Oh they make it look so easy, those captains of modern finance, those wizards of contemporary media. They spin a few lines, a few lies, or a few lives, and they get you to hate those who would help you, or who need your help. They get you to enthusiastically support drug testing for welfare beneficiaries, laws that make it harder for the workers to exercise the only real power they have (each other,) and criminalizing real dissent.
They make you afraid for that little bit that you have. They make you believe that others want to take it all away, when, in fact, it is they who want to do so. They make you so frightened of your neighbors that you are eager to throw them on the fire like so much kindling. “It’s the welfare queens”,”it’s the working poor”,”it’s the unions”, or “it’s women/blacks/gays/non-Christians” falls so easily off your lips and it doesn’t even occur to you to ask: what are they going to throw on the fire when they need to stoke it again?
It doesn’t have to be like that. The next time you feel encouraged to throw “another fag on the fire” you could ask yourself: “how is this person my sister or brother?” You could see an ally against those so ready to burn you both. You could take those ropes they get you to die down others with and turn them into bonds of love, trust, and hope.
They count on your fear, and they count on your fearful, willful ignorance. It has been going on so long I don’t understand how you let it continue. Is being afraid all the time that seductive? Is it easier? How long will you let them tell you be afraid of this group, then the next, then another before you see the pattern. They have you building that fire, it should provide light enough to see. Ask yourself a few more questions: “who is telling me to be afraid, and what do they gain?”
It has been the same people, with a little shuffling to keep the show going, at the top for the better part of a century now, maybe longer. There is nothing wrong with someone being at the top. There is something wrong with using that vantage point to keep yourself up there all alone. It is even more wrong to do so by keeping people tumbling downward, by burning them. They can’t burn you though unless you provide them with the fuel, and you do it when you are so ready to throw others on the flames.