Show Notes by Jesse Crall
Throughout this episode, I stress how many of our problems are downstream from the economy. Because the United States remains the sole empire in the world, our economic structure boasts global consequences. Since post-WWII America’s international role facilitates the mass movement of capital across continents, our foreign policy reinforces this purpose. Wars, coups and arms deals passed off as “mistakes” or “national security necessities” were in reality designed to preserve America’s hegemony on the global stage. Civilians and soldiers may have suffered mass traumas and death. Corporate interests ascended.
If significant corporate profits could be generated via climate action, we would have witnessed an environmental revolution decades ago. Instead, board rooms flood money into political campaigns and think tanks designed to prevent conservation policies from taking effect. We’re sure to see gestures in the coming years, regulations, improvements around the margins…but in a political system and economy so driven by corporate power, we have little reason to expect new environmental efforts will break the stranglehold. Taxpayer dollars will subsidize the transfer of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources with much of that money flowing upward into the same board rooms that spent the last 50 years doing everything in their power to preserve the status quo. The private equity barons donating heavily to Joe Biden’s campaign do so with the knowledge that their current investments remain protected.
Environmental action without the breakdown of corporate power is an exercise in futility. I don’t say that out of cynicism; I say that so we can best focus our priorities. Because the concentration of power and wealth within a handful of sources affects not only our foreign affairs and climate but also our children’s education, workers’ rights, healthcare, infrastructure and all the emotional and cultural movements that emerge from material realities. Why are we aiding a genocide in Yemen? To prop up the strength of the U.S. dollar. Why did the Charter School lobby emerge? Rich Americans wanted to privatize the U.S. school system and save money on their taxes. Why is Bill Gates a leading figure in global health initiatives? Because he foists under-tested, dubious vaccines on impoverished populations to the benefit of his own net worth and the profits of pharmaceutical companies. Weak governments and a fealty to elites only further aids his endeavors. And since our media is similarly captured by moneyed interests, they fail to cover these people, movements and policies honestly. Hopefully, episodes like these offer a counter.
Show Notes by Victoria Lynn Hall
During this episode, when Jesse was talking about the Great Depression and how it gave rise to the New Deal, I found myself thinking of my maternal grandmother who was very influential in my life. As a kid I remember thinking she was magical for being able to create Christmas ornaments from oyster shells and then she passed that magic on to me, making me feel powerful and accomplished.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I put together her history with her boundless creativity. Her family was very affluent at the time of the Great Depression but lost most of their wealth because of it. I can look back now and see how that may have affected her negatively – how some may say she adopted a bit of a scarcity complex or been a little too thrifty – but mostly I still see her as the resourceful woman who taught me how to make something beautiful out of practically nothing.
I can’t help but wonder now, would she have been so resourceful if her family had remained affluent? If it were not for the Great Depression would I be sitting here in my art studio typing this right now? More importantly, would she ever have taught me how to make that oyster shell ornament?
Because I wouldn’t trade that memory for all the riches in the world.
I don’t see anything good about the fact that people are struggling and dying needlessly now because of the incompetence and lack of humanity of our government. And when Jesse and I talked about it getting worse before it gets better, we aren’t discounting how bad things are and have been for so many people for a long time.
However, I am optimistic about the possibility of something good coming out of all that we are enduring at this time – of the awareness, creativity and unity that can rise from the ashes of all that is being lost – and that while future generations may inherit the problems our unconsciousness has caused, we can also pass down the skills and values that our awakening is teaching us now.
Watch the full episode below or on YouTube where you can subscribe to all of our video content. We would also like to thank Kim D. for contributing her fabulous song, “Corporation Coup” for use as a theme for our videos, you can find the full recording of this song at: https://soundcloud.com/wondergalaxy13/corporation-coup
A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm. Now pursuing a master’s degree in writing at NYU, he splits his time between Studio City and Manhattan. https://linktr.ee/jessecrall
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.