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The WMail Newsletter
Volume V   [Year 2004]   Part 2

Issue #42 April: "The Oligarchy"
Issue #43 May: Second All-Quotes Issue
Issue #44 June: "The Working Minds Manifesto"

Issues #39-41 • Issues #45-47 • Issues #48-49


Volume I   [Year 2000]
Issues #1-5

Volume II   [Year 2001]
Issues #6-8 • Issues #9-11 • Issues #12-14 • Issues #15-18

Volume III   [Year 2002]
Issues #19-21 • Issues #22-24 • Issues #25-27 • Issues #28-30

Volume IV   [Year 2003]
Issues #31-33 • Issues #34-35 • Issues #36-38

Volume VI   [Year 2005]
Issues #50 & beyond

Issue #42: "The Oligarchy"
[April 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

=============
Q U O T E S
=============

"Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage."
— Erma Bombeck [1927-96]

"Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature."
— Michael Faraday [1791-1867]

"Politics seems to be the only place where a draft dodger from Wyoming and an AWOL guardsman from Texas
can question the loyalty of an authentic war hero from Massachusetts."
— Jerry Buck, Sherman Oaks, CA [L.A. Times Letter 3/2004]

"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."
— cartoon character Jessica Rabbit

"Death is always just over your left shoulder."
— don Juan Matus (as documented by Carlos Castaρeda [1925-98])

"Not everything in California is a bad idea."
— James Crumley 1939-2008]

"For the 13th Commandment: Though shalt not take thyself too damn seriously."
— G.E. Nordell

"The poet should prefer probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities."
— Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

"Civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle."
— H.L. Mencken [1880-1956] (in 1926)

"Things are always darkest before they go pitch black."
— Kelly Robinson

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
— Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962]

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
— Gerry Spence

"Life is supposed to be a cabaret; for a while there, LUV was a truck;
now Liberty is a car sold by Jeep."
— G.E. Nordell

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
— Matsuo Basho [1644-94]

"Context is decisive."
— Jerome Downes [1950-2009]

"Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect,
and that will be one step toward obtaining it."
— Henry David Thoreau [1817-62]

"Some men see things as they are and ask 'why?'.
Others dream things that never were and ask 'why not?'."
— George Bernard Shaw [1856-1950]

"Let's be optimistic. It doesn't cost anything."
— mystery author Sue Grafton

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T h e    O L I G A R C H Y
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        New readers of WMail and visitors to the Working Minds website have asked now and then what the term 'oligarchy' means. The dictionary definition is 'rule by the few'; Webster's second definition is 'a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes'; but common usage carries the meaning 'rule by the owners'.
        The United States has not been a democracy – 'a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections' – for a long time, nor is it a republic – 'a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law' – as some insist it must be.
        The United States of America is today an Oligarchy.
        The U.S. Constitution is in shreds these days, because the Oligarchy does indeed rule all aspects of American life, and the same is true in most other 'free' countries. (China is under the fear-mongering Communists, various Muslim countries are despotic theocracies – 'government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided' – and many African and South American nations are military tyrannies – 'a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler'.)
        The operational arm of the Oligarchy is the Culture-Structure, which is defined inside the Working Minds philosophy as 'all that machinery out there the design of which is so that Things Do Not Work'. (Things do indeed not work, thus it must be a function of the design.)

NO CONSPIRACY
        The WM philosophy rejects conspiracy theories. There are no meetings held by the Oligarchy to decide to revoke another Constitutional Right. The United Nations and the I.M.F. and the World Bank and the Trilateral Commission exist, and each has its purpose; the New World Order is a phantom.
        The WM philosophy holds that what appears to be the results of conspiratorial illusions is merely the steady work of a lot of individuals in every level of society whose False Minds together produce actions that act in concert to do damage to other humans and to the planet. It looks like a conspiracy only because there are so many sheep (or lemmings) moving blindly in the same direction.
        Even the occasional exclusive executive retreat, such as the annual Sun Valley Summit meetings hosted by Herbert Allen or annual river-rafting trips, are basically for the purpose of making entertainment business deals, not for plotting Evil Deeds. The attendees do not conspire to eliminate freedoms and erode basic human rights, it is just that the longterm effects of Profit At All Costs requires removal of anything that is in their way, such as the Bill of Rights, labor law, and human decency.

