My day job involves work in the defense industry. I love my job, but not because it involves helping people bomb innocent civilians back to the Stone Age. In fact I am quite certain that if my job did involve helping people hurt innocent civilians, I wouldn’t be doing it. Alas I am here and if for no other reason than helping my organization absorb every last defense industry concern until there is only one left, I do my job to the best of my ability. As Grover Norquist is fond of insisting with respect to government, I want to make the environment in which armed conflict takes place so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub. As a species we need to move beyond the limits inherent in the care and feeding of a lizard brain.
Let me just start off this little chautauqua by suggesting an opinion I have that used to be fairly popular among the otherwise intelligent people walking the face of the Earth.
The Nazi Party and their American collaborators were complete idiots; chimpanzees slinging dung at one another; myopic to the point where utter blindness would have been an improvement in their “vision” system.
Imagine, if you will, a group of individuals so infatuated by their titles and power that the most constructive act they can imagine performing on a daily basis with those titles and power is oppressing or destroying anyone or anything that might work to constrict, obstruct or destroy their ability to go on oppressing or destroying the lives of other people. This they would actually – seriously – see as their “gift” towards the betterment of the human species.
Next imagine marrying this “creative” impulse with the religious fervor of a majority of earthly inhabitants who believe in their heart of hearts that a savior is going to come down on a cloud and save their sorry asses from crappy behavior they have chosen to engage in. Not only freely chosen to engage in, but also chosen to sanctimoniously justify by relying on some system of righteousness that involves believing in talking snakes, apriori malfeasance on the part of the female gender, and hatred of all behavior unlike that of some proscribed model humanoid. Nevermind the fact that when these same purveyors of mindless crap actually have their behavior, rather than just their bizarre intentions, measured in public, a great many of us want to find the nearest comode and heave up a lung, followed by a long, hot shower and plenty of soap.
This is Amerika at the close of 2009. We have been stampeded into voting for a black man of African ancestry whose job it has become, de facto, to inform us that there will be no black men effectively leading our country. Ever. Smart and moral white men, ending with James Earl Carter, gave up trying a long time ago. Only idiots will ever be permitted to lead our dead democracy. Only an idiot would want to try after the experience of the last 20 years.
Next up? Probably a woman. Not Hillary, though. She’s too bright.
As much as I deride Prescott Sheldon Bush for being a fascist, I think he got one thing correct. He once said of his son, George H. W. Bush, “I don’t know what I am going to do with that stupid sonofabitch.” Three cheers, Shel. The only problem is you left your son in a position to lead the same country you swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend. Sound judgment may be necessary for leadership, but it is not sufficient. You have to not be an idiot, too.
Fascists are idiots.
I have tried to see the opposite of this opinion from a variety of angles – from the most ardently nativist to the most cynically Rovian. Alas, there is no way that humanity survives by presuming it has absolute dominion over the forces of Life that continue to sustain humanity’s presence on this planet. We did not create these forces; we barely understand them. We barely comprehend the dance of photons and electrons that make up our campfires.
Or, in the case of those of you who still have a house, the flames in your fireplace.
Socialists understand that life is about relationship, preserving relationship and cooperating with others to sustain these two premises. Fascists see life as a competitive sport that will favor only those who can establish chaotic circumstances that only they can control or guide. To the extent that a fascist is a narcissist, a psychopath, a sociopath or the trifecta – all three – they will survive and thrive in a chaotic environment. Fascism creates an environment that favors the survival of the malevolently mentally ill. This principle has been demonstrated in history and, for me, at work in the last couple weeks of effort. Had the two individuals involved in my most recent experiences not immigrated to this country from El Salvador and Chile, I couldn’t make such a strong correlational statement. It appears that absolute diversity has its detractors, even among the politically progressive.
But while socialism is a necessary resolution to the problems created by our fascist fellow humans, it is not sufficient. Stalin saw this was the case as well, but he had a way of dealing with sufficiency every bit as idiotic as his fascist brethren/neighbors. It is absolutely sufficient and necessary that we not be idiots about implementing socialism in the midst of all these bleeding-heart narcissist-socio-psychopaths: we must have a functioning and vital democratic republic.
We have to have a system of governance that cannot be gamed by anyone, rich or poor. When a citizen places themselves beyond accountability or behavior that conspires towards the removal of accountability, they must be indicted. They must be given a fair and speedy trial. Upon conviction, they must be imprisoned. One of our big failures since 1970, or so, has been our utter inability to imprison those who cannot choose to freely associate with constructive personalities. Instead, we have allowed people who should have been in jail long ago to lead us to the brink of environmental, ethical and ideological collapse. When we allow criminals to conspire to lead, we end up with (yep, you guessed it) a criminal conspiracy in our leadership.
If anyone reading this Chautauqua doubts that we have a criminal conspiracy in our leadership, I have a prescription to further your healing. Obtain the autopsy photographs of our 35th President lying naked on a slab; eyes left wide open and pupils unresponsive. Fresh blood so copious that his hair shines even in a black and white photograph. Stare at that image for at least fifteen minutes. Keep staring until you can really see through the horror of it all. Take your time. It’s taken me over twenty years, but you might have a gift.
If seeing your constitutionally-elected Commander in Chief laying there oozing a bunch of goo that used to be his skull and brains doesn’t make you want to grab the closest neo-conservative by the collar and at least issue a healthy bitch-slap, I’ll loan you the bullet to put yourself out of your misery. And mine. Life is a choice, but so is death. Living with the memory of a fairly elected President slaughtered knowing full well that at least one of his killers is still breathing the same air as we are has been like a living death for me. What makes me alive is that I know this sad fact and it burns inside my gut every goddamn day of my life. What makes neo-conservatives among the living dead is that they can push this awareness out of their mind and pretend that it does not exist. Poof! All gone. See? Michele Malkin says it doesn’t matter, so everything must be just peachy.
At the moment the living dead are concentrated in the American South in large numbers. They are idiots. I suppose that is why I am here, too. When these other idiots start shooting off their weapons of choice, I will be behind enemy lines cutting off their supplies, trashing their ability to communicate, manipulating their ability to go on living their lives in the blissful ignorance of a beautiful “god created” morning, and doing whatever I can do to keep them from imprisoning the innocent among us to await their “final” solution.
You’re absolutely correct. Complete idiocy triumphs precisely when I allow the behavior of the complete idiot to generate resentment and bury it so deeply in my backside that I would rather kill than engage in constructive dialogue.
Whatever. I’m done talking.
This is why we have bars on all the doors and windows in a place we call “prison.” That is why we place convicted criminals there. It’s not anything that they will ever be able to do to us because their numbers will always be very small.
We place criminals in prison because of what we will do to ourselves to get them out of our midst (place them in a leadership position where everyone can see them, locate a spot in the circular firing squad, take aim, fire….)