I have two sides to my personality, the idealistic and the realistic. I can be idealistic and sentimental in my perception of people. During such sentimental moods I indulge in metaphysical thinking. On the other hand, I am as realistic as any political realists (such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Metternich, Otto von Bismarck, von Clausewitz, Pareto, Herbert Spencer, Joseph Schumpeter, Edward Carr, Henry Kissinger and Samuel Huntington) can be. I am currently in my realistic mode. This essay is an exercise in political realism. It says it as it is: the leaders of men are every bit as criminal as the leaders of criminal gangs. This is the way it is all over the world (and more so in the criminals' haven called Nigeria). The situation cannot be changed, except in wishful, magical thinking, fantasy.
Political Parties And Governments As Organized Criminal Gangs
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
Have you observed youth criminal gangs and their adult varieties? What do you see?
Generally, criminal gangs are invested in capturing a certain territory, controlling it and keeping all other criminal gangs out of their dominion. They want to control the activities of those living in their captured domain; they believe that they have sovereignty over their district and pass laws that all in the territory must obey. Criminal gangs insist that any one with business in their territory pay them a certain percentage of his profits to remain in business or else he is punished (harassed and even killed).
Criminals use terrorism and intimidation to arouse fear in those living in their territories and out of fear of what the criminals could do to them folks obey them, do as they are asked to do, pay tributes to the criminal syndicates.
Criminal gangs are organized like the military, that is, hierarchical. The toughest guy who is willing to kill others without qualms, the man who has no conscience and does not feel guilt or remorse from killing people (who in fact is sadistic and enjoys harming and or killing people) is elevated to the top of the criminal team.
The crime boss uses force to make sure that all members of the gang fall in line and do as told to do, including killing those they are asked to go kill or go steal from where they were told to go steal from or else they are killed. All members of the criminal gang respect the leaders because of their known brutality. Members actually volunteer to do whatever they are told to do (such as go break the legs of other people).
Members of criminal gangs are like members of families with the boss as the parents and other members as siblings. Members seek the attention and acceptance of the leaders, as children seek attention and acceptance from their parents. Members see each other as family members and want to protect each other.
Members of criminal gangs crave the recognition and acceptance of their leaders and fellow members just as children under age twelve crave the attention and acceptance of their parents and siblings. The criminal gang is a family (and probably the only family most members have ever had).
Criminal gangs are by definition teams. Members have team spirit and do what serves their gangs interests (such as maintain its reputation as fearless to kill even innocent persons, as in drive by killing in the "hood").
One cannot be a solo operator and is accepted in criminal gangs; one must be a team player to be accepted by gangs and their members.
Criminal gangs recognize that in nature there is no owner of any particular territory. What happens in nature is that animals demarcate territories and protect them and prevent other animals from accessing their territories. Stronger animals lay claim to territories that produce the best food and chase away weaker animals from it and should those try to gain entry attack and if necessary kill them. In nature it is struggle for access to food resources and usually the strongest win and survives and the weakest lose and die out.
No human being owns any particular land or country but like animals groups of human beings use force to lay claim to particular territories and as long as they have the means (military) to control it, it is theirs to keep. When other groups become powerful enough they attack, kill or chase out those already living on certain desired territories. The strong always take the territories that hitherto belonged to the weak.
As an example, consider that Europeans used force to either kill Indians or chased them into reservations and take over the Americas.
In the Americas specific European groups fought each other and stronger ones maximized their territorial possessions. The English fought the French and took most of French North America (Napoleon sold the rest, Louisiana territory, now the Middle West of the USA to the Americans).
Americans attacked the Spanish (Mexico, Cuba) and took over more than half of Mexico (now called Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico and Florida).
In nature birds fly to any part of the world that they want to. For example, in northern winter northern birds fly south where it is summer; in southern winter southern birds fly to Alaska where it is summer. Birds do not recognize ownership of territories in the sense that they see the entire world as their home. However, within the bird community some birds lay claim to choice territories and chase weaker ones away.