REVEALING THE OLIGARCHY
        The Oligarchy is here defined as the top 1% by wealth. In the U.S.A., that top 1% owns 55% to 60% of everything (with similar figures in all countries). Economist Dr. Ravi Batra wrote a book in 1987 noting that the top 1% then owned 35% of everything; the increase to today's roughly 55% is the cause of most of the ills in American society.
        The top 20% in America – the Upper Class, the Ruling Class – now own 83% of everything; the lower 40% own a mere 1%, leaving the Middle Class (40% of the population) with a shrinking 16% in equity.
        This shift also means that the middle class has lost a full one-third of their equity, even while the real estate bubble has expanded. The lower classes had nothing, and still have nothing.

        Many of the persons who comprise the Oligarchy are quite conspicuous. The Forbes Magazine 400, listed each October, name the major contenders. But 400 men and women are hardly the full list. (One percent of the 250 million U.S. population comes out to 2.5 million in the Oligarchy.)
        One of the key attributes of membership in the Oligarchy is having a piece of the U.S. National Debt. This week's calculation of the National Debt shows 7.2 TRILLION DOLLARS, which provides the Oligarchy with around 700 BILLION dollars of extortion payments this year – partly in direct interest and partly in the special tax breaks, designed by the Oligarchy and for the Oligarchy, thru legislation by Congress, which the Oligarchy effectively owns – AND they expect the same extortion every year until the debt is paid off.
        There is another 500 BILLION dollars paid to the Oligarchy on consumer debt, which is also extortion: You are an indentured Servant, you must spend on credit in order to keep the economy from collapsing (or lose your job). Your obedience accrues you no equity and the Oligarchy adds to its already unconscionable hoardings. (Because they can and you cannot stop them.)

        You may think that such interest payments are paid to banks and corporations. But here is where the Oligarchy is revealed: All stock and all property is owned by somebody. When a bank is owned by a holding company, which is in turn owned by a pension fund or a foundation or trust, it remains true that somebody (or a group of somebodies) must hold title or control. Corporations and foundations and trusts exist only on paper, and only persons can hold title. (Ownership requires an owner, no matter how convoluted the paperwork and the off-shore tax dodges.)
        [This just in: "Capital doesn't pay any taxes, only people pay taxes. What happens is, you impose taxes on organizations which then deflect them elsewhere. But at the end of the day, all taxes are paid by people." — Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, testimony before Congress 21 May 2003]

* *          * *          * *          * *

TRACKING THE OLIGARCHY
        Who then, beyond the Fortune 400 celebrities, are these individual persons of the Oligarchy?
        Some student of economics or other acedemic area who needs a topic for his/her doctoral thesis might want to grab this one: Start someplace (anyplace) among the corporate world and track all the interlocking members of the boards of directors. Full analysis will require a relational database, the chart will otherwise be incomprehensible: two-dimensional paper displays will not communicate the complexity.
        Our student researcher might start anywhere on the Fortune 400 or the Dow-Jones Industrials, or with any major modern conglomerate: Disney, Microsoft, Time-Warner, Texaco-Shell, CitiBank, Boeing, Kraft Foods – any one major company will lead to pretty much the same 'usual suspects'.
        List the officers – board of directors, president, C.E.O., etc – of Corporation A, then find all the other boards & offices that each belongs to. List the members of all the boards at Level B, and then find all the offices & boards that they belong to. Then list at Level C and Level D, and already the board memberships will be seen to be overlapping.
        Student #1 begins with an oil company in Texas, perhaps; it will not be long before he/she is researching banks in New York. If student #2 begins with a Hollywood entertainment giant, it will not be long before he/she is researching ConAgra. If student #3 begins with a newspaper chain, ere long he/she will be listing the same people as students #1 and #2.

