Monday, April 10, 2006

Ending Isolation and New Beginnings

"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn't exist."
--Verbal Kent in the film The Usual Suspects

Corporations have had similar success. These private tyrannies have been able to rape the world with very little effective resistance, especially in the country which harbors these criminal institutions. Alexis de Tocqueville warned us in Democracy in America that he knew of
"no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." However, the unchecked and unqualified belief we Americans have in our democracy makes us much less aware of the oppressive institutions. We are effectively rendered powerless beyond an occassional trip to the ballot box.

I do find hope however, even if that hope is something that will likely need to be imported. Venezuelans are inspiring. When President Hugo Chavez was temporarily removed from office by a U.S.-backed coup d'etat, and Venezuelans had no leadership that was further hampered by a complete communication blackout, they spontaneously took to the streets despite vicious and brutal police repression. It was as though the collective consciousness of Venezuelans banded them together in solidarity and said, "Let's not allow this coup. Let's take our country back!" And that is exactly what they did. Without any leadership or central organization the people of Venezuela took their country back and resisted tyranny.

This kind of grassroots consciousness gives hope to the idea that the Bolivarian Revolution is much bigger than just one man. It gives hope that what really stands in the way of taking measures into our own hands is ourselves. Though the obstacle of forfeiting our material comforts and facing the most powerful institutions in the world is nothing to take lightly, it is worth considering the old adage of Karl Marx: "We have nothing to lose but our chains."

So if you're ready and would like to join me, let's start a revolution. Let's start creating our own security and order from within. Let's reassure each other that the constitutive tension we feel from being so dependent on everyone around us even though we know nothing about each other (both of which are effects of capitalism and the modern society: atomized yet interdependent) can be changed by taking our lives back and connecting. Join a social justice group or start your own. Whatever you do, get connected. Get to know the people in your community so we can stop fearing the people upon whom depend for all kinds of unknown reasons. Let's talk about issues and stop allowing the institutional terror that is isolating us to take control. We must stop fundamentalists and reactionaries from driving the collective consciousness of this nation towards greater fear and isolation. Let's unplug from the media, advertisers, fundamentalist clerics (Christian, Muslims, et. al.), government, and public education. Let's stop speaking truth to power and start speaking truth to each other! The revolution starts now!!!