"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves."


                                              The New Religion - the "opiate of the masses" on the left.

There is a new religion on the political left.  Like its fundmentalist cousin on the right, this religion is also a doomsday religion.  Also like its cousin, this doomsday religion is characterized by a dogmatic slumber of the membership, by a deference to authority when it comes to entertaining ideological thoughts, as opposed to really delving in and meting out one's true stance.  I realize it's not really accurate to call this religion "new," but it certainly has taken on new significance in it's current context or apocalyptic form.  And like its eschatological cousin on the right, this religion's underlying thought system is simple: "just believe."   Toe the party line and you're in.  What is valued are things like function, convenience, and party affiliation.  More important things, like principle, substance and truth have clearly taken a back seat.  So we are willing to acknowledge certain truths, especially if they make us feel good and aren't too threatening.   Meanwhile the bigger, far more significant and telling truths are swept under the proverbial rug.  We stand ready to acknowledge that there is global warming, but unready to acknowledge the fact that that certain big wigs are making a killing off of this development. ( http://www2.whidbey.net/zipmont/revamp/globalwarming.html ) or what other ulterior motives may exist.  Similarly we are prepared to poo-poo globalization, but scarcely do we ask why it is that major "grassroots" NGOs and "anti-globalization" forums are being funded by big foundations owned by the very corporate interests driving globalization.  No, that would be asking too much, just as it was asking too much to question the chosen one back in the 2008 elections, even though our most idolized progressive icons were giving us warnings.  Howard Zinn said he only voted for Obama because he had no other choices.  Noam Chomsky said the Obama administration would look like "another Bush administration."  But no, too radical I guess.  So while legions Obama cheerleaders waved their pom poms on cue, ignoring the many advisors behind him that should have raised red flags even for the most casual observers, the chosen one was elected in messianic fashion, and sure enough, went on to make appointments to prove Chomsky correct.  The foxes were appointed to guard the economic henhouse, and the "recovery" was underway.  The "too big to fail" propaganda was eerily reminiscent of Bush's classic "you're either with us or you're against us."  A digression here, yes, but there's a point to it.

The point is the clear pattern, a pattern of compromising our integrity for convenience and feel good ideology.  We have built a nation of realists guided by realpolitik.  Being institutionalized in this way is the natural consequence of having convenience foisted upon us at every turn.  In this sort of milieu, the establishment doesn't have to worry much about producing a lot of individuals who care to be guided by their natural reason.  In selling out to peddlers of dogma, we relieve ourselves of our natural responsibility to find out who we really are, just as we relieve ourselves of another vital responsibility by eating at McDonald's.   This isn't only convenient for the people and our fast paced lives.   It is particularly convenient for the establishment.  Not only is another division of the people created, but individual, independent thought (including basic common sense...) is also subverted or hijacked.  Both make the populace more pliable, and their thinking more accessible and controllable.  This brings to mind a book written by Ed Bernays called "Propaganda," where Bernays (who is widely recognized as one of the "fathers of public relations") argues that scientific manipulation of public opinion is necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society.  According to Bernays;

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ... We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ... In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons ... who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." 

Many of the basic moral and ethical principles espoused by organized religions (treating fellow men well, giving to the needy, etc ... ) are good principles, just like protecting the environment is a good principle.  But these principles are age old, and belong to no religion or political group.  The question is, what else comes along with these good principles?  Are they used as Trojan horse window dressing?  Organized religions ask you to believe more than just these fundamental, good principles.  They also ask you to believe a lot of baloney about what "God" thinks, how "heaven" and "hell" work, and completely outlandish proclamations like "we are God's chosen people."  Now why would we need to even consider this sort of hokum in order to embrace basic moral and ethical mores of our society?  Of course the answer is, we don't.  We can have the latter with out the former.  And we can do without the divisiveness.  The "we are God's chosen people" story line, which is common in organized religions, is also found in the realm of politics, manifesting here as soap operatic, mass media claptrap which has families and communities paralyzed and at each other's throats.  It also manifests in a nationalistic sense, in the international good guy rhetoric which is largely responsible for validating the interventionist foreign policy of the establishment, that is, the global establishment which uses the clout and military might of the "superpower" to spearhead their dirty work around the world.  Thus today, globalization is the new "manifest destiny," portrayed in the media as a foregone conclusion, associated with sweet sounding rhetoric like spreading "freedom and democracy," "free trade," "progress," and "teamwork," things which it actually has little to do with. Buying into this babble has always been made easy by the establishment, even though, time and time again, the truth which later emerges tells a very different story, not surprisingly, about controlling people, natural resources, and global markets.

