No such thing

Russia has invaded the Ukraine and the headlines in much of the western hemisphere and Europe are strongly against the invasion. Chinese headlines primarily concern the missteps taken by Putin and the invasion of the country. The absence of condemnation for the invasion of Ukraine is often immediately seen as a moral failing of the main stream media in China by the western hemisphere however, one would do well to keep in mind that the eastern hemisphere does not have a morality issue with what they see as a “just war”. Again there is the knee jerk reaction to take some moral high ground especially in the United States but it may be important to keep in mind that the United States has invaded at least 69 countries since 1776. That is a lot of “just war”. The invasions are merely the tip of the iceberg for the United States of America. The United States has also sponsored terrorism and paramilitary operation all over the globe since the 1960s. Invasion’s and terrorism are tools of nations for social control. Scratch that last statement, the major tool for social control by nations is violence. When a nation uses violence to gain social control the term for justification of the use of violence is “just war”.

I say this as a former solider and I truly mean it, war, whether you are serving on the side of the victor or the defeated, is a crime.

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.

Ernest Hemingway

Often war is started by the leadership and carried out by the followers. It is imperative as a nation that we demand no war from our leadership. As strongly as we cry out against the Russian invasion of the Ukraine we as a group should also speak out against the United States invasions.

I want young people to be hesitant to glorify war and to demand of their leaders justification for the sacrifices they ask of our citizens.

Walter Dean Myers

Violence cannot be the answer. Violence is psychologically attractive for human beings and leadership has tapped into this when convincing men and women to commit acts of violence. The only issue is that violence is not sustainable. Violence involves the dehumanization of the victim of the aggressor and it is in this dehumanization that violence is most damaging.

There are these “rage rooms” that are becoming more popular now. A rage room is a safe room where a person can go and smash plates, furniture anything they can get there hands on. This is a great way to vent out aggression, however venting aggression should be coupled with understanding the roots of the aggression. Is your aggression healthy or is it rooted in some un faced childhood trauma?

The path to peace and away from violence has to start by looking inward. Again violence is easy to be a part of but we have to, if we as a species are going to survive and thrive, askew violence and embrace peace.

The will to what now?

I have been reading Noam Chomsky lately I am in the middle of a great book of his titled, “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance (American Empire Project)”. The book is a good read, Chomsky lays out the groundwork for a thesis which is, the United States of America has engaged in an an Imperial Grand Strategy since the beginning of the second world war and that the strategy has been developed since the days of George Washington and his conquest of the Iroquois nation.

Hegemony is the dominance of one society over another. It is hard to argue against the fact that the United States has not been in the Hegemony business. English is the most widely spoken and used language in the world. 1.5 billion people in the world speak English and the current population of the United States of America and the United Kingdom is only 396 million. Some will argue for American exceptionalism and that the ideas of democracy and a republic are so lofty that others 1 billion 1 hundred four million people are so taken with republican ideas and democracy that they speak English. Keep in mind that democracy was invented in 500 BCE in Athens and some would argue that the French ideas of democracy. liberty and equality are almost identical to those of the United States. Why doesn’t the whole world speak French then? Some would argue that the French have abandoned colonization while the United States has embraced it with wars on almost every continent disguised as peace keeping, nation building, liberation movements.

All this reading and researching into Hegemony and colonization got me to thinking about Nietzsche and his will to power.

[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body… will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant – not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power… ‘Exploitation’… belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.

from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, s.259, Walter Kaufmann transl.

I am not positive but a will to power concept lacks something that if humanity is to survive needs to have and that is faith in a higher power or humanity. It makes sense that a society that does not have faith in others will find it that societies responsibility to use their perceived power to enforce their cultures and norms on other societies. The United States started with land management and the slaughter of the indigenous peoples and have not taken their foot off the gas pedal since.

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Instead of learning from others the United States has tried and is succeeding in homogenizing the entire world. There is little besides voting that I can do to stop the spread of the United States but in my personal life I will try to be more open minded to others and understand that every living being is exceptional and deserves to be treated that way.

