Last week I received an email from a close friend since childhood, who happens to be a writer, a staunch Republican, and an Evangelical Christian. He said he’s writing a book about space colonists from Earth who get into a conflict between those who want a free market in their new world, and those who want government control to keep everyone equal. He said he knows the free-market arguments, but was having a hard time with the Big-Government concept. It wasn’t easy to find liberal arguments “for the Obama type of spreading the wealth around”… so we decided to have dinner last night to discuss it. Since my mind works better as a writer than a debater, I decided to send him an email first… to make my views as clear as possible. Here’s that email:
Unfortunately I can’t give you the liberal view of “big government,” because I don’t think there is a liberal view of big government, as I’ll explain below.
Your sci-fi book sounds like a good plot, since there’s always been a battle among (and within) us humans as we try to figure out what’s more important: the rights of individuals to be free or the rights of societies to be stable. And I firmly believe that the two desires or rights have always been at odds with each other. So there’s a great conflict there that could make the basis of a blockbuster book.
I think of humans as “noble-savage” creatures. We have a soul and finer spiritual part of us that flourishes on love, trust, good will, honesty, sincerity, and empathy. That’s the noble part. We also have a savage part driven by hormones and egos that stirs up our fear, mistrust, suspicion, envy, deception, lust, greed, and callousness toward others.
Basically, everyone is both a spiritual (noble) being and a carnal (savage) being.
When the noble side of humans is in the driver’s seat, I believe, it doesn’t matter what kind of religious or political or economic system people live under (Christian, Muslim, Hindu, democratic, capitalistic, socialistic, communistic, authoritarian…); human relationships will always flourish in peace and harmony. In this case, people want to serve each other… to make sure that the needs of the less fortunate are taken care of. They want to be conservators of the environment and stewards of animals. Their behavior is driven by love, good will, honesty, sincerity, and empathy. That’s our noble side at work.
When the savage side of humans takes over, again, it doesn’t matter what kind of religious or political or economic system people live under (Christian, Muslim, Hindu, democratic, capitalistic, socialistic, communistic, authoritarian…); human relationships will break down into chaos and conflict. In this case, people are concerned mostly with the needs and desires of themselves and the groups they belong to. They harbor fear and suspicion toward those around them, they prey on each other for personal gain, they justify the abuse of animals and the environment if they think it’s for a good cause. Basically, I think, their behavior is driven by fear, envy, desire, greed, mistrust, and disregard of (and perhaps a bit of disgust for) the less fortunate. That’s our savage side at work.
That’s my view in a nutshell.
Unfortunately we can’t unravel our human nature to become all noble or all savage (despite the efforts of monasteries and military SOF boot camps, respectively, to do so), so conflict will always be part of human civilization (hence the makings of a great book). Still, I’m a strong believer that the more we can foster our noble side, the better it’ll be for everyone and everything on Earth… and in Heaven.
Looking back through US history, I admire certain political and religious leaders who try to foster the noble side of human nature, who in my opinion include Eisenhower, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Carter, Johnson, Obama, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, MLK, and many others.
I don’t like leaders who stir up our savage side. Period. Those who monger fear and intolerance and greed and who advocate violence and conquest, I believe, do a grave disservice to humanity.
So, my good friend, I’m not sure if I can really help you with your project, even though I think you’re onto a great idea. Most novels are built around conflicts between opposing forces, like your idea of free market vs Big Government. That’s what keeps readers turning the page, that on-going conflict that needs a resolution. I can’t give you the liberal views that support Big Government, because I don’t think there are liberal views that support big government. I think “Big Government” is just a slogan being used by politicians to get votes by stirring up people’s fear and suspicion… by stirring up our hormones. Same as “No Taxes,” which stirs up our greed.
Still, I think that opposing forces of free market vs big government could be a popular, compelling book. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a lot of best-selling fiction books and blockbuster sci-fi movies based on conflicts that seem a little impractical to me… 1984, Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged & Fountainhead, Star Wars, ET, Ender’s Game, Alien….
Looking forward to dinner,
So we had pleasant dinner last night, prime rib for me, rib-eye steak and baked potato followed by carrot cake for him (how he stays so slim and healthy and vital I can only guess!), and we talked only briefly about my liberal views, which he said would be helpful in weaving the plot for his book. I got to hear about the progress of his kids and grandkids, all of whom I’ve come to love and admire for their creativity and kindness and exuberance for life. I don’t know how we’ve managed to remain such good, close friends through all of the political divisiveness of recent years… but I’m confident that, despite my email, that will not be our Last Supper together.
A good letter was this, Mark.
My favorite president was John Kennedy.
He contended with large forces who had him killed. He could not overcome the misdirected power of the military industrial complex, and some other forces who wished him ill….the CIA, the bankers, the mafia.