It is instructive here to recall some of the establishment's imperialistic propaganda of yore.  Though the intended audience varies, the internal mechanisms are the same, as are the intended effects.  The internal mechanisms include declarations of noble causes and  fear mongering.  The intended effects are acquiring control of more people and natural resources by the establishment.  Examples include the "war to end all wars" descriptor for WW1, to the "preventing war" motive behind the establishing of the League of Nations, or the so-called  "Peace" treaty of Versailles.  One can't help but notice the shiny surface which so much propaganda boasts.  "Manifest destiny"  helped create a similar veneer in the US during the 19th century, followed later by a continuity of classic fear mongering in the 20th century, from the "red scares" and  Hoover's FBI, to "McCarthism" and those ever looming "evil-doers", the modern day Emmanuel Goldstein.   All of this baloney has created a wellspring of public support for military expenditures and global deployment of hundreds of thousands of US troops and military personnel to literally hundreds of countries, paving the way for American exceptionalism and expansionism.  Today's think tanks and elite round table groups still employ this same sugar and spice and everything nice window dressing for the policy they engender.  No doubt, the establishment has gotten a ton of mileage out of this classic, trojan horse style propaganda.

The establishment has increasingly become global in nature, and has only used the US (the "superpower") for its taxpayer financing.  The end game of globalization is global control, not American hegemony, which is only a stepping stone, a temporal looting of the taxpayer, who is told he is part of a teamwork oriented affair, spreading "freedom and democracy," etc ...   Again, the real objective is very different.   Who is really pulling the strings and how they are doing it is becoming better known.   What we like to call "development," according to author James Loewen, "has been making Third World nations poorer, compared to the First World."   Loewen cites economist E.J. Mishan, who says, "Complacency is suffused over the globe, by referring to these destitute and sometimes desperate countries by the fatuous nomenclature of 'developing nations.' "   Former CIA paramilitary officer, John Stockwell describes the nuts and bolts of this process in his "War on Humans"  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ioJGMCr-Y ).  Bill Moyers corroborates this idea in the 1987 PBS documentary "The Secret Government,"  which describes CIA "black ops" in the Third World.  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml4QSZrrkJQ - 1 of 2 ... )   Another former CIA officer, Ray McGovern, also tells an all too familiar story of imperial warmongering masquerading as something else a lot prettier ... ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqDOUI8G4w4 ).  Similarly, former economic hit man, John Perkins, explains how "economic hit men" now work towards a "global empire," without the use of military, by identifying countries with desirable natural resources and then arranging World Bank or IMF loans to that country, where the money actually ends up in the hands of our own corporations.  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9QEhxypDZE ).   Howard Zinn describes the classic deception:  "Because that idea, of connecting freedom and democracy, with war and military action, goes way back in our history.  And our expansion, continental expansion, overseas expansion, has always been accompanied by noble declarations, that we're doing this for liberty and democracy."  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tFd1eYScCQ&feature=relmfu ).

One of the premier round table groups controlling global affairs has been the Trilateral Commission.  Noam Chomsky has described them as drawing from "Wilsonian progressivism, Woodrow Wilson's own view that an elite of gentlemen, with elevated ideals, should govern in order to sustain stability and righteousness."  The Trilateral Commission published a report in the 1970s expressing concern for an "excess of democracy."  Chomsky characterized the Trilateral Commission's attitude as concerned with democracy, as seeing it problematic when  "people try to enter the political arena where they don't belong."  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMxM6fW_vE).  There is evidence then, even with today's elites, of the survival of the ancient idea of the necessity of a "noble lie" (Plato), or of Machiavellian deception, or the Hobbsian notion that the only way to secure civil society is through universal submission to the absolute authority of a sovereign.  Chomsky also describes the Roosevelt administration and its "planners"  who designated an area called the "Grand Arena" which had to be "dominated" by the US.  He talks about "later liberal administrations" which contended that "if we control the Middle East, we can control the world--that's where the energy resources are."  He alludes to "high-level planning meetings in State Department, Council on Foreign Relations and so on" and the idea that there can be no "exercises of sovereignty that interfere with that dominance."  (http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5870).   

