What would it be like if the corporate giants of campaign financing focused on environmental deregulation used all that money to actually pay resident peoples to clean up the poisonous messes? I suspect it’d be fantastic. Looking at you, Koch brothers.
If people can find it in their hearts to be moved by the plight of those who are sacrificed in health and home to the unchecked profits of the few, we may be able to turn the tide of looted lands and ravaged rivers and desecrated animals that compose areas of untenable poverty and suffering.
People of means (and not) who vote to perpetuate the current system perhaps do so out of a sense of self interest. Yet, aside from the billionaire class profiteering off mass poisonings of earth and people, none of our interests are truly being served. Even those who are comfortable in the havens of the well-to-do and like to see their stock portfolios grow, are in all likelihood deluding themselves into thinking our current climate of profitability above all can persist. Lack of opportunity stokes the rage and vitriol spewing about, having largely replaced any semblance of civic discourse that could result in solidarity of common interests. The relative security we’ve long enjoyed, as in blood is not running in the streets and our cities are not being reduced to rubble, lasts only as long as we trust one another to esteem the highest promise of this nation. Liberty and justice for All/are created Equal.
I find it akin to how we are now almost exclusively referred to as “consumers,” not citizens. As if the American Dream really is about the accumulation of disposable ephemera sourced in sweatshops by vilified “foreigners” who themselves will soon be replaced and discarded in favor of robots. It’s not paranoia, it’s automation – just the latest example of unquestioned progress. I fear that’s how the “masters of the universe” prefer it – for the many to focus on one another as enemies and thereby defuse the potential power for change that we could attempt as allies.
MLK was ready to champion the common needs of all financially and opportunistically oppressed peoples, aware that though people of color were the most obvious targets, no one was immune to the exploitative hunger of mass profiteers willing to chew up and spit out the populace at large. Once he determined to unite black, brown, and white in the struggle against the military/industrial machine (today we must include pharmaceuticals in the larger categories of plutocratic leanings, as even the degradations of agribusiness are largely linked to pharma profits), once he sought out that expanded brotherhood to stand for human dignity, that’s when he was taken from us. I’m not sure the timing was a coincidence.
I don’t think we all need be martyrs to the extent he was. Maybe we can manage the heroic work of saving this country by lesser sacrifices. Would we give up the false conveniences of cheap burgers and throwaway productions of plastic, if it meant stabilized communities and a dignified life for the many?
I suspect most of us would like that very much.