Saturday, December 08, 2012

"They all fall there so perfectly, It all seems so well timed."

Yeah, Mr. Dylan, I am beginning to think so, too.

It all just fits together so well--top to bottom and side to side.  I sometimes think I am just paranoid but, it is written, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you.

Shortly before he became a Supreme Court Justice--40 years ago--Lewis Powell wrote a memo to one of his clients, the US Chamber of Commerce.  In it he described how business was under attack (this was 1971) and needed to organize to defend itself from, among others, the environmentalists and the unions.  This memo lays out the detailed plan he devised to get that done.  Read it.   It includes:

  • Create institutions that will develop policy favorable to business, 
  • create propaganda outlets to sell it to the public, 
  • fund politicians who will implement it and 
  • organize the public to support those politicians and policies.

Although this memo resides in the official Lewis Powell archive at the law school of Washington and Lee university, it has gathered little dust there.  It has been well circulated and, it looks to me, well used as a blue print for action.   Like I say, read it and draw your own conclusions.

These are some of the things that make me wonder whether this strategy has been implemented gradually over the years.

  • The Heritage Foundation is but one of the institutes that develop and promote pro business  policies, as well as publishing studies and holding seminars for law makers and judges who apply the laws, and sending out experts to spread the word from Sunday talk shows to state legislatures,
  •  Fox News and right wing talk radio seem to be just two spokes in a wheel of propaganda.  And the recent scandal in Texas resulting in the recall of a "scholarly" study showing the safety of natural gas fracking and the early retirement"of the scientists who did the research could well illustrate how public universities are now used to spread the (false) good word for business and industry, 
  • the politicians who sit, for example, astride the House of Representatives are shielding business from regulations that protect workers, consumers and the environment, and they are refusing to change a tax system that has concentrated wealth into fewer and fewer hands since the memo was written, 
  • other politicians who now dominate state governments are dismantling unions and state government because taxpayers "cannot afford what that costs," while they are cutting state taxes on the wealthy and refusing both medicaid dolars and implementation of federal health care infrastructure, 
  •  the beltway grassroots organizations like Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works seem to fit right into the plan.  They funded and organized the Tea Party by, among many, many other things, creating their websites and providing written instructions to members about such citizen activism as disrupting town hall meetings, and
  •  Supreme Court justices do have roots deep in the Federalist Society and did select a president (a member of their own party, the Republican Party, the party of business) who was running on a platform of massive tax cuts and did later clear the way for unlimited corporate spending to influence elections.

These are a few examples of things that would be consistent with a hypothesis that the Powell Memorandum is being implemented.  It could be a coincidence, of course.

In his memo, Powell stressed that it would cost a lot of money to set all this up and to protect corporate interests in this way it would be necessary to dig deep to pay for it.  Although he seems to have envisioned a broad based funding from across the business community, big funders have came forward, for example the Koch brothers.  Not only have such big donors funded political campaigns but follow the funding streams for the other components of what appear to be this machine and at the source there they are, the Big Guys.  And it is so often the Koch brothers, themselves, who have a hand in things that some have taken to referring to them as the "Kochtapus."    

I am paranoid, no doubt about that.  But you read the memo and decide for yourself.

For me it's just that nagging experience I've had:  no matter how cynical I get, it's hard to keep up.

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