Five Points of Action for the Social Progressive

So, you have decided to work towards bringing about a socialist or anarchist utopia; but are wondering just what it is you can do to help change things?  The answer is simple: anything outside of buying from the system.  As it is easier to change things about ourselves, we will start there, with some simple (but not necessarily easy) life changes.
First, stop buying things from China or other morally corrupt regimes.  In the 8 years of the Bush 2 administration, our trade deficit with China went from $85 billion to $290 billion; so if you are trying to figure out what happened to our manufacturing jobs, that number is a great place to start.  Why did these jobs flee to China?  Mainly because the Chinese are willing to work, or more accurately willing to force their people to work, for days that last longer than 20 hours and at wages well below $1 per hour.  If we want to compete with China for manufacturing jobs, those are wages and conditions that we are going to have to get used to.  That or we can stop buying things from countries like China and India that indulge in grotesque violations of human rights in the name of high profits.  We can demand that either they pay their workers a living wage with reasonable benefits, or we will stop buying their garbage.  We can also do everything we can to either buy American or only buy imports from countries that live up to our standards for human rights.  (Note that I say human rights, not American rights, because we need to understand that all people deserve the same rights, regardless of where they might have been born.)
On a political scale, what you can do is easy, laughably so.  Simply do not vote for things that serve no purpose but to decrease somebody else’s quality of life.  The purpose of law in this country shouldn’t be to take our freedoms away, but to guarantee us protection from those who would take these freedoms away.  Ask yourself, do we write laws to help people, or to hurt them?  I have no interest in living in a land that uses its laws as a tool for the elite to bully those less fortunate, and that is why I am so mad all the time.  Help people get over the idea that cutting taxes, slashing regulations, or allowing even more liberties in importing and exporting, that any of these things will cause economic growth for the nation.  They won’t, haven’t, and can’t; certainly not in the long term, and all real economists are keenly aware of this.  The only people who deny this are the ones trying to sell our entire country to foreign investors, and we shouldn’t care about traitors like Mitt Romney anyway.
The next thing is that we need to demand that the United States stops fighting dumbass wars all over the globe just to keep up the profits of defense contractors and oil companies.  This behavior has not won us any friends, and it has brought us the largest wholesale looting of the national treasury by the aforementioned companies in American history. Furthermore, the money that we are throwing down the drain sending our troops across the globe could be better spent on, well, anything. The United States has a military capacity far overwhelming the need, and yet we continue to act as if we are threatened by every other nation on the planet all at once, and while this is not the case yet, such a situation tends to be the result of this kind of military imperialism. This will seem like socialism, but we could easily restructure our military as a sort of civil academy for Americans 18 and up that would include both combat and real, worthwhile vocational training (or undergraduate college instruction) as well as work repairing America’s laughably damaged infrastructure. Perhaps if we did this, instead of training people purely to kill, sending them to a hostile foreign desert for a couple (few or several) years, and then just dumping them in society with no non-military experience.
I offer a simple solution: I think that we should allow the citizens of the countries we currently occupy to take a fair, UN monitored vote. If they want us to stay, we stay, and if they want us to leave, we leave. We also need to stop doing business with defence contractors, who sell us billions of dollars in useless technology, (giant tanks! Submarines that shoot torpedos full of soldiers!) and then have the audacity to charge us billions more for the cost of ceasing the production of the technology actual military professionals determined was worthless. American military technology (what little of it we actually need) should be built by the military, here in America, for the profit of the people building it, not just the people at the top of a small cartel. These are changes that, if left to our current political system, will never happen. If we want to see actual productive change to the military and American use of force, we have to tirelessly demand it ourselves.
Other, simple things would include reducing your personal dependence on oil, not only in your transportation but in your energy usage and in the cost of the transportation of the goods you consume as well. Support local businesses, as this is not only a good way to cut the power base (money) of those that control the global exploitation system, it is also the best possible way to get the economy back on track. When you buy from a multinational corporation, most of what you pay simply goes to the corporation, and either stays there or ends up in the pockets of executives and bankers who keep their personal money in other countries. When you buy locally, the more local the supply chain, the more your purchase stands to benefit your local economy. While this does seem like common sense, Walmart is still in business, so clearly not enough people are taking this advice to heart.
Every concerned citizen, who is genuinely interested in the future of this country, should demand a single payer healthcare system for those who want it. Despite the claims of our insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their political hacks (the entire Republican party, and a disappointing percentage of Democrats) a single payer healthcare system would allow the combination of medicaid and medicare, as well as numerous other government agencies from a local to federal level. The remaining necessary funding for the program could probably be found by redirecting all the resources currently allocated to denying people government provided healthcare, and going paperless with a standardized medical information filing system. Furthermore, by allowing the government to compete with private health insurers and drug companies, who have had absolutely obscene profit margins for decades, we will force them to compete economically, instead of the conspiratorial assraping they currently force down the American public’s throat. Again, this is something that will have to be demanded, apparently rather forcefully, as our government’s “attempt” at healthcare reform has resulted in a mandate to for citizens to buy private insurance, which is pretty insulting when you think about it. Even this pathetic reform could get thrown out, under false pretenses of freedom, though actually through an insurance industry funded effort based on its requirement that insurance companies stop denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions.
This last one may either be the easiest or the most difficult, but stop using the large banks, and start using credit unions as much as possible. The investment behavior of the largest banks is second in blame for this recession only to the Bush Administration and Big Oil (which are essentially the same entity), but the nice thing about the big banks is that in all reality, we can kill them. All America has to do is stop dumping their money, or more often then not their borrowed money, into these malignant corporate tumors. Oh, and we need to prevent them from again swindling themselves a ‘bailout’ made out of our (and our childrens’) tax monies.
So, stop buying Chinese slave camp merch, cut your oil dependency, don’t use big banks, and demand reform of the American military and health care systems. Five simple things that, if enough people do them, could to better things for our country and economy than our politicians ever will.


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