Angling To Advance The People’s Narrative
*This has been altered from the original. Some passages have been clarified. And I’ve added quite a bit of new material, including references to and excerpts of reports about twisted law-making. This essay, which I have put up in the cloud, was linked to in a previous blog post I did titled “Mexico’s 99% is in a terrible position.”
The predators in this world, who are those who have self-modified themselves (as they are free to do) into believers in inequality and violence are those who embrace this world’s dark paradigm, or operating principle, of ‘riches for the strongest’. Neoliberal / neoconservatives are the best example of what that means. Neoliberalism, simply, is a social economic system with inequality at its core. Its rules are for a few and against the many. Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that has inequality at its core. You really can’t have neoliberalism without neoconservatism. The idea of neoconservatism is that rulers must take an approach, as explained by its founders (notably Leo Strauss) that involves deceit and manipulation, including helping people to cling to their chosen religion which can then be used to manipulate them. Aggression, which people must be deceived into supporting, must be marketed as something that will make a nation strong. It’s so important, the neocons’ view is, that if there’s no foreign enemy then one must be created.
Apparently, Leo’s ideas were a reaction to the barbarity of nazism, but it’s not easy to understand how one can call support for violence and deceit the proper response to violence and deceit. But it does occur to me that those wanting to profit from war would find a philosophy that gives that some sort of justification appealing, especially if the packaging is nice. The foreigner Leo Strauss, we can believe if we wish to, has special insights due to his experiences. Important people think so and maybe that’s because even ‘more’ important people (seem to) think so. (The first targets for indoctrination by the 1%, as Noam Chomsky points out, are society’s cultural managers, namely journalists [but especially editors], educators and certain professionals. Those who work in the entertainment industry – tv and the big screen – are a very important target. I’m not an expert on Leo Strauss, but I have read Shadia Drury’s book, titled “Leo Strauss and the American Right.” The cultural managers reside in a strange middle place where inhabitants have to both ‘believe’ the illusions they are fed by their superiors, meant for delivery to the masses, while having enough understanding of the real world that they can function reasonably well as tools of elites, which Gary Null, below, demonstrates.) And there’s a whiff of the exotic about Strauss owing to his (reported) desire to not be known. Was that desire for anonymity real? If it was, Was the the allure of Strauss’s anonymity seen as a positive to those who might want to use Strauss and his ideas?
Does a nation – not just the ‘defense’ contractors and so forth – need aggression? The people, of course, can be encouraged to believe that. Many won’t, but it seems that it’s not necessary that everyone believes that fairy tale for things to move ‘forward’. The motives of the people who are compelled to accept their leaders’ embrace of aggression will be national (‘all’ the nation) self-defense and national security. (As Randloph Bourne explains, When the war-making State is actually at hot war, the ruined people stop all that they are doing and become amateur agents – what I call self-appointed gatekeepers – of the government and will treat anyone, neighbor, father, brother, foreigner, teacher, minister, artist or celebrity as the enemy if that one doesn’t similarly get fully behind the State. It’s terrifying. For a fact, it doesn’t take hot war for self-appointed gatekeepers to exist. All that is required for one to be a self-appointed gatekeeper is for people to be aware of who has power and to make a conscious choice to support them and make trouble (serious and not serious) for those who don’t support those who the gatekeeper sides with. The powerful exercise power when war is on and when war is off. I guess that you could say that the gatekeeping of self-appointed gatekeepers is more energetic and State-focussed when the State goes to war. See my blog post titled “Gatekeepers.”) As for the motives of the king class, namely the 1% and its tools (including the military/intelligence industrial complex, which you could also call the military/intelligence/security industrial complex if you want to push it), those are profits and glory, all of which depends on both exploiting the people and then dealing with (counterrevolution) the people’s reaction to being exploited. And maybe some of those bright bulbs believe, fully, that they must be aggressive in order to be strong. Who knows? The American planners who devised Gladio, the ‘stay behind’ program that saw US soldiers and assassins stay behind in European countries post World War II in order to deal with a nefarious Soviet Union that might think to take advantage of allies who were weak from warring against Hitler were projecting onto the Soviet Union their own sick thinking. The Soviets lost upwards of 27 million citizens in that war and weren’t in any shape to rampage even if they wanted to. (I also wonder about ‘leftists’ who rail against neoliberalism but are okay with a money system. It seems to me that if you truly desire to see a world at peace, you wouldn’t want any kind of money system.)
