The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension. They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. They know being sick and unable to afford medical care. They know the state seizing their meager assets, a process known in the United States as “civil asset forfeiture,” which has permitted American police agencies to confiscate more than $3 billion in cash and property.
Capitalism required a frontier to exploit; there is no more frontier, unless one counts the mass of humanity at which capitalism gnaws like a greedy pig at the trough. The job or jail choice many face is a cruel joke when so many jobs have been outsourced to cheaper labor markets and/or automation. The only important task at hand, taking care of our home (planet) and fellow human beings, is of no interest to capital. None.
I like Chris Hedges' take on how things are and how they work, but if the only course of action to make it all change is for millions of people to "hit the streets" and angrily demand that capitalism stop being what it is -- that is unlikely to come to pass.
By the time desperation becomes widespread enough to cause that kind of mass social disruption, that will -- in my never humble opinion -- be a sure sign that the societal collapse has passed the point of being fixable.
I don't know what should or could be done -- if I did I'd shouting it out to all who could read and/or hear.
Demanding change unfortunately will only work if the demands being made are doable and comprehensible so that people really could buy into a "change that can be believed in" that is more than just a slogan.
If knowledge of a thing were all that was required to shift it, the oligarchs would have been out of power long ago.
You, like the majority who post here--and have no DAY JOBS (curiously enough) allotting them the FREE TIME to repeat this message often--insist that citizens hold the keys to their own liberation. If only they would just see... so easy! Anyone can do it. Presto!
This ignores CENTURIES of not just control, but all sorts of psychological programming starting with religion that teaches FEALTY and unquestioned OBEDIENCE to authority figures.
Add in the centuries of actual societal logistics where--with the only exceptions being Indigenous societies that were non-hierarchical and the Social Democracies of Northern Europe where wealth gaps are not as exaggerated as elsewhere--a preponderant group of kings, aristocratic families, or other tyrants made it seem that ALWAYS there will be rich and poor.
These constructs form the ideological infrastructure that repeats itself in society after society, time-frame after time-frame.
The acme of this process--aided and abetted by computer technology which enables massive concentrations of power--is the type of Disaster Capitalism that Mr. Hedges brilliantly describes.
Since those at the top have ZERO concern for human rights or human needs, or the planet's ecology at all, protests won't mean much.
And to those in this forum who set up the either-or narrow option pool of "taking it" or "fighting back," there is a romanticism about violent revolution that is not unlike the romanticism held by too many men for war.
The ACTUAL event will quickly disabuse anyone of such romantic notions particularly since at this time, the types of weapons held by the armed guards who answer to the oligarchs (due to hierarchical chains of authority... directed from the top) WAY surpasses the types of guns that the NRA advocates and their Aryan Brotherhood enclaves have managed to amass.
Nature has laws of Her own. These natural laws, studied by the ancient Chinese Sages were formulated into The I Ching. Too often the arrogance of the anglo-european male, the conqueror who has raped, pillaged, and plundered every continent with the ambition of turning these territories into HIS image and likeness, forgets that Nature bats last.
I have been posting the documentaries produced by SOTT. Each month they SHOW the ravages of floods in places that had been deserts, and the rising fury of suddenly awakened volcanoes.
Mother Nature IS taking a hand in bringing down the existing system of plunder. It is anti-life and has murdered too many and led far more into refugee status, widowhood, or abject misery.
Protest is good. Organizing politically has some minor measures of possible progress. Consciousness-raising is important. The surprise element--like the monkey-wrench done unto "The Machine" is also good. But ultimately, the reach of harm and the extent of martial madness that's part of the Control Machinery today is beyond what people CAN take down. That is, unless many millions choose to be shot in the process.
Too often bloody revolution leads to a shift in leadership where new people take over the old roles. THAT is why a systems collapse must come first. New wine cannot be poured into the old wine skins. Look at what happened in Egypt? The people--even women--protested and ended up with THE MILITARY ruling their nation.
