Sunday, January 22, 2006

This Place and Time 

In almost any other place and time, the neofascists that control the U.S. government would be openly imprisoning, torturing, and executing their domestic political opponents by now. To fully appreciate the intrinsic value of what the neofascists are attempting to destroy, one has to understand how this place and time differs from any other place and time. What makes this particular place and time unique? Is it that we're clever, rich, powerful, and God favors us?

Is that why the overwhelming majority of people in this place and time coexist peacefully, politely, and even lovingly? Because we're clever, rich, powerful, and God favors us? Could the real reason be that our decent, principled society was designed to protect us from the vices that plague other places and times?

By undermining and destroying the principles that this country was founded on, the neofascists are attempting to turn this particular place and time into any other place and time. As a consequence, they're making it increasingly difficult for people to coexist peacefully, politely, and lovingly. They are willing to cleave this peaceful society into hostile factions in their bid to secure and wield absolute power. In addition to the material wealth (belonging to the American taxpayer) that they have wasted and will continue to waste, they are wasting the principles that hold our society together. It's all just fuel for their insane greed and power machine; we're all just fuel in their eyes.

Once upon a time, there was a liberal democratic republic called the United States of America - it must have been a ninny's fantasy. The neofascists say that 9/11 changed everything and the U.S. is now officially just like any other place and time. "Call it what you like; we're in charge."

How is one supposed to feel about a "friend" that is so certain he's on a righteous path, that he sees fit to lie to his friends, rob them, disgrace their principles, divide them, and invite fear, mayhem and death into their lives - in order to attain the power over them that he thinks he needs to make the world "right?" Such a person is no friend of mine, and indeed, friends with no one.

In any other place and time, the pillars that support society would have already crumbled. In this place and time, we (the people) debate passionately the deteriorating state of our society as the Earth trembles.

We resist by distancing ourselves from everything connected to the illegitimate power. We learn to recognize its agents, and we learn to tune them out. There aren't too many people, (at least that I know personally), who would willingly choose to be cynically manipulated by heartless predators. That is the secret to the collapse of the Soviet Union - not the fables promoted by Bin Laden and Bin Righty. The Soviet Union collapsed because the leadership seriously "misunderestimated" the people and put them in an untenable position. The leadership bet that the people were so stupid, that they could be manipulated into cheerfully accepting anything. Open revolt was out of the question, so the people did the next best thing: they became masters of passive aggression. They learned to withhold the things that their leaders wanted most from them: trust, respect, loyalty, and enthusiasm. The Soviet Union collapsed because it was a profoundly dysfunctional family. The people knew that the products of the power structure were as worthless as its "official" pronouncements. Propaganda is toilet paper with shit already on it - it's not even worth wiping your ass with. If you're paying for it, you're living in an inverted reality.

If you think the neofascist brand has a bright future, you're sadly mistaken.

Recently, I bought two sets of stone building blocks made by a German toy company that was brought back to life about a decade ago - more than 30 years after its undignified death-by-ideology. The Nazis left the stench of genocide on German products and it persisted for decades. Behind the iron curtain, the communists liquidated many companies for ideological reasons, among them the company that made Anchor Stone Building Blocks. It's an interesting toy with a tragic history. It looks exactly the way it did in 1936, 1920, and 1908 - for this reason, its history isn't difficult to contemplate. When I play with the stones, my mind wanders through the 20th century as I imagine people who no longer exist, playing with the same stones. I wonder if they also contemplated the rise and fall of civilizations, and mankind's ability to make instruments of torture and murder as well as beautiful toys.

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