The Power of Protest?

The Power of Protest?

Special thanks to President Donald Trump for inspiring so many citizens to rebel and protest against the empire. When the previous administration deported over two million humans… The response from the citizens was silence. When the previous administration bombed six different Islamic countries and thereby murdered thousands of innocent Muslims… The response from the citizens was silence… When the previous administration bombed the living shit out of Libya killing tens of thousands and thereby turning that once prosperous nation into a failed state with boatloads and boatloads of refugees fleeing to Europe… The response from the citizens was silence… When the previous administration financed and armed a proxy army in an attempt to destroy the nation state of Syria… The response from the citizens was silence. When the previous administration provided the weapons, bombs and logistical support to their subsidiary government in Saudi Arabia so that Saudi Arabia could bomb and blockade the nation State of Yemen…The response from the citizens was silence. But now that the Trumpster Clown has taken over as the figurehead of Empire, people are protesting and marching and vocally opposing just about everything he does. Isn’t it great. All this activism. All this enthusiasm to get involved.

Did that sound sarcastic? I hope not because I am sincere.

Yeah, I know, probably a percentage of the protesters are merely brainwashed pawns of the corporate democratic machine. They focus their attention on identity issues instead of the real fundamental problem of Empire… If only a woman or even a sane multi-cultural man was the figurehead of Empire everything would be all right… But I’d be willing to bet that some if not many of the protesters are “imaginary revolutionaries” learning and using the technique of non-violent action to disrupt the machinations of the corporate empire.

I personally believe that the best way to oppose Empire is to divest from it as much as possible and create alternative localized economic systems that are not Empire dependent. While I do see the usefulness of targeted protests against specific corporations who are threatening the earth I’m not so sure about the usefulness of marching before a government that pays no attention to you anyway. Nevertheless, I do support the protesters and sincerely thank them for their efforts. We are going to need all the help we can get if we are going to put a stop to the next phase of the war. And if people are in the streets marching and protesting, they are ripe to be awoken to reality. All it takes is one intelligent conversation with an informed person or even a particularly cogent essay that explains things and a “protester” can fall through the rabbit hole and wake up on the side of the imaginary revolution.

For those of you unaware of reality…

It is the job of the President to sell War to the American People. Some Presidents are good at selling war while some… Not so good. It’s not an easy job. The fundamental difficulty is that the American people don’t want to believe that their economic system and hence… their way of life is built upon a foundation of war. Americans don’t want to buy war because war is an ugly, horrible, immoral thing. But deep down inside they know that they are buying war (investing in war). It may even gnaw at their insides… guilt. American citizens buy war… invest in war… all the time. But they won’t admit it to their conscious brains. It is the job of the President to keep people investing in war and it is the purpose of politics to keep the people confused about this reality.

The US government is structured like a corporation. Like all corporations within a capitalist system it must either grow or die. That is the premise of capitalist theory… Economics is a great big competition that everyone has to play. In other words, the empire of USA, inc must either expand or collapse. It is not designed for dynamic sustainability.

During the Cold War, the Middle East was more or less divided between the two teams. Some of the countries there were subsidiaries of USA,inc. (Saudi Arabia, Israel, the GCC, Jordan, and Egypt). and some of the countries there were subsidiaries of USSR, inc. (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon). We can argue and discuss until we turn green about the relative independence of the subsidiaries from the parent corporations (puppets or allies). But the facts on the ground clearly demonstrate the economic reality. The Parent corporation provides security in exchange for control of important economic resources of the subsidiary. Based on such an analysis, the only independent nation state in the region was Iran. And they only became independent after they kicked out USA, inc in the revolution of 1976.

When USSR, inc., collapsed in the early 1990’s, they lost “control” of their subsidiaries in the Middle East. Corporate America saw this as a great opportunity. The newly “free” subsidiaries were ripe for the taking. If only USA, inc., was bold enough to try. This is not conspiracy theory or free-floating speculation. It is basic economics. It is common knowledge among the movers and the shakers. There were dozens of policy papers and economic thesis written about this topic in the 1990s. The psychopaths at the Council on Foreign Relations produced the most well known with their Project For a New American Century but there were many others. It is a very logical and understandable conclusion if you accept the underlying premises of the dominant economic theory. The challenge for the empire was and is; how do you sell the conquest of the economically independent countries in the Middle East (and elsewhere) to the the good citizens of the Empire who don’t like war but who do like the financial benefits of conquest?

Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Does that list seem familiar? From nation state to failed state after a 21st century bombing? That is all it takes. Then, we can rebuild them all as corporate states. Think of the profits! Capitalism needs growth as a matter of principle. The remodeling of the Middle East should provide the Empire with growth for decades and decades to come. As long as you can get the American people to go along.

Democrats and Republicans sell war using different styles, techniques and metaphors but they both sell war all the same. As I listen to or watch the day’s propaganda, I am fascinated by the unfolding dynamic. These days, republicans are selling a war against Islam and the democrats are selling a war against Russia. The people don’t want a war against either. But as the people oppose the Trumpster clown and his various belligerent outbursts the propaganda machine attempts to transform that opposition into a pro-war movement against Russia. The whole thing is just plain crazy.

Anyway, on the brighter side of things, my book about traveling in the Middle East is about finished. It is basically a series of “sort of true” travel stories that are inter-connected thematically and woven into a metaphorical adventure. Most of the stories were posted on this website at some point or other but they have now been refined, edited, changed and combined into a single continuous narrative. It really is a good story and I am quite pleased with how it all seemed to fall into place. In my humble opinion, it has the potential to reach a wide audience and provide some important perspective on east/west relations. If only I can figure out how to publicize it and get it out there…

We also have plane tickets for this year’s wander. It will only be six weeks instead of the usual four months because we have the little one traveling with us. But at least we are getting out of the country for a while. Coming very soon… brand new stories and photos from Central America….

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Do You Want to be a Revolutionary?

Do you want to be a Revolutionary?

All you really have to do is decide in your heart of hearts, at the deep down center of your soul that THE government is not YOUR government.

You don’t have to take up arms, or blow up buildings, or go to jail. You don’t even have to protest. You just have to conclude in your brain and decide with your will that “it” is not an “us” or “we.”

It’s a little bit like traveling. Everywhere I go in the world, there is always a government to deal with or put up with. They are always collecting taxes and fees and passing rules and regulations. I pay the taxes and fees when I have to and follow the rule or regulation if it seems sensible or just. That doesn’t mean I recognize the validity of or somehow identify with the ruling regime of the country I’m traveling in. It simply means I am adapting to the environment I happen to be in.

The same principle applies for living inside the USA and deciding to become a revolutionary. You have to deal with the government. It is sometimes convenient to follow their rules and put up with their shit. But not all the time. You can pick your battles. The important thing is the underlying relationship between you and the government. Is it your government or the government. Is it somehow a manifestation of you and your beliefs or is it an adversary that interferes with your life?

That is what the election game is all about. It’s a corporate marketing blitz to convince taxpayers that they are involved in the governmental process. If you believe it is real. If you believe that voting in Presidential elections matters, then you are not a revolutionary.

So now the election is over and the bad guy has won. The corporate media is now using the power of propaganda to focus everyone’s revolutionary energy on the bad guy at the face of the system. If you are protesting the newly “elected” President rather than the system that put him in place, then you are not a revolutionary. You are a pawn in a reality television marketing campaign.

A certain popular progressive politician recently ran a rather successful Presidential primary campaign that he marketed as a “revolution.” He didn’t win the nomination but he has now formed an organization to collect money to finance other Progressive candidates to run for different positions in the government. Calling such a strategy or plan a “revolution” is a bit ridiculous. Actually, it’s the opposite of a revolution.

It does not matter how many good progressives are pulling and yanking on the levers of the broken system. The system needs to be replaced not just managed by better, nicer and more competent people. Indeed, collecting money to convince more good people to continue working within the obviously broken system undermines the possibility for real fundamental change.

The political/economic system as presently designed requires continuous war and ever increasing energy consumption in order to thrive. If that system continues, the ecosystem is doomed.

Divest from war.
Divest from fossil fuels.
Divest from Empire!
Invest in your community instead.

We must design and implement a new system and stop participating in the one that does not work. That’s revolution.

How?

Start local.
This essay is not copyrighted. Feel free to share it or copy it or paste it or plagiarize it or send it on to any one and everyone.

