And Man Created god in His Own Image
I have struggled to understand, really understand the behaviors of our nationís leaders and the leaders of other nations. It doesnít matter whether I am referring to political leaders or leaders of "industry," i.e., the wealthy. Tonight, in a sated state, with perhaps one too many margaritas, I am finally struck with the idea that we are filling a vacuum. Our terrible urge to be an important part of the center of the "Universe of Meaning," given a creator, if there is one, who ignores us, leads to us deciding to fill the vacuum. If "HE/SHE/IT" ainít running for office, we are.
Oh, !*#@! Is the real basis for our playing God that simple (and simple-minded)? Well, to tell the truth, Iím not sure, but the idea is worth exploring, and so I will. But not now. I will tackle this de-oxygenated cranial fart in the morning, when I am, perhaps, somewhat more capable of a thought train longer than three seconds!
Yawnnnn Ö. Oh, "god", where is my coffee!? I have this nasty habit of getting up too early. I think it is a matter of age and the fact I go to bed too early out of boredom. TV just doesnít cut it, and my wife doesnít dance around in fetching negligees anymore. At least I read before sleeping. Anyway, here I am at 4:00 A.M., ready to tackle the ridiculous. Go, Don Quixote, go, go, go!
So, lets see what I can make of the idea that leaders fill a vacuum. First, lets consider that leaders are politically astute from the time they are children. That is, an aptitude for gauging sentiment and motivating others to do ones bidding does characterize early signs of would-be leaders. Add to that a dawning realization as potential leaders approach adulthood that there is no one out there ready to pounce on them when they decide to use their talents to make others dance like puppets. The only missing ingredients at that time of life are cash (sometimes), a large power base (maybe Daddy has one), and nasty toys, all of which will become available later as they graduate from colleges and universities and move on to careers.
Part of the coming leader population is attracted to law, as the power of law and those who practice it in the courtrooms and the legislatures is an obvious and cold reality, and it is inherently attractive to those with a desire to control and manipulate other people. Yet others who seek wealth more than political fame use their manipulative skills and other aptitudes in business, and eventually become the financial drivers of those who are politicians, for control of politicians has frequently been necessary to maintain and expand wealth.
Put these two groups of people together and one has the ruling class. The very lack of a "higher" being to control the excesses of these people puts us in a troublesome situation, for when their power is the highest active power then there is no having to answer for harm done to "lesser" people. In fact, it becomes easy for these individuals to look at all the resources of the world as their material for their personal use and not as the property of all people, or of some external "God." This is one of the main reasons wealthy people have frequently been poor environmentalists.
Practical considerations cause leaders to maintain an image of intelligence, good motivation and power in front of the masses. Moreover, ego considerations cause the leader to work carefully with underlings because it is their skilled labor that will determine the leaderís success or failure. Thus, underlings are like carpenterís tools, used skillfully, but not considered to be even remotely equal to the carpenter himself.
Self-image is, for any rational person, a logical byproduct of the degree of success experienced in ones chosen endeavors. Thus, if we start with a person of high aptitude for motivating and controlling others and add years of increasing power and success to the experience base, it is reasonable to expect the individual to have very high confidence/belief in self. This combined with the absence of an active higher power, leads to the demi-god behaviors of our leaders, for there is no one to answer to for long-term negative results on the society, or the rest of the world.
The end result of this process, repeated so many times through so many powerful people throughout history, is a gross indictment against those people for leading us to war and for destroying natural resources and for diminishing the lives of simple laborers to that of animals in a zoo. The lack of effective checks and balances on the behaviors of the leaders has shown that they are not holistic in their thinking. Just look at the results throughout history. Are we or are we not endlessly repeating the same stupid aggressive behaviors that have characterized all of human history?
It is necessary and fair to acknowledge that some leaders have been and are very good in their influences on the growth and progression of society, from ancient times to the present. Moreover, there is a continuum of good to bad across groups of leaders in any period of history, like legislators. Even within individuals, like Richard Nixon, there were great thoughts and action regarding opening relations with China, but also the sick seeds of criminal activity. The error most of us make in our attempts to be balanced in our assessment of leaders as individuals or as a group is that of the error of averaging. Legislative results are not the average of the intent of the legislators, but a binary product. A bad industrialist can cause terrible pollution, even though, as a group, industrialists may be pretty good, on average, about environmental considerations.
