The War Against Humanity
Virgil famously remarked, well over 2,000 years ago: “The descent to hell is easy.”
The aura of truth in that phrase persists to this day, as the latest generations of humanity continue to travel down that path. It is hard to believe that after millennia of human endeavor the direction of progress for humanity remains downward.
I am neither the first nor the last to think that politics is often the reason for this anomaly – that, for example, the notion of “common ground” in politics is always true and successful “negotiation” is always possible, something that human life does not support. I claim no special talent of insight but, looking through the fog of politics, thicker today than ever, it has become plain to me – and I’ve tried to make it plain to others – that the division in this country that has been sacking and often threatening our existence as a freedom-loving people is not between Democrats and Republicans, not between “liberals” and “conservatives,” not between “the haves” and “the have-nots.” It is not a partisan line in the sand between opponents that could be brushed away with a mutually satisfactory agreement but an ideological fault line in the bedrock of society.
On one side of the great divide in America are those who believe in standards of human value and action that transcend politics, applying principles that are independent of time and generation – the stand taken to heart by the founders of this country. On this side are people drawn to the freer atmosphere that prevails in that healthier human environment. On the other side of the divide, in ascendance over the past century and accelerating, are those who believe in standards of human value and action that are totally dependent upon “the times” – that is, upon continuous “change” in scientific discovery, technologic development, and political engineering for “what is best” for all of us.
The “half of America” that clings to the notion that “the times” drive human progress continue to ignore the reality that science, technology, and politics can be used to destroy as well as benefit human lives (recall the effects of atomic and biologic warfare) and why unvetted policies and political actions that affect human lives can and do harm myriads of innocent human lives. If universal human wellbeing is not the overriding consideration in policymaking by leaders – the basis for our Constitution – then what other top priority is there? It does not seem to bother anyone on this side of the divide that so-called “change” and “progress” unattached to human value can indeed build a highway to hell, for which history provides enough examples to make the case.
Are most Americans really that dumb, drugged, or asleep? Do the so-called “deplorables” actually prefer to “feel good” than to know what is going on and build better lives for themselves and others? Can the significance and value of people as human beings be so unimportant that it doesn’t matter if human life is trashed for the sake of “change” and “progress” that ride off the rails of sanity?
It ought to be obvious to all, by this late date, that there is never a holiday from vigilance against evil, generated by dishonest leaders – typically through falsehood and deception – no matter how smart they are or how high they have risen in society.
The difficulty of guarding against evil is never an excuse for inaction against it. With this in mind, I return to the great division in America . . .
A recruiting letter from the late William F. Buckley in 1998, speaking of imminent “victory of conservatives over liberals,” informed me between its lines that this once staunch conservative had bitten the carrot held out by Neoconservatives on a mission to entice real conservatives to endorse monster-sized Government of the “Right” – can the Federal monster in Washington D.C. ever be tamed? – as a way of defeating the monstrous Government of the “Left.” I wrote back to point out that the fundamental division in our country was not between “left” and “right” but between truth-oriented and politically-conned Americans. Buckley did not answer my letter. The man with the peerless wit and razor-sharp tongue, once an Olympic champion against Communism in America, was apparently too deep in the game of “liberals-versus-conservatives” politics to pay any attention to soul-searching questions from grassroots Americans. It was evident to me then and has become plainer ever since, that talent, intelligence, ambition, and money have been squandered on self-serving business that degrades instead of improves life in the United States – even by those who take oaths of office and others we trust to lead us.
I mention this Buckley anecdote to draw attention to what men and women of goodwill face in living good lives under morally deficient leaders – a universal problem for which there have always been Churches and Synagogues and strong conscientious members of society to address that disorder, a mission once conducted with wisdom and strength by our religious leaders, a mission now gutted and gone awash in “the times.”
I was an adolescent during World War II and fully aware of the destructive power of war and its very troubling aftermath. Those who have had to mend their lives after the horror of war can fully appreciate the magnitude of its evil. Since, during the 1940s, journalism was more open and objective than today, the Brooklyn Eagle solicited articles from school students regarding what causes war and its terrible destruction and toll on human life. Two school chums contributed guest articles. One, who later became an editor of the school newspaper, said that the prescription for world peace was to rely on the power of God while each person orders his life according to God’s will. The other, who vowed to be “the world’s most honest politician” held that injustice would end through political action, starting with the ouster of big business. My own opinion, still in ferment at the time, tended toward a greater trust in the divine than in the “practical” side of life, in the quest for peace and harmony. We all agreed that something vital was missing from the ethics of some leaders.
What is amiss regarding the ethics of deviant and tyrannical leaders has in fact been known since the beginning of civilization. Revving to modern time, it was Alexander Solzhenitsyn (surviving the hell of Communist dictatorship in Soviet Russia) who reminded us all of what is missing: “Men have forgotten God.”
Difficult and disruptive as it may be, people who insist on truth and justice for all – the foundation of America’s Constitution – must renew with utmost vigor the vigilance and action required to counter falsehood and chicanery, top to bottom of America’s oath-taking government officials and members of unelected agencies and NGOs. Devious and ruthless as these actors may be, they are, to a fault, moral cowards that fear truth and hate it with a pathetic passion.
The pandemic of anger cycling the globe against insensitive, tyrannical leadership, is loudly informing everyone that truth cannot be defeated and infamy against men, women, and children by whomever, for whatever purpose will not be tolerated.
Anthony J. DeBlasi is a military and culture war veteran.
Image: Picryl / public domain