Swans Commentary » swans.com April 9, 2007  



How Did This Happen?


by Carol Warner Christen





(Swans - April 9, 2007)   There were times and places on this planet when no one was considered better than anyone else. Except for pockets of humans here and there, this had to have been before 10,000 years ago at minimum. Humans have been here at least four million years via DNA studies. There were so few that all the work and play were personal chores and group outings. It was anarchy, in general, with family groups bonded for reasons of necessity. Children were not disciplined; they simply played or helped or were nursed until they could share the life around them. This laissez faire attitude is still seen in many tribal groups. Women had as much equality as the men because everyone was needed for survival.

Laissez faire, of course, is the policy or practice of letting people act without direction or interference -- free will. Laissez faire got a bad reputation when the owners of business or industry were permitted to do as they pleased. The difference is that business and industry are not individuals; they are conglomerates of people bowing to a single master to accomplish something or another for profit. They, as a matter of course, always went too far and had to be reined in for the sake of human safety.

Since we live in a time of too much incorporation and its totalitarian results, those who run these outfits have the belief that our natural humanness is not to be tolerated; it is too anarchic, what with dancing and singing and playing all day rather than working sixty hours a week for them. None of us is invited to their play places around the planet, which means we do not see the anarchic side of their behavior. In reality, they cannot help but be human, although overly groomed. Their egos are so inflated that we, except as servants paid to be quiet, may not enjoy their joie de vivre. None of us have the proper pedigree (poodle), the money, or the "taste." We work for them because they enjoy the hedonistic life our mothers told us to forego.

Alas, however, they have bought the government of the United States of America because a clerk said that corporations were "persons." Corporations are not persons. They have never come out of a human womb; they grow from charters and signatures and an idea. They are subservient to the state of their incorporation. This is what we all understood until they became pseudo-persons and grew money from a tree called the Federal Reserve with branches everywhere. The US Treasury was supposed to protect our money; it now defers to a tree-like secretive group of bankers whose twigs even touch London. They print money and, what with wars and debts and covetousness, we might soon have a national crisis on our hands.

War isn't cheap, although too many housing loans are. Do you think that's why the Founders limited a standing army to two years, at most, with the states providing a National Guard as a check on rampant pillaging of the world? We have pillaged the National Guard to rape the world into giving up its oil to our military bully, which needs most of it. The damage to the victims is the damage to any human raped; but the scale is colossal and the deaths an afterthought. Who really wants to read about it in the newspaper? Too much of a bad thing might anger the populace.

Our current corporate big shots, on a scale larger than local business people, are ready, willing, and able to sell the People out. They pay some to be quiet; they pay others to write phony Möbius strip sound bites that seem to be one way while morphing into something else. None of them ever say it in the same article or at the same time, lest we catch on to the game. You might think the United States of America is a rigged game. I do. Look deep enough; the answers are there. No time to look? Working overtime without a personal life? Can you make ends meet at home, or is the American Dream drifting off into the sunset along with the infrastructure?

Halliburton moved to one of the richest spots on the planet. Is this the beginning of the end? Who wants to bet on which comes first: Armageddon, aliens, or mass depopulation from hunger, disease, death? We'll probably reorganize if it comes to any of the above; but, why wait? We could ask the bet takers what the odds are now.

Good or evil? Hatred or apathy? Death or life? Rich or poor? Heads or tails? Middle class or slavery? Wealth or bankruptcy? Right or wrong? War or peace? My way or the highway? Surge or lose? Kill or die? It's so easy to toss coins, easy to think in dichotomies rather than develop serious thought. Each of these is a simple system. There is always a meta-system to any system. Love is the main meta-system to all of the above. Love sees all sides.

Humans are a meta-system to the Earth and its creatures. However, not even one of us can ever be a meta-system to humanity itself. That's why we feel or know a higher power exists: to see all sides of humanity. Only the utterly arrogant believe they see all sides of human life and have the right to declare a position above humanity while remaining human. Nice trick. It is usually accompanied by weaponry and soldiers, led by the arrogant. I always imagine a group of equally naked humans in a large ring talking to each other. Suddenly, some of those humans climb onto the shoulders of the others and begin demanding this or that from those "below" them. Why we fall for this trick so often escapes me.

Our Preamble also is a meta-system to our governmental bodies. There is no coin that has the Congress on one side and the Executive Branch on the other. If that were the case, then where would the Supreme Court fit?

How do We "form a more perfect union" if "the massive defense bill (the martial law section of the 591-page Defense Appropriations Act takes up just a few paragraphs)..."?

"Under these new provisions, the president can now use the military as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any 'other condition.' According to the new law, Bush doesn't even have to notify Congress of his intent to use military force against the American people, he just has to notify them once he has done so. The defense budget provision's vague language leaves the doors wide open for rampant abuse. As writer Jane Smiley noted, 'The introduction of these changes amounts, not to an attack on the Congress and the balance of power, but to a particular and concerted attack on the citizens of the nation. Bush is laying the legal groundwork to repeal even the appearance of democracy.'"

