ENSLAVEMENT BY CHOICE

Supposedly all people yearn to be free and worship at the temple of liberty. That comprises the cornerstone and building blocks of what we call democracy. Yet, throughout history a different picture emerges. People throughout the ages have often put themselves, voluntarily, into a various forms of subjugation, and you don’t have to go too far back to find sterling examples of  such voluntary servitude. Adolph Hitler came to power largely through the democratic process, and then, of course, quickly extinguished all vestiges of that process, becoming, perhaps, the most ruthless tyrant in history. But there are plenty of additional examples in more modern times.

In the 1970s Iran, which used to be called Persia(a far more romantic and better sounding name I thought) was ruled by a Shah in what was considered a benevolent dictatorship. Although there were no elections, citizens were pretty much able to say or print what they wanted, and they generally had a high level of individual freedom. And although Iran is a Moslem country, the Shah ran a secular society, so religious liberty existed as well. Apparently all this freedom and liberty were too much for the populace to handle, so they allowed the Shah to be overthrown by those crazy kids known as the Ayatollahs. As soon as the overthrow was completed, all traces of freedom melted away like butter sitting out in the hot summer sun. Women, who under the Shah, wore western- style clothing, now had to bundle-up in burkas so only their eyes were exposed to human sight. I guess, if men saw any other parts of women’s bodies unclothed, they would swoon into a state of sexual delirium. Over the next 30 years or so, the Ayatollahs have put to death tens of thousands of their people who tried to oppose their tyranny. Iran has become the leading state sponsor of terrorist organizations, and almost on a daily basis, they solemnly vow the destruction of Israel, who the few as their mortal enemy. In addition, Iran is racing ahead with its plan to build nuclear weapons, and all the while, the West has done nothing to impede Iran’s progress, other than slap a few ineffectual sanctions on Iranian businesses.As the West did nothing to impede Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s until it was almost too late, the West is, similarly, doing little to impede Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons of mass destruction today.

More recently, Egypt, which had been governed by a secular, benevolent dictator similar to the Shah, overthrew that dictator (who was too old and sick to govern anyhow); but in a stunning repudiation of individual freedom, democratically voted in a member of the Muslim Brotherhood as their new president. The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to fundamentalist Islam, similar to the beliefs of the Ayatollahs that rule Iran.  In effect, the majority of voters declared they were not interested in secular freedom, but instead, wanted religious fanaticism to prevail. Right now, the secular military is battling the president as to who will wield the most power, but in the end, the Muslim Brotherhood will likely succeed. Isn’t it strange, but predictable, how people will voluntarily give up the secular rights they enjoy and embrace religious fanaticism, where they will have no rights. I guess it all has to do with fear and paranoia.

Which brings us to the situation in this country and the upcoming elections. Due to the poor economy, it is highly likely that we will see the election of a Republican president and congress, come November. And with such GOP victories will also come our own unique brand of religious fanaticism. A President Romney will get to put a new, anti-abortion justice on the Supreme Court, probably within the first year of his presidency. Roe V. Wade will be overturned, and legalized abortion will be just a memory of the past throughout most of the country. It’s already a scarcity, as most states in the bible belt have highly restricted a woman’s right to obtain a legal abortion, in contravention of the court’s rulings. The Republican “base” which consists mostly of evangelicals, more fondly known as religious fanatics, thirsts mightily for the illegalization of abortion, the way one might thirst for water after being stranded for days in the desert. Electing a Republican government will finally mark the realization of their fondest fundamentalist dreams come true. Along with abortion, we can also kiss  gay rights and gay marriage goodbye. Instead, the movement will be to shove homosexuals back in the closet, the further back the better. After all, isn’t this what God wants? The evangelicals seem to believe so. Of course, I keep forgetting that they have a direct pipeline into God’s wishes, through Twitter, as I wrote in my last entry. There will, I’m sure, be other examples of where secularism in the political arena, and in society as a whole, will begin to vanish and be replaced by religious doctrine.

They say that about 14 billionaires, all of them old white guys and religious zealots, are providing a good chunk of the money going into Republican coffers. Looks like they will finally be able to rid society of secularism and buy the fundamentalist-type society they’ve pined for. But if they do, it will be we the people that allows that to happen through the voting process.

 

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