One time I heard it said that Washington, DC is “Twenty-four square miles surrounded by reality.” I could not agree more. My son asked me several times on our most recent trip, “Why do they make the buildings so fancy?” I could only reply, “Because they want people to think they are big and powerful.”
Power. The ability to control: to change surroundings, to manipulate people, to become more comfortable than the masses.
Washington, DC was never built for the people, by the people; it was commissioned by those in power to make great monuments of the powerful.
Why does it seem that the only monuments built to honor common people are war memorials?
It took nearly 60 years before the WWII Memorial was built to honor over 400,000 American lives given to defend against true evil, and yet the Vietnam “military action” (never classified as a war by our government) which came decades after had a memorial built decades before the WWII memorial.Which war was necessary?
One of the few monuments dedicated to true peace is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, but it took over 40 years to be built and the statue pales in comparison to most others.
There are no great monuments for the coal miner, the farmer, the steel worker–nothing to honor the people who labored and gave the most to uphold the power of a wealthy minority.
Though we are given the chance to vote, it does not matter. Any representative we send to the halls of government will be purchased by the true power of this country—money: money hoarded by corporations, money hoarded by CEOs and the 1%.
The most dignified and morally responsible representative, if not corrupted by money, will find themselves fighting a battle against the hundreds of other representatives corrupted by money and power.
The people of Appalachia are labeled as sacrifices for the greater good: the retired coalminer gasping for breath, the disabled miner living in such terrible pain that he places a pistol in his mouth to end it all—just more sacrifices to uphold the stations of power held by wealthy minorities.
Those who fight against the unjust system of money and power are labeled as “activists” and discounted by modern society.
Activists are despised not only by those in power with tremendous wealth, but by the people whose ignorance keeps them bound in servitude to those in power with tremendous wealth.
Everyone should go to Washington, DC, or at least visit their state capitols. They should take time to see what has been built, not for them, but to honor the powerful who have manipulated the people time and time again. Everyone should realize the true cost of all that marble and granite.
Blood makes poor mortar, except when building monuments to the wealthy and powerful….
Each brick has a face, a name, a wife and children. Each column contains the suffering of coal miners and farmers, steel workers and auto workers, Native Americans, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians—peoples of the entire world bent over in pain and suffering so that a chosen few can have their lavish estates and a feeling of power over others.
The sacrifice of the coal miner is just another mahogany desk, a beautifully carved column, a $300 pencil sharpener or $2000 office chair, even a free soda offered to a well-paid coal industry lobbyist while he waits to see the senator.
Only 150 years ago black people were treated as less than animals, free to be beaten or killed at the bidding of their owners. Today, there are people who still think of black people as no more than animals. It is a sickness of the human race and it knows no bounds.
It took until 1938 before child labor was ended–only 75 years ago and 162 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
What was this great nation truly built upon? A constitution and freedom or the suffering and death of the American laborer and their children sent off to war?
Suffering continues in every part of the nation, in every part of the world.