Z, Contributing Writer
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” –Abraham Lincoln
“Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” –Carl Sagan
First things first, congratulations on becoming ridiculously wealthy. Seriously, good job on conquering whatever field you have managed to monopolize. I’m sure the accolades are stacked up high in your trophy room. And hey, how about all that money? Why, you could probably feed a small country with just the money you wasted buying shit you don’t need. And who can blame you, right? I mean, you grew up in a society that preached capitalism like it was a religion. So what you got yours and other people got screwed. They should have worked harder, right? I mean, you’re like the head hunter in a tribe. It’s not your fault that the one guy in teepee two is a cripple with three kids to feed and can’t hunt to save his life. You can hunt, that gives you privilege. You earned your kill, dammit! It’s yours to do with what you wish. To hell with that guy, let him starve! And to hell with the moochers in teepee seven too. It’s survival of the fittest, right? Or, at least that’s what you’ve been told your entire life –whether or not it’s just another pithy diatribe in a long list of cultural clichés.
So what you bought it all hook-line-and-sinker without questioning it? You’re on top of the world now. You deserve it. I mean, hey, you’re a “hard worker.” It took a lot of work lording potential firings over the little slave laborers heads. It took a lot of work convincing debtors and economic slaves to continue pushing mops and rubbing toilets so that your company could shine like a diamond amidst the smog and acid rain covered cluster-fuck you call a corporation. It took a lot of sleepless nights convincing yourself that you’re not greedy, you’re just “monetarily-driven.” It’s not your fault that capitalism is inherently a system of theft and exploitation. You were born into it, just like everybody else. You were conditioned for it, just like everybody else. You were trained for it in public school, just like everybody else. And just because you regularly and systematically resort to lying, brutality, torture, oppression, murder, and war to defend your scam doesn’t mean you are an outright criminal. Does it? I mean, as long as you can make more money than the “other guy” and progress as a corporation it’s all good, right? You’re doing the world a service –trickle-down theory, and whatnot.
The bottom line is you’re a “Have,” and all the “Have-nots” simply didn’t work as hard as you did. Did they? So what they grew up in ghettos and starved most of the time, that’s no excuse. Sure, you never had to fight for your own survival, but you did have to fight in order to create one of the biggest corporations ever. You had to fight off similar corporations, often resorting to lying, exploitation, and oppression to get ahead. You had to fight for your company’s right to corporate personhood. You had to fight tree-hugging, hippy environmentalists, all while defending your company’s systematic raping of the environment and the rise of poverty that must occur if you are to become filthy, stinking rich. Hey, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and you’re the top dog. Everything’s going to hell anyway, and you only have so many years on this planet, so you might as well get what you can out of it. Forget the next generation! You’re going to get yours, and screw anyone who tries to get in your way. Right?
The world is no longer your proverbial oyster. It is slamming shut. And it will cut you right in half unless you have the capacity to heed the following…
Wake up to the level of your tyranny!
You plutocrats have created your own economic apartheid. You imagine that you live under different rules because you believe that you live in a different world. But you do not. Just because you can buy the rules made by government and fund lobbyists who significantly contribute to the laws that Congress writes and passes, does not mean that you don’t still live in a REAL world that is governed by REAL laws. Just because you have a stranglehold on power does not mean you are immune to the consequences of being irresponsible with that power. Just because your decrees are no longer issued by royal fiat but are instead issued by lobbying and propaganda, doesn’t make them any less tyrannical. Your viscous cycle of consumption and compliance has been deemed unethical and immoral. Your prompting us to move up the “corporate ladder” is outdated nonsense, especially because it’s your ladder and you’ve rigged the climb by taking out important rungs. We are here to remind you that the real world DOES exist. Reality has caught up to you. And before the real world comes crashing down on all of us, with its very real laws, we will, as we must, resist your arbitrary authority. We will, as we must, break our natural susceptibility to obedience. Like Frederick Douglas wrote, “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
For you the most fundamental capital is not money, but people. You want your “human livestock” to be intelligent enough to work the machine of slave labor, but dumb enough, or fearful enough, that they don’t question the machine itself. And so far this has worked for you. You have heretofore been under the delusion that consequences are only for the sheep (debt slaves) and never for the shepherd (debt slave owners). But we are here to tell you that the consequences are coming. And you would rather have these consequences come from the non-violent protest of the political activist, than from the indifferent fury of Nature. Your violence and exploitation of the natural world has come to an end. We are here to reconnect you. Like Bill Brenenson said, “The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.” Let the Great Rewilding begin!
