A Political Primer

Beginners sometimes join us in great numbers — for instance, when Obama increased the wars and pipelines, or when Trump put kids in cages. New activists usually focus on symptoms. I’ll point out underlying root problems, and how to solve them for a better world.

Lies are everywhere – for instance, all our wars are based on lies; the Department of so-called “Defense” is no such thing. Some beginners see past one or two lies, call themselves “woke,” and stop looking. Different factions of politicians call each other liars, and many beginners believe one of these factions. We all have different trusted sources for what we believe to be facts, and trust – like friendship – can’t be won through debate. Politicians and the “mainstream” news (FOX, NYT, MSNBC, NPR, WaPo, etc.) are owned by the same people who sell weapons, oil, and drugs; they lie about everything. I recommend switching to non-corporate news sources such as Counterpunch, Truthdig, Intercept, OffGuardian, Greanville Post, Black Agenda Report, RT, Common Dreams, WSWS, Caitlin Johnstone, Richard Wolff, Lee Camp, Jimmy Dore.

Ecocide is everywhere – plastic in the ocean, oil in the rivers, and most of all CO2 and CH4 in the air. The climate apocalypse is growing faster than most people see, because they don’t understand feedback loops and tipping points. If we don’t change our ways, I’m estimating human extinction by 2040, with a point of no return by 2025. Climatologists and ecologists tell us what to do, but we haven’t been doing it, because our government is owned by oil and other companies that profit from our current way of life. Markets are not efficient: Unmeasured side effects (externalities) are killing us.

Gilens and Page (2014) proved statistically what most of us already knew: Regardless of elections, the rich get the public policies they want and the rest of us don’t. The USA has been a plutocracy thinly disguised as a democracy ever since its founding in land theft, genocide, and slavery; that won’t be ended by electing better plutocrats. The only way to end rule by the wealthy class is to not have a wealthy class. But inequality is huge and increasing, because trade (for labor, rent, food, whatever) favors the trader in the stronger bargaining position.

Competing against you, I’m easily persuaded to blame you for your troubles and mine. Thus we get racism, sexism, imperialism, austerity, and other kinds of bullying. This culture of hierarchy and property, which began 10,000 years ago, has caused war and poverty, and now it’s destroying the ecosystem.

We’d be happier sharing everything. That’s how we lived for the previous 300,000 years, and genetically that’s still our nature. What we need is not “independence” from each other, but harmonious interdependence, caring about each other, understanding each other, and doing whatever is best for all of us. The first step is to get more people talking about it.

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2019 Aug 11, version 6.05. The leaflet-formatted arrangement fits on two sides of a half page.

 

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