exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police.Yet in their hearts there is unspoken - unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse - a little tiny mouse! - of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic." Winston Churchill
F.A. Hayek: The Road to Serfdom
Heinrich Heine: "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
Helen Keller: In response to the 1933 Nazi book-burning: "History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas. Tyrants have tried to do that often before, and the ideas have risen up in their might and destroyed them. You can burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas in them have seeped through a million channels and will continue to quicken other minds."
George Orwell, 1984: "We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship... The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual. You know the Party slogan Freedom is Slavery. Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is freedom. Alone - free - the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal."
Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth
what looks like weakness is the only true strength
"Instead of trying to be the mountain, teaches the ancient Tao Te Ching, 'Be the valley of the universe.' In this way you are restored to wholeness and so 'All things will come to you'."
The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of “me.” When someone blames or criticizes me, that to the ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-justification, defense, or blaming.
Whether the other person is right or wrong is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self-preservation than in the truth. This is the preservation of the psychological form of “me.” Even such a normal thing as shouting something back when another driver calls you “idiot” is an automatic and unconscious ego-repair mechanism.
anger as ego-repair mechanism
One of the most common ego-repair mechanisms is anger, which causes a temporary but huge ego-inflation. All repair mechanisms make perfect sense to the ego but are actually dysfunctional. Those that are most extreme in their dysfunction are physical violence and self-delusion in the form of grandiose fantasies.
A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it. I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time.
don't fight it, just feel what it's like to be 'diminished'
For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing. Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you. For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size.
perceive a sense of 'space' around the bad feeling, which instructs that you and the bad feeling are two different things
Then you may sense an inner spaciousness that feels intensely alive. You haven't been diminished at all. In fact, you have expanded. You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less,” you become more.
'space' around the bad feeling helps one to perceive that 'Being', the true self, is separate from the ego, the false self
When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental selfimage. Through becoming less (in the ego's perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward. True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form. This is what Jesus means when he says, “Deny yourself” or “Turn the other cheek.”
This does not mean, of course, that you invite abuse or turn yourself into a victim of unconscious people. Sometimes a situation may demand that you tell someone to “back off” in no uncertain terms. Without egoic defensiveness, there will be power behind your words, yet no reactive force. If necessary, you can also say no to someone firmly and clearly, and it will be what I call a “high-quality no” that is free of all negativity.
the great Spirit Guides speak of God's apparent weakness as strength
If you are content with being nobody in particular, content not to stand out, you align yourself with the power of the universe. What looks like weakness to the ego is in fact the only true strength. This spiritual truth is diametrically opposed to the values of our contemporary culture and the way it conditions people to behave.
Instead of trying to be the mountain, teaches the ancient Tao Te Ching, “Be the valley of the universe.” In this way you are restored to wholeness and so “All things will come to you.”
Similarly, Jesus, in one of his parables, teaches that
“When you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place so that when your host comes, he may say to you, friend, move up higher. Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
be content as 'nobody' until your own burgeoning competence unavoidably elevates you
Another aspect of this practice is to refrain from attempting to strengthen the self by showing off, wanting to stand out, be special, make an impression, or demand attention. It may include occasionally refraining from expressing your opinion when everybody is expressing his or hers, and seeing what that feels like.
V.I. Lenin: "Freedom is a bourgeois prejudice. We repudiate all morality which proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas which are outside the class conception. In our opinion, morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of the class war. Everything is moral which is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting order and for uniting the proletariat. Our morality consists solely in close discipline and conscious warfare against the exploiters."
M.Y. Latsis, senior official in the "All-Russian Extraordinary Commission," better known as the "CHEKA," or Soviet political police, quoted in Harrison Salisbury's Black Night, White Snow: Russia's Revolutions, 1905-1917: "The Extraordinary Commission is neither an investigating commission nor a tribunal. It is an organ of struggle, acting on the home front of a civil war. It does not judge the enemy: it strikes him... We are not carrying out war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We are not looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question we ask is - to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, education or profession? These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of the Red Terror."
Sergei Nechayev, Catechism of a Revolutionary: "Hard towards himself, he must be hard towards others also. All the tender and effeminate emotions of kinship, friendship, love, gratitude, and even honor must be stifled in him by a cold and single-minded passion for the revolutionary cause. There exists for him only one delight, one consolation, one reward and one gratification - the success of the revolution. Night and day he must have but one thought, one aim - merciless destruction. In cold-blooded and tireless pursuit of this aim, he must be prepared both to die himself and to destroy with his own hands everything that stands in the way of its achievement."
