Leaders and Leadership in 2013 – Part 3

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Humanity, Our Future | 1 comment

Leaders and Leadership in 2013 – Part 3

This will now be a 4-part blog series as I find a further blog of analysis and diagnosis of our current scenario is needed prior to the final part of the series which will be prognosis and suggested steps to shift our world and future from our current self-destructive path.

I begin this blog, the third one in this Leaders and Leadership series, with what I said to close the last blog:  “It is accordingly clear that many aspects of what we believe has been our ‘material progress’ over our history are now proving to be ultimately illusory. Our belief in our basic freedoms are also equally illusory. I will reflect on this second statement and how we can truly change the current very negative diagnoses of the state of humanity, our world and future in Part 3 of this blog series. The question of leaders and leadership is of course absolutely central to that question. There is still hope but time is very short.”

I should also note that today, April 15, has been proclaimed by citizen action groups as the “Global Day of Action on Military Spending”, which is an unexpected synchronicity.

To summarize, the two main points I am now making is that our perceptions of both our “material progress” and our “freedom” are proving ultimately illusory. That’s becoming clearer by the day to very many people around the world except for our “leaders”. The obvious question of course is why?

I will attempt to answer that question and also explore our illusory sense of freedom in this blog. Then I will present in the final part of this blog series next Monday what I believe are the steps necessary in the near future to address these current realities in the hope of finding a collective path to a peaceful and sustainable world and future for humanity.

I believe without any doubt he perception of our basic freedoms in today’s democratic societies  are essentially illusory. As illusory as the perception of “material progress” based on ever-increasing rates of consumption of the Earth’s finite resources.

We think that live in democratic nations where  the people ultimately rule. However that is not at all true today if it ever was. Our system is “representative democracy” not direct democracy and today the political parties who come to power pretty much worldwide solely represent elite and special interests not the people enabled by the mainstream media and manufactured consent.

“Government of, by, and for the people” is a shared dream that has never been implemented anywhere in the world as yet. And that’s what true Democracy means of course. I also believe that many people are aware of this truth today. More all the time.  Accordingly we may collectively soon approach an “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” moment globally.

The forms of government that have evolved from our unsuccessful attempts to achieve true democracy to date are actually Oligarchy’s and Plutocracy’s not Democracies.

Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next. as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy. In Jeffrey Winters’ definition, massive wealth is the key factor in identifying oligarchs. Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities, lobbyists that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative.

While Plutocracy is in modern times used to refer to societies rooted in state-corporate capitalism or which prioritize the accumulation of wealth over other interests. According to Kevin Phillips, author and political strategist to U.S. President Richard Nixon, the United States is a plutocracy in which there is a “fusion of money and government.”

The implications of this present day reality are extremely disruptive to societal cohesion globally. The Nobel-Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote an article entitled “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%”, in Vanity Fair magazine in 2011. The title as well as the content pointed to evidence that the United States is increasingly ruled by the wealthiest 1%. In it he states: “Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important. The cards are stacked. It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East: rising food prices and growing and persistent youth unemployment simply served as kindling.”

While a study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University recently reported that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000. The three richest people possess more financial assets than the lowest 48 nations combined. The combined wealth of the “10 million dollar millionaires” grew to nearly $41 trillion in 2008. In 2001, 46.4% of people in sub-Saharan Africa were living in extreme poverty. Nearly half of all Indian children are undernourished, however, even among the wealthiest fifth one third of children are malnourished. 

The “wealth gap” between rich and poor worldwide has grown exponentially in recent decades while the Middle-Classes have shrunken accordingly. And of course these harmful trends continue to grow unabated. It’s even more severe when we look at the wealth accumulation of the top .01% of the global population.

