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What's at Stake

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Global warming and climate change are the number one threat to us as a species. It may seem like a distant threat, something our kids and grandchildren will solve, but it is not. It began slowly, but is now and accelerating and inexorable process that we began well over a century ago. We have made terrible decisions since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and among these decisions were the historically and continuing selfish interests of large corporations-Standard Oil of New Jersey, U.S. Steel, General Foods, General Motors, General Dynamics, General Electric, Cargill Corporation, Dupont, Chase, Citicorp. We abandoned our good start with electric railroads and built a continental "empire" based on petroleum and consumer consumption. The result has been deliciously seductive way of life, an erosion of individual liberty and choice in favor of corporate needs and belief in the goodwill of corporate leaders. We now have an economy of pointless plenty and politics polluted by endless amounts of money. We have to address these issues. They will not go away by themselves; they will, in fact, get worse and the effects will become more and more destructive of our democracy.

We have to neutralize our impact on the biosphere and find the means and organization that will preserve our planet. There may be drastic changes necessary and the world population may experience tragedy in the process. Millions, perhaps billions, could be permanently displaced, engulfed by rising sea levels, loss of the basic and essential areas of the world upon which the local and global economies depend-the arable land now under cultivation plus the coastal areas involved in worldwide transportation-through submersion or drastic climate change.

If this situation had emerged during the administrations of FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy or Johnson the prognosis would have been much better than it is now. The world expects American leadership and participation in finding a solution to save our planet. But, the United States has been taken over by a group of people supported by a cabal of corporations the goals of which are to enrich themselves at any cost to the rest of us. In addition to make things even worse some of these "leaders" are in league with the irrationalist element of our society which has trained itself to believe in explanations of real world events based on mythology and perversion of traditional ethical doctrines.

The leaders and followers of the corporatist radicals who took over fifteen years ago have a theory that the rich people are always guided by market forces to serve and care for the rest of humanity, and yes, they believe this despite the ample historical evidence that not only is it not in the least bit true, but on the contrary it is a process of compounding greed into super greed-an endless quest for MORE. The inexorable forces of the marketplace do not convert greed into humane service. The so-called market forces produce prices of goods and services based on supply, demand, interest rates, and a few other monetary and fiscal parameters and that's it.

So, the problem we have on the planet is that Earth's most promising nation has been overrun with greed, irrationality, and fear. We have to take back control of the United States from corporate and irrationalist interests and exercise the good common sense and will of our democracy to work with the rest of the planet's population to save ourselves. To do that we must over the next five elections remove those people who take corporate money, forgetting whom they really represent. Think about it! Corporations do not vote, but they have almost complete control of the votes of some of OUR representatives. This must end and we will not be able to do anything to save ourselves if we do not do it.

If you are not convinced of the reality of this situation, this open war of the rich against the middle and the poor, then you should consider what the corporations must do to solidify their position and achieve their ends.
Josh Silver and Robert W. McChesney have a recent article in CommonDreams about corporate collusion to control our means of communication. It is a chilling reminder of the power that corporations have, a power that must be stripped from them immediately and never allowed to build up again. Read their article.


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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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