Democracy Protesters Need Organization to Defeat Abusive Elites

A spreading movement to defend and expand democracy by citizens willing to face down repressive, militarized police in the streets is now being led by the people of Brazil and Turkey but represents the aspirations of people everywhere who are concerned about civil liberties and elite abuse of power. Unfortunately, the lack of both national and international organization in support of democracy activists has left citizens marginalized–not just in Turkey and Brazil but also the U.S.— while putting the initiative in the hands of an abusive political/corporate elite. Continue reading


Do Not Mention the War

Political correctness is a pretense of politeness covering for abuse of power, and the most taboo of all the politically correct taboos is reference to the war that the super-rich and their political lackeys are so successfully fighting against the other 99.9%. Is it really a case of government-corporate collusion to defraud and rob the people? To answer that question, you need to look at the details.

The Department of Defense has admitted that it spent $285 billion on contracts between 2007 and 2009 with corporations “that defrauded the Pentagon during the same period’ [“Release: Pentagon Spent Billions on Contractors that Committed Fraud,” Senator Bernie Sanders’ website 11/7/11].

The preliminary report detailed how the Pentagon spent $270 billion from 2007 to 2009 on 91 contractors involved in civil fraud cases that resulted in judgments of more than $1 million. Another $682 million went to 30 contractors convicted of hard-core criminal fraud in the same three-year period. Billions more went to firms that had been suspended or debarred by the Pentagon for misusing taxpayer dollars.

The record of fraud includes repeated cases of fraud, convictions, and settlements by the three largest military contractors, all of which of course continue doing billions of dollars a year in government business worth vastly more than the penalties they paid. Defrauding the U.S. Government is extremely profitable business even when convicted.

Over the three year period from 2007 to 2009, 30 DOD contractors were convicted of criminal fraud. Despite these criminal convictions, these contractors were awarded $682,141,708 in contracts during the same three year period…

Over the three year period from 2007 to 2009, hundreds of contractors were found to have committed fraud in connection with a DOD contract. This apparently did not affect DOD’s contracting behavior, however. During that same three year period, DOD awarded $285 BILLION in contracts to the same companies!

War profiteering was of course not limited to fraud against Americans. It also continues to occur where the war was fought. Recent release by the petroleum industry watchdog Platform of secret contract renegotiations between British Petroleum and the government of Iraq show that BP succeeded in transferring:

the most significant risks from BP/CNPC to the Iraqi government, making the contracts considerably more attractive to the companies. In all of these changes, it is the Iraqi side that loses out. As a result of the enhanced compensation provisions, the Iraqi government could find itself payingBP/CNPC (and likely other companies) even when it is not earning oil revenues to offset those payments. Meanwhile, the changes undermine the Iraqi ability to ensure that it achieves value for money, and that oil is developed in the national interest. [“From Glass Box to Smoke-Filled Room,” Platform.]

An analysis of the growing disparity between the richest and the rest in the U.S. reaches this conclusion:

A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. [G. William Dornhoff, Who Rules America?]

In a brief, trenchant historical review of the post-1970 war of aggression by the rich against American society, Bill Moyers sums up American democracy:

Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy… [The Nation 11/21/11.]

These are the reality of a system that offers incentives for short-term thinking that attacks the long-term interests of society for elite profit. The super-rich, essentially those with annual incomes in the $25 million range are not rich because they are smart or work hard; that kind of wealth requires a triple fix—1) welfare for the rich, 2) an avoid-jail-free card, 3) endless war—and the fix is in.