CHAPTER 1:  The Ethical Basis of Society

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Everywhere we look today America is in a moral and ethical decline: from the lying of government officials to each other and the American people as typified by the Iran-Contra scandal, to the Wall Street insider scandal of Ivan Boesky, to the Pearlygate scandal of the PTL Club's Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker, to the Marine Embassy Guards sex-spy scandal, to the womanizing of presidential candidate Gary Hart, to the corruption of just about every New York City politician and so on and on. It has become so obvious that Time magazine asks on its cover in the May 25, 1987 issue, "What ever happened to ethics?" It is time to reassess and examine the American value system to see what if anything is left of our cherished and vaunted values, what remnants can be salvaged and whether we might just be better off to start over again from scratch. In this book we examine in great detail the subject of ethics which is the basis not only for individual conduct but for our political life as well. Our ethical values are the bottom line from which our behavior flows on many different levels from family life to our conduct with respect to other nations. It is the bedrock upon which is built tne national edifice, and, therefore, we must be concerned indeed to build upon bedrock, and not sand, if our national house is not to come tumbling down.


  "Lamentation is in the air, and clay feet litter the ground. A relentless procession of forlorn faces assaults the nation's moral equanimity, characters linked in the public mind not by any connection between their diverse dubious deeds but by the fact that each in his or her own way has somehow seemed to betray the public trust: Oliver North, Robert McFarlane, Michael Deaver, Ivan Boesky, Gary Hart, Clayton Lonetree, Jim and Tammy Bakker, maybe Edwin Meese, perhaps even the President. Their transgressions-some grevious and some petty-run the gamut of human failings, from weakness of will to moral laxity to hypocrisy to uncontrolled avarice. But taken collectively, the heedless lack of restraint in their behavior reveals something disturbing about the national character. America, which took such back-thumping pride in its spiritual renewal, finds itself wallowing in a moral morass. Ethics, often dismissed as a prissy Sunday School word, is now at the center of a new national debate. Put bluntly, has the mindless materialism of the '80s left in its wake a values vacuum?"1                                                                                     


As we will later show, the culmination of various behaviors now coming to light in the Reagan '80s is not so much the result of a failure to live up to a certain set of values as it is the enthusiastic participation in life with respect to another set of values. One man's moral laxity is another's moral acumen. It just depends what our moral values are. Because even while paying lip service to one set of moral values, we have been operating under another set and yet even the most brazen proponents of this other set of values cannot openly advocate them and are subject to being held up to ridicule if their activities come to light. The Times article lays much of the blame at the doorstep of Ronald Reagan: "Ronald Reagan has contributed to the current mood of laissez-faire laxness....The result is an Administration whose clarion  call is 'Enrich thyself.' For Reagan, money is the measure of achievement, and he has left no doubt that he prefers the company of the wealthy....Among other undesirable effects, this view that wealth is the measure of all men tends to exalt the individual at the expense of the community."2 It also tends to exalt the powerful at the expense of the weak.


We come face to face with the spectacle that powerful government officials, who have come to power by virtue of great wealth or connection thereto, are not there to serve public interests but to further their own private gain. What is important to understand is that they are acting morally according to a different value system, the value system of selfish pursuit and social Darwinism rather than the value system of responsibility to our fellow man and Judeo-Christian ethics. Quoting the article again: "Against the societal backdrop of value-free self-indulgence, it is not surprising that some in the administration have been motivated by a desire to advance themselves rather than the public interest....Reagan, for all his talk of a return to 'family values,' has been as permissive as an Aquarian parent over the transgressions of his official family, and that has contributed to the moral lassitude."3 It should be noted that the essence of modern political conservatism, whether or not explicitly admitted, but certainly as practised, is precisely the pursuit of private gain whether at the individual, the national or any level in between. It is for this reason that Reagan's men were only being "good" according to their own value system. Thus it is important to understand that what is going on here is not so much a situation in which a handful of individuals have run amok as it is a battle between two different value systems.


As the "new " value system of the Reagan era has supplanted the traditional American value system which was rooted more or less in Christianity, we have downgraded the repugnance of activities such as lying and greed. Indeed, greed is a "good" value according to the new system and lying is just an exercise in the clever manipulation of public or private opinion.  "...this assuming of moral responsibility for one's actions, has all but vanished from public discourse....If some of the others tainted by dishonor, deceit and hypocrisy were to show a similar ability to understand their moral accountability for their actions, perhaps an air of redemption would ensue. But the new American gospel is damage control, using the arts of public relations to deflect blame. 'Mistakes were made,' was President Reagan's explanation for the Iran-Contra affair. His absolute refusal to admit even the slightest responsibility for the ethical chaos around him is telling."4 One of the things it might be telling us is that, according to Reagan's ethos, there is no guilt to admit, since he was operating under a different set of ethical standards than those to which he is now being held accountable. The article goes on to quote Jerome Weisner as saying,"I am very upset by the ethical behavior that will make people believe that lying by our Government is natural." I am too, but has he ever read Machiavelli? Such behavior is not to be unexpected given the values the current administration espouses.  "Confessing errors has never, of course, been part of the Reagan magic. For six years, as America's debt soared past $2 trillion, the President refused to admit that George Bush was right when he said during the 1980 primaries that trying to balance the budget by cutting taxes was 'voodoo economics.'"5


Of course even if one is caught in a scandal, all is not lost. Like the books which purport to tell us how to profit from the coming depression, there is much profit to be made from one's scandalous notoriety. It may in fact be the opportunity of one's lifetime.  "A few moments in the limelight can mean big bucks; a book contract, a speaking tour, a TV docudrama. All Fawn Hall had to do was reveal that she helped North destroy documents, and suddenly actress Farrah Fawcett was on the phone with plans to make Hall the heroine of a feature film."6 And not only Ms. Fawcett was on the phone. Reportedly, Bob Guccione was also offering her $500,000 to pose nude in Penthouse magazine. To be caught in  a scandal, far from being a cause for shame or breast-beating (no pun intended), could be the best thing that ever happened to a person resulting in increased popularity and being set for life financially. So why should anyone apologize?


In an article in the LA Times entitled "Bottom Line becomes a Bad American Ethic," Norman Lear writes:


"If the church was the focal point for personal values and public mores in medieval times, that role in our time has been assumed, unwittingly perhaps, by the modern corporation.

 For better or worse, traditional institutions are no longer as influential in molding moral cultural values as business....This ethic breeds in a climate where leadership everywhere-in business, government, labor, universities-refuses through greed, or myopia or weakness, to make provisions for the future. And in this climate we have been raising generations of children to believe that there is nothing between winning and losing.

America has become a game show. Winning is all that matters. Get-rich quick.

...We worship at the altar of the numerical bitch-goddesses: Nielsen ratings, Dow Jones index and opinion polls. Politicians give more credence to polls than their own gut instincts.

...what we have today is a commercial system that is itself the dominant force; its influence and impact is largely responsible for the moral-cultural system."7


On the radio program "In the Public Interest," Jim Treires commented:


"Ever since high school, I've been struggling with a moral issue that's especially relevant today. It's the answer to a question that must occur to every young man or woman who does well in school: What are brains for?

If God has given you exceptional intelligence or skill or talent, what are you supposed to do with it? To those of you who have swallowed Reaganism whole, the answer is simple. You use all your abilities to enrich yourself. And you don't feel guilty about it either, because you know that in a free enterprise economy, by making your own fortune, you're automatically helping others make theirs, as some of the money you amass trickes down to your less gifted neighbors.

That's the real beauty of Adam Smith's theories. They make a virtue out of the single minded pursuit of personal wealth, as the invisible hand of the free market transmutes individual greed into community prosperity. Well, friends, I don't believe a word of it.

...The only way to attain economic justice is to pursue it directly...

...During the Roosevelt years, many of the bright and talented found fulfillment in helping to create a better life for everybody. Now, we're being told that their efforts to insure full employment, decent wages and working conditions, security for the elderly and assistance to the unfortunate were terrible mistakes, perpetrated by big government bureaucrats. And the currently fashionable solution is to let everyone fend for himself...

Back in my high school days, I realized that a smart guy could make money quickly by using his superior brain to deceive and cheat the not so smart. But it seemed to me that that was the same thing as taking candy from a baby or robbing the blind. And I couldn't believe--I still can't--that God gave some of us special abilities just so we could take advantage of the others."8


Responsibility to our fellow man or looking out for Number 1: these are the two value systems that are in conflict and that basically define the left and right of the political spectrum today.


In the July 18, 1986 edition of Newsweek, Meg Greenfield observed: "There has been an awful lot of talk about sin, crime and plain old antisocial behavior this summer-drugs and pornography at home, terror and brutality abroad....maybe these categories of conduct are really on the rise. What strikes me is our curiously deficient, not to say defective, way of talking about them. We don't seem to have a word for wrong in the moral sense, as in, for example, 'theft is wrong.'"9 One of the reasons nothing is wrong anymore is that we disagree about our values. The American value system always was more of a balancing act between competing value systems rather than a unified whole from which the truth could be derived in any instance. There was  one set of values for one situation and another set of values for another. There was the virtue of moderation-not going to far in either direction. There was acting according to one set of values and being judged by another. There was the ethics of the marketplace and the ethics of Sunday school. In "Collegiate Moral Climate Showing Signs of Neglect," Garry Abrams writes:


"The moral equivalent of nuclear winter may be settling over America's campuses.

That's one of the fears of Jon C. Dalton, a student of college mores today. Dalton worries that the mushrooming of an educational-industrial complex is obliterating a traditional role of colleges and universities-namely, the formal and informal teaching of values, the codes of right and wrong that shold be lifelong guides to private and public conduct.

He also worries that schools today are rife with a 'survivalist' mentality that encourages 'a highly materialistic' student culture."10


It seems that everyone has adopted the ethics of the marketplace including the institution that traditionally has been the check and balance to a purely commericial culture: the church. In "Praise the Lord, and Pass the Loot," Colman McCarthy writes: "Jim Bakker's genius was to make it clear that if you wanted to be born again, you could do it right there between the commercials. Have a home birth. Instead of a church pew, you had a sofa. Seek the Lord in comfort. Who wouldn't want to send in a check for that?"11 So the institution that was supposed to check the avarice and hypocrisy of the market-place instead has been abosrbed by it, has become subject to the same Nielsen ratings, the same need to generate large revenues, the same propensity to build empires. Good business practices and good religion merge so that not only the business of America but the religion also, is business. We intend to investigate societal value systems in some detail in order to evaluate what has happened to Western ethical values and what, if anything, should be done about it.


Every society operates from an ethical basis whether that basis is explicit such as a written-down set of rights and guarantees or whether implicit and only discernible through an analysis of actions taken or a combination of both. Sometimes a society will act from a non-stated value system which is in opposition to an explicitly stated set of beliefs from which it presumably operates. In addition, contrary ethical bases may be used by the same society depending on whether that society is conducting internal or external affairs. Many times this is the case as citizens of another country are viewed collectively as an enemy. In the US there is a constitution which guarantees individual political rights, equality before the law, and democratic voting rights. The ethics involved stem from a respect for the individual, a sense of fair play and justice and the equality inherent in the one man one vote concept. But what is the ethical basis which guides the conduct of foreign policy? There is no constitution that demands that our leaders conduct foreign policy with respect to a given set of ethical beliefs. We propose to look at the ethical implications of certain foreign policy considerations to determine what in fact is the value system that is being operated from.


Just as a society may use a different set of moral and ethical values when conducting internal business than it uses in the conduct of its foreign policy, a society's moral and ethical basis may shift over time resulting in a trend either toward or away from barbarism. Erich Fromm has commented: 


"Is the fact that we show brutality in comic books and movies, because money is made with these commodities, not enough of an explanation for the growing barbarism and vandalism in our youth? Our movie censors watch that no sexual scenes are shown, since this could suggest illicit sexual desires. How innocent would this result be in comparison with the dehumanizing effect of what the censors permit and the churches seem to object to less than the traditional sins. Yes, we still have an ethical heritage, but it will soon be spent and will be replaced by the ethics of the Brave New World, or  '1984,' unless it ceases to be a heritage and is recreated in our whole mode of life. At the moment, it seems that ethical behavior is still to be found in the concrete situation of many individuals, while society is marching toward barbarism."12


So a society's ethical basis may shift over time, just as it may shift over space depending on whether it is conducting internal or external affairs, in either a positive or negative direction. Another important point which Fromm brings up is that a nation or an individual for that matter may be fragmented acting morally and ethically in one domain and immorally and unethically in another. For instance, there may be great moral concern in the area of sexual matters while in economic matters a laissez faire attitude prevails. Even in sexual matters a double standard may prevail in which girls are held to a strict code while boys are encouraged to have a laissez faire attitude.


What seems to be most desirable in a social system as in an individual is consistency in moral and ethical values over time and space and with regard to all the different arenas a society is involved in. Selective application or morality either with respect to individuals or with respect to subject matter is indesirable. If anything, it would be hoped that with the passage of time a society would move toward behavior which is at a more elevated and integrated moral and ethical level.


 Thomas Jefferson  wrote: "It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings collected together are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately. It is a great consolation to me that our government, as it cherishes most its duties to its own citizens, so it is the most exact in its moral conduct towards other nations....I hope we shall take warning from this example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challange our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."13


Thomas Jefferson's belief in the moral goodness of his nation's government is contrasted with the views expressed in an article in Sojourner's magazine entitled, "Losing Moral Ground" and subtitled, "The Foundations of U.S. Foreign Policy" by Richard J. Barnet, March 1985.


"These days the world of morals and the world of politics seem poles apart. Political leaders secure the approval-or at least the passive acquiescense-of large majorities of citizens by appealing to the worst within us. President Reagan won overwhelming reelection by resorting to coded racist messages ('the South will rise again'), by inspirational jingoism ('the United States is 'back standing tall', having wiped away the stain of humiliating defeat in Vietnam and Iran by trouncing Grenada), and by celebrating selfishness in its many guises.

"Orwellian words to soothe aching consciences come off the assembly line faster than the missiles. Good anti-communist authoritarian governments such as Marcos' regime in the Philippines and Pinochet's Chile don't 'kill' people anymore. They engage in the 'unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life,' according to the State Department. In the pentagon, Peace is known as 'permanent pre-hostility,' combat is 'violence processing,' and the Grenada invasion as a 'predawn vertical insertion.'

The appearance of being moral, as Henry Kissinger once put it, is more important than being moral. The U.S. government is resorting to ever more sophisticated techniques to defuse the moral qualms of citizens about what it does in their name. And at the same time, its policies diverge ever more sharply from the best moral traditions of the nation: encouragement of democracy, tolerance of idealogical diversity, dedication to international law, and promotion of Third World development."14


In addition to the problems of inconsistency with respect to time, space and domain in the application of ethics, the problem is further comlicated by hyprocracy. When a government uses traditional advertising and selling techniques to make it's activities seem  moral while at the same time it is acting immorally, or in other words, is operating from one set of ethics while making it appear that it is operating from another set, then the task of pointing out the differences between words and images, on the one hand, and actions, on the other, complicates the debate concerning which set of ethical beliefs should guide our behavior.


Barnet continues, "By acquiescing in policies that flagrantly violate their professed religious and political beliefs, the American people lend moral authority to what the government does in their name. The pressures to conform to a pre-packaged, market-tested view of the world are considerable." He goes on to point out the distinction between moralistic rhetoric which disguises immoral policies and a sound moral analysis of the situation. He also points out the conflict between individual morality and societal or governmental morality: "The state gives medals for precisely the same activities for which it would imprison the heroes if they were acting on their own behalf. As long as the American voters believe in the inverted morality that divides the world of international relations and the world of human relations into two totally separate domains, each with a set of rules almost exactly opposite that of the other, they will continue to acquiesce in a policy of excalating militarism." One way to view the creation of peace and social justice in the world is the extension of the morality we use in dealing internally, whether within our own family or within our own nation, to include everyone. It is usually the foreigner, the outsider and the stranger who is treated with a less favorable set of ethics.


Barnet goes on to say: "Moral examination is critical to the idea of informed consent, the only sort of consent that the law recognizes. If, without even realizing it, citizens consent to policies that violate the moral precepts by which they wish to live, their integrity as moral beings is undermined, and the integrity of the political community for which they sacrifice their personal moral principles is also undermined....But the actual moral content of our own policies-which can be ascertained only by the testing of policy by the standards of either religious faith, ethical principles, or constitutional tradition-gets little attention." We will examine shortly the roots of our ethical tradition and also the roots of our ethical conflicts by examining Christian and Nietschean ethics in some detail.


Before leaving Barnet's article it is worth making one additional point. "The moral cost of the deterence system is enormous: The overthrow of the most basic principles at the heart of our religious faiths, our professed ideas of civilization, and the corruption of the noble impulses that gave birth to our nation." Barnet sees the staggering moral bind we have gotten ourslves into partly due to the technological innovation of nuclear weapons and partly due to the adoption of a policy which proclains the willingness to murder millions of innocent people. Barnet goes on to say, "What does it say about our nation that we can plan such a holocaust? Even if one were to accept the 'necessity' of this sort of mass murder, why do we overlook the moral imperative to find a way out? Why is the search for a non-criminal system of national security not the number-one priority of the government?"


