Vacuuming Sand

In Freedom!, Uncategorized on February 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Nature abhors a vacuum, but apparently one cannot be maintained in sand.  Our (U.S.) democracy has buried its head so deep in a sand-less country that it has at last popped its head out on the other side, proving you cannot dig a hole to China, but if Democracy is ever to be made whole–that is, wholly run, owned, and operated by people, as opposed to despots– it may happen in the Arab region.

Maybe it is finally time to thank Goldman Sachs and all the other major and minor players for accidentally (?) heralding a flourishing of massive, unstoppable, profound people power across at least a third of the planet.
Only to the extent that the shadow international banking cabal continue their private market machinations unchecked, forcing western governments across the globe to enact draconian austerity cuts in continued effects from the 2008 meltdown, effectively socializing Wall St.’s losses while keeping their “private” gains, does the hypocrisy of the west’s professed love of democracy literally collapse…

Nothing so clearly reveals the profound oligarchic nature of western “democracies” than the refusal to investigate, prosecute, regulate, reign in, or jail obviously criminal fraud, money-laundering, and mob cronyism (propelling a “shadow” derivatives market of trillions in a non-public, non-regulated market, whose net worth may actually dwarf the known public GDPs of many economies around the world).

Obviously, doing so is  impossible, because the bankers have effectively purchased western governments around the world. (See movie, _Inside Job_, for blunt summary).   And it would indeed be like trying to put Humpty back together again to extricate all these shadow transactions from our real money we have deposited in terms of our savings, mortgages, and pensions.  But the western governments currently work for the bankers,  not people,  giving them our public monies both directly with bailouts, and indirectly with tax codes.

We remember the exquisitely simple wisdom of the Glass-Steagall act–separate people’s deposits in banks from speculative investment activities in two separate systems: depository, and commercial investment banks.  The commercial banks (Wall St.) then had to play with their own money, or anyone they could attract to their casino.  Since the repeal of Glass-Steagall (1999), they get to play with everyone’s money (our mortgages, our pensions, public and private) while putting none of their own skin in the game….just extracting fees for setting up the casino (being a “market maker”).

But as Boehner and crew whine on about the “mandate” from the American people to gouge out their own eyeballs today in order to see more clearly in the future, the East is busy making markets whose collateral is their earnestness, their long-suffering, and whose righteous vindication is a deposit that effectively topples the ruses of western wealth and power as being measured only in dollars and guns.

It is as if any revolutionary fervor that once created such fire in our bellies as to declare, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal….,” and to then purify that mission in abolishing slavery after a bloody civil war, and then in making sure EVERYONE got the vote, is being directly slurped right from the vacuum of collapsing western democracies, into emboldened people declaring the vividness, strength, and vitality of eastern democracies.

They are doing so with remarkable discipline and resolve: especially in the wisdom of adhering strictly to non-violence as the absolute subversion of a state who measures power by force. The “shy intellectual” Gene Sharp (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeast/17sharp.html?scp=1&sq=shy%20intellectual&st=cse) distills the wisdom of undermining autocracies by surprise by refusing to play by the established rules/norms of guns and money…made more powerful by remaining peaceful even as they are brutally attacked, as is happening now in Bahrain.

The continued strikes and protests from Egpyt to Yemen, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Bahrain demonstrate an absolute determination not to return to business as usual: no longer will a few at the top keep the wealth while everyone else quietly slaves and suffers.

It is as if they are writing the playbook for what might happen decades ( ? or less?) from now in the U.S., when the staggering debt of generations of college students who can’t find jobs implodes, foreclosures continue to throw millions to the streets while exorbitant home prices effectively keep people saddled in a lifetime of debt, seniors don’t receive the social security and medicare they paid their whole lives into, job loss is accelerated by massive government layoffs and public sector union busting (further demolishing tax revenue sources)(Go Wisconsin!), and starvation accelerates,  in an economy that sold its manufacturing foundation and national identity to globalization.

The protesters in the middle east win with sheer numbers, non-violence, and determination what can’t be won with repression and violence. When things get bad enough, for every Joe Hill that is brutally murdered, a hundred more come singing peacefully, and more determined, behind him. It is this unstoppable force of freedom that strengthens day by day in the East, made stronger the more attempts made at repressing it.

Spin has a way of floating into irrelevancy when enough people have lived under hypocrisy and hunger long enough. Right now, the hypocrisy of our democracy has just enough spin to stay in orbit…and the East is showing us how quickly hypocrisy can be toppled for an authenticity that is palpable all over the world, when people see their common dreams obliterate perceived differences.
All the people who have lost their lives, or will lose their lives, in this massive struggle for freedom right now have not, and will not die in vain. We in the West owe an immense debt to them for leading the way further from our own imperfect struggles for freedom, towards actual democracy, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and real hope.

inspiring reading at http://www.aeinstein.org/


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