Personally, I consider the US to be the most corrupt country in world history, if only by virtue of sheer scale. The corruption too often permeates our society from the very bottom of the socioeconomic scale to the highest halls of power. The corruption at the top is worse than that at the bottom because those in power cost more lives, more suffering and infinitely more money than those at the bottom.
One of the biggest problems is that corruption in the general population is frequently not seen as corruption. Supporting corruption is not seen as condemning. Vote for an elected official already known to be corrupt, follow illegal/unethical orders and people see themselves as innocent.
Many Americans claim to revere those with the strength, the spine to speak truth to power. As long as it is profitable to them, that is.
When any person finds the strength, takes the extreme risk to their own life to stand up, speak out, reveal the truth the response is immediate and predictable. Corrupt officials condemn the accuser. Corrupt media repeats the authorized condemnation word for word without question. The mindless public fails to question their own indoctrination and marches in tune to the Establishment music.
When one person or a group of people speak out against illegal and unethical warfare against other nations, the sequence is the same. Corrupt officials, in the pockets of corrupt corporations spew nonsensical gibberish about why a nation on the other side of the planet with few military resources is a threat to our domestic national security and should be invaded/attacked/sanctioned to death. The corporate media, hosting advertising for military contractors, repeat the fearmongering, making cowardly Americans shudder in their closets, begging for safety from the boogeyman they cannot see, never heard of until that day, cannot point to on a map and know absolutely nothing about.
Corruption does not have to entail overt sadism and massive profit. Corruption in the general public more often occurs as those who support domestic policies which they believe to be beneficial and profitable to they, themselves. Meanwhile ignoring policies which destroy lives in other communities, other countries. This has been the history of this country as far back as one can research. In only the past few decades we have been apathetic to wars for oil, invasion of other nations, environmental destruction (as long as it’s not in their own back yard), offshoring of jobs and more. It’s all perfectly fine as long as we get cheap goods and cheap gas.
All of that apathy has a way of creeeping up and biting us on the back. Jobs offshored leaves fewer jobs here. Cheap gas means wars to steal resources, which mean massive military budgets. Most people pay no attention until it’s too late.
Right now people are engaging in a different form of apathy which stands to have devastating consequences. The people who claim to be Progressive yet support candidates who vocalize Progressive ideas. Until you ask for details. When you read through their actual policies and policy proposals, you find they are not so Progressive at all.
The fact is, Fauxgressive voters pay attention only to what makes them feel good (emotional profit) and to domestic policies from which they stand to benefit (financial gain) such as increased wages and universal healthcare. Those are great policies and goals but not when they carry the risks involved in other areas.
A federal jobs guarantee is not a guarantee of a federal job. In fact, most likely not. Instead, it subsidizes the very corporations which Fauxgressive candidates claim to oppose. The workers would be paid with federal money, taxpayers pick up the debt, while the corporation profits from free labor. I also pointed out that what starts as a job guarantee can easily morph into a job mandate.
Reducing the military budget does not mean ending wars. Ending wars requires a plan of action which entails diplomacy. What a lower budget would really mean would be the Pentagon buying cheaper bullets, cheaper ballistic vests while continuing multi-trillion dollar contracts. It would mean closing domestic military bases, ending tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. Just send all the troops from those bases to the Middle East. Coffins and flags are cheap.
Fauxgressives ignore the plight of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden. Ignore that their candidate makes some vague reference “seemingly” supportive of these brave souls but have never once opposed their indictments. Never once said they would pardon these heroes. They will attack Wikileaks while having never visted the website a single time in their life, fearful of what they might find.
Fauxgressive voters claim all the risks are acceptable. They are still comfortable calling themselves “Progressive”. After all, the risks involved carry consequences people in other countries will suffer. None of it will ever come back to us in their arrogant fluffed-up fantasy world. They will continue posting their memes and articles about animal rights abuses to make themselves feel compassionate while they go to the spa, drink their lattes, drive their hybrids and tune in to MSNBC or TYT. All the while ignoring the slaughter of innocent civilians in other countries. They will call themselves Revolutionaries yet risk absolutely nothing unless there is a profit in it for them directly. Never pick up a picket sign, a phone, a pen or write an email opposing warfare.
Fauxgressives will say we have to fix our own problems now and peace with other nations can wait. Just as they did for 8 years under Obama, while he expanded bombing to 5 more countries, started the “Pivot to Asia” and installed troops throughout Africa. Then massively increased military presence on the Russian border. Long as no bombs are falling on US soil (or their particular plot of US soil), it’s all good. Have another kale smoothie, complain about Trump even after he is gone. Put cucumber slices on their eyelids, take a pill and fall asleep for 4–8 more years. Then “wake up” for a few months, act like everything was perfect during that time frame, emotionally attack and insult anyone who doesn’t vote Blew No Matter Who and say everything is horrible when the next Republican takes charge.
There are those who claim to oppose power, yet when we watch and listen closely, we find they are servants to that power. They offer opinions with no names, no evidence, take no risk yet cry their voice is truthful. They offer deceptive rhetoric and policies with little substance. They have had chances to lead the battle and chose instead to follow those they claim to oppose, surrender the flag with no challenge offered. They laid down their swords and took up the banner of the enemy. Yet still claim to lead the Revolution.
When we have people who are strong enough, brave enough, have spine enough to speak truth to power, we MUST support them with everything we have. Not supporting them is surrendering to that power and giving away our rights, our lives, our humanity, our ethics, our values, our existence.
Right now we have battles raging with leaders in the fight being ignored. Snowden, Assange, Manning, Tulsi Gabbard. These are people who have taken risks, spoken out, given up power, position, freedom for the sake of truth, knowledge and transparency. Instead of following and praising these heroes, too many people offer their adoration and downright worship to false gods who promise riches which they have proven they are incapable and unwilling to fight for. Just keep donating. Dig deep and the riches of heaven will be yours. Except they won’t be.
When we have people who speak truth to power, the greatest gift we can give them or ourselves is to listen to them. To pay attention. To acknowledge truth as truth, even when it is not the truth we want. The only way we can change our reality is to see through the illusion.
True Revolution comes with risk. On the other side of that risk can be great reward but ONLY when we fight the battles to get there. When we find ourselves making excuses for leaders who did not lose but surrendered, that is not Revolution.