Ukiyo-e coloured woodcut by Hokusai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We live in a culture of violence, the children of each generation baptized by war, American dreams built upon the lost lives of cowardice and courage. In the land of the free, milk and honey runs red with the blood of humans, not only Americans but humans. How much tragedy at the hand of our triumphs must the world endure before we realize that this banality of barbarism is consuming us from within? Our government by some estimates is currently projecting anywhere from 700 billion to 1.4 trillion dollars dedicated on defense this year. We spend more per year on defense than the following thirteen countries that have the next largest defense budgets combined.
A chart published Tuesday by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation compares U.S. defense spending in 2011 with the combined spending of the 13 countries with the next largest defense budgets, using data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (Peter G. Peterson Foundation / October 23, 2012)
Regrettably, we have become warmongers exercising diplomatic destruction to all those who oppose. Government corruption has and still continues to sell conflict to the country which is supposedly rooted in the fight for freedom. Who’s freedom? Freedom for whom? Our freedoms continue to be incrementally stripped away while we impose our imperial freedom upon the world. Is the path to freedom and peace achieved by the barrel of a gun? Is it possible that the only path towards social progress and human advancement is through vice and violence?
Every facet of our society is being consumed by a culture of corruption. Our government no longer represents a good natured will to help their people, corporations clamor for cash and leave ethics for ivory tower academic discussion and debate, the pursuits of our pharmaceutical and healthcare industries revolve around the creation of healthy wallets instead of healthy people. It is a corruption of our principles and ethics which has led us towards a path of self-destruction. In this culture of complacency it would seem that we have become merely individual socioeconomic batteries for the empowerment of empire? It is our human responsibility to be more than just units of production perpetuating destruction and deception. Each of us are responsible for the future of our world, and we cannot sit back and wait for our heroes to surface. We are the heroes with which we wait so patiently for.
Change begins with each one of us redeveloping our perspective to encompass the hopes and dreams of all people, not just our own selfish pursuits. It is up to each of us to choose whether to continue this culture of complacency or change our path from that of destruction to construction. It is our responsibility, to each other, to build businesses that are interested in providing a service for the community rather than merely making money for ourselves. We must be interested in selling what we believe in and buying from companies that are concerned about the global community, not just their corporate profits. We have to take the time to care about our government and make sure that the votes and money that we give them is allocated to programs which reflect our values. If we dedicated as much time, money and energy to domestic issues as we have dedicated to the war machine, we might possibly live up to the title of “the land of the free.” Change will come only when we the people decide to introduce it. So, Create instead of Consume – Improve instead of Impede – Love instead of Hate – and stand up for something greater than yourself and change will come.
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