Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Eye For An Eye

Individual liberty is often discussed in terms of having the freedom to swing one's fist right up to the tip of someone else's nose. Ideally, no one else cares what one may doing as long as it doesn't harm others. So far so good...

In the real world. the mischief lies in the fact that we do violate each others' rights all the time, even if only accidentally. Accidents are occasionally but not always forgiven. Things that are done on purpose have a way of rarely or never being forgiven.

For the reasons discussed above life often seems like a very complicated game of retaliatory moves. There's a lot of talk about "turning one's cheek" from our supposed spiritual leaders, but down here on earth most people at least defend themselves if not actually take the fight right back to their enemies. Americans seem to forget that even if there may be no such things as "instant karma" there is the reality of retaliatory acts on the part of others. How long can we - as Americans - expect to piss in everyone else's soup and not be taken to task for it? It's not an idle question. Because I am a man of peace and wish to tread softly upon the earth I try to behave as to do injury to no one and no thing unless I must. but as a nation we are doing harm all over the planet. Where we do no actual harm we behave intrusively as if we had every right to do so. We act like bullies and every other nation on earth knows this about us.

We need to start behaving in a manner more consistent with keeping the peace. I write that as if there were a peace to be maintained when in reality the U.S. is at war or engaged in aggressive acts all over the world, just as it has been for several decades.

We pretend one thing while we do another. It's not hard to imagine that the people of other nations have caught us out for the hypocrites that we obviously are.

So, what do we suppose they will do in return?