Whew! Yesterday’s victory over the Dakota Access pipeline was a breath of fresh air. And yeah, people, we know that this is a temporary setback and that the struggle continues — we don’t need you to remind us, sparky.
Fascism and Resistance
Fascism should be more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
— Giovanni Gentile
Let me just state at the beginning that … No! The struggle that got the U.S. federal government to decide not issue the permit necessary for continuing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, is not an example of working within the system to create change. Our First Nation brothers and sister sacrificed and were ignored and beaten, tortured, and arrested for their stance. STFU with that bullshit.
It amazes me to no end to continue to hear (without challenge from all forms of media) the ridiculous assumption that we should continue to be subservient to and provide mind-boggling tax breaks for corporate elites (welfare for the rich). Even more confounding is the fact that a significant (mostly white) section of the United States electorate will vote against their economic interests. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a prime example of corporate welfare.
However, it shouldn’t be so confounding. We are there — we are a quasi-fascist state. You might say I am being dramatic, or that I have lost my bearings and I would respond that you’ve had your head stuck in the sand too long. Take the blinders off for a moment and let’s look at the state of our affairs for a moment. Pretend this isn’t “America” and you tell me if I’m off…
First, let me establish, and I think most sane people will agree, that corporations today wield an enormous amount of influence over our government. It’s evident in the way elections are run and how our economic and social policies are framed and created. During the election, outside of Bernie Sanders, who was completely blacked out of the mainstream media, no one was talking about a rigged economy or inequality. Poverty and the crisis of man-made catastrophic climate change, was not mentioned at all during the presidential debates. In fact, a climate change denier is now the president-elect. Bankruptcy laws were written by credit card companies, signed into law as is.
Corporations influence our environmental policies for the most part as evidenced by resistance movements against fracking and oil pipelines. The US spends more on its military than the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined. This is a social welfare policy that results in billions of profits for corporations. The list goes on. Everywhere we look today, we see the handiwork of corporations, of the mindset of profits before people.
That is not democracy. We are not a democracy. We are not what we have been conditioned to believe all these years.
Franklin Delano’s Roosevelt’s administration came to power in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression. While he couldn’t know he was going to fight a war in Europe, he did know and planned to fight a war in the US — a war on what he called the “economic royalists.” FDR, a member of the economic elite, was also fearful of the rise of socialism as people who could not afford to eat were turning to other forms of governance for answers to their hunger. In his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia in 1936, Roosevelt uttered the following words:
Philadelphia is a good city in which to write American history. This is fitting ground on which to reaffirm the faith of our fathers; to pledge ourselves to restore to the people a wider freedom; to give to 1936 as the founders gave to 1776 – an American way of life.
That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776, we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy – from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown… ”
And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
Of course, when FDR yelled “freedom,” he meant freedom for white men. And when he spoke of the power of the people to decide their own destinies, he wasn’t really thinking about people of color. And when he stated the death of tyranny, he did so while ignoring centuries of state-sponsored tyranny against blacks and First Nation people. Still, he had his finger on the pulse of the intellectual revolt that was occurring throughout the land. More…
Since that struggle, however, man’s inventive genius released new forces in our land which reordered the lives of our people. The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution — all of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those who sought to remain free.
For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital — all undreamed of by the Fathers — the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small-businessmen and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
I encourage you to read the speech in full (here) because FDR’s speech is as relevant today as it was then. We have come full circle where the power of the corporations — of FDR’s “economic royalists” — has eclipsed the power of government “by and for the people.”
So when you hear ridiculous talk about giving tax breaks to the wealthy and how it is in our best interests to cede our hard-earned money and our power to those interests, raise your head from the sand and dare to speak truth to power.
If you don’t, who will? That’s why today, I hail our First Nation brothers and sisters for their bravery, foresight, and sacrifice in the face of the brutality and the power of the moneyed elite. Theirs is the example we must follow. Shit, if the election of Trump won’t get the masses of their asses, I don’t think anything will.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…