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The President stole the election, with the complicity of the highest court of the land and his brother, a powerful governor.
Then, after a terrorist attack, his Justice Minister started rounding up foreigners and holding them without identifying them to the public.
Meanwhile, the crashing economy kicked thousands out of work, forcing many to line up for unemployment or take 2 or more poverty-wage jobs.
The United States may be the richest country on earth, but for more and more Americans, the United States is becoming another poor Latin country.
Below, read the Adequacy.Org guide
to getting on with life.
Americans are very patriotic -- more so than other nations. We're the inventors of Americanism (and Un-Americanism). For us, this belief in Nation goes deeper than in, say, Mexico. There isn't any un-Mexican-ism, is there?
Latin Americans have generations of experience standing on the outside of government decision making. To get their minds off of the fact that they are mere chattel in an iron-fisted dictatorship, they focus on other aspects of life such as football, religion, and music.
As an American adapting to life "post-September 11th," you should do the same.
To people used to living in a Third World Country, the well-lived private life confers a survival advantage. It's best to avoid the likes of Ashcroft, Pinochet and Fujimori, lest you wind up in the black sedans of the secret police.
The results are amazing. Latin Americans, who have perfected the art of surviving government crackdowns, have produced the world's best footballers, the most inspired and spiritual worshipers, and the most passionate and innovative musicians.
What's more, all this culture distracts Third Worlders from their crappy jobs and dreary career prospects. The average dot-com job in the U.S. which may barely pay for rent and food here, is a dream to most of these people! Nonetheless, many Third Worlders are out partying the night away well into their 40's, while the average USian geek is an "old man" when he's 25.
So, take a page from NetSlave's anti-capitalist manifesto and cultivate your own private life.
Another way to relax into Third World living is to disregard the law. Get away with what you can! Why respect the law so much when you, the householder, are paying more taxes than rich corporations?
Third Worlders are well known for participating in the "informal economy." That's the gray market and the criminal underworld, in layman's terms. It includes everything from wildcat currency trading to drug smuggling to funding for "terrorism."
In the Third World, the government and the economy are often so screwed up that whatever moral qualms someone might have about participating in a shady deal dry up like an Atacama jellyfish. In Mexico, heroic polkas are penned to sing the praises of pot smugglers; they're linked back to Mexican heroes like Pancho Villa.
Americans must similarly embrace crime and criminals, if only for practical reasons. In a situation where the worst terrorists in history had valid ID, you've got to respect a nonviolent person that flouts a system of smart ID cards, and helps innocent Americans live their daily lives despite the government crackdown.
I'm not suggesting that you go out and do something that will get you in big trouble. Just quit being such a good citizen.
I'll close with a story I heard one day at Barnes and Noble. A man found a wallet in a parking lot in February 2001. He opened it up and saw an Arabic name and a drivers license from an Arab country.
He took the wallet to the managers of the store that owned the lot. They refused to take it, saying they weren't responsible for lost items.
He took the wallet to the police, who said that they didn't handle that sort of thing. So, he took the wallet home and put it in a closet in his house.
After September 11th, the man was watching the news and saw that the FBI was looking for tips and leads. He decided to be a good citizen and used his lunch break to take the wallet to the FBI office.
The FBI agents shut him in a little room with 2 agents and a bright light. For 3 hours they bullied and badgered him, asking "How long have you been hiding him?" and "How do you know him?"
When they let him out, the man felt dizzy and decided not to return to work -- and not to be such a "good citizen" next time.
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