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Elsewhere Series 4: Europe (Part Two): Great Britain: What Is the Value of Freedom: The Magna Carta and The Collapse of Civilization

 

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You know why they call it “The Dark Ages?”  It’s not because things were barbaric (although they were), nor that the religio-political rulers destroyed everything they randomly deemed blasphemous (they did).  No, the real reason those years are ‘dark’ is because they have mostly been lost to history.  Go ahead, take a look, and see what sort of history you can find that is not myth or purely speculation.  Oh, you can scan the world and find tales of the rise of Islam and its spread, but, like the jungle narratives of Christian missionaries, they are more legends than verifiable fact.  As with all religion (divine or political or otherwise) one needs only blind faith to transform rumor into absolute truth.

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But the “Dark Ages” were extraordinarily influential, forming the grounding and basis for what we now call “the modern world.”  When the Roman Empire collapsed, later historians claimed that this began the broken end of the world.  In particular Petrarch,

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a scholar of the Middle ages, nearly two hundred years after the end of darkness and into the Renaissance

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coined the term “Dark Ages” (saeculum obscurum) because he could not find enough written history about the era to satisfy his hunger for knowledge.  As a result the age was dismissed, mostly, and developed the rumors of the age that would lead to tales of King Arthur and other noble soldiers of Christ who could save the world from ever falling back into such ambiguity.  And while stories of heroes go all the way back to the dawn of time, the tales spat out in the years following the Dark Ages took on a canonical shade, allowing the tall tales and myths to stand in for forgotten history.

 

But let us return to the early days of the 13th century and the reign of Britain’s King John.

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Now England was a mess at this time, the beloved Richard the Lionheart

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dead in 1199, and the new century a glowing question mark with Richard’s hated brother John about to ascend to the throne.  Having inherited an enormous chunk of Europe, it took the inept king only five years to lose nearly all the colonies outside Great Britain.  Philip Augustus of France

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easily conquered the lands of the timid King John (a popular satirical song of the time stated that “No man may trust him, for his heart is soft and cowardly).

 

It seems that John lost his mind after being to thoroughly whipped, growing obsessed with winning it all  back, and all of France to boot.  He began funding an enormous increase in his army, and spent nearly the entire wealth of the nation on building ships and weapons.  He raised taxes to an exorbitant level, feeding simmering revolutionary movements that had been operating in the shadows since long before the death of Richard I.  These insurgents saw their chance, now, with such a weak ruler.

 

King John, to further fund his revenge, claimed all the land of the church, declaring himself head of the church, and demanding that the wandering Jewish merchants pay high rates in order to secure their freedom.  This was frequently backed up with torture, rape and murder, the poorest people not simply enslaved, but bred into animalistic silence.  All of this was made legal by the new judges John inserted into the highest ranks, and the fear and oppression within England resembling nothing since before the Norman Conquests back in 1066.

 

And yet by 1214, when King John believed he was prepared to retake the lands, England was entirely bankrupt and unhappy people were rioting and starving in the streets, condemned by soldiers of fortune into anarchy.

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The attempted attack against Philip Augustus ended in further humiliation, John at the last second backing away from the French troops.  They were slaughtered.

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England erupted after this defeat, the revolutionaries igniting the movement and, after having their demands for reform ignored for six months, an open rebellion broke out, leading to a siege of London, King John actually being held prisoner in the castle.

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The Magna Carta was originally written and signed under duress, a nervous document composed more to remove King John from power than to liberate the people from his despotic rule.  This document (translated as “The Great Charter”) stated that the British Empire would now be monitored by a committee of 25 Barons.

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The chief goal of this committee was to check John in his authority, even containing a clause within the document that states that the king would “seek to obtain nothing from anyone, in our own person or through someone else, whereby any of these grants or liberties may be revoked or diminished.”  The king was rendered impotent, in many ways beginning the royal family’s function as purely symbolic.

 

King John, unhappy with the result of yet another one of his failures, appealed to the Pope in Rome (Pope Innocent III had smugly taken John back into the church, letting him know that he could either kneel to him or to the barons)

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So Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid, leading to a two year battle known as The Baron’s War.

