Definitions (60 in alphabetical order)

When debating related issues with friends, be sure that you understand what the discussion is actually about. As founder of the debating club at my high school (Brooklyn Tech. 1966), I promptly learned the frustration of emotional arguments and gradually recognized the need for disciplined discourse. One proven way to avoid confusion is to restate the other’s position in your own words to see how much you can agree with. Generally, remember that if something can’t be defined then it won’t be accurately measured.

Those who need "scientific" terminology will find it is safer to retrofit truth onto a firm foundation than to balance it on scholarly spin; especially if it sounds too academic. That’s why we provide these definitions. If nothing else, the list reveals some political dimensions for a meaningful discussion. It requires consensus to be sure that you do not misunderstand and "argue" on the same side. There is a separate Q&A htm file on this page, but that will remain a work in progress until we are satisfied with all the answers. These definitions are less uncertain (at least in my own mind) and could be backed by scholarly citations if this were some kind of ivory tower exchange. The scholars are too often part of the mystification process.

The goals of the master manipulators center on domination of money and political power. The poorer ones view power as money and often link it to some religious belief, like predestination or millennealism. Issues are often "framed" to assure acceptance. Ignorance and reason, opposites of each other, rule most of mankind. As either becomes pervasive, the machinery of government rolls easily on, so make reason the rule.

Click on the asterisk to go to the definition and please forgive that several terms consume paragraphs (it’s because they really need whole books):

Preface *

Absentee ownership *

Anarchism *

Atlantic Charter *

Bill of Rights *

Cabinet Government *

Calvinism *

Capitalism *

Citizenship (including dual status) *

Civil Law *

Common Law *

Commonwealth *

Communism *

Constitution *

Corporatism *

Decree, Rule by *

Democracy *

Due Process *

Esquire as a Title of Nobility *

Ethnocentrism *

Eugenics *

Fascism *

Federalism *

Federalists *

Four Freedoms *

Freedom *

Golden Rule *

Government *

Habeas Corpus (Writ of) *

Institution *

Judicial Review *

Justice *

Left wing *

Leninism (Bolshevism) *

Liberalism *

Libertarianism *

Liberty *

Marxism *

Masons *

Millennialism *

Naturalism *

Pledge of Allegiance *

Predestination *

Programming (brainwashing) *

Progressivism *

Propaganda (Framing) *

Racism *

Religion *

Rentier *

Republic *

Right Wing *

Rotten Boroughs *

Sedition *

Skull and Bones *

Slavic Holocaust *

Socialism *

Terrorism *

Totalitarian *

Treason *

Tyranny *

Values *

Wahhabi Islam *



The elite political clan does not want articulate opposition. They replace essential institutions with their ideas of culture, art, and recreation. To avoid the paralysis of analysis that permeates their ivory towers, we should aim at serving the public. For that reason we sought gravity in standard English rather than scientific dictionary terms, especially since some have mixed meanings. Here we look more closely to uncover how thought-control originates in political motives that were common under colonialism. For example, recall Churchill’s Missouri "iron curtain" speech for an alliance of "English-speaking peoples." He barely hid his agenda of defending imperial colonial interests. His voice had echoes of democracy but, per James Madison, decisions based on false information are a prelude to farce or tragedy.

It is obvious in words such as privatization, which really means corporatization; or in using "defense" as in Department of Defense and when invading Indochina defended Vietnam. It is expected that those who oppose this false "peace process" will be labeled radicals. Dr. George Lakoff explains such framing in his Don’t Think of an Elephant and Thinking Points.

Mussolini started out as a teacher because his mother was a professional teacher and it was integral to his family life. American scholars manage to enforce school attendance past third grade partly by repeating variants of a "big lie" to impose distraction unrelated to education. American "Public" schools, although far from totalitarian, often undermine the understanding needed by informed democracy. Most formal schooling is based on a nineteenth century industrial model that discourages independent wisdom. It enforces false standards wherein the obedient thrive and others are "learn" their graded place. Good citizens should not allow schooling to interfere the needs of proper citizenship.

In Civics and other Social Sciences, where we would expect to find articulate clarity, the top practitioners instead compete in a "publish or perish" jungle. Our leaders sometimes disagree on a common language because no hair is so fine that it can’t be split. It’s not quite as bad as the Doublespeak of George Orwell’s 1984, where "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery," or "Ignorance is Strength" but, as the Hanoverians restored control, they added terms that are opposite to American usage. We might expect those being programmed to confuse words such as constitution and government, but they also lose simpler concepts. They might not admit that "war is peace" but could accept why preventive war will promote some vision of greater peace. After false scholars confuse knowledge with power, corporate media steps in to program daily deceptions as if it were knowledge. For example, people see that slavery is not freedom but willingly accept that invisible handlers of an imagined "free market" should keep economic control. They will not consider Ignorance is Strength but waste valuable time watching sports and other mindless diversions away from citizen responsibilities. Ignorance and reason, the opposites of each other, rule most of mankind. As either becomes sufficiently extensive, the machinery of government rolls easily on. Reason obeys itself and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated. These definitions hope to promote reason.

To remedy the false information of corporate dictation, we draw on several encyclopedias such as A Dictionary of the Social Sciences (NY: Free Press). Other sources are available on web, including at >< that offers a modest ICAAP approved Canadian version of a Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Most are edited from a combination of sources. Remember that are several fundamental differences between American and British Imperial definitions. We probably will not end the colonial language pollution until our scientific standard also complies to the world’s more civilized metric system.

Absentee ownership

Also called absenteeism. Absentee stock ownership transfers power from stakeholders, who directly create the output, to those who merely supply the capital or those hired as their manager class. The term raises an issue of exploitation by rentiers who receive income from the use of property through claims on profit or rent. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence specifically omitted words about protecting foreign property and in their place inserted "the pursuit of happiness."

Also se Rentiers & Rotten Boroughs.


Anarcho-socialism broadly refers to social and mutualist anarchism but most anarcho-socialists deem the it redundant and prefer to be called "anarchists" because they believe that the only true anarchy is socialist, and the only true socialism is anarchic. It remains a useful way to distinguish themselves from social democrats and anarcho-capitalism.

Social anarchism (aka libertarian communism or socialism) proposes a classless, stateless socialism of directly democratic self-governing communities and workplaces freely united in a confederation by a system of mandated, recallable delegates. Decisions flow from the bottom up and are based upon intensive discussion by those affected by them. Production is for use, not profit, and the community owns and workers control the means of production. Anarchists think that direct democracy within voluntary associations and the abolition of wage slavery is the best way to maximize individual liberty."

Mutualist Anarchism proposes an economic system calling for businesses to be owned and controlled by employees rather than corporations or capitalist individuals. These businesses would then compete on the free market, without a central government.

Anarcho-capitalism proposes an economic system that calls for an anarchic society with sovereign individual property rights within a capitalist free market. Any public services that are deemed valuable, such as law enforcement, would be corporatized.

Anarcho-syndicalism is heavily influenced by social anarchist ideas but proposes that workers organize into self-governing, decentralized workplaces or community organizations to take over and run the means of production and create a left-libertarian society.

Atlantic Charter

The Atlantic Charter was prepared by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on a ship off Newfoundland on 14 August 1941 while the United States was still legally isolationist. There were two main reasons for the meeting, Roosevelt’s earlier Declaration of Four Freedoms was inconsistent with colonialism and there was a need to rationalize Lend-Lease. Among other things, they reached agreement on a soon to be famous statement of principles.

Churchill was reluctant to share "Western civilization" with British colonies and inserted "sovereign rights" in paragraph 3. At the time he did not realize how this would later undermine colonialism. Twenty-six powers formally subscribed to the charter on 1 January 1942 and this foreshadowed creation of the United Nations as its lasting monument, which many old boys still strongly oppose. Roosevelt’s concept of "four freedoms," first mentioned at mid-1940 press conference, was officially presented in a State of Union address (6 Jan. 1941) which announced national policy as:

…all-inclusive national defense [with] …full support of all those resolute peoples, everywhere, who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our Hemisphere [because] …our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people’s freedom.

To avoid warlike interpretation, the charter was not yet a treaty. Congress was officially informed on 21 August of the "release." Forming an alliance against tyranny (par. 5 & 6) had been approved in the Lend-Lease Act (11 March). In fact the supply of munitions of war, for those countries actively engaged in resisting aggression, was then carefully examined in what was alternatively cited as "An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States."

Unfortunately, when Roosevelt’s health declined after 1942, imperial traditions became dominant. The document states unmet U.S. war aims and thereby substantiates in writing why America did not win the war. The net expenditure on Lend-lease was over forty billion 1945 dollars and most of it flowed to corporate coffers. (Elsewhere we, argue that the war was deliberately prolonged for about a year to keep the gravy-train flowing.) For example, since most of the world remains in poverty, we can see how the fourth item failed.

The Soviet Union originally signed on to renouncing territorial claims but when it became obvious that Britain and the United States were not interested in defeating fascism, by November 1943 Stalin forced them to go along with handing him Central Europe. They continued shipping him Lend-lease until Truman abruptly cut it off (21 August 1945) two weeks before the peace treaty with Japan, on the fourth anniversary of the announced Atlantic Charter. It is reproduced here.

The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future of the world.

First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;

Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;

Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;

Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;

Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement, and social security;

Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;

Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;

Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments."

Signed by Churchill and Roosevelt [later Stalin, who sought economic help].

See also Four Freedoms.

Bill of Rights

The first ten "articles of amendment" to the United States Constitution. It lists certain rights that persons enjoy that remain beyond infringement by national government. They originated from the colonial legislatures when it was feared that the 1789 Constitution would create an overly powerful central government. It also traces an origin to a 1689 English Bill of Rights that Parliament drew up as part of a so-called Glorious Revolution to prevent royal abuse. It failed in 1714 when the Hanoverians won decades of religious war and imposed Protestant domination.

One of the most frequent objections to the 1789 US Constitution during the debate over its ratification was that it lacked specific guarantees of personal freedom for citizens. Ratifying conventions particularly in Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, all submitted amendments that accompanied their resolutions of ratification. Proponents of the new Constitution therefore promised that a "bill of rights" would be prepared by the new Government as it organized and before the formation of a Union was complete. Rhode Island refused ratification. In North Carolina mere promises proved unsatisfactory. On 1 August 1788, after suggesting 20 amendments. its ratifying convention adjourned with a resolution:

That a Declaration of Rights… ought to be laid before Congress, and the Convention of the States that shall or may be called for the Purpose of Amending the said Constitution, for their consideration, previous to the Ratification of the Constitution aforesaid, on the part of the State of North Carolina.

Both of the Carolinas had a strong interest in "property rights" because John Locke (1632-1704), a slave trade manager, had written their colonial charters. As a Representative from more moderate Virginia, and sensitive to northern interests, James Madison used his influence to reformulate such bills and resolutions soon after the First Congress met.

From the many amendments suggested he offered a select list on for the consideration of the House (8 June 1789). His version relied heavily on sixteen rights in the Virginia Declaration of Rights (12 June 1776) which had overturned the original Virginia charter (of 10 April 1606 & 1624). American concepts of such rights went back to a 1765 Declaration of Rights wherein the assembled colonies responded to imperial British efforts at a Stamp Act tax with 13 points. Item 7 referred to rights of a trial by jury. Point 3 declared:

…it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally, or by their representatives.

The House soon passed 17 of the proposed rights. The Senate reduced this number to 12 by combining some and deleting others. By 25 September 1789, Congress passed a resolution proposing 12 amendments. Among others, it was signed by Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg (1750-1801), a former Lutheran Pastor from the Hanover area, in his capacity as Speaker of the House. His brother, John Peter (1746-1804) of Montgomery County, was also one of eight representatives from Pennsylvania. John Adams also signed the document, as President of the Senate.

Thirteen other signed copies were forwarded on parchment to President Washington and, on 2 October, in pursuit of a congressional resolution, he transmitted a copy to each State of the Union and to Rhode Island and North Carolina. Both those states had still not ratified the Constitution and could take no formal action on the amendments. However, the main objection of North Carolina to the Constitution was removed. Another convention was held; and on 22 November 1789 North Carolina ratified the Constitution and thus became a member of the Union.

The suggested bill was also well received by the other States, and some of them immediately acted on ratification. New York ratified on 27 March 1790, accepting all the suggested amendments except the second. Virginia ratified all the amendments on 15 December 1791. Meanwhile, Rhode island and the new State of Vermont joined the Union, which raised to 11 the number of States necessary to make a change in the Constitution.

Of the original 12 proposed additions, 10 amendments were finally ratified by the requisite three-fourths of the States. Copies of the original draft showing all twelve, as signed by Congress and States like New York, are still generally available in commemorative form. Of the two articles that did not pass, the very first defined democracy. The other (second) has since emerged as a 27th Amendment (Since 1790 only three other amendments were passed by Congress and rejected by the states).

On ratification the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing civil rights and liberties to the individual, thus became an integral part of the fundamental law of the land. The First Amendment was feared mainly by the other slave states and was finally blocked by South Carolina. It had to do with representation levels not exceeding 50,000 people per representative. Here it is:

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Even without that Article, placing a cap at some arbitrary level (like 435) was not authorized because the representatives were not allowed to change the law! They were hired to carry it out. A specific amending process was required to weaken democracy. Since it violates Article V "equal suffrage." there is also no basis to expand representation beyond 600,000 people (based on the largest state) or to dilute representation by adding "rotten borough" states. The mechanics of this betrayal are included in our new book.)

Although the 1789 Constitution was only around for 18 months. Congress had meanwhile passed a Judiciary Act during that time to enact a legal system according to the whims of the lawyers (from 11 states). Their Act became unconstitutional, because half the Bill of Rights (Articles 4 to 8) imposed judicial rights. Many of them refused to acknowledge that fact and promoted State Rights. For example, the term slavery did not appear anywhere in the original Constitution’s text but the southern aristocrats were not about to give rights to slaves in their states. There were also no words to stop women from voting. Read the Constitution yourself.

It is only about 8,000 words and written for a nation of farmers. It’s meant to be simpler than the 80,000 words of the N.Y. State Constitution or 170,000 of that in Alabama. How could anything ending with "or to the people" and starting with "We the People" sneak through enshrined property rights, including human slaves. Veterans of the Independence War knew what Justice was about even of lawyers did not. These were State evils enforced by male lawyers. In a way the national court system became an outlaw government when John Marshall Anglicized it in Marbury vs. Madison (1803) by cunningly inventing Judicial Review.

This concept was not part of the Constitution. (His legislation might even be viewed as "bad behavior," if not sedition.) The states were meanwhile adapting their own version of imperious judiciaries. Thomas Paine’s Letter to the Citizens of Pennsylvania (1809) has some useful insights into what was happening. The real dichotomy is between so-called states-rights and those of the people as expressed by the 9th and 10th Rights.

The robber barons of that day, mainly in control of the southern plantations, saw that they would need to control the courts in order to impose their will. It was with their backing that the concept of a co-equal judicial branch was imposed. The whole court-packing racket and immoral states rights revolved around seemingly "sovereign" judges to protect it. Fortunately the idea was beyond both the spirit and the letter of the written Constitution so slavery was eventually challenged in a war against the "sovereign" states.

Afterwards, the Fourteenth Amendment (Section 1) mandated equal protection, including the Bill of Rights, to all the states. Within about thirty years the robber barons of the "Gilded Age" undermined that Amendment, if not the whole ideal of written law. Parchment statements of Rights and Freedoms do not assure their enforcement.

Although a full accounting for illegitimate judge-made law is still ongoing, the country is fortunate to have such a written Constitution. It’s example was promptly legitimized by Poland and revolutionary France. The tradition is envied by the democratic peoples of the British Commonwealth and Israel (among many other countries). It is obviously feared by aristocrats and hated by tyrants.

Cabinet Government

Cabinet government is generally one where the executive power is formally under a head of state in whose name executive actions are performed. The word cabinet comes from the European designation for a private room. It implies a place and policy of secretive deliberations. In the case of dozen royal Commonwealth countries, actions are implemented by symbolic royal decree. In practice ministers who meet in the local Cabinet of each nominally self-governing nation first decide the most important actions.

The symbolic head anoints and dismisses the ministers, but the governing party (or coalition) limits actual power in the legislature, whose cabinet acts as a collective body and is responsible for policy to a legislature. The British and Israeli political systems have Cabinet governments and one was partially imposed on France after Napoleon (1815) and in the Weimar Republic (1920-1933). It is generally contrasted with US presidential government but that has been less true with the imposition of the Hanoverian methods into our system since 1886 even though the US Constitution makes no mention of it.

When Washington called together his Department heads starting in 1793, a similar group was recognized as his official council and came to be called a cabinet by those who favored royal usage. The Congress accepted the idea within ten years but stipulated that such advisors must be from among the American people. The term "kitchen cabinet" was used during the first term of President Andrew Jackson (1829-33) as generally denoting a personal clique of unofficial advisers. In current US usage the cabinet consists of the secretaries of fourteen executive departments serving to advise the President.

A Cabinet officer is not appointed for a fixed term and does not necessarily go out of office with the President who appointed him, and, while it is customary to tender his resignation at the time a change of administration takes place, he remains formally at the head of his department until a successor is appointed. Subordinates temporarily acting as heads of departments are not considered Cabinet officers, and in the earlier period of the Nation’s history not all Cabinet officers were heads of executive departments.

In terms of budgetary control, there were two unconstitutional changes in the US Cabinet structure: (1) the creation of the Secretary of Defense by The National Security Act of 1947 (Pub. Law 253, 80th Cong., 1st sess. July 26); and (2) the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act (Pub. Law 375, 91st Cong., 2d sess. 12 Aug). The National Security Act merged the War and Navy Departments into the National Military Establishment. The act was subsequently amended (Pub. Law 216, 81st Cong., 1st sess.): Section 201 to establish the Department of Defense as an executive department of the Government.

This created an unconstitutional Air Force and diminished the representation of the Army, by far the largest branch. Since then the Army and Navy Secretaries were no longer part of the Cabinet. Both the Coast Guard (former Revenue Marine, since 1967 under Transportation Department) and Marine Corps (former Naval police) thereby rose in political stature.

Nixon’s criminalization of drug use under state and federal laws also exploded police-state controls, with a four-fold growth of the prison population since 1980. Similarly, the Postal Reorganization Act corporatized one of the oldest Cabinet-level Departments into an Executive Branch "Service" (1 July 1971) under an 11-person Board with five postal rate commissars, both appointed by the president.

In terms of economic impact and political patronage, these tremendous changes overturned the intent of the original structure of US Cabinet departments and blatantly violated Article I, Section 8 (par. 7 & 12-16). Transfer of such power from the Legislative to Executive branches is beyond the scope of Congressional authority and properly would have required an Amendment to the Constitution.

As documented by books such as Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party, we can trace the source of such ideas. It compares to Hitler’s creation of an unconstitutional Air Force under his No. 2 (Göring, also coordinated the economy), followed by a militarized police under Himmler.


A variant of the Protestant Ethic philosophically based in a theology of Calvinism started in the late 16th century. Not long after that, typical Calvinists began to desperately seek signs of election or predestination that would prove that an arbitrary God had not damned them. Being anxious about salvation, they began to interpret earthly success as a sign. This drove them to work with like-minded converts to whom they tried to prove their chosen status.

Parsons examines this development in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and translations of Weber’s work. Although some (N. Birnbaum, E. Fischoff, R. Tawney) attack his thesis, Weber suggests that the Protestant Ethic continued to spread throughout the industrial world even after becoming detached from its historical base. In Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, Tawney stresses economic and political pressures but ascetic psycho-theological devotion to enterprise is still seen as a consequence of a mainly Calvinist theology.

