I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

– Percy Shelley, Ozymandias

It didn’t take long for the most opportunistic, nefarious and corrupt actors in the U.S. to turn a pandemic crisis into another massive power grab attempt. We’ve seen it before; after 9/11 and also throughout the response to the financial crisis a decade ago. The irredeemable sociopaths who always make the big, important decisions used those crises to consolidate wealth and power. They’re going for it again.

There are many examples, but let me list a few:

– The EARN IT bill, by which senators are attempting to destroy widespread public use of encryption, i.e. private communications. (EFF)

– The White House and the CDC are asking Facebook, Google and other tech giants to give them greater access to Americans’ smartphone location data. (CNBC)

– The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies. (Politico)

– U.S. Senators are attempting to use the crisis as an opportunity to pull off a gigantic corporate coup. (Matt Stoller, BIG)

Then there’s the really big one, the Federal Reserve. An institution with more unaccountable power to shape and manipulate our world than any other, yet whose actions remain subject to virtually zero public debate.

While we’re at it…

I wrote about the scam that is the Federal Reserve last year in the post, Monetary Looting, and what they’re doing now makes those repo operations look like child’s play.

We often get distracted debating the implications of Fed actions, and in the process lose sight of the bigger picture. The real question we need to be asking is why do we allow a handful of unelected banker welfare agents the right to shape our entire world? It’s a crazy system, and until we start questioning the underlying premises of everything about our world, we’ll remain confused and subjugated.

That said, I remain more optimistic than ever that once we get through this crisis and a rough transition period, a far better era awaits on the other side. I say this because I believe this pandemic will shake enough people to such an extent they’ll emerge from it very different people with a more enlightened understanding of the world and their roles in it. An event like this can make people less conscious, or it can make them more conscious. I think humanity will expand its consciousness.

Of course, the future is not written in stone. Each and every one of us needs to grow up and step up if we’re going to build a better world. We each have our skillsets, so I ask everyone reading this to think about how they can repurpose their talents to the great work of ushering in a new era. I don’t do any of this to change the world. I can’t do that. I do this to inspire as many people as possible to change their own worlds. Then everything changes.

If I had to summarize where we’ve been and where I think we’re going, it would be with the following.

The world you lived in no longer exists, but the world to come has not yet been created. The worst people in society will attempt to create it in their image, but we can’t allow that. We must step up and create it ourselves. It’s entirely possible. Get to work.

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