Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Great Divide


The Great Divide

by C.A. Matthews   

Imagine, if you will, a Great Divide so wide and so deep that it takes hours—if not days—to cross on foot. To get from one side to the other, you must carefully climb down the first wall, taking care not to start a fatal rock slide, until you reach the canyon floor.   
Once on the plain, you hike several miles until you get to a river, a whitewater, fast-flowing stream with no way to get around it except to swim through it. If you survive the river crossing, then you face several miles of canyon floor to cross in order to reach and scale the steep precipice of the far-side wall.
Did I forget to tell that you have no tools save your bare hands to climb to the top of this near vertical jagged rock cliff? That’s the situation, but still you struggle and strain and slowly inch your way to the top. You’re not going to let the Great Divide defeat you. You keep working harder and harder...

At last! You’ve made it to the top where you are left panting in exhaustion with only a few cuts, bruises, gnashes, and muscle pulls to show for your exertions. There’s no celebration of your achievement or even a cold drink of water waiting for you, sorry. A sign commands you on pain of death to turn around and do it all again. And again. Because. 

Now, imagine that same Great Divide you just traversed with a long, high bridge crossing it. No, you don’t get to use the bridge to cross the second time. The bridge is not for the likes of you. Only those deemed worthy to take the bridge will be ferried across the gorge in comfortable luxury vehicles driven by chauffeurs. They don’t even notice ant-sized persons like you crawling up and down the walls, hiking across the plains, and swimming through the churning river below. They just swoosh past you, sipping champagne in their posh rides, leaving you choking on their exhaust fumes.
While it takes you long hours to cross the Great Divide, those being driven across will cross it in a matter of minutes. What awaits them on the other side is far better, too. They’re greeted by a cheering crowd of friends and family at a party where cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served by good-looking hosts and hostesses. They are given a choice whether or not they wish to cross over again on the bridge, too. Choice, comfort, recognition...they deserve it. Why? Because they were born with the correct last name.
Fair enough, right?

If you’re starting to question this corrupt socioeconomic system most Western countries live under, you’ll probably have a few choice words to give those who zoomed by and left you suffering in their wake. Why do only certain persons get to take the shortcut? Why do they get to take the easy route and even employ others to do the actual hard work like driving for them? What besides sheer dumb luck of where and when and to whom you were born to determines which path across the Great Divide you’re allowed to take? 

It’s difficult for many working class Americans to grasp just how great that Great Divide is between those just scraping by and those whose total net worth is larger than some countries’ Gross National Products. A recent study done by Oxfam tells us that for every $1 you earn as a worker, a billionaire makes $1.7 million. This isn’t an exaggeration. Let's say you make $10 an hour working. In that same time period a billionaire sipping champagne makes $17 million an hour—and he doesn’t even risk getting his hands dirty!  

The super rich have been growing wealthier over the past three years of the pandemic, growing wealthier than ever in history. While millions suffered from COVID-19, Long COVID, and the deaths of loved ones due to COVID, the billionaire class and their wealth have kept growing and growing and growing… We the workers can take comfort in the fact that the actual number of billionaires on the planet is actually still quite small—only about two thousand in total. But these two thousand individuals own most of all wealth in the world, leaving a small portion for the remaining eight billion of us to share. 


According to Oxfam, an international humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger, in their report Survival of the Richest the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population took nearly two-thirds of all new wealth, six times greater than the wealth made by the poorest 90% of workers. Simply put, billionaires are getting richer while overall global poverty is increasing. Oxfam warns:

  • Since 2020, the richest 1% have captured almost two-thirds of all new wealth – nearly twice as much money as the bottom 99% of the world’s population.

  • Billionaire fortunes are increasing by $2.7 billion a day, even as inflation outpaces the wages of at least 1.7 billion workers, more than the population of India.

  • Food and energy companies more than doubled their profits in 2022, paying out $257 billion to wealthy shareholders, while over 800 million people went to bed hungry.

  • Only 4 cents in every dollar of tax revenue comes from wealth taxes, and half the world’s billionaires live in countries with no inheritance tax on money they give to their children.

