We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Land of the Blind: The Illusion of Freedom in America

Click here to access article by John W. Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute.

This attorney, author, and specialist in human and civil rights provides us with some deep insights about the 99 Percent of the US--and, it is not to our credit. We have, thus far, failed to meet our responsibilities as citizens to prevent the almost yearly descent into fascism--what Whitehead identifies as the corporate state.
Through our complicity in matters large and small, we have allowed an out-of-control corporate-state apparatus to take over every element of American society. Our failure to remain informed about what is taking place in our government, to know and exercise our rights, to vocally protest, to demand accountability on the part of our government representatives, and at a minimum to care about the plight of our fellow Americans has been our downfall. Having allowed ourselves to descend into darkness, refusing to see what is really happening, happily trading the truth for false promises of security and freedom, we have allowed the police state to emerge and to flourish.
It's hard to know where this all began. Ultimately, I think it began with the class structured system of capitalism itself. But our country's fairly rapid descent into fascism, I trace to our reaction to the assassinations of John and his brother Bobbie Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and a host of other people who tried to face up to the agents of fascism and failed--largely because we failed to come to their rescue, and we failed after their assassinations to hold the agents of fascism accountable.

This conclusion of mine was strongly reinforced by a recent experience I had in the course of purchasing a used book online. The book, published in 2003, is An Act of State by attorney William Pepper. I was greatly impressed by the book which reported on the events of a civil trial: a wrongful death action brought by the King family against one of the participants of the assassination of Martin Luther King--Lloyd Jowers. This was really a trial that put the government's involvement to the test of evidence before a jury of peers in Memphis, Tennessee where King was assassinated. The trial found Jowers guilty, but more significantly it revealed that government agencies conspired to kill King and on their extensive efforts to cover it up. Meanwhile, mainstream media mostly ignored the trial, and what little coverage there was, raised as much doubts about the proceedings as they could.

When I received the book I noticed it was from an Indiana public library. I wrote to the head librarian inquiring as to why they sold such a book. She replied via email that not a single person had ever checked out the book in the six years it was in their stacks! Nobody in their community wanted to know the truth!

Now with all the whistle-blowers coming forth and risking their careers and very lives to tell us the truth about our government's crimes, it is up to the people once again to come to their support. I can only hope that the current generation of young people will rally to the call of social justice and the fight against fascism.