Two images from "Schindler's List" remain strong in my mind from the Twentieth Century. The concentration camp commandant sat on his porch high above the grounds. He had a complete view of the inmates. The officer's high-powered rifle was his tool for control. The man selected his targets randomly, so there was no predicting the identity of the next victim. One could be the exemplary prisoner a lickspittle to the guards. He could be an informer for the camp administration. It was possible he was a rebel hoarding crusts of bread for the break-out.
For me the camp was a miniature metaphor for the America I had left. Under Ronald Reagan the nation had reached a paradigm of control and of information handling. We peasants existed on morsels of rumor and hearsay. "The President sneezed; get my broker on two." Executives disappeared and the speculation would mount. Maybe the firing occurred because he was one year short of a vested pension. It could have been nipping at a tiny bottle of hooch at the company lunch room. He had urged management to support a bicycle path to the nearest big town. His fat secretary had made a poor selection on her foundation garments. On that we had agreed.
The surest road to oblivion was to be a loner, someone with vision, an innovator. Again, the commandant shows us the way. A fresh young inmate/engineer showed him her plan for an improved water system. He drew his pistol and shot her. Possibly, the plan had merit increasing her chances to be executed.
My successor had sued my former company for anti-Semitism. As the case wandered towards the Supreme Court, I learned I had been blacklisted. Although I had never supported or participated in the suit, I was guilty of being a Jew near the scene.
Criminalizing Your Backyard Garden
I have always been a subversive. Twenty-six years ago I designed a self-sustaining geodesic dome house with a roof garden. The Small Business Administration rejected my proposal. Thus, it was with a sense of irony I read about Monsanto seeking to impose their will on organic farmers and backyard growers. If legislators pass Monsanto's proposed laws, they will discourage independent food growers who do not use Monsanto's products and methods.
I never knew how much of a threat people like me were to corporate America.