  • A tax of up to 5% on the world’s multi-millionaires and billionaires could raise $1.7 trillion a year, enough to lift 2 billion people out of poverty, and fund a global plan to end hunger. 

    You're probably catching on to how wide, deep, and treacherous the Great Divide is. And it’s not just about how horrible the distribution of material wealth is on Earth. The Great Divide is an analogy for how political and military/police power is distributed as well. The more money you have, the more power you wield and the more military/police might to back up your claim to that wealth and power you have. This is readily apparent at a yearly gathering of the super-wealthy and their sycophants in Davos, Switzerland.


The World Economic Forum in Davos is where our “betters” get to tell us, the struggling workers, what we should be doing. They'll toss a few nuggets of wisdom our way, like we all should stop purchasing gas stoves or we should simply stop being sick and get back to work whether we have access to health care or not. Those little patronizing gems are supposed to convince us that the elites actually care about those of us at the bottom of the pyramid of wealth accumulation. 

You know that COVID pandemic thing that’s “over” according to President Biden? The billionaires at Davos see the threat of the coronavirus in a completely different way: 

From The billionaires at Davos protect themselves from COVID-19, while declaring the pandemic “over” for working people

...State-of-the-art ventilation and HEPA air cleaners have been made available in common spaces and private rooms and the over 3,000 attendants will ensure these areas are cleaned and disinfected several times a day. Free access to N95s and respirators was provided because the participants, who have called such measures useless (for working people), know very well that they work. In fact, meeting organizers said that on “Forum-provided official transport,” the requirement is for “all drivers (chauffeurs) [to] wear masks at all times.”

And if this wasn’t enough, there have been reports that Upper Room Ultraviolet Disinfection systems and Far-UVC lights have been installed to disinfect the spaces and remove any virus that gains unauthorized access to the meeting.

The rich elites won't be missing any ski parties from coming down with a nasty virus, will they? 
Why does this handful of billionaires get to dictate terms to billions of other human beings? Why do they force workers back into the workplace when they themselves know that the pandemic is still raging, killing and crippling workers daily around the world? Why do they get to use the expressway over the Great Divide while the rest of us have to crawl through the dust on our bare hands and knees? Think about it. You know why.

Capitalism is the magic socioeconomic system that cures all ills, according to our masters at the WEF. Two thousand hoarders of wealth and power get to tell us, the other 8 billion inhabitants of Earth, what’s what. And the truth of the matter is that we of the bottom 8 billion don’t count in their big picture. We’re just here to provide them the wealth that our labors generate.  

The Great Divide is essential for capitalism to exist because if all of us had adequate food, shelter, and health care—or even an access to the “bridge”—then how would the billionaires ever “motivate” (read: frighten, scare, threaten) us into working for them in the first place?

Someone has got to drive the billionaires around, clean their toilets, cook their food, sew their designer clothes, manufacture their fancy cars, fly their private jets, perform their facelifts, etc. If we’re content simply to take care of ourselves and our neighbors, we’d never take care of those at the top, or so they fear. We might even ignore them until they become as poor as we workers are—and that can’t be allowed! (Read Why Are the Rich So Scared of Socialism for more answers.) 

So, what's the real reason why the rich can't become like the workers? Look at their last names again. That’s why. 

Because there’s no real reason why any human being should hoard wealth at the obscene rate these handful of billionaires (and their close friends the multi-millionaires) have done. We are all equals under the sun or in the eyes of God (if that’s your belief). Equals don't allow equals to starve just for the sake of showing off vast hoards of material wealth and flaunting their power over others. 

Capitalism as an socioeconomic system is a perversion of how to organize work and community for the benefit of all. It’s totally lacking in a sense of community for starters. Capitalists intentionally divide workers into different groups so these factions can be manipulated into spending time and energy hating other factions so much that they don’t have time to actually see it’s the capitalists who have forced them into this untenable situation in order to control them. 

The next time someone tells you that certain people (Gays, Muslims, Blacks, Asians, etc.) are "inferior" to you stop and think. Who told me to hate people from this group? What reasons do they have to make me hate others? What control do they exert over me? 

