FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Hard Place in History

by

Of all the quirks inherent in the human species the most peculiar is the recurring compulsion to collectively imagine a pure chimera and then passionately embrace it as reality.

These kinds of psycho-emotional conjurings require no basis in verifiable fact. Lack of verifiability is central to their propagation and is the attribute that, by some mysterious process, gives them mass credibility.

They appear in the earliest societies, from the monster of Gilgamesh, to the Gorgon and Cyclops of Classic Greece, to medieval Europeʼs Succubi and Unicorns, and finally our own cherished fables, Christianity and Democracy.

These latter are, of course, concepts, creeds, not creatures, but as mythic ideas they are produced in the same manner, and have the same fantastic currency in the public mind as the Phoenix and the Werewolf once did.

Christianity, with its vast catalogue of absurdities, is not the topic here. Suffice it to say that its ponderous edifice rests on the same vacuity as Nessie and Bigfoot. The claim is that faith is the evidence of things unseen. Faith, by definition, is not evidence of anything at all except deep, desperate, and undiscriminating need.

Democracy is said to be a political system in which every individual has a vote in every question decided by society. Such a system has never existed in any polity in all human history but the idea persists and in America devotion to this non-existent system amounts to a religion.

Our corrupt, vicious Power Elite–capos of the Predatory Capitalist System– are the priests of this political ignis fatuus. Like many priesthoods, they donʼt actually buy what they sell. Few, if any, in the high ranks of American governance believe in Democracy but they flog the idea shamelessly to bully and coerce other nations–and their own–in order to loot them.

To hear Obama expound in his crushingly dull mock-sincerity, on the wonders of our Democracy is to witness a High Mass of unmitigated bullshit for this exalted pipedream. His phony sanctimony is stupefying.

Americans, though, steeped in mythic exceptionalism in which democracy fantasy is dogma, genuflect reflexively to a catechism they revere as holy mystery. Small wonder: Its paradoxes rival virgin birth and resurrection.

This idiotic stalemate in which we refuse to confront the grim reality that they live in will destroy us. Courageous, intelligent people must admit that our system is a rotting fraud, dead to public will and citizen input, and call it what it is: a corporate imperialist police state run for the 1% who own it.

I know, it sounds rough and rude. Itʼs negative, harsh and provocative. It will be insulting to oligarch billionaires, CEOs, and Hedge Fund pirates, and to the political whores they install in our Congress, courts, and Presidency. It will offend friends and families, bosses and supervisors. It will get us disapproved of, disliked, shunned. Before long, it may get us arrested.

And if we admit it, what do we gain? Why should we take an action that will expose us to opprobrium? We know we canʼt change the system, right?

That kind of thinking got us where we are. Propagandized and intimidated we have ceded the rights that protected us from the State. Now, fearful and disciplined to accept any abuse our vicious system inflicts on us, we triangulate every ethical horror we face in hopes that abandoning our honor and integrity will keep Big Brotherʼs NSA, its FBI and swat teams, at bay.

Itʼs illusion. Cowering before power invites worse abuse. We are at that hard place in history where no behavior will prevent suffering. The only choice now is between our terms and those of the National Security State. We can continue to grovel morally, submit to flagrant tyranny, and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves, or we can stop lying, stop hiding, stop betraying our best selves, and take the consequences.

There will be consequences. Most will be too terrorized to risk them; some will act and suffer for all. Those who do–even buried in one of those top secret pens theyʼre building for us–will know that though betrayed, they were not deceived; and that by exposing the fraud at the monsterʼs heart, they gave it a wound that will eventually bring it down. No society built on lies and exploitation ever lasts. Truth, in the end, always trumps power.

Paul Edwards lives in Helena, Montana.

 

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at: hgmnude@bresnan.net

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail