So much of it goes to consumerism over true individuality. Let’s take the Sturgis Rally for instance. Within the participants they distinguish one another as to who owns the Harley and who owns the Indian, etc. With in the Harley owners it is who owns the yellow versus who owns the purple. And then down to the accessories. When compared to the greater American population who do not own motorcycles, they are already self-selected. It is not about who prefers Hemingway to Fitzgerald, etc. Making matters worse, it is about what is it that one wants and moreover why do they want it? Do they need it? Or was a seed planted via Propaganda [Edward Bernays (1928)] to create the desire? That seed planting power is the essence of much of corporate power in America, mediated by advertising. Defeat the desire-inducing effects of the ever present advertising and the resilience one finds reduces consumerism orders of magnitude, but only in that one. In a nation a sheep, well ewe get the picture.
“They sell us the President the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us everything from youth to religion at the same time they sell us our wars”
- Jackson Brown
The “giving away” is really a result of NOT opposing …
… the TAKING AWAY … of control by the Powerful-by-Money-and-Influence.
As a people w,e have not sufficiently accepted our role in governing, by insisting through laws and structures that our Collective Will is defined and defended.
We let these all-important factors get away from us.
In THAT sense, indeed, we have, indeed, “given it away.”
Today, it even seems silly to think that those who TOOK Control from us without legal authority … should be “punished” — for they never are.
THEY have so set it up, that THEY determine who is PUNISHED and WHAT is punishable. This is, of course, their consolidation of Power, and if this ever is to be changed, must be among the very first of the changes.
The current Power Structure has effectively SET the parameters of meaning and language that pervade and define the society. Our so-called Original Documents be damned, our values and procedures have been warped beyond intent and recognition. They must be reassessed, re-calculated, rewritten, and reincorporated to redefine the nation’s goals.
Big Task … but it must be publicly recognized … and begun.
In order to give something away one needs to have a real choice - one cannot give away something they do not really have.
Is Trump vs Biden a real choice?
Trump vs Clinton?
Obama vs Romney?
Obama vs Mccain?
Bush vs Kerry?
Bush vs Gore?
Clinton vs Dole?
" why, when we own the vast federal public land, one-third of America—and the vast public airwaves, do we give control of these resources to corporations every day of the year to profit from at our expense? We give the television and radio stations, that block our voices, free control and use of the airwaves, 24/7. We receive very little in royalties from the energy, mining, timber, and grazing companies extracting huge wealth from our federal lands. "
" The corporate “Borg” (are) sucking the ready availability of the good life, decent, secure livelihoods assured by our collective self-reliance, and the freedom to shape our future out of our political economy. "
We have accepted the disolution and theft of The Commons" - the Commog Good subverted to serve common greed!
" the commons—owned by all of us" has been stolen with revolving-door complicity from our elected representatives!
Answer: TV was the best brainwashing medium until the internet outdid it.
These are very good observations by Mr.Nader. One can see why the Democrats silenced him and prevented him from becoming their presidential candidate.
And then the Democrats blamed him for Gore losing in Florida after the Democrats refused to demand a recount there.
Through the Alaska Permanent Fund, every Alaskan gets about $2000 a year from the royalties’ oil companies pay for taking the people’s oil from that state.
Not every Alaskan…Ralph! I am an Alaskan resident, who being vehemently against fossil fuels and what they are doing to the catastrophic, death of the worlds climate, does not collect the PFD.
All the above choices were selected choices for POTUS. People may argue that Biden is the LOTE but the Biden/Harris ticket ( like I posted a year ago) was also selected. That is why any not selected choice like Bernie Sanders or Dr. Jill Stein never have a chance.
“Why Do Americans Give Away So Much Control to Corporations?”
Corporations are owned and run by wealthy individuals who wield enormous amounts of “Freedom” (aka “power”, aka “money”) over others. All true working class Americans at the receiving end of that “Freedom” dream of being a corporate captain so they can wield their “Freedom” over others some day too - so they are not about to ruin the game by changing the rules.
The heart of US culture is hyper-extremist ideological capitalism.
Caitlin Johnstone made a good essay summarizing the problem and solution, which was turned into a user-friendly 6 minute video. I keep hoping this video will get wider circulation to political newbies.
Trade agreements are taking the control, and eliminating democracy except in name only.
We don’t have much choice. At the website ProgressivesForCongress only 66 Progressives are running. Even if all of them won, we would still be stuck with 469 corporate lackies dominating the House and Senate. Our focus has to be removing corporate influence from the political sphere. To do this, we need more Progressives running until it is a slam dunk that anytime a Republican and a Democrat run against a Progressives, they will lose. If anyone out here knows of a Progressive running that the rest of us are unaware of, inform ProgressiveForCongress so that we can begin the process of returning the government to “We the People”.
A real progressives rejects consumerism and realizes that consumerism accelerates the sixth mass extinction. It is frightening that so many people don’t even give the concept of perpetual consumption a second thought.
As if we have a choice.
In lesser moments, I wonder how humanity survived without the corporation.
