I've tried to temper my words lately. Being aggressive in disdain for those who blindly promote service to bankers and the war machine rarely works. It puts those complicit in delivering their sons and daughters into the bowels of the corrupt system of empire on the defensive. They have been programmed and it's hard to undo.
Recently an older family member said of someone who is about to graduate from high school; "Isn't he going to join the military? Wouldn't that be the best thing for him?"
This person has been diagnosed as being in the early stages of Alzheimer's so there was no need in arguing. Sometimes it seems that our entire country is in the last stages of the disease for which there is no cure. Perhaps that's close to being true but there still are enough healthy people to make a difference, at least that's the hope we still cling to.
Another extended family member, who is in college, thinks he wants to be in the FBI. There were too many people not interested in politics and propaganda around when this talk was going on this Easter Sunday so I held my tongue. One day I will try to plant the seed of doubt by asking him what he would do when confronted with orders that are not ethical or moral or constitutional as so often is the case. He's a smart kid but I don't think he has been exposed to the whole of possibilities that exist in that line of work. It's the same with soldiers and their families. Not being aware is a poor excuse but being caught up in the deceptions is understandable and we have to deal with it.
Just because you don't want to hear something, doesn't mean it isn't true and also doesn't mean you won't hear it at some point, or be affected by it to your detriment or benefit. Great and seemingly invincible armies have been defeated. Massive armadas have sunk and drowned at the bottom of the sea. Vast empires are now nothing but ruins. These things are true.
Kent State massacre.
Questions still remain but the same mechanisms of shoot first, think and ask questions later still remain. For some of us it was our first exposure to the reality that pawns working for those in power would kill their own and attempt to justify it in the name of security. It's fairly commonplace now. Only the actors and victims have changed.
The protesters, the hippies, thought they could change the world and in small ways they did. We thought we could put an end to the insanity of war. Little did we know.
By 1974 the idealism of youth had taken a wrong turn . Hard drugs, downers, bad acid and creeping apathy infiltrated the movement and causalities at the fringe took their toll. By the end of the Vietnam War the hippies were starting to become yuppies and the consumer culture once again became dominant. The police state never rested and solidified and advanced the agenda exponentially with 9/11. The factors of where we are today are many. Just as there was no justice for the victims of Kent State, one ingredient of all collapsing empires is an absence of justice. Do we still have time to bring justice back to the forefront? We have to try.
From 1972, memories from the falling and failures of the counter culture ... It was fun while it lasted.