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I had a "pointed discussion" with my wife this morning.  In reality, I should probably stop talking to her about "this stuff" and just share my thoughts at other venues, since I do admit I keep asking the same question.  Usually the "heated debate" starts by me saying something like "I'm very perplexed as to why there seems to be a total lack of understanding within the current progressive movement about the danger we are facing right now, in this country, and more alarming, a lack of strategic nationwide coordination."

The conversation sometimes "deteriorates" into "So somehow you think you are able to clearly see these dangers, and know what needs to be done, but all these other well-connected people with think tanks, and funding, backers, huge networks, don't?"

So hopefully, this will give some of my regular reader critics some vindication: I'm driving my own wife crazy!

I'm not going to use one of my favorite "F" words to describe the dangers I see coming, and instead will lay out the narrative (so you can draw your own conclusions).

The billionaire class is funding the political dysfunction, including the calls for "austerity."  The actual reasons they are funding these efforts has nothing to do with concern about the budget, national debt, or long-term sustainability of so-called entitlement programs.  They are doing it to subjugate and exploit the population, plain and simple.

Austerity: They are plunging hundreds of millions of dollars into a and elaborate nationwide propaganda campaign to push economic austerity policies.  In a Huffington Post op-ed by Robert L. Borosage today, "Will Half a Billion Bucks Buy a New Recession?" he reports that:

One major contribution comes from the money and monomania of Pete Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire who has committed about half a billion bucks rousing hysteria about deficits and debt. Today, The Nation and the Center for Media and Democracy are releasing an expose of Peterson and his latest front -- the Fix the Debt coalition, with a new detailing the background at CMD's SourceWatch.org
Funding Gun-nuts: They are behind every lunatic conspiracy theory out there, meant to rile up anger and paranoia in the hearts and minds of every single gun-nut in the country, many of whom harbor racist, nativist, ultra-nationalist, and extreme religious fundamentalist views.  Think about that.  Why are the Koch Brothers, and organizations like ALEC be funding stand-your-ground (license to kill) laws?  Or conceal-carry (everywhere) laws?  And now those gun-nuts are being organized into paramilitary groups, with the worst example being in Arizona, under the crazed Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The country is currently stressed.  There is great discontent about the transparent government cover up of financial crimes by Wall Street.  Millions of people remain unemployed, underemployed, and in a state of economic insecurity.  We now have a two-tiered judicial system; one increasingly onerous, punishing and draconian for average citizens, and one for the rich and powerful, where prison time is not a possibility.

The current OCD frantic, and increasingly vitriolic debates about the gridlock in Washington is adding to the generalized apprehension among the public.

All this is being funded, paid for, and has been carefully planned by these billionaires and the propaganda groups they've set up:

Peterson has thus far committed about $500 million of his fortune to the campaign on deficits, paying for a mighty Wurlitzer of propaganda,

He has funded ersatz national "town meetings," sprinkled think tanks right, center and left with grants, sponsored national conferences and events. He's seeded what the National Journal calls "a loose network of deficit hawk organizations that seem independent but that all spout the Peterson-sanction messages" on deficits -- including the Concord Coalition, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, America Speaks, and Comeback America.

He launched his own news service -- the Fiscal Times -- feeding articles to increasingly cash-strapped newspapers. He purchased both ad campaigns and the tendentious IOUSA documentary that received national screening. He sponsored bipartisan commissions to develop debt reduction plans, including partnering with and helping to staff and promote the President's "bipartisan commission," known for the co-chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

Do you guys see what's going on here?  They want to bring down the government!  Also, please stop focusing on whether what Republicans are doing is popular or not.  That's not the issue.  This is scorched earth mentality.  They will go to any extent to bring down the government; to create havoc, chaos, confusion; to instigate apprehension, fear, anger.  That's the game-plan--fully planned and paid for by the billionaires and their groups.

Finally, and getting back to my wife, I keep telling her, "How is it possible that all these great minds within the progressive movement appear to be mainly focusing on 'putting out fires,' drifting their attention from one dastardly act committed by the right wing loonies, to the next, or just focusing on electoral politics?"

I tell here, "Gosh, how hard would it be for MoveOn, and Daily Kos, and Bold Progressives, and CREDO, and ColorOfChange, and the SEIU, and the ACLU, and EFF, and Occupy Wall Street, to reach out to each other, form strategic groups, and deploy counter-propaganda campaigns nationwide, relentlessly, very focused, very strategic, very poignant?"

The Left is not engaged (at all) in the propaganda war (it seems to me).  There seems to be a collective lack of understanding of how important this is.  It seems to me that engaging in a counter-propaganda campaign should be the number one priority of the entire progressive movement, everything else being secondary.

Don't believe me?  See how they (the billionaires) do it.  It all starts with propaganda, misinformation, and false narratives... Lot's of which the Left keeps repeating, or falling for.

I'm so frustrated about this that I came up with my own idea to do a people-funded "Social Justice National Ad Campaign."  But really, I'm not too concerned about whether people back my own project or not.  I just want to see somebody do it; somebody with more resources, more contacts, more reach.

Right now, I'm not seeing it.  There should be TV ads across the entire country; full-page ads; gatherings, teach-ins, seminars, rallies, protests.  People should be doing research about corruption, and exposing that information to the public.  Flyers, posters, mailings, across the country, constantly, non-stop, relentless; letting people know how they are being lied to.  Educating them about the manufactured crises paid for with billionaires' monies.

