Before I begin, I’d like to make a correction to something I wrote in my last post. My last post (Cpt. 85 – “Comments From Surreal Land”) alluded to comments made at a Trump rally, which I said occurred in November of 2019. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the actual month was January of this year. As I said, time gets distorted under these weird circumstances in which we are living. However, I do try to be as factual and accurate as I can when discussing things that I actually witnessed first hand. Now, let me move to the current discussion.
There is an element to American culture and American society that has been with us almost from the beginning of our existence as a country. It is an element that is so dark and foreboding that most Americans fear to even look at it, let alone say it out loud. When it comes to this issue, we are like frightened children afraid to look under the bed or in the closet when the lights go out. I’ve written about it before and I found it painful to write then. I’m revisiting the subject now because as Americans, we are going to be tested in ways we never imagined as a result of this virus that has turned our lives upside down. This id in our psyche is always lurking under the surface, ready to emerge and wreak havoc on us at the first opportunity presented by any crisis that stresses us and causes us to fear for our existence. We are in the midst of such a crisis now and we must take care not to empower the monster I am about to discuss.
I’ve coined a term for the monster that I think more accurately describes it than the terms we typically use. The term I use is capitalist-eugenics. The more commonly known references for this monster are terms like fascism and Nazism. I derive my description from the writings of Yuval Noah Harari. In his writings, he develops a different meaning for what we call religion. I know this sounds weird, but bare with me for a few paragraphs.
Harari defines religion on the basis of what we do and how we actually live our lives and not by what we say we believe in. In his premise, what you do is a manifestation of what you really believe, not what you aspire to be. By his premise, the true religion most of the world has practiced since the French Revolution can be described as humanism. Humanism is the belief that all human beings are equally valuable in that each provides a special piece to our existence and therefore must be valued and honored by being allowed to exercise free will and live out his/her full potential. What I just described can be thought of as orthodox humanism. He goes on to say that just like what he calls archaic religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) the longer a religion exists, the more likely it is to have different off shoots and sects. Since the early 20th century, the humanistic orthodoxy has divided into three sects. They are liberal humanism (traditionally practiced in America), socialist humanism (championed by the old Soviet Union and modern day China) and evolutionary humanism (practiced by the Nazis and present day Hungary for example).
Although the American conscience and arc of history has favored liberal humanism (which promotes individual freedom and free markets), with the introduction of slavery and its Jim Crow legacy, America embraced evolutionary humanism even before it became a movement at the beginning of the 20th century. Evolutionary humanism looks like liberal humanism except that it believes genetics determines which human beings deserve to have power over all others, and consequently have an obligation to dominate, and if necessary exterminate what it considers to be inferior human beings for the overall good of the human race, so that only the most worthy survive. Obviously, its premise has been disproven countless times since its inception but it never the less remains deeply ingrained the American psyche.
Though we almost never say it out loud, every generation of Americans has feared this beast will be unleashed to the doom of use all. Every country and civilization of modern times that has sought to employ this eugenic philosophy into their culture and laws has self-destructed and has suffered horrific consequences along the way. As I said, the whole premise has been proven in every way imaginable to be a lie. When you seek to empower a cosmic lie you are actually designing your own method of extinction. It would be like designing your entire infrastructure based on the belief that gravity only exists in our minds. Every building you put up would eventually collapse in on itself.
Why am I saying this now? I’m bringing this up again because the challenges, both health and economic, that we will face in the immediate future as a result of this pandemic is going to test our metal like never before. If we act on the basis of belief in a hierarchy of value of our people, with some Americans being more worthy of aid and compassion than others, we do so at our own peril. Health and genius and courage are found in all of us, in every race and religion, and disease doesn’t discriminate in favor of any of us. It may be inevitable that some of us will die of this plague, but if we don’t fight for every one of us, we won’t gain the experience it will take to find the cure and immunity we need to minimize the impact on all of us. This is the time that the American claim that it is “the land of the free and the home of the brave” must truly manifest itself. Hopefully, when we look back on this crisis a year from now, we will all be able to say we exemplified that uniquely American ideal.