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Hate

I’m not typically a hateful person. In fact, those who know me would attest that I’m quite the opposite. I’m of the mind that there are better things to do than spend a life-time being consumed and twisted with hate, and I pity those who are.

Nonetheless, there are people I do actually hate: I hate murderous scumbags.

I hate those who needlessly cut short the lives of innocent people. In particular, I hate with a passion the Islamic terrorists who blow up planes, blow up buildings, blow up themselves with the intention of sending others closer to ‘God’ with them, or open fire on mingling crowds of people whose only guilty act is that they are going about their daily lives in a free country.

We all hate them, so I’m not unique there.

But it’s not just the Islamic terrorists I hate. I also hate those deranged low-life bastards in the gun-loving USA who indiscriminately blast away the lives of their innocent countrymen. It’s impossible not to hate a person who aims an assault rifle at young kids in a school ground and excitedly mows them down with enough fire power that not only kills them, but mutilates them beyond recognition.

It only happens in America. And all too often. We gaze at the country in disbelief.

Yet I like Americans. I’ve visited their country a number of times and I have left, each time, impressed with their warmth and hospitality. And back home whenever I’ve mentioned that I like Americans I’ve yet to be challenged with such bewildering comments as: “How can you like Americans when they kill each other?” “How can you like Americans when they kill animals?” “How can you like Americans when you look at how they treat other countries?”

My expressed like of the American people doesn’t seem to faze anyone. Sure, there’s a lot about America I don’t like. I don’t like their gun laws nor see the sense in keeping them. I don’t like people shooting animals for sport, which a lot of them seem to do. I don’t like their policies on health or employment, or a raft of their foreign policies.

But it doesn’t stop me from liking Americans. They don’t all kill people. They don’t all kill animals. How can I blame (and hate) all Americans because of the actions of a small minority?

No one seems to care one way or another if I like Americans or not.

It’s pity the same logic doesn’t always apply.

Dare mention that we shouldn’t be blaming all Muslims for the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris and you will unleash a barrage of incomprehensible hate that can best be described as pure insanity.

This was evident by the extreme level of unrestrained hate manifested in response to Victoria Rollison’s article, A Letter to Reclaim Australia as well as on other social media sites.

Anyone ‘daring’ to mention the obvious – that it was ludicrous to hold all Muslims responsible, or dislike Muslims because of – the Islamic terrorist attacks was, as evidenced, a hated person and one who ‘clearly’ supported:

  • Child brides
  • Wife beating
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Sex trafficking
  • Forced segregation
  • The fostering of terrorism
  • Beheadings
  • The subjugation of women

. . . and on it went.

How utterly ridiculous and outrageous. What a load of puerile, unfounded rubbish! Of course we (or I) don’t approve of those things.

The probability is, the pitiful hypocrites who make these insane allegations have far less chance of being killed by a Muslim than an American person has of being gunned down by a fellow countryman.

It appears there are indeed a large number of people consumed and twisted with hate, and as I stated earlier, I pity those who are. They have more hate than I can comprehend.

 

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62 comments

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  1. kerri

    Good article Michael! With you completely!

  2. Roswell

    Me too.

  3. jim

    Yea it seems a lot do not get that violence begets violence or hate begets hate, here is an email doing the rounds of Vietnam Vets does said email suggest hate to you? I wonder?.”Another lone wolf apparently???? Here is had a$70k govt job , allowed time off to pray, had a month off on full pay to visit Saudi Arabia, his workmates had a baby shower for him & he strolled in & shot them for their trouble .
    The couple had amassed a huge arsenal of ammunition and explosive supplies
    They were an American family with a small child. Went to work every day. Islamics in religion ….prayed all the time. Nice to their neighbours. Friendly to all. Never a problem. MODERATES for sure …no other way to describe them …………………………….TILL…..

  4. kathysutherland2013

    Nice one, Michael. And Jim, that has stunned me, too. I just don’t get it. Which makes it even stupider to generalise on the strength of one example. A teacher recently turned out to be a paedophile. Just as well we don’t generalise, or we’d never send our kids to school.

  5. Rob

    I agree with what you say, but

    “How can I blame (and hate) all Americans because of the actions of a small minority?”
    ” it was ludicrous to hold all Muslims responsible, or dislike Muslims because of – the Islamic terrorist attacks”

    It seems that a lot of people are happy to hate all gun owners and bikers because of the actions of a few.

