By Margaret Flowers and Keven Zeese Reprinted from popularresistance.org
Chris Hedges has an important essay in Truthdig this week, Our Invisible Revolution . Essentially he describes a revolution of the mind in which people's consciousness are raised as they become aware of the inability of the current governmental and economic systems to respond to the needs of people and the planet. When this is understood, then the revolutionary changes that seemed impossible become possible. Hedges writes:
"As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse. The battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. It is a battle the corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing number of Americans are getting it."
People realize that the institutions don't work because they are experiencing the consequences.
Sandy demonstrates the dysfunction of government to address both the people's needs and climate change. As Naomi Klein wrote this week in How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt, "there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed; which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules."
Within the current rules, big business continues to build pipelines, even when experts say there is a 90% probability of a leak, and withholds information from the public, as in North Dakota where there were 750 "oil field incidents" including 300 oil spills in two years. When people stand up and protest these realities, big business spends large sums of money to stop those efforts, as big oil is doing in South Portland. Young people at the Power Shift conference experienced how the entrenched big environmental groups hold them back from saying and doing what they believe is necessary.Constituents of Georgia Senator Johnny Jackson (D) stormed his office to protest his threat to filibuster a new head of the Federal Housing and Finance Agency who might finally reduce the principal on home mortgages to real housing values. And on October 30, there were protests across the country against the major money managers, Pimco and BlackRock, who oppose principal reduction.
As families struggle to keep their homes, billionaires are trying to cut the meager social safety net that exists in the United States. It is becoming more obvious that the current system is rigged in favor of the rich. JP Morgan, who is negotiating with lawyers at the Department of Justice that used to work for them, will likely receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist. And Hillary Clinton is charging a minimum of $200,000 per speech. She spoke at two Goldman Sachs events this week raking in at least $400,000 -- ten years of work for the average American.
The Security State is Fueling the Revolt
In his essay, Hedges points out another ingredient for the growing revolt, the expanding security state. He writes that people
". . . recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. . . These truths are no longer hidden."NSA spying documents that whistleblower Edward Snowden provided to the media through Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras expose the most massive dragnet surveillance system in world history.
A protest held in Washington, DC last weekend showed that a diverse group of Americans are angry at the surveillance apparatus. Those at the rally covered the political spectrum, all racial and ethnic groups and every region of the country. And anger will continue to grow because Greenwald promises the worst is yet to come.
The Washington Post just reported that the NSA had tapped into the cloud of Google and Yahoo to gain access to hundreds of millions of personal accounts. It is not only Americans that are angry, but people around the world and world leaders are angry at being spied on. In addition to protesting, people are also developing technical solutions to block the NSA.