I can’t help but feel a surge of hope. It’s counter-intuitive and admittedly, this nation looks like a kaleidoscope of flaming toilet water. That, however, is what it takes to get everyone to act and we have a big choice to make. Do we continue to wait on some higher power? A judge? Our state or D.C? The President? Or do we take back our labor, our place of business, our home, neighborhood, and city?
We’re made to think we can make we’ll find comfort in suburbia, that we’ll find fulfillment in mundane jobs, paying taxes and voting, reading the newspaper and attending church at least twice a year. But the bank owns our houses, the corporations own our apartments and utilities, and the government owns the land. Our powerlessness under the weight of this truth creates a void no chapel can fill.
Over-priced pop-up condos bloom from the overlooked debris of a what was once our neighborhood. The traffic trails like sloppy thick lipstick lines over the thin cracked lips we call streets. Gentrification has pushed once familiar faces away and replaced them with a rising tide of well-dressed strangers, and an increased number of houseless people. Does the mayor have a plan? I fucking doubt it. I’ve been renting in Portland, OR for ten years and only recently have our issues reached the ears of our representatives, and that’s only due to renters uprising and the formation of Portland Tenants United.
Families are spending winter without shelter while an abundance of dwellings just sits, empty, slowly dissolving from exposure. Electric lines, transit, sewers, the internet (it’s all in need of repair), all there waiting for us to claim it. Turn Private Property into Personal Property. Run the cash flow bottom-up instead of top-down. Transform our token democracy into a Direct Democracy and eliminate the electoral college and all other means by which voters are suppressed.
It feels like America’s as divided as a country can possibly be, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what the property holders and money-controllers want. But the reality is that we all want the same things: purpose, prosperity, and good health. And as long as we’re arguing, fighting, and killing each other the Monopoly Man is sneaking off with our money.
Money we could put into our crumbling infrastructure if we join hands and overthrown the racist capitalist patriarchal system designed to keep us sick and silent, tired and torn, angry, isolated, and shackled to debt. Consumerism has enchanted us into seeing our chains as gifts, our buying power as an extension, or even essence, of our character.
The community is our last stand against the powers that be, and a worthy last-ditch effort for the preservation the planet for future generations. We must all work together to finally lay the myths of the ruling class to rest. We don’t need representatives, presidents, or pastors sucking away our money for empty promises. The state lines of tomorrow must be drawn by the proletariat, not the power-hungry. Or we will never know freedom.