By TLB Staff Writer & Sr. Editor of TLB UK: Steve Cook.
If you were a visitor to Earth, and assuming you came from a planet that was not run by complete lunatics, your first impression as you surveyed our blue-and white and somewhat moist home would probably be, “Oh dear God, what a mis-managed mess!”
And after you had looked a little closer and somewhat bemusedly into the bedlam that passes for civilization on Terra Incognita, my bet is that you would conclude that Earth is a planet run by gangs of criminals.
It would be a pretty fair assessment of the state of play on Earth at this time and indeed of much of our planet’s miserable history thus far.
Any town or neighborhood, no matter how orderly it might once have been, will pretty soon degenerate once the criminals have taken over a portion of its market places, infiltrated its councils and institutions and begun mucking about with its laws so as to provide themselves with greater scope for their criminal endeavors.
In such a neighborhood you wind up with a very unsafe and anarchic environment, riddled with crime, drugs and violence, in which honest men – albeit they happen to be in the majority – feel unsafe and more often than not bewildered at how fast the neighborhood went downhill. In that gathering confusion, men become upset. Upset men, to the degree that they are upset, find it hard to think clearly.
More often than not, in seeking explanations for the deterioration of the environment around them, good men will select the wrong target to blame for their troubles. And the wrong target is frequently other good men like themselves, good men who bore them no ill will, at least until they in turn were persuaded otherwise.
Of course the criminal minority, being criminals, will do everything they can to ensure that good men blame the wrong target and not themselves. Good men, not being liars by nature and naturally inclined to assume everyone else is of the same mind, usually greatly underestimate the capacity of criminals to lie convincingly, persistently and without conscience. Thus the criminal mind will:
• Accuse with convincing sincerity others of committing the crimes they themselves are committing.
• Turn the basic decency of their fellows to their own advantage.
There may well be a natural law or at least a good rule of thumb that the degree to which the human community deteriorates and becomes unsafe is directly proportional to the degree to which men of criminal disposition have worked their way into positions from which to influence it.
The neighborhood of which I speak can be the local community, the town, country or global community. The current state of violent anarchy that passes for international relations attests very strongly to the fact that you have criminals in positions of considerable influence over the policies of many nations, corporations, religious groups and so forth.
Put simply: honest men are not inclined to blow one another up or encourage others to blow people up, shoot one another’s children, mug one another, steal from one another, con one another, drug one another or make trouble for other honest men by spreading lies about them. Not, that is, unless they become convinced that those other honest men, similarly disinclined, are a threat to their survival.
Most people instinctively recognize that survival is a team effort and the idea of doing harm to their fellows never enters their heads. Unless, of course, the idea is put there.
So how the heck do we end up in situations in which honest men with no natural inclination to slaughter people they have never even met and who have better things to do than maiming one another’s children or demolishing one another’s cities, wind up doing the very things they would never even dream of doing to their next-door neighbor?
How do we wind up with governments behaving in a way that would see an individual locked up if he did such things, yet which so many people think is perfectly all right if groups known as “governments” do it? How come men become exempt from the normal standards of good conduct between human beings once they become the directors of corporations, “popular leaders” or servants of the people?
This is actually a survival point. The greater the power of the individual to influence the lives and well-being of others, the greater is the scope for his criminal acts to do harm. By “do harm” is meant “to thwart or inhibit the survival of his fellows”. Far from being exempt from the standards we hold as to what constitutes good conduct, it is actually vital that men in positions of power are more tightly held to those standards. Our global community becomes jeopardized to the degree that we do not hold men in positions of power to those standards.
In essence, wars are engineered by criminal gangs and there are very often quarrels between criminal gangs on both “sides.” The criminals have infiltrated and suborned the machinery and policies of reputable groups. They are hidden behind the respectability of this or that office of government, this or that institution, corporation, agency, church or religion and use them for their own ends.
Once they are in a position to influence or dictate the policies of groups with broad influence upon the human community, then the rest of humanity has a very hard time. In so doing they can make the groups they have suborned behave in criminal ways even though the majority of members of those groups are decent – albeit often highly confused – people.
In this way we witness the spectacle of a religion founded upon tolerance and brotherly love or a society founded upon high principles of human rights and freedom wind up engaged in mass slaughter, torture, persecution, drugging and so forth. As these criminal gangs slug it out or squabble over the spoils, entire nations are caught in the middle and decent, honest men on both sides are duped into killing one another.
