Volatility

September 11, 2010

One Way It’s Been Done Before

 

We face the tyrannical attack of organized crime having hijacked the government, which now allows the syndicates and gangs to rampage and loot across the land. The worst examples among corporatized government power assaults are the health racket bailout and the looming food tyranny bill. These are two affirmatively aggressive policies. There’s also the passively aggressive intent to allow net neutrality and the vision of democratic broadband access to be destroyed, thus dooming the Internet as a space for economic innovation and as the last consistently democratic space in this corporate enclosure zone we call a “country”. The assault on civil liberties is a hybrid of the active and passive. All of this takes place under the blackened skies of the bank tyranny and the Permanent War.
 
“If taxes are laid on us in any shape without our having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves?”
 
That’s Samuel Adams in Boston’s 1764 official Instructions to the Representatives to the Massachusetts Legislature, as the attempted British power grab was gathering force. The basic argument and tactic was the same throughout: Parliament could not represent the colonists, and therefore had no constitutional authority over them, and therefore they must refuse to cooperate even the slightest bit, lest this concede the principle.
 
Today the matter is clouded because “our” legislature isn’t geographically removed over the ocean, and we have modern communications. So it might seem that we don’t have as strong an argument of lack of representation and sovereignty. And yet the fact is every bit at true as in 1764. This government, having been corrupted by the purchase of stateless, alien interests, including the corporations which are literally unnatural and therefore monsters which can have no legitimate role in the human experience, has been abstracted from us every bit as surely as if it had been removed to another planet and was cut off from all communication. As Citizens United symbolically cinched, we the people are not represented*, and therefore cannot legitimately be taxed or subjected in any other way.
 
[*Nor does "representative" pseudo-democracy itself any longer have any legitimacy, having been empirically proven not to work. But that's a matter for later posts. For today it's sufficient to say this set-up can't tax the citizens. The criminals and parasites, on the other hand, would be a different story.]
 
We must be clear that the health racket bailout is a severe tax. The government itself says so. It’s an arduous poll tax to be imposed on the citizen as the penalty for his very existence. This tax is intended to pay for no public service whatsoever. It’s intended to bring zero benefits to the victim. Instead, its practice and intent is to extort huge payments for a worthless piece of paper, which we can metaphorically call a Stamp. This protection money is earmarked for the personal luxury of insurance racket gangsters and the politicians they bought in order to have this hideous crime enacted in the first place. In every way this is our Stamp Act.
 
Speaking more broadly, the Stamp Act is everywhere a rent is extracted or police state “papers” are demanded. The health racket bailout is the poster child of it, but it all ramifies from the big banks, whose goal is to force each and every economic transaction down to the most miniscule through their toll booths. That’s why they cherish the goal of abolishing cash, and are working assiduously toward it.
 
So we have the broad stamp ideology and assault, as well as the proximate Stamp Act, which is the health racket bailout and perhaps the food tyranny bill. Whether it’s best to just reserve the term for the insurance mandate, I’m not sure. For a general audience, probably yes.
 
What can be done? How was it done the first time around?
 
In 1765 the proposed Stamp Act galvanized long-festering colonial resentment and grievance into systematic resistance. In Grenville’s plan to spread the burden of taxation as widely as possible he only succeeded in rendering resistance coherent among diverse interests who had previously often been at odds. Amid the spring agitation the patriots took the name “Sons of Liberty” from a fiery Isaac Barre speech in Parliament which was widely reprinted in the colonies. Over the next few months the agitators organized under this name. In June James Otis called for an intercolony Stamp Act Congress to convene in October, one month prior to the Act’s taking force, to coordinate message and resistance action. They agreed upon a broad campaign of passive resistance. They agreed to refuse to import British manufactures. They called this “Non-Importation”. Samuel Adams opined that no amount of British might could force the colonists to use the stamps or to buy British goods, and that the British wouldn’t try. (He also called for building an indigenous manufacturing economy to permanently replace the imports, but this didn’t get much response.)
 
The Bostonians frequently rallied under a big elm they christened the Liberty Tree, and the park under and around it they called Liberty Hall. All over the colonies activists named their own Liberty Trees. On August 14 they hanged an effigy of putative stampmaster Andrew Oliver, who was persuaded to pre-emptively resign that post. Other aspiring thugs were similarly persuaded throughout the colonies until by the time the Act took force there was no one to enforce it. Stamps were delivered but warehoused. Publication and business continued as before, stampless, in open flouting of the law. After a period of hesitation the courts reopened, without using stamps. That the colonial courts of law would now function in an openly (but just technically) illegal manner was an eloquent symbol of the Act’s own illegitimacy.
 
