My objection to show trials concerning torture is not that these are not crimes, or that these acts are not evil. Instead, my objection is that, as monumental an evil as torture is, it is not the first evil, or the greatest one. The all-encompassing evil, the evil that is the bedrock on which a series of additional evils, including torture, has been erected is the system of governance involved and the nature of the State at issue: a corporatist-authoritarian-militarist State, one devoted to the expanding regulatory-surveillance State at home and to an unending series of aggressive interventions abroad. That is the evil that must be recognized and, if at all possible, rectified or minimized, if the series of evils and the unending path of destruction and death are to be ended.Thus concludes a remarkable blog entry by a guy whom I've just discovered, one Arthur Silber who writes a blog called "Once Upon a Time." I've read about three of his pieces so far--they tend to be lengthy and chewy, not for the faint-hearted. But for the dogged, those who are willing to follow the fine turns of a fine mind, especially if their views tend like mine to be strongly supportive of civil liberties, world peace, and left of the conventional left; if they are convinced that the present situation in the world and our country is a result of decisions by the ruling oligarchy in America (and that this has been the case for years), then you will find "Once Upon a Time" quite congenial. Actually, after a little more poking around, I find that Mr. Silber and others of like mind can be characterized as "left libertarians," sometimes called "libertarian socialists." Like many political labels, it encloses a big tent, with lots of diverse types under it, including Noam Chomsky, whom I've admiringly mentioned before, and probably me as well.
I was diverted to this guy be a reference to him in one of Glenn Greenwald's recent posts about the torture debate. While Greenwald favors prosecution of the torture criminals, as do I, Mr Silber does not. He makes a most interesting case in the blog entry cited above, and he promises further installments. I will not restate his argument here. It is multi-faceted, and although I did not find it totally convincing, I certainly sympathize with his general understanding of broader events, and his passion to unmask what's going on in our government and what's really happening in the world. And I certainly share his disgust for the rampant stupidity, cupidity, and violence that pervade not only our government, but our whole society.
Another bonus in finding this site is a whole list of Mr. Silber's blogging friends, only a very few of whom I had not heard of before. (Samples: James Benjamin, James Bovard, Dom Eggert, William Pfaff, and many others. I haven't looked at half of them yet.) He says they are "Friends, Allies, and (Mostly) Sane People," so I can only assume that this is a gaggle of similarly-minded leftist reformers singularly fed up with how the millions in this country are manipulated by the rich and powerful, the ones who are really in charge, and who have been for well over a hundred years. And who are sick to death of militarism and corporatism.
This guy is right up my alley.