Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Short Rebuttal of Hobbes

Freedom, Democracy and the Delusions of Power

For all his faults and the faults of the endeavour he was involved with, Jefferson was right on the essential point, in terms of political theory, which is the rebuttal that lays waste to Hobbes, the fantasy which still imprisons our minds and world, and that is: "If you can't trust men to govern themselves, how can you trust them to govern others?"

The core premise that I am addressing, the premise that you can't trust human beings, is the root of the Hobbsian fallacy. There are strong reasons to disagree with this premise, and I do, but let’s accept it for the moment for the sake of argument. Assuming, for the moment, that you can't trust people, who then, do you propose to govern people? The argument put forth by Hobbes, and accepted by so many scholars, politicians and business men, though it is clearly ridiculous, is this. You say you don't trust people, therefore you give some people enormous power. This should strike us as patently absurd, if not simply delusional. If you do not trust people with a little power, the power over their own lives, then why would you entrust them with overwhelming great power? Is not Lord Acton more sensible here? “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think there is a great deal of confusion surrounding the issues of power in society, and the implications - as we have seen in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, China, Russia, Cambodia, and across the "Third World" in so many brutal, soulless, self-serving dictatorships - are extreme.

It seems to me that if you are afraid of people, if you take it as a basic assumption that you cannot trust people, then you have basically two choices - assuming there is no place to go to get away from people, or that you choose not to do so.

One choice, is the path of Hobbes: seek, cozy up to, or align yourself with some great power, in order to feel safe(r). But as we saw with Stalin, to name just one example, cozying up to power is no guarantee of protection, and as we see in all dictatorships or tyrannical regimes, of either right or left, seeking the protection of such powers leaves one in great danger from the very same powers. And seeking power oneself, when it is not a cozying up as a courtesan underling, or a mousy tugging at the coat tail for protection from above; when it is a grasping at the highest level of power, ie: becoming top dog oneself, this too is fraught with the greatest of danger, both from external and internal threats. The latter course leads generally to a life of paranoia, as it is always a reality that such power is impossible to guarantee, and even powerful emperors and empires fall to dust, invariably.

Therefore, the three variations on the first strategy - seek, serve/cozy up to, or align with a great power, is totally unreliable, and cannot ensure safety - far from it. In fact, this strategy opens the doors to even greater dangers.

The alternative to looking to power - your own or someone else's - to protect oneself, which is the essence of the Hobbesian hypnosis, or delusion, is to disarm - both oneself and others. This is what Jefferson aimed to do, I would say. And this is the basic premise of classical liberal democracy. (Jefferson was simply more coherent and consistent with regard to such views than many others at the time or since – though he too had his contradictions.)

To make an analogy: if you are afraid of people, you can get a gun - better yet, become a mob boss, a big gun - or you can lick the boots of the mob boss who has the guns, hoping he'll protect you, and won't get angry for some unforeseen reason one day and feed you to his dog. This is basically the power-seeking/power cozying-up/protect me mister powerful man set of patterns. Become a mob boss, or lick the boots, or whatever else is required, of the mob boss, and hope this strategy keeps you safe. It doesn't. And moreover, it should be repulsive to anyone to do either.

The alternative to becoming a mob boss, or licking the boots of the mob boss, is to eliminate the mob bosses - to disarm the threat. This is the basic gist of constitutional democracy, when intelligently applied, and particularly to that more robust form of constitutional democracy which is Jeffersonian democracy. Do not seek to gather power or align with centers of power, but rather, seek to distribute power and empower all, so that none have such excessive power that it could easily be abused.

To make another analogy, in a world where you perceive danger everywhere, as Hobbes did, you can start an arms race, hoping that great power will protect you, or you can work toward mutual disarmament. The former path is the one we have been on for some millennia now, and it has been a path of disaster. At this time, our weapons have grown so powerful that to continue down this path is a virtual guarantee of self-annihilation. The path of mutual disarmament is now the only viable path for human survival. This applies not only to the obvious aspects of disarmament, such as the universal elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, but to the more essential point of dissolving excessive concentrations of power in society, distributing power more broadly, and empowering all in equality, so that none have the means to terrorize or oppress others. Jefferson thus was far more sensible, more rational, and simply more sane than Hobbes.

Ultimately, the kind of elitist thinking which Plato and Hobbes represent, forms the basis of both feudal and fascist orders. Liberal democracy is antithetical to such notions, and libertarianism - left libertarianism, to be clear – is the most consistent application of this line of thinking which rejects elitist and authoritarian social structures. This is where Jefferson, for example, intersects with Chomsky. Jefferson understood the need to keep power decentralized politically in order to prevent its abuse, and understood equally well the need to place firm checks and limits on the powers of corporations, and what he called “the new monied aristocracy.” Jefferson, were he alive today, would be aligned with the libertarian left.

Chomsky put it remarkably succinctly when he said, ultimately, “you’re either an aristocrat or a democrat.” In other words, you either believe in rule by an elite, or you believe in rule by the people. The monarchies and aristocracies of feudal times were forms of elitist rule. The Caesars and Pharaohs and Babylonian kings represented forms of elitist rule. The theocracies of the Ayatollah Khomeini or the Taliban were forms of elitist rule. The reign of local thugs and war lords in parts of Africa is a form of elitist rule. The regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini and Hitler were forms of elitist rule. And the emerging de facto world government, as the leading business journal, the Financial Times calls it, seated in Davos, Switzerland, is of course another form of elitist rule. All of these are antithetical to democracy, antithetical to freedom, antithetical to human rights, and antithetical to human dignity. They are a crude form of barbarism, masking itself, as always, as the salvation of the world. And there is now a powerful and dominant faction of the world’s business elite who want to create a most thorough form of elitist and authoritarian rule. We should shudder, and of course, defeat all such adolescent and dangerous dreams of self-deification. It would be very unwise to think that such infantile grandiosity, delusions of grandeur, or fantasies of total power have gone away, are a thing of the past, or can be dismissed as minor concerns. There are always a few who dream of complete domination, and will go to the greatest of lengths to attain their goal.

