Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nation Time!

First, I want to wish all light and love and never forget, ‪#‎LifeMatters‬

I have posted a number of videos, pictures and personal notes on my new tumblr...please check it out and share.

LINK = http://livlearngrow.tumblr.com/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Who are you?" - Malcolm X

NO PROGRESS. They won't even admit the knife is there: http://youtu.be/SzuOOshpddM

The Way It Is/Changes http://youtu.be/-72yh0QXXMA

I want to expand on a note I wrote on February 21, 2010 that highlighted the speech Malcolm X gave on white liberals v. conservatives. I think it is one of his most relevant speeches given today's political climate, where the media continues to suck most of us into the traps of politrix.

"The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.

The white conservatives aren’t friends of the Negro either, but they at least don’t try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the “smiling” fox.

The job of the Negro civil rights leader is to make the Negro forget that the wolf and the fox both belong to the (same) family. Both are canines; and no matter which one of them the Negro places his trust in, he never ends up in the White House, but always in the dog house. (peep that carefully...lol)

Miseducation and the Divide and Conquer Strategy

When successful, this strategy of divide and conquer leads to a lack of focus where it becomes easy to be manipulated by political rancor. These tactics were used to cause friction between Washington and DuBois and DuBois and Garvey...It is ironic that most who followed Garvey's philosophy believed BTW to be a sell out, when it was Washington's strategy that most influenced Garvey.

Most of my students in Black LA know only the caricature of MLK Jr. the mainstream has created...They know "I have a Dream" MLK, but not "Stop the Vietnam War" MLK. And as incredible as it may seem, many know very little about Malcolm X or Black History Month in general. Few can identify the origin of the RBG flag. Some don’t even know who Malcolm X is! One middle school student once asked if he was an extreme sports star! 

"Who are you?" - Malcolm X

The truth is many still do not know who our enemy really is...and as long as that is the case, we will not know who we are. It reminds me of a quotation attributed to Black Panther Bunchy Carter where he explains that "there should never be any hostilities between Black organizations (referring to BPP v US) because they are not our enemy."

Malcolm X and Dr. King Jr. were often (purposely) pitted against each other as well, forcing community members to pick a "leader" and "strategy".  But the masses of our people love both men because they recognized that both men loved them and wanted the same thing...our freedom.

Some may not have realized how similar MLK Jr. and Malcolm X were in their visions for our people.

Martin Luther King & Malcolm X: Striking Similarities Part 1 of 3

Malcolm X Fought the Real War

Yes, we now live now in a corporatist state where our "democratic elected representatives" are bought and sold, and the 1% are gaining more wealth and power every day. But we also have to deal with the reality that even if we lived in a TRUE democracy where our representatives actually represented us and our interests, we live among a nation of millions that want to hold us back (PE).

Understanding and dealing with WHITE SUPREMACY is critical to building class consciousness...it has not only been A strategy of the status quo power structure, it has been THE strategy, since before this country formed...back to colonial days...

For working people to come together, they must first recognize the humanity they share...and white supremacy is the roadblock denying that truth. That is what the white middle class has done for this system...people will continue to support a system that only benefits 1% until they recognize that they are not a part of that 1%...they are a part of the 99% masses across the globe of all hues...

Malcolm X understood this and fought the real war...the RACE WAR that has been at the center of this country from its founding to today.

With progress made, there has always been backlash...

TO secure our freedom:
1. David Walker's Appeal (calling for enslaved Africans to secure freedom by any means)
2. Bacon's Rebellion (class based revolt)

1. racialization of slavery (from indentured servitude to slave for life)
2. black codes for non-enslaved AA

1. Abolition movement to end slavery (from reform tactics like pressure though press and courts to radical revolts to moral religious tactics)

1. led to whole free state/slave state - congressional politics of representation 3/5 clause etc.

