Tuesday, February 5, 2019

If You Have The Oil...

If You Have The Oil... We Have The Democracy?
(Observations on the Advanced Symptoms of Late-Stage Capitalism)
by C. A. Matthews

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. (I Corinthians 13:11, NRSV)

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away I believed that all wars served a noble purpose. You know what I mean. I believed that no country or group of people would ever start a war if it wasn't for a sound reason. My idea of sound reasons include a country could start a war because another country had invaded their territory, or a rogue group had threatened genocide against another group of human beings, and we couldn't in all good conscience stand by and let them do such an immoral thing.

I've grown up in the past few years in my "woke adulthood." I don't believe in childish things like you have to have a noble purpose behind every act of aggression in the world. In fact, the more I've studied and observed recent military interventions around the globe the more I've come to the conclusion that noble and moral intentions in warfare just get in the way.

It really all boils down to this rather Pythonesque statement: It's nothing personal--we just want your resources. Its corollary: We'll do anything we have to in order to get them.

Take America's recent interest in Venezuela. I'm far from being an expert on South American/USA affairs, but it doesn't take a Harvard PhD in political science to see what's going on. Venezuela sits on top of the world's largest reserves of petroleum. We want their oil. It's that simple.

"Oh, no, it can't be that obvious," many mainstream pundits protest. "We want to promote freedom and democracy in Venezuela. They have a socialist for a president and the people don't want him."

The reality? Nicolas Maduro won the presidency in May of 2018 with 67.8% of the vote--an election that the opposition boycotted. Juan Guaido received 0 votes in the last election, yet he is now considered the legitimate president of Venezuela?

It's hard to argue with the fact that Mr. Maduro is a very popular president, socialist or not, and by "promoting democracy" the US is helping stage a coup d'├ętat to install a right-winger who never even ran for the office. Our chosen puppet Guaido would have never won the support of the majority of Venezuelans if he did. 

What do you call a government that attempts to install a person into a high office he wasn't even elected to according to his country's own laws?  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn't call a government that practices such crimes a democracy. Would you?

The echoes of our recent forays in Syria, where an oil pipeline was to be built--don't forget a good location is a resource to grab, too--only adds credence to the fact that the United States of America is simply an oil company with an army. When our Big Oil CEOs want more oil to sell, they tell our government to go a warring to get it if necessary. The war against Native Americans and their allies at Standing Rock demonstrates that hiring private mercenaries and drafting state troopers to shoot rubber bullets and tear gas into peaceful crowds isn't above (or is it below?) our puppet government's reach.

The US has ceased to be a nation of laws. It's transformed itself into a privately owned corporation ruled by oil-loving tyrants. The parasites called capitalists have almost taken over their host in its entirety now, and if they continue to feed on the greed, fear and ignorance of the populace the host will soon be no more. It may only take one more "war for oil" to do it.
You don't have to take my word for it. There are many experts to back me up, the incomparable Chris Hedges being one of them. In his article, The World to Come (https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-world-to-come/) he states: 

The nation’s isolation by its traditional allies and its inability, especially in the face of environmental catastrophe, to articulate rational and visionary policies have shattered the mystique that is vital to power. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” George Orwell wrote. “That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Our elites have exhausted fraud. Force is all they have left.

But all is not lost--we can cure the illness of late-stage capitalism, according to Hedges:

We must carry out organized civil disobedience and forms of non-cooperation to weaken corporate power. We must use, as in France, widespread and sustained social unrest to push back against the designs of our corporate masters. We must sever ourselves from reliance on corporations in order to build independent, sustainable communities and alternative forms of power. The less we need corporations the freer we will become. This will be true in every aspect of our lives, including food production, education, journalism, artistic expression and work. Life will have to be communal. No one, unless he or she is part of the ruling elite, will have the resources to survive alone.

The longer we pretend this dystopian world is not imminent, the more unprepared and disempowered we will be. The ruling elite’s goal is to keep us entertained, frightened and passive while they build draconian structures of oppression grounded in this dark reality. It is up to us to pit power against power. Ours against theirs. Even if we cannot alter the larger culture, we can at least create self-sustaining enclaves where we can approximate freedom. We can keep alive the burning embers of a world based on mutual aid rather than mutual exploitation. And this, given what lies in front of us, will be a victory.

Even in the face of defeat in the latest resource grab conflict we can declare victory--but only if we're not afraid to create the "self-sustaining enclaves where we can approximate freedom…based on mutual aid rather than mutual exploitation" that Chris Hedges describes.

To be cured of this hideous disease of capitalism that drives countries into committing despicable acts, we'll have to be creative and courageous in our efforts. Always, we have to be moral and noble in promoting our cause. And, in the end, we can't let the bastards grind us down.

Related articles/video:

Trump's Efforts to Out Maduro Are Illegal and Will Kill More Venezuelans.

Lee Camp exposes the three factors all countries that have suffered recent coup d'├ętats sponsored by the US have in common.   

Beanstock's World blog's Political Awakening Video Weekend has lots of good video links about Venezuela and other progressive topics.  https://beanstocksworld.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/political-awakening-video-weekend-02-03-2019-13-videos/#like-7161


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Power to the people--not the corporations!