Plato became disillusioned with democracy after the council of Athens sentenced his teacher, Socrates, to death. Famously, he advocated a society ruled by philosopher kings. It sounds good in principle, but in reality it has almost without exception turned into a nightmare. Elite rule has almost universally brought oppression, tyranny, irrationality, stupidity and destruction upon humanity – over and over again throughout five thousand years of recorded history. Shall we try again? Have we not repeated this pattern enough? At present, the global business elite is planning the same routine, once more, and working fiercely and consciously to create Plato’s dream. They have decided that they are the wise kings, and want a global rule, with them in full control. Sounds like a recipe for total disaster to me, as I’m sure it does to most people. Yet here we go again. If we do not oppose the current trend, that is, if we do not reclaim our power, we will have a global feudal fascist order, and soon.

It is time we dispensed with our Hobbesian delusions, and decentralized power. Authentic democracy, freedom, human rights, and even human survival, now requires mutual empowerment and the dissolution of excessive concentrations of power in society. This would mean greater power for individuals, families, communities, states and provinces, joined together in federations of shared power and mutual aid and protection; and diminished power for national governments and large corporations. It would require firstly, however, a dismantling or opting out of investor rights agreements which transfer real power to unaccountable and undemocratic transnational centers of power, namely the global business elite. NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA, the WTO, IMF, World Bank and SPP all concentrate real power in society in the hands of a few international business elites, as does the current global monetary system. All of these therefore are anti-democratic and incompatible with a future of social justice, democracy or freedom.

In order to decentralize power and reduce the possibilities for power to be abused or become oppressive – as Jefferson advised and even urged - the power of the nation state and national democracies must first be strengthened however, for it is the power of the nation state and national democracies which are one of the powers potentially available to people to fend off and reverse the growing concentration of power in the hands of a global investment elite. To save democracy, the global business elite must first be put in check, their powers limited and rolled back to a level where they can no longer dominate national governments, communities and the lives of virtually all of humanity. Once this is accomplished, and it will be, then we can look to decentralizing power further, in order to take democracy and freedom to new levels of maturation and fullness. I think I’m safe in saying that three of the thinkers I respect most, Chomsky, Jefferson and Thoreau, would all agree on this. First reduce the power of the global business elite, and return power to national democracies. Then we can talk about a future of sanity, sustainability, justice and peace. Until then, we are on the road to serfdom and slavery, if not self-destruction. It is time to take the power back.

Thomas Paine was right. The central issues of power in society are not so very complicated. Ultimately, it is largely a matter of common sense. The primary obstacles are fear, disempowerment and illusion. The answers therefore are clear. They are courage, empowerment and a basic clarity of mind. These three elements are all within our reach.

The future is in our hands.

J. Todd Ring,

February 13, 2008

Essential reading:

The Chalice and the Blade – Rianne Eisler

The Ecology of Freedom – Murray Bookchin

Mutual Aid – Petr Kropotkin

Escape from Freedom – Eric Fromm

The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de la Boitie

On Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau

The Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paulo Friere

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber

Powers and Prospects – Noam Chomsky

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Chomsky

Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

Trilateralism – Holy Sklar

The Collapse of Globalism – John Ralston Saul

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

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A few quotes, by way of introduction

A few quotes, to introduce myself, and to give some glimpse into who I am, what I value, and what has inspired me:

Compiled for a publisher, and reprinted here as an introduction to this blog and this writer, and also as a sort of short-hand preface to my (first) book, which should be released shortly.

My apologies for the chaotic mix of fonts - Blogger must be one of the worst digital publishing platforms available, but I have put too much effort into this site to easily switch, and have neither the technical savvy nor the patience to labor over its bugs. Sooner or later I do transfer all articles from this site to the far superior format at Wordpress, so you can check there for a more esthetically soothing format if you like. (I would transfer the entire site to Wordpress in an instant if I knew how to transfer the enormous body of links and resources that have been compiled on the Blogger site. For now, there are two sites - one that works well, and one with an excellent resource directory. Maybe someone more technically literate can help me figure out how to bridge the two.)

Wordpress: Writings of J. Todd Ring

I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. – Thomas Jefferson

For reasons I do not fully understand, fiction dances out of me. Non-fiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning. – Arundhati Roy

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. - Henry David Thoreau

The theme of much of what I write, fiction as well as non-fiction, is the relationship between power and powerlessness and the endless, circular conflict they're engaged in….I believe that the accumulation of vast unfettered power by a State or a country, a corporation or an institution -- or even an individual, a spouse, friend or sibling -- regardless of ideology, results in excesses such as the ones I will recount here.

Arundhati Roy

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. – Thoreau

If necessary, let us forgo one bridge across the river, go `round a little there, and throw at least one span across the greater gulf of ignorance that surrounds us. – Henry David Thoreau

In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame even, we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change or accident. – Thoreau

I took my stand in the midst of humanity, and I wept for them, for they came into the world blind, and they seek to leave the world blind. - Jesus, The Gospel of Thomas

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. - The Buddha

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

A single step on the path of enlightenment is greater than being the ruler of the universe. - The Buddha

When I reflect upon the ruts in a road, I am forced to think, how much deeper the ruts of the mind. - Thoreau

It is never too late to give up your prejudices. - Thoreau

Life is rounded by a little sleep. - Shakespeare

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. – Thoreau

A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. – Thoreau

(TV is perhaps the most ugly, pathetic and vacuous example, next to heroine. - JTR)

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. - Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. But it is uncharacteristic of wisdom to do desperate things. – Thoreau

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? - Thoreau

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. - Thoreau

It's not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we busy about?

- Thoreau

I do not wish, when I come to the end of this life, to find I had not lived. – Thoreau

They are busy, as an old book says, laying up treasures that moths and rust will corrode, and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find out at the end of it, if not sooner. - Thoreau

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. – Thoreau

Silence is the communing of a conscious soul with itself. If the soul attend for a moment to its own infinity, then and there is silence. She is audible to all men, at all times, in all places, and if we will we may always hearken to her admonitions. – Thoreau

We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten. - Thoreau

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything it is very likely to my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? – Thoreau

I became convinced that non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. - Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience"

"The truth must be told.