THEN to secure freedom we:
1. Federal FREEDMAN'S Bureau
2. gains in education, land, and political representation

1. Domestic Terrorism, birth of KKK
2. Legalization of Jim Crow

1. Booker T. - building institutions but not fighting racism,
2. DuBois - NAACP, tried reforming system, holding to its ideals,
3. Garvey - actually inspired by Booker T., self determination, building black institutions and economic empowerment with black money not white donors like Booker T. had

1. J Edgar Hoover hired first black agent to infiltrate UNIA.
2. Black leaders pitted against each other as tactic (Washington v. DuBOis, Garvey v. DuBois)
3. Internal strife (movements brought down from within/tactic used in revolts earlier too)

1. CRM, BPM - Emmitt Till, montgomery bus boycott - masses organizing, SNCC, BPP, etc

2. MLK v. MALCOLM, take sides (tactic divide and conquer which Malcolm X later rejected)

hip hop - voice for youth coming of post-CR era

commodified - frame one dimensional and sell for profit while reinforcing stereotypes..see BAMBOOZLED

OBAMA is elected in this country...lol

1. tea party
2. "liberal" squabbling on politics (for/against Obama) instead of organizing actions (which i argue is very purposeful and again refer to Malcolm X speech on foxes and wolves..liberals and conservatives)
3. the fear of a brown planet (immigration debate, 14th amendment, etc.)
4. stand your ground laws and the growing police state 

I write all this to basically point out...we have to make sure we know not only WHAT we are fighting for...but WHO we are fighting FOR, and who we are fighting AGAINST...because there have been many times in history we have been pitted against each other as a tactic when we could have united and been a powerful force for our own freedom...we can either learn lessons of history, or continue to repeat them...Malcolm X understood this and it is why even after his trip to Mecca and break from the NOI, Black Nationalism remained his strategy to achieve human rights for all.

He understood self determination was not just a strategy...it was the ONLY path to freedom.

also see:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Privatization of Politics

HKR: The Privatization of Politics (SCOTUS).. United Playerz 20th Anniversary

Last week, I joined Dave 'Davey D' Cook on  Hard Knock Radio - 94.1 to discuss the serious implications of the latest Supreme Court decision as well as privatization in general. Our segment begins at around 7:30 mark after the news headlines. After our segment, Davey speaks to Rudy Corpuz of United Playaz (SF community based org) on their 20th anniversary. Please check it out and leave comments to continue the dialogue!

"It takes the hood to save the hood!" - United Playaz

In Case You Missed ....

Global Rankings Study Depicts an America in Warp Speed Decline by Alternet.org [REBLOG]

link = http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/global-rankings-study-depicts-america-warp-speed-decline

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What Can Work….And What Never Will, Pt 2: No More Waiting, Freedom This Time!

What Can Work….And What Never Will, Pt 2: No More Waiting, Freedom This Time!

If we do not dare everything, 
The fulfillment of that prophecy, re-created from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: 
God gave Noah the rainbow sign,
No more water, the fire next time! – James Baldwin

Since the Zimmerman verdict, there have been a number of great articles and social media posts that provide very insightful analysis of the trial specifically, and related issues of justice, racism and white supremacy more generally (see endnotes for partial list).  I have penned a number of essays on these topics over the years as well (see my blog Rise up Hip Hop Nation), including an essay I wrote in 2011 under same title.

What Can Work….And What Never Will

But for this update, my focus is not analytical but practical. While ideas and theory inform my writing always, this essay focuses on a specific list of actions to organize this moment into a sustainable movement.

The Model = A 21st Century SNCC*

*term coined by TVOne journalist Roland Martin


1. ORGANIZE around ISSUES, not leaders, personalities, political parties, or ideology

A. Keeping focus on issues over all else makes it possible to collaborate and  build with others despite other differences that often keep us from uniting.  As Dr. King best stated, we must keep our work in “a positive action framework rather than engaging in consistent negative debate.”
B. Some issues that we can all agree on and organize around include:
1) Valuing all humanity and all human rights
2) Improving education and educational outcomes
3) Equal treatment and justice for all
4) Community security, and all the ways this manifest in our communities (sustenance, peace, health and wellness, love).
5) Environmental protection
  6) Voting Rights
7) Others? Add to list in comments.

2. Nurture COALITIONS of the Willing

A. Create lists of organizations (local and national) to collaborate with on chosen issues
B. Some organizations to consider include:
1) Hip Hop Congress
2) Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
3) FTP movement
4 ) Color of Change
6) National Action Network
7) League of Young Voters
8) Dream Defenders
9) and thousands of local CBOs (community based organizations)
10) Others? Add to list in comments.