The problem with the topic of morality in the US today is that the subject has been left almost exclusively in the hands of the Christian Right who have focused their concern on a very narrow area. Their almost exclusive concern is in the area of sexual morality, and they have almost nothing to say about economic morality. In "Dissenting from the Right," Jim Wallis says:


 "One of the worst examples of the moral hyprocrisy of our day is how the energy and passion of Christians opposing abortion have been manipulated in support of political goals that are often directly contrary to the principles on which a genuinely pro-life position is based. Life must be defended everywhere and anywhere it is threatened. Whether the lives are yet unborn. or enemy populations under the shadow of our missiles, or children of poor families, or Central American peasants facing terror and murder, or prisoners on death row-all these lives are precious to God and must be protected by those who love God.

This consistent pro-life position is very different from the selective morality preached by the Christian right. In place of the biblical gospel of peace, the television preachers of the right proclaim a gospel of salvation through military might; in place of the gospel of compassion, they preach the arrogance of American power; instead of the gospel that is good news to the poor, they preach a gospel that honors excessive wealth as a sign of God's favor and leaves the poor to fend for themselves.

Theirs is ultimately a religion of the state. They have become like the courtly prophets of ancient Isreal who were employed by the king to pronounce God's blessing upon the king's schemes and ambitions. This year that has come to mean an uncritical blessing on the re-election of the president. But in spite of all the attention it has been getting, the New Right does not own the American churches. A fresh vision is emerging in the churches. At stake are the fundamental issues of justice, mercy and peace that fill the Bible from cover to cover."15


A new alternative is emerging which might be called the Christian Left whose main focus of concern is not the sexual morality issues to which the Christian Right  mainly confines itself, but the peace and social justice issues, the issues of economic morality. The Christian Right has pprivatized responsibility to our fellow man out of religion while the Christian Left seeks to address the issue: Are we our brothers' keepers? As most ethical values come from either a religious or philosophical sub-stratum and as the prevailing religion in the US is Christianity, we will be investigating the ethical implications of Christianity with respect to social policies. We also intend to investigate the ethical system of the philosopher, Nietzsche, and what the implications of his value system are. We choose him because, for the most part, his values are diametrically opposed to those of Christianity.

One of the central questions we will be concerned with is this:"Is the US a Christian nation in its conduct in the world or is it not?" If we are a Christian nation, then we have to take seriously the teachings of Christ as they apply to social and ethical values. Let me say at the outset that my main concern with Christianity in this book is with Christ's ethical and social teachings, not with the other aspects of Christian theology, doctrine, creed or dogma. I am not concerned with Christianity as a belief system but only as a set of moral and ethical teachings particularly as they apply to social conduct whether of individuals or societies. So by a Christian nation I don't mean a nation composed of individuals who believe in Christ's divinity so much as I mean a nation which conducts itself in accordance with Christ's ethical and moral teachings.

I would contend that Christ's teachings are relevant not only as a system of individual morality but as an ethical basis governing the relations between nations. Thomas Jefferson has stated: "I know but one code of morality for men, whether acting singly or collectively. He who sqys I will be a rogue when I act in company with a hundred others, but an honest man when I act alone, will be believed in the former assertions, but not in the latter. ...If the morality of one man produces a just line of conduct in him, acting individually, why should not the morality of one hundred men produce a just line of conduct in them, acting together?"

 ..."It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings collected together are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately. It is a great consolation to me that our government, as it cherishes most its duties to its own citizens, so it is the most exact in its conduct towards other nations..."16


I maintain that any set of values held by the individuals of a society must be maintained when those individuals act collectively if that society's leader truly represents the aggregate of individuals. Certainly in a democracy this must be the case. The fact that a society's  policiies can be reduced to one individual's-the leader's-policies induces the argument that collective or societal morality and ethics can be discussed meaningfully. Furthermore, in any society, which has a centralized leadership whether that leadership is one individual or a group of individuals and in which the leadership sets policies that are unified and speak with one voice, those policies can be analyzed as to their implied ethical basis as if they were the policies of one individual. It is important to examine the ethical implications of every act taken by a society or any contemplated act just as it is important to so examine individual conduct in order to see if those acts are consistent with the moral and ethical basis of that society.


      Christian ethics and Nietzschean ethics are, generally speaking, moral inversions of each other. Christian ethics are based on Christ's teachings and can be summed up by the phrase, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Nietzschean ethics can be summed up by the phrase, 'Might makes right.' We will examine both of these philosophies in some detail and also what kind of political, economic, social and psychological structures these philosophies imply. We will also take a look at what kinds of conduct, taken either by individuals or societies, are implied by them.





     First let us examine Christian ethics. Christ was undeniably a pacifist and a champion of the poor and downtrodden just as Nietzsche, as we shall see later, was a warmonger and a champion of the powerful and elite. Christ said, 'Blessed are the meek', while Nietzsche in effect said, 'Blessed are the aggressive' or perhaps 'Blessed are the egotists.'

Every one of Christ's Beatitudes translates into its opposite for Nietzsche. Christ's 'Blessed are the poor in spirit' becomes 'Blessed are the psychologically advantaged'. 'Blessed are they that mourn' becomes 'Blessed are they that gloat.' 'Blessed are the merciful' becomes 'Blessed are they who show no mercy' and even 'Blessed are the cruel.' 'Blessed are the peacemakers' becomes 'Blessed are the warmakers.' 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness' becomes 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after power.' 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake' becomes 'Blessed are they which persecute for advantage's sake.' It is safe to say that Christ was on the side of the weak, the powerless, the sick, the disadvantaged, the handicapped. It is also safe to say that Nietzsche was on the side of the strong, the powerful, the healthy, the advantaged and the gifted. Christ was on the side of the weak and the sick not because he saw value in weakness or sickness per se but because he believed that the weak and sick should be compensated, the weak and the sick should be helped out of their weakness and sickness. Nietzsche believed that the strong and the gifted should be advantaged even further and that the advantaged, rather than helping the disadvantaged, should use the disadvantaged in whatever way they saw fit to further their own cause.17


In matters of conflict, Christ taught not just giving in or acquiescence but going out of one's way to exceed the demands  of one's adversary. "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."18 It is clear what this implies in the conduct of individuals. Let's consider what it implies in the conduct of nations. Is to say 'turn the other cheek' not to advocate a weak defense? Is 'turning the other cheek' a sign of weakness or perhaps might it be considered a sign of strength? Is 'turning the other cheek' the same as capitulating or does it represent the ability to absorb a blow and continue undeterred. Christ did not qualify his advocacy with respect to the strength or weakness of the smitten person. One must surmise that the issue of strength vs. weakness did not concern him per se. But this brings up the point of the nature of strength and the nature of weakness. Christ did not glorify weakness per se; He believed in helping the weak out of their weakness. Looking at Christ's personal example, it would have to be said that He was a strong person. Certainly on a spiritual level, He was very strong. He had supernatural abilities. But He did not believe in the use of force. It can be concluded that Christ believed in strength, but a certain kind of strength, a strength that was exerted on behalf of the weak and in the cause of peace, not a strength that was exerted against them or against anyone. His was a strength which sought to redress the balance, not to increase the imbalance. On the other hand, Nietzsche fully advocated the use of strength to dominate the weak, to put down rather than to lift up.


Let's consider what 'turning the other cheek' implies in the conduct of a nation's foreign policy. Also let's consider what 'strength' would mean both in a Christian and in a Nietzschean sense. Would a Christian nation manifest its strength by piling up huge arsenals of nuclear and conventional weapons? Or would a Christian nation choose to be strong by helping its poor and disadvantaged become productive members of their societies? I think a Christian society would choose to become strong by helping the sick to become healthy, by creating health out of sickness, rather than by ignoring them or writing them off.


A Christian society, one whose intent was to turn the other cheek, would not put its energy into creating arsenals capable of destroying the world many times over, would not base its policies on the kind of strength that the use of these weapons implies, but would put its energy into creating a healthy economy, a healthy, well-nurtured populace, would put its energy into creating friends around the world by seeking to lift them up instead of keeping them in their place. A Christian nation would seek to create a balance of power by helping weaker nations to become stronger in terms of eliminating poverty and suffering instead of a balance of power based on the ability of any nation to destroy all the rest.


Would the concept of deterrence be invoked by a nation which was guided by the 'turn the other cheek' philosophy? Clearly not. If a nation espousing this philosophy were subjected to a nuclear attack, 'turning the other cheek' would clearly mean no retaliation. Not only would it mean no first use but also no use period. With a nation having a 'no use, period' policy, it is hard to conceive why another nation would unleash its nuclear arsenal against that nation since we know that nuclear winter would destroy the nation that initiated the attack without there ever having been any retaliation by the attacked nation. The rationale behind our Mutually Assured Destruction policy is obsolete in light of this. It is a rationale that has been outmoded by knowledge and developments that came into being subsequent to its inception but yet continues to be used. Furthermore, if a nation were truly helping other nations and peoples to become self-sufficient, to lift themselves out of poverty, to solve their problems, why would another nation want to destroy the goose who is laying the golden eggs?


 Not only does the whole rationale behind the arms race go contrary to Christian ethics, it also goes contrary to any coherent rationality. Let us examine an alternative approach, an approasch that is based on Christian ethics. What if we, the American nation, were to announce that we had seen the light and under no conditions would we retaliate against the Soviet Union even if they should launch a first strike against us? This policy could also be based on the rational grounds that a nuclear strike against us would also seal the attacker's doom via nuclear winter. What would such a policy do to the chemistry of the international situation? Some might say that this would create a power vaccuum and the Soviet Union would rush right in to fill it. People that would argue this are arguing from the implicit assumption that the only operative factor in world affairs is power. Perhaps the nation's motto should be changed from 'In God we trust' to "In power we trust.' I used the word 'chemistry' above to suggest that there may be more factors working in the international situation than power alone. To argue that power is the only consideration is to argue that we live in a Nietzschean world, a world in which Christian ethics have no validity, a world in which Christ's teachings are irrelevant.


Let me pose the question: "How would the 'no use, period' policy make the Russians feel?" I use the word 'feel' deliberately as I think that the consideration of feelings as opposed to strictly rational assumptions is crucial to understanding the arms race as well as crucial to the understanding of Christ's 'turn the other cheek' philosophy. If the Russians believed we were sincere in our pronouncement, I believe they would start to feel  a little safer, a little more secure, less fearful. They even might be inclined to make a magnanimous gesture on their part such as destroying a few of their own missiles. Again there are those who would say that the Soviets would seize the opportunity to wipe us out. So we address the question: Is the Soviets' primary motivation for building more and more nuclear weapons and weapon systems one of ambition and conquest or one of fear and a desire for protection and security? In the light of nuclear winter, it is not even rational for a nation to think it can be a winner in a nuclear war. It is not even rational for a nation to think it can achieve its ambitions for conquest in a nuclear war. I submit that the nuclear arms race is fueled by fear and paranoia on both sides, and, if this is the case, we can start to see Christ's wisdom in advocating 'turn the other cheek.' It is the opposite of the philosophy, 'Don't mess with us, Buster, or we'll bop you one,' which seems to embody the macho principles of the Reagan administration. We will examine the undelying principles of 'macho' psychology later on in an effort to understand how our psychological mindsets give rise to the conditions that obtain on an international level.


It should be pointed out that recent history has shown that the Russians have been the ones to unilaterally make peace gestures in an effort to improve the international climate. First they instituted a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing with no response from the US. And then they made concession after concession to arrive at the recent INF Treaty. It would seem that the Russians are better Christians than we are.


If we consider two individuals, we can see how a conflict can escalate and get out of hand as each side one-ups the other. This creates an unstable situation, what in engineering terms is called an open loop. Christ's philosophy was such as to prevent this unstable situation from escalating to the point of break-down. The 'turn the other cheek' philosophy stabilizes the situation-creates a closed loop-de-escalates the conflict. That is the psychological wisdom behind it.


Another of Christ's teachings: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."19 According to this philosophy, we should be praising the Soviet Union for the good to be found there instead of calling it an 'evil empire.' Perhaps we should do something nice for them such as offering them a shipment of grain as a unilateral peace gesture. Much can be done unilaterally to create good-will. Good-will eases tension and fear and paranoia. After awhile both sides can't do enough for the other. This is the situation Christ was trying to create.


Unilateral gestures can do much to ease tensions. But, unfortunately, one person's peace gesture is another person's concession, and, for those who place negotiating strategy ahead of creating good-will, a concession is a sign of weakness. They believe in driving a hard bargain, being tough, not giving in. Making unilateral gestures, conceding points in advance, is seen as weakness rather than the strength of one who attempts to create good-will, the strength of a Christ, a spiritual strength as opposed to a physical strength. The prevailing negotiating philosophy is to 'win' the negotiations, prevail in the bargaining, get the other side to concede the most ahile, at the same time, conceding the least one's self. If, according to Clausewitz, war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means, then, by the same token, negotiating becomes the continuation of war by yet another means. The unstated but full intention is to remain adversaries and to win whatever the arena. They want to strike a bargain in which their will prevails over the other side, and it is their assumption that our military strength forces the other side to make concessions to us. This 'bargaining from strength' attitude is based on the assumption that the only operative consideration is power or the implied use of power and that the other side will only respond if it is impressed by our strength. This is very definitely a Nietzschean rather than a Christian assumption. 'Bargaining from strength' where strength is measured in Christian terms can be conceived as a policy whose impression is made by a willingness and by demonstrated results which show the intention of creating peace by alleviating poverty and suffering in the world.

     The prevailing negotiating strategy is to strike a bargain in which our will prevails over the other side. No wonder negotiations on nuclear arms reductions tend to fail. This is not a peace process. This is gamesmanship. This is not the creation of friendship and mutual trust. This is winning at the civilized game of diplomacy and statecraft rather than the uncivilized game of war. We need to learn that peace cannot come about by winning at any game no matter how civilized. No genuine peace is created or can be created until there is a feeling of good-will, mutual respect and understanding between the two sides. This is why Christ stressed going out of one's way to love one's enemies, do good to one's enemies. This is true wisdom, true strength. This is a peace process. This creates peace whether one's eneny likes it or not. Trying to prevail in a test of wills or by achieving technological superiority does not work because it does not create peace. It may or may not prevent war, but peace does not come about until there are good feelings on both sides, until we can relax around each other and wish each other well.

     One thing we must learn is that peace is not just the absence of war. Peace is a positive state with a definite content-what the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, referred to as Wen-the 'arts of peace'-which consist of music, art, poetry, the sum of culture in its esthetic mode. "The intriguing aspect of Confucius' doctrine of Wen, however, is neither his esteem for the arts in their own right nor his confidence in their didactic power but his insight into their relevance for international relations. What succeeds in interstate affairs? Here again the realists answered in terms of physical might, victory goes to the state with the largest army. Confucius on the contrary contended that the ultimate victory goes to the state that develops the highest Wen, the most exalted culture-the state that has the finest art, the noblest philosophy, the grandest poetry, and gives evidence of recognizing that 'it is the moral character of a neighborhood that constitutes its excellence.'"20 It is interesting that the activities that are considered to be manifestations of the feminine consciousness-poetry, music, art-are thought by Confucius to be the ways of peace whereas activities associated with the masculine consciousness-forcefulness, dominance, aggressiveness-are the qualities that best lend themselves to war. I think it is a crucial issue for most men and one which we will explore in more detail later whether giving up war means giving up their masculinity, means becoming feminized.


A significant part of the content of a state of peace in today's world must be the raising of the majority of the world's people who live in poverty above the poverty line. This must be done both by the provision of short-term necessities to sustain life and in terms of a long term investment in the people's ability to sustain their own lives at a decent level. In order to speak of peace in any Christian terms, we must speak of concern for the poor, the sick and the vulnerable which was the essence of Christ's concern.


We should ponder a moment on the phrase, 'It is the moral character of a neighborhood that constitutes its excellence.' Are not the two opposing philosophies of capitalism and communism in a moral struggle, a struggle for the minds and hearts of the world's peoples, and isn't this ultimately the arena in which the issue will be decided rather than the arena of war? A social philosophy's ability to address itself to the needs of the people both material and spiritual is ultimately what will either gain it acceptance or rejection. We should also bear in mind that the issue is not necessarily whether capitalism in its present form will prevail over communism or whether communism in its present form will prevail over capitalism. The issue may be and, from a historical perspective quite likely is, whether a new social philosophy which may be to some extent a synthesis of both systems might make them both obsolete and gain acceptance in the minds and hearts of the world's peoples. It is far less relevant who holds power than what ideas, what ideals and what visions have taken hold of the consciousness of the world's peoples.





Generally speaking, Jesus was against the personal, private accumulation of wealth which is the basis of capitalism. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor dust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."21 Jesus continually says that we should not be pre-occupied or obsessed with material things, that we should not strive after or put our primary energy into the pursuit of material things; that instead, we should put our energy and our priority into spiritual pursuits. "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought , saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefor no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."22


Consider for a moment the idea of our social structure, our political-economic system being a replica insofar as is possible and a manifestation of Jesus' idea of God. Jesus is talking as though God is a guarantor of life's basic needs, that one does not have to worry about them because God provides the security, the insurance that one's needs will be met. If our intent is to manifest that aspect of God's caring in our social institutions, then it would seem that we would set up society in such a way as to provide social security, protection and insurance meaning that one would have basic levels of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter guaranteed so that one would not have to spend one's life striving after them or pursuing them to excess to make up for a lack of security. This is not to say that they should be free, or that basic levels of everything should be provided to everyone regardless of need or that a person if able shouldn't participate in the processes which create food, shelter, clothing etc., but that that protection would be available in the event that a person became unable to provide it for himself. It does say that one should not have to be preoccupied with the fact that one's basic needs might not be met. We can implement in our social system if we care to do so a situation which is as close as possible to what Jesus describes as the ideal. This would be a society in which people truly did not have to be that  concerned about material things and accumulation precisely because society guaranteed that they could never go hungry or without shelter or medical care. It would be a society in which one could truly take risks with the knowledge that there was a real  safety net in case of a fall. It would be a society in which one could reach for the heights knowing that society would not let one fall to the depths. If we set up society to be an agent of God's will, if we do God's work for him as his representatives, in order to bring about the state of affairs that Jesus describes as ideal, which is to say that we shouldn't have to worry about our basic needs being provided, then the state of nature which God has created in which man is taken care of will have been recreated within the social system. 


