Sunday, October 21, 2007

What will you do when push comes to shove?

Sooner or later, every person in this country who espouses liberal/progressive values is going to have to take an arduous trip. Every person who respects life, who has a profound sense of right and wrong, who simply can't stand unfairness, intolerance, and injustice, who considers deceit and dishonesty to be abhorrent, who understands the evil inherent in greed and selfishness, and who understands that helping others is also helping yourself, is going to have to take a difficult journey into their mind and soul, examine their core values and guiding principles, and decide, really decide, how far they are willing to go to uphold them.

Many have already made this trip (I just did), but soon now all the rest are going to have to make up their minds, because we are facing a severe test. The corporatists, the fascists, the greedy elite who hold the strings that control our government, are a mere eyeblink away from taking over and eliminating the last vestiges of the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Constitution.

I had trouble with my introspective examination, as I am both selfish and cowardly. Like everybody, I want a contented life for me and mine, free of want and worry about the necessities of food, clothing, housing and health. But I am also empathetic--I believe that all men are created equal and have the right to pursue the things that they want, too. I believe that inclusiveness and cooperation is the way to attain these things, so that as one benefits, we all benefit. I see the self-interest in helping others because they, in turn, will help me.

But, can I kill for these ideals? Can sacrificing my own life be morally justified? These are questions that trouble my cowardly side, as I do not face death easily. If we are to save our country and our ideals, these questions may become more than an idle speculations.

Unless we just give up hope,we are soon to be faced with our last-ditch stand for freedom, and it can take different forms. An armed revolt, like our forefathers engaged in to overthrow the control of the British, is one form our fight might take.

I, for one, cannot find the moral justification for taking another life to preserve a "way of life", only to preserve my life or the life of another from direct attack. I do not believe it can be a moral choice. It's hard to make that decision, but there it is. I have found myself at times dreaming of assassinating those who are destroying our country, simply putting things right by killing all of the evil bastards who are doing this to us, but that is only a sign of my growing desperation. Murder, after all, is murder, and I would be betraying my most deeply held beliefs if I engaged in it. I have learned hate from those who use it against us, and it is easy to give in to its allure, but my soul is too important to me to sacrifice in that way.

The only other ways that I see by which we may halt the tyranny threatening to engulf us is "passive resistance" and "civil disobedience". These methods entail massive strikes and peaceful massive demonstrations to shut down the everyday workings of government and commerce, to bring our country to a grinding halt, in order to force both the corporate elite and their whores in government to listen to us, and to change. They must be hit it the only place they can be hurt, and that's in the wallet. If the money train is shut down, and we do not capitulate to their demands, they will (hopefully) have to cede control of our country back to us.

Which brings up another sticky moral issue. Would you go to jail for defending our freedoms? Most of us certainly would--no big deal, really. But, would you give up your life? I have decided that I would be willing to do just that. Passive resistance to a tyrranical government is fraught with danger, as the most often used method to quell it is the use of force. Remember Tiananmen Square in 1989, when thousands of Chinese protesters faced down soldiers and tanks? It would likely happen here. I believe, consistent with my beliefs, that laying down ones own life for the greater good of all mankind is the most selfless, noble, moral act one can perform. And the hardest to come to grips with for one who really doesn't want to make that final journey to the "great beyond". What would I gain? Nothing material, certainly, but that isn't what's truly important, is it?

No comments: