The Virus of Cruelty in American Democracy

“Men are always the same – fear makes them cruel.”
— W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

Ignorance is lack of awareness, information and knowledge.

Ignorance can be overcome with personal effort.
Reducing ignorance is work, remaining ignorant is easy.

Stupidity is the defense of ignorance.

Stupidity is lazy and cowardly.

Stupidity shields religious belief from questioning,
and bigotry from exposure and eradication.

The imperative for greed arises out of the fear
of being excluded from the ranks of the secure.

The Republican Party is a conspiracy for theft.
It is a political virus finely tuned to exploit the national weakness of popular stupidity.

Just as lying is the sound of theft, so is hypocrisy the signature of the Republican Party.

The greed imperatives aggregated as the Republican Party
react to humanity with xenophobia and otherization, expressed as:
– racial and ethnic prejudices
– misogynist sexism
– sociopathic attitudes towards wage earners, the poor and the destitute
– homophobia
– pedophobia (as with the destruction of public education).

How can the Republican Party gain votes (ballots, as opposed to dues) for a program that aims to disenfranchise otherized populations, subjugate women, and impoverish most of the public?

You would have to be stupid to vote for that.

Bingo!

Hence, Republican Party efforts to manage the public focus on capturing the DNA of popular stupidity, by injecting viral control directives into the nucleus of public attention, to effect the auto-enslavement of the vast majority of the nation.

The attack on science and the coddling of religion are all part of the strategy
to strengthen the force of stupidity and expand popular ignorance.

Your stupidity is your enslavement, and their triumph.

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Hello Void, A Thanksgiving Message

This is a country of very ignorant selfish people who are being exploited by very smart selfish people. I can’t do anything to change that, but I don’t have to help it along, either. I can forgo getting the best possible deal at the lowest possible price with the least amount of thought.

I don’t talk politics during the holiday season, at family gatherings, or basically ever. People believe what they want to believe, and facts don’t matter. Challenging people’s beliefs only upsets them and drives them into bunkers of defensiveness. By adolescence, people don’t change, certainly not because of what others tell them. Any change of thinking and attitude is purely a result of responding to life’s traumatic experiences, and such change is rare even when the traumas are regular.

All talk of universal cooperativeness: world socialism, population control, decarbonizing industrialization to prevent climate change, and similar visions of worldwide social justice and economic equity are fantasies never to be achieved. Individual selfishness will always trump social responsibility, satisfying immediate desires will always trump achieving long-term social improvement, confident willful ignorance will always stymie hesitant and deliberate thoughtfulness and understanding.

The fear for human extinction caused by climate change, overpopulation and nuclear war, which is increasingly expressed by intelligent, socially conscious long-range thinkers, is beyond permanent relief. This fear springs from a deep-seated belief that humanity must endure eternally, that it cannot be allowed to pass away. But why? The history of life on earth is one of species emerging, evolving and fading away. Extinction is the rule, the average lifespan of species on earth is a few million years.

A human lifetime is too brief an instant for any individual to have any impact on the course of humanity’s drift toward extinction. It is true that some individuals find themselves in positions of immense temporal power and are able to initiate, or halt, genocidal events. However, the power to cause rapid human extinction is beyond any single individual. The intentional rapid extinction of humanity requires the cooperative madness of many individuals engaged in launching the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons in one apocalyptic world war. Individual selfishness is one deterrent to the selfless cooperative attainment of this radioactive crescendo of extinction.

A better response by socially conscious people, to the realization of humanity’s drift toward extinction as a mass of insular selfish individuals ensconced in their little logic and fantasy bubbles that are opaque beyond close-in personal horizons, is to make their face-to-face interactions as compassionate, honest, honorable and calming as is reasonable given the circumstances. Obviously, sometimes conflict is necessary and right, but one tries to minimize that. This is “being peace” as Thich Nhat Hanh has written about so eloquently.

You as a living experience are peace for your own well being in the here and now, and as a socially conscious expression of solidarity with whatever individual human being you are dealing with at the moment, because you recognize the same spirit of life in them as in you, and because you realize that every other person is a bundle of largely unseen and unknowable mental fears and psychological conflicts – just as you have, largely unseen by the rest of humanity.

