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There are a lot of social justice and civil rights organizations doing great work in the United States.  From CREDO, MoveOn, and Bold Progressives, to Daily Kos, ColorOfChange, ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Sierra Club, unions, etc.

Despite the many accomplishments of these (and many other organizations), nobody can deny that there is an ongoing and steady erosion of constitutional rights, and economic security for the average citizen, or what we've come to call the 99% percent.

As many people know by now, this situation can be traced back to the impact and influence organizations like ALEC have over public officials (and politicians) at state houses across the country, as well as at the federal government.

Many people are also aware of how cookie-cutter legislation is drafted by corporate cartels which then instruct politicians on the take across the entire country to enact it.

Basically, what I'm trying to point out here is that there exist a very coordinated, strategic, relentless, and cohesive approach to tearing down democracy, piece by piece, city by city, by a networked cabal of easily identifiable corporate interests.

I've argued that it is essential for activists to mimic this type of strategic and highly coordinated network approach to combat the imposition of a corporate state, on the Left.

When I look at the work many great progressive and activist organizations are doing I discern a pattern: the focus is mainly on the symptoms of the social dysfunction caused by the corporatist takeover of our government, instead of at the root.

We all know the approach by the corporatists: buy off political officials which then proceed to take down the regulatory framework, which then opens the door for pillaging, deception, oppression, and exploitation instigated by powerful corporatist cartels.

And so when citizens are harmed or concerned about what's going on, they appeal to city councils, and state houses, but the pleas fall on deaf ears because they mainly answer to their corporatist/business paymasters.

So, I've had this conversation with many people, and I've asked, "how come there isn't a highly coordinated and strategic networked approach for combating the corporate state?"

Some of the answers include something along the lines that on the Left, because of the very nature when it comes to intellect, and nuanced approach to issues, trying to get them to act with that kind of disciplined and strategic approach is like trying to herd cats.

On the right, it's easier to get everybody on the same page because their world view is more black and white, more dogmatic, and more authoritarian.  So basically, it's easier to get them to march in jack-booted lock-steps.

I get it; there is a lot of truth to the challenge.  But I still think that the only way to put up a real challenge to the corporatist cabal taking over the country is by having a highly disciplined approach.

After thinking about this for quite some time, I came up with a very easy "thought experiment."  

I want to prove or validate the proposition that it is possible to establish a highly organized network across the country to oppose the agenda of the corporate state.

This is very easy to do.  I'd really appreciate your participation.

First, I'd like to visualize a network.  So I'll ask you that in your answer below you write down the name of your city and state (or country).  If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then pick a nearby city.

So hopefully, I'll see people from Miami, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, etc.

Then, if you would, I'd ask you to share your opinion about what you think are the root causes of the problems we are facing, and your proposed solution.  If you could do so in one or two paragraphs (very succinct and to the point), it would be perfect.

My hypothesis is that we will find a lot of commonality on the answers (but go ahead and submit your input using your own judgement).

After I get your input, I will write another diary and will include graphics charting the "network," and where I will also identify certain patterns in your answers.

If I get enough people to participate, this should be an interesting and fun experiment for everybody, especially when I publish the "networked map."

Of course, part of the reason I'm doing this is to try to get people to think it is possible to establish a nationwide network of activists acting in concert, in very strategic and cohesive ways, in opposition of the corporate state.

UPDATE: MON FEB 18, 2013 AT 06:07 PM PST - I published a follow up diary titled: Network: Harnessing Crowd Intelligence (From Thought to Action)

UPDATE: MON FEB 18, 2013 AT 11:45 PM PST

Networked "Brain"

Here's my vision about the map below... Fist of all, I envision it as the beginning of some sort of "crowd intelligence" brain being born, to wish every day more and more neurons will be added, increasing its intelligence exponentially from the moment on.

I asked some volunteers to engage in a simple experiment: to report which city they were from, and to share their understanding about what's wrong with the system, and most importantly, what needs to be done to fix it.

I started in the San Francisco Bay Area (Ray Pensador), and (Daily Kos users) Odysseous replied in Austin, and Chi replied in Houston, and postablue in Boca Raton, and ahumbleopinion in Cincinnati, and Red Tom Kidd in Portland, and Himself in Rochester, and Simplify back in the SF Bay Area, and SethRightmer in North Haven, and katiec in Orlando, and cynndara in Richmond, and ladybug53 in Chattanooga, and k9disc in Hudson Valley, and Mentatmark in Erie, and cherrymapin in Easthampton, and many others.

