Friday, July 05, 2013

Forms of Abuse

We live in treacherous and perilous times. In many respects, we live in the 'Age of Abuse' since forces of abuse and undue influence impinge on us from every direction, seeking to shape our attitudes, beliefs, values, opportunities, and behaviors.

By using the term "abuse", I am not referring to just sexual and physical abuse -- although these forms of abuse are taking place in epidemic proportions in many different parts of the world. Unfortunately, the nature of "abuse" encompasses a much broader set of possibilities, ranging from: the already mentioned dimensions of physical and sexual abuse, to: spiritual, educational, economic, political, scientific, constitutional, financial, analytical, militaristic, as well as media and corporate forms of abuse.

There are some commentators (e.g., Steven Pinker) who have put forth an argument which claims that, relatively speaking, we live in one of the least violent, most peaceful periods in history. Such individuals have devoted hundreds of pages trying to prove their point.

The Achilles heel of such analyses is that a problematic metric is often used to measure the incidence of violence in the world. For instance, war, in the traditional sense of two, or more, armies fighting battles which have been, in some way, officially declared may occur less frequently now than in the past and while the proportion of the world population that are engaged in such wars might be less today than in the past, nonetheless, war is only one of the possible indices to use as a measure of the extent of violence which exists in the world.

Any time that people are deprived of the truth, they are being abused in a very violent manner since without the truth, we begin at no beginning and work toward no end, and in the process, considerable damage is done to understanding, values, beliefs, purposes, identities, and lives. Any time that people are deprived of sovereignty, they are being abused in a very violent manner since only when we are ensconced in real sovereignty do we have the opportunity to push back the horizons of ignorance and realize the truth of things. Consequently, denying someone his or her sovereignty constitutes a violent attack upon the existence of a human being since denying sovereignty undermines and destroys the very heart of what it is to be human -- namely, to freely seek the truth concerning the nature of one's own existence.

Today, there is a massive, multidimensional assault on the condition of sovereignty among people almost everywhere on Earth. This is not necessarily the result of a conspiracy of some kind, but, rather, a variety of people who have power have decided -- for their own self-serving reasons and motivations -- to abuse that power and, in the process, their decisions and choices have ended up destructively affecting the opportunities of many people to be fully sovereign and, thereby, be able to freely seek the truth about an array of possibilities.

If one adds up the array of financial, economic, educational, political, constitutional, militaristic, corporate, scientific, governmental, institutional, philosophical, religious, and psychological forms of abusing human beings that is transpiring today, one will have considerable difficulty concluding anything other than that we live in one of the most violent times in history. The assault on the bodies, minds, hearts, souls, and spirits of human beings is relentless, continuous, and ubiquitous. Consequently, contrary to what people like Steven Pinker wish to argue, we do not live in the best of times, but, instead, we might just live in the worst of times -- both qualitatively and quantitatively -- when it comes to the issue of violence against sovereignty and the huge costs to human life that such violence entails.

You do not have to use bullets and bombs to destroy people. Indeed, far more destruction is accomplished through: governmental, educational, economic, political, financial, religious, media, and corporate abusive policies than is done through war.

Wars are not waged to protect and defend the sovereignty of citizens. Wars are fought to protect and defend the institutions of power. War is merely the continuation through other means of the sort of abuse of power that goes on every day in a less militaristic, but no less abusive and destuctive manner by the institutional purveyors of power that frame and shape social understanding.

National security is the antithesis of sovereignty. National security is about the likes and dislikes of the way of power and, as such, it has little, or nothing, to do (except in a problematic sense) with the issue of sovereignty.

Although most -- but not all -- of the nations on Earth are labeled as being democratic to one degree or another, none of those nations actually protect, encourage, or nurture anything that resembles true sovereignty. Having the right to vote for representatives of equally questionable character and integrity, or having the right to vote for individuals who, for the most part, do not serve, and are not interested in advancing, the rights which are inherent in sovereignty is not an expression of sovereignty and, consequently, is not something to be cherished.

Democracy leverages the vocabulary of: freedom, liberty, and rights to bring about forms of governance that are a great deal less than what sovereignty requires. Democracy and sovereignty are not neccessarily co-extensive terms.

Sovereignty is richer, deeper, as well as more nuanced and subtle than the power-brokers of democracy would have one believe. Indeed, the power-brokers spend considerable resources in an attempt to dumb people down and misdirect the latter away from realizing the nature of sovereignty and the rights which are inherent in that principle. 

To find out more about various forms of abuse and the issue of sovereignty, please go to: 

Forms of Abuse (1) 

Forms of Abuse (2)

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