Adios Babylon 11/16/2011 transcript
In the early hours of Tuesday morning the NYC police forcibly evicted OWS from Zuccotti Park, arresting some, and destroying much of the property of the occupiers. The machine continues to flex its muscle in an effort to discourage and ultimately destroy the grass roots movement which has risen up in protest of those would systematically act against the well being of the people and the planet from which we draw our life force. All is done in the name of the public good for sake of safety, security, and the need to protect property. We have all heard these excuses repeatedly emanated from fascist regimes of yesteryear. But we are here today watching and hearing what is happening and sometimes it is difficult to believe in what we are experiencing. Is this really happening? After all, we are repeatedly told of how the US remains the beacon of freedom and opportunity in the world.
But, do let us revisit the reasons that people are in the street, and take the time to consider that the reactions of the economically powerful, represented by the increasingly militarized police forces, are easily anticipated as they act to maintain their power and control.
Powerful corporations have taken control of our government on an unprecedented scale. They act in concert with elected officials to set the stage to their advantage at the expense of the average citizen and the health the earth. This unholy union manipulates and lies in order to obfuscate the truth of their intentions. Meanwhile, as we seek the facts concerning the consequences of their policies and occult machinations, we find that economic power continues to be extracted from the lower and middle classes and concentrated in the hands of the moneyed few. [02:00]
Recent statistics released by the U. S. Census Bureau help quantify the growing disparity between the haves and those who have increasingly less.
[Alternet article: Extreme Poverty Is Now at Record Levels…][09:00]
[Yubanet article: 6000 in Nevada ounty were Food Insecure…][03:30]
From Wikipedia, “Income inequality in the United States” [00:45]
“The distribution of income in the United States is becoming increasingly unequal. In 2010, the top 20% of Americans earned 49.4% of the nation’s income, compared with the 3.4% earned by Americans living below the poverty line (roughly 15% of the population). This earnings ratio of 14.5 to 1 was an increase from the 13.6 to 1 ratio in 2008 and a significant rise from the historic low of 7.69 to 1 in 1968. Looking back even further to 1915, an era in which the Rockefellers and Carnegies dominated American industry, the richest 1% of Americans earned roughly 18% of all income. Today, the top 1% account for 24% of all income.”
From Vanity Fair, May 2011 [02:00]
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
“When you look at the sheer volume of wealth controlled by the top 1 percent in this country, it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level. And it looks as if we’ll be building on this achievement for years to come, because what made it possible is self-reinforcing. Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s—a scandal whose dimensions, by today’s standards, seem almost quaint—the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. “I certainly hope so,” he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending. The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent. When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift—through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price—it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.”
We can add to this a long list of grievances. [01:30]
For instance, the power of the moneyed class has:
- Placed profits above the health of the people by opposing and corrupting any form of universal health care
- Placed profits above the health of the planet by engaging in extractive processes, and farming practices designed irrespective of their impact on long term survivability of vital ecosystems
- Produced a system of corporate personhood, providing corporations with rights and advantages without culpability or responsibility
- Instigated and supported foreign wars in order to extend their control to the domestic resources of other sovereign nations
- Instigated and supported foreign wars for the sake of the sale of military arms to other countries as well as the production and sale of arms domestically
- Initiated and perpetuated drug wars both foreign and domestic for the sake of extending American hegemony to foreign shores as well as to maintain domestic cultural conflict
- Worked to control the food supply and human genome for the sake of exclusive profiteering
- Conspired with major media organizations in order to lie and hide the truth to maintain hegemony at home and abroad
The list goes on beyond reason, for there is nothing the machine will not try to either control or corrupt to maintain its power. That is why it is so important to speak our truth as we see it, to stay in the streets, and continue to organize and plan for the next phase of this movement. We need to maintain the message that we are through with the lies and corrupting influences that put profits ahead of people, thereby keeping people oppressed and unable to realize their full human potential.