An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
** A chief focal point for the anger is Spain’s government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the center-left Spanish Socialist Workers Party. Like the Labour Party government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Britain, Zapatero spared no expense in bailing out Spain’s financial system when the crisis hit in 2008, but there’s been no help for working-class people…
Some commentators confused the anti-Zapatero attitude of the Puerta del Sol demonstrators as a rejection of the left, but the opposite is true–the protesters are demanding real democracy and an end to neoliberal measures to make workers pay for a crisis the bankers caused. **
The problem isn’t government per se. The problem is the particular government we have. And if it’s a fake friend, then the problem is very big. Dishonorable governments, such as leftwing or centre left or socialist governments that are comprised of capitalists who take their marching orders from corporations and special interests but pretend to be neutral and fair are not corporations, but can be viewed as extensions and tools of corporations. They are a part of the corporatocracy.
Just because a government calls itself socialist, and bloggers and others agree, that doesn’t make it so. Indeed, as I state in my blog bio, people see socialism where it doesn’t exist and they don’t see it where it does exist. When we run to the nanny state to give us everything, whether we work for it or not, that’s socialism but in a negative sense. The socialism is there, but it’s being abused. Socialists don’t call for a system that people can abuse. They do call for a system that works for ‘everyone’ and to which ‘everyone’ contributes in a fair manner (which doesn’t always mean ‘equal’ manner).
Collective society building and problem solving is at the core of socialism, and having society as your backup when you fall as an individual is a feature of socialism. Capitalists (banks, corporations), in that they allow the wider society (and governments using our tax dollars) to support them when they fall, in that way practice socialism. Allowing the people to support them without reciprocity is not what well intentioned people who support socialism have in mind when they work to bring about socialism and neither does socialism include such behavior. That is not the definition of socialism. Banks and other corporations, through the use of offshore tax havens, avoid paying (sometimes altogether) their taxes which the people are therefore forced to pay for them. Capitalists and corporations are protected by laws made by governments that they influence which gives them the freedom to legally rob the people and commit crimes. (Here’s just one tiny snapshot of corporate malfeasance in Canada today: “Letter to Supporters: This is a huge opportunity” Of course, It’s like one snowflake in a snowstorm. There’s so much crap going on.)
Indeed, I have this discussion with people all the time. The propaganda wants us to view whichever government we live under as the enemy. You never want the people to feel ownership in the government which conspires with powerful special interests to exploit them for then they might think to demand and expect their governments to not attack them and even to do outrageous things like protect them, via regulation of corporations for example and via a social safety net to deal with the impersonal, but often harmful, marketplace. And we can’t have that.
Over time, The people have lost their governments. They’ve been busy working too hard for too little, spending, spending, spending in order to show their devotion to the god named capitalism and so they haven’t noticed that their elected representatives (who may call themselves friends of the people, or socialists, as Papandreou does) view them as the enemy and have thrown in their lots with special capitalist interests. The propaganda has become true. The people let governments slip from their grip and corporations stepped in, picked up the abandoned governments and put them to use achieving their evil ends. Evil? What else do you call it when governments pretend to be leftwing, which means with the people, and then allow capitalists to come in and privatize everything in sight ‘after’ causing untold economic hardship to the citizens of the now stolen country?
The middle class person who hasn’t yet been bit on the butt by this monstrous fascist system can continue to enjoy his or her fake freedom and may indeed escape the monster’s hungry gaze altogether. Their freedom is real, if you like. How meaningful is it? Not too meaningful. And no one can be sure that they are safe. If you feel perfectly safe, with that monster out there, then there’s something wrong with you.
Many will discover the hard way, as is their wish, that all is not so paradisaical. One day, God might just decide to abandon you and what will you do? You’ll squawk. You’ll curse and expect that your fierce cursing, your stomping and shouting will be all that it takes to undo whatever injustice you’re suddenly faced with. No one pushes you around. You take care of business. Except that you don’t. You didn’t care. But now you want others to care – about you.
Speaking of guts, I rather enjoyed this Alternet article by Bruce E. Levine: “10 Steps To Defeat The Corporatocracy.” Bruce writes:
“The elite spend their lives stockpiling money and have the financial clout to bribe, divide and conquer the rest of us. The only way to overcome the power of money is with the power of courage and solidarity. When we regain our guts and solidarity, we can then more wisely select from – and implement – time-honored strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have long used to defeat the elite. So, how do we regain our guts and solidarity?…
“Historian Lawrence Goodwyn has studied democratic movements such as Solidarity in Poland, and he has written extensively about the populist movement in the United States that occurred during the end of the 19th century (what he calls “the largest democratic mass movement in American history”). Goodwyn concludes that democratic movements are initiated by people who are neither resigned to the status quo nor intimidated by established powers. For Goodwyn, the cultural and psychological building blocks of democratic movements are individual self-respect and collective self-confidence. Without individual self-respect, we do not believe that we are worthy of power or capable of utilizing power wisely, and we accept as our role being a subject of power. Without collective self-confidence, we do not believe that we can succeed in wresting away power from our rulers.”