Thus we have the spectacle of the honest, decent taxi driver in New York quite keen to go slaughter or have other people go slaughter some equally decent Baghdad dentist or shop girl with whom he has no real quarrel and has never even met. And vice versa. We witness people who would never dream of harming a child, quite happy to see high explosives used to blow up someone else’s children. Blowing up a child or cheering on someone else who blows up a child is an act of utter depravity!
The majority of human beings are good men and it is good men who provide all the decency, justice, peace and creative energy of the civilization. Criminals provide nothing of value but feed parasitically off the creative endeavors of the many. They comprise a small, insane minority of the human race. A small number of them usurp positions of power or influence over large numbers of good men and they ruin life for everybody else.
This has been going on for a very long time, so long that people think it is normal or “just the ways things are.” It will remain “just the way things are” for so long as and to the degree that honest men are duped into wrong-targeting one another.
The enemy of any honest man, wherever he lives and under whatever regime, is not some other honest man living in some other place under some other regime. Honest men are not the natural foes of honest men, they are natural allies.
Their common foe is the liar, murderer, plunderer, thief and various other manifestations of the criminal personality type, no matter what “cause” they pretend to espouse nor the uniform, robes or regalia in which they pose.
This same principle applies not just to government and the conduct of international relations but to other areas of human interrelations. It applies, for example, in the corporate world. If one takes some food manufacturer that has gone criminal, such as is the case with reckless tinkering with the food chain and the production of food that one way or another endangers the health of those who consume it so as to make a buck, one finds that criminal acts trace back to the individual decisions, orders and actions of specific human beings. Those human beings hide behind the “collective responsibility” of this company or that.
We blame some threat to our survival upon Monsanto or some other corporation just as we blame “communists,” “Muslims” “the Americans,” “the Chinese”, “the Unions” “the Christians” or any broad mass of people, the majority of whom or also decent people caught up in the machinery of lies just as we are. In so doing we miss the fact that behind the fancied crimes of some vague mass of people lie the falsehoods and criminal acts of specific individuals who have names but who escape responsibility for their actions by hiding behind the mass and behind the smokescreen of confusion and upset they have brought about. So what’s the way out of all this? The way out is to change the way we look at the situations that confront us. It is to recognize that where there is a situation in which our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is threatened or wrecked, or where the other guy’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is wrecked, at the bottom of it lie the actions of a small number of criminal men who are quite pleased to see good men wrong-target and slaughter one another.
This is not to say that the people of one nation or area alone should take responsibility for it, but that all people of all areas should do it. What would happen if this principle were broadly agreed upon across the world? What would happen if Americans identified, shunned or brought to justice the criminals – and ONLY the criminals – in their own government, if the Muslims did the same for the criminals in their own midst, the British and Russians and Jews did the same?
Those criminals are specific people, on “our side”, the “other side” or both “sides.” They have names. We could do ourselves a big favor by identifying them and bringing them to justice. And we should bear in mind as we do so that justice works on specifics: the specific acts of specific individuals and that just machine-gunning a vague mass of people who may or may done have done something or other isn’t justice. And it isn’t sane either.
The purpose of justice is not to “get” somebody because he has pissed us off but to identify by his actions the criminal person and remove that criminal from influence over our environment so that the rest of us can go about our business in peace and at peace with one another.
So we have to decide whose side we are on. Are we on the side of liars, cheats, con men and connivers, the defamers and betrayers of Man? Will we misplace our allegiance into the service of thieves, muggers and murderers who excel at thuggery and the theft or destruction of what good men have labored long and hard to build?
Or are we on the side of the honest man? To whom do we truly owe our allegiance and who in turn owes his allegiance to us? Who is our true ally in the business of survival? In terms of human survival the only workable division of humanity into “them” and “us” is honest human beings on the one hand and criminal human beings on the other. And our endeavor is to stop the shenanigans of “them” so that “us” can get on with the task in peace of creating a tolerable existence for everyone.
And to get “them” to become honest so that they too can become “us”. Then we all win. END
Steve Cook is the author of several works of fiction, non-fiction and verse. http://stevecookwriter.blogspot.co.uk He lives and works in England. He publishes the free satirical newspaper “The Daily Scare.” http://daily-scare.blogspot.co.uk His Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/stephencookwriter.