by Eric Schechter • Tuesday, April 9, 2019
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you ask people their political positions, many of them say "oh, I don't get involved in politics," and they're done with the subject. We need to shove this essay under the noses of those people, possibly at the risk of losing a few friendships.
You might continue to ignore the hordes of innocent people on the other side of the world (your cousins and mine) who are being bombed by our government. You might continue to ignore the homeless beggars that you see on every major street corner in town (again, our cousins). But you can't ignore the apocalypse, which will kill us all (including you) quite soon if we don't stop it. And by "soon" I do not mean the "by the year 2100" that the newspapers keep saying. I mean less than a decade. And stopping it will take all of us.
Can't we just leave that to the government? No we can't. They've screwed it up, and they're continuing to screw it up, and stopping them will take a lot more than just signing petitions or voting.
Here's the problem: Most of the people in top government positions are not wise people looking out for the well being of all of us. Most of them are just looking out for their own short-term profit. A lot of us have been pretty sure of that for a long time, but it was proved by Professors Gilens and Page in their 2014 statistical analysis. They showed that, regardless of elections, the rich get the public policies they want, and the rest of us don't. Their results are neatly summarized in this 6-minute video:
Our rich rulers are insane. That should have become obvious a few years ago, when the Arctic began melting. That should have been a wake up call to ban fossil fuels. But instead our rulers said "oh goody, now it will be easier to extract fossil fuels from the Arctic!"
The rich use their power to maintain their power -- it's a feedback loop, a vicious circle, so it won't be ended gradually through reforms. Somehow we have to overthrow the rulers and the whole system. But a handful of us can't do that; it's going to take essentially all of us. And we all need to see what is really going on, or we'll get the wrong kind of revolution. That's like in 1776, when a foreign plutocracy was replaced by a domestic plutocracy thinly disguised as a democracy.
* Eric’s main blog—Eric’s Rants—is at http://leftymathprof.wordpress.com.
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