This bears a striking resemblance to the notion of "full spectrum dominance," which has come up often, at least  in the independent media (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frw87_Fbc8g ...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTwdiC5jQ-I ) as well as think tanks like PNAChttp://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=pnac+full+spectrum&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 ) and prominent foreign policy geostrategists like Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said that "most of the world's physical wealth" including "three fourths of the world's known energy resources" are in Eurasia.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-XIeb879SY ).   Walter Russell Mead, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founder of the New America Foundation, puts it this way:   "For this system to work, the Americans must prevent any power from dominating the Persian Gulf while retaining the ability to protect the safe passage of ships through its waters...."    ( http://www.cfr.org/energy-security/why-were-gulf/p15139 )   Robert Kagan, co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), Skull and Bonesman, CFR member and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution wrote in The Washington Post:  "Sept. 11th must spur us to launch a new era of American internationalism. Let's not squander this opportunity."  (29 January 2002).  It's plain to see then not only who is controlling global affairs but also what their prime directive is and has to be.  It is easy to see what is really behind their "theatre of wars" ... with "no end in sight."

Hand in hand with this elite control of global affairs has been the liberalization of international trade.  This neoliberal policy has been the driving force behind globalization thus far.  But what's really interesting is that now the very forces that have promoted neoliberal policy are suddenly trying to create the appearance that they are actively campaigning against globalization.  Naturally this makes many of us wonder what they are really up to.   Why does 21st century style propaganda appear to have a more "progressive" and "green" face, and one which wants to appear as anti-globalization?  Have they really turned over a new leaf, or is this is just a strategy, just window dressing to enable them to head off resistance, at the very least, and perhaps even take their agenda to the next level using the rhetoric of "progressive" politics as the springboard?  If this is the case, then it's no surprise that we are seeing a sort of religious fervor today with the issues surrounding the green movement, conservation, peak oil, and global warming.  The ego loves to come to his own funeral.  Like with religion, many of the basic tenets here are great.  Few really want squander our natural resources and cause harm to the environment.  The issues surrounding conservation are widely accepted principles which many, right and left, exercise in their own homes routinely.  Now, I realize there are some who reject the Green movement on the premise that "God" is in control of everything and that conservation minded intervention efforts are thus pointless.  Nevertheless, many people today embrace the basic tenets of conservation, protecting natural resources and the environment, but still question the green movement on a different premise, namely on the premise that it could very easily be used to promote an agenda quite different than the presumable one.  Given that just about everything the establishment has done historically has been presented in this fashion, with sugar and spice on the surface, it seems only natural to be suspicious.

Of course we should be conservation minded.  Of course we should be concerned with the environment.  Of course we should look for alternatives to fossil fuels.  These things are common sense.  But we no sooner need political authorities to tell us these things than we need religious authorities to tell us to treat our fellow men with kindness.  The real question is, how will the green movement go down?  Who will be in control?  Will the polluters be paying retribution or controlling the movement ... conveniently passing costs on to someone else, like the taxpayer?  Will the foxes be hired to guard the henhouse, as is the case for the current, so-called economic recovery?  How bizarre to miss the importance of conservation and environmentalism for so many decades only to start paying attention in the proverbial eleventh hour, when wer'e suddenly on the brink of disaster.  Why has so little been done by those who could have done the most?   Isn't it likely, given their vast resources, think tanks, round table groups and crony collaborations, that the establishment did know what was happening all along, but they also had a better view of how it would play out?  Is it not likely that they even have some degree of control over how it plays out?  Is it not likely this is being ushered in like so many other things have been?  Is it not likely that they could use the crisis as the proverbial teaspoon of sugar to help the medicine go down?  And if so, what is the medicine? 

