Corporate demons possess our nation’s soul. They crept in stealthily, full of trickery and deception, but now they’re lodged in place, as surely as if they had stormed our homes and halls of power with guns and tanks. Perhaps we’d recognize their coup if they had assassinated a flesh-and-blood president instead of merely stealing the souls of all our elected leaders.
Curse the war culture! It leaves us at a loss for words, bereft of metaphors to describe our situation. Our minds become blank slates, unable to recognize dangers at the door unless they carry assault weapons or drop bombs on our heads.
For all the avowed patriots who demand my Pledge of Allegiance and salutes on Loyalty Day, Fourth of July, and other patriotic, militarized holidays, I fling this question to your hearts: how deep and far does your loyalty to your country run?
When the forces of destruction, hate, bigotry, greed, and violence rise into power, there are three things they steal before they plunder the treasury. Stopping them is where the struggle for life begins.
It is not enough to hurl your rage at tyranny . . . every bully knows how to dodge a hothead. Anger is the alcohol of emotions. We flush, courageous in its drunken heat, but our blows miss, we flail, and our opponent easily dispatches us.
Not every problem we face can be solved by the magic wands of benevolent legislators. In those halls of power, you’re more likely to encounter twisted curses than blessings and cures. Instead, you must study the interconnected web that weaves our world together. There you will find effective pivot points of change. Every piece of the destructive system is tied to people, workers, supplies, knowledge, money, social behaviors, opinions, profits, transportation and more. Each of these sectors offers many places to push for change.
There are some who mince their steps and words, who hush the bold and outspoken, who advise moderation. But, a revolution by any other name does not smell as sweet. Reform does not cut it. Resistance is not enough. Massive change is vague. Transformation calls to mind change, yet does not invoke the burning urgency, the gritty intensity of the tsunami of change we need. Evolution implies an unrealistic image of our corporate political pawns awakening, growing, evolving.
Rich people rule, make no mistake. They have ruled for centuries, and the toll of their reign has been high. At their feet can be laid the bodies of every child starved in a world with surplus food; every person who freezes to death in the streets while there are six empty houses for every homeless person; every death from lack of affordable healthcare; and the incalculable casualties of the world’s wars – which have all had the wealthy at the helm. Colonization’s genocides, slavery’s murders, and the living death of mass incarceration can all be added to the oligarchy’s tally.
Muster courage to resist. Outrage is a mere spark; it must ignite the flame of courageous determination or else its light dies swiftly. You will need the stronger fuels of love, hope, and vision to sustain you through the struggle.
It happened so subtly, we missed the corporate coup. Like shadows, corporations surrounded our country and slowly strangled it. They crept into Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the military, the Department of the Interior: everywhere you look, a corporation controls the decisions of this nation. We have become the occupied territory of brand names, corporate logos, monopolistic power, and corporate greed.
In ancient times, the unknown edges of maps held the words, Here be dragons. We’ve journeyed into those unexplored territories, and found not dragons, but monsters of our own creation, behemoths of the corporate state, which, like golems, rise to strength and power, undead and yet, not living.
The United States is a laboratory for democracy – a centuries-long experiment in what does and does not work for people making decisions together. Moments of abject failure and soaring success punctuate long periods of disruption, shut-downs, and the regular ransacking of our laboratory. Our experimental efforts have often been thwarted by undemocratic interests. The equipment has been smashed or corrupted. The results ripped to shreds. The data distorted. The facilities destroyed. The funding cut off. Every aspect of our experiment in democracy has been tampered with by those who fear the will of the people.
Reject the glossy and sensational for the gritty and educational. Wean your mind from corn syrup and eat your vegetables. We have become a diabetic, cancerous, obese, depressed, anxiety attack ridden culture from the consumption of glitter-sugary corn syrup politics, sound-bite news, vacuous entertainment, and catch-phrase economics. We are commercialized right down to our souls from our mega-churches to our worship of wealth to our brand cults. It is killing us and our world.
The empire has no clothes. Be the boy who dares to speak the truth: there is no democracy. All around you, the courtiers are clapping and cheering, but their trembling hands are showing. They are terrified to admit the truth. There is no democracy in the US empire; rich people and corporations run the show. Study after study has shown this. The courtiers of power have been applauding the empire for so long, they’re afraid to speak the truth. But you cannot afford to let yourself be fooled. The empire has no clothes. There is no democracy in the Unites States.