American Gulag

March 22, 2017

Contributor

The corporate government has created a gulag for the American people. For most of us, it is a work camp in which we barely get enough to provide basic security. Per government records, only 10% own their own homes outright despite generations of us working endlessly to buy our security. The rest of us pay mortgages, rent, or taxes which means we are never truly in control of our property. Then, simply to live we are required to take jobs on the terms set by the employer or by the government and if we fail to comply with their orders we risk losing even our free range slave status and are forced into criminal status through homelessness or by prison sentences through their graft-driven courts.

My contention is that it’s possible for folks to live the way they want, to work or not work, with the resources that we have and with almost no one getting burned. There is a US company that can produce a permanent home for $10K using a 3D printer. Such a home can be made in a day. We have tons of available land in this country, much of it captured by the federal government and sold off by politicians to the highest foreign bidder. We can take that land back, or what portions aren’t used, to create free, self-sustaining eco-villages for folks to live in.

By housing people permanently we would greatly reduce the burden on taxpayers because it would stop the endless stream of money that goes out to private landlords who take fees from the government to provide housing. Most folks using that option go on paying 60% of the rent year after year and are always at the mercy of, or under the scrutiny of the landlord and the government. With the $10K housing option, they could quickly pay off the cost of the house with the funds they already pay and then be done with the expense, just like the taxpayer.

The only losers would be the for-profit landlords. The very poor could be housed by the taxpayer for a low cost with the benefit of getting them off the streets and into a comfortable environment where they are safe and less likely to invade the neighborhoods of folks who work and enjoy a better quality of life. We should get organized in our local councils and insist that this option is applied. It will take the will of the folks in each community to get this done – the government has no stomach for it, and likely the politicians own much of the funded housing. http://apis-cor.com/en/ makes the buildings.

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Trump: Join us in connecting the dots

The election of Donald Trump has left millions, maybe even billions of us in shock. Although we may be looking with bewilderment at the US today, we should remember that he is not an isolated phenomenon. He is a symptom of a sickness that is raging all around the world. People are hurting, disillusioned with mainstream politics and increasingly angry at a neoliberal economic system that is destroying lives and the planet with increasing ferocity. And in their desperation they are willing to consider extreme measures to make themselves heard.

Demagogues thrive amid fear and insecurity, which is why they paint the world in such dark terms. It’s a strategy that has put right-wing populist leaders in power in an Axis of Egos: from Brazil to Turkey, the Philippines to Russia, authoritarian strongmen like Trump are on the rise. Meanwhile, many centrist liberals, like the Democratic Party in the US, have been so intent on rejecting left-wing populist solutions, and so sure of their ability to beat anyone running on a white supremacy platform with its misogyny and homophobia, that they opened the door for Mr. Trump to walk straight through. Their preference is always to maintain the status quo that has served them so well.

As dangerous as the election of Trump is for the world, we can also see in this moment the truth that we simply cannot rely on the electoral political system to save us, because it is designed to prevent the fundamental change we need. Its own survival is at stake and it will marshal all its champions and resources to defend itself and stop the emergence of a new system. But when we work, or continue working for change from the ground up; when we build or keep on building new ways of living and being with each other where we live; when we construct or keep constructing the future we know is possible with our own hands, rather than hoping distant leaders will build it for us, we find our true power. Finally, when we combine that with the unbending hope that has powered change through the ages, we know our power has meaning.

A 400-year-old economic system is dying and another is struggling to be born. Change on this scale is not going to be smooth or easy. We should not be surprised, then, that moments like this — where the establishment is dealt a body blow — become more and more common. We can despair when that blow comes in the form of right-wing extremists, or we can step-up. We are the ones we are looking for, who can and must grasp the opportunities in these crises that are undoubtedly there.

So it’s time to come together, taking time to remember the earth. Remember all the successful struggles for justice that came before us, and imagine all those to come. Remember that social movements are growing all over the world and realising the common struggle. Remember life. Then, organise. Find each other and help midwife the inevitable transition that brings forth from the ashes of neoliberal capitalism a system that works for the good of all life on Mother Earth. This is not just activism; this is our responsibility as human beings alive as this all unfolds.

This is why we are here.