In the U.S. while groups HAVE fought back against the original white male landowners and deciders for all (holding top positions in law, business, govt., education, banking, etc.) and gained some improvements, that tide is now rolling backwards. And it's the same white males (with token Blacks, women and Latinos tossed in to provide the illusion of diversity where there is nothing BUT allegiance to the paradigm of the patriarchs and their long-held privileges) running things...
ALL over the world people have awoken to this... however, most will seek to protect their lives and I am not sure that millions being gunned down is going to lead to ANY improvements. The elites who now run things LIKE war and if they can kill 2000 people to create a pretext to use as trigger for already-planned M.E. Wars, there is little that would move them in the way of human carnage. Whether this ilk is sociopathic, inhuman, or working with some off-world influence... the result is the same: a driving URGE to cull the human herd.
Violent revolution just provides them with the pretext to do what they would prefer to do.
Many DO see martial law slowly emerging within the U.S. and currently under the radar. All that's needed is a trigger... stock market collapse? Border skirmish with Russia? Quake to the New Madrid fault? The FEMA documents and too many camps ARE in place. The NDAA and other odious anti-human rights "laws" are also waiting.
Very good post Siouxrose, but I do think that a non-violent revolution is possible with "knowledge". Knowledge is the first step to overthrow our corporate master's. It won't be easy, but it is feasible. For example...
If the 99% all agreed that we live in a rotten system that is rigged in favour of the 1%, would any of these people sign up with the army or join the police? Only by convincing a portion of the 99% that evil corporatism is beneficial for the greater good, are the 1% able to recruit the people they need to suppress the majority. Obviously we have not achieved this 'universal awakening' yet, but I don't think we're that far away form getting to that point either. The 1% won't pull the trigger, but they're quick to order someone else to do their bidding. Once they have no one to do their dirty work for them, the 1% becomes irrelevant.
Yes, Chris Hedges, we ARE all Greeks now. Many of us have known this for some time. What to do or where to turn is the question. I don't have an answer, but I reject violence. Knowledge of our situation is key, something my sister used to call "seeing the bars of our cage." Yet most of my friends and even my family don't wish to see those bars. Last night a large storm tore through the part of Minnesota in which I live. Gazing at the evening sky, we realized that it was going to pass north of us and we would be spared...this time. I think that's how most people feel about our political world. "So far, I've been spared, but I don't want to think about next time too much."
We have been warned about this for some time. The details were all spelled out in the 2003 book “The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order” by Michel Chossudovsky. The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are the big three criminal extortion outfits that are imposing the New World Order to impoverish all the nations of the world creating “disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon.” At some point genocide will be used to keep the “disempowered serfs” at manageable levels. History is full of genocide and the sadism of ruling elites.
The Greek Government is no different from virtually every other government in the world including the U.S. At their hearts are cancerous central banks that add nothing to the wealth of a nation as they only serve to siphon off money to the global corporate oligarchs. When the always corrupt American Congress voted for the privately owned Federal Reserve System in 1913 Rothschild remarked that he cared not who was elected as he controlled the country if he controlled its finances. This has become the motto of the global corporate oligarchs and they now control the world.
The Greeks just caved in so wouldn’t it be nice if we were all Icelanders now and abolished The Federal Reserve System, nationalized its actions, put its officers and directors in jail along with many Wall Street thieves to bring on a new phase of financial freedom and prosperity and join Iceland as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
But the oldest warning has come from Karl Marx who outlined the progressive disease of capitalism to its own destruction. He could not foresee weapons of mass destruction including industry that ravages the ecosystem “threatening the viability of the human species”. Nevertheless, we should all become marxists now as it's either socialism or over the cliff.
What in your opinion is "doable and comprehensible"?
This is a brilliant post! This is the Siouxrose I respect and can listen to. I agree with everything you say. I understand what you mean about "fighting back." I know. I've become so disheartened, waiting and watching as things get worse and worse. I want to DO something! Yet, as you say, the result will be playing right into the hands of those who cannot wait to "cull the herd." I've said all this stuff before. I've said all the things Chris Hedges says. I am a thinking person. I am awake. I see this all slowly unfolding. It is HELL! I have also said all the things you have said.
