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Simone Weil (1933): “Never react to an evil in such a way as to augment it… Refuse to be an accomplice. Don’t lie– don’t keep your eyes shut.”

2018-06-02

This from an article by Masha Gessen in the New Yorker about the unreality of the Trump era:

The great French thinker and activist Simone Weil had a prescription that she wrote down in her journal in 1933: “Never react to an evil in such a way as to augment it.” A few days later, she added, “Refuse to be an accomplice. Don’t lie—don’t keep your eyes shut.”

This is risky.  You could be attacked by the accomplices of evil.  Your country is being taken over by a criminal gang disguised as a political party.  This gang has enormous power because some of its members are the richest of the rich.  Not all rich people are complicit, but many are, and they have the power to silence you or just kill you if they think you are a threat.  The awesome power of the state could be harnessed to destroy you.

The democratic process of removal for the prominent members of the gang in government is the only really effective method of fighting back.  But the democratic process itself is in danger because the gang has developed propaganda that fools most people into voting against their own interests.

The Republican Party is a perfect storm.  It propagates propaganda that fools people into voting for those who are complicit in the process of enslavement.  People are frightened by propaganda and they can be deceived into voting against their best interests– at first it was unfair regressive taxation that they somehow convinced the people would be good for the economy.  It isn’t– that is a lie that will lead to starvation of the equalizing process of the government.  The process of starvation has already been ordained– tax cuts and a deficit budget have been agreed upon that will force the contraction of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid if they are not reversed.

What is worse, there may be no-one to vote for.  All the candidates may be suborned by the criminal gang, even if they are not members of the Republican Party.  Anyone who identifies as a “libertarian” for example, could be a stealthy member of the gang.  Even those who identify as Democrats could be hijacked if there is sufficient “dark money” to be had.

My district is a perfect example of these problems.  It is a “safe seat” for a Republican who has been in Congress for a long time and has accumulated great powers: Devin Nunes.  He has been actively supporting the president and trying to cut off the Congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the last election.  He has succeeded in having the House investigation cut short and reported out as “no collusion”– which is absurd.  The collusion is so obvious that you are likely to trip over it if you are not looking for it.

Now the primaries are here and California has a “top two” system that puts all the candidates into the same primary, regardless of party.  This empowers independents, who can now vote for anyone– whereas before, unless you identified with a particular party, you couldn’t vote in that primary.  Instead of separate primaries, the Democrats, Republicans, independents, and libertarians are all together and the top two vote getters will advance to the full election.  There are multiple potential consequences to this.  In my district, known for its conservatism, independents had no voice in the primaries and no one to vote for except a Democrat with no chance or a Republican– Nunes– with a safe seat which he has used to gather power through seniority.

Nunes has been abusing his power– and his constituents– almost since the first day he set foot in the House.  Most of his constituents don’t even vote in the elections because they have been led to believe that their votes don’t count.  They have been fooled by propaganda that is produced, secretly, by Republicans (the Russians haven’t bothered to meddle with this seat because it is perceived as safe (by circular reasoning, it is true)).  They don’t realize that if they got together and voted for someone else, they could overcome Mr. Nunes’ incumbent advantage.

But how to get the voters to vote– and to vote for a bigger, stronger government that will protect them and counterbalance the unfair advantages that laissez-faire capitalism has endowed to a tiny minority?  There are so many contradictions.  Getting the poor voters together to vote for someone who will do the hard work of strengthening government without forming it into a fascist super-state– how can this be done?

The only way– and it is hard– is to always tell the truth, to never be an accomplice to any evil, to never wink at any wrongdoing, and to always strive for a fair compromise.  The rich deserve to enjoy the advantages they have gained– albeit perhaps excessive– but they do not deserve to lord it over any poor person, cheat them, nor force them into an unfair bargain.

The current administration has gone a long way towards unfairness and they intend to go still further.  They intend to cheat the poor out of their educations, out of any savings they may have (and drive them into hopeless debt), and to indenture them for life in dead-end jobs.  The Department of Education is a perfect example.  Under the current head of this Department, Trump University would still be in operation, cheating people with false promises of a real estate education.  What more is there to say?  Outrage is the appropriate response.

 

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