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The US Government is a Paper Tiger

The US Government is a Paper Tiger

By Dennis Loo (2/23/14)

In the face of revelations ...

that the US government has been spying on literally everyone, imprisoning indefinitely and even preventively detaining people at places like Guantanamo, torturing people without granting any of those they’re torturing the right to challenge their indefinite detention,

that Obama has a “kill list” that he adds more names to every Tuesday, resulting in Hellfire missiles fired by remote control from drones that have killed thousands, including hundreds of children,

that whistleblowers have been and are being persecuted, with high officials and pundits openly calling them treasonous and advocating their assassinations,

and that anyone is now subject to accusations of “terrorism” for merely exercising their First Amendment rights,

a few students of mine, upon learning the magnitude of these governmental transgressions, have expressed not only shock and anger but fear.

It is here where, as Bob Avakian has put it, epistemology and morality meet. What fear leads to, if one gives into it, is not good. Fear that keeps someone from fighting against grave injustice leads one sooner or later, inexorably and inevitably, to adopting the stance of the infamous “Good Germans,” those who in the face of the Nazis, obediently followed orders and cooperated with fascist authorities, including by participating directly in committing atrocities upon those most directly targeted by the regime.

If one responds to those who traffic in fear by focusing on trying to save one’s own skin, the logic of that approach can only bring you and others to grief.

That is the moral question: do we fight against injustice or do we allow it to go on? Do we determine what we should do on the basis of our own self or do we look at the larger picture and act on behalf of society and humanity? Do we cower before bullies or do we rise to the occasion?

There is also the epistemological dimension. How do we know what we know? When we say that we know that the US government is so powerful that it can do whatever it wants and resistance to it is futile, how is it that one arrives at such a fact? Is it in fact a fact?

In responding to that, I am first going to excerpt from a July 14, 1956 talk by Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist revolutionary who led the Chinese people in the 1949 communist revolution that freed China from foreign imperialism and domestic allies of imperialism such as the KMT leader Chang Kai-Shek. Subsequent to Mao’s death in 1976, a group of counter-revolutionaries masking themselves as Mao’s true inheritors and led by Deng Xiao-Peng, seized power in a coup d’etat. China was gradually converted from a socialist country into a state capitalist one.

Mao was speaking to two Latin American public figures.

Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn't. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.

History as a whole, the history of class society for thousands of years, has proved this point: the strong must give way to the weak. This holds true for the Americas as well. Only when imperialism is eliminated can peace prevail. The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out. But they won't become extinct of their own accord, they need to be battered by the wind and the rain.

When we say U.S. imperialism is a paper tiger, we are speaking in terms of strategy. Regarding it as a whole, we must despise it. But regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs. We have to destroy it piecemeal. For instance, if it has ten fangs, knock off one the first time, and there will be nine left, knock off another, and there will be eight left. When all the fangs are gone, it will still have claws. If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end.

Strategically, we must utterly despise U.S. imperialism. Tactically, we must take it seriously. In struggling against it, we must take each battle, each encounter, seriously. At present, the United States is powerful, but when looked at in a broader perspective, as a whole and from a long-term viewpoint, it has no popular support, its policies are disliked by the people, because it oppresses and exploits them. For this reason, the tiger is doomed. Therefore, it is nothing to be afraid of and can be despised. But today the United States still has strength, turning out more than 100 million tons of steel a year and hitting out everywhere. That is why we must continue to wage struggles against it, fight it with all our might and wrest one position after another from it. And that takes time.

It seems that the countries of the Americas, Asia and Africa will have to go on quarrelling with the United States till the very end, till the paper tiger is destroyed by the wind and the rain.

Those who think that what the US government has been doing in implementing these draconian policies reflects strength are missing the essence, distracted by the surface appearance of things.

Yes, certainly these policies by the US government are terrible and need to be taken with the utmost seriousness. As Mao put it, “regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs.”

But strategically, US imperialism merits our utter contempt. For it is a fearsome looking paper tiger whose claws and fangs can be lopped off one by one. It all takes time and tremendous effort. But it can be and has been done.

If you don’t have training in how to see things all-sidedly, that is, dialectically, then what you’re going to do and can only do is see things mechanically or eclectically. All things have two aspects to them and these two aspects are in dynamic tension with each other. Here’s an example:

If you don’t understand how governments rule and how they use persuasion and coercion to maintain power, then you will be deluded by the seeming indestructability of the government’s power. You will miss the fact, for example, that the government has to lie constantly and incessantly about what it’s doing and why it’s doing it in order to gain enough public support for their actions. They have to say that they are doing the very exact opposite of what they’re actually doing, in order to demobilize those who would otherwise oppose what the government is doing. If the government was so all-powerful that it truly could do whatever it wanted, then it would not have to and would not bother to tell people the exact opposite of what they’re doing. They could be very open about what they’re doing and say: “We’re doing this because we’re in charge and you just have to go along with it or else.”

Secondly, if the government was so powerful that it couldn’t be stopped, then it wouldn’t be saying that it was doing the exact opposite of what it's doing. The government would admit openly the real reasons why it's doing what it's doing. If you’re so powerful that you can’t be stopped, then why open yourself up to being potentially revealed to be utterly deceitful about your motives? Why tell people the precise opposite of what you’re doing?

The reason why Obama is telling people that he’s protecting the rule of law and the rights of whistleblowers, protecting people’s Fourth Amendment rights and not spying on Americans without a warrant, and that he sympathizes with Trayvon Martin’s family, that he’s concerned about global warming, and so on, is because he knows that if he told people what he’s really doing that they would rise up in large numbers in rebellion against it.

The whole reason why Obama even became the nominee for a major political party in this country when he did was because millions of people were in danger of spiraling out of the control of the powers that be because of their anger and opposition to what Bush and Cheney were doing. Obama had to be brought in to convince people that the system was still fundamentally fair. He was specifically tapped for his skin tone and his ability to mislead people into thinking that he was doing the opposite of what he’s been doing.

Many people think that the ways things are is due to the public’s assent, that the reason why things are messed up is because the people in their majority accept things that they shouldn’t because they’re stupid or mentally lazy or avaricious and apathetic and/or that they actively want things to be this way. This view comes from functionalist theory. It comes from the assumptions inherent in Emile Durkheim’s view that the collective sentiment (what he called the conscience collective) determines social norms, including the formal ones called laws. Democratic theory dovetails with functionalist theory and assumes that public policies are what they are because the majority of the public want it to be that way. A closer examination of public policy and its origins and implementation reveals that these assumptions about the masses of people being in charge are wrong. See Globalization and the Demolition of Society, especially Chapter Five.

