Posts Tagged ‘bullies’

Is Not Conservation Essentially the Quintessential Conservative Position?

When it comes down to the politically polarized issues about our environment, a good many people seem to be arguing about things outside their understanding.  It isn’t a new practice; it’s been going on for thousands of years–millions perhaps if you go back to the early beginnings of the hominids.  About 95% of our population is scientifically illiterate (according to Dr. Carl Sagan), and consequently fearful about what they don’t understand.

It is because of what they don’t know (and do not want to know), that they will presume to get their conclusions from other people.  The overwhelming majority are phobics, and as a large subset, get their opinions, not from research, or study, but from accepting the ideas presented to them by their bullies (dominators).  And as long as certain dominators are blinded by the prospects of a hugely profitable immediacy, the inability to postpone gratification, one of the basic character flaws found in individuals and societies as a whole, they will passionately pursue those profits, and support a campaign program of perception management to keep their phobic followers seeing everything as simple, and in some way similar to a pep-rally at a high school football game.  To them, it is just easier to see it as a game.  And during games, they will yell: “Hooray for our side!”

Some are not convinced, in the face of data they literally do not understand, that if we must err, it would be wiser to err on the side of caution.  Strangely enough, they have been convinced (which should give any reasonably bright person a clue to what is happening) that protecting the earth, air, and water in some natural way that can sustain life is some kind of communist plot. At the same time, the delusion has now spread so far as to insist conservation itself, which is the ultimate conservative position, is somehow a bad idea.

Furthermore, it is presumed bad by those who externalize good and bad to things outside themselves, especially if they do not understand them.  What makes it easy for dominators to benefit from such idiocy is the very nature of the phobics.  It is common for them to fear what is framed as “the opposition”, and fear it vehemently more so if it is not understood, or if at all, not very clearly.

And what irrational fear seems so profoundly expressed so loudly and so often?  What more so than the in-your-face insistence of an idea from someone seen to be of an opposing political or religious ideology?  In fact, since that very angst drives humans to become passionate about war, it appears that fears associated with threats they recognize (though not always rationally) to the fabric of their beliefs, will overwhelm even the fear of the loss of life and limb.  You’ve seen it in lots of places.  I’ve seen it on fields of battle.  You can find lots of evidence to support what I just said, if you’ll just look for it.

In the meantime, while incidences of melanoma continue to rise, while a glacier in Nova Scotia continues to melt risking thermal dynamic alterations to The Gulf Stream, while crude oil still leaks into the lower part of that Gulf Stream, while humans and their children have flammable liquids come into their homes through their kitchen faucets, since what was once thought to be an unlimited source of food in our oceans seen now to be endangered and very finite, while we continue to breathe air so unlike the air from just a mere century ago, people turn their backs to the problem, primarily because…they don’t even understand it?  And all of these things are happening whether anyone is willing to admit it, or not.

Oh, these issues are likely to bring sickness, pain, and death to some of the children and grandchildren of our people, but it is much easier to just not think about it than to risk the odd chance of becoming aware of the possibility that some things may have already gone too far.  And to turn our backs and not stand up to face these adversities is not a very responsible, or even a brave thing to do.  When others are seen to be not facing, and even hiding from things that could threaten them, it is often observed as the essence of cowardice, isn’t it?  Maybe we here in the home of the brave, should think about that a little bit.

I thought of some apparent confusions about irrational fearfulness and bravery the other day while looking at a photograph of a man carrying an AR-15 with him to the grocery store.  Imagine so many other people going to buy their daily bread without so much as a pocket knife on them.  Is it that they do not understand all the imminent dangers omni-present all around them?  Or instead, are they just enjoying the freedom that is found only in a peaceful mind?  And perhaps to some, is that not a peacefulness passing far beyond what others might have developed as skills, or ever made habits to even begin to understand?  Well, of course it is.