  6. mark delmege

    a rather pointless exercise

  7. Michael Taylor

    Mark, aren’t I allowed to have an opinion?

  8. Michael Taylor

    Rob, they probably do, but that message didn’t come across in Victoria’s article. It seemed that a) a lot of people don’t blame ALL Muslims for what happened in Paris, and b) those that didn’t were savagely attacked for those beliefs.

    And you’re probably correct in assuming that a lot of people hate Americans for the reasons I’d outlined, but in my personal communications it has yet to be reinforced. People don’t seem to care.

  9. mark delmege

    of course you can Michael. You can say the same of people from anywhere – warm friendly look after their mates, family whatever. You get arseholes and killers in every country. ordinary people are not really responsible for what their government or a section of their society does. I posted a photo of Turnbull and Erdogan on my FB page and titled it Partners in Crime. Erdogan being the main backer today of IS and there we have our PM happy as Larry standing with a war criminal. Am I responsible for Turnbull – I don’t think so. what does it all mean? Not much.

  10. Wally

    Great article Michael here is an interesting article I found, the facts are mind boggling.

    Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2001 to 2013, 406,496 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.

    According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2013 was 350. In addition, we compiled all terrorism incidents inside the U.S. and found that between 2001 and 2013, there were 3,030 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism.* This brings the total to 3,380.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/oregon-shooting-terrorism-gun-violence/

  11. Michael Taylor

    Mark, your comment was a pointless exercise. I don’t know what you were talking about.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Wally, those statistics are gobsmacking.

    As an aside, I heard on a radio program that over the last decade 110,000 people have died in hospitals in America due to the medications prescribed to them – while they were in hospital!

  13. Sen Nearly Ile

    Wow, for a man that hates specifically. your attack on the general haters for their ‘pitiful hypocrisy’, is hardly fair you would think?.
    You have visited america so treat the society as individuals but the media does not.
    Have you been to ‘islam’?
    do you not want a society that accepts female puberty as god’s marrying age to discuss such interpretations?
    do you not want a religion whose god rewards murderers with virgins, to discuss such interpretations?
    Have you been to ‘christianity’?
    do you want a religion that teaches women can never be equal because of god given physiology to discuss such interpretations??
    do you want a religion that on a boys 12th birthday god gives him the power to advise all women, including his mother, to discuss such interpretations?.
    As for ‘unfounded’ any day in all public media opinion is ‘evidenced’ by islamic generalisations that are unchallenged by ????
    As for puerile how pompously puerile is ‘Mark, aren’t I allowed to have an opinion?’
    Sorry, em tee
    you have looked down on many who may have looked up to you.

  14. Roswell

    It’s obvious that you didn’t get the gist of Michael’s article, Sen. I can’t see where he says he supports all the stuff you’ve talked about. From the way I read it, he says that people have all these assumptions about people if they say that all Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the terrorist attacks. Yes, you’ve clearly missed the point.

    Before you jump in to attack people maybe you should actually have an idea what they’ve said first.

    By the way, I’m sick of your sarcasm.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Now now Roswell, go easy.

    But you’re right: the point has been missed.

  16. Sen Nearly Ile

    yes, I am aware that my attempts at sarcasm are pretty poor, roswell, I tried to get the gist of the importance of the septics on your page but they are strangers to me.
    I write as I see it to clear my mind and surely the point/gist is in the interpretation of the em tee’s words.
    If the message was don’t tar all people with one brush,then my poor words may have hidden the gist of my post which is:
    until the religions are re-interpreted the tar is obvious and the killing will not stop.
    Does MT condemn those who who use the list? Is there a reference to the beliefs of muslims and christians which bind them and break them not as americans or australians?
    The gist might have been, I can hate because I am discerning/ those who disagree are peurile for basing opinions on their untested belief. unchallenged experience from murdoch, mummy, daddy, the army, or a church school?

    The bee in my bonnet is sourced in the Rev. the battle of the boyne, Paisley (No surrender. We will never bend the knee”) and the troubles
    How was that resolved to stop the killing? For me it was women that broke the men killing each other/
    Still if I was able, I could express the thought that no christian, no muslim, no athiest etc can be judged innocent without thinking about the religion that allowed the murders at the abortion clinic or curtis cheng.
    You could then have a laugh, at a silly old idiot worried, not just for Australia under this government or climate change or refugees but about the world of war, for his family.
    ps my bottom line is I hate no living organism.

