The Corporatist Dem

Pete Buttigieg © Photographed by Ethan James Green, Vogue, June 2019 Pete Buttigieg © Photographed by Ethan James Green, Vogue, June 2019

As Ukrainian public intellectual and wonderful storyteller Oksana Zabuzhko says, “our challenge is to call things by their proper names.” I agree with her. In politics, words have either been stripped of their meaning or become so contested as to undermine the ability to communicate and analyze. This is no accident. The muddying of meaning is a Machiavellian political device to influence perceptions by redefining core concepts. It’s as if words become frozen without meaning, without heart. Therefore, stories are the best way to open up conversation and share insights about politicians. The story I tell often is how then U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Senator John McCain, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt promised the world to Ukraine and instead the people got 100 innocents murdered by the CIA in the bloody coup of a democratically-elected president, a NATO-manufactured war in Donbas, U.S. corporate corruption and plundering, poverty, and the CIA and NATO's persecution of Christians and revitalization of Nazism in Europe. Corporatist Democrat Joe Biden's words didn't match the reality then and they still don’t now.

Corporatism is not capitalism. It just isn't. It is corporate political interests masquerading as a free market —government policies that prioritize corporate profits over the needs and humanity of the individual, their families, and communities. Corporatism is not a free market. But there’s been a bipartisan policy consensus for so long that corporatism is now conflated by some with the free market. It’s become accepted orthodoxy that excessive policy deference to corporate behemoths is somehow the definition of “free.” This is what the Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders (and President Trump less directly) is fighting. And he's alone among a Democrat Party that has been sold off to corporations. What is worse is that the Democratic Party is littered with people who claim to be liberal but they expose themselves as corporatists and defenders of billionaires the minute they have to really explain their policies. There’s nothing liberal about corporatism and the DNC is compromised. But this is not new. What’s different now is the amount of power these war lobbyists have gained both through the expanse of corporations and the reach of the corporate media. Thus, I think we need to move on from calling these Neoconservatives as hawkish war psychopaths. They may well be that, but in economic terms they are corporate lobbyists with a hawkish eye on war profits. We ought to reframe our thinking so we can expose these war lobbyists and their corporate cartels to change U.S. foreign policy for the better.

To compound all of this, the media itself has become part of the War Lobby. We’re now facing a behemoth military-intelligence and media industrial complex (MIMIC). The final corner of the corporate metaphorical Pentagon. The media represent the 1%, not us everyday Americans. Thus, it’s futile to entertain their notions of “class warfare” and their attempts to convince Americans that our divisions are more important than our common political heritage and our shared aspirations. No one has played that card more than the media in the last several years. Dwight Eisenhower warned us all those years ago about the military complex but the media was not part of it then. In October 2019, U.S. President Trump openly referred to Eisenhower's identification of the "Military Industrial Complex" as the driver for war, identifying the costs of these wars, in terms of American lives lost, as well as those millions lost on the other side in the wars. Now, he got to tackle the media’s significant role. Today, the media are now celebrities, an outgrowth of the reality TV culture of the early 21st century, inasmuch I actually think that people in the media believe they are part of the elite, members themselves of the one percent. That is part of the problem we face with them day in and day out. Unbeknownst to probably most of them, the media has become part of the military which is controlled by that elite they believe they are part of. This brainwashed cult of celebrity represent the set piece of the elite’s figurative Department of Defense. It seems nobody wants to discuss the tremendous weight of all of this.

If an “elephant in the room" is a big problem that everyone knows is there but no one wants to talk about, a "white elephant" is a venture with a cost, particularly upkeep, that is out of proportion to its usefulness and you want to ditch but can’t, and a “war elephant” is an elephant that is trained and guided by humans for combat to charge the enemy, breaking their ranks and instilling terror, then we’ve certainly got a “white war elephant in the room” in the Democrat Party. Weeks ago I wrote an article knowing full well what was coming. And I was not wrong. This elephant situation is terrible for the DNC and for the country. Voters are being coerced and have become responsive to gigantic amounts of corporate money. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United a decade ago, money flat out buys elections in the United States. The link between money and votes is ever more straightforward but at the same time there is no transparency. This is corporatism on parade, elephants on parade. There is no nuance with these massive mammals but at the same time there is no public accountability. These corporatists’ elephants shit all over the place, trample down huts and threaten villagers. A legal coercion of the American public, in broad daylight. Simply said, Citizens United must be overturned to restore democracy in America.

