If the Democrats Don't Start Being Democrats America Will Become A Plutocracy!
What we are seeing here today is WAR. Not the blood and guts war that the Republicans would prefer but a war never-the-less on Democracy. And if We-The-People lose this war our America will never be the same.
What is it like to live under a Plutocracy?
Paul Kurtz wrote in the Fall 2000 issue of Free Inquiry:
A plutocracy is defined as government by the wealthy. The critical question that should concern us is whether the United States is already a plutocracy, and what can be done to limit its power. This question, unfortunately, will not be taken seriously by most voters but it damned well ought to be.
Ancient Greek democracy lasted only a century; the Roman republic survived for four, though it was increasingly weakened as time went on. As America enters its third century we may well ask whether our democratic institutions will survive and if so in what form.
If America is a plutocracy, it isnt overtly one no one has declared an end to the democratic process in favor of rule by the wealthy. (This has changed since the Republicans have held office for too many years, today the GOP is overtly telling us that the wealthy will be in charge --i.e. Scott Walker, Wisconsin-- whether we like it or not.) I dont think that this is necessary, however, to have a plutocracy. Its arguable that a more effective plutocracy is one where the people continue to imagine that they are sovereign without having a significant impact on the governing process or at least not a very significant one in comparison to the impact which the wealthy have.
The mere fact that the wealthy have more influence, though, shouldnt make a society a plutocracy. Wealth is a form of power and this means that the wealthy will always have a disproportionate amount of power, no matter how perfectly democratic a society may otherwise be. Perhaps the real test how easy it is for the people to enact legislation over the objections of the wealthy and various powerful corporate interests.
If nothing can happen without the support and assistance of powerful corporations and wealthy individuals, then society is arguably a plutocracy or at least one where wealthy corporations are in control. If the support and assistance of powerful corporate interests is helpful, but not necessary, for the passage of new laws, then its arguable that society remains reasonably democratic. MORE HERE
Since SCOTUS (5/4) ruled blatantly in favor of Corporations (in the Citizen United ruling on corporate campaign spending), by 5 conservative judges who followed their Republican political ideologies in lockstep, against the people and for the corporations, a plutocracy has taken shape. This ruling has emboldened the GOP to openly oppose any democratic rules in which we live under. If they succeed in destroying our Democracy altogether we will find that life ruled by the wealthiest amongst us to be much oppressed and not worth living. Think Slavery, its not farfetched its REAL! thinkingblue
What Conservatives Really Want
George Lakoff | Saturday 19 February 2011
Dedicated to the peaceful protestors in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011.
The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.
The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting and on and on.
Budget deficits are a ruse, as we've seen in Wisconsin, where the Governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement.
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Deficits can be addressed by raising revenue, plugging tax loopholes, putting people to work and developing the economy long-term in all the ways the president has discussed. But deficits are not what really matter to conservatives.
Conservatives really want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.
In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama accurately described the basis of American democracy: empathy citizens caring for each other, both social and personal responsibility acting on that care, and an ethic of excellence. From these, our freedoms and our way of life follow, as does the role of government: to protect and empower everyone equally. Protection includes safety, health, the environment, pensions. Empowerment starts with education and infrastructure. No one can be free without these, and without a commitment to care and act on that care by one's fellow citizens.
The conservative worldview rejects all of that.
Conservatives believe in individual responsibility alone, not social responsibility. They don't think government should help its citizens. That is, they don't think citizens should help each other. The part of government they want to cut is not the military (we have 174 bases around the world), not government subsidies to corporations, not the aspect of government that fits their worldview. They want to cut the part that helps people. Why? Because that violates individual responsibility.
But where does that view of individual responsibility alone come from?
The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don't have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally.
The market itself is seen in this way. The slogan, "Let the market decide" assumes the market itself is The Decider. The market is seen as both natural (since it is assumed that people naturally seek their self-interest) and moral (if everyone seeks their own profit, the profit of all will be maximized by the invisible hand). As the ultimate moral authority, there should be no power higher than the market that might go against market values. Thus the government can spend money to protect the market and promote market values, but should not rule over it either through (1) regulation, (2) taxation, (3) unions and worker rights, (4) environmental protection or food safety laws, and (5) tort cases. Moreover, government should not do public service. The market has service industries for that.
Thus, it would be wrong for the government to provide health care, education, public broadcasting, public parks and so on. The very idea of these things is at odds with the conservative moral system. No one should be paying for anyone else. It is individual responsibility in all arenas. Taxation is thus seen as taking money away from those who have earned it and giving it to people who don't deserve it. Taxation cannot be seen as providing the necessities of life for a civilized society, and, as necessary, for business to prosper.
In conservative family life, the strict father rules. Fathers and husbands should have control over reproduction; hence, parental and spousal notification laws and opposition to abortion. In conservative religion, God is seen as the strict father, the Lord, who rewards and punishes according to individual responsibility in following his Biblical word.
