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 25, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Monday, October 25, 2021

Great wealth can do great damage. Grand personal fortunes, we’ve come to understand, can menace our democracy and distort our economic life. But these fortunes can also wreak a much more hidden havoc: They can mess up the minds of people who hold them. Great fortunes can leave their owners feeling supremely sure they themselves must be great.

Great enough to save the world if they put their mind to it.
I would go further. If a given socioeconomic system rewards its winners so outlandishly with money and power, they inevitably see themselves as super-humans who can save the world. As Upton Sinclair once said, "I used to say to our audiences: 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!'". Or in this case, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his investments pay off so abundantly that he never has to work in a job which pays so little and has no power associated with it."
  • Goodbye Mr Marx by Darren Allen from Off-Guardian. (Note: I'm posting this only to criticize it. I don't normally do that because I would have no time for anything else. However, because I often post articles for Off-Guardian, I will make an exception with this post.) 💥My commentary (I edited for clarity on 10/26/2021) follows: (This a best commentary)/
Allen in this post is critical of Karl Marx's contributions to the philosophy of socioeco/nomic systems. Although I won't meet all of his criticisms, it is safe to say that Marx made a great contribution to this philosophy by revealing for the first successful time that societies are wrecked by classes, and especially by a self-serving ruling class. Allen's take fits well with the ongoing attacks against socialist ideas and their development since Marx's astounding revelations more than 150 years ago.
I often heard people say that they have read some of Marx's articles, but they couldn't understand them. Marx wrote a lot, and his articles are based on what his observations and influences informed his views. You cannot understand him without understanding the world of his time, particularly the philosophies that existed at that time. To be sure, his greatest mistake was his faith in workers and that they ultimately would be victorious over their capitalist bosses in their quest to establish a socialist system. 
Today we see that this has not happened. It was greatly exaggerated by pro-capitalist propagandists with the disappearance of the first socialist experiment--that of the Soviet Union. We further see--if we have diligently followed scientists and their work--the catastrophic destabilization of the climate that the capitalist system has greatly contributed to, and this destabilization today threatens humans and most other species with extinction. Although Marx wrote a little about this threat, he rather much missed its important impact. Who could blame him?
In addition, I wonder if Allen didn't write this article for morally dubious purposes for secretive anti-socialist subversives like the CIA for the following rewards: insuring a career in capitalist enterprises, or for a lavish contribution for Off-Guardian's website? For such rewards we have seen in the past decades that subversive and capitalist-fascist organizations have turned other media organizations to the exclusive promotion of capitalist propaganda. What formerly passed as mainstream media reporting news, in today's world are really strictly propaganda organs manipulating the views of ordinary people to align with the imperial interests of the ruling transnational capitalist class.
  • Cool “Afghanistan Withdrawal”, Bro by Australian Caitlin Johnstone with her American husband, Tim Foley, also reading the script (but you may miss supporting examples, illustrations, etc.)--from her weblog. 
The goal of the empire is to be able to topple governments and dominate the globe without incurring a negative perception among the inhabitants of the US and its client states. It has been doing this with a combination of (A) shifting to more “light touch” interventionism which doesn’t garner as much negative attention as full-scale ground invasions and (B) a global perception management campaign of historically unprecedented scale and sophistication.

Ideally the imperialists want to be able to dominate the planet with economic sanctions and the occasional strategic drone strike combined with mass-scale psychological manipulation. It is not a coincidence that nations where they are unable to do these things at will are the nations we are most aggressively propagandized against.

The empire isn’t getting less tyrannical, it’s just getting better at public relations. The need for critical thinking and alternative perspectives has never been higher.

  • Sovren featuring Ben Swann introducing Sovren to become in a few days a new website that you should support if it lives up to its promises. (Note: "Already have an ISE.media account? Thank you! You do not need to register. At lauch, your ISE account will automatically be transferred to Sovren.")
Platform overview
Sovren restores power to the people. It’s your space for uncensored ideas, discussion and debate. Freely interact, make plans, and enjoy meaningful conversations with like-minded people, or exercise your right to debate and disagree. Most importantly, share content, videos, memes and images that other social media have worked so hard to ban. Reserve your username today.
The records were scheduled to be made public Tuesday, but the White House announced late Friday night that it would delay their publication until at least Dec. 15 — and perhaps longer if President Joe Biden determines it’s in the nation’s best interest to keep them confidential.

“It’s an outrage. It’s an outrage against American democracy. We’re not supposed to have secret governments within the government,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told POLITICO. “How the hell is it 58 years later, and what in the world could justify not releasing these documents?”

  • A word from our sponsors by Bill McGuire from the Ecologist. My reaction: I noticed an apt question by McQuire as a sub-headline in relation to the upcoming UN meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
Why are fossil fuel companies, their funders, and others with poor environmental credentials, on the list of COP26 conference sponsors?
The following post is selected by Brad Fredricks (and his reactions, commentaries, etc.) for this website: 
There was a time when your health was not a matter of profit, it was a matter of moral social concern. Some may remember an old TV show series called Saint Elsewhere, about a financially beleaguered Catholic-funded Hospital in Boston. The series ended with the hospital turning into a for-profit healthcare center with worried questions about what that means for the future.
Like a flashback to the 80's medical drama, it seems that the United Kingdoms HHS (Health and Human Services) is going through their own St. Elsewhere, as the United Kingdoms NHS (National Health Service) is potentially up for grabs to the private sector. Double Down News, Dr. Bob Gill, a general practitioner and filmmaker wisely points out the dramatic decline of American health has come with skyrocketing costs, lower overall levels of service, exploding personal debts, and a genuine social breakdown of public health most notable by the exploding obesity endemic since that old episode of St Elsewhere aired.

Interestingly, St. Elsewhere was an NBC-owned TV show. Last year NBC News reported on how private equity firms now control many of the hospitals, ER's, and nursing homes across the United States, highlighting the potential for financially motivated individuals to make decisions that may be counter to the public interest.

This is the story worldwide. When we trust corporations and commerce over community, we the people of earth lose.