Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Movement

Plutocracy system in the USA?

A billionaires’ election system?

Since when as the common people actually elected who they knew is right for the job?

Are the Us citizens imagining that they have just elected the new Congress?

In a formal way, they did have. The public did vote.

In a substantive way, it’s not true that they have chosen their government.

 posted this Nov. 11, 2014

Understanding and Overcoming America’s Plutocracy

This was the billionaires’ election, billionaires of both parties.

While the Republican and Democratic Party billionaires have some differences, what unites them is much stronger than what divides them, a few exceptions aside.

Indeed, many of the richest individual and corporate donors give to both parties. The much-discussed left-right polarization is not polarization at all. The political system is actually relatively united and working very effectively for the richest of the rich.

There has never been a better time for the top 1%. The stock market is soaring, profits are high, interest rates are near zero, and taxes are low.  (But real wealth generated by the working people has not materialized in this economy)

The main countervailing forces — unions, antitrust authorities, and financial regulators — have been clobbered.

Think of it this way.

If government were turned over to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Bechtel, and Health Corporation of America, they would have very little to change of current policies, which already cater to the 4 mega-lobbies: Big Oil, Wall Street, defense contractors, and medical care giants.

This week’s election swing to the Republicans will likely give these lobbies the few added perks that they seek: lower corporate and personal tax rates, stronger management powers vis-à-vis labor, and even weaker environmental and financial regulation.

The richest of the rich pay for the political system — putting in billions of dollars in campaign and lobbying funds — and garner trillions of dollars of benefits in return.

Those are benefits for the corporate sector — financial bailouts, cheap loans, tax breaks, lucrative federal contracts, and a blind eye to environmental damages — not for society as a whole. The rich reap their outsized incomes and wealth in large part by imposing costs on the rest of society.

We can’t actually tote up the total spending on this campaign by the richest donors because, thanks to the Supreme Court, much of the spending is anonymous and unreported. Still, we know that the Koch Brothers, through their complex web of shell groups, put in at least $100 million and probably much more.

Many other billionaires and corporate contributions helped to raise the total kitty to more than $3.6 billion.

The evidence is overwhelming that politicians vote the interests of their donors, not of society at large. This has now been demonstrated rigorously by many researchers, most notably Princeton Professor Martin Gilens.

Whether the Republicans or Democrats are in office, the results are little different. The interests at the top of the income distribution will prevail.

Why does the actual vote count for so little?

People vote for individuals, not directly for policies.

They may elect a politician running on a platform for change, but the politician once elected will then vote for the positions of the big campaign donors.

The political outcomes are therefore oriented toward great wealth rather than to mainstream public opinion, the point that Gilens and others have been finding in their detailed research. (See also the study by Page, Bartels, and Seawright).

It’s not easy for the politicians to shun the campaign funds even if they want to. Money works in election campaigns. It pays for attack ads that flood the media, and it pays for elaborate and sophisticated get-out-the-vote efforts that target households at the micro level to manipulate who does and does not go to the polls.

Campaigning without big money is like unilateral disarmament. It’s noble; it works once in a while; and it is extremely risky. On the other hand, taking big campaign money is a Faustian bargain: you may win power but lose your political soul.

Of course there are modest differences between the parties, and there is a wonderful, truly progressive wing of the Democratic Party organized in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but it’s marginalized and in the minority of the party.

So many Democrats have their hand in the fossil-fuel cookie jar of Big Oil and Big Coal that the Obama administration couldn’t get even the Democrats, much less the Republicans, to line up for climate-change action during the first year of the administration.

And how do Wall Street money managers keep their tax privileges despite the public glare? Their success in lobbying is due at least as much to Democratic Party Senators beholden to Wall Street as it is to Republican Senators.

Is there a way out?

Yes, but it’s a very tough path. Plutocracy has a way of spreading like an epidemic until democracy itself is abandoned.

