Freedom

Late night post, not much going on, can't hurt. Right? A little rant.
More people should take advantage of this freeform non-partisan blog and rant away. In the immortal words of an evil corporation, just do it.

So, I wrote an essay titled "There's nothing we can do about it" basically saying we can't possibly challenge the ruling class no matter what we try. No one really argued, some suggested the best we can do is work locally in our communities, deprive the corporations and big banks our money and live life to the fullest.

I started a rebuttal essay to that tonight but will finish it later. It's an antiwar essay, something I used to mostly focus on but have slacked off some to focus on oligarchy, plutocracy, democracy and revolution. I think it's time to go back to my "roots". I used to think that was the answer. Maybe it is after all.

For now, relative to giving up and allowing the ruling class to continue their ways (and I'm not accusing anyone here of that), this song comes to mind, one of my favorite performances. The level of strumming alone deserves a lot of credit. But the message, that's what it's all about. Call me corny, call me Pollyanna, call me hopelessly naïve, but don't call me late for dinner.

I think it's good we periodically remind ourselves what's important and what those before us have worked for. I know it helps me.

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Lookout's picture

...I just have been wondering if marching in the streets helps.

First the corporate media doesn't cover marches nor protests. I think back to Occupy. When they finally were forced to cover the story, Obomber moved in nationally to shut down the protest.

Secondly the militarized/privatized police are prepared. Just look at the random round up of the inauguration protestors with absurd charges...
https://www.thenation.com/article/the-prosecution-of-inauguration-day-pr...

The charges—which include felony rioting, inciting or urging others to riot, conspiracy to riot, and property destruction—all stem from the same mass arrest, during which police indiscriminately swept up protesters, journalists, and legal observers. What makes the charges all the more troubling is that prosecutors then failed to allege that the bulk of defendants did anything specifically unlawful; rather, merely being at the protest was a crime.

and the use of fake evidence...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/28/project-veritas-protesters...

As I watched the travesty at Standing Rock...every bit as horrendous as "Bloody Sunday" in Selma...with little to no public outcry...I started questioning the effectiveness of protests in this corporate country.

So I may be one of the folks you refer to -

some suggested the best we can do is work locally in our communities, deprive the corporations and big banks our money and live life to the fullest.

...because I don't see an option. I look forward to your insights on an effective strategy to end our insane wars, invest in people, and protect the planet. Peace my friend is the answer...I just don't know how to get us there.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Big Al's picture

@Lookout on what an antiwar and anti-imperialism movement could be as well as a revolution. No offense, but I've seen over and over where people automatically assume a revolution and/or an antiwar movement is all about street protests and violence. I don't think that has to be the case, actually it can't be the case or we will not be successful. We have to find a way to organize the voices out there who can't walk in the streets or travel to Washington D.C.

Relative to working locally, nothing wrong with walking and chewing gum at the same time, I'm not denigrating those efforts at all. But we need more than that, in my opinion, to stop the criminal class from killing and starving people and stealing all the wealth and to change the way we're governed at the national level.

As I've said many times, if we can organize twenty million people to vote for a politician, why can't we organize twenty million people to oppose war and oligarchy?

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That is to say, we need a national peace and justice movement AND we need to be not feeding the beast in our own spending whenever possible AND we need to take back our local govts. That last is hard, much harder than turning out for demonstrations, which is why the Dems. mostly don't want to bother.

I also have been wondering about the efficacy of public protest as a tactic. Now, there are so many of them, no one really pays much attention.

I do think that carefully thought out consumer boycotts can be quite effective. Remember the grape boycott? It is easy in retrospect to sneer at limousine liberals giving up, wait for it..taable grapes. Wow, what a sacrifice! Like, man, they had to make their salads out of melon balls instead of grapes. That boycott was effective BECAUSE it was easy, and by being easy, it exposed the fragile underpinnings of corporate success. If people don't buy your product, you don't make any money.

Present day boycott of GMO containing foods is mostly informal, not at all nationally coordinated, but is showing some successes. The powers of darkness, mostly from the Dumb Party I am sorry to say, can fly in and take over and sabotage an iniative campaign, but they can't--yet--control people's buying decisions.

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Nastarana

riverlover's picture

@Nastarana I have been doing that for years. Would roaming guerilla hits (boycotts) be more effective? Or will PTB just turn around and punish the underlings?

I think we are all at wit's end. If the internet is hobbled and up-priced that mode of communication may fail.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

@riverlover Plywood, OSB and building materials have doubled in price. Gotta rebuild Texas and Florida, shortage, you know. The Kochs are cleaning up $ wise.

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Big Al's picture

@Nastarana rampant wealth inequality, the decimation of the middle class and the continued automation (robots are coming) of the workplace is that they, the ruling class and their corporations, simply don't need a good percentage of us anymore.

