As someone who came of age in The Sixties, and, I might add, as a kid who grew up in The Forties and Fifties, after the USA helped the world conquer two great dictatorships, I am thrilled and exhilarated by the revolution going on now in Egypt.
Seeing those millions of people out on the street, essentially peaceful and facing some of the worst thugs in the world (armed and equipped by the United States government)– Seeing them and hearing them demand their basic rights as human beings in the midst of a sea of Theocracies and Dictatorships has to be stirring to the blood of anyone who believes in the real meaning of Democracy.
And to me that meaning is Equality… That no one, for purposes of living a free life in a free society is BETTER than anyone else–despite color, religion, class, family lineage, education… no matter what-
Naturally the scales are tipped by psychological make-up, and the realities of class, race, and the like are impossible to ignore–as also are the inequities of intellect, appearance, natural talent, physical strength…
But the Ideal I’m talking about is that despite all these things, the great, liberating beauty of a real Democracy is that we all get to start at the same place, the track is even for all of us and the finish line is the same for all of us. We spend most of our political lives trying to keep these simple truths as close to being real as we can keep them. To do this we have had to get out in the street time after time, risk our comfort, our reputations, the good opinion of our friends and family, our freedom and sometimes our lives. We have fought brutal dictators to guarantee this Ideal.
In the screenplay of Gettysburg, much whose dialogue is taken word for word from the novel, THE KILLER ANGELS, this bedrock sense of equality is put most powerfully and beautifully by an Irish immigrant sergeant in the Union Army–just before the battle of Gettysburg. He says he is fighting this war so that he won’t have to bow his head before anyone.
That’s what I was brought up to believe as an American and that’s why I got myself out in the street time and time again in the Sixties and why I’ve said a great deal of what I’ve said on the radio for Thirty years.
The bad buys are ALWAYS out there, ready, willing and able to take away whatever you have–no matter how little it is.
Of course the truth of America, internally and externally is that, as a people, and certainly as a government, the USA has murdered and robbed its way to where it stands now… and continues to have the world’s most shameful record in crushing Democracy and maintaining Tyranny in the world.
But still… But still.. There is the Ideal of Democracy. And that is exactly what we’re witnessing in Egypt this very day.
I think that as Americans it is essential for us to support this revolution as much as we possibly can–not just because it is what we really should stand for but–reality taken into account–it is the way the wheel of history must turn. It?s the right thing now for Americans to stand with the People and not with Tyrants and Murderers just because it guarantees us and the Corporations power and money and the natural resources belonging to other people.
The Egyptians, if they are successful (no thanks to Obama and friends) in taking control over their own destiny will thank America for this and all the bullshit from Bush and Obama about America being the “light of the world” will actually be true for once in the modern world.
One last thing– Soon it will be the Jewish Holiday of Passover which celebrates the freeing of the Israelites from the bondage of Pharaoh.
As a Jew I would urge all Jews, here and in Israel, to help the Egyptians free themselves from this current Pharaoh.
I understand that it may seem that, for survival’s sake, its better to be friends with a Dictator you get along with than the uncertainly of a freely elected government with a huge army right on your Southern border. Never-the-less, Jews celebrate the freeing of their people from a brutal dictator so long ago– So it is time to celebrate the freeing of another people, right next door to Israel, from another brutal dictator– Right here–right now.
Today’s show on PRN is all about this. You can hear it by going to:
(sometimes it takes a day to get the show posted on the PRN archives but check it out).
As always, if you like it (or don’t) get in touch and let me know. And if you do like it, recommend it to others.
– Mike Feder (New York City – February 10, 2011)