The Mythology of Money

The Mythology of Money

You learn the myth at a young age and it is continually reinforced on your consciousness for the rest of your life. It is the background illusion that makes day to day existence possible. It is the story that holds up the system. They teach it in school and on television and in the movies. If you do not believe the story, they will say you are crazy. Atheists don’t believe in God, but they believe in the myth. What is the myth? Money is a real thing.

Yeah, well, so is God… sort of… metaphorically speaking. The belief in God was real enough to serve as the foundational principle of an economic system that lasted for hundreds of years. Religion was the glue that held the economy together. Nowadays, the belief in God is optional. Instead, the belief in the reality of money is the foundational principle of the economic system. The myth of money is the glue that holds the modern economy together.

According to the myth, money is a thing out there in the world that humans can gather or collect or earn or find. Some people or institutions have lots of it, some people have smaller amounts and some people have very little or none. The story, however, is a little vague in explaining how people ended up with the money that they have now. Some people suggest that the present distribution of money is the result of evolution (they earned it in the great competition) while others suggest that it is the result of God’s plan or design. Really though, they tend to avoid the topic all together. You cannot even mention it in polite society. You can, of course, argue until you are blue in the face about the re-distribution of money. Liberal vs. conservative…. But you can’t talk about the distribution of money in the first place. We are just supposed to accept the reality that there are trillions and trillions of these things out there called money and some people and institutions have it and some don’t. That is just the way it is. You better believe it.

But what if you don’t? What if you don’t believe the myth about money but instead understand the truth about money.

In reality, money is the symbolic representation of your legal right to use economic value within the jurisdiction of the government that backs the money. In a democratic society, the value of money would be determined by an agreement between citizens. In other words, money is part of a social contract and it is used as a tool to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. As such, all citizens have access to the flow of money based upon the same basic formula. But I do not believe any such democratic society exists anywhere on earth. Instead what we have is oligarchic money supply systems. Money is used as a weapon to enslave the masses instead of as a tool to facilitate fair trade.

The same structure is used by nation states all around the world. It was originally designed by the Roman Empire and was modified by the Europeans but it is now the Americans taking the lead in spreading it world wide. It is THE mechanism that allows for the domination of indigenous local cultures by the global corporate culture.

Every nation state has an evolving amount of economic value available within its borders. In other words, old economic value gets used while new economic value is created. The distribution of money determines who gets to use the economic value that is available. A central authority controls the money supply. Theoretically, they add new money to the system by investing in projects for the benefit of the nation and subtract money from the system through taxes. Through the investment in certain activities and the taxation of other activities, the central authority shapes the economy, culture and way of life of the nation state. That is called government. It is the way things work.

Sometimes governments are monarchies, sometimes governments are dictatorships and sometimes governments are nominal democracies or republics. But it doesn’t matter. Money is always created at the center and passed downward to the citizens. If you ever run for state or federal office here in the US, it soon becomes apparent that your primary mission as a senator or congressman is not to make laws but to beg for money from the central authority on behalf of your district.

But if money is the symbolic representation of your legal right to use economic value, why is it distributed to the state or district from the outside instead of created within the state or district itself? Seem like a strange question? Can we get to the root of the question. Where does money come from? How is it made? When new money is added to the system, who adds it and who gets it? New money is obviously added to the system all the time. How much is a loaf of bread? How much was a loaf of bread ten years ago or twenty years ago?

They play the same game in every country I have ever traveled in. You can trade US dollars for the local currency on the black market or at banks or public exchanges. Many foreign currencies have lots of zeroes as governments and central banks add more and more currency to their system without increasing economic value inside their jurisdictions. This causes inflation as each individual piece of currency is worth less and less. Some governments even have to subtract zeroes from the currency because at some point it becomes ridiculous. I once paid 38,000 Zimbabwe dollars for a fast food cheese burger in Harare.

I have not yet visited a nation state that has a democratic money supply system. In my experience, there are only oligarchic systems. Money is created at the top and passed downward through the channels of the hierarchy until it eventually reaches the general public where it gets passed around. The relative cost of things in each nation state is dependent upon the amount of currency getting passed around and the availability of economic value. Behind it all is the US dollar.

