[R-G] [BillTottenWeblog] The Triumph of Evil
shimogamo at ashisuto.co.jp
Fri Sep 24 18:51:10 MDT 2010
by Professor John Kozy
Global Research (September 03 2010)
Modern societies have justified their adoption of criminal activities by
claiming that such techniques are necessary to combat evil. But the war
against evil by the good cannot be won using evil tactics. Evil never
yields goodness, and by using these evil practices, the amount of evil in
the world increases both in amount and extent. Attempting to save the
nation by becoming what you are trying to save the nation from is
suicidal. Unless benign techniques such as those developed by primitive
societies are put to use, evil will prevail. Then, paraphrasing J Robert
Oppenheimer's comment after the first atomic bomb was successfully tested,
We will have become evil, the destroyer of goodness.
Some decades ago, while having dinner with a newly elected Attorney
General of the State of North Carolina and the Chief Justice of that
state's Supreme Court, the jurist told me that everyone involved in the
legal system and enforcement had to think like criminals to catch them. He
believed the statement to be straight forward and evident until I pointed
out that the line between thinking like a criminal and acting like one is
very fine and is easily and frequently crossed, which results in
increasing the amount of evil in society rather than reducing it. Few
apparently notice this consequence and the criminal-like behavior of those
charged with enforcing and adjudicating the law has increased so
substantially that it has become common practice.
YouTube is replete with videos of police brutality. Police have been
videoed beating subdued prisoners, tasering people (even little old
ladies) indiscriminately, shooting mentally challenged people they have
been called upon to help, and killing people caught committing non-capital
crimes who try to escape (sometimes by shooting them in the back).
Investigations to determine whether those officers should be held
accountable rarely result in any punishment.
People providing forensic information in trials have been shown to have
falsified evidence in ways that facilitate convictions. A recent report
claims that "agents of the [North Carolina] State Bureau of Investigation
repeatedly aided prosecutors in obtaining convictions over a 16-year
period, mostly by misrepresenting blood evidence and keeping critical
notes from defense attorneys ... calling into question convictions in 230
criminal cases". Similar problems have been found with other forensic labs.
In Dallas, Texas, a former prosecutor, Henry Wade, now deceased, has
become infamous for having convicted a large number of innocent
defendants. Dallas has had more exonerations than any other county in
America; yet most requests for the retesting of DNA have been denied by
trial court judges on the recommendation of former District Attorney Bill
Hill, a protege of Wade's. Mr Hill's prosecutors routinely opposed
testing. In addition to almost complete reliance on eyewitness testimony,
a review of the Dallas County DNA cases shows that thirteen of the
nineteen wrongly convicted men were black, eight were misidentified by
victims of another race, investigators, prosecutors, and many of the
juries in the cases were all white, police used suggestive lineup
procedures and sometimes pressured victims to pick their suspect and then
cleared the case once an identification was made, prosecutors frequently
went to trial with single-witness identifications and flimsy corroboration
and tried to preserve shaky identifications by withholding evidence that
pointed to other potential suspects, and judges routinely approved even
tainted pretrial identifications. When Bill Hill, who said he was
confident his assistants verified the accuracy of all eyewitness
identifications was told his office prosecuted one those exonerated, Mr
Hill said the two prosecutors on the case were incompetent holdovers from
the previous administration. Terri Moore, the current DA's top assistant
and a former federal prosecutor, said, "It's almost like it's the whole
system. Everybody drops the ball somewhere, starting with the police
investigation. And we just take the case and adopt what the police say."
Then there are those prosecutions that rely on the testimony of criminals
who have been bribed to act as informants. Bribery is a criminal activity,
and if a defense attorney were shown to have bribed a witness, disbarment
would be the likely result; yet prosecutors commonly do it.
The preceding paragraphs limn an ugly picture, ugly indeed!
But the evil is not limited to local law enforcement. When officials
realized that they can act with impunity without fear of suffering any
personal consequences, the maxim, one must think like criminals to catch
them, underwent subtle alterations. Now one must think like bankers to be
able to regulate them. The same thing is said of stock brokers, oil men,
and every other interest group. Everyone wants to be self-regulated. But
self-regulation is nothing but a license to engage in criminal behavior.
The whole system of governing becomes an oligarchy of old boys scratching
each other's backs. Everyone knows just how well that works out.
Federal agencies, including the Supreme Court, are complicit, too. The
Court violates the Constitution routinely. Remember the decision
validating the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War Two?
Other decisions, perhaps not quite so obvious, can easily be cited. The
FBI and Homeland Security routinely violate the privacy provisions of both
the Constitution and the law, and the courts have failed to intervene. The
CIA has become an official version of Murder, Inc, now even advocating the
assassination of Americans living abroad who have been labeled
"terrorists". The agency has become the dispenser of vigilante justice,
while Americans are told to never take the law into their own hands.
No one seems to realize that the war against evil by the good cannot be
won using evil tactics. Evil never yields goodness, and by using these
evil practices on the pretext of fighting evil, the amount of evil in the
world increases both in amount and extent. Attempting to save a nation by
becoming what you are trying to save the nation from is an act of national
self-destruction; it is suicidal.
So how can the good be expected to fight evil?
