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The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 14:28

A Note to Progressives

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I suppose in many ways I echo, Mary Ellen Lease “In 1890 the Populist firebrand Mary Ellen Lease, she who had urged Kansans to "raise less corn and more hell," told her audiences that "Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street and for Wall Street." ( Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002) )

Problem Statement:
The problem: The denial and seeming blindness of the present citizens of the U.S. in relation to what is happening in terms of the ruling systems of our country. There is a language structure that blocks a clear and direct understanding and response to the present process of our nation's transformation into a representational democracy of the trans-national and national corporations.

Help From the Cartoon World
God knows we have tried from this world


There are two cartoons that can help our understanding, break our denial, and give the blind sight. Before I get to the cartoons, Robert A. Brady in 1943 called our attention to this form of government (representational democracy of economic interest in the the form of trans-national corporations and national corporations ) in his book, “Business As A System of Power”. A scarce book, hard to find as you can imagine, until the internet (http://www.archive.org/stream/businessassystem00bradrich/businessassystem00bradrich_djvu.txt) .

In the forward of this book written by Robert S. Lynd you will find terms like “ fascist monopoly capitalism”, the Fascist Confederation of Industries, Corporate State, capitalist economic power direct threat to democratic authority, capitalist nationalism, economically ordered society, monopoly capitalism, and others. When this was written in 1942 his language had yet to be washed of terms clearly identifying the true nature of the corporate world. Because of clarity into the behavior of corporate nature of that time, after WWII the corporate world in the United States began sending messages out that capitalism and democracy support one another, what is good for business is good for America, to counter the clear connection between corporate power and fascism of the 1930's-1940's. Propaganda, in general is about hiding truth and creating a fake picture as the truth. Simple when you think about it. But what did the corporate world need to hide?

This is an example of what we are blind about and how we can not make real meaning until light is on all history. (you can skip the example if you like, it maybe too upsetting)

The following is excerpted from a report printed by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1974:


“The activities of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler prior to and during (bold and italics mine) World War II are instructive. At that time, these three firms dominated motor vehicle production in both the United States and Germany. Due to its mass production capabilities, automobile manufacturing is one of the most crucial industries with respect to national defense. As a result, these firms retained the economic and political power to affect the shape of governmental relations both within and between these nations in a manner which maximized corporate global profits. In short, they were private governments unaccountable to the citizens of any country (a-national) yet possessing tremendous influence over the course of war and peace in the world. The substantial contribution of these firms to the American war effort in terms of tanks, aircraft components, and other military equipment is widely acknowledged. Less well known are the simultaneous contributions of their foreign subsidiaries to the Axis Powers. In sum, they maximized profits by supplying both sides with the materiel needed to conduct the war. ........Due to their multinational dominance of motor vehicle production, GM and Ford became principal suppliers for the forces of fascism as well as for the forces of democracy. It may, of course, be argued that participating in both sides of an international conflict, like the common corporate practice of investing in both political parties before an election, is an appropriate corporate activity. Had the Nazis won, General Motors and Ford would have appeared impeccably Nazi; as Hitler lost, these companies were able to re-emerge impeccably American. In either case, the viability of these corporations and the interests of their respective stockholders would have been preserved.” Corporations were considered “persons” at that time, so why were they not tried for treason? Is there a statute of limitations on treason?

Blindness, Denial and Propaganda

Propaganda speak (washing language of windows into reality) convinced American citizens that, “Since World War II, this sort of attempt to link corporations with the basic imagery of American patriotism has become virtually routine. And it has been successful to such an extent that today it almost sounds absurd to say something like, “One of the basic reasons for the American Revolution was colonial opposition to corporate power.” (Ted Nace, Gangs of America, p.50) In my own experience when I have attempted to point a finger and say look, “Fascism”, people have told me in several Unitarian Universalist churches and in a local Democratic Party headquarters we don't use that word. It runs people off and they won't listen to you. Even Jon Stewart spent several shows on putting down the use of “Hitler” and in some cases he was correct, however in other cases the symbol of Hitler and the history that stmbol has the power to recall is washed out of our language. This is not a new way of power maintaining power, washing language of windows into the behavior of the ruling class. Do a search for “Dangerous memories” and read the wisdom of the feminist. (Be careful of dangerous memories they will set you free, and you could become lost.)

The language we need to describe the reality of our historical situation is not available. Thus the relevance of the two cartoons.

The first, the cat reaches a precipice, but it goes on walking, ignoring the fact that there is no ground under its feet; it starts to fall only when it looks down and notices the abyss. And the second; A character witnesses an act that goes against her/his interest (someone is driving along in a stolen car, and so on) ; he smiles benignly, even waves at the passer by, becoming aware only when it is already too late that the car is his own--- at that point only, the smile changes into consternation. (I discovered this use of these cartoons in, Slavoj Zizek's book, The Parallax View, p. 201.) If we are holding onto old language that no longer describes the present we will lose our democracy. We are losing our democracy as I write this. We do live in a corporate state system as I write this. Economic fascism is a correct term to use for our present ruling system. Cartoon 2 - Many celebrating Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush while waving good bye to popular democracy with a smile on their face. Barack Obama has attempted to turn tax dollars back toward the middle class which would empower popular democracy and has met with a ferocious resistance, from targets on supporters, death threats, and Hitler comparisons. Cartoon 2 - The very people that enact this resistance are waving to their car being driven down the road. What history will say about Obama is yet to be decided. You and I today will influence what history will say. Hopefully we will stop at the edge of the precipice, and stop the thieves before they get into the car, or pull them out of the car. Cartoon 1 - How to get our fellow citizens to look down is certainly a question we need to attend, however there is anxiety about falling? Maybe I, we also need to look down. On March 12th we will be gathering to point a finger at the edge of the precipice and the breaking into our car. Details coming. Progressives stand tall for we are the remnant of a balanced Constitution.

Rev. Gregory Wilson


Just for Fun

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).

Last modified on Sunday, 19 February 2012 21:23
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