Greenville Millennium Gazette
Issue No. 1, Vol. 1; publisher and editor, Joel A. Wendt
"...government in its best state is but a necessary evil, in its worst state an intolerable one..."
Thomas Paine: Common Sense, published January 10th, 1776
Why President Clinton should Not be impeached
or asked (forced) to resign
Have you even wondered why Ken Starr has been so persistent in his pursuit of President Clinton? Or why the pressure remains so strongly to investigate Clinton and Gore's campaign solicitation activities from the White House?
Basically we are told that these allegations are being so intensely pursued because of the possibility that crimes have been committed. This is not the real reason. The truth, the hidden truth, is that an effort is underway to topple our current governmental leadership and to install in the Oval Office an official who has not been elected by the People.
The conservative power brokers in Washington have known for some time that if they can force the President's resignation, for lying under oath, they can also force Gore's resignation for the technical crime of soliciting campaign contributions from the White House (the reason this is technical is that the solicitation law was passed with entirely other governmental officers in mind -- in fact, the whole thing is kind of silly, in that Gore can do one act in one place and it is criminal, and then cross the street and do the same act in a different office and it is not criminal). But in order to force Gore from office, the power brokers need to force Clinton from office for technically lying under oath about very personal and private matters in a deposition for a trial that had no legal basis and was later dismissed.
The reason these resignations need to be forced, through the pressures exerted mostly by public displeasure, but also by the threat of impeachment, is that an actual impeachment trial would take too long, and could probably not be won. It is because of this that the Lewinsky testimony was made so quickly public and why the Republicans are seeing to it that the video of Clinton's grand jury testimony is made public. It is all about pressure and about creating a psychological climate that could force a resignation.
After Clinton resigns, then the new president, Al Gore, will come under the same intense pressure to resign because he solicited campaign contributions from his office in the White House, which is a felony.
What these people pushing these events will gain is that the Speak of the House, Newt Gingrich, would then become President and be solidly in position to win the year 2000 elections, all without having truly won the support of the American People. These are the real reasons this whole matter has been shoved in the face of the America public for all these many months. It is not about, and never has been about, doing what is right. It is only about the naked struggle for power.
The real question is what is best for this nation. In that context, the most important issue is how to interpret the impeachment aspects of our Constitution so that the meaning of this almost sacred document is not distorted and warped by purely political motives. To use these kinds of reasons to topple a sitting President and Vice President will make our form of Government no longer a republic, but a parliamentary one, like England, France, and Italy, where a vote of no confidence will cause the head of State to resign and have to form a new government.
This is the real danger to our form of Government. The current standard of practice in politics, being today no longer carried out as a public service, but rather solely as a means to gain and hold power, has already outrageously abused our Nation. Few of the participants in this whole affair have placed service to our People over their own ambitions and agendas. Clinton is only one of these, and in this regard his political sins are no worse then those of the Republican leadership, the special prosecutor Judge Starr, Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Tripp, the rabid Press, and outside monied interests who have used and corrupted the special prosecutor's office in an effort to gain political advantage.
It is easy in the rush of events, especially with the recent publication of the most disgusting personal narratives, to mistake the trees for the forest, the details for the whole. Let me tell you a story, so that we do not lose ourselves in this confusion of offensive and unnecessary material.
There was once a very ambitious man, who married an equally ambitious woman. Together they entered the field of American political life. In the course of their travels down the trail of political advancement, they encountered the natural environment of political existence, which includes the necessity of giving and receiving favors.
No one should expect anything else to happen in the corrupt ecology of modern political life. Advancement depends upon relationships, and relationships are won and nurtured through the giving and receiving of accommodations.
In the course of their travels, this couple also made political enemies. Their success was coveted. They higher they rose, the more certain groups and individuals sought to harm them. Again there is nothing surprising here. It is the nature of the competition for power that such dynamics arise.
So it came to pass, that as this couple rose to highest office, their enemies made efforts to ruin their success. Since this couple were also human beings, their path in life was not without flaws, and it was eventually possible to find and exploit some of these flaws.
Thus we have the Whitewater investigation, travel-gate, the concern over the husband's private sexual appetites, and an examination of the wife's legal and financial history and background. Flaws were found, and for mostly political reasons, pressure was applied to our way of Government to find a way to bring harm to this politically successful couple.
