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Lies paint my picture everyday/Doesn't matter to most of us/Just don't mess with the status quo

Reader comment on item: How to End Terrorism:

Submitted by a Filipino liberal (Philippines), Dec 19, 2006 at 06:52

Those, in case you people don't know, and of course you don't, are lines from a song by a local band here in the Philippines. The meaning is self-explanatory.

"Unlike the rest of us, who generally accept life as it is, utopians insist on building a new and better order. To achieve this, they demand all powers for themselves, display a chilling contempt for human life, and harbor ambitions to spread their vision globally."

I assume, when Mr. Pipes wrote this, he meant that instead of trying to change the world, we should live with that comforting conservative, reactionary notion - everything is fine in the world today, or at least should be fine if you follow our advice, we know better than you, don't try to change things because that'll just make things worse, at least for the rich and powerful.

This would be a nice idea if it weren't so blatantly clear that everything is not all right in the world today - 50 percent of the world's population lives below the UN poverty line of 1 dollar a day, which many feel is inadequate; 40% of the world's wealth is owned by the top one percent of the world's population, while 1% of the world's wealth is owned by the bottom 50 percent; the world is steadily heading towards ecological disaster (the protestations of conservative pundits, who only want to make sure capitalists can continue to exploit the world's resources, notwithstanding); the white nations remain the most powerful in the world, years after the supposed end of colonialism (not surprising really when you consider that it's only been about 20 years for some countries); free-market, First World countries and free-trade organizations continue to pressure developing countries to lift regulations aimed at protecting the citizens of these countries from the all-too-real danger of exploitation of their people, land, and resources by multinational behemoths in exchange for aid; market liberal economists contiue to cry for greater "globalization", and integration of the world market, despite the obvious fact that the more developed nations would have an advantage in a completely open market; the West is swept by a troubling new wave of racism, probably as a backlash against the continuing growth of the power of developing nations and the approaching eclipse of Western dominance of the world, in spite of Western attempts to delay this eclipse for as long as possible; another worrying trend is rising Christian fundamentalism in the US, usually linked with ultranationalism, warmongering, racism, far right-wing thinking, pro-Judaism and anti-Islamism. The most powerful country in the world continues with its plan to spread it's own power, I mean, democracy, around the world (I mean, you'd think that if democracy were so good, the US wouldn't have to force- feed it to everybody, wouldn't you?)

And in the face of all this, us plebeians and Third-Worlders are supposed to accept the grand scheme of things, that some are meant to be powerful and others weak, some rich and most poor. We are supposed to accept the advice of the Great White Wonder of the West, that democracy and capitalism are the solutions to everything, don't question our superior intelligence, we know better than you, but even though we know better than you, we still have only your best interests at heart, we want to help lesser peoples like you, certainly we don't want to exploit you or trick you.

In other words, we are just expected to accept the Powers-That-Be and The Way Things Are. I, however, was never the kind of person who could just accept things I didn't like.

"All humans are equal, but some are more equal than others."


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