The public is overwhelmingly poorly informed and lied to and they largely do not know the truth about what’s going on in foreign and domestic policy. That is the main reason why they are going along, because they don’t know what they need to know. They do not know that they don’t know what they should know. If you don’t know that you are being lied to systematically, then why would you go searching to find out the truth if you didn’t know that you didn’t know the truth already?

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people in any society are going to rely exclusively or primarily upon the mainstream media and the pronouncements of public officials for their understanding of what is going on unless and until there is a mass movement in opposition to the government.

Most people don’t have a college education and the majority of those who do have a college education or who are in college don’t know that they have to seek out alternative sources of information to that of the mainstream media and public officialdom to find out what is really true. Even among the small fraction of people who do realize that they are being lied to, or suspect that they are being lied to, don’t generally know how to evaluate the veracity of alternative sources of information and analysis. To do that requires a kind of training in critical thinking and research skills that only a very small fraction of the population has even been exposed to, let alone really trained in doing on a consistent basis.

When the Bush Regime was preparing to launch its war of aggression upon Iraq, it had to engage in a two year campaign of deliberate distortions and massive lies to convince people that Iraq was behind 9/11. If the US government were so powerful that they can do whatever they want, then all Bush and Cheney had to do instead is declare that “We’re mad at whoever hit us on 9/11 and we’re going to go smash up some countries over there in the Middle East region. We don’t care that the ones we smash might have no connection to 9/11. We’re just going to smash ‘em anyway.” How many Americans would have signed on to that? How many Americans would have joined the military to fight for that?

The fact is that political power requires that those in power, in order to hold onto power, have to persuade most people that what they’re doing is legitimate. If a sizable minority, let alone majority, of the people become convinced that what the government is doing is illegitimate, there aren’t enough police officers and soldiers to quell the level of domestic unrest that would ensue.

Governments do not rule in a vacuum. (The only thing that exists in a vacuum is a vacuum.) As I argue in my book, Globalization and the Demolition of Society:

[T]he exercise of political power is surprisingly tenuous compared to conventional understandings of it. It all turns on a small set of facts and fairly subtle interpretive moves. The framing of public issues, a process in which media play a major role, determines what gets done and how it is done. Framing determines whether actions are seen as legitimate and whether the actors advocating the actions are themselves seen as acting legitimately.

Legitimacy is fundamentally the be-all and end-all of political rule. When leaders come to be seen as illegitimate, there are not enough guns and soldiers to hold back the people. Governments can suppress people for a time with violence, but they cannot win if enough of the people see them as illegitimate. The swing votes on this question, figuratively speaking, are from the middle strata of society. In general, the working class and oppressed minorities tend to be much more cynical about government and corporate America, carrying on their lives without a strong belief in the legitimacy of the status quo. The lower strata go along with the program largely because they know that every day “the Man” uses violence to keep them in line and will deploy more force on short notice. They recognize that rebelling against the status quo has no chance of success on an individual or small-group level in ordinary times; it only has a chance when very large groups of people act in concert.

When the middle strata and the intelligentsia break ranks with the people who wield societal power, then these ruling groups, who are a very tiny minority to begin with, are in deep trouble. The use of violence by a government against its adversaries only forestalls the inevitable at that point. Indeed, violence will usually accelerate the inevitable, because by using violence, leaders further expose their fundamental character and shock ordinarily quiescent people from the middle strata, as well as intellectuals, into political opposition (Pp. 273-4).

The reason why the governnent is riding roughshod over Constitutional rights and the rule of law is because it knows that its policies and the actions of big corporations are systematically pulling the rug out from under the vast majority of people on the planet. They know that opposition to these policies is inevitable. Their only hope of holding onto power and continuing capitalism-imperialism is through intimidation, fear, and repression. Those who benefit from the status quo are in a tiny minority domestically and especially worldwide. They can only hope that most people will be cowed in fear of the paper tiger.

Comments   

 
+1 # sintricity08 2014-02-23 23:21
I believe, in great length, to the words Mao used to describe the U.S. and its power/governmen t. We the people, need to be the rain and wind that slowly takes away all the fear and threats the paper tiger can get away with making, so that it will be fang-less and claw-less. We need people to get involved and be informed and not accepting the mere state of things. I see change coming our way soon though, because sooner or later things are going to start spreading like wildfire. The era we live in is too technologically advance to keep things from happening or words from spreading once a flame (a movement) starts to fuel the fire.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-23 23:34
Mao, I don't know if you know this, used a similar metaphor that you're invoking here of a "single spark can light a prairie fire."
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0 # PD06 2014-02-25 19:57
This makes the majority of people go through life following what others have said to believe in and not really thinking critically if what being said is true or if it all false. We need our education system to change and instead of punishing, we encourage students to think critically and to take part in discussion where they can back their opinions with facts and knowledge they have attend. The advancements in technology and the expanding network of people around the world being connected information is spreading and people are being more informed then they were before. Now all we need to do is to make sure that future generations are able to take in all this information and make logically sound arguments out of the information.
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0 # PD06 2014-02-25 20:55
The sad thing about our society in the United States is that the majority of people do get their information through mainstream media. Mainstream media is used by the majority to be their source of information. That mainstream media is a creditable source and that we shouldn't question its validity. Our education system has been teaching children that people in authority are correct and that they are the ones we should be listening to. Children are then discouraged from speaking out against a teacher and if we do, they can be punished through means of detentions, suspensions, or even expulsion.
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0 # dawahba 2014-03-01 20:16
I agree with this to an extent. I do agree that people are highly misinformed about what really goes on but even when the issues are placed in their line of vision they tend to ignore them. For example the "kill list" article was published in the New York Times and I did not hear any outrage over it until it was mentioned in class. I feel like there is this idea that the government is just doing things "for our own good" which leads to acceptance of their actions.
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-26 18:46
On page 149 in McIntosh, Weber says, "The ruled, for their part, cannot dispense with or replace the bureaucratic apparatus of authority once it exists" Mao suggests that we chip away at our government, one claw and one tooth at a time. This is not to say that we will dispense of the bureaucracy that rules us, but our aim is to change it. Would that be considered replacing it? Weber says we will not be able to either dispense or replace it. Before we try to change our government, people need to become aware of these sad truths. Just as it will take chipping away one claw or tooth at a time, it will take one person's eyes being opened at a time. We say "I am just one person, how can I change things?", but how many people do you know as a single person? If we make all of those around us aware of what is actually happening, and they told everyone they know, and so on and so forth, then change would be a possibility. The government would make us out as domestic terrorists unfortunately.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-26 19:08
You raise two really good points. As to the first, Mao and Weber have a different approach. While Weber is correct that once established, a bureaucracy is extraordinarily difficult to do away with. What Mao did was to develop ways of smashing the state, even under conditions of overall socialist rule, because under socialism the material basis for the state to become bureaucratized and overlords still exists and can only be eaten away at progressively and only through tremendous struggle. This is something that needs going into in depth...
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-26 20:08
So does that mean that we can only smash the state under a socialist rule? If this were the case, it would be unfortunate since we should try to work towards a socialistic state.
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-26 21:11
How do we break a capitalist state without being under a socialist state to move towards a socialist state?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-26 23:03
The smashing of the state begins in the course of a revolutionary struggle and during the aftermath. It takes different forms. The most incipient form would be when people form alternative and competing governing structures based on the delegitimation of the existing authorities. There are a variety of ways in which something like that could appear. Competing authority would not indefinitely co-exist with existing authority. In fact, the development of competing authorities would probably last a fairly short time with it ending either with their victory over the existing state or the existing state crushing the competing incipient state.

