I'm not going to lie: it's not going to be a better year in 2009. Things are going to get much, much worse. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that's all of us. It's not the ruling class that's going to do it, it's not Congress, and it's not Obama. We can fix the mess that Wall Street and the politicians in Washington D.C. made for all of us, and we can even turn the tide in a direction that benefits us, the average people in America.
But that means dropping the greed and selfishness. It means accepting that the market model is done and must be radically reformed. It's going to mean a very pointed return to progressive taxation of the rich. Consumerism is ending, jobs are evaporating everywhere, at all levels of society, and it boggles the mind. It doesn't matter. What matters is each individual recognizing what they can contribute to helping others and pressuring for change.
How will you know what to do and when? You'll know when it comes, but hear me out--the average person has, and always will be, the real "corrector" when the powerful have wrecked civilization. We're the people who clean-up their messes, yes, but out of that must come demands. Demand a better life. Resolve yourself that nothing comes from power without demands, and our lives will improve.
This doesn't mean going unprovoked out and beating-the-crap out of cops, although it will mean defending ourselves when we're met by illegal violence from the private sector and her allies within the State. Americans are going to learn what the term "togetherness" means once again, because we're all going to be hitting the streets soon enough, and the confrontations are coming. Discipline and a wariness for violence will be crucial.
Creativity in civil disobedience will be one of the keys.
We must hold to the law just as the Republic Windows and Doors folks did. President-elect Barack Obama endorsed the validity and legality of the sit-in at Republic, which is a good sign for his administration. Other signs aren't so reassuring, which is why we must all demand, and demand loudly that the system meet our basic human needs when things inevitably become worse.
There will be riots. There will be general strikes, and there will be the natural response of repression. History is back and the stagnation is ending.
Demands get results, but patience and wisdom are going to be necessary as well, and we must show lawful restraint. Let the protectors of this failed system do the law-breaking, then we can take care of them in the courts. Right now, there are more important things: Spend time with your loved ones. Make a real friend. Treasure what's valuable, which is the warmth and kindness of friends (real ones) and family. Demand peace, and demand justice where there is none. Demand investigations into the Bush II administration until we finally know everything that they did so we can really clean up this mess he's left us. He didn't do it alone. Congress enabled, encouraged, and defended him. So did the mainstream media. Their time is coming as well.
Happy Holidays, Matt Janovic