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About This Nation

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This group is for those who want to discuss, criticize, praise, struggle against, and unseat the very wealthy few who run our government, our mainstream media, our military, our foreign policy, our domestic policy, and do so from behind the curtain.

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"Upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class which has made the United States the envy of the world. In its place they are determined to create an oligarchy in which a small number of families control the economic and political life of our country," Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote in the Nation in 2010. The USA, two years later, is pretty much an Oligarchy: a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people who are distinguished by wealth, family ties, educational contacts, corporate power, or military control.

Today several contemporary authors have characterized the United States' current state of affairs as an oligarchy. Simon Johnson wrote that "the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent," a structure which he delineated as being the "most advanced" in the world. Advanced it is: these families control Goldman Sachs, control the Department of the Treasury, control the Federal Reserve (a private company), control the media. Many of us think that after this election, unless a Third Party Candidate wins, the wealthy oligarchy will have full control. Campaign funding may prove to have been the final spear through the heart of a real democracy. Greg Palast wrote "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization and High-Finance Fraudsters" back in 2003 and we are falling into that pit.

The Oligarchy is very sophisticated, very good at propaganda, has unlimited wealth at its disposal, and uses the Republican and Democratic parties dominate and frame policy debate as well as determine what topics are suitable for public discourse and which ones are to be avoided (e.g., we can't discuss subsidies to oil giants; the Afghan war; climate change; the US financial gifts to Israel; or that Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, covered up a multi-trillion dollar LIBOR fraud). At the level of presidential politics, the "two" parties controlled by the Oligarchy constitute the Duopoly. When we look at the most significant issues facing the 99% and the nation--the economy and our warfare on behalf of the military industrial complex--it doesn't matter whether a Democrat or a Republican wins at the presidential level. They are the Oligarchy's Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum. The Oligarchy/ Duopoly is smart enough to create feuds among the 99% over less central issues that are hot-button red herring issues over which we the 99% can fight among ourselves. These are the social issues like women's rights, legal partnerships/marriages irrelevant of gender, and the legalization of marijuana that the Romney or Obama use to get us to think they are on our side. However important some of these issues may seem to be--and they are the volatile hot button issues-- they keep the 99% from uniting behind their own economic interests and fighting among ourselves. "Divide and conquer" or the variant "divide and rule" is a successful strategy and it's been around since Julius Caesar. Red-herring politics has until now worked every time and it seems to be working again.

Can stop them in this election? It is a long shot--but Occupy has shown how it can be done. The police won't keep us from voting and won't arrest us for voting for a Third Party candidate. It's time to vote our values and principles and regain our democracy.