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THE UNFULFILLED PROMISE
Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Wed Jul 04th 2012, 09:55 AM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback. Chapter 2, “”, deals with some of the initial evidence for a stolen election. ...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Jul 01st 2012, 09:51 PM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback In my last post, “”, I discussed the initial evidence that pointed to large scale ...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Fri Jun 29th 2012, 06:15 PM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback. I have previously posted a draft Chapter 1 of the book, concerning the stealing of...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Wed Jun 27th 2012, 09:46 PM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We intend to have it published prior to the November election, and hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback. My dealt with El...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Tue Jun 26th 2012, 07:19 AM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We intend to have it published prior to the November election, and hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback. My dealt wi...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Jun 23rd 2012, 10:55 AM
I'm currently working with a publisher, Biting Duck Press, to publish a book (title as yet undetermined) on the corruption in our election system. We intend to have it published prior to the November election, and hope that it will help to make Americans more vigilant and concerned about the way our elections are run. I’ve drafted most of the book. I am currently intending to post large portions of it on DU, in the hope of stimulating discussion and obtaining useful feedback. I’ll start with...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Tue Jun 19th 2012, 05:43 PM
In 2008 I worked as a volunteer in Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign, I donated to it, and I wrote articles in his support, , in which I compared him favorably to his Republican opponent. After four years of disappointment, it will be much more difficult to demonstrate much support for him in the coming election. I would like here to discuss both sides of the question of whether or not to vote for him. I think that both sides of the question are important to consider – not only for libera...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 06:54 PM
Notwithstanding the lofty sentiments and purpose of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the reality of the United States of America did not then – and never has – lived up to its ideal. Our nation remains today a long way from fulfilling the promise implied by those ideals. Yet, our Declaration was a great start, and it has long shone as a beacon of hope for people all over the world. Throughout our history, while many Americans have striven to close the gap between our highest ideals and th...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Dec 04th 2011, 09:01 PM
Capital treats politicians and whole political parties like puppets. Capital creates and perpetuates a system where Labor is unemployed, where Labor is in debt up to its eyeballs, where Labor cannot see a doctor when ill, where Labor is pitted agains
While the title of this post requires a lot of explanation, the general gist of it strongly suggests the intense discontent of the American people with our current status quo. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, which has widely spread into a more general “Occupy” movement, is basically a protest against the prevailing power structure in the United States, or the world in general. While the Tea Party movement pretends to be something similar to that, it has become widely recognized that i...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Mon Nov 21st 2011, 11:45 PM
Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook, with great urgency. We need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatizations, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back
One might think that reasonable people wouldn’t let ideology influence their interpretation of scientific studies. But the fact is that ideology is the strongest predictor of one’s interpretation of data bearing on the issue of climate change. For example, , whereas in 1998 Republicans and Democrats had similar views on whether global temperatures were rising, by 2008, 76% of Democrats, but only 41% of Republicans believed that “the effects of global warming have already begun: (Image) In t...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Nov 19th 2011, 10:25 PM
Since our system is so thoroughly corrupt, it appears that there is little or no hope of changing it by means of working within that system. What that means is that our only hope is for we, the people, to take matters into our own hands, by trying to
I look at individual policemen as no better and no worse than most other people. Like all professions, people go into this line of worked for a variety of mixed motives. Some are altruistic and brave, and take very seriously their obligation to protect people from all walks of life – not just the upper 1%. At the other extreme, some enjoy the power to hurt people, and do so if and when they get a chance to do so with impunity. In between are those who would like to do the right thing, but wh...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Fri Nov 11th 2011, 08:57 PM
Most humans find it extremely difficult to perceive what is unfamiliar to them. When humanity thought that the earth was flat, the idea that it was round was outright laughable, as well as almost impossible to imagine.
Most of the material for this post comes from a free on-line book written by Rick Strassman, a former Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, who has conducted extensive research with DMT on human volunteers. His book, “ – A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences”, begins an in-depth description of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the second chapter: This "spirit" molecule provides our consciousness access to the most a...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 01:01 AM
“… Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master… Money rules… Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The political parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us…” I’ll bet you thought that the above quote is a recent product o...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Oct 29th 2011, 10:03 PM
Our financial elites and their backers in the corporate media try to sell us on the idea that we need their services so badly that we can’t afford to penalize them when they commit crimes against us. If our financial system is so fragile that we have
