Not that long ago, I was writing about how if the grievances of people aren't addressed even here in the U.S., the elites will be playing with fire.
The people voted in 2006 for a new Congress to stop Bush/Cheney. Oh, of course not everyone voted for that. It was though the main reason the Democrats were given a majority. The people who put them in wanted the Iraq occupation to end.
They also want all the other evils dealt with and corrected:
- Election fraud, vote rigging, caging, etc.
- 9/11 cover-up
- Lost trillions at the Pentagon
- Afghanistan and al Qaeda
- Lies to start the Iraq War and occupation
- Outing CIA Agent, Valerie Plame
- Military privatization
- Support for dictators
- Government corruption
- Lobbying scandals
- Domestic spying
- Telecom immunity
- Suspension of habeas corpus
- Lies about and mismanaging of Hurricane Katrina
- Firing U.S. attorneys (crass politics and the spoils system)
- Financial and banking deregulation
- Corporate corruption
- Media consolidation
- Deficit spending
- Imperial presidency
- Attacks on Somalia
- Ignoring the plight of the Palestinians
- Israel's War on Lebanon
- Cluster bombs, land mines, depleted uranium, white phosphorus, and other weapons development and use
- Lies about Iran
- Domestic military and intelligence propaganda
- Deals with Columbia's death squads
- Lies about Venezuela and other Latin American countries
- Hypocrisy of negotiating with some regimes and not others
- Heating up the arms race with Russia and China and others
- and on and on and on
Now, if one pays attention, one will find that all over the Internet, there is more and more open discussion about using violence against the ruling class.
If you don't rollback the rollback, if you don't undo the Nixon, Reagan, Bush rollback of Roosevelt's New Deal and go on to do much more in the way of egalitarianism than did the Roosevelt administration, if things hit the wall, it could turn uglier than any of the upper class is imagining.
This Church wants peace. It is sounding the alarm. Do the right things before all Hell breaks loose. Violence is not the right path. Peacefully displacing the current system with a giving and sharing economy and harmless society of people serving each other is the only way. Turn to God as Jesus spoke of God and set the right example. Bring forth the Christian Commons Project™.
by Joel S. Hirschhorn / May 29th, 2008
The biggest political issue receiving no attention by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates is the powerful plutocracy that has captured the government to produce rising economic inequality.
Both major parties have enabled, promoted and supported this Upper Class plutocracy. Myriad federal policies make the rich super-rich and the powerful dominant in both good and bad economic times. Meanwhile, despite elections, the middle class sinks into one big Lower Class as the plutocracy ensures that national prosperity is unshared.
Why no attention? Why no explicit reference to a plutocracy that makes a mockery of American democracy? Simple answer: because both major parties and their candidates are subservient to numerous corporate and other special interests that use their money and influence to ensure that their elitist priorities prevail. Make no mistake. Barack Obama with all his slick rhetoric is just as much a supporter and benefactor of this Upper Class plutocracy as Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
Everyone that is not in the Upper Class who votes for any of these presidential candidates is voting against their own interests. They have been hoodwinked, conned, brainwashed and manipulated by campaign propaganda. They elect people for the visible government while they remain oblivious to the secret government — the powerful pulling the strings behind the stage. Money makes more money, financing more political influence.
One of the biggest delusions of Americans is that if they retain their constitutional rights that they still live in a country with a working democracy. Wrong. American democracy is delusional because the two-party plutocracy makes citizens economic slaves. This represses political dissent. It is 21st century tyranny. Two-party presidential candidates, unlike our nation's Founders, lack courage to fight and revolt against domestic tyranny. Placebo voting distracts citizens from the political necessity of fighting the plutocracy.
Economic data show the plutocracy's assault on American society. Consider these examples.
The top 20 percent of households earned more, after taxes, than the remaining 80 percent in 2005, while the topmost 1 percent took home more than the bottom 40 percent.
No American state has seen the gap between rich and poor widen faster than Connecticut. From 1987 through 2006, the top fifth of the state's households saw their incomes increase by 44.8 percent, after inflation. Incomes for the bottom fifth fell 17.4 percent. On the other coast, just three of every 1,000 Californians in 2005 reported at least $1 million in income. But they got $213 of every $1,000 Californians earned in 2005 income. The state's top 1 percent — average income $1.6 million — pay 7.1 percent of their incomes in income, sales, property, and gas taxes. The poorest fifth of California households pay 11.7 percent.
Real hourly wages for most workers have risen only 1 percent since 1979, even as those workers' productivity has increased by 60 percent. Higher efficiency has rewarded business executives, owners and investors, but not workers. What's more, American workers now work more hours per year than their counterparts in virtually every other advanced economy, even Japan, and without universal health care.
A typical hedge fund manager makes 31 times more in one hour than the typical American family makes in a year. In 2007, the top 50 hedge fund income-earners collected $29 billion — an average of $581 million each. John Paulson took home $3.7 billion from his hedge fund labors. These figures do not count profits from selling shares in their companies. Importantly, hedge fund players contributed nine times more to the Senate Democratic fundraising arm than they gave to Senate Republicans in 2007.
In 2009, Americans who make over $1 million a year will save an average $32,000 from the Bush tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. The average American household will save $20.
Between 1986 and 2005, the income of America's top 1 percent of taxpayer jumped from 11.3 to 21.2 percent of the national total. Their federal income taxes dropped from 33.13 percent of total personal income in 1986 to 23.13 percent in 2005. From 2001 to 2008, the net worth of the wealthiest 1 percent grew from $186 billion to $816 billion.
Economic inequality and injustice reflect a political disaster, even with regular elections. It has resulted from government decisions on tax cuts, spending, trade agreements, deregulatory measures, labor unions, corporate handouts, and regulatory enforcement. All crafted to benefit the rich and powerful and leave the rest of us behind. It has happened under Democratic and Republican presidencies and congresses. Bipartisan domestic tyranny propels greed driven plutocracy.
What do we desperately need? A national discussion and referendum on inequality-pumping plutocracy, that none of the major presidential candidates shows any interest in having. Certainly not Barack Obama with his vacuous talk of change (but not about the political system) and John McCain's incredulous talk of reform.
And it is delusional to think that populist global Internet connectivity producing what is called personal sovereignty threatens plutocracy. Networking among the rich and powerful strengthens the global plutocracy, placing it above national sovereignty. More than produce an army of revolutionaries to overturn the system, the Internet has fragmented every imaginable movement. Individuals indulge themselves with their own or social websites or fall victim to conventional politicians. Technology and media owned and controlled by plutocrats serves them while it shackles and deceives the multitudes.
Only one presidential candidate sees our core national problem and the need for revolutionary thinking and action to correct the system: Ralph Nader who said recently, "We need a Jeffersonian revolution." Plutocrats should heed these wise words of John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." With all the guns and pain Americans have, the ruling class should worry and start reforms. To start, let third party and independent candidates into televised presidential debates. If the stage can be filled with a bunch of primary season candidates, why not more than two in the general election?
For electoral dissent, stop being a presidential romantic; use your vote to fight the plutocracy. Reject the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Put an end to serial disappointments. Time is running out. Talk is cheap. Action is crucial. Violent revolution is an option.
Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American democracy.
Erik Rose said on May 29th, 2008 at 11:46 am #
If any of the "Founding Fathers" were around today, the shooting would have started six years ago.
Where are the shooters?
That article and comment is typical of an increasing call to consider violent revolution.
There's plenty of it in pop culture. It's in the music. It's in the videos and movies. It's in the video games. Just as easily as people gravitate to the military, they can gravitate to violent revolution.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)