3/26/2013

The Kingdom of Lies

In the kingdom of lies, a fraudulent realm that is known to the wider world as the United States of America, few people are willing to speak the truth outright, freely and fearlessly, and unashamed acts of stark falsehood, frequently offered in an apparently guileless manner, are the daily rule. Most citizens desperately recoil from that which is true, even to the extreme of rejecting what they readily can perceive with their own eyes. A baneful shadow of murky delusion prevails, darkly extending across all forms of discourse, both public and private.

In the kingdom of lies, where it is strongly advised to follow the current trend of general opinion, regardless of the direction in which that trend is leading, any person who dares to break step with the crowd and take an uncompromising stand in favor of truthfulness will face the likelihood of being hated, harried, and persecuted. Most inhabitants of the kingdom are keenly aware that it is preferable to keep one's thoughts to oneself. Even better is for a person to have no thoughts at all, to be completely blank at all times, to be utterly unobjectionable in every way. An empty mind is a safe mind.

In the kingdom of lies, millions of meek citizens are carefully trained, by wicked means that range from overt to subtle, to obey the malign commands of their corrupt leaders without question. Any citizen of the kingdom who is loath to accept those commands, or who chooses to openly rail against the unjust and immoral actions of those leaders, will find themselves at odds with the passive mood of their fellow citizens, and, if they are not discreet in the chosen means of their protest, might also incur the heavy wrath of the authorities. Any departure from the usual pattern of mute servility, whether understated or forthright, can be a cause of harsh discipline.

In the kingdom of lies, nothing is what it is represented to be, nothing is held to a close examination, and no perversion of verity is too outlandish for eager consumption by the witless masses. Most citizens imagine their nation as a widescreen fantasy that will never decrease or decline. They dwell in an easygoing state of permanent denial, never looking beyond the margin of their own experience, and never challenging the tyranny of accepted explanations. They are adamant in their refusal to address the many defects and varied shortcomings of their history, irrationally preferring to maintain, at any cost, the host of self-righteous illusions upon which their kingdom was founded.

In the kingdom of lies, right-wing citizens and left-wing citizens foolishly pretend, in an unspoken accord, to be sharply different from one another, in spite of knowing that they all are essentially the same. Their understanding of what it means to hold citizenship is scant and superficial, and the elections in which they vote are never anything more than hollow diversions, offering no prospect of change. Nevertheless, they are fond of loudly declaring their own supposed greatness to the citizens of all other kingdoms, who are required to prostrate themselves in blind obeisance.

In the kingdom of lies, where the unbridled worship of money constitutes the primary religion, things always are on the upswing. Covetousness is rampant, and avarice is the chief motive in everyday life. Those who have much more than they need are blithely guiltless, happily viewing themselves not as greedy, but as hard-working and extremely fortunate. Poor people are disdainfully told that they have only themselves to blame for their poverty. Those who cannot contend for sustenance within the rough-and-tumble of the ruthless mainstream are pushed aside and forgotten, heartlessly abandoned in the run-down outskirts of capitalism, where they are allowed to starve in the streets.

In the kingdom of lies, a frantic round of perpetual busyness is the standard mode of day-to-day living, providing a constant source of frenzied distraction and effectively preventing most citizens from perceiving the formidable walls of thick deception that enclose their lives. Faceless throngs of weak-kneed workers, all burdened with the unyielding curse of ponderous debt, are directed to engage, slavishly and gratefully, in a lifetime of soulless activity that makes their masters richer and richer and richer, while bringing little gain to themselves. When workers have obligingly served their purpose, and can be exploited no further, they are summarily dismissed.

In the kingdom of lies, life itself is shaped as a marketable product and given a price, and all human qualities, apart from the pure essence of honesty, are made available to be purchased by those who can afford to purchase them. People are judged by how much they buy, how many things they own, and how many credit cards they possess, rather than by how much they have done to relieve the suffering of humanity. Children of the kingdom are herded toward a narrow future of corporate domination, fulfilling their empty destiny as eager consumers and confirmed spendthrifts.

In the kingdom of lies, coldblooded violence is vigorously glorified in countless ways, and the ardent pursuit of war is publicly endorsed as a commendable policy. When citizens of the kingdom see their armed forces repeatedly being sent abroad to wage one war after another, wantonly killing huge numbers of civilians in distant countries, they are not moved to any displays of concern, and they do not acknowledge their own connection to those killings. Taxpayers are willing to support endless warfare, as long as it happens far away and does not detract from their own selfish comfort.

In the kingdom of lies, the casual use of firearms is benignly regarded as a wholesome diversion, and guns of every description are considered to be suitable for families and beneficial for children. Any expression of even the mildest opposition to the unrestrained ownership of firearms is reckoned as equal to treason, and any attempt to put firearms under reasonable and necessary controls is viewed with the utmost suspicion. When fatal instances of random bloodshed happen, as they regularly and inevitably do, such instances are thoughtlessly excused and quickly brushed aside. With a plentiful supply of guns and Bibles, the deceitful glory of the homeland can be upheld.