Where Do We Go from Here? How Much More Death, Destruction and Plunder will be Meted Out Before We Reach a More Benevolent Stage of 'Civilization'?
How much anti-democratic - coerced change - must we the people endure before we get to experience actual positive -- uplifting, across-the-board progress for the entire society?
It's already 100 years ago today, 18th September 1918 that Eugene V. Debs gave an impassioned speech before the court which was about to sentence him to 10 years' incarceration for democratically and legitimately, as was his right, to speak out -- attempting to address issues concerning the usurpation of power - infringement of peoples' democratic rights over their own governance, by the minority moneyed classes. And for this, he was facing sentencing, having been charged with sedition.
What's it going to take for people to be courageous, and outraged enough, to rise up, in unison, against this oppression by the all-powerful few?
What will be effective against this tyranny, when already long ago, we lost what was then still a budding democracy, to the few, through their manipulative and fraudulent application of the ballot box processes of democracy, which today, is nothing more than an ongoing quadrennial circus? The figure of speech "bread and circuses" certainly doesn't ring hollow; not even after it was first coined by the Roman poet Juvenal, almost two thousand years ago.
Things may change, but the more they do, the greater is the undermining and diminishing of the general quality of living standards for the majority. And yet, here we are talking of the passage of a mere one hundred years! What has stayed the same through millennia is the fraud of democratic government.
Personally, I'm not that conversant with the extensive biography of Eugene Debs, the man of a century ago; neither do I have full details of the life of former President Ignacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, recently imprisoned for 12 years for having dared to successfully challenge (two full terms in office) the global neo liberal paradigm. I do know that during his period in office there was a substantial uplifting of the historically enfeebled majority populace.
It is unremarkable therefore, to compare the treatment meted out to Lula da Silva and Debs, who preceded him by 100 years. What is remarkable, is just how close are the parallels in conduct and modus operandi of the capitalist plunderers, a full century apart.
In both of these men's cases their integrity was besmirched simply because they dared to believe in an alternate economic way forward. I have no doubt that Lula da Silva today would fully concur with Debs' own words one hundred years ago -- "Your Honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in a fundamental change--but if possible by peaceable and orderly means".
Sadly, these ideas are just as unthinkable today, to the all-powerful moneyed totalitarian class, as they were back then. So, when progress is measured by any other standard, other than pure greed, the owning classes in general haven't changed an iota.
Philanthropy and greed are but the opposite sides of the same coin. Robbing the poor does not a generous soul make. Generosity is more closely related to altruism.