Even if it did not dominate capitalism, such Protestantism disciplined and justified it by declaring earthly success an outward and visible sign of inward grace. This was hardly a charitable theology for the poor, weak, or others who instead preferred the "bleeding heart" imagery (of Christ). (Comparable ideas about such conformist patterns are found with D. Riesman’s inner-directed personality and W. Whyte’s conscientious individuality.)

Calvinism demands placing religious conscience over government authority, but also denies a right to use material goods to further personal pleasures (of the flesh). The believer was expected to exercise stewardship over his goods for the greater glory of God. This generally suggested a level of respectable, almost priestly, individuality. Calvin acknowledged that people could resist rulers who governed against the will of God and his Puritan followers thus endorsed establishment forms of constitutionalism in the early United States. After 1865, many Calvinists forgot these ethical roots and rationalized individual power by joining with Anglican allies to manipulate national religious politics by symbols of God.

For example, "In God we Trust" was added to coins in 1865. In the same sinister manner that Hanoverians use "God save the Queen" or the Prussians had "Gott mit uns" emblazoned on military belt buckles (even in World War 2). After 1865, conspicuous consumption, as an orgy of capitalism often replaced Calvinist asceticism. In the last half of the 19th Century, in order to channel the devotion of the more conservative Christians, the fatalistic notion of religious authority was inseparably linked to government, almost demanding a theocracy. This legalistic and literal view of Calvinism asks what must be done for the greater glory of a Triune God, which links the Christian Church to legalistic government. In contrast, Lutheranism uses Scripture mainly to discover what God has done to offer salvation and Catholics use a papal reading of Scripture for the same purpose.

A large segment of Calvinism stresses a "second coming" a belief that Christ will return after (post) or before (pre) the millennium to visibly rule on earth and reward those who he has chosen. The dispensationalist theory was initially popularized by James Brookes (Maranatha, 1870) at the Keswick conferences (since 1878). Dispensationalism in the Jewish variant emphasizes membership in a "Chosen Race" as the equivalent of predestination. Claim of British manipulation has do with the importation of the elaborately designed Scofield Reference Bible in 1908 as a product of Oxford University. This distinctly different form of traditional Dispensationalism is sometimes called Scofieldism.

The postmillennial variant has fewer adherents than premillennialism. We can generically call them the Christian-Right and Israel’s political leaders sometimes refer to them as Christian Zionists. Although both together have less than a fifth of the followers of mainstream Christianity, the corporate gives their views disproportionate visibility because they help rationalize nuclear militarism.

See also Capitalism, Corporatism, Deism, Masons, Millennialism, Religion.


A century and half ago, Thackeray described capitalism as a system aimed at monetary profit. The defenders of such profits still assert that the wealthy need to be bribed to take risk. They also cite marginal productivity of factors of production that the rich manipulate to maximize net output. If left to operate freely they believe that the process will rationally distribute scarce resources. American capitalists stress individualism as free market advocates. To disguise themselves they often quote Wealth Of Nations (1776), with emphasis on an efficient division of labor by an "invisible hand." Serious examination of Adam Smith is rare.

Smith’s free market theory was mainly about allocating the means of production to private persons who extracted profit by paying unfair wages. In contrast, most corporations of that time were inherently royal structures intended to politically exclude the poor. Businessmen who praise Smith’s work often forget that he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) to oppose aristocratic abuse.

If you read the text, it is evident that Smith despised colonial exploitation and would not admire modern corporate capitalism. Like our founders, Smith was an ethical pre-capitalist Enlightenment figure. His analysis of the uses of capital did not predict corporate ownership of production or related investments. Such ownership is not total but already involves trillions of dollars from virtual printing machines around Wall Street. Rather than Wealth of Nations, the economic Bible of free marketers is more likely The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand.

Alan Greenspan worshipped at her feet and her greed based philosophy of Positivism promoted doing what is best for yourself. She claimed that this results in serving society as shown in novels such as Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. When Rand’s fiction is inadequate, religious theories like Calvinism offer alternate excuses. Ultimately, it’s hard to compare stock manipulators to heroes.

The value-inflation bubble has not yet burst but the accounting schemes have cost trillions of dollars in just the last decade. Why isn’t it obvious? If we define capitalism to be production under individual ownership with wage labor versus socialism where democratic control of production by working people reduces wage differences, then the two seem incompatible. Clear distinctions fail because both systems often co-exist in the same nation. Communists claimed that fascism is capitalism behind a fig leaf of democracy but the Soviet Union lacked democracy.

It allowed slave labor in its Gulags. Meanwhile, event predatory capitalism which discredits majority rule, depends on the kind of corporate welfare that privatizes profit for the select rich while socializing costs. At the same time, the United States also has many small businesses and entrepreneurs who are able to create wealth but must resort to what can almost be called wage slavery. It is also generally true that individual ownership with rented labor is incompatible to freedom.

Even if owners impose a belief that God has chosen them, legitimacy of an individually-based, American capitalist state is lacking. If for no other reason, Americans never voted for it in any form. Most workers would reject such welfare capitalism if it were fully explained. Exposing the religious and economic rationalizations for class conflict could eventually dissolve the robber class. Stock-based corporations, for example, are instruments of exclusion. The government has no more right to charter such creations than to impose slavery or deny the vote to men with dark hair or brown eyes. By an objective evaluation, capitalism is a form of tyranny that replaced democracy after the rich won a class war. Arguably, one of the "Big Lies" of American politics is that global capitalism is not corporatism.

See also Calvinism, Corporatism, Fascism, and Masons.

Citizenship (including dual status)

The status of the citizen in a society based upon the rule of law and the principles of equality as recognized by international law wherein it denotes a broader meaning of nationality. The US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 made a distinction between nationals and citizens (82nd Cong., 2nd Sess., Public Law 414 (H. R. 5678); 66 Stat. L. 163). When distinct from nationality, it is determined by domestic law. In democratic states the "citizens" are typically only those who have a right to vote in elections. A citizen owes allegiance to a state and in return is entitled to its protection.

National laws generally define citizenship according to either place of birth (jus soli) or parental nationality (jus sanguinis), so it is possible that two or more states may claim a person as their citizen. Such multiple citizenship is recognized by international law. It is different from the duality of convenience that has been granted by the U.S. Congress to foreigners serving in the US military and industry. Dual-citizenship and conflicting oaths of allegiance obviously allow some to claim the benefits of citizenship without assuming responsibilities, even to the point of exposing parts of the country to foreign invasion and infiltration.

Royal usage stresses rights, which a State grants to individuals usually based on municipal connotation as in the Latin civis (a free inhabitant of a city). It could include all members of the state, in contrast to "subjects" or aliens. The latter are considered bound primarily to other nations.

In contrast to the Commonwealth system, American national citizenship is more fundamental than local citizenship. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution defines citizens as: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Thus in the United States there exists dual citizenship in that a citizen of the nation as a whole is also at the same time a citizen of the state of the Union. By linking allegiance to an oath to defend the Constitution (rather than geography), one may even be an American citizen without being a citizen of any state in the Union.

The generic connotation of nationality has generally come to include both citizens and subjects. Corporations cannot escape nationality but are often allowed to avoid the responsibilities of citizenship while enjoying more rights than a typical citizen. Although meant for former slaves becoming new citizens, the "equal protection" of the Fourteenth Amendment has since been applied fifty times more often for corporations. They have furthermore been allowed to assume the fiction of "perpetual life" that is typical of the systems that allow royal grants. What mortal citizen could claim such protections?

The citizen has rights and these imply duties. True citizenship is based on the rule of law so the rights must hold against other citizens as well as incursion from the government. A state based on citizenship requires its officers to obey the law. Given that the United States discontinued holding its officers accountable for various transgressions, such as war crimes, it became increasingly subject to private whim and corporate prerogatives.

There is also something inherently unethical about being a dual citizen ("No man can serve two masters," etc.). How can you owe allegiance to another country and still be a loyal American? Thanks to big money paid to Congress by foreign corporations there has been silence on the issue for over thirty years. Earlier policy was overturned by the Supreme Court in Afroyim v. Rusk (387 U.S. 253; 1967) and legislators went along. In effect the Supreme Court legislated dual citizenship as legal unless a person made a written statement to renounce such citizenship. The latter was confirmed by a 1980 case, Vance v. Terrazas, even though many old laws are still in the US Code.

This means that, for example, an American officer can take leave and go to some racist country and fight in its war and vote for its leaders and still be a US citizen. This right is contrary American values but the State Department and US Military have been directed to go along. It was previously the case that in the US you couldn’t hold dual citizenship and the US State Department traditionally rejected dual-citizenship claims. There were some narrow exceptions related to birth (see Supreme Court rulings in Perkins v. Elg, 1939, Kawakita v. U.S., 1952, and Mandoli v. Acheson, 1952). Now, when a new US citizen’s former country refuses to recognize our naturalization oath with its renunciatory clause the US State Department is not fighting it. Dual citizenship is usually done for obvious economic reasons wherein the former country or dual citizen wants to retain economic benefits. For example, dual status executives of a US based corporation might want foreign tax benefits.

When enough money greases the palm of state and federal politicians they will often assist the applicant in getting such dual-status recognition. They often jump foreign business executives ahead of a naturalization waiting list under the excuse of bringing in new commerce to their home district of the United States. These applicants sometimes want to retain legal connections to their former country in order to enrich themselves or their relatives.

The Supreme Court cases left in place a requirement that new citizens must renounce their old citizenship during US naturalization but in practice the State Department does nothing in most situations where a former country refuses to recognize the US renunciation or if the person later affirms his wish to retain benefits of a dual citizenship. This is true of countries like France, Canada, and the UK, and many others. Arnold Schwarznegger, for example, chose to retain dual citizenship with Austria. Israel is similarly treated except that its "Law of Return" allows any Jewish immigrant there can automatically become a citizen, without even application, ceremony, or oath. (They originally wrote it this way to encourage American Jews to move there with plausible denial that they explicitly requested dual citizenship.)

In general, however, dual citizenship is not from any explicit bilateral agreement or treaty, but because each country has its own law on citizenship. If the pledge to renounce prior status is made in good faith, the US State Department probably should not denounce quirks in foreign law that impact on new US citizens. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent Congress from strongly restricting those who use dual citizenship as a tax loophole.

Perhaps they could even require a citizenship specificity provision in the charter of any multinational corporation. Since corporations were never part of the US Constitution, the repatriation of assets could even be retroactive. Since those who went through US naturalization stated under oath that they renounced their old citizenship, evidence of their economic malfeasance could be treated as a retroactive tax violation. Conduct inconsistent with that oath could be a basis for other kinds of enforcement.

There is no also no good reason (judicial review notwithstanding) that a converse relationship to a foreign state should not bring similar sanctions. For example, what if American business owners took deliberate steps to undermine the "equal" status of fellow US citizens (as they often do) for personal enrichment, or to favor loyalty to foreign states or family (easily done by a multinational corporation using immigration law loopholes). If they thus violate equal protections, per 14th Amendment, could they be suitably punished under provisions of the Constitution such as those related to piracy?

Civil Law

In contrast to "common law" countries, like England, American civil law has narrowly come to be defined as the law that regulates conduct between private persons and property as opposed with various proceedings that suppress crime. Government is thus involved in settling disputes between private parties in business and family relations or conduct in relation to government, not including criminal law. In medieval usage it sometimes indicated Roman Law, based on Justinian’s corpus juris civilis, in contrast to church (canon) and various international laws. Usually civil law denotes the whole body of law which is concerned with citizens, as distinct from criminals, so it has become a crazy quilt that is almost incomprehensible in the American context.

One problem with using precedents is that each situation is different and the precedent may be a bad one. It also involves decisions by judges or local juries that may have nothing to do with the will or interest of people in general. In his "Letter to the Citizens of Pennsylvania" (1805), Thomas Paine even suggested that the government should not be involved in daily business and property disputes, which are better left to arbitration among those who are better qualified.

On the other hand, matters of equity could easily evolve into criminal law when there is a clear abuse of common property by private business entities. In this country much of Civil law is strictly codified and rests less on prior judicial decisions than is common in some aristocratic countries. Countries where the legal system derives from developments such as a Napoleonic Code, Roman (with Germanic influence), and ecclesiastical law have served as the main source for such traditional developments. The aristocratic alternatives are often based legalistic inventions. The Nazi Program, publicized as early 1920, demanded that parts of Roman Law (i.e., the Weimar Constitution) should be replaced by a systems (such as point 19) that permitted racial discrimination based on false nationalism.

See Common Law, Constitution, Decree.

Common Law

Judge-made law that originated in England from past decisions. Unlike Civil Law or US Constitutional Law, this system originated in England from decisions shaped according to prevailing custom including various ecclesiastical laws. Local magistrates, usually selected from the nobility or clergy, made rulings or decisions that were reapplied in similar situations until they became "common" to the nation. Having thus been "declared," the system that developed in England was formally assembled in written opinions to govern citizen rights and duties. Although some of these customs, based on reason, could become relatively fixed and capable of consistent adaptation, they were based on precedents.

These could be modified or changed for new situations and in practice gave the judges a great deal of legislative power sometimes exceeding the power of statutory or codified systems of law, passed by legislative bodies. Common law often forms the basis of legal procedures within the American states and can conflict with Civil Law. Although the US Constitution (Article VI: 2) specifies the supremacy of the latter, the corruption of local legal systems and the Supreme Court has undermined the Law of the Land and juries.

See Civil Law and Decree.


A. The most common usage today is in the approximately 50 countries within the "Commonwealth of Nations’, formally established 1931, which aims to foster multinational cooperation and assistance among the voluntary association of nations that evolved from the British Empire. From a late 19th century search for a way of describing the self-governing colonies within the British Empire, the term was circulated before World War I, by Lionel Curtis, as a name for an Imperial Federation that he advocated. The term ‘British Commonwealth of Nations’, was used by General Smuts in 1917 to describe Britain and its self-governing colonies (called Dominions since 1907), This term was made official in an Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) and became widespread in a later Imperial Conference (1926, Lord Balfour) that declared Dominions to be freely associate "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown." On this interpretation, the Dominions and Britain formed the British Commonwealth of Nations, which, along with Britain’s colonial territories and India, comprised the British Empire. The essence of the definition was that the Dominions had equal status with Britain, but there were doubts about "common allegiance" or "free association" versus full sovereignty. The Statute of Westminster (1931) clarified the relationship in legal terms. It became clear that the term means (a) common allegiance on the part of the states which recognize the Queen as their Head of State does not involve either a common foreign policy or a common attitude to peace and war and (b) free association includes the right of members to dissociate or secede.

Membership does require a practice of consultation with other members when appropriate and the recognition of the Queen as a symbol. Therefore, republics can be members of the Commonwealth if they recognize this royal symbolism in their free association. This relationship is much stronger in the sixteen countries that accept the Queen as the official monarch. Terms like personal union and shared monarchy have been used in this context, but without common agreement.

The United Kingdom no longer holds any legislative power over any country besides itself, although some countries continue to use the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as part of their judiciary.

In the 16th century the term was used to mean the common good and the community organized on that principle. In the latter sense the word was used as an alternative for a state with distinct overtones of public benefit. Foe example, when Cromwell temporarily replaced the reign of the Stuarts (1649), Parliament set up "a Commonwealth and Free State" to replace monarchy; so for a short time the word Commonwealth was associated with republicanism but the association was not absolute because the British never created a firm written constitution so their idea of commonwealth implied all governments in which sovereign power resides in several persons, be they few or many, rather than written laws as in a republic. American usages of the term can be found in the Commonwealths of the Philippines (between 1934 and 1946) and Puerto Rico (since 1952) both with colonial elements in their governments. The 17th century echo of this colonial relationship remain with Commonwealth as the official designation of four American states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky). The implication of an active public benefit within a single state obviously diminish if applied to an association of sovereign states with divergent interests.

"Commonwealth of Nations’ has about 50 members: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji (?), Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria (?), Pakistan (2004?), Papua New Guinea, St.Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, So. Africa (?), Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Zambia; Zimbabwe (? withdrew 2003). The idea of unity or common good do not truly apply these nation because of their divergent interests. However, the sense of mutual goodwill inherent in the word still has some relevance to their intimacy and marks the relations of most members of the Commonwealth. The symbolic function of their common royal sovereignty has various cultural and religious institutions that tend to impose common values.

Moreover, there is a Commonwealth realm of 16 sovereign states (shown in green) within the Commonwealth of Nations which recognize Elizabeth II as their monarch. These countries have a combined land area of about twice the United States (excluding Antarctic claims) with about half the population. Over 95% live in the six most populous of these countries (viz. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Jamaica). The term realm was formally introduced by royal proclamation (1952) but Commonwealth realm has not yet appeared in strict legal form except as a term of convenience. The United Kingdom was the first realm. The first realms were created from territories within the British Empire that had previously been self governing Dominions.


The Latin term communis was applied in 1839 in connection to the secret society, Communaute, one of many which grew up in France under the July Monarchy (1830-48). After their political defeat, these began to concern themselves with social reforms, but the word Communiste was introduced in England in 1840 in letters by John Barmby from France. He wrote for publication in New Moral World, and referred to followers of Owenism in a specific socialist group named the Etienne Cabet. Afterwards the term Communisme designated poorer sections of the Socialist movement. Its use for the more militant, revolutionary faction can be traced to the 1848 Communist Manifesto, which intended to provide a program for a Communist League.

In that sense, it did connect to one of the earlier secret societies, but Marx and Engels pointed out that Communists were not a separate party opposed to other working-class parties, but were instead a vanguard of such parties. At the time the Socialists were generally seen as a middle class movement associated with the various Utopian parties that seemed to be dying out or were merely trying to reform profit-capitalism. The working-class movement was generally regarded as a less respectable branch of socialism.

In 2005, the term remains a loose description of certain political units because they themselves often reject its use. It typically refers to a future social condition, as a stage following socialism (populism, democratic labor, worker’s socialism, etc.), after classes no longer exist. In fact, communism has not existed in any country. The term has been used to denounce a particularly totalitarian form of Marxism known as Bolshevism or Leninism.

See Marxist Leninism


Many civilized countries codify fundamental written law in a specific national document called a constitution. It is compact that includes everything relating to the organization of a civil government, the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound.

The Glorious Revolution (1688), usually regarded as a basis of constitutionalist British reform, soon collapsed under the weight of Hanoverian impositions. The American Revolution was largely a revolt against such corruption. Codification in a single legal document (constitution) became the hallmark of political force needed to restrain arbitrary power. Those who prefer to abuse power, as in aristocracy, instead promote the value of "tradition." They use constitutionalism derisively, often comparing it to other "isms" that restrict freedom.

The royal idea of "living constitution" includes all the rules that directly or indirectly affect distribution or exercise of sovereign state powers (like atoms "constitute" a rock), including royalty. It includes some constitutional acts (Magna Carta, 1689 Bill of Rights, 1832 Reform Act) but is focused by "powerful traditions" such as monarchy. The conventional rules and principles generally thought of as forming the royal "constitution" are more a general sentiment of "maxims" rather than rules. The abuse of the term continues mainly to deceive the citizens into believing that their system is truly representative and rights are well protected against arbitrary power.

It hardly helps the imperial cause to call government "a compact" between governors and governed. This cannot be true because it puts the effect before the cause. Originally there were no "governors" to form such compacts. Man existed before governments. Individuals, in their own sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce government. (Democracy can cloud the issue.) Since a constitution, by law, precedes government of the people, applying government without a constitution is power without right.

The 1787 U.S. Constitution, the basis of Federalist mythology, was drastically amended within 18 months because it neglected basic human and citizen rights. Unlike other constitutions or royal systems, a Bill of Rights specified these. Such a declaration of rights became, by reciprocity, a declaration of duties. Whatever was a citizen’s right was also the right of another; so it became a duty to guarantee as well as to possess. In a true representative system the reason for everything will publicly appear. Citizens are proprietors of government because it concerns them and their property.