Your fiat currency has, for too long, created and exacerbated poverty. More importantly, too long has it allowed for indulgences in social engineering: namely, media propaganda. Your creation of wars is no longer valid. Be it a war against the proverbial “other,” playing upon people’s notion of nationalism and divisive patriotism, or against such vague concepts as “drugs” or “terrorism,” playing upon people’s ignorance. Just because human psychology is easy to manipulate does NOT make your manipulation moral or just. Just because your indirect ownership of the propaganda-machine known as corporate media has duped people into suspended belief, does NOT make it moral that you tell lies and use the veneer of independent and critical thinking to keep people from thinking independently and critically. Just because people have, henceforth, been mere amplifiers of the whispers of power does NOT make it moral to persuade people to remain slaves. Your fostering of slave on slave aggression has finally been routed out and deemed immoral. Your false ethics have too long been entrenched and have now been declared parochial and fundamentally unsustainable to a healthy future for human beings. In short, your soft totalitarianism has become too hard. Your inverted totalitarianism must be reverted. Your thorn in our side has become crippling and therefore must be plucked.
Gone are the days where we get “community” mixed up with “nationalism.” Community is common unity. Nationalism destroys common unity in that it draws imaginable lines in the sand and breeds contempt for the “other.” It creates stereotypes and prejudice, and creates bonds that can be manipulated. And most destructive of all: it causes people to believe that they are “doing right” by killing people outside their own nation. Nationalism has become obsolete. Like Howard Zinn wrote in A People’s History of the United States, “Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals the fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, ‘not to be on the side of the executioners.’”
Your commodification of all things has come to an end. Nature is not a commodity. Human beings are not commodities. Gone are the days where your profiting from human suffering is not realized as the diabolical Ponzi scheme that it is. Gone are the days where your wars and exploitation are perceived to be in our best interest. Gone are the days where we believe that our survival is dependent upon civilization. We are dependent ONLY upon clean air, clean water, clean food, and healthy social relationships. Gone are the days where your “war on terror” isn’t seen as the smokescreen that it is. Besides, the war on terror –by design– can never come to an end. It only ends by becoming non-profitable for you, the plutocrats. And the only way it becomes non-profitable is by changing the way the economic system functions. And the only way we change the economic system is through proactive citizenry in solidarity against entrenched, power-mongering, plutocratic politics.
Your empire of lies has come unraveled. You’ve caused us to mistake a brand for an experience, illusions for substance. Your exacerbation of despair has created a passive citizenry of unquestioning cogs in a violent totalitarian machine of exploitation. Your petty politics and pithy propaganda will no longer work as a mechanism toward the dumbing-down of society. We are awake! More and more of us are awaking every day. And we have the moral obligation to say “no!” to your claims that there is no other way. We now realize the consequences of our complacency. It is writ large across the landscape. We realize that burying our heads in the sand only makes us blind. We will deprive you of oxygen. We will lay siege to you. We will mock and shame you with our art. Like Thomas Jefferson said, “We prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” So this is us hanging over the edge of that dangerous freedom. Duces cavete, rulers beware!
