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One of the more serious problems that we have had in the western world over the past half century is our failure to see ourselves and our situation in any definable context, no American context, no larger cultural context. This essay helps provide that context in a way that also provides comprehension.
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Recently, several news analysts have referred to Obama's flip-flopping on FISA as "moving to the middle" (1) or "edging toward center" (2) or making a shift to the center" (3). I believe that this portrays a high degree of naivete in our news analysts, how unaware they are of the fact that the U.S. has a history and how unaware that their analyses need to be placed into historical and evolutionary context if truth is any objective of the analysis.
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Who pray tell is Obama trying to please while Hillary votes on FISA the way Obama should have voted? Its almost enough to make one wish that the "Boston Tea Party" being prepared by Hillary backers might come to pass at the upcoming convention.
This stance of the U.S. press, i.e., that Obama is moving toward the center, may be required under right wing dominion in keeping the peace with Old Testament Roman religion and Capitalism, both of which live in the "here and now" because neither of them can function within honest historical context. This is because of the fear that the people might learn and catch on to the despotism beneath the game. Neither religion or capitalism have anything to do with human rights and democracy and both of them have everything to do with the maintenance of western despotism and rule by the rich.
Being ignorant of all of this, neither the liberal or conservative press has a clue what is going on in the world and they are quite unable to provide the American people with useful knowledge in historical context that would allow the People to comprehend current reality. In doing so, they support the myth that there are two sides to every issue.
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I append a series of images which provide a reasonably accurate historical context since the beginnings of modernization in the U.S. These images are also available in QuickTime (.mov) format for a dynamic visualization of the "Body Politic" moving to the right over time.
The first era embraces the Industrial Revolution. Human progress came with the right of African Americans to vote thanks to Abraham Lincoln who made Thomas Jefferson into his personal hero. The latter portion of this era, say 1890 to 1920, became known as the Progressive era and women were also provided the right to vote.
Virtually all real human progress has emerged not from the liberal side or the conservative side of the American politic, but from those liberals with a progressive awareness that our Revolutionary Fathers did not give us a democracy fully-formed, rather they charged us with creating a better democracy and nourishing the idea, in Jefferson's words, "round the world".
Socialism began losing favor and removing itself from the public program during the 1920s and 1930s with America's military involvement in a new type of war, i.e., "World Wars".
Coming out of World War II, with the emergence of the "military-industrial complex" (Eisenhower warned us) and a burst of liberal effort in the 1960s, bipartisan capitalism was self-imposed on the U.S. across the board by conservatives in both political parties. The right wing had invented a new "American Way" dedicated to the pursuit of money and military.
The U.S. moved even further right under Reagan with his pandering to Old Testament religious believers such that religion was introduced back into the American politic, one of the things that Jefferson's separation of church and state was intended to avoid if not eliminate. In truth, of course religion and despotism are inseparable and go naturally with capitalism - the one justifying the other on the path to despotism.
Under the self-righteous Cheney-Bush CEO administration, the U.S. has fallen to a fascist corporate government that justifies itself, its lies, its corruption, and its incompetence with infallible and mindless Old Testament religion and the money-making glories of neoconservative corporate fascism without accountability. Religion and capitalism under this regime have made common sense, logic, and human reason entirely irrelevant to political discourse and life in America, thriving on secrecy, deceit and dishonesty. The right wing press happily provides this movement credibility by paying it attention and support.
In today's campaigning for Bush's replacement, when the U.S. press refers to Obama's moving to the "center", it has no idea what it is talking about. Currently, the perceived "center" is entirely right wing. The right wing in the U.S. has lured the body politic right off the right-side edge of the cultural game board, in keeping with western prophecy.
Democracy in the U.S. is quite dead at the moment. We no longer bear any relationship to the America that Jefferson and Franklin had in mind. We have fallen back to the British version (KJV) of Roman despotism to a degree greater than we suffered under British rule. No wonder the EU has lost much of its love for America. America has been overthrown by a religiously psychotic gang of overt criminals in the White House (4).
Leave it to the American press to miss all of this entirely. This again is a reflection of right wing belief, which ignores its own history, leaving it nothing to learn from, therefore no historical sense of purpose, just a persistent lust for riches and power, to live only in the "here and now".
Obama will not be able to do very much about this ultra right wing dominion. We have all went through this before under British dominion and the situation will necessarily have to come to resolution with the 2nd American Revolution. The People, the proper owners and controllers of America, have no other option but to once again wrest property and power away from the rich in making a return to a human rights-based democracy.
Actually, none of this talk of the "center" or the "middle" makes any "sense" within the context of democracy because there really is no such thing as the "center", i.e., "middle ground". The values of democracy are derived by the reasoned dialectic synthesis of feminine (Eastern) and masculine (Western) values such that human values transcend these culture-related opposing value systems. The only reason we have two sides to every issue in the U.S. and the western world is due to the influence of religion and capitalism, the justification and the means to despotic control over the People, neither of which give a damn for human rights and democracy.
Within the largest western context, which U.S. news analysts also avoid or know little about, is the millennial conflict between reason and religion that has defined the western world from the beginning. Many feel that this conflict will never be resolved. This is not true. The millennial conflict is very soon to be resolved for the duration. The Cheney-Bush escapade in neoconservative imperialism will only bring the world back to reason, with religion out of the picture.
Here is how it is to be resolved. As it turns out, the values of "nascent (before Rome) Christianity are entirely based in reason, precisely the same approach to thought used to derive the values of science and natural philosophy (5,6). Indeed, The values of nascent Christianity constitute the efforts of the Christ to bring reason into the human spiritual realm.
The values of science and natural philosophy are derived by dialectic synthesis of complementary value opposites. The very same approach is used to derive the values of nascent Christianity.
Realism is the dialectic synthesis of eastern "pragmatism" and western "idealism".
Freedom is the dialectic synthesis of eastern "harmony" and western "order".
Truth is the dialectic synthesis of eastern Family/Society and western "god"
Honesty is the dialectic synthesis of eastern "loyalty" and western "obedience".
Integrity is the dialectic synthesis of eastern "Relationships" and western "Image".
Consistency is the dialectic synthesis of eastern "comport" and western "conduct".
With regard to the values of nascent Christianity, we may consider that
Human is the dialectic synthesis of male and female.
Compassion is the dialectic synthesis of judgement and acceptance.
Healing is the dialectic synthesis of condemning and condoning.
Empathy is the dialectic synthesis of apathy and sympathy.
Fairness is the dialectic synthesis of hatred and love.
Justice is the dialectic synthesis of vengeance and forgiveness.
Human Rights are the dialectic synthesis of ethics and law.
None of us on this planet really have problems horizontally with each other. All of us have essentially the same vertical problems living under what is remains of ancient cultural despotism, east and west. All caring and thoughtful people, from Russia and China and India to Central and South America have a desire for human rights and democracy. Jefferson's "ball of liberty" has most certainly rolled "round the world" ... as he knew it would.
We have reached the fourth and final stage in the evolution of democracy which requires the creation of one People on one Earth under a global human rights-based democracy, the path to deity and heaven on earth provided by Jesus and Jefferson (5).
Think of it, People, the millennial dream for peace in this world come true. Pulling this off will require that all people learn about the origins of human rights on this earth. If you ask an educated person, you would likely be told that human rights originated during the EuroAmerican Enlightenment of the 18th century which ended with Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson was what one could refer to today as a Jesus freak but what made Jefferson so real is that Jefferson's Jesus was entirely human in thought and action and reachable by all. Jefferson relied almost entirely upon this human Jesus in coming to grasp the concept of human rights, best exemplified by the story of Mary Magdalene (5). Jefferson clearly viewed the Christ as the embodiment of human rights, the world's first global citizen, indeed, the Father of Human Rights.
Based on nascent (before Rome) Christian values, Jefferson was able to become the Father of American Democracy, intended to be bottom-lined in human rights, not in religious law. Fortunately, Jefferson had Franklin to help him with religion, so when Jefferson wrote in the Declaration that "we hold these truths to be sacred", it was Franklin who lined the words out and replaced them with one word, "self-evident".
This is a much better word to describe how human rights ought be seen by thoughtful and caring people. Jefferson, having written his own version of the Bible, minus any Old Testament content (because the Old Testament is entirely pre-Christian), was occasionally prone to religious language. God bless Franklin for bringing him back to earth.
All people of the world are going to have to come to the realization that the values of nascent Christianity are the values of Jefferson's democracy, that human rights are the only proper bottom line in human governments, that the man that they need not worship, the man to whom they need not pray, is only real when emulated in thought and action. We only need admire the very real and human Jesus who inspired Thomas Jefferson.
The conservative right wing in the western world is going to have to come to the realization that they have had it wrong all along, that no institution on earth knows less about Jesus than the Roman Catholic church, that no individual on earth knows less about Jesus than the Roman Pope Benedict. Certainly good Catholics do not want to be "fake" christians.
The Roman church has been dedicated to despotism at home and conquest away from home whenever possible whenever in power. The Roman church, in defining and thereby creating "evil," has been a seat of evil in the western world all along, by inspiring all manner of self-righteousness, e.g., slavery, and all manner of vengeance and belligerence - resulting in nearly two millennia of imperialism, colonialism and capitalism.
If reason is allowed to dominate the spiritual realm in providing a global human rights-based democracy, we are talking nothing less than the "second coming" of the Christ, a most proper ending and, at the same time, an entirely new beginning. The western circle will be closed in continuing a story without end. The People will not know whether to bless or blame the neocons for their contributions to the fulfillment of western prophecy.