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The Barons, led by the wealthy landowner Robert Fitzwalter

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sought and received the support of the French crown in a battle that almost led to the complete destruction of England.  John sent “fire ships” out to destroy the opposition, huge boats on suicide missions that would burn everything in their path, loyal or disloyal to the kingdom.  John sacked the cathedral where many of the opposition soldiers hid their families.  The death toll was massive, a sort of apocalypse descending upon the most powerful nation in the world.

 

In 1216 King John died of dysentery, leaving behind the collapsed mess of a nation with numerous aspirants for the throne.  In fact, John’s oldest son, the eventual King of France Louis VIII

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was offered the position after his successful battles against his father’s forces in the war.  As his last royal decree, on his deathbed, King John appointed 13 executors to help his nine year old son, Henry III

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become king.

 

Eventually some ambitious Cardinals got involved, declaring Henry’s war against the “atheistic rebels” a “holy crusade,” granting the suggestion of righteousness to the boy-king.  The war droned on for another few months until exhaustion overtook both sides and the battles slimmed down until there were none.  Negotiations immediately broke out between Cardinal Guala

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and King Louis, the threat of excommunication to be lifted only after Louis renounced his claim to England.

 

By 1217 the Magna Carta had been both modified and expanded, renamed magna carta libertatum (the charter of great liberties).  The major contribution to this document concerned itself almost exclusively with taxes to be levied against both wealthy landowners and the poorest of the poor (guess who wound up paying more).

 

Wars continued to pop up between England and France, mostly over newly claimed provinces inside and outside France.  But as Henry grew older and less revered, the power of the Magna Carta imposed itself upon the king’s ideas of rule.  Legal challenges kept arising to virtually anything the king commanded, and Henry himself became even less effective than his shattered father.  By 1258 Henry was overthrown by the council of Barons, under the public surmise of “the need to enforce the Magna Carta,” but in effect simply as a power grab.

 

And yet France, now, suddenly under the rule of Louis IX (later declared Saint Louis)

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sided with Henry.  A second Baron’s War erupted, only this time Henry’s son Edward led the British forces to a decisive victory.  Shortly thereafter Edward I would restore England to monarchical rule.

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And yet Edward, being from the generation born after the Magna Carta was already in effect, believed in many of its ideas.  He therefore opened up the nation to further reforms and additional liberties for the people.  By 1295 Edward had suggested the development of a Parliament, something which has been in place in one form or another ever since, often causing great difficulty for kings, queens, and Prime Ministers.  But this was the initial opening of the vague idea of democracy, or at least representation, where parliamentarians’ personal interests often corresponded with the people who lived in the areas they controlled.

 

The Magna Carta continued to develop and change as time went by and was even used as a model for first the state constitutions, and eventually the foundational national document of the United States of America.  In many ways these democratic (or at least republican) transformations have made the world a far less peaceful and more contentious place, giving the illusion to people that somehow their voices matter.  And yet eventually those voices take control, allowing separate, opposing agendas to have their time on the throne.  And the very idea of freedom is challenged, time and again, by conflicting interpretations on what the laws mean and what freedoms they provide.  This is the constitutional crisis that is repeatedly mentioned in every place that has the belief they are somehow a democracy.  We can date it all the way back to 1215 when a ruler denied the validity of general freedom for all mankind.  We have been fighting for that idea–however we may interpret it–ever since.

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And the fight continues.  What is freedom anyway?  Who deserves it?  Who has the right to deny it to another, no matter how perverse we might find their views?  I suppose it will take the next war to give us deeper insight, but I suspect there will never truly be an answer to what is the value of freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Brief Note on Donald Trump and the Power of Conspiracy Theories

 

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President Trump is the first leader of the United States who is a fully borne, sputtering conspiracy theorist.  He made his political debut announcing that there were secrets waiting to be uncovered to the deceived masses, and that he was the man to expose the long history of criminal politicians manipulating the people to their own ends.  He was very successful stating these things, several of which he later abandoned (and continues to do today, inventing, referring to, and then discarding those which are no longer politically expedient).  There is good reason too, other than his genuine ability to sell ideas to a willing public.  We live in an age of mistrust, of “alternative truths” which make the real world more of a flickering image that we must fill in to our own extremes.  This is just one of the man’s contributions to the world, and it is perhaps the most disturbing.

