CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE WITH BIRTHDAYS  12:56 pm August 30, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday To Justice Lewis F. Powell’s War On the American Left

by Ken Layne

Finally, corporations get a break!Weeks before his nomination to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, corporate tobacco lawyer and right-wing business extremist Lewis F. Powell took a break from golf and his boardroom duties at 11 of America’s biggest corporations to write a manifesto against the then-vibrant American left. His detailed plan, delivered in the form of a memo he predictively titled “Attack of American Free Enterprise System,” was addressed to the corporate criminals at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and used as a blueprint for the whole twisted panoply of today’s fascist propaganda factory: The Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Accuracy in Academe, Ronald Reagan’s presidency and Fox News can all be traced directly to the full-spectrum methods outlined in the Powell Memo. But because Lewis Powell wasn’t overtly racist and apparently had little interest in abortion and religious fundamentalists, he is remembered not as the father of the right’s repugnant corporate worship but as a “liberal moderate justice.” Let’s learn about what this Liberal Moderate planned for America, 40 years ago this week.

The core philosophy of Lewis F. Powell was that humans were getting in the way of corporate profits. Everywhere he looked in 1971, he saw people rising up on behalf of racial equality and peace and ecology and justice. From the huge population of educated youth, he heard increasingly angry distrust of corporate media and its war propaganda. From “consumer activists” such as Ralph Nader, he heard intense suspicion of the corporate agenda — from the dangerous cars it produced to the poisonous cigarettes it manufactured while lobbying hard against any “health warnings.” (Powell was counsel for the cigarette industry’s lobbying arm, the Tobacco Institute, before he was put on the Supreme Court by Nixon.)

His driving vision is terrifyingly real today, as the default position in the wars against the middle class that is even specifically proclaimed by particularly clumsy operators like Mitt Romney. Powell’s goal was “changing how individuals and society think about the corporation, the government, the law, the culture, and the individual.” His outlined methods of warfare were front organizations and constant propaganda funded by the biggest corporations in the world.

It has been almost completely successful. The biggest corporations no longer pay taxes at all, while the personal income tax rates on the very richest have plunged since Powell’s policies became the platform of the corporate-controlled Republican and Democrat political parties. In 1971, the richest .01% paid a top income tax rate of more than 70%, while the federal rate for the richest 1% was nearly 50%. Today, neither group of the ultra rich pays more than 35% and tax on long-term investment earnings is capped at 15%, while the burden on the squeezed middle class and working class has risen. (Only the poorest — the most likely to revolt — have seen their federal tax burden decline. Of course, they’ve also seen a dramatic reeling in of the social safety net during this same period, and they are walloped with an ever-growing series of use taxes, user fees and sales tax.)

Lewis F. Powell’s Call For Corporate Action Against America is long and detailed and occasionally even apologetic — the extremism of Powell’s views are tempered by his genteel Virginia gentleman’s personality. But the following section is a good (if too polite for the phony Tea Party) summary of what has happened to America, by design:

Business has shunted confrontation politics. Business, quite understandably, has been repelled by the multiplicity of non-negotiable “demands” made constantly by self-interest groups of all kinds. While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system — at all levels and at every opportunity — be far more aggressive than in the past.

There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.

Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected — where it counts the most — by politicians, on the campus, and among the media.

It is time for American business — which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions — to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.

The type of program described above (which includes a broadly based combination of education and political action), if undertaken long term and adequately staffed, would require far more generous financial support from American corporations than the Chamber has ever received in the past. High level management participation in Chamber affairs also would be required.

Haha, even in 1971 the top union leaders were seen by supposed anti-labor business interests as having “done what they were paid to do very effectively.” And what was that? To moderate the laboring class and its natural tendency to revolution. If not for the creation of politically sanctioned national labor unions during the New Deal era of the Great Depression, Fox News would be in Russian today. (Wait, what?)

Anyway, happy 40th birthday to “corporations are people, my friends.” [Powell Memo]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 192 comments }

GunToting[Redacted] August 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

So, he was a Liberal Moderate Conservative? I haz a confused…

TanzbodenKoenig August 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Sort of like being a rounded, squareish triangle if that makes more sense to you

Barb August 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Ralph Nader, unsafe at any speed.

nounverb911 August 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

"Lewis F. Powell’s 'Call For Corporate Action Against America'"
Is that the teabaggers answer to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"?

