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The WMail Newsletter Essays
Volume III - Issue #25: July 2002

"Injustice For All"

        My twenty-pound Webster's definition of 'justice' gives "unprejudiced adjudication of conflicting interests on the basis of legal or moral principles", and also refers to 'equitableness', which means "dealing fairly and equally with all concerned". Such is the ideal, but the extant circumstances around the world are not that. [The Online Merriam-Webster defines 'injustice' as "violation of right or of the rights of another".]

        Since time immemorial, the Overlords of every society, every era, have done their best to rape and pillage the economy, to extort blind obedience and unearned wealth, giving nothing of value in return. From Kremlin politicians to feudal warlords to Mafia dons and pinstriped bankers, the game of the Culture-Structure is to leave the average citizen with less and to take more and more. I may sound like a broken record, but the Oligarchy has increased their ownership of everything in America by 40 percent in the last 15 years – and the loss has been borne by the citizenry, from top to bottom.

        The forty-hour workweek, the hard-won prize of organized labor in the last century, is a distant memory. Saving for retirement is impossible. One-third of Americans live below the Poverty Line: if you make less than $27,000 per annum in gross wages in America, you are living in poverty. (To make that easier to compare, the figure is $520 a week gross, or $13.00 per hour – the Federal minimum wage is 40 percent of the Poverty Line hourly wage, folks!)
        There is no way out from under the present system, the Culture-Structure that runs the world for the Oligarchy. If you work a forty-hour week, you suffer a life of physical and moral poverty – no extras, no promotions, last to get a raise, first to get 'down-sized'. If you work your ass off and strive to get ahead, by working more hours for the same pay, then you are destined for a life of stress and self-loathing and an early grave.

        There is nothing equitable in the absence of the right of every Individual to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" in America today. In other countries, there is not even the pretense that this Ideal is available.

*          *          *          *

        Very few of you who read this were taught in school about 'The Four Freedoms' voiced by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in his State of The Union Address of 6 January 1941. Raise your hand if you heard of them. No? Stand very tall if you can name all four.
        The Culture-Structure seems to have omitted teaching you about the most basic of Freedoms, which F.D.R. said are deserved by all of Mankind. Omitted, just like that. Are you shocked and surprised? Not if you've been paying attention to prior issues of WMail.

        F.D.R.'s definition of the Four Freedoms preceded the Attack on Pearl Harbor by almost a year, but his Stand caught the attention of the Press and of a nation expecting to be embroiled in the war that had already begun in Europe and in Asia. The citizens of America were concerned enough to listen to the speech in its entirety, and to F.D.R.'s many radio broadcasts. [How many of you listen to the weekly Presidential speech every Saturday morning?]
        Posters of the Four Freedoms were painted by illustrator Norman Rockwell [1894-1978] and distributed all around, and World War II was fought – in part – in behalf of F.D.R.'s promise that all the peoples of the world deserved to live under governments committed to:
   ** Freedom of speech and expression;
   ** Freedom of every person to worship in his own way;
   ** Freedom from want;
   ** and Freedom from fear.

[The full text of the speech can of course be found online: Four Freedoms speech entry at Wikipedia]

*          *          *          *

        Do you participate in reasoned discourse? Do you even vote in elections? Access to political decision-making is so removed from the U.S. population – the "free-est" country in the world, we are told – that two-thirds to three-quarters do NOT vote at all, having given up. To do this is to give the Oligarchy and the Culture-Structure free rein [or is it 'free reign'?] which is exactly their intention.
        The unconscious knowledge of this denial of access takes the low-grade form of grumbling, though some idiots get righteous and attempt violence against the Big, Bad Guvvermint, but that too is an act that furthers the intention of the Oligarchy, the Overlords: a few terrorists will never bring down the Official Government, and since the fools who advocate violence have no idea of the existence of the real source of the loss of Freedom, the Oligarchy is entirely safe.
        Terrorism just makes more fear, which the Oligarchy observes with glee.

        Where exactly are any of you expressed? On the internet? Well, they are working to stop that. Not by your Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt – that is an expression of him! Not by your selection of entertainment, that is the activity of a consumer, not the expression of an Individual. Not even by the occasional Letter to Ye Editor – though that does feel like an accomplishment when you see your gem in print. How many of you have actually mailed one off in the last year, and how many got printed? How many such Letters were sent but NOT printed compared to the few that see publication? Do you even read the Letters Page? Do you even read a newspaper or newsmagazine?

