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Where The Peoples Power Really Lay

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posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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Hi ATS!

My normal method of creating threads ( other than BTS chit chat and rant threads ) is customarily to do a lot of research, seek out a number of seemingly legitimate sources ( the best available on any given subject ), use those sources to provide what I feel to be enough supporting external content to offer proof to my assertions, and then to find a number of pictures and create a banner - because, honestly, threads with pictures, banners, and a few Youtube vids really do seem to get more traffic.

Today I am neglecting all of those steps and am going to approach things differently. Today I am simply going to consolidate a few thoughts I've posted elsewhere, in various threads, into one cohesive idea. It will be short, concise, and about as plain as it can be. So please forgive me if you're a fan of the shiny things. Today I want the idea to matter - not the wrapping.

Since Sandy Hook a Second Amendment frenzy / schism has erupted throughout our culture. One that I find to be quite confusing and bizarre. A few of my previous threads discuss the dangers of division - divide et impera - it is my humble opinion that this schism is yet another function of that principle. Another brick in the wall, another wedge in the collective.

Furthermore, I find the arguments involved to be nearly comical. The screams that people need arms to defend themselves from a potentially tyrannical government may well have held merit in 1778. But today they are laughable in application. Technology and progress of knowledge have truly rendered the idea moot. Arm yourself as heavily as you wish. But the truth is that if the authorities want you? They'll get you, regardless of your arms. No private citizen or group of private citizens is well armed enough to take on the military. The best one can hope for, through arms, is to kill a few people before they die.

That is reality.

Another hole in the argument is that guns keep power in the hands of the masses and ensure Democratic process. I can only say that we lost control of our Democracy a long time ago ( probably not long after the end of the Civil War ). People no longer matter. Corporations do. The legal process no longer serves us, it serves those who can afford to bribe Congress to get laws that favor them passed. Lobbyists and the interests that control them are running this machine - not the ballot box.

Besides - Google any third world nation, particularly those in northern Africa - and then try, with a straight face, to tell me that guns ensure stability of government. The premise is flawed.

In truth nobody wants to discuss the real power that the people hold. Their wallets. We do have a vote that matters still, and we exercise it multiple times each day. Our dollars now hold our power. This is the reality of life in the twenty-first century western world. Because of this the only real way we possess, as a group, to create real change, is to control that aspect of our lives. To vote with our money.

This is something that few of us are willing to do. We refuse to do it because it means we'd have to go without the comforts and luxuries that we are addicted to. We would have to actually suffer a bit to accomplish change. The truth is that most of us love to scream about how harsh we are and how patriotic we are. We just don't want to be put out by it. Dying in a gunfight is an abstract, so it's preferable to the notion of not having cable TV or soft drinks for a few days.

Take a few minutes to chew on that reality before you swallow. Because there is a lot of relevance here. We, as a people, are spoiled freaking rotten. THAT is what gives Governments and Corporations power over us. And guns don't play a role here whatsoever. They are merely one small aspect of the whole.

If you talked a million people into taking up arms against the Government - in some vain and misguided attempt to get your way? You'd only start a political fiasco, at best, and a slaughter - at worst. But convince those same million people to stop spending? You'd get attention, rather quickly. YOU would, effectively, become a lobbyist and, suddenly, you'd find that YOU mattered as much as the other lobbyists. You would have the attention of those in power.

Get ten million to stop spending for a week? You'd not only have the same authority as a lobbying organization, you'd effectively be the most important lobbyist in the country.

Get a hundred million to stop spending? YOU would have carte blanche and the full attention of the whole machine. You'd be in a position to create real, long term, meaningful change.

There aren't enough guns in existence to match that power.

My point? If you really want a revolution? Learn the proper way to have one before you get yourself and a lot of other people killed in an empty and already lost fight.

~Heff




posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 
I own a weapon not because I think I can fend off an armored tank with it, but because it will come in handy in the event of an economic collapse that would be followed by total chaos and anarchy. The problem with disarmament is that the criminals will simply continue getting their guns illegally while us law-abiding citizens can kiss our arses and those of our loved ones goodbye. In fact the CIA will have a brand new very lucrative racket supplying them.

