There’s a lot of head butting out there these days, something I don’t have much taste or tolerance for. I don’t see brute force as a proper determinant of winners and losers. Brute force is, in truth, an ultimate position of weakness. Brute force is desperate and afraid of truth. It hates and dismisses truth. It punishes truth. Brute force specifically aims to destroy the existence of truth.
No legitimate thing is harmed by the truth about it. It is only the illegitimate that cannot withstand its own truth being revealed. The truth destroys the lies. Positions based on lies are decimated instantly once the truth about them is known.
This is why it’s always been so obvious to me that things like gag orders slapped on whistleblowers, press censorship, police brutality against peaceful dissent and back room political deals are based on lies and reasons that cannot withstand the light of day. Governments that oppress, threaten and violate their own people are openly admitting that who and what they are, who and what they serve, have nothing to do with legitimate leadership concerned with the good of the people they ostensibly exist to serve. Oppressive regimes serve only themselves, and they demand that all people serve them instead of it being the other way around.
Why should the public serve authority? There is no reason for people to forfeit their own needs, wants, beliefs and values to instead serve the selfish self-interests of so-called authorities. Yet this is the status quo all over the world. But why do the vast majority of people in this world accept and support this arrangement? What do we see happen when authority becomes destructive, oppressive and unjust? That destructive, self-serving authority lashes out with brute force, sometimes killing millions of its own people. Authority would be much more amenable to straightening up and flying right if it did not have the option of using brute force to terrify and destroy its critics. Brute force is weakness and fear personified.
Authorities are mere mortals like everyone else. They have no special qualities that separate them from those they dictate to. People in positions of authority cannot fly or turn invisible or walk through walls or escape death. They must eat and sleep and drink and feel pain and confront the same private challenges that every person in the world must confront and deal with in the course of a lifetime. Authority figures are every bit as prone to weakness and selfishness, dishonesty, deceit, lying, stealing and cheating as the rest of humanity if not more so, they are not above any of it. They are not exempt from bad behavior. They are not always honest or right or even all that well informed or well intended. And the more authoritarian they are the less likely it is that they’ll even really give a damn about the effects their demands have on anyone else.
This is anathema to justice. It is the opposite of what is fair and decent and moral and ethical; in a nutshell it is wrong. It is purely self serving. When that self-service reaches the heights of arrogance and cruelty, the truth of who and what selfish authority is cannot be covered up. It virtually screams its true identity and purpose from every hilltop and rooftop. It is like Godzilla rising up out of the ocean and coming ashore, stepping on villages and power lines and howling as sparks fly beneath its feet. It is not at all subtle. It demands everyone’s immediate and total attention. And every thing that every one does can only be in response to this monster on the loose in their lives.
This is nothing new. How many centuries have gone by with this kind of corrupt, self-serving power at the helm of nations and cities and religions and economies, enslaving people and waging wars to conquer and claim the territories, wealth and resources of others? Pick up the newspapers today and read of examples around the world of repressive, violent regimes engaging in slaughter, in vote rigging, in threatening, imprisoning, torturing and killing of political dissenters and competitors. Even here in the good old USA we witness republican factions working very hard to remove millions of people from registered voters lists, in particular people who are poor and black and very likely to be voting for democrats. Republicans are eternally obsessed with finding reasons to call for people’s right to vote to be taken away from them. In some states, anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony has had their right to vote taken from them, although this makes no sense and is irrelevant to voting. No one’s legal, or moral or birth rights are ever subject to denial by anyone else for any reason. It’s just stupid to pretend it’s anyone’s call to decide who has rights and who doesn’t, and yet we hear this all the time.
Prominent democrats in our hallowed halls of government shamelessly proclaim that anyone accused of being a terrorist, just accused mind you, not proven to be a terrorist, that such persons upon accusation should not be entitled to legal rights, no day in court, no lawyers, no phone calls, not even a basic level of humane treatment. They deserve nothing, once accused, meaning they only deserve to die. This sort of arbitrary condemnation of others is heinous and baseless, and if nothing else, none of our dearly elected or anyone else for that matter, has any right or business deciding who is good enough to live or die, or who is good enough to deserve equal treatment under the law. But go tell them that and you’ll get a choir of Sarah Palins in your face.
When it is so clear that people who behave this way are illegitimate at the very least, and it is obvious that this self-serving, judgmental, repressive arrogance and hypocrisy is destructive to the people, then how can it be so pervasive and growing stronger by the day? Why don’t people see it for what it is? How can filthy lying whores like Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, most of our dearly elected and the far right political/religious extremists be able to capture and recruit so many Americans and bring them into their demented, destructive fold?
What it boils down to can best be summed up in a question. Which of these two things do you believe is the most important?
1) Knowing right from wrong,
2) Supporting “The Cause”?
Because it is the clash of these two immovable forces that causes the outrage, resentment, fear, intolerance and outright hatred battering our country into bits and pieces of security obsessed, unconstitutional, inhumane, disastrous self-destructive cluelessness.
It very much matters which one you pick. Let’s look closer at those choices and see why.
Right and Wrong
For different people to live peacefully side by side they must have just one important thing in common. They must agree to the definition of right and wrong and then abide by that definition. As long as all parties involved do that, not much else has to be held in common.
