I blogged about one week ago about a poll and discussion that was going on at deviantART.com about trust in governments, which then spun off into a discussion about the current US administration, 9/11, the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act and also some positive developments that are actually getting people from around the world and from different cultures together, things that help to strengthen peace efforts and support global understanding and tolerance.
The discussion continued after I made the arguments that you can read in my previous post. First was there a misunderstanding that needed remedy. The fellow deviant thought that there is a misunderstanding about our positions and the actual meaning of “Anti War” or “not Anti War” etc.
P: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anti-war to come off that I was Pro-war. I was merely talking about the people who believe that we should never go to war no matter the cause. I see that by the posting above that you are not anti-war as I originally thought. I am not Pro-war, but I believe there are times when war is necessary.”
That required of course a response on my part.
Me: No need to be sorry, communication worked, misunderstandings clarified, everything peachy hehe.
p.s. I am Pro-Peace, not Anti-War. That’s a big difference.”
“Anti – Anything” is bad in any case, because it implies opposition, resistance, blocking, refusing, denying, hating, violence, destruction and other negative things that are usually unwanted side effects that come from the “Anti” part of it. Being “Anti” something is usually not helping the issue and more often a reason why things escalate rather than de-escalate and resolve.
The right approach to do something about something you do not like is not to be Anti it, but “Pro” it’s opposite. By supporting and promoting the opposite of the things you do not like, you automatically cause the effect that the thing you do not like spreads further and further in the society, because it cannot spread where you’re a conflicting view and opinion is predominant, unless it is better and viewed by others as the right choice versus yours. That means that you seem to have the wrong opinion that requires rethinking and probably adjustment.
Well, we went off talking about the videos that I pointed out to him. He explained his not questioning what the government is doing with his sense of nationalism.
P: “I see what you are saying and you raise a good point, but I am probably going to be one of those people who no matter what evidence are placed in front of him he will still believe in his country. I am a nationalist and that comes from the heart sometimes and not the head, and it is a lot harder to change someone’s heart than to change their mind. Let me say though that I respect your argument. Which actually all of this reminds me of a friend of mine who served in Afghanistan and is very nationalist, even more so than me (if you can believe that), but he tends to let his nationalism get in the way of his arguments sometimes and tends to say immature things against someone who is arguing with him. This does not convince people of anything. I have tried explaining this to him in the past, but he is the type of person who hates someone for what they believe. I on the other hand do not dislike someone for what they believe. I only dislike them if they act upon something which I believe is against my beliefs and morals, and even then I usually don’t hate them for it. I just don’t understand why they choose to do so.”
Nationalism is no excuse for blind obedience though. Love of your country and trusting the people that you elected into power to run the country are not the same thing and never should be the same. Here is how I explained the why…
Me: “Then you should be even more critical and alert than any of those flaky folks who live of sensational journalism and controversy. The evidence shows that what happens is the dismantling of this country (heard about NAFTA?). The United States that you know and love will not be any more in less than a decade if everything will work as planned. There will even not be a United States anymore.
Your constitutional rights and freedom are today already worthless in the case if you are suspected to be involved in terrorist activities (alleged, true or false, does not make a difference there). They can put you in jail, ship off to Cuba and torture you for months without you ever hearing neither a charge against you nor having the right to see an attorney.
All it takes is a suspicion by somebody that you do something fishy and that the officials believe the person who is suspecting it instead of you. If you love your country then you cannot turn away your eyes from what is happening. Nationalist in its true meaning means “for your people” and not “for your leaders“.
There is a word for the latter though and that is called Fascism. Being a born German, you can believe me that I know a thing or two about that and its catastrophic consequences for your own people and other people as well. Fascists don’t care about people, not even their own, they only care for themselves.
Think about that! Look inside you! I am not bs’ing you!”
The excuse “I was only following orders” was used extensively by Nazis after the end of World War 2 to justify their actions that were against international law and are generally considered unethical to say the least. Although in Germany is Nationalism considered to be the same as Fascism, is this not the correct meaning of Nationalism and most other countries also don’t see it the same way as the Germans.
Nationalism as used here does more mean something like Patriotism or love for your country. Those are generally good things, but they do not imply blind obedience and also don’t provide an excuse for allowing the government to do something that is unethical or worse, unlawful as it is already defined by international law.
I hope he will listen to what I said and rethink what is happening today and more importantly starts questioning the actions that the government is allegedly taking on his behalf and his interests.
Some updates regarding the positive things that are also happening in the world.
The homepage for the “Global Citizen Declaration” project moved from Idclr.org to Neo.org. I created a new version of the banner, which reflects the new domain name.
I also created a Facebook.com page for this project where I added a number of videos and other informational material. If you have a Facebook user, check it out and “become a fan“, if you like what you see and hear.
I also came across a cool movie that I would consider “must see” for anybody. It deals with the subject of Mindset and what humans can do, instead of what humans are allegedly cannot do. It is very practical and not really political, although the principles discussed there are important for this political debate as well. Both require a mind shift by the people involved.
The movie is called “The Secret” and here is the trailer for it.
You can get it in full on DVD from Amazon.com ($20).
Backup link to video on YouTube.com.
More stuff to think about. It boils down the same basic things at the end of the day though. All it takes is a mind shift and stop listening to the lies you get told by others and also by yourself. You will feel great relieve and positive energy flowing through you when this mind shift is happening. Things will become clear and easier than they were before. Pessimism will give room for optimism, Hate for Love, Egoism for Egoism that makes sense and includes tolerance and understanding.
Nobody can take this step for you. You are the only one who can make the shift happen. Are you ready for it?
Carsten aka Roy/SAC