by Michael Schultz
There are some hard truths that we must swallow in order to be free of some of the shared illusions that have infiltrated our subconscious and unconscious minds. In this short essay, I’ll be expressing some of these truths. Once Occupy has fully swallowed these hard truths, they can be spread out to more and more people, and the energy released from the process of dispelling these illusions will be the fuel of rapid change. Each of these illusions are detrimental to the process of Occupy moving forward. None of these illusions will be dispelled by the major media, as these illusions benefit the corporate owners of our media.
Truth #1 – America is an Empire
Many of us within the movement are already aware that this is the case, but the illusion that we are a shining light to the world has been taught to us from the depths of childhood. Many of us believe that we are still living in an imperfect democracy. The truth is that after World War Two, the US became the main imperial power on the planet. We set up our military bases all across the world and enforced our will on other countries through the threat or the use of force. The majority of the wars we’ve been involved in since World War Two have been blatantly imperialistic. The Vietnamese War, the Wars in the Middle East, even the Cold War was a war between two emergent imperial powers.
When Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, he was warning us about our rise to imperial power and the potential pitfalls of this path to freedom and democracy. The reality is that there have been moments where the logic of Empire was challenged, such as during the 60’s, but the reality is that the media was able to continue to call us the “greatest democracy” in the world. The “War on Terror” was the final nail in the coffin of democracy. The Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act, and more recently the NDAA were the final nails in the coffin of a democratic republic based on founding principles of liberty and justice for all. In an Empire, the rights you have are the rights you’re given.
In most parts of the world, there is no need to debate whether America is an Empire. It is known.
Truth #2 – America is a Plutocracy
Plutocracy means “rule by the wealthy”, and for most people involved in Occupy, this is no surprise. In fact, the entire idea of the 99% and the 1% exposes this Plutocracy. The reality is that our entire system of monetary-market capitalism is geared towards enriching those at the top and allowing those at the top to accumulate more and more of the shared resources of the Earth and then to distribute those resources as they see fit. If you understand how hierarchies work, you can understand how a relatively small group of people can control the flow of information and manage the masses without being seen doing so.
The basic corporate structure is a dominance hierarchy. The CEO is at the top of the pyramid and controls those below. This structure is the main structure that both permeates and maintains the economic system as it stands. What’s interesting is that the people at the top of the pyramids talk to each other and map out their moves in advance. The elite meet often, behind closed doors and work to maintain the power and control that they have acquired, and they work together to do so. At the top, they work together laterally. The question is, “how do we maintain our dominance of the world’s people and resources?” Then they plan out the action. Action can be a legislative agenda, a war, an economic slump, and almost anything else they can think of.
The only way that the Plutocracy can maintain their incredibly inequitable power is by consciously dis-empowering the people.
Truth #3 – The “War on Terror” is a trick
Not only is the War on Terror a trick, but we fell for it hook, line and sinker. The Plutocracy knew that the resource depletion they helped to move forward through the cycle of consumption would lead to major crisis all around the world. They knew this well before it started to become evident. In order to justify in the public mind wars based on controlling the key resource of oil in the industrial economy, they had to rally the public against an enemy. That enemy was Muslims, whom in a predominantly-Christian country made an easy target,
September 11th was the most horrific example of elite staging of events in world history so far. We have never been told the truth about this event and the official explanations can be discounted based on high school level physics. The lie was defended fiercely, and anyone who questioned the “official” truth was made to suffer for their dedication to truth. It was easy to get the public to enforce this official “truth” because people did not want to believe that their government could be complicit in such a horrendous act.
The World Trade Center was a means to the end of the “War on Terror”. The goal of the “War on Terror”, was to get us as a public very scared so that we would make terrible decisions. We projected our fear and hatred onto the official “enemies”, which turned out to be two countries critical to our continued imperial dominance. But this is not the worst part of the “War on Terror”. The worst part is what comes next, as the government is working to redefine “terrorists” as anyone who is against the system continuing as it is currently. This redefinition is aimed at getting us so scared of our neighbors that we’ll allow the imprisonment of those whose only crime is standing against a system based on inequality, resource depletion, and elite control.
Truth #4 – The Plutocracy is existentially threatened by the global uprising
The reason the Plutocracy is threatened is simple. They are having their corruption exposed on all levels. Through internet technology, social media, and heightened forms of lateral communication, the tools for the liberation of the people are in our grasp. The collective community empowerment of the public, armed with knowledge of the Plutocracy and no longer willing to sit back and take the abuse of the Plutocracy are rising up all around the world. This rising up is an amazing opportunity of the people to create a new ground level system that is not dependent on the Plutocracy in order to thrive.
To take this step collectively will basically put the Plutocracy out of power. The responsibility of Occupy and other social movements is to begin to build the structures that will hold us up as a community when the system begins failing. If we can take care of our own needs locally, and collectively take responsibility for each other, the people win. In order to avoid this eventuality, the Plutocracy will do everything within their power to suppress and repress this drive for freedom and community interdependence. That’s why it’s very likely that the repression will turn more and more overt in the coming years.
When you live in an Empire, ruled by a scared Plutocracy that is willing to kill it’s own citizens to maintain their power, it is important that it is understood. Once the illusions are removed, and the mourning is done, the work must begin. I’ll be honest, I don’t think fighting the Plutocracy directly is going to help. I think that through our community centered actions in our own communities, we can make those power-hungry bastards irrelevant. Our biggest weakness as a people is our food supply. I urge everyone to plant a few seeds that will bear fruits and vegetables this planting season. Building a city-wide garden is the most revolutionary act in which we can be involved.