So much of my life was spent believing in a kind of American exceptionalism. An earned kind, where America’s fundamental nature was so different and new that it amounted to social innovation akin to the steam engine, and therefore, was exceptional.
But the more I learn from experience and disparate sources, the more I realize America is just another country, as petty and infantile as any in history with only a small margin of difference in which to play.
We are worse than some nations, better than others, as a whole, or on an issue by issue basis. But the behaviors school children typically would dismiss as things only other countries would do, like torture, hydraulic despotism, murder, rewriting history, etc, are well within the scope of action for our country.
And that’s not even touching on the mythology and lies about our founding. Or the causes of our various wars, or our behavior during them.
As time goes by I feel less like an American, and more oddly enough, like a Kentuckian.
Some have argued that slavery is defined by the ability of a slave owner to steal and sell children and that therefore wage slavery is a whiny emo term because McDonald’s can’t sell their employees children to Wendy’s. But the fact is the 1% DO buy and sell (y)our children because it saddles them with original debt and gives them a false choice every bit as loaded as the choice a slave faces: Suffer profitably for us, suffer punitively, or die.
I for example, having ethics and will power, decided while still a virgin to never have children until I could afford to have them as a free person. That means not being dependent on the whim of an employer or a public school system with regard to how that child develops. This is a freedom that actually only the very rich in today’s world have.
Virtually no one in the developed world has that freedom. And the few that potentially might, have been brain wiped by that same education system and media such that they think indenturing their children to this system is not only wise, but morally urgent. Many of the rich are keen to indoctrinate their larva, saddling them with a different kind of original debt.
Original debt is the original sin of the modern world’s church.
Children are born non-people (as proved by the facts that they can’t vote and they can legally be whipped at will virtually anywhere on earth) and they even if considered citizens would still be considered worthless because by default they are “uneducated.” Which as Frank Zappa and Ray Bradbury will tell you, just means mostly unburdened by student loan debt.
People of the bootlicking variety are keen to point out how awesome compulsory education is simply because it’s costly to impose but free for the victim. But that’s the first step of original debt. It’s the collective version of the cliche abusive guardian railing about how hard it is to feed/cloth a child, therefore they should be grateful and obedient.
Which would make sense to some degree if it was an actual choice for the ward. That lack of choice is the essence of slavery.
This concept of owing a debt to your owners flies in the face of any objective non-arbitrary definition of human rights because it attaches a price tag to being born as if it was a choice.
In a sense a pet literally has more choice because a dog or a cat actually can choose to leave and the result doesn’t necessarily mean torture and death, though for a pet deep in human controlled territory or a harsh setting it could mean that.
Put simply, I didn’t ask to be born. There are two ways generally you can parse that. You can either kill me when I don’t comply. (Amusingly acknowledged with the cliche threat, I brought you into this world I can take you out.) Or you can recognize that my being alive is a debt to be paid by someone other than me. In my case the debt is paid by my parents but this isn’t fair for several reasons. Firstly, all three of us live under government rule. They ultimately have authority over every aspect of our lives. I am not allowed to so much as build a fire in my front yard or dig a well without a permit. (They have literally gone so far as to demand I paint my house a certain color.) Thus I have been utterly stripped of any real ability to provide for myself independently.
Both for ethical reasons and for diversity reasons participation in the “job” market needs to be a real choice between two or more viable alternatives.
It is morally urgent for society to accept responsibility and allow for the choice to opt out. Anything else is by definition true slavery. I should as a human by default own a share of the planet’s value equal to it’s total value divided by it’s population. “The per capita PPP GWP was approximately US$12,400.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_world_product
If I were given that by default in exchange for playing by the rules, then we could talk about employment being a choice. We could then talk about capitalism in Horatio Alger pluck and determination terms. All the self improvement and ambition rhetoric would apply.
But it doesn’t so long as the choice is dental torture and slow starvation, or being a wage/debt slave.
If my “choice” is choose an owner, be it corporate, clerical, or government, or be homeless, excommunicated, or imprisoned, then I had about as much choice as the slave who could at best choose who caused their death, or which form of torture to endure.