LabRodent August 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Hey Ken that was way informative, thanks Wonkette. (snark free)

Nothingisamiss August 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Amen.

crookedE August 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm

if you are interested in this topic, Kim Phillips-Fein wrote a terrific book on it: http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Hands-Making-Cons

SpurningBeer August 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Half of me is now paralytically depressed, and the other half is seething with a desire to commit activism of some sort.

Violence would be satisfying but not likely to be productive. So maybe an online viral thing that rates corporations according to their social responsibility — paying some taxes, providing some employee benefits, not overcompensating executives, following relatively ethical business practices, treating employees fairly, refraining from blatantly whorish political activity, etc. Kind of an Angie's List meets the Better Business Bureau meets the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Have a list of the Worst Corporations in the World, and what their products are. Companies that fight back would just generate great publicity for the project.

Just a thought. Anyone interested?

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:10 am

well said, and took the words right outta my head (ok maybe only the first few, I'm not smart enough to come up with all the good stuff after "violence would be satisfying…")

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:07 am

hell, even if all this is true, it's NOT funny at all! (sweet holy jeebus I had no idea this SCOTUS Lewis was the douchebag behind the 30+ years of Repugnant political hell that has been my *adulthood*) and the baby Jesus weeps…

Chillwaver August 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Powell’s goal was “changing how individuals and society think about the corporation, the government, the law, the culture, and the individual.”

Mission A-fucking-ccomplished.

BaldarTFlagass August 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

What, other than "God, we are so fucking fucked," should be my takeaway here?

Geminisunmars August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I think they'd like you to say "where would you like me to present myself, bending over."

Lascauxcaveman August 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

"God, we are so fucking fucked," should be my takeaway here?

That's usually the takeaway from any given Ken Layne post these days.

So teach your children well. If they realize what kind of world they've grown up in, they may see fit to change it.

forgracie August 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Pffft–if they realize what kind of world we've abandoned them to, they're gonna ship us off early to the home!

Rotundo_ August 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm

If I still prayed, I'd pray for an early death. Fortunately in CornSweetnerWorld, it's looking like a good bet that I'll be dead before demented. Though, truth be told, if I was demented I wouldn't really give a fuck anyway. Old age will be an adventure in the baby boom generation! Get those ice floes ready to set our sorry asses adrift!

tessiee August 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

Um…
*thinks*
That the ideals of the 1960s failed not because we were wrong, or weak, or co-opted, but because there was a concerted, sustained effort by a lot of very powerful people to make sure that they kept their stranglehold on America.

nounverb911 August 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Needs more boycotts.

qwerty42 August 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

depressing.

Giveusabob August 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Didn't Powell also represent the owners of the Death Star, in their libel lawsuit against the population of Endor?

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Death Stars are people too, my friend.

freakishlywrong August 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I'm going to wait until someone posts a funny comment and then copy it and post it myself.

BaldarTFlagass August 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I'm going to wait until someone posts a funny comment and then copy it and post it myself.

elviouslyqueer August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I'm going to wait until someone posts a funny comment and then copy it and post it myself.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I'm going to wait until someone posts a funny comment and then copy it and post it myself.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I'm going to wait until– dangit! Too slow.

Guppy06 August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I loved it! It was much better than Cats! I'm going to post it again and again!

tessiee August 31, 2011 at 10:28 am

We should just think up two or three comments, and then post them over and over. That would be fun.

ShaveTheWhales August 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm

T

DaRooster August 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I'm going to wait until someone posts a funny comment and then copy strike it and post it myself.

proudgrampa August 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I have an idea: Let's just come up with a good comment, then copy/paste over and over. That would be fun!

not that Dewey August 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Let's just come up with a good comment, then copy/paste over and over

That's how they do it over at Breitbart!

SexySmurf August 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I think the only solution to this problem is more tax cuts.

DahBoner August 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Ah yes, tax cuts–the Republican Solution to Everything.

Wish I'd thought of that…

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

AND more deregulation. they go hand in hand to free the magic hand of the market.

