Enlightening Quotes

"All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." -- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776), Part 3, Chapter 4.

 

"I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves & sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. ... If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you & I, & Congress & Assemblies, judges & governors shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor. " -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Carrington - January 16, 1787

 

"[S]tate monopoly in capitalist society is merely a means of increasing and guaranteeing the income of millionaires in some branch of industry" -- Vladimir I. Lenin, Imperialism (1920/1999), ch. 2, p. 51.

 

"[A] personal link-up, so to speak, is established between the banks and the biggest industrial and commercial enterprises, the merging of one with another through the acquisition of shares, through the appointment of bank directors to the supervisory boards (or boards of directors) of industrial and commercial enterprises, and vice versa. ...

The 'personal link-up' between the banks and industry is supplemented by the 'personal link-up' between both of them and the government. 'Seats on supervisory boards,' writes Jeidels, 'are freely offered to persons of title, also to ex-civil servants, who are able to do a great deal to facilitate [!!] relations with the authorities … Usually, on the supervisory board of a big bank, there is a member of parliament or a Berlin city councillor.'" -- Vladimir Lenin, Imperialism (1920/1999), ch. 2, p. 53-54.

 

 

"[I]mperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism" -- Vladimir Lenin, Imperialism (1920/1999), p. 91

 

"The big transnationals want to reduce freedom by undermining the democratic functioning of the states in which they're based, while at the same time ensuring the government will be powerful enough to protect and support them." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 17.

 

"Neoliberalism is the doctrine of uncontrolled markets:" -- Paul Mason, Postcapitalism (2015)

 

"Neoliberalism is mainly about transferring public assets into private hands." -- James K. Galbraith, interview (2016)

 

"[A] neoliberal state. The freedoms it embodies reflect the interests of private property owners, businesses, multinational corporations and financial capital." -- David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005), p. 7.

 

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” -- Warren Buffett, article (2006)

 

"The goal is a society in which the basic social unit is you and your television set. ... Boards of directors are allowed to work together, so are banks and investors and corporations in alliances with one another and with powerful states. That's just fine. It's just the poor who aren't supposed to cooperate." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 29.

 

"[C]orporations are fundamentally illegitimate, ... they don't have to exist at all in their modern form. Just as other oppressive institutions - slavery, say, or royalty - have been changed or eliminated, so corporate power can be changed or eliminated. What are the limits? There aren't any." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 64.

 

"There's a very committed effort to convert the US into something resembling a Third World society, where a few people have enormous wealth and a lot of others have no security ... ." -- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998), p. 35.

 

"It's Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses", Foreign Policy, June 28, 2016

 

U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors. -  Michael Hudson, 2019, "U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses", CounterPunch.

 

 

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"...der neoliberalen Wahnidee. Diese behauptet, wirtschaftliches Tun gehorche Naturgesetzen. Der Neoliberalismus ist, wie Pierre Bourdieu gesagt hat, wie die Aids-Krankheit. Sie zerstört erst die Immunkräfte des Opfers und dann tötet sie das Opfer. Die neoliberale Herrschaftsidee induziert beim Menschen ein Gefühl der Ohnmacht. Die Menschen glauben, dass sie nichts tun können. Man kann gegen die Marktkräfte ja doch nichts tun. Das führt zur einer Selbstlähmung, zu einer Selbstentmündigung. Zur freiwilligen Abgabe seiner Autonomie. Der Mensch ist sich selbst fremd geworden, wie Adorno sagt. Das muss durchbrochen werden." -- Jean Ziegler, in "Che Guevara hat mir das Leben gerettet" (2015).

 

"Die Eliten sind gar nicht das Problem, die Bevölkerungen sind im Moment das Problem" -- Joachim Gauck, ehem. Deutscher Bundespräsident, 19. Juli 2016

 

"Der Melierdialog legt beispielhaft die Grundmuster von Realpolitik offen: dass nämlich für Hegemonialmächte nur das Recht des Stärkeren gelten könne und somit moralische und rechtliche Fragen irrelevant sind." -- Rainer Mausfeld, in "Die Angst der Machteliten vor dem Volk: Demokratie-Management durch Soft Power-Techniken", 2. November 2016.

 

Soft Power ist das gesamte Spektrum von Techniken, die öffentliche Meinung zu manipulieren. Vermittlungsinstanzen für diese Formen der Machtausübung sind – unterstützt durch Stiftungen, Think Tanks, Elitenetzwerke und Lobbygruppen - insbesondere private und öffentliche Medien, Schulen und der gesamte Erziehungs- und Ausbildungssektor sowie die Kulturindustrie. Die Wirkungen von Soft Power-Techniken sind für die Bevölkerung weitgehend unsichtbar; es ist also kaum mit Protesten gegen diese Formen der Indoktrination zu rechnen. -- Rainer Mausfeld, in "Die Angst der Machteliten vor dem Volk: Demokratie-Management durch Soft Power-Techniken", 2. November 2016.