Therefore, a society which mirrored God's intent for his children would be one which provided social guarantees regarding basic needs. Jesus also argued for a redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, that the rich should help the poor, that the strong should help the weak. "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."23 Jesus was concerned with the bottom end of society-the poor. He was concerned that basic needs should be met, and he was concerned that the rich would lose their spirituality by being immersed in and overly concerned with material things. Therefore, his concern for the rich was based on their disinvestment from their wealth, and the redistribution of this wealth to the poor. This creates a closed-loop, stable society in which wealth is recycled to those who need it rather than a society in which investments follow the paths that are most profitable to the rich. The kind of society in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is an inherently unstable society, a society with positive feedback. Jesus teaches that the investment should be by the strong in the weak, by the rich in the poor.

     The heart of the matter is power. Christian power is power in support of those in need rather than power over those in need. It is power which supports the weak rather than power over the weak. It is power which redresses the balance rather than power which accentuates the imbalance. "But Jesus called them unto him and said, Ye know that the Princes of the Gentiles  exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."24 What Jesus is saying here is  that those with greater than average talent, ability, energy or circumstances should use their advantage to help those with a less then average share of those personal or material resources. They shouldn't use their advantage to gain more at the expense of those who have less. Those with a surplus should use it in such a way as to compensate those who have a deficit. Instead of the dynamic of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, which is the dynamic of power over, the dynamic of the relatively strong exploiting their advantage over the relatively weak, Jesus converts the dynamic to the rich giving up their unneeded surplus to the poor so that the poor may be brought up to a higher economic level. At the same time by establishing societal guarantees, the fundamental insecurity which drives some rich people to accumulate more and more is removed because they do not have to provide for every contingency and emergency out of their own private reserve but instead are provided for, should such a contingency or emergency occur, out of the societal reserve. Jesus, by his personal example, used his own exceptional abilities not for personal gain but to help others. His motive was compassion not profit. Our responsibility, likewise, is to serve others in need and to see that resources are allocated according to need and not according to profit.


 Jesus placed grest emphasis on caring for children. In fact a mother's love and sacrifice for her child is a beautiful example of the strong helping the weak. "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."25 Notice the inversion again concerning greatness. The person who is great is the person who humbles himself as a little child just as in the previous passage the person who was great was the person who ministered unto rather than powered over. And yet we live in a world which is sacrificing its children and its future to the power interests of the present generation. From "Destruction Before Detonation: The Impact of the Arms Race on Health and Health Care," by Victor W. Sidel:


"Overnight, 20,000 children have died of preventable illness. The number of children who will die preventable deaths in the next 3 days is greater than the number of people killed by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ...One way [to visualize this] to use the analogy of a metronome, set to beat once a second. With every other beat-once every two seconds-a child dies of a preventable disease, a disease that could have been prevented by immunisation, safe water supply, or basic adequate food supply. With each intervening beat-also once every two seconds-a child is severely and permanently disabled, either physically or mentally, by a preventable illness and is destined to live the rest of his or her life with that disability. In other words, with each beat of the metronome a child is killed or maimed by preventable disease. At the same time as this appalling, needless sacrifice of human lives, the world is spending every second-with each beat of the metronome-the equivalent of $25,000 on arms."26


It seems like as a society, as a people, we would be better off to have a millstone hung around our neck and be cast into the depths of the sea! And this poverty among children is not only confined to the Third World. In Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan's book, "Family and Nation," he points out that the poverty rate among children in the US is seven times the rate among senior citizens. While the poverty rate among seniors has declined thanks to Social Security, the poverty rate among children has increased thanks to cutbacks in school lunch programs and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. In the US one out of five children is beneath the poverty line.

     In an article entitled, "True Victims of Poverty: the Children," Bob Drogin states:


"Between 1979 and 1983, the number of poor children soared from 3.7 million to 13.8 million, according to government reports. By the most recent estimate, 22.2% of America's children under age 18-the highest rate in two decades-live in impoverished families. Despite the increase, fewer children receive basic government aid, and what they do get is less generous....Hardest hit are the youngest and most vulnerable. One in four children under age 6 is poor. Family type is critical: Half of all poor children live in families without fathers. And race is crucial: Nearly half of all black children, more than one-third of all Latino youngsters, compared to one-sixth of all white children, are poor. All told, nearly 40% of America's 35.3 million poor people are children....This time, a weak economy and cuts in Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the major Federal-state welfare program, were chiefly to blame, according to congressional studies....Second, Reagan Administration budget cuts in 1981 caused an estimated 1 million children to lose AFDC eligibility, according to a May, 1984, General Accounting Office study. Between 1981 and 1984, federal spending for welfare fell by 19% while the average monthly caseload fell 14%.

     Additional cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, maternal health, child nutrition, education and other social programs exacerbated the welfare cuts. All told, federal spending fell by 11% in about 25 federal programs affecting children since 1981, according to a study prepared for the Urban Institute last December.

     'In general, the federal government has abandoned children,' said Madeleine H. Kimmich, author of the study. 'Where states have picked up the burden, they've done all right. But a lot of states haven't, and a lot of children have fallen through the cracks.'"27


In a continuation of the LA Times series on poverty, we read:


"At a time when one in seven Americans is poor-and the poverty rate is at a 20-year high-the government is doing less to help them. More research about poverty accumulates each year, but public policy  often is shaped on the basis of myths about the poor and misconceptions about what the public wants to do for them.

     An intensive study by The Times...shows:

     -Although President Reagan has whittled back aid to the poor, the newest evidence is that the public would prefer to do much more-not less-to ease the burden of the needy. According to a Times poll, 73% of the public favor government action on behalf of the poor and 57% would even be willing to approve a 1% federal sales tax to pay for it. About 55% say that Reagan cares most about the rich; only 2% say he cares most about the poor.

     If Americans somtimes picture the poor as derelicts like Soapy the bum, a more accurate image is far more pathetic. Nearly 40% of the nation's 35.3 million poor people are children. The world's wealthiest nation now has a growing number of children at risk of death and disease, hunger, and cold, poor schooling and housing, abuse and neglect. The ultimate cost will come in higher medical bills, rising crime and other social ills."


The article goes on to make some interesting observations on poverty and morality:


"That despair rises from disparity is a theme as old as history, and that the duty of the strong is to help the weak is an obligation as rooted as morality itself.

Hammurabi, ruler of Babylonia almost two thousand years before Christ, listed the protection of widows and orphans as an essential part of his famous legal code. Ancient Hebrew doctrine made it a duty of the virtuous to give and a right of the needy to receive. Christians believe that Jesus, by his earthly example, sanctified poverty. To help the poor was proof of devotion to God and necessary to eternal salvation....[However,]far less devout 'social Darwinists' advanced a similarly harsh conclusion: Society is a jungle and it correctly rewards the fittest and punishes the feeble."28


Our national priorities are the opposite of what Christ's priorities would be if he were living today. According to World Military and Social Expenditures 1985, by Ruth Leger Sivard:


"Public budgets are microcosms of global priorities. They provide a quick overview of the apportionment of public funds between military and other needs of society. In chart 11, the contrasts between two kinds of priorities, both essential for the security of society, begin to emerge. The message conveyed is that military power is the primary, overriding preoccupation of governments to the neglect of other obligations which are also vital to society's security. The contrasts raise troubling questions about the perspective which public authorities have been bringing to the allocation process. In 1983 military defense received more public money than was spent on education for 1.5 billion children of school age-although for hundreds of millions of these children there were still no school places available. More public money went to defend citizens against the possibility of military attack than against the every-day ravages of ill-health disease and injury-although the most elementary health-care systems were still lacking in many countries.

     Looking beyond the immediate dollar comparisons, the budget priorities give a sense of some of the opportunities foregone in the drive for national military power. Among them are investments with long-range potential for every country: a more educated and trained citizenry, healthy children, a population better able to ensure a strong and secure world,

     Lost too are the opportunities for cooperative international action to resolve some of the most threatening problems facing the world community, problems which no amount of military force can begin to resolve."29


In an article in the November 1985 Sojourners magazine entitled, "The Way America Does Business," by Danny Collum, the author states:


"The biblical emphasis is not so much on the mechanics of producing and distributing material goods as on how such activities reflect a right relationaship to God and one's neighbors. Within that overall emphasis, some fairly specific biblical principles for economic activity can also be discerned. One is that the creation and all its fruits belong to God and are made available to humankind in order to meet the needs of all, which is to say that human ownership of property is not absolute and cannot be allowed to take precedence over human need. The primary standard the Bible gives us for judging any economic system is the priority of the poor. The righteousness of a people is to be seen in how they treat the weakest members of society.

The Hebrew prophets proclaimed that the true worship God desires is that we secure justice for the poor. And Jesus went so far as to teach that by meeting the needs of the poor, we are directly serving the Son of God, and, conversely, that to turn away the poor is to reject Christ.

The prophets declared that excessive accumulations of wealth were the result of exploitation. In the book of James, holders of great wealth, as a class, are categorically denounced as the oppressors and persecutors of God's people. The jubilee year was promulgated in order to periodically cancel the effects of exploitation and level the accumulation of wealth.

In addition, Jesus repeatedly taught that great wealth, however attained, was in itself an impediment to the whole and righteous life God desires. The practice of economic life in the early church ensured that there were no rich or poor among the early Christians.

Biblical teaching also requires that economic activity consider not only the welfare of human beings but also the rest of creation, including animals and the land itself. The Sabbath was a day of rest for the farmer and also specifically for the oxen. It was mandated that every seventh year the land be left fallow so that it could regenerate itself.

All of these biblical teachings and principles have clear, and often damning, implications for the way economic life is conducted in the United States today. One can only imagine the rage of the prophet Amos at the prospect of $60 billion in corporate tax cuts paid for by cutting infant nutrition programs. Or the weeping of Micah and Isaiah at our country's $300 billion military budget at a time when millions of the world's people are starving. The injunction to be good stewards of the earth is mocked by acid rain and our reckless production and careless disposal of an endless variety of toxic chemicals."30


The point is that the expenditure of resources on means of destruction instead of on the means of relief of suffering of people who turn out to be primarily children is in direct contradiction with Jesus' teaching: "Whosoever receiveth one of these little ones receiveth me. Whosoever offends one of these little ones, it were better that a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea."  From Staying Alive by Roger Walsh:


"Yet even if these weapons are never exploded and waste storage problems are solved, there still remains the problem of the enormous waste of resources, money and manpower. Nuclear weapons now consume $100 billion per year worldwide. In 1983 total military expenditures consumed an inconceivanble $660 billion, an amount equivalent to $1.8 billion per day or $1.25 million per minute, and the amount continues to rise each year. As Bernard Lown, President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, notes, 'A small fraction of these expenditures could provide the world with adequate food and sanitary water supply, housing, education, and modern health care.' Indeed, the Presidential Commission on World Hunger estimated that it would cost only $6 billion per year to eradicate malnutrition, an amount equivalent to less than four days' arms expenditures. Pope Paul IV anguished that the arms race kills whether the weapons are used or not, and President Eisenhower lamented that 'every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, and those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.'"31


One begs the question: Why are we as a society spending enormously greater sums of money on militarism than it would take to solve the root causes of war which are poverty and disease? The only answer can be that, at some level, we simply don't care if their children starve, that we're more interested in protecting the "American Way of Life" than we are in seeing to it that a humane way of life is made possible for every human being on the planet, that they are not our responsibility, we are not our brother's keeper. We are more interested in keeping what we have than we are in seeing others get what we have even if we get to keep what we have.

Jack Beatty writes in the LA Times on February 7, 1988:


"Since 1981...we have spent $2 trillion on defense. That works out to $743 million per day, $31 million per hour, $516,000 per minute and almost $9,000 per second. We spent $736 billion defending Europe, $294 billion defending Asia, another $294 billion defending the Persian Gulf, $147 billion defending North America and $427 billion on the strategic nuclear forces that defend us against the Soviet Union's nuclear forces. While the number of men and women in the armed services has barely increased since 1981 (rising from 2,062,000 to 2,168,000), the Administration has boosted military research 50%, to $400 billion. It has spent $27 billion on the B-1 bomber, $16 billion on the MX missile, $19 billion on the Aegis cruiser, $13 billion on the Tridentll missile and $13 billion on "Star Wars" research, to name a few of the weapons systems to which the average American household has contributed $21,000 over the past seven years.

Eighty-five percent of this spending...may be locked in place by 1989, so, even if international conditions should permit, the next President will probably not be able to cut the cost of defense significantly.

To return to our question: Has this unprecedented peacetime build-up made us safer than we were before Reagan came to office? (That it has made us poorer is taken for granted: The $1 trillion U.S. taxpayers spent defending Europe and Asia, for example, helped make the world safe for Toyota and BMW, if not for democracy.)"32


 From Following Christ in a Consumer Society by John Francis Kavanaugh:


"We already live in a country which feeds its dogs a better diet than a fourth of the world's humans are fed-a phenomenon made painfully clear in our latest marketing discovery of diet-food products for our hapless overweight dogs. We consume more products to take off weight than some countries spend to put it on. We have doubled our meat consumption in the last twenty years and increased the death-related health hazards caused by dietary superfluity. Meanwhile, there is much earnest talk of 'lifeboat ethics' and the abandonment of the world's poor because there is 'not enough to go around'; and at the same time we continue to suffocate in our pollution-generating abundance.

...Our toughness in defense is a devastation for the poor-not only in the rest of the world, but in our own cities and communities. Even before the Reagan proposal of a $222 billion military budget for 1982 (the largest peacetime increase in the history of the Pentagon),the amount that the US appropriated for food stamps in fiscal year 1981 would run the Pentagon for a mere 33 minutes. And yet, we are told, it is the poor who must cut back. Our US Food for Peace appropriations would run the Pentagon for three minutes. In fact, all of the US contributions to United Nations programs from 1946 to 1978 would run the Pentagon for barely nineteen days."33


Speaking of dogs, in an article in the LA Times entitled "...And now There's a Health Spa for your Dog," we find: "And there are the show dogs who find that regular workouts on a treadmill are a more civilized way of staying trim than jogging along behind their owner's cars in a grimy parking lot after the shoppers have gone. ...By March, Harkey hopes to install a lap pool...and around the same time she plans to introduce exercise classes.

"The crowning addition, a Roman-style bath, set in an alcove of fake marble, was blessed by Bishop John J. Ward of St. Timothy's Church in Rancho Park."34 What next? Yuppie dogs wearing jogging suits, doing aerobics and sipping protein smoothies?


We have to disabuse ourselves of the notion that making a profit justifies our activities and allows us to ignore the plights of other human beings who are suffering.  The point is that the poor of the world do not constitute a market which is profitable to sell to since they don't have any money.  So as a society we design goods and services to be sold to the affluent, those who already have, as opposed to those who have not.  And we use the profit motive to justify the fact that we are ignoring the plight of the poor.  It is profitable to sell to the rich; it is not profitable to sell to the poor.  There has to come a point at which our responsibility to our fellow man, to leave the world  a better place than we found it, takes precedence over our responsibility to seek the highest profits.

      The Catholic Bishops in the First Draft of their Pastoral letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy dated November 11, 1984 state:  " The justice of a community is measured by its treatment of the poor and powerless in society.  Like the prophets, Jesus takes the side of those who are powerless or on the margins of society....Wealth is evil when it so dominates a person's life that it becomes an idol claiming allegiance apart from God or when it blinds a person to the suffering and needy neighbor."35  The person whose modus operandi is the pursuit of profitsi.e.   the typical American businessman, is by necessity blinded to the suffering and needy neighbor precisely because there are no profits to be made from the suffering and needy neighbor.  We need to change this so that our economic activities are directed towards solving the world's problems not perpetuating and exacerbating them.

       To continue with the Catholic Boshops letter: "Biblical perspectives on wealth and poverty form the basis for what today is called 'the preferential option for the poor.'  This option challenges the contemporary church to speak for those who are defenseless and poor and to assess social institutions and policies in terms of their impact on the poor.....The church is called to be a community of disciples, a community which commits itself to solidarity  with those who suffer and to confrontation with the sinful structures that institutionalize injustice."

       The Catholic Bishops then go on to take up the very unAmerican notion of economic rights:  "The nation must take up the task of framing a new national consensus that all persons have rights in the economic sphere and that society has a moral obligation to take the necessary steps to ensure that no one among us is hungry, homeless, unemployed or otherwise denied what is necessary to live with dignity.

"The experiment in political democracy carried out by America's founders did a great deal to ensure the protection of civil and political rights in our nation.  The time has come for a similar experiment in economic democracy:  the creation of an order that guarantees the minimum  conditions of human dignity in the economic sphere for every person."