Paul Johnson, Modern Times: "The stages by which Lenin created [the] autocracy are worth describing in a little detail because they became the grim model, in essentials, for so many other regimes in the six decades which have followed. His aims were fourfold. First, to destroy all opposition outside the party; second, to place all power, including government, in party hands; third, to destroy all opposition within the party; fourth; to concentrate all power in the party in himself and those he chose to associate with him... Once Lenin had abolished the idea of personal guilt, and had started to 'exterminate' (a word he frequently employed) whole classes, merely on account of occupation or parentage, there was no limit to which this deadly principle might be carried. Might not entire categories of people be classified as 'enemies' and condemned to imprisonment or slaughter merely on account of the colour of their skin, or their racial origins or, indeed, their nationality? There is no essential moral difference between class- warfare and race-warfare, between destroying a class and destroying a race. Thus the modern practise of genocide was born."
Rep. Ron Paul, re. WikiLeaks: "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."
Maximillien Marie Isidore de Robespierre, Address, National Convention, 1794: "Terror is nought but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is less a particular principle than a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to the most pressing needs of the fatherland."
Paul Johnson, The Spectator: "Robespierre, with his cruel moral relativism, embodied the cardinal sin of all revolution, the heartlessness of ideas."
Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon: "He [the revolutionary] is damned always to do that which is most repugnant to him: to become a slaughterer, to sacrifice lambs so that no more lambs may be slaughtered, to whip people with knouts so that they may learn not to let themselves by whipped, to strip himself of every scruple in the name of a higher scrupulousness, and to challenge the hatred of mankind because of his love for it - an abstract and geometric love."
Paul Johnson, Modern Times: "The French Revolution had opened an era of intense politicization. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of the dawning modern world, and in this respect it was a true child of Rousseau, was the tendency to relate everything to politics. In Latin America, every would-be plunderer or ambitious bandit now called himself 'a liberator;' murderers killed for freedom, thieves stole for the people."
it's not the color of skin, but the heart of darkness
Ken Burns’ Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, the search for the fabled Northwest Passage, is one of my very favorite documentaries. It’s really thrilling, with the four dozen adventurers, to trudge up the Missouri, against the current, sometimes literally getting out and pulling the boats, all the way to Helena, Montana, where the great watery path finally divides itself into competing rivulets, revealing its origins in hidden mountain springs.
Along the way, the two famous captains encountered many Native American tribes. Some of these were the “bullies in the neighborhood,” brutalizing, grossly violating, and lording it over other tribes: not only were other men killed, with their scalps paraded as trophies, but women were stolen as prized plunder, now to live out their lives as non-entity sex-slaves and beasts of burden.
This all changed in a moment in 1804. Lewis and Clark, as part of their mission, announced to all they met that there was “a new kid in town” who would overturn old power structures and bring a new pecking order to the warring tribal factions.
Fast-forward 200 years. There are unscrupulous politicians today, in a page written by Marx, ever setting one societal group against another, attempting to buy votes by currying favor with that one at the expense of that other. And they want to apologize for what the Evil White Males have done in history. And it’s true, there’s a lot of apology to go around, that any now-enlightened person might tender.
However, to suggest that white males somehow are more evil than other two-legged creatures is just vote-buying propaganda. The issue of brutality, pillaging, and atrocity, is not a “white” problem, as such, but a “human” problem. Every person, led by the “false self,” if unimpeded, if not constrained by a sturdy rule of law, will sink as low as necessary, do whatever it takes, to appease the inner chantings of “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough.”
What the Whites did to the Reds, or the Blacks, or any other color that got in their way, is unforgivable; but, within the abused groups, and every group of every nation in history, we will find reports aplenty of intra-group barbarity -- just ask Will Durant in his "Story Of Civilization."
The Whites weren’t more evil – they just had better technology, so it was hard to stop them. And to frame the issue in terms of one group being more evil than another is not only a new form of racism but an utter sophistic misconstruing of the universal problem of “the heart of darkness” among all peoples.
Editor’s note: As I recount on the “Reading” page, I lived on “the reservation” as a teacher for a time. And I will tell you for a fact, from first-hand experience, that, within that little insulated microcosm, the Native “elites” took advantage of, made merchandize of, their less-educated brethren, just the way, in principle, their bellicose forebears had done it prior to 1804. They intentionally and purposefully kept their fellows dependent and ginned-up against the Whites, to control them via a spirit of envy and victimhood -- as much as they could get away with, as far as the law allowed, and then some.
