Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nice People

"All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to sit idly by and do nothing."
Martin Luther King Jr.

I disagree with that statement. Not primarily because it has become politically incorrect over the course of the last 4 decades. But rather because good people, by definition, are those who refuse to do nothing, and take action against "evil". It is nice people who stand idly by and do nothing, that are the problem.

There are far too many nice people in the world, and not enough good people. When you talk to nice people they will generally agree with your opinions, and right on cue harp on about the injustices in society and piss and moan about the government and have all the "right" insights and arguments. But if you ask them "What are you going to do about it?" they stop, and give you a look of total bewilderment. They have no intention of "doing" anything about it - rocking the boat- because, well, that just wouldn't be nice. Nice people are vapid mental masturbators oblivious to their own moral impotence.

As kids we are told "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Apparently it is important not to offend, or hurt people's feelings. But what about when we are faced with those who distort truth and manipulate or harm others for their personal gain? Do we continue to smile politely because we are nice people and don't want to offend? Are their feelings more important than the truth? The blunt reality is there are people in this world who are so devoid of personal ethics that they will continue to serve their own purposes at the expense of others until they are faced with serious consequences for their behaviors. They will persist until we take the initiative to stop them.

We live in a democracy. If we fail to participate actively in the democratic process there are those who will hijack and use political machinery for personal and professional gain. Democracy only works when the government is afraid of the people. But there is no reason to be afraid of nice people, they will continue to eat shit endlessly. Our governments are increasinngly no longer afraid of us. Over the course of the last four decades they have become extremely proficient at managing us, and seem do so with little or no impunity. Nice people complain, but do nothing, and eventually many even stop complaining.

Nice people do have their merits. In daily life they lubricate social interactions and make our days more pleasant - nobody wants to interact with the abrasive and the obnoxious. But when their days are numbered and they leave this world what have nice people accomplished? They leave no legacy and have changed bugger all, because they lack the courage to fight to raise or maintain the moral integrity of their society. They disconnect from the community and sit hypnotized in front of their big screen televisions, overeating and expecting someone else to do something about society's problems. They are pathetic and apathetic.

The criminal justice system has increasingly become a refuge for scoundrels. Police and prosecutorial misconduct have become far more commonplace than most people imagine. While there are many honest and ethical people working in the justice system, there are those whose career and political ambitions supercede their desire to seek justice. They have appear to have no qualms about convicting and imprisoning their fellow citizens wrongfully. Their only goal seems to be to win cases and improve arrest and conviction records to further professional aspirations and bolster their egos.

In the past there was widespread denial regarding the number of citizens wrongfully convicted. The ever accumulating numbers of DNA-driven exonerations has fully exposed the extent of this horrible problem. But wrongfully convicted people who are able to prove their innocence through DNA represent a very small minority of the total number of wrongfully convicted in prison or on death row today. They are merely the tip of the iceberg.

The question now is, how will society address this problem? What will we do knowing full well that a substantial number of the claims of innocence being put forward due to wrongful convictions are legitimate? Innocent fellow citizens have been illegally deprived of their freedom or their lives. To protect personal interests, the immoral or "evil" in the system will continue to deny the existence of wrongful convictions through nonsense rationalizations. The nice will gripe about the injustice but do little or nothing, and effectively allow the problem to persist.

Evil people may be the enemy, but nice people are the problem. We need to stop raising our children to be nice people and start raising them to be good people if we are to address these problems and improve the quality of our society.


graham said...

This is new since I last viewed the site, and a fine rant it is. Check out Tony Benn's comments in Michael Moore's film, "Sicko," for one insights on why some people check out of the democratic process and retreat to escapism.

Linda said...

Good post.

suetiggers said...

Very good distinction. All the best women I've known aren't TOO nice. And one of my favorites, Mother JOnes was a great rabble rouser. She cared about justice and was not ladylike.
Girls and women have been brought up to be nice. Feminists challenged this and so were branded as "bad" because they told women to think for themselves, challenge authority and this is how things change for the better. Strong women and men who care about justice, unite !!