Fearing our own shadow

The Land of The Free has been surrendering freedom hand-over-fist because the Home of The Brave is scared of its own shadow.  Almost literally, its own shadow.

wwii-rubbleWe’ve for generations been the arms dealer and political destabilizer to the world.  Our CIA and armed forces have interfered with elections and even violently taken down one dictator to prop up another for over seventy years.

Our government has lied about its wars, warmongering, entangling alliances and foreign interventions for much longer than that.  Our CIA and NSA have been spying on the whole world, including every person within our own borders, as well as prying into foreign elections (and our own) for long enough that it’s disingenuous to complain about foreign spies and foreign interference in elections…unless we claim we’re the only ones who’re supposed to do all that.

To everybody.

All the time.12362834_10153703528535280_3712867037536160998_o

We are the most heavily-armed, most globally nannying and bullying, domestically intrusive, imprisoning and militarized nation of all time.

It is our own shadows that both terrify and genuinely threaten us now, and, surprisingly, in the past, too.

You think our soldiers are fighting for freedom?  Which freedom?  How many freedoms must we lose to get that elusive freedom we’re fighting for?  At what financial/future security cost?  At what moral/social spiritual cost?

We have literally reordered and molded our society’s defense/military, monetary and legal and political structure to our collective trembling nerves.   Why?

While nobody ever says it exactly like this, the predominating justification for the USA’s violent, costly Fear-Aggression Syndrome is:

lucy-charlie-brown-footballOur past screw-ups necessitate today’s screw-ups.

Rational people can look at the USA’s past mistakes reasonably.  Our government made horrible, murderous, costly mistakes when it was far smaller, less powerful, less secretive, less snooping, and vastly less heavily-armed and militarized both globally, and domestically, than today.  But ironically, the closer we get to the present, the more wrong we call right, and the more we justify today’s wrong by yesterday’s wrong.

We all know that slavery and native genocide was bad.  Only the more educated among us know that the wars against Mexico and Spain were motivated by greed and desire for empire, and had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting American liberties and land.  But very few consider how Teddy Roosevelt stimulated the Empire of Japan and the USA helped create the Soviet Union, however, so we tend to think of WWII as a wholly Good War, where the USA wore white and saved the world for liberty and justice for all.

Bellamy2The point is that, the closer we get to the present, the more our views of USA government become disconnected from reality.
Even after we learned that the Vietnam War was justified on, at best, a screwup, we tend to think of USA government as a benevolent god of peace and love, incapable of wrongdoing (though we keep seeing new wrongdoing every day).

This is a freakishly weird phenomenon.  But it’s also the nature of tribalism and idolatry.  We love our team, and we hate the other guys.  We can’t see the wrong in our idols, teams, champions and leaders, but we know that the other peoples’ idols, teams, champions and leaders are pure evil.Testing football helmets, 1912

And it’s also just human: People of the past were THEM.  People of today are US.  We can easily admit that our ancestors did horrible, stupid things; but we sure don’t want to admit that, today, right now, WE are screwing up.  We’re blind to our own errors.

In other words, we see the past more clearly than the present.  And we see other sinners more clearly than we see ourselves.

So, as a result, we exemplify, even if unintentionally, the exact opposite of The Golden Rule.

This is self-immolation.  We have so many impending disasters of fiscal, social, monetary and military nature, that we desperately need an epiphany and revolution of heart and mind.

You can’t be the Land of The Free if you’re not the Home of The Brave.  But no nation can survive at all with this kind of stupid.

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Droning Muslims, and the Golden Rule

If all humans lived by the Golden Rule, there’d be nothing like what we call, “civil government.”

We have kings and bureaucrats and jails and armies for two main reasons:
1. Because some percentage of us behave badly.
2. Because we think that politics will somehow fix that.
Gun

Of course, there is not now, nor was there ever, a government that operated on the Golden Rule.  Governments are always, to some degree, corrupt. And that is because people (including politicians, of course) misbehave, all power is inherently for sale, and government is nothing but delegated violence.  

It’s force.  It’s the threat and use of violence, imprisonment, fines and death. That’s why a small corrupt government is much, much better than a big corrupt government.

charlie-brown-footballYou’d think that since human governments have a 100% failure rate, we’d have learned this by now. But we humans are a surprisingly dumb species. We tend to self-destruct in ways that make great movies, but bad reality.

So, let’s consider our current situation with the Islam that we long ago militarized for our own purposesmonetized for our own purposes, gave good cause to unite where before it kept itself divided against itself, and now consider our enemy.

Wait… Before that… let me interject one more line of thought:
The only people who ever threatened to kill me, personally, were USA Americans (no, not Mexicans, not even Canadians).  One was a black man who claimed I shouldn’t live in a black neighborhood.  But several were red-blooded Tea Party folk who said I should burn in hell for running against their Republican Savior.

