“GET UP, STAND UP”, A Very Good Handbook For Activists

Get Up Stand Up image

“Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite”

Miniblog by Thomas Baldwin

Biloxi, MS, June 29, 2014

In this brief blog, I want to call everyone’s attention to a book I recently discovered which can serve as a very good guide to activism. Although the subtitle mentions most prominently “Populists” it can serve equally well for those who advocate for “Progressives.” And goodness knows, we need some more effective activism in this totally corrupt and dysfunctional political environment. The time for Americans to revolt is becoming very late as Corporate Fascism with the wealthiest elite have gained total control of our political duopoly.

The book, “GET UP, STAND UP” was written by Dr. Bruce Levine, a clinical psychologist, in 2011. It is subtitled “Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite”, an even more relevant subject today.  I will give a specific reference below. It has some excellent brief reviews along with the publication notice and I will provide some excerpts and then comment:

1. By David C N Swanson (Charlottesville VA United States) – (REAL NAME)   

This review is from: Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (Paperback)

…… “But how do we get to the point where people are motivated by morality, or even by a combination of morality, expectation of success, excitement, solidarity, and peer pressure? The same facts can prove that change is hopeless or guaranteed; the choice comes from inside each person. How do we make it the right one?

This is where Levine’s book begins to point us in some very useful directions. We need to develop individual self-respect and collective self-confidence, Levine writes. We need to unite as anti-authoritarians, regardless of other differences. We need to learn from immigrant groups that have been least infected by our culture of disempowerment. Many factors are working against us: long work hours, lack of health care, and lack of job security or home security. Psychologists now drug people who display signs of anti-authoritarianism, which is treated as a crime. Our prisons are packed with some of our society’s most rebellious, and therefore useful, members. We’re administered every greater doses of television, which is ruinous regardless of the content:

“Researchers confirm that, regardless of the programming, viewers’ brainwaves slow down, transforming them closer to a hypnotic state. That’s part of the explanation for why it’s so hard to turn the television off even when it’s not enjoyable — we have become pacified by it.” (Continued at reference).

2. By J. A. Hansen “kraute und ruben” (Lincoln, NE USA)

This review is from: Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (Paperback)

Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)

“I’m a political activist and over the past ten years I have been active in everything from fundraising, campaigning, protests and some civil disobedience. All along the way I have always struggled with the question of how to get more people involved and willing to care enough to do something. I was especially perplexed over how to unify my ‘left’ and ‘right’ leaning friends and family as we all agree on more than a few issues.

I was skeptical when I first ordered this book as I have read others that claim to offer a way to unify those not of the ruling class and have fallen far short, as they usually try to push a single idea from either the right or left. The first few chapters were nothing less than an epiphany for me. I was so excited my wife thought something was wrong at first. The only way for me to describe what just the first few chapters did for me is to say they were life changing. The rest of the book offers nothing less. After reading this book I have had conversations with friends and family that before only ended in arguments that now ended in a mutual understanding and in most cases agreement.” (Continued at reference).

This book is easy to read chapter by chapter and one can find answers to questions he/she may have about specific topics easily. It is also extremely well referenced and indexed. And it also answers the questions of why people are inhibited from becoming an activist or why they can’t understand how to be more effective.   Here are a few paragraphs from select chapters:

Chapter 1: The People Divided Versus the Corporatocracy in Control

“Questions addressed: 1) Has learned helplessness taken hold for a great many Americans? Are many Americans locked into an abuse syndrome of sorts in which revelations about their victimization by a corporate-government partnership increased anesthetization rather than constructive actions? 2) What cultural forces have created a passive and discouraged U.S. population. Have so-called right-wing and so-called progressive institutions both contributed to breaking people’s resistance to domination? 3) And most important, can anything be done to turn this demoralization and passivity around? Is it possible for people to rebuild their morale and forge the connections necessary to support a truly democratic populism that can take power away from elite control?”

In Chapter 2, Levine addresses the question, “Are People Broken”? The bulk of the book addresses the “Battle” that must be engaged with the Corporatocracy and the wealthy elite control. Levine believes this  war is truly necessary In Chapter 3, he writes about the “Prelude to Battle”. Chapter 4 is the “Energy to do Battle” and Chapter 5 is “Winning the Battle”.

Levine believes that analogies to “war” and doing battle are applicable and  necessary, and the commitment to the cause and principles of democracy are absolutely essential. His message is very optimistic and he regularly emphasizes that a view of reality is essential as well. For example at the beginning of “Energy to Do Battle’ he states:

“Genuine democracy can happen only if enough people are capable of fighting for it and are willing to fight for it. These people must believe they are worthy of power. The belief in their worthiness comes when, at an individual level, there is genuine self respect.”

In the last chapter, “Winning the Battle”, Levine begins:

“With the psychological and cultural building blocks of individual self-respect and collective self-confidence, democratic movements have the energy to get off the ground. It becomes realistic—and not naïve—to believe that people can take the kinds of actions that produce genuine democracy. Next one must consider what specific strategies and tactics have the highest likihood for increased democracy, which in a positive cycle further increases self-respect and self-confidence, and the energy to carry the battle forward. All actions and inactions entail risk and so wisdom is required. One must be realistic about one’s own and one’s adversary’s strength and capacity—and then push the envelope.”

Levine goes on to discuss some specific tactics and strategies from history. I heartily recommend reading this book. Examples of other reviews are in the pages advertising the book from Amazon where one can also sample pages. Note that his book is available at many prices, new and used, and is also available as a Kindle book. I purchased my own copy there a few months ago but have been tardy in studying it! I’m going to stay with it and hope others will too so we can carry on relevant discussions regarding the necessary war with the corporate and wealthy elite!! It’s definitely time for us to “Get Up, Stand Up”.

Note added in publishing:  Readers should be aware of a Newletter released today by Popular Resistance.  Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese have an excellent article entitled “Real Democracy is Coming to the USA” and on declaring “independence” from the Corporatocracy.  That dovetails precisely with my next blog!


Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite Paperback  by Bruce E. Levine Ph.D. (Author)

30 customer reviews   See l 3 formats and editions



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