 

In 1985 a man named A. Ralph Epperson wrote a book called The Unseen Hand: An Introduction to the Conspiratorial View of History (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780961413507&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) where he outlines two separate understandings on how people view history.  There is the Accidental View of History, which is that nothing happens for any reason at all, everything is unrelated, and that humans have no real involvement in what goes on in the world (this makes me consider the standard conspiratorial tripe about space invaders and UFOs, wondering if that ship did crash, maybe it was just some poor alien scientist who lost control and crash-landed in the desert outside Roswell, New Mexico.  Imagine the poor guy, shaken and probably badly injured, with bulldozing military vehicles racing up and grabbing the creature, then slicing him open and experimenting on him in some sanitized laboratory, ultimately committing the horrific acts the conspiracy theorists imagine those space monsters want to commit on them).

 

While the accidental view of history is certainly limited (and nowhere near as absolute, except with complete fools), the Conspiratorial View of History takes up the predictably opposite perspective, that everything that ever happened has been planned from the beginning, and that there are secret rulers (name them: government or triads or secret societies or cartels or those same space aliens we experimented upon), and that this plot has been undertaken since man first organized the beginnings of civilization thousands of years ago.  This view believes that everything–everything!–from wars and economic downturns, to an unhappy childhood birthday party where the clown showed up drunk is caused by the same wicked cabal that wants to keep everyone ignorant of the truth.

 

Epperson outlines three ways to expose a conspiracy in his book, which then goes on and attempts to do this, creating a jagged but eventually comprehensible narrative about how and why everything has happened (he does focus almost exclusively on the United States, but that can be forgiven considering how widespread the conspiracy genre has become in the American publishing world).  The first way comes from whistle blowers, most of whom die mysteriously, clearly, conspiracy theorists believe, to silence them.  And while no doubt this is true in some circumstances, giving weight to such beliefs, they ignore the fact that some conspiracy-minded individuals are actually insane, on drugs, or hallucinating, and they snap sometimes and kill their families and themselves instead of the “men in black helicopters.”

 

The second way to expose a conspiracy, Epperson says, is through people who are not even aware they are involved, through those cogs in the wheel who start to think something about what they are doing just isn’t right.  They may explore this view themselves, sometimes at great danger (if the conspiracy is real), and often they are simply fired and written off as kooks, which is increasingly easy to do in this age of intentionally partisan media bias.

 

The third way is one worth quoting.  Epperson says it is “for researchers to uncover conspiratorial designs in the events of the past.  Your author is one of those researchers.”

 

It is very easy to do what Epperson claims he is doing.  It is hardly any different than writing realistic fiction (which is sometimes far more believable than some of the ideas conspiracy theorists come up with.)  But one can take the skeletal framework of an event that troubles them and make connections on their whiteboard, scribbling lines and connections the deeper they get into it.

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Which brings me back to Donald Trump.  The ‘birther’ conspiracy.  His claims about 9/11.  His non-stop defense of himself against a conspiracy on the left (which, we should admit, actually sort of exists in a bureaucratically limp-wristed way, tied up with paperwork and the halfhearted severity the seekers bring to the table) and, more notably, his turning the same conspiracy theory around and involving himself in one as a counterpoint.  This is what paranoid conspiracy theorists do.  They develop a pre-emptive plot to avert their perceived opposition.  Since they live in a world where they believe everyone is out to get them and they react in the same manner as their invented or exaggerated rivals.

 

Donald Trump has been accused of “collusion” with a foreign power.  So was Barrack Obama.  George W. Bush.  Clinton.  Bush before him–certainly Ronald Reagan.  Hell, we can go back to Dwight D. Eisenhower and look at Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, a right wing secret society designed to combat the secret societies they saw overtaking the world, and his book The Politician (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=&an=welch%20robert&tn=politician&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ats-_-used), where he claims that Eisenhower was merely a stooge of Soviet Communists.