The British were powerless to enforce what had become a quixotic symbolic assertion even before it went into action. They had to capitulate, and the Act was repealed in March 1766. But the simultaneously passed Declaratory Act, while widely derided in the colonies as a pathetic face-saving squeak, portended further trouble. Within a few years the British would try again with the Townsend duties and suffer the same defeat.
 
Then, in a misguided attempt to succor a financially troubled corporation (sound familiar?), the British East India Company, the UK agreed to a tea-dumping monopoly scheme. They thought they could bail out a rich interest while finally getting their long-sought precedent, that the colonists had to pay duties on British demand.
 
Samuel Adams had already convinced Boston to take the lead in organizing Committees of Correspondence with neighboring towns at a vote on November 2, 1772. (He first had this idea back in 1764.) The idea was first to coordinate proclamations of principle and political messaging, to present a united front, and eventually to coordinate strategy and tactics. Although Adams’ fellow Bostonians were dubious at first (what if they got a poor response? it would be a big PR setback), the response was emphatic beyond even his expectations. Many towns demanded stronger language than even Boston had proposed.
 
The Committee idea spread through the colonies. In March 1773 the Virginia Legislature publicly read and approved the Boston resolution. The rebellious ideal became general. From here the fuse was lit, and it was only a matter of time.
 
The colonials had many advantages. They had a basically homogeneous and socially compact population; their legislature was their own (vs. the alien overseas Parliament); the interests of freedom and their commerce were clearly concurrent.
 
Today we have a fragmented and atomized populace. And while it remains equally true that our freedom and our economic prosperity are complements, it’s far more difficult to make that clear amid the propaganda smoke machines spewing lies about “growth”, the “free market”, “capitalism”, “libertarianism”, and all the other slogans perverted from any real meaning to the criminal interest of the elites.
 
As I’ve mentioned before, we also lack a geographical center of economic and political gravity comparable to Boston in 1765 or 73 or Paris in 1789.
 
So what must we do? It seems right that we must propagate the right ideas. It seems simple enough:
 
1. Understand and declare our principles.
 
2. Identify the enemy and analyze his attack.
 
3. Settle on the strategy and tactics of defense and counterattack.
 
4. Do it.
 
If anyone criticizes: “Who are you to speak for the people?”, the answer is, who else is going to? Who are we waiting for? Paul Volcker? Alan Grayson? Elizabeth Warren?
 
I think, whatever we are, we’re it. That means we in the blogosphere. So maybe that means we must coordinate and systematize our agitation. We’re still just “writing”, as some scoff, but trying to break out to a broader audience.
 
That’s the big question – how do we expand our activity beyond the Internet democracy? How do we get the truth to the masses? How do we break out of the blogosphere and either force ourselves on the MSM or find an alternative megaphone? This question is especially critical given the precarious fingerhold of net neutrality. As Samuel Adams wrote under the name “Populus”, one of his many pseudonyms:
 
“There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly TERRIBLE to tyrants, and their tools and abettors, as a FREE PRESS.”
 
Since the corporate media has abdicated, gone to treason, and become just a vile pack of abettors, here too the full responsibility is upon the citizen journalists of the blogosphere. We’re the torch bearers of truth, and we must find a way to bring this fire to illuminate the darkness the criminals have cast upon us all.
 
In the light, all will become clear, and we’ll find the path to our redemption.
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40 Comments

  1. “…how do we expand our activity beyond the Internet democracy? How do we get the truth to the masses? How do we break out of the blogosphere and either force ourselves on the MSM or find an alternative megaphone”

    It has been in my mind now for a while that engaging in pamphleteering and public speaking might be the best, and even, only, way forward.

    1.) If you had to print out and post up-all over town- a one thousand word, for lack of a better term, call to action and/or manifesto, what would it say? Might it be today’s post, slightly amended?

    2.) Were one to speak publicly, how would one go about it?

    A.) Rent out a space and speak for an hour. Wash, rinse, repeat?

