Other people often express my feelings: what a gift as they find some words to communicate what is sensed in the current moment, yet not easily captured using the limits of human created languages…
Richard Rohr on Systemic Evil
For most of history we believed that evil was almost exclusively the result of “bad people” and that it was our job to make them into good people….only in the 20th century did popes and many moral theologians begin to teach about corporate sin, institutionalized evil, systemic violence, and structural racism. These very words are new to most people, especially ones who benefit from such illusions.
I believe personal evil is committed rather freely because it is derived from and legitimated by our underlying, unspoken agreement that certain evils are necessary for the common good. Let’s call this systemic evil. However, if we would be honest, this leaves us very conflicted. We call war “good and necessary,” but murder bad. National or corporate pride is expected, but personal vanity is bad. Capitalism is rewarded, but personal gluttony or greed is bad (or, at least, it used to be). Lying and cover-ups are considered acceptable to protect powerful systems (the church, political groups, governments), but individuals should not tell lies.
Thus we now find ourselves unable to recognize or defeat the tyranny of evil at the most invisible, institutionalized, and entrenched level. Evil at this stage has become not only pleasing to us but idealized, romanticized, and even “too big to fail.”https://email.cac.org/t/ViewEmail/d/5EE3A5D3A6B5DC672540EF23F30FEDED
Charles Eisenstein on the violence in our society
sacrificial violence, in which society discharges its rage, its anxiety, and its rivalries upon a dehumanized victim class. This latent force swells in times of social stress as in an economic crisis, famine, plague, or political upheaval.
Then elite powers can hijack it toward fascistic ends….whose thought patterns sometimes mirror those of the orthodoxy: We are the good guys, they are the bad guys. We are rational, they are irrational. We are conscious, they are asleep. We are ethical, they are corrupt.
Neither this nor any dissident movement is exempt from the systemic poison of incivility that now pervades the body politic. Self-righteousness, ridicule, name-calling, and contempt are necessary precedents to (Girardian) scapegoating.https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/a-temple-of-this-earth
A War for your Soul by Michele Westlander Quaid
“Through my 25 years of service in the national security community and my study of history, I’ve become aware of the techniques, tactics, and procedures that our enemies use. Though the Cold War ended 30 years ago, our nation is still in a war that has been brewing for decades—a war for America’s soul.”
“Nikita Khrushchev, who ran the Soviet Union from 1958 to 1964, openly predicted the destruction of the United States and said it would happen in the way that every society eventually collapses. “We will take America without firing a shot,” he said. “We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within.”
Those tactics amounted to a planned process of altering the way people think for a particular purpose, which is to affect a regime change. It’s effectively the brainwashing of society—a slow, methodical transformation. Those who conduct that ideological subversion are very patient to employ the tactics over decades. Ideological subversion has four stages and follows the Hegelian dialectic to control people.
Stage 1: Demoralization. This is the destruction of faith in the government and society. Believing that society is broken, systems are failing, and patriotism is evil are three key beliefs that are promoted to create guilt. This leads to the acceptance of radical new ideas, because the current structure is believed to be harmful. Traditional Judeo-Christian morality, classical education, and U.S. patriotism are discarded.
Stage 2: Destabilization. With the decision-making ability of Americans negatively affected through demoralization, the next step takes a foothold—destabilization of the nation’s foundations. Destabilization causes citizens to believe the worst of what they hear about their nation and form of government. Supporters of traditional values and foundational structures in the nation are ostracized and even demonized.
Stage 3: Crisis. The altered values of Americans cut to the root of the current systems. Upheaval presents opportunities for change. Once a society is destabilized, it begins to collapse into chaos. At that point, citizens want the government to provide stability. We saw that recently as a demoralized and destabilized society responded with fear and panic when a “pandemic” faced our nation. Americans are willingly trading civil rights and freedoms for authoritarianism and overreach that they believe will keep them safe. The messaging in all of this is key. The mainstream media and their “tell-a-vision” programming play a key role in framing the prescribed narrative as truth.https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/we-are-in-a-war-for-americas-soul_4001263.html
As you read these three stages of societal destruction from within, where do you think the USA is?
What should we do? For what purpose? for instance, do you feel we should try to repair the system, do you feel like protecting yourself, are you moved to reduce the pain and suffering of people in the system, are you inspired to reduce your own fear or discomfort?
I (Tara) personally think the “enemy” we are at war with is not any country or political ideology, not the left nor the right, not the secular nor the religious, not any one person or group….
but rather something that transcends all borders, spans generations and centuries of time.
It is a lack of love (for self, for others, for environment, and for divine source/God).
Charles Eisenstein writes about people in our society who are waiting for things to return to normal, expecting a return to sanity…
I excerpted some of his words here:
A return to sanity? Sanity will not be restored for us by others. We are the ones that must restore it.
We cannot wait for others to be brave on our behalf. We are here in this initiatory moment to choose who we are.
Maybe now is not the time to be brave? Maybe now is not the time to speak out. I’ll wait until it is a little safer.
But it will never be safe to be brave. Never.
Shall I wait for others to do what I dare not do?
Bravery means doing what is yours to do, when it is time to do it. Denying that knowing locks your heart in a box. Life becomes a chore. Despair descends like a fog, turning everything gray. Hope withers, leaving behind the dry empty husk called wishful thinking. And you face the dread of living the rest of life knowing, “I did not do what I was here to do, when the moment came and it counted.”
The rehearsal is over.
If I am not brave, what reason have I to hope others will be?
Courage and cowardice both are contagious. My choice establishes a principle of human nature. It declares not only who I am, but what a human being is. and what the world shall be. Each choice is therefore a prayer.https://charleseisenstein.substack.com/p/the-rehearsal-is-over