  17. Chris

    Many seem a bit grumpy tonight….
    Yeah….I’m not so sure. I think many of those people you hate are in some ways victims as much as their victims (not a popular thing to say, I know but bear with me) Sure they have made a tragically stupid decision to choose this course of action but not all chose that for any ‘same’ (or sane) reason.
    Anders Behring Breivik would have to be one of the worst example of any of the kind of people who do these things but really he was an inadequate, none to bright, unattractive, confused, lonely….etc kind of guy. He was extremely calculated about what he did and must have spent years thinking about it or similar plans. That is a person in a good deal of personal pain about something. I’m not excusing him in an way. I do hate nazis(just generally; as a species of idiot) and am generally suspicious of people who think they are Vikings or Crusaders…..probably anyone who sees themselves as some sort of historical figure is pretty dodgy and it is best not to encourage them. As with nazis some measure of embarrassment is probably best. No capital punishment or silly ideas like that works for unhappy zealots….
    Unless someone who does this is undeniably delusional and not in touch with reality it is probably not going to help if they are deemed insane or not either. I’m not convinced our systems are really any good at judging sanity.
    Being angry at these people is a natural response but not helpful to those left behind if they hang on to that anger. Anger is probably not the same as hate….this says that it is not and is probably hard to argue with ‘The Difference Between Anger and Hatred’ http://www.afterpsychotherapy.com/anger-vs-hatred/
    If I do hate anyone it is most likely the people who are not victims. The powerful that make terrible and arbitrary decisions. The systems and roles that people fall into that enable those terrible and arbitrary decisions. That ruin lives just to maintain the privileges of the powerful. Most of the time I probably do a pretty crap job of hating anyone (although I may not let on that this is the case….)
    These days climate change deniers, environmental vandals (native vegetation and wildlife haters, polluters and poisoners, etc), greedy, selfish people, arrogant types, commodore drivers….. ; ) (from when I cycled lots)……and probably doctors piss me off the most. I often like having a go at the university educated but because they fit into one of the previous categories. I still laugh about the argument I had with someone with a degree or two who yelled at me “You are just like Rousseau ! You should be beaten in your bed !” That still cracks me up….

  18. Chris

    Sen Nearly Ile, fair enough. Paisley was a zealot if their ever was one. I think he would scare any child (and probably adult).
    You do have an unusual turn of phrase that some may misconstrue….oh shit…now I’m doing it 😀
    I’m pretty sure I see what you are saying most of the time….

  19. mark delmege

    I’m not surprised Michael – but there you go. I like Turkey. Istanbul is a lovely place and the Turks I met there were as warm friendly and hospitable as people I have seen anywhere. Actually I’d really like to visit Iran next though when I mention this to people most give the sort of response you get to people when saying you like Americans or (USof) America.
    Pity about the government in Ankara though – and its a pity our side (liblabs) support them in their efforts to support the very same terrorists you hate so much. But then so does America – or should I say their establishment – as does ours – just to remake that point – and our media too for that matter.
    The rest of the world has every right to judge us (Australians) with the same harshness as they often judge the Saudi’s, Qatari’s, Empire, Turkey, British and French and of course the IS and al qaeda terrorists …after all we are all working for the same ends, ah? But not you or me, right?

    http://www.alaraby.co.uk/file/Get/900cab8d-c2c7-474c-96bf-98f653781e84

  20. Chris

    mark delmege, I was working in a factory with an Iranian guy and there was a cardboard box that had a word “expursion” printed on it. Mehdi asked me what it meant and I hadn’t come across it before (or since) so I said ” It means you, Mehdi.” “What ?!” he said. “Yeah, ex-Persian…” Needless to say he wasn’t entirely impressed by my joke…. But yes Iranians seem generally very nice. Turks too, from the old guys I used to know in Melbourne but a friend’s brother had a bad experience with some girlfriends he was travelling with in Turkey. So bad it sent him a little mad…. Which is a terrible story. : (

  21. paul walter

    Good heads-up Michael Taylor. I’ve tired of all the neo McCarthyism, chookery, fear and gabble from the brainwashed also.

