A friend sent me a story (Tea Party Nation Prez Wants to ‘Rewrite’ Constitution; Thinks Allowing Only Landowners to Vote ‘Makes Sense’). With it, she commented: “Amazing! All those poor jerks who attended those lovely tea party events are going to be very surprised when everything they hold near and dear is gone.” That prompted the following rant.
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Aw, geeze, here we go again. You said it: “All those poor jerks who attended those lovely tea party events are going to be very surprised when everything they hold near and dear is gone.” Sadly, it’ll be too late then. As Ben Franklin said, “Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.”
In watching my country unravel literally before my eyes, I take some comfort in the fact that, like an addict, our addictive society (addicted to apathy, irresponsibility, ignorance, violence, narcissism, and “stuff”) will not seek recovery until it hits bottom. And as terrifying a prospect such a spectacle is, it is simply inevitable. Christ warned us: “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” MLK confirmed it when he prophesied: “If we do not learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) we will perish as fools.” Our society is not exempt from these prophecies. I only hope that when we hit bottom, we will not perish; that we will, in Lincoln’s words, “have a new birth of freedom.” But who knows. We certainly don’t deserve to rise from our ashes, that’s for sure.
As George Carlin says (ref: “George Carlin on American Owners and Education”) we lost our democracy years ago. We the People no longer run this country. Ours is a plantation model: the oligarchy and the privileged are the owners; the rest of us are slaves. They let us have elections and 4th of July celebrations to keep up the façade of a democracy. But anyone with more than two active brain cells to rub together can see the sham. Like high school kids, we elect the prom queen (president, etc); the faculty (owners, Mr. Charlie) set the curriculum (make the laws).
But, as the plantation model suggests, the problem isn’t with Mr. Charlie. It’s with what Mr. Charlie has done to our minds! We have been brainwashed and propagandized and drugged to a fair-thee-well. As long as Mr. Charlie treats us good (provides the drugs of apathy, irresponsibility, ignorance, violence, narcissism, and “stuff”) we’ll be happy.
So there won’t be any mass civil disobedience, civil unrest, or revolution, despite more people becoming unemployed, more soldiers and other innocents killed and injured, more people screwed out of their social security and other entitlements, an ever-worsening tear in the fabric of business, government, public safety. Following the plantation model, we’ll all just turn our anger inward on ourselves in a bath of shame, thinking, like a person in any abusive relationship, “Well, maybe if we could please our oppressors more.” But of course it won’t make a damn bit of difference what we do. Oh, there’ll be a few escapees, those who see the con for what it is and, like Cool Hand Luke, just can’t be communicated with. They’ll be hunted down and lynched or put to the whip but the rest of us will just go on with our slave mentality “’cause Massa Charlie, he treats us real good.”
And we do have those renegades. There are some of us who have learned the subtle, sneaky, important reason we were born a human being and not a chair. For example, I’m privileged to be part of a group of members of Veterans for Peace planning a huge action of non-violent civil disobedience in front of the White House on December 16. (Ref: “Veterans for Peace (VFP) to Take a Stand for Peace at the White House Dec 16,” Tarak Kauff and Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace) Veterans and others will stage what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history. Why? Because we’re simply damn tired of being ignored. And we’ll be arrested (lynched, whipped) but we’ll just keep on escaping (protesting) ’til either we die or our society gets it.
See, the renegades and free-thinkers, like me and my fellow activists, have learned what Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “Action springs not from thought but from a readiness for responsibilty.” Unlike the rest of society, we renegades know we are human beings, not chairs. We have learned to accept responsibility; we realize we have choices and are responsible for the choices we make. And that’s what makes us so threatening to the rest of society who has long ago settled for being a chair, putting a blank stare on their face so no one will know their head’s asleep. And that’s why we have to be watched, kept an eye on, because Mr. Charlie hasn’t done a damn thing to our mind. In fact, we’re playing with his!