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Letter: Risk joining the system

Early men undoubtedly hunted as a group sharing their kill. They often pastured their animals on commonly owned lands guarded by an appointed shepherd. When necessary, they fought together against a common foe. Such interdependence matured into a moral obligation to be one’s brother’s keeper. How do modern men relate to the rest of humanity?

The oligarchs who shape western foreign policy were afraid Russia would take advantage of the post-war chaos to communize Europe. To preempt them, we launched the Marshall Plan on the economic front and the Cold War on the political front. President Eisenhower, leaving office after losing to JFK’s false charge that he had allowed a missile gap to grow under his watch, warned us against the power of our military-industrial complex. Strategists of this complex envisioned a monolithic communist power dedicated to world domination and our destruction. The collapse of the USSR exposed the futility of those dreams. Prompt announcement of Russian weakness would have exposed defense contracts as economic stimuli and eroded profits from sales of weaponry to our Cold War allies. We continued our global war against all persons seeking economic justice, whether they be Communists, journalists, Archbishop Romero, members of our guerrilla bands or lowly union organizers fingered by their corporate employers. Hundreds of thousands of people died as the oligarchs used our government’s power to crush opponents of their ideology and the free market capitalism upon which their power rests. If further evidence of our oligarchs contempt for life is needed, consider their failure to treat the COVID-19 virus seriously lest fighting it disrupt the economy! Later the administration advised employers that guidelines designed to protect workers against the virus would not be enforced. They are seeking the right to grant employers’ waivers protecting them from lawsuits filed by injured or deceased employees’ families.

Our oligarchs think of men and women as assets to be deployed or destroyed in attempts to preserve their own wealth and power as in Vietnam. The system that sustains them is killing us and our planet. Being kind to your fellow men and women will not protect them from those who would enslave them to serve their ideologies secular and/or religious.

It may be too late to entertain the possibility of the flowering of the human spirit, its champions mostly dead or languishing in the world’s jails memorialized by the supporters of Amnesty International. If we are to escape the psychological pain of living as slaves to an inhumane system, we must risk joining them!

John B. Gibson

Owatonna