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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Big Change

Is our nation at a turning point in history? Are the momentous events in the Arab countries, in Myanmar, and in China a prelude to a different world? Are we facing 1,000 years of peace as foretold by ancient prophets? Is the United States of America ready to face this "brave new" world?

There is no doubt in my mind that modern communication devices are responsible for the revolts and manifestations in many countries, including the U.S. Through IPhone, IPads, and smart phones in general, rebellious elements are able to be informed minute by minute where the action is and which places are to be avoided due to governmental repression. They look at their screens and witness first hand what is happening in another part of the country. They can organize "flying" teams that evaporate as soon as official troops approach. Above all, they can transmit events to the whole world through Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail, thus guaranteeing that their cause is publicized and that government lies are unmasked instantly. Public opinion counts today as it has never counted before.

In our country, with the highest number of smart phones per inhabitant, news of the "Occupy Wall Street" spread like wildfire in the western world. These events are a prelude to a new economic, financial, and political system, since the existing ones have proven to favor a small minority of wealthy citizens at the expense of the rest of the population.

A CBO report released Tuesday--just the latest in a series of studies to confirm the massive rich-poor gap--found that income for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans had exploded since 1979, by a whopping 275 percent. Meanwhile, income for the poorest 20 percent grew by just 18 percent in the same period. (Yahoo, Zachary Roth, The Look Out, Oct 26, 2011).

Politicians and rulers are completely baffled by these manifestations of the other 99% or by the oppressed peoples in Arab countries. They don't know what to do and so they invent lies:

"Mercenaries paid by foreign powers to destabilize our nation", claim some dictators. "Troublemakers and professional agitators" says the extreme right in the U.S. "Class warfare" shouts Mitt Romney. "Rebels murdered women and children", accuses the Syrian government in order to justify the massacre at Hama where 10,000 inhabitants of that town were killed.

Serious historical changes are always accompanied by pain and violence, even when the protesters behave peacefully. The reasons in different countries may appear to vary from political change to financial demands, but the underlying cause is the same: People are fed up with the existing inequality that modern capitalism has brought. They are willing, and that should scare our rulers, to go to great sacrifices in order to be heard, in order to force the changes that will improve their lives and their children's future.

The moment has come for our leaders in Washington to espouse a new vision of the future United States of America, to get our country back, as some extreme right wingers exclaim, although not the way they understand it. The present members of Congress follow mediocre leaders like sheep, without questioning the big picture, for today's decisions will determine our tomorrow. It is time for a visionary leader to step forward and restore our faith in the American Dream.

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