European slave-traders were aided and abetted by warlike African tribes, which possessed large numbers of Black African slaves, their own countrymen and women.
We don’t hear much about this from the vote-buying demagogues who want to portray slavery as an inherently White infraction. Do some research, for example, on the Imbangala or Nyamwezi African tribes who plundered their own racial brethren, enslaving them, and, at times, sold them for profit to the slave-trading Whites.
The issue of slavery, so common in history among virtually all peoples, is what the dysfunctional ego will allow itself if granted sufficient power and control over any who get in its way.
Prince Petr Kropotkin, Russian naturalist, author and soldier, writing in 1909 on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution: "What we learn from the study of the Great [French] Revolution is that it was the source of all the present communist, anarchist and socialist conceptions."
Dietrich von Nieheim, Bishop of Verden, De schismate libri III, A.D. 1411: "When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even cunning, treachery, violence, simony, prison, death. For all order is for the sake of the community, and the individual must be sacrificed for the common good."
John Jay Chapman: "There was never a moment in our history when slavery was not a sleeping serpent; it lay coiled under the table during the Constitutional Convention. Thereafter, slavery was on everyone's mind, if not always on his tongue."
Paul Craig Roberts, November 15, 2000: "Karl Marx said it best: Audacity is 90 percent of the battle. Lenin showed that he had learned this Marxist lesson well when he declared his tiny band 'the majority' and seized power in Russia in the name of a non-existent proletariat."
Alexander Stevens, Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, 1861: "Our new government is founded upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the White Man."
Al Capone: "You can get a lot further with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone."
Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
James Madison, 1788: "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
H.L. Mencken: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and thus clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Stalin: "He who votes decides nothing. He who counts the votes decides everything."
Plato: "A tyrant... is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader."
George Will, Feb. 4, 2001: "A few years ago the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wrote to the Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles concerning federal aid received by his St. Vincent de Paul Shelter for the homeless. HUD asked whether it would be possible to rename it the Mr. Vincent de Paul Shelter.''
Confucius: "The end of the day is near when small men make long shadows."
Denis Diderot: "Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control."
Louis D. Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice, Dissenting, Olmstead v. US, 277 US, 438 (1928): "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
James Fenimore Cooper: "It is a governing principle of nature, that the agency which can produce most good, when perverted from its proper aim, is most productive of evil. It behooves the well-intentioned, therefore, vigorously to watch the tendency of even their most highly prized institutions, since that which was established in the interests of the right, may so easily become the agent of the wrong."
Napoleon Bonaparte: "If I were to give liberty to the press, my power could not last three days."
Brian Josephson, Times Higher Education Supplement, 12 Aug. 1994: "For the last six weeks, BBC2 TV has been running a series called Heretic, detailing the responses of the scientific community to ideas generally considered unacceptable by scientists, and the treatment given to those advocating such ideas... In every case a similar story unfolded: dismissal of the claims as being nonsense or impossible, generally without any serious attempt to look at the evidence or the arguments; the non-materialisation of the honours, promotions, invitations to give public lectures and so on that such individuals might have been expected to receive given their past achievements; violent attacks by other scientists; and, for some, demotion or withdrawal of research facilities."
Vladimir I. Lenin: "One man with a gun can control 100 without one ... Make mass searches and hold executions for found arms."
Joseph Sobran: "The framers, as The Federalist Papers attest (see No. 28), saw the state militias as forces that might be summoned into action against the federal government itself, if it became tyrannical."
Henry St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1768: "The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
Frederick Douglass: "Find out just what the people will submit to and you will have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, 1817: "It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin."
Joseph Sobran: "Tyranny seldom announces itself. ...In fact, a tyranny may exist without an individual tyrant. A whole government, even a democratically elected one, may be tyrannical."
Thomas Sowell: "Compassion is the use of public funds to buy votes."
Thomas Sowell: "Fair is one of the most dangerous concepts in politics. Since no two people are likely to agree on what is 'fair,' this means that there must be some third party with power - the government - to impose its will. The road to despotism is paved with fairness."
Dean Koontz, The Face of Fear: "Pure, hard-core liberals believe in a superior race. They think they're it. They believe they're more intelligent than the general run of mankind, better suited than the little people are to manage the little people's lives. They think they have the one true vision, the ability to solve all the moral dilemmas of the century. They prefer big government because that is the first step to totalitarianism, toward unquestioned rule by the elite. And of course they see themselves as the elite."