Another crucial Biblical text dealing with Jesus' attitude toward the poor and his expressed emphasis on the importance of our responsibility to our fellow man especially the most vulnerable is Matthew 25:31-46.  This passage is important not only because it affirms the absolute equality of all human beings - that the lowliest human being is equal in importance to the most exalted - but also because it states that Jesus' criteria for salvation are based on how a person treats the lowliest members of society, not on the precise nature of his belief system as many fundamentalists would have us believe.  This passage takes on even more significance since it was Jesus' last teaching before he was apprehended and crucified. 


"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set his sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick and ye visited me:  I  was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?  or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungered,  and ye gave me no meat:  Iwas thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:  naked, and ye clothed me not:  sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal."


In regard to this passage, John Francis Kavanaugh writes:


"Marx in his wildest dreams, humanists in their most articulate flights, secularists in their most vaunted claims, cannot approach the revolutionary, the humanistic reaches of this statement.  Nowhere has humanity been more highly exalted.  The least human person-the dregs, the poorest, the least attractive or productive, the least wanted, the most homely, unintelligent, or unappealing, the most neglected or forgotten human person, is identified with Jesus himself, identified with God himself.  The identification is stronger then even that of our most important eucharistic texts.  And recognizing the sacramental presence of Christ in the poor demands as much the eyes of faith, if not more, than seeing Christ's sacramental presence under the sign of bread.

Empirical observation, measurement, or description will not penetrate the appearance of bread to see the person of Christ.  Nor will they yield the face of God in the eyes of the poor.  What is exacted of us in both cases is committed faith and hope in the promise of God.

Thus, the last test before the Passion narrative is one that clearly delineates the conditions of salvation, the expression of faith, and the intimacy of God's presence in our lives.  Note that is is not tithing, not sacrifice, not church-going, not even the most meticulous fidelity to sobriety, continence, or obedience, that Christ insists upon:  it is our response to the least of human persons, to the poor, the sick, the old and abandoned, the hungary and thirsty, the naked, the imprisoned and unattended.

What strange gaps of history, conscience, and understanding, therefore, have been at work in us to trick us into calling world hunger a mere question of politics, not religion; into calling basic human equality and food-drink equity a phantasm of bleeding-heart liberals; into calling prison reform a plot of communists and muddle-headed professors; into calling the aid of refugees some mighty beneficence above and beyond duty or even human respectability; into calling the distribution of clothing and other of our earth's wealth unfashionably utopian.

It is the Christian, the church-going believer, who must face the words of Christ and then try to continue in conscience ignoring the poor, the dispossessed, the hungry , the imprisoned, and the homeless.  For if Christians turn away from the 'least of these' in the name of pragmatics, hardheaded realism, or, the worst blasphemy in the name of religion, they are turning away from none other than the Christ they profess to believe in.  They are turning away from the greatest commandment.  They are turning away from God.  They are ultimately turning away from themselves.  It is not so much that our compassionate God condemns us.  We condemn ourselves-clinging now and eternally to the smallness of our logic and our fears, to a shrivelled hope and self-consciousness defined by the lords of culture; to feasibility, affluence, and the commodity.

Thus, the greatest tragedy for Christians happens when they sell, ignore, or explain away the heart of their belief itself, of their very God, to the dictates of practicality, helplessness, self-defense, consumption, and marketability.  Yet it is not as if the living of this truth has ceased to be.  Perhaps the greatest benefactions of the churches is that they have provided the soil for continual witness to the actual values of Christ.  The institutions of hospitals, leper colonies, old-age care, even education {though often lost in the massive dimensions of corporateness}, have to some extent been testimony to the values of Christ.  And often the greatest saints, declared or otherwise, have lived-albeit often in opposition to established power-such a truth.  Even today, Christ's witness and Christian testimony continue to move hearts, nudge wills, and compel minds into the direction of wholeheartedness, compassion, and service.

But the overwhelming fact is that the values of culture so often seem to take deeper hold, strike deeper root, on our everyday perception and self-expectation.   The message of loving even the least human being has been lost in the din of commercialism, in the clamor of anti-communism and racism, in the fears of external aggression and the loss of our world predominance, in the panic of over-population, and in the cost-benefit analysis of how to deal with the old, the poor, the criminal, the unborn, the politically neutral."





There are a number of aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy to consider. First, he considered all men to be in a basically antagonistic relationship with each other. Sometimes this antagonism flared into war of which he highly approved: "Hence all war is good, despite the vulgar pettiness of its causes in modern times; 'a good war halloweth any cause.'"37 At other times this antagonism manifested itself in more or less peaceable competitiveness in the economic and political arenas. This competitive process separated people in different ways: survivors and non-survivors; winners and losers; lords and underlings; victims and victimizers. It tends to produce a hierarchical ordering of society with the stronger, the more intelligent, the more capable near the top of the hierarchy and the weaker, the less intelligent, the less capable near the bottom. History, written by the stronger and more intelligent, made this seem the natural order of things. Thus the strong triumphed over the weak, and it was the function of the weak to serve the strong: "Nature abhors equality, it loves differentiation of individuals and classes and species. Socialism is anti-biological; the process of evolution involves the utilization of the inferior species, race, class or individual by the superior. All life is exploitation, and subsists ultimately on other life; big fishes catch little fishes and eat them, and that is the whole story."38 Of course all life does not subsist ultimately on other life but ultimately on energy from the sun mostly in the form of plant life. We see here the origins of social Darwinism: the survival of the fittest. Also a justification for racism and discrimination in all its forms. According to Nietzsche the fittest should survive and prevail and the weak should not. This is nature's way. It insures purification of the species. Strength is the ultimate virtue. "Good is that which survives, which wins; bad is that which gives way and fails."39


Nietzsche had no compassion for the weak, no desire to help them. His only concern for them is that they be utilized by the strong in any way that  they see fit. There was no noblesse oblige; no responsibility on the part of the strong and intelligent to help the weak and disadvantaged. On the contrary it was the prerogative of the overlings to exploit the underlings.  "To demand of strength that it should not  express itself as strength, that it should not  be a desire to overcome, a desire to throw down, a desire to become master, a thirst for enemies and resistances and triumphs, is just as absurd as to demand of weakness that it should express itself as strength."40


Not only did Nietzsche have no compassion, he went astep further by actually relishing the contemplation of cruelty in the world. "Nietzsche is consoled to find so much evil and cruelty in the world; he takes a sadistic pleasure in reflecting on the extent to which he thinks 'cruelty constituted the great joy and delight of ancient man'; and he believed that our pleasure in the tragic drama, or in anything sublime, is a refined and vicarious cruelty. 'Man is the cruelist animal,' says Zarathustra. 'When gazing at tragedies, bull-fights and crucifixions, he hath hitherto felt happier than at any other time on earth. And when he invented hell...lo, hell was his heaven on earth; he could put up with suffering now, by contemplating the eternal punishment of his oppressors in the other world.'"41

     Cruelty for Nietzsche was not something regrettable, but, on the contrary, was something to be delighted in, a source of great pleasure.


"Let us be clear as to the logic of this form of compensation: it is strange enough. An equivalence is provided bu the creditor's receiving, in place of a literal compensation for an injury (thus in place of money, land, possessions of any kind), a recompense in the form of a kind of pleasure-the pleasure of being allowed to vent his power freely upon one who is powerless, the voluptious pleasure 'de faire le mal pour le plaisir de le faire,'  (of doing evil for the pleasure of doing it), the enjoyment of violation. This enjoyment will be the greater the lower the creditor stands in the social order, and can easily appear to him as a most delicious morsel, indeed as a foretaste of higher rank. In 'punishing' the debtor, the creditor participates in a right of the masters : at last he, too, may experience for once the exalted sensation of being allowed to despise and mistreat someone as 'beneath him'-or at least, if the actual power and administration of punishment has already passed to the 'authorities', to see  him despised and mistreated. The compensation, then, consists in a warrant for and a pleasure in cruelty."42


This kind of sadism, the pleasure of inflicting pain on someone who is powerless, we find, is a constant theme of Nietzsche's writings. This is the type of philosophy that legitimized the cruelty of the Nazis. Whereas for Jesus, the highest moral value was to alleviate suffering, for Nietzsche, the highest moral value was to inflict suffering. "To see others suffer does one good, to make others suffer even more: this is a hard saying but an ancient, mighty, human, all-too-human principle to which even the apes might subscribe; for it has been said that in devising bizarre cruelties they anticipate man and are, as it were, his 'prelude.' Without cruelty there is no festival: thus the longest and most ancient part of human history teaches-and in punishment there is so much that is festive!"43 To Jesus, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, loving one's neighbor, these were festive occasions, not making people suffer.


For those who are revulsed by the spectre of the advocacy of pain and cruelty, Nietzsche offers a caveat of comfort: "Perhaps in those days-the delicate may be comforted by this thought-pain did not hurt as much as it does now; at least that is the conclusion a doctor may arrive at who has treated Negroes (taken as representatives of prehistoric man) for severe internal inflammations that would drive even the best constituted European to distraction-in the case of the Negroes they do not  do so. (The curve of human susceptibility to pain seems in fact to take an extraordinary and almost sudden drop as soon as one has passed the upper ten thousand or ten million of the top stratum of culture; and for my own part, I have no doubt that the combined suffering of all the animals ever subjected to the knife for scientific ends is utterly negligible compared with one  painful night of a single hysterical bluestocking.)"44 So at least one justification for subjecting the lower classes including Negroes to cruel punishment is that they don't feel the pain as much as the "top stratum" do. This dehumanization of one's enemies has legitimized the slaughter of many innocent people and has made it possible to contemplate with equanimity the starving to death of people in the concentration camps of World War 2 as well as the loss of life that proceeds slowly,inexorably, due to poverty and malnutrition, in the Third World today.


For Nietzsche there was not enough cruelty in the world. So I suppose he would have relished the prospect of millions of Black Africans starving to death. He would have said it's nature's way of eliminating the riff-raff. He would have said the same thing about the homeless that freeze to death in the streets. I suppose he would have been in favor of heart transplants for the rich and powerful (after they had had the bugs worked out by experimenting with them on the poor), but he definitely would not have been in favor of providing them for those who couldn't pay. By their inability to pay, they have classified themselves as less fit members of society, and, therefore, candidates for an earlier demise. All life is not to be valued, only superior life. Inferior life deserves an early demise and if this can be hurried along by the superior so much the better. It is nature's way not just to let the weak die of natural causes, but to have the strong participate in and hasten their destruction. It was perfectly acceptable to Nietzsche that the weak and less able to fend for themselves die off in famines or other natural disasters or that they be eliminated by the policies of the stronger ruling class. We can see how this philosophy is the perfect backdrop for Fascism and how this philosophy guides the actions and policies of many countries in the world today most notably South Africa.


It is not important whether or not Nietzsche was anti-Semitic. Some of his writings actually praise the Jews whom he contrasts favorably with Jesus. Other of his writings take on a somewhat negative tone towards the Jews. The important point, philosophically speaking, is that a group of people are singled out to be despised even if they are chosen without regard to race, religion or national origin. The essence of Fascism is not its anti-Jewishness but its hatred of the weak and powerless whoever they may be. Therefore, Nietzsche was the prototypical Fascist and gave philosophical justification to the notion that the strong had the right to dispose of the weak in whatever way they saw fit, the crueler the better.


These ideas suited Hitler  perfectly. Purification of the master race would come about by eliminating the inferior races and the inferior individuals within the master race-the mentally defective, the physically handicapped, the disabled. In fact Hitler had plans to eradicate such people. Just as in nature it is the sick, old and injured members of the herd that are preyed upon first since they are less able to make it to safety, purifying the herd, as it were, so would he insure that in society, by eliminating the weak and defective members, only the strong and fit would survive and reproduce. Therefore, it is wrong to have compassion for the poor, the riff-raff. It's wrong to help the sick and needy because society will be better off once these defective members are eliminated. According to Nietzsche it would be wrong to set up programs to help the retarded; programs should be set up to help the gifted so as to encourage the emergence of superior individuals and to discourage the merely so-so, the average, the less-than-average the mediocre. Social welfare programs should benefit the  talented, the strong, the already well-off, so that from this class of acknowledgedly superior individuals there might emerge a super-class of even more powerful and talented individuals and from this class might emerge the one super-talented, super-strong, super-powerful individual, the Superman.


"The magnitiude of an 'advance' can even be measured by the mass of things that had to be sacrificed to it; mankind in the mass sacrificed to the prosperity of a single stronger  species of man-that would  be an advance."45 Thus the strong bend the weak to their will and use them as they see fit whether in terms of cannon fodder, cheap labor or cruel amusement. The masters subdue the slaves. "I employed the word 'state': it is obvious what is meant-some pack of blond beasts of prey, a conqueror and master race which, organized for war and with the ability to organize, unhesitatingly lays its terrible claws upon a populace perhaps tremendously superior in numbers but still formless and nomad. That is after all how the 'state' began on earth: I think that sentimentalism which would have it begin with a 'contract' has been disposed of. He who can command, he who is by nature 'master', he who is violent in act and bearing-what has he to do with contracts!"46 A master race organized for war that takes what it wants, what its superior strength and might entitles it to, that unhesitatingly attacks the populace, this is Nietzsche's ideal. The unbridled use of power is the supreme value, and there is no concern for the victims of this power except in how they might be useful to the powerful.


The sick were of special concern to Nietzsche, not because he was interested in helping them, but because they might have a corrupting influence on the healthy. "The sick represent the greatest danger for the healthy; it is not  the strongest but the weakest who spell disaster for the strong. ...The sick  are man's greatest danger; not  the evil, not  the 'beasts of prey.' Those who are failures from the start, downtrodden, crushed-it is they, the weakest , who must undermine life among men, who call into question and poison most dangerously our trust in life, in man, and in ourselves. ...the conspiracy of the suffering against the well-constituted and victorious, here the aspect of the victorious is hated."47 Contrast this hatred of the sick and the weak with Christ's compassion and special concern for the sick and the weak and we begin to understand how these two philosophies are extreme and polar opposites  of one another. Christ's concern in caring for the sick is contrasted with Nietzsche's concern in caring for the strong and healthy and not caring for the sick. "But no greater or more calamitous misunderstanding is possible than for the happy, well-constituted, powerful in soul and body, to begin to doubt their right to happiness  in this fashion. Away with this 'inverted world'! Away with this shameful emasculation of feeling! That the sick should not  make the healthy sick-and this is what such an emasculation would involve-should surely be our supreme concern on earth; but this requires above all that the healthy should be segregated  from the sick, guarded even from the sight of the sick, that they may not confound themselves with the sick."48 Absolutely no compassion here! The sick were to be of absolutely no concern to the strong and healthy except perhaps as objects of scorn! Interestingly enough, when Nietzsche speaks of a 'right to happiness' it reminds one of the similar phrase in the US Constitution, the 'pursuit of happiness.' Although the US Constitution does not guarantee the right to happiness, just the right to pursue it, the implication is that there is no responsibility to one's fellow man to alleviate their unhappiness just a responsibility to self to pursue one's own self-centered happiness without constraint.


Nietzsche did not believe in equality. After all men, by nature, were inherently unequal. Why should society enshrine the idea that one man was worth as much as another when clearly by nature some were strong and intelligent and some were not. He credits Christianity for the (to him) repugnant notion that all men are of equal worth and value. "This valuation was brought to a peak by Jesus: with him every man was of equal worth and had equal rights; out of his doctrine came democracy, utilitarianism, socialism."49 "All systems of socialism placed themselves unwittingly...upon the common ground of (Christian) doctrines."50 Nietzsche places himself very squarely in a position of diametric opposition to Christianity and Christian values and identifies Christianity as the progenitor of both democracy and socialism. For him there was no conflict between democracy and socialism; indeed they both came from the same wellspring: Christ's teachings.


" opposition to the mendacious slogan of ressentiment  , 'supreme rights of the majority,' in opposition to the will to the lowering, the abasement, the leveling and the decline and twilight of mankind, there sounded stronger, simpler, and more insistently than ever the terrible and rapturous counterslogan 'supreme rights of the few'!"51 "The democratic ideosyncracy which opposes everything that dominates and wants to dominate...has permeated the realm of the spirit..."52 " A predominance of mandarins  always means that there is something wrong; so do the advent of democracy, international courts in place of war, equal rights for women, the religion of pity, and whatever other symptoms of declining life there are."53



"The poison of the doctrine of 'equal rights for all'-it was Christianity that spread it most fundamentally. Out of the most secret nooks of bad instincts, Christianity has waged war unto death against all sense of respect and feeling of distance between man and man, that is to say, against the presupposition of every elevation, of every growth of culture; out of the ressentiment of the masses it forged its chief weapon against us, against all that is noble, gay, high-minded on earth, against our happiness on earth. 'Immortality' conceded to every Peter and Paul has so far been the greatest, the most malignant, attempt to assasinate noble humanity.

And let us not underestimate the calamity which crept out of Christianity into politics. Today nobody has the courage any longer for privileges, for masters' rights, for a sense of respect for oneself and one's peers-for a pathos of distance. Our politics is sick from this lack of courage.

The aristocratic outlook was undermined from the deepest underworld through the lie of the equality of souls; and if faith in the 'prerogative of the majority' makes and will make revolutions-it is Christianity, beyond a doubt, it is Christian value judgments, that every revolution simply translates into blood and crime."54


Democracy and democratic values had no merit; nor did socialism nor socialistic values. We begin to get a glimpse here of the tremendous split personality which America has been living with for most of our history. On the one hand we are pro-democracy, and this is in accordance with our Christian heritage. On the other hand we are anti-socialism and this is contrary to our Christian heritage. Try as we may, it is very hard to make the ideal of socialism anti-Christian and the ideal of capitalism pro-Christian. Both democracy and socialism are based on the same notion of equality of worth of human beings which is a basic Christian value.


