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Thursday, November 26, 2009

PREFACE



This book is a series of essays laying out the case that there is a way to end war by ending the domination of the American government by corporations through a process of passing a constitutional amendment through Congress and ratifying it by the states.

I argue that it is the international corporations with the money to pay for the obscenely expensive elections of our members of Congress that ultimately create the conditions in which war appears to be inevitable. The goal I have in writing this is to convince others that together we can and must restore democracy to America and bring about the change in the human collective consciousness such that war comes to be seen not as inevitable but as unthinkable.



Stop the Madness: The Diary of a Soldier For Peace in the War to Take Back America is my effort to explain my thoughts on the real meaning of America through a look at critical moments in its history. I offer an explanation of that history through a lens of basic psychological and scientific principles. I then use this to describe how I believe America fell from its position of a leader in the advancement of mankind to a place where it is now the chief threat to human existence. 

Throughout the book I emphasize that this is part of a natural process of maturation of a democratic society that I fully expect to grow up and take responsibility for its behavior toward each other and other nations. One of the goals in writing this book is to  present ideas that may help the process accelerate, before the problems the people of the United States and the world desperately need to address become intractable.


For foreign readers who have not lived through the nightmare that has transformed the United States government from a  maturing democracy into a plutocracy, please be patient when reading the earliest essays.  They focus on day to day US political events when the essays were originally written. It was necessary to start at this point to clarify the process by which I arrived at my the conclusion that democracy in the United States and therefor the world is at imminent risk. This is after all  a diary of sorts. 


To all readers: Even if reading about the details of politics  makes your head spin, please read the somewhat lengthy introduction. I draw in part on my personal experiences to illustrate some of the general points I make in trying to make a coherent summary of the state of American democracy and politics. It is my hope that this summary will be of interest to  every reader and useful as a compass by which to see the direction sometimes seemingly disconnected essays are leading.


This book of essays is deliberately written in a nonlinear style that is intended to provide an overview of the thinking that went into my deciding that it was possible to end war in our lifetime and how we might do it. It includes concepts from a wide variety of disciplines that may be tough going to some readers despite my attempts to explain them as simply as I can.

I have added clarifying comments after the mostly short essays that I hope will help explain the more obscure concepts and how they fit into the larger themes of this book. If anyone who begins to read this has difficulty understanding some parts, I hope that they will keep reading, because the main themes are repeatedly woven throughout the book in different contexts and hyperlinks present more background reading.







After describing Soldiers For Peace International and its origins, the essays begin by arguing that the health care “reform” debate  of 2009 was a cynical bait-and-switch engineered from the beginning to bail out a failing medical insurance industry while preserving the privileged position of the pharmaceutical  and corporate health care industries. 


The dramatically escalating costs of the medical insurance industry's product are threatening the continued viability of this  inefficient and unnecessary system of profiteering from the suffering of others. This obliged these industries to approach the federal government with a request for "reform." What they really had in mind was a demand for tax money to prop up their teetering system for a few more years before it inevitably falls under its own dead weight. The cost in human suffering and economic burden is unconscionable.


I would argue that the apparent opposition of the insurance and other industries of the medical-industrial complex were more directed at deceiving the public and jockeying for control of the process than a failure to see that government subsidies and mandated insurance through private insurers were necessary to keep their ineffective and inefficient non-system of health care delivery intact.  


Most Americans on both sides of the issue seem to have been fooled until they saw the final product. Many still do not recognize it for what it is, focusing on apparent benefits of the plan or details of its many failings without getting the overall picture. I have appended my analyses of the true costs of the Democratic bill and the economic benefits of a single payer, Medicare-for-All system at the end of the book.


After reading the following introduction, the reader will understand my position that either major Party dominating our politics in what has been called the two-Party duopoly would have initiated this debate if called upon to so by the power elite that makes these decisions in our name. Either would have responded to the wealthy medical insurance corporations looking for a government bailout for its industry.  The marketing of the bailout would have looked entirely different in the hands of the Republicans, but the outcome would have been substantially the same.

Social responsibility has not been a concern of corporations since the Supreme Court declared them citizens with Constitutional rights and thus beyond the regulations that prevented them from collectively seizing power over the US government. Now that the coup has been accomplished, the question becomes one of whether it is possible to Take Back America for the People. I argue that we can. I believe that the opposition of nearly 80% of self-described conservatives and liberals means that it is inevitable if we promote all Americans coming together in common cause to end this obvious threat to democracy.

Each essay in this book advances the argument, though it is not always obvious how it does so. It may be therefore better to think of it as a nonlinear approach to solving a problem that linear thinkers regard as unsolvable. 


This book was originally written as I was fleshing out my thoughts on what problems we would have to face to unify Americans behind a single proposition that is the core of what I call The Battle Plan to Take Back America in the book. The specifics  of this plan have changed with events, but the general outline is the same. The plan depends  on  the validity of the idea that we can abolish  the Supreme Court doctrine of corporate personhood and thereby regain control of the US government. Once a representative democracy is restored (some would say created for the first time), we can assure that it places the interests of the People over corporate profit, power and control.

The steps involved in solving the problem of war involve coming to a common understanding about our personal responsibility as individuals to each other and society as a whole. I believe that this could lead naturally to a  rational public debate that would result in a more coherent and shared concept of the proper role of government, one that has a proper balance between protecting the rights of individuals and meeting other needs of a society.

