Sunday, May 4, 2014

Obama's Defense (updated)

(Updated: okay, you asked. Prez. Drone talked for so long that the blockquote effect is removed, and all tab stops now belong to him.)

The Spoken Inner Monologue

"This is the way it has to be. I'm sorry for lying to all of you, but this is the way it has to be.

This is the best it can be. In fact, it's getting better every day.

I can see you giving me those dirty looks, but please let me explain. You're upset about a lot--I know. You're upset about the terror war, right? The "drone strikes" or the various invasions. You think I've "sold out"--or just continued the process of selling out--this country, and maybe the rest of the world, to a bunch of private corporations that do evil things.

But it's not like that. Let me share with you. Please, take just a few minutes here, and open your mind, and I'll level with you. I'll say something to you that I can never say in speeches--something that I can never admit, except in the private confines of my own mind. You will get to be the one person that understands that I understand why this has to be.

First off, I'll admit that it's terrible. I came into this position of leadership, in control of the most powerful country in the world, and I do things that are terrible. America has started wars that, when you look at them, were really just about resources. I mean, there's no way to look at those maps of Iraqi oil fields that Dick Cheney drew up with his friends over a decade ago, the agreements for pipelines with the Taliban or the Saudis, or the April Gillespie green light to Saddam another decade earlier, and then say that we were this innocent nation, forced into war to defend ourselves from "weapons of mass destruction." I know that most of you know that, and yet you accept these wars and these occupations.

You hate them, yet you understand that we must do them. We must do them because, if we were not doing them, someone else would be.

We live in a world of finite resources. We can't just wish for things, and have them appear. Thousands of years ago, there were a few million humans on this planet, now, there are six billion, and counting. I'd like for them all to be happy, happy and productive, but that's wishful thinking. For millions, no, billions of years on this planet, life has been a struggle to survive. It's an imperfect, capricious thing, this struggle to survive. Ever since our most distant ancestors crawled out of the primordial soup, we've faced a world with more wants than can possibly be received. Countless other beings have gone extinct, vanishing forever from the hourglass of time because they weren't strong enough, smart enough, adaptable enough. Even human societies, over tens of thousands of years, have vanished from the face of the planet because they were not strong enough to survive.

It's not that we like this struggle. We know it's rough, and at times, unfair. Sometimes I, too, would like to give into my sentimental feelings, and be like a baby in bathwater, kicking my toes and believing that, just by me wanting it, everyone could be happy. That we could continue growing on this planet, and break the chains of history, and turn everything into some paradise.

But we can't. Deep down, we all know that can't happen. Life is short. This is a fickle, cruel world we live on, and as the greatest thinkers have shown across our history, we are defined by our struggle for that limited set of resources, those nice things, those necessary things, that we all want. Even before then, facing more primitive animals, it has been this way. Our species only managed to thrust itself to leadership on this planet by putting an end to cave bears, sabretooth tigers, and the neanderthal race, and even before then, by being strong enough to survive the comet that struck our planet and exterminated the dinosaurs, who were masters before. It's a nice thought, though brief, that this is all a picnic.

I don't mind you having that thought, either. If you want to believe in rainbows and lands of plenty, I encourage you. Our hallowed Constitution guarantees freedom of speech that isn't harmful to others, and if you want to be a pacifist, or argue for theories about an alternate economic system, more power to you.

But I have a responsibility to this people. To this planet, and to this race, even. As a leader, I need to see the struggle that truly faces us, and I need to lead America in its response to that struggle, so that there can be a response--so that we can continue to exist. Oil, for example. We need to control oil, because without it, our civilization collapses. Our transportation, our military, our housing, even our food is dependent on it. Maybe sometime in the future we will change that, find a new energy source, but until then, I can't have Americans starving, living in poverty, and this country collapsing to a wasteland.

Some people say to me, what about other nations? What about places that aren't succeeding? Should America's success come at their expense? Sadly, I answer, yes: if America gave away everything it had, then even those places would not achieve success, for our supremacy would only be replaced by the supremacy of another. China, a strong and ancient country, or Russia, or another of our partners and competitors in the world economy, would take steps to control the resource shares that we are. And if they were not there, then someone else would be doing it. People everywhere are hungry, and have needs that they want filled, and desires to achieve more, and if America were not leading the way in this, someone else would be doing so. The world would be no different, except that America would be a lesser nation, under another's boot.

Of course, like all of you, I would like things to be different, but I have a duty as President to lead us, save us, preserve us. Since Rome, and before, there has been a dominant nation on Earth, and better it be America than another. For Americans are charitable, and the more success we have, even if we also engage in wrongs, we can educate, instruct, distribute food, and offer a measure of social stability that was not there before. We can bring ideas about voting, or simply food and jobs, to lands ravaged by poverty and ignorance. Women living under the control of medieval husbands can be freed, to attend school and job training.

