Archive for the ‘Political Science’ Category

“Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.”
Blaise Pascal

Imagine if society as we know it were to completely crumble, ravaged with war, along with our complete loss of technology. Countries would soon begin to crumble; social unrest would cause unimaginable destruction. Lets take our imagination exercise further; during all of this chaos and destruction, only 5-10% of the human population survived. All technology and anything related to it is gone, and very few things such as books, paintings, or structures remain. Being resilient creatures it is only logical mankind will slowly start to re-build.

Everything we know today would be a distant memory. Soon future generations would have no idea what “The Mona Lisa” looked like, or in some cases didn’t even know it had existed. Now imagine if the Bible and all other religious scriptures had been destroyed in the mayhem. With every passing generation the concept of religion as we know it today would have all but disappeared. It would be foolish not to factor in the 5-10% of those who survived, for arguments sake lets say there was no one dominant believe system among the survivors. The people who survived each carried with them one of our many different theological beliefs, but no religious doctrine survived.

Let us continue down this rabbit hole of imagination and say a few Greek Mythology books survived the downfall of man (Yes I am aware this can be considered theology, but I include it only because unfortunately it has been downgraded to “mythology”.) Future generations would logically begin to worship Zeus, and the many other Gods behind said “mythology” and believe this to be religious fact. Even if these books did not exist it is possible for a new generation to create a completely different religion based on the remnants from the downfall. Of course these remnants would be added to with stories passed down from generation to generation.

I feel it is impossible to have a society without the driving force of religion; whether it is to calm fears or to control the population. Religion although perverted and corrupt is a necessity; eventually new religions would be formed to meet these needs. Imagine if the book “Moby Dick” survived the collapse of man. All it would take is one charismatic individual to start preaching the “religious” lessons contained in this book, and just like that a new religion is born. In time as other books are collected they are added to the “Holy Scripture.” Let’s say “Huckleberry Finn,” “Hamlet,” and “The Lord of the Rings” also survived. These various works of fiction are then woven together in a collection of stories to form a new Bible, and out they go to preach the Word, promising life hereafter in Middle Earth.

People are hardwired to need religion in their life, if this were not the case religion would have died out long ago as man discovered science and logic, because of this primal hardwiring they would latch onto this with all their might, replacing, refuting, and stumping scientific and logical advancements. I am sure whoever put this “Bible” together would take some liberties and add their own material just like the Catholics did when choosing which books to include in the Bible. This new congregation would set out to spread the gospels of William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, murdering all those who believed differently then they do. In time this religion and its created deities would become reality.

Now here is my question. If all of these things were to actually happened, then does the God of the Bible now cease to exist? If no one knew what a Bible even was, would the God of the Bible come down and start interacting with humans to show us he still existed? Although God made a promise he would never do it again, would he burn then flood the entire world only leaving one family to partake in incest to rebuild the world? If we look at history there have been many different religions that people have blindly followed. As time passed newer, cooler, more convenient, and better suited religions for social control became dominant. Causing all of the long forgotten deities (sorry Zeus) to be left behind and forgotten.   

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“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I sometimes try to think about what our lives would be like if we had no religion. Would chaos and anarchy rule supreme without some spiritual moral compass to guide us? Would we as a civilization just instinctively know how to treat our fellow man, or do we require a “reward” in exchange for our good behavior. This is a hard question to answer since the concept of religion is engrained in every man, woman, and child in existence. This will continue to be the case till end times, so we are for better or worse stuck with religion.

I often times write and speculate as to why religion was created in the first place. I have two theories which I feel answer this age old question. The first being the fear of the unknown and unexplainable and the second being social control. I personally think religion was first created to subdue early mans fears, but then when the slightly more intelligent man realized how much influence it had on the masses he transformed it into a form of social control. Since this discovery; generations of generations of people have fallen victim to the soothing swan song of religion.

