What I Meant to Say

Wendy Babiak's Visions and Revisions

The Pathology of Greed and Power

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That’s the title of a book that needs to be written. Any psychologists out there looking for a non-fiction project? Because dang.

So I’m reading a book of non-fiction (I usually have one or two going, as well as a book or two of poems and a novel). It’s called A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World, by Suzanne Antonetta, and it’s a resonant meditation on mental illness reflected through her experiences as a manic-depressive. And reading it, and reflecting on my own experiences with depression and the stories I hear from my psychiatrist husband, I come to the conclusion that like so many arbitrary binaries (like male/female, for example, or the left/right political spectrum) the binary of neurotypical/neuroatypical is a false one, and that what we really have is a spectrum. And I think it’s foolish to imagine that ANYONE short of a Buddha sports a spotless mental health.

Given that, I think it makes sense to ensure that society maintains checks and balances against any individual exercising too much power. The wreckage that is the global economy manifests what happens when greed is elevated to a virtue and allowed full reign. Surely excessive greed is a pathology that ought to be studied and prevented from doing harm. And same goes for power. Is there any doubt in your mind, dear reader, that Ghadafi is a lunatic? His fashion choices alone show that. Never mind the dead.

Speaking of the dead, and the real impetus behind this blog post, I heard this morning on Democracy Now! that President Obama has succeeded in having assassinated an American citizen, the Muslim cleric Anwar Al Awlaki, without due process. That’s whacked. Literally! I think it’s safe to say that’s way worse than wire-tapping. Or water-boarding. That’s dead.

And no man should have that kind of power. I’m not saying Pres. Obama is a lunatic, but you can’t convince me that anyone, as I said, is completely sane. And you’d have to be kind of crazy to WANT to run this mess of a country. So what do we do?

I don’t know. I’ll leave that to the lawyers, just as I’ll leave writing a book with the above title to an academic (and I sincerely hope both lawyers and academics do the job well!). But I think for the rest of us, hitting the streets in a massive protest is starting to sound like a pretty sane thing to do.

Author: Wendy Babiak

Poet, permaculturalist, lay Carmelite. Pretty sure the world needs more love and less politics.

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