If you haven't read George Orwell's 1984, now would be a good time. America is a shadowy reflection of that book, albeit in a slightly more subtle form and twelve years late. The Thought Police can be found in the army of the Politically Correct, and Big Brother can be found in the Communications Decency Act and the ever growing body of government actions that assume one is guilty until proven innocent. An increasing number of civil offenses are sending people to jail, insanely turning the wheel that pushes the true "hardened criminals" out already crowded prison doors.
Why? What is happening here?
This is the typical reaction of a people afraid. Americans seem to feel that they can control everything and that punishment and the fear of it are the answers to all our problems. What that philosophy ignores is something that has been proven true over and over again throughout history, i.e, that all fear is eventually overcome by pain. Too often, cries for justice spring not out of fairness or justice but a sense of self-righteousness and revenge, a practice of self-deception that eventually leads to self-defeat. It is an escape from personal responsibility. The reality of life is that we can't force anyone but ourselves to be responsible for anything. From the shape of things, I'd say we're doing a poor job as a people of realizing that. By focusing on everyone else, we never have to look at ourselves and build a world in which our own progress is dependent upon someone else's victimization.
A well known comedian during a televised performance joked that Americans were just a bunch of alcoholics trying to keep our shit together.Truth hurts.
Two great examples of our present attitudes are the drug forfeiture laws and the legal abuse of noncustodial parents, most of whom fall into that phenomena called "deadbeat dads" (Read that as "Beat Dads Dead". "Dispossessed Dads" and "Disposable Dads" would be more accurate names.). Using strictly administrative procedures totally lacking in due process, state agencies and "law enforcement" agencies can enforce jail sentences, seize property, assess fines, and defame character without one bit of investigation or assumption of due process. In some cases, all it takes is an allegation by someone empowered by the system. Today, that appears to be law enforcement and women, not necessarily in that order. Why? Because it's the government, it's Politically Correct, and they have the power. That mentality is the same philosophy that drives America's gangs. The only difference in too many instances are the cuts and the cost of their clothes. How far will we take it before we stop?
When other countries don't, we denounce them. We say they are violating human rights, deny funding, and put political pressure on them to change their ways. There is no one out there to put that pressure on us, especially when we deny it's true.
The American ideal has gone down the tubes, buried by a national sense of righteousness, judgmentalism, and victimization. These are the things that ultimately must be dealt with, not by a government that is the Great Enabler, but by each and every one of this country's citizens.
To break the cycle, we must deal with ourselves and insist on equality for everyone. Everyone deserves a fair shake, no matter how we feel about them. Equality means that we take responsibility for ourselves, not make out lives dependent upon what anyone else has or does, and that the system works each case justly and individually--or not at all.
That's not going to happen as long as America's political agenda is fueled by the "woman as victim" myth. Women talk a lot about wanting things to change, about wanting true equality, and then seem to fight like hell to become more than equal. It is the other side of the "victim" pendulum. They seem to be are fighting for the right to be abusers, and that's what anyone in total control becomes. What are they afraid of? They're not even a minority, even though they have that status.
This is not healing anything but is, in fact, breeding separation between the sexes and increasing anger. And the more punitive and unfair the system becomes, the worse the situation will be. The system may gain something financial and political in the short-term. In the long run, this approach will backfire. Even those men trying to be reasonable will have to turn to more unreasonable means. Money and male disposability are what this is about. The men are losing and not standing up; and sooner or later, they will explode.
Men are doing no one a favor by lying down and taking this. We must become healthy enough and brave enough to stand up to it. Most of these laws have not been tested in the courts, and there is a good possibility that they would not pass a 14th Amendment test. To stop this, men must be prepared to work both within the system and outside it, i.e, to take a non-violent approach to civil disobedience. This is a battle for civil rights no less important than the Civil Rights movement of the 60's or Women Suffrage of the 20's.
For those of you "poo-poo-ing" that, I take comfort in the knowledge that women were also discounted when they began their fight and the blacks were when they began theirs. We've all been put down by a dysfunctional system. The men are the ones who now need to stand up. Despite the rhetoric you will find on the Web pages of the National Organization of Women (NOW), women will not find equality either until it happens. We must all learn together what being equal and healthy is.