By Luke Hiken
Never in the history of this country has there existed such widespread corruption, incompetence and weakness as now confront the American people. Unlike other periods of history, where certain segments of the ruling class, or elected officials, or power-brokers, seemed to dominate and characterize what the country had become, the extent of the breakdown is now universal throughout the country.
Our political leaders are caricatures of what statesmen and women should be: they are spineless; petty; self-serving; and corrupted puppets of the moneyed interests that own them. The divisive bickering that passes for political dialogue is pathetically shallow.
Wall street, the bankers, mortgage companies, vultures and their lobbyists that “advise” the politicians regarding how to salvage our economy, and who are responsible for the economic catastrophe facing the entire nation, are nothing short of robber barons. They knowingly and brazenly steal the wealth of the American people without so much as a “thank you.” Their profits make the usurious thieves of the past look like honest businessmen.
The insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and health industry bring shame on every person connected with them. Foreigners shake their heads in disbelief at the farce and charade our health industry has become. More and more Americans are literally outsiders in what has become an exclusive resource for the rich: health care.
Our educational institutions have priced themselves out of the public realm. They now serve as research arms of the corporations that fund them. Students can’t possibly graduate with a meaningful education without incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts and loans. The arms industry, Pentagon and multi-national corporations control virtually all of the research of our “educational” institutions.
The public service sectors of our economy have not only failed to keep up with the needs of the people, they barely even recognize the crumbling infrastructure that surrounds them. Public highways look like minefields; streets are rarely cleaned; public buildings fall into disrepair, with no money to keep them up; electricity is becoming too expensive for middle class households to support; and, more garbage fills the streets of our cities than the landfills created to hold it. Even water will soon become a scarce resource, to be bought and sold by those who "own" it.
Police and their cohorts, the prison guards have become invading armies joined at the hip in our cities and counties. The widespread murder and torture perpetrated by these “armed servants” of the ruling class is of epidemic proportions, and the laws protect these murderers in the name of law and order. Police who murder are seldom prosecuted, their names are hidden from the press, and those who challenge their authority face life-threatening opposition.
The courts have been bought and paid for by the corporations that finance judicial elections, and the politicians who appoint their lapdogs to the bench, do so upon orders from above. Prosecutors run our judicial system, and justice is nowhere to be found.
The media has become an arm of the entertainment industry, and good looks are more important to a reporter’s success than having a brain, or developing anything like investigative skills. The news is what corporate America and the Pentagon say it is – nothing more and nothing less.
Corporations, in the name of profit, are destroying the environment and our natural resources at an unparalleled pace. Even if the human race is able to outlast the catastrophes created by the ruling class, it is questionable whether the earth itself can survive.
The military-industrial complex defines our foreign policies pure and simple. Manufacturers of weapons systems and the Pentagon, which use those weapons, assure the world that our country will continue to invade and kill anyone who can’t fight back.
In short, there is such widespread graft and immorality amongst those who run and control our society as to prevent any meaningful change in the self-destructive course the nation is taking. We are as doomed as imperial Rome, Napoleonic France, or the Third Reich. We have sown the seeds of our own destruction, and there is no way back.
It is for this reason that so many Americans have abandoned national politics and turned to their local communities for support, to organic gardening, and to spiritual sanctuaries for relief and protection. There is simply no room for salvation within the current U.S. hierarchy. The waiting game has begun, and nothing short of external attacks upon this country will result in meaningful change.
Resistance to the insanity foisted upon us by the rich is the only rational and humane response possible. But where does one start when the depth and breadth of the corruption we face is so vast? Do we sign petitions to send to our sycophant politicians? Do we boycott the corporations that are the cause of our destruction? Do we pick up weapons against the police and prison administrations that imprison and beat us? Do we attempt to create communities and support systems outside the control of corporate America? Do we flee the country and support resistance struggles elsewhere in the world?
We can all certainly choose which flavor of dissent we prefer, but when the body politic is so laden with disease, it might make more sense to hasten its demise and start over anew.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.
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