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the establishment is moving towards a system of global governance.   A movement of green politics could very easily and effectively provide window dressing for this push towards global governance which, in turn, will provide more validation for the behemoth private interests and their looting of the earth's resources, unencumbered by traditional restraints like national sovereignty and civil rights.  Once any new legislation occurs the genie doesn't go back into the bottle nearly as easily as it came out.  How nice it would be for hungry multinationals to see the erosion of such restraints become sanctioned by global authorities.  Global governing bodies like the UN, WTO, IMF and World Bank have already served them to a certain degree toward this end.  But a full fledged global government would be the ultimate panacea for a few big multinational interests in a mad scramble for the earth's last oil reserves.  In 2006, Richard N. Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, talked plainly about the erosion of national sovereignty, and it's being "conditional" and "contractual,"  pointing out how future "occupation" might be justified:

"At its core, globalisation entails the increasing volume, velocity and importance of flows within and across borders of people, ideas, greenhouse gases, goods, dollars, drugs, viruses, emails, weapons, and a good deal else, challenging one of sovereignty’s fundamental principles: the ability to control what crosses borders in either direction."    

"Globalisation thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker."             

"Necessity may also lead to reducing or even eliminating sovereignty when a government, whether from a lack of capacity or conscious policy, is unable to provide for the basic needs of its citizens."             

"Our notion of sovereignty must therefore be conditional, even contractual, rather than absolute. If a state fails to live up to its side of the bargain by sponsoring terrorism, either transferring or using weapons of mass destruction, or conducting genocide, then it forfeits the normal benefits of sovereignty and opens itself up to attack, removal or occupation."            

"The goal should be to redefine sovereignty for the era of globalisation, to find a balance between a world of fully sovereign states and an international system of either world government or anarchy."

                          ( http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/sovereignty-globalisation/p9903 )

We find echoes of this in Brzezinski: (from "Between Two Ages") 

"The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."

(author's note:  Facebook, anyone?)

"In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities effectively exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason."  

"Today we are again witnessing the emergence of transnational elites ... [Whose] ties cut across national boundaries ...It is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook ... The nation-state is gradually yielding its sovereignty... Further progress will require greater American sacrifices. More intensive efforts to shape a new world monetary structure will have to be undertaken, with some consequent risk to the present relatively favorable American position."  http://wearechange.org.uk/london/wp-content/themes/arras-theme/resources/misc/Zbigniew%20Brzezinski-Between%20Two%20Ages.pdf

How might this interventionism and green politics work together?  The Club of Rome, big in the green movement, is a global think tank that was:

"Founded in 1968 at David Rockefeller’s estate in Bellagio, Italy." 

"In 1993, the Club published "The First Global Revolution."  According to this book, divided nations require common enemies to unite them, "either a real one or else one invented for the purpose."  Because of the sudden absence of traditional enemies, "new enemies must be identified."   ...    "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill....All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself."      

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_of_Rome  -  last paragraph under "Formation") 

Most (though there are some "missing" pages ...) of this report is available online in a pdf file which can be downloaded at ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/13160503/The-First-Global-Revolution-Club-of-Romes-1991-Report ).   See p. 70 for starters.

How the Green Movement might help promote a global government remains to be seen.  But there is little doubt about the effect that global governance will likely have.  It is likely to involve the loss of national sovereignty and civil rights.  It is akin to the diminishing of states' rights, only on a global scale, and could conceivably lead to a global, totalitarian Orwellian nightmare.  The jury is still out, but it is instructive to consider how global institutions like the UN, WTO, NATO, World Bank, and IMF have already served as tools for the corporate elite.  It should also be pointed out that various conflicts of interest exist for some of the most prominent figures in the Green movement, like Al Gore ( http://www2.whidbey.net/zipmont/revamp/algore.html ) and Maurice Strong, who was:

- a former President of the Earth Council and was on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)  - ( http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/cover031307.htm) ...  served on the Commission on Global Governance and is "one of the world’s leading proponents of the United Nations involvement in world affairs"   ...  was a longtime Foundation Director of the World Economic Forum ...  was a Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank and the UN Secretary General  ...  served as an advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation ...  wrote the Introduction to the 1991 Trilateral Commission book (for which David Rockefeller wrote the Forward section ...) "Beyond Interdependence", and last but not least, he was President of the Council of the United Nations's "University for Peace" from 1998 to 2006. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Strong )  By the way, the CCX owes its existence, in large part, to two very generous grants from the Joyce Foundation;  a $347,000 in 2000 and another $760,000 in 2001.  (http://www.marketswiki.com/mwiki/Chicago_Climate_Exchange - under "History")   Coincidentally, Barack Obama sat on the Joyce Foundation Board at that time.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Foundation - under "Governance" )  For anyone keeping score, the CCX also owns half of the European Climate exchange.  

