...they first make mad.
It happens to all of us. Whenever by good luck or by birth or by our living at the right moment in history we are doing well, we make two assumptions.
1. We did it all by our own merits and efforts.
2. And that god planned it that way, choosing us above others.
The British Empire was built on that thinking. Read British nineteenth and even twentieth century authors and you find the unconscious assumption that the British people were superior to all other. John Buchan, for example (former Governor General of Canada and author of The 39 steps) clearly saw Jews and Africans, at least, as people more primitive than the English and, therefore, quite justifiably under British rule. That was clearly God's will.
To do something against the imagined moral code of the British was to do something "not British". For a tribesman of the Sudan, therefore, to kill an English soldier was "not British". But for a British soldier to slaughter the people of the Sudan with the Maxim machine gun, well, that was just one more proof of British moral superiority.
Read Kipling's justification for the British pillaging of Asia and Africa in his advice to the US as the US began its exploitation of "lesser breeds". It's in a poem called The White Man's Burden. According to the poem, they were really taking the gold and diamonds of South Africa, using cheap labour in India to produce opium which they forced China to buy, and forcing the lesser breeds to work in dangerous conditions and at low pay. No. They were taking up god's command the British to serve those inferior people who would, of course, never be grateful.
So it was with all the European empires, and with the American one that followed them. American imperialism's major difference was that the sense that god had chosen America was and is stronger than it was in most of the European countries. The assumption that god has chosen the US to rule the world has permeated the US officer corps as much as it has many of the churches. And so chaplains pray with young men and women as they go out to kill and burn and torture.
God is convenient because the concept converts the world into two, simply defined groups. The good (us) and the evil (everybody who objects to us killing them.) If you want examples of that sort of thinking, read any news report in any North American newspaper. The choice of words almost always suggests that we are good, and they are bad. That is what has made it possible for the US government to create a police state. For Obama to break the law, to discard human rights. To kill and to torture is okay because "they" are evil, and we are the chosen of God. And that's why the police state has been spreading to Canada.
The form that madness takes gets worse with the power of those who control us. In the western world, that generally means big business. The pattern of madness that affects all of us affects them - but with more destructive results because of their greater power.
Fascinating to talk to such people. Their feeling toward fellow citizens of lower wealth is exactly the superior feeling that the empires had for their colonies. If you're poor or just middle class, you are obviously inferior to them. You're scum. You're lazy. You have no gumption. (Many years ago, I dated the daughters of some of those families. It was a real lesson in madness, hatred and ignorance.)
They assume that all their wealth is owing to their own brilliance and qualities of character - and they did it all by themselves. That's why they can get furious at any mention of taxes. That's THEIR money. They made it all by themselves And that was part of god's great plan.
They are superior. God intended that. And,therefore, they should rule. That's why you sometimes hear talk of one government for the whole world, with one dominant nation forcing its culture on all others. And the leaders of this world would be, of course, bankers and similar worthies.
That's the sort of arrogance that's a sign of the madness. It's the sort of arrogance that inspired Jim Irving to publicly announce a couple of years ago that he, though unelected, was declaring himself a member of the government. And Alward wimped it through.
I wish big business were as wise and as inspired by God as they often claim. Alas! Their criminal behaviour in banking has created the biggest economic crisis we have ever seen. Their madness in foreign affairs has led us from one disastrous war to another for some sixty years. ( and yes, those wars were very much fought to satisfy big business.) As for their greed in interfering in education (why does Jamie Irving spring to mind?) it has plunged American education back into the dark ages.It has just been announced that eighty percent of high school graduates in New York cannot read or do basic math well enough to handle courses at community colleges. So they first have to go through remedial courses.
The privatized public school (what the Irvings might like to call Public/Private/Partnership) have not only failed to perform for their own students; but their need for profit has forced governments to cut budgets for the real, public schools. It's a disaster for everyone.
That madness, manifesting itself in greed and incompetence, is what is bringing on the police state.
What is a police state?
It's a state in which the function of the police is not just to enforce the law, but to enforce the wishes of those that are power whether or not those wishes exist in any law. It manifests itself in spying on everyone -to control them. Even those who are simply exercising free speech find themselves coming under the power of the police state.
In the US, for example, at least a million people, probably many more, are not permitted to fly on the airlines. They have not committed any crime. But somebody, perhaps vindictively, sent in their name - probably anonymously, with an allegation without evidence.
I'm on at least one such list, Campus Watch. This is a group which publishes the names of anti-semites at universities. Their names and the names of their universities are collected by the government, and also supplied to corporations and the wealthy, advising them not to contribute to universities which have tainted people in them.
There is normally no evidence to the charges, and the person who makes the accusation is not reported. There is no crime, and no evidence of one. But it becomes something to be punished, anyway.
(I'm on the list because a friend of mine, a conservative and observant Jew who taught with me, was reported to Campus Watch as an anti-semite. I wrote to them, as I thought every professor in North American should have, to condemn what they had done. So they posted my name as an anti-semite, saying I had admitted it to them. - I don't worry about them. I'd be ashamed of myself if I had not written. There are some lists we should be proud to be on.)
The US has a massive domestic spying operation, tracking millions of citizens, perhaps tens of millions. Uncounted thousands of spies take material from their computers, check their mail, follow them, attach tracking devices to their cars, eavesdrop on their phone calls. All over the US, police forces are militarizing with heavier firepower. They exist not simply to enforce the law. Those people they're following haven't broken any law. The police are there not to enforce the law, but to impose the will of those the gods have made mad.
And some laws, some constitutional rights that protected freedom, have simply been scrapped. The president can now imprison and even order the assassination of people with no charge and no trial. That's a long way from the principles of the American Revolution.
It's been happening in Canada, too, for decades. The RCMP conducted years of investigation of Tommy Douglas, a Baptist clergyman and politician, though there was no possible reason to believe that he had ever broken a law in his life. But, worse than breaking a law, he had introduced medicare.And big business was not amused.
As you read this, CSIS and the RCMP are spying on environmentalists (occasionally using the word "terrorist" in connection with them.) This is worse than being an expensive idiocy. The RCMP and CSIS also meet with corporate polluters twice a year to tell them who the environmentalists are and what they're planning. That's not enforcing any law. That's giving control over Canadian society to big business. CSIS has also been know to cooperate with US officials in the torturing of Canadians.
And it's going to get much, much worse. Obama and Harper will be meeting soon to "coordinate" homeland defence. Coordinate. That means making Canadians, along with Americans, the most spied on people in the world. We can expect more secret lists, more spying on anyone who doesn't agree with the government and big business, and more American agencies moving some of their controlling apparatus up here.
This isn't something that's going to happen. It has happened. We, like Americans, are becoming prisoners in our own world. And to justify this destruction of democracy, our news media will continue to bombard us with stories of us (the good) and they (the evil, which means anybody in the way of western big business making even bigger profits.) And we will be taught to fear and hate the evil because the wealthy of this country will need our hysteria of fear and hatred as their excuse for throwing the rights of democracy out the window.
In this 21st century, everybody's a suspect - except the very wealthy who really run our governments.. And they, as they have already proven, are both incompetent and mad.