Until it’s actually possible for someone to live in society at the expense of society as a kind of collective inheritance, then “citizens” are nothing but slaves, with varying degrees of perks.
This essay is a response to a picture posted of a solider crying over his baby. This photos was labeled “What love looks like.” Here is my response.
Uhhh, no, love is not putting yourself in front of a bullet for money or ego, doubly so when you have people depending on you. Triply so when the employment chosen is not only potentially lethal but murderous. When our country goes back on the meds and our solders get back to being defenders and not profit margin protecting assassins, then maybe that will change, until then, at best, this guy is a victim of a brutal scam or economic exploitation.
At worst he’s a sadistic thug.
“Service to our nation” is crap unless his primary jobs have been hurricane cleanup and the like, but given our military spending break downs, odds are his job has been to facilitate the murder of brown people with the express purpose of perpetuating what is rapidly becoming a holy war.
I am an American, and this service is NOT on my behalf. I will not be a party to littering a desert populated by (now parentless) children with over priced unexploded bomblets that happen to look like toys because defense spending lobbyists and blood thirsty and racist right wing politicians and soulless banking magnate arms dealers define foreign policy in this country and have managed to convince the weaker minded among us that blowing up those who are different, and who can often barely scrape up a glass of clean water, makes us tough.
Grow some spine people. Speaking out about this feel good crap for what is essentially advertising for something that is to put it mildly, ethically criminal, is our damn civic duty at this point. Especially since all this murder inc. garbage has gotten so out of hand its about to wreck our ability to keep the lights on.
Go find a picture of a fireman hugging his kid. Get doe eyed about that. Oh but that’s different, it’s not like running into a burning house is lethal. Oh wait. It COMPLETELY is. This kind of photo is just defense contractor P.R.
This crap makes me want to tear my hair out. It’s deliberately promulgated to make it seem as those being anti-murder is somehow anti-baby. “Awww isn’t she cute! I better vote for the guy that wants to raid the social security budget for another shipment of predator drones.”
“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” ~Albert Einstein
If you’re actually capable of being a solider you’re damn sure capable of being a fireman, or an EMT or something, anything, else.
This attitude that it doesn’t matter how evil you have to be to make sure your family has money is about as ethically bankrupt as “I was just following orders.” Getting money when you’ve abandoned ethics is a cake walk, whats really hard is doing it and keeping your soul at the same time. Lets see some photos of the guy that’s a career janitor or a career trash man hugging his kids.
Life isn’t a fucking action movie.
Just because you’re profit sharing with an infant doesn’t mean you’re by definition doing good. Especially if your job is ultimately to facilitate killing people, including someone else’s infants.
This crap makes my blood boil. I can’t imagine how that kid is going to feel when she finds out what was done in her name. I almost hope she’s successfully indoctrinated by then just to spare her the guilt of breathing and the shame of being an excuse for murder.
And all that’s on top of the injustice perpetrated by the system that would take a father away from his family and send him into the desert to murder people. It’s like all these religious fanatics that say “Thank god, it’s a miracle!” when a truck load of orphans explodes and one manages to crawl from the burning wreckage instead of “Fuck god for letting a truck full of orphans explode!”
We let the country, which exploits loyalty and patriotism to protect a profit margin and an exploitative way of life, rip away that father from his child and then get all misty eyed and patriotic when someone manages to survive and someone snaps a photo of him given back what was in effect stolen.
How many rich people’s kids are in Afghanistan or somewhere similar right now? Yeah, that’s what I thought, it’s always poor people’s kids that gotta step in front of the bullet or worse drop a bomb on a terrorist training facility (or pre-school, whatever, same dif, right?)
You care about this country? You care about soldiers? You care about children? Then elect someone that will bring them home RIGHT FUCKING NOW!
How about we use all that money to build some schools and hospitals and solar facilities and water purification facilities and farms.
Wake up. Shit like this has let people with the morals of a roundworm turn this country into the bad guy.
The only silver lining is that if we don’t fix it and I mean damn quick it will economically implode anyway.
