We have devolved to such an extent that our only choices now are fascism (total corporate control over everything, total absence of individual power, no rights, no access to any important decision making, demonization of vulnerable populations)
Democracy. The problem is that we have no idea what democracy is.
This presentation is in four parts.
1. The mess we are in
2. Why we won’t get out with what worked before
3. What is democracy, it is not what you think it is.
4. How democracy will save us
1. The mess we are in
We are in the longest war in our history with no end in sight. We are militarily involved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and who knows where else None of these countries attacked us.
9/11 justified the wars, however 14 of the 18 “terrorists” involved were from Saudi Arabia where woman can get stoned to death for driving a car, and Saudi underwrites ISIS. Saudi continues to be supported by the US.
The cost of the wars and for a war machine is more than seven times the next seven nations combined.
Before becoming president Barrack Obama claimed that Afghan War was the
“right war”. There are no right wars, no good wars, acceptable only are
unavoidable wars. Every war mentioned above was avoidable.
We are fast making the environment unlivable.
Through pollution, depletion and over population we are creating difficulties
for those now alive and seriously jeopardizing the future.
Over dependency on fossil fuels seriously pollute the atmosphere. Fracking
and efforts to extract harder to get oil and natural gas seriously threaten
and in too many cases seriously endanger aquafers.
Water fit to drink is endangered from pesticides, fertilizers, and previously
Food fit to eat is being transformed by Monsanto and others into “genetically
modified organisms” with no understanding of long term effects.
The vast major of climate scientists insist the spewing carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere is causing “climate change.”
The more evidence of “climate change” the more prevalent the deniers,
absent is any effort to engage in bipartisan meaningful discussions where
evidence is weighed, thoughtfully evaluated and effort made to reach
And think what war does to the environment
The economy we have established distributes all its wealth to less than 20% of the people. The upper 1% get most of the wealth due to:
Moving high paying jobs to other countries
Replacing human workers with robots and other technological advances, once such technological advances led to improved working conditions for everyone. Now almost all of the profits from this type of change goes to the upper one percent.
Significant loss of union power and influence.
Ineffective use of government, now firmly under control of corporations
Reversal of civil rights and social justice
Many of us who worked hard for civil rights in the 1960s believed we
turned the corner with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
We deluded ourselves
All forms of bigotry are alive and well in the United States.
After the passage of the Civil Rights, as President Johnson, predicted,
The South which had been Democratic almost immediately became
Republican, those mostly Southern Dixiecrat states are now solidly
Michelle Alexander revealed how the Drug War was actually The New
Jim Crow. Although there is little evidence of differences in either
Illegal drug sales or excessive possession, Black males are 6 times more likely to be in prison.
Blacks still lag behind in school achievement, livable wages,
President Trump has attempted to deport as any as 11 million, mostly
Mexican undocumented immigrants.
President Trump prevented the immigration of Muslims fleeing the horrors
of the wars in the Middle East
There appears to be a revival of anti-Jewish activity, as distinct from
opposition to the state of Israel in the form of desecration of
And perhaps the most dangerous of all because of its necessity for any
democratic project to be tried. Without rights democratic projects will be
We are witnessing the systematic destruction of one of democracy’s
fundamental principles, constitutionally guaranteed individual rights.
Those rights found in the Bill of Rights have always been threatened:
Survived Alien and Sedition Acts early in the Republic.
Survived Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus during Civil War
Survived Woodrow’s attack and use of Espionage Act of 1917 during
WW 1, although Espionage Act used to convict Chelsea Manning
Survived post WW I Palmer Raids
Survived Franklin D. Roosevelt’ suspension of habeas corpus
internment of Japanese Americans
Survived McCarthyism right after WW II
Rights have always been suspended during wartime
Now in the longest war in our history with no end in sight, rights of
expression, religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly are under different levels of threat.
The Patriot Act and the NSA have completely destroyed rights of
Suspension of habeas corpus in the Civil War and WW II were fairly brief, for some in Guantanimo the suspension has been 15 years and counting.
Due Process-presumption of innocence, right to lawyer, speedy trial, jury of peers, no double jeopardy, protection against cruel and unusual punishment, etc. have been weakened.
Fundamental rights of individuals, a democratic fundamental principle
have been more weakened by ignorance than by governmental
All of the threats to human happiness and even survival are manifestations of fascism, corporate control.
All can be effectively countered by democracy which can be initiated by as few as five people…more later on this.
Next: Why we won’t get out of the mess we are in what has worked before.