Leave it to The Daily Show to once again produce the most cogent argument for regulation in the face of the Wall St. CEO onslaught. In this video Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, argues forcefully that we are on the verge of losing the middle class in this country. As I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I contend that this effort has been purposeful - that the elites in this country have always benefited from the diminution of the middle class. This worldview has been extended throughout the rest of the world via the "global economy" meme that serves the same purpose elsewhere.
Note: Professor Janine Wedel recently published a book Shadow Elite, wherein she discusses concerns regarding the overweening control of American power in the hands of an elite few. Those of you who have read this blog are aware of my parallel concerns. She published these three articles on Huffington Post:
I wrote the following letter to her in response to the first article, which is her latest one.
Dear Professor Wedel,
While I have not read your book yet, I am quite familiar with many of the notions you have advanced recently on Huffington Post. I share your legitimate concerns about the quite obvious accumulation of power by a very small group of people in this country and elsewhere. My initial thoughts began to jell some years ago while working within the corporate world. The recent work of Kevin Phillips, particularly his excellent book, Wealth and Democracy, advances the premise that wealth in the United States has been closely held by the very rich since before the inception of the nation, and continues to this day. Phillips argues convincingly that this concentration of wealth in the hands of a few stands in tension to democracy here and elsewhere.
In a similar vein, I've written about the formal structures that I contend are the driving forces behind this - the publicly held, for profit corporation. You can read my series of articles on this subject here:
That said, I have a couple of comments I'd like you to consider:
1) "Flexians" - My gut reaction to this term is negative. First of all, it sounds akin to "Martian" or some other alien life form. I think the term is far to pejorative, and works toward an unnecessary demonization of these people. I understand the convenience of shorthand nicknames like this; however, I think it allows your otherwise great critique to be hijacked by more simple minds whose thinking becomes entirely too coalesced around the reductionism in the nickname.
2) Shadow Elite - I'm not sure if you've read all the comments on your post today (1/21) on Huffington Post, but here are a few that illustrate my second concern here:
Post 1 "From the look of this article the author seems afraid to label the root problem, The Rockefeller's and the Bilderberg group. I hope she doesn't think she has discovered something new, because this is old news."
Post 2 Nice to see someone finally waking up the public to the matrix around us.
I encourage people to look up and research: Agenda 21 Bilderburg group Trilateral Commission -- Thier goal is to destroy the US, political, economically and socially. Council of Foriegn Relations RAND corporation Rothchilds Rockerfellers Bank of England North American Union NorthCOM The Club of Rome Committe of 300 Georgia Guidestones
Nothing happens by coincidence. There are those who will tell you not to look behind the curtain ... but time is getting late. Those voices who say there are no conspiracies have a stake is all.
... and yes, those who are new to this data will be shocked BUT they will also see WHY things have gone as they have these last many decades. Go ahead ... Look behind the curtain.
No one challenges these ideas on Huffington Post. Suddenly those of us who are attempting a rational examination of things have fallen through the rabbit hole into conspiracy hell. I spent some time this morning reading about the Georgia Stones, and their obvious connection with the New World Order....yikes!
Professor, I urge you to consider some alternate means of expressing what I consider very legitimate concerns. In my mind there are plenty of obvious, unambiguous, and overt examples of elites carrying out really evil schemes. I find no need to delve into other more nefarious and occult conspiracy notions. I think you should be aware of what you're tapping into, and try to do a better job differentiating yourself from those on the fringe who are rushing in to supposedly "complete" the "partial" picture you've painted, at least as far as they're concerned.
I believe there is a real danger in fanning these fires, a danger I wrestle with personally. If you conjure up this picture of this shadowy, very powerful group of people, who seem to have massive control over huge pieces of US and world culture, you run a huge risk. There are only a handful of responses to such a nebulous yet powerful threat.
One is a violent response on a scale large enough to bring such a behemoth to its knees. We have more than enough guns in this country in the hands of people who would love to use them. These folks are now showing up in numbers at the various "tea party" events, locked and loaded, and threatening to use their guns unless they get their way, say in the next election. The notion of a shadow elite feeds their irrational fears about a New World Order driven by some Evil Masonic/Illuminati cabal. As the comments above illustrate, for these folks, you haven't gone far enough.
A second response is powerlessness. The whole thing is way to big to deal with. Impotence can easily swing around into an extreme reaction in a time stress.
A third response, which I believe is your intent, is to begin some nonviolent, rational response to this inordinate accumulation of power by a few. I favor such an effort. Such a dialogue, however, must be held in a context that manages to resist both responses above.
I urge you to reconsider some of your rhetoric. I fear you're unwittingly pouring gasoline onto the wrong fires. I would like to propose the development of some forum where we can begin to actively discuss just how we can wrest this real power from these folks.
Notes From The Rust Belt arises out of the gathering storm clouds facing the United States in 2009 and beyond. The image of the rust belt conjures up the movement of American jobs from our shores, leaving the rusting ruins of our former manufacturing strength. It was this strength that allowed this country to emerge as a superpower out of World War 2, and served as the engine for the emergence of the Middle Class along with other forces, such as a strong labor movement and the G.I. Bill of Rights. We now find ourselves watching this Middle Class atrophying before our eyes, and simultaneously seem to have no control over this rapid fall in our mutually held democracy and strength.
This blog subscribes to the notion that the demise of the Middle Class is not accidental, but rather serves the interest of powerful forces, forces that are decidedly nondemocratic. Notes From The Rust Belt is dedicated to a lively discussion of these issues, along with future efforts to point toward the necessary changes to restore our country to the democratic ideals upon which it was founded.