Maybe there is hope for America, after all.
30 years after Ronald Reagan committed treason to win the presidency (see below) and installed greed as the primary moving force in the American economy, Americans are finally fighting back.
For decades, the middle class has stagnated and the poor in this country have simply been left behind, as the top 1% looted all of the wealth and prosperity of the nation. After watching the Supreme Court declare that corporations are people (and can donate unlimited riches to political candidates who support corporate agendas) and after watching the crimes of bankers go unpunished, one group of citizens decided to do something about it.
Beginning on Saturday and lasting until, well, until Wall Street changes or the police arrest them all, a group of protesters has amassed in New York City to protest the current take over and occupation of America by the rich, for the rich. The protests, which have been joined by social activist group Anonymous, are based on the movement in Tahrir, Egypt. The idea is the same: take over a portion of the public square, set up encampment, and protest until demands are met. If it can work in the Middle East, sure it can work here, right?
The group, which is holding up in a makeshift tent city in what they call “Liberty Plaza”, come from a variety of viewpoints and backgrounds, but they are united on one front. “The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” the group said in a statement.
The message of the group is simple: The current regime and economic system strip away humanity and turn everyone into a number — a dollar value somewhere, to someone.
“This current setup is that it has long ago co-opted the very means of survival within itself, making our existence not an inherent right endowed to us by the simple fact of our humanity but a matter of how much we’re all worth — the mere act of being alive has a price tag. Some pay it easily. Others pay for it with their submission. Others still can’t pay it at all,” the group said on their webpage.
“Regardless, though, like cars, TVs and barrels of oil, our lives are commodities to be bought and sold on the open market amid the culture of ruthlessness and desperation that has arisen to accommodate it. This is the natural consequence of a society built around entities whose purpose it is to always, always minimize costs and maximise profits.”
Can we stop for one moment and consider what’s being said and what this protest is all about?
Our lives, our very existence, have been turned in to commodities. Our education system is designed to train us to be compliant worker drones, is it not? It certainly isn’t about inquiry and rational thought and exploring the universe.
Think about the economic realities of capitalism. If you cannot work, you cannot eat. You cannot have a home. You have no means to provide food, shelter, or clothing for yourself other than generating money and contributing to a corporate bottom line. Even if you simply wanted to stake out some woodlands, build a cabin, grow your own food and forever be left alone, you cannot. It is illegal.
Even if it were legal, it’s impossible. The land has been declared by someone to be “theirs”. You may rent it or buy it. You can plant seeds, but how? By hand? Using horsepower? Where can you get horses — again, you can buy them. Oh, and the seed companies are working hard to make sure that you HAVE to purchase seeds from them. So much for that simple life, which quite frankly, sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
It’s really surprising, how unaffected ordinary Americans are by the takeover of liberty and our personal lives by corporate America. If the government did to Americans what corporate America has done to Americans, heads would roll. Blood would fill the streets and the parties who perpetrated those acts would never be heard from again. But Monsanto and Verizon and Dow Chemical do it, and few say so much as a peep.
And so we find ourselves with, really, only one avenue left to pursue: protest. The elections we hold are rigged. The very core of democracy itself, the vote, has been sold off to Diebold and other unscrupulous companies who have the means and motive to steal elections. These people will pollute the Earth and poison their customers to make a buck. Do you really think they’d avoid rigging an election to get a favourable result whenever they could? Come on!
It is clear to anyone who has paid attention that the corporate wing of this country has stolen or rigged every election since Jimmy Carter. Ronald Reagan won after committing treason, making a secret deal with the Iranians to not release American hostages until the day Reagan took office. He then enacted an anti-labour, anti-American, corporate greed political platform, cynically using confederate sympathizers and socially conservative Christians to get his policies passed.
Since then, they’ve been loosening corporate donor laws (so corporations can have even more control of the political system) and, when that isn’t enough, they just steal the election. Al Gore won in 2000 and they simply asked, and received, permission from the Supreme Court to declare George Bush the winner. John Kerry won in 2004, and they simply hacked the vote counting machines and stole his victory. Obama in 2008 wasn’t close enough to steal, but you can be damn sure that anything close will be handed to Rick Perry or Mitt Romney in 2012.
It’s ironic, I suppose, to watch the Middle East erupt in a series of protest movements that put freedom and democracy in the hands of the people while here in America, we move further and further away from freedom. It is these movements in the Middle East that this protest is based on; the idea that, if you build it, they will come. If you let people know that they are not alone in thinking that the current regime is holding back their human potential, people will join together, rise up, and slay the regime.
Will this movement be successful? I do not know. I certainly hope so. I hope it grows 20-fold and the chants become so loud, the voice so clear and the message so damning that the fascist (yes, the F word) mix of corporate and government powers have no choice but to change or die.
You can follow the protest news live via twitter with hashtag #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
You can reach the author by email [email protected] or on twitter@johndthorpe.
— John Thorpe
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