Check out some of the commercials on TV selling cars or houses and you'll see things 70% of the public can't even contemplate affording. Hell, I went to a fast food place the other day to get a burger and saw they were all 5-8 bucks, for a burger. At a fast food place. I drove right on out without a burger.
So even targeted boycotts against the corporations are getting harder to get results from in this global capitalist system. They just don't give a shit.

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Big Al's picture

@Big Al pizza shop telling them I was boycotting Papa John's because the billionaire owner was a narcissistic, Trump supporting (go figure), white nationalist asshole. This was after "John" had come out against the NFL flag protests and said a few things I can't recall right now.

The owner came back with lengthy response explaining how his store was actually a locally owned independent business and that John the billionaire did not represent him, how his business was involved in local community efforts like Little League, Kiwanas, etc., giving money and time back to the community. All that. It was a pretty good reply.

After thinking about that, I responded back that I appreciated his response and understood his point of view but in the end, the name Papa John's was on his store. So sorry, I ain't buying any of your pizza.

I got to thinking about that too. I thought about how in geopolitical warfare, nations, especially our own, use sanctions to punish the regular people to try to get to the ruling elite or government. Like the sanctions against Iraq in the 90's that killed half a million children. So I wondered that by boycotting this local Papa John's store (which I wouldn't go to anyway probably because I'm not big on fast food pizza), am I just hurting the regular people without having an impact on the primary target? Maybe yes and no, but it's a moral and ethical question we should consider when boycotting.

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Meteor Man's picture

@Big Al

am I just hurting the regular people without having an impact on the primary target? Maybe yes and no, but it's a moral and ethical question we should consider when boycotting.

Outstanding topic and conversation. I agree with every comment in the thread and this one is a poignant insight. Every single Walmart, Amazon and fast food worker knows they are being screwed. What can they do about it. Fight For $15 was a well organized and widespread protest that the media & PTB ignored, because they control all the levers of power and information.

All I can suggest is that we never surrender to frustration and fatigue. Things will get worse. The crisis will spread. Our numbers will grow.

Maybe the sheer mass of people fighting back in every way possible will turn things around before The Empire collapses and maybe it won't.

As for me and the good people here at c99p, we can stand tall and go to our final resting place saying we fought the good fight and did everything we could to save the planet and preserve civilization.

Long story short, keep on keeping on.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Meteor Man mostly for cat food as they are pretty much always going to have it when other stores are out of it. Every time I'm in there I wrestle with this particular dilemma - yes, I'm feeding WalMart's bottom line but I'm also helping people keep their jobs.

That said, I do try to limit my WalMart shopping as much as possible. I had not been in one for years before checking out the cat food when I had to. I have a cat that will only eat one kind, period, no variance involved, so I've had to use WalMart every once in a while.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

@Meteor Man where did people have jobs?

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Nastarana

Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

@Big Al Yes the Papa John's may be a locally owned franchise...

However,

With Franchises you have to realize that you assume both advantages and disadvantages of the Franchise Parent.

You gain things such as name recognition, a formula for doing business that has a familiar menu and tastes recognized at every location, and in many cases a reasonable expectation of success based on other outlets record...

The Liability Occurs when an Idiot Parent Company Owner opens his stupid mouth and diminishes the reputation of the brand bringing in his/her divisive political or religious stances to the forefront where they can diminish the value of the Franchise Owner's Investment.

This has happened with Chick Fil A and Papa John's in recent memory...

One of the Cardinal Rules of business is to not have a visible position on anything to do with politics or religion, any position you have on ether of those subjects is liable to alienate 50% of your potential customers...

I'm here to serve my customer needs regardless of whether they are having a gay wedding and serving pizza, want to buy birth control, are an atheist, or have republican family values...

If a Parent Franchise Company Owner takes a position that diminishes the value of someone's franchise investment they should sue the company owner for damages brought on by their negligence...

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"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

@Big Al I had the same thing happen recently at a Wendy's, my wife and I each ordered one of their "Numbered Meals" and I listened to the total before swiping my card...

What?

Are you out of your phucking mind? It's fast food, burger, fries, and cokes...

Nevermind!

We then went down the street to a Greek Diner and had 2 of their daily specials for about the same amount, and it tasted a whole lot better...

nicks specials.jpg

What the hell was the matter with me thinking a large corporation had something to offer?
When did fast food stop being cheap food?

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"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
detroitmechworks's picture

Sometimes you need to have a public internet opinion, and a private offline opinion.

Which Is why I state fully that I am opposed to all kinds of violence, any attempts to interfere with the capability of the US to wage war, and encouraging young people to avoid service or the upcoming draft.

Support the Troops! Our Country Right Or Wrong, and Russia, Russia, Russia!

/Snark

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.