I have always wanted to write several books on the topic of religion, and one such idea is building a religious timeline; starting from the very first religion all the way up to where we are today. I would track the origins and expansion of said religions. I figured I wouldn’t get too detailed I would just provide the basics of each religion. One detail I would touch on is the impact the featured religion had on the civilization. There were about eight other things I would cover, but are not pertinent to this post. I started this project last year, but when I was faced with the grand scope of the project I decided to shelve it until/if my “Dylan Thomas” books took off.

I really cannot think of one thing other than religion which has had a bigger impact on human existence. Religion although sold as a ticket to salvation and as a guide on how to properly treat your fellow man, it has also been a tool to control the masses. The rulers of old used religion as a tool to give the masses some spiritual guidelines. These guidelines were necessary to keep order, and the people who were being ruled feared for their life hereafter, so they fell in line with their spiritual leaders. We can look out in the world today and still see religion being used by political leaders.

In reference to this specific quote I think we need to look at civilizations through history. I wrote about such a time period a year ago when I touched on the alliance between Rome and the Catholic Church. This was a time when there were two classes the rich and the poor. The rich Romans during this time had the power and influence of the Catholic Church on their side. They parlayed this influence to socially control the people. They fed the fear of hell into each and every one of them, so the thought of standing up against their repressors equaled eternal suicide into a lake of fire. I am not too familiar with Napoleon time period but I would be willing to bet it resembled the time period I wrote about. I think I may just have to read up on this a bit.

The poor will only stand so long being the class which is shit on for so long before the people realize they out number the rich and decide to take over. Religion is the perfect tool to keep social order amidst such repression. I think this point is illustrated even in today by studying some of the countries in the Middle East. In America religion is still a dominate force, but I do not know the extent of social control it has today. I suppose it keeps the religious nuts focused on salvation instead of murdering and having sex with small little woodland creatures. I suppose in this case religion is doing something worthwhile.

I have always looked at our country, and I have seen many blemishes on the face of this once great nation. There are so many perverted and corrupt things going on right under our noses, its enough to make you sick. We as a nation have been sold out by the representatives we have elected to look out for our best interests. This act of treason alone should be enough for an uprising! The way this government is run, and the way the system is rigged to produce faceless consumer slaves is insanity. What’s worse is this very same system which we keep running by working ourselves to death and consuming more than we can afford, consistently shits on us around every corner.

I have always been baffled as to why the masses are not storming the streets demanding things change. When I first started this blog I was optimistic my words would someday lift the veil over people’s eyes and allow them to see clearly. I want nothing more than to be able to make an impact and change things, but the task seems daunting and impossible. Because of this I suffer from the thinking “I am just one person what can I possibly do?” I am certain there are many other people who see things for what they are, but probably suffer from this same type of thinking. Because of this nobody does anything, and thus we all fall back into our proper places as cogs in the machine. If somehow, all the enlightened individuals were to come together we could make a real difference. As individuals we may not be heard, but united as one voice we can become a positive vehicle for reform. I felt confident that through my writing I could start some grassroots movement aimed at taking our country back.

I was so pumped when I came up with an idea to start a grassroots movement called “The American Republic Movement (ARM).” I was wide-eyed and optimistic about this idea. I was proud of myself for taking the first step I have always wanted to take. I created a page on my newly formed website dedicated to the movement. I started to write more political posts urging others to come together in unity and demand our officials start working for us instead of corporations and special interests. When I started this I dreamed the movement would take off just as the Tea Party Express was taking off. I felt this movement was going to make a real difference and by the time my children entered adulthood they would be living and working in a just system.

I was all gun-ho about this, until I received a slap of reality from Trey. He informed me that he worked for years trying to make a change and the way our system is set up it is impossible to defeat a two-party system. I trusted Trey and I knew he was wise, but I still thought that maybe I could make a difference. I continued to focus more of my posts on politics and the issues, and kept my ARM page up on my website. After awhile I was receiving no interest on my website contact page and little support from my readers. I became discouraged and pulled down the ARM page of my website and took a step back and stopped writing so heavily on political topics. I hit that wall where I couldn’t change even a hundred people so I just gave up and submitted to my corporate masters. I look back now and realize I just created this website with absolutely no marketing, and my blog had only been up a few months. I still hope as my readership continues to grow, and as I continue to write about political matters I am able to get even one person to be able to look through a lifetime of programming, and see things as they are. Perhaps if this one person I get to take a second look at things, may be the person who can successfully unit people together for positive change.

In the end the truth is we can make a difference in our country, but in order to do so we need to stand in unity as one voice. A hundred men and woman may be muffled, but what will our government do when a hundred million men and woman are protesting and marching the streets demanding change. We need to find people willing to run for office, even if it is at the lowest form of government, who actually cares about this country, its people, and its future. In time with the people taking the streets demanding this country changes, our current politicians will feel the pressure and realize they can no longer rule through corruption. They will be held accountable for the promises they make to us while they are running for election.

The process of ushering in real reform in this country may take many years and in reality may not show during our lifetime, but perhaps this country can become great for future generations to come. I think we all owe it to ourselves and our children to be proactive in bettering our country. We are going to hell in a hand basket and if we continue to just sit ideally by hypnotized by the opiate of the media, before you know it this country will completely collapse, and the rich will finally achieve their ultimate goal of complete control.

“We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.”
Aesop

When I hear this quote I think of our involvement in the Middle East and in South Korea; just to name a few. Our involvement in these regions affairs causes tension throughout the globe. This involvement paints America into the self-righteous parenting role, those whose side we approve of calls us heroes; those we disapprove of call us villains. We sit atop our throne of democracy and condemn every single other nation for doing things in ways that we do not “approve” of. This type of pompous positioning is why we are not favored throughout the world. If we deem something to be a problem we stick our noses in where it doesn’t belong. It is this meddling that actually creates more enemies for our nation.

They see us as their enemies because of our involvement in various disputes throughout the world. The radical groups are able to recruit new members based off the propaganda spread by their organizations. They sell America as the evil step-father who is out there oppressing them while in America we live so great. Because we are aligned with their enemies, we then become the enemy. My thing is if we were never involved then there would be no radical groups spreading hatred because we would just be chillin’ at home eating pizza and watching some television.

The North hates America because we are backing the South. If we had zero troops in the South, and just allowed the two to work it out themselves then we would not be breeding a nation of people raised and programmed to hate everything America stands for and every American within it. If we had no involvement in this war then what ammunition would the North have to hate us? The fact is if we were not involved they wouldn’t hate us as much. Not only are we aligned with the South; their greatest enemies we are directly involved in sanctions levied against the North. I understand the leadership in the North is filled with insanity, but that should be all the more reason to stay as far away from this situation as possible. What are we gaining from being involved with this civil war? What is the worst that could happen if you just let the two work it out for themselves? There may be a war and many would die, but should this really be our concern? I say no.

Now let’s take a look at the Middle East. I think the main reason the Muslim nations hate us is because we back Israel their most hated enemy. This is the vocal point for anti-American sentiments, and is a great recruiting tool for new members. There is a deep hatred over there in the Middle East towards Israel, and Israel is one of our greatest allies. This allegiance we formed with Israel is why the Middle East hates us so much. If we would have just stuck to our own borders perhaps 9/11 would have never happened. We are adding fuel to the fire everyday we stand tall with Israel.

I think it is time we step up to the podium and say “all right look you guys we are pulling out and will let you figure this whole thing out yourselves.” I can guarantee you if we were able to do that we would stop giving the extremists reasons to hate us, because we would just become another country in a far off place. The Muslim extremists don’t seem to hate Russia or China. The reason for this is simple they are not meddling in their affairs. I would be willing to gamble that all planned and executed terrorist attacks have probably been against those countries who are involved in the Middle Eastern countries affairs. I think the only time we should consider sending troops out is if there is a full blown world war.

We need to live by example, and the example should be that of peace and harmony within our own borders. We need to become a nation which is admired throughout the world, not for our military might, but for our peaceful society. We should pull everyone of our troops off foreign soul, and bring them home. I am in no way saying abandon our armed forces. We should continue to build our military to become the mightiest army in the world, not because we plan on using it, but because protecting our boarders should always be a priority.  

