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, July 3, 2014
'Buzzword List' Reveals What State Officials Can't Say About Fracking
This report by Prupis is a perfect illustration of the power of important corporations and their owners among the One Percent to control government employees whenever their interests are threatened. Contrary to what many people believe, the complete capture of government by industrial and financial corporations happened a long time ago--it happened at least by the time of the gilded age around 1900.
Corporations were only the logical development of an ownership class who have always ruled the US since its founding. Following a mercantile and agricultural economy, in the latter half of the 19th century rapid technological advances were created by working people, but became the property of the One Percent. The latter used this technology in mines and factories to create very profitable enterprises, followed by the concentration of ownership into huge industrial and financial monopolies. This concentration of wealth and power permitted the ruling class to expand voting rights beyond only white male property owners which, in turn, strengthened the facade of "democracy" which was a core theme of their indoctrination agencies.
Opposing this logical development were farmers in the Midwest (Populist Movement) and workers in urban areas who suffered from 10-12 hour workdays, dangerous working conditions, and low pay. Farmers were increasingly oppressed by onerous interest rates on loans from banks, high prices from commercial supply companies and railroads, and low prices from milling companies--all owned by the One Percent. Labor organizing faced huge obstacles from companies whose owners often used private armies to attack worker organizers, used their media to smear the labor movement, and the power of the state against workers. A dramatic illustration of the latter was the kangaroo court that prosecuted and hung four labor leaders in the Haymarket massacre of 1886.
Unfortunately, farmers and labor organizers were unable to combine their forces in their battles with the One Percent, and, as they say, "the rest is history". (Three excellent books cover these events in detail: Democratic Promise by Lawrence Goodwyn which gives a thorough history of farmer struggles, and The Lords of Creation by Frederick Lewis Allen and Triumphant Plutocracy by Richard F. Pettigrew  describe the rise of an overwhelming plutocracy that took control of all institutions of society.)