According to a recent CBS News/60 Minutes investigation, members of Congress, including high profile Senators, not to mention the current and former Speakers of the House, are embroiled in a maddening scandal. Insider trading, using non-public information politicians are trusted with to protect the citizens, has made millionaires out of a majority of representatives.
If that wasn’t bad enough, not only were certain high-profile politicians given large quantities of IPO stock, they further used advance information concerning the 2008 economic collapse to sell off shares they knew would rapidly depreciate in value. They bet against the system, removed their wealth, and came out on top while millions lost everything they had.
This is treason. Economic sabotage by those whose job it is to represent the interests of the American people.
And if all this isn’t bad enough it is becoming increasingly apparent that civil liberties and our fundamental individual and collective freedoms are under threat by both American and Canadian federal governments. Civil servants are being used to silence and suppress the People; how hopelessly fucked we all are.
The rich get richer, sabotaging and destroying our economy to attain ever greater wealth, while the middle class disappears, youth are offered no reason to live for tomorrow and the poor are worked to early deaths. Our nation does nothing to improve the lives of its own citizens, let alone the people of the world we alone can adequately help.
Our democracy is a fallacy, a fanciful myth. Our wealth is illusory while its industrial impact ruins one of the last great wildernesses on Earth. Our elites are supremely self-interested, and the World suffers for it.
So where is our leverage? How can we fight back?
There’s a laissez-faire approach, neatly synthesized into a soundbite you can print on a t-shirt. It’s attributed to Gandhi, about the three steps until the revolution wins.
What that slogan isn’t telling you is that all revolutions need leverage, and we, the largely lethargic progressive socialist mass, still have nothing. Buried deep in the soul and foundations of our nation is an understanding and connection to our society, and yet we’ve been mislead to believe we act and operate as individuals, as self-interested as our elites.
A sympathetic ear in the media isn’t going to be enough progressives, revolutionaries, people fed up with getting screwed by those who are supposed to be working in our interests, we need to find our own ways of fighting government, the elites, corporations and anyone else who dares stand in our way.
And the best way to make them hurt, really, truly hurt, is by destroying the machine that creates this illusion of wealth in the first place. Something cannot come from nothing, and money cannot make more money without something being produced. This is fundamental.
I wouldn’t advocate the Galleanist approach, too messy. But removing our money from the banks and putting it in credit unions, yes now we’re on the right track.
How about selling all your stock? How about tens of thousands of Canadians doing both at the same time? Would that effect a change?
What if Canadian students refused outright to pay any and all tuition, en masse, to force provincial governments to seek a standardized low tuition rate? Would that get the attention of the government? What if we declared mass bankruptcy? Or decided to stop paying federal and provincial taxes? Why are voluntarily handing over our money to people who will only use it to further their own interests? It’s insane.
How many people would it take to cripple the economy, sink corporations, destabilize our currency, on purpose? How many people do we need to simultaneously stop paying all of their bills at once to create the economic equivalent of a gigantic gaping hole in the ground?
Suffice to say we need to re-think collective action. Demonstrations, protests and occupations can serve a community and society well, but as we have seen, they seem to all end the same way arrests, chemical weapons, young people getting hurt needlessly.
We’ve gone down this road before, and it only ever leads to more violence. Getting our government to listen to our demands and acknowledge their mistakes is going to take something dramatic, so why not demonstrate our dissatisfaction by removing ourselves from Big Capitalism as best as possible? It will take a major threat to the status-quo wealth of our elites in order to get them to play ball.
Let’s get some leverage. Otherwise, change is nothing but a far-off dream. Unless you think things are miraculously going to improve all by themselves, the time for drastic and effective action is now. We can’t afford to wait.
* Ghandi image: weknowmemes.com, Occypy NYC photo by Kamee Abrahimian