What went largely unnoticed was that if the same investigative power that was applied to this particular couple's past, was to be applied to all Congressmen and women, all Senators and all sitting Governors of States, many would be found to have worse flaws. Political advancement without accommodation does not exist; or if it does, it is surely only a very few who manage it.
This investigation of this couple was not successful, except in very minor and ineffective ways. The relevant accommodations were more verbal then written, as is the norm, so direct evidence was difficult to find. For reasons not entirely clear, except that they belong in the realm of will to power and excesses of jealousy and hate, those working behind the scenes were not satisfied, so pressure was applied to continue this investigation to whatever extreme was necessary in order to achieve the goal of hurting this couple (without regard to the consequences for our Nation of this endless distraction from the real business our people need addressed).
Along the way a law suit was filed alleging certain sexual improprieties on the part of the husband. It was clear that the lawsuit existed solely to bring harm to the husband and not to redress any actual hurt experienced by the plaintiff. In the end this lawsuit was dismissed, even before trial, for failing to have a legal basis (no harm, no foul).
As this process of investigation and application of pressure proceeded, it became apparent to the power brokers, that it might be possible to force both Gore and Clinton to resign. Once this possibility was clearly in mind, there then arose every motive for taking this developing situation as far as possible. We should recall that Mr. Gingrich, someone who in the past had been willing to say very nasty things about opponents, has for some time now been very moderate of expression. He has gone out of his way, in fact, to not appear any longer to be a political attack dog. Why do you suppose this is?
Nevertheless, because other ambitious men and women could see advantage in attacking this couple, matters were dragged forward, with the apparently legal power of a special prosecutor behind them. Since the Whitewater matter had not yielded results, the investigation was expanded, and pressure continue to be applied. Rain and freezing water will crack the strongest rock, so a continued application of political and legal forces began to erode the power of this couple to resist these attacks. Eventually an apparently fatal flaw was uncovered, and matters now began to really escalate out of hand.
Since it didn't matter to those whose power hungry motives were driving this investigation how minuscule was the flaw (what family in America does not have sex and addiction scandals in its own closet), this couple found themselves in a situation without any apparent relief in sight. The husband, having other very serious obligations (after all, he was President of the United States of America), began to make poor judgments in the face of what was not only a relentless and very personal attack, but which also showed that it (the attack) placed no limits on how far it was willing to go.
The Press, who have demonstrated clearly over recent years that they have no real self discipline, let themselves be whorishly used (witness the many false or disgusting leaks to the press, which were immediately and unnecessarily published) by those political forces behind this cruel and politically motivated onslaught.
At this point, neither those political forces seeking to attack the sitting President, nor the Press or the President himself, were any longer capable of discerning their own agendas from the real needs of the American People, who, again and again, when asked in a clear fashion, indicated they liked the President's job performance, and weren't all that interested in his private life.
To all these bad actors, it was more important to score points and fulfill ambitions, then it was to render true public service. Thus, while a vicious political crime has been committed against the American People, Bill Clinton was only one bit player in the whole affair; and, to seek to exact the punishment for this tragic assault on our public life from just one man is to misunderstand the whole repellent mess and to refuse to see how much responsibility for it lays in the ambitions, agendas and moral weakness of others.
If Clinton is to be punished, then a whole other set of characters should suffer the same or similar consequences. While the American People may want the matter to end, it will do us no good at all to end it by extracting our revenge solely from President Clinton.
Paula Jones pursued a frivolous lawsuit, and was aided and abetted by hidden monied powers and self serving lawyers.
Judge Starr was far to close with right wing monied interests to sustain any judgment that he might be acting objectively, and his office constantly violated the law by leaking grand jury material. By now publishing the details of Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, Starr has revealed his true colors at last, for there is no real excuse for this material being in the main report except to embarrass a sitting President and a raw attempt to create an emotional climate that would let the Republican Leadership go forward with an unwarranted impeachment process. This material could have been simply refereed to in the main report and references given to its location in the grand jury transcripts. Having such and similar options, the publishing of this material clearly reveals Starr's willingness to place political advantage over the proper and appropriate execution of the office of special prosecutor.
Ms. Lewinsky will probably write a well paid for book, and freed of any threat of prosecution (having been granted immunity) will quite probably never realize the terrible and tragic cost to the fabric of American life that her childish ambitions have produced.
