Hell is the upsetting belief that something is wrong, like with a person, group, or situation
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and without faith, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15
I was speaking to my friend Carl this morning about forgiveness and gratitude
. He has 12 kids with his wife Tera, but they live apart from each other. Tera had apparently agreed as of last night to have two of the younger kids go to live with Carl (a few hundred miles from her), but then withdrew her consent earlier this morning.
There are a few ways to relate to those developments in the recent past. One interpretation is that she was (is) wrong and should not have done what she did. Another interpretation is that he has failed and should have done better by producing her cooperation and partnering in a particular way. Both of those interpretations involve “something wrong” as in an answer to the question “what’s wrong” like as in “what needs to be talked about?”
If something has been labeled
as wrong, then to recognize that labeling as just one way of relating to something (and even to withdraw that labeling) is to forgive. To even bless something that one has previously labeled as wrong may be rather radical. Blessing is simply acknowledging, at least how I mean it- like accepting some development as what actually happened (or what is actually happening now).
Gratitude is not about pretending to appreciate something that one actually resents or fears. Gratitude is about noticing elements of functionality in a sequence of developments.
For instance, Carl told me he was relieved. He said he likes to be with the kids but that he also recognizes that it is easier for him to pursue his professional interests when his children are being cared for by someone else.
Carl knows that I have experienced a similar sequence of events
. I have only one child, not twelve, but my son’s mom has made agreements with me and then suddenly “revised” them (as in withdrew them or failed to keep them due to changing circumstances, such as an avalanche that results in a road closure).
Revisions can happen with agreements. I have made lots of agreements, kept some, revised some, and canceled some- even when it may have been very inconvenient for me to cancel at that particular stage of a process.
So, when agreements are “revised,” what happens next? How is the “revision” interpreted (labeled, related to)?
There is an attitude or spirit of “something is wrong” that can be pervasive. If something is labeled as fundamentally wrong, then all sorts of “acting out” can arise, perhaps functioning to attract a blessing or acknowledging from some other “authority.”
If I insist that something is wrong with people who _______, then that is a labeling in language that I call shame (shaming
). If I insist that a particular pattern is wrong and shameful and sinful, then I may avoid manifesting that pattern as well as avoid acknowledging it in my past. It may be socially favorable for me to “forget” any instances of that pattern in my past or at least to justify it (“I was just an infant then, so I did not know any better, but now I know that it is best not to EVER ______”).
Or, perhaps a particular pattern is risky as in dangerous. For instance, consider flying an airplane
. There is a right way to fly a plane (like so that it arrives at a certain selected destination) and there is a wrong way to fly a plane (like crashing it or failing to take off at all).
Flying a plane well can involve quite a bit of training and initial supervision. In fact, so can riding a horse or riding a bicycle.
Yesterday, I went to a rodeo for the first time ever. There was lots of fast horse-riding in the chase events (like when a bull is chased and a
Image via Wikipedia
lasso thrown to catch it).
One of the last things at the event was an event in which the kids from the crowd came down on to the rodeo arena (like 100 of them) and chased a calf
to grab a ribbon from the tail of the calf. The rules were that kids seven and under were allowed to participate. Some of the kids were way under seven. A few of them got knocked down by a calf (in a head-on collision).
Apparently, there were no serious injuries, but I thought it was a bit negligent. The calf is apparently reflexively reacting to instincts relating to getting chased down and eaten by a predator, right?
Parents sent their kids down there after the rodeo announcer invited them. Then, the rodeo folks let a terrified calf loose in the arena after instructing the kids to chase it and grab the ribbon from the tail so they could win the game. After a few minutes and a few instances of a calf running over a few kids, the “game” was ended with the ribbon still on the tail of the calf.
Image via Wikipedia
So, this brings me to the subject of matadors. Matadors train first before going to face a charging bull
Is “something wrong” with going to face a charging bull just for sport without any prior training? Well, that is a valid interpretation.
