Monday, April 28, 2014

Militant Cognitive Dissonance

British political theorist Leonard Woolf said,"Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man."

Man has the potential to be noble and cultured, or merely a war pig, and in his heart, at the core, he is one or the other.  History is the story of both sides of man - creation and destruction, healing and homicide.  Here and there, occasionally there are such things as "just wars," but they are in the minority.  Occasionally there are egomaniacal rogues who truly oppress people, and their overthrow is justifiable, but for the most part wars are the failure of diplomacy and more the work of apes, not men.  Apes who can swing a club or pull a trigger, whether independent or mercenary, regardless of ideology.

There's a few things I find most depressing and pathetic about this whole gun worshipping - saber-rattling - dick-swinging - militia scenario.  First, there's the whole infatuation with violence as a means toward some peaceful and egalitarian end; the men who are so frothing at the mouth, so itching for gunfire and bloodshed to begin.  One could debate their true motives, but debate is not what they seek. Theirs is not a vision of peace, but an urge to kill.

I think the whole "dress-up" thing is humorous, in a way; the military camo, the face paint, the endless posting of pictures of weapons - the tools of death and destruction. Then there are the symbols; the logos, skulls and images of aggression.  Gotta look badass.  Men full of testosterone and hate.  The posing for pictures in uniform, bearing arms.  Look at me, I'm so dangerous.

There the incredible irony surrounding military weapons; that these men are so in love with tools of destruction that were created specifically to fight wars, by corporations that profit from wars, as long as those tools are only used by them for their means, and not used against them by the government they feel needs to be toppled and destroyed.  If you say to them,"Hey buddy…go ahead, start shooting. They'll bring in a couple air strikes and that'll be the end of your little platoon," then of course, you're one of the bad guys.  You're either with them or against them.  And any of them that might be actual veterans, who have served their country and seen actual battle, they know the score. They know that was is not just a matter of counter-insurgency, but of overall firepower and supplies.  They have neither.

And the vast majority of veterans - upstanding men who served in uniform - do not support the states rights militia movements.  They did their duty and put it behind them, returning to a more civilized way of life.

And the militants have no real plan - for after the smoke clears. They have only pamphlets and slogans.   No wait…they had a plan - to put the women out front. That's what a great strategic thinker would come up with. That's the kind of person I'd want as my country's leader (gag).  And if the shit had hit the fan, it would be their earth that would be scorched, first and last.  It would be their wives and children that would be caught in the crossfire, but hey, they're fighting for a cause, right?  Killing women and children is ok for them, as long as they're something other than white.

While most might agree that the federal government is cumbersome and inefficient, these "patriots" are convinced that it is evil.  They hate everything from traffic signs to Social Security, and especially taxes, although as any rational man would admit, that's how we create structure and infra-structure.  That's how we pave roads, distribute water and treat sewage.  That's how we create things like fire departments and libraries.  You know, socialist kinds of things that help everyone, regardless of their socio-economic level.

Here's the kicker:  where government is concerned, there are more than sufficient examples of countries with a similar structure, who provide for their citizens things like healthcare and free education.  You know, civilized kinds of things.  And their citizens aren't protesting, rattling sabers, advocating their destruction.

These self-annoited "patriots" want to dismantle our structure and replace it with what?  That's the big question.

Some of these groups are particularly religious-based.  Is that what they envision in their restructuring of America?  And don't forget that some of the most prominent separatists have been conservatively religious and racist.  That doesn't mean that all states rights groups are racist - it means that's where their roots are and there's still a lot of rampant (and disguised) racism in their "movement."

There will always be angry men with angry ideals, men who wave flags, weapons and Bibles, just as there will always be corrupt politicians, but for the most part, the system works.  It's not perfect, but it works.  If you want to change something, the civilized man does it within the system, by peaceful means.  You don't achieve anything constructive by shutting down the government (a la John Boehner) or in advocating it's destruction and overthrow.

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