Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hemp and Peace, Freedom and Democracy

Photo by Zen Sutherland, under a Creative Commons license
Rand Clifford
Activist Post

What are America’s powerful elite afraid of most? At or near the top of the list we might find: hemp, peace, freedom, and democracy. Mainstream rhetoric insists otherwise—especially regarding peace, freedom, and democracy (hemp is kind of that family secret), but how often does mainstream rhetoric have much, if anything, to do with truth?

In the most general sense, it could be truth that scares elite the most; however, listed above are four things offering simpler and more specific details—and let’s save hemp for last since its prohibition cuts so deeply into the other three.

Democracy

Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. But that was simply elite window dressing from a long line of strategic liars.


The term democracy has become an American pacifier, a cozy inaccuracy, an idiom that even people who know better are forced to use just to be heard. Democracy sounds nice; power to the people, consent of the governed and all that. How many times this week have you heard official bluster about “spreading freedom and democracy”? But elections have been so corrupted throughout that democracy seems irrelevant; as a term used by federal officials or wannabes its most important function appears to be its demonstration of what suckers and chumps officials think we Americans are.

W.C. Fields said, “Never smarten up a chump, and never give a sucker an even break.” Sounds right out of the feds’ playbook.

And please excuse my mention of this hackneyed old saw—it just seems one of those immortal truisms: How do you know when a politician is lying? Their lips move....

America’s Founding Fathers rejected democracy, or, “tyranny of the majority”, and their reasoning is highly defensible.

John Adams warned that democracy would soon degenerate into anarchy. He also said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.” And, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

James Madison said that democracies are always a spectacle of turbulence and contention.

Benjamin Franklin: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”

Liberty, and property rights were most important to the Founding Fathers, so they gave us a constitutional republic with elected leaders—and further insulated us from democracy with the electoral vote system.

Frankly, current abundant abuse and misuse use of the term democracy by elected officials is insulting...it’s just not clear who should feel the most insulted, abusers or their targets.

Freedom

Many languages draw no distinction between “freedom”, and “liberty”. Where distinctions do exist, freedom is the more general term, implying simple exemption from control or influence by another person or agency; whereas liberty implies laws, behavior within a system of order and restraint, its character solidly political.

Governments tend to use fear to increase their power. Keep the fear pressure on citizens with threats via color-coded terrorist alerts and such—then scare the scat out of them with things like 9/11 and voil√†! More powerful government. More war. Americans have been duped into cowering for protection from mysterious, crazed foreigners hating us for our “freedom and democracy”; hating us for something we don’t even have. Weird? You know, there might be something a little deeper...something about “blowback”?

But we do still have liberty, though terminally threatened from within. And our constitutional republic is well-defended from democracy—especially now by various means such as e-voting and unlimited corporate cash controlling elections...many means that surely would make our Founding Fathers squirm.

Sweet talk about freedom—politicians emit it like camels emit methane. Despite that, freedom (they mean liberty) is an endangered species. Benjamin Franklin had such a knack: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” He must have said it before our freedom had been institutionalized into liberties?

Peace

Remember Woodstock, 1969? People took many liberties, even enjoyed shocking freedom, entwining music, mud, sacrifice, camaraderie, joy and peace together with eternity. There were plenty of problems, but so much sharing and caring...and plenty of peace.

Today’s police state would never allow Woodstock to happen again...but, if it did, 500,000 people under similar circumstances...would peace play such a part? Cell phones alone could power widespread antagonism and conflict. And the police presence....

Might American imperial war profiteering seem any less disgraceful if war mongers publicly crusaded about there being no money in peace—that war is what grows fortunes? They have an enormous amount of disgrace to conceal, not even considering the humanitarian euphemisms they use as cover for killing citizens, mangling their countries, installing tyrants beholden to Washington, and stealing their resources.

Civil War Union general Tecumseh Sherman, said, “War is all Hell.”

For anyone directly exposed to war, that has to be precisely true. But for the war profiteers, who cultivate the bravery of being out of range, more truth might be found in: “War is all Gravy.”

When Smedley Butler died a retired Major General in 1940, he was the most decorated Marine in history. He’d written scathingly about the military industrial complex in his book, War is a Racket. This passage is from an issue of Common Sense magazine in 1935:
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
In George Orwell’s prophetic novel, 1984, the three slogans of The Party led by Big Brother are:

WAR IS PEACE.   FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.   IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

Perpetual war gripped the world in 1984. Now we have “perpetual war for perpetual peace” (from American historian Charles Beard [1874–1948], famous for his outspoken criticisms of American interventionism abroad).

War has become America’s number one export. We spend nearly as much on war as the rest of the world combined, while selling over half of the world’s implements of war. We have armed forces deployed in 130 countries, and more than 1000 overseas military bases that have nothing to do with “peace”.

America is far and away the world’s preeminent war profiteer, annually spending more than $1 trillion (vastly more when “black budget spending” is considered), while cutting to the bone any spending that directly benefits Americans. It’s conceivable that nobody really knows how much we spend on war...bottom line is it’s simply shameful.

