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, June 20, 2016

The man who showed Donald Trump how to exploit power and instill fear

Click here to access article by Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg from The Washington Post.  (Revised for clarity at 10:10 AM and 7:30 PM Seattle time on Tuesday, June 21st.)

It's rare that I post articles from mainstream corporate media. But I think that this piece might be an indication where a dominant section of the ruling class directorate exists. Forget about which candidates will assume the office of President of USA. It is the dominant section of the ruling class that we must try to ascertain for it is they who will determine the course to be followed by any president. Permit me to digress a bit by illustrating my argument with what happened during a dark period of US history.

I still remember the 1950 days of hysteria provoked by the McCarthy hearings in which they successfully instilled fears in ordinary Americans about a plague of communists who were infesting our government with the aim of taking it over. The campaign was very much like the more recent fear campaign the ruling class has waged about "terrorists". There is nothing like fear to get ordinary Americans to go along with the agendas of the capitalist ruling class.

This was after the US, which completely dominated the UN, managed to get nominal UN support for a US war against North Korea. This campaign of hysteria about communists came to be known as the McCarthy period, and was motivated by two concerns: to get Americans to support ruling class war aims in Korea, and to further prepare Americans to support a growing right-wing imperial agenda. 

The first victims were Hollywood actors. Ronald Reagan starred as the principle witness and named names of people with left-wing views. Then they made teachers swear loyalty oaths, destroyed the careers of many people who they smeared with the communist label, barred immigration of people who were tainted with communist sympathies, and made it easier to deport naturalized citizens who were suspect of left-wing leanings (Walter-McCarren Act). Corporate media played a major role in whipping up this hysteria.

(Robert Parry adds even more damning material to this period's right-wing activities in an article entitled "How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch".)

The history provided by these two articles gives us much information on the early actions of the growing fascist forces in the US whose intentions from the beginning were to build an empire, the US-led Empire that we see today with 1000 military bases all over the globe, fighting endless minor wars, and threatening major wars. 

With these historical diversions I am trying to construct an argument that the leading organs of corporate media can sometimes provide evidence of where the dominant sections of the ruling class exist. So I believe that it is significant that very little of the material reported in this article, which I find quite revealing, was made available by corporate media during this period or since. So why now? 

I strongly suspect that they are trying to whip up sentiment against the candidacy of Donald Trump because the dominant section of the ruling capitalist class wants Hillary Clinton as the formal head of the government. They have been grooming her for this role for many years and they likely see her as a most useful and compliant agent to accomplish their global agendas.

To me this backing of Hillary Clinton and opposition to Trump indicates that the dominant section of the ruling class is not ready yet to turn toward a more overt form of control over dissidents to their policies. The backing of Clinton suggests to me that they are inclined to "stay the course" by implementing the same policies as those during Obama's administration: neoliberalism, use of soft power to subvert unfriendly or independent governments, more false-flag operations, more hostile military actions against Russia and China designed to intimidate them, and the use of corporate media to indoctrinate Americans in support of their policies and actions. 

While the 50 co-signers in the State Department advocating more aggressive actions against Syria is worrying, I think that this action has a source in the hardcore and aggressive neocon faction of the ruling class directorate and will not be acted on under Hillary's administration. Of course, things could change radically given that a large section of the American population suffers a lot of disillusionment from the recent election exercise and may act in ways to threaten this current dominant faction of the ruling class.