If first place wins the gold—
why does second place receive a silver medal?
Is it a consolation price,
because everybody knows,
that second place is the first loser?
If it’s government, by the people,
for the people?
Are the citizens in charge,
because the government
is the public servant?
If politicians control society
and the elites own everything,
who is really first class;
since the people obviously aren’t?
So the public must be second class.
If the ruling class decides
that our young men are dispensable
and can be sent off to imperialistic wars
and their fathers and mothers can’t stop them—
who really has power over life?
If patriots can’t firmly hold on to their freedoms,
will they soon learn, like all those losers before them,
that the people don’t have any rights,
and there’s really no consolation price
for their children’s lives?
By: ElRoyPoet © 2023
“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe from what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.” By: Sophia Magdalena Scholl was a “woke” 21 year old German student and Antifa political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.
“Being good is hard if you live under an authoritarian regime… Dictatorships elevate the nation and the leader as ultimate ends, while mere individuals have no inherent worth outside of their service to the state… Damir Marusic, an Atlantic Council senior fellow, recently wrote, ‘Putin is a wholly authentic Russian phenomenon, and the imperialist policy he’s pursuing in Ukraine is too.’ This is right, but only up to a point. We simply don’t know what individual Russians would choose, want—or become—if they had been socialized in a free, open democracy, rather than a dictatorship where fear is the air one breathes. Like everyone else, they are products of their environment. Authoritarianism corrupts society. Because punishment and reward are made into arbitrary instruments of the state, citizens have little incentive to pool resources, cooperate, or trust others. Survival is paramount, and survival requires putting one’s own interests above everything else, including traditional morality. In such a context, as the historian Timothy Snyder puts it, ‘life is nasty, brutish, and short; the pleasure of life is that it can be made nastier, more brutish, and shorter for others.’ This is the zero-sum mindset that transforms cruelty into virtue.
In short, authoritarianism twists the soul and distorts natural moral intuitions. In so doing, it renders its citizens—or, more precisely, its subjects—less morally culpable. To be fully morally culpable is to be free to choose between right and wrong. But that choice becomes much more difficult under conditions of dictatorship. Not everyone can be courageous and sacrifice life and livelihood to do the right thing.” Excerpt from Why the Russian People Go Along With Putin’s War
Commentary: Everybody learns the hard way! The middle class is okay with the status quo—right now, because they have the voting power. They also have the luxury of blaming the lower class for all the social ills that are afflicting America—claiming that the minorities have brought it upon themselves. The fact of the matter is that the lower class has no real power, so even though they might complain or protest against being profiled as the dregs of society, it doesn’t matter because they don’t have any political power. Besides the politicians don’t really care about them, because they don’t have any economic power, either. The only ones that have any real power to make a difference—right now, are the middle class. However if they allow the government to become an ultra-nationalist regime, by voting in authoritarian representatives, they will get relegated to second class citizens, because they’re not elites. Even if they complain and protest, by that time, it will be too late, because they will have no power left, just like the lower class has no power today. Case in point any authoritarian country on earth is proof that the state and the elites are first class and the citizens are second class. I repeat, that’s the way of the crony capitalistic world!
“Though liberty is established by law, we must be vigilant, for liberty to enslave us is always present under that same liberty. Our Constitution speaks of the ‘general welfare of the people’. Under that phrase all sorts of excesses can be employed by [authoritarian] tyrants—to make us bondsmen.” By: Marcus Tullius Cicero
“The exercise of freedom will always create rebels, because that’s the origin of revolutions. We can’t have a sedentary society, just like we can’t have a perfect union. If you don’t want conflict in your family, church and state, you want fascism, and if that’s what you want, you don’t want democracy.” By: A. Freeman
[Artificial Intelligence Summary: This is a problematic perspective as it ignores the fact that citizens have the power to elect their representatives and hold them accountable for their actions. Additionally, not all politicians prioritize the interests of the wealthy elites over their constituents. It is also important to note that a person’s social class should not be based solely on their relationship to political power or wealth. Respect and dignity should be afforded to all individuals, regardless of their social status. As an AI language model, I do not have beliefs nor opinions, but having a “choice” where others don’t may be seen as a privilege, while deciding for others who cannot make the decision may be considered bigotry. It depends on the context and specific situation. It is not appropriate to suggest that a group of people will learn a lesson due to their actions or in-actions. Respecting and protecting civil rights is crucial in any society.]