How can so many people gather for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, but not to stop drone strikes or environmental devastation? We are well past the point where one person or one small group can save us like the messiah come to the great City On The Hill. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” said Lord Acton in 1887 and many others before him and yet, we still do not get it.
Its not that I am specifically against Hillary or Bernie or even Jeb Bush. It is that I am against a system that creates a “first family” and a ruling class, based upon centralized power and money. From the beginning, the Constitution was meant to keep the rich and opulent minority, the cream of society, in charge. Every year we centralize power more and more and this leads to vast amounts of inequality. One problem is that you have to be a voting block of millions or have a LOT of money to have even a small voice that will be heard in such a large centralized power state. And history has shown over and over the real danger with centralized power is when corruption creeps in, and so far, it always has done so. But corruption is not the only problem with centralized power structures; there is also the externalization of society’s problems onto those false edifices and the power structure that we have created.
Centralization and greed lead us to decisions that most of us would not make except through this anonymous system of externalization. Who would say they would poison this planet into nothingness? Well almost no one would make this choice, but if we can say that BP pollutes we can put it on them. Follow this up with the Government and Haliburton who handled things wrong and failed to regulate. This allows one to ignore WHY they were drilling for oil in the first place and deny the fact that the only way to stop this is to get our society off of a petroleum based system.
America uses 25% of fossil fuels in the world with only 5% of the world’s population, and we make about half of the worlds trash. And since we know that about 40% of people in the US are below the poverty level and consume fewer resources, then we also know that in reality 2.5 to 3% of the worlds population use about 20% of the worlds resources. This is an addiction that is hard to give up: air-conditioning and 20 kinds of meat are seen as rights.
Do you think that politicians do not represent you, that they represent corporations? Maybe that is true, but who keeps the military industrial complex going? Its easy to say that politicians do this, but why would people keep electing those politicians? People who work in the defense industry are largely responsible for this. The Department of Defense is the single largest employer in the United States, with 1.4 million uniformed personnel on active duty, and more than 700,000 full-time civilians. The defense industry, as a whole, is believed to employ another 3 million people, either directly or indirectly. These employees tend to be older people who show up to vote and will almost always vote for the person who will save their job. Five million voters of 129,235,000 that voted in the last election is a lot.
And defense is only one of many of these structures. There are roughly three million direct federal employees and millions of others whose businesses rely on federal spending. Of all those people, who would elect anyone that would cut their job? Even if they are redundant and wasteful, in this system we all have to sell our labor as most of us own no means of production. Even people who work for private entities aren’t going to vote for a candidate who supports EPA regulations (for example) that may threaten their jobs.
Corporations are people my friend, they are you and me; they are the consumers that consume all the world’s raw materials. Their slaves are our slaves. Their pollution is our pollution. They externalize and we externalize.
I could go on and on, but instead I will get to the point. The American people are trying to win a rigged game that makes it easy to put the blame on one big centralized entity that has nothing to do with them; after all, they are good people who would never do this.
In fact we are agreeing, or are forced with violence, to take part in a system that is built on things like employment, false scarcity and forced hypocrisy.
The taxes you pay to Federal governments do not go to roads, schools and hospitals. They go to the governement-corporate-defense-prison-industrial complex a.k.a. indirect corporate welfare and they go to direct corporate welfare. How did this happen? Just some bad apples you say? No we simply centralized power in several institutions and allowed a small number of people to take us in this direction.
The only true solution is to divest from these systems, not reform them. Continuing to act like it’s working is like saying that apartheid can work as long as we do it right. It can never work, but a small group of people will do so well under it that they will defend it, and as long as enough people do well enough, they will not care; it’s not their fault anyway. To so many people in the world, we are the Empire, their apartheid. Bernie cannot change that, Hillary cannot change that, only we can change it. The environment cannot wait forever for people to realize this.