Negropolis August 31, 2011 at 12:15 am

That seems to be the new one they are really working to the top after this recess. Come January, they'll be back to tax cuts once they beat deregulation to near-death. It's always important that it's only near death so you can exploit the issue at another date.

tessiee August 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

"It's always important that it's only near death so you can exploit the issue at another date."

You know, like reproductive rights.

Negropolis September 1, 2011 at 12:38 am

Bingo. If they ever actually got a full-out ban on abortion, the party would nearly cease to exist.

GunToting[Redacted] August 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Ah, tax cuts. The cause of, and solution to, all of our problems.

Rotundo_ August 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

You forgot those magic words: "But only for the job creators!". Without that even the poor might get a break and doG forbid that should happen. Not on this congress' watch!

Crank_Tango August 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks for ruining my day, Ken.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:16 am

pretty much sums up my thoughts EXACTLY…fuck I hate to actually be EDUCATED here on the Wonkette since it usually depresses me, thanks Ken indeed

mereoblivion August 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost

HedonismBot August 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm

You ought to know this one, then. When I get to feeling too cynical, it helps to keep the hope alive:
"Sail on, sail on, o mighty ship of state. To the shores of need, past the reefs of greed, through the squalls of hate… Democracy is coming, to the USA."
Sail on.

mereoblivion August 31, 2011 at 9:59 am

Thanks, HBot. The perfect antidote.

MinAgain August 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

He keeps saying "business", but I keep hearing "amassing huge quantities of wealth and power at the expense of the consumer, the environment, and the nation".

Geminisunmars August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

So – are you saying those are not synonymous?

archikvetch August 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

So this is like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" except it's true?

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:18 am

fucking WIN! (unfortunately believing in the EoZ was sooo much more fun than knowing this!)

elviouslyqueer August 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

The core philosophy of Lewis F. Powell was that humans were getting in the way of corporate profits.

Well, duh. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look at pictures of adorafuckingrable marsupials.

DahBoner August 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

That's because Republicans are polite!

Profits first!!!!

freakishlywrong August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

God, that's so fucking fucked up. Between the people-corporations and the Jesus-freak Dominionists, us po' and working folks is fucked. Belize?

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:20 am

hell I always had Costa Rica in mind but now that the rich folks/ fucks discovered it property is now waaay too expensive (oh and the fucking Wall St. assholes stole all my money!)

donner_froh August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Not surprising that he loves the Chamber of Commerce, aka the Klan without their sheets.

sunmusing August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

After that bucket of cold water, (thanks Ken) i can't even think of anything funny. All of the snark has evaporated.

SayItWithWookies August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

It's never finished, folks. Look at what happens, for instance, when the people who voted in 2008 didn't vote in 2010.

Poindexter718 August 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Gettin' all fancy-pants Andrew Sullivan-esque on us?
Needs moar butt secks.

John Birf Society August 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Today we are all corporations.

DaRooster August 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm

However… we are not half the people they are.

Negropolis August 31, 2011 at 12:17 am

Okay, all three of you won the post with those sweet ones.

Mumbletypeg August 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I'll wait to see what Warren Buffett, 81 years old today, says about this before I reverse my decision decisively misguided notions about this stealth weapon against humanity.

Chet Kincaid August 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Did you think they were just going to roll over?

GeorgiaBurning August 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

No, and they didn't. We did.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:24 am

to quote that famous native 'Merkan Tonto, "whaddya mean WE, white man?"

BaldarTFlagass August 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

All is well.

ogradybt August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

And I was under the impression that all these groups of complainers that want to enslave free enterprise were just Soros fronts founded in the past 9-10 years. Knock me over with a feather, Mr. Layne!

Chet Kincaid August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I don't get this part:

"Haha, even in 1971 the top union leaders were seen by supposed anti-labor business interests as having “done what they were paid to do very effectively.” And what was that? To moderate the laboring class and its natural tendency to revolution. If not for the creation of politically sanctioned national labor unions during the New Deal era of the Great Depression, Fox News would be in Russian today. (Wait, what?)"

Weren't Labor Union Leaders in fact paid to get wages and benefits for their members, which they accomplished?

