This world’s dominant paradigm is ‘riches for the strongest’. It’s the paradigm of choice for what we call godless types. By ‘godless’ I here mean ‘evil’. For, sadly, Most of (adult) humankind, good and bad, rejects the Creator. Worse, Many of those ones simply see themselves as God. Imperfect humans who see themselves as God are not a small matter unworthy of our attention, let alone great alarm. Interestingly, That’s what some of them, like Jane Jacobs, say about imperfect humans who are loyal to the Creator. Jane finds us alarming! Jane’s on my mind because I’m reading her book, “Dark Age Ahead,” right now.
The way this dark world works is (and readers of my blog have read this many times, but not all who are reading this post are regular readers): We all get together to decide on the rules – traffic lights, if you wish – that will allow human traffic to flow nicely. The rules and laws, small and great, written and unwritten, are meant to result in social harmony – in a positive, not Chinese state, sense. Those among us with bad intentions, lots of machismo, often great smarts (initially), no principles other than negative ones (like ‘lie when it will get you what you want’) and a great desire to dominate in society, will then proceed to strategically break rules and laws, which allows them to leap ahead of those who don’t think like they do. Some of us like the idea of security and prosperity for all. Once the rule-breakers have finished and they find themselves in positions of power, they can thereafter guarantee outcomes of all sorts, including economic outcomes. How desirable is that in this monstrous corporatocracy that people just like that have created?
As the Christian Bible says (Revelation 13:16,17) about the world that was in the works way back, Those without the mark (slaves had brands to show that they were owned) of the wild beast would not be able to buy or sell, or, in other words, participate in a positive sense in the economy. That’s serious when you consider that in a money system, money means life. Food, rent, and (in some places) water, etc., aren’t free things. Someone ‘might’ buy you a cup of coffee – if you panhandle long enough to run into that kind soul. Other than that…
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Nadia Prupis follows:
U.K. intelligence agencies were forced to release a cache of documents on Thursday exposing their illegal surveillance tactics that included spying on privileged communications between human rights lawyers and their clients in security cases.
Internal memos from MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, released in response to a case brought by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, show that the unlawful tactics were sanctioned by the agencies and may have infringed on justice in at least two high-profile torture cases that implicated the U.K. government—those of Libyan political activists Sami al Saadi and Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.
If the government is able to access legally privileged (LPP) documents in a case against its own agencies, it gives itself an unfair advantage in court, said legal charity Reprieve, which sought the release of the documents.
MI5’s policies, for example, state that “[i]n principle, and subject to the normal requirements of necessity and proportionality, LPP material may be used just like any other item of intelligence.”
GCHQ said its staff “may in principle target the communications of lawyers.”
In at least one instance, LPP material was inappropriately passed to lawyers who were involved in a lawsuit against the agencies—where the government admitted on Thursday “the potential for ‘tainting’ was identified.”
Jane Jacobs’s “Dark Age Ahead”
We have been in a Dark Age since Adam and Eve, but the Christian Bible singles out the time we are living in now as being an especially dark age, which makes perfect sense. Gog, possibly meaning ‘darkness’, is one of a number of names given to the first rebel against God, namely an angel who we meet in the account of Adam and Eve in the Christian Bible. He rules – with God’s permission and for an important purpose – the world of humankind, for now. But the Bible reveals how over time that powerful being experiences episodes of abasement by God and his Son. (Abasement means a reduction in condition or status. It was inevitable that as time went on, one who rejected the Creator and source of life would see the life and light in him fade.) God’s Son, Jesus, acknowledged Satan’s rulership a number of times and didn’t correct him on that particular point when Satan offered to share rulership of the world of mankind with Jesus (Matthew chapter 4). Satan is also known as the Devil and as Gog and has other names given to him by people over time, as well, including the name Lucifer. Gog’s attack is spiritual/psychological and physical and began around 1919 of our common era. Jehovah’s Witnesses explain it all a little differently than I do. (See Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39)
We – humankind – are not evolving. We are degenerating, even if some very intelligent, caring and insightful people show astonishing ability to usefully (mostly) critique their particular era so as to expose poor social and economic conditions that are attributable to rule-breaking by imperfect people, including some who choose to view themselves as God, partly as a way to carry out the most godless acts and live with themselves afterward. (If God makes the rules, but they are inconvenient to you, then you can just become God yourself and make the rules conform to your behavior.) As the Christian Bible, which people like Jane feels is fine as long as we don’t draw ‘wrong’ conclusions (or impulses) from it, says: “Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that it’s builders work hard on it. Unless Jehovah guards the city, it is in vain that the guard stays awake.” -Psalm 127:1
I am fond of saying that darkness is it’s own reward. It’s a very concise summation of what I think about human imperfection, our freedom to abuse our God-given free moral agency (sinning for personal and immediate gain) and the effects that that course will have on individuals who embark on it. I was amused to find Jane saying the same thing, even as one who clearly feels that religion is fine, as long as we don’t let it go to our heads. She explains that human error (without bad intentions) comes about as a result of forgetting. But she doesn’t – can’t – grasp that human imperfection, which we’ve all inherited from our first human parents who chose to invite that character into our condition, easily means that forgetting will be with all of us – on all levels and in varying degrees. Of course, There’s forgetting and then there’s forgetting, just as there are good (but imperfect) and bad people. Look at the recent Intercept article titled by Murtaza Hussain titled “Revisionist History 101: Bush Was Right About Iraq WMD!” There, Murtaza looks at forgetting that is deliberate and engaged in by people with bad intentions. But they can’t escape cause and effect. You may be clever enough, lying and manipulating – and attempting historical revisionism – for personal gain or as a result of institutional character and imperatives, but the end result is stupidity and darkness and a further disintegration of civilization. But Jane falls into a wobbly narrative where there is no evil and all empires have failed not because anyone was bad but only because there was forgetting on a massive scale leading to a loss of cultural self-awareness. If I told Jane that I’m very aware that the only culture I believe in, however successful I am in harmonizing my life with it, is Jehovah’s culture, Would she tell me that I can’t believe in that because it doesn’t exist? That’s worse than forgetting, in my view.
