If we wish to talk the talk of human rights and equality, we must also walk the walk. Today, bloggers around the world are uniting to bring focus to human rights. In the US we are a privileged few who have most (not all) rights granted to us. We are the largest, most powerful, privileged few and because of this we must provide the example for others in our actions – they do speak louder than our words.
I have been talking about the politics of our current system lately and how policy makers fails to see the problem with growth. But, can we create a just government that supports a sustainable, steady state economy? What does that mean for democracy if we change our economy model?
Read up on the democracies that inspired our founder’s and you will see a strong connection to steady state principals. True democracies are governments run by the people, either by elected officials (representative government like the US) or through direct participation (similar to ancient Greece and most tribal democracies). A steady state economy is one that supports local communities and accounts for the people and the planet instead of just profit. Together, democracy and a steady state economy work very well together.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is our nation’s bank, created at the beginning of the last century (big thanks to President Wilson) to centralize our banking system and stabilize our currency. It is quasi-public, having both private corporations and public agencies with controlling interest.
“The Fed,” as they call it on the street, controls our money, interest rates, “supervises” banking institutions, and has other means to inflict chaos into our economy. Despite being a blend of private and public the Fed keeps its business behind locked doors. It is hard for a government by the people, for the people to have a functioning banking system if they have no control or oversight of it. We should do something about it!
The original intend of our Founders and Framers was to limit the privileges of corporations as to protect the rights of the people. Not only did these corporations have definite life-spans and limits to there abilities, but the businessman running them could be held accountable for the actions of their group. Today, corporations can be “above laws” in the sense that they are fined for wrong-doing. So long as this fine works into the cost-benefit calculations, the law will be violated – even if it means death and destruction.
To believe that Christ intended us to buy things for the sake of giving things is a bit of a stretch. And to believe that it is an “American tradition” is to not be educated in history. Our nation was without any holidays for the first 67 years of it’s existence. And to think that we were founded as a christian nation is also a falsity. Our founding fathers were mostly deists, or in the case of Thomas Jefferson re-writing the new testament to exclude all miracles.
The formation of a nation built for religious freedom and separation of church and state would have definitely included the decision of making a national holiday that favors one religion over others. But, I digress…
Our desire to celebrate what is to many a sacred time of year with the wasteful consumption that insures the continuation of economic bloating is a slap in the face to the very meaning of the holiday. It invades our desire to spread good by making us believe we can only do good is by buying stuff and things. Yes! Magazine did a wonderful article about having a Christmas with No Presents.
I propose we start donating time to those who need it, donating money to the needy, donating food to the homeless. Give your kids the gift of seeing someone disadvantaged being helped. Bring them to a soup kitchen. I challenge all of us to actually spread good will in this time as we so often feel we’re doing by giving useless, expensive things.