The systematic evisceration of the Bill of Rights continues…
(Photo credit – David Baldinger http://www.dbaldinger.com)
I once heard life characterized as a momentary respite suspended between two eternities and this sounds like a good place to begin. Merriam-Webster online defines respite as “an interval of rest or relief.” As I look at the blank stare of orphaned children in war ravaged segments of the world, or the chaotic and frenzied faces of single mothers standing in line to fill a prescription between shifts at Denny’s, I often wonder whether there’s any validity to contemplations of this nature. Are the stirrers of our coffee or the sweatshop laborers that glue the soles of our Nikes entitled to any respite? Or are these merely bourgeois philosophical abstractions that are beyond the purview of the poor?
I contend that this moment suspended between eternities ought to facilitate the self-fulfillment of every man, woman and child. The divine right of kings may have ended with the shot heard ’round the world, but to the average single parent household, a new system of oppression predicated on finance has become firmly entrenched within the fabric of society and serves to thwart any budding notions of respite. A warning to those that decree otherwise and would seek to preserve the status quo by exercising financial hegemony, Robespierrean notions of justice have often been swiftly served throughout the saga of human history.
For every lash dealt so that Buckingham Palace could be built, or every noose tied to a slave refusing to contribute to the buttressing of the Southern aristocracy, historically one class has secured its position at the expense of another. Men in dresses speak of fire pits in the ground for fornicators whilst thieves and murderers dressed in tailored, Italian, double-breasted uniforms propagate a system that seeks to deprive the weakest among us of their right to self-determination. This extends beyond any singular segment of the globe as the system of feeding upon the blood of the poor seems to be a vestige of colonialism that transcends national boundaries. In every country that has embraced the top-down, pyramid model of power and governance, a small group seems entitled to this “respite” while the majority of people toil incessantly to keep food on the table. Wait! I know, it must be that the people are poor because they don’t work hard enough. That’s gotta be it. After all, LeBron James was not born wealthy and look at him. If only you could squeeze 168 hours into a work week.
Rousseau wrote that man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. This was as true then as it is now. At what point does the dream, the beautiful experience orchestrated by the field responsible for the complexity of the DNA code become a hollow experience of involuntary servitude? In 3rd World ghetto parlance, this system of mandatory servitude to eke out a meager existence is referred to as “Babylon System.” A system that allows for selective application of the rule of law.
A system that imposes punitive measures on the network of social services while redirecting public funds to the pockets of the criminals and architects of wars of aggression. A system that overthrows democratically elected world leaders in favor of puppeteers who dance to the beat of the imperial drum. A system that rewards commodities traders who manipulate the price of basic necessities in countries where the leaders have been bribed to stifle local agriculture. A system that provides billions in munitions to dictators who would drive indigenous peoples off their lands so that Rio Tinto and Shell can bleed the country of its natural resources and pollute with no fear of retribution. A system that forces young Asian girls under fifteen into the sex trade to facilitate the sexual perversions of steak fed American and European businessmen. I think you get the idea.
An unintended consequence of experiencing great travail is sometimes a realization of the unity of all things. You no longer see people as different but as all possessing the quality of bleeding when pricked. We differ in appearance merely due to the exertion of dietary and environmental pressure upon evolutionary processes. Injustice anywhere becomes a call to action and the vampires who hide behind police forces and corporate veils must be exposed. This Babylon system is seen as the shell game that it really is, a facade orchestrated by those who seek to muddle the minds of the young and keep the working stiff mired in perpetual stress and confusion. A clandestine plot to brainwash the youth into picking up arms to murder other youth to facilitate accumulation of wealth under the guise of nationalism, terrorism, or any one of the other multitude of “isms” penned by bored aristocrats. Not one gun was ever manufactured in Watts, Soweto, or a Rio favela. Yet, children born here are compelled to exist in a perpetual state of fight or flight while the invisible hand of Adam Smith crushes their wind-pipe.
In a 1963 address to the United Nations, Haile Selassie of Ethiopia stated, “[w]e must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.” Fifty years later and it seems like a re-introduction of this philosophy is in order. Justice demands that we be bigger in the sense that every child must be viewed as the product of each and every one of us. Bigger in the sense that food, healthcare and education should be basic rights and not privileges. An egalitarian approach to resource allocation versus a competitive model buttressed by birthright is long overdue.
Can a world where no child goes to bed hungry or homeless exist? Truthfully, I can’t answer that with any degree of certainty. However, I can say that our present method of societal organization ensures that it will not occur. Basic human rights must be guaranteed to all.