Great post by the way....
edit on 28-1-2013 by MeritocracyNow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by MeritocracyNow
 


My OP doesn't address gun ownership at all. Only the arguments being used currently in a cultural debate. There is zero chance that the US government will outlaw gun ownership. At least not at any point in the foreseeable future. Even those who own the weapons currently at risk would be grandfathered in as legal owners.

The point of this thread is to point out the fallacies being offered in that debate and to offer a realistic evaluation of how to change the system.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I would (respectfully) direct you to the threads that endorse unity above partisanship. We are trying to unite and find a common solution.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 04:54 PM
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Of course that's the way it should work. You'll never hear me say otherwise. But... That other option is, historically, an option that should be considered when circumstances warrant.

Revolt of the pocketbook. Revolt of the ballot box. All much better than reaching for the sword and gun.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:06 PM
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I am to the point where the revolutionists can shove it, the governmentalists can shove it I just want to be left alone.

Just leave me the hell alone, but they can't do that we can take a page from the world hell even in our own country that no matter where you go new boss is the same as the old boss.

Just say no to the boss's.
edit on 28-1-2013 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:06 PM
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Sorry Heff but even the wallet power of the people is not enough. How many politician's throw favors to their favorite little donors? You don't think they would throw a bone to their rich connected friends to write off the loss? Look at the Wall street debacles. Have we ever gotten a answer from Corzine about where the money went? Then lets look at the money that is to be made in politics. How many Congresspeople and Senators get richer during their tenure? And to go with the gun issue, look at the pension funds that are divesting themselves from firearm manufactures. A industry that is still doing well despite the economy because of the need {gov't} or want {civilian} for what they produce. Then we add in the gov't desire for them not to manufacture anymore assault weapons, nothing like mucking up the market now is it? When you are producing money from nothing do you think the gov't actually cares if we go at them by the purse? Heck no, then they will just let inflation set in and watch their fun.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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I like the idea of a monetary armageddon style revolt, as it were. Though it would require someone that had the eyes and ears of the people to implement. Then it would require them to agree and give something up. That is a pretty tall order these days. Nevertheless i like the idea and can see it working. (if) Lots of ifs.

I however do not agree that an armed revolt is impossible. As far as attacking the capital, yea, impossible. The truth is that it only takes one town that is fed up and moves on a local level to spark a national call for the same. Evidence The Battle Of Athens (1946) .This battle spread across America in short order. No lives were lost thankfully. It did however send a clear message to government both local and federal that the people will only take so much before things get nasty. Another point is the fact that our military is made up of citizens. Citizens with mothers/fathers/children/wives/sisters/brothers/etc. I can say with absolute certainty that nobody knows which side they would take. The military could well be fighting each other in the end.

That said. I certainly like your idea better. Don't count on that happening though. We would need a leader that is much respected by all to pull that off. The media would give him/her no airtime.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by jimmiec
 


Why do we need a leader and the media? I thought Twitter proved that we didn't need either to make a difference...



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Although you and i are computer literate, there are millions of people who are not on the internet, nor do they have any interest in it. They are a rugged generation. They fought in Korea/Vietnam,etc. They are farmers, they are retired, they just don't like computers. They are in fact a large portion of America. They just don't want to be plugged into the internet. They are however people of action. They do not mince words or make idle threats. They would jump aboard but you have to reach them by other means.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by jimmiec
 


About 76% of Americans own computers. I think that would be enough to make a VERY significant impact.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


That doesn't even address the reality that the vast majority of Americans own smart phones and interact with social media programs even if they aren't technically computer literate. We now live in a world where even great grandma might well be accessing Twitter or Fb on the phone her grandkids gave to her and set up for her so that they could keep in touch with her instantly.

IMO we are actually at a nexus point where, for the first time in a very long time, a true grass roots movement is possible. One that happens in the model that Anonymous purports to utilize.



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


I would disagree. I am an anomally in my generation. I learned binary in 1978. 90% of the people i know in my age group and higher are either completely computer illiterate or use their pc to check their email or play solitaire. It is generally a handmedown from their kids.I am constantly having to buy things for them on Ebay because they can't even figure out how to open an account. They do love to listen to talk radio and old rock & roll. That could be a way to reach them.

edit on 28-1-2013 by jimmiec because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by MeritocracyNow
 


My OP doesn't address gun ownership at all. Only the arguments being used currently in a cultural debate. There is zero chance that the US government will outlaw gun ownership. At least not at any point in the foreseeable future. Even those who own the weapons currently at risk would be grandfathered in as legal owners.

