Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peace to All People of Good Will: Official Statement to Foreign Readers

Recently I posted about the hateful myth that "conservatives" are haters. The post mentioned a Christian church (which no longer exists) some of whose publications did contain lines that seem hateful when read, but, in context, what those lines actually expressed was Cold War-generated fear. The computer shows a drop in Russian readership...I hope that's not because readers thought I was trying to revive fear.

Is it time for this web site to display an Official Statement about Russians and Other Foreigners, Generally?

Official Statement: This web site denounces hate against any large group simply as a group. The position of this web site is that human beings can generally be trusted to act in what they believe to be their own best interest. In healthy social, business, or even international situations, intelligent humans will generally recognize that their own best interest is seldom completely incompatible with yours, and mutually satisfactory results can be negotiated. In times of war, intelligent humans are likely to believe that their own best interest is opposed to yours, and negotiation may become impossible. Russian, Chinese, Muslim, and other demographic types of humans, are about the same as other humans. This web site has no loyalty to any foreign government that would affect this web site's behavior in the event of war. (This web site generally deplores war.) This web site has no ill will toward individual readers in any foreign country. Actually, this web site likes having them (even though for local sponsors' purposes they don't count) and wishes more of them were able to post comments.

When I was growing up, people living in the U.S. were really being encouraged to distrust, dislike, ridicule, even fear, if not hate at least be in a position from which we could be led to hate, people in the U.S.S.R. I've mentioned being given a church history book that was all about Catholics and Protestants and completely ignored the Orthodox church; I've mentioned being told that even biblical or saints' names that are more common in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe were "weird" names to give to dolls or animals, as a child. This changed--earlier this spring this web site received reports of "conservatives" chanting, at rallies, their belief that "Russians are our friends"--and the people I know seem to be very glad it changed. Most U.S. citizens my age still know very little about anything "Russian" or Slavic or Eastern European...but many are delighted that we're now free to like them if we ever get to know any of them. This web site has no foreign policy; it does have correspondents who've expressed pro-Russian sentiments as vigorously as they've expressed pro-British, pro-French, or pro-Israeli sentiments.

I got into that rant about how, even when L.C.C. Christians were circulating lists of actors and movie producers who were to be distrusted because of their Eastern European Jewish identity, the message they were sharing was not "Hate all Jews" but "Distrust people from Soviet-bloc countries who identify as Jews while promoting socialist ideas"...and took it for granted that readers were aware that, while continuing to oppose socialist ideas, North Americans have much, much warmer and fuzzier feelings about the former Soviet-bloc countries in 2017 than we had in 1977. Well, if they're Russians using automatic translation software to read this web site, they might not have access to that information. For that, I apologize.

Russian readers, if you're still out there: Your parents, maybe the older ones among you, participated in an experiment that showed the rest of the world just how wrong ideas that sound good can be. That was brave of them; in the long run it should prove to have been a service to humankind. This web site in no way blames anybody for the mistakes his or her parents made. You are responsible for correcting the damage socialism did to you. That's likely to be a heavy burden; this web site can't do much to help you with it, but we wish you success. And, as should go without saying, we wish peace...to all the private people in all countries.

That includes even the ISIS-infested countries, in some of which we do know a few people. I'm not even going to try to communicate the dismay I feel when a "conservative" correspondent I generally respect is circulating a petition to Congress to "declare war on ISIS." Duh--the list of ISIS-infested countries includes our own. When you've worked, travelled, eaten, and even prayed with Muslims you can certainly feel disgusted that evildoers identify as Muslims even in their most evil acts, but the idea of war, destroying their homes, their tiny struggling village schools--reversing such progress as some of these people have been making to recover from abuses that originated from times of poverty...One thing the L.C.C. used to proclaim that was not a reaction to then-current news, but an understanding of the Bible that I still believe was accurate, is that Christians should never call for an offensive war.

Prosecute crimes, yes. ISIS is a big, overfunded criminal gang. If we can go after them as such, I'm in favor of that. Find the scum who attacked the concert-goers in Manchester, the way we found the scum who attacked the Boston Marathon, and let the victims' families decide whether they should be hanged or drowned or poisoned or just worked to death. Meanwhile, not as a foreign policy but as a general policy, this web site always likes diplomatic strategies better than war.

*****

An Official Statement shouldn't have to include a book link...but a correspondent shared one that seems apropos. Adam Brandon wants us to remind all readers, once again, that Senator Mike Lee recently published a positive statement about "conservative" demographic diversity that should be available at your local bookstores. Note the diversity of the people in whose biographies Senator Lee highlights "conservative" values: