Charles Dickens wrote this in A Tale of Two Cities, using his narrator to make social and political commentaries, ones I find relevant today, even though written in 1859 and set some seventy years earlier:
“Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.” (Book 3, Chapter 15, Sec. 1)
My connections? The current president of the United States and his administration engage in oppressive and destructive behaviors aimed at any who disagree with them. While not the same situation, the energy and spirit of authoritarian disregard for the common good prompted our original revolt against the British King Geo. III.
Dickens’ novel concerns the French Revolution and illustrates how the oppressive acts of the French monarchy — destructive and regardless of life necessities for most of the population — created desires for the common people to claim their inherent human rights. The same feelings arose in the States colonists some fifteen years before the French Revolution.
Whether it’s the British, French, or current U.S. authoritarian mindset, people can expect revolt against oppression. Fascism has changed shape today, and we have advanced to realize that even a majority’s opinion based on ideas and ideals that are destructive and deny freedom to others is oppressive.
Majority opinion will never make destruction of cultures, subcultures, societies, Nature, ecosystems, and species right — never, ever. However, we should remember in the last election popular vote did not support fascism.
This president has made it clear he does not consider everyone created equally. He and his supporters believe, either consciously or subconsciously, those who are stronger and greedier and know how to deceive best are better; therefore, they get to press their agenda on all, deceiving and oppressing many. Of course, this president’s administration or his political party have no patent on dishonesty, bullying, or abrogating rights. We must remember this.
When rights are eliminated, including those pertaining to nature and wildlife, everyone loses. We can expect revolution because the “same tortured forms” of “rapacious licence and oppression” have once again reared their ugly heads. Lessons of history mean nothing to ego-energized fascists.
The good news is that humans will not long endure ignorant egomaniacs to reign, especially in this day and age.
Dickens wrote of our inability to suffer prolonged oppression, no matter the original intent of some movement like the French Jacobins who established the Reign of Terror or Trumpites who cry to make America great again. Neither the French nor this conservative Republican force produced any honorable ends. Both juggernauts elicit the cry for justice as well as showcase the dark, egoistical, and self-righteous philosophy that does not embody “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” for all. Anything less than the common good is no good.
We should recognize that current calls for oppression and destruction of perceived enemies — including allies and our own media — by this adminisitration will only produce “tortured forms” resulting in twisted revolutions of distorted definitions of liberty and the common good.
Little bits of literature help me to consider these ideas.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!