In addition to the on-the-ground reality of Oligarchical and Plutocratic societal governance today, there are two related trends taking place over the past 30 to 40 years that first appeared in the 20th Century – Militarism and Fascism

Militarism is “the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.” It may also imply the “glorification of the ideals of a professional military class” and the “predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state”. Militarism has been a significant element of the imperialist or expansionist ideologies of several nations throughout history. Prominent examples include the Ancient Assyrian Empire, the Greek city state of Sparta, the Roman Empire, the Aztec nation, the Kingdom of Prussia, the British Empire, the Empire of Japan, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (which would later become part of the Soviet Union), the Italian Empire during the reign of Benito Mussolini, Nazi Germany and American Imperialism.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militarism

Fascism, according to Kevin Passmore, of Cardiff University, in his book Fascism: A Very Short Introduction: “Is a set of ideologies and practices that seeks to place the nation, defined in exclusive biological, cultural, and/or historical terms, above all other sources of loyalty, and to create a mobilized national community. Fascist nationalism is reactionary in that it entails implacable  hostility to socialism and feminism, for they are seen as prioritizing class or gender rather than nation. This is why fascism is a movement of the extreme right. Fascism is also a movement of the radical right because the defeat of socialism and feminism and the creation of the mobilized nation are held to depend upon the advent to power of a new elite acting in the name of the people.  All aspects of fascist policy are suffused with ultra-nationalism.”

I contend that oligarchy, plutocracy, militarism and fascism are all historically and currently closely linked with the concept of Empire and the overwhelming desire of one nation or people to dominate other nations and peoples based on conquest for resources, racism, religious conflict, etc. Regardless of the stated or unstated rationals provided publicly, it is a historic pattern of domination based on an “us and them” ideology which divides peoples and enables wars of aggression and genocide. And it is sadly a primary and continuing story of human history to date.

What the 20th Century taught us, which remains a lesson collectively unlearned to date unfortunately, is that blind patriotism and nationalism inevitably leads a nation and often the World to disaster and that the societal elites create and manipulate these strong feelings in their populations through propaganda and media control or manufactured consent. See WWI and WWII as large examples of these disastrous aspects of modern societies since the early part of the 20th Century and continuing today.

Another element which became prevalent in the 20th Century in terms of governance and conflict was ideological “isms” such as Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, etc. The dangers of all ideological “isms” are well known now and is one of the main lessons of the 20th Century. Ideologues can never admit they are wrong. Their belief is based on faith not reason and therefore no evidence, no matter how convincing it is in the real world, that their ideologically based policies don’t work can even be introduced or considered. Another case of “blind faith” and blind faith in the political and economic realms almost always ends in disaster based on even a quick glance at modern history.

I highly recommend viewing the following information to truly understand the nature of our World as it actually is today. Not as we believe it as or are told it is. I call our world today “Romerika” where ‘might rules over right as much as it ever has in human history. Our sense of hopeful progress in that regard also has to be seen as illusory in the clear light of day and truth. Such a system requires the overall ignorance and “dumbing down” of the populace as to what’s really going on and how they are always being manipulated by their “leaders” through propaganda, fear-mongering, media control, etc. The many distractions of popular culture also play a key role in creating this environment.

Here are the links. View these videos if you wish to be fully awake to the world as it actually is today:

i) Noam Chomsky recent lecture entitled Can Civilization survive really existing Capitalism? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uuYjUxf6Uk

ii) John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman) interview called Corporatocracy. The video is currently available on AERIEL Channel for a Better World at http://aeriel.tv (courtesy of Gaiam TV).

Next week in the final blog of this series I will present my prognosis if humanity continues on our current path and proscribe numerous elements and steps that must be taken sooner or later if our species wishes to survive and thrive well into the 21st Century and beyond. I will do so on behalf of all, including the .01% who actually run the World today. What is further true is that we are all now in the same boat. We can call that boat the “Titanic” given where we’re now heading and just as with the original Titanic the threat was the same for both rich and poor.

One Comment

  1. Well done David. So wonderful to find you sharing your wisdom and all that you have learned in your journey to make a better world. We will because we can x

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