Nietzsche believed that only that social order in which a superman, a genius, might emerge was justified. An aristocracy, a top-down hierarchy with the superman on top and the less able further down according to their inherent worth measured in terms of physical and mental strength, suited him. "Consequently, the road to the superman must be through aristocracy. Democracy-'this mania for counting noses'- must be eradicated before it is too late. The first step here is the destruction of Christianity as far as all higher men are concerned. The triumph of Christ was the beginning of democracy: 'the first Christian was in his deepest instincts a rebel against everything privileged; he lived and struggled unremittingly for 'equal rights.' 'He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant'-this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity; indeed as one reads the Gospel, one feels the atmosphere of a Russian novel; ...Only among the lowly could such notions take root; and only in an age whose ruler had degenerated and ceased to rule."55 A person's right to rule was based solely on his ability to exert power. If someone came along who was more of a superman than the one presently in power, then it was in the natural order of things for the contender to topple the present ruler and so on. This is the way it is among some species of animals, for instance, the elk. The dominant male elk keeps the whole herd of females for himself. Other male contenders try to topple him and take over the harem for themselves. Eventually, one is successful. One must question the propensity of Nietzsche and others to take animal behavior as  the model for human behavior and the fact that we as human beings must act that way, that we don't have any free choice over our behavior and that we must act a certain way because nature has ordained it. Man is man precisely because he does have the ability to choose among different ways of being, different ways of conducting himself, in the world. We are not obligated to pattern our behavior after some species in the animal kingdom. We have the ability to compare different types of behavior and to make a moral choice among them.


According to Nietzsche, life should be a prize fight with winner take all. Compassion for the poor is replaced by disdain for the poor and respect for one's betters and strongers. The poor, the downtrodden, the weak the poor in spirit were to be scorned as worthless trash. "The love for the powerful and the hatred for the powerless which is so typical for the sadomasochistic character explains a great deal of Hitler's and his followers' political actions. While the Republican government thought they could appease the Nazis by treating them leniently, they not only failed to appease them but aroused their hatred by the very lack of power and firmness they showed. Hitler hated the Wiemar Republic because it was weak and he admired the industrial and military leaders because they had power. He never fought against established strong power but always against groups which he thought to be essentially powerless. Hitler's-and for that matter Mussolini's-'revolution' happened under the protection of existing power and their favorite objects were those who could not defend themselves."56


The rich and powerful are to be admired for being exceptional specimens of humanity according to Nietzsche. Relationships should proceed from authority. Just as a powerful ruler should have authority over his subjects, so a husband should have authority over his wife and children. "Equality between man and woman is impossible, because war between them is eternal; there is here no peace without victory-peace comes only when one or the other of them is acknowledged master. It is dangerous to try equality with a woman; she will not be content with that; she will rather be content with subordination if the man is a man."57 Hitler echoes a similar sentiment:"Like a woman...who will submit to the strong man rather than dominate the weakling, thus the masses love the ruler rather then the suppliant, and inwardly they are far  more satisfied by a doctrine that tolerates no rival than by the grant of liberal freedom; they often feel a loss as to what to do with it, and even easily feel themselves deserted. They neither realize the impudence with which they are spiritually terrorized, nor the outrageous curtailment of their human liberties for in no way does the delusion of this doctrine dawn upon them."58 People will be taught to obey and above all to respect authority. This whole psychological issue of strength vs. weakness goes to the core of not only personal relationships but also of relationships between superpowers. It is also a core issue between Christ's 'turn the other cheek' and 'the strong should help the weak' and Nietzsche's 'the strong should dominate the weak.'


Nietzsche on marriage and the family:"Never, absolutely never, can an institution be founded on an idiosyncracy; one cannot, as I have said, found marriage on 'love'-it can be founded on the sex drive, on the property drive (wife and children as property, on the drive to dominate, which continually organizes for itself the smallest structure of domination, the family, and which needs children and heirs to hold an attained measure of power, influence and wealth, in order to prepare for long-range tasks, for a solidarity of instinct between the centuries."59 So the family is simply the smallest unit of domination in the hierarchal authoritarian edifice of domination with the strong on the top, the weak on the bottom-a pyramid of oppression.    


Nietzsche seems to have a fear of softness, of feminine values. "War and universal military service are the necessary antidotes to democratic effeminacy."60 It is almost as if a man's fear of becoming effeminate predisposes him to reject Christian and adopt Nietzschean values while still espousing Christianity. Again Nietzsche says,"Feminism, then, is the natural corollary of democracy and Christianity."61 It seems like the lines are clearly drawn. On the one hand we have weakness, feminism, Christian values, socialism and democracy. On the other hand we have strength, masculinism or machoism, Nietzschean values, authoritarianism, aristocracy and Fascism.


Again for Neitzsche, Christianity represented a move away from privilege and toward equality. "Christianity...represents the counter-movement to any morality of breeding, of race, of privilege; it is the anti-Aryan  religion par excellence. Christianity-the revaluation of all Aryan values, the victory of chandala values, the gospel preached to the poor and base, the general revolt of all the downtrodden, the wretched, the failures, the less favored, against 'race': the undying chandala hatred as the religion of love."62 A stratified hierarchy with the strong at the top and the weak at the bottom is Nietzsche's vision of the ideal society-basically an aristocracy of the strong. This contrasts with the Christian concept of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual regardless of the distribution of abilities. The Christian concept of equality goes even farther by postulating that the fortunate, the stronger, those with more to give should help the less fortunate, the weaker, those with less to give in order to, insofar as is humanly possible, create an actual situation of equality, not just an equality of contestants at the outset of a race. By virtue of circumstances, people are not born, nor do they find themselves naturally, in a situation of equality. But a situation of equality in the quality of life can be aimed for as a goal if there is a sharing and a helping by those who are more favored and a redistribution directed toward pulling up those who are less favored.


Nietzsche again: "That movement which tried to introduce itself scientifically with Schopenhauer's morality of pity-a very unfortunate attempt!-is the real movement of decadence in morality; as such, it is profoundly related to Christian morality. Strong ages, noble cultures, consider pity, 'neighbor love,' and the lack of self and self-assurance something contemptible. Ages must be measured by their positive strength-and then that lavishly squandering and fatal age of the Renaissance appears as the last great  age; and we moderns, with our anxious self-solicitude and neighbor love, with our virtues of work, modesty, legality and scientism-accumulating, machine-like-appear as a weak  age. Our virtues are conditional on, are provoked by, our weaknesses. 'Equality,' as a certain factual increase in similarity, which merely finds expression in the theory of 'equal rights,' is an essential feature of decline. The cleavage between man and man, status and status, the plurality of types, the will to be oneself, to stand out-what I call the pathos of distance, that is characteristic of every strong age. The strength to withstand tension, the width of the tensions between extremes, becomes ever smaller today; finally, the extremes themselves become blurred to the point of similarity."63


Nietzsche postulates his concept of freedom which is his fundamental political value. "For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance that separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privations, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of 'pleasure.' The human being who has become free-and how much more the spirit who has become free-spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior."64 In a nutshell, freedom, for Nietzsche, means that one's murderous impulses are unrestrained. Freedom sets the stage and allows for the conditions for the eventual triumph of the strong over the weak.


As for democracy, Nietzsche intones:"Democracy has ever been the form of decline in organizing power... I already characterized modern democracy, together with its hybrids such as the 'German Reich,' as the form of decline of the state. In order that there may be institutions, there must be a kind of will, instinct, or imperative, which is anti-liberal to the point of malice: the will to tradition, to authority, to responsibility for centuries to come, to the solidarity of chains of generations, forward and backward ad infinitum."65


One more quote from Nietzsche illustrates his awareness of the philosophical struggle between his values and the opposite values, Christian values:"Does anybody at last understand, will anybody understand what the Rennaisance was? The transvaluation of Christian values, the attempt undertaken with all means, all instincts, and all genius to make the opposite values, the noble values triumph."66





Technological rationality stems from the never explicitly stated assumption that technological developments will, in and of themselves, determine how we will view our world, how we will think about ourselves, how we will think about others. The implicit assumption is that the moral, ethical and human basis for decision-making will be superseded by the sheer power and weight of technology and then that this technology will imply its own moral and ethical basis. Technological rationality is at odds with what we might call humanistic rationality which might be defined as the value system in which values are created from human, moral, ethical and spiritual considerations first and then technological development is allowed to proceed in accordance with those values. It is allowed to proceed in a way that is subservient to and supportive of human considerations, not in a way that overrides them. It is not allowed to proceed in a way that engorges and crushes human values.


There is a myth that the world is changing because of the ever-accelerating pace of technological advance and that we are powerless to do anything about it. If we wake up in a world someday that is radically different from the one which we knew as children, which is different from the one our forefathers knew, and in which we feel mildly or distinctly uncomfortable, a world that has been drastically altered by technological innovation and development, we may have the feeling that this new world was inevitable, that we had no control over the changes wrought by technology, that this is the price we had to pay for progress, that the technological march into the future has a mind of its own. This is not true. Technological advance and development does not come about as haphazardly and as randomly and as uncontrollably as we might believe. It comes about to a large extent due to the multi-billion dollar funding of research and development in universities and in industry by the Defense Department, a process that has continued for decades during wars both hot and cold, a process that continues to accelerate without interruption, a process that has come to be accepted without question as part and parcel of the American way of life. Most, if not all, of the technological advances that impinge on the consumer and civilian worlds are spinoffs from the massive military research effort. In a review of the book,"The Militarization of High Technology," Kenny Siegal writes: "...advanced technology as we know it today, has been shaped by government intervention. He writes, 'It is important to remember, however, that the particular technological pathways we follow, both in research and its application, are a matter of social choice and not one of scientific necessity.' Dumas lists regulation, grants and subsidies, and purchases of goods and services as the government's tools."67 Not to mention the funding of research both in industry and in the universities. The point is that the whole process of shaping the direction of technological development has in fact been determined from military considerations by military decision-makers.


From the IEEE Spectrum, September 1985: "A more fundamental concern of some industrialists is that the SDI program will erode the nation's already diminishing base of nondefense-related research. The growing reliance of academic researchers upon defense funding is well documented."68


What has happened with this myth of technology is that we have abandoned control over our affairs proceeding from human and moral considerations to the imperatives and directives of technology itself and whatever moral basis it implies. And with massive funding for technological research by the military, the values that technology implies and will most probably continue to imply, as long as this process continues, are those of the military. As a culture we have made a god of technology. It is not even too far-fetched to say that we worship and idolize technology. The advancement of technology per se-technology for technology's sake-without regard for its utilization in accordance with human or ethical principles, has become our highest value. But, underneath the surface of this seemingly random and uncontrollable technological onslaught, technology is not advancing in a morally or politically neutral fashion. It is not proceeding in an ethical vaccuum when it is being massively subsidized by the military.


In a book entitled "Indefensible Weapons," by Robert Jay Lifton and Richard Falk, the authors say: "To sink into the despair of shelter-safety is to confirm the wider subordination of the human spirit to the relentless forward march of technology. Technological relentlessness has become an even greater threat to human freedom than political tyranny. It binds our eyes and minds tightly closed with its basic message of helplessness. This fatalistic outlook disastrously neglects our special capacity for symbolization, that is, for projecting images and possibilities that give direction to human freedom. We can posit a benevolent and attainable future through our imaginings, a liberating beginning in consciousness that can influence our actions. We, as a species, are not necessarily trapped by nuclearism provided we do not subscribe to some variation of that deterministic claim that since nuclear weapons exist, we are forever condemned to be dependent upon them."69


The question we now ask is this. If we have abandoned our humanistic and spiritual ethical base in a quest for technology, what new moral and ethical base does technology imply? The answer is that since technology has become to a large extent the province of the military, the values of technology have become the values of the military. These are the values of Nietzsche-the values of winning, the values of power politics, the values of Machiavelli, the values of social Darwinism. The rationality behind technological development is that we must continue to accelerate our efforts to attain technological dominance, continue to pour money into military research, so that we can continue to maintain the technological and hence the psychological edge over our competitors and adversaries. This notion of gaining a competitive edge in the struggle for survival is at the heart of technological rationality and is in distinct opposition to the humanistic and Christian notion of allowing and encouraging the development of technology to proceed along the lines of supporting and ameliorating the human condition, of supporting and encouraging the flowering of human, artistic and spiritual values precisely because we have been relieved of the more onerous aspects of human existence, the drudgery, the struggle for survival, by technology.


Let us examine technological rationality in a little more detail. One of the platitudes of technological rationality is that if something is technologically feasible, we have what amounts to a moral imperative to develop it before they develop it first. A corrolary is that the more destructive and life-negating the technology, the greater the imperative to pour money and resources into its development. An implication of this is that from an economic point of view, from the point of view of the allocation of scarce resources, these resources are not being allocated to more life-enhancing activities, to the development of technologies which support life, and never will be as long as the mindset of the life-negating technological imperative is in effect. We are involved in a power struggle with a technological methodology. We will  prevail because we will develop more sophisticated technology than they have. Then, of course, they proceed to develop more sophisticated counter-technology and then we develop more sophisticated counter-counter-technology and so on etc. etc. ad infinitum until we either blow ourselves up or collapse in an economic implosion.


The primary arena of this technological competitiveness is, of course, the military. There is a basic anxiety neurosis that keeps telling us that we better develop it first before they develop it and have power over us. This is the basic psychology behind the arms race: anxiety and fear. Fear that they will outdistance us technologically and, therefore, psychologically checkmate us without ever a shot having been fired. They will just say, "Game over, because this is what we could do to you if you don't surrender to us immediately." This is similar to what we did to the Japanese in WW 2 except that they didn't comprehend the reality of what we were about to do to them so it took a real, life demonstration-actually two demonstrations- before it sank in and they got the picture. As an aside concerning that situation, we could have given them a demonstration by dropping the A-bomb in a relatively remote area first. This might have accomplished the result of ending WW 2 without having to destroy a population center.





Nowhere do we see the reliance on technological rationality and morality better exemplified than in the Star Wars program. The fantasy is that a technological construct is going to guarantee our security and our safety by making it impossible for our enemies to get at us and blow us up. We are in effect going to build the impregnable moat around the impregnable castle. There is only one problem. No matter what we do or how much money we spend, it will never be impregnable. And therein lies the basic problem: Star Wars represents an unheard of drain of resources to the military sector in search of a will o the wisp that can never be guaranteed. The complexity of the proposed system is orders of magnitude beyond anything that can be guaranteed not to fail and it can never be tested until the first instance occurs of all-out nuclear war. In other words it has to work pefectly the first time it is called upon, and every counter-measure has to be fully anticipated and checked by a counter-counter-measure in advance. It is like an enormous chess game in which there is an infinite regression of measures and counter-measures so that the probability of our providing for our earthly salvation by our reliance on this technology is nil. The only thing that is guaranteed is that enormous amounts of money, resources and human talent and energy will be expended in a futile effort to make ourselves impregnable. In the meantime a consequent lack of investment in the civilian-consumer sector will continue the process in which foreign countries have come to dominate American markets and exacerbate the trade deficit and national budget deficit problems. Regardless of whether or not Star Wars will work, America will have become a nation dominated economically by foreign capital and foreign  ownership. America will have been taken over economically by our allies in order that we may protect ourselves militarily from our adversaries.


President Reagan has said: "What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant US retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?" An answer to this question is provided in the following Newsweek article: "What if, indeed. At this point the Star Wars defense does not even exist on paper. There is no blueprint, no 'project'-only a continuous brainstorming. What must ultimately be an interlocking system of weapons, spacelift capability, command-and-control computation and industrial support is now no more than a diverse collection of very costly, highly speculative pieces of research at laboratories all over the country."70 The central problem in the whole system is the computer software required for battle management. From the same article:"...the demands on the vast interconnected computer system needed to control a Star Wars defense far exceed the capabilities of today's most advanced machines. 'The computer would require 10 million lines of error-free code,' says defense expert Richard Garwin, a top IBM scientist. 'I don't know anyone who knows that that is possible.' The common practice in rigging up today's computers is to 'debug' the software to correct the inevitable errors and to test the system under field conditions. Highly intricate computer programs never work right the first time. Because no software designer can anticipate every contingency, the only way to debug the Star Wars computers would be to test the entire system under the actual conditions it would encounter-that is, a war. Since that is not possible, the computers would simply be trusted to function during the electromagnetic storm of nuclear explosions."


So human beings would be asked to entrust their fates to computers, Because decisions would have to be made instantaneously, humans would have to take themselves 'out of the loop' leaving the ultimate decision-making power about the annihilation of the human race in the hands of a machine. The absurdity of the situation would be laughable if it were not so earthshakingly serious.