    B.) Stand on a latter day soapbox in the middle of the town square- with a few like minded supporters in tow- offering a canned speech?

    3.) Run for public office with these ideas informing one’s agenda?

    4.)All of the above?

    FWIW, all of these approaches will certainly will be met with, at the least, guffaws, and at worst, out right derision. So be it. Your analysis of the citizenry’s predicament is on target and even the worst naysayers, or most of them might be expected to be persuaded in time.

    Comment by Edwardo — September 11, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    • Things will need to be at an obvious socio-political crisis stage before the masses will take their eyes away from their sitcoms.

      Comment by Rob — September 11, 2010 @ 10:29 am

      • We’re getting there.

        (Do people still watch sitcoms? I thought today it’s reality shows and fascist cop dramas.)

        Comment by Russ — September 11, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  2. Nice thanks for share all this information with me and all ppl that read this nice arcticle so i want to say thanks you so much kingsbot.tk

    Comment by carlo — September 11, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  3. One thing that I like to think would be achieved by putting the message out there now is as follows:

    One gains a lot of respect/credibility by being (known to be) ahead of the curve. When new leadership is sought at the outset of a great crisis, or period of tumult, it is the voices one may have either ignored or scoffed at that tend to have the distinct advantage.

    Comment by Edwardo — September 11, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    • I agree, we just have to plug away and expect any progress to be gradual, but with any skill and luck become one of the “ideas that are laying around”. Ideas that must become more credible as time goes by and more and more people see how utterly discredited all other ideas are. As you say, in the meantime we have to be insensible toward ridicule, although personally I no longer recognize ridicule from the elites or their flunkeys, but take it as a badge of honor and an indication that we’re on the right track and getting somewhere.

      I’m thinking about your ideas above. I think that’s basically right as far as what must be done, try to find a way to bring people together to talk everything out and come to some agreement and plan. But I don’t know yet what’s the best way to go about it.

      Comment by Russ — September 11, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

      • It would be nice if radicals exploited cyberspace more effectively with an eye toward political empowerment. One way would be to centralise their efforts under one roof and subsume their individual blogs there. This mega-site could then become a community (styled like craigslist) where commenters could contact each other and foster organisational efforts. Obviously, it’s much easier to promote radical ideas when there’s media visibility. The radical movement needs mass credibility and respect, more than anything, in order to foster the kind of support that translates into power.

        Comment by WK — September 11, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  4. Russ writes:

    He also called for building an indigenous manufacturing economy to permanently replace the imports, but this didn’t get much response.

    Ha ha ha… why is this not surprising? It’s easy to get a crowd to bitch and moan about the problems but just suggest that actual work get done to solve them and watch the crowd fade away…

    Russ, why don’t you start with Item One:

    Understand and declare our principles.

    There are only a few things I think I know about your goals. I would like to see a complete list of your principles stated without using vague gestural notions (such as life, liberty, happiness, democracy, etc.).

    There’s more to the web than web-logs. If you want to grow on online community you need a place for people to participate. You could start a mailing list (maybe a Google/Yahoo! group), a forum, and/or a wiki. Of course, such communities are already dime a dozen. It would be good, as the poster WK suggests, to coordinate with existing groups. This tends not to happen because there really is no agreement on Item One.

    Comment by Karl — September 11, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    • “There’s more to the web than web-logs.”

      And there’s more to political action than the web. A true political movement that persists longer than the immediate fears of its participants requires a lot more effort, and the founders of neoliberalism have largely documented their roadmap to what is now proven success.

      The fact is that Item One can be easily established across the entire American political spectrum for a majority of the populace, but the trick is in looking forward to solving the problems in front of us instead of looking backward to lay blame. Focusing on the opposition is the present (Item Two) is the right way to go.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — September 12, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  5. Thanks for the good suggestions.

    WK, we do need better online coordination. There are lots of sites trying to do this, and if I had the wherewithal I’d try as well. (I’m not a tech guy nor do I have capital to get a URL, servers, etc.) I suppose we’ll all feel our way toward some convergence.

    You’re right, if many individual sites and blogs could agree to assemble under one umbrella, where they’d maintain individuality but also endorse a common manifesto, platform, and course of action, and all do their part in trying to publicize it, this would be far more visible.

    As for the principles, I agree with Tao that the masses broadly want greater economic and probably political empowerment, though they probably have vague ideas about how to so this. Therefore their current notions are likely to be reformist and therefore still conformist, by default.

