Tag Archives: corruption

Revolutionary regrets, I’ve had a few…


my-arms-are-tired-protester1Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the oppressed of the world could actually succeed in overthrowing the oppressors? Everywhere there is seething, but the outcomes are minimal, except for those killed, beaten, and imprisoned in the protest. Tyrants become stronger. It breaks my heart.
I remember travelling to Havana last Christmas, eager to see the Revolution’s results, knowing, of course, that it is hard to succeed when your nearest trading partner insists upon standing on your neck – but Cuba broke my heart. Such wonderful people, such beautiful art and music and talent and strengths and yet, so many slowly starving. Even the museum of the revolution was dusty, uncared-for, grim. It made the part of me that longs for some reprieve from the outrageous me-first greed and capitalism sad and sorry.
Are we destined to lose everything we have to the powers of the shareholders? Will we be discount-stored into non-existence? And will our world leaders continue to usurp our freedoms in the Orwellian name of “security”, while we dither about and do nothing?
It horrifies me, more than the destruction of the planet, even, for without power, we as citizens of the earth can do nothing to stop that destruction.
But we’re all too comfy, or too busy, or too hesitant to speak out.vote-the-bumsout
Or we do speak out, risk our lives, and make no progress against the juggernauts who shoot us, gas us, imprison us. And eventually, we have to get back to work. At the jobs they graciously allow us to keep as long as we keep our mouths shut.
My son has been reporting from Istanbul for the past several days, and now, as things quiet down, he wonders if anything was accomplished. Like the Occupy protests – masses of people rise up, make a lot of noise, get coverage for a few minutes of our magpie-news coverage, and then once the real messages come out, the media turns to the next shiny thing and the pressure goes off the leaders.
I used to feel I didn’t believe in armed insurrection, that peaceful protest was the right way, that working within organizations was the best way to change things.
Then I tried to change organizations from within, and every time I was broken against them. I’d get a change to happen, however minuscule, one that benefitted people, but as soon as I left they slipped back into the old ways, ways they didn’t even like but which they were used to.
So how do we change an outrageous paradigm?
Maybe it’s time to link Brazil and Turkey and Occupiers and the French (who are very very good at driving the dialogue) and those rabid footballers in various places, and pull together?
I don’t know.
I’m tired.
And here we have an admitted fraudster telling everyone he will run for office again, and people saying yeah, sure, I’d vote for him.
I give up, disgusted, and pull my covers over my head.
At least, for a moment.
I need to regroup. I’ll be back.Gandhi-368x378

 

Fighting cynicism


I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. I like to see the good in the world, be cheery, believe that people are generally not evil as a first choice.

But it’s getting harder and harder to keep my upper lip stiff. It seems every time I turn on the radio or see the news, it’s more and more stories about man’s inhumanity to man. Small and large atrocities, seemingly most often committed by soft white men against, well, everyone else.

It’s enough to make me a raving frothing feminist. Not that we women are often any better when in charge. It’d just maybe make a change, like shifting political leadership – one party is much like the other – and often it’s worth changing them around just to sever the lines of corruption that form over time and gradual erosion of ideals through the everyday squashing of bureaucracy.

Maybe more women in charge would change the old patterns of white male supremacy, force a different world view. Hard to know. Maggie Thatcher didn’t seem to help things…

I have a friend who reminds me often that men are as abused as women, often more abused. True, but it’s still men who are doing the abusing, for the most part. So though men do suffer, in wars and prisons and even in marriages, the situation is still being caused by men.

Why?
Why do people in positions of power and government feel they can act without regard for those they control? Why does our current government feel that, in a democracy, they have the right to squash all debate or intelligent discussion?

And most importantly, why do we let them get away with it, these soft/hard white men? Why don’t we say no, loudly, and stop them?

Perhaps it’s the loss of hope, the soaking cynicism, that pollutes us, makes us feel too toxic to revolt. The people in power know this, and crush and belittle hope. They mock protests, refuse to answer questions, treat the rest of the world as ever so slightly mentally incompetent.

I probably wouldn’t mind so much if they did it with wit, as in Yes, Minister. Or with joy, like those dictators who surround their palaces with wild triple size photos of themselves. But they are dull, dull, dull, these grey people. Despite the power they attach to like overfull leeches.

And perhaps that is the most discouraging thing of all.