Are human rights really inalienable? That no matter what some authority says, people will choose what to accept, what to obey, when to get in line and when to go their own way? That no walls and certainly no police state can dictate to us where we will live, how we make a living, who we vote for? That even social pressure and the threat of exclusion cannot dissuade us from loving whom we choose? Can prohibition contain our appetites? Will censorship ever control what we see, read, believe? Do we always have to see for ourselves rather than accept what we are told by the major media? If our rights are truly inalienable, inseparable, part of the fabric of our existence and our mental attitude is always going to be based on some independently pragmatic view, prohibition becomes just another way to limit supply and raise demand and prices. Certainly limiting supply has been the strategy of the entire twentieth century. Will artificial scarcity and limits be the rule in the current era? Will Monsanto control which grains we plant? Will the number of refineries control the price of gasoline? Will private banks control inflation, deflation, debt and wages? Will the demand for corn ethanol and soy bio-diesel continue to raise the price of the simplest foods for the poorest people? Will corporations continue to control our government and dictate our health and our childrens' future? Will our cattle eat better than the people of Africa? These questions are not unusual. They form the substance of much of the news these days. In an era of increasing awareness of all of the aspects of life on our little planet, these questions and others are common. And it is one of the inalienable rights of people to find answers. There was a time when it was not so. Galileo was penalized for his answers to questions the church prohibited. Jesus was penalized for his answers to questions the Roman rulers forbade. Spinoza was excommunicated from the Jewish religion for using geometry to try to prove the existence of God. Lincoln was shot for proclaiming that all people were really, truly, legally equal. Teddy Roosevelt was drummed out of the Republican Party for busting the trusts that were unfairly exploiting the people who were creating their vast wealth. D. H. Lawrence was censored for daring to write literature about love, sex and nature, as was James Joyce's Ulysses. People were shot for insisting that labor had rights. Women suffered for insisting they had the right to vote. People whose skin or ancestors were not lily white died for trying to vote or drinking out of the proscribed water fountain. In America, Black people died just for having something a white person wanted. To be accurate, they are still dying, along with those whites foolish enough to defend their rights. So we humans have come a long way. From the official doctrine to the discovered truth. In fact, all the forbidden truths are coming to light. It may have started with astronomy and equality, but it has extended to the acceptance of sex, the worth and wisdom of women, the existence of depression and mental and emotional illnesses stemming from abuse, genetic inheritances, and enforced ignorance. Lately the news has begun to admit that alcohol is killing kids and AIDS is a heterosexual disease as well as one that threatens homosexuals. The very idea of LGBT communities is a revelation. This reversal of what was hidden, denied and forbidden is like a snowball rolling downhill. Shooting wolves from aircraft, stunning whales and dolphins with sonar, dumping by-products of industry into the air and water-- all have come to light only recently. Claiming Christianity while killing thousands waging an elective war for oil and bombing the WTC as planes impaled them, patenting life and forcing farmers to pay to plant can no longer be denied. As humanity comes of age denial is dying lie by lie, and the information necessary for people whose rights are inalienable is surfacing when they need it to make billions of individual decisions about the necessities of their lives. Many have suffered to bring it about, but the day has come when denial is doomed.
-- love holds the stars in their courses-- Maya Angelou
Avid reader, jazz musician, philosopher, chef, stone mason, carpenter, writer, painter, poet,humanist, teacher, holistic ethicist who believes consciousness and love pervade the universe, except among self-obsessed humans. I perceive the (more...)