How to really change the world – and it’s easier than you think.
by Tony Cartalucci
Democracy is a Form of Oppression
The modern concept of “democracy” is perhaps the most effective form of human oppression ever devised. It has single-handedly convinced billions of people around the world that if only they cast their vote at each election, struggle behind their favorite politicians and pet political causes, they can change the world. And as each side of any given political paradigms struggles against each other, a singular agenda continues to march forth, one above and beyond “democracy” and the strategies of tension we’ve all been mired in.
Image: Bush = Obama = Romney. Professional spokesmen, representative not of the
American people but of Fortune 500 multinational corporations and banks.
Since the time of JP Morgan 100 years ago, the corporate-financier
elite saw themselves as being above government, and national sovereignty
as merely a regulatory obstacle they could lobby, bribe, and manipulate
out of existence. In the past 100 years, the monied elite have gone
from manipulating the presidency to now reducing the office to a public
relations functionary of their collective interests. Only tipping the balance of power from corporate-financier monopolies back to our local communities can change anything – this cannot be accomplished by merely “voting.”
The corporate-financiers of Wall Street and London, and their ever expanding orbit of proxies, client regimes, and co-conspirators have mastered long ago the method of controlling both sides of any given political paradigm, ensuring that no matter who you fight for, no matter how hard you fight, you still ultimately contribute to the singular agenda as determined by the corporate-financier elite. Thus, despite believing you have a “choice” and a “say” in your destiny, you do not. You spend all of your time and energy pursuing a false solution to fixing a system you do not truly understand, against forces you are either vaguely aware of, or entirely oblivious to.
No better can this be illustrated than in American politics where still, many people believe there is some sort of discernible difference between Republicans and Democrats. However, for example, from 2000-2012, we see a singular Western agenda of invading, occupying, dividing, overthrowing, destroying, and installing client regimes across the Arab World and to a lesser extent, across Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. However, within that period, we saw two allegedly ideologically opposed presidents in office.
The corporate media has gone through great lengths to sell each leg of the agenda in terms most fitting to each respective president’s alleged political agenda, but in reality, all that President Barack Obama did was pick up where President George Bush left off, who was in reality carrying out a singular agenda, modern empire, that has been more or less in play for decades, possibly centuries depending on where one would like to draw the line.
The quest for American global hegemony began with corporate-financier interests during the late 1800’s and continues today. The policy we believe is born of our leaders’ political ideologies is in reality produced by these corporate-financier interests and the myriad of think-tanks they fund and direct. The policy papers these think-tanks produce, often published and even available to read online, are then rubber stamped into law by our politicians and sold to the public through the filter of false political paradigms.
The military, political, and economic conquest of the Middle East was sold by Bush under the guise of fighting the “War on Terror.” Under Obama, it was sold as “democracy promotion.” In reality, the policies dictating both legs of this singular agenda were meted out by think-tanks possessing both Bush and Obama-era administrators, often sitting around the same table, implementing the collective will of the their corporate-financier sponsors.
A recent examination of two such institutions, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Atlantic Council in “The Queen of Corporate-Fascist Faux “Democracy,”” provides lists where Neo-Conservative warmongers sit side-by-side with current and former Obama administrators, producing policies that were implemented throughout both Bush and Obama’s presidencies. Identical corporate-financier interests were discovered behind both institutions, and are the same corporate-financier interests to be found pervading all Western foreign and domestic policy.
It is clear that NGOs and opposition movements many believe are
spontaneous, indigenous, and independent are in fact part of a larger
network for the sole purpose of imposing and maintaining global system
administration. This is not a web of elaborate, vague associations. In
each case there is direct path of funding leading back to Western foundations and the think-tanks that devise policy for them, all funded and chaired by the Fortune 500 of Wall Street and London. (click image to enlarge)
Under such a system, voting is an exercise in futility – at best to make you content with the chains of your confinement, at worst, providing unwitting approval of your subjugation to corporate-financier domination. The constitutional representative governance we believe we live under, or are attempting to restore, or in some countries, trying to establish in the first place, exists only in the figments of our imaginations. To truly manifest a representative government, driven by our own ambitions and our true collective interests, toward a self-determined destiny, we must begin locally, and we must begin with much more than simply casting a ballot.
Freedom and self-determination means taking on the responsibility ourselves for the functioning and progress of our communities and society as a whole.
