I want to take up the conversation where Joel Brence left off (letters, Jan. 28), that the “boy at the top” (President Bush) is a symptom, not the disease. Nor is the disease the far right. They both incarnate the disease, the most highly rewarded values of our culture which manifest in the “resort to violence and war” as the chosen solution to complex quandaries.
These culturally agreed-upon values are the drivers of our highest purpose. They are dominance, control and entitlement. The young, boys particularly, are relentlessly enculturated with these values and their spinoffs. Our individualism puts our selves at the entitled center of interest.
Our games of one up in business, politics, religion and international relations, leverages power over the Other, who then becomes diminished in our sight, one down, as the enemy, Evil. Nonhuman. In need of dominant “guidance.” The great goal is to accumulate and control what we want. The violence of threats, blockades and ultimatums carries the plan forward, dominated by our economic and military edge it escalates to war.
War is the apotheosis of our most-rewarded and exalted values of dominance, control and entitlement. War galvanizes us, washes over our differences. It is given to males to be proactive to perpetuate and protect these core cultural values.
We have especially entrusted to elite males (the boys at the top of the pyramid), via a deep and well-rewarded enculturation, to act in leadership roles to maintain these values whose rededication through war continues to benefit them.
This is the underlying disease.
Once that we, as a nation, as a society, can discern this disease we can move to eliminate or ameliorate it. Then indeed we may live to be free again.
For once you see, you will never again be able to not see.