Appeasing the Masses

Throughout human history, kings, generals and religious leaders have attempted to appease the masses. Roman Emperors used the Coliseum to entertain their subjects while other rulers bestowed gifts of land, livestock or currency. But, when it comes to handing out human rights, these human gods have been a reluctant bunch.

Today, as revolution spreads throughout the Middle East, we bear witness to the tenacity with which dynasties cling to power. In a feeble attempt to stave off democracy, they offer a host of concessions and, in a few cases, have doled out cash. Even the Catholic monarchy, threatened by scandal and an increasingly educated populace, attempts to appease the faithful by offering sainthood to a once beloved Pope.

None of these rulers seem to understand that token gifts and rituals will have no effect on the undercurrent of distrust that flows through their kingdom or congregation. Once faith is lost and the fire of personal freedom ignites, any attempt to retain power is futile. Military force and religious fear will never crush the human spirit.