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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Covert Operations [Part 2: What the Article Reveals]

by Jane Mayer from The New Yorker

As I discussed in yesterday's review of this article, I was initially quite surprised by this magazine's exposé of the right-wing in the US because the latter have been operating this way for several decades without a peep from any establishment sources. 

But after further reflection, I offered the explanation posted in yesterday's article review which essentially argued that the liberal-wing of the ruling class and the more established capitalist class as a whole are concerned about the growing power and influence of the right-wing. (One must not equate the liberal-wing and the right-wing with Democrats and Republicans--the latter are pretty much inter-changeable.) 

As seen by the mainstream of the ruling class, the growing influence of the right-wing over the citizenry represents reckless political behavior given the current delicate condition of the economy and the treasury-draining, never-ending wars in the Middle East. Thus I see this article in a leading ruling class publication as a call to opinion shapers and decision makers within the US to put the brakes on what they see as dangerous right-wing activities that could be destabilizing for capitalist rule.

So, what does the article actually reveal? 
  • The extensive use of tax exempt non-profit think tanks to propagate right-wing propaganda which targets decision-makers in government, academia, and corporations to discourage any moves by the government to curb the profit making activities of businesses regardless of the destructive natures of those activities. I am referring to such issues as pollution, mishandling and dumping of hazardous substances, ozone depletion, climate change, acid rain, curbs on the tobacco industry, health care, illegal acts to enhance profits, and paying taxes.
  • The establishment of non-profit enterprises and foundations to funnel money into various right-wing citizen front groups, aka "astro-turf" organizations such as the Tea Party, Citizens for the Environment, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Americans for Prosperity, etc.
  • Their influence together with other right-wing forces such as Fox News has successfully spread a considerable amount of misinformation among the general public such as Obama is a socialist and Muslim, the Administration has a socialist vision for the US, and climate change is good for you because global warming will result in longer growing seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.