Which is the real evil
empire? Yours or mine?
And is it the same one?
Man is a frightened animal who must lie in order to live.
— Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death, 1974
Lately I am obsessed with lies. Our lives are engulfed by them, cheated by them, threatened, distorted and polluted by them. Our entire reality, in fact, is nothing but a tragic tapestry of them, a giant blanket of lies, always closing in on us, eating away at our lives and our peace of mind.
Did she really tell the truth? Is he really lying? Sometimes I wonder, in my darkest moments, amid the all encompassing surge of lies, if there is any good in the world, anyone you can really trust who won’t betray you if something better comes along. Lost loves seem to work that way. Something better comes along.
This sudden surge of doubt about the existence of truth in the world in my mind was lately triggered by the clear and forceful remarks of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who, in a colossal burst of honesty, admitted Russia's “special military operation” in Ukraine is partly being fought to end the “total dominance” and “reckless expansion” of the United States on the world stage. Now that’s what I call cutting to the chase. Truer words have never been spoken.
It was good to hear them after months of charge and counter charge, he-said/she said stuff that always gets us nowhere, about the invasion of Ukraine, which is clearly a war started by the United States but blamed on Russia.
Lately the terse phrase “Empire of Lies” is being thrown around to describe the United States. Derisive lies don’t arrive out of nowhere. The nickname is an accurate description of America’s unsavory history.
We have spent our lives listening to horrible stories about Russia, many of them true, but most not. Russians are, after all, just people like us, constricted by an aggressive government that limits their freedom. Lately, however, they have objected to Americans sneaking up on them by buying their way into the frazzled nation known as Ukraine, a second class farm-strewed chunk of real estate wedged between East and West on the Black Sea.
Its neat and pleasant villages are reminiscent of a past century. Its government is totally corrupt, bought, in fact, by Jewish billionaires and sabotaged, in fact, by all sorts of criminal activity, notably child smuggling and the assorted crimes that go with that.
But the more sinister aspect are the biolabs installed by the United States to design diseases, insert them into migratory birds, and let them fly over Russia. This, and the fact that the newly corrupted Ukraine government was murdering Russian speakers who lived on their territory, was why Russia decided to invade when it did.
Which leads us to the real lies, the ones emanating from the United States, the same ones gushing forth from America about the evil entity known as Russia throughout my entire life, and I’m 77, so this will take awhile.
Flash back to 1953, elementary school, School Street School in fact was its real name, and in third grade we had a drill when we had to kneel down on the floor and huddle under our desks to practice for when the Russians came and dropped A-bombs on us.
Later on I was to learn about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s gulags, and these were not lies, but the ugly truth of the naked terror of Communism, today being surreptitiously imposed by Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and today’s generation of tyrannical corporate liars.
And still later than that I was to learn about how Russia could not have existed without the formidable assistance of United States businesses, still in effect today with U.S. corporations forming the foundation of the Russian economy.
One of the more significant lies in this genre, one with lasting irony, occurred in 1980 when U.S. President Jimmy Carter canceled American participation in the Moscow Olympics because the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, a move which set a precedent of politics infecting innocent sport that continues today with China’s recent manipulation of the athletic world when it hosted the Olympics and starved the participants. Of course the real laugh about Afghanistan would begin 20 years after when America began its 20-year occupation of this troubled land at the crossroads of Asia. Russia didn’t boycott an Olympics because of it.
Of course, the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 could have been the last opportunity for a true worldwide peace when the Soviets abandoned their totalitarian control of Eastern Europe — the fall of the so-called Iron Curtain — but the so-called Peace Dividend never occurred because while the Russians abandoned their overseas adventures the United States accelerating its foreign forays, roughing up Serbia and other countries in the same way they always had, like murdering millions and capturing the Philippines a hundred years before.
Still, with Russia broke and silent, the U.S. had no major foe upon which to base its main source of income, which has always been weapons of war. This absence caused it to blow up its own skyscrapers in 2001 and begin anew a campaign of worldwide terror that it conveniently blamed on phantom terrorists who could never be found, although there are still designated patsies imprisoned at Guantanamo who, through more lies, bear the brunt of fictional responsibility for the 9/11 caper.
Renegade U.S. president Donald Trump had a notion to make friends with Russia because he wanted to build hotels there but the Deep State wouldn’t let him and conducted a totally fraudulent campaign of terror against a sitting president that prevented him from doing so. More lies from U.S. law enforcement.
Superbly ironic has been the behavior of Trump’s successor Biden, who has actually committed the crimes Trump was accused of and whose feeble fingers now rest uneasily on the so-called nuclear button (although reportedly the generals won’t let him have the magic box).
Perhaps even worse than that, however, among the latest litany of lies, is that Biden has initiated financial sanctions against Russia that actually hurt the United States more than anyone else, as the destruction of civilization continues apace with Klaus Schwab’s promise that we will all own nothing and be very happy about it.
So you’re beginning to see where all these continuing lies have taken us, and it’s down a dead end street past a sign that says “no turnaround.”
So I didn’t get to tell you about Ernest Becker and how he created a philosophy that insists every action people take in their lives is ultimately aimed toward erasing that terrible knowledge hidden in their minds that one day they are going to die and almost everything they ever do — except for the children they create — is ultimately going to be of no consequence.
Since we don’t like thinking about that we persuade ourselves to find a philosophy that convinces us we don’t really die, and that is the vital lie that allows us to function in the world without constantly worrying that one day we will not be here.
Without that belief, we are simply not able to function comfortably. So that is the rack on which the human mind is stretched. Pick a lie to believe in, because you will never be comfortable if you don’t.
Now that I have you on the hook, let’s take a little closer look at Becker’s maxims, not too deeply, but enough to illustrate the intractable nature of the human condition.
Societies are standardized systems of death denial. They give structure to systems of heroic transcendence.
Man reaches away from his animal side to distance himself from his mortality.
Man needs a visible god always present to receive his offerings and is always willing to pay the price of his own subjection.
Evil is a natural condition, an offshoot of our desire to survive death.
We embody death in order to control it. Ritual puts one in possession of eternity, yet is a departure from the truth of the human condition.
Cosmic heroism is a self-defeating fantasy.
Material production is the greatest evil in human history.
All religion is narcissistic megalomania.
The most noble human motive will cause the greatest evil.
No program of education can remove the need for the vital lie.
If men kill out of joy, what possible system could be devised?
There is no valid difference between religion and magic, no matter how many books are written to support the distinction.
Man’s natural and inevitable urge to deny mortality and achieve a heroic self image are the root causes of human evil.
There is nothing in man or nature which would prevent us from taking some control of our destiny and making the world a safer place for our children.
. . . the experiment of man may well prove to be an evolutionary dead end, an impossible animal — one who, individually, needs for healthy action the very conduct that, on a general level, is destructive to him.
Nearly 50 years after Becker won a Pultizer Prize for his groundbreaking book, the disturbing reality is that man simply does not believe in himself and his life is forever hogtied up in the lunatic lies of wishful thinking.
It is for this reason alone that World War 3 is about to start, likely the last war most of us will ever see.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida, constantly trying to figure out why we are destroying ourselves, and pinpointing a corrupt belief system as the engine of our demise. Solely dependent on contributions from readers, please support his work by mail: 6871 Willow Creek Circle #103, North Port FL 34287 USA.