Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More
Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Martin LeFevre: Bastards by Any Other Name

Meditations (Politics) - From Martin LeFevre in California

Bastards by Any Other Name

My father says I should not call Bush and his fellow travellers bastards. Not because they aren't bastards, but because it might make them mad. Though a life-long Republican, my father is as outraged as I am by the duplicity, hypocrisy, and bald-faced lying of this bunch.

He just thinks I shouldn't call them bastards. His philosophy has always been: "Don't pick a fight with skunk." But when it's impossible to avoid the stink, what choice is there? The more silent and passive one is, the more the stink sticks to you.

General Boykin, the smarmy soldier who spoke in a church before an adoring group of Christian fundamentalists, merely said the things Bush and many of his crew really think but are cunning enough usually not to express in public. The General crassly articulated views of the Bush inner circle, which of course is the same basic belief system of Islamic fundamentalists.

Both are in a "war against Satan." Both think God has chosen their leader to carry out His Will. Both demonize their enemies, and demand fealty to the cause. Both make a mockery of the religious and/or national principles they claim guide and animate them. (Animate, as in animus.)

So what else is one to call these people but bastards? Scoundrel is too weak a word for them.

Our self-appointed rulers of the world are case studies in how politicians can be conduits for the very thing they denounce‹darkness and evil. So, unfortunately, we need to study the phenomenon.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

First, a few metaphysical premises. Darkness and evil exist. But they are not supernatural, nor is there a cosmic battle between good and evil. Rather, evil is collective by-product of human consciousness.

In some way, which I believe science will one day explain, material agencies in human consciousness possess intentionality. The goal of darkness is not physical destruction, but spiritual destruction. Darkness acts through dead, uncaring hearts and minds, conduits like Bush, bin Laden, Hussein, Hitler, and Stalin. (Bush isn't Hitler, but the trend is in that direction.) All of us have darkness within us, but there is a big difference between the content of personal darkness (inherited through the family and accumulated through a negligent life), and collective darkness. When a person or a people become inwardly dead, they also become extremely permeable to collective darkness. That is what happened to the German people after the First World War, and that's what happened to the American people after the first Gulf War.

Character, to my mind, is basically the thickness of the membrane between the individual cell and collective darkness. There is no actual separation, but when a people lose their soul, then it becomes extremely difficult, and increasingly rare, for an individual to remain spiritually intact. In short, for a person to still care.

When George Jr. was governor of Texas, a black man was chained to a truck and dragged to his death in that state. The Texas legislature quickly enacted a hate crime law, which Bush refused to sign. A close relative of the victim met with Bush in his office, and tearfully pled with him to sign the bill. According to an eyewitness, Bush not only refused, but was aloof and cold, not even offering the bereaved woman a tissue. When the heart turns to stone, darkness runs unimpeded through a man or woman.

Have you noticed how boring Bush's morality play is getting? They're like the most popular genre of American movies, exploiting the fear of darkness and repeating variations of the bogeyman theme over and over to uncomprehending children. In the end, the bastards are just boring as hell.


- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: The author welcomes comments.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Top Scoops Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.