What can we do to make a difference?


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003
Subject: FW: Emergency: Democracy under attack in Texas
From: H
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>


Does this make sense???


------ Message transféré
Date : Wed, 20 Aug 2003 20:10:58 -0700
Objet : Emergency: Democracy under attack in Texas

Dear MoveOn member,

Impeachment. The 2000 Election. The California Recall. The
pattern is becoming clear: there's a group of men in power
who will do anything to consolidate that power, including
undermining our democratic institutions. We've got to fight
back. In Texas, they are fighting back. And while the world
is focusing on the California mess, they are fighting alone.
They need our help.

A partisan plan pushed by Karl Rove and Tom Delay will
redistrict up to 7 Democrats out of Congress. Right now, 11
Democratic State Senators are hiding across state lines --
with the Texas Governor calling for their arrest -- to
prevent this illegitimate plan from being strong-armed into
law. They have put their reputations and careers on the line
for all of us. A letter below from State Senator Rodney
Ellis explains the situation in detail. Please read it, and
then please help us launch a hard-hitting ad campaign to
fight back in Texas. Whether you donate $5 or $5000, you
will be helping to hold accountable reckless leaders who
think they can get away with anything. Please contribute to
this effort now


Dear H,

Certainly the situation in Texas is deplorable and deserving
of opposition.  For those choosing to work in the political
arena, that particular cause is one of many that deserves
attention.  I don't know much about MoveOn, but I have heard
that they are very effective in organizing campaigns and
promoting contributions around selected issues. However I find
it difficult to respond to the more general question of how
worthwhile it is to use our energies in trying to influence
the political process.

On the one hand, I do not want to dismiss or discourage the
actions of sincere people who are trying to make a
difference. All such efforts contribute toward "building the
movement". The movement is not helped by factional
divisiveness. On the other hand, I sincerely believe that
such efforts, in terms of their direct effect on public
policy, can do very little if anything to improve our
situation. I believe there are more promising uses
for our energy, which I will mention a bit further on.

It was different in earlier eras, such as that of the civil
rights movement and the early heady days of the
environmental movement. The tone of government then was,
relatively speaking, more open and responsive to popular
campaigns and movements. In those days, the government
achieved the support of the people by maintaining a kind of
'liberal consensus' in society generally. From the
collective actions of millions of people, significant gains
were achieved through political action.  But now we must
acknowledge that most of those gains have been or are being
undone by subsequent administrations. In the end the gains
turned out to be temporary. They lasted only until the
demands of "economic growth" caught up with them.
Nonetheless, many people would say the results were worth
the effort, if only for the few decades in which we enjoyed the

Today, however, the tone of government is quite different --
particularly since 9-11. Instead of liberal consensus, fear
has become the strategy for achieving public support.
Economic growth, globally, is becoming more and more
difficult to maintain, and we can see that reflected in
Bush's policies of discarding environmental protections and
seizing control of global oil reserves. I think it is clear
that America's elite leadership, both top officials and
those behind the scenes, have firmly adopted a strategy of
"pull out all the stops". 

No one can be allowed to stand in the way of further growth
on Uncle Sam's terms -- not the UN, international law,
foreign governments, anti-globalization or anti-war
protestors, liberals in Congress, nor anyone else. That was
made very explicit in the agenda of the "New American
Century", whose promoters now control the White House. There
is even reason to doubt the legitimacy of the electoral
process following the fraudulent election in Florida, the
unconstitutional decision by the Supreme Court giving the
presidency to Bush, and the nationwide switch to
unverifiable, corporate- controlled voting machines -- and
the suspension of exit polling.

Today, I do not believe that even short-term gains are
achievable through the political process, at least none of
any significance. The tide of public policy is going very
much in the other direction. The most we could hope for is
to create small eddy currents in policy at the expense of
great effort. The overall tide is going toward grosser
exploitation of the earth and its peoples, and toward
suppression of dissent with gestapo police tactics and the
"Patriot" Acts.

The people of America, and therefore all the world's
peoples, are currently faced by a triad of dire threats:

1) The biological systems of the earth are being rapidly
    destroyed and depleted, threatening all life on the planet. 
    At the same time societies are being destabilized, people's
    lives are worsening, and imperialist interventions are on
    the rise.
2) The needs of capitalism's "economic growth" require that
    such destructive patterns be not only continued but
3) The US government, the Pentagon, the mass media, and the
    political apparatus are all controlled by an elite
    establishment that is firmly committed to pursuing growth
    and maintaining the economic system that requires that
    growth. Change through traditional means has been
    systematically blocked out.

It seems clear to me that we cannot afford to spend our
activist energies on seeking slight modifications to the
path which is plummeting the whole world toward collapse and
catastrophe.  The best we could hope to accomplish by such
efforts would be to slow slightly our slide into oblivion.
If we want to survive as a civilized species, and if we want
the world to avoid ecological collapse, we need to address
our energies to turning the whole machine around as quickly
as possible.  I see no way to escape this conclusion,
however discouraged or hopeless it may make some of us feel.
If we don't acknowledge that we're in prison, we cannot
begin to find our way out.

There are many ideas going around about how we might turn
the machine around -- how society might be radically
transformed.  And there are many people involved in
organizations and embryonic movements that are developing
programs based on those ideas. 

Some are exploring new ways for people to council together,
ways which bring out the wisdom in us ordinary folks and
help us find our common interests and our sense of
empowerment.   Some are developing the new economics,
agricultural methods, and technical strategies that can
enable us to live sustainably without destroying our Earth. 
Some are articulating the vision of a transformed society --
inspiring new worldviews to replace those based on
competition and exploitation. Some are putting it all
together in sustainable communities were their ideas can be
tried out in real practice.  Some are seeking ways to
build an effective popular movement that could hope to
actually bring about social transformation -- despite the
opposition of a hostile and powerful regime and its media.  
And some are investigating new models of governance that
are closer to the people and which can avoid the corruption
and over-centralization of today's political systems.

The solutions are not yet clear, but progress is being made --
and the different groups are generally communicating with
one another. I believe that this is where activist vision,
ideas, and energy are most urgently needed. This path is a
difficult one, but it is the only path that has any hope of
saving us from the approaching collapse and moving us toward
a humane, democratic, and sustainable age.

only the messenger, 


    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
      suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the
      Reichstag fire."  
      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
    The system is the problem.

    Faith in humanity, not gods, ideologies, or programs.

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