We have all been conditioned to believe in the United States of America’s ideas and notions of fair play, democracy, and justice. We have also been trained to believe in good guys and bad guys. News broadcasters, talk show hosts, and television, and radio personalities, inclusive, reinforce these notions. These concepts are elusive, even here in the United States. Fair play, democracy, or justice for most people has never existed in this country, even for its citizens. The truth is the concepts were never meant to apply to most people. The founders, who were educated landowners, intended that only the bourgeois or land baron class enjoy power.
Howard Moore, Jr. addresses some of these issues in his defender of civil rights acceptance speech. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmSo4xvK9qY
Corporations and corporate policies dictate this great democracy. Ironically, corporations have a hierarchical structure that dominates the political and the financial systems. We praise corporations. We even allow them tax breaks, and we allow them to meddle into domestic and foreign matters. Below is a basic corporate structure:
The Basics Of Corporate Structure
There is a two-tier corporate hierarchy. On the first tier is the Board of Governors or Directors. The corporate shareholders elect the members of Board of Directors. On the second tier is the upper management. The board of directors hires upper management.
Board of Directors
The role of the board is to monitor a corporation’s managers, acting as an advocate for stockholders. In essence, the members of the board of directors try to make sure that shareholders’ interests are well served.
Board members can be divided into three categories:
- Chairman –
- Inside Directors –
- Outside Directors –
On the next level is the Management Team
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) –
- Chief Operations Officer (COO) –
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) –
Under these are the Vice Presidents, and other managerial team members. The structure is not so different from a military organization, with the lower level Vice Presidents and lower level managerial employees subject to termination for any host of reasons.
When the United States invades a country it is not uncommon for major corporations like Chevron, Bechtel, or Halliburton to land contracts to extract the resources of the country without bidding on them and or to make decisions about rebuilding the infrastructure of the invaded country, as we saw in Iraq.
The Halliburton Company is an American multinational corporation, one of the world’s largest oil field services companies with operations in more than 80 countries. The Bechtel Corporation is the largest construction and engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 4th-largest privately owned company in the United States.
Unfortunately, there are usually not any good guys on either side on of the international coin, and large multinational corporations usually have dealings with one another both before and after any military invasion or operation. Sometimes, this country installs the very so-called dictators it later plots to overthrow after the corrupt relationship has run its course.
However, we have been conditioned, or brain washed, if you will, into believing that everything this country does is fair and we are the good guys. We have been conditioned into believing that our national interests are the same as Chevron’s, Bechtel’s, and Halliburton’s.
I do not think Black people’s interests are the same as those of undocumented immigrants, gays, lesbians, transgenders, or bisexuals or any other group’s interests, for that matter. I personally, do not think that any other groups are entitled to benefit from rights that Black people fought and died for since this country’s inception. I do think that they should be entitled to protection, just not under the civil rights’ act. I do not think this country would tolerate undocumented immigrants if the wealthy could not use them to perform menial tasks for low wages.
I do realize that sometimes we have to form coalitions to get what we want; however, I am also mindful of what Elijah Muhammed taught Malcolm X about integrating the struggle. If you have too many varied interests, no one will get any of the things they battle to obtain. In the coffee versus cream analogy, when you integrate them the coffee that was once hot becomes cold. It used to be dark, it becomes light. It used be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it will put you to sleep.
In this country, Jews faced miscegenation laws and land covenants that prohibited them from moving into certain neighborhoods. Jews and darker Europeans like Sicilians could not cross certain racial lines. Some joined with Blacks to knock down Jim Crow laws because it was in their interests to do so. Once the racial barriers were breached, Jews and darker skinned Europeans could more fully integrate into the mainstream of this society.
Just like every person’s interests are not the same, every corporation’s interests are not the same, and our national interests seem to run parallel to those corporations who spend the most on lobbyists. To the big dogs go the spoils.
If we examine World War II, we can see that the United States’ national interests were not the same as the Jews or the Europeans’ interests. In fact, the United States did not enter the European stage until over 6 million Jews were purportedly massacred, most of Europe was in ruins, and Germany was on the verge of losing to Russia. The United States saw entering the War at that late date as an opportunity to tip the balance of power in its favor.
The United States’ reasons for entering the Pacific stage were completely different. It antagonized Japan into attacking its fleet by enforcing an embargo on Japan in the Pacific Ocean.
What if the people’s national interest run contrary to the corporate interests, whose interests do you think will prevail in Washington? What is the old adage? Politics make strange bed fellows.
We can see how the interests of the the so-called 99% was and continues to be a joke played upon the 99% by the so-called 1%. The 99% was and is so misguided and in such disarray that it could not even relay a clear message of what it actually wanted from the so-called 1%. In fairness, the groups were and are so varied that finding any common ground, even on real universal healthcare, would have been nearly impossible. They could not even agree upon strategy, some wanting total peaceful protest, some active resistance, and some outright anarchy. The groups found themselves turning on each other, and some even filming the anarchists for prosecution by the agents of the 1%.