Like the Green Movement, anti-globalization is also part of the "progressive" window dressing in the push for global governance and centralized control.   In 2004, the International Forum on Globalization (IFG) issued a report called "Alternatives to Economic Globalization."  The report is co-authored by many of the forum's members, including Jerry Mander, John Cavanagh, David Korten, Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, and many others.  On p. xiv of the beginning section entitled "Preface To The Second Edition" they state their argument in favor of replacing the "Bretton Woods trio," (WTO, IMF, and World Bank):    "We argue strongly for replacing all of them with new international institutions, mostly under the auspices of a highly reformed decorporatized United Nations system."  The obvious question that arises here is what the details of this might be.  Who has the power the "decorporatize" the UN?   This is a very tall order, to say the least, and the devil will be in the details.  Is it really likely that this "decorporatized" version of the UN will be to the detriment of big business?  In the next section of the report, the "Introduction," they state that "three landmark events in 2003 punctuated the end of the golden era of corporate-driven economic globalization, the domination of the so-called Washington consensus, and the ability of the United States to unilaterally dictate the course of global economic and political affairs."   Diminished power of the United States is precisely what the establishment wants.  Though such diminished power is almost certainly a good thing for the world, it is doubtful this is the establishment's motive.  Their true motive revolves around what's good for big business, if history is any guide.  Those "three landmark events" being alluded to are (1) the September collapse of the trade talks in Cancun, (2) a similar failure in Miami three months later, and (3) the peace/anti-war demonstrations in February.  Is it really likely these events have anything to do with "the end of the golden era of corporate driven globalization"?  Or are we entering an era where globalization will be getting a makeover, so that it is in sync with people's attitudes?  I think the members of forums like IFG probably have good intentions.  But would it surprise anyone to learn that the corporate elite are the ones funding anti-globalization?  Last year, Canadian economist and Professor (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Michael Chossudovsky, wrote an article stating just that.  Here are some excerpts:  ( see  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21110 )

While thousands of people had converged on Seattle, what occurred behind the scenes was a de facto victory for neoliberalism. A handful of civil society organizations, formally opposed the WTO had contributed to legitimizing the WTO's global trading architecture. Instead of challenging the WTO as an an illegal intergovernmental body, they agreed to a pre-summit dialogue with the WTO and Western governments. "Accredited NGO participants were invited to mingle in a friendly environment with ambassadors, trade ministers and Wall Street tycoons at several of the official events including the numerous cocktail parties and receptions." 

The hidden agenda was to weaken and divide the protest movement and orient the anti-globalization movement into areas that would not directly threaten the interests of the business establishment. 

Funded by private foundations (including Ford, Rockefeller, Rockefeller Brothers, Charles Stewart Mott, The Foundation for Deep Ecology), these "accredited" civil society organizations had positioned themselves as lobby groups, acting formally on behalf of the people's movement. Led by prominent and committed activists, their hands were tied. They ultimately contributed (unwittingly) to weakening the anti-globalization movement by accepting the legitimacy of what was essentially an illegal organization. (The 1994 Marrakech Summit agreement which led to the creation of the WTO on January 1, 1995). (Ibid)

The NGO leaders were fully aware as to where the money was coming from. Yet within the US and European NGO community, the foundations and charities are considered to be independent philanthropic bodies, separate from the corporations; namely the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, for instance, is considered to be separate and distinct from the Rockefeller family empire of banks and oil companies.

With salaries and operating expenses depending on private foundations, it became an accepted routine: In a twisted logic, the battle against corporate capitalism was to be fought using the funds from the tax exempt foundations owned by corporate capitalism.

The NGOs were caught in a straightjacket; their very existence depended on the foundations. Their activities were closely monitored. In a twisted logic, the very nature of anti-capitalist activism was indirectly controlled  by the capitalists through their independent foundations. 

What is at stake is the ambivalent role of the leaders of progressive organizations. Their cozy and polite relationship to the inner circles of power, to corporate and government funding, aid agencies, the World Bank, etc, undermines their relationship and responsibilities to their rank and file. The objective of manufactured dissent is precisely that: to distance the leaders from their rank and file as a means to effectively silencing and weakening grassroots actions. 

