We are at war.
March 11, 2020 at 12:27 PM - Views: 151 #284364
No, I’m not talking about the war in Afghanistan, the continued “military presence” in Iraq, Syria, or any of the other multiple, foreign policy idiocies our political leaders are involving us in. The war that is being waged is here at home. It is a war of ideals, of ideas, one of spirit. It is one that pits ambition against compassion, profit against generosity, arrogance and ego against humility and understanding. Yes, we have been fighting this particular for a very long time – but it is reaching what I believe are its final years. It comes down to things that are ultimately quite simple. Do we, as Americans, as a civilization, as a society of people born free… do we believe that power comes with responsibility? Do we believe that compassion, empathy, humility, peace and understanding are good things? Things to be desired? Do we believe that life has value? Do we believe in the value of a human being beyond that of their financial worth or the dealings of their trade?
It is made clear, by this current political contest, that the answer to all of that is very unclear. Unfortunately, the time in which people could sit on the sidelines is passing us by. We are faced with new realities, the suffering and death that will come about with climate change – that mere money will not save us from. The growing economic disparity between the wealthy and everyone else. The growing numbers of the poor, the homeless, the desperate. In a society manufactured and maintained by wealthy elites, everyone else is slowly… but surely, losing this war. Not out of weakness – but out of a lack of understanding that it is being fought.
On the one hand, we have the option to pursue noble goals. To reduce climate change by reducing carbon emissions would mean slowing down and finally stopping the war machine. It would mean changing how most of us live, abandoning most travel by fossil fuel. We have the option to pursue policies that seek healthcare for everyone – not just those who can afford it. We have the option to pursue a future in which education is a goal that even the poorest of us can achieve. To do as the greatest leaders of our history have said and done – to help the poor, feed the hungry, shoe the children, house the homeless. Instead of using the wealth and power of our Nation for that – it is going directly into efforts to continue to fight foreign wars. It is going into tax breaks for the wealthiest of us, for corporations that have broken the spirit of the American work force. It is going to those who tell us we cannot dare to dream, or hope, that, truly, there is no point to either, that we can’t have nice things.
The media, such as it is, exists to mask the nobility of this age, to hide their true intentions and lack of human decency behind empty platitudes. It directs us to believe in lies – lies that serve them and the wealthy elite that own their companies. It directs us to fight among ourselves over bread crumbs, while others are hoarding loaves and sneering up their sleeves. Over and over again – we have seen this in how Sanders is covered and depicted. That whacky socialist, fringe, far left, him and his “Bernie bros” who obviously hate women and want them all to be barefoot and pregnant, forever. Except that his policies favor the opposite, but I digress…
Medicare for all, college tuition for all, the expansion of social security and food stamps. The protection of our climate (at least the effort) and the rebuilding of our infrastructure. We can do these things, if we want them enough – if we fight for them. Or we can forget it. We can settle for tax cuts, for the affordable care act – how do you all feel about how affordable insulin is for diabetes patients, by the way? Or cancer drugs? A filling? Perhaps a psych eval? Pretty god damn expensive, isn’t it? Why is that… do you think?
It is because the medical system, too, rewards wealth. The wealthiest of us can afford the best doctors and specialists, the most advanced equipment. If they have a bad tooth, they can have it replaced with a new one, that in this modern age looks little different. If they require medication, they can get it through prescription, or simply call their favorite neighborhood drug dealer. Affordability, see, wasn’t a problem that people like Obama, Pelosi, Biden, Reid, or any of those party big shots really had to worry about, at all. When they enter a restaurant, they are greeted with the highest respect and honor, with an attitude of “how can we best kiss your beautiful rich ass?” Any staff that fails to greet them as such, is most likely to be looking for a new job.
They tell us we won freedom in the revolutionary war. They tell us that the civil war ended slavery. Neither is really true. We went from having a British monarch to having wealthy American monarchs in everything but name. We went from a Country in which millions of African Americans were enslaved, to a Country in which, increasingly, neither our color, nor our genetics, nor our history matter. All that matters, is how much we can spend. Consumerism, capitalism – I will make no bones about it – they are deeply flawed – and when practiced as they are, they are evil. They are vicious. In practice, they leave no room for compassion, for civil liberty, for freedom. What they do – is create one hell of an illusion of all such things.
That illusion falls apart when you are – or become one of the poor. Then you are forced into the realization that society really does not value you. That the freedoms that you may have taken for granted, simply aren’t available to you, because you can’t afford them. Peers reject you, politicians use you as a talking point – the media mocks you, all while crying crocodile tears and pretending otherwise. The statistics are made and intended to lie about you, those with money will use you and expect you to be grateful for it.