The U.S. home foreclosure crisis is a social disaster, a moral blight on our nation, and is at the heart of our economic crisis. William Greider, writing in The Nation, begins his article by in one short paragraph: The rebellious citizens occupying Wall Street shock some people and inspire others with their denunciations of bankers, but everyone seems to know what they are talking about: it is the barbaric and suffocating behavior of the nation’s largest banks (yes, the same ones the governme...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Oct 23rd 2011, 08:03 PM
To be a liberal today means to fight for more democracy, to fight against the corruption of politics by money. But it also means fighting against that insidious “war on government” being waged by conservatives. Because that war is really a war agains
As the American oligarchy has progressively taken over our communications media over the past few decades, they denigrated the term “liberal” to the point where few politicians dare to publicly apply it to themselves. Some have turned to the term “progressive”, which but hasn’t yet been thoroughly denigrated by our corporate-owned media. Far worse than that, many others have adopted right wing talking points and ideas, which have done great harm to our country. At the heart of what it mean...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Oct 16th 2011, 05:59 PM
By the 21st Century corporate power has risen beyond the power of government to control it, corrupting our political processes and fusing with the most corrupt of our elected officials to tyrannize the American people. That is what the OWS movement
The most striking aspect of the first official release of the Occupy Wall Street movement is its remarkable resemblance to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, both in its content and in its motivation. Issued more than 236 years following the U.S. Declaration of Independence, is a response to severe repression of ordinary people by the rich and powerful. Let’s consider the parallels to the , which created our nation on July 4, 1776: PARALLELS BETWEEN OCCUPY WALL STREET’S DECLARATION AND T...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Mon Oct 10th 2011, 10:13 PM
No political leader merits uncritical devotion – and there are few things more dangerous than announcing that you so deeply believe in the Core Goodness of a political leader or that we face such extreme political crises that you trust and support wh
As a liberal/progressive American voter, I have been a long-time supporter of Democratic candidates, ever since I worked as a volunteer in George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign at the age of 22. Yet, as a liberal, I believe that if there is anything that liberals can and should agree on, it is that an individual candidate’s predispositions and actions are more important than the Party s/he belongs to when deciding which candidates to support. National political parties change over time...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Tue Sep 27th 2011, 10:09 PM
"The people who control the U.S. government today want “a society run by the powerful, oblivious to the weak, free of any oversight, enjoying a cozy relationship with government, and thriving on crony capitalism." - Bill Moyers
With all the accusations by the American oligarchy and their supporters flying around, of “class warfare” perpetrated against them, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that our country (and most if not all other countries as well) has always been characterized by class warfare – but not in the way that the American oligarchy would have us believe. As Warren Buffet , “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning” There is perhaps no ...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 11:23 PM
President Obama echoes too many Republican talking points, both in his rhetoric and in his policies, in his efforts to “compromise” with the Republican psychopaths in Congress. That’s a terrible shame, because it should be obvious by now that those C
It is widely recognized that unemployment is one of most crucial, if not the most crucial problem facing the American people today. From about 4.5% in early 2008, the began a sharp climb, which peaked at a little over 10% in October 2009 and has remained unacceptably high ever since, never falling below 8.8% during this time. Historic differences in the Republican vs. Democratic approach to unemployment From the time that Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) ran against President Herbert Hoover in the P...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Aug 28th 2011, 08:03 PM
The Republican Party, with the support of the corporate media, has convinced too many Americans that what is good for the wealthy is good for everyone else. Consequently, money that could be used to create jobs, provide life-saving support for the mo
The stereotype of the Republican Party as the Party that protects us against external threats of violence is absolutely essential to the agenda and even the continued existence of the Republican Party. It is essential to their ability to feed the military industrial complex with their fraudulent wars, which they pawn off on the American people by leading them to believe that these wars are conducted for the purpose of keeping them safe. And it is essential to their electoral success because th...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Aug 27th 2011, 06:59 PM
Incarceration for victimless “crimes” and a total incarceration rate of nearly one percent of our population are outrages. Our federal prison system provides a public, not a private service. When corporations are offered the opportunity to profit fro
As with our military, profiteers abound in the prison industry as well. And as with our military, the and associated profiteers and lobbyists who depend upon an abundant prison population have plenty of money to advance their cause. The prison population of the United States from about 300,000 to over 2,000,000 between 1980 and 2000, so that the United States now has by far of any nation in the world – 751 persons in prison per 100,000 population in 2008. Coincident with the burgeoning pris...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Jul 31st 2011, 08:02 PM
As the Democratic Party falls more and more under sway of the same powerful interests that have long controlled the Republican Party, we need to constantly assess to what extent it serves our interests, and the interests of our country, to give them
As Republican fanatics in Congress hold the payment of our national debt hostage to their long-held plans to destroy the New Deal legacy of FDR, it has been pointed out by many that Section 4 of for our President to avoid defaulting on our debt without submitting to blackmail by right wing fanatics in Congress. That section of our 14th Amendment reads in part: The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned. There is a very good reason for tha...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Fri Jul 29th 2011, 09:19 PM
