Challenging Authority, the Only Viable Option for Positive Change

State-sponsored class warfare rages. Ongoing for decades, it’s all about governance of, by, and for the privileged few at the expense of most others.

What’s untenable persists with no end of it in prospect, no plan for improving the lives and welfare of ordinary Americans by its ruling authorities, notably ones most disadvantaged.

The divide between super-rich and growing poverty and subsistence-level income in the US is greatest since the late 19th/early 20th century robber baron age.

Because of bipartisan complicity against social justice, inequality and injustice are deepening, not improving — notably at a time of protracted main street Depression conditions since 2008 that’s greatly worsened by the current economic collapse.

Real unemployment is about 40% of working-age Americans, reality concealed by phony Labor Department numbers and failure by establishment media to set the record straight.

Before the current economic collapse, over 20% of Americans were unemployed, based on how data were calculated pre-1990.

Today the figure is around double that level, likely to worsen before improving.

Most US workers with jobs earn poverty-level wages with few or no benefits, why households need two or more to survive.

The self-styled “land of the free and home of the brave” from “sea to shining sea” is indifferent toward the rights and welfare of its ordinary people — exploiting, not serving them so the nation’s privileged class can benefit.

It’s why protests in large and smaller US cities nationwide continue in their second week, triggered by the death of a single Black man at the hands of 4 Minneapolis cops.

What touch a raw nerve at the right time could have been something else.

Mass outrage against systemic inequality and injustice has been simmering longterm.

It was just a matter of time before exploding into rage in the streets for positive change.

Most individuals involved are peaceful, expressing their constitutionally affirmed First Amendment rights.

Violence and vandalism appear orchestrated by rogue elements. Piles of bricks, rocks, and other projectiles discovered in cities before lawless actions began raised obvious red flags.

Instead of White House leadership when most needed,

Trump threw more fuel on a raging inferno.

Notably it was by threatening to use combat troops to restore order and supporting unacceptable remarks that referred to protesters as “terrorists.”

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president Kristen Clarke called characterizing “peacefully assembled demonstrators (as terrorists) abhorrent,” adding:

“It is remarkable that…Trump objects so vehemently to those speaking out against racial and police violence while embracing gun-toting activists who take siege of government buildings and violent white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville” — in August 2017.

Since largely peaceful protests began in response to George Floyd’s May 25 death at the hands of Minneapolis cops, over 10,000 arrests were made — mainly for peaceful civil disobedience.

Resisting tyranny is a universal right, an obligation to challenge what’s unacceptable — clearly the state of America that’s beautiful for the privileged few alone at the expense of most others.

Jefferson called “resistance to tyranny…obedience to God.”

Philosopher John Locke said when government fails the people, its “trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the power devolve into the hands of those that gave it, who may place it anew where they shall think best for their safety and security.”

In his landmark essay on civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau said “(m)ust the citizen ever for a moment…resign his conscience to the legislator,” adding:

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.”

“All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

The state “is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength.”

“I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion…They can only force me who obey a higher law than I.”

Martin Luther King stressed that “noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”

He championed “creative protest,” adding: Passivity is no option in the face of injustice.”

At a time of institutionalized racism, inequality and injustice in the US, sustained resistance in the streets against what’s intolerable is the only viable option.

Nothing else can work. Nothing ever has. Nothing ever will. The only language the US ruling class understands is toughness.

People power alone can change things, More than an option, it’s a moral obligation.

The late human rights champion/defense attorney Lynne Stewart urged Americans to “Organize, Organize, Organize.”

“The only thing we have is each other,” she stressed.

Resisting tyranny and courage for justice defined her activism.

People have power when they use it. At a time of eroded constitutional protections,  repressed dissent, government as the handmaiden of monied interests, and raging war on humanity at home and abroad, it’s vital for ordinary people to resist.

Ballot box activism is futile, taking to the streets nonviolently essential.

Sustained collective defiance against the unacceptable system is the only chance for constructive change.

It took a decade of anti-war activism in the 60s and 70s to end US aggression in Southeast Asia — a pyrrhic victory as things turned out because activism for peace, equity and justice waned.

Struggles for justice are long-term, compromises unacceptable.

So is letting energy for change wane, what time and again defeats social movements.

The hugely corrupted US system is too debauched to fix.

They only option is replacing it with governance serving everyone equitably, not just the privileged few, the unacceptable way things are now.

Formidable tasks take time, the impossible a little longer.

People power makes positive change possible.

Now is the time to go for it without quitting until peace and social justice goals are achieved.

It won’t happen any other way.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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