Years ago I set out to formulate a framework for a “media annex” to the volunteer work I did for Maidan Monitoring Information Center in Kharkiv, Ukraine for a national security policy I drafted for Ukraine. I wanted to map out what I saw as the media’s promotional policy for Russia and President Vladimir Putin. The period since late 2013 has been both a personal and professional journey for me and a lot has happened in the years since Maidan. Particularly now I can see the elephants quite well and theoretically I am quite close to completing that project. In fact, what we encounter with censorship in both the Ukrainian and Western media, the corporate narrative of lies, is a concerted effort of American corporations to back their Neoconservative foot soldiers causing death and destruction in Ukraine and worldwide. The U.S. government is a far greater threat to Ukraine than the modern Russian Federation ever was. It is the U.S. government which provides the care and feeding of those schizophrenic pachyderms. In fact, they are the Neoconservative defense “intellectuals” at the center of a metaphorical “Pentagon” of lobbies and the radicalized religious community which serve as political groups, plus think tanks, foundations and media empires of the War Lobby. With foreign policy there’s no democratic mechanism really because in foreign policy, foreign policy is made mostly, almost completely, by the President and a small group of men around him — a cabal of profit and power hungry Neoconservatives.

We can recall that the term “neoconservative” was coined in the 1970's as an anathema. Then in the 1980s, the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan was encouraged by the “godfather” of Neoconservatism Irving Kristol to reach out to the likes of Rev Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority, a move that paid rich political dividends in the Reagan and Bush eras. Liberal Republicans are now nearly extinct and the right is perceived as more supportive of the flourishing of religious life. This is detrimental to religion because it ends up redefining it, in line with political concerns and at the expense of moral concerns. This is the Neoconservative racket. Also recalling in reference to “the war in Iraq” famous journalist Seymour Hersh asking: "how could eight or nine Neoconservatives come and take charge of this government?" Neoconservatives overran the bureaucracy, they overran U.S. Congress, they overran the media, and they overran the military. A Soviet politburo by any other name. The dance of the Bolsheviks is that of dancing on graves. The Neoconservative whose métier is iconoclasm, relishes the sad history of the Mensheviks, those redoubtable Russian social democrats who spent 1917 so worried about a restoration of the czar that, much to their own detriment, they unwittingly abetted the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power.

Never in a million years would I have wanted to believe that the biggest threat to Ukraine’s national security was the U.S. government. As a Ukrainian-American (and a life-long registered Democrat) that is a particularly bitter pill to swallow. That brings us back to the DNC. Since there’s no unified foreign policy at home and practice abroad, and U.S. Congress has been pitted against the President by the grip of corporations, the authentic foreign conflict is a political one in the U.S., waged by war brokers in the Beltway, not in Donbas, Ukraine. It’s a fool’s errand to not recognize that the Democrat Party has been divided by corporations, lobbies and cartels that will most benefit from an imperialist foreign policy. What a concerned American needs is a good set of eyes, ears and most importantly a keen sense of smell to sniff out the vocabulary and communication of the political corporatist.

It’s also a fool’s errand to not look closely at history. You won’t get any help from today’s media, that is for certain. It is American history that in 1934 corporatists plotted a coup to overthrow the U.S. President. Yes. And they failed because of an earnest military general who came forward and blew the whistle on them. President Franklin D. Roosevelt labeled the plotters “economic royalists” and survived their, thankfully, incompetent efforts. “The Business Plot” was a conspiracy to overthrow FDR but Major General Smedley Butler exposed the attempted coup d'état in 1934. It involved some of the wealthiest businessmen in the United States. Some of the nation’s top industrialists and bankers were involved in a plot to overthrow FDR and replace him with a puppet dictator. But General Smedley Butler both put the kibosh on that and condemned the corporate impetus in waging foreign wars. We need a Butler right now! It’s hard to think that much has changed. But where are the earnest whistle blowers today? Oh, yes. Julian Assange is perishing in a British prison.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. linked the triple evils of poverty, racism, and militarism. These evils are as yet unaddressed in America, as we see every day in the media the ignorant mouthpieces of imperial corporatism that call themselves journalists. I always reflect on Dr King who wasn’t just critical of discrimination. He was openly critical of U.S. imperialism —the three evils of racism, materialism, and militarism. That is white supremacy, my friends, not racism. The U.S. is run in the interests of corporations and those who lead them. Corporatism and perverse militarism go together. More than 50 years ago, when Martin Luther King Jr. bravely condemned “the madness of militarism,” he was directly challenging corporations. America was built on the simple idea that we’ve all got an equal voice, black, white, rich, poor. At the same time, we are all confronted with the corporatist's argument to either accept their version of things or shut up. Through the media, they pronounce any other dissent is “anti-democratic.” We saw this quite vividly in Ukraine, and now it is ever more visible in America. Lobbies are vicious. But lobbying even doesn't begin to cover the extent of corporate influence in politics. They are in possession of the instruments of control (such as mass media) through which they deploy a complex of old and new ideologies on every imaginable front, much of which is designed to divide workers by race, gender, age, and any other categories our rulers can come up with to pit one group of working people against another.

