Love and Corruption
In John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl, a Mexican fisherman named Kino retrieved a huge pearl. As he attempted to get the pearl to the market, the corrupt entities that ran Mexico at the time went after him and slaughtered his family. The book ends with Kino returning to the coast, seeing the pearl being full of faces, and throwing the pearl back into the ocean.
The pearl, of course, was not the guilty party, and neither was the fisherman. The guilty party were the corrupt entities that had the power over the lives of people in Mexico and abused that power to the extend that they did. The pearl was the pure and the true; the goodness that, being what it was, was sought after and desired - that being the pearl of goodness was also transparent, and dissolved into itself the reality of the context in which it existed. And what happened to the pearl, was the pure and precise reflection of the character of the place that it inhabited. Same is the case with love.
When love comes alive, becomes manifest and visible to all the reality of the place and the time in which the love takes place. All that lays claim on the people - official, unofficial, social, familial, religious - makes its interests known, frequently in very ugly ways. Many people make the mistake of blaming love for this. But love is itself innocent. What they should be blaming is the interests that lay such claims on people in nations that are intended to be free. Sometimes these interests are manifest from without - through murder, violence, legal action, social attacks, and many more. At other times these interests are internalized in the minds of one or more of the lovers and teach them to abuse or suspect the lover. In both cases, the corruption and snares of the context eat into the pearl that is love in much the way that the faces of the corrupt did into the Kino's pearl. And in many cases it is love that is blamed for anything bad that results when what should be blamed is the oppression and the corruption in which are operating the lovers.
What happens to lovers at any given place and time, therefore makes precise assayal of what the world is like at that given place and time. In many respects it is like a canary that is placed in the coal well to see whether, and to what extent, it is poisoned. What happens to the lovers - and what happens to the love - becomes precisely diagnostic of the character of the place and the time. And what comes their way, both externally and internally, gives precise analysis of the poisons that are found therein. The best way to understand the time and the place is therefore to fall in love with someone who lives in the place and the time and, from what comes one's own way and her way, to make a precise assesssment of the actual character of the place and the time.
One example that has been highly formative to the Anglophone civilization has been what happened to Queen Elizabeth I. The place and the time was owned by feudalism; and her lover, who was part of the feudalist order, betrayed her to join the feudalists' plot against her. She had to choose between love and power and chose power (as well as of course survival). Queen Elizabeth turned England from a feudalist backwater into a great global civilization; but Anglophone women paid a price. Based on her example, women in Anglophone civilization have been running an Elizabethan script, where they have to choose between love and power over their lives. Those who chose love, have had to go into subservient roles where they had to give up their power and become dependent on men, many of whom had and have now a nasty habit of vastly abusing the power that they had over the women. Those who chose power over their lives, had to go without love. Neither group therefore was allowed a full existence; and for women to have full existence this Elizabethan script must be overcome. And this demands two things: For men to be able to accept women being free and powerful, and to be willing to love such women while treating them the way that a powerful person would accept.
One piecemeal solution - the English solution - is found in Romeo and Juliet. The lovers, who came from two warring feudalist clans, were sacrificed; and the clans, having seen through their deaths the pointlessness of their feud, ended the feud and came together to work on building a civilization. Another - the American solution - is found inHuckleberry Finn, in which the lovers swim the river to freedom as clans kill each other off. Both solutions are partial. The ideal solution is for the lovers to come together to build a life while reconciling the clans. In this is honored the love and becomes the seed of new life, while peace and reconciliation is accomplished between the respective societies.
The relationship between love and choice is a more intricate one than many suspect. As anyone who's been in love knows, one doesn't choose to be in love; being in love chooses oneself. Thereafter however one can either choose love or not choose love. Love pre-exists choice; then choice becomes requisite for maintaining the love.
