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In the Shadow of Alexander Hamilton

Dissident Voice Article

By Kathleen Wallace Peine

Mere months ago I wondered why Americans seemed to be so numb, so reluctant to call foul on the dismantling of their nation from within. But like a single crystal in solution, the gentle call from a little known magazine to protest, hit at the right moment. The lattice work of like minds connected in the quantum blink of an eye. And to think I almost believed those who constantly repeated the mantra that Americans just didn’t care.

The clarity of the righteous anger alarms those who have been hiding beneath layers of subterfuge. The obvious and shrill denouncements from the paid for mouthpieces are hollow and comical. They string together pathetic slights, alarming exaggerations as well as passive-aggressive cattiness. It’s all they have. We have truth. It’s probably not a fair fight. That’s not to say that they don’t play dirty, though.

The American ego is planted in a fetish for the revolution that severed colonial status so long ago. Official narratives paint a history that complements this national identity, the bravado that eventually brings a fall, even if it comes much later. Firebrands were able to whip the populace into a frenzy and brought about that sought after independence.

But quickly after our Revolutionary era, the end truth of a government for the people was sadly evident when an unpopular excise tax was enacted. I’m speaking of the Whiskey Rebellion, a response to an excise tax conjured to pay war debts. Those in the western regions rightly considered it to be an unfair burden on them as whiskey was practically a currency, a way corn could be converted into a smaller means to conduct trade. And they liked to drink it, too! The eastern distillers had the option to pay a flat tax due to their production of many gallons, making the tax much less burdensome for the post-revolutionary equivalent of big business.

In a foreshadowing of much that would go wrong later, the little guy got shafted disproportionately. Alexander Hamilton, perhaps the most toxic of our founding fathers, had his fingerprints all over the mess. He was also instrumental in assembling the underpinnings that lie beneath Wall Street today. Pay for this debt or else!  Hamilton even resides for eternity in the shadows of Wall Street, his gravesite located in this most appropriate spot. If only the current crafters of this sort of thing would take up dueling! This set the precedent that the new nation’s political class would enforce, with violence if necessary, the shifting of any debt burden to the little guy.

So now we are more clear-headed about the narrative of our nation. A continuum of favoring the large entity over the small, escalating over time and reaching this gluttonous buffet stage — the usual offenders gorging, but all the while berating us for their stomach pain, encouraging us to eat less as a remedy.

We even hear that our government considers protest “low level terrorism” at least according to a Department of Defense training manual. This gem was dug up by Professor Dennis Loo of Cal Poly. I wonder if these same words were tossed around for the corporate sanctioned protests a year or so ago? For some reason I imagine those are just patriotic assemblages, not protests. Big difference. We are to wave frayed flags in homage to hollow patriotism, and then buy the new flags at the company store or risk being called the “T” word.

To be sure, here and there are those outliers who yell out for violence, those who don’t seem to grasp the concept of OWS. If they had gone down that path (from the agency of the protesters, that is….we know the NYPD went down that path) it would be over before it started. It’s asymmetrical, to be sure. Entities have itchy fingers, just wanting to try out toys. Awful Sci-fi items like heat guns, noise cannons and, of course, the ever popular big beating stick. But corny to repeat, or not, OWS has truth on its side. You keep fighting them with truth when that is what you have in abundance.

And calls for anything other than peaceful resistance right now are foolish. It would degenerate into an extinction event for those of conscience still left. To be goaded or gamed into that would be a tragedy, and you can bet that’s what some of the more egregious uses of force in New York are aiming for.

It truly is different from so many awakenings of the past. It has no paternal corporate genes like the Tea Party; it’s not something being piggybacked on by the military (which sadly looks to have happened in Egypt). It is a spontaneous eruption from a bright portion of the populace, responding to the need for social justice. It’s got more in common with the Civil Rights era than it does any “revolution” handed down from entities with something to gain and the need for unwitting cannon fodder. That is why OWS is such a threat to them. It’s not a rebellion foisted on others to advance the agenda of the few. It sprang from the fertile ground of our citizens, and from non-GMO seed at that!

I’m certain there will be attempts to drag OWS into irrelevance, lunacy and comedy, but I think they will fail.  They tell us that the battle is for the hearts and minds of the enemy. They use bombs; OWS uses truth.

When a brilliant voice of decency like writer and former war correspondent Chris Hedges announces in Times Square that “this one is real and this one could take ‘em all down.” (go watch it on……. well, my cynical nature falls away to be replaced with a cautious, but delicious hope.

And a simple gratitude to be witness to these historic times. I only wish the first major bankster, Alexander Hamilton, could be witness too.


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