The Royal Caribbean Independence Of The Seas is a magnificent ship. From the moment you come on board till the last minute when you are transferred to the airport its management mechanism works like a clockwork: it maintains the environment of the total pampering, a flower of entertainment, everyday events defined and specified in the daily newsletter, every hour filled with something new and exciting. Just relax, stop thinking and worrying and obviously, try not to interfere with the navigation and your food is guaranteed. And if you want some solo stuff- alcohol is there for you as well as rock climbing and flow ride to feel that you still are something, In sorts, the ship is 180- degrees opposite to its name- it is a Dependence Absolute, a Conditioned Human Farm where we all get about 5-10 pounds fatter and loose our fears. I would not be surprised if in the last port we all would be delivered to some Caribbean Morlocks as a food and RCCL would emerge as some kind of a cannibalistic freighter. That got me thinking about independence and the US unholy crusade against it.
Lo and behold I visited the ship’s library and discovered a very interesting book by the US historian Marc Pegg ‘The Most Holy Crusade’ on the Crusade against the Albigensians in 1209-1229. In that book Mr. Pegg debunks a very ancient myth about the existence of some mysterious Cathar sect in the Southern territories of Provance and Languedoque, the sect which apparently took over people there and introduced its own way of life, highly contradictive to Christianity. According to Mr. Pegg that sect never existed. Instead Pope Innocent III unleashed the crusade against …an independent way of life, the ‘heresy of the good men’. Apparently the people in the South, the ones living in the County of Toulouse developed their own way of interpretation of Christianity. According to them piety could be achieved by anyone through following the way Christ lived. They created communities, guided by cortezia, that is the set of the behavior norms and those norms were promoted by special people, called good people. Those good people could be men, women, old, young, even children. Good person was revered for the way of life. There was nobility in those lands and peasants too but cortezia dictated that they all should obey a set of unwritten rules and according to those rules a peasant could be as honorable as a noble one. Priests were rather poor there because they were a part of the community, not some agents of the papacy. All-in-all the Albigensians had developed a prequel to the early idealistic Protestantism. And they stood on the solid grounds about it. That made them the most horrible enemies of the Catholic Church which in those times was something like a US of the Middle Ages. No, really. In those times the Church was the primary aggressive force. It had lands, money and enormous clout over the rulers of other lands. Pope decided everything. He was the highest authority on all the deeds in the Western Christendom using both the stick and the carrot- the power of the blessing and excommunication. Reminds you of something very modern? Of course, it was in fact the fist global corporation in history, the one which needed to expand its market share (nee religious flock) and used the powers of the ruling elite, their armies to eliminate any competition. As its product was spiritual in nature it attacked especially viciously any different interpretation of Christianity, in essence destroying any spiritual independence.
Pope Innocent III proclaimed those people ‘closet heretics’, for the first time unleashing Christians against Christians, formulating the necessity to exterminate the people of the same kind as agents of spiritual plague, telling the members of the Army of God that they in fact were performing a joyous duty by killing ALL those people. That was an ideology of genocide, formulated long before Rosenberg in Nazi Germany and before the PNAC project. But if you now look at the PNAC you will recognize the Innocent ‘s handwriting all over that document comprised now predominantly by Jews. What an irony! In 1209 the papacy was securing its monopoly on Jesus; in the 21st Century a group of mediocre ideologists promoted the idea to secure the US monopoly on democracy and happiness. And the outcome was very much the same: as in 1209-1229 the bloody crusade resulted in thousands of people dead, cities burned down and the whole culture destroyed- in the Y2000-2008 about a million people were killed, cultures destroyed and desperation ruled. Pope Innocent died before the crusade ended and so did Simon Monfort and many other primary figures. The current enablers are much more smarter- they live and prosper and give speeches and they have no shame: they evolved.
But why only them? Look at the international institutions like IMF or World Bank. No one is appalled anymore by their practice of imposing conditions on their clients: if you want our money you have to change your way of life. Think about it. Imagine you asking for a loan and the bank suddenly specifies that besides the regular payment you better wear only one type of clothes, marry a certain type of woman, have at least 3 kids, have no dog, do not smoke, etc. etc. How would you react? Burn that bank down, I suppose. At least you would decide that the bank people went nuts. But that’s exactly what the people in IMF and World Bank do all along and no one says anything; this practice had become acceptable.
