August 1, 2011

Passive Resistance Doesn’t Work on Corporate Fascism

By In Essays

“Rocco wants more, don’t you, Rocco?”

–Humphrey Bogart responding to the question of what the notorious gangster Johnny Rocco wants out of life in the classic film, “Key Largo.”

Sorry all you progressives and civil disobedience advocates and left-wing pacifists and intellectuals. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here’s the bitter truth: Our country has become a corporate fascist state run by a ruthless gang of super-rich CEOs and their political lackeys in much the same way Al Capone ran Chicago or Adolph Hitler ran Germany.

And to make matters worse, this elitist gang of greedy thugs, who run the most powerful corporations in the world, and who, in a sane, logical world, would be absolutely despised by the masses, get a free pass from tens of millions of brain-dead wage slaves who think corporate America is OK by them, and also by tens of millions of fanatical religious fundamentalists who think government is evil and the free market is ordained by God.

In addition, both of these groups don’t like progressives or people on the left who have been excoriating corporate America for the past several decades and trying to enlighten average citizens about how they’re being played for chumps by Big Business. Unfortunately, they haven’t been listening, and even as they lose their homes, their jobs, and their health care, they still buy into the corporate propaganda that left-wingers are a bunch of loony tree huggers or baby killing antichrists and communists. As a consequence, they’re not going to listen to anything progressives have to say or be impressed with any type of civil disobedience designed to help average citizens, especially when it comes to economic reform.

So where does that leave the progressive movement and all you well meaning citizens who sign petitions or commit acts of civil disobedience against the corporate fascist power structure? Perhaps it’s time to accept reality and realize that passive resistance, though noble, is no longer an effective tool against those in power.

Yes, it worked in the 60s and 70s on social issues like civil rights and the women’s movement, but there was one big difference: Those issues did not interfere with the profits of Big Business. In other words, giving blacks and women equality in society and the workplace did not take money out of the pockets of corporate America. In fact, it expanded the financial marketplace and added to large corporations’ ever growing wealth and influence.

But try to do anything that takes money away from corporate profits-like enacting single payer health care or increasing taxes on multinational companies-and look out! Beware the dogs! Think of it this way: Imagine a group of pacifists in Prohibition-era Chicago holding a sit-in at Al Capone’s headquarters in protest of his unlawful sales and distribution of liquor. Or imagine a group of intellectuals, trade unionists, and Jews signing a petition to force Hitler from power in Nazi Germany. No, you don’t even want to imagine it, do you?

So why do you think these non-violent methods will work today in our corporate fascist environment? Because corporate CEOs aren’t as ruthless as Al Capone or Hitler? Who’s being naive now, Kay?

After all, these are the same CEOs who caused the sub-prime mortgage debacle and raked in millions of bucks in bonuses at the expense of millions of Americans who lost their homes and jobs. But that wasn’t enough, was it? They want even more! Just like Johnny Rocco. Just like the hedge fund operator who makes over a billion dollars a year and does not want to pay taxes at the same rate as ordinary citizens. He wants to keep his 15% capital gains rate! And he gets away with it because the politicians he “holds in his pockets like so many nickels and dimes” let him! This is beyond greed. This is something sick and demented and evil.

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work or are underwater on their mortgages, it is inconceivable that a super-rich hedge fund operator pays a lower rate of taxes than a firefighter or school teacher. Has he no shame or compassion for his community or fellow citizens? Apparently not, nor do the politicians who allow him to get away with it, because the truth is –

HE WANTS IT ALL!

Yes, that’s right. That’s the end game of every fascist-he wants everything. And he will not respond to moral arguments or passive resistance. And that’s eventually what topples fascism. The power brokers become so far removed from the affairs of average citizens and so wrapped up in their own solipsistic world of greed and domination that they go one step too far. And that’s when the masses turn on them and start sharpening the guillotines.

When will this happen in America? When will the corporate fascists be driven from power? We’re not there yet. But we’re getting closer. WikiLeaks provocateur Julian Assange and the anti-establishment Internet group known as “Anonymous” are examples of the first wave of active resistance against corporate fascism. And if the economy continues to spiral downward, more radical groups will emerge until eventually there will come a tipping point.

And at that point citizens will not even think about passive resistance. They will turn to violence– as they did in the French Revolution, and as they’re doing today in Libya. And they will go after those hedge fund operators and those corporate CEOs who have been living like kings for the past several decades off the backs of the middle class. And they will go after all those sell-out politicians who have allowed them to get away with it. And it won’t be pretty.

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