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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:07 PM
Original message
The Rise of Corporate Tyranny in the United States
Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world today comes from the formation of the unholy alliances between government and business. This is not a new phenomenon. It used to be called fascism The outward appearances of the democratic process are observed, but the powers of the state are diverted to the benefit of private interests. George Soros


A corporation has been defined as:

The most common form of business organization, and one which is chartered by a state and given many legal rights as an entity separate from its owners. This form of business is characterized by the limited liability of its owners

In 1819, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state of New Hampshire when it attempted to revoke the corporate charter of New Hampshire, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward. New Hampshire citizens were outraged by that decision, arguing that corporations are created by the state, with the purpose of serving the public interest.

I dont know enough about this specific case to comment on the merits of the Supreme Court decision, except to say that it should be patently obvious that the purpose of a corporation should be to serve the public interest.

In a democracy, ALL actions of the state should be to serve the public interest. Its hard for me to fathom how anyone could argue otherwise. Therefore, if the state grants a charter to a corporation, it should have the right to regulate that corporation in the public interest, in return for the privileges that it bestows on the corporation.

But instead, corporations have come to oppose the public interest, in pursuit of their own private goals and the goals of their owners, and in the process they have cast a progressively darkening cloud of tyranny over our country and the world. In reality it is difficult or impossible to separate the goals of a corporation from the goals of its owners those who exercise control over the corporation. After all, a corporation is merely a financial tool, which can be utilized for whatever purposes those who control it wish. Yet it is legally defined as an entity separate from its owners. Thus those who control the corporation have a powerful tool at their disposal, while at the same time utilizing corporate law to shield them from the liabilities that mere individuals would incur without a corporation to hide behind.

That would be ok if the state was determined to regulate corporations in the public interest. However, through much of U.S. history, and especially since the Reagan Revolution of 1980, corporations have become powerful enough to enter into corrupt bargains with government, thereby enabling private corporations and government to mutually enrich each other at the expense of everyone else. And right wingers refer to this unholy arrangement as the free market.


The threat of corporate power at the founding of our nation

Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations, published in the same year (1776) as the U.S. Declaration of Independence, expounded on the advantages of a free market economic system, while at the same time warning of the dangers of corporations. That seems ironic on the surface, since todays right wingers constantly push their own version of the free market, while using Smith as their authority. But in reality, Smith was deeply antagonistic towards any view of so-called free market principles that favored corporations the very opposite of the stance advocated by todays right-wing movement. This is what Smith had to say about the effect of corporate power on free markets:

It is to prevent this reduction of price, and consequently of profit, by restraining that free competition which would most certainly occasion it, that all corporations, and the greater part of corporation laws, have been established This prerogative of the crown seems to have been reserved rather for extorting money from the subject, than for the defense of the common liberty against such oppressive monopolies.

David Corten explains that our Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution that coincided with it were in large part a reaction against the same corporate abuses that Smith warned against in The Wealth of Nations:

It is noteworthy that the publication of The Wealth of Nations and the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence both occurred in 1776. Each was, in its way, a revolutionary manifesto challenging the abusive alliance of state and corporate power to establish monopolistic control of markets and thereby capture unearned profits and inhibit local enterprise. Smith and the American colonists shared a deep suspicion of both state and corporate power.


The conferring of corporate personhood

There is nothing in our Declaration of Independence, nor our Constitution, nor any of the amendments to our Constitution that conferred special rights or privileges upon corporations. Indeed, as late as 1855 the U.S. Supreme Court made perfectly clear, in Dodge v. Woolsey, that corporations have no special rights or privileges, and that they are subservient to the American people:

That the people of the States should have released their powers over the artificial bodies (i.e. corporations) which originate under the legislation of their representatives is not to be assumed. Such a surrender was not essential to any policy of the Union, nor required Such an abandonment could have served no other interest than that of the corporations, or individuals who might profit by the legislative acts themselves. Combinations of classes in society, united by the bond of a corporate spirit, for the accumulation of power, influence, or wealth unquestionably desire limitations upon the sovereignty of the people But the framers of the constitution were imbued with no desire to call into existence such combinations

But in 1886, in an unofficial opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, before any oral arguments took place in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and without any explanation whatsoever, Waite simply announced:

The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.

