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Civil Disobedience In An Obedient World

Updated on February 4, 2013

THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FIRST AMENDMENT

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

My apologies to those of you who love the Second Amendment and in particular the section dealing with the right to bear arms, but for my money the First Amendment is the backbone of this nation. In it we find our most basic of freedoms.

Today we are going to chat about the section that speaks of peaceful assembly and petitioning the government, for I believe we are reaching a point in our history where we need to seriously consider doing just that on a national level.

Example of the 1st Amendment
Example of the 1st Amendment | Source

THE LOSS OF FREEDOMS IN THE UNITED STATES

“Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.” Henry David Thoreau

Slowly, ever so slowly, our freedoms are disappearing.

September 11, 2001 was indeed a day that will live on in infamy. America awoke to a new threat, and shortly after that horrendous day the War on Terror began. Broader guidelines were established giving the government sweeping powers in fighting the invisible enemy. Homeland Security and the NSA immediately leaped into the fray, and slowly, ever so slowly, our freedoms began to disappear.

Al -Queda became the enemy, as did any other foreign terrorist, but what did they look like? Walking down the streets of America, it really was difficult to determine what the enemy looked like.

No problem said our government. We will just round up anyone we suspect of being anti-American and we’ll let the courts sort it all out.

“Bye, bye, Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.”

Is it possible that the average American is not aware that they are being watched at this very moment? Is it possible that the average American is not aware that the eye of suspicion is gazing in their direction on this last day of January, 2013?

Thoreau believed that the State should recognize individuals as the higher and independent power. I wonder what Henry David would think of the United States in this year of our Lord?

AND THE RICH GET RICHER

Between 1979 and 2009, the top 5 percent of American families saw their real incomes increase 72.7 percent, according to Census data. Over the same period, the lowest-income fifth saw a decrease in real income of 7.4 percent. This contrasts sharply with the 1947-79 period, when all income groups saw similar income gains, with the lowest income group actually seeing the largest gains:

Do you have any doubt who is controlling this country? I would submit to you that Trickle Down Economics is not working the way we were told it would.

Employment is stagnant at best. Factories continue to close and jobs continue to head overseas. We, the American workers, are told that we need to re-train for a new economic future. Social Services are cut; relief is nowhere in sight, and trillions of dollars in investment monies sit idly in off-shore accounts as the rich investors wait for more favorable tax codes to be written…..and they will be written, because who do you suppose lines the pockets of the politicians who are supposed to be your representatives?

WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?

Well, every time we vote in an election we are told that we are exercising our right to overthrow the government, but we seem to substitute one “bought and paid for” legislature with another one year after year. Perhaps it is time to truly exercise our right to overthrow the government.

But is it possible during the Age of Complacency for that to happen? Last year we saw a grassroots movement called “Occupy Wall Street” rise up from the ashes of apathy and attempt to make a nationwide statement about income inequality. It was poorly organized and after an impressive start it faltered mightily and eventually succumbed to winter and the backlash that was inevitable.

Let me ask you this: Is it even possible in the United States today for a protest movement to gather momentum and actually force change? I am beginning to doubt that it will ever happen again.

The last time we saw signs that indicated that society even had a pulse was during the 1960’s when protests erupted across the nation over Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement, and those protests forced change. Where is that sort of national movement now? Where is the new generation of rabid protestors who are fed up and not willing to take it any longer? Well, for the most part they are playing video games and watching reality shows, and wondering what all that talk is about something called an American Dream.

The protestors of the Sixties gave birth to a new generation of Capitalism worshippers, and with each ensuing generation we have moved further and further away from any sort of societal cohesiveness. Now it’s every man for himself and buy now pay later and I sure hope the cops don’t break down my door for even daring to speak out in protest against our loss liberties.

And the sheep shall inherit the leftover dregs of the economy and raise a toast, boys and girls, to the way it used to be back in the day when hard work and determination could get you something in America.

Is this our government or isn't it?
Is this our government or isn't it? | Source

THERE ARE ONLY TWO OPTIONS

Well, that’s really an over-simplification, isn’t it? There are many options now aren’t there, but most of them are not terribly appealing.

We can continue as we are, and little by little we will continue to see the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and our civil liberties diminish to the point that it will be damn hard to recognize any of them.

We can continue to work within the system and overthrow the government in each new election, hoping against hope that one day a man or woman of the people will be elected.

We can continue to eat our own in a Darwinian eating frenzy, lashing out at each other and never once considering the fact that united we stand and divided we fall.

