by Milo Clark
(Swans - January 3, 2005) Morality is a much used and horribly abused word especially now.
Does morality have to do with matching behavior with words? Not really, since a threat to kill carried out matches stated intent with appropriate action. Must we, then, busy ourselves asking whether the murder was justified? And, if justified, a moral act? Is any murder a moral act?
Pondering morality leads easily to considering hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is relatively simple. Words don't match behavior. Lies, deviations of actuality and description, range in context and morality, perhaps, from little white lies to assertions of Weapons of Mass Destruction as immediate threat.
The world scene is awash with hypocrisy. It may be the life blood of politics in actuality. When sugared words are followed by mortal sins abounding, are we somewhere beyond both morality and hypocrisy?
Are we left with actualities as hollow as describing America's election systems as "democratic?" Given that the 2000 presidential election was both non-democratic and farce, Congress reformed the election systems with legislation such as Help America Vote Act of 2002 which, in actuality, underlay even more blatant manipulations in 2004.
Earlier commentaries related to the shenanigans of 2004 as shown by events in Hawaii (see "A Day as Observer" and "Summary from the Trenches") led to accumulations of data now totaling over three feet of documents and a batch of CD-ROMs. The Voter Task Force of District Four, Hawaii County Democratic Party wrote lengthy descriptions of irregularities, illegalities and manipulations which flow into this documentation. These reports were sent broadly to media, legislators, attorneys general, sundry politicians and office holders, influential citizens, activists, academics and busy-bodies galore.
In their collective wisdom, a broad consensus emerged. Ignore, deny, overlook, file away unread, smile and nod. The Hawaii County Democratic Party leadership mumbled about not rocking boats and went about business as unusual. The newly appointed Executive Director of the Hawaii Democratic Party wrote a snotty e-mail about meddling where inappropriate. Others have alleged anger and bitterness, conjecture and conspiracy theory when facts are called for. Guess who hadn't and didn't intend to be involved? Guess who are now relieved? So, we sent around a note stating we have more than three feet of documentation and several CD-ROMs worth. If anyone is serious about the issues raised, call. In the deafening silence, we are freed to get on with living in paradise.
Now I can wonder anew about morality, hypocrisy and reason. What a release!
Earlier in 2004, Robert B. Reich, Clinton's first Secretary of Labor, published yet another book. This one is titled Reason, Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America. (1)
The Radical Conservatives, Radcons, as he calls them, will be overcome by an uprising of newly energized Liberals swamping the mires of the Radcons with reasoned arguments swaying all.
Robert B. Reich apparently has not read Wilhelm Reich's 1932 tome, The Mass Psychology of Fascism. (2) In 1932, Weimar Germany was swamped by a plurality of good burghers who, in fear and desperation, voted for Hitler's National Socialist Party.
The Movietone News shorts seen in good American movie palaces of the time were full of massed ranks of upright citizens at Nazi rallies in Nuremberg and elsewhere. These good citizens screamed at the top of their lungs and thrust their right arms rigidly up and out with massive coordinated shouts of "Heil, Hitler!"
Hitler foamed and fulminated his anger at enemies such as Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and uppity women. He played fear like a well-tuned clavier. He found the resonant chords of what Wilhelm Reich named, "the emotional plague of mankind." He played those chords with Wagnerian thunder echoed by sound walls of "Seig Heil!" Seig Heil! Seig Hiel! Seig Heil! I can still hear those raspy walls of sound even when filtered through scratchy short wave broadcasts.
What is "the emotional plague of mankind?" The simple answer centers on denial and repression of human sexuality. Please understand that Reich sees awareness of one's sexuality as the core of being.
One is either male or female. Being male or female determines behavior, determines being. For Reich sexuality has little relationship to genital characteristics. Sexuality is not confined to genitals. Sexuality is how one is. Madison Avenue sells by distorting sexuality. Religions coerce by distorting sexuality.
Reich specifies that religious excitation or arousal disguises sexuality. When natural responses are perverted or made mystical, a religious person negates him or her self. Religious ecstasy is substituted for core being.
Religious ecstasy is no substitute, however. Tensions and fatigue result. These are, in turn, displaced onto others. Subsumed into physical symptoms feeding a distorted medical structure. Religious feeling is subjectively experienced as genuine. It is given a physiological basis typically located as genital while submerging the nature of the excitation at the cost of character coherence. "Genital shyness and pleasure anxiety remain the energetic core of anti-sexual patriarchal religions." (3)