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Mitchell J. Rabin

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As the World Crumbles, I Mean Turns...

Posted: 01/31/11 05:52 PM ET

Yes indeed, the plot thickens. Mr. Potter is getting meaner, Mr. Payne more pompous and the rest of us increasingly at the effect of the irrational, thoughtless elite. The only thing is, this is not a movie or a TV show though it is high drama on the level of soap opera. But unfortunately, it is so predictable. If they would do something, throw a dog a bone a bit more often, we might not have the fervent outcry we currently do.

This is a global thing, not just American. We don't have the market cornered on grade B movies. Look at what's happening in Tunisia. Just a matter of weeks ago, few young people in the U.S. had even heard of Tunisia, sad as that is, but now it's dominating the headlines because there has been an overthrow of a despotic, Mr. Potter-Mr. Payne-style government stretching back for decades. If it were just nepotism but the People were treated with justice and dignity, if a good thing is being perpetuated, who cares much about who rules?

However, if the People are being enslaved, oppressed and unable to live a decent life, the chorus begins to rumble. If, despite their best efforts to influence the powers-that-be with a sense of fair play, equity and reason, they, as we see, step out of the rules of the game that they only adhered to and simply take over. Then they dictate the terms, and it's unlikely that they will be very friendly. Indeed, Tunisia is now going back to its People, because its People stood up to the madness and demanded the President's departure.

We have seen similar uprisings in the most civilized centers of Europe just in the past six months. Paris was aswim with non-stop demonstrations until the government acquiesced to the demands of the students, and was allowed to stand. A similar event happened in London, protesting about increased tuitions, but assuredly, it was about much more than that.

What is going on in Egypt right now in this regard is remarkable. When people reach a certain point of "That's Enough", fear no longer rules. People crave authenticity and justice --these are fundamental human traits--and we go to great lengths to experience them and demand them.

Senate Bill 510 and other bills being passed sometimes in the dark of night, selling our rights down the river when we're fast asleep, is what this Congress is guilty of over and over again. Whether it involves net neutrality or growing organic foods, this government is but a lapdog of the corporatocracy. And it is up to us to let our Congress know that we know it, and that we demand that they either accord with the People's will and well-being, respect the funds we give them through our taxes to be life-supporting -- not destroying -- or step down. One of the problems is that our media is of course itself owned by the biggest corporations which define the news, and it excludes, quite obviously, the well-being or agenda of the American People, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Soon on A Better World Radio, I will be interviewing Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham who, with co-author Kate Pickett of Spirit Level, Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, make it abundantly clear in their profound sociological survey that societies with a larger middle class and less polarity between rich and poor, fare much better on a series of parameters including, health, happiness, longevity, less criminal behavior, less depression and anxiety and greater well-being.

Why then is our economy running in just the opposite direction and with support of both parties? The last thing I think of when contemplating the Republicans and the Democrats is "a party". Yet, if they did have one, they would see that they are more or less in the same one, and funded by the same party-producers. As Ralph Nader called them: "Twiddly-dum and Twiddly-dee". And even their own well-being, health, and God knows, conscience, is at stake with their irrational alignment with the corporate elite rather than the backbone of America, its people. And same with any nation: the government is there to serve us, not themselves.

Who really cares what we call our "system", as long as it serves the People it was designed to serve? Are our lives a scientific experiment or an academic exercise?

What when people who are accustomed to working and throw their lives into what they do, cannot find any? Or families who are dispossessed from their homes for failure to pay an overly-inflated mortgage, have nowhere to turn for help -- we as a nation should favor the bankers instead of the family, because we call this "capitalism" and everyone must fend for themselves? My feeling is that then President Bush, in light of the sub-prime rip-off perpetuated by our banks, both private and federally subsidized, should have called for a national foreclosure moratorium, and the details of which to be worked out later. It was asking too much for someone like Bush to do something so favorable for the American People, so then it should have been President Obama. But again, no deflect to the banking industry. Exactly what would happen if they fell, I'm curious. Would it be the disaster that Paulsen threatened us all it would?

What if the military industrial complex, Big Pharma or the banks had to fend for themselves? AIG? Republican President General Eisenhower wisely blew the whistle on the military and warned us 50 years ago, and he knew better than anyone. But no one took heed. And 50 years before that, U.S. Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, wrote a book telling us then, during WWI, that "war is a racket", it is a money-making machine for the rich and, in effect, a way to keep the lower classes, "low".

So now our economy is sinking, the dollar deflated and inflated, unemployment is spiraling up toward the levels of unhappiness, and the wars wage on, billions per month, going to kill an enemy no one can find, destroying the lives of people in several parts of the world. Is that the America we want? Is this how we want to spend our money? When will middle America wake up and stop supporting war and the phantom enemy that George Orwell warned us about, which requires "permanent war"?

Our government no longer represents us -- it represents the corporations who fund the campaigns of our Senators and Congresspeople. Is it not time to take our happiness, health, and well-being into consideration to a higher level than we have?

Are Potter, Payne and Taylor winning? Is the greedy side of our human nature overcoming our natural tendency toward helping one another?

Where is Mr. Smith when we so need him to stay in Washington anyway?

 

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