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Where Have All The Citizens Gone?

Author Ronald R. Fraser (Ph.D.) joins us to discuss the myth of popular sovereignty in his book “America, Democracy, and You: Where Have All The Citizens Gone?” And Ralph gives us a handy ten-point guide to measure if the progressive, Democrats  – newly elected to Congress – are for real.

Ronald R. Fraser has been for decades a Washington-based writer. Dr. Fraser received a Ph.D. degree in public policy from George Mason University. He now lives in the Buffalo, New York area. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and dozens of other newspapers, magazines and in professional public management journals. His book is entitled America, Democracy And You: Where Have All the Citizens Gone?” 

“We have to stop telling kids in high school that they are the political bedrock and then not arm them with the resources, the mindset, and the skills (a civics education) to actually engage successfully in the political arena.”  Ronald R. Fraser, author of “American Democracy: Where have All the Citizens Gone?”

12 Comments

  1. Bruce K. says:

    Well, from the first two minutes of this show, Ralph certainly nailed it … it’s all about money, all the money is corrupt. ACTIVATING pessimistic mode ….

    The people with all the money are not going to suddenly get nice, in fact the odds are that they will continue to get even meaner and greedier. In fact virtually whenever we hear a candid remark from anyone who is in proximity to power they are so afraid of the people and democracy that their whole effort is about finding new ways to choke the country off from democracy, and decimate the pubic and the pubic commons just so that there will never be a threat from the people or the power and resources for them to do anything about it they ever decided they wanted to.

    All the idealists are bloggers, journalists, authors, philosophers are as much captured by money as all the corrupt politicians they concern themselves with. They only have the time and energy to spend trying to incite others. The problem is that the bad guys have so much money and power they can blow up any channel the people might want, have or think of. For every great book or documentary on democracy there will be critics condemning it, and fake authors competing with it.

    The system is understood and owned by the people who built it and do business in it, and they have shut everyone else out by various means – because it is so easy. Once you are ahead in anything you will naturally keep your advantage, and then in these days of system analysis and deconstruction, the system is hacked in ways the people cannot see to trick and fool them.

    We have a system that dehumanizes everyone, winners and losers, and burns up the planet.

    I think the only way that things is change is more likely to make it worse, or the same overall, because even if the rich and powerful are set back, the same dynamic that advantages the original in the first place will bring them back to the top unless these dynamics are understood and designed for.

    We used to have a progressive mindset in this country, to tax the rich, and to tax the massive fortunes so the system gets as much credit for progress and production as the rich people who benefit from it and no one person or group gets enough power to take things over.

    The American people do not make a racket, because the rackets are fake. They see what looks to be stupid, crazy, pointless people without any logic, just raw raging emotion in the streets and the violence and it makes people afraid to go out and demonstrate. They can always turn one group against the other because we do not think or act morally anymore. If there is someone we can steal from the history is that we do it.

    Technology is so powerful, one-sided and pervasive now that there is no way any group can oppose those who control it, unless they make a really big mistake. The “aristocracy” has thousands of years of history … their own “civics” that tells them how systems failed and were overthrown, and they know damn well how to prevent it … and politics has little to do with it … it’s a facade to waste people’s energy and concentration.

    Our system will not even allow any other democratic, or what they call socialist, or communist, countries to succeed because it might empower Americans to copy the working pattern. The whole system is broken for all the workers and those are just participants and not owners. We have a real Orwellian Gordian knot here that is probably not going to end before anyone who reads this is dead, if ever.

    Americans had a system and they were too stupid to hold on to it … now for all intents and purposes instead of the slaves being freed, the American people have all become slaves, in a loose amorphous system that allows power to exercise itself in any way it wants with no limits.

  2. Don klepack says:

    If Pelosi is officially named speaker of the house, Democratic Party lost all credibility.

  3. Conrad Wilkinson says:

    I live in Claremont California. Would like to know of any progressive action groups in this area I could join.

    Thanks

    Conrad

  4. Joseph A. Mungai says:

    A GOP mayor in Texas already implemented a Green New Deal (12:05) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_IAKNtgvxw … While Nancy Pelosi is doing everything she can to squash Alexandria Cortez and the Green New Deal: https://www.nationofchange.org/2018/12/24/we-cant-afford-to-let-nancy-pelosi-bury-the-green-new-deal/

    • Bruce K. says:

      YES! Bernie Sanders had/has a LIVE STREAM You-Tube video on this …

      Joining Senator Sanders is
      – actress and activist Shailene Woodley,
      – author and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben,
      – CNN host and author Van Jones,
      – Union of Concerned Scientists Director of Climate Science Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel,
      – Congresswoman-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
      – Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez,
      – Scientific Director and CEO of Ecologic Institute Dr. Camilla Bausch,
      – and Dale Ross, mayor of Georgetown, Texas.

      Bernie Sanders LIVE Town Hall – Solving Our Climate Crisis | NowThis
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0IgDgyHEfc

  5. Nancy Lizza says:

    Great show.

    I went to Jamie Raskin’s website to find the list of cruel and horrible Republican bills that you cited in your list of twelve.
    I searched in several places but did not find them. Cannot find a similar description online.

    I am curious: how much worse are the Republicans when C-SPAN isn’t filming?

    Happy New Year!

    Thank you.

  6. Don Harris says:

    The Democrats pretending to be an opposition to the Republicans is just part of the show (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends).

