Thursday, May 16, 2013

Searching for the Truth, Corporations, and the 'Saving American Democracy' Amendment: A Sufi Perspective

Current Affairs Are Often Hidden
The news tends to cover -- in an extremely condensed manner and usually to the point of distortion -- the events of the day ... or, at least, some of those events (whatever can be fit into an hour or half-hour program format). These reported events are, then, repeated throughout the day as if they are the only things of importance which are happening at any given time (assuming, of course, that such events even can be considered to be of real importance in the larger scheme of things rather than merely serving as a source of distraction intended to drown out matters of true, substantive significance).

The process starts all over again with the next news cycle. Consequently, time is occupied; attention is captured, resources are wasted, and a hermeneutical narrative is constructed through the news which comes to frame our understanding of reality ... a narrative that is hardly ever critically examined and, therefore, with time, becomes a dominant force in shaping the way many people think about the past, the present, and the future. 

The foregoing sorts of news events take place in a context of social, constitutional, political, economic, educational, and scientific forces that are rarely discussed within the news. Or, if such forces are explored, the accompanying analysis tends to be through the filters of power -- economic, financial, political, militaristic, scientific, institutional, and so on -- which serves to misdirect people's attention away from what might actually be transpiring. As a result, acquiring a clear understanding of the nature of current affairs is very difficult because, in many ways, they are hidden from view ... even if they are sitting in plain sight.

Searching For The Truth

The process of trying to discover the truth of any matter is fraught with all manner of difficulty. Quite frequently, those difficulties begin with the problems surrounding the issue of discerning the quality of the information which someone is presenting to us.

Without accurate information, one's search for the truth tends to be compromised from the very beginning. Bad information leads in many directions but rarely, if ever, toward the truth ... unless, of course, one somehow comes to understand that such inforamtion is bad, and this leads one to reassess the credibility and realiability of the source through whom or through which the information arrives are our front door stoop. 

Even with good information, the process of analyzing, interpreting, and critically evaluating such material is not necessarily straightforward. Among other things, we each have our own conceptual biases and blindspots that introduce a home-grown set of distortions or errors into the search for truth, and, therefore, while we all extol the virtue of "objectivtity', this tends to be easier said than realized.

Everyone subscribes to the importance of applying reason to the problems before us. Unfortuately, the notions of 'reason' and 'reasoning' can mean very different things to different people, and, therefore, one could sincerely believe oneself to be rational even as one might be thinking in a most irrational manner.

A delusion is a fasely held belief. In other words, the essential nature of all delusions involves an individual maintaining that his or her beliefs are rooted in the truth even though this is not the case.

Moreover, the fact that there might be many other people who share precisely the same delusion as one holds doesn't render the delusion true as a result just because it enjoys some degree of popularity. A generally accepted falsehood is stll false.

Coming to understand that one's manner of thinking or believing might be delusional tends to lead to a very difficult and usually quite traumatic set of ramifications and circumstances. In fact, this aspect of difficulty and trauma is why most people are inclined to remain entangled within the cozy cocoon of delusion since the alternative is very threatening and potentially disruptive to the flow of one's life.

What to Expect From This Web Page

I can't promise that you will discover the truth merely by engaging the material to be found here. What I can promise is that all of the postings and commentaries which appear here are intended to induce the visitor to critically reflect on the current affairs materials which are given expression through such postings and commentaries ... and, to this extent, the ideas, thoughts, comments, and perspectives to be found through this page provides one with an opportunity to search for the truth.

There is a perspective which states that philosophy is not so much a desitination as a process. Spirituality might be described in this manner as well.

In either case, if one accepts the idea that 'truth', whatever it turns out to be, is likely to be a lot more complex, richer, and nuanced than most of us have the capacity to grasp, then searching for the truth becomes a process rather than a destination. This does not mean there is no such thing as the truth but, rather, it suggests that one's relationship with the truth might, at best, be tangential (touching only at one point) or, possibly, like the notion of an asymptote (coming closer and closer without ever actually touching the truth).

Most of us are inclined to long for the comfort of absolutes. However, in a universe where the ultimate nature of reality might be beyond our capacity to circumscribe, a good coping strategy may have more to do with a sincere attempte to continuously refine the process we use while seeking to uncover the character of reality -- according to our capacity to do so. Hopefully, this page provides one with an opportunity to do precisely that.

Bernie Sanders Proposes a Constitutional Amendment

The following video concerns a speech which Senator Bernie Sanders (from Vermont) gave back in late 2011. He proposed introducing a Constitional amendment indicating that corporations are not people, and, therefore, they have no protected rights -- especially with respect to the First Amendment, but extending, as well, to all of the other rights which are to be enjoyed by persons via Constitutional provisions (e.g., Although the 14th Amendment was ostensibly about protecting the rights of minority peoples -- such as African-Americans -- corporations have sought protection under the provisions of the 14th Amendment far more than racial minorities have done so.).

The proposed amendment went nowhere. Unfortunately, too many people who run for public office are dependent on the money which is supplied by coroporations, and in the quid pro quo of such arrangements, so-called public servants have become the thralls of those corporations and, as a result, will acknowledge -- wink, wink -- that corporations are 'persons' even though there is absolutely no rational, defensible grounds for doing so.

Supreme Court Justices (at least five of them in the Citizens United decision) might speculatively and delusionally mumble about this or that legal precedent in case law for claiming that corporations are entitled to the idea of personhood. However, there is absolutely no basis in the provisions of the Constituion or in any of the colonial history surrounding, or leading up to the writing and ratification of the Constitution or the subsequent passage of amendments which indicates that corporations were considered to be or thought of as: 'persons'. 

In fact, precisely the opposite was the case. From the very moment that independence was declared, most Americans considered corporations to be expressions and agents of royal tyranny. Corporations were despised by Americans for the manner in which they were used by royalty to undermine the economic, political and social fabric of Americans ... indeed, the Boston Tea Party was one of the first organized acts of rebellion that was directed as much against the corporate world as it was against royalty.

I consider the speech by Bernie Sanders a current affair (even though the speech was given more than a year ago), because the issues he is addressing continue to adversely affect the sovereignty of actual people in the United States. If corporations were denied the perks of 'personhood', there would be a tremendous set of constructive differences in how things proceed -- politically, economically, legally, militarily, and socially -- in the United States. Much of what takes place in the United States is filtered through, framed by, and hidden within the legal delusion which considers corporations to be persons.

Bernie Sanders and the: 'Saving American Democracy' Amendment -- May 16, 2013

1 comment:

John Stockton said...

Very informative, Thanks