Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Corrupting Power Of Elites

                                                                                               written 18 October 2020

                                                                                           published 25 October 2020


            Spirituality is the direct personal experience of the larger whole, transcending material reality.  Religions are organizations that arise to promote that spiritual experience, but quickly become subverted to accumulate wealth and the political power to dominate populations.

            A case in point is the Catholic Church, which became the official religion of the remains of Roman Empire about 400 years after Christ.  Despite teachings "to love the other as self" and "thou shall not kill", the church grew to sanction domination of the world by the Spanish and Portuguese empires, with instruction to convert or kill everyone they encountered.  In the process, the church became very wealthy, and very corrupt.  After the schism of Protestant Reformation, Christians began slaughtering other Christians, as the religions battled for political power and dominance.  

            All religions have a similar problem, distracted from the personal spiritual experience by power and domination.  The Shia-Sunni split, the root of Islamic conflict and terrorism, is a power struggle over inherited lineage between a cousin and an uncle of the prophet.  But in the US, the problem is Catholic political power.  Despite declining membership due to increasing irrelevance of church doctrine to modern life, and the persistent issue of pedophile priests, the Catholic Church dominates the Supreme Court of the United States.

            Five of the sitting Justices are Catholics put forward by the Federalist Society, with the support of Opus Dei.  According to US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, "a secret part of the Federalist Society does not care about conservative principles like judicial restraint, or originalism, or textualism, but is the vehicle for powerful interests, which seek to acquire control of the judiciary to benefit their interests, and rig the system in favor of its donors."  From Their Kingdom Come, by Hutchison, “Opus Dei uses the Catholic Church for its own ends which are money and power for its members: a transnational elite.  They seek to colonize the summits of power." 

            America was founded with the goal of forming a more perfect Union, based on the ideal that all men are created equal.  This was a radical experiment at the time, because most governments were based on dominance of the population by a small elite.  Some have pointed out that in practice, America shifted from domination by a distant elite of hereditary royalty, to a local elite of male property owners.  But the ideal was still there, and over time, voting franchise has expanded to include male non-property owners, then women, then people of color.  But there has always been an elite which works to distort the ideal of equality in favor of privilege: private law.

            The Republicans fear they are going to lose power this election, so, without popular support, they are rushing to place yet another conservative Federalist Catholic on the Supreme Court to lock in control over legislation for decades.  They are doing this rather than deal with the economic hardships caused by the pandemic because enriching the elite and corporations has been the primary Republican agenda for decades.  In the last few years, the five unelected Federalist Supreme Justices eliminated a century of legislation limiting campaign funding and 60 years of legislation protecting voter rights.  With another Federalist Justice on the court, the current concern is not only the integrity of this election, but elimination of health care for millions, abortion rights, gay rights, and perhaps even the 100 year history of the right of women to vote.

            In addition to being un-Christian and un-democratic, the entire concept of an "elite" is absurd from the perspective of a unity reality, which understand the fundamental connection between all apparent "parts".  The Covid-19 pandemic and the rapidly changing climate are global issues, effecting everyone. 

            What happens when people have no health insurance, and the hospitals are overwhelmed by an out of control pandemic?  How can the American economy, based 75% on consumers, function when so many people are out of work, and perhaps forced out of their homes?  How can the economy survive when increasing natural disasters, like floods, hurricanes, and wild fires, repeatedly destroy infrastructure to the point that insurance companies leave the region? What kind of long term investment is safe in such a world?  

            There is no planet "B" where the elite can escape.