So that instead of making the error of Kino and blaming love, the duty of intellect and integrity is finding, addressing and resolving oppression, corruption and poison that is made apparent by its appearance. The clarity as to the workings of the time and the place that becomes manifest in the face of emotional truth then becomes the motive force for its improvement. And then not only can love be a reality, but so can honesty and freedom in the time and the place, and the corruption and the oppression within it can be overcome. And that carries a vast array of benefits for the time and the place and everyone in it.
In 2002, two independent working big-city women - one in her early 20s, the other in her 60s - got involved with men from a small country town. When the husband of the older woman had a stroke, his family, which wielded much power in that town, attempted continuously to get him away from her even though she was a registered nurse. In the meanwhile they poisoned the town's opinion of her until she had to beg cabs for 30 minutes simply so that she could go shopping. They finally had their way when she had to go to a hospital for an operation for a week. During that week, her husband was placed in a nursing home; and at the end of that week, he was dead. He was not administered medicine and food as prescribed; the nurses had conflicting accounts of his death; and when autopsy was requested, the body was cremated.
The younger woman was approached by a 20-something son of another family that wielded much power in the town. His mother did not approve of his choice of partners; and shortly after they got together, the young man was confined indefinitely to a mental hospital in the town. In that mental hospital, he was administered 11 electric shock therapy treatment (the legal limit being six), and the young woman spotted a nurse leaving the bathroom in which he was taking a shower and telling her with a smirk, "I did not rape him." The employees of the hospital tortured the younger woman, doing such things as saying with a smile, "Oh, he may never get out of here." Every day, for six months, she made a two-hour commute while pregnant, raising a child, and being a full-time student. He came out of that hospital - a changed man. Tyrannical. Violent. Abusive. And exceptionally sneaky about how he did it. For three years he tormented the young lady; and when she left, he continued to torment her through her children and through the courts.
What happened to the young man and the young lady - and what later happened to the young lady when she left him - are all precise manifestations of the corrupt character of the place and the time. First the young man was a victim of the corruption; then he sided with it and became its perpetrator. The love was poisoned, and the poison came at the woman through him. And now it is the young lady's new relationship that is under attack from the same organs of corruption that, not being satisfied with having tortured her for many years, now also want to ensnare her children in the same corrupt morrass that has authored the murder of the older lady's husband in the nursing home and the six-month involuntary commitment and 11 electroconvulsive shock therapy treatments of the young man in the mental hospital, in both cases for one thing and one thing only: Going after women of whom they did not approve.
Free countries are meant to be free, and honest countries are meant to be honest. There is not supposed to be corruption and oppression in such countries, and when such is found it is a clear and present violation of the principles formative to these countries and the promise that they advertise to the world. So that when corruption of this sort is seen, what is made visible is what stands in the way of the principles claimed and advertised by these countries. And then it becomes patriotic duty to expose such corruption and break the stranglehold that it exercises over the country's residents.
When love is poisoned by such corruption, the immediate response is to blame the love. But the rational, informed, response is to see the corruption and keep clear in mind the corruption and to choose love even when doing so is difficult, dangerous and even potentially deadly. A major challenge in such situations is not to make Kino's error of blaming the pearl, but rather to see what it is that stands in the way of its delivery and address it for what it is. And then not only does survive the love, but is likewise improved the country toward greater transparency.
Australia, where I have resided since October 2006, has a well-earned reputation for abusive treatment of women. One common joke is, "An American turns to his wife and says, 'Pass the sugar, sugar.' An Englishman turns to his wife and says, 'Pass the honey, honey.' An Australian turns to his wife and says, 'Pass the tea, bag.'"
For women involved in situations of family violence, whether in Australia or any place else, this is no laughing matter. Not only is real, ongoing, brutality faced by hundreds of millions of women, but it is when they attempt to break free from the violence that the real torture begins.
