Filed under MIC CHECK!

The Sleeping Citizen

In this post, I am going to lay out some thoughts on Civics; greek-style, whole-person civics.  I am going to explain how my ideals regarding social mechanics affect my participation in MicCheck, and the end results I hope to see.

I hope you will join me.  What I mean by that, is this; Please read my thoughts and feel free to comment as you see fit.  I will try to do my best and answer questions or address discussion as it happens.

I would like to open with a quote from Murray Bookchin.  Specifically from a book called ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’, where he touches a bit on the necessary pre-conditions, if you will, for the creation of a ’rounded society’, a ‘rational’ society perhaps.  He also steps beyond pre-conditions and examines the possible conditions of a liberated society.  For this, I think, he is unfairly tossed aside as ‘utopian’; in fact, he addresses this quite head-on and goes on to explain the difference between utopian and eutopian, the latter of which he prefers.

In this quote, he discusses what the transitional period toward a rounded society might look like.  The quote follows a bit where he explains that there can be no separation of the revolutionary process from the revolutionary goal — “A society based on self-administration must be achieved by means of self-administration” in other words.

“If we define ‘power’ as the power of man over man, then power can only be destroyed by the very process in which man acquires power over his own life and in which he not only ‘discovers’ himself but, more meaningfully, formulates his selfhood in all social dimensions.   Freedom so conceived, cannot be ‘delivered’  to an individual as the ‘end product’ of a ‘revolution’ — Much less a revolution achieved by the social philistines who are hypnotized by the trappings of authority and power.” –Murray Bookchin

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Our Government Needs a Reset Button


No more second chances.  No more excuses. No more listening to pleas of, “this time it will be different, I promise.”  It’s time to clean house.  The problems with our system are so ingrained with how our system works, we need to create serious change beyond whether we vote a Democrat or Republican into office.

Staying in this relationship, when one party continues to abuse the power they’ve been entrusted with parallels the thought process that captivates many of those who continue to subject themselves to a relationship committed to an abusive partner.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take that topic lightly, but bear with the analogy for a moment.  We entrust these individuals with the power to legislate on our behalf.  They do so at our detriment.  Then we continue to vote the same bastards back into office.  We don’t know any alternative, so we just keep voting under the false assumption that our choice between blue and red equates freedom.  I’m recovering from Battered Voter Syndrome.  I don’t want to take the abuse of trust and suffer the consequences anymore.

Our lawmaking authority, which is making decisions for a representative democracy, is overwhelmingly failing at representing most of the American public.

The public’s approval rating for our Congress continues to set record-breaking lows.  Right now the most prominent polls are showing a range of 10-13% approval rating.  Even worse, guess the range for those that affirmatively disapprove of our Congress’ work at the moment.  It’s a startling number hovering between 79-81%.[1]

Our lawmaking authority, which is making decisions for a representative democracy, is overwhelmingly failing at representing most of the American public.  The Occupy protests shed a great light on why it’s even possible that came to be, which was the role money can play in politics.

As much as we’d like to think that the only money-problems we really need to worry about is the green stuff in our wallets, and the numbers coming in and out of our bank accounts, in truth, whenever we’re talking about money, we’re inherently talking about Wall Street.  Wall Street financial firms make their money many different ways, but a big portion of that is choosing which public company’s stock to buy and sell, or which companies to give loans to. Wall Street has become a monster vampire squid leaching money from every sector of every economy in the world.[2]

Even when we’re talking about our government pandering to big corporations that have little to do with the finance sector, it often still has very much to do with the finance sector.  Goldman Sachs engineered the Internet Bubble, the housing market crisis, and is currently working on the next artificial wealth bubble (cap-and-trade environmental regulations, and, again, oil).  Wall Street firms buy and sell shares in our biggest private prison corporations.  Those same prisons that spend millions lobbying for more criminal law, and more support for law enforcement to effectively make arrests, subsequent convictions for prosecutors, meaning more future inmates for them.[3]

Goldman Sachs engineered the Internet Bubble, the housing market crisis, and is currently working on the next artificial wealth bubble (cap-and-trade environmental regulations, and, again, oil).

Wall Street pushes legislation for making higher education both more necessary, and more expensive.  That means those loans that everyone qualifies for, Wall Street gets them.  Gets to give out more money.  The federal government backs the loans, so there exists no risk for the banks (despite the 7.9% interest they’re now charging for those loans).  Best of all, there are virtually zero consumer protections for the loans, they are non-dischargeable (no bankruptcy will make them go away), and the courts will give the banks your paychecks, social security funds, and medicare funds, to force you to pay up what you owe.[3]

Wall Street matters.  The conversation has typically been reserved for minor and acute causes confined to war, healthcare, taxes, education, housing, and whatever have you.  But this is the first time the people around this country are waking up.  The people now realize that deregulating the financial market allowed the big firms on Wall Street to unethically, and sociapathically, capitalize off of their strange and undemocratic position of power to dictate our laws and policies.

Mic Check! [Mic Check!]. Wall Street. [Wall Street!] We’re coming for you.


Sources:
[1] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html
[2] Taibbi, Matt, The Great American Bubble Machine
[3] The Student Loan Scheme: the Gateway Drug to Debt Slavery