(2:15PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
They want to set the world on fire
We are in danger
There is time only to work slowly
There is no time not to love.
I believe that perhaps the only possible effective action to take in order to halt the gears and levers of this lemming-like perpetual motion machine of destruction is — to do nothing. That’s right, nothing. So long as we continue to participate, to go along with doing what we are doing within the system, to continue to prop up the system by going along, we are doomed to go on repeating it over and over.
Perhaps there was a time earlier when, if we had been true to the cautionary words of the Founding Fathers that the “Price of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance,” we could have held on to this democratic republic. But that is not possible now. I do believe it is too late, imho. It’s fine to continue working politically, but, and this is a big but, we must do more.
If we attempt to work through the system, through “what has become of” “democratic” electoral politics, we will continue to be defeated, again and again. Just like the 2006 elections, we anti-in our hopes, only to be disappointed, to find we have been suckered again.
And, obviously, we can’t go for open revolt. We’ll be mowed down so thoroughly and so quickly that it is not an option.
So the only thing I can see to do is to refuse to comply, refuse to go along.
A group, vote strike is calling for a massive General Strike to start on September 11, 2008, with smaller strikes earlier and a financial strike (buying only necessities) going on from whatever day you join (now) ongoing to and through September 11.
So many of us are so discouraged from years of activism to seemingly no avail, we need a new direction. In an excellent essay in HARPER’S last Fall, Garret Keizer offers some inspiring ideas…
Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy-a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power-has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul.
You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner party ejaculation of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light — that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviation of a proverb, something between Murphy’s Law and tomorrow’s fatal inducement to drink and be merry today.
If someone were to suggest, for example, that we begin a general strike … for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily and with what well-practiced assurance would you find yourself producing the words “It won’t do any good”? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he’s going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizen-ry that believes it is already dead.
But we are not dead, no matter how thoroughly we have been brainwashed into hopelessness by “their” immense, regressive, encompassing power. There is only one way to “fight” such malevolent, immoral power, that is by saying,”NO!” The horrors are too great, the “powers” too recalcitrant. We must say, “No”, and say “No” now.
The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn’s early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what’s going on in our collective life. The poet Richard Wilbur writes of the “ripped mouse” that “cries Concordance” in the talons of the owl; we too cry our daily assent in the grip of the prevailing order- except in those notable instances when, like a donkey or a Buddha, we refuse to budge.
The question we need to ask ourselves at this moment is what further provocations we require to justify digging in our heels. To put the question more pointedly: Are we willing to wait until the next presidential election, or for some interim congressional conversion experience, knowing that if we do wait, hundreds of our sons and daughters will be needlessly destroyed? Another poet, César Vallejo, framed the question like this:
A man shivers with cold, coughs, spits up blood.
Will it ever be fitting to allude to my inner soul? . . .
A cripple sleeps with one foot on his shoulder.
Shall I later on talk about Picasso, of all people?
A young man goes to Walter Reed without a face. Shall I make an appointment with my barber? A female prisoner is sodomized at Abu Ghraib. Shall I send a check to the Clinton campaign?
Keizer draws a horrifying picture of any continuing superficial participation or complicity in this, shall I say, charade!
But there is a group already calling for and organizing a…
“Sooner or later all freedom loving Americans will realize that the only way to stop those who would bleed our nation dry, dismantle our constitution, and dissolve our national sovereignty is to
say I will not work for you, buy from you, fight for you, or die for you,
until the criminals are gone from the halls of our government.“
This group seems quite well organized. My only complaint is that they send out too much stuff, but I’m willing to put up with that. Here’s a little more:
In order to get involved, here are the five best steps to take now:
1) Sign up with your email address at the URL in order to get updates,
2) Mark the day on your calendar and plan to be at a protest in your community;
3) Send this URL to all your friends, post it to forums, put it on your personal pages,http://www.votestrike.com There will be zero mainstream media discussion of this General Strike before it happens. So, we must be our own media and promote it. Link to this site from sites and blogs. Mention it with links in your comments on blogs;
4) Join the Consumer Fast already underway. Click Shut’EmDown at the URL
5) Take the lead and help organize a protest on 9/11.
…on blogging & e work…
Backround: Ghandi spoke of the need for a journal/newspaper to get the word out. And in researching for this site, I have learned that all of the quotes we learned in civics class of the founding fathers ‘give me freedom or give me death’ etc., came from books writen by the founding fathers. I believe that they wrote/blogged so much to inflame the passions of the people. That the general pop was apathetic & complacent. They got up, went to work, paid their taxes, had British soldiers all around & never knew anything different.
So I’ve started dropping articles at opednews.com- daily. The article that came out today blew up the site, & we got more people signing up today for a single day than any other day….Ghandi was right.
My request to you is: blow these articles up. Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc. I only have time to publish at Opednews.com/Newsvine so I need you to post them at BuzzFlash, Anti-war.com, (your favorite site) etc. This is easy, free & only takes a minute. (Article titles, links & descriptions appear below.)
We only have a couple more months until Sept. 11th & this is one of the best ways to spread the word about the strike. Some of these articles (below) are only one page long & would make great flyers, posters, emails, faxes, etc.
These tools can be found at the main URL listed above. Concluding, I will return to
Garret Keizer in HARPER’S,”Notebook”, October 2007, pg 9.”Specific Suggestion: General Strike”
I wrote this appeal during the days leading up to the Fourth of July. I wrote it because for the past six and a half years I have heard the people I love best-family members, friends, former students and parishioners-saying, “I’m sick over what’s happening to our country, but I just don’t know what to do.” Might I be pardoned if, fearing civil disorder less than I fear civil despair, I said, “Well, we could do this.” It has been done before and we could do this. And I do believe we could. If anyone has a better idea, I’m keen to hear it. Only don’t tell me what some presidential hopeful ought to do someday. Tell me what the people who have nearly lost their hope can do right now.
Now crossposted at orange