Wednesday, October 26, 2016

First they came for .....

When things get so bad that the leaders can no longer be honest with their citizens about the true state of affairs and the real causes for it, and the citizens are either too fatigued or too cynical to figure things out for themselves, a search commences for scapegoats.

Next to money, scapegoats are the mother’s milk of modern politics.

When created (and test marketed), scapegoats provide the simple, easily understood explanation of why things have gone in the crapper – and much more importantly, the simple and easily understood remedies for setting things straight. 

These remedies are about as intellectually sound as phrenology and faith-healing. But they are emotionally appealing, particularly when every government in the world now uses fear to keep the Plankton People under control.

Frightened people always have an index finger ready to point to the external causes of their woes. They’re also more likely to ignore any part they played in creating the morass and deny their involvement. 

We need to recognize that if our leaders start to play the blame game, we cannot sit back and do nothing. 

 At this time I am reminded of Martin Niemoller, 

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Now is the time to speak out, if we wait, we do so at our own peril.

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