Archive for January 30th, 2011


Wendell Phillips Monument, Boston Commons

Revolution is the only thing, the only power, that ever worked out freedom for any people.  The powers that have ruled long and learned to love ruling, will never give up that prerogative until they must, til they see the certainty of overthrow and destruction
 if they do not.
—-Wendell Phillips
I wanted to say a few words about the current political unrest spreading through the Middle East and these words from Wendell Phillips, the American abolitionist and advocate of Native Americans of the 19th century, came to mind.  These words seem to echo the root of the problem in Egypt  and in other areas where revolution is in the air.  Maybe in the US in times to come.
            In Egypt and other countries, there has been an ever expanding chasm between the haves and have-nots, with the haves possessing all the political power,  bending it to serve their wills.  They control the government and shape the laws and policies in a way that only benefits them, usually at the expense of the have-nots.  Injustice and inequality become the norm and an aristocracy is formed to lord over a growing class of the poor and oppressed.  The government which always speaks of serving the people is now only serving a select few and an anger begins to simmer at the unfairness of the situation.  A tipping point begins to materialize and nears and is finally reached.  The streets fill with the angry populace.
      Maybe this is very, very much oversimplified but it is the spine of any revolution.  I worry for the US , not for what is happening in Egypt, but for what is happening here, with a government and judiciary more and more attuned to serving the interests of the wealthiest citizens at the expense of those less affluent citizens who need the protection of our government.  We have evolved into a corporate  aristocracy, even giving the benefits (without the responsibility) of citizenship to corporations in the Citizens United ruling from the Supreme Court.  The chasm between the haves and have-nots is nearing historic proportions and in a nation of over 300 million people that was formed from revolution, those in the have camp should take heed from what is happening in the Middle East.
As Phillips also said: 
  Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection: they have many friends and few enemies.

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