the rich & powerful : “We don’t need them”

2005-11-04

Richard Moore

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Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 20:39:58 +0700
From: "Dave Patterson" 
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: We don't need them

Richard - here's a truly revolutionary piece!

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We Don't Need Them
by Joe Carpenter
http://www.dissidentvoice.org
November 2, 2005

  http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Carpenter1102.htm

    But the proles, if only they could somehow become
    conscious of their own strength, would have no reason to
    conspire.  They needed only to rise up and shake
    themselves, like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose,
    they could blow the party to pieces tomorrow morning. 
    Surely, sooner or later, it must occur to them to do it? 
    And yet --
    -- George Orwell, 1984


I've never understood the idea of speaking truth to power.
The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the
world, political and economic systems are designed to
benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of
those with less money and power. This is how the world
works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful
don't already understand that.  After all, they designed
it; they maintain it.

They steal our money, sacrifice our children in their
wars, send the poorest and most victimized among us off to
jail for petty mistakes, and crush those of us who might
present a real threat to the arrangement. They know we
don't like it. They don't care. They don't need to care.
They also control most of our avenues of dissent. It's a
very simple, very elegant design.

Meanwhile, we get angry and toddle off to tell the truth
to the powerful. We have been telling them the truth for
centuries. We travel to their great palaces by the
hundreds of thousands, to express our anger and despair.
We shout and sing and stomp and whine. We threaten. We
plead. Sometimes we're beaten up, or sent to jail. It's a
tradition of great courage and personal sacrifice, no
doubt.

We go to tell them to stop using our money and our
children and our energy and intelligence to further rob
and rape and murder us. We tell them to be more respectful
and compassionate. We're like angry but terrorized
children, anxiously scolding our stern, all-powerful
parents. And, in the end, we look to the Democrats or to
some congressional panel or to the Supreme Court and
demand that they come to our aid. As my friend Harry puts
it: "We're left in the terrible position of trying to
decide which elite group will be less likely to prey on
us."

Well, the government and their pals are not going to stop
using and abusing us. They're not going to stop preying on
us. They cannot stop! Republican or Democrat, they are
rich and powerful precisely because they prey on us.  They
are rich because they rob us. They're robbing us right
this minute.  They are powerful because they dominate
every aspect of our lives, because they've taken control
of all the major social, political, economic, and
communication systems in the world. These systems were
designed to increase their wealth and power by taking both
from all the rest of us.

But, we are not children, and they are not our parents.
We're not little people and they are not big people. We're
not insignificant and they are not significant. In fact,
we do not need them.

They are very few and we, here in the US alone, are
roughly three hundred million. We don't need to rush out
to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They
already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out
to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by
the few, for -- incredibly, they do not know. We need to
look to our next-door neighbors, and to their next door
neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to
tell the truth to each other -- for we are the answer.

While hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators
gathered in Washington, DC, back in September, hundreds of
millions of American citizens went about their business
without even a vague awareness of the protests.  The media
to which most of them attend barely mention such things --
obviously.  And, most Americans don't live in the DC area,
so they didn't see a thing.

Most Americans live in my neighborhood, or in your
neighborhood.  Most Americans eat breakfast right next to
you in the local caf?. Most Americans get their car fixed
at the same garage as you and I do. Most Americans visit
my library, my bookstore, my grocery store, my local park
-- or yours.

But the rich and powerful have convinced us that we
cannot, we must not communicate with the people we can see
and hear and touch, right here, right now. They have
convinced us that we need to travel to some government
office to persuade elected officials and bureaucrats to
change our world for us. The government and media drone
on, endlessly, hypnotically, and convince us that if we
just elect the right leaders, they'll talk to our next
door neighbor for us.

Government programs, they promise us, will fix that gaping
hole in the pavement, right out beyond your driveway.
Government will help poor Mrs. Wilson, languishing in the
old, dilapidated house right across the street. Government
will settle your dispute with that family right down the
block.  Government will take care of your neighbors who
can't escape the hurricane:

"It's OK, just hop in the SUV and go, we'll take care of
everything!"  Government will help; government will heal;
government will bring us together.

That's not going to happen, of course. The elites are too
busy dividing us, setting us against each other,
exacerbating every animosity, every misgiving, every
anxiety, however slight. They insinuate themselves into
every new crack and crevice and offer convoluted,
expensive legislation and bureaucracies to bring us back
together again. "There oughta be a law," says the old
complaint. Well, there will be, to be sure -- but it will
just make things worse.

We're all looking in the wrong place for reason and
compassion and justice. It's not anywhere to be found in
Washington, DC. It's not in governments or state houses.
It's not there in that prestigious gathering of experts
and big brains.

It's right here. It's wherever you are, and it's right
next door and it's everywhere along your street and all
around your neighborhood. It's in the cars that pass you
on the roadways and in the shops where you buy your dog or
cat food. There's no need to travel a thousand or even a
hundred miles.  It's not necessary to make the climb up to
the penthouse. Our hope, our possibility -- our only hope,
our only possibility, lies in the ordinary people who
compose our world, who are the very stuff of our lives.

Want to change the world? Tell the truth to the plumber.
Begin with the lady who hands you the stamps at the post
office. Talk with the check-out people at the grocery
store. Chat with the waiter at your favorite caf?. Speak
with the cops who sit down at the next table. Gab for a
few minutes with the guy who changes your oil or with the
elementary school teacher with whom you've been discussing
your child's future. Lean out of your window while stopped
at the light and tell the truck driver some truth he's
certain to recall and ponderÖ

Feel the need to march? Gather a bunch of folks and wander
about your neighborhoods with signs and leaflets. When
people walk by, stop and gab with them. When that huge guy
with the Hemi-powered Ram pulls alongside and tells you to
"love it or leave it," ask him to stay and talk. Smile,
offer your hand, make nice. He's one of us. He'd make a
wonderful ally. When a carload of high school jocks slows
to offer some single-fingered communication, hand them
some cold colas and tell them about the probability of a
draft. They're our people, too. Convince yourself that
this is so, then convince themÖ

Get together with like-minded people and think of simple,
brief, meaningful ways to communicate with the folks all
around you. Think about little things, easy things,
immediate things. Think about what you can do together,
and what you might accomplish alone. Think about your real
day-to-day life, and how many opportunities there are to
educate and enlighten, every day.  Blab and babble and
blunder and tell the truth, one ordinary person at a time.
 We're all ordinary people, and we are our only hope. Tell
the truth to the guy who pumps out the septic tank -- he's
one of us!  Forget about telling the government, forget
about the hot-shots.

To the extent that we believe we need them, exactly to
that extent will we continue our dependence upon ruthless,
murderous plunderers, people entirely opposed to our needs
and deepest longings. As long as we believe we need them,
exactly that long will we live life on our knees, begging
-- as Mickey Z. says -- for crumbs from their table.

The depth of our apparent need is the measure of their
height above us. The nightmare of our poverty is our dream
that they have a right to take our money. The illusion of
our impotence is the chimera of their monstrous strength. 
We shall be slaves as long as we're convinced that we have
masters, and not one moment longer.

Time to wake up, time to grow up. We're not children. We
do not need to ask permission to live like sane,
reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate human beings. We do
not need to beg or bow or kneel. We do not need to look to
government or to experts or to the rich and famous.
Whatever we need, we can get it ourselves.  Whatever we
want to stop -- we can stop it ourselves.  Whatever must
be done, we can do it ourselves. We do not need them; we
need each other.

All else is distraction and delusion.

Joe Carpenter is a guy living in Southern Oregon who has
traveled extensively and kept his eyes open. He can be
reached at: •••@••.•••.
-- 

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