By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, April 22, 2020
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is happy to sacrifice the lives of old people for “the economy.” A Congressman from Indiana doesn’t discriminate; he’s willing to let anybody lose their life to maintain what he calls their “way of life.” How they can have a way of life without a life becomes clear when he explains that by “way of life” he means the economy. The President of the United States is afraid that the cure of isolating ourselves is worse than the disease, even though the latter is deadly for some who get it. Trump also tries claiming, though nobody believes him, that protecting ourselves from a deadly disease will result in more deaths, not fewer.
This is how U.S. politicians have talked from the very beginning of the United States and prior to it about human beings outside the United States, about Native Americans, about enslaved people, about minority groups and immigrants. Yet, many have been able to avoid recognizing the evil. Now do you get it?
Trump openly says he wants troops in Syria for oil, Bolton openly says he wants a coup in Venezuela for oil, Pompeo openly says he wants to conquer the arctic for oil (with which to melt more of the arctic into a conquerable state). But the general rule, prior to these fits of honesty, has been to claim that wars were meant to spread democracy and happiness. Pointing out that every war is based on lies runs into great resistance from people who know governments lie but who don’t want to believe governments are quite that evil.
Believe it. When Pompeo talks about crushing Iran (or Venezuela or Syria or Cuba or North Korea, etc.) with sanctions, he’s talking about imposing death on numerous people. When Obama and Trump target people around the world with drone murders, and then target some U.S. citizens too, they’re valuing non-U.S. lives at their usual nonexistent level and devaluing U.S. lives to the same. When Trump and Biden compete for who can hate China the most, they’re talking about a significant percentage of the world’s population.
Locking immigrants up in cages is just as evil as locking U.S.-born children up in cages. People who will do the former are unlikely to draw the line at the latter. Don’t you get it? Evil sadistic politicians will be cruel to the People Who Matter just as they’ve always been cruel to everyone else. Truth be told, they were never nice to the majority of U.S. workers, but their cruelty was often too slow to be recognized as murderous.
What we need is not a little tweaking. We need the revolution of values that many tried to find an approximation of in Bernie Sanders. We need a society that empowers and rewards kindness instead of viciousness, decency instead of outrageous evil.
Right now we have a sick parody. The U.S. is badgering Mexico to reopen factories, cramming workers in together to produce parts for U.S. weapons that can be sold to the world. Mexicans must die like U.S. “essential” weapons builders must die so that the weapons can be shipped off to the world’s worst governments so that people everywhere can die. We’re all in this together!
We could all be in something else together. We could all be in a world utterly transformed. We could quite easily end all human suffering with absolutely zero new scientific developments. But we have to want to do it. And we have to start by refusing to stop being outraged by evil.