Monday, June 16, 2008

My Thoughts on Conservatism

Conservatism is at its heart a sectarian ideology that seeks to deny the oneness of humanity. It has many ideological manifestations, but whether the factor used to create division is race, religion, gender, nationality, language, age, disability, sexual orientation, class, or any of the hundreds of other groups that some people deem more important than humanity, the result is the same, division and hate. In this capacity conservatism is simply a link in the chain that leads from ignorance to suffering.

Ignorance leads to conservatism which leads to hate and fear which results not only in suffering for the afflicted individual, but also for many innocent people who they are driven to hurt in the misguided belief that they are doing the right thing by harming others. Any human being who has even a basic understanding of the concept of humanity realizes that we share to much in common to be divided over petty differences. Unfortunately, many people are still ignorant of this basic fact. In rejecting conservatism it is important not to reject conservatives, to reject conservatives while embracing their philosophy of division would be nothing more than hypocrisy. That is why we must combat conservatism not only with education, but also with compassion.

Americans usually assume that tribalism exists on a large scale only in other places . This assessment is not only completely wrong, it blinds Americans to the tribalistic nature of many of their own views. Conservatism has been a source of strife in every nation for all of recorded history and it continues to be a source of suffering in America. To illustrate that point one needs only to read the editorial section of a newspaper and note the vitriolic and irrational hatred directed at Arabs, Hispanics, Muslims, and homosexuals, to name a few of the latest targets.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Do democracies attack peaceful protestors?

Israel does. Beginning in January of 2005 the Palestinian village of Bil'in has held weekly protests against the apartheid wall being constructed right through the village center. Despite the nonviolent nature of the rallies, the attendance of international and Israeli activists, favorable rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice the construction of the wall and an Israeli settlement continue.

Each week for the past three years the non-violent demonstrators have been attacked by Israeli soldiers using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades. This week's protest was saw the participation of many prominent internationals who were wrapping up a conference supporting the non-violent actions of the villagers in the face of a brutally racist militarily machine. Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan, Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini, and Italian Judge Julio Toscano were among dozens injured when the Israeli army showered around 300 protesters with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and grenades.