Poetry – Who asks the Questions?

Who asks the Questions?

The dead ask the best questions

Though the ‘masters’ do not hear.

Asking them to speak louder

Does not seem to make the questions clear.

We are charged with finding answers

With a grip upon their balls

To focus their attention

On the writing on the walls.

Why did this happen?

Who did this to us?

Who allowed the power?

Who profits from our trust?

Opher 20.9.96

Who asks the Question? – A poem about the stupidity of our leaders who create the problems.

It always seemed to me that the mess around the world is actually created by our leaders. We vote them in power and they contrive to mess things up.

Instead of countries looking selfishly at national interests we could be organising the world to get it to function a lot better. There does not have to be such gross inequality that some have more than they can spend while others starve. There doesn’t have to be mass overpopulation. There doesn’t have to be mass immigration.

If the world leaders organised things instead of deliberately creating instability, fuelling environmental devastation and exploiting other nations, we could have a fairer, more stable world.

It is not hard to organise.

What creates the problems are selfishness, greed and power seeking.

No – it is not human nature. We are capable of better. Most people are kind, helpful, caring and considerate. It is the minority who are cruel and heartless.

It seems to me that we end up with wars out of desperation that is the result of foreign policy. Soldiers go in and millions die.

The dead cannot ask the questions. The living have to do that.

It is about time we stopped just writing slogans on the walls and asked the questions on behalf of the victims.

We have to make them get it right! Unless they are forced to address the problems they won’t bother.

8 thoughts on “Poetry – Who asks the Questions?

  1. Opher, you make an excellent point that selfishness, greed and power seeking are not a part of human nature. But you don’t need to look very far to see the source of the problems. Arbitrary borders, bad laws, wars, cronyism, dishonesty, injustice, and taxation of the politically poor for the benefit of the politically rich are all built into today’s system. In the current manifestation, called “sovereignty,” they have been there since the 16th/17th century (though the underlying foundation, called “the state,” has been there for several thousand years). The system also fails to bind the powerful to keep to the laws they themselves make, and fails to hold them responsible for the effects on others of what they do. No wonder that the worst psychopaths are attracted to positions of power; and no wonder that, when they do get power, they behave like the assholes they are.

    We’ve deployed several different kinds of bags on the side in an effort to get around these problems. Republics, constitutions, democracy, human rights, to name but four. But none of them have worked; because corruption is built into the roots of politics. It’s politics itself, the system, that has to go.

    But you seem to miss that a “world government” based on the current system would be even worse than a world of warring nation-states. The bad laws, cronyism, dishonesty, injustice and taxation would still be there (and they would probably manage to find a way to carry on the wars, as well), But it would be a world elite this time, in place of many national elites. This would mean a total lack of choice, and the complete destruction of freedom and rights. That is why I, and people like me, are so opposed to the EU and the UN, both of which are prototypes for such a system.

    1. I think we are both agreed on the basis of the problem Neil. Where we differ is the way to solve it.
      I would like to do away with nations, religions and capitalism but know that pragmatically we need systems to create cohesion to support 8 billion people and we need structures to stop the greedy and selfish from destroying the planet.
      Your proposals play into the hands of the unscrupulous and greedy. They need controlling.
      Central to everything is the disaster that is looming with biodiversity and climate change. That has to be addressed before we destroy ourselves and most other living organisms. Something you need to wake up to.

  2. Opher, I too would like to “do away with” nations in the political sense. But I’m not against patriotism (the love of a land and its people), or national and sub-national cultures. Those are things which can create a feeling of cohesion between people, and many find them important. But nations and their politics cause, not cohesion, but division. They cause both division within nations (because different groups of people want different things, and top-down politics doesn’t allow them to agree to disagree) and division between nations (leading to trade wars and, all too often, to real wars).

    On religion, my attitude is, and has been for over 30 years: If you’ll let me have my religion, or lack of it, I’ll let you have yours. Looked at objectively, religion is rather silly. But many people find it important, so I don’t want to take it away from them. What is vital, though, is that no-one must be able to force their religion on to others who don’t want it. Not Muslims, not Christians, not Pastafarians, and certainly not atheists. Or greenies.

    As to capitalism, I am entirely in favour of capitalism in the narrow sense – that is, private and/or personal ownership of the means of production. This is important for everyone; but most of all for those of us, whose means of production are our minds. The idea that our means of production could be owned by someone else, or by some collective organization, is just slavery by another name.

    I grant you, there are some problems with what is today called “capitalism” in the broader sense. The main problem is big company bosses colluding with political governments. The companies can get subsidies, and lock out their smaller competitors. In return, the politicians can push the economy in ways they want it to go; and individually, they can also profit from the so called “revolving door.” These are the “unscrupulous and greedy” you speak of. All that has got to go; and in its place, I want to see individuals and small companies each doing what they do to enhance the lives of others, and each receiving reward in proportion.

    And then we come to biodiversity and climate change. Don’t you see, Opher, that on these subjects you come over to me just like a crazy religionist? “The end is nigh! Repent thy sins, or be eternally damned! Find salvation by following GAHD! And leave all your worldly wealth in the collecting box on your way out.” If a religious nutter was trying to convince you of the case for his god, you would (I assume) demand that he prove his case. I certainly would! You would expect him to show specific, objective, checkable examples of (one presumes, good) things his god had done, and to show beyond reasonable doubt that they had been done by his god, not by human action, random chance or any other agency.

    On environmentalism, I am simply taking that same view. I don’t follow the Church of Gaia any more than I follow the Church of England. To convince me, you need to show specific, objective, checkable examples of bad effects on the environment, and prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were the result of the specific human activities you think ought to be controlled, not of anything else. Beyond that, you need to identify, objectively, just how much of each such problem is down to me as an individual; and who I ought to compensate, and by how much, to make up for what I did. And then, you will have to balance that off against all the damage that has already been caused to me by green political policies, and make those that promoted and supported those policies compensate me for what they did to me.

    1. One world, one people Neil. The sooner we do away with all the racism, exploitation and inequality the better.
      I’m perfectly alright with people believing whatever religious guff they want. The trouble is that they have to use it to control people. The fanatics kill people. They want to stuff their views down everybody’s throats. It’s ISIS, the Taliban and Catholic Church.
      Capitalism is the seat of greed and selfishness. It creates slavery, exploitation and gross inequality.
      Climate change is beyond doubt and is a catastrophe that requires enormous action. Ignoring it is daft.
      Biodiversity is of a similar magnitude.
      You sound like someone standing in the road with a juggernaut heading straight for you saying that it isn’t going to affect you or change your path. It is not about fanaticism or belief. It is scientific fact. Things that I have seen with my own eyes.
      Deforestation
      collapse of populations
      disappearance of wilderness
      rise in CO2
      thinning of ice
      species creep
      overpopulation
      You have your head in the sand.

      1. I’m perfectly alright with people believing whatever religious guff they want. The trouble is that they have to use it to control people.

        Well, we agree on that, at least. But for me, the “climate change” agenda is unproven religious guff; and the closer I look at the facts, the more unproven it looks that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing any problems at all.

      2. On that you are simply wrong. By any measure the world is in a precarious state and we are causing it. I shall put out a post later today that should send chills through you Neil.

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