Chris Hedges thinks a rebellion is coming.
He quotes Immanuel Kant: “If justice perishes, human life on earth has lost its meaning.”
Wikipedia adds the Latin, “Fiat justitia, ne pereant mundus”
( “Let justice be done lest the world perish.”)
The Argentine poet, Antonio Porchia, in one of his brief poems, wrote:
Suffering is above, not below. And everyone thinks that suffering is below. And everyone wants to rise.
(p.29, poem, in Voices, by Antonio Porchia, translated by W.S. Merwin)
Justice and suffering.
When we rise to justice we will suffer more.
So we stay below justice, unwilling to ask for justice.
Full Definition of JUSTICE1
a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
b : judge
c : the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity 2
a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair
b (1) : the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2) : conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness
c : the quality of conforming to law 3
: conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness
We did not want to bring the perpetrators of a deceitful, cruel, and falsely waged war against Iraq in 2003 to justice.
We did not want to bring the money criminals of investment firms and mortgage banks of the last two decades to justice.
We are reluctant and slow to bring overzealous law enforcement and security forces to justice for killing and torturing people outside the propriety of protecting and serving.
We are afraid of justice. Afraid it would bring down institutions we’ve come to give wide berth to, suspicious of, but hesitant to hold accountable.
Moreover, we are unwilling to suffer.
To become compassionate means to suffer. To feel another’s pain is to suffer. To recognize the indignity and humiliation of individuals, races, nationalities, religions, and various forms of difference -- all invite suffering.
Rebels suffer. Redeemers suffer. Unafraid human beings suffer.
Suffering is that demand.
I am concerned that in the absence of genuine justice and spiritual suffering the arrogant and uncaring powers will forward their agenda to cause unjust pain and torturous injustice against anyone they wish to target.
America is in a precarious teeter.
Some feel there is no longer a healthy trust of elected leaders, mammoth banking and corporate powers, or religious institutions. This is a precarious and diminished trust.
If prayer helped, we should pray. If non-cooperation made sense, we should resist. If things continue to slide into dearth of confidence and active mistrust of anything proffered by executive, legislative, or judicial -- then, we are fallen into the hands of tyrants, mercenaries, terrorists, and opportunists.
Can we find another way?
Or is Jesus in his sealed tomb, Buddha fast asleep far from Banyan tree, Moses languished in Egyptian prison, Mohammad desiccated in Arabian desert, Lao Tzu gone by wall without writing anything to leave behind?
Have all words of poets and philosophers been taken and burnt in the furnace of deficient and decadent cant and hypocrisy, ashes scattered over open graves?
Leaving us, alone, mute, and frightened?
Or, is there something else, as Porchia says:
In my silence only my voice is lacking. (p.32)
Human suffering, while it is asleep, is shapeless.
If it is wakened it takes the form of the waker. (p.33)