January 19, 2004
From the whitest of the whites to the blackest of the blacks, lies are
the grease of political processes. As the nature of actuality is
paradox, so lies for one are truths for another.
Actuality then becomes a function of control. If I control Enron, then my lies/truths determine policy and practice. If I control the White House, Congress and federal bureaucracy, my lies/truths determine policy and practice. Spread that general principle to every organizational entity world wide. To counter my lies/truths, you need to take control.
Leo Strauss, guru of the Republican Neo-Cons, makes it simple: Take control at any price. Keep control at any price.
I can and do dredge up volumes of data which tend to put lie to another's truth. I do commentaries which occasionally get published in small circulation forums. I write letters to editors, also occasionally published. Feedback? As rare as snow in our patch of Hawaiian rainforest.
Control as key is quite alien to notions like cooperation, compassion, perhaps wisdom, too. "Win-win," much touted now and then by those attempting to control a situation or process, is, at heart, only a means of winners allowing face to losers.
Consensus? Be honest. When was the last time, if ever, you experienced consensus as meaning anything other than your agreement with a decision over which you either had control or lost it and accepted the loss?
Internationally and nationally and locally, folks in control will do to others what they would most abhor if done to them. If mine is bigger than yours, then tough tootie to you. Might makes right and Right makes might. Take your choice.
Choice in these cases is a function of control. If I "win," then Right makes might, If I "lose," then Might made right. Assumes, of course, that I am willing to keep playing. Remember the poster, "What if they gave a war and no one came?"
History is redolent with examples of lies/truths. Refusing to understand others is the stuff of politics world-wide. Refusing to allow others to determine their ways or simply to leave them alone is rarely taken as alternative. Whether niggers, gooks, ragheads, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, heretics or Muslims, capitalists, socialists or communists: if the "they" ain't "we," we tell lies about them. They tell lies about us. God is on everybody's side.
In the later 20th Century, "We" had missile gaps and bomber gaps and bomb gaps and gaps in our flies which, given time, turned out to be lies. All the time, "We" had more than "they."
In Vietnam, we had "Peace with Honor" at the cost in deaths of about 60,000 of our young men and about 3,000,000 of them. Not counting the 1944-45 famine which cost about 2,000,000 Vietnamese. Not counting the double cross which put the French back in control after WWII. That stage of the Vietnam War which ended in French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 maybe killed a million or so more.
From 1890 to present, The United States has intervened or participated in roughly 190 military conflicts world wide. (1) We have saved the world for "democracy" while diminishing and shrinking freedoms at home. The downhill transitions run from imperfect republic through to today's security state.
To stay in control internationally, We condoned tyrannies, despots and dictators. To maintain control, We drain our treasuries to buy arms and politicians while increasingly shirking and denying domestic responsibilities.
We globalize to keep out unions at home, drive down wages and benefits, destroy meaning in work while denying that people in control (management, so-called) hate workers. We do in whales and dolphins and myriad other creatures of the seas to make mock crab for superstore display. We build ever larger and more gas-gulping vehicles to hurry the demise of internal combustion engines. We compromise the future of the planet and all who share it to manifest control (aka dominion) over everything. And then lie about it. And people who agree with the lies grant control to those who make the lies. People not in control rant, rave, and rage. Some who are "out" lust to be "in" and lie about it in hopes to become "in" -- probably akin to lots of manias.
The long-lasting and quite ineffective "War On Drugs" spends billions attempting to control supply while most with direct experience know that demand is the key. The current "War on Terror" already spends more resources, does more damage at home than the Cold War did at its peak.
Onward and downward go the spirals of time and history. We get better in some ways and worse in others. Their better is my worse and vice-versa. I say we have more knowledge and less wisdom. They say we have more of everything and should be happy for it. I hope that their "we" is a shrinking group. I hope that my "we" is more inclusive, less exclusive.
I stay relatively happy in my own little world, snarl about some things, make some contributions to organizations attempting (futilely for the most part) to make small differences in trends and to get back in control again.
Thank you, George Orwell, for Animal Farm. Some animals are indeed more equal than others. If you don't believe it, ask them.
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Note and Resources
1. See, A CENTURY OF U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTIONS: From Wounded Knee to Yugoslavia, compiled by Zoltan Grossman. (back)
America the 'beautiful' on Swans
Milo Clark on Swans (with bio).
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