Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Loss of Courageous Empathy --- as humanity regresses

From the time man was in a cave, huddled together, suspicious, fearful, even terrified of a world that he had very little understanding of, he was instinctively averse to anything and everybody that was different or foreign.
Brotherly love meant just that, i.e., acceptance and love of those that were part of you and yours, not strangers.
As man conquered his real and imagined enemies, human or animal, he developed a culture of dominance. As he started to leave the cave and become more adventurous this culture expanded to “go forth, invade, conquer and subjugate”.
It became a universal culture across this planet. The Greeks did it. The Romans did it. Genghis Khan is credited with killing more humans in his invasion of Asia than were killed in the last world war. In the southern African region, King Shaka Zulu and Mzilikazi depopulated whole regions with their genocidal mfecane campaigns. Subjugation often took the form of slavery.
You will find no text disapproving of slavery in either the Bible or the Quran. It was this culture that drove colonization of the Americas and Africa in particular.
So whether it be colonial Africa, America or Great Britain the culture of dominance is very, very deep rooted indeed. As much as the world was hit by the admonishment by the Man from Jerusalem that “love your neighbour as yourself, and do unto others as you have them do unto you” mankind has never lost this culture of dominance. It has always been there, lurking in the subconscious ready to become manifest given the right conditions.
“Democracy everywhere is facing serious challenges. The United States is gripped by the most bizarre presidential primary campaign in living memory, with populist outsiders threatening to topple established party machines … Europeans trace their malaise to a democratic deficit in the European Union. And, in the United Kingdom, the vision of recovered national sovereignty is fuelling the campaign to leave the EU."
[Subjecting the British electorate to the Brexit referendum by Harold James]
The reason why Harold James describes the USA presidential campaign as bizarre is that Americans, in their millions, are following a man who, by the hard evidence spewing from his own mouth, would ordinarily be dismissed out of hand as a bigoted, misogynistic, narcissistic, dangerous, sexist buffoon. The previous front runner, on the Republican side, Ben Carson, was summarily dumped despite presenting as a modicum of sweet reason and love.
In the United Kingdom the polls are showing beyond any doubt that the primary, overarching concern of those that support leaving the European Union is the issue of “migration”, i.e., foreign invasion of their areas, schools, hospitals … etc. …
Simply put these humans are displaying a strong subconscious need to preserve, secure and protect their dominance against “others”. That is what Harold James is referencing by use of the words “national sovereignty”. It is the prospect of internal displacement by “others” that is the predominant concern, not the economic fall-out. These British humans are not that concerned about losing the strength and advantages of European unity. They are obsessed with ensuring internal dominance by the exclusion of “others”.
It is the same with the Americans. There is a huge insecurity that has infused the traditional gun toting, macho dominant “real Americans”. Consciously and sub-consciously, this almost certainly largely White grouping sees itself, what it has and what it represents, as under threat from all sides.

Those threats have built up over time and include the fact of a neutral but “Black President”, Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese and the upsurge of competitiveness for dominance from “other Americans” such as African-Americans and Hispanics. Campaigns and demonstrations like the “Black Lives Matter” movement has served to spook these “real Americans” at the very core of their beings.

This is a hysterical reaction that has built up deep in the psyche, welling up from the subconscious, as much as it is the case with some, such as the Ku Klux Klan and their hero Donald Trump, that such dominance should never have been put in jeopardy in the first place. This pro-Trump grouping feels challenged and insecure in their position and status of dominance.
It is therefore not at all surprising that, as I am typing this out, Donald Trump is making a speech to an adoring mob that “we are going to build a wall … a high wall … a real wall ... a Trump wall …” etc. The absurdity and futility of a powerful nation like the USA needing a wall against “little Mexico” is completely lost on these humans now gripped by a mob mentality of “us and them”. One does not need an overactive imagination to foresee situations where “water boarding and worse” is going the be used to force humans to give up their relatives who might be illegal migrants so that they can be cleaned out like vermin.
What is also particularly worrisome is that the moment he attacked Hillary Clinton for relying on the female vote, and she had actually done no such thing, there was a swing from Hillary to Trump as regards popularity.
The notion, claimed on social media, that Trump is some sort of champion for the now dispossessed, disempowered masses (apparently by Obama), is so ludicrous and disingenuous as to be no more, no less, a bare faced lie. It is quite difficult to imagine a "fat cat" that has had his snout more deeply in the trough of rapacious capitalism than Donald Trump.
This phenomenon is not new. The most horrific example of this, in the modern era, occurred in Germany with the advent of another narcissistic, bigoted, very dangerous buffoon by the name of Adolf Hitler. In that case the “others” were specifically identified as Jews, the Polish and any other human beings found to be different, such as Gays, up to and including Gypsies.
In America the brand logo is “Make America Great Again”. In Germany it was “Nazism”. In both cases otherwise sentient humans flock in their millions to support new found madness in nationalistic fervour, because consciously and sub-consciously their need to regain dominance has been inflamed.
Thus the world is seeing that the courageous empathy pioneered by the likes of Abraham Lincoln is being lost. It had found concrete expression in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed off by nearly all nations in 1948, after two world wars and the Holocaust. It is being lost despite the sterling efforts of the current Prince of the Man from Jerusalem (the Pope) and other voices of reason.
Nationalistic fervour to protect dominance is the name of the game. Unkindness, mean spiritedness, even bigotry and their diabolical effects are now inconsequential with the Americans in particular.

In South Africa the second last voice of courageous empathy, being that of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has been all but silenced.
The last voice,being Professor Jonathan Jansen, is soon to be lost to Standford University in the USA.
It may be that in this way , providence will rekindle it in that hitherto great country, so full of promise as leader of the free world.
Order ---

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