- Forget the exploits of John Brown and Carrie Nation.
Their violent efforts for virtuous causes are but distant memories in the
Land of Oz. Here in contemporary Kansas, many socially conservative uber-patriots
fastidiously and "peacefully" adhere to an American sociopolitical
system which is becoming increasingly hostile to science, peace, human
rights, the environment, and minorities. Yes, the "American Way"
has become rife with many of the truly vulgar and destructive aspects of
- Since 1998, pro-Evolutionary forces have been grappling
with anti-Evolutionary forces for control of the Kansas State School Board.
In the recent election, power changed hands for the fourth time in eight
years as Darwinists reclaimed a 6-4 advantage on the board. It is virtually
a foregone conclusion that the board will again re-write the science standards
to restore Evolution to its proper stature. Thankfully, reason will again
prevail in science classes from Overland Park to Dodge City.
- Those of us who believe in the validity of scientific
inquiry, draw a distinction between faith and science, and recognize the
dangers of state-validated religion are celebrating progress manifested
in the election results.
- Yet, as I pondered the situation more deeply, I realized
that Evolution represents but a minor skirmish in a much broader conflict.
And at the same time, reflecting on the notions of evolution and change
conjured thoughts of how, in many ways, the United States has followed
a plummeting moral trajectory as it has evolved over the years.
- While it is reassuring to know that our Kansas public
school children will learn one of the most widely held and accepted theories
in the biological sciences (and at least for now, their spiritual education
will be left to their parents and clergy), there are much larger stakes
to consider. Stepping back and examining human existence from a global
perspective reveals countless disturbing images of unmitigated suffering
thrust upon a majority of the Earth's inhabitants.
- Ohio, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are still struggling
to inject religion into their science classes under the clever guise of
the "theory" of Intelligent Design. Recent legislative initiatives,
amendments to state constitutions, and actions by a variety of activist
groups (like the Minutemen) clearly demonstrate that many of the Western
European immigrants to Turtle Island still suffer the spiritual diseases
of homophobia, xenophobia, hubris, and racism.
- Preying upon these spiritual maladies, the opportunists
in DC and on Wall Street (who reside at the peak of the capitalist pyramid)
blitz us with propaganda readily disseminated by their partners in the
corporate media to fuel "culture wars". Like a blacksmith with
bellows, they super heat raw emotion to a white hot state that leaves human
reason in cinders.
- As we wage slaves run the rat race, fighting over the
scraps so "charitably" tossed our way in America's "ownership
society", we claw each others' eyes out over issues like Evolution,
homosexual rights, and abortion, enabling those leading our depraved social
and political institutions to plunder the world's wealth with little or
no constraint. Aside from the numerous seductive distractions they provide
through television and consumerism, what better way to manipulate the masses
than by perpetually thrusting contentious issues into their faces that
splinter them into warring factions?
- Remember December? When Iraqi and American body bags
were filling up faster than Santa's elves could pack his sacks of toys?
And Christians in the United States were beside themselves because some
stores weren't saying "Merry Christmas" to customers? It boggles
- It is widely known that the Bush Regime has heavily courted
radical Christian elements in the United States to garner much of its political
support. Ostensibly bearing the cross of the Christian God who blesses
only America, George Bush is on a sacred mission to fulfill Manifest Destiny
around the globe.
- With the backing of Diebold, Katherine Harris, the Supreme
Court, and a heavily mobilized base of extremist Christians who stampeded
to the polls to support Bush's eagerness to fulfill their apocryphal prophecies
in the Holy Land, elect a degenerate individual many apparently believed
was an Evangelical who manifested the virtues of Christ, and to empower
a group willing to proclaim that Christianity is the official state religion,
George Bush and his cronies blatantly subverted our Constitutional Republic
by taking office twice without winning the electoral or the popular vote.
- Astoundingly, now that Mephistopheles has revealed his
true identity, he and his fellow Neocons, Zionists, Fundamentalist Christian
leaders, and plutocrats still garner support from amongst their subjugated
masses. Admittedly, he has been on shaky ground lately, but Bush still
has enough adherents that he has avoided impeachment and prosecution for
his crimes against humanity.
