Dissent in a Plutocracy



Inflected forms: pl. plu·toc·ra·cies

1. Government by the wealthy. 2. A wealthy class that controls a government. 3. A government or state in which the wealthy rule.


Greek ploutokrati: ploutos, wealth; see pleu- in Appendix I + -krati, -cracy.

I believe that American citizens – however much we may in our hearts oppose the war and Bush’s other global designs – are still the population most responsible for the devastation occurring and about to occur in the world around us. Yes, we are downtrodden. Yes, we have lost our jobs and are so busy worrying about our individual welfare that we’ve got less time to worry about long-term situations like the Middle East, Asia, nuclear threats and American Imperialism.

No, our votes no longer will be counted. (The midterm election’s computerized exit poll data didn’t even work this time – as if to announce that there will be no checks and balances on the “official” results of elections. Still no excuse not to vote, but it will take obvious landslides to force those in power to admit defeat.) All this notwithstanding, we remain the most accessible high-leverage point in this still dynamical system. And we, the American people, are still the best chance the world has of averting the upcoming horror.

I no longer feel that voting is the main channel of feedback we have available to us as Americans. If not voting, then what? Protest. Good, old-fashioned, in-the-streets protest. Protests stir unrest. They create visible signs of dissent – whether or not they are reported by the mainstream right-wing propaganda engine masquerading as the US press. The bigger and more participatory the protests get, the bigger the cognitive dissonance between what people perceive going on in the world around them and what they see on TV or hear from their “leaders.” The less people believe, the less they can be controlled. And then the whole charade begins to unravel.

If protests didn’t work, then the Washington DC police wouldn’t arrest everyone involved in protests whether they have broken any laws or not. If protests didn’t work, then the pro-war-cops wouldn’t be spoofing the email addresses of legitimate anti-war email lists like those at www.votenowar.org and sending out fake spam in their name (getting them filtered by SpamCop, no less). If demonstrations didn’t work, then the pro-Globalism forces wouldn’t send fake activists wearing masks (large, 40-year-old men, by most accounts) to initiate violence and marginalize the effort.

The enforcers of the status quo go to great extremes to repress protests, because they know protests work. In fact the American regime is now rushing to war not because of any weather condition in Iraq, but to outpace the growing opposition. When polls show 70% of Americans against war, the war machine has a problem.

Yes, our nation is being controlled by thugs. Thugs who break the law, steal money, commit fraud, engage in documented treason, and will even go to war to support their short-term business interests. These thugs were not elected, because the electoral process is flawed and corrupt.

But like any village in controlled by gangs, America can stand up to the oppressors that carry out these deeds with (what’s left of) our dollars and in our name.

Get online, get organized, and show up at protests.