My fellow Students,
There comes a time when we must decide which side of history we will be on. Faced with unprecedented challenges, humanity must evolve to adapt to a changing world, and take immediate action to prevent our self-destruction. Our government, and the governments of the world are corrupt and illegitimate, and we must assert our rights to liberty and self-determination.
The fate of the world may rest specifically in our hands. We have grown up in the shadow of the war on terror, alongside the rapid expansion of the internet, and as the first severe effects of climate change are being felt. We are the generation born between the old and new worlds. We are also one of the only nations in which Students are burdened with debt.
As of 2016, 44 million Student borrowers owe $1.26 trillion to the federal government, averaging $37,172 per person. Over 70% of students graduate with loan debt. This debt is significant leverage. To quote oil magnate J. Paul Getty, “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.”
If we want Donald Trump and the ruling elite to know we’re serious, we should organize a national Student Loan Repayment Boycott. If they continue to destroy the planet while profiting from our indebtedness, what do we really owe them?
The Argument for Revolution
I will make an offer to the ruling class. If you voluntarily agree to divest your money and resources from all industries which emit greenhouse gases, and invest in renewable energy and sustainability, we won’t redistribute all of your wealth to help the people of the world, just most of it. However, I don’t expect this offer to be taken seriously, which is their mistake in the end.
2017 will go down in history as the first year that fossil fuel capitalism began to fail. The resistance must begin here in America, and spread to the world through the internet. This is the last gasp of dinosaurs like Trump, Rex Tillerson and the Koch brothers, before they vanish into their final resting places as ugly footnotes in human history; we will teach our children the good sense not to dig them up, and that leaving behind a better world for the future is more important than money.
When I say Revolution, I declare that we must start with a blank slate; that a bought Congress, a succession of rich Presidents, and ancient, unaccountable judges will never fix a corrupt system. Imagine an entirely new system which uses the interconnectivity of the modern world to establish an online direct-democratic order. We could create this. We must prioritize the rights of all human beings over the greed of individuals. This Revolution should be non-violent in nature, and should rely on economic and social leverage, in addition to grassroots political campaigning at every level of the Government until our demands are met.
The ruling class have used their wealth to destroy the checks and balances which were designed to protect the American people from tyranny. Inequality in America worsens inequality globally. The economic system that sustains their greed threatens the existence of all future generations, and we will not stand for it any longer.
In direct violation of its Constitution, our government no longer functions “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.
The Declaration of Independence states “That to secure [the rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness], Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
When you love your country enough to know that it can be better, Revolution is an act of patriotism. We don’t want to make America great again. Indeed, for many, this country has never been great. We want to make America greater than it has ever been before, for every American. When these founding documents were written, war was fought with muskets, and horse-drawn carriages were cutting edge. They were flawed from the start, and the cowards and villains of American politics have had plenty of time to weaken their best aspects. The Founding Fathers were the 1% of their day – rich, white, male aristocrats, who owned businesses, plantations and black slaves. We can use the good ideas they had and make them better, but in 2017 we have our own ideas, and our children will have better ideas. We must be fearless; if everything must change, then we will change everything.
Why is the failure Fossil Fuel Capitalism inevitable?
2016 will go down in history as the last year of the old world, in which the ruling class attempted to hide their corruption. The American people have been coerced into a choice between the two least popular presidential candidates in our country’s history, and the less popular one emerged the victor. The first Reality TV president. The first meme president. The first billionaire president. Our nation has crossed into territory in which corruption is the open law of the land. The billionaires have finally paid down the mortgage on the American Dream. It’s theirs now, and they will rent it to us for the market price (which they happen to control).
Regardless of how you voted or who you supported, nobody can deny that this election was a very bad joke. We are a nation of 318 million people. Are these two really the best we could come up with? Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both well-known pathological liars; they have been involved in numerous scandals throughout their public lives. Roughly 50% of Americans polled throughout the election viewed them unfavorably.
