What religion, money and government are doing to the world

These may be extreme examples, but they are the very real and actual outcome of the importance our society places on its institutions of religion, economy and politics.

Russian actor and former orthodox priest Ivan Okhlobystin wants to burn gays alive in ovens because their sexuality somehow affects his religious beliefs. Okhlobystin is apparently comfortable enough in Russia’s current social climate to unabashedly call for mass-murder.

North Korea’s defense of the execution of Jang Song Thaek shows the arrogance of absolute power. Buzzfeed’s accompanying compilation of North Korea’s propaganda offers an eerie insight into life under an authoritarian government.

Texan drunk driver Ethan Couch (16) avoids any actual punishment in his quadruple manslaughter case because of his parents’ wealth. The problem, according to psychologist Dr. G. Dick Miller, is that Couch was never taught that his actions have consequences. The solution, according to the judge, is proving that his actions really don’t have consequences. Is this the precedent that will actually allow the wealthy to get away with murder?

If nothing more, these stories prove that the people running our institutions are merely people – as flawed and corruptable as any other. Power, wealth and authority are no guarantee for ethical awareness, although that is exactly what an elite-centered society like ours suggests. There are endless large- and small-scale examples that prove the elites are no more suitable to run our lives than we are as individuals. Our dependence on them is a matter of choice.

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