This article originally provided by
June 4, 2006
Global Warming vs. Election
by Mark E. Smith
Recently MoveOn.org announced their new priorities, with health
care in first place and election reform tied for third. At about the same time I
was involved in a discussion about peak oil with someone who was absolutely
frantic about this impending disaster. And of course there has been a lot of
attention given to Al Gore's new film about global warming. If we are going to
effect change, we need to focus our energies, so how can we know what our top
priority really should be?
My friend with the peak oil obsession insisted that the current politicians had
to be brought onboard because there wasn't time enough for election reform. I
replied that the current politicians with any policy-making power at all, were
put in place BY the oil and energy people, so they're not going to get onboard.
Here's the rest of my response to my friend:
So long as there is a short term profit to be made, you cannot get
corporate-sponsored politicians to stop the torture, the war, globalization,
global warming, or anything else that causes human suffering and endangers the
entire planet. Do you think that if Hitler had only understood that people were
suffering he would have stopped the death camps and forbidden corporations to
use slave labor? Those politicians with policy-making power at the present time
knew the levees would be breached in New Orleans. If they let it happen, there
was money to be made from reconstruction contracts and a political advantage
from displacing minority voters. It they had acted to prevent it, or to quickly
limit and control the damage and assist survivors, they would have lost millions
of dollars in reconstruction contracts, or their corporate sponsors would have,
which is the same thing. The current politicians with policy-making power in the
U.S. don't care about peak oil, or about anything else other than short term
profits and their long term investments.
Election reform would take a long time, true. But nobody with half a brain
expects those corrupt, illegitimate politicians with policy-making power today,
to vote for election reform. People are angry about many things these days,
including high gas prices, corruption, torture, the war, 9/11, New Orleans,
depleted uranium, etc. Unfortunately the Democratic and Republican party
leadership, and the media, are still spreading the big lie that Bush was elected
and that our votes count. And people are just starting to see through the lies.
Nothing less than a popular uprising can change things in time to do any good.
And that is very hard to accomplish in a police state whose competent and
respected leaders are usually assassinated. But all successful populist
movements start with Chatauqua-type education. In order to have the numbers
needed to effect change, everyone who isn't a die-hard fascist must be brought
on board and understand the problem and that they have the personal
responsibility to do what they can to change it.
And of course there isn't much hope of that, since we are an ecologically
nonviable species and experience the cyclical overpopulation peaks and die-offs
of any ecologically noviable species. If we cannot break THAT cycle, we will,
like any ecologically nonviable species, die off in our own wastes. But those of
us who are stuck in this incarnation and devote our lives to hopeless causes,
keep trying anyway. Have you read Derrick Jensen's book, "The Culture of Make
Believe?" Being the "White Rose Society," is the honorable thing to do, even if
it is hopeless and can lead nowhere.
But trying to get those who are the cause of the problem, and are profiting
handsomely from it, "on board," is a pathetic waste of time. Sure I email,
phone, and visit the offices of my "elected" officials, but I know they won't
respond. But look at people who have read Bobby Kennedy, Jr.'s article in
Rolling Stone, or listened to Greg Palast, and watch how ordinary people
respond. We the people are the only hope we have. If we are to accomplish
anything, it is our friends, neighbors, and family we have to get on board, not
the corrupt politicians who must be removed from power before anything can
change. And it is the power structure that must be changed, so that we the
people are not limited to having a completely disregarded say or an uncounted
vote in how we are governed, but ARE the government. Of the people, by the
people, for the people. Not of, by, and for the corporations, the politicians,
or the Supreme Court.
When you raise awareness about global warming or peak oil, people ask the
government to do something about it. When you raise awareness about stolen
elections, people realize that the government is illegitimate and that WE have
to do something or nothing will get done.
Whether we like it or not, it is entirely up to us.
Trillions of dollars are at stake in who runs this country. In order to retain
the appearance of democracy, it is likely that the voting machine vendors and
those who pay them to rig elections will permit Democrats to win some elections,
probably to take control of Congress, and perhaps even to regain the Presidency.
But supposing that a Democrat-controlled Congress enacts legislation to limit
fossil fuel consumption, and a Democratic President like Al Gore signs that
legislation into law. Do you think for a minute that the Supreme Court won't
strike that legislation down because it violates the Constitutional rights of
corporations to maximize their profits?
Don't be fooled by distractions. What we have in this country is a fascist
government, according to Mussolini's definition, that operates for the benefit
of corporations, not for the benefit of people. When profits matter more than
people, people end up in slave labor camps like those of Nazi Germany, where
corporations can exploit their labor without having to pay them any wages at
all. The race to the bottom is on. Jobs go from here to Mexico to China to Burma
and on to wherever even cheaper labor can be found, like prisons, until they
eventually reach their real goal: slavery. Slavery is THE proven formula for
maximizing profits, so if that's what's important, that will be the result.
Read Bobby Kennedy's article. Read Greg Palast's book. Get a copy of "Invisible
Ballots" from Joan Brunwasser, watch it, and show it to everyone you can. Help
everyone you know to understand that we do not have free and fair elections in
this country, and that no matter what they are concerned about, there will be no
solution until we the people take control, throw the bums in Washington out, and
form a legitimate government. That is what our top priority must be.
Mark is an election reform activist and Green Party member in