Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Flashback to 1967.
Commandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara, late of the Cuban Revolution and a man who, at age 39, could have held a cush-job in Havana with a ’59 Impala of his very own was instead lying in a one-room schoolhouse in East BFE Bolivia, suffering from a leg-wound and talking to the schoolteacher.
He took the time to correct her Spanish grammar on the chalkboard, and asked her if this building was the best the government could do. He informed her that in Cuba, the building wouldn’t be considered fit for housing pigs, and that he was there to help bring proper schools and medicine to Bolivia.
When asked how, he stated flatly that only a handful in Bolivia owned all the wealth, and that the only way that would change was by revolution.
Shortly after that, at the urging of the CIA, several soldiers drew straws in the courtyard. One went into the school building after the teacher was removed, and shot Guevara, four times.
Guevara’s last words: “Go ahead and shoot; coward! You only kill a man.”
One percent of the American population owns 95%+ of everything. Our education system is a joke. The average American can't get medical care. Warren Buffet himself said recently, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” He went on to say that ‘we shouldn’t be.’
Do you have a dollar in your wallet or purse? Congratulations. You should frame it. Reason? It’s more money than the top six American corporations paid in taxes last year. It’s probably more than most wealthy Americans paid.
Here’s a wake-up call, if you needed it: The middle-class is dead in America. The fact that you might have a mortgage, a bank-loan on an above-average car, several credit cards, a student-loan debt which would have been unthinkable twenty years ago and spend what’s left of your paycheck each week at Whole Foods on Saturday morning does not mean you are middle-class. It means you’re a serf – one of the faceless millions who are beholden to the banking system.
The evidence now is overwhelming – we are in the final stages of a class-war which began (more or less) thirty years ago. It will end soon, with the remainder of the nation’s wealth firmly in the hands of a group of oligarchs who’ll make the kings of the Middle Ages look like benign dictators.
Chicago-school economics – which ruined nations like Chile and Argentina, and allowed their dictators to rise – has held sway here since Reagan. The essential public element of democracy – critical thinking, logic, and reason – are now considered ‘effete’, and only used by elitist intellectuals who are somehow better than the rest.
Some of us are saying, “Look! We don’t have a democracy – we have a plutonomy. We’re ruled by corporations which use the courts as a front!”
The majority shouts us down -- because they're more concerned with Kim Kardashian’s ass.
By example, more people are concerned with the NFL walkout than they are with the state of working people in Wisconsin. In the end, it’s not going to matter a hang if a handful of big boys with double-digit IQ’s get $1M or $1.2M for playing a game. It will matter if their kids don’t get an education – but losing his Monday Night Football is going to affect Cletus McSixpack far more than his kids losing an opportunity to get ahead in life – or, so he thinks.
He thinks this because the media, owned (again) by those same corporations, has told him so.
Another example - after 9/11, the government passed repressive measures which would have caused spontaneous demonstrations in the 1950’s – but which didn’t raise a peep in 2001.
Do you realize that the government can seize your person as well as your property, make you go away for years at a time without trial, and can prevent anyone from so much as determining your general welfare?
Do you know that, if finally tried and convicted, you can be put to work on a labor gang in a military prison? (Think Bradley Manning, here.)
Once you filter out the conspiracy theories about rail-cars and camps, the truth is scary enough.
Soon, the wealthy will be able to live in America tax-free – and you will be forced to pay their bill. (In 1916, the Federal income tax was aimed squarely at wealthy people – none of the working people of America had to worry about it. Thanks to the ‘miracle’ of inflation, plus the equal ‘miracle’ of tax legislation, they’ve shifted the entire burden to us.)
Soon, they’ll come for your Social Security in the name of a ‘balanced budget’ – putting nearly 40% or more of the nation’s population in severe financial jeopardy, if not out in the street entirely. (Our former president- the same guy who was the architect of those repressive acts mentioned earlier – considers it his ‘greatest disappointment’ that he wasn’t able to demolish Social Security during his tenure.)
Soon enough, they’ll come for what’s left.
Our current president, elected on the backs of people who demanded an end to this lunacy, has rubber stamped it all. Why? He was bought-and-paid-for by these people.
Anyone who is not convinced of the basic mathematics of the thing only needs to do a little modest digging to learn the truth – Federal tax rates have dropped precipitously for the top 1% over the past forty years, while real wages for the bottom 90% of Americans have actually decreased in the same amount of time.
Inflation has put working people into tax brackets formerly reserved for the wealthy – and revisions to the tax law have virtually eliminated taxes for the top 1%.
Social Security. Collective bargaining. Civil rights. All of these are now in the gunsights of the corporately-owned U.S. government.
All but one area – the military.
Without it, the population can’t be controlled. Recently, a U.S. Army Major made the statement that the Posse Comitatus Act (that’s the law which forbids the Army from being used internally against our own population) is an anachronism, and should be ignored. (Not repealed, or dealt with legally, mind you – ignored.)
Obama’s deficit-commission has deliberately kept the military off the table regarding budget-cuts. I can only wonder why. Militarism runs rampant in America today. Criticize our two current wars, and see how long it takes for the Right to come back, both-barrels, and put you in your place.
(I don’t need to tell you – or I shouldn’t – that the nation is being bled-white, financially, by the conduct of these conflicts and the maintenance of nearly 1,000 military bases all over the world. America’s military is the strongest in the world, and now has little or no restrictions on its use, foreign or domestic.)
Militarism; the destruction of the labor movement; confiscatory taxation and ownership of government – these are all elements of fascism.
The Declaration of Independence uses the words ‘alter or abolish’ to refer to any government which has spun out of the control of the people. The fact that we’re still allowed to vote does not mean that we have a democracy in America, folks.
“America is a whorehouse where the revolutionary ideals of your forefathers have been bartered and sold on the altar of capitalism,” said Che Guevara, when he was in New York in 1960.
It turns out he was right, all along.