We the workers must get past the “othering” we’ve been brainwashed into doing. There's no time for it. Our planet is in the grips of a climate emergency:

Over the longer term, the greatest existential risk the world faces is climate breakdown. The last eight years were the hottest ever recorded, with 2016 being the warmest. Extreme weather events that once took place every several hundred years are now taking place annually.

We have already started to approach the tipping points that will rapidly and unpredictably accelerate the processes causing the climate breakdown. The oceans are becoming acidified, arctic ice and permafrost are melting, and forests are being lost at a devastating rate. (...)

The greatest risk the world faces comes from the class currently assembled at Davos. If they really wanted to save the world, they’d hand over their wealth and power to their workers—the only class with the ability and the incentive to deal with the challenges the world currently faces. --From Davos Elites Can’t Solve The Problems They Create 

If it’s freedom to choose the bridge over the Great Divide you’re looking for, then look no further than a system such as socialism that rewards the workers for their labor and gives them an equal vote in deciding how to run things. Americans in particular have been duped to think “capitalism equals democracy” when, in fact, it’s the opposite. Capitalism equals rich people telling working people what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, punishing us when we the workers don’t or can’t do it. That isn't democracy. It's oligarchy.

Why are we of the 8 billion strong allowing a handful of capitalists rule over us? It’s time for us to organize and fight back. A new organization forming called Workers Strike Back could help lead the way in the US. American workers should check them out. 

Remember: We the workers have the power. We certainly have the numbers. Now is the time for us to take control of our future. Our children and our planet are counting on us.

Related Links:


Survival of the Richest (Oxfam report) https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/survival-richest   

The Billionaires at Davos Protect Themselves from COVID-19, While Declaring the Pandemic "Over" for Working People https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/21/gkzt-j21.html 


Davos Elites Can't Solve the Problems They Create https://popularresistance.org/davos-elites-cant-solve-the-problems 
Over 1 MILLION Protest in France Against Macron’s Pension Plan https://youtu.be/H4gqRU94v6U
Political crisis emerges within leadership of Democratic Socialists of America https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/20/dsac-j20.html

Share of Workers in Unions Hit Low in 2022, But Number of Unionized Workers Grew https://truthout.org/articles/share-of-workers-in-unions-hit-low-in-2022-but-number-of-unionized-workers-grew/
The WEF's Diabolical Plans To Control Your Life (video)
World Economic Forum’s global risk report: A devastating picture of the capitalist crisis https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/19/gwug-j19.html
How Title Lenders Trap Poor Americans in Debt With Triple-Digit Interest Rates  https://www.propublica.org/article/title-lenders-trap-georgia-residents-in-debt

Richest 1% Took 2/3rds of Global Wealth Since 2020 – Twice as Much as 99% of Population Earned  https://scheerpost.com/2023/01/19/richest-1-took-2-3rds-of-global-wealth-since-2020-twice-as-much-as-99-of-population-earned/

True Priorities of the Global Elite https://popular.info/p/the-true-priorities-of-the-global

Oxfam report documents “explosion of inequality” during pandemic  https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/17/mufg-j17.html

Oxfam: Social inequality and poverty soaring in Australia

As Income Inequality Skyrockets, the Rich Are Paying Less Into Social Security  https://truthout.org/articles/as-income-inequality-skyrockets-the-rich-are-paying-less-into-social-security
Economic Justice Coalition Launches ‘Full Employment For All’ Campaign https://popularresistance.org/economic-justice-coalition-launches-full-employment-for-all-campaign-on-mlk-day/


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Monday, January 16, 2023

Protesting Evil (Be The Peace)

Protesting Evil 

(Be The Peace)

by C.A. Matthews

The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government. I cannot be silent. —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967

It’s time to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this week/month in the US. What that really means to our non-American readers is that we’ve decided to take a decent human being who spoke out boldly and straightforwardly against our corrupt socio-economic system, our endless wars for profit, and the bloodthirsty quest for Western world domination, and instead turned him into a kindly, saint-like person without teeth in order to make him totally acceptable to the rich (that is, white) and powerful elites who actually run this country. (See last week’s blog Who’s Really In Charge to see what I mean about who are actually running things. They’re probably running things in your country as well. Sorry.)

