One of the most damaging myths in America is that the Government is the greatest threat to individual freedom. Our government, both state and local, does pose a threat to our freedom. By definition, Government exists only through the ceding of power (or dominating) the citizenry. But the largest threat?
It has become self-evident that the U.S. and most of the world live under thinly veiled Corporate oppression. Only massive, continuous propaganda via the media and politicians, funded by Corporate interests, and reinforced by our educational system keeps almost half the country in ignorance.
I often find myself debating with conservatives and libertarians about the role of government in society. It seems a frivolous debate considered the much more pressing issue: the condition of our country and more broadly the human race.
I, and I dare say WE, share in common with conservatives and libertarians anywhere the love and desire to be free. Can't we all put aside the old arguments? If the year were 1993 it may be more en vogue to debate about abortion or trivial budget issues. Let's destroy each other over "entitlements" and budget issues. I can go down the list but first let's find things we can agree on.
Here are some things I believe all Americans can and should agree on.
1.) We become more and more productive only to achieve more and more debt. Individually and as a country. This is built into our economic system. We should increase wealth individually and society as productivity increases. Otherwise, we are merely hampsters on a wheel.
I realize a conservative may try to blame the government for this point. But first admitting that our economic system is flawed and sharing this in common is a big step in unity. The next thing we have in common should be....
2.) The winner's of our Game (Corporations specifically, those who control means of production more broadly) have more influence on law and government than the individual. No conservative or libertarian who in intellectually honest will deny this point. They may find justifications for it but to deny that the sky is blue requires a special form of double-think.
This concept of unequal power flies against the civil religion of "democracy" (though we are not a democracy means little to the mythical civil religion of America. Everyone is taught to love the concept.) Ending Corporate influence in government should be a religious calling of the Right. Should it be framed properly, we could use their own fervor four OUR cause.
3.) Freedom means not having to work two jobs for a living wage. Freedom means not having to go into debt to receive a decent education. Freedom means being able to work a 30 hour work week which includes a month's vacation time. Freedom means not having to work into you 70's before you can retire. Freedom means having an equal share in power as other citizens. Freedom is being able to live and die in a country in which Corporate people also die (limited charters). Freedom is having politicians elected from all walks of life (not just those who can raise the most money mostly from special interests and corporations). Freedom is when a laborer, someone from the service industry, a waitress...can have an equal shot at government office than a harvard grad. Freedom means equal access to education. Freedom means no manipulation from the press...having a free, open, and honest press is necessary for our freedom. Freedom is having a free internet and preventing its regulation. Freedom means having clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Freedom is working hard and living with the confidence that our children will inhabit a world better than ours; not a nightmarish realm of overpopulation, extreme climate, poverty, famine, and pestilence (antibiotics are too costly for BIG PHARM to R&D)..........
Freedom. Freedom. Freedom.
I feel as though I will never argue with a conservative again. I'll just say freedom because that is what I care about too. It's in our DNA. The love of freedom.
Community and freedom are not somehow opposed to each other. Even if they are, the greatest threat to the human race (perhaps complex life on Earth) are the fascist Oligarchs who threaten all of our freedoms. One battle at a time and I will accept help from all quarters.
These are just my thoughts tonight as I watch a 90's show called Sliders. Awesome show btw.