FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Grassroots of Hope

by JOSH FRANK

Democracy has historically linked us to the essential tools needed for survival within diverse cultures and societies. An active citizenry in the United States is meant to protect us from government control and corporate excess. But those that speak up have been labeled as “fringe” and “naive.” Our ideas poisoned with the rationale that our worldviews are skewed by airy hopes and empty realities.

Dissent no longer is viewed as a necessary action in the world of like-minded capitalists. Our corporations influence on education, on the food we eat, the private water we will all one day drink, the dirty air we now breath, and the health care we don’t have; you’d think would wake dreamy Americans. But our corporate culture muddles these essential debates. News pundits rattle over minor differences. Children wash their brains in re-runs of Southpark and video games of war. Grown boys ejaculate over touchdowns and slam-dunks. And the rest simply don’t have the time or the energy, they are too busy fighting for their next meal.

Lack of voters in the United States comes less from uninterest than from the perception that one cannot make a difference. It is perceived that our politicians are so a-like that a vote can’t break the strangle hold monotony. It is more a lack of candidates with differences, than an ignorant populous, or what Chomsky would refer to as “the bewildered herd.” But see, that is where we all come in.

Our concerns over the direction of the world can’t be intrinsic qualities. Rather they must be branding tattoos that label us as humans with purpose, with ambitions for the betterment of life on earth. With pre-emptive war, toothless lawgivers, and corporate greed; democracy is left in the hands of the people. We are those people, the people with the power to make change. If you’ve ever felt alone in your thinking, you are not. Dissenting voices exist, and we aren’t anti-American, or unpatriotic either. In fact we are the epitome of democratic virtue.

As anarchistic and feminist Emma Goldman once wrote, “the most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. That this should be so terribly apparent in a country whose symbol is democracy, is very significant of the tremendous power of the majority.” Our only protection from the majority now may be our rusted shield of democracy. But it is the only hope we have if we want future inhabitants of earth to enjoy the many qualities life still possesses. We must start at home; talk to our children, our parents, our colleagues and friends. We are the grass roots of hope, the only hope that still may be ushered.

JOSH FRANK lives in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: frank_joshua@hotmail.com

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brickburner

May 03, 2016
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail