Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Went Wrong? Here's a List...

Shamelessly stolen from sage commentator "Numerian" over at The Agonist...posted in response to the question "where's the outrage" among the US public over, oh, the greatest environmental disaster in US history, and the public's blase response. Nicely done, fellow.

It all began in 1980

Or right around then, with the election of Ronald Reagan and the opportunity for right-wing extremists to begin reshaping society. Undoing this work will take ten years or more, and that is if society has a brutal awakening regarding what has happened. That is by no means a sure thing considering what was done. Here is a list of "20 Theses" showing what the right wing has wrought, and how difficult it will be to undo all this:

1) The elevation of the corporation as the supreme social structure in society, superior to the political process, and in possession of rights normally restricted to the people.
2) The creation of an oligarchical command structure consisting of prominent and wealthy businessmen, politicians, media figures, military leaders, intellectual and other consultants, and religious entertainers, who can use political, economic and social power to advance their personal interests over those of society.
3) The abolishment of the death tax as society's best and last means of preventing dynastic wealth, and the use of nepotism to advance the careers of the children of oligarchical figures.
4) The development of crony capitalism, whereby the oligarchy can exert its corporate power to protect their personal wealth.
5) The glorification of the markets and mercantile capitalism as a means of allocating society's wealth and resolving social problems, along with data mining and equity extraction as tools to collect rents from the markets for the benefit of the oligarchical class.
6) The rise of the cult of the individual, and the use of personal wealth and conspicuous consumption as a measure of individual merit.
7) The identification of poverty and want as personal failures.
8) The identification of the government as a source of problems, rather than as a protector of the needy and regulator of the powerful.
9) The embrace of globalization as a way to open vast new consumer markets to corporations, despite the cost in living standards to the average individual in developed economies.
10) The discovery of debt as a means of ensuring economic growth and masking the deterioration in living standards of the people.
11) The suborning of the media by placing them under the control of large corporate and oligarchical powers.
12) The use of the big lie and hypocrisy as tools to achieve and wield political or economic power.
13) The marginalization of the voting process through gerrymandering of Congressional districts, the use of opaque computer vote-counting techniques, the emphasis on candidate personalities rather than issues, and the dramatic escalation of campaign costs so that only corporate-sponsored candidates may compete.
14) The establishment of "enemies within" - liberals, minorities, women, gays, immigrants and others - to replace the external enemy of Communism as a vote-getting device, at least until a new external enemy arose in the form of Islamic extremism.
15) The abandonment of historic civil rights, such as habeas corpus, protections against illegal searches, or torture, all in the name of providing "security", as well as the relegation of the Constitution to the status of "a piece of paper", and the rule of law as an outmoded legal construct.
16) The elimination of the draft, and the use of mercenaries, to allow for the pursuit of war without inconvenience to the people at large, and for the creation of a military empire abroad.
17) The use of patriotism to prevent any questioning of military actions, and the introduction of military techniques on domestic soil, including the creation of a surveillance state.
18) The attack on science and rationality, in pursuit of religious and political agendas.
19) The development of a celebrity culture as a means of distracting the people from real social problems.
20) The hijacking of religion to advance the interests of the powerful and wealthy, including use of the "prosperity gospel" to promote mercantile capitalism, and social markers such as abortion and gay marriage to obtain votes from religious sects.

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