Jane Smiley is a compelling writer and a passionate voice against the corruption of power, a worthy goal in my opinion, though her targets are only the latest in a long chain of similar entities obsessed with power at any price.
Happily, rather than driving me into a position of being stuck between apathy and indecision, for me, her writing rekindled the spark of freedom. It’s an old smoldering purpose of mine, to use whatever writing skill I may possess or acquire to expose the nature of what is occurring to our freedoms in this country.
And it’s all happening while we sleep: the insidious and relentless rape of the integrity of our country, leaving a hollow shell, stripped of its basic fundamental purposes, devoid of any appreciation of basic human rights and individual freedoms on which this country was founded.
It is my opinion that America was instrumental in igniting the torch of freedom for the world The battle cry for individual freedoms for the common man has risen its head at various times in history but in 1776, America seemed to have gotten it right, and the world was never the same.
American industry, technology and ingenuity have all but conquered the world with Coke-Cola, McDonald’s, Disneyland, Starbucks, Levi’s, and more. I was in China, Japan, and the Philippines over forty years ago and you could look for days and not find a McDonald’s hamburger, (or any hamburger for that matter); theme parks didn’t exist, coffee was industrial strength and cheap, and although rare, you might stumble upon a pair of Levi’s if you looked long enough in the right places.
The people of earth wanted, then as now, what America stood for and what she could offer in terms of cultural advances and standards of living and freedom. However, they decidedly did not want American politics and policies.
Perhaps they recognized – as we can no longer ignore – the truth in that old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely. When the most powerful nation on earth possesses at the same time the most powerful weapons the earth has ever seen and a corrupt, incompetent political component, we have a recipe for disaster.
When it becomes a crime to speak out, to express grievances, to expose the exploitation of power or trust for personal gain, we have slept too long. When we have become lulled into a comfortable apathy by going on hoping that someone else is going to do it for us (or to us), we’re nearly lost. When we are in a state where we must be contributed to, instead of contributing to our own survival, the spark of freedom is nearly extinguished.
To give up our freedoms for a few trinkets of comfort is not a sane act. The time to take action is before that point is reached, and that point is now.
It didn’t happen overnight in one dramatic upheaval. It has been a slow erosion of things that we took for granted. Our individual freedoms have become a casuality; they have been mortally wounded if not killed. The battle between the free society and a super-controlled, police state-slave society has been going on for a long time and now it is on our doorstep. We can sleep no longer.
Our neglect has strengthened the slave-masters of society. Our inaction has emboldened their incursions into our lives. Before we lose what few remaining freedoms we still have we must speak out with what few freedoms we have left.
To paraphrase a saying from Elbert Hubbard, here are three steps to guarantee a loss of your freedoms:
1. Say nothing
2. Do nothing
3. Be nothing
The spark of freedom never really dies.
The smoldering embers, long ignored, are waiting for you; it is your breath of attention and interest that will re-ignite and breathe life into the purpose of freedom.
Something can be done; something must be done. It is up to you. No one else can do it for you.
daniel w. jacobs
© 2006-2010, all rights reserved
Disclaimer: This article is intended to stimulate critical thought and awareness of the issues involved. The author makes no guarantee of the accuracy of the writings beyond a common sense observation of the obvious and a graduate degree in the school of hard knocks.