Let’s listen to Dr. King’s own words rather than the words of others who might want to “tone him down” so his legacy becomes more palatable to the powerful elites who wanted King dead (and possibly even pulled the trigger on him) in the first place. 

First off, Dr. King didn’t approve of war in any way, shape, or form. Conventional and nuclear warfare were both not to his liking, so I feel certain that he wouldn’t approve of our current $858 billion military budget. He wouldn’t have approved of the ridiculous warmongering propaganda we’re all being subjected to day and night by corporation-owned journalists, either. The following excerpts are what MLK said then and would say to us again today.

From Beyond Vietnam—A Time To Break Silence (April 4, 1967) https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men -- for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Some of you are shaking your heads at this point. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t hate the Communists and love his country, right or wrong, more than he hated the war in Vietnam? He didn’t patriotically rally the troops to go off to their deaths so the military industrial complex could make more profits? It seems not. MLK also said in the same speech:

Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them… This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

I’m going to step out on a limb here (because I’m fairly certain some propagandist will try to link MLK to promoting the Ukraine War) and say that Dr. King most certainly wouldn’t have approved of the US and NATO violating the Minsk Agreements and vilifying the Russian-speaking peoples of the Donbass region and their wish for independence. He would have been supportive of a negotiated peace. His words say it clearly: 

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition. (...)

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak of the -- for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

Dr. King even ties together how war costs not only the country being bombed and shelled, but it also costs the poor of the country doing the bombing, in this case the US. Poor Americans were being actively drafted into the military in the 1960s and nowadays are enticed into joining in order to provide for themselves and their families. Sixty years on, nothing much has changed as many Americans are forced into becoming soldiers for purely economic reasons. For the poor it’s either risk death killing strangers abroad or risk death by starvation at home. MLK didn’t believe either choice was a good or moral one. 

Dr. King also states in no uncertain terms that the initiative to stop war is ours. It’s ours—not another country’s choice. We can’t keep acting like cowards. The US can tell NATO that it’s time to halt the violence in Ukraine and help all those concerned to sit down at the negotiation table and work toward a peace deal acceptable to all. The US can stop funding coups d’etats and CIA plots to overthrow governments who aren’t “friendly enough” to our corporations and billionaire businessmen. In other words, MLK  wouldn’t have recognized the non-elected Juan Guaido or approved of the CIA's help to overthrow Peru’s Pedro Castillo. Dr. King supported revolutionaries in search of peace and a better life for the oppressed:

In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.

Decades have passed and the same countries are still being used for ill by the US. Dr. King certainly didn’t approve of cultural chauvinism and America’s “economic hitmen”:

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

All this being said, Dr. King actually thought more highly of Americans and what they could do than we think of ourselves:

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

So, why does the US celebrate a man of peace each January, a man who strongly spoke out against the immorality of war and poverty, if we don’t believe in his vision for America and the world? Why would our so-called leaders think Dr. King would support their continuing covert and overt conflicts throughout the world simply for the sake of making arms manufacturers, bankers, Big Oil CEOs, and other related parasites even wealthier? MLK thought Americans were much better than this, much more capable of acting nobly rather than simply acting like profit-chasing narcissists:

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

Substitute "Ukraine" for "Vietnam" and re-read this paragraph.

Americans really need to ask ourselves some deep questions. Either we truly believe and agree with what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said or we don’t. If we do, we’ll stop all the horrible violence we perpetuate in the world and defund our military and our militarized police forces forthwith. We’ll dismantle our nuclear warheads and offer recompense to those we have harmed, both at home and abroad.

If we don’t believe in what Dr. King said, then we need to stop sullying the shining memory of such a great man with this charade of a national holiday. We don’t deserve him as a cultural icon. RIP Martin.

Where do you stand? Are you protesting the evil you see in the world as Dr. King instructed or are you cooperating with it? Let MLK’s words touch your heart and motivate you toward a positive direction. 

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. (…)

And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when "justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."
Which side are you on? Which side should you be on? Move there. Today. Be the peace.

Related links:

The Forgotten Socialist History of Martin Luther King Jr. https://inthesetimes.com/article/martin-luther-king-jr-day-socialism-capitalism

The 11 Most Anti-Capitalist Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. https://scheerpost.com/2023/01/16/the-11-most-anti-capitalist-quotes-from-martin-luther-king-jr/

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Who's Really In Charge?