Moreover, the police and military, who are by definition, part of the 99% will follow orders to crush any real movement of the so-called 99% should it become too unruly. Do not be mistaken, the police and the military will kill on the orders of the 1%.
Moreover, the 99% did not shut down anything as those taking credit proclaimed. The Port was not shut down. Of course, some of the truckers refused to cross the protesters’ barricades. However, what the protesters failed to realize is there is more than one entrance into the Port and those were not disturbed.
Business was temporarily halted, and the 1% made up for the losses by the end of their fiscal year. In fact, the next day it was business as usual and the 99% did not get anything but a feel good session. The cost of healthcare is still rising. Even under the Affordable Health Act, some providers are still refusing to accept the coverage. Homes are still foreclosed on to the extent the bank can make a profit. People are still underpaid. Even if the minimum wage rises for all, which it has not, if it is not tied to the cost of inflation, the rich will just raise prices and we will be back at square one the next day. Unfortunately, the very poor will be worse off because they will not receive any raise at all. They will be forced to pay the inflated prices without a raise.
Aside from the fact that even our President is not elected democratically, but instead through the Electoral College process, that most of us do not understand, it is not logical to expect to have a democracy when so many organizations with military chains of commands are so heavily involved in our democratic process.
It is not logical to expect to have a democracy when so many untruths are fostered. If we are asked to vote on an issue when we do not have all of the information at our disposal, we cannot make an intelligent or a true democratic decision. Implicit in democracy is the receiving of reliable information.
This is akin to your partner asking you if you want to be in a committed relationship, all the while misleading you as to his or her fidelity. If you believe that the person is being truthful you are more willing to enter into a committed relationship. If you know the person is a liar and a cheater you are less likely.
If you believe there are weapons of mass destruction or that your way of life is threatened you are more likely to vote to take military action.
Unfortunately, we have short memories. We forget the last lies we are told and when we are provided new lies we just go right along as though we have never been fed lies. Only Jewish people are afforded the privilege of “[N]ever again!” When Black people mention how bad they have had it on this soil, everyone complains that they should let the past go.
People tell me they do not like Saddam Hussein, or Muammar al-Gaddafi, or Kim Jong-un, Fidel Castro, or even Osama Bin Laden. I ask them how well do you know them. They tell me things like “come on. You know what those people do. You know how they treat women. You know they torture and kill their own people.” I am not disputing this, it is just that the government feeds us so many untruths that I just do not know what to believe. I ask from where do you get this information? They usually tell me something like… “[T]he media.” From where does the media get its information? Then they accuse me of being a conspiracist. So I ask them when was the last time they crosschecked any of their sources. Unfortunately, they do not have adequate tools to crosscheck anything provided them by the media. They do not even know where to begin.
We are constantly being fed misinformation, and unfortunately, this sort of government because it is built upon such contradictory and hypocritical principles, it cannot exist without providing the public with anything less than misinformation. How is it possible to have a democracy or enjoy freedom of speech and expression and simultaneously have secret police like Homeland Security and / or the FBI? Even with the Freedom of Information Act, most of the information the government compiles is cloaked in secrecy.
How is it possible to not infringe on the right to bear arms and to have gun control at the same time? Of course, a maniac, either a civilian on the streets, a person in the military, or on the police force should not be allowed to randomly shoot people. However, generalized gun control on only and all civilians is not the appropriate response. If that is the case, we should redraft the entire United States Constitution and our election process to bring it up to date with our supposed modern principles.
Some even become outwardly accusatory and suggest that one is not patriotic if one does not believe the lies placed forth by the media. I have even heard one person assert the phrase: “[L]ove it or leave it.” I have to remind them that we African Americans have a stake here unlike any other peoples. Most of us have nowhere to return because this country’s slavers have erased most of our multicultural histories. I then remind them that this country is so great because it was built on the backs of slaves and we would not have the advantages and comforts if it did not have the wealth created by slavery. Democracy exists in impoverished countries too; however, they still do not enjoy the fruits enjoyed here. Moreover, where wealth exists in empires, such as Kuwait, the people enjoy more comforts of life than many of us in the United States. When I am told to love it or leave it, I tell them that my ancestors paid for my seat with their blood sweat and tears. I tell them they may have more success relocating back to their ancestral lands where they can trace their roots and may fit in a lot better.
I sometimes become outright indignant and demand that those whose families benefited from slavery and took advantage of us during Jim Crow to reimburse me for all the insults and the free land, labor, and capital, they stole from my ancestors, and to provide me with a down payment on the child support and inheritance the slave holders failed to pay for their illegitimate so-called half breed or mulatto children, and I will be glad to relocate and relocate to my own private island.
Of course, no one wants to talk about those injustices. They are more interested in capturing and housing so-called enemy combatants whom most likely have not committed any definable crime and for that reason the government refuses to try them in a true court of law. The worst crime of all is our refusal to release some of those jailed as enemy combatants fearing they may do us harm later because we mistreated them so badly. They fear if we release them, they will most likely join some so-called terrorist organization even if they were not originally connected to one.
