The Nature of Oppression

Human societies have been ruled by warlords, kings, queens, emperors, pharohs, chiefs, generals and other self-appointed dictators throughout the course of history. Surrounded by militias and tied to the power brokers of society, these human gods impose their will on the lower classes by restricting basic rights, especially when it comes to the freedom of expression. Eventually, of course, revolutions occur and the ruthless leader is dethroned.

The recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, sure to spread throughout the region, are the latest and some of the most significant responses to oppression in human history. Capable of imagination, responsive to motivation and committed to individual freedom, humans are prone to revolution when subjected to the persistent injustices of a dictatorship. Once the grip of the ruler is loosened, a wave of freedom is unleashed and his or her reign is doomed. Whether this freedom is temporary, to be stifled by the rise of another dictator, or whether it spawns an era of social democracy, will only become clear as the revolution unfolds.

American society, the most democratic in human history, is not free of oppression. Racism, various forms of discrimination and an outrageous gap between the lifestyles of the rich and the poor, continue to threaten the stability of our democracy. Like the emperors and dictators of human history, the upper echelon of American society seems to feel immune to the power of an increasingly frustrated working class. Time will tell if they wake up before another revolution is unleashed in this country.