Related reading: Dark Money, by Jane Mayer; Runaway Inequality, by Les Leopold
For at least 50 years a cabal of billionaires has strategized and poured millions of dollars into the takeover of our government and economy. This has led the US to become “first” among industrialized nations in these wretched statistics:
- #1 in inequality;
- #1 in CEO/worker pay gap;
- #1 in number of billionaires;
- #1 in how much of our wages is pocketed by the 1%;
- #1 how many of our people are imprisoned;
- #1 in the proportion of our citizens who live in poverty;
- #1 in the number of our children who go to sleep hungry.
Trump is the latest outcome of this disastrous economy. He squeezed out an electoral win between conservative voters in economic pain who wanted to believe his promises of “draining the swamp” and liberal voters in economic pain who no longer trusted that the Democratic Party would represent their interests.
There is strong resistance to Trump. Millions are marching, calling their representatives, and attending town halls. This work is critical to protect the lives and livelihoods of many vulnerable people.
But resistance is not enough. Resistance will not undo the decades of rising inequality; it will not reduce the billionaire stranglehold on our electoral process; it will not set us on a path to save our planet from destruction.
We need more than a resistance. We need a strategy to take back our government and a movement behind it.
Related reading: No Shortcuts, by Jane F McAlevey
During the same years that these billionaires have led a concerted effort to take over our government, we’ve lost our ability to organize from the grassroots. National groups that hope to get money out of politics, save our environment, reform our criminal justice system, promote universal health care, elect progressives, or any other reform that would help us in this crisis no longer organize. These groups rely on a small board and/or national staff of highly educated, well paid specialists who make all the strategic decisions. If volunteerism is allowed, the staff doles out menial, repeatable tasks to volunteers. The tasks are chosen with the understanding that volunteers are replaceable, which removes any ability for volunteers to add their own unique contribution.
Here at The Incorruptibles, we believe that much of what made the Bernie campaign spread like wildfire was the incredible vitality and creativity of his fan base. Hundreds of people made hilarious or moving videos about Bernie and his movement, some of which got millions of views; musicians wrote songs about him; artists painted giant portraits of him; people made jewelry, shoes, and outfits covered in Bernie icons. All of these proved to us that this campaign was not created by a think tank of marketers, but woven by millions of unique people who volunteered as a labor of love, as a display of their deep trust and commitment to the cause.
We at The Incorruptibles have a philosophy we call Radical Creative Diversity. We do not have the hubris to think we are the smartest people in the nation. We fully expect volunteers to join us with excellent ideas we would never have thought of. We believe that everyone in this movement has different skills and perspectives and will contribute best in their own way. Some people who join us will be interested in strategy or organizing. Others will be wizards at social media or creative arts. Some will take on the fulfilling work of calling or canvassing, convincing people one-by-one to join us. And others will start new teams with new ideas of their own.
We believe that it will take all of our true skills and perspectives to win this war and we invite you to join us in the fight for our democracy and our planet.