Return Our Taxes!
I Won’t Pay for War No More
In the US, where I live, half of our tax dollars are devoted to the military— This constitutes over a third of the entire spending on war in the world, dwarfing that of all other countries—even though we have just 4.5 percent of the world’s population. And it’s only getting larger, as the US government goes from war to war without end.
Has this made me, any of us, safer from nuclear annihilation? Climate Catastrophe? Biological extinction? Classist, racist, sexist oppression? Healthcare crises? Clearly not. “National security” has brought us closer than ever to destroying ourselves and the world.
In 1969 my father, Richard J. Barnet, published a book called The Economy of Death, about the US military-industrial complex. Everything he criticized back then is even more the case now.
I weep to think of what those billions we’re showering on the military could do, if used to mend the world’s ills rather than constantly make them worse.
That’s why I demand they be returned, not to me, personally, but to the world’s people, for the people. After all, this wealth is produced by the people.
I want my taxes going to care for people and the planet, not contribute to destroying it. Is this a lot to ask?
Those enriched and empowered by war, the ruling classes and the governments allied with them, have had repeated chances to stop using our resources to destroy people and planet, and instead to use them to pull us back from the brink. Despite propaganda and protestations, reality indicates they will not do it. I suppose it’s unrealistic to expect that people making such profit and enjoying such power can be the ones to reverse course. They seem bent on driving us, captive in warplanes and armored vehicles, over the brink.
All we can do is wrest the controls from them before they do it, withholding our consent, money, resources; withholding our bodies and our selves. We need to transform the whole current militaristic, punitive, supremacist, oppressive, exploitative, propagandistic approach to conducting human affairs, aka, the beast (see below) in whose belly we’re all living. How else can we make the changes nearly everyone everywhere in the world agrees are indispensable?
Worldwide social justice movements, and the activists who comprise them, are working toward this goal. The more of us who join the effort, the more likely we are to get it done in time. The alternatives are not attractive.
I hereby state that I don’t want my taxes used for war; imperialism; weapons sales; invasion; repression (domestic or foreign); coercion; incarceration, regime change; sanctions, blockades, embargoes; bombings; nuclear stockpiling; landmines; promotion, subsidy, extraction and burning of fossil fuels; pollution; mass surveillance; apartheid, militarizing space; drones; bases; military alliances; covert action, training and arming other militaries and repressive bodies…or anything else that contributes to mass destruction, extinction, or annihilation. Either use them for good or I demand their return so I can pass them on to the people saving the world.
Ha! You wish!
I do wish, though I know it will take much more than wishes.
Here are a few of the many organizations working to abolish the use of the people’s resources for war:
United National Antiwar Coalition
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
And many more. People work to stop war all around the world, but it is especially crucial here, in the US, the military belly of the beast, which is busy fueling war—and using more fossil fuel than any other entity—around the globe. Join in where you can!
File a Peace Tax Return!
Find the return form here.
Check out this week’s Fiction Featuring Activists post, Retrato de Teresa.
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