History shows the wreckage of democracies killed from within. And yet America has rallied in the past to push democratic reforms, notably in the Progressive Era from 1890-1914, the New Deal from 1933-1940, and the Great Society from 1961-1969.

All of these transformative successes required grass-roots activism, public protests and demonstrations, and eventually bold leaders, indeed drawn from the rich but with their hearts with the people: Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.

Yet in all of those cases, the mass public led and the great leaders followed the cause. This is our time and responsibility to help save democracy. The Occupy Movement and the 400,000 New Yorkers who marched for climate-change control in September are pointing the way.

FBI cracking down on “Anarchist” activists in Portland, Olympia, Seattle…Solidarity Statement in support of activists

On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle.

They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.

Solidarity Statement

Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society.

The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized, pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas.

Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the State’s agenda.

During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.

This attack does not occur in a vacuum.

Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth.

From the Arab Spring, to the Occupy movement, and to Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the State has responded with brutal repression.

This is not a coincidence.

It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world’s people.

We, the undersigned, condemn this and all other repression.

While we may have differences in ideology or chose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just, free, and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together.

We will not let scare tactics or smear campaigns divide us, intimidate us, or stop us from organizing and working for a better world.

No more witch-hunts!

An injury to one is an injury to all.


What follows is a list of organizations and associations that supported the activists freedom of expression:

Signed: Committee Against Political Repression, Freedom Archives, Sacramento Prisoner Support Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Critical Resistance Stop the Injunctions,  Coalition National Jericho Movement for Political Prisoners, and Prisoners of War Civil Liberties Defense Center, We Are Oregon Portland Jobs with Justice Rose City Cop Watch Bayan-USA Pacific Northwest Region Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC) Red Spark (Kasama) Earth First! Journal collective Repeal Coalition 1st of May Anarchist Alliance Black Unity Movement The Institute for Anarchist Studies Connect the Dots Oregon Jericho Parasol Climate Collective Portland Anarchist Black Cross Right to Survive Right to Dream 2 Rosehips Medic Collective Communities United Against Police Brutality The Radical Anti-Capitalist Caucus, of Occupy Portland Students on Strike Organizing Committee Autonomous Workers’ Group Occupy Oakland Anti Repression Committee Oakland Occupy Patriarchy Oakland Occupy Legal East Bay Solidarity Network Portland Animal Defense League Cascadians Against War PDX Bike Swarm Northbay Movement for a Democratic Society Solano Peace and Justice Coalition Solano Peace and Freedom Party Northbay Uprising Radio Collective MN Anti-War Committee Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community Redwood Curtain CopWatch Occupy Eureka Arizona Prison Watch All Power to the Positive podcast Justice for Palestinians, San Jose, CA OccupyLV Culture of Resistance Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan Blazing Arrow Organization Portland International Socialist Organization Anti-Racist Action-LA/People Against Racist Terror The Portland World Citizens’ United Front The Wild Poppies Collective Everglades Earth First! The Center For A Stateless Society Black Orchid Collective Hella503 Collective Portland Rising Tide Laughing Horse Book and Film Collective Occupy 4 Prisoners, Oakland Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition New York Taskforce for Political Prisoners The North American Anarchist Studies Network, Cleveland 4 Support Group Freedom Socialist Party Socialist Action Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County Justice for Randy L. Dixon Rivera & Family Peace Resource Center Occupy Washington DC Occupy Peace House DC BDS LA for Justice in Palestine The American Iranian Friendship Committee NYC Jericho Movement Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, NYC Chapter New Direction Fest Socialist Viewpoint Magazine Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, Al-Nakba Awareness Project, Social Democrats USA-Socialist Party, USA The Young Social Democrats-Young Peoples’ Socialist League Alliance for Global Justice Nicaragua Network Campaign for Labor Rights New York City Labor Against the War Labor for Palestine Libertalia Autonomous Space Community Futures Collective The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 Workers World Party International Action Center East Bay Saturday Dialogues Soa Watch South Florida Socialist Viewpoint #OPDX WORKERS ACTION Occupy Kalamazoo Good Morning Revolution Wandering Llama Press Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee Occupy Denver Citizens Against Corruption Mutant Legal Collective NYC The Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop the Wars South Chicago ABC Zine Distro Defending Dissent Foundation Occupy Seattle Street Medics Vashon Women In Black Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132 Organic Consumers Association World Can’t Wait Internationalist Prison Books Collective, Collective A-GoGo Alliance of the Libertarian Left of New England Earth First! Prisoner Support Project The Minneapolis Autonomous Radical Space (MARS) Collective Wednesday Media Distro, The Alice Committee Liberty Tree Foundation Grand Jury Resistance Project Alliance for Peace and Justice of Western Massachusetts Welfare Rights Committee (Mpls/St. Paul, MN) Socialist Organizer Occupy LCC (Lane Community College) Phoenix Class War Council The Wingnut Anarchist Collective Richmond Copwatch the ART lab The People’s Tribunal (SF Bay Area) San Jose Peace & Justice Center Citizens for Legitimate Government New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition Unite Left Review Anarchy-1 radio Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement Queers Without Borders Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget Charm City Anarchist Black Cross Blue Heron Infoshop Portland Books to Prisoners, Move on Desert Council Progressive Democrats Of America Desert Chapter, Occupy Colorado Springs Support Vegans in the Prison System Denver Anarchist Black Cross Twin Cities IWW General Defense Committee Local 14 Decolonize PDX Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City Seattle Communist Study Group Our World In Depth Grupo El Heraldo The Portland Solidarity Network Portland IWW Workers Solidarity Alliance Occupy New Haven NYC Anarchist Black Cross Filipino Association of Workers and Immigrants CODEPINK LI, Women for Peace News and Letters Committees MN Peace Action Coalition Progressive Global Commons Communities For Justice And Peace, Peace Action of San Mateo County Fighting Union Caucus-Iowa No Biomass Burn (Washington State) Girl Army Self Defense People of Faith CT The Phoenix Commune Modesto Anarcho Crew May 1st Coalition 4 Worker & Immigrant Rights occupy syracuse Oakland Occubus Committee Oakland Assembly of Unemployed NATO 5 Support Committee South Bay Committee Against Political Repression CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm our developing world American Muslims for Palestine People’s Community Medics Responsible Marijuana Project Austin Prisoner Support CT-ABC Teamster Defense Guard Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights Prison Activist Resource Center Cascadia Earth First The Purple Thistle Centre SOAW-LA Burning Books The MOVE Organization Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace Freedom Road Socialist Organization Chicago Committee Against Political Repression International Action Center Olympia Students for a Democratic Society Seattle Young People’s Project Seattle Copwatch Bayou La Rose October 22 Coalition To Stop Police Brutality – Seattle Affiliate AK Press, Third coast conspiracy the occupy Portland, livestream team Common Struggle Libertarian Communist Federation National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms International Action Center Seattle Austin People’s Legal Collective Occupy Together Steampunk Magazine Combustion Books Berkeley Copwatch Edmonton anarchist bookfair collective No Nukes Action Committee The Holdout the 4th CD/St. Paul Green Party Food For Thought Cafe Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation (WWFOR) Peacemakers of Schoharie County, New York Kaua`i Alliance for Peace and Social Justice Seattle United Against FBI Repression International Solidarity Movement – Northern California Free Palestine Movement Action for the Earth The Mike Cannon Show The Red & Black Collective The Crooked Bough blog Northern Virginians for Peace and Justice Portland State University Students for Unity The Flying Brick Library GLITUR, the Grand Legion of Incendiary and Tenacious Unicorn Revolutionaries Radical Women Resistance PHL Wild Rose Collective Winnipeg Copwatch Philly Stands Up! Collective Seattle chapter of the International Socialist Organization 68’ anarchist collective #MicCheckWallS Portland chapter of Anti-Racist Action Occupy Corvallis The JED Collective, Greene Maine Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism — Corvallis Chapter Food Fight! Grocery Red Bird Prison Abolition Women Against Military Madness Snitch Watch AFFECT Four Star Anarchist Organization Occupy Rogers Park The Richmond General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World Left Bank Books Last Word Books & Press Last Earth Distro Earthlight Books Central Texas ABC A New World In Our Hearts TRANSCENDERARTS FIST! (Feminists In Solidarity Together) Occupy Homes MN Mondragon Worker Collective Anarchist Collective Howl the Nuclear Resister Staff of Seattle Revolution Books TESC Divest! Pacific Green Party of Oregon Class War Camp War Resisters League Timeless, Infinite Light The Learning Man Project