Introduction

We live in imperialist or late-stage capitalist and market-fundamentalist neoliberal times in which politics and the state are largely captured by powerful special interest groups from the private sector through lobbying and enticement to corruption. Pay to play politics is the norm, and it is driving human society from a cliff in various ways (war, climate crisis, ecocide, debt, etc). What is required to fix this is a revolution on a massive scale, ideally before the impending climate crisis happens. A logical first step in this direction - also given that power usually tries to make itself invisible in order to endure and to prevent attacks on itself - is to make the hugely perverting influence of big transnational corporations apparent.

 

Key terms and concepts: anti-capitalism, anti-corruption, anti-neoliberalism, anti-imperialism, transparency.

 

Documents: United Nations Convention Against Corruption (pdf download here).

 

Initiatives

International

Global

Attac; for a directory of national branches other than in Europe, see Attac in Africa, Attac in the Americas or Attac in Asia

Bilaterals.org "Everything that is not happening at the WTO"

Transparency International "the global coalition against corruption" (-> glossary) (facebook); Corruption Perceptions Index

Asia-Pacific

Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) "A network of leading research NGOs in Asia-Pacific"

Europe

Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) "Europe's campaign for lobbying transparency"

Attac in Europe

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) "Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU" (facebook)

Deutscher Sprachraum

Lobbypedia "Geld Macht Politik"

statewatch "monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe"

National

New Zealand

Philippines

Switzerland/Schweiz

United Kingdom

LEAP UK

Spinwatch "Public Interest Investigations"

Transparency International UK "fighting corruption worldwide"

USA

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Center for Public Integrity

Government Accountability Project (GAP) "Truth be told"

Judicial Watch "Because no one is above the law!"

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

MapLight "Revealing money's influence on politics"

Occupy Wall Street "We are the 99 percent"

Open Secrects "Center for Responsive Politics"

Public Citizen "Protecting Health, Safety and Democracy"

Revolt Against Plutocracy (facebook)

Transparency International USA


Resources

ACLU, 2013, Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority.

 

Alter-EU, 2018, Corporate Capture in Europe: When Big Business Dominates Policy Making and Captures Our Rights.

 

Althusser, Louis, 1970/71, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses", Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays, 121–176.

Assange, Julian, with Appelbaum, Jacob, Müller-Maguhn, Andy & Zimmermann, Jérémie, 2012, Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, OR Books.

Assange, Julian, 2014, When Google Met Wikileaks, OR Books.

 

Balanya, Bela; Doherty, Ann; Hoedemann, Olivier; Ma'anit, Adam & Wesselius, Eric, 2003, Europe Inc.: Regional and Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power, second edition, Pluto Press.

 

Bernish, Claire, 2018, "Government’s Own Data Shows US Interfered In 81 Foreign Elections", MintPressNews, March 22, 2017.

 

Blakeley, Ruth, publications

Blakeley, Ruth, 2009, State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South (preview), London: Routledge.

Blakeley, Ruth & Raphael, Sam, 2016, "Understanding Western State Terrorism", in Richard Jackson (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies, 2016, part III, ch. 15, 159--169.

 

Cope, Zak, 2019, The Wealth of (Some) Nations: Imperialism and the Mechanics of Value Transfer, Pluto Press.

 

Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth A., 1994, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60, University of Illinois Press.

 

Fraser, Steve, articles at TomDispatch and TheNation

Fraser, Steve & Gerstle, Gary (eds.), 1989, The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980, Princeton University Press.

Fraser, Steve, 2005, Every Man A Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life, Harper.

Fraser, Steve, 2005, Wall Street: A Cultural History, Faber & Faber.

Fraser, Steve, 2008, Wall Street: America's Dream Palace, Yale University Press.

Fraser, Steve, 2015, The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power (review), Little, Brown & Company.

 

George, Alexander L., (ed.), 1991, Western State Terrorism, Cambridge: Polity Press/Blackwell.

 

Galtung, Johan, 2009, The Fall of the US Empire - And Then What? Successors, Regionalization or Globalization? US Fascism or US Blossoming?, TRANSCEND University Press. (video)

 

Gilens, Martin; Page, Benjamin I., 2014, "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens", Perspectives on Politics, 12(3), 564-581.

 

Goerner, Sally J., 2016, "Why Trump Phenomenon Signals an Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse", Evonomics, April 29, 2017.

 

Graeber, David, 2015, The Utopia of Rules, Melville House.

 

Greenwald, Glenn, 2014, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, Metropolitan Books.

 

Greider, William, 1998, Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequences of Peace, Public Affairs.

Greider, William, 1997, One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Greider, William, 2003, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

 

Griffin, David R., 2004, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9-11, Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R., 2004, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R.; Scott, Peter Dale (eds.), 2006, 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Vol. 1, Olive Branch Press

Griffin, David R., 2007, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Revised & Updated Edition), Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R., 2009, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report About 9/11 Is Unscientific and False,
Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R., 2010, Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R., 2011, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed, Olive Branch Press.

Griffin, David R., 2017, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, Olive Branch Press/Interlink.

 

Harvey, David, 2003, The New Imperialism, Oxford University Press.