The predators are those who have found that they can get ahead of, and on top of, others (who are sane enough to want ‘actual’ law and order) by strategically breaking written ‘and’ unwritten rules. By following that method of survival and advancement, predators come to find themselves in positions of dominance in society. And from positions of dominance, they can then dictate and thereby guarantee economic and other outcomes. They can guarantee the survival of themselves and theirs. A good example is the security/prison industry, which acquires political power with which it can then bypass the democratic system (or what’s left of it) that includes democratic political representation, so as to essentially make its own laws that will lead to more profits for its businesses, as Aviva Chomsky notes in “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal.” She quotes from a report by Paul Ashton, who’s with the Justice Policy Institute: “[w]hile private prison companies may try to present themselves as just meeting existing ‘demand’ for prison beds and responding to current ‘market’ conditions, in fact they have worked hard over the past decade to create markets for their product. As revenues of private prison companies have grown over the past decade, the companies have had more resources with which to build political power, and they have used this political power to promote policies that lead to higher rates of incarceration.” Aviva also quotes Laura Sullivan, who said that Michael Hough, a staffer with ALEC who was asked “if private companies usually get to write model bills for the legislators,” responded that “‘Yeah, that’s the way it’s set up. It’s a public-private partnership. We believe both sides, business and lawmakers should be at the same table, together.'” (See “Prison Economics Helped Drive Immigration Law” by Laura Sullivan)
Bottom line: The existence of laws, for some, is necessary but not a reflection of a desire for a united, prosperous world in which inequality is a challenge to be overcome. The rich and powerful don’t believe in law & order on principle. The existence of laws, from the standpoint of predators – namely those who huddle with others to work out a system that, ostensibly, works for all – is primarily so that the predators (who don’t announce themselves as predators), who are very involved in the lawmaking, can use those laws to prey on the people. Some of the law-making by powerful predators is twisted and some of it isn’t. It seems to make no difference to the abused people. The abused people can be abused, with impunity, by the powerful who break good laws and they can be abused by the powerful who obey twisted laws. Powerful predators not only carefully and strategically break the (otherwise good) laws on the books, they also break many other rules (Christian principles, unwritten agreements, basic universal moral precepts) in the course of upholding law and order. The laws on the books often allow the law-breaking predators to break unwritten rules (basic morality) that following the letter of the written law can lead to. In such cases the predators will use the written laws as plausible denial. Think of the way insurance companies operate. (I am sure, though, that while predators will be predators, they still require, and desire, a degree of law & order.)
As for twisted laws, there’s too many of those. Consider:
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
A report, released Wednesday by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion into the Canadian government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, provides fresh, damning evidence of the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government’s efforts to shield the Quebec-based multinational construction and engineering firm from criminal prosecution.
Although this was not Dion’s intention, his report paints a picture of the corrupt and criminal character of bourgeois politics in Canada and around the world, with politicians, including self-styled “progressives” like Trudeau, functioning as bought-and-paid-for servants of the corporate elite.
Dion found that Trudeau had violated Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act by using the power of his office to unduly influence—in reality, compel through bullying and threats—Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould into granting SNC a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). The DPA would have allowed the company to pay a fine and make a good-conduct pledge instead of facing criminal prosecution for allegedly paying $50 million in bribes to Libyan government officials between 2001 and 2011 to secure contracts.
DPAs have only existed in Canada since the Liberals changed the Criminal Code in 2018 in a move so obviously related to the SNC-Lavalin case that it was referred to by Ottawa insiders as the “SNC-Lavalin bill.”
“The evidence,” wrote Dion, “showed there were many ways in which Mr. Trudeau, either directly or through the actions of those under his direction,” sought to “improperly influence” the attorney general, thereby violating the “constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence and the rule of law.”
The bolding in the above quote is mine.
“Bush pushes through scores of reactionary “midnight regulations”” by Debra Watson (WSWS)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
As President George Bush’s term comes to an end, federal agencies are in the process of enacting last-minute pro-business regulations. The “midnight regulations,” as they are called, will have drastically adverse effects on the working class and large sections of the US population…
A partial review of the rules being finalized by various regulatory agencies show that they will:
• Allow coal companies to dump tons of rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys.
• Exempt factory farms and their huge animal waste runoff from federal air pollution laws.
• Undermine the Endangered Species Act by eliminating a long-standing provision requiring independent scientific reviews before construction or drilling is allowed in an endangered species’ habitat.
• Make it more difficult for workers to use family and medical leave.
• Ease air pollution emissions standards on refineries.
• Allow doctors, hospitals and clinics to deny medical services to patients based only on a medical worker’s religious prejudices.
