Labor Week
Organizing Chaos
By Henry Meyerding
Jan 16, 2011 - 8:46:27 AM

WASHINGTON D.C.Mark Twain called it the "money hungry fever" that had taken over the nation in his lifetime and ruined the ease and simplicity of life. A hundred years after his death, we have a profit culture fully entrenched and in flower. The government of these Unites States, which has always been responsive to the whims of the wealthy, is now used by this powerful minority as a tool to impoverish and control the majority.

Powerful interests, such as the military industrial complex and the prison industrial complex get the majority of public funds, leaving less for other government functions and services that are beneficial to all, such as roads, schools, hospitals and so on. The funding for these people-friendly services are cut, while the expenditures for the military and other state security apparatus are increased year by year. We now spend more on our military than every other nation on earth combined. This spending exceeds the sum total of expenditures of every state and local government.

Pundits and politicians who are the front men and women for these powerful interests continually push for more and more investment in programs with huge private profits, while continually urging the downsizing or elimination of programs that benefit individuals and families, such as affordable housing programs, early childhood education programs, healthcare and social security.

It seems incredible that a nation that has no trouble maintaining the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons should find itself unable to care for the elderly and infirm because of insufficient funds. For a hundred years, Americans have thought of themselves as the richest nation on earth, but now in this new century they seem to think their nation has become poor and second rate. People acquiesce calmly and docilely to budget cuts for people programs. The vast majority of Americans now believe their government to be as unresponsive to their needs and desires as a rogue elephant.

This is a shame. It is a crime and a shame. We have the ability to do great things in this country and it is incredible that profit should take precedence over greatness without even a real struggle. Most Americans wring their hands and say, “What can I do?” They watch TV, they go to work and they shop. They have given up. They had help.

But supposing you have not given up? What if you feel that it is your responsibility to do something concrete to mitigate injustice and improve the function of government? There is today no better way to get an impressive FBI file than to act as an agent for change. We live in a repressive society that is in denial about that same repression. It is sad that the powers that be have decided to take the possibility for real change out of the political process in this country because as real change becomes increasingly important and necessary, violence will result ”“ on both sides ”“ and people will die as a result of the violence.

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