Strength in Numbers?
E Pluribus Unum, "out of many one," was the motto adopted by Congress in 1782 to symbolize (figuratively) the unity between the states and the federal government. It now symbolizes literally the unified diversity of the many different corporations and their industries and their union with "our" government to form the corpocracy.
Over the years, with the corpocracy's tyrannical power affecting every facet of life, opposition to that power has sprouted hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), less organized groups, and social movements, the least organized and most leaderless of these types of opposition.
Unlike the corpocracy, the nature of its opposition as we shall see in this second article in the trilogy is E Pluribus Pluribus, "out of many, many," which is true even in the case where you might think it would be unified and strong; namely, the opposition to the killing, maiming and torturing of people and the exploitation and devastation of countries, a business as usual of the deadly monster, the military-national security, industrial and political triumvirate of the United States.
The first article was long,
probably too long, but the triumvirate is huge and an adequate overview of it
could not be short . This second article in the trilogy is short simply
because the triumvirate's opposition such as it is does not require a long
overview. There just isn't much widespread and successful opposition to
overview. The triumvirate is as powerful, as destructive, and as deadly as
Antiwar, peace and nonviolence groups: Pursuing their own narrow agendas
There are upwards of 100 if not more of these groups. They have at least five characteristics in common. They all say they are against war and violence and for peace. There is little teamwork or collaboration among them as they are mostly pursuing independently of one another their own agendas. Their agendas are usually of narrow, issue-specific issues. With a few exceptions they have limited resources. And, it is plainly evident that even with some small tactical victories here and there, these groups are making little progress if any in ending war and violence.
Let's briefly look at three of them; the oldest, the largest and a war veteran's group. They probably represent in their current status the outer limits of what has been and can be accomplished by fragmented groups with limited resources in their opposition to the monster. But they could also represent the nucleus for an organized, unified and systemic approach to achieving the reforms necessary to topple the monster. Neither this triumvirate nor the rest of the corpocracy is going to be toppled by a "thousand cuts." To think so is fanciful.
The War Resisters League (www.warresisters.org) was started in 1923 (just imagine the number of wars and lesser wars the League has been resisting since then). It has a small, paid staff and volunteers in the national office and numerous committees and taskforces. It has chapters in almost half of the states. It also has an international affiliate. It apparently eschews grants or money from big foundations and the government and depends instead on donations from individuals and from corporate matching gift programs.
Some of the activities mentioned on its website are storytelling, witnessing, protesting, challenging military recruitment, organizing and training for nonviolent direct action, and offering "on-the-ground" education.
Peace Action (www.peace-action.org), according to its website is "the nation's largest grassroots peace network with chapters and affiliates in states across the country [and] nearly 100,000 activists and experienced organizers---." Its 2010 annual report lists 15 board directors, a staff of 10, and revenue of over $330,000 with $50,000 from foundations. Its activities include grassroots organizing, developing policy and strategic proposals, petition campaigns, citizen lobbying, lobbying visits to Congressional members and their staffs, and capacity building. Two-thirds of its long range plan addresses capacity building (e.g., growth, fund raising, governance and organizational design) rather than outcome-oriented reform initiatives. It lists over 15 "friends and allies," but how they actually interact with Peace Action is unclear.
Veterans for Peace (www.veteransforpeace.org) was founded
in 1985 by 10
VfP has 150 some chapters and more than a dozen working groups. According to its website, VfP has collaborated with dozens of organizations and sponsored thousands of activities promoting peace. They include educational and ceremonial projects (e.g., "exposing the true costs of war" and tree planting memorials); holding peace poetry contests; "healing the wounds of war" (e.g., supporting the lawsuit filed against the U.S. chemical companies by survivors of the toxic "agent orange" used in Vietnam); and helping to rebuild Iraqi's potable water system devastated by US military and economic interventions and sanctions.
The Peace and Security Funders Group: Too little funding, too little collaboration