By Pablo Ouziel
Sentiments and opinions vary from person to person, city to city and country
to country, so one cannot attempt to frame the issue of collective
responsibility or awareness towards current affairs, without acknowledging
first, that any assumptions or conclusions made cannot in anyway capture the
sentiment of every individual in the vast world in which we cohabit.
Therefore without assuming that I know what you think, I can however share
with you what I am seeing, with the personal hope that we will all wake up
to the folly which through our collective collaboration, we are allowing our
governments, banks, corporations and the military to perpetrate.
Sooner rather than later, we must all take a deep look into ourselves,
evaluate those values which were indoctrinated into us from very early age,
through our faiths, religions, education and social interaction. Then, we
must confront our social reality and evaluate individually if our beliefs
are parallel to our reality. One cannot in any way pretend to be an old
fashion moralist, for that would be counter productive to collective
objectives. The only thing one can do is to write as a human being concerned
about our present and our future, in an attempt to find those out there who
share similar concerns and are willing to do something about it.
I am perplexed at the direction which we have unanimously accepted as the
only way forward. As we debate in our streets the need for peace, and a
healthy environment, we see daily our governments and corporations pushing
forth a rhetoric of ³justified² aggression, and we watch with arms crossed,
our corporations dilapidating the remains of our environmental heritage
without a strong enough collective of concerned citizens saying stop. Are we
too cowardly? Are our arms tied? Are we so adamant in our belief of
capitalism as a safe model of coexistence, that we do not feel we have a
right to claim the preservation of our environment and everyone¹s human
These are just a few questions which one can raise when simply observing
human interaction, the list could fill a whole book. However, what matters
here is not so much the issues which are streamed into our lives through the
effective communicative work of the mass media in all forms and with varied
of objectives, what truly matters is the stance which we take individually
and hopefully united, against the adversity which an accumulation of
destructive policies and actions are brewing in our environment. Of course,
that is a hard position to take when as a collective of people we have lost
all interest in the major issues creating destruction in our planet.
Political systems with corrupt foundations, outrageous disparity between the
wealthy and the poor, and a military establishment which everyday gains more
power to destroy and kill.
Looking at the events unravelling around us; world economies coming to a
stand still with expected millions to lose their homes across continents,
the clear misery of millions of people finding themselves involved in
current ³theatre wars², the cries of millions of people going hungry as
speculators recover the losses of the last financial bubble by speculating
on food, and the increased monitoring and surveillance which we are enduring
in order to feel safe. It seems like a good time to sit, reflect and
question the direction humanity is taking, and more importantly ask
ourselves whose interests it all serves.
If we ask ourselves that question, and we opt to unite with our neighbours
to do something about this, then our world can look very different. Let us
stand together, let us reject political systems in which only those with
corporate and media support are able to become presidents, let us force our
militaries to disarm and make their bases into museums of the folly which
humanity until the early stages of the 21st century was unable to eliminate.
Let us work together to make sure that we do not lose our homes, and our
neighbours don¹t lose their homes. Let us not accept the idea that saving
banks is the way to save our standards of living, let us use tax payer
dollars to save individuals with names and histories, not corporations whose
only history is one of accumulation of wealth while others were and are
We can accept capitalism and political corruption as the established way
forward, and through it try and solve the issues confronting society, in
hope that the next elect president will put aside his respect towards his
corporate backers and will work for the benefit of the whole of humanity. Or
we can outright denounce the very structure of the political system. We can
continue supporting the militarization of the whole world, with the obvious
increase in conflicts which this path entails, or we can collectively demand
disarmament. Something Einstein was conscious enough to suggest four days
before his death.
At the end of the day, everyone is free to reject what I am saying or to
classify it in their brain as something utopian or naïve, but one must be
honest with oneself and at least acknowledge that as a collective we do not
seem to be on the path to world peace, a healthy environment, and democratic
freedom. In fact, for those who felt democracy was the norm, dictatorships
and police states can be observed in the horizon, our environment is more
critical everyday, and wars are increasing in number and in destruction
capacity. Granted Bush should be tried for crimes against humanity, but
please let us stop dwelling on his responsibility, and let us begin to at
least question whether we might also individually be morally guilty of
crimes against humanity; for our silence, our indifference and our
acceptance of the current state of the world.
Pablo Ouziel is a Sociologist and freelance writer.