We can bury our heads in the sand, continue to medicate with booze and recreational drugs, and hope that it all goes away sooner rather than later.

We can build our own personal fortresses, flip off our neighbors, and hope that the spy in the sky doesn’t see us burying five bucks per month of undeclared income in the backyard.

Or…..

We can rise up and say that we have finally had enough. We can call on our ancestors of years gone by, and tap into whatever protest gene we still have in our bodies, and declare to our leaders that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and we do not choose to allow that to perish from this Earth.

FINAL REFLECTIONS

In the final analysis, we have only ourselves to blame. We allowed this to happen. Our social conscience has been bought and paid for, and now we piss and moan because the price was too steep. We want to renegotiate the contract that we made with the devil, but we don’t know how, and so we wait for something to change, knowing full well that change of this magnitude will only happen when it is forced to happen.

Our greatest enemy is not al-Queda, or any other anti-American boogie man manufactured by the doomsayers. Our greatest enemy is complacency. As long as we have our television, computer, cigarettes and beer then all is right in our world. We are still clinging to the hope that our Trifecta ticket will pay off, even though the first two races were lost. We are still clinging to antiquated beliefs that the cards are not stacked against us and the government is representative of 80% of us.

We are still clinging to a life-line made of tissue paper.

Ours is a legacy of revolutionaries. In our blood flows the blood of men and women who saw injustice and refused to accept it, and in fact rose up against it. Perhaps we are so far removed from those ancestors that our blood has become diluted by the bitter drops of apathy. Perhaps we no longer carry those genes that are necessary to demand change, and perhaps we are incapable of standing on the shoulders of giants like Thoreau.

Wouldn’t it be something, though, if we were just willing to try?

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, what a beautiful comment. The funny thing about the radicals of the 60's is that they have either gone mainstream or they have become tired and complacent, like the fire within has been extinguished. I certainly hope that the movement that you speak about finds its wings and flies higher than any government. I will be watching their progress and helping them as much as possible.

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      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      Bill, you probably know that this is my passion and I can't help but write a lengthy comment. Yes, if we don't do something now it will be too late. In the '60s, it was the first time since the 1770s that people got passionate enough about their country, their society, and the world to take to the streets and demand change. It was a lesson learned for many, including those in power. As you know, I wrote a hub about what is happening to people when they speak out today, but those were young people and labelled as anarchists so most people just don't care. The funny thing is, those same young people feel just the way you do and if we don't act now, the same thing is going to happen to us all.

      In Canada, we have the Idle No More movement and it is growing beyond our borders. People from environmental groups, from Occupy, and just plain folks have rallied in support in sub-zero weather despite the fact that they are put on government lists as subversives. Being anti-government is tantamount to being either fringe-crazy or treasonous and in either case, easy to attack and disperse. Not this time. This is about people and the planet and it took our First Nations people to define it and give it a cohesive structure. The government reaction is to divide and encourage racial profiling - again. As long as we listen to this kind of government, the closer we get to becoming a cautionary tale for future generations. We need to stop waiting for a savior to arrive and instead, stand together and demand our country(ies) back.

      This is our nation (insert just about any nation on the globe here), our government, our planet, and our lives. Money? It means nothing in the end except a means of power and control. Life is everything. Our ancestors did it. I wouldn't want to have to explain to them how we gave it all away while we slept.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix....."get off their fat complacency".....great line and I agree completely. Thanks for the laugh and a very practical solution.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Here's a crazy thought that just occurred to me. Instead of turning into old, grey-haired citizens waiting for the Dems and Repubs to get off their fat complacency and start compromising, what if we got of our fat complacency and learned to compromise with each other. Perhaps the citizens could set the example for our leaders in government. What do you think?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, we have spoken often about this. I am convinced that things are going to get much worse. How could they not? The system is stacked against 80% of the citizens and it ain't getting better, and the only ones who could change it are bought and paid for. I have hope in our citizens but I wonder what it's going to take to get them riled up enough to get off the damn couch and get involved?

      Thanks buddy; cross your fingers and keep howling at the moon. Sooner or later......

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      A can of worms, that's what you have opened. lol I've read through all the comments and noticed two words are repeated throughout - "complacency" and "compromise". It will be a long time before we see compromise between our two political parties, I'm afraid. We are far too divided for irrational reasons. Like you, I've organized and participated in many demonstrations back in the day. It was wasted effort. Some have said that the only thing our government understands is violence and sadly, I wonder if they are not right. I often think of the freedom fighters throughout history. They were willing to die for freedom. Do you know anyone today that would say that they are willing to die to be free? Therein lies the problem.