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

that kept the rioting and looting down for a number of decades.
(see Greece and the UK)

ShaveTheWhales August 30, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I think Ken was extemporizing a little bit there. Some truth, though.

Negropolis August 31, 2011 at 12:18 am

WTF is this? RedState?

AlterNewt August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

"The Powell Doctrine.The Prequel".

SmutBoffin August 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Which company town would you like to live in? I would like to live in IKEA-ville. You could work all day in the hex-wrench mines, then come home to a meal of meatballs, eaten on some alarmingly cubic furniture.

ChurchofRealism August 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Walmart-silla?

SmutBoffin August 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

The Burger Kingdom? LEGOLand? ABERCROMBIE&FITCHISTAN?

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

tonight's state of the union will be delivered by the situation.

Callyson August 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [obscene]. But I know it when I see it…"
And yes, this is truly obscene…

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:27 am

"And yes, this is truly obscene…' …and extremely depressing, good thing I'm always drinkin' when I happen to come across this stuff late at night…it's the only thing that gives my life meaning anymore…also, too

BaldarTFlagass August 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I can tell by the look in your blank dull eyes
That you agree, but I'm not a bit surprised

Living in a programmed life never really has ups and downs
There's no need for fighting now
There's no reason to wear a frown

I had an operation
With no adverse reaction
They tampered with my brain some
It helped me see the reason
For living in the system
It helped me see the reason
(We're all brothers in a perfect world)
In a perfect world there's uniformity
In a perfect world there's conformity
There's no need for spontaneity
Perfect system we're all brothers to the end !!

nappyduggs August 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

"The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking."

This is like the beginning of a beautiful, old, hippie fairy-tale; albeit it one with a very very shitty ending.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

"Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking. That's when the police start whacking them with clubs. They become slightly less articulate with head wounds, and the problem usually takes care of itself from there."

SayItWithWookies August 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

That's a long list of disquieting voices — if I'm reading Mr. Powell's statement correctly, he's saying that everybody's starting to hate this oligarchy shit.

elviouslyqueer August 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Pretty much. And after reading the memo (Ken's right — it's LONG), my takeaway is that Powell seemed genuinely mystified as to why colleges and universities, which according to him benefited from fucktons of corporate money by way of endowments, rich trustees, etc., were such hotbeds of dissent. Powell's answer to this, of course, was to stack the academic deck, demanding that universities hire business-friendly faculty who would teach and publish the "correct" viewpoint for both students and the larger academic sphere. To him (at least from my reading), all these "disquieting voices" were basically being brainwashed, and simply had to be given an intervention that would reorient them to the right and proper path of admiring business.

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Scratch "the politicians" these days.

they need that corporate campaign cash.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:30 am

I KNEW I shoulda taken advantage of that hippie shit at the time, at least I woulda had SOME fond memories in my old age/ dementia (of course I was only 10 years old in '69 but hell, at least I coulda got laid!)

baconzgood August 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Capital-ASS-t memo-festo. What is really scarry was it was laughable at the time. Now it's the blue print for repression. Oh well though…..Who's going to the roller-ball game tonight?

freakishlywrong August 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Shit. At this rate we're not even going to get prisons or workhouses.

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

oh, we will get the prisons all right.

Private For Profit Prisons= growth industry!
Wall Street loves 'em.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Did you know prisoners pay no federal income tax? If we just broaden the tax base, these prisons will pay for themselves.

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

10% tax on 10 cents an hour prison labor multiplied by millions of prisoners can add up to some real money.

Chet Kincaid August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

"Revolution" is romantic and all, from the cafe at the student union, but I think the working classes' natural tendency is to have food in the pot, useful work, a roof over their heads, and a future for their children. That's why you can't trust 'em to follow through.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

"We have a 40 hour work week, safe working conditions, and decent pay. I think we're done here."

I kind of like it. Too bad we'll have to fight it all over again.

anniegetyerfun August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

"Only the poorest — the most likely to revolt — have seen their federal tax burden decline."

Can someone help me understand how this is true after just discussing how the rich's tax burden also declined? I'm super drunk, so not=hing you say will make sense anyway though also too.