"The main reason we do not want the military patrolling our streets is that under martial law, the Bill of Rights becomes null and void. A standing army, something that propelled the early colonists into revolution, strips the American people of any vestige of freedom. Thus, if we were subject to martial law, there would be no rules, no protections, no judicial oversight and no elections. And unless these provisions are repealed, the president's new power will be set in stone for future administrations to use and abuse." (1)

The Preamble will then have "a more perfect union" of one man surrounded by his flunkies. How convenient! The president may then dispense with the rest of the Preamble and become the dictatorial decider he has always aspired "to be, or not to be, for that is the question." Citizens might read the entire quote from Shakespeare -- it's enlightening. It speaks to us today. (2)

If the meta-system is to "establish justice," why has it devolved into the "criminal justice system" and the "(summary) military justice" sides of the coin? We established justice until 1968. Then criminal justice systems became commonplace with a further injustice of establishing private jail companies for profit. With the war in Iraq, we decided some humans were not entitled to trial, only military hearings in secret at places such as Guantánamo in Cuba. The inhumane treatment of prisoners has risen within the prisons; the military simply permits torture all around the world for so-called "terrorists": untried persons. No one knows their real or alleged guilt. It is all assumed from specious but convenient circumstance. There is so much human life it is as if we have decided to waste as much as we like, forgetting that we, too, may lose ours to the grossly medieval current system. Is the church of the Middle Ages reincarnating in the criminal justice and military systems? If so, we have lost our American integrity to expedience, once again.

With the militarization of the local police forces and their fear of citizens, the meta-system to "insure domestic tranquility" has changed to "kill or be killed" instantaneous decisions on the street. The sick, the mentally ill, the criminal, and the bystander are all in mortal danger. No officer merely knocks on a door politely; he brings heavily armed police militias with him and breaks down doors. How would any citizen know how to react when fear of invasion overtakes a household? Who really is out there? What happened to the Bill of Rights that protected the privacy of our homes and belongings? Is this really necessary; or, is it part of the militarization of the United States because the powers that be have other plans for us than we might appreciate in the light of day and proper hearings?

"The common defence" is now National Security, which is a wholly dreadful idea and, definitely, not the other side of the coin; it is the current coin, one side domestic and the other foreign. The laws to put this in place are discussed above with a complete loss of American rights, not to mention the rights of other peoples around the world because we say so. We are also back to the "big father patriarch daddy" running the show. The one who says "do as I say, not as I do"; as he negates the world's free will for his profit and, perhaps, sadistic turn of mind. He is surrounded by armies. We have none. To those who support this hedonism, the only thing to do is to turn our backs on their concepts and start supporting ethical humans and their ideas that we thought we stood for, but never quite did fully.

If the meta-system says "to establish the general welfare," have we been faithful to that concept? We have given to the rich and powerful; we have heaped goodies galore upon them. On the other side, we have taken from the majority of citizens what made the United States a beacon to the world. We let corporations go global with our wealth and called those who suddenly found themselves poorer names. As they worked many more hours than ever, we called them lazy, dirty, poor, immigrants, not true Americans. We call them names because we fear that we, too, may soon be in that class.

If we are equal before the law, how did we classify some of us into classes? Why do we promote that? Or, is it the old school cry: "Nah, nah, nah, I'm better than you!" Those who claim to be Christian must face the fact that Jesus said there are only two commandments: love God, and love one another as I have loved you. How did that morph into such hatred of the Other who is, too, human? Churches often are so three-dimensional that the human bickering becomes some sort of faith in unfairness for everyone else.

When will we think deeply and fairly, especially since the planet is more crowded than ever? The final meta-system command is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our progeny." So, the coin flip is this: we and some of our progeny are on one side and, "they" are on the other and they are different than we are, less human, less worthy, more killable and have what we covet. It goes on and on and on. We do not answer to ourselves for stealing our own liberties for expediency against a chimera: terrorism.

How many persons would jump off a high-level bridge because the president says to do it for the greater good? A pursuit that worthless might be an interesting study in American idiocy as a test of integrity. Maybe we can get the Congress to pass a bill encouraging the president to test us while some of us test the Supreme Court he packed to see if they care. Want to gamble with no rights or want to put your real rights back where they belong with We, the People, who wrote the Preamble for our liberty for now and for the future? Giving away any liberty is the stupidest thing a country can do to itself. So, why have we let them do it? I hope I live long enough to see a reversal in honor of my ancestors who fought for freedom for us without totalitarian overtones.



1.  John W. Whitehead. "The Late, Great American Nation," Rutherford Institute. http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/commentary.asp?record_id=461  (back)

2.  William Shakespeare -- To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1).  (back)


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About the Author

Carol Warner Christen on Swans (with bio)... Woman born 1939, twice married, five children, 7 grandchildren; own a goat farm, rural Oregon after years in Chicago area and Ohio; Associate of Arts, Chicago Art Institute (1 year); artist, editor, mechanical design drafting supervisor; owned two computer companies before anyone had a computer; activist; antiwar; human.



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Published April 9, 2007