Our world is what we make of it
I am not the person I used to be. At 56 years of age, I know that I am vastly different than the person I was 30, 20, even 10 years ago. I noticed that many of the emotional changes came after I started restoring my foreskin. I do not know if that is the reason for the change or just a trigger that caused me to be a different person.
One manifestation of my change is empathy. This empathy allows me to feel the shared pain and the shared elation of others. I feel the pain of the 99 percent. It does not matter that I am one of the 99%. I am human. That is all that should be necessary to care for humanity.
While reading Occupy Wall Street Tumblr posts, I discovered the following video. The Great Dictator was released before the United States entered the Second World War. It was a daring movie, considering the times. It was also Charlie Chaplin's first talkie and the last film appearance of Chaplin's Little Tramp character. The video shows the climatic monologue where Chaplin, as the Jewish barber playing the dictator, addresses the world.
Each time I watch the video, I get goose bumps.
YouTube Video: Charlie Chaplin final speech in The Great Dictator
This is the most powerful speech I have ever heard. It is just as relevant today as it was 71 years ago. Instead of a dictator, we have crony capitalism that is preventing the people, the 99 percent, from being properly represented by their government.
Here is a transcript of Charlie Chaplin's speech:
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an Emperor, that's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in.
Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery, we need humanity.
More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish.
Soldiers, don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, use you as cannon fodder.
Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers, don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.
In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written: "The kingdom of God is within man."
Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.
You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. you the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let us use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.
Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!
If only there was a leader that could make such a speech today. Sadly, all of our politicians are too closely tied to the problem. Crony capitalism and corporate welfare runs rampant within our government and among our elected officials. The one hope we had turns out to not be a leader of and for the people.
Perhaps someone, maybe inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, will someday show themselves to be a leader. We had such a leader once. In another famous speech, President Abraham Lincoln said: "It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Now is the time for a leader to step forward and lead the United States to its destiny: a country with a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Huffington Post Politics: #OccupyWallSt, Then #OccupyKSt, Then #OccupyMainSt
Deregulation of the financial markets contributed to the recent financial collapse. The conditions that lead to that collapse continue because of reluctance in the government to reinstate regulations that worked in the past.