I note the point about the error of averaging in our thinking because individuals and factions can have undue negative influence on the course of history. Hitler was not the sum of the beliefs or the character of the German people. George W. Bush and John Ashcroft do not engage in practices that reflect the average or majority ethical beliefs of USA citizens. Our Congress passes legislation that reflects the heat of the moment and complicated special interests and not superior long-term thinking. Let us not make the error of averaging but instead see specific and terrible results when they occur, know them as such, and have no faith in the odds of generally good legislative intent saving us from bad people in power.
Today we have the fruits of surveillance technology available to the leaders, through laws like the Homeland Security Bill, to assure that no pockets of resistance will go long unidentified and then punished. We thus add to the power of our "gods" at our own expense. Some pundits cry out about our loss of privacy or loss of liberty. They are optimists! Legalized intrusion, combined with the power to make laws, will create a situation tantamount to rape, and that is one word I have not heard anyone use to describe our future relationship with our leaders.
Basically, rape is taking from the victim whatever the rapist wants, whenever he wants it, with no regard for the victim, and with total hunger to violate the victimís most inner self. The "urges" felt by rapists are compellingly strong, yet feel natural and right, and the rapist needs only opportunity to violate and thus diminish and destroy the victim. Are there any fools who actually believe that Homeland Security practices and further controlling legislation will not evolve into rape of human will? In short, latent and sick proclivities will surface given the opportunity presented by the Homeland Security Bill. You can take that truth to the bank.
Your last sanctuary, which is your home and in which you could practice life as you see fit, is about to disappear. Your new "values" will be forced on you by your government, through law enforcement organizations, i.e., police, and they will devolve in behaviors that accommodate the devolving "urges" of your leaders. My understanding that values can devolve with opportunity and with no particular safety net keeping the endpoint reasonable troubles me greatly.
Of the god-leaders, the ones I fear most are the ones who are self-righteous, for they, through their fundamentalist sickness, have been in the business of rape of human will for a very long time, under the mantle of religion. Power to control is a very deep hunger in these people, and you just donít want to think about your future if they prevail. You can start crying now for your children and your grandchildren if fundamentalist politicians are our leaders.
Yes, man has created "god" in his own, sick image. If you believe that all people have the right to enjoy life their way in proportion to their honest effort and the products of that effort, and with consideration of the golden rule, you will realize that the character flaws of most all leaders throughout history have made that goal impossible. Our social hierarchies have never been wholesome in any country at any time in history. Experiments in various forms of government and tons of laws have made no difference. At best we have eventually, after much damage, chopped down the worst of the leader-offenders. We are establishing "absolute" order out of chaos, but at what price? Meanwhile, the golden rule is the wishful thinking of common people, who do not populate the upper echelons of the hierarchies.
There is a point where the physical and psychological toolset provided by technology extends so far beyond the capabilities of common people to resist oppression that the leaders have absolute control of virtually all details of our lives and how we are allowed to live them. This problem was perceived by various writers like Orwell seventy years ago and then others sixty years ago, etc. We have had plenty of warning about evolution of power in government but have been unable to stem the tide. Our "gods" are becoming omnipotent, at least within the sphere of our lives, and when you dial in their character flaws the future looks indeed ominous.
And what are we to do about that? I sense that we are on a tight timeline to get the products of genetic engineering available to the masses so as to eliminate the comparative aptitude differences between leaders and todayís common people. Failure to accomplish that task within another twenty to thirty years will result in our being unable to ever do it, for our leaders will be able to stop the spread of any discovery that will undermine their power. The evolution of unified global power under the integrated control planning of the wealthy and politically powerful is proceeding at a rate that tells me there will be global control of virtually everything within twenty to thirty years (Oh, no, Myrtle Ö it sounds like John is going off on some conspiracy theory!). There wonít be any independent labs to create and deliver genetic engineering products to enhance aptitudes for everyone.
We are running out of time.