What’s not on the ballot

Former Vice president Biden is using an effective technique, pointing out character, democracy, science, compassion, and decency are all on the ballot.

What’s important, though, is what is not on the ballot: Capitalism

With the presidential election coming up, there is a lot of focus on how the election will go and who will win. One thing is certain, no matter which corporate candidate wins, the people and the planet will lose. To understand where we are and how we got here, I speak with Gabriel Rockhill, a philosopher, author and activist. He explains the connections between our governance structure and capitalism and how both liberal democracy and fascism in a sort of good cop/bad cop relationship  are used to protect the profits of the few while exploiting the many.

WHY WE NEED TO END CAPITALISM TO DEFEAT FASCISM By Margaret Flowers, Clearing the FOG. October 26, 2020

So much has been written about, I guess the word would be, “evils” of capitalism. It’s easy to say why. All exchanges for goods and services are based upon exchange of money, currency produced and controlled by the government. For many years those who earned a little were able to pay for the basic necessities. Those who didn’t have employment might get some government aid.

When increasing numbers of jobs were eliminated by automation or moved overseas, more and more people did not have enough money for those basic needs. How do we let people go hungry when there is plenty of food in stores? How do we let people become houseless when there are so many empty buildings? How do we deny medical help for those who are sick, especially with the catastrophe of COVID-19? Why do we incarcerate vastly more people than any other country? With ridiculously long sentences even for nonviolent crimes? So many for crimes related to capitalism?

What does it say about us, our spiritual condition, when we are supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves? Who is helping those left behind nurture their spiritual life?

Clearly our government and economy, governments and economies worldwide, have increasingly failed us.

  • The unbelievable maldistribution of wealth is proof.
  • The refusal to even consider legislation that doesn’t further enrich and empower the elite is proof.
  • Control of the mainstream media
  • The subversion of the independence of the Department of Justice and the Courts
  • The endless wars to guard oil fields
  • The relentless encroachment on our civil liberties
  • The rampant corruption of the administration with no restraint from Congress.

As my friend Ronnie James put it:

I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.

So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”

Ronnie James

As friends of mine say, “capitalism is the pandemic”.

According to Christine Nobiss, Decolonizer with Seeding Sovereignty, “Capitalism is the pandemic because, though we face COVID-19 together, the heightened economic imbalance is further exposing the deep racial divide in this country. Black, Latino/Latina, Indigenous, and immigrant communities are experiencing higher morbidity rates of COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions created by the long-term global pandemic of colonial-capitalism.” These communities face strained and genocidal relationships with the American government and live with elevated rates of poverty, violence, unemployment, chronic illness, incarceration, deportation, water crises, inadequate housing, and food deserts—creating a perfect storm for mass infection.

Janet MacGillivray, Seeding Sovereignty Executive Director, states, “President Trump’s invocation on April 28, 2020 of the War Powers Act to force meat plants to stay open after twenty-two have closed and twenty workers have died due to COVID-19, when testing is unavailable and workers can’t adequately social-distance, puts their lives, co-workers’ lives, their families’ lives, our food supply, and the general public’s health and safety at unconscionable risk. On May Day we’ll also be watching to see if Trump dares to push through the planned financial bailout for big oil and gas companies using taxpayer dollars when first responders work without PPE, workers have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus epidemic and tribes on the frontlines have yet to receive promised and inadequate federal support.”

We demand an end the colonial-capitalist economy supported by institutionalized white supremacist and heteropatriarchal systems that have devastated our lands, climate, and peoples through ceaseless resource extraction, land occupation, border imperialism, misogyny, homophobia, enslavement, and genocide. This viral pandemic is part of a much larger problem as explained by Buffalo-based media artist, Jason Livingston, who conceived this action, “The crisis began before the virus, and the crisis will continue beyond the vaccine.” 

[Note: my friend Christine Nobiss is no longer at Seeding Sovereignty]


Of course it is important to vote. Democratic victories at all levels should result in some relief for us. As said above though, “One thing is certain, no matter which corporate candidate wins, the people and the planet will lose.

The solution will have to come from outside the corporate, capitalist system. Actually is coming as people come together to meet their common needs themselves. As I’ve been writing a lot about lately, Mutual Aid is a concept that does just that.

I’ve integrated Mutual Aid into this diagram I’ve been working on.

This entry was posted in decolonize, Des Moines Mutual Aid, Indigenous, Mutual Aid, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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