Feeling agitated or adventurous? Enter Tornado Country to witness the fury of Spin Doctor as he analyses the ins and outs of the modern world, tears down old preconceptions, and glimpses into history with an eye on the future.

A Sobering Tonic

henry david thoreau civil black and white

I am not a fan of the Occupy Movement. I understand its frustrations but am wary of its slipshod approach to polity. It is naive and irresponsible, falling terribly short of the mark.

I am wary of nationalism and sovereignty as an exclusive means to an end. I have seen entire cultures, one of which I belong to, come apart in the wake of their dreams of sovereignty. Unprepared to take matters in their own hands, they were torn apart by populists and vested interest, by mediocrity and tribalism, these beautiful cultures and their people, plunged into systemic chaos and chronic disrepair.

Freedom and sovereignty. Great in principle, they’re not always enough. A people also need maturity and experience to survive and flourish. They need acumen, vision, an esprit de corps to bring them together in spite of their differences, if not because of them. They need organization in order to set up a functional nation, a country, a state, or any kind of system geared to withstand the tests of time.

In the absence of the above, entire populations degenerate and wither. The result? Hardship and injustice leading to righteous indignation, creating a vicious circle.

Righteous indignation. An acidic state of mind. I am wary of such disposition even as I, on occasion, experience it in person — more often than not, lately. Any dictum that asks of men and women to follow their moral conscience first and foremost has to be approached with extreme caution. It is perfectly sound and noble in theory, a state of mind we not only can, but should, aspire to, but in practice . . . it is in the name of perverted morality that a number of major atrocities were committed. It is in the name of moral integrity that monstrous laws were written, laws even worse than the atrocious justice they sought to supplant.

I am wary of righteous indignation, popular revolutions, moral causes and all kinds of sanctimonious movements because Communism was a popular revolution based on a moral cause, on a sanctimonious movement, and look at the unspeakable atrocities it led to, not just in one country, or in one instance, but across the world.

I am also wary of societies and organizations left completely to their own devices without the oversight of government, governance, or any kind of administration committed to the bigger picture. One look at the state of the environment and we all know how things will end up if the players are left unchecked. One look at the state of the economy after the big banks and financial institutions were left to regulate themselves is all it takes to understand how difficult it is for systems to regulate themselves, especially national and transnational and incorporated ones where the individual gives way to the conglomerate.

I am a fan of justice, an advocate of law and order. I believe in their purpose, and cannot imagine an organized and functional world without them . . . and yet, there are moments in time — too many for comfort — when law and justice are the problem. Hijacked by lesser men and women, or by the setup at large, and used in unjust ways to serve dubious means, they need to be challenged and made accountable for their transgressions.

In this case, Henry David Thoreau’s words on civil disobedience ring true and relevant (for the most part), as relevant as they did back when they were first written, and will forever hold their mettle. They are a sobering tonic, a bittersweet caveat reminding us to scrutinize and criticize justice and the law most harshly, even challenge them on occasion, in order to force them back on track should the occasion demand it.

If this leads to an even bigger mess, well, it’s possible. All we can do is clean up the mess and move on.

No one ever said that the human condition is a clean operation. One look at the environment, if not history — you know how it goes.

From your reasonably unruly and realistic, if not slightly cynical Spin Doctor,

Eyes open, mind sharp.

PS – Here is a little video on HDT and his writings . . .