A Spiritual Analysis
The Long Road Into Night
The two currents of the patriarchy, the Indo-European and the Semitic, to a large extent now merged. The old Roman Empire crumbled, but up out of the ruins rose the Holy Roman Empire. With the cross in one hand and the sword in the other, it marched down through the centuries, and across the lands of Europe.
We are now approaching "the twilight zone" of Western history, a black hole of cultural values into which such concepts as justice, equality, human rights, and common sense disappeared. Very few history books actually explain what happened, and those writers that have attempted some insight into this period, use such terminology as "mass hysteria", or "collective psychosis", and pretty much let it go at that. The implication is, it was an aberration, an exceptionally dark time of history to which there is no rational explanation.
The analogy of the dysfunctional family is once again most appropriate. No one wants to face the hard truth about Daddy. Part of the healing process is coming out of this denial, talking about what happened and seeing it for what it is. And surprisingly, we find there are some rational explanations.
Part of this process of understanding is to put the events in their proper context. When viewed in the broader perspective of the preceding millennia, the picture becomes more clear. For the conceptual architecture in the developments of this period of history, was meticulously being developed several thousand years earlier. We have examined these psychic blueprints; the ideas and beliefs that helped form an entire culture.
As we know, the physical structure of the Roman Empire did not last, but the religious and cultural Empire that replaced it continued to grow in strength and size. The patriarch of the Roman Church continued to consolidate an increasing amount of power in his office, until his word was perceived as the word of God. The Popes saw the European continent as a big chess board, with every king and tribal chieftain as a piece on the board, to be moved and manipulated as they saw fit. It was a most profitable game in terms of power and wealth, and it lasted for over a thousand years.
The large cities of Europe were all distribution centers of the Roman Church, who's cultural values were sold to the surrounding populous as the only redemptive qualities of mankind.
The outlying areas however, were populated by large numbers of people still closely connected to the land. The peasant farming communities were extremely conservative, and clung tenaciously to the old beliefs in the Goddess and the sacredness of the land. Furthermore they still celebrated the ancient feast days of the seasons, calculated by the motions of the moon.
These people also lived in a communal society, and held productive farmland in common. Women in these communities, not only helped feed the family, but they were also healers, teachers, counselors and midwives.
To the sophisticated leadership in the Christianized cities, these people were known as pagans. In Latin, the word paganus simply means "country dweller". It was to these people then, that the Institution of the Church gradually turned its attention.
These rural people or pagans, were eventually seen as a threat to the patriarchal structure. They had the audacity to remain steadfast in their own culture and religion. For this they were labeled heathens and heretics, and their women leaders were called witches.
The Jewish population was also classified in a similar manner, along with any religious sect that dared to believe differently than the dictates of the Roman hierarchy. All these "dangerous and subversive" people, had to be dealt with. So a system of organized terrorism was brought into being. It was called the Inquisition.
In 1252 Pope Innocent IV issued a series of edicts aimed at the pagans, heathens, heretics and witches. It authorized the seizure of land and goods, imprisonment, and torture to secure an admission of guilt, from anyone that happened to fall under the suspicious eye of the Church. Upon giving a confession, they were then convicted and sentenced to death - usually to be burned at the stake.
This proved to be the most effective extorsion racket ever devised, and nearly all the local governments wanted in on it. By this means, the Church and State acquired huge amounts of land from the rural population and peasants.
At about the same time, there was a rising professional class of men called "doctors of medicine". These men saw what the Church was doing as a wonderful opportunity to eliminate their competition among the country folk. Women who were practicing the art of healing, and caring for the sick without the medical establishments' stamp of approval, were simply accused of using witchcraft. Witchcraft was a heresy, a crime against God, so the Inquisition took over from there.
In 1484 two Dominican priests named Kramer and Sprenger published a book entitled the Malleus Maleficarum, meaning: "The Hammer of the Evil Doers". This became the witch hunter's handbook for over 200 years, and went through 30 editions.(17)
In this exalted and authoritive document we discover the "real" reasons for witchcraft.