• Make it easier for logging and mining companies to get permits in protected areas.
• Allow agencies to ignore the effect of greenhouse gas emission in their assessment of new projects.
• Permit streamlined lease sales of wilderness lands.
The spate of last-minute regulations amounts to a massive handout to corporate special interests…
In any event, president-elect Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have, for the most part, not made a major issue of the new rules. The foresight and planning expended in the push for rule changes indicate the calculation by the White House, undoubtedly well founded, that the Democrats will not wage a serious fight to undo them.
“Monsanto Protection Act Signed By Obama, GMO Bill Written By Monsanto Itself Signed Into Law” by James Ayre (Planetsave)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The Monsanto Protection Act, essentially both written by and benefitting Monsanto Corporation, has been signed into law by United States President Barack Obama. The infamous Monsanto Corporation will benefit greatly and directly from the bill, as it essentially gives companies that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds immunity to the federal courts, among other things. The bill states that even if future research shows that GMOs or GE seeds cause significant health problems, cancer, etc, anything, that the federal courts no longer have any power to stop their spread, use, or sales.
“Big Pharma’s agenda: Assault on informed consent” by James F. Tracey (The Bulletin)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
An impartial journalistic approach to the question of vaccination and personal choiceVaccine-snake-head would provide equal and unprejudiced airing of “both sides,” in addition to the varied grey areas in the debate, from the corporate and statist entities flying the banner of mandatory vaccination to cautious segments of the citizenry voicing reservations toward such technology alongside the foremost prerogative of personal choice.
A LexisNexis search of US newspaper and wire service articles from December 28, 2015 – the official start date of the California measles outbreak – to February 8, 2015  using the search terms “measles” and “vaccination” yields 799 press releases or wire stories and 746 newspaper articles and opinion pieces. Much of this coverage predictably emphasizes the array of vaccine-friendly assumptions and pronouncements from entities abetting the pharmaceutical industry’s long-term profit-specific objectives.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is, alongside the Food and Drug Administration, the most powerful bureaucratic arm utilized by the global pharmaceutical cartel to elicit compliance with the federal vaccine schedule for children from the medical profession and broader population. Of the article sample referenced above, close to one-third (517) reference the “Centers for Disease Control” or “CDC” in their text, suggesting citation of the agency and its policies to persuasively instruct readers on vaccine efficacy and safety.
In contrast, the same body of over 1,500 press releases, news stories and editorials reference “informed consent” only three times—and when the term is used it is done so either in passing or to disparage the practice itself.
But the most perverted and revealing twisted law-making comes from the law-making done by the American Legislative Exchange Council. This is proof, actually, that the American State is fascist. Is it sub-fascist (resisted by a majority of Americans) or fascist, period (supported by a majority of Americans)? And we have similar organizations here in Canada and, no doubt, every Western State is set up similarly. Donald Gutstein’s “Harperism – How Stephen Harper And His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada,” goes into quite a bit of detail about our own ALEC-type network of rightwing think tanks.
I will not give you a fancy definition of fascism, because such a thing doesn’t interest me. I could put one together, but I don’t think that it would be of much use to regular people. I’m a non specialist, uneducated (formally) wage slave. I have no use for fancy definitions of the word “fascist.” As well, I have my blog with which I try to teach others what I have learned about the world we all live in, and using a fancy definition of the word “fascism” could play no positive role in that. I therefore use my own definition which accords with what is known about historical fascism. Fascism simply means a situation where the political and capitalist classes together run things. (Benito Mussolini, with whom the word “fascism” is most strongly associated, said that the system that he favors and presides over should be called “corporatism.” Indeed, Corporations rule, and, as Chris Hedges and others have pointed out, governments today are merely fronts for corporations. Police State governments are essentially the 1%’s police force. That is, The entire government is a police force. There is virtually no political representation in police State governments for regular people, as indicated by the research findings of Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page. I use the term ‘Corporatocracy’, made popular by John Perkins, to describe the global network of police States dominated by the United States.) The people are cut out, but they are not told that they are cut out. They are given sham elections and told that their elections and freedom to vote in them are proof that they have democracy. People are, however, so dumb now that you can tell them that corporations rule and that they need propaganda (that tells them that they have democracy) and they just blink uncomprehendingly. (See “The CFR LOVES Domestic Propaganda! – #PropagandaWatch” by James Corbett) Some know better, but simply choose to go along with the evil. If you have a majority of citizens going along with their fascist government’s policy-making, then that’s called (according to Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman) fascism, period. A sub-fascist State imposes itself on an unwilling population. Maybe they need another term in order to describe a fascist State whose citizens are just too dumb to even notice that they have fascism and too dumb to have a basic understanding of what fascism means.