Thank you all for participating!  Look at the map; watch the murmuration video.  Get inspired.  Let your moral compass guide you; let's act together for the good of the country, for the next generation; and for a better world.  But we will act; the time for begging the powers that be for justice is over.  Now is time for us to act.

Proposed next steps: Please visit my website at and sign up to my email list (which will be private and will never be shared with anybody).  I will send a weekly email focused on three things: Recruiting people; Finding a mechanism to share ideas about how to take on the Corporate State; Taking action (diverse, relentless, timeless, ongoing, organized, strategic, focused, impactful, and effective).

My vision (dream, expectation) is to help facilitate the birth of a new type of movement, and then get out of the way and see if it can take fly on its own.  I'm not looking for any recognition or praise in any way.  I just want to see justice done.  I want to see our country move in the right direction.  And yes, I do want to see those who have been pillaging and plundering be brought to justice.

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, In Support of Labor and Unions, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wonder if you might be a little more (6+ / 0-)

    strategic with when you post your diaries. I think you could be getting more eyeballs (hence more participation). I don't think the weekend is necessarily the best time to post (especially not so many diaries), and I fear by the time most people turn on their computers Monday morning, this will have already scrolled far down into the pack.

    Anyway, it's past 2am my time, I'm going to bed now. Will read this more fully tomorrow.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On". //"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Denis Diderot

    by Oaktown Girl on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:12:14 AM PST

  •  Isn't the crux of the problem (13+ / 0-)

    the fact that the plutocrats can buy their network whereas we have to rely on mobilizing people who have to struggle to pay their bills?

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:08:01 AM PST

  •  Baltimore, MD and Houston, TX (16+ / 0-)

    I think the root cause is as you've described. Our power is being eroded by people who are relentless in their aims.

    Solution: let's not worry about "herding cats" - just start where we are. If there is an initiative, get different groups on board - PCCC, Moveon, daily Kos, etc. we should focus on what we want, not who won't follow.

    We can't just defend ourselves against right wing encroachment. We need to go on the offensive. Someone wrote a diary advocating expanding social security benefits. Stuff like that. Advocate what we want, mobilize support.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:36:47 AM PST

    •  "Focus" being the key word. Not to get into (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, ladybug53, Chi, Nada Lemming

      a side-debate, but one of the reasons Occupy has petered out (besides media/police efforts) was the absence of a set of definite priorities, easily expressed.

      We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

      by Jim P on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:59:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  in mpls (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, ybruti, 6412093

        it never died, it just morphed.  When it got cold, it got really cold, so we started occupying foreclosures.  We're still doing it.  If you're poor, there's a roof and heat, and someone will feed you.  So far we've stopped a half dozen evictions, and gotten some news coverage.  The mayor stopped sending cops, and banks now have to negotiate with us.    One issue, simply communicated, as you said.  This could be copied anywhere.  Google rapper Brother Ali, who got arrested with us.  

  •  This is like Article V-ism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People who can't do the little things successfully somehow think they can skip to the big things.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:10:53 AM PST

    •  Don't you think... (9+ / 0-)

      ...we have been successful in organizing the left the last few years? In '08 and '12 Obama won what I think are two landslide elections yet we have had to settle for very watered down policy. We win big time and have to compromise, the right wins by the skin of their teeth and gets almost everything they want. How can this be year after year?

      •  Actually, in Florida, 08 was a failure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a huge wasted opportunity...Obama won with no coatails at all, leaving the legislature overwhelmingly Republican and thus setting us up for yet another Republican redistricting...then, thanks in part to some of Obama's misteps came the Tea Party surge of 2010, which elected more Republican legislatures just in time for decenial redistricting...

        I believe Republicans may have a natural advantage not so much because of the money (which matters a lot, but is not all there is) but because their base is settled and rooted in place...they stay in one place, they are citizens of cities and states, while too many Democrats think of themselves as citizens of the nation and the world.

        The states are in fact the most important political units...the United States is a government of limited powers, the states are the basic units of government. Anything dealing with the basic stuff of governmental services...recording births, deaths, marriages, paving roads, building schools, dealing with crime, licensing doctors, creating corporations...that is all the province of the states. Most important, though, is that the states decide how federal officials are elected, so even if you are most interested in controlling the federal government, you can't get there without controlling the states.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:33:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And people who can do the little things (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SethRightmer, Lujane, Simplify, Odysseus, Jim P

      never graduate to the big things and constantly lose ground on them.

