1. Never give anything away for nothing.
2. Never give more than you have to give. Always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait.
3. Always take everything back if you possibly can.
William Burroughs – NAKED LUNCH (the original introduction)
It’s an exciting time to be alive. We are on the cusp of a great schism that threatens to shake the every core of the world as we know it. Already the pillars are starting to topple. The people, long fat and complacent in the throes of decades of prosperity, woke up on September 15, 2008 to a huge slap in the face. Thirty years of systematic deregulation of the financial markets grew a bubble so big that when the balloon finally burst, twenty percent of the accumulated wealth of the United States of America disappeared into thin air. It seems like common sense that we should have protections against this type of reckless behavior. I could go on and on about commodities and credit default swaps and insane bonuses for criminal transactions, but that would be neither accurate nor productive at this point. But I am not an economist.
At the same time that the bankers are sucking the last of the lifeblood from our necks, the energy companies are ravaging our insides like a case of stomach cancer. The gas companies have come up with the controversial and dangerous practice of hydrofracking to extract natural gas from layers of shale that lay miles beneath the earth’s surface. At the same time, the oil companies are racing to exploit the Canadian Tar Sands oil fields. The jury is still out on the environmental impact of the extracting the tar sands, but James Hansen, one of NASA’s leading climatologists, believes that exploiting the tar sands will be game over for the environment. And all of this at a time when technology is making renewable and sustainable energy more affordable and accessible, yet is being suppressed by the purveyors of carbon based fuels. It seems like common sense that Mother Nature might not take kindly to machines boring into her insides and jets of wastewater breaking up her dermis. She has been providing all of the necessities for life on this planet through natural means of wind, sun and water, yet we subject her to unnecessary surgery for profit. But I am not a scientist.
Not to be outdone, another powerful industry is burrowing into another soft spot of humanity. The health care industry has spent the last two decades perpetuating a society of addicts. It is a two-pronged attack. Doctors are over-prescribing pharmaceuticals for the elderly in order to keep them chemically and financially dependent on a cocktail of drugs whose costs are spiraling out of control. At the same time, they are focusing on younger generations of children who are diagnosed as ADHD, clinically depressed, bi-polar and any number of other conditions that were unheard of thirty years ago. We are over-diagnosed, over-prescribed, and indeed over-doctored. We need to go cold turkey on the prescription drugs and get straight. But I am not a doctor.
Beyond our addiction to pharmaceuticals, we have developed an unhealthy taste for processed food. Restaurants and grocery stores have gotten away from preparing fresh food every day, instead mass-producing boxed canned and frozen foods and shipping them thousands of miles to end up in our pantries, or more concerning, at our drive-thru windows. This “food” is kept artificially cheap to make it cost prohibitive to maintain the ritual of the nightly home-cooked family meal. Family farming, one of our most noble and fulfilling professions, has been co-opted by multinational corporations. Our seed catalog, which should be forever sustainable and renewable, has been subverted and poisoned by genetically modified seeds. The effect is two-fold. First, the seeds have been engineered so that they necessitate the use of specific fertilizers and herbicides. Cows, pigs and chickens, once raised free-range on grass and other natural feeds, are now raised in warehouses where many of them never see the light of day. They are grown bigger and faster using mass amounts of the same genetically modified feed corn, steroids and antibiotics. The antibiotics are necessary because the size of the farms negate the ability to maintain a clean and safe environment. And because it is such a large and unclean environment, the waste that is produced is excessive and toxic. It inundates our water supply, forces us to use ever-increasing measures to ensure the safety of said water. But I am not a farmer or a nutritionist.
Families have become stratified. While the income of the richest one percent has grown three-fold in the last thirty years, the income for the rest of us has remained stagnant. Men and women have taken to working two and three jobs to keep their families at the same standard of living. And that is only if they can find a job, let alone two or three. Family time has become a fairy tale. Most families are lucky to have a night or two a week where they can all get together for a meal. To make matters worse, States across the heartland of America have launched attacks on organized labor. While many believe that the purpose of this attack is to limit the wages, benefits and bargaining power of the public servants that are served by these unions, I believe that it is an attack on the unions themselves. They are the only entities in this country that can organize millions of people to take to the streets. They are the only huge voices of dissent. The attack is to divide us so that the vultures can continue feeding on the spoils of our labor. We all know the story of David versus Goliath. It seems like common sense that all of the little guys should band together to take on the big guys. But I am neither a father or a religious man.
The common theme in all of these threads, indeed the villains of this story, are the multi-national corporations that control our food and water supply, oil and gas, monetary assets, job creation and even our politicians. They have made themselves too big to fail,. They have conspired to attack the bleeding carcass that is our world like a swarm of insects attacking a dying body. They are drunk with power and think that they are above the law. If fact, they think they are the law. It is only through a long, concerted and potentially bloody effort, that mankind can show them the error of their ways. I am not any of the things that I mentioned in the above threads. But I am an organizer. And there are now seven billion people on this planet for me to organizer. So let’s get started.