I have been deeply troubled by recent events, though they are entirely predictable. For the last 10 years I have worked very hard to “stand up” and to speak up about what I saw going on, what I predicted for the future, and what I thought we might do to avoid what lay ahead. I ran for office 3 times, supported other candidates, started a local county political party, lobbied my state legislature, written hundreds of posts, emails, and letter to the editor. I have attended dozens of events and created a network of thousands of people. Most recently I have started a company to provide candidate support to candidates running against THE democrat/republican machine.
I did these things after waking up after the recession to what was going on. I believed that the way to avoid the future calamity was to first fight back in the judicial system and then to try to get good people elected to provide leadership and work for reform. I believed (and still do) that the elite oligarchs use our two party political system to play us against each other and control those who are supposed to be serving us. By funding campaigns and controlling the narrative, they are able to dictate policy at every level of government. There is a good book called “The Law” that explains this concept of legal plunder.
I believed that the Libertarian Party, despite its faults, was the best vehicle to oppose this legal plunder. This small but mighty ragtag bunch of freedom fighters, was my hope and where I have invested most of my resources and energies in the last few years, in addition to my work helping individuals where I could.
Unfortunately, I was not able to work fast or hard enough, and what I have feared for 10 years is here. We are in a place in our country where the division, fear and anger in our country is resulting in destruction of human property, injury and even death. We are a hairs breadth away from a hot civil war. Neighbors are fighting with neighbors, and family against family members. Blacks are pitted against whites and young against old. People are dividing up into factions and tribes and increasingly hostile and angry. We have seen this in recent weeks with riots, violence and intense hatred bubbling up all across America. Former friends are enemies. Businesses are destroyed. People are scared and very angry. They are taking these feelings out on each other under the cover of numerous issues; racism, sexism, classism, ageism. . . It seems that one comment if there is disagreement, can result in a chain reaction that results in the destruction of a relationship or alienation and isolation.
How did we get here?
Some would blame the situation mostly on racial inequality. I in no way dismiss the historical evidence that support the argument that blacks in America have been abused and unfairly disadvantaged. America has had a tragic history, even in her best days. I will concede that racial inequality is certainly an element of what we observe today. There are in fact people who are racists in our country; there always have been and will always be. I have heard them and seen them. That said, I strongly disagree that this is the primary cause of our current calamity-though perhaps the most obvious divide. I believe that those who are trying to assert that racial inequality is the most critical issue of the day are missing what has transpired for the last several decades. Yes – years of poor education, the drug war and the break down of the family have disadvantaged many blacks but those are symptoms of a much more destructive disease, not the root cause of the current calamity we see in America and around the world.
Fundamentally, there has been massive wealth redistribution from the middle class to an elite supper wealthy, protected and advantaged upper class and the advancement of an agenda to establish a new world order- where you and I are rendered virtually powerless and dependent upon a small group and individuals who will use systems and institutions to control and exploit out labor. If the word privilege has any place in our current discussion it should be applied to this extremely small and politically advantaged group. The American governmental system is rigged now to facilitate the economic plunder of the American middle class; the backbone of America. This situation has created increasing poverty, despair, human suffering, anger, debt, and violence. I submit that blacks and minorities were the first “beachhead” but in recent decades, this taking has metastasized through out the country.
I have seen this up close as I have worked in the judicial and political system. Those with political and economic power are above the law and the barriers that middle Americans experience to live, work, and operate businesses. As I said years ago, every system and institution in this country has been corrupted. I have seen it to some degree. I have tried to share what I have seen and have tried to warn people. The events of today were predicted by myself and my closest allies, as a consequence of this problem. I think the lawlessness in the streets now reflects the lawlessness in these institutions that were supposed to protect the People of America but now are used as blunt instruments of force against the People of America and abroad. We saw this recently as 4 police officers brutally murdered an unarmed black man under the cover of a uniform and qualified immunity. This was perhaps the straw that broke the camels back, but it was just one of thousands of incidents of abuse, hate, injustice and plunder experienced by not only People of Color, but Whites, Hispanics, Asian, male, female or whatever.
We also have a military industrial complex, a pharmaceutical and medical industrial complex, a prison industrial complex, a financial industrial complex, a homelessness industrial complex and an education industrial complex. These mechanisms basically launder money, power and wealth from the poor and middle class to this elite network of people via debt and taxes. This creates more dependence and poverty. Republican and Democratic politicians then use the various crisis to divide and disrupt Americans, and ultimately to drive them to their respective major parties every election cycle to support and vote for them. And the cycle continues and accelerates. There are very few exceptions to this formula.