 

It is this last claim that really needs to be called into question, about any of these men, regardless of your political affiliation or biases.  Why are these leaders always being controlled by someone else, someone outside?  Why can’t a person who has worked so hard and is clearly intelligent enough to convince people they are right for national leadership, why can’t they be the true bad guy?  What makes us think, to simply take the most recent example, that it is not Donald Trump himself who is in charge of the great conspiracy–that other nations colluded with him?  If he is the ringleader of the secret plot (and remember, this is the “conspiratorial view of history”) then he did not collude.

 

Americans have a strange mentality when it comes to national leaders they despise.  They are never in charge, never really pulling the strings.  They are always under someone or something mysterious’ thumb, having their strings pulled.  They are only following orders.  We ascribe this weakness, this inability to lead to our leaders, which further unravels our national unity and states of mind.

 

I am not here to state that there is no such thing as conspiracies.  Of course there are.  Hell, I’m not even fully willing to discount UFO stories because I honestly don’t know.  I just wonder about the string theory connections of those increasingly complicated boards declaiming new thoughts on the nature of truth.  Do we invent our own reality?  Or . . . or . . . is it already planned for us?  I suppose we all must research our own lives a little more thoroughly if we want to glean any vague semblance of passing truth.

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Elsewhere Series 4: Europe (Part One): Rome: The Emperor Constintine and the Bloody Birth of the Modern World

 

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It was 312 AD and the world was about to profoundly change forever.  Rome, still at the height of its global domination, found its anxious Emperor, who came to be known as Constintine the Great–

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worrying over an upcoming battle with a rival emperor.  According to subsequent Christian history he had a vision in his sleep the evening before the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

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What these later historians claim–most notably Eusebias of Caesaria–

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is that Constintine saw the flaming image of a cross, surrounded by angels, glowing in the sky.  Now Rome had been rift by religious warfare since shortly before the death of Christ nearly 300 years before.  Christianity had rapidly consumed the hearts and minds of much of the oppressed populace, most of whom were slaves in one form or another.  Even Constintine’s mother Helena

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had converted in her youth (although conflicting scholars sometimes claim that it was Constintine who first converted, encouraging his mother to follow suit).

 

Let’s hear the myth of what ancient historians claim happened:

In his sleep, the Christ of God appeared to him with the . . . sign (of the cross) which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens, and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies.”

 

So he had this dream, right?  And in his dream he saw a blood-red cross shimmering.  And he saw words in the sky (“In hoc signo vinces,” or “In this sign you will conquer”), declared later to have come from God Itself, and It said to place this symbol upon the arms of his men and surely they would win every battle.

 

The war in question was a terrible one.  The then Emperor Maxentius

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had been busy outlawing and slaughtering Christians and Jews.  In 306 AD Maxentius ascended to the throne, much to the chagrin of numerous political rivals.  In 305, as a matter of fact, two different emperors had taken over Rome. Valerius Severus was declared emperor by Galerius, who had himself been emperor since 293.

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Also in competition for the throne was Constantius (Constantine’s father), co-emperor since 293.

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This complicated mess of rulers barely tolerated each other.  When Constantine himself was about to become Emperor in 306, the other emperors formed a coalition, denying the young man his rightful place (he and his supporters believed), and partisan hostilities broke out.  It was Maxentius who formed a seperate rule, taking over the west and declaring war against his rivals.  Other governors of smaller regions were also declaring themselves emperor at this time, and all of Italy seemed on the verge of collapse, breaking into tiny nation-states constantly at war with each other.

 

As Maxentius continued moving forward, defeating the forces of Severus and Galerius, Contantine began to seperate his own forces throughout various regions, seeking to surround Maxentius–Rome itself.  The defeated armies of Severus and Galerius saw Constantine’s ambitions as synonymous with their own and they knelt and apologized, joining forces with the future king.

 

Constantine lead his faction of more that 40,000 soldiers through the Alps and even into Spain (where he was met has an honored dignitary).  Meantime Maxentius had become lazy, over-confident and thus unwilling to forment a new plan of attack.  He figured that since he had already been so successful, why waste his time even considering the raw troops of a rival he could easily defeat?

