The links between the stunning Arab uprising and the uprising of disaffected citizens in the United States of America have been noted by many observers. However it would be a mistake to say they are the same. There are major differences that should be noted and considered in dealing with the societal problems each movement is highlighting.

The seasons of the year have provided apt names for each uprising – there is an ironic resonance of the names with the condition and state of democratic system of each country. While the Arab Spring uprising is a nascent growth of a new democracy, the Americans and other Western versions are an expression of the Autumnal decay of Western democracies.

The Arab Spring has been enabled by the widespread use of information technology that has imparted the knowledge that a better, freer life has been possible in the democratic West. Having seen the vision through the lens of the worldwide web, an enthusiastic and irreversible momentum has emerged that renders tanks and missiles impotent, even ridiculous to the enthusiasm and determination of the masses.

The movement in the US has gained energy from the courage and single-minded determination of the heroic peoples of the Middle East who have stood firm in the face of brutality. However, that joyous spirit is not part of the Western uprising because it has caused the people in the US to look back and see that their democratic egalitarian vision has been hijacked and all but destroyed by the corporate takeover of their governments. Successive politicians have accepted the handful of silver and sold their future.

The truth is America is no longer an egalitarian society either in spirit or in reality. While the first non-white president occupies the Whitehouse, no poor man, no matter how brilliant a thinker has a chance to take his place, unless he or she is sponsored by corporations.

Laws are now being propagated by corporations through organisations like ALEC (The American Legislative Executive Committee). Behind closed doors corporations and right wing politicians are creating model laws and regulations. These laws are not written for the wellbeing of Joe or Jane Citizen. With the help of politicians, corporations like Phillip Morris and Monsanto and Exxon are able to reduce health, safety and environmental laws protecting the public and private education companies are able to erode state funding of education. These are dangerous times in the home of democracy.

Further undermining democracy are the major media networks funded by the money from the same corporations. These greedy pipers have forsaken the music for mammon. We no longer get news and an exchange of ideas from the press or even a balanced critique of government. Instead we get thinly veiled propaganda and outright lies for profit as is now being exposed by the media inquiry in the United Kingdom.

Media moguls are obsessed with being kingmakers rather than being providers of knowledge and information. Their primary fare is a mixture of misinformation, heavily biased opinion pieces, deliberately leaving out important information that underpin political decisions, using out of context statements; character assassination by innuendo and using terms like “unidentified party sources say”,  where there is no proof. More recently the media has hacked phones paid police and other officials for dirt on their victims.

These spin masters are also spying on us. Not for the purpose of exposing gross misdeeds of warmongers or polluters responsible for countless deaths, but to provide trivial information that is usually smutty or demeaning of powerless people. Large sections of the fourth estate have become the new coliseums publicly torturing the weak to turn our attention away from the real tragedies and crimes of the time.

The worst betrayal is that politicians and political parties for the most part cannot be trusted. They constantly lie to us and withhold information we should know. So long dependent on election handouts from those seeking favours, politicians have forgotten the people they represent. The Howard Government in Australia went to court to uphold the principle that legislation impacting on Aboriginal Australians does not have to be for their best interest.

As has been shown by the invasion of Iraq and Vietnam, lies and propaganda are harming and even killing us. Our leaders invent quasi security threats and exaggerate the errant behaviour of Arab and Asian leaders as reasons for war. The real agenda is to maintain control of oilfields as has happened in Iraq and Libya and now Iran is under threat.

While the reason given for the constant threats and embargos towards Iran is the fear of them developing nuclear weapons there is a corresponding deep silence about the huge nuclear arsenal of Israel. Israel is known for carrying unilateral air attacks on its neighbours with little regard for civilian casualties.

This remarkable and enduring silence is our governments and our media deliberately misleading us because it attempts to hide the true reason Iran is developing nuclear capacity. It is constantly under threat from the US and Israel.

Why is Israel allowed to murder and kidnap scientists political activists and whistle blowers around the globe with little more than a tut tut from the West? Because they help to maintain American hegemony in the oil rich Middle-East. Why are there no inspections of Israeli nuclear facilities? Because the USA will not allow it and Israel has no respect for international law.

Why are these lies necessary? They are not being made for our benefit. Our governments claim they are being truthful and when they are shown to be untrue they is an imply they are made for other important strategic reasons. In fact they are made for cold hard commercial reasons. Pre-war rhetoric implies is that if the West does not control oil supplies we will be over-run by the hordes of heathens, Asians, Arabs and other dangerous species, so life as we know it will be destroyed. Our leaders argue that it is a responsible even a righteous act to help the Arab people by taking control of their oil by force.

In fact they know such a scenario is nonsensical. It would be far cheaper to pay more for oil than to engage in a war except when the sustenance of the US military industrial business model is added to the equation. Therein lays the rub.

While Egyptians clearly realise the danger posed to their democracy by the omnipresent military, many in the West have not woken up to dangers imposed on their democracy by the power held by the US military industry. However, the many thousands of people supporting the Occupy Wall Street Movement have clearly recognised that the greed of their private corporations are devouring the rights and protections of ordinary citizens.

While the corporate press is doing its best to undermine and confuse the purpose of activists by claiming that there is no coherent message from Occupy protesters, the message is simple, straight forward and powerful.

They are telling governments to get back to representing “we the people”, not they the international corporate interests; otherwise we will take back the power entrusted to you as our parliamentary representatives at the next opportunity.  

Through all of this turmoil another major turning of history is occurring. The indefatigable and unlimited greed of the 1% is causing a crisis for capitalism that needs to be addressed if the complete collapse is to be avoided.

Capitalism is destroying democracy while greed is destroying capitalism. Underlining this decay is the fact that non-democratic China with a strongly regulated marketplace and regulated currency is outperforming the so called free market. The old story that capitalism underpins democracy and that capitalism does best in democracies is being challenged to the point that ordinary citizens have lost faith in the delivery of either of these edicts.  

Two main factors are driving the demise of capitalism. The first is the uneven distribution of wealth which means fewer people can participate in the market beyond the basics of life. This discrepancy is huge in the USA and growing in most Western democracies.

With the diminishing spending capacity of the mass market, suppliers can only increase sales through the growing world population but this growth is mainly in third world countries where consumers have minimal discretionary spending capacity.

The second factor is the finite nature of resources and in particular energy resources. The market philosophy not only requires continuous growth of consumption but also the increased use of resources. Unfortunately for the market philosophy not only are some key resources like liquid hydrocarbons rapidly diminishing but the monetary and energy cost of extraction are increasing.

Continuous growth is not possible once the peak in resource use has been passed. As we approach the point where supply cannot meet demand the rising costs will drive many out of the marketplace. The most damaging commodity price hikes will be in food where much of the world’s food crops are reliant on nitrogen produced from natural gas which will go into decline at the same time population reaches 9 billion. Unless nitrogen can be produced by some other method billions will starve.

Adding to the problem of living with finite resources the whole living system of humans and other species is being destroyed by man’s activities and the cost of this damage has not been accounted for in the past and only marginal costs are being factored in now.

It is obvious to all that while our planet can live without humankind, humankind cannot live without our planet. Yet our industrialists, mining companies and most of our parliamentary representatives deny the obvious truth hoping to drag out a few more years of gross resource use and production of toxic waste. We cannot ignore this destructive greed to continue otherwise it will destroy more than our democratic system it will destroy our lives.

The 99% movement is the beginning of the movement for survival of our species, for our dignity, truth and freedom. This is the most important war ever.