The point of this thread is to point out the fallacies being offered in that debate and to offer a realistic evaluation of how to change the system.
Have you read Bill Cooper's book "Behold A Pale Horse" by any chance? The money is used by the elite as talismans for mass mind control and somehow feed off the energy that we create with our unbridled greed.

Hell is here on earth my friend. Humanity can only be saved when the malignant tumor is removed. I tell people all the time to stop buying their crap. So I like what you're doing
edit on 28-1-2013 by MeritocracyNow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2013 @ 07:14 PM
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I do agree that the economic power of the people can greatly affect political change but I feel like there is a factor you haven't considered--the ability of the government to deficit spend.

from wikipedia


GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports), or
GDP = C + I + G + \left ( X - M \right )


2012 US GDP was in the neighborhood of 15 Trillion with 1.1 Trillion of that being deficit spending by the government. So, 7.3% of this nations entire GDP for the year 2012 was debt that must be paid back later.

Next you must consider that a certain percentage of that GDP is also from transfer payments by folk dependent on the government for the money they must use to live. Those that don't work to earn their money have no incentive to forgo spending what little they might have left after attending to basic needs. I know Romney got in all sorts of trouble over his whatever percent comment, but he did have a point.

Also, a ridiculously large amount of that GDP is from spending on healthcare, I didn't look up the numbers, but I believe it is in the 15-20% range now. As most health spending isn't directly paid by the consumer of those services, that's a large chunk of economic power that can't be boycotted. Who's going to forgo a medical procedure to make a political point?

Now, the above being said, there is absolutely no reason not to try it. The idea of "going Galt" has been circulating amongst libertarians and Rand fans for a few years now. Some have even done it. I personally think the best first boycott should be against the media. Could you imagine if several million people dropped their cable/satellite the same month in protest over the biases (both ways) of the MSM?

I think if we did close our wallets that the government would just use its power to run up the credit card to pump money into the economy to offset any consumer boycott.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by jefwane
 


I agree. Boycotting the people that print the money is pointless. I am talking about selective boycotting of those who fund our politicians slush funds - those who lobby aggressively. Obviously pharma is the one that could not really be boycotted effectively. It's kind of hard to ask folks to give up their heart, diabetes, or blood pressure meds just to support a cause. I would never ask such a thing of anyone. But big oil? Telecoms? All unnecessary retail spending could theoretically be curbed for a very short span of time, IMO, and create a very visceral reaction not only in industry but also in government.

Money fuels our society - rather the transfer of it does. Look at how much action and free money the banks got simply by strangling credit a few years back. Instant and total attention was paid to them. I truly believe that if enough people simply got sick enough of the BS to agree to close their wallets for a week or two they'd see the same kind of reaction from our leaders. They ( our leaders ) would be desperate to open the flow of commerce back up and would be willing to make great compromises to accomplish it.

Those in power, IMO, have truly forgotten who they are ultimately beholden to. Sure they suck up to the lobbyists. But they've forgotten that it is US who gives them the chance to be lobbied in the first place. In a very real sense we've reached a point where our elected officials are dancing with every guy at the prom - but they've forgotten who brought them to the dance. It's time to remind them of who they came with and who they'll require to make it back home after the dance ends.

~Heff



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 06:09 AM
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The fact is that boycotts are a bit like sanctions. S%&t rolls up hill. When we boycott a product it hurts the little guy most times. IE layoffs. I think the only reasonable boycott would need to be Hollywood. (huge lobbying power) and the media ( political mouthpiece) If America effected change in both of those it would change America. It is time for the media to report the news for the purpose of informing instead of for a political agenda. It is time for Hollywood to keep their mouths shut until i hit the power button on my remote.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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I don't really think big oil could be successfully boycotted. Putting gas in my car to get to and from work has to happen regardless of what I think about them. I can easily limit other travel, but I can only go ten days or so without filling up if I'm only going to and from work.

