I have heard it said, many times, that it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees as if it means something. I hear high minded calls for liberty and justice, but never do I see it. I see people talking of justice when they mean vengeance and talk of liberty?
We buy the products of slave labor never giving it a second thought until some faddish campaign appears. So we avoid those products the fad tells us to, until we forget. All the while continuing to buy that cheap T-Shirt, that interesting gadget.
Our medicines and cosmetics are the fruit of the torture. Animals, orphans, convicts and all those others unrespected by society. Vivisected, restrained, abused through no will of their own.
I've heard it said that it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees in song, and it moved me. But I tell you this, we have been living on our knees since the moment we were born.
And those who say it? What they are really saying is die for me and my cause.
Power corrupts, there is no escape from this. There is no saying "Oh power corrupted all these other people but me? I'll use my power for good." It corrupts all from the pettiest of bureaucrats or mailing list moderators to the rulers of nations, and most of all it corrupts us.
Do not fool yourselves with protestations that we are powerless. This is a cop-out. We have power. We have power over our families, our pets, our friends, our acquaintances, our enemies. Yet more we have power over people in far away places who have done nothing to us. Our simple everyday decisions on what we buy, what we do, what we say, how we vote for has the power of life or death over millions, and yet we make these decisions without giving them a second thought. We reduce them to trite slogans.
Who among us can honestly say we have not abused power? I know I cannot. So while we may criticize and condemn our leaders, we only do so to differentiate ourselves from them. To tell ourselves that we are good and they are bad. Their faults are our own.
That is why nothing ever changes.