can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry
~ Thomas Pynchon
renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act is generating
a good deal of discussion in the media, academia, and political
forums over what sounds like a noncontroversial topic. Is there
to be a debate on the question of whether violence should be visited
upon women? Are there articulate "pro" and "con"
positions to be heard and evaluated on the propriety of brutalizing
females? Might this be the time to recall W.C. Fields’ answer
to the question: "do you believe in clubs for women?,"
to which he replied "only when kindness fails"?
the established order insist that their serfs limit the range
of their inquiries to subjects that do not disturb the tranquility
of their minds. The owners depend upon a select group to be the
keepers of the questions to be asked in our world, and woe unto
those who dare wander beyond the boundaries of the permitted.
Journalist Peter Arnett, television personality Bill Maher, and
presidential candidate Ron Paul suffered the consequences of daring
to raise unapproved questions.
One of the
deadliest practices in which we humans engage involves identifying
ourselves with abstractions – such as institutions, belief systems,
and other entities – which, by definition, lie beyond our individual
selves. In so doing, we not only separate ourselves from others,
but substitute the interests and values of the abstractions for
our inner personal sense of meaning and direction. In each instance,
we generate the psychological and societal conflicts and contradictions
that define our world. I explored this topic in my book, Calculated
Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival.
reaction to such conflict-driven behavior is to unconsciously
engage in psychological projection or transference.
This involves attributing one’s "dark side" feelings
or fears to others; or the shifting of long-held emotions from
one person to another. In either instance, the person engaging
in such practices operates on the illusion that, by transferring
the source of the problem to another, the inner sense of discord
can be resolved. Modern politics could not exist without such
thinking, as groups endeavor to control state power in efforts
to punish, reform, or otherwise regulate their respective herds
As our world
becomes increasingly politicized – with the range of state power
reaching ever deeper into the details of human action – there
is a growing awareness that all political systems are the organization
and mobilization of violence. It is not just that such
institutions employ violence, but that enjoying a monopoly on
the use of violence is what defines them. Persons who identify
themselves with a nation-state often find it disturbing to realize,
even unconsciously, that the system with which they find their
meaning in life might behave contrary to other values they hold.
This can cause them to either deny or suppress the evidence of
the wrongdoing. This is why – following the end of World War II
– so many German people were unwilling to acknowledge the tyrannical
nature of the Nazi regime (see, e.g., Milton Mayer’s They
Thought They Were Free). It also helps to explain the
actions of so many Republicans booing Ron Paul for his maintaining
that America’s militaristic foreign policy has been responsible
for most anti-American sentiments throughout the world.
try to resolve any unconscious inner turmoil by projecting their
"dark side" traits onto others. Institutionalized minds
are unwilling to consider causal explanations for destructive,
violent behavior by looking within the system with which they
identify their sense of being. To do otherwise not only indicts
the agency with which they have entwined their egos, but condemns
themselves for  being indistinguishable from the collective
wrongdoer, and  allowing their thinking to be taken over by
such external purposes.
nation-state expands its violence throughout the world, enlarges
its use of torture and police-brutality, and operates under the
direction of a president who announces his rightful authority
to kill persons of his choosing, one wonders if a point might
arise at which even the most submissive follower questions the
premises of the system? The nature of life – including its spiritual
qualities – cannot be wholly repressed, no matter the degree of
intimidation, force, and other influences brought to bear on behalf
of the proposition "my country, right or wrong." No
matter how deeply this life force is suppressed, it will eventually
erupt with volcanic force to proclaim its primacy over the institutional
sociopaths who want to control and manipulate it for their anti-life
How are statists
to react to the growing expression of discontent and anger over
the destructive nature of political systems? Bear in mind that
a collective mindset is essential to the mobilization of energies
upon which state power depends. Such thinking requires the conflicts
that necessarily result from the division of mankind into mutually-exclusive
identity groupings. When people organize themselves and their
interests according to racial, ethnic, religious, gender, nationality,
or other categories, such divisions generate the discord that
superficial minds interpret as the confirmation of Thomas Hobbes’
view of human nature as a constant struggle of "all against
upon the topic of "violence against women" reinforces
the intergroup conflicts upon which politics is grounded. It is
as though some transcendent principle is at stake in the outcome
of the discussion or legislation. But who could possibly be in
favor of such violence? Who might engage in such
acts of cruelty? Why men, of course! Feminism has long
been based on the proposition that, throughout human history,
"men" have suppressed and exploited "women"
for their distinct purposes. Without recognizing that it is the
coercive powers of the state that systematically allows
some to subdue others, many feminists now insist upon the "equal
right" of women to be ground up in the machinery of war.