 

Milvian Bridge was an important throughway to trade with the entirety of Europe, impressively scaled across the Tiber river.  As Constintine and his army were marching over the bridge toward Rome, Maxentius decided to change his mind after all and send his troops out to obliterate the invaders.  It was, of course, they who were defeated, eventually leading to Maxentius drowning in the Tiber.  His head was then sliced off, jabbed onto a pike, and paraded through the streets of Rome to annouce the end of the Tetrachy of competing emperors and the ascention of the one true ruler.

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Shortly after this, those later church historians claimed, Constantine not only legalized Christianity and forced upon the entire empire his new, politically expedient faith, but he allowed the traditional polytheistic faiths to remain while the missionaires infiltrated the communities with demands of conversion.  It was only the Jews who remained outlawed, scapegoats required for when the Christian God simply did not fulfill every desire of the Emperor.

 

Constantine was also later considered the first Pope, but even this has caused great and violent dispute.  Dan Brown’s runaway bestseller The DaVinci Code (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780593057414&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) is only the most recent variation on Constintine’s “true” nature (of course followed by the thousands of panicked conspiracy theories that not only challenge a work of fiction, but state increasingly paranoid views of the foundation of Christianity, including several that state that it was really ancient reptilian space invaders who founded the legend of Christ in order to numb the people and distract them from their rule (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780977790432&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).

 

To summarize the main theory in a nutshell we need only look at a few doctrinaire points:

  • Jesus was a created being
  • The books of the New Testament (were composed) at Constantine’s request
  • (Constantine) commanded copies of the sacred books to be distributed (and) early church leaders were forced to produce the item that needed to be copied. The result was a minimalist consensus canon
  • Books regularly disputed or already rejected were thus set aside in faith that the Holy Spirit had successfully enlightened His believing Church to reach consensus

 

At the time there were numerous Gnostic Gospels (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780679724537&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used) being told as oral histories to the majority illiterate masses around campfires at night.  These stories include many contradictory narratives to the traditional Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tales (whose own contradictions are far less profound.)  Just to give one example we can look at The Book of Judas (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780977790432&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used), a fascinating variation of the nature of Christianity.

 

The Book of Judas tells the story of Judas Iscariot, the famous betrayer of Christ whom Dante in his Inferno (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30196873883&searchurl=kn%3Ddante%2Binferno%26sortby%3D17&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title5) places directly in Satan’s mouth.  But the Book of Judas sees the man differently.  In fact, he is portrayed as the closest disciple to Christ.  It claims that Jesus took Judas aside and told him that he must sacrifice his name and good reputation by turning him over to the Romans.  He told the shivering, refusing man that he would be the closest to God if he did what must be done.  Judas was told that without his betrayal the new faith could never be born.

 

There were numerous other stories, including holding Mary Magdalene as one of the key prophets of the faith, one higher than even John the Baptist.  The whole Jesus bloodline thing, with his survival and later wedding to Mary, children and everything, was even being bandied about back then in the 4th century.  The whole development of the Gospels, therefore, falls almost entirely upon Constantine’s back.

 

Constantine has also been vilified by anti-Catholic Christians.  “This story, most famously told by Jehovah Witnesses and Fundamentalist Protestants . . . (states that) Constantine waited to be baptized on his death-bed, in the year 337. This may indicate a reluctance to convert fully, although it may also mean that like many others of that time, he wanted to be cleansed of his sins at the last possible moment before facing God.”  They call the cross a pagan symbol, state that it was Constintine who elevated Jesus Christ to God when Jesus himself referred to everyone as children of God, and never to himself as directly Its ‘son.’  They declare that the celebrations of both Christmas and Easter are also false, pagan ceremonies dedicated to Satan.  They say Emperor Constantine as the most evil man who ever lived.