- Through its denial of civil rights to Gays, opposition
to abortion and stem cell research, unwavering support for Israel (and
its heinous ethnic cleansing and war crimes), dedication to preserving
the dominant role of White America, and creation of a nationalist furor
that is beyond being obscene, the Bush Regime has garnered the support
of enough Americans to empower them to unleash Hell upon millions of human
beings to further the interests of US multinationals, the military industrial
complex, Israel, and the rest of its cohorts.
- Strauss's disciples learned their art well as they are
clearly demonstrating with their virtuoso performance. And Kansas is a
microcosm of the stratum of American society that is entranced by the Neocons'
euphonious symphony. A symphony they brilliantly composed to drown out
the sounds of their abuse of power, exploitation and murder.
- As 60 Minutes revealed this week, the Bush administration
heavily edits the findings of its own scientists to minimize public awareness
of the dangers of phenomena like Climate Change. Employing lawyers to water
down admonitions drafted by NASA and EPA scientists, the Bush Regime seriously
limits what would be well-founded citizen and Congressional concern about
abusive environmental practices by the amoral profit seekers of corporate
- Capitalizing on their paranoid belief that they are somehow
facing persecution by evil secular humanists, the wealthy elites are steering
Dominionists and other Christian extremists down a path to the tyranny
each group craves. Removing prayer from public schools was not about abolishing
Christianity. Eliminating mandatory prayer was to prevent our government
from endorsing and potentially mandating a specific religion. State-imposed
religion is a powerful element of virtually any despotic regime worth its
- In blaming Hispanic immigrants for "stealing"
benefits from tax-supported social programs while providing "nothing"
in return; perpetuating Black American poverty, under-education, and crime
by isolating many of them in inner-city ghettos or warehousing them in
the prison industrial complex; and vilifying Gays for "destroying
the moral fabric" of the United States, our de facto oligarchs abuse
vulnerable populations already despised by many other Americans and scapegoat
them for the ills plaguing our nation. Another block in the foundation
of a "successful" fascist state.
- [Note: Fascist states are generally characterized by
authoritarian rule, extreme nationalism, corporate domination, anti-liberalism,
and militarism. Starting to look and sound awfully familiar, eh USA?]
- In granting federal money to tax-exempt religious entities
for "faith based initiatives" to aid the growing numbers of impoverished
in the Twenty First Century Gilded Age, the plutocracy gains the dual advantage
of currying the favor of its Fundamentalist Christian base amongst the
"commoners" and creating a subterfuge for eliminating "wasteful"
federal spending on public social programs to benefit the poor. Many of
those resting comfortably atop the financial summit, whose wealth exists
thanks to a deeply corrupt system which impoverishes billions of human
beings, despise the elements of "liberalism" which serve to limit
their boundless greed and visions of unrestrained, Dickensonian Capitalism.
- Reducing taxes and privatizing have become the mantras
of the Bush Regime's economic policy. At the end of the day, who doesn't
want to pay less in taxes and see a reduction in poorly managed government
bureaucracies? The problem is that the tax cuts are providing massive benefit
to the super-rich (like the Walton and Mars families) while putting very
little money back into the pockets of the working class. Meanwhile, military
expenditures continue to rise to more insane levels as programs to benefit
children, the elderly, the sick, and the impoverished are reduced or slashed
rather than redesigned or improved.
- What was that definition of fascism again?
- Not even public education escapes the rapacious attacks
of the ruthless wolves at the top of the food chain. The No Child Left
Behind Act furthers their goal of strengthening the Fourth Purpose. John
Taylor Gatto defined the Fourth Purpose in an interview about his book,
Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling:
- Throughout the 19th century, a new Fourth Purpose began
to emerge, tested thoroughly in the military state of Prussia in northern
Europe. The Fourth Purpose made the point of mass schooling to serve big
business and big government by extending childhood, replacing thinking
with drill and memorization while fashioning incomplete people unable to
protect themselves from exhortation, advertising and other forms of indirect
command. In this fashion, poor Prussia with a small population became one
of the great powers of the earth. Its new schooling method was imitated
far and wide, from Japan to the United States.
- Some conjecture that the ultimate goal of social conservatives
is to eliminate public education. I disagree. The ruling class realizes
what a sacred cow they would be slaughtering. Besides, as Gatto's insight
indicates, the most effective way to control human beings is through their
psyches. And what better time to capture human minds than when they are
young and malleable?