Some have gone so far as to advance the illusion that the process
of sexual reproduction – a product of millions of years of biological
evolution and not male dominance – is a form of rape.
to reinforce the boundaries of collective identities – to keep
the respective herds together – it is essential to continually
reinforce the idea that other groups of people represent a collective
threat to one’s own. Racism, homophobia, bigotry, exploitation,
terror, and prejudice are the more notable words used by some
to describe the threats posed by others. When the eminent political
philosopher, George W. Bush, declared "if you’re not with
us, you’re against us," he was articulating the mindset that
mature people long ago left on the grade-school playground.
against women?" What about the problem of violence
against people, an issue that might dissolve intergroup
identities and bring about a common purpose of men and women to
confront the deadly practices – such as war – that are destroying
humanity? Ahhh, but concern for "violence against people"
implicates the political system that depends for its existence
upon war. Randolph Bourne’s warning that "war is the health
of the state" was confirmed when, in the twentieth century
alone, at least 200,000,000 people were killed by this depraved
system through which so many continue to seek "meaning"
or "purpose" to their lives. To inquire into the deeper
nature of violence would raise questions that might soon put the
established order out of business. Men and women may come to understand
that violence is the very essence of government, and that political
systems must regularly engage in its exercise in order to maintain
and reinforce their authority over what Erasmus called the "many-headed
consequences of violent-driven behavior must be deflected to other
causal explanations if the state is to sustain whatever credibility
remains to it. This is why transference and projection are so
useful to it. The current economic dislocations brought on by
government regulatory and monetary policies become attributed
to business "greed;" and as most people are totally
ignorant of economics, they eagerly accept such an explanation.
When a young man killed twenty children at a school in Connecticut,
the boobeoisie accepted the proposition that guns were
the cause, and that private ownership of such weapons – a long-sought
establishment objective – must be eliminated. But when twenty-one
children and fifty-some adults were murdered by the collective
forces of the FBI and ATF, no voices were heard in the mainstream
media, academia, or halls of Congress to abolish these agencies.
Indeed, the song-and-dance one witnessed from these institutional
voices was a condemnation of the victims for having "strange"
most of us have an inner sense of the sacred nature of life, such
that we are troubled – even unconsciously – when we see it purposefully
destroyed or otherwise treated with disrespect. We can sympathize
with the suffering of an animal because our ego identities
are not drawn into conflict with it; but seek other expressions
for – or choose to ignore – the miseries inflicted upon our fellow
humans by the systems with which we identify our sense of being.
Thus, David Koresh was to blame for the machine-gunning, gassing,
and burning to death of the Branch Davidians; Iraqi and Afghan
civilians have been justifiably killed for the offense of being,
well, Iraqis and Afghans whose presence in their homes was not
consistent with American and Israeli political ambitions.
As long as
our conditioning drives us to separate ourselves into conflict-ridden
groupings that institutional voices advise us are our "enemies"
against whom we need the "protection" of the state,
we shall continue the societal insanity that now defines "mankind."
We must have the intelligence and courage to step outside the
restrictive circles into which we compartmentalized ourselves.
Only in so doing will we be able to withdraw our individual energies
from the systematic violence with which we mindlessly destroy
one another as well as ourselves.
order is desperately fighting for its survival against the individualizing
and decentralizing energies that are causing vertical structures
of force to collapse into horizontal networks of mutual connectedness.
Its frantic efforts will intensify into an expansion of warfare,
police brutality, surveillance, assassinations, imprisonment without
trial, torture, and whatever other tools of violence it deems
useful for maintaining its power over the rest of us. There is
no level of theatrics, propaganda disguised as "news,"
contrived threats or disasters, or other means that will not be
used to reinforce the collective mindset. One need only watch
films of Hitler’s harangues to stadiums filled with tens of thousands
of men and women caught up in the fervor of a frenzied, mob mentality
to see such powerful dynamics in action.
are no limits to what the institutional elite may resort to maintain
its power. Your first line of defense is to withdraw your energies
from the violent and destructive games upon which the elitists
depend. When such people refer to children as "our most important
assets" or "resources," they are inadvertently
telling you of your status in the political arrangement. You,
too, are but an "asset," a form of state-owned property,
a "resource" to be used for whatever ends suit the elitists,
but certainly not for purposes of your own.
be encouraged to maintain your differences with other groups of
equally-conditioned people, with the state intervening to referee
the disputes it has carefully constructed. It matters not whether
your groupings consist of "men" against "women,"
"blacks" against "whites," "gays"
against "straights," "immigrants" against
"native-born," "businessmen" against "consumers,"
"labor" against "management," or any of a
seemingly endless supply of paired opponents. It is sufficient
that you insist upon the priorities of your group and,
in so doing, continue to keep the game going!