Since the end of the Cold War we have paid very little attention to the corporations, institutions, governments and military intent on extending that manufactured existential threat for profit and power, the forever wars. That is changing from abroad. Finally it seems, Ukrainians are waking up to the fact that George Soros serves as a big contractor for the Neoconservative faction in the Democrat part of U.S. government. He provided a cover for American political warfare and bogus claims of “antisemitism” were used as a shield. The real battle in Ukraine is between DNC and GOP. I’ve been saying this for years now. What is going on in Ukraine has got nothing to do with Ukrainians or Russians. It is ugly American politics we are witnessing in that country. Ukrainians languish in the shadow of American politics, merely as lessers. As a Ukrainian-American, it is truly awful for me to watch. As a U.S. citizen I might have kept quiet if the clandestine Americans involved with Ukraine achieved good results. Exactly the opposite happened. They were either malignly incompetent in their “intervention” or malevolently intent on destroying Ukraine. In its Citizens United ruling ten years ago, SCOTUS ruled corporations are people and money is speech. Since then, we've watched the steamrolling effect of big money’s corrupt influence in politics turn the awful foreign policy of so-called “intervention” even worse.

We're a democracy that can have as much peace as we want, if corporations are kept to operate with the principle that war for profit is morally wrong. The vast majority of Americans believe this, but the corporations continue to bully and coerce us on this front. FDR responded to public feeling in the 1930s coming out of WWI that it was so deplorable, so vile, the thought that people would make money off war —off destruction, people’s deaths and suffering— that they wanted to cut out war profits entirely. Thus, corporations despised FDR. Ukraine and Syria provided us Americans with absolute proof that this corporate dominance in U.S. foreign policy exists today stronger than ever and that the U.S. government has been manufacturing terrorism abroad to then fight the alleged “war on terrorism” and remain the world’s police. But this particular election provides a way out. Between the two “populist” candidates —Trump and Sanders— a critical mass of public awareness is possible. Sanders could most effectively run on Trump’s failure to fully keep his campaign promises on foreign policy and trade, winning over Trump 2016 voters. While Trump could get re-elected if he promises to end Citizens United, which would kill George Soros’ partnership with the CIA. The candidate who puts to bed the power of oligarchs like George Soros then deserves the American public’s full vote and the U.S. presidency itself. Currently, President Trump’s ability to play an active political offensive game in Ukraine is limited. George Soros plays for the shady Dems and the so-called “intelligence community” and has been working in Ukraine for a very long time, for so long that any current politician aged 45 and under is somehow associated with Soros. But like Bernie Sanders, he can end that.

Corporatism is more than simple privatization. Privatization entails the transfer of state or governmental responsibilities —the so-called areas of the public trust— to private, for-profit concerns. A telling example was the privatization of the U.S. “war in Iraq.” Fifty percent of the work done in Iraq for the U.S. gov’t—food services, transportation, construction, soldiering and providing security at embassies, and clandestine work for the CIA—was carried out by private individuals and companies subcontracted by large, multinational corporations. Corporatism is buttressed by an intellectual shift toward corporate dominance through bogus ideologies. Such ideologies are markedly apparent in business and in the interfaces among business, the state, and other social institutions, wedding corporations, banks and governments. The corporate model is now the dominant organizational principle among differing groups and organizations as charities and NGOs, churches, mosques and temples, voluntary organizations, and the military. The outcome of corporate expansion is absolute dominion over the individual. The corporate model coming out of World War II is what we face today with the endless wars, rabid, bloodthirsty and bloated war pundits, and “disinformation,” “fake news” and the like —lies concealing their violence.

Corporatism is more than simple privatization. Corporations have become active participants in U.S. government and foreign policy.

Sanders rhetoric rise and his programs and politics are derived to a large degree from Roosevelt’s. It’s highly instructive to listen to FDR’s First Inaugural speech to see where Sanders is coming from. The words are timeless and speak to the white war elephant in the room. The corporatist Dem is tied to the MIMIC, the military-intelligence and media industrial complex. Right now the corporate Democrat’s number one enemy is found within the party. Bernie Sanders not only wants to reform American foreign policy along sane and moral lines, he’s already got a plan for journalism reform as well. Because although the devastating impacts of endless war are all around us in America, from deadly federal budget priorities to traumatic effects of normalized violence, it’s difficult to grasp the magnitude of harm to so many millions of human beings in other countries when the media covers it all up. The military-intelligence and media industrial complex, inherently corporate, needs politicians like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. One decade after another, they claim special geopolitical (Biden) or technocratic (Buttigieg) expertise while striving to make a profit. Sanders’s media reform plan is designed to protect journalism from Wall St looting, billionaire influence and corporate control —concrete policies to strengthen antitrust enforcement, deter mass layoffs and increase investment in programs that fund local news gathering. Bernie isn’t against journalism. He’s against a profit-driven corporate system that has long stymied real journalism and is now destroying the entire industry. He’s got a comprehensive and detailed plan to reform the media and strengthen the free press. It’s about fighting oligarchy and corporatiosm. Two Silicon Valley corporations—Facebook and Google—control 60% of the entire digital advertising market. They have used monopolistic control to siphon off advertising revenues from the news organizations. They serve as part of the state propaganda arm of the Pentagon. Due to corporatism —privatization of government on steroids— in America, Jeff Bezos’s company is also part of the military-intelligence and media industrial complex (MIMIC) along with George Soros’s Open Society.

This is not capitalism, folks. It just isn’t. The intra-American confrontation is superimposed on Ukrainian problems. For corporatists whose interests are represented by the Joe Biden’s part of the Democratic Party, Ukraine is almost the last bastion of their long-standing foreign policy. Former Vice President Biden and the Neoconservatives —the corporatist Dems— got caught in Ukraine. By mapping out the social networks of various groups it is possible to determine key nodes in the network such as people who bridge different communities together or influential members of a community. In military operations this social network is used as a map of the information domain enabling the identification of actors who may be credible within a target audience. Of course, the reverse is just as effective. The network of corporate Dems maliciously operating in Ukraine was captured on Twitter. 

Let’s go back to lovely Ukrainian Oksana Zabuzhko and our challenge with words. Actually, let’s go farther back to ancient times, first. In this case, anathema, which is the separation from Christianity. Recall, Arius who distorted the truth about Christianity. My patron saint accosted him and Arius was publicly called out as a heretic. At the 1st Ecumenical Council of the Orthodox Christian Church, seeing the extraordinary danger coming from the mad Arius’s speech, St Nicholas who held extreme compassion for those he wanted to protect from the heretical poison that might have destroyed the faith, slapped the mad Arius. I absolutely love that my patron saint was so zealous for the truth that he beat up a heretic. Well done, Saint Nicholas! In AD 325, when Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, Arianism was declared heresy. Today, words remain a challenge. At the present time, we have a proliferation of political nihilists who are spreading no less dangerous words. Do you really think that we would keep silence and not raise voices to condemn and anathematize them, if their words are destructive? By no means. Righteous moral indignation and civil disobedience is our best recourse. Corporatist Pete Buttigieg is not only an impostor Democrat, he is a impostor human being. He’s like what would happen if McKinsey spreadsheet ran for president. The words of corporatist Dems like Buttigieg and Biden are a heresy to democracy.

This is corporatism, which does not know any party. It has wormed its way into the highest levels of the U.S. government. It has ruled us to our detriment now for almost 40 years now. Politicians, in general, give no credence to why exactly so many people are so angry. Politicians watched the middle class get decimated in the last financial crisis, money get sent to Wall Street while our student debt exploded and any surplus cash that happened to be laying around was spent (wasted) trying to turn the Middle East into a democratic paradise. America voted twice for change-agent Barack Obama to try and clean up the system, but he mostly just lectured corporations with an upturned chin and wagging finger, while completely acquiescing to their bogus voodoo economics, costly health insurance scam, “strategic patience” foreign policy and forever wars. Does Donald Trump’s record with the corporations stand much better than Obama’s? Hard to say. The true left has responded to this moment with a return to the democratic socialism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We’ve reached a pretty important moment in America. Mr. Trump has got to step up to the plate.

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