OUR Decision Not Yours
By: Marcus Perriello | Our Voice Contributor
There are two major factors at play when it comes to the formation and maintenance of a society’s economic and political systems. The first one is the factor of serendipitous interaction within the various communities that make up the whole of society. Most of these interactions are regarded as subconscious or instinctual and aren’t given much further consideration by the mass of people. This is what leads to the formation of a given economic system that determines the genetic makeup of society with regards to how it conducts commerce and finance. The second is that which originates from the top, those who are more financially stable and/or well-off. As has always been the case throughout civilization, this is where the political system is represented.
Today, the United States is at a crossroads. What sort of economic and political systems will determine the future of the country moving forward? For some – particularly those at the top, there’s no discussion to be had about this issue. They’ve profited massively from the system that currently exists, and therefore they don’t want to change it. Meanwhile, by the same token, there is the mass of people who are falling farther and farther behind as time goes on, despite their best efforts to keep up with the prescription for life, doled out by the economic elites. Herein lies a critical problem: The lack of democratization in the workplace. The concept of Worker Co-ops is not exactly new. It may seem new to the mass of people who have lived their entire lives under the umbrella of the traditional Capitalist hierarchy, but this type of work environment has been going on for centuries.
At a time when money and corruption determines political discourse in America, it’s painfully obvious that taking back our government is the steepest hill to climb, with the least amount of tools available to complete the task. This is due to the careful orchestration and execution of the corporate capture of America’s political apparatus, involving the infiltration and takeover of the two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans. The Republicans were the first of the two parties to be totally captured by corporate interests, and it would take about half a century or so, but eventually the majority of the Democratic Party would fall under the yolk of Corporate America as well.
This relates to the Boiling Frog story, about putting the frog in boiling water only to have it jump right out; but then, to put the frog in cold water, in which case it would just sit there and gradually be boiled to death as the temperature of the water inched higher and higher over time. The rise of Fascism in America was already taking place in the 20th Century, mostly in response to the rise of the Socialist and Communist movements that were gaining in popularity during the Roaring 20s and into The Great Depression, and because of that slow-but-steady execution during the Golden Age of Economic Expansion, almost nobody noticed it was even happening.
This is what has allowed the entire economic and political systems to be rigged in favor of the Rich and Powerful. If the people are unaware of anything going wrong, there’s nothing they feel compelled to do to stop it. Now we have a population screaming for Progressive change, while the top-tier economic elites occupying the halls of government are telling the population to their faces, “No, you can’t have this because that’s not who we are as a nation.” It’s important to note the substitutions in that sentence because it’s both telling and misleading. The part that states “that’s not who we are” is eluding directly to who THEY – the Elitists – are. The substitution of a more honest noun with the word “nation” is both a sign of projection and a falsehood. It’s projection in that the word “nation” is being used to replace a more accurate term, like “class” for instance. Basically, these wealthy elites are telling the people “No, you can’t have this because we as rich people want to continue to make profits off of you.” That’s as honest and direct as you can get because it’s 100% true. Obviously they can’t just come right out and say it because that would mean the demise of the entire system they’ve spent their entire lives working to preserve and protect. But there’s some bad news for these elites: It’s OUR decision. Not theirs.
We return to the serendipitous interaction within society for further reiteration of this point. All throughout American history, virtually every major change in culture and lifestyle has started at the grassroots and has manifested in various forms elsewhere as these changes began to spread. Eventually, they work their way to the top, but usually with some form of resistance. The imposed paradigm of Capitalism-to-Socialism is one such form of resistance. America has held a deep-seeded misconception about Socialism in general, ever since the onset of the Cold War. In addition to the propaganda that had subdued the Socialist and Communist movements of the 20s and 30s, the Cold War provided this propaganda machine an extremely energetic boost, further debilitating the Left-Wing movements as time went on. Due to the success of this propaganda machine, the American people largely became misinformed about what they were being confronted with, being led to believe that they were being properly educated behind a shroud of Faith and Nationalism. Because of this, serendipitous interactions in society began to shift farther and farther to the Right, which was all-but the death knell to Progressive movements in the United States…until 2015.
Fast forward to 2019, four years after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) launched the presidential campaign that would transform American political discourse from the bottom on up. We now have average people, like the Justice Democrats currently in Congress, who are leading the charge to affect the change the American people are desperately crying out for from their government. We are telling the government what we want them to do, and the overwhelming majority of these government officials are slapping the American people in the face by refusing to represent them. They’re thinking their political and economic top spots are all-but assured and that their constituents will continue to vote them in, because their propaganda machine, in combination with their immense wealth, is still spewing the notion that these corporate shills are the best they can hope for and they should just shut up and live with it. So as Bernie Sanders keeps stating – progress always originating from the grassroots – that’s exactly where the Progressive message is coming from. We’ve made our decision. We didn’t leave the government to make it for us. But because of the systemic corruption in the United States, unless we can somehow get a 67% Progressive majority in both houses and in the White House, these changes we want will have to originate from the grassroots in practice, as well.
The big problem is Money. The economy is so one-sided in favor of the Rich and Powerful that it is by their good graces (and their rigged economic infrastructure) that the people can even hope to obtain what is needed to get such endeavors off the ground. There have been a number of suggestions, theories and solutions produced in recent years in response to this reality. Some of them are starting to bear fruit, others not so much. Only by operating outside the parameters of the established system can we hope to find that pivotal element, or combination of elements, that can lead us out of this Establishment bear trap and into the future we as a society are collectively working to move towards.