Strong people don’t need strong leaders. - Ella Baker

3. Establish TRAINING Regiments

A. Grassroots organizations must study SNCC and other freedom organizations to learn how to train its members to effectively 1) promote the issues we want to promote and 2) challenge/overtake the systems we must challenge/overtake.
B. For training, keep focus local.
C. Utilize community centers, schools, community colleges and universities, and churches for meeting , planning, organizing and training sessions.
D. Keep a consistent schedule. Meet regularly so community members can know to always expect  your presence, and learn to count on it.

“Service over Leadership” - Carter G. Woodson

4.  Community SERVICE

A. Always remember: We are all we need. We have all the resources (human capital and natural resources) to sustain our own communities. Work from this perspective at all times.
B. Collaborate with local CBOs to support and promote their services to wider community (database all available CBOs and services offered by city/county/state).
C. Study the UNIA for its cooperative economic model that promotes community self reliance. Utilize  crowd funding strategies and ready available community resources to meet community needs.
D. Some programs/services needed include:
1) Educational programs,
2) Anti-violence programs,
3) Community policing programs,
4) Resource sharing  (food, clothes etc)
5) Health/Wellness programs
6) Others? Add to list in comments.

 "I have a right, even a duty to resist, with violence or civil disobedience....you should pray I choose the latter." - from the film Great Debaters:

5. Mass Mobilization Actions - Think Globally, Act Locally

A. Identify specific outcomes and next steps (to sustain movement)
B. Coordinate events with coalition of the willing to maximize impact
C. Promote extensively and share information via all media and social network sites
D. Keep pressure on local media outlets and elected officials

6. Media Strategy

A. Study Social Network Analysis and Media Discourse Theory
B. Draft and Promote NARRATIVES that focus on chosen issues (proactive strategy)
C. Utilize our own media resources first and foremost to disseminate information
D. Share data and information with networks
E.  Watch dog panel: Monitor all media outlets to immediately counter any narratives that undermine our adopted narratives (reactive strategy).
F. Some social network sites and media to utilize include:
1) Facebook
2) Twitter
3) Instagram
4) TheGrio.com
5) Colorlines.com
6) Daveyd,com
7) TheRoot.com
8)  HipHopDX
9) Alternet
10)  Huffington Post
11) TVOne
12) Essence
13) Ebony
14) Local community radio stations
15) local news stations
16) Others? Add to list in comments.

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. There are two aspects to action. One is to overcome the distortions and afflictions of your own mind, that is, in terms of calming and eventually dispelling anger. This is action out of compassion. The other is more social, more public. When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefitting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. - Dalai Lama

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions...."


1. Answer one question: What are YOU doing to effect change?
A. Have a specific, developed answer to be a part of the solution. If you have no answer or just a vague, undeveloped one,  you need to get a specific answer or you will be a part of the problem.

2. Educate yourself on issues*
3. Join at least one organization. You can join a local organization for community actions and the mailing list of a number of nationally based organizations for petitions and information.
4. Sign relevant petitions and share them with your networks.
5. Be a conscious consumer.
6. Vote, especially in local elections.
7. Share information with your networks purposely.
8. Never Scapegoat other communities.
9. Never fall for the politics of distraction and divide and conquer.
10. Check your idealism at the door. Change takes action not hope. #HOPEisNOTaSTRATEGY
11. Be against nothing; just be clear what you are for (Iyanla Vanzant). Keep your framing positive and your eyes on the prize.
12. SEIZE, never cede your power.
13. MENTOR anyone in your network that needs direction, guidance, help, and love.
14. SERVE your community in some concrete way.
15. Be Media LITERATE. Study media literacy, understand media framing, and get information from a variety of sources.
16. Others? Add to list in comments.

But it is not permissible that the authors
of devastation should also be innocent.
It is the innocence which constitutes the crime. – James Baldwin

* Education is an ongoing process throughout our lives. As an educator of almost 20 years, I still gain new knowledge everyday. For the many growing up in the United States that only learned a western civilization version of history in school, education must begin with a correction of the record. I recommend taking some non-western civilization history classes and/or ethnic studies classes if possible (African & African-American Studies, Asian & Asian-American Studies, Chicano and Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, Middle East Studies, etc). If you are unable to take a class, contact a professor of said classes for a suggested reading list.  As a starting point, I recommend reading historian Ronald Takaki’s A Larger Memory: A History of our Diversity with Voices and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.

