Adam Smith. Out of all the people, it was Adam Smith–the father of capitalism–who wrote about the excesses of capitalism and warned what would happen when humanity is replaced by avarice and greed. When I was in South Carolina a year and a half ago, I picked up a book by Adam Smith that had the most profound impact on me. Most people who have heard of Adam Smith most likely assume the book I’m referring to is “the Wealth of Nation,” which formed the basis of capitalism and the theory that “invisible hand” of the economy arrives at full efficiency when capitalism is not disturbed by interference.
Adam Smith made his fortunes and attained status due in large part to “the Wealth of Nation” and in the process established capitalism and the naked pursuit of money and wealth as a virtue. But Adam Smith wrote another book titled “the Theory of Moral Sentiment” and it was this book that I stumbled upon which clearly rebuked the excesses of the crony capitalism that we have before us. Of course the book that is mentioned the most by the status quo is “the Wealth of Nations” because those who are too blinded by wantonness and greed are too busy stealing the wealth of nations in order to reflect on their wickedness. But what Adam Smith gave us with his left hand with “the Wealth of Nations” as he vindicated capitalism, he washed away with the right hand with “the Theory of Moral Sentiment” as he strongly condemned the vices that flow out from indulgence and cupidity of materialism and consumerism.
I mention Adam Smith and his two books for a reason for we are being led by a coterie of malicious men who have been taught at the lap of “the Wealth of Nations” as they bleed the entire continent and commit genocides across the world in the name of capital accumulation and wealth creation. Let me assure you that this is not about politics for I am sick and tired of politicians on all sides and their lemming like supporters–who are insultingly referred to as “the base”–pretending to be on some moral high ground when in reality they are dancing on the graves of people. The Syrian war serves as a perfect example of how politics can make hypocrites of all and turn otherwise rational people into irrational automatons who can’t think outside of partisan blinders.
In the introduction to “The Theory of Moral Sentiment”, the author Damien Stevens, points out how when a catastrophe takes place overseas, we are momentarily saddened only to go back to our business. But let us break one of fingers and the pains we feel for ourselves is greater in magnitudes than the empathy we have for 100,000 who perish in a natural disaster. In a way, it is human nature to feel for self more than feel the pains of others. We can only process so much suffering or else we would collectively jump off cliffs. But at some point, enough becomes enough when lack of empathy morphs into a malicious attempt to use the suffering of people as a means to push a partisan agenda. If the cost of garnering a larger readership is to play politics and refuse to speak out against injustice irrespective of ideology, then let me have one reader than having a million who lack the moral conviction to speak up for those who are being subjugated without putting on their partisan blinders.
Our government has been unleashing hell on this planet for far too long as one immoral war after another is destroying the lives of people and transferring the wealth of nations to capitals in Europe and New York. Our brave soldiers are sent overseas in the name of democracy only to be left on their own shivering on sidewalks as homeless veterans. Democrats and Republicans are complicit in this crime against humanity and there is not an iota of a difference between Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. These jackals we call presidents are all scum who bow before the alters of their globalist masters. The idea of sovereignty is dead and gone; we have a global system of greed and avidity where might makes right yet it is painted over–with the help of our bankrupt mainstream media and media personalities who are duplicitous pricks–as some sort of virtue.
What is taking place in Syria should have us up in arms and stir us to action for our military-financial complex laden government has unleashed death and destruction upon an entire nation using plans that were implemented by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) more than two decades ago. But we, the people, are so stuck on politics that we get led by the nose like a bunch of bleating sheep and argue bicker among each other instead of uniting to reclaim our government from the hands of despicable monsters. This is turning into a parody that the jokers over at Saturday Night Life could not conceive if they smoked a forest of ganja. Democrats now has their Benghazi and it’s Republicans who get to scream “obstructionism”; meanwhile Syrian children keep dying daily.
I am delving somewhere between outrage and sorrow. I don’t understand this; why can’t we see injustice as it is without either trying to monopolize pains or turning everything into a game of politics. For the record, Syria is Obama’s war as he ordered over 24,000 ordinances of bombs to be dropped on a nation that never attacked us. To put this into clear perspective, that would be over 24,000 9/11s committed against one nation as our Boeing and Northrop Grumman produced missiles and bombs have taken the lives of tens of thousands of Syrians and led to the displacement of over a million from their homes.
I don’t mention 9/11 gratuitously; I was across the street from the Pentagon on that horrific day as the building was smoldering on fire. That day is still seared in my mind as it should be for all Americans. If we were rightfully outraged when we were attacked by four missiles, which is what the hijacked planes became, how can we condone the use of thousands of missiles against a country a tenth the size of America? How much longer are we going to play police to the world while letting plutocratic thieves rob the wealth of nations and bleeding people globally?
Robert Kennedy, in a speech he gave at the Cleveland City Club on April 5th, 1968, talked about the mindless violence that is stealing hope from people across the planet. The video can be seen below, but this one excerpt from the speech says it all to me:
Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.
A truth teller and a man who actually had a conscience after seeing the horrors of a government run amok by intemperance and power lust, Robert Kennedy decided to stand against power and to speak to our better angels. This is why those in power had him silenced; as always, those who decide to be prophets of peace are murdered by the pharisees who covet money and call themselves Democrats and Republicans in order to hide their true greed agenda.
We need more than ever people to stop using injustice into a shtick and stand up for what is right without ideological agendas. Stop seeing everything through color, politics, gender orientation, religion and the endless ways we are sliced and diced as a people. Instead, see injustice on it’s own and fight for people not because they look like you or have your shade but because they are human and they bleed and suffer too. Or else, those who choose to see the pains of people through partisan lenses reveal themselves to be nothing more than hacks who are just hunting injustice in order to feed their broken ideology. We’ve had enough mindless violence; we need people to be mindful of our common humanity #MindfulViolence
Justices is not about politics and silence in the face of injustice is compliance.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- The Great Distraction: Trump, the “Squad” and Diverting Our Attention from True Sources of Injustice - July 15, 2019
- There is No Spoon - July 12, 2019
- Capitalism is Socialism for the Uber Wealthy and Suffocation for the Rest of Us - July 8, 2019