Ken Layne August 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Federal tax revenue is now just 15% of GDP, which is why there's the "debt crisis" and Tea Party and Obama bravely cutting spending on social services and the intentional destruction of the commons.

SayItWithWookies August 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

He meant only the poorest of the non-wealthy. What's particularly egregious about this is that they got all that favoritism without hiring a single lobbyist.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

When you get laid off, just say, "Hooray! My taxes went down!"

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:40 am

me too, drunk that is (and surprisingly still able to read/ understand this shit enough to keep drinkin'!)

MittsHairHelmet August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Well, this just reinforces my contention that there's no point in even trying to fight back against this campaign. The corporation are too well-funded, too well organized, too entrenched to be defeated.

The way I see it there are only 2 ways forward:

1) Figure out a way to make as much money as possible as soon as possible and use it to insulate yourself from the destruction of the safety net and general decline in quality of life.

2) Go the Ken Layne route and try to figure out a sustainable lifestyle where you can focus on eating right, exercising and staying healthy so you won't have to rely on the safety net to survive.

SayItWithWookies August 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Oddly enough, this just reinforces my contention that we need to fight back harder. Look at how much of the populace is turning against the program of tax cuts for the rich paid for by cutting infrastructure and programs that help the middle class and poor — at some point the extreme right will have alienated so many Americans that the rollback will be swift and terrible.

It's in our interest to fight the overextended conservatives hard and constantly and not get resigned to seeing America become Scott Walker's dystopian vision. The more Americans are resigned to things sucking, the longer they're going to suck. If it's too depressing to think about now, just imagine how shitty it'll be when it's left to the assholes who brought us to this juncture.

DashboardBuddha August 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

thank you

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:41 am

Ditto, I need some good moral support/ fightin' words at the moment…FUCK these bastards!

MittsHairHelmet August 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I appreciate your fire. I wish I still had it.

The last few years have convinced me that our political system is too firmly in the hands of the moneyed powers to be changed significantly and that the American people are too fat, lazy and distracted to create the critical mass necessary to affect real change.

zhubajie August 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm

But will they stay fat? As they get poorer and poorer, won't they get skinny and angry again?

MittsHairHelmet August 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

considering that the average american has gotten poorer AND fatter over the last 30 years, I'd say they'll get fatter.

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Stop buying shit from irresponsible giant corporations?
Stop buying shit from Right Wing funding corporations?
Stop buying shit from the Koch Bros altogether.
Money talks.
cut them off.

Guppy06 August 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

So… basically, we should freeze in the dark?

SorosBot August 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Along with starving to death.

zhubajie August 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Learn to grow your own potatoes and onions and you'll do OK.

Guppy06 August 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

"Figure out a way to make as much money as possible as soon as possible"

There are only so many beer heiress that can be married.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:44 am

I keep hoping SHE (the one who must not be named) will be available again soon, the cancerous old fuck can't have too many more years left…hopefully his head will explode first!

Mumbletypeg August 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

As evidence in China has shown — we won't entirely exempt ourselves from other insidious practices' toxic effects. Even eating right and keeping up with fitness: the things we take for granted like air and water get so little respect from the powers that be, I foresee trumping whatever individual efforts are undertaken, short of insulating* oneself completely in a shell.
Otherwise I'm with you on honing one's instinct simply not to set oneself, or one's circumstances, up to make things more vulnerable, i.e. preventative measures and some austerity in allocating one's own resources.

*don't let my loathing of the word 'insular' undermine the respect I have for the insights in many of your posts here.

MittsHairHelmet August 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm

my posts? you're too kind…

I guess my opinion on the global problems like pollution, water management, etc is that they're completely hopeless. At the same time, I expect that they're less likely to make my life miserable over the next 30 years compared to the probability of being broke, sick and stressed for the rest of my life.

When it comes to the next generation and all the ones after that, well, it's a different story. They're so fucked.

Mumbletypeg August 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Oh as is my tendency I've inflated quantitatively what really stood out in the form of one particular comment of yours way back when. Having searched that one down through several weeks' worth, it's worth repeating, yes, lots of laffs to be found there in & around insights.

Nothing further to add, yet. I'm halfway through the actual piece Ken links to and it's chilling on many levels.