We need to rid our government of crooked politicians, and become a nation for the people by the people. If we become admired and respected then perhaps when we speak out against something it may carry more weight throughout the world. If we were to funnel all the money we currently use for war, and occupation we would have enough funds to create programs in this country aimed at bettering our society. We can still be the parents of the world except this time we can lead by example instead of waving our fingers in disapproval.    

Aesop or Esop (620-564 BC), known for the genre of fables ascribed to him, was by tradition born a slave and was a contemporary of Croesus and Solon in the mid-sixth century BC in ancient Greece. Aesop’s existence remains uncertain, and no writings by Aesop survive, but numerous fables attributed to him were gathered and set down in writing across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day; various collections under the rubric Aesop’s Fables are currently available. In these stories animals speak and have human characteristics; see for example the Tortoise and the Hare or the Ant and the Grasshopper.

*****I have a question and need feedback from my readers. “The Philosophy of Quotes” is an ongoing series of posts. I have like in this post added a short bio of the author of the quote, and times I have not. Do you enjoy reading a short bio or should I just leave it out?*****

“Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages.”
Hervey Allen

What do you think when you hear the word savages? Do you think about the small tribes in the rainforest worshiping the Sun God, and practicing black magic? Do you think of ancient times through the early stages of our evolution where man was primitive in their knowledge and behavior? This is a pretty broad word which may mean different things to different people. When I was studying theological anthropology the word “savages” was primarily used to describe primitive people, who still lived in small villages or tribes and believed in so called “primitive” religions. This sentiment is well known in the Christian missionary objectives. If this is indeed the case should we still be considered savages, or have we evolved into sophisticated beings?

I look at this world and I do not see sophisticated beings, I see nations of evolved savages. When I think of the word “savages” I think of beings that live by their primal urges, and are concerned with only their own personal survival. I think of men and woman driven by greed, and the rat race to accumulate more wealth and possessions. I think of people who preach hate and intolerance. I think of perverted minds consumed with insatiable desires for power. I think of these leaders who choose themselves over those they are charged to rule. To me this is what a savage is, and in my opinion we are infested with them. We may have evolved technologically wise, but we are far away from being sophisticated. We may be able to log onto our Facebooks from our iPads, but we still can’t think of others before ourselves.

If we look at our society we will find plenty of examples of people living for their own self-interests as opposed to living for the self-interests of the collective. This is why there will never be peace on earth, or a society which resembles a utopia. Peace and serenity can never be achieved if we are driven by self-interests. I already know one of my occasional readers Tony will chime in on how self-interest is what fuels progress, and without it we would not have evolved technologically and we would not have the amenities we do today. I have heard the argument from one of my co-workers that if we had universal healthcare than our quality of care would go down because no one would be motivated to become a doctor, and therefore your continuity of care would decrease. I think this statement only further shows our savagery. If this is the case than our society is breeding men and woman who get into this profession  not to actually help people, but to garnish a higher paycheck?

I would happily trade our technological advancements in exchange for a society which has advanced on an enlightened path. I would happily walk to work, live without my blog, watch non HD television, and give up my dream of becoming a writer to know my children were living in a world where the well being of your fellow man came before the well being of yourself. To live in a world were innocent men, women, and children did not need to die in the name of war, or suffer from hunger and pestilence in the name of greed. A world where are elected officials are humanitarians as opposed to crooks. A world where nations stand hand in hand in peace and unity, where differences are met by listening and understanding instead words of threats and aggression. A utopia where hate is replaced with love and love is known by all.

I would like to say a world like this is possible, but like the quote says each generation is a fresh invasion of savages who are raised on morals learned from television and video games. New generations raised on greed and self-preservation. Generations who will spit on a dying man just trying to get healthcare so he can live. A society where war is so common it seems like second nature, and is replaced on the news by movie stars babies. A world so dummied down by the media we are easy to control like herded sheep. A world where the good are hidden by the evil and the evil are in charge. A world run by savages.  