The Bretton Woods conference after WWII, established the structure that essentially rules most of the world’s economic value today. Under this structure, the IMF and World Bank treat “independent” nation states in much the same way that the Federal Reserve treats the different states and communities in the U.S.. With the power to tighten or loosen the money supply and the means to direct currency flows, the central authority imposes poverty to guarantee compliant laborers and access to natural resources for multi-national corporations.

It doesn’t have to be that way. People could stop believing in the oligarchs’ money and create democratic money to pass around instead. With universal access to basic economic rights, people would have an economic incentive to work together in voluntary associations and co-ops to make their communities and the world in general a better place instead of being forced to get a “job” in order to survive.

In the last thirty years or so, the oligarchs in charge of the money supply have used the mechanism of “financial services” to direct excessive amounts of currency flow towards national security (war), fossil fuel extraction, information manipulation (propaganda) and domestic security (prisons and police). If you want to “succeed” in the modern world, those are good industries to get a “job” in. The troubling world we are living in today is largely the result of those unwise investments.  The direction of currency flow towards the above mentioned “investments” was not somehow the manifestation of the people’s democratic will.  It was the decisions of the oligarchs because they wanted to exert more control over “citizens/subjects”.

What is the difference between democratic money and oligarchic money? Democratic money is based upon a social contract between the people participating in the economic system. Oligarchic money is created by governments and corporations (banks approved by the fed) and lent with interest to the people participating in the economic system.

Democratize the money supply!

The non-violent economic revolution starts now…

This essay is not copyrighted. Please feel free to share it or send it or plagiarize it or copy and paste it or spread it to others in any way you see fit.

Thanks and have a wonderful day.

A Fairly Simple Plan

I sometimes think that it would be fun and useful to teach a class about how to engineer a non-violent economic revolution. You hear a lot of talk about such things but no one out there in mass media world ever comes out with a plan or a strategy. Everybody gets distracted by the election show and nobody ever focuses on the fundamentals. Well, I do have a plan or strategy. Unfortunately, I also have a fairly significant case of social anxiety. I can medicate my social anxiety with heavy doses of alcohol but I don’t like the way alcohol makes my body feel. Am I willing to sacrifice my health and sanity for the sake of the revolution? Probably not. I would rather build stone walls.

Anyway, if I ever did teach the class, it would involve about 20 detailed discussions of inter-related topics. The syllabus or overview for the theoretical class on non-violent economic revolution is presented here. All you political revolutionaries out there who just got burned again by the election game need something to do. Well, here you go.

A Fairly Simple Plan

Non-violent economic revolution? How to do it? It’s really not that complicated. It won’t be easy to implement but the basic steps to follow are fairly straightforward and understandable.

First, create a not-for-profit corporation that is legally capable of soliciting tax deductible donations to advocate on behalf of the public welfare. I believe it is section 501 (c) of the IRS code that defines such organizations but I’m not sure. Wanted; a few people with good credit to serve as board members and a couple of revolutionaries to file the paperwork and set up official legal bank accounts.

Second, explain the concept of dynamic economics or organic economics (I don’t know what name is better) such that it is easy to understand. The basic idea unifies theoretical communism and theoretical capitalism as the yin and yang of economic impulses and creates a system that utilizes the communal side of human nature and the individual side of human nature. The purpose of the not-for-profit is to implement the concept and donations are collected toward that end from anyone who is interested in the “revolution”.

Third, market the “concept” and collect donations. This is the hard part. I hate marketing and I have social anxiety so someone else will have to do this part. Wanted; good speakers with charisma to “sell” the “revolution.”

Fourth, accumulate money in a centralized account because a fairly large amount is necessary as backing to implement the plan. The total amount collected should always be public knowledge. Indeed, the growth in the size of the account could be part of the marketing plan.

Fifth, define the territory within which you want to implement the concept. The fundamental problem with the U.S. economic system is a centralized oligarchic money system. We wish to transform that not by taking over the large unruly linear money system that presently exists but by creating an alternative localized dynamic money system that works. A main difference between the present economic system and the proposed economic system is that the present system is dependent upon growth/expansion/conquest/imperialism while a dynamic system works within fixed boundaries or established parameters. I don’t know the optimum size of a territory for an independent dynamic currency system. I definitely think the United States is way too big. But perhaps a state is about right. The smaller the state the better. Perhaps Hawaii or Vermont will take the concept and run with it. I don’t know. But, just for the sake of discussion, I am going to localize even smaller. For the last twenty years, I have lived back and forth between Delaware and Otsego counties in upstate NY. I am going to combine those two counties into a single territory for purposes of creating a theoretical currency union.

