Saturday, December 15, 2012

What About Me? The Fiscal Cliff - It's All About Liberty

On March 23 1775, at the start of the American Revolution against British imperialism, Patrick Henry, a Scottish immigrant’s son who had failed at farming and storekeeping and found his place in law primarily because he was such a great orator, stood up in the House of Burgesses to urge Americans to fight for their freedom against Britain.
“…is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
The British had the option of saying “we have our freedom, we want to recognise yours. Let’s agree so we can both trade and flourish.” As always, the bullies in power underestimated how much liberty meant to those under their thumb. So the American Revolution happened and eventually succeeded. Britain lost weight all over the globe because of its own stupidity and greed. 

People will fight to the death when the stakes are that high for them. That they have to when the outcome is cast in stone is the great tragedy of being human. Those who are on a power roll just haven’t learned yet that the spirit’s need for respect and understanding, equality, true liberty, is mightier than any armed force. It will find a way. 

It’s also mightier than any propaganda. Mightier than prejudice and fear. To people who have moved beyond resorting to violence and bullying to forge their destinies liberty is about the right to a certain quality of life free from exploitation, to experiencing love and respect, being able to earn decently for the work they do. It’s just as important as when your life is actually at stake. 

In societies when the value systems that are clashing are about accountability with one sector being willing to be accountable but sick of being exploited and the other refusing to be accountable at all and playing the rationalisation game, there may not be any guns drawn or aligning of tanks in the streets, but liberty is still being fought for.