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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WHY WE WANT WORLDWIDE REVOLUTION

I recently read an article on Salon.com, 'The New “Let them eat cake”' by John Sirota. I've also been keeping abreast of the budget battles going on in the US legislature, as have many others. What's struck me as surreal is how little attention is being paid to the very root of the problem: The disparity between the richest and the poorest Americans, and by extension, the world's rich and poor. If every news outlet jumped on this topic and covered it 24/7, enough couldn't be made of it until the playing field is level. There will always be entrepreneurs and there will always be ne'er-do-wells, but when the difference between the working class and the wealthy is as great as it is today, something is desperately wrong...broken...in our way of doing things.

The poor want a better life, one with some sense of security in both their finances and abode. The wealthy simply want, how and from whence that money flows to them is of minor consideration. In America, we have created the false sense that to own a home is a privilege, not a right. Thank the wealthy for that notion; they own the rentals. There isn't and will not be anything approaching equality until every person who attains adulthood has his or her own home, a place that can't be taken away save by death.

The notion that a home in the US of 2000+ square feet is a minimum requirement for a family of 3 or 4 was created by the same people who profit from the sales of the building materials, land, and occasionally even the homes themselves to the working class who dreamt of a better life, but were thwarted by a "bubble" created by the very same people who ripped them off the first time around. The notion that the wealth built up prior to the Great Recession just disappeared would be laughable if it didn't have such dire consequences for the great middle and working classes. That money didn't disappear entirely - it merely flowed back uphill to the ultrawealthy and disappeared from view. Make no mistake, the Rupert Murdochs, the Brothers Koch, the oilmen and arms manufacturers and their friends are all better off today than they were at the peak of the housing bubble. Oh, their mouthpieces will show you nice charts and graphs showing that the poor billionaires are suffering too, and then ask if you have no pity for them. Well, I don't.

At the turn of the last century, the ultrawealthy - the Morgans, the Vanderbilts, the Duponts and others - were building empires for themselves just like the Murdochs and Kochs of today. They were raping resources and stepping on anyone who got in their way, just like the Murdochs and Kochs of today. And they were amassing wealth in a fashion never before seen...just like the Murdochs and Kochs of today. If we learn nothing else from this, let's let this one thing be our history lesson:  We fail to learn our history lessons.

For example, why do we keep having these budget battles? They're a sideshow, nothing more. Why are we engaged in 3 wars? They're a sideshow, nothing more. Why are we watching yet another televised murder trial? It's a sideshow, nothing more. It's all distraction, all the time, everywhere, every when, and every damned day. It's a sideshow, nothing more.

The Arab spring and the rioting in Europe, those are the real deals; people saying, like the ubiquitous commercial, “It's MY money, and I want it NOW!” And they're right, they should be upset, damned upset. Upset enough to strike, to riot, to picket, to protest. Angry enough to challenge the status quo, to stick it out until real change is made, to be prepared to be arrested, beaten, pepper-sprayed, jailed, even imprisoned. Do you REALLY believe that the police in the US “protect and serve” the people? Open your eyes! Because the wealthy will be angry and upset too, and they're the ones with their own private armies, their own police forces, their own national armies, and in some cases their own countries. They'll be mad, mad enough to kill...and kill they will. They'll do anything to protect their wealth and themselves. They'll be like rabid dogs when cornered, and they'll need to be dealt with in the same way that rabid dogs are dealt with because they suffer from a disease. Their disease isn't fatal to the carriers, only to those who dare to oppose them. Their disease is greed.

How do we go about wiping out greed? That's a great question and it's beyond me to answer it. Greed may be so deeply ingrained in humans that it can't be rooted out without killing the host. But perhaps it could be somewhat mitigated. I believe that a world where the disparity between the bottom and top is small would be a world that would inhibit the formation of greed, a world where greed would be looked at as the vice it is, and not something to be emulated as it is in the world in which we currently live. I believe that a world where poverty is nonexistent, hunger is unknown, a world in which one's sense of security is never questioned would be a world where greed couldn't get traction. But it would also be a world that would threaten those who just can't stand to view others as equals. And that's why it will take a worldwide revolution to bring that world to fruition.