The salient point, though, is that the entire earth belongs to all animals that live on it but that stronger ones take choice part of the earth, and control it with force until stronger animals either kill or chase them away from what hitherto they called their lands.
In nature nothing belongs to any one; everything potentially belongs to every one, people included. It is power that decides who has what in our world.
Social and political realism lies in accepting the fact that the powerful take whatever part of the world they want to and enact laws to protect their theft from nature.
Some human beings are thoughtful. With pure thinking they realize that in nature nothing belongs to any person (property is a social construct...John Locke tried to rationalize property by saying that exercise of labor justifies ownership of property) and wonder what is the ideal way of determining ownership of property. Some of these thoughtful persons are idealistic (such as communists) and come to the conclusion that all things belong to all people and that we ought to share things equally.
Idealism emanates from people's spiritual nature. We were created perfect by God. In our perfect state we share things. In spirit all own all and there is no private property, no self interest and others interests; all shared the same interests. In spirit there is no you and non you; all share the same self and the same mind; all are equal and the same. In spirit where one self ends and another begins is nowhere; all are in each other and are each other. Spirit is united; our world is separated; spirit is the opposite of our world and our world is the opposite of spirit.
Contrary to idealism what prevails in our world is realism. In our world we know that we are separated from each other and see our interests as different from other people's interests. Each of us lives to serve his self interests; perhaps, the individual cooperates with other people for the protection of their mutual interests but if push comes to shove each of us reverts to serving only his self interests.
Political idealism is the opposite of political realism. Nevertheless, political idealism is part of our nature and harkens to our higher, spiritual nature. However, in the present world, political idealism is self defeating since political realism rules our world.
Idealists posit ideal states (how people should be and should behave). Idealists can become irritating to people for they are always comparing themselves and other people to their imaginary ideals and its ideal standards, and not accepting those who do not live up to those fictional ideals; they make life miserable for themselves and for those around them by expecting them to live up to ideals that do not exist on earth.
Whereas some people must seek ideals they must recognize the impossibility of attaining those ideals in the real world. In the real world people live in bodies; those who live in bodies cannot become perfect for by nature flesh is imperfect. Only spirit can be perfect. If you expect any body living in body to become perfect you are unrealistic (neurotic).
Ideals and perfection can only obtain in the world of spirit, not in the world of egos (people in bodies), not in the world of space, time and matter.
Political parties are like criminal gangs. Like criminal gangs each of them exists with one goal: to capture a specific territory and rule it.
Each political party (gang) wants to capture the government of a specific territory and make laws that govern it. Like criminal gangs political parties (in governments) pass laws that serve the interests of their members, especially the interests of their leaders (and interest groups that support them).
Political parties in governments pass laws requiring all those living in their territories to pay tributes (taxes) to them. They decide how to spend that tax money (Harold Lasswell defined power and politics as the ability to decide who gets what share of society's monies and positions in society).
In the USA the conservatives, that is, the Republican Party want to tax the poor and give the money to the rich; the liberals, that is, the Democratic Party want to tax the rich and use the money to serve the interests of the poor and middle class.
The semblance of the two, criminal gangs and political parties, does not end there. In personality type those who tend to join criminal gangs tend to have anti social personality disorder and or narcissistic personality disorder. Those who tend to lead political parities tend to have anti social personalities and or narcissistic personalities.
In America, political parties are mostly led by lawyers. Guess what, lawyers generally tend to have anti social personalities! The typical attorney is a sociopath; the average lawyer has no conscience, does not feel guilt or remorse for his wrong actions. Lawyers simply manipulate the law to get what they want for their clients and for themselves.
Members of political parties tend to be team oriented; they do not think independently or act in a solo manner. If you ever tried to be an independent thinker the Republican Party that prefers that its members be mindless would quickly ostracize and excommunicate you; if you ever choose to not to support such bizarre liberal agendas as homosexuality the Democratic Party would boot you out.