A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order, and say of war, this way of settling differences is not just...cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.

A nation that continues year after year, to spend more money on military defense (sic) than on social uplift, is approaching spiritual death.

It is a sad fact...the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world, have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries.

Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit, and go out into a sometimes hostile world, declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism.

I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism. We are presently moving down a dead end road.

All men are brothers. All men are created equal. Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Every man has rights that are neither derived by nor conferred from the state. They are God-given.

I have not lost faith. I'm not in despair. I haven't lost faith because...

You shall reap what you sow.

With this faith we shall be able to speed up that day, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

With this faith we will be able to speed up the day, when all over the world, we will be able to join hands, and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last.""

- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything.

- George Soros

They must find it difficult…those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority. – Gerald Massey

Where is the knowledge that is lost in information?

Where is the wisdom that is lost in knowledge?

- T.S. Elliot

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than
the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

– Thomas Jefferson

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees
in every object only the tracts which favor that theory.

– Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending
too much liberty than to those attending too small a
degree of it. – Thomas Jefferson
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be
that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a
– Thomas Jefferson

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. - Thomas Jefferson

Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.

- Thomas Jefferson

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American,
it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. - Thomas Jefferson

If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own - that thing is the preservation of their own liberties and institutions.

- Abraham Lincoln

The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1859, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio

A diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. - James Madison 1825

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another. – Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies ... If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] ... will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent [that] their fathers conquered. - Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the re-charter of The Bank Bill, (1809)

I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth. - Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute
so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
– Thomas Jefferson
The purpose of economic competition is to eliminate competition.
                - John Kenneth Galbraith

I hope we shall crush in its infancy the aristocracy of our monied corporations
which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid
defiance to the laws of our country. – Thomas Jefferson
The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an
aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations
and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy,
the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.
Thomas Jefferson

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism: ownership of a government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power. – Pierre Elliot Trudeau

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain
silent. – Thomas Jefferson
Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue,
and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein

Put fear behind and save the country. – Simon Bolivar

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

- Eleanor Roosevelt.

No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. - Thoreau

Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our private opinion--what a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates his fate. - Thoreau

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly. - Thoreau

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.Jefferson

The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.

- Noam Chomsky

The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…

- Winston Churchill, on facing the threat of fascism (the first time)

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. – Martin Luther King Jr.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. - Thoreau

Ultimately, men hit only what they aim for; therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim high. - Thoreau

There is more day yet to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.
– Henry David Thoreau

It aint’ over `till it’s over.

- Yogi Beara

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You

The Missing Scriptures: The Gospel of Thomas

It was from a reference by Joseph Campbell, whom I greatly admire, that I first heard of The Gospel of Thomas. Joseph Campbell's quotation from the lost scripture made me rush out to order the book immediately.

I guess I was fortunate, because it turned out to be Marvin Meyer's translation. It is wonderful.

I can't put words to what this gospel says to me. It rings true in accordance with the writings of sages the world over, East and West, as well as with the generally ignored passage in the New Testament: "The kingdom of heaven is within you."

It is not surprising that Emperor Constantine chose to crucify the Gospel of Thomas - worse, attempted to erase its memory by burning all copies he could find, and killing anyone who spoke of it - along with other scriptures he disliked: it leaves no need for a gatekeeper to heaven - neither emperor, as self-appointed ruler under God, nor church hierarchy - but only a direct communion with truth, through the wisdom of His words. Power seekers do not like to be left out of the loop.

The Gospel of Thomas is a revelation. Were it not for Emperor Constantine's self-anointed appropriation of the position of God's editor in the 4th century CE, we would have a very different, and expanded Bible. The Gospel of Thomas would certainly be one part of that more complete cannon. Only the most rigorously dogmatic can fail to recognize its authenticity.

Alas, such as these are always the ones drawn most to positions of "authority" within hierarchical social institutions, such as academia and the church. Jesus has a blunt retort to such men and women, recorded in the Gospel of Thomas: "The priests are like dogs that lay in the manger, for they do not eat, and they do not let the cattle eat."

"I took my stand in the midst of humanity, and I wept for them, for they came into the world blind, and they seek to leave the world blind." - Jesus, Gospel of Thomas. Who knew the church could be so afraid, even of the words of its root and inspiration? The door is now open, however, for all who "wish to see."

"The kingdom of heaven is spread out upon the earth, and men see it not," Jesus is recorded as saying in the Gospel. If we could begin to realize that, there would be a spiritual and social revolution on earth, and "on earth, as it is in heaven," would not be mere words of piety, but actual visible fact.

Marvin Meyers translation, I later discovered, only through direct comparison to others, is by far the superior in the field, from the translations I have seen.

Do not miss this text. It is one of profound wisdom.


Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You The Gospel of St Thomas: Marvin W. Meyer:

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Thomas Merton: My Favorite Monk

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The Truth About Christianity: What Jesus Really Said

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Earth 101: Essential Reading A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Karen Armstrong: Books The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions: Huston Smith: Books The Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell,Bill Moyers: Books Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth: Joseph Campbell (III),Bill Moyers: Movies & TV Varieties of Religious Experience: William James: Books Mysticism: East and West: Rudolf Otto,Bertha L. Bracey: Books

Powell's Books - The Perennial Philosophy (Perennial Classics) by Aldous Huxley

Powell's Books - The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan W. Watts

No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth (978-1-57062-743-9) - No Boundary

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Let us start with a look at the current US presidential election. The patterns emerging are clear. Fascism is unfolding in America, and the coming elections promise to be utterly irrelevant.

McCain, Clinton, Obama – Good, Solid Republicans All

The far right is screaming that Republican Party US Presidential candidate John McCain is too liberal – remember, this is the man who said he’d keep troops in Iraq for the next hundred years – while warm words are spoken from the corporatist talking heads about both Clinton and Obama. It would seem we have a three-way race between good solid Republican candidates. More aptly, it is corporatist empire mouthpiece and military-industrial complex shill, numbers one, two or three. Door number one, door number two, or door number three? Surprise! All three lead to fascism. Aren’t you lucky.

