BREAKING NEWS

ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Saturday, June 16, 2012

March of the Lemmings

America's Voluntary Self-destruction

By Jack Random
Dissident Voice
June 16th, 2012

The Lemming Condition tells the story of a community of arctic
rodents who blindly follow tradition, culture and peer pressure
on a suicidal march over a cliff and into the sea.

Alan Arkin’s fable is of course fiction, based on a myth perpetuated
by a popular Disney documentary on animal behavior.

Creatures in nature generally intuit the path to survival and no
species eagerly commits mass suicide or self-destruction – no
species that is with the possible exception of the human species.

It occurred to me after the spectacle of the recent election
in Wisconsin, where common folks, working people with their
livelihoods at stake, signed the death warrant for Wisconsin
labor by rejecting a recall of their notorious anti-labor governor.

Despite all the money poured into the state from the nation’s
wealthiest individuals and corporate entities, no one in Wisconsin
could have been unaware of the issues at stake: the end of
collective bargaining and an open attack on the last bastion of
unionism in the public sector.

I listened to the rationalizations of progressive and pro-labor
spokespersons, that the vote did not affirm the rabid policies of
their governor but rather represented an objection to the process.

Based on exit polls, they argued that voters did not believe the
recall process should be used for anything less than corruption or
malfeasance of office.

Frankly, I know something about human nature.

Based on that knowledge, I have drawn the conclusion that
Wisconsin voters lied to the pollsters just as they were likely
lying to themselves.

With real-world consequences at stake, Wisconsin workers,
forming the vast majority of the electorate, stepped in line
and walked over a cliff into the sea.

They voluntarily yielded their government to corporate rule.
They voted to end organized labor in their state.

To their fellow workers in the public sector, the teachers, nurses,
firefighters and police, their message was clear: Go to hell!

Until the results in Wisconsin, I had great hope that the people
of America would finally awaken. The candidates taking office
in the last election did not run on anti-labor austerity platforms.

They promised jobs and decried shipping them overseas.

They said nothing about busting unions, firing public workers,
blocking abortion, women’s contraception and corporate tax breaks.

Their secret agenda was not revealed until they took office and
few were more obvious than Governor Scott Walker. He lied to
the electorate but the voters did not feel that was sufficient
grounds for recall.

Now I am anything but hopeful.

With eyes wide open we are forming a line, beckoning others
to follow, as we march over a cliff into the sea.

We sign petitions demanding austerity, knowing full well that
our friends and family members will suffer the consequences:
Homelessness, joblessness, paltry wages, hunger and denied
medical care.

Public schools and public health clinics will fall on even harder
times with overcrowded classrooms and inadequate supplies.

Students in the working class (the middle class will soon be
reserved for management) will no longer aspire to higher
education. The cost of college will be beyond their means.

Even college graduates and highly skilled workers will be unable
to match the low wages and benefits of foreign competitors.

They will eventually fold, joining a burgeoning number of working
poor, counting pennies and pleading for help. Unable to pay their
debts, homes will be lost and futures discarded.

Old people, facing severe cutbacks in social security and Medicare,
will attempt to re-enter the workforce, competing with their
children and grandchildren for low-wage jobs.

Police and fire departments will find it harder to respond to
anything but the most dire of emergencies.

Denied access to contraception and abortion, more and more
women will give birth to unwanted children, many of whom
will be condemned to unhappy lives in poverty and need.

Left to exercise unbridled greed, the stock market will run wild
until the next curtain falls and this time the crash will reverberate
in places no one but the elite can escape.

When we pick up the pieces, massive international corporations
will own everything but the bill.

Workers and government officials alike will exist at the whim of
their corporate masters.

On and on, it is a grim vision on the social-economic front but it
is nothing compared to what awaits us environmentally.

Clearly, a society that cannot afford the fundamentals of health
care, education and public safety, has no interest in protecting
the air, the water and the ground beneath our feet.

We seem to believe we can vote global climate change out of
existence.

Here’s the news: The planet doesn’t care what you think or what
party you belong to or whom you vote for on Election Day or whom
you listen to on the radio.

The planet is growing warmer whether you believe it or not. The
planet is growing warmer because we refuse to stop pumping toxic
fumes into the air.

Glaciers are in retreat worldwide, melting into the sea. Oceanic
temperatures are rising along with sea levels. Ocean currents are
altered, spawning radical storms and radically altered weather
patterns. Shorelines are retreating and island nations are under
siege, some fighting for their survival.

In keeping with global trade policies, we have transferred virtually
all industry to those nations that not only offer cheap labor under
inhumane conditions but also lack minimal restrictions on air and
water pollution.

Several years back China supplanted America as the leading
producer of greenhouse gasses. That economic giant gets an
estimated 70 percent of its energy from the world’s dirtiest
fuel: coal.

According to a 2007 World Health Organization report, of an
estimated two million deaths caused by polluted air each year,
656,000 were Chinese citizens. Another 95,000 die from polluted
drinking water.

In both cases, the numbers are surely rising but the Lemmings
march on and the western world’s appetite for technological
gadgets is never satiated.

Never fear: What goes on in China stays in China. Not so.

As we might have learned from the Fukushima disaster, air and
water are globally connected. The toxic waste from Japan’s near
nuclear meltdown (a crisis still unfolding) is just reaching American
shores. The radiated plumes reached us long ago with unknown
consequences.

One would think that all talk of reviving our nuclear industry would
be silenced. Think again. Just like the Deepwater Horizon disaster
in the Gulf of Mexico, all parties concerned consider it a public
relations problem that is soon overcome.

Give it a few months and keep the applications coming. Issue a
press release about how deeply concerned you are.

Deepwater drilling continues at an accelerated rate and we have
plans for more nuclear plants (this time they assure us they are
really, really safe), more coal mines, more fracturing for natural
gas buried deep in the earth and more tar sand oil imported from
Canada.

All carry a heavy price to our environment and the collective
health of the planet.

It seems the only restraint we have in energy is that concerning
safe and renewable sources: solar, wind and geothermal.

Conservation through mass transit and fuel efficiency is also on
indefinite hold.

We continue to pretend that it is not exactly the kind of investment
we need to put our people back to work and position ourselves to
lead the global economy.

We must continue to subsidize dirty fuel, peel back restrictions,
and cut back on everything else.

We cannot afford clean energy. We can only afford to press on with
our mindless march to oblivion.

Get in line, fellow lemmings; the cliff is due west and the view
before the fall is breathtaking!


Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection and The
Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II. The Chronicles have been
published by Dissident Voice and others.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/06/march-of-the-lemmings/#more-
44858

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.