"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and
causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.. Corporations have been
enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the
money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working
upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few
hands and the Republic is destroyed."
-ABRAHAM LINCOLN, November 12, 1864
"I love my country too much to be a nationalist."
- Albert Camus, writer, philosopher, Nobel laureate (1913-1960)
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation then by deflation, the banks and the corporations will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." -Thomas Jefferson
-Chalmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire
More:"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas Jefferson
"There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by... corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses. It's one of the reasons why the word "corporation" doesn't exist in the constitution - they were to be chartered only by states, so local people could keep a close eye on them." James Madison, Father of the Constitution
"In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions." Andrew Jackson
"I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiased exercise of political opinion - the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government - would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities." Martin van Buren
"As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."
"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." Theodore Roosevelt
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, IS Fascism.
Nobody, it seems, will take responsibility for anything. Not only is there ubiquitous denial of anything compromising, there is an odd counter-phenomenon of a willingness to accept unwarranted credit. People everywhere are pretending to be talented and famous, and, oddly, accepted as so. Up is down and down is up. What IS happening here? We fell down the rabbit hole a good while back and it is, collectively, just now beginning to dawn on us. The tragic consequence is magnified by a sense that the cultural tools to cope with this sort of problem have eroded as well. We have come to embrace bullies and demagogues and are loath to listen to hard truth. We want a yellow-brick road to candyland and don't want to recognize we are lost in a pointless forest.
This ethic of survival at all cost is in striking contrast to the indigenous American philosophy that "..today is a good day to die..", an elegant and zen-like reverence for divine will. Without this kind of acceptance and desire, on a broad scale, for an authentic existence, the world will grow ever uglier and more vulgar. Fights regularly break out in the stands of high school football games, men are killing each other over little league baseball, soccer moms are arrested for assault and running amok...on and on. Look at the recent presidential election...sheesh...it all has the same smell: "...my dog's badder than your dog...even if I have to cheat to prove it."
Are we doomed? George Harrison thought so, and considered naming his last album "Your Planet is Doomed, Part One". He declared:
"The world is going mental as far as I'm concerned...Basically, I think the planet is doomed."
George went on to say that things are speeding up because of technology and "...everything that is happening". "Everything" paints it with a bit of a broad brush, but he was certainly onto something.
Fat-cats grow fatter these days, while poets and painters starve. White collar criminals retire to gated communities, sometimes after a short stay in a country club prison. Vile toxins bubble up not only in the culture, but also in the landscape and in the drinking water, with those growing wealthy from it dying and passing on their ill-gotten wealth or living out their years in quiet well-feathered obscurity.
It is all finally coming home to roost, and while some might agree, it does little good to don a sandwich-board and take to the streets proclaiming "THE END IS NEAR!". Yet, it's way past time to pay casual regard. The signals have become too evident, too blatantly obvious. Clearly the message is on the verge of filtering down to the mainstream. When that happens, it will be, as usual, too late and entirely out of our hands. Perhaps it is too late already. But what is there to do? There is no easy remedy for the self-indulgence that plagues America. It is so reinforced by our impatient ways, and so woven into the fabric of our culture. Until this black tide is turned by soul searching and self-realization on a mass scale, nothing will change. If and when it does, it is probably too late anyway, things are that bad. Why bother? Life as it is will go on, at least for a while, and the ethos that 'anything that enhances the bottom line is good' will continue, and the storm clouds will continue to gather.