In the United States of Guilt, the social crisis has replaced the ConstitutionSubmitted by go213mph on Sun, 07/15/2012 - 07:35
In the United States of Guilt, the social crisis has replaced the Constitution and legislatures, courts and executives casually rewrite that old yellowed document for the sake of the social crisis. The crisis, whether it is the heat death of the planet, racism, obesity or health care must be perpetuated endlessly because it has become the source of political legitimacy and national illegitimacy.
The political legitimacy of the presidents of guilt derives from that national illegitimacy, the heaps of books, articles, documentaries, wall graffiti, pamphlets, sociological texts, scatological poems, speeches and cave paintings that thoroughly and completely prove the past and present day criminality of the nation and the complicity of its people in that criminality.
This Constitution of Guilt, with its hundreds of thousands of pages, its multimedia apparatus and its glorious flag of guilt waving bleakly everywhere, is the true source of political legitimacy for the elite. It has displaced democracy and law with social crisis after social crisis whose very existence shames us all and makes all other forms of government, other than the emergency response to the crisis, irrelevant.
To protest anything that the crisis managers of the United States of Guilt do is to display racism, criminal selfishness, disdain for the planet, a lack of concern for the future heart problems of six year olds drinking soda; along with a legion of other crimes, all of which add up to being a bad member of society. A guiltless sociopath.
The social consensus determines who is and isn’t a good person. It says that good people feel a sense of responsibility toward others. Guilt is the emotion of failing to live up to those expectations and responsibilities. When it is universally cultivated, then everyone feels guilty for not living up to their social duties and guilt for not feeling more guilty about it; except those high-achievers totting back organic fair trade groceries in reusable Amnesty International bags on the way to prepare lunches for homeless gay illegal aliens while wearing buttons condemning the occupation of Afghanistan and Gaza, nuclear power, West Virginia, hunting wolves, drilling for oil, driving cars and not being more engaged with the problems of the world.
People will only do so much in the name of virtue, but they will do far more if they are hag-ridden in the name of guilt. People tire of being virtuous, but they are never allowed to tire of being guilty.
They will allow their own freedoms to be stripped away from them if they can be convinced that they do not deserve those freedoms because they have taken them from others. They will allow their money to be taken from them, if they are convinced that their hard-earned money is actually ill-gotten loot. Most of all, they will allow their happiness to be taken from them if they are convinced that their happiness indicts them for not caring enough about all the misery that they have caused.
And yet virtue is the gateway to guilt. If you allow politicians to spend enough time singing your praises, eventually they will force you to live up to them. If they praise America as a generous nation, that means they expect to take your money. If they praise it as a tolerant nation, that means it is expected not to put up a fight against any imposition. If it is praised as being willing to meet all challenges, that is a blank check. If it is praised for its willingness to come to terms with the past, that means the guilt is about to be piled on with a wheelbarrow.
Be wary of praise, for it often implies obligation. The easiest way to trap a population in guilt is to praise them to the skies, swell their heads with their own greatness, and then pull out the rug from under them by blasting them for their shortcomings. Make a people think that they are possessed of extraordinary virtues, and it is a matter of child’s play to entrap them by showing them that it is not so. As virtue easily becomes guilt, so the dictatorship of virtue becomes a United States of Guilt.