Telecoms are an interesting option. I personally work in the wireless part of that industry. Many people who consume such services are contractually bound for a period of time, and would face pretty stiff fees to participate in any extended boycott. The best you could maybe do is convince enough people to minimize their plans as much as possible, but in many cases doing such would extend that contract. Personally, with the myriad of pre-paid options available now, I don't know if I'll ever sign a contract again when I leave this industry.

There has to be a way to break big pharma's power though. When my doctor prescribes something, I tell him "I don't want any new drug, if it isn't available generic don't prescribe it." That's real easy to do for a routine infection or a common condition (like high BP), much less so for a more serious ailment or condition. The healthcare racket is the one that is going to bankrupt this country quicker than the others due to the rate of growth, but it has to be done through the political process. Ending the anti-trust exemptions that the healthcare industries enjoy would be a great start. Also, with Obamacare requiring everyone have insurance, why don't they allow hospitals to turn away anyone without the ability to pay? I'm digressing on this it's a topic for another thread.

I'm with the above poster. I think entertainment consumption is one of the easiest things to boycott. This would include both new Hollywood releases, rentals/netflix, and cable. I really think that if millions could be convinced to cancel their cable for two months you'd here some real howling from the media (well, those doing the boycotting wouldn't except online). Other things that I could easily be convinced to not buy are : icrap, music, and non-generic products.

I think one of the main problems is that due to the unrecognized(by the government) inflation we've seen over the past few years there are already many people who can only eat, drive to and from work, pay rent/mortgage, utilities, and replace clothes as needed as it is. When I started working US minimum wage was $4.15 but for one hour of work I could get 4 gallons of gas with a few cents change. Just to have the same range of available travel at today's prices, you'd have to make $12.80 which is closer to double minimum wage than minimum wage.

A perfect example of what the government will do when consumers decide not to buy a product can be found in GM. I bought a new vehicle not to terribly long after the GM bailout (maybe a year). At the dealership, which was a Ford, GM, and Chrysler lot, I made it clear that the only manufacturer I would even consider was Ford. They said they'd heard that quite a bit. So the consumer made their choice as to what should have happened to GM but the government shored them up by buying thousands of Volts that the consumer didn't want.

Any type of consumer boycott must target things that people like but don't need. It will be hard to get traction on such a thing. We definitely don't need icrap and media, but millions of us like it and want it. And even though our standard of living is degrading, it's still a hell of a lot better than much of the world.

I'm really trying to avoid Chinese made stuff as much as possible but it's hard if not impossible. Some things just aren't made in the US or even nations that mostly share our political values like Canada, the Commonwealth,South Korea, Taiwan and Western Europe. Hell, it's hard to find things made in lesser evil (than China) countries like Mexico, Brazil, and other South American countries.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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Any group that does seek change like OWS is immediately attacked by the right wing and tptb with out even trying to understand their basic precepts. Resulting in name calling and spiteful comments. Americans can't come together under any type of unifying force. The divisions are more than political. They are now deep cultural divides that can never be breached.

The new and stronger culture of selfishness. "I got mine" and if you didn't get yours it's because you are lazy, stupid, and worthless. A neo Tribalism of sorts; those with and those without. But as more people have to do without, therein lies the danger.

The poor are already forced into a type of economic boycott and the "I got Mine'" tribe have no interest in change until they are directly affected.

I'm all for unity but I've been designated and marginalized as a "people like you" a cultural and political pariah.....who would want me?


I'm all for a boycott ....where do we start? But one thing to consider before we start our boycott of goods and services....how will that affect those Americans that provide those goods and services?













edit on 29-1-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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I share your sentiments. I've been posting some of the same here and there.

The idea that anyone would be able to resist our government now with guns is just ridiculous.
But further fighting amongst ourselves keeps us well enslaved and powerless.

It was a real revelation to me when I first witnessed the way the french people keep their power through protests and strikes. At first it irritated me- they stop up the whole goddarn country, and no one but me would complain. Even when the gas stations had no more gas, the stores no food..... until the government, in a chokehold, gives in.

I finally came to understand that they get the necessity for solidarity. Why couldn't us Americans do this?





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