Guest Opinion: Axis of Evil
by Andrew James
Even halfway honest people know that any assessment we make of something in the world must also include an examination of ourselves.
What we see as ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ ‘out there,’ is always colored by what we believe, (or are) within.
What we see as wrong, or ‘flawed,’ in others, is often connected to strong feelings of negativity we carry within ourselves.
An understanding of this reflective mirror, (between perception and reality) is the foundation of moral integrity.
The more willing we are, to see our bias in perceiving others, the more we are able to understand those biases, release them, and then see others for who they really are.
Thus, it’s no accident that George W. Bush can look out across the human landscape and see an “axis of evil” amongst the countries of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, or a network of ten-thousand-plus “evildoers” around the world; for that is precisely what exists in the mind and heart of George W. Bush and his associative network of governing elites.
That is precisely what they are creating in the world –standing amidst the “axis” of corporate, military, and media power.
Now the term “evil” might, at first, seem inappropriate for those of us willing to look ourselves in the mirror –even in relation to someone as incapable of self-reflection as George Jr.
We should remember that the “evil” spoken of by the “evildoers” is not the same, as for those of us who are capable of seeing “evil” for what it really is.
We know, in fact, that “evil” has no basis for existence in the world –save as a construct of collective belief and behavior.
In this specific sense, it can seem very real indeed.
A good definition, often-quoted, is that “evil prevails when good people do nothing.”
It is not in our imperfection, or capacity for error, that we find and create “evil” –but rather, in our capacity to deny our imperfections, doubts, fears, that the seeds of moral irresponsibility, (evil) take root and grow in society.
Those of us willing to question our own assumptions, can never be spared the constant struggle, (between internal doubt, and the capacity to transform it through positive action); yet we can be spared the chain-links of denial which imprison the “evildoers” behind a facade of ignorance and hate -projected onto others.
We who have been willing to look beyond the candy-coated pronouncements of politicians –to see the nasty reality of “free-trade-zones,” third-world fascism, covert operations, the arms trade, (to name a few)- still have to deal with the pessimism and doubt that may resonate with these realities, from within.
We are not so taken in by the words of a consummate hypocrite –a man who bought his way into power through speculation and plunder, who understands little more than the stink of power as he enters a room.
More difficult, perhaps, is the fact that so many people appear to be buying it.
Alas, this is the difficult challenge which befalls us.
It’s no coincidence that we find the human family confronted with an inverted “axis of evil” –threatening to turn our remarkable planet into a playground for their petty games of destruction.
This is the propulsion mechanism, the catalyst –provoking us to find within ourselves a greater capacity for faith in people’s desire for the truth.
Only by dredging this up from within the dark body of our belief, can we begin to see, in the contradictions of the capitalist economy, the desperation with which the elite are driven to consolidate their power, the cultural banality by which people are being driven to the breaking point; and the transformative crisis that awaits those with the guts to embrace it.
Dark times are ahead. Daylight looms for those who willingly step into the night, with a broken-toothed smile.
Andrew James is a
writer, musician, activist, based in Toronto, Canada. He is
presently working on a number of literary projects covering
the areas of political power, culture, and