It has become “radical” (i.e. drastic and extreme) in our country to attempt to achieve equality, freedom, and well-being of our common fellow citizens. Such efforts denote “big government”, or “socialism”. People who care about and work for such thi
I recently overheard a conversation among some guys. The one doing all the talking apparently considered himself middle of the road. He bemoaned the fact that our government consists of extremists on both the left and the right. He said that government is too big, that it ought to just step out of the way and let the private sector handle things, and if it did that we’d be just fine. I thought about that conversation. It’s important to understand that those who play the “big government” c...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sat Jul 23rd 2011, 11:58 PM
Thus it is that the manufacturer of a poison that kills 443,000 Americans every year enjoys legal status, while a drug that could be of great benefit to many thousands or millions of Americans remains illegal, and those who use, possess, sell, or pre
The contrast between the legal status of tobacco cigarettes – a known poison with no medicinal value – and the criminalization of marijuana even when used for medicinal purposes in the United States is very instructive as to the corrupting influence of money in U.S. politics. TOBACCO CIGARETTES Health effects of tobacco cigarettes The health destroying effects of tobacco cigarettes are well known and have been extensively studied, with thousands of peer reviewed journals articles testifyin...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Sun Jul 03rd 2011, 11:01 AM
It is insanity to allow financial predators (and criminals) to screw us over time after time, bailing them out of financial difficulty and giving them immunity from prosecution on the theory that we need them to run our economy.
Answer: – A government by the wealthy, for the wealthy. The notion of “Too Big to Fail”, as applied to big banks in recent years, consists of the belief that we as a people can’t allow our biggest banks to fail because it would devastate our economy. That concept is used to justify multi-trillion dollar bailouts of these banks, at taxpayer expense. The fact that it is these same banks that are mainly responsible for ruining our economy is irrelevant to this line of thinking. The idea of...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Thu Jun 16th 2011, 09:10 PM
I rarely judge a politician based on his or her sexual activity. Without knowing the context of the activity and other factors, I feel that judging them is beyond my capability Especially if the politician has an established record of public service
It is a fact of life that peoples’ biological desires and urges pertaining to sex often conflict with societal norms. When a public figure, especially a prominent politician, acts on those urges and gets caught, the jackals in our corporate “news” media are sure to be all over it. That is, they’re sure to be all over it if the politician in question is one who typically acts on behalf of his constituents more than the corporate interests that use their vast wealth to bribe government officials...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Thu Jun 09th 2011, 09:04 PM
When there are no penalties for using wealth to "influence" our government, we shouldn't be surprised to see government act on behalf of those who shower it with money, and everyone else to suffer the consequences.
Notwithstanding the lofty sentiments and purpose of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the reality of the United States of America did not then – and never has – lived up to its ideal. Our nation remains today a long way from fulfilling the promise implied by those ideals. Yet, our Declaration was a great start, and it has long shone as a beacon of hope for people all over the world. Throughout our history, while many have striven to close the gap between our highest ideals and the reali...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Wed May 25th 2011, 10:02 PM
They keep on writing and disseminating this stuff, roiling up hatred, because there are so many millions that eat it up.
Some time ago I got myself onto a mailing list for right-wing hate mongers. In that capacity I receive frequently e-mails from such luminaries as Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich. One can learn a lot about the radical right-wing mind-set and strategies through such correspondence. It often makes me wonder how so many can be so gullible as to fall for their nonsense. Their lies are often so transparent as to require only the most minimal checking to reveal them as lies. Yet they maintain an aud...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Tue May 24th 2011, 02:27 PM
There is a good reason for why public approval of Congress has hovered in mid-20% range for the past few years. Our government is corrupt to its core. In a society where bribery of government officials is routinely practiced and legal it should not b
Wouldn’t you think that a nation governed by democratic principles should be able to elect a national legislature that receives the approval of at least half of its population? Well, not in the United States. When a so-called “democracy” repeatedly fails to elect high government officials whose job performance receives the approval of half the population that voted those officials into office, the citizens of that “democracy” ought to seriously consider the reasons for that failure. CONGRESS...
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Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Fri May 13th 2011, 11:13 PM
The Tea Party is against government efforts to help our most vulnerable Americans obtain health care. They are against public education, government efforts to help reduce unemployment, promote recovery from our economic crisis, and help people stay i
At first glance today’s American Tea Party Movement appears to have little if anything in common with pre-Civil War American slavery or the philosophy of White Supremacy that supported it. The Tea Party does not advocate slavery, and they don’t openly espouse overt racism. Yet I would argue that the ideologies underlying both have so much in common as to be virtually considered two versions of the same thing, operating at different time periods. They are both led by politically powerful and...
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The Unfulfilled Promise
The Unfulfilled Promise of the American Dream: The Widening Gap between the Reality of the United States and its Highest Ideals




