Seize the Future (cont.)
STRUGGLING AGAINST MADNESS
Peoples’ Anti-War Mobilization Rally Washington, D.C.
May 3, 1981
It has been said that the gods first make mad those they are about to destroy. Now I do not want to blame the gods for human folly, so let us say those who are about to destroy themselves, the gods allow them to go mad.
When we survey the policies, goals, tactics, attitudes, and behavior of the present rulers of the Nation, we are driven to the inescapable conclusion... they are mad!! How else can you explain America’s support for El Salvador? After the nightmare that was Vietnam, you would think that the rulers would have learned their lesson. But here they go again just a few years later pouring money, material, and advisors to the Durante’s Regime that has massacred thousands of citizens including Holy men and women, it is madness! madness! madness! How else do you explain the love affair which the Reagan administration has entered into with the Apartheid Regime in South Africa?
A little while back the Ambassador to the United Nations, Ms. Jane Kirkpatrick was caught in an illegal meeting with high officials of South Africa. Ms. Kirkpatrick said she did not know who they were. Which means that she is lying or stupid, or both. Either one is bad for us. When Andrew Young met with a member of the P.L.O., he was forced to resign. But no such fate befell Ms. Kirkpatrick. Obviously, she was doing what Reagan wanted her to do. What an utter disregard for decency! How do you explain it? Madness! Madness! Madness! And would you believe it, while they are supporting the military junta in El Salvador; while they are increasing the military budget to protect their interest abroad. While they are courting the affection of the most abdominal regime in the world, here at home they are terminating programs and services to the aged and children.
They are closing hospitals and they are shutting down schools!
They are stopping Lunch Programs for hungry children!
They are halting assistance for decent housing!
They are ending employment programs and slamming the door in the face of the handicap people!, and they say they are doing it to protect your interest.
They say they are doing it for Peace!
What kind of reasoning is this?
Is it your interest they are protecting? What do you own in El Salvador and other parts of the world that requires an astronomical military budget? And if you own anything, how did that come about in other peoples’ country?
Did you steal it?
Did you take it?
And what about this Peace business, how can there be peace in one’s own country when the gulf between the haves and the have nots grows ever wider? Even animals of the rich gorge themselves on steaks and wear expensive apparel, while the masses starve or survive on inadequate diets and wear rags for clothing. Urban neighborhoods of the poor are allowed to deteriorate, rats and roaches infest dilapidated shacks, while the automobiles of the rich have more space. The unemployment rate spirals and the masses earn little or nothing, while others earn millions of dollars a year with an expense account.
How can there be peace? It may be possible to put all of the country’s resources into the military and continue exploitation and defense abroad, while at the same time war rages at home. That situation may be possible, but only madness would think it wise to do. Anyone who thinks that human beings will go along with a program that spends billions on military while children starve and he languish in unemployment must be mad. How else can you explain it? Madness!, that is what it is Madness!, Madness!, Madness!, and unless something is done with this madness, they will destroy itself and the people.
There is a strange and particular quality about madness. It loudly and smugly claims sanity for itself, and ascribe insanity to the rest of the world.
It sees plots, schemes, and conspiracy everywhere – communist conspiracy, black conspiracy, and jewish conspiracy. Thus, further intensifying its own madness. More defense, more arms, more draft, more nuclear testing. Enemies are coming, they are everywhere! And since there is Universal Laws that says, “we get what we fix our minds upon”, And because there is need to justify all the war preparations, it is inevitable that a provocation by the alleged enemy be found. And abnormal pride, also a quality of madness, demands massive retaliation. The alleged enemy must be humiliated, must be destroyed, along with all his friends! And guess who will fight the war, who will do the dirty work of the madmen?
There is a calculating cunningness about madness, you know. The cunning of war madness is that others are manipulated and paid to fight the war, to take up arms on behalf of the country. Poor Blacks, Whites, Chicanos, Latinos who a short time before were told they were lazy, welfare cheats, crooks, good for nothing savages are now informed that they are not so bad after all. Their country needs them and it is their patriotic duty to not only go kill the enemy, but to die if they have to. Now all the time the madmen and their children will find a way to stay out of the war.
But there is another quality of madness, blindness. Madness does not recognize its own madness. Its cunning can conceal its madness. It can fool some of the people all of the time; it can fool all of the people some of the time, but it cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
And so, we have come today to say to the Rulers, you cannot fool us. You cannot fool any of us any of the time. The policies, goals, tactics, attitudes, and the behavior of the present Rulers is madness.
We have come from many miles across land, water, and airwave.
We have braved towering difficulties.
We have made heavy sacrifices.
We have come at great risk to say “The present course of the Nation is madness.”
We represent every political ideology, religious persuasion, and national origin. And we say, “the priorities now set is madness”. Not only so, but we have come representing not ourselves alone, we come with the well wishes, endorsements of our friends and relatives in America and abroad. And they want us to say for them, “It is madness”.
All across the U.S.A. poor people, powerless people, working people, just plain folk are saying “its madness”.
There is madness in the White House!
Madness on Capitol Hill!
Madness in the F.B.I.!
Madness in the C.I.A.!
Madness in the Pentagon!
Madness in the Multi-National Corporate structure!
There is madness in the foreign policy!
Madness in the domestic policy!
Madness in placing profits above people!
We stand here today in the shadow of the Pentagon, 100,000 strong, and declare with one voice,
Exploitative capitalism is madness!
Imperialism is madness!
Colonialism is madness!
Neocolonialism is madness!
Racism is madness!
Anti-Semitism is madness!
Anti-people is madness!
And innumerable people across the nation are convinced that the aforementioned damnable qualities characterize too many of the present rulers. If we are right in our diagnosis, does the prognosis already alluded to necessarily follow?
To be continued…