Right and wrong are impartial. They are no respecters of persons. They see no rank or status or wealth or philosophy or religion or political affiliation. Right and wrong are right and wrong no matter who you are or who you think you are. Right and wrong are the same for everyone. If it is wrong for you to kill then it is also wrong for me to kill. This is simple stuff, a child can easily understand it. Regardless of choice of or lack of religion, right and wrong still apply the same across the board. Regardless of nationality, gender, age, income level, education or lack thereof, right and wrong apply the same to one and all, and can be understood by one and all.
Supporting The Cause
Enter “The Cause”. The greater good. The war effort. The church. The political party. While we’re at it toss in the ugly underbelly of human weakness: racism, sexism, religious bigotry and all bigotry including heart-swelling nationalistic love of country. Conflate heart-swelling love of God with heart-swelling love of country and you’ve got the mother of all righteous causes to support. Suggesting otherwise would likely get your ass kicked, at the very least.
Ever since that horrible moment when g.w.bush looked the world in the eye and said, “You’re either with us or you’re against us”, he set in motion the exact recipe for disaster that would culminate in the ultimate destruction of America. He probably didn’t set out to destroy America, but he certainly did achieve exactly that. Why? Because his entire premise and foundation was an untruth. He was just plain wrong. There are many more options than either being with us or against us. Asserting there are no other options sealed America’s fate. The entire foundation of his war effort, his war on terror, the national security state, his beliefs about market fundamentalism, all of it, was wrong. Wrong in the sense of right and wrong. So in essence, what sounded like righteousness was a hollow foundation, a foundation that could not exist and never did exist. All the cheerleading and belief in the world would not turn empty air to wood or stone. There was no “there” there. There is still no “there” there. And all of the lying, scrambling of facts and figures, obscuring of information, secrecy, and congressional bills passed in the world cannot change that. It is all based on a lie compounded by hundreds and hundreds more lies to try to cover and support the first foundational lie. To use a word I’ve grown to loathe, it’s simply not sustainable.
Supporting The Cause supersedes right and wrong, and that of course is untenable and false. You cannot ignore and defy right and wrong any more than you can ignore and defy gravity. You can try, and they sure do try, but you cannot succeed. Supporting The Cause by definition includes doing whatever it takes to prevail. That specifically means ignoring right and wrong. It specifically means becoming monsters “if need be”, in order to assure that our cause emerges victorious. When nothing matters but supporting the cause then all actions proceed from extremes of selfishness. By contrast when right and wrong decides our behavior we are thinking of others and not only of ourselves.
Supporting The Cause means looking the other way when you see horrific wrong doing, corruption, murder, any and every wrong thing. Because The Cause is all good then to criticize it is to say that it is not all good. To say that it is not all good is to be against it. It makes you a threat to The Cause, it makes you the enemy. It must be “my country right or wrong”, no matter how wrong it gets. It will be “my religion is good, your religion is not my religion so it can only be bad. You are not on my side so you must be my enemy”. This is thinking inside “The Cause”.
Supporting The Cause has created euphemisms like “collateral damage” to describe and excuse the deaths of innocent civilians. That’s just one example but there is a virtual library of such euphemisms. Supporting The Cause has enabled and funded the existence of covert departments of government that overthrow governments in foreign countries, so much so that it would be foolish to believe it hasn’t been happening here as well. Of course it has been. To those who do this work it is all for a greater cause.
The Cause is completely egocentric. It becomes the only thing that matters. It doesn’t matter how many people die, or how much injustice is wrought, all that matters is supporting The Cause. The Cause can only see The Cause and nothing else. People are used for the good of The Cause. Murder, torture, false imprisonment, cruelty and abuse go hand in hand with supporting The Cause. It is because The Cause supposedly defines and stands for the highest definition of what is right and true and good, then it would only seem logical that nothing done for the good of The Cause could be wrong.
But that would be wrong.
Causes are transient and fleeting. Right and wrong will still be here after The Cause blazes through and torches everything to ashes. Right and wrong are irreplaceably valuable. Right and wrong guide us. When right and wrong no longer matter then what is left? Arbitrary brute force to achieve whatever your selfish aims are. And that is precisely what America has devolved to. It now approaches every threat, real or imagined, every challenge, every problem, every annoyance, every failure to fully submit to its will with overwhelming force. It throws hundreds of billions of dollars at military might and security forces, equipment and training, and everything else has been thrown under the bus, including the people of this country along with their well-being and future. Now the people are the suspicious enemy. The people are being scrutinized to determine their individual allegiance to “The Cause”. Those who don’t care about false causes or meaningless labels and instead put human life and simple right and wrong first, they are becoming the enemy, the new domestic terrorists.
There is nothing wrong with loving your country or loving your God or laying down your life in support of what you love and believe in with all of your heart. What is wrong is believing that the most private and personal choices people make in a free world, like who and what they love and believe in, has to be the exact choices you make or else they are your enemy. That is wrong. All any of us have a rightful expectation of is being treated the same as others inside a community that knows the difference between right and wrong and otherwise leaves us alone. The Cause can never leave others alone because it is desperate to prevail. It exists only to prevail and for no other reason. It is forever asked to prove it is right, but it cannot. All it can do is try to kill dissent, literally, until everyone is dead but those who support The Cause. And if that is not the very definition of evil, then I don’t know what is.