Oliver Cromwell: command to Parliament to remove the Mace, symbol of the King in Parliament: "Take away these baubles" (1654).
Frederick Douglass: "In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky, her grand old woods, her fertile fields, her beautiful rivers, her mighty lakes and star-crowned mountains; but, my rapture is soon checked when I remember that all is cursed with the infernal spirit of slave-holding and wrong. When I remember the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters - I am filled with unutterable loathing."
UPI, March 21, 2003: "A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human-shield volunteers made it across the border today... Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip 'had shocked me back to reality.' Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera 'told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head.'"
Matt Drudge, Sunday, March 23, 2003: "The microphone reads 'IRAQ TV.' The screen shows supposed stock market arrows. The station is Al-Jazeera, a mock of Ted Turner's CNN. And on Sunday satellite news turned nightmare as Arab television aired footage of dead American soldiers, some sprawled in a room, and interviews with five U.S. prisoners... The 6-minute video which beamed on Sunday showed mankind at its worse - and Iraqi fighters at their most animalistic... One Iraqi man is captured smiling over dead Americans. Soldiers pants are pulled down, the camera zooms in for a close up of bullet holes in heads as 'Al-Jazeera Exclusive' is stamped on the screen."
Judyth Vary Baker, mistress of Lee Harvey Oswald: Baker was interviewed on a new episode of the BBC's The Men Who Killed Kennedy. She asserts that LBJ was the key figure in the assassination plot; that Lee Oswald was, in fact, a patriot, trying to thwart the killing, but unable to do so. She recounts her last telephone conversation with the soon-to-be-slain Oswald a few days before Kennedy's death:
Baker: "Just go... Get out - it's too late to help him."
Oswald: "...I couldn't. They'd come after my family. They'd find you. You'd all die... If I stay, that will be one less bullet aimed at Kennedy... They're going to pin it one me anyway... I can still do something. I might be able to fire a warning shot. That's what I intend to do... The Secret Service will react..."
Charles A. Beard: "One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."
Adolph Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the underdog is a sine qua non ["something essential," lit. "without which not"] for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or police."
SA Oberfuhrer of Bad Tolz, March, 1933: "All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately ...The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon ... must be regarded as an enemy of the national government."
Bill Clinton, 3-22-94: "When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans ... And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities... If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
Seneca, letter to Lucilius: "A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand."
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty: "In political speculations 'the tyranny of the majority' is now generally included among the evils against which society requires to be on its guard. Society.... practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression,... penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them."
Harry Truman: "When even one American – who has done nothing wrong – is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril."
Thomas Paine, Rights of Men, 1791: "Moderation in temper is always a virtue; moderation in principle is always a vice."
Senator and Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater, 1964: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
Juvenal, Roman rhetorician, c. 100 AD: "Who will watch the watchers?"
Prince Peter Kropotkin, Anarchism, 1884: "Freedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged they are thrown overboard."
Woodrow Wilson, 1912: "Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance."
Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist, 1848: "The powers that have ruled long and learned to love ruling, will never give up that prerogative until they must, till they see the certainty of overthrow and destruction if they do not."
New York Times Magazine, Jan. 25, 2004: In the harrowing cover story, Peter Landesman investigates the global trade that brings some 20,000 young girls and women into the United States each year as sex slaves. Powerful organized crime networks kidnap girls from Eastern Europe and Latin America, then ship them to Mexico, from where they are smuggled across the porous U.S. border only after their overseers, usually women because they "can more easily gain the trust of young girls, they can more easily crush them," beat and abuse them. Heartbreaking first-person accounts of unthinkable depravity include stories of the importation of toddlers, basements full of teenagers forced to perform countless sex acts each day, and rendezvous points at Disneyland...
Daniel Webster, 1820: "In the nature of things, those who have no property and see their neighbors possess much more than they think them to need, cannot be favorable to laws made for the protection of property. When this class becomes numerous, it becomes clamorous. It looks on property as its prey and plunder, and is naturally ready, at times, for violence and revolution."
Benjamin Disraeli: "Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery."
