17 February 2011

The second revolution

I come from the United States. I am a citizen impacted by the entirety of its good and bad along with the past and the present. So when there is public unrest back in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin it is difficult to sit here in Europe without feeling the ripple. Protests and rallies against the new state Governor's proposal to end collective bargaining has unleashed anger and the willingness of people to remain neutral. They are standing up and speaking out against the new proposals to bust up the unions, to silence employee voices and opportunities for negotiation as it slices income and benefits.

If I were in Madison, I would be involved in the protests and engaged in acts of civil disobedience. If I were still working in my public service position beyond my recent 14 years in that city, I would have been in the present struggle alongside my colleagues. As it is, only my retirement money is still tied to the state retirement fund. The current state administration is preparing to dig into that also. But much more is at stake for all citizens of the country.

The educated know that the United States was built ground-up by the people that sacrificed a great deal to break away from a monarchy and tyrrany to secure freedoms some 235 years ago. The years since the formation of the national government has witnessed an imbalance of power in the three branches. The initial intent was to assure that no single person or group would have too much authority or control. The ever-changing composition of the legislative bodies in each of the 50 states also determines the bills proposed by the legislators dependent on which party is in control. The years have also presented a widening chasm between the two major political parties of the United States. And on top of all of this, there is a widening gap between classes in the country. The working class and poor have greater difficulty keeping pace with the demands of the various levels and types of leadership.

Having grown up in the working class as a farmer, I have rubbed elbows with other farmers, factory workers, educators and those in various layers of city and state employment, i.e. the laborers that forged the infrastructure which enhances the quality of life for the estimated U.S. population now over 307 million people. The majority of laborers it appears desire a simple life, a decent livlihood and quality of life for their families.

If we were to strip away the money and the facade, we would see the steel, the brick and mortar that was laid by millions of laborers. The labor forces' flag might look like this(photo courtesy of Karin Van Bragt) - illustrating the true grit that was hammered and welded into these United States to support the basic necessities of life.

Today, the livelihood of these workers sons and daughters has been formally threatened.

And finally, after decades of cumulative oppression, the people are revolting.

From Wisconsin to Ohio, from Florida to New Jersey the beginning of what could be the second American Revolution is taking shape. It is my personal wish that once and for all, the citizens can reclaim the roots of goodness and wrangle with this beast of greed that has grown in the publics' slumber. It's time to slash it's jugular and drain the money out of its veins. Pride, greed and power are destroying the best of the United States. The general population is finally starting to connect the dots and see the truth, and they're not going to let the monster chew them up.

A capitalistic economy has regenerated institutions that the people in the first revolution revolted against.

As you recall in the first revolution, the people rejected the oligarchies and control of the monarchy to develop a government responsible to the will of the people. In 2011, the people of the United States are standing up to their state governments and refusing to accept the newly elected leaders' threats, misguided policies and legislation. They are speaking out against the destructive conditions proposed by these puppet boy tyrants who we are funded and directed by corporate greed.

It is the will of the people to have full participation, fair representation and open involvement in matters that affect our livelihood. We have been taught how to honor those that have fought for our freedoms, and are getting a lesson in how to fight for and secure these freedoms.

Now that I live in the Netherlands, a country which many economic historians considered the first thoroughly capitalist country, I am immersed in experiential education. The distinctions of capitalism and the common market race through my head as I sit down to compare the two. As we know, the Netherlands abandoned the trappings of capitalism post-World War II for inclusion in the common market. The comparisons of economic systems and types of governance help me understand
what America needs to abandon to move forward. 

Just for today, I am comforted by the connection of social media to my friends in my hometown. I am honored by those individuals willing to stand up and speak the truth. I continue to write letters and speak out when I see untruths written in local media. Tonight I shall have have a silent vigil from abroad. Power to the people.

    collective voices disrupt the darkness, illuminate oppression and speak truth to power

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