Truth is for people, not power

Via Kevin Carson, this post by Joe Carpenter is absolutely, positively inspiring - and at the same time a wake-up smack in the face for those of us for whom positivity is more of a political fallback than a political motivation:

I've never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don't already understand that. After all, they designed it; they maintain it.


Well, the government and their pals are not going to stop using and abusing us. They're not going to stop preying on us. They cannot stop! Republican or Democrat, they are rich and powerful precisely because they prey on us. They are rich because they rob us. They're robbing us right this minute. They are powerful because they dominate every aspect of our lives, because they've taken control of all the major social, political, economic, and communication systems in the world. These systems were designed to increase their wealth and power by taking both from all the rest of us.


....We don?t need to rush out to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by the few, for -- incredibly, they do not know. We need to look to our next door neighbors, and to their next door neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to tell the truth to each other -- for we are the answer....

But the rich and powerful have convinced us that we cannot -- we must not -- communicate with the people we can see and hear and touch, right here, right now. They have convinced us that we need to travel to some government office to persuade elected officials and bureaucrats to change our world for us. The government and media drone on, endlessly, hypnotically, and convince us that if we just elect the right leaders, they'll talk to our next door neighbor for us....

Want to change the world? Tell the truth to the plumber. Begin with the lady who hands you the stamps at the post office. Talk with the checkout people at the grocery store. Chat with the waiter at your favorite cafe. Speak with the cops who sit down at the next table. Gab for a few minutes with the guy who changes your oil or with the elementary school teacher with whom you've been discussing your child?s future. Lean out of your window while stopped at the light and tell the truck driver some truth he's certain to recall and ponder.

What we need, as a people, is a vision of what we can accomplish. That is the true power of populist politics - not class warfare for class warfare's sake, but a consensus that informs the people to the extent that authority is no longer necessary. This is the next step in our journey as a race. Let's get excited about it! Let's talk about it! Let's make this the agenda! We don't have to have grand plans of revolution and levelling - just a simple appreciation for our fellow man that the state seeks to subplant.

Because this is where the bar is set presently:

Our beliefs in equality, etc.. are not shared by them; they are the ruling class, and keenly aware of it. They are, I suspect, exactly like Jane Austen's gentry - sensitive to their standing among their own, but without guilt or compassion at all for the vast majority of the planet's population; everyone not at their level is weather, workhouse, rubbish and landscape. Too often we tend to imagine them, to portray them in our speculations, as psychologically similar to ourselves, as belonging to our culture. They aren't - this is evident - and they don't.

We do far more damage to the statists by demonstrating their futility than by fighting them openly (though I imagine there's always a time for that). It's not about getting the power back - it's about demonstrating the uselessness of power by living differently and thinking differently. We don't mob them - we live and socialize in a way that exposes their imposition and the true nature of the order they impose so graciously on us.

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Written on Friday, November 18, 2005