Funding dissent is also a means of infiltrating the NGOs as well as acquiring inside information on strategies of protest and resistance of grass-roots movements.

Most of the grassroots participating organizations in the World Social Forum including peasant, workers' and student organizations, firmly committed to combating neoliberalism were unaware of the WSF International Council's relationship to corporate funding, negotiated behind their backs by a handful of NGO leaders with ties to both official and private funding agencies.

Funding to progressive organizations is not unconditional. Its purpose is to "pacify" and manipulate the protest movement.  Precise conditionalities are set by the funding agencies. If they are not met, the disbursements are discontinued and the recipient NGO is driven into de facto bankruptcy due to lack of funds.  

What prevails is a vast and intricate network of organizations. The recipient grassroots organizations in developing countries are invariably unaware that their partner NGOs in the United States or the European Union, which are providing them with financial support, are themselves funded by major foundations. The money trickles down, setting constraints on grassroots actions. Many of these NGO leaders are committed and well meaning individuals acting within a framework which sets the boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted, without even realizing that as a result of corporate funding their hands are tied.

Coinsidentally, many of the members of IFG, like Jerry Mander, John Cavanagh, David Korten, Maude Barlow, and Vandana Shiva, are also members (or have been members) of the Washington based think tank, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Again, I suspect that most of these members have good intentions.  It's not these people that concern me.  It's the ones in the back rooms with the deep pockets, the big foundation money, who use their vast fortunes to perpetuate a corrupt system, and then get to be called "philanthropists" to boot.   Start up funding for IPS , formed in 1963, was secured from Sears heir, Philip Stern, and James Warburg.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Policy_Studies)   Warburg, a former insider and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, now  infamous for having said:

"We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest."  (Feb. 17, 1950, to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations)   (  from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Warburg )

It is troublesome to have to worry how much national sovereignty and civil rights will be left when all is said and done.  But we shouldn't be baffled by the negligence and malfeasance that we see committed regularly by our leadership, or the diversionary minutiae that make their front page.   It all makes perfect sense within the context of the system that we have, and the pillars that uphold it.   Hollywood, sports and crime are of (relatively) little consequence to the preponderance of the populace, and yet we are absolutely inundated with this stuff everyday in the mass media.  This creates a sense of fear, vulnerability and insignificance, which set the stage for apathy and tolerance of corruption, and of course, consumerism, a consumerism that encompasses everything from the food we eat to our political and religious ideologies.  The religions of consumerism and civics are both just as potent and dangerous as any other kind.  They all work together to maintain the status quo.  Religion and civics both provide ideologic reinforcement for our current addiction to consumerism.  Creature comforts are a great foundation for promoting complacency and obedience.   But back this up with noble ideology (like humanitarian aid, spreading democracy or fighting evil-doers ...) and our tolerance of corruption is compounded exponentially.  We become very unlikely to find any motive to challenge the establishment and the status quo..  It is extremely important then that we acknowledge the reality of who is really pulling the strings, and cease pretending that the system is working in democratic, just way.  It is through acknowledging the political and religious myths of our society that we find the impetus to discover our true values, which lay dormant and suppressed, displaced by the current mythos.  The more of us who do this, the more likely we are to find ourselves in a more workable position, as individuals, families and communities, when the inevitable occurs, which of course is a geopolitical power shift.  And we all know, from the illustrious, financial wizards over at Goldman Sachs, where the global economic power is going, and that it is diffusing outward, away from the United States ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRIC )  Who is establishment corruption likely to serve as these trends continue?  Who will be the next chosen ones?   Even if we can stomach to moral implications of a corrupt system, most notably what our government is doing abroad, it seems a stretch to maintain the belief that the system will continue serving us here in the US in any way even remotely resembling how it has in the past (even if we wanted it to ... ).  Even from a standpoint of pure self interest then, there is not much rationale for believing in the status quo, the political process, or anything associated with the corrupt establishment.  So it's manifest destiny all over again, but on a global scale.  It's not the US annexing parts of Mexico.  Rather it's the global establishment calling the exploitation of the world's people and natural resources "inevitable" and of course, "progress."  This is the subtext whenever we hear the magic word: "globalization."  

