Then and Now

Back then, robber barons and bankers divided up the spoils,
ran waves of immigrant workers through the wage slave grinder,
getting rich raping forests and extracting dirty coal and oils.

In Europe, the dogs of war were baying loudly,
as the serfs grew tired of groveling to the lords.
They rallied around new ideas, rioting in angry hordes.

Economic booms and busts were common in those days.
Wars were one way to increase production, wealth and loyalty,
and the lords used these ploys to claim converts in many ways.

For it was thought to be glorious to go off to a war.
To come back victorious; a hero rising above the gore.
A way to escape the groveling poor peasant life before.

And so the crash of '29, worldwide, was a harbinger of much more.
A deep depression, deepened and birthed ideologies by the score.

Some sought worker concessions, spreading the wealth around.
Some sought revenge, exacting compensation pound for pound.

With angry voices rising two different paths were wrought.
In the US, concessions were granted to those who sought,
in Germany, old hatreds and fear granted power to a dreadnought.

With an angry claim of superiority of race, loyalty was engendered,
a new order for a new age of the thousand years was rendered.

In the US, government helped the poor gain rights, work and pay.
In Germany, the new regime plundered the old, taking their rights away.

It took a second great war to determine which ideology was just.
Everyone thought that the evil of fascism had been trampled in the dust.

But now, CEOs of corporations, bankers and Wall Street divide the spoils,
and, in spite of great danger to all, increase extraction of coal, gas and oils.

In the Middle East, the dogs of war are baying again loudly,
as religious sects argue over modernization, money and morality.
Old hatreds grow and fester with atrocities unthinkable, expressed boldly.

Fear, once again, grips the West with thoughts of going to war,
with thoughts of hatred growing and of evening the score.

So many working people with concessions now disappearing from the countryside,
with so many looking for scapegoats for why they lost their money and pride.

Two views of the situation have been coming to the fore,
those that want the peoples' concessions returned and more,
and those who want the superior race to rule like before.

There is danger in both of these views, if taken way too far.
Greed creeps in, power begets power, and it all gets blamed on sin.

But we all know what is the right thing to do and won't ever give in,
to that evil anymore; we know the score, we've heard it all before.

Old ideas just won't work anymore... No more... Nevermore.

The Haymarket Affair of 1886, Chicago

The Haymarket Affair of 1886, Chicago
"Eight hour work day with no cut in pay."

As Thanksgiving approaches, many of the people of this country are not thankful
for what they have, but angry about what they think they don't have. Now is not
the time to repeat history, but to embrace new ways of thinking and moving
forward to a kinder, gentler world. Not a world where we create walls to one
another and lack simple human understanding in favor of beliefs and ideologies
that are contrary to harmony, personal growth and life.

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Copyright 2016 © Ronald W. Hull


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