“The Grapes of Wrath” and the woes of present times

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana (1863-1952)

The following is an opinion written by Harold E. “Phil” Phillips, Jr, PM of Aurora 43, Newburg, WV. I agree with his opinion and think it quite appropriate as it relates to the woes of our present times.

“I’m currently reading the book “The Grapes of Wrath” written by John Steinbeck, copyright 1939.  I’ve been wondering WHY have we gotten into the mess we are in with business, social, fraternal, family even church affairs.  I’d like to share one short paragraph found on page 324.
 
“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away.  And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need.  And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.  The great owners ignored the three cries of history.  The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great owners was directed at repression.  The money was spent for arms, for gas to protect the great holdings, and spies were sent to catch the murmuring of revolt so that it might be stamped out.  The changing economy was ignored, plans for the change ignored, and only means to destroy revolt were considered, while the causes of revolt went on.”
 
That’s a powerful group of words, written over 70 years ago, but very applicable today.  Substitute words from  your various concern and see if what was said then isn’t applicable now.  Governments are killing their own citizens, greedy bankers are stealing their investors life savings, church leaders are turning to more liberal ways of operating just to pacify the worshipers and to maintain membership and thus keep their stash of money coming in.  Humans are less considerate of each other, some of whom are facing loss of job, home, family, insurance – necessities.  Fraternal organizations are involved in repressing their members, spending tremendous amounts of their members money in the name of proving they are right.  What has happened?  I’m glad I was born in 1944, born to a railroader and a seamstress, raised in a small town and didn’t have all the toys of rich kids.  I am proud that I enlisted in the USAF (although honestly it was to avoid the draft – LOL).  I am glad I worked for a bank that cared for its employees, who believed in community involvement and who felt the customer comes first – not the institution.  Now that I’m retired, I can look back and see how things are changing.  At one time, I wanted to be part of the change, to contribute to making this a better world.  But now I find I’m losing interest in everything but my family; I’m preoccupied with keeping my nose clean.  Heck, it used to be an automatic to be a good son, father, grandfather – all part of being a good American citizen.  
 
Thanks for giving me a chance to pipe off.  Repression is a tough thing
for this old Grafton guy.
 
Harold E “Phil” Phillips, Jr, PM
Aurora 43, Newburg, WV”