 From Credo:

Two years is too long. It's time for Congress to repeal the Muslim ban.

Donald Trump began separating and terrorizing Black and Brown families as soon as he took office. His Muslim ban was one of the first racist policies he enacted to attack our communities.

Over the summer, five justices on the Supreme Court failed to put checks on Trump and refused to strike down the ban.1 Now, it's up to Congress to take the lead. Democrats just reintroduced legislation to block the Muslim ban.2 Congress needs to pass it now.

Tell Congress: Two years is too long. Pass legislation to repeal Trump's hateful Muslim ban. Click here to sign the petition.

No family should ever be torn apart because of their religion or place of birth – but that's exactly what Trump will continue to do if Congress doesn't stop him.

Trump is nothing if not persistent in his crusade to institutionalize his white nationalist agenda. Two of his signature policies – the Muslim ban and asylum ban - stem from a bigoted desire to divide and keep out communities who threaten the white supremacy at the core of his administration. 

His Muslim ban is dividing many American Muslim families, but it's a more hidden crisis than family separation at the border. Some people locked out by the ban qualify for waivers that would allow them to re-enter the country and reunite with their families, but reports of the government denying people's waiver application even though they meet every criterion are growing.3 The Trump administration is tearing apart Muslim families at U.S embassies scattered around the world – and out of sight of most Americans. We must put a stop to this now.

Two years ago, thousands of us were in the streets and at airports welcoming Muslims and refugees and demanding that Congress intervene to block Trump's Muslim ban. We must keep up the fight and use that same grassroots power to force Congress to act now.

Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Chris Murphy just reintroduced legislation that would declare Trump's Muslim ban unconstitutional and bar him from using federal funds to enforce it.4 This bill moves the fight to repeal the ban one huge step forward. Congress should approve it and work to pass legislation that would completely strike it down.

Tell Congress: Two years is too long. Pass legislation to repeal Trump's hateful Muslim ban. Click the link below to sign the petition.


Thank you for all you do,
Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Rachel Brown and Georgia Travers, "The Muslim ban expands the cruel policy of family separation," The Washington Post, July 3, 2018.
  2. Niels Lesniewski, "Democrats want to defund President Trump's 'Muslim ban,'" Roll Call, Jan. 29, 2019.
  3. Brown and Travers, "The Muslim ban expands the cruel policy of family separation."
  4. Lesniewski, "Democrats want to defund President Trump's 'Muslim ban.'"
From California Clean Money Action Fund:

"For the People Act" has 230,000 Signatures
— Help us reach 250,000!
There's an exciting new federal bill that stands with the People and against Big Money dominating our politics and government.

HR-1, the For The People Act, is a much needed and potentially massive overhaul of money in politics, voting, and ethics laws — all to make our democracy work for us, not special interests.

Sign the Coalition Petition now! 230,000 people have already signed — help us reach 250,000!

Sign the Coalition Petition!

This is a great opportunity stand for a powerful package of national campaign finance and voting reforms to prevent Big Money from continuing to dominate politics and shut people out of the process..

HR-1 has strong new disclosure rules to force Dark Money non-profits to report their secret funders, like we do in California. It would set up small-donor citizen-funded elections for Congress so candidates don't have to rely on Big Money donors. And it has numerous ethics reform measures, such as slowing the revolving door between government and lobbyists and strengthening the Federal Elections Commission.to enforce violations.

HR-1 will also protect and expand voting rights and election security, through measures like same day voting registration, making election day a federal holiday, ending gerrymandering, and requiring the use of paper ballots and risk-limiting audits. We're also pushing for it to include funding for publicly-owned Open-Source Paper-Ballot Voting Systems, as we have been in California.

Now is the time to stand together and force Congress to pass a package of strong and specific reforms for a real democracy that serves We the People and not Big Money or special interests.

Please sign the Coalition Petition now! Tell Congress we demand the For The People Act!

The petition is direct and specific. It says:

To Congress — " We want a government that works for all of us — that gives us all a say and puts our needs ahead of special interests.

We want our elected officials to support the For The People Act (H.R. 1) and make sure it's a bold, comprehensive package of democracy reforms including: independent redistricting commissions, citizen-funded elections, closing the revolving door between government and corporate interests, and protecting voters against discrimination."

Sign the Coalition Petition!

Thank you for standing with us in the fight for fair elections. We're based in California so we can make sure it sets a good example, but we take action with our national coalition partners everywhere. Sometimes California needs the help of other states and sometimes other states' need ours!

Please stay tuned for more ways you can fight and win against Big Money in politics everywhere.

Trent Lange
President and Executive Director, California Clean Money Action Fund

Want to fight Big Money by becoming a Clean Money member?  Clean Money supporters like you help us achieve historic victories like passing the California DISCLOSE Act, the strongest disclosure law in the nation. Now we must expand it throughout the country! Will you stand with us against Big Money?

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Not now, but I'll make a one-time donation of $3 or more!


  1. Russia and China have both recognized the legitimate Maduro government. I wonder what the American Establishment would do if both countries sent military forces to Venezuela?

    1. Depends on whom they want to piss off the most--those who have all our gold (China) or have all our oil (Venezuela) or who they want to use as our universal scapegoat(Russia).


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