Capitalism functions very efficiently without democracy. --Chris Hedges

You'll never stop depraved agendas as long as propagandists can manipulate a critical mass of people into consenting to those agendas. Propaganda is enemy #1. --Caitlin Johnstone

Who’s Really In Charge?

by C.A. Matthews

Americans worry about a lot of things that they have no control over. They also worry a lot about other people of whom they have no control over.

One recent example of this excessive worrying for naught can be seen in the numerous attempts to elect a Speaker of the House of Representatives. In the end, will it really matter to you personally who’s put into that position? Be honest with yourself. If the Speaker is either a Republican or a Democrat, then it won’t make much of a difference to you and yours, assuming you’re a member of the bottom 90% of Americans, a.k.a. the “working class.” Your life will continue along similar lines tomorrow as it did today no matter who is made Speaker.

Don’t believe me? Read our end of the year review The Year Nothing Fundamentally Changed—Again. The federal minimum wage hasn’t changed. COVID-19 is still spreading, and we still don’t have universal health care in the US. The migrant kids are still in cages. The hideous Title 42 and “Remain in Mexico” anti-asylum policies are still being enforced. Cops are still shooting people of color at an alarming rate and not reporting all of these shootings. There were only 12 days in 2022 where a police officer did not shoot someone in the US. Twelve whole days working class Americans didn’t receive a phone call telling them about the police killing one of our loved ones.

Looking at how things remained the same or worsened for the working class or bottom 90% of Americans, one could come to the conclusion that no real change occurs whenever a member of either faction of the corporate uniparty (a.k.a. “the duopoly”) sits in that top seat in the House of Representatives or the White House. Both “major parties” accept (some say they demand) corporate cash through various lobbying organizations and PACs or political action committees. PACs are a fantastically clever way to hide “dark money” or money that no one knows where it comes from. It could come from a foreigner, gangster, or banker—which could all be the same person

“Who cares where it comes from?” say American politicians. “Our bank accounts certainly don't!”

It has become apparent in recent times that politicians are essentially being hired to do the bidding of those who have given them the biggest checks. And they don’t seem to have any moral qualms about accepting money with strings attached, since they are often rewarded with big book deals and swanky board memberships with perks upon retiring from office.

So, who’s really in charge? It’s easy. Follow the money.

“It can’t be that simple!” some of you are screaming at this point. “Just because politicians accept huge sums of cash from PACs, corporations, and lobbying groups for corporations, it doesn’t mean they’re simply puppets for those who paid them that money.”

Are you certain about that? The infamous “Princeton Study” demonstrates that American politicians only listen to and do the bidding of those who give them the most money. That excludes those of us at the bottom. Unless you’ve been giving a politician regular sums—very large sums—of cash, the statistics prove what you as an ordinary American worker have to say to that politician is of no consequence whatsoever. They will do as their real bosses, the corporations, tell them to do anyway.

Face it—money is speech. Corporations are people. The US Supreme Court deemed it so in the oddly named Citizens United case. Since Citizens United became law in 2010, money has been firmly equated to speech in political realms. Until the law is repealed, corporations will continue to be the richest and most influential of all people in the United States of America.

Americans have really got to stop worrying about who won this or that election like it’s somehow going to be the end of the world if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. If the race is “won” by either a Republican or Democrat, we poor folks of the working class have essentially lost out to the fat cats of the corporations. We have no control to begin with since we don’t have the billions of dollars needed to buy that candidate’s allegiance, and now that the corporate-owned candidate is in office, the Princeton Study tells us that they'll completely stop listening to us.

Game over. The billionaire CEOs won the contest right out of the starting gate.

If you’re starting to feel anxious because you realize now that we little guys can never have the control over our destinies that we desire under this corrupt political-economic system, take a deep breath. Let’s repeat the Serenity Prayer together:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It’s time now to get wise and learn about the things we can change.

The real power on this planet is wielded not by so-called “elected officials,” but by those who run the massive corporations, most of them multinationals. (Yes, other countries are in the grips of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Big Chemical, and the like, too. May Americans take some small comfort in the fact we aren’t the only humans on the planet being screwed over by billionaires.) 

