We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Old Cold War Revives as Castro Dies

Click here to access article by William Blum from Consortium News

What I think is the most valuable about this piece is his explanation of why a few states try desperately to insulate themselves from the insidious influence of the capitalist Empire by imposing restrictions that appear to violate the principles of free speech and thought. With the Empire's giant megaphones of media, education, and entertainment that reach to nearly every corner of the Earth, they effectively drown out independent voices in all these sectors and regions. And if in rare cases that doesn't work, the directors of the capitalist Empire manage to have such dissidents purged and/or legally harassed (see this, this, and this). 
Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money [and/or capitalist NGO] financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?

Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries. The Cuban president is chosen by the parliament, The National Assembly of People’s Power. Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since all candidates run as individuals.

Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have private corporations to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate.

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