Fact is there is only a small handful of “sides” to take (i.e. choose to live under) within the current world order. And all of those dominant “sides” represented by powerful regimes like China, the US, the British Commonwealth, and (still) Russia, among others — encompassing commie systems, democracies, republics, monarchies, etc. — that dot the spectrum of freedom and transparency (one end of it being the authoritarian systems and the other the ultra-representative mob ruled regimes like the Philippines’) were all built upon blood spilt by both soldiers and civilians on the battlefield and the ruins of pillaged and bombed villages and cities respectively.
So there really is no such thing as a purely good regime unstained by atrocity and brutality. Any world order is necessarily established after one side kills off enough of the opposing force to lend enough stability for a long enough period to consolidate its power and wealth. Then they become “good” when they come to dominate enough of the world’s information dissemination infrastructure to convince the majority of humanity’s minds that they are “good”.
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So there really is no point in using state-sponsored “murder” statistics as bases for vindicating or indicting any one regime. All political and economic power was originally won by the sword whether this be American power, Chinese power, Syrian power, British power, Japanese power, or German power. The idea that one regime is “good” and another “evil” residing in our minds is just an outcome of successful state propaganda implemented by those who happen to be the victors of the moment in humanity’s on-going internal struggle to dominate the planet.
When Jack Nicholson’s character in that excellent film A Few Good Men bellowed “You can’t handle the truth!”, he was referring to this simple reality — that we all sleep well at night because our armed forces presumably do what it takes to keep the folk we respectively regard as barbarians outside of our respective countries’ gates. And that’s not necessarily bad nor necessarily good. It just is what it is.
My fellow writer Jose Mario de Vega took one clear side in his piece The Boston Bombing and US governmentâ€™s history of mass murder. One can just as easily take a different side and present an argument all but identical to his. Just change the names and the events and it will be just as compelling — or just as outrageous. For every Boston Bomber living amongst us there will be an American covert operative or saboteur living and working for us deep within the societies of our “enemy” states. It’s all just a matter of which side of the fence you happen to live, love, pray, work, and play in.
Ultimately, there really is no need to be judgmental about these things. Every government would like to paint itself as the embodiment of humanity’s goodness — quite simply because all of them have to. There is just so much money spent on buying and doing stuff that is not relevant to the average citizen’s wellbeing that nevertheless needs to be rationalised by every state. The notional “good” to which that spending will supposedly end is the state rationale behind its existence.
The way North Korea’s Kim Jong Un does it may seem a bit goofy to us while the way US President Barack Obama does it comes across as sleek, hipsteresque, and “modern”. But underpinning all that is basic Persuasion 101. Bottomline is both approaches work just as the quaint Yellowist taglines murmured in between rosary beads by our own President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III work on the minds of his constituents.
And us, as ordinary citizens? Well, it’s really quite simple. We all just want to live, love, pray, work, and play on the “right” end of a cocked rifle (or an armed missile, as the cases tend to be today) in peace. That last sentence sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But it only does, if you spend too much time worrying about whether your people — and your government — are the good guys or the bad guys in today’s world order.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
17 Replies to “Murder scorecard: Is America ‘good’ or is it ‘evil’?”
This article seems to encourage a “Let it be” attitude that contradicts the very nature of this website as a whole.
Political ideologies are used to commandeer nations. At one point the creators of the particular ideology may have valid, even altruistic motivations for the advancement the nation the creator(s) belong to. But, most times, these ‘ism’s are just used as a means to an end. and that is almost always the confication of the wealth of a particular nation.
The ‘Bill Of Rights’ that is in the U.S. Constitution separates the U.S.A. from other countries by virtue of the fact that ‘the ‘BoR’ gives its citizens GUARANTEED rights, rights that other people who live in other countries WISH they had.
So,how ’bout: forget about the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ label and just say that the U.S.A. is the BEST!!!
Other countries WISH they were the U.S.A.. People from other countries, for the last 200+ years, flock to the U.S.A. because it is BETTER than where they live. U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A….say what you like…it is the BEST!!!
You got that right. It’s not about which place is “good” or “bad”. It is about where it is all about where it is you personally consider to be worthwhile spending your life.
So it’s about “relativism” now? Sorry, I don’t buy into it. Your article leaves me with the impression that you’ve dismissed the foundation of all human civilisation as just so much rhetoric backed up by big f**king guns.
I’ve always thought that the practical reason for continuing any kind of system is the same as the practical reason for continuing anything: It works satisfactorily. That there are axioms of thought that persist outside of the existence of our civilisation which we humans adhere to because we eventually work out that they are inevitable. Regardless of whether there are guns involved.
And for us, here and now, Judeo-Christian philosophy and values work. They have survived in some form or another for over two thousand years. And human civilisation has progressed on top of it. In spite of how other repressive systems of thought have retarded that growth.
Oh, you asked for this: that second paragraph is the biggest load of shit I have seen on this web-site.
Hyperbole, philosphical bull-shit, and a delusional thought all thrown together and presented as if its true, ‘just because you think it is!!!’.
and just in case you have miraculously gotten some Prolixin from the Dr. to remove the fog from that delusional mind of yours:
the new ‘enlightenment’ is here ( as the Judeo-Christian world you live in disintegrates) and it is called ‘secularism’. It is for those who live by empirical science and leave superstitions/dogma to the likes of you.
I expected this response from a dimwitted pinhead like Glenn. I’ll elaborate on my response as I know it is very difficult for him to follow it considering he has the mental abilities of a paramecium.
