Everything has a story. Indeed, perhaps everything is a story. Too bad cabbages can't talk, or mountains. I'm sure they'd have interesting things to tell us.
Not only are there stories, there are stories behind those, and even ones behind them. How far back do these stories run? Is there an infinite regress? Perhaps. Maybe it's stories all the way back -- and all the way forward, all the way up, and all the way down. It could be they never end.
Let's take society today, and the wars in which we are involved. There are many stories to explain them. The three I hear are: Oil, Israel, and Empire. They may be true, or they may be not true, or they may be partly true. Are there other stories about what's going on? Stories that might help explain the US's march into Empire?
What I find interesting is that today we hear much of the Mommy State at home. That's where Mommy has traditionally been: at home. Where has Daddy been? Out working. Could it be Daddy is still out working, abroad? Could it be we have the Mommy State at home, and the Daddy State out working in other countries, to protect Mommy at home? Could that be why George Bush truly believes the best way to protect America is to impose democracy abroad?
Events never make any sense unless you take human nature into account. Societies, which comprise individuals, are expressions of that nature. All societies are derivative of it. Understand human nature, and you will in some measure understand the societies that people create. As such, it must always be taken into account, for want of better words, that all people contain "masculine" and "feminine" aspects. Perhaps "archetypes" is a better choice.
These archetypes always project themselves into society. In fact, they're some of the major influences in society. That's why we end up with such terms as "the Mommy State." It's just Mom writ large.
Generally, Moms are overwhelmingly concerned with safety at the expense of liberty. Ruled by their feelings, they are only vaguely familiar with reason. Those ruled by their feelings can only see the short term. To be totally accurate, I should say these are the worst characteristics of Mom. In other words, we're dealing today with Bad Mom, now enshrined in law.
It's why we get weird things like kids being arrested for drawing "violent" pictures in school, or getting expelled for bringing fingernail clippers. A misguided desire for "safety" -- in this case a non-existent safety -- trumps freedom. We no longer have a Good Dad at home, in society. I haven't seen him for a long time. Instead, Bad Dad is out meddling in other countries.
Unfortunately, Bad Dad wants to do something very strange: he wants to impose Bad Mom in other countries, in the form of democracy, by violence. That seems reasonable to him -- kill people until they give up. Under democracy, everyone is supposed to be equal, like little kids in a family. It's leftist, and if one word can describe Bad Mom, it's leftism.
Bad Mom at home, and Bad Dad abroad. Uh oh. This is very, very lopsided, and very, very dangerous. My impression is that description applies to all Empires: Mommy and welfare at home, Daddy and warfare abroad, to protect Mommy. If that's true, welfare and warfare are opposite sides of the same coin, and always will be. The clearest and best-known example of this is the Roman Empire.
Those who whine we should have welfare at home and not warfare abroad, are deluding themselves, just as those who claim we can have warfare without welfare are deluding themselves. Think of the Borg (which, by the way, had a Mommy Queen has a ruler). These days, the first kind call themselves liberals, and are almost always Democrats. The second claim they are conservatives, usually Republicans. There's about a dime's worth of difference between them.
What we've got then, is Bad Mommy attempting to take over the US at home, and so far doing a pretty good job of it. Another way you can describe it is as the Evil Feminine of leftism. It's what I mean by saying our country -- our culture -- is lopsided. Here's Mom in the home. But where's Dad in the home? He's almost nowhere to be found.
As New Agey as it sounds, I don't think people or societies can be whole until they find the right balance between the Feminine and the Masculine. I think it's the reason men and women seek each other out; they're trying to find in the other what each lacks. It might explain why Kings always have Queens, and why Presidents always have a First Lady. The mass of people demand it of them.
I find it interesting that during World War II Russians were supposed to defend the "Motherland," but Germans were supposed to fight for the "Fatherland." Russia was Communist -- a perfect example of the Bad Mother. The Germans were Nazis, perfect examples of hierarchy, bureaucracy, rationality, and suppressed feeling -- many of the characteristics of the Bad Father.
Roughly speaking, you can say the masculine is competitive, the feminine cooperative. The masculine is rational, the feminine emotional. Each has good and bad aspects: the masculine can be violent, the feminine deceptive (it's the reason men tend to kill violently, while poisoners are almost exclusively female). It might explain why the Communists were far more deceptive than the Nazis.