  22. townsvilleblog

    How can anyone like yanks, they are warmongers and arrogant, they believe that they are the best people on Earth, yet they continue to murder and mass murder each other at a rate not seen in any other nation on Earth.

  23. Sir ScotchMistery

    Townsville blog I thought you were going to continue and make a point. Sadly, missed.

    Ah well, maybe next time eh mate?

    Point though, if a warmonger starts a game of marbles, and a lot of other kiddies join in, which one is the warmonger? Or are they all warmongers, or is it just the first and the rest are gormless sheep?

    Alternatively, are the joiners just witless suck-holes seeking acceptance from the bully who started the game?

    Can I also add the following view:

    How can anyone like CONSERVATIVE VOTERS, they are warmongers and arrogant, they believe that they are the best people on Earth, yet they continue to murder and mass murder each other at a rate not seen in any other nation on Earth.

    When I read that it doesn’t make a lot of sense either, if you get my drift.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Sen Nearly Ile, I’ve added a sentence in my post that will answer your question. It’s near the bottom, in the paragraph beginning with “How utterly ridiculous . . . ”

    But I do maintain that you have missed the point, in that you are questioning whether I support the Muslim traditions. Which was the actual point of the post!

  25. David Bruce

    The mainstream media have twisted their reports to encourage people to draw the conclusions you state. Other countries have gun massacres too, but they don’t get the MSM coverage we see here. The Military Industrial Complex which President Eisenhower warned about is now the Media Military Industrial Complex. We are being groomed for war, and Russia is the prize!

  26. Miriam English

    Well said Michael.

    Brought a few crazies out of the woodwork, but mere mention of a few of the prohibited words will do that.

    I have a strong dislike of USA, but have a heck of a lot of friends who live there, and one who breathes a big sigh of relief because she now lives here. Almost all the yanks I’ve met in person and know online are lovely people.

    They do have a big population of spine-chillingly scary crazies over there though. We have a smaller number of very frightening loons. Thankfully most of ours don’t have machine guns and assault rifles. It gives me the willies just thinking about it. I was reading somewhere recently that 1 in 10 gun owners in USA is subject to fits of uncontrollable rage. Now that makes my blood run cold with trepidation. I fear we’ve not seen the worst in USA yet, with delusional half-wits like Trump fanning the flames of hate and gun ownership continuing to rise.

    The Islamist nutters don’t need to take any action against USA. The gun lobby, most notably the NRA, is doing far more harm to USA than they ever could.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, I read something somewhere that went something like this:

    In the last ten years there have been 150 shootings that can be called ‘mass killings’, yet the Republicans don’t think America has a problem with gun ownership. Two of those involved Muslims, so the Republicans are screaming that America has a Muslim problem.

  28. Miriam English

    At more than 33,000 gun deaths in USA per year the gun lobby is indirectly responsible for more than 10 times as many deaths as the worst terrorist action in USA by Al Qaeda (and that number doesn’t include shootings by their trigger-happy police).

  29. Miriam English

    Depends on how you define “mass shooting”. I read that they’ve had more than 300 this year, which means they’re approaching one per day.

  30. diannaart

    My ancestors settled in South Australia and Victoria during the 18th century. I have no way to determine whether they were friendly (or not) to the locals.

    I wonder, am I to blame for the dispossession of the First People to Australia?

    Should I be hated for my ancestral past?

  31. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, that figure in the quote was obviously way off the mark, but the true figures certainly push the message harder.

  32. Michael Taylor

    Of course you’re not, diannaart.

    But it doesn’t always work that way. For instance, my neighbour was a very young girl in Germany during the war (and her family hated Hitler), but she’s had to spend her life hearing that the war was all her fault.

    Some people are so stupid.

  33. Michael Taylor

    By the way, if your ancestors settled in SA and Vic in the 18th century then they must have been Aborigines. 😉

  34. Michael Taylor

    PS – it wasn’t my neighbour who was stupid. It was the idiots blaming her for the war.

  35. diannaart

    Michael

    Oops, I meant the early 1800’s (AKA 19th century) – tricky things those centuries. Blush.