We can learn a lot from other living things if we understand that we are not omniscient.

This book is amazing

I am about a third of the way through an incredible book called “What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything” written by Rob Bell. The book is a treatment of the Bible that I’ve never read before. The author turns the book over and over and throughout every story, poem and letter he points out how the books through line is hope, love, redemption and reconciliation. If you are reading a story, poem, letter or song in this book and do not experience hope, love ore redemption than you are missing the point.

When you read a story letter or poem with the purpose of finding this through line of love and redemption you experience hope. If you read a story without this perspective it can be dark and abysmal and make you feel hopeless. The bible can be violent and give you nightmares if you are not approaching it with that filter. The author explains why the filter is rightfully applied, mostly because of history context and culture.

One of the worst things we can do in life is lose hope. Lost hope can result in a cynical apathic life and may even lead to depression. How can we in the face of so much bad news find hope? Through education and learning the “whole story”. Often we only hear the headlines and nothing else but stories are layered and nuanced and one viewpoint of a much larger thing called life. Next time you feel like throwing in the towel I encourage you to dig deeper learn more and find hope. Hope was at the bottom of pandoras box,

“Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
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Why do they do that

I grew up going to public schools in Cleveland Ohio. I was always one of the smallest kids in every class through my academic career. I joined he army at the age of 18 and grew at least 8 inches in one year.

My size made me a target for bullies throughout my academic career. I have never understood bullies but have meet many of them and watched them conduct themselves. Bullies do not disappear when you become an adult either. (I watched the United States elect a bully to be president of the United States).

I have always been curious about what it is that makes a bully act as a bully. I know there is often a lot of pain within the bully but I do not think that is the only thing that makes a bully act as they do.

Most bullies belief that they are right.

The bully and the bullies defenders will tell others that the bully is not harming others but defending themselves, they are not a bully but a bold protector. Anyone that acts from a position of power to do harm to others is a bully. Anyone even if the other person “deserves” harm.

We should only work to help others. Harming someone will never help them. Some people will say that hurting someone is the only way that they will learn, this is a bad philosophy that causes generational harm and bullies.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

– Dalai Lama

Bullies do what they know

A bully has been taught that harm can be help and this is false, harm is not good and will be harmful not helpful. It can be tempting to act harmfully towards others however when we do this we are affecting generations of people in a negative way. That one act of harm will cause ripples. On the flip side being helpful will also cause ripples. It is never to late to make positive change.

The time is always right to do what is right.”

–MLK Jr.

This post has been heavy on quotes and I am sure that is because of how important the subject is. The damage from doing harm and believing we are right has caused wide scale genocide that is being taught to children as wholesome accomplishment. Christopher Columbus did not discover the United States of America, The pioneers did not settle the western front of the United States of America.

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…These people are very simple as regards the u.se of arms, as your Highnesses will .sec from the seven that I caused to be taken, to bring home and learn our language and return; unless your Highnesses should order them all to be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them…

— excerpt from the diary of Christopher Columbus

The removal of the tribes from the territory which they now inhabit . . . would not only
shield them from impending ruin, but promote their welfare and happiness. Experience
has clearly demonstrated that in their present state it is impossible to incorporate them
in such masses, in any form whatever, into our system. It has also been demonstrated
with equal certainty that without a timely anticipation of an provision against the
dangers to which they are exposed, under causes which it will be difficult, if not
impossible to control, their degradation and extermination will be inevitable.

— President James Monroe

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Bullies have done far too much harm and the progress they brought the world is bloody and unstable. Nothing earned through harm will last. Harm always causes more harm violence will always end in violence if humanity is ever to suffer it will not be through harm it will be through love. If you believe that love is the answer and suggest anyone harm another from a place of power or you yourself harms another from a place of power you are not acting out your belief you are lying to yourself.

Any belief that makes us harm others is a bad belief.