      Also, it is a broad sweeping, unfounded generalization that people who are promoting alternatives to electoral-based incrementalism, which is hopelessly beneath the task at hand and now threatening the survival of the planet, as being either uninvolved in or unsuccessful at the small things. Most of these people have in fact participated in the traditional small thing successes. They simple recognize that you can't achieve the imperative goals we now face with the traditional methods. You just can't get there from here that way.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:28:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This comment is part of why (8+ / 0-)

      "Democrats don't stand for anything."

      Let us articulate core moral principles and what they mean consequentially, the big things.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:31:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boca Raton, Fl (5+ / 0-)

    I wonder if we could "herd the cats" enough to agree on a few basics. The Constitutuion applies to everyone, one person one vote, corporations are not people, public funding of elections and an end to partisan redistricting etc. These and many other ideas about governing the country always struck me as "low hanging fruit"(I don't mean that in a negative way". I would just like the chance to put forward a progressive agenda free of compromise with the right. Our side won the election and should be free to govern. If the right wins in a 'Fair" election I could live with that as long as we could compete in the next election. Let's unrig the "system". I think left, right and center can agree on that.

    •  Boca (5+ / 0-)
      If the right wins in a 'Fair" election I could live with that as long as we could compete in the next election. Let's unrig the "system". I think left, right and center can agree on that.
      Republicans' REDMAP project aimed to make a permanent Republican majority in the House.  We may be screwed there forever.  And they tipped their hands regarding rigging the Electoral College.  Public outcry and the amount of time before the 2016 election made them back down.  But they've shown that once in power, they don't care what voters think.  I expect Republicans to rig the Electoral College in their gerrymandered swing states in mid 2016, just in time for the election and too late for Democrats to react.

      Will they agree to "unrig" their gerrymandered states?  Not even at the Rapture.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:13:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cincinnati, OH (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    countwebb, Bob Guyer, Lujane, ladybug53

    A threat to coordinated effort and thus multiplied impact is the one issue person.  The right has found a way to make the one issue voter ignore all the other issues that effect them and stay activated no matter what by appealing to their fears, and prejudices with lies and propaganda.  I am not advocating the same, but the left also needs to stick together even if their most important issue is not top of list.

    No matter what is happening with our favorite issue, we still need to stay engaged and support other issues.  And not by making an election a litmus test against an imaginary perfect candidate, but by making a choice between the candidates that are running and voting for the better candidate as if our life depends on it, because it does.

    The various progressive groups want to go in the same general direction; when our particular group is not carrying the ball, we still need to support the other players on our team.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:20:20 AM PST

  •  The strategy of the left is always subordinated (13+ / 0-)

    to an open process in which everyone is encouraged to think laterally and pursue their own interests and agenda when and as they feel moved. So we are almost always a mile wide and an inch deep. We divide and conquer ourselves for the opposition. So little we do ever scales to match the opposition.

    Which is why it is

    a) amazing, because it is so rare, when something like the last two Obama campaigns happen, where we all do focus on one goal and subordinate ourselves to supporting a structured organization with a predetermined plan, and

    b) dumbfounding, because it is so counter-intuitive and yet predictable, that after the outcome of such an approach proves its stupendous efficacy, the left goes back to the ineffective, disorganized cat-herd modus operandi.

    btw, 1) I'm in Salt Lake County, UT.

    2) The root cause of our problems: our inability to prevent a global plutocracy from subverting all policy to its personal set of self-serving goals of self-enrichment at the expense of all other considerations.

    3) Personally, I believe a coalition of left-wing organizations, issue-oriented nonprofits and individuals could create a massively inclusive online, iterative suggestion and survey process to create and outline a coherent set of broadly acceptable populist policy goals, prioritize them, and summarize them in a manifesto or set of white papers to be presented by the coalition to the President and Congress. These would include topics related to fixing government so that it can function.

    That process could then be followed by a secondary process of converting those white papers into executive orders and/or legislation and even regulatory requirements, a la ALEC. These also could then be delivered to the President and Congress by the coalition.

