Monday May 20, 2013
There is Only One Definition of 'Belief'
Gordon Duff Salem-News.com
(CINCINNATI, Ohio) - When a suicide bomber kills himself and others, generally innocent bystanders, he or she does so believing they are going to be paid in the afterlife. This makes them cowards.
They are selling their lives, their souls for dreams of sex, money and leisure in "heaven." What makes them one iota different than a paid thug or street criminal? I can tell you. We have decided that crime, lies and dishonor done in the name of "religion," though done for exactly the same reasons as any other crime, has some special status.
It even gets better. People who give their lives for "our" gods are martyrs. People who give their lives for "their" gods are fools, terrorists or insane. A sociologist would call this ethnocentrism. An anthropologist would call it an unsuccessful genetic "adaptation." A psychiatrist would call it "delusion." I call it arrogance.
Over 150 years ago, a political philosopher named Karl Marx, born in the old Roman city of Treves in Germany wrote A Communist Manifesto. Since that time, princes, real and imaginary have worked tirelessly to keep working people from getting the message:
"IF YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE AS A COMMON, DECENT HUMAN BEING, YOU CAN EXPECT ORGANIZED GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED BY MONEY TO ENSLAVE YOU, MURDER YOU IN WAR AND EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN WITH THEIR LIES AND RELIGION TO BEGET MORE GENERATIONS OF SLAVES." (me)
Marx was about science, decency and building a future for our children, lives of meaning, living in peace and understanding, free of fear, hate and ignorance. If you have been told different, stories about totalitarianism, lack of "competitive spirit" or the other horrors of communism, refer back to the paragraph above.
You've been had.
At first, communism was the new religion of the Jews, Europe's intellectual class working to advance the cause of humanity. Centuries of religious wars and persecution had given way to the new nation states turning into world colonial powers and later industrialized states.
These states looked on war as a way of keeping down population and allowing the ruling classes to find amusement.
The 20th century brought changes, people began to gain freedom, education and even leisure. Some even gained opportunity. What drove those changes? Did the feudal lords decide to give up their control out of kindness?
In the mid 1800's, Marx's ideas caught on like wildfire. People had been living like animals; no rights, no freedoms, no education, no sanitation, no health care, but work, always work, war, torture, imprisonment - it was a way of life for the world's most modern societies as it still today for over 70% of the planet.
The educated classes, intellectuals, again we must mention the Jews, all men of decency came out to bring down tyranny, war for profit, war for colonial conquest and the vestiges of the dark ages that destroyed man's spirit. Some revolutions succeeded but too often the beaten fled, generally by boat. They built a nation out of a wilderness.
We call that nation - the United States of America.
Chief among these was Christianity. The French revolution wasn't against the aristocracy as much as it was against the Catholic church. To this day, France is still one of the least religious countries on earth. Only 11% of the French attend church.
The churches of France were smashed and thousands were turned into stables and public toilets... Religion had been one of the tools used to keep the French enslaved. The Age of Enlightenment meant the abandonment of religion. All of the great philosophies of the 19th century were based on one thing; the elimination of "belief." Belief had meant slavery.
To this day, keeping the roots of our current versions of Christianity, yes, even the Protestant sects, secret is a major industry. The book The Davinci Code only cracked open the door. When the gospels were chosen - not by Christians - but by pagan Romans, for inclusion into the bible, the ones Jesus would have recognized went onto the pyre. It isn't religion, it isn't belief, it's just fact.
The value of Marxism was never the creation of the monstrous totalitarian states of the Soviet Union or our early 'Maoist' China but rather as a threat against the ruling classes forcing them to offer a friendly alternative and, on occasion, let a "normal" person slip into the upper rungs. The price to get there, as the American political system has proven, has been high.
The first year of the Obama presidency, one where a ruling class dunce was replaced by a brilliant minority "rung climber" who acts like a ruling class dunce, has made this process evident to anyone.
After the First World War, with the world ready to turn to communism, even in the United States, Americans were offered an attractive alternative, "progressivism." The 16 hour day of slaving in a coal mine for a 10 year old was soon going to be a thing of the past. Workers would be offered enough pay to live in urban squalor, the opportunity to buy adulterated food and die in a 130 degree factory.
Eventually negroes, even women, got the vote and today, even people like Colin Powell can not only vote, but play golf at country clubs or drive a car while only being stopped occasionally.
We don't often see it like this, but without the threat of communism taking over turning America into a worker's paradise and hanging all the factory owners and Wall Street crooks to lamp posts, Americans would probably have the same standard of living as Ethiopia.
If this is true, what changes can we expect after 2 decades without a communist threat? Would the United States revert to a country with a disappearing middle class, declining standard of living and no real opportunity for progress or security?
Would permanent war offer the working class the choice between starvation or a lifetime of combat?
What some choose to try to characterize as a conspiracy is, in itself, an economic system; a convoluted neo-feudal remnant of failed capitalism and the lack of talent and will to maintain fascist institutions with needed efficiency.
Are everyday Americans declining into serfdom?
Pick up your local paper. Look at the jobs section. Here, registered nurses are being laid off, most factories are closed or on skeleton staff and even McDonald's isn't taking applications. You can't work in a coal mine, those are union jobs, and all the computer programmer positions have moved to India.
I see the National Guard is hiring. So are the Army Reserves. If you are young enough and mom and dad aren't living with their mom and dad, you can get your old room back, if it hasn't been rented out.
We are continually told that, over the past 10 years, average Americans have become poorer and poorer, while the top 3% has taken control of 50% of the wealth that used to belong to the middle class. We are told this is a good thing, that the money will "trickle down" to everyday folks as student aid, tax cuts, food stamps or donations for work as street musicians.
Is this a responsible national economic strategy?
None of it makes any sense to me. Increasingly, I am hearing that I need faith and that, if I do what I should, hate on cue, believe in Israel and look forward to the day my children and friends will all die in agony when fiery destruction at the hands of an angry and vengeful god descends on earth, all will be ok.
I can get behind this, I guess. The 'screaming in agony' part seems a bit over the top, but if it is going to deliver us to one of the many Disneyesque afterlives I hear of from the likes of John Hagee or Pat Robertson, then I have little choice. Sign me up, let me on the "express to dumb," next stop, the rapture.
I could, on the other hand, stop and consider that it all might be a huge con and that pretty much everyone who feels a need to tell others how to think is, as those psychiatrists love saying, delusional.
Does accusing others of delusion make me delusional?
There is an easy way of looking at things, I guess. If things are ok, the country is running full speed where we want it, government jumping to do the bidding of the will of the people and all that, then I am wrong.
If, on the other hand, everything is wrong and god seems to be, not just on vacation but lost in traffic, then maybe I am right.
The 19th century was cool... Crazy guys with beards were everywhere. Freud told us all we wanted to have sex with our mothers, Marx told us god is dead, or was that Nietzsche? Did he have a beard too?
How about Darwin? Beard? How would he have felt if he were to know that our ruling class would be a pack of spineless dorks, morons and malcontents? Then I remember: He lived in England. Things were always like that there.
And so it goes.
He is an outspoken advocate for veterans and his powerful words have brought about change. Gordon is a lifelong PTSD sufferer from his war experiences and he is empathetic to the plight of today's veterans also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to feature Gordon's timely and critical reports on Salem-News.com, a news organization staffed by a number of veterans, particularly former U.S. Marines.
You can send Gordon Duff an email at this address: Gpduf@aol.com