Smashing the state has to be a protracted process beginning with delegitimizing the existing state (thru exposure and shaping public opinion to draw out how horrid the operations of the existing state are) and continuing on thru and after a revolutionary situation.
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0 # Elver Gonzote 2014-03-01 19:23
When smashing the state through revolution, would it not be ideal to have an idea of what form we ought to take before we rebel? Afterall, if we have rebelled, we have already discussed what does not work therefore i think a kind of form should already have been mutually considered. Is it that besides lack of awareness there is also a lack of
agreement to what form of governing should be adopt and therefore is preventing a revolution?
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-03-02 04:30
I have wondered this samw question myself. Is there any site in particular in which what kind of system should ve adopted? Obviously, i think nothing democratic will work, that is what we are now, and i believe thatt taking ideas, however small, will eventually lead to capitalsim again.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:00
Quoting dgjr_91:
I have wondered this sam[e] question myself. Is there any site in particular in which [is discussed] what kind of system should e adopted?


The most thoroughgoing revolutionary in the world today is Bob Avakian. His works can be found at Revolution Newspaper, the RCP's paper. His work's had a substantial impact on my own understanding of a number of crucial questions.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:05
Quoting dgjr_91:
Is there any site in particular in which [is discussed] what kind of system should e adopted?

Check out Revolution Newspaper. You'll find the works of Bob Avakian in particular, the most thoroughgoing and leading revolutionary thinker in the world today. His works have had a substantial impact on my own thinking in key areas.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:06
Quoting dgjr_91:
Is there any site in particular in which [it is discussed] what kind of system should be adopted?