 

And so the divisions between Christianity set up endless holy wars, broke apart families and unified churches, and spread even wider the disinterested non-belief that got many more people killed.  The war for a single religion further scattered with the founding of Islam in 632, a new idea inspired by yet another slave revolt, and enhanced by a literary history far more mystical and different that the repetitious Roman tragedies of the day (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=philip+whaley+harsh&bi=s&ds=5&n=100121503&sortby=1&tn=anthology+roman+drama&cm_sp=mbc-_-ats-_-filter).  Islam caught on rapidly, more of a protest movement against Christian inquisitioners than anything else.

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It was these wars that ultimately led to the increased spread of Islam, as borderline Christians and many atheists, deserpate enough to seek out any alternative to the oppressive violence of the dominate faith, converted en masse both out of sympathy and new found evangelical passion.

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And so the lessons of early Roman Catholicism show us a great deal about today, about our divides over slight disagreements, about the ease we find to hate those who are different, and about human desperation to follow a leader with a vision, no matter how absurd.  We see how we have always followed, regardless of lies.  We will believe them because to see reality creates doubt, and there is nothing worse we can suffer from when trying to hold our fragmented world together.  People need to unite behind something in order to avoid the terror of taking responsibility for their lives.  Just remember, remember, the foundation of organized Christianity comes from a supposed harsh dream of warfare and about the way to unite an army behind a single idea, not just a gang of mercinaries who will flee the moment things turn against them.  No, the idea needs to be something worth dying for, something higher than the self.  This was, again, what people claimed Constantine saw:

It was not this

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or this

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or even this.

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No, they say he saw this

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And this is what the entire modern church, or the opposition to this vision, is based upon.

 

Part two of Elsewhere Series 4 will discuss the development and implimentation of the Magna Carta and how this, too, was perverted to operate, organize, and control the European mind and larger world.

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Donald Trump is an Arms Dealer (reprinted from November, 2018, and Revised in February, 2019)

 

As Elsewhere Series 4, Part One is being prepared, here is a reprint from February (which is itself a revision from a piece last November) that feels even more relevent than when it was written.  I present: “Donald Trump is an Arms Dealer” for reconsideration:

 

 

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After President Trump’s State of the Union address last night (2/5/2019) I was reminded of a piece published here on 11/28/2018.  It seems even more relevant now, with all these nuclear treaties being cancelled and the nervous man in the white house making statements about “something drastic” needing to happen to unify the nation.  It is frightening, the way the whole world is divided.  And this is not to claim that there ever was a time when people from all over the world got along–No!  Humans are a selfish and acquisitive species, with only a superficial idea of community and of how it impacts me.

 

But Donald Trump has made it clear that money is far more important than life to him.  He raves about the temporary economic twists that his short-term benefits to the long-term destruction of the economy he is imposing.  He talks about taxes and the middle class and employment rates for minorities, and numerous other things he has neither interest in nor understanding.

 

And yet he remains a salesman, selling himself as whatever people of different philosophies need in their lives–even a villain!  Being a salesman, of course, he sees the white whale of “the biggest deal ever.”  And what could be a bigger deal than selling nuclear weapons to a nation desperate to win a war?

 

This is only a slight revision, updated with a handful of vaguely new insights, based upon what has happened since late November:

 

Do you remember when the current President of the United States said, with baffled aggravation, that he did not understand why we had all of these nuclear weapons if we weren’t going to use them?  Then he promised to build more.  After he was elected, and trying to prove to Kim Jung Un that he had a bigger cock than him, he provided us with that empty threat: “fire and fury,” a comment that left no question as to what he meant for the future.

 

Recently President Trump said, essentially, that it did not matter that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the butchering of a journalist working at the Washington Post.  The President of the United States of America stated that the ‘strategic alliance’ with Saudi Arabia (read: the amount of money they have to spend) is too important to penalize them for just one or three totalitarian crimes.  There is big money in selling weapons to a regime that would demand a person who insulted them to be chopped into little pieces, then scattered into the sewers, or the Indian Ocean.  Those people need to fight ‘the terrorists.’   A ruling party with so little regard for human life seem like great customers for weapons of mass destruction.  After all, most of the 9/11 criminals came from that very nation.