P.S. After reading Dickens, conscientious objectors to the status quo often realize the futility of writing to effectuate meaningful change within the established order. However all we have are words, and as I’ve said in the past, the pen must be exercised to maintain any positional supremacy over the sword. When conducting any type of institutional analysis it inevitably becomes somewhat disheartening. It’s at these moments that I sometimes resort to the Gospels of Marley for inspiration. I hope you enjoy this vid of Bob’s track “Babylon System.”
"Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.”
by Hannah Arendt
As Chechnyans this week looked out their windows and shushed their children to listen for the unmistakeable buzz of the Predator drone, the talking heads in the mainstream press were all a twitter over the fact that the surviving brother and
I do not intend this as an indictment of any individual’s right to freely believe as he or she chooses. However, I must urge you to inquire into the source of your beliefs. The sale and promulgation of the Roman version of Yeshua’s life does not escape the clutches of free market capitalism, and if you subscribe to DirecTV (Comcast doesn’t offer Free Speech or Link TV), you can choose from over 15 channels peddling this “truth.” In terms of dedicated bandwidth, only the Juiceman and adults playing games top this. This may not seem like something worthy of much consideration, but Judeo-Christian neoteny exerts quite a significant impact on society. It therefore causes me a great degree of consternation that so many continue to accept this limiting model that attempts to explain our existence. While the majority of society has evolved past the horned, pitchfork wielding constructions of Dante’s mind, there’s a large swath of the population that still believes the King James Bible descended from heaven with the angels in 1611. All reasonable inquiry must be suspended as this sole text outlines the word of God and provides the ONLY path to salvation of us forlorn sinners. This is a precursor to the “us” vs “them” dichotomous thinking that has also allowed for the prosecution of innumerable murders by men in uniform. If you are gonna believe something, at least take the Jewish version of events, after all Yeshua was of that inclination. Taking the KJV as a true account is kinda like believing the European and American textbooks about what happened to the native peoples of the Americas.
The Abrahamic traditions as a whole, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all ascribe to the Genesis model of creation. This construct inserts human beings into nature and carves a special niche that’s distinct and separate from the life in the biosphere. Man was created and somehow placed into the “garden” as opposed to being a manifestation of the garden. One need only look at the thinking that dominates corporate and governmental policy towards the environment for corroborating evidence. There exists a profound discord between man and his environment resulting from a desire to exert mastery over Nature. This is not limited to a particular region as the tentacles of these traditions are long indeed. The reverberations of the Genesis hypothesis have run amuck on a global scale. The dominant prevailing meta-paradigm is that we are autonomous units traversing the natural environment somehow independent from the latter. Nature and all manifestations exist only to foster advancement of the human societal machine. Most will probably say that they accept the theory of evolution, but then only as an abstraction. Concepts are a whole lot more rarefied in abstract.
The now almost entirely exterminated Amerindian and aboriginal peoples lived with an implicit understanding that there was an interdependence with the environment. These traditional shamanic cultures may not have possessed the language to articulate the theory of evolution but there existed an awareness of the underlying harmony of life on the planet. They understood that we evolve from and with the environment. There was a respect and reverence for the plants, the animals and the overarching web of life. Pre-literate societies inherently grasped the construct that man is the current highest expression of the Gaian mind underpinning the evolution of life. These cultures were present-oriented and environmentally sustainable. Then came the expansion of the European and Muslim empires and this 7 day version of events. Africa, Asia, the Americas, wherever nautical pathways existed, proselytizing and conversion were the new order of the day.
The Bible and Koran were thrust upon the world at the end of sword and scimitar with reckless abandon. These shamanic cultures would be marginalized, herded and systematically exterminated. Enlightenment would come in the form of morality and truth articulated by males in dresses. For primates that emit small mouth noises to speak of truth is hubris of the highest order. All we have are language constructs that are used to elucidate abstractions. Furthermore, Islam, Christianity and Judaism are notorious for the relegation of women to some inferior capacity. And, for enduring the travails of poverty without revolt, you are offered the “Kingdom of heaven” in the afterlife as the runner-up prize. Most sacerdotals seem to ignore Luke 17:21* from the indoctrination process however. It just doesn’t fit too well with the proffered explanation. What remains of these Spirit aware cultures is today under assault and encroachment from McWorld and its bland progeny.
