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PATRIOTISM AND TYRANNY

A look at how government gets corrupt, and what "real" patriots need to do to stop it. Perfect for the national holiday!
Happy Almost Fourth of Jooo-ly everyone!

Independence Day. What a name. It's funny how we don't call the national birthday - a secular holiday - by it's real name, but we have no trouble calling Christmas by its religious name. Separation of church and state, I guess.

Anyway I don't want to focus on religion today because there's a lot of us here and we have a lot of different beliefs in that field, so I'll turn to the "other" big divisive issue: politics. After all it is a big patriotic holiday, right?

I bet a lot of you out there are pretty disgusted by what's going on in national affairs. So I'm going to ask a few questions to get an idea where we as a crowd are:
First, how many of you have felt, at ANY place or time, afraid to speak your mind for what you truly believe in for fear that you'll be regarded as un-American, un-patriotic, unsupportive of the troops, or an enemy of "freedom?" RAISE YOUR HANDS NOW, DON'T BE TIMID, BE HONEST!!!
Second, how many of us have been afraid to speak our minds for fear of unemployment, social rejection, or even physical or sexual violence?

Well you're in the right place brothers and sisters! I want to give my thanks to (insert Plaza sponsor's name here), and one of our country's great defenders of free speech, Senator Wayne Morse, right here from Oregon. It's partly because of activists like Morse, fighting AGAINST the establishment and NOT WITH the establishment, that you and I have the rights we do today. In a parallel history where people didn't speak up for their rights, I would probably be branded as a traitor, a tyrant, a subversive, even a Stalinist.

Indeed there are plenty of sick-minded, control-hungry fucks out there today who are trying to destroy these rights, whether by not enforcing them, by passing other laws designed to weaken the American people's rights, or by convincing us, through some manner or another, that what we believe in is "unrealistic" or "impractical" or "will never happen" so, in other words, don't even try to change society for the better! Or they try to demonize our beliefs by wrapping themselves in the flag and saying it's "against what America stands for." It's interesting how flag-wrapping is not seen as a form of desecration, but flying a flag upside-down is - do you understand what I'm saying here? The upside-down flag has always been a symbol of distress, but people still get offended when it's used as a symbol of "One Nation in Distress."

I'm not trying to diss the Veterans' Legion just because of this - they have, after all, wagered their human lives at some point to serve this country, or at least what they were told was serving the country. And for them the flag is a major symbol of American ideals. They just need to understand that DISTRESS can apply just as easily to a corrupt government and social system as it does to a personal crisis.

More about patriotism and war. War leaders have ALWAYS wrapped themselves in the flag, even for those wars which I myself might have supported, such as WW2. Adolf Hitler made a big fuss about flag desecration and how evil and hateful it was, all to advance his own evil, hateful agenda! I wonder what would have happened if the German people had made the point early on that "dissent is patriotic," and exposed Hitler for the two-mouthed Orwellian he really was! The only problem was that "dissent is patriotic" was not an invention of the Weimar Republic, it came from the mouth of Thomas Jefferson!

But why the war? Bush claims it was to make us safe from terrorists. Some form of inner logic tells me that occupying a country for more than two years isn't going to deter suicide bombers who already have nothing to lose. That does NOT mean the U.S. should have stopped World War 2 when the Japanese kamikaze attacks started, nor does it mean we should refrain from pursuing and prosecuting Osama bin Laden, and sentencing him to several thousand years in prison. But why Iraq? The answer, as far as I'm concerned, lies at least partly in the pursuit of profit.

World War Two helped to revive an ailing economy by putting industry back to work in order to produce armaments and the like. Deficit spending also generated decent profits for the owners. During the Cold War, the excuse of fighting communism allowed military contractors to make a killing on planes, security systems and nuclear weapons. These industries, like Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Halliburton, make money off of weapons, which means they have an incentive to convince the government to commission more of them. Of course, in a modern world, heavy artillery is of little use, especially for something as sporadic as terrorism. And to eliminate the social conditions that inspire terrorism in the Arab world as well as the Third world in general, humanitarian aid is the most sensible weapon to use. So why did the US pull out the aid providers in Afghanistan before invading? Could it be that peace is unprofitable, and the corporations embedded in the military-industrial complex don't want this war to be won? That way they can continue to profit off of fruitless efforts to fight terrorism, always coming up with excuses for another invasion, another weapon contract, etc. As George Orwell wrote, "the war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous."