When they feel themselves to be owners, they will naturally seek to understand government by comparing cost to benefits. The US Constitution is to liberty what a grammar is to language: it defines its parts of speech, and practically constructs it into syntax. It rejects hereditary pretension or impositions (prerogatives) on the governed because it is not the act of government, but of the people who govern. A view that "rank has privileges" is contrary to such civil rule. A Constitutional Government binds those who govern to a fundamental law to restrain society’s authoritarian decision-makers. That is not to say that citizens will remain vigilant enough to enforce the law as it was written.

US government has now been pushed close to the royal system of "limited government" that is incapable of providing equality before the law (nulla poena sine lege, etc.), which some regard as milestone indicator of the procedural safeguards standard to constitutionalism. The ability to stop taxation without representation is another such indicator and now both corporations and local interests often act freely to impose the equivalent of taxes on fellow citizens. Since constitutional law is more fundamental than other law, it measures the failure of control.

In the United States, the supporters of the US Constitution have been unable to control the lesser laws that promote corporate excess. The Constitution was severely weakened by being divided among special interests within States and by corporations. The tens of thousands local "governments" are a classic example of a divide and rule method. The so-called separation of power, which pretends to check abuse (much as in an international balance of power), now illegitimately undermines constitutional law, The judicial branch selectively undermines jury trials and often excludes citizens from getting their "day in court."


(Also corporativism) A theory to justify organizing the economy into national corporations or claim that such systems make representative political institutions superfluous. It is historically associated with Italian fascism, which upheld strong political leadership and strict social hierarchy. Although not necessarily opposed to formal electoral democracy, especially as a means to gain power, fasacism attacks democracy as inefficient, indecisive and leading to social disorganization. Once in power, the doctrine minimizes the scope of democratic action. It proclaims that organizations representing labor and capital should be directly involved the making of public policy but actually suppresses free labor unions to promote domination by corporate owners over participating workers. Modern corporatism is evident in claims of inevitable globalization that will increase economic efficiency by reducing the power of governments to interfere in the market place.

The American perception of Italian fascism might have been entirely different if Mussolini had chosen to stay neutral or sided with the Allies. The Chambers of Commerce in the United States could easily have adapted to the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations and according to U.S. General Smedley Butler, the American Legion had similarities to the fascist militias. After May 1945, Italian fascism was barely subject to war crime tribunals and many of the leaders were economically rewarded.

There were some common "ideological" elements among fascist societies but each was different. In particular the Nazis sought a "new world order" based on race while Italian corporatism was more of the typical imperial conquest that existed in previous centuries. The unique economic aspects of its authoritarianism (as discussed below) conceive of mixed political systems. History inevitably linked fascism to authoritarianism but, regardless of the name(s), corporatism can exist without a single-party structure.

While campaigning in San Francisco (1932), Franklin Roosevelt noted that six hundred companies controlled most of American industry:

"If the process of concentration goes on at the same rate, at the end of another century we shall have all American industry controlled by a dozen corporations, and run by perhaps a hundred men. Put plainly, we are steering a steady course toward economic oligarchy, if we are not there already."

Understandably, some Americans deny that this country is corporatist by clinging to minor distinctions in the broader definition. Here we can refer to the 1938 Monopoly Investigation conducted by Congress and encouraged by Roosevelt, who said:

…a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the state itself. That, in essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. … The liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

It concluded that private enterprise was ceasing to be free enterprise. The links of aristocracy to capitalism and corporatism are also shown in an entertaining form by Richard Loncraine’s 1995 version of Richard III, as acted in modern dress. There is also no question that Mussolini was officially hired and fired by the king. The point of this definition is to reveal classic Italian fascism as private enterprise corporatism. When we hear a term like "privatize" an immediate correction may therefore be in order. That is not to say that individual dictatorship or totalitarian forms of aristocracy are less repressive.

One of the authoritarian tools may include corporatism, but it is not the defining characteristic. In order to promote the idea in Italy, the fascist corporation was loosely based on ancient Roman corporati wherein individual citizens freely banded together for public purposes. It was also somewhat like the American or Germanic corporation - of limited liability and generally engaged in business, except that in Italy the citizens who owned and operated big business were generally connected to an established aristocracy.

They later become Fascist party members. The structure was more feudal than its U.S. counterpart because the American Civil War had dismantled most of the largest plantations. Even so, it was far from totalitarian. The American business corporation is also a creature chartered by a state (like Delaware, a former slave state) even though the leading capitalists usually assert that their charters are somehow spontaneously created by individual citizens freely associating for a legal purpose. In fact, their corporations act much like those in the Italian "Chamber of Fasces and Corporations" except stockholding replaces royal traditions. Corporations are mechanisms of democratic exclusion, whether based on royal title, money, race, or democratic election. The exclusionary concept would be the same if someone decided to form a corporation to exclude those with dark skin.

In theory, elected governments do have the right to grant charters when they benefit the citizens. In literal fact, U.S. politicians were hired to enact the Constitution and lack authority to change it without a convention. They ventured into corporatism largely by asserting that major economic issues are too complicated for popular control (by a "the bewildered herd"). Essentially, members of a small ruling class govern the community.

In Italy these leaders qualified by tradition (royal blood) or special training (fascist party). This conception, going back to Plato, is obviously anti-democratic and has been supported against the claims of democratic theory by thinkers like Hegel. Except for a few limited public corporations and some colleges, such impositions remained unpopular in early America. The controversy flamed during the founding of America and in the French Revolution. Mussolini’s form of corporatism made use of revolutionary traditions.

Its rhetoric soon spread into most fascist systems (Germany 1933, Portugal & Austria 1934, Spain 1939, Brazil 1937, Argentina 1943, etc.). The totalitarian aspects of the surviving regimes decreased with the defeats of World War 2, when the associations of workers and employers could claim legal independence of the state. In fact, business power continued to be exerted through powerful lobbying associations and beside certain national unions, which continued to impose preferential wage rates for their members, most of the wealth flowed from through national and international business.

The main reason that using the term corporatism remains controversial is that it was an aspiration that failed as a reality. Even when provided for by law, specific corporatist structures were short-lived and widely varied. Italian fascism co-existed with royalism. It still infects republicanism around the world by placing robber barons into business and pirate-murderers into the military, but this control is not total. Even in brutal systems such as Nazi Germany, there remained a tremendous amount of individual initiative.

There are only so many recognized leadership positions in formal government so each corporate thug that holds legalized power can exclude a moral leader. Along with the Leader Principle, as described in the Newsletter, this is contrary to an idea of popular democracy as guaranteed by our Constitution. The exclusionary principle is the same if power derives from green cash, blue blood, or membership in a single political party.

American corporatism legally started in May 1886 when several "bad-behaved" Supreme Court judges indirectly legislated corporations into law (Santa Clara v. Southern RR) and gave them protection equal to living persons. Supreme Court judge Stephen Field, with relations to managers of the Central Pacific railroad and brothers in corporate power, was instrumental to these decisions. Thanks to heavy lobbying by the railroad industry, President Garfield was also driven to place one of Jay Gould’s top attorneys, railroad insider Stanley Matthews, on the Court. The robber barons used Supreme Court power to overcome State laws against corporations. The railroads led the charge and were soon joined by other corporations that wanted similar benefits in terms of protecting holding companies or outrageous local contracts. A short history will be useful.

Small merchants and organized labor or agriculture (such as the Grange) often rallied local opposition against the rising power of the railroads. The trusts needed federal laws to bypass increasing state regulation or taxes. As a legal strategy, the railroads saw the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment as a possible answer. They initially failed, as in Munn v. Illinois (1877), because it was contrary to public interest. As one of the two dissenting judges in that case, Field carefully announced railroads deserved protection.

Although meant for former slaves, Field created precedents in the western Ninth Circuit (his concurrent position) that applied the 14th Amendment to Chinese labor imported by the railroads. This cunningly, but imprecisely, extended the concept to include those businesses that imported the cheap labor. The concept was then (1882-83) tested in two similar Ninth Circuit cases involving property taxes. Taxes were assessed against Southern Pacific Railroad and the California counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo sought a higher reimbursement for railroad land. Field’s cronies on the court decided against them on the basis that the "personhood" of railroad stockholders demanded equal protection. Both cases went to the Supreme Court but San Mateo decided to withdraw its effort. The actual issue of was not corporate personhood but equal rights for stockholders. Instead, in upholding the Ninth Circuit decision, the case was recorded as one of corporate personhood because Chief Justice (Waite) granted legal standing to the Railroad. In fact, he had acknowledged the living persons who were stockholders, which was not the same as asserting that corporation was a legal person.

In subsequent notes he confirmed his intent to maintain the narrow view and exclude ruling on corporate personhood, which was alsom important to him. The case did not cover that broader issue so Justice Field admitted that he had not decided its constitutional legitimacy. Two years later the Court again denied citizen rights to corporations in Pembina Mining v. Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the false perception in Santa Clara was adapted as a precedent in other cases. Corrupt judges used the language to justify bad decisions that did directly legislate the idea of corporate personhood. These cases included Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway Company v. Beckwith (1889), Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway v. Minnesota (1890) Noble v. Union River Logging Railroad Company (1893) and Reagan v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company (1893). The confusion of such decisions was unscrupulously exploited by the lies of former senator, Roscoe Conkling.

The "equal protection" of the 14th Amendment was soon used fifty times more often for corporations than for Negroes even though there is no factual question that those who drafted it (the Joint Committee on Reconstruction) never intended that for the 14th Amendment to apply to business, much less corporations. It didn’t take long for democratic elements in labor and small business to uncover this legal fraud. That is when the giant corporations started spending big money to import a German philosophy known as organicism based on the medieval law studies of Otto Gierke (1841-1921). Its thinly veiled attack on Catholicism also argued that as the state replaced religion as the primary social institution. It created legal institutions to give itself broad authority.

As far back as Aristotle scholars had sometimes viewed society as a biological organism subject to the same laws and even possessing its own consciousness. The Nazis also adapted such ideas in Nazi conceptualization of the Volk as the granter of supreme authority. The big business lawyers managed to make terms like corporate personality into a metaphor for citizens. The term "social organism" is therefore not a definition but, as a philosophy, its practice allowed infiltration by royal and religious political language.

The traditional aristocracy of Europe was replaced by hired esquires who invented new laws. Biased lawyers, mostly joined in a Federalist Society, applied all sorts of Constitutional protections to corporations (most recently, that money equals free speech). In effect, the people with the most money could buy the most freedom and those without money sometimes have none, as when they die because they can’t afford medical care. However appealing such philosophy might be to lawyers and academics, John Dewey largely exposed its gibberish in 1926 and it was actually outlawed in the original 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed by Congress in 1810 and ratified by 1819 (although that date remains a subject of argument).

Without attempting any coherent justification beyond precedent law (stare decisis), lawyer proponents of corporatism managed to erase the true 13th Amendment and replace it with one that legitimized a form of slavery. They continued to assert corporate rights. Without success, Justices Hugo Black and William Douglas advocated reversing the Santa Clara decision but by then the Congress was being well paid to look the other way. American corporatism therefore continued to hide behind democratic icons and, as in fascist Italy, uses Chambers of Commerce, courts, and friendly social scientists to impose major national policy. Bribes or gifts pass through a process of political lobbying that, arguably, is no more transparent than in Mussolini’s Italy. The scandals that have robbed the US economy of trillions of dollars in past decades demonstrate the tyranny of corporatism.

Eisenhower concentrated economic power from 500 corporations to 200. Today dozens (less than fifty) have an annual income that is twice that of the size of the fifty states. Thanks to his appointments to the Supreme Court, beginning in 1962 the court resumed its outlaw expansion of corporate rights with little attempt to find new rationales for its bias. A recent film The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, based on Bakan’s book, is a critical and graphical revelation of the corporation’s inner workings. The historical process of legal fraud that imposed blatantly unconstitutional corporatism is better explained in Nace’s Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy. Both of these provide a good analysis of symptoms but neither offers a satisfactory cure.

The idea that politicians could grant themselves or business any authority outside the law was abhorrent to this nation’s founders so they amply rejected the notion. Better than most others, Thomas Paine showed how corporations are instruments of exclusion that undermine annual election and representation. The solution requires a meaningful restoration of both as described in other portions of this website.

See also Capitalism, Calvinism, Fascism and Totalitarian..

Decree, Rule by

A pronounced law from a high level of government that usually replaces pre-existing written laws. A head of state rules by decree after first suspending parts of the constitution. In its extreme form it includes dissolving the legislative assembly as in fascist Italy but that is not essential and a composite form can provide an illusion of democracy to enhance legitimacy. For example in Nazi Germany the Reichstag continued to function through 1942 whereupon Hitler began his formal rule by decree after military disasters. In the United States parts of the Constitution are often suspended by Executive Orders, which remain in effect until challenged (if ever) by a flawed judicial process.

See Civil Law, Common Law.


In The Federalist (No. 14) James Madison said:

In a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person, in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents.

Either way, the essential characteristic is that the people rule. This is no longer true in the United States where people cannot even define the word.

A democratic mode is the only one on which government can properly begin and the only principle by which it has a right to exist; but it is not because part of government is elective that makes it good. To distract from their malfeasance, embarrassed politicians will boast some elective process but we can imagine a partial democracy in a prison or an asylum. A society is democratic if people can make decisions on issues that matter and not when daily life is controlled by corporations or similar concentrations of wealth.

Persons who abuse power, should be candidates for indictment not election. What went wrong and when? John Dewey, a prominent social philosopher wrote in Democracy and Education (1916):

Since a democratic society repudiates the principle of external authority, it must find a substitute in voluntary disposition and interest; these can be created only by education. … A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience.

He admitted in the New York World-Telegram (1934) that:

The reactionaries are in possession of force, in not only the army and police, but in the press and schools.

American democracy was not meant to be an idealized dream. The founders defined it exactly in the proposed First Amendment, as passed by Congress. It is no accident that the schools don’t bother with such definitions and refuse to teach the obvious difference between fascism and democracy.

It was severely undermined when the fourth Chief Justice invented "judicial review." This allowed the Court to create new forms of citizenship as in Santa Clara vs. Southern Railroad (1886) or Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), or even to select the President (2000). As the famous reformer Jeremy Bentham (c. 1808) noted, the "power of a lawyer is in the uncertainty in the law" so judicial review gave this legal class, nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, enormous power to invent laws favorable to those who selected them. It explains why the country lost democracy and how it came to have more lawyers than the rest of the world

Since World War 2, after President Truman began the murderous abuse of rule by decree, Eisenhower worked to concentrate most of the wealth in a few hundred corporations (from 500 down to about 200). He personally helped create the (congressional) military-industrial complex warned of in his 1961 Farewell Address. The word "congressional" was dropped from the draft.

The majority of Americans (around 80%) now agree that government serves the special interests and corporations, not the people. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis stated the obvious alternatives (1941):

We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.

Accepting a Thomas Jefferson Award, Justice Hugo Black further warned:

It will not be enough to stamp out antidemocratic practices in the land of our enemies. The conditions which created Fascism there must not pass unnoticed here. Their first and most dangerous symptom is always the same everywhere; an abandonment of equal justice to all, the placing of some groups in a preferred class of citizenship at the expense of other groups. True democracy must continue to war on all such beliefs.

Due Process

Due process may be defined as legal action (legislative, judicial, or administrative) that accords with fundamental concepts of liberty and justice sanctified by early American usage with procedural forms of legal action that avoid arbitrary violation of the fundamental protections provided by the Constitution of the United States. It is based on the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law of the land, not merely some or most of those legal rights. The due process of law concept originates in phrases like "by the law of the land" in Magna Carta, in the tradition that English speaking peoples brought to North America by the colonists. Its equivalent appears in many colonial charters and documents such as state constitutions. The 5th Amendment to the federal constitution, adopted in the Bill of Rights, declares that:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service, in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In 1868, following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, used similar language to extend the protection, which had applied only to the federal government, to the state governments as well. The relevant phrase read:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Before the Civil War it was generally believed that the provision related only to procedural matters and the way in which laws must be applied by courts or administrative officials, and not to the substance of laws (except as relating to matters of procedure). After the 14th Amendment made the clause applicable to state governments, the rapid industrialization of the country gave rise to momentous economic and social conflict, so the states enacted various regulatory legislation that was opposed by business interests. Once the idea of due process as ‘fundamental principles of liberty and justice’ came to prevail, it soon extended to the substance of such legislation. The business interests reacted by imposing concepts of corporate personhood that U.S. Supreme Court legislated in Santa Clara County V. Southern Pac. R. Co. (118 U.S. 394, 1886). The arbitrary nature of this crucial decision are examined in Ted Nace’s Gangs of America and David Korten’s The Post-Corporate World, Life After Capitalism. As an example of the internal contradiction, the courts established that rates charged by railroads or similar utilities must be "reasonable" (not "confiscatory"), they also allowed corporations a "fair return" on "fair value" of business property (Minnesota Rate Cases, 1890, 134 U.S. 418, p. 970 ff., and Smyth v. Ames, 1898, 169 U.S. 466, pp. 819 ff.).

In 1884 (Hurtado v. California, 1884, 110 U.S. 516, p. 238, sect. 535), the Supreme Court had departed from earlier doctrine (see Murray case). While the foundation of the decision seemed to expand the freedom of legislatures by permitting them to adopt new procedures as long as they respected the "fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions", the opinion also declared that the due process clause protected "the very substance of individual rights to life, liberty, and property" (pp. 237, sect. 532). After Santa Clara, as the Court applied the ‘fundamental principles of liberty and justice’ to procedural devices and banned "conduct that shocks the conscience," it refused to give a better definition than "the concept of ordered liberty" and of "canons of decency and fairness." It has held it essential that a person accused of a crime be granted a fair trial by an unbiased court, to have competent counsel, and to be permitted to cross-examine opposing witnesses. However, it also reduced protections against double jeopardy or self-incrimination as essential to due process and held that neither the common law jury nor the grand jury are essential to a fair trial.

Generally, the vagueness of the term due process provided a back door through which primitive philosophies of natural law and corporate rights infiltrated American constitutional law. As corporate wealth enforced laissez-faire theories of "natural rights" on freedom of contract, free association, choice of vocation, etc., courts used the due process clause to strike down existing citizen rights. One high water mark of laissez-faire doctrine was reached in the 1920s - after it invalidated minimum wage legislation and rate-fixing laws beyond a limited category of "businesses affected with a public interest."

In the thirties, the Supreme Court again adjusted its concept of what was "reasonable" but today legislatures still fear corporate reaction to statutes affecting property rights or freedom of contract. In another direction, during the sixties the notion of substantive due process had an enlarged interpretation. For example, the areas of freedom of speech, press, and religion are now protected against state action through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment in the same way that it is protected against the federal government by the 1st Amendment. Judicial interpretation has proven controversial when primitive natural justice or mere procedural rules replace justice in its true philosophical sense, as it has in various jurisdictions.

United States due process of law developed through an enormous body of American case law, which gives individuals a varying ability to enforce their rights against alleged violations by government or its state actors (normally not against other private citizens). It is also frequently interpreted as placing limitations on law and legal proceedings, as to whether judges or legislators will define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty.

Esquire as a Title of Nobility

From the French "shield bearer" (escuyer), which was meant as a title of nobility below knight. It was a person who carried the latter’s shield and weapon. In Britain it was typically adapted by subordinate sons of noblemen, who found work as magistrates or sheriffs and similar positions that typically protected landed proprietors and the status quo.

The title was actually outlawed in the original 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. which was passed by Congress in 1810 and ratified by 1819 (although that date remains a subject of argument). The Amendment read:

"If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them."

The Founders’ definition of honor excluded one from taking a position of unauthorized privilege above one’s fellow citizens. They feared "titles of nobility" enough to prohibit them in both Article VI of the Articles of Confederation (1777) and in Article I, Sections 9 & 10 of the U.S. Constitution (1787). This amendment gave the prohibition more teeth. Clearly, they saw such a serious threat in "titles of nobility" and "honors" that they decided that it should be punishable with nothing less than a forfeiture of citizenship by anyone receiving them.

