‘When there is power to be had, the unethical will seize it.’

Angela Keaton, who is director of operations at Antiwar.com, recently gave a great interview in which she said, among other things, this:

Daily Bell: What is your sense of the world today? Who is primarily behind most major wars today? Is it NATO and the West?

What is going in the Middle East? Please give us your reactions to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Angela Keaton: Here’s where you ask variations on all the same questions, which is the key to the answers.

1. When we discuss power, we are discussing people who behave badly. These people sometimes find their interests aligned. No dark conspiracies needed. People should watch old t.v. soap operas, read classic novels or observe children. That would be far more helpful in understanding the hows and whys.

2. People are pack animals besotted with hierarchy. We adore status, class and categories, the last of which allows us to stick things in boxes without having to think critically or use the most basic discernment. It also allows for the one true and real conspiracy: language. “Women,” “The Gays,” “The Arabs,” “The Jews” don’t exist. Only individuals exist. Mock Ayn Rand all you wish but the concept of the individual as something real and vital is not only morally righteous but would be a consequentialist step toward peace. Recognizing individual human dignity makes bombing and torturing people more difficult.

3. Treat someone poorly long enough and he or she will eventually react either with passive-aggressive resentments or with direct action.

4. There is no such thing as ‘bringing democracy’ or ‘liberation’ by the [US government (USG)], NATO, The West or whatever terms it is one uses to describe the Empire. First, how can the most potent violent force in human history bring anything but violence? Second, Latins, Arabs and everyone else the USG tries to pound into submission are painfully aware of CIA coups, phony revolutions, paid off puppets, military aid bribes, client states, colonialism and the giant military installations in their back yards. The victims aren’t fooled. One doesn’t have to slog through Zinn or Chomsky or Rothbard to see what is in front of one’s face. ‘Spreading Democracy’ is a euphemism for maintaining the Empire: the expansion of the most powerful state in human history, which oppresses and violates the most basic rights. Why would any sane, rational person want any part of that?

5. Not everything in the world is done by the CIA. Paranoia, however, is a creative and natural response to observing the evil done by the state. If you have the misfortune of being any sort of racial or religious minority or a woman or anyone who dare not fit, sooner or later you might come to the realization that the state, government, the USG, is racism, patriarchy writ large. Conspiracy theories flourish under suppression and subterfuge.

Go to a college campus, hang out at Fraternity Row. Take in a student council meeting. When there is power to be had, the unethical will seize it. It’s a character defect to desire power over others. Human beings are full of character defects.

Read the whole thing here — you know you want to.

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