But Mr. President, you say, are we not the cause of these unfortunate situations? Do we not engage in "colonialism," or did African American slavery, or a vast capitalist debt conspiracy, create the suffering in many of these places? I tell you, no. And, I tell you, yes. For perhaps it is true that now, right now in this year, we are responsible for arming, training, or partnering with warlords, or opening foreign economies to exploitation. Yet again, I remind you, these things would be done even if America were not the one doing them. Like an apple orchard without guards, or without strong guards, resources will be pursued, and gained, by those who have the power to get them. It is the nature of life, as Darwin taught us, and as so many other great thinkers have, that we must pursue our wants, satisfy our needs, and attempt to be as great as we can.

Even beyond our wants, it is this basic, primal struggle that makes us better. Evolution teaches us that the need to compete, the need to achieve resources, and satisfy wants, and needs, is what makes us stronger. If we stopped trying to succeed, we would become weak, and die away. Competing against each other to win, if you will, is the only way we have survived. Otherwise, it would be the neanderthal, or the tyrannosaur, or the mammoth, that had come this far--not us.

This results in losers as it does winners, but in a way, we are almost all winners from this contest. Many are poor, yes, but today's poor are so many times better off than their counterparts in ages past. Today's poor have smartphones and televisions, they have running water, they have access to government guaranteed emergency medical services and charity. All these things, these resources, are made available to them because of the struggles of ages past. Where men would once die in the street, now we have shelters, hospitals, children's schools, and so many other things that would never have been given to the poor, the losers, in the past.

This struggle makes us better. We are so humane, so good, those of us who win, because we don't win as winners won in ages past. We do not exterminate the unfit. We give of ourselves to allow those who cannot survive in the modern world to survive, working against nature, in a way, to assist many people in getting a second chance. Let me drive home that point, that only because we have been so successful, so strong, are we able to give these concessions. Without our efforts, we would not have survived to be able to do this. The mammoth, the cave bear, would not have been so kind, if they held dominion over the world. Only we men and women, we humans, will do that. And that is a direct consequence of our evolution as thinkers, actors, doers. Because of our battles to survive, we have become so strong and so good that we can afford to give to those who could not make it on their own.

Some who lose do so from chance, of course. When we strive, sometimes luck will turn its hand away from a man who is smart, intelligent, even resourceful. This is the nature of the system. If I were all powerful, and could change the world to make it the soft, colorful, harmless place that some people want it to be, I wouldn't, because even the unfairness that it sometimes produces, in the things it demands from us, is what makes us better. The world is a testing ground, a forge, asking the best we can give, and motivating us by the desire for survival to become better. Without this, we could just, sit on the couch all day, never learning or growing or improving. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the struggle to survive, evolve, or go extinct is what has made us great. Not only charity, but all of mankind's great achievements, music, art, culture, can be traced to these beginnings, to our reflections on our struggle to survive. And that has to come along with the responsibility to survive. With the need to compete for scarce resources.

Again, I know, I will be accused of lying and self-interest. And there is a verifiable self-interest in the things that I do, yes. Like all of us, I must think of myself, and my own family, and the families of those close to me. I am rewarded for my skill, my perspective, my intelligence, my professionalism, in being able to steer the course of this nation, in some small part, within confines already set for me by generations of my predecessors. Yes, I enrich myself, but I do so in ways that I must. I guide us through a dangerous game of nations, striving to keep us strong and whole. Regrettable, sometimes terrible, things happen as a result, but if I can be realistic, and strong, and do the things that need to be done, I have the opportunity, the realistic opportunity, to give back as much as can realistically be given back. For I am a human, and I love God, and I love humankind, and I know that, if we do our best in this battle, this struggle to survive, then those of us who are successful, if we are good at heart, can help those who are not strong enough.

That is something that the weak cannot offer. Something they do not understand.

The weak, wishful, and idealistic man thinks, or should I say wishes, that none of this were necessary. That we could be in a land of unrestrained plenty, where men would not strive against each other for prizes. Again, I tell you, that is not what I would wish for, but even if I did, the world is not that way, and wishing for it to be so does not make it so. Those who want to make it so are not only doomed to fail, but their own failure creates the threat that could destroy everything we work for. They would have us become soft, and pointless, like an organism that refuses to evolve, to adapt. Yes, the world is harsh, but if we do our best, we can make our time here a little better.