The Amendment therefore had more significance than is readily apparent today. We usually regard "Democracy" politically unremarkable. But to understand the its meaning in a historical context -- the era after the War for Independence – we need to recall that King George III and the other monarchs of Europe saw it as an ungodly, unnatural ideological threat, like the 1917 Russian Revolution. America had provided an example and incentive for people all over the world to overthrow their monarchs. Our mere existence served as a heroic role model for other nations. The French Revolution (1789-1799) and the Polish national uprising (1791 & 1794) were encouraged by this example. America was a beacon of hope for most of the world, so monarchs denounced it as the source of "radical democracy."

Thomas Paine was found guilty of sedition in London (1791) and British aristocrats sought to destroy American government. Since many politicians ran for money, it became an enticement to British sedition. Understandably, then much of the initial counter-revolutionary effort emanated from royal English banks. Sir Josiah Stamp, a former president of the Bank of England, once explained the essence of their banking system:

"Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin... Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again... Take this great power away from them, or if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit."

There were only three State banks when Congress chartered the first United States Bank in 1790. Most states prohibited banks because many of the early settlers feared their practices. European "Goldsmith" Banks had established a bad reputation. As safe-houses used to store client’s gold, they issued notes (paper money) in exchange for deposits that were redeemable in gold. These bankers usually issued unbacked "extra" notes because it enriched them by allowing purchases with gold that they did not own or did not even exist. When there was too much paper money or clients found themselves over-leveraged, it caused a "run on the bank." If gold was insufficient to meet the demand, the paper money became worthless and common citizens were ruined. Despite some severe punishments, the practice continued and enforcement remained lax because the government took much of the profit.

Bankers and their lawyers became wealthy at the expense of more productive members of society. The War for Independence refreshed the fear of against Goldsmith bankers because, to finance the war, Congress authorized printing Continental bills of credit. The amount was not to exceed $200 million but the States issued a similar amount of paper notes. The value of the paper fell as a result and eventually 1000 paper bills traded for one coin. This gets into economic realms of monetary "velocity" and political confidence but, simply put, inflating money is unjust if it promotes a false aristocracy. In fact, such speculation was directly outlawed by the Constitution. It prohibited a paper economy in the same portion (Article I, Section 9 & 10) that forbids titles of nobility.

The Founders feared the abuse of power. Only in a "paper" economy can money reproduce itself and increase claims of the politicians against the productive. The amazing story of the Constitution, contrary to undocumented claims by conspiracy theorists (such as Charles Beard) is that it favored patriots and not wealthy property owners. That is why the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention were kept secret until the death of James Madison. Although most colonial lawyers were U.S. citizens, the British naturally wanted to impose their economic order and worked with those in America of a common political sympathy. The betrayal of France (our ally of record) had created a two-party system and Britain found willing collaborators among Federalists such as Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Marshall, and President John Adams.

Historically, the British peerage system referred to knights as "sir" and to those who bore the knight’s shields as "esquires" so the more active role was taken by the bankers and those with British money. The loyal lawyers were "certified" by the International Bar Association (IBA), chartered by the King of England, headquartered in London, and closely associated with the international banking system. Those admitted to the IBA received the rank "esquire," against which the true 13th Amendment was directed and sought to prohibit. In 1810 bankers and lawyers with an "esquire" behind their names were considered agents of the monarchy, members of an organization whose purpose was more political than economic. They were regarded with a caution sometimes reserved for foreign spies. By contrast, in colonial America attorneys had trained each other and needed no special title. For example, there was not even a requirement that one be a lawyer to serve as a District Attorney, Attorney General, or judge.

A citizen’s "counsel of choice" was not restricted to being a lawyer. Early America did not have state or national bar associations but the Federalists could seek royal collaboration because the Constitutional prohibition (Article 1, Sec. 9) neglected to specify a penalty. They allowed royal agents to lobby and even infiltrate the government. The Jay Treaty and the US Bank charter incidents were prominent examples. Therefore, the true 13th Amendment specified loss of citizenship as an appropriate penalty. The intent was to stop those with loyalty to foreign banks or governments from voting, holding public office, or otherwise using their skills for subversion. Today it may be a form of address, but in 1810 a title of nobility could serve as overt proof of disloyalty.

It is probably true that similar penalties could have been imposed by Statute but the prohibition about "honour," added greater significance to the Amendment. The archaic definition of honor, used when the Amendment was ratified, meant those having an advantage or privilege over another. By prohibiting "honors" the Amendment denies advantage or privilege that would grant some citizens an unequal opportunity to achieve or exercise political power. Therefore, the second intent of the Amendment was to protect political equality among American citizens. It prohibits anyone from claiming or exercising a special power over other citizens as in the Sedition Acts had protected special privileges of President Adams and his cronies. This spur reform, so false "honor" remains a key concept. The amendment of 1810 aimed to solve the problem but the lawyers managed to erase it (which is another story) by replacing it.

Without attempting a coherent justification, lawyer proponents of corporatism managed to erase the true 13th Amendment and replace it with one that legitimized a form of slavery. They continued to assert corporate rights. However, the prohibition against nobility was distinguished in a court case (Horst v. Moses, 48 Ala. 123, 142; 1872), which said:

"…to confer a title of nobility, is to nominate to an order of persons to whom privileges are granted at the expense of the rest of the people. It is not necessarily hereditary, and the objection to it arises more from the privileges supposed to be attached, than to the otherwise empty title or order. These components are forbidden separately in the terms "privilege", "honor", and "emoluments", as they are collectively in the term "title of nobility". The prohibition is not affected by any consideration paid or rendered for the grant."

Today, corporate titles have become as significant as more formal "titles of nobility," so this concept remains relevant. Think of the "immunities" from lawsuits that our president, judges, lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats currently claim. In the "special interest" legislation that our government passes, that term is no more than a euphemism for "special privileges" (honors). If the Amendment were again enforced, these false claimants of special "immunity" or similar seekers of a false privilege, or "honor," would forfeit their right to vote or hold public office, along with their citizenship. It is therefore a big deal.


The view of things in which others are scaled and rated with reference to one’s own group. The phenomenon is regarded as incompatible with objective social science.

The term was introduced to all social sciences by W. Sumner (1906) and implies that one’s own way of life is better than all others based. It is based on the assumption that one’s group’s is culturally best, not only for the individual making the judgement but also for other groups that are often deemed inferior. The concept is useful in evaluating prejudice.

In recent years, social science prefers to stress cultural relativity to the ethnocentrism that is inevitably present (even in the scientific mind). Cultural relativity first judges behavior in relation to its unique cultural framework and specific context. This does not rule out comparative appraisals but reminds us that cultural elements, including ethical or sexual norms, may be unique to a particular case. If taken to an extreme, such analysis sinks into an academic quagmire that stresses the difference of both the group being observed and the background of the observer. The more useful research stresses fundamental cultural uniformity in the human condition, both in place and time.

Recent sociological writing thus often examines the universals in the human condition, as in reference to a global village. Even those who comment on ethical relativity are impressed by cross-cultural standards such as the Golden Rule. It seems to be a quality common to all mankind, like the ability acquire language or an articulated thumb, which argues against the idea that humanity is a "blank slate: shaped mainly by its environment.


The concept of eugenics over freedom of reproduction followed closely upon such racial ideas and were shaped more by Hitler’s cronies, like Himmler who had a background in breeding farm animals.

The folkish philosophy of life must succeed in bringing about that nobler age in which men no longer are concerned with breeding dogs, horses, and cats, but in elevating man himself…"

The folkish state must make up for what everyone else today has neglected in this field. It must set race in the center of life. It must take care to keep it pure… It must see to it that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: despite one’s own sickness and deficiencies, to bring children into the world, and one highest honor: to renounce doing so. And conversely it must be considered reprehensible to withhold healthy children from the nation. Here the state… must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge. It must declare unfit for propagation all who are in any way visibly sick or who have inherited disease and may therefore pass it on…"

The application of human genetic research among so-called races allowed statistical measures to be applied. Racists typically assert that racial classification is relatively easy if genetic processes are examined, as with breeding various animal species. In fact, these have destroyed the clarity between divisions of mankind by showing that there is greater statistical differences to be found within a presumed race than between them. The entire human species can be traced by genetic DNA (Y-markers) to a specific tribal bushman group originating in Africa about 50,000 years ago. Central Asia "nursed" travelers about 2,000 generations (40,000 years) ago. They got to Europe about 30,000 years ago and into America about 15,000 years later. The human species interbred throughout history, as documented by both physical anthropology and ice age geography. The possibility of genetic manipulation remains a moral challenge but is better examined from an ethical than racial perspective.

See Racism.


The concept that developed in Italy to attack socialism. It reorganized Italian economic life into associations of employers, workers, and the professions. Only one such "syndicate" was allowed in each industry or business. The syndicate officials were persons of reliable loyalty to the regime and the payment of dues was a formal legal requirement. Italian Fascismo and the Fascisti movement was first declared on 23 March 1919 in a confused statement that renounced imperialism but approved Italian seizure of Dalmatia and Fiume. After other similarly named groups formed throughout Italy the Fasci Central Committee issued a specific platform on 28 August 1919 with twenty points (20:) to address political (5), social (6), military (3), and financial (3) problems, followed by a nationalistic appeals (3). It aimed to steal Socialist thunder with planks that included universal suffrage, abolition of the aristocratic Senate, an 8-hour day, minimum wage, social security starting at age 55, and partial expropriation of wealth by a progressive tax.

In 1920, the combat squadrons of the fascists continued to expand their use of force against socialists and "Reds" to gain middle class and non-organized worker support. In the 1921 election its new party sat on the extreme right with 7% of the Representatives, which was enough to establish its legitimacy. It restated its principles in November 1921. By the end of the year Mussolini, himself a former socialist editor who still promoted pro-labor programs, talked of a "social function of private property as a right and a duty" and of returning the railroads and post office to private management. After a "march on Rome" in 1922 he agreed to be the King’s prime minister and embarked in dissolving Italian democracy. As a political movement fascism then created an aristocratic, anti-parliamentary regime. The engines of disinformation have attempted to hide this royalist definition behind an ideological "rage for harmony" leftover from Marxism. It soon mixed a totalitarian ethic of service and sacrifice with a patchwork of slogans that glorified the state. It strictly opposed socialism or liberalism but was willing to buy worker loyalty.

It did this with actual concessions that the socialists had only promised. Nationalist journalists such as Corradini (1865-1931) appealed to the outrage of downtrodden "water-boys" to northern Europe, deprived of spoils after a costly World War victory. A coherent imperialist doctrine formed after 1932 but it was for conventional expansionism and clearly unlike the racist "new world order" defined by the Nazis. The 14th edition of Encyclopedia Italiana (1932) provided a clear statement of principles wherein Mussolini spelled out what Fascism stood for and against. As a totalitarian political system, it used intimidation, allowed only one political party, subordinated most social life to the state, and maintained a monopoly on most key industries. Dozens of right wing diversionary texts have created confusion on the definitions and one prominent researcher, Renzo De Felice, identified over 10,000 items to examine Italian Fascism, with about 2,000 to describe the generic kind that spread during World War 2. There is even more material that describes Nazism and Hitler’s racism. At least De Felice’s work manages to distinguish the two.

The Italian Minister of Justice Rocco (1875-1935) wrote on the importance of loyalty, calling DUTY "the highest ethical value of Fascism" and defined a legal system of strict "law and order" needed to maintain stability. The scribbling of "educators" such as Gentile (1875-1944) helped to rationalize fascism in the schools. Ideas by Gumplowicz (1838-1909) and Pareto (1848-1923) molded the economic foundation. The latter’s seminal two-volume The Mind and Society (translated 1935 from his 1916 work) continues to infect American Sociology and its offshoot on Economics is little more than political indoctrination. In essence, a Central Corporative Committee—practically indistinguishable from the Corporate Ministry—was created to coordinate economic policy and national management. How did it work?

Mussolini stated that modern corporatism required a single-party, totalitarian government, with little power for women. At the same time he exalted an atmosphere of idealistic tension, which he often related to expansionist imperialism. He allowed or praised individualism but corporatist philosophy rested on an assumption that man’s political articulation as a citizen originated in his economic role. In practical terms this meant that those without wealth had little opportunity to express individualism outside the arena of sports or military heroics. By a decree of May 1934, Mussolini created 22 national corporations under a fascist Central Committee. One association (syndicate) was allowed in each national categoria of economic activity or business.

They were divided as follows: aviation & marine; banking & insurance; building & construction; chemicals; clothing; communications & domestic transport; grains; fruits, vegetables & flowers; fish & animal products; glass & ceramics; hotels; liberal professions & arts; lumber; metals & machinery; mining; olive oil & products; paper & printing; sugar products; textiles; theatre; utilities (water, gas & electricity), and vineyards & wine. Payment of dues became a legal duty but active membership in syndicates was not required. On paper, the syndicates were autonomous but they acted through the regime. Each national corporation, headed by a council on which employees had equal representation with employers, was to be responsible for its own general interests.

Legally, this envisioned a corporate state to replace parliamentary democracy. This included administration of decentralized labor contracts. By 1936, a national Council of Corporations succeeded the Chamber of Deputies as the supreme national legislative body. Its 823 members represented 22 mixed employer/employee confederations plus 66 Fascist representatives In 1938, the latter Council officially became the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations. It had barely began to function when World War II shifted its efforts to meet centralized military need. When Mussolini created the twenty-two corporations, he did it to replace a parliamentary system and keep a tight hold on workers in centralized unions. It did control some of the excesses of robber capitalism.

With some merit, the fascists claimed that their economic discipline helped reduce national pain in a Global Depression. Mussolini avoided the excess of Nazi racism and protected some individualism. However, because he encouraged expansionist militarism, the move to war was inevitable. Italy sided with Franco and Hitler against the Spanish republic in 1937. He then chose the wrong ally in World War 2 and entered it with a sneak attack on an already defeated France, which led to war against the British empire. This was followed by blunders against Greece in the Balkans. He then stupidly joined Hitler in declaring war on the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the United States in December 1941. Italy was decisively beaten by the end of 1942 with massive surrenders in early 1943.

The king had Mussolini arrested in the summer of 1943 and attempted to restore a monarchy and join the Allies. There was no drastic change in the economy, which had been wrecked by the war. Largely due to American incompetence, by September 1943 the Germans occupied most of Italy and former Italian territories in the Balkans. The Nazis rescued Mussolini and enabled him to create a fascist puppet state in northern Italy.

See Corporatism.


Mainly used in connection with systems of government. In the American context it refers to a central national government and regional governments called states. The powers of government are divided between the central and state governments. In fact, the regional constituents—"the people"—retain a special set of rights and duties, but in the American system state powers are not equal to those of the federal government because, as explicitly stated in Article VI (2):

This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

As enforced by the Civil War (1861-65) the states are not "independent" of the Constitution or the national government. The people in the states have many autonomous powers of action, but not independence. There are both older and newer concepts of federalism that seek to distort the American government by asserting that local governments and units chartered by them, mainly corporations, have powers equal to "the people." The powerful Federalist Society, mainly a lawyer organization that seeks to define laws to suit the purpose of its members, purveys an image that identifies with certain royalist founders that preferred British legal systems that delegated power by charters. It has become a "divide and rule" method that creates thousands of local "governments" in each state.

The main ideas concerning modern federalism originated in a constitution of united "states" after thirteen (of 17) English colonies revolted against British rule in 1775. In 1776, they agreed to obey Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union drawn up by their Congress. These articles divided powers between the Congress and the member states, somewhat like between the King and his colonies. The relationship was based on law and not royal whim as stated by Thomas Paine in Common Sense:

Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth, placed on the divine law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king.

The Articles were based on wartime measures and failed to provide a strong central government with adequate power to enforce its legislation. The much-revised structure of 1789 authorized both legislation and taxes to operate directly upon the people; and provided for various procedures to resolve conflicts between the governments and the people. The essential attribute of U.S. federalism is that power flows upward from the people and is not properly imposed from above.

Matters entrusted to the states are substantial but properly meant to be equal as to legal status and (ideally) even in such matters as size, population, and wealth. The states have had considerable leeway in devising and changing their forms of government and their procedures and the three latter characteristics of equality have rarely been achieved. National and state powers usually overlap and intermix.

When in 1787 a federal convention drew up a Constitution for the United States of America (Preamble) to overcome the basic weaknesses of the system of government under the Articles, it provided in the Constitution for a complete central government to legislate for and operate directly upon the entire nation in accordance with a list of granted powers. They left the states in existence as autonomous units to exercise the residue of powers not conferred by the Constitution upon the central government. They also preserved the Union of the states, established by the Articles, and indeed tried to make it "more perfect", but the Articles themselves were entirely superseded by the Constitution.

After a number of other countries, notably Switzerland, Canada, and Australia, and, for certain periods, Germany, had acquired similar constitutions and dual forms of government, scholars felt the need for a general term to designate their class of governmental systems, The abstract noun federalism began then to be used to denominate the type or principle of organization, while the more concrete terms federation, federal republic, Bund, and Bundestaat were employed to designate the specific entities.

Two other changes have more recently occurred involving (a) the use of the term "a federalism" to designate a particular country that operates under a federal type of constitution, and (b) the use of the plural term "federalisms" to refer to two or more such actual governments or to the entire class of governments based on federal principles.

See Bill of Rights and Federalists.


The proponents of the 1789 constitution called themselves federalists. Although the word "federal" is not to be round in its text, the Constitution itself came to be called the "federal Constitution" mainly because its principles were expounded in the famous "Federalist Papers" by A. Hamilton, J. Madison, and J. Jay. The central government so established is still generally called the federal government. The political party that emerged from the successful movement for the Constitution and that, in effect, ruled the country for eleven years became known the Federalist party. Its nationalizing policy could be designated "federalism."

The 1789 Constitution promptly integrated a Judiciary Act but it was in effect for less than two years and largely became unconstitutional when the Bill of Rights was added. The unhappy lawyers rallied behind a Federalist Party and in the closing days of John Adam’s regime tried to impose their legal system by a host of judicial appointments. In the infamous case of Marbury v. Madison (1803). John Marshall acted as chief justice to impose this drastic revision by pretending that the Judiciary Act did not conflict with the Bill of Rights and declared only part of it void. Of course he did not have authority to say so and by any ethical measure should have recused himself from making the decision (as one of the midnight Federalist appointees by a lame-duck administration). This lawyer coup d’etat favored the undemocratic South and warrants a long exposition, but not here. The original pro-royal Federalist party was discredited in 1815 but soon returned in other forms and persists today as a voluntary association oriented towards Anglophile lawyers.

Four Freedoms

Based on mention in a news conference of July 1940, on 6 January 1941 Roosevelt’s publicly declared a principle that the United States was interested in safeguarding Four Freedoms including: freedoms of religion, speech, and from want everywhere in the world, and freedom from fear anywhere in the world. At the same time he asked Congress to approve lend-lease credits "to those nations which are now in actual war with aggressor nations. The discussion about the words everywhere and anywhere warrants further research because these were likely watered down to serve British colonial concerns.

[Comment: Corporations later joined in advertising campaigns to invent a "fifth freedom" which they called free enterprise, and how the business of America was Business. They invoked images of God to give supernatural blessing to their system as if the modern corporation worked for the national good rather than for its directors and stockholders. Such images of patriotic values are now so routine that they have overcome the fact that the country arose from a visceral opposition to the idea of rule by colonial charters.]

See Atlantic Charter.


