What’s the Cure for Corruption?

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“Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. ” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

“To ask why there is corruption is a pertinent question…Our society has been made by us – we are the architects of it. And because the foundation is wrong…it is bound to be corrupt” Osho

The normalization of dishonest and fraudulent acts – from the small dishonest acts to the systemic institutional ones, makes it clear that the constraints we have to prevent corruption are unable to control or compete with the manic pursuit of self-interest.

Doctors prescribe drugs to strangers that they would not give their own children. Hedge fund managers buy the rights to critical drugs and then hike the price up 5000%. Pharmaceutical industry’s PAC money funnels massive amounts of cash to every member of congress. Treaties like the TPP would extend Big Pharma’s patent rights to other countries. We have judges caught getting kick-backs for sending kids to for-profit prisons, prisons that push for 100 percent occupancy and charge exorbitant rates for phone calls, basic necessities and who lobby for longer sentences and the list goes on…are we all “sharks doing what sharks do?” How can we investigate the deeper, systemic problem within each of us where we allow corruption to exist on a personal level?

Working from the inside (ourselves) out (the world system) we could start with our general conditioning – the belief that equates survival with competition. This leads to justification, blame and lies – it is then that our personal desires come to dominate the principles we say we live by.

How can we correct our fear towards the very “system” we allow? What is the extent of control that money imposes on us and how can we gain control over our relationship to money? How can we change undermining beliefs such as “this is the way it is and it can’t be changed?”

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Conflict Resolution: within and without

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Cicero argued that a good orator needed also to be a good man, a person enlightened on a variety of civic topics.

At Truthdig.org, Chris Hedges says we must overthrow the existing political and power structures : “there will be no genuine democratic, social, economic or political reform until we destroy our permanent war machine.” According to Hedges, we live in a ‘managed democracy’ – a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control

Before we run for the pitchforks, let’s think about this: can’t we slow down and come up with a way to get the money out of politics? Am I just naïve and there’s no point in a making the effort? I saw a bumper sticker that said, “you can’t buy my vote” – OK, but your vote can’t buy anything except more of the same– so there’s that – the “that” being that there is a job to be done: educating ourselves and each other. It’s not easy, but what are the alternatives?

Hedge’s mentor, Sheldon Wollin, says we vastly underestimate the essential role propaganda plays– that it is the mechanism of control – and that in spite of alternative media, propaganda keeps the corporate interests in their hegemonic vise grip.

Martin Luther King was a master at cutting through the prevailing propaganda to reflect the ludicrous nature of poverty in the richest country in the world and the embedded racism in the ‘home of the free.’

King’s biggest threat to the establishment (IMHO) was his ability to communicate the potential within each of us for self-empowerment and direct action…to use “ grace, humor and intelligence to “confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices… Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.”

Each person lives in a kind of solitary confinement – even  so-called bad guys will like children or dogs so how can penetrate the isolation and humanity and use propaganda to our advantage –  to break out the latent action heroes within each of us?

Cynicism is easy, you just turn away…but wouldn’t it be cool to stand, see and live our potential…and
A) get the money out of politics and
B) End poverty and provide a Living Income Guaranteed for all?

Notes:

http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy#sthash.pmEpmyjg.dpuf

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