The world seems always to have been full of petty dictators. If you will think back to your high school history, it was pretty much a parade of monarchist, fascist, socialist, communist, and other-ist dictators. They were everywhere, from ancient Greece to, well, modern Greece and beyond. Generally, those leaders with even a single altruistic quality were quickly gunned down in favor of someone much more self absorbed.
With very few exceptions (the United States was one until very recently) the world has been run by the greedy, the wealthy, the power-hungry, the corrupt, the heartless, the cruel, and the sadistic. Names such as Torquemada, Stalin, Trujillo, Hitler, Batista, Nero, Idi Amin, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Duvalier, Mussolini, Attila the Hun, King Herrod, Saddam Hussein, Chairman Mao, and George W. Bush roll trippingly from the tongue.
Without these people, history would have been a boring succession of scientific achievement and artistic glory set in flower-filled fields under puffy pink clouds. None of that for the human race, though! Not us! All that humans really need is a asshole in a uniform or clerical robes to follow into battle and half of us will be happy to be hewing pieces out of the other half with large iron swords while the gutters and oceans run red and all of the children and the elderly slowly starve to death in their caves.
History has made me the optimist that I am today. 🙂
I feel, sadly, the same way. When I was younger, or had a few too many, I felt the need to ‘do something’, to take action. But what kind of action? Vote your conscience? Hope those in power can be convinced to behave like educated, enlightened beings of good will? I hope you can sense every drop of the sarcasm this is typed with…
What is left? Civil disobedience? Who really wants to step up and sacrifice their career and possibly their freedom or life for a cause, however worthy? As I got older, this was a less attractive option. That leaves violent revolution. Congratulations, you’ve become part of the problem.
So, I still don’t have a solution. All I can do is try to behave in a way that expresses my beliefs, and to be thankful that no one is actually looking to me for a solution. But I don’t watch tv anymore, and I avoid politics where possible. It makes it too difficult to maintain hope of finding intelligent life in the universe.
Obviously, I feel your pain. My conclusion is the same as yours. I do the best that I can on my own. I have failed to become extremely wealthy play rock guitar, so no one cares what I think. I am overly principled to become a politician, so power-mongering is out. I do all of the the things that are supposed to matter in America. I vote, I write letters to the editor, I stay in contact with my representatives in Congress, and so on, yada yada, yada. My vote does not cancel out nearly enough morons. I do not have influence over anyone, because that too is against my principles. I’m too old to start blowing things up, even if that were within my ethical framework, and of course it is not. So the world keeps screwing us over.
And so it goes.