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Desperate Times Demand Revolutionary Measures

By Peter Phillips

“Don’t waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate-—just enough to register your obstruction and defiance—and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided.” Chris Hedges, May 2012

Runway capitalism is moving unrelentingly towards sociopolitical-environmental collapse—cheered on by a two-headed single party machine known as US Congress. Activists, who see the coming disasters as catastrophic, are seeking revolutionary change through non-cooperation, and occupy disruptions. Yet, many are the still delusional hopefuls desperately fumbling with traditional responses; including “Kum ba yah” marches, and the futile support for progressive left-leaning candidates seeking positions of influence inside the Washington beltway.

Do we understand that habeas corpus is no longer a legal protection in the US or that the US president can torture and kill American citizens, let along anyone in the world? How can we ignore the inconvenient truths of warrentless wire taps and electronic monitoring for everyone? Why do we tolerate that US-NATO forces killing people in over one hundred countries in the world using special service operatives, private assassins and drones—a million civilians deaths in Iraq alone? How can we be so blind as not to see our corporate media is a propaganda fog machine for the one percent? These questions, reflecting the reality of America today, are so far from the values of our traditions that accepting any aspect of authority from Washington DC is a sacrilege to our honor. We are in desperate times.

In Congress, wealth begets membership, and wealth is the reward for correct action. The members in the House and Senate have a collective net worth of $2.04 billion, up from $1.65 billion, in 2008. While at the same time, Americans’ household net worth has continued to declined and the number of people living in poverty has risen for the fifth year in a row.

The American Congress is in reality an artificial organization serving as cheerleader to the transnational corporate class of the world. Congress offers its members little more than a transitional path into the good life of corporate affluence as long as the members remain loyal to party discipline. Our legitimate electoral process has been completely usurped by the Supreme Court ruling that a corporation’s free speech rights allow unlimited campaign spending, and congressional lobbying knows no bounds. Any candidate willing to serve in the Democrat or Republican parties in the US congress today, even as a gadfly of resistance, is stepping beyond the pale of constitutional government.

Even if a Progressive Democrat of America—Moves On into the congressional circle, the magnitude of compromise demanded makes effective action impossible other than occasional symbolic votes of resistance. Those stepping out of party lines will invariably result in orchestrated opposition during the next selection cycle—Just ask Cynthia McKinney.

Reform is not an option. The only action possible is a complete and total return to the social justice values of our US Constitution and the Bill of rights. We cannot allow extrajudicial killings, privacy invasions into our homes, and police state interceptions in the commons. We cannot allow global capitalism to continue to kill and impoverish billions of people and destroy the planet

Protecting and even rewriting our Constitution and our Bill of Rights will require revolutionary acts. We must retool our elections and eliminate/ignore the dark clouds of corporate media. A mass movement at this level requires grass roots action by a core of at least ten percent of our population. Getting one out of ten people actively involved is not at all impossible; this is where our traditional values meet human rights. We are a people of hope that only need to overcome our fears and find the voice of our values by using radical democracy for human betterment for all.

The right to vote is a long held value. We are often asked, “Why waste your vote on an independent third party candidate, they will never have a chance to win.” Can voting for a candidate who reflects your own political values and beliefs be a wasted vote? It seems that voting for your true beliefs is a self-actualizing act, and compromising one’s values to pick the lesser of two evils is self-alienating. Therefore, we urge all to continue to vote, but find candidates outside of the two party oligopoly. Maybe someday, self-actualized voting will be fashionable.

Peter Phillips is a professor of political sociology and social movements at Sonoma State University. He is the president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored, and co-host with Mickey Huff of the weekly Project Censored Show on KPFA.

  • George Gibson May 14, 2012

    A vote for a third party candidate is simply a passive aggressive way to vote for Romney, just like voting for Nader in  2000 was a vote for Bush. If that’s who you support, just be intellectually honest and vote Republican and stop trying to wrap yourself in some false cloak of “purity”. As for re-writing the Constitution, just who do you think would be in charge of that? You? The people? Not a chance! The ONLY hope we have is to get as many progressive Democrats elected to every level of office as possible and give them our support once they are elected.

    • Vic Ashley May 14, 2012

      George —  Actually, vote for a third party candidate is THE most powerful message you can send to the corporate-owned parties.   Meekly doing as told — once again — only tells them you are owned.

      Drone murders, eliminating our right to a trial, removing Single Payer, bailing out Wall St.

      You literally are voting FOR these things when you vote for Obama. 