The only people who tell me what I can do, can’t do and must do are USA citizens.   It’s my fellows who take away my dwindling freedoms, take my money, tell me what I can do with what little I can keep, and make sure that I know that whatever it is I think I own (including my life), will be taken away if I don’t follow their rules.

It’s my fellow Americans who divide us into three classes for the purposes of rights, privileges, electoral access, and in courts:

1. Rich People,

2. Democrat/Republicans and their cronies,

3. All the rest of us poor suckers who believe their promises and keep reelecting the people of classes 1 and 2. 

And it’s been only my fellow Americans who’ve lied and lied and lied to me about why we’ve been at war forever

With_Lawrence_in_ArabiaOK, so, back to Muslims, the North Koreans, Russians, or whoever our rabid Fear-Aggression Syndrome makes us see as the enemy du jour:
They think they’re right, too, you know. They’re convinced that their corrupt, self-destructing political scheme is right, and we’re the bad guys. And they’re not living by the Golden Rule any better than we are.
Are they our enemy?

Sure they are.
Who isn’t?
Just as hammer sees everything as a nail, a government, or by extension to the root…a human, sees everything outside its limits of power as a threat.

Even within our borders we make enemies of white men, Jews, gays, Democrats, Republicans…or people who aren’t gay Jewish white Democrats or Republicans. We’ve been dividing and subdividing against ourselves for so long that we feel we must tighten the cliques in order to defend them against all outsiders.
Right?

But this is why we suffer discord, fear, and violence.
We have politics because of our discord, fear and violence. 

And governments thrive and depend upon discord, fear and violence. Governments tend to stimulate and amplify that discord, fear and violence because that means more power and money for the individual politicians and cronies who comprise governments…

But hasn’t our own government, our own society, become a vastly greater threat to our personal freedom, health, security and prosperity? Shouldn’t we address this before we go picking fights with others?

Here’s what I recommend:
The Golden Rule.
TheEnemyExemplify the peace, freedom, prosperity and security that’d flow from better behavior – both personally, and then reflected in our governance (our government is, after all, just our reflection, our avatar, our sins amplified).

To whatever degree we do The Golden Rule, our debts, intrusions, deceits and aggressions would diminish, and everything else would get…better.  Other people would see that what we’re doing is working, and maybe try to emulate that to some degree.

Would that be so bad?
I’m not saying that we don’t have to go blow up half the world. Maybe we do. Maybe we’ve been equipping, funding, training and motivating enemies so well and for so long that now we really do have to unleash all the hell we’ve been summoning before it eats us up first.

Maybe.

But how about we try to do at least a little of what we say we’re all about, first?

About our nation’s violence…

Reasonable people can disagree both strongly and with facts about our political laws, of course; or about economics; or even the proper role of political government in human societies.

But even among my list of friends, (Facebook and otherwise) there is a disturbingly broad, hostile, and in practice, dangerous range of perceptions and opinions regarding the appropriate use of deadly violence; both abroad, and domestically.

gunThe range is roughly from Peace and Love toward All No Matter What, to Nuke ‘Em All ‘cause whatever.  And this is both at a global level, and at a very personal, within-your-home level.

Now I don’t intend to waste time and effort discussing relative merits/ demerits in the arguments, as the divisions are so hard and deep that people hear only what they want anyway.

I just wish more of us would consider a few things when voting, speaking and otherwise YOU!enacting or supporting political violence:

1. Are you being consistent?  Are guns really an answer when we’ve eliminated the militia system (killed completely in 1903), stopped free gun training in schools, and have jacked up so many people on antidepressants and political lies/divisions that it’s amazing that there aren’t more mass murders?  Are you sure guns are the problem when you’re proposing taking guns away by force with armed force you may claim is corrupt and globally malignant?  Do you trust the politicians and armed forces who’d take our guns?  Do you trust the politicians and armed forces you say are why we need guns?

2. Are you sure your beliefs aren’t based on fear, or hate?  Does your lip curl and your fingers tighten when hearing opposing views?  Have you tried to understand why others disagree with you as violently as you disagree with them?  Is, in other words, your view on guns and armies and drones and spies based upon fear-aggression-syndrome?  Would you, as some have suggested, shoot people who want to keep their guns?

3. Have the political promises you believe ever been kept? Have the predictions proven true? …Ever? When?

4. Have you looked at the forces and money behind the news stories?

5. Are you so sure your opinion isn’t what some very wealthy, powerful – even rogue clandestine agents, put into your head?

If more people actually thought long and hard about the above five things, I’m convinced that there’d be substantial changes in our global and domestic war machines, and military-industrial complex.

In any case, I’m also convinced that what we’re doing right now is madness.
And we had been warned many times by many people.

I think now’s a good time to picture a world that’s more peaceful, prosperous and secure, with liberty and justice for all…and find a way to work together with your neighbor (yeah; the one you think has crazy political notions) to make it so.