Human life exists on this planet, as does lots of other kinds of life, due to delicate balances within nature itself.   Some want to believe all this life, all this nature, is the good work and good gifts to us from an unerringly good Deity, yet they would trash it?  Hardly makes sense when you think about it.  But to think about it and want to understand requires an effort.  Those who are lazy with ideas and only want to stand on those built by someone else, some authority they’ve acquiesced their rights to self-reliant thought processing, will not think about it without becoming irrational, thus angry and even hateful.  Peacefulness, a by-product of understanding, is not the business of those willing to be enslaved by their own misunderstandings.

So the fearful will be sedated by the empty promises of their dominators, and remain faithfully in hope of being lead to safety.  And absolutely nothing outside those empty promises will be of any long-term benefit to the phobics, or to their children.

“Stop worrying about these rumors you’re hearing about Agent Orange.  It’s just a defoliant, and cannot cause any harm to people or other animals.”
 ~ Lt. Commander (name withheld), Civil Engineer Corps, USN, 1969, just outside DaNang, Vietnam.  I remember it well.

Is “Governance” Reduced To Just Being A Game?

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.  Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past.  Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy

*****

While what John Kennedy said makes sense, the prospects of that happening in an uneducated society is slim. A part of the difficulty lies with those who don’t understand the ideologies they insist they believe in. And it is made more complicated that they understand even less about other ideologies they’ve been bullied into being afraid of.  By saying that, I don’t mean that all fears are irrational.  But they do tend to begin to appear that way once you get people talking to you about what is inside their belief disorders.

People often get emotional over terms such as “fascism” and “communism”, but cannot intelligently tell you what they mean.  The same is true with the words: “liberal” and “conservative”.  In fact, some people who insist they are strongly one or the other, fail to recognize when their emotions have carried them to the exactly opposite position.  Examples of this are when fiscal “conservatives” are against measures of conservation, and fiscal “liberals” are against measures of liberalism.  When it comes down to “social” liberals and conservatives, logic often breaks down into differences of superstitions and dogma.

Irrational “phobic” behavior empowers dominators (bullies) who cannot sustain themselves without the control of the fearful people that do the bully’s work for them.  And the phobics depend on the bullies, too.  A lot of that dependence is the illusion of being protected from the other bullies.  A system like that allows gangs of dominators to assume huge chunks of power.

Some bullies are just “intermediate” or go-between bullies.  They have no real power themselves other than the appearance of support from some higher bully that they themselves are afraid of.  So it seems to get worse when the elected officials, though often seen as the bullies themselves, are also members of the large subset of phobic and uneducated people, such as we have in congress today.  This continues in spite of the huge disapproval congress receives from the American people.  And that disapproval has been in the red for a very long time, no matter which polls are consulted:

http://www.pollingreport.com/CongJob.htm

The irony of all this is, that for my entire adult life, I’ve been hearing the man on the street yelling:  “Throw the bums out!”  But doesn’t it seem apparent that when they do, they just seem to replace one bully with another one?  The new guy gets the lobby dollars instead of the old guy, and representation seems to continue to favor whoever can afford to pay for the influence, doesn’t it?

Kennedy’s suggestion to “…seek the right answer”, and “…accept our own responsibility…” would direct us to the intelligent process of open dialogue. That’s a far cry from just the art of rhetoric, which is a principal tool of argumentation and debate.

The goal in collegiate debate is to win. And just as in the game of basketball, it is particularly important to do EVERYTHING YOU CAN to prevent the opposition from scoring any points, even if that means to use some of your “maximum number of allowable fouls”. They actually admit it to be the reason for obstructing progress, a thing most reasonable people would be ashamed of in ANY setting other than a mere game.

So is governance now reduced to being just a game? Are the fans on the sidelines yelling battle words at each other and praying to the Most High for a victory to boast about? Is that it? If it’s a game, that means it’s playtime–it’s not important. But some feel what we have at stake about what we choose to allow and disallow IS important. After all, for some it is a matter of life and death.

While I continue to hope (wishful thinking?) they will do better at some time in the future, I’m reminded of something George Bernard Shaw said a long time ago:

“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”