MittsHairHelmet August 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Not sure how to be sincere in a Wonkette comment but thanks, i really appreciate that.

That old comment was probably the first time I wrote on this topic. My view stems from the main events of my life as a political junky. The Clinton impeachment wasthe first major political event I really engaged with. Obama was the first time I ever felt even a little hopeful about the government. Then the banks got bailed out with no strings attached while the media and DC power structure destroyed Obama's presidency in 2 years flat.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:48 am

unfortunately I pretty much feel the same way, the only thing that gives me SOME comfort is that I don't have any children to feel guilty about for the fucking mess we're handing them…and to think 30 years ago when I got out of college- right before Raygun was elected- I had so much HOPE for a bright(er) future

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:57 am

oh and another funny/ ironic thing, I actually happen to be a Buddhist-in-training (don't let the nom de plume fool ya) so none of this delusional illusion should really bother me, but it still does…I haz a sad now

zhubajie August 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Unfortunately, educated people in China are determined to imitate all the mistakes of the US.

DashboardBuddha August 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Option 3: Fighting and dying in the revolution. Ok…it's not a safety net per se, but better to go out in a blaze of glory I guess.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 3:01 am

DB I hear ya and feel that way a lot lately myself, unfortunately I happen to be a peace loving, vegetarian, hippie, Buddhist yogi (don't tell Dad!) and have never come close to owning a gun…but that could change very soon

coron4 August 31, 2011 at 11:35 am

3) Live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful mem_o_ry.

NorthStarSpanx August 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Is this equivalent to the February 19, 2009 live spittled invective issued by CNBC's Rick Santelli that is credited with birthing the Tea Party movement?

genxr August 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Tea Party, child of Wall Street, born to fight against the homeless.

These idjits wouldn't know irony if movers dropped a piano made entirely of irony on their heads.

spinozasgod August 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm
baconzgood August 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I would have prefered Carlin's bit on football vs. baseball.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:37 am

my FAVORITE Carlin piece, I fucking HATE football and everything 'Merkan it represents.. .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_yq4L3M_I

SorosBot August 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Eh, it's more purity trolling.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:38 am

can always count on Chris Hedges to tell it like it is (and also depress the shit outta me, like our friend Ken here)

BaldarTFlagass August 30, 2011 at 1:29 pm

After I've read a Ken post, I feel like I've been watching Eraserhead or Leaving Las Vegas or (insert name of your favorite depressing movie here) for the last 24 hours.

SmutBoffin August 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Eraserhead is a touching, uplifting tale about CHOOSING LIFE, libunatic!

prommie August 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Eraserhead doesn't make me depressed, it makes me psychotic.

KeepFnThatChicken August 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Thank You For Smoking.
Thank You For Guzzling Diet Coke.
Thank You For Eating Your Baco-Choco Cheeseburger With Your Diet Coke.
Thank You For Diabetes.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

We will know that the Corporatist have truly won when Congressmen wear logos like NASCAR drivers on their suits. Then we will be what America was always destine to be, one big corporate mess.

Gomez571 August 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Rollerball, the movie, has come true.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

No timeouts, limited substitutions. Time to retire from the game.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:34 am
Come here a minute August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Was there anything in there about flat-screen tee-vees?

Sue4466 August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Righteous rant. Nothing funny to say really.

powersuit August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

That memo is a trip. If it weren't for the genuine concern lacing itself throughout, I would dismiss it as wildly cynical and paranoid. It's remarkably dated and current at the same time. What's so interesting is this is what happened when the top dogs got spooked–they had the run of the economy and popular thought for many decades, then didn't FOR A FEW YEARS. Suddenly, "the system" is in mortal peril. Well I guess they showed us, didn't they.

DahBoner August 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

"His outlined methods of warfare were front organizations and constant propaganda funded by the biggest corporations in the world."

It's working!!!!

I now truly believe Kortney really does enjoy her vegetables….

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I'm sure the people that ran Enron and the banking industry know far more about what they are doing than any government or collection of hippies complaining about stuff.

Korporationen bilden Sie frei

Guppy06 August 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I would have gone with "GmbH macht frei" myself.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I just took what Bablefish gave me. Yours is probably better.

