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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/8/11

We Can No Longer Remain Passive and Indifferent, It is Time for Collective Action

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Message Dave Lefcourt
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Just where is the collective unity of purpose in this country?

The last time that occurred was during the dark days of W.W. II when the country united against the imperial powers of Japan and Hitler's Germany.

On the home front rationing of gas and food staples were accepted willingly. Industry was directed toward the war effort, car manufacturers built tanks and ships, scrap metal was a national undertaking while women went to work in the factories. There was collective sacrifice.

In Congress, before Harry Truman was elected Vice President in 1944, he was a Senator from Missouri and chairman of the wartime "Truman Committee", a U.S. Senate Special Committee that investigated the National Defense Program of war contracts fighting waste and mismanagement in the war effort that saved $ 15 billion. It was mostly his committee and his efforts that exposed the corporatists who would use the war effort for personal gain.

Such action in Congress today seems unthinkable, something quaint from a bygone era. Today the Congress is all but owned lock stock and barrel and in bed with the corporatists they are beholden to.

Even when a Goldman Sachs or a Bank of America is investigated for fraud allegations they get slapped on the wrists, fined millions in plea bargain agreements which is a mere pittance considering the billions these banksters gained in unregulated derivatives and credit default swaps. And significantly, few of the perpetrators face jail time. In the rare instances outrageous fraud by individuals is exposed, they are cast as scapegoats, lone mavericks who ventured off the reservation and got caught rather than examples of what is commonplace and endemic in the industry. Where is the real justice in that?

Meanwhile as millions suffer unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy as a result of the excesses committed by the financial "masters of the universe", the latter get bailed out and made whole again so they can reengage in their unholy practice of handing out outrageous bonuses to the perpetrators in their employ (which reflects the continuing power and control they maintain over the country).

In light of such dastardly "practices" and other injustices committed against the people, in some areas of the country, there are pockets of resistance and collective action taking place. Most notably in Wisconsin, where police and firefighters have joined teachers and public employee union members in defying the destructive union busting and collective bargaining tactics of an autocratic Governor Scott Walker and his band of corporate backed Republicans in the state senate. In that state besides the demonstrations in the capital, there are recall petitions and successful court actions that have slowed the governors "scorched earth" policies intending to cripple the states public institutions i.e. public schools, libraries, state colleges and universities, fire and police department's et al in favor of corporatizing these public institutions.

But Wisconsin represents a microcosm of what needs to happen across the country, yet thus far has failed to capture the hearts and minds of most of their brethren in other states. To be sure there have been attempts of solidarity by public service unionists and their supporters in other states but these actions have been sporadic and short lived.

To this observer, by and large, passivity and indifference remains the norm across the country. This lack of collective action by people makes them enablers to the corporatists and the sycophant office holders they bankroll. Left unchecked and unopposed these oligarchic and plutocratic forces are fast destroying the foundations of our freedom and democracy.

Too many Americans seem to take their freedom for granted as some god given right they are entitled to, that they are somehow Teflon coated and immune from the forces that have destroyed the lives of many others less fortunate. They fail to realize if these corporate, plutocratic forces remain unchecked they too will be engulfed in the eddy they seem oblivious to.                     

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