Power of the People

 

Editor, The Chronicle

The twentieth century was the bloodiest century ever with more people killed in wars than in all of previous history.  The first two-thirds of the twentieth century also saw a burgeoning of the ideals of hope and democracy.  Here in America we saw the women’s movement in which the suffragettes began the road to the recognition of the equality of women.  We saw the heroic struggles of the working people to organize themselves into cooperative unions.  Workers demanded to be treated with dignity.  We saw the people of color rise up and demand to be respected as human beings in the civil rights movement.

Besides the spirit of democracy and equality what these movements had in common was that they were essentially non-violent.  These movements filled the streets of America with people who acted out of the best ideals of America and the gospel.  These movements eventually led to the government developing programs like Social Security which were meant to lift people up.  People began to act like they believed that ‘all men are created equal’.

Unfortunately not long after the Second World War, corporations, assisted by the ‘free’ press, began using propaganda to counteract the risks that they saw in true democracy.  Business interests were sold as being the same thing as national interests.  Churches helped keep the masses asleep by promoting the idea that some segments of the population are not worthy of God’s blessing.  The military-industrial-security complex became the governing body in this country.  The anti-war movement of the sixties was the last time that the people were able to change the direction of our rulers.

Over the past 30-40 years the powers and principalities controlling the right-wing Christian and political movement have promoted selfishness, greed, fear, and mean-spiritedness.  These are all anti-democratic and anti-Christian ideas.  Violence has become the our norm.  One quarter of all people in the world in prison are in U.S. prisons.  On the average four unarmed people are killed by the police in this country each week.  They are generally people of color.

Corporate profit is the sole governing principle of political decisions under our plantation capitalism.  Laws continue to be written to stop democratic organizations like unions from developing.  The health of our children isn’t profitable enough so is ignored.  America is the greatest armaments creator in the world from the .38 pistol to the nuclear bomb. 

The earlier voices of the people were heard when committed people literally filled the streets and stood in the way of the evil that has control of our country.  The people do not have $600 billion a year to oppose those in power but we do have our voices and our bodies.  Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown the power of the people to non-violently change chaos into community.  Only the will is needed.  True change only comes from the power of the people.   The national security governing complex and it’s world vision cannot be reformed.  It must be replaced.  (500 words)

 Larry Kerschner  POB 397  Pe Ell WA 98572