I have come to realize this the only way one can – by falling through the cracks. I am at the mercy of the system and the generosity of others. I have met – and know – some wonderful people – many of them right here at JPR, who help me maintain my faith in people, to understand that society and its oligarchs do not own everything, not yet. They don’t have our minds or our hearts, though they have millions of others.
At one point, we must decide whether we are willing to pursue our nobler ideals, our better angels… and to make the associated sacrifices, or to permit the charade of America to continue. I think my choice is obvious. I will find a new party, I will find a group of like-minded individuals with the right goals, with compassion and integrity. At this point, the option of pursuing change through the democrat party is no longer a valid one for those like me. I invite you all to join me in rejecting the manufactured society that exists all around us – that manipulates us so terribly that we are unaware of the manipulation.
Kindness is never a waste. Compassion is never a bad thing. It takes courage to fight for what we believe in, it takes passion to pursue noble goals, it takes integrity for people to believe in you. Bernie has demonstrated all of this, he has led the first charge of this revolution – and the second. There will be more to come. A war such as this is not won or lost by one battle. Yes, we can defeat both of the two parties. Yes, we can create something new and better. The fact that it has never been done is a fact because most of us have been convinced that it can’t be done. Well, the people who put a man on the moon can do anything.
I will never again vote for corruption. I will never again hold back my passion or my anger against those who would abuse us all. I will only pursue that which pursues the common good, which pursues a better future for all of us. Nothing is impossible, all you really need is courage and faith – if in nothing else, then in us. Yourselves, each other, all of us Americans. This charge will come from the poor and working class – and we can all be part of it. It is time to overthrow the oligarchy, one way or another. They declared this war, they have been fighting it, waging it against all of us, for a very long time. It is time to fight back, for all our sakes.
March 11, 2020 at 12:30 PM #284367
March 11, 2020 at 12:38 PM #284369N2DocParticipant
- Total Posts: 8,041
A little ray of hope smashed by the combined forces of the Oligarchy. Unfortunately I think things are going to have to get a lot more uncomfortable for a lot more people before there is enough to effectively fight back. You are already there. Lots of here at JPR are as well. It’s a start.
March 11, 2020 at 12:38 PM #284370
March 11, 2020 at 12:41 PM #284373MizzGrizzParticipant
- Total Posts: 2,322
It has been ever thus,@davidthegnome,as you express in your usual eloquent way.The rich against the poor,and sometimes the conflict becomes intense.At those times,as Florence Reese wrote,there is no neutral there.We are back now to a time like a hundred years ago,when my grandfather was alive and doing things like marching on Blair Mountain for labor rights.We even have a presidential candidate campaigning on the grounds of a “return to[conservative] normalcy”.
It was so in the middle Thirties,when my mother was a girl and she saw the coal company employees doing the bidding of their bosses,serving the one percent,and she conveyed to me how the middle class are ever the willing flunkies for the rich and powerful…a lesson she herself forgot in later life…but I remembered,so the professional class reaction to Bernie surprised me not at all.
Just like in those days,you now have to pick a side in the class struggle.And then commit to it with all your might and main.
My husband and I are middle-class now,but only recently achieved this status.He’s a farmer’s son,I the grand cub of a coal miner,the cub of a career military man who worked on tow boats after he mustered out.I have never forgotten from whence I came or the lessons of class struggle I drank with my mother’s milk.Nor has he forgotten the town vs.country animosity that was commonplace where he lived.He too is committed to his own class and is for Bernie and Tulsi all the way.
So,like you,we have chosen ourside.And there we will remain.
My grandfather always said he wasn’t fighting to get the union in just for himself.He knew that if he stayed strong and continued to fight,eventually those who came after him would win.
That’s why we are all fighting too.Why we have chosen this side.
March 11, 2020 at 12:47 PM #284384
March 11, 2020 at 1:06 PM #284395Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 16,363
@deadpool This definitely belongs on the Daily Radical, especially now.
One of my wife’s great grandfathers fought for the union in the West Virginia coal wars back in the 20s, I believe. Supposedly, he killed a Pinkerton thug sent to repress the workers, fled to Michigan, and eventually ended up in Akron working for a tire company. My own grandfather was a laborer in North Texas at that time, and probably a member of the IWW and a Communist.
Their spirit lives on, and will eventually manifest yet again. Bernie made the corporate establishment nervous. The next version of the working class movement needs to terrify them.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
March 11, 2020 at 1:09 PM #284396
The movement must continue to adapt, to evolve and to grow. If it doesn’t – then neither do we. The form it takes may change over time, but millions of us are smelling the air and saying “now what the hell IS that?” It is the smell of deception, of greed, of ignorance and want. Of lies. You can see it on your television on a daily basis. You can see it in every facebook ad and regurgitated platitude intended to settle the masses. You can hear it every time Biden or Trump speak – every time Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity speaks. Hell, we can hear it from the overwhelming majority of political leaders, from the leaders of industry, from people who really, truly, never did anything to earn or deserve leadership.