We may distinguish freedom to do what is legally allowed when potential alternatives of choice are still open, as opposed to conditions of external restraint. Only in the latter condition is it appropriate to talk of a lack of freedom. Immediacy of desire is not at issue. Normal usage would therefore encompass a desire to do something along with ability to do it, not impeded by others or existing institutions. In Liberty and Social Control (1935) John Dewey noted that Liberty is:

…not just an idea, an abstract principle. It is power, effective power to do specific things. There is no such thing as liberty in general; liberty, so to speak, at large.

Such concepts lead to formulations of political philosophy that delineate many freedoms, each with burdens and constraints. Some who treat freedom in this normal sense, such as J. S. Mill and Hobbes, insist that freedom must be restrained to stop willful behavior so that people can enjoy the benefits of a society. This will enable them to profit from individual wit or strength; as per Epictetus "no wicked man is free." Therefore it includes finding a right path and living in conformity to reason, if not to a specific morality. Law is therefore not an enemy of freedom.

Corporatist philosophers stress this need for power and distort the normal idea of freedom by asserting that it requires conditions deemed essential for developing individual opportunities or capacities. Hegel maintains that such freedom requires the observance of a standard of reason that is found in the state as "the actualization of freedom." Such views of reason can lead to brutality rationalized as national service. In the convoluted logic of service to the state, American freedom (per first sentence) is applied as a punishment for disobedience, as with someone cast out from the protection of the herd. Similarly, they may depict freedom as a selfish, immoral condition, as when Milton equates liberty to license:

For who loves that must first be good and wise.

…or depend on those who are, such as a philosopher prince. Religious concerns about liberty are noted by Bishop Sheen in a Catholic Hour broadcast (1941):

One of the greatest disasters that happened to modern civilization was for democracy to inscribe "liberty" on its banners instead of "justice". ... The industrial and social injustice of our era is the tragic aftermath of democracy’s overemphasis on freedom as the "right to do whatever you please". No, freedom means the right to do what you ought, and ought implies justice, and justice implies God. So too in war, a nation that fights for freedom divorced from justice has no right to war, because it does not know why it wants to be free, or why it wants anyone else to be free.

Even in conventional views, it often depends on what one is free to do. Freedom is just one of several lauded values, not always good in itself, so it may have to give way to claims for security, equality, or justice. It is therefore completely logical in a context of social order to curtail freedom of economic enterprise to promote such alternative ends. Wolves and sheep obviously differ in their definitions of freedom. The context here is, however, a positive one wherein a claim for liberty demands conditions for personal or national self-actualization within a moral frame of reference that goes beyond obedience to the state. It does not include a desire to unburden oneself of a proper duty or responsibility.

Libertarian factions who claim to be for justice through minimum government often abuse definitions of freedom. The fallacy of their logic is in overlooking the power vacuum created by less government, which is promptly filled by other entities, particularly outlaw or poorly regulated corporations. Their philosophy tends to mix with anti-tax sentiment that oppose the federal government and lapses into state-rights extremism.

See Liberty

Golden Rule

Generally refers to ancient moral and religious philosophy. The Master Kung (or Confucius from Latinized Chinese characters for K’ung Foo-tsze), made it plain in his Analects XII:2 & XV:23 in 500BC, when a student asked: "Can a word serve as a rule of practice for all life?" He said:

Is not reciprocity such a word? "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."

Then there are the Talmud Shabat 31a, Buddhist Udana-Varga V:19, Hindu Mahabarata V:1517, and the Muslim Hadith and Sunnah. All have similar quotes to that of the Christian Religion in the New Testament (Mark XII: 31, Matthew VII: 12, Luke VI: 31, or John XV:12). To divert people towards immorality the common strategy is to focus on violent exceptions to this such as those amply found in the genocidal parts of the Old Testament.


Customary American usage, founded on theories by Montesquieu and Rousseau, defined government as the relationship between a state and its subjects that stressed public operations (res-publica) or citizenship (civitas) and required an adjective such as republican, monarchical, or parliamentary. The British are trained to use "government" as a verb, referring to a specific control. It is the system by which control is imposed. Imperial government sought ordered rule in a "commonwealth" including fundamental state institutions such as law, custom, and convention. As a noun this reference includes persons who govern. The Federalists and several corrupt U.S. states kept "commonwealth" concepts and respected royal forms. Most founders of this country found them contrary to independence.

Habeas Corpus (Writ of)

Court order that prisoners be brought before a court and that detaining officers show cause why they should not be released. It literally means that a jailer should "produce the body" to explain why it is being held. This ancient principle of both English and American law was designed to prevent illegal arrests and unlawful imprisonment. It is currently often held in contempt by the Bush/Ashcroft regime.


(Definitions vary from psychology to history and sociology. This one stresses sociology.)

A way of doing something that consists of norms, values, statuses, roles, and relationships. It is not a group but its structure and is commonly accepted as an explicitly right form of organization surrounding an important activity. in a culture. Sociological institutions affect virtually the entire society and each is served by many associations. Some universal institutions such as religion (motivated by a dread of the supernatural or unknown) may antedate a a particular society’s written history and carry involve moral sanctions. More modern institutions develop formal norms and rules, and may impose laws to assure "legal" enforcement.

The term denotes strategically significant social concerns each accompanied by distinctive social interactions. Its use emphasizes established relationships within an entire complex.

It may reference organizations containing such a complex but the emphasis is on its processes. For example, a discussion on the failure of the political institution of the Weimar Republic might focus on the failure of judicial and military institutions to respect their oath of allegiance to a relatively short-lived written Constitution. A similar discussion on the American republic might focus on undermining a long established written Constitution by economic institutions. In a monarchy without a written constitution, such as great Britain, similar discussion would center on a different pattern of loyalties and norms. A post mortem on the 2000 presidential election, for example, could examine judicial interference from both a Constitutional and Aristocratic perspectives. Only the former would be appropriate to an American context unless the level of analysis had been compromised.

Associations are viewed as groups organized to pursue interests according to structures defined by institutions. Distinctive value-orientations will shape the character of interaction. Different social concerns generate and accompany the interaction surrounding various institutions. They serve to define and limit the agenda of the Society to the point that certain issues are not even addressed. In the Weimar Republic the loyalty of the officer corps remained unchallenged. In the American Republic the economic credibility of corporations is pervasive even though many of them remain diametrically opposed to political foundations.

The analysis of value patterns and modes of social interaction is particularly important to Sociology. At the strategic level, for purposes of prediction or protection, it has tools to examine change or infiltration of social institutions. For example, regardless if an American school is "liberal" or "authoritarian" we would expect teachers in both to function for transmitting an important heritage. Depending on how worthwhile that heritage is perceived by the teachers, the education "process" could expand or limit student receptivity.

Such interaction between teachers and students would shape the outcome of the transaction. Sociologists could determine the extent to which a publicly funded education process develops independent thinking or serves as propaganda to serve the business or political interests. A proper analysis would carefully define the dependent and independent variables in the education process or some similar institution. Fortunately, is not difficult to see if its purpose is to extend ignorance or fear of the supernatural or if develops human reason.

In broad terms, an economist might perform a similar institutional analysis by having someone "follow the money" and a politician might demand to know where the power resides. In terms of democratic institutions, the structure of social phenomena such as education, religion, family (marriage & inheritance), economy (property & personhood), politics (military power), and health (medical access, prevention, recreation) deserve particular attention and an intelligent public is required to provide vigilance and protection of core values.

Judicial Review

As invented by the fourth US Chief Justice, the term means the power of the Court to determine the constitutionality of the actions of the legislative branches of state and federal government. The US Constitution does not provide for judicial review and this form was rejected by framers of the 1789 Constitution. The right of such review was rarely even claimed in colonial practice before 1787.

There was some tradition of such reviews in medieval English law. This was within a scope of a "fundamental law" superior to any king. Since the courts were involved in interpreting common law, some came to view judges as protectors of this "natural" citizen right. It was, however, generally recognized that the courts lacked power to enforce it. Local aristocrats could often otherwise circumvent the law and the royal sovereignty of parliament also prevailed to control the courts.

The American colonists instead claimed that the people could impose legal limitations on both the parliament and king. The wording used by the framers of the Constitution provided for a judicial system wherein the courts would be subordinate to popularly chosen Executive and Legislative branches. Despite that, it has since been arbitrarily imposed to cover even administrative actions implemented by non-constitutional statutes. One recent example of its abusive nature is in the 2000 presidential election when the Supreme Court decided to overrule a state process of selecting presidential electors. When did the problem begin?

Since many of the original Southern members of Congress had a strong distrust of democracy and most legislators were lawyers, they allowed the Supreme Court to take this expanded authority (see Bill of Rights discussion). If president Jefferson had acted vigorously he could probably have reversed the character of the court. He could have properly emphasized his cousin’s obvious conflict of interest because, as Secretary of State under Adams, Marshall had been particularly responsible for the Federalist attempt to pack the courts in Marbury vs. Madison.

Although the courts have no official power to impose ‘advisory’ opinions according to the Constitution, the practice was permitted in the past and is not always a threat. It should be able to state when a law violates the Constitution but this is a question of fact and not opinion, which is best accomplished during legislation. In other words, any "review" should be finished before a law is passed.

Now these renegade powers even extend to defining who can be an American. The US statutes on immigration and citizenship are codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), nominally provided in Title 8 of the US Code (8 USC) and many such USC titles or volumes have been properly accepted as current "positive law." That is not so with Title 8 because items in US immigration and citizenship law refer to appropriate sections of the INA that often don’t correspond to section numbers in 8 USC. It means that Administrative Law judges get to interpret this law and are able to confer dual citizenship. For the right price, a well connected robber-baron (like Rupert Murdoch) can find an appropriate judge to ease the process. Who could legally challenge this imposition?

By invoking the royal concept of precedents (stare decisis), judicial review is used to resolve legislative questions. No matter how flawed, its prior decisions are used as a measure for deciding future rulings. In no other country has this power assumed such proportions as in the United States, where nine unelected lawyers can swing the fate of a nation without even a reference to a jury procedure, much less any broader consensus or consent. Isn’t this unlawful?

In fact, there is not even a requirement that members of the highest court be technically trained as lawyers (as with Earl Warren), which calls the whole legal licensing process into question. Decisions on fact were intended by the founders to be left to juries, which is why there were two Amendments (6th & 7th) to that effect in the Bill of Rights. The judges were meant to be in court mostly as referees.

Now this country has more lawyers than the rest of the world combined, so the system is balanced against juries. The idea that the power to interpret and apply provisions of the Constitution properly belongs to an impartial national jury. It should not extend to political appointees as in the current racket. If judges are essential then a French system would be better, where the top court (Court of Cassation) consists of several judges who review lower court decisions and may nullify them, so the case must be tried again. This contrasts to the US Supreme Court that ignores justice by refusing to grant certiorari in all but a handful of the cases.

In essence, federal courts have been able to invalidate acts of administrative officials, the Chief Executive, and to declare acts of state governments void. Likewise, state constitutions were generally interpreted as granting a similar power of judicial review to their own courts. Thomas Paine, in his 1805 Letter to the Citizens of Pennsylvania called this a system for the "emolument of lawyers" and suggested that a Constitutional Convention eliminate the danger. Such a drastic measure is probably unnecessary because there is no such power in the Constitution and the election of democratic-minded representatives could reverse the corruption and eject the entire incestuous trend of licensing a lawyer profession.

The Court’s position on constitutional questions was meant to be pertinent in the regular business of adjudicating controversies involving individual rights. The logic behind Judicial Review was provided in the Federalist Papers (16, 78, 79) by one lawyer, Alexander Hamilton, and was barely mentioned by anyone else except James Madison (Federalist No. 44) who in opposition suggested that "usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments," and that:

"…a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers."

The idea of three equal branches of government is sheer fiction invented by those who have reason to fear real democracy. Anyone who bothers to read the Constitution will quickly discover that the Courts are subordinate to Congress. Madison did not expect that the usurpers would be able to destroy effective representation. Now the highest court simply ignores over 90% of the individual cases it receives and refuses to grant certiorari to more than 10% of those that remain. Such exclusive arrogance is unthinkable in other civilized countries.

The simplest solution is to restore true representation, which won’t happen through the courts. A proper reading on the original branches of government shows that they were intended to include the people acting through the Congress and juries as a balance against the appointive power of the Executive branch.


The word is chiefly used in the sense "the setting right of wrong" or "giving every person their due." The first sense derives from doing of justice to a victim or doer of injustice by repaying them their due as a result of a specific injustice either by punishing the doer or compensating the victim of wrong. Justice, in the second implies a respect for rules that prescribe how people behave towards one another in terms of rights and duties.

The kinds of justice were systematically discussed starting in Aristotle’s Ethics (Book V) and even older Chinese writings. Plato makes a royal distinction between legal custom as it is and as it ought to be in the Statesman where he argues that, because the written law does not comprehend nobility, it is better that the wise should enforce what is best. In the Republic he also explains how reason can be used to establish justice. Roman jurists also used this latter conception in the Justinian Institutes, which distinguished common law (jus gentium) from law prescribed by reason (jus naturale). They conceived that institutions such as slavery could be admitted as contrary to reason and yet be accepted in Rome’s empire.

Hobbes added another dimension to common law justice based on contracts and linking a breach of a covenant to a more narrow standard of injustice, which approves a coercive power strong enough to enforce contracts and applies justice by obeying a proven superior. Many have refuted his idea that "might makes right" but this influence prevails.

Writers such as Hume argue that the latter "covenants" must not arise from some vaguely understood promise or sympathy but by a popularly established practice. Justice is not some "artificial virtue" but consists of rules that are kept because they are in the common interest. Utilitarians (like J.S. Mill) would add that such rules were not real unless there was a sanction if it were broken and that those who suffered when the rule is broken desire punishment. In the case of American justice, a powerful minority could undermine sanctions against outlaws to the U.S. Constitution even if the majority desires enforcement. (If Lincoln’s supporters had chosen to allow secession, would a slave South still exist?)

In terms of current theory, the work of Dr. John Rawls (1921-2002) stands out. He taught at Princeton (1950-52), Cornell (1953-59), M.I.T. (1960-62), and joined the Harvard Philosophy Department in 1962. As Professor Emeritus (1979) there he worked on the frontiers of knowledge "in such a way as to cross the conventional boundaries of the specialties." His work continues to influence ethics, law, political science, and economics. His 1971 A Theory of Justice" persuasively argues for a society based on equality and individual rights where:

"Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. Therefore, in a just society the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests."

This book, nominated for the National Book Award, established him as one of the most important political philosophers of the 20th century. It was translated into more than two dozen languages and offered answers to many questions based on a philosophy of past liberalism. Besides the aforementioned examples Rawls also examined the works of Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and many others. His publications include "Political Liberalism" (1993), "The Law of Peoples" (1999), "Collected Papers" (1999), "Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy" (2000), and "Justice as Fairness: A Restatement" (2001). of Justice,"

Except in journals of intellectual opinion, justice is usually rejected as a guiding principle of world order. The question of how countries pursue legal means to ensure survival and avoid bankruptcy is often one of power and not morality. The choices made are often governed by the rule of force and, as past empires discovered, counter-force.

Left wing

The historic derivation of left and right politics is simpler in derivation than liberal and conservative. Left and right are each generally used to characterize three main tendencies of socio-political thought and action. Left was probably first used as a political term in France during the Revolution. A common explanation is that at the first two joint meeting of the States-General (1789), the Third Estate, which represented the people, went to the King’s left. By 1791, the more revolutionary Deputies also sat on the left of the National Assembly. In this disposition, to be in favor of change placed one on the left and those favoring the more Revolution sat furthest to the left. For a century after 1815, those on the left continued to express a favorable view towards the Revolution of 1789, although they knew that further revolution was illegal. Accepting the spirit of 1789 marked the main difference of the left from the right. An anti-religious spirit that had characterized the early years of the revolution also became more characteristic after 1850 but diminished where the Catholic Church became more involved in social justice.

The quote by from Thomas Jefferson’s letter in the first section of this file expresses major differences between the two kinds of political parties. They are imprecise because they vary at different times and cultures. Our analysis has also suggested the institutionalization of a third type of party that is criminal in its disposition, and associates that tendency with the aristocracy of the right wing. The left has historically instead been associated with a desire for social change more rapid than parliamentary evolution, The left emphasizes State responsibility for helping the weak through social welfare and protecting equality of rights before the law. The slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" captures the spirit although it would now add "Sorority" or replace the last word by Humanity.

In the US, where the rich now control most media, left is often used in a pejorative sense to mainly mean intellectuals, welfare seekers, and even Communist sympathizers. In fact, French revolutionary ideas resonated to the anti-Federalist tradition associated with Thomas Paine and Jefferson. They never acquired cohesive force in this country because of George Washington’s opposition to foreign involvement. There were also genuine royalist sympathizers among the founders, such as Hamilton, Jay, and even John Adams.

Since the Russian Revolution (1917), the left has been associated a rise of Socialism and approval of State intervention in economic life, even to the point of total State control of industry and agricultural cooperatives. After World War 2, some elements of the left even associated with Leninist ideas involving "dictatorship by a vanguard of the proletariat", which perceptive analysts instead recognized as a form of state capitalism more properly associated with the right. Most European states have adopted the conventional divisions but the term continued to be indiscriminately used in England to describe the Communists, Socialists and Liberals. Since similar language dominates US conservatism, it has become more productive to speak in terms of specific programs and policies.

Also see right wing.

Leninism (Bolshevism)

The term, also called Bolshevism, is the malevolent form of Marxism that was developed by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov who adopted the name Lenin in 1902 (apparently from the Lena River near home). He used it in connection with a book What Is To Be Done?, which described the need for a disciplined working-class party hierarchy with a narrow revolutionary vanguard in charge. Bolshevism was adapted by Lenin to define his Russian Social Democratic Labor Party that achieved a majority (bolshe is Russian for "more") during a 1903 Second Party Congress. The Mensheviks (Menshe is Russian for "fewer") rejected its doctrinaire concept and disregard for genuine worker interests; fearing that centralized power was prone to corruption. Lenin was originally in the minority (28-23) but by session 27 he forced out two opposition groups, which also wrecked the Congress. The new party was one of its few achievements. Bolshevik officially designated Russian Communists from 1912 to 1952.

Lenin’s application counterpoised reformist to socialist ideology and defined both Marx and Engels as bourgeois intellectuals whose ideas had to merge into revolutionary worker movements. Although adapting Marxist views of history, Bolshevism became synonymous with Leninism by 1950 as defining the theory and tactics applied by Stalin in "the only consistent revolutionary Marxist trend in the international labor movement." It has aspects of a secular religion aiming at a eventual classless society but often imposed its ideology by brutal, anti-democratic policies that enforced a multi-ethnic Soviet empire. Lenin made atheism mandatory for Bolshevik Party members. His dictatorship of the proletariat was to be unrestricted by any laws, with morality subordinated to a class struggle.

After its initial revolutionary stage, during which it was violently resisted, Lenin’s approach was generally defined as progressive and adaptive in contrast to the evils of the Great Depression. Lenin defined capitalism as heaven compared to feudalism but hell compared to socialism. Stalin decided to consolidate power around one country (a sixth of the world) before exporting revolution. He was even willing to ally himself with Hitler. This disaffected many communists in other countries, who often rallied behind Trotsky. This was forgiven after Hitler attacked Russia and Stalin became "Uncle Joe." After World War 2, Bolshevism became associated with Stalin’s totalitarian policies, which could just as easily have been called Stalinism if the doctrine had been clearly enunciated. Instead the arbitrary corruption that the original Menshevik socialists had warned about became obvious.

Some observers (East German Green Party activist Rolf Bahro) have called the system "state capitalism" wherein western style corporations are imitated by giant farm and factory cooperatives. They distribute power or benefits rather than capital. In fact Lenin was quiet willing to experiment with western methods, as with his New Economic Policy. Those who lived under the system in central Europe after the war saw it as more akin to fascism than to socialism. Although rivaling its brutality, Bolshevism never matched Nazism in terms of racial murders. Its treatment of women and children during military operations was also less harsh.

