In the wake of the Clark County Bundy Ranch Standoff, the potential for the interconnectedness of internet to bring about social justice and true freedom to human civilization seems at last within our grasp.
Our generation were born with the bright shining promise shoved in our faces, that happiness was just a credit card swipe away; that the coolest kids wore the newest sneakers; that consumerism is normal. We’ve been propagandized to believe success is defined by a college degree and a job with benefits. It reminds us incessantly that we should have another drink and buy a new car. As this perpetuates, our routine of mindless obedience is rapidly shaping a world in which we no longer wish to live.
Corporation States have replaced Nation States. Presidents have been replaced with CEOs. Civil servants have been replaced with business strategists. Dominant shareholders drive policies instead of lawmakers. How could the principals of running a profitable company possibly be synonymous with deciding how people ought to live their lives? Why is it that we the people now unite behind brands and celebrities instead of nations?
The modern privatization of supposedly government functions boggles the mind. America possesses 18 military and civilian intelligence agencies, and 70% of their combined budget is outsourced to Corporations, and the pentagon has privatized 69% of its work force. This means that businesses now run wars and play roulette with the entire planetary ecosystem in the name of profits.
Two generations from now, our grandchildren will not care how cool we looked in our new cars, how skilled or intelligent we thought we were, or how attractive our partners seemed to us. They will care about whether they can breathe the air, drink the water, and survive sustainably with a meaningful future ahead of them. If they are denied these basic human rights, they have every right to curse our existence in this time, and we have every obligation to them to ensure that the world does not become a corporate, fascist wasteland. A living person can be enslaved and reduced to the historic condition of an object. However, if we die in refusing to be enslaved, we affirm the existence of another kind of human nature. We are not slaves and we have a moral obligation to say no and to refuse to be either executioners or victims.
Any act of resistance, no matter how small, is significant. Any boycott; any demonstration; any occupation; any sit-in; any strike; any act of obstruction; any act of sabotage; any refusal to pay taxes; any fast; any populist movement; any act of civil disobedience - ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the black shell of authority for what it is. But we can no longer seek to reform a broken system. This Empire must collapse as every single other Empire in history inevitably has. As the Phoenix rises an inferno of rebirth from the ashes, we too must die to be reborn.
We’re not going to bring about peace and equilibrium by driving flex fuel cars or buying florescent light bulbs. It is not an act of rebellion to buy Che Guevara posters or purchase anti-establishment music albums produced, manufactured and marketed by the same Corporations that have co-opted genuine sentiments of Rebellion. Writing letters to elected officials, voting for Obama, chanting meaningless slogans like, “Yes we can,” “This changes everything,” or “I’m lovin’ it,” will only perpetuate the status quo that is killing us and the planet. Real social changes will never come from the top where the power elite reside, for they will not act with the urgency necessary to protect human civilization or preserve the ecosystem. They are only driven by the will to accumulate more wealth at the expense of all life. They are not endowed by the human virtues of compassion, integrity or decency. Their lobbyists write laws the rest of us must abide by, whether or not we understand them. Their Public Relations firms craft the propaganda and trivia shoveled out by relentless systems of mass deception. Their money determines the outcome of supposedly genuine elections. Their greed turns the workers of the world into surfs, and transforms our beautiful planet into a radioactive desert. Those who work human beings to death in overcrowded factories in China, and mutilate the Gulf of Mexico into a dead zone are the enemy. They serve systems of death. We cannot appeal to their better nature because they have none.
We now face a choice between obeying the rules put in place by these Corporations, or Rebellion. We will either defy the corporate elites in acts of civil disobedience, an outright rejection of traditional politics for a new radicalism, and the systematic breaking of laws, or see ourselves consumed by the jaws of the machine. The interests of the super rich are not the same as our interests, and their values have proven to be the reverse of human values.
We cannot influence fate because we will all die and our individual egos will be annihilated. But we do have a choice in how we live. The only coherent philosophical position is Revolt. Acts of resistance are moral acts that take place because people of conscience understand the moral rather than the practical imperative of Rebellion. Rebellion should be carried out not because it is necessarily effective in utility, but because it is ethically correct. Human beings are not designed to be following orders, to have authority figures above us, submissive figures below us, or spend a majority of our time listening to speeches about mission statements or filling out useless and frivolous forms.
Trust in your heart that resistance is worth while, because it is. The media, the arts, scholarships, and political and social movements must become conduits for unvarnished moral outrage. We must defy systems and even laws that permit Corporations to strangle our culture. All who speak in a moral voice, one tied to fact rather than illusions, will become freaks in the eyes of the ignorant. Dresden James perhaps articulated it best: “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
A culture that no longer values truth and beauty will condemn its most creative and moral people to poverty and obscurity. Journalists, artists, civil rights leaders and clergy will find themselves more and more on the fringe while the corporate elite label them the enemy, condemning rebels as impractical, dismissing their stance as counter productive, chastising the Rebels for their anger, and their media outlets will mold and reshape the minds of the ignorant to support these views, all the while using the hypocritical language of compromise, generosity and understanding to argue that we must accept and work with the current established regime. But the Rebel is concerned not with self-promotion or public opinions.
Those who begin these acts are always few, but no act of resistance is useless, whether its revoking corporate charter, refusing to pay taxes, or chaining oneself to Ecocidal industrial projects like the tar sands.
Augustine wrote: Hope had two beautiful daughters, Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and the Courage to change them.
As long as we are willing to defy the forces of despotism we have a chance, if not for ourselves then at least for generations to come.
Any act of Rebellion permits us to be free and independent Human Beings, but it is important to remember that Rebellion is not the same thing as Revolution by any stretch. Revolution works towards the establishment of a new power structure in place of the old one. Repeating the mistake of Revolution will yield the same results that it always has throughout Human history. We need but to look at how Revolution worked out for the Russian Federation to see how the violent overthrow of an established regime inevitably creates a new regime who build themselves up in their former oppressors image, only to become a new and even more brutal oppressor: Bolshevism led to Leninism led to Stalinism, and at each intersect the population earnestly believed that if they could just get the contemporary tyrants out, everything would be alright.
Rebellion is about perpetual Revolt and permanent alienation from power. It is only in a state of Rebellion that we can hold onto moral imperatives that prevent a descent into tyranny from ever occurring again.
Therefore “Hope” is a word that is applicable only to those who grasp reality, however bleak, and do something meaningful to fight back, which does not include the farce of elections or involvement in mainstream political parties. Hope is not about chanting, “Yes we can,” in rallies organized by marketing experts, but about fighting against the real forces of destruction. Hope in the minds of realists spreads a wave of fear into the black heart of the corporate oligarchs. But real, actual “Hope” will remain perpetually out of reach by a collective self delusion unless we choose it to be otherwise. It is up to each of us. Look in the mirror. It is up to YOU.
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
It is no measure of mental health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. We have to think as a human species and create a global consciousness to create an empathic civilization. This is a defining moment for our species. The only way the establishment will change, is by our refusal to participate. We will either Obey or Rebel. We cannot afford to wait another moment to stand up for what we know to be right. Its time to start meeting oppression with resistance - not tomorrow; not after dinner - now! Sparks lead to flames, and flames to fire. Where do you stand?