The greatest catalyst for change in modern history
Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?
Move outside the box
This is a worthy and meaningful contribution to the dialogue about the survival of our civilization. One problem with the essay is the lack of a definition of corruption. Without a definition, we are left with an assumed understanding of the term, which may mean different things to different people. This definition works for me, but this one for political corruption is more focused.
Another weakness is the failure to look at human psychology and character beyond the level of actions. It is the vast interior landscape of the human individual that predisposes him or her for corruption. The best model in Western psychology for looking at level of being is Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Corrupt individuals can properly looked at as existing at the lower end of the needs hierarchy, having a deficiency of proper needs satisfaction - mainly in the areas of sex, power, and money.
People who aspire to meet the higher needs - cognitive, aesthetic, and self-actualization - are at least less likely than those stuck in the deficiency needs to engage in political corruption.
Looked at in this context, it is easy to see the difference between the Bush criminal regime - Bush, Cheney, Rice, Mukasey, Gates, Hayden, and arch-members Rumsfeld, Powell, Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Bolton, and, lest we forget, Rove - and the New Dealers of the Roosevelt administration. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Bush criminal regime has ever had the intention of making the world a better place, or of improving the lives of "American" citizens. They are worse than corrupt. They are criminal sociopaths.
I have been referring to the Bush gang as criminal sociopaths for the last seven years, almost alone. Ideologues of "left" and "right" only see the world in terms of horizontal paranoia, and because of this the Bush criminal regime is looked at as either "our" team or "theirs."
Thus, we are stuck in the narrow paradigm of horizontal polarization. Bush is supposedly a "right-winger," when he can barely form a thought. A lifelong addict who was deposited in the presidency by other criminals, he should have been run out of office long ago. With our stifled ideological discourse, we are self-limiting our perspective for ego and deficiency needs reasons. In other words, we have a corrupt forum of ideas.
The Bush criminal regime could not exist in a system of being needs pursuit. It is actually fed by this phony divide. We have only ourselves to blame.
How Torture Cost Lives
All things must pass
Good writing, good insight. It was mentioned on the Stephanie Miller Show this morning that waterboarding is the very same torture that "we" prosecuted "Japanese" commanders for after World War II. Victor's justice. And that's not Victor Buono, Victor Mature, or Victor Argo.
We can complain about the hypocrisy all we want, but historically, empires have not fallen because of internal opposition.
Internal collapse will bring this empire down, and that is the thing to pay attention to. Try as they may, our great institutions will not be able to put the Humpty Dumpty of the economy back together. What we should be doing is making plans for the next economy (Hint: Small is Beautiful, growth has limits).
And, lest we forget, the whole world is watching. Whatever alliances our degenerate elite has with other countries go as far as their own self interests allow. When circumstances dictate abandoning our elite, they will make other alliances. It's sort of like our alliances with the Sunni tribal leaders in "Iraq."
As far as the complicity of the Congress is concerned, they are part of the elite. If you look at it as organized crime, it is easier to understand. A mafia keeps control of its "soldiers" through fear and reward. Every Congressperson has done something in his or her life that he or she would not like the public to know. In our total information awareness system of today, those somethings are most certainly filed away somewhere in various mafia databanks.
On the bright side, everything that has a beginning has an end in this temporal world. The push for totalitarianism will end some day. The actors on the stage now are mortals, and they will be gone relatively soon. Whatever pressure can be applied will help to hasten that day.
Here's a little tune for some comfort and inspiration.
These two comments are compacted versions of what I have been writing since the Bush criminal regime came to power. We are going down the path of self-destruction because of our own narrow language and way of looking at the world. Bush is a sociopath, but "leftists" still argue against his "policies." He has no policies. He has criminal schemes.
The economy is not collapsing because of mismanagement. It is collapsing because collapse of this kind of system is inevitable. The mismanagement is only hastening the collapse. An infinite growth system on a finite planet will eventually reach a maximum level of output.
All the semantics about torture, what constitutes torture, and the morality of torture are missing an important point. The Bush criminal regime instituted a regimen of torture for a purpose: terrorism. It is counterproductive internationally, but its real purpose is domestic: us. As we saw in the case of Jose Padilla, any "American" can be picked up at any time, charged with fake evidence, and whisked away to be tortured endlessly and with impunity. Once the torture practices are institutionalized through legislation and decisions by the Supreme Court, the framework is in place.
The mainstream news media are using the institutional control of language and perception to aid in the propagandization of our national discourse. It is no accident that they are trying to foist a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and some "acceptable" "Republican" like McCain or Giuliani on us. For both internal and external reasons, minions of the news industry presume that their perceptions, opinions, and bounds of thinkable thought are the ones that matter. We are supposed to sit here and take it.
They are failing. The grassroots efforts behind such campaigns as those of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are examples of how the news media are no longer the arbiters of truth, wisdom, and the "American" way. Their declining revenues are further evidence.
It may be a little too early to say it, but the failure of the Bush criminal regime is becoming the greatest catalyst for change in modern history. The ruling elite of "America," in their hubris, their arrogance, their smugness, thought they could put anyone in the presidency to do their bidding. I realized long ago, during the Kissinger-Nixon sponsored coup in Chile, that our "leaders" would do the same thing here if they thought they could get away with it.
Enter, the Bush criminal regime. They thought they could get away with it. They have failed. They still have some momentum, winning a Supreme Court case here, a war appropriation there, but the game is over. The whole world knows what they are really about, and that is unfettered, heinous, murderous crime. World civilization cannot continue if it is run by completely worthless human beings, and the Bush regime's plan is to be in control of world civilization.
It remains to be seen whether or not world civilization will survive the damage done by the Bush criminal regime, but the momentum has shifted. The world's eyes are on this gang, and it will be increasingly difficult for it to start another war, enable another terrorist attack, avoid preparation for another hurricane, or spread diseased organisms like Anthrax (Yes, I think they were behind this one. Who else?).
For the rest of us, a little meditation is in order. Freeing the mind can free the way we think. Freeing the way we think can free the language we use. Freeing the language we use can free our actions. The possibilities are endless.