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Opening Pandora's Box: The death of hope?

By Charlotte B. Cerminaro
web posted September 14, 2015

When one era ends and another begins, it often goes unnoticed by those who are living during the transition, and it is seemingly undramatic at the time when compared to a  future generation's historical accounts of those events. But for the ones who are really watching, these changes are expected, even if they are greeted with little enthusiasm. For even the casual observer of human behavior and history, it is apparent that we, as a species, have been operating within a narrow system of patterns, ideas and awareness since the birth of our civilization. World empires have come and gone, rising to power with military might, then falling ignominiously, their strength failing from self-indulgence and a collapse of the very ideals that gave them stability. As the succession of monarchs and monarchies passed into history, the pattern of their rise and fall has become predictable--the more stable the regime, the longer its reign.

The most disturbing trends, however, have arisen now, in this last century. The revolution that began in 1917 in Russia with the rise of Bolshevism has gained momentum, changed names and been overthrown many times, yet it has proven to be the cancer that metastasized into the biggest global pandemic of all time. It can not be eradicated. Despite rapid, repeated failures of governments worldwide, ones founded on increasingly radical and savage ideas, it seems that our collective short-term memory has gotten even shorter where politics and religion are concerned. Very few people realize that these terrifying leaders with their radical, freedom-stifling ideas, can all trace their genesis to the Bolsheviks, less than one hundred years ago. The question is, what exactly did that revolution do, and what did it release upon the world?

The platform on which the 2008 U.S. presidential elections ran  was a repetition of just one word: Change. It was repeated so often that it became a mantra. Of course, the country was in dire need of strong leadership, to restore it to its former status as the world's top superpower. But the choices were sparse and the campaign slogans quickly becoming reminiscent of Johnnie Cochran's infamous courtroom defense of O.J. Simpson with his cliches like, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." The most shocking thing of all was when our future president actually stopped spouting cliches and announced to the world what his true intentions were, and nobody was listening. Our collective memory, as a people, could not be that short, even for those of us born after World War II. So when the prime presidential candidate started talking about his intentions for the "redistribution of wealth", it must be assumed that almost no one was listening, otherwise they would have heard what the few who were really listening heard---the battle cry for socialism couched in new-age rhetoric.

When the voters in a free, democratic populace knowingly elect an exact duplicate of last year's failed dictator, there is a corresponding sense of despair in the free-thinking, rational members of that society. Perhaps it is because of an awareness of that ever-increasing speed with which incompetent despots are bringing countries to their knees.

An apt metaphor to this very conundrum comes to mind in the ancient legend of Pandora's box. When the evil contents of Pandora's box are released, to be freely carried on every wind, to every corner of our planet, that tiny, frail creature called "hope" is even more difficult to find than before, and infinitely more precious. ESR

This Charlotte B. Cerminaro's first contribution to Enter Stage Right. © 2015

 

 

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