Now the American military Frankenstein has grown to a $1 trillion dollar annual budget. It’s motives are purely imperialistic. American military is in over 150 of the world’s 195 countries…unprecedented empire building. All empires in history have failed. There have been dozens and dozens of examples.
On March 1 Vladimir Putin gave his address to the Russian Federation and people, and the world. He gave a video show type of presentation showing that the weapons developed by the Russian military are so advanced technologically that American weapons are now basically obsolete.
Now all America can do now is go about the globe bullying weaker powers, as America has done since WWII.
Here is one of many articles on the web about this new “bipolar” situation…
There is only one real party in Washington DC now…the War Party.
JFK and Nikita Khrushchev actually sat down together and worked out some agreements.
A recommended reading is “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters” by James Douglass. It took him 12 years to write this book. It does not go into JFK’s interest in the ET cover-up, which was another complicating feature that contributed to his death.
My favorite JFK quote…“Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it.”
The JFK quote is great, John… but then I’ve always preferred ‘the road less traveled,” so it makes total sense to me.
Enjoyed your comment and look forward to reading your references……….
Hey John, I just read a review of James Douglass’s JFK book…
… and it pretty much proves what I’ve long suspected: that President Kennedy was killed by America’s war machine because he was trying to turn the USA toward peace.
Thanks for that. I plan to read the book in the near future.
Thanks for this link Mark.
The book by Douglass is very scholarly and very dense. This article is the best critique and analysis of the book and its contents that I have seen.
Douglass is a Catholic theologian, and I suppose because of this fact he did not cross into any information about JFK’s intense interest in the secret space program and his interest in the ET phenomenon. This subject matter is a whole other can of worms, or, a whole other series of rabbit holes…where mysterious worms may also be found.
Since the Douglass book is scholarly and dense (in the intelligent way), I may not be able to make the time to read it. Instead I’ll plan on looking for other reviews and online discussions about the book.
Here’s another review of the Douglass book from the other side of the aisle.
I think I can get a better (or maybe more objective?) view by reading intelligent reviews like these two, than by wading through the exhaustive detail of the book itself. These two authors seem to have done the deep exploration from different perspectives. Very helpful for me to compare.
Being liberal, I lean more toward the first (globalresearch) review, but I can see valid points of this right-wing reviewer too. Even if the “truth” of the matter is somewhere between the two perspectives, I’m still convinced that JFK was killed by the US war machine.
Looking forward to finding more of this intelligent discussion and dissection of Douglass’s very important book!
More reviews of that 2008 book by Douglass…….
Time to brew a cup of coffee and spend a thought-provoking Saturday at the computer. Thanks John,
… and Russian leader Putin isn’t a fool. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his recent military revelations (as explained in your ‘rockwell’ link) are largely a bluff intended to stimulate so much military spending in the USA that it’ll crash the economy… the straw that broke the camel’s back. Fear has become the driving force in US politics.
I have been reading for several years on various sites that the Russian military is vastly superior to the American military both in technology and in manpower fighting prowess. No country has ever defeated Russia by the use of the previous forms of military force.
Russia has largely maintained their military for defensive purposes when compared to the post WWII American foreign policy of militaristic imperialism. This is what military should be for…for defense only.
Of course, Costa Rica has no military at all, and they seem to be a rather content lot of people.
One only has to be in the presence of fighting and blown up and shot up people to understand the horrible futility of war and everything which attends war.
The military industrial complex, which is indeed a very complex thing, is vested in its perverse self serving interest of “having an enemy to fight.”
Humanity must experience a massive shift in consciousness soon.
I agree with almost everything, but I’m not so sure about the Russian military. In terms of global firepower, I have a nagging sense that Russia is a very distant second or maybe third to the USA. (Considering its aging nuclear stockpile, probably second.)
I think what we’re seeing at present is a momentous turning point in history… the climax of a game of Risk. Uncle Sam is way ahead in the game, and he’s planning to win it. He’s mastered the art of information warfare, espionage, and manipulation, which is how he has taken over the US government… by controlling the media to spread fear and uncertainty among the people. Now he’s ramping up to take over the game board… with the same strategy on a much larger scale.
If I were in that leading position in the game of Risk (and if I had the right savage disposition), my next step would be to undo my biggest opponent. That would be Russia. Until that’s taken care of, it’s going to be a long, drawn-out game with an uncertain winner.
Now, John, I thank God that this noblesavageworld blog has subscribers that I can count on the fingers of my hands… usually getting only one or two hits per day. The fact that no one reads this stuff makes me little more than a gnat to Uncle Sam’s mighty war machine… not worth the effort to squelch.
… also that my more popular macyafterlife blog is so far removed from mainstream thinking (an invisible planet called Marduk playing a huge role in human affairs on Earth, for example…) that I can easily be shrugged off as delusional. Again, no threat to the war machine.
Still, just for safety sake, it’s probably better if we resume dialogues like this one via personal email.
Warm wishes, my friend,