The goal of that war on independence is now to preserve the human world for the corporate pillaging. Unlike Innocent III they do not care about the spirit very much. They care about buying, People have to buy the designated things, some have to buy gold, some have to buy their own water, some have to buy armaments and some have to buy bullshit. International institutions had replaced an Army of God and if necessary they can be supported by a real army with missiles, tanks and Marines. Those armies serve the private interests and … bad luck for you, Serbia, too bad for you, Iraq, sorry that we had to destroy you, Afghanistan. You, folks all were closet heretics- you dared to live your own way, buy what you wanted or buy nothing, sing your own songs and do what you please. That’s heresy. That’s ‘worse than the Jews’ as Innocent III proclaimed. That’s a threat to the very Mammondom we, the corporate souls are building. Off with you and onward, Christian soldiers!
The parallels are stunning. In the Y1209 someone killed the Pope’s messenger in Provence. Immediately Pope called for the crusade. In the Y2001 someone attacked the US on 9/11. Immediately, without any investigation US unleashed war on Afghanistan and Iraq. Soldiers of the Simon Monfort’s Army of God killed so many people in Bezier and Carcasson that as they joked, they could open a butcher-shop. If only could they see the results of the Shock and Awe, the Gaza carnage or the bombardment of Belgrade. I bet they might consider that the Devil himself had descended on the Earth. They were simple people after all.
Independence, what is the essence of it? Our Founding Fathers defined that with great eloquence in their Declaration. In the quote above they declare the separation from their British brethren while standing on equal grounds. That’s the key- equality. Independence and equality are inseparable. The deep cause for the American Revolution was not the economic expansion and middle class flourishing. The deep cause was the omnipotent spirit of equality, the desire to treat the British as brothers, not masters. Equality though enrages the powerful. How dared the good men of Provence argue with the papal messengers insisting on their version of Christianity? How dared the Taliban demand a solid proof of the Bin Ladin’s guilt? How dared Saddam Hussein denounce the WMD version? How dared Russia counterattack the future NATO member Georgia? How dared they? There are people in charge, those are us, and there are people who must do as they are told- those are them. That’s our tough love philosophy, isn’t it? That’s our Smart Power message.
Smart Power we call ourselves through Hillary Clinton. That is we talk to you, convey our intentions for you softly first. But if you tell us to go to Hell or just ignore us, our interests, our corporations, our love, our embrace, if you are indifferent or hostile or whatever not ready to subjugate- we will use our Power with all we’ve got. That’s the message. We will blockade you for 50 years like we did to Cuba or make your life a living Hell like we did to Gaza or unleash a barrage of dogs at you like we did to Russia or build a wall between us like we did with Mexico or plot a vicious plot against you like we did with Chile. But if you subjugate- in the longterm future we promise you a Royal Caribbean life-all amenities included if only you do not think and do not interfere with the navigation. You will have everything to satisfy your immediate needs.
King Lear in the play by Shakespeare explains to one of his evil daughters that to have only the necessities would be to live a life of animal. Human needs more, needs extra. Same message is delivered in the Star Trek, Next Generation. When Locutos, a Borg asks Worf, the Klignon why he resists the Borg assimilation which will benefit the ‘lifestyle’ of all species, Worf immediately answers, ‘I like my species the way it is.’ And that brings us to a very important issue- the issue of the American Arrogance.
Arrogance and Stupidity are the unholy sisters. In no way the people of the US are better than others. Neither are they smarter or more ingenious. They are the same. The perpetual pumping of the poison of Arrogance into them just made them, us, more stupid. Now we are stupid and arrogant. We speak of what we could do to others, we speak about Smart Power. Instead we have to understand for our own sake that the only people we can do something to are us. If we concentrate on ourselves, on our problems and our vices we will show the whole world that equality we all crave. E pluribus unum- One out of many – means- we stand all equal. Only in equality we can be cognitive, in mutual respect we can survive, in acknowledging the honor, the cortezia of our neighbors can we earn their trust. We must stop the Unholy Crusade and instead –open our hearts. That would be an act of the Wise Power- something which we all pursue and which so far had eluded us all since Y1209. Check your navigation, folks. Direct the ship to the right port. It is time.