And what about the issue of cost? Quoting the same Newsweek article: "There is little doubt that a full-fledged Star Wars shield would by itself dwarf the current federal budget of $1.8 trillion, but the crucial question is: will the countermeasures be cheaper for the other side? If it turns out that countermeasures cost less, the system will be doomed. 'Unfortunately it is far easier to bresk a fine watch than to make one,' says Garwin. 'A high-performance system will be countered. And it is a lot easier and cheaper to destroy it than it is to build it.'" From the LA Times, July 13, 1986: "By the time Reagan leaves office in 1989, the space-based system of anti-missile defense may be so firmly ingrained in the Defense Department's budget and so vital to the profit margin's of the nation's defense contractors that the new President, whatever his personal inclinations, will have difficulty dislodging it."71 It reminds one of the joke in which one congressman tells another congressman about the perfect defense system he has come up with-the subcontracts are equally distributed over all congressional districts. The LA Times article goes on to state: "'Reagan will ask for incredible amounts and settle for one-half of infinity,' a weapons expert for Congress who has also worked in the Defense Department said." Once the ball gets rolling it will be very difficult, because of all the vested interests involved, to stop it. Quoting  the same article again:"'There would be too many jobs in too many congressional districts,' (John) Pike (Federation of American Scientists' associate director for space policy) said. 'Something that big isn't a weapons program. It's a jobs program.'" Already, according to the article, Star Wars is "the single most expensive element of the Defense Department's budget."


One of the chief drawbacks of the Star Wars concept is its vulnerability to countermeasures. The Soviets aren't going to stand idly by without taking some measures aimed at interfering with the Star Wars defensive system. These measures are probably going to be cheaper then Star Wars itself. In other words the countermeasure to Star Wars, which will render it ineffective, will probably have the cost advantage as well as being a lot more reliable. In an article in the IEEE Spectrum, September, 1985, entitled,"Star Wars-SDI: The Grand Experiment," we find the following:"'There are a lot of logical inconsistencies' in attempts to create the Star Wars defense against nuclear weapons, said Richard I. Garwin, a defense consultant and IBM Fellow at IBM Corp.'s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Any defensive shield, he said, can be breached by countermeasures that cost relatively little." The very sophistication and complexity which the Star Wars system entails makes it vulnerable to being thrown off and rendered ineffective by relatively cheap countermeasures. In a Nova/Frontline special report aired April 22, 1986 entitled, "Visions of Star Wars," Herbert York had this to say about a prior ABM system:"It began to become clear to me that there really was no technical solution to this particular problem-that the game between measures and countermeasures  and counter-countermeasures and so on that would be necessarily involved had no end, and in particular, it had no favorable end. That is, one couldn't see at a time when the balance would really be over-substantially over-in favor of the defense. It looked as though the offense-there were great natural advantages to the offense that were going to continue and dominate the situation as far as one could see." York was speaking of ground-based radars needed to track the incoming Soviet ICBM's, but the same holds true for the electronic "eyes" necessary to spot Soviet ICBM's in space, not to mention the computers that would be the brains of the whole system, coordinating and managing the various parts.


Two of the critical issues for SDI are vulnerability and cost effectiveness. In the Nova/Frontline Special these issues were addressed as follows:


"George Keyworth, Former White House Science Advisor-All serious people owe Paul Nitze a vote of thanks for having, let's say, rationalized much of the SDI debate by simply pointing out what the two focal points should be. It is true that to achieve a defense that can underwrite a major change in a defense strategy requires that we make those defenses both survivable and cheaper than  offense.

Bill Kurtis-So the administration is committed to the principles of invulnerability and cost-effectiveness. They are principles, however, that are very difficult to achieve with a defensive system based in space.

Ashton Carter-Everybody knows that it is not a nice place to be militarily, to be over enemy territory. Nor is it a nice place to be in space. There is nothing around you to protect you, there is nowhere to hide, it is very expensive to get there, and to put all of yourself and your armor up there. So if you had to pick a military environment from which to wage wartime operations, the last place on earth you'd pick,a priori, is in outer space over the Soviet Union.

Kurt Gottfried, Cornell University-The vulnerability of the space-based weapons is, I think, their real Achilles heel because those defenses are in space, they are in orbits that Isaac Newton could have told you about with total precision. They can, therefore, be attacked at will, if one wants to do that, and they can be-if one is launching a serious attack- they can be attacked with nuclear weapons. Now they don't need to be attacked with directed energy weapons, or other snazzy American high tech. They can be attacked with some monstrous, clumsy nuclear bomb, the kind of thing the Russians specialize in. And just be knocked to smithereens."


Another problem is the sheer magnitude of the database that is necessary. From the IEEE Spectrum article:"One of the major problems confronting a defensive system against ICBM's is the enormous number of objects that must be tracked, identified, and either rejected as decoys or marked for attack. ...Distributed processing also poses problems: the need for many sensors, computers, and weapons to communicate rapidly with one another, even if many links in the communication network are destroyed, and the maintenance of a consistent database containing information on all objects. While existing computer and communications networks can reroute traffic depending on loading or equipment failures, the ability to reconfigure the network quickly if several nodes fail in succession has not been demonstrated. Rerouting times of existing systems are on the order of a few seconds and a ballistic-missile defense network might have to reconfigure itself a hundred times or more in a few minutes. If one or more additional nodes were destroyed while the network was in the process of recovering from initial damage, the network could break down. ...Computer researchers do not know whether such a distributed data base, with updates from multiple sources, is practical. A major task, especially in the face of equipment failures, would be to ensure that all copies of the data base always contained identical information. Stating the position of the Fletcher commission, Plax, of the Institute of Defense Analysis, said, 'At this stage we were not prepared to say there is no way to do it.' Given the fact that there will be transmission errors, there is no way to guarantee, especially in a battle environment, that all computers will have the identical data base. And if they don't, the system won't work."


The IEEE article goes on to quote critics of SDI: "Herbert Lin, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies in Cambridge, suggested that putting one's faith in such a battle-management system would be like 'taking an airplane designed completely by computer, with no wind-tunnel testing, built in an automated factory, and sending it across the Atlantic on its first flight with a full load of passengers, under the control of an entirely computerized air-traffic control system.'


"David L. Parnas, a consultant to the Office of Naval Research and a professor of computer science at Victoria University in British Columbia, resigned last June from the SDI panel in computing in support of battle management, after serving for only a short time. In his letter of resignation, he wrote: 'I do not believe that further work by the panel will be useful, and I cannot, in good conscience, accept further payment for useless effort.


"'Because of the extreme demands on the system and our inability to test it, we will never be able to believe with any confidence that we have succeeded,' he contended."


Another issue is that Star Wars will not protect against cruise missiles or bombers or bombs smuggled in in a suitcase. In the Nova/Frontline program Roger Warren said:"I think it's too shallow, too mechanistic an attempt to solve our problems. I don't think it will work. If I were an enemy I'd put a bomb on a boat in the harbor, and then the SDI does you no good, and I think that would be just as much of a threat. So I don't think it's a-I think it's a shallow, technical fix, and I don't think that's what we need. In fact, terrorists with a few strategically placed nuclear weapons could probably hold the whole world hostage to their demands. This is the more likely way nuclear weapons will be used, a very cost-effective way, and one that could be organized by a relative handful of people." According to the Spectrum article, Caspar Weinberger, himself, has "acknowledged that SDI would not protect against the 'air breathers'-cruise missiles or bombers-or conventional weapons or against nuclear weapons smuggled into cities and detonated from afar."


And then there is the ongoing cost of maintaining the Star Wars system. Quoting from the same Spectrum article: "Even if completed, the SDI system would require enormous annual expenditures throughout its existence, pointed out Pike at the Federation of American Scientists. 'You're not just going to write a check and buy the thing,' he explained. 'It's not a one-time investment, but a permanent addition to the budget.'


"His studies suggest that the additional cost to the DOD budget of maintaining an SDI system would be between $50 billion and $200 billion a year. 'What you're really talking about doing is adding another Navy to the budget,' he said."


Ultimately, the question comes down to 'In what do we place our ultimate trust and reliance?' If we place our ultimate trust and reliance in technology, then it can be said that we worship technology. The ultimate trust and reliance in nuclear technology has been called 'nuclearism' by Lifton and Falk.


"Nuclearism, then, is the ultimate fundamentalism of our time. The 'fundamentals' sacrilized are perverse products of technicism and scientism-the worship of technique and science- that preclude human use and block their true intellectual reach. Those all too understandable but no less dangerous tendencies were reflected in Robert Oppenheimer's comment that 'It is my judgment in these things that when you see something that is intellectually sweet, you go ahead and do it, and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technological success.' More than that we seek in the dazzling performances of technology and science a replacement for something missing in our individual and collective lives. At the heart of this illusory structure is our struggle for a sense of power, which in the end turns out to be power over that ultimate adversary [death]. This "something missing," this spiritual poverty, this lack of willingness to trust in human or spiritual values either in the inherent goodness of man or the inherent goodness of God and his protection leads us to the idolatry of essentially worshiping nuclear weapons. The absolute moral degradation of basing our national policy on our willingness to murder millions of innocent people must, of necessity, poison and corrupt both our collective and our individual lives.

...Indeed nuclearism has caused a cultural [and spiritual], as well as a political and constitutional breakdown.The unconditional claim by finite, fallible human beings to inflict holocaustal devastation on an unlimited scale for the sake of national interests and on behalf of any particular state is an acute variety of idolatry-treating the limited and conditional as if it were unlimited and unconditional."72


We must, if we are to regain our balance and our sanity and our collective mental and spiritual health, subordinate technology to human and spiritual values. "Technological relentlessness has become an even greater threat to human freedom than political tyranny."73 According to Gerard A. Vanderhaas:


"The biblical image that most fittingly categorizes such a deviation from God's laws and human dignity is idolatry, the worship of false gods.

Paul Tillich defined the essence of religion as 'ultimate concern.' His phrase helps identify what the people of a nation worship, that is what they look to for protection, what they are willing to sacrifice to other national goals, what they turn to for their safety and security, their earthly salvation.

When a President lowers spending for social programs while increasing the money given to defense, he highlights the nation's ultimate concern. When an administration receives Congressional approval to spend a trillion and a half dollars over five years to 'rearm America' which is already armed to the teeth, it reflects what in fact is the country's ultimate concern.

Religiously sensitive Americans perhaps feel uncomfortable with labeling the national attachment to missiles and warheads and nose cones and jet fighters and tanks and napalm and nerve gas as the worship of false gods. But as long as a nation relies on these instruments of death for its security, its people are committing idolatry as clearly as the Israelites of old when they turned away from the Covenant and put their trust in alien gods."74


Finally we conclude this section with a quote from Erich Fromm:


"George Kennan has expressed his ideas about the results of the continuation of the arms race in his Keith Lectures delivered over the BBC in England. 'But beyond this,' Kennan states, 'what sort of life is it to which the devotees of the weapons race would see us condemned? The technological realities of this competition are constantly changing from month to month and from year to year. Are we to flee like haunted creatures from one defensive device to another, each more costly and humiliating than the one before, cowering underground one day, breaking, up our cities the next, attempting to surround ourselves with elaborate electronic shields in the third, concerned only to prolong the length of our lives while sacrificing all the values for which it might be worth while to live at all? If I thought that this was the best that the future held for us, I should be tempted to join those who say 'Let us divest ourselves of this weapon altogether; let us stake our safety on God's grace and our own good consciences and on that measure of common sense and humanity which even our adversaries possess; but then let us at least walk like men, with our heads up, so long as we are permitted to walk at all.'"75


My contention is that there is no technological solution to the arms race. We will never develop the perfect defense, and we will never develop the perfect offense so that our opponent will concede to us because to do otherwise would be to guarantee their own obliteration. So it's a neverending process unless there's nuclear explosion or economic implosion. Is there a way out of this morass? I think there is, but we must first be willing to accept that the problem is at root a moral, ethical and human problem and not a technological one. And we must unmask the implied ethical basis of the technological rationality which says "if it's feasible, we must develop it before they do" no matter how horrible or how expensive the weapons system is. In fact the more horrible it is, the more imperative it is to develop it so that we, the good guys, have control over it and so that they, the bad guys, don't develop it first and say to us, "Checkmate-game over." The idea that any technology that can be developed somehow has a positive value or at least is value-free must be discarded. Since evil is a possibility in our universe, no human activity is exempt from the responsibility to choose either to manifest good or to manifest evil. We must admit that the very development of technology is subject to the same considerations as any other human activity in that the course of the development as well as the development itself may serve the purpose of good or of evil, and in fact, if evil, may have no redeeming positive value. This is to say that as co-creators of the universe we can choose to build an evil universe or a good one and that some technology should never be developed-for instance, the technology of nerve gas, biological warfare, ecological warfare, space warfare etc. We have been trapped into developing "evil" technology by the fact of adversarial competition; therefore, we must question the very thing that has caused us to go down a road which we know should not be gone down: adversarial competition. If we can eliminate the "enemy" not by physically wiping him out but by turning him into a friend, then the rationale for developing destructive technology will have been eliminated. Then we can choose to use our technology and our future development of technology for constructive purposes.


There is also another rationalization for developing the technology of devastation: the bargaining chip rationality. The reasoning goes something like this. We will get them to agree to an arms reduction by trading off our weapons system advantage for a reduction in their arsenal. This is the old "Hey, bozo, we're bigger and stronger than you, so you'd better back down" approach which has gotten us into the present mess. History has shown that rather than backing down out of intimidation either side will go to whatever lengths are necessary to 1) develop a similar technology; 2) develop a counter-technology or both. And so the arms race proliferates because we won't be intimidated and neither will they. It would be un-American to let our adversary force a concession out of us because they had a superior technology which they were holding over our heads. It would also presumably be un-Russian for them to be similarly motivated under the same circumstances. The American thing to do (and probably the Russian also) would be to buckle down, roll up our sleeves, get to work and go them one better. We'll show them what good old American (Russian) know-how can do, and that they can't shove anything down our throat.


If we develop it and they develop it, then we have a stalemate, a tie which is basically what the concept of deterrence is all about in nuclear strategy. But looked at in a larger sense, it is a tie at ever higher levels of potential destructiveness. We may be equal but are we safer? Is the world safer? Is the human race safer? At some point the sheer quantity of destructive power held by both sides changes the equation, changes the assumption that all is well so long as both sides are balanced in their destructive potential, so that there is a net decrease in safety, a net decrease in security, with each balanced, orderly, reasonable and equal increase of the arsenals of both sides. What we are doing is to systematically and methodically reduce the safety and security of not only ourselves but of the entire world's population due to the sheer quantity and sophistication of the world's collective arsenal. Like interest on the national debt, a hitherto negligible and hidden factor in the budgetary equation which is suddenly increasing exponentially to the point of dominating that equation, the net insecurity factor due to sheer quantity and quality of the world's arsenals, is skyrocketing in the equation of international stability.


What we are doing is playing a game, and each move is a technological development which is designed to place us in a supereior position in the game. So we might ask ourselves, what is the underlying basis of game theory? The answer is that the object of the game is either to win or to stalemate-certainly not to lose. The balance of power theory is basically a stalemate solution to the game. Again we ask what is the underlying ethical basis? And we have to answer: Nietzschean ethics, the ethics of social Darwinism. The ethics of prevailing by the use of might; the ethics of winning, of beating an adversary. This is the position of the hawks. The position of the moderates is not to win but just to stalemate. This, we would have to say, is a quasi-Nietzschean ethic. It is still based on power. It is still based on the concept of dealing with an adversary through the use of force. It is not too far-fetched to speculate that, because of our penchant for viewing life as a game, we might even have created our adversary and they might have created us.


What is the alternative to this mode of rationality? Is the best we can hope for a stalemated power struggle with the Soviet Union? Is this to be the best hoped for outcome of human civilization with total nuclear annihilation of life on earth the worst? Would this stalemate solution really be peace? Or if one side won (without destroying the human race, hopefully) would that constitute peace? Is a forced peace based on power, force and top-down authority really peace? What I would like to do is to present a concept of what real peace would be like, and then an approach for getting there based on a totally different set of assumptions, a radically different ethical basis, from that under which we are currently operating. I maintain real peace will only come about when"

                                     1) our leaders sit down and talk with their leaders;

                                     2) our people, in as many different ways and capacities as possible, sit down and talk with their people;

                                     3) out of this communication and sharing process, we start dispelling fear and then start liking, understanding and accepting each other on a very personal and human level;

                                     4) from liking each other, we proceed to trusting each other again on a very basic person-to-person level;

                                     5) from liking and trusting, we proceed to loving each other.


The process would proceed from communication to understanding to trusting to liking to loving. Then tensions would relax. Then fear would subside. Then paranoia would dissipate. Then anxiety would be relieved. Instead of feeding the process which creates and maintains paranoia, instead of feeding the process which creates and maintains tension, instead of feeding the process which creates and maintains fear and anxiety, instead of feeding the process which creates and maintains the other as an adversary, we must start a process that creates, nurtures and eventually supports and maintains the other as a friend.


The ethical basis of all this is Christian ethics: Love your neighbor as yourself. Go out of your way to initiate a peace process. A strong person or a strong nation certainly is not jeopardizing their whole security by risking a slight unilateral gesture in the direction of peace. The theory is that peace creates peace; love creates love; friendship creates friendship. And conversely, threats create counter-threats; insults create counter-insults; disrespect creates counter-disrespect. Impressing our adversary with our willingness to destroy him creates his impressing us with his willingness to destroy us. If we make even a slight peace gesture which in no way jeopardizes our security, my contention is that this will create a reciprocal gesture from the other side. Then we can make a slightly larger peace gesture which still in no way jeopardizes our national security due to the fact that we still have substantially the same defense apparatus as when we started the process and, even more importantly, tensions have subsided even if only an iota due to the first gesture. As this process continues, we will find that it will soon snowball with the former adversaries falling all over each other to outdo the other in initiating and reciprocating peace gestures. Finally, we get to the point where two peoples are so thoroughly cooperating, intermingling, interacting and intermarrying that it is impossible even to think of each other as two distinct and separate entities any more. It becomes unthinkable to maintain huge arsenals and defense apparati because we have become one people instead of two separate peoples, and it is unthinkable for one people to maintain a huge arsenal just in case it decides to commit mass suicide. What is thinkable under the circumstances is that a huge peace (not peacekeeping) apparatus would be maintained.