One of the better political similes that I have come across holds that ruling a population is more like riding a horse than it is like steering a car. The horse is the stronger and has a will and will go where it wills if it really decides to. However, in practice, horse and rider almost always end up where the rider wishes to go, regardless of whether the horse benefits or suffers.
A certain logistics mostly assures this. The following analysis distills a piece attributed to Julian Assange, though maybe apocryphally. It works like this. The ruling class attends to ruling and the managerial class to management, and the other diverse classes or parts of the horse to other things. The ruling class therefore shares lots of communications and makes lots of deals and undergoes lots of organization with regard to ruling and the managerial class to management, and the other classes mostly do not.
This means that populations respond to political input in ways that are less extensively coordinated than the responses of ruling and managerial classes. This does not mean that ruling classes particularly “know what is right” or even better understand the systems that they work with, though this can happen; it means that they communicate more extensively and perhaps more openly with others within some coterie than similar communications might be passed between the society as a whole. The entirety of the system thereby acts more in accordance with the desires of that coterie, that ruling or managerial class, than it does with respect to the rest of the population.
It is easy to see how this plays out in circumstances of coup d’etat, a common operation that takes advantage of interruptions in communication to replace individuals and factions in government. Coups have changed as communications have changed and with the increasing expertise of agencies in provoking them; however, the most basic observations were among those made by Edward Luttwak way back in the 1960s. Arrangements for a coup must proceed in secrecy until such point as the conspiracy can control communications, the military, and the executive at once. If the other two are in line, of course, the executive is usually easy. A newly appointed CEO declares martial law, the military enforces it, and only then does the announcement go out to the ultimately more powerful population.
Voila–regime change. The presumptive close is decided and orchestrated within a small group; little communication is made to ready the population. And of course the communication tells the population what the conspirators wish it to know or to think.
It is at this point that the population or parts thereof may begin to agree or disagree. It tends to be at this point that most of us are arguing between factions whether an action is good or bad, what it means, whether it really happened, and possibly at some point what we might do about it or whether we can do anything about it. And we may then chide ourselves that we are confused, late, and indecisive, though this is structurally assured by the system of rule because of its relative opacity to the larger population.
Of course, the dynamic relates to all sorts of seizure of power and influence that we do not generally call coup d’etat, especially when we suppose that central actors “own” some part of what they work with. So the petrol companies and gas companies and power companies make decisions about air, water, arable land, and social structures by pretext of “owning” one thing or another, which is often held to be a “separate thing” because its interdependence with something else is not at first obvious to non-experts. Energy and hydrocarbon industry experts and executives working in the 1980s thereby made decisions about toxicity and climate change and made them mostly with regard to profit and loss statements to stockholders, putting aside as “not theirs” the much larger externalized costs to stakeholders.
This structure of concentrated ownership or responsbility, whether it involves governmental or so-called “private” corporate fiefdoms, makes for decision-makers and decisions sharply opposed to any population thereby governed.
I the United States, particularly, and to an extent in other ex-colonies that killed off Native populations and peopled the land with Europeans as these fled the abuses of aristocrats and royals, has been left with a peculiar mythology that was once known as “the American Dream,” though that has wandered by usage into barely recognizable deviation. The original idea was that ownership would create liberty by granting the means of production to commoners. That means was and had long been land, and that land was understood as being owned–with barely a thought for the philosophical problems in that notion.
So a lot of Americans can imagine that Geoff Bezos can hire digital mercenaries to hunt and weed out potential union organizers from the ranks of his employees, or that Facebook or Twitter or You-Tube can hunt down and remove discourse by one or another faction that it or some ally or cross-invested entity might disfavor, or that it is fine that your keystrokes are logged and sent to Microsoft or that Alexa or your referigerator or your car record you and your GPS position, even when turned off. These parts of your world, of our world, are regarded as theirs. And because of the role of shifts in ownership in the colonial heritage, people will persistently regard this as liberty.
We need people to release these secret communications. But I don’t think that this can happen enough, ultimately, because the penalties are harsh. There’s a bit of a double-bind because we cannot allow large-scale ownership, and we also cannot allow blanket mandate for governmental interference over so large a scale. We obviously do have both at present, but pretty nearly no one regards what is present as acceptable.
Yet it is accepted because the horse concerns itself with the road and the graze and not with arriving at a policy to release itself from bondage.
A trade agreement on services nobody knows about that was part of the WTO is literally poison for democracy and progressive politics, its progeny, a newer one meant to expand it is in the pipeline if there is a change in Washington, and possibly if not. The first, in all practical terms, took our right to regulate dozens of services off the table in the mid to late 1990s including most of the ones really important to progressives.; and we’re in danger of losing the right to regulate them forever. They pose grave dangers to essential services like Social Security and Medicare. Nothing is as it seems to be. I cant overestimate how much danger these two programs are in , and that we’re in because of a particular body of misinformation we’ve been given by people who REALLY should know better.
Its a trick that could turn people off to the Democratic Party forever. They will never forget this one, its that bad.
People need to know about this, its an emergency.
This is a knock out of the park article by Ralph Nader who has delivered us so much over the years and protected us consumers. The illegal power moguls have way too much power now and drown all else out.
Ralph always gives his best.