We can’t use ignorance or innocence as an excuse to not act or to just accept the status quo. We either accept our responsibility to educate ourselves and then act accordingly, or we accept responsibility for the world we sow and the results that we reap.

Some of the last public words of the most influential cultural icon the world has ever known make my final point best: "The time has come. This is it. People are always saying.. 'Oh they, they'll take care of it.' 'The government will do it. They'll' ...They who? It starts with us. ..it's US. Or else it'll never be done (Michael Jackson).”


We can change our world. We have the resources to do it. We know what we need to do. We obviously have had the endurance to survive oppression. The only question left is do we have the endurance to end it?

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. - Frederick Douglass

Energize, Organize, Revolutionize! - Hip Hop Congress


Fruitvale Station, Trayvon Martin and the Value of Human Life in America by Shamako Noble

The U.S. v. Trayvon Martin: How the System Worked by Robin D. G. Kelley

White America, the George Zimmerman trial, and the power of denial by Tim Wise

The Cancer of Racism Thrives in America by Chris Williams

Dear White Folks: Black People are Sensitive to Race by Joyce Clark


Trayvon Martin’s Unpunished Shooting Death Among 100+ Extrajudicial Killings of Unarmed Blacks

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Shit by Questlove

100 Black Youth Leaders Statement

Facebook user’s ‘Letter to Zimmerman’ goes viral by Alex Fraser

The Fire This Time: James Baldwin on George Zimmerman by Joshua Adams

The Great Debaters

Death…and Life Matters

Death…and Life Matters

I'm not surprised that there is a deep divide in perspective on issues of racism...and that this divide has played out on social media sites, particularly in debates about Trayvon Martin’s murder v. what many wrongly term “black on black” crime. I’ve seen many try to articulate that all life matters and that black communities do protest  street violence also, and that this case specifically symbolizes the value of black life in a white supremacist society, but no explanation to date has seemed to quell the debate.  In order to move from debate to understanding, we need to try to reconcile personal experiences we all share in life (and death) with our social reality.


We all have experienced some type of tragedy, and some time in our lives, we all will have had to deal with the death of a loved one. This is the reality that affects us all, and the humanity that defines us all. No one reading this is exempt.

It took me 10 years after my mother’s death before I was able to communicate in writing how her death affected me, and how it taught me how to live.


I’ve actually had many personal experiences with death. When I was a preteen, I lost my first close family members: my grandfather in Jamaica that I spent some summers with, and my uncle, who died of cancer while still very young in his thirties. My uncle actually lived with us for many of his last days so I saw what sickness and death looked like at a young age. And there would be others like Uncle Eric, Uncle Fitzie and Big Momma. So I learned at a pretty young age that death was a part of life. But it would be what I learned later that is important and what I want to write about now…how death taught me about life…

The most difficult time in my life was a two year period that started a year before I started graduate school (pursuing my Ph.D. in Sociology). In the summer of 1997, we lost my grandmother to cancer. She was the matriarch of our family and it wasn’t clear then how many in the family would be able to go on without her. She was even raising an uncle’s two young children so their future was really insecure. We had her memorial service in Jamaica. As soon as we returned, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. This seemed impossible in timing and irony. How were we supposed to handle this blow? We were still reeling from the loss of Grandma. But life went on and six months later, my other grandfather died. Now as I said, my family wasn’t new to death but this seemed like “too much” for one family at one time. We memorialized my grandfather in January of 1998 and had to move my mother and 17 year old brother out from Virginia to be with the bulk of the family in California later that summer because she was not going to survive her battle with cancer too much longer. My mother died in October 1998 with many of us by her bedside. She was only 54 and it had only been a little over a year since we had buried her mother and less than a year since we had buried her father. And for me, she was the one person before I got married and had kids that I knew I wouldn’t be able to live without…but I do…and almost ten years later…it’s never easy, but it is.