I do lie. Yes, it is necessary to lie, to give hope to those who cannot understand the nature of truth. As many of our greatest philosophers have long suggested, a noble myth is necessary to keep society together. Many people, especially many young people, do not understand the nature of the struggle that is necessary to sustain us. Rather than exert tyranny on them to keep them under control, we must give them heroic tales to live by. Great codes, maxims, and rationales, that shield the weak from the cold, empty truth of our existence, in order to allow them to still contribute what they can. This is another gift we give them, namely, purpose, for without our guidance, they might see the true blackness in the competitive void of our markets and politics, and be broken by it. No, friends, we must lie.

We can praise a God of mercy and justice, for example, while doing what they would call injustice. And that is the greatest justice of all, doing what shelters the weak from the dirty truths of their own survival. Their minds would break, and they would lose hope, if they realized the battles that must be fought to give them the day-by-day goods that they rely upon. And so we give them something to believe in. A light at the end of a tunnel, a promise of looking forward and mutual consideration that they can believe in, and be entertained by, while we do the tasks truly necessary to protect them. We make the difficult, crushing decisions and stratagems that ensure that our nations, our factions, will have resources to survive, so that they, and their children, may survive where others fail.

It sounds dirty, low, and, even, horrible, these things that we must do. And it is, in some ways. I constantly reevaluate, and challenge myself, seeking for a way to do better. And yet, it must be a realistic way, a sustainable way, a way that does not depend on wishful thinking. Like all of the suffering we do here, it is terrible that we must do this. But it would be more terrible, by far, to give them nothing.

It is a justice that transcends petty notions of "justice," for it is a realistic, true justice. A justice that understands that everyone cannot live, that everyone cannot do well. Wishful thinkers would have us all die for their dreams, while we, the true heroes of the planet, and the people, are in the trenches, every day, keeping this light from winking out into nothingness. As Americans, as leaders, we kill soldiers only to prevent the killing of our soldiers, and we kill families only to prevent the killing of our families. Like two plants struggling for sunlight, or water, it is the nature of the beast, if you will, and the only way for one plant to live is to strive for that sunlight. That is what we do, and in our humanity, we reach on behalf of those below us, who share our national pride and outlook. Were we all to go limp, forsaking sun and water for another plant, then all plants would die. The idealist, who asks for "honesty," and his lazy, unbelievable version of "justice," is in truth a murderer, for he would kill us all. He would have us weaken, gradually, then go extinct, based on an impossible, selfish dream of a world where no one had to work, strive, or improve.

That is the sacrifice that we leaders make, a sacrifice of being the ones who know the uncomfortable truths, and bearing upon our backs the weight of a world. We can convince the weak and frail that their labor is a transcendent experience, and that their suffering has more meaning than, simply, the perpetuation and gradual improvement of just another species on a tiny speck of dust in a universe too big to care. Chemists, engineers, and strong and pragmatic leaders need to understand in detail the nature of the work we're doing. We know, of course, that leaders across the globe understand this game, and that they are competing with us as bitterly and as hard as we are competing with them. If we let up our guard, and give in to petty idealism, we will not see the world change. Instead, America will fall, and another nation or nations will rise to the top. The strongest species will succeed, as will the strongest people, and the strongest companies.

And not all that we do is lying. We strive to help everyone understand the nature of science. The information is all out there for them to understand what we're doing, and if they're good enough, to join us. We promote public education of the arts and sciences, the philosophies and theories, that teach us why this is necessary. Anyone can pick up a Wealth of Nations, or follow our take on the Beagle's voyage, and understand what we're doing. The fight for survival, which we've understood ever since the advent of modern science, is what has thrown back the darkness on this planet. It has given us our understanding of medicine, agriculture, and industry, it has provided for massive yearly harvests, and allowed our population to grow beyond the wildest dreams of idealists of old. It has saved millions of lives, and allowed many more to be born and to enjoy the experience of living than would have been possible, otherwise. We have traveled to the moon and done many other great things, all because we have continued developing, improving, as a species, allowing the great competition for resources to reward the strong, the intelligent, and the committed, and it has even left some over to give charity to those who were not able to advance in these ways on their own.

Looking to the future, we may even conquer death itself. We have continued to expand the human lifetime, and the fine pleasures and experiences in it, and conquer diseases that once made the globe tremble, all through our understanding of science. Our economics have created a globalized world, where centralized systems of production are able to meet the needs of almost everyone, and someday, maybe even all of us. I hate the terrible things I am forced to do, when I think about them in a certain way, but we are coming ever closer to immortality. We may finally conquer this cruel vise known as nature, steering our offspring, our children, away from the knowledge that they will expire, and deciding for ourselves, through science, how we will look, who we will be, and what we will do to amuse ourselves. We will be, then, the truest "winners" in this long struggle. We will be, then, perfect."

