In October, 2009, a public exhibition entitled, ”We did not give it up – stories of the 20th century”, was on display in various locations around the center of Prague. The exhibition commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain and honored the dissidents of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during WWII and during 40 years of Communism. ”We did not give it up – stories of the 20th century”, consisted of 150 panels showing the portraits of war veterans, anti-fascists, anti-communists, dissidents and students of the November 17, 1989 Velvet Revolution. The exhibition documented the real life stories of the thousands of Czech heroes who, at great personal sacrifice, fought for the freedom of 10.5 million fellow citizens and their nation.
I see the reflection of present day America in this piece of Czech history. Like the Czechs, too few Americans have reacted strongly in opposition when the rule of law and social justice were in peril. History, in many instances, teaches us that while thousands of heroes have risked their lives for the freedom of their nation, the vast majority have met the urgency of political challenges with an apathetic and weak-spirited response of selfishness, denial and fear.
The current global economic crisis and a peoples’ response to it varies from country to country. Inasmuch as we need every man, woman and child in this fight to preserve democracy, the majority will wallow in self-imposed ignorance until after the wicked ruling class have been defeated. Then, they will appear in the city squares and capitols, in great numbers, shaking their keys in solidarity with the dissidents, who at great personal expense, paid the price for their freedom . In Czechoslovakia, it took 40 years to bring down an oppressive regime. And 20 years later, it’s still not over. The wounds and scars will take generations to heal.
The reaction to austerity measures in Spain paved the way for a dissident movement who call themselves Los Indignados. They are organizing protests in the city squares and in the neighborhoods and are currently marching from Madrid to Brussels, to raise awareness for their cause. And in Greece, people from all walks of life; students, parents, children, grandparents, public workers, professionals, etc. have come together in Syntagma Square, to protest Goldman Sachs’s brand of global economic terrorism and the nation crushing demands of the IMF. The common thread in Europe is that the majority of Europeans know who the enemy is and are not blaming each other for the severe austerity measures imposed on them. They are standing up, in solidarity, and pushing back against their corrupt governments for breaking the social contract at the behest of the global financial terrorists and the IMF.
In the U.S., inspired by the spirit of Madison, Wisconsin, Americans have held numerous protests at state capitols, especially since the November 2010 ‘election’ of 29 Tea Party Republican Governors These Koch-funded, corporate-owned, dieblod-selected governors, and their Republican legislator lackies have been cramming through ALEC legistlation at a frightening speed, to the detriment of the vast majority of their citizens.
There is a critical difference between the challenges facing U.S. dissidents and their European counterparts. For decades, in the U.S., billions of dollars have been dedicated to creating a dominant propaganda network to support the current fascist coup. And it’s paying off in spades! The coupsters are winning the information war with a divide and conquer strategy through total media dominance, misinformation, hatred, and blatant lies. Calling ourselves the United States is nothing but a cynical paradox when we can’t even agree on what the truth is. Instead of focusing on the serious issues of the day, Americans have been mercilessly manipulated by the mind numbing propaganda machine (via TV, radio and print) that frames the ‘debate’ with non issues, false arguments, false equivalence, outright lies and absurdity.
History repeatedly tells us that when you believe lies, you give your power away. This condition creates a climate where atrocities can easily ensue. The current global paradigm shift is filled with lies and atrocities, like the austerity measures imposed on the middle class and poor for the benefit of the wealthy. And, this current paradigm shift will affect everyone, regardless of whether people choose to take it standing up or lying down.