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Sun Mar 15, 2015, 06:42 PM

Essay Inspired by the Cotton Letter

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This essay is not addressed to Senator Cotton or his seditious friends on Capitol Hill, or even to their paymasters in America’s corporate suites, the one percent, those whom George Carlin calls the owners of America, the oligarchs who are in the last stages of overthrowing the vestiges of American democracy.

This essay, in its own way just as seditious as Senator Cotton’s letter, is addressed to you Americans who aren’t in the club that George Carlin identified.

I see the passage in the near future of the Trans Pacific Partnership as the death knell of American democracy. We can pass whatever laws we like and the oligarchs will just take it a kangaroo court composed of corporate lawyers who will overrule it. The sovereignty of nations, and of the people who are the citizens of those nations, will be at an end.
If we want to return to democratic government, we will have to fight the oligarchs for it.

The fight must be best fought with a commitment to nonviolent strategy and tactics. We must not recognize oligarchs’ regime. We must not cooperate with the oligarchs’ regime. Our goal must be to overthrow the oligarchs’ regime and restore democracy.
Key to these tactics will be things that are just plain illegal. General strikes are against federal law, but that is not something that we should concern ourselves with once American sovereignty is usurped by a corporate oligarchy featuring its own judicial system under the TPP. The corporation for whom you work will be paying you as little as possible and bringing cases to the TPP tribunal to strike down regulations concerning workplace safety and public health. The Koch brothers won’t even have to go through the charade of denying climate science to escape culpability for the effects of global warming. They just bring the case to the TPP’s kangaroo courts. Should we be expected to honor laws or government given to protect those who starve us with low wages and choke us with environmental pollution? Of course not. We should refuse to work for them.

Another important weapon at our disposal is the tax strike. The law is not for our benefit, but for the benefit of corporate tyrants. With national sovereignty destroyed and government of the people, for the people and by the people a thing of the past, why should we pay taxes? Representation of the people has no effect, and taxation without representation is still tyranny.

Of course, the forces of tyranny should not be expected to take kindly to an open campaign of civil disobedience and non-cooperation. They will strike back and strike back hard. Be prepared to go to jail, even to be tortured and even to die. We may be committed to nonviolence, but, as seen in the Iraq War and Ferguson, Missouri, our adversaries are committed to building and protecting their power at any costs and by any means.

Finally, we must commit ourselves to not fight in their dirty little corporate imperialist wars. We don’t benefit from them. There’s nothing in it for any of us except a burial plot in Arlington.

There are very few "just" wars, and no war is really just in the last analysis. World War II is often cited as a just war, but in that case it was only just for the allies. Otherwise, it was a war started by a mad man who had no excuse, just his hate-filled delusions. The Japanese were more conventional villains than the Nazis. The Japanese went to war to expand into an empire, to subjugate nations and seize their natural resources.

Wars are not fought for noble reasons. The Trojan War was not fought to rescue a “kidnapped” Queen from captivity, even if there is any truth to that story. The Agamemnon led his command across the Aegean Sea to Troy in order to control shipping through the Hellespont, the most important trade route in the region in the late Bronze Age.

US wars since 1945 have been of that Japanese model. The war against Iraq most certainly was. It was a war for oil. All other rationales were just window dressing to make a war rooted in corporate greed more palatable to the American public as making it appear to be an altruistic effort to destroy a bloody tyrant and enhance national security. The only truth in that was that Saddam really was a bloody tyrant. That he was a threat to American security, or even to his weakest neighbor, were bald faced lies. That the world is a better and safer place without Saddam in power is a mantra that the architects of the war have continued to use to justify their actions as all the other reasons have fallen apart under even the slightest scrutiny. Yet even this justification is brought into question by the rise of the terrorist regime of the Islamic State, which makes Saddam look like an enlightened despot by comparison.

The fossil fuel industry is on life support. Coal and oil are dirty, polluting and unhealthy sources of energy, and this is true even before we start talking about anthropogenic climate change, something that most certainly not a hoax. Yet the private enterprises that extract these resources from the earth are given tax breaks and government subsides to do so. Renewable energy is ready to come online and supplant fossil fuels in a matter of years. There is no excuse not to begin the process to begin the process of supplementing and finally supplanting fossil fuels with solar and wind power immediately.

Therefore, there is no need to fight wars in the Middle East. There is no need to spill the blood of America's future to secure more supplies of oil for ExxonMobil or Chevron.

We must not give our lives or the lives of our children or grandchildren to be sacrificed on the altar of the fossil fuel industries. We Americans must avoid military service until a rational energy policy is adopted by the government that supposedly derives its power and authority from We, the people, not They, the corporatists.

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