- Republics are nations where heads of state aren't monarchs
or despots in which citizens elect officials to represent them.
- Merriam Webster calls them "government(s) in which
supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised
by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing
according to law."
- Thomas Paine once said:
- "a republic is supposed to be directed by certain
fundamental principles of right and justice, from which there cannot, because
there ought not to, be any deviation."
- "(It) is executed by a select number of persons,
who act as representatives, and in behalf of the whole, and who are supposed
to (govern) as the people would do were they all assembled together...."
- "When a people agree to form themselves into a republic
(they) mutually resolve and pledge themselves to each other, rich and poor
alike, to support this rule of equal justice among them....A republic,
properly understood, is a sovereignty of justice, in contradistinction
to a sovereignty of will."
- America never followed Paine's principles. Since the
1980s, Democrats and Republicans adopted neoliberal harshness. Bush I continued
Reagan's policies. Clinton hardened them. Bush II much more, and Obama
matched Star Trek by going where no administration went before.
- For decades, working Americans were sacrificed on the
alter of unprecedented wealth transfers to Wall Street, other corporate
favorites, and super-rich elites grabbing all they can and wanting more.
- Industrial America was hollowed out. Monopoly finance
capital replaced it. Casino capitalism thrived. So did unbridled government-sanctioned
fraud on an incalculable scale.
- Keynes once warned about "enterprise becom(ing)
the bubble on a whirlpool of (destructive) speculation," causing Depression
level hard times.
- Wall Street insiders profit all the way to the bank.
Privatized money power lets them own politicians and America. As a result,
they strip-mine it for profit, rip off investors and homeowners with impunity,
grab everything that smells money, and come back for more.
- For decades, they engineered housing and debt bubbles
built on fraud. They illegally shifted trillions of dollars to tax havens
and other foreign locations. Through privatization piracy, they transfered
public assets to private hands at below market prices and offloaded liabilities
back to government.
- They engineered an incalculable multi-trillion dollar
heist, and bribed political Washington to facilitate it. They hollowed
out America and other Western countries in the process on the way to destroying
middle class societies.
- Allied with politicians they buy like toothpaste, they
established a government-business cabal for enormous profits through legislation,
contracts, deregulation, handouts, and free-wheeling ability to do what
- In the process, America's dream was destroyed. Money
power in private hands to make more of it made it possible. Privatizing
profits and socializing losses sacrificed Main Street for Wall Street.
- Monopoly finance capitalism created a surplus of misery.
Political Washington let it happen. Corrupted politicians and banksters
created an economic system based on unbridled fraud and greed.
- America runs by Goldman Sachs rules, pyramiding Ponzi
scams to defraud investors and working households with the full faith and
blessing of Washington.
- Business models are based on highly leveraged fraud for
maximum gains, knowing if speed bumps produce trouble, bailout rescues
follow. In fact, Wall Street's culture encourages fraud. Nearly risk-free
rewards are assured.
- Milton Friedman and his acolytes practically encouraged
it by saying government's sole function is "to protect our freedom
both from (outside) enemies....and from our fellow-citizens."
- It's to preserve law and order, enforce contracts, protect
private property, and "foster competitive (unregulated) markets."
Everything else in public hands is "socialism....blasphemy."
- He said "free markets" work best unfettered
by rules, regulations, onerous taxes or any at all, trade barriers, entrenched
interests, and human interference. In other words, anything government
does, business does better so let it, free from public interference.
- He believed profit accumulation should be unrestrained.
He said government interference restricts freedom. He called "economic
freedom....an end to itself....and an indispensable means toward (achieving)
- He wanted government out of the way to give unfettered
capitalism free reign. In other words, Goldman Sachs rules are fine even
when economies and working households are looted for private gain.
- Free market fundamentalists turn a blind eye to imperial
wars, frenetic speculation, super-sized fraud, out-of-control corruption
and cronyism, as well as massive wealth transfers to America's top 1%,
creating growing poverty, unemployment, and human misery.
- Spreading Social Justice Street Protests
- Millions of angry Americans had enough. Inspired by Middle
East and European uprisings, they organized nationwide protests in over
1,100 large and small cities and towns.
- Heading everywhere with a spirit not seen in decades,
they want social inequality ended, growing poverty and unemployment addressed,
and lost worker rights restored. They also want fraudulent corporate profits
returned to public hands and culpable officials prosecuted.
- Whether sustainable energy continues remains to be seen.
Influential behind the scenes power brokers aim to co-opt and subvert it.
Media scoundrels no longer ignore it, but inadequately explain root causes,
let alone solutions.
- Even occasional good commentaries omit what should be
said. On October 8, a New York Times editorial headlined, "Protesters
Against Wall Street," saying:
- ....(I)ncome inequality is grinding down that middle
class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent
underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters,
most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity."
- Fact check
- True enough, but omitted was explaining the root cause
- money power in private hands to make more of it at the public's expense.
- Saying "the economy is not working for most Americans,"
and that "the financial sector (colluding with regulators and elected
officials) inflated and profited from a credit bubble that burst, costing
millions of American their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity"
is accurate but not enough. Nor is ticking off other festering problems
- Even saying America "needs a shift in the emphasis
of public policy from protecting the banks to fostering full employment,
including public spending for job creation and development of a strong,
long-term strategy to increase domestic manufacturing" omits HOW!
- It starts with returning money power to public hands,
making banking a highly regulated public utility, stressing economic growth
and prohibiting speculation.
- It includes:
- returning fraudulent profits to public hands;
- prosecuting culpable officials;
- fining and jailing those convicted;
- eliminating money in politics;
- ending duopoly power by creating a level playing for
independent parties given equal cost free time on public airwaves and invited
to participate in open debates; and
- prohibiting cartel power through tough anti-trust laws
- It's not enough to say protesters can't draft legislation,
lawmakers have to do it. Laws and regulations needed must be explained.
Addressing what kind of country needs to replace what's too corrupted and
broken to fix is key, and how it can be gotten spelled out in detail.
- It's stressing what's gone on for decades no longer is
tolerable and itemizing real solutions. It's spending less time citing
problems and more on specific fixes. It's turning America's money run system
on its head, saying this no longer will stand and how to achieve it.
- It's not rocket science. Whenever it's been done it works,
including successfully in colonial America, under Lincoln, and today in
North Dakota - the only state with a publicly owned bank that let it prosper
throughout today's crisis.
- Why not everywhere across America so all states can flourish
like North Dakota? Why not in Washington under a nationalized Federal Reserve,
not a private one run by and for Wall Street.
- A better world is possible but major media scoundrels
won't say how, let alone endorse the idea.
- Notably, The New York Times has been America's lead voice
for corporate interests and political Washington. It supports wealth and
power, not public needs and concerns. It endorses imperial wars, ducks
major issues like corporate and political fraud, calls money run elections
real ones, and fake democracy legitimate.
- It's turns a blind eye to eroding civil and human rights,
endorses harsh austerity when stimulus is needed, and barely notices politicians
on the take. Initially it ignored Wall Street protests, then treated them
dismissively until paying more attention but not enough.
- One editorial, whatever its merits, doesn't undue longstanding
policy supporting wealth and power. Nor will it change proliferating managed
news throughout America's media instead of real information and analysis
everyone needs to know.
- Above all, people need to understand that today's system
is too rotten to fix. Change depends on leveling it and starting over,
beginning with putting money power back in public hands where it belongs.
- If that's not done, no constructive change can follow
except for cosmetic crumbs to meager to matter.
- On the other hand, fix problem one and all else is possible.
- Going for it must be protesters' top goal. Then address
a laundry list of grievances needing to be addressed and ways to fix them.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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