Good and bad, right and wrong, it’s meaningless, isn’t it. Good for what, wrong for what, of course? The generalized, overarching Good and Bad – these are good and bad for something, and all morality is a circle, its “immoral” because it’s wrong and wrong because it’s immoral, and just like the more immediate social debates today, there is no talk of what it’s wrong for. We’re all supposed to know – or rather, we’re all to pretend we know, and enforce this half concept upon one another: be good! For . . . you know, good. The folks the Left call “liberals” should perhaps feel their ears burning especially here.
For my purposes, good and right mean truth and peace, OK? Flip side, wrong and bad mean lies and violence – let’s say war. Conflict. OK?
When Jeff says “bad,” he means war and conflict. Bad things bring conflict, good things bring peace. I know, we all know this – oh no we do not. We think we do, sure.
When your brain does its thing, it doesn’t function in English, no more than your computer does, so “good things bring peace, we all know this,” is exactly the same meme as “your kids aren’t supposed to be hurting each other, so you must teach them right from wrong (by whatever expedient means).” The peace is lost in the second iteration, where we somehow transpose the equation into “whatever stops the misbehaviour is good.” I know.
Every theory, be it science or pseudoscience or straight up crackpottery, every single theory, every idea that purports to change the world has some part of the equation that doesn’t quite work, some part of the story we’re all supposed to understand and agree with for no apparent reason. This is my fatal flaw right here, and the above childrearing example is only that, an example at best and really, only one attempt to express my insight that we have redefined some possibly objectively bad things as “good things.” I say possibly objectively, but I have already stated my bias: good things bring peace.
Perhaps none of us have the perspective to judge this more objectively than that anyway. Within my scope here, though, it’s that we have redefined some bad things as good things, meaning we have decided that some of the things that bring conflict are “good things,” somehow, such as the above parental intervention, in the event that the parent wound up getting physical, tried to do something aversive. In these cases, I do declayuh, even if “successful,” the resultant peace is illusory, and on the whole, the net effect is to promote conflict, and I invoke psychology to support the point.
In bad times, in fascist times, it is all taken to its illogical extremes, that this sort of conflict enhancing “good” law and order are increased exponentially, and not only are the authorities increasingly rough in their suppressive punishments for “bad things,” crimes, but as though to make my point for me, calls for peace and non-violence, such as the Black Lives Matter protests become punishable crimes. In such times, we go from “some little bad – policing, spanking – for the greater good,” to “only the bad is good,” meaning only the violent “punishments” are good, and apparently asking for peace and non-violence is somehow bad and punishable with good old rubber bullets. The moral line shifts, because, as I began this thing, the moral line, in our world, is attached to nothing, only the disembodied, ephemeral “good” and “bad,” and what constitutes it comes and goes, pushed about by our unconscious internal climate and weather and worse.
It needs to be good for a reason – I propose my reason, that peace is promoted, from a psychological viewpoint – and bad for a reason, that conflict and war are promoted, which, as we see, easier to see in such times, our moral institutions are not only not stopping conflicts but as many say, creating them. The supposed good we get from them and from our conformity, obedience, the appearance of order is not peace, but rather a never-ending condition of war, forever won and forever lost and the spots of peace we ever seem to have are enforced by a sort of social martial law. I am trying hard not to use my usual buzzwords, but we have the institutions, the churches, the criminal justice system, some public education and still we live in a state of war and conflict, within and without our nation states, so they are either not working, or peace is not really what they are for, not really what they get us.
For context, European church and government in Canada are presently covering up the ongoing genocide of the Turtle Island peoples. These institutions carry war, not peace. Law and Order, of course – not peace, never peace.
So, let’s all just agree on my definition of morality here, that what is right and good is what pacifies, instead of the exact opposite of it, maybe abandon all our institutions – and everything will be fine, OK? We are on the cusp, but we are totally looking the wrong direction, as always, carrying war.
Aug. 18th., 2021