The first law of civics should be this: Corruption is the bane of civilized society. If existing bureaucracies are not corrupt already, the probability of their becoming corrupt is high. All bureaucracies are subject to corruption.
The second law of civics should be this: Bureaucracy is inherent to governments, corporations, non-profit institutions, both public and private, as well as religious organizations. Only an alert citizenry can prevent or mitigate the ill effects of corrupt bureaucracies.
The third law of civics should be this: No student should be allowed to graduate from high school without having committed the first two laws of civics to memory. No citizen should be allowed to vote without first having signed a statement of affirmation to the truth of the first and second laws of civics.
Echoing Pogo's famous observation, "We have met the enemy, and it is us", from the book "Declining America," Richard Budde says: "The biggest problem behind the economy is the American people. Corporations and Congress can be blamed, but it is the American people who have created the problem and allowed it to flourish. They have idolized the rich and powerful instead of challenging them. That only serves to contribute to the decline of America."
While the observation contains an element of truth it fails to consider the more important issue of "why this is so." That answer lies with the "puppeteers" and is evident in their furtherance of E. L. Bernays' expertise. The American Edward Louis Bernays was the "father of public relations." He was much influenced by his uncle, Sigmund Freud. Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy. This is a quote from his 1928 book, "Propaganda": "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country" We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society" In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons"who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and its many affiliates continue to castigate Wall Street, Corporate America, Congress, the Administration, the Supreme Court, K Street lobbyists and the hyper-wealthy elites for the Great Recession and awesomely slow recovery from it. Let us not forget, however, that it is think tanks, Madison Avenue and a compliant mainstream media that so effectively dimmed our awareness that a crisis was even eminent, that failed to call for criminal prosecution of the fraudulent bankers responsible, and it is they who continue feeding us generally rosy scenarios of the future. Theirs is the influence we must learn to deplore and overcome.
Domestic and foreign policies differ by geography, not by those that determine them. By substituting "ruling class" and "various think tanks" in the quote below, you will better understand what we the people are fighting against. The modified quote below is from the 1975 book, "Kissinger on the Couch" by Phyllis Schlafly and Rear Admiral Chester Ward -- a former Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 1956-1960 and member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) for 16 years.
"Once the ruling class (rather than ruling members of the CFR) has decided that the U.S. government should adopt a particular policy, the very substantial research facilities of the various think tanks (rather than CFR) are put to work to develop arguments -- intellectual and emotional -- to support the new policy and to confound and discredit -- intellectually and politically -- any opposition."
It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happened, you can bet it was planned that way." Think about tax cuts that predominantly favor the wealthy. Think about tax loopholes for corporations. Think about free trade and globalization policies that result in loss of jobs. Think about regulation and deregulation. Think about empire and our military stationed in as many as 1,000 foreign bases located in more than 80 countries throughout the world. Think about two wars financed with borrowed funds. Think about failed social policies. Think about budget deficits and national debt. Think about institutions too big to fail. Think about bailouts for the bankers. Think about millions of homes foreclosed or in foreclosure. Think about stagnant to lower wages. Think about the growth in poverty and a declining middle class. Think about the continued growth in income and wealth inequality. Think about the corporate takeover of our political process. Think about the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Think about the growth of money in politics. Think about a costly K-12 education system that is failing the children of our nation. Think about the near unaffordability of our colleges and universities. Think about the current economic condition and the prospects for growth. Think about the politically apathetic and their economically and politically misinformed colleagues in this country. Think about all of these and pretty soon you will not want to think at all. It is just too much. It seems almost mind numbing, but clearly we live in a nation undergoing great stress, a nation in serious trouble.
Most, if not all of the above "think abouts" result from or are dependent upon a corrupt political process resulting in corrupt bureaucracies. Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two for corruption to exist. There must be a corruptor, and there must be a corruptee.
Using Congress as an example, the Occupy Wall Street movement, with its many group affiliated movements, appears to direct all, or nearly all, of its energy at the corruptors -- those who provide us with the best democracy that money can buy. The Tea Party groups throughout the nation appear to direct all, or nearly all, of their energy on the corruptee -- those elected officials believed responsible for all or most of the "think about problems" discussed above.
Why these two groups are not united to fight political corruption is a question that appears to be unanswerable by any rational thinking process. There should be an opportunity for the members of both the Occupy and Tea Party groups to hang up their liberal and conservative labels in a joint effort of we the people to fight political corruption in our country.
Will the social wedge issues between the two groups, the liberals and conservatives, remain the effective weapons against we the people by the other two groups, the corruptors and the corruptees? Surely a united effort by both the Occupy and Tea Party groups to fight political corruption would have a better chance of defeating both the corruptors and the corruptees.
One thing is certain. If the corruptors and the corruptees continue to win their war against we the people, then Occupy and Tea Party group members alike, along with our many politically apathetic neighbors, will continue riding our country's downhill slide towards the achievement of a third world status.