    🙂

  36. RosemaryJ36

    To try and put things in perspective – there are a lot of people in Australia with views and values which I do not share. In many cases I find them downright offensive.
    If someone outside Australia shares my view of that group of people but perceives them as being typical of all Australians, might not that outsider condemn all Australians?
    We all tend to over generalise and I would prefer to dislike rather than hate and at all times claim my right to my own opinion – BUT without forcing it on other people.

  37. Wally

    Michael Taylor and Miriam English

    The figures on mass shootings from different sources seem to vary considerably, according to the FBI between 2000 and 2013 there were 160 incidents resulting in 486 deaths. This is a small number from the total number of people injured from gun violence, America would be better off forgetting about stopping terrorism and mass shootings they only account for a small percentage of gun related deaths.

    https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-active-shooter-incidents/pdfs/a-study-of-active-shooter-incidents-in-the-u.s.-between-2000-and-2013

  38. Chris

    “Take the United States, a place where, in the years since 9/11, the danger of being attacked by an Islamic terrorist could be slotted in somewhere between being “shot” by your dog and being shot by a toddler who has found a loaded, unlocked gun in your house, purse, or car. ”
    The National Security State’s Incestuous Relationship with the Islamic State http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176071/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_national_security_state's_incestuous_relationship_with_the_islamic_state/#more

    Now who would hate their dog or a toddler ? ; )

  39. Rob

    On that second link it shows the number of gun deaths as being 33,636, just less than breast cancer and a just more than car crashes. Then it says

    “(Note that about two-thirds of American gun deaths are suicides.)”

    This is very ingenuous, suicides don’t count as by and large the person would just find another way. So the real figure for gun deaths should be about 11,210.

    Typical misuse of graphs.

  40. Chris

    No it is not Rob. Guns take all or certainly most of the effort out of suicide and all the opportunity to reconsider or lose enthusiasm for the idea.
    Unless you did mean ‘ingenuous’…..; )
    …(of a person or action) innocent and unsuspecting. I’m pretty sure you left ‘dis’ off ?
    It is quite a valid graph.

  41. Wally

    Rob

    You picked a good point there, I put up the link to the FBI report as it clearly states the scope, objective/s and conclusion of the analysis.

    Often the people who format data or present it in articles have motives beyond factually presenting the figures for readers to consider and make an informed decision.

  42. Rob

    Oops, man I hate the venues that don’t allow editing, yes I left the ‘dis’ off.

    It is a good argument re the success rate of firearms suicide vs most other methods, I will have to ponder that for a while. However this thread is about hate and by extension the use of guns for hate-related killings. As such suicides belong in another argument.

    Also in Australia the laws are vastly different, firearm crimes committed by law-abiding legal gun owners in Oz are on a vastly different scale to that of the US, to the point of being almost insignificant I think.

  43. Chris

    Cops Kill Many More Americans Than the FBI’s Data Shows

    Cops Kill Many More Americans Than the FBI’s Data Shows


    And an update to A Guide to Mass Shootings in America http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map
    Mother Jones’ figures and research on this is very good and probably some of the most extensive out there.

    And this one http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/mentally-ill-america/

    Cool I thought you did and am glad you didn’t just think I was being a smart ass…
    I can guarantee that people I know or have known would have suicided if they had easy access to guns but they didn’t….

  44. Chris

    Interesting but I doubt Mother Jones would characterize their data like that. I will have to look at it again. I don’t think they do at all actually.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map Lot’s of Americans don’t like what MJ has to say maybe that is just an attempt to discredit them. I don’t know how they interpreted their figures like that….?

  45. Sir ScotchMistery

    @David Bruce

    Thanks for your insightful post.

    Stupidly, I then searched everywhere for even a scintilla of evidence of it.

    Perhaps you’d be good enough to post it so I can also come and worship.

  46. Sir ScotchMistery

    The particular bit I was thoughtful about was this:

    Other countries have gun massacres too, but they don’t get the MSM coverage we see here

    Evidence of that in anything like the numbers those f*ck-knuckles have in the US of A is my quest.

    The military industrial complex runs America, driven mainly by Dick Cheney and his mates. One day they will f*ck up, however, and I will not be around to say “I told you so”. That saddens me deeply, since it means that those who think are laughed at, the rest get to pick lollies on prize day.

  47. Annie B

    An excellent article Michael ….. and some interesting comments following by others and yourself.