Identify, Boycott, and Replace
Clearly, the first step is recognizing that corporate-financier interests dominate modern civilization, and through controlled paradigms, maintain domination over all aspects of society through rules and regulations, laws, and law enforcement.
We must identify who these corporate-financier interests actually are, and through what avenues they execute their agenda. Then we must understand the source of power behind their unwarranted influence and aim at undermining and cutting it off. Luckily for us, we ourselves are the source of this unwarranted influence. More specifically, our daily patronage of the global elite’s corporations, institutions, and organizations through the payment of our time, money, and attention grant them nearly inexhaustible wealth, power, and influence.
While, say a single Coke or Pepsi, might seem like a very insignificant contribution to this global spanning conglomeration of corporate-financier interests, it is through millions and millions of people on a daily basis, collectively contributing, that results in significant power, wealth, and subsequent influence in the hands of a concentrated elite.When we consider that our collective earnings month to month often go to either taxes or large corporate interests, we may begin to understand just why there exists such a disparity between their power and influence versus our subservience and impotence.
Image: Several Fortune 500 corporate-financier funded think-tanks who produce the total summation of Western policy, both foreign and domestic, which is then merely rubber stamped into law by proxy politicians, who along with the corporate-owned media then sell this policy to the public. “Naming Names: Your Real Government” provides an extensive, but by no means all inclusive list of many of these corporate-financier interests.
It becomes obvious that to rebalance this equation in our favor, we must stop paying our time, money, and attention to the corporate-financier elite’s corporations, institutions, and organizations. It also quickly becomes obvious that in order to stop paying into these concentrated, centralized conglomerations of power, wealth and influence, we must devise decentralized, local alternatives.
While it may seem futile and insignificant to deny these large, global-spanning conglomerations our individual patronage on a daily basis, collectively it will undermine them, just as we have collectively built them up. Simply boycotting something like Coke or Pepsi is also something easy we can do starting today.
In any given country, in any given town, there are surely at least some local alternatives we can begin to replace what we have depended on large global-spanning corporate-financier interests to provide for us. But what exactly can we do if no alternative exists?
Building Local Institutions to Empower Local People
The power of civilization lies within its institutions. This is something that the purveyors of empire knew long ago. While most attention in history books and movies is paid to the military might of any given empire, equally as important were the financial, economic, and administrative institutions created to both direct these military forces and reap the benefits from their campaigns. Those with the most powerful institutions will always prevail – as institutions form the basis of organizing and directing human resources.
This is explained at great length in ” Empire’s Double Edged Sword: Global Military + NGOs.” What we see today, around the world operating under the guise of “democracy promotion,” is the West establishing modern day equivalents of these administrative networks and institutions to establish a modern day global empire.
The counterbalance for vast networks of global institutions, is to create an equally vast network of independent local institutions to replace the role these global networks attempt to play. The obvious advantage of global institutions is the endless amount of funding they have access to. This advantage currently gives them an edge alternative, indigenous local institutions lack. Through greater awareness, participation, and collaboration, however, local institutions can not only out-compete global institutions, but entirely and permanently replace them.
While imperial, and now neo-imperial institutions generally work under vast amounts of deceit, manipulation, and coercion, local institutions wouldn’t need or be able to. Local institutions, involving local people, aimed at solving local problems operate on a level people can easily understand. With people able to meet all involved face to face on a daily basis, a greater aspect of transparency would inhibit the level of compartmentalized duplicity and deceit that are common and necessary features of modern corporate-financier global institutions.
Examples of Local Institutions Activism
There exists already traditional local institutions that we have allowed to be eroded by corporate-financier interests who have specifically, systematically, and ceaselessly attempted to undermine and destroy them. These include:
The Family: the basic building block of any society
The Church, Temple, or Mosque: a place for local social networking, welfare, charity, and coordination
The Sheriff: charged with local security, law and order
Local Schools: educate and develop local human resources, the
foundation upon which all society, economically and intellectually is
We can begin by revisiting each one of these institutions and seeing where, individually and collectively, we can revitalize, rebuild, or repurpose them to serve our communities in a more effective way. Preventing corporate-financier driven government meddling and regulating of these institutions is essential. And where rules and regulations are already in place, inhibiting the functioning of these institutions, innovative means of circumventing such measure must be implemented.