This would not be the first time the Democratic Party allowed itself to be virtually indistinguishable in substance from the Republicans, sounds bites and PR scripts aside. The supposedly liberal Democrat Bill Clinton was referred to by former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan as “the best Republican candidate we’ve had in a long time.” Greenspan, acting unofficially as the voice of corporate America, went on to say that he agreed with Bill Clinton on about 80% of his policies.

Lefty-liberal Democrat and “human rights” president Jimmy Carter approved the Brzezinski plan of using the CIA to arm, fund and train militant Islamic extremists in the Middle East in order to destabilize the Soviet Union. CIA drug trading was further institutionalized under his watch, allowing billions of dollars in drug money to be funneled into black ops and Wall Street banking houses. Hand picked by the business elite’s own exclusive clubs, both the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg group, this liberal “democrat” stacked the executive branch with other elite club members, making the transition to Reagan and Bush largely a matter of changing the guard out front, while the real powers remained the same.

Under Lyndon Banes Johnson, mass bombing of civilians in South-East Asia continued, and the Great Society pronouncements were revealed to be hollow rhetoric and deceitful cover for brutal imperial crusades. Under LBJ the infamous Gulf of Tonkin lie was made to pass an unwitting populace, and the mass slaughter was escalated under grand and deceitful pretext. An estimated 80,000 Americans and 3 million people of South-East Asia, mainly peasants, were to liquidated for the empire.

We can go back further, but the record is clear enough. What corporate America wants, corporate America gets – at least as far as the Democratic and Republican party machinery goes. Dissenting voices within the parties are silenced, side-lined, or pushed into obscurity. The corporate controlled network media are of course happy to comply. There have always been truly noble, virtuous individuals within the two major parties in the US, and for the most part, they have not held power. The record is not impressive.

But let us return to the present farce of an election.

While McCain is slammed as being too soft, a glowing chorus surrounds the Democratic front-runners. You’d almost expect an angelic choir to be invoked by the mainstream media in support of the supposedly democratic candidates. Even the far right screaming harpie, corporatist toadie Ann Coulter, has said she’d actually support Hillary Clinton over Republican John McCain, “because she’s more conservative than he is.” What does this say about Clinton? Ann Coulter thinks anything to the left of Mussolini is dangerous ground. Now she’s speaking warmly of Hillary Clinton. Obama meanwhile is getting praise from the corporatist right as well. One telling statement was, “We can work with him.”

Remember, both Clinton and Obama voted for the war on Iraq, voted repeatedly to fund the war in Iraq, refused to back efforts to remove troops and end the military occupation of the coutry, voted in favour of the Patriot Act, voted a second time to make fourteen of its provisions permanent, have both said with regards to attacking Iran that, “Everything is on the table” – and now claim to be pro-peace, pro-Constitution, pro-civil liberties, yada, yada, yada……At the very least, their words and promises should be met with great doubt. At the very least, they should inspire absolutely no confidence. The best that can be said of them is that their integrity and commitment to their stated principles is seriously in question.

Most damning of all, aside from actual voting records, which no one seems to care about – a politician’s record of actual conduct, as distinct from their noble sounding proclamations and speech writer’s carefully crafted statements – is the fact that all of the leading candidates, both Democrat and Republican, have chosen as key advisors, individuals with long histories of establishment politics and imperial bloodshed. The advisors chosen by Clinton and Obama – the people who will be the architects of their foreign and domestic policies – are people who are solidly pro-empire, pro-military-industrial complex, and who are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

If, for some bizarre reason, after all that has been said and discussed, you still feel the inclination to support one of the three amigos – McCain, Obama or Clinton – then at least get them to openly and publicly endorse the American Freedom Campaign or the American Freedom Agenda – the liberal and conservative coalitions which are working to preserve freedom and the Constitution in the US from the growing real homeland security threat, which is fascism. Get them to sign the legislation which has been drafted by these groups – and already signed by Congressman Ron Paul – which will re-affirm America’s commitment to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties and freedom. And get them furthermore, to sign an affidavit stating that they will, if elected to office, immediately act without delay to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, along with the executive signing orders passed by Bush which far exceed the limits of Constitutional powers of the executive branch. Good luck in that, by the way.

Maybe it’s time to switch off the network news, for those who haven’t already. When Obama and Clinton can pass themselves off as peace-loving, pro-freedom, pro-democracy, civil rights cherishing, Constitution-hugging progressives, while their record of voting as well as their choice of key advisors shows they are in fact the opposite of this, then we are reminded again of the power of the media to turn arsenic into strawberry jello, and have a large percentage of the people ready and eager to eat it up.

The death of the two party system in America

The Republican party is in full melt-down. It’s popular base is leaving in droves. People on the left and right in the US are disgusted with the Republicans. In the fall of 2006, the people of the US put the Democratic Party in power in Congress with very considerable popular support, in order to reverse the trends of escalating imperial warfare abroad, and the demolition of democracy and constitutional rights and freedoms at home, which the Republicans had taken to new levels. People who should have known better fell under the spell of false promises, as hopes ran high for a new Democratically controlled Congress. Eighteen months later, people are now almost as disgusted with the Democrats as with the Republicans – and this deep disillusionment toward the Democratic Party includes many of its most dedicated activists.

Since the fall of 2006, the Democratic Party has steadfastly stalled, blocked, hedged and equivocated on any action that would actually do something to address these issues of war and democracy, and war on democracy. Worse, the majority of Democrats in Congress have gone merrily along with the continued attack on democracy and civil liberties, most recently passing the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which criminalizes the freedom of speech, eliminating the basic rights of freedom of speech, association and assembly, while refusing to impeach Bush or Cheney, refusing to stop funding the war in Iraq, refusing to bring the troops home from Iraq, refusing to draw a firm line in opposition to any attack on Iran, refusing to renounce or even criticize the dangerous, illegal, immoral and criminal policy of pre-emptive war, refusing to cut military spending….in short, siding with empire and Corporatocracy over the people and democracy. Need we say more about the current state of the Democratic Party? It is no surprise that they too are in disgrace and in a deep crisis of legitimacy with the people of the United States.

While US presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was still in the race, he said he was trying to save the Democratic Party from destroying itself. It seems the Party is quite alright with its chosen path, popular support and credibility be damned.

A sinister take on these trends might be that the party machine, and the political elite within this wing of the corporate allegiance coalition – which spans both factions of the financial feudalism cartel, Republican and Democrat – are seeking only to deceive enough of the people to win just one more election. If the bottom of the barrel of credibility can be scrapped successfully enough, the political process which is now in a profound crisis of legitimacy can be tapped once more, in order to get a pro-corporatist imperial White House team elected – probably Clinton/Obama. With all that has been put in place, the legislative framework for full fascism now established, the thugs ready with the mercenary forces of Blackwater and company, the secret prisons and rendition networks already here, the detention centers ready with more being built, and the story line of the war on terrorism (inc.) presented as the official narrative, all that is needed is a catalyst, a match, an ignition source - a trigger event, as Brzezinski has predicted - and the trap can be sprung on the American people: corporate feudal fascism, with a smiling Orwellian Democratic face. Shock and denial will numb enough people long enough, it must be hoped, for the consolidation of the new order. The rest will be silenced. And a Brave New World will be born.

This, I am afraid, by all indications, is where the Democratic Party is taking America. I am sad to see that candidates of integrity of either party have been sidelined. Kucinich, Paul or Gravel – any one of them would make a president and leader of the country capable and willing to protect and preserve democracy, freedom, civil rights, the rule of constitutional law, and genuine peace. If none of these three win the next election, it will be fascism with a pretty face. Mark my words. I pray I am wrong, but everything points to this unthinkable conclusion. Consider the following, if you have any doubts.

Fascist legislation in place

The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act and Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act have put in place the legislative framework for fascist rule. Habeas corpus has been eliminated, along with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. 800 years of the growth and development of constitutional law and civil rights has been overturned. Executive signing orders give the president the ability to re-write laws passed by Congress or to ignore them, as the president sees fit, giving the president rule by decree. The signing orders along with the above legislation effectively annul freedom, democracy and human rights in America. These fascist laws allow anyone, US citizens or others, to be picked up off the street, or arrested in their homes or workplaces, taken to an undisclosed detention center or interrogation center, held without trial, without recourse to a lawyer, without a phone call or any notification of family members, indefinitely, and allow for them to be tortured or summarily executed, as the president or anyone he chooses to represent him deems necessary. The framework is in place, and needs only to be engaged. Just turn the key. A trigger event is all that is needed, and the fascist legislation is engaged in full.

The criminalization of dissent

The most revealing element in this whole development towards fascism, is the clear intent of the process: the criminalization of dissent. HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, makes this unmistakable. The act states openly that “violent radicalization” or “terrorism” will be defined under this law as any use of force or violence for the purpose of advancing political goals. It further states that the use of “logical argument” or “compelling” force of reason are defined as terrorism. Force under this act, even if non-violent, such as the political force of a popular movement or organization, peaceful protest or dissent, is defined as terrorism. A letter to the editor, blog post or newpaper article that criticizes the government with logically compelling force of argument – that is now defined as terrorism. Note also that violence is already illegal under US law, and so no new law is needed to deal with violence. This means that HR 1955 is solely about the criminalization of freedom of expression and the repression of dissent. This is the hallmark of fascist states. Racism, sexism, nationalism and xenophobia are often present as well, along with strange cultish ideology, but the defining marks of fascism are the demolition of democracy, freedom and civil rights, the institutionalization of unchecked totalitarian power, the reign of the few over the many by unlimited force, and the criminalization and violent suppression of opposition and dissent. In every fascist state, as Naomi Wolf makes clear, the first to go to the gas chambers or the detention centers are the outspoken journalists, editors, scholars, political opposition, outspoken clergy, trade union and labour activists – in short, all threats to the power elite. Fascism is designed to do one thing above all: concentrate all power in society in the hands of the few. HR 1955 makes clear what these trends are all about. And the Democrats as well as Republicans voted for it: 404-6.

Total Information Awareness, “Homeland Security” and Full Spectrum Dominance

The surveillance state is in place. The Pentagon’s very shadowy and Strangelovian DARPA (Defense and Advanced Research Projects) has announced the Pentagon’s goal. It was revealed as the original name for one of DARPA’s top priority projects: Total Information Awareness. Apparently the public found the name too overtly Orwellian, so it’s been changed, but the program remains, as does its intention. TIA is one element within a matrix of control, advancing the Pentagon’s stated overall objective: “full spectrum dominance.” They simply want to control everything, everywhere, world-wide. TIA integrates 17 US intelligence agencies under one umbrella, with a new intelligence Tzar to oversee this giant hydra-like beast. The new intelligence Tzar: John Negroponte. That name might be familiar. He was appointed for a stint as ambassador to Iraq, after having served in Latin America for many years. Before his post to Iraq, Negroponte was in charge of overseeing Central American death squads. Nice fellow to have as the head of a giant security apparatus. Heinrich Himmler would reasonably be described as a close cousin. With the long-established Project Echelon plugged into this network, gathering data on virtually all electronic communication in most parts of the world, including phone and cell calls, emails, fax, text messages, radio or tv via spy satellites and huge data processing computer centers, and an army of agents in the intel groups of course, surveillance cameras everywhere, and new identification and tracking technologies, the goal is to be able to track every person’s every activity everywhere, and to be able to eliminate all threats to the reigning powers before they arise. Forget about privacy – that is the least of our worries. The abuse of this system of extreme and unchecked power is the danger, and that is very real. The strategy of all such “security” apparatus creations, particularly when the reigning regime is clearly at war with democracy and in love with its power, is to frighten the public into submission, and to eliminate all who can not be intimidated.

