Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Quick mental revolution on government
BUT we're using water like mad, and the drinking water tables are lowering. Meanwhile, the people in control of many governments, including the U.S. government, are more interested in keeping the power, and being on the side of the water privatizers than on the side of the people and our commonwealth known as clean water.
The "quick mental revolution" I had that I want to keep in mind going forward is that the system of government must extricate itself from the problem and become part of the solution. "The system of government" is incapable of doing anything, because it only exists in the form of people and their words. SO the people in government positions must help the governance get free from money-serving interests, even if it costs them their long-term possibility of reelection (which I really don't think it will). If they won't do it, we must get some people into the critical roles who WILL. For any candidate, we must very carefully consider the balance of their interests between corporate profit and the common good.
The short version of this quick mental revolution is WE ARE SCREWED WHEREVER GOVERNMENT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. GOVERNMENT (everywhere) NEEDS TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.
And I should acknowledge three important things.
1) Though I would prefer to focus on other organizations and their capacity for agency, I have good reasons for focusing on government. When government is part of the problem, it actually makes justice work more difficult. Government that is part of the problem actually supports oppressions either through negligence, or through willfully serving those who already hold power. On the flip side of the coin, given the magnitude of some of the problems looming in the near future, it is CRITICAL that government (at all levels of community -- municipal, regional, "national," and global) be part of the solution. See this and this for more info on where I'm coming from here.
2) The identity of government (or a person or corporation) being either part of the problem or of the solution is a binary way of looking at this issue, and this concept actually exists on a continuum. When the truth about government actions is made available, it's not difficult to discern where a government agency fits on the continuum.
2) This issue of responsible government action is obviously about a LOT more than water. To name a few instances:
- Military-industry support, even to the extent of trying to drum up wars or places to sell American weapons and military equipment.
- Tax breaks for the rich, and supporting the rich in more ways than one could quickly enumerate or even discover (When multi-billionaire Warren Buffet says "If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning," that's a strong case for this argument.) Because the distribution of wealth has become so off-kilter, its really REALLY unfair to consider the strength of an economic system on GDP, GNP, or other similar measures. If a country is rich, and many people are poor, the rich in that country, especially those in positions of control of resources, stand in judgment.
- FCC support of self-serving corporate media, while those who speak for the common good have no voice on the television/radio spectrum, and are blogging to each other and not the general public.
- Budgeting money toward profanely hideous park benches that have armrests in the middle so that homeless people can't lay down on them, rather than actually serving them (see note on Matthew below). In the meantime, those of us who want to enjoy the park can't snuggle up with our significant others on these benches because of these metal dividers.
- Receiving the bribes and desires of the [name your poison] lobbyists, while those who would lobby for the common wealth are either busy doing the charity work that missing social welfare nets could provide.
- The war on drugs, which does more damage to the population than most of the drugs do. There are better solutions in existence which await a government that cares more about people than wars on things.
- Energy policy. The U.S. federal government is ensnarled in oil interests. I'm still wondering what happened in that private closed-door energy meeting? Solar = Security!
- Speaking of private meetings, secrecy is part of the problem. If our government is doing things that we don't know about, are they planning a surprise for us?
- Our prison system has turned into a for-profit enterprise. More prisoners = more profits. But those profits come primarily from our tax dollars. Thinking people know that punitive justice is significantly less effective (if really effective at all) than psychological counseling and restorative justice. Support our prison system as it stands and you're on the "problem end" of the continuum.
- Just in general being bullheaded and obstinate. People who don't listen have no place in representative government, except to serve pre-conceived ideologies.
If the United States (and any other country) wants to really be a Christian nation,* they must note
“Truly I tell you, insofar as you did it for one of the least of one of these my siblings, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:40, gender-inclusive Amplified Bible)
and note it well. Otherwise, they're just a nation that purports to be Christian, using some definition of "Christian" that I can't relate to.
*Oh, and "Hi." We're taking back Christianity. Today. My selfish reason for wanting to do that is so that my friend Ellie will "zip it" about Christians being such haters. All done with the hate, as of Tuesday, May 1, 2007. Speaking of -- Happy May Day everyone, especially those who work hard for worker justice. May your road be cleared for vitalizing labor, and fair compensation for your efforts.
lyrics: "Butterflies wear boxing gloves..." Knucklehead, by Lullaby Baxter Trio.
colors: rainbow flags in government buildings
mood: study study
chant/prayer/mantra: love yr neighbor