Post War Germany by University of Idaho
Lately I've been wondering about good and evil and right and wrong. I guess that I think about these things because of what I see on all in the news reports. The announcers on television don't seem to blink an eye when they talk about the cities that we bomb and the resulting carnage. It's almost as if these things are just natural occurrences in the daily life of the people planet Earth. What I really can't wrap my head around is that the most war loving segment of America seems to be the Christian right.
I know that throughout history, Christians have been responsible the majority of wars in the last 500 years. I also know that the rulers used religion to obtain public support for their military adventures. This is no secret, not by any means. Most of the history textbooks have no problem revealing the use of religion as a pretext for war. I can remember how my fellow students in college shook their heads and talked about the stupidity of the people that believed in the propaganda that their rulers were using at the time.
Now these same students 30 or 40 years later are still sucking up that tired old crap that kings and queens used hundreds of years ago. Even though we have written, recorded history that people in the Middle Ages didn't have access to, we still fall for the same redundant rhetoric. You would think that by now we'd have a little better understanding of what's happening in the world now and what happened in the past. When I mention this to people, they all tell me the same thing"people know what's happening but they don't think there's anything they can do about it". What I ascertain from this is that people feel powerless to control their own government.
This then, seems to be the crux of "America's biggest problem." People feel powerless to control their government. In any civilization that has ever existed anywhere, at any time, this is probably the worst possible situation that could possibly exist in any society.
No matter what the problem is, the first step in solving any problem, is acknowledging the problem in the first place. Unless people understand that there is a problem, nothing will be done to solve it. This is what's happening in the United States today. Sure, many people write about it and talk about it, but when all is said and done, the majority of people refuse to talk about it. The majority of people don't see that having a government that is beyond the control of its citizens as a problem.
Well I would like to state for the record that we have a problem, and this problem is causing the United States of America to crumble before our eyes. Years from now, students will shake their heads in some college classroom and ask each other how any society could be so stupid. People still question how a modern European culture could fall under the spell of a madman. When I was in Germany, I asked people that survived the war how they let it happen. Everyone told me the same thing" by the time they realized what was happening; they were powerless to stop it. You can say the very same thing about the Italians. They eventually stopped Mussolini, but only when they had no other choice.
In America today we have no other choice. Unless we can get control over our government, this nation will cease to exist as a representative republic. We will either destroy ourselves from within, or we will be destroyed by others. We may not be destroyed militarily, but we will be destroyed financially. It may be too late to stop our destruction. The Soviet Union was not destroyed militarily, but today, it ceases to exist. Stalin's birthplace of Georgia actually attacked Russia. The Ukraine, quite conceivably the most fertile farmland on the planet and the "breadbasket" of the USSR is considering becoming part of NATO. Sevastopol, the largest naval facility Russia possesses could become the home of a NATO fleet. Do you think anyone saw that coming in Moscow?
I can say with certainty that they did. Most people in the former USSR could see the nation imploding. The historical fact is that the Soviet defense budget bankrupted them. Sound familiar? At least the USSR had a reason to put so much of their GDP into defense, we don't. When we go down the tubes, we will only have ourselves and our megalomania to blame. We can blame the government, but when all is said and done, we ARE the government. So when we sell this nation at a worldwide fire sale, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Mexico may be building a fence soon to keep Americans out, same thing for Canada.
So when you ask someone to help get this government under control and they answer you with something like "There's not a damned thing I can do about it." Or "I'm powerless!" ask them how powerless the people sitting in the Duma building in the early 90's felt when tanks stated lobbing shells at it. Better yet, ask them how they thought that the people walking aimlessly in shattered burned out cities in Germany felt as they watched their daughters pairing off with Soviet or Allied soldiers so that they could help feed their families. That's powerlessness, the kind of powerlessness that changes people forever, like when people that survived Hiroshima opened their eyes and found that their city had disappeared.
This isn't a game. Maybe it's a game to Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry. Maybe it's a game to people watching the story of "Seal Team Six" on the military channel. It probably felt like a big game to the Germans until the second winter of the Stalingrad siege. This isn't a game. There are no do-overs. We can either get it right now and fix this overwhelming problem of a government out of control, or make plans for when it crumbles, it's up to us. It always has been" today isn't any different than yesterday.