Friday, 2 July 2010

Jihad and Justice

Liberty and Justice only defend those that are willing to defend them, but the manner of that defense is limited only by the imaginations of those that issue that Defense. It is to be hoped that the fruits of Liberty and Justice would find such manner of Imagination as are the blessings of those two imperious qualities, and would not launch a defense more fitting of those that have been starved of either quality.

For desperation under the cudgel of despotism, is mirrored in the desperation of the struggle to overthrow such despotic regimes. Struggle, or the fight for freedom, or Jihad, only loses its credibility if it seeks to inflict upon others the very qualities it seeks to over throw. No credence can be placed in such a struggle.Rather this struggle,although it must be enjoined, should be set upon such principles that are immutable, both within the struggle itself, and after the struggle has been achieved. Only in this way can Liberty and Justice be won as a universal basis for any form of Governance. If one seeks to be governed in a manner that is both Peaceful, and allows for the fullest expression of personal and interpersonal Liberty, in combination with co-requisite duties that afford those self same qualities for others, then it behooves those that enjoin that struggle to show those very same qualities in the process itself.

Fight for the right, and your freedom to have that right. Allow others the same freedom, and right, if you don't have it already. If you have it defend it. But do it with imagination, and if you want peace, employ that principle in your fight. don't do it with violence then preach peace.

Of course, if violence is used against your freedom and your rights, then it is your right to struggle against that violence, in fact it is likely your duty. If you never had it, freedom and justice that is, then your struggle is likely to be of the basest kind, ie: violence, but if you have a prior exposure and understanding of Freedom and Justice, knowing them first hand, and have enjoyed them, then the fruits of having had those two principles operating in your life is likely to have given you the opportunities and imagination to explore more positive ways to struggle.

For instance, Ghandi only developed his system of thought, after having studied Law in London, and having enjoyed the fruits of both Justice and a peaceful environment. Choosing his weapons of change creatively, knowing that the British system of Law would demand a certain code of practice be adhered to in India. He had an enormous faith in the Sense of Justice within the British peoples, given they had enjoyed those principled qualities for the most part for many hundreds of years and they had become part of the cultural Heritage of that land.

Hitler however posed a different problem. His aggressive policies are often brought into contrast with those of Gandhi. Where as Gandhi sought to free himself and his people, from a Just people who had enjoyed the fruits of Freedom and Justice and were therefore familiar at least with the principles, Hitler sought to deprive others freedoms violently, and unjustly, with no recourse to either an external judicial agency or an internal one, and therefore an equal and opposite struggle formed in order to prevent his domination, as no other recourse could be employed. Violence is always the final act of the unimaginative and hopeless, it is the last vestige of the desperate and despicable.

Gandhi's strength was that he realized that eventually the internal fruits of freedom and Justice enjoyed by the British people would lead to public opinion pressuring the Government, through Law (Justice) to capitulate from the use of Violence if he himself did not employ it, and thereby he won his country freedom in the face of insurmountable odds against a vastly superior military strength, because he relied on the greater strength of both an internal veracity and power by way of consistent principles of action, and an external appeal to the judicial heritage enjoyed in Britain since the time of the Magna Carta.

Jihad, or Struggle against injustice and oppression, in the face of an overwhelming military force, is doomed to failure if it uses violence as its means, because it leaves no other response than an equal an opposite reaction, and if the power you use violence against is more powerful than you, then you undercut your hand and are doomed to fail. The law of the jungle is the eventual outcome, where Might makes right. But it is to be hoped that with a more enlightened approach Right may make might.

If there is a rule of law existent in the oppressors homeland, and if there is a measure of freedom available to the citizens of said homeland, then the person or group who struggle using violence actually end up struggling against there own interests, because they employ a practice that precludes any other form of imaginative, positive or creative form of struggle. That is not to say that, these measures cannot be used in conjunction with a violent struggle, but rather, the veracity and principled credibility of any of these addendum processes are so catastrophically undercut as to leave them as mere token gestures, without any moral credence at all.

