Many of us don’t want to believe in the existence of evil. I never wanted to. I preferred to think that supremely difficult people had suffered traumas that made them toxic, chronically unhappy, angry, grasping, vain, jealous, incapable of love and determined to reduce everyone else to that miserable state by any means at their disposal. The toxic person is always crushingly selfish and most often cruel as well. Their main characteristic is a pronounced lack of empathy. Any power they are given will be abused to amass more prestige and to enforce their cruel, sometimes insanely vain, whims. In the extreme form, the most driven and successful of these people are what we think of as evil.
Mr. Hitler is a poster boy, of course, his every mad utterance was immediately transcribed into the German legal code by an army of blindly ambitious lawyers. We have always had a number of these types here in America too, Robber Baron types and their well-paid enablers and enforcers. They believe that their will is the only true law of the universe, a universe rightfully ruled by the fittest. The fittest, according to their view of nature, based on their understanding of science, are entitled to whatever they can wrest from those weaker than them. They call their Might Makes Right worldview “Social Darwinism” (much as those who hated our first mixed race president tried to give themselves an obscenely tiny fig leaf of dignity by calling themselves “Birthers”).
My one time friend Mark who just died, friendless in the world, in the midst of great, hoarded wealth and many fine talents, was an example, in miniature, of this willful type. No negotiation was satisfying in his zero-sum world unless he got the clearly better end of the split, the lion’s share. You must be prepared to pay the price for living this way and you need some kind of force to enforce this brutally one-sided arrangement. Often that force is not direct physical violence (though, in a pinch, why not?) but economic coercion — you offer a hard job at shit pay with no benefits, take it or leave it, there’s a long line of powerless chumps behind you, asshole.
We have long lived in a world where the only measure of human progress has been economic expansion and growth. The Free Market, we are taught in American elementary schools, must constantly grow and expand throughout the globe so that profits continue to rise and everyone’s standard of living keeps getting more comfortable. Countless iterations of “a rising tide lifts all boats”, the misleading mantras of our most successful entrepreneurs and our top inheritors of vast wealth, are inculcated in little American consumers throughout the educational process.
On the other hand, as is becoming more and more easily seen, the result of this extractive, expansionist worldview is massive inequality, widespread poverty and hunger, a devastated planet and mass extinction. There is only so much oil in the ground, as the old Tower of Power song goes. Even before it is all extracted, “refined” and burned, life on the planet for hundreds of millions of people — and countless animal and plant species that will leave the universe forever — is over.
The rising tide we all heard about in the Free Market myth is coming in the form of killer storms that flood densely populated areas and seas that are beginning to swallow real estate and homes. Unless this escalating crisis is averted, huge cannibal hordes with nothing else to eat will roam a parched and crowded earth, seeking places to live that have not been drowned under rising oceans.
The US Defense Department long ago studied the devastating national security effects of the looming and inescapable (on our present path) climate refugee/mass starvation crisis and ranked it as the number one security threat we face. Measured against the massive march of desperate, homeless climate refugees, the president’s symbolic border wall is an expensive pile of children’s blocks.
Young people are rightfully concerned about the precarious state of our precious planet fifty years from now, when guys like me will be long gone. Many older people also are very concerned, but some are not. You can pretty much predict which ones find the prospect of an irretrievably ruined planet depressing, something that demands immediate, coordinated action, and which ones will let their crusty, naturally scented assholes do the talking.
Greta Thunberg, a fearless and articulate 16 year-old from Sweden, has become a worldwide leader of this student movement to force government action to slow and reverse the gathering climate holocaust. She is suddenly everywhere, looking very young for her age and unflinchingly speaking the proverbial “truth to power.” She speaks openly of being on the autism spectrum and how this allows her a certain dispassion and lower concern about how others perceive her. She was at the United Nations the other day, passionately addressing a worldwide audience.
At the UN, Mr. Trump predictably timed his brooding entrance to upstage Greta Thunberg’s speech. She glared at our childish president, a man who refused to send U.S. representatives to the UN Climate Action Summit, since, according to his stubbornly moronic view, Climate Change is a Chinese hoax. Trump spoke for a long time on the world stage, sounding many of his familiar themes, without mentioning the mounting climate emergency at all, though he made a point of waving red meat for the Christian block of his base — promising that we will protect the unborn, eventually worldwide, from the murderous intention of those who would kill them in their mothers’ womb.
I don’t know if Greta spoke before or after Trump’s standard teleprompter campaign speech, but her remarks took on an angry, militant tone I’d never heard her use. Her short, urgent call to action is worth hearing and you can hear it here.
Here’s a visual soundbite from her impassioned speech:
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
How does a vain, myopic, self-serving, childish, attention-craving, eternally fighting old man respond to Ms. Thunberg’s well-reasoned argument? The only way he knows how to.
Like a complete and total piece of shit, perfectly in character and stinking like the unholy mess he is:
The teenager apparently immediately changed her Twitter page to out-troll our super impressive Troll in Chief:
You go, girl.