CHOICE AND SYSTEM FOR THE PLANET
A Holistic Common Sense Structure for
Liberation of All
without War Through the New Foundation for the New World Vision
World for War and Profits:
How are you feeling about your government's response to Hurricane Katrina? The fact that the people who should have been there to help your desperate neighbours instead are off killing and being killed in Iraq? Along with all that equipment your taxes bought.
do you feel about oil prices? The fact that Exxon Mobile Corp, the world's
largest publicly traded oil company, reported a 32 % jump in profits during
the second quarter of 2005, while the rest of us dug deep into our pockets
to fill our tanks. And Royal Dutch Shell, with a 34% rise in profits?
Or ConocoPhillips, with a 51% increase. All of these in just 3 months!
Wouldn't you like to have a shot at that kind of investment?
Of course, the guys who own your bank do. So do the folks you send to Washington. And the ones who own Wal-Mart and K-Mart and Nike and the places where most of us shop. These are the elite members of the corporatocracy, the equivalents of the Kings and Emperors of times past. They are all benefiting from the oil price hikes and – dare I say it! – from the tragedy of Katrina. That storm will serve as another excuse for the oil kings to whine and moan – and profiteer. As will their brethren who receive the lush billion-dollar reconstruction contracts.
Who else is making big bucks off oil – and Katrina? Well, let's not forget the members of the House of Saud and the other families who run the 7 “Persian Gulf Sisters” (Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). And, of course, Osama bin Laden; he receives a great deal of money from these folks. Your gas-guzzler finances Al Qaeda.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. As an economist (remember I once held the title of Chief Economist, even if it was an alias for EHM), I know that oil is still way under-priced – if you factor in the costs of the environmental damage drilling causes to places like Alaska and the Amazon and the toll on our children of CO2 emissions that are threatening to smother us (and undoubtedly are causes of the “once-in-a-hundred years” hurricanes that hit every year now). We should all pay a lot more to fill our tanks, we should drive cars that get at least 70 miles a gallon. However, the additional money should go to offset the problems oil is creating for our progeny. Not to the Bush-Clinton crowd, oil companies, and all their friends at the corporatocracy.
“Ah, wait,” you may be saying. “Perhaps I would not want a shot a that kind of investment. I don't care to be party to the destruction of our planet. I don't want the blood of indigenous people on my hands. Or the ruination of future generations on my conscience.”
If you feel that way, then you must ask yourself whether you want people who do make such investments to control your country, and your destiny. Will you accept as your leaders men, and a few women, who are party to planetary destruction, do have blood on their hands, and the ruination of future generations on their consciences – and who seem entirely comfortable with this? Is it in your best interest – or your children's – to keep these rulers on their thrones? To continue to send them your tax money. To sacrifice your sons and daughters – and those of innocent people around the planet – so they may flit around in private 747s and live in modern-day castles?
The obvious answer is a resounding NO!
It is time, my fellow Americans, to listen to the words of our Founding Fathers. Profiteering without representation must go. The destruction of our world, for the short-term benefit of a new type of royalty, is unacceptable.
Rise up. Insist that we funnel our money to the victims of Katrina, the tsunami, the 24,000 people who die every single day from hunger and hunger-related diseases, and all the others who suffer while a very few of the very rich make themselves richer.
File lawsuits against oil and coal companies and government officials who continue to cover-up the facts behind Global Warming – a toxic poisoning of your children far more deadly than secondary cigarette smoke.
Together, let's topple the throne of King Corporatocracy.
Katrina + Oil = Profits for Our Kings
John Perkins, September 7, 2005
“Taxation without representation” is a good working definition of tyranny. It is one Jefferson and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence took seriously in 1776. And it is one we in 2006 must also measure our current political situation against.
In recent years it has become more and more
clear that our “democracy” does not work the way it purportedly does. The
values of most citizens are not reflected in the policies enacted by their
representatives – but corporate values are. The outcomes of our elections are
arbitrarily adjudicated, predetermined by gerrymandering, and entrusted to
virtually defenseless electronic systems with the flimsiest of oversight. The
values of “liberty and justice for all” embodied in our Constitution, and our
foundational respect for the rule of law are flouted by our President – and
Congress then “legalizes” his crimes of torture and surveillance retroactively.
Free and responsible disclosure of government actions is hindered in every way –
while the government covertly plants propaganda in the news media. When
citizens petition for full investigation of the acts of terror that impelled us
into wars of aggression, the government stonewalls any independent inquiry and
feeds us an endless pablum of conflicting and impossible “explanations.”
