The Corporate Conspiracy to Circumvent Democracy

The Corporate Conspiracy to Circumvent Democracy

As can be expected, my use of the word conspiracy will undoubtedly cause most people who may read this essay to dismiss my thesis before they get to the next sentence. This is due to a persistent propaganda campaign that has been waged against all who dare to challenge the status quo here in America as well as abroad. The term “red-baiting” dates back to at least 1928 and is quite simply an attempt to stop any discussion of the deeper social, economic, & political issues brought up by those concerned with social justice. It is intellectually dishonest and a cowardly and lazy ploy to silence critics. Anybody who dares to bring up any of a vast array of issues plaguing humanity is quickly labeled a communist, socialist, anarchist, etc. and with this simplistic cop-out, the conversation is usually stopped dead in its tracks. I am writing this essay for those whose minds haven’t completely atrophied to a state comparable to those who have had a lobotomy.

Most importantly, have you ever noticed that the right-wing pundits posing as unbiased news commentators on television and radio such as Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck accuse “liberals” of vast left-wing conspiracies regularly but are rarely challenged to substantiate these charges? On the other hand, how often do you hear or see a liberal level a claim of a vast right-wing conspiracy? The reactionary right foam at the mouth and see secret cabals of radical leftists lurking everywhere and once in a blue moon when a leftist or progressive does charge the right-wingers with a conspiracy, they are immediately dismissed as “conspiracy nuts.” This is what passes for “fair and balanced opinion” on networks like Fox and most of the corporate-owned media in America.

Pursuing this further, I used the word circumvent in the title of this essay because it accurately reflects the sometimes covert and increasingly overt campaign being waged by the filthy rich against workers and unions here in America and around the world. Here is the definition of circumvent in the sense that I mean to convey; “To avoid having to obey a rule or law, especially in a dishonest way: The company has opened an office abroad in order to circumvent the tax laws.” Sadly, most so-called liberals, progressives, & Leftists have become intimidated by the right-wing bullies and their vicious smear campaigns to the point where few dare to point out the conspiracies on the right. Well I for one, will not cower or refrain from calling them out and as Michael Parenti has pointed out, “Not all conspiracy theories are theories.” So, to hopefully convince you that there is considerable validity to my assertion that there is ample evidence of right-wing conspiracies, here is a list of some conservative conspiracies Professor Parenti discussed in his talk “Conspiracies and Class Power.”

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Operation Phoenix
The Watergate Break-In
The Watergate Cover-up
The COINTELPRO Program conducted by the F.B.I.
The Iran/Contra Scandal
The assassinations of J.F.K., Malcolm X, & Martin Luther King
The C.I.A. Drugs for Guns Smuggling in Central America
The B.C.C.I. Scandal
The Savings and Loan Scandal
The idea for this essay came to me recently when I learned of what is called A.L.E.C. (American Legislative Exchange Council) on a recent Democracy Now! Broadcast. Now of course we all know that there is a veritable army of lobbyists whose job is to bribe politicians into voting favorably on legislation which helps their corporate masters. And even though the scales have fallen from my eyes in terms of my awareness of the corruption and collusion between politicians and crooked corporations, I must admit that I was still taken aback somewhat upon hearing of this A.L.E.C. This just struck me as too blatant. But on the other hand, this past year has been truly amazing in that the rapacious reptiles have pretty much dropped all pretense of caring about the American public in their brazen attacks on unions. They have pretty much wiped-out just about every private union and have now zeroed in on public employees unions. We witnessed the governor of Wisconsin’s open declaration of war against all public employee unions in Wisconsin and his smearing of teachers’ unions as being responsible for our current economic woes. I thought after the embarrassing phone call from a liberal prankster posing as David Koch, the governor of Wisconsin would’ve hung his head in shame and slipped away into ignominy but rather, he holds his head high and is the darling of the robber baron class.

Perhaps I was absent from school on the day they talked about Congress’ responsibilities to us in terms of their duties as lawmakers? But I don’t recall reading anywhere that our senators and congressmen are suppose to discuss and vote on legislation with corporate executives and us, the citizens, aren’t allowed to participate in the process? I call this unholy alliance between lawmakers and corporate crocodiles a conspiracy because they meet behind closed doors and discuss and vote on model legislation which is then introduced into state legislatures in every state of our union but it is cleansed of any reference to who actually wrote the bills. Let me remind you that conspiracy is a legal concept i.e. it is not merely the ranting and raving of paranoid or delusional people. People have been found guilty of committing conspiracies in courts of laws for as long as our legal system has existed. And here is a simple definition of conspiracy: “A secret plan made by two or more people to do something bad or illegal: a conspiracy to distribute drugs. The lobbyists who bribe politicians behind closed doors get around the laws against bribery by donating to a favorite charity of the politician’s, hiring a relative of the politician’s, etc. But to my amateur legal mind, these meetings of A.L.E.C., are a clear breach of the law because they are clearly drafting legislative bills harmful to not only the public but the environment and if they weren’t doing something illegal, not to mention immoral, why do they cleanse their bills of any reference as to who actually drafted them? Furthermore, if private corporate executives are allowed to discuss and vote on issues important to all Americans’ lives, why aren’t we, as citizens, allowed to discuss and vote on these issues in these meetings?

