Tag Archives: Freedom

We, the new slaves

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the Corporate King. The king disguises itself as our democratic government. But it lies to us and betrays us. The king owns our minds.

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the king’s propaganda and lies. We are told we are free. But money controls all, and the people have little. The money I speak of buys elections and lying politicians who are the minions of the Corporate King. The Supreme Court, itself owned by the Corporate King, has just delivered our country over to the power of money with the court’s latest decision in which it proclaims that the king may spend whatever the king wishes to further enslave the people, by feeding the people lies, feeding their prejudices, feeding their fear, feeding their hatreds and suspicions and claiming it is all for their benefit and their freedom.

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the king’s voice, the television that educates us and our children, that corrupts our values with violence, that dumbs us down so we can no longer think for ourselves. We turn to the tube to think for us. It tells us what gadgets, what things to buy and how to become further enslaved to pay for them. We once enslaved the aborigines in this country by trading them trinkets and mirrors in exchange for their land. It is an old trick that those in power play on the powerless. We are the powerless.

We are the new slaves. We are enslaved by banks and their demand for interest. The banks own our homes. We pay the banks rent in the form of interest, and we keep up their property at our expense. The banks are the soul of the Corporate King. But king is governed by no moral code. The king is governed only by its greed.

We are the new slaves. We pay tribute to the Corporate King from the sweat of our bodies to finance the king’s wars, wars not for our benefit, but for the king’s further enrichment and power. Our people die in such wars. Our people die without adequate health care. Millions of our children go to bed at night hungry and uneducated. The king does not care. It cares only for its wars and its profit.

The king sits back and laughs. To control the minds of hundreds of millions of people is divine. But such power is in the hands of fools who are the collective mind of the Corporate King. That mind is terminally diseased with greed. And the people are in jeopardy, for the king will continue to betray the people and lie to the people until it has sucked out the last of our lives. The Corporate King is insane.

What shall a desperate people do? We will do nothing until we learn the truth of our slavery. Will it then be too late except to scream in the streets?

But the king is deaf.

The wild pig story

Someone wrote me the following:

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day, while the class was in the lab, the Professor noticed one student who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up – with a gate. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, come through the gate now to eat and then you slam the gate down on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America.

My response was as follows:

This is a favorite story of corporate America that has captured most Americans through television, teaching us year after year what we must buy in order to be cool Americans. We buy on credit. We mortgage our homes and cars. We shop, as the saying goes, until we drop. Then the corporate master teaches us how to get out of debt by going to a debt-consultant who takes more of our earnings to help us pay the corporate overlord.

Corporations do not build fences to catch people. They throw propaganda nets over the people called advertising. The bait in the nets are the TV shows the people watch, and as we watch we are gradually dumbed-down and captured by endless corporate ads that tell us how we must spend our earnings to be acceptable – the new car –the new TV set – the right clothes – on and endlessly on.

Now that we are in debt and need help, the corporations love to tell the pig story. The question they ask is: Why don’t you work to feed yourself and your family? Why aren’t you independent like you should be? Why do you want something free?

I have rarely seen a corporate executive who was hungry. As a corporate executive who tells the pig story he also comes begging to the government to save his company from bankruptcy, and, at the same time, like a true pig, awards himself and his fellow pigs millions in bonuses while over twenty-five percent of America’s children go to bed hungry.

Please tell the children and their parents the pig story.

An argument for slavery

I am grateful to some of my readers who have inquired concerning my health, this in view of the fact that I have not posted for several weeks.  Imaging and I have just returned from a couple of weeks in Istanbul,Turkey.  The jet lag of nine hours is a killer.  I am still exhausted.

As most of you know, I was born in Wyoming and have spent most of my life here.  That makes me little more than a provincial innocent who has sparse first hand appreciation of the history of the human race.  My knowledge of history, as it is viewed on the ground, is one of Indians, and French fur traders and homesteaders, and when it is all gathered up it spans little more than a century.  Growing up and living in Wyoming one never actually touches ancient human history.  But in Istanbul it was a different story.

I was immediately taken by the history there that hit one in the face no matter where one went, the walls of the old city, several yards thick and thirty feet high, or higher – still standing after more than a thousand years.  The mosques, monstrous domed buildings with inlaid tile, the palaces of the Ottoman kings – I mean, if you began to dig a basement there you would encounter centuries of civilization beneath the surface.  I was astounded and left reeling.

I do not mean to turn this post into a travelogue.  But I was told that thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands of slaves built the Blue Mosque in five years, a feat we could not duplicate with our modern machinery.  Slavery.  Nearly every great nation in history was built on the backs of slaves – the Romans, the Egyptians, yes, the castles of the English lords.  The cathedrals in Italy, the Pope’s own quarters, are mostly the products of slave labor.  The human race has advanced on the crumbling bodies and endless sweat of those whose lives were stolen from them by those in power.  The foundation of our nation, too, was a system of slavery.

Nothing changes.  But we have learned to cloak slavery with the myth of freedom.  That is quite an accomplishment.  Yet remember, the slave had a guaranteed sustenance.  He had a pallet of straw to sleep on and he was fed, although little and cheaply.  When he died he was buried in a shallow grave by the master.

Ask the millions of unemployed today who desperately search for work if they are slaves – slaves without masters.  Parents struggle and sacrifice to send their children to college so they can become slaves of corporations that will use them up, and when they are finished with them, cast them out, nowadays often without pensions.  In the old slavery, a child was taken from his parents and sold.  In the new slavery the child, born in Seattle, will leave his family to be educated in Connececut and to work for a corporation in, say, Los Angeles.  The family is no longer a unit that protects its members.  The tribe is gone (unless by becoming a fan of a football or baseball team one joins such an impersonal tribe.)  If we work for others we are slaves with few rights.  When the dead master (the corporation that is and never has been alive) is finished with the slave the slave joins the ranks of the unemployed, feels worthless, worried, lost and wasted.  If we work for ourselves we are slaves to the system, to taxation, to rules of law, to endless regulations that, at last, are mostly intended to benefit the money interests of the nation.  No one can escape the slavery.  The farmer works himself to the bone to reap his crop, but the price he gets is the price that all farmer slaves get – the amount that the corporate system will allow.

I am not arguing against this brand of slavery.  Much of it is necessary in a civilized society, some for the protection of citizens.  But at the bottom of this whole mess of rules, customs, the philosophy of free enterprise, the stock market, the entire business world, the laws and the court system is the overriding interest of power.  We protect money before we protect people.

So when I got back from Istanbul I came to the conclusion that the human species, once we have abandoned the tribe, is hopelessly indentured. The trick, of course, is to become the kind of slave one wants to be, and to exercise enough control over one’s slavery that some happiness, some fulfillment can seep in.  I expect that the slaves who built the Blue Mosque might well have stepped back and seen its beauty and gathered in a bit of pride that they gave their lives to such a monument, one they doubtlessly believed in, as we, indeed, sacrifice our lives to our own various forms of slavery.

Letters from the insane: The domestication of man

My close friend, Argus Thompson – who is insane – wrote on the passiveness of Americans who stumble through their lives blinking and mumbling and sometimes staring at the sun while the earth is being destroyed:

“A strange stillness lies over the American masses. Something about servitude stills. Something about domestication stifles. The wolf, now the poodle, no longer howls. The wild boar lies on its side in the hog pen and grunts. The wildebeest, now the Holstein cow, stands in her stanchion placidly chewing her cud while she’s milked dry. Domestication of man and beast muffles the cry of freedom and suffocates the spirit of liberty.

“This is a war for the very survival of the earth, our Mother. Yet, as in all wars, only the radical edge, the impassioned few, rise up, the placid majority, gagged by apathy, the wicked sister of death, are heard to mumble only occasionally from under their bed cloths in the dark of night.”

Have we surrendered too soon?

Some readers have asked that I be more reasonable and in balance. I have replied, “In face of injustice I do not wish to be reasonable or in balance.”

I think of William Lloyd Garrison, the Abolitionist leader on Slavery in America who in 1831 wrote:

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think or speak or write with moderation.

“No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm. Tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of a ravisher. Tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen, but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse. I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.”

As for me, I do not seek to tear down all institutions, although many need to be discarded as evil. I wish to tear down only those that unjustly enslave our people.

I do not believe all corporations are evil. But the corporate form induces evil because it does not attach human responsibility to the corporations’ immense power. Those who govern the corporate machine must be made responsible for the abuse of its unbridled power. Too often its responsibility to those it injures is as if one shoots a bullet into his neighbor and then blames only the gun.

Bill wrote “Many of us cannot see that we are enslaved. Being told that we are in that state is a foreign concept, one that the brain cannot process. It may take a while for the idea to sink in. It would almost be akin to being told that the people you believe to be your parents are not, in fact, your parents.”

I agree. That is the danger. Unless we recognize our servitude we can never escape it.

We have been told from the moment we could understand the words that there is “liberty and justice for all.” We cannot bear to hear that the promise has been broken, that, indeed, the fruit of the promise was never delivered in the first place.

Yet in America the occasional slave can become the slave master. That is the throbbing, luring advertisement of our system. It is possible, as all things are possible, that the poor kid from the projects can become the CEO of Cornflakes and enslave his neighbors.

The term, “slavery” is too broad to be understood. We are enslaved by religion, by our employers, by the bank, by the credit card companies, by our promises to our spouses, by our duty to our children, by a stale belief system imposed on us by parents and teachers.

We are enslaved by our negligence regarding our health, by our inability to think without the aid of our slave masters, the corporation, that teaches us what to buy and how to pay for it. We are enslaved by marketers, who tell us what we must wear and the car we must drive to be hip, by politicians who themselves are enslaved by corporate money who tell us what wars we must fight and that we must, to be loyal Americans, sacrifice the lives or our children and the lives of those our children are directed to kill.

We are enslaved by unjust laws and a judicial system that will not deliver justice. We are enslaved….I am already weary and I have only begun this bill of particulars.

Slavery is of two types—that which is imposed on us by outside forces over which we have no control, and that which is self imposed. In the end, much of the slavery we suffer has been a matter of choice. Is it not more comfortable to be a slave?

The truth is I have told you nothing you do not already know. Already you know that perfect freedom is perfect nothingness. To approach it is pure terror. We call it death.

We conduct the war against our own enslavement from within. Our freedoms are the spoils of that carnage. Freedom cannot be given except as we capture it in ourselves. May I ask: Do we surrender too soon?

The first step toward freedom

The man who sleeps under the bridge enjoys a certain freedom. The stag in the forest is also free. The first is free to starve and to die of exposure, the second to become a trophy on the hunter’s wall. The man with a family has lost the freedom of a bachelor who, in his single state, is free to suffer loneliness and perhaps a life without direction.

The worker has sold his freedom to his dead employer, the corporation that was never alive, but he can buy frozen dinners, a TV set and mortgage his future wages for his new SUV and a tract house that will own him. He is free to leave his employment and seek a more fulfilling job, but the new job will likely be as stifling as the old. The worker is free to vote for anyone he chooses. But his choices were sold out to the dead before he entered the voting booth.

Fathers and mothers are free to scrimp, sacrifice and save in order to send their children to college. Once qualified, the children will be sold to another dead corporate master in another city where their choices are substantially the same. None of us, not the homeless, the stag, the well employed, the mothers and fathers, the CEOs of the dead who are only the overseers of slaves—none of us are free.

The good news comes when we recognize our state as slaves. For recognition of that truth will permit us to take the first steps toward our personal freedom. Be patient with me. We cannot find our way out of the jungle until we recognize we are lost. There are many ways out. We shall find them together.

The way out

So we all want solutions—solutions that will free us. Solutions come in easy words. Give us easy words, Gerry, words that do not anger or frighten or hurt. We want words we can pass quickly by and then pop a Bud. We do not want words that cause us to pry open the thick door to the inner self—to the deep places where our status as a slave will be revealed.

We do not want our friends to say we are slaves. That word is too damning, too frightening, too unkind. Friends like you, Gerry would not say this word. No. Not a friend.

But if we seek change we must be prepared to abandon easy words. When we have searched the width and breadth of our slavery, when we struggle against the psychic chains and wince at the invisible lash at our backs then the pain will lead us to solutions.