There are endless possibilities for the creation of innovative new local institutions that can help us pool or resources and collaborate both financially and intellectually to solve problems, to improve our local communities, and to live better and more meaningful lives.
The resurgence of farmers’ markets provides for us an example of a traditional institution that has been revitalized and repurposed to address modern trends in food security and health. Other possibilities include:
Underground Trading: This is the creation and trade of alternatives to commonly purchased corporate-financier dominated commodities within private circles of friends and family. The carbonation of beverages as a micro-business or hobby, to replace the consumption of Fortune 500 products like Coke or Pepsi can be traded “underground” at dinner parties or small get-togethers. In many countries, small businesses like this remain unregulated, mostly untaxed, and very accessible. In other countries, legal barriers may require creative solutions – such as trading “underground.”
photo by Rachel StringerFarmers’ Markets: Everyone should make a point of at least visiting their local farmers’ market once. Get to know the people there, see what is available and ask yourself whether or not the extra time and perhaps, extra money is not warranted in the face of the alternative – continuing to fuel corporate-financier monopolies that are literally poisoning us. Local independent farmers and organic growers have been at the forefront of localization and the preservation of individual liberties and independence. While the cost may be higher, the more people that get involved locally as both consumers and producers will help develop a stronger local economy and stabilize prices.
Hackerspaces: A relatively new phenomenon – a hackerspace can be thought of as a local “field” where instead of growing food, people collaborate to develop new technology. Hackerspaces generally have membership fees for access to tools, electricity, and work areas. Additionally, educational short courses, lectures, and presentations can be given, pro-bono or also for extra income. Hackerspaces like New York City’s “NYC Resistor” have served as springboards for local small businesses and technological innovations.
While a group of electronic, computer, robotic, design, and other technical hobbyists getting together in a common area and collaborating seems like a simple idea, but as technology enables individuals and small groups of individuals to do more on their own today than armies could do 50 years ago, the implications and possibilities for developing and strengthening our local communities become far reaching.
If a hackerspace does not exist in your area, you can simply start your own – it requires nothing more than a table and several like-minded people to sit around it for a first meeting. Again, like everything else, while the results may seem underwhelming, day to day, on an individual basis – added up over a year quite a bit can be accomplished. Add together everyone tempted to get involved on a global scale – and the collective impact becomes overwhelming.
Gardening: Another simple idea that seems underwhelming – but if pursued incrementally over time, can make a big impact, is simply growing your own garden. This can be done on virtually any budget, and as marijuana growers have proven, can be done virtually anywhere. Growing your own food, even your own herbs to offset even in the smallest way your dependence on large corporate-financier monopolies collectively has a much bigger impact.
Like the concept of “underground trading,” one need not bring their produce to the local farmers’ market to make some extra money or socially interact with others in their community. Dinner parties with friends and family where food was grown and prepared entirely “in-house” can easily replace the degenerate corporate-financier forms of entertainment we all too often waste our times participating in.
The Alternative Media: Every bit makes a difference, and starting your own blog, twitter, or Facebook account with the expressed purpose of informing others of what is going on locally, nationally, and internationally is both free and easy to do. Even if you simply repost articles others write – your efforts combined with others already active will make a significant difference.
How far your project goes depends solely on the amount of time and effort you spend investing in it and the standards of objectivity and intellectual honesty you hold yourself to. The alternative media is a perfect example of a new “institution” and form of activism that has already successfully begun to shift the paradigm, and it does so by leveraging technology that allows us to do as individuals what was once only possible with large, capital intensive organizations.
Shooting Club: A great way to exercise your right to bear firearms, hone your marksmanship and safety skills, as well as develop a community of safe and organized marksmen who can at the very least serve as a constructive source of socializing, and at the most, come through in an emergency to defend your community is to form a shooting club. It can start as nothing more than a few friends who get together on the weekend who share a common interest in firearms, the 2nd Amendment, safety, and the discipline of marksmanship, and can be expanded to help educate others in the community, work with the local sheriff, and promote responsible firearms ownership.
The presence of a localized, professional group of firearms enthusiasts who are well organized and politically active serves as a deterrent against corporate-financier driven federal efforts to disarm the public. By promoting responsible firearms ownership in an organized and professional manner, people can begin disarming the government and its corporate-financier sponsors of the endless excuses they use to legislate intrusive measures of gun control.
