November 20, 2004
A few weeks ago, I wrote a rant titled "Resist the Unacceptable". It concluded that the executive branch of the United States government is occupied by the leaders of yet another coup disguised as an election. It is the patriotic duty of all Americans to resist, harass and frustrate this fraudulent regime and to impede its ability to govern.
But HOW do we resist?
Many other countries would send angry mobs to the seat of government until the coup's ringleaders slither out of the country in disgrace. Unfortunately, too many good people would die in such an effort, and there's no guarantee it would work against all the lethal resources of this empire.
Looking at the other side of the "fight or flight" equation, retreating to Canada or some other country (assuming they would take us) would mean surrendering - to the evil empire - our homes, families and friends that we leave behind.
The concept of secession has been discussed, and I really wish it was more realistic than whimsical. But if the "blue states" could secede, what would we say to our progressive friends in places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Tucson, Lawrence KS, Austin TX, Boulder CO, Fayetteville AR, Chapel Hill NC, and on and on?
There's another way we can secede from this empire. We can vote with our dollars and withdraw from its economy.
The sponsors of this illegal government are the captains of corporate capitalism. This ruling elite owns both the Repugnantan AND the Damnocratic parties, and uses them to play the sheeple of this country against each other to their advantage. These are the people who think things like water and health care should go to the highest bidder, while our jobs should go to the lowest bidder. They have consolidated the wealth of the world into their little clique while impoverishing everyone else.
But the corporate empire can't operate if we don't feed it. Their economy depends upon armies of faithful drones pulling out their credit cards to buy all kinds of corporate crap that nobody really needs. The international corporate capitalists have no power without our support. We must withhold our support.
We don't need to feed their machine. We don't need their crap.
Let's produce the things we need ourselves, and keep our money in our own communities. It may cost a few extra pennies once in a while, but our dollars will stay close to home instead of getting loaded onto a boat for China.
Let's grow and store as much of our own food as possible, and get the rest from our neighbors through farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture. Let's abandon the corporate supermarkets for buying clubs and food coops.
Let's reduce consumption, and not let anything useful go to waste. Let's shop at garage sales, thrift stores, secondhand stores, flea markets, and household auctions. Let's take the time to peek into dumpsters and junk piles, and feel no shame in reclaiming anything useful we find there.
Many useful things are discarded because of a minor flaw that can be easily fixed. So let's learn how to fix things to keep them from being wasted. Let's each find our own specialty in which to apply our reclamation skills. Let's also find creative new uses for all the junk we keep having to throw away.
Let's stay away from the corporate chains and seek out the privately owned "mom-and-pop" places instead.
A lot of energy is consumed in the transportation of food and other merchandise. So let's read labels and seek out products that are produced close to home. Let's support our neighbors who struggle to produce the things we need.
Did you ever notice that the most addictive drugs are the ones that are legal and monopolized by the corporate empire? It is un-American to be addicted to the poisons produced by the corporate drug pushers - the purveyors of tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. Dependence is slavery.
I see too many activists spending too much money on corporate cigarettes and corporate beer. How about growing your own tobacco? Let's make our own beer and wine.
Every drop of gasoline we buy contributes to pollution, exploitation and war. So let's not buy it any more. Let's live where walking, biking, or public transit can get us anywhere we need to be. Once we don't need our cars any more, we can recycle them.
Everything we do with motors... let's find a way to do it without motors. For those things that can't be done without motors, let's insist on renewable fuels and power sources.
Let's keep our money out of their financial system. Let's pull out of the banks and join credit unions. Let's try to conduct as much of our business as possible in cash. Let's use checks (drawn on our credit-union accounts) only in a pinch.
Credit cards should only be used as a last resort. Even if we never carry a month-to-month balance, the credit card corporations keep from the merchants a little piece of every transaction. They also collect information on our buying habits and log our whereabouts. They don't deserve our money, and how we spend it is none of their business.
We don't have to put up with having lies and corporate propaganda transmitted on our public airwaves. Let's keep track of who's buying ad time from the most flagrant liars and propagandists, then boycott 'em. (Of course, this would mean that some poor soul would have to monitor this crap, but there may already be organizations doing this heroic work.)
Speaking of advertising, let's be careful to shield ourselves from its brainwashing effects. While the commercials are on, let's not only use the mute button or the fast forward; but let's shift our gaze from the screen to each other.
When corporate names are pinned onto stadiums and other buildings, let's not use those names. Let's resist the encroachment of corporate icons onto our psyche by referring to them by new fun names, such as McCrap, Booger King, and Mall Fart.
Let's embrace barter and other aspects of the "underground economy." Let's learn to live on a lower income, which lowers our tax burden to the corporate empire. Let's find ethical means of self-employment, or build our own collectively owned and operated enterprises, so we can gain more control over our work lives.
Let's make sure employees are paid a decent wage. Otherwise, how can businesses expect people to have any money to buy their stuff?
When we spend our money, let's support businesses that treat their workers fairly, and boycott those that don't.
Let's embrace collective principles represented by the image of an old-fashioned barn-raising. Imagine the neighborhood getting together to raise a barn for a local farmer, sharing not only a day of work focused on a clear and tangible goal, but also a day of festivity and camaraderie. Such a day not only builds a barn, it builds community.
So let's strengthen our families, extended families, circles of friends, and communities. We need each other as networks of mutual support. By working together to build strong, cohesive and autonomous communities, we can starve the corporate beast.