6. Focus on Democracy Battlefields Where the Corporate Elite Don't Have Such a Large Financial Advantage
The emphasis of many activists is on electoral politics, but the elite have a huge advantage in this battlefield, where money controls the US electoral process. By focusing exclusively on electoral politics at the expense of everything else, we: (1) give away power when we focus only on getting leaders elected and become dependent on them; (2) buy into the elite notion that democracy is all about elections; (3) lose sight of the fact that democracy means having influence over all aspects of our lives; and (4) forget that if we have no power in our workplace, in our education and in all our institutions, then there will never be democracy worthy of the name. Thus, we should focus our fight more on the daily institutions we experience. As Wendell Berry said, "If you can control a people's economy, you don't need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant."
7. Heal from "Corporatocracy Abuse" and "Battered People's Syndrome" to Gain Strength
Activists routinely become frustrated when truths about lies,
victimization and oppression don't set people free to take action. But
when we human beings eat crap for too long, we gradually lose our
self-respect to the point that we become psychologically too weak to
take action. Many Americans are embarrassed to accept that, after years
of corporatocracy subjugation, we have developed "battered people's
syndrome" and what Bob Marley called "mental slavery." To emancipate
ourselves and others, we must:
• Move out of denial and accept that we are a subjugated people.
• Admit that we have bought into many lies. There is a dignity, humility, and strength in facing the fact that, while we may have once bought into some lies, we no longer do so.
• Forgive ourselves and others for accepting the abuser's lies. Remember the liars we face are often quite good at lying.
• Maintain a sense of humor. Victims of horrific abuse, including those in concentration camps and slave plantations, have discovered that pain can either immobilize us or be transformed by humor into energy.
• Stop beating ourselves up for having been in an abusive relationship. The energy we have is better spent on healing and then working to change the abusive system; this provides more energy, and when we use this energy to provide respect and confidence for others, everybody gets energized.
8. Unite Populists by Rejecting Corporate Media's Political Divisions
The corporate media routinely divides Americans as "liberals,"
"conservatives" and "moderates," a useful division for the
corporatocracy, because no matter which of these groups is the current
electoral winner, the corporatocracy retains power. In order to defeat
the corporatocracy, it's more useful to divide people in terms of
authoritarians versus anti-authoritarians, elitists versus populists and
corporatists versus anticorporatists. Both left anti-authoritarians and
libertarian anti-authoritarians passionately oppose current US wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, the Wall Street bailout, the PATRIOT Act, the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the so-called "war on
drugs" and several other corporatocracy policies. There are differences
between anti-authoritarians but, as Ralph Nader and Ron Paul have
together recently publicly discussed, we can form coalitions and
alliances on these important power-money issues. One example of an
anti-authoritarian democratic movement (which I am involved in) is the
mental health treatment reform movement, comprised of left
anti-authoritarians and libertarians. We all share distrust of Big
Pharma and contempt for pseudoscience, and we believe that people
deserve truly informed choice regarding treatment. We respect Erich
Fromm, the democratic-socialist psychoanalyst, along with Thomas Szasz,
the libertarian psychiatrist, both passionate anti-authoritarians who
have confronted mental health professionals for using dogma to coerce