THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 562, March 21, 2010
"I'd had better hopes for America."
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
The other day while driving to work I saw a dog get hit on the freeway. It never stood a chance, AM traffic rushes and dogs aren't a good combination. Because I had to watch the road I couldn't look away. I think it was too fast for the mutt to suffer.
I'm tenderhearted, chickenshit if you prefer. So excuse me if I turn this into a parable to sublimate the memory.
Tyrants need people to look the other way. They are helped by the fact that people want to look away. Thousands of Americans looked away from the mistreatment of African Americans (among other minorities) because they didn't want to see what was happening. We (and yes I do mean we) were benefiting from the social order thus created (did you know that back in the middle part of the Twentieth Century Chicano Texans averaged less education than African Americans yet achieved greater average economic success? Way discrimination worked out at the time.). We don't want to see the price someone else is paying.
Only one day we can't look away. Patton liberated concentration camps and had to provide medical service and food to try to save the lives of as many of the prisoners as he could. People saw the bodies of lynched Black men in the South and had to cut them down and bury them. People saw Mrs. Weaver murdered by Ron Horiuchi and had to remember on election day.
Something happened and like it or not we couldn't look away.We wanted to, but we had a job to do and we had to see the atrocity happen in front of our eyes because we couldn't look away without getting ourselves and others killed.
The tyrants bank that we will look away, that we want to look away. Only sometimes we can't. And sometimes we have no choice but to resist and rebel against the tyrants.
Not much you can do about a stupid dog trying to run across the freeway during rush hour. There is a bit more you can do about tyranny, whether it is based on bigotry, political ideology, greed and venality or just plain original sin. But you have to look and see that it is happening.
Tyrants have nightmares about this.