We Are Entering The World Of The Hunger Games
No, the government of the United States may not have yet adopted the practice of forcing states to offer tributes to fight to the death in a horrifying game that serves to keep the people in check and under governmental control. But in the world of "The Hunger Games," the threat lies in the increasing centralization of control in the hands of a few, while the rest of the people in the country are left wanting while the fruits of their labor benefit only the "elite." Instead, the people are monitored, and any threat of dissent holds violent retribution.
The current government of the United States is comprised of a large percentage of millionaires, elected by the wealthy and governing for the wealthy. It is becoming increasingly clear that the interests at the heart of recent legislation are not the people’s interests; they are those of the one percent controlling the majority of the wealth in the United States.
Rather than bolster the ability of a people to get back on its feet and survive the economic crisis that has seized the United States and continues with no end in sight, a debt crisis was manufactured, austerity politics were proposed, and thus socioeconomic safety nets, such as food stamps and day care programs, are under threat. Social security and Medicare are also threatened with reduction, and already only those with enough money can obtain adequate healthcare.
Rather than making sure that each citizen pays a fair share in taxes, which could help alleviate the economic crisis, the tax burden falls more heavily on the poor and middle classes, while the wealthy enjoy low taxation rates. Tax breaks for the rich are driven by the futile hope that they will use the profits to create more jobs, when in reality all they do is increase the economic gap between the classes in the United States and do little to improve employment rates, as the results of the last ten years indicate.
As the wealthy are served well by the American capitalist system, it is logical that they would attempt to ensure that system is kept in place. Should the people desire to level the playing field, that right would be denied.
Rather than protecting the people’s ability to fairly elect government officials, voting rights are slowly being eliminated though means such as stricter voter ID laws that largely affect students, blacks, Hispanics, and the poor – groups that traditionally vote to the left of center; and even blatant disqualification of thousands of eligible voters.
Rather than reinforcing a citizen's right to decide who is elected to office, court rulings such as Citizens United have left voters with even less power to determine who will rule the country, because money now legally directs the course of politics. Corporations and the wealthy are now in even more control of the political system.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of one percent of Americans, who can use that money to influence political elections, and therefore to influence social, economic, and political policies that affect the majority of Americans, will end in nothing but economic and political totalitarianism if it is not checked.
Members of the middle and poorer classes continuously and increasingly struggle to survive in the face of inevitable defeat at the hands of the growing stratification of wealth that leaves them at the bottom with barely enough resources of their own to climb out of the ditch of ruin. Women, minorities, the poor, the homeless, the disabled, and even the middle class all face limits in their power to live an empowered life in the United States.
However, not only are the social, economic, and political conditions of the country manipulated by the government to ensure the continuation of the growth of the one percent, but both the military and intelligence agencies are also used to obtain and solidify power. What kind of state do you think America is destined to become…
When minorities are denied their right to participate in the political process, because they traditionally have not voted the "right way"?
When women are threatened with violence for their political views and are told their voices need to be silenced?
When respected figures proclaim that people holding opposing views to their own need to be "beaten" into submission?
When the budget for National Security is nearly $1 trillion each year, and future cuts to that budget are spared at the expense of social programs, like school lunches and education?
When American drones fly not only throughout the world, occupying those military bases, but also over the United States itself, monitoring the activities of United States citizens?
When American citizens are tortured or imprisoned for uncovering unsavory activities undertaken by the American government?
When intelligence agencies continue to monitor domestic activists and dissidents because of their political views?
When large-scale domestic popular movements, such as Occupy, face violent police repression and surveillance, and are therefore undermined by government tactics?
When American citizens can be detained without trial, by means of laws such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to jail anyone it suspects of being a terrorist, without charge or trial?
When the CIA is permitted to withhold from the American public any information regarding the use of torture, because it is an "intelligence method" that cannot be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act?
When the Patriot Act has for ten years, and counting, allowed library records to be monitored, roving wiretaps to be used without impunity, and permitted the government to investigate individuals with no known affiliation with terrorist groups?
When the media often colludes with the government in determining what stories are the most important for the public to know, stories that reinforce the idea of American exceptionalism; and the most critical issues for this country, as well as for the planet, are never even discussed in the mainstream media?
What will the United States become when it truly enters the world of "The Hunger Games"? It will have become a country that has lost its right to call itself a free nation. It will instead have become a repressive state determined to control its people at any cost.
So, if you think “The Hunger Games” was just a good movie, think again.
As a country, the United States is entering the world of "The Hunger Games," if it isn’t already there. May the odds be ever in your favor.