By Texas Russell Bonner Bentley, Fort Russ News | OpEds
"No one can earn a billion dollars. That amount can only be stolen or swindled. No one can work so hard or be so brilliant that they could possibly earn such a sum. And it must be understood and remembered that a billion is one thousand million, and most billionaires are multi-billionaires..."
When I look back on twenty years of political activism in the USA and more recently in Donbass, I must admit I sometimes wonder if it was worth it. I ask myself if I have actually done any good. “Good”, both in the moral sense and as well as whether I’ve been effective. Whether I’ve done my share, made any actual difference. We all have a part to play, something that we can do. The question is whether we do what we can, or don’t. Einstein said that the answers to all the world’s problems lie in the space between what people do and what they could do, if they chose to, if they made the effort, took action instead of just talking about the world’s problems, or worse, ignoring them.
But of course, if you take the responsibility, the risk, of taking action, you must be sure it is for the right cause. This brings up the question of good and evil. You have to know what they are to know which side you’re on. So, let’s start by defining both “Good” and “Evil”, as moral, philosophic and materialistic concepts. Should we start with Good or Evil? As Anton Chigurh might say, “Let’s flip for it.” I did. It came up tails. Evil.
Many people say that money is the root of all evil. They are ignorant, (and we’ll get to that) aping the words of others, clueless as to the real quote, where it came from, or what it really means. The real quote is from the Bible, First Timothy 6:10, and it says “The love of money is the root of all evil”, and that is what it means. Big difference. So, how is the love of money expressed? Through greed and selfishness of course, and greed and selfishness are also symptoms of fear
Hannah Arendt’s book, Eichmann in Jerusalem : A Report on the Banality of Evil, also offers useful definitions and insights into what evil really is. She came away from Eichmann’s trial struck by the banality, the stupidity, the utterly unremarkable and unoriginal character of a man who was also a willing functionary in a regime that was guilty in the mass murder of millions of people whose only “crime” was allowing themselves to be victims. We can see the same banality in Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in Boris Johnson and Teresa May, in Petro Poroshenko and Benjamin Netanyahu. Their pseudo intellect and their pseudo humanity. Another telltale sign of evil is cowardice – most of the leading German nazis chose suicide, and even murdered their entire families, rather than face justice and try to justify to the world what they were and what they had done. Or perhaps, it would be better to say that evil is a symptom of fear. It is, after all, far more difficult to be good than to be evil, especially in the world today, though perhaps it has always been thus.
Greed and stinginess are also symptoms of fear, and the ultimate goal of Capitalism can honestly be described in the vile maxim “All for me, and none for anybody else.” In the USA today, the ultimate perversion of true Christianity is practiced by millions of affluent citizens under the contemptible name of “Prosperity Gospel”. They say that they are rich because they are rewarded by God for being good, and poor people are poor because they are punished by God for their evil ways. This, of course, is the exact opposite of the true Gospel of Jesus, such as Matthew 19:24, ” Indeed, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And Matthew 1:29, ” “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven.” When it comes to riches, it was the Devil who “took Jesus on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the Earth, and all their riches, and said, “All this I will give to you if you will but fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8. Among the venal scum who preach this false religion, giving to the poor is not a priority.
They live in multi-million dollar mansions, own private jets and luxury cars and build “mega-churches” the size of sports stadiums, as opulent as any Roman colosseum. “Pastrix” Paula White even gave multi-millionaire ($147 million) “Bishop” T. D. Jakes a $200,000 Bentley convertible for his 50th birthday. The top 10 richest “pastors” in the world live in the USA, or Nigeria. These scum spend millions on their own obscenely extravagant lifestyles, while giving a tiny fraction of their proceeds to the poor. They are paid by the Devil that they worship.
There is an old canard, sometimes taught in 3rd rate ethics or philosophy classes that asks, “Is it wrong for a man to steal medicine for his dying wife if he cannot afford to buy it?” What a ridiculous question. The answer is so obvious to any decent human being – “No, it is wrong for there to be medicine that is unaffordable to people who need it.”
So, what is “good”?
As a Communist, my interpretation of what is right and good is that which is the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and by “good”, I mean that which promotes the health and happiness, that which ensures the basic necessities of life and the opportunity for each individual to fulfill their human potential to the greatest degree. As I see it, to the extent that someone’s actions diminish or interfere with this, they cannot be good. To the extent that they impose unnecessary suffering on others, they are evil. Every billionaire on this planet is evil. Their love of money has led them to amass unearned and unjustifiable fortunes without any consideration of others. No one can earn a billion dollars. That amount can only be stolen or swindled. No one can work so hard or be so brilliant that they could possibly earn such a sum. And it must be understood and remembered that a billion is one thousand million, and most billionaires are multi-billionaires, they have multi thousand millions. And yet children on this planet still starve, millions live without even the most basic requirements of life. There can be no moral justification for this.
The open warfare in Donbass and Syria are only the most obvious flashpoints in this global war between good and evil, life and death. And every choice we make, our every act or failure to act, effects this war and its ultimate outcome. Unless we can drastically change the current trajectory of human activity, we ourselves may not see the end of Humanity, but our children will. Life is what we make it, what all of us together make it for all of us together. Evil is powerful, but it is small, and it is afraid. We can defeat it, if we choose correctly our own moral code and then live by it in real terms, come what may, if we cross that space between what we do and what we could do, we can find the answers to all the world’s problems.
EDITOR’S NOTE: PREVIOUSLY THIS POST WAS ERRONEOUSLY ATTRIBUTED TO JOAQUIN FLORES, editor of Fort Russ, instead of Russsell Bentley, the actual author, who contributes to Fort Russ. We apologise for this mistake.
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