Friday, March 20, 2015

The moment I felt most American

If the intent is to find something about America to be proud of then a few historical events have to be considered.

When this country was just getting started they began by fighting the tyranny of the British; unfortunately they replaced it with a government that was controlled by a small percentage of the public, mainly white male property owners. Since then there have been several times that segments of the public have had to stand up to the ruling class and advance the cause what we call democracy. It has never of course been democracy; even when they wrote the Constitution they acknowledge the fact that it was a Republic not a democracy; however more recently there have been many attempts to rewrite history to imply that it is a democracy. In many cases some sincere people have attempted to rewrite the flawed versions and they were accused of being “revisionists,” ignoring the fact that the first revisionists have turned history into a propaganda story to benefit those in power.

In the fifties Rosa decided that in order to take pride in America she should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus; OK that wasn’t her intention but it worked out that way. She helped spur a movement to move the working class, in this case African American, closer to their rightful place intentional or not. This was just one of the many efforts to advance many of the rights that have always been at the grass roots level against the most powerful political people, mainly the property owners or corporations.

In the eighties the public became much more complacent and stayed that way for over twenty years; as a result while they were participating in the rat race their liberties were being eroded rapidly although they weren’t paying attention. The Mass Media has now consolidated the corporations of all other kinds have also consolidated and thanks to a series of Supreme Court rulings that may have escalated with Buckley v. Valeo and again with Citizens United the corporations now have total veto power over the candidates that have any opportunity to run for office. Which means we have been led to believe that we can choose between corporate candidate A or B. The public has no representation in the government any more and it is now a corporate plutocracy.

Which brings me to the moment I felt most American; it was back in November of 2016; or maybe it was 2012 or 2020 when the public first realized that they had to boycott the incredibly corrupt corporate candidates that were all bough and paid for by the corporations and elect a new batch of candidates including a new president that were all elected by running in a grass roots election process controlled by the public. This happened as a result of the absurd behavior that is currently going on in the Mass Media and the government where there is absolutely no sincere talk about the most important issues. Instead they’re talking about one distraction after another.

Wait a minute isn’t this still 2011? Yea I guess it is; however since I wanted to talk about something that was worth being proud of I could hardly talk about current events could I? I certainly can’t be proud of the fact that we are sending our troops overseas and bombing people all over the world ignoring the “collateral damage,” based on a bunch of lies that are designed to benefit the corporations. Nor can I be proud of the fact that we live in a society that is shipping jobs overseas to countries with little labor rights or environmental rights so that the corporations can increase their profits by using sweat shop labor and destroying the environment in the third world where people don’t have political power. Nor can I be proud of the fact that they’re not even trying to make good products that actually last since the public wouldn’t have to buy them over and over again then and profits would go down. Nor can I be proud of the fact that the poor are being thrown in jail while the richest white collar criminals go free except for a few foolish ones that make the mistake of steeling from other rich people instead of steeling from the poor or the middle class.

The plus side is if my pride in the actions, of those that stand up to the corporations, that may be coming soon is justified then the environment will be repaired and the wars will stop and an enormous amount of benefits that have been blocked by the corporations will finally be realized. This would result in a true democracy not a pathetic sham that only the most docile sheep can believe in; and the public will be able to move to the front of the bus. My part in this may be modest but it will be worth being proud of along with that actions of many others that do more than me.

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Good one!!

Hits the nail right on the head.

Don't expect political parties to EVER be able to bring about democracy though. They will always be controlled by those who offer the money necessary to buy the votes of the electorate. Advertising isn't cheap!

It's time to realize that "elections" don't succeed in providing us with a proper governing body of men and women. Never have - never will. We simply MUST replace the old pyramid of power with some form of participatory involvement in social management which cannot be subverted by corporate/monetary interests.

And yes! Setting up a "people's participatory 'shadow' government" might indeed be a terrific way to do it. Once built it would allow the citizenry to simply ignore the present sham government.

Great article Zach!

skypixie0 June 30, 2011 11:02 AM

The man in Tunisia had no idea of what would happen when he lit himself on fire. Unintended consequences. It happens here to. The only reason the college kids stopped the war in Vietnam was the draft, period. I haven't seen much protesting since the poor are the ones sacrificed by the rich. You mention the eighties, but left out the most evil administration in history. The Bush administration and the Patriot Act were so evil it defies logic. Yet, Obama and co. are only adding to it. I was in the military. I was proud to serve my country, but that was long ago. I now have open eyes and I can see the injustices that are happening everyday while people argue about silly things like burning a flag. I have nothing to contribute to this open call. Nothing!

scanner June 30, 2011 12:08 PM

Zach, that would indeed make one proud to be an American. Sadly, the day I become proud of being an American will never arrive and I know this. Inshallah.

MrsRaptor June 30, 2011 03:34 PM

Sky, I don’t expect the political parties to do anything since as you say they’re bought and paid for; instead I’m hoping that these massive protests that were so big the Mass Media had to pay attention to them bring results.

Scanner, The man in Tunisia didn’t really set this off; it only appears that way due to the way that the media covered it. This was happening before and if not for that to trigger it something else would have. Suicide in such a bizarre manner isn’t effective; it is just a sign that they’re crushing a lot of people and many of them have no reason to live so they go out in what they consider a glorious way. Some aren’t quite so civil or rational Jared Laughner and Joe Stack also got a bang on their way out at least from the free world if not life. No doubt that W is the most absurd president but if I have to mention it than the target audience is pretty clueless.

Mrs. Raptor, these protests caught me by surprise for the most part since the media didn’t try to report on them until they had no choice but there were signs which I didn’t recognize initially. One thing was graffiti; another was a report of protests that were ignored by the media assuming they happened. Now there are more signs that the protests are still going on despite the minimal attention given by the media. There may be more going on than we know about. Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later.

The real revolution will not be televised!

zacherydtaylor July 01, 2011 09:29 AM

Well put. Today, people in places like Tunisia and Egypt can feel proud of themselves for tossing off the shackles of their oppressive regimes, but Americans remain either to uninformed, too misinformed, or too complacent to do anything about the corporate plutocracy that threatens to make life increasingly more oppressive for the poor and middle class.

The question is how bad will it have to get before the camel's back is broken, Americans decide to fight back, and we can all finally feel proud again.

Kemstone July 03, 2011 05:31 AM

No doubt a large percentage of the public remains complacent which is why it got this w3ay in the first place but the number that is no longer quite so complacent is probably much higher than most people realize thanks to the fact that the Mass Media is unwilling to report on this in an honest manner; or at least that is what many hope. If not then it will continue to get worse until people stand up for their rights or their is a total collapse.

zacherydtaylor July 05, 2011 09:15 AM

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