On this father’s day, I’d like to take a moment to briefly challenge the world and to make my position clear for peer (and not so peer) review.
Put simply I think the civil rights division of children and adults needs to be in spirit abolished.
There is a false dichotomy implicit in the assumption that children must be treated as property or allowed to destroy themselves and society with complete freedom.
I believe that a person should be born a full and complete citizen of the species with all the default human rights and liberties. Not as an infant, property of parents and the state for some arbitrary time.
So what is the alternative?
Simply treat them exactly as we treat newly awakened coma patients with good prognosis.
Think about what a coma patient is. A blank adult. An adult in need of orientation and (re)education.
Functionally and qualitatively I can see no substantive difference between such an adult and a child. The legal frame work is already in place.
There are guardians with enhanced temporary authority, but ultimately the patient in question is still a person. No one has the right to beat them, or arbitrarily control them. Their treatment must always take into consideration their default rights as human beings.
This is exactly how children should be treated because that is exactly what a child is.
A coma patient isn’t assigned a religion, or a social role, they are given empowerment and choice. They are protected from themselves but that protection ends not on an arbitrary date, but based on objective criteria of development and ability.
Explain to me if you can how the current treatment is ethically or functionally superior.
We don’t need schools, we need habilitation facilities and libraries. The term for this in one case is particularly brilliant.
The Awakening Unit of the St John the Baptist Hospital, Rome, Italy. Which opened in 1997, has the usual radiology and diagnostic equipment for assessing patients with head and brain injuries, and those in a coma. But also the medical staff specialize in rehabilitation, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, aimed at helping patients to recover from their injuries.
Instead of raising children, we should Awaken them.
The future could be so wonderful. If only I could make you see.
I’ll spare you the links you wouldn’t click anyway.
Monsanto is the problem, not fucking science and technology and innovation, you ignorant Luddite shit heads.
GMOs are just another path to better food organisms. Less messy, less wasteful, infinitely better potential. It’s agricultural science, not black fucking magic you dimwitted serfs.
Anti GMO whiners need to give starvation a stab. 80% of what people eat is lethal in the long term anyway. Not to mention the fucking air. And you’re all apparently perfectly cool with that.
Start actually treating death like the fucking enemy and then maybe your face noises will be worth parsing as something of value.
I have yet to meet a GMO hater that didn’t reject efforts to end aging and death and pain anyway. Which means you’re all pampered control freak hypocrites. You’re cool with people dying of poverty and starvation you just don’t want them having the option of dying a little later from cancer instead.
If I was starving to death and the only fish I could find had mercury in it, I’d eat. Your collective ability to turn up your nose at perfectly edible food means you’ve never even come close to having to do without.
Sick and fucking tired of pandemic psychopathy and narcissism.
They whine about the science not being in, but I don’t care because the contrast material here is fucking starvation.
These people are obviously terrified by GMOs and your position is one of FUD (ironic) propagation.
Right now somewhere someone is not allowed to work on a species of wheat/corn/rice/soy that is 100X better at feeding the world than our current best is because asshole cowards with full refrigerators are scared shitless of black magic.
And yes yes I know he didn’t use GM, but he manufactured a species to spec as best he could with the crude and slow tools at his disposal, and when he got even a modest bit of success he spent his life spreading that invention all over the planet.
Imagine what he could have accomplished with modern GM tools and techniques?
Modern GMOs are made to secure profit margins, not end starvation and that’s a patent and policy problem, not a problem with the technology.
A GM lab headed by someone like Norman could literally end starvation.
Imagine a life form that grows like kudzu but anywhere on anything and produces nutritionally complete fruit/flesh? That’s just off the top of my head as one possible end goal.
“I see a lot of the things you post. There is always a negative “poor me” spin on it.”
This is just one example of something I get privately a lot.
I resent having my pain trivialized simply because I may have less of it than you. Also of course the suffering of males is completely socially irrelevant. I am expected to “man up” and pretend that suffering is something only weaker other males experience.
Many with objectively worse luck than me resent me for experiencing pain from a position of lesser pain than theirs. How dare I experience suffering without having cause equal to theirs?
