Yesterday, I was thinking about Revolution in general terms: what it means, what might be the goal of a modern revolution, what tools we have to hand. Today I am thinking we need to break it down a little smaller. Recently, I was arguing with a friend about whether ideology or action are more important in implementing change. His contention was that it is always an event which galvanizes the people and sets them in motion. My point was that while there is always a particular event to spark things off, those events could come and go unnoticed if there were not already an ideology in place which has a significant portion of the people at a mental tipping point. As I said to him, Rosa Parks did not just get on a bus one day and start the civil rights movement. Enough people were already caught up in the idea that classifying people according to the color of their skin is unjust that her simple action touched off massive change.
So, going back to my previous thoughts on the subject, we have already in the United States a significant number of people who feel that the current government is corrupt and dangerous to them in a very direct way (and this is important, because most people will not act until it effects them personally). Unfortunately, not enough people seem to realize that the real danger is not in higher taxes or the possible disappearance of Social Security, but in the fact that our government holds greater allegiance to corporations than it does to individual people. Consider, for example, this letter, which I read yesterday. It’s an open letter to Hillary Clinton, but the relevant part is the long (and referenced) list of ties between President Bill Clinton and corporations such as Monsanto and Tyson, and the obvious impact those connections have had on United States law and policy. And really, once you start digging, this stuff is everywhere. Our health, our wealth, and our freedom are being compromised in every department of government, simply because we have less clout than the corporations. And it absoloutely will not change, as long as people don’t know about it and allow the government to operate secretly.
So what to do? The first thing we have to do is get more people to understand what is happening. Here on the Internet, conspiracy theories abound, and as a result far too many people choose to believe that any criticism of the government is unfounded. What’s wrong with lobbyists, you know, since we live in a capitalist country and the lobbyists merely represent ordinary people who have worked hard and have a right to protect their interests? Except, of course, that corporations are not people, and their interests are not necessarily our interests. Consider the example above, of the policies put in place to protect Monsanto’s marketing of a certain growth hormone for cows. Even with reports coming in that this product was killing cows and potentially dangerous to humans, our government decided it was unnecessary for there to be any sort of warning on the milk we consumed. They went so far as to prevent companies not using the hormone from declaring as much on their labels. So I don’t know what “ordinary people” Monsanto is supposed to represent, but it’s not me and I rather imagine it’s not you. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s just government as usual in the United States. But the government here was never supposed to be controlled by a tiny minority, and it’s far past time we took it back.
Information, marketed every way we can manage, until we get past the “conspiracy theory” threshold. Until enough people realize the actual problem to be outraged and infuriated and ready to do something about it. Every single person reading this can contribute to the solution, can go out and write something somewhere which chips away at the willful ignorance just a little bit more. Pick any government office you like, and start following the trail back to whose pocketbook is benefiting from their policies. It’s never “we the people”. Put a name to it and start letting people know. It doesn’t cost any one of us anything but a few minutes of our time, but as a collective all our individual voices add up to spread a greater ideology which can inspire change which is truly meaningful.