I heard a quote from Gandhi yesterday that inspires me while I simultaneously recognized a disturbing reality. Here's the quote: "There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."
I do think about them, quite often... and when I do, I think of the big, text book ones: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Mao, etc.
After hearing this quote, I stepped out of the box.
When the words tyrant and/or murderers are mentioned, very rarely do we say to ourselves: corporate America.
I think that's probably the biggest problem we have right now. We are under the firm grasp of a tyrant, or I should say, a group of tyrants and murderers. Unlike many of the constituents of the aforementioned tyrants, most of the American people feel that they live in a republic, a free country. They go to Wal-Mart and spend money kept in Bank of America, buy houses with AIG. They pay for their high-risk gambling, their jets, and their continuous raping of third world countries across the globe. Our beautiful capitalism has been built on the backs of the nations we invade. We force our way of thinking and our way of life on the people we encounter, using our corporate power to turn a country into one giant cash crop. Meanwhile, in the past two decades, we have brought that thinking home. We've integrated corporate governance slowly but surely, while the people continue with their American dreams, like the frog sitting in the pot, slowly boiling.
There was never a big coups, with guns blazing and cannons firing. There was never a shift in form of government so that we noticed. This all happened over time, slowly and very meticulously, planned perfectly.
Now, when the shit has hit the fan, most Americans still don't notice. We say we don't want the bailout and that we think it's crap what's going on, but for the most part, we still don't think it's happening to us. Like the stubborn man standing atop a sinking island, we do not act and think as though our country is on a fast track (if not already there) to corporate dictatorship.
Why is that?
Is it because it's less tangible than Hitlers speeches? Is it because it doesn't come with tanks and guns and blood in the streets? It comes instead with the silent stealing of rights, money, lives and our republic.
These facts make it no less scary and no less tyrannical. The sooner we can look at these tyrants for what they are, the sooner we can move towards a time when they will fall. But they will only fall when we can admit to ourselves that it is our job to protect ourselves from tyrants, text book or no.
Stop denying, start acting.