A private army of thugs

Mussolini had his black shirts; Hitler liked the idea and created the brown shirts. Stalin was impressed and created his own band of goons. Now America has Blackwater. The head of Blackwater is a close ally and supporter of the Bush administration. Blackwater is a private corporation, a mercenary army, on hire to anyone who will pay, willing to kill, arrest, detain or torture anyone on a list they are given. No questions asked. They are not accountable to the public, as the military ultimately is, and have no code of honour, other than the code of sociopathic ruthless violence, and the loyalty needed among organized crime members toward their own and to their masters. Presently their role in Iraq seems to be destabilization – randomly shooting and killing civilians – in order to justify unending US and British military occupation of that country. “The country’s a mess – we can’t leave now!” Cerberus would welcome these thugs as kin, were it not for the fact that they do not guard the gates of hell, but open them. Blackwater specifically recruits individuals who have experience and comfort with repression, murder and torture of their own people – often former death squad members from Latin America. Blackwater’s goal for 2007 was to recruit an additional 35,000 loyal troops. With the recent wildfires in the US, Blackwater was unleashed on America. Get ready for the goons.

REX 84: Blueprint for martial law

“We are dangerously close to a situation where ~ if the American people took to the streets in righteous indignation or if there were another 9/11 ~ a mechanism for martial law could be quickly implemented and carried out under REX 84.

The Cheney/Bush administration has a plan which would accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens during times of emergency.

The plan is called REX 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984. Through Rex-84 an undisclosed number of concentration camps were set in operation throughout the United States, for internment of dissidents and others potentially harmful to the state.

The Rex 84 Program was originally established on the reasoning that if a "mass exodus" of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA.

Existence of the Rex 84 plan was first revealed during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently reported by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987:

" These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general's signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached."

And there you have it ~ the real purpose of FEMA is to not only protect the government but to be its principal vehicle for martial law.

This is why FEMA could not respond immediately to the Hurricane Katrina disaster ~ humanitarian efforts were no longer part of its job description under the Department of Homeland Security.”

- Allen L Roland, Rex 84: FEMA's Blueprint for Martial Law in America,

Global Research, August 20, 2006

Detention centers ready

As of 2004 there were 800 prison camps in the US, all fully staffed and operational, but sitting empty. They have an average capacity of 20,000 detainees, making a total capacity of 1.8 million. This was before KBR, the subsidiary of Cheney’s Haliburton, announced in a press release in 2006 that they have been granted a $385 million contract to build a network of detention centers in the US. The press release added that the contract is “open ended” in terms of both time frame and scale. The stated intent of the detention centers is the detainment illegal aliens, “and other purposes.” All of the detention centers have railways leading in and out of the complexes. Most are nearby major airports. Now that HR 1955 is being passed into law, we can see who is to fill these detention centers: anyone who challenges, threatens or criticizes the government or its corporate backers.

Operation Endgame

A document issued by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO - an arm of the Department of Homeland Security) titled "Strategic Plan, 2003-2012 Detention and Removal Strategy for a Secure Homeland" describes Operation Endgame as follows:

Endgame is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) multi-year strategic enforcement plan. It stresses the effective and efficient execution of the critical service DRO provides its partners and stakeholders…

Operation Endgame, a plan officially acknowledged and run by the Department of Homeland Security, is stated to be concerned with the detention and deportation of all illegal aliens by 2012. However, in light of the above trends toward a clearly deliberate and highly conscious elimination of dissent and the creation of an all-powerful fascist state, it is highly doubtful that illegal aliens are the sole or even primary target for detention under the Endgame plan. We will see, but all evidence points to Endgame being a plan to eliminate all dissenting voices from the new “Fortress North America” under the “new security environment” – as the business and political elite are referring to it. (See: Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs & the Defense Establishment) Should we believe that all of the above developments are for the protection of US citizens, the fight against actual terrorism, or the arrest of illegal aliens? Given all that we know, this would seem about as plausible as the tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. Unfortunately, believing in the Easter Bunny won’t hurt you, whereas willful ignorance and denial here may have very serious consequences.

Winning the “War on Terror”

A leaked Pentagon memo which was sent to high level military and civilian officials and reported by the Washington Post stated that the “War on Terror” (sic) is to be won by October 2008. Bear in mind that all the evidence shows clearly that the war on terror is a two part operation, neither of which has anything to do with fighting terrorism: 1) the “Global War on Terror” provides the story line, the narrative, that is, the pretext or cover for an unending war of empire around the world, including operations designed to secure control of the world’s energy reserves in the Middle East and elsewhere; 2) the “War on Terror” provides the pretext or cover for a war on democracy at home – the elimination of dissent and the consolidation of power in the hands of the business and political elite.

In the US as in the Western world generally, there has been an uneasy tension between liberal democratic institutions on the one hand, and real concentrations of very high levels of power in the hands of a business and political elite on the other. For a long time, elites have dominated the democratic institutions. Now that there is a crisis of legitimacy within the ostensibly democratic nations, the elite are resorting to their only remaining alternative, if they are to maintain power. They are moving from dominance to full control. In other words, we are now witnessing the drive to transform liberal democracies, which have been dominated by elites for generations, into full fascist oligarchy, in which the threat of democracy has been eliminated. Under this latest development, the agenda is to not simply dominate democracy, but to demolish it.

Given the undeniable nature and intent of the “War on Terror” – which is in truth a war on democracy and a war for empire – what does it mean when the Pentagon tells high level military and political officials that the firm target for winning the war is October 2008? It would seem then that the time-line trajectory has been speeded up. 2012 is apparently not soon enough. The war on democracy is to be decisively won, according to this new information, by the fall of 2008. We must conclude then, that the target is to achieve a stealth coup, and establish full fascist control in elite hands, by this coming fall.

Get ready. Mass resistance will be needed. The spirit of a Martin Luther King or Braveheart must be generated, or better, Jefferson or Thomas Paine.

