Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Occupation: The Overlying Problems

1. The first problem we need to address is that the canon of capitalism is not to create jobs or hand out benefits. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" in the 1700s, which later became the basis of Reagan's "trickle-down economics" of the 1980s and beyond, was an utter failure. Repeating the failures of history has become a trend in America where the most costly war is against drugs after the disaster of the Prohibition in the 1920s. However, capitalism is about unrestricted profit increase, not benefits, jobs, or the welfare of the laboring class that allows for excess. Capitalism isn't completely nefarious though; it exploits our competitive nature to drive innovation. Having said that, if it goes unregulated, or is self-regulated (even scarier), profit will take precedence over rights, quality of product, equality, benefits, job creation, safety, and flourishing of the country as a whole. So what we are attacking is not several small problems in concert: the Drug War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Troy Davis's execution, racism, bigotry, corporate interest, etc. What we are fighting against is the unrestricted capitalism and corporate lobbying that is at the heart of each one of these issues.

2. Another problem we must address before the floodgates of revolution are opened is the belief instilled in us from our first recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance that America is the greatest country in the world, cannot be made any better, and questioning this clause is unpatriotic, if not treasonous. A wise man, whether it was Paine, or Jefferson, or Lindsay, said, "...dissent is the highest form of patriotism." We need people to realize you can support the troops without supporting the wars, you can support your country without supporting the operation of the government as it stands today, you can have your demands heard without lobbying with money.

3. This isn't a global crisis of government failure, but this is a global crisis of morality. We allow the least among us--the greedy, under-evolved resource hoarders--to dictate and control what we eat, what we need in our homes, who we can elect to represent us, where we can live, what we can do in the comfort of our own homes, and even who we can love. We are misdirected by being allowed to exercise democracy and choice on small matters: which house we want to buy (that will most likely later be taken away), which supermarket to go to, which TV show to watch. However, when it comes to matters we should be able to choose on, what really effects us, our democracy is ripped from beneath our feet. We have more choice on Dancing with the Stars or who the next homecoming king should be than who our president should be.

4. Our pleas have not been heard by our current government, for those that we aim to reform own the government with lobbying. That is why our pleas have to turn into demands. Boycotts, lock-downs, protests, rallies--the same tactics used by the party of the Corporation, the Tea Party, that are having such a profound impact on the media and Republican primaries. Merely using our democratic vote is vastly insufficient on changing this country when corporations can lobby Congress, while nobody is lobbying for our interests and needs. In a democracy, the power is in the hands of the voters, but this isn't a democracy anymore is it? This is an oligarchy. The power is in the hands of the elite. We can't lobby with money, threats of cutting jobs, or hiking up prices, but we can lobby with the one advantage we hold over the ruling class--numbers.

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