We should have learned these lessons by now - we are heading into a very dangerous place
There is something bigger, hidden yet obvious, happening in our world today and we need to wake up to it. Two things actually; Firstly, the issues around Pollution, climate change and over-population and secondly and perhaps more sinister, the question of "the haves" and the "have nots".
We all are, or at least should be aware of the self-inflicted problems humans are causing the planet Earth in terms of Pollution, climate change and over-population. There are deniers, but they are just in denial and have to be regarded as the equivalent of the flat earth society. They are ridiculous. It is the same as the smokers and the tobacco industry trying to defend smoking. They are both self-invested in smoking, one side from being hooked on a drug and the other from greed and profit. Yet it has been proved beyond any doubt that smoking hastens the demise of millions of lives. As Oscar wild described hunting; "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable." So these climate change deniers could be seen as the "indefensible attacking the undeniable."
If we want to change, we can get change! But to do so - we have to vote in people who will change laws that encourage and demand change. If we don't vote these people in, then change will not happen or only happen too slowly. In other words; if enough people demand change - it will happen. This speed of change is down to individuals - you and me.
Turning to the "Have's" and "Have nots" - This, as I said, is more sinister.
When people feel unheard, forgotten or threatened, they tend to form into like-minded groups and petition for change. Re-enforced by each other's fears, they will identify in their minds what it is that they are afraid of. Usually, as with many fears, it is something imagined. Never-the-less, when the fear - whatever that fear is, can be turned into something tangible and identifiable; that moment marks the beginning of persecution.
Be it individuals or groups, religions or cultures, Skin colour or education. The bias, prejudice and hostile fears are whipped up, and ugly consequences follow.
History is littered with examples of this type of behaviour, dating back thousands of years through to our recent and even present times. It is the foundation of Lynchings and mob rule. It is trying to destroy any single person or group who is seen as a threat. To ridicule or demonise peoples differences.
In 64 AD Emperor Nero persecuted Christians. 1478 marked the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition when hundreds of Jews, Muslims and protestants who could not prove they were Roman Catholics were either expelled or burned alive in front of crowds of people. In 1933 the Nazi Party started the process of what we understand now as the Holocaust. The Jim Crow laws that came into being in the late 19th, early 20th-century, segregating Blacks and Whites in the Southern States of the USA. And that gave rise to the Ku Klux Clan. Or how the British treated the Aboriginals in Australia or the Africannas treated Black South Africans. The rise of Pol-pot in Cambodia through to the genocide the world has witnessed too many times. Most recently by Isis murdering the Yazidis and the indiscriminate butchering of the Rohingyas by the Burmese authorities.
So persecution is nothing new, and despite the condemnation, we pour on people and regimes that continue to persecute - if the world at large hides from it, or takes no affirmative action, thus turning a blind eye, they are by default condoning it. It is not just the break-down of law; it is the suspension of civilisation as we know it. And that is why whenever we witness persecution in any form, we should stand up to it and fight it with all that is in us.
Two things hit me; one - why do we put up with leaders who are meant to lead, but rather persecute those who have the temerity to disagree with them? Secondly, the world has to address the disparity amongst the behaviour of the very richest and the very poorest.
Do the wealthiest expect that they can cower the poorest into submission and develop a two-tier human race?
I am a democratic capitalist - but it only works if there is an equal opportunity and if the richest look after the poorest, if the strongest defend the weakest and the cleverest watch out for the neediest.
If civilisation means anything, it is surely about listening, moving forward together and building trust in each other.
With the power of the internet and social media in full swing - one hoped this would create the opportunity to further the spread of information and trust. Alas, it also seems to spread, more than ever, disinformation and thus, further distrust. One example, in particular, comes to mind.
We have to be strong and shine a light on wherever we see persecution and call out the bullies - and hold them accountable for their actions. We have to pick up the mantle of what it means to be a human being - we have to learn to listen to others, learn to empathise, to make the arguments and win them with compassion.
Not all is lost by any means - but unless we find the courage to vote for what is right for everyone - opposed to being motivated into voting for our own personal avarice. Unless we start electing leaders who have a strong moral compass, the human race, our children and grandchildren will be heading into a dark world where civilisation could be absent.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 9th February - 2020