“Never under-estimate the power of denial”

Lest there is any doubt as to whether such a pattern of events could happen here, let us look to a little known episode of history, from not so long ago. It was 1933, and the returning military hero General Smedley Butler had come home, after what he later would describe as “three decades as a gangster for capitalism.” He was approached by a go-between, who wanted General Butler to lead a fascist coup on Washington, to overthrow FDR, whom many of the business elite hated to his New Deal for Americans. Smedley smelled a rat, and shrewdly showed interest long enough to find out who was behind the plot. What came out in testimony under oath before a US Senate investigation was that a number of the most powerful business men and dynasties in the US, including Rockefeller, Morgan, and the heads of many of the biggest corporations, were the architects of what now is known as the Business Plot. Amazingly, this nefarious and treasonous plot to overthrow democracy in the US and install a fascist regime, has been wiped from history. Yet here we have a clear precedent for what is unfolding now. Had the courageous Smedley Butler not refused to lead the coup on Washington, America would have had a fascist regime in 1933. Today, the elite are more subtle. It is not a full frontal assault which has been launched against democracy, but an end-run, a coup by stealth. The effect, however, will be the same – if we allow it to succeed.

For anyone who still thinks that such a thing could not happen here, or that no one could be so despicable or deluded as to attempt a fascist putsch today, I would suggest a closer look at the past century of history. Do a key word search for some of these: Nazi backers, financiers, IBM, USB, Thyssein, IG Farben, Prescott Bush, CIA, Nazi recruitment, US intervention, Nicaragua, Italy, Gladio, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Chile, Pinoche, Pepsi, Kissinger, trials of, Brzezinski, Afghanistan, blowback, Iran-Contra, drugs, death squads, School of Americas, Business Plot, Palast, Chomsky, John Stockwell, Philip Agee, John Perkins, Naomi Klein, Peter Dale Scott, Mike Ruppert, ….It would be hard, after examining the evidence of history - including recent history - to hold the view that it can’t happen here, unless you’re committed to willful ignorance or denial.

Conclusion: Freedom and democracy, or feudal fascism?

It is revolution or slavery now. Regimes such as the one now arising, do not compromise. They can be dealt with only through decisive defeat. Our fathers and grandfathers defeated fascism sixty years ago. And we will defeat this beast again today.

It is unfortunate, but it is necessary: we must fight fascism once again, and we must undertake a democratic revolution, once again. The price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance. And more: when tyranny arises, it must simply be defeated. We have done it before, and we will do it again.

“I have sworn upon the altar of God,

eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

- Thomas Jefferson

I, for one, embrace this oath with all of my heart, my life, and my powers. Until all peoples live in freedom, in peace, and in justice, there is work to be done. I will not rest until that work is complete. And if I should die before that time, then my life’s work will have been meaningful. For myself, I can see no other way to live. For others, a choice is at hand. For me, there can be no choice.

Patriots, democrats, and all who value and prefer freedom to fascism, take note. This is the time for action. Whatever your political views or allegiances, left or right, liberal, conservative, progressive or otherwise, if you do not want to see the destruction of constitutional rule of law, civil rights or a voice for the people, if you do not want to live under a fascist regime, then you must take action now. Inform yourself, inform others, speak, write, share information, connect with others, get together, build bridges of understanding, common cause and solidarity, build networks and a broad-based popular coalition, united to preserve freedom and to defeat the fascism which is emerging.

People in Canada, Mexico, Britain and Europe, don’t think this will necessarily be contained within the US. Organize now to preserve freedom and democracy, while you can. The war on democracy knows no borders, nor does the ruling class of international business elites who are driving this agenda. Never underestimate the machinations of the power-hungry. History has proven that there will always be those few who hunger for supreme power. Vigilance, solidarity and mutual empowerment are the only remedies to tyranny, now, as always. If you rise to the aid of your brothers and sisters in America today, you will have a greater power to resist and defeat the war on democracy in your own countries tomorrow.

Renounce violence in all forms. A band of rebels with shotguns and rifles is no match for tanks and grenade launchers, or helicopter gun ships with infra-red sniper scopes at 1,000 feet. Martin Luther King Jr. was right: “If I did not reject the use of violence on moral grounds, I would reject it on practical grounds. To be throwing bricks at people with machine guns is not only violent, it is foolish.” Whether it be bricks or even assault rifles, in the arena of force, there is no contest. The battle must therefore be on grounds where popular movements have the greater strength. Read Sun Tzu: you do not attack where the enemy is strong. This should be a matter of common sense.

The power elite rely on the cooperation of masses of people. Remove that cooperation, and the power games collapse, like a house of cards. Remember the fall of the Soviet empire. When the people were sufficiently fed up that they ceased to give power to the reigning order, that order fell to pieces, virtually overnight. It is terrible what came in to replace it, but the point is that all empires and all social orders ultimately rest upon the acquiescence of the many. Power lies with the people. It is only when the people do not embrace their power that the few can dominate the many. Reclaim your power, and encourage others to do the same, and the possibilities are unlimited. Democracy and freedom now require, more than ever, the empowerment of the people. This is the crux of the matter.

Do not seek to grasp power. Do not flee from your power. Instead, embrace your power and seek to empower others, in freedom and equality. This is the basis for a sane and just society. This is the basis for freedom. And this alone is the basis for an authentic democracy, with recognition and protection of the rights and dignity of all.

Read Etienne de la Boittie. His essay On Voluntary Servitude, along with Thoreau’s essay On Civil Disobedience, and Sun Tzu’s Art of War (which is a treatise on peace and harmony and intelligent resolution of conflict) are the strategic manuals we need now.

Brains beat brawn. Heart defeats corruption. Maybe not instantly, but decisively, and inevitably.

Yet, what we do or fail to do at this time will be of enormous significance. The level of violence, suffering and destruction, or the level of peace in the transition to a fuller and more genuine freedom and democracy, depends upon our actions now.

What do the power elite understand? Money. Hit them in the pocket book. Economic warfare. Shut down the means of plunder. Redirect money, resources, human energies and economic flows away from the business elite and their political drones, and into the hands of the people and the communities of the earth.