"All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable... wherefore for the sake of fulfilling their lust they consort even with devils." It goes on to enlighten us further. "More carnal than a man... she is deceitful, with a slippery tongue, a liar by nature. She is naturally credulous and impressionable, therefore quicker to waver in her faith, and consequently quicker to abjure the faith, which is the root of all witchcraft."
Under this system of beliefs almost anyone could be accused of being a heretic or a witch. And once the accusation was made, it was in fact, worse than receiving a death sentence. The person accused, very likely would never know who the accuser was. All proceedings were in secret. The person accused was not informed of the nature of the charges. Furthermore, they were not even allowed legal counsel. Evidence was accepted from anyone who would come up with a damaging report, even known criminals, perjurers, excommunicates and young children were allowed to testify against the accused. Torture was then used to secure a confession.
In the Malleus Maleficarum the process is pretty well spelled out for us.
The accused must be "often and frequently exposed to torture. If after being fittingly tortured she refuses to confess the truth, he (the inquisitor) should have other engines of torture brought before her, and tell her that she will have to endure these if she does not confess. If then she is not induced by terror to confess, the torture must be continued." If by chance the individual remains alive and still refuses to confess, "she is not to be altogether released, but must be sent to the squalor of prison for a year, and be tortured, and be examined very often, especially on the Holy Days."(18)
What is particularly revealing is that generally during the most preliminary of the proceedings, a female who was accused of being a witch, was usually gang raped. These multiple rapes however, were never regarded as part of the actual process of torture.
The official procedure of torture took many insidious and perverted forms of mutilation. Various devices were used to crush bones, tear limbs out of their sockets, and squeeze the air out of the lungs. The inquisitors would also proceed with branding irons, red hot pokers and pliers. They gouged out eyes, pulled off fingernails, slowly roasted hands or feet or immersed them in burning sulfur. Those who died under the process were said to have committed suicide, or were "killed by the devil".(19)
Once a confession was wrung out of the accused, he or she was made to repeat the confession before a room full of officials, who accepted the confession as "given freely and spontaneously without the pressure of force or fear". Then the heretic was handed over to the secular government to be executed, most often to be burned alive at the stake. Sometimes however, the Church officials would exercise an extreme act of mercy, and recommend the individual be strangled before being set afire.
This psychopathic campaign continued for hundreds of years in Europe. Torture was sanctioned and remained a legal recourse of the Church for over 500 years, and wasn't officially abolished until 1816 by Pope Pius VII. It is difficult to determine how many deaths were the result. But rough estimates indicate that anywhere between 8 to 12 million women were murdered by the Church and State.
It was recorded by an eye witness that in one year at the city of Como, over one thousand witches were burned at the stake. In Geneva, in a three month period over 500 people were killed. At Toulouse, it was recorded that 400 women were burned in a single day. In England between 1542 and 1736 the estimate is that no less than 30,000 people were slaughtered in this process of spiritual purification.(20)
This by no means even begins to exhaust what has been actually recorded. And given the obsession with secrecy on the part of the Inquisition, we can safely conclude that the record only represents a small fraction of the actual numbers.
Another factor that has to be figured into this terrible equation, is that huge numbers of farm laborers were pushed off their land. Many people simply starved to death as a result. The landless peasants were forced to move into the cities, where they lived in horrible conditions, working for wages that barely kept them alive.
If you were a merchant however, or an owner of one of the small but growing manufacturing companies of the day, this was the best of times. You had an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor. So the business community ultimately benefitted by this campaign, and promoted it as well.
The most influential theologians of the day were not exactly sitting on their hands either. They were busy spinning out their updated theories on the fallen nature of women and the world.
A theologian by the name of Gratian, who was considered the greatest authority on Catholic cannon law in the 13th century, had this revelation for all to consider:
"Man, but not woman, is made in the image of God. It is plain from this that women should be subject to their husbands, and should be as slaves."(21)
Supposedly, one is free to speculate as to who's image women were created in.
