Today, we all find ourselves on this bounteous planet with several billion other beautiful people in every fundamental respect exactly like us. Should our behavior be one of peace-loving gratitude or covetous greed? Should we begin tomorrow by cooperating to see that everyone has food, clothing and shelter or should we react with fear and avarice competing according to a belief in the “survival of the fittest,” succumbing to the “law of the jungle?”
Americans stood at this same crossroad over a hundred years ago and two highly respected leaders articulated the same stark choice we face today.
“We will not renounce our part in the mission of the race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. He has made us the master organizers of the world to establish system where chaos reigns. He has marked the American people as His chosen Nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world. Pray God the time may never come when mammon and the love of ease will so debase our blood that we will fear to shed it for the flag and its imperial destiny.” (1) Senator Albert Beveridge, before the U.S. Senate January 9, 1900
“And now I ask the advocates of annexation among us whether, if this republic under any pretext annexes any of the Spanish colonies, it does not really turn this solemnly advertised war of liberation and humanity into a war of self-aggrandizement. I ask them who will trust us again when we appear once more before mankind with fine words about our unselfish devotion to human freedom and humanity.” (1) Carl Schurz, to the National Conference on the Foreign Policy of the U.S., August 18, 1898
America’s departure from democratic ideals was among other things the failure to resist the temptation of mammon. “The C.I.A. helped over throw elected leaders in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s and backed violent coups in several other countries in the 1960s. It plotted assassinations and supported brutal anti-Communist governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia.” (2)
How do we make a better choice now that we again find ourselves at the crossroads, the intersection of our True self and our false self, gratitude and greed? Click on the link below for some guidance.
Insight # 133: “Hunger came to the countryside, to the towns, to Paris, it was sharp enough in the masses to overcome tradition, reverence and fear, and to provide an instrument for the aims and brains of well-fed men. The dykes of law and custom and piety broke, and the Revolution began.” (3)
- “Crossroads” in this blog and also in the print version, The Human Community (2016) by Roy Charles Henry, page 35.
- Larrabee, Harold A. “The Enemies of Empire.” American Heritage, June 1960, pages 32 & 33.
- Shane, Scott. “America Meddles in Elections, Too.” The New York Times, February 18, 2018, page 4.
- Durant, Will and Ariel Durant. Rousseau and Revolution. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967, page 940.