That is just the beginning of Bruce Levine’s answer to the question of how to acquire the guts and solidarity we need to combat the corporatocracy. It’s an enjoyable read.
It’s funny, and scary, to see the way some minds out there have become warped by the nonsense one finds on the wide, spacious and dark road to destruction. Check out this post titled “Understanding The System Of Corporatocracy In The USA Of Inc.” A road on which there are no speed limits or rules is wide and spacious. In searching for an interesting pic for this post, I found the top of post pic on a number of websites. I don’t know which is the original and don’t intend to spend any time researching it. This blogger is using an inexact copy of it. I almost used it, until I had a look at the website which on which I found this blogger’s post. He has his own website. The Spearhead has many contributors. Here’s an excerpt from the wack job’s article:
** Whenever there is some kind of economic trouble, you will always find some left wing, socialist Democrat blogger, pundit, journalist, talking head on TV, or a columnist in the print media declare that the problem is “greedy capitalism” and the “lack of regulation” (or “de-regulation”) as the root of the problem.
Since most of the mainstream mass media propaganda corporations are largely composed of left wing socialist Democrat useful idiots, they dutifully espouse this party line at every opportunity. Unpopular TARP bailouts for banks “too big to fail?” **
Noisy, Isn’t he? (Keoni Galt, the male author, appears to be this person: “Hawaiian Libertarian: Who is Keoni Galt?”) Speaking of uses, What possible use is that rant, I wonder? It makes no sense whatsoever. There aren’t many brave souls on the Right out there who try to brand the corporatocracy as being in any way, shape or form socialist.
“Pictures of Madrid’s central plaza known as Puerta del Sol bear an uncanny resemblance to Tahrir Square in Cairo following more than a week of demonstrations and an ongoing encampment in protest of the devastating effects of the economic crisis and the Spanish state’s collaboration with bankers and business interests to impose austerity… A chief focal point for the anger is Spain’s government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of the center-left Spanish Socialist Workers Party. Like the Labour Party government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Britain, Zapatero spared no expense in bailing out Spain’s financial system when the crisis hit in 2008, but there’s been no help for working-class people.” – “Signs Of A Spanish Spring,” by Sam Robson
“If he were to run for the Republican nomination, Obama could point out that in the past few years he has already done far more to thwart American liberalism than any of his rivals in the GOP primary have done in their entire careers. He could boast that when liberal economists called for the temporary nationalization of insolvent megabanks, forcing shareholders to swallow their losses and firing their managers, he stood firm and protected Wall Street.
“In the area of job creation, too, Obama can honestly tell Republican voters that he never supported massive public works job creation programs, like those of the New Deal. To the extent that the Obama administration has had any job creation policies at all, other than an inadequate stimulus and diversionary rhetoric about training today’s children for high-tech jobs in the 2030s or 2040s, it has consisted of payroll tax cuts — a supply-side measure that practitioners of voodoo economics like Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp would have supported…
“Eisenhower wound down the Korean War that he inherited from Harry Truman. Obama expanded the Afghan War that he inherited from George W. Bush. In Afghanistan Obama pursued the “surge,” a strategy backed by neoconservatives that will have led to the unnecessary death and crippling of even more Americans before the inevitable U.S. withdrawal.
“Eisenhower refused to take part in the British, French and Israeli attack on Egypt, during the Suez crisis in 1956. Obama, in contrast, agreed that the U.S. would provide most of the muscle in the Franco-British-American attack on Gadhafi’s regime in Libya.
“In committing the U.S. to a third ongoing war in a Muslim country, President Obama lied to the public and trashed the Constitution.” – from “Why The GOP Should Nominate Barack Obama In 2012,” by Michael Lind
“A society is democratic to the extent that its citizens play a meaningful role in managing public affairs. If their thought is controlled, or their options are narrowly restricted, then evidently they are not playing a meaningful role: only the controllers, and those they serve, are doing so. The rest is a sham, formal motions without meaning…
“We may also take note of the broad – if tacit – understanding that the capitalist model has limited application; business leaders have long recognized that it is not for them… In the United States, sectors of the economy that remain competitive are those that feed from the public trough: high-tech industry and capital-intensive agriculture, along with pharmaceuticals and others. Departures are still more radical in most of the other state capitalist systems, where planning is coordinated by state institutions and financial-industrial conglomerates, sometimes with democratic processes and sometimes not. The glories of Free Enterprise provide a useful weapon against government policies that might benefit the general population, and of course, capitalism will do just fine for the former colonies and the [defunct] Soviet empire. For those who are to “fulfill their functions” in service to the masters of the new world order, the model is highly recommended; it facilitates their exploitation. But the rich and powerful at home have long appreciated the need to protect themselves from the destructive forces of free-market capitalism, which may provide suitable themes for rousing oratory, but only so long as the public handout and the regulatory protectionist apparatus are secure, and state power is on call whenever needed.” -pgs 6 & 144 of “Deterring Democracy”