READER COMMENTS ON
"Does Arrest Of Former Philadelphia Police Captain at OWS Signal Crack In Corporate Security State?"
(16 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 11/20/2011 @ 10:01 pm PT...
Yes, Ernest, that's an excellent summary of what's happening now.
But even as we Occupy, there are many who cannot envision anything other than, "...to persuade political elites, who long ago sold their souls to the corporate security state, to vote the right way on this or that issue."
There are many who even knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have been deceived, cannot bring themselves to withdraw their support.
Someday I'll be able to advocate that people stop voting in faith-based elections for people they cannot hold accountable, without incurring your hostility and that of many others here on BradBlog, and being told that nobody here agrees with me. One day those who agree with me will even openly post their agreement instead of sending me private emails to avoid incurring the wrath of those who will continue to consent to corruption until their dying breath.
The corruption is not in the candidates, or the political parties, it is in the system. Prof. Robert Jensen said, at a teach-in at Occupy Austin, that if we don't change the system, we're always going to find that the new boss is just like the old boss. A lot of people really didn't expect "change" to mean more wars, bigger bailouts, and the assassination of US citizens without due process.
When S. Brian Willson was here on his recent book tour (I heartily recommend Blood on the Tracks for anyone who hasn't read it yet), I asked him during the Q&A what he thought about election boycotts. He said that he agreed with me and believed that not voting was a form of noncompliance. In the book he lists many forms of noncompliance, some of which you've mentioned above, that are necessary to change the system.
I've been giving teach-ins and posting to various Occupy forums, and most Occupiers are able to understand that voting is the consent of the governed, and that if we do not consent, we need to stop voting.
But some people don't want to change the system. They've dedicated their lives to getting Democrats elected and they are so apathetic that they couldn't care less what those Democrats do once in office, as long as they can get them elected.
As an Occupier, I'm not going to give up or lose faith in people just because there are a minority of die-hard supporters of a broken system. There are many more people who really do want a better system and we're creating it for ourselves because nobody who is part of the old, corrupt system will ever do it for us.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 3:38 am PT...
It might help to know how that 1% elite system of government works under the hood, and how the 1% who control and own it think, before devising strategies.
An evolution has taken place concerning the American concept of war.
The 1% elite now consider war to be an art form, and that is emphatically taught in the war colleges.
The greatest thing that can be done under this new "war is art" concept is to take over a country without a shooting war, which is exactly what has happened to America.
That means Occupy is a counterrevolution, because a coup has taken place by the masters of war, and the 99% have been defeated so far.
I agree with Mark @1 that the political election system is a thin layer of deceit that is easy to see through.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/21/2011 @ 8:12 am PT...
Dredd: I too agree that politics, as now conducted in the U.S., is predicated on deception. Where Mark and I disagree is on the solution.
"We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mohandus Gandhi
OWS must become the egalitarian democracy it seeks to achieve.
I've asked Mark repeatedly how boycotting the electoral process will achieve the goal of becoming the egalitarian democracy it seeks to achieve. To date, he has failed to provide an answer.
You do not become a democracy by abandoning the political process. You become a democracy by embracing it; changing it so that the test of leadership is fealty to the needs of the 99% as opposed to money used to purchase deceptive ads on the commercial media --- a fool's errand for the Left which only serves as a further transfer of wealth to the titans at the pinnacle of a conglomerated corporate media.
As I stated in the article, Occupy Wall Street has before it a myriad of peaceful, non-violent tactics at its disposal. The first and most fundamental change must come from within.
We must change not only whom we elect, but how we elect. Each of us must stop relying upon a corporate-owned media as a primary source of information. We must convince others to turn to alternative, non-commercial media for information.
Yes, we need to transform the system to hand-marked, publicly hand counted ballots. But, I, for one, cannot see how boycotting elections --- thereby voluntarily abdicating individual responsibility so as to accomplish for the GOP the voter suppression they spend so much time seeking to accomplish --- will achieve electoral transparency.
