Yes, (West) Virginia, there is True Evil.
For a long time I've resisted using the words "good" and "evil" in the context of philosophical discussions. This is because what one man finds "evil" I may very well find not objectionable at all. And what someone may think of as "good" I may personally find revolting.
But I've come to the conclusion that, for me at least, there is a good and there is an evil. I've discussed this before, both online and in conversations with friends and acquaintances. And my bottom line has always been that the closest definition I could come to the term of evil was an overwhelming sense of selfishness (generally in conjunction with ignorance) . After all, I've always felt that Mankind's rise to a point of civilization was due, in great part, on a massive capacity for compassion.
However, of late, I've decided that there is great evil afoot in this world. It comes in various forms, but which I've boiled down to just a few fellow traveling companions. I'm not sure just yet where these companions fit in my pantheon of evil, but they seem to always stride side by side, with one generally leading the way and the others being used as sword bearers.
Since I must mention one first, I'll go ahead and do so. That would have to be rampant industrialization. This, in turn, is heated and served by uncontrolled capitalism. I have to say up front that I have no problem with capitalism at it base. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having ambition and making a profit. However, the unbridled capitalism at work on Earth today which results in the wholesale destruction of our very planet is undeniably evil. We sit and witness the tearing down of mountains, the poisoning of our atmosphere, the rending of the system of life that supports us and all of our fellow beings. This is evil on a level that is insane and intolerable. Something must be done to stop it, up to and including the killing of those responsible for this wholesale destruction.
Walking hand in hand with this major evil are the world's religions. Yes, I'm talking about your religion. I don't care which one it is, it's evil. Any system of religion that not only tolerates but generally encourages and defends the rampant laissez-faire capitalism that is wrecking our world is certainly no good, and is actually evil. I can speak most comfortably about the various monotheistic religions around which I've been raised, and can say without a doubt that each of these pernicious monstrosities should be made extinct.
Religions are used to cow the general populace and keep them in as close to total ignorance and fear as is possible. With the masses wallowing in superstitious ignorance and hatred of anything deemed dangerous by their religious leaders, nothing can ever be done to stop the creep of the concrete and metal and chemical blight that is searing our planet. Religion is of no real value and is, in fact, about as harmful as anything of which I could possibly conceive. They were all born out of fear and ignorance and hatred, and it is that in which they squirm and for those purposes for which they are kept alive.
Nationalism and its loathsome partner, patriotism are evil. These are at the base of the various tribalism and racism and xenophobia that is like a virus on the populations of our nations. Humans are the same, wherever they are and from whence they came. This artificial zoning of people is there to break down humans into tiny enclaves where the despots of industrialization and religion can keep them as livestock. It is a crime. These concepts are utilized daily to force people to contribute to warfare and to enable our corporate masters to siphon off the wealth of each of these nations into their own pockets. Never in the history of Mankind have so few been so monumentally wealthy. This wealth concentrated into the ownership of so few is an obscenity that must not be tolerated any longer.
There is evil in this world. I see it at its work every day.
For my part, I can see no real way of fighting this kind of evil. Its adherents and its supporters and its recipients are deserving of violent death. But I can no more hand out that kind of punishment than an ant can take down a B2 bomber. All I can do is live out my life and try not to give in to the anguish that I feel when I witness the insanities going on each and every day. The coal companies will carve down West Virginia's mountains and there's nothing I can do. The oil companies will gouge out the plains of Canada to get at the filthy tar sands and there's nothing I can do. The last Siberian tiger will take a final breath so that some goddamned rich Chinaman can eat its gall bladder, and there's not one fucking thing I can do to stop it.
All I can do is try to go out and see the last of this world's great places before they are dead and barren. That's all I can do.
Yeah, that's pretty fucking pathetic. But what the hell.