Many Americans, particularly the young, believe that voting is an exercise in futility, or worse, an immoral display of support for a fundamentally corrupt political system. Far more appealing is to build a diverse grassroots movement - organically and horizontally - to change our consciousness, our lifestyles, the way we grow our food, harness our energy, travel, trade - and how we treat each other as human beings.
In other words, direct action to the change the world, starting with ourselves and our communities, seems more viable than investing hope in a political apparatus sold out to big money corporate interests on both sides of the aisle.
But not everyone feels this way. Some see our current dire situation as more of a yes, and opportunity, as in: Yes, we should do all of the above - radically change ourselves, radically change the world, and radically engage in the political process.
Tom Engelhardt: In the wake of 9/11, the militarization of the country has happened at a relatively rapid pace (and domestically of the police as well). The result, it seems - even in the Ebola crisis, the military is invariably the first option.... Impoverished Cuba sends hundreds of doctors and health care workers to Africa to fight Ebola; we take "fight" literally (evidently) and send in the troops!
We are bombarded daily with a blizzard of often competing numbers and narratives regarding the state of criminal injustice. Are prison populations declining? Have we really “decreased incarceration” and expanded “diversion”? Have racial disparities in criminal justice decreased? Are they no longer relevant?