“As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. I might possibly invent some excuse for them and him, but I have no time for it.”
The above quote is from one of my favorite books Walden written by Henry David Thoreau. I remember the first time I read the book and how this specific passage leaped out of the book. This most astute observation that Thoreau made more than a century ago is even more applicable in our time than it was back in the 19th century. Evidently, the more we advance as a species, the more we devolve into cult of personalities and worshipers of the rich and famous.
I write this in light of all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the death George Herbert Walker Bush. I know it is not polite to talk ill of the dead, but it is equally imprudent to lie on behalf of the gentry when they pass. Bush is not some saint who sacrificed to advance humanity, on his hands is the blood of countless dead throughout Central America, South America, Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Lost in all the gushing coverage of Bush is the fact that the former President was one of the masterminds who inundated America with cocaine and crack in order to finance an illegal war in Nicaragua that led to the deaths of 50,000 and displaced close to 10% of the country’s population. Bush was one of the leading architects of a new world order; one where deadly force was used liberally in order to advance the interests of globalists and corporate colonialists.
Alas, when it comes to accounting for their deeds, the ruling class escape without a scratch as long as they don’t piss off someone more powerful than them. Wealth and influence means never having to say you’re sorry, this is especially true when affluent families morph into powerful dynasties. Demons pixilate into angels once they attain enough capital and cache. Meanwhile, the masses of humanity the aristocracy trampled over on their way to their thrones are treated as afterthoughts. Millions of dollars are about to be spent in order to give Bush a state burial; meanwhile in the same city where his body will lie in state, there are thousands of homeless men and women who sleep in despair. Click To Tweet
Untold numbers of Egyptians died building pyramids for pharaohs who they treated as gods. We can look back and shake our heads in disbelief pondering how so many people could have debased themselves for the sake of elevating mere humans as immortals. Yet the more things change, the more they remain the same. Forget building pyramids, we have allowed ourselves to become monuments; humanity has become the base on which the 1% build their wealth.
It seems to me that our conniption to treat the wealthy and the well-known as demigods is one of the central failings of our species. Our sense of virtue is warped by fame, instead of celebrating humility and giving, we laud sociopaths and their unquenchable desire to attain at our cost. We spend an exorbitant amount of time gazing at idols while we disregard the plight of those who suffer in our paths. We put all our stock in megalomaniacs who put humanity in bond, this is what happens when the God we trust in are the owners of the paper that motto is written on.
I know some will read this article through partisan filters and think that I’m ridiculing one side of the aisle at the expense of the other. But in truth, this write up is beyond politics. There is a reason why I used this article’s feature image with the Bushes, Clintons, Obamas and Trump chumming it up; while the “elites” are united in their quest to reign above us, too many are intent on bowing before them as if they are golden calves. It’s one thing to idolize movie stars and reality show personalities, but treating rulers like deity is akin to lambs kneeling before wolves.
As much as Trump is detested by many throughout America, wait two decades and at his burial America will be mourning the passing of “a great statesman” as all his flaws are magically airbrushed by the same mainstream media “journalists and pundits who pretend to be repulsed by him while propaganda is pushed to paint this most infantile president as the next coming of Moses. After spending eight years reducing our nation with his rhetoric and childish antics, Trump will be remembered for making America great again. You doubt this? Just look back at how much the establishment pretended to hate Ronald Reagan only to treat him like America’s savior when he died.
It is said that money can’t buy friends, but if you have enough of it, cash can buy plenty of fake friends and even faker press. For those who want proof, watch cable news this week and witness Bush being worshiped like King Tut.
Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave. What if equal pains were taken to smooth and polish their manners? One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
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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.