Eric Harrington – What Would Gandhi Do?

I just finished reading an article on Alternet entitled “As the Country Falls Apart, It’s Time for Our Revolution” written by Ted Rall, the author of the book “Anti America Manifesto.”  Mr. Rall portrays a very chilling scenario and one I frankly can’t easily dismiss. He describes how the collapse of America is imminent, and unavoidable, and what’s important now is how that collapse initiates. Is it on it’s own terms, like in Russia, where the country disintegrates over just a few days and the power vacuum is filled by ruthless oligarchs, i.e. the black market powerbase beneath the government (here in the U.S. that new powerbase would probably be a composite of fragments of the government, big corporations, and the right wing crazies that are the back bone of the tea party.) Or should we the people, instead initiate the collapse ourselves with a revolution, and take the country back by force.  He goes on to explain how such a process might occur using parallels from occupied France in WW2 and the French underground..
While I can see the logic on the surface of this article, and understand how supported it is in historical precedent, I cannot disagree more as to the approach to taking back our country. And by “our country” I mean the country of the educated liberal populist, who believes in the value of work, and education, and freedom.  So what then do we do, to stop this slide into chaos?

 BOYCOTT!  We do not have to take up arms to get the real powerbase of this country to pay attention and change. The real powerbase of this country isn’t the tea party, or Fox News, the fascist propaganda channel, or the Senate with all its well groomed, rhetoric spewing puppets; it is the Military Industrial Machine. It is the big American corporations.

THEY lobby the politicians to get the pro-business legislation they want. Every “populist” bill put forth by congress with the supposed intent of helping regular people is filled with small print that at minimum makes it a wash or even benefits the businesses supposedly regulated. The fix is in, and yes a revolt IS necessary. But we do not have to do it by force of weapons. That is sooo 19th century. Nor can we do it with the lazy click of a mouse as we send another $20.00 to  No, it can only be done by a radical change, and I mean RADICAL, namely, a radical change in HOW WE SPEND OUR MONEY.

 There is only ONE thing that will make those corporations and their senate shills listen, and that is a big hit to the bottom line. One they can’t outsource or layoff away. One they can’t lobby against, or create a new PAC to propagandize about.  One that reaches right up to the very top, the CEO’s virtually immediately.  The only way we can take this country back is to STOP BUYING THEIR SHIT.  Stop going to the supermarket chain store, and buy ALL your produce and house goods from the little store on the corner. Stop going to the Wall-mart, and instead buy from the local department store. Cancel your cable TV.  Take your money out of the big bank and put it in a little locally owned bank or savings and loan.

 But that is just the first step, and the next one is the most important.   Next you have to write them a letter. Write Wall-Mart and tell them you refuse to buy anything from a company who destroys jobs in small towns while sending all our manufacturing to China.  Write the Cable TV vendor and tell them you refuse to subscribe to a company who allows the fascist propaganda of Fox News to go on unchallenged and unchecked.  Write your supermarket and tell them you refuse to buy their goods unless they begin to provide you with US manufactured goods and locally grown produce and meats.  Write Bank of America and tell them they have destroyed our economy and you refuse to bank with them again until THEY spearhead REAL effective banking regulations in the congress through their multi-million dollar lobbying machine. Write Chevron oil and tell them you will only buy your oil from Citgo, the socialist Venezuelan oil company until they stop off-shore drilling and invest Billions into Solar power infrastructure.  And guess what? If enough people stop buying their goods, and tell them why, enough to make a real tangible hit to their bottom line, those CEO’s will listen and listen good, and they will scramble to do something, anything that will stem the tide because they listen to their god, and his name is “quarterly report.”

You see, these companies and the Milton Freedman-esc free-market fundamentalists in the government are the real enemy.  And it’s not that they hate us, or want to do us harm. But they operate in a system of us and them.  There is them, the big businesses, and the moneyed class who owns their stock, and the us, the workers, the middle class, the people who actually DO things, make things, create things, design things. And because of the way the system is structured, the CEO’s are beholden only to the stock holder, and they only care about their stock price and the performance of the investor.  Over 80% of all the stocks owned by Americans are owned by people who do not work. They live off their investments. That is who we fight. They live in big houses, and drive nice cars and live what they believe is the American dream.   But it’s a dream born on the backs of the working class throughout the world.  They may think they have gotten over through their hard work, but in reality, their success is born of class and corporate socialism, fashioned from the blood and sweat of the increasingly squeezed working class throughout the world, and impossible without the US military keeping our oil prices low, and the congress and media keeping stock prices high.. They don’t know it, but they are contributing to the destruction of the working middle-class and the country because no country can flourish without a successful working middle-class. 