    It is a good cop bad cop routine with the Democrats playing good cop to their base and bad cop to the Republican base while the Republicans play good cop for their base and bad cop for the Democrats base.

    Maybe we should start calling the Democrats Deceptocrats and Republicans RepubliCONS. (that’s probably not the first time this has been suggested by someone because it’s so obvious, but maybe this time it will catch on).

  7. Lisa Dian says:

    Ralph:
    We laud you for your enthusiasm and desire to right the wrongs of the corruption, injustices and inhumanities that exists…… BUT what are the odds that the corruption is so deeply “incorporated” in our system, begun long ago by the “real rats in the pack” like the Rothchilds, the Rockefellers, the Bilderberger group, then the Wall Street pack of egotists like the Rockefellers, Morgans, and the rest about whom you know too well, all declaring the world to be theirs for the taking and controlling, and then establishing support systems like the World Bank, IMF, Federal Reserve, etc.; and then setting up the “players” in America who sadly find it much too easy to tell the American public whatever lies they feel will be believed and sadly are believed. But the hope here is that for the first time there is an expose’ happening that will cause Americans to see reality. But the greatest challenge is with all the controlling corporations who were set up for these same “oiligarchs” like all of the oil companies, Monsanto, all the pharmaceutical companies, all the seed producing chemical companies, all the companies who now want complete (and pretty much have) control over our lives; all for their insatiable, never-having-enough lust for money.
    I see who they are and know their inhumanity and intent for starting wars and devastating vast areas of our world for their selfish monetary gains are endless examples of this and this pattern I fear will never stop – until they can’t make money off of mankind, which is how they keep their power bases, but because of the needs of mankind, I don’t foresee this happening and “they” know this – that’s why Congress has become a sickening example of “pay-as-you-go” politicians – their extremely low levels of intelligence, their support of outright liars, wars, corporate devastation of our planet, and their inhumanity- all based upon what’s in it for them, and on and on!!
    No Ralph – there is no winning in a system that was originated by wealthy land and slave owners – today this “Constitution” they penned can be and is being manipulated in ways unheard of – you may ask how can this be – shouldn’t the Constitution be there to protect “We The People”?? Well think again – I don’t believe there were any “We The People” in those rooms when the Constitution was being penned – no bakers, no candlestick makers, no farmers, no nobodies – but there were many well dressed, well educated, wealthy landlords and slave owners and many of them used this document for their own power and wealth – and maybe this is why we have what we have today.
    Perhaps our only salvation from this abyss of lies and deceptions is Creativity and individuality, and self-motivation and unselfish devotion to truth. If we as a species demand that our homes, schools, public spaces, work places, be truly architecturally creative, then the Greek architectural style of unreal columns and ostentatious, overbuilt “temples” which banks and Wall Street enjoy erecting because like the overbuilt cathedrals of Europe which were built with the blood, forced peasant labor and “contributions” from the poor in order to “tower over” and subjugate the masses, these Greek buildings do very much the same thing, but when these unreal edifices are exchanged for truly creative, truly American architecture, then maybe we will have a chance as a people to rise above these demonical scoundrals. Please understand that by truly American architecture I’m not referring to today’s CAD designers like Gary or any of the other “starchitects” who have built not for the people but for their egos, but I am referring to edifaces built by individuals who possessed the sense of America and what its built environment should look like – creatives such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Bruce Goff, Bernard Maybeck, the Green brothers, and other American creatives who sadly were turned away from by the supporters of the International Style like that of the Bauhaus with their glass walled, inhuman, uncreative boxed skyscrapers, chosen above the Americans because of, once again, the “cost-saving denominator”. I believe that when our Halls of Congress and our public and private spaces are rebuilt out of reality, beauty and creativity, we may then have a chance as a species to survive.
    Thank you Ralph for your courage and your attempts to want to change this madness. But remember also – writing books alone and having guest authors on your show will just give us a sense that something is being done – but in reality, nothing much is intrinsically changing. We must demand actual physical changes in our every day lives in order for change to occur in our governments.
    Lisa Dian

  8. Gary says:

    We the people have no clue on how power works.

    • Bruce K. says:

      If I agree with you Gary, then what is the first step towards understanding? How can we model the system for Americans in a way that does not require some advanced degree to understand and that leads to an obvious or at least a possible way to exert majority rule?

      Alongside the fact that the system itself is inscrutable, what I think is going on are false narratives that sink the energy of most of the people who have excess energy to work for change into modes that have no hope of energizing a base large enough to force change. That is the groups that we turn to to bring about change are the groups that have been created or brought under control by the establishment with dirty tricks, bribes, threats or violence.

  9. RL says:

    I wish you would do a show that deals with the fact that sometimes political activism is co-opted and astroturfed by political / financial interests. This happened to me as an activist. I worked for years on the issue of money & politics. I sometimes took time off work as a consultant, hence without pay, in order to lobby and help plan events and lobby.

    A democrat organizer worked with everyone to coordinate our efforts throughout the state. After three years or so, this person appears to be interested in running for office as a democrat. He has turned our group to issues that do not attack the fundamental corruption of money in politics but are superficial niceties that will not do anything to address flaws in the system. In fact, the new direction people have been manipulated in has everything to do with winning victory for his own political party and affiliated candidates regardless of whether they are good candidates or not.

    I know that it is not a reason to give up active citizenry. But it can be angering and discouraging when you realize your movement has been hijacked, exploited or rendered anemic on purpose by a former leader. It leaves you with a sense of not knowing who to trust or what to do next.

    Thanks. RL

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