The quote is from the French existentialist author Albert Camus:"The truth is that every intelligent man, as you know, dreams of being a gangster and of ruling over society by force alone."
Perhaps too many people cling on to their morals as an antidote to the news. As swine flu has infected our consciousness it has also sidelined the continuing financial crisis. But both are manifestations of the same covert quest for power and control.
Paul Farrell predicts the new film Public Enemies will be a big hit because it will tap into what many people would love to do to all those who have been ripping us off for years - be they bankers, politicians or pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, the truth is that it is us who are staring down the wrong end of the barrel. "Yes, this time the banks are the gangsters. They're robbing Main Street's Treasury. And it's an inside job. Hank Paulson, the "Goldman Conspiracy's" Trojan Horse, plays a "Dillinger," leading a much bigger conspiracy, the "Happy Conspiracy," that robbed America's 300 million citizens and taxpayers. They made off with trillions, while our "guards," a clueless Congress, laid down their guns and surrendered the keys to the vault."
Except that in our oh-so-civilized world we see no guns, no masks, no hold-ups - just the silent theft of our ration of freedoms. Whether it is the WHO or the SEC, the first lesson is that none of these organizations exist for your benefit; they are funded, often covertly, by people for whom your well-being is measured in how much profit you can make for them. The consequence is that your future depends on disempowering these public enemies of their trade.
Forget computer games, forget virtual reality, here is a game we can all play. The targets are shadows, behind which lurk real people with flesh and bile. But the shadows are worth chasing for without them the shadow-masters would have to step into the light of day. Remember how effective was the boycott against South African goods all those years ago? Yes, it was politically approved by the media, which made it easier, but it still shows the power of the masses when focussed.
We can all train our sights on these shadows that darken our lives. We all need to protect those dear to us. Camus was not so wide of the mark.