 

So here is my thesis: Donald Trump, a man very few would not compare to a gangster from 1970’s movies (and not The Godfather.  The Corleones had far too much loyalty and class), has decided to operate the White House by demanding obscene amounts of money to fund numerous vanity projects, walls and golden toilets and the like.  He is literally pissing on the economy and diffidently, aloofly, believing that somehow the business acumen (another thing that is pure puffery, an extraordinarily wealthy man gambling with money he will never run out of, failing more often than succeeding) would bail the nation out when the crisis came.  He puts everything on credit, like he did with all of his failed businesses, or a bipolar college student desiring pretty things.

 

Trump has always been a bail-jumping style crook in his corporate life; why couldn’t he get away with doing the same thing with a whole nation under his control?  He previously scanned around for shell companies to funnel his stolen assets into, found another broken industry to take all of the blame (along with political opponents, demonized out of spite, or perhaps amusement?), and figured that he would bury the debt some way or another, leaving it for his successor to deal with.  And he bribed some of his old, corrupt corporate buddies to keep the economy afloat on lies and band-aids for as long as they could, until they stopped earning substantial profits (I’ll cut yer taxes ta keep it goin’ fer a longer time!, arrghhh!  Can’t you see Trump saying something like this, a piratical slur?)  And then he boasts about “the greatest economic boom ever!”  Is there more money to spend?  Yes.  We all have more cash on hand if we don’t pay our bills.  Donald Trump has never been one to pay his bills, declaring bankruptcy even, to wiggle his way out of debt.   He sneers that other nations do not pay their protection money to the US, and that they better or else we will stop helping them through hunger, and lack of water, and diseases, and religious fanaticism.  He pulls out of deals that have kept a shaky peace for years, and then stops payment.  Nations do not work this way.  Eventually the bill comes due.

 

Donald Trump has never cared about you, about his chief executives, or about America.  All he sees is personal profit.  Think back to old cartoons, when some greedy animal sees the road to fabulous wealth, and their eyes light up with dollar signs.  That is now the President of the United States.  He does not care who gets hurt.  He does not even understand what it takes to develop a stable economy.  This is a man who has bankrupted and abandoned businesses repeatedly throughout his life because it was too hard to make things work.  Because he was unable to succeed.

 

Which brings me to my point: I have no doubt that this treasonous creature, this ghoul who has repeatedly ‘laughed all the way to the bank’ over the variety of terrible things he has done, and over the numerous times he has gotten away with breaking the law–I am certain that he wants The United States of America to become incorporated under the Trump brand, and thereby immediately take control of the largest international munitions factory in the history of the world.  Does anyone really doubt–or at least think it impossible–that Donald Trump would not sell nuclear weapons to people who will actually use them?  Does he really care if they even use them against us, breaking a contract, probably, where Trump’s lawyers scribbled in the blood of claimed souls some provision about not being allowed to entirely use the weapons as the buyer sees fit?  America first, right?

 

I also believe that Donald Trump would be willing to sell nuclear weapons–or contagions in a bottle, or anything that might kill millions and cannot be contained–to any side (or even all sides) of a civil war.  He would sell these weapons to terrorists who declare that they want to use them to utterly destroy Asia, or Europe, or Africa, or the whole world, and the President would only shrug if the price tag is high enough.  And that would be his boast, his claim (perhaps alongside something like “No one can engineer the apocalypse like I can!”)  He would brag about just how much money he made selling death to the entire world.  “There has never been a bigger sale than the sale that Donald J. Trump made of only a very small part of the United States’ nuclear arsenal!  And we still have more nukes than everybody else–believe me!  Our arsenal is much bigger than it’s ever been!”

 

And there’s another thing no one truly doubts–that he could express this terrible idea in such grandiose and self-referencing terms.  There is no human consideration from this man whatsoever, regarding anything, even the precious family he props up  as straw men to pretend that he, or any of them, are human.  But he would sell out his son if, again, the price were right.