President Clinton will be punished quite adequately by history, and his removal from office will only serve the ambitions of the Republican Leadership. In a number of ways Clinton is a victim, but he walked right into most of it. Seeking high office makes you a target, and he shouldn't be surprised at the extent to which his enemies would go to dethrone him. Plainly they would sacrifice the social health of our country to fight their own way to power.
The Republican Leadership, despite all the high sounding lies it has used to cover its own naked ambitions, wants nothing more then to gain political advantage by hurting Clinton, perhaps even gain the White House before the year 2000 elections, by first dethroning Clinton and then Gore (for illegal campaign solicitations from his White House office), so that the Speaker of the House, being the next in-line, may advance to the Presidency without being elected by the People.
The Press is in disarray and has no moral ground for any of its behaviors. They do not serve the American People with their excessive coverage of these matters, to the exclusion of paying attention to much more serious and long lasting problems (for example, the MAI treaty, or multinational agreement of investments, whereby American sovereignty is being handed over to a private trading club - the World Trade Organization).
Something is rotten in the moral swamp that is our Nation's capitol and it is time for We the People to do something about it.
Dear New Readers,
Few people yet realize clearly that America is being ground under the boot of another tyranny, a profit worshiping tyranny of concentrated wealth. Oh sure, we occasionally give a thought to this - we know economic powers rule our civilization. But the real truth we shy from, in the main because this tyranny has made, of a substantial portion of Americans, the wealthiest peasant class in human history.
Peasants are basically landless people, which most American's are, and this includes even those who believe they own their own home - don't we always admit the banks really own them. This so-called home ownership is mostly just a more complicated form of lease or rental, while rental and lease agreements themselves are just temporary rights to use. The difference between the more ancient peasantry and our modern version is that today we usually obtain the right to use land from one owner (mostly banks) and our source of work from another. In more ancient times the land owner and the work provider were the same aristocratic family.
We call ourselves, in our own common language - wage slaves - recognizing semi-consciously the temporary status of our rights (mostly non-existent) to work. We also understand wage-slavery to mean the obvious fact that what earnings we make go right through our own pockets, almost immediately, having to be spent for necessaries.
For example, we enjoy having cars, and the apparent freedom that provides, but fail to notice cars are a necessity. More ancient peasants lived on and worked the same land. In modern industrial nations, where we live and where we work has needed to become separate. But this does not change the fundamental relationship - our peasantry, the truth of which we ignore at our peril.
The fundamental economic assets of the modern world are truly owned by only few individuals. Moreover, our real participation in the decision making processes, which give order to our social existence, is nil, all our so-called democratic ways having been corrupted by the profit worshiping tyranny of concentrated wealth. Our social existence is determined by the needs of an economic system owned in large part by a dominating elite, who care little for us as individuals and care a great deal more for their own rights to unconscionable aggregates of wealth. The gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us continues to grow at an alarming rate.
It is necessary, to the owners of this great wealth, that the American People sleep and dream, and have no understanding of the real costs, being paid by ourselves and our children, but more crucially, being paid elsewhere, for the material quality of our way of life (our high standard of living as compared with other peasant Peoples). It is necessary, to these hidden rulers of our world, that the American People live comfortable lives, in the main, relative to the great mass of people all over the world. It is necessary, to these polluters of the dreams of our young, that the American People's seduction, by sterile entertainment, and a cheap abundance of food and energy resources, remains unconscious. For it certainly will be dangerous if this Sleeping Giant, the American People, were to awake to their passive and, to a very real extent, undeserved plenty, and begin to realize the eventual cost that will have to be paid by our children's children's children when this constantly growing moral debt falls due. Americans cannot continue to consume 40% of the world's wealth without eventually experiencing devastating consequences.
We are told by our government, a government which long ago sold its soul to the tyranny of concentrated wealth, that our economy is healthy - just look, they say, at the low inflation, the low unemployment, the growth in the stock market. What could be better, we are told. Does any sane human being think there will not come a price for these advantages in our way of life, advantages and privileges the greater portion of humanity cannot even imagine?
785 individual billionaires own wealth equivilant to 2.3 billion other human beings. These billionaires have not acquired this wealth by being nice and kind. It has been won through lies, selfishness, murders, cheating, corruption, and all the vilest means and processes of which human greed and moral depravity are capable. It is wealth with the blood of millions of human lives upon it.