This offhand statement which cannot possibly constitute an official opinion of the court, which is always preceded by extensive research and debate has since been considered the law of the land.

And as such it greatly increased the power of corporations against individuals by allowing them the protections given to persons under our Constitution, even though corporations are simultaneously showered with various powers that actual persons dont have and exempted from many of the responsibilities and obligations that actual persons have. David Korten puts this in perspective in his book, When Corporations Rule the World:

Thus corporations finally claimed the full rights enjoyed by individual citizens while being exempted from many of the responsibilities and liabilities of citizenship. Furthermore, in being guaranteed the same right to free speech as individual citizens, they achieved, in the words of Paul Hawken, "precisely what the Bill of Rights was intended to prevent: domination of public thought and discourse." The subsequent claim by corporations that they have the same right as any individual to influence the government in their own interest pits the individual citizen against the vast financial and communications resources of the corporation and mocks the constitutional intent that all citizens have an equal voice in the political debates surrounding important issues.


The restraint of corporate power by FDR

Excessive corporate power led to vast disparities of wealth, which in the late 19th Century became known as the Gilded Age. This culminated in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression and the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President.

FDR aggressively criticized the conditions that led to this state of affairs in his 1936 Democratic Convention speech to the American people. In that speech he condemned the men who were responsible for the nations economic woes, whom he referred to as Economic Royalists.

Out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer

The privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age other people's money these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

The abuses of power that FDR detailed in that speech provided much of the rationale for his New Deal, which lifted tens of millions of Americans out of poverty and created a vibrant middle class, while taxing corporations at unprecedented levels.

The New Deal didnt just fade away after FDRs death. Instead, due to its stunning success, most of its components lasted for decades. Largely as a result of this, we experienced for the next three decades what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman calls the greatest sustained economic boom in U.S. history. This chart shows median family income levels, beginning in 1947, when accurate statistics first became available. Family income rose steadily (in 2005 dollars) from $22,499 in 1947 to more than double that, $47,173 in 1980.


The effects of radical right wing free market ideology today

With the advent of the Reagan Revolution in 1981, characterized by a return to the free market ideology of the Gilded Age, the route marked out by FDR was reversed. Since that time, except for a brief respite during the latter years of the Clinton presidency, the income of American workers has been virtually stagnant, despite large increases in American productivity which have enriched the already wealthy.

The reign of free-market ideology has been characterized by an ideological ban against government intervention in economic matters to help those who most need it, which has played out domestically and internationally. William Greider, in his book, Come Home, America The Rise and Fall (And Redeeming Promise) of our Country, explains how this played out on the international stage:

The World Trade Organization enforces rules that protect capital investors and corporations, but it has no rules protecting workers and communities, that is, people. The so-called Washington Consensus a stern dogma imposed on developing countries that borrow from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund preaches that national governments must not try to protect their people from the harsh side effects of capital and commerce. Americas representative democracy, meanwhile, is offered as the model the world should follow, despite the democratic breakdown that Americans well know is in progress.

Greider mentions globalization as another of the factors contributing to the demise of the United States. However, he also notes that other nations are affected by globalization just as much as the United States is, and yet other industrialized nations have much less economic inequality than the United because they are not bounded by the inflexible right wing ideology of the so-called free market.

James Galbraith, in his book, The Predator State, explains why globalization and free trade agreements need not cause serious adverse effects for American workers, if only we would give up that radical free market ideology that the right wingers have foisted upon us:

The populist objective is to raise American wages, create American jobs, and increase the fairness and security of our economic system Is there a better way to do this? Of course there is and that is to do it directly. You want higher wages? Raise them. You want more and better jobs? Create them.


The utter hypocrisy of the corporate version of free market ideology

There is nothing free about the right wing corporate version of so-called free markets. Rather, through the amassing of great wealth and power and the use of that wealth and power to legally bribe our elected officials, they have stacked the deck in their favor so as to acquire monopoly control over so many aspects of our economic and political life. As Adam Smith, whom the right wing ideologues are so fond of quoting, says, creation of true free markets requires at a minimum the limiting of the power of corporations. Our corporate elites are not interested in free markets. They are interested only in gathering unto themselves as much wealth and power as they possibly can.