I want to cry right now. In fact, I have tears welling up as I type. It is, as you say, the raising and elevating of consciousness and spirit, the awareness that everything is out of our hands--that Nature will respond much more quickly than we could, that will reset life on this planet. It is difficult to wait. It is hard to have faith in the unseen forces of Nature. Each individual must come to that point where consciousness is elevated; ego is allowed to fade.
In the meantime, we must love one another. Speak Truth. Listen to our Spirit.
"They pretend to pay us. We pretend to work." - Soviet Union saying. Extremes of economic systems is always stupid. The middle path of Socialism keeps the predators on the fringes.
The American constitution was written as a framework to prevent corporate takeover of a halpless, resource constrained new country. The excesses of the East India Trading Co. which led to the breech between British king and his subjects were about to metastasize across the globe. Ravening Capitalists, fueled by the religious fervor of euro-Christianity, blazed across the globe, assigning prices and establishing a market to sell everything and everyone they encountered.
It was great for them for a couple hundred years. Now it's ending. Communism as an ideology died in the 1970s. Capitalism has been eating its own tail since Bush.
The time has come to starve the banking beast. The governments need to withdraw all pensions and place them in a government owned bank. That helps protect citizens. Kill the monopolies. If necessary, nationalize and claw back citizen assets from privatization. Re establish Civil Service to counterweight corporate wage slavery. shut down all defense contracts. No one is planning on invading us. They think we're barbarian whack jobs, no different than Somalia.
This battle needs to be fought on a small scale. A return to regional economies and citizen operation of public assets. An end to government by contractor. Because if a government can't provide essential services for its citizens, the government falls.
It may be the end of the world for Wall St. and global economies, but with prudent management of our resources, I'd let the banks fail. We managed post-flood new Orleans. And things won't get better by letting them run amok.
Good job, SR. Your assessment that ecological disaster will probably be the only catalyst for real change is, I think, on the mark.
Why would the corporate oligarch controlled government pull all of the pension funds out of the banks?
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Ruler teach that they should rule.
Yet many YA novels are about heroic youth banding together against totalitarian systems.
Hope blooms eternal.
I'm still waiting for a plan or approach that meets those criteria.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE.
Yes the system will collapse due to a confluence of economic and ecological catastrophes.
But in the meantime, our job is to build solidarity: democratic unions allied with communities and neighborhoods, and mutual aid and education where we live.
Only then will we be prepared for the collapse, and not have to: "Meet the new boss, just like the old boss," which is what generally happens if we protest without having built a community to replace the oligarchy.
I don't think that anyone has ever been "shamed" into caring. We learn to care by being included in a network of caring; first in our families and then, hopefully, in the wider world.
Building that network is our biggest job today. Sure, protests. and sometimes combat, are essential. But let me quote Che Guevara: "At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love." ... The quote would be even better, I think, if he had used the plural - revolutionaries - all of us. Successful organizing is the art of starting with that mutual communion in a small space, and then helping it to spread like, perhaps, the loaves and the fishes.
"They piss me off," can make a good blog post. But not a strategy for organizing.
Oh, wait. I remember another quote. "Love your enemies, unless they piss you off."
The man who said that (the first part) didn't do a bad job of organizing.
this is it, right here. people want to know the secret of victory? it's in this paragraph. and it's very hard to do, which is why I think so many people shun it as a "solution". Much easier to protest every now and then and proceed to think you've done your duty.
until we have a real connection with one another in physical space, we will continue to be battered and react like this on message boards everywhere.
I'm glad to read that Chris is sounding much more like a trumpet call to revolt rather than like a dirge as he did formerly! I want to see the oligarchs beg for their lives and frantically try to bribe their captors and hopeful executioners! When that happens, I hope those scenes are filmed by any number of phone cameras and the images go viral. Maybe executions, then, won't be necessary: once there are millions of images of these ghouls pooping in their pants (or panties?) at the prospect of being reduced to dead meat, will anyone be able to look at them and not snicker? And their existence really would be a living death of humiliation every day till they no longer pollute the atmosphere!