures was part of the evolution of the United States itself. Efforts to control the chartering of for profit corporations is part of that governing process. Here's an explanation of how corporations came to have so much power in our government today, or as Chris puts it, colonized us all:

As David Korten points out, the Civil War changed all this. Public scrutiny of corporations was difficult to keep up during the Civil War when the states were warring among themselves. State legislators took bribes from corporate executives to loosen legal restrictions, grant lucrative business contracts, and to have the government subsidize their businesses (Korten 1995, 58).

President Abraham Lincoln was moved to use these stunningly strong words to describe the situation in 1864:

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that un-nerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As the result of the War, corporations have been enthroned .... An era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people .... until wealth is aggregated in a few hands... and the Republic is destroyed (Wasserman 1983, 89-90).

Following the Civil War, a battle of a different nature emerged as states competed against each other with weakened chartering requirements designed to attract corporations and their money. This bidding war reached such a magnitude that President Rutherford issued the following striking statement in 1876:

This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations (Wasserman 1984, 291).

The issue of corporate personhood comes up in all this, shortly after the Civil War, and it begins with that infamous 1886 Santa Clara Case.

Even though they are artificial entities, they were granted the same legal status as real human beings and were entitled to all the same Bill of Rights protections including freedom of speech. In one fell swoop, essentially all pretense of meaningful control over corporations was abandoned for the corporations since they can use the First Amendment provision for "freedom of speech" as the basis for making contributions to political candidates. The result, as we know too well, has been to transfer the economic power of the corporation into control of the political system.

From 1886 onward, corporations have used their court-conferred wealth to overwhelm the democratic process. Having now the same rights as real people, they were allowed to participate in the political process. Their unlimited spending in elections permitted them to gain majorities in legislatures and eliminate all remaining troublesome language in state constitutions. Any attempts at control were defeated as "unconstitutional" infringements on their right to "free speech."

The Supreme Court used the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize its decision by saying that it "forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws." (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), available at www.tourolaw.edu/patch/santa.) The logic was inescapable once the corporation was deemed a "person."

.ren's picture
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

There's a 1 in 20 Chance of the Apocalypse. Shouldn't We Act Now?

A new study published in Science argues that we as a civilization need to move "rapidly" -- as in almost immediately -- towards a carbon emissions free future if we are to have any chance of holding off runaway global warming:

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