But our family tragedy doesn’t end there. Three months after we memorialized my mother, I got a call from a close family friend. It was a weekday morning in January 1999, and her voice was one I had become familiar with – tragedy had yet again struck. While walking to school, my two cousins (the ones my grandmother helped raise) had been hit by a car. Adam suffered leg injuries but Zondie was fatally wounded. My husband and I rushed from Irvine to San Diego to see her and hope and pray that when we got there, we would find Zondie okay. It seemed unreal and too cruel for anything else. Because we had already lost so much…and she was only twelve…and it was her birthday.

FULL TEXT = Death…and Life


My first essay was a uniquely personal one. But I continued exploring the issue and in Part II, focused on what we as a society can learn from death.


As a social activist and analyst, death has taught me other lessons that I truly believe are the answers to many of the ills that plague our societies. Death has shown me what we all have in common: reality and humanity. Too often we let ideology inform our understanding of the world instead of looking beyond ideology to see the reality that affects us all and the humanity that defines us all.

The real problem is lived experiences are too different to effectively address social problems intellectually or ideologically. People must understand on a personal level. It must be made personal. 

FULL TEXT = Part Two: Death...and Life

More than probably anything else, death is a personal experience. No one comes into the world alone, but most of us will leave here that way. I have had a number of students who have lost sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, aunts and other family members from violence, and they grieve their loved ones every single day.  For people that believe they don’t care, they just don’t know. I ask my students every semester what they want to see change in society (locally, nationally and globally). The majority of my students from a predominantly low income, black/brown community lists gang violence as their local issue. Most have to navigate it daily just to get to school to try to improve their life opportunities. For them, it is very real. For my former students at more affluent universities in Irvine and Long Beach, or even at a community college in mostly white Orange County, the issue was barely ever raised. Experience is everything.

As a Black woman, I empathize with my students, although never completely relate since my experience living in a safer neighborhood shields me from many of these experiences. In the same vein, the sorrow I feel for their loss can’t compare to the grief I felt when my mother died.  I will feel sorry for anyone that loses a family member, but I felt a black hole of grief, like a part of myself  had died, when I lost my mom. This is natural, I’m sure.


There are peace rallies and protests and community organizations that deal with street violence every day for those that do lose loved ones to this type of violence, but if you are not of the community affected by it, you probably wouldn’t know.  To learn about such efforts, please read: http://bit.ly/GK6CXB

No one should  assume that because s/he does not have any personal knowledge of it, or has never seen it covered on TV, it does not exist. If anything, it is more evidence to the assertion that the broader society does not give same value to these lives, because when the community is grieving and organizing to spread peace, no news cameras seem to ever be around. The same bias can also be seen in the way media covers missing women/children cases.

Missing white woman syndrome


Death is a personal experience.  If this is true and I truly believe it is, why do many grieve for people they have never met? Is it because as a society we value the life of celebrities more? That may be part of it but it is not all of it. We actually do have very personal experiences with many artists. Their art (music, acting etc) has in some way touched our lives personally. Maybe we grew up listening to their music…maybe their music helped us get through some dark days. We related personally to them in some way. Maybe seeing them in our living room weekly or daily gave us an opportunity to develop some kind of connection to their characters. However the connection develops, it is real…and it is personal.

Did you ever grieve for someone you never met in person? Maybe….
Michael Jackson?
Bob Marley?
Whitney Houston?
Malcolm X?
Martin Luther King Jr.?
Princess Diana?
Pope John Paul II?
John F. Kennedy?
Elvis Presley? (personal note: I’m with Public Enemy on this one...lol)
Most probably have…that is the reality that affects us all, and the humanity that defines us all.

Personally, I still miss Luther Vandross dearly.


For many in Black America, Trayvon’s death represents the reality of living Black in a society where white supremacy has been the organizing principle since the dawn of  slavery. He is Emmitt Till 2013. Many can relate to Trayvon and his parents. I have a 17 year old, and because of  his gender and the color of his skin, stereotypes will be placed on him…and he will have to live with them every day…and in Trayvon’s case, die because of them…any black parent’s greatest fear. It does not get any more personal than that. And all will not relate, because that has not been everyone’s experience in this society…but all whom respect the EXPERIENCES OF ALL and the HUMANITY IN ALL…will understand.