The repudiation of Nature to some position separate from mankind is an externality of Abrahamic theory. The ability to embrace the majesty of the present and all adumbrations of the natural world would be replaced with cultures based on a sense of anticipation and a screwball theory about salvation. Forget the apple, this was the fall of man. Botanical varieties would soon become illegal and traditional plants like marijuana and peyote that peel away the dross and cleanse the doors of perception would be replaced with drugs that only serve to facilitate the problem solver mindset. I am sure every contract related to employment includes a provisional clause for a coffee break. And for the good worker bees that enrich the bourgeois coffers, feel free to overindulge in intoxicating spirits at “happy hour.” I love a single-malt as much as the next guy, but alcohol only provides a temporary boost to the ego and facilitates no expansion of one’s consciousness. It often destroys families and health, and yet is freely peddled as the great elixir of pleasure. Boundary dissolving plants like ayahuasca and psilocybin on the other hand, are vilified and treated as insidious threats to the fabric of society. Eradication demands nothing less than the full force of state and federal police power. Why are we infantilized and dictated to regarding the exploration of our own consciousness? Could these plants somehow enable an individual to pierce the veil of illusion promulgated by business and government interests? The last thing Madison Avenue wants is a conscious consumer, aware of the interconnectedness of all things, and realizing the sheer folly of paying $2500 for a handbag. Governmental institutions have likewise spent tremendous sums of money to find some health risk posed by cannabis and have been unable to state any conclusively. (Please compare with the LD50 of children’s Tylenol, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, or any other alchemically derived remedy pushed by the drug dealers of big Pharma.)
The 20th Century may have seen the Genesis model limited to less-sophisticated segments of the globe, but the presented alternative is what Terence McKenna called the “limit test of credulity.” I mean the idea that a being capable of self-reflection and globe spanning communication matrices could spring out of nothing for no reason whatsoever seems equally as preposterous. The “miracle” of the Big Bang is a prerequisite to the realization of any scientific truths. The scientific model acknowledges evolution, yet views it as a random occurrence. However, one need only examine the fossil record for evidence that the natural tendency of evolution is towards increasing complexity. Life is evolving towards something and this is not random. One of the primary laws of information systems is that organization cannot exist in the absence of intelligence. Moreover, the notion of humanity as an anomalous fluctuation seems to contradict the archaeological record. Teleology is a branch of philosophy that is based on the principle that final causes exist in nature. While we can shelve the grey beard Patriarch and notions of extrinsic finality, intrinsic finality holds that all life has within itself a natural tendency whereby its activity is directed towards the perfection of its own nature. This may seem easier to reconcile with the observable evidence. There exists some undefinable power in nature that predisposes all things to come into a fulfillment of themselves.
IMHO, the word “believe” signals the death knell of reason. At the point a sentient being begins to believe, he or she ceases to think critically. My recommendation is that we eliminate the notion of belief entirely and merely entertain ideas. Our left-brain dominated culture seems oriented towards constantly changing the focus point of consciousness and this has rendered society confused. An “archaic revival” that facilitates self-reflection is necessary if we hope to avoid the fate that 95% of the species that have evolved on the planet have experienced – becoming a part of the fossil record. There is nothing “sinful” about smoking some high grade herb and questioning the nature of your existence or using natural plant hallucinogens to explore altered states of consciousness. You owe it to yourselves to inquire into yourselves, your motivations, fears, likes, dislikes and finally “act only according to that maxim whereby you can will that it should become a universal law.”**
*Luke 17:21 - Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of Heaven is within you.
** Immanuel Kant’s Categorical imperative (If the global population acted as I do, what type of world would we have?)
P.S. I have often wondered about the reasoning underlying armed terrorists operating with the force majeure of the state transgressing upon adult sovereignty and preventing the exploration of other states of consciousness within the confines of our own homes. I maintain that exploration of one’s consciousness is a sovereign right that does not require articulation or judicial decree for its existence. Journey inwards until space and time become as naught.
This is an interesting documentary highlighting the extent to which our opinions of the world are manipulated and shaped. Figured I’d share and increase the viewership. If you have the time, I recommend that you check it out. The first step in moving towards effective resolution of any problem is to acknowledge that a problem exists and its degree of pervasiveness.
Once there was a very rich magician who had a great many sheep that he would raise, fleece and then slaughter. However this magician was rather crafty and very mean. He neither wanted to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and above all they ran away. The magician needed to find some method to prevent his sheep from leaving. Firstly, he hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them that they were safe and that no harm would ever befall them. On the contrary, anything done was beneficial and even pleasant. Next, he suggested that he was a benign caretaker who loved his ﬂock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them. The third suggestion was that if anything at all were going to happen to them, it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore no need to think about it. Finally, the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all, to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians. And after this all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their ﬂesh and their skins.**
“The lips of wisdom are sealed except to the ears of understanding.” – The Kybalion
**(Secret of Secrets – Osho).
I would like to preface this rant by saying that it is not intended to trivialize the death of any individual that has occurred as a result of gun violence. Honestly, we’re out of our minds if we think imposing restrictions on card carrying members of the NRA will prevent the insane from turning the parking lot of Burger King into the next level of Call of Duty 4 Black Ops. We are a society nourished on the blood of war and our adoration of rational reductionism has debased life to series of random chemical accidents organized by several absolute physical laws. A mechanistic culture with no respect for life and nature will experience internal reverberations of this mindset. I am to the left of Lenin with much of my politics but see eye-to-eye with Charlton Heston on this one. A gun is merely technology, a manifestation of man’s creative faculty. The forces that underpin rampant and reckless application of that technology is what merits closer examination.
