by Helen Jones

Courtesy of Bruce Anderson, the former publisher/editor of the

Pic: Anderson Valley Advertiser logo, © Bruce Anderson 2004. All rights reserved. - size 4.6k - Please visit the AVA.
Anderson Valley Advertiser logo
© Bruce Anderson 2004. All rights reserved.
Fanning the Flames of Discontent

September 6, 2004   


[ed. Folks, this letter was published in the July 29, 1987 issue of the AVA. 1987-2004... Replace Raygun with Bush, Iran-Contra-gate with Iraqgate, Communism with Terrorism, and you have it...Plus ça change...]

Dear Editor,

Most of the commentary in the Anderson Valley Advertiser seems to be based on liberal myths. I find the belief in these myths touching and even pathetic.

What the writers fail to recognize is that in America, no less than in any other country, most people exist merely to serve the State. A popular American president said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." He wasn't kidding.

In order to get people to accept their roles, they are given certain bromides to keep them docile. Using the motivations of fear and greed, people are taught patriotism so that they can be formed into armies or otherwise made to further their country's interests.

They need an enemy, so that the government can remain in power and so that the establishment can maintain its economic advantage. This job has been done so well that, to judge from the current Iran-Contra hearings, a military junta could be installed and the Constitution suspended with very little opposition from a few and with the enthusiastic support of most. Given a charismatic and heroic figure to follow, most people would accept an undemocratic form of government, perceiving it to be not only more efficient, but easier.

The majority, silent or vocal, is more concerned with survival and recreation than with the intricacies of human or civil democratic rights. Numbed by television and indoctrinated by the mass media, they just want to be allowed to make a living. Participatory democracy is a bore and a bother.

But even those who question authority seem to live in la-la land and swallow the same clichés and slogans as if they really meant something. When these phrases and mottos are disproved by first-hand experience, they rant and rave and carry on as if some law of nature had been violated. It's both endearing and idiotic of them, but they seem unaware of the difference between truth and jargon.

Let's look at some of these slogans and show how they are uncritically accepted by the public, particularly the so-called leftists.

Wildlife And The Environment Can Be Preserved If We Try Hard Enough

Laws affecting wildlife and the environment are made by legislators more concerned with re-election than with the future of the planet. For, this reason, unless changes are made, laws will continue to be passed to favor those who contribute most to political campaigns.

Timber, oil, mining, gas, chemical and other industries contribute more than other groups. Hunters, fishermen and farmers contribute more than isolated individuals. For this reason, most legislation reflects the interests of the monied establishment.

We Are All Equal -- The "I'M AS GOOD AS HIM" Argument

The most cursory examination gives lie to this optimistic statement. Rich is more than poor, have than have-not, upper class than lower class, and, in this country and many others, white is more equal than black.

Man is as hierarchical as a colony of baboons and from the first grade through the entire social structure there are divisions clearly attesting to the fact that no one is equal to anyone else.

Justice Is Available To Everyone

A corollary of the "we are all equal" bullshit. The only people who receive "justice" are those who have status in the community or those who can afford the best lawyers. All regulations bend for the "right people."

For example, when the Bahgwan Shree was setting up his operation here in Oregon, Farm Use permits were issued for the construction of garages to house the guru's Rolls Royces.

(Your own paper points out at least one instance of unequal application of the law in every issue.)

They Know What They're Doing

This is a fallacy that most people accept thankfully because it excuses them from taking political action and doesn't force them to think.

Actually, there are no "experts." I've seen more arrant nonsense illustrated with esoteric language, charts and involved graphs by idiots than uttered by high school dropouts.

Believing that just because someone achieves a position of authority proves their innate superiority just maintains the hierarchy and has no basis in fact. There are a lot of well-educated, wealthy, socially prominent white fools. The trouble is, our system lets them make decisions for the rest of us.

We Have The Right Of Free Speech

What good does it do? Most newspapers are owned by large corporations, and the others are made up of people who depend on their advertisers for survival and trim their sails accordingly. The few radical magazines and newspapers that still exist are in financial trouble and in any case reach only a small minority of the public.

Adversary information is still available, but the ability to affect the outcome of abuses on the part of government, the military, or business interests is usually futile.

In areas where there is dispute, "Advisory Committees" are set up to make the people on them think they're doing something. Those in power set up committees, study groups, and a host of fine-sounding sub-groups to keep trouble-makers out of their hair by giving them the illusion that they're actually accomplishing something. One picketer with a sandwich board is more effective than a dozen of these dupes.

We Have To Combat Communism

Actually, we need communism. (Uprisings by the have-nots have always been around. Spartacus must have been a communist by this definition.) Without an enemy, there would be no excuse for our defense budget, the profits of which now permeate the entire economy. Also, it's nice to blame an enemy for anything that goes wrong.

Conversely, the Communists need us so that they can "combat American Imperialism" for all the same reasons. Both superpowers call this a "balance of power."

The nice thing about this arrangement is that not only does it allow both governments to subdue its own people, lest they be accused of that deadly sin called "lack of patriotism," but it also allows them to absorb weaker nations.

Both superpowers can then hold the third world as vassals to supply them with cheap labor and raw materials for exploitation. When these little nations try to be independent, as in Afghanistan or Nicaragua, they get killed.

When people ask what would be wrong with continuing to have a Marxist government in Nicaragua, they are told that if they did, hordes of hungry, brown-skinned refugees would pour over the border and take away their jobs and rape their sisters.

A Different Government Would Be An Improvement

Temporarily only. Whenever man acquires power, he abuses it. As soon as people gain power, either in America or anywhere else, they then act to preserve their power and the little guy gets the shaft. No revolution has ever resulted in a Golden Age.

The only restraint on man's greed and other excesses is law, strictly enforced. As James Madison said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary."

In the United States, the founders of the Constitution recognized this and tried to draw up a document that with its checks and balances would outwit anyone who tried to run the whole show.

Little by little, that document is becoming eroded by both the left and the right, and unless the TV-drugged population starts worrying about it, it will be either suspended, or so watered down as to become meaningless.

To destroy the Constitution is the unstated goal of those looking for the absolute power that is the heart's desire of all politicians.

To brainwash the public into letting them get away with this, they invoke morality, religion, national security, law and order, and all the other sacred cows that most Americans are afraid to attack.

These are just a few of the "truths" too many people really believe are "self-evident," when, in fact, they are disproved by the mere act of opening their eyes to what is really happening around them.

Whining and bitching about unfairness, corruption, illegalities condoned by the courts and so on does nothing but make the one whining and bitching feel better and having those who agree with them echo "Ain't it awful, Mabel."

If we really want to make things better, we should be the establishment. We must make sure that we do not let ourselves be deceived by those in power and we must make laws that will benefit our entire planet, which now faces complete destruction from man's greed and fear.

As the little saying by Shaw in the AVA says it, "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."

Helen Jones
Prineville, Oregon - July 29, 1987


[ed. The AVA published the following letter in the next issue of the weekly.]


To The Editor-In-Chief,

Regarding Helen Jones' letter to the editor last week titled "Mythology," I have this to say: HELEN JONES FOR PRESIDENT!

Ex-Corporal Wintergreen
Half Asphalt Bay [aka Half Moon Bay, ed.] - August 5, 1987

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Helen Jones is (was?) a reader of, and contributor to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. This letter is re-published with the permission of Bruce Anderson.

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Published September 6, 2004
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