Time for change


Notwithstanding the lofty sentiments and purpose of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the reality of the United States of America did not then – and never has – lived up to its ideal. Our nation remains today a long way from fulfilling the promise implied by those ideals. Yet, our Declaration was a great start, and it has long shone as a beacon of hope for people all over the world.

Throughout our history, while many have striven to close the gap between our highest ideals and the reality of our nation, others have focused on the accumulation of private wealth and power, at the expense of everyone else. In recent decades the latter have gained much ground, leading to increasing imperialism abroad and deteriorating democracy at home, characterized by routine (and legal) bribery of our public officials, the fusion of government and private corporate interests (corporatocracy), a corrupt election system largely in the hands of private corporations, a corporate controlled communications media, and the widespread acceptance of Executive Branch secrecy, routinely justified with little if any questioning, by the magic words “national security”. All of this is rapidly turning our country from the democracy proclaimed at our founding into a plutocracy (government by the wealthy and for the wealthy). The result is the most obscene wealth gap our country has ever known, the highest imprisonment rate in the world, rampant militarism, routine flaunting of international law, the least efficient health care system in the developed world, a pending environmental catastrophe that threatens to destroy the life sustaining forces of our planet, and myriad other problems that threaten to destroy our nation and tyrannize our people.

My new book, The Unfulfilled Promise of the American Dream – The Widening Gap between the Reality of the United States and its Highest Ideals, explores the roots and consequences of the demise of our democracy, and why most Americans have been unable to understand this process or even become aware of it. A good understanding of why and how we have deviated so greatly from the ideals of our nation is the first and necessary step towards getting back on the right track and revitalizing our society.

