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Really great speech
  • YasmineYasmine October 2011 +1 -1
    "We Americans tend to see class status as a function of individual effort. Some have “made good,” so you assume that anybody can. That view is simplistic and naive. It assumes that everyone has equal opportunity, when in fact, in America just as in Mexico, the rich and powerful strive and contrive to hold on to their money and their power and to increase it.

    They do so by systematically eliminating competi­tion, by institutionally minimizing true opportunity, and by collectively controlling the flow and the growth of wealth.

    This they accomplish through all manner of devices, from unfair labor practices which exploit the masses of the world’s poor to good-old-boy network competitive practices which minimize (and all but destroy) a new­comer’s chances of entering the Inner Circle of the successful.

    They then seek to control public policy and govern­mental programs around the world to further ensure that the masses of people remain regulated, controlled, and subservient.

    In most cases it isn’t rich individuals who do it; it’s the social systems and institutions they represent. Those systems and institutions were created by the rich and powerful—and it is the rich and powerful who continue to support them.

    By standing behind such social systems and institu­tions, individuals can wash their hands of any personal responsibility for the conditions which oppress the masses while favoring the rich and powerful.

    The point is that it is the rich and powerful who support such social structures and staunchly resist any real effort to change them. They stand against any political or economic approach which seeks to provide true opportunity and genuine dignity to all people.

    Most of the rich and powerful, taken individually, are certainly nice enough people, with as much compassion and sympathy as anyone. But mention a concept as threatening to them as yearly income limits (even ridicu­lously high limits, such as $25 million annually), and they start whining about usurpation of individual rights, ero­sion of the “American way,” and “lost incentives.”

    Yet what about the right of all people to live in minimally decent surroundings, with enough food to keep from starving, enough clothing to stay warm? What about the right of people everywhere to have adequate health care—the right not to have to suffer or die from relatively minor medical complications which those with money overcome with the snap of a finger?

    The resources of your planet—including the fruits of the labors of the masses of the indescribably poor who are continually and systematically exploited—belong to all the world’s people, not just those who are rich and powerful enough to do the exploiting.


    And here is how the exploitation works: Your rich industrialists go into a country or an area where there is no work at all, where the people are destitute, where there is abject poverty. The rich set up a factory there, offering those poor people jobs—sometimes 10-, 12-, and 14-hour-a-day jobs—at substandard, if not to say subhuman, wages. Not enough, mind you, to allow those workers to escape their rat-infested villages, but just enough to let them live that way, as opposed to having no food or shelter at all.

    And when they are called on it, these capitalists say, “Hey, they’ve got it better than before, don’t they? We’ve improved their lot! The people are taking the jobs, aren’t they? Why, we’ve brought them opportu­nity! And we’re taking all the risk!”

    Yet how much risk is there in paying people 75 cents an hour to manufacture sneakers which are going to sell for $125 a pair?



    Is this risk-taking or exploitation, pure and simple?

    Such a system of rank obscenity could exist only in a world motivated by greed, where profit margin, not human dignity, is the first consideration.

    Those who say that “relative to the standards in their society, those peasants are doing wonderfully!” are hypocrites of the first order. They would throw a drown­ing man a rope, but refuse to pull him to shore. Then they would brag that a rope is better than a rock.

    Rather than raising the people to true dignity, these “haves” give the world’s “have-nots” just enough to make them dependent—but not enough to ever make them truly powerful. For people of true economic power have the ability to then impact, and not merely be subject to, “the system.” And that’s the last thing the creators of the system want!

    So the conspiracy continues. And for most of the rich and powerful it is not a conspiracy of action, but a conspiracy of silence.

    So go now—go your way—and by all means say nothing about the obscenity of a socioeconomic system which rewards a corporate executive with a 70-million-dollar bonus for increasing sales of a soft drink, while 70 million people can’t afford the luxury of drinking the stuff—much less eating enough to stay healthy.

    Don’t see the obscenity of it. Call this the world’s Free Market Economy, and tell everyone how proud you are of it.

    Yet it is written:

    If thou wilt be perfect,

    go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor,

    and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.

    But when the young man heard this, he went away,

    sorrowful,

    for he had great possessions."

    -Walsch