Thursday, July 28, 2011

52 - The Devils in our Midst (with condolences to the Norwegians)

The All Seing Eye of Horus
Extremists, fundamentalists, bigots, fools of all stripes, creeds, ideologies and excuses, are indeed the devils in our midst. They are all contemptible and a danger to any civilized society.
Religious, political or other creeds have always been a part of mankind’s   psychological makeup. When limited to the personal sphere and to peaceful social groups, respectful to the rights of others, they are not only inoffensive but can be an useful part of the process of social integration and participation in a democratic process.
The problems start when, to use a seasonal analogy, the groups of innocent grasshoppers become plagues of invading locusts, destroying everything in their wake. This is the dark side of human nature and happens in all societies, parts of the world and historical times. For that metamorphosis, the killer ingredient is the illusion of having a special mandate (my book has the word of a unique god), of being chosen, better than the common populace (all the others are my enemies), of righteousness (all the others will be damned), or the uniqueness of a social doctrine (all other ideologies are wrong).
To simplify a long history of mayhem, let’s just remember that the Jews annihilated all the tribes they could conquer, the Christians produced the Inquisition, the Moslems use assassins and suicide bombers to kill enemies and innocents, the communists and fascists mass murdered millions in concentration camps. And so on.
Unfortunately, still today the religious and political fundamentalists are hard at work making life miserable to all those just trying to mind their own lives and extract whatever peaceful happiness they can summon.
The religious fundamentalists of several creeds can forget their differences and coordinate efforts to kill all help programs that include family planning and birth control, thus contributing to keep women chained and ignorant. Then, they all hypocritically blackmail the public with harrowing images of children’s destitution. 
Those are the children that often neither their families, nor their countries, have the means to feed. Excess population that overcrowd developing societies and destroy all possibilities of economic development to raise them out of poverty.
In time, of course, some of them look for a better life in other countries, either the neighboring ones or the developed ones, and in all of them they are resented by part of the native population.
On the other side of the spectrum, the politically fundamentalist but pragmatic Chinese, in a hurry to save their despotic regime, instead of educating the population and giving them the means to make their own decisions, imposed the law of one-child per family. They are developing the economy all-right and enriching the state, by this meaning mostly the party nomenklatura and associates. Poverty is also being slowly reduced, but from what trickles down from the mandarins’ tables.
Then there are the ignorant and the stupid, who take violent or destructive actions, intended, according to their deviant minds, to awaken their nation to perceived threats, to expel invaders, to change the world. Among the ignorant are those who believe in the genetically impossible concept of racial purity. In general and ironically, they are either the most exotically mixed mongrels, or the most isolated dead-end aberrations of the human wanderings. Among the stupid, are those who grow into the age of adults without evolving the mental capacity to distinguish between children’s tales, fantasies, games and the hard facts of reality.
These are some of the devils in our midst. There are of course many others. Every society, as an obligation to survive, has to command the most effective means it can muster, in order to find, control, exorcise or destroy them, all for the common good.


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