But we can fight without guns (remember they have TANKS) and without votes, which are increasingly meaningless.  Just choose carefully where you put your money.   Even your electricity can be purchased through green companies. But there is a catch. Almost every purchase that favors American small business and labor, costs slightly more. That is the sacrifice we must make to get our country back.  But there is another benefit to buying locally made and sold goods. When you buy your food, household goods, coffee, even gas from locally owned vendors, a large portion from that purchase stays right in YOUR town.  It circulates around the town enriching everyone it touches.  The Hardware stores pays their employee who spends it at the market, who pays the distributor who spends it at the hardware store.  It is the antithesis of “Free trade: but it is how all the successful economies in the world stay that way.  And in the long-term it easily overshadows the increased costs of local goods..

 You see there really are two economies now, the global financial economy, i.e. the stock market, and the REAL micro economy, i.e. jobs growth and inflation.  They used to be strongly linked, but globalism and free trade have separated them and in fact put them at odds with each other.  The media may still refer to them as one thing, but it is the same as saying that the NBA and the players union are the same thing when in reality they are linked but very much at odds. 

 Of course the talking heads from the Wall Street Journal will insist that without a thriving “economy” i.e. stock market, the jobs and middle-class cannot flourish, but the reality is that the working middle-class flourishes in a slow, predictable, regulated economy with consistent single-digit growth, not the wild-west, unregulated casino-esc economy we have today.  That only serves the investor and the banks, and the wilder it gets, the further up the chain you have to be to be on the winning side.  That’s what the nieve low-end investor, the self- made, semi-retired, typically Republican mini-millionaire doesn’t realize — first goes the workers, but next will come the little investor, because the big guys make the moves that DRIVE the market, and thus they have the inside track in everything.  As in the Casino, the house always wins.

So the only answer is boycott. Boycott your bank, your Wall-Mart, your supermarket, your world. Don’t buy a new IPAD and write Apple and tell them that not enough jobs in that product were American. Tell them you will pay more for American made. Don’t buy a new car, send them a letter saying the same.  Write your congressman and tell them unless they pass real serious banking and financial reform, and support import tariffs, and move to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, you will not vote for them again. Tell your local senator we have to cut the defense budget in half or you will not vote for them.   Sell you stock in Edison and send them a letter saying you will not buy it again until they invest heavily in renewable sources, and tell them you are willing to pay more for renewable electricity.   Think carefully about every dollar you spend and whenever there is an opportunity to spend it locally or support a sustainable company, do that, and tell them why you appreciate them.  And tell their competitors why you didn’t buy from them.  Yes it’s a lot of work, but it’s easier than dodging bullets..  Create free petitions at the several sites on-line and start a campaign against the polluters, the lay-offs, the out-sourcers.

 This movement WILL take our country back, faster than any gun.  Guns just give the fascists and the right-wing crazies an excuse to be violent and they WANT to be violent, just look at any Tea-paty rally — the hate is just seething below the surface.   But for ANY big company whose bottom line goes down 10% in a matter of weeks, it will be CHAOS! And they will listen.  And they will respond.

Take charge of the only power we have left —  the power of your dollar.  Organize and start the revolution now.  Stop buying their cheap Chinese shit and tell them “we’re mad as hell and we aint gonna buy it anymore!”  to loosely quote a famous fictional news anchor.. Time is running out..


~ by Eric Harrington on November 13, 2010.

One Response to “Eric Harrington – What Would Gandhi Do?”

  1. Some cause why the majority of people practly don’t move on the correct direction are:
    -they are diluted with waist (chemicals) and natural things, e.g. fluoride in pat water — leaving them acting like a sheep.
    -all TV stations, etc.(exept independents) is against people.
    Now, how to correct these two issues? – If we can win, we’ll win.

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