“What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, it energizes us to act, and raises at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”—Howard Zinn
“Those who profess to want freedom, and deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”—Frederick Douglass
The single most potent and insidious weapon consistently used against everyday ordinary Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in the United States today, continues to be the perfidious propaganda and concomitant distractions emanating from the corporate government and its corporate-stream media. The words of the late South African freedom fighter Steve Biko are more relevant now than ever before: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
The political system in this nation constantly reinvents itself, in one form or another, for the purpose of perpetuating itself at the expense of everyday people. It is in fact, the system itself that is the root of the problem, not the dastardly things that it practices on a national and global level. These systemic practices are like the tentacles of an octopus which function at the direction of its brain, not the other way round. In this case, euphemistically speaking, the brain of the octopus is the system, and simply eliminating some tentacles will not ultimately change the direction or stranglehold of the octopus. Indeed, more often than not, other tentacles will grow back stronger and more deadly than ever. Why? Because the system constantly reinvents itself, in one form or another, in order to perpetuate itself. Thus, merely chopping at the system’s tentacles or branches is an exercise in futility. Corporate hegemony, economic austerity at home, the de facto destruction of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, judicial injustice, burgeoning and sadistic prisons, and bloody U.S. wars and military adventurism abroad, etc., are symptoms of this rotten and corrupt system, not the cause. The cause is the system itself, and disinformation and hypocrisy are the mainstays of this system.
The most effective way that the system’s gatekeepers have to perpetuate it (and themselves) is to fill the minds of everyday people with outright lies, distortions, and endless distractions. In so doing, delusion replaces reality, and the system continues undaunted.
For example, the Democrat and Republican parties are the political symbiotic, self-perpetuating twins of this corporate/military system. Their very existence as supposedly being two parties is a well-maintained systemic delusion. The U.S. ruling class (i.e., the economic and political elite) recognize the importance of maintaining everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in a perpetual state of delusion, and it is insidiously adroit at this deception.
The noted author and historian Sharon Smith puts it this way in the documentary film, LIFTING THE VEIL: Barack Obama and the Failure of Capitalist ‘Democracy’: “The U.S. ruling class has a wonderful ideal system for itself. They have two corporate parties. One is the Republican Party that is most brazen about defending corporate interests. The other one is the Democratic Party which has the same corporate backers or, often times, the same corporate backers, and sometimes different corporate backers than the Republicans. But when plan A isn’t working out they just usher in plan B.” [Reference, Lifting the Veil]
The point is that the U.S. corporate elite controls not only the Democrats and the Republicans but also overwhelmingly the so-called ‘news’ media and ‘educational’ institutions in this nation. In the words of George Carlin, ”The game is rigged.” Indeed it is. The objective of this elite remains to control the very thought processes and minds of everyday people. Thus, their need for constant distraction, lies, and crucial omissions.
This is about changing, not reforming, this corrupt rotten system, in order to end the corruption, hypocrisy, and insanity that it has spawned. Ask yourselves: Would you like to eat a reformed rotten pie? Of course not! Our choice is obvious.
The first step in changing this system is the retaking of our minds, our thought processes, and our abilities to critically think and analyze. This means that we must strive, on a daily basis, to break free of the matrix-like delusion in which so many have been entrapped by this system’s gatekeepers.
The economic and political elite are vampiric blood-suckers, not stewards of our Mother Earth. It is everyday ordinary people of this nation and world who are her stewards. It is the everyday people who must creatively and collectively build a better more just world wherein human needs utterly and unflinchingly replace corporate greed. It may not be easy but it must be done. Free Your Minds and Change the System! Remember the poignant words of Rosa Luxemburg: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
We haven’t much time. Each one, reach one! Each one, teach one! Do it NOW!
Onward, then, my sisters and brothers! Onward!
Intrepid Report Associate Editor Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, the San Francisco BayView newspaper, the Black Commentator, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)