A worker from Peru’s state-run oil company tries to hammer a piece of wood into a gaping hole in the country’s northern pipeline. He fails. Repeatedly. The oil continues to gush with alarming speed and force. Dead fish float belly-up in the black slime.
By the time the spills were stopped this August, over 4,000 barrels of oil had poured into a tributary of the Peruvian Amazon – source of a fifth of our planet’s fresh water. Dozens of indigenous villages were left without drinking water and children were covered in angry rashes.
Leonardo Tello, director of a local radio station, produced a report illustrating these horrific images. He is angry, frustrated and heart-broken. Over the past 19 years the government has registered 190 spills, most affecting the Amazon rainforest.
There are conditions under which victims can share responsibility for a crime. Following are three examples:
Three people are hiding in a closet because a home invader breaks into their home. All three people are victims of this invasion. If two of the three people secretly decide that their best chance for survival is to come out of hiding and give up the third person to the invader in exchange for their own safety, it would not be inappropriate to say that they share responsibility for the outcome of what happens to that person despite the fact that they are not primarily responsible for the situation itself. It might even be said that the third person would blame them and accuse them of being complicit in the crime despite the fact that all three people were victims.
Someone robs a bank and takes a group of twenty people hostage. All twenty people are victims of this crime. After a few hours, the robber gets careless. The hostages secretly work out a plan to best him and turn him over to the police. As the group goes to spring their plan into action, two of the hostages get cold feet. They inform the robber of the plan, throw themselves at his mercy and swear their allegiance to him, thereby alerting him and preventing everyone’s escape. All twenty people are victims, but the other eighteen people are still going to blame those two for preventing their escape.
The Federal government goes $200 trillion into fictitious debt that it intends to hold over the heads of tax cattle to bleed them for resources. Every once in a while, elections are held to create the perception that the tax cattle ARE the government. In the entire history of this system, the fake debt and taxes have only ever gone up and never down, and the people who win the elections are never accountable to the tax cattle; in fact, they are granted salaries that are paid for with tax theft. Some tax cattle are enthusiastically supportive of this system, perceive it as a net gain to themselves, and vote in favor of its expansion. Some tax cattle are wary of this system, but still believe that elections are the only way to lessen the burden of the fake debt and tax theft on themselves. Among these, some want theft-funded free college. Some want theft-funded social security. Some want theft-funded food and healthcare.