She has some basis for being concerned. She shared with me her distress over discovering that some longtime friends and even some family no longer trust her because she spoke out about the dangers of a nation being divided against itself. I find this astounding and alarming. One of the first signs of an oppressive regime occurs when the intellectuals, historians, artists, poets and journalists face discrimination for doing their job. Friends and neighbors no longer trust each other and that distrust feeds into the power of our oppressors.
Oppressive regimes are not the result of one ambitious person seizing power. One person acting alone cannot overcome all sense of social justice among the populace. Long before that one person reaches the stage of public recognition, groups of people with common interests, often from the military or the business sector or a religious sector, have infiltrated the major institutions of the country and started movements toward restricting the rights and privileges of laborers, natives and minorities.
I see many problems with your current head of state. Your president is not my biggest concern. He will do as he is told. My concern is with the big bosses. My country does not produce fossil fuels. We must import what we use. My administration started building a series of small dams to control flooding and produce hydro-electric power. We recently built a wind farm and have plans to build more. We are slowly but steadily moving toward energy self-sufficiency. This movement has already brought criticism from the oil barons who control much of the global economy. As our next election cycle approaches, I see they are supporting two candidates who will do their best to reverse that progress. How far will those big bosses go to maintain their energy domination over us? I am certain the people of my country will not have a president who represents their interests. We cannot produce a candidate who will stand up to big oil without being assassinated. We worry about being invaded for producing a little electricity. So it is in many countries. The oil industry rules us all.
What do those behind the power regimes want? Do they even know what they want? My estimate is that they want everything. Make no mistake, the leaders among the power elite are broken individuals. My wife shakes her head and says, “No mirror neurons.” Or “autism spectrum.” One has only to walk into their homes to see the brokenness. Everything is about display. Why does one want gold paint everywhere? It isn’t restful. It doesn’t follow good design principles. It is only for outward display. The art and decorations are meant for display more than bringing the viewer a sense of awe or enjoyment. One looks at lavish surroundings and wonders if anybody is home inside the owner of such a display.
I think the ruthless lust for power and wealth among the power elite is a quest to fill up the emptiness inside. That emptiness cannot be filled thus the never ending struggle to have power over as many people as possible. Denying basic necessities like clean water and health care to the population acts like heroin to the oppressor. For a few minutes the tyrant is happy as he imagines his power to impose suffering. Like heroin the rush wears off and the tyrant turns to buying an election to get his next rush, and we all pay the price.
Some places have managed to throw off the oppressors for a while at least. The difference between those countries that have had peaceful revolutions and those who have not lies in the people. In my country we knew who was behind the emperor. We knew who our friends were and who the enemy was. I don’t see this in the United States. I see divisions between neighbors and equals. I see divisions based on levels of poverty. You would think that at least the poor would stick together, but they blame each other for their poverty with no idea that they are poor in order to feed the sickness of the power elite.
I urge my US friends to think about your country and your fellow citizens. You are all subject to the whims of a sick oligarchy. It isn’t your neighbor who oppresses you. Your neighbor suffers under the same yoke as you do. There is no right or left, only the oligarchs and the oppressed. In the end, the best advise I can give is to urge you all to love your neighbor.