After exposing the horrors of the American medical system, Michael Moore concludes his documentary, SiCKO, by asking, “Who are we, that we allow such suffering?” When Moore appeared on Oprah’s talk show, she turned to the television audience and repeated the question.
Naomi Klein poses the same question. Her book, The Shock Doctrine, documents how the people in power engineer catastrophes and exploit natural disasters for profit. Who are we, that we tolerate such injustice?
Capitalists and their supporters reply, “Human nature is brutal and cannot change.” They want to shut the door on any discussion of who we could be and the kind of society we could create. As far as they are concerned, we are their creatures and should remain so. We labor to enrich them. We suffer and die to build their empires. That is who they want us to be.
Who do WE want to be?
People value kindness. Compassion in thought, words, and deeds is appreciated in all nations, cultures, and religions. Upholding kindness as the highest human value says something about who we are and the kind of world we could have.
The vast majority of people would prefer to live in a compassionate world, a giving-and-forgiving world, a help-each-other-out world, an all-for-one-and-one-for-all world, collectively managed for the benefit of all.
However, as Klein points out, the belief that ordinary people cannot be trusted to decide economic matters “is and remains the single most anti-democratic idea of our time.”
The capitalist class do not want a compassionate world or a democratic society. There would be no profit in it. They want more weapons, more prisons, more surveillance, and more repression to safeguard their power and keep their profits flowing.
The days of the exploiters are numbered when millions of people question this arrangement, when they begin to ask, “Who are we?”
WE are the majority. Together, we can free ourselves from the heartless hell of capitalist rule.