This is all part and parcel of the utterly nonsensical doctrine of trickle down economics, which was never supported by a shred of evidence. They want us to believe that the road to a healthy economy is to shower the wealthy with privileges and riches, so that eventually this wealth will shower (or trickle) down on the rest of us, by virtue of making the wealthy more productive. Well, were still waiting.

With their control of the news media, corporate America has foisted a toxic ideology on the American people that serves to maintain their wealth and power. When powerful banks lose money, they warn that the taxpayers must save them, lest our economy go into a permanent tailspin. Yet when the American people attempt to devise a health care system that will keep them financially solvent and prevent twenty thousand deaths each year, the corporate elite scream SOCIALISM!! And they steadfastly maintain the myth of corporate personhood through reference to an unofficial remark by a Supreme Court Justice made a century and a quarter ago.

In recent years the American people have caught on to the right wingers, as indicated by the elections of 2006 and 2008, in which the electorate restored control of Congress and the Presidency to the Democrats, thus showing their opinion of the Republican Party that brought us the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions.

Yet, corporate America remains one step ahead of the American people. While the Republican Party has been fully marginalized to the point that it even risks extinction, the corporate elites have bought out enough of the Democratic Party to get them to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to Wall Street and block meaningful health care reform thus far. And they continue to own most of our national news media, with which they continually bombard the American people with their right wing propaganda.

Nevertheless, the American people have become thoroughly alienated from the corporate elite who so affect their standard of living, as demonstrated by a 2007 Harris poll asking which industries Americans regarded as generally honest and trustworthy: Oil companies 3%; health insurance companies 7%; telephone companies 10%; pharmaceutical companies 11%; electric and gas utilities 15%. With numbers like that, and with more and more Americans turning to alternate news sources, it hopefully wont be too long before they begin to connect the dots and hold their elected representatives more accountable for their actions.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Toot-toot.
A big part of this can be traced to railroads. After the Civil War, during the period when "manifest destiny" took place, the US Congress (especially the Senate) transformed from its Golden Age to the Gilded Age. This was Mark Twain's description of those who robbed in the name of the law.

History books talk about the wonders of the 1862 Homestead Act, which provided private citizens a 160-acre plot for a small registration fee. But that manifest destiny really wasn't accomplished by wat of covered wagons: it rode the rails. Between 1865 and 1900, politicians gave the railroad robber barons an amount of land that was greater than the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin combined. And tax-payers paid the registration fees.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kicking! n/t
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. The incestuous relationship between corporation and government MUST END!
Corporations have become a threat to individual liberty and the common good. Tyrannical business is just a dangerous as tyrannical government.
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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. "The incestuous relationship between corporation and government MUST END!"
OK - HOW?????????
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Public financing of elections, End corporate personhood.
Edited on Sun Aug-02-09 11:13 PM by Odin2005
And use the Sherman Anti-Trust Act for God's sake!!!
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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. That's it? This "incestuous relationship" will end with public financing of elections???
Edited on Sun Aug-02-09 11:44 PM by George II
That is the least of the problems!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. No, but they will make it's days numbered.
The moment the government is no longer awash with corporate bribery is the moment when the dismantling of Corporatism will start.t
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #14
26. Publicly funded elections would make a major difference in the quality of democracy
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 08:27 AM by avaistheone1
and the quality of life in this country.

How can you say that it is the least of our problems? That is insane. Please explain what you mean by that. I have no idea at all what you are talking about.
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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
71. We have publicly funded elections in CT (for state elections) and it hasn't change anything
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #14
36. It's the root of many, many problems.
Forced divestiture of the media empires is another good step. The full funding of public education, too.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
49. Public financing of elections will go a long way towards neutralizing the power of corporations
It will do that by diminishing the influence of money in politics. When the playing field is leveled by ensuring that politicians who don't bow down to the corporate elite will still have enough money to be competitive, then it will be a lot easier to elect politicians who put people above corporations.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #49
70. As a European, I think you're being a little optimistic there
I'm in favor of public financing, but it's not a panacea. You can ban private party-political donations outright but eventually you'll run up against free speech issues. After all, if I run Megacorp I am perfectly at liberty to tell my own employees why I think a party or candidate will be bad for the economy and country, or fund some think-tank or pressure group which articulates my selfish interests. So I'd say that investing too much optimism in the ability of a single change to bring about reform in the political process is a recipe for disappointment. There will always be ways for the wealthy to exercise influence on the political process.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
30. Here's a thought
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 10:25 AM by wolfgangmo
Lots of pissed off people with sticks and rocks.
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. Many Americans sense something is not quite right

But until they are personally affected, they will continue to listen to the fake feel-good propaganda and not connect the dots.
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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Not really...
...."many Americans" sense that things are better than they were a year or more ago.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Brilliant exposition. Bookmarked. k&r n/t
:dem:

-Laelth
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
43. Thank you
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bravo!!! Now please tell us how we wrest control from them.
I fear that we teevee-fed American zombies are immune to the antidote, whether it's the internet or plain old outrage or some other more or less subtle thing.