Several centuries later, the most influential theologian of perhaps the entire Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas, felt he could enlighten us further.
"Woman is in subjection because of the laws of nature... Woman is subject to man because of the weakness of her mind as well as her body."(22)
He went on to explain that every woman is really the result of a birth defect, that resulted from her father being ill at the time of conception, or in a state of sin.
St. Bernard, not to be out-done, felt he could build on that: "It is easier for a man to bring the dead back to life than to live with a woman without endangering his soul."(23) We can well understand why he started a monastic order!
What is important to understand here, is these attitudes were not isolated beliefs, but were all part of a huge, and growing conceptual current that had its beginnings several thousand years before, when the first Semitic tribes invaded the civilized areas of Mesopotamia and the Middle East.
When the Protestant Reformation came along, they did in fact reform many areas within the Christian movement. But unfortunately, they too were caught up in this powerful current that believed in the inherent superiority of the male; the divine right of domination, conquest and exploitation; and the use of violence and killing as a means to achieve their ends. They also participated in the campaign against the pagans, heretics, Jews, witches, slaughtering millions of innocent people.
Both Martin Luther and John Calvin continued the gospel against women. They both believed that women should be subject to their husbands in all things, as a punishment for the sin of Eve. For a woman to refuse this type of subjugation, was to refuse the judgement of God.
Luther pretty well spells it out for us:
"The rule remains with the husband, and the wife is compelled to obey him by God's command. He rules the home and the state, wages wars, defends his possessions, tills the soil, builds, plants, etc. The woman, on the other hand, is like a nail driven in the wall. She sits at home and... does not go beyond her most personal duties..."(24)
As I have indicated many times in this presentation, there is a subtle, underlying connection between the physical body, sexuality, women and the Natural World. To devaluate, or attack any one of these, will negatively involve the others.
After explaining his position on women so well, Martin Luther quite unconsciously, shows us the above principle at work:
"All natural inclinations are either without God or against Him; therefore none are good. I prove it thus: All affections, desires, and inclinations of mankind are evil, wicked, and spoiled, as the Scripture says."(25)
From this astounding conclusion we can gain a real insight into the extent of the problem that was responsible for the torture and deaths of millions of women during this period. Not only was it a direct attack against women, but an attack against our own physical nature, our sexuality and the entire Natural World.
The repression of humanity's biological nature, became externally manifest in the violent oppression of women and feminine values. The denial and repression of sexual energy, became the fuel for the engines of torture and killing.
In a certain way, the attack on women can be seen as a extension or externalization of the whole ascetic, anti-sexual program that permeated the Indo-European tribes. Asceticism was based on the idea that spiritual growth depended on the control and conquest of Nature. Human beings set themselves against Nature, supposedly to transcend the Natural World. Once the Female became a symbol of the Natural World, she was consequently set upon as something to be controlled, conquered and even eliminated.
In the so called "lower nature" of the animal kingdom, the males of the various species, are almost always instinctively programmed to protect the females and her young. This of course is to insure the survivability of their species. It has also been found that in most species, males will refuse to attack females even under strong provocation. This is a biological directive of the Natural World.
But when we come to the human species, we find a strong cultural agenda to "rise above" all such instinctual programming. The "higher" rational qualities are believed to be far superior to the emotional and physical characteristics of our nature. We are taught to transcend our "lower animal instincts". As Gratian put it, "Man, but not woman, is made in the image of God". This also translates into the concept that the Mind, but not the Body, is made in the image of God. Spirit, but not Nature, is made in the image of God.
This belief system virtually becomes a sword that splits the human psyche in half. The entire culture becomes schizophrenic. And consciousness erupts in many strange and violent ways. War and genocide is one expression of this pathological condition. The devaluation, torture and killing of women is another. The exploitation and physical destruction of the Earth is yet another. It is all part of the same psychic dysfunction.