“The Global Money Matrix: The Forces behind America’s Economic Destruction” by Gary Null (Global Research)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
We are witnessing unprecedented low points in American economic history as 50 million Americans—17 million of them children—are living below the poverty line[i],[ii] while 47 million citizens rely on food stamps[iii]. All told, the 2008 economic collapse cost over $20 trillion globally[iv]. Millions of people lost their homes and jobs, while many of our nation’s children fell deeper into hunger. According to some figures, 53 million people entered the poverty ranks.[v] In the US and other developed nations, suicide rates skyrocketed due to financial stress and disruption of families. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has listed unemployment at 7.5% — a rate that is irreconcilable with reality. The more reliable figure, calculated by economist John Williams from Shadow Government Statistics, places unemployment at 22%. If we are to believe the analyses of Tyler Cowen at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, we might be looking at an unemployment rate as high as 41%, since 33% of Americans are not working and no longer have the desire to find jobs.[vi] This group is categorically removed from the government’s labor radar and is absent from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fudged data.
The Global Money Matrix
In the midst of this economic turmoil there is one group that still manages to flourish: the global elite. With more than $32 trillion stashed in offshore banks around the world, the wealth of the so-called “1%” is staggeringly obscene and grows by the day. Their aggregate wealth, larger than the US GDP and national debt combined, is a testament to the tremendous influence and lobbying power held by a coterie of private interests that dominate nearly every sector of society…
Given the corporatist influence that infects our halls of power, it is little wonder that our tax dollars continue to fund unconstitutional spying, perpetual war, and neoliberal policies that extend the powers of the world’s richest individuals and organizations. As Americans struggle financially, our social safety nets are increasingly losing priority to military and security expenditures that are historically unmatched anywhere in the world. Increasingly, the actions taken by the world’s most powerful corporations and governments seem to be at odds with public perception and wellbeing. Here are a few examples of how this combined influence has increased at the expense of the average American:
ALEC – This conservative group, funded by donors like the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobil and fueled by politicians including Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, writes model legislation calling to “privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws, and more.” They do so with the stated aim to “form formal internal Task Forces to develop policy covering virtually every responsibility of state government.” ALEC’s website claims, “Each year, close to 1,000 bills, based at least in part on ALEC Model Legislation, are introduced in the states. Of these, an average of 20% become law.”
It is unrealistic to frame the problem of control and socio-economic manipulation as a war between the 1 and the 99. The 1 percent cannot achieve its goals without support from armies of technocrats and workforces willing to sacrifice moral values to secure careers in corporations and political parties, regardless of the inhumane ruthlessness behind their undemocratic agendas…
Without the possibility of groupthink and this additional 15 percent passively serving the most powerful 1 percent’s destructive acts, life in the US would be far more democratic, just, and free today. Unfortunately, our society currently necessitates profit for both legitimacy and survival. This unprecedented economic and political atmosphere is giving birth to a new face of fascism.
The Dominant Culture
When considering the human element in our societal structure, the question arises as to how human beings can act with such blatant disregard for damage incurred. There are varying figures assessing the percent of psychopathology among high level financial and corporate executives. In the general population, approximately 1% can be clinically diagnosed with sociopathic and psychopathic disorders. However, for the wealthy and power elite, estimates are higher.
Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hare estimates that 4 percent of corporate executives are clinically sociopathic. Sherree DeCovny, a former high-powered investment banker now with CFA Financial Magazine, believes it is as high as 10 percent. Figures from psychological surveys in the UK place estimates even higher. Psychologist Clive Boddy has argued that the psychopathological behavior of financial executives was a major cause for the 2007 economic collapse. He also notes that individuals with the strongest psychopathic tendencies are those who tend to be promoted fastest.
Research supports this claim. In a survey of 500 senior executives in the US and UK, 26 percent observed firsthand wrongdoing in the workplace and 24 percent believed that it was necessary for professionals in the financial sector to engage in unethical and even illegal conduct in order to be successful. Sixteen percent said they would commit insider trading if they were certain they could get away with it, and 30 percent said that the pressures of compensation plans were an incentive to break the law.
See the original of the above quote for the references. The author quotes a number of sources, including John Nichols of The Nation. I do not endorse Nichols or The Nation. In fact, I have no use for most of the sources quoted. But none of that takes away from the message presented in Null’s article. Can you get more fascist than ALEC? Un-elected, politician-funding CEOs hobnob with legislators to decide on laws to be imposed on everyone!