The Declaration of Emergence
-We, the awake and aware citizens of the world, hold these truths to be self-evident: that the earth is the sole source of life as we know it; that limited resources should be utilized in ways that are equitable and wise; that compromise, conformity, and compliance are no longer adequate means forward; that both compassionate and ruthless measures must be taken immediately in order to conserve a healthy and habitable planet. From these truths springs the following list of demands:
-Immediately dismantle the Federal Reserve and all international central banks. Cease and desist any negotiations with these independent entities whose debt-slavery is the totalitarian force that threatens all of humanity on this planet. Any time a small group of people has the ability to create wealth out of nothing, and then charge interest on it, they have the ability to enslave the planet despite what type of government a country claims to have. Slavery is never moral. And despite any Orwellian inclinations you might have, slavery is not freedom.
-The implementation of a United States government that represent ALL of the people, our kids and the poor and the elderly and workers, not just billionaires. We are not going to maintain this incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income in America. The way to take back our democracy is to get all of the special interest money out of politics. United States Senator Bernie Sanders has already ratted you out, saying, “People have got to understand that the issue in Congress is not what the media talks about on why can’t Democrats and Republicans get along. That is not the issue. The issue is that, to a very significant degree, the Congress of the United States of America is controlled by a handful of extraordinarily wealthy people and corporations, Wall Street being at the top of that list. And unless we address that issue, I fear very much for the middle class. I fear very much for our kids, for low income people and for seniors.” That said, legislation will no longer be written by corporate lobbyists.
-As a stopgap between the old, outdated, exploitative, unsustainable system, and the new, updated, community-based, sustainable system– Immediately cut ALL world military spending in half. The U.S. has spent roughly $21 trillion on military defense since WWII. It’s been estimated that $17 billion per year would provide adequate food, water, education, health and housing for every single person on the planet. By these figures, war is 20.5 times more expensive than lifting the entire world out of poverty. The money saved from cutting military spending can be used toward universal education, universal healthcare, universal housing, and environmental cleanup, as well as providing food and clean water to impoverished nations and peoples. Food and clean water is a basic human need and should be available to everyone regardless of their background or monetary position. This will allow people to rise up out of slavery and join in solidarity to create a new world that benefits both nature and human beings. War is not peace!
-We believe that the problem is of such significance and the roots of tyranny so deep and profound that any solution cannot be founded in reforms based within the current political paradigm. Therefore we further demand:
-The implementation of a resource-based, eco-conscious economy to replace the monetary-based, ego-maniacal economy. Profit should NEVER come before people. The heart should ALWAYS be greater than money. We need a system with a dynamic, relationship-based economics that strives for harmony and balance; rather than a static, ownership-based economics that brainwashes and pigeonholes people into mindless wage slaves. With enough time we can wean ourselves from our addiction to money and discover what it truly means to be a human being with values. Immediately discontinue increased subsidies for the rich that cut subsidies for the poor. Clean air, clean water, adequate food, and adequate shelter should be the main priority before any and all profit. Equality is more important than equity. The importance of life should always trump the importance of revenue.
-The implementation of a relationship-based system of government to replace the current exploitation-based system of government. In other words: a progressive democracy. It will be the shift from a politic of greed and one-up-manship to a politic of moderation and respect. There is never only one solution, but potential solution might be the implementation of a sortition-based system of appointing leadership, with assembly powers to vote out “bad seeds.” We have to admit that the election-based system (and especially representative elections) of appointing leadership has failed miserably. A lottery balances out a system of governance through simple probability, while empowering citizenry and preventing power from corrupting. Government, as it is today, must transition toward a decision making system which is based upon technical competency and verifiable scientific reference instead of a competitive system which is based upon selfish agendas and anti-intellectual conservatism. This new sustainable government will use science and research to determine the healthiest direction for social progression.