With this realization in mind, we can better understand how the next dark chapter in our history unfolded. In 1452 Pope Nicholas V, issued an official document to King Alfonso of Portugal. This document was entitled Romanus Pontifex. In effect, it expanded the war against the witches and heretics to include all non-Christians throughout the world. It actively promoted the idea of conquest, colonization and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories. The Pope directed King Alfonso to
"capture, vanquish, and subdue the Saracens, pagans, and the other enemies of Christ . . . to put them into perpetual slavery . . . to take all their possessions and property."(26)
With such direction and support from the Church, Portugal expanded its dominions by making "discoveries" along the Western coast of Africa, claiming the land for Portugal and using the indigenous people as slaves.
Shortly after, Columbus also made such profitable "discoveries" for Spain in the Americas. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI, issued an official document to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella entitled Inter Cetera Divinae.(27) This document granted to Spain the same powers of conquest and exploitation that had been given to Portugal. In this way, the Christian imperialist ambitions would eventually expand to include the New World.
The invasion into the Americas by the Christian European tribes, was a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Shortly after Columbus landed on the island he called Hispaniola, all the women leaders of the various clans were strangled to death, and all the ruling families eventually killed. Every person over the age of 14, was made to pay a certain amount of gold every 3 months to their new rulers. If they somehow failed to meet this obligation, they simply had one of their hands cut off. Many tried to escape this reign of terror, and were hunted down with dogs and killed. Many women aborted their babies, rather than bring them into a world ruled by such barbarians. Left with no options and no hope, there were mass suicides.
Because so many of the original inhabitants chose death rather than submit to a life of servitude, the Spanish were actually forced to import slaves from Africa.
Thirty years after the Spanish arrived on Hispaniola, the native population went from approximately one hundred fifty thousand people to no more than four thousand. Today there are no indigenous people left on the island where Columbus first set foot.(28)
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning. The conquest of the New World was the continuation of the same pathological condition that gave birth to the Inquisition, only now it had broadened its scope to include half the world. It became a systematic war waged on all native cultures.
Within a 100 years, literally millions of people either died of disease, murder, starvation, suicide or despair. No one really knows for sure how many people there were in the Americas before the invasions. There are now some educated estimates which claim that at least two thirds of the Native population died between 1519 and 1650. The question of numbers and percentages will never be fully answered. What is beyond dispute however, is that the actual number of survivors of the holocaust, reflect but a small fraction of the original inhabitants. The fact that there are any survivors at all, reflects the tremendous strength of their religious and cultural values, and the integrity of the people.
When exactly the Inquisition ended is purely academic at this point. The spirit of the Inquisition never ended. Instead of labeling the indigenous people as pagans, heathens, heretics or witches, the power structures simply called them other names, such as Indians, savages, and animals. Anyone who resisted the conquest, who tried to hold onto their own land, culture, religion, or personal dignity was seen as an enemy.
In the United States, the native population experienced the same holocaust as others did. The white European tribes wanted the land for themselves and were simply unwilling to share. They believed they were a superior race and their God had destined them to possess and rule the Earth.
This popular delusion was clearly reflected in a statement made by President Taft, as late as the beginning of this century. "The day is not far distant when the whole hemisphere will be ours in fact. As by virtue of our superiority of race, it already is ours morally".(29)
By this statement however, Taft wasn't simply vocalizing public sentiment. For the instruments to make this racist dream a reality, had already come into being nearly a hundred years earlier. In 1823 the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Johnson v. McIntosh adopted the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and Conquest. Chief Justice John Marshall pointed out that Christian European nations had gained "ultimate dominion" over the lands of America during "the Age of Discovery".
"Discovery", he explained, "gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian right of occupancy, either by purchase or by conquest . . . That law which regulates, and ought to regulate in general, the relations between the conquerors and the conquered was incapable of application to . . . the tribes of Indians . . . fierce savages who's occupation was war, and whose subsistence was drawn chiefly from the forest."(30)
This blatant justification for classifying Native Americans as subhuman, unworthy of even the consideration given to a conquered people, became the legal foundation for U.S. Indian policy.