And to soften up the idea of war, to make “...all Hell” more publicly palatable, we declare war on all kinds of things...war on drugs; war on terror; war on poverty; war on....

Meanwhile, in the “land of the free and home of the brave”, for 73 years and counting it has been a federal crime to farm the most useful crop in the history of the world.

Hemp

Oligarchy...follow the money, protection of power and profit explain how hemp was effectively banned in 1937, and why industrial hemp farming remains smothered today.

In 1992, George H.W. Bush characterized the fundamental ideology of America this way: “The continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter, and righter hands.”

Perpetual war and globalization are main engines powering this ideology from hell. Hemp is the premiere antidote for globalization, the ideal means of spreading the wealth where it belongs by empowering self-sustaining regional economies. That is why hemp remains an illegal crop—hemp prohibition has never realistically had anything to do with “reefer madness”.

Destroying the competition, that’s what American hemp prohibition is all about; hemp is too great of a competitor, its wondrous record spanning nearly 120 centuries.

Benefits of hemp farming are actually difficult to overstate. Food, fuel, fiber, paper, textiles, plastics...an estimated 50,000 superior products that, totally unlike entrenched petrochemical products (with gravy-train patents—that’s huge), have a place in a living system. And as far as hemp reflecting exactly how and why America has gone so wrong...could there be a better reflector—or anything even close? Hemp could power a breakout, perhaps even an epidemic, of peace. Instead of pirating so many other nations’ resources, America could grow her own! But....

Elite families in America’s oligarchy have become obscenely wealthy and powerful via enforcement of a global fossil-energy economy, and myriad synthetic products of petrochemical alchemy. To say the world runs on oil is largely a rude truth—the human world anyway, civilization. It certainly does not have to be that way, should not be that way regarding a viable future of humanity and Earth’s biosphere. The reason it is that way points to the very heart of...darkness.

Widespread belief that there is no alternative to our destructive, suicidal, biocidal status quo has long been cultivated by those our terminal status quo enriches most (Screw the Future could serve as their motto). The elite not only own the government, they own mainstream media, along with...frankly, it’s getting difficult to point out what they don’t own, ultimately. Such concentration of “...money and power into higher, tighter, and righter hands” is chiefly perpetuated via the elite destroying any and all competition beyond their control. With hemp they’ve come as close as they can by making it an illegal crop, then hammering into the American psyche that hemp, farmers—even educated people (as opposed to indoctrinated) might, somehow, be dangerous.

To go with the class war boiling in America, the elite have cooked up a crass war. Evidence of who is winning gets more frightening every day. Multi-billionaire Koch brothers and their “tea party”, Michele Bachmann...our Founding Fathers wouldn’t just squirm, they would be almost as mortified as if they knew that in America, hemp farming has been a federal crime for 73 years.

So what about “states’ rights”? Twenty-eight states have introduced legislation, and sixteen of them now have pro-hemp laws on the books. North Dakota is suing the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the RIGHT! to grow hemp—have even been selling state licenses to grow hemp since 2007. However, farmers in North Dakota know that if they plant hemp, feds will arrest them, fine them, seize their property and throw them in prison. If this sounds insane, that’s because it is insane.

North Dakota is doing a number of things correctly...or, against the grain as it were. After nearly 100 years of public banking (Bank of North Dakota), the state has the nation’s lowest unemployment (about 4%), and not only has no debt to service, but is the lone state to avoid a budget deficit over the last two years (they actually have a billion-dollar surplus).

Any talk of freedom, democracy, liberty and justice for all, government by the consent of the governed—generally, all the platitudes politicians and officials croon about being handed down to us by our Founding Fathers...it tends to ring rather hollow in a nation that for 73 years has criminalized the growing of the most valuable crop handed down to us by Mother Nature.

America, and Americans—we need jobs that can’t be offshored, now.

We need Mother Nature on our side...need to work with, not against, her.

We need peace, liberty, and a brighter future involving the creation of value. Hemp is ready to go back to work for us. The US hemp industry is currently ringing up $400 million in annual retail sales—all of it with imported raw materials!

Are you ready to help hemp help us all the way, again? Hemp will never be given back to the people, we must take it back, now.

Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and the intellectual Chesapeake bay retriever, Mink. Rand and Mary Ann kicked television many years ago, and recommend others try it...a good way to help live life instead of watching moneypower's version of life. Reading is best for the mind. Four of Rand's novels, Castling, Timing, Priest Lake Cathedral, and Voices of Vires are published by StarChief Press, and will soon be available as e-books.




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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

well said

Anonymous said...

If we could go back to growing hemp, it would create many jobs. It will grow darn near anywhere and has many uses. A pothead playing video games and munching on chips is a lot better than all the pills, coke and even alcohol. Think of all the tax dollars that would be saved on prosecuting and jailing the pot smokers/sellers.

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