“The only reason I’m coming out here tomorrow is the schedule says I have to.”
Sparky Anderson

You could say this statement can be true for most people in America today. I would imagine the percentage is pretty high where people go to work not because they love their job, but because we have no other choice. We are so self-dependent on the all mighty dollar we are often times chained to our jobs. We do not go there because we enjoy ourselves we go there because we have no choice. Think about that for a second….Well? I personally think this is a fucked up situation. I know there is no way to live in a world without money, so there is nothing anyone can do about this situation. We need to live in and accept the society we have created until it can no longer sustain itself and crumbles. I believe America is the only country which places such high demand on its workers. We carry heavy burdens to live, provide, and survive.  If I could have it my way I would move my family to Tibet and live like monks; free of any stress or cares, but this is an unlikely scenario.

I am sure my readers are aware I often times sit and think about life and this society we live in. I am also sure my readers know I despise the system we live in.  We spend more of our lives working than we do with our friends and family. Our work defines and shapes our lives more than I think people realize; our job ultimately defines who we are and what we do. We are slaves to our paychecks; the very same paychecks we get immediately goes back to the corporations which pay our shitty wages. I know this is the life blood of what makes capitalism flow, but something still seems unfair about this societal relationship. The situation is we work our asses off to pay our bills and provide for our families. This gets harder and harder as time passes. Our wages seem to stay the same or in cases decrease, but the products we need to survive continue to increase. This is yet another way corporations can use to keep their foot on our throats. We now need our wages even more, and in many cases need to get a second or third job just to keep our heads above water. I find it sad that the people on the bottom work themselves to death so those on top can fly in private jets. I look at this country and where we are and compare it to communist Russia. On paper communism seems like a reasonable form of government, but failed terribly because mans greed had to fuck it up. In this communist state it was all about the haves and the have not’s. There was the wealthy and powerful then the poor and the powerless. This country is slowly going down this road. Soon the middle class will be pushed out by lower pay and higher overhead all in the name of a few more dollars.

The tricky part in this scenario is there are many people out there who worked their asses off to get where they are, and in my opinion deserves higher pay. I do not think everyone should be paid the same wages, because then what would motivate those to spend an extra eight years in school to become a doctor. This is where my opinions are sort of contradictory. I think our system would be great if the people slaving away to make the company they work for prosper got better compensation. I am not just saying in dollar wise although I think that is a good start. I think we need more compensation via free time. Working 40-60 hours a week is utterly insane and frankly just wrong. How many people take the time to analyze this situation? We are only awarded one life; one chance to live, and we are forced to spend this life slaving away at our careers. The employee has no choice but to fall in line or risk losing their  job. I don’t know how many people are aware of how precious time is. Each minute or hour that passes is minutes or hours we can never have back. They are lost, and I believe they are lost in the wrong areas. We need more time for our families. We need more time for ourselves. It is a sad waste of a life to be dependent on a system set out to screw you around every turn. This is one example of how we are corporate slaves.

My solution is easy and fair to the people. Companies should only hire part-time employees but pay them just and fair full-time wages. This would give everyone the time to not only work and contribute to society, but we would then be afforded the time to enjoy our lives. Hiring only part-time employees would most certainly cure our unemployment problem. Now some may say “this is crazy companies would lose millions!” But is this true? I am but a simple man with limited knowledge, but I would think with more people working then that would create more consumers and in turn create profits for the companies which may offset the higher wages given to employees. I am an idealist not a realist, so I am pretty sure there is no way to actually make this work; with that being said I also do not believe this ideal life is impossible to achieve. The same problem in communist Russia exists today in American capitalism, and that is our thirst for wealth and power.  This thirst blinds us of our main responsibility which is the betterment of our fellow man. This has and always will corrupt us.  

George Lee “Sparky” Anderson (February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010) was a Major League Baseball manager. He managed the National League’s Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, and then added a third title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers of the American League. He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. He was named American League Manager of the Year in 1984 and 1987. Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. I was shocked to hear Anderson’s age when he passed away at the age of 76. I remember watching him coach against the Twins when I was younger, and I always thought he was around 70 back then.