Above all, the authority of conservatism itself must be maintained. The country should be ruled by conservative values, and progressive values are seen as evil. Science should have authority over the market, and so the science of global warming and evolution must be denied. Facts that are inconsistent with the authority of conservatism must be ignored or denied or explained away. To protect and extend conservative values themselves, the devil's own means can be used against conservatism's immoral enemies, whether lies, intimidation, torture or even death, say, for women's doctors.
Freedom is defined as being your own strict father - with individual, not social, responsibility, and without any government authority telling you what you can and cannot do. To defend that freedom as an individual, you will, of course, need a gun.
This is the America that conservatives really want. Budget deficits are convenient ruses for destroying American democracy and replacing it with conservative rule in all areas of life.
What is saddest of all is to see Democrats helping them. MORE HERE
Source URL: http://www.truth-out.org/what-conservatives-really-want67907
"During the past twenty-five years the corporate-conservative coalition has formed an uneasy alliance within the Republican Party with what is sometimes called the 'New Right' or 'New Christian Right,' which consists for the most part of middle-level religious groups concerned with a wide range of 'social issues,' such as teenage sexual and drinking behavior, abortion, and prayer in school. I describe the alliance as an 'uneasy' one because the power elite and the New Right do not have quite the same priorities, except for a general hostility to government and liberalism, and because it is not completely certain that the New Right is helping the corporate-conservative coalition as much as its publicists and fund-raisers claim. Nevertheless, ultraconservatives within the power elite help to finance some of the single-issue organizations and publications of the New Right . . . .
"Despite their preponderant power within the federal government and the many useful policies it carries out for them, members of the power elite are constantly critical of government as an alleged enemy of freedom and economic growth. Although their wariness toward governemnt is expressed in terms of a dislike for taxes and government regulations, I believe their underlying concern is that government could change the power relations in the private sphere by aiding average Americans through a number of different avenues: (1) creating government jobs for the unemployed; (2) making health, unemployment, and welfare benefits more generous; (3) helping employees gain greater workplace rights and protections; and (4) helping workers organize unions. All of these initiatives are opposed by members of the power elite because they would increase wages and taxes, but the deepest opposition is toward any government support for unions because unions are a potential organizational base for advocating the whole range of issues opposed by the corporate rich."
"Americans have always believed that anyone can rise from rags to riches if they try hard enough, but in fact a rise from the bottom to the top is very rare and often a matter of luckbeing at the right place at the right time. . . . Since 1982 the Horatio Alger story line has been taken up by Forbes, a business magazine that each year publishes a list of the allegedly 400 richest Americans. 'Forget old money,' says the article that introduces the 1996 list. 'Forget silver spoons. Great fortunes are being created almost monthly in the U.S. today by young entrepreneurs who hadn't a dime when we created this list 14 years ago. . . .' But the Horatio Alger story is no less rare today than it was in the 1890s. A study of all those on the Forbes list for 1995 and 1996 showed that at least 56 percent came from millionaire families and that another 14 percent came from the top 10 percent of the income ladder. But even these figures are probably an underestimate because it is so difficult to obtain accurate information on family origins from those who want to obscure their pasts. Even those in the upwardly mobile 30 percent often had excellent educations or other advantages. . . . .
"Contrary to Forbes . . . most upward social mobility in the United States involves relatively small changes for those who are above the lowest 20 percent and below the top 5 percent." MORE HERE
Hitler Reacts To The Wisconsin 14 - All too real humor about Gov. Scott Walker
PS: This is
real (although it seems like it should be just a bad dream)
We-The-People are about to lose that status and become
We-The-Slaves to Corporate/Wealthy Interests. It is so obvious
but so many will deliberately refuse to see it just to prove a
point. It won't be the rich and powerful that takes us down it
will be the foolish. tb
"A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything." Aristotle
On Facebook this comment:
What do people do when they know they are wrong? Run and Hide.....
comment back" The Wisconsin 14 DEMS are not running, they
are not hiding (not in the sense that the conservatives would
like to believe). They are doing what anyone who fights for
freedom will do when they are outnumbered ... They went
underground and are working even harder for the rights of the
people! I am so proud to see democrats act like Democrats...
right now they are all We-The-People have to fight for us.
A bit of history about fighting for the rights of others:
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to Free States and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the slaves that sought freedom...
ABOLITIONIST: a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society:
Thank Wisconsin's courageous state senators who have joined with protesters to block the Republican attack on public employees. CLICK HERE
Wisconsin's courageous state senators deserve our thanks.
Democratic state senators in Wisconsin have been forced to flee the state in order to stop Governor Walker's radical attack on worker's rights.
Now, Gov. Walker has ordered state police to hunt them down, and force their return to Madison for a vote on his bill.
The fight in Wisconsin affects all of us. And this is a crucial moment to show solidarity with the state senators as they continue their courageous stand to protect workers.
I just signed a petition telling Wisconsin's Democratic state senators they have my support. You should sign it to. Click below to say thanks.
Please sign the petition, CREDO action, has reached 61% of our NEW goal of 50,000 signers! (30,726)
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