A DISCUSSION ABOUT POWER, AUTHORITY AND FORCE.
Ok, I have been doing some reading, thinking and observations that have provoked this posting. It is a somewhat different perspective concerning authority and power than I have lain out before.
We have been told over and over since we were old enough to understand, that it was essential to respect and obey authority, and in all its forms in our society. We were also taught that to not do so would get some heavy penalties heaped on your head. We sure have enough example of that happening to insure that we believe it. That authority started in the family, progresses to the school and then to society at large and is evident in almost all aspects of our life is important to realize.
Another aspect of this authority is that it has been granted the sole and exclusive use of violence to enforce its rules. Thus, if the police legally use force to insure compliance with some law, it also precludes that the citizens has virtually no legitimate use of violence against the authorities, no matter how corrupt or illegally they act. There are lots of examples of retaliation by authority figures when the citizen resorts to violence against the authorities.
So what we have is a system that is one sided. When we were being taught about this at a young age, part of the rational for this being necessary is that we are a country ruled by laws, not the whims of the elite, and if we did not obey authority, chaos would result. This was all necessary for the smooth running of society.
I am going to assert that all of this is a lie, perpetuated by the elites for the last 5000 years to ensure their authority and privilege. After all, if you are going to rule, you don’t want a bunch of pesky citizens ‘taking the law into their own hands’ or challenging the authority and the privileges that go along with being a ruler. It is also rather obvious that ruling by law is mostly for the masses but has little to do with the rulers who pretty much do as they please along with the other thugs that always accompany a society where institutional violence is always from the top down and will not tolerate any violence from the bottom up. When you look around critically at our society, our civilization actually, you will notice that all violence originates from the top down. When it is resisted and retaliatory actions by the citizens taken, it is very brutally put down. Of course, this is necessary if you want to preserve this exclusive use of power and keep all the bennies that go along with this power.
The original intent of our form of government was not to take away the privilege and exclusive use of power from the elite class, but to make it more acceptable and less autocratic. That way the elite could retain their position without so much fear of active rebellion by the masses. Over time, they have regained the autocratic control and now use their power at whim.
I wish to tie this in with the civilization we are living in. This civilization that has been the predominate way of doing things on this planet for nearly 5000 years, (with rare and disappearing exceptions) is eating our world, and as a side dish, all the living things on the planet. This civilization has a dependency on destruction, conquest and occupation of anyplace that has anything which is valued by that civilization. I hear over and over that “hey, I’m not a part of that”. Oh Yeah? Drive a car? Ever ride on a plane? Buy at the grocery store? Every thing that we take for granted every day supports this empire and civilization of destruction. And, of course, it is now imperative that we talk about the predominate driving force for this civilization. That would be the corporation. When we examine the sole reason for a corporation to exist, we find that it is to accumulate more money and power. The only way this can be done is to continually grow and expand, and that entails exploitation of resources, that is, things must die and be used up. This has become very blatant of course. We have killed off something like 90% of the large sea animals, we have virtually no old growth forest left, the salmon are going to be extinct soon, in fact, in the last 300 years or so humans are responsible for the largest amount of extinction that has ever occurred, outside of a world wide calamity, and the litany goes on and on. In fact, there are some from the environmental groups that think that we have passed a tipping point where it doesn’t make too much difference what we do, we are killing off the land base we need for survival faster than it can recoup and so much damage has been done, it will take thousands of years to repair it. Of course we will never regain the animal and plant life that we have done the extinction job on. We will never again see a passenger pigeon, Eskimo curlew,
Because this civilization is the only way to live that people have been exposed to, they have no idea there are other ways of living; practical and sustainable ways. But, as long as mankind insists on perpetuating the attitude that human life takes precedence over every other form of life, just because we can enforce it and it matches our observations as being the natural order of things and is ‘Manifest Destiny”, it will never change. As long as humans in their arrogance insist that our life is worth more than the bacteria, it will not change. It is a show of ignorance about the utter interdependence on all living things on this planet. I got into a discussion with a fellow just a short while ago on the subject. I pointed out that without the bacteria, we cannot exist, as an example. Without sea plankton, we die. Sorry about these pronouncements, but it is a fact and get used to it. So you want to put your life form above the plankton? It won’t work, at least as humans are configured.
The problem with all of this is what to do about it. Well, I figure we can have a discussion on it while I write another post on that subject.