Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Believing in Change

Slightly more than a year ago, significant legislation was passed in the US Supreme Court that removed any barrier from major corporate contributions to political campaigns, meaning that we now have a government that is overtly funded and subsequently managed through corporate contributions that create and employ corporate politicians.  Justice John Paul Stevens, in his dissenting remarks stated:

'At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics'

As we look at the budget for the fiscal year 2012 and see social programs slashed, while the defense budget tops out (again) at $671 Billion Dollars, we needn't wonder why.  Transnational corporations, transglobal wealthy elite, defense contractors (military industrial complex) have taken an aggressive stance and will move ever more quickly towards manipulation to accomplish complete and total control over the world's ever growing poor.  The result of all of this is the final stages of the US becoming a plutocracy surpassed by none other historically and one which will become ever more difficult to replace or systemically change.  What Bush sought to accomplish militarily, Obama will accomplish economically.  Between the two schools of thought, which are united in their mission through policy over the term of several executive political terms, the binding root is imperialism that concludes in unchecked hegemony.  And with the US operating as the current metaphorical and literal vehicle, the true imperialistic master is as it has always been; the wealthy elite, which is now embodied more globally than nationally through the system known as neoliberal economics.

We find ourselves witnessing an administration that was elected with the overwhelming popular vote through the mobilization of a previously marginalized segment of the population that had either opted out of the political system years ago or who had never voted at all.  The about-face that has taken place since this administration took office will do more to alienate the vast majority of the very voters it generated, thus succeeding in marginalizing the majority and allowing the canyon between the wealthy elite and the struggling poor to grow ever more deep and wide.  True change was promised and then cast aside, while the very agenda against which the politician stood is brought in on a red carpet to take our country firmly in its grasp.

The ability for the US political system to convince you that you have exercised your ‘democratic’ choice is inherent in your belief that this politician is any different than that, that you belong to this or that ideology, that you are represented by a blue donkey or a red elephant, etc.  Consider the possibility that they are two parts of the same system, one dependent on the other for its survival, with a unified view that has very little to do with the box, the shade, the hue, the tone, the rhetoric or propaganda, if you will, that caused you to exercise said ‘democratic’ right in casting your vote.  Indeed, by exercising your ‘choice’ and casting your vote, you have removed yourself from the process that would be available in a true democracy, and you may now take your assigned place on the sidelines, at the margin of the page, and fulfill the role of a spectator, better yet, a ‘consumer’.  And if you don’t like the results, you can vote for ‘the other guy’ next time or even more radically change your position and vote for a blue donkey rather than a red elephant, or vice versa.

The beauty of the system for the political structure, the device for public management that is economically manipulated and managed by the wealthy elite is that it does, in fact, marginalize the public while allowing enough room for executive administrative doctrine – a guideline for policy, and executive administrative ideology – a comprehensive vision of history’s progress and destination.  Keep in mind, the combined term ‘a policy for historical destination’; and the administrations rarely, if ever, head in a direction that actually embodies the comprehensive and ideological shift or change that the vast majority of the population deems necessary.  Indeed, the members of the population who might represent such change rarely, if ever, make it to the forefront of our ‘democratic’ process.

The conclusive result of all of this is that it, the singular (albeit duplicitous) system has now culminated in a government that has achieved the goal of being profit driven.  This leads the spectator in the arena to ask ‘but how can that be?  What of our ever increasing national debt, unemployment rate, etc?’  And this is where the basic education of neoliberal economics takes its turn.  The cost of the system is socialized.  The profit is privatized. 

The playing field is made up of a fairly consistent group of players, interchanging roles as lobbyists, lawyers, legislators, corporate executives, politicians, generals, mass media personalities, all of whom impact such ‘reforms’ as policy, regulation, and laws.  All of these roles have the quasi-purpose, in literal or metaphorical value, dependent on which role is being played from which position, of public servant, while truly serving the immediate and/or eventual master of profit, which is in turn the ‘policy for historical destination’.

As for the aforementioned throngs of voters mobilized in the most recent presidential election; they take their assigned seats on the sidelines of history, the old reverting to the pattern of complacency or apathy, and the young settling into ignorance while awaiting their shift through the generational turnstile. 

Let me digress briefly and take just one of our subjects and walk with him through his season of life:

The tragedy of human mortality in this scene is that life goes on.  The spectator, all the while becoming a complicit party to the actions of the wealthy elite political/military machine, works and vacations, is well and falls ill, loves and loses and loves still, is young and grows old; discovers prosperity, perhaps winning and losing, giving and taking; and, for our scenario, at this and then that point along his own historical destination, embraces or abandons a personal or social doctrine and ideology, vacillating over the years between various forms of actual internal change and its subsequent truths, until one day there is an actual choice; either a subconscious final commitment to stay seated on the sidelines, in the margins of life, and accept the role of the ‘consumer’ or a conscious actual choice to leave the metaphorical arena and set sail for a far off destination that is deep within.  If our subject finds himself at the latter destination, he has either not yet gone through the generational turnstile or turns around and goes back through it, and he finds that he is in the active process of belief and faith, walking towards something that lives in each of us, but which he feels is absolutely unique to him.  It is a revolutionary concept in his being; it is hope. 

