There is a lot going on in the great and nebulous cloud in the sky, and not all of it is good. Yes, some taste the sweet nectar of power, and are driven to corruption for their own personal gain. Some try and fail to succeed, and blame the system. What is key, as I sit and contemplate how this applies to the future of photography and it's many aspects, is that there must be a mutual effort to be made - one is the success of one both personally and professionally, and the other is the success of this ever-changing field of photography. The two are not mutually exclusive, lest you subvert the good of the whole for your own gain.
There are those that are the lap-dogs of the status quo, unwilling to take a principled position, or fight the good fight. They take the easy road, without confrontation or sincere criticism, simply interested in making it just one more day.
Then there are the turncoats. They profess to be the do-gooders, the righteous, and are indignant that anyone question them. They may do some good, but all-the-while they are seeking their own expanded power base, and are undermining those they profess to want to help. In the end, there's a net deficit to the collective good that is laid at their feet, and they kick it away, saying it wasn't their doing, knowing all-the-while that anything that stands in the way of their success is to be climbed over, not realizing that it will be their undoing.
On the other hand, there are the titans of industry, who profess to know more than the little people, and who believe that the masses are to be lead, like lemmings, to whatever shifting destination they desire, and which serves their own greater good. Yet they lead, to a degree, not a body of passionate "soldiers", but of a somewhat conscripted army ill-equiped to fight, and then blame the solders for their own demise, unwilling to accept any blame for failure to ready those soldiers for battle.
Then there are the outposts of resistance. Those that are deemed to be the gnats and flies, to be swatted away. The David to Goliath, the John Conner to SkyNet, Luke and Leia to the Empire. History is repleat with stories of the swattable interlopers affecting change and making a difference.
Unbeknownst to many, these outposts are out there, fighting the good fight, each and every day for the profession they love. The rag-tag group of people of singular focus on what is good and right. They are well educated, and they have their mission clear. Attempting to silence one only grows the resistance that much stronger. A modern day Knights Templar if you will (with a more positive outcome some 700 years later, one can only hope.)
The battle indeed rages on. You may not see it, hear it, or feel it, but you hopefully will be the beneficiary of the wins, and insulated from the losses. While there are many things to be thankful for, to paraphrase Robert Frost, "there are miles to go before you sleep". Reflect in your quiet moments of all the good things in your life, but know that all the while, those that are working to undermine you are not pausing to reflect - they are gathering their strength for coming battles. This may be metaphorical, but its effects, if ignored, will be real.
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