Sunday, September 5, 2010

Democracy School preview: Gas Drilling is Corporate Colonialism

Gas Drilling is New Colonialism.

Chartered privileges [corporations] are a burden, under which the people ...
groan in misery.  -- Thomas Earle, 1823

Forget about being called a NIMBY...
Here is the correct framework for what is going on here:

NY State, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth,

and many other places are being colonized for our mineral wealth.

A small number of local land-owners and public administrators
are bribed with fat checks. They work for the colonial power
and oversee the export operations.

Yes, the exploited wealth is mostly exported for the global markets.
Largely, the mineral wealth is NOT for consumption by local people.

Largely the colonial work is done by job-shoppers,
people foreign to this land, who have no stake
in the long term health of our people, this land, these waters.
We are seeing this with the gas drilling.

Something I learned from Richard Grossman, one of
the founders of POCLAD and Democracy School
is something I never learned in school...

The American Revolution was a revolution against corporations.

``One of the major accomplishments of the [American] revolution was to
[kick some private corporations out of the country, like the Hudson Bay Company].
The Massachusetts Bay Corporation ..., the Virginia Corporation, the Carolina Corporation,
the Maryland Corporation, the Pennsylvania Corporation, these were business corporations ....

They were dictatorships, there was no pretense. The people who ran those companies
decided what you could grow, where you had to ship your products, what kind of work you did.
They could conscript you into the militia. ... The revolution fundamentally transformed those
companies into constitutional states.... The king was the sovereign; he got his sovereignty
allegedly from God. All his rulers ruled in his name. That sovereignty, with the revolution,
passed to the people.``-- Richard Grossman, Revoking the Corporation

Democracy School is largely the history of the Corporation,
about how Corporations we put into place to replace the slave system
which was abandoned at the end of the 19th Century,
yet still maintain the very same power elites.

``America was born of a revolution against the abusive power of the British kings.
The corporate charter was an institutional instrument of that abuse. Chartered
corporations were used by England to maintain control over colonial economies.
In addition to such well-known corporations as the East India Company and the
Hudson's Bay Company, many American colonies were themselves chartered as
corporations. The corporations of that day were chartered by the king and functioned
as extensions of the power of the crown. Generally, these corporations were granted
monopoly powers over territories and industries that were considered critical to the
interests of the English state. `` -- David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

Now instead of serving the crown, the corporations serve the rich: the Capitalist, investor class.

The notion of property has come to mean: ownership without stewardship.

We have a legal system where it is perfectly acceptable
for a few so-called "property owners" to assert the legal right
to frack up the land, air, water,
and in their search for private gains they've made a big mess
which all person and all creatures of the earth must suffer.

This is a legal system which is Against Democracy and Against Life.

We are stewards of this land.
Access to the land, air, and water of this Earth
is the Common Birthright of All the People
and All the Animals and Fish and Birds.

The notion of ownership without stewardship should be quickly abandoned.

Democracy is about Sovereignty, the right of the people to rule themselves.
Democracy is about the right of LOCAL PEOPLE to control, have access to and use The Commons.

It is said that "ownership" is also about control, access and use.
Since Sovereignty is Local, the notion of "foreign, non-local ownership"
should be quickly abandoned.

The notion that a legal fiction can "own" things should be quickly abandoned.

One function of The State is PROTECT THE COMMONS from exploitation.

If the State Power (police, military, courts, legislature)
is co-opted to serve the colonial powers
to extract minerals and other industrial operations
despite the opposition to local people,
then it is an illegitimate power.

The notion there are a few owners with rights of control, access, and use,
while there are many more non-owners, with no rights
should  be quickly abandoned
It is inconsistant with a fundamental Democratic principle: egalitarianism.
We are all born of equal rights.

An economic system which is designed to move investment dollars
into short-term, high-profit, high-risk schemes,
which almost always have toxic side effects like
resource depletion, exploitation of labor, land, air, and animals, etc,
should be quickly abandoned.

The notion that a large group of people,
and other creatures of the earth
have no legal standing
to rights of access and use
of these Common Lands,
and the notion that a mountain or stream or species has no intrinsic right to exist,
these notions should  be quickly abandoned
if we our species and all life on Earth is to survive.

``We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood.... It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.`` -- Abraham Lincoln, 11/21/1864.

The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of Local Sovereignty
against the foreign, colonial, corporate power.

We need a NEW DECLARATION of Local Sovereignty
and asserting the rights of nature to remain unspoiled
against the encroachments of a non-representative tiny class
of largely non-local tyrrants.

We need a NEW DECLARATION of the RIGHT of the People
to design an economic system which serves life,
and invests in the long term health and sustainability of communities.

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