        Thus, the WM philosophy rejection of conspiracy theories. The Oligarchy never actually meets, no such event as the Mafia's conference in Appalachia in 1957. The individual boards of directors just make independent decisions based on their never-ending greed, decisions whose accumulation subverts the natural rights of the citizens, pulling wealth out of the economy in order to keep the peasants from rising above their station or having any time to plot revolution.

HOW TO JOIN THE OLIGARCHY
        Part of the nastiness of the design of the Culture-Structure is the culture-wide pressure to JOIN – to join everything, become a member of this or that mob: consumers, sportsfans, gamers, garage band musicians, etc. This impetus to join requires giving up your Self-hood – every time – and in fact, giving up Self-hood is the inducement. So skinheads join up with the Aryan Bigots, and religionists join up with the other frightened sheep (Ayn Rand had a lot to say about this, as have I: see WMail ezine essays
#16 and #26), and kids join fan clubs for 'The Matrix' and folks watch every episode of 'Sex In The City' and define themselves as cool because they wear the latest fashion.
        All you have to do to join up, to become a 'fellow traveler' of the Oligarchy is to follow the Party Line – absolve yourself and all others of the mob of any responsibility. Voting Republican is a simple means, but mindless voting any other party ticket is hardly a radical act. Not voting at all is even worse: that is simply abject surrender to the Oligarchy.
        Join up by helping the executives at your employer by signing away overtime pay and working 60-hour weeks. Join up by helping the leaders of your academic institution by challenging none of their dis-empowering bilge. Join the merchants in your town by buying goods manufactured by slave labor in Asia; or even better, shop at Wal-Mart so that the merchants in your town go out of business. Join in the corruption, say that the corruption is okay, then the looters will say that you are okay – cuz you Belong!
        The real members of the Oligarchy are IN the group because they take on the mindset that they deserve the fruit of your labors and that you do not. The Oligarchy will close a factory on Friday and go to church on the weekend, inside the agreement that their sins against their fellow man and the planet are forgiven, and besides, they deserve more and the workers deserve less. And then they return to the office on Monday and do more of the same.

        It is easy to 'join' the Oligarchy. Simply sell out and you will 'prosper'.
        I received a remarkable phone call awhile back that was blatantly corrupt: There were four lies in the first two sentences. "This is not a sales call", the person said [HAH!]. Then "I'm calling from Bank X." [Not true: it was an underpaid telemarketer in North Dakota.] Then "We want to send you this free service..." [Except it costs money after the 30-day trial period.] And "it is not insurance." [It was the 'pay a percentage of your unpaid credit card balance and they promise to be real nice if you lose your livelihood' insurance scam.]
        The caller knew exactly how bogus the deal was, yet the whole town in North Dakota sold their integrity for minimum wage. But what is really disgusting, from the Working Mind standpoint, is that the marketing department at the bank was certain that the lies would work exceptionally well: Why else would they be risking their own careers by spending for the setup in North Dakota and paying hard cash wages to the telemarketers to call people?

        The sovereign Individual is anyone who rebels against the Culture-Structure and the Oligarchy by rejecting such crap, in all its forms. The supermarket strike in Southern California got a lot of support from the shoppers because the U.C.F.W. union stood up to the Oligarchy, for substantive issues and not merely about money. Unfortunately, the ending was lousy: the union buckled and the supermarkets got most of their original contract proposal. The Oligarchy wins again.

REASON
        There is no Party Line to follow where Reason will provide you an easy, pre-mapped path to follow. You are trained to want that at all times, but Reason does not provide it. (Even if I manage to establish a Working Minds Institute, the intent will not be to have meetings or gatherings or give detailed guidance but to educate sheep to become Individuals, working toward critical mass in the practice of Reason in America.)
        Reason must be invoked on a minute-by-minute basis, and no one is going to follow you around – no Jiminy Cricket cartoon conscience – to remind you that the instructions by and for the Oligarchy will cost you dearly.
        The ultimate cost is that The World Does Not Work. More people live in poverty, the planet is dying an ugly death, your children leap into life until they learn to shut down and to be sheep like everyone else, and your children and their children continue your legacy of cynicism and despair and a hollow life.
        Look at the total of your consumer debt (mortgage excepted). Look at your share of the National Debt – $54,000 per taxpayer or $23,000 for each and every man, woman & child in America. And listen from there as George Dubya blows his faith-based smoke in your ears about increasing debt having improved the economy.
        You have got to get that YOU owe that portion of the National Debt, and that YOU will likely hand over that obligation to your grandchildren. And we have to reach a lot more other people so that they also get the reality of the Oligarchy's rule. Until you do something radically different – stand as an Individual, use Reason as a practice, enroll others into participation – then you are an economic slave, an indentured Servant, a serf to the Oligarchy.