Which means that we need to be concerned with the prophetic "end of times" for the western religions. Tom Engelhardt has recently posted an essay asking "Are Cheney's Iran Dreams Shattered ? (7). He concludes that Cheney's plans for a preemptive attack on Iran are likely shattered because launching an Iran attack would be against the will of the American people and would require approval of others in government, as if this would bother someone like Dick Cheney, an anti-Christ if there ever was one (8).
Again, this is just not the case. Cheney and Bush do not need to ask the People or any body of Congress for any approval at all. They merely have to encourage and nourish a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran. The U.S. would be instantly drawn into the middle of the conflict, Cheney's "dream" all along. The Cheney-Bush administration may not even have to do anything to further influence Israel. The wheels are likely already in motion (9) ... with White House approval (10).
In other words, in order to prevent the Cheney-Bush administration and Israel from launching the prophetic "end of times" for the Abrahamic religions (all three, i.e., Judaism, Romanism, Islamism) the people are going to have to be prepared to rise up in outright reason and human rights-based Revolution ... on the global stage, an activity that would constitute the "second coming" in the "will of the People" (6).
In other words, we are talking the emergence of Jefferson's God, human deity right here on earth whose purpose is the creation of Heaven on Earth ... for the duration. After the duration, millennia down the road, be assured that we will know what to do.
We are on the verge of millennial change on a global basis, People. Be prepared to make it happen.
The right wing in the U.S. will do everything possible to use fear to keep you from seeing the truth. They will, for example, tell you that the weakening of religious law and capitalistic legalism will lead to the absence of law and order in the U.S., that the U.S. would fall into anarchy. But, anarchy is not, as Americans have been led to believe, the absence of law and order. "Anarchy is the reciprocal of Tyranny" (11).
One can make a distinction, of course, between individual anarchy and collective anarchy. Individual anarchy has little historical precedent for long existence since a society in which every individual is out firstly for good old number one, "mano a mano", dog eat dog, would not long survive itself and would not even constitute a "society".
Indeed, contemporary crony corporate capitalism under the Cheney-Bush administration is about as close to an individual anarchy as it is possible to achieve in reality, with both rich and poor competing with each other in a "fixed" playing field over basic necessities. It is this inherently unfair individual anarchy that is justified and maintained with self-righteous Old Testament religion.
But Jefferson did not declare war on anarchy. He declared war on all forms of "tyranny over the human mind". In this sense, our Fathers were "intellectual" anarchists, having removed all authority from Rome. In a democracy, we replace tyranny with freedom - both freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
In other words, in the realm of religion, you and I have a right to believe any ridiculous dog sh*t that we want. In return for this freedom, we have an obligation to not impose one word of it on anyone else, hence the separation of church and state.
To place the highest emphasis on human values, human rights and human knowledge rather than on absolute law or absolute ethics is not to open the doors to anarchy, it is to close the doors to tyranny.
As for a collective anarchy, that has been an unspoken goal of the human mind in the western world for millennia. A collective anarchy is that glorious state of affairs that we reach when the people place human rights above all else and take control of their own government, "of, by and for" the people ... in the interest and name of the People.
IIn other words, a collective anarchy is not threatening at all to the People, except for those preferring Rome and the mindless Roman world view. So, don't be afraid of anarchy, People. It is better to be an anarchist than an anti-Christ, as exemplified by quiet "wolves in sheep's clothing," men like Dick Cheney and Pope Benedict.
1) Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post, June 30, 2008.
2) Analysis: Obama Edging Toward Center
Renee Montagne and Mara Liasson, NPR, June 27, 2008.
3) Explaining Obama's 'Shift to the Center'
Andrew Romano, Newsweek, Wednesday, July 09, 2008.
4) The Outlaw Presidency
Dan Froomkin, Washington Post, July 14, 2008.
5) Jesus, Jefferson and American Human Rights
Dr. Gerry Lower, Smirking Chimp, March 3, 2007.
6) Jefferson's God in "The Will of the People" : An American Theology
Dr. Gerry Lower, Smirking Chimp, November 27, 2007.
7) "Are Cheney's Iran Dreams Shattered?
Tom Engelhardt, Alternet, July 11, 2008.
8) The Dark Side: Jane Mayer on How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals
Eric Umansky, Alternet, July 17, 2008.
9) Israel Hints at PreEmptive Attack on Iran
Rupert Cornwell, Common Dreams, July 11, 2008.
10) President George W Bush backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran
The Sunday Times, July 13, 2008.
11) Anarchism, Legalism or Blessed Liberty
Dr. Gerry Lower, Jefferson's Eyes, Turtle Island Books, 2003
"Remember, then, that scientific thought is the guide of action, that the truth at which it arrives is not that which we can contemplate without error, but that which we may act upon without fear, and you cannot fail to see that scientific thought is not an accompaniment or condition of human progress, but human progress itself."
William Kingdon Clifford, 1845-1879
The author can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org