If that's the case, and corporations profit off of continuing misery, why isn't there a more radical and militant movement within the United States to thwart this national scam? Today we see more and more wealth, power and influence being sucked up by the privileged few. Once upon a time most of the land was owned by independent families, and most retail businesses took the form of mom-and-pop stores. Today, while some professional job markets HAVE moved more toward small business, the core of the consumer economy is more monopolized than ever: only five or so corporate conglomerates dominate the entire media industry, and the Wal-Marts of the world are quickly displacing mom-and-pop stores. Public town squares are losing out to private shopping malls, the important difference being that the cops can arrest you for politically demonstrating in the latter, but not the former.

High-paying jobs are being eliminated and outsourced, replaced by "McJobs." The media encourages people to believe that these new jobs are not "real" jobs and that therefore the workers in these jobs don't deserve the same benefits and wages and union rights as the jobs they were laid off from. Workers are afraid to resist for fear of firing, which is intensified by the fact that the government no longer effectively enforces labor union rights laws. An AFL-CIO organizer told me not too long ago that nearly half of all businesses faced with union organization will use illegal tactics to stop it! This MUST change, and change very soon!

It is obvious the American Dream is dying, hard work no longer guarantees success, and it's not necessarily the individual's fault for being poor. By continuing to flippantly blame the working class for its own problems, rather than recanting for their greed and exploitation of labor-power (this is what makes their profits possible, after all), the upper class and corporate-capitalist class is digging its own political grave.

Hardly a day passes now that I don't read a story about another corporate buyout, CEO pay raises, companies cutting health benefits, or more outsourcings, layoffs, wage freezes, or the like. Not to mention the govermental analogy of all this shit, namely, education cuts, welfare cuts, job training cuts, interest rate hikes, bankruptcy "reform" designed to further enslave debtors, I could go on for hours here. The ideological agenda pushed by Wall Street mainly through the Republican Party but also through many Democrats is a kind of "socialism for the rich" or "reverse Robin Hood." The losers are the rest of us - all those who work for a living at the whim of a capitalist employer who is really only concerned about enriching the pockets of the shareholders - wait a minute! It's not even the shareholders anymore; it's the bankers and executives! and imposing dictatorial workplace politics to force workers to fulfill this agenda.

The political mantra of the corporate-capitalist workplace is "Obey our leaders or you lose your paycheck." Call America a free country? It may be in our free time, but if people are forced to work most of their time, and the workplace is authoritarian, we live, ipso facto, in an AUTHORITARIAN SOCIETY!!!! Especially with the mantra "your job or career is your life." If our jobs are our lives, and we value democracy, why not fight for DEMOCRACY ON THE JOB?!?!

In the Soviet Union, business, work and economics was controlled by a group of bureaucratic elites called the "Communist Party." Understand that the communism of the Soviets was nothing even remotely like the communism advocated by many 19th-century philosophers and economists. Communism and Christianity have more in common than you might expect - they are both fundamentally humanistic and liberating philosophies that have been abused by power leaders over history. While Jesus Christ and Karl Marx alike fought for the well-being of the little people, the Church and the Bolsheviks pissed on their ideas.

Anyway, in the Soviet Union, the Party leaders controlled almost everything about the economy and social life. Their business liaisons, the Apparatchiks, exploited the workers for their own benefits much like the way today's American Apparatchiks, the CEOs and Wall Street financiers, use our government to enslave everyone else. Corporate decision-making is done by a handful of these managers, appealing not to the interests of the workers or even the consumers (except when necessary), but to those who benefit off of this continued social scam.