The indigenous people of the plains were particularly resistant to this racist policy. Consequently, in the 1880's the invading European tribes decided to eliminate the native people's food supply. In a twelve year period, approximately some 50 million buffalo were slaughtered. Huge mountains of carcasses were simply left to rot in the sun.
This not only eliminated the food supply, but decimated the entire culture of the plains people. They regarded the buffalo as their most sacred animal. The people depended on the buffalo not only for food, but for most everything else: shelter, clothing, tools, etc. Within a relatively short time, their entire world collapsed.
They were then relocated to the worst pieces of land the Government could find - euphemistically called reservations. These people were then supposedly out of the way, of the more serious business of white people - "settling the land".
At one time in Europe, before the violent campaigns of the Inquisition, the rural people or pagans held their land communally. The patriarchy with its values based on competitive greed, believed this practice to be at the very heart of pagan heresy, and vigorously sought to wipe it out.
As in Europe during the Middle Ages, control and ownership of land became the driving force of public policy in the United States. And as in Europe, we find the same savage campaigns to gain control of the rural population and their resources.
We can see how this process played out, in a detailed account of one of the individuals who was most instrumental in bringing it about.
In his book, Year 501 The Conquest Continues, Noam Chomsky relates what the scholar Angie Debo describes in her classic study entitled, And Still the Waters Run. "In the independent Indian Territory, land was held collectively and life was contented and prosperous. The Federal Indian Office opposed communal land tenure by ideological dogma, as well as for its practical effect: preventing takeover by white intruders. In 1883, a group of self-styled philanthropists and humanitarians began to meet to consider problems of the Indians. Their third meeting was addressed by Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts, considered a "distinguished Indian theorist", who had just concluded a visit of inspection to the Indian Territory. Like earlier observers, he described what he found in glowing terms: "There was not a pauper in that nation, and the nation did not owe a dollar. It built its own capitol, in which we had this examination, and it built its schools and its hospitals. No family lacked a home."
Dawes then recommended that the society be dissolved, because of a fatal flaw, of which the benighted natives were unaware: "Yet the defect of the system was apparent. They have got as far as they can go, because they own their land in common. It is Henry George's system, and under that there is no enterprise to make your home any better than that of your neighbors. There is no selfishness, which is the bottom of civilization. Till this people will consent to give up their lands, and divide them among their citizens so that each can own the land he cultivates, they will not make much more progress."(31)
"Dawes's proposal to bring enlightenment to the savages was approved by the Eastern humanitarians, and soon implemented. He introduced legislation that barred communal landholding and headed the Commission that oversaw the dispossession of the Indians that inevitably ensued. Their lands and property were looted, and they were scattered to the remote urban areas where they suffered appalling poverty and destitution."
Not surprisingly, the Indian Wars have not ended. Today on the reservations, the people live in the worst poverty in the Western Industrialized World. The average life expectancy is only 44.5 years. People live longer in Bangladesh. The infant mortality rate on the reservations is the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Alcoholism is a rampant and chronic problem. And there is a continual and unrelenting effort to assimilate the Native Americans into the dominant culture. Even what little reservation land remains in Indian hands, is continually under pressure from developers, mining and logging companies. The natural resources of this once worthless land, have now become corporate target areas. In some areas, there is tremendous pressure building to set up toxic dump sites on Indian land.
In 1900 there were only 250,000 full blooded native people remaining on their land. By 1990, that number is down to 30,000. This is no accident, no aberration of modern policy, but merely represents one small wave in the storm of genocide that has been raging in the world ever since the first Indo-European and Semitic tribes attacked the cities of India and Mesopotamia.
After nearly five thousand years, the same old patriarchal program of Discovery and Conquest is still running. Only now it is worldwide, from Africa and Indonesia to the Americas. One area that is so tragically typical of many places in the world is Guatemala.
In 1954 a U.S. backed military coup overthrew the democratically elected government in Guatemala. Some 8,000 peasants were murdered in the first two months. Particularly targeted, were Indian village leaders, union organizers and any of the clergy who were sympathetic to the poor.(32)
Death squads set up by the CIA, increased their campaigns of terror to genocidal proportion in the 1970s. Over 400 villages of the indigenous Mayan people which make up 60% of the population were burned to the ground, and over 100,000 civilians were slaughtered or "disappeared". Many of the bodies that were found showed signs of torture and mutilation. Since 1980 45,000 people in Guatemala have disappeared, 175,000 have been killed and over 200,000 have been forced into exile. And the holocaust continues in Guatemala even today.(33)
Instead of labeling these people heathens and savages, the power structure now conveniently refers to them as communists, guerrillas and terrorists, making them fair game for extermination. In exactly this way, whole tribes of native people in Central and South America are disappearing, even before we can learn of their existence. What little information we do get is second hand from other surviving tribal peoples.
The industrial driven consumer society armed with their advanced technology, moves across the lands and seas of the Earth, spreading their Gospel of Materialism, Competition and Progress. No culture, no people, man, woman or child, no mountain, river, animal or plant shall stand in its way. The whole world is now going to have PROGRESS, even if it means destroying the entire planet itself.
Each year in the United States over 4 billion tons of topsoil is lost, caused by gross mismanagement of the land. Every day, billions of gallons of water are being drawn up from the ground which isn't being replaced by rainfall. If this practice continues at its present rate, very soon we will turn the bread basket of the world into a dust bowl.
Worldwide, humans are attacking the remaining tropical rainforests with a vengeance. Every minute, 50 acres of trees are eliminated. The magnitude of this crime, simply escapes most people's comprehension. But, the fact remains that over one half of all the animals and plants on the Earth, live in the tropical rainforests. Each year, literally thousands of species are driven into extinction, because of this mindless rape of the Earth. And the rate of extinctions is accelerating all over the world, not just in the rainforests.
Even when considering these horrendous events, by far the most long lasting and perhaps the most devastating of all, is how human beings have impacted the Earth's atmosphere. In the last 2 centuries we have produced a greater change in the chemical composition of our atmosphere, than all the changes that it has undergone in the previous 1 million years. How this will ultimately impact life on the planet, no one can really predict at this point. One thing however, scientists have determined with a great deal of certainty that our protective ozone layer, which shields us from the destructive ultraviolet radiation of the sun, is growing increasingly thinner in places. This allows greater amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth's surface. Already in certain places where the ozone layer has shown the greatest degree of damage, scientists have detected a marked increase in the frequency of skin cancer in humans, and genetic damage in plants and animals.
The worst part of this scenario however, is that even if every country agreed to stop releasing ozone destroying chemicals into the atmosphere next year, the chemicals that are already in our atmosphere will go on destroying ozone for over one hundred years.
This is just one of the most obvious problems we have created in our atmosphere. There are others, which may prove to be even more damaging in the long run. At best, we are carrying on some very dangerous experiments, the outcome of which, we haven't got a clue.
This pathological process of plundering the Earth is fueled by the ever increasing greed of the chosen few, who see themselves as Lords and Masters of Nature. We live in a world where 20% of the population of the planet consumes 80% of the Earth's resources. In the United States, the top 1% of the population owns and controls more wealth, than the bottom 90% combined. And with every passing year, the wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.
In the book of Genesis God said:
"Let us make man to our image and likeness; and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth... increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it..." Gen. 1:26-28,62
Unfortunately, this concept has served as a Divine mandate for a large number or the human species to rape and plunder the Earth. It has also served as a conceptual model from which many other negative and perverse ideologies were spun out.
The English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626), at the center of a new current of cultural influences, reflected the secular and scientific spin to the old Biblical directive. In his vision of human destiny, he saw Nature as a slave."(34)
I am come in very truth leading to you Nature with all her children, to bind her to your service and make her your slave."
