Days before the latest U.S. knee-jerk bombing attack on Syria, it was exactly 50 years since Martin Luther King gave his “carefully forgotten” speech Beyond Vietnam. King spoke about what he called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”
The ruling elites have now made King presentable in polite company. On Martin Luther King Day they sing his praises, but they never find time to break the silence, and it is no surprise that none of our congressional delegation has come out against the latest escalation of violence.[1-4]
How can one claim to be “called to conscience” and ignore the civilian death toll of the U.S. strike in Mosul? How can one stand aside while the victims are buried under a “Civilian Casualty Credibility Assessment Investigation?”
In Beyond Vietnam King warned against approaching spiritual death of the nation. Death is here and this is its fiscal face:
Resistance is in the air; marches are everywhere. General Alexander Haig supposedly said: “Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes.” Nonviolent resistance must learn from those trained in strategic thinking.
Last weekend, my wife and I did our 2016 tax return, but not until we had made a plan. We’ll use the coming year to look into:
We must resist, but we must also build a new society. Once upon a time, socialist revolution meant seizing the means of production. Nobody summed socialism up better than Bakunin:
“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; and socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.”
We all know what such systems of corporate or state-owned ownership look like. As mentioned, we need bottom-up, worker-owned cooperatives. Let us therefore celebrate the two bills introduced in the State House: S0676 and H6001. They are a step in exactly this direction!
Ownership of the means of production is vital, but how democracy works in cooperatives is equally important. Sociocracy is a system based on consent. It grew out of a movement in the Netherlands that started weeks after the end of World War II. In the age-old Quaker tradition, Kees Boeke started Sociocracy to address the violence of war, which he saw as a direct continuation of the competitiveness we practice in our schools and workplaces.
NOTE: press conference on coops Wednesday, April 12, RI State House, 3pm