#3 DON'T FEED THE BEAST: First rule in conflict is not to help your opponent
99.9% of the world's population is being systematically impoverished by Greed Trade and Casino Economics. The weapon being used to enslave us is a monetary system based on debt and compound interest. Our oppressor is not human - it is a monstrosity that has been given all the rights of a human but it is not daunted by human compassion nor morals. It exists for one purpose - profit. All those things that we hold in high regard: love; life; beauty; peace; are of no consequence to this single-minded monster. Our existence is tolerated for one purpose - to feed the beast as consumers.
Ah, but you protest, because it is human beings, after all, who create and run corporations. Human beings are on the board of directors. Human beings make the laws that keep these monsters in check. And unfortunately, human beings are susceptible to the siren songs of greed and power. We have reached a tipping point where the same elite clique of unabashedly evil "human beings" sit on the boards of an increasingly consolidated group of global corporations.
Money is the manna of our oppressors. And debt is their dessert! Every time we borrow money we are feeding a system designed to keep us enslaved. It starts the moment our kids reach the threshold of adulthood and take out student loans for college - loans that can never be forgiven, no matter what, even in bankruptcy. Think about it - our taxes bailed out the banksters but our kids can't get bailed out even if they can't find a job- any job, after going into hock to get an education.
The only way we can keep the banksters at bay is to opt out of their debt ponzi scheme. Here's a few steps you can take:
- Get out of debt.
This is going to be difficult, if not impossible, if you are like most
middle class Americans struggling just to make ends meet. Add up how
much money you pay in interest every year and think about how much
easier it would be of you didn't have to just give that money away to
the banksters. That should motivate you to try step 2.
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- Don't spend money on anything you don't really need.
We are constantly being bombarded with messages to hand over our money
to the banksters. How much are you spending every month on web access on
your cell phone? Do you really need to upgrade your car, computer,
house or (fill in the blank?). Stay out of malls, big-box stores and
supermarkets and any place that is designed to get you to spend money
impulsively. That includes TV shopping channels and online stores. If
you really need something, check to see if you can find it in a thrift
store first. Buy your food as close to the raw ingredients as possible,
and with the least amount of packaging or branding so you are not paying
for the marketing. Check out your farmer's market and food co-op- even
if prices seem a little higher, you are supporting your local economy
instead of a factory-farm in China.
- Get out of the stock market.
If you still have money in the stock market, ask yourself why you are
continuing to feed the hand that is choking you. People ask me, "Where
should I invest my money?" Do you have family or friends who are
struggling to pay off high interest debts? Some credit cards are
charging as much as 30% interest! Yes, it's risky to lend money to
friends and family, but in comparison to the shellacking' the banksters
have in store for small investors, I'd put my money on family. Many
cultures have been doing this for generations and it brings up the
standard of living for the group. Imagine what a difference it would
make if you earned 6% interest on a loan to a family member so they can
pay off a 30% credit card. Everyone benefits except the banksters. Just
make sure you stipulate that they have to cancel the credit card as part
of the deal.
- Stop banking with banks. If you
have a bank account in any of the big bankster banks, you are a
frontline beast feeder! Get out of there! There are many local credit
unions that offer most of the same services as commercial banks and it
takes only a small effort to make the switch. Most credit unions will
also serve business accounts.
- Invest in your community.
These days, when money is tight, it's difficult for many of us to
donate money to organizations and non-profits are feeling the pinch.
It's worth doing some research before deciding where to contribute your
money. I know I'm going to catch flack for this, but I'm a cancer
survivor so I have a right to say it- think about where the money is
going when you donate to a cancer cure organization. Do you really want
to help fund pharmaceutical research departments when they are making
phenomenal profits that they use to lobby Congress to keep regulations
in check? Wouldn't your donation be better on a local group that helps
poor people with terminal illnesses?
- Give the gift of your time and attention. As
another holiday season draws to a close, I'd like to suggest that we
take consumerism out of Christmas. How did it happen that we have been
convinced that we must buy stuff for everyone every year? Most gifts
that are given are absolutely not needed by the recipient. We've bought
into a "gimme gimme gimme" culture and we're passing it on to our
children. We collectively agree to pretend that a mythical fat man is
going to bring our children a bunch of stuff that they've been
hypnotized into wanting, when in reality parents feel obligated go into
debt every year to buy this stuff because, if they don't, somehow their
kids are going to be traumatized! Stop letting Madison Avenue bully you!
Instead of rushing around to the mall trying to figure out what sh*t
you can buy your relatives, write them a letter, a REAL letter on pretty
paper, that tells them how much you love them. Twenty years from now
they will still slip that note out of its envelope and read it and feel
loved. Or invite your friend over for lunch and make a big pot of
homemade soup with enough that they can take a jar home with them so it
will fill their home with a delicious aroma so much better than a
- Down size. Have you ever
visited a friend who just bought a very big house and noticed that the
rooms seem empty? Then you visit them a few months later and everything
is beautifully decorated and fully furnished. Whether or not they had to
go into debt to fill those rooms, odds are they don't really need all
that stuff, or all the work of keeping things looking nice. Nature
abhors a void, and so, it seems, do people. I learned this first-hand.
In 2004 I reduced my possessions down to fit in a small RV and had
everything I needed to get by. When the price of gas started to go up
and the cost of space in an RV park got higher than renting an
apartment, I sold my RV and rented a 400 sq. ft. apartment and that
seemed like plenty of room at the time. Five years and one husband later
I am renting a lovely two bedroom house and I don't know how I ever
managed for a year in that RV. The point is that we can all live with a
lot less. It might not be feasible for some people to downsize when
their mortgages are "upside-down" (higher than the value of their house)
and, in fact, many families are finding it necessary to double-up (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/us/29families.html)
in these difficult times. One way many of us can downsize is by getting
rid of everything you have in storage. Think about what it is costing
you to keep stuff you don't use. These days it's pretty easy to sell
things on Craigslist or eBay or give it away on Freecycle. if you want
to know more about the benefits of down-sizing, look up "voluntary
simplicity" on the internet or go to http://criscenzo.com/simplicity.htm.
- Start living as if peak-oil has already happened - because it has. The price of gasoline is going to continue to go up. Families are spending more and more of their income on filling up the gas tank. Don't wait until only the wealthy can buy gas to start planning your no-gas strategy. Let your local government know that this is NOT the time to be cutting back on public transportation and increasing fares. Investing money in building roads is insanity! If your family can manage on one vehicle, sell the one that uses the most gas and start monitoring how much unnecessary driving you might be doing. If you take a bike to a local farmer's market you will only be able to buy what you can take home on your bike- it really make you more conscious of what you're buying, and you'll get some exercise in the bargain. If you are looking for a place to live, be sure access to public transportation and walkability to stores, work and school are on your checklist.
These are eight "doable" suggestions. I hope you will sit down with your family and talk about them and see if you can get consensus to try at least one of these blatant acts of Compassionate Resistance. Tomorrow I will write about Suggestion #4 - Study Peace: I ain't gonna' study war no more.
Here is a poem to inspire you to stop feeding the beast!
More or Less
by Jeeni Criscenzo