Is “something wrong” with sending a 4 year-old down in to a rodeo arena to chase a terrified calf? Well, that is also a valid interpretation. A judge or a jury might say so. There might be a fine for the rodeo and a revoking of parental rights for negligence and “child endangerment
.” Government officials may take children away from a parent for various actions or inactions on the part of parents.
Further, is “something wrong” with flying an airplane without any training? Is “something wrong” with training a 4-year old to fly an airplane? Is “something wrong” with government agents identifying a set of behavior patterns
that they promise to investigate and regulate and interrupt and so forth?
Image via Wikipedia
I think that it makes sense for governments to protect people from the danger that can be presented by unlicensed pilots. Even a small plane
can do a lot of damage if it crashes in to a building or a bridge or a nuclear power plant
or a factory that builds nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Governments protect people from military attacks by air, too, and that makes sense to me as well.
What if every single government policy
makes sense? What if there is something wrong with some of them? What if there is something wrong with all government policies?
Those are all interpretations in language. Even if I do not recognize the dangers of unlicensed airplane pilots, like if I interpret certain regulations against unlicensed pilots as unjust or wrong, someone else may recognize that danger. They may over-estimate the danger or under-estimate it. Any estimation
is inherently just an estimation, right?
So, let’s say that a government does not allow a particular group of people
to get airplane pilot licenses. There may be rules about minimum age and maximum weight and bias against people with certain disabilities. There may be rules against pregnant women in their ninth month of pregnancy piloting
or rules against convicted felons piloting or rules against people of a certain background piloting, like Japanese Americans
during World War 2
Governments are systems of organized coercion for the redistribution of wealth. For instance, Texas was annexed by the US
by military force. Mexico (which was a colony of France at the time) lost their tax revenues from that area and all the people who were living there as legal residents of Mexico suddenly had new rules about their legal right to live there, their legal right to own land there, and so on.
If there were airplanes at the time, Mexican loyalists might have been prohibited from flying airplanes in Texas even if they were licensed to fly under Mexican law. Mexican law did not apply there anymore. Why? Because Mexican authorities no longer operated reliable systems of organized coercion there in Texas. A new group was the ruling government of organized coercion there. Any licenses would be enforced under the regulatory system of the new rulers, the new operation of organized coercion.
Is “something wrong” with organized coercion? When a gang or army or sheriff department or private mercenary assassin contractor conducts an operation of organized coercion, is it dangerous? Always!
When the US army invaded Texas, they encountered the Mexican army there, with General Santa Anna and the slaughter at the Alamo and so on. When the US invaded Texas, it was just like two lions fighting over a lioness.
It was like squirrels stealing the seeds from a bird feeder. Squirrels had to face the danger of attacks from birds and cats and the people who labeled those bird-feeders as anything other than squirrel-feeders.
So, there is something dangerous about operations of organized coercion like private mafia pirates and public government pirates. Governments are subject to invasion from other governments, as well as subject to attack from internal or external private military contractors or thugs or gangs or mafias. Private operations of organized violence are subject to regulation and licensure and attack by larger bureaucracies of organized violence seeking to monopolize organized coercion in a particular geographic jurisdiction.
“If you want to conduct that kind of business around here, you have to give a cut of the proceeds to the local warlord or else face organized coercion.” That can be labelled taxation or extortion or tribute, but it is the same pattern of actual behavior.
“If you want to grow cotton here in Texas, we do not care what taxes you paid yesterday to Mexico. As of today, you owe us our rightful percentage and if you do not pay right now, then we will come back with a posse of thugs and kidnap you or kill you.” That can be labelled taxation or extortion or tribute, but it is the same pattern of actual behavior.
“By the way, you have to pay us in special coins issued exclusively by our government, not those Mexican pesos, which we do not accept. As for the rate of exchange in terms of how much cotton you have to give us for each coin, it is a variable rate depending on how much cotton you have. We call it the progressive income tax.” That can be labelled taxation or extortion or tribute, but it is the same pattern of actual behavior.
So, why do Irish people have to pay taxes relating to the debts of the government of Greece? Because the EU threatens organized coercion if the Irish “underwriters” of the Greece debt do not accept the labeling by the EU of underwriter.