But what is worse, is that too much of this blood is, to some very real extent, on the hands of the American People. Even today, ancient acts of such evil (slavery) call forth their just debts - our cities and country side are armed camps, and a country wide race war is slowly burning beneath the fragile surface of our society. Who does not secretly fear that a serious economic collapse would leave in its wake an eruption of violence in America that would make the Civil War seem like walk in the park?
Do you think Bill Clinton seeks to pour cool waters on this slowly burning fire for altruistic purposes? The circles participating in the semi-conscious tyranny of concentrated wealth ride a very wild and untamed horse (the human race), uncertain themselves that they can always control it. Thus, they build walls around their homes, and hideaways they can flee to if it all gets out of hand. They use their wealth to guarantee that their bloodlines will survive; but for the rest of us they have little use, except to exploit and rule in secret. In their minds we are not human beings, just workers and consumers - wage-slaves and peasants to their aristocracy of wealth, cogs in a great economic machine whose sole purpose is to grind out ever more unneeded wealth and power for those that already have.
Does this mean all is lost, and that we should ourselves sharpen our knives and buy more ammunition? Well, that is certainly one choice that can be made. At the same time, the world is not so dark as the above words would seem to imply, for what was just written sketched only the shadows that lay across the path of our mutual future. There is light there as well, but it is light that cannot be found in dreams and in sleep, or in passivity and ignorance.
In pointing out this profit worshiping tyranny of concentrated wealth, it is not my intention to suggest that business - the creation of real wealth by individual entrepreneurial initiative - is at fault; or that hard work should not have its reward. The problem is more subtle.
As will be explained in detail in the editorial in GMG issue #3 (The Truth about the World of Finance), the economic system has over time become organized in a certain way such that through the corruption of our law making process - our public life - very small groups of individuals have come to live as parasites at the very top of the economic hierarchy. It is basically the needs and desires of this group, this aristocracy of wealth, that has determined the social structures of Western industrial nations for many generations. We live lives according to the needs of an economic engine controlled by others, for their own benefit. As I will show in the Philosopher's Page, the so-called "family values crisis" is due almost entirely to the effects of this dominating greed and avarice. The right to take profits rules over the basic needs of human beings, and our civilization is imperiled by this unjustifiable social imbalance and disorder.
In not too many months the Year 2000 elections will be upon us, as well as that mysterious shadow, the Year 2000 computer bug. The direst possibilities of the future are not too far away, while at the same time great potential also awaits, seeds needing only our effort and goodwill to draw forth a new Springtime for our Nation, People and Civilization.
For these reasons the Greenville Millennium Gazette has come to be: To put in words both the dangerous shadows and the possible deep renewal of our way of life.
The True Government in America sleeps. Seduced by the good life, by easy and plentiful food, cheap sources of energy and water, we grow fat, in body and in mind. Even the so-called social activists sleep, because they still seek to bring into movement that corrupt and vile moral swamp called Washington D.C. Lobbyists are hired, money donated, electoral campaigns organized, all in the dillusional belief that the Government of our Country can be found in the cultural decay that is Washington. It is not there, and will never be found there.
America's Founders accomplished one great deed, a deed far in excess of that which lies in our balance of Government powers, or in the moral genius of the bill of rights. This deed was to place Government on one sole basis, the Consent of the Governed. The True Government of America is found in the small towns, the rural villages, the urban neighborhoods, and in all the small places where the ordinary Americans live out the seeming struggle for existence.
There is only one Government that can truly be found responsible for current conditions and it is Us. We have no one else to blame, no one else to point a finger toward and say "you are responsible". The first step toward the renewal of our way of life has to begin with accepting our true personal responsibility. Yes, we have been busy, doing the work, creating the wealth and raising the children. But we have also been asleep at the wheel of our public responsibilities.
Haven't we all grown up understanding, since we first tasted our civil yearnings in adolescence, that politics is by nature corrupt? Do we not all say the word "politician" and mean something that crawled out from under a rock?
Oh sure, we all know of nice and kind people who go to Washington and try to move that gridlocked house of smoke and mirrors, and then come home after a few years having accomplished nothing fundamental. Washington at its best is a bandaide station, with only a few even interested in the real needs of a healthy society. Do not look to Washington for anything but extreme caution and the buying and selling of favors. No one there can do a thing to help us, until we ourselves begin to act. So the question is: What is needed for us to do?