There are the elementary precepts of the Christian Bible, for example laid out in that book and laid out in the ‘book’ of our conscience. And yet, obfuscation is too easy when unwritten rules (that don’t come to be on governments’ books) having to do with fairness and compassion are broken and when mores can be said to be not what critics would like them to be. “You say it’s unfair, but we don’t agree,” might be something that some lawyer for Monsanto (now absorbed into a worried Bayer) would say. And with the intensification of nazism, or fascism, globally, we are seeing more far right leaders rightly pointing to the anti-immigrant sentiments of their citizens for justification of their own positions, which citizenry was, over years, ruined mentally and spiritually by evil, influential people. Which isn’t to say that an individual doesn’t possess the freedom to reject or choose darkness. Mores are morals and moral attitudes specific to groups and susceptible to change over time. It’s just too easy, precisely because the rest of us (but never enough of us) are civilized, for predators to exploit and evade accountability. What are we going to do? Shall we murder the murderers or deceive the deceivers or exploit the exploiters? (from the online Dictionary: “mores”)
Even researchers like Aviva, in showing in scrupulous detail what the immigration laws are and how they are being used to criminalize and exploit the vulnerable, including many who have no desire to be lawbreakers and criminals but are forced to do things that the State says make them criminals, leave out of their discussions, mostly, the many unwritten rules that astute people can easily see are being broken by the predators. In a way. What’s mostly left out here is on a certain ‘level’ and not easy to weave into a detailed, technical report dealing with on-the-book laws and so forth. But in another way, the reportage of good investigative researchers like Aviva Chomsky allows us to see clearly the whole picture, including the explicitly laid out on-the-books rules, their origins, their victims and those who profit from them ‘and’ the many ways all kinds of other rules are broken by the predators as they seek out their prey.
Without further adieu, here are Aviva’s words about the exploitative, evil, security/prison industrial complex in the United States from pages 101, 102, 106, 107 & 108 of her book “Undocumented – How Immigration Became Illegal”:
…Employers of low-wage labor benefit from the illegal status of some workers, as do consumers of low-cost goods and services. State and local budgets face costs that result from the economic marginalization of the undocumented, while federal programs like Social Security benefit handsomely from payments into the system by undocumented workers who will never be eligible for benefits.
Illegality also has significant benefits for the prison system, in particular, the new and mushrooming private prison system. Immigration enforcement creates jobs in the prison industry…
…Politicians and talk-show hosts have zeroed in on the issue to whip up audiences and support. Anti-immigrant sentiment and, especially, the demonization of the undocumented can bring votes and attention.
What Leo Chavez calls the “Latino threat narrative” overlaps with anti-undocumented sentiment, as “Mexican immigration, the Mexican-origin population, and Latin American immigration in general [came] to be perceived as a national security threat” in the 1990s…
In addition to attracting votes or increasing ratings, the Latino threat narrative serves the more subtle purpose of channeling national anxieties about social inequality; environmental crisis; economic downturn; lack of access to jobs, housing, health care, and education; deteriorating social services; and other real issues facing the US population away from their real causes. Those who benefit from the status quo would rather have people blame immigrants than fight for real social and economic change…
In early 2010, James Chaporro, director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO), wrote an internal memo – later obtained by the Washington Post – noting that while the number of removals of criminals so far that year had been satisfactory, the agency’s numbers in removing “non-criminal aliens” were too low…
Chaporro insisted that field agents increase the average daily population in ICE detention facilities to 32,600 and “[i]ncrease the number of Tier One Non-Criminal Fugitive alien arrests along with Tier Two arrests (Re-Entry/Reinstatement) in every field office.” He recommended that each office process thirty to sixty noncriminal cases per day in a “surge” aimed at meeting deportation quotas. Basically, the memo instructed ICE officers to increase the detention and deportation of noncriminals and of “criminals” whose only offense was reentry into the country, in the interest of meeting the annual deportation goal…
In addition to ICE itself, there are powerful interests supporting the detention industry, ranging from private prison companies to elected officials who see prisons as a boost to local economies. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (precursor to today’s ICE) started to contract out its detainees to private prisons in the early 1980s when the detention system started to exceed its capacity of beds. By 1989, the agency was holding about two thousand people a day, with five hundred in private facilities. Over the past three decades, immigration violations served as a reliably increasing source of revenue for private prisons.