Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 13: A Slack Day

No. Don't go to this site yet. You have to be patient until May when this article is scheduled to appear.  I shall be watching for it, too.

Meanwhile, the National Observer also has an interesting tale about Kevin O'Leary, TV star, and the man who is touting  himself to be leader of the federal Conservative Party in Canada; and his pitch is heavily based on his 'incredible' success in business.

and also -
The latter of these stories illustrates the great dangers (in fact, suicidal dangers) of allowing private business anywhere near our schools. Private business exists for the sole purpose of making profit. It does not exist to educate the student or to cure the sick of even to create jobs. In fact, we have watched the wars of big business kill children and destroy their schools, destroy hospitals, create death by starvation, and lower living standards all over the world and often to poverty in order to make profits. In fact, a strong record in business is commonly a warning bell about a politician.
All of this, in mixed-up way, got me wondering about why the Kevin O'Learys of this world think themselves to be qualified to lead a society.  (Think Donald Trump.) Or why they think the support of billionaires qualifies them to lead. (Think Hillary Clinton.)

I grew up in a decidedly lower class of society. But there were people we regarded as even lower than us. Irish-Catholics were in that category. Our French neighbours often regarded us with dislike because, as everyone knew, all English in Quebec were rich; and all French were poor. They called us 'les riches Anglaises' though we were probably the poorest family on the block. And, amazingly enough, I can remember my grade four teacher telling us, a class dressed in rags and hand-me-downs, that we were superior to the French because we had better business minds.

All of my adult life has been spent groping through the strange and belittling lands of the new social classes I had moved into   - always concious that I didn't deserve to be among them. Where do we get these ideas of social class and of superiority and inferiority?

Actually, it's a variant of racism.
When we go out to kill people, or to enslave them, we need an excuse to justify what seems like a defiance of our religious beliefs - whatever those beliefs must be. What can justify that?

It's obvious, those we kill or enslave are not people like us. They are inferior. So it's okay to kill or enslave them. That's why George Washington, the great fighter for equal rights, kept hundreds of slaves. That's why it was okay for his white overseers to regularly lash them to keep them obedient.

That's in no way different from today's slaughters in the middle east. These people are not real humans like us.

The system works even when the other side might look like real humans just like us.  In the 1930s, Hitler's political and social views were very similar to those of the British and Americans and Canadians. All were anti-semitic. All saw Soviet communism as a great threat to our capitalist Christianity. That's why our leaders, especially our business leaders, happily supported Hitler and Mussolini.
But then, Hitler became a threat to British business. So, in our press, the Germans had to become an inferior people so we could kill them without regret. So we fell behind the line that Germany had invaded poor, little Belgium - nicely ignoring the fact that poor, little Belgium had murdered and tortured and looted the Congo in an orgy that goes on to this day. The also ignored the fact that the British and French had been killing and looting all over the world for centuries. Later, they accepted American intervention with no qualms. This was an America that had looted and killed (and still does) all over South American and Asia.

The belief became thoroughly racist when Germans were denounced as racially evil - so we felt thoroughly justifed in bombing civilians and in murdering a couple of million after the war was over.
Social class seems to work in much the same way. The upper levels of society live off the work of the lower levels. The early aristocracy of Europe lived off the peasantry. The peasantry, for all our chatter about knights, also did most of the fighting and dying. And, while alive, they lived in dreadful conditions.
How to justify that? The same way our wealthy do. The wealthy have a right to command because they are born into an atmosphere that encourages them to believe they have a unique talent for leadership. Commonly,  the wealth and the talent and leadership are actually inherited. So that  leaves us with an essentially racist concept of society. The rich are rich because they are intellectually superior to us. And that superiority, like that of the old British aristocracy, is a racial quality. It's inherited.

The old aristocracy lost its superiority (though not its arrogance) well over a century ago. One of the few reminders of it is a royal family which, though always plagued by mental problems and low intelligence, still lives in a style that billionaires can only envy.

What we are watching now is a rise of the new aristocracy, an aristocracy of family wealth that, like the old aristocracy, commonly inherits its wealth without the necessity to be either intelligent or  mentally capable. Like the old aristocracy, they were born with the right to rule. It is also hostile to democratic government and to the will of 'the people'. That's why a recession is always the fault of the poor. That's why the wealthy should control control schools and hospitals and everything else. That's why the aristocracy buys the politicians but, at the same time, has contempt for them.

These attitudes are all reflected in the columns of Norbert Cunningham.
Essentially, this is a racist viewpoint. The rich have a right to be rich because they were born that way. The rest of us are lower types of people and, therefore, can be abused and neglected with no violation whatever of Christian conscience.
Think back - it must be five years ago, now, that Mr. Irving wrote a commentary in his newspapers that he was in coalition with the government. Coalition. That means to be a member of the government without being elected or even asked.
What would be the reaction if you or I wrote such an outrageous claim? What it means that Mr. Irving feels he has a right to be a member of the government because - he was born with that right, just as first sons of aristocrats are born with a right to sit in the House of Lords. Just as Edward VIII, a retarded one even by royal family standards, had a right to be king.

Even later members of the aristocracy took it as their born right to be leaders - because they were born superior to other people.  In the First World War, Churchill left the government to serve in Belgium. Now, Churchill had very limited military experience. He was undoubtedly courageous. But the army had no high opinion of his military smarts. In fact, Britain's best Field Marshal had to spend the whole of World War 2 watching Churchill to make sure he wouldn't do anything foolish.

But Churchill was a son of the aristocracy. Therefore, he felt, he had a right to be made a general in WW1. He was highly indignant when they made him a mere colonel.

This mix of racism and privilege by birth has been common throughout history as an excuse for abusing and exploiting people. It's what created the Neros of the ancient world and the Hitlers of the modern world. (And there have been more Hitlers in the modern world than we care to remember.)

You can see it today in the American feeling toward Muslims. The hatred comes from fear of what Muslims might do to them. But most Americans have no sense whatever of what they have done to Muslims. That's common with our sense of superiority that makes our killing perfectly justifiable, in fact, not even discussed
 as a factor in what's happening. But if Muslims shoot back? Well, then they're attacking God's super race.
Perhaps I should send this as a sermonette to the Faith Page. Yesterday's Faith Page was back to normal. It seems that if you're afraid of flying, Jesus will comfort you.  If I really, really believe in Jesus, will that improve my cooking?

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