Check out Revolution Newspaper. You'll find the works of Bob Avakian in particular, the most thoroughgoing and leading revolutionary thinker in the world today. His works have had a substantial impact on my own thinking in key areas.
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0 # ktli 2014-03-02 02:28
In my opinion, the basic concept of Socialism is to be "fair" to everybody. That everybody gets an equal share. For that to work that means all power must reside with a strong central government. The core of Socialism is Marxism, a system in which the individual is intentionally subject-gated for the good of the collective. Yet, they use individualism, so-called “American Dream”, to separate people from each other, therefore, people do not gather together to rebel government.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:13
Quoting ktli:
In my opinion, the basic concept of Socialism is to be "fair" to everybody. That everybody gets an equal share.
To be clear here, socialism doesn't distribute everything equally to everyone. Socialism replaces capitalism's dictum of "profits over everything" with social needs as the guiding principle. This is a momentous change but it does not and cannot eliminate the "law of value." What it can do is restrict the operation of the law of value and over time eventually eliminate it. But this will take a great deal of time. The law of value is that people get for their work what it is worth in social value to the society. That means that the extremely distorted pattern of capitalism is ended but it doesn't end certain differences such as the fact that a trained and skilled brain surgeon's work is more valuable than that of someone who washes dishes. The huge gaps that exist now would be dramatically narrowed but not eliminated. Cont.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:19
To get to actually being fair to everyone, we would need over a protracted period of time - generations - to "eat up" the differences between social classes, between mental and manual labor, between city and countryside, between men and women, etc. so that those who are barred from the best that humanity has to offer are given access to these things and exploitation and inequality by social class, etc. are gradually eliminated. If you tried to do this by fiat immediately and said everyone will now get exactly the same share you would face the justifiable discontent of those who like surgeons, have had to work extremely hard to develop and hone these skills and largely they'd be unwilling to do what they do for the same pay as a dishwasher. What you can do, however, is reduce the gaps some and raise the ability and training of those who are now held down as part of a larger and lengthier process to "eat up" the law of value.
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-26 23:29
Hasn't our government made it near impossible for a revolution? By turning our freedom of speech into "domestic terrorism?" Exposure of our government and shaping public opinion would be difficult but it is possible. Now, dare I suggest that another country steps in for our defense, the way the U.S. has tried to bring "democracy" to other countries? Otherwise, I do not see how a revolution is possible if the government has the power to lock us all up for trying.
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+1 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-27 18:50
No government has ever made it easy to overthrow it. It would be illogical to expect them to make it easy. Those who run this society like to tell the people that the people have the power to bring about change. "If you don't like it, then vote!" If things don't change, "it's your fault because you voted for the wrong party or person." If you don't vote then "it's your fault because you didn't express your choice." Any way you look at it within that framework you're the problem, not the system itself. As a political button I once saw said: "If voting did anything they'd make it illegal."
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0 # Bland 2014-03-01 21:10
I would not expect a government to make it easy to be overthrown or to produce any change. They work to hard to lay the platform of their agenda. However, voting is it our power, if that is not the answer, what is? I understand educating ourselves and those around us seems to be a very important factor. Knowledge is power and exposing the wrong and the hidden agenda is crucial. I do believe one person has the power to make changes happen... What I am unclear on is how exactly that one person anger the all rolling.
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0 # TiffyWiffy 2014-03-02 06:59
There is no clear way for any one person to incite a revolution. But first there must be civil unrest, and people must gather together to oppose the cause of the unrest. And usually the "leader" will be a prominent figure from within the opposition who has been chosen to be the rallying point. So it's more common that a leader is born from the group, rather than a lone leader slowly picking up followers.
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0 # sintricity08 2014-02-27 18:45
I feel it is certainly possible to change the way things are in our government. Society as a whole is much stronger than a bunch of individuals holding power. We just need organization and collective action, but we first need society to be consciously aware of their ability to change and to allow society to see why we need change.
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0 # Rod24 2014-03-01 20:02
I agree with the notion that society needs to be aware of not only what is occurring in their country but what we are capable of as a people. I think it is the responsibility of those of us that now know what is happening to bring awareness to the general public. We cant expect for things to change if we are not the change ourselves. We have the ability to over throw the bureaucracies, but like I said in a different post, we just need to wait for the right time. I believe sooner or later something is bound to happen to lead people in the direction of the truth when they finally will begin to question the acts of the gov't. The bureaucracies wont stand forever, the people will be heard sooner or later. I just don't know what to expect when it finally does occur.
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-28 04:43
Of course a revolution would not be easy, that was not my implication. I was under the impression that since our government has labelled protests as "domestic terrorism", that any uprising would just occur in us being jailed or killed. Would it have to be the case where we outnumber the military and police forces? The revolution would be non violent on our behalf I'm sure, but that is not to say it would be nonviolent from the side of who we are fighting against. How can there be a revolution without protests? As you mentioned earlier Dr. Loo, we would need to "smash the state". The protests would come before the "smashing of the state"? How could we succeed if we are jailed during these protests?
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0 # TiffyWiffy 2014-03-02 07:04
I remember Dr. Look mentioning in one of his previous classes that the only way a revolution can succeed is if the military backed the opposition. If the governing body is still in control of the military, the opposition would be overpowered. So basically, if a revolution is to be started, the people must have the military on their side.
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0 # tiffywiffy 2014-03-03 00:20
I remember Dr. Loo mentioning in one of his previous classes that the only way a revolution can succeed is if the military backed the opposition. If the governing body is still in control of the military, the opposition would be overpowered. So basically, if a revolution is to be started, the people must have the military on their side.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 03:35
Quoting tiffywiffy:
the only way a revolution can succeed is if the military backed the opposition. If the governing body is still in control of the military, the opposition would be overpowered. So basically, if a revolution is to be started, the people must have the military on their side.
To be clear, the beginning of a revolution isn't dependent upon having the military on your side. More often, defections of at least a segment of the military must occur at some point in the process.
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0 # sas13 2014-02-28 06:37
Our government is very good at constructing fear to to legitimize what they want to do. Loo mentions violating our 4th Amendent. We must compare the government to Prisons. As Hassine states on page 7 "prisons are uniquely designed to instigate fear in so many creative ways that fear has become a kind of language of its own." Our government operates in the same manner. Politics is getting people to do what you want if if they don't want to do it. The government understands that they must frame their policies is a manner that will legitimize it.
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0 # bmcotran13 2014-02-28 19:21
They are legitimizing their policies without us knowing what these policies truly entail! But as Weber tells us, bureaucracies are secretive. Pg. 151 in McIntosh, Weber says, "Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret." By professionally informed, he must mean those in power. He is saying that for them to be bigger and stronger that they MUST have secret sessions. It is not just or right for our government to not tell us the truth about our rights being taken from us. How have we come to a point in time where our constitution is meaningless? Weber says on pg. 143 in McIntosh, "The management of modern office is based upon written documents, which are preserved in their original or draught form." I would say that their new documents have overruled the original ones, such as our constitution. We need to work towards restoring our rights as citizens of the United States.
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0 # screamingrelaxesme 2014-03-02 06:54
It is very sad to say but very slowly, one by one, it seems that morals and principles are falling apart. That by establishing fear in our people, we are becoming manipulated, and the less informed we are the easier it becomes.
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0 # mv46 2014-02-28 23:02
I didn’t know how weak the government really is, but the fear we have keeps us from doing anything about it. The way I picture it is that the government now is that it has more fear in us than we do on it yet we fail to realize it. A way this is proved is by the way our criminal justice system mass incarcerates minorities. Is it because the government fears that since there is a larger number of minorities, if they oppose government ruling they will overthrow it? Mass incarceration is a way that it keeps restrictions on the majority of its people. Its majority are the minorities. As Michelle Alexander states in The New Jim Crow, “ Throughout the criminal justice system, as well as in our schools and public spaces, young + black + male is equated with reasonable suspicion, justifying the arrest, interrogation, search, and detention of thousands of African Americans every year, as well as their exclusion from employment and housing and the denial of educational opportunity (pg.199)”.
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0 # mv46 2014-02-28 23:02
This can be seen as a way to keep the oppressed down and the lack of knowledge keeps them from knowing the truth. The media poorly informs and misleads people a lot. Lies are told by the government, but as these oppressed groups are kept with limited resources they will never know the truth. This is one example of many of how the fragile government is keeping its own people from standing up to it. In many ways the criminal justice system keeps its people on check, it deters people from finding out the truth about the lies bestowed upon us in many ways. I agree that the only way the government is keeping control of us is by the fear, intimidation, and repression it brings to us. Those are the only things holding us back. We as a whole can change the fragile government and Mao Zedong describes this in a way I have never thought of before. If more people where informed of this, maybe more would be willing to stand up and fight for what is right.
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0 # Beks113 2014-03-02 03:44
I found your remark regarding the media's role in this oppression to be interesting. I agree that the media is often times a source of inadequate information depending on where it is coming from. IT made me recall a section in "The New Jim Crow", where it talks about the media's reaction to Obama's Father's Day speech. In his speech Obama brought up the fact that many African American fathers were AWOL, however "the media did not ask-and Obama did not tell- where the missing fathers might be found" (179). Although several media sources later tackled the question "where have all the black men gone?", not one theory got to the heart of the problem. No media outlet brought up the fact that all this missing African American men are behind bars due to the War on Drugs. Since people rely so heavily on media for information they are quick to believe it as the truth and often times do not dig deeper which leaves the truth often times to be undiscovered because the media misconstrues it.
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0 # sas13 2014-03-01 00:29
Our government also wants us to believe that the criminal justice system is here to serve and protect its people. We are told that also those who are real criminals need to worry about being incarcerated yet they have structured in a manner where people of color are have fallen as prisoners even after they are released. Alexander explains on page 89 that “the critical point is that thousands of people are swept into the criminal justice system every year pursuant to the drug war based on nothing more than a hunch. Yet we are always told that those in jail deserve to be jail because they are drug addicts with that are failures to society. Our government wants us to believe that they are protecting us from these “horrible drug addicts.”
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0 # TiffyWiffy 2014-03-02 07:14
I agree with sas13's statement. However I would also like to point out that this form of control is not without reason. In class we've questioned why the inmates can't just put racial differences aside, and rally against the system. And the answer was that the system and it's administrators would not let them. Much like those in jail, if the everyone in the United States were to put our racial and cultural differences aside, people would be able to empathize with each other. And we would be able to rally because of this empathy. So it is in the government's best interests that the people stay divided along racial lines. Because as long as we're too busy hating on each other, we won't have time to direct our hate to the entity that matters, our government.
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0 # Dennis Loou 2014-03-02 09:20
People have succeeded in uniting across racial divides despite the divide and conquer techniques. Power by those in authority isn't monolithic but fighting to overcome authorities requires alternative leadership that is committed to bridging divides among people and between leaders and the led.
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0 # Elver Gonzote 2014-03-01 18:35
"Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn't. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. " this statement alone, at least for myself, shows how change is possible. For those who do not believe so, i ask to simply think about it more critically because what this really means is that the 1% in power have 99% of the people, who obviously they do not want to involve in their world, to fight against. If you ask me, with 99%, that is fight I am willing to take. There have been instances in which the paper tiger has been beaten, just think of all the civil right movements. They did not happen over night and just when people thought it was a lost cost, women gained the right to vote and slavery abolished.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-02 05:44
That's the spirit!
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-03-01 18:52