- Profits, property, and power trump humanity in the sociopathic
value systems of the vicious malefactors at the helm of the United States.
Witness the willful neglect leading to the tragic death and diaspora of
tens of thousands of Black Americans in New Orleans. Consider the slaughter
of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, the liberal distribution of depleted uranium
throughout Iraq's countryside, the wanton destruction of much of Iraqi
infrastructure, the death of over 2600 American military personnel in Iraq,
the sacrifice of almost 3,000 American civilians in the Neocon's Pearl
Harbor on 9/11, the torture of human beings, and the suspension of basic
justice for those suspected of "terrorism".
- Their willful refusal to employ the power the United
States clearly has to enforce an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon provides
yet another overt example of Neocon moral bankruptcy. The United States
has deliberately stymied UN intervention efforts to give Israel time to
finish destroying Lebanon with funding and equipment we furnished. Israel
has displaced a million people, killed over 600 innocent civilians, and
destroyed over $2 billion worth of infrastructure through its invasion
of a sovereign nation. This in retaliation for the capture of two of its
soldiers by Hezbollah, a powerful group of militants over which Lebanon
has virtually no control. In contrast, Israel has suffered the loss of
26 of its civilians. While tragic, these losses pale in comparison to the
devastating horror the Israeli war machine has inflicted upon Lebanon
- A sane government concerned with human welfare and justice
would have put a stop to these blatant crimes against humanity long before
the situation escalated to this point. But the Bush Regime has justified
and encouraged the Israeli atrocities. They obfuscate well, but it does
not take much critical thinking to see the true agenda of our malevolent
- Virtually all citizens of the United States have been
deceived by their government to some extent. While I remain a tenacious
dissident against many of the United States' political and social institutions
because of my passion for social justice and human rights, my choice to
manifest my dissent through writing and publishing burdens me with a degree
of complicity in the schemes of the Bush Regime. As I research, analyze,
write, and publish, I serve humanity as writers have throughout history.
I educate, inspire both support and opposition, amuse, comfort, provoke
thought, agitate, anger, and in some cases, win hearts and minds. Yet at
the same time, by asserting intellectual arguments which are mostly opposed
to the American Empire because of my personal beliefs, I participate in
the intellectual civil war the ruling elites love to perpetuate to keep
those of us in the "lower classes" from achieving solidarity
- Contrary to our patriotic programming, dissidents in
the United States are not free to exercise their First Amendment rights
because millions of poor wretches fought and died in wars of imperial conquest
under the pretext of "protecting" or "spreading freedom."
For now, our leaders allow domestic dissent because they want to keep their
populace at odds with one another, they know that their strangle-hold on
the psyches of many of their citizens is virtually unbreakable (if people
start to see through the Reagans and Bushes, the ruling elite come up with
a "liberal" Democrat like Bill Clinton to pacify the "Soccer
Moms" yet still maintain the status quo of de facto plutocratic rule),
and they are not ready to shed the thinning veneer that they govern according
to the Constitution.
- Yet despite my unintended contribution to the intellectual
wars our overlords use to distract us, if I stop writing and publishing,
I will surrender a significant means to contribute to the struggle for
social justice and human rights and to counter the lies of the corporate
media, government propagandists and history revisionists.
- The answer is not to stop thinking, debating, or writing.
Regardless of how we contribute to the struggle or how much we differ in
opinion, we of the poor and working classes need to "agree to disagree"
and unite against those who prey upon us.
- 230 years ago, the United States was founded by valiant
rebels who shattered the manacles of colonialism. Sadly, the nation they
predicated on Constitutional limitations of government power with significant
emphases on the rights of individual humans (admittedly marred by the denial
of rights to Blacks, women, and Native Americans), has evolved into one
of the most violent, narcissistic, and oppressive empires in the history
- Sorry Dorothy, but the Wicked Witch of the West is alive
and well. But don't despair. Human beings possess an uncanny ability to
Evolve, especially for the better.
- Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical essayist
with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive self-education (derived
from an insatiable appetite for reading). He is a member of Amnesty International
and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. He
welcomes responses at email@example.com or comments on his blog,
Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.