Read the next and following Greenville Millennium Gazettes to find out. In the finest tradition of free speech in America, the Gazette will explain it all. But even that is just blowing in the wind, if the People themselves do nothing. Its time to wake up and take up again the real guidance of the Ship of State. Thus, in the real tradition of free speech and a free press the Gazette publishes its first angry scream against the corruption and rot that, if left alone, will spontaneously combust, and consume the future of our People and our Nation in a terrible, unquenchable, fire. Next issue's editorial: The Renewal of American Public Life.
New Hampshire Constitution, Article 10 [right of revolution]: Government
being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the
whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one
man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of the government
are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other
means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to
reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance
against arbitrary power and oppression , is absurd, slavish and destructive
of the good and happiness of mankind. (June 2, 1784)
(At the time America was founded, fiction was a staple element of newspapers)
American Phoenix - a novel in serial form
Chapter One - Into the Maelstrom
Sergeant Jones lit another cigarette. It was his third in twenty minutes. He'd quit smoking five years ago, but in the last three weeks he'd taken it up again. Jennifer, his wife, had made only one comment, but all the same understood. He'd told her what was going down. They'd talked about all night more than once.
He paced some more beside the humve. His nervous energy had him field stripping the butts without thinking about it. A set a head lights broke around the edge of the hanger and caught him full on, like a trapped deer. He stood quite still, hardly breathing.
The private car stopped beside him, and major Augustus stepped out and stood looking at him, a hard stare, before finally turning off the engine and the lights. The two of them had become close, during the Gulf War - as close as an NCO and an officer can become.
Sgt. Jones didn't know whether to salute or offer a hand shake. He hadn't called the meeting, and wasn't sure what he was going to say, because the situation was well outside all the formal and usual military protocols. Well outside, far too close to treason, mutiny and the worst possible crimes a soldier could commit.
President McHenry strode into the room with his usual full stride, his long legs carrying him quickly to his chair at the head of the conference table. There were only a dozen others in the room - a few aides, the NSA and CIA chiefs, a handful of generals and one marine Sergeant, who looked, and felt, totally out of place.
The President threw a small set a papers to the table surface and sat down with a great sigh. After the others had sat, except for the Sergeant, who seemed to want to melt into the walls, McHenry shoved the papers into the middle of the table and looked around the room.
"What the hell is this", he said, in a voice that expected answers and would allow for no excuses.
On the table, was something which styled itself a newspaper, but which was simply a few sheets of normal sized paper stapled together in the corner. It called itself "the Soldier's Heart" and had appeared on hundreds of military installations world-wide, almost all on the same day. It did not appear in places where officers would see it, but only where NCOs, Sergeants and Naval Chiefs, and all the enlisted ranks would find it. It appeared first in small numbers, but in less than a week it had been photocopied many times, and few there were who had not read it.
On some installations, the commanders had tried to confiscate all the copies and not a few soldiers had been put in the stockade for possessing one. Worse, it's existence had made it into the main stream press and there was uproar everywhere, because of what it advocated.
This meeting was supposed to be able to tell the President where it came from and what the Joint Chiefs of Staff were going to do about it. Unfortunately, the meeting would end with more questions than answers.
Major Augustus frowned deeply. He was not happy, but he was a soldier, and before he jumped to any judgments he wanted to give Sergeant Jones a chance to explain. The whole of America's services were in an uproar, and Major Augustus knew that Jones was deeply involved, knew it in his bones, even though he didn't have any facts yet on which to base this view. But he knew Jones and he knew Jones was political. Bright, self-educated, and dangerously political.
"C.J." he said, holding out his hand.
"Major", said Jones, taking it.
For a long moment neither spoke. The night air was cool, early fall. Crickets sang in a ditch on the other side of the perimeter fence. C.J. broke the silence first.
"I don't want there to be any secrets between us, but you've got to realize that this is very big, very serious."
"Yes, it is serious, that's for sure.", said the major. Emphasizing the words in such a way that it was clear that he thought the Sergeant was in a lot of trouble.
"It started as a brother thing, you know how that goes." said C.J. reminding the major that they both were black and that still meant certain things, had to mean certain things.
The major sighed, and kicked with the toe of his shoe at the ground. What could he say. It was true. It was, unfortunately, very true.
"Look C.J.", he said, "No one wants to do what we all think is coming, but there has to be order, and we have to follow the chain of command."
"That's just it major, we don't have to do it, if it is an illegal order. We don't have to do it."
