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October 24, 2013

Should Progressives Take the Anti-Government Meme Away From Conservatives?

By Rob Kall

It's usually right wingers-- Republicans and Libertarians who take stances opposing government. This anti-government stance has become a meme that many moderates are embracing. Maybe it's time for people on the left to take their own stance criticizing government and own the meme. I think we can do it while separating out the baby from the bathwater.


by rob kall

It's usually right wingers-- Republicans and Libertarians who take stances opposing government. This anti-government stance has become a meme that many moderates are embracing. 

Maybe it's time for people on the left to take their own stance criticizing government and own the meme. I think we can do it while separating out the baby from the bathwater. There are a number of reasons to look at reasons to oppose government that could be used by the left. 

I believe that there will be a number of issues that progressives may find common cause with those in the middle and on the right-- which may give us the leverage to make major change happen. 

At the least, it could give progressive candidates a way to tap the power of the anti-government meme in a way that is synergistic with progressive values and goals. So much of how we make change happen is based on the framing, the narrative and stories we tell. 

In the past, the right has been very effective at marginalizing or neutralizing language the left has used. Smart use of progressive anti-government framing could weaken, or even take the whole anti-government meme away from the right and teapartiers. 

Most on the left oppose too-big-to-fail corporations. Perhaps we need to look at ways to de-centralize government and shrink aspects of  it that become so big they are not longer manageable or accountable. If we take on government, it may be easier to take on too-big corporations as well. 

Here's a list of some aspects of government that Progressives already oppose. 
Let's start with the easier stuff. 

-The Patriot Act-- a huge danger to democracy and the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and its amendments. 

-a bloated, uncontrollable, unaccountable military

-a bloated uncontrollable, unaccountable security/intelligence 

-a congress that a massive majority of Americans are disgusted with, which has surrendered its power to the White House and the Supreme Court

-Laws that people who don't harm any person or property criminals, like marijuana possession laws.

-a prison system that is bloated and unaccountable

-militarization of the police, moving towards a police state, where police and prison guards can literally kill without any worry of having to be accountable. 

-government regulatory agencies thoroughly corrupted through the appointment of agency directors and staffers with deep, long-term, conflict-of-interest ties to the industries they are supposed to regulate

-An executive branch that has grabbed and amassed a record level of power

-a redistricting system that allows outrageously uneven, unfair, undemocratic gerrymandering. 

-Money that buys politicians way into government with the help of billionaires and massive businesses. 

-Lifetime appointments for Supreme Court Justices

-a two party duopoly political system which has made it extremely difficult for third parties and third party candidates 

-a two party duopoly that makes incumbents almost entirely safe when it comes to primaries. 

-government secrecy, opacity, abuse of top-secret classifications.

-privatization of the commons-- selling out resources and functions of our nation that should be owned and run by government rather than handed over to private companies which, overall have a history of law and regulation avoidance or breaking as well exploitation that is not in the interest of the public. 

-weak, corrupted government regulations. One of the main purposes of government is to create regulations, laws and enforcers to protect the people from the predatory behaviors of corporations and the rich and powerful, where it is far more likely to find the worst white collar narcissistic and psychopathic harmful behaviors. 

This is just a beginning, an off-the-top-of-my-head list of objectionable aspects of government, as it now operates, that I believe most progressives would agree with. I think that some of these might also resonate with other political ideologies, and perhaps with different church groups and religious organizations. 

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.