If the popular movements to preserve and enhance freedom, democracy and human rights are to succeed, it will be through non-violent resistance and civil disobedience, along the lines of King, Gandhi and Thoreau, combined with an intelligent and good-hearted generation of viable, practical, just and sustainable alternatives. Raising a militia will not only likely be useless, not only bring on a protracted, long-term blood bath of civil war and chaos, but would immediately make it simple for the power elite to portray genuine defenders of freedom as terrorists, making the crackdown on dissent all the easier. No, the resistance must be moral, intellectual, spiritual and above all, strategically smart: communication, information, knowledge, truth telling, networking, coalition building, non-cooperation and peaceful civil disobedience, along with the building of concrete alternatives for the mutual benefit of all, will be far more effective than picking up your 22 and heading for the woods.

Unless you want to live under a rock, or in a cave, fascism is something we are simply going to have to face, and confront. And these are the terms of engagement. This is how we will defeat the most recent threat to freedom.

All empires fall. But this one will take some effort to vanquish. Inaction is no longer morally conscionable. Stand now.

Prepare for an onslaught, keep hope alive, and organize for the resistance now. The deer in the headlights syndrome will not be helpful. Denial will not be helpful. A paralysis of fear will not be helpful. Avoidance will not be helpful. Passive hand-wringing will not be helpful. Couch-perched pronouncements of disapproval will not be helpful. We must get out there, get connected, and build the resistance to what clearly is unfolding. Divided we fall. Only united do we stand.

The unthinkable is emerging. The beast is here. Fascism is coming to America.

J. Todd Ring,

February 12, 2008

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Further Resources:

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps | World news | The Guardian

Naomi Wolf: Finally, Action! Ron Paul Introduces Bill to Defend Constitution! - Politics on The Huffington Post

American Freedom Agenda

American Freedom Campaign - The American Freedom Campaign Agenda

“The End of America”: Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Fascism - Democracy Now!

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Rex 84: FEMA's Blueprint for Martial Law in America

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

The Secret Raids of Alberto Gonzales: Operation Falcon

Endgame - Official plan and commentary - ACLU Massachusetts

The Corporation

Rep. Ron Paul: Police State, USA

Election farce:

Break the spell

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners - Democracy Now!

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama & John Edwards Equal No Change

Noam Chomsky - The Political system in the USA

Changes - Presidential Candidates feat. Bowie

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Bombs Away over Iraq

A brief interlude of levity and satire:

Stephen Colbert: Enjoy the Police State

Bush is not a Nazi - So stop saying that!

Extraordinary rendition or free surprise vacation?

Backyard Blitzkrieg

CIA Backed Saddam: Thanks for the Memories

The Neocon Gameshow

How the news works - once again

And more resources:

ZNet |Foreign Policy | We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It

The Folly of Attacking Iran Video

Noam Chomsky on U.S. policy towards Iran

Chomsky: Do the Democrats have a different answer on Iran?

Ron Paul - Gulf of Tonkin

Brzezinski warns of Pearl Harbor type event, a pretext for war on Iran

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance

Noam Chomsky on Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

The Power of Nightmares: BBC Dissects War on Terror - Part 1: Baby it's Cold Outside

"Shock Doctrine" Author Naomi Klein on State-Sanctioned Torture and Disaster Response for the Chosen - Democracy Now!

Keith Olbermann - Jonathan Turley - Habeas Corpus 1789-2006

Olbermann: the beginning of the end of America

Stephen Colbert: Enjoy the Police State

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 1

Definition of “force” – Webster’s Dictionary:

Strength or energy exerted or brought to bear : cause of motion or change : active power; moral or mental strength; capacity to persuade or convince (eg. the force of the argument); an individual or group having the power of effective action (eg. a labor force; join forces to prevent violence); a force in politics; the quality of conveying impressions intensely in writing or speech; in great numbers (eg. picnickers were out in force).

synonyms see power

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 2

HR-1955 turns Patriotic Americans into Terrorists - YouTube

Noam Chomsky - Class War (Part 1)

Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Noam Chomsky on human destiny

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (2/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (3/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (4/5

Big Ideas That Changed The World : Democracy-Tony Benn (5/5

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Money, Banks and Democracy

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

Further background -

The emergence of fascism in the West:

*** Habeas Corpus Your words are lies Sir - YouTube - olbermann 10-18-06

***Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 - 2006)

Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad - Noam Chomsky video

The Return of Total Information Awareness - Bush Asserts Dictatorial "Inherent" Powers

Examples of the president's signing statements - The Boston Globe

***The Secret Government - PBS - Google Video

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. - Video: 1961 Farewell Address

Power of Nightmares - BBC Documentary

Mind Control: America's Secret War - History Channel Documentary

***Commission Finds President George W. Bush and His Administration Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Bush's 9/11 Reichstag Fire

9/11 - the American Reichstag Fire and the Fourth Reich

The Pentagon Declares War on America

The limits of liberty: We're all suspects now

Are YOU the Enemy?

Maher Arar: The Horrors of 'Extraordinary Rendition'

*** Torture Inc. - America's Brutal Prisons - BBC Documentary

* National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate |

* A Constitutional Shredding -- Rounding Up U.S. Citizens |

The End of Habeas Corpus and the Belligerent Despot-in-Chief - Ralph Nader

Ambassador to Death Squads - Who is John Negroponte?

On the Rise of Fascism - "The Great Transformation" Revisited


Harsh law set to live on, unexplained

*CRG - Canada's Anti-Terrorism Laws - Rocco Galati

FSTV video - Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War: Books: Christopher Simpson The CIA's Greatest Hits (The Real Story Series): Books: Mark Zepezauer Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press: Books: Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion: Books: Gary Webb Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency: Books: James Bamford

* Police State America: US Military 'Civil Disturbance' Planning: Books: Tom Burghardt, Tom (ed) Burghardt

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Chomsky, online text

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky, online text Open Society and Its Enemies (Volume 1): Books: Karl Raimund Popper

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