    Then, when the President and Congress fail to take action, because government by, of and for the People is broken, a mass action of a couple of million people, with a clear, robust set of specific goals in hand, could occupy the capital with a strong sense of purpose and the resolve to see it through. At that point, I believe we would achieve more change in 3-4 months than we will achieve in an unlimited number of elections.

    This would be a War Effort scale approach to Change, the likes of which the Left has never seen. All of our "wars" have been pursued by relatively small contingents, piecemeal, operating over decades if not centuries. We have yet to organize with "the fierce urgency of now" over anything larger than a Presidential election, and even then, only the Obama campaigns have approached the kind of strategy, organization, support and determination that would be necessary to get real, substantive change on a timescale that matters to people or the planet suffering now.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:22:04 AM PST

  •  Portland OR, declining wages for the lowest (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, linkage, countwebb, ladybug53

    Declining value of wages, lack of a livable wage. If people at the bottom can make more money, that would partially alleviate many other issues. I see the inequality of wages as the root cause of so many other issues.

    Fixes: raising the minimum wage would help, but I don't brlieve it should be raised too high too quickly or should be raised to a universal level nationally. A quick raise to say $9 nationally, with some cities having a multiplier effect because he cost of living is higher. But then, tying it at least to inflation, but even better to some sort of productivity rating. US worker avg productivity has been raised significantly, much faster than inflation, over the past few decades, but workers have not seen that in their wages.

    •  Austin, TX (3+ / 0-)

      Address these issues at all levels.

      If legislators won't legislate, use the referendum process where it exists to change the laws.

      Swiss voting on limiting executive compensation is one model.  Similarly, the German model of having labor guaranteed seats on the corporate board.

      You could even take this further and require that a majority of corporate profits be paid in bonuses to be shared by all employees, not just management.

      There is no state in America today where anyone is even considering these reforms as referenda.  Why not?  Democracy is what you make of it.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:56:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Iowa (5+ / 0-)

    Economic inequity is the #1 problem. Were we to get rid of the fiction that corporations are persons under the law, we would go a long way towards being able to fix this.

    Additionally, the original basis for permitting people to form corporations was to protect individual investors from personal liability attending to the course of business by the corporation. In exchange, the state required certain things from the incorporating body- These days, I think some of these quid pro quo might perhaps include a requirement for accepting communitarian responsibility including fair labor practices. This should be vigorously implemented and enforced as part of the process of incorporating a company. Protection from personal liability to the formers of a corporation for the deeds of that corporation is a huge gift. The state should demand something substantial in return for this.

    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

    by pengiep on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:00:02 AM PST

    •  Re (0+ / 0-)
      Protection from personal liability to the formers of a corporation for the deeds of that corporation is a huge gift. The state should demand something substantial in return for this.
      A gift from whom to whom?

      It's not like the state is backstopping the corporation's debts.

      The individual founders are being protected from creditors, who presumably charge higher interest rates and other less favorable conditions in exchange.

      The limited liability corporation isn't some kind of gift; it's just a standard kind of business codified in law.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:11:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rochester, MN (8+ / 0-)

    A Plutocratic Government. Wall Street provides very little benefit to society yet owns congress lock, stock and barrel. Yet all too often we are left wearing nothing but the barrel.

    My solution? Publicly financed elections, a financial transaction tax and throw 5000-10,000 banksters in jail for the next 10 years. Fraud is fraud now matter how many zeros are in your paycheck.

    Oh yes, tax capital gains as regular income. Why should speculators get a break?

    •  agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, linkage, ahumbleopinion

      ...but if you say 'plutocracy' to a right-winger you get nothing but a blank stare. Say 'liberal' or 'democrat' and they spit venom at you. don't know how we get beyond that.

      •  The right responds very willingly to the catch (4+ / 0-)

        phrases of the type Frank Luntz spits out. I can't think of a good catch all wordphrasing for "they're stealing your kids future with your money and participation" - but one exists. Any reverse Luntz wordsmithers out there??


        by FakeNews on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:58:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Liberal Wordsmithing link (4+ / 0-)


          by FakeNews on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:02:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  New Orleans (4+ / 0-)

          I like to ask. "Where is the return on my tax investment?"  

          Piratization of tax payer assets like utilities, hospitals, schools and mass transit means that everything our parents and grandparents bought and paid for with their tax dollars has been sold off and we have to rent it back. At whatever price the new owner demands. Because we still need those things, we just no longer own them.