All death matters, but what matters most is ALL LIFE. And nothing reveals the value of life more than death; and if that death  is tragic, untimely, unnecessary, and unjust, the revelation becomes more urgent. In this revelation, we are reminded of the principles penned in the Declaration of Independence and adopted in the Black Panther Party for Self Defense’s platform:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” 

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to supper, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

Life is our most fundamental right. Our lives must be respected, protected, honored, and defended…at all times, and by any life-affirming means necessary.  Ashe.

Get Up Stand Up
Stand up for your rights
Don’t give up the fight!

If you knew what life is worth,
You would look for yours on Earth
Now you see the light
Stand up for your rights

Life is your right…
So we can't give up the fight.
- Bob Marley

Friday, June 14, 2013

Response to Davey D Blog-The Surveillance State & Privatization

Thanks go out to Davey D for his article on the Surveillance State & Privatization as well as publishing my response to it. You can view both at the link below:

LINK =  Surveillance State & Privatization

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Financialization of Society and the Fiscal Cliff "Crisis"

Note: The endnote sources are important to review. They provide the needed context for this essay.


The Financialization[1][2] of Society and the Fiscal Cliff "Crisis"[3]


Network - Money speech (1976)



Another day, another "crisis" diverted...and created. Politicians and media both promote the art of illusion (idealism) over reality. But for good reason...to maintain hegemonic power. Public Enemy said it best: "Don't believe the hype."


The Winner of the Fiscal Cliff "Crisis" = Corporations (1%)[4][5]

...as always. The "narrowly avoided crisis" had the same winner as most other "shock doctrine" created crises: corporations. The corporatization of society basically guarantees that all decisions politicians make, and all crises created and/or averted will be to the benefit of big business. For those that understand this reality, this "crisis" was never real. In a globalized economy where corporate capitalism rules the day, the question that one must always keep in mind = "What benefits multinational corporations?" 

For that reason, don't expect too much turmoil from the next "crisis"…i.e. the debt ceiling debate. Yes, it is true that the Republican party is now split between those that really hate government and want to leave everyone to their own demise (in the libertarian, Ayn Rand vein where even disaster relief is frowned upon), and the corporate shills that answer to Wall Street (think corporate welfare, loop holes, tax breaks etc). But when you include the other side of the political aisle (bought Democrats), advantage tips to Wall Street and big donors will be taken care of first and foremost. The fa├žade has already started to fade as recent reports indicate Republicans will increase the debt ceiling and not use it as leverage in budget negotiations.[6] So, what we get and should expect from business (i.e. our government) is business…as usual.

The Loser of the Fiscal Cliff "Crisis" = The In-Debt Public (99%)[7]

16 trillion and growing. The U.S. debt basically is a function of public money being transferred to private entities (corporations), but what we are being told (sold) is that government programs we support through OUR tax dollars are no longer sustainable (remember, there are no government resources, there is only OUR resources we give to so called governments to distribute). In this narrative, they leave out the reason these programs are becoming unsustainable: governments supposedly representing the people have siphoned OUR resources, out of the hands of the MANY to give to the FEW...in 2008 it was specifically bailing out the financial sector (socialism for the rich; i.e. privatizing profits, socializing losses)...but to better label this process, think PRIVATIZATION, the ultimate goal of corporate capitalism.

In a perfect world for corporate capitalists, institutions and systems where profit can be gained will no longer be publically funded AT ALL (education, defense, healthcare, criminal justice, etc.) ...This process started long ago (Blackwater, private prisons, HMOs, for-profit schools) but complete corporate privatization is the ultimate goal. Small business, mom and pop stores, and true ''free market" capitalism is so 1950s. Globalization and multinational corporations ended that form of capitalism a long time ago. Public education (from K-12 to affordable public universities) is now the target of privatization, from charter schools to expensive $1000 per unit for-profit "universities" popping up all over. And with the debt "crisis" debate, pension and entitlement programs that we pay into like Social Security and Medicare will be put on the table in the name of "debt reduction" which really is just a move to solidify a society where everything is privately owned...by corporations. As bleak as the economic future looks under these present circumstances, the future can always be re-written by the actions we take in the present.

The Silver Lining(s):

1. As long as humans breathe, humanity exists

While it often takes a tragedy or natural disaster to see the true depths of people's compassion for others, it never fails to be revealed. From the many around the globe that see themselves as their brothers' keepers, to the raw politics of disaster relief, or gun control after a mass shooting tragedy, opportunities arise to promote humanism. We must continue to seize our power. #Occupy provides a model.