Maybe the following list of issues that members of A.L.E.C. discuss and vote on will help you understand why they are so secretive and don’t want their names linked to the legislative bills they introduce into state legislatures? Workers’ rights, the rollback of environmental regulations, the privatization of education, the deregulation of major industries, the passing of voter I.D. laws, the replacement of unionized workers with prison labor, the collusion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to weaken safety standards, etc. By the way, good old BP who brought us that lovely oil spill in the Gulf is A.L.E.C.’s top donor followed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, & Takeda Pharmaceuticals. And at the recent, 38th annual meeting held in New Orleans, there were over 2,000 members present including legislators from every state and many corporate executives. And one of their sessions title, provides a clue as to their hidden agenda and the serious danger they pose to the planet i.e. “Warming Up to Climate Change: How Increased CO2 Can Benefit You.”

Isn’t it reassuring to know that our elected representatives are working so tirelessly and unselfishly to promote and look out for our best interests? In case you’re still not convinced of the dangerousness of this organization or that it is indeed a criminal conspiracy, let me add a bit more from another recent Democracy Now! expose. ATL Industries (a private, prison labor corporation) back in 2005 had 14 million pounds of beef they knew was infected with rat feces. Many people raised the alarms and tried to pressure ATL Industries to recall the beef. However, the USDA wouldn’t let them recall the beef, even though a voluntary recall was suggested, because they didn’t want to draw attention to how much meat and how many other products in this country are being made by prison labor. The Nation magazine published an expose “The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor,” for any who might want to inform themselves further on this issue.

I did a little background research of my own on ALEC and feel this list of the areas of law and regulations they are concerned with gives us a window into just how pervasive their sphere of influence is and as a result, how truly dangerous they are. ALEC works to influence legislation in the areas of: civil justice; commerce, insurance & economic development; education; energy, environment, & agriculture; health & human services; international relations; public safety & elections; tax & fiscal policy; and telecommunications & information technology. ALEC’s motto is “Limited government, free markets, & federalism.” And since 1999, they’ve sought to restrict or abolish consumer protection laws.

In conclusion, I want to attempt to connect the dots in terms of this conspiratorial cabal of corporate thieves & their political lap dogs war on unions with the history of labor’s struggles here in America and around the world. For the sake of brevity because the comment/complaint I often get regarding my writing is “It’s so long,” I’ll simply ask you to do an Internet search on the history of U.S. labor unions. You’ll soon discover that it’s been a very bloody and long struggle that has given us work safety laws, the right to be paid for overtime, the forty hour work week, etc. And now that the corrupt businessmen and their crime partners in Congress have once again caused another Great Depression—by the way, the first Great Depression was called the Republican Depression but they didn’t like the bad P.R. so they had the name changed—and have forced us to pay for their crimes with the bailouts & etc., they have decided this would be a good opportunity to abolish those hard won rights so many had their heads caved-in for or lost their lives for. Organizations like ALEC, and people like the Koch brothers, are out to destroy and completely eliminate our voices and rights as citizens. They won’t be satisfied until we have returned to a new version of the Dark Ages and feudalism where the “nobility” owned everything and the people (peasants) slaved from sun up to sun down for scraps from the masters’ tables.

To illustrate, I recently watched a documentary narrated by Martin Sheen about El Salvador. It is a very tragic story but it still holds a glimmer of hope and sometimes that is all we have to hang on to. In a nutshell, in El Salvador like in the U.S. and every other country on earth, the evil forces of corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen, and their enforcers i.e. the military and the police, work together to silence and destroy anyone who even dares to mention that dirty word “union.” The corporate media in every country wages a propaganda war non-stop to label unions & union organizers as communists, socialists, anarchists, terrorists, etc. in their effort to retain their power and control over the citizens. And I’m not denying that there haven’t been corrupt union leaders and abuses by such leaders but these are few and far in between. The overwhelming majority of abuses against workers and citizens are committed by the business owners, politicians, and military personnel. A union embodies the heart and soul of what a democracy is all about i.e. one man, one vote. Equality and justice are the enemies of the power elite and they hide behind all the lofty rhetoric of their advertising and public relations con artists. We were sold on the decision to invade and occupy Iraq with the usual B.S. “We’re promoting democracy and we’re defending America.” Everyone with half a brain knows that we attacked Iraq because we want their oil. We didn’t build 17 permanent military bases and the world’s largest embassy because we planned on just helping them out and then leaving. The rich and powerful give us almost daily, clear proof of their callous disregard for us. They are going after social security and Medi-care but won’t even discuss cutting back on the billions they waste on the “defense budget.” They have stolen our pensions, illegally foreclosed on our houses, cut back on health care insurance and we are the only nation that allows private insurance companies to profit on our illness and death. They have no shame and will never cease their crimes until we rise up and stop them. We must unite as workers to form unions and we must unite as citizens to take back our power. And don’t fall for that crap from the Democrats e.g. we’re the voice of the poor, the working class, etc., no; they are just as corrupt as the Republicans. It’s a rigged game and it’s long past time that we stop being suckers. I for one, will no longer accept, well, it’s the lesser of two evils when it comes to voting. Unfortunately, I fear that it may already be too late because the corporate media via television and movies has sapped our mental energy, imagination, etc. so extensively that I fear we might not be able to wake up enough Americans in time? But, somewhere in the back of my mind or perhaps in the dark recesses of my soul, I hold out hope that something, some other blatant example of their contempt for us, will ignite a prairie fire not unlike that which set off the French Revolution and those who have committed such atrocious crimes against humanity will receive their just punishment!

Rob DeLoss, August 19, 2011

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