Force, finally, in the shape of economic coercion. Starved children, pot-bellied and with arms and legs like sticks. Women old at thirty. And those living corpses, standing in silence at the street corners in Dope City or South Bumblebee, shuffling in silence through the mud.
Yes, force may subdue. Subdue in death, subdue by wounds, subdue through starvation and terror. Vision of frightened faces, of abject gestures of servility. The manager at his desk, hectoring. The clerk cringing under the threat of dismissal. Force - the act of denying man's ultimate unity with man.
- Aldous Huxley, 1936
Though Huxley wrote those words 70 years ago I would have quoted them before the 50th convention of my local Labour Federation if my union was more welcoming of free spirits. For we still cringe like beaten dogs, fuck I have done it, under the threat of dismissal. Oh we hit back when we get a chance, lingering for an extra couple of minutes over a mid-morning shit, reserving the wisdom doing a job for years imparts while your hectoring manager tries most unsuccessfully to keep production moving without asking you to contribute to the solution. In our boot holster we all carry our own pet form of micro-sabotage.
The mayor of Dope City has announced his own escalation of the philosophy of force. It is a plan to re-civilize his sore city. He says we can halve drug use and homelessness by 2010. I cannot imagine what the significance of that year is. Apparently more police, more force, is the cornerstone of the plan. The mayor is a shithead.
We do not need more force to better our city, we need more love. We do not need more shitheads, we need less of them.
Consistently applied to any situation, love always gains. It is an empirically determined fact. Love is the best policy. The best not only in regard to those loved, but also in regard to the one who loves. For love is self-energizing. Produces the means whereby its policy can be carried out. In order to go on loving, one needs patience, courage, endurance. But the process of loving generates these means to its own continuance. Love gains because, for the sake of that which is loved, the lover is patient and brave.
And what is loved? Goodness and the potentialities for goodness in all human beings - even those most busily engaged in refusing to actualize those potentialities for goodness in relation to the lover himself. If sufficiently great, love can cast out the fear even of malevolently active enemies.
Aldous Huxley, 1936
Force, in fact, is being applied with some enthusiasm all over our planet, not just Dope City. Anyone care to tell me where force is working to make the world a better place better than love might?