Many people get hugely frustrated trying to understand how or why governments and establishments do things that fly in the face of common sense and natural justice.
I think there’s too much focus on symptoms, not causes. Things start to become clearer, even less stressful, if we see many such actions as rooted in what is essentially a criminal psychopathy.
These sound like strong terms, but I’ve more than adequately demonstrated that they’re appropriate in previous posts.
The Conservative Party has been conclusively shown to work directly on behalf of global finance fraudsters, and when an un-elected Lord and Trade Minister previously presided over money laundering for Al Qaeda and mass-murder Mexican drug cartels, with no personal consequence, the point doesn’t have to be outlined much further, even if it would be easy to do so.
As for psychopathy: Some years ago the documentary film “The Corporation” clearly demonstrated that such entities operate in a psychopathic manner. More recently, Jon Ronson’s book “The Psychopath Test” outlines that many business and political leaders also fit the bill. This psychopathy is seen, not least, in the bold lying, hate propaganda, and lack of humanity wrapped up in the disgusting ideology of austerity, many victims often having severe physical and mental health problems.
Another area this psychopathy can be seen is in attitudes towards animals. It has long been said that a society can be judged by the way it treats it’s prisoners, the same is true of the way we treat animals.
I’m not going to overtly promote or discus veganism / vegetarianism here. This piece discusses some disturbing recent directions in the area of animal welfare and rights, and the way those who speak up for animals are too often viewed, perhaps by people who should know better.
First, the culling of badgers : The pilots for this cull have recently been extended because, as so many people predicted, it was not remotely successful. I said I’d abstain from vegan argument, but it can’t be avoided that the “need” to kill badgers stems not least from the desire to kill other animals for food in the first place. Good animal husbandry of cows has been advanced as a more successful a method of preventing TB. It can’t be worse, given that shooting badgers disperses the victimized creatures, making the spread of TB more likely.
Now that the first trials have failed, the government is trying to diddle the stats. Minister Owen Patterson made an utter fool of himself when challenged on this recently, saying that it wasn’t the (lying) government moving goalposts, but the badgers! The problem, he said, was caused by them being wild animals and “the vagaries of the weather”.
This is where we are at with this sub-putrid government – How were they meant to know that badgers were wild, or that weather happens? It’s not government’s job to dwell on such complex logistical factors. Most of their job is taken up with giving funny money and public assets to the people who bribe them, then blaming migrants and the poor when things go pear-shaped.
Again, to be confounded at such stupidity might be looking from the wrong end of the telescope. Part of the mentality behind the cull is an instinct to see violence and death and in solutions, regardless of sense. There also seems to be the simple influence of some people basically getting pleasure from killing. We know this is true, not least from the recent coverage of Kate Windsor’s sister, pictured with cheery chums behind an array of dead pheasants – what fun! perhaps less fun for the “h” in “pheasants”, but all the same…it’s a strong urge that might motivate some far fetched blagging to prop it up. That’s what may now be happening as the idea of slackening the original ban on hunting with dogs is mooted. The ban was, of course, viciously opposed by people who like to be involved in killing (killing and torture of non-human animals for pleasure is a well known predictor of violence against humans).
Operating against this extreme violence are a relatively small number of activists such as hunt saboteurs, who sacrifice a great deal, often including their own physical safety. Even the hours are appalling compared to most activism, with alarm clocks going off in the smallest of hours.
Yet for all this effort, animal rights seems to be a Cinderella cause among activists, and subject to even more half baked critique than the average leftist cause. No one is obliged to agree with all the aims and objectives of any movement, but the overall lack of solidarity for AR activists can make Peter’s blustering in the Garden Of Gethsemane look touchingly loyal.
This isn’t true across the board. Anarchists and environmentalists tend to be quite sympathetic, it’s broader socialism that can have a habit of washing it’s hands, or even joining in denouncements and phony counter arguments.
Chief among these is the idea that AR activists “should” be doing something for humans, that they “care about humans more than animals”. While it’s true that some AR activists may be redressing the imbalance of animals having no collective ability to speak for themselves, it’s generally an accusation founded on the understanding that the accusers own smart-arse imaginings are irrefutable, because AR activists are far more likely than members of the general population to be involved in human related issues as well. And given that humans are indeed animals, it is simply not logically possible for the activists to not care about humans.
The linked logic of “you should campaign on X rather than Y, because I say it is more serious” would dictate that there should only ever be a tiny number of things of utmost seriousness to concern ourselves with. Everything else should go to the wall, because someone sneered at an activist to impress their friends and themselves. Not that logic need have a place in reactionary sneering. The people who most tell activists what they should and shouldn’t campaign on are those who very often campaign on nothing at all.
Of course, people across the broad left have to put up with this type of bilge, but not with the same frequency or vitriol.
It should be said though that a great many people are sympathetic to AR causes who would never see themselves as even left of centre. As with broader “green” and “red” traditions, there are different roots to the traditions, as much as there are overlapping facets. Yet AR is often at the cutting edge in being subject to surveillance, demonisation, lies and intimidation. Animal Rights activists are some of the most breathtakingly heroic I’ve met. They deserve more solidarity from outside their immediate movement than they get.