|Scarlet pimpernels from down by our pond|
Storm Is Coming
As a kid I was enthralled with the French Revolution. I read “A Tale of Two Cities” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel” over and over, and the one element that captivated my attention, was the sheer savagery that the French peasants unleashed upon the Aristocracy.
The public executions via Madame Guillotine, the chilling portrayal of old hags cackling with delight every time the blade trimmed another patrician down a hair or two, and the methodical butchering of those who had called the shots for so long, left me with a vivid impression of man’s inhumanity to man.
How much pain must the peasants have endured, and how many ways must the Aristocracy have found to crush the spirit right out of the populace, until such time that it rose up? If you crush grapes, and allow that which is extracted to ferment, you create a powerful mixture.
If you crush the spirit out of a population, what is squeezed out also ferments over time, and when conditions get so miserable as to produce a reaction, the resulting concoction is a thing of horror.
With fifty million Americans living at-or near-the poverty level, there is vast potential for a mixture that will make Jim Jones’s Kool-Aid atrocity seem like a pre-schooler’s tea party for dolls only.
I posted a meme recently, which told the sordid story in 111 words, of what has gone wrong in this country. It goes like this:
“For nearly 50 years, as our country got richer, our families got richer, and our country got richer.
And then about 30 years ago, our country moved in a different direction. New leadership attacked wages. They attacked pensions. They attacked unions. And now we find ourselves in a very different world from the one our parents and grandparents built.
We are now in a world in which the rich skim more off the top in taxes and special deals, and they leave less and less for our schools, for roads and bridges, for medical research—and less to build a future.” Elizabeth Warren
Regardless of numbers, a populace that has had the spirit crushed out of it for too long a period of time, will correspondingly react with volatile finality. “Heads Will Roll” will become more than just the title of a popular song. Fifty million pissed off people can create a lot of havoc.
Fifty million people living in abject poverty, mom and dad both working, daycare costs rapidly draining an already meager income, latch-key kids functioning on their own with just enough Captain Crunch to get them through until the next day, it’s all adding up.
Too many people living off the shelves of Walmart, the cancer rate rising prodigiously, medication costs hiked to exorbitant prices, people desperate to provide needed health care for elderly and kids, something has got to give.
Did you know that 27 major corporations paid no taxes in 2015? How is this even possible? The tax laws are skillfully crafted to benefit the wealthy and the folks in charge of perpetuating this travesty, are the same folks who voted these laws into being in the first place.
Anyone who thinks we still live in a democracy, is fooling himself. Oligarchy is a weird word that describes perfectly what we actually have: a small group (one percent) of individuals who control the rest.
If we had a democracy, then the candidate who just surpassed her opponent by two million votes, would now be President. Unfortunately, money is power and those with the money are going to have the power. That is, until the fifty million people at-or-near-the poverty level decide to take matters into their own hands.
Oh yes, they will remember and when the match is lit to the fuse which dangles so provocatively, the resulting explosion will result in a new order, one in which the concept of white supremacy will be just as repugnant as it was back in 1945.
They say history repeats itself because people don’t learn the first time, and I guess they must be right. Whereas I used to wonder how Adolph Hitler could rise to power, now I know.
Get enough folks from one segment of the poor, under-educated mass, to think it is better than another segment of under-educated mass, and you have the perfect setting. In this case, there was obviously no problem figuring out what the two sides were: racists versus the rest of us.
The racists won, electing a man who has openly spewed hatred and bigotry throughout his campaign (and life), and now this man is stacking the deck against people of color, and ANYONE who is not white, “normal” and just like everyone else.
White supremacy, as abhorrent of a concept as has ever been conceived of, will come up on the short end of the stick, just as it has done so in the past. The forces that are aligning themselves on the White House Cabinet, even as I prattle on, will only get so far before the stuff hits the fan.
Attempt to squash diversity, try to crush multiculturalism and keep shooting salvos of bleach, like so many salvos of frozen ice water being blasted into peaceful Water Protectors, amongst the general population, and the general population will eventually get fed up.
That we have regressed to this point is frightening because the control in firmly in the hands of those who have no plans to relinquish it. They pay no taxes, they hoard their money in sick fashion, and they refuse to acknowledge that the wealthy have a responsibility to pay for their entitlement.
They have billions and begrudge a fair wage; they have billions and yet charge exorbitant prices for life-preserving medicine; they have billions and yet they want more.
And they are going to get it, more than even the French Aristocrats got, because methods of extermination are so much ore effective. Just ask the survivors of Auschwitz.