It is our arrogance that is most troublesome. We have the audacity to invade other countries under the pretext of introducing democratic principles and we install regimes, puppets, if you might, and claim to be doing good deeds. Well, George W. Bush, put it best when he proclaimed, “mission accomplished” when he invaded Iraq. His mission was to secure the oil in Iraq for his own purposes. His mission was not to democratize or stabilize Iraq, as he misled us all to believe. He could have cared less about Iraq or the people. After all, we saw how he bombed the Hell out of the people.
We have the audacity to mention law and order, and bringing people to justice for crimes allegedly committed against United States citizens here and in foreign countries. What is justice? Who is in charge of justice? If you believe in God, then only God knows justice. If justice was the goal we should look internally first at our own misdeeds. We never ask our leaders why we are in certain countries, like Libya. We were not invited by any governing body or by a majority into Libya. I even heard one United States commentator refer to the United States forces in Libya as “law enforcement.” If you are not lawfully in a country, how do you get to call yourself law enforcement? We had no right to invade Libya for the crime of allegedly killing its own citizens. If that were the case, the United States should have been invaded during the 1900s every time the law misused its force against unarmed civil rights protesters.
We bombed the Hell out of the majority in Libya under the guise of preventing the assumed leader from bombing defenseless civilians. In reality, there were no defenseless citizens. Everybody in Libya possessed some sort of arms. They may have been ill equipped to deal with the more sophisticated weapons of the government, but they were armed. Moreover, once they had Muammar al-Gaddafi on the run, why did they continue to bomb him and aid in his death? What gives the United States the right to tip the balance? Obviously, the goal all along was to destabilize the country and give the military edge to a minority in another region of the country so we could manipulate the resources.
Libya’s leadership underestimated the United States. So did Saddam Hussein. So did the Taliban in Afghanistan.
We are still all to ready to blame everyone save our government for the events of September 11, 2001. All the government has to utter is 911 and we are become willing to surrender our Constitutional Rights or invade another country. Fear sells better than sex.
The first word in a democracy should be honesty for without honesty our entire relationship is built on lies. For example, if they lie to us and tell us that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and Congress votes to invade based upon that lie, then that is not a democratic decision. That is a decision based upon one party having superior knowledge and feeding it to us to get us to make a decision that favors the one with the superior knowledge.
We cannot buy, in a democracy, that the government has our best interests at heart. We cannot rely upon faith in a democracy. One can only rely upon faith in a religion or in an intimate relationship, and neither one of those operate on democratic principles. We cannot hold a fascist regime to the same standards as a so-called democracy for a true fascist regime is built upon a hierarchical leadership wherein the participants blindly follow orders or face consequences. Remember President Bush threatened Congress with the famous quote… “Either you are with me or against me?” Those are not the words uttered in a true democracy.
In a true democracy, there should be no consequences for exposing the truth or for challenging authority. Ironically, truth telling is one of the beautiful flaws of a real democracy.
We judge other people through our eyes and we assume that everyone has a similar barometer for morals. That is the farthest thing from the truth. We are even hypocritical when it comes to our own so-called morals. Because this country has the biggest stick and most sophisticated technology other people look to this country for guidance, no matter how twisted we may be. In Saudi Arabia they behead people for not following someone’s interpretation of the Quran. In this country, we execute people for not following someone’s interpretation of the Christian Bible. However, one is a supposed democracy while the other is an empire. I am sometimes confused as to which is which.
For example, we are involved in domestic matters of countries that are more than halfway around the globe. The United States military, the Central Intelligence Agency, and Multinational corporations are involved in Iraq, Iran, Syria, The Ukraine, Egypt, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Libya, and a host of countries in South America. We decide what weapons other countries can buy or manufacture. We manufacture and sell military arms to other countries. We decide who can generate nuclear power, who can sell energy, and to whom. We decide who is a terrorist, and what actions are terrorist actions. We interpret the intentions of other countries, and decide whether they are peaceful or aggressive. We decide who can travel, and for what purpose. We decide who is an enemy combatant. We even topple governments and set up puppet governments that we call democracies and we pretend the government is duly elected. Sometimes, we kill off the opposition so that the other side simply cannot win an election and our puppets can claim victory. We do these things in the name of our “so-called” national interests.
We instigate fights between foreign countries. We instigate domestic fights between factions inside other countries. We sometimes provide arms to all sides in a conflict.
Once the participants are at war, we sometimes pretend to act as the referee between the parties. That way, they will never have a lasting peace.
Even in the conflict in what some call Israel, the United States supplies arms to Israel and makes certain that the conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians is never resolved.
The United States is antagonistic to peace on the globe and it has a financial interest in making sure many of these World conflicts continue. It can stop the Israeli – Palestinian conflict today. All it need do is map out the territories and stop sending arms to Israel or place a few battalions or legions between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The fighting would cease tomorrow.