Constructive Pastimes: Pastimes, depending on what they are, can either greatly empower us individually and collectively, or forever inhibit our development and progress as human beings and as a society. Watching sports, vegetating behind the TV in general, consuming alcohol, going shopping, and watching Hollywood movies are all examples of activities that no matter how long you do them, will never yield opportunities or spur personal development on any level, physically or intellectually. These also so happen to be the pastimes of choice endlessly promoted by the same corporate-financier interests that propose to us that “voting” in their political theater is the greatest possible expression of human self-determination.
Conversely, playing sports as a community, making movies, writing, woodworking, gardening, brewing alcohol, and nearly anything at all that is productive or encourages positive social interaction and health provides us with endless opportunities. While the accomplishments we may make pursuing any given pastime may seem negligible on a daily basis, over time the results of what we passionately pursue add up toward a “critical mass” of sorts that open the door to many opportunities – such as starting a small business, providing a useful good or service to our local community, or solving a myriad of problems.
We can question how significant these opportunities may or may not be – but one thing is for sure. If we do exactly zero with our spare time on a daily basis, at the end of one year we will have exactly zero to add up. No matter how insignificant our constructive pastimes may seem on a daily basis, they will add up to “something” over a year. The level of passion, imagination, and collaboration we put into that pastime determines how big that “something” is.
Get Organized Get a Program
The point behind all of this is to simply get organized – personally and as a community – toward doing something both constructive and fulfilling while tipping the balance of power away from a destructive self-serving system that dominates and exploits us however gilded the cage may seem. We must get organized with friends and family, and as a community.
It doesn’t need to be a well-oiled organization at first. It can simply be a group of hobbyists or enthusiasts of any variety that get together simply to pool resources and share interests. With a full understanding of how necessary it is to organize and work together as a community, rather than delegate our responsibilities to centralized governments and corporate-financier interests, these small gatherings can be expanded.
What guides this expansion is a program. Instead of subscribing to political demagogues, we must instead search for programmatic and pragmatic solutions and devise the road maps needed to then arrive at these solutions. Instead of surfing cable TV for political pundits selling us endless debate within a false political paradigm, we should get out a piece of paper and write down what our problems are, then organize locally, leverage the technology at our disposal, and devise solutions.
Education, the economy, infrastructure, and healthcare generally top the list. Things like education can be tackled on a local level leveraging the immense amount of resources available for free online. We can pool resources together and take cues from and expand upon the ever growing home-schooling movement.
In many ways, we can begin to boycott large corporate-financier monopolies and piecemeal develop our own local economies to be stronger and more independent. Certain aspects of infrastructure and healthcare can also be tackled on varying levels, starting locally and working our way upward.
Regarding healthcare, by understanding that big corporate monopolies and government subsidies may currently be necessary aspects of modern healthcare, but are untenable permanent solutions, we can begin pursuing avenues to help find solutions that are permanent.
All of this and more, however, can only be accomplished if we stop depending on others, and starting having faith in ourselves. For we are the only ones who truly have our own interests at heart, and are the only ones we can trust to pursue what is truly in our best own interests – even our own self-preservation. To delegate these responsibilities to others, particularly large corporate-financier interests lorded over by people we neither know, nor have ever met, is to delegate as well our freedom, self-determination, independence, and liberty – all of those things that we currently, and may very erroneously believe we enjoy within our current “democratic” political paradigm.
As technology advances, we are able to do more individually and locally than entire nations could accomplish decades ago. This is what makes a real revolution possible now more than ever. By recognizing that this power in our hands, wielded locally and pragmatically is the solution, is the first step toward reclaiming our destiny.
It will not be easy. It will be hard work. It will not happen overnight. Change doesn’t happen with one person, with a single instantly reverberating act. But change is not impossible, and it only takes our individual actions added up collectively over time to achieve it. Even the elite today who dominate the planet, only do so because they possess an immense network involving millions of people wittingly or unwittingly contributing to their agenda.
We the people already have a common agenda – peace, progress, and prosperity – something average people have always yearned for. Next, we must simply just get started, in whatever capacity, today to build up our own local networks to pursue our own collective agenda, on our own, outside the global elite’s paradigm and inside a new paradigm of our own design.