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

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Note: I am planning a first road trip to the US east coast probably immediately after Labor Day, September 6, from my home in southern Minnesota. (Most of my adult life was on the west coast.) If any of you regular followers would like to meet me on this road trip, I will try to accommodate you in my itinerary. The arrangement would at least consist of meeting over a beverage of your choice at a location near you or at your home. Please contact me if this interests you at my email address: goatmeal36@yahoo.com.  Ron H.

In virtually every realm of public policy, Americans embrace policies which they know will kill people, sometimes large numbers of people. They do so not because they are psychopaths but because they are rational: they assess that those deaths that will inevitably result from the policies they support are worth it in exchange for the benefits those policies provide. This rational cost-benefit analysis, even when not expressed in such explicit or crude terms, is foundational to public policy debates — except when it comes to COVID, where it has been bizarrely declared off-limits.
The most powerful among us are powerful precisely because they create the dominant ideology – the thread of narrative that ties together what we imagine to be our personal understanding of why the world is as it is. That is why elites, whether the state or corporations, prioritise capturing the main channels of communication. They make sure to own and control the mass media.

When powerful external actors are framing the world for us – whether it be through broadcasting, newspapers or social media – they get to decide what matters, what should be prioritised, what is right.
But he concludes his essay with these words:
The reality is that we can save our species – assuming it can be saved at all at this late stage – only by radically transforming our societies: by ending inequality, by criminalising greed, by dispossessing billionaires, by nationalising corporations, by making economies and political systems far more localised, by introducing real democratic accountability, by abolishing the corporate media, by funding critical thinking in our education system, and much else. [my emphasis]
You must read the article to see how he gets to his conclusion from the first paragraph above.
I've viewed mainstream media corporations as taken over by right-wing propagandists, and The Guardian is no exception. So, I proceeded cautiously with the reading of this article to find self-serving bias that favors the de-facto US/Anglo/Zionist Empire's transnational-capitalists interests. I finally decided that it gives much valuable information about the Chinese Communist Party.

For a long time I have worried under Deng's influence in the late 1970s that the Communist Party of China was in danger of being corrupted by the success of their entrepreneurs. 

In the four decades since Xi’s predecessor Deng Xiaoping enabled economic liberalisation, booms in manufacturing and technology have allowed a select few in China to amass vast fortunes. But the tables are turning, with Beijing’s regulators mounting almost daily attacks on private power bases, in particular the technology titans, whose influence has begun to stretch far beyond Asia.
Although this article does not allay my worry, I think that it is informative about recent developments. This is not to argue that the directors of the de-facto Empire are not worried about China--they are, and have in the several years declared an unofficial war against China. But China as well as Russia and Iran are charting an independent course of their nations by instituting mixed economies--some private and others public--which is independent of the Empire. To the directors who will accept nothing less than total domination of their Empire, this is apostasy and justifies their force-full response to these heretics.