Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The problem is the moneyed man

Wow, just read this letter from March '44. It is full of babies getting born, the problems of Negro units in England and Dad and others at CPS thinking about what they will do when the war ends. He comes to the conclusion that the problem is 'the moneyed man', our emphasis on materialism. I am very much at the same point. I am still dialoging with the Irs and other war tax resisters, some of whom say that the only way is to not earn money to send in to feed the military industrial complex.
I went to the beginning of the semester convocation and stopped to pick up a certified letter from Iris (IRS) and was reading it in the scooter parking area when a fellow instructor came up and I filled him in on my most recent adventures. He asked me as we walked into the building 'was it worth it?'. So that question has been with me. Soon after that we were joined by another instructor who is from one of the countries attacked in the last 7 years by the US. He had finally managed to return for a week, he said it seemed as if the country was 200 years behind where it had been before. I think in terms of my protest and my penalty I am helped by knowing people from countries in the middle east and also teaching and working with students who have been sent to fight in these countries or are about to be sent. One young man kept wearing his wool hat he got in Afghanistan all through our 100 degree summer session. Another one greeted me on the first day of class with 'I lost my mind in Iraq 4 years ago'. When I think of 5,000 dollars and I think I have not lost a home to a drone plane or my mind to the war machine, it becomes quite small in comparison. The worth it question does linger with me, as I do believe one has a choice, but I do not think that my choice is made in terms of the consequences and weighing those. Yet, perhaps it is, I am not inclined to go to jail, even if it was for a night with Thoreau, so I did consider consequences when I withheld money. So is the question, 'is it worth it to have a conscience, or to follow your conscience?'I think there the answer is 'yes' since it does give me peace of mind and this process is one of growth and clarity.

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