      Bill, I commend you for writing about this issue. I honestly don't have the answer but I know we will see much harder tmes ahead. I believe we will continue to relinquish more of our freedom, a little at a tim. Sadly, we do not have a strong leader to organize a movement and that is what it takes. And then, most will watch from the comfort of their living rooms and continue to blame the problem and the outcome of any civil disobedience on everyone else. For these reasons, I am more determiend than ever to be happy today, with what I have now, and continue to hope and pray that before we become prisoners in our own country, a leader will emerge who has the charisma and strength of character to lead a nation. I applaud you my friend. This one took courage and you did it perfectly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, Paula, where is that 3rd Party that understands where the middle is? who understands what compromise means? This country sorely misses the politicians of old who understood that negotiation was crucial if anything of importance is ever to be accomplished. Sheez, you and I see it....why is it so hard for others to see it?

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes....absolutely...another party. We should never have reached this sad..low point. Two parties....neither of them doing what they should...what they exist to do in the first place....represent US, work FOR us,...the PEOPLE first.

      God, yes. The Dems look left....the Repubs look right......but WHERE the hell is the 3rd party Crossing Guard to get us back to where we began?? "Lost" is not an option. Excellent Hub, bil... don't stop here....UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I sure hope you are right. Something has to happen soon, in your nation and in ours. Thank you my friend; it is always nice to see you.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I too feel that the blood of the revolutionaries that broke free and started a new nation is too thin and, yes, complacent to rise up again. And yet, I cannot...will not, give up hope that the people can rise up and say 'Enough! We are taking back our lives.' I have faith that basic human nature will prevail. But I also know it won't come easily.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dim, there is little difference between our two countries. The United States is not united and Great Britain is not great....what's next?

      Thank you for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dwachira, I agree completely. Society has become too comfortable, even when there is little comfort to be found. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I feel better already. LOL Thanks for the laugh!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

      Fabulous article. My husband and I often watch a British politician talking yet saying nothing.

      Bills being passed that take so much time and are of tiny importance.

      We despair now that we´re getting older wondering what sort of Britain our granchildren are inheriting. It´s certainly cannot be refered to as great Britain any more.

      Once again, although I am not American, I found this to be a most interesting article. Thanks billybuc.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Bill,

      It is the mind of comfort and self-rated satisfaction that prevent changes in our lives. The world would have been a better place if human would get the acts together and always have the will to do right. Thanks Bill for sharing this. voted up and useful.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Cheer up, a change is coming, A recent study shows American youth are getting more into politics. (FOX news)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HL, if I had the answer I'd be doing it. Unfortunately, this country is, as you say, so polarized that nothing can be accomplished. I have actually given thought to running for a political office but I'm worried about my sanity. :)

      Thanks for a great comment. We solved nothing in this discussion but I feel better. :) Thank you!

    • HLPhoenix profile image

      HLPhoenix 4 years ago

      As to my age Billy... my goal is 100 so I figure I'm 2/3's there... but seriously, I moved to the USA in 1979 from Canada. In Canada I considered myself a Conservative (very different from the Conservatives here today)

      When I got here Ronald Reagan was running for office (or shortly thereafter) I couldn't believe an Actor could run for the Presidency. I'd missed his entire politcal career. One day close to the election I watched him give what I would call a fireside speech. Everything he said in that speech rang true to me. He got elected ...time passed, maybe I changed, or he did or ??? but even though back then I didn't need the money, I began to see nothing was trickling down.

      I too remember when the politicians in Washington, fought and fought but had dinner together and eventually met in the middle and we moved forward... I really miss those days. I fear they are gone forever.

      I don't see the way back when the electorate is so polarized and so misinformed regarding our democracy and how it is supposed to work... that moving a little to the left or right to keep the country moving is considered political suicide.

      Maybe insisting on How Government (is actually supposed to )Works courses be made mandatory in all levels of education... and for all people running for any level public office... would be a good beginning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I wish I could add to this conversation but I'm out of answers. Getting people involved in their own future doesn't seem like it would be difficult to do, but it evidently is. I agree that the vote is a huge weapon, but I'm beginning to wonder if there is a politician out there who isn't bought and paid for by special interest groups. I'd love to believe that is not the case.

      Anyway, answers will have to come from someone smarter than I am. I can see the problems like the nose on my face, but for the life of me I don't know how we breathe life into the citizens.