Six, name the territory. I’m going to call my new theoretical territory “Paradise” because, well, I like metaphors and usually I really think it is Paradise to live here.

Seven, choose a very large number to represent the total theoretical economic value of “Paradise”. A billion? A trillion? The number is arbitrary (a democratic choice?). I don’t know. You want a number high enough so that it can be divided into a practical number of useable pieces of currency (pieces of paradise or pps).

Eight, set about the long and difficult task of convincing people and teaching people to price economic value created locally in theoretical pps as well as dollars. If all of Paradise is worth a Trillion pps, how much to rent that apartment in Oneonta? Please note that most shelter, food, healthcare and education is created and provided locally.

Nine, after you have accumulated enough dollars as backing and educated the community about alternative pricing, introduce the new currency that operates on dynamic democratic principles instead of linear oligarchic principles. This is the stage at which the plan or revolution will run head first into the laws of Empire. According to the Constitution, only the US Federal Government can issue money or create currency. But in reality, private corporations (banks) create money. This is what the revolution is all about. Democracy or Oligarchy. Is money a thing that they control? Or is money the symbolical representation of your legal right to use economic resources in the community where you live? Does money come from the agreement of the people or from the power of the far away masters? I would suggest that the best strategy for overcoming the constitutional hurdles and legal challenges here would be to argue that the currency you are introducing is not really currency. It is something else because it operates on different principles. Don’t worry Feds, it’s not real money, it’s only a game we are playing. These are just game pieces. Come on, we call them pps for pieces of paradise. You can’t take this seriously as a threat to Empire?

Ten, in order to introduce the currency, you have to convince a large number of people who live within the geographic parameters to “play the game” or participate in the new economic system. All people who play agree to accept pps for payment for labor or local good or service provided to other game players. All people who play receive a monthly investment of pps equivalent to the fair market value of food, shelter, education and basic healthcare in Paradise. In exchange for the guaranteed monthly investment of pps, all the game players agree to give 50% of everything they earn back to Paradise. It is important to note that game players are not restricted to using and accepting only pps. They can use dollars or rubles or euros or yen or any other currency. But everything they earn in whatever currency, half of it they give back to Paradise. It’s a good thing for Paradise if it has a basket of currencies in its reserve account rather than just US dollars. Theoretically, game players will do so willingly because they like receiving the guaranteed monthly investment and they like making sure everyone in their community receives their guaranteed monthly investment as well.

If all goes according to plan, at some point, the system should become self-sustaining. In other words, the pps going out through investment are equal to the pps coming in through taxes. When the system runs a surplus, the extra can be used to fund community projects. When the system runs in the negative, you can create more currency to achieve balance.

Theoretically, if the geographic area within the parameters of Paradise has the economic capacity to provide all the people living there with food, shelter, education and basic healthcare (it does), the system should become self-sustaining. People could still use dollars, of course, but they wouldn’t have to. The new money system would run parallel to the old and people could choose which game they would rather play.

For a while, of course, everyone would play both games. They would use both dollars and pps in their everyday lives. Eventually, however, the revolution will have to take the next step. Revolutionaries will have to make a moral choice of conscience. Do you want to trade in the blood soaked dollars of the Empire or peaceful pieces of Paradise?

The reality is, the revolution can only succeed if the people stop using the oligarchs money. In the modern world, this is not practical. If we created an alternative dynamic money supply system, it would be possible. Hopefully, other currency unions will sprout up across the country as well and peaceful currencies will trade with each other. Once enough people stop believing the oligarchs illusion, Paradise is possible. In the meantime, buy local and try to keep your transactions off the big computer (use cash or barter).

That’s about it. The revolution in a nutshell. Good luck implementing it. I have stonewalls to build and a toddler to chase after. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

The revolution is not copyrighted. Please feel free to share it with anyone and everyone.