They both looked around, at the ground, outside the fence, at the side of the hanger, anywhere but at each other. It was like a chasm opening up between them, these two black men, born a few years apart in the same neighborhood in Detroit. The sergeant older, a veteran, a former instructor in the Rangers, now the chief NCO on this base. The major, younger, college educated, part of the unit's intelligence group. America was heading toward some kind of race war, and the Army, and perhaps other parts of the military, were going to be put right in the middle of it by the politicians.
President McHenry looked around the room, daring someone to speak and say something meaningful, something that made sense. On his desk back in the Oval Office were emergency presidential orders, waiting to be signed, declaring martial law in over a dozen major American cities, and assigning various military units to peacekeeping operations within them.
Now, on the table in front of him was nothing less then the threat of a revolt among the enlisted and NCO core of the Army, and perhaps the other services as well. For years minority men and women had found a place for themselves within the profession of modern warrior life, so that a large proportion of NCOs, Naval Chiefs and other essential career service men and women were black and Hispanic. Somehow these people had formed some kind of association, some kind of private group, and were essentially announcing that they would not go into American cities and turn their guns on the members of their own races.
This magazine, or whatever you wanted to call it, the Soldier's Heart, not only had editorials explicitly urging a refusal to such follow orders, but outlining, in detail, the legal ramifications of claiming that such orders were in violation of all those legal and extra-legal principles that not only gave a soldier the right to refuse an illegal order, but essentially demanded that such an order not be obeyed.
The cities were burning and the American Army was nearly in revolt.
Emma turned over, trying to wrap herself a little better in her blankets. But her ribs came down on a large object, sharp, perhaps a bit of glass, so she startled herself to full awakeness and sat up. The alcove in the alley was out of the wind, so she was basically warm. Hungry of course, she was always hungry, but nonetheless she was warm.
She could see Ace hunkered down a few feet away, eyeing her. He had what looked like a hot coffee in his hands in a styrofoam cup. She could see the steam rising. He took a sip and then passed it to her. It was bitter and burnt tasting, several hours old. Ace had probably got it from Mary, the black janitor who cleaned up the McDonalds. Mary always prowled the restaurant for left over food, and gave it away, before she threw it out at night; and, in the morning, before she went home, if you hung out near the back, she'd give away the old coffee before starting the fresh pots for the morning shift.
Mary was good people, and Emma always remembered her in her prayers before she fell asleep at night.
When she gave the cup back to Ace he cleared his tired old throat and said:
"There's a meet'n tonight."
Mary smiled at that. A toothless smile she knew, but she'd been on the streets most of her adult life, and these meetings were something special, something new. Who'd ever thought the homeless would get organized the way they were getting now. Then she chided herself. They weren't the homeless any more, they were Shadow Warriors in the battle between the rich and the poor. They had a purpose, they had meaning, they had stories, they had each other. They weren't owners, they were human beings and they were special.
She smiled again at Ace, and he grinned back. She knew what he was thinking. No one paid attention to them, people turned away and didn't want to look. They were invisible and they owned the streets at night now that they were organized. Them and the gangs of course. That was a strange thing. This cooperation with the gangs. She'd heard rumors about how it started, but still didn't understand it. But the fact was she was safer now, safer then the police ever made things. The shadow warriors moved silently through the streets, they were everywhere, more and more each day as the collapse continued. They were the eyes and ears of the gangs. They participated in the treaty meetings. Some said it was shadow warriors that got the first treaties made. Something to do with a confederacy the American Indians used to have. Power through union and agreement. Emma didn't understand it but she sure liked not having to run and hide anymore when she saw some browns or blacks in colors walking down a street.
Avery watched the sheriff and his deputies from a distance. He had the night vision goggles on, the ones with the built in magnifying capacity. They were serving another writ of eviction, this one on some family out in the woods.
The smoke rose from their early fall wood fire, and he could see the remains of the garden. It looked pretty good sized and Avery wondered whether they had near enough to make it through the coming winter. He could see a lot of fire wood, so they were okay there. But food was much harder to come by, especially if you didn't have money.
He could hear the woman start to cry. The clear night air carried sound easily. The man just hung his head, beaten down by a system that didn't care about him one way or another. Avery couldn't tell how many children, but he could see toys in the yard and a set of swings, so it looked like a young family.
Hector, his horse, made a quick chuff behind him, so Avery looked slowly around to see if anyone else was about. When he spotted what had bothered Hector he was relieved. It was just a coyote. One of many moving through these woods. Between them and the new wolves, there was a lot of competition over deer and small game. It was a big argument to some, whether the coyotes and wolves should be hunted back again, so people could get more meat to eat this winter.
Avery was glad it wasn't his to decide. He was just a scout. The big deciders in the militia dealt with that other stuff. Avery and Hector just rode around at night, mostly trying to keep tabs on the law enforcement folks. The banks were starting to evict people, drive them off their lands, away from their sources of food, water, heat, shelter and friends, and down into the cities, which were hell on earth now if the stories on the news were to be believed. Some didn't believe it. Some thought that the revolution was happening there too. But Avery didn't care. He had Hector, he had the woods, he had food and something interesting to do. Well it wasn't that he didn't care, he just didn't have the ability to do anything about it, so he concentrated on what he could do that was in front of him, and hoped other people were finding their way through the collapse.
He wondered what was next though. With the increase in evictions, the militia leaders were getting ready to do something. "Solve the problem" they would say. He knew what was being talked about, and he didn't like it. Violence was being contemplated. When that started he and Hector would be in more danger. Still, these were interesting times, and he enjoyed being outdoors more than anything.
The door to the house closed and the sheriff and his deputies got into their cars and drove off. That was new, of course, more than one car coming to serve an eviction notice. Avery knew some law enforcement types had been shot serving evictions. Things were getting hotter in these woods, and people were having to choose sides in the war.
The cars were gone, and Avery went down to the house, leading Hector by the reins. He stopped about twenty feet from the door and stood in a field of light from one of the windows so he could be seen, and then called out: "Hello this house".
He like to say this. It was from an old Glen Ford movie he liked. The actor Chief Dan George would say this when he came to Glen Ford's house. The door opened, and the man looked out at him. Avery didn't know whether he would be pleased to hear the militia was keeping track and would try to help, but that was the next part of his duties, to let folks know someone cared. All we got is each other, he would say, which was true, if anything was these days.
Arthur looked up from the work on his desk. Through the windows he could see across to the gate house, and he liked that some of the trees were starting to turn bright with fall colors. Today would mark the beginning of a new level in the war, and all the preparations his father and grandfather had made were now coming to fruition.
He gathered up the remaining papers and put them in the shredder. Then he looked at his bed one more time, examining the two bags there, thinking carefully for just one more time whether everything was ready. As he did this the fax on his desk rang, and, anticipating the message, he knew the rest were now ready. This would be the confirmation.
He was wistful for a moment. This had been a good life. It had certain values, but it also had certain problems. The merchant princes were now mostly mad, insane. They were no longer truly educated. They had little sense of history, or of the role that wealth should really play in a society, of the obligations that went with privilege. The world was going to convulse and the money people did nothing to stop its coming; they just tried to make sure of their own survival.
Somebody had to do something.
Arthur recalled his graduation from university, and his father's pride that Arthur was willing to follow in his footsteps, in spite of the opportunity to do other things. They had gone on a very long walk that day, talking about deep things, things few people would have understood or appreciated.
None of his peers understood why Arthur was going back to the rich man's house, to follow his father into the service of an old and venerable banking family, instead of striking out on his own. Arthur knew they would not understand. so he had not tried. He could live with their disappointments and criticisms, because he thought he knew where the world was headed and what the costs would be.
Like his father and grandfather, Arthur styled himself (incorrectly, but not grossly so) a modern Knight Templar, a warrior for Christ. The Templars had been destroyed but not all their values and ideals had died with them. Where the Templars had had a public existence, what Arthur was becoming, was something secret. Few were to know, and perhaps there would in the end by no knowledge of them historically. But as the old hereditary aristocracies went into decline and the merchant princes rose to power, something came to be along side this change, something new among that group who made of their lives the service of the rich.
Butlers, housemen, maids, whatever the names, just as wealth passed from generation to generation, so did service. Yet, a few generations back, someone in the line of service added something new. Among just a few houses and families of service a certain way of thinking came to be, a way of thinking which could see how the merchant princes were repeating, in worse ways, the mistakes of their predecessors.
The question then came, what to do about the crisis that could be seen coming. So it came to pass that more and more certain sons and daughters were educated and then brought back into service. Relationships among families in service were cultivated, marriages encouraged, alliances created. It was a work of generations, but a work with a purpose. At the moment of crisis action could be taken, action which might produce results quite beyond the imagination.
