Saturday, August 20, 2016

Good and evil

Have you ever had the vivid feeling of being viewed as the Bad Guy/Gal by someone else?  We grow up with these simple--simplistic--narratives of good and evil, and it is supposed to be obvious which is which.  We are us, and they, if they oppose us, are bad.

It is the simplest thing in the world to teach a naive child who has found themselves physiologically mature enough to be in college, that America has killed innocent people, and this makes us bad.  We are the bad guys.  And what have you done?  You have simply switched one simplistic narrative for another.  Instead of being perfect and all-knowing, we are uniformly evil, and the very pit of darkness.

And while it is true in theory that growth would consist in greater nuance, and a redoubled effort at dispassionate understanding, which is then compared to moral ideals in an honest way, the reality of what passes for "nuance" in our Academies, and "non-reductive" research is in the main destroying traditional narratives of what constitutes the morally ideal, in favor of very specific propagandas which demonize one party--us--and angelicize--if I may be permitted the term--all Others.

A logical and honest question might be "what do we want, and what did we get?"  The actual question asked is "how did we fuck up, and why are they so wonderful?"

Through this very disingenuous exercise, massive crimes can be excused, and minute crimes expanded to Himalayan proportions.  Everyone knows Lieutenant Calley.  But have you heard of Dak Son?  Let me quote a pamphlet circulated in Congress before we decided to abandon Southeast Asia to mass death, torture, and soul searing pain which constituted a hell on Earth for tens of millions of innocent people (all so the fucking hippies and Leftist assassins could be self satisfied in their moral superiority):

Organized terror--of a ruthlessness and on a scale that defies civilized comprehension--has been a cardinal aspect of Communist policy from the very first days of the Vietcong insurgency.  By and large the Western world only knows of a few of the more massive and gruesome terrorist incidents--like the massacre that took place in the Montagnard village of Dak Son in December 1967, when the Vietcong, attacking with flame throwers, moved from hut to hut, incinerating alive more than 250 villagers, two thirds of them women and children.  In addition 200 Dak Son villagers were kidnapped, never to be heard of again.  But the thousands of small incidents of terror--equally merciless, equally gruesome, and which account for far more victims than the big incidents--with exceedingly rare exceptions, go unreported. 
It did not make the press, for example, when on October 27, 1969, the  Communists booby-trapped the body of a People's Self Defense Force member whom they had killed--so that when relatives came to retrieve the body, four of them were killed in the explosion.  Nor did it make the press in May 1967, when Dr. Tran Van Lu-y told the World Health Organization in Geneva that over the previous 10 years Communist terrorists had destroyed 174 dispensaries, maternity homes and hospitals; had mined or machine gunned 40 ambulances; and had killed or kidnapped 211 members of his staff. 
If the Free World knew little or nothing of this day-to-day terror despite the presence of hundreds of correspondents in South Vietnam, what chance is there that the Free World would know anything at all about the bloodletting that would inevitably take place in South Vietnam if the Communists came to power, expelled the Western press corps, and then proceeded to deal with their enemies!

How many of you know that Nixon negotiated a comprehensive cease-fire and peace treaty with North Vietnam?  How many?  We had peace.  Then Nixon was more or less pushed out of office, and Communist radicals masquerading as liberal Democrats cut off aid to the region, North Vietnam violated the peace treaty, tentatively at first, then decisively as they realized we would not respond.  It was a tank led invasion. of the sort we have always excelled at countering.  The cuts to Cambodia also led in short order to fall of Phnom Pen and the atrocities that happened under the never-punished Pol Pot.

The root of this post is a dream I had last night.  I was a comic book character, but I found myself killing Captain America. I found myself fighting an Avengers-like group, with a partner.  And I woke up wondering if I was the Bad Guy.  You're not supposed to sympathize with the Bad Guy, are you?

And I reflected on the dreams I had following watching the Suicide Squad.  They were pleasant, even peaceful. (although they clearly should have killed that evil psychopathic black woman, who had murdered her own people for no good reason--really, to protect herself and her illicit project--and escaped), and it hit me that we all have an inner Joker or Harley Quinn.  That part is there.  We don't let it out, don't allow it consciousness, because we are afraid it will take over.

But I will submit that until you can own your connection to evil, can sympathize with it, you cannot KNOW when you are operating under its influence.  Evil people always find reasons to do what they do.  They may call themselves evil, consciously, but what they do makes psychological sense to them.  Only when you can feel evil as evil and as good--at the same time--are you beginning to deal effectively with your Shadow, which in most cases is to say your unconscious traumatic memories and feelings.

Only in open space do dualities disappear.

And here is the thing with Leftists: they cannot claim or see their innate viciousness. It is absolutely true that jingoism and national bigotry have belonged to every national sense of self, every tribal sense of self.  But the categorical, simplistic rejection of such narratives, without any effort at deep understanding, is merely the same impulse, from which the virtues of loyalty and sanctity have been subtracted.

I might go so far as to call Leftism a "lonely tribalism".

The alternative is genuine Liberalism, which is asking yourself what you are doing, why, and if it is working.

Actually, I forgot the most important thing I wanted to say.  I keep reading stories about demons, and hauntings and possessions.  Somebody thought it would be terribly funny to stage a mock human sacrifice at CERN (the people who some physicists are concerned might be able to destroy the world).  The professional left decided it would use its media outlets to demonize Trump as "dark".

But I would suggest that emergent darkness is not new: it is merely now visible.  And that is progress.  There was a time when the Catholic Church successfully suppressed knowledge about priests molesting young children.  There is no reason to suppose this was unique to the modern era, and no reason not to suppose it has been happening for a thousand years or more.

There was a time when fathers in Vienna could molest their daughters without fear of consequences.  Freud inadvertently documented some of this.  That situation can be expanded around the world, and back through recorded time.  Charlemagne was supposedly openly guilty of it, if memory serves; and Muhammad of course had Aisha.

Wife beating, overt racism, rape, droit du seigneur, the imprisonment and torture of the imprudent, witch burnings, wars of all sorts, the Belgian Congo: all of these have existed through all human history.

Darkness hides in the cracks: in societies, and in people.  When it comes out, this means something is flushing it out.  This is a good thing.

Seen evil is vastly preferable to invisible evil.  Invisible evil can and usually does hide within the "good".  Very few crimes in human history have not been subsequently rationalized by their perpetrators as virtuous in some way.

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