I am always leery of extremist stances. Not that I’m always for the middle-of-the-road stances. It would be simplistic and irrational to always opt for the middle-of-the-road approach just because it’s in the middle. Extremist stances can also be simplistic and irrational. Take people who are currently condemning capitalism. That’s overly simplistic and irrational. It’s not capitalism that is evil; it’s unfettered capitalism. Even the most brilliant and hardworking capitalists are obligated, like all working people, to abide by the law. Further, some must be reminded often that they are but a part of a greater society and must work with that society, not against it. However, not all aspects of capitalism are potentially dangerous or unsavory. The benefits of many people’s much higher levels of initiative and motivation, and of market forces such as supply and demand are invaluable. I was fortunate to have been required to read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith in one of my political philosophy classes. That tome was published in 1776, and I’d never before heard of it. In it, Smith analyzes and describes markets and market mechanisms in intricate detail, and he often speaks of the natural and beneficial “invisible hand” of the market at work. It’s the same thing with money. Money is not intrinsically evil. The Bible does not say that “Money is the root of all evil.” It says that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” It’s not money that is evil, but greed. We now have a new, similar saying: “People should love people and use money, not love money and use people.”
Then there are the people who swear by pure capitalism and hate anything that smacks of socialism. But that is also simplistic and irrational, and usually based on personal biases, and not science and facts. There are, in fact, enterprises that are best carried out using a cooperative, public approach. These kinds of enterprises, such as public schools and prisons, lack a profit motive, and are carried out for the welfare of the general public. It’s just as simplistic and irrational to condemn all socialist enterprises as evil, as it is to condemn all capitalist enterprises as evil. Again, it’s not socialism, per se, that is evil; it’s unfettered socialism — or to use another term, totalitarian communism. Totalitarian communism has been proven not to work, but to result in economic inefficiency as well as loss of freedom, and repression.
The real crux of the matter is not which economic forms of enterprise exist in a society, but the level of democracy that exists. Left to a free and democratic society — even one in which only the electoral process is democratic — the people will find the right mix of capitalist and socialist elements that will work the best for the whole society. And they’ll discover what laws and regulations work the best.
I’ve been reading recently about how “capitalism is collapsing.” But while many are being kept busy fighting capitalism, it’s not capitalism that is in need of being fought; it’s the corruption of our government — the anti-democratic forces of corruption — that we must be focused on defeating and wiping out. It’s the rigging of the system: the elements of bribery and extortion by the ultra-rich’s outrageously large political contributions and the unconstitutional monopolization of our mass media by the same ultra-rich; and the repression that such an unjust system must advance to defend and support such levels of corruption and injustice — that is, the minority profiling, police brutality, the mass incarceration system/prison-industrial complex, and the growing surveillance state.
Once again, it is not capitalism, or free enterprise, that we should be spending our precious energy and resources fighting. We are not living in 1917 Russia. We are not Cossacks, last I checked. Hasn’t everyone heard? Communism does not work. This has been proven, scientifically, through various studies in the fields of political science, economics, and various social sciences. We are now in the Earth-year 2020. Democratic socialism as practiced in a free and democratic society has been proven to work, and has been proven, absolutely, to work best — democratic socialism as they practice in the Scandinavian countries. The “happiness index” of those living in the Scandinavian countries is the highest in the world. The people of these countries shatter most all of the records for life span, low numbers of deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth, healthcare outcomes, educational attainment, and so on.
In my view, it is a shame and a huge waste that in these times when people are activated and mobilized to air their grievances against the government and to protest, they are limiting the object of their protests to police brutality — except for a few protests that were against the billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes and against politicians not representing the interests of their constituents. It would be good if there were a popular movement to expand our protests to include advocating for the restoration of our free press, which has been monopolized and suffocated by the ultra-rich. It would be healthy for our democratic republic if there were protests for free and fair elections — uncorrupted by the ‘right’ of the ultra-rich to use their ungodly levels of wealth to buy our candidates and elections — and to even select who the candidates and initiatives on the ballot will be.
It’s easy to list the issues of major importance that merit outrage and protests. However, the difficult part is: how do you motivate people to protest for a free press, for example, when they are being kept ignorant that they no longer have a free press — because the ultra-rich club has monopolized all of the mainstream outlets of our press, which are now owned by six mega-corporations? How do you motivate people to protest the abuse of the ultra-rich of our elections and government, which they have rigged the system to allow them to buy off, when most people almost never hear anything about that — because the narrative is being controlled by the same people who are buying off our elections and elected officials? The current state of political and mass media affairs in the U.S. and most of the world is a conundrum wrapped in a fat wad of one-hundred–dollar–bills, bound tightly with thick newswires and jagged barbed wire.
