Once I heard that politics is war without bloodshed. I don’t think that holds water anymore. Because when the only means you employ to achieve victory is the sword, ideologically or otherwise, then the only thing that will ever maintain your ascendency will be by that same bloody sword. Peace. Peace is an illusion wrought by fear of retribution, retaliation, and repression. Now, none of these statements are original nor novel; nonetheless, they ring true and prescient. They are reflective of current events a time that has jettisoned decency and community for the sovereign self. The reality before us is that we are never as civilized as we believe ourselves to be. Rather, given the opportunity, the oppressed, be it in mind or body, because of reality, or delusion, will often jump at the chance to achieve “justice” by simply displacing their oppressors and celebrating through the newly embraced power to oppress. Because retribution, because slaughter and justice are often muddled, conflated to the point of confusion, violence as protest and oppression and fear as justice. Liberation and equality are not categories of the modern movements of social justice; the only requirement for victory is dominion. There is no shared power to be had anymore. The only beliefs that ring true in their hearts are reflections and variations of their own creeds and confessions.
What Is Justice
What is justice? Further, what is the point of a society that gives lip service to the rule of law, whose apathy and belief in their own alienation give power to a conviction that borders on fanaticism that the law is something to be manipulated, used to achieve power rather than something we submit ourselves to in order to love and serve our neighbor. Because if the law is not transcendent over an individual’s overt claim to power or status, then no one has any rights. Rights become the whim and grasp of the powerful and we undo all the victories of democracy and descend once again to the unsteady and volatile age of feudalism.
In the end, what is equality for those who allow no dissent, ideologically or theologically, those who loudly and enthusiastically oppose any who dare to question their conclusions, actions, and beliefs as being anything other than done in the pursuit of equality and virtue. What is justice to be in a nation whose where religion is seen as merely the ethical, to be shunted aside to cloisters and closets. What is justice to those whose functional paradigm is that power covers a multitude of sins?
Democracy, along with capitalism as a tool, was the attempt to eradicate as proximately as possible, a peasant class and the exclusion of justice to the poorest amongst us; the least able to mount a defense against unchecked power. Whether it was the government or simply the strongarm of affluence and influence, our nation of laws was set upon the mission to balance this potential inequity in order to create the reality that all men are created equal.
But the endgame of hegemony and the fascist displacement of democracy is a goal of both the left and the right in America. Neither side shares power willingly and has given up on compromise as a sign of weakness and infidelity to the “cause.” Party platforms, and by good and necessary consequence, narrow social ideals, have become much more important than the good of the nation. Because there is no big tent. Neither party supports any essential diversity. An illusion of unity and personal investment is maintained to wield the substantial power of the motivated mass. The trick is to get everyone onboard with the message. Because when that is achieved, the illusion is complete, and the rank and file accept the message of the powerful in the party as their own and may even will risk life and limb for its success. And the deception is a wonder to behold because it forces the alienation of family members, friends, neighbors, all in the name of slogans and poorly contrived messianic figures. The party and its message take precedence over tribe and nation…and if that does not sound familiar, then you need to crack open a history book.
One party, one message, one ring to rule them. Reeducation, the displacement of parental authority by the power of the state, revisions of history and the quelling of religious freedom; these were all the tools that made communism powerful. What is often neglected is that the type of equality that was achieved by those sorts of mechanisms was a homogenized mass whose only true shared life together was their subservience to the powerful and the paucity of their lives…the only equality was one of inequality veiled as liberation. A darkly humorous reality, that what many see as the enlightenment of our society is really a return to a very unliberated and less free time. Because in order to achieve this vision of an enlightened society we are making offending others a crime and dissent founded upon religious belief bigotry of the of the most despicable kind, moral restraint. The common good and shame as the consequence of transgressions against God and neighbor. One of the most fundamental rights that founded this nation, the right to believe and practice one’s own religion without intrusion or coercion toward certain liturgical constructs by the state is in danger of becoming disposed of. For many, the state has now become the arbiter of what is good and true and beautiful.
It was never the state’s place to determine the truthfulness of a religion, of it’s theological fidelity to its sacred texts, but to simply bear the sword to enable it’s free exercise without infringement. The state is not the gatekeeper of faith but the hedge that protects the common green of its convocation.