In his book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw quotes a county executive who says: “Our system of local government has barely evolved over the past one hundred years and we are still governed by these same archaic institutions formed before the invention of the light bulb, telephone, automobile and computer.” And, I say, that this does not simply apply to local government, but to the Federal Government and to a whole lot of other ways in which we human beings do things. Banality!
It hit me when during the Trump Impeachment proceedings the Sergeant at Arms opens the court session by saying: Hear ye! Hear ye! This is an expression that was originally: Oyez! Oyez! It is from the era of Medieval England and France and was used by the Town Criers as a call for silence and attention in the markets and plazas when some proclamation from the rulers was issued. Why, oh why, in this modern age do we still need to use this banal expression? And the answer is that despite existing in this Information Age, we are still on so many, many levels doing, saying, thinking, applying traditions and rules, laws and regulations that are way past their time, and, actually, sound truly ridiculous these days!
It also hit me when Adam Schiff was orating during those same proceedings and was saying with passion and intensity: “America believes in Truth. She believes in Right and Wrong.” Oy vey! I nearly had a stroke when I heard him say those words: Truth. Right and Wrong. How many of those politicians, including him, are sitting in our Congress and applying those words while overseeing the nation’s business? How, when corporate lobbyists fill their coffers and dictate our laws, can they be adhering to these words? How, when looking after their own prosperity before anything else could these words ring true? How, in such a cutthroat and partisan atmosphere could words like Truth, Right and Wrong resonate? It is ridiculously banal and hypocritical! The epitome of corruption! Do, please, read the article I highlighted below to see exactly how corrupt our system is, and how corrupt our politicians are, and how while spewing lofty words they manage to screw us so well! Disgusting!
Recently, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted to 100 seconds before midnight, the closest we have ever been to catastrophe. And, yet, efforts of politicians across our Planet are miserably failing to address our worldwide problems thus causing populations to convulse and to react in adverse ways making our situation even more dangerous and threatening. We have all abandoned our Responsibilities, Communality and Common Sense. We have been ceding them to those in power who, and especially during recent decades, have become even more corrupt than they have ever been! This is across the world! And it is simply because we have put Money Before and Above Anything Else! In that process we have trashed the Planet and are not stopping; we have abrogated every equitable and social contract that governments are elected to do in order to look after the people’s welfare; we have, and continue to, trample on every human value and any sense of justice that exists; we have enlisted culture – especially our shameful media – to corrupt, trivialize, commercialize and demean rather than elevate humanity. Yes, it is a very dismal picture out there for all those who elect to see beyond their own selfish cocoon while ignoring society as a whole.
How do they do that? How have they succeeded in this wicked endeavor for so long? Let us go back quickly to history – a history that our children and grandchildren are totally ignorant about due to the pathetic education that they are receiving – and let us take a look into one small area of our Planet centuries ago. (And, please, do not shrug your shoulders and say that you don’t need a history lesson from this old woman. We all do, because without historical perspective we are simply repeating the same damn mistakes all over again!) People existed in small enclaves where, generally, the “elders” were consulted and selected to resolve disputes and to see to it that there is harmony within their tribe. Pretty soon, a Strongman emerges from that small area and decides that he is the Ruler, King, Prince, Emperor, Ameer, or whatever title he chooses for himself. He enlists an army of followers, levies taxes, builds a bigger impressive abode and starts invading, killing and occupying the domains of other tribes thus enlarging his territory and accumulating more resources and wealth. That’s how Rulers came to be, and Not because God anointed them! Now, in order to continue being the Ruler he must have a fearsome army. As an example, the Romans dressed their army in shiny bronze helmets that had big red plumes attached to them in order to make them seem taller, more threatening and intimidating as they marched into battle with those headdresses reflecting the sun and endowing them with godlike splendor. They were also fed better than the citizens, paid well, allowed to loot all that they could from those they had chosen to vanquish, and licensed to rape and to acquire slaves. And, when they returned from the battlefields, the Ruler created ceremonies, parades and marches to hail and exult them and himself. Should any of the Ruler’s own Family, a General, or any Opponent decide to oust him, he was simply slain or, if that challenger was stronger then, he was the one eliminated. That was the process through which for thousands of years humanity has been ruled. This has not changed much these days, even though we speak of lofty ideals such as Democracy, Equality and Justice. These have always been the purview of the Rulers, Elites and Supporters, with a little bit trickling down to the citizens in order to give them the illusion of fairness. It has Never been fair. It has Always been unequal!
Once Kingdoms and Empires cemented their rule over their domains, they then expanded to conquer even wider, further-away territory. That was the dawn of the Conquistadors, Colonists and Settlers, which, primarily, expanded the wealth of the White European Nations, and witnessed the founding of White America. Two World Wars paved the idea on which the arrogant Europeans, and the new Americans, decided to continue with their colonist expansionism. Under the guise – utterly so! – of bringing Civilization to what they deemed to be an Ignorant, Backward World they have been ravaging the Planet. And, as should be obvious to anyone with enough sense, their ultimate Power Play is to Control the World’s Wealth and Resources through Military Power, Intimidation and by Creating New Enemies to satisfy the money-making Capitalist war-machine, because warring with someone else’s sacrificed children has always been easy for the Privileged. In other words, Bullying humanity into Submission, whether today it is Venezuela, Iran, Palestine, or any other through the ages. Forget Negotiations and Coexistence!
Therefore, Donald Trump is not any aberration to this doctrine. In fact, he personifies it, probably more overtly and brashly than any other White Western leader, but the doctrine has not wavered since Colonialism. If you need any proof, witness the near-silence over the Muslim Rohingya, the Chinese Uyghurs, the Muslim population of India (all due to Western Islamophobia), amongst other discriminatory practices such as homophobia, as well as the total disregard, disrespect, humiliation and abasement of indigenous populations (xenophobia) who are being decimated, and minorities all over the world whether they are black, brown, or purple, and whether they are Palestinians, or Arabs, Africans, Asians, or any other ethnicity that is non-White and, therefore, not allowed to be part of the Modern (or, Neo) Colonist Enterprise, but will remain the Vassals in the service of that Enterprise.
So, When do we Evolve and change this Unfair Formula? I do not have the answer, but, certainly, it seems that it will remain so for quite a long time to come – although there are definitely glimmers of hope here and there – unless, in the meantime, the climate crisis envelops us in its floods and fires, or, some ego-maniacal bully presses the red nuclear button after which it will be to all a goodnight! Scary enough? It really should be!