Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whether the speech please or displease...

But here, as at other times in my life, I dare not purchase peace with a lie. An imperious necessity forces me to speak the truth, as I see it, whether the speech please or displease, whether it brings praise or blame. That one loyalty to Truth I must keep stainless, whatever friendships fail me or human ties be broken. She may lead me into the wilderness, yet I must follow her; she may strip me of all love, yet I must pursue her, though she slay me, yet will I trust in her; and I ask no other epitaph on my tomb but “She tried to follow truth”.
Those are the words of social reformer and pioneer Theosophist Annie Besant. As yet another year slips away I dedicate them to the senior arts figure who in 2012 tried unsuccessfully to pressure me into amending one of my articles on sources of classical music funding, and to the well-connected person who made risible noises about litigation in connection with my posts about artists' fees.

Also on Facebook and Twitter. Source of quote is Annie Besant's autobiography. Image of sunset at St. Gilles Croix de Vie, France is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2012. Any other copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

2 comments:

Philip Amos said...

Looking at your post from a different angle, Bob, I should like to say at this year's end that Annie Besant's words might better be dedicated to you, for you have relentlessly adhered to her ethos. Fearlessly, you follow the Quaker injunction to "Speak Truth to Power". That is part of what causes me to regard your blog as the best among musical blogs on the internet.

If I may add a little to the question of 'corporate philanthropy', I list here the top ten donors based in the U.S. in order of 'generosity': Citibank, General Electric, Target, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Chevron, Wells Fargo, ExonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and Walmart.

We thus have six financial institutions (for GE is such now), two oil companies, and two retailers. "When you sup with the devil, use a long spoon". It is beyond expression here, so I suggest those interested in their activities and ethics just look at their Wiki entries. The one for J.P Morgan is the most mind-boggling if you look at the section humorously headed 'Controversies'. In there, I smell something of the demonic, and others come close.

I note also that the evils listed were punished with fines -- there are patently illegal activities that destroyed people's lives, but no one mentioned as joining the likes of Conrad Black in one America's comfy open prisons reserved for such villains.

There is no true philanthropy in their donations, let alone altruism. Goldman Sachs paid no taxes in 2010 -- it received a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. They are required to give a minimum of 5% of profits in donations. Triple that and they could probably feed Africa.

Pliable said...

Philip, thank you for those very kind words. And one of the names on that list of top corporate philanthropists resonates strongly with the thrust of my post.