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
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Russian Lawmakers crack down on foreign “undesirables”
Lehmann starts off with a report on recent efforts by the Russian government to control for foreign sponsored NGOs, followed by an excellent discussion of the pros and cons of NGOs and their vulnerability to corruption by moneyed interests. The Russian government, along with other keen observers, have seen the rather long history of NGOs being used as a weapon in the Empire's arsenal to destabilize governments in targeted countries, using operations known as "color revolutions". With the increasing aggressive actions by the Empire on Russia's borders, their efforts to control such organizations is very understandable. But there are risks to NGOs that are doing honest and constructive work.
NGOs are usually starved of funding and thus easily corrupted by money interests which are usually capitalists simply because they have all the money. Empire operatives have long been aware of this weakness and have taken advantage of NGOs by using them as a subversive weapon. This weakness of NGOs to corrupting moneyed interests brings into dramatic focus the rapidly accelerating problem of economic inequality that is an inherent anti-democratic feature of capitalism.