But the American people, and ultimately the people of the world, will not be deceived by such rhetoric. Capitalism was supposed to guarantee freedom. And I will admit that under a capitalist system I can go to 7-Eleven or whatever to get food or drinks on convenience. But is that all there is to freedom? What about the people who can't get jobs because they have "weird" hair or piercings, tattoos, whatever? Shouldn't their rights as humans be respected too? What about the workers fired for protesting their working conditions? Is that really the face of freedom? What about independent artists or journalists who can't get their voice heard due to over-corporatized media? What about politicians who keep bowing down to corporate demands in fear that the company will otherwise take the jobs and income away? And what about the protestors who are marginalized and demonized for dissenting against this system? It may be that vandalism on behalf of a few anarchists is a major boon for the capitalist rulers since it gives them a "reason" to discredit our humanist and socialist ideals.

Back to patriotism: it means love of country. Sometimes, love means criticizing the mistakes of what you love. If I had a young child I was caring for, I think it would be an act of love to stop himorher from walking in front of a car driving down the street. If I see a nation and society collapsing thanks to the greed and tyranny of a few, I feel the same way. It's our patriotic duty to fix what is wrong in our country, not to support everything the Nation, the President and the Ruling Class advocate.

The true test of patriotism comes not when your country is doing the right thing, but when your country is doing the wrong thing. Will you stand up and save America from itself? Or more accurately, save the American people from the few who seek to enslave us for their own agenda of money, greed, domination, power, and totalitarianism? In the Declaration of Independence is the clause:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
And as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
"I know, and you know, and every independent businessman who has had to struggle against the competition of monopolies know, that this concentration of economic power in all-embracing corporations does not represent private enterprise as we Americans cherish it and propose to foster it. On the contrary, it represents private enterprise which has become a kind of private government, a power unto itself - a regimentation of other people's money and other people's lives."
If corporate capitalism can be seen as a "kind of private government," and that this "form of Goverment becomes destructive of these ends" meaning the rights denoted in the Dec. of Ind., then it is the people's right, indeed their patriotic obligation, to abolish it.
So anti-capitalism is patriotic. Who would have guessed? It's time to fight nonviolently but militantly, with no sense of compromise, against the money-hungry tyrants who are destroying everything great about America! We certainly should not be supporting wars which are fought on the backs of the proletariat to benefit the bourgeoisie! So repeat after me:
NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR! (repeated several times, hopefully with audience chant)
So let's end this with the song parody I wrote for all Americans, and ultimately all people of the world, determined to stop this cancer that is destroying our livelihoods and our freedom.

My heart has felt the dawning
Of a whole new way to live
Where the people own the means they work
And are willing to give
With our brothers and our sisters
A new era's on the rise
The workers will prevail!

Chorus:

Glory, glory to the people!
Glory, glory to the people!
Glory, glory to the people!
The workers will prevail!

We send this message out to those
Who toil without rest
To the young, the old, the sick and weak
The worn-out and oppressed
To all those who sell their labor time
And can't afford to play
The workers will prevail!

Chorus

The wealth and property
Are in the power of the few
While the common folk can hardly eat
Their time is overdue
This kind of system is the kind
That we must overthrow
The workers will prevail!

Chorus

The owners use their bag of tricks
To shut the masses up
From the prisons to the media
They want to see us stopped
But don't let their propaganda tools
Keep us from seeing through
The workers will prevail!

Chorus

Today we have a struggle
That we cannot win at once
But resistance always starts somewhere
And it is loads of fun
Now, let's organize our labor force
So we can pay for food
The workers will prevail!

Chorus

We call upon the people
And the workers of the world
To seize the reins of ownership
From those who're undeserved
Solidarity to all of you
Come on and join the cause!
The workers will prevail!

Final Chorus 2x
kiss your country goodbye 03.Jul.2005 11:36

facing up 2 it

We wish the salad days could go on forever. But the fact is that the American workers cannot compete with their Asian rivals. Their education has been dumbed down to match their Playstation skills, and the young workers of today have this expectation of having a fortune handed to them for just showing up. I'm really sorry to say it; I've sided with the hard working people for years, but face it. We've got a whole culture built up around uneducated people getting paid like kings for driving a forklift around, and the time of reckoning is at hand. Globalization means us buying things for cheap, but it also means being brought down to the wage scale of the people we trade with, people who get paid a bowl of rice for a full day's backbreaking work. So enjoy the cheap toys while you can, and take a look at the economies of the third world, 'cause that's what its going to look like here.