What is evil? How do we define it? Can we quantify or classify the characteristics of true evil? Are there degrees of evil? Can someone be both good and evil? Do we as a society really believe in redemption, even of the truly evil? What does our system of commerce say about our values and does it support evil behavior? Can we really identify the root of all evil?
Profoundly immoral and malevolent.
Profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, esp. when regarded as a supernatural force.
adjective. wicked - bad - ill - vicious - malign - sinister
noun. harm - ill - mischief - wrong - disaster - wickedness
Evil. We have all supposed to know it, to be able to recognize it. We have described it, judged it and even tried to name it. Terrorism. Mass murder. Rampant greed. All are evil right?. But what about the less clear? Bullying. Regulation. Commerce. When does it cross the line from responsible to reprehensible?
What is your line in the sand? At what point do we have to stand up and refuse to cooperate with a system that perpetuates evil?
This week I have been thinking about some big issues: human trafficking, the privatization of our prison system and tax reform.
And each has ties to the most commonly cited “root” of all evil, money. So is money the root of all evil? Does absolute power absolutely corrupt? Or are there shades of grey? Have we as a society abdicated our responsibility to be the final arbiter of evil? Have we allowed the media to give us mindless justifications for evil?
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do think I have some ideas and that we need to understand how our values are being devalued by trivial and often irrelevant arguments that we allow the inane and accept the unacceptable.
Do you shop at a big box store? Do you support factory farming? Are you insisting your clothes be made without child or slave labor and your food be processed without toxic chemicals and more slave labor? Do you insist that the businesses you support provide a living wage and benefits to employees? Do you fight for equality for all and the protection of our way of life and national security?
I am sure most people think they do. You are being told constantly by media to buy more and think less. It is a constant barrage of bad messaging, from fracking is good to buying a car will make you rich and handsome to feeding your family processed food is healthy.
We have allowed private prisons to proliferate, basically sanctioning slave labor in this country. We ignore corporations who employ slaves and evade taxes, just so we can have cheap products. We allow ourselves to be castrated with hopelessness and helplessness while extreme factions push extreme extraction, insist we cannot regulate guns, but must absolutely allow trans-vaginal probes.
We can’t have equality for some. Equality is an all or nothing proposition. I don’t get to pick who is equal anymore than Congress should get to pick and choose who follows basic safety regulations or pays taxes. We are either all equal and therefore equally responsible, or we can stop kidding ourselves that we have any equality at all.
And this brought me to the conclusion that evil is prevalent when vigilance is absent. When I consider those things I consider evil, I see a correlation between a lack of education and transparency and their existence.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
And it is time for “we the people” to combat evil. To insist on some basic common sense regulation to stop people from sliding down that slippery slope. We have the ability, and I am going to ask you to exercise it on May 1st. Join in the May Day Lobby Day. Meet with legislators, present them with draft legislation and insist they explain their position, or lack of position, on issues that matter to you.
We can no longer be one of the good people allowing evil to triumph. Are you ready? More information at www.lisalongo.me, and on Facebook at National Women’s Party 2.0.