To be sure, the elite are a complex and ever changing cadre, where members are often at odds with one another.  Nevertheless, inordinate power imbalances occur when these sorts collaborate.  Even they would admit this much.  But they would add that it's "for the good of the whole."   Such rhetoric has taken on more significance in the context of continuing population growth and shrinking natural resources.  It seems that Plato's "noble lie" is still alive and well, having had a makeover in adapting to modern issues like globalization, peak oil and global warming.  The bipolar fashion in which these issues are being handled is predictable.  You're either for it or against it.  It is presented as if there are only two choices.  And since this agenda is being promoted from the left, special attention should be given to the left, just as we gave the neocons special attention when Bush was President.   On the left, one cannot help but sense the religious undercurrent where being a "believer" in everything green is all that matters, eerily analogous to questions like "are you an atheist?" which is asked without bothering to establish a working definition of "theism."   Similarly, the question "are you pro-life?" insinuates that the only alternative is being pro-death.  True to form, anthropomorphic (man made) global warming is embraced on the left as if all men had an equal hand in it, and as if the only agenda is conservation and environmentalism.  Discussing possible ulterior motives is taboo.  Assessing culpability is also taboo.  And the big polluters have suddenly shown up riding white horses.  Meanwhile, the message emanating from the mass media is all too familiar -  "You're either with us or you're against us."  The situation has suddenly taken on "grave" urgency, which no one saw coming.  Baloney.  Plenty saw it coming, and not much happened because those who had the power to do something had a pretty good idea of how it would play out.  They also knew that they would be watching from a safe distance.  

If the global elite choose to use the green movement to engender new legislation, the result won't just be another form of bailout, where the "too big to fail" takers (who caused the problem in the first place) receive taxpayer stimulus.  It will also likely result in new (global) infrastructure that will facilitate more of the same going forward, an infrastructure which will be difficult if not impossible to reverse, adding to the mountain of controls  (legislative and judicial processes, regulation, tax codes, access to capital, etc...) which the common man is to be kept in check by, while the notables enjoy loopholes, subsidies, tax credits, bailouts, and unfettered access to the world's resources and cheap labor.  This system, which masquerades as "democratic" and "equal opportunity" is designed to sort people into a stable, pyramidal, class system by limiting freedoms and access to resources so that few can excel and so that the majority will be available for labor.  Would we be any worse off to sort people by height?  

In the mundane, day to day game of musical chairs, some would say we are free.  After all, there are plenty of chairs in our part of the world (currently).  But when we realize that our abundance of chairs came from third world countries at the behest of collaborating big business interests playing global chess, some problems arise.  Should these private interests be collaborating at all?  Should our elected representatives be in on these collaborations, unaccountable to their constituencies?  What will the global distribution of chairs look like going forward?  When will they choose to stop the music?   In such a scenario, do you still consider yourself "free"?   Is this "conspiracy" talk?  You tell me.  What is a "conspiracy"?  Do big business interests collaborate with one another and with government leaders in private, in forums that are not accountable to the public where they decide the level of transparency?  You bet they do.  Is this "collaborating" different than "conspiring"?  Again, I'm really not certain.  But does it matter what we call it?  I don't care what we call it, as long as we acknowledge it.  The incontrovertible fact is that only a small portion of the population gets to spend significant time pursuing their dreams, or those dreams have been transmogrified into something that is no longer real.  We can do a lot better. 

I can only conclude that participation in our political system today is the same as participating in organized religions or any other dogmatic, ideological entity.  Ready made religious and political ideologies are about as good for us as fast food.  Real ideology, real religion, real politics, now that's another story...   I have no problem at all with real values.  I embrace them.  But even legitimate, grass roots movements cannot stay good for long.  Remember who has the funding power to start and maintain a movement.  Remember who controls the media.  Remember who can promote anything, or smear anything or anyone, at their whim.  Therefore, the way to meaningful change is not through a vote or any aspect of the political apparatus, but through changing how we think and act, by finding ourselves and our values from the inside out rather than the other way around.  Organized religion and civics have the same ideological underpinnings which target different constituencies of the population, and hold our attention by telling us that we are special, more democratic. more just, or that we are the "chosen ones."  They both help prop up the same corrupt edifice.  Both constitute an "opiate of the masses."  Participation in this system doesn't just imply tolerance or indifference to the establishment's atrocities around the world.  It is tantamount to complicity.  On second thought, we are all implicated to some degree.  But don't we have significant choice as to how much?

So let's have at it then ...