      Thanks again my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I want to believe that we will. I don't see evidence of it but I want to believe. :) Thank you for caring my dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, your last line is so important. It is our responsibility, and yet so few answer the call. Yes,ignorance....my God when will this nation wake up and realize what is happening?

      Thank you my friend.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      "Our greatest enemy is complacency" and, I am sorry to say, ignorance. You have hit the nail on the head. If we don't question and challenge the decision makers in order to hold them accountable, then we have no one to blame but ourselves when things go bad. I believe we have not only a right to speak freely, but a responsibility. Voted up!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great topic Bill. I wonder how long it will be before people realize that in order to change anything, they must first see the inequality festering all over the world. I find that most people who have good jobs are not looking to change anything, and the jobless are becoming more complacent, looking for more hand-outs. It is time we stood but will we?

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, it appears we have 100% agreement that something needs to be done to get the train back on the tracks. The question is what should we do.

      It is apparent that a great many voters have no idea who it is they are voting for. Perhaps the candidate has the required "D" or "R" in front of their name, and that is all they need to know. Looking at a candidates voting record and attendance record is far to complicated or just plain too much work for many. They take their information from the expensive TV smear ads we are pounded with starting a year before the election. Many of us know there is little or no truth in these ads. Most of them are purely scare tactics to frighten voters into voting for the person who paid for the ad.

      We also know the individuals sending protest letters to their elected representatives gets us nothing. Many organized groups send petitions with thousands of signatures with little or no positive results.

      So how do we get citizens involved in being more selective on which candidates they vote for? I don't know to be honest with you.

      The "Occupy" group never did come up with a clear message on what they were expecting in the way of change, at least not that I heard of.

      Obviously, our biggest weapon is our vote if used wisely. Many don't even use this weapon and are either too busy or just don't care to vote. Yet many of the non-voters complain the loudest.

      A comment above cited the "Let the other guy do it" attitude. And that pretty well sums up why we are in the situation we find ourselves now.

      If you have any suggestions on how we could turn this around I am all ears.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay...hasn't gotten here yet.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      email sent with a huge what if........

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Sha, I can't wait to hear your suggestion....if we accomplish that they we are accomplishing something that I haven't seen done in fifty years. :) Thanks for the kind words my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, first I have to compliment you on how phemonimally well this piece is written. Secondly, I agree with you: Americas need to protest what is being done, or not being done in our country. Where are the protests of the 60's? Does anyone care? Why are we not shouting at the top of our lungs and letting the legislators know our dissatisfaction and disagreement with the decisions that are being made for us?

      I have a thought and rather than make it public here, I will send you an email. I think you, Linda and I may be able to jerk a knot in the tails of the complacent members of our American society.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and thank you again...deja vu all over again. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I don't know my friend. I had great hope for the Wall Street Movement and that went down the toilet in a blaze of apathy after a great start. I hope to see another major, organized movement in the near future. I want to see the Establishment shaken to its core.

      Thanks for those angels minus the baked goods. :)

      blessings and hugs back atcha

      bill

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      We have allowed this to happen about that there is no doubt. And I could have put a check mark by each one of the points you made because you once again nailed it. In the sixties we were right there on the front lines protesting, making our voices heard, showing how much we cared.

      I do not believe our situation is totally hopeless unless we continue to turn a blind eye to all that is gradually slipping away. Waiting for someone else to do something, waiting for someone else to step up to the plate will only mean further erosion of our freedoms and what this country was meant to be. As you closed saying, maybe we just need to try.

      Sending you many Angels this evening Bill ....ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      We have allowed this to happen about that there is no doubt. And I could have put a check mark by each one of the points you made because you once again nailed it. In the sixties we were right there on the front lines protesting, making our voices heard, showing how much we cared.

      I do not believe our situation is totally hopeless unless we continue to turn a blind eye to all that is gradually slipping away. Waiting for someone else to do something, waiting for someone else to step up to the plate will only mean further erosion of our freedoms and what this country was meant to be. As you closed saying, maybe we just need to try.

      Sending you many Angels this evening Bill ....ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, great analogy of the frog and I agree, Congress needs to learn a few lessons or we are all going to suffer more. Thanks for a great comment.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I can see the water boiling around the frog as he sits bathing in comfort! Your speech should be given at the next meeting of congress and on every street corner of America. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie, and I hope your book signing went well my friend.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, you are absolutely correct. I had great hopes for the Wallstreet Movement and then it morphed into a gang mentality and lost all hope.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rod, that is a great line....slapping band-aids on severed heads, and it is so damn accurate. The time to come to our senses is here, and heaven help us if we don't. Thank you Sir! Great comment!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, we better wake up before it's too late. I hate to be pessimistic; it's not in my nature. But my God, man, this country is heading down the wrong path.