Simply stated, political parties are team sports and only those who have no independent minds, conformists are welcome in them (and in criminal gangs).
There is really nothing any one can do to change the nature of criminal gangs and the nature of political parties. Both groups set out to capture territories and governments and impose their wills by force on those living in their condominium. It would be nice to think that by merely understanding what these folks are doing we could change them. Wishes do not alter reality. Idealism is interesting but it does not change anything in our world.
The reality is that our world is ruled by criminals either as criminal syndicates or the thugs in political parties.
Before the advent of political parties in the eighteenth century, our (Western) world was ruled by kings, dukes, earls and counts and other aristocrats. Those so-called aristocrats were the criminal gangs of their days. The king was the leader of a youth criminal gang that captured a particular territory and ruled it with his assistants (dukes etc). Aristocratic criminal gangs used force to capture a certain territory and controlled it and the strongest of the gang was made king and his second in commands were made dukes and other subordinate rulers.
Kings were criminals per excellence, imagine one man laying claim to all the land of a country and doing so with the rubbish of divine right of kings (how can a just god give all the land and people to one man?).
Let us not be sentimental about these things. The world is a criminal place. The rulers of the criminal world are criminals.
Everything in the world was made by nature and naturally does not belong to any man. The moment we say that a part of the world longs to the individual we have entered the realm of criminality.
Nobody owns any thing in nature but in society we use force to take possession of certain things at the expense of other people, usually the weak and naïve. This is the way it has always been and probably will always be so.
One is not emotional about social realism. There is nothing that you can do to change social realism. All that intelligent folks can do is ignore social realism and channel their energies to doing what they like doing, such as doing scientific research, understanding how nature works and designing technologies to take advantage of it.
Alas, the criminal leaders of the criminal world would appropriate the findings of science and technology and use them to more effectively control the people.
Life is what it is and one is not crying for it. The solace for scientists is that despite the fact that criminal leaders use their work to oppress the people that at least they helped us understand how the world works.
The pursuit of knowledge in itself is rewarding even if knowledge is eventually abused by the criminals in the world's governments.
Perfection and idealism can only exist in a non-material place, in a world where there is no space, time and matter; in other words perfection can only exist in unified spirit state, aka heaven.
We are currently not aware of heaven and must deal with the realities of our separated world. In our world criminals rule us for we are all criminals.
REBELLION AND THE ORIGIN OF THIS WORLD
We are all criminals for it took criminality to come into this world.
It was an act of criminality to separate from unified spirit state; the world of separation came into being as a sin, a crime.
Originally, all things were unified but we desired separated selves and to obtain it we attacked each other (that is, attacked union) and separated into fragmented parts and live as fragments.
The world is a product of sin, as the Catholic Church correctly recognized. We are born in sin (separation) and live in sin (separation).
In sin we can have laws to moderate what other sinners do to us but they will do dreadful things to us for they live in sin (each of us pursues his understanding of what constitutes his self interests, often at the expense of our collective interests).
The sinless state lies in the spiritual world and that world is not in our current consciousness and we might as well ignore it and talk about the world of sin we live in.
Political parties aim at capturing governments. In our modern era political parties form governments. If political parties are composed of criminals, thugs, what then is the nature of the governments they form?
Governments are inevitably criminal gangs, a team of criminals who use organized coercion to intimidate the masses into going along to where they want to go (embracing their preferred public policies).
The masses fear of death and desire to live at all costs make them amenable to intimidation hence they are not innocent victims, if they give up fear of death no government can intimidate them.
Reporters and historians are scribes writing about the activities of the criminals in government (those in government give them certain handouts from their looting of the people).
If political parties and governments are, as I pointed out, criminals, then our social lives are bleak. If our lives is that bleak then what can we do about it?
I see very little that we can do to change our fate. I personally derive some solace from writing about the absurdity of our existence but I have no illusion that we can change people, their governments and their world.
