Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nationalism is Fascism

Or, at the very least a dormant form of Fascism, with all the key elements smouldering in place, ready to flare into full-blown flame should a sustained and powerful gust of wind come along.

Nationalists will tell you that they respect the rights of other nations, but this is a polite, but threadbare fiction. Nationalist ideology promotes the "ethical" principles that:
i. The moral duties of individuals to fellow members of the nation override those to non-members (the rest of the world).
ii. The national loyalty, in case of conflict, overrides local loyalties, and all other loyalties to family, friends, profession, religion, or class.

There in a nutshell is the problem. Within the nation state, I cannot violate the laws of the state to protect, defend or otherwise promote the interests of my family, or those who live next door, or those in the same city. So why stop at the nation state? If armed gangs rampage through the street it's considered criminal in almost all societies everywhere and everywhen, yet bizarrely, this arrangement does not extend past the completely arbitrary borders of the nation state.

Once it's a military engagement, we are free to kill each other in enormous numbers, within a broad and very flexible framework, a framework I might add, largely ignored by all parties once hostilities are in train.

WHAT THE FUCK? Seems hardly adequate to articulate the lunacy of this arrangement. Yet it is accepted as perfectly sensible, and those who propose binding global laws to eliminate the problem, are considered naive, or worse.

Nationalism (after dogmatic religion) is possibly the most toxic idea ever introduced into the human blood stream. It at once harnesses all the most laudable impulses of our kind, while directing them to nefarious ends. Like religion, the momentary inhumanity of the nationalist at full extension, is excused in the context of some nebulous, future "greater" good, or "superior" morality.

The horrors of the French Revolution, the long dark decades of terrorism in Ireland and the current "fight them over there" meme prevalent in the US all have their roots sunk deep into the bloody soil of nationalism. They are all nourished by the same insidious greater good, ends justify the means thinking, that short circuits rational debate, because the "good" or the "ends" are an unknown quantity which must be taken on "faith".

The idea that "we" are intrinsically better then "them", is a keystone of this philosophy. The water is often muddied by claiming that "we" are objectively better!!! For example, we might have better education systems, less people in prison, lower crime rates, lower unemployment, longer life spans, healthier children, greater freedoms or any of a hundred objective metrics that indicate "we" are better than "them". This is an insidious thought process, because it allows us to indulge in a kind of superiority, apparently bolstered by objective reality.

It is of course an illusion. All of the above simply condense to "we were born here" and in no way tell us anything about the relative value of people. It is my contention, and the contention of the founders of the United States, that people are of equal worth everywhere. If that idea strikes you as peculiar, try and put yourself in the position of an 18th century nobleman contemplating the American Revolution.

Today, those of us in the developed world are, like the nobility of the past, absurdly proud of our education, cleanliness and overall superiority to the "lower classes", when our "station" is simply a product of the lottery of birth. We might just as well consider the random colouring of our eyes, our hair or our skin as indicating our intrinsic greater value. This thinking is just a subtle form of racism, lets call it .... regionalism.

This thinking quietly paves the way for "we" are better than "them", to become, "we" are better than "them", and therefore must kill them in large numbers if we feel remotely threatened by anyone of the miserable "other". Or anyone in the region, or with the same skin colour, language or religion. This is how killing 50,000+ Iraqis to protect the "homeland" of the US could be considered perfectly reasonable behaviour by Americans. After all, American lives are of far greater value, and must be protected regardless of the cost in foreign blood.

At its root, nationalism, even the less virulent versions, can never be compatible with the values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights. For the simple reason that those rights all stop at some arbitrary, imaginary line in the sand, and that dear reader, is total bullshit.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Out of the Closet

I have decided to bite the bullet, and write about something that has been gestating for quite some considerable time. Easily 5 years or more.

I have finally renounced my Christian faith, rejected the homicidal, murderous God of the old testament, as well as the fictional, ephemeral construct of the new. I'm not an atheist ... exactly. More like an agnostic, but I'm convinced that all the current religions, and the hodge podge of Gods on offer are all constructs. The big three, Allah, Christ and Whatisname the jews worship included.

It's been a long road, but damn I feel good!!!! I feel FREE.

The incredible irony of course, is that I have Bush, his hideous cabal, any number of "Christian" American bloggers, as well as the Falwells and Swaggerts of the world to thank. After 25 years as a Christian, 4 of them in active service, I had clocked up a comprehensive list things "not to think about". The last 5 years of US Christian sponsored torture, crime and state sanctioned murder have shattered the hermetic seals between my faith and the "real world".

Let me give you some examples.

1) A God who allows even the idea of Hell to gain traction in human culture is a sick sadistic bastard. A God who would create it should be resisted, fought, torn down and destroyed.

2) Every major element of Christian dogma has been lifted from prior religions. Every damn thing. There is nothing original in it. Check it out.

3) The idea of taking as "gospel" a book riddled with multiple, outrageous and self evident errors, on it's own recommendation , is so absurd, as to actually defy articulation. What was I thinking?!!?

4) Christianity is the ultimate virus. It infects a host, and then actively uses it to infect hundreds of others, and it works. Just look at the staggering variety of mutations that have evolved from that first, humble pathogen.

I could go on, but I'd just be repeating (badly) the conclusions of thousands before me. It's a scam, a pyramid scheme, and a con trick of monumental and staggering proportions, but I've seen through it, and I'm OUT.

I'm not bitter though. OK, I'm a bit bitter:-) Mind you I don't regret the years spent in Covenant Players. I grew as a person, I learnt German and I met Magdalena. The Christians of Covenant Players, with some notable exceptions, are largely good guys. Lets face it, it could have been much, much worse. There are some virulent variations of Christianity out there. Take a look at these guys.

I guess I resent all the times I worried about Hell, it raises a primordial twinge of subdued terror even now. Those Catholics sure know how to bed it down deep:-) I object to the hundreds of hours I spent in pointless prayer. SHIT, I could have been playing Dungeon's and Dragons, or reading, or having a quiet reflective wank. In fact, basically any damn thing.

To think I partially squandered the precious lightning flash of awareness that is my life, to worship some jumped up tribal deity. It makes me very, very angry.

Never again:-)

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