I make no apology for the series of assumptions implicit in my arguments. Readers are welcome to disagree with the thoughts I have expressed in each of these essays by posting in the comments section following each essay. I only hope that the reader will be open-minded enough to consider my argument as a whole, because only by having  a dialogue about the central issues that divide citizens of the US  from each other and the rest of the world can we take back control of the American government and establish justice both for ourselves and other nations that its actions affect.

In exploring what is tearing apart the fabric of American society, I attempt to address in the following essays the major issues that perpetuate injustice of all kinds. I argue that just as we are dependent on one another, the solutions to our common problems are dependent on prioritizing and working together to get at the root of the problem, which I regard as corporate personhood. 


We must have a rational dialogue about how to solve the problems  threatening the viability of democracy in America. I argue that these problems  stem from the idea that corporations are people, with the Constitutional right to buy our Senate. The Supreme Court justifies this in the name of exercising "free" speech, which they essentially equate to money. If we can put aside the artificial distinctions which divide us, we  might conclude as a People that the key to restoring democracy to America is the abolition of corporate personhood. 

The most important of the problems caused by the wholesale corruption of government by corporate money are international. Global climate change threatens to produce mass famine, pandemic and the deaths of billions without a coordinated effort to find a way to end war and environmental devastation and to assure that health care is a human right of every citizen of the planet.

We have to look beyond the interests of individual nations  and factions within nations to find a solution that benefits all of us. Because of the universal nature of these issues, I hope that they will be of interest to English-speaking readers around the world, who are encouraged to translate any essays that they find interesting into other languages to distribute as they see fit.

We are all in this world together and our fates interdependent.  I hope that this book will enable the reader to challenge his or her assumptions about the reality of human nature, society and the Universe that we share. If enough of us understand our responsibility to consciously act in full knowledge of the interdependence of all humanity and the natural world, I am convinced that we can yet save ourselves from self-destruction.


The following introduction is my attempt to summarize what I see as the most fundamental problems we must solve to restore democracy in America. It is written in a straightforward style, unlike  many of the essays that follow. 


I hope I have written these essays in an entertaining and emotionally engaging way that will be of interest to most readers.  I have  written them in an allegorical style in an effort to appeal to the widest possible audience. This necessarily means that some concepts will seem trivial to some readers and some may be  difficult to understand to readers new to the issues. I hope that all will find something useful in their own efforts to become part of the change we must create to  save the ourselves from the threats facing human civilization.


The introduction is largely political, in contrast to most of the essays, which are focused on my view of the central problems of individuals, groups and nations that we must consider in building a movement to end war. If the introduction seems pedantic, the casual reader may want to skip it and proceed to the essays at the risk of missing the general scheme of the presentation of  concepts in the book. Reading the introduction may help understanding the book more fully.


  

7 comments:

  1. Useful information, many thanks to the author. It is puzzling to me now, but in general, the usefulness and importance is overwhelming. Very much thanks again and good luck! Please keep up the good articles, thanks!
    Kızlık zarı

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, G. estetik. Just so you know, this is a collection of essays that is more or less complete, though someday I may go back and edit it for clarity. It is as I say in the introduction a diary of my thoughts in 2009.

      My thinking continues to evolve. You can keep up on my latest writings by following my blog on Soldiers For Peace International: http://www.soldiersforpeaceinternational.org/2011/01/asymmetrical-warfare.html

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  2. Well that's amazing comments here! there is the one activity that you can do as a parent.Not let your boyish go with out admiration from you and be constant to accustom them acclimatized that you applause them.
    Yüz Germe

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Yuz. I am not sure I understand all of your comment, but if you mean that I should not let any admiration for my writing make me lose awareness of the fact that everyone deserves applause for their work as Soldiers For Peace, I certainly agree.

      If you like what I have to say here, I hope that you will encourage your English-speaking friends in Turkey and elsewhere to check out the website of Soldiers For Peace International, join us on Facebook and listen to SFPI Radio, the voice of Soldiers For Peace International on the worldwide web every Saturday at 8 PM Ankara time: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sfpiradio/2012/10/13/global-game-of-risk-with-christof-lehmann

      YUZ teşekkür ederiz. Senin yorumun anladığınızdan emin değilim, ama benim yazı için herhangi bir hayranlık izin vermemeliyiz anlamına varsa bana herkes Barış İçin Askerler olarak çalışmaları için alkış hak ettiği bilinciyle kaybetmek yapmak, ben kesinlikle katılıyorum.

      Benim burada ne söyleyeceklerini istiyorsanız, ben size Türkiye'de ve başka yerlerde İngilizce konuşan arkadaşlar, Facebook bize katılın ve SFPI Radyo dinle, Uluslararası Barış İçin Asker ses Asker web sitesini kontrol etmek teşvik edeceğini umuyoruz 08:00 Ankara'da zamanda dünya çapında web her Cumartesi günü Uluslararası Barış için.

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  3. 6 yrs is a long time but I can understand the amount of work you'd have to go through with those pics. Good luck with everything.
    Estetik

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  4. I am not much into reading, but somehow I got to read lots of articles on your blog. Its amazing how interesting it is for me to visit you very often...
    Estetik

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    Replies
    1. I am glad you find my writing worth your time, Estetik. If you are referring only to this online book of essays, please also check out my website, where I am posting about things that have developed since this was written.

      Time is growing shorter to address the many threats to human civiization caused by the actions of the powerful, selfish people who laregly hold the fate of our children in their hands. They can only be defeated by the combined effort of Soldiers For Peace around the world coming together to build a united international front against fascism and war.

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