Of course we need to change campaign finance laws and we need to throw out the bums who kowtow to their corporate sponsors instead of the people who elect them. With a current Supreme Court that lists heavily to the corporate right under the leadership of Chief Justice Roberts, it will be an uphill battle against entrenched foes, even if we are able to convince Congress that it's in their best interests to listen to us.

Recommend.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes, campaign finance reform is a big one
So is corporate control of the news media and, to a lesser extent, our voting machines.

David Korten, whom I quoted twice in the OP, has a section towards the end of his book called "Reclaiming our Power". I haven't read that in a few years. I'll take a good look at it, and if it seems worth while I'll use it in my next OP.



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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. As a matter of fact, what you call "corporate tyranny" has waned (not much) since........
.........the Democratic majorities in the two houses of Congress and the beginning of Obama's administration.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-02-09 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
13. Excellent work! k+r, n/t
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troubledamerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
15. Lincoln quote
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and 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 all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."


-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
16. K&R and thanks for writing this.
You've been so great at articulating my angst in so many of your essays.

I've long been bothered by calling a cash-dominated military-supported business system that thrives on bribery a "free market."

But the sad thing is that we don't have anything like a liberal media to broadcast the truth. We've privatized broadcasting too, so the right and center-right dominate the public discourse. We rarely get to discuss those pesky facts about the benefits of curbing corporate power.

Or factoring massive military spending into the cost of oil when it is compared to "expensive" solar power.

Or even to ask simple questions like-- didn't the insurance companies say the same stuff when we tried for single payer healthcare in 1993? We don't get to see anyone say-- "Wait a second. Y'all failed. You had over ten years to prove your case." We are all supposed to pretend there is some rationality left in the healthcare-for-profit approach, when that boat sunk years ago. Prices continued to escalate without mercy. They failed.

Why are we even talking to them? It's more like they've bought the means to have people talk for them and sustain the pretend "dialogue" while millions continue suffering.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
58. Thank you -- I believe your last sentence says it all
If and when Americans recognize this there will be some big changes.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:33 AM
Response to Original message
17. kr
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:13 AM
Response to Original message
18. kick for later
although I just did some other reading on the Dartmouth college case. The Democratic Party had just taken over the New Hampshire legislature and they wanted to remove the Federalists from the control of Darmouth College. SCOTUS ruled by 5-1 saying it could not be changed because of the Contracts Clause in the constitution. Probably the way around that is to write the charters with a sunset provision, requiring new approval every 5 or 10 years. My book on SCOTUS claims that the Contracts Clause sorta fell by the wayside after 1870.
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Amos Moses Donating Member (551 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:19 AM
Response to Original message
19. In case you haven't seen it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
59. I hadn't seen it.
Thank you.
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Amos Moses Donating Member (551 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #59
66. Glad I mentioned it then.
Thank you for the informative articles you've been posting. :fistbump:
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pokercat999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
20. Yeah, sure, nice work, you've told us what's wrong, like we
didn't know.

What you don't say is WTF do we do about it?

Can't vote, it does no good as you have explained, because of the legal bribery that is occurring daily in all branches and reaches of "our" government.

So now that you have presented this nice piece of history tell us what is the solution to the problem?

I think you know and I think you are afraid to say it.

"it hopefully wont be too long before they begin to connect the dots and hold their elected representatives more accountable for their actions".

Bull crap, if the vote is useless and your "legal bribery" make it so, then what are the alternatives?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. The bribery of Congresspersons is effectiveness only as long as the people stand for it and continue
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 07:10 AM by Time for change
to vote in the same corporate politicians.