“The greatest power is not money power, but political power.”
Walter Annenberg

Personally I do not agree this statement to be true. The power today is in who has the most money, and who is paying our politicians. It is the money infiltrating our elected officials which fuels the machine we call democracy. I wrote a piece months back asking the question if we are Plutocracy. I believe we are. I think when Annenberg first took over his fathers publishing business in 1942 this may have been a true statement. In today’s world money supersedes political power. I would guess most if not all of our politicians are in the pockets of corporations and special interest groups. This my friends is a sad state of affairs. I feel sick to my stomach knowing decisions are being made not in the people’s best interests, but in the best interests of those who possess the most money. I feel appalled that the people of this country have just sat back and allowed this monstrosity to occur. 

I have no idea when this trend changed. I know the change occurred prior to my birth in 1979. If I were to make a guess I would say things started to change and the rich started to seize our country during Nixon’s presidency. I have no concrete proof of this it is just a hunch. If you look at Annenberg’s bio you will see in 1966 he used his media business to sabotage a political campaign. If it were not for his media outlets reporting untrue negative things about Milton Shapp he most likely would have won the election. The reasons Annenberg started this early example of a smear campaign was because Shapp was opposing the merger between Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. His reasons were not known until after his death when it was revealed that Annenberg was the biggest individual stockholder in Pennsylvania Railroad.

I think this example shows how powerful media outlets are, and who owns our media outlets? Corporations do. During election time we are bombarded with positive and negative things about the candidates many of which are not true on either side. I remember during the healthcare deal. The media (probably paid by insurance companies) aired many commercials against Obama’s healthcare reform bill. These smear commercials greatly affected how the people felt about this bill. I think the meer mention of socialism really killed the momentum Obama built during his campaign. Then you look at those who cast the votes and you can be guaranteed they are making decisions based off of who is paying them the most money; sadly it isn’t the people. The heartbreaking part is people do not take the time to try to find the truth they just believe what they are told by their televisions. We missed out on something that would have help millions upon millions of struggling Americans get affordable healthcare. Now it looks like the current bill may actually cause problems, instead of correcting them, unfortunately these problems favor the insurance companies not the American people. Isn’t it amazing what money can do?   

Walter Hubert Annenberg (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. He owned several publications such as TV Guide, Seventeen, The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1966, Annenberg used the pages of The Inquirer to cast doubt on the candidacy of Democrat Milton Shapp, for governor of Pennsylvania. Shapp was highly critical of the proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central and was pushing the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission to stop it. Walter Annenberg, who according to his New York Times obituary, was the biggest individual stockholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad, wanted to see the merger go through and was frustrated with Shapp’s opposition. During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital. Having never been in one, Shapp simply said “no”. The next day, a five-column front page Inquirer headline read, “Shapp Denies Mental Institution Stay.” Shapp and others have attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg’s newspaper.

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
Edward Abbey

How true is this statement? It is so easy for our leaders to make decisions on war when it is not their lives or their children’s lives on the line. If we were to create a law stating any representative who votes to either continue the war in Afghanistan or whether to enter into a new war would be required by law to serve in said war. I wonder how many of them would vote to continue this current war we are in. I wonder how they would address this current crisis in North Korea. Can you honestly think Obama would continue the war in Afghanistan if he knew he would have to suit up and head off to war? I can guarantee you we would see zero votes regarding continuing or beginning any kind of war. This is an issue for me because we have leaders who only discuss such things in a heavily guarded palace far away from any dangers. It is easy to use human pawns in the name of democracy, when you are safe at home.

I would love to ask our elected officials if they are ready to be sent off to South Korea where they would need to face the fourth largest standing army in the world. I would love to see what their votes would be if they had army gear waiting for them at the air port. I wonder if the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il would continue to be a crazy fucker if he had to personally lead the troops into the south. Knowing how unstable he is I am sure he would be game for such things.

