Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Year of the Penguin: The Grand Inquisitor at The New York Times


The NYTs and other major newspapers have opened on their op-ed pages a congenial and brotherly discussion of torture. Torture now has binary parts; those sort of for and those sort of against - this is a sort of Hegelian dialectic which insures the establishment of torture in one realm or another and to a degree to which it has never existed in our republic before. It is a complete compromise of character by the weakling, cowardly and appeasing voice of the horde, today's mainstream journalists. Arthur Koestler - spirit father of the neocon adventure - referred to torturers in his time - the children of Franco - as the scum of the earth and it is interesting that the neocon journalists who were formed by Koestler's heroic character in opposition to European fascism first advanced this discussion. But in Koestler's time, the torturers were them; The Others. They were not those among us and we did not consider them to be part of our humanity: We defined our humanity in opposition to them and their very existence as if they were a different moral species. Today, as per the discussion in the NYTs, it is us. That this discussion exists at all today is evidence that the American republic as it was born and reared has lost its talisman.

It is startling that the appeasers in the press only accommodate to a new force in Congress which insults 2,000 years of the European tradition and religious history and on the day of Christmas at that. As torture, like the repeal of habeas corpus and the establishment of American gulags, has only entered into the American political realm and discussion since American politicians, like George Bush and Mitt Romney, have promoted themselves as Christian. Romney, in fact, the most fascistic of the lot, has promised us that he is also - Mormonism aside - the most Christian of this squalid pack of hungry wolves and in his extreme positions on torture and Gitmo he appears to want to bolster his Christian karma.

To discuss Freedom is to Be Free
. Likewise, to discuss torture as the NYTs and the Republican candidates all but McCain and Ron Paul do today, is to enter the moral condition of the true slave; the one who prefers moral submission to clarity of heart and mind; the one who has not the courage to stand free in opposition; the one who enters the discussion in objectivity; the coward who lacks passion and holds on head down through these difficult years lest s/he lose the pension. This is Corporation Man and Woman in a Republic of Penguins; s/he is the weakling who enables the Wolf and the Rising American Fascism. And in our time today it is only Ron Paul and John McCain who speak with that clear voice in opposition and without nuance or discussion. As Paul said very recently on Fox TV, disarming their commentator who hoped to accommodate him as a fledgling into their tribe: "Upton Sinclair once wrote that when American became a fascist state it would do so wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross."

is an Awakening land, an Enlightenment culture and the Land of the Free. One day we will again be a slave culture perhaps in the mind and in the heart, beholding to priest, the brute and the politician alike, as everything awake returns to sleep. But not today. Those who bring up the topic of torture for discussion will soon descend to the Hole of Shame and Nothingness from which they have come sputtering forth. Consider that their life force was not, never was, can never be, strong enough to get a purchase in the Land of the Free.