The French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) seemed to echo Bacon from across the English channel. He flatly stated that the ultimate fulfillment of humanity is to become "Lords and Masters of Nature". In his totally rational Universe, just as Man was separate and superior to Nature, the Mind was separate and superior to the Body. It is not ironic however, the Christian theologians of the day were preaching that Men were separate and superior to Women.
Bacon and Descartes reflected the new scientific and commercial idealogy that had been sweeping across Europe for some time. The new professional classes and entrepreneurs had been rising in power and prominence. The ethics of private ownership of land and resources became a dominant theme, along with the strictly rational and utilitarian beliefs of science.
When the Industrial Revolution arrived in the middle of the 18th century, these swelling conceptual currents were suddenly released, flooding the entire Western world.
At about this same time, the ideas of Charles Darwin began to capture the imagination of many people in high places. In his new theory on Evolution, he proposed that in any species only the most fit were able to survive. Picked up by the male dominant power structures of Industrial Capitalism, this concept proved more than adequate to justify the violent exploitation of people and resources. When Darwin's theory of Evolution was applied to the "real world" of macroeconomics, personal profit became inextricably linked to biological survival. Monopolistic Capitalism now became the dominant working model for the way the world works. Increasingly it was perceived as the only way businesses could survive in a savagely hostile world.
The ethic of maximizing personal gain regardless of the consequences to others or the environment, consequently became the primary directive of economic life. Competition for the limited and dwindling resources of the Earth, is now translated into a life and death struggle to survive.
When the huge conceptual currents of Monopolistic Capitalism, Scientific Materialism and the Patriarchal Paradigm all merged in the 20th Century, we find an explosive mixture that put an end to all pretense to a civilized society. The industrial war machines of the modern nation-states began to seriously battle one another for turf and natural resources. The result has left the Earth poisoned, scarred and millions of people dead or impoverished.
After two long and bloody World Wars and hundreds of smaller conflicts, human beings still long for peace. Having been programmed to believe in violence as a legitimate method to achieve peace, people all over the world still appropriate tremendous quantities of the Earth's resources to support growing military establishments, even at the risk of undermining their own standards of living, or sacrificing a quality education for their children. Militarism is a rampant disease that has spread to the farthest corners of the globe, and is actively being promoted by the United States.
From 1989 through 1991 the United States increased its export of weapons to the Third World more than 138%, making the U.S. the leading arms exporter in the world today. Total arms sales rose from $12 billion in 1989, to $22 billion in 1993, and still rising. Furthermore, it has been estimated that approximately one third of the U.S. foreign aid given out to other countries, is devoted to direct grants or loans for the purchase of U.S. military equipment.(35)
While the number one export of the United States is weapons, we shouldn't be surprised to find this country has become the most violent on the face of the Earth. The power structure that was born out of conquest, sustained through domination and exploitation, has so effectively instilled the population with these violent attitudes, that in the mass media today, the act of killing has become a form of entertainment. And killers are portrayed as heroes.
The seeds that have been planted long ago are beginning to bear fruit, and it is bitter indeed. The gangs in our inner cities are reflections of the military gangs supported by our foreign policies. Both groups of killers fly their own colors, talk their special talk and even walk their own special walk. How can we expect the gangs on our streets to behave any different than our gangs on foreign soil? It is a fact that in the two years from 1991-1993, more people were murdered in the United States, than all the U.S. soldiers killed in the Viet Nam War.
The hard truth is, people in this country are at war. But instead of fighting the power structures of oppression and exploitation, they are killing one another in the streets. Instead of battling the attitudes of conquest, and mindless competition, they are turning on one another in fits of rage and revenge.
A society that lives by the gun is a sick and dying society. And the Patriarchy is dying all around us. For it doesn't answer our questions anymore. It doesn't fulfill our deepest needs. And our children are killing themselves out of hopelessness and despair. The hour is getting late, and it's time now to wake up from our deep cultural trance.
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