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
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Some observations and solutions about the contemporary class war being waged (on us) by our capitalist ruling class
I ended up with this essay this morning by reading and recalling a number of articles of how the capitalist ruling class through various NGOs or non-profit organizations (NGOs are usually used to refer to non-governmental organizations abroad, but within the US they are usually referred to as non-profit organizations) are so often used by them to shepherd Americans into fairly safe activist organizations, marches, demonstrations, protests, etc. Then I began to think how this is only one part of a complex of controlling mechanisms to insure that Americans support the existing rule of American capitalism and all its contemporary features of imperialism. Let me provide some details about this train of thought and where it led me.
I read and/or scanned articles entitled Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War and Standing Rock: Profusion, Collusion & Big Money Profits, and recalled other posts of a similar nature to realize more fully the complex nature of the forces of control used by the ruling class to secure our compliance and to divert our opposition energies toward fairly harmless pursuits that don't interfere with their interests of profits and power.
This complex of forces runs all the way from ideological indoctrination and information that we experience in education, to media, to entertainment, to the control of jobs especially in higher education and in non-profits which are usually funded by the rich, and to infiltration of their well-paid agents in activist organizations. Sometimes these forces that the rich ruling class commands seem overwhelming and invincible, and they very well may be. If so, I think that this is going to lead to a series of catastrophes such as nuclear war or major climate disasters or both that will likely end the existence of humans, or at least major loss of life. However, it seems that my human nature resists hopelessness and looks forever toward solutions.
I keep thinking that if only ordinary people knew about, and understood, the realities of their condition of indoctrinated wage slaves or well-paid and indoctrinated agents of an exploitative ruling class that they might engage in revolutionary activities to change the system that supports this ruling class. They would do this because they would understand that the underlying reason why we experience so much extreme inequality, never-ending wars, and environmental devastation is the existence of the capitalist system. So this suggests some action to start the process of this understanding. My individual solution was to start this website. But social problems, especially of this magnitude, require collective solutions.
The only activity that I can see would generate a collective revolutionary movement would be focused on organizing alternative news, information, and opinion sources that are strictly funded by non-ruling class sources. I see signs such as more and more websites that are devoted to presenting such content and are funded by ordinary people. But many need to rid themselves of advertising because their sponsors inevitably end up influencing content. They also need to combine resources such as journalists, administrators, and funding in ever large media collectives to effectively counter the influence of corporate media.
To attract the right kind of activists they need to build in new alternative organizational structures, and not simply borrow hierarchical structures typical of class-structured organizations and societies. Thus some kind of bottom-up control structures are necessary to assure authentic democratic control which serves the people. Thus much experimentation must be done to produce a workable, practical model that can be adopted by other organizations in a growing revolutionary movement.
Once such alternative collective media organizations become a significant influence, we can expect attacks from the ruling class in the forms of infiltrators who would try to create dissension in these organizations, attempts to bribe people to serve the ruling class, smears in corporate media in an attempt to discredit the alternative media, and even threats to people engaged in work for the new media. All such attacks could escalate as the new media became more effective, but this would only serve to attract more attention and people to the new media organizations. The new media could serve as a revolutionary catalyst that could grow a viable movement to overthrow the reign of capitalists and their entire support system, and then to replace it with a genuine democratic system that affirms life and harmony with nature.