-Immediately discontinue any and all attempts to use the judicial system as a tool to exercise control, authority and power in the interest of oppression and personal gain. To include, but not limited to: indefinite detention (NDAA), CISPA, ACTA, drone strikes, torture, arbitrary justice, warrantless searches and the continual monitoring of citizens, the ability to transfer citizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, debtor prisons, and, worst of all, the assassination of US citizens. The judicial system should be used for one thing, and one thing only: justice. The erosion of due process and the dilution of constitutional rights like these, and other such tyrannical unconstitutional acts, must immediately be discontinued. Like Watson & Jones wrote, “Just last week (Feb 2013), the Justice Department re-affirmed its position that the Obama administration can use armed drones to assassinate Americans. Under the NDAA, the whole of the United States has been declared a “battlefield,” meaning that drones may soon be used to execute American citizens on U.S. soil. A government that resorts to killing its own citizens without any legal process whatsoever is clearly a dictatorship engaged in domestic oppression. The only imaginable scenario under which this program would be justifiable was if the U.S. was under a state of martial law and the government was on the verge of collapse.”
-Immediately discontinue any and all witch-hunts on whistleblowers such as Julian Assange, or any innocent activists or hacktivists practicing their freedom of speech. Immediately release Bradley Manning from custody. Immediately dismantle FEMA and DHS. Also, the NSA, FBI, CIA and all other intelligence agencies must heretofore become completely transparent or they will be forced into complete transparency by such entities as Anonymous. 70% of our intelligence workload is outsourced to private corporations. This is an atrocity! In a true democracy power should never be privatized.
-This doctrine reserves the right to be open-ended and forever amendable.
You do not have to be the Enemy!
You will condemn us. You will label us the enemy. You will call us impractical. You will call us insane. You will call us regressive. You will call us counterproductive. You will condemn us to obscurity. You will use hypocrisy to argue that we must accept and work within the current modes of power. But we are not concerned with self-promotion, public opinion, or fame. We know all the rules but you do not know us. All we need is courage and hope: courage to speak for a healthy world and hope that people will choose to be healthy.
Ideas are more powerful than standing armies. They are bulletproof. This essay is a weapon in itself, and has the potential to accelerate our liberation. Each one of us is the answer, even you. It’s time to come down off your high-horse, plutocrats. It’s time for you to see that the pedestal you stand upon is nothing more than a cartoon in your brain, it’s no more real than the pseudo-powers you toss around in the form of money. You don’t have to be the enemy. You have a choice. You have the chance to become true heroes. At this current point in human history nobody is more capable of choosing heroism than you are. You have all the means at your disposal to achieve whatever ends you desire. Those ends can be unhealthy and immoral or healthy and moral. So far you have chosen the unhealthy immoral path, but we think that is only because you were raised and conditioned within a hierarchal system that is itself unhealthy and immoral. Only you can break the spell. Only you can raise yourself up to the consciousness of your slavery. So far your heroism has been infantilized by hierarchy. Your belief that you can “reach the top” and “be the best” has caused you to lose sight of what it really means to be the best. It means doing the right thing.
Up until this point you are merely a pseudo-hero. You have capitalized. You have monopolized. You have more than likely exploited, conned, and lied to people to reach the top. Whatever, it is what it is. Now is your chance to flip the tables on the power dynamic. Now is your chance to REALLY make a difference. Now is your chance to do the right thing. How? You must transform yourself into a New-hero and practice hero-expiation. Through reciprocity and recompense your power can go from egotistical-tyrannical power to ecomoral-prestigious power. As a New-hero with moral, healthy action on your side, you can do what everybody has always dreamed of doing: change the world for the better. Through the practice of hero-expiation you will become a symbol for progressive sustainability by tipping the scales on the power dynamic and acting as a catalyst for healthy change. Plutocrats, we beseech you: become heroes over power as opposed to simply heroes with power. It’s not too late to do the right thing. The world is ripe for this new kind of power dynamic to reveal itself. And only YOU have the power to achieve it. Like Joseph Campbell wrote, “A hero is not a champion of things become but of things becoming; the dragon to be slain by him is a precisely the monster of the status quo.”
About the Author
Z, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world. His recent works can be seen here and also found at Z’s Hub.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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