They do not think we are on to them. They do not think Americans see their deception. We do. Increasingly, both democrats and republicans – and everyone else – is awakening to the charade. I believe that the best way for all of us to continue this fight is to get the word out, to speak loud, honestly – and without fear. To find others like ourselves, to choose leaders who are among the very best humanity has to offer.
As long as we continue to fight and refuse to surrender, we will grow. The nobility of our cause is without question. The pursuit of the common good is undeniably good.
March 11, 2020 at 1:15 PM #284397
We aren’t giving them a single inch of ground, Brother. Bernie may not be ready to come to the same conclusions that you and I have – but millions of others are coming to them – and will continue to. Terrify the establishment? When they see how our numbers rise, the Lords and Ladies of this modern age will tremble. They will come to the bargaining table with people who know their every trick – and they will be humbled. Or they will be thrown down. It is as simple as that. The economic situation and the growing pandemic of our time make all of this more and more clear to me. My life experience has demonstrated it, knowledge gained through countless hours of reading has confirmed it. Finally – what I believe in my soul and feel most deeply in my heart, makes it a foregone conclusion that I will fight to the end.
I have, in the past, abandoned all but the tiniest shred of hope. I have let depression and despair take me to places I thought I could never return from. Yet return I did. So can we all. One after another, our numbers will grow, bit by bit, the consensus will become what always should have been obvious. The common good is OUR good. No decent society has ever been created in which all serve the wealthy for the sake of their wealth. It is created by people who agree to serve each other – who realize that in doing so, they are serving themselves. That is the future that we will build. Together.
Perhaps you or I will not live to see it – but I am not one for abandoning the ship. I will go down with it, if go down it must – and I will have one hell of a time doing it.
March 11, 2020 at 1:19 PM #284401Mr. Mickeys MomModerator
- Total Posts: 4,138
People where I am, and where you and others here are seem to be constantly missing the point of why it was necessary to “fight for our freedom”. That’s because somewhere along the way, the masses are convinced that they have to accept the rules that are etched by those who don’t remember how their own parents struggled and were used and abused by the powers that be…
It’s a class struggle and a class war. There are a HELL of a lot more in the oppressed class, the working poor, the persons who are on work “relief” or pushed out of the work place, where, by the way, their payroll taxes were set aside for assisting their old age. Over and over, the working poor and middle class fund the social services through that payroll tax, only to be taken away by the idiots in charge. Can you see what the big plan is now to steal more and ignore our basic human needs?
We haven’t voted here in PA, but I already see the empty responses and state of shock via my latest Facebook social media as to how I should go easy on Biden. I will not.
I won’t forget my history because it’s the same history that enabled that twisted sense of who deserves the Lion’s share of how we toil to fund our miserable country, now in a state of horrific medical care shockwaves to come… They’re going to be dying in the streets…
And, instead of thinking it was due to this Republican or that Democrat, it should be highly apparent that it is due to the ONE PERCENT who know no allegiance to the rest of us, but to see this kind of misused capitalism lay us to waste.
Hell, no... I'm not giving up...
March 11, 2020 at 1:22 PM #284404
My dear friend, the difference now is that our time is quickly running out. It has made this fight all the more urgent – all the more desperate, all the more angry. There is such a thing, I now believe, as righteous anger. It is when it is directed against those who would use and abuse us for their own ends, without concern for the common good – let alone the greater good. My own ancestors fought for union rights as well – they would be, I think, deeply disappointed to see how the party they proudly served has betrayed us all. They would also tell us to do something about it. So we shall, we will keep on fighting, day after day, until a conclusion is reached. It is in our nature, all of us. If we did not believe in a long shot, in a hail Mary pass at this last moment – we would not be here at JPR.
If we did not see the corruption and ugliness of the oligarchy, we would not be supporting Bernie Sanders. If we did not care for the common good, we wouldn’t bother stressing ourselves with all of this. Well, our world is on fire, so be it, we will be the water to put it out. However long it takes, I truly believe this is only the beginning. It is the ending of an old world and way of life – and the beginning of something new and better. Change hurts – and this will hurt, but in the end, we will have a better America for having fought. Everybody is somebody, our lives are worth infinitely more than the value our fabricated society places upon them. Most of us, in our heart of hearts, recognize this. That is why, ultimately, we will win.
