I can’t breathe. I mean I really can’t breathe. I feel as if someone’s knee is pressing down on my windpipe. Pushing the air from my lungs. Snuffing me out like a candle.
Sometimes I feel like crying for no reason. But there is a reason. I want to cry for all the things that are wrong and broken and don’t need to be. I want to weep for all the homeless and hungry who don’t need to be homeless and hungry.
When George Floyd was killed by the American police officer Derek Chauvin for no reason, Floyd’s cry ‘I can’t breathe’ resonated around the world in a great desperate gasp as if the very soul of the earth was being crushed.
Floyd couldn’t breathe. The planet can’t breathe. Piece by piece it is being suffocated by self-serving politicians in league with the corporations that finance them and spin around in the revolving door and are them. They went to same schools. They wear the same ties. Their children marry each other.
John Locke (the Father of Liberalism; 1632-1704) said what worries you masters you. What worries the world worries us all. We live with uncertainty. We are afraid of everything. Our vulnerability. Pandemics. Inequality. Unemployment. Poverty. Homelessness. Fires, floods and global warming. Those who are doing all right despair for those who are not doing all right. And if they don’t, they’ve already lost their humanity. People are emotionally broken or financially broken or both.
The end of the American Dream may have been the killing of George Floyd. But the beginning of the end started in 1980 in the United States, 1979 in the UK, with the coming of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher with the corruptible seed of trickle-down economics, bank hegemony, the shorting of liberal democracy, the fire sale of state assets.
They told us that public services owned by the people would be cheaper run by the corporations. It wasn’t true. Millions of jobs went offshore to China, Vietnam, Mexico. Every politician since has promised to bring the jobs back. They haven’t. Lies were needed to keep people logged into FaceBook, lost in reality TV, led by influencers. It is hardly surprising that the corruptible seed flowered in consummate liars like Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Boris Johnson.
It wasn’t the American police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes – it was Donald Trump’s knee, Jair Bolsonaro’s knee, Boris Johnson’s knee. The cruel knees of power and greed, the false promises of all the populists and reactionaries and fascists.
What is the American Dream? What was the American Dream?
It was the belief that people could and should live in peace and harmony with access to a decent education and the opportunity to get their share of health and happiness – as it says in the Declaration of Independence. In its deepest sense, it is the quest for human dignity, equability and meaning. In the land of the American Dream, policemen do not press their knee down on the neck of a fellow American for nine minutes because the corruptible seed of reactionary politics means they will probably get away with it. Bob Dylan wrote this in his song Blind Willie McTell –
Well god is in his heaven. And we are what was his.
But power and greed and corruptible seed. Seems to be all that there is.
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This paints a sad and vivid and all true picture of all that is wrong now. But, at the same time, grandparents love their grandchildren and vice versa, kids play at the waters edge, flowers grow, singers sing, you write wonderfully, the beauty of Cadaques endures despite the onslaught of Michelin stars. And hope endures. Let’s not forget that part of the story, or the bleakness will consume us.
You have summed up simply and clearly what is wrong with the world. The lessons that were learned after the end of WWII –‘never again,’ more equality, more fairness — have been forgotten by successive generations and are being eroded each day by the quest for profit. When the UK ‘took back control’ after Brexit, it did not go to the people but to the small elite group that controls the government and big international corporations. Yes, of course, we human beings can still find joy in our friends, family and surroundings, but we should always be aware of and resist the detrimental changes going on around us.
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The tory party and leader are Dictator, get chose his cabinet carefully, hard liner tory right wingers that will always back Boris, A TRUMP move. Boris pupil. He escaped the police report, and the Gray report. He maniplated all of it.the mps 54 letters. That was done to see Boris stay. Once the post got in, they did a u turn so Boris remained. Had they not. The dirty deals, laundry, all those back door deals would have been exposed. Sort gagging order by Boris. He is a Dictator, his bunch are under his thumb. He got nicked.
You are SO right. There is no need for this. But those 98.8% of people who have never read our constitution don’t understand that the right and the left want the same things and can have the same things, if they educate themselves about what the courts have been doing to us. And as for the article here linked, it seems odd, at the very least, that the author would quote a slave owner and slave trader (Locke) in his article about feeling strangled.
I agree with your blog piece – I was 10 years old when JFK was assassinated, and my generation has had a front-row seat to the decline and fall of the USA in every measurable societal context. From my personal vantage point I, too, thought that it all started with Reagan and Thatcher, and it may well have for our generation. However, this film convincingly posits that those who have sought to control the world economy have been manipulating all of humanity for generations well prior to the ’80s. This three-hour film examines an exhaustive number of events, weaving a tapestry of seemingly unconnected occurrences into a cogent case for discrediting nearly everything that US public school students have been taught about their country. Admittedly over the top in some of its conjecture and conclusions, the viewer is, as always, cautioned to use their own discretion. There is, nonetheless, more than enough to make a strong case that American citizens have been had by the government that we have been programmed to hold in our highest esteem. Regardless of your ultimate conclusions, it’s worth your time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5fcGL34F3M