6th Mass Extinction, Abraham Lincoln, Black Friday, Capitalism, Civil War Propoganda, Consumer Culture, Corporatocracy, Ferguson Missouri, Genocide, Indigenous Cultures, Ocean Acidification, Overpopulation, Resource Depletion, Ron Cobb, Sarah Josepha Hale, Thanksgiving Day, The Elite 1%, William S. Burroughs
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a holiday created from romanticized myths about grand and cordial feasts between pilgrims and the indigenous people whose lives, land, and culture would soon be exterminated from coast to coast. Truth be told, Thanksgiving sprang from the imaginative mind of Sarah Josepha Hale, an author and editor who campaigned for nearly two decades to make it a national holiday before winning over President Lincoln who made it official in 1863. Some historians believe Lincoln used the creation of Thanksgiving as propaganda during the Civil War to paint Northerners as the true founders of the nation whose cause in the war was virtuous and just. In her writings, Hale also pushed the delusional belief that the “United States government was founded without bloodshed.”
Today the holiday has become fully merged into the capitalist superstructure as a time to binge on turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and puddings just before camping outside consumerist temples for the true day of worship… Black Friday. Riots and mob violence are generally tolerated on Black Friday since it is the key event kicking off the holiday shopping season and driving up corporate profits. Protests and riots for social justice and equality are seen as threats to the capitalist status quo and are systematically undermined, quelled, and co-opted. As I explained in a previous post, the events in Ferguson dominating the headlines are rooted in our socio-economic system.
A few recent thoughts on Twitter about Ferguson and the state of the “civilized” world…
We could go into great detail about each of the above comments, supporting them with a multitude of facts and references, but I think they speak for themselves and summarize quite well the disintegrating social fabric in America and across the world. Compounding the problem of our sociopathic and sclerotic economic system are the environmental crises of climate change, ocean acidification, resource depletion, and overpopulation, none of which can be successfully dealt with unless we address the system that underlies them all, i.e. capitalism and its energy-intensive way of life. The facts tell us it’s much too late to do anything to save ourselves, but this hopeless mindset only serves to empower those at the top who continue to profit from this corrupt and self-destructive system. It’s past time to step outside our comfort zone and do something to try and save a piece of the web of life fast disappearing before our eyes.
The following poem by William S. Burroughs resonates with what has gone horribly wrong in America and perhaps what has always been wrong.