Monday, November 28, 2016

To seek the quality of mercy in the post truth moonlight...

Here in the ludicrous post truth era, American Nazis and Fascists have finally gotten a place at the table, thanks to President-elect Trump.
Trump's senior advisor is a Nazi who for years has operated a white-supremacist/Nazi website.
The Klan is marching again.  Swastikas are appearing all over the country, on signs and banners and defacing public and private buildings. But, we beat these bastards once, and we'll beat them again.
American Fascism is not new. There were plenty of Nazi sympathizers in this country going back to the 1930s and they have changed tactics and masks, but have never gone away.  They plotted to overthrow president Roosevelt and install a fascist state. They murdered people and generally do what fascists do.

The fascist ideology conditions children to fear nonconformity and to blindly obey which ensures their continued obedience as adults. The challenging task of engaging in how one makes moral choices, or how to accept personal responsibility, or how to deal with the chaotic reality of human life is handed over to God-like authority figures. This process makes possible a perpetuation of childhood. It allows adults to bask in the warm glow and magic of  imagined divine protections. It hides the array of human weaknesses which include our deepest fears, our dread of irrelevance and death, our  uncertainty... our vulnerability.  Belief systems such as this make it difficult to build mature, loving relationships.  Fascism is in a sense, not a political ideology but a religion.
The believer is told it is all about them, about their needs, their desires, and above all, their protection and advancement. Relationships, even within families, splinter and fracture. Those who adopt the belief system, who find in the dictates of a fascist movement or a religion; a binary world of black and white build an exclusive and intolerant
camaraderie that shuns and condemns the “unbeliever.”

People are not valued by their intrinsic qualities. They are not judged by their actions, capacities, nor compassion. They are valued for the rigidity of their obedience. Obedience defines the good and the bad, the patriot and the traitor, the Christian and the infidel. This obedience is a blunt and effective weapon against the possibility of love that could overpower the dictates of hierarchy. In many ways it is love itself, that the leaders fear most. Love unleashes passions and bonds that defy the carefully constructed edifices that keep followers trapped and enclosed. And while both fascists and self appointed religious leaders may speak often about love, as they do about family, it is the cohesive bonds created by family and love they actually wage war against. It is only through the destruction of these bonds that humanity can be divided into these black and white, good and bad factions. It is only through the destruction of truth, logic, and compassion that fascism thrives.

America's religious right was ripe for picking by fascists. They have a lot in common actually. Both utilize teachings that friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members who do not conform to their ideology are gradually dehumanized. They are painted with the despised characteristics. This attack is waged in highly abstract terms, to negate the reality of concrete, specific and unique human characteristics, to deny the possibility of goodness in those who do not conform. Some human beings, their message goes, are no longer human beings. They are "types". The exclusive community fosters rigidity, conformity and intolerance. In this binary world, segments of the human race are disqualified from moral and ethical consideration. How else could the barbaric treatment of protesters at Standing Rock occur? How else could the news of such events be tolerated for one second? It's because fundamentalists of all stripes including fascists live in a binary universe.  Their capacity for seeing others as anything more than inverted reflections of themselves has been destroyed. If they seek to destroy nonbelievers to create a Christian America, then nonbelievers must be seeking to destroy them. If they seek to destroy democracy to prevent some abstract 'liberalism" then in their minds liberals are plotting against them to destroy it first. If they conceive of science as an enemy, then science must be evil.
If you are taught that education is your enemy, then education is evil . This type of belief system negates the very possibility of an ethical life.

The "believer" fails to grasp that goodness must be sought outside the self and that the best defense against evil is to seek it within. When a group of people come to believe that they are immune from evil, that there is no resemblance between themselves and those they define as their enemy, they inevitably grow to embody the very evil they believe they fight. It is only by understanding one's own capacity for evil, one's own darkness, that we hold the capacity for evil at bay. When evil is purely external, then moral purification always entails the eradication of others.
Human kindness is deeply subversive to totalitarian creeds, which seek to thwart all compassion toward those deemed unworthy of moral consideration, those branded as internal or external enemies.
To fight fascism, one thing you, yourself can do...every day is be kind.
To find compassion.
To seek the quality of mercy.

The fascist is a fundamentalist, and fundamentalists do not commit evil for evil’s sake.
They commit evil to "make a better world". To attain this they believe, some must suffer and be silenced, and eventually all those who oppose them must be destroyed.
The worst suffering in human history has been carried out by those who preach or believe this claptrap.  In a serious twist of irony, it is indeed an idealism that leads radical fundamentalists and fascist followers to strip human beings of their dignity and their sanctity and turn them into abstractions. Yet it is only by holding on to the sanctity of each individual, each human life, only by placing our faith in tiny, unheroic acts of compassion and kindness, that we survive.
Both as communities and as individual human beings.
These small acts of kindness are deeply feared and subversive to these idealists.


  On Thanksgiving I tried to find something to be thankful for.
I came up short.
 It's costing American taxpayers $1 million per day to provide security for Trump and his family in New York City.
 Ben Carson has accepted or is considering the office of Secretary of HUD. Carson has absolutely no experience in public housing or urban planning and has shown no interest whatsoever in it.
From what we've seen during the 2016 when he was running for the GOP nomination, he's pretty much an ignorant, bumbling fool.
 Betsy Devos will head up the Education department.  There couldn't be a worse choice.  She and her 
billionaire husband have devoted their lives to the destruction of public education through privatization and charter schools.  She is an ultra-right wing fanatic Christian who hates that public schools are the foundation of  democracy. She thinks education should be only for those in the upper classes who can pay for private schools, and seeks to destroy public schools by diverting their funding elsewhere...this is the tactic that will also be employed to destroy medicare and social security. Probably everything that citizens value about their citizenship.
 Trump's business entanglements make it impossible to function as president.  He has already compromised his ability to deal properly with foreign interests, owing hundreds of millions of dollars to Russian oligarchs, banks in China, and other countries.  The other day while speaking with President Erdogan of Turkey, Trump promoted his business partner in that country, a clear abrogation of his presidential responsibilities. This is a nightmare.
Trump's advisor on "Space" wants to defund NASA's climate work.
 Although Trump knows nothing about foreign affairs or even how our country works, he is blowing off the daily intelligence briefings. He's attended two such briefings in the past two weeks. But then he has been awfully busy twitting about his dislike of the cast of "Hamilton," and Saturday Night Live.
In a move to reward a supporter with a governorship, Trump appointed Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN.  Haley is an ultra-right wing "birther" politico with no experience or expertise in foreign policy, the United Nations, or anything else of importance.
 Last, but far from least, is Trump's appointment of Jeff Sessions, the Alabama crackpot, as Attorney General.  Sessions was rejected as a federal judge previously because of his blatant racism. 
He is a bigot extraordinaire and an out-and-out racist wanker.
Enjoy your holiday folks. (Try not to get indigestion!)
Remember, acts of compassion and kindness are blows against this empire.

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