Finally, I am troubled that Mark, who is unable to explain how his half-baked idea can possibly succeed, has assumed the role of "teacher" at OWS. There are numerous ways to demonstrate our withdrawal of consent to the corporate security state without shooting ourselves in the foot by abandoning the political process.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 10:04 am PT...
It seems to me, to abandon the system to the corrupt is a bad move. We the people still need to choose our reps carefully. Factual and truthful information is a requirement that is sorely lacking in the MSM. There is an assault on the internet coming from the corporate slugs, as well as, a continued assault on the information emanating from the MSM. We may need to resort to the OWS type of reporting, using the "human" mic check system. I agree we should go back to pre-electronic voting machines. The electronic types are too easy to fiddle with, as we found out in Wisconsin. But voting is still a non-violent path to overthrow the corruption in American politics.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 12:24 pm PT...
The BIG story to me here is the unprecedented news blackout by the MSM (aside from the Chris Hayes show on MSNBC).
Try to find this story on CNN. Try to find it in the "paper of record" the New York Times (you know, the city this took place in). Guess there's just not enough drama or 'human interest' to this story to merit coverage.
Obviously, the "liberal" media doesn't want this one to be seen.
The revolution will NOT be televised.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 2:01 pm PT...
OWS must become the egalitarian democracy
Are you are criticizing the victims?
The lackeys of the 1% are torturing young kids and old ladies in public.
And we are to lecture those who are being tortured or those who are doing the torture?
Stalin wanted people to believe in the efficacy of voting too, but it wasn't valid, it was a ruse.
This is a Stalin problem, if you know what I mean.
The words "pepper spray" sound to a lot of people like some candy one would give at Halloween to kids ... safe and all cosmopolitan ... like those suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
To the contrary, it is more toxic than the radiation that is coming from Fukushima.
Those kids may suffer for the rest of their lives, and the old ladies sprayed with it will not live as long now to give love to their grand children.
You care to play election games after a decade of this plutocracy where elections are all broadway and mavericky?
The 1% cannot be unelected.
And you want those kids to get all "egalitarian democracy" so as to show those who have plundered and tortured them mercilessly how to do democracy?
Oh, I am sure we have the ear of the 1% and they will jump at the opportunity to serve us.
Yeah, that's the ticket, they have never been given a fair chance because OWS has not set a good example for them to follow yet.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 2:24 pm PT...
I recently made this comment on Huffington Post:
“Let the textbooks be updated to reflect that the political system is just a flimsy slime mold covering the movie screen of deceit.
(Link). Hollywood anyone?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 3:40 pm PT...
Take the Egyptian Occupy folk as a bad example.
They would not even wait for a good Staling approved election to take place in all of its mother board wonder.
No! They rebelled against their modern American masters who counseled them:
Egypt's army-appointed government handed in its resignation Monday, an apparent gesture to thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square who clashed for the third straight day with security forces in violence that has killed at least 24 people and posed the most sustained challenge yet to the rule of the military.
(CBS News). How unquaint.
It is so difficult sometimes to edumacate folks into bliss.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/21/2011 @ 3:48 pm PT...
Opps ... typo ...
"a good Staling approved election" should be "a good Stalin approved election".
Unless it was a valid Freudian slip ...
You decide. Cast your vote now ...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/21/2011 @ 4:58 pm PT...
Dredd @3 wrote:
Are you are criticizing the victims?
How in the world did you come up with such a silly idea, Dredd?
As I wrote in Occupy Wall Street is No 'Tea Party', OWS is a genuine, organic, knowledge-driven democratic uprising that is driven by the fundamental contradiction between the America's "promise" and its "reality."
The American "promise" is embodied in the lofty, egalitarian principles of the Declaration of Independence, in the recognition provided by the U.S. Constitution that the purpose of government is to "promote the general welfare," and in the concept inscribed above the portico of the U.S. Supreme Court --- "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW." The "reality," as noted by former New York Times reporter, Chris Hedges, is that political power in the U.S. has been seized by a "criminal class" of rapacious oligarchs, whose radical goal is not merely the ability to carry out their criminal pillage of the economy and the environment with impunity, but the decimation of "all impediments to the creation of a neo-feudalistic corporate state."
