Friday, July 04, 2003

Appropriately on this Fourth of July, a"Populist Declaration of Independence from Corporate Rule" by A. V. Krebs. Independence and self-government isn't a gift the Masters of the Universe give you. It must be fought for!
WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS , it becomes necessary for one people, suffering from an ever-increasing system of corporate tyranny and exploitation, to rouse themselves from personal acquiescence and intellectual compliance, to reassert their equal station, and demand from that government they support those equal rights to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitles them, dictating that a decent respect for their integrity requires that they declare those causes that impel them to embark on a rectifying course of action necessary to insure their right to economic, political and social self-determination.

WE hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights governments are instituted among the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that when ever the powers of a government become destructive of these, either through the injustice and corruption of its laws or through the deceit of its executive, legislative or judicial system, it is the right of the people to abolish such laws and rid themselves of such leadership, instituting such change as to them shall seem most likely to positively effect their general welfare, safety and happiness.

Prudence indeed dictates that laws long established shall not be changed for lite and trifling causes, and accordingly, experience also shows that men and women are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing those unjust laws to which they have become accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpation's, pursuing invariably the same object, seeks to impose upon the people an economic, social, political and ecological order designed not by the people, for the people and of the people, but rather one that is self-serving and monopolistic in character, with a goal of creating slavish dependence upon the corporate will, that system assumes an irresistible influence in the halls of our legislatures and courts.

Just as our politics and system of justice remain subservient to the interests of corporate power and wealth, the people's welfare, under the fostering care of a government "obsequious in its devotion to the purposes of a selfish oligarchy" continues to be scored by our political leadership in terms of financial gain, never about the spirit of our laws or our cherish democratic ideals that have embodied our history as a people.

THUS , it is the people's right; it is their sacred duty to throw off such economic, social and political tyranny, and provide new safeguards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the producing and working classes in our nation's rural and urban communities, and such is now the necessity which compels us to declare that we will use every moral and democratic means, save a resort to violence, to overthrow this fascist despotism and to insure that all men, women and children claiming the protection of our laws and equality before those laws.

The history of the modern corporate state has become a history of repeated injuries and oppressions, all directed to establishing the impersonal corporation as the dominant institution without our society. Seeking to reduce our Bill of Rights to little more than empty promises, the corporate state has carefully schemed to insure that the expansion of its privileges and power will become the dominating and prevailing force within our society's economic, social and political institutions. To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world.

IT has privatized the nation's natural resources --- land, water, air, food and fiber --- while controlling, monetizing and exploiting those same resources for its own personal monetary gain.

IT has through its economic and political power repeatedly influenced government policy and legal institutions to support private enterprise development through promoting and defending corporate property rights at the expense of social and environmental concerns, eschewing control of private lands even for the purposes of conservation, while being provided abundant government subsidies for its profitable pursuits of coal, lumber, oil and corporate agribusiness interests.

IT has through a process of substituting capital for efficiency, technology for labor and creating an assembly line system of processing our food, turned farmers into technological "junkies," endangering their own and their families' health and safety, converting "stewards" of the land into "miners" of the land, creating an elite class of corporate "welfare cheats" living off taxpayer dollars, and basing family farm survival not on earned farm income, but on borrowed capital and "rural development."

IT has throughout the 20th century driven farmers, workers and consumers apart by diverting taxpayers' attention away from the root causes of our nation's chronically depressed farm economy by preaching about farm practices, "excessive" government regulations, and by replacing a fair price in the marketplace with an unfair and ever-escalating burden of debt.

IT has, in romanticizing family farming as a profession, denigrated the farmer as an individual, successfully removing the culture from agriculture while it strives to achieve its ultimate goal --- the globalized industrialization of our food supply.

IT has denied farmers a fair price for what they produce, the men, women, and children they hire the right to organize and bargain collectively, and service and factory workers a fair and just minimum wage.

IT has, in the name of greater "productivity," "cost management,' and "efficiency" callously endangered the health, safety and livelihoods of thousands of its workers while its executive's and managers have remunerate themselves well beyond reasonable and equitable standards.

IT has, motivated by its own narrowly defined selfish financial interests, pitted workers against workers, race against race, natural born citizens against immigrants, cultures against cultures, men against women, young against old, class against class.

IT has remained indolent to the massive decay of our rural communities and inner city ghettos, denying the human dignity of the millions of men, women and children who have played such a vital and historic role in fashioning our nation's bountiful food delivery and manufacturing systems.

IT has demeaned the honest labor of its citizens with burgeoning credit, huge debt loads, and a multi-billion dollar national deficit.

