working together for social inclusion in America

Friday, May 28, 2010

Battling the Power Elite

In my previous post, I didn't mean to give the impression that our achievements were without a human cost. Some of us were in the position of protectors who did battle with the community's power elite that wanted to run us all out of town. A few became journalists, a few became elected officials, some started alternative schools. Many remained committed to an alternative economy and lifestyle, and started businesses that reflected that.

As time went on, this network of individuals -- nurtured in the hippie temporary autonomous zone -- participated in such projects as sanctuary for refugees and human rights for indigenous peoples. A handful went so far as to do field research on vigilante groups and crooked cops.

This harder variety was and remains a small minority undeterred by conflict, but their base of support in the legal, religious, and political milieus -- comprised of individuals who'd internalized the hippie values in earlier years -- was vital to their success. Indeed, this support solidified the credibility of the fighters, who would otherwise have been easily marginalized or destroyed by the power elite. Without a constituency, their heroism would have been largely tragic.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cooperative Attitude

As hippies in the early 1970s, we established cooperatives to meet our needs without ordinary jobs. Over time, the food cooperative, flour mill, housing trust, and community gardens we started grew and were replicated elsewhere. All were assisted by our alternative newspaper in reaching others sympathetic to our world view.

As some of us became community leaders, elected and otherwise, this cooperative foundation enabled us to be more effective in pressing for public investment in programs of communal benefit.

The point I'm trying to make is there is a place for everyone to contribute if you begin with a cooperative attitude.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Law and Disorder

Justifiably, there's been a lot of crankiness of late regarding the dissembling of American society under the Obama regime. As noted by Jack Crow,
the dismantling of the welfare state must either proceed at an increasing pace, so that the state can return to direct management of populations through isolation and violence, thus safeguarding the accumulated assets of the ruling class, or it risks collapsing before those same ruling classes can properly corral subject and captive populations into new zones of control, buffer and instability.
But crankiness is only worthwhile if it propels one to do something useful toward subverting the law and disorder of the two-party, single-owner, corporate state. (Writing and discussing are a good first step.)

As a tool of thievery, this state has perfected privatization on behalf of the aristocracy, private equity in this case being the enemy of social welfare. Since the individuals comprising the private equity elite are known, it only makes sense to channel our crankiness in ways that hold them accountable for stealing our livelihoods--ways that force them to return our money.

Given the absolute failure of our government to do this, it befalls us to find ways to protect ourselves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Whole New World

The problem is that in a mediated, audiovisual communications culture, the price of broadcast communication access is prohibitive to popular participation. Once dazed by this overwhelming medium, consumers are so pulverized they need to go through a cultural rehab in order to even imagine an alternative translation. As usual, creativity and resourcefulness, such as that seen in independent blogging, contribute to the process of rerouting our collective imagination.

Were video podcast to eclipse corporate broadcast, it would be a whole new world.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

My Money

Social Security is the largest source of income for most elderly Americans today, but Social Security was never intended to be your only source of income when you retire. You will also need other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.

Saving and investing wisely are important not only for you and your family, but for the entire country. If you want to learn more about how and why to save, you should visit, a federal government website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics of financial management.

--from What Social Security Means To You, an SSA publication