Ethos Study Guide

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Ethos Study Guide:

Introduction: “Our ethos is all that we currently hold to be true. It is what we act upon. It governs our manners, our business and our politics.”

“Object of the documentary” stated at 1:03 “To look at the flaws in our system that allow these things to happen and the mechanisms that actually work against us.”

I. Politics

A. The belief that politicians reflect public opinion is a myth

1. Media creates that there is a real choice

a. Upon closer examination both candidates are similar

i. Example: Bush & Gore both supported private healthcare, pro-NAFTA, high defense spending, pro-Big Business

ii. Where they differ: Gay rights & Abortion which “Masks the degree of elite consensus.”

2. We define a candidate as being serious based upon how much money she/he can raise not by what ideas they have or their record in public service.

3. Big donors rewarded with ambassadorships or appointment on a Federal Advisory Panel

4. “The money flows in for a reason and the reason is not good government.” 6:11

5. “It is completely unrealistic to expect democracy to deliver representatives who will serve the people's interest when so much money is involved. Having so much money in politics gives all the power to those with money. Yes we are all still allowed to vote but how free is our choice. The media in the hands of big business will only present us with politicians that will serve their interests. It would be completely illogical for them to do otherwise. It would also be illogical to expect politicians to change the system that puts them in power. But it certainly begs the question, just what kind of democracy do we have?”

6. Prof. Chomsky - U.S. is a polyarchy and was founded in that way Polyarchy: a state ruled by more than one person as opposed to a monarchy

7. Most real power is exercised by those we do not elect.

8. Basis of democracy: We are all born equal and that equality must be accepted by those who have power.

II. Corporations

A. Corporate Personhood (An artificial creation)

1. 14th Amendment meant to give rights to black people not corporations

2. All corporations are required by law to uphold profits above other competing interests including the public good

a. This is not a law of nature. It is a very specific decision, a judicial decision so they are only concerned with the short term interests of their stock holders. (Short term concerns make it impossible to address issues like the environment) Make money now externalize the costs to the public.

b. Case study: Monsanto Chemicals in Milk

c. “Every living system of Earth is in decline; Every life support system of Earth is in decline” 12:40

B. Corporations have gone global. Governments have become powerless compared to what they were before

III. Banks

A. Federal Reserve bank is not owed by the government it is owned by a private banking cartel.

1. The world is governed by different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.” - Benjamin Disraeli 15:42

2. “The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt.” - Henry Ford 15:51

3. “Since I have entered politics I have chiefly had mens views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere.” 15:54 President Woodrow Wilson “A Power so subtle, so organized, so complete and pervasive that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” 16:09 President Woodrow Wilson

B. The power to control the money supply is in the hands of the Federal Reserve (a private bank)

1. When the government needs money it requests it from the Federal Reserve which lends it to the government as debt that is owed back to the Federal Reserve with interest.

2. Bankers wrote the Federal Reserve Act on Jekyll Island.

3. (Note: At 20:37 there is a quote that is not completely accurate. It is cut from two quotes in President Wilson's book “The New Freedom.” The quote was also not written “in regret” of the Federal Reserve but instead about trusts and monopolies.)

IV. Media

1. “Prof. Chomsky explains how the Manufacturing Consent title came from Walter Lippman who explained that the common interests elude the public so these interests must be managed by a specialized class

2. “When you can't control people by force you have a problem you therefore have to control what people think.” Prof. Noam Chomsky 23:58

3. Edward Bernays – play to irrational emotion verse only providing factual information

4. The masses are the “bewildered heard” that must be controlled by the elites

V. Nightmare

1. "In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together." President Eisenhower's farewell address to the nation, January 1961 32:30 (This is a more complete quote from that speech then what is presented in the documentary)

2. The iron triangle (the military, politics & big business)

a. “If you have an organization that can operate behind the scenes without real accountability and that same organization has the ability to ruin political careers for people who are a little too inquisitive or a little bit too honest or to shape public thinking then we have the means for a kind of control globally that is probably unprecedented.” 34:56 Cynthia McKinney US Congresswoman

3. “When we are speaking of the United States of America and the concept of democratic representation one of the more important aspects is informed consent to the people “If you going to go to war you lay out the reasons for the war the justifications for the war and then you subject it to debate, dialogue and discussion amongst the elected representatives of the people and indeed the people themselves.” 36:15 Scott Ritter Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector

4.“What you are saying is democracy doesn't matter in America. That this nation the principles and values upon which we were built simply is irrelevant. That the president is a dictator who can do anything that he or she wants to do regardless of the will of the power. No, informed consent of the people is a mandatory not optional but mandatory requirement on how we are governed and how those whom we elect to higher office operate in our name.” Scott Ritter Former Chief UN Weapons Inspector 44:50

5. “They not only want to repeal, revoke virtually all the progressive reforms of the New Deal and ever since and really bring us back into a unregulated, non-unionized country that existed before the New Deal – I think they want openly to see the president given the power he was delegated as virtually an undated blank check by congress that simply yields to the president. They clearly are trying to repeal that aspect of our Constitution which gives congress that authority which the founders wrote in order (as a result of debate) in order to limit our going to war to make it harder to go to war – to put that in the hands of hundreds of people instead of one man. They saw the alternative as the attribute of monarchy they most wanted to avoid. I don't think they take seriously any merits or advantages of a Bill of Rights unless it's the right to bare arms. Free speech – free assembly I don't think they respect that at all.” - Daniel Ellsberg Pentagon Papers Whistleblower 45:14

6. “Spectatorship is an invitation to fear – citizenship is how we fight the politics of fear. The politics of citizenship, the politics of engagement, taking responsibility is a much better way to deal with terrorism than hunkering down being spectators and allowing the government to rob us of our liberties to rob us of our multiculturalism in the name of protecting us.” Benjamin Barber Author, Fear's Empire 52:08

VI. Future

1. What we have going on in this country is infiltration and spying from campus police practically to the pentagon to the Nation Security Agency. We're becoming a police state here.

2. Right now as we talk the 4th and 6th amendments to the Constitution to the Bill of Rights are dead (Both of these bills were written into the Constitution by the founding fathers to protect the people of America from the government of America) Note: 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrents shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 6th Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

3. Right the now the right freedom of speech, the right to free assembly and the right to a fair trial are no longer required by law.

4. “The great heroes of our times people like Gandhi & Martin Luther King, incredible though they were, could not create change on their own. Only the will of the people can do that. Together we can accomplish anything.” 1:01:38

5. Vote with your dollars and spread message as the first action for people to take.