I‘ve written a lot this year. That qualifies for the 2017 understatement of the year. Of course, there is a reason why I write so prolifically. My pen is both an extension of my hopes for humanity and a way of standing against the injustices that vitiate the dreams and lives of billions around the world. I use the little voice I have to spread a message of inclusive justice because I truly believe in my heart that unity is the only way we can overcome as a people.
It is for this reason that I look past the endless ways outrage and sensationalism is manufactured by the corporate media and focus like a laser on the policies enacted by vested powers that gash at us all. This does not mean that I disavow the individual hurts we all experience and the ways specific groups are targeted for exclusion, I know full well the harm of being ostracized because of my trait instead of being judged for my character. But if look only at our individual hurts while overlooking the collective whole, our efforts to fight for justice become futile and counterproductive.
But I realized a few days ago that my messaging, the way I try to get people to focus on the bigger picture, can cause quite a bit of agita and consternation for some. That is the reason I am writing this article; I know some people read my articles and can feel a sting of helplessness and remorse because what I’m writing about goes beyond the narrow narratives offered by mainstream media. A couple of days ago, a very dear friend conveyed to me how she felt a certain level of culpability after reading a couple of my articles. She works at a multinational financial institution that is a publicly listed corporation on Wall Street. Her consternation gave me pause. I realized that my writing could be interpreted by some as casting a wide net of collective guilt for anyone who works at corporations and employees of the military-financial complex.
Let me state for the record that my aim is not to make people who are employed by corporations feel responsible for the iniquities purveyed by the CEO class and the oligarchs who own these cancerous conglomerations. If that was the case, you could rightly judge me as a hypocrite and a fraud. After all, I made a career of being an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, a defense contractor, where I earned a hefty salary supporting the very military-financial complex that I now stand against. It’s not fair to judge others who currently reside in the lanes that I once thrived in just because I found my religion after being mugged by reality.Moreover, my stance is not to tell people to become absolutists. It is impossible to get to a world of no corporations overnight let alone get there at all. For all my writings and admonishments, Ghion Journal is hosted by GoDaddy, powered by corporations who own the internet backbone and cell phone towers and dependent on social media giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter to reach a wider audience. Unless I plan on disconnecting from society and becoming an “off the grid” hermit—which I have no intention of—then I and the rest of us have to accept the current paradigm of corporatism even as we work towards a better tomorrow. My position is not puritanical; we can’t arrive at collective redemption and do away with centuries of injustices in one fell swoop. Our only hope is through incrementalism.
For example, I still shop at corporate markets occasionally and find myself going to Starbucks or Walmart when I have no other choices. But I have made a decision in my mind that my default position will be to shop at locally owned stores and to empower individual entrepreneurs as much as I can. So for every dollar that I spend at a corporate entity, I make it my daily purpose to spend two dollar at a privately and locally owned company. This is the same thing I ask of my readers, to do as much as possible to empower our communities instead of handing over our resources and wealth to outsiders and aristocrats who thrive as we shrivel. If you can’t spend twice the amount you spend on corporations on locally owned companies instead, just make a conscience decision to occasionally empower the people who live among you.
What I write about our shopping habits, I argue the same of our votes and our politics. Federalism is no different than corporatism; both are the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few at the cost of the public. We keep sending politicians to DC believing that “our candidates” will be the ones who will drain the swamp. Sadly, it is the federated swamp that drains people of their principles and virtues. Federalism is a system that is beyond redemption; DC bureaucrats and institutions only care about maintaining their power and enhancing their clout—they care not an iota about Americans and humanity in general. Voting for Republicans and Democrats is thus voting for the status quo that mauls society and mangles hope for all of us.
That is why I am absolute in my stance that we need to find a way to break this duopoly in Washington DC. Democrats and Republicans are conspiring to eliminate all other options and monopolize power; they are a criminal enterprise that should be prosecuted through the RICO Act. I speak against federalism for the same reasons I stand against corporatism; absolute power corrupts absolutely—this truth is evident in DC and Wall Street. But we won’t get to a better governance overnight; we can only hope to break the death grip of these two parties incrementally. As more and more people realize that these two parties are the same wolves dressed in different wool suits, we can eventually arrive at a critical mass of people who refuse to take part in the sham of our politics—a revolution gestates in the womb of oppression.
I know what I write about is complex and nuanced. It would be a lot easier to join the demagogues who are paraded on corporate media and cast my lot with the pundits who feed red meat to their crowds. It’s not a bad gig for those who espouse the virtues of self-enrichment at all cost; “the system” pays handsomely for those who present injustice through partisan lenses and identity based politics. I choose a different path; in the process I’m asking readers to go on a wider and more difficult journey, one that inspects the universal nature of injustice and how we all contribute to them. In doing so, I am not excluding myself from this reflection—I am complicit too.Many people have asked me for a solution, to what ends should we strive for. Let me admit, I am not pretending to have all the answers—I too am a man in search of answers. But this should not be seen as a form of nihilism; I’m not telling people to be against everything and offering no alternatives to the establishment. My proposal is modest but I believe it is the first step we all need to take. Decentralize power and empower the communities we live in. Beyond that, we have to look within as much as we point outward. Only by looking inward and questioning our individual decisions can we hope to arrive at universal justice. Just know, I’m not judging you from a distance—I am walking right along with you in the quest for a better tomorrow.
“Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The same themes I wrote about in this article, the importance of decentralizing and empowering our communities instead, is what I espoused in the latest Ghion Cast below.
Speaking of decentralizing, I’m going to be migrating slowly from YouTube to BitChute not only to decentralize but also because concentrated power by Google is making them revert to truly reprehensible forms of corporate censorship. Click HERE or on teh picture below to follow us on BitChute.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- Ethiopia’s Choice: Poverty through Grievance or Prosperity through Unity - September 9, 2019
- Bloody 60s: the Decade that Aborted Leadership in America - August 22, 2019
- A Matter of Life or Death: We Cannot Afford to Ignore Mental Illnesses Any Longer - August 17, 2019