"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to every one who is striking at the root."
Henry David Thoreau

Purpose

This document is meant to provide an overview and reference links concerning "The Lewis Powell Memoradum." Few documents in American history have had its kind of root influence over contemporary everyday American lives, and I felt there should be one document on the web that makes it easier to find and peruse some of the better discussion and commentary about it, and later on, when I can find the time, perhaps the fallout and carnage that has resulted from it, as well. Since I couldn't find one, I created this one.  As a result, with one single link (shoqvalue.com/powellmemo), you can now educate others about this legendary and ruinous conservative manifesto more easily. I hope you will.

Introduction

The Powell Memo At A Glance (72 seconds of a history that may take at least 72 years to undo.)

Probably no other document has shaped the  contemporary American political landscape quite like the now infamous memorandum from Lewis F. Powell, now widely referred to as "The Powell Memoradum."  It was a call-to-arms for American corporations that was written by a future U.S. Supreme Court justice, to his neighbor working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It would summon them to enjoin a battle against a creeping liberalism and its infernal regulations and philosophies that threatened their status, profits, and corporate conversative sensibilities, if not their very existence.

The Powell Memo — sometimes called The Powell Manifesto — has directly and indirectly led to the rise of conservative think tanks, groups, and far-right media organizations and personalities that have over the past 40+ years collectively remade American democracy in an image more suitable to a radical conservative's world view.  When you see or hear those attractive and skilled pundits spouting conservative dogma on TV or radio, you can thank the Powell Memo.  It's a vital document to understand, and one that in my view still needs a well organized push-back from the American Left.

The memo has served to empower thousands of conservative pundits, broadcasters, educators and activists in a polemical language and set of strategies that have been used to bring American democracy to the hyper-partisan, uber-gridlocked dysfunctionalism that paralyzes it to this day. If you love our 21st century plutocracracy, so dominated by souless billionaires like the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Phillip Anschutz, and the tangled web of malevalent organizations and political machinations which they have spawned, then you'll just love the Powell Memo. With their money and influence, the legacy of the Powell memo has spawned organizations like Cato Insitute, Heritage FoundationAmerican Enterprise Institute, Media Research Center, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Family Research Council, Heartland Institiute, and perhaps the most significant of them all, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

These and so many other right wing organizations, their operatives, and their propaganda are routinely paraded before the American public every day on Fox News CNN, and other mainstream media outlets. The influence and policy prescriptions of these entities has infested the American political landscape like a virulent cancer, affecting everything from voting rights, to business regulations, to energy and climage change legislation, and nearly every corporate, social, or cultural issue between and among them.  And despite decades or knowing all of this, the American left remains largely powerless to offset this influence with any voter and corporate education efforts of its own.

Powell Memo Resources

The Powell Memo is no secret.  There are countless articles about it, and references to it that can be found all over the Internet. But there are also a lot of bad ones.  So I thought I would create a little knowledge hub to keep track of the better ones, and make it easier for people to pass them on their coworkers, friends and family.  Each has some little fact or dimension that the other lacks, so I advise reading all of them if you really want to be fluent when discussing this dangerous screed and the wreckage that it has left behind. Please share them widely.

Backgrounders on the Memorandum

Commentary On Specifics Of The Memo

Research And Related Resources

Related Works

Below are my two cents, posted as a comment on Spandan (@thePeoplesView)'s excellent post about the Emotarian left's contribution to the great government shutdown of 2013.

Since I originally coined Emotarian as a replacement for the more imprecise and awkward-sounding "Emoprogressive (often shortened to the ghastlier sounding "Emoprog")," which I once co-defined with Joy-Ann Reid (before trying to repace it with Puritopian, which never really took off), I felt it appropiate to contribute to the comment stream. So I did.

Thank you, Spandan, for this eloquent summation of what really ails us. Conservatives are doing what they have always done; rationalizing and institutionalizing greed. But they've taken 40 years to learn how to message in a way that resonates with low-information voters well enough to seize state houses, and through their issues and redistricting, control Congress as well.

And rather than focusing on ways to counter that messaging, progressives have acquiesced to a climate of cynicism and mistrust, fueled by a massive industry of these poutragers who are given a louder and louder voice by what I call the Liberal Industrial Complex; an economy of fundraising establishments role-playing as progressive activists.

Together with its counterpart of the right, the Conservative Entertainment Complex, they've combined to thoroughly obfuscate the real problem: finding enough critical mass and focus to overpower the right's dominance of local politics, elections, and thus, our Congress and national policy.

Until we stop squandering emotion and resources on the issues at the margins such as the NSA, Gitmo, and drones, which only serve to feed the liberal industrial fundraising beast, we will never build coalitions powerful and motivated enough to change the elected legislators who could fix those problems in a matter of weeks.

But our national priorities are not the same as those careerist bloggers, pundits and slacktivists who would have no audience at all, if not for their ginning-up easy outrage about exaggerated crimes they can routinely pin on sincere presidents and other public servants who are doing their level best to tread water in a conservative cesspool until Progressivism grows up and learns how to fucking swim.

@Shoq

Read the original post

 

Related

Criticism from the left by @root_e via Krebscycle

 

 

All too slowly, the mainstream media is learning the value of the explainer.  But any progress is good progress.  In this article, Washington Post's Max Fisher does a very good job of explaining the tangled web of past and present histories that can easily muddle anyone's process when trying to understand just what the Syrian conflict is all about. At the same time, he illuminates just what a thankless job President Obama has in trying to mitigate the worst of the possible outcomes.

For me, the money graf was this one:

So why would Obama bother with strikes that no one expects to actually solve anything?

OK, you’re asking here about the Obama administration’s not-so-subtle signals that it wants to launch some cruise missiles at Syria, maybe with the United Kingdom, which it says would be punishment for Assad’s strongly suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

It’s true that basically no one believes that this will turn the tide of the Syrian war. But this is important: it’s not supposed to. The strikes wouldn't’t be meant to shape the course of the war or to topple Assad, which Obama thinks would just make things worse anyway. They would be meant to punish Assad for (allegedly) using chemical weapons and to deter him, or any future military leader in any future war, from using them again.

Yes, the goal of Obama's proposed air strikes is not to influence the outcome of this conflict. It is to make it very expensive, politically and economically, for regimes and their generals to use these gruesome weapons, which the world has been more unanimous about opposing—and signed more treaties to prevent—than almost anything else on the global stage.  It's not rocket science. This proposed action is about destroying several billion dollars of offensive and defensive weapons, and the massive command and control networks they require. It is absolutely not an "invasion," nor a "war."

Precision targeting of facilities and weapons is a deterrent measure that telegraphs to these vile regimes that using these horrific weapons will generate immediate and costly blow back from the rest of the "civilized" world (loosely speaking). Militaries hate having their toys destroyed. Especially when they need them to kill civilians the old fashioned way—with bombs, bullets, and other sorts of conventional bloodletting that has stood the test of time in man's overwhelmingly persistent inhumanity to man.

It's all feels very embarrassing to me. Not because Obama wants to do something about it, but because so many nations and their peoples, whose parents and grandparents had been previously dedicated to doing so, now posture that they do not.

Read the story

Then pass it around. This chemical weapons problem won't go away. I personally feel it's one of the few places we can put our foot down and draw a definitive line against evil.  Obama wasn't wrong to lay down the line. He was wrong to forget that strong moral positions make for even stronger political targets for people more concerned with political rather than moral imperatives.