A call for immediate discussion

With another Remembrance Sunday looming, my thoughts turn to those who have given their lives in many wars, for the freedoms those of us in the ‘civilised’ West enjoy:

  1. the freedom to vote for ‘any of the above’ in the certain knowledge that the real issues will always be ignored, and that all promises of change will be non-binding;
  2. the freedom to vote for none of the above (knowing that there is no way that enough people could be persuaded to do so to make society stop and think);
  3. the freedom to obey laws that may have made sense in past eras that moved more slowly, but that are all too often nonsensical in the lemming-like rush of ‘progress’;
  4. the freedom to pay taxes to support a broken system that increases the divide between rich and poor (while pretenders promise otherwise);
  5. the freedom to buy into a consumerism that is literally tearing our planet apart for the enrichment of the few.

In the wake of the last global financial-almost-meltdown, I penned a poem (‘The new emperor’s buttonhole‘) lamenting that the game of Western democracy — for which so many fought and died — is rigged so that we can never get truly effective leadership. Since then, despite many promises, the banks remain largely unregulated and Those In Power fiddle at the edges as Rome’s burning looms again on the horizon.

What have the Romans ever done for us? I’ll tell you one thing the bloody Romans did: they cynically redated the birth of a popular religious figure so that it coincided with the ancient pagan festival of midwinter so as to keep the population under control. More recently, Those In Power scare us with ‘terrists’ under the bed — where once there were ‘commies’ — to the same end; while continuing to ignore the real threats to life on Earth.

Winston Churchill once said: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Prophetic, ironic words — I didn’t know he was talking about bankers.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
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8 Responses to A call for immediate discussion

  1. Every word you write here is true…it is as if we live in a modern version of the Roman culture, hmmm, I guess we do. I’m tired of the “terrorist” scare, our governments do worse things than any group/person labelled as a terrorist has ever done. I’m not saying some of those terrorists didn’t do terrible things, just that the governments do worse things, and for some reason, no one seems to notice…these wars are horrible, how many people have to die in the name of revenge? It seems to be a big game played to give more profits to the rich. I find myself thinking more and more of politics and economics, and neither of these are my strong point…but I see now that all of us need to educate ourselves and be involved, the government isn’t on our side.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog. I’ve been reading, but haven’t had the time to leave a comment for a while…please know I stop by to read your words often.

    P.S. So true that it doesn’t seem to make a difference who gets elected, and not voting doesn’t mean anything either…so, what choice is left? Do we need a new political party? A new government? Seems to me that the whole system needs to go and a new one put in its place, something truly based on the people, and not one based on constant growth or capitalism. Great poem! Your words have me thinking.

    • pendantry says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, DD. I write this garbage mostly for myself (I must do or I’d have given up long ago!), but even so, it’s good to get feedback now and then.

      The reason, as I see it, that no one seems to notice how perverse and, frankly, evil our society has become is that we’ve grown up with it. Even the oldest of us don’t have enough perspective. The system is rotten to the core — our children are taught, and encouraged, to behave like us through pervasive marketing and a system of education that, like so many things, misses the point that things are now changing so fast that what was true yesterday will not hold true tomorrow. If I were in charge* kids should be obliged to sit through a graphic explanation of how much stuff has to be dug from the crust of our suffering planet for each and every futile item of useless crap they want to pester their parents to buy for them.

      *I’m not, of course, and if I were, I wouldn’t last ten seconds under our existing ‘democratic’ system; I’d be hounded out of office by the highly-paid lobbyists for Fossoil &Co.

  2. Martin_Lack says:

    If Winston Churchill had been talking about bankers, I think he would have said: “Never in the field of human avarice was so much owed by so few to so many”

    • pendantry says:

      Well put — though I still think the ‘owed by so many to so few’ rings true. The word ‘inequitable’ needs redefinition in a world in which the 99% are struggling ever harder, whereas the 1% grow richer by the nanosecond for sitting on their backsides and doing bugger all but getting in the way of true progress toward a better world.

      • Martin_Lack says:

        I think I can yet improve on my parody of Churchill’s words:
        “Never in the history of human con-men was so much owed by so few to so many”!

  3. Donald says:

    Poor Churchill!

    “Never in the history of mankind have so many misquoted his words over who done what and to whom” 🙂

    • pendantry says:

      Well, I don’t know about that, Donald. I think Heraclitus of Ephesus has been misquoted more than Churchill. Mind you, he has had a few centuries more in which to rack up misquotes *makes note to return to topic in a couple of millennia and see what the tallies say then*

  4. Pingback: The Story of Broke | Wibble

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