2. Checks & Balances 2.0

Checks and balances were supposedly built in to the branches of government, but with all branches now corporate bought, checks and balances within government have become null and void. But checks and balances exist in other forms to fill the void.


Whether you believe Anonymous to be an organized group or an obscure idea, the possibilities of technology as a tool to fight hegemonic power are as limitless as cyberspace. Anonymous provides the technological strategy in this battle for freedom.

China, a new global power

While the U.S. becomes weaker as a nation state by its own embrace of financialization (bailing out banks and selling out American workers), China makes moves to solidify its economic power, by working its way into Africa and South America for natural resources and being the world’s largest creditor nation.[8]


3. Dialectical Materialism[9]

"The ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." —Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1.


Despite framing to the contrary, Marx was right. It is no surprise that the biggest proponents of the corporatization of society and privatization find it necessary to malign Karl Marx and his work whenever possible. Think about it, unless you are in a social science course in academia, who else spends more time discussing Marx? The average person just living and working and raising a family probably spends little time contemplating his ideas...unless they watch Fox news or listen to conservative radio and absorb that side's anti-communism talking points. For a theorist of a day long gone, he still strokes many fears....why is that? Because he understood the illusion of capitalism and many other “ideas” that are represented as independent of the material world from which they derived.

Capitalism and Idealism

Such an approach means accepting, or at least leaving open the possibility, that the material world we live in is ultimately shaped by forces from outside it, and that consciousness or ideas come first, in the sense that they can exist independently of the real world. This approach, which is the philosophical opposite of materialism, we call 'idealism'.

According to this approach, the development of mankind and of society - of art, science, etc. - is dictated not by material processes but by the development of ideas, by the perfection or degeneration of human thought. And it is no accident that this general approach, whether spoken or unspoken, pervades all the philosophies of capitalism (Dialectical Materialism).

Although Romney was dismissed and ridiculed for the statement, Romney revealed a real truth when he said the following: "Corporations are people, my friend."

The reason that is not believed is because corporations have PURPOSELY been mystified, and outside of the CEOs and shareholders, the people that actually make them possible have PURPOSELY been alienated. Much of the wealth in the globalized economy comes from consumer capitalism.

Case Study: Walmart

1. Fact #1: Walmart is richer than most nation states in the world.

2. Fact #2: Six Waltons (family members of Walmart dynasty) have more wealth than millions of Americans combined (49 million families) ...and when looked at globally, the inequality in wealth becomes even more pronounced.

3. Fact #3 Walmart can't exist without 1) the labor of those that manufacture the goods, 2) the labor of the workers that sell the goods in their stores worldwide, and 3) the consumers that buy the goods in their stores worldwide. In other words, without the people that work for and buy from Walmart, there is no Walmart and Facts #1 and #2 cease to exist.


Capitalism is nothing more than an idea where few benefit from the labor and consumerism of the many...and from goods we already make and use for ourselves. It basically comes down to understanding who are the REAL makers and who are the REAL takers. As Marx understood, as soon as the many understand this reality, capitalism as we have created and allowed to exist ...will end. Our material reality is constantly changing, and with it, our understanding of it. Yes, another world is possible…but more than that…it is inevitable.[10]

Never forget...we blame society...but we are society.


Essays to revisit:

1. Rise Up Hip Hop Nation: 2012: A Year of Reckoning, Awakening, or Both?

2.The Burden and Freedom of Reality

3. Dis'United States of America: The Red, White, Blue...and above all Green

[1] Financialization – Summary; link = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financialization
[2] Financial Capitalism v. Industrial Capitalism (September 1998)
[3] America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff (December 2012); Link = http://michael-hudson.com/2012/12/americas-deceptive-2012-fiscal-cliff/
[4] The Finance Industry Has Pried into Every Sector of the Economy, and Has Ended Up Running the Whole Show
[5] Bernie Sanders says six bank companies have assets equaling 60 percent of U.S. GDP
[7] 2013 – the stage is set (January 2013); link = http://michael-hudson.com/2013/01/2013-the-stage-is-set/

[8] US Black Debt Hole: 'We want you all bankrupt!'; Link = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P1fihT5B7o