Sunday, January 31, 2016

As I said, Desperate People Do Desperate Things

And sometimes the most desperate are those in power; especially when they are seen as naked in the use of power.

The question we have to ask ourselves is what do we do about it, remembering that taking a too gloating, or righteous, attitude serves little purpose, other than to harden the circling of wagons to protect either the egos, and/or the cherished privileges of those who don't understand yet that they are cutting away at themselves even as the chop away at the rights of others.

We also have to remember that, though we may be doing a much better job of preserving the rule of law, we are by no means without sin in this matter. The privileged here, as well as the prejudiced, and willfully ignorant, avoid the full meaning of the rule of law a good deal more than a lot of us would like to admit.

We should also keep in mind that we are still a young nation; who in that youth wallows far too much in a culture of material excess that, in comparison to what the Chinese have given to humanity over considerably more centuries, isn't something we should be bragging too much on.

To be sure, there has also been a great deal of brutality connected with Chinese history, but that is for them to deal with. If we ever truly get our shit together in a comprehensively thoughtful and loving way, maybe then we can start dealing out with righteous judgements. But in that observation is there also the clue we need on how to proceed. I, for one, have to believe that any understandable criticisms we might want to make about what they do to their own citizens would carry a great deal more weight if we were fist already well down the road of living a better example of what enlightened social organization ought to be.

Let's be clear here. The Chinese are no more automatic monsters than we are. Any more than the Russians, or Syrians or Iranians, or whatever enemy de jour our leaders might want to provide focus to. They are humans subject to the same frailties, fears, pridefulness and temptations to extremes that we are subject to, and to which we succumb to our own ratio of shame.

As Gandhi said you have to be the change you wish to see made real in the world. And even as you aspire to live that change you have to understand that you will never eliminate the frailties that make people do things in very hurtful extremes. This is why he also said that such change comes only with great sacrifice. Sacrifice that will always be required to varying degrees.

Disappearances, Forced Confessions: China Targets Dissent