Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma


I’ve been thinking about justice a lot lately.

When we’re confronted with a major injustice, we eventually rise up and confront it. Consider slavery, which took centuries to eradicate and which still has not been eliminated completely (it exists in small pockets, particularly in the sex trafficking industry) but at least is now considered evil by society.

Eventually, We came to the realization that it was wrong, even though many people opposed its demise for religious or sociological or anthropological reasons.

But when confronted with minor injustices, we don’t necessarily rebel. We accept those injustices as part of the society we live in. Sure, some of us act – as in the Ferguson, MO, and Occupy Wall Street protests, among others. But the greater society shrugs off the alleged injustice by saying that’s just the way the world works.

We feel the wrongs are too slight and the odds of winning too slim – the powers that run the country are too formidable and will fight to the death to maintain the status quo. And frankly, too many of us agree with the status quo in some way. We concede that a particular case may be unfair, but we believe that – overall – the system works.

And it may, to a degree.

But we’re in a situation where too many of us are being kept down by those who hold the wealth and power. The rich write laws to protect the rich. The powerful utilize their resources to ensure their grasp on power. They may understand that a revolution will come eventually IF they take things too far, but they don’t believe they’re at that point yet.

So far, they’ve been correct.

I wonder what it will take for the masses to act. When will we say, Enough?

It’s a measure of how concerned the rich are that both Democrats and Republicans are finally talking about wealth inequality. Politicians still aren’t doing anything about it, and the two parties have very different ideas about how to bring about parity, but at least they’re talking about the issue.

What will it take for people to get serious?

Maybe we can’t expect mass protests over minor injustices. Maybe money always wins. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I wish the people elected to serve the people would actually SERVE THE PEOPLE and not just the wealthy. Crony capitalism is every bit as evil as a dictatorship or an oligarchy.

And yet we continue on, creating more loopholes for hedge funds and massive banks, keeping their taxes at historic lows so they won’t be inconvenienced by having to share their wealth, so they won’t take their money and run to some other country that will permit them to clutch their grubby hands around their ill-gotten gains.

Politicians no longer run America. They have become servants – just like us – only perhaps a little higher up the ladder.

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