Yin and Yang, good and evil, male and female.
I was influenced by the teachings of Joseph Campbell and his audio book “The Power of Myth” which consisted of long interviews between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. Campbell talked about how a person can only veer towards good, but cannot be purely good or purely evil. It was an interesting concept.
In the Yin and Yang symbol, to be in harmony means to have both perfectly counterbalanced. Male needs female and vice versa, there is no light without darkness and one can extrapolate from that that there is no good without bad.
When Hitler decided on the swastika as the symbol to put on the Nazi flag, he violated a core principle of being in harmony. The swastika rotates clockwise (卐) and is supposed to represent the sun, prosperity and good luck, while the sauwastika rotates counter clockwise (卍) and represents the night. To be the best you can be, to be in harmony, the two are to be counter balanced against each other. By only picking the one believed to represent good luck, the Nazis inadvertently were showing themselves out of sync with the universe.
In his teachings, Joseph Campbell talked of how all life harms other life. To his way of thinking, vegetarians are fooling themselves for while they seek to not harm other creatures, they invariably do. Everything you eat could have been eaten by another creature to give them life. Like it or not, you perform a low level of evil just by existing. The funny thing was that Hitler was a vegetarian. If he were alive today, he would probably be a vegan. Who would have thought that a vegetarian using a symbol of good and luck could cause so much damage? Hitler is not remembered as being evil for trying to raise the wages of ordinary Germans, for building the autobahn or for trying to get the average German to own a VW Beetle. He is not remembered as being evil even for uniting a greater Germany between already German speaking Austria, and parts of Czechoslovakia. He is remembered as evil for not stopping there, for jailing those who disagreed with him, for interning communists, trade unionists, Catholic priests, and, of course, for killing Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, the mentally handicapped etc…
In the book, The White Nile by Alan Moorehead, the author writes about Sir Samuel and Florence Baker who explored Africa for years. They witnessed atrocity after atrocity while there. At one point, they encountered an African chief who seemed more reasonable than most, and asked him why all the chiefs were so cruel while all the poor were so good. The African chief responded, “Most people are bad. If they are strong, they take from the weak. The good people are all weak: they are good because they are not strong enough to be bad.”
That response got me to thinking. It’s a conflation of seeing people who are weak as being good, and those who are strong as being bad. However, that’s not really true. You can be a bad person who wants to do evil things to people, but is too weak to actually act on your desires, or, you can be a bad person who is strong enough to do bad things. You can be a good person too weak to act out bad things that you wouldn’t dream of doing anyway, or, you can be a good person who is strong and refuses to give into the temptation to harm others. Weak does not mean good and strong does not mean bad. Likewise, strong does not mean good, and weak does not mean bad. Yet, people conflate the two. You can be a victim and still be a bad person. You can be strong and use your power to justifiably punish the guilty without being bad. In today’s modern world, we are promoting “victims” as being good whether or not they are, and vilifying those perceived as strong (like the police) for being bad whether or not they are. Strong does not mean bad, and weak does not mean good.
I suppose the temptation to see the strong as bad is because we fear what the strong can do if they are wicked. As for the weak, we think they will be more empathetic to others after having been victimized, but that is not always the case. Give the weak some power and they too might become victimizers.
Going back to the Nazis, they are today remembered as evil because they were both powerful and tempted by evil to do bad things to all sorts of people including the Jews. Palestinians are not regarded as evil despite the fact that many of them would love to send the Jews to the ovens because they are not powerful enough to do so. That does not make Palestinians good people! Dennis Prager (of Prager U. fame) has made this point about conflating strong with bad and weak with good in one of his videos. Israel was seen as good at the beginning of its founding because they were regarded as weak (and victims I might add). Now that Israel has succeeded in defending itself against multiple attacks, Israel is regarded as bad.
https://www.prageru.com/video/to-the-left-strong-vs-weak-is-more-important-than-right-vs-wrong (If you watch the video, it starts off with a long annoying opening monologue by Tevor Noah before Dennis Prager explains the concept).
In 1997, columnist Joe Sobran wrote the following, “Western man towers over the rest of the world in ways so large as to be almost inexpressible. It’s Western exploration, science, and conquest that have revealed the world to itself. Other races feel like subjects of Western power long after colonialism, imperialism, and slavery have disappeared. The charge of racism puzzles whites who feel not hostility, but only baffled good will, because they don’t grasp what it really means: humiliation. The white man presents an image of superiority even when he isn’t conscious of it. And superiority excites envy. Destroying white civilization is the inmost desire of the league of designated victims we call ‘minorities.’
The above quote speaks to jealousy over the accomplishments made by the Western world and largely, overwhelmingly by white people. Somehow, jealousy has been forgotten about when talking about sins.
Podcaster Tim Poole has supposedly made the case that Wokeness in its current form is a white supremacist ideology. It posits that white people are evil, but also, that we are geniuses. Evil geniuses, how else can you explain why white people colonized so much of the world, enslaved black Africans, overtook the Native Americans, and developed so much of the modern world’s technology? To do all that, they might be evil, but they (we) must have been able to outsmart everyone else, too!
Which brings me to Magic Dirt theory. When talking about Third World immigration to Western Europe and the United States, it all comes back to Magic Dirt theory. White people are not the most intelligent people based on IQ scores. That honor goes to Asians. So, how come white people wound up with all those nice countries where everyone else wants to live? Easy, it’s because the dirt underneath their feet is magical and if we (the Third World) can only get to live on the Magic Dirt, then we too will have lives of wealth and ease. “School desegregation and desegregation busing in the United States did not eliminate Black-White achievement differences, as expected by desegregation proponents.” https://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Magic_dirt Proponents of Magic Dirt Theory believe that new immigrants to the West will not bring their dysfunctional cultures with them, and their IQs will suddenly rise to the median white level if they can walk upon the Magic Dirt. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=magic%20dirt
Based on the belief that strong=bad, that Aryan Nordics were once strong and therefore bad, the jealousy over the number of inventions made by the West, and our better overall quality of life, it is easy to see why white people are seen as bad merely for having been born. Sure, it’s shallow, but many people adhere to it.
20 year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol. Author of "East into the Sunset: Memories of patrolling in the Rio Grande Valley at the turn of the century".
Master's Degree in Justice, Law and Society from American University.
Grew up partly in Europe.