Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.
~William Lloyd Garrison~
If slavery and genocide can be found at the heart of the American gestalt, so can abolitionism. In fact, the presence of stubborn luminaries fighting for civil rights, from Patrick Henry to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a very familiar narrative for U.S history students. And yet it appears to be at odds with the domineering American model of imperialism, political subterfuge and government-sabotage, not to mention cultural appropriation. If we take Abraham Lincoln’s metaphor and apply it to the intervening years since the Civil War, it’s rather funny to see a house so divided still standing.
To what can we attribute this apparent ideological schizophrenia occupying the mind of our nation? Well, since its inception in the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, America has played host to two opposing doctrines. It can be viably claimed that the Freemasons are responsible, either directly or by assocation, with both. The first doctrine is the familiar one, responsible for the flowery rhetoric of our Declaration of Independence and Bill Of Rights, asserting that all men are created equal and share common rights. It is a beautiful utopian vision of freedom, prosperity and equability, one that Freemason Sir Francis Bacon laid out in The New Atlantis.
The second doctrine is the one responsible for today’s shadow-government–the one that drove our libertarian forefathers to employ their most acerbic and galvanizing rhetoric. Its modus operandi is one of expansion, cultural coercion, and corporate opportunism. In many ways, it’s an inflated good-ol’ boys club that has used financial sleight-of-hand to make the entire nation a vehicle for private, illegal profiteering. (Imagine a shiny Rolls-Royce leaving billowing destruction in its wake.) It was this precise establishment that men like Patrick Henry so virulently railed against. “Give me liberty or give me death!” was never a hollow soundbyte. Or if it was, it was meant to be transferred to all our devices and made the primary ringtone!
You see, abolitionism is more than a rotting, antequarian term relegated to 19th-century civics lectures. Indeed, it is the very undercurrent and life-blood of our identities as free citizens! If there is no supervision of elected officials, suggests William Lloyd Garrison and his predecessors, or no whistleblowing, to use a modern phrase, there can be no republic, no liberty, no true pursuit of happiness. The slavery of today doesn’t so much happen in plantations or fields of sweat and blood (with the dodgy record of chocolate companies notwithstanding), but instead in the economic and geopolitical arenas. There has never been a more felicitious time, in fact, for smart, modern abolitionism. Who, it begs the question, will set up today’s Underground Railroad?
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.
William Lloyd Garrison
Which brings us to our own present quagmire. Ten years ago, researchers like myself were ridiculed for speculating about globalist political agendas. Let me be very clear here: I consider the concept of an interconnected global community as one pinnacle of our evolution, or rather, the launching-pad for our evolution as a galactic race. As with many things, however, the paradigm of globalism is of a dual nature. The proponents of the second doctrine, mentioned above, are pursuing a different agenda, one which only they can benefit from. These elitist kleptocats have made a fortune on war and suffering; they have subjugated entire countries with coercive fiscal policies and unilateral “agreements”; they have driven our ecosystem to the brink of self-implosion. And now they wish to deliver their coup de gras in the form of a centralizing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
As has become popular to say in the activist movement, this free trade agreement is anything but free, and it’s definitely not about trade. More accurately, it’s about expanding the jurisdiction of the Western corporate-financial empire and gaining a foothold in the lucrative Pacific frontier in a way that ties the Chinese industrial giant up neatly in a three-legged chair. The agreement isn’t very kind to the citizens of participating countries, either. Written in a way that unabashedly favors big banking, multinational corporations, and pharmaceutical companies, the TPPA is a wide-ranging pact that dictates biased legislation on civil liberties, medicine, patents, and even freedom of internet use. According to the ISDS (investment-state dispute settlement) policy, for example, companies can sue nation governments for loss of future profits, like Phillip Morris did with Australia. Under the Orwellian TPP, any information on the web is subject to censorship, and entire websites can be taken down by court order with no opportunity for contest.
The list goes on and on and, unfortunately, I’ll have to leave the naughty-boy list to Santa Claus, as the injustices of the TPP are literally too copious to list in one article. Still, you get the picture. How many times will we catch our elected officials sneaking out the backdoor of our vaunted republic to pay fealty to corporate barons initiated in the second doctrine? How many times will we watch the revolving door between Wall Street finance and the executive branch spin like a carousel? To riff on Bob Dylan, how many illegal wars must one man see before he takes to the streets? It’s a dire Catch-22, because this entire system, based on greed, fossil fuels and the petro-dollar, has started to threaten the earth itself, which in turn places all of us in grave danger.
Fortunately for Americans, we have a wonderful tradition of abolitionism to consult, far more relevent than the Declaration’s crumbling scroll of hemp conveys. At one time, American political philosophy sent a different message across the Pacific: it was none other than the Jeffersonian ideals of the Emancipation Proclamation that inspired the great Thai monarch, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) , to adapt his own abolitionist principles in freeing many slaves in Siam at that time. The prescient messages from our forefathers are written in flourescent red across the brick wall of our politico-cultural construct: apartheid will happen if we fall asleep at the wheel and, further, true liberty left undefended won’t remain with the people any more than a scrap of meat will remain on the ground amid a pack of wolves.
We can envision William Lloyd Garrison on some hot day back in the 1840s, standing aghast at the common practice of slaveowning happening all around him, overcome with disgust, finally deciding, with steely resolve, to form the American Antislavery Society–because, really, there was no other alternative but to act. Would you have done the same? Would you have rebelled against a demeaning status-quo that raged on around you, that threatened the very integrity of your community? This is not a speculative question, either. We now find ourselves, as a planetary race, in exactly the same position–only our willful actions can provide the answer. The need for a Neo-Abolitionism has now emerged in our historical narrative. Will we embrace it?
My country is the world; my countrymen are mankind.
William Lloyd Garrison