Monday, July 11, 2005

Democracy in Action

Too often, people become so passionate about their positions or beliefs on things that they wind up carrying on a pale and weak reflection of the "real" wars that are raging around our beautiful planet. In other words, they forget the principles and ideas for which many of those wars are supposedly fought. In a word, democracy.

Rabid partisanship, of course, is not democracy. I know there are theories that say open partisanship that's tolerated within a state will tend to settle into a communal consensus. But I suspect that there is a better way, which begins at the level of the individual, working within herself, to arrive at and hold to that center-point of being that I've written about many times here.

But we live in times where partisanship rules—often with violent passion on every side. I don't see any point in talking to myself in this forum, or in preaching to some online choir. So it's time to give some divergent opinions a little air: we will begin tonight with a note I received recently via email (the sender wishes to remain anonymous), which goes as follows:

Unlike the true believers on the left (you), on the right (Newt + Hillary), w/the death squads of allah, I tend to read most if not all of the news I can in order to buttress my proven, supported theories of why in the words of the Immortal Jerry Lee Lewis "I am right". yeah, please lets discount the Islamic websites w/thier notices of death to the infidels and we'll do it again. Let's ignore Madrid, let's ignore 40 years (at a minimum) of  terror by Arabs, originally supported by the lovely Soviets. Lets listen to George Galloway hector the press and the world in front of a Mosque yesterday that the west is to blame for this atrocity, especially the Jews. hey, we are in a war of civilizations, between the light and the dark, the good and evil. No matter how bad we are (and we are at times) there is no comparision. As for the Mafia, ask John Giotti Junior what he thinks of his paisan, Ruddy the G et al. Fuck, the feds took them down, but they, the Mafia wasn't killing at random. they at least had some weird code of honor. The Islamo facists don't.

Now this was in response to a comment I'd made about the aberrant claim that 9/11 was a case of America "getting what was coming to it." My response had been the same for that as it always is for the Osamas and Rumsfelds and Cheneys of this world: if Osama could just take out Bush and leave innocent people alone, or if Rumsfeld could have iced Saddam without bombing Baghdad and dozens of other cities into cinders, then I'd be less of a pest about their behavior. In other words, I concluded, if they could only be as efficient as the Mafia in their killing, I'd be far more patient with hearing out their self-righteous religious rants.

But guess what—whenever there is war, it's schmoes like me and you who do the dying—usually in horrific numbers; all in the name of what some psycho in a cave in Afghanistan or a chicken-hawk druggie in Washington calls "justice." My business (which, as I've pointed out elsewhere, is doing really lousy) is working with individuals, and helping them as much as I can to restore their own sense of perspective, without having to rely on the lies fed to them by geopolitical bullies and paranoid lunatics. An individual life is too precious to be sacrificed to ideological deceit or group-based hatred, no matter how it is packaged or marketed by the spinmeisters of this pitiful world.

Yes, there's been 40 years of terror between Arabs and the West, between Palestinians and Israel, between the haves and have-nots (and that's a conservative estimate—I'd say it's been more like 4,000 years of continuous war). They shoot two bombs, we shoot back with two hundred; they kill 3,000 of ours, we kill 30,000 of theirs. And so it goes, war without end, Amen.

What if enough of us finally said, "No more—not in my name, not with my tax dollars, and certainly not with my life or my child's life." It all begins within each individual, and that's why I work the way I do.

Now before closing this discussion, I want to make one thing clear: I am not a Christian. I mean, a real Christian—not one of those Jerry Falwell warmongers carrying a burning cross. In other words, I do not believe in "turning the other cheek." When I'm attacked, I tend to try to repel the invader—but not with the tools of ego or the weapons of war. There are other ways to stop a fight, though most people don't give them much credence.

Nor am I Jewish—in other words, I do not believe in the Levitican code of Justice: eye for an eye and the rest of that nonsense. Even animals don't practice such a decadent code of conduct.

But Nature is wiser than we are. So why don't we learn from Her? Why do we continue butting our bloody heads against the same wall of hatred, enmity, revenge, and death that we have been bashing against for 4,000 years? If you've got an answer to that, you're my nominee for 2008.

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