      Thanks buddy; hope all is well with you.

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      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Bill.. I so agree with you.. what little rights and freedoms we have left is slowly fading away.

      bless you for writing this

      all so true

      Blessings

      Debbie

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, After thinking more about this issue, I now believe the Wallstreet group was very well intentioned in the beginning, and then was infiltrated and hijacked by those we saw near the end.

      Their lack of leadership and organization left them wide open for this sort of thing to happen. The group did get a great deal of attention, but much of it was negative due to the actions of a few.

      A new group would need those things that were missing from this group to be successful, and improper behaviour could not be tolerated for the group to be effective. Most any group without leadership is nothing but a mob of people.

      And those are my thought for today.

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      RodneyBlaec Rainey 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Yes DemiT, we must write a new story. . I’ve been hearing a lot of “Darwin’s survival of the fittest” being thrown around lately. What many people do not realize is that Darwin also had a lot to say about altruism and love. He wrote, “The so-called moral sense is aboriginally derived from the social instincts,” and “Social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services to them.” This system that has now dominated the entire planet turns us all against our interdependent, tribal nature. It facilitates and rewards the raping of the planet, the eradication of species including our own.

      How long will we go on propping up this cumbersome, overcomplicated, obsolete scheme? When will we stop slapping band-aids on severed heads?

      Great Hub, Thank You for sharing.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is a grate wakeup call Bill, I just hope enough people will stand up and makd the effort to change things. I will be one for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DemiT, I sense you are right, that there is great change ahead. I hope so because it is desperately needed. Thank you for adding to the discussion with a great comment.

    • DemiT profile image

      DemiT 4 years ago from Greece

      Despite the fact that I am not an American citizen and I am Greek citizen doe not stop me from saying that people are ready to make a change. people all over the world are experiencing the limitation to their rights and freedoms. The tool that we have to make things happen is the internet and the fast exchange of information. People come together and form and new society...a global one. All of us want the same thing: To live in peace and see our children grow in a loving environment. From all the comments I feel that things will be changing very soon, either we like it or not. The story can not continue like that! We need to change chapter and have faith in our motives. Thanks to a great hub and to all those people that shared their opinion. This is a topic for an endless discussion.

      Thanks again

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I hope that day of awakening comes soon. We need it to happen now rather than later.

      Thank you dear lady.

      love,

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      One day we are all going to finally WAKE UP and then wonder, what happened? And, yes, it is complacency . . . as we are all wrapped up in our own little words to care much about anything else, it seems.

      Excellent hub.

      Voted up +++ and sharing.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HL, thank you for a great comment. I have no idea how old you are, but I can tell you without hesitation that there has been a huge shift in politics during my lifetime. There once was a day when compromise was made, and the two major parties found a way to work together. That is no longer the case, and the losers are the citizens. We seem to have no voice, or if we have one it is feint at best and getting more feint daily.

      I have serious concerns as I know you do as well. I'm not sure what it is going to take for positive change to happen.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Poolman!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again HS!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I agree totally. That movement had real promise and then it just died. Maybe one day we will see a more organized effort. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HS, I had great hopes for the Wall Street Movement and then it just died a quiet death. Too bad for sure, but at least we know there is some life left in the citizens of this country.

    • HLPhoenix profile image

      HLPhoenix 4 years ago

      Even the right to congregate has been diminished... during the Occupy Movement some Mayors jumped on it almost immediately while others allowed it to grow... but eventually, as you said, due to lack of organization at the top, it became disorganized and disfunctional to the point that City governments needed to take action to clean it up.

      Unfortunately, movements that take to the streets while very effective tend to be taken over by 'bad elements' folks who are there for the party more than the cause... trouble makers, etc. Eventually all the public support petered away because the 'newsmakers' of the movement weren't up there pushing change, they were those who were stoned and creating a health disaster on the streets.

      I totally agree with every paragraph you wrote Billy... we are loosing many rights, all those you spoke to and more... but those we are loosing are not the ones that are getting the publicity... we are NOT loosing 2nd Amendment rights, we are NOT loosing Religious Rights... we ARE loosing... the ability of the populous to think critically ...we are loosing the value of public education... we have lost the teaching of a citizens Responsibility... to educate themselves and to vote...