In cases where violence is employed in the struggle, If faced with a greater might, then the law of the jungle or Might is right comes into effect, and the Jihadist will end up losing; But if they are creative,positive and imaginative in such circumstances, then eventually right will overcome, and create might, so long as the light of truth is shone on the circumstance, simply because Justice and freedom are ingrained principles within the oppressors own country, Heritage, or state. Therefore, if they continue an injustice or an enslavement in the face of their own laws, then they end up undercutting the very premise upon which their own state is founded, and each citizen in that state acts and functions, both internally, externally and communally.

Of course, Hypocrisy exists, but usually only in the dark. Once the light of truth is shone upon such Hypocrisy, then Justice comes into effect. Not always with immediate effect, but faced with the dissonance that this injustice creates, individuals, groups, or states are eventually forced to withdraw the Hypocritical action in favour of the Justice they espouse. The strength of Justice is Truth, and it should be employed at all possible times against states who are duty bound to adhere to that truth within their own judicial principles. There will always be more creative, positive and imaginative ways to do this, than acts of violence, which only ends up stimulating a sense of injustice within the people you seek to appeal to.

If one employs the very actions that one seeks to liberate oneself from, or worse actions, then between two competing principles or actions what is to separate them? certainly not an appeal to Justice. Therefore it should always be the case that the oppressed should employ such means that appeal to the injustice that is being perpetrated upon them, IF there is a system and heritage of Justice and freedom existent with the culture one seeks to separate oneself from, any other course or struggle is self defeating, if the force you fight is overwhelmingly stronger.

If there is no system of Justice or heritage of Justice and freedom within the culture or state you seek to separate yourself from, then you have a right to defend yourself in any means that ensures your survival, but this caveat is always a last case scenario, and it is unlikely except in the face of an overwhelming oppressor with no just recourse what so ever, and even then there is probably a better option.

One option here may be by way of appeal to a Greater Judicial body that has the power to maintain a system of Accountability. Sadly at present, The Globe does not possess this. Another of course is the Dunkirk option, retreat. For he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. It is sad that such a situation should have to exist, but without a Global Judicial Body with a mandate of accountability, the plight of the desperate leaves few avenues of expression.

By adopting a peaceful approach in the face of overwhelming aggression and violence, one does however undercut the power of the oppressor, and give both credence and power to ones own struggle.

If those in situations of desperate plight and subject to gross injustice, had the capacity to purchase weapons and bullets from arms manufacturer's then supposedly they also had the financial capacity to seek training in Law, or the peaceful dissemination of the truth by way of international media. Of course this may just be a fanciful idealism in the face of a brutal realism, and in the majority of situations sadly, this is the case.Yet if one is able to galvanize the masses in a unified struggle, employing the tenets of peace and non violence whilst also appealing to the principles of Freedom and Justice through the dissemination of truth, one radically strengthens ones hand in the face of violent oppression. A caveat to this is of course that one is appealing to a System of Justice, either in the internal state of the oppressor or a more powerful external meta-state, such as a mandated and independent Global Judiciary.

Many Current Jihads, or Struggles, could be settled by non violent means, if just such a judiciary was brought into effect. In fact, war itself might find it is outlawed, and you can be sure Arms manufacturer's and those that make profit from the misery and oppression of others globally would be none to pleased to see just such a peaceful Jihad take place.

For a Jihadist that takes up arms and violence as there means of struggle, they are defeated before they begin. Not only do they undercut the premise upon which they struggle, but they are actually supporting the very mechanism's they seek to free themselves and others from, by supporting an Amoral industry that makes its profit within a global free market economy by keeping protagonists at each other's throats. By adopting a policy of potential violence the Jihadist allows for the manipulation of events, and themselves, by vested interests who may seek to maintain a situation in which they can potentially profit from the maintenance and escalation of the very oppression the Jihadist seeks to set himself and others free from. Examples of this might be by way of False flag initiatives, coercive activity, diplomatic obscuration, or fiscal leverage to third party interests to maintain corruption in the face of resource benefit.

Therefore once again the Jihadist finds that by employing acts of Violence they are undercutting there position, and ensuring the prolongation of the injustice rather than its eradication, and further become the pawns of powerful vested interests or third parties who seek to make profit by maintaining the injustice.