Rephrasing mao, a single spark can make a big fire. As, some commenters have discussed, I also believe that nothing can happen over night. There was a point in time where everyone believed that african americans werent god creatures and therefore it was ok to enslave them. There was a point in time where the earth was said to be flat. It wasnt until someone questioned what was seen as reality that the real truth came out. This questioning (spark) took time to be considered because not many can deal with what theyve known to be truth to actually be a lie. However, when someone does, the spark will then grow and eventually it will become the fire that burns down, in our case, capitalism.
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0 # lcdisney37 2014-03-01 19:09
Our government does indeed have the claws and fangs, and people are not doing much to rise against it because of the fear they have of the government. Like Mao says in his speech, "If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end". We can easily knock of the paper tigers claws and fangs if everybody worked together. People are so easily persuaded by charismatic people like Obama, that when it comes to electing officials they do not notice the officials will actually do the opposite of what they say. Even so, people continue and probably will continue to listen to these government officials and fall for their words, we need to stand together and rise for what we think is correct, not what the government is making us believe is correct.
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0 # Rod24 2014-03-01 19:55
This article definitely brought new prospective into my views of the gov't. Not just because the bureaucracies have the final say does that make them greater in number. Although they do have the power to basically do as they please, they do not have the numbers/masses to protect them against the general public. Durkheim believed that in order to over throw the state we have to all come together and reach an agreement that we no longer want to be treated in such ways (conscious collective). I hope one day we can be the wind & rain that comes crashing upon the bureaucracies (paper tiger), we cannot continue to let ourselves be manipulated by the media & we should no longer give in to the lies that come out of Obama's mouth. In my personal opinion I feel like one day we will come together as a nation, like Durkheim suggest, to bring down the state. Its just a matter of waiting for something to spark the wild fire of angry U.S. citizens.
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0 # KG7 2014-03-01 20:01
It is often a scary endeavor to take a stand against big government alone. Especially in todays government ran by Obama whereas many of those who openly oppose him or his ways are dealt with harshly. Just a few examples include; the IRS's targeting of conservative/te a party non profit groups for increased scrutiny, the prosecution of Dinesh D'Souza, in which Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz said “I can’t help but think that (D’Souza’s) politics have something to do with it…It smacks of selective prosecution." When examples like these are made very public, I believe it frightens the individual person even more into not taking action. It would seem the possible risk outweighs the possible benefit from any stand in opposition of bad government policies. Perhaps what would help rally average citizens together is some type of media coverage showing how taking a stand does work and can benefit everyone by slowly chipping away at the vulnerable paper tiger.
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0 # dawahba 2014-03-01 20:13
I find this very relevant in terms of what we have been recently discussing in class. It is easy for people to see themselves as helpless in regards to submitting to authority. Many people feel as though they do not have a choice. However, I see that with collective effort and giving people factual information on what the government is really up to there can be unimaginable change. The government's authority has been legitimized in the majority's heads and it will take that single person or small group to get the message out there. Just because we have been living with injustice it doesn't mean we have to accept it or continue to live with it.
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0 # Bland 2014-03-01 21:05
Although Ido not feel that a revolution is unobtainsble I do feel that it will take many people opening their eyes and researching, dissecting the little information provided to us through the mass media. Mao makes an excellent point in stating that we must start tooth by tooth... Claw by claw. It will take all of us uncovering the facts and exposing the truth. Without the truth being exposed, I don't feel that change will present itself. Many people, myself included, did not feel that the government reading my e mails and such were a big deal, for the simple fact that I have nothing to hide, however, my view has changed and see it to be an invasion and needs to end. I was unaware of Pres. Obama's kill list, as I am sure many are, and I m blown away by its existence. It is my believe that when a govt feels the need to lie, or misrepresent those It governs, is b/c they themselves are aware of their wrongs. Question now becomes how o we get thmto right their wrongs? What is our 1st step?
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0 # GA23 2014-03-01 23:38
I believe the government does not have as much power as people are mislead to believe. I once saw a political cartoon where there is a politician on one side of a piece of wood that is over a cliff, on the other side wood there is a group of people standing on top of it at the edge of the cliff. If the people were to get off of the piece of wood the Politian would fall down because the only thing keeping him up was the support of people on the other end. I really do believe without people the government would be nothing and that is a big problem. People are not education themselves supporting the wrong things and giving more power to the government to go behind the backs of the public. We need to educate ourselves and other and take down this paper down piece by piece. For example with the Trayvon case we need to fight this case but in a strong group, we need to petition and make sure that the government knows we are not gullible and believe everything the criminal justice system is
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0 # GA23 2014-03-01 23:49
is in the name of justice. This is the reason why "mass incarceration" which Michelle Alexander talks about is occurring. We are not realizing that mass incarceration is a form of control, a major one at that. We are being control in so many aspects of our lives that we do not question giving power over to the government. Like they say "think while you still can."
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0 # CH 2782 2014-03-02 01:03
In my SW 318 class, we discussed upon those individuals who tend to wait for that one person to stand-up and the rest of the people to follow. I guess many people are afraid to be that one person to lead and take on that huge responsibility. They tend to follow others and go “with the flow” because they might feel their ideas are not good enough or one individual’s opinion would not make a difference.
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0 # CH 2782 2014-03-02 02:07
The system and the government make it impossible for African Americans to vote, even if they are the ones longing for a change. How can African/ Black people make their voice heard, if the system/governme nt keeps putting tape in their mouths? If we ever wanted to protest or speak-up of a problem we might end up having, we could write a letter to the city council or the mayor of the city, but how much credibility those authority figures will put and dedicate their time in problem solving if they see whoever send those letters pleading for a change are criminals or people who committed a felony, very little I hate to say.
The system and the government focus are never to please its prisoners. In the book, Life without Parole by Victor Hassine, prisoners have to engage in the game of opposites for their needs to be met.
To be continued...
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0 # ktli 2014-03-02 02:16
I agree that the US gov’t holds power “through intimidation, fear, and repression.” (Loo) They keep us at each others' throats with political smokescreens like abortion and gun control, etc., things they don't really care about. Meanwhile, behind the scenes both parties are in total agreement about how to manipulate us into supporting foreign wars and corrupt economic policies. Their greatest achievement is making us believe we are in control of our government. Unfortunately, there are few people who care enough to say anything about it. Those who did “have been and are being persecuted.” (Loo) BTW, this article reminds me the words of George Carlin, “governments don't want a population capable of critical thinking. They want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and just dumb enough to passively accept their situation.”
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0 # CH 2782 2014-03-02 02:31
They know the system will never grant them anything they want so they have to lie about what they really desire in order to obtain what they seek for. My argument is that the government and system do not care about the needs and wants of Blacks and minority groups, which makes many of them to lie, commit illegal activity, and get around things to achieve what they want.
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0 # AEK 2014-03-02 02:46
I believe many Americans see our government as untouchable or incapable of influence. This will stay true if the majority of people remain in ignorance and continue to accept what the mainstream media publicizes. Without opposition, how is the government expected to change and stop lying to its people? The talk on Guantanamo Bay, for example, struck interest in our class. Many of us did not know much about the prison, with some thinking it had been closed; this limited knowledge is not exclusive to our classroom. Now, almost every class period we talk about the injustices at the prison and the misleading information that our government has told us. It takes students, informed individuals, and activists to create that single spark that challenges the "legitimate means of violence" by our government.
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0 # debdawg91 2014-03-02 05:32
What we have seen in the past 5 years is exactly want is being talked about. At first the Obama administration talked about how the Bush administration lied to us on a daily basis to the point that we took Obama's word on everything he was doing. However, we now see that this administration is doing exactly the same thing but to a higher degree. Because of his skin tone the American people are afraid to challenge his policies and therefore he can do most of what he wants without any opposition. We see this now in the House and Senate. No one wants to criticize the president for fear of being called a racist. I agree that most people listen to the main stream media and believe the stories it tells. It is important to seek alternative media even if it is from a foreign country to see another side. Then it is up to the individual to make a choice of what he or she wants to believe.
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0 # AEK 2014-03-02 22:57
I think Americans see our president as a symbol of hope and change in our country. People may not want to challenge that, because they view opposition as something un-American or deviant. But, I agree, it is important for people to develop their own strong opinions, regardless of what the government or mainstream media forces upon us. Institutions may not want us to develop such ideas, because without opposition, they still control the power.
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0 # screamingrelaxesme 2014-03-02 05:32
I would agree that part of the solution lays in being well informed but another large part of it is being passionate and courageous enough to do something about it. The people who stand up for what they believe in are few and far in between. Too many are too occupied with the regular routine of life to take it upon themselves to act against the “paper tiger” even though at the end it affects everyone. The mainstream does play a huge part in what most decide to believe as truth, in a sense majority of government officials are great actors with very good salesmen technique.Conti nued...
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0 # debdawg91 2014-03-02 05:32
The governments of Cuba, North Korea, Iran and at this time, Venezuela control the air waves and the print media. We only hear and read what they want us to hear and read. Only by seeking other alternatives to the main stream media and the government controlled media will be closer to the truth. What happened to the tribunal that was supposed to take place at Guantanamo Cuba for the detainees and the supposed terrorist and the combatants? Again, we only hear what the government wants us to hear. More than ever has politics been such a deceitful game that one cannot believe anything they are being told. From the NSA to the IRS to Health Care. Sooner or later they population will get tired of the lies and rise up against the government. Perhaps just by removing the politicians from office would be a good place to start, but today's politicians are so powerful it is almost impossible to remove them from office.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-02 05:41
People don't know what they don't know. Those who do know must help others to see what they don't yet know.
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0 # screamingrelaxesme 2014-03-02 05:32
A good example of the media and its affect on the people is through Weber in The Concept of Social Action, “…through observing the other, become acquainted with certain objective facts; and it is these to which his action is oriented. His action is then casually determined by the action of others, but not meaningfully.” This is to say we are influenced by others we learn a few facts and go along with that without fully searching or finding out for ourselves, we go along with the crowd.
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0 # screamingrelaxesme 2014-03-02 06:08
Just as in Guantanamo, there are men in our states which are accused and harassed based off of suspicions. As Alexander states in The New Jim Crow “One need not be formally convicted in a court of law to be subject to this shame and stigma. As long as you look like or seem like a criminal, you are treated with the same suspicion and contempt, not just by police, security guards…and by the store employees who follow you…eager to catch you in the act of being the ‘criminalblackm an.”By labeling these people as criminals or terrorists and depicting them as hurtful to our society, several believe it is okay to give them an inferior type of life.
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0 # Wolffian 2014-03-02 06:25
The spying that the US gov does, doesn’t bother me as much (I know a lot of people will be angry at me for this comment). What really made me angry was the “kill list” that Obama has. If that kill list only killed those on it, I wouldn’t have a prob with it, bt knowing that children are killed by this makes me very uneasy. Regarding Mao, he goes on to say that the “empire” is a paper Tiger that’s powerful in appearance but overall weak and that it has no overall support and will eventually be destroyed.(his great leap forward was a failure) I don’t agree with Mao that “paper tiger”, as he calls it, had no future and will be destroyed. Surely the American gov has flaws, but the USA is not better or worse than other countries. “They say the grass always looks greener on the other side.”
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-02 09:50
First, it's way too simplistic to say that the Great Leap Forward failed. Second, if we say it's OK if the President can be judge, jury and executioner than due process is out the window. Third, the NSA spying means that the 4th amendment protecting the public against arbitrary and capricious power has been overthrown. You don't cope with a collective problem - universal warrantless spying - as if it's purely a personal matter.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:33
Quoting Wolffian:
The spying that the US gov does, doesn’t bother me as much [as his kill list]