There is a tendency to consider the whole system a failure, which overlooks that it almost unilaterally defeated a Germanic empire by 1943. In contrast, Czarist Russia was forced to surrender in 1917 to Germans who were fully engaged in other ground campaigns in the west and south. Its economic system failed but that must be seen in the context of major military destruction (1941-43) of its European territory and U.S. support to former fascist states, with little effort to impose fair compensation to the victims of aggression. To the extent that democracy fails in Russia, it is likely to return to successful Leninist policies.


In the 18th century, "classical liberalism was a political philosophy that advocated smaller government and greater individualism, much as modern conservatives do today. In modern times, neo-Liberalism, as a political philosophy, promotes the private sector but advocates greater public support, defense, with necessary regulation.

Neo-Liberals are the dominant counterpoint to conservatives and believe in private ownership of the means of production. Modern American Liberals, or neo-Liberals, are democratic capitalists. That is, they believe that private capitalist individuals should own and control the means of production, as long as they operate within the democratic law.

One of the main features of the Great American Debate is the perversion of basic political terms. Political correctness (PC) tends to undermine free speech so most liberals do not buy into the PC movement and believe that speech should be free until it unduly harms someone else. Then the law properly prohibits it, just as it prohibits fraud, false advertising, libel, perjury, insider trading and other forms of harmful speech. Although hate language may be harmful to its victims, PC codes fail to address the problem because it is not the words themselves, but how they are used, that causes harm. That is, positive words can be used hatefully, and negative words can be used endearingly. PC codes are ineffective and therefore an unnecessary limitation on free speech. Furthermore, PC codes are often selected and enacted by Conservatives contrary to the democratic values of true liberalism.

See Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism


As a political philosophy that calls for as much self-government for individuals as possible. Liberalism of the right seeks very strong (even sovereign) property rights for individuals, sometimes accompanied by minimalist government mainly for police and military defense. Liberalism of the left is more concerned with hierarchical authority, particularly by capitalist companies and the state but is closer in philosophy to forms a form of anarchism


As a founding principle of the American republic, the term normally denotes independence and the state of freedom beyond the control of another. Cicero said it means "sharing in power." Political philosopher Ralph Perry listed seven meanings of liberty, which are relevant to democracy. Prior to government they are (1) positive versus (2) negative liberty and (3) primitive versus (4) moral liberty. An introduction of government generates three additional meanings: (5) legal liberty, or liberty under government; (6) civil liberty, or liberty against government; and (7) political liberty which implies an ability for government to take action.

"Civil" liberty derives from the Latin civitas for citizen and such liberty denotes the freedom derived from relationships guaranteed by law (except for public interest). It becomes a civil right when claimed through judicial or legal action. The guaranteed enjoyment of such rights is the basic content of a citizen status, which also implies certain duties (such as taxes). That is why some object when non-citizens, dual-citizens, or corporations excessively assume the rights, or when illegal aliens altogether plan avoid those various duties by timely escape.

See Freedom.


Karl Marx (1818-83) founded scientific socialism but his economic views on class warfare have generally been shown to be invalid. Most would probably still value his sociological insights because he proposed a system for reducing class exploitation of the many by the few. Much of his revolutionary rhetoric was later adapted by Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin and that is what accounts for his continued notoriety. The philosophy underlying Marxism, Dialectical Materialism, never had solid foundation, which explains why it could be dogmatically embraced in China and the Soviet Union, even as they denounced each other’s "revisionism."

Marx rejected Hegel’s idealism and nationalism, including the role accorded to heroes. He accepted the proposed science of dialectics, which regards history as progressing through contradictions requiring periodic, somewhat violent synthesis or reorganization. Such opposition, by stressing unification of truth, essentially demonstrates its relativity. For Marx, this human evolution was determined, not by spiritual, but by basically economic factors.

He was not essentially against religion but, in his 1844 Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of the Right, he did say:

Religion is the soul of soulless oppression, the heart of heartless world, the opium of the people.

This phrase is often quoted out of context because at the time opium was not defined as a poison but as a pain reliever. Even so, he stressed material determinism over the notion of supernatural causation. Although he claimed that his dialectic was opposite to that of Hegel’s ("standing on its head"), the material factors he posited, like the cosmic ones of Hegel (The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.), were often outside of conscious human control but certainly far less mysterious. At the cost of class division, the positive aspect was in a shift from racism and tribalism towards international unity, as in:

Labor in a white skin cannot be free as long as labor in a black skin is branded.. (1867 Manuscript of Das Capital).

He tried to offer a plausible historical explanation for his prediction that underlying economic forces cause the class-structure of society and history does document a rise and fall of dominant economic classes. Capital was therefore not examined as personal power, but as a social power. He did not claim to discover class conflict but believed that he could prove that the existence of classes was connected to certain historical struggles that arose out of the development of production. He believed that class struggle necessarily led to dictatorship of the proletariat, which itself was only a transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society; based on the French Socialist idea of 1848 (by Louis Blanc):

From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs. (Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen; from the 1875 "Critique of the Gotha Program").

It was a hopeful idea. Unfortunately ability is more finite than human needs.

From the 1848 Communist Party Manifesto, the politicas of Marxism may be summed up in the single sentence: "Abolition of private property." Some of the specific points of the Manifesto make perfect sense if the "state" (which it describes) can fairly correspond to We the People]. It did not propose unlimited welfare or giving power to the poor, which he describes as the "dangerous class,"

…the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lower layers of old society, here and there, may be swept into joining a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more to function as bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.

Marx can be viewed as cheerleader for justice rather than a social scientist. Real scientists do not rely on unproved assumptions and the sort of assertions that he offered as logic. As a philosopher and historian, Marx barely survived from earnings as a journalist and the charity of Friedrich Engels (1820-95). As an example of wishful thinking, one of his main arguments was that:

"…just as the revolutionary bourgeoisie overthrew feudalism, so will the revolutionary proletariat overthrow the bourgeoisie."

We can consider how he adapted his logic to the American Civil War. Here is what he wrote in 1865 as an open letter to President Lincoln:

When an oligarchy of 300,000 Slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the World, Slavery on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European Revolution of the 18th Century, when on those very spots counter revolution ... [promoted slavery, then European workers understood] ... with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.

Marx praised the two American wars of independence as initiating a new era for middle class ascension, so he promoted the Civil War as a struggle against slavery that would similarly establish a worker class. He considered Lincoln, a "single-minded Son of the Working Class," leading America through a "struggle for the rescue of the enchained Race." On the other hand, Marx did not conceive of a working class movement without socialist mass support and he might have realized that American was not moving in that direction.

In his novel 1984, Orwell depicted the Goldstein character as a Marx figure of hope for the hopeless, which would explain why corporate media continues to maintain his credibility. Conservatives would understandably wish to divert from the pragmatic democratic ideology of a Thomas Paine to the brutally applied revolution of Leninism or Stalinism, which they can attack as terrorism.

See Leninism (Bolshevism)


The Masons are one of the largest fraternal groups in the world with dozens of distinct lodges in the United States. Membership generally requires a firm belief in a Supreme Being within a central theme of moral behavior, self-improvement, and acts of charity. Most of the groups perform valuable community service and a promote pure fellowship. As with any secretive organization, there is some extremism and several groups have a fringe tradition of mysticism that deserves attention. The conspiracy literature on Rosicrucians, Illuminati, and Knights Templar, need not be described here except to say that in the early nineteenth century, there was a strong counter-movement in this country against groups that seemed connected to British aristocracy. That mystic "conspiracy" may deserves institutional analysis.

The reign of the first Hanoverian King (1714) coincided with formal establishment of Masonic cells ("lodges") all over England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. They elected a new Grand Master on 24 June 1717 and around 1737, a Scottish Grand Lodge was created boasting a lineage to the crusading Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (rather than stonecutters); i.e., making John the Baptist one of its patron saints. A decisive oration (March 1737) talked about Crusaders trying to unite individuals of all nations in "one sole Fraternity." Similar Templar orders of monastic knights existed in Germany and France. The Pope originally sanctioned them for Crusades but within a few hundred years they broke with Catholic tradition to embrace a mercantile aristocracy. The Teutonic knights led this imperial tradition.

A multinational alliance of these knights was decisively beaten at Grünwald/Tannenburg (1410) by a Polish-led coalition. It took centuries for this "knighthood" to recover and it did so largely as an underground Protestant movement, particularly in England (Elizabeth I & Henry VIII). As part of their tradition they adopted anti-Catholic symbols. After consolidating their power they took revenge on Poland (including removal from the European map in 1815). Its symbols spread to the United States. Former Confederate general N.B. Forest’s Masonic Lodge and Knights of the White Camelia (KKK) adapted the burning cross (commemorating the Elizabethan "gunpowder plot") in the Reconstructed South.

This early Ku Klux Klan was almost entirely a white supremacy organization that accepted Catholics without restriction, especially if they had been former Confederates. The KKK rose again in 1920 as a more broadly based hate organization, whose targets included Negroes, Jews, and Catholics. The rebirth of the organization can be studied through a history of "colonel" William J. Simmons. The promotion was aided by Edward Y. Clarke and Liz Tyler, who solicited heavily in Masonic lodges. The KKK rose to include over 100,000 members by 1923. They could not stop Alfred Smith’s nomination in 1928 but made sure he was beaten. Similar anti-Catholic sympathies were evident in the 1960 and 2004 elections.

They are not condoned by mainstream Masons, but secretive traditions of cronyism and patronage serve the interests of these bigoted splinter groups. The extreme Mason tradition of monastic knights during the Crusades, became historically incompatible with Christianity because of its reliance on blood oaths backed by threats of violence. Since it opposed the Roman Catholic Church, however, the Church of England partly embraced Masonic traditions. The Catholic Church formed Opus Dei partly in opposition to the Templars. Both take oaths that are incompatible with the one taken to defend the U.S. Constitution.

Aristocratic Calvinists and Millennial fundamentalists, with their mystical references to Jerusalem, have also found a home within certain Masonic lodges. Simply put, they are part of a global aristocracy claiming "to serve all mankind" as they dismantle institutions connected to informed democracy. They operate through giant media, telecommunications, and commercial corporations that did not exist during the formal establishment of Freemasonry. The bestow preferential treatment to its members within a strict hierarchy that values loyalty above a tradition of republican democracy, which also did not exist before 1776.

See Calvinism and Millennialism.


Pentecostal and Fundamentalist Associations included millennialism in their creed mainly after 1916, when W.E. Blackstone sent all Protestant pastors his book Jesus Is Coming. It popularized the idea of Scofieldism and the Second Coming, which conservative Baptists and most Presbyterian leaders accepted in ardent reaction against modernism, a theology that had reinterpreted much of the Scriptures with symbolic and often liberal meanings wherein doctrines regarding the end of this world and literal descriptions of the next world were often removed from the message. The fundamentalists instead advocated literalism.

On this opposite extreme, they denounced figurative language and embraced political conservatism. Emergence of Israel seemed to presage a "Second Coming" and the World Wars seemed consisten with Apocalyptic scripture. There are differences between post and premillennialism, with the latter having more acceptance. Frequently Dispensationalism is regarded as identical to Premillennialism because of shared interpretations of Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Although Dispensationalists are Premillennialists, the reverse is not true. The former are usually Jewish. The founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1872 (Charles Russell) was a dispensationalist but his doctrine was put on a more profitable basis by Joseph Rutherford (1916) and Nathan Knorr (1942). As with the pacifist emphasis of the latter faction, Premillennialists have many internal differences.

They generally agree that the millennial construct includes several major events (or dispensations). Terms such as "great tribulation," "first and second resurrection," "transfiguration" or "rapture," "Antichrist," judgment based on attitude toward the Jews, and fulfillment of Messianic prophecies that include destruction of Satan (followed by a new heaven and new earth); capture some of the central ideas. Christian TV celebrities bombard American with these new biblical impositions (newer than Mormonism). Besides disagreements about specific premillennial references among them, an even greater variance is evident with mainstream Christianity, about five time more numerous. They present the church as covered or hidden by the cross until the end of time as opposed to the belief of a church of splendor that will stand on earth during the millennium.

Amillennial Christians find no Scriptural support at all for two resurrections and cite conclusive studies to prove the false distinction between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of God. They generally criticize arbitrary interpretation of Scripture like the adverb "then" (1 Cor. 15:24,) being forced to represent a 1,000 year millennium. Their less biased interpretation of Scripture (Rom. 11:25, 26.14 8) and "means of grace" belief contradicts the "conversion of Israel" doctrine that makes the Antichrist primarily an opponent of the Jews.

It predicts that they will succumb to Christian glory and splendor. By substituting eschatology for the belief in redemption, premillennialism undermines images of a peaceful Christ (Sermon on the Mount) with a violent one. Some even picture a Mosaic leader with angels in battle array physically warring against evil. The popularization of incoherent or militant doctrines, compared to those of mainstream Christianity, would be hard to explain without corporate promotion.

Based on ancient derivatives, its quotations generally rationalized state power to rally religious support for a dissemination of unearned wealth through government charters and a military industrial complex. Since the time of George Washington, "…so help me God" was traditionally added to the oath of office and Eisenhower decided to work with Congress to inject "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance (1964), This politically distinguished Americanism from communism but coincided with eschatology dealing with the end of the world, thus comfortably linking an increased risk of nuclear destruction.

See Calvinism and Religion.


Thomas Hobbes developed Naturalism and an Egoism that equated social Good with individual pleasure and pursuit of property. Such values infected America when John Locke (a slave-trade manager) wrote a charter for the Carolinas. His Second Treatise of Government compared slaves to property taken during war. Although Ben Franklin and Jefferson specifically opposed such a philosophy (hence "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"), it resonated to a Germanic militarism that had defeated the Christian values of France and Central Europe. This spread into England with the imposition of a Hanoverian dynasty. The philosophy eventually mutated into money-based Social Darwinism.

The Hobbesian worldview was first expressed by the philosophers Callicles and Thrasymachus, who proposed (in Plato’s Republic) that "might makes right." The shape of today’s corporate dictatorship began to take form after Francis Bacon (1561-1626) stipulated that the proper exercise of power required knowledge. (Knowledge itself is not power but, more often, a distraction). Specific knowledge is needed to impose power without blatant physical force. Having personally participated in monopoly fraud to enrich the Buckingham brothers, Bacon had experience in an imposition of "charter corporations," the instruments of choice for manipulating power during the Sixteenth Century. They often mixed with feudal land grants, a common form of royal payment in exchange for military service.

The Teutonic knights and their brother Templars had developed such forms of mercenary proto-capitalism since the Crusades and used varied methods of transferring property rights based on local tradition or religion. Starting about 500 years ago, however they were obtained, such charters often bequeathed wealth, which could purchase power. For example, tracing history shows how the charters instituted in the American colonies had developed from grants starting with Elizabeth I (1558-1603) through the Stuarts (1603-1714).

At the time, colonial patriotism was often synonymous with Protestantism but added a "levelling" tradition unlike that of mostly Catholic Europe. However, even the Mayflower Compact blatantly promoted royalism. It was barely interrupted by Cromwell’s Civil War. Henry Vane—former elected governor of Massachusetts did suggest a "convention to define the principles of liberty" when he returned to England. His proposal for a convention that might have led to a real constitution is documented in the Healing Question (1656).

Cromwell instead kept his more oppressive Instrument of Government (1653) and thus missed the chance. To this day, British attempts at "constitution" are more defined as powers "naturally" granted from above rather than as a government arising from the people. Corporate tyranny in America has largely imitated this, albeit without royal terminology.

Pledge of Allegiance

In contrast to the British system, the United States does not have a doctrine of absolute or perpetual allegiance. The latter issue was settled by American revolution (1775). The formulation for United States allegiance was thereafter to be demonstrated by an oath to support the Constitution and laws of the United States—not to support a current government. Current legal usage goes back to 1830 as connected to the principle of declaration of allegiance as based on a tie or duty (Ingress v. Sailor’s Snug Harbor, 3, Peters 99-155 ). The specific oath allegiance has changed over the years. Currently new citizens say:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty. to whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I sail support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that 1 will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

Almost immediately after 1830, British interests sought to shift allegiance back to their tradition and America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee) became the unofficial National Anthem sung to same tune as God Save the King/Queen. The Star Spangled Banner, which was ordered played at military services by Woodrow Wilson in 1916 was enacted as the official National Anthem in 1931. The Southern concept that citizenship should be connected to land ownership and property rights strongly divided the concept of allegiance until after the Civil War. With passage of the Fourteenth Amendment an effort was made to establish a uniform standard of citizenship as indicated by the above Oath of Citizenship. Meanwhile the British Naturalization Act (1870) had also undermined the concept that allegiance is due to a political structure, wherein only natural-born subjects had a right to own land and individuals owed allegiance to the sovereign from the moment of birth.

As parts of this country returned to a Hanoverian system, US-born citizens were deliberately indoctrinated into a system of allegiance based on attachment to symbols and social institutions such as schools and corporations, often further divided by religious loyalties. The allegiance is little more than emotional, wherein failure to maintain an attachment is mainly attended by social penalties. Historically, allegiance and protection are the reciprocal duties of subjects and governments, which means the protection of a sovereign in a British system.

In the American context government politicians, such as the president, assume that role. This medieval concept of liege-homage developed in feudal times and was similar to the Führerprinzip in Nazi Germany and other fascist states. This legal concept of allegiance no longer has a counterpart in German, French, or Italian systems because such feudal institutions were discredited by European fascism which had legal statutes that linked a failure to obey the royal or corporate leader with treason. The US ruling class still feels itself constrained from imposing an imperial presidency by the written constitution.

As Hitler destroyed the Weimar Constitution, he was faced the problem of changing allegiance from that document to himself and the Nazi party. He did this indirectly by adapting the colors of the Imperial commercial flag to replace the Weimar Republic flag of black, red, and gold (with a lineage to the 1848 revolution of liberal democracy). His soldiers then held the swastika flag as they pledged allegiance to him through the national symbol. Similar feudal traditions were adapted in the United States by the rented politicians of the Gilded Age.

The current official version of the Pledge of Allegiance, developed from an 1892 version that and was officially recognized in 1942, after the phrase "my flag," was changed to "flag of the United States of America." To gain support of the religious conservatives, in 1954 a Republican Congress enacted a new official version that added the words "under God." It reads:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The same political Party is currently leading efforts to criminalize attacks on the flag and to protect its links to formal religion. The underlying effort to replace the allegiance to the Constitution with corporate symbols remains largely unrecognized.


See Calvinism.

Programming (brainwashing)

As used here, programming refers to persuading someone against their will. Such methods go beyond typical salesmanship because subliminal suggestions operate on a subconscious level. There are now interspersal and neuro-language programming techniques that use embedded command gestures and phrases to plant a subconscious impression in the listener, often unrelated to the overt message. Generally, it involves imprinting the creative and imaginative right brain while distracting the analytical left brain. In simplest terms, that distraction involves creating an altered state of consciousness.

Shifts from "beta awareness" into an alpha state are often indicated by pupil dilation and measurable on EEG machines. Reaching an alpha state typically releases some of the body’s own opiate (enkephalins and Beta-endorphins), which feels good. Media-oriented politicians can be trained by specialists who know how to use such tricks. Typical examples include messages hidden behind music, rapid flashing on a screen, or design placements in a picture. The sophisticated suggestions to the subconscious are hard to detect. Even experts have trouble proving intent, as when there are particular visual pulses and sound vibrations that generate an alpha state (…was it aimed to alter consciousness or merely artistic?).

Rather than sending a message, another purpose may be to render an audience susceptible to command. One method uses inaudible, very-low frequency electromagnetic waves (ELFs). More sinister devices can be applied onto (not into) the skin. Without loudspeakers, or any audible sound, a message can be successfully transmitted directly to the brain. As used in the United States, it typically operates to make an audience warm and receptive, rather than uncomfortable and agitated. Other forms of programming, such as Soviet agit-prop, have the alternate intent. Government and corporate intelligence agencies are aware of this.

