Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Sacred Undertaking

The failure of the modern state to meet our needs is structural--an inherent design flaw that renders essential reform of this structure impossible. Having relegated local and regional participation in setting social policy meaningless, the plenary powers of state-centric institutions are an open invitation to tyranny. Indeed, the voluntary confederation that respected regional autonomy at the outset of the American governance experiment was abolished by a tyranny of the majority of colonies, which set the stage for a tyranny of the minority composed of the inherently wealthy and their sycophants.

As societies rooted in ancient territorial homelands, First Nations are locally and regionally oriented, and as such are ecologically conscious and economically generous. As a practice, indigenous culture is inclusive, conserving community resources and sharing the wealth. Bolstering their cultures through cooperation with their non-indigenous neighbors is only logical.

With the breakdown of modern states as tools of the powerful and corrupt, Fourth World peoples and their civil society friends have begun to unite around local and regional autonomy, thereby starting the shift from dominant hierarchies to power-sharing democracies. Part of that shift includes finding ways to prevent looting of communal wealth -- whether from state treasuries or local landscapes -- by the private equity tyrannies which have usurped governance of most modern states.

Weathering the hardships ahead in a post-tyranny environment will challenge us to the core of our being, but that challenge is an inclusive one. In order to take back what is rightfully ours, we will have to work together or be hopelessly lost.

Whatever the outcome of our united efforts, the coming together itself will restore some of the human dignity sacrificed by tyrants on their altar of greed. Indeed, the process of working together -- meitheal in Irish -- is a sacred undertaking.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear Nemesis

Stephen Lendman notes that the Japanese government, like its counterpart in the United States, is more interested in containing the fallout from exposure of the inevitable dangers of nuclear power than they are in containing the radioactive releases. As these toxic emissions blow across the Pacific to Hawaii, Alaska and California, US nuclear energy corporations like General Electric will have no problem convincing major media that a coverup is preferable to revealing the unavoidable threat from nuclear power.

But convincing their cronies is not the same as fooling us. For that, they need craven opportunists in Congress and the White House, who are apparently in no short supply.

Even as radioactive waste accumulates, leaks, and is recycled into weaponry worldwide, politicians and pundits promote nuclear power as safe and cost effective. The reality is that all nuclear plants are hazardous waste sites waiting to explode or meltdown, and the real reason they are popular with politicians and Wall Street is that the publicly-insured industry is another looters' paradise. As with the most recent banking scandal, bribes, kickbacks and fraud abound in the nuclear corridors of power.

Forty years ago, when we stopped a nuclear boondoggle in Washington state, one of the many scandals uncovered was the revelation that contractors had faked inspection reports, falsely claiming all required steel reinforcement for the concrete structures was installed. That -- like current claims that nuclear energy is clean -- turned out to be a lie.

Given that nuclear waste remains lethal for all time, the question we have to ask ourselves is, how much faith should we put in politicians and those who bankroll them to look out for our health and safety? For those who aren't cortex impaired, it doesn't take much imagination to answer that question.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Antifascist Calling runs down the background and context of the Wikileaks exposure of Bank of America criminal capers in the Caymans, the covert operations of the hit teams hired by BOA to destroy Wikileaks, and the blowback by Anonymous in defense of freedom of information. There hasn’t been anything remotely this sordid since Watergate.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Class Struggle

Watching filmmaker Michael Moore address the throngs of union workers in Wisconsin this morning made me think about class struggle in the United States. While some union leadership of my father's generation sold out the struggle in return for power and influence, those who fought to establish unions in my grandfather's generation understood the importance of solidarity.

When my generation rejected the American Dream of consumerism, it wasn't so different from my grandfather's generations' rejection of the American nightmare. We both supported the socialist values reflected in Social Security, workplace safety, and environmental protection.

But between the 1930s, when my grandfather's generation was beaten by soldiers and police for organizing against the aristocracy, and the 1960s, when the same was done to my generation, my father's generation was pacified by the promise of shared wealth. When that promise was broken, union leadership had by and large been co-opted.

Notable exceptions include the California nurses, Chicago teachers, and the international longshore workers, but for the generation that came of age in the 1990s, union leadership on critical social issues was almost non-existent. Like the warmongers of the 1960s, the national union leadership betrayed solidarity even to the point of supporting free trade.

So it should be no surprise that there is some anti-union resentment in the country beyond the fundamentalist Christians and the aristocracy. If the union movement wants to recover their influence and respect, they will need to promote to national leadership people who are strong enough to stand against the aristocracy, and smart enough to organize public support for that stand. And that's going to take a lot more than the occasional rally with celebrities like Michael Moore.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Forum for Global Exchange

Forum for Global Exchange features unique audio/visual talks and commentary by Fourth World scholars and activists. Take some time to browse the archives for inspiring and informative discussions about essential values and relevant developments.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fourth World Journal

As a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting fascinating scholars writing on topics and ideas unlikely to be encountered in any other medium. Their essays, full of insight on perplexing problems, enlighten and inspire readers on a fundamental humanitarian level.

For anyone concerned about our wonderful world, Fourth World Journal is like a breath of fresh air. If you haven’t yet subscribed, take a look at the current issue table of contents, or browse some back issues.

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Nuclear-Armed Jihad

Chris Rodda examines the unconstitutional religious enterprises funded by the Department of Defense to create a Christian U.S. military. Having sunk tens of millions of dollars into evangelizing military bases, and pressuring military families to come to Jesus, the Pentagon is preparing a nuclear-armed jihad from an institution already fraught with corrupt mercenaries and derelicts who would have been screened out in earlier years due to failed intelligence tests and criminal records.

Imagine what these people would do if turned loose on civilian Americans demonstrating against the government for such grievances as union-busting, bank fraud, or heaven forbid–-starting wars based on phony evidence.