The gov't's spying is a collective problem, not an individual problem. Responding to it as if it's an individual problem - i.e., "I have nothing to hide" - entirely misses the point of the significance of this destruction of the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against arbitrary gov't power over the people. You can't solve a collective problem by treating as if it's only about yourself as an individual.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 06:37
Quoting Wolffian:
Regarding Mao, he goes on to say that the “empire” is a paper Tiger that’s powerful in appearance but overall weak and that it has no overall support and will eventually be destroyed.(his great leap forward was a failure) I don’t agree with Mao that “paper tiger”, as he calls it, had no future and will be destroyed. Surely the American gov has flaws, but the USA is not better or worse than other countries. “They say the grass always looks greener on the other side.”
First, it is extremely simplistic to say that the GLF was a failure. Second, the USA IS worse than other countries. Let's consider this: without the US imperialist empire, what would happen to all of the truly despicable puppet regimes that only exist in the world today thru the military and financial sponsorship of the US? What would happen almost overnight to those tyrants if the US stopped supporting them b/c there was a revolution in the US?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 15:30
Quoting Wolffian:
I don’t agree with Mao that “paper tiger”, as he calls it, had no future and will be destroyed. Surely the American gov has flaws, but the USA is not better or worse than other countries. “They say the grass always looks greener on the other side.”


