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The future is needed in actions
The 47th Letter of an Autonomous Thinker



Phnom Penh, May 5 2004

Dear reader, 

The elite wants to preserve the long-existing eliteworld and to transfer its power and privileges to its offspring. In this way it has united the past, the present and the future. The masses lack the time and the energy to fight for a better future because they must work hard to make ends meet in the present.

This unequal situation exists already for aeons. Only when the eliteworld ceases to exist, leaders will take decisions that favour all people instead of in the first place the own privileged group.

Some former top-leaders who are not anymore pressurized to defend in the first place the interests of the elite seem to propose decisions that favour masspeople. Jimmy Carter wants a world-wide ban on land mines even when these murder weapons were also refined when he was president. Ruud Lubbers defends the interests of political refugees by advancing ideas that are very different from the line he advocated when he was Dutch prime-minister.

Masspeople are not very independent. Labour leaders demand higher wages, leading activists demand the closure of nuclear power plants. At the most these actions improve a little the situation of the masses but when one problem is solved a comparable problem comes up. Masses never fight for a society in which equal payment for equal efforts or electricity without possible nuclear explosions is self-evident.

Masspeople hardly take into account that all decisions are taken with the idea that the present power relations may not be disturbed. Actions should also include the possibility of a change in the power relations (and the difference in income and possessions).

The world does not change when one problem is solved nor when a new group of leaders arrives that also favours the elite. I took part in many actions against the Vietnam War but with the Iraq War new leaders repeated what happened before. Actions against the Vietnam War had a passing influence on the power relations in the rich Western countries. Another world only emerges when leaders come under lasting pressure so they cannot anymore live safely in their privileged fort.

Most activists only want to improve small points though these faulty points only exist because society is wrong. Most actions have restricted goals as better housing, better wages, cleaner environment or better health care but any improvement can later be cancelled by the powers that be. Actions never try to change the minds of leaders in such a way that wrong decisions are not anymore taken.

Only when the elite ceases to exist, decisions will be taken in the interest of all people. Now any improvement in the life of masspeople is based on an insecure foundation. And this situation  will be continued when masspeople do not introduce the concept of a completely different future world in their activities.

Yours truly, Joost van Steenis

PS see also Letter 40, The road to the future

 

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