The phrase, “It was ever thus …” seems to have reverberated down through the centuries and you’d think we could learn from it, but, alas, we haven’t.
Numerous books, films, and dramas have shown us that corruption was rife in ancient Rome, but, thankfully, we’ve learned and moved on from that. Have we, really?
I remember growing up in the 50s and that was a totally different time. It was all new to me, an impressionable, trusting boy who tended to believe what the adults told him. We were taught, during that time, that government was honest, forthright, and acted only in the county’s best interests. Politicians were upstanding men who word was to be trusted implicitly and never questioned. Criminals were a class apart and acted outside of society’s bounds.
Then we had the boom times of the 60s – we all had more money in our pockets and, generally, life was good. The police, army, navy, and air force were public servants who protected our interests globally and were ready to defend our shores against the invader. And we never questioned this.
The 70s, 80s, and 90s were different but altogether similar decades. We had a new generation growing up – our kids. We’d seen the shortages caused by rationing in the 50s and were determined our kids would never have to suffer in a similar way. We gave them everything with the result that they grew up expecting everything. This was a time when people were calling the police ‘pigs’ and their halo had slipped – they were no longer public servants but were lackeys of the free enterprise state. All of this meant little to me as I was busy bringing up kids and, despite lacking for some things, life was generally good compared with large areas of the world.
The the new millennium arrived and with it a new awareness. Gone was the simple naivety my generation grew up with, and in its place was a growing cynicism and mistrust of the establishment.
The military were seen a puppets of the establishment, sent in to protect corporate interest not people’s interest. The police became another army. We have billions spent on military hardware when, according to our ‘betters’ we couldn’t afford to feed and clothe our poorest members of society.
Politicans were fiddling their expenses, openly and unashamedly. It was a perk of the job – but we had to tighten our belts and live within the austerity measures. The world had become a self-serving, proft-seeking, corporate nightmare where the rights of the individual were swept aside by the wants of corporate greed. And, as I sit here, pondering it all, I wonder why I am so surprised by these things, after all, “it was ever thus …”