13 December 2006


·                     Dec 13, 2006


Looking up an article for the "pain ray" (Military 'Active Denial System') which basically uses a radio frequency similar to microwaves to heat up the skin of nearby rioters or protesters (she wanted to know if it was real - it is) I came across a link to a BBC documentary on the simultaneous rise of the NeoCon and Islamic Fundamentalist movements.
They both were largely inspired by what they saw as the corruption of modern life in America, caused by the incorporation of liberal values throughout society.  For an muslim visiting America, this was represented by young people at a dance.
People were becoming "too selfish" which prevented them from focusing on what is really important - God, and the words which were written hundreds of years ago by a guy who claimed to be able to talk directly with God.
Interestingly, while they do mention the religious component of the neocons ideas, they never mention the economic components.
The Muslims at least are consistent, and in that have a sort of personal integrity, even if it is based on something utterly stupid.
For the conservative movement, christianity is only half the story.
They also want unlimited wealth for the wealthy.
This is what caused them to hate the USSR so much.  When they speak of "The American Way of Life" they want the listener to believe they talking about "family values" or "freedom" or something of the like, but what they really mean is capitalism.
By very definition, capitalism's goal is maxing it easy for someone who already has money to make more money with out working.
It is about earning interest on your capital, investing.
We make it seem like it should be taken for granted that people can earn interest through investments, but this concept is not universal.
Beyond the obvious case of communists, muslims are forbidden to earn interest on their money.  However, this is not just written in the Koran.  It is written in the Bible, (remember Islam and Christian and probably 95% exactly the same - they seem more different than that because christians choose to ignore the parts of the bible which aren't convenient)
The bible also says you must pay your workers daily, you must forgive all debts every 7 years, neither work nor allow employees to work on Sunday, in addition to not charging interest on borrowed money. (Slavery is ok, though)
So much for the country being based on "christian' values.  It is based on business, and pretty much always has been.

I am getting side-tracked

Aside from the money issue, american conservatives and islamic fundamentalists are largely the same thing.
They are both against personal freedoms.
They would both prefer to outlaw abortion, sex outside of marriage, any non-medical drug use.  Both would like law based on religious books (although, as above, the conservatives would like to pick and choose which Bible verses became law).  They both believe that morality itself is based on a book.  They both are more than willing to kill those who disagree with them (though, for political reasons, the conservatives try to mostly kill people in other countries)
They should be good friends.
And in fact they used to be.
They worked together in Afghanistan to fight their common enemy, the USSR, which was a secular government (they went beyond separation of church and state, they basically banned church all together)
However, when the USSR crumbled for economic reasons (though each group took credit for the USSRs collapse) they had no one left to fight against.  Without someone to fight, ordinary citizens would have little motivation to support their  ideas or  keeping them in power.  Since the platform is denying  individual freedom, the only way to get the people to support them is to claim they are the only ones who can protect the people from "the enemy".
So, even though they have so much in common, since they could no longer pretend the USSR was a threat, they began calling each other evil instead.  And continue to to this day.

All this has me thinking about the USSR.  Communism, while not perfect, is the closest humanity has ever come to  social and economic justice.  It is probably the only system to see - and call - religion for what it is (the opiate of the people; an organized system of myth designed to keep people both stupid and passive).
However, instead of truly destroying it, they replaced it with their own version.  While preventing indoctrination by religion, they instead chose to indoctrinate the people with communism, and with the ethos of work for its own sake.  Like with religion, since those are such dumb ideas, the only way to really get people to believe it is to indoctrinate them while they are very young children, which they did.

In actuality, though churches were stripped of any power, not allowed to teach school, their land was taken away, and many were destroyed entirely, after 71 years of this the majority of the population still considered them selves christian.
This is certainly telling of the human mindset.  Perhaps it would take more than a single generation or two before it was recognized by the majority as mythology.

Perhaps people really do need to be told what to believe and what to do.
If so, that would be an argument against democracy.  It would basically mean that democracy is meaningless - people will vote for whoever their leaders tell them too.  To a large extent, that's exactly what we see.  This allows for just as much corruption in a democracy as in any other system.  Perhaps it is ignorance, and not stupidity, but how could one set up a system of education which was not influencable by government powers?  And if it is, then eventually you have a system of deliberate ignorance, in order that those in power can keep it.

The odds will always be stacked against those people who are moral (in the sense of not bringing harm upon others, not the sense of a book says this is what is right and wrong) and have integrity.
Those people will only use moral methods to get what they want.
Their opponents will use any means available to them to get what they want.  For this reason, it would be nearly impossible to have a sustainable system in which the government acted in the best interests of the people, there was no corruption, no violence.


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