The money that corporations contribute to the campaigns of the Congresspersons of their choice are used to buy TV ads and other kinds of advertisements -- i.e. propaganda. So far they've been able to use that propaganda to convince the American people to continue to vote them in. What I'm saying is that if and when the American people wise up to the point where most of them understand what's going on, that kind of propaganda will cease to be effective.
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Jonni Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #22
37. When the American people wise up?
Can we afford to wait for an eventual intellectual enlightenment? Will the internet really free us from corporate control?

The corporations control the conventional media, and since people don't spend millions of dollars without reason, some of those corporations must believe it is in their interest to hire mouthpieces who spew confusing, unfocused hatred and one-sided opinions as news. If you listen to talk shows and Fox "news," it sounds like the radical right is fomenting armed revolt based on ancient racial and class enmity, with no obvious goal in mind - except perhaps to instigate martial law and consolidate power in the presidency. Without a free press, except on the internet, when and how will the American people wise up? And, since "cyberwarfare" could target internal "threats" as well as enemy nations, even the internet is not really free.

This country was originally created as a republic based on aristocratic rule, with the power to govern invested in the landed gentry. Now everyone is allowed to vote, but it's still an aristocracy because the wealthy control the media and the political parties.

Maybe the governor of Texas had a good idea - the federal government has become too powerful, and perhaps the only way to reduce that power is to peacefully break up the union into territories that reflect the character and interests of the people. Scotland is now considering a peaceful "devolution" from Britain, which proves that war is not necessary for secession.

Before the American revolution began, many great thinkers believed the territory of the original colonies was too large for good government, and western expansion would inevitably lead to empire and tyranny. It may be time to concede they were right and break up the empire. At the very least, smaller nations would not have the power to go to war to protect corporate interests.
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pokercat999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
44. Dream on, never gonna happen. For proof I give you,
the birther movement, tea baggers, Palin, McCain, Lierman of CT.etc, etc, Americans are just too stupid to save themselves.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:43 AM
Response to Original message
21. Mussolini's quote:
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
24. In "The Family", Jeff Sharlet describes the real dismantling of the New Deal as early as '43:
pg 142-the real dismantling of the New Deal began as early as 1943 w southern Conservative Dems (dixiecrats) teamed up w Republicans to pass the anti-union Smith Conally Act, the first step in what would eventually repeal most of labor's New Deal gains......"The "teachings of the Nazarene" for such politicians amounted to deregulation, the removal of government intervention from matter they thought firmly taken in hand by Jesus an HIS CHOSEN representative. They were not libertarians; they were authoritarians"

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
60. Yes, they got to work on the labor laws very quickly
And that has had long-lasting serious adverse consequences for the American people.

Yet, much of the New Deal was sacrosanct to the American people for a very long time. This is what President Eisenhower wrote to his brother about it:

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. a few Texas oil millionaires Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
25. Well, besides 1776/slavery, I suppose you mean.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Slavery ended about the same time that corporate tyranny was picking up steam
Slavery was worse, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be very concerned about the tyranny that replaced it.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
27. Well this is certainly attracting some unrec's... wonder why.
Interesting.

K&R
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. A hit squad of five-buck an hour DLC hogwash dispensers,
;)
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Eyerish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
28. Thank you. K&R n/t
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Kermitt Gribble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
32. The organizations for health care reform
that are exposing corrupt politicians like Ben Nelson with their tv commercials are a good start to ending this tyranny. We need an organization like these which exists solely to expose these criminals, Democrat or republican. Enough exposure may create support for publicly funded elections.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
33. Thanks for not demonizing Adam Smith. He wrote "Theory of Moral Sentiments" BEFORE
Wealth of Nations.

He was very morality-based. Not a Darwinist capitalist at all.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Second this. His idolators have obviously never read him. Of course they never read Darwin either.
Or the Bible. They have read Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman though, at least partially.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. And they've read von Mises. But not ASmith, whose work was to counter economic Darwinism...
of Malthus, etc.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #33
69. Indeed. Balanced and thought-provoking OP
I don't agree with every last argument therein (I am OK with the use of corporations for private gain, if properly regulated) but I am impressed with the thoughtful examination of a complicated issue.
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Saxon Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
34. What to do?
Sorry folks, it's to late.
Done deal.