One day, and that day may not be that far off – I do believe that the United States' time in the sun draws closer to slipping away – one day Americans will wake up, they will realize that they've been lied to by corporations, by politicians, by the ultrawealthy, by the entertainment industry, and even by the media, the Fourth Estate, the one institution which should have remained above the fray. But didn't. Americans will wake up and as someone once observed about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which served to draw the United States into World War II, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Americans will indeed be filled with a terrible resolve and the purpose of that will be to bring down the ivory towers in which the ultrawealthy hide. Americans have been lied to in such an insidious way that their anger will be unlike anything seen before and it will reach out far beyond the shores and borders of their nation to find the culprits and grind them to powder. The institutions that have been built to rape the meager treasuries of the poor and working classes will suffer their wrath. The great banking houses will be plundered. The world's armorers will find their own manufacture deadly when they themselves become the target. The multinational corporations which control the food supply will know the hunger that the bellies of small children from Appalachia to Asia Minor have felt. And perhaps worst of all will be the special celebration which will obtain for the middle men, the stockbrokers, the moneychangers who produce nothing but consume wastefully. The gluttony of Wall Street will provide tinsel and garland from the sinew and bone of its hacks. Only those who sought to fatten their own larders on the backs of those least capable of withstanding it will rue its loss.

There will come such a day. There always comes such a day at the changing of the guard of empires. As China rises, so America shall wane. It will be at that time that the argent light of truth will shine brightest on the dark machinations of greed.

But...as we look around and see the brightest, the boldest, the best informed and the most informative waging war on the unwary warrens of waste and class diminution, we may be looking at the genesis of our own struggle. Our time to strike out and strike back may be NOW. Look around. LOOK around. Open your eyes and LOOK. Turn off the TV. Put down your games. Pull your heads out. Stand up. And get mad, very very mad. Why are you unemployed? When has “trickle down” economics ever actually trickled down? If the Bush Era tax cuts were supposed to create so many jobs...where are they? That horse has been beat, shot, grilled, milled, and now resides in a bottle of glue; it ain't gonna run no more. Why do they really want a lower tax rate? Why the hell do you THINK they want a lower tax rate? They want it ALL. Every. Last. Dime. Because there're a couple things that they don't want us to know.

One: You've heard that there are two sets of rules - one for the rich, and one for the poor. That's wrong; the rich have no rules.
Two: In the end, the ultrawealthy...and when I use that term, I don't mean the guy down the street who bought the Jag, has a pool, and vacations for a month in the Caribbean; I mean the WEALTHY...billionaires...families worth...megabillions... In the end, the ultrawealthy just don't give a good goddamn about you or me. No, there's no selfless thought to them. They don't do anything for the greater good unless it may serve to substantiate their legacies. In the end, hell from the beginning, it's always been us versus them, in their minds.

So I say, OK. Fine. You want to dance? Let's! Let's see Wikileaks, Anonymous, and anyone else who can provide evidence that the bastards have been crapping on the working poor and middle classes show us the evil. Let's get up, get dressed, get to our posts and stand guard. And steel yourselves because the light at the end of the tunnel will only shine after the tunnel is dug, as as yet not a single shovelful has been lifted. The moguls will fight hard, and they will use any arms and means at their disposal. Their propaganda war began the day that Murdoch's media empire fired the first tyrannical shot over the heads of the dispossessed.

Let's get the word out, fire people up, and let's get this party started!




28 July 2011 addendum:  "The U.S. is experiencing an 'end of empire' moment and the dollar share of global reserves is likely to fall gradually," said Jim Leaviss, head of retail fixed income at M&G Investments in London." - regarding the US debt ceiling debate currently before the US leadership.