    But if radicals could effectively explain how anti-corporatism and decentralization could achieve these goals and at the same time reinvigorate community in all its aspects, people might become enthusiastic about that specific course of action.

    Karl, you’re right that I should write a specific principles list and will do so in the near future.

    But I must say I don’t know how anyone can have been reading much of this and not have a pretty good idea of what I cherish.

    In particular, I can’t imagine how you think I’ve been “vague” and “gestural” about democracy. I’ve must’ve said literally hundreds of times, I want direct, participatory democracy, with the center of power at the lowest practicable level. I think that as far as political groupings that level is the town, or the city borough. Since our economy has been so physically dismantled and distributed (even as wealth and power have been concentrated), it’s more difficult to conceive how to form worker self-management councils. These, I’m thinking, may have to follow from specific relocalization actions.

    And I’ve also long called representative “democracy”, pseudo-democracy. Although I’ll grant I’ve only recently started saying explicitly that it’s been empirically proven a failure, and that direct democracy is the only form left standing which any credibility whatsoever.

    So I don’t think I’ve been vague at all. But yes, I do agree I should periodically list everything clearly in one place.

    Comment by Russ — September 12, 2010 @ 3:33 am

    • I only meant that the concise presentation of principles must use operationally defined terms, not gestural ones. Pointing out that being represented is not the same as participation is a move in that direction, but you need to do this in the positive (what we want) rather than the negative (what we don’t want). What does direct democracy look like in action? I do have my own understanding of what this means, but does it match yours?

      Look at the vague notions Rene is using: Liberty, egality, fraternity. Why those words and not awareness, responsibility, compassion? These terms need to be unpacked and shown in operation.

      Unlike you or Tao Jonesing, I have no intention of fighting any perceived enemy, or thinking in terms of battle. I see the job as one of changing cultural values, and this is better done through constructive action, leading by example, and education. Truly, is anything more indicative of our current culture than seeing the solution to every problem as a “war”?

      Comment by Karl — September 12, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

      • I agree that everything needs to be demonstrated in action. Actions have to be exemplary of values. Unfortunately a Plutarch trying to write today would find pretty slim pickings. Most of our examples are anti-examples, and I’ve mostly written about persons and their practices who examplify the opposite of what I want.

        It’s your pregrogative not to think of the class war as a war, even though it is in fact that. But to turn around and say that because many in this culture fraudulently call everything a “war”, therefore those who resist this culture must refrain from using the term even where our examination leads us to conclude it applies, is to play enabler to those who really do wage aggressive war. (I think it’s also a logical fallacy, but I forget the technical name.)

        So I share your idea for leading through constructive action. (Most of what I do beyond writing is an attempt at that, for example volunteering at a farmers’s market and telling people they should shop there rather than at the supermarket.) Even though most of my writing has been counterattacking the enemy, I’ve always also called for constructive relocalization action.

        But at the same time I’m clear that constructive action will be destroyed by the enemy’s attack if we’re not prepared to defend it. For example the wording, if not the immediate intended practice, of that pending food bill which I’ve written about, could certainly be used to wipe out farmers’ markets and small producers in general. And given the system M.O., we have to assume that definitely is the longer-term intent. You really don’t call that aggressive warfare?

        So I think we need a mix:

        1. Positive relocalization action. Lawrence Goodwyn’s great book The Populist Moment describes how the 19th century Populist movement was centered on the Farmers’ Alliance Cooperatives, and how in turn the People’s Party arose from this movement base.

        He draws the general conclusion that you need to base everything on a movement grounded in an affirmative activity; then a political party can be constructed on that.

        2. But also a strategy for self-defense and counterattack, as we do face a war being waged upon us from above, and this enemy will do all it can to crush our attempts to rebuild. This too will ultimately have to be built upon the constructive foundation, and may be a major part of the political action built on the movement action.

        Comment by Russ — September 13, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    • You’ve been exceedingly clear. You can get an excellent education reading all your posts. And they all complement each other, like so many chapters in a text book.

      Comment by WK — September 12, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

      • Thanks. I sure hope I’ve come reasonably close to that.

        Comment by Russ — September 13, 2010 @ 5:00 am

  6. Power is an illusion.

    There are just too many delusional assholes out there. Many are voters.

