Executive Order: Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters
Today's link finishes by listing a number of companies that apparantly have something to do with those Dubya-M-Ds. The white house doesn't include any direct links (this may simply be beyond their intelligence) but suffice to say that a tour around the blogsphere reveals that a few of them lead right back to the Bush doorstep. Mind you, the guy could probably sign a warrent for his own arrest before realising what he'd done.
My main thoughts for this blog concern that rather dicey subject of religion. In Britain, we now have an act passing through parliament that could get me arrested for disparaging the faith of state as much as it could for ridiculing any other doctrine. Unsure where I stand, I'll assume that criticism remains a far cry from the "incitement of hatred" therein defined and plod on regardless. It's not law yet anyway.
When, in my youth, poet Jim Morrison screamed the words "cancel my subscription to the resurrection" I took great pleasure in the proclamation of something I had, to all extents and purposes, already done. Today it could even be argued that such advocation is even more relevent in this age of regressive attitudes. It was however, a rebellion against a single doctrine - the one adopted to the greatest degree by western culture and pervasive enough within that culture to indoctrinate us from birth. Rejecting it was part of a greater rejection of the subliminal messages by which our minds are subjected to the control of others. It was imancipation pure and simple - an acknowledgement of a higher consciousness where self-awareness transcends the notion of the collective conscription by others with predetermined ideas of their own. The lyrics implied a break from what were the founding principles of Christianity - but the real message could have been addressed to virtually any form of organised religion.
Human beings have always sought faith. It is a by-product of our mortality It is a psychological buffer that, once found, prevents us from trying to process information beyond the finite point in linear time where we cease to exist as individuals. It is, if you will, a private reconciliation with the inevitabilty of death that stops the mind burning itself out pondering "unknowables!. Organised religions, on the other hand, seek to take myths or theories and present them to us as "knowables" in an effort to manipulate and often control our lives. This is often known as "blind-faith" because its purpose is usually to stop us questioning by providing a ready-made ideaology, however inplausible its foundations. Almost all cultures embrace some form of this obligatory subscription system in their methods of population control and historically it has often provided stability, if not actual security, in times of economic and political turmoil. Traditionally also the conduit for information dissemination and storage, it has also been the root on which societies and cultures have been rebuilt when required.
Karl Marx once observed that "religion is the opiate of the masses" and in the days before mass global communication this was probably apt. The real opiate nowdays has become the communications media itself. The likes of television began a process that has provided us with more and more distraction and the concept of "worship" is associated more with the cult of celebrity than any given deity. Yet the teachings, however implausible by today's standards, of the old religions have never gone away. They have remained lurking in the shadows waiting for the time their power can be revived. That revival is dependent on a climate of fear, something like war or disaster, where the attraction of a less-than-tangible abstract provides solace in the face of hardship, poverty or enslavement. The public face of organised religion is almost always benevolent - even trans-national elites like freemasons insist their lackeys subscribe to a system (although, tellingly, not actually caring which one!), but their hierarchies are more usually concerned with amassing power and wealth.
Half the planet now enjoys the decadence of consumer-driven capitalism. The other half are enslaved producers for the system or simply its cast-offs. The resurgance of organised religion may be a sign of regression - but in this situation it is hardly surprising. Even the dispossessed and those suffering the inequality in the rich economies are falling back on it. Intelligent people too will give credence to nonesense if it provides hope for their future. As more and more people are denied access to information other than propaganda, or denied the economic status to participate in the larger world, this regression will continue. As it accelerates, the huge wealth of the churches and relgious institutions is being employed to take-over the film and videogame industries to further dictate the bias of media content - hiding the facts and other tools of empowerment from the masses. How long one wonders, before non-subscription itself becomes dangerous again.
The more power and influence organised religion gains, the more fundamentalist it becomes. If this regression becomes a worldwide phenomonem, then the tension between different brands of organisation will increase. Then as usual when religions collide, there will be more war. In the 21st Century (and witness - I use the Christian calender without realising) this is unacceptable. As the planet falls apart from our own indulgance and neglect, we should not be preparing to battle it out for remaining resources - we should be redefining our faith in ourselves and our purpose by leaving the world in a fit and better place for those to come.
To be continued probably, but it's getting late!
NOTE: The quote by Jim Morrison is from "When The Music's Over " by The Doors. Later in the same poem ...
"What have we done to the earth?
What have we done to our fair sister?
We've ravaged and plundered,
ripped her and bit her
- stuck her with knifes in the side of the dawn,
tied her with fences
and dragged her right down!"