If those of us who have political 20/20, or something close to it, have to continue spreading the word to others at the rate we have been able to spread it — given the absence of a free press — then we won’t have time to turn the tide before it’s too late. Global warming and who knows what other disasters will wipe us out before we get there. Many of the most progressive politicians and journalists are strangely mute or quiet on many of the issues of greatest urgency facing us. How can a free press and free and fair elections be such taboo subjects that they are hardly ever discussed by such people in the media? Perhaps it is because those who are bold enough to speak on these issues are shut out by the ultra-rich oligarchs. In any case, this is a bizarre situation. But such is corruption itself. Such are greed and sociopathy themselves. They are absurd and bizarre to most people who do not suffer from such psychological and spiritual maladies.
Our society is currently at such an abysmal point in terms of rampant corruption because of the ultra-rich’s stranglehold on our press and our elected officials. Currently, we are in a similar situation to that of 1992 when after twelve oppressive and depressing years of Reagan and Bush Sr., most Americans were ecstatic to see the little known Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton elected president. Reagan and Bush Sr. did so much blatant damage to the working and non-working poor, unions, minorities, education, and the environment that most people were highly relieved when the more attractive— like a snake — Bill Clinton was elected. Most Americans viewed Bill and Hillary Clinton as progressive, liberal, and even populist. However, the Clintons were none of those things.
In his eight years as president, Bill Clinton did just much more damage to our society as Reagan and Bush Sr. had done in twelve — but the damage they did was insidious, systemic, and slower to unfold, such as the rolling back of the key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, which led to the widespread banking and investment fraud that precipitated the Great Recession; the passage of the free trade agreement with China (PNTR) and NAFTA, with absolutely no regard to protecting U.S. labor standards and wages and benefits; the Welfare Reform Act, which led to the current homelessness crisis and previously unthinkable poverty for millions; the Telecommunications Act, which led to much greater monopolization of our press; and the Landmark Crime Bill, of which Biden was a key architect and Hillary Clinton was a key cheerleader, which led to even greater racial profiling and our mass incarceration state. In light of all this 20/20 hindsight, let this sink in: the DNC and the mainstream media shoved Hillary down our throats through corrupt practices and fraud in 2016 and has done the same with Biden in 2020. We are literally at the mercy of our two corrupt political parties and our corrupt press — and the ultra-rich oligarchs who corrupted and control them have no mercy.
Our current executive in chief, Trump, is so blatantly and crassly racist, and insensitive to the rights and concerns of minorities and the working and non-working poor, so clearly against them, and so against protecting the environment and creating a clean, sustainable future that most Americans now are enthusiastically supporting a candidate who is just as bad, if not worse, and are actually seeing him as a kind of savior. Like the song doesn’t say: “We will be fooled again.”
The fact is, Trump is actually the lesser of the two evils because he is the less dangerous of the two candidates. This becomes obvious if one considers that the level of trust and efficacy that Trump retains after four long years of his wrecking ball demolishing our environmental laws, civil rights, social safety net, and workers’ rights that he is quite impotent as president and has put the greatest issues we face into clear and sharp focus for all of us to see. Even the perceived threat that Trump will upend our whole society on election day by using the DHS and the military is not an effective threat. The DHS and military must also answer to the Congress, and they are, in the end, composed of American people who must, in extreme cases, still give some attention to the will of the voters. And Congress can and would check the most extreme items on Trump’s agenda if he were reelected. Look to voter suppression and gerrymandering. Those are the real threats to our 2020 election. We the People — well, most of us, anyway — are onto Trump and his administration. They are paper tigers. And, in a short time, it would become evident how easily they could be cut into ribbons. Then we would have trouble — but it would be, as the late, great John Lewis called “good trouble.”