/end Prez. Drone (Yes, wouldn't it be something if his murders of Australian citizens "triggered a debate about the issue" in Australia? Shudder with anticipation!)


He's right, you know. If you believe in the random interactions of matter, governed wholly by impartial rules, with consciousness and sensation and desires all side effects of competing molecular arrangements, he's right. This is the best we can hope for: a struggle where, occasionally, one of the brutal winners occasionally engages in public charity just to cleanse her or his soul.

It's why Obama has to lie. It's Strauss, Heidegger, and a million others like them, pleading for a Matrix of meaningful, meaningless lies. It's not because Obama is Dr. Evil, cackling in glee and thinking he wants to do evil, oh no. We write unbelievable, unrealistic, inconsistent villains, providing such good substance for a satire everyone understands, because--like the CIA & MI6 thefts of public funds that created the James Bond franchise--we're straw-manning evil to make it seem impossible that it could exist in real life.

It's not because they're "just" after money. It's because they're desperately, dangerously sick, drunk on the "might makes success" philosophy that has poisoned this place for thousands of years. They actually believe that, in pursuing their own success, they're helping others. That is the utterly selfish, tortured logic of randomized evolution and selfish markets of strength and statecraft. The stronger are better. The weaker deserve extinction and replacement, and it is the province of gods to occasionally offer charity to lesser beings while crushing them.

As Kaczynski said, you can't eat your cake and have it, too. If you want to believe in the random prion arrangements, impartial cosmic math, and mangled eugenic elitism that justifies our market-competition take on economics, society, and life itself, then you must believe in Obama. If you believe in what pop science calls evolution, then you have to accept that Barack, and the sundry wealthy warlords like him, are not only right, but the best of us.

They are the winners. Money defines greatness. Verifiable popularity is the only real justice, power is the only definition of good, and might makes right, god dammit. Designer babies are an inevitable, nay, necessary consequence of our improvement. Let every autistic, blind, deaf, unsymmetrically-featured child be stricken from existence before their nasty little inferior cells even have a chance to form. Send robots to eliminate anyone too weak born too close to the combustible of the century. These things are right, ye huddled masses. They are right, and it is time to accept it. If you believe in "might makes right"; if you accept that random mutations allow the best of us to survive; if you are into random evolution in any way, then Barack Obama is your man. Like it or not. He is the greatest modern expression of evolution; the current apex of the species, and the world. The single most powerful, successful murderer on the planet, able to kill anyone he likes with a whisper or a nod.

But don't worry too much about it. If it is just a random, pointless struggle for survival, then it doesn't matter anyway, right? No hard feelings. It was all just a by-product of gobbling genes. Like you, by-product. You like art merely because expressions of consciousness, or symmetry, or beauty, are signs that someone "more like you," therefore genetically closer to you, has been there, which makes you feel more comfortable in the spread of your species. There is no such thing as love, for it is a chemical illusion designed to trick you into mating or expending resources on the next generation, so that it, too, can mate. There is no such thing as you, for it is a chemical illusion designed to trick you into being invested in the body that you think sustains you, so that it can mate and cause more mating.

The greatest, wisest, most wonderful people among us are those who can slaughter and conquer without end. Nothing--nothing at all--matters, except for the few moments of delusion we can scrape together amidst the muck; those rare instants of levity where we can forget, for only a little while, that we're in Hell, and lose ourselves in illusions that it can be different. Thank our warlords. Thank the great killers, and the even greater liars, for blessing us all with these lies: the only good things we can ever hope to have in an endlessly consuming misery. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thank you for living the life of our history.

The Nature of Evil

No, people. You were telling yourselves that he wanted money, and that he was greedy, weren't you? Sometimes, you suspected that he knew he was doing something wrong, but you just assumed, "He's just evil." No. He is evil, indeed, but that--that thing you were thinking before, to try to explain people like him to yourselves--that is not what evil is. Yes, there are some people who actually think, who understand and accept, that they're doing evil for vengeance, or something, but these thousands of rich tyrants are not that. They go to bed at night, sup with their families, and live "normal" lives, content with themselves, because they have rationalized the horror as the best possible thing that can be. There's an element of Eichmann in there, but all Eichmenn (sic, teehee) are not that blandly stupid, and all the great leaders--upon whom those Eichmanns depend--are not passionate madmen. At least, not in the way you've been thinking. They are, rather, just like you. They believe the things you believe, and gravely, painfully take it upon themselves to do the best they can in such a cold world. They did not get there because of an inherent flaw. They got there because of the permeation of randomized evolution. They got there because of an enduring philosophy of selfishness and pointlessness that has infected our minds for a very long time.

I will save you later. For now, go, seeing in clarion darkness how the "random struggle" means that you should kneel before Barack Obama, the greatest of all of us.

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