But what are these corporations’ motives for co-opting our governments? Let’s follow one particular money trail to see what’s happening.

The US spent over $858 billion dollars in military spending this past year. Possibly it was closer to $1 trillion dollars (that’s trillion with a “t” not a “b”), but we may never know the exact amount since the Department of Defense has never passed any of its audits in the past five years since they first started doing them. Plus, most experts count money that is credited to other agencies like the Department of Energy as being part of the US military spending as well, because money that goes toward nuclear power includes the making of radioactive materials to construct nuclear warheads for bombs. The total sum going towards the manufacturing, perfecting, maintaining, storing, and then using of these weapons is probably unknowable in any given year. It’s mind-boggling how great a bookkeeper’s nightmare the US DoD accounting system is and how confusing the actual costs of hidden expenditures (such as nuclear bombs) are.

Is this done on purpose or by accident? You tell me. The CEOs of the military industrial complex that gladly accept US taxpayers’ money don’t discuss it with us—and why should they? It’s their money in their opinion, and it’s their puppets who are foisted upon the American voters every election via a really cool trick called propaganda.

I’m certain you’ve been a victim of propaganda before. The US is well known for its propaganda tactics. If you have ever been told that you had to vote for Blue Candidate because Red Candidate is the devil himself and Blue is marginally better because he doesn’t have a Twitter account, then you’ve probably been a victim of propaganda. Because when the truth is revealed, the voters will discover that both Blue and Red accepted large sums of cash from the very same corporations. The corporations tricked you into thinking somehow these two candidates were actually different when the only meaningful differences were superficial ones.

Taxpayers’ money keeps flowing into the coffers of the military industrial complex. Corporations such as Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the like made record profits in 2022. And why is that? Could it be something to do with whatever particular Red or Blue person is in office? Or could it simply be because the US political-economic system is set up to allow our tax money to continually flow into the coffers of military industrial complex machine because corporations in reality own and run our government?

I go with the second conclusion. Why? US government policy toward private corporations hasn’t changed in any significant way since the last century (except to collude more closely with them), so whoever holds office is immaterial. But I’ve analyzed the proxy war propaganda over the past year and concluded that if ordinary Americans actually understood how the Minsk Agreements were violated by the US and NATO in order to start another endless war to generate even more business for the arms manufacturers, investment firms like BlackRock, and Big Oil/LNG, they would have never been supportive of throwing billions of dollars worth of weapons into the hands of a corrupt political puppet whose name appears in the Pandora Papers over and over again.

The U.S. power alliance could very easily have prevented this war with a few low-cost concessions like enshrining Ukrainian neutrality, rolling back its war machinery from Russia’s borders and sincerely pursuing detente with Moscow instead of shredding treaties and ramping up Cold War escalations--Caitlin Johnstone, Unprovoked!

Read Caitlin's entire article and click on the links. It's amazing how clear you see things when you blow the dust of propaganda away. Feel better? Let’s repeat the last line of the Serenity Prayer together:

And the wisdom to know the difference.

It’s time to wise up to how you’ve been played. The system is rigged against you if you’re a working class American, in the bottom 90%. The politicians/puppets use propaganda and lies to make you feel like you have some modicum of control when, in reality, you don’t. The corporations of the military industrial complex and Big Oil are pulling the strings and reaping the monetary benefits from sanctions and endless wars that starve, kill, and maim our fellow workers in far away places. The corporations don’t care how blood-stained the reputation of the US becomes as long as they continue to profit from it.

Now that you’re wiser, it’s time to start building up your courage to fight back against these inhuman injustices like the civil rights activists of the 1950s and 60s did. You're going to speak out boldly like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did, even if does cost you dearly because you know our children deserve better.

You're going to fight like hell for the positive change you want to see. You have to in order to exert some control over what goes on in this world. Stand up so that ordinary, working class, little guys like yourself don’t keep getting lied to and hurt by sociopathic CEOs who will never have our best interests at heart. You realize now to sit on the sidelines and let the corporations win is to sign your own death sentence.

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