In his essay, “Neither Victim nor Executioners,” Albert Camus spoke of a “conspiracy of silence” bred of fear. I would put an end to that. Camus states: “The years we have just gone through have killed something in us. And that something is simply the old confidence man had in himself, which led him to believe that he could always elicit human reactions from another man if he spoke to him in the language of a common humanity. We have seen men lie, degrade, kill, deport, torture – and each time it was not possible to persuade them not to do these things because they were sure of themselves and because one cannot appeal to an abstraction, i.e. the representative of an ideology.” I want to appeal to that abstraction, I want to appeal to the representatives of ideologies, I want to reason with those, who in their certainty, cannot be reasoned with, and I want to assure them that if they will not reason, if they will not heed the appeals of common humanity, they will be brought down.
I am not as arrogant as to believe that I can do this single-handedly or with my own tongue, pen, or cursor. I will need help. So I appeal to you, my reader, in the language of common humanity, help me to put an end to the tyranny under which we all live. Let us take the next step in human evolution and kill in ourselves that which drives us to kill the body and/or spirit of others. Let us learn, as a species, to be compassionate toward all life; for only by realizing the value of life in all its manifestations are we able to truly appreciate the beauty in one another.
We are at a cross-road. Never in human history have we faced the challenges we confront today. Our water and air are being poisoned. Our fellow species are becoming extinct. Because of our intellect and adaptability, we may last a little longer, but of this you may be certain, man cannot exist without air and water.
What of the American Dream? Three cars, two mansions, and a partridge in a pear tree. What about me? My TV sets? My endless and excessive consumption that proclaims to all, echoing from the mountain tops, through the concrete valleys of the cities “I HAVE EXCELLENT CREDIT! I AM OF VALUE!”
I AM NOT A CONSUMER – I AM A HUMAN BEING!!!
Recently, I was invited to a website to sign petitions. I signed over one hundred petitions, took numerous pledges, sent emails to congressmen and women who dutifully had their interns send me form letters thanking me for my concern and assuring me they were working diligently to resolve, rectify, or whatever else they do up on the hill, and that I should feel good about myself for my feeble attempt and fade back into oblivion with my absolved conscience. After which, they most likely enjoyed dinner with the CEO of GM, Wal-Mart or Exxon and planned the next “Great Society.”
There are those who say Humankind is beyond redemption, and therefore justify taking no action. Less than that, they choose not even to think about it. I’ll say that again: “they choose not even to think about it.”
Part of the problem is we are looking for a savior. We leave it to Congress, the President, or some absent deity to solve our problems. “I voted for one of the two candidates I was allowed to vote for. I did my part,” and/or “I pray about it, drop some money in the basket, and. . .”
I know this to be true and, if you look deep within, you must come to the same conclusion: “unless we change what we are doing and how we are doing it, nothing will ever change.” It is a simple business concept we can all learn from: “find what works and repeat it.” Contra wise, “if it doesn’t work, stop doing it.”
Religion is no longer the primary means of controlling the hearts and minds of everyday people in the United States. Every time someone wants a new liberty or doesn’t like the rules of a religion, they start their own. Fear is the new opiate of the masses. Fear of terrorists, fear of death, fear of pain, fear of poverty, fear of looking foolish. Guess what – the lesson of Gitmo’s illegal detentions is not lost upon the American people. Gitmo’s example is not a threat to the terrorists; it is a threat to us, everyday thinking people. If we can be arrested and detained without due process, if the government can torture with impunity under the protection of a declaration of eternal war (War on Terror), and the so-called PATRIOT Act, which citizen, in his or her right mind, will stand up and say something that might get him/her “extraordinarily rendered” (whatever that means – I speculate it is Governmentese for “Kidnapping Innocent Civilians”) to Egypt or Afghanistan to have done to them whatever went on in all those gruesome pictures of Abu Garib, and to never see their loved ones again? Meanwhile, Halliburton and Exxon reap profits the likes of which have never been seen in Human history and complain about paying—or find ways not to pay—taxes.
Corporations must no longer possess the rights and privileges of citizens. A corporation is not a human. Further, when corporations act in a manner that is destructive to the environment, when in their fevered obsession with profits they kill or harm a single human being or destroy a lake or rain forest, the people responsible for the policies that caused such misfortune must be brought to justice in a manner that reflects the gravity of their transgression and must be sentenced accordingly. My guess is we will see a quick end to the death penalty.
THIS MUST END! WE MUST END IT! I do not believe in violence and will never advocate its use. However, that being said, RESOLUTION is a pen stroke away from REVOLUTION and I am putting the government and corporations on notice: We are sick and tired of the world you are creating and we will have a say.
We will have the final say.
We will not ask for it. We will demand it.
hoc opus, hic labor est
Erik F. Kreis