January 15, 2017

The Real Threat to Democracy.

By Angela McMillan

If we have learned anything in the past several years, it should be that our way of life is in real danger. With all of the conveniences and ease of access that the internet and technology lends to our everyday lives, it has to the same extent left us vulnerable.

There never was a time where the phrase “knowledge is power” was more true at it’s very core.

It is not the knowledge merely gained from education and experience. It is the knowledge that we sometimes gain without any direct intention. The greatest vulnerability that exists is those currently at the top in power are not willing to relinquish and will do whatever necessary to maintain their status.

Internet hackers are considered to be the greatest threat to power in the minds of government. These hackers have been able to gain access to and release to the public information that our elected government has desperately tried to prevent the public from knowing. Our government, our democratically elected civil servants are the real threat to the very heart of our democracy.

They seek to control its citizens by limiting our access to information for fear of losing their positions of privilege and power. Our government has forgotten their place, their duty, their obligations to the people. It is time for us to fight back.

Some Inspiration of Hope:

Aaron Hillel Swartz, a young computer prodigy, at the age of 26 committed suicide, in the face of bankruptcy and facing 35 years in prison. The government saddled Aaron with federal indictments primarily for giving away access to academic and scientific journals worldwide. He only sought to share the knowledge of the world. As his death was mourned worldwide, Lawrence Lessig, his mentor, who thought of him as his son, gave a speech memorializing the memory of a young man gone too soon.

“May one. May the ideals of one boy unite one nation behind one critical idea that we are one people, we are the people who were promised a government, a government that was promised to be dependent upon the people alone, the people, who,… meant not the rich more than the poor. May one. And then may you, may you join this movement, not because you’re a politician, not because you’re an expert, not because this is your field, but because if you are, you are a citizen. Aaron asked me that. Now I’ve asked you.” 

in 1940, a Charlie Chaplin movie eerily could easily be describing current day.It was nearly a century ago when Chaplin, as the “Great dictator” describes the greed of man and how this greed coupled with technological advances is the poison of humankind.

“Greed has poisoned many souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Our knowledge has made us cynical. We think to much and feel too little. We need humanity…kindness and gentleness.

   The misery that is now upon is is just the passing of greed, the bitterness of men that fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die. And the power they took, will return to the people, will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. 

   Soldiers, don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you , enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think, to feel, who drill you, diatribe you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon-fire. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men with machine minds ,machine hearts. 

  You are not machines. You are not Cattle. You are men. You have the love of humans in your hearts. You don’t hate.  Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty. 

  You the people have the power. The power to create machines. The power to create happiness. You the people, to make this life free and beautiful. Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world, that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future, and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie. They do not fulfill their promise. They never will. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world”  

~Charlie Chaplin

Its not too late

January 16th, 2017 by