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Corrode Your Conformity

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"Big Brother Doesn't Practice Fraternal Love"

"Non-violence is a weapon of the strong."

---Mahatma Gandhi

"It is with regret that I pronounce the fatal truth: Louis ought to perish rather than a hundred thousand virtuous citizens; Louis must die that the country may live."

---Maximilien Robespierre

October 17, 2006 is a watershed date in the epic struggle between oppressors and oppressed. Events of that day undoubtedly prompted Marx and Engels to awaken from their eternal slumber and spin violently in their graves. A mere swish of the pen by a conscienceless swine effectively transferred absolute power into the hands of a relative handful of rich and powerful individuals and corporations.

Happy birthday, Big Brother!

Over two centuries ago, 25,000 intrepid souls sacrificed their lives to free the American Colonies from the clutches of a ruthless empire and to found a nation based on democratic principles. Tragically, on 10/17 the tattered remains of freedom for which American Revolutionary soldiers spilled crimson rivers were reduced to mere abstractions by a miniscule volume of ink.

How ironic that in a nation obsessed with beating ploughshares into swords, a pen was the weapon used to finalize the subjugation of the masses.

Lamentably, the American Revolution was not a final triumph for human rights and democracy. Gaining independence from Great Britain was merely one victory in the perpetual war between humanity's "haves" and "have-nots".

While many of America's revolutionaries believed they were fighting for their natural rights, there were moneyed men amongst them who simply wanted to reap the material bounty of the Colonies without paying tribute to the British Empire.

Contrary to the great American myths, all of the founding fathers were not created equal. Men like Thomas Paine, the intellectual catalyst of the American Revolution, argued for the abolition of slavery, social justice, democratic principles, and human rights. Others, such as John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, harbored contempt for populist notions and pressed for a government dominated by pecunious individuals.

Intense debate coupled with significant compromise eventually resulted in the ratification of the US Constitution. To minimize the diminution of their affluence and dominance, America's aristocracy insisted on the Electoral College, the recognition of the legality of chattel slavery, and the limitation of suffrage to white propertied males, who comprised a mere 10% of the population. As a means to appease the masses, they reluctantly agreed to include the Bill of Rights.

Faced with annoying constraints like the separation of powers, an independent judiciary, and the Bill of Rights, and bearing the burden of preserving the illusions of liberty and equality that kept the "mob" at bay, the ruling elite struggled to find ways to consolidate and enhance their power.

As the mercantilism that had made the American Colonies so indispensable to Britain slowly developed into Capitalism, the plutocracy rushed to embrace and nurture a system that afforded them the means to manipulate and exploit their "subjects".

Propitiously, Capitalism thrived and enabled the elite to leverage their power. Throughout the history of the United States, a seemingly perpetual torrent of fortuitousness has rained down upon the monetarily well-endowed.

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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