*edit, July 19, 2015 – Forgive me for presenting some incorrect ideas. That stems from lack of formal education. I don’t claim to be well educated, at least if we are talking about formal education. But I try. I might, for example, refer to Greece’s possible exit from the European Union, whereas the only thing there is to talk about is Greece’s possible exit from the Eurozone, a different creature. So, I’m still learning.
This post isn’t so much about Greece as it is about evil versus imperfection, which certainly allows us to ask whether what’s going on in Europe is a result of imperfection or evil. Really, The same leaders who are showing glee torturing Greece are indifferent, and worse, toward neo-Nazis rampaging in Ukraine. Are they just mistaken? Or evil? How many reports have you read about officials, caught up the the machinery grinding Greece, wringing their hands over the pain that they are causing the Greek people? I’m not talking about polite, diplomatic talk from officials speaking publicly or producing papers that the public will have access to. I’m talking about freely given, unofficial commentary from deciders in Europe indicating that they are aghast at what the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) is doing to the Greek population.
This dark world’s rulers have modified themselves into being monsters. Their values are: ‘riches for the strongest’. In other words, Their values are machismo, violence, fierceness, betrayal and lawlessness. Perversity can be regarded as a form of lawlessness. When you’re lawless, you are going over the boundary demarcated by a law. Same thing for perversity, although the law broken is often unwritten. People who turn themselves into monsters without empathy look like this: “It was already there in spring 2010, when the then prime minister, George Papandreou, begged Merkel not to crush his country with austerity, and she coolly replied: “We want to make sure nobody else will want this.”” Let me guess; The institutions made her do it. The mass misery Merkel supports, morally and materially, can’t be excused with a “I was following orders” plea either. She’s among those who issue orders. (See “This referendum is a fight between the Greeks and Europe’s cruel capitalism” by Aditya Chakrabortty.)
Such monsters have no hesitation about spiritually and mentally ruining millions if they think, as they have chosen to think, that the result will be glory to them. When you weaken people to the point where you can take anything, including life, from those ruined ones, and then when you proceed to take from them, you get their attention. And that’s your glory, which will meet a greater glory. But that isn’t something they dwell on. It could slow them down.
Anyway, A poster in the discussion attached to the top of post linked-to article asked “Pope Frank, were are you?” I don’t know anything about the poster or why he asked, but the question is a good one. If the Pope can speak out about global warming, a big issue, Can he not speak out about the torturing of Greece by the troika, another big issue? But maybe he has. I don’t know. In any case, my online comment was riffing off of that poster’s comment. I’ll first give you an excerpt from the top of post linked-to article, which is my custom, even though my comment is more general rather than dealing directly with the subject of the Greek predicament and the referendum that may result in Greece’s exit from the corrupt European Union. First the excerpt:
In fact, getting Tsipras out of the way appears to be a major goal of the European leaders and lenders, economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote on Monday.
“After all, it is extremely inconvenient to have in Greece a government that is so opposed to the types of policies that have done so much to increase inequality in so many advanced countries, and that is so committed to curbing the unbridled power of wealth,” Stiglitz argued. “They seem to believe that they can eventually bring down the Greek government by bullying it into accepting an agreement that contravenes its mandate.”
The powerful neoliberal ruling classes in Europe are willing to torture the entire country of Greece in order to use that to get rid of Alexis Tsipras… so that they and their allies can be free to torture the entire country of Greece. I don’t see any evil there. Do you?
My response to the poster’s question about the apparent mia Pope follows:
Interesting. Has he said anything? I don’t know. I’m not a Catholic or a fan of the Pope. I’ve always held the position that people – not side issues, as important as they may be – come first. I feel that if you truly have faith in God (God as in God, and not humankind collectively), then you’d care about people first and foremost, because God will deal with the big problems that we can’t, in his own way and time.
It’s easy to get all righteous about the relatively superficial stuff (global warming, same sex marriage), if you have to in order to stay popular. Think about all the rightwingers who, right now, are sounding like leftwingers in relation to same sex marriage in the US. I personally don’t agree with same sex marriage – in some ways. My principles and beliefs, while never closed off from discussion (we are imperfect and can get things wrong and so I can’t take the position that I absolutely know that I always get it right), are not negotiable. It’s not horse trading. I believe in human rights. I believe that gays (not always but that doesn’t matter) are actually gay, but I don’t believe that that is natural, except from a certain standpoint. It – and much else – stems from imperfection, which our first human parents introduced into the human race when they willingly and knowingly turned against God and his (right to establish) standards. With time, We don’t evolve. We become more imperfect and if neo-Nazis running around killing and torturing in Europe, with leaders’ blessing, isn’t proof of no evolution, then I don’t know what is. That position, and my belief in an actual creator God, sets me outside of the Left, unless it’s the ‘number’ of issues that I am in agreement on with leftists that make me leftwing, in which case I’m still leftwing. What I care about most, however, is being true to myself, and, so far, that means being faithful to my God.