          Government by contractor means that contractors are our Governors.

          Our government was designed to be a shield wall between corporations and citizens.  Contracting out critical functions to for-profit/religious groups strips that shield wall protection.  Corporations then do what they are designed to do.  Make money, anyway they can.

          The web makes it possible for citizens to communicate with each other more efficiently than government or corporations.  The old model was linear and could be controlled. Proprietorial information, revealed Scriptures and State secrets are no longer the levers of power.
          And any six year old can Google 'sex.'

          This should be catnip to journalists, and I see the shift back towards muckraking and investigative journalism.

          We were here in the late 1880s, the 1920s and 1930s.  Nothing really new.  

          Study history!!!!!

          We DO need to go back to the Liberal Arts.  (So called because only free men were allowed to study them. )  

          Knowledge is still power.

          Jesus died to save you from Yahweh.

          by nolagrl on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:00:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  too often... (6+ / 0-)

    ...for me the 'left' is a place of all or nothing. Or we make the 'perfect the enemy of the good'. I think there are many on our side that if they don't get their way on a certain issue they pack up and go home. For me the EFCA or 'card check' was a big deal. Labor people got nothing. But maybe we can get a higher min wage and build toward stronger union rights. We should not decline a half loaf of bread because we can't have the whole loaf.

  •  San Francisco Bay Area (7+ / 0-)

    Unfair legal and economic incentives
    Lack of critical thinking, creativity, and logical reasoning education
    Corporate control of communications
    Personal isolation, both unintentional and intentional
    Supermajority legislative vote thresholds
    State representation malapportionment (US Senate)
    Unverifiable elections

    Potential solutions:
    Proportional representation
    Publicly financed electoral campaigns
    No filibuster; California legislature majority votes only
    Education reform: less standardized testing/centralized authority, teachers in control/responsible
    Actual progressive tax code, antitrust enforcement, law enforcement upon rich crooks

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:44:31 AM PST

  •  Currently North Haven, CT (6+ / 0-)

    But I have a network of friends in Albuquerque, the Bay Area, Seattle, and Los Angeles. I move around a bit. :)

    You know how to herd cats? Open a can of cat food. Similarly, with the right issue and messaging, herding lefties can be just as easy and productive. The "conventional wisdom" about us is plain wrong. One almost wonders if it is deliberate propaganda, meant to dissuade us.

    •  before boca... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, linkage, ladybug53 was Walilinford, CT. So, what flavor of 'cat food' should we open first? I would suggest a very generic "good goverment'. If and when Democrats have the power they need to make 'the trains run on time' to show that their program works. the 'low hanging fruit' so to speak.

    •  Alternatively (4+ / 0-)

      The way to herd cats is to find out where they're going, and get in front.

      Both descriptions illustrate the fact that cats do what they do because THEY want to, not because YOU want them to, and that is what differentiates them from dogs or soldiers.  Similarly with humans who think for themselves, leadership consists of discerning what motivates those you would have follow you.

      •  Very well put (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        There is a reason that the groups I tend to get involved with prefer the term "facilitator" or "focalizer" to "leader." A leader's job is not to tell people where to go. It is to ask them where they want to go, and then help them figure out how to get there, and encourage them when the going gets tough.

  •  Portland OR and Houston (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, linkage, ladybug53

    labor law reform. The unions are bleeding to death and that undermines progressive politics across the board.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:25:11 AM PST

  •  Cross issue principals with action linkage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Ray Pensador

    and experimentation that is coordinated and national is what we don't have. I put together a thought experiment about how we could model a progressive solution based on the way open source software is developed. Here is a link to what I came up with. The open source software development community as opposed to the centralized commercial software development community illustrates a solution (open source software development) that tackles the same power dynamic we have in the corporate state versus the progressive state.

    I think we could identify unifying principals and then test them in action across all the typically isolated interest areas (constituency based justice, environment, economics...). Owing to the nature of the progressive side of thinking and perceiving (always allowing the new and sharing authority broadly) we need a different way of scaling to powerful action in a coordinated mutually enhancing way than do the centralizing plutocrats. Check out my article and diagram in the link above for more on this idea.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:43:38 AM PST

  •  Orlando FL (5+ / 0-)

    The 30s demanded more than even FDR delivered.  FDR delivered what he did because people were demanding more, but became satisfied with his compromises with the right/bankers.