Elizabeth Fry, testimony from the other side: Fry speaks via Leslie Flint, direct-voice medium: "Here no one glories in being a leader – whereas in your world [in various organizations] you do get this sort of glorification of the individual [leader]; the first thing a person must learn here, if they are to progress, is to lose this idea of self-importance. Those who are really progressed on This Side never, never, give that impression -- because it is not even in their nature to appear, or want to appear, important… I think that people will only recognize [who] Christ really was, when they begin to discount a lot of untoward creeds and dogmas, tacked on over the centuries by men who desired power and position – I would say to you, above all things, if you want to discover truth, avoid men of power and position, because … [they desire] power and position because of their material perception of things..." read more here
Marvin Kalb, August, 2006: "Today, the media appears to be broken down into camps where Fox prides itself on being pro-America, pro-democracy, pro-freedom..."
John Adams, 1780: His leaking ship having made an emergency stop at El Ferrol; crossing the Pyrenees on mule-back en route 1000 miles to Paris; resting in a Spanish village; newly-appointed US Ambassador to France, John Adams, records in his diary: "Nothing [in Spain] appeared rich but the churches, nobody fat but the clergy... We saw the procession of the Bishop and of all the Canons, in rich habits of silk, velvet, silver and gold. The Bishop ... spread out his hands to the people ... [they] prostrated themselves on their knees as he passed. Our guide told us we must do the same, But I contented myself with a bow. The eagle eye of the Bishop did not fail to observe an upright figure amidst the crowd of prostrate adorers: but no doubt perceiving in my countenance and air, but especially in my dress, something that was not Spanish, he concluded I was some travelling heretic and did not think it worthwhile to exert his authority to bend my stiff knees."
C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences."
The Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa, March 16, 1924: "It is not a dream, but a probability that the radio will demolish blocs, cut the strings of red tape, actuate the voice 'back home,' dismantle politics and entrench the nation's executive in a position of power unlike that within the grasp of any executive in the world's history."
"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." Thomas Jefferson, letter to Du Pont de Nemours, April 24, 1816
a tribute to David Kenyon Webster, a member of the famous Band Of Brothers
David Kenyon Webster
2 June 1922 – 9 September 1961
An English literature major at Harvard University, Webster interrupted his studies to volunteer as paratrooper. He was part of the D-Day invasion and was wounded. Later he rejoined Easy Company.
“From a wealthy and influential family, Webster could have arranged an officer's commission stateside, but he wanted to be a ‘grunt’ to see and document the war from a foxhole. By most accounts, he did not like what he saw and had great disdain for Germany's audacity in creating the war.” (Wikipedia)
There is a noteworthy vignette in Band Of Brothers, sometimes referred to as “Webster’s Mini-Speech.” Near the end of the War, with German soldiers surrendering in their hundreds of thousands, we find the defeated Axis troops, marching in formation toward detention.
The Allied soldiers, transported in trucks, pass these vanquished. Deeply moved by the futility, the stupidity, of what he’s witnessing, Webster, aback a truck, stands to deliver a stinging oration to these members of the National Socialists Party:
David Webster: [beginning to shout at a passing formation of Nazi prisoners]
“Hey, you! That's right, you stupid Kraut bastards! That's right! Say hello to Ford and General fucking Motors! [i.e., as opposed to the German horses.] You stupid fascist pigs! Look at you! You have horses! What were you thinking? Dragging our asses half way around the world, interrupting our lives... For what, you ignorant, servile scum! What the fuck are we doing here?"
David Webster’s diatribe is not about being German. I’m German, and I agree with Webster. It’s about being “ignorant, servile scum.” It's about being a boot-licking order-taker, with no quarter given to the whispering directives of the soul. It's about being human.
The socialists, the totalitarians-at-heart, since World War II, have tried to explain away what happened in Hitler’s Germany as an aberration, the result of one evil man, a one-time occurrence that could never happen in the good old USA where we’re much smarter, much more sophisticated. However, the truth is, you have to have serious leanings toward being “ignorant, servile scum” to believe or promote this kind of propaganda.
Our educational system today in the US, crafted by totalitarians to purposefully dumb-down a populace, with a view toward making it more “ignorant, servile,” and illiterate, is probably only 10% as good as that of Germany in pre-War days.
German society was the most cultivated and cultured, the best educated and most sophisticated, from that day to this. Never in history - certainly not since ancient Greece - had so many intellectual and artistic luminaries dominated: Beethoven, Brahms, and Bach; Einstein, Mach, and Braun; Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Kant -- we could go on for some time here. And to suggest that what happened there could never replicate itself in the United States - here, in our "dumbed-down" little educational system - is just wishful, shallow-thinking, a dysfunctional denial of the seeds of Evil that reside in the dark recesses of every human heart.
analyzing the “ignorant, servile scum”
What’s really bothering Webster? It’s the mindless servility. It’s the self-disrespect. It’s the unwarranted deference to authority. He saw those hapless soldiers – even in defeat, even when Dear Leader was kaput – still wanting to march in their little goose-stepping ways, so neatly, so obediently, like f****** good little boys. This made him want to shout and spit nails.
