Monday, January 18, 2010

In Honor of Martin Luther King, Peaceful Revolutionary

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, an icon of nonviolent transformation in our culture. His famous speech “I Have A Dream” still can bring tears to our eyes with its inspirational message.

And yet his dream was even larger than that speech. In the April before his death, he embraced the poor and exploited peoples o f all the world in denouncing the Vietnam war and the system of greedy capitalism and imperialism which we still live under today. He warned that if we did not change our country’s path, for life times we would be denouncing war after war in service of that system. He observed that the needs of capital and the drumbeat of war go hand in hand, not caring for the people but for profit.

King lamented that the very countries that began the revolutionary spirit had become an anti-revolutionary force, holding back the need and will of “shirtless & barefoot” people to allow the stripping of value from their land and their backs for the profit of a few.

While great inroads have been made in learning to overcome bigotry in our land, racial hate talk still prevails. And the raiding of advanced capitalism has impoverished our very own nation. While profiteers go free, millions lose jobs and homes due to capitals unfettered search for ways to extract wealth from the work and savings of the middle and working classes.

I Have A Dream of a world where all children have a home, food, education and health care. They can play together without feelings of revenge for family members murdered or tortured by war or death squads.

We have the resources for such a world, which many of us still dream of. Yet corporations run rampant, sucking profits, being too big to fail. Even our elected government is in their pockets due to campaign contributions, corporate bailouts and subsidies, and war profiteering. Even local towns beg big corporations to locate there, vying for their favors by giving away the taxes that support our basic services, such as police, fire fighters, roads and school. Meanwhile exported jobs do not also include the American tradition of unions of workers, allowing for low wages and poor working conditions—and greater profits for the corporations. Those corporations and their leaders ask more and more and give less and less back in taxes to support our country.

When will we find a way to revolt against these corporations? When will we be ruled again by truly elected officials rather than by moneyed special interests? Are we already ruled by a corporate fascism? The definition of fascism is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. Are not the corporations dictating the laws of our land?

--Terra Rafael

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