First, let me start by acknowledging that the title of this diary is very ambitious, and because of it, I will start the discussion by making a statement which I hope we can all agree with, in order to set the right tone...
No single individual or group can ever claim they have the answers to the big questions dealing with society, economics, culture, politics, education, etc. We are all individuals, and we have our own perspectives on many different things, and we can't always agree with each other on a myriad of issues, and those differences should be respected (by and large). People of good will can always agree to disagree on things.What I'm going to attempt to do here is to share my perspective about how to address many of the challenges we face today, including government dysfunction, corruption, climate change, and sustainability.
I'm also going to recommend some steps (solutions), and expect that if people engage in this discussion, that there are going to be those who may disagree with some of my prescriptions, or may want to add different perspectives. I welcome that.
But in the end, this diary is a call for concrete action; it is about unity, about solidarity, and about "doing."
COMMUNITY / LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY
The corporatism ethos that has spread around the entire country is rapacious and predatory. In essence, what you have a quasi-cartel of very rich individuals and organizations that use their clout, power, and wealth to form businesses that through predatory (oligopolistic) practices are able to undercut (and undermine) locally-owned enterprises--These are the business chains, like big box retailers, fast food, an others.
They use their money to essentially pay off politicians in thousands of towns and cities around the country so they pass legislation that either eliminate or substantially lower their tax payments. They also insist in undermining (and weakening, or destroying) labor unions, and any ability for workers to organize.
The counter-propaganda (or public education) challenge we have is to use public awareness, public relations, advertising, marketing, and social activism techniques to inform the public about how harmful and immoral these companies (the politicians on the take) and their practices are.
Solution: BOYCOTT -- Let's make a concerted effort to defund the oligarchy. Let's spread the meme based on the idea that when people support businesses that are antagonistic to the interests of working people, then that support is (in the final analysis) immoral, and detrimental to the interest of our communities.
So in essence, the idea that needs to be spread (using counter-propaganda techniques) is that when people patronize companies like WALMART, Bank of America, Chase, and others, they are financing the war-chests of corporatist cartels who want to control, subjugate, and exploit the citizenry.
Practical Approach to Boycotting ALEC/Corporatist Cartels: We all know that because we are embedded in the system, it is impractical for many people to decide to stop patronizing (and therefore financing hostile/criminal/corrupt corporatist cartels). So we need to start doing so gradually, in small/incremental steps.
The first thing I'm going to do is to ask you to join me in sharing this goal of defunding the corporate oligarchy. That means that together, you and I, are going to make a conscious effort to start patronizing independent, locally-owned businesses more, and do everything we can to avoid patronizing the immoral corporate chains.
I'm setting up a mechanism for us (you and I) to start building a sense of unity, solidarity, and commitment towards this goal.
- Market For the People: Visit this site (still under construction), and join the community. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you like. Just enter your name or pseudonym, your email address (which will remain confidential), and your zip code.
- REPEACE: When you join Market for The People, you will also be joining REPEACE, which is a global accountability movement based on three pledges: (1) The support of local businesses that focus on providing local products and services (and on sustainability), not on buying influence; (2) The support of honest politicians accountable to the people, and not to corporations; (3) The support of countries that support and defend human rights, constitutional protections, and freedom of expression.
- Engage: I'm going to give you some homework... But don't worry, it's easy. I'm going to ask you to make a conscious effort to earn 10 points every day, as follows: TV: 2 points for reducing your TV watching to less than 1.5 hours a day; Support of Local Businesses: 2 points for every time you patronize a locally-owned, independent business instead of an immoral corporate chain; Educate The Public: 2 points for every time you reach out to others in an effort to educate them about the importance of supporting locally-owned, independent businesses, vs. immoral corporate chains; Support Honest Politicians: 2 points for seeking out and supporting politicians that meet one specific requirement: they agree to only accept small contributions from the public, and zero from corporate interests (lobbyists, etc); Congregate: 2 points for every time you meet face to face with other members (Daily Kos, REPEACE, Market for The People, or any other social justice and anti-corruption activist group). This includes (peaceful) protest rallies.
I will set up a mechanism (features) where we will be able to interact on a daily basis, and self-report on our daily points (but don't cheat). Then people will encourage each other to try to try to earn the 10 daily points. We'll come up with a rewards system afterwards...
I welcome ideas regarding the point system, including adding other goals (Words In Action, where are you?)
Other areas we will be engaging in include, organic (sustainable) local food production, housing alternatives including communes, collectives, and co-housing, social justice activism, development of local and nationwide support networks, counter-propaganda (public education) strategies, and others... Again, I welcome your ideas.
Finally, with this initiative I'm making an effort to reach out to every single person (reader) of good will, regardless of whether they are hard-core (peaceful) activists, socialists, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or anything in between, as long as they are willing to get off behind the keyboard and "activate" their activism in the public sphere. I want to meet you face to face; hear your voice, your ideas, your sorrows, your enthusiasm, hear about your hopes and dreams. We need to get together, for real, build community, and find solutions--together.
For the last few months I've been asking people to join a network of activists. So far close to 400 people from all over the country (and many from around the world) have answered that call.
Now I'm asking you personally to at least take some of the steps I'm proposing here so we can start building a common purpose, unity, solidarity. I'm confident that from that, we'll come to realize how much power we really have once we unite in solidarity. We will Realize Peace, which is the absence of fear.
I will be attending the Restore The Fourth rallies tomorrow in the SF Bay Area, and will be reporting on my experiences later in the week.
Thank you for reading...
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