Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Tag

Driver’s License

These days one has to be wary of the infuriatingly condescending attitude of the ‘small’ functionary or employee, but still somehow manage to call it progress.

And I’ll tell you why, even though there’s nothing new in this but it simply doesn’t hurt hearing it again and again. So this is my story: I’m of the European generation that hasn’t forgotten how these same civil servants and other workers were treated arrogantly by people only slightly above their station, colleagues with a daily dose of humiliation all their own under their collective belt, all of them trapped in an arid class system. Supervisors, foremen, fifteenth-in-commands, floorwalkers, assistant-assistant managers and all the rest of the nominally ‘superior’ riffraff, cruelly exercising their gram of ‘authority’. Preposterous class society at work, upward mobility nearly permanently blocked, but a place where as a consequence upper layers became stupider and stupider through inbreeding, nepotism and other causes of social blindness.

And then came the First Great War of protest, which solved nothing except signal ahead that now was the time to make a bold move, beginning with the Bolsheviks in the East who proceeded to make the dreadful mistake of eating their own young while thinking they could engineer the future by Party murder!

Yes, the stirrings were there, but those on top in class society thought all that trouble in other parts Europe would pass in the way that it always had. The genuine breakthrough coming with the Second Great War after Hitler ‘liberated’ his people and continued on in the way that we all know. His defeat and the resulting forward thrust by the still fast kicking Bolshevists, the last warning to the ruling classes of Western Europe: reform now, or end up like those poor zombies in the East. A call they didn’t, couldn’t ignore: meaningful modern Social and Christian Democracy was born under threat of death penalty, real or imagined, by on the surface convincingly strong and advancing Communists. It was the advent of liberating post-war legislated social sharing and welfare arrangements like retirement & unemployment benefits, free education, healthcare, participatory unionism, professional advancement on merit, effort so ruling the roost, brains and ability getting the upper hand, instead of one’s family name. In other words for the first time in history it had entered the consciousness of the powerful that outright exploitation of others was no longer such a good idea, but with the wealthy to their astonishment soon discovering that by letting others live without impediment, they grew even wealthier, not poorer as they’d feared. To the point that this spirit was quickly extended to the colonies, ending centuries of subservience, with empires shrinking but not for a moment losing their well-being or their influence: it is clear a modern world was nascent in what has since and for obvious reasons become known as the First World.

So that the utter moral depravity of Hitler and Stalin was undeniably and for the wrong reasons responsible for the ultimate XXth century Western enlightenment, for which countless millions without knowing so gave their life. I said it before, often you have to go in deeper, before permanently getting out and mostly at a horrible price.

And now the last lesson, the one the morally adolescent elite in countries like the India, the Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico etc etc has to learn so that these societies too can finally take off while removing the barbed-wired from around the villas where the privileged live in fear, trapped, be it by rich choice.

For on another score the horror, the ignorance, the stupidities of people like Franco and of Pinochet are of the same stripe, if not the same size. Men ably coming to the fore as vulgar, ambitious, pugnacious patriots clawing their way into the graces of Church and established society by taking up their cause after disastrous and threatening overtures had been made to the godless Soviets by young, newly elected, naive local socialists, going too fast, too furious and trusting the red plague while crediting it for everything it had never achieved: social justice and the improvement of the common man’s lot.

That initial socialist governments in Spain (30ies) and in Chile (70ies) had come into being, was a historical first. That they behaved stupidly was another. But then had they succeeded and allowed themselves to be taken over by Moscow would have been a disaster for millions and millions of innocents whose only dream had been to aspire to a better life, but ending up as State slaves and worse off than they’d ever been. So that for all their despicable, ungodly behaviour as it turned out Franco and Pinochet did, despite their desperate efforts, NOT manage to save the preserve of Church and ruling classes, as much as by their excesses have the latter lose permanent control.

And again and despite all this, the rich in these countries getting richer, not poorer, they way that they had feared. And whereby unspeakable cruelty by Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Pinochet among so many others, simply never paid off. Achieving nothing in the end, all power lost, only forging free societies where there had been none before.

Now if only that damned jerk at the license bureau would read this. The one just promoted. The one who is rude and lets me sit there for half an hour while reading his paper. The one who would have worked 70 hours a week, walked to work on dreadful shoes, own 2 patched shirts, eat the same grub 7 days a week, sleep in the same room as his mother, wife, and children, who, if lucky would finish school at fourteen only to go work in the mines, no family doctor in sight for a 100 miles: all of this if it hadn’t been for those heartbreaking convulsions of history.

So that, again, everyone should know brutality simply doesn’t pay, but sharing big time and that the new torture coming from behind my license guy’s desk, believe it or not, in a perverse sort of way means progress!!

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