Corporate media of late has focused intensely on the protests occurring in Hong Kong. Yet they don’t mention the numerous protests happening around the globe. The focus on Hong Kong is meant to be indicating some form of Western victory, while not much mention is made of the fact that there are counter-protesters in favor of China.
Right now there are protests happening in many countries. Some are violent, some are not. Nearly every single one has a basis which boils down to an objection to capitalist systems. There are currently protests occurring in France, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil and Chile, all of which have had extensive violence involved. Meanwhile in the US we have protests by the UAW (United Auto Workers), backed up by the AFL-CIO. More protests occurring against General Electric. In recent years, Mexico has seen a rising tide of protests for various reasons, some financially based, others against police violence and corruption.
It is not a debatable point that most corruption is in some way rooted in capitalism. Political and police corruption often happen because of bribery by unlawful or unethical entities seeking to make a profit. From direct bribes of police or public officials to turn their heads as crimes are committed to lobbying for favorable legislation in return for campaign donations or post-political-office positions at high salaries, all of it equates to the same thing.
Many union leaders over the years have been investigated and/or convicted of corruption and racketeering. The leaders walk away with massive profits while the workers they are supposed to represent have wages stagnate and benefits slashed.
Interestingly, public officials in the US, elected or appointed, who act against the welfare of much larger number of citizens are basically never indicted or even investigated for their corruption.
The size, scale and geographic diversity of all these protests are a clear indication that the people of the world have had enough of the decades of oppression imposed upon them by capitalists. People have had their comfort, their emotions, their health, their welfare, their children, their very existence brought into doubt or completely sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy. While the wealthy on average are apathetic or even sadistic in their regard for the middle class and poor.
There was at one time something of a balance where the poor could attain a comfortable middle class status and the middle class could attain some level of wealth. That balance has been destroyed because for the extremely wealthy, enough has not been enough. Today it is far more likely the middle class will fall into poverty than attain any level of wealth. While those already in poverty could well fall invisibly and silently out of existence.
Most of those rising up and those not yet rising up are not seeking any extreme level of wealth. Merely comfort and security. Most are happy working for what they have, as long as what they earn is not claimed by the rich as a birthright. There is nothing abnormal in wanting your labor valued enough to make a living wage, have medical care without bankruptcy or education without decades of debilitating debt.
The absolute biggest reason capitalists gain control of socioeconomic systems is because of common election funding systems. In countries where election funding is primarily through public funding, such as the US, candidates for office make promises and incur debts to “donors” who fund their campaigns. Anyone who denies that quid pro quo exists in such a system is either willfully ignorant or is a direct beneficiary of that system. Thus they have no desire to change such a system.
The only alternative to public funding is government funding with transparent controls. In the US, that would include equal funding for at least the top four parties, not two. Combined with equal access to all state ballots and debates. Ranked choice voting would be a logical and necessary component of such a system.
Another major reason for capitalist control of socioeconomic systems is corporate lobbying. Right now there are at least 8 lobbyists in DC for every member of CONgress. Government officials go through a rotating door between elected/appointed office and corporate executive employment. Lobbying and the rotating door are closely entwined. The rotating door must be closed and corporate lobbying should be declared a criminal offense with mandatory prison sentencing for lobbyist and lobbied officials. All debate on legislation should be public with no closed door events, no private communications which do not involve tightly defined issues of national security, such as weapons design.
Fighting for such changes against the beneficiaries of the current system will be a true fight. The corporate media will absolutely be against such changes, seeing that they are some of the most prolific profiteers of our current system. This means this fight will be fought tooth and nail at the grassroots level. It is not something we can take lightly. This issue is gaining ground slowly and each one of us can help with it.
The other option is going to be violent protests as we are seeing in other countries right this minute. JFK said, “He that makes peaceful revolution impossible makes violent revolution inevitable.” We are standing at the edge of that choice right this minute. It will not take much to push us over. In Chile, all it took to push the country into chaos was imposing a tax on internet based phone calls. Americans are far more passive than Chileans are. However, we cannot put off action on these issues any longer or we seal our fate of sinking into violence. It may begin in isolated events but will spread nationally very quickly. Many believe they would be immune from the effects of such violence. I expect the violence here would be far worse, considering the apathy common in the American populace and the number of firearms in this country. Trying to impose gun control at that time would make it infinitely worse.
So, your choice. Peace through submission? Peaceful revolution? Or violent insurrection? Shall we burn our cities to the ground? Anyone in favor of violence I reject outright. Anyone offering passive-aggressive criticism with no viable alternative is useless. Those who choose to not decide will merely leave that choice to others.