You can give your rights away in a heart beat.
Getting them back takes blood.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. Americans are still in the transitional stages of realizing that stark inevitability
...and pretending it isn't so while imagining real 'change' is just another "election" cycle away.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
35. Morrison Waite should be dug up and impeached posthumously.
Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Time for change.:thumbsup:
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electricD Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
41. paraphrased, of course
Wasn't it Machiavelli that said if you give the masses their "trivial" wants, they'll be completely blind to what exactly is going on around them? I grew up in the '80's through the raygun era. I came into adulthood during daddy "B's" presidency. I became aware of what was going around about me just before Clinton came into office and the last 8+ years has been a total and complete distruction of the working individual. It's a no brainer of why the extreme right praise Machiavelli and Xin Szu. They knew in their days exactly how to manipulate the masses to get exactly what they wanted. Just look at the past 8 years to see how the rethugs got exactly what they wanted. FEAR!!! Every day there was some kind of fear being thrown in our faces. Whether it was terrorist at our front door, WMD's or something, anything they could use to make the masses panic and give them exactly what they wanted. How many know people that coward and caved when the shrub and his cronies told them that if you didn't back our policies, you were unAmerican or unPatriotic? because, every one knows you have to back the president with blind obedience and without question.

Seriously folks, if we don't question our government and take it back by pitchforks and torches or voting in the right people to speak for us, HOW THE HELL are we EVER going to take away and defeat corporate personhood? We let corporate lobbyists and coporate interests run our way of life everyday by letting them dictate to us something as simple as our hourly wage. SO many people around this country have this phenominal problem of "I've got mine, so fuck every one else." Coporations will give masses of people everyday the 8 hours a day thing. Then, you'd be surprised at how many will let that same company/corporation screw them 9 ways to Sunday on everything else, whether it be wages, conditions, breaks, whatever. Until we all stand up and tell them if it's good for one of us, it's good for all of us, they'll continue to buy and sell every one of us, daily.

I'm just a regular man, no fancy sheepskin college diploma, but, if I've read my history books right, there's been more than one occasion that "regular people" have stood up for their rights and the elitists have had NO CHOICE but to do what is right and give back what they've stolen. I know that also, more than one occasion, that people have died while standing up and I do know that it takes sacrifice, ALOT of it. But, for me to be the only one to stick his neck out for what is right is not going to cut it. If we don't have every one to stand up, rise up and all of us stick our necks out, there's going to be alot of single numbers around with no neck to speak of. I guess what I'm trying to say is, ONE person can make a difference, but it takes alot of people backing him/her up to get that difference known. There will be casualties folks, whether it be mortal, moral, or political but how does one go about making others stand up with them? That's always been the constant question that I've asked. Too many people in this GREAT country have been put to sleep and made to "be happy" with mediocraty. There's so much us "regular" folk can do to change the winds but how do you get all of us together on it?

Sorry for the rant. I've been really discouraged as of late by alot of things going on in my life and I know of no better place to vent my frustrations than here. I hope alot of people read this article and it spurs others like me into action, and not just read it and give an AMEN and go on to read the next article in line without so much as giving another thought about how to help change things.

Fraternally
electricD
I.B.E.W. L.U. 474





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twitomy Donating Member (756 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. So you are asking who is with you
to face death for the cause?