By adopting a peaceful, creative, imaginative and constructive approach to the struggle, the Jihadist is brought to his greatest power, and frees himself from the tyranny of both the oppressors need to use coercive violence, and from the vested interests of powerful third parties who seek to maintain a system of mutual violence, for their own profit, whether that be fiscal or ideological profit.

Peaceful Struggle is the only way forward.

So then, put down your guns, your weapons of violence, your bombs and your inclinations to war, and instead pick up the banner of Truth, and enjoin the struggle with whole hearts, replete with the principles that you seek to enjoy and help others to enjoy. Peace, Justice and Freedom. So that the weapons of injustice, oppression and war may be consigned to the Hell in which they belong, and we may be graced with the Heaven we seek in our hearts to create.

© Richard Michael Parker 2009

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Star Bright

Star Bright

In fiery firmament, self sated stars,
late Venus rises below yon moon,
shines forth upon lo dwindling Mars,
t'is cupped to catch this lovers swoon;
Where wanton need breaks through this peace,
and sighs for psyches feathered search,
vexatious greed does find release,
in cupids hidden flighted lurch.
Why hidden loves must suffer so,
in twilight realms so near to thee,
a mothers love, this friendly foe,
remorseless trials, endlessly;
Yet lo, this supple spell unfolds,
and swims this endless night,
for lovers found in times untold,
are rested from their flight;
And swift the arrows make their mark,
as songs do echo out,
sweet psyche searching in the dark,
cries tears, forlorn in doubt;
So heaven open up your doors,
flee rancour and sad fright;
doth make these two doved winged amours,
together one Star Bright.

© Richard Michael Parker 2009

London skyline, 6pm, 27th February, 2009. Thoughts upon a friend, in remembrance of another, in reply to a third.

Bright Star

Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

John Keats1795 – 1821

Written by Keats in Joseph Severn's copy of The Poetical Works of William Shakespeare opposite the poem 'A Lover's Complaint'

Righteous Indignation

It occurred to me whilst I read even more damning statistics, about the disparity in resources and wealth in the world recently that its right that these stats and realities should make one angry....VERY ANGRY!!!....This anger can also be called ' Righteous Indignation'. Righteous indignation over gross injustices perpetrated by individuals, groups, communities, and social structures that seek to maintain advantageous positions by squashing the denizen poor beneath their collective heels. Guess what! WE are those individuals, groups, communities, and social structures that are actively or passively, by commission or omission doing this.

So why shouldn't it make one angry, when you realize that we made 61,000 billion dollars last year as a planet (GPP), but we cant spare 40 billion to ensure every man, woman, and child on the planet can drink safe clean water. When we spend 1200 Billion on weapons and arms, but supply the United nations, our ONLY global representative body with a mere 27 billion dollars each year, for all its administration, and projects.

Why shouldn't it make you mad, that 4000 children a day are dying from Diarrhoea, or that 50% of the beds in third world Hospitals are filled with those suffering from the same ailment, a preventable disease, because 90% of the 2.5 billion people in the developing world who don't have any sanitation or access to tools of hygiene are shitting into the same water sources they are forced to drink from.

Lets get real.....if we WAKE UP, and see what the state of events actually are, as they exist in the world today for 3.25 billion people (half the world population) who live on less than 2$ a day, and contrast that with the unbelievable wealth that is actually available to deal with these issues, and so many more, then you'd have to be either a callous sociopath, a sadistic psychopath, or an emotionally dead automaton, NOT to feel the 'Righteous Indignation' at such GROSS injustices.

OK....all of this is not new, lets face it we've been struggling ever since we climbed out of the sludge to sort out a situation whereby some form of balance could be struck that rewards certain kinds of actions over other actions, and dissuades some forms of behaviour and inclinations over those we deem acceptable within the social and temporal circumstance. It has ever been the case, that social systems are constructed as approximation processes, that mirror what either powerful individuals, (monarchs, dictatorships...), cabals (theocracies et al), or societies in general (Democracies etc.) consider their necessary vices and virtues.

