It’s one of the most abundant replenishable resources on planet Earth, and it is essential to the survival of every living thing. You would think that basic truth would be enough to ensure a right to clean drinking water at least in our modern, wealthy, progressive democracies that fly around the world with paternalistic visions of human rights.
But the recent news out of Flint, MI is shining a light on a deep shame within our ‘enlightened democracies.’ In case you missed it, the people there have been forced to drink water contaminated with lead because every level of government there had been involved in a conspiracy to save a few bucks. Even the EPA knew of the problem and did nothing.
This begs the question, what other horrible, murderous, genocidal projects does this ‘government for the people’ have on the go?
This is the legacy of neoliberalism. This is what happens when we embrace an individualistic, selfish, and greedy ‘democratic’ system. This is not about the black people in Flint, or their children, nor the children of the Navajo. It’s about all of us, all of our children, all of our futures.
If we allow this to happen and just say, oh well what a world! than we are as criminal and worthy of extinction as any cancerous evil is.
Obama promises there will be repercussions. Will those be like the consequences never imposed on the Apartheid criminals in South Africa who continue to draw salaries and pensions from the public they oppressed and continue to oppress? (See Pilger, Freedom Next Time, 2007)
In South Africa, the racial stratification was (and is) so extreme, and the white supremacy so entrenched that they thought nothing of planned genocide, massive displacement, and flagrant murder.
How different is the situation in the United States right now? Welcome to Apartheid America. If you’re not white, you will be impoverished, harrassed and murdered by police, or imprisoned, denied employment and basic human rights, and if that doesn’t work we’ll just poison your drinking water until eventually you are no more.
The corruption in our system is entrenched. We cannot fix it by installing another government into this system. We can’t keep waiting for the next miracle politician to make absurdly slow and ineffectual changes to this corrupt and broken plutocracy.
We need to scrap it. We need to build a true egalitarian democracy. The British farce of representative parliament has run its course and proven itself an abject failure in managing the affairs of the people and the environment. Our democracy is nothing more than a rebranded monarchy, controlled by market interests skewed to the benefit of the royals.
Our democracy is as real the theatrical lie that is democracy in South Africa. Apartheid was a prototype. An experiment in human control. And while the pricipled world declared it an abomination to humanity, the invisible rulers of plutocracy learned how to get away with it.
Flint deserves better. The First Nations deserve better. We all do.
Randy Edward Nicholas