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Sunday, May 27, 2012

SURVIVE OR THRIVE?




 



Since the beginning of the Obama administration the US has seen a rise in the number of survivalists. These are men and women who are so frightened by the prospect of the imminent collapse of American civilization that they are stockpiling food, guns and ammunition to prepare to fight for their survival in the event of the failure of government and the corporations that control it to provide for the basic needs of their consumption-driven society.

While we can understand their concerns given the performance of both government and corporate leadership over the last three decades, we cannot give in to their cynicism and hopelessness. There is a way out of the crisis that our government has created by its abdication of its duty to protect the nation and provide for the general welfare of the people. It requires us to use the power of the vote to elect member of Congress who understand that their duty is to the people of the United States, not to the corporations who fund the obscenely expensive propaganda campaigns that today determine who represents us.

Many Americans have given up hope that such politicians exist, failing to recognize that some are currently serving in Congress. These are an endangered species because they are the first targeted by the special interest money in elections that the Supreme Court has equated to speech. If we can elect enough men and women who will work for us rather than national and international corporations in finance, oil, coal, weapons manufacturing, medical insurance pharmaceutical and medical delivery industries, We the People can take control of our own government.

The only way to overcome the power of special interest money in elections is to make candidates pledge to amend the constitution to ban such expenditures as a condition of earning our votes. Americans are awakening to the fact that the two major parties have both sold out to special interests whose wishes have nothing to do with the needs and desires of the rest of America. 80% of both self-identified conservatives and liberals are opposed to Citizens United. The only thing they need do is abandon loyalty to the two corporate parties and vote for candidates who refuse to be bought.

It is easy to know who funds congressional campaigns, and thus the special interests these candidates represent, generally to the exclusion of the interests of their constituents. Part of the problem is also the presumption that a member of Congress only represents his state or district. Voters who accept this notion vote accordingly, in the mistaken belief that the function of their representatives in Congress is to fight for the interests of their state over those of the nation as a whole. This makes them special interests too. The truth is that what is best for the nation as a whole is what is best for the individual.

The unhealthy competition between states to get back as much as they can of the general fund we all rely on has led to the constant re-election of corporate tools with the clout to bring home the pork. However, the source of their power is money from their corporate benefactors, which is repaid with interest by American taxpayers. While the corporate Puppetmasters ship our jobs overseas, financial geniuses who engineer stock market bubbles that inevitably collapse walk away with record profits, leaving average Americans holding the bag while facing the prospect of another Depression.

These financial manipulations affect the global economy on which the American economy depends. Transnational corporations do not care about how their economic depredation of Americans and citizens in developing countries affects others. They respect no nation. They control the world economy through the World Trade Organization, a nongovernmental body whose chief function is to set the rules of global trade and to punish nations that attempt to protect their own economies through violations of what they call “free” trade, in an Orwellian twist of the meaning of freedom. The effect is that nations such as the US who are part of this one-world government of corporations have surrendered their sovereignty for the benefit of a few powerful men who will not stop until they rule the world. 

Stopping this vicious cycle will require both rethinking politic and setting up localized, sustainable economies based on environmentally sound principles. When we stop competing for our dwindling resources and all nations begin to work together for the benefit of all rather than a greedy few, we will find that there is wealth enough for all. This is the means by which we can set the stage to see the end of war. This is the mission of Soldiers For Peace International, an all-volunteer Army of advocates of freedom whose mission is to work for liberty and justice for all.   

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