In what may appear to be counter-intuitive, given the latest revelations about how the U.S. government and powerful corporations have partnered up to set up a massive and intrusive total-information-awareness surveillance system, I'm actually feeling pretty hopeful and optimistic about the future, not only here in the U.S., but for many other countries.
You see, for years I've been observing two very disturbing trends: The first one is the process wherein powerful transnational corporate elites basically took over the levers of governmental power via what is in essence legalized bribery (influence peddling, revolving door corruption, profiteering). The second (which I found even more disturbing) was the apparent obliviousness of much of the population regarding the wholesale undermining of democracy and the rule of law, as a result of the alignment of interests between corporatist government officials and profit-seeking corporations.
I watched in horror as this previously slow-moving process went into hyper-drive after September 11, 2001, when the corporate surveillance state proceeded to impose the legal framework to undermine citizens' constitutional protections, and to consolidate their power.
And I watched in horror as these ruling elites spread their world vision and ethos to many countries around the world, replicating a modus a operindi that involves the wholesale takeover of government institutions by enticing (and incentivising) the political class into acquiescing to the demands and expectations of transnational corporations and powerful individuals.
As years passed, I grew disillusioned as I watched most of the population react with an almost eerie "shrugging of the shoulders" about these very alarming trends.
For many years now, as part of my social justice activism, I've been doing everything possible to reach people and warn them about the dangers of ignoring these trends. I'm fully aware that a legion of people have been doing the same, at multiple levels... Some people in the media, academia, writers, intellectuals, activists, etc., have all been sounding the alarm, but it appeared as if we would never be able to get through the fog of propaganda and misinformation resulting from the ownership of the mainstream media by business conglomerates.
But thankfully, those dynamics are now beginning to change, very rapidly in fact. And because of it, I no longer feel hopeless about the future of democracy and the human race. I'm actually feeling very hopeful, and optimistic, regardless of the latest revelations about BAH/NSA Government-corporate nefarious massive spying.
Why? Because finally, after years and years of people trying to warn their fellow citizens about this creeping corporate totalitarianism (with global reach), it seems that people are finally waking up to what's happening--and they are reacting accordingly, in many countries.
Why do I find that so important? It is because I know that the only reason such a tiny group of individuals (numbered in the thousands) and corporations can maintain such an extraordinary level of what appears to be absolute control over hundreds of millions of people is through deceit, lies, manipulation, and the effects of propaganda (via their ownership of mainstream media outlets).
Like the Wizard of Oz, they want you to believe that there is nothing you can do about the way things are; they want you to feel apathy, to busy yourself with "breads and circuses," to accept their world vision, and most of all, to accept their claim to total and absolute power.
But once the population starts to realize that they don't have to accept this type of corporatist hegemony and orthodoxy by becoming aware about the actual state of affairs, then they become free. Becoming aware of the truth about the system, sets us free.
Because I've seen the spread of Neoliberalism as an international phenomena, another area of concern to me has been trying to encourage people from different countries affected and afflicted by it to unite in solidarity against it. The reason for that is because if Neoliberalism is being imposed and spread by a transnational ruling elite (with shared interests), then it makes sense for those affected by it to likewise, unite in solidarity to protect our shared interests.
For many years, this work, this advocacy, I've done pretty much on my own--just one guy seemingly tilting at windmills. Yes I know that there has been many, many others doing the same, and that there are very effective progressive organizations around the country doing great work, and that they have all contributed to what appears to be a recent collective consciousness awakening, but I still think it is necessary to find ways of engendering unity and solidarity internationally.
And so after years of trying to go at it alone, not because I'm a loner, but because I hadn't been able to find groups or organizations who shared my outlook, I finally connected with one person which I now consider a kindred spirit. His name is Andrea Tosi, founder of REPEACE.COM. From the moment we connected, and after several NSA-monitored Skype conversations, I now know that I have finally find a home when it comes to social justice activism at an international level.
And so I'm joining forces with REPEACE, as we continue the struggle against corporate-induced corruption, and Neoliberalsm--at an international level.
One of the things I find very inspiring about REPEACE (Realize Peace) is its focus on uniting people of goodwill around a very powerful understanding of PEACE. As in, "Peace is the absence of fear." What makes us fearful and apprehensive? Injustice, unfairness, oppression, the effect of greed and corruption, ignorance.
Another powerful philosophical approach of REPEACE is that instead of seeking to confront corrupt government systems head on (potentially risking violence), it focuses more on finding ways of bringing people together in unity and solidarity, trusting that once that happens, the rest will manifest itself. That once people know the truth, they will find a way to become really free, fulfilling the promise of democracy.
On August 8th, 2013 we will be officially launching REPEACE USA. We will be reaching out to citizens in multiple countries, to progressive organizations, to social justice activists, to honest politicians, to small businesses, and community leaders, as we continue building a true international community of social justice activists and people of goodwill, in what I have no doubt is becoming a true global awakening.
To learn more about REPEACE, please visit the website, and the Facebook page.
Finally, like they say, "It's always darker darker before the dawn." I think we are living that adage, and because of it, I feel hopeful. Let's join forces!
This piece originally appeared on Ray Pensador's diary at Daily Kos