POLITICAL CORRUPTION

I read every word, finding the article sobering, enlightening and frightening at the same time. Her writing reminded me of what I already knew but had not articulated. 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, her piece rekindled the spark of an old smoldering purpose of mine. That is, to use whatever writing skill I may possess or acquire to expose the nature of what is occurring.

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 it’s 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, McDonalds, 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 McDonalds 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.

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. 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, 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, 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 is nearly extinguished.

To give up our freedom 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 upheaveal. It has been a slow erosion of things that we took for granted. Our individual freedom has become a casuality; it has been seriously wounded if not killed. The battle between the free society and a super-controlled, 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 act.

To borrow a phrase from Elbert Hubbard, here are three steps to guarantee a loss of freedom in addition to avoiding criticism:

1. Say nothing
2. Do nothing
3. Be nothing

The choice is yours.

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 is happily not a lawyer nor a legal scholar and 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.

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