    Been to Wal-mart lately?

    It shouldn’t be too hard to motivate reasonable people under the current situation. Just too many stupid, useless assholes.

    Sorry.

    Comment by chas — September 12, 2010 @ 3:55 am

    • Well, let’s say most people are inertial. They’ve been so long under the influence of forces which aggressively manipulate all the worst traits, that the currently morbid inertia is no surprise.

      So the task, and I agree it’s a tough one, is to counteract this inertia, change its trajectory.

      Is this like blowing up an asteroid, or is it more like trying to nudge it by increments? We need to think of way to attempt both.

      Comment by Russ — September 12, 2010 @ 5:54 am

      • The biggest problem that I see with any action is that there isn’t ONE particular target to focus our energies on. It isn’t JUST the defense contractors, or the politicans, or the media, or the corporations that are out of control… the problem is that they ALL are. So who do you go after first? Who do you concentrate your energies on?

        Relocalization attempts to sidestep all of these issues by building a new structure from the ground up, but the more that I think about it the more I’m convinced that if relocalization meets with any sort of success, the powers that be will do everything in their power to crush it.

        So the question is, do you start building the new structures now, before the old are reformed or removed, or do you focus your energies on making sure the old order is humiliated before building the new?

        I don’t know the answer to this, Russ, but am just brainstorming here. And to be fair, there’s a good chance the old order will march itself off a cliff on its own volition anyway, as they nearly did in September 2008…

        Comment by jimmy james — September 13, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

      • Thanks for brainstorming, Jimmy. That’s what I’m doing too, and everybody on this thread.

        I agree that they’ll try to crush it, and I agree that there’s a good chance they’ll be unable to do so just on account of inability itself and spontaneous (inertial) resistance.

        But I also think that we’ll have a better chance if as part of movement-building we also plan for passive resistance and civil disobedience.

        But I don’t have a whole detailed plan yet. Still brainstorming.

        I do agree with Karl that defining principles is number one, which is why I listed it first. So in upcoming posts (my schedule this week’s kind of discombobulated so I don’t know how much work on this I’ll get done for the next week or so, but definitely starting this month) I’ll start brainstorming that. I already jotted down some notes – what do I mean by freedom? Is it the same thing meant by others who want real change?

        Comment by Russ — September 13, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

  7. Liberty, egality, fraternity.

    It has been done before many times. And we are going to do it again.

    I am in very deep water here, but then again we all are. We are talking about altering the cultural memes of our societies.

    Who knows I might have a few ideas and together with thousands/millions of others, our situation might change. We have got nothting to lose, we are leading utterly fake and false lives.

    Lets connect globally.

    Keep on writing Russ! This one is for you;

    Comment by rene — September 12, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    • Thanks, Rene. You said it, we just have to do it again.

      Comment by Russ — September 12, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  8. Russ,

    Have you read Derrick Jensen?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derrick_Jensen

    Comment by Jeff65 — September 12, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  9. Further to previous post –

    Power over whom? A bunch of idiots?

    Comment by chas — September 13, 2010 @ 1:52 am

    • No, I want to devolve power to the local level. Everyone would have equal opportunity to take part in decision-making.

      Call me utopian, but I think fewer people would actually be idiots under those circumstances. (What do you see people being idiotic about? Mostly where they have “opinions” about big power issues. I want those issues to cease to exist.)

      As for those who remain idiots, I’d expect their proposals (assuming they still want to participate at all) to be seen by the rest for what they are. Again, we generally recognize what’s bad for us more clearly when it’s close up than when it’s up in the rarefied air and filtered down to us through the fraud gauze of government and media propaganda.

      Comment by Russ — September 13, 2010 @ 5:07 am

      • Here’s an interview with Jensen:

        http://www.counterpunch.org/engel08122006.html

        Here’s a powerful quote:

        Another argument I want to shoot down is: People say, “oh, my God Derrick you talk about fighting back but that just shows that you don’t have any love, because if you have love you can’t fight back.” And once again, I don’t think Mother Grizzly Bear agrees. I grew up in the country and in my life I have been attacked by mother horses, cows, chickens, geese, mice, spiders, hummingbirds, who thought I was attacking their babies. So don’t give me this shit that love implies pacifism because if you love, you are going to fight back to defend your beloved. Well, that’s not true. If you have love you will do what is appropriate and sometimes it is appropriate to fight back and sometimes it’s not.

