Socialism, Privacy And Charity For The Powerful. Capitalism, Surveillance And Rugged Individualism For The Powerless.
“The crowning achievement in hypocrisy must go to those staunch Republicans and Democrats of the Midwest and West who were given land by our government when they came here as immigrants from Europe. They were given education through the land grant colleges. They were provided with agricultural agents to keep them abreast of forming trends. They were granted low interest loans to aid in the mechanization of their farms, and now that they have succeeded in becoming successful, they are paid not to farm. And these are the same people that now say to black people, whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains and who were emancipated in 1863 without being given land to cultivate or bread to eat, that they must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. What they truly advocate is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr
“I gotta get rid of this stuff. Man, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it. The more money you make, the more free shit they give you. It makes no sense.”
~ Adam Sandler, Funny People (2009)
A GoFundMe for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired two weeks ago by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has raised over $400,000 in less than a day.
Another way to say that would be that a former officer from the US intelligence community, who is married to a successful physician and will surely receive a book deal worth millions of dollars, just had a charity drive which in less than a day raised an amount of money it would take the average American years to earn.
Meanwhile, an impoverished American recently died because his GoFundMe failed to raise enough money for his insulin and an FBI whistleblower was just arrested for trying to bring transparency to the Bureau’s secret domestic surveillance practices while banks receive massive bailouts, global fossil fuel subsidies total trillions of dollars, and Amazon paid zero federal taxes last year despite earning billions.
Even leaving aside the reasons for McCabe’s firing and the shady dealings he was accused of, this is a very solid illustration of everything that is sick about the United States of America.
In America you have socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. You have government secrecy for the powerful and surveillance for the powerless. You have charity for wealthy establishment lackeys and rugged individualism for ordinary human beings. Those at the top are uplifted even further, while those on the bottom are stomped through the floor.
Julian Assange is currently under siege in the Ecuadorian embassy, deprived of mobility, sunlight and healthcare, and now internet, phone calls and visitors, all because he dared to bring some transparency to the powerful. Meanwhile the intelligence and defense agencies who serve as the armed goon squad of the wealthy and the powerful are able to kill, destroy and pillage from behind the opaque walls of near-total government secrecy in the name of “national security”. And instead of defending the single defenseless man who speaks truth to power, mainstream media reporters around the world are spitting on him in near-unanimity because he hurts power’s feelings.
This is how we end up with John Bolton, people. This is the “kiss-up, kick-down” pathway to success that elevates bloodthirsty psychopaths like John Bolton, the worst of the worst, the ones willing to do the most killing on behalf of the powerful and the most stomping on the powerless to get to the top. This has become the unquestioned pathway in every sphere of public life. We have a situation now where the highest echelons of power are not the wisest among us, but the wiliest. The fourth estate is full of everyday people who at one point presumably believed they were there to bring truth to power, stomping on the silvery head of one who does, while sucking up to the very power that he regularly embarrasses with his leak drops.
Speaking as an Australian, it sickens me to see my fellow Australians slip down this slope. Like many Australians, I was brought up to champion the underdog, cheer on the little Aussie battler, go into bat for the vulnerable and chop down tall poppies. My Australia wasn’t one that delighted in leaving one of our own to wither and die under siege in a “small camp” while making a parade of brown-nosing the establishment. It wasn’t a place where you used your gifts to help the powerful and hurt the vulnerable. It was the kind of place that created a man like Julian Assange, one that believed in constantly choosing the highest interest over self-interest. It wasn’t one where you used your gifts with the pen to turn a hero into someone everyone could feel okay about abandoning.
To all who work in the media: your selfish obsession with choosing your career over telling the truth when it counts, with choosing not to know rather than to dig and find out something you’d rather not know, with choosing getting along with your mates rather than standing up for what you know is right, that tiny little seemingly innocuous preference you have is what is driving our whole species towards extinction. That’s your copy of the mind virus that is killing us all. You are in a position of power and you are using it to kill us.
When you choose to masturbate some old mens’ desire for a final war with Russia rather than present the case for peace, you are killing us all. When you choose to roundly condemn a man for bringing truth to power rather than helping him do so, you are killing us all. When you choose to help Andrew bloody McCabe instead of the poor and the powerless, you are killing us all. Every time you suck up to power to get ahead a little, you are killing us all.
Do better, humans. Do the opposite of John Bolton, who kisses up to power and kicks down at the powerless. Punch up at the most powerful, and to the powerless, extend a helping hand. Lift up the Julian Assanges and pull down the John Boltons. Give privacy to the people, not to power. Give bailouts to human beings, not banks. Give subsidies to the poor, not to the plutocrats. Give money to people who need it, not to Andrew McCabe.
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