Recently there has been a flurry of news coverage regarding the enacting of laws aimed at limiting the 2nd Amendment. The powers that be are blatantly selling Americans on the notion that limiting the rights of individuals who legally purchase and own firearms, will somehow prevent the mentally disturbed from committing random acts of violence. This is a manifestly incorrect assumption predicated on inherently flawed reasoning. A society erecting obelisks to murder and an overall lack of humanity cannot legislate its way to peace and respect for the sanctity of life. The overseers of decency condemn and criticize sexuality in the media, yet embrace stories and programming espousing state sanctioned killing, police atrocities, and violent displays towards others. Dramas showing multiple murders within their allotted time slot are heralded as successes while the inadvertent display of a woman’s breast is a call to surrender the right to freedom of expression. Am I the only one that finds this problematic? A callous society firmly entrenched in the dominator culture should expect its constituents to act accordingly.
The desensitization of an individual to violence begins in childhood. Having been afforded an opportunity to view some “children’s T.V.” with my nephew, I am astonished at the prevalence of forceful themes presented for consumption. Precepts presented to a subset of the population incapable of exercising any discriminatory judgment will be interwoven into the fabric of their respective thought processes. Kids are subject to a tidal wave of violent images and ideology that engenders domination and subjugation of others before the age of ten. Moreover, “the philosopher king” seems to have been replaced with “the brute” as the archetype of the protagonist. Characters that seem only to embrace the appetitive and spirited desires of Plato’s triumvirate appear to occupy the majority of the bandwidth, leaving a rather thin sliver for a hero with rational wants. I humbly ask, will it not behoove the condition of man if we cultivate a desire in our children to seek knowledge and truth above all else?
The idea that these observations are meaningless since violence has always existed is erroneous. While the assertion may be facially correct, the roles of television, film and the internet have served to exponentially increase the pervasiveness of displayed behavior grounded in domination. It’s not surprising that a system founded on the Hobbesian philosophy of “bellum omnium contra omnes” or a “war of all against all” should embrace these themes, however, we ought not be astonished when violence is subsequently perpetrated against members of the social order. (BTW, it’s time to bury Hobbes and his elitist Anglo view that we commoners are savages existing in a perpetual state of warfare.)
There has been a growing undercurrent within the class that Madison referred to as the “wealth of the nation” that civil rights legislation is becoming obsolete. Some are beginning to advocate the position that the U.S. has transcended its racist history. Recently the un-elected emperors of the Supreme Court granted certiorari to cases addressing this issue. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the following observation. Following the shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook where 100 people were shot, the perceived security of white, middle class America was called into question. What resulted is that every politician from San Diego to Syracuse has jumped on the bandwagon that the 2nd. Amendment needs to be constrained in some form or fashion. For decades however, tens of thousands have been murdered in minority communities by handguns yet the solutions presented took the form of tougher prison sentences, and a war on crime, drugs and anything else fit for a slogan. If you foster a climate where life is not appreciated, the indiscriminate will comply by displaying a lack of respect for life. No legislative action can prevent this.
Shared traits with Connor MacCleod make it a redundancy for me to own any type of gun. That doesn’t mean that the guarantees delineated in the Bill of Rights are of any less importance. Given the actions taken by the legislature in the past 10 years (NDAA, Patriot Act, free speech zones, etc.) I believe that it’s incumbent upon Americans to ask why are the provisions guaranteed in the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution being systematically eviscerated. If the shootings had occurred in Compton, Harlem, or a migrant worker community, would the men who know so little about so much be advocating an increased contraction of the Bill of Rights? Lend me your ears, pay attention to what is being done in Washington DC supposedly on your behalf. With very few exceptions, the men who sit on both sides of the aisle have employers to whom they must report, and that cabal does not recognize general admission passes. Examine the the sub-textual narrative before formulating your opinions as truth is never printed in legible font. NewSpeak has run amuck…
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety – Ben Franklin