        If you do not stand and say "I am Free! I am not a slave to the Oligarchy!" then you still are one.
        For that is really and truly who the Oligarchy is: The wealthy elite who own your body and your soul, because you agreed to it.
        Unless and until you take back your Natural Sovereignty, your Self-hood, as a Free Individual, then you remain a sheep destined for slaughter.
        You are either a slave to the Oligarchy, or you are in rebellion.

[copyright 2004 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

See WMail Issue #16 "The Priests of Commerce"
See WMail Issue #26 "The No-God Universe"

Each issue of WMail is posted on the Working Minds website; quotations are posted alphabetically by author.


N E W S    &    L I N K S    o f    I N T E R E S T

==>  National Day of Reason [May 6th]
        http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/index.html

==>  A few readers have reported not receiving WMail #40 'Capitalism'
        If you also did not, request it thru the editor email below
        or go to http://www.working-minds.com/WM2004a.htm#40 to read it

==>  The antidote to reactionary radio is now launched: Air America Radio is operating in NYC and other cities already,
        with more stations coming online soon: http://www.airamericaradio.com/

==>  Good News Dept.: National Rifle Assn. membership is down 20% and it is now $100 million in debt.

==>  Currently more than 318,000 people are behind bars in the U.S. for drug
        violations – more than the number of people incarcerated for all crimes
        in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined.
        [per The Independent Institute http://www.independent.org ]
 

N E X T   M O N T H: Second All-Quotes Issue

I N   J U N E: "The Working Minds Manifesto"

Issue #43: Second All-Quotes Issue
[May 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

==========================
the First All-Quotes Issue was October 2003
http://www.working-minds.com/WM2003c.htm#36
the Third All-Quotes Issue was August 2006
http://www.working-minds.com/WM2006c.htm#62
==========================

"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air
and to eat and sleep with the earth."
— Walt Whitman [1819-92]

"Live by the media, die by the media."
— Michael Connelly

"Education is about the distribution of knowledge ... and to whom we actually distribute this particular commodity
is a major question in this country."
— Rudy Crew

"The thought 'power to the people' is not revolutionary:
Our country was founded on the concept."
— John Kerry, in 1971

"Trivial people ... lack an overriding hunger to do that which they do best.
Their ambitions are stylistic rather than substantial."
— Andrew M. Greeley

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."
— Aldous Huxley [1894-1963]

"War is peace." — George Orwell [1903-50], in his 1949 novel "1984"
"This war is really about peace." — George W. Bush, in 2003

"Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity."
— in the "Tao Te Ching" by Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu [IVth Century B.C.E.]

"Being an artist doesn't take much, just everything you got."
— Hubert Selby, Jr. [1928-2004]

"No art should be fashionable."
— Dame Ngaio Marsh [1895-1982]

"We are a culture in freefall."
— Al Martinez

"You can have a lord, you can have a king, but the man to fear is the tax collector."
— Sumerian saying, circa 1800 B.C.E.

"It doesn't matter who you love, or how you love, but that you love."
— Rod McKuen

"Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
— Janis Joplin [1943-70]

"Any time is a good time if you know what to do with it."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
— Maya Angelou

"Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
— Antoine de Saint-Exupιry [1900-44]

"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure – which is: Try to please everybody."
— Herbert Bayard Swope [1882-1958]

"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."
— Frank Lloyd Wright [1868-1959]

"If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?"
— Voltaire [1694-1778], in "Candide" (1759)

"Once you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
— Sherlock Holmes, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1859-1930]

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
— Ian L. Fleming [1908-64], in "Goldfinger" [1964]

"Population growth is the primary cause of environmental damage."
— Jacques Cousteau [1910-97]

<*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*>

F E A T U R E D . . . A U T H O R . . . S E C T I O N

all from Edward 'Cactus Ed' Abbey
Edward Abbey [1927-89] Page at 'Readers of The Purple Sage' Western Bookstore
Edward Abbey Quotations Page at Working Minds

"Wilderness, in America or anywhere else, is the only thing left that is worth saving."

"Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world,
nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so."

"Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top."

"I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. I write to make a difference."

"If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing."

"Only the half-mad are wholly alive."

"Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion."

"There was a time when men loved ideas... Now, they get by with slogans."

"Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful."

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

"Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience,
that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners."

<*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*><*>

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics
won't take an interest in you."
— Pericles (430 B.C.E.)

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live
at the expense of everybody else."
— Frιdιric Bastiat [1801-50]

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."
— Will Rogers [1897-1935]

"They who can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
— Benjamin Franklin [1706-90]

"Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and
wherever he may be, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power."
— Henry George [1839-97]

"The whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie.
I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant."
— H.L. Mencken [1880-1956]

"We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."
— Dr. Mark Vonnegut as quoted by his son, Kurt Vonnegut [1922-2007]

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe that they are free."
— Goethe [1749-1832]

"None of the world's problems will have a solution until the world's individuals become thoroughly self-educated."
— R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things; knows only the livid loneliness of fear."
— aviator Amelia Earhart [1897-1937]

"Either you think or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline
your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald [1896-1940]

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny little matters compared
to what lies within us."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-82]

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things [that] you didn't do than by the ones [that] you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
— Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Failure is not an option... It's included with the software."
— unknown

"Do you remember the last time (that) anyone was terrorized by agnostic fundamentalists?"
— Dave Shulman (letter to LA Weekly 10/2001)

"Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."
— Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

"The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms."
— Socrates [469-399 B.C.E.]

"Democracy is not a spectator sport, and being a citizen should imply
that [you're] active and caring."
— filmmaker Michael Moore

Dirac's Corollary: "The speaker who knows least talks longest."

"Television is the glue that keeps us apart."
— [Ms] Maxi Cohen, Venice, California filmmaker

"People cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led."
— H. Ross Perot

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important
than any other one thing."
— Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"How glorious it is, but how painful it is also, to be exceptional in this world!"
— Alfred de Musset [1810-57]

"The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves."
— William Hazlitt [1778-1830]

"Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented."
— Georges Braque [1882-1963]

"Life is never so bad at its worst that it is impossible to love; life is never so good at its best that it is easy to live."
— radio commentator Gabriel Heatter [1890-1972]

"Any man who could concentrate for as much as three minutes on any given problem
could rule the world."
— Chinese saying

"Republics end thru luxury, monarchies thru poverty."
— Montesquieu [1689-1755]

"She was herself and not his; perhaps that was the best thing about her."
— Maj Sjφwall & Per Wahlφφ (in "The Terrorists", 1976)

"When the little guy wants help, he asks the government to write a check.
When the big guy wants help, he asks the government to write a law."
— Patt Morrison

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
— P.J. O'Rourke

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings.
The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
— Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"What this country needs are more unemployed politicians."
— Edward Langley

[copyright 2004 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

Each issue of WMail is posted on the Working Minds website; quotations are posted alphabetically by author.


N E W S    &    L I N K S    o f    I N T E R E S T

==>  "Half the working poor [in America] are working mothers ... It is time to be ashamed."
        — David K. Shipler, Pulitzer-winning former N.Y.Times reporter
        and author of "The Working Poor" [Knopf 2004]
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375408908/nordellbookst-20

==>  For Objectivists: The 3rd annual Galt's Gulch Breakfast
        will be held on June 6th in San Francisco. Contact Michael Shambrook
        for details: http://www.capitalisttoys.com/ { dead link 2007 }

==>  Quent Cordair Fine Art now has prints by artist Nick Gaetano available
        for sale at http://www.cordair.com/gaetano/index.aspx
        [He did the marvelous Ayn Rand books cover art and the 33¢ U.S Ayn Rand
        stamp of 1999.]