First of all, Glenn’s usage of the term SECULARISM is just plain WRONG. “SECULARISM” is the principle of separation of government institutions, and the persons mandated to represent the State, from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. The term was first coined by George Jacob Holyoake in 1851. In this sense, secularism asserts the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and the right to freedom from governmental imposition of religion upon the people within a state that is neutral on matters of belief (as embodied by the separation of church and state). It also refers to the view that human activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be unbiased by religious influence.
What the ignoramus Glenn describes is “SECULARIZATION” — the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious (or irreligious) values and secular institutions. It refers to the belief that as societies “progress,” particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life and governance.
Secondly, none of this has anything to do with the response I posted. I stated Judeo-Christian PRINCIPLES and VALUES, over the past two thousand years, have worked well for human civilization, allowing it to evolve, grow and progress. I did not state anything promoting Jewish or Christian dogma or “superstition”. The insinuation that I did so by the cretin Glenn is a LIE. Come to think of it, what Glenn did was to go out of his way to offend Jews and Christians by implying that their beliefs are nothing more than superstition and are irrelevant in the modern world.
If Glenn bothered to understand what it was exactly that comes out of his mouth before posting it, he might have stumbled on the fact that many secular humanists embrace Judeo-Christian philosophy and values, and the ideas derived from them, such as the “Golden Rule,” as the basis of morality and decision making. They affirm that individuals engaging in rational moral/ethical deliberations can discover some universal “objective standards.” They believe that universal moral standards are required for the proper functioning of society. However, such necessary universality can and should be achieved by developing a richer notion of morality through reason, experience and scientific inquiry rather than through faith in a supernatural realm or source (as in organized religion).
Going back to the original post: I’d like to reiterate that adopting Judeo-Christian philosophy, principles and the ideas derived from them, has enabled human civilization and its technology driven society to evolve to the point where we can debate concepts of morality and ethics on a network that spans our planet and reaches into near Earth orbit. Something that would never have happened if our communities were built on highly repressive systems rationalized by so much bullsh*t.
Now…wait for the dolt Glenn to whine about psychotropic medications and the fact that he is incapable of comprehending what others have written in response to his rants so he won’t bother to read the blog. Then another round of tantrums, crying and foot stomping. Finally more name calling and profanity and the eventual forced laughter. Pathetic really.
OH LOOK, more HOT GARBAGE!
after that first asinine comment, how many people do you think read this last RANT (all 20 paragraphs)??? Not me, or anyone else!
Precisely as I predicted. Glenn “can’t handle the truth!” No capacity to comprehend. So he resorts to foul language as a defence mechanism to compensate for his shortcomings. Emphasis on SHORT.
BTW, “ranting” is when you express yourself in a bombastic declamatory fashion. Like most of your commentary.
Learn to differentiate between ranting and the articulate expression that humans engage in, monkey.
Iâ€™m a Canadian who now lives in America (been living here for the past few years now). Canada is a good country and it gets praises from people around the world. But my experience in America has been so much better (in terms of opportunity and justice) than my almost 25 years of living in Canada. America has welcomed me and my talent more than Canada has. I love America and I can see why so many people still want to move to America because of its promise of opportunity and a better life. If I think America was so bad and if its people are really so racists and mean, I could always move back to the land of high taxes, pathetic career opportunities, and depressing climate up north (with â€œpseudo-freeâ€ healthcare and insane cost of livingâ€¦ except if youâ€™re a welfare king, of course). But I choose to remain in America because despite its problems and issues and even despite its ugly record, I still see the beauty of America. Yes, for me it is still the best.
Totally disagree. Sorry but this just sounds like more american ignorance of other countries and cultures. if someone purt a gun to my head and said I had to stop being Australian and must choose another country, you guys would come well after a number of other countries.
There is no question that American foreign policy has proven to be utterly ignorant of foreign cultures despite the overwhelming influence of its immigrant population. That’s one of the reasons they keep applying the wrong strategy. Iraq and Afghanistan are two glaring FUBARs that the world will be dealing with generations down the line.
But assigning blame to one country simply because they are the biggest or possess the most armaments is just prejudiced and irrational. It also completely fails to comprehend why the conflict occurred in the first place. The same mistake the Americans made.
If the Americans were to suddenly announce they were withdrawing from the world tomorrow, do you imagine that this would end the conflict between civilizations? When the stated objective of one of the combatants is either to convert their enemies to their faith or to completely annihilate them, and obliterate their memory, you can bet it won’t stop just because one side decided to give up. The one thing that is certain is that more people will end up dead.
American jingoism at its worst! My country doesn’t wish it was USA. On the contrary we are mostly glad that we’re not!
You can always blame the “ugly American” for their wrong, as well ugly Australian, ugly British or ugly Chinese for the wrong their country committed..
We don’t want to be like USA either, but we want our own “American Dream”..
Glen you are an idiot. USA has committed more human rights atrocities than any other country on earth. It has denied it’s own people rights, would lock up residents of other countries who tell it like it is ( Julian Assange as an example – what RIGHT does the USA have over him?) Commits state sponsored murder – Osama Bin Laden, may have deserved it but STATE sponsored murder when murder is considered illegal? My country is a hell of a lot better than the USA, has more freedom, spends more money to put a soldier in the field (the only country in the world to spend more to do this than the USA) delivered the world’s first scram jet engine that actually worked! Has NOT ( unlike the USA) done away with the Habeus Corpus act., NAHHHH Glen, you are a raving looney tune with no knowledge of that which your poor under developed ..er..er brain??? spews.