Thursday, 17 October 2019

Between Dignity And Poverty.

A small extract from an article by Chris Hedges:

       Immanuel Kant coined the term “radical evil.” It was the privileging of one’s own interest over that of others, effectively reducing those around you to objects to be manipulated and used for your own ends. But Hannah Arendt, who also used the term “radical evil,” saw that it was worse than merely treating others as objects. Radical evil, she wrote, rendered vast numbers of people superfluous. They possessed no value at all. They were, once they could not be utilized by the powerful, discarded as human refuse.
        We live in an age of radical evil. The architects of this evil are despoiling the earth and driving the human species toward extinction. They are stripping us of our most basic civil liberties and freedoms. They are orchestrating the growing social inequity, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a cabal of global oligarchs. They are destroying our democratic institutions, turning elected office into a system of legalized bribery, stacking our courts with judges who invert constitutional rights so that unlimited corporate money invested in political campaigns is disguised as the right to petition the government or a form of free speech. Their seizure of power has vomited up demagogues and con artists including Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, each the distortion of a failed democracy. They are turning America’s poor communities into internal militarized colonies where police carry out lethal campaigns of terror and use the blunt instrument of mass incarceration as a tool of social control. They are waging endless wars in the Middle East and diverting half of all discretionary spending to a bloated military. They are placing the rights of the corporation above the rights of the citizen.
      Sometimes I read a phrase, a paragraph, a few words, and they sink in through the dark labyrinth of my ageing mind and out trickles a stream of words. the following is my latest such a trickling.

Between Dignity and Poverty

In this metropolis of wealth with its fountains of opulence
We are the excluded army that walks that tightrope
Between dignity and poverty.
The excluded, the marginalised, the forgotten,
Regulated by mercenaries, some with guns, others with pens.
They know not, we are their brothers and sisters.
Nor do they know,
Our strength is forged in the humiliation of the bread line
Our daily question, will there be bread,
Or will the pangs of hunger stay.
We exist in a system of numbers and balance sheets,
Our lives, dehumanised statistics,
Catalogued and filed by a blind accountant.
When asked to count our dead, do we count the living dead?
Will this tightrope be the inheritance to our children
Or shall our tortured journey lead us from anxiety to revolt
Will the anguish of our children feed our righteous anger
Causing us to tear asunder this fabricated web of injustice.
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