The book is currently being sold in electronic PDF format and can be purchased at http://www.unfulfilledpromise.com/Buy-the-... for $3.99. It will also soon be available in Amazon Kindle format. DU members who cannot afford to buy the book but would like to read it can pm me with your e-mail address, and I will send you a free PDF copy.

I’ve previously posted on DU a slightly earlier version of the introduction to the book, which is also posted at my site. Here is the Table of Contents, followed by a brief description of the three parts of the book:


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Acknowledgements
Prologue – What is Wrong with the United States of America?

Part I – Root Causes of the Impending Demise of American Democracy
Chapter 1 – Legalized Bribery
Chapter 2 – Human Psychological Factors
Chapter 3 – Corporatocracy
Chapter 4 – Corporate Control of Media
Chapter 5 – Corrupt Election System
Chapter 6 – Government Secrecy
Chapter 7 – American Exceptionalism

Part II – A Sampling of Imperialist Actions
Chapter 8 – Slavery and its Legacy
Chapter 9 – Early U.S. Imperialism
Chapter 10 – U.S. Imperialism in Cold War
Chapter 11 – Iraq War and Occupation
Chapter 12 – Afghanistan War

Part III – Consequences
Chapter 13 – Election of George W. Bush
Chapter 14 – War and Imperialism
Chapter 15 – Class Warfare
Chapter 16 – Predator Financial Class
Chapter 17 – Shock Therapy
Chapter 18 – Contempt for Int. Law
Chapter 19 – The “War on Drugs”
Chapter 20 – Climate Change
Chapter 21 – “War on Terror”
Chapter 22 – Health Care
Chapter 23 – Unaccountable government
Chapter 24 – Response to 9/11 Attacks
Epilogue


PART I – Root Causes of the Impending Demise of American Democracy

It is somewhat difficult to separate the causes of our problems from their consequences, since they combine to form a long chain of cause leading to consequence, leading to more consequences, etcetera. Nevertheless, it seems worth while to identify the root causes of our problems, those that occur early in the chain and lead to so many of the tragic consequences we see today. The only chance we have of reversing the demise of our democracy is through addressing and attacking its root causes.

At the top of the list is the systematic bribery of public officials by the powerful corporations (Chapter 1) whom our government is charged with regulating in the public interest. Instead of calling it bribery, we call it “campaign contributions”, but what we call it isn’t as important as what it is. It is hard to fathom how democracy can survive when such a practice is legal and condoned.

Working in tandem with our system of legalized bribery is the nature of the people who inhabit our country. That is not to say that Americans are inherently substantially different than any other people. Human beings are imperfect, and that is probably a major reason why in a world where civilization began more than five millennia ago, the oldest written national framework of government in the world today – the Constitution of the United States of America – is only a little more than two and a quarter centuries old. Chapter 2 explores the roles of basic human needs, authoritarianism, psychological defense mechanisms used to prevent us from perceiving reality as it is rather than as we’d like it to be, and corrupted ideologies in causing us to passively accept the accumulation of power in the hands of ambitious and ruthless individuals who care about little else than expanding their own wealth and power.

When bribery of public officials is tolerated as an inevitable aspect of public life, government inevitably grows close to the wealthy interests that shower it with money in return for legislative and other favors. A malevolent symbiosis grows between the state and corporate power, resulting in rule by an oligarchy that is highly detrimental to the lives of ordinary people (Chapter 3). Using their accumulated wealth and power to manipulate our legislative process, the oligarchy grabs for more and more control of the communications media (Chapter 4) that are used to control the information available to and shape the attitudes of our nation’s people, in pursuit of their own narrow interests.

Since the 1980s an orchestrated campaign has been underway to demonize “big government”, thereby paving the way for private corporate control over more and more functions that were previously deemed intrinsic functions of government. Among those functions is the running of public elections (Chapter 5) – the function that symbolizes democracy perhaps more than any other single function. Consequently, the purging of selected registered voters from our computerized voter rolls has become a routine recurring event throughout much of our country, and without a doubt determined the results of the 2000 – and probably 2004 as well – presidential election. Just as bad, more and more of the counting of votes in our public elections have been turned over to private corporations, which count our votes using electronic machines using secret software to produce vote counts that cannot be verified by anyone.