Can humanity ever have governments that are not controlled by criminals? I doubt it. Those who propose to establish alternative to the criminals in power often end up worse medicine for the disease they want to cure. Consider Christianity.
Jesus Christ offered an idealistic picture of man and society. Now what happened when the Catholic Church ruled society? The church stifled thinking and behavior and relegated people to sheep like status for almost two thousand years? The Catholic Church was a den of iniquity (its priests sexually abuse children; the priests are mostly homosexual men in drag, wearing women's clothes).
If we allow religious organizations to rule the world they would simply enslave the people.
In the Islamic world where theocracy still reigns the people are literally terrorized and intimidated into doing whatever the lunatics who call themselves Mullahs ask them to do.
We do not need religious organizations ruling society. What we need is for groups of people who do not like what exists to simply live as they see to be correct and leave it at that. You do not need any ones permission to live your life as you think is the right way to live.
That is exactly how I live. I believe that love is the best approach to people so I love people and could careless whether in return they love me or not. I simply do what I know is correct and leave it at that.
People do what they think is correct and I do not have to bother with their ideas of what is right or wrong. However, I do know one thing to be true: we all take the consequences of our actions.
Consider. Most Americans believe in living self centered lives and pursuing their individual self interests (as in capitalism). In mid life (past age fifty) they discover that there is no meaning and purpose to their loveless lives. When they recognize that they had wasted their lives pursuing meaningless things they feel despaired. They then use their minds to develop diseases for their bodies (such as cancer, heart attack and stroke) and die from them.
We all take the consequences of our behaviors; there is no exception to that general rule. If you live only for yourself you die and nobody cares for you. Why should people care for you if you did not care for them; to expect them to care for you is ridiculous.
This essay points out that to live on earth is to have separated from unified spirit self, the whole self, aka God. In spirit we are unified. On earth we have separated selves.
On earth each of us is an ego self housed in body; each of us perceives his self interests as different from other folk's interests and defends his self interests.
In pursuit of our different interests we form groups (gangs, political parties, governments); those groups protect our different interests at the expense of other people's interests.
Some of the groups we join are pro-social (as political parties are supposed to be) or anti-social (as criminal gangs are).
In the end all our social groups are there to maintain our choice to live as separated selves. From a metaphysical point of view all our groups are sinful and criminal organizations.
As long as we are on earth, live in the world of space, time and matter we live in sin and are criminals.
All that one can do is do what one is interested in doing and what, hopefully, serves the community's interests (even though in the long run all social activities come to nothing, as the earth and the universe would come to an end in nothingness, the nothingness from which it began in the Big Bang).
This essay is an exercise in political realism. What it says is what obtains in the political world, although that world is generally clothed in altruistic euphemisms. Men have a tendency to criminal behaviors and their leaders generally tend to be the more criminally oriented among them (even though they present themselves as the peoples saviors).
Those of us who have proclivity to idealism can see through the mask men wear and know that they are oriented to criminality. This is why idealists tend to be the ultimate realists: they know that in reality men are by nature criminals (idealism is predicated on perception that people are imperfect and futile desire to change them and make them perfect; thus, the idealist already perceives people in a negative light). But listening to the soft utterances of idealists folks tend to see them as unrealistic until they challenge them and idealists descended on like hot coal and molten iron.
Men are prone to criminality so you must treat them with iron fist; if you are sentimental towards them they take you on a ride. Political leaders must understand that their constituents if given the opportunity would lapse into criminal behaviors (Thomas Hobbes made that point in his seminal book, Leviathan); therefore, they must not hesitate in implementing draconian laws if they want a well organized society. There is no well ordered society where law is not mercilessly applied. As Machiavelli (The Prince) observed, men are ruled by intimidation, terror, fear, not by love (they disobey loving persons and obey brutal persons who do not shrink from killing them).
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
August 23, 2012