I’d also like to hear the Pope talk about his past. But that’s just me and a handful of others, like Robert Parry (http://bit.ly/1KlC1CT). Others (environmentalists), who might like to have powerful allies no matter what sort of background they have, may be less interested in digging up dirt. So be it. If you’ve aided and abetted torture and killing, you may get a pass from desperate people who need you for some purpose, but you will still answer to God, eventually. And you don’t get a pass from me. I believe in forgiveness. But I don’t forgive a lot or easily, simply because that’s the kind of forgiveness I show. It’s the kind that can’t be mistaken for a pat on the back for serious wrongdoing or wrongdoing that indicates serious moral failings.
I wish the environmentalists, and gays and lgbt’s (and human rights) success, but do believe that they will only get it, as individuals, if they side with God. It’s a matter of loyalty. And he’s not looking for the impossible. Gays are gay. I don’t want them to pretend that they aren’t or stop living like gays in order to respect a design that they’ve strayed from (not by choice). I could be wrong about that, but I don’t think that God requires it. He doesn’t require the impossible. He does require, however, that they understand that homosexuality is not part of his design and will one day be eliminated. Gays who insist that God is who ‘they’ say he is, can do so. It’s a free universe. But that’s not exactly loyalty, Is it?
“Europe’s Attack on Greek Democracy” by Joseph Stiglitz
An excerpt from the above linked-to article (referred to in the top of post linked-to article) follows:
The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics…
We should be clear: almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors – including German and French banks. Greece has gotten but a pittance, but it has paid a high price to preserve these countries’ banking systems. The IMF and the other “official” creditors do not need the money that is being demanded. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the money received would most likely just be lent out again to Greece…
But why would Europe do this?…
That concern for popular legitimacy is incompatible with the politics of the eurozone, which was never a very democratic project. Most of its members’ governments did not seek their people’s approval to turn over their monetary sovereignty to the ECB…
And, sure enough, what we are seeing now, 16 years after the eurozone institutionalized those [power] relationships, is the antithesis of democracy: Many European leaders want to see the end of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government. After all, it is extremely inconvenient to have in Greece a government that is so opposed to the types of policies that have done so much to increase inequality in so many advanced countries, and that is so committed to curbing the unbridled power of wealth.
I believe in the Left, but not the way most Leftists do, including many who don’t believe in an actual God, who created (not ‘evolved’) humankind. I believe in democracy, but not in the way that most supporters of democracy do. For a long time, after I became religious (and I am not now religious in the same way I first was), I simplistically rejected democracy, believing that you can’t be both a theocrat and a democrat. But much of what supporters of democracy believe in is, simply, godly, or decent. How could I object to fairness and a regard for human rights? I don’t. Most of the time, in my discussions (with flesh and blood people and online and in posts I do for my own blog) those distinctions don’t enter into my commentary. They don’t need to. But, in this post, I’ll point out that I am indeed a theocrat, because I indeed believe that like it or not (and normal people will like it), humankind will live (and flourish) under a theocracy. (The so-called theocracies on earth right now are only divinely ruled systems if you are talking about a divinity named Satan.) In a way, We are now. People just don’t see it. And that’s because people aren’t interested in seeing it.
God, whose self-given name is Jehovah (however it’s pronounced and spelled), embraces a type of democracy. He embraces a progressive democracy, one that consists of self-aware individuals who are loyal to him and his son, Jesus Christ, and who look forward to a time when humankind will be able to live to it’s fullest potential because the value of Christ’s shed blood will have been applied to imperfect humankind, raising it to (it’s) perfection. There will be no place in that future world for those who choose to reject God’s standards and his rule over humankind and the universe, for, unlike now, trouble-makers will simply not be allowed to influence society around them. They’ll be destroyed.
Call it cruel if you like. As free moral agents you can accept God’s standards or die. Is that freedom? Ah yes, but reality is reality. There’s only one reality. From our imperfect, and Satan’s scheming, standpoint, that freedom might seem false. But is it? The young child who wants to play in traffic and is told by his parents that he can’t because cars will kill him aren’t being cruel, Are they? In our imperfection, We can really, truly display faulty thinking (and feeling), especially when we are encouraged and compelled to do so by lawless, proud neighbors (including employers and family and friends) who themselves have been influenced by a powerful, invisible spirit creature who they’ve actually been conditioned to believe doesn’t exist. And I’ll leave it there. If you want to know why Satan is Satan and not merely the personification of wickedness, you can read my essay The Issue Of Universal Sovereignty.