Why do Virginians have to pay taxes relating to the social security benefits of people who live in Florida? Because the US threatens organized coercion if the Virginian “underwriters” of the Floridian debt do not accept the labeling by the US of underwriter.
Why would a business owner in Texas during the war between Mexico and the US have to pay taxes to Mexico and the US as well as the county and the city and the local protection racket druglords and the loansharks who come around and “encourage” people to be part of their “gambling pool” called “the state lottery?” Because the threat of organized coercion is the foundation of almost every instance of the consent of the governed.
Even if I promote a revolution to interrupt an old system of organized coercion, that new revolution is itself a new system of organized coercion! If I want to hire someone else to protect me from the organized coercion of established thugs and extortionists and racketeers, I do not just hire a lawyer, but an armed soldier called a sheriff or highway patrol officer or marshall or homeland security agent. I build walls around my property and train vicious guard dogs. I set up networks with my neighbors to fund one operation of organized coercion to protect me from others: from political terrorists like the Boston Tea Party participants as well as from invasions and racketeers and extortionists and tax collectors that say that I owe money to pay for the debts entered in to in the last century by AIG and Enron and Greece and Mexico and the Holy Roman Imperial Casino and the EU and the US and OPEC and my neighbor who lives next door.
Why do I owe the debts as co-signer and underwriter of my neighbor next door? Because there are threatened consequences for the failure to pay.
“The worker-to-retiree ratio has plunged from 42:1 in 1940 to 3:1 today .”
Image via Wikipedia
From a 2008 publication printed by Columbia Business School. [This is due to medical advances leading to a much higher percentage of people living to age 65, plus a much longer life expectancy for people who reach age 65, as well as a reduction in the birth rate after the "baby boom."]
Those figures are for the US. The situation in Japan is even more extreme. The retiring of the baby boom in Japan (as well as in the US and Europe, etc) has set up an enormous political conflict between the children of the baby boomers and the baby boomers who have passed laws to fund their retirements (and the operation of their governments) through the earnings of other people’s adult children. Of course, it was not all of the baby boomers who passed those laws, but just a tiny minority of them who are professional politicians. The next generation of professional politicians have quite a challenge before them, perhaps rather like the USSR had before it dissolved in the early 1990s.
As one of the people who forecast the global financial crisis, I also forecast the tension and eventual dissolving of the EU several years prior to the arising of the financial crisis (and rising fuel prices) which has led to political tensions and concerns about how an insolvent Ireland could afford to bail out an insolvent Greece or insolvent Japan or insolvent US. The EU, as the most recent regional empire, is also the one with the least internal uniformity (like with dozens of languages rather than just one or two) and, perhaps even more importantly, the most extreme fuel dependency on imported oil (except for extremely fuel-dependent Japan, which began it’s decline in 1989).
So, why should Americans pay for the retirement benefits of Japanese retirees or for the education of Japanese schoolchildren? Perhaps because it may be dangerous not to do so.
Why should Virginians pay for the retirement benefits of Californian retirees or for the education of Californian schoolchildren? Perhaps because it may be dangerous not to do so.
Why should the Irish pay for the retirement benefits of Greek retirees or for the education of Greek schoolchildren? Perhaps because it may be dangerous not to do so.
Why should Romanians pay for the retirement benefits of Russian retirees or for the education of Russian schoolchildren? While the USSR operated as a system of organized coercion, it was dangerous not to do so. Now, it could be considered ridiculous for Romanians to pay for Russian government programs.
If people would do something voluntarily, then there would be no need for taxation and extortion and governments of organized coercion. Likewise, when there are operations of organized coercion effectively conducting systematic redistributions of wealth, there is no need for concern with ethical issues like volunteering and consent, except perhaps as it relates to propaganda for justifying legitimacy. That is what public schools are for, after all, right? Just ask Karl Marx!
Why should the government own the productivity of the masses? For “the good of the people,” of course!