    The left has become milk toast in it's demands.

    The 30s wanted the Greenback (or at least cheap money) and nationalized banks.

    They got the Greenback (fiat currency) with interest due  to a continuing private bank sector (your interest due on your car loan goes to funding a future dollar) and Glass Steagal.

    The Fed has failed in it's mandate of full employment for a really loooonnnngggg time now.  We should be demanding a national bank devoted to securing public purpose as it's only goal.

  •  Richmond, Virginia (5+ / 0-)

    At this point in time.  But last year, Wilmington, Ohio, and next year perhaps Bluefield, Virginia.

    As for the root of the problems, I see four:

    1) Civilization, which by its nature consists of dispossessing the Many in order to create "surplus" resources which are controlled and monopolized by the Few.

    2) Patriarchy, which by depriving women of human, economic, and political rights relegates them to the sole purpose of reproduction and thereby instigates an endless process of overpopulation, resource conflict, and imperialism.

    3) Financialism, which by the institution of loaning resources at Interest, sets a constantly compounding price on all investments which limits creative problem-solving, use of resources, and cooperative production.

    4) Corporatism, which provides a legal structure for coalition-building for the sole purpose of profiting at the expense of others and avoiding responsibility for the consequences of such behavior.

    Mmmmmmm.  Somehow I doubt you're going to get pragmatic tools for overthrowing state corruption out of that, since it questions all of the foundations on which our current society is built.

  •  Now THIS is using to blogosphere correctly, imo. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm in NYC.

    To my mind the linchpin to the entire 1% agenda lies in control of all Publicly and Widely Expressed Narratives. Example: all the media pushes the deficit as the the priority, way above Jobs. All the media ignores that our various unjust wars of aggression are backfiring if the goal is to defeat terrorism. And never raises the question if that, indeed, is the real goal.

    Mind you, it isn't just the news programming, but the entertainment as well, which exists primarily to get people pumped up with adrenaline, testosterone, and endorphins: that is, the mood-generators which lead to people being most easily suggestible. This works for product advertising and for politics.

    Consider that the entire political spectrum, the ordinary people, consider mass-reach, Corporate, media as a prime enemy of the people; that this media is fully dependent on the public for its money; that it entirely falsifies our political life, and I think we have something meaningful which we could organize around.


    We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

    by Jim P on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:53:45 AM PST

  •  finally, a call to action (4+ / 0-)

    i agree completely with this diary.
    a million people can march but a handful of insiders ( almost) always decide.
    in this country the left is outside, the right is inside.
    insiders literally have the ear of politicians. the shouts of the people outside sound very far away.
    the insiders offer support with (often laughably small) amounts of money) and are rewarded with (often outsize) deals and benefits.

    the right also has immense propaganda machines. it's not by accident that so many people see government as the enemy when most of their and their ancestor's benefits came from the government's seeing their worth and forcing the robber rich to pay at least some of their booty to the common pool. they have been lied to over and over.

    we have also reached a place in our society where a supposedly liberal president has no ideas about how to save a sinking and unfair economy other than rescuing the very rich who got us into this mess and hoping that they will hold off on wrecking things again till after he's gone. [ and the previous "liberal" gave us nafta and the destruction of glass-steagal]. tis president who put such effort into his own reelection didn't happen to notice that the republicans had a concerted strategy to take over statehouses in 2010 as well as the congress, events that will continue to have influence for the next decade. howard dean wanted a 50 state strategy but he was pushed aside. for democrats it's pretty much everyone for him/herself.

    we definitely need a new strategy about how to regain influence and power.
    i get about 30 or 40 different email solicitations each week - about war and drones, about the economy, about women's rights and teachers and the post office and climate change and gun control. some, like credo and move on and a few others are blanket organizations but even they allow us to choose our issues from a menu.

    every group has its own leaders, some very compassionate and creative - but - it's a human failing - they like being in charge. coordination means giving up some personal autonomy and often subordinating for a time your group's primary interest. WHAT IF EVERYONE IN ALL THE GROUPS BACKED INCREASING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE WHEN THAT ISSUE WAS COMING UP, AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS ALL TOGETHER AND CLIMATE CHANGE ALL TOGETHER. IS IT THAT IMPOSSIBLE TO ORGANIZE? WHAT DOES LIBERAL OR PROGRESSIVE MEAN ANYWAY IF IT DOESN'T INCLUDE WORKING WELL WITH OTHERS FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT?


    there are impediments to coordination beyond the egos of the various causes' leaders. unlike the right we will not offer implicit bribes to politicians n the form of lucrative jobs after politics. their spouses will not get he to be "trustees" of this or that (the trustee racket is an unexplored backroom of power). but without working together intelligently and often sacrificially we will continue to lose ground to the greedy and aggressive bunch of yahoos who have been increasingly running our lives.