Webster was witnessing the end of line of socialistic-totalitarian sentiment. This is how it all ends, when power-grabbing and "I'm better than you" burns itself out. But, it seemed so sophisticated, so reasonable, in earlier days. Were they not the smartest people, with others so beneath them, not even deserving a modicum of civility? Well, "if we are better, if we have no duty to treat others in a civil manner" – as our Dear Leaders preach to us today – "then we have a right to rule over others, and oppress them."
Having drunk the kool-aid of this totalitarian party-platform, which is now accepted in our country in certain sectors, they stupidly follow each other over the dystopian cliff into perdition. They didn’t believe the message of Hayek and his “Road To Serfdom.” The lessons of history don’t apply to them, because they’re better and above. And in this “ignorant, servile scum” mentality, they carve out one more rise-and-fall in the sordid story of humankind.
therapy sessions for recovering “ignorant, servile scum”
How will you, if you're a totalitarian, feel someday when you meet David Kenyon Webster? I’m sure he’ll be too polite to say it to your face, but we’ll know what he’s thinking.
The apostle Paul spoke of living in the presence of, being surrounded by, a great host of witnesses, those who have gone before us, those who have endured the insanity of this world and have done well. But the totalitarians at-the-gate will never allow this kind of sentiment. For them, it's a power-haircut, they're all that is, they're against anything they can't control, and to direct any thought of deference toward those who might teach us something is too humbling for them. Why would they? -- they're the smartest people of history.
the mirror of Dorian Grey
Many years ago I had to look in the mirror and admit that I’d been selling out my own soul to various infallible gurus. I'd been a goose-stepping good little boy, denying my own judgment, disrespecting my own thoughts, ignoring my own counsel, in favor of some ******* Dear Leader in my life.
Are you willing to enter that kind of scorching self-evaluation? Who do you take orders from? – be it in a religious, political, or some other “ignorant, servile scum” promoting ego-organization.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ warning concerning those who inhabit the Dark Realms – an assessment which has been corroborated by thousands of afterlife reports. He spoke of two psychological profiles: those who (1) “weep and wail” and those who (2) “gnash teeth.”
The first group are the “goose-stepping, ignorant, servile scum” who live in a mindset of guilt and self-loathing, following some infallible Dear Leader. They “weep and wail” in a “victimhood” state of mind, thinking themselves unjustly treated: “Didn’t I live like a good little girl, trying so hard to keep all the rules, and never missing a goose-step? And now this happens to me. It’s so unfair.”
The second group are those who think they’re “better” and “above.” They want to reduce your personal freedoms because you're too foolish and incompetent to govern your own life, and so you need their supervisory services just to get you by. And later, in the Dark Realms, they'll “gnash teeth,” that is, they'll want to fight. They’re belligerent because they deserve to win, because they’re so much smarter, and, because you're so stupid, they have a moral obligation to rule over you. They're just trying to help.
The “victims” and the “elites” cannot enter Summerland. Not yet. They have “unfinished homework to hand in.” They need to access the “true self” and imbibe of the common humanity, a sense of the tremendous potential of each human being “made in the image.”
With the liberation of a concentration camp, Easy Company searches for food in a nearby village to distribute to the starving zombie-like inmates. David Webster (portrayed by Eion Bailey) angrily confronts the town baker who objects to donating his storehouse of bread. With the camp but a mile or so away, and with excuses of exculpation threadbare, Webster, pistol brandishing, comes close to abruptly ending the conversation.
They’ll be no rationalizations on the other side; at least, none convincing. In elitist-and-victimhood Germany, no one had any idea of the pandemic atrocities; and in the Shadowlands, no one has any idea that Dear Leaders were unnecessary, that whisperings of the soul might have directed us, leading us, into all truth.
And let's be very clear. The "Allies" will yet liberate all strongholds of darkness and dysfunctional ego -- no matter what your local Nice Young Man pontificates.
The Band Of Brothers of our world, though incredibly noble, are but forerunners of a vast host of Liberators who do not take kindly to the thought of ever losing any good thing; so much so, that a certain song speaks of their steel-resolve with "rest assured."