Thursday, October 2, 2008

Own Your Power!

All of the following is from the book, A People's History of the United States, aby Howard Zinn

"The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority.

One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.

How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals--bred by economic inequity--faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention fro the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the Law by men in executive offices.

But despite all the controls of power and punishment, enticements and concessions, diversions and decoys, operating throughout the history of the country, the Establishment has been unable to keep itself secure from revolt. Every time it looked as if it had succeeded, the very people it thought seduced or subdued, stirred and rose.

To recall this is to remind people of what the Establishment would like them to forget--THE ENORMOUS CAPACITY OF APPARENTLY HELPLESS PEOPLE TO RESIST!" (Boldface mine)

If we stop obeying the system fails.

That will happen, only when all of us are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica--expendable."

We need to stop working for the government and work for ourselves. We need to accept the fact that our officials are not going to do the right thing and do it ourselves. Oh, don't worry. I know I'm only dreaming but it's too bad that we can't understand that.... We the people are the ones who have the power.......If only we knew it.