We, as a People, have lost our way. The average American spends 5 hours a day wasting away in front of a TV while a global war is waged in our name for blood, oil, and gold. Like masses of walking dead we spend our time chasing dreams that are not our own; lusting after cars and shoes and iPhones without any consideration for how many beings are suffering as a direct result of our insatiable need to consume.
We are all trying to fill that aching hole and gratefulness is hard to find in a world dominated by a corporate consumer culture that coerces us into dehumanizing one another. We find ourselves reduced to utilitarian objects fit only to be exploited, deceived, or disregarded as worthless.
It is as if we have forgotten how to feel the empathy that allows us to picture our existence as part of a concept greater than ourselves. Even all the majestic bald eagles and wavering flags in Wal-Mart’s 4th of July rollback extravaganza cannot hide the fact that this is a sick nation lacking any cohesive unity outside of superficial ideological associations and unsustainable financial structures. It is painfully obvious that our current heading lacks any consideration for the “Common Good” as it relates to the impoverished masses that are currently struggling to survive in 3rd world America.
Have we forgotten just how much we need one another?
How many nameless farmers labored to feed you this month?
How many poor yet pleasantly foul-mouthed carpenters worked to build the house you live in?
How many forgotten teachers once taught you how to read, how to write, and how to think?
Our interconnectivities with this world simply cannot be translated to an accountant’s balance sheet. This prevailing tendency to view one another as utilitarian objects to be used and discarded has led us to devalue not only our own humanity but the shared humanity of those we have never met. But what force has driven this world to focus so intently on creating one-sided and abusive social relations instead of long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships within shared support networks?
We, as a People, have been led astray. The fact is that there exists a small minority of very wealthy human beings that own and control most of the common infrastructure we depend on to live, learn and survive.
They own food manufacturing facilities, media outlets, energy conglomerates, universities, and even U.S. senators. They control access to the resources that dictate the parameters of our existence within this economic system. You see, to this small yet powerful oligarchy, we are the means of exchange. Our lives are their currency, our time is their production, and our labor is their profits. To them, our existence does not extend beyond “taxpayers,” “workers,” or “customers.” Their activities are directed by a motive of pure cancerous growth and they seek to attain power for their own sake in order to secure access to capital and resources which then are used to preserve their ability to exert social power in a concentrated manner.
Any concept of individual sovereignty or human rights is untenable because their relation to the rest of Humanity is oriented towards domination and authoritarian control. It matters not how many lives will be affected by their actions because their perspective is incapable of considering the value of human life as an abstract concept.
These mostly old white men are the greedy, heartless psychopaths that run the world. They purposefully manipulate the structure of our socioeconomic interactions in order to enrich themselves and maintain power. You see, to them, this is all a just big game and they devote enormous resources to making sure you consider yourself free but remain everywhere in chains. They make sure you trust the narrative fed to you by their chosen politicians, pundits, and experts.
They’re the ones that tell us global warming isn’t proven and that cannabis is dangerous. They’re the ones that tell us to go to college and then we can have a job. They’re the ones that tell us to lose weight and then we can be beautiful. They tell us this story about how all the fun is happening somewhere else and that if we work hard and make sacrifices we might be able to join the club. This is bullshit, the tables are tilted and we know it.
We, as a People, have allowed ourselves to be deceived. These old Money bankers, judges, lawyers, politicians, and CEOs have built a structure of power that harasses us each and every day while totally obscuring their directed influence. We have allowed our system of governance, originally designed to meet our needs, to become infected by their corrupted and rotten schemes.
As the worker, the taxpayer, and the customer, they require only our passive participation in the carnival of violent consumerism in order to maintain the social control that their concentrated wealth has guaranteed them. You see, it was that very moment we became hopelessly addicted to their Kool-Aid that we gave up our ability to think and act critically.
We allowed our public sphere of communication to be clouded by images of falsehood and deception and each sip we took from their tainted cups made us forget a little bit more of our story. Our true history is one of constant struggle. This obscured history tells us of empowered people refusing to accept the abuse of industrial capitalism and the exploitation of an economic apartheid.
Hundreds of thousands of people standing together is what gave us the 5 day work week, not some fat politician. Brave suffragists picketing a war time president and being tortured in prison is what gave women the right to vote, not a constitutional amendment.
You see, we gave these crooks the power to dictate every aspect of our lives because we, as a people, have forgotten how to defend the commons. Our schools, streets, sewers, water lines, and trains were all cooperatively built and as a result are social structures that we own in commons with one another.
The threat posed by autonomously organized groups of people dedicated to defending what is commonly shared is the reason that the past 80 years has seen the undermining of our ability to remain stable in self-directed autonomous communities. Narratives of fierce competition and divisional thinking have been culturally injected under conditions of artificial scarcity in order to prevent poor and working class peoples from realizing their true power within the unity of their seemingly individual struggles.
Racism, sexism, and poverty are all purposefully yet implicitly reinforced by the corporate media in order to ensure social control is maintained.
They want to make sure we stay distracted and keep chasing the carrot while desperately buying their bullshit because they know that the moment we refuse to continue accepting their abuse and withdrawal our support from their various institutions of control that they will no longer wear the crown.
The moment we break the silence and say “NO!” to their constant barrage of corporate propaganda is the day American Culture will finally become a two-way conversation.
We, as a People, must set things straight.
Our lineage is one of constant struggle and only by accepting that we have been lied to and manipulated can we begin to take the necessary steps to heal our communities and rebuild our society. We are on a sinking ship and we can no longer afford to sit idly by as they liquidate the entire globe in order to buy yet another vacation home in the Caribbean.
We must go out into our communities and create the organizational structures capable of defending our Public Commons from the vicious and terroristic financial system hell-bent on consuming our resources and enforcing a brutal economic apartheid.
We must hold our elected officials, and by association ourselves, accountable to the needs of the entire community. We must begin organizing a resistance capable of supporting a counter-cultural movement towards a society founded upon Human Rights, not exploitation and oppression because we can no longer passively accept that this is just the way it is and that nothing will change.
Every day one out of every four children in Rochester goes to bed hungry while the Mayor and City Council argue about where to build the next empty office building. We give wealthy corporations tax breaks while entire communities are criminalized because of their inability to participate in an economic system that fails to offer them any opportunity of equitable employment.
The current structures of power are broken and are incapable of serving us so it is our responsibility to conceive of a better way of providing access to the basic human needs for all people, not just those with money.
There is no middle ground, there is no compromise, because who else will take a stand and fight for a decent future if not those who have nothing left to lose?