This idea of initiating peace gestures runs counter to our whole current concept of negotiating strategy. The current concept is that it's very important to negotiate "from strength"i.e.our opponent will be motivated to make concessions out of fear of our strength. The current concept is to try and get the most out of our opponent while conceding the least. The underlying idea is that fear is the only operative motivating factor in creating peace which is absurd. Real peace cannot be created in this way. Real peace does not grow out of forcing your opponent into submission whether on the battlefield or at the bargaining table. We need a new concept of negotiating strategy: one that is willing to create and embrace a friend rather than one which insists on dealing with an adversary at arm's length.


Our current concept of negotiating strategy implies that to make a unilateral peace gesture, a concession, is to admit weakness, is to show our fear of our adversary. We are supposed to extract concessions from our adversary or make concessions only after hard bargaining, not just say, "here, we'll just give you this." Let's disabuse ourselves of the notion that only a weak person or a weak nation turns the other cheek or bends over backwards to create peace. On the contrary only a person or a nation with real strength, not only physical strength but, more importantly, moral and spiritual strength, is capable of these gestures. It takes a strong person or a strong nation to be willing to give something up for the broad objective of creating peace for all without being overly concerned about the tit-for-tat, "if I do this for you, what are you going to do for me" approach. It takes a strong person or nation to show concern for one's adversary, to try to bridge the gap, to try to create goodwill rather than fear. Our whole concept of negotiating and the negotiating process has to change.


The moral and ethical basis of this peace process that we are discussing is unmistakenly Christian. It is very unhip, unsophisticated and unmacho in this society for one to admit that he is operating out of or considering operating out of a Christian ethical basis. This is not the same as saying one is a Christian in terms of belief system or the acceptance of doctrine or dogma. American politicians are all too willing to identify themselves as Christians while, at the same time, maintaining that the separation of church and state prohibits them from manifesting their religious beliefs in the actual conduct of office. What this amounts to is an embracing of religion for political purposes and a disavowal of the relevance of Christian ethics for the purposes of conducting public policy. Moreover, American politicians never miss the opportunity to slur Russian politicians by pointing out that they are "godless atheists." Please tell me what is the relevance of one's religion if one does not bring to bear its principles in the conduct of one's public life and, by the same token, what is the relevance of someone else's religion or lack thereof if the separation of church and state mandates that one should not bring religious principles to bear in one's public life?


Christian ethics, as a system, can stand apart from Christianity as a religion and can be considered, studied and expanded in its own right. Turning the other cheek can be interpreted in more modern psychological terms as risking. Risking is not necessarily an all or nothing proposition in which we risk everything by becoming completely defenseless in a hostile world in one fell swoop. On the contrary, risking-turning the other cheek-can possibly be an incremental process in which, if we do lose what we've placed at risk, it is a blow which we can absorb. It is a blow we can absorb out of our strength if you will. And once the blow has been absorbed, instead of starting the reverse process of "Hey, you did that to us so now we're going to do this to you" and building up our defensive-offensive, war-making capabilities, we can continue to risk peace-making gestures, perhaps incrementally smaller after a setback, realizing that the process might not go completely smoothly and that there might be reverses, but, nevertheless, that ultimately the goal is worth a determined pursuit. We should be willing to make repeated peace gestures even in the face of discouraging results because we will believe that in the long run love will win out. And when love wins out, we will wake up and find ourselves in a world not of a number of adversaries in a stalemated power struggle, not of a forced peace from a top-down, hierarchical power struggle with the most powerful nation at the top and the least powerful at the bottom, but in a world where adversaries have ceased to exist, where the bonds of brotherhood and love and trust are so strong among all peoples that not only does Christ's admonition to love our neighbors as ourselves pertain but it is impossible to distinguish our neighbors from ourselves because the feeling of family extends to all people.


The Christian admonition to turn the other cheek can be seen as a willingness to keep trying, keep risking, keep making peace gestures, and also it can be seen that these gestures do not have to be total gestures-we don't have to risk totally- they can be incremental gestures, partial gestures. A partial gesture towards peace is preferable to a partial gesture towards war particularly if it results in an incremental decrease in hostility, an incremental decrease in tension, an incremental increase in peace.We must believe that with repeated gestures toward peace, our adversary will eventually come around-maybe not after the first gesture- maybe not even after the tenth-but eventually. In the meantime, we can forgive. The Christian principle of being willing to forgive repeatedly-not seven times but seventy times seven-comes into play if the response to a peace gesture is not in kind. We have seen that repeated threats do not make our adversary come around. We have seen the futility of that process. We must be willing to try the opposite process, indeed, even to be aware that there is an alternative process. We must be willing to work from the ethical basis opposite to the one that has brought us to the brink of destruction, arguing that it is right because we have not yet gone over the brink. We must see that the process that has brought us to the brink will, if that process is continued, eventually take us over the brink, and that we must start a new process, a process that will take us away from the brink, the farther, the better. After all the Christian peace process was advocated by an acknowledged spiritual genius whether or not we believe in his divinity! I mean, even if we don't believe Christ hook, line and sinker, unless we give absolutely no credence to his teachings at all-in which case the words "under God" should be stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance and we should never refer to ourselves as a Christian nation- we must be willing to try the Christian method, the Christian peace process even if only partially or incrementally, which is not to say half-heartedly. We must be willing to let the mighty oak of world peace and friendship grow from the acorn of one extended hand, one symbolic dismantling of one nuclear warhead.


We must give some credence to the thought that Christian ethical teachings may be efficacious in the cause of world peace and that there are direct and concrete steps and initiatives that can be taken in all prudence which have a Christian ethical basis. Let's take a look at some other Christian teachings. Love your neighbor as yourself. What happens when we do this? The answer is that love is created in our neighbor for us. Love is contagious. What we put out comes back to us whether on the individual or national level. If all we're concerned about as a nation is our interests in their countries, then we are not creating friends around the world. We must care about them, about their interests, in order to create friends. They are not intimidated by our might into liking us. There are ample examples to show that in the last 20 years, small countries and even small bands of individuals have stood up to and even won military victories over us, the mightiest military power of all time.


The Golden Rule creates love. If we do unto others what we would have them do unto us, we eventually find that they are doing the same thing back which is what we would have them do in the first place. If we do unto others what we would not have them do unto us, and they had damn well better not if they know what's good for them, we find that that is exactly what they do do to us and the process spirals in a negative direction. For the process to spiral in a positive direction, we must start with one act of love, one act of peace, however small, however miniscule, against the backdrop of contemporary adversary relationships that may obtain at the time, and be willing to, consistently and persistently in small and steady steps at first, walk out of the inferno, be willing to walk back away from the brink, be willing to give our energy, perhaps in small doses at first, to peace and to love and be willing to withdraw our energy from the neuroses of hate, fear, paranoia and war. For what Christ described is basically a healing process. We heal a relationship with love, not with threats and intimidation. We can heal a relationship between nations in the same way. We have a national neurosis. The USSR has a national neurosis. We are terrified of each other. We each hold the means of the other's destruction. While we are increasingly being consumed by this neurosis and are pouring increasing amounts of money and energy into it, most of the rest of the world as well as a significant portion of our own societies, goes begging for the most rudimentary shreds of human dignity, the most basic scrap of edible food, the most basic medicines, the most basic shelter, clean water. The majority of the world's population earns less per year than is spent on the average American dog, and, Lord knows, we don't lecture our dogs on the virtues of the free enterprise system and the virtues of rugged individualism and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. Even a small portion of the trillion or so dollars which is currently being spent in the world per year on arms and armaments, nuclear and otherwise, if redirected, could significantly reduce if not eliminate altogether the suffering caused by hunger, disease and abject poverty in the world today.


Erik Dammann has written: "The world is not threatened by catastrophe in the future. The greater part of mankind is already experiencing catastrophe today. None of us would talk in terms of future catastrophe if our present family income amounted to less than one dollar a day, if we lived with our family in a hut or shack without water or electricity, if we were starving and lost every second child which was born, if our surviving children were physically or mentally destroyed by deficiency diseases, if there were no doctors available. If we lived like this, it would be perfectly clear that catastrophe was already an accomplished fact. This is the way humanity lives today. Not distant, small groups. Mankind  is living like this. The majority of us."76


The money which is poured into armaments and weaponry to the tune of $2 billion a day if diverted into other channels could perform miracles, even a small fraction of it. "As Bernard Lown, President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, notes, 'A small fraction of these expenditures could provide the world with adequate food and sanitary water supply, housing, education, and modern health care.' Indeed, the Presidential Commission on World Hunger estimated that it would cost only $6 billion per year to eradicate malnutrition, an amount equivalent to less than four days' arms expenditure."77


Although we each have the power to destroy each other many times over, somewhere locked deep within our national psyches, the US and the USSR have the power to heal each other, to liberate each other from this godawful arms race, to love each other and to extend outward from there to heal and liberate the rest of the world.


An image just came into my mind of a gigantic marriage ceremony between the US and the USSR. Somehow a miracle took place. We stopped feuding with each other. Peace broke out and love ensued. We decided to get married-to pledge our love for each other now and forevermore.The bigots had gone home-the ones chanting nigger-lover, commie-lover. I can almost see the ceremony taking place-symbolically and figuratively of course-and I can see our love for each other overflowing and extending outwards to encompass all the suffering, poverty-stricken people in the Third World. I can see us taking the tremendous energy that we've been expending on resisting each other and using that to heal the wounds of poverty, disease, famine and suffering to form an extended family that includes the entire world's population. Isn't that symbolic? We have bride and bridegroom dedicating themselves to loving each other and accepting the impoverished peoples of the world (who after all are mostly children) as if they were children from previous marriages that were being lovingly and totally accepted in one enormous extended family.





The two prevailing philosophies in the world today are capitalism and communism. They are also bitterly at odds with each other. How is the struggle between capitalism and communism related to the more basic struggle between Christian and Nietzschean values. To the extent that both sides are operating out of a mind-set of dominating the other side rather than creating peace with the other side, both sides are operating out of Nietzschean values. To the extent that the US is a democracy, it is squarely in the Christian values camp. On the other hand to the extent that the Soviet regime is authoritarian, it is politically in the camp of Nietzschean values. Economically, capitalism is the economic system of self-interest and "let the buyer beware" which along with its built-in tendencies of exploitation in the name of greed, places it in the Nietzschean camp. Communism, since it recognizes the equality of all people on an economic level, and seeks to provide at least the basic necessities of life to all people regardless of their inherent worth, is a system based on Christian values. So we live in a topsy-turvy world in which the two prevailing systems are split down the middle each of them having political systems based on values fundamentally opposite to their economic systems, and each of them, value-wise, being the mirror image of the other. It is one of the biggest publicity coups of all time that the US has managed to associate itself with Christianity based on its political system, and also one of the biggest publicity bungles of all time that the USSR has failed to associate its economic system with Christian values.


In reality the US is not as much a democracy as it would like the world to believe. The tremendous cost of being a candidate which must be borne privately assures that only wealthy individuals or ones with wealthy backers will be able to run for office. Political Action Committees (PACs) fund many Congressional campaigns with the result that incumbants are heavily favored compared to challengers and that the elected are beholden to the primarily wealthy interests that elected them. Since the PACs fund both parties, the elected whether Republican or Democrat tend to represent  the same interests which are responsible for their incumbancies rather than the people who elected them or the parties they represent. Thus the US tends towards a plutocracy.


The USSR, on the other hand, is tending toward democratization. Plural candidacies are becoming common in more and more elections. Glasnost and Perestroika are opening up and freeing up intellectual and social life in the USSR. So there seems to be a loosening up of the political process in the USSR just as there seems to be a tightening up of the process in the US.


Let us examine what Christ and Nietzsche might have said about these two prevailing systems. Christ said:"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." And "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and  Mammon. Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought of life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?


"Therefore, take not thought, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...


"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself."


This is definitely not a paean to capitalism which is based on the individual accumulation of wealth. Jesus emphasized the sharing of wealth-helping the sick and needy, providing for the poor. He was against the glorification of self-indulgence in terms of clothes, fashions, the "good life"-which is totally contrary to the message we get from TV commercials which extol the virtues of having the right kind of clothes, the right kind of car, the right kind of mouthwash. The values of capitalism are based on greed, accumulation, materialism, selfishness, conspicuous consumerism, and we are led to believe that this is what freedom consists of. That it is our right and even our duty to acquire and accumulate all we can. And that the ones who do are the winners; the others are losers and don't deserve anything. Is this a Christian or a Nietzschean society?


We are taught in the US not to expect that Big Brother will take care of us, that we must hustle to survive, that we must compete. What Christ is saying is that we should not struggle, we should "take no thought," that Big  Father will take care of us. Christ is saying that priority should be given to spiritual values over material values. If we speculate for a moment on what the secularization of this philosophy might imply, of what a society which embodied these values might be like, we might envision a society in which the importance of material things was de-emphasized, a society in which Big Brother does care that the fundamental life-support needs of its citizens are met (just as Big Father cares), a society in which people would not be encouraged to amass wealth but a society in which a person could feel secure in that he would not be allowed to starve, that he would not be allowed to freeze to death in the streets for lack of shelter, that he would not be allowed to die for lack of medical insurance.


Christ would clearly be in favor of affirmative action to help the poor and needy. Nietzsche would just as clearly be in favor of affirmative action to help the gifted, the advantaged, the super-intelligent. Nietzsche believed that power should prevail, that the naturally gifted should exploit the disadvantaged for their own gain, that people should operate entirely from self-interest. Economically, this implies that workers should be exploited, that the rich and powerful and gifted should use the less advantaged in any way they see fit. One of the ways they might see fit is to use them as cannon fodder to fight their wars. Also as guinea pigs for medical experiments, as Hitler did in WW 2. Nietzsche would argue tht life is a game and it is only the natural order of things that the more intelligent and stronger should win out over and at the expense of the less intelligent and weaker.


Let us consider for a moment the communist ideology:"From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs." It seems to me that this is a fairly exact embodiment of Christ's economic sentiments. As we have seen, Christ valued provision of needs satisfaction regardless of the "worth" or ability to pay of the individual involved. He also said, "He who would be great among you, let him become a servant." This is in exact accordance with the sentiment:"From each according to his abilities." Could it be possible that Marx was a closet Christian, or, more probably, consciously or subconsciously secularized and concretized Christian concepts? Christ was very definitely against the individual accumulation of wealth, the very heart of the capitalist system: "Verily, I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven... It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." The gist of Christ's sentiments is that the strong should be of service to the weak, the rich should help the poor, those favored by nature with talent or intelligence should share their gifts with those who have not been so favored rather than using their God-given assets to profit at the expense of others. The implication of this is that progressive taxation with a transfer of wealth from rich to poor is based on Christian principles. "To each according to his needs." Christ, by his personal example, was constantly serving the needs of the poor, the hungry, the sick, the poor in spirit. It didn't matter to Jesus if the person was "worthy", if he or she had merit, if he or she deserved or had earned it. Every person was inherently worthy of having his or her basic needs fulfilled. There was no "merit test."


Christ had a lot to say about economic values, but not very much to say about politics. What he stood for can be inferred from his primary emphasis on equality and the value and worth of each and every individual. These values imply democracy just as they imply socialism. Nietzsche favored an aristocratic and authoritarian political system. Aristocracy is the embodiment of political privilege just as capitalism is the embodiment of economic privilege. As democracy stands for "one man-one vote," socialism which is equivalent to economic democracy stands for "one man-one job." Its basic premise is that people should be paid according to their work-not that everyone should be paid the same-but that a person's compensation be according to the quantity and quality of his work and only his work. The true economic equivalent of political democracy, socialism is not as close to the Christian spirit as is ideological communism since people will prosper under socialism to some extent in accordance with their natural talents and there is not necessarily the built-in ethic of compensating the disadvantaged at the expense of the advantaged. There is the implication in socialism that the exploitation of one individual by another or of one class by another is unacceptable. There is also the assumption that a person should only make money from his labor and not from the ownership of property or wealth. So no income would be derived from rents or interest or profit. There is the assumption that one should not make money from money. This is also grounded in religious tradition. Usury laws go back thousands of years. In addition, a socialist society should guarantee the right to be the employer of last resort. This does not mean that everyone has to work for the government or that the government is the only employer. The private sector may employ the majority of people. However, the government is willing to step in and create jobs the way capitalist governments are now willing to intervene in the economy and create money. The government created jobs would be compensated at a rate  that at least provides for a basically decent lifestylei.e.a lifestyle above the poverty level. This would give meaning to the term "minimum wage" as private employers would not be able to hire anyone at a lower wage simply because there would be government created jobs at a higher wage.


A truly Nietzschean society would be one that had an authoritarian, aristocratic political system, a laissez-faire capitalist economic system, a foreign policy of aggression and war-mongering and a populace whose personal relationships were based on authoruity, power and control rather than love, openness and trust. In contrast a society based totally on Christian values would have a communist economic system, a democratic political system, a foreign policy based on cooperation, trust and friendship and personal relationships based on love, trust, equality and freedom.


