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Monday, November 23, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Aug 15, 2009 8:28 AM PDT

This chapter is dedicated to Thom Hartmann, who wrote in Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight about the need to change human consciousness in order to save the planet. That is exactly what Soldiers For Peace International is trying to do.

China provides a wonderful example of good intentions going bad out of fear that people are not capable of acting in their own best interest. The assumption of its government is that given the opportunity and freedom of action to disregard the interests of society in their own selfish pursuits, citizens will do so. China’s leadership thus sees itself as responsible for making decisions based on the interests of the nation as a whole, often regardless of the effects on individuals.

In seeking to free itself from the burden of colonialism, China united against a common foe, as America had done before her. Unlike most revolutions, this resulted in a ruling class that actually considered its own long term interests as being best served by concentrating on domestic concerns and going to war only when it perceived its interests to be directly threatened. Its huge military primarily serves a defensive function, at least in its own view.

China has gradually built the basis for what could become the heart and nerve center of the economic world, should America continue its precipitous decline from a powerful industrial nation to one dependent on pillaging other nations to fuel its economy. China now fears that it has built its economic house on sand.

China's dependence on the stability of the dollar to maintain the value of its cash reserves leaves it vulnerable to severe disruption if the dollar declines sharply. The Chinese government is the most deliberative on the planet, incorporating the views of many leaders in a complex system of information exchange akin to that of bees in a hive. The Chinese Hive Mind has realized that if it continues to feed the voracious appetites of financial manipulators in America, it risks sowing the seeds of its own economic destruction.

When it floated the idea of converting to more stable international currencies than the dollar, China signaled to an apparently blind American government that it is not going to indefinitely pick up the tab for the corporatist orgy that is our “service” economy. This would of course lead to abrupt devaluation of the dollar, at great cost to the Chinese but at even greater cost to America. 

The leaders of the rapidly growing Chinese economy understand that the only ones being served in this economy are the American aristocracy, or so the counter-Revolutionaries in this country believe. The Chinese know better, having traditionally taken a longer view than the short-sided hedonists who control the levers of power in the U.S. 

The Chinese Communist Party understands the principle of enlightened self interest at the national level, if not at the level of the individual. Just as the Chinese government is willing to ignore the rights of Chinese citizens for what they see as the greater “good,” they are willing to take the economic hit they would suffer by abandoning the dollar in order to stabilize the world economy.

Congress is now faced with a dilemma it appears not to recognize. If the Senate fails to deliver true health care reform, there will be the devil to pay come Judgment Day, when they are next up for re-election. Alternatively, if they produce yet another bailout to save a dying scion of the corporatocracy, the people’s wrath will be fearsome. 

Congress does not yet seem to comprehend this. How much simpler for all concerned if they simply understood that their own interests would be best served by doing their sworn duty. They must pledge to put the interest of the American people above those of the puppet masters who they now feel control their fate. Let us not seek to punish them like the errant brats they seem to be. 

In reality, most members of Congress are more like frightened children who act instinctively, without understanding the ultimate consequences of their actions. Like good parents, we need to try and remember that most of them mean well, but need to be corrected when they misbehave. Positive reinforcement produces much more enduring positive changes in behavior than punishment.Of course, when they endanger us, we must punish them as we would the bad behavior of children.

For recalcitrant children we have to remember that the withholding of toys is the most effective deterrent to misbehavior. These individuals must be made examples of what happens to the servants of the corporatocracy. I have suggested that Max Baucus be the first. Although not up for re-election until 2014, he is a symbol of how the Democratic Party has adopted Bill Clinton's strategy of moving the Party far to the right instead of leading the American People to the natural center of the political spectrum. 

I suggested to the Progressive Democrats of America that it should start a campaign to target Baucus during the health care "reform" debate. This seemed to them to be an appropriate response to his role in obeying the wishes of the insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate industries that finance the propaganda campaigns that keep him in office working for them. He has accumulated power through the seniority system in the Senate, a policy that ignores both the Peter principle and the Founders intent that the Senate be composed of the "natural aristocracy."  It should be goal of our movement to establish the principle that the Senate, like America itself, should be a meritocracy and not an aristocracy.

The Hive Mind is nothing more than the thinking resulting from the consensus reality of a society. It is up to us to “Be the change” in molding the consensus reality of Americans and their government. We must change the meme, to use Thom Hartmann’s phrase. 