Three years ago, a man named Arthur Freeman, who was on an access visit with his four-year-old daugher Darcy, threw her off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge. The child's mother had warned the court about Mr. Freeman's violence; the court disregarded her warnings. It turns out that filicide and matricide is more common than anyone suspects, and in America alone four mothers and nine children die daily as a result of it. In Australia, the numbers are not as easy to come by any more because in New South Wales, by far Australia's most populous state, the fathers have the right to suppress coroners' records when they have committed filicide.
Instead of taking domestic violence seriously, the courts in both countries and others such as United Kingdom have been running a racket of using a fake disorder known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) to claim women to be brainwashing their children in case that either the child or the woman reports sexual or physical abuse by the male parent. There have been cases in which a man would rape a woman, successfully sue the woman to deliver the child, and then sue her successfully for custody of the child. There have been cases in which undeniable evidence of ongoing sexual abuse of the children by the male parent or step-parent was ignored, and the man got full custody of the children. There have been cases in which men who have put their children in hospitals with their violence got full custody; cases in which men who broke their wives' skulls got full custody; and even cases in which severely violent men not only got full custody, but also got the woman to send them all her money, to the point that a woman in Indiana, USA who is an engineer has to live out of her truck while working full-time and having all of her money given to a man who had brutally abused her and her children for many years. In United Kingdom, the social services have likewise been running a racket of tearing children off their mothers' breasts, branding the mothers with Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, and giving away the children away to adoptive couples corrupt enough to take part in such a scheme. Social services have been getting $3,000 to $5,000 a child for doing this. And that's just some of the abuses with which I am personally familiar.
For as long as these kinds of abuses take place, the countries in which they take place are kept from being true to their principles and their promise. And it becomes one's patriotic duty before such countries to expose and confront such abuses so that not only love, but also principle and transparency, can exist in these countries and make them what they are intended and advertised to be. And while the more recent directions in psychology have been to force in all cases adjustment to whatever society one inhabits, to adapt to corruption is to become part of corruption; and the duty of honor, principle and true mental health, far from supporting corruption, is to expose and confront such corruption and to make the social covenants one inhabits free therefrom. As becomes likewise the duty of love for someone who is together with someone subject to such blatant wrongs.
What love makes manifest is then what stands in the way, not only of love, but also of truth and of freedom. In 1990s, the biggest barrier to love was a malicious, male-hating, sex-hating, beauty-hating, passion-hating perversion of feminism known as political correctness, which was fanned by authors such as Andrea Dworkin and Catherine McKinnon and thrown on the population primarily from centers of higher learning. The women involved in that movement were practicing one side of the Elizabethan script: To have power by rejecting love - and in the process also attacking others' people to have love likewise, leading despite their intention the women who sought love into relationships with men who were thoroughly patriarchial and had no use for women's rights at all.
Presently, the greatest problem comes not from feminism but from mens' movements. The violent men who got together in anger management groups - groups such as Black Shirts who assault women who've left wife-beaters - men's movements led by such figures as Ash Patil and Barry Williams in Australia, Michael Murphy in Canada, and the late Dr.Richard Gardner in America who was the author of the fictional Parental Alienation Syndrome - the corrupt courts that want to force family cohesion at the price of dignity, integrity, human rights and factual truth - and the people who think that family values and Christianity means beating one's wife and molesting one's children and forcing both to put up with such things all their life and on through generations - constitute now an even greater danger to love, but more importantly to truth and transparency. And while the men's movement came as a reaction to 1990s feminism, in fact both are similar in their totalitarian intent, oppressive character, and corrupt and malicious tactics. And it is once again when there are manifestations of love that such are activated and show to the whole world what they truly are, where they intend to take the countries in which they operate, and where many of them have actually taken these countries.
I could have had quite an easy life and not known anything about such things. But now that I do, I am doing what love requires. I am not throwing away the pearl; I am showing what it is that stands in the way of the pearl. The more people are willing to do such a thing, the more the wrongs are exposed, and the greater chance that the countries involved can be made free of corruption and be the honest and principled nations that they are intended and advertise themselves to the world to be - and likewise the greater the chance that love in these nations can survive and grow.