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Three Things That Must Happen for Us to Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy

Truthout Friday 26 August 2011

by: Bruce E. Levine, Alternet | Op-Ed

Most Americans oppose rule by the corporatocracy but don’t have the tools to fight back. Here are three things we need to create a real people’s movement.

Transforming the United States into something closer to a democracy requires: 1) knowledge of how we are getting screwed; 2) pragmatic tactics, strategies, and solutions; and 3) the “energy to do battle.”

The majority of Americans oppose the corporatocracy (rule by giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite,

and corporate-collaborator government officials); however, many of us have given up hope that this tyranny can be defeated. Among those of us who continue to be politically engaged, many focus on only one of the requirements—knowledge of how we are getting screwed. And this singular focus can result in helplessness. It is the two other requirements that can empower, energize, and activate Team Democracy— a team that is currently at the bottom of the standings in the American Political League.

Read article at Truthout Friday 26 August 2011

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If and when health care reform finally passes, we will have successfully ameliorated only half of the crisis. The treatment half. The next step has to be focused upon doing something about the poisoned filth we’ve collectively nicknamed “food.” Without any real changes in how our food is produced, the health care system will continue to bloat and fall apart. Not unlike the insides of an average American body.

Corporate agribusiness has invested nearly $1.2 billion (and growing) on lobbyists — more money than even the defense lobby. Naturally, much of this lobbying has been aimed at deregulating how food is processed and manufactured, as well as how corporate agribusinesses raise and process livestock. It’s an industry that’s entangled in everything from Big Tobacco to human trafficking and illegal immigration.

Most recently, and speaking of poisoned filth, you may have watched as Rick Berman was eviscerated by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC a few weeks ago. In case you missed it, Berman’s Center for Consumer Freedom is financed by corporate agribusiness, among others, and tasked with deceiving the public about everything from high fructose corn syrup to transfat, mercury levels in fish, obesity issues, food labels, and tobacco laws. CCF is all about confusing the public by muddying scientific fact and skewing the debate onto ridiculous tangents to the point where it’s difficult to tell the difference between what’s healthy and what’s crap. It’s Glenn Beck’s rodeo clown strategy applied to food.

The consequence for you and me, of course, is that the food is becoming increasingly toxic, both in terms of what goes into our bodies, and in terms of how deregulation and deception is hurting the economy. What good is health care reform if we’re still being fed poison? What good is an economic recovery if big business is still gaming the system?

Here’s a perfect example of what they’re getting away with. In Ohio next week, voters will be voting on a ballot measure known as Issue 2.

As I’m sure you’re aware — and I’ll spare you the gruesome videos — corporate farms maximize profit by packing as many animals into ridiculously tight spaces. Imagine being forced to live out your life in the equivalent of a high school gym locker. While confined and unable to move, the animals are injected with a variety of hormones, antibiotics and other medications. Medications designed for animals, not humans. They’re force-fed grains laced with pesticides and other chemicals. And when they’re not eating chemically-tainted grain, they’re often fed the remains of other animals — old or sick animals that aren’t shoved through the system and turned into food for humans (we often share food with, you know, our food). The list of atrocities is lengthy, but the end result is that a variety of unhealthy, possibly deadly toxins and diseases wind up, unannounced, on our mouths.

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