Most unfortunately, these masculine and feminine archetypes can move whole societies in ways in which they are unaware. Some people, of course, can see it. But there never seems to be enough to stop it.
How did we end up like this? I don't quite know. Perhaps it was because of the mostly deluded belief in the oppression of women by men, and the attempt by "feminists" to shame men and make them feel guilty. Somehow, they retreated in the face of this, to the detriment of society. So, this lopsidedness, this unwholeness, with Bad Mommy at home, and Bad Daddy abroad, will in the long run cause nothing but trouble.
We are, all of us, well aware of Bad Daddy and what he has done throughout history: violence and wars. But Bad Mommy, with her deception, destruction of liberty for a false safety, and irrational belief in subjective "feelings" determining what is right, with little recourse to objective reason? We are in deep denial about that Feminine Evil. We are still in denial about the Masculine Evil, when we see it as protecting Bad Mommy when she is attacked. Some are not only in denial, they support it.
Bad Mommy, at home today, is trying to coerce everyone "for their own good." Most of it means trying to destroy the good masculine, the Good Dad. It also means trying to feminize little boys, a sure prescription for disaster. If you don't believe me, how many men today can actually give a description of what it means to be a man? We've not only lost Tarzan, we've lost Cary Grant. Ward Cleaver? Forget it. That's how far the problem has progressed.
Supposedly "feminism" was to correct the excesses of the masculine. Perhaps it was, at first, a hundred or so years ago. But today, the Evil Feminine --leftism -- does little more than proclaim its superiority over the masculine. It's why the US, in little ways, becomes more and more socialist every day. And socialism, in all ways, is abusive. And we thought Communism and socialism was gone? Hardly.
If things continue in the US as they are now, we aren't going to end up with fascism or Nazism or Communism. But we will end up with a "soft" socialism, one that smothers everyone and takes all the fun out of life. Wear your seatbelt, lose weight, don't smoke or drink, don't read "bad" things that will "damage" you. Instead, just be a little kid scolded all the time. Little kids also expect privileges -- they don't want to work, they want rights without responsibilities. In the long run, a society composed of children won't stand.
The archetype of the horror story is relevant here. Being universal, it is always relevant. It can be described in several ways: bad attacking good, the unholy attacking the holy, chaos attacking order. All are different ways of describing the same thing.
Both the Feminine Evil and Masculine Evil are a perversion of the good. As such, they fall under the archetype of the horror story. Each will only have a bad effect on society. An added problem is when people can't see them as evil, and instead defend them as good.
A definition of evil is in order, too. It can be described as what C.S. Lewis called "bent" good. This implies a continuum from good to evil, which I believe. Otherwise, you end up with pure, unadulterated good and evil, both of which are exactly what people are not.
When evil is analyzed, the first thing found is political power, the desire for power over others. The psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote, "I define evil, then, as the exercise of political power---that is, the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion..."
Since the definition of the State is the Political Means (as opposed to the Economic Means of society), this means the State is an evil thing. The second thing found is some sort of stealing, be it a person's belongings, their freedoms, or their lives. It can be, as Peck wrote, either overtly or covertly, either openly or by deception.
Stealing means to take what is not yours to take -- and that taking is what makes people or things "unwhole." Another trait is self-deception, or rationalization: you convince yourself what you are doing is right. All of these traits might be subsumed under what the Greeks called "hubris," and the Bible, "pride." Both are the sin of the mythical Satan, the prideful fallen angel who lusted for power over others, and who wished to replace God and rule in his place.
When will the US find its way back to the right balance between the good masculine and the good feminine? Probably when things go so far they break, when we become so Mommy socialist at home and Daddy Empire abroad that both collapse, and finally, we return to our senses. It is indeed sad. Entire societies can teeter on the edge of a cliff before they go "whoa!" and turn around. Until we turn around, we appear to be heading into a socialist US in which people are both children and slaves.
But always, in the long run, reality will trump ideology. Fantasies, as always, evaporate.
Bob Wallace has a degree in Journalism. Formerly a reporter and editor, now an author, Bob penned I Write What I See. Visit his Shameless Book Promotion Page and his Page Full o' Fun. He also blogs. Bob has previously written articles and essays which have been published by LewRockwell.com, The Libertarian Enterprise, Sierra Times, Strike-the-Root, and The Price of Liberty, in addition to Endervidualism.