Because of these and other blatant and insidious abuses of power, coupled with a manifest failure to respect or enact the will of the people, there is apparently no longer any viable political means for restraining or reversing these tyrannous encroachments on our fundamental rights and liberties. Therefore, we must begin to exercise one of the powers reserved to us under the Ninth Amendment and refuse to support the current oligarchic federal regime with our tax dollars. To this end, payment of all non-entitlement tax money should be withheld until all the following changes take place:
· Recountable paper ballots with instant runoff voting in all States
· Grand jury investigation of 9/11 -- with full subpoena powers and rights of referral to prosecutors for indictment
· Withdrawal of troops and bases from Afghanistan and Iraq
· Reversal of the Patriot Act, War Powers Act, and Military Commissions Act
· Withdraw from the WTO, GATT and all “free trade” treaties that compromise national sovereignty (eg. NAFTA, CAFTA…)
· Impeachment of Bush, Cheney et.al, followed by their prosecution in the World Court for war crimes
· Diversion of military budget into debt reduction, alternative energy and social service sectors
· Convening of a truly representative constitutional convention to consider the following (and other appropriate) amendments introduced by citizens:
No corporate personhood – limited State charters only (typically 99 years)
No gerrymandering – non-political district boundaries (eg. watersheds)
No electronic voting – paper ballots with instant runoff voting, counted by hand
No privatization or delegation
of public powers and functions -- powers of war and of coining
No purely speculative markets – all holdings are investments for a year or more
No membership in secret societies – the oath of office requires forswearing all
No clandestine operations – all foreign policy to be managed through
diplomatic channels subject to full disclosure and review
In adopting this non-violent course of resistance to the present regime we must recognize the danger of open reprisals and general economic fallout: we must therefore undertake to support with all the moral and financial means at our disposal – beginning with tax money held in escrow – all those whose liberties or livelihoods are damaged by acts of governmental retaliation or economic turbulence.
In addition to being willing and able to support by local interventions those whose entitlements are diminished or eliminated by government reprisals, a viable tax withholding movement must also analyze and anticipate the general economic effects of gradual governmental collapse. For instance, should the government default on all or part of its enormous foreign debt, the fiat currency of the day will become next to worthless, and will therefore need to be supplanted by locally issued notes of credit that can be used to keep local commerce and industry functioning.
All in all, tax withholding will not be an effective response to our political dilemma unless it exhibits two key features:
1. It must be a truly massive and confident popular movement
In order to be a self-confident movement, the political reasons for tax withholding must be firmly rooted in widespread ethical and religious values. For instance, both the ethics of solidarity and of accountability condemn governmental malfeasance and should be used to motivate people to act. Also, the tyrannous power of greed is condemned not only through the voice of the Jewish prophets, “Ah, [woe to] you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you…[for]… I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the insolence of tyrants.” [Is 5:8] [Is 13:11], but also by Christianity “You can not serve God and wealth …[therefore] …do not be conformed to this world …[or] …the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people that produces fruits of the kingdom.” [Mt 6:24] [Ro 12:2] [Mt 21:43].
Building a critical mass of people willing to withhold (or delay payment of) taxes should probably be initiated by public discussion of the reasons for action and the options for withholding that are ready to hand, coupled with an on-line survey question taking the form “I am willing to withhold (or delay payment of) x% of my federal taxes if and when y% of taxpayers are ready to do the same.” Standard techniques for confirmation of email addresses could be used to verify the legitimacy of the data collected on-line and prevent duplications. As results of this survey accumulate and the tallies are posted, it would soon become obvious to all what the critical mass is, and when each threshold figure is actually reached.
2. It must be dynamically coordinated through a network of leaders
Coordination is possible without a command structure, given an open flow of information and general agreement on a strategy of graduated response to governmental resistance and reprisals. Thus, if the first retaliation for a slackening of tax revenues is curtailment of entitlement funding, a graduated response would entail increasing the percentage of tax withheld (or delayed) to match the enlarged proportion in the budget of illegitimate expenditures – that is, those known to be contrary to the express will of the People, such as paying for wars of imperial domination.
Given the known proclivity of corporate regimes for assassinating charismatic popular leaders – JFK and MLK for example – organizing for tax withholding and mutual support should always be done at the local level only. Many tax escrow funds will be less vulnerable than one; many local organizations will be more difficult to derail than one national group. Since most, if not all local groups will be infiltrated with covert operatives, serious members must resolve to keep their focus on the real goals of the movement, and to act in such a way that over time the hearts and minds of even the ‘agents provocateurs’ are in danger of being won over.
The immediate goals of tax withholding have already been enumerated: the ultimate goal is restoration of a constitutionally based rule of law in the United States of America. Only when this is done will the principles of justice, freedom and peace flourish here at home and empower us to participate in an emerging global community based on cooperation and sustainability.
17 November 2006
|© 2005 Planetization|