This is a letter that I thought of sending to President Obama. I still might...
Dear President Obama:
I realize you receive thousands of letters everyday. I have no delusions that you will even see this. But, as the American myth proclaims, individuals still have a voice in the Government — “of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. Tens of millions of the voiceless people are perishing under the guise of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of corporate gluttony.
I think I would be better heard if I were a giant corporation or a lobbyist that is pouring thousands of dollars down the political rat hole, fueling the greed and degradation that is foisted upon the American people, and, by direct result, the people of the world, in the name of free enterprise.
Free enterprise is a mirage that is perceived by delirious people dying of thirst in a wasteland that was created by the devastation of human beings left to die after the corporations have ravaged our existence. People are dying from the predatory practices of corporations that have deposed government and the people for which the government represents. The government in turn has condoned, empowered and protected the very institutions that are destroying the fabric of humanity. Corporate apocalypse.
You may think that this letter is overly emotional or distorted by hysterical perceptions of feelings of powerlessness. The reality is, predators have taken over human affairs, government, the marketplace and the sanctuaries of human existence. We are bought and sold each day for the highest — or in government contracting speak — the lowest bidder, to perpetuate human suffering.
When a family loses a job, a child loses their parent to death from lack of healthcare, or people are forced into bankruptcies every minute because of the predatory nature of our ill-gotten free enterprise system we are all affected. When people lose their houses and financial security because the promise of education that promotes student loans has failed due to a predatory economy that is based on greed and the exploitation of workers, blue collar or white collar we are all affected. Is this not suffering?
Families out in the streets, entire communities ravaged by the beast that has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans left to the fates of suited professionals who have no regard for the pitiful condition of men and women. Again, is this not suffering? The death grip — mortgage — of the free-market has not empowered us or freed us, but enslaved us to the fates of powerful predatory practices that have shackled us to the engines that lead us to our destruction.
President Eisenhower said in his Military-Industrial Complex Speech: “As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow” (Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961, http://www.h-.net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html).
We have not only mortgaged our material assets for all generations to come, and have discarded our political and spiritual heritage, and have effectively seared or fouled the collective human conscience. As a direct result, we have become insolvent and impotent against the machinations of our own demise.
We the people have entered a new area of slavery visited upon all peoples and races without discrimination. We are now slaves of corporations and government influence peddlers that ignore the dying cries of the people. Bankruptcies, burdens of debt and financial hopelessness, overpriced or denied healthcare, disease and lies, have become the whips and chains of our masters to keep us bent over in the fields feeling the sting of the lashes on our bleeding and sweaty backs. While our masters profit from our delirium and suffering.
President Lincoln wrote this about slavery: "The monstrous injustice of slavery... deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world- enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites- causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty" (http://civilwar.bluegrass.net/SlaveryAndEmancipation/lincolnonslavery.html). Lincoln was against slavery on moral grounds and would have rather “[freed] all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land” (Abraham Lincoln, http://civilwar.bluegrass.net/SlaveryAndEmancipation/lincolnonslavery.html).
However, the words Lincoln used to describe slavery are again dead-on for the state of union today. The monstrous injustice of slavery that has shackled the American people today through institutions — both private and public — have abdicated to the enemies of justice and the very fundamental principles of civil liberties and human decency. The men and women, through golems of human machinations, have visited this aberration of immorality upon the American people and have infected the world with its crippling and deadly disease.
President Lincoln prophetically wrote: “the world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names liberty and tyranny” (http://quotationsbook.com/quote/44419/) .
I propose that liberty can only be expressed when humans transcend the self and the selfish preoccupation with their own labors and profiteering and reject the egocentric tyrannical practices that have shattered humanity, and look to freeing our brothers and sisters by becoming our brother’s and sister’s keepers — co-liberation, co-liberators. Humans need to repurpose and rescue the “Golden Rule” from whoever has the gold rules, to its original meaning of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Humans must be sadomasochists at heart, since we literally can’t do something unto someone else without doing it unto ourselves. It is time to realize when one is oppressed and constrained by fear and injustice, we all are. Liberty is freedom from our self-centeredness, the self-centered dream.
The new decade does not offer much promise for change or reform. The banks and insurance companies, not to mention the mega-corporations and our non-representative representatives and senators, have hijacked any real hope for significant change. The bondsmen that have arrested the goodwill and decency of our citizens and the citizens of the world, are deaf to our cries and loathe the repair of our condition. Persons incapable of seeing the condition and plight of our people have convinced us that our suffering is well deserved and we should be thankful for the crumbs that we find as we lay bleeding on the floor under our masters’ table.
The engines of war have scarred our existence and have defined us as people. Great civilizations that have conquered their way through history, have marshaled the economies of their subjects and focused bloodshed and destruction in the guise of Manifest Destiny sanctioned by hubris and lust for power and control. President Eisenhower stated: “in the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist” (Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961, http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html).
Along side the military-industrial complex, banks, corporations, politicians, religions, and despotic individuals and organizations, have expanded the practice of overt war fought with bombs and bullets and now use mortgages, debt instruments, loans, credit reports, stocks and bonds as deadly ordinance. Instead of hospitals and medicine, jobs and a productive livelihood, the wounded left dying on the battlefields are rotting fetid corpses to remind and warn all that would dare oppose the harbingers of death of who wields the power of money. To see the devastation brought by governments, religions, corporations, and despotic alliances, follow the money.
We as individuals have to resist the impulse to become victims of our own treachery that has enslaved us and our planet. We are the enslavers and the enslaved. Our narcissism and arrogance have deluded us to follow a lifeless specter of human existence. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo in Tricycle stated that “we’re gods acting like monkeys. We are standing in our own light; we don’t see who we really are” (http://www.tricycle.com/feature/no-excuses).
Our prisons are in our little minds and our little minds are very powerful and have distracted us from who we really are. We have settled for our delusion and have lost our way. The Mind that we all possess and perhaps are, transcends the self-centeredness of our little mind that is fixated on the little me.
I would like to end this post with the Gettysburg Address. I hope the irony is not lost upon you.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm.