We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

American Dissidents and Censorship

Public marginalization of popular reformers during 2004 and 2008 elections demonstrates how discussions about political reform are effectively suppressed even after years of widespread Internet access.

Maybe it is time to stop focusing so much on political reformers in Iran and honor the ones right here in America. Nothing shows the triumph of American oligarchy when it comes to exploitation of an archaic political structure better than the lack of media exposure to Ralph Nader's platform in 2008 election. Mr. Nader got the third biggest amount of votes in 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and was a nationally recognized celebrity with outstanding record of public service when it came to saving American lives. This shocking reality (that an individual with such consistent public voter support was effectively publicly suppressed and character assassinated by petty millionaires making up democratic party core) demonstrates three things:

1) Over a decade after the internet allowed mass decentralized sharing of information, oligarchs are still able to use major media power centers (augmented with internet proxies) to divert spotlight from undesirables. Internet access is not an equalizer but just creates an additional venue for oligarchs to pour money into since respected online media sources are as open to advertising as television channels. The hire of online promotional experts and perception builders to court the youth vote becomes more key than ever. Success of decentralized promotions for Ron Paul can now be emulated by corporate giants and sponsors on a much larger scale. Obama has shown remarkable skill at buying online public perception and as well as being one of the few candidates to run a 50 state strategy along with Paul and Romney. Corporate proxies can easily set up hundreds of websites marketed to politically minded youth as easily as they are able to sell worn out looking clothing.

2) The inertia of the entrenched media-political complex and (the interests of its sponsors) does not permit serious discussion of structural constitutional changes needed to allow American democratic capitalism to survive into the 21st century. Proponents of modifying the outdated aristocratic American constitution through proposals such as National Initiative (supported by Mike Gravel and Ralph Nader) will be suppressed and ridiculed just like constitutional purists such as Ron Paul. Structural political reformists in United States are at an even greater institutionalized disadvantage when getting public exposure than reformists in Iran or Russia.

Only constitutional amendments to streamline legislative decision making would allow the American society to immediately put needed measures, like single payer health care, on the fast track. Without political reform, measures to deal with the economic emergency are bound to at best arrive in vastly diluted status quo supporting form and at worst add to the burden of the depression the country is experiencing. Complete denial of airtime to a popular reformist like Ralph Nader in 2004 and 2008 along with oligarchal efforts to deny Mr Nader ballot access in 2004, shows that power elites are more comfortable in fighting over influence within the failed system. Public perception has been molded sufficiently now that political reform carries even a bigger stigma than economic reform.

3) Pragmatic truth telling is even more alien to the American public than feel good impractical ideological idealism. As such, a reformist pragmatist will be fully ignored while an idealist, who has more traction with the public, will undergo a mixture of ignoring and ridicule. The runaway success of a conduit for ideology such as Ron Paul demonstrates this. A genuine idealist came dangerously close to getting third place in Iowa Republican caucuses and being forced into a media spotlight. An idealist however can be strategically neutralized with proper placement of voter decoys like Fred Thompson. Thompson's behavior during the primaries does not point to incompetence but to an easy public relations stunt for his friend McCain to split constitutionalist republicans. A pragmatist like Ralph Nader cannot be as easily countered with a prepackaged decoy candidate.

Going by google trends, Ralph Nader was searched for twice as often in the 2004 cycle than Ron Paul was in 2008 cycle. That was when internet activism was just picking up. Nader got more money per voter than Kerry or Bush and the behind the scenes public campaign against him was very blatant if anybody cared to look. The sponsors of democratic and republican political machines will be even less likely to allow reformist opposition now that the republican power is pushed into indefinite marginalized status. Ralph Nader is the most truthful realist American nationalist and has been suppressed even more than Kasparov. He was one of the few directly addressing the severe national problems of ethnic disparities, energy, prohibition, environmental costs, oligarchic heavy handed exploitation of the weak American government, and the burdens of military overspending. He has done so for years without the cloud of silly idealism and with his mind grounded in tangible realities of American power learned from experience.

Just like Paul and Gravel, Nader is over 70 years old. The old guard of reformers perhaps are still under the impression that American dream can be salvaged rather than replaced. In the waning days of United States, perhaps it's time to honor those who expanded so much energy to fight the nail in the coffin that was the "Reagan Revolution".

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