        Another thing I want to shoot down about pacifism is that violence doesn’t solve anything. Bullshit. What that means is that if violence doesn’t accomplish anything does that mean that all the Africans just jumped on the slave ship on their own? Does that mean that American Indians just handed the land over? Does that mean that women don’t have to be afraid everywhere in the world because of men’s violence? It’s absurd. And what’s more is this whole culture is based on violence and if violence doesn’t accomplish anything then I guess that civilization doesn’t exist, does it?

        Comment by tawal — September 13, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

      • My attitude is that I don’t prefer violence, but it’s sometimes necessary in self-defense, and certainly when aggressors wage war.

        Still, for the foreseeable future it looks to me like the main tactic should be passive resistance and non-violent civil disobedience, though we should also prepare to meet violence with violence if necessary.

        Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty didn’t prefer violence, but they also called for the formation of the Minutemen, just in case. Of course in modern America it’s mostly been extreme Rightists who’ve prepped like that and cited that precedent.

        But there are also anti-fascist examples like the people’s militias of Spain in the years prior to the Civil War.

        I hope it never comes to that, but it’s another thing to think about.

        Comment by Russ — September 13, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  10. We are at war; domestic tranquility has been broken. The rule of law is but a grim jest. Time to smack back the clampdown! Keep your eyes peeled for some strategic revenge in the midst.

    Comment by tawal — September 13, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  11. Hey, Russ, I’ve just posted something on neoliberalism with some links to good resources. FYI

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — September 13, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    • Lots of good stuff there, Tao. You’re exposing both historical and statistical lies.

      I left a comment at the Hudson post (Hudson sure has been on a tear lately; I still have a long piece bookmarked but not yet read).

      I’ll repost it here, since it goes to some of the value discussions we’re having here:

      Hudson’s consistently the best commenter out there.

      It’s clear that in Obama’s corporatist ideology the only purpose for any government action is to help erect corporate toll booths. If any nominal goal – building infrastructure, creating jobs, etc. – isn’t merely the occasion for setting up a corporate extraction point, then Obama would no doubt sincerely not understand what the point of it was.

      The basic scam of all this is that you can have Bigness or not, but you can’t separate Big Government from Big Corporatism, other than to further empower gangster tyranny. That’s the one and only reason to lessen the public interest elements of the “government” part of the structure while not dismantling and decentralizing the structure as such (of course the police and military elements are always left Big).

      The basic faultlines of civilization vs. post-civilizational barbarism are clear.

      It’s decentralization vs. centralization, rational and equitable distribution vs. concentration, anti-corporatism vs. corporatism, democracy vs. elitism, real voluntaristic federalism vs. Bigness.

      (Also, to reply to your Keynes post, “rents” have zero legal validity. Being purely parasitic, by definition they provide no contractual consideration, so no “contract” involving them can ever be valid. That’s the legal innovation I propose, demand, and consider to be already operative anyway.)

      Comment by Russ — September 14, 2010 @ 3:51 am

  12. For what it’s worth –

    We must bring to an end the crimes being perpetrated (solely for their own financial gain) by the elites in government & business on the ordinary working class in this country.

    There are 2 overarching concerns to accomplish this end.

    1. The message. The message must explain in some detail what the elites are doing. With sufficient brevity to be understandable by a large % of the cross section of “ordinary citizens”.

    2. Just as if not more important is the medium of communication. With out a doubt in my mind this is TV. That’s where the criminal politicians sell themselves to a gullible public. That’s where their lies need to be challenged, on TV.

    Kinda like the Linda & Harry, or whatever, commercials that killed Hillary’s health care stupidity. Use ordinary citizens talking to people like Russ, Marshall Auerback, Tyler Durden, James Galbraith, Bill Black, Elizabeth Warren, et al. Talk about how ordinary citizens problems including unemployment, foreclosures, etc are caused by criminal actions of the elites.

    In other words explain to all ordinary citizens what’s going on by explaining to some other ordinary citizens on TV.

    Of course this will cost a lot of money paid to the media elites in TV, but I think it’s the best route to take. The internet is just too esoteric & over wordy.

    Comment by chas — September 13, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

    • You have to beat the elites at their own game, in other words.

