Overview for Introductory Essays

On Myth, Religion and Innocence

As I've argued in other posts, we are raised inside structures that foster meritocratic reasoning, and encourage people to accept the idea that someone's moral value depends on whether and how others judge them, with the lives of some being worth more than others, who may count hardly at all (e.g. how we view the other animals). This logic informs our own thinking and behavior at every level from the personal to the institutional, due to how we create or change institutions to match our moral intuitions and vice versa. Marshall Rosenberg, Walter Wink, and Walter Kaufmann have in my opinion made compelling cases that meritocratic reasoning and related domination thinking do not come naturally to us, but have to be actively taught, so as to reinforce that specific human tendency. Besides their intellectual arguments, the archaeological and anthropological records also tell us that domination structures are a fairly recent development, after a long period of humans organizing themselves along egalitarian lines. Nevertheless, the past few thousand years of such oppression of the many by the few makes it abundantly clear that it's very hard to get rid of this world-view once it's taken root. 

Remarks on Violence, War and Terrorizing

In this post, I'd like to talk about violence in general, and war in particular, how the use of violence relates to and is sold via bureaucratic (and hence meritocratic) thinking and reasoning. I hope folks will find it stimulating.

As Walter Wink has argued, nearly everyone who resorts to violence does so because on some level, we understand it as a tool that we can use to realize a certain outcome: to change either the person we inflict it on, or those around them. Yet as Marshall Rosenberg has noted, if we wish to foster lasting behavioral change, violence doesn't work. Because although people may comply, this only seems a success because of internalized misanthropy, which discourages us to care about the reason why someone chooses to behave differently -- it's only logical if you start from the assumption that people must be forced to care about others. Moreover, it's a way of thinking that reinforces the notion that violence is an acceptable tool.