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Sunday, August 30, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Sep 15, 2010 7:38 AM PDT.

This essay is dedicated to my wife Karen, who has more or less patiently endured my absence during most of the time that I have been writing this book, working around the country to promote a single payer health care system and now to run for the office of US senator. I am so sorry that she was hurt because I felt a moral imperative to respond to the clear threat to human civilization that we are facing. I have had to put aside personal concerns to throw my every effort into the cause of providing our children with a world worth inheriting.

I promise her that things will be different come November, when we will take a well-earned vacation together in Hawai’i and reconnect with each other before I travel to meet friends in Turkey who are supporters of the work of Soldiers For Peace International. I hope that by then I will have news that I will be going to Washington in January, but that is a bridge we will cross together if it appears.

If I have at times seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of intellectual giants I have met along the way, both famous and unknown. To them I owe everything that has helped me along the way to create the vision of a world worth passing along to our children who will be responsible to see that it is preserved for future generations.

What follows is a summary of the themes of this book, which are elaborated on at more length in the commentaries that I have made in this text. I invite interested readers to add their comments online and to become listeners and callers of the web-based talk show SPFI Radio, the voice of Soldiers For Peace International on the worldwide web.

I began writing Stop the Madness on the suggestion of Dr. Ken Rossi, a veteran and an open minded conservative who implored me to put my ideas down for posterity. It took me awhile to get started, but once I did I found it a welcome relief from my job stress as a VA psychiatrist and the rigors of my political work. Because my political work was initially focused on single payer health care advocacy, I began by explaining how recognizing the systematic manipulation of the political process of this “reform” effort was a good way to understand the relentless assault on democracy that has taken place over the last several decades. It was my goal to awaken others to what I had belatedly discovered: the United States has been under fascist rule for decades, since its people turned over the reins of government to corporations.

This counter-Revolution has been led by the Puppetmasters of Congress and the White House, the international corporate terrorists who believe themselves to be Masters of the Universe. These elitists have no respect for the average individual and therefore no respect for democracy. Democracy being necessary for a nation to act responsibly, I have always known that the end of civilization would be near if we did not heed the messages of all the prophets who have warned us when we are one human family whose survival depend on the recognition of our interdependence.

The time has come to abandon self-imposed distinctions and petty differences to restore the natural order of things that we used to take for granted. Together, we can control our individual and collective destinies by working together for peace, justice and freedom for all the Peoples of the world. The success of the mission of Soldiers For Peace International will depend on establishing democracy in America, which will begin when we get corporate money out of elections. This is the only way a People can take down the corporatocracy that aims to  enslave the planet by undermining the gains of the American Revolution.

Democracy depends on equality, yet children of privilege have successfully inculcated the idea in the collective American consciousness that it is natural that some will rule over others as if by divine providence. They believe that Ayn Rand was right when she wrote that humans are by nature competitive and that those who prevail in the vicious struggle for supremacy are worthy of exaltation. This process of unnatural selection has perverted the law of the land into the Law of the Jungle. In their blind faith in the power of the Invisible Hand, they accepted the foolish notion that practicing selfishness would magically produce Paradise on Earth instead of the worldwide fascist threat that we now face.

We can no longer accept the idea that greed and selfishness are noble and good. It is perplexing how religious fundamentalists in the United States have been led like lambs to the slaughter by the promise that they will be rewarded for blind obedience to an ideology at direct odds with the teachings of the man they assume will save them from the consequences of their willful ignorance.

Theirs is the faith that no effort on their part, Jesus will save them from the certain destruction they assume the rest of us alone will face. They feel no responsibility to do as he  said and unite as one to ensure that Armageddon does not occur. I do not believe that they can remain blinded by the hope of the Rapture to save them. As they too fall victim to their own willful ignorance, they will come to understand the hubris of believing that they alone understand God’s will. Like many who have faith but reject religion, I believe in the universal presence of God in dwells in each of us and in the world at large. I have  faith that this will impel us to recognize that each of us is an aspect of God and therefore responsible to love and care for one another.

We cannot be saved by faith alone. Only by our works can we hope to restore the Garden and bring Heaven to Earth as men and women have prayed for since before the Lord’s Prayer was first written. Prophets have come in different times and places to reveal to us the nature of God and reality in terms that the People of those times and places could understand. It is our duty as Deists, atheists or doubters to come together to decide collectively what that message is, for it alone can unlock the secrets that science cannot reveal. The universe operates under probabilistic principles and only by considering this can we divine the truth of life’s mysteries unseen. Those things unseen may be revealed in the patterns of the Universe to those who attend to them.

It is the product of the individual probabilities of events occurring throughout space-time that convinces the rational scientist that God exists. History is a series of improbable events, each leading us toward the destiny that is now before us. Those who do not know how to estimate probabilities are going to be blind to the patterns of world history that have enabled futurists to predict events millennia before they occur. The irrational common man tends to skew his estimates of the probabilities of rare events, ascribing seeming miracles to coincidence. If they were to continue to  have such utter faith in either nihilism or salvation by faith alone they would not contribute to the salvation of Mankind by joining others in the effort. To divorce themselves from the rest of humanity when human civilization itself is threatened with self-destruction would be a betrayal not easily forgiven.

It baffles me still that some atheists continue to fight a lonely battle against injustice when they not only deny the existence of a loving God but have no faith in the essential  goodness of Man.  They have the same belief in the essentially evil nature of man as the fundamentalists they so bitterly oppose. Some, having blinded themselves to the possibility that God is all of us, have abandoned the fight altogether. We cannot stop the imposition of worldwide fascism until we have a working relationship with each other that will bring us ever closer to each other and to the God that is within, beyond and between all of us.

In the immortal words of George Harrison:

We were talking-about the space between us all.
And the people-who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth-then it's far too late-when they pass away.

We were talking-about the love we all could share-
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there-with our love
With our love-we could save the world-if they only knew.

Try to realize it's all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small,
And life flows ON within you and without you.

We were talking-about the love that's gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul-
They don't know-they can't see-are you one of them?
When you've seen beyond yourself-then you may find,
peace of mind is waiting there.

And the time will come when you see
we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you.


Rick Staggenborg, MD

Sawyer Rapids, Oregon.

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