    America seems to be ( or always has been ) a country of complete extremes. American people can be generous to a fault, and very polite – while at the same time displaying arrogance, and ” holier than thou and we are better than you” attitudes. …. which is odd, to say the least.

    I have never been able to abide their politics, or comprehend the attachment they seem to all have to their military. And the flags – you cannot escape them. Patriotism hung out on almost every porch / verandah / roof — as long as it is fluttering and thereby pronouncing to all, that the residents of the flagged house, are deeply patriotic and that the American flag is sacrosanct.

    I have American friends – good people. I have also been in that country, and have seen both sides of the coin. The poverty – – and the wealth. I chose to travel by bus, in order to see some of the country while journeying towards the East coast, from the West. The wealthy on the east coast were utterly horrified that I had chosen this form of transport – while the poverty stricken were agape to see a well dressed woman with a strange accent, amongst them. I could tell you stories of one trip that would curl your hair. But suffice to say some of it was to witness real tragedy, violence, drug related incidents – and then be hit with the small talk, the “I’m better than you” attitude from some of the high flyers on the East – ( with crystal chandeliers and RR’s ). Frankly, apart from my friends – I didn’t much like either side.

    Yet they have the most extraordinarily beautiful country. And many of them look after it well, and with pride.

    They serve at this time to bring themselves undone, as the world is catching up with their antics, with their love of guns and killing ( e.g. ‘good christian folk’, the Grandpa a Church Minister – proudly photographing a 16 yr old grandson with his first big 8 point buck kill and a high powered rifle across his knee – I deleted the photograph – made me ill ). That’s the main mindset across all walks of life there. Not all, but too many.

    The facts shown by others here – even if there are some discrepancies in numbers, underscores how this country is quietly ( and not so quietly ) imploding. I believe wholesale civil insurrection is imminent. It’s been simmering one helluva long time. …. How could it be any other way ??

  48. diannaart

    Thanks Annie, you have reminded me of the many contradictions of the USA I puzzled at when I was there for a while.

    How Obama has survived is amazing given the obstacles he has had to endure, many criticise him for not doing enough, I’m amazed he got anything done at all given the puerile antics of the far-right. He has certainly not been the ‘lame-duck’ applied to presidents in the final months of their position.

    Civil unrest is not out of the picture, I don’t see how much longer such inequities can continue to be tolerated by so many people – much weighs upon the incoming president – someone who can build on what Obama has achieved or someone who will just tear it all down?

  49. Miriam English

    USA is certainly a very strange place. Moral certainty figures very strongly in the minds of many people over there. From what I’ve seen on the net (I’ve never been to the physical country and have little desire to) it seems that the stronger the conviction of moral certainty the stronger their outrage at alternative points of view and the more aggressive and crazy they act. Though, to be honest, I’ve seen similar behavior in people from UK and Australia too. The very worst, most repulsive example of it was in a Ukrainian Muslim guy who erupted in great streams of filthy swearing and stalked me on the net (eventually after blocking him everywhere he lost interest). But while I’ve encountered this angry, aggressive behavior only rarely from elsewhere in the world I’ve come across it often in people from USA. The most religious people are the worst by far, and perhaps this is why such behavior is so common in USA. It is the only developed country with third world levels of religion.

    I somehow doubt there will be civil unrest in USA. It is truly astounding the degree to which the poorest, most oppressed people there are brainwashed into voting against their own interests. That had always puzzled me until I read this quote:

    Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
    — John Steinbeck

    Sadly, I don’t see much hope for USA because China, India, and Brazil are going to be the big movers in the world soon. They have rapidly growing middle classes, and I’m convinced that’s what makes a country strong and vibrant. In USA, and UK, and Australia too, the middle classes are in decline, and our fortunes will go with them. What scares me is when USA sees it is losing control. With by far the largest arms budget in the world they could wreak terrible wrath on the rest of the world for their own failure.

    I’ve been pushing around the idea of writing my next science fiction story about someone who is intensely patriotic and believes his people are the good guys saving the world, but who is then confronted with irrefutable evidence that his people are the bad guys, that they destroy much of what they touch, and a lot of the rest of the world fear and hate them. USA certainly isn’t that bad yet, but I’m scared they are headed that way. Just watch what will happen if Trump gets the presidency. Very, very scary.

