Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shots Unheard Around The Nation

In what can only be considered ironic, news from around the world about the uprisings in Middle Eastern and African nations, normally relegated to obscurity, are front page news. Normally, the American attraction to news from overseas is tepid; if it is not happening in our back yard, we scarcely think it matters what happens to people thousands of miles away. Of course, the easiest explanation for the wealth of coverage is that these uprisings affect the one thing that Americans cannot live without: oil. So the health and stability and democratic leanings of oil-rich nations are, for once, in our best interests.

The shame is that these events are overshadowing far more momentous events right here in our own nation, for a different kind of revolution is under way, a revolution that once more finds Americans throwing off the long arms of tyranny, and rebelling against forces that would take what matters most from them, without giving them anything in return. The current epicenter of this revolution is Madison, Wisconsin, and the people there have banded together to parry the thrusts of big money, and to wrest their lives from its selfish and self-serving grip. They have fired the first volley, and like their compatriots from two hundred thirty-six years ago, their defiance of ruling power stands to change the course of our history for a long time to come.

While the import of Madison may seem far less than that of Lexington and Concord, the moment is no less important to our nation. The Shot Heard Round The World heralded the birth of a new nation from the tyranny of foreign rule. The silent volley from Madison, strange in this age of the twenty-four hour news cycle, marks the beginning of the end for rule of a nation by a natural-born power: the wealthy elite. As in previous times, those with massive wealth have bought their way into the halls of power, seeking to insure their continued dominance of financial affairs, stacking the deck in their favor, denying the nation its fair share of their profits, profits made off the backs of hard-working Americans, Americans they do not wish to support, seeing them as mere fungible assets. But Americans have become fed up with being ruled by proxy from boardrooms and mansions and high-rise offices; they refuse to allow the Monied Powers to continue to dictate the terms of their lives, while sharing none of the hardship.

Now, there is nothing wrong with garnering wealth inherently – what is wrong is when, in doing so, one loses sight of the source of that wealth and determines that the health, safety, and well-being of others is subservient to the pursuit of riches. Money earned callously is money stained with blood; to cast aside those who would provide the muscle, backbone, and energy that drives industry and finance is to celebrate dominion over others while sitting atop a mound of broken bodies. No one is disallowed from being rich – what we must prevent is the idea that such riches do not come with a price tag. No dollar earned by anyone on Wall Street or in the corporate world simply materializes out of thin air; it is those who toil daily to perform thankless and less-than-inspiring jobs who make the money appear. They deserve to share in the profit of their labors as much as those who sit and manipulate the streams of business, if not more so for having done the actual work.

The Monied Powers do not see it that way. They believe that their enormous wealth insulates them from any debt to others, and that the purpose of all the “little people” is to supply them with work that makes the money, without any strings attached. They have disconnected themselves from reality, thrown up wrought-iron fences, driven away in fast cars, or flown away in private jets to exclusive places, all to avoid contact with regular Americans. They do not wish to hear about poverty, disease, lack of clean water, homes, or affordable health care. None of that means anything to them. These people might as well be aliens from another world for all the feelings they engender in those who would exploit them.

Yet here, in the heartland, in a state with a Governor bought and paid for by the Monied Powers, the people, those nameless, faceless, wage slaves, have begun to rebel. They are tired of being treated as if their voice does not matter. They are tired of being lied to by political party machines whose strings are pulled from the inky shadows. They are tired of being fed a diet of obfuscations and prevarications in the name of attempting to strip them of what power they have. The stand in the tens of thousands, peacefully but with purpose, to make their voices heard. They reject that status quo, the constant attack on their self-worth by those who do not lift a finger to help them, and would see what little they get from the communion of humanity removed, to pad the wallets of the Monied Powers through tax cuts.

You may think it hyperbolic, but if you do, it is because your soul does not thrill to electricity of a unified citizenry rising up against those who would use the power given them to cross purposes. You might wish everyone go home, stop rocking the boat, accept reality, but the reality my friend, is that for decades, interests counter to the welfare of the nation and its citizens have been worming their way into every hall, every legislature, every home, decrying the very notion of a nation founded on the idea of power being derived from its members, and doing the utmost to rewrite the rules to favor their vested interests. They would take our birthright, the Constitution that so many gave their lives to bring to life, and tear it asunder, substituting their own will for the declaration that the government of, by, and for the People should see to their aid, comfort, and protection.

In nations all over this globe, people very much like ourselves, a lot like out Founders, are rising up against regimes that have seen fit to oppress them openly, challenging them to slaughter them by the thousands as the world watches, causing men thought to be impervious to harm to crumble and topple under the weight of the rejection by their people. In this way, a new birth of freedom and democracy might take root in places where the people were at the mercy of a corrupt minority. That same spirit, long dormant in our nation, parroted by those who would identify with the Revolution, but who are, in reality, mere unknowing lackeys of the Monied Powers, is reborn, as the people of Wisconsin see their State government attempt to neutralized one of the few power centers available to the average person, the labor union, in an effort to allow their masters to reign unfettered.

This is not the end of the new revolution, and for the Monied Powers, they would well be wise to not mark this as passing fancy. Not all the lackeys and minions in the world can insulate them from the wrath of an electorate aroused. Even now, the spirit extends beyond Wisconsin, and though the news would say little of it, the Internet is alive with the words and actions and directives of those who would wrest freedom and liberty back from the hands of fiscal despots. The People are no longer content to sit idly by and watch their power be leached away, nor their bank accounts emptied. This revolution, like its predecessor, will not end until the enemy has been driven from our shores, back to the dark corners of humanity from whence they came. The banner is raised, the drumbeat sounded, and so it begins.

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