  •  Hi Ray! (4+ / 0-)

    What you suggest was a big topic on the Sierra Club bus ride home from DC Rally yesterday.  I'm still too sleep deprived to contribute anything coherent, but I saw your diary up & had to rec & tip.  I knew I liked you for a reason!  You are good people.  There are a lot of good people out there.  We can do this.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:40:48 PM PST

  •  Chattanooga, TN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Keep me posted. I'll get some people behind it.

  •  Hudson Valley, NY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    "It's the Economy Stupid!" is our root problem. With GDP as  metric for health of a nation we wind up feeding our people to the economy and drafting corporate sponsored public policy and call it the People's business. The needs of the People and the State have diverged and are at odds. Hedges has it right.

    That said, the solution is not simple. There are 2 prongs, IMO:

    1. Divest ourselves from corporate media - don't donate money to candidates who purchase corporate media buys. Develop an alternative information network via YouTube, Blogs, and smaller media entities that are not subject to the whims of big corporate advertisers.

    2. IRV. Corporate control over our elections happens because with just 2 parties and 2 "viable" candidates, it's too easy to game. IRV is the silver bullet. It makes the system too hard to game for corporate propagandists and private donors.

    That should loosen the stranglehold and allow citizens to breathe a bit.


    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:29:12 PM PST

  •  Erie, PA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Root causes? Greed, Power Seeking, Desire to Control, by the few that already have the most.

    Solution? Education and Direct Action.

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:41:40 PM PST

  •  Easthampton, MA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, 6412093

    What are the issues?
    Lack of honesty in mainstream media: people are so ill informed.
     The plutocracy: income inequality puts too much power in too few hands. Media and politicians silenced for fear of the backlash that will come if they say something that offends narrow corporate interests/Koch money, etc.

    Oil companies, the military-industrial complex, the courts, the banks.

    Children raised in poverty. Parents working far far too many hours, or depressed because they can't get a job.

    Cultural decline: addictions abound including using anger to drive out feelings of despair. Because people spend so many hours in a workplace run as a dictatorship, they have lost the skills required of citizens in a democracy. There is no ability or opportunity to learn how to debate ideas in a respectful, thoughtful way.

    Solutions: Change corporate charter law. Nationalize the big banks or support alternatives such as the bank of North Dakota and credit unions.
     Run schools to support the whole child in the context of their community: stop wasting kid's time with endless standardized testing.
    Stop privatizing, especially no more privatized prisons.

    RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. Require paid sick leave and paid maternity. (can be paid for by a state fund partly financed by payroll tax) Put restrictions on mandatory overtime and expand the provisions of the FSLA to cover more workers. Reduce unemployment through fiscal stimulus. Do something about the rise in the use of temps and independent contractors.

     Put solar panels on every building. Give foreign aid and make giant cuts in the military budget. Stop the drones, they are creating new enemies.

  •  Berkeley, CA. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    The root cause?  Good FSM.

    I guess an electoral system that refuses to allow the majority to implement policy, and which at the same time allows the rights of most everyone to be undermined.

    If we were to implement majority policies we would not be in Afghanistan, we would not be waging a war on drugs, we would not be talking about austerity, and we would have a far better health care system.

  •  Lawrence, KS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    The edifices of our society are decades old, and operate more on tradition than anything else. A more technocratic approach is required. Our educational, criminal justice, and health care systems specifically need a redesign for the twenty-first century -- one that begins with a clear idea of the purpose of these institutions and uses actual facts and data to build systems that meet society's needs.

    We're doing an anti-Westboro Baptist documentary. Help us here.

    by Geiiga on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:49:22 PM PST

  •  Ashburn, VA (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not a morning thinker, but I'll give it shot:

    Root causes - Democrats are too passive. I don't mean the ones here, I mean the ones that aren't willing to do more than to vote and a lot that don't do even that much.

    Solution - Find a way to motivate the unmotivated.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:46:48 AM PST

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