To add your group’s name to the solidarity statement, please email:

Note:  Who is winning the war on recession

America’s Declining Empire, Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring…and Noam Chomsky
On April 24, AlterNet promoted Noam Chomsky’s new book “Occupy”…Chomsky wrote: “America’s declining power is self-inflicted”.
“Last year, the Occupy Movement rose up spontaneously in cities and towns across the country, and radically shifted the discourse and rattled the economic elite with its defiant populism. Noam Chomsky wrote in his book  Occupy:  “the Occupy Movement was the first major public response to thirty years of class war.”

Chomsky looks at the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99 percent? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like?

Chomsky appeared on this week’s AlterNet Radio Hour. Below is a transcript that’s been lightly edited for clarity. (You can listen to the whole show here.)

Joshua Holland: I want to just ask you first about a few trends shaping our political discourse. I’ve read many of your books, and the one that I probably found influential was Manufacturing Consent. You co-authored this manuscript in the late 1980s and since then we’ve seen some big changes. The mainstream media has become far more consolidated, and at the same time we’ve seen a proliferation of other forms of media.

We have the alternative media outlets, like online outlets like AlterNet and various social media. Looking at these trends, I wonder if you think that the range of what’s considered to be acceptable discourse has widened or narrowed further?

Noam Chomsky: Actually, I had a second edition to that about 10 years ago with a new, long introduction. At that time, we didn’t really think much had changed, but if we were to do one now we would certainly want to bring in what you’ve just mentioned.

Remember we were talking about the mainstream media. With regard to them I think pretty much the same analysis holds, although my own feeling is that, since the 1960s, there has been some broadening and opening through the mainstream — the effect of the activism of the ’60s, which changed perceptions, attitudes, and civilized the country in many ways. Topics that are freely talked about today were invisible, and, if visible, were unmentionable 50 years ago.

Furthermore, a lot of the journalists themselves are people whose formation was in the ’60s activism and its aftermath. These are changes that have been going on for a long time. With regards to the alternative media, they certainly provide a wide range of options that weren’t there before, and that includes access to foreign media. On the other hand, the Internet is kind of like walking into the Library of Congress in a sense.

Everything in the Library of Congress is there, but you have to know what you’re looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might as well not have the library. Like you can’t decide you want to become a biologist.

It’s not enough to walk into Harvard’s biology library. You have to have a framework of understanding, a conception of what’s important and what isn’t important; what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. Not a rigid one that never gets modified, but at least some kind of framework.

Unfortunately that’s pretty rare. In the absence of activist movements that draw in a very substantial part of the population for interaction. Interchange, the kinds of things that went on in the Occupy community for example, in the absence of that most people are kind of at sea when they face the internet.

Yes, they can find things of value and significance, but you have to know to look for them and you must have a framework of analysis and perception that allows you to weed that out from a lot of the junk that surrounds it.

Note: AlterNet is offering readers an opportunity to purchase Noam Chomsky’s new book, Occupy, available here.





April 2023

Blog Stats

  • 1,519,207 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 764 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: