Friday, August 18, 2006

Gettin' Free Part 2

The slaves of the antebellum world had little to look forward to while they were in the grasp of their masters. They would work for the course of their lives from sunrise to sunset until they were worn out and were then cast aside or embraced by Death. Their families were torn apart, scattered hither and yon across the country as they were traded from one master to the next. Female slaves often had to trade their bodies, (when they weren't just taken outright) in order to maintain their way of life or to create minor gains. Somehow it doesn't seem to be very different today when you get down to the particulars, does it?

Yeah, your new masters don't usually take a bullwhip to you or literally hamstring or brand you, but they do engage in the production of fear and use it to maintain a certain level of productivity. Fear of losing your job, demotion, pay cuts, benefits and pensions are the new whipping posts and they work just as well as the threat of the bullwhip. Some people might say that your corporate master cannot sell you....I say different. Workers are a company asset, (or liability in downtimes) and as such are part and parcel of any trade when a company is sold. If your company is sold by its owners then you can be sure that you are part of the deal, just like the desks, chairs, computers and products. All your new owners need to decide upon purchase is whether or not you are to be allowed to remain their property and continue to labour on their behalf. How is that intrinsically different than being placed on the auction block when the plantation goes under?

Government slavery is much more obvious to those of us who care to look. The powers that be demand a certain percentage of ones life in the form of monetary units - taxes. The so-called "Tax Freedom Day" in 2006 fell on April 26th and that means that the average American worked almost 4 months for their government masters. I contend that it is longer than that given the embedded and daily taxes one is burdened with as they go about their business. How's it feel to be a sharecropper, (a slave by any other name)? Then we have all the "do's and don'ts" these masters place upon us. Of course they do those for our own good and the good of the other slaves down in the quarters, right? Riiight. Add in the slavery of dependence for virtually everything and the we have a society in chains.

Now, I know this is a case of preaching to the choir where some people are concerned, but for those folks who may not stop by here regularly this is a new cuppa. Those of us who have been trying to regain our freedoms and yours just can't do it alone anymore. There is strength in numbers, that's an undeniable truth. Like Nat Turner's rebellion and the Haitian Revolution , numbers do count. Now, I'm not calling for an armed rebellion...(that's the last resort and one which most of us have been working very hard to avoid)...just an increase in the numbers of people who don't wish to be slaves any longer.

It's unlikely that there are any political solutions to remedy our enslavement. Those folks who try to work within the political realm are consistently shut out and ignored. In an attempt to change the paradigm they embrace "incrementalism" and compromise, ignoring the fact that there can be no compromise where freedom is concerned. You are either free or you are enslaved, there is no middle ground here. Freedom is a 100% proposition, not incremental. 90% free is still 10% enslaved and that should be unacceptable to everyone. In their rush to be accepted as an overseer these good folks eschew their principles for the sake of political expediency, they don't wish to be labelled "radicals" or scare the other slaves.

Well, I cannot help but wonder if the Founders of this nation would have been willing to accept freedom and liberty on the same grounds. Radicalism freed this country from its original masters, not incrementalism. Principle and the will to take freedom back from the overseers and masters is what it will take this go around, too.

Many freedom advocates have already taken their own underground railroads and bugged out, heading to the hills and even expatriating themselves to foreign lands in an attempt to regain their freedom. While escape is preferable to continued enslavement it does nothing to remedy the situation for the millions who remain. Removing ones self to the fringes is not an optimal solution either. The slave masters and their minions are still out there waiting for you. This is where numbers count and it's why we need as many people and plans as we can muster. If enough of those who are enslaved stand up together and just say, "No more!" then we stand a chance.

Next: What can we do?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gettin' Free

There's an historical day coming up on August 21st, one which commemorates the 175th anniversary of a bloody uprising led by enslaved individuals with little or no hope of winning their freedom. On August 21st, 1831 a man named Nat Turner led slaves from his plantation and others, in revolt. There was virtually no chance that Mr. Turner and his compatriots were going to win, the best they could hope for was vengeance upon their masters and those who supported them. It was a bloody moment in history that brought a number of things to light. The pointed hopelessness and helplessness of the slaves was brought to out for the world to see. The uprising also made it abundantly clear that there were people who would rather be dead than enslaved.

Nat Turner was left with few avenues in his bid for vengeance. Escape to freedom was unlikely, as there were few places for a large group of escaped slaves to go. When there is no place safe to run to, bloody vengeance or continued servitude are often the only recourse one has and things have not changed so terribly much in the intervening years. Lincoln waged his war and claimed a victory wherein the "slaves" were freed and even tho the plantations as we know them are gone the people of America are only slightly more free than those poor souls who were kept shackled in bondage by their old world slave masters.

Despite the platitudes mouthed by people in this country concerning their freedoms and liberty, we are in reality not quite so free as they would have us believe and the new slavery cuts across all boundaries of race, creed, education and political belief. No longer does the American slave work the fields, farms and plantations of the antebellum world. The new masters of the American slave are government, corporations, religious institutions, companies and....their fellow slaves, as usual.

The slavery is obvious to many of us, but we tend to sugar coat things so as not to offend or be taken the wrong way. I'm crotchety, I just don't give a hoot any more if someone becomes offended because I choose to point out the facts. If you work for a corporation they own you in any number of ways. They control your ability to obtain the necessities of life, such as food and shelter. Without the scrip, provided by yet another master of ours, you cannot obtain anything unless it is through "illegal" means. Many of the corporations folks work for control significant portions of their lives outside of work, via qualifications for insurance and "employment" and they use fear as their greatest motivator to produce. That is the hallmark of a master/slave relationship.

The greater master - the government, owns significant amounts of your life, around 1/3 for a large majority of people and this includes the poor, as well. Through their taxation they reclaim the scrip they issue to you and with it they take back a portion of your life and you can never reclaim it. Like the corporate and company masters they also use fear as their motivator, their only carrot is that they might leave you alone, if you're lucky.

Try to avoid allowing the government any claim on your servitude and you'll likely be demoted from house slave to field slave or even worse. Massah may let us run around unchained for the most part, but you get uppity and those chains can and will be slapped back on you in a heartbeat. If you don't believe it just ask one of the 192,000 +/- people currently in chains, all of whom will be "branded" once they are released and relegated to the fields, once more. It's a sad state of affairs and there is seemingly little we can do about it, other than keep our heads down or run away to the hinterlands and hope they never find us.

Even today that flight to freedom is fraught with danger and those who would return you to the clutches of your master. Some are employed by our masters, some are simply people who make their living returning escapees to their former lives of servitude. Others are seemingly well meaning people who wish to be overseers and gather some of the power of the masters unto themselves, justifying it as an attempt to give us a little more freedom, rather than freeing us entirely. They call it incrementalism, as opposed to 98% slavery. Others are spiritual leaders, telling their adherents that they should render unto Caesar that which is his and wait for a better situation after death, forgetting all the while that Caesar wishes all of their Earthly and material wealth, leaving just enough for subsistence in many cases, (especially amongst those who can afford it least).

The first step to finding a solution often lies in identifying the to take a look with me? Maybe we can find a way of gettin' free from the masters and the Liberty Jihadist's.

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