Monday, November 26, 2018

What Ordinary People Can Do To Overthrow The Corporate Oligarchy

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We can look to China’s surveillance system to know the likely endgame of the oppression machine that’s taking over our lives. After creating a vast network of public spy cameras and online activity tracking, China is setting up a “citizen credit” score which ranks every person’s perceived loyalty to the government. And as one Atlantic article about China’s surveillance state says, “what emerges in China will not stay in China. Its repressive technologies have a pattern of diffusing to other authoritarian regimes around the world.”

I’m mentioning these facts because they deeply motivate me to rebel against corporate capitalism, imperialism, and the police state. The implications of this surveillance system are horrifying; its meticulous tracking of people’s political expressions and social behaviors deprives people of their autonomy in a way that’s unprecedented in the history of state control. And since the United States fits the criteria for an authoritarian society with an already established surveillance state, people in my country should especially worry that something like it will arise one day in our own lives.
But it’s not too late to rebel. Here are some concrete actions that we can take to bring society further away from this nightmarish totalitarian vision.
Engage in mass protests and civil disobedience
The recent events in France should give people around the world hope for a mass uprising. Protesters have been mobilizing against France’s oppressive fuel tax, while massive rail strikes have broken out. This has followed the vast European worker strikes and worldwide teacher strikes that have also happened this year. And the Macron government’s recent responses of protest bans and violent police crackdowns show that the capitalist class is alarmed by these developments.
These events show that to bring change, we’ll need to carry out persistent and sustained acts of civil disobedience. This means continuing our protest efforts no matter how much the state tries to suppress them. As Chris Hedges warned a year ago about how an American mass uprising will be dealt with:
Trump and his allies, in a desperate bid to cling to power, will openly stoke hate crimes and violence against Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, progressives, intellectuals, feminists and dissidents. He and his allies on the “alt-right” and the Christian right will move to silence all organs of dissent, including corporate media outlets fighting to restore the patina of civility that is the window dressing to corporate pillage. They will harness the power of the nation’s substantial internal security apparatus to crush public protests and to jail opponents, even those who are part of the faux resistance.
We should see these threats from the government as a challenge to never back down. The Poor People’s Campaign is currently creating protests against corporate capitalism, and Extinction Rebellion’s participators are now getting arrested for the sake of climate action. Let’s support these and other civil disobedience groups for the fight ahead.
Help fight the information war
Independent journalists present a serious threat to the power of the corporate media, and they can therefore mobilize people towards revolt. This is what I’ve concluded after seeing alt media outlets be heavily censored, aggressively marginalized, and blacklisted as foreign agents throughout the last few years.
These attacks tell us that the ruling class cares a lot about the information we’re exposed to. The constant warnings about “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” are instructions for people not to stray away from the corporate media echo chamber. And incidents like last month’s mass purging of legitimate political Facebook pages are direct moves towards the totalitarian shutdown of dissenting voices.
The solution is to put more effort into creating, spreading around, and financially supporting these targeted news outlets. In response to the onslaught of censorship, I’ve developed a daily routine of visiting some of the top alt news sites-namely TruthDig, Truthout, Counterpunch, Consortiumnews, The Anti-Media, MintPressnews, and the World Socialist Website, which have all recently had their viewership cut down by online censorship. These outlets, along with journalists like Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore, and Chris Hedges, continue to create content that the political establishment wants removed from our discourse.
In short, we need truth-tellers right now more than ever. And if one is willing to become one of the creators of independent media, it’s an opportunity to explore your creativity while doing good for the world.
Build the institutions for revolt
To overthrow corporate power, we need to vastly expand the anti-war, socialist, and environmental organizations. To quote Hedges again: “All of the movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor movement, the communists, the socialists, the anarchists and the civil rights movement—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond.”
Some of the organizations that I suggest joining for this project are World Beyond War, the Freedom Socialist Party, the Socialist Equality Party, and the Green Party. The bigger these groups get, the weaker the corporate institutions will become. And these are just a few of them; there are countless similar organizations, including local organizing groups that most people can find in their areas with a Google search.
After half a century of widening inequality and attacks against the rights of poor and working people, the populations throughout Europe, North America, and other regions have become a social tinderbox. A vast upheaval is getting ready to happen, and we’re already in its early stages. As the World Socialist Website’s David North assessed this year, we are “in a period of growing political radicalization among young people, among workers, [where] they start to look for oppositional information, they become interested in socialism, revolution, terms like ‘equality.’”
If we can harness this emerging unrest, and nonviolently turn it towards an anti-war, pro-socialist direction, the foundations of society will be shaken. But we’ve got to act now.

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