Now the time, the cusp, had come and Arthur was ready as were the others. Over the next few days, as the wealthy gathered among themselves in response to the deepening crisis, certain individuals would come forward and act, and power and wealth would move from the hands of the merchant princes into the hands of their servants. No one would notice, no public outcry would arise. On the surface things would remain the same, although a few would have to die. But the result would be delicious. The wealthy would retain the appearance of privilege and power, but it would be the former servants calling the shots behind the scenes.
What Arthur did not know, what he couldn't know, was that even with all the foresight that had been applied, matters would not go the way his family had hoped. Crisis and chaos would rule, had to rule for a time. One civilization was dying and another would take its place. But no one would be able to ride the crest of the wave and come out on top. Arthur was just another individual struggling in a sea of change. Only after the crisis was past would it be possible to organize new forms of order. All Arthur and his friends were doing was participating in the creation of more disorder. They may have thought they could surf this wave, but that was not to be, especially if one was hoping to ride it out at the top.
The only safe place was at the bottom, holding hands with others, waiting
it out, cooperating in survival. Trying to dominate, to win, that was the
path to destruction. (cont. next issue)
Beneath the Surface - ideas about how society actually works
There is in the language of our public dialogues something called "the family values crisis", or some similarly phrased terminology. Observations are made about the state of modern society, about families and communities, about institutions - governmental and otherwise, which observations conclude that something is missing. The usual analysis is that this missing something is a kind of moral core, or set of values, a way of life that existed at one time and has now disappeared.
Like much else that inhabits our public dialogues, this has a grain of truth, but far too much remains just misperception and misunderstanding. It sees, but does not understand what it sees.
This misunderstanding is not a flaw, but grows quite naturally from certain habits of thought ingrained in our minds through modern forms of education, which have overemphasized the value of the intellect over the perceptions of the heart.
Human societies are complex and have many qualities similar to those qualities possessed by living organisms. Thus, what is observed by those who notice the "family values crisis" is better understood as a symptom, rather than a cause. This "crisis" has deep historical roots in the organic development of modern industrial societies, and to mistake this symptom for the core disease will lead to not only a failure to provide the proper cure, but will, in fact, worsen the problem.
Analytical thinking can not take hold of the living organism of a human society. Only a thinking which is seeks for synthesis, which is picture-like in nature, can behold in the mind the whole. It is necessary to not only see the phenomena of the loss of traditional values (another way of describing the "family values crisis", but to be able to inwardly picture the emergence of this condition from the unfolding and developing organism of modern civilization. Otherwise the deep causes are not perceived, and no curative activity can be begun.
The loss of tradition (the family values crisis) is a social process occurring all over the world, yet having different qualities and characteristics in different nations and cultures. This loss of tradition is not rooted in the failures of human beings to behave properly, but rather in other more hidden social dynamics.
For example, the industrial revolution, which occurred in the West earlier and in a different form than that essentially same process is now occurring in developing countries, brought about changes in community and family life that had the unwanted and not predicted result of undermining the social relationships upon which traditional values are communicated and transmitted from one generation to the next. The father was removed from the home as regards work (in agrarian and craft societies the father's work was nearer the home, if not in it) in order to work in a factory. For certain peoples, such as those whose roots are African, slavery obliterated the traditional ways, and later unwise social policies continued to keep the father out of the home.
In these and many other subtle but devastating ways, family life has been under constant assault by economic forces for many generations. Moreover, similar and identical forces have separated the family from the surrounding community. An old world village is a much more cohesive community than a ethnic neighborhood in turn of the century New York. Today, as this process of erosion of community life has continued, modern suburbs are hardly communities at all; and inner city apartments and condominiums are mostly places of complete social isolation. Thus, for centuries now, first the family and now the individual have become more and more isolated from the surrounding supportive community structure - a structure which has to exist in order for traditional ways to pass from generation to generation.
No individual is responsible for this loss. The family values crisis is a major social devolution and not the result of individual moral failure. The values many notice the loss of are not carried by individuals, but by vital communities and these kinds of communities no longer exist. The profit worshiping tyranny of concentrated wealth has murdered the fundamental social structure which is necessary for the transmission of cultural moral values, through placing the goals of profit and the accumulation of wealth and power ahead of all other social goals. (continued in the next GMG)
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