November 22, 2012

When the Murder of the Innocent No Longer Matters

Yesterday, I discussed the pathetically unconvincing reasons offered by some liberals and progressives to explain their silence about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general, and about the terror inflicted on Gaza in particular. Here I want to address two issues I omitted from my previous discussion of those who proclaim themselves to be "politically engaged" and who write about every subject in the world, but retreat into silence when the topic is Israeli brutality and sadism.

Those who delete Gaza from the seemingly limitless subjects they otherwise willingly address claim, among other things, that it's just too difficult, and that if they are seriously critical of Israel, some people will accuse them of being anti-Semitic. I already discussed what a shabby reason this is for choosing to say nothing about grave injustice, and remaining silent when innocent people are slaughtered. In the previous post, I offered the profound, inspiring courage of Robert La Follette, a man who was fiercely denounced by virtually everyone and almost driven from office, as an example of how the most momentous of battles can be fought, if only we are brave enough.

With regard to the explanations offered for the silence of the writers in question, we should remember an additional factor. Keep in mind that those who offer these arguments to justify their silence are comparatively well-known, successful writers and bloggers; they also style themselves as political activists. We know that such people view their connections and contacts as life itself; without the favored treatment bestowed on them by the ruling class, they would lose what they regard as their "influence" and "importance." Without those precious gifts given by the rulers to their favorite subjects, which are essentially identical to similar gifts bestowed by royalty in past eras, they would sink into what they view as the undifferentiated mass of writers to be found on the internet. That is what they are afraid of, and that is the reason for their silence on especially "difficult" subjects.

What are the gifts to which I refer? Numerous reports tell us about the conference calls various administration officials hold with bloggers whom the administration views as helpful in maintaining the support it enjoys. On rare occasions, especially favored bloggers will go to White House meetings with the actual, honest to God President himself. And there are still other meaningless charades arranged by the ruling class for the specific purpose of keeping those who might otherwise criticize them in a stuporous state of smug, self-satisfied, undisturbed contentment. There may well be additional gifts similar in kind of which we are unaware.

To state the above is not to engage in unwarranted speculation. Most of these people have declared, sometimes frequently, that what they seek is "influence" over events. The ruling class is enormously skillful in satisfying such desires; much of their time is devoted to such tasks, both among themselves and in their dealings with the underlings who help to prop up their rule. The ruling class knows that when you make someone feel "important," it is then far easier to make him shut up. He will shut up because he wants the favors to continue. As I noted, the favors are life itself for those who seek to inflate their sense of self-worth in this manner. This is a commonplace of how power operates.

The second issue I failed to include in my earlier discussion is one of immense significance. This particular omission on my part was a notable oversight. In the previous post and in this one, we are speaking of liberals and progressives who choose to be silent about selected subjects that arouse deeply felt passions. Of course, it is precisely such issues that are among the most critical of our time; that is why they arouse such strong feelings. But all of the liberals and progressives in question (I am not aware of any exceptions to this) supported Obama's reelection; in some cases, they wrote lengthy justifications for voting for Obama despite what they themselves regard as Obama's grievous failings.

I have addressed the choice to support Obama despite what a voter herself views as terrible policy decisions at length: in Parts II and III of "Accomplices to Murder," and in "To Honor the Value of a Single Life," and in other articles as well. Please consult the earlier essays for the detailed argument. Here I will summarize the critical point.

With the adoption of the Murder Program, a program which the Obama administration seeks to make permanent policy for the United States going into the future, the Obama administration has chosen as the fundamental policy of its governing philosophy the principle of mass murder. I'll say that again: the Obama administration has adopted the principle of mass murder as the fundamental foundation for its governing philosophy. The Obama administration has taken great pains to publicize this principle in the nation's leading newspapers. Almost no one gives a damn.

The Obama administration claims it has the "right" to murder anyone in the world, any time it wishes, for any reason it chooses or invents, and that it need never tell anyone about its actions or the reasoning behind them. The Obama administration claims absolute power, the power of life and death itself. If the Obama administration has the "right" to murder anyone at all, even someone who is entirely innocent of any crime whatsoever, then it has the "right" to murder 20 or 50 people in the same manner. It has already done that. This also means that the Obama administration claims the "right" to murder hundreds of people in this way, or thousands, or even millions of innocent human beings.

But, some will object, they would never do that! They're only targeting people who have harmed or seek to harm the United States and its citizens. But those who wield absolute power always offer such arguments; that is how they make the claim of absolute power "acceptable" to their docile subjects. And the alleged justification is patently not true: they have murdered innocent human beings, and their methodology makes certain they will continue to murder innocent human beings. This monumental fact is no deterrence to their commitment to the Murder Program. They view it as simply a problem of public relations. Thus far, it is not a problem they need be concerned about. As I said: they have adopted the principle of mass murder, they have repeatedly announced this fact publicly -- and almost no one gives a damn.

And the liberals and progressives who stay silent about Gaza all voted for Obama. They support the Murder Program. To vote for Obama, is to support what he does; this is emphatically true when a particular policy has been publicly disclosed on repeated occasions, as is true of the Murder Program. This is not a difficult fact to grasp. It is remarkably simple to understand. But when we are confronted by horrors of this kind, most people will expend enormous energy and engage in endless stratagems to prevent themselves from understanding the meaning of what they do, and the meaning of what their rulers do.

When we keep the fact of their support for Obama in mind, and when we understand the awful significance of that support, why do we wonder that the same people have nothing to say about particular murders in one particular conflict? They aren't bothered by the prospect of mass murder. Why would the murders of a few hundred, or a few thousand, human beings trouble them?

And, in fact, those murders do not trouble them, not in any important way, not in a way that causes them to wonder about the crimes they have chosen to endorse, or the future crimes to which they have given their blessing.

From this perspective, the entire debate about the silence of these particular writers with regard to the horrors of Gaza is nonsensical and ludicrous. Of course they have nothing to say about those horrors. They have nothing to say about mass murder, except that they have managed to make mass murder "acceptable" to themselves. In so doing, they have placed themselves outside the bounds of civilization altogether, and they merit no further attention at all.

That is what I should have said when I first addressed this issue. I've said it now.

And that, as they say, is that.