Everybody wants to rule the world…
Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World Lyrics
Songwriters: Hughes, Chris / Orzabal, Roland / Stanley, Ian
Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you
Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world…
It’s my own design
It’s my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
There’s a room where the light won’t find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do I’ll be right behind you
2013 was a strange year. For example, we learned that the NSA had basically flaunted the law of the USA and was spying on everyone (and lying about it to Congress) thanks to Edward Snowden — who thinks he has already won a battle in which the opening shots have barely ceased echoing and costs to business are already into the billions. Firm in their belief that if they can just collect and read everything (And then feed it to other Gov agencies so they can arrest you for other stuff to silence you), the world will be safe in their tender loving care as they covertly rule it — and the Canuckistan side is just as bad.
We watched the Kansas University Board of Regents pass the right to fire any professor who said anything they don’t like. The ominously broad reach and overt insistence on rigid fealty are legitimately terrifying — especially in an institution that claims to be about freedom and learning. The regents too want to rule the world as their professor’s thought police.
We watched an idiot off of an absurdist joke of a reality show called Duck Dynasty get drawn and quartered for a homophobic and racist comment. Because, yup, special interest groups are just as interested in ruling what people can and can not say.
We watched Justine Sacco tweet “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” as she boarded a plane to Africa. While she was in the air and oblivious to it all, we watched the first Crucifixion ever performed at 38,000 feet occur. By the time she landed, she was out of a job and the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet had thousands of followers. Apparently, frenzied, out of control lynch mobs self righteously tweeting death threats and gendered insults of the exact same type they claim to condemn also want to rule the world.
Obviously, a government with the ability to threaten freedom, life and limb is much more terrifying and in need of restraint then out of control fools spewing nonsense over Twitter to destroy the career of a man or woman they never met for reasons they probably can’t articulate at a fervour they will likely forget by tomorrow. But really, the blatant obliviousness to the destructive potential each holds is pretty equal and breathtaking — as is the raw ugliness of the acts occurring and the willfully ignorant crushing of the freedoms they claim to fight to support.
Reality: there’s not a person on this planet (To say nothing of on those Twitter feeds) that has not uttered a racist, homophobic, sexist, classist or bigoted comment and deserves the right to cast the first stone — much less partake in the rabid outrage of foaming-at-the-mouth savagery that repeatedly went down. Social media has given to all the power of being heard by all once only reserved for political leaders. Yes, this does allow for marginalized people to speak but it also offers everyone an unprecedented opportunity to riot in collective outrage without a second’s introspection or even a modicum of empathy.
What we really learned in 2013 is that our technology has drastically outpaced our morality, our intelligence, our wisdom, our ability to teach the foundations of a free society and our ability to protect the freedoms of people in the face of such. And, as such, we really learned that power is astonishingly dangerous and no one deserves more than the most carefully restricted provisioning of ANY sort of power because everyone is so sure they are the right one to rule the world and, given the chance, WILL try.
A long time ago, a client sent me the following quote — I have no idea where it is from:
“Those who use political power to force others to conform to their ends inevitably become corrupted by the power they hold.
In due course, they come to believe that power and wisdom are one and the same and, since they have power, they must also have wisdom.
At this point, they lose their ability to distinguish between what is morally right and what is politically expedient.”