Inasmuch as a nation is the embodiment of the collective will and spirit of its people, a nation which facilitates the helping of the weak by the strong, helping the poor by the rich, helping the disadvantaged by the advantaged, which facilitates a transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor-this would be a Christian nation. A nation which turns its back on the poor and needy, facilitates the accumulation of wealth by the powerful, spends its collective wealth on militarization, glorifies self-indulgence and materialism-this represents a nation which has turned away from Christian values and has adopted the neo-fascist values of Nietzschean social Darwinism. The Nietzscheans would say that without the encouragement of the able and gifted, progress would not be made. But what is progress if the result of it is the marginalization, impoverishment and elimination of human beings. The purpose of progress should be the elimination of poverty, sickness and other human afflictions not the creation of them in order to speed up the creation of a master race. Progress starts with helping the most marginalized and vulnerable members of society not eliminating them. For this kind of progress we don't need a mathematical or technological genius; the means to eliminate poverty, malnutrition, sickness and homelessness on a large scale already exist. Unfortunately, Reaganism with its emphasis on giving tax breaks to the rich and cutting programs to help the poor belongs in the Nietzschean and not the Christian camp. The fact that Fundamentalist Christians are attracted to Reagan's philosophy shows how distorted some Christians' values have become in US society. 





When we decide how to spend our money, how to utilize our resources, either as individuals or as a society, that is an economic decision in the sense that, if we decide to spend it on one thing, we have, in effect, decided not to spend it on another. If we decide to utilize our resources in one way, we have decided not to utilize them in another way. The way we choose to utilize our resources, the way we choose to spend our money, is a reflection of our values whether individual or collective. If as individuals our decisions regarding spending our money are always predicated on selfish valuesi.e.a consideration only of our own wants and desires, this reflects our value that our money should be used only to advance our own cause without consideration of others. If we consider in our deliberations over how to spend our money the possibility that we might use some of it for charitable purposes instead of spending it on something we might want ourselves, this reflects a value system which stipuates that helping others is a consideration even at the expense of our own selfish interests.


For example, one person may choose to have a $10,000 champaigne bubble bath. Another might choose to contribute $10,000 to provide food and medical supplies for hungry Third World children. A society might choose to spend $300 billion a year on militarization including the production of nuclear weapons. Another society might choose to use a similar quantity of resources to shore up its infrastructure or to invest it in ways that would make it more economically viable or competitive with other nations or simply to save it, to put it in the bank. Still another society might use those resources to provide shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry, clothing for the poor-both at home and abroad. A woman may choose to spend $5000 on an evening gown or she might choose to donate that amount of money to a charitable organization, like Save the Children in order to provide clothing for 500 needy children. Whether or not we think about what we are doing or not doing when we make a decision as to how to spend our money, we are still choosing with reference to a set of values. Usually, we are choosing either to service our needs or to cater to our self-indulgence.


In addition to our values and choices regarding spending our money, we also are continually making choices regarding how we earn our money and those choices are also a reflection of our values. A person who sells a client something which he knows will not enhance that client's well-being or may even detract from it, is operating from the value of disregard for the well-being of others and regard only for himself. He may rationalize this by the fact that the society espouses caveat emptor-let the buyer beware-so that it is not his responsibility to protect the client or customer but the client or customer's responsibility to protect himself from him, the seller or provider. This lets the purveyor off the hook. A person whose work is beneficial to others is operating from the value of regard for others and self. How much regard for others and how much regard for self is determined by the compensation for the work. A person, for instance, who labors long and hard to aid the poor in return for a barely subsistence level standard of living for himself is operating from a different set of values than the person who provides a beneficial service but in return charges an exorbitant fee. The latter person may help someone on some level but hinder them financially so thst the net transaction represents one mainly determined by self-interest. Consider for example the case of two doctors. Doctor A labors long and hard in an African village under trying conditions, with inadequate facilities, with an overwhelming case-load. He is continually exposing himself to conditions which may undermine his own health and well-being, and he is compensated at a level which allows him to live little better than the poverty-stricken people he serves. Doctor B, on the other hand, does surgery for which he charges at the rate of $5000 per hour, lives in a house valued at over a million dollars, owns several expensive cars, vacations extensively at posh watering holes and does not make house calls. Doctor B screens every client financially to make sure that he either has insurance or is wealthy enough to pay the bill, never helps anyone unless he is compensated for it at his usual rate and is more concerned about his stock portfolio than about the well-being of his patients. In fact his only concern for the well-being of his patients stems from the fact of his concern for his own reputation and the future earning power that that reputation represents.


Today many scientists are starting to question the moral value of the work they have been called on to undertake. This is greatly discouraged by the military-industrial complex which encourages engineers only to consider the "fun" value and technological challenge of their work while deemphasizing its ultimate applications. Engineers and scientists are encouraged to be objective, which is to say 'Do the work you're paid to do.' Questions about the inherent worth or value of the work are considered to be in the subjective realm. We find the following in an article entitled "The Work of My Hands" by Al Beebe: "When I first went to work at Hughes, I brought with me from mathematics certain attitudes about scientific work. My total concern was the objective logical substance of the piece of work in which I was involved. I evaluated technical work, my own and that of others, by its logical correctness, elegance, sophistication and difficulty. ...What I finally decided for myself is that the most importqnt thing about the work I do is not its objective scientific worth but what its implications are for other human beings." The overspecialization of work as well as the educational process greatly discourages the engineer and scientist from being at all concerned with the "implications of his work for other human beings."78


Engineering and scientific coursework is "all business." That is to say that the total concern and attention in class is given to the mathematical and scientific details while nothing, in most cases, is said at all about the implications of the work. Textbooks routinely use examples which are clearly military related (because these were the examples appropriate for the professor who wrote the book to use since his research was probably funded by a military-related contract) without comment. In class these examples are discussed only from a technical point of view. A person who raises a question about social implications would be branded and suspected of being "soft on mathermatics" which is the scientific equivalent of being "soft on communism." From the LA Times:" It seems that we've gotten to where people who get educated in science have to spend so much time and energy just learning the damn science...that the social implications have just dropped away."79


A person who works in a plant that manufactures nuclear weapons is also making a choice that represents a reflection of values. Similarly, a person who is an artist or craftsman whose work is a labor of love for which he is undercompensated is making a choice based on his values. In fact a person whose life work is a labor of love and is very fulfilling is at least operating out of enlightened self-love, is doing something salubrious and personally enriching and fulfilling even if he is totally unconcerned about the effects of his output on society. Providing that his product is beneficial (which is not necessarily a foregone conclusion even for an artist), the net effect is that society is at least somewhat enhanced, and he, the artist, is greatly enhanced personally. Contrast this with the case of a person who hates his work, is only doing it for the money, and whose product is harmful to society. Here we have a person who is alienated in Marxist terms in that his work is not personally enhancing or enriching, although he may not be exploited economically so long as he is compensated at a sufficiently high level. If we assume that his financial compensation is not used in ways that make up for his lack of personal job-related fulfillment, we have a situation in which the net score is a minus for the individual and also a minus for society so far as society's enlightened as opposed to its perceived self-interest is concerned.


To consider yet another case, let us take an individual whose work is very beneficial to society but not all that self-enhancing. In this case there is a net gain to society but only a slight gain or perhaps even a net loss to the individual. If the individual chooses this situation himself, we might consider him a martyr. If the situation is forced on him, we might consider him to be exploited or oppressed. In the case where the situation is self-imposed, we have to be careful about judging whether or not the situation is self-fulfilling. What might seem like martyrdom to some people, might actually be extremely self-fulfilling to someone else who is in a different state of consciousness. Thus people whom we might call saints, have led lives which were extremely beneficial to society and also were extremely fulfilling to themselves but which appeared to be martyrdom to those who could not perceive or appreciate the rewards they were receiving. It would seem that the most desirable situation would be one in which a person's work is very self-fulfilling personally with ample financial remuneration and, at the same time, beneficial to society. This represents an ideal which a society should be progressing towards. If a society is progressing towards this ideal, we might say that the mechanics of the society as well as the underlying ethical basis are right even though the society may not have evolved to a high level of development. If the society is not at least moving in this direction or is moving in the opposite direction, then we may say that the society is regressing and start to question both the ethical basis and the underlying mechanics and dynamics of the society.


Let us analyze the different levels of choices, both in regard to how we utilize our resources and to how we procure them, as to their implied value systems and in light of our continuing exploration of Christian and Nietzschean values. Clearly, the person who is operating from total disregard for others and is totally selfish both in procurement and in utilization of resources, is operating from Nietzschean values. Also the person who is operating from regard for others as well as self both in procurement and in utilization, is operasting from Christian values. I don't think that a person operating from a position of total regard for others and complete denial of self is operating from Christian values any more than a person who is operating from complete regard for self and total denial of others since Jesus said "love your neighbor as yourself," not "love your neighbor at the exclusion or at the denial of yourself." He also did not say "love yourself at the exclusion of your neighbor." Of course the ideal situation is one in which there is no conflict between our own interests and those of our neighbor. Actually an even more ideal case is one in which our interests are actually enhancing to our neighbor and vice versa. This might be called the case of the positive sum game or synergy. The idea here being that by acting in concert and cooperation the individual self-interests of all concerned might be enhabced over and above what they might be if we acted individually and separately even if there were no conflict involved in our acting individually and separately. It is a situation in which cooperation leads to a positive sum game in which everyone benefits in accordance with some optimal distribution of outcomes. The other extreme is when there is conflict involved and we act individually and separately in such a way that our only consideration is to further our individual self-interests. There is a middle ground in which conflict is involved but we act in such a way as to consider our neighbor's interests perhaps sacrificing our own to some extent depending on the particular situation. These last two situations could be characterized as zero-sum games, the first being a zero-sum game with competition, the second being a zero-sum game involving cooperation.


The interesting question to ask is, "Can any particular situation be turned into a positive sum or a negative sum situation depending on our attitude toward it?" In other words, are the situations, themselves, created by our attitudes or are they concrete and our only choice is to make the best of them. Clearly, it would be a shame to misdiagnose a situation, to consider it a negative sum game (there is more to be lost than to be won), or a zero-sum game (some win, some lose or everybody compromises) when in fact the situation is or could be made to be a positive-sum game (potentially everyone could win). It should be pointed out that any of the above games could result in there being winners and losers just as long as the winnings are balanced by losses such that the net result is negative, zero or positive as the case may be. Also the amount at stake (either positive, zero or negative) may or may not be a variable and might be created out of our attitude toward it.

Certainly wars between nations and fights between individuals are cases in which we have created the situations themselves and in which there may be a clear winner and loser or in which everyone might lose. A love relationship between two people may be a situation in which both win and win big, in which the more that is given, the more that is received. It is certainly a situation of our own creation. What this also suggests is the question, "Is compromise necessary?" Or "Are conflict and compromise necessary or are they a product of our cultural predisposition and a faulty analysis of the situation." I think that the answer is that there are both types of situations. The economic situation, however, is, generally speaking, a positive sum game. It is hard to see how, given the application of a certain amount of human labor, intelligence and materials, this would not result, for the most part, in a positive sum being created. However, just because a positive sum is created, this does not mean that a positive sum accrues to each participant in the process. Some people may actually be net losers while others wind up with an even greater positive sum. For example, in certain Latin American countries the per capita food production is sufficient to provide an adequate diet for each individual if it were the same as the per capita food consumption. However, much of it is exported with the result that there is widespread hunger and poverty. Just because the Latin American worker has participated in the production of enough food to adequately feed himself in no way guarantees that he will get to eat it since typically it does not belong to him and his wages aren't sufficiently high for him to buy back what he has produced. This situation is potentially a positive sum situation for everyone. There seem to be other situations, however, which can only be resolved through competition or compromise. Competition arises out of a Nietzschean value base whereas compromise arises out of a Christian value base.


Let us assume that a conflict situation does occur. We have seen that the Christian ideal, "Love your neighbor as yourself," implies compromise- sharing in the results whether positive or negative on a more or less equal basis, and the Nietzschean ideal, "Love yourself at the exclusion of your neighbor," implies competition. What does the other alternative, "Love your neighbor at the exclusion of yourself," imply? This again arises out of Nietzschean values. It is just the flip side of "Love yourself at the exclusion of your neighbor." We have seen how Nietzschean values give rise to authoritarian relationships. Authoritarian relationships are characterized by both dominance and submission. So not taking into account at all one's own self-interest is just the flip side (submission) of not taking into account at all one's neighbor's interests (dominance), and both are subsumed under the Nietzschean value system.


Let us bring this discussion back down to earth and consider a few examples from present-day reality. When we as a nation establish the priority of allocating $300 billion a year to the implements of mass destruction while allocating relatively piddling amounts, if anything at all, to the eradification of disease, hunger and homelessness or to the creation of beauty, love and peace, what value system are we operating from? This social economic choice is a reflection of Nietzschean values. When forty thousand people die every day in the Third World-14 million annually-(and most of them children) from a lack of basic medical care, clean water and food, when a human life is lost from the lack of something that could be provided for pennies, where are our values? Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefor, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believeth in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea." The literalist might interpret this passage as its being all right to offend a child who didn't believe in Jesus, but this would not be in the spirit of Jesus who did not discriminate in that way. We would have to say that his teachings applied to all children regardless of their religious beliefs or at least should.


Are we as a society not offending those little ones by choosing to spend our resources on nuclear weapons instead of choosing to spend that same money on children who die for a lack of a few pennies worth of food or medicine? Do we bear no collective responsibility for this matter, no personal liability because it is something done by our government and is, therefore, out of our hands? Can we wash our hands of the whole business because it is a problem so large that we as individuals can do nothing about it?


It is only right from a moral perspective that we focus on this trade-off between the allocation of resources for militaristic pursuits and the allocation of resources for saving lives and eliminating misery and poverty in the world. It is a societally determined economic choice which implies a value judgment in the same way that an individual makes economic choices which imply value judgments as discussed earlier. The implied value system is Nietzschean rather than Christian. The relationship between development and the arms race is crucial.


Consider this quote from Jesus: "I was naked and you clothed me. I was hungered and you gave me meat. I was a stranger and you took me in. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Jesus goes on to state the converse: "Inasmuch as you have not fulfilled those needs in the least of these my brethren, it is as if ye have not done it unto me." It is as if we, as a society, or the government, acting in our name, has decided not to meet the needs of the least of these, namely, the children, and by implication, Jesus, Himself, and instead we have decided to utilize our resources to create the implements of mass destruction.


Said Pope John Paul in his 1983 Christmas message, "Look upon the unspeakable sorrow of parents witnessing the agony of their children imploring them for that bread which they have not got but which could be obtained with even a tiny part of the sums poured out on sophisticated means of destruction.

"Look with the eyes of the newborn child upon the men and women who are dying of hunger while enormous sums are being spent on weapons."


How much does each nuclear warhead cost? Perhaps $50 million. That represents $50 million that will never be spent to feed starving children in the Third World. While world military expenditures have skyrocketed in recent years, the amount of money spent on foreign aid programs has remained relatively constant and relatively trivial. In an address to the Commonwealth University Congress in 1983, Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal said:


 "World military expenditure this year is around $650 billion-$1.2 million dollars every minute, day and night, all year round. Eight hours of that expenditure could eliminate malaria worldwide and improve the lives of some 200 million people. Two days of world military expenditure is the equivalent of one year's budget of the UN and all its specialized agencies-and all of them are starved for resources.

But the arsenals are not starved for stockpiles. The bomb that fell on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945...was one single, crude, primitive atomic device... Its successor weapons are over 100 times more powerful, more lethal, and there are between 50 to 60 thousand of these-mostly in the primed and targeted warheads of the superpowers. That is how our world, at the height of its scientific accomplishment, uses some 20% of its research and development resources. People-the end victims of this accumulation of destructive power-are only slowly beginning to know what is being done in their name."


   In the US in 1984 with a military budget of about $300 billion, approximately half a million dollars per minute was being spent on military expenditures. On the other hand the Peace Corps budget of $130 million represented about four hours worth of the military budget. Are these Christian values when we devote half a day per year to peace and 365 days a year to war? We must ask ourselves: "How many days worth of military expenditures must be diverted to provide clean water for the world's population or to wipe out measles in the world?" A measles vaccine costing about 10 cents can save a child's life. Yet many children die from measles each year. According to UNICEF, a transfer of just 2% of the world's grain output to the plates of the poor would largely eliminate undernutrition. Yet one-third of the world's grain is fed to livestock and poultry each day.


Does the current state of affairs in the US reflect Christian or Nietzschean values? While we as a nation are spending our money on implements of destruction and as individuals are encouraged to consume more and more things unnecessary to the continuance or enhancement of human life, millions of children are literally starving. For Nietzsche there wasn't enough cruelty in the world. Is there enough for us? Are we content to accumulate personal luxuries while children starve and die of diseases which were stamped out in the US years ago? Can we say as individuals or as a nation, "Yea Lord, you were hungered and we gave you meat. You were naked and we clothed you." Inasmuch as we have not done it to the least of these, we have not done it unto Him. How can we call ourselves Christians? How can we call this a Christian nation?


Jesus was clearly on the side of children, the poor, the mentally ill, the outcasts, the misfits, the forgotten, thoses "unfit to survive" according to the doctrine of survival of the fittest. Nietzsche was on the side of those whose triumphs were at the expense of the underclass. He would have enjoyed their misery and been content to have the measure of cruelty increase in the world. Where are our values as individuals, as a people, as a nation, when we let this state of affairs exist and continue? Where are we when we spend billions on our nuclear arsenals and billions on self-aggrandizement while millions of children continue to starve?













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