CommunityMy FDL

A Leaf in a Burning Forest

A forest fire burning below trees as they begin to ignite

“I have become a leaf in a burning forest.”

From Gerardo Cerdas of Grito de los Excludios, (Cry of the Excluded) . . .

Working people and our natural resources are being terribly exploited. We’re up against a huge monster, an economic, political machine of monstrous proportions. It would be very easy for us to lose hope, to lose heart, to just give up the struggle entirely and say “To hell with it. There’s no way we can overcome these massive forces.

I have become a leaf in a burning forest. How many of us feel that way? When we see the flames raging all around us, the flames of corporate greed, of Wall Street fraud, of political and judicial and media corruption. That fire keeps blazing, keeps spreading, keeps consuming everything in its path because the “firemen” in Washington keep pouring gasoline on it. And every time we reelect them, they thank us by pouring even more gasoline on it.

The corrupt bankers, the greedy CEOs, the craven politicians want us to lose hope, to lose heart, to just give up. They want us to be afraid to take on the massive forces exploiting us, they want us to feel that we’d have no chance, that we will never be strong enough, that we will never be unified enough, that we will never be organized enough. They want us to believe that confronting them would be a terrible mistake, that we’d be getting in way over our heads.

T.S. Eliot . . .

If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?


The bankers, the CEOs, the politicians, the “lawmakers” of the One-Percent know all too well what they’ve done to us, they know their time is running out, they know the clock is ticking, they know what’s coming.

Occupy Wall Street gave them an ominous preview of it.

Glen Ford, Truthout . . .

The Minerva project paid Cornell University researchers to find out when social movements reach a ‘critical mass’ of people – a ‘tipping point’ at which they become a threat to the powers-that-be. In the language of ‘terrorism studies,’ the human beings involved in these social movements are ‘contagions,’ as in vectors of disease. Neutralizing them becomes a job for ‘warfighters.’

U.S. intelligence agencies are tapping the telephones and Internet communications of virtually the entire population of the planet. They are mapping every conceivable human network, sifting through the myriad patterns of human association to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease. American military and intelligence enlisted academics to study the dynamics of ‘the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey’ – all with the aim of preventing similar ‘contagions’ from spreading.

Citizen activism must be eradicated, like a disease. If you’re not obedient and submissive, you’re targeted as a viral threat. The contagion of actual democracy must not be allowed to spread.

Are you feeling powerless? They want you to feel that way. They want every one of us to believe we have no power, to never question that “reality.” But it’s not reality, it’s the greatest illusion in their entire arsenal of illusions. We are not powerless, no one is powerless unless they choose to be.

Cerdas . . .

The powerless of the world have always been the ones to change it. The powerful of the world don’t change a single thing.

Oppressive economic and political systems, based upon massive and pervasive exploitation of most of the population, always collapse. The current oppressive system will not survive the coming storm, that storm will cleanse the earth of the corruption of capitalism, of imperialism in all of its lethal forms, of militarism and racism and systemic injustice.

From now on, when you see the evils of this present system all around you, remember what has always been true and always will be true — this too shall pass.

Cerdas again . . .

The economic system we’re living in right now has only been around for 300 or 400 years, whereas our species has been around for longer than 300,000 years. So we shouldn’t believe that this tiny 300-year stint we’re living in right now represents what humanity is really all about, that it represents our future. That’s a way of thinking that lacks historical perspective. We have to look behind us and ahead of us to not lose hope, to not lose perspective. And that’s the perspective we’re creating our movement from.

The Powers-That-Be will say Gerardo Cerdas is a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.

We aren’t born to be exploited, we’re not in this world to live in hunger, we’re not here to be lied to, we’re not here to be persecuted, to be imprisoned, to be tortured, to be killed in the endless wars our “leaders” keep insisting must be fought. A better world has been waiting for us, it’s been there all along, only a few years away, so close that all we’ve ever had to do is reach for it.

Let’s reach for it. That’s why we’re here.

Imagine that . . .

Photo by Gila National Forest.

Previous post

NYT on Sentencing Reform and the Ghost of Willie Horton

Next post

Ten Reasons Airstrikes in Iraq are a Terrible Idea

Isaiah 88

Isaiah 88