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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Thursday, April 23, 2020 (Added the first post at 12:43 PM CT)

My commentary: I scanned this article and discovered that I differ from Ford as to the history of socialism in the Soviet Union. After reading widely in their history, I conclude that socialism only lasted a few years. Soon after Lenin died and Stalin consolidated control of the government, the Soviet Union deteriorated into what I call "bureaucratism" (others call it "state capitalism").
The original Bolsheviks were exhausted fighting the Allies among the capitalist countries and the White armies, the embargos, etc. After Lenin died and the Stalinists consolidated control, the Soviet bureaucracy (also called "nomenklatura") gradually served themselves extra privileges denied to ordinary Russians: they appointed themselves to advanced positions in the bureaucracy, they got their children into the best schools and later into the best careers, they shopped at exclusive stores, etc.)
  • WATCH: Planet of the Humans [Full Film] from Wrong Kind of Green. Blogger's Note: Because I have not viewed this film yet, I cannot recommend it personally. Although I have reservations from the people who have endorsed it, I am posting this because Wrong Kind of Green has promoted it:
This compelling, must-see movie – a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows – is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.
  • In Light of the Global Pandemic, Focus Attention on the People posted in English on Defend Democracy Press. (Note: I believe this effort, along with all other efforts, is too late. I also believe that the first order of business is to overthrow capitalism (not "changes" or reforms) and install a sustainable system to redeem humans who have been responsible for the destruction of the environment that sustains life.)
My commentary: This distinguished Middle Eastern journalist writes how the rich US/Anglo/Zionist Empire operates in regions of the Middle East that are not under their control. The ruling capitalist classes control nearly all media in the countries they control, and thus control the narratives (control the perceptions of reality among populations) published/broadcast by media outlets throughout their Empire. 
However, the directors of the Empire (major capitalists) must resort to crude bounties on leaders who are their antagonists and independent of Empire influences in the Middle East. Magnier reports that these bounties inevitably backfire. Instead, such leader-antagonists receive rewards in terms of status and perks that other, more cooperative (with the Empire) leaders do not.
This reaction is in stark contrast with media corporations within the Empire. After many years of infiltrating these corporations, the directors of the Empire now have complete control of media (formerly they had only partial control), and thus control all information that their populations receive. The directors of the Empire do this by rewarding easily corrupted journalists with lucrative careers. The latter careerists joined many other "professionals" (particularly in education) in the upper-middle class (Malcolm X referred to them as house niggers: he used this term when speaking to largely African-American audiences, but YouTube purged these videos) who enjoy the many fruits of capitalist rule.
This is the primary secret of the Empire's success; and need I add, the demise of humans and most other species on the unique planet Earth.