I don't feel that the Bezos and Gates of the world control my life. They don't know I exist! :)
I feel individuals have far more power, it is just not used as much as could be. I think being human, and trusting, and optimistic, and hopeful, kind of leads many individuals astray thinking 'someone else will do it'. As if a subject is discussed enough, that alone will manifest appropriate action. Not knocking discussion at all. More like the incessant buzz of a chronic topic that has nowhere to go because it is so nebulous.
Government was planned so the most power was in the hands of 'the people'. Buuuut, as local, and some not so local, though probably mostly local, individuals gained respect and / or authority, things got out of hand while too many individuals busy with struggling with daily living, or perhaps not really caring who was in charge as long as things go well enough overall, did not keep power and authority in check at the local level.
When I lived in Ashland, Wisconsin on Lake Superior, for example, a massive pig CAFO wanted to plop a 26,000 pig facility in an area where waste, smell and blood and remains in tailings ponds would impact land in two counties in addition to the Red Cliff Band's reservation, and the glorious Lake Superior which already has (had?) 16 superfund sites. The two counties put their heads together and decided to solicit support from the community
to quickly establish restrictions on the size of pig farms in each county. And it happened. There was controversy for several years. When push came to shove and it looked like the CAFO business was about to get a foot hold, local individuals came out of the woodwork to support those restrictions. That is how keeping authority in check is supposed to work. That Iowa based pig CAFO keeps getting shut out, town by town, and still at it: https://www.apg-wi.com/spooner_advocate/free/proposed-m-concentrated-animal-feeding-operation-stirs-up-debate-in/article_1976a49c-6697-11e9-baab-4ff6792ac574.html
Another example is ceded Indian land that Enbridge was trying to take over by force. Concerned individuals read small print in agreements being discussed, and discovered that as long as a handful of people lived on the land as they had prior to an older agreement. simultaneously providing an educational benefit to the community described in a newer agreement, Enbridge was paralyzed. Heavy equipment was parked. Threats were issued brazenly and regularly. Still, as long as criteria for both agreements were met, Enbridge was done for in that area.
When we choose not to own our power, that is when a fail occurs.
Having mentioned Indians' involvement with Enbridge, I will add that elders were split between adapting to go with the flow and fighting back to prevent losing more land. A deal had been on the table for Enbridge give twice the land used in return for the particular area Enbridge wanted. Considering the loss of rights that comes with a new agreement, the only option was to support those who lived in a hand made shelter
all year round (-20ish to -50ish there in the winter). We brought them water, extra food, crafting supplies and tools, transportation, washed their clothes, donated money so they could get to a hotel not too far away to shower
and take turns taking a break. All so they could hit the pavement running with meeting educational requirements by crafting to put on public display. Winters there last a good 7 months or better. It was no small thing to ask anyone to do. So 100% support came from all over to help them stay on the land to keep Enbridge from going forward. It worked. No doubt other things have happened since I left, but that worked. And as mostly white as that area is, the unity and teamwork that grew however briefly between Indians and non-Indians and locals and non-locals to shut Enbridge down, was an amazing experience
to watch unfold.
There are so many examples. This is a topic I could write about non-stop with similar examples. It is less that power is taken away. Less that we are exploited. Less that money makes all the difference. It is way more about taking appropriate action. Learning the rules enough to stretch those as far as they need to be and check authorities getting too big for their britches. It is individuals not exercising individual power that allows other more aggressive, bullyish individuals to mow over rights and pretty much the Constitutions (that's a separate story).
Our elections have too many of us spending valuable time and energy to support state and federal authorities, when there should be more putting up a fuss and cleaning house at the local level. Not everyone is corrupt. But the handful who are not corrupt don't get much help. They are leaned on heavily. Perhaps it's felt they are in a position to do something that a group of non-politicians think they cannot? With certain things yes. But as with the pig CAFO referenced above, the few locals who got wind of what was happening chose not to be paid off. There was a town meeting so huge it had to be held outside in a field. And they explained what was happening, what we could do, and that that was all they can do. The rest was up to us. So, despite a lot of grumbling and negative vibes, there was no other alternative and people got moving to make it happen. This is how change is manifested: exercising individual and personal power.
This is not to say none of us contribute, or that individuals in these forums are not doing what they can. It's more about not having enough people to do what we are. And not expecting the relative handful of non-corrupt authorities to pull rabbits
out of their asses ^.^ They are human too, with human limitations.
As for the ambiguous .0001%(?), who has the time to fucking
care what they do? If we stop buying their stuff, wow! If we stop working for them, wow! What are they gonna do then? That is why when I saw what Paul and Jocelyn are doing, I decided to dive in and not look back. Because real change is happening at Wheaton Labs
. It's a process. Takes a minute to grow food forests, yeah? :) So, what I'm trying to say through sleepy eyes, is so much focus and energy expended on discussion about billionaires and what they do... I can't be bothered with it. Other than to butt in with my uneducated, apolitical, middle of the night nonsense.
Apologies for yet another tl;dr. I've been following the discussion and couldn't sleep. Started making notes about it to post tomorrow (today now). Still couldn't sleep. So here it is, typos and all because I can barely keep my eyes open :) Now I can sleep. Good night all :.)