Once conservatives and liberals share a common understanding of the nature of democracy and their responsibility as citizens to work for a fair and functioning economy and society, we will demand together the end of American corporatism or as Mussolini put it, fascism. If a communist society that places no value on individual liberty can occasionally do the right thing for its People, why shouldn’t an ostensibly democratic country be able to do the same consistently? 

If you do not know the answer to this riddle, look to yourself.  The responsible parent understands that the child is the product of the family. Iranians are risking death for freedom. The citizens of the first modern democracy risk only ridicule by the ignorant. Let us accept that we are a family of man and take to the streets for democracy in America. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for our children.

In the words of the artists of This Beautiful Mess:

Come on, come one and all.
All weary and heavy laden, pack up your sorrows,
it's time to head back home.

Let's go,
let's go for broke.
No, no one knows which way is home.
Let's move, let's keep on moving.
We will get to where we're going.
How long will this be going on?
I want to know what's going on.

Come back, come back and haunt me like a true shepherd would.
Lead me beside still waters until all time has gone.

I would add, Jesus will not save us himself. We have free will for a reason. It is up to each of us to make the choice to make change happen, restore democracy in America and save the world from the corporate puppet masters.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Live from the NetRoots Nation

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania


  1. Freeing the world from the threat of war and worldwide enslavement by the international corporate terrorists who start them will require democratic reform in China, which if I am not mistaken is still roughly one quarter of the Earth's population.

    The best way to get the CCP to peacefully relinquish power if to show them that democratic reform is in their own best interest as well as that of its People. The students at Tiannamin Square, the Falun Gong and the thousands of Chinese citizens who have read the Nine Commentaries on the CCP and renounced their Party membership have frightened the members of the Chinese government, but not yet sufficiently to stop their persecution.

    We have to help the Chinese break down the Great Firewall of China by which the CCP is vainly trying to isolate the Chinese People so that they can continue to be victims of their propaganda by which they enforce Party discipline and edicts upon the citizenry.

    I discovered early on that it is possible to bypass diplomatic channels to get a message to a foreign government so as to influence tem to act in the mutual interest of their nation and ours. I wrote a letter to the Chinese ambassador to the UN during the early stages of the health care "reform" debate, suggesting as the Founder of Soldiers For Peace International that they make clear to Congress that they would not pay for the insurance industry bailout.

    This was shortly after China had announced that it was going to greatly reduce its purchase of T-bills. These are the promissary notes by the US Treasury that finance profligate US spending for the benefit of the corporations that have purchased the loyalty of many of our Senators.

    To my immense satisfaction, approximately one week later I received a call from a friend who excitedly informed me that NPR had just reported that "The Chinese government has announced that they are watching the health care reform debate in Congress with great interest."

    The Senate had been put on notice that they were going to have to find an American ox to gore to pay for the bailout, since theyy had made it quite clear that they werenot going to pour their national resources down that rathole.

    Predictably, they ignored the warning and once again tried to put the burden on the American worker, who just as predictably fought back through their union leadership.

    Ron Wyden had spent six years dreaming up a bailout for the medical insurance industry he labelled the "Healthy Americans Act." It may have been good for the short-term economic health of the medical insurance, pharmaceutical and corproate health care industries that comprise the medical-industrial complex, but it was good for neither the American worker nor the US economy and they let him know it.

  2. Wyden's bill was so bad that it received bipartisan support before if was rejected by the Democratics in favor of the Public Option bait-and-switch Rahm Emmanual engineered prior to public debate on health care reform. It cost shifted the burden of paying for medical insurance to the worker. To justify this typical Republican move, he forced the CBO to assume that workers would get the money back in higher wages. This laughable assumption was integrated into the extremely sketchy analysis, as required by law. Obviously, this cut the estimated costs and hid the reality of this shafting of unions once again by a purported "Democrat."

    To add insult to injury, Wyden used his corporate war chest to assault the American worker in an advertising campaign to convince voters in Portland that they were unAmerican because they "refused to pay their fair share" of the cost of paying off his corporate donors of the medical-industrial complex.

    Considering that unions were a major force in getting Wyden elected at the beginning of his career, you have to wonder why he keeps getting re-elected. Perhaps it is time for the People of Oregon to look for someone who will work for the interest of Oregonians and all Americans instead of the corporations.

  3. I just came across this tidbit. It seems that the artists in China have a little latitude in promoting democracy: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/08/china-s-modern-master.html


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