Carnage Breaks My Heart, So Let’s Increase the Carnage

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Yesterday, I quoted Sorokin and Lundgren’s conclusion that officials frequently contradict themselves by declaring moral ends and then using highly immoral means, and they do this in the same speech. From today’s news, we have an example. Obama decided last week to increase lethal military aid (weaponry) to anti-Assad forces in Syria. Subsequently his adviser, Susan Rice, gave CNN an interview. The article about this reads:

“National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in an interview with CNN …that she was heartbroken about the carnage in Syria’s civil war.

“‘That’s why the United States has ramped up its support for the moderate vetted opposition, providing lethal and non-lethal support where we can to support both the civilian opposition and the military opposition.'”

She says she’s heartbroken about the carnage, to which the U.S. has contributed and which Obama and she have supported by taking sides against Assad, and then she immediately adds that now the U.S. will increase its support to the Assad opposition by providing lethal aid. (It is this escalation in lethal arms that’s the news here.) This will, of course, increase the carnage.

It is not the news itself that’s of prime interest, because that’s been telegraphed before this. It’s the psychology of the U.S. rulers that’s important. Even more than this, it’s the fact that this kind of psychology crops up in rulers in all times and places in human history. There is a systematic evil here that cannot be mitigated until it becomes common knowledge and we make an effort to mitigate it.

I’ll quote Sorokin and Lundgren further to bring out the systematic nature of the process by which rulers are selected who exhibit the intensified capacity to act immorally for what they deem to be moral ends.

“…the five typical features of ruling groups are not so much an expression of rulers’ personal wishes and fancies, but that these wishes, fancies, and characteristics are moulded and impressed into their mentality and behaviour by their occupational activities and by the kind of social selection of rulers prevailing in their societies or nations.”

In other words, rulers act this way for two main reasons. The very activities of ruling cause it, and the selection process chooses people for rulers who display the tendency to act this way. People gain office who are disposed to act immorally while invoking moral ends, and then their activities in office reinforce them in this tendency. These people sell themselves as able and willing to do both the good work and the dirty work that they and the voters think needs to be done, while telling the public that it’s all for the good and the dirty work is not so dirty after all.

Sorokin and Lundgren say that the leaders do some things that are morally enobling to the rulers, but concurrently they are doing things that are morally deadening and criminalize them. The latter are so pervasive and endemic to their jobs that they tend to overwhelm those activities that might ennoble them. The four activities that shift the leaders decidedly toward immorality and criminality include their constant exercise of violence, dishonest diplomacy, interest group pressures, and enormous power.

“These four components of governing activity generate and develop criminal and unethical tendencies in the rulers’ of powerful organizations. Systematic and continuous use of the outlined procedures by the members of ruling groups turn these practices into habits which eventually become part and parcel of their personalities and behaviour. Living in this atmosphere of murderous and ‘diplomatic’ activities, and practising them daily, subjected to incessant temptations and intoxicated with power, the ruling group cannot escape the inevitable contaminating and demoralizing effects. For comprehensible reasons, in their declarations the rulers naturally assert their unlimited devotion to the supreme and sacred value of individuals, but in their overt actions they rarely practise the precepts of their eloquently preached sermonets. They tend to regard their subjects as a mere number-cannon fodder, voting herd, or expendable material – for manipulation and realization of their tasks.”

“Such are some of the factors of amorality and criminality inherent in the governing activity of monarchs, presidents, dictators and bosses of powerful social organizations.”

People like Obama, the Clintons, Victoria Nuland, Richard Cheney, Susan Rice, LBJ, and Paul Wolfowitz, to name but a few, often get to where they are by speaking in moral terms or by promising to remove evils or fight evil people and nations, but they exhibit criminal or anti-social behaviors of sociopathy, dishonesty, lying, backstabbing, theft, fraud, manipulation and aggression. The scum, closet totalitarians and murderers, rise to the top, and this is not accidental. Hillary Clinton shows undisguised glee when Gaddafi is dragged through the streets. Obama asserts a right to assassinate, bombs Libya, and ramps up drone wars. Bush and Cheney ramp up torture and launch aggressive invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

9:04 am on June 9, 2014