  50. Wally

    Miriam English

    “China, India, and Brazil are going to be the big movers in the world soon. They have rapidly growing middle classes, and I’m convinced that’s what makes a country strong and vibrant”

    Why do the filthy rich capitalist pigs overlook the necessity of a wealthy middle class to consume products and services? What were third world countries are developing a middle class to lift the entire nation out of poverty, a distinctly different approach to the US, UK and Australia where they think the world is better if they make the rich richer. I think the growth in economies clearly shows what works.

  51. Annie B

    Miriam ….

    I feel decidedly ill at the prospect of Trump getting within a bulls’ roar of the White House – yet, for heavens sake, he is gaining popularity ???????????? !! …. What the HELL is wrong with them ?

    When you write your next sci-fi story – it sounds as though it will be a very spot on portrayal of any number of big-wigs, medium-wigs, and little wigs — in the good ole U.S. of A. …. John Steinbeck said it — which is tantamount to ‘they are all tarred with the same brush’. No matter the money, or lack of it – they speak as one – for the U.S. – – period. ….. Dangerous mindset imho. Might just mean they cannot think individually, for themselves …. Led by the throat.

    ………

    diannaart — Glad I jogged your memory. !! 🙂

    I think Obama is much stronger than most think he is. But he is hog-tied by Congress – yet ( to my knowledge – I stand to be corrected ) has not implemented any of the vetoes he is entitled to use. ?

    His unpopularity there ( I believe ) is based solely on the colour of his skin – and not much else. Sure the extreme right wing mob, will have nothing whatsoever to do with Democrats, but it goes much deeper than that. …. The country is still rife with racism, while they plead that they are not. hmmm.

    ……

    Wally – from what I gather, the BRICS are most definitely on the move. As long as the world banking industry keep their noses out of it ( which I doubt ) …. there will be a shift in power – and then some.

    As for the wealthy capitalist pigs …. they abide everywhere, and it worries me somewhat, that they will come out of the woodwork, in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa alliance ( BRICS). World billionaires are not what they are, without having taken hold of opportunities – and run with them. Just hope the BRICS stop any interference that might be tried, in their plans.

  52. Matters Not

    Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    Yep! They are all ‘Aspirationals’. I mightn’t be ‘rich’ today but I certainly will be tomorrow, that’s why I don’t support an increase in taxation.

    It’s the nonsense that keeps ‘religion’ alive. Along the lines, yes I have nothing on this earth but my rewards will come in the afterlife.

    Read R H Tawney Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

    In one of the truly great classics of twentieth-century political economy, R. H. Tawney addresses the question of how religion has affected social and economic practices. He does this by a relentless tracking of the influence of religious thought on capitalist economy and ideology since the Middle Ages. In so doing he sheds light on why Christianity continues to exert a unique role in

    .

    Won’t provide links because people don’t read same.

  53. mars08

    Matters Not:

    They are all ‘Aspirationals’. I mightn’t be ‘rich’ today but I certainly will be tomorrow…

    In Australia we are faced with Howard’s Aspirationals who, in a manner of speaking, WERE rich around the turn of the century. Of course the illusion of wealth was part of a shabby, rigged, unsustainable house of cards that Wall Street and the City of London conjured up… and governments protected. But to Howard’s chosen people, it was all due to their cleverness and hard work. Today those people remain convinced that, with the right government, those glory days will return.

  54. Miriam English

    R H Tawney’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism sounds like it might be interesting. I checked on Project Gutenberg, but they only have three of his books there:

    Tawney, R. H. (Richard Henry), 1880-1962
    The Acquisitive Society (English) (as Author)
    The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century (English) (as Author)
    English Economic History: Select Documents (English) (as Compiler)

    He isn’t in the Project Gutenberg Australia collection. (It’s always worth checking because Australia’s copyright laws, while insane, are not as totally batshit insane as USA’s copyright laws, so a lot of books that are in the public domain in Australia are unavailable in USA.)

    There are quite a few more of his writings available from searching on the Internet Archive, with quite a lot of duplications, but I did find Relegion and the Rise of Capitalism there (name misspelled). Unfortunately it is in the process of being converted, so exists as a large set of page images (tiff format) and OCR’ed text that has yet to be proofread. I hoped this meant it might turn up on Project Gutenberg in the nearish future. However I looked in the Distributed Proofreaders‘ “Silver” and “Bronze” lists (links at the bottom of the pgdp page) and it doesn’t appear to be there yet.