Edmund Burke's claim, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is
that good men do nothing", is often cited. Sounds good, doesn't it? But
the claim falls into the category of notions that Michael Faraday labeled
"favorite ideas", and he warned us to be leery of them. Think about it for
just a minute. Are people who do nothing really good?
Anyone who has watched network television over the past decade has seen
stories about people who have seen crimes taking place without ever
intervening and people collapsing in the street without ever stopping to
render aid. ABC News currently has a series, titled What Would You Do?,
that stages illegal acts in public places to see how unaware bystanders
respond. Many do nothing. The implication of these stories is that there's
something wrong with such people.
In fact, no one knows what the ratio of good to bad people in society is.
Perhaps there simply are not enough good people to make a difference no
matter what they do. But even supposing, as most people do, that the good
outnumber the bad, few realize how hard it is for the good to fight evil.
Good people are repelled by it; they can never employ it even with the
best of intentions; they know multiple wrongs never make right. So what
are they to do?
They can, of course, rail against the evil. Some like the ACLU, the
Innocence Project, and others file lawsuits, others expose evil by
requesting documents through the Freedom of Information act and by
becoming whistleblowers. Although all of these actions are worthwhile and
often result in combating specific wrongful acts, they have little effect
on the systemic evil that has been incorporated into institutional
behavior. Good people seem to be limited by their very goodness. Is there
then no hope? Can nothing be done to prevent the triumph of evil?
Some societies have developed benign and civil ways of dealing with it.
Gandhi was able to use passive resistance to expel the evil British RAJ
from India, but, unfortunately, the Indians were unable to use it to keep
an evil local RAJ from acquiring control. Nevertheless, Gandhi
demonstrated that passive resistance can work.
The Norwegians during World War Two redefined the surname Quisling to mean
traitor and thereby vilified Vidkun Quisling who assisted Nazi Germany
after it conquered Norway so that he himself could rule. The term was
later used to vilify fascist political parties, military and paramilitary
forces and other collaborators in occupied Allied countries. If, as some
claim, America is becoming a fascist state, "Quisling" can still be used
today. Recently, Stephanie Madoff, daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff,
filed court papers asking to change her and her children's last name to
Morgan to avoid additional humiliation and harassment. Vilification by
associating a person's name with his acts and applying it to others who
act likewise is an effective, benign way of attacking evil. In an earlier
piece, I suggested that those who advocate war but deliberately avoid
serving themselves be called Cheyneys.
The French Resistance, during and after World War Two, shaved the heads of
women caught consorting with German occupiers. These "shaved-heads"
exposed their shame until their hair re-grew, and even later, others
rarely forgot who they were. (Some would consider forcefully shaving a
person's head a battery which is illegal, but even so, it is a rather
Primitive societies developed a whole range of benign ways of confronting
evil, some of which are still in use today in isolated places. Ostracism,
shunning, anathema, and social rejection have been used successfully. Then
there are the more modern practices of boycotting and picketing.
But modern technological advances have made even other practices
available. Imaginative uses of these tried and proven methods can be very
For instance, most computer literate people are familiar with denial of
service attacks used by hackers. A denial of service attack is an attempt
to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. These
attacks are a great nuisance, but often cause no real damage. No good
person would recommend using such attacks, but consider the following
People are routinely asked to write their congressmen to influence their
voting on specific issues. These letters are usually delivered to Capitol
Hill, perhaps causing congressmen some annoyance, but rarely enough to
induce much real change. But what if the letters, written in civil
language without threats, were sent to the residences of a congressman's
parents, siblings, spouse, and children? What if the letters merely asked
the recipient's to urge their relatives to consider changing his/her mind?
What if thousands of letters were sent to these people? The annoyance
would be enormous. If this were done to enough congressmen often enough,
perhaps they would consider acting in more responsible ways or perhaps
leaving office altogether. Denying miscreants of the convenient use of the
proceeds of their actions could be a powerful tool.
This technique can be used against corporate officers and their governing
boards, judges who routinely reduce the amounts jurors award plaintiffs,
the police who are shown to have acted brutally, Justices of the Supreme
Court who issue rulings that cannot be justified by normal readings of the
Constitution, in short, anyone acting in an official capacity who has done
a great wrong. Furthermore, the US Postal Service needs the money. The
establishment does not expect people to act in such ways; it expects them
to use the normal established channels to express their disapproval. But
those established channels have long ago been shown to be ineffective.
All that is required to win the battle against evil is to find ways to
make the lives of the miscreants miserable. No laws, not violence, not
even punishment is needed. Annoy them, shame them, shun them, ostracize
them, turn them into social outcasts, personae non gratae. Even if the
good in society constitute only a minority, if the minority is large
enough, it can succeed using such benign but annoying techniques.
The situation described above is only one of many possibilities.
Imaginative people can conceive of others which can be equally effective.
Think of ways of using the telephone, twitter, posters, and anything else
in similar ways. The governing maxim needed is just make the miscreant's
Unless such techniques are put to use, evil will prevail. Then,
paraphrasing J Robert Oppenheimer's comment after the first atomic bomb
was successfully tested, We will have become evil, the destroyer of
John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on
social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the US Army
during the Korean War, he spent twenty years as a university professor and
another twenty years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in
formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of
commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for
newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and
he can be emailed from that site's homepage.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole
responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the
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