 

Donald Trump isn’t even a sociopath, just a sad man with a singular idea on what matters, or how everything else does not.  He is an arms dealer, an immoral weapons salesman who considers himself a better person than other tyrants because at least he didn’t pull the switch or press the button (unless it was politically expedient).  As with all the innumerable shootings and hate crimes that have flourished under his administration, Donald Trump merely supplies the ammunition.  To him that means he is innocent–and smart to boot!  Who else can make so much money off the hopelessness, despair, hatred, and misery of other people?

 

This is the sort of thing that once upon a time would have gotten any nationalistic leader arrested in an international court, charged with ‘crimes against humanity,’ and sent away forever, to rot with the other monsters who have been stopped at their peek of barbarity.  These really are ‘crimes against humanity’ in the most legitimate sense, stripping the partisan blather of politics away from everything.  Donald Trump is not a politician–this is true.  He is not a leader, nor a concerned citizen.  I doubt he even believes most of the conspiracy theories he peddles, or anything at all, just uses uncertainty as a shield, and a justification for why he commits the same crimes he condemns others for committing, even going so far as to claim that he’s a better criminal too! (which he probably is, taking advantage of this cynical world.)  Donald Trump does not care about politics, about America or Americans, about any citizen or person or plant or animal in the entire world–another thing he does not care about–the earth itself, the one place he must truly call home.

 

What sort of contempt for life must be behind these drastic emotions?  All he can see are profits, and his reputation for toughness, brilliance, strength, and an ability to accomplish what no one else, ever, has come close to accomplishing (he recently claimed that people would say he is “far greater than Ronald Reagan if (his) name weren’t Trump.”  I suppose he has a point.  If he were not actually Donald Trump, people might say he was a better person than he is, or perhaps they would simply ignore him altogether).

 

Donald Trump is a self-mythologizing creature who I have no doubt has gotten to the point where he has lied about himself so much that he no longer can even tell when he is lying. He will possibly go down in history (that is, if human history survives his brief time of significant power to even make the comparison) as–and I am sure he would love this designation–the most dangerous person who has ever led a nation, including Nero and Xerxes, Caligula, and the other tyrants we will always remember.  I hope that I am wrong, but fear I am not.  The man is an arms dealer.  Donald Trump is an arms dealer.  And that is all he ever aspired to be as the President of the United States of America.

 

Boom.

Uncategorized

Preface To Elsewhere Series 4

 

I have spent the past week and a half focused on various ideas of suffering, discussing the political sides of controversial issues.  It has been somewhat liberating and profoundly depressing.  All it has proven to me is just how low and broken our social cohesion has become.  We truly hate one another, and not in the age old traditional manner (or at least not exclusively).  Our hatred has increasingly less to do with race or gender or sexuality.  Oh, sure, our religious prejudices and biases have devolved back into the days of the Inquisition (if, that is, they had ever evolved out of it), but the pure loathing we have for each other goes even beyond that superficial reality.  No, what we really seem to despise is the thought that people have different ideas on the way the world should be.

 

This construct has been an ongoing subtext of Recording Editorial History, in many ways the primary theme buried in studies of current events and their historical precidents.  And so with the next series of Elsewhere I will focus on the very darkness that has spawned our modern world and study Europe from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the moment when religion itself took over all notions of warfare, and the spread of ideology became more important than the expansion of land or even an increase in riches (although those newly subserviant ambitions would always serve a purpose to the higher evangelical justifications).  This will be a six-part series and I suspect that each essay will be rather long.  I plan to take 2-3 days between each, giving me plenty of time to organize the research I have undertaken over the past two weeks.  The nations of focus will be varied–definately including Italy, England, and France, and their relations with other nearby empires.  In the remaining studies I will endeavor to be all-inclusive, discussing revolutions and efforts to escape outside rule and oppression.  I will even spend time on countries that no longer exist by name.

 

The stories themselves will remain comfortably in the past, with obvious allusions to modern times.  But there will be no serious discussion of Brexit, no French protests or terrorist attacks of recent years, nor even the overall surge of right-wing populism all over the world.  All these problems of today can clearly be reflected in things that have come before.

 

And so Elsewhere will continue to prove the one point I have been trying to make throughout this whole series: Things do not get worse.  Things have always been just as good and just as bad.  Human nature is the barbaric constant and we have only ourselves to blame . . .