Monday, July 03, 2017

Is An Enemy of Humanity Not Your Enemy Too?

If someone is poised to inflict irreparable harm to humanity, especially when he's motivated by greed or prejudice or narcissism, is that person not an enemy of humanity? And, if that person is an enemy of humanity, is he not your enemy?

It's a question that's not going away, not for the remainder of my lifetime or yours. It's a question that's going to become ever more pressing and for each of us there'll be a point where we'll have to take sides.

And, yes, I'm making this point about Donald Trump but it also applies to his collaborators and lesser enemies of humanity. Eventually that migrates down to their enablers, backers and adherents. You either stand with them inside that circle or you stand outside their circle. Think about it.

You may have heard about Stephen Hawking's warning that Trump's indifference to climate change, his rejection of the Paris climate accord and his rehabilitation of America's fossil energy interests, "could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.”

That's not hyperbole either. It could happen. If you get a chance check out Peter Ward's "Under a Green Sky." Ward, a paleontologist from Washington, believes that five of Earth's great extinctions were triggered by atmospheric carbon loading that acidified the oceans, triggered the production and release of massive plumes of hydrogen sulfide that pretty much wiped out all complex life forms. You can read the critical paragraph from Green Sky here.

And now it's raining in the one place it's not supposed to rain, ever, Antarctica. And this is happening while Donald Trump cuts funding for climate science research and monitoring, promotes fossil energy over renewables and eviscerates the EPA and NASA climate programmes. Does that not make him an enemy of humanity?

Does that make Donald Trump and, for that matter, most of Congress that backs him up, my enemy? I suppose it does not that there's much I can or would do about it. Much as I'll miss it, I've chosen not to travel through the U.S. any longer. I'll do what I can to stop supporting the U.S. economy in other ways.

Can it be doubted, in the perilous state the world faces today, that all of our leaders - not just Trump - have a paramount duty to the survival of our species and our global civilization? Do they not have a duty to stop this madness in the limited time remaining while we may still have that option? Do they have some right to foreclose on our grandkids' future for the sake of their GDP numbers in the runup to the next election and the one after that?

And, if you don't consider these people your enemies, many of those on what used to be the fringe but no longer see you as theirs.

Disgusting. Dishonorable. Dangerous. But also deliberate. Everything deplored by the NRA in the ad is committed by "they" -- a classic manipulation turning anyone who disagrees with your point of view into "The Other" -- something alien, evil, foreign.

"They use their media to assassinate real news," "They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler," "They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again."

"And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance."

Well, we all know who "they" are, don't we? This is the vitriol that has been spewed like garbage since the days of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blasted from lynch mobs and demagogues and fascistic factions of political parties that turn racial and religious minorities into grotesque caricatures, the better to demean and diminish and dominate.

Don't think for a second that Canada is immune to this sordid disease. We're not. There are plenty of our fellow citizens who can embrace this type of toxic extremism. To them we're libtards, cucks and snowflakes. There's a culture war underway and we didn't start it. Our choice is whether we're going to lose it.


Toby said...

Manning's Reform Party became the Official Opposition during an election when the other parties were promoting gay rights and gun control. Add in abortion and one or two other unsolvable issues and an uncrossable wall is erected.

Dana said...

It's quite disturbing to me how easily Americans are relinquishing their democratic institutions. I'd love to believe it won't be that easy here or in Britain but I can't quite get to confident. I feel more sure of the Western European countries than I do about the North American ones.

The Mound of Sound said...

I always imagined that "love of country" was America's thing, Dana. What I never grasped until recently is that it really comes down to triumphalism, being "number one" that counts, not the state itself or its democratic foundations. I too am dismayed at their indifference to the rise of oligarchy and the blatant displacement of their democracy.

Dana said...

Triumphalism became a major feature of American culture since they began failing at politics by other means. A few years after their Vietnamese misadventure ended.

Anonymous said...

Anyong....12:54 All Canadians have to do is remember how First Nations People were and still are being manipulated.