Friday, December 28, 2012

Les Miserables and class warfare

Wow, what an amazing movie is the recently released Les Miserables.  In addition to beautiful music and acting, the story line is captivating, touching heavily on themes related to the Catholic religion, redemption and forgiveness, the law, war and class struggle.

When the suggestion that the tax rate should be raised on the wealthy the term "class warfare" is being bantered around by fiscal conservatives in the USA.  When I hear "class warfare" the struggle between the "haves" and "have nots", as depicted in Les Miserables, is more along the lines of what I imagine. 

Thankfully the United States isn't run by a monarchy, so the citizens are be able to influence the law makers to enact changes that would help to bring about a more just and equitable system.  It is important however that citizens, particularly those who have become disenfranchised, vote and communicate with those in power. The environment and those on the lowest rungs of society don't have much lobbying power. Without getting out the vote, and advocating to lawmakers to support the common good, the voices of the lobbyist for those individuals and corporations with great financial resources will continue to speak most loudly.  I think all might agree that it would be best to avoid the kind of class warfare depicted in Les Miserables.

A final note, did you know that the United States is the world's leader in incarceration?  We have 2.2 million people locked up, which is a 500% increase over the past thirty years (The Sentencing Project).

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