Third World America’s Trade Agreements

February 10, 2014

The corporate media would have us believe that the nation is in the midst of an economic recovery. In the shadow of the approaching mid-term elections, the president cites the number of jobs created and speaks optimistically about America’s economic future. The future is indeed bright, but only if you are among the wealthiest one percent of the population. For instance, since the 2007 recession, the greatest crisis of capitalism in 75 years, corporate profits have risen, CEO salaries and bonuses are at record levels... Read article

Interpretation and the Allegory of the Cave

January 4, 2014

The ideological chains that bind and subdue us are stronger and more effective than any chain forged from steel. These manacles are more freedom inhibiting than a prison cell or solitary confinement. Belief, faith, and hope can imprison as well as liberate us. By the power of suggestion, a thin cotton string can effectively tether an elephant. Politicians and their associates in the corporate media are master manipulators of language and images. Anytime you hear them speak, think of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave ( Read article

Barack Obama and the Legacy of American Capitalism

December 25, 2013

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you cannot face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says It.” – Malcolm X I have been reading political commentary on Black Agenda Report (BAR) regularly of late. The site, which purveys a black leftist perspective, regularly excoriates President Obama, as well they should. BAR has become a trusted source in my quest to understand history and current events. This is the home of the real left, not the pseudo left that pervades the corporate... Read article

The Allegory of the Optimist and the Realist: A Cautionary Tale

May 31, 2012

Imagine entering a room in which the electrical wiring is defective. You turn the switch on. Nothing happens. Someone replaces the bulb but the room remains dark. The circuit breaker is deemed operational. Most people, after a few attempts at flipping the switch, come to the realization that the circuit is broken. They accurately conclude that the light is not going to come on. This is a rational and intelligent response to the reality of the situation; one that weds cause and effect to results. A few of the people in the... Read article

Ecology and the Pathology of Capitalism

January 21, 2012

Contrary to everything we have been taught, there is no actual United States of America. The U.S. is an occupied territory that could more accurately be described as the Corporate States of America. If the geopolitical states are united, the people are not. We are a nation divided by ideology and by social and economic class. The U.S. is not a democracy and it never was. The systems of power do not allow the voice of working people to be heard or their collective will to be acted upon. Despite the subterfuge of freedom and... Read article

The Haymarket Martyrs and Occupy Wall Street

December 15, 2011

On November 11, 1887 four great men, all of them anarchists, were hanged from a gallows erected inside Chicago’s Cook County Jail. Their names were Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engle, and Adolph Fischer. The martyrs did not immediately die of broken necks, as was supposed to happen. They were strangled to death over a period of seven agonizing minutes. Adolph Fischer was the last of them to die. A fifth martyr, Louis Lingg, either took his own life while awaiting execution with his comrades, or he was murdered... Read article

Capitalism and the Duplicitous Meanings of Democracy

January 20, 2011

Democracy is a word that is used too recklessly in western culture. Despite the prevalent belief that the meaning of democracy is universally understood, it remains an elusive idea that is not easily implemented.  As a political philosophy, democracy is more closely associated with the socialist governments of Latin America, with Venezuela and Bolivia, than with the United States. Webster’s Online Dictionary provides seven short definitions for democracy. The fourth definition is the one that comes closest to my own understanding... Read article

Technology Addiction and Virtual Reality

November 22, 2010

It will be difficult, if not impossible, to bring the U.S. back from the brink of social and economic collapse upon which it is so precariously perched. Our collective inertia is carrying us to the edge of the abyss. Changing course will require a change of consciousness, an awakening. Critical mass must be reached, but we have not even begun contemplating making that immense journey. We should have started long ago. Now it may be too late for us. The American people are brainwashed by prolonged exposure to the corporate... Read article

Welcome to Oz

November 3, 2010

Being comfortable with what is most familiar to them, people are slow to realize that things are no longer what they used to be. In America, the Democratic Party has failed to offer working people an alternative to the Republicans. The only way democrats can win elections is to be more republican than the republicans. Few liberals have drawn a line in the sand and fought vehemently for the ideals they espouse. It was not this way when the specter of socialism posed a credible threat to capitalism in America less than a century... Read article

America’s False Consciousness

October 21, 2010

An essay authored by Patrick Martin, and published at the World Socialist Web Site on October 13, 2010, revealed some interesting findings regarding the approval ratings of Democratic and Republican members of Congress. Martin’s piece was titled Demagogy and Duplicity: The Democrats in the 2010 Elections. He cites data from a Zogby International Poll of independent voters which found that “only 13% gave a favorable rating to congressional Democrats and only 5% to Congressional Republicans.” Considering that the U.S.... Read article

Defining Moments in US History and their Relevance Today

May 29, 2009

There are periods in the history of every nation that define its character and reveal who is really running the government and its social and financial institutions. In the US, one of those periods, of which there are so many, was the political witch hunt that occurred during the 1950s. Known as the era of McCarthyism, this was a time in which the civil rights of anyone with leftist political leanings were violated through a series of tormented public persecutions. During McCarthyism, thousands of law- abiding citizens were... Read article

Elections, Capitalism, and Democracy

June 26, 2008

Because so many of the people on the political left fear that John McCain will become the next president, they have allowed themselves to see the very moderate democratic candidate, Barach Obama, as a desirable alternative to the decidedly ghoulish McCain, rather than supporting a genuine progressive like Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, or Ralph Nader. They thus perceive Obama to be far more progressive than he really is. Such comparisons lead us down a dichotomous pathway that assures a continuous drift to the right. Each... Read article

Pain and Conscience

May 30, 2008

It is evident that a substantial majority of U.S. citizens are, in principle, opposed to the most destructive governmental policies stemming from the nation’s capital. These include, but are not limited to—the continuing war and occupation of Iraq, as well as the pervasive consumer fraud that preys upon the innocent and the unwary and causes them undue hardship. These charges are born out by the abysmal approval rating of Congress and the president. It is equally evident that the government, while pretending to be sympathetic... Read article

Resistance and Hope

December 13, 2007

If we Americans are nothing more than hopelessly addicted consumers who think of ourselves as an exceptional people with special entitlements; if we see ourselves as god’s morally superior chosen people; if we are selfish and greedy beyond redemption—then we are complicit in all of the horrible crimes that government commits in our name. The United States has a violent history of atrocity and exploitation that began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the shores of North America in 1492. It extends all the way... Read article

Henry Thoreau and the Patrons of Virtue

December 5, 2007

The form of government we have is anything but the democratic republic it purports to be. The more access to wealth a person has the more responsive to his or her needs the government is. Justice and equality cannot follow where access is denied or restricted. Far from a government of the people, for the people and by the people, we now have a government that is the exclusive domain of the rich and powerful and has the same level of exclusivity as an expensive country club or resort. The poor and disenfranchised are barred... Read article

The Ghosts of Misplaced Conscience

November 28, 2007

Everything about America is done to the max—super sized—including ourselves. Americans are fond of excess, fond of glitz and glitter, the bright beads and trinkets of capitalism; the symbols of conspicuous consumption. Millions of us live in McMansions, drive fast cars and hulking tanks and work at high stress glamorous jobs that provide enormous financial reward but leave us spiritually empty. We tell ourselves that these events signal that we have arrived and achieved greatness worthy of respect and envy. They are... Read article

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