Clemsy wrote:I am of the mind that war is never just. War is never moral. War is, however, sometimes, though rarely, necessary and remains a significant part of human behavior.
I truly wish we would stop it. The insanity extant currently seems to be dragging the world inexorably toward another global conflict because there are too many in power around the world who lack the vision, imagination, courage and/or morality to avoid it.
I would sell my soul to the very devil to keep my children's lives from being sucked in and ripped apart by fools.
There is little doubt in my mind that we have trouble imagining a non-violent solution to certain conflicts. However, that is not for lack of a such a solution. It is for lack of imagination.
When Thomas Edison set out to find a solution to the problem of creating a light source that we now call the
"electric light bulb", he had no idea where he would find the material that would conduct electricity in exactly the way it had to be conveyed in order to function the way the electric light operates. He knew intuitively that a way would be found. He tried everything and he kept trying no matter what challenges and problems he encountered. He knew his job as an inventor was important. He knew the task was ethical and within the realm of the possible, perhaps the probable, and in an imaginative sense, it was a sure thing.
Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, had nothing to lose.
It wasn't enough to say, "Let there be light". He struggled and everyone around him had to suffer the consequences of their loyalty. He had rivals. He had critics. He had more naysayers than flies have baby flies. Still, he persisted. To many, he was just stubborn. He kept on working on the project.
He is one of my heroes. I'd like to think that I'm a kind of inventor, too. I'm inventing a new way of managing our collective human existence so that the planet's eco-system can thrive, our species can survive the Big Threats, and each individual human being actually gets what each one needs and wants and cares about most.
Possibilities and opportunities are nice, but results rule. I'm in search of my first voter who will start the ball rolling for my write-in Democratic Party campaign for president. (Sometimes, I suspect he is follower of Joe Campbell!)
Toward that end, I'm working on my website, and it's aimed at the first voter, the one with influence and a voice, with courage and faith in my ability to create institutions that will bring the light of day to a world immersed in violence and force and coercion and victimization of every kind, where we are so distracted by conflict and struggle that we are neglecting Mother Earth and the human species and our own personal health and life. Because I believe in a democratic way of doing things, I expect to guide the great ship of state, while the people actually make the lists and check them twice and contribute out of real enthusiasm for the task(s) they choose as their contribution.
Given our priorities (Planet, Humanity, Individuals), I'm going to ask everyone who can participate (regardless of age or any other status) to join in the making of the Great To-Do List. We will amass a complete list of everything we want, we will divide the tasks among those most knowledgeable and willing to assist, we will prioritize and decide where the money will come from and where it will go. We will do this work TOGETHER, not through intermediaries or representatives or higher-ups, but directly, as individuals. We have the means to do this and we will not have to compete for results. The only question will be what we want most, not what we will achieve. All things will be covered, but some things will have to be at the top of the list.
Here's something about individuals. Drugs. Two-thirds of all the illicit (violence-generating) drugs in the world are consumed by 4% of the world's population, and they are Americans. We abuse everything from alcohol and tobacco to ordinary food, poisoning ourselves up one side and down the other. When they aren't harmful, they're just a huge distraction, demanding our money, which we earn by giving up needed sleep and exercise, and it goes on just like that, getting more and more complex.
I propose educating the public about the dangers of enforcing laws that make problems worse. The enforcement of drug laws involves violence and coercion that we mask with nice names like "arrest and conviction", which sounds like a solution, when it's just another big problem, passed on to groups we love to hate. We think Paris Hilton was given special treatment, when there is nothing special about being afforded the deference and respect of a human being. There are better ways to rid our country of bad habits. None of them involve making people suffer. All of them involve making health and happiness accessible to everyone, whether they are wealthy and blonde or poor and bald. We have to see each other as sacred souls, and our bodies and minds deserve to be enriched and nourished and appreciated.
There are private morals and ethics, personal to each decider, but we can only give what we have. Those who are condemned and punished and killed (whether guilty or innocent, wielding a gun or without a weapon, etc.) have no goodwill to offer. From what source can they draw? We can't ask the blind to drive a cab. Morality and ethics and abiding by the law come from being healthy and well-treated and educated and included in the management of our collective institutions. It doesn't come from God or good genes or some inspiration of the universal ether.
Those who enjoy generally good health must ensure the health of their fellow human beings so that we can function and concentrate all our energy on what means most to us.
When I was being raped, all I wanted was to be free of the immediate experience at that moment. It was overwhelmingly unpleasant. Once it was over and I was safe, and he was ready to talk about it, I had a chance to go over it with the man who hurt me. He was contrite. I understood his explanation. It made sense. I was not afraid, though I never let him have the privilege of sexual access to me again. For all my interior struggles, I did not see either of us as being guilty of anything. I did not feel much more vulnerable than before nor did I see him as a dangerous man.
His capacity to hurt me was already proven, but I was not in a position to do anything about the risk he posed to others. At that time (in the early '70's), date rape was not illegal, and I still don't think the criminal court system offers a solution to the problem. Putting oneself at risk was deemed to be "consent", and being with a man was enough to say, "Mi casa es su casa". All the courts can do is take human beings and turn them into statistical "things". The courts do more harm than good unless you're into vengeance and hurting people and making everything worse.
Like all non-lethal events in my life, I learned a lot from being raped. If the man who committed the act was a danger to others, it became his problem, not mine. If he hurt anyone else, and I have no reason to believe he did, I never heard anything that would convince me he had offended anyone enough to transform him into an object of condemnation or punishment. He went on with his life. I hope he's okay.
Here's the analogy:
The Earth has been raped. She cannot speak for herself. She just wants man to stop what he's doing. There's no need to feel guilty. She did nothing to deserve all the carbon emissions and the plundering of her eco-system. There is no reason to guilt-trip the "offenders". Once they understand their stake in this, and they are engaged in a cooperative process in which they will face the NATURAL consequences of their actions, the "offenders" (well-meaning overachievers who earn the goodies distributed in a meritocracy) will join humanity's overriding interest being in the world.
Those with the courage to look beyond the current American way of life will be the new founders of a nation that is not afraid to stand with the world in the glow of consensus, where one does not have to apologize for wanting to be treated like a million dollars by institutions of social management. We will still have kids who poop and vomit. The dog will still bark and die too soon. Neighbors will still find some way to irritate us. The little things will drive us nuts.
Nations will do no harm. Institutions will radiate unconditional goodwill. The lazy will be in charge of efficiency. The nerds will radiate competence. The zealots will keep us on the straight and narrow. The turkeys will be proud. The eagles will find food. The food will multiply so that there will be safety in numbers. The numbers will be awesome. So much good.
I have my vote. I am working on my website to find the first voter.
I will find a way to write my name on the ballot, first inside my head, rehearsing and getting ready for Carnegie Hall by practicing, practicing, practicing.
Let's see. It's CARMELA B. CHAVEZ.
Are you really voting for me, CarmelaBear?
Sure. Didn't I say I would?
Well, gee, thanks.
You're welcome. My pleasure. Don't eat so much.
Don't push your luck.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene