I just read this news story about Bolivia’s success in achieving freedom from debt and a greater degree of social equality for all of its citizens. A couple of years ago, I read another story about Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly passing a bill of rights for Mother Earth. Okay, just the fact that it even HAS something called a “plurinational legislative assembly” would be enough to make it more civilized than most countries. Creating a bill of rights for the planet, source of all life, is an act that wins first place by a landslide if I’m on the judging committee.
The sad thing is that here in America, corporations have their own bill of rights, and can vote like a person, with money. Oops, I meant to say “campaign contributions”. How much more destructive and uncivilized could a nation possibly be than to grant personhood and voting rights to corporations, but not the planet? It has become increasingly difficult for me to feel good about contributing to a culture that has so little regard for human rights. Military spending continues to increase while the quality of life for the majority of citizens continues to decrease. Prices continue to rise while wages remain stagnant, making it more apparent each day that ours has become a culture that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
I’ve been a big admirer of Bolivia since a bunch of peasants in Cochabamba drove out the multi-national predatory corporation Bechtel, who came in to “privatize” their water, then raised the rates about 300 percent and passed a law against collecting rainwater. Maybe I should be learning Quechua, one of Bolivia’s indigenous languages, in addition to Spanish. I briefly tried once, but it was too hard. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t even have linguistic concepts for the kinds of atrocities we’ve learned to accept as reality.
With corruption at an all-time high here in the U.S., I’ve been considering applying for citizenship in Bolivia. There is almost no way left to survive in this country without contributing to your own enslavement and/or the enslavement or exploitation of others. I even became willing to live below the poverty level just to avoid paying taxes that would be used for war. It made no difference, and now, I no longer feel that I share a common moral and political ideology with most Americans.
How many U.S. citizens might qualify for political asylum in a more civilized country like Bolivia? Could someone be granted asylum for economic discrimination against those who don’t wish to participate in usury? Could a U.S. citizen be granted political asylum in Bolivia for being afraid of a racist and corrupt justice system which allows police to kill people of color with impunity? What about being granted asylum for either being denied health care or being drugged into compliance to a system increasingly devoid of human dignity?
I’ve been working really hard on my Spanish.