Something else they have in common is that they both candidates belong to the top .1% of the wealthiest Americans, a group of 166,000 families with an average wealth of $72,800,000. This group now owns a roughly equal portion of our nation’s wealth as the bottom 90% of Americans, 144 million families with an average wealth of $84,000. The ruling class knew that no matter which candidate won, they couldn’t possibly lose. Even if Bernie was our President today, Congress would still represent the interests of the ruling class before the interests of working people
Our nation faces unprecedented challenges: Despite some recovery since 2007, Americans are still struggling. The real unemployment rate is around 9.5%. 45 million Americans live in poverty. Almost 30 million do not have health insurance, even with Obamacare. The people of Flint, Michigan, still can’t drink their water. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has likely passed the symbolic threshold of 400 ppm forever. International relations have become much rockier since the War on Terror began; millions of refugees have been displaced from their homes, and ISIS is arguably more powerful today than Al Qaeda was before 9/11.
There are too many crucial issues to list here, but above all, We cannot address any of the problems facing our country without a plan to deal with our debt. The average American household is $132,000 in debt. 70% of college graduates have an average of $37,000 in debt. Additionally, the National Debt, which has been larger than our nation’s GDP since 2012, is nearing $20 trillion (20,000,000,000,000). Where did this debt come from? Who will pay, and with what money? Not the rich or corporations, whose taxes Donald Trump has already promised to cut. The truth is, we will never pay back our debts before the current economic system collapses.
Since the 1860’s, the predominant source of wealth in the United States has been derived from the control of oil resources. Our oil production at the start of the 20th century made our nation the greatest economic superpower. Today, OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) is the greatest producer of oil. Between World War II and the 1970’s, the US dollar was the world’s reserve currency; the dollar was pegged to the price of gold, and foreign currencies were pegged to the dollar. This system was ended in 1971 by the Nixon administration. Soon afterwards, the US and OPEC came to an agreement in which OPEC would agree to only exchange oil for US dollars. This system is still in place today, and ensures that any nation who wants to buy oil from OPEC needs US dollars to do so. Thus, the dollar, the world’s reserve currency, is effectively backed by the demand for oil.
The global ruling class is now in a difficult situation. The world must transition away from the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible to stop climate change. In fact, much of the world is already making significant progress towards this transition away from fossil fuels. If the major currencies of the world continue to be tied to the demand for oil, we will either destroy the current economic system, or human civilization and all life on Earth. My vote is for saving the Earth.
The elites have played their Trump card, and have exposed their weaknesses. It may now be possible for us to challenge their authority, and create an equitable, modern society.
My List of Demands
We must write a new Constitution, which will establish a government which works for all people, which prevents elected representatives from becoming rich and unaccountable. This new Constitution must give extensive referendum powers to the people so that they can directly decide what their country does. The rights of individuals must be protected, and the rights of corporations and the government must be limited.
We need a new system of laws and a new system of taxation, which are written in plain language so that every American can understand them. We must remove excessive profit from the legal system, so that nobody can become rich from incarcerating and criminalizing Americans. The rich and corporations must be taxed in proportion to their wealth and the needs of every American, and we must impose severe penalties for tax evasion. We could pay for the education and healthcare for all.
We need a new economy, in which excessive profit from the indebtedness of Americans is not possible, in which banks cannot make usurious loans, or gamble with the economy without consequences. We must break up the largest financial institutions, many of which have become larger since the Great Recession. Banks should not be allowed to securitize debt to the point that they are so overleveraged that a run on the banks threatens the world economy. We must raise the minimum wage to reflect productivity and the cost of living, so that no American who works full time ends up living in poverty. We must invest in education and technical training programs so that America can compete in this new high tech world. We must likewise invest in small business and create laws to regulate corporate monopolies.
We need a new foreign policy, which will not interfere in democratic elections, which will not provide military aid to insurgent factions, which will act to defend our own nation, but will not have a military presence in 150 countries. We must stop the excessive production and export of weapons, and redirect industry towards creating a better future for everyone.
We must transition away from fossil fuels as soon as possible. Being the leader in renewable energy would create American jobs, make us energy independent, and ultimately reduce our impact on the climate, as America accounts for about 1/5 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. We must make our food production, housing and transportation sustainable.
*This document is the property of the People of the World. Please share it as far and wide as you can.
There are so many issues that need to be addressed. I encourage everyone who objects to my ideas to edit this document and incorporate their own vision, in any way they see fit. Or write your own document, with your own List of Demands. As long as we can continue this conversation which the ruling class wants silenced, we will achieve victory. Violence makes us weaker; our voices are our strength. I want you to speak out for me, and I hope you’d want me to speak for you. Let’s take care of each other, this won’t be easy.
“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” – George Orwell
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20:16