Feb 7, 2013 - Issue 503

Storming the Bastille Takes Many Forms


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"It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die."

- Steve Biko

Nothing worth attaining comes into being without conscious struggle.

Everyday ordinary Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this nation have been systemically and systematically indoctrinated to believe the fallacious notion that 'change' automatically represents 'progress' and that progress is somehow inevitable. The fact is that change does not automatically mean progress and real progress does not come about by osmosis nor is it inevitable. Mental consciousness coupled with sustained struggle are essential in bringing about real change and real progress.

An unconscious people are an easily manipulated people. This is why, for example, so many were systemically duped into believing that a superficial 'change' of color in the occupant of the 'White House' would somehow mean real change and real progress. Of course, now, an increasing number of people are beginning to see that they were cynically duped by the power-elite of this irretrievably corrupt, corporate-controlled, U.S. political system. Real change and real progress cannot be brought about by an unconscious and ahistorical people.

The historically famous July 14th, 1789 storming of the Bastille in Paris, France, signaled the beginning of the French revolution against the blatantly tyrannical power-elite of that period. The Bastille itself was known for the brutality and torture carried out within its well guarded and high fortress walls. The people were conscious and they had had enough!

Notwithstanding the reprehensible fact that Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder, he was nonetheless quite correct when he noted that, “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

The power-elite of this 21st century United States is well aware of the egregious role that the notion of 'race' and (more accurately) color has, and continues to play, in this society. Thus, it became opportune, in order to keep the everyday people of all colors in this nation in an unconscious, confused, and easily manipulated mental state, to flip the script (as it were) by simply changing the color of the 'White House' occupant (who is also the head of the U.S. Empire), while continuing (and indeed expanding) the de facto murderous economic, political, and military policies of this nation's corporate-owned government at home and abroad. This of course represented no real change and no real progress at all. In fact it was just the opposite. And it was carried out with such alacrity by the U.S. power-elite due to political unconsciousness of an inordinate number of people in this nation.

The actual war of terror (by the U.S. power-elite of this nation) against everyday ordinary people at home and abroad, is intensifying on a regular basis. The U.S. corporate-stream media, acting in its role as the propaganda arm for the corporate-owned U.S. government (be it Democrat or Republican) is constantly engaged in propagating disinformation, misinformation, obfuscation, and crucial omissions - with the objective of keeping everyday people unconscious, confused, and easily manipulated.

The United States government, at home and abroad, continues to be, in the paraphrased words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” The economic, political, physical & psychological 'violence' by this government is surpassed only by its hypocrisy. Joblessness, homelessness, mass incarceration, police brutality, corporate domination, the languishing of political prisoners, and judicial injustice, etc. in this nation go hand-in-hand with the perpetual U.S. wars and other military acts of aggression and/or subversion against nations including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia (East Africa), Libya (North Africa), Yemen, Palestine, and so very many more.

It is time for the everyday ordinary people of this nation to take a lesson from from a page in history. It is time to euphemistically storm the U.S. corporate government Bastille!

Storming the Bastille in this nation today can and should take many and varying forms, and it means, among other things; utterly rejecting corporate media propaganda and creating our own everyday people's media that informs and links the issues which affect ordinary people both at home and abroad. It means saying a profound NO to economic austerity at home and U.S. wars abroad. It means understanding that the Democrat and Republican parties are corporate owned and do not genuinely (and will never) serve the economic, political, and social needs and human rights of everyday people. Therefore, it means coming to our senses and rejecting both corporate-owned parties in favor of creating a real everyday people's national consciousness movement. It means struggling and organizing for ideas and ideals that “will live,” rather than existing or “living for [the] idea” of hypocrisy that ultimately “will die.” It means being creative in both how we think and what we do. It means striving to raise our individual and collective consciousness – which once raised, can spread quickly throughout this land like a cleansing prairie fire. It means many things that have yet to be realized.

Storming the Bastille really can indeed take many forms and it really is time to storm the Bastille! We must do this for ourselves, each other, and in conjunction with the peoples throughout our very precious Mother Earth!

Remember: Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers. Onward!

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member and Columnist, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.) Click here to view Larry’s interview of October 26, 2012. Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.