I recall my father telling me of an experiment he did in college where he put docile pet rats in a box and then applied various stresses upon them. He took their food and water and decreased the space they lived in. By the end of the experiment, docile pet rats were cannibalizing – literally attacking and eating one another.
That is where we are at right now. We are divided, attacking one another and destroying one another. Race, religion, creed and political ideologies have us divided and yet we are not the enemies of each other. We are all victims. Fear, anger and insecurity keeps us further divided and distracted from the real issue of the day and that is legal plunder and wealth, property and power redistribution.
I know that there are “bad people.” They will do bad things no matter what. That was the reason for our system of government to begin with – to protect individual rights from those who would rape, steal and murder. But I believe MOST people are mostly good, kind and loving. Yet under enormous stress or persuasion they may be provoked to do things out of the ordinary. This has very little to do with skin color and much more to do with individual character and the issues I explained above.
So, what are we to do?
STOP. OBSERVE. PREPARE. UNITE. LOVE
Stop fighting each other. It is okay to disagree – that is healthy. Everyone has different perspectives based upon their own individual frame of reference. For example, Blacks do feel the inequities and racism. They are in fact justified in that. But it is not whites as a general population that are their enemy. There are pockets of racist whites: KKK, white supremacists and such, but most American whites do not partner with these radicalized groups. Nor do they enjoy the “privileges” of the elite class. To label all whites as privileged pushes them into a corner and defensive posture. One might argue that that is in itself a racist argument as it judges all whites based upon the color of their skin, and the sins of their ancestors rather than their character. It is not a unifying message and in fact, there is danger that it may drive some people into the arms of actual racists. There are millions of whites who have similarly suffered from the abuses of corrupt systems and institutions, even to the point of death- especially in recent decades.
Unfortunately, it seems our education system has targeted a generation of kids who observed their parents struggle and lose everything in the recession. They have a healthy distrust of the system and they are motivated to action. However, these state sponsored educational institutions have largely been instruments of the elite establishment and have used their influence to fill these students with divisive anti-American anti capitalist ideas. Yes – the capitalist system has been corrupted and there are systemic problems but that is not a consequence of capitalism or our constitution per se, it is a consequence of corrupt individuals and organizations that have taken these system hostage. We do not need to divide and destroy. We need to unite and purge.
Whenever you find yourself captured by groupthink, step back and reevaluate. Whether it is religious or political, group think is a dangerous thing. Characterizing an individual based upon the group that you think they belong to is folly. Judge people on their individual character not the color of their skin or their group. Ask questions, get to know them. Give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.
Observe what is going on in the big picture. Media propaganda is being fed to us at an increasing rate, to distract and divide us. It is controlling the way we think, feel and act. Even alternative media is being use to sensationalize and evoke fear and anger. I usually look at a variety of sources, including personal contacts. Where they all intercept is generally where the truth lies. What is the motive of the messaging? Is it to alarm and poke the pain, or is it to genuinely inform? Is it logical? Is there a call to action or is it merely to incite fear? Be thoughtful and deliberate.
Even when you do these things at times you might get it wrong. When you do, be quick to ask forgiveness. Relationship is more important than being right.
Prepare, don’t panic. Take whatever steps you can to prepare yourselves and your families. We are living in turbulent times and if you are unprepared you will be less logical and more reactionary. Those who seek to divide us, feed on this insecurity. The more prepared, independent and connected we are, the better we will be able to weather the storm. Have food on hand. Connect with family, neighbors and friends. Have a plan. I often say plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Unite with those you can. Build a network of friends. Build trust and relationship. This does not mean that you will always agree. You do not have to. But it means that you agree where it counts: on the solutions and the bigger agenda of supporting each other and building community. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that you may not know all that another person is going thru or the stress they are under. Be forgiving and ask for forgiveness.
Personally, I have a network of thousands. I have a big circle and an inner circle. They are both made of people who differ from me in many ways; race, religion and political ideology. But they know me; faults and all and we support each other.
LOVE one another. This sounds cliche but in fact love is the most powerful force on earth. Personally, I believe is is the force that bonds us all together on the macro and micro level. When we intentionally seek to love, it is impossible to separate us or knock us to our knees – for long.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
To survive our current crisis, we must evolve. To evolve we must do things differently than we ever have before. It is HARD. It is at times uncomfortable. At times we will fail. But we must press on an we must resist the attempts to divide and destroy us.
I hope this is an encouragement and a reminder. BE in this world but not of it.
I love you all.
BE the change