Biden is, therefore, more dangerous than Trump. The level of trust that Biden has — due to his almost complete silence and the mainstream media’s almost complete silence about his real agenda and views — is relatively high. He has what Obama had — though not quite as much of it: trust, hope, and a clean slate. Biden is being hailed as the lesser of two evils, when in fact, he is the much, much greater. He is the wolf in the fluffy sheep’s clothing. Trump is the wolf whose sheep’s clothing was threadbare to begin with and is now completely ripped off of his body. Biden is the billionaires’ puppet with whom the people will compromise and cooperate … so as to help him and his billionaire fellow wolves eat them for dinner.
Just take a quick look at the mainstream media’s photos of Biden: he always strikes a noble, hopeful, or determined pose, as opposed to Trump’s: frowning, mean, idiotic, off-balance, and anything but trustworthy. Just from scanning photos on the mainstream media, you can see who the ultra-rich have selected to be the next president — their next puppet. But either way — and there are only two ways allowed: Trump or Biden — they will win. Unless people stop supporting them and start thinking outside the confines they are trapped in. I am supporting the Movement for a People’s Party with the hope that, by some lightning strike of truth and inspiration, we will draft Bernie to run on its party ticket.
Trump is the tyrant most people oppose wholeheartedly. Trump always tells the truth, in that we know that the truth is the exact opposite of whatever he says. Biden tells lies too — upon that rare occasion that he says anything in the press — but most people believe them. That’s the difference. Biden is Clinton all over again … and Obama all over again. But Obama, as bad as he was, stuffing his cabinet with the same Wall Street fraudster-banksters who had tanked the economy, was insulated by the admiration he had garnered because he was the first African-American president in U.S. history — at least among many people. But not all the people were in awe of Obama. That’s why he lost the House for the Democrats after only two years in office — two years spent bailing out the banksters and leaving the people to fend for themselves.
It is reported by Wikipedia in the article on the 2010 election that “The heavy Democratic Party losses in 2010 were attributed to anger at President Obama, opposition to the Affordable Care Act, large budget deficits and the weak economy.” Obama’s support for the big banks and big investment firms is not mentioned, but that was the biggest reason. However, the mainstream media, which has coopted Wikipedia recently, did not cover that story very accurately. Obama and the Democrats also lost the Senate to the Republicans after six of his eight years in office. But no matter. There is very little real difference between the Democrats and Republicans that doesn’t have to do with style and decorum, with the exception of women’s rights and religious freedom — and even that chasm is narrowing. The ultra-rich oligarchs were so content with the fine job Obama did that they didn’t change hardly a thing in their DNC, but simply charged them to carry on with the same ol’ same ol’.
Whereas Trump blatantly refuses to do the right thing by the people, Biden, like Obama, will schmooze the people and “compromise” — magnanimously even — and do half–measures and quarter-measures for the people. And the people will buy the half-measures and quarter-measures, and swallow the unjust, disheartening, and humiliating treatment as the lesser of two evils. “Just think … Trump would’ve been much worse!” But that’s just one aspect of the game of keep-away the DNC and RNC and the mainstream media play with the people: use their anger and indignation against the one party to get the other party in. But it’s all the same, big party in the end. And so the people will once again be manipulated into trading more of their rights and freedoms for scraps and crumbs.
Furthermore, with Trump, the state, county, and city governments are taking over in the areas that need fixing. Biden, along with the all-powerful mass media, will lull the people back into complacency, and they will stop demanding so much of their more local governments, while the federal government does half–measures and quarter-measures.
I’ve been hearing that Biden and the Democrats are our only hope. But the greater hope is that Trump’s reign is fragile. He is the Emperor who most people can clearly see has no clothes. Biden is just as bad as Trump; but his corrupt, malignant, racist agenda and political views have been more effectively shielded from our view by the press. So, though Biden the Emperor also has no clothes, most people can’t see that … yet. And by the time they do, it will be too late; as it was with Obama. And that makes Biden very dangerous indeed, just as it made the Clintons and the Obamas very dangerous. By the Biden, the billionaire-owned media have been capitalizing for Biden on the admiration that Obama had in the eyes of many people from the time Obama was elected. This became quite evident when they started going into overdrive with their efforts to closely associate Biden with Obama toward the end of Obama’s second term — which is, in reality, absurd, considering Biden’s racist political views and actions. There were the almost comic book cute characterizations in the mass media of Biden crying on Obama’s shoulder and saying stupid, cute, endearing, little nothings. These were obviously designed to make people see Biden as a good, sensitive, liberal and progressive politician.