      Obama is far worse than Clinton.
      Clinton was far worse than Carter.
      Guess what,  the pattern is clear.

      And believe me, “progressive” Dems will never remove money from politics, and so, will continue to have to raise $billions, and so, will only go more and more to the right to sidle up to the billionaires.

      It’s a no-brainer.

      Many Dems are already abandoning ship.  You might think about it yourself.  Take a look at Jill Stein.  She’s the only adult in the room.

  • George Gibson May 14, 2012

    A vote for a third party candidate is simply a passive aggressive way to vote for Romney, just like voting for Nader in  2000 was a vote for Bush. If that’s who you support, just be intellectually honest and vote Republican and stop trying to wrap yourself in some false cloak of “purity”. As for re-writing the Constitution, just who do you think would be in charge of that? You? The people? Not a chance! The ONLY hope we have is to get as many progressive Democrats elected to every level of office as possible and give them our support once they are elected.

    • Victronix May 14, 2012

      George —  Actually, vote for a third party candidate is THE most powerful message you can send to the corporate-owned parties.   Meekly doing as told — once again — only tells them you are owned.

      Drone murders, eliminating our right to a trial, removing Single Payer, bailing out Wall St.

      You literally are voting FOR these things when you vote for Obama. 

      Obama is far worse than Clinton.
      Clinton was far worse than Carter.
      Guess what,  the pattern is clear.

      And believe me, “progressive” Dems will never remove money from politics, and so, will continue to have to raise $billions, and so, will only go more and more to the right to sidle up to the billionaires.

      It’s a no-brainer.

      Many Dems are already abandoning ship.  You might think about it yourself.  Take a look at Jill Stein.  She’s the only adult in the room.

  • Aaron June 14, 2012

    Really a vote for a third party candidate is the most powerful message you can send?  Is that we saw all the change after Ross Perot got 20% of the vote in 1992?  Or 1996?  Or after Nader helped Bush get elected in 2000?  The hyperbole of this piece is sad and disenfranchising.  With little proof and much exaggeration the article spouts a lot of unwarranted claims.  Let us not pretend the Obama and Romney are the same person, that is ridiculous.  Let us also remember that this a democracy and that means not always getting your way.  Many of the views advocated in this article are minority view points and that more than any is the reason they are not in acted. 

  • Aaron June 14, 2012

    Really a vote for a third party candidate is the most powerful message you can send?  Is that we saw all the change after Ross Perot got 20% of the vote in 1992?  Or 1996?  Or after Nader helped Bush get elected in 2000?  The hyperbole of this piece is sad and disenfranchising.  With little proof and much exaggeration the article spouts a lot of unwarranted claims.  Let us not pretend the Obama and Romney are the same person, that is ridiculous.  Let us also remember that this a democracy and that means not always getting your way.  Many of the views advocated in this article are minority view points and that more than any is the reason they are not in acted. 

  • OneGuy June 25, 2012

    Can’t wait for this economy to crash. Can’t wait. It’s te only real hope we have for real change.

  • OneGuy June 25, 2012

    Can’t wait for this economy to crash. Can’t wait. It’s te only real hope we have for real change.

  • Albert Drinkwater December 21, 2013

    As time moves on. There is a boiling up like a festering sour within the world, a momentum. Humanity is on the cusp of a personal Iness change witch will eventually create oligopolistic governments. But not without some turmoil first.Controllers are not about to release this 2000 year dominance over the populous. The big problem at this moment in time, is that people are looking for external help to attain this personal Iness. This is the problem, any control group or any type of control government be it from the vary large right down to the small town counsel are operating on the lordship premise or going past this into becoming cabals united for their own gains by usurping pubic money by force; fraud; deception; coercion. The use of non sequiturs by media politicians; lawyers; professors; religions and any person wanting to felicitate a control gain by the use of unrealistic communication has become the norm in this upside down world civilization. How do we fix this humanistic state? This has to be an Iness or self consciousness of one, but achieved for all of humans around the world. How do I achieve this? How do we achieve this state of oneness? Albert Einstein. Stated. The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to insure the unhindered development of the individual. Subjective political agenda laws are becoming the norm and the people are being forced by the demands of the elected cabals. The ones that should be prosecuted are the perpetrators and enforcers of these subjective laws. The constitution has to be contained back to the beginning then add to the original document. No person, group of persons or government may initiate force, or fraud against any individual’s self or property. Force may be morally used only in self-defence against those who violate the first statement. Yup. By my self.

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