I just think our leaders need to stop using our children as toys to achieve an agenda which honestly makes no sense. There is no way we will win this war in Afghanistan. It is sad to know that each day another young man dies. It is sad to know that we as a country are creating widows and fatherless children all in the name of what? I understand we are trying to defeat the terrorist, but in reality that will never happen. You can kill one leader and immediately another one surfaces. Our presence in the Middle East is only throwing more fuel on the fire. We are actually creating more enemies with real motives to hate America. If we were to just get out of the Middle East 100% and let them work it out for themselves then the terrorists would lose reasons to attack us.

I believe we need to pull all of our troops out of the countries we are currently in. I think there is something like 30k troops in Germany. Why is this necessary? I think if we brought these troops home, and used them to protect our borders we would be safe, and over time our popularity with other countries would improve because we would no longer be playing the daddy role over the world. I do not think North Korea would hate us so much if we did not have so many troops in the south. I think we need to realize that there are countries out there that if they wanted to could squash us like a bug.

I do not believe our representatives would vote for war if they and their families would be required to serve. This statement is a powerful one if you think about it. They can vote for death and destruction as long as they and their families are safe. I think this shows they are not that for the war. Why is it okay for the sons and daughters of Americans to die in battle when they are not willing to die themselves? In the sixties and seventies there were millions of people who stood up against the war in Vietnam. I really do not understand why this is not happening today. We have been over in the Middle East for years and have spent trillions of dollars to keep this pointless unwinnable war going. Where are the protesters? If our leaders choose to keep this and any future war going then they need to suit the fuck up, or stop voting to kill our troops.

American exceptionalism is an American theory that the United States occupies a special role among the nations of the world in terms of its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and it’s being built by immigrants. Even though its origins date back to the 1600’s the concept still lives on today. This mode of thinking is what has damaged our reputation throughout the world. The concept that we are better than all other nations because as Alexis de Tocqueville, argued; the United States held a special place among nations because it was the first working representative democracy. We may have been the first but we were not the last. I am sure there are some out there who could have a valid argument how a later form of democracy trumps ours. Belief in American exceptionalism is more characteristic of conservatives than liberals. Which being liberal to me makes the idea seem even worse.

Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American puritan roots who believed in divine providence. They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to lead the other nations of the world. The scary thing is; there are those republicans out there who still believe such a thing.  If we take a look at the Latin phrase on the back of the great seal and our one dollar bill it reads “novus ordo seclorum” which translates as “New Order of the Ages.” I think our republican leaders at that time and still to today would want nothing more than to spread their form of “order” to the entire world, and become the nation God has chosen to lead the world.  

Proponents of American exceptionalism argue that the United States is exceptional in that it was founded on a set of republican ideals, rather than on a common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite. In the formulation of President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, America is a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. In this view, America is inextricably connected with liberty and equality. We may be connected with liberty (although this may be up for debate) and equality (also up for debate.) The notion of republican ideals against the ruling elite? Isn’t that a bit oxymoronic?

The United States’ policies have been characterized since their inception by a system of federalism and checks and balances, which were designed to prevent any person, faction, region, or government organ from becoming too powerful. Some Proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a “tyranny of the majority.” What I find interesting is we are protected from the “tyranny” of the majority, but we do nothing to protect us from the “tyranny” of the minority.

All countries probably believe they are exceptional in their own right. Britain at the height of the British Empire, Nazi Germany, as well as the communist state Russia, and France in the wake of the French revolution all demonstrated exceptionalism in terms of systematically engaging in what they considered benevolent enterprises. I believe although broken America is one of the greatest nations in the world. Do I believe we should feel superior over all other nations because we are what we are? No. We are not the judges and jury’s to the world. The belief and ideals we have are fantastic, but are these ideals better than say Norway’s? We could look at Norway or Iceland and say they are exceptional over us because of their low crime rates and penchant for staying away from wars. Does this make them better than us? In my eyes it does, but I cannot speak for a nation of people, nor should anybody else. It is fantastic to have pride in your country, but this pride should not stir up supremacism. I have always believed America should keep to herself. Trying to find nations we believe should be a democracy then enforce said beliefs by military force is wrong anyway you look at it. This concept that America is exceptional above all other nations is the exact way of thinking that caused other nations to hate us.

“Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.”
Edward Abbey

The great thing about quotes is you are not always there to bare witness to what exactly was going on when these things were said, or for that matter in what context the quote is being used. What I love about doing these pieces on the philosophy of quotes is it allows me to find a quote that speaks to me and add my own philosophical spin on it. I am a fan of many things Abbey has said, but I like this quote, because the question is “what did Abbey mean by this?” Edward Abbey was an author, and primarily known as an environmentalist activist; many of his quotes resonate on a deeper political landscape.

In many of his writings and quotes you can tell Abbey was opposed to any form of government. In his opinion the only just government is no government at all. He once said Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” Abbey had very little faith in man to do the right thing. His claim is if we are not even able to take care of ourselves and be responsible enough to make the right decisions; then what does that say about man’s ability to rule a nation. This sentiment was repeated in many of his famous quotes. I wonder what Abbey would think about our society now, with the discovery of global warming and the oil spill. I can only imagine he is rolling in his desert grave.

Describing civilization as a youth, and one with a primitive weapon in hand; says to me that in anarchy there may be violence, but this violence is minor, yet necessary to right the ship of society. The description of culture being a tank or L.A. cop gunning this youth down represents how quickly and swiftly our culture can break us down. He is saying the violence and destruction this youth will bring is nothing compared to the level of violence and oppression our current government shells out.

In one of Abbeys quotes he says; Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” The youth’s purpose in an anarchy run society is to stir the stew, keeping us from being overrun with the greedy, but because of our culture the powers that be prevent this from happening; hence why our society has slowly fallen a part. We have no youths standing up and demanding change. We do not have this, because we know it isn’t possible. We have no recourse but to submit to our masters. 

I often think about what our society would look like if it was over run and anarchy reined supreme. I think the concept of anarchy sounds great, but just like socialism it is corrupted by mans hand. I think you look at any government system and on paper it sounds great, but somehow we end up screwing the pooch. If we were just to switch to no government it would not stop the corporations from taking over. They already hold to much power in this country imagine what it would be like if they were able to take the politician gloves off and truly have at us. As a society we could still have our Molotov cocktails, but the corporations would have the tanks and machine guns. There would still need to be some sort of hierarchy. There would still be the few who held all the power, and the many who don’t. Abbey once said this about power Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”

I go back and forth on whether big government is a good or bad thing. I suppose like most Americans I am all for big government when it benefits me (universal healthcare) and against it when it doesn’t (bank bailout.) I think if we had honest people in office who legitimately cared about the country and the well being of the people, the more favorably the public would perceive our government to be. Our elected officials have been letting us down for the last thirty plus years. Instead of standing up and protesting for change and holding our officials accountable we have just grown to accept this as status quo.

We have all grown tired over things remaining the same and we are always skeptical when the government legitimately tries to do something good for us. Take the healthcare reform bill. The democrats were finally able to make a push towards universal healthcare. Everyone was positive about it until the special interests killed it with the negative ads regarding the change. People starting freaking out thinking we would become socialist if we accepted this change. The majority of people wanted reform, but as soon as that magical picture box started saying negative things, is when people started to believe this was bad. Its amazing how much power that little box has; isn’t it?   

I think our government in its current form is as destructive as they come. This is true whether you are talking about republicans or democrats. Abbey had this to say about our conservative leaders our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” And this to say about democrats One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” His sentiments and complete lack of faith in our system is harrowing. The sad part is during his time; he would have been in the minority for thinking this way. I think today he would most definitely be in the majority. I look and wonder where are our Edward Abbeys to try and stir the pot? Where are our youths holding their molotov cocktails? I can easily answer these questions. We are indoctrinating our youth to become blind followers of the establishment.

We have accepted things as they are without questioning them, or partake on any real quest at changing them. We have been so hypnotized by money, media and possessions that we have been blind over the hijacking of this country. Big business has infiltrated our government, and we have just sat here and allowed it to happen. We have not stirred our society up enough by questioning our leaders and challenging their policies. The end result is we have let ourselves get overtaken by the scum of the earth. Our elected officials are demons in suits, selling lies to the gullible.