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    Despotism and the War on Values

    The following article about was written by Divided Core contributor, advisor, and board member, the illustrious VG, freedom fighter extraordinaire. 

    We must undertake the struggle in all parts of the world, wherever we may be, because we have no other spare or replacement planet.  We have only this one, and we have to take action.

                                                                                                                                                        -Berta Cáceres, 1971-2016

              Despotism is absolute power which governs without the rule of law, absolutely. Sometimes to better understand a concept or term it helps to apply it to oneself or to one's own identity. This way we may better be able to empathize with the world to which we apply it. In light of the American political process (some call democracy) that has just completed its first round of the general election year 2016 I suggest we apply it to our own political identity. Yes, Donald Trump is undoubtedly a despot who likes to play by his own rules, or at least try. The fact that most republicans gulp down a choke at the thought of supporting him reveals his brutish repulsiveness, but let's put Chump aside.

    Image from Adbusters.

    Hilary Clinton has just powered her way to the democratic nomination using every insider scheme imaginable to defeat Bernie Sanders' much more honest and insurgent campaign. Funny how that word insurgent is used to describe the Sanders effort. File that one for later, for now we will return to Clinton. In addition to owning the DNC and the corporate media she rode the merits of being a woman to the nomination. I empathize with the Mother Earth that there has not yet been a woman president.  Those two words next to each other look bizarre, but isn't voting for someone because she is a woman just as backwards as voting for someone just because he isn't? Is Clarence Thomas a great Supreme Court Justice who stands up for Civil Rights just because he is black?

    Clinton's record on foreign policy and campaign conduct is contemptible and despotic. She is a hawk and a crony. Her Clinton Foundation accepts donations from SAUDI ARABIA (Gee, weren't they pretty close to the Bushes too)? Why do these issues matter? We live in beautiful Sonoma County. Organic this, that and the other are abundant. People from all over the world pay out the nose to stay in a spare room and enjoy rural suburbia.

    Foreign policy and campaign conduct are the most important issues before us because they reveal the most about how a candidate is going to engage with the world. Wake up baby boomers!!! Indeed we live in a globalized world that is based on a system of exploitation and consumption. Everyone is hoping that Hilary's koolaide is as good as Bill's. The nineties, the great tech boom of money, minivans and ME.

    No Clinton is not a solution. She is the establishment. She has it so well oiled and lubed. Get ready for the TPP, fracking off California's coast, and more anemic obamacare, while in the background we continue invading places and slaughtering thousands of people we are told we should fear and in the process bankrupt our country and destroy the planet (the military uses 40% of fossil fuel consumption in the United States).

    What are our values? A value is a principle which a person considers important in life. Most people say family, freedom, peace, health, fairness, and honesty when asked about their values. How are these values being reflected in the American political process?

    I have heard dozens people say they support and respect everything that Sanders has talked about, but in the end they voted for Clinton because she was going to be the winner and that she needs momentum to defeat Trump. This is a very conservative approach and reflective of an American obsession with winning and competition. Voting the perceived lesser of two evils does not work, is is how America degraded in the first place. What are we conserving? Vast economic inequality and environmental degradation? Corporate oligarchy and racial injustice? Clinton's legacy is part of the problem not the solution.

    We are suffering from an American culture that is despotic and it is waging a war on our values. Clinton is the perfect reflection of our illness. From one side of her mouth she talks about the importance of environmental, economic, racial and social justice, but from the other side she advocates the structures that allow the continuation of the current paradigm.

    Americans are addicted to unbridled consumption, which necessitates the exploitation of someone or someplace (hence the support for Clinton's policies). We hear the calls for reform, but we don't listen. We see the writing on the wall, but we don't understand. Why is every month this year the hottest ever recorded? Why are people gunning down innocent people, 50 at a time, in a night club? We need to remind ourselves of our values and strive for them. It's hard and humbling, but we are not all kings and queens. Vote your conscience!! We may take a large step back before taking larger steps forward, but at least we won't be taking continual leaps deeper and deeper into the abyss.

    Berta Cáceres, Honduran environmental activist murdered in her home by armed gunmen in March, 2016.  R.I.P.   (Image from: Remezcla)


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