For 60 years we have constructed in some manner or other, a global social network of representation, through global business agreements, the World Bank, The United Nations, the International Monetary fund, and various other Global agencies. All of which are GROSSLY UNDERFUNDED!!!!!....preferring to retain possession of personal wealth over and above the concept of a 'Commonwealth'. Of course this debate is one that can rage forever, and in fact does, between the Rawlsian and Nozickian camps, the Consumerists and Communitarian's, The Pan nationalists and the Global Federalists. But whatever way you paint it....half the worlds population is in dire poverty, 1 billion people have NO access to fresh drinking water, 2.5 Billion have no access to sanitation or simple Hygiene, 3.25 billion find themselves in a desperate day to day struggle to simply exist, and all the while we make 61 trillion dollars a year!!!! is that right?

Simple answer: ITS NOT!!!!!!

So what's the solution?

Now obviously I could rattle page after page of damning statistics, desperate disparities that make any clear thinking and feeling person with an ounce of empathy and compassion simply curl up their toes, close their eyes, and attempt to go back to sleep in a headlong sprint from the horror of the TRUTH, as it exists for most people. But how will that help, except to prick consciences. Most people just say, 'well what the heck can we do about it, we just exist within a system that simply constructs this resultant disparity, we didn't ask for it, we didn't even want it, and we sure as heck don't know what to do about it'.

In a way I have a lot of sympathy for those views, fact is most people are born into the world completely oblivious of their circumstance or the social structures in which they will be asked to exist within, and enjoin with, in order to get by. So it’s hardly a sin to exist within the social structures we are born into. Having said that, there comes a time when one is confronted by a gross injustice, that it then behoves that person, or group of people, to make a choice. They either choose to ignore it; or adopt an 'I'm all right Jack' selfish position; or obviate responsibility to some other group- a passing the buck position; or resign themselves to a state of listless apathy; or succumb to their own fears of rocking the boat; or find a myriad of reasonable and unreasonable justifications for turning away from the injustice or the needy; or they do something about it.

Let’s face it, most people only act out of convenience or some form of gain. Capitalism wouldn't be such a powerful expression of human instinct were that not the case. So the trick must be to both make the solution convenient, and appeal to some personal gain within the specified agent, whether that gain be one of altruistic appeasement in a compassionate or empathic agent, or merely satiating some personal peccadillo.

Now of course many have touted solutions such as Revolution, and violent over throw of corrupt regimes, systemic abuse of systems that are themselves abusive. These ideas are not new, lets face it the Communist revolutions last Century were a testament to the altruistic forces within the collective human psyche, in fact systems and regimes the world over have eventually fallen foul of their own systemic abuse for thousands of years, so the concept of revolution is not a new one. Sadly what also is not new in these often violent overthrows are the perpetuated systemic abuses by the regimes that seize power, often under the banner of justice and peace, only to find that the pogroms and witch hunts that follow and the slaughters that take them to that place are even more abusive than anything that they sought to liberate themselves from....its just that its happening to someone else!!!!....and as always it is usually the INNOCENT that suffer the most. So I reject a call for Violent revolution, as a sordid corruption of the spirit of Righteous Indignation.

Righteous Indignation that leads to a position of anger is good. Anger itself at gross injustice is a positive state of being. This of course is not always what we are taught. Its right in the face of gross injustice to feel your internal sense of right and wrong challenged and compromised in such a manner that it swings wildly askew. This disconcerted feeling of gross imbalance is what evokes the feeling of anger!...this in fact is GOOD!...for any clear thinking, good hearted, Just, Honest and Sincere person of Good intention, with an ounce of compassion, would be similarly effected. WHAT WE DO WITH THAT ANGER HOWEVER, DEFINES US.

Anger, especially anger evoked through a state of Righteous indignation, does not have to lead to violence. If anything this avenue of expression is self defeating and hypocritical in the extreme. By merely exacting or perpetrating the very same injustice on another that you identified as a gross injustice in the first place, one ends up becoming that which was the object of ones ire. Anger is a catalyst, it is an internal compass bearing that points towards a state of affairs that is in need of rectification. It highlights the need for change. It isn't the change itself, but it can be the catalyst. It should be noted that perpetuating a state of Righteous indignation, without attempting to do something about it is also a self defeating process, and one that smacks of self indulgence. So if Righteous Indignation is to be the herald of anything positive, it must be the herald of action.

