Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

WHAT'S A TV WORTH?


We are told that the people own the airwaves. We are told that the vehicle of TV, used by the corporations as an instrument of social control and a fantastic merchandising mechanism, must fairly and honestly be used to the benefit of all the people.

Sadly though, like so much else in our land, TV has been used and abused to sell not only products to the public, but in more recent times we've seen how TV can be used to sell wars and the expensive weapons that go with them.

Then after the lies are told to create a war, the TV must be used to cover up the lies. So more lies are heaped on top of the original sins and on we go. The people, knowing that they are being lied to begin to trust no one and give up hope that their government can ever be changed. People, whose very own lives are increasingly controlled on some level by multi-national corporations, begin to fear the powers that be as much as the feudal peasant feared the noblemen inside their castles, protected by moats and well-equipped armies.

As my mother often says, "You can't beat city hall." This was learned by years of witnessing the smashing of idealism in the body politic to the point where people now see expressions of democracy and justice as quaint and meaningless.

The lies are so frequent and so blatant that people's ability to feel outrage at those who decieve us are almost gone. The hardened heart becomes protection - don't expect justice, don't expect truth, don't expect real democracy and you won't have your heart broken again. Don't bother with politics, it's a dirty game and a waste of time we tell each other.

In the old Soviet Union the joke was that if you wanted to move up the ladder you had to join the party. Party membership increased the chances for better apartments, more food, a better job. Go along to get along.

In the United States of America the fact is that people have learned a similar lesson. If you want success, if you want to climb the corporate ladder, you have to learn to look away. You have to learn to kill the feelings of outrage. Keep your mouth shut when your president lies and drags your country into a war. Turn the other way when your government drains the federal treasury to enrich the big corporations, enriches the weapons makers, puts people in jail without trail, tortures the innocent in hidden detention centers around the world. Learn to look away (mumble angry things if you must, go vote for tweedle-dum every election day)but do look away. If you want to be liked by your neighbors then you must learn to kill the rage inside.

The worst lie of all is that the American people are the best people in the world. That America is an exceptional nation. This lie, stacked on top of all the horrid other lies, gives the people the internal justification they need to continue on each day with business as usual. "Well, there is no place better than this. This is the best country in the world, so my notions about democracy and justice are just naive and foolish. This is the way the world is and I'd just better make the best of it." Oh well, we say to ourselves.....life goes on.

This is the power of the TV. This is what you will find on the TV if you look behind the layers...look behind the illusions....

What is a TV worth? It is worth an entire empire.

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