Pockets Of Resistance

This is one of my favorite phrases because it flies in the face of the Borg phrase “resistance is futile”. It means that there are still people alive who are not lying down and going quietly, not accepting the rule of brute force, still struggling for justice. You usually find the phrase in the newspaper, attached to a story about some coup in which yet another democratically elected leader is ousted, the rebels having been funded by (insert-corrupt-goverment-here. )

Rebels trying to overthrow U.S.-installed governments that sell natural resources cheaply, (including human labor) in exchange for unbridled power for themselves are called terrorists. Rebels trying to overthrow democratically elected governments NOT friendly to the goals of multi-national corporations are called freedom fighters.  Freedom fighters are often funded by countries that claim to love democracy. Usually, the number of freedom fighters is directly proportional to the quantity of natural resources the country has. Right now, there are a lot of them in Venezuela.

The U.S. government is intervening there despite what the voting public wants, so it seems like resistance is futile, but I like to think we all have pockets of resistance—our pocketbooks. Every purchase we make, or don’t make, is a political statement, supporting or not supporting something. Every time we refuse to benefit from the enslavement or exploitation of another, we become part of the resistance to greed and corruption. Since consumer power is about the only power we have left, I think we need to start being more aware of how we wield it—and asking ourselves “What kind of company or practice am I supporting with this purchase or this investment?”

I know it’s gotten more difficult to boycott companies that commit atrocities. One reason is that so few corporations now own everything in the world. Almost every company has become a subsidiary of a mega-corporation. Another reason is that we are in love with technology and all the ways it can increase our quality of life. Even though my morning walk is a lot more enjoyable when accompanied with music from my iPod, since I found out that the Chinese factories that make them have to have suicide nets around them, my listening pleasure is somehow diminished. That’s why I’m going to work harder to find alternatives to supporting companies that outsource overseas to get away with horrendous working conditions.

My question is who will the winners of this global monopoly game collect rent from when everyone else is out of money? In real life, the game doesn’t end, it goes on. The only possible next step is slavery, and it looks like they’re already taking that step. It’s called mass incarceration, and I think any one of us could be the next to be arrested for the crime of poverty. Let’s use the little we have left in our pockets to resist becoming casualties of the end game of capitalism. If that doesn’t work, I’m going whatever I have left to try to emigrate to a more civilized country.

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