The manipulative medium is as simple as home television sets. As proven by EEG devices, while viewers watch TV right-brain activity outnumbers left-brain by about two to one. Viewers are already in a partial trance and sometimes already hypnotized. Deepening the trance is easy. One method injects a black frame to create a pulse (about 45-beats-per-minute). Those who go into deep enough trance can be instructed to remember particular things! Once action can be controlled, we will enter an alpha-level, Orwellian world. We are yet there.

So far manipulation acts mainly to destroy the attention span. Pulsing black frames would be too easy to discover on public systems. Sinister programming, as used above, is also not widespread because it takes preparation and could be damaging to perpetrators when it was exposed. More often the goal is simply creating a mood for diversion. Television helps control society by keeping it from thinking by making people credulous.

Besides encouraging passivism and implanting approval for a get-rich-quick morality, programs that do intentionally undermine democracy can implant hate speech for other mediums. For example, after religious shows define evil, starving the beast is used in press or posters as a way to encourage dismantling of government safety nets. In the subliminal arena, pictures can be more powerful than the stated message and television is ideal for visual communication.

Besides the message, much of the subliminal programming aims at creating a perceptive climate towards selected people or ideas. The role of music in creating "mood" is obvious. The constant marching in totalitarian countries is one example. Other music can be equally manipulative. It can serve to provide cultural imposition well beyond the soothing distraction we take it for.

Assuming that persons live to age eighty, they have close to 700,000 hours of life. If we deduct ten for sleep and necessary functions, that leaves about 400,000. The goal of those who seek to maintain power is often filling these hours with sports, musical noise, and other forms of distraction. It keeps citizens, who are viewed as a bewildered herd, from meaningful political action.

Those interested in gathering facts often prefer non-fiction text to more distracting media. It is possible to process printed words about three times faster than speech. Printed media can also serve subliminal programming and general distraction but is less popular because it leaves long lasting evidence. Reading also makes it easy to bypass commercial messages.

Unfortunately, by age 16, children have spent more than 10,000 hours watching television, which is far more time than they will spend in school! Whose facts have they learned and what forms of diversion have they found most acceptable? Remember those Ninja Turtle films? If they can make children admire sewer rats, what else are they capable of? The power of useless and confusing images on young minds is hard to know but the fact that suicide is the third most common cause of death among teenagers should cause concern.

See Propaganda.


A political philosophy that advocating change for the sake of progress, especially as led by science. A progressive is also considered a liberal person but the term is not to be confused the political philosophy of Liberalism. The U.S. Progressive Movement (1890-1920) was responsible for introducing reforms such as the initiative, the referendum, the recall, and in some states adopted campaign primaries to replace caucuses.

See Liberalism, Socialism

Propaganda (Framing)

The technique or methods of influencing attitudes and opinions in the hope of controlling some aspect of human behavior. Generally accepted as a term to describe modes of influencing conduct in order to resolve controversy, often as a military or political instrument. Distinguished from other techniques of influence such as overt violence or bribery. Soviet usage also made a distinction between agitation and more narrow printed forms, wherein the former presents only a few ideas to a mass of people with the "living" word.

The methods of propaganda can be traced to antiquity, as in the Sayings of Sun Tzu (551-479 BC). The sixth chapter in Mein Kampf describes War Propaganda probably as well as it can be. Modern descriptions are not much better and the concepts are not complicated.

There remain a variety of opinions as to the morality of propaganda but informed citizens distrust it, especially if it resorts to concealed sources that distort or suppress the truth in order to appeal to emotions rather than reason. Practitioners rationalize the immorality in terms of the ends to which propaganda is directed. Often moral justification is excused by the truth of the material being presented, even though the mechanics of manipulation may be questionable. US military doctrine is shifting to a terminology of "information warfare" wherein both the content and technology are seen as:

…strategic instruments to shape fundamental political, economic, military and cultural forces on a long-term basis to affect the global behavior of governments, supra-governmental organizations, and societies to support national security.

No absolute moral standards will likely apply in evaluating such activity in the near future.

Persuasive propaganda, although not technically brainwashing, manipulates the human mind without the target audience being aware of what caused the opinion shift. There are thousands of techniques in use today to accomplish this with distinctions among sources (black, white, gray). It is bad enough when the government resorts to such techniques against its own people in order to undermine democracy, but even worse if such methods are combined with subliminal manipulation to distorts the entire framework or reality. (The manipulated positive perception towards nuclear weapons offers a good illustration.)

Newspapers, social science textbooks, and television swamp us with propaganda. They distort issues and world events; divert from constructive behavior; and implant samples of behavior. Such extraordinary "marketing" is largely manipulation. Besides deceit—since over a trillion dollars a year goes for this activity—it is also meant to enrich a segment of the power structure, You pay for being subjected to propaganda because much of it is tax-deductible. For example, why do you think that pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising than on research? There are good books on this by Alex Carey and Elizabeth Fones-Wolf.

See Programming.


The definition of race, as such, is less at issue than the divisive distortion around it. A race is a subdivision of a species, wherein individual members frequently display a number of salient hereditary attributes that have in some measure developed through a degree of inbreeding among the group’s ancestry. At the polemical level of popular usage there has been a false consensus that race means a common regional descent. Few concepts cause such bitter conflict and professional literature has been unable to define that lineage of descent.

The main scientific contention reflects a division between those concerned with the process of genetic inheritance (descent) and scholars obsessed with the overt physical characteristics by which races are regionally classified. The latter relies on concepts of anthropology that are refuted by genetic science. The matter of racism was strongly expressed by social movements of the last hundred years in order to rationalize racial segregation in colonialism, South African apartheid, and Nazism. Except for slavery, the struggle over racial rights in this country did not reach similar depth. The US wars against Native American tribes had a weak eugenics element.

The application of human genetic research among so-called races allowed statistical measures to be applied. Racists typically assert that racial classification is relatively easy if genetic processes are examined, as with breeding various animal species. In fact, these have destroyed the clarity between divisions of mankind by showing that there is greater statistical differences to be found within a presumed race than between them. The entire human species can be traced by genetic DNA (Y-markers) to a specific tribal bushman group originating in Africa about 50,000 years ago. Central Asia "nursed" travelers about 2,000 generations (40,000 years) ago. They got to Europe about 30,000 years ago and into America about 15,000 years later. The human species interbred throughout history, as documented by both physical anthropology and ice age geography.

With expanding knowledge phenomena formerly thought to be racial have instead been linked to culture. The continuing conflict is therefore primarily related to geography rather than heredity. Concepts such as culture, ethnic group, tribe, nationality, community, and clan have emerged in referring to the social units, which also operate as transitory breeding groups. There is still ample room for discrimination among these social groups but it is more likely to be caused by factors of diet and technology rather than on racial or reproductive descent. Current research on heredity and disease further confirms the adaptive character of presumed racial traits. The term minority group was attempted by some sociologists in past decades but now intergroup is often replacing "race" and "minority group" when describing relations between different social elements.

The sociological use of race (originally racialism) generally refers to racial groups based on popular usage; i.e., not those of scientific biological relatedness. A term like tribe would be more accurate. Even religion was inducted to support the racist cause as when mid-19th century Southern Baptism endorsed slavery (without formal apologies until the 1990s). Whatever terms are used, those who study in this field attempt to describe and analyse specific human relations that arise when groups of people who differ culturally come into contact with one another. Some students take a social problem approach to concentrate on discrimination and prejudice.

Groups may be targeted by a majority for inferior status because its members have a distinct ethnic, religious, or language background. This sociological racism connects cultural and racial traits, and claims that some races are inherently superior to others. Racism indiscriminately includes non-biological groupings and can properly be regarded as a form of ethnocentrism, sometimes accompanied by virulent doctrines of racial supremacy. Such prejudice was found in the colonial policies of West European powers, especially in regards to African slavery.

Newer intellectual arguments are found in de Gobineau’s Essai sur finegalite des races humaines (1853). The English-born, publicist Houston Chamberlain, who married Richard Wagner’s daughter, wrote (1899 & 1911 translation) The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century to promote Aryan supremacy, carried the idea into the 20th century. The Nazis, most prominently through Alfred Rosenberg (1893-hanged 1946), also created literature to justify their racism with science. His book, The Myth of the 20th Century was required Nazi reading. As head of foreign policy in the occupied Slavic territories he applied a brutal policy far beyond any US precedent.

Racism asserts inherent superiority or inferiority, independent of environmental or social factors. There is no objective scientific study that links inequality to this presumption, which has itself been shown to be genetically unsubstantiated. It proposes an unconditional or absolute inequality, which the Nazi view used to justify their murders of Jews and Slavs. Even when not criminal, such irrational fanaticism can be regarded as delusional. If normal education fails, the problem can be dealt with as a form of insanity and addressed through psychiatric care.

This modest website cannot properly examine the "Big Lie" of racism. For example, the general falsification of the Holocaust (as shown in table X-2 of Valor book #36) shows why corporate stories on World War 2 qualify as less than a half-truth. There were over twenty million non-Jewish victims of Nazi racial policy (almost two million Slavs died in a 900-day siege of Leningrad alone). All people are part of one human race. Ask who profits by lying about that. What is it about divide and conquer that we don’t understand?

See Capitalism, Corporatism, and Calvinism.


A formalized system of beliefs or practices that forms a basis for a moral or ethical identity. There are over 200 specific religions in the United States and many more if we include related ideologies. "Religion" has a forced application when restricted to the worship of God because the Latin root is the verb ligo, to tie or bind. From that, comes religo, to repeatedly tie or bind firmly; and from that an added "n" makes the English noun religion. A similar derivation follows from the Latin verb religere. It implies that a person is bound by an oath to its performance; as when we say we will religiously perform a promise that we make.

The word theology, from Deus/Theos in Latin/Greek), means the study and knowledge of God. The head of the Christian Church is the one called Christ, and therefore, strictly speaking, the word "Theology" properly belongs to groups that observe Theos for their Head. It belongs to Deists. The proper word for those with Christ at their head is Christianity, whatever else that includes. Either way, in common usage religion is rooted in questions of human existence and relations between a "plan" of deity to observed physical phenomenon. Atheists claim the absence of such a plan. Agnostics cite a lack of evidence of such a plan.

Without referring to its etymology the word actually has no definite meaning because it does not designate a supernatural connection (contrast Chinese, Brahmin, Persian, Jewish, and Muslim beliefs). Similarly, the word Christianity is vague as demonstrated by the fact that its principal sects, Catholics and Protestants, have fought wars about the distinctions. The word protestant signifies protesting against papal authority, but in every other religious sense, it is as vague as the word Christian unless we add further distinctions such as Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Quaker, etc. The feelings aroused by "religion", profound or ambivalent, often include evaluative assumptions that tend to ignore most aspects of their total system.

Most established religions include supernatural elements in a set of rituals, for example using prayer as a request addressed to God. Political ideologies have often attempted impose religious aspects in order to support other institutions related to biological and spiritual human success. The beliefs or practice often include an organization which shapes an ethical behavior to reinforce earthly power beyond reference to a supernatural being. Some ideologies formally include religious reference to commemorate secular achievement.

Supernatural conceptions may range from the jealous Jaweh of the Israelites or the omniscient Allah of Islam (both rooted in the desert prophet Abraham) which grew to the trinitarian God of Christianity, with many saints that sometimes reflect a polytheistic pantheon that characterizes Hinduism or ancient Greece. These are quite different from a Confucian philosophy of human order or more metaphysical concepts in Taoism and Buddhism. Primitive systems vary even more because they lack a written tradition. Although some claim that primitive rituals are inferior, a clear distinction between lower to higher religions has proven impossible to score because formal religious systems are abstracted from social systems that have an enormous range of variation.

Some seek to transform the world, others disparage it as transitory, some affirm it (Confucianism), and others deny it (Buddhism). Christianity has shown itself to encompass a number of contradictory attitudes. The fact that its constitution is a Bible that contains such contradictions has not been helpful because one major religion (Catholic) says it should be defined by a pope and others demand a literal interpretation according to conscience. In the United States both tend to agree that there should be less separation between church and state even though their Christianity is not the world’s dominant religion.

Without a process of secularization, any particular religious belief usually imposes a philosophy of history or sociology that predisposes a particular psychology. The belief in supernatural entities can become highly emotional, even suicidal, because the believer imputes sacredness to them. This can impute directives to a supernatural existence. Such behaviors often begin with standardized rituals that provide rules of behavior and symbolically bind a relationship to the supernatural. These rituals usually include supplication if not adoration. When they include attempts to control nature they almost lose the distinction from magic.

The resulting organization defines its members by deflecting dissent to maintain tradition. It sometimes assigns specific earthly obligations to further bind believers by proofs of loyalty. In The Social Psychology of the World Religions, Weber stressed religious ethics result from an interaction with core values and that such tensions in the social situation may provide new religious impulses. For example, in Nazi Germany Christian values were pushed aside by invocation to an ancient Norse warrior mythology. Its adherents were buried under runes rather than the cross. Sometimes a dispute over rituals may cause the disruption. In part, Buddhism began as a protest against Hindu rituals but later developed its own system.

Religions differ in weight given to sacraments and rituals but they have a distinctive purpose, usually attempting a union with the mystical. The performance of rituals is often reserved for shamans or priests and, even within Christianity, their role qualifications are narrowly distinguished according to an ability to define the credibility of their knowledge. It often rests on traditional scriptures. Those who claim to know the mind of God are often accused of blasphemy by other religions or are called heretics by their own if the message rings false.

Such charges carry less penalties than they once did but religious organizations still reinforce national, class, tribal, and occupational boundaries. Some sects militantly proselytize their exclusivity. Organizations range from rigidly hierarchical to mildly parochial. The concept of an informal believer priesthood is not exclusively Protestant. Other churches pride themselves on being "universal" and offer salvation on the basis of simple pronouncements.

In the United States, tolerance and civility are generally regarded as characteristics of advancement. Believers recognize that all religions are true to the extent in which they agree and most of them have the humility to recognize how they may false, where they disagree.

See also Calvinism and Millennialism.


The term refers to absentee ownership of agricultural land and farm tenants, which in more brutal forms were originally associated with fiefs and nobility. It received considerable attention In the United States in the sixty years before the 1930s New Deal.

The issue today is mostly one of land developing renters and indirect ownership of business through stocks. Some of the most powerful men of industry do not themselves participate directly in the productive processes but instead manipulate industrial prices by controlling money and investments. Absentee stock ownership and the creation of a management class transfers power from stakeholders (who directly create the output) to those who merely supply the capital. Decisions can often made in places geographically distant from their impact as tremendous cash flows can roam far and free to destabilize local economies.

Since the Vietnam Conflict, there was a tremendous shift from actual investment to speculation starting when the Nixon Administration took America off the gold standard. Then the Reagan administration virtually bankrupted the national treasury. Now a bloated rentier class and growth speculators believe that they can manipulate the corporatized state.

See Absentee Ownership and Rotten Boroughs.


A form of government associated with representation of the people through some form of elective process and varying degrees of liberal democracy, all opposed to monarchy. Before 1776, the term republic was used to designate a well-organized state and historical antithesis of monarchy. Generally a republic flatly rejects authoritarian, elitist views that the rulers are the state or that the people are subjects to such rulers. The modern tendency is to identify a republican government with the salient principles of liberal democracy. In contrast, the American founders (per The Federalist) distinguished a republic from a democracy in which the people meet to rule directly. Their concept saw government as deriving its powers more indirectly from the people, administered by persons holding their offices for a limited period or during good behavior. On the other hand, they were specific in both the Constitution and a subsequent Amendment to the Bill of Rights to define the proper level of representation as being below 50,000 people per respresentative,

A republic is often equated with democracy, but there are republics where the practice points unequivocally to rule by one or a few, and not to rule by the many. It excludes forms of government such as parliamentary monarchy or democratic imperialism that may meet other tests of popular rule. The reason for the contrast is that both democracy and republics were often feared until the 18th century and the former is still rejected by many conservatives and imperial minded democrats (such as President Truman). They see republics as a form of limited government, ‘rule of law’, and constitutionalism. The people have a ceremonial roll in selecting leaders but little direct power.

Republicanism denoted political movements and philosophies sharing a common opposition to monarchy and a preference for representative government with varying emphasis on values of liberty. However, this distinction became obsolete in the 19th century and hardly anyone now denies that relative equality (under law) and popular will is the theoretical basis for a republic. The emotional form of French Jacobean republicanism no longer attaches to the term, although forms of republican royalism associated with Hamilton, Jay, and John Adams in the original Federalist political party still exist. They tend to reject democracy in terms of ‘mob rule’ by 51%.

After defeat of the monarchists in Britain (1645), the term ‘a free Commonwealth’ was used by the Republican Wing of opponents of the Stuart dynasty. They sought a democratically controlled state as opposed to a state governed by a hereditary monarch. Their pamphleteers and Cromwell’s ‘Levellers’ declared that hereditary government was contrary to the ‘law of nature.’ They demanded abolition of the monarchy and House of Lords with a House of Commons elected by universal suffrage. The contemporary use of commonwealth described a system of government in classical Athens, Rome, Venice, and the Netherlands with a preference for the assurance of liberty by an ‘empire of laws", the absence whereof invited the lust of tyrants. The 18th century French ideas of Montesquieu further extended similar use of the term republic in The Spirit of the Laws.

The forerunner of French Republicanism is J. Rousseau in his Social Contract (1762), which defined a Republic as any free state ruled by law, irrespective of what other form its government took. He described monarchy a form of despotism that as gives places of power and privilege to "intriguing and rascally meddlers." He defined supporters of democracy (as opposed to aristocracy or monarchy) as republicans. The French Revolution adapted similar language and Condorcet insisted that Republican government must be based on equality of rights and education. After the removal of the Louis XVI the people were designated as the Sovereign: the government was its product, and public functionaries were like clerks.

Thomas Paine was the most widely read spokesperson of American and French republicanism. Rights of Man (1791-2) uses the term republic in the sense of ‘the State’ or ‘the public good’ and equates the non-monarchical state with popular representative institutions to a republic with representative democracy. In 1801, President Jefferson echoed these ideals in his inaugural address spoke of the ‘absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority’ as ‘the vital principle of republics’ and opposed it to ‘appeal to force, the vital principle of despotism’, then evident in the Napoleonic Wars. Afterwards, contrary to republican ideals, serfdom returned to much of Europe and slavery became a dominant institution in the American South.

Later Europeans rejected ‘freethinking and classical republicanism’ in favor of more ‘absolute, mystical and romantic’ forms that cited a principle of Education with a formula of equality for all, of liberty and therefore of responsibility, with offices bestowed only on merit and achievement, not upon birth or wealth. The British were more hesitant to use the term republicanism but gave similar lip service to promotion by merit and non-recognition of any claims founded upon birth. It was widely understood that those with wealth and social connections would be best able to acquire the necessary education for political leadership. The same is largely true of the American republic, except that the purchase of political representation by campaign contribitutions and lobbying is another method by which both democractic and republican values are undermined. The current level of representation is diluted far beyond levels that the founders would have found appropriate.

Right Wing

The historic derivation of left and right politics is simpler in derivation than liberal and conservative. Left and right are each generally used to characterize three main tendencies of socio-political thought and action. Right was probably first used as a political term in France during the Revolution. A common explanation is that at the first two joint meeting of the States-General (1789) the Nobility took a place on the right hand of the King believing it to be the place of honor. By 1791, the more conservative Deputies also sat on the right of the National Assembly. To be on the right meant a resistance to change so those who sat furthest right wanted a return to royal control. For a century after 1815, those on the right continued to unfavorably view the Revolution of 1789, although they knew that many of its changes could not be reversed. Opposing the spirit of 1789 marked the main difference of the right from the left. After 1850, the right also became more supportive of Catholic clericalism, an issue that had polarized the early revolution.