People who favor governments being responsible for them will favor policies like the governments claiming a monopoly on all weapons. If personal participation in organized coercion is deemed unsafe by a particular person, then they will want to hire someone else (perhaps to be paid for by the Irish or the Greek or the Japanese or the Californians) to conduct operations of organized coercion instead of them.
“Send those young boys from other families to invade Texas or Iraq or California or Greece or the local ghetto. It sounds like dangerous business with all those guns and swords and airplanes and bombs and tanks and such.”
So, is there something wrong with organized coercion? Well, there is such a thing as organized coercion. There is such a thing as an operation for the systematic redistribution of wealth under threat of organized coercion. They are called governments, organized crime syndicates, piracy networks, cartels, monopolies, and many other labels.
The US has always been one of them. When the US invaded Texas, that was organized coercion. When the US invaded Vietnam, that was organized coercion. When the US invaded Nazi Germany, that was organized coercion.
Prior to the US, operations of organized coercion existed in North America. The British colonies were operations of organized coercion. Tribal warfare involves operations of organized coercion. Squirrels “stealing the rightful property of birds” involves coercion, too, though not especially organized.
Language is a tool for the organizing of human behavior, including the organizing of systematic coercion for the redistributing of wealth. Is there something wrong with organized coercion? Is there something wrong with language?
The indoctrinated of “something wrong” with a particular pattern of behavior is like a warning of risk or danger. It is training people to be afraid as in cautious.
Functionally, it is risky to pilot an airplane without training and a license from the ruling operation of organized coercion. It is wrong- that is, the label of “wrong” can be applied to it by the authors of the propaganda of a ruling system of organized coercion to identify unlicensed piloting of airplanes as politically risky.
It is universal that the authors of propaganda identify organized coercion as wrong, at least for the general public as in the underwriters as in the “consenting” governed. Finally, it is also universal that the authors of propaganda identify the authoring of propaganda as wrong. However, there may be some logic to that! ;)
Next, I am going quote a few scriptures, then comment on how it works to suppress certain patterns as “wrong,” make them in to psychological shadows of shame, then project blame on to others for “wrong” conduct.” First, here are the scriptures:
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and without faith, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15
“I am conscious of this, and am certain in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is corrupt in itself; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is corrupt.” Romans 14:14
“It’s not what goes into your mouth that corrupts you; you are corrupted by the words that come out of your mouth…. The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what corrupts you” [disturbs you, upsets you] Matthew 15:11,18
“…Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth doth come forth blessing and cursing; it doth not need, my brethren, these things so to happen.”
We may be taught what patterns of behavior are “wrong” (dangerous) for the general public, such as organized coercion for the systematic redistribution of wealth. We may hide or justify (as exceptional and “isolated”) any instances of our own performing of that pattern (like justifying the US invasion of Texas as a “liberation” or “spreading democracy to an oil-rich region”). We may angrily defend any reference to whatever we are ashamed (afraid) to acknowledge. We may cast blame at others (to divert attention from our own “shames”), whether they are innocent or guilty, for the projecting of blame is fundamentally just a redirecting of attention.
However, we may also use the “wrong misconduct sinful crimes” of those we relate to as “our enemies” to justify the performance of those “wrong” activities. We may use weapons of mass destruction through operations of organized coercion for the systematic redistribution of wealth, but only selectively against those least skilled in the use of weapons of mass destruction and with an abundance of those resources most valuable to us.
Should I relate to the other parent of my child (or children) as “wrong?” That is a valid interpretation! Should I relate myself (with labels in language) as “justified” and “right” and “righteous?” If I am redirecting attention from patterns of my own that I relate to with shame, then it makes sense that I would publicly insist on my moral superiority and pride, right?
However, I might also indoctrinate others simply with the conscious intent to govern or influence or control their language patterns, thought patterns, and behavior patterns. That could be called advertising or propaganda or public relations or communication or education or persuasion or influence or indoctrination or governing or training or claiming or declaring.
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Tags: aig, all things are pure, Enron, george orwell, organized coercion, propaganda, Rodeo, shame, something wrong, Texas