==>  The recent local election included a Utility Tax reduction intitiative, which I was
        glad to see lose 80% to 20%. I found myself imagining the November election
        being 80% for John Kerry and 20% for Dubya!!
        Boy, would the a**holes in Washington be really, really scared...
        http://www.JohnKerry.com/signup/bumpera.php
 

N E X T   M O N T H: 'The Working Minds Manifesto'

Issue #44: "The Working Minds Manifesto"
[June 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
T h e    W O R K I N G    M I N D S    M A N I F E S T O
For A World That Works
Where Quality of Life is the Most Important Value

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

This document is posted online in eight languages
[translated using BabelFish.AltaVista.com]

http://www.working-minds.com/manifesto.htm [English-language original]
http://www.working-minds.com/dutch.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/french.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/german.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/greek.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/italian.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/russian.htm
http://www.working-minds.com/spanish.htm

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment defines strategies and techniques with which you will be able to handle successfully anything that Life brings your way.

        The development of your Working Mind is entirely your Responsibility – at all times. How far you go in developing your Working Mind is a function of your Commitment to being a Self, an Individual who IS Responsible.

        That – and only that – Commitment to being Responsible for being an Individual, in the face of ceaseless pressure to revert to subjugation by the internal False Mind and by the external Culture-Structure, is the necessary Context for the fulfillment of your existential potential.

        The development by your Self, within your Self of your latent Working Mind is crucial and necessary for the survival of the human species.

        Without you, Mankind is lost. With your Working Mind developed and engaged, the Culture-Structure becomes irrelevant.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Civilization on planet Earth, which is owned by the Oligarchy and managed by the extant Culture-Structure, does not work.

        The wealthy live in abject fear of the lower classes, the middle class is disappearing, and the poor have no hope.

        Ecosystems are dying, the infrastructure is crumbling, the political system is a farce, and the media and industry increasingly gobble up the competition to form monopolies.

        Gibbon said that the citizens of Ancient Rome sold out for 'bread and circuses'; the same is true today, except that the payoff is in the form of 'mega-calorie fast food and 24-hour cable television'.

* *          * *          * *          * *

To solve the problems that face Mankind in the XXIst Century, a revolution is required.

Violence – the use of physical force – is not a solution.

What needs to happen for Mankind to survive beyond the next generation is replacement of the False Values that perpetuate the Culture-Structure – the machinery of civilization that is designed so that Things Do Not Work – with deeper Values that empower all Mankind.

These empowering Values include:


ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

All citizens have equal rights under the Law.

Freedom is never guaranteed, it is maintained by an educated and vigilant population who refuse to trade their freedoms for seeming security.

The purpose of the Law is not to legislate conformative behavior, but to assure Freedom – which is defined as the absence of coercion – for all.

Behavior that does not impinge on another or on the environment is legitimate.
• Religions are equal in the Law, including atheism and agnosticism
• Opinions are not facts
• All sexual activity between consenting adults is legitimate
• 'Victimless' crimes are not a crime

Attempts by a reactionary minority to stifle non-conformity are un-American, reprehensible, unjust, and harmful to the economy: Innovation cannot arise in a totalitarian society.


RULE of LAW

The citizenry have a right not to live in fear.

All citizens have equal rights under the Law, and wealth and political power deserve no insulation from prosecution.

Illegal immigration is a crime; illegal residents have no rights; employers who hire illegal workers or exploit foreign slave labor forfeit the right to continue their business operation.

Plea-bargaining to a lesser crime is itself a crime.

The anti-social behavior of the criminal class – gangs, drug merchants, pimps & prostitutes, gamblers, grifters, thieves & murderers – is not acceptable in a society designed to work. Incarceration is a temporary solution, with re-education – by example and by instruction in empowering Values – the ultimate goal.

A requirement by the Social Security Administration for fingerprint verification for new applications and for payment of benefits will:
• greatly reduce fraud
• locate fugitive felons
• and increase the justice system fingerprint database

Drug-testing of prospective & current employees is oppressive unless all executives are required to undergo the same procedure/s.