The quote by from Thomas Jefferson’s letter in the first section of this file expresses major differences between the two kinds of political parties. They are imprecise because they vary at different times and cultures. Our analysis has also suggested the institutionalization of a third type of party that is criminal in its disposition, those of the right associate that tendency with a left wing revolutionaries who want to plunder the wealth of the rich.

Generally the right believes in preserving its privileged position or a return to more favorable past forms of government. It sees organized religion as a stabilizing force or one that can offer a claim to morality beyond government. It favors State intervention in economic life largely in the form of corporate welfare or by means of protective rules and tariffs. Individual freedom is promoted in terms of oligarchic consent while distrusting the weaker members of society or denying that rights of the rich imply duties. It protects inequality even in terms of promoting a "realistic" (unequal) application of the law.

Its political slogans tend to focus on the symbols associated with family values, tradition, and nationalism. As proclaimed in Vichy France, the slogan "Family, Country (Patrie), Work" captures the spirit but those echoing the slogan weren’t likely to be workers.

Those who believe themselves to be on the right, especially in France, used left as a pejorative term. In practice (as in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy), right wing radicals also disguised themselves as revolutionaries rather than reactionaries because they were sweeping away a current government. If they are involved in immediately restoring a conservative regime, as with Franco in Spain, then that would less credible.

Also see left wing.

Rotten Boroughs

Rentier ownership led to a form of "Rotten Borough" Representation in the English Parliament, based on areas called boroughs. Some of these had become depopulated by the 18th Century and were controlled by a few rich lords who could buy the land. A Reform Bill (1832) redistributed power to over 140 seats, including leaseholders and freeholders, both with an annual payment obligation but also eliminating more antiquated franchises.

The term can be modified to "rotten states" as applied to granting US State status to sparsely populated territories. For example, in 1890, six new states came in giving those who controlled power in the area a dozen Senate positions. This shifted Senate control to Railroad or industrial lobbies that continued to manipulate statehood. The initial shifts started under the anti-democratic elements of the Republican Party (House, Senate, president) and the last changes were evident with the sparsely populated Alaska and Hawaii.

See Absentee Ownership and Rentiers.


The U.S. definition, is defined by federal law as advocating the willful destruction and overthrow of the government, wherein a person intending such overthrow:

"…prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government of the United States by force or violence or attempts to do so" (Smith Act = 18 U.S.C., Sec. 2385).

Those persons who attempt to organize or join groups aimed at destruction of the government by force or violence are also included. Over three dozen states also list similar offenses which may vary from this specific language. Should they conflict, the state laws ‘(sometimes based on States Rights) must be put aside. A 1956 Supreme Court decision (Penn. v. Nelson, 350 U.S. 497, 505) confirmed that sedition "is a crime against the Nation" and not a local offence. The federal law encompasses acts against state governments.

The main danger of such an approach is that during wartime, sedition may be taken to include mere disturbance of public peace by words and writing, even unaccompanied by plans for violence. In the 1950 Smith Act and Internal Security Act (Title 50 U.S.C., Sec. 781) there was clear Congressional intent to remove differences between peacetime or wartime sedition. The 1954-55 Communist Control Act (Title 50 U.S.C. Sec. 841) confirmed this intent but it was based on imagined Cold War fears and generally considered opposed to "free speech" rights as assured by the Constitution. Even more blatant offences against freedom have been invented in recent "Patriot Acts" that try to destroy the Bill of Rights.

In this way, members of government (often unelected) are now also subject to charges of sedition because they are advocating the use of force to undermine the Law of the Land. Once their illegitimacy can be proven to the general public then process of dismantling can begin. The US definition is substantially different from British "seditious offences," which expands to a dimension of "creating a spirit of disloyalty". In Great Britain the specific indictments are aimed at the adjectival form of the word, classified as seditious words, libels, or conspiracies. Even peaceful demonstrations to change the law can be loosely included.

British sedition therefore includes practices that may merely "disturb the tranquillity of the State" to "incite discontent or dissatisfaction." It can mean promoting public disorder, exciting ill will between different social classes, or merely bringing contempt on members of government. It was in the latter sense that Federalists, under President John Adams, imposed the Sedition Acts to jail newspaper publishers. There are still reactionaries who fear public scrutiny and seek to expand US libel laws to provide a similar protection, at least in a Civil Court. The current U.S. Patriot Acts are pushing towards a similarly arbitrary system to be applied against individual citizens rather than media corporations.

The British system imposes various Defense of the Realm Acts (DORAs) to more easily suppress free speech than in the US. Canada has a "False News Act" (Section 177 of the Criminal Code) that forbids the spreading of false news injurious to the public interest. The problem is obvious in other ways. The 1995 Criminal Justice Act of Parliament, like an earlier Public Order Act, gave the police more irresponsible power by making different lifestyles of suspect groups virtually illegal (ravers, travelers, etc.) because they ventured outside a government approved system. Since this was accompanied by police militarization the steps towards a police state were clear. Such foreign changes are beyond American control.

In both the American and British systems the people, preferably through honest juries, are ultimately responsible for classifying seditious acts and for maintaining freedom of speech. Generally the term includes actions that are short of treason (below) that incite to rebellion against legitimate state authority. The key contention remains: do the power elites truly encompass a legitimate government? If not, then they themselves are seditious when applying coercion.

Skull and Bones

A secretive club mentioned above in connection with the Bush family and Senator Kerry. It is not a unique conspiracy center but reflects an over-arching pattern of oligarchic control. Skull and Bones was essentially created to facilitate aristocratic infiltration under cover of being a college fraternity of elite and wealthy "patriots." There are similar organizations at other Ivy League colleges, which have a tradition of British charters.

Such charters were overthrown by the American Revolution but reinitiated by Chief Justice Marshall in the Dartmouth decision. The patterns of heavy intermarriage can be traced in Society pages and various Financial journals.

There have been several books about this secret society and an Internet search can produce a wealth of information. In the broader context of causes rather than symptoms, we would recommend Kevin Phillip’s American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush.

Slavic Holocaust

At the time the Mein Kampf was being written, the term Slavs mainly applied to national identities of countries that were hostile to Germany and Austria. As late as World War 2, American dictionaries (see a 1940 Webster’s) used it to refer to a race "of Eastern Europe, comprising the Russians, Bulgarians, Poles, Bohemians…" As an adjective it pertained to the Slavs or the Slavonians or their language. As both a noun and adjective, the distinction of language was a secondary. It is true that German racism began with the Jews, followed by the Czechs (in favor of the Sudeten Germans), but the organized racial killing began in Poland. Hitler stated his war aims to generals at Obersalzburg on 22 August 1939:

"What weak western European civilization thinks about me does not matter... thus I have now sent to the East my Death’s Head units with the order to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of the Polish race and language. Only in such a way will we win the vital space that we need. Who still talks nowadays of the Armenians? (A similar translation can be found in the Holocaust Museum, 3rd Floor).

There vast numbers of non-Slavs within the 1939 Soviet Union, including Turkic (11%), Caucasus (4%), Finno-Ugric (2%), and Iranian (1%) groups. They were easily adapted to favorable racial categories as Germany invaded the Caucasus. As the war progressed, and the Nazis became desperate to find manpower, the racial policy started to include Slavic peoples. For example, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Croatia became active German allies. From the invasion into Russia both Ukrainians and Slovenians were actively accepted into German military service and by the end of the war even a Russian Army (under Vlasov) joined Hitler.

Meanwhile the racial killing against the Jews intensified and the Gypsies were added. The separation of races and categories within the concentration camps was subject to wide variation. Each had a separate color-code according to degree of exploitation and location, In many cases the victims did not survive long enough to go to a concentration camp.

See Racism.


Socialism is about collective ownership and control of the factories, mills, mines, railroads, land and all other instruments of production. Production aims to satisfy human needs and not, as under capitalism, to profit individuals or small groups. Since socialism requires direct control and management of the industries and social services by the workers it requires a democratic government based on nationwide economic organizations. Dictatorships can never be socialist, because workers are not in control when a ruling elite is telling them what to do. Therefore, the claim that the Soviet Union was a socialist country was false.

Socialism does not mean state ownership by a government other than one described in a written Constitution. It does not mean a state bureaucracy as in the former Soviet Union or China, with the working class manipulated by a bureaucracy. It does not mean a closed party-run system. It does not mean nationalization and labor-management boards, or similar forms of state capitalism of any kind. It opposes social relations based on capital.

A socialist system would aim for full democracy and freedom with a society based on economic freedom. For individuals, this means an end to economic insecurity and exploitation wherein workers are like commodities to be bought and sold on a labor market or forced to work as appendages to tools owned by someone else. It means a chance to develop all individual capacities and potentials within a free community of free individuals.

Authority would originate from the workers, united in Socialist Industrial Unions. In each workplaces, the rank and file would elect whatever committees or representatives are needed to facilitate production. Within lower shop or office divisions of a plant, the rank and file will participate directly in formulating and implementing all plans necessary for efficient operations. Besides electing necessary shop officers, the workers will also elect representatives to a local and national council of their industry or service and to a central congress representing all the industries and services. This all-industrial congress will plan and coordinate production in all areas of the economy. Persons elected to such national posts will remain directly accountable to the rank and file and subject to removal at any time that a majority of those who elected them decide it is necessary.

Social Democrats are the most common party for socialism, buy they have nowhere established an entire economy based on the kind of socialism described above. Perhaps the most popular form of Socialism is as social democracy, in which workers vote for their supervisors, company policy, and industry representatives to regional or national congresses. Another form of socialism is anarcho-socialism, in which employee-owned firms would compete or cooperate on the free market, absent any centralized government at all. As you can see, a central planning committee is not a necessary feature of socialism; only worker ownership of production is.

The Socialist Labor Party (SLP) since 1891 has published The People, a Marxist bi-weekly.

See Anarchism


Two characteristics of terror are (1) it tends to be inflicted indiscriminately in order to create a climate of fear and (2) the prospective victims cannot insure their safety by some sort of cooperation or obedience. This distinguishes terror from sadistic cruelty, robbery, or specific extermination policies, which may accompany terror. Punishment is inflicted indiscriminately and deliberate aims at creating an atmosphere of fear to discourage resistance.

As officially defined by the FBI (on 9/11) the word refers to:

…an unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

The word "unlawful" is not particularly useful because it will be interpreted in opposite ways. In World War 2, The Nazis considered racism lawful and outlawed the partisans who opposed them. The American Revolution was similarly unlawful to the British.

Terror on civilians tends to be used as revenge by a weaker side to compensate for a disadvantage in technology. For example, according to bin Laden’s videotape, 9-11 was promoted as counter-terrorism by Al Qaeda in response (1) to US sanctions against Arabs in Iraq, (2) desecration of the holy places in Saudi Arabia, and (3) siding with Israel against the Palestinians. Assuming an impartial presentation of the facts, itself a rare occurrence, what conclusion would be reached on his statement by the billions of people who are not involved in the current US War on Terrorism. Would they see it as a response to terrorism?

They are unlikely to accept the attempted Anglo-America definitions on the first point. An objective study of U.S. bombing seldom receives an objective evaluation in this country and his often hidden in deceptive language about air strikes, "precision" bombing, and "collateral damage." Too many countries have been on the receiving end of such bombing to allow its concealment as anything less than state terrorism. There is no question that many Muslims, especially the 250 million Arabs, regard U.S. aviators to be terrorists because their bombing directly killed civilians or did so indirectly by destroying water and power systems.

Those who have seized control of America want the people to believe that its international behavior should be pardoned because there is a "war on terrorism". This so-called "war" makes no sense according to the above definitions. It’s like trying to wage a war on bullets or on amphibious assaults. Terrorism is an instrument or tactic of applied violence. One country’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter or soldier. They cite other forms of terrorism:

+ Premeditated bombing of civilians, as this country has done since 1943;

+ Dragging people away from their homes, often in a nighttime raid;

+ Subjecting detainees to torture and extended imprisonment.

In this context, 9/11 can clearly be understood as counter-terrorism. War is a form of terrorism and anytime it is imposed on innocent people -- according to a published doctrine -- they will often find a way to reciprocate. Such revenge is more likely to occur than if it is arbitrarily done by renegade actors such as suicide bombers. First of all, the bomber is dead and revenge against him is no longer possible. Second, the motivation is unclear. Revenge or mental illness are forms of criminality and not provocations for war. Moreover, the definition of war is well established. Those who try re-invent language to suit their own purpose are often met with ridicule and denounced as liars. Imposing U.S. force on other countries, because it inevitably includes terror, breeds counterforce, which decreases security.

Logically, a fight against terrorism should begin at home against those who apply terror, as most of the world defines it.

See also Liberty and Totalitarian.


A movement or ideology advocating the extension of permanent governmental control over social life. It is relative because no government can control every instance of social interaction but there is an idea of permanence based on systematic regulation. Implies a political minority that typically leads with a monopoly of power used in an authoritarian way within a dictatorially ruled state. The instruments of political power needed for such control require technological advancement to coerce an atmosphere of unanimity among the population. This definition is scientifically problematic. Proper analysis seeks for uniformity by consistent deconstruction of complex entities into simpler material or conceptual units.

Such a process requires more than naming characteristics. We can observe how varying degrees of totalitarian control are compatible with various distributions of governmental power. It’s often a matter of who controls the media. For example, among the elements that makes fascism totalitarian are the subordination of all group life to that of the state, the use of terror, the maintenance of a one-party system and of state monopoly of the means of force and of communications. Even largely democratic methods of governing can coerce those who refuse consent. For example, how much more totalitarianism can we imagine than the threat of total nuclear annihilation imposed by a few dozen individuals?

Those who view democracy as the opposite of totalitarianism need only remember that Hitler was democratically elected and that the United States is only one Executive Order away from formal fascism of the Italian variety. Here is how the Italian Encyclopedia (1932) could positively twist together the meaning of two seemingly opposite words:

Fascism is for liberty; but only for the genuine liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. Therefore, for the Fascist everything is in the State and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value, outside the State. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State, the synthesis and unity of all values, interprets, develops and strengthens the whole life of the people.

See also Corporatism, Liberty and Tyranny.


Generally denotes acting against national safety by a citizen. The US Constitution narrowly defines treason as levying war against the United States, or in giving aid and comfort to its enemies. It requires an open confession or testimony by two witnesses to the same act and specifically renounces the idea of loyalty based on royal blood (Article 3, Section 3).

British usage is sometimes called High Treason and extends back to a 1351 Treason Act, expressed in terms of levying war against the monarch or giving his enemies aid and comfort. In 1946, it was even extended to aliens holding a British passport who committed such an offense while a non-resident (Joyce v. Public Prosecutions Director). In contrast, the US Congress cannot expand our more specific definition so they have attempted to adapt the idea of subversion and conspiring to commit treason (as described in the above section on Sedition). In fact, the reasoning used to prohibit bills of attainder and ex post facto laws (Article I, Section 9) discredits such attempts but this has not stopped judicial opportunists from prosecuting the ‘lesser’ crimes (such as subversion) with an enthusiasm that would make them guilty of the same indictment. The excesses under the recent Patriot Acts are a good example wherein the executive branch (military and police establishment) denied even basic Habeas Corpus protection, see above, enshrined in both US and British law.

The pretext of terrorist fanaticism or brainwashing, which apparently inspires treasonable activity, has been used to fund extensive social psychological research aimed at defining "treasonable" personality profiles. Rather than treason, these attempts fit more into a British context of maintaining the status quo against sedition (above).


In Ancient Greece and medieval Britain it signified the specific dictatorship of someone who assumed kingly power outside the law and, in that context, the word was not always derogatory. It recognized the possibility of good or benevolent tyrants, as defined by intent (Oliver Cromwell or Marcus Aurelius). In America and other countries without a royal tradition the word evokes condemnation and usually refers to a government that is oppressive and cruel.

Its key ingredients are generally rule without consent accompanied by unaccountable destruction of innocent life. Since there is no universal agreement on an improper government, such descriptions may be shaped by writer preferences since there are always some people who believe their government to be cruel and oppressive. A useful definition could add enforced obedience that relies on fear of arbitrary punishment. For American rulers, it generally means a government that threatens frequent punishment in order to force obedience, especially if the punishments tend to be erratic or arbitrarily applied.

The founders if America were worried about democratic tyranny wherein the majority mistreats some minority for its wealth and class. The also recognized revolutionary tyranny (as with Robespierre in France). More generally, however, they associated it with traditional autocratic regimes, specifically the Germanic kings (especially George III) and less with the minority domination of aristocracy that ruled on the basis of wealth and ethnicity (royal blood) or an oligarchic form based on militarism (like Sparta). In the American context, it may therefore be useful to recall that tyranny is relative and that those in power will seldom acknowledge the degree of their imposition. For example, most European countries in the 19th century could be described as tyrannies in terms of how they treated their urban poor and the people of their colonial possessions (especially in Africa).

The British treatment of its Irish peasantry in the 19th Century is especially well known but the occupation of Poland by Austria, Germany, and Russia has been largely concealed. Both countries produced massive numbers of immigrants who chose not to return to their home countries, as was the case with other revolutionaries. The direction of such immigration is often cited as a proof of freedom but it only proves that people will attempt to escape poverty, tyranny and terror. The latter is a special kind of tyranny described above, which was typically applied by colonial powers and the United States to assure dominance.

See also Liberty and Totalitarian


In its general social science use (distinct from finance), denotes objects of need, attitude, or desire, usually in cases where an interactive relationship exists. Sometimes the word goes beyond the object and is used as an adjective for elements that may be relevant to the people observed and the object, or even focus exclusively on the relevance of an object to the group observed (to whom the object has a value). Values are distinguished between means (extrinsic) and ends (terminal or intrinsic). For practical considerations, studies of social change (for example through propaganda) tend to focus on altering attitudes within a framework of existing values, rather than on reforming values or core beliefs.

The term increasingly denotes shared cultural standards according to which moral, cognitive, or aesthetic the relevance can be evaluated. In the effort to determine validity in terms of human need or "correct" standards of judging them, such study is mainly philosophical and centered on empirical variables and beliefs without judging if they are true or false, valid or invalid. A classic study by Thomas and Znaniecki was The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. It reciprocally linked values to individual attitudes, combining the causes of either.

Sociologists remain divided on using value commitments in constructing investigative frameworks. Weber doubted their use, but admitted that political and religious "aspects" were built into fundamental conceptions, at least in shaping the choice of study. Politicians have learned that talking about American values can be productive but are typically reluctant to become overly specific in such soundings. The Nature of Human Values by Rokeach offers valuable insights into either approach by linking value structures with political identity.

Wahhabi Islam

A fundamentalist Sunni Muslim movement that arose (late 18th century) in the Arabian Peninsula. Its founder, Muhammad ibn abd al-Wahhab, tried to literally interpret Islam’s holy book (Koran or Quran) for messages from the Prophet Muhammad. Quran is an Arabic word meaning recitation, and much of the poorest Moslem community uses memorization and recitation from this book as the basis of its education system. As in other religions, fundamentalist extremism sometimes encourages political extremism.

Note 1: Many people continue to use our information and we thank the few who mention us. The earlier Valor books on World War 2 trace the evolution of militarism back to 1933. The last book, #38 The Moral Equivalent of War, starts by studying how World War 2 overturned the political landscape. It adapts lessons learned from successful actions (by Solidarity, Civic Forum, etc.). An outline is provided on the Products page (book.htm). Going beyond examination of the problem, as in this newsletter, the book outlines a specific local strategy based on 110 regional "clearing houses." It offers a specific "clearing house" structure of Congressional Districts to implement national remedies. A "how to" manual for grassroots coalitions is now nearing completion as an E-Book #39 Lost Honor Found.

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