First, it is extremely simplistic to say that the GLF was a failure. Second, the USA IS worse than other countries in terms of its role in the world ss the sole imperialist superpower. Consider this: without the US imperialist empire, what would happen to all of the truly despicable puppet regimes that only exist in the world today thru the military and financial sponsorship of the US? What would happen almost overnight to those tyrants if the US stopped supporting them b/c there was a revolution in the US? Over a million Iraqis and 60k Americans have died as a result of the US's unprovoked aggression on Iraq since 2003...
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 15:34
Quoting Wolffian:
I don’t agree with Mao that “paper tiger”, as he calls it, had no future and will be destroyed. Surely the American gov has flaws, but the USA is not better or worse than other countries. “They say the grass always looks greener on the other side.”

1st, it is extremely simplistic to say that the GLF was a failure. 2nd, the USA IS worse than other countries in terms of its role in the world as the sole imperialist superpower. Consider this: without the US imperialist empire, what wd happen to all of the despicable puppet regimes that only exist today thru the US's military and financial sponsorship? What wd happen overnight to those tyrants if the US stopped supporting them b/c there was a revolution in the US? Over a million Iraqis and 60k Americans have died as a result of the US's unprovoked aggression on Iraq since 2003...
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 15:46
The 60k casualties figure for American soldiers is primarily from suicides. Currently, according to the Veterans Administration, 21 vets kill themselves every day. This is almost invariably due to PTSD and related symptoms of serving in these unjust wars that cause them excruciating emotional and psychological damage.
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0 # wolffian 2014-03-09 20:04
My argument is not to defend the USA, I am well aware of what the US has done, my point is that you are criticizing this gov; when Mao was just as bad. Comparing one bad gov to another it just doesn’t make sense to me.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-09 22:26
I was comparing Mao's attitude about US imperialism to those who think that the US cannot be defeated and to those who think that the US is no better or worse than any other gov. I do believe that the US IS worse precisely because you cannot compare a Third World nation, which is what China was and in many respects still is, to the sole imperialist superpower in the world. China when it was socialist was not propping up puppet regimes around the world and did not use atomic weapons, which the US did in WW II upon Japan, a horrible war crime.
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0 # KLR 2014-03-02 06:54
Even though I feel that there has been and continues to be something wrong with our government, I can see why a vast majority of the people don't pursue greater knowledge of the truth is because people enjoy keeping the status quo. What I mean is people have become complacent with their lives. They like the lives they have even though they may know that something is wrong in a vague sense. They would rather keep their lives as is instead of learning the truth. This all comes back to capitalism. The elite few manipulating the masses into complacency. What Mao says about knocking out the fangs one at a time holds true for use. When Snow den leaked the documents, a lot of peoples eyes were opened to the fact that our government were keeping a lot of secrets from us. Secrets that affect the average man. This was in effect one of Americas' fangs being knocked out. This is a good start in the direction of regime reform.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-02 22:47
Quoting KLR:
They like the lives they have even though they may know that something is wrong in a vague sense. They would rather keep their lives as is instead of learning the truth.


This comment contains some really interesting aspects to it. In the segment above, we can parse out different aspects of this multifaceted matter. I agree that most peo have a vague sense of things being wrong. That is why giving peo a clearly defined picture of WHAT is going on and WHY it's going on is so valuable and necessary so that they can FOCUS the diffuse feelings they have. This is an illustration of why leadership makes such a difference and why the public needs leaders to fulfill their full potential. This is why complacency isn't really the most pertinent aspect of the public's attitudes.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-10 00:49
Quoting Dennis Loo:
[Leaders] giving peo a clearly defined picture of WHAT is going on and WHY it's going on is so valuable and necessary so that they can FOCUS the diffuse feelings they have. This is an illustration of why leadership makes such a difference and why the public needs leaders to fulfill their full potential. This is why complacency isn't really the most pertinent aspect of the public's attitudes.


Most peo overlook the impact of those who set the tone for others and mistakenly believe that the majority's views determine what the attitudes and behaviors are and what kind of society we live in. That is not how social dynamics work. A minority of leaders set the tone w/in the context of the logic of the dominant system.
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0 # LeslieB 2014-03-02 07:20
Weber believed that unfortunately we could never truly free ourselves of bureaucracies but rather only shake up the iron cage meaning no matter what we do we will always end up back here but Mao believes that we can free ourselves of such iron cage, so who is right? I think that Weber’s believe is a pessimistic one, which discourages people, even those who know the real truth, from taking a stand against the iron cage. I guess what I’m trying to get at is, what is the point? If Weber was right, which we’ve seen happen in countries like China and Russia what good would standing up do if eventually we’d end up right back here? Now this is not to say that I agree with what the government is doing but I feel that in order for people to actually stand up against the government they would need to be able to see the light at the end of a tunnel. A light that doesn’t lead back to where they began.
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0 # rrr96 2014-03-03 06:25
I can’t agree with your comment more. As you stated Weber does sound very pessimistic although I feel that I can agree with him in the respect that capitalism always prevails over other forms of government. I am not saying I like it, but looking at history it seems that he is right.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 11:39
[quote name="rrr96"cap italism always prevails over other forms of government. I am not saying I like it, but looking at history it seems that he is right. Depends upon how much history you want to look at. From the standpoint of the whole arc of human history to date, 200,000 years of it, class societies only make up 5% of that history. For most of human history there are no classes. Capitalism is the dominant system of the last few hundred years but in the 20th C. socialist revolutions occurred. If you examine capitalism's history specifically, it struggled to prevail over feudalism and it took a few hundred years for it to do so as feudalism fought back repeatedly until it was finally defeated.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 11:42
Quoting rrr96:
capitalism always prevails over other forms of government. I am not saying I like it, but looking at history it seems that he is right.