Trial attorneys are not exempt from perjury charges: they must be sworn in by the court – at least between the opening and closing speeches – to promote the actual practice of Truth and Justice.

Prisons can and must be made crime free. Remove every television set from each prison and offer 'good books' and literacy programs instead. When each prison block has been crime free for one year – no stabbings, no drugs or pruno – the television privilege will be restored for that block, with P.B.S. & History Channel content, "Sesame Street", and non-violent sports on a multi-channel Prison Net. Any crime by any inmate inside the block cancels all tv privileges for three months.

Pass laws giving fire department personnel the power to write parking tickets for vehicles parked in red zones, fire lanes, in front of hydrants, etc.


CAPITALISM

The Individual is the source of all wealth.

The Individual has a natural right to trade his/her honest labor and original ideas for a Living Wage.

The original design of Capitalism is for the creation of jobs and of products & services.

No person in management is worth a paycheck greater than 25 times that of the non-management average.

Labor union formation is a right guaranteed in the U.S.A. by the First Amendment – and elsewhere by America's example.

The best way to deny unmerited profits to the Oligarchy is to patronize the small, local business – book, video & music stores, gasoline/petrol stations, auto mechanics, printers & stationers, hardware & clothing stores, and bakeries & restaurants – and the individual provider of services – plumbers, gardeners, builders, and realtors. The best way to strengthen capitalism is to practice it.


TAX EQUITY

The Oligarchy – the 1% of each country that owns 50% and more of everything – must pay their fair share, i.e. 50 percent, of taxes – across the board: local & state & federal. Same for the Upper Class, the 20% who now own 83% of everything: their share is 83% of government expenses.

Corporations whose annual profit is more than 15% of net income are white-collar pirates, and such excess profits are taxable at a 75% rate.

While over-population is a problem, breeding is a natural right. However, there is no right to a tax deduction on children or dependents. The tax laws will be altered so that the maximum number of [non-handicapped, non-senior] dependents are locked in at twelve, then ten, then down to two in ten tax years – existing progeny retain the deduction until out of school. After that, Freedom is maintained: have all the children you want, but only two are tax deductible.


ECONOMIC FREEDOM

To be in debt – as a country or as a consumer (excluding residential mortgage) – constitutes surrender to economic slavery.

Credit cards with a debit balance are to pay interest at 75% of the interest rate on credit balances.


ECOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY

The ecosystems of planet Earth are dying from the ruthless exploitation of natural resources by the Oligarchy, whose actions and policies constitute suicide of the species Homo sapiens.

The survival of Mankind requires:
• Development of renewable energy sources
• Reduction of profligate consumption
• Repair of commerce-generated damage
• Protection of endangered species

Sorry: Changes in lifestyle will be required for many, to reverse the damage perpetrated by the conscience-less Oligarchy in the name of the holy Bottom Line.

To paraphrase the X-ian Bible (Matthew 16): "For what is a man profited if he shall make beaucoup bucks while transforming the planet into a cesspool."


INDIVIDUAL STRENGTH

Everyone must have the opportunity to learn to read and to write and to calculate 'everyday' arithmetic.

Remedial training programs are long overdue and worth the cost.

Everyone must be cognizant of the workings and activity of government, and all elected representatives and all government employees must be answerable to their constituents.

Decisions are made by those Individuals who participate; corporations do not have a vote.


REALIGNMENT of PRIORITIES

"Until all are free, none are free." — Dr. Martin Luther King jr

Freedom requires hard work; hard work is nothing to be afraid of.

Economic freedom and economic equity allow for personal self-expression and fulfillment.

The public airwaves are a public trust, and rightfully regulated by government. All political parties & candidates deserve Equal Access to broadcast media during the three months prior to each election – local, state, and federal.

The United States of America has no right to export or advocate any Value not actually practiced in America.

"Reason is the only frontier left." — G.E. Nordell

* *          * *          * *          * *

The survival of Mankind requires the Fulfillment of Mankind's Potential, which in turn requires the fulfillment of the potential of all Individuals here on the planet – and that begins with you and me and everyone that we can bring on board:

Revolution – For A World That Works
Where Quality of Life is the Most Important Value

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