This is where our most recent US President captured him.  Our subject was either new to the arena, had perhaps taken his seat of ignorance and had not yet passed through our generational turnstile, or indeed found reason for hope and turned back through the turnstile and proceeded on his journey and found himself with his fellow voters.  Together they climbed into the vessel and set sail on a new journey.  They had been called to be a part of the action that results in true change.  They had been called upon to believe.  They had been inspired. 

Now, two years down the path of that journey, they consider the very real possibility that the calling was disingenuous.  The wind dies in the sail of the human vessel of hope.  There is a sad calm as the people look about, recognizing that they only boarded this vessel because of a deep desire to believe.  And although history had taught them, generation upon generation that they were too small, that they were too naive, that they were insignificant, that they were too poor - a deeper faith had called them to that shore and they set sail.  Now, as they look about, even the shore of discontent is far off and seemingly unreachable.  They consider the possibility that it was an illusion, that perhaps they had never left the arena at all and that the very best they can be is a consumer and the very best hope is a hazy daydream.

And then there is a distant voice, as the hope of a new generation in a far off land stakes its claim with a torrent of belief that is the true foundation of the indomitable human spirit.

It is this voice to which we must listen, and it is our experience and abilities which must be brought to bear.  We cannot allow ourselves to become the passing generations that have once again become disenchanted and subsequently marginalized, lest we sink upon the lost vessel of hope for which we stand.  For although we heard a voice of truth and reason, we saw but another man, apparently another politician in a man's skin, inherently flawed at the core, integrity only feigned. 

But the voice, the words that were spoken, called out to something that is true, something that we cannot relinquish, something that is the very fundamental rhythm of truth, hope, belief, and faith.  It is now that we watch from afar as Egypt rides the wave of a new revolution, which stands in the balance, with all the outside influences beginning to press upon it, asserting their power, their wealth.  Only time will tell if the people will succumb to the transnational influence that propped up the Mubarak regime for thirty years.  As the Mubarak regime is toppled, as the Parliament is disassembled, the US/Israeli influence leverages its position with the Egyptian military that now holds the purse strings.  Over thirteen million dollars per day has been lost, and the pressure is great for things to return to the status quo, and for the people to fall back into apathy, complacency.  'We have not the resources for the general public to be caught up in the fervor of revolution and for them to expect to be the very fabric of change; we must maintain the status quo.'  And with this deceitful sentiment behind the nature of their words and actions, martial law is implemented, curfew is established, and the pressure of 'economy' is brought to bear.

It is this very sentiment that threatens the integrity of the revolution itself by inserting the prioritization of capital over reform and social justice, as neoliberal economics, a vicious double-edged sword wielded by the wealthy elite of not just Egypt, but of the world, demands its due and sets to establish its mendacious form of democracy. 

And yet, just as the resources were there for the people to camp in Tahrir Square, providing food, medical supplies, calling upon the common utility and resource of the group to provide for the common need, the resources are there for the people to stave off the temptation to leave their task undone, their goal unaccomplished.  The people must demand that the assets of the Mubarak regime, of the man himself, of the Parliament, of the Nation, are captured.  There is a surplus.  And if the people do not demand it, the surplus will be swallowed up by the powers that fabricate change while establishing a puppet regime that wears a 'democratic' facade.  Beyond the monetary and material assets of the regime, there is enough of a political structure to develop the civilian interim government for which they call, and an infrastructure and economy that will easily carry the country through its period of transition.  And if the priority of social justice maintains its rightful position, the country will thrive as the result of a pregnant economic pause, and the pains of the revolution will give birth to new life in the very breath of humanity as a whole.

At both the very least and the very most, this moment in history cannot and will not pass without the passion and courage of the people being duly noted at a level that serves as the spark which can potentially ignite true change that is born of pure intent, and that results in a form of social democracy that has at its core the priority of caring for the world's people, regardless of their wealth.  The world's people must stand at this time, at this moment, and with indignation and rage cause the powers that be, throughout the world, to understand that their position of power leaves them no less vulnerable than the small regime that for thirty years tortured, raped, murdered, and pillaged a small North African country called Egypt.

It is the active process of disembodied belief and faith, operating through the heaving undulation of humanity at this critical moment, that must bring the resources of the world to the people in need, that must seize the political and social structures that exist, grasping and utilizing what is systemically good for humanity, while amputating what is systemically corrupt, and cauterizing the wound with systemic resolve.

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