      You have set the dangers out plain and clear... unfortunately we are all preaching to the choir... Only action by the people can make change in this country. And the Repbublicans have figured out how to defeat the popular vote through gerrymandering... they did it with the House votes... and are very vocal about attempting to change the way electoral college votes are awarded. Once that happens... the People's votes will be meaningless. And we will be too late in attemping to get 'redress' from our government.

      I hope this hub is taken very seriously and passed along far and wide... a very timely reminder about where the country is and what the dangers to it and us really are. Great Hub. Sharing.

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      @HSchneider - Thanks, I will find and read your hub.

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      Howard Schneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I totally agree with you, Old Poolman. I wrote a Hub about that very point when the movement was alive but waning.

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      The Occupy Wall Street movement started as a good idea, but had no real organization or leadership. It evolved into to something that was less than desirable, and produced no results that I am aware of.

      Had this movement had a plan and leadership, we might even be seeing some desirable change today.

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      Howard Schneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I too wish the Occupy Wall Street movement had continued on and achieved greater success. We do need another movement to change the inequality and unfairness inherent in our nation today. Thank you for this great Hub, BillyBuc.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, Rome is a great example......some people would say no, that can't be true, but read history and it is easy to see the similarities. Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deltachord, for the most part I am excited when any grass roots movement has any momentum at all. I hope as a society we wake up soon before it is too late.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you are right; our freedoms are disappearing and I doubt if most people even realize it. That is the most frightening fact of all.

      Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I agree completely. Let me also say that I appreciate the fact that you are knowledgeable about affairs in this country. I am sure many people have no idea what I am talking about in this article, and that might scare me more than anything.

      All we can do is keep screaming from the mountain tops and hope someone hears.

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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      History repeats itself. We have gotten so big for our britches that we take for granted that our freedom and abundance will always be there. We believe that we can never be conquered while all the while we are slowly disintegrating from within, just as mighty Rome did.

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      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      I do agree we are losing our freedoms, and that concerns me to no end. Many people are complacent and many people don't understand history, nor look at it to see how freedoms have taken away before.

      One movement that is growing and youth are a big part of it is the Right to Life Movement.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      the thing that bothers me most is that our freedoms are slowly disappearing. There are continued rules and regulations for everything. Our language is changing and we have to comply with new rules. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer...The unemployment is not discussed nor are there solutions to get people to work..It is all about complacency and maybe a few other things thrown into the landscape.

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, our first real need is educating the voters. Very few are happy with what has been going on in Congress, yet 92% were reelected at the last election. Two weeks before the election we had people who did not know who was running for president, and could not name the VP.

      Change will only happen after citizens get educated and involved in our political process. The "freebie" crowd is getting most everything they want, and they will not join the battle until some or all of the freebies go away.

      When I hear what was the deciding factor for some when they cast their ballot, I am shocked. Some of the issues that decided their vote are beyond belief, and many based on lies, or distortions of the truth.

      What has happend to our society?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I suspect that thing are going to have to get much worse before citizens will rise up in protest. Hang on to your seat and get ready for a rough ride ahead. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I hope I'm not alone in that feeling.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      As always beautiful sentiments and do totally agree with you Bill. It would be nice if we could get together as one and change things for the better to help benefit all of us. Have of course voted up and shared, too!! :)

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Well, time comes to make a stand!! Well said!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I am so tired of the Dems and Republicans and their no answers. Bring on a new party, a party of the people. I'll work for them tirelessly if they can show me a sincere desire to make change happen.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, I know how to march and protest; I did enough of it during the 60's. I agree that it might be time for us to do it again. Thank you my friend.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I so much agree Bill--we will in an age where complacency is the norm. I grew up with civil disobedience and then tried to work within the system. I am now at 57 considering going back out onto the streets with a placard

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      As I was reading this Bill, the word "complacency" was running through my head, and then, there it was in your writing! How right you are again my friend...we are all living in our own little worlds oblivious to the chipping away of our rights and freedoms. Money will take over the government...what's left of it...and we will be like the French as the government says, "let them eat cake"! We complain but do nothing. We disagree but do nothing. We are sinking and yet we don't plug the hole in the boat!

      Somewhere, within us or out there, remains the blood that started this country and got it running. The blood that fought for freedom and unity and yes, equality. Time to stand up and be counted whether its the Wall Street Movement, the Tea Party or the New Revolution!!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.