Be peace because that is what you can do. Forget about saving humanity, you can’t do it, it can’t be done, and it doesn’t matter. Before you were here, while you are here, and after you are gone, the universe is.

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The Damned Human Race (Still)

“The man who is a pessimist before forty-eight knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.” — Mark Twain (in 1902) <JS>

Some time ago I reached the conclusion that the type of writing I and tens of thousands (millions?) of others have done on not-mainstream websites has absolutely no effect on the course of human events, beyond being ephemeral entertainment for people brainy enough to enjoy reading on occasion, and tolerant of the amorphous “leftist” orientation. This is only a sliver of humanity.

In general, egotism and greed will always overwhelm socialism and egalitarianism.

Despite the minority of positive individuals one can find in every new generation, I think our species as a whole is incapable of advancing its thinking widely enough and quickly enough to fundamentally change individual and social behavior, regardless of the consequences and external circumstances. Humanity will cling to its authoritarianism, sexism, biases and prejudices (religions), and its greed (as corruption and capitalism) even to the point of extinction, rather than change.

Regardless of circumstances, there is always an excuse for continuing to “get what you want,” and to “not think.” There is no doubt in my mind that humanity will frack every puddle of buried hydrocarbon gas and sludge, scoop out or burn through every coal seam, and pump out every pool of oil, as soon as it can do so profitably. We will build the biggest cars and truck-cars people can afford, and roll over every piece of ground we can with them, burning up those mined hydrocarbons and spewing the carbonaceous wastes into the atmosphere.

Also, those hydrocarbon fuels will power many many military forces, regular and irregular, to grab control over land and people, and hold onto it. Positive individuals may lessen the suffering of the people they touch, or add uplifting elements to culture as great artists and musicians have always done, but these positive acts will only temporarily relieve the suffering or gloom of individuals fortunate enough to experience them, and none of this will alter the overall trend of the species.

People believe what they want to believe, and they would rather die and destroy the planet than think and act differently.

To me, the great shared tragedy of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden (and a number of others now in jail or otherwise hounded) is that their deeply humane sentiments and selfless and noble sacrifices are wasted on a feckless, lazy, willfully ignorant and self-absorbed people, the majority of whom are incapable of being appreciative. Wasted patriotism and wasted sacrifice, for a public most of whom have as little regard for maintaining constitutional rights and freedoms as does its political aristocracy. The anthem of that nation is:

“It don’t worry me. You may say that I ain’t free, but it don’t worry me.”
http://youtu.be/m3wi0GUqF-U

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Excerpts from The Damned Human Race, Article V “The Lowest Animal” (1897?), which is included in the volume of sketches and short pieces by Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings, edited by Bernard DeVoto:

Hypocrisy, envy, malice, cruelty, vengefulness, seduction, rape, robbery, swindling, arson, bigamy, adultery, and the oppression and humiliation of the poor and the helpless in all ways have been and still are more or less common among both the civilized and uncivilized peoples of the earth.

For many centuries “the common brotherhood of man” has been urged — on Sundays — and “patriotism” on Sundays and weekdays both. Yet patriotism contemplates the opposite of a common brotherhood.

Women’s equality with men has never been conceded by any people, ancient or modern, civilized or savage.

Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity — these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing; they are not ashamed. Man, with his soiled mind, covers himself. He will not even enter a drawing room with his breast and back naked, so alive are he and his mates to indecent suggestion. Man is “The Animal that Laughs.” But so does the monkey, as Mr. Darwin pointed out; and so does the Australian bird that is called the laughing jackass. No — Man is the Animal that Blushes. He is the only one that does it — or has occasion to.

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and with calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out, as the Hessians did in our Revolution, and as the boyish Prince Napoleon did in the Zulu war, and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.

Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country — takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him. Man has done this in all the ages. There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed.

Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.

<JS> Mark Twain on the Damned Human Race, edited and with an Introduction by Janet Smith (1962).

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