Your going to wait a long time. Things are not bad enough yet. The bread and circuses are still being dispensed from Washington (cash for clunkers anyone?) and the people are still satisfied with it. When we have genuine starvation, not to be confused with the chunky people at the food bank, and real poverty, will there be an uprising. For better or worse our social safety net is keeping that from happening. It is a form of "bread and circuses" itself. Heck I have been out of work since May. I was supposed to have a job interview tommorow only to find that the job was put on "hold"...Yet we manage with my wife working and my unemployment comp. In a different time my family may be on the street, and I may be charging with my pitchfork. My Dad was a depression child. I know what real poverty is from his stories. We aint there yet man...
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electricD Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #48
54. I know
I know that the only way people will fight for the cause is when they have nothing left too lose. It's a shame, I damned shame. I've never understood why people will be happy to suffice with mediocrity when they see that big mansion on the hill and also know that 9 times out of 10, they helped pay for it. While those in that mansion on the hill think they deserve every red cent we send their way.
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twitomy Donating Member (756 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #54
64. Human nature I guess...
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 06:23 PM by twitomy
mediocrity is the path of least resistance, as such it is often taken. Dont rock the boat, dont want to get "involved", dont want to miss AMerican Idol...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #41
56. You've read your history books right
History is full of occasions where people have stood up for their rights and won them. And they've done it in many different ways. In this country we have the Bill of Rights, the abolition of slavery, the New Deal, voting rights for women, the Civil and Voting Rights gains of the 1960, along with some very important Supreme Court decisions that furthered the cause of civil rights, to name a few. Sometimes it's involved violence and sometimes it hasn't. And history is also full of ups and downs. Rights won today can be lost tomorrow.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
42. Free 'corporate' stealing and corporate welfare
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
45. It's still called fascism, George.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
46. Thanks Time for Change--!!! Don't have time to read it all right now - back later --
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
47. Truly a joy to read. Right on and write on!
:yourock:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #47
61. Thank you
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
50. Would that unholy govt. alliance be furthered via the
patriot act? Not that this alliance needs many more tools to keep the corruption alive.
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LaPera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
51. Pure 100% republican encouraged & supported corporate fascism, truly.
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 04:12 PM by LaPera
It's Republican ideology, it's the corporate party ideology. Corporations over people. - That's republican ideology in a nutshell...

Government should be there ONLY for the corporations (bailouts, subsidies, tax cuts, tax incentives, deregulation & allow corporate polluting of our lands air & waterways). And a over-blown military machine there to be used for more corporate profit & imperialism While using the workers & the peoples tax dollars to pay for it all.

It's in place now, it's like our worst fears, a nightmare!

As for the people & workers, the republicans ideology is simply that, "people should stand on their own two feet, with NO government help"....

Again, even though it's OUR tax dollars they are stealing and using for their corporations, while dismantling or gutting our government programs.

But it's fundamentally republican fascism and truly their ideology and its obvious as we've seen by their agenda, status quo for the wealthy & their corporations, while taking more & more help & programs away from the workers (tat we pay for) and also our rights.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
52. Bingo got it in ONE
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
53. I'm late to the party, but I have found another outstanding post
by Time for change! Not that I'm a bit surprised...

Well done! :kick:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #53
62. Thank you.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
55. Bonus kick! n/t
:dem:

-Laelth
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
57. K&R
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
63. change you can believe in, suckers!
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
65. Happily, I was able to rec this a few minutes before the 24 hour time limit was up.
Afterward, I took the time to read your entire OP and all the posts on this thread.

Your OP is totally right on -- many thanks for articulating the problem so well. Of course, proposing realistic solutions is the hard part. :(

I honestly despair of seeing any mass action happening in my lifetime (I'll be 60 years old in 3 months). Pretty much everyone -- self-described "liberals" included -- has been thoroughly co-opted by the System controlled by the "economic royalists".

Everyone who uses a credit card, everyone who banks with the big multi-national financial corps like B.O.A. or Citigroup, etc., everyone who pays money to Comcast or DirectTV or whomever for cable/satellite TV, everyone who plays along with the 401k scam to enrich Wall Street -- these are all acts of co-option and acquiesence to the corporations that enslave us.

We accept their terms for defining our sense of identity and well-being. We voluntarily help them forge the chains of our servitude. We freely surrender the fruits of our labor to them in the misguided hope that somehow we will profit also.

We not only lack the WILL and the COURAGE to resist the control that corporations exert over our lives, we lack the IMAGINATION to consider that there may be a different way of living. We constantly make choices that empower corporate control, and disempower ourselves.

sw

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scentopine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
67. Excellent work! Shakespeare never met an MBA
He would have written - "The first thing we do, let's kill all the MBAs"

Wall Street at record pay because they say they need our cash to pay the best to stay with their corporations, then upgrade the outlook of any company who outsources to India.

1. Savings and Loan
2. Enron
3. Iraq War
4. Investment Banking
5. Health care (coming soon)

So many dead bodies, wasted cash and opportunity. A public policy disaster.

The modern MBA is at the root of our modern tyranny. Congress is fully complicit.

We are evolving into a neo-fascist state.

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
68. Kick for an informative and important post. (nt)
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
72. Auto K&R.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
73. You left OUT Teddy Roosevelt?
and the Progressive Party split from the GOP? Why?
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babydollhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
74. kick
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-05-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
75. bookmarked for later...
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