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
Monday, October 27, 2014
Upton Sinclair: Spending several times as much money to prepare for an even greater war to end war
I am posting this article as another piece of evidence that the takeover of American society by capitalists ensconced in major banks and industrial corporations was well underway by 1928 when Sinclair wrote such views as this. Back then critics such as Sinclair could still occasionally write for mainstream media, but mostly he had to self-publish his material in books. Today, such critics are completely prevented from gaining access to mainstream media by a tiny ruling class that has removed all vestiges of genuine democratic processes, and substituted many fake forms to replace the latter.
The triumph of this ruling class was really marked by two main events: first, the many massacres of workers trying to organize for reasonable working hours, benefits, and safety standards back in the latter part of the 19th century; and second, by the crushing of the Populist Movement spearheaded by farmers in the Midwest who were merely looking for ways to prevent predatory lending practices and the theft of their farms by bankers and merchants. (By far the best source of information about the Populist Movement is Democratic Promise by Lawrence Goodwyn.)
Thus, by the late 19th century, the capitalist class, popularly known as robber barons, had accomplished their takeover of the government. They soon established control over the money supply by stealthily creating the Fed. Since then, the history of the United States of America has been mainly the history of the consolidation of power of a ruling class composed of financial and industrial capitalists, and the subsequent development of their Empire that we see today marked by many wars, a huge military establishment and 1000 foreign military bases abroad, militarized police forces at home, and tight ruling class control over all ideological and information services.