Saturday, 26 January 2013

IF - Auschwitz & UAS

So why are 1 in 8 of us living with the pain of hunger?  1 in 8 - is that all?  I think someone is messing with the figures.  Of course 'the pain of hunger' is a consequence of deprivation and poverty.  The effects of poverty are far more than 'the pain of hunger'.  Poverty disables people not only in body but in mind and spirit as well.

Unfortunately most of us tolerate the most fundamental evils in this world for our own comfort and convenience.  Most of us live our day to day lives allowing the voices of our culture, the journalists, the teachers the lawyers and politicians to spout such overtly contradictory nonsense because we would be devastatingly abused if we objected.  It becomes a compulsion, an irrational need.  In fact it can be compared to the apparent stupidity of drug addiction or the abused wife clinging on to her abusive husband.  Why do we allow this nonsense;  And non-sense is exactly what it is!

Survival!  That is what it seems to be about.  We need to survive because that is what we are doing as children.  We learn to live in the contradictory environment of our childhood.  We all know that most of the teachers and parents spouted contradictory nonsense but we think that was because it was 'in our interest'.  I have heard too often people justifying the nonsense spoken by teachers in particular.  How, exactly, was it 'in our interest'?  The presented imagined case is that there is no other way.  One can dream up any number of examples;  A child reports that someone has hit them.  "Don't tell tales."  The child explains that the teacher's instructions are contradictory.  "Don't get clever!"  Another classic is the one that goes "This is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you."  And the case of the teacher getting angry and threatening the child commanding that they stop bullying.

If the authorities actually made an effort to be logical and reasonable and consistent they would learn and the situation would improve.  So why don't they?  Because they believe they have no choice.  "If I didn't discipline the children they would run amok."  The only reason the children would 'misbehave' is because they have been denied the opportunity to learn how to behave.  They have been beaten, intimidated or threatened in some other way to do what they are told.  The real lesson they learn is that telling other people how to behave is the way to get on.  And they spend a large part of the rest of their lives doing just that and thinking that if you don't 'teach' children the difference between right and wrong they simply wouldn't know.

We are all in this soup.  The really frightening thing is that the most powerful and influential cultures on the planet are causing so much harm it is almost incomprehensible.  Paradoxically it is those very cultures which are advancing our understanding of human psychology and healthy emotional living.  But the pain continues.  It seems quite urgent to me that things change very quickly.  But bringing up generations of humans in a healthy emotional environment seems to require that the 'adults' already here are emotionally healthy and that is clearly not the case.

What set me off on this train of thought was the IF campaign.  They have launched with this video called "Enough Food For Everyone IF"

It suggests:
IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land and use crops to feed humans not cars,
IF we give enough aid to stop children dying of hunger and help the world's poorest feed themselves,
IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries,
IF we force governments & companies to be honest and open about their actions that stop people getting enough food...

That we could end hunger on the planet.  Unfortunately that, wonderful though it is, is naive in the extreme.  You cannot 'force' people, companies or governments to be 'good'.  We simply have the wrong paradigm.  Look at the WikiLeaks affair.  The only changes likely to come about from the ideas of this IF campaign are that the governments, companies and individuals will learn how to lie better and present their (self serving) case as being in line with the ideals.

You cannot 'force' people to live in peace and harmony.  Force, as such, IS the problem.  We have to 'allow' governments and companies to do the right thing.  We have to stop the punitive attitude.  We have to devise ways whereby it is advantageous and profitable to do the right thing.  Charities are an abomination.  That we have to make special concessions to allow people to be helpful is a damning indicator of the kind of culture we have developed.  It should be profitable to look after other people.  In fact it IS profitable to look after other people by nature but we have created a culture to warp and abuse that very natural state of affairs.  What it really boils down to is that we must really do the right thing in spite of the fact that it is not always the easiest or the most 'profitable' thing for us just now.

These thoughts took me to the current controversial news item regarding David Ward (Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East) and his comments on his web site about the Israelis and the Palestinians.  What he said was:

"Having visited Auschwitz twice - once with my family and once with local schools - I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."

Which is a reasonable, compassionate and accurate comment.  In fact it is the sort of truthful observation that we should all be making.  But he has been seriously reprimanded by his party for making such a statement.  Why?  Because it is undiplomatic I guess.  This is a salient example of how we maintain the illusion and lies that the Emperor is wearing such beautiful clothes.

I know it is difficult to face the truth in this culture of ours.  We have the most perverse way of blaming the victim or the messenger, anyone but the perpetrator, of the crime.  I have written about a mental condition that I call Uncle Adolf Syndrome and this is a perfect example of UAS in action.

Maybe, at the heart of the problem, lies the natural human survival instinct to side with the stronger guy.  Maybe there is nothing we can do about it.  Except, of course, there is.  We can start BEING the stronger person and start looking after the less fortunate and the less strong.  It is a complicated world but unless WE do something to change the primitive culture that we live with it will sort itself out without us.

We have to STOP the lies and self-deception.  I support the IF campaign but it is not enough to pursue those objectives we all have to stop accepting the utter garbage we are fed by governments and companies.

'nuf said - goodnight!

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