*          *          *          *

        (It is best to redefine this from an Objectivist standpoint as "Freedom of every person to worship [a deity] in his own way [or not]".)
     I will speak more about this in next month's issue. But the Freedom part of it is non-existent in America, where the Constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state is under attack once again, and worse in so many countries where the church and the state are one and the same.
        Go ahead: Quote Ayn Rand on the subject of religion. Afraid to? Then you have no Freedom.
        The Unwritten Law holds that you dare not discuss politics or religion or economics or sexuality, whether at work or at home, whether with family or neighbors or strangers. Objective Reason requires discussion of these matters, Ayn Rand said philosophy is necessary, so the practice of Objectivism is in direct opposition to the Unwritten Law of Status Quo.
        Try this at work one day: Ask the folks you usually go out to lunch with, or sit in the lunchroom with, to expound on their religious beliefs. If this is done right, the sparks will fly; even the heated argument about your right to initiate such a discussion will be a wonderful result, for the Status Quo will have revealed itself. If you actually get the discussion started, then irrationality must lead to force, the only defense is more irrationality – "cuz the Bible / Quran / Veda-Sutra says so, dammit!" – but that is okay. This ugliness was always there, is there anyway, it is just revealed for all to see, as the inevitable result of anti-Reason belief systems.

*          *          *          *

        One third of the population in the U.S.A. – grandest nation ever brought forth on this Earth – live on income BELOW the Poverty Line. If you make less than $13.00 per hour gross wages, then wanting to have a family will still not get you there, it is economically forbidden. Want to succeed? Go into debt to the Oligarchy: college tuition is $15,000 to $20,000 a year at state institutions, more among the hallowed 'meal-ticket' Ivy League schools. Got two kids? One third of the population can't even afford to let the kids graduate from high school, they are turned out to make it on their own, to feed themselves, cuz Papa and-or Mama work two jobs to pay off the never-ending consumer debt, and they're getting old and tired and they let the life insurance lapse to pay off the medical bills, cuz there's never enough money for even the basics like an education.
        And even if the kids do graduate from high school, half of them are illiterate anyway and can at best hope for minimum-wage drudgery, with no benefits because the Oligarchy busted the unions back in the 1980's, and they can expect to spend their entire lives wanting what is kept from them: honest, ethical employment at a rate of pay above the Poverty Line, so they can choose a mate and provide for a family and get them educated and see them live a better future than we have now, maybe even be able to take the weekend off and relax a little in the back yard and experience even a temporary Freedom From Want.

*          *          *          *

        The unavoidable climate of fear that modern life entails has gotten stronger over the last several decades. The Attack of 9-11-01 is just the icing on the cake for the Oligarchy. You cannot afford to rock the boat, to push against the status quo, to Speak Up For What You Want, for the return of the lost Four Freedoms, to make whoever is running the country and the economy and your employer keep all their promises. You are afraid to be an Individual, and to demand your Rights Under The Constitution. No deeply-in-debt consumer can afford to take any kind of Stand, for anyone who speaks out could lose their job and then the Oligarchy has you by the balls.
        And aside from the political/philosophical arena, you are afraid to leave your house. Since 9-11-01 Americans are afraid to leave the country, to fly on airplanes, to congregate in crowds. No more American tourists have died around the world than happened before 9-11-01, but you are afraid. You are afraid of the clergy, afraid to invest in the stock market – all of your actions are touched by Fear, your decisions made from Fear, you teach your children your fears. There is nowhere to go to avoid this [False] Fear, so the citizen-consumers stay in hiding, in shopping malls and self-preserving avoidance and hope that The Guvermint will solve the problem so you won't live in Fear.

*          *          *          *

        There is nowhere you can go to get free of this life-destroying lack of Freedom, this stultifying absence of existential Justice. The Oligarchy has designed the Culture-Structure so that you have only one option, and it is not Freedom. You have only the option to trade in your Soul, give up your Freedom, abandon your Individuality – for a bucket of slops. Your health is nobody's concern, your life and the quality of it are nobody's concern, the integrity of the entire culture of Mankind is nobody's concern.

        Since you are NOT free, there is only one thing do, as John Galt was designed to exemplify: Stop the engine of the world. Stop the machinery of the Culture-Structure. Stand apart from the Culture-Structure, disobey the Oligarchy, the Overlords. Reconstruct yourself as an Individual, the Individual you were before contamination, and don't take any crap for being an Individual outside the Culture-Structure.

        The seldom-read Declaration of Independence was an invented existential Stand for Mankind. I especially like the part at the very end, where the Founding Fathers stated that "[We] mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor". They knew the risk and put everything that each of them had at stake, and that is once again necessary to restore the Ideals of Freedom that have been lost to the Culture-Structure.
        If you take such a Stand For Freedom, then you embody the ideals invented by the Forefathers of American Independence, back on July Fourth just 226 years ago, The Ideals we honor every July did not exist on this Earth until spoken, signed, publicized and lived by a handful of committed and determined men.

        Freedom! Or the same-ol' Status Quo. You choose.

[copyright 2002 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

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