December 31, 2002
Western Civilization on the Brink of MadnessAccording to a report in The New Zealand Herald the British government is considering cordoning people inside cities and preventing them from leaving if there is an attack with biological weapons.
This is truly madness now. Western Civilization is now prepared to return to medieval barbarism, to completely abandon any trace of a free society, and for what? Because the barons of the age are too rigid to consider any alternatives to their brute force approach to diplomacy with the rest of the world?
Forget the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, even the Magna Carta. We in the US and Britain are now being ruled by such brutes that they can think of nothing but the most primitive means of dealing with any problem. How long will it take cavemen like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and yes -- Tony Blair -- to realize that there is no effective way to deal with the problems of terrorism through brute force, without moderating the policies that have driven people to such desperation that they will use their own bodies as bombs? What will it take to get through "our leaders'" thick Australopithecus skulls?
Gregory Bateson, the British anthropologist, psychoanalytic theorist and pioneer of cybernetic thinking, spoke with trepidation of a kind of us-against-them mentality that human beings cling to in a world where it is no longer appropriate. It is a like a residual organ of primitive man who saw himself menaced by all sorts of demons and enemies. Bateson said that the chances of survival of a people who viewed themselves as against everything -- against nature, against other nations -- and who are in possession of advanced technology -- was that of a snowball in hell.