How that change occurs is also a point of choice!....change can come in many ways, violently!, through some catastrophic tipping point like a revolution, or peacefully by some collective constructive and imaginative process of Evolution. Systems that allow for the adaptation of process, and adaptive change to occur, are always likely to be hardier and more self sustaining, indeed effective, than those that buttress themselves from the changing circumstance of temporal and social flux.

One of the reasons that Capitalism is so hardy, is because it simply adjusts its winners and losers depending upon the emphasis within the market place. There will always be a winner!....there will always be a sector of the market that gains over and above other sectors of the market due to the collective social mores of the consumer base, or the vested interests of powerful elites who have assumed positions of power within the organelles of the administration processes of that free market capitalist entity. For instance during the last 8 years, the weapons and arms industry, the oil industry and allied pharmaceutical and chemical offspring gained massively over and above other competing sectors, and individuals and groups allied to these industries gained massively to boot, i.e.: companies like Halliburton and such entities like the Carlyle group.

So, it would seem that the framework is in fact in place to allow for the peaceful, constructive, productive and imaginative expression of the 'Righteous Indignation'...or JUST anger, that is peeked when faced with the outrageous disparity mentioned in the first few paragraphs. All it will take is that the bull be taken by the horns and choice be offered in a convenient manner to the consumer base to adjust the social circumstance and disparity that exists. No guns, No Bullets, No war, No murdering of innocents, No radical destructive process of retribution, but collective pro-social evolution through an organelle of an already existent system and process.

Now that's not to say, that the entire Globalist, Federalist, Cosmopolitan debate does not need to be enjoined. Its just that right here, Right now, we have at our disposal a system that if used creatively and imaginatively can bridge the divide we have systemically constructed between the developed and developing world, and appeal to the self interested 'ALTRUISTIC' drives and instincts within each member of the given system.

Sure a flat 10% global Transaction tax for a centralized World Representative body would afford 6.1 trillion dollars for all the projects that the world requires to function, and to cater to those requirements of its 'Commonwealth' and 'Common Concern', but in the meantime before that is sorted out, there is no reason that the systemic organelle within the free market cannot be used to alleviate the desperate plight of those in dire need of the basic necessities of existence.

So Be Angry!!!!....heck, be Furious, because the situation as it stands DEMANDS a fairly good dose of 'Righteous Indignation'.....but what we do with that Righteous Indignation is a choice, a choice that thankfully, given the sacrifice of Millions of our forebears we are able to make freely!....So make the right choice, be responsible for it, because in the end, you are also accountable for it.

© Richard Michael Parker 2009 

Sunday, 27 June 2010

As if in a Dream...

-As If In A Dream-

Today I awoke but my soul stayed asleep,
unwilling to wake from a slumber so deep,
it stayed in my bed and under the covers,
and dreamt for a while of the laughter of lovers;

I watched as it tossed and then turned with a grin,
as I wondered what redolent joy lay within,
it was then that I found what really was lost,
for it giggled a moment, then left me the cost;

As emptiness stood by this bed it did seem
that my soul was enjoined by another in dream
and they slipped over each and the other a while
then salaciously turned, winked, and flicked me a smile;

I turned from that sumptuous halcyon scene,
and emptily trudged with a half hearted mien,
down a dim lit dark hallway that stretched on forever,
and tried to forget those souls spliced together;

Yet this echo of silence without and within,
resounds in my emptiness filled with chagrin,
for no light does shine brightly to warm up that place,
just a forlorn and somnolent vacuous space;

Then off in the distance, I heard two proud lovers,
revelling deeply beneath those sweet covers,
could it be that with Grace my soul will return,
hope in that space, where I currently burn;

So to sleep for a while, I shall cast down my eyes,
and dream that these tears and resonant sighs,
will water a garden, where two souls will meet,
and find what was lost, whole and replete.

Then when we arise from this slumber once more,
and find that our souls are entwined to the core,
we will live out this love as if in a dream,
resplendently risen in Dawns joy supreme.

Or am I still dreaming of you by my side,
and foolishly watching as time turns this tide,
that leaves me forlorn, alone on this shore,
recounting great love that was lost evermore?

© Richard Michael Parker 2009