Mans inhumanity to man seems never-ending.
As do the excuses that enable it. It cuts across all races and nationalities and religions. Despite all of the true and noble words that have been written, despite codes and laws and edicts and commandments. At the first sign of trouble at the drop of a hat, at the slightest excuse all of the good intentions and all of the eons of philosophy and religion are thrown out the window and slaughter begins anew. From Hammurabi onward we make laws and rules for ourself….which we promptly and fervently ignore or rationalize into meaninglessness as soon as the collective ‘we’ feels threatened.
Then the atrocities begin again.
As they have in Burma.
All that we allegedly hold sacred and true is discarded. All the lofty ideals under which we seek to live are thrown on the ash heap and once again the savagery that underlies the ideals emerges. Again and again humans organize into groups, identify as a group, form laws as a group….and then violate those laws….both secular and religious….when another group SEEMS to threaten us. OUR group being threatened somehow translates into a justification to throw out all we believe, and revert to being mindless savages capable of the worst humanity has to offer.
You cannot ask for a better illustration of this than the situation in Burma.
I by no means claim to be an expert or even have much knowledge of Burma, but really, I don’t need much. The story in its basic form has repeated itself again and again in our species history. Men greedy for power and riches seize it by force. No matter what intentions or lofty ideals and pronouncements they espouse, they use this power to exploit those they have power over to enrich themselves. Greed leads to more greed, power is an appetite that cannot be slaked. Men in power feel invincible, all knowing and completely justified in whatever actions they are ‘forced’ to take to maintain their power.
In Burma, in some ways, this has reached its peak. And the world as a whole, in some ways has reached its deepest valley.
Not because of the numbers involved, but because of the unique circumstance of WHO is being gunned down, beaten, arrested and tortured. As I say I am no expert on Burma. But as I understand it, Buddhism is the national religion. The monks are revered and accepted as an important part of society and the national character.
They are considered non-political…despite what the oppressors might have us believe. The monks did not rise up at the head of The People for political reasons. They rose up at the head of The People because the people were suffering. The monks were not suffering. They heard the cries of The People. People living in abject poverty while the men who had seized power sold their nation out from under them to enrich themselves….and the corporations that conspire with them to rape yet another nation of its natural resources.
But the identity and purpose of those who oppose the make no difference to the men who are protecting their power.
The religion they all grew up paying respect to made no difference to the men who are protecting their power.
The opinion of the world made no difference the men who are protecting their power.
Humanity and decency and codes an laws made no difference the men who are protecting their power.
Their greed and power trumped absolutely everything….and they beat and imprisoned and shot down in the streets ANYONE who opposed them.
They slaughtered the monks of their own religion. They defiled the temples where they had grown up worshiping and learning a religion of peace.
All for money.
All for power.
All for greed.
And no one stopped them.
And no one has stopped them yet.
The headline today:
UN bid to resolve Burma crisis ‘has failed’
The world….The People of the world….stand helpless. As forces larger than them have their way with justice, humanity, decency, the rule of law…and the sanctity of human life.
We stand helpless as the the government of our own nation and the government of China, the two nations who profit most, weakly mouth token protest.
Six and a half billion human beings stand helpless while holy men, men of peace are gunned down in the interest of an incredibly small (relatively speaking) number of men who are willing to kill MONKS for profit.
Six and a half billion people stand helpless while corporations like Chevron/Unocal essentially PAY for this to happen. As the corporate oligarchy buys or steals or murders to gain control of the resources of OUR world, in the course of …..making money for their stock holders.
Six and a half billion people scattered across the globe watch in helpless fury as everything we have been taught is good and right and sacred and holy is violated…as monks are gunned down, as a Nobel Peace Prize winner is held hostage, as in America torture is legalized and aggressive wars are praised. As in Africa millions starve or are murdered and raped and mutilated.
We stand in helpless fury as a few evil….and at this point there is no other word for it…..evil men, in the guise of corporations or countries, lead the world back into savagery and mindless barbarism and slaughter…all in the name of profit. All in the name of greed.
But are we truly helpless? For all of the eons of oppression and barbarity the average person, the good people have been isolated, cut off from each other by the few men with guns and greed on their side. But we are now entering an era when we, for the first time are isolated no more. Through the technology over which you are reading these words, we….The People…for the first time in human history, have a way to unite. To speak out en masse against those who would subjugate us for the sake of their own greed. We are in the nascent stages of a time when we can….not through guns or violence, but with our voices….say no. No more.
Mao said Political power comes from the barrel of a gun. But you simply cannot gun down six and a half billion people. Political power from the barrel of a gun is a short term local solution. It cannot work globally.
Someone said the pen is mightier than the sword. And this….other than the spasms we see today in Darfur and Burma and Iraq….is true. All of the advances we have made towards civilization and peace have come through the Voice of Humanity. Through words…through the pen.
Now we have a chance …the means at least, to make that Voice louder than ever before. There will be more spasms, there will be more evil….
But as the Voice of the People becomes more and more united and as the sunlight of truth shines into the dark places that humanity tries to hide from itself, We The People finally have a chance, a means, a tool, to stand up and say no. We are not there yet….but as blogs around the world unite and stand in solidarity in support of The People of Burma today, we are creating this reality as we speak.
Our Voice WILL be heard….and will only grow stronger. This is our pen….and it is indeed mightier than all the swords arrayed against us.
They have the guns….but we have the numbers….and now a voice to yell with…to yell NO with. NO to the slaughter in Burma. NO to the slaughter in Africa. No to the slaughter in Iraq.