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Feb
17

No Dissent Allowed

But unlike the intimate groups of the prior two fund raisers, these attendees got no access. Their hundred bucks just gave them an opportunity to see him on stage in the distance, and later, some of them got to shake his hand. That’s all the hoi polloi got. Nevertheless, they gave him rousing applause. But when a couple of people did speak up against him and made their way down the aisle, they were promptly removed—not arrested and not shot, just thrown out. No dissent allowed. Link

No dissent allowed.

I have seen an even dozen examples of this in the past week from a wide spectrum of people on Google Plus.

I am critical of our owners. They make mistakes and need to be held to account. I am critical of the tools of social control that they use. They are dishonest at best and they are being used to their fullest in the run up to some more war for the benefit of the few at the top. I am critical of the people who allow this to go on and either say nothing or say something along the lines of “My nation, right or wrong”, “Why don’t you go somewhere else if you don’t like it here” or “god wants it that way”.

I dissent. It is what I do. But there is a reason for it.

I want people to think. I want them to think about their assumptions. I want them to question things, especially their assumptions and to spend time and effort to think about what their leaders are doing. Not to focus on what they are saying, what they are doing. Not intentions, actions and results. That is the only way I can see for us all, collectively, to get out of the predicament that we have created.

I believe in liberty. I believe in democracy. I believe that we are born with human rights, that they are not conferred on us by governments. I believe that people are naturally good, that we share by default, that we must learn to be greedy. I believe that given a chance the normal people of the world could make it a better place. Not the exceptional, not the gifted and most especially not the psychopaths. The normal people have it in them to run this asylum in a much more human manner. But the only way to achieve this as a goal is to get people involved in the process, to get them to engage.

So I provoke. I go out of my way to offend with the bits of reality I dredge up from the Internet. I try to provoke people to stand up for what they believe, to articulate it, to explain it to me and to themselves. Too much of what we regurgitate is simply what has been fed to us all our lives. That needs to change.

So I will dissent and piss off if you can’t handle it. I want you to argue for what you believe. And it is not good enough to hit me with “this is the bestest ever country so nothing can be improved and you should leave if you don’t like it.” Why would I want to leave when I can stay and try to make it better? Did the people of the civil rights movement leave? The feminists? The anti-Vietnam activists? No, they didn’t. They died in the streets speaking truth to power and made this world a better place to live. The were assassinated, they were beaten, they were ridiculed but they did not leave. They fought power for what they believed in and made incremental improvements for everyone. The Pollyanna attitude that this is the greatest place on Earth and no criticism, *no dissent* is allowed has got to go.

We may be the best of a bad lot, I will give you that much. But we need to *think* about how we are going to address the future for our children, the planet and for all of humanity. And having done the work, we need to speak out. We *all* need to dissent. Until there is no more war, no more hunger, no more devastation of lives and ecosystems around this small, precious marble we call home.

As it ever was…

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