OK, now that we have that out of the way, what can we do?
Activism today is a very daunting task. In the sixties mass movements, like the anti-war movement were pretty much reported on by the main stream media, by and large, as a noble cause. Today’s media is a different entity. Most of corporate media is either owned outright by conservatives or is bought outright through ads dominated by these people and groups. It runs along the lines of “total information dominance” as is asserted by some propaganda theorists. It’s based on a military theory that we’ve been hearing about called “full spectrum dominance”. This is when one force exercises not only superiority, which means they will win the battle, but dominance, which renders the battle obsolete. We are not at total media dominance yet as witnessed by you being able to read this blog, but we are damned close.
In this environment, activists and democracy itself is ridiculed and small demonstrations of political activism, with the help of local law enforcement, are harassed, threatened and even beaten as I have personally witnessed at peaceful Occupy Wall Street events. I am not talking about rioters, but peaceful protesters. It takes a really huge commitment to subject you to this humiliation.
But take to the streets and get involved we must. Congress has totally failed us. They are bought and paid for and totally indebted to their sponsors. The Supreme Court in 2010 nailed the coffin shut with their Citizens United Ruling allowing corporations and billionaires to dump unlimited amounts of money to candidates and “dark money” groups, spreading disinformation and out and out lies.
Even though these people can write checks for tens of millions of dollars they can’t put a million or twenty million feet on the ground. Labor can potentially still do that. I witnessed a demonstration last spring in Manhattan that was the width of Broadway and sixteen blocks long. Unfortunately the media said there were a few thousand. There had to be thirty thousand. Not bad for the middle of the week.
I do not condemn anyone for their apathy or despair. I understand their disengagement. But overcoming this we must. I witnessed a local spark last fall when four or five hundred Letter Carriers and Postal workers and some labor affiliates “Occupied” City Hall Plaza in Manchester one Thursday afternoon. It was a beautiful thing! The seed has been planted. My contribution to this blog will be how we can “Occupy” politics.