The only truly good, wise, and just presidential candidate — of both 2016 and 2020 — was Bernie Sanders, who was again defeated in 2019–20 by the corrupt, bought-and-paid-for Democratic National Party and the corrupt, monopolized press. Truly, this alone is proof that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” The only real hope we had in 2016 — or have in 2020, depending on whether a miracle happens — is Bernie Sanders. He is not only more wise and just, he is more intelligent than most politicians are, and heads above both Trump and Biden. He has also been honest and consistent in his political stances — he is, in fact, brimming over with integrity.
Whereas Bernie can be trusted implicitly to tell the truth and do the right thing by the people every time, the people should always assume that both Trump and Biden are up to no good and that their every move must be closely watched. Everything they propose and support should be torn apart critically and searched over for every little speck of imperfection and destructiveness, and deception, bias, and corruption. We are being force-fed another low-grade, pernicious puppet-president. We should all pause to steel ourselves for yet a-nother four years of hell and heartbreak, and ceaseless talking heads on TV and other media outlets lying through their teeth at us — endlessly droning and barking their twisted narrative. I can hear it now: blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah!
We see life through the smokescreen put up by the billionaire-owned mass media. It bears sharp resemblances to the mass media of China and Russia, and even to those of the old totalitarian, communist China and Soviet Union. We are now constantly being bombarded with propaganda and agitprop, which go by the term: psychological warfare. In developing bigger and better means of putting up smokescreens, one thing the ultra-rich have nearly perfected is the old art of scapegoating. All corrupt people and regimes do this, as sure as the night follows the day. It is up there with secrecy for them. They blame the people in third-world countries for their poverty, and for continuing to overpopulate their countries, and for wanting to emigrate to Europe and the U.S. and other richer and more developed countries. Further, some among them feel justified for stealthily and fiendishly trying to limit their population growth through such monstrous methods as disease-laden vaccines and global warming. But the fact is that the poverty, lack of education, and overpopulation of the Third World countries are the fault of the past colonialists and the past and present imperialists who have kept these people down economically and politically, and have caused them to do what most poor, under-educated people with no opportunity for any real kind of improvement in their quality of life do: have a lot of children. The ultra-rich oligarchs also scapegoat the addicts and alcoholics and psychologically depressed and traumatized for their diseases. But addiction to alcohol and drugs, and depression and PTSD are much more common amongst people who have been held back and held down economically and politically. But of course they scapegoat the victims. How else can they carry on their law-breaking and injustices?
The ultra-rich tell the narrative — and pay others to tell the narrative — that minorities are impoverished because they are lazy or genetically inferior. But they know that is not the case — or they would not have forbidden slaves from being taught how to read and write. They would not have rigged the laws to target people who use marijuana to incarcerate the hippies, minorities, and Vietnam protesters during the Nixon era (look up John Ehrlichman’s interview in which he discloses this) or to target racial minorities who smoke crack cocaine for lengthy jail and prison sentences. They know that the reason that minorities are poorer is that they are being held back and held down by discrimination and an unjust and rigged economy and political system.
The ultra-rich oligarchs concoct — or pay others to concoct for them — other false narratives which they peddle to the people, such as that global warming is a hoax, or that the Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax, or that democratic socialism is the same as totalitarian communism and must be stamped out. In this way, they cause people to support their very bad governmental policies, and bad science, and bad economics. They crash the economy or destroy some critical part of the environment, and blame it on nebulous, nonsensical economic, natural, or supernatural forces at work. They are forever pointing the finger at anything but the real cause: themselves and their greed.
The ultra-rich and ultra-powerful peddle these deceitful narratives to the very people they are holding back and holding down — and many of them actually believe it. And there’s the real tragedy. There’s where they recruit their foot soldiers for the reactionary, ultra-conservative, and fascist societies that are filled with people who are out to get not the real bad guys, but other victims of the real bad guys — victims like themselves.
The real struggle really comes down to good versus evil, just like in the Bible, just like in the Star Wars films or the Transformers films. Luke Skywalker, meet Donald Trump. Optimus Prime, may I introduce you to Joe Biden? The time is late. How is your political vision? It is my hope … desperate hope … that we all get 20/20 in 2020. As John Lennon said in “A Day in the Life”: “I’d love to turn you on.” And as Denzel Washington said in Fallen, “Open your eyes. Look around sometime.” I hope that more and more of us will do just that, and see what is really in the hearts of our leaders, especially those who have been and those who still are the recipients of undeserved admiration.