Anyways, why am I bothering with this stuff.  This is above my pay grade.  Can some of the big honchos of these progressive organizations take a look at these ideas?

-------------------------------------------------
Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 02:45 PM PST.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Cassandra Gene (6+ / 0-)
    The conversation sometimes "deteriorates" into "So somehow you think you are able to clearly see these dangers, and know what needs to be done, but all these other well-connected people with think tanks, and funding, backers, huge networks, don't?"
    The way you know if it's the real thing or not is whether the predictor is following an ideology or "ism."

    If you are standing out there naked without a posse or a political movement to fall back on -- and keep seeing the same outcome over and over again... well, you have the Cassandra Gene.

    Here's the problem with that:

    There exists a propensity to tie it to a larger conspiracy. That way, there is "something" to push against and you don't go crazy feeling totally adrift. That is almost always a mistake. And, it's always wrong, even if the outcome will resolve exactly as you see it.

    I can assure you that there is no conspiracy. There are only true believers, politicians, and monied people riding larger waves and trends.

    What you are actually seeing is rapid fall of a superpower. There are impartial observers watching the same thing you are seeing, sans the conspiracy. It's a real thing. Empires fall all the time (especially after they attack Afghanistan ;). You can have a good time and make money, even. Or, you can have a nervous breakdown believing there is something you can do to hold back the tide of change. Or, you can tune out politics and live your life peacefully from one day to the next.

    Cassandra-like foreknowledge is a terrible challenge.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:33:12 PM PST

    •  Oh, and your wife is wrong about one thing. (5+ / 0-)

      Think tanks are well aware of what is going on. In a statement one of them released today:

      A phrase by Antonio Gramsci splendidly describes the long, dangerous transition period that we are currently living through: “The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters”.


      The terrible US dollar crisis will oblige the world to transform the whole of world governance structures, beginning of course with the international monetary system to calm the storm which is about to strike currencies.

      One of the powerful factors which will accelerate the United States’ loss of influence in the world relates to oil. In fact we are witnessing the last days of the petrodollar, the key element of US domination.

      After a so-called “surprising” and largely ignored drop in US GDP in the 4th quarter of 2012, who could still think that GDP growth in the first quarter of 2013 will be positive? The fall is all the more inevitable as a few days of economic activity were lost in the North-East because of Nemo (the blizzard) and a severe flu epidemic this year. These will be the excuses offered when it’s necessary to justify a fall in GDP in an economy officially supposed to be picking up. Nevertheless, the announcement at the end of April of a US relapse into recession (two consecutive quarters of a fall in GDP) will make its impression on the world economy.

      Whatever this period’s management policy, we are seeing the end of the domination of the US Dollar in the settlement of the world trade, This new shock will accelerate the loss of US influence world wide.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:55:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Claiming that the stuff going on is the result of (5+ / 0-)

        a conspiracy in the typical of the word will be naive.  I never say that the situation is that simple.

        In human relations there are certain dynamics that are always there.  For example, there are some people who tend to be predatory; have sociopathic traits.  Hopefully you will agree that that's the case, as there have been many studies about that.

        Laws and regulations dealing with monopolies, cartels, and collusion are basically enacted to protect the citizenry against predatory practices, against corruption and abuse and exploitation.

        Think about slavery; think about the type of character and psyche of the slave-owners.

        There are certain types of people that have no compunctions about doing whatever it takes to gain wealth and power, and once they have it, they will do whatever it takes to gain more, and to keep it, regardless of the consequences for society.

        When this type of people reach a certain level of power, they tend to become predatory.

        In that social circle, these folks have common interests, and world views, so they act in favor of those interests.  And so we get to a situation that a confluence of interests have very similar effects of a conspiracy.

        Think of how many different Wall Street banks, with different boards of directors and bosses engaged in almost the exact behavior--looting and pillaging.

        Again, it wasn't a conspiracy in the true sense of the word, but the effect was the same, because of a confluence of interests, opportunity, and because of the effect of moral hazard.  Having corrupted the entire government, there was no fear of serving jail time for their crimes.

  •  Consider the organization and effort of OFA (5+ / 0-)

    for winning the election. That was just about winning an election. Defeating Romney.

    You would think the Class War and the Climate War would be more threatening to people than Mitt Romney. You would think that they know that putting Obama in the White House, while preferable to installing Romney, will not solve those problems in any substantive way. You would think that they would organize, as you suggest, to take on these problems in a more definitive, effective way. But then you'd be wrong, because they don't and they won't.

    It's a miracle. And I mean that in a bad 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 Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:41:00 PM PST

  •  I stopped talking politics (7+ / 0-)

    other than elections with Mr. WH a long time ago.  He hasn't noticed.  I hear you 100% Ray.  I think that there's just a stubborness about humans.  It's like they prefer to clean up a disaster rather than even admit it's possible to avert one.  I try to make small differences where I can see to make them.  It keeps me from feeling useless in the big picture.  Earth is just a wet mud ball with stuff growing on it.  Some of the stuff is us.  ;-)      

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

    by NancyWH on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:38:54 PM PST

    •  Same here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freerad, NancyWH

      He keeps telling me that there is nothing I can do to change things, that it is all too big to change.  So...

      I try to make small differences where I can see to make them.  It keeps me from feeling useless in the big picture.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:28:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You two need to talk (3+ / 0-)

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

    by Mentatmark on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:26:14 PM PST

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