    In a some of my stories I make a connection between Puritan religion and the common destructive form of capitalism. Puritanism teaches that we must suppress our desires and that work and hardship are how we pay for paradise after death — quite a con-job. I believe they are why the “right to work” ethic, which has been absorbed by the union movement, has changed from a desire to have an income and live with dignity, into a less helpful desire simply to have a job, no matter how belittling or mind-rotting. I think it also perverted the original luddites understandable fear of textile workers being displaced and losing bargaining power, turning it into a more general fear of anything that replaced human workers with machines. This oddly puts it in tension with the destructive kind of capitalism that wants to make people think they only have worth if they have a job and which, at the same time, wants to replace those workers with cheaper, more reliable machines.

    My stories tend to focus on what happens when artificial intelligence makes most workers obsolete, which we’d better start preparing for right now, as it is coming very soon. Transport is one of society’s biggest employers and robotic cars can already drive more safely than a human. Other jobs will fall in quick succession soon after. Puritanism could end up tearing society apart unless we replace it with something that values people’s desire to learn, create, and socialise. Asking what someone does will hopefully become about what they like to do, rather than what their job is.

  55. paul walter

    It is a legendary, some what deteministic history theoretical that encompasses Marx, a species of psychoanalysis, Weber, maybe a bit of Nietzsche and anticipates people like Wilhelm Reich, the Frankfurt school and some French philosophy in the way it sets up an understanding of someone like say, Scott Morrison. That is, as an (actually unconscious) example of commodification and individuation through sexual repression and the consolations of piety, self justification and self righteousness within a system increasingly capitalistic and colonialist…it is an ancestor of a dogma like American Exceptionalism and the perogatives of the Elect.

    Its basic setting was the Reformation onwards, where literacy and scientific thinking crashed Middle Ages timelessness for people during the uncertainty and brutalities of the sixteenth and seventeenth century; when the concept of the individual and individual conscience first became tangible against the unquestioned certainties of Catholicism.

    The factors you are mentioning in your third para, I think feminists would not reject too quickly also, it is part of the thinking that leads to an explanation how the later Industrial and Sexual Division of Labour worked on its subjects, especially the newly powerful and restless bourgeoisie intent on justification through vocation and hard work, overthrowing the old order with a new hierarchy purported to rest on an odd mix of religion and crass rationalism.

    It hints at why our own society has so much trouble in breaking out of a Hobbesian, guilt-ridden conservative way of being, paradoxically related to the (often unquestioned) liberal concept of the conscious agent and eventually, increasingly extreme reactive Individualism through to Ayn Rand, although it is a modernist rather than post modernist text.

  56. mark delmege

    do we base our judgment of what our society is by what we see in the media – where red lines are never discussed? If you haven’t seen it yet, do see the movie Lobster. (Conform dig your own grave) Which reminds me I really liked Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Listen little man.’

  57. diannaart

    Thank you for lovely informative reply, Miriam.

    Appreciate your thoughts on navigating through Project Gutenberg also. Feeling a bit too tapped out to reply in kind – maybe in the New Year (I usually come good by then).

    Just briefly on USA – don’t give up completely there are people and grass roots organisations we never hear of here – just like here “I am not my government”. OK the entire mistrust of government, self-pulling-up-by-ones-own-bootstraps is well entrenched, but I do believe there enough people who realise that working together actually achieves more than so-called competitiveness – which can only really work if there is an equal playing field (which you already know of course).

    @Annie B

    It seems hard to believe that a nation so stuck in its hate of dark skin, actually voted in Obama – I agree that much of his progress was stymied by people who could not get over his skin colour, his name and, most frightening of all to the bigot, his clear shining intelligence. While living there, I noticed how ingrained this prejudice was/is – after my first 6 months there I went through a massive culture-shock and, I must confess, was rather obnoxious for a while.

    🙁

    Unconscious prejudice so entrenched by such a powerful nation – very scary. Tired of all this hatred; for women or muslims or whatever (imagined) outsider. Will we humans ever get over ourselves? Yes…eventually… provided we don’t blow up or otherwise destroy the joint first – then it will be up to the cockroaches…

    Hey, cheers, everyone.

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