Bribery, the fusion of government and private interest, fake and biased news, and corrupt elections are not things that government and its corporate allies want us to know about. Consequently, they construct walls of secrecy (Chapter 6) to keep us from obtaining information that sheds light on their activities. The perfect phrase for facilitating this is “national security”. When our government tells us that the “national security” requires that certain things be kept secret from us, the understanding is that to question such a pronouncement is unpatriotic, and to actually attempt to obtain the “secret” information may be treasonous.

But indefinitely maintaining secrets from the American people can be very difficult, because at least some people want to know what their government is up to. So in addition to the formal mechanisms of secrecy, informal mechanisms are constructed (Chapter 7) to keep vital information away from us. One of the primary methods for doing this is to make certain sensitive subjects taboo – that is, to create the widespread belief that discussion of these topics is so outside the bounds of acceptable human discourse that anyone who discusses them should be shunned by society, or worse. The most common issue that falls into this category is any discussion that sheds light on the disparity between American ideals and the reality of life in our country today.


PART II – A Sampling of Imperialist Actions in U.S. History

Notwithstanding the fact that our founding document says that “all men are created equal” and speaks of the inalienable rights of humankind, the United States has throughout its history partaken of massive exploitation of other peoples.

It is estimated that at the time of our birth, 18% of our population was black slaves. In our expansion westwards during the late 18th and 19th centuries, we decimated the original inhabitants of our continent, and often treated them with great cruelty. In 1846 we manufactured an excuse for war with our neighbor Mexico, in which we continued to expand our country westwards and southwards. In 1893 we began our overseas imperialism with the conquest of Hawaii. Our overseas expansion was greatly accelerated in 1898 with our participation in the Spanish-American War, which led to our conquest of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. With our arrival at world superpower status at the end of World War II, we began the Cold War, which led to and served as a rationalization for covert and/or direct military actions against myriad foreign nations over the next 46 years. With the September 11, 2001 attacks on our country, we declared a perpetual “War on Terror”, which served and continues to serve as an excuse to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, nations that posed no threat to us. We do not know when or if this perpetual war will ever end. We don’t know how many additional imperial conquests it will lead to.

Most Americans don’t think much about all this. Many of these actions are done in secrecy, and the American people don’t find out about them until many years later – or we never find out about them at all. Those that we do know about are spun into the most favorable light, to make them seem benign or even noble.

But these actions come at great costs: in the lives of our soldiers; in the ruined lives of the peoples of the victim countries; in trillions of dollars cost to our people and their future generations; in our international reputation; in anti-American hatred leading to terrorism; and, to our democracy itself. For how can a nation claim to believe in the inalienable rights of humankind specified in its founding document, while making a mockery of that belief in the way it treats other peoples? For that reason alone it is worth while to take a brief look at our long history of imperialist actions.


PART III – Consequences

In the Prologue I give a brief account of what I see as some of the worst and tragic consequences of the root causes that I discuss in Part I – to enable the reader to see where this book is heading. When elections of our public officials are for sale to the highest bidder… when our public officials are so addicted to the “campaign contributions” of their wealthiest constituents that they develop a symbiotic relationship with them… when our communications media are owned and controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy elites… when our citizenry lack the ability to differentiate propaganda from reality… when we allow machines provided by private corporations to count our votes using secret electronic software… then we should expect that the consequences will not be pretty or comfortable for the vast majority of our citizens.

In Part III, I explore those consequences in much greater detail, in the hope that the reader will agree with me that these are very serious problems, and that they must be successfully addressed if our country is ever to fulfill the promise of its ideals, or even make progress in that direction. When enough Americans recognize our problems as problems, stripped of the gloss and spin put on them by our oligarchy, they will rise up and do something about them. Until then there will be no progress, and we are very likely to head in the direction of all the former empires of our planet, ending in chaos, widespread catastrophe, suffering, and ignominy.

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