Harvey, David, 2005, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford University Press.

Harvey, David, 2016, The Ways of the World, Oxford University Press.

 

Hedges, Chris, articles on truthdig and TheNation.

Hedges, Chris, 2009, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Nation Books.

Hedges, Chris, 2010, The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress, Nation Books.

Hedges, Chris, 2017, "The Corruption of the Law," Truthdig, Aug. 20, 2017.

 

Herman, Edward S., 1982, The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda, Boston: South End Press.

Herman, Edward S., 1995/1999, Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics, and the Media, Boston: South End Press.

Herman, Edward S. & Peterson, David, 2010, The Politics of Genocide, Monthly Review Press.

 

Hickel, Jason; Kirk, Martin, 2017, "Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?", FastCompany, July 11, 2017.

 

Hirthler, Jason, 2015, The Sins of Empire: Unmasking American Imperialism, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

 

Hitchens, Christopher, 1999/2012, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton, Verso/Twelve.

 

Kirk, Martin, 2017, "Capitalism's excesses belong in the dustbin of history. What's next is up to us", The Guardian, Aug. 1, 2017.

 

Klein, Naomi, articles, audio & video

Klein, Naomi, 1999, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, Knopf Canada and Picador.

Klein, Naomi, 2002, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, Vintage Canada and Picador.

Klein, Naomi, 2007, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Knopf Canada.

Klein, Naomi, 2014, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, Simon & Schuster.

 

Lenin/Ulyanov, Vladimir I., 1920/1999, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Sydney: Resistance Books.

 

Lifton, Robert J., 2003, Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation With the World, Nation Books.

 

Lofgren, Mike, 2014, "Anatomy of the Deep State", Moyers & Company, Feb. 21, 2014.

Lofgren, Mike, 2016, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of the Shadow Government, PenguinRandomHouse.

 

Malo, Sebastien, 2019, "UN reform needed to stop companies fighting climate rules: Nobel laureate Stiglitz", bilaterals.org.

 

Mayer, Jane, 2008, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, Anchor Books.

Mayer, Jane, 2016, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Doubleday.

 

Monbiot, George (at The Guardian), 2000, Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, Macmillan.

Monbiot, George, 2016, How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature, Verso.

Monbiot, George, 2016, "Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems", The Guardian, April 15, 2016.

Monbiot, George, 2016, "Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy", The Guardian, Oct. 4, 2016.

Monbiot, George, 2019, "Anyone who wants to be prime minister should have a course of therapy first", The Guardian.

 

Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack, 1989, War Against the Poor: Low-Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith, Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack,1992, Brave New World Order: Can We Pledge Allegiance?, Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack, 2001, School of the Assassins: Guns, Greed and Globalization (2nd Edition), Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jack, 2012, Authentic Hope: It's the End of the World as We Know It but Soft Landings Are Possible, Maryknoll: Orbis Books.

 

Nichols, John & McChesney, Robert W., 2013, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, Nation Books.

 

Nye Jr., Joseph S., 2004, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Public Affairs.

 

Shiva, Vandana, 1997/1999, Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature & Knowledge, South End Press.

Shiva, Vandana, 2000, Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, South End Press.

Shiva, Vandana, 2002, Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit, South End Press.

Shiva, Vandana, 2005, Globalization's New Wars: Seed, Water and Life Forms, New Delhi: Women Unlimited.

 

Street, Paul, 2010, Empires New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power, Routledge.

Street, Paul, 2014, They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy, Paradigm Publishers.

 

Varoufakis, Yanis, 2017, Adults in the Room: My Struggle with Europe's Deep Establishment, Bodley Head.

 

Vidal, Gore; Jay, Paul, 2014, Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Documentaries & Video

English

Al Jazeera, 2016, The Lobby (parts 1 to 4).

Al Jazeera, 2017, The Lobby - USA (parts 1 to 4).

 

Atkinson, Craig, 2016, Do Not Resist.

 

Chatzistefanou, Aris (youtube) & Kitidi, Katerina, 2011, Debtocracy.

Chatzistefanou, Aris & Kitidi, Katerina, 2012, Catastroika.

Chatzistefanou, Aris, 2014, Fascism Inc.

Chatzistefanou, Aris, 2016, This is Not a Coup.

 

Gage, Richard, 2012, 9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out.

 

Hooper, David, 2014, The Anatomy of a Great Deception.

 

Meyer, Austin, 2017, The Patent Scam.

 

Monbiot, George, 2019, Your Slavery is their Freedom.

 

Pilger, John, 2000, Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq.

Pilger, John, 2001, The New Rulers Of The World.

Pilger, John, 2007, The War On Democracy.

 

Rubio, Clara Lopez; Pancorbo, Juan, 2017, Hacking Justice.

 

Scahill, Jeremy; Greenwald, Glenn; Moore, Michael, 2016, All Governments Lie.

 

Smith, Charles Ewing, 2016, The Demolition of Truth - Psychologists Examine 9/11.

 

Represent.us, 2015, Corruption is Legal in America.

Represent.us, 2016, How to Fix America's Corrupt Political System.

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