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People Power Alone Can Save Us!

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 at 6:43 AM

police stat

People Power Alone Can Save Us!

by Stephen Lendman

Daily events should scare everyone. Peace in our time no longer exists. Today is the most perilous time in world history.

Administration policies bear full responsibility. Washington is an out-of-control monster. It reflects rogue governance writ large. It targets humanity. It does so at home and abroad. It threatens world peace.

Today's upside down reality endangers everyone. Crimes in high places are rewarded. Warmakers win peace prizes. Police are licensed to kill.

Anti-war, human and civil rights champions, whistleblowers, journalists doing their job responsibly, and other activists are ruthlessly targeted.

Ordinary people are increasingly on their own sink or swim. International, constitutional and US statute laws don't matter. Rules are what Washington says they are.

Hegemons operate that way. Ruthless raw power explains. So does war on humanity. It rages out-of-control.

Democratic values don't exist. Peace, equity and justice are four-letter words. Freedom is dying in plain sight.

America was never beautiful. Today it's unfit to live in. Social protections are on the chopping block for elimination. Repression targets nonbelievers.

Monied interests run things. Grand theft America is policy. So are global wars. One country after another is ravaged, destroyed and pillaged.

The worst of all possible worlds reflects today's reality. No one is safe anywhere any time. There's no place to hide.

Doug Dowd amazes. In December he'll be 94. He's still going strong. He's uncompromisingly for peace, equity and justice. His teaching career spanned six decades.

He continues writing important books and articles. His latest thoughts arrived by email. He headlined "We Need a People's Movement Soon."

He more than ever believes "the world, led by the USA, is now headed for its worst ever disasters."

He's not alone feeling this way. Washington is responsible "for much of today's angers and violence."

" 'We the People' " must act. Ordinary people must do so before it's too late. "(T)ransforming the country toward peace and decency" matters most.

Wrongfully imprisoned human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart urges "Organize, Organize, Organize." Dowd says do it to make America democratic. It's lurching toward full-blown tyranny.

People power alone works. Grassroots commitment matters most. Americans did it before. They can do it again. Anti-war activists helped end war on Vietnam.

Abolitionists ended slavery. Civil and labor rights were won. They're lost because energy waned. Ordinary people have power when they use it. Change requires longterm struggle.

Former Supreme Court Justice William Douglas (1898 - 1980) once said: "Power concedes nothing without a demand."

Community organizer Saul Alinsky (1909 - 1972) said the way to  beat organized money is with organized people. It's always bottom up. It's never top down.

Authority can be challenged and beaten. Social movements can be pivotal forces. Disruptive activism works.

According to Political Science Professor Frances Fox Piven:

"Ordinary people (have) power." They do so "when they rise up in anger and hope, defy the rules...disrupt (state) institutions (and) propel new issues to the center of political debate."

They do it when they force "political leaders (to) stem voter defections by proferring reforms."

"These are the conditions that produce democratic moments."

Electoral politics doesn't work. Replacing bums with new ones assures same old, same old.

America's political system is too corrupted to fix. It reflects how power corrupts and absolute power does absolutely.

Political analyst Kevin Phillips once called America "the leading interest group bazaar of the Western world."

Things are too far gone. It's too late for scattered reforms. An entire makeover is needed. Disruptive power perhaps can change things. There's no other way.

The alternative is deepening fascism. It's already deep-seated. It shows in civil and human rights abuses. Victims are unjustly blamed.

America's gulag prison system is the shame of the nation. Corporate interests matter most. Militarism dominates daily life. Permanent wars rage. Torture is official policy.

Mass media lie for power. Fiction substitutes for fact. News and information are carefully filtered. Dissent is targeted. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good.

Patriotism means supporting lawless policies. Democracy is a figure of speech. It's a convenient illusion.

National security threats are hyped when none exist. Enemies are created out of whole cloth. Wars rage one after another.

Predatory finance transfers enormous wealth amounts from ordinary Americans to corporate interests, rich investors, and high net worth households.

Doing so causes deepening poverty, unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness and unconscionable human misery.

Social activism more than ever is needed. "Today many more must organize for decency and wellbeing and never quit," says Dowd.

Win or lose, it's vital to struggle for what's right. The alternative is greater immiserartion and serfdom. Vital concerns must be addressed, says Dowd.

Today's political, military and social crimes are too grave to ignore. Much worse ahead looms.

"We must work together constantly to end the control of the government from the top and put it in the hands of the middle and the bottom," says Dowd.

Democratize! Democratize! Democratize! Making America fit to live in depends on it.

Today it's "a sick and dangerous nation run by a handful of the politically powerful." Public dismissiveness lets them get away with murder and much more.

Transformational change is needed. Doing it raises "many serious questions," says Dowd. He addresses some below.

"Who are 'we' in terms of the relevant politics?"

"How do we create a national movement?"

"In which political realms should we work most - local, state, national?"

"Which issues - economic, social, military, environmental, etc. - should take priority?"

"How are we to resolve the serious political conflicts likely to happen among us?"

"If and when we create a 'third party,' how will its politics be decided?"

"Which will be its main issues; decided how?"

"How will it be financed?"

Dowd supplied some "tentative answers." He hopes for "a substantial movement" for change.

Occupy Wall Street changed who we are. It proliferated nationwide. It's motto says "(t)he only solution is world revolution."

Financial giants complicit with Washington, state and local governments united against it. Challenging them isn't easy.

Doing so requires "get(ting) to work in all realms: local, regional and especially national," says Dowd. It takes hard work. One success yields others.

Momentum has a life of its own. Commitment makes it sustaining. Making it the new normal is vital. So is preventing energy from waning.

The enemy is destructive militarism, dominant monied interests, predatory capitalism, monopoly/oligopoly power, and police state ruthlessness.

"The critical need in the US today is to change our political structures, south and north, east and west," says Dowd.

"The main participants in politics in all realms have been leaning more to the right than to the middle." Change depends on "increased involvement by those in both the middle and the left."

Status quo assures much worse ahead. America never was a democracy. For sure it's not one now. Grassroots activism is required to change things.

At issue is "a society in which corruption, poverty, wars, the poisoning of Mother Nature, all other mixtures of evil and stupidity will cease."

"So let’s get to work," says Dowd. "The foregoing was easy to write. It will require much difficult work by many thousands of us to bring about" meaningful change.  

"But if we don't get to work on that our lives will continue to be corrupted and ruined and, with the rest of the world, soon be wiped out."

Turning swords into ploughshares matters most. So does establishing governance of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly.

Disruptive power works. Collective defiance more than ever is needed. Indifference is no longer an option. The stakes are far too great.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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