The Quest for Power has always been a pain in the posterior for us Humans, if you'll pardon the expression, or even if you don't. Since the first surplus basket of grain, there's occasionally been a criminal element who wanted more than they needed. Before Adam and Eve, there was Gilgamesh, and before him, there was undoubtedly some other sticky-fingered weasel short on Principles. The expression 'pain in the posterior' as used here is not just a figure of speech. All of what we call our histories are laced with this problem gnawing at our nether extremities. Earlier cultures had notable success defining property rights and dealing with thievery, otherwise we Humans would never even have arrived at the celebrated point we fondly call the Dawn of Civilization. After this famous point, the Big Puzzles have been: How have we defined Civilization, and How does Civilization define us?
Successful cultures, unlike this one, have usually arrived at these definitions by the free involvement of their members in common agreement. Styles of action could then be pursued along courses which proved viable in the original sense: capable of sustaining life in balanced populations.
Lately, what makes our version so starkly unsuccessful is that we have allowed and subscribed to spurious definitions blindly, not of our own devices, but as imposed upon us by the aberrant forces of the Quest for Power.
Consider our word, civilization. We inherited this little jewel from the tongues of Rome. They considered it their great defining gift to Humankind. In practice, as demonstrated on the ground, civilization was imposed by force; it's what happened after the dust settled and the blood soaked into the earth. What had been prehistory's sneak-thievery had become the Rule, the Defining Feature of Human 'advancement.' Ancient scriptures were transcribed and interpreted to reinforce the notion that these criminal processes are an essential part of Humans' very nature. It's been whipped into us by priestly repetition that these deviant features are so much a part of us, we've accepted them almost as though they were originally tatooed into our DNA. Until now.
The growing problems caused by the Quest for Power were already ancient, becoming ever more prevalent over time, (largely because they've been such a damned hard act to follow) even before the arrival on the scene of Machiavelli. This infamous little mole-rat simply put the old curses of betrayal, murder, and theft into concise form in his book, 'The Prince,' as a blueprint for 'success' in the Quest for Power. As required reading in institutions of 'higher' learning and for practitioners of the 'arts' of war, it's played an ever more prominent role in defining success, civilization, and Human advancement. Consider the recent Yankee dictum, 'No problem is so great it can't be solved with high explosives.' This heartwarming little homily should be a clear indication that the ultimate goals of our present 'advances' as well as our most salient means toward those goals, are violent chaos, waste, and destruction. Benefits along the way, crumbs of the Pie, are dribbled out as bait to keep us in the trap of the Quest for Power. Far from recognizing it as a Problem, we are encouraged to regard it as the solution, and discouraged from seeing otherwise. Why do you suppose Ghandi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, answered, 'I think it would be a good idea.'??
The Eternally Errant Quest for Power tends to take on a life of its own, achieving its own direction and momentum, gaining mass exponentially, much like a Black Hole. It's extremely attractive, hard to resist, and harder yet on everything in its path, up to and including the Biosphere. Never in history has this been expressed more clearly and loudly than in present day North America...so far. Did 'America' emerge on top of the heap after the bloodiest 200 years in history just because it's 'God's Will?' No. God did not do this. And it's of no comfort whatever to see emerging powers like China take so enthusiastically to the example set by the criminal Miliatry Industrial Cult of the West.
At no time in the long, sordid history of the Quest for Power had its minions been so entrenched as when corporations were enthroned in North America in the early 1860's. Then, they were granted legal recognition as an Official Life Form, living citizens with all the Rights won by Humans, but with none of Humans' responsibilities or sensibilities. This transition of corporations from temporary paper agreements to Life Forms with Full Rights marked a turning point the importance of which has largely escaped the notice of Humans. What has been the significance of this transition, and why has it gone almost totally ignored?
On the Corpirations' Coronation Day, the goals and accomplishments of the hard-won American Revolution were reversed. America, as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, simply ceased to exist. Abraham Lincoln's simple announcement that this had in fact happened was drowned out in the clamor that arose when he was promptly shot by a 'lone gunman.' Most of what's followed has been nothing but smoke and mirrors. The entire Federal government, senators, congresspeople, presidents, and courts ever since have been firmly in the outlaw grip of the corpirations, along with the largest standing military forces in history. These armed forces, then carried by the Opium Clippers which had already seized primacy on the seas, immediately set about the predations of Empire, at home and abroad.
Where do you think.....
Hitler got the idea that, 'If you tell a big enough lie long enough, everyone will believe it.'??
Stalin got the idea that, 'If you kill one person, it's murder; if you kill a million, it's a statistic.'??
Mao got the idea that, 'Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.'??
Answer all three of these questions with one guess.
Where do you think our modern world got the idea that we could somehow use nuclear power safely??
Glimmer of Hope: Humans here and there still rise up and insist on deciding for themselves what's good for themselves...and act accordingly.