SpurningBeer August 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Gemeinschaften sind auch Leute, mein Freund.

ShaveTheWhales August 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Tausende auf-Faeuste.

DaRooster August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

"While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system — at all levels and at every opportunity — be far more aggressive than in the past."

In short- "We got tons of money so FUCK 'EM."

sati_demise August 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Responsible business interests can kill and not be jailed or punished in any way, (just a tiny fine and a slap on the wrist if the lawyer fucks up)
unlike any of the hippies

HelmutNewton August 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Jeebus, that was depressing. Thanks, Ken.

prommie August 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm

You depress me, Layne.

Dashboard_Jesus August 31, 2011 at 2:31 am

seems to be the concurrent thought here, eh?

Negropolis August 31, 2011 at 8:02 am

Well, then he's doing his job. :)

SorosBot August 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

These are the kind of people who think Blade Runner and Alien are utopian visions of the future.

genxr August 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Oh man, I could make so much money off that alien. That would be awesome! I just hope some discredited freighter pilot doesn't get all up in my shit and ruin things. The whole system would be in peril. Oh well, I can always get a job shooting replicants. Pew! Pew!

widget2011 August 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm

How about "The Fifth Element", where you live in a 12' by 6' crackerbox.

GunToting[Redacted] August 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Luxury!

baconzgood August 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I find this really REALLY difficult to masterbate to.

DahBoner August 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

"Why would a Cuban want to risk their lives in a make shift boat, to come to The United Socialisty States of American?"

The shopping, not the health care…

FlipOffResearch August 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

This kind of reminds me of when I was reading "The Shock Doctrine". The more I read it, the more I had the uneasy feeling that common Americans were in a trap. And that it's jaws were quickly closing.

Respitetini August 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I'd weep for my nation, but I think I'm out of tears.

MistaEko August 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

What always gets me is the sense of victimhood that's peddled and accepted as certifiable truth by even the right's intelligentsia. Yes, even in the days where you could let the Cuyahoga burn indefinitely and fuck your secretary on the side, the real oppressed folks were not the blacks, not the draftees, not the women, not the destitute, but the salarymen and their bosses.

Yet it worked. And it works. Even as the very base that sweeps them in becomes more and more destitute and oppressed by the corporations, they're enthralled by a yarn that says they're both even more oppressed by an enigmatic institutional left. Because even though Bank of America took their house, Obama wanted to give them health care and that means taking away freedom. Because you're never the bully; you're always the one standing up to them.

Goonemeritus August 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm

"But because Lewis Powell wasn’t overtly racist and apparently had little interest in abortion and religious fundamentalists",

The real power brokers in the right are not interested in those things either. They are the candy in the school yard used to attract the knuckle scrapping hoards to vote against their own best interests. Watch who the majority in the noise machine will get behind it is always the most corporate friendly. It will be Romney, like justice Roberts he is all about “corporate rights” everything else is window dressing.

weejee August 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Ken are you sayin' regards the Teatards, Lewis Powell dropped the penny? Is this the penny, Layne, that is in our ears and in our eyes?

keepem_sikanpor August 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Awesome!

widget2011 August 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Beneath the blue suburban skies?

benjo765 August 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm

This calls for 40 dollar shaped candles and a big fat slice of cake!
Heres to US Plutocracy steering clear of a mid-life crisis – oh, wait…

SheriffRoscoe August 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Then there's this. Bring back the work houses! It'll be the working class who demands it. That's fucked up.

benjo765 August 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Why whip the serfs when you can invent a self-whipping machine? Now thats what I call progress!

proudgrampa August 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

It's all about the Golden Rule, isn't it?

They's that gots the Gold, makes the Rules.

And Ken, I can tell you've been reading a lot, lately.

SheriffRoscoe August 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

ARBEIT MACHT FREI

DashboardBuddha August 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

As mentioned before, weed turns up the volume on the 100 watt tube amp that is my paranoia, which is why I don't use it. That being said, I have to look at 911 as one hella fucking lucky break for those powerful interests that would benefit most from a fascist society.

lowaltflier August 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

“There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system”.

It appears he also started the practice of referring to people in the plural
I hate when someone does that.