‘Our’ busy bee guardians, namely the designers and operators of the various security orgs attending to ‘national’ security, are quite awake and busy and hardworking, but ‘their’ house has been invaded (and the possibility for them to be invited to live forever stolen). They don’t even know that for they never knew and don’t even have the opportunity to forget. Knowing means caring. You won’t know if you don’t care. (When you care, you put your head up and look around and see or know.) They’ve been robbed of life, like their many economic victims and like their many drone victims, and just the way householders might be robbed by a professional thief who silently steals jewellery from their drawers while they sleep so that they don’t even know it.
“For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying “Peace and security!” then suddenly destruction is to be instantly upon them… and they will by no means escape… But you, brothers, You are not in darkness, so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves…” (2Thessalonians 5:1-5) Paul calls God a thief but he also calls his ‘victims’ thieves. Maybe we should just call it justice.
The very act of lying is an act of forgetting. Does the liar see it that way? One who practices lying may not see it that way, but denying reality can’t be healthy. Jane understands that and does a remarkable job of providing real life examples of such lying and it’s effects. But Jane doesn’t believe in a God that isn’t humankind. She has a very high regard for science and a very low regard for those who don’t and for those who use it (like religion) improperly, for personal gain or, as Elliot Aronson would express it, in order to protect their egos. I too have a high regard for science and am saddened by the casual way that irreligious people on the Left speak and write in such way as to imply that if you believe in an actual (non human) God then you don’t hold science in high regard. (And then there’s the astonishingly vile people who claim to embrace an actual, non human, God who created the universe and all life in it but have zero use for him and his standards. They are usually found on the Right.)
“Most people do not enjoy having their entire worldview discredited; it sets them uncomfortably adrift. Scientists are no exception. A paradigm tends to be so greatly cherished that, as new knowledge or evidence turns up that contradicts it or calls it into question, the paradigm is embroidered with qualifications and exceptions, along with labored pseudo-explanations – anything, no matter how intellectually dispreputable or craven, to avoid losing the paradigm…
“The scientific mind is a major marvel in its own right. Sometimes it slips up, either in the interest of preserving an unfit paradigm or because it has fallen asleep. These lapses are not as nefarious as betrayals of science that are motivated by greed or pursuit of power, but nevertheless they are dangerous, perhaps the more so because they do not necessarily signal their dishonesty with obviously ugly immorality. The enemy of “scientific” untruth always exacts costs, and often they are large and ramified beyond all preliminary calculation.
“I am now going to relate a few illustrative instances in which the scientific state of mind has been betrayed and science abandoned, while those carrying out the ugly deeds pretend that nothing of the kind has happened and perhaps do not realize themselves what they have done, since they have probably lost the memory of the state of mind they have lost.” -pages 71, 72 of “Dark Age Ahead”
A blind spot in Jane’s discussion of science might be the way she (properly enough) singles out scientists for failing, when we are witnessing the most intense attack on scientists and science not be scientists (with a few exceptions) but by politicians. Jane died in 2006, a few months after Stephen Harper became prime minister. His anti-science, and political handler for government scientists, policies hadn’t ramped up and weren’t something Jane could talk about therefore.
And the first example that Jane goes on to look at involves a “minor branch of engineering known as traffic engineering or traffic management.” Check out her book to get the stories. This is my second Jane Jacobs book. The first one I read was titled “Systems Of Survival.” It didn’t stick and I can’t remember anything from it. But I don’t recall it being bad.
“”Look! I am coming quickly and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work… I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Happy are those who wash their robes so that they may have authority to go to the trees of life… Outside are the dogs… and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation chapter 22)
“There are a few common interests, like we don’t want to be destroyed. But, for the most part, people within a nation have very different interests. The interests of the CEO of General Electric and the janitor who cleans his floor are not the same. Part of the doctrinal system in the United States is the pretense that we’re all a happy family, there are no class divisions, and everybody is working together in harmony. But that’s radically false.” page 8 of “Power Systems” in which Noam Chomsky is interviewed by David Barsamian