“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them”
orator and ex-slave (1817-95)
An unsettling point is made in this chapter, but it is one of which we might as well be aware. We like to think that, all things considered, we are free individuals neither beholding nor belonging to anybody. Yet history demonstrates to us that the state thinks otherwise and routinely exercises total authority over its own citizens, while the rest of the world looks on and occasionally sighs. We are regarded as property by those in charge of the state.
There was little worldwide concern during the mass murdering by Pol Pot of his own Cambodian people. Nobody would have minded Hitler rounding up the Jews and gypsies if he hadn’t begun invading other countries. Nobody cares much about the 150 or so serious protests being put down every day in China, or the million plus Americans behind bars for victimless crimes. Nobody cared about Saddam Hussein’s behaviour to his own Iraqi people until the USA set its sights upon his oil.
The world looks on today, and sees the world’s leading champion of human rights stealing freedom from its own people, while lying to them and making them fund worldwide wars of aggression. Instead of reprimanding the US, other world states are more likely to be acquiring its latest technology for dealing with their own popular unrest.