I was realizing this morning that my 26-year ongoing goal, understanding the world, has gone as far as it can go, and that I need to work on other stuff now. I’ve known this for some time.
I understand American politics well enough to keep my distance. It’s a goofy pastime meant to distract us, nothing more.
I understand people as well as I can. As Napoleon observed, with a few noble exceptions they are desirous of being kept in chains for sake of security. They talk about freedom, but do not live it.
I understand the international scene as well as one isolated person can. One word: Machiavelli. There are no morals, no ethics. There is only power, and power despises weakness. Power has no use for ordinary people, would just as soon kill us as tolerate us.
There is a class of people out there, we call them psychopaths these days, who are always present among us. We need to get better at identifying them and putting them in tasks that challenge their abilities but do not give them power. Sweatshops would be a good way to go – Dick Cheney or Hillary Clinton could spend their long days stitching fabric to rubber instead of plotting misery for millions of people. The United States has a larger share of them in its population than other places due to colonial seeding. Australia, I would imagine, has a similarly large a percentage since it started out as a prison colony.
Psychopaths have always been with us. It is too bad our history is so corrupted that we don’t know anything of importance about our past. Otherwise we’d have a better idea of their activities over time. I see instances like the Battleship Maine blowing up, McKinley shot, Lincoln lionized, serial killer John Brown anointed a saint, and I see their handiwork. I’ve no doubt that when good people with influence are assassinated, die in small plane crashes, are caught in scandals … psychopaths got to them. The Bush’s and Clinton’s of this world live long lives of wealth and splendor even as they belong in stockades. John Lennon was shot by his doorman (who also happened to be present when RFK was shot! Imagine that!).
The key seems to be this: Keep them at bay. They are always plotting and scheming – nothing else pleases them. But we need to try to maintain some semblance of democratic government, laws and justice in spite of them. When they get complete hold of a place as they did in Germany, Poland, Stalinist Russia, Franco’s Spain and currently in Saudi Arabia and other such despotic hellholes, they cannot easily be dislodged. It usually takes conflict and bloodshed*. (“The tree of liberty …”) Power never gives up power without a fight.
That class is currently in power in the United States. We are in pathocracy. Every day they bring us more grief with out-of-control war spending, corruption in every corner including science (and even soft sciences like economics), our runway banksters, assaults on the commons, and a laughable system of justice. News is barely stitched together of lies, and most decent people in positions of responsibility cower in fear. Thousands of people know more truth about things like JFK, 9/11, Boston, Ukraine, Cuba, Iraq and our many wars of aggression and cannot speak for fear of retribution. Journalists may know stuff (it is hard to tell with them) but cannot write what they know. The only enemy our government fears is domestic – an awakened population, and I do not see any signs of life.
So for me the goal is to continue to lead my charmed life in spite of it all. The encounters that I have on the blogs lately are mostly unpleasant. I don’t like it when that happens. But if there is one type of personality that troubles me more than any other on this planet, it is the arrogant fool, the person so full of hubris that he is unapproachable and cannot be reasoned with. He will always presume himself more knowledgeable and wise while in truth knowing nothing. That personality sets me afire. I used to think the exchanges were fun, but now to see these same people years later unaffected by anything that has passed before their eyes, ignorant of all and yet assured of their own high intelligence and rightness … it gets really old. This is, as one of my kids’ teachers termed it years ago, “supreme stupidity.”
So I want to write about other stuff. I just keep getting pulled back in, that’s all. I love to set these people on their ears, rattle their cages in the hope that the shaking allows some light to break through. Never happens.
But there is Lizard and JC and SK and SW and ST and JR (Abe?) and Feral cat and so many others. I dwell on the negative when there is no much positive. I want to do better. I’ll keep working on it.
*Can someone please explain how the USSR and its satellites were brought down without bloodshed? That could never happen here or in Saudi Arabia or against the bloody British aristocracy … to dislodge a corrupt leadership class by sheer power of public will. What’s wrong with the picture?