Chapter 22: A Synthesis between Zorba and Buddha
When they were brought back after the war, their properties were not returned, and have not been returned even yet. And this is a democracy! During the whole period of wartime, America was not able to find any proof to support their actions. When they came back, their businesses were in American hands, their cars were in American hands, Americans had taken over everything without giving a single cent in compensation.
Now forty years have passed and they are still asking the American government, “Give us some compensation. It is your duty. You forced us, and we had not committed any crime, and you don’t have a single case against us.” And it is not a small thing - one and a half million people and their property - and the American government is silent.
That’s why I say that civilization has yet to come; it has not yet happened. There are only pretenders, hypocrites, but not truly democratic people anywhere. America is different from the Soviet Union only in hypocrisy. The Soviet Union is straightforward, a dictatorship. America is a dictatorship proclaiming itself as a democracy, and now we can say it from our own experience.
For four years we have been harassed by the American government - the state government, the federal government - without any legal reason on their part to support their acts against us. All their laws are in our favor and their constitution is in our favor, because from the very beginning I have made it clear to my people not to do anything knowingly or unknowingly against the American constitution: that it is the only constitution which at least accepts democracy, accepts freedom of speech, accepts respect for the individual - so don’t do anything.
We have not done anything against the constitution, but still we are being harassed in every possible way. They are taking advantage of all kinds of laws which have never been applied to anyone in the whole history of America. Suddenly those laws have become applicable to us - and those laws go against the American constitution. So now my new stand is that we will fight the American government in Oregon and, if needed, then the federal government - to save the American constitution. We are for the American constitution and its values and, even if we have to fight with the Americans themselves, we will fight to the very end. Because that constitution is the only hope for humanity someday to become democratic, someday to become really civilized and human.