Impact bias and hope forces all who suffer to project on anyone who suffers less than they as living a life in the constant state of joy we ourselves would (wrongly) expect to experience if suddenly elevated to that state.
The reality is far more terrifying and far less satisfying as should be obvious from the evidence, yet the brain ignores evidence, hence the many cognitive fallacies to which we are susceptible.
“What are you looking for? A giggling glitter girl or a woman you is going to challenge your reality and hold you accountable for your own happiness?”
Being “accountable” for “happiness” is just concept which allows you to blame the victim and dismiss the suffering of others.
Older women often resent young healthy (sexy) women for being desired more than they, despite the strong belief that they are superior and that beauty cannot possibly come with intelligence or wisdom. They look back on their “mistakes” (by which they so often mean failure to parley temporary beauty into more lucrative contracts) and they assume that all young women are stupid for not sharing their bitter mercenary outlook.
They also often choose to scold men for their desire, as if wanting a young and fit mate is both a choice, and a sleazy personal flaw. As if a more healthy and righteous choice would be to sexually desire decay and age.
This is a defeatist attitude. Aging itself is the enemy, not those who select against it.
Monogamy forces women to be sex objects and men to be walking tax returns for the purposes of attracting a mate because it always makes sense to sort by the rarest traits first when sifting a large set for a single best choice.
The fact is that minds are somewhat software. As a successful monogamous male it simply makes sense to sort the potential mate pool, since you know each will force you to disclaim all others on par with enforced monogamy, by youth and sex appeal.
The crass fact of the matter was best summed up by the following quote:
“You can teach them to type, but you can’t teach them to grow tits.” ~Charlie Wilson’s War
It’s amusing because some of these women also often point out that over time they learned to become these internally superior creatures. But if that’s true, if I know that sexy little (apparently stupid) things turn into deep, wise, (and sexually unappealing yet somehow superior and more fulfilling) things with time then why would I skip that phase? Put simply, if life is going to teach you to type anyway, why not demand tits up front? (Pun intended.)
The problem is that while money piles up, if you ever had it, beauty (for now) always fades. The snide comment above, who’s source I am obviously not revealing, betrays a common false dichotomy. I see in it raging envy. Which I understand and which I recognize as a choice, and as a wound.
Granted, rarely does youth come with genius and wisdom, but life, as we should have noticed by now, is not fair. (Karma is a myth, and there is no god. That people still believe is a testament to our ability to ignore evidence.) The fact is that some very few people, are genetic lottery winners. As well as being physically astonishing they are equally mentally amazing.
There are people better than you by your own standards. (David Pierce is a better human than me, point blank.) And people who have better luck than you suffer also because the entire game is rigged. This is why hate and vengeance are futile. The solution is to change the system, and aid the life and joy of ALL humans without exception. (Trolly problems and quarantine exceptions of course not withstanding, so long as death and pain are lords of life, sometimes, far more rarely than we pretend, death and pain must be deployed to serve life and joy.)
This is why I don’t hunt billionares for sport/fun despite the harm they do merely existing. As a primate, I obviously want to. Bashing a predator with a rock is genetically satisfying. But as an intelligent primate, I know not to use a rock, and I know that even if I did, that wouldn’t solve the actual problem.
The solution is not to scold and try to force those whom you resent to live in guilt and reverence, that will never happen and it is beyond them, at best you could force them to fake it while you are around.
The general solution is to attack suffering and death at the root until what remains is tolerable to all.
“They could be shown the mastery of their minds and bodies, so that they could achieve the full expression of their powers, not spend their lives like ineffectual ghosts trapped in a marvelous machine beyond their skill to operate. They could break the domination of pain, so that it became a sentinel and not a tyrant, sending messages which the rational mind could accept or ignore as it pleased. Above all, they could choose to die only when they wished; they would be shown the many paths that led beyond the grave, and the price that must be paid for immortality in all its forms. A vista of infinite time would open up before them, with all its terror and promise. Some minds could face this, some could not; here was the dividing line between those who would inherit the universe, and those who were only quick-witted animals.” ~Arthur C Clarke (Via character.)