This essay amounts to a leisurely stroll down Hypocrisy Lane. Last month we defined three degrees of hypocrisy found extant in human beings: the basic hypocrite, the self-righteous hypocrite and ultimately the fanatical self-righteous hypocrite.
We further suggested than in these modern times entire nations are suffering from hypocrisy of epidemic proportions; entire societies layered with hypocrites of varying degrees at all levels. Hypocrites who are spawned by hypocrites, raised by hypocrites, educated by self-righteous hypocrites, baptized or initiated by self-righteous hypocrites, and ultimately led or governed by elected, anointed or appointed fanatical self-righteous hypocrites.
These same entire nations carry out incredible acts of terrorism in the name of God, of patriotism and "human compassion". However these actions are only considered as terrorism by those upon whom they are perpetrated. Those who commit the atrocities consider them legitimate acts of restitution.
If one steps outside the boundaries of nations and looks at this world as a citizen of the Earth or the Universe, rather than as an American, or a British subject, or an Arab, how different things might look.
Take the so-called "Land of the Free," the nation self-proclaimed to be the "Leader of the Free World" and the "Bastion of Freedom on Earth".
Are these the utterings of a nation of hypocrites, or are they certifiable truths? If we consider the question from the viewpoint of most Americans, or perhaps citizens of other so-called developed nations, such proclamation appear undeniably true!
A citizen of the Universe, however, might be a little fuzzy concerning this issue. If I were that citizen, I might ask a few more questions and look a little deeper into recent history, say the past five hundred years or so, before jumping on the "Home Of The Brave" bandwagon.
My first perception might be of a world run by children who had been given total freedom to do as they wish. But I fear that upon further consideration, I would be forced to conclude differently. The Earth is a world awash in hypocrisy of the highest order.
The scope and nature of the evidence is so vast, it would take volumes to address. We must therefore make do with but a few bits.
As it happens, the presumed "Leader Of The Free World," the President of The United States Of America, recently gave his annual State of the Union speech. He stood before the gathered elected and/or appointed leaders of America and proclaimed to them and to all the world that in essence, he and his fellow citizens are a kind, companionate and just people; a people who are the champions of goodness, the slayers of evil and defenders to the death of each individuals right to personal health, happiness, dignity and the pursuit of knowledge.
Aside from the usual clap-trap of a potato in every pot, honorable work for every adult person and a good education that will guarantee an equal opportunity for every child, there was talk of a continuing holy war.
The President summarized recent atrocities which the American people had suffered at the hands of the enemy. He vowed to avenge these atrocities and to root out and destroy evil where ever it might be. We warned other nations that if they aren't prepared and willing to cleanse their own sacred soils of foul evilness, his armies and air forces and navies will certainly and most definitely do it for them. Like it or not.
Hearts throbbed to hear these heroic words and were warmed with the understanding that this great man, the President of The United States Of America, would most certainly carry out his declarations.
Yet it is ironic that in making his speech, The President overlooked many of the past deeds of his very own nation and would seemingly have the rest of the world do so as well. In the best tradition of all true hypocrites, he and the other leaders gathered, apparently believe what is done in times past, is done. Water under the bridge. Why go over old news? Especially when this is a brand new day! And hey, we have ourselves some real live villains to point the finger at; honest to God evil to destroy. Everyone knows that might makes right.
But does it really? Heck yes, so long as you're talking hypocrisy. Hypocrites fear the truth as vampires do the sun. The truth sets real people free as surely as it is enslaved by hypocrites.
A few years ago a dictatorship invaded a neighboring nation so that he would have direct access to the sea and also the rich natural resources of that land. Other nations of the world, led by The United States Of America, stepped in and repelled the invader, restoring the rightful sovereignty of the invaded country.
Some say America had ulterior motives for doing what it did, such as keeping it's illusionary life-line of crude oil open and free flowing. Regardless of what the real motivations may have been, the United States and her allies were viewed as heroic saviors. Every one knows you can't just take over another country. It's not right and not permitted by civilized nations. It's against natural law.
So America stepped forward and henceforth volunteered to fill the roll of Global Police and Peace Keeper of Planet Earth. And this is a good thing, isn't it?
Too bad there were no super powers interested in coming to the rescue when the European Nations decided to invade the lands and territories of the Native Americans. Ancient history, you say? Perhaps it is. But the subject at hand is hypocrisy, is it not? Situations where the pot calls the kettle black. And that makes it relative.
Today America would stamp out tyranny wherever and whenever it manifests. Yet a visitor from some other universe might think this strange talk coming from a nation founded upon tyranny; a people who turned traitor to their King and shunned the Parliamentary laws justly enacted by their own government.
The 13 Original Colonies declared themselves independent and free of foreign tyranny, oppression and taxation. Why? Well that is an interesting question, is it not?
History says the main complaint of the colonists was based on what they perceived as a violation of natural rights. This idea grew out of the ancient belief that people, as creatures of nature, should live their lives and organize their society on the basis of rules and precepts laid down by nature. With the growth of the idea of individualism, especially in the 17th century, natural law doctrines were modified to stress the rights of individual persons. Because they are natural beings, it was reasoned, individuals should have rights that should not be violated by anyone or by any society.
Seeds of discontent were eloquently sown within the North American colonies by the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Paine, who each offered up natural rights as a powerful justification for revolution. However, the resolve of a relatively small number of affluent and influential persons reached a fanatical pitch following the passage of five laws by Parliament, known as the Intolerable Acts. These laws justifiably limited the political and geographic freedom of the colonies and sought to address with specific acts of terrorism of which they were most certainly guilty.
One such instance is known as the Boston Tea Party. This act of defiance and yes, terrorism, is something all school children in America are taught to admire, but never immolate.
The Boston Tea Party was hypocrisy in action. We are told this incident was all about unfair taxation. Based on the available evidence, a citizen of the universe might say it was merely the tantrum of a bunch of spoiled children who had been given everything and yet still wanted more. And as children often do, they became adults who would make the sins of their elders look like good clean fun!
Next month our journey will take us to the very roots of the founding of The United States Of America; an innocent time when the practice of hypocrisy was elevated to a science, if not an art. We'll also see why it would have perhaps been awful hard to find very many folks who could answer the question: Where were you when we first decided to have a revolution?
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