Chet Kincaid August 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

OT, but the gang over at Big Buttboy are all up in arms over Wonkette's "slander" of Crazy Eyes:
http://tv.breitbart.com/disgraced-wonkette-busted

SorosBot August 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

And unsurprisingly, the Bretards have begun to descend on the original post.

elviouslyqueer August 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm

HAHAHA. Evidently they think we're actually reading their comments over at that thread. Now it just looks like a sad, retarded mentally challenged circle jerk.

widget2011 August 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

You know godamned well that he's a severly repressed self-loathing gay republican. It's only a matter of time before he's caught "looking over the edge" with some teenage rentboy.

user-of-owls August 31, 2011 at 12:51 am

Well, just went over and distributed a liberal dose of poopyheads on the poopyheads.

Hey, it's what I do. Everyone has a function.

KotBR August 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I'd just like to know who gets the contract to build the Thunderdome: Lockheed, Northrup, or Raytheon?

BlueStateLibel August 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

This will be helpful for archeologists digging through the rubble 50 years from now trying to figure out what destroyed this country.

widget2011 August 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm

And why isn't there a holiday for that? It seems he was entirely effective.

mormos August 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

…So what do we do?

widget2011 August 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

If possible, get EVERY blue collar worker to take September off. I don't think it's possible though.

Indiepalin August 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Justice Powell showed a lot of courage in raging against enemies of democracy like the Jefferson Airplane.

mavenmaven August 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The rich are always right in today's Merka, unless they happen to care about society in a liberal way, in which case they are monsters ie Soros.

Lucidamente1 August 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Kinda makes you wish they'd just approved Carswell and Haynes.

Fox n Fiends August 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm

This was excellent and thus I have to report you to the Bureau of Anti-American Affairs.

glamourdammerung August 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I think it is unfair and very incomplete to not includePaul Weyrich's "good works" in creating the current movement conservativism. And while some would argue that Powell may have influenced conservative "think tanks", Weyrich created the prototypes. And it was Weyrich that enshrined the racism in Nixon's Southern Strategy as a plank of the GOP.

Jughead2130 August 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I read Wonkette for the Snark but I want to see more of this kind of serious shit.

ShaveTheWhales August 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Fucking Powell. A "moderate liberal" in the same sense that Trixie Dixie was.

Negropolis August 30, 2011 at 11:57 pm

How cute, using "enterprise system" for "vampire squid."

If we are able to wake up from our cheeto-dusted, high fructose-induced, socio-economic coma, there is hope just yet…

tessiee August 31, 2011 at 10:24 am

So, Mr. Burns without the wit and charm?
Please tell me this unbelievable bastard died screaming in pain and pissing his pants.

ttommyunger September 1, 2011 at 7:21 am

It was nice to have at least known the 50's and 60's.

Gomez571 August 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I'm thinking about doing the same thing.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

As David Letterman once observed: What if Cats! is truly now and forever?

Mumbletypeg August 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Well I'm far from mastering the art of articulating thoughts prompted here in wonkette posts. Some comments stand out as hitting-the-nail-on-the head and the one of yours I referenced just resonated that day.

This post brought to mind Clinton, in the way I recall being confronted w/ the contents of Vanity Fair's exposé-type piece several summers ago, and getting that ill feeling all was not what it had seemed. Or that I had let myself go under-exposed too long to facts probably available to one w/ open ears, but stringing them together & reaching unpleasant conclusions, it's an exercise that returned for me here w/ the Powell memo. Powell's name is highly regarded here in VA, as the link points out: he'd been known for swing votes and reflecting some balance in his judgments/ opinions/ whatnot…

I hope people here have taken time to at least scan the actual piece, though it is long; I printed it at work to take home! but started it enough to recognize key words he used such as "monitor" and "surveillance"… mostly enveloped within that rhetoric Ken mentions, not so suave as to make more palpable/ less insidious; but irking me to see it is the language of one threatened by a perceived opposing force. BOTH sides of this divide employ such language when a threat is felt upon their 'established' cause. It muddles the mind already trying to take in this sort of calculatedness a vaunted icon of fairness has been proven capable of: it's become complicated, trying to reach across the divide without feeling provoked by all this menace, real and perceived.

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