Saturday, July 28, 2007

On Anarchy: For Benjamin

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.” (Oscar Wilde)

One thing that my education and experience have taught is that freedom comes with a price paid in the process of procuring and, once secured, in preserving it. That price, history has shown, is the willingness of the people, to leave the relative peace of their jobs, homes, and families to physically confront tyranny and oppression. Those forces of oppression, even when out of power, still desire to hold on and regain their former status. They do not change their stripes nor do they go quietly into the night. They attained and held their power through blood, slavery, and deceit and it is through such savagery, or the threat thereof, that power is to be wrested from them.

It is unfortunate that any human endeavor, especially one as noble as social justice, should be awash in violence and social upheaval. None of us desires civil war. However, we should not allow the false tranquility of the present, nor the fear of possible future chaos, to deter us from speaking up or acting out for social justice and parity. There is much to risk and much to lose, and the human psyche, once acclimatized, abhors change. Yet, like an addict seeking recovery, there comes a time where that man, or that society, reach the bottom of what they can endure and risk everything to ensure their survival.

Non-violence is a wonderful idea and, in a perfect world, Gandhi’s image of a peaceful transition of power to the people would be a welcome sight. However, we are not marching against a far-off British Empire split amongst itself on the issue of colonies and self-determinism encased in the courteous affectations of the Victorian Age. Those seeking ‘empire’ now do not break for tea at a set hour each day. We are now dealing with local and national police acting solely to protect corporate interests. These police agencies arrive in full combat gear and operate in full combat mode. They are fully prepared to do harm to peaceful protestors. How many times must we witness the trampling, gassing, and beating of peaceful citizens, exercising their 1st Amendment rights to gather peacefully, before you and others finally believe what your eyes are telling you?

We have all been thoroughly lectured by our media and those in power to believe that violence is no way to solve problems yet, those same people who speak against it, use it willingly and often when it suits their own personal or ideological ends. Why is the violence done by men in Kevlar helmets and badges condoned and supported, while the same violence perpetrated by men in tennis shoes and faded blue jeans, in reaction, considered as criminal? Is it the uniform and the ‘order’ it represents that you worship or do you ever consider the root causes?

The corporate overlords did not achieve their wealth without shedding someone else’s blood. Pick any industry or commodity around the globe and you will find human beings exploited by the hirelings of some far away and well-protected corporate master. For them, it is just ‘business as usual’. They are detached from the sufferings of every-day human beings by their social station. They do not share in the labor or witness the real-world nuts and bolts goings on of what must occur in the real world for them to amass such power and wealth.

Democracy and ruthless greed cannot coexist. Eventually, the people tire of their masters and rebel en masse. The lessons of history i.e. the American, French, and Russian revolutions that we, the people, so often take for granted, are not lost on the corporate aristocracy and their underlings. They know full well what will happen and are already making careful and deliberate plans to counter any dissent or rebellion. Those in power have a plan and are implementing it. To do so, they must diminish the power of the vote and voice of the populace, either through clever marketing or, if necessary, by subterfuge or military force.

Of course, anarchy can be peaceful. We can boycott those corporations we don’t like and we can still speak out. However, civil disobedience, such as that of an H.D. Thoreau is laudable, but the somewhat quaint circumstances surrounding his particular time no longer exist. The penalties for non-compliance are these days are much higher and much more costly. Thoreau chose not to pay a tax levied for the Mexican war and he spent a few days in a local jail for his anarchy. Choose not to respect and comply with today’s revenue service and the consequences prove to be good deterrents to any such form of dissent.

“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.” (C.P. Snow)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Taking Action : Anarchy & the Money Train

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It is obvious that those who were elected or appointed to keep a check and balance on the executive/corporate branch are, if not outright complicit conspirators, inept to the point of utter uselessness. It is also clear that the will of the people, as expressed by several polls and reflected the in the last Congressional election cycle, is being ignored. Lastly, the media, corporate-owned and sponsored, will no longer and nevermore act the whistle-blowing, investigating, and independent-minded voice it was intended to be by those who enshrined the rights of the press within the first few frames of our Constitution. Let’s face it folks, unless you want to obediently follow their plans for you, there is only one recourse left to the people.

I have no idea how that is going to happen and I sure as hell don’t think we can pull it off unless we can do it while the majority of our armed services are scattered all over the globe as they currently are now. Riots and civil unrest do get the attention of our leaders, because that sort of behavior causes a drop in stock prices and commerce which, in case you haven’t noticed yet, is the raison d’etre of the American government. If we slow down or impede the cash flow to the wealthy aristocracy, even if for a day, they will begin to buckle. This entire Iraq War is about that cash flow. Union busting is all about cash flow. Trade deals are all about cash flow. Lowered environmental standards are all about cash flow. It’s all they care about.

We unionize. We blockade. We protest. We riot. We revolt. We stop the money train. We join hands in defying them. They cannot do it without us, and we cannot stop them without each other.

Ultimately, and sadly, the wealthy elites and their personal protectors in government will have to be taken out and shot. Yeah, I know these are strong words, but you have to consider history and realize with whom we are dealing. Do you think they have any regrets when it comes to killing to make or protect an investment? The capitalists consider whatever damage they inflict upon humanity and nature as ‘collateral’. The accumulation of wealth and the power to control resources and labor is the only creed they know and, as history shows time and time again, they will go any length and make any justification in defending or promoting their greed.

My grandfather may have been an ardent Socialist at heart, but he never understood why the Russian Revolution had to be so brutal and unforgiving. He left the Soviet Union with his family under a cloud of disillusionment and disgust. I see now maybe what he didn’t see then and have come to understand why it is that the Bolsheviks had to destroy, kill, and erase every vestige of the old system and its holders. The fact remains that those regimes won’t let go of their power without fighting a ruthless and cruel war in response. Even were we to permit them to walk away with what they have accumulated and then accede to social and economic reform, they would adamantly refuse and unleash their armies and police to suppress any dissent or, even should they go peacefully, eventually return to reclaim what they believe to be their manifested ‘birthright’.

The violent anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries served as messengers of much needed political and social change. Those anarchists inspired many to stand up, and speak out. They set in motion the downfall of monarchies and erased class divisions around the globe. Those separations have returned and the keepers of the wealth and power have learned a lesson that we have long since forgotten in our heated jealousy to emulate and imitate those who dominate our culture and politics. We must become anarchists of some sort, either in word, in action, or in demeanor. It would be a start and perhaps, as we saw in both in 19th century Europe and the US, this anarchy could be the harbinger of greater social change and social justice.

Is peaceful change possible when those we elect ignore the people? I am no longer hopeful. Perhaps with peaceful defiance, an anarchy that stops the flow of wealth is what they need to jolt the ruling classes back into a social consciousness. If not, this nation will suffer either dictatorship or worse. If they refuse to hear your words, then it becomes required for them to feel your presence.

Take Action!