Depends upon how much history you want to look at. From the standpoint of the whole arc of human history to date, 200,000 years of it, class societies only make up 5% of that history. Capitalism is only a fraction of that 5%. For most of human history there are no classes. Individualism as a word only appears in English in the 1800s. Prior to that there isn't a word for it, which tells you the importance of community. Capitalism is the dominant system of the last few hundred years but in the 20th C. socialist revolutions occurred. If you examine capitalism's history specifically, it struggled to prevail over feudalism and it took a few hundred years for it to do so as feudalism fought back repeatedly until it was finally defeated. Furthermore, capitalism is destroying the earth...
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0 # KT10 2014-03-02 07:24
I feel as though it's not people's fault for the most part that they're ignorant when it comes to the government and how it runs. The government purposely manipulates us with irrelevant news or just intimidates us if we really want to know the truth. Also I think some people choose to not know what's really going on, because they don't want to believe what our government hides or commits. I also think the mainstream media is viewed as a tool where people shouldn't dare to question because authority is powerful and they can quickly oppress us. Our system also hands us selective information that seems to be true and credible, so we don't question it. If more people were to know the truth about Guantanamo or the drones, there would be protest. Our government's job is to hide these things and only inform us of facts that won't hurt the economy or the system. If more people were to seek alternative sources and think more critically, I'm sure our country would be in a different situation
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0 # sintricity08 2014-03-02 11:21
I agree with kt10, and his/her statement regarding how the government tries to lie to us constantly in various ways that reach out to the masses, but we can make a difference in trying to get knowledge out there. I also feel the government realizes this in a way because of things like trying to claim protest acts as terrorism. I almost feel like we're headed towards what China does in regards to banning words like democracy from the internet, only here in America they are simply redefining terms and being selective on what they allow us to hear for the majority.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 11:49
Quoting sintricity08:
I agree with kt10, and his/her statement regarding how the government tries to lie to us constantly in various ways that reach out to the masses, but we can make a difference in trying to get knowledge out there.
Absolutely. This speaks to the point that I make in the article about how Obama et al are very consciously lying in a specific way because they know that they have to pull the wool over people's eyes about the immoral policies actually being implemented. The gov't knows that the people would not accept it if they knew the truth which is why the gov't HAS to lie about it. If the people wanted really were so complacent the gov't could be honest with the people about what they're doing.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 11:53
[quote name="sintricit y08"the government tries to lie to us constantly in various ways that reach out to the masses, but we can make a difference in trying to get knowledge out there. An example of what you're talking about in terms of the difference it makes is the impact of the GTMO program on those who have seen it. This speaks to the point that I make in the article about how Obama et al are very consciously lying in a specific way because they know that they have to pull the wool over people's eyes about the immoral policies actually being implemented. The gov't knows that the people would not accept it if they knew the truth which is why the gov't HAS to lie about it. If the people really were so complacent and in denial the gov't could be honest with the people about what they're doing instead of systematically lying.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 11:57
Quoting sintricity08:
I agree with kt10, and his/her statement regarding how the government tries to lie to us constantly in various ways that reach out to the masses, but we can make a difference in trying to get knowledge out there.
An example of what you're talking about in terms of the difference it makes is the impact of the GTMO program on those who have seen it. This speaks to the point that I make in the article about how Obama et al are very consciously lying in a specific way because they know that they have to pull the wool over people's eyes about the immoral policies actually being implemented. The gov't knows that the people would not accept it if they knew the truth which is why the gov't HAS to lie about it. If the people really were so complacent and in denial the gov't could be honest with the people about what they're doing instead of systematically lying.
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0 # rrr96 2014-03-03 03:53
I believe as stated in the article that people are foolish to what is really taking place within the United States government. People are taught from a young age that America is the land of the free and to be proud of being American. The blinders are placed on peoples eye at a young age so it is understandable why some have a hard times seeing past them. Many people hear change or divergence from the norm and are instantly defensive. Why though? I have been thinking about the way that capitalist think a lot lately. Whenever I hear someone enthusiastic about a new Wal-Mart or mall coming to town I become frustrated because big corporations do not help anyone but their selves and actually hurt the surrounding small business economy and abuse their employees. But some people do not think about these facts, if it is not directly affecting them, then some people want to keep their nose out of it.
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0 # rrr96 2014-03-03 03:54
People would rather get extremely cheaply priced products and ignore what is going on than face the realities that big business and big power bring. It is really hard for people to peel the blinders away and see the realities.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-03-03 05:52
Quoting rrr96:
People would rather get extremely cheaply priced products and ignore what is going on than face the realities that big business and big power bring. It is really hard for people to peel the blinders away and see the realities.
Here's the thing: most people have trouble connecting the dots and so to say that they "would rather get ... cheaply priced products and ignore..." is to say that they are making a conscious choice in that way. Some are, but most don't see the whole picture because for them to see that means that they'd have to be exposed to something far out of the ordinary in terms of what most people see, hear and read everyday.
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0 # sickmacias89 2014-03-06 00:24
I agree with rrr96 and I'll use the example of how people would rather buy cheap food over eating healthy and buying healthy food. I never understood why food at places like Whole Foods and even Trader Joes were more expensive than your normal grocery store. Capitalism has us to understand that the better deal is the cheaper one. Is it safe to say that capitalism gives causes for why we have obesity?? If cheap food gives a reinvestment to companies then they push it to the extreme buy placing their restaurants in low income neighborhoods that can’t buy healthy food.
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0 # GA23 2014-03-09 04:51
I believe that those who are educated about certain things have a sort of responsibilitie s to let other know what is going on. One thing that came to mind while reading this was the infamous group "Anonymous." This group seems to know a lot about what is going on in not only the United States but the world. There was a time when this group was super famous and everyone knew who they were. They were in the media for a while because it was claimed that they were going to shut down facebook. Everyone knew what was going on. This group although seems very revolutionary. If it somehow was to grow and give out useful information to people they may threaten the government. It already seems like a very threatening group but it would cause a revolt in the world and especially our country. This group is on social networks such as twitter and I have seen some of their tweets and they give you information on things that no normal civilian would know. Who are these people and how do they get this
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0 # GA23 2014-03-09 04:54
information. What if it is people who are part of the system that are sick of the way things are running? We must open our eyes and not believe everything we hear or see. The more people are educated about things the easier it will be to not have the government control us but instead have the government work for the benefit of all of us Americans.
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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12