OWS entails both a rejection of the corporate security state and its replacement by a genuine egalitarian democracy.
If you can get past playing the victim card, you would understand that when I suggest that OWS must become the egalitarian democracy it seeks, I am speaking about how we achieve a core component of the movement.
We must not only "occupy" city parks and march. We must look to every peaceful means for simultaneously rejecting corporate power and assuming political power by "occupying every state house and Congress" via elected "representatives."
By "representatives" I have in mind electoral participation that mandates fealty to the interests of the 99% and a refusal to accept corporate monies from any source. That is what representative democracy is supposed to be --- and it's a far cry from the deceptive system in which elections are now determined by corporate wealth and power.
It is nothing short of infantile to shun the political process, when so much can be accomplished by honestly embracing it, even as we march, and move the money, and educate, and turn people away from the MSM and to alternative media as their primary source of news.
I am well aware of Stalin's observation that those who cast the votes decide nothing and those who count the votes decide everything. In case you haven't noticed, I've written numerous articles about election integrity and the need for transparency.
But please explain to me how shunning the electoral process will ensure electoral transparency or remove so much as a single DRE or optical scan system now in use? Do you think that we can refuse to vote and those systems will miraculously vanish?
It is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. It is also possible for OWS to embrace the political process and demand transparency at the same time.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/22/2011 @ 8:34 am PT...
Voting is wonderful when it works, useless when it does not.
The issue, then, would be is it working for you?
If so, keep up the good work, if not don't keep doing the same thing expecting a different result.
For those it is not working for, they protest (boycott, refuse to vote one election cycle to let the facade feel the silence, strikes, work stoppages, and the like), trying to take back what was taken in the coup of the 1%, who cannot be voted out of office.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/22/2011 @ 12:47 pm PT...
Dredd: How does your failing to show up for an election cause those that do to "feel the silence?"
I'm all for targeted general strikes, but when you don't show up to vote, you cede political power to those who do. If the only people who do show up are the ones that the Koch brothers want to show up, you let those who could care less about the will of the 99% to seize all power.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2011 @ 2:57 am PT...
I can't point you to an election where no one came. So, it is a thought experiment of the type physicists do.
What would it say if only 10% showed up? It would say what the people poll, that they do not trust the government. It might work toward a good result, but would not be a permanent solution.
Trust in government (includes people trusting in voting to bring change) is at an all time low in the U.S.A. at the moment.
I trust that you realize if we keep doing the same thing but expecting a different result, we will be like the voters under Stalin who could vote all they wanted to but to no avail.
They continually increased in their dislike for their fellow countrymen because their countrymen voted "just like Stalin would want them to".
Little did they know.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 11/23/2011 @ 3:01 am PT...
The people of Egypt do not have elections at the moment, yet they govern.
Read the comment @8 upthread to see how they got their government officials out of office without an election system.
Context, nexus, reality, are all relevant.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 11/23/2011 @ 8:02 am PT...
Dredd. There is zero prospect of (a) a U.S. election where no one showed up & (b) mass resignations of all U.S. elected officials.
Democracy is not an "experiment" in physics. If your boycott elections experiment failed, the result would be the elimination of every progressive politician and the ceding of total control to the oligarchy.
I can't see anyone with an ounce of sense who would foolishly take that risk in light of the consequences of failure.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 11/23/2011 @ 9:19 pm PT...
Maybe the Egyptians can explain it better than I can, Ernest.
Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla speaking to Al Jazeera about the sham election that the US is trying to impose on Egypt.
Tarek Shalaby Explains Why He Won't Vote
The Occupy Wall Street movement is learning and practicing direct democracy, but is still extremely naive and easily co-opted.
A government that breaks its promises, lies, cheats, steals trillions of dollars, kills millions of innocent people, destroys the planet for profit, and even asserts the right to assassinate its own citizens without due process, isn't the sort of government that anyone who cares about democracy should consent to. Your vote, as I've been saying for many years now, is your consent.
You can continue to consent to get screwed if you want to, but don't come crying to me when you get what you asked for.