IT has systematically increased the separation of real asset ownership from real asset control by controlling the resources of public lands, the airwaves and the investment policies of public monies through its banks and insurance companies.

IT has repeatedly exhibited its inability to soundly invest, wisely manage or safely care for the monies of workers and consumers, while at the same time imploring the public to bear its risks, its own failures, waste and corrupt practices.

IT has sufficiently neutralized government regulators to such a degree that those government, state and local agencies and bureaus designed originally to promote a "consumer-sovereign" economy have instead adopted priorities more attuned to a "seller-sovereign" economy.

IT has through a contorted process aided by a submissive and compliant judiciary managed to protect its interests by cloaking itself as a "person," within the language of the 14th Amendment, exercising all of its privileges while bearing few, if any, of the responsibilities that such a Constitutional designation grants.

IT has established "economic growth by means of corporate priorities" whereby "corporate elite's and banking elites, not simply having a disproportionate amount of power and influence, but at the same time such power and influence rarely being part of a public discussion" such that the public "can question it and interrogate it in a concrete way."

IT has through bribery, "political action campaign" money, and honoraria all designed to unduly influence our legislators into betraying the true interests of their constituents to the degree that we now have well-neigh one ruling political party beholden to the same corporate paymasters.

IT has by buying "corporatist" political leaders --- individuals not necessarily conservative in nature, but rather ones programmed to deliver what the elitist element in the corporate state wants --- created a government where politics creates domestic and foreign policy, rather than one where policy becomes an outgrowth of a democratically driven political system.

IT has successfully coerced politicians, in the name of "corporate socialism" into establishing a huge corporate welfare system composed of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax abatements, tax preferences, grants, inflate contracts, bailouts and a never-ending number of miscellaneous subsidies to industry and corporate agribusinesses.

IT has obstructed the administration of "equal justice under law" by injunctions procured from overawed, over-burden courts, legal technicalities, endless numbers of appeals from one politically appointed judge to another with the overall intent of overburdening prosecutors and defense lawyers, openly avowing its determination to make it so time-consuming, expensive and complicated for the public to prosecute citizens that they dare not undertake such an effort

IT has created a mammoth, extravagant and wasteful military-industrial complex which has become not only one of dubious value in protecting the citizenry from terrorism, but endangers our future national security by depriving the nation of necessary funding for important domestic programs and infrastructural needs --- such as universal health care and a challenging public education system --- essential to our survival as a nation.

IT has misled its own people into believing that we have both the right to be an imperial power in a multi-cultural, multi-religious world, but that we also have a "moral obligation" to initiate and wage foreign wars while thousands of parasites --- "the gamblers in the necessities of life" --- use such wars and the threat of such wars for the purpose of exacting exorbitant profits, working not to beat an enemy, but to create more billionaires.

WE have not been wanting in our attempts to obtain redress through the people's Congress. Our repeated efforts have been answered only by silence, indifference or attempts to frame laws that appear to meet our wants but are in reality only become a legal snare for our courts to disagree upon and for our corporations to ignore or disobey.

WE have repeatedly warned our political leaders of the various and repeated violations of our rights that are being perpetrate against us. We have reminded them of the reasons for and circumstances surrounding our immigration and settlement in this land. We have appealed to them as administrators of a free and impartial government, to protect us from these encroachments, which if continued, assuredly will inevitably end in the utter destruction of those liberties for which our families gave their lives, inevitably resulting in the establishment of an entrenched privileged class and an aristocracy of wealth.

WE must, therefore, acquiesce to the necessity which compels us to denounce the corporate state's moral and criminal indifference to it wrongs and hold them as we hold many of our leaders and legislators --- an enemy to the farmer, the worker, the consumer --- to the monopolist and plutocrat a friend.

WE, therefore, the citizenry of a democratic republic, assembled and conscious of our Populist tradition, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do solemnly declare that we will use all lawful and peaceable means to free ourselves from the tyranny of the corporate state and its monopolistic ideology.

WE will never cease in our efforts for economic and social justice until every branch of our government gives signification that the reign of greed and corporate subservience is over, and that the degree of economic and political democracy envisioned by the framers of our government sought to inaugurate has become a reality.

THAT TO THIS END WE HEREBY DECLARE ourselves absolutely free and independent of all past political connections, and that we will give our suffrage only to such men and women for office, from the lowest officer of the state to President of the United States, as we have good reason to believe will use their best endeavors to the promotion of these ends; and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on Divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

This declaration is derived from the works of Thomas Jefferson and all those populists who have believed and sought to promote his democratic ideals.


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