      Comment by WK — September 13, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

  13. I’ve got $200 in my pocket to help pay for the TV. Just tell me where to send it.

    Comment by chas — September 13, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

  14. And use plenty of simplified charts & write stuff, in simple form, on poster boards. Of course you probably won’t get many politicians to come on the program, but you might a few to bust their asses.

    Comment by chas — September 13, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    • Thanks chas, that’s an interesting idea. I’ve heard about some web TV outfits that are doing this kind of work, and I assume they’re trying to figure out how to break out to a general audience. Since I don’t watch any TV at all, I’ve neglected to learn about them, but I think “Democracy Now” is something like that.

      http://www.democracynow.org/

      I’ve read a few interview transcripts, but I can’t say I know for sure how serious they are about democracy, or if they’re just “better” liberals. If anybody knows more about them, chime in.

      If the existing web TV outlets aren’t intrepid enough, maybe true democrats can think about starting our own. It could make a point of expressing every forbidden idea, indicting every normalized crime, covering any real protest action (they’re out there but hard to find, since the MSM imposes an alomst-total blackout on them).

      Comment by Russ — September 14, 2010 @ 3:19 am

  15. [...] Russ @ 5:58 am   I thought I’d sum up just some of the ideas we brainstormed so far in the prior post and comment thread on what we need to do.   We agreed that a clarification of principles is needed. For today [...]

    Pingback by The Brainstorming So Far – Why We Fight « Volatility — September 14, 2010 @ 5:58 am

  16. obviously, I don understand how the coding works -I’ll try again.

     I believe that people are ready for positive, non partisan messages that point the way to reform such as you describe.
    here’s my idea -its yours if you can use it:

    go with SLOGANS

     Use proven strategy; corporate slogans, tag lines -recruit professionals for this task -there’s an army of talent out there without jobs, or being totally exploited by employers. Everyone is on our side. They just don’t know it yet.

     Back-up materials; manifestos, pamphlets, mission statements, news, etc. can be published on the Internet for DOWNLOAD.

     CAMPAIGN STRATEGY: Create and distribute slogans based on principles to be communicated on paper materials of all sizes and distributed through channels based on the national election campaign model -volunteers recruited, posters and hand-outs hung, handed out and pasted all over the place; on street lamps, empty store-front windows, construction sites, placards on the ready; etc. Wherever volunteers ‘the people’ decide to put them. Artists encouraged to participate with street art.

    GETTING STARTED:

    List your principles, each one individually, concisely as possible.
    Submit the principles for comments on wording.
    Recruit talent (professionals and others) to come up with slogans and/or graphics representing each principle; the slogans intended for the broadest possible distribution in a national campaign for reform based on ‘the principles.’ And don’t forget, the Internet is global; concerned citizens about US principles all over the world.
    Recruit organizers for a secure database.
    Recruit volunteers and contributions willing and ready to produce materials; assembling, publishing, manufacturing all manner of print material for slogan hand-outs, and placards for use at peaceful demonstrations.

    Comment by LeeAnne — September 14, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    • That’s a good list, LeeAnne. Thanks!

      Comment by Russ — September 14, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  17. Podcasts, video interviews, interactive media – use what is here and don’t assume the written word is dead.
    You’re already here, just be here more; that is to say, assume it is working.

    Democracy now is what it is; create your own and let’s call a free Republic what is is: participatory demoncracy. It requires participation, not blind consumerism, not religion, not overbearing infrastructure of representation, but direct, right now, on your own behalf participation – kinda like life, doncah know? You gotta show up and you gotta play.
    Well, we’ve got a tough row to hoe if you just think of those who already think all they gotta do is show up.
    But that is what it is, never mind.
    Just keep on doing what it makes sense to do, for self and those self cares about and all makes senes. This runs counter intuitive to the ‘current model is selfish’ teaching, but the current model is not selfish, it is self destructive; and there is a big difference. It’s like the violence thing – we pretend one thing and live another.

    Selfish is not bad when it is iwhtin the context of the larger well being; which, logically, all selfishness must be!
    DOH.
    :)
    Loving reading and thinking on all this – mhm.

    Comment by GeekGirl — September 23, 2010 @ 3:31 am

    • Thanks. I think growing our own is just what we have to do, literally with food, and metaphorically with our economy and polity.

      Comment by Russ — September 23, 2010 @ 4:43 am


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