March 11, 2020 at 1:36 PM #284409Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
- Total Posts: 9,475
100 years ago was the dawn of the roaring 20s, after the first red scare temporarily destroyed the left.
20s were a huge bubble economy, followed by 10 years of depression
March 11, 2020 at 2:39 PM #284448jwirrParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,596
David, like you many of us do not have a choice. It had to be Bernie or Bust and the fault all lays with the politics of the last 40 years. The PTB want us to go back to the 1920 era but all they remember is the boom for the rich. People with disabilities, the elderly and their families who will have to take care of them, poc, those with low paying jobs and other poor will be left to the fate of that time. And all of this means that these people are being left to die. Their families will be pulled further down because they will be the care providers and get no help from the government for doing so. This is not going to be a better world no matter how we look at it.
March 11, 2020 at 3:02 PM #284466
“This is not going to be a better world no matter how we look at it.”
I know suffering. I have known a great deal of it, more than someone as (relatively) young as myself should have ever have to. Millions of others, too, have known this. Yet it is with that suffering that I came to understand and develop a compassion for the suffering of others. Yes, my friend, there is no denying that more pain is coming, that the suffering we face will continue and even grow. Many of us may pay the ultimate price, I might, you might. Millions of us might. What matters is that we learn from it, that we gain greater compassion, greater empathy, greater understanding. That we come to see that we CAN make this world a better place, but that we have to do it with our own hands, even if they are shaking.
The lyrics of a favorite song of mine come to mind: “Some times darkness can show you the light”. We are living in the darkness now – which is how you and I see the light so clearly while many others are oblivious to it. The tragedies to come – and I believe there will be many, will shake this world to its foundations, will end many lives and break many minds, put an end to many dreams. For some, there will be only nightmares left.
It is not just for ourselves – but for ourselves and for all of them that we must carry on. It is for them that we must fight, no matter how hopeless our cause may seem at times. To help a starving person, you give them food. To save one dying of thirst, you give water. To those living in despair, we must offer hope, inspiration – and most significantly of all, compassion.
I know you struggle, I do too. I have very little left that can be taken from me – but what I do have, I’ll fight like the devil himself to hold on to. Part of that is my belief that we can all be better, that we can all make the choice to help another, to help ourselves. Most anything that can be conceived of can be done. Imagination, courage, passion… inspiration. Also anger. The rising tide of anger against the elites in this Country is coming to a boiling point. When it finally hits it, there will be no turning back. Things will change because they must.
No, we won’t get help from the government – we cannot rely on that. We cannot rely on the media. We can rely on each other though. If they are tearing down our fences, we will build new ones – and our allies, our neighbors and friends, our families, can be counted on to help us do so. Dream big dreams, my friend – much like science fiction becoming science fact, so can dreams become reality. We live in an age in which the impossible is being repeatedly redefined.
If, in the end, I am wrong – and nothing can or will improve – then I will still go down fighting. I’m stubborn like that – and I won’t just let the usual suspects get away with destroying us all without paying a price for it.
March 11, 2020 at 3:29 PM #284486jwirrParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,596
Thank you David. I will not stop fighting as I have too many people both relatives and those who I have worked to help for years. I was happy to see a post talking about the number of elections still coming. I will stick with Bernie until he tells me to leave. I am going to switch parties and become independent but that is mostly to let the D party know I am done with their bull. It is not so much for myself but for those who will have to live in this mess after me.
March 11, 2020 at 3:23 PM #284477Bernie 4 2020Participant
- Total Posts: 1,399
Wow,,, All very good points.
I am still working on my closing remarks to be posted here sometime in the future.
It’s a sad day for humanity. Yes it is.
I will be a Bernie supporter FOREVER. This whole thing with Bernie and his people oriented policies were meant to be introduced in this day and age!! Many have tried and failed in the past. Succeeding was almost impossible. It's kind of a gimme in today's corrupt 2 party system that you have to work within. Just look how things have changed in the past 8 years from Bernie's policies. It was meant to be. Wait it out. Change will come. Thank you Bernie for all you've done. You are a truly amazing person.
March 11, 2020 at 8:25 PM #284701
March 12, 2020 at 4:31 AM #285019
March 19, 2020 at 9:54 PM #289734ProgRockinProgParticipant
- Total Posts: 48
I think a big problem in ring wing folks understanding your earnest plea is they will never not only not read this piece, but the right wing noise machine has effectively, with help from targeted internet search algorithms, conditioned (brainwashed) many to not even seek out, or read ANY similar opposing viewpoint. Even if they dare to begin to read this or some article similar, one simply asking folks to step back and use empathy, compassion, and inclusiveness in their reasoning…..they will quickly dismiss it because those terms are now defined as being exclusively from the “far left libtard snowflakes”.
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