Getting in Trouble

I hadn’t been using my blog because I was afraid to, afraid of what would happen if I wrote about what I was thinking. When I was 18 I used to write about getting tattoos and making money to get tattoos. These days I write about the atrocities committed by the American Empire both locally and globally, I write in protest to a system so corrupted by power that its current course is set on destroying all life as we know it.

I could get in trouble for this. Theoretically of course I shouldn’t, theoretically this is a “free society”, but as I sit here at my laptop in my studio apartment, I can’t help but feel a kindred spirit towards Winston Smith, in the corner of his apartment, writing in his diary.

Well my diary is public, on a constant chain of commits which are published to the world and sent through all sorts of signal processing systems. Big Brother has been watching for decades, and we all know it, and we’re terrified by it.

But what’s the worst that could happen to me? Well a lot of things really, as the US government no longer seems to follow any human rights laws and has completely undermined my rights to a trial as a non-citizen, a lot of horrible things could happen to me.

But I’ve had a really good life, even if I have gotten in trouble a lot. I’ve never lived a life of someone in a country like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or Pakistan. I’ll never have to go through the torture of raising two children who are scared of the blue skies because they know that’s when the Americans send the drones, to drop bombs on them, to save them from terror, to bring them democracy, to give them freedom.

So I’m going to keep speaking up, I’m going to keep telling people that the only way this changes is if they get engaged in their community, is if they press on their government to change. People need to get out into the streets, as they’re doing more and more, they need to demand change, they need to walk out of their jobs, they need to scare their government, they need to stop the machine, in the words of Mario Savio.

There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

Mario Savio

You have a choice, as a member of this species, whether you’re a citizen of America or one of its ally countries, you have a choice about how you respond to this power. You can continue to consume daily, distracting yourself from the pain and suffering this system fills you with, or you can speak up.

You don’t have to speak up in a public sphere, you can keep your comments local and raise your concerns about an unjust society to people in your community, help others who are helping people in your local world to make things better around you.

If you’re feeling up to it, you can talk to your local members of power, business owners, mayors, counselors, even governors.

Most importantly you can interact with your government, engage in voting, take time to understand candidates and share that information with your friends, help others understand the issues and work for change.

But you have to speak up, you have to say that enough is enough, this machine which the American people are no longer in control of is threatening the futures of their children, and children in other countries. The American Empire needs to be stopped, it needs to become the American People’s Government, before it kills all people.

Speak up, speak truth to power, get in trouble; but more importantly love, protect, and help each other.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

The Great Dictator - Charlie Chaplin