Let’s take a short drive through the pedagogy of destruction.
Death is the natural order of things. We’re not so sure about the recycling of consciousness, but the body always meets its end. The natural order rightly includes the redistribution of the energies represented as a body returning to its origin. But typically, we not only remain aloof from death, but then we embalm, preserve and isolate bodies from their rightful place as earth. If this isn’t the most extreme symbol of a bizarre attachment to life and detachment from death, I don’t know what is.
Sentience terminates. Everything is recycled. Every configuration of life is returned to earth in a reorganized form. We might even say there’s really no such thing as death, only a redistribution of the atoms.
After yesterday, I’m inclined to reorganize the atoms of Donald Trump, to return them to their original form as earth, composting his nutrients, if there were any, to regenerate new beginnings. Would that be part of the natural order of things? Might I say I was conducting a controlled burn? Preserving something much larger by selective destruction? Would it be OK to, you know, push the inevitable impermanence of DJT, if I received permission from Gaia herself?
My belly is aroused, my heart becomes full, the breath in me expands at the contemplation of this sacred venture and ancient voices and forces from the borderlands of consciousness descend upon my crown to inform and align my internal energies to this task. The earth rumbles, the rivers tumble and the mountains rejoice.
I could harness the powers of earth herself to disperse the alien energies of Donald Trump, to terminate the queen-alien inspiring and giving life to creatures now invading and taking over the bodies and minds of the community of life, sucking as much of it as possible into a vortex of slow demise, driving destruction not as parasites in symbiosis, in mutuality with the host, allowing each other to live, but more like termites or soldier ants inexorably destroying their own home, only to move on to another.
As an alternative view, there is James Baldwin, who wrote in his book, The Fire Next Time, that those who hate cling to their hate out of desperation to avoid feeling what will replace it. When hate is gone, the only thing left is pain. And for decades, sociopathic and opportunistic politicians have been stoking that hate to avoid addressing the consequences of their own policies from rising to the surface.
But for now, yes, Trump is the queen of the soldier ants. Except in this case, there’s no other home awaiting him or his organized battalions after he finishes with this one.
The Trolley Problem is a well-known classic (and sadistic) psychology experiment presenting a dilemma. Assume there is a trolly running out of control with no possibility of being stopped. It is heading for a switching point at which it may continue on one of two tracks. On one track a single person is tied down. On the alternate track there are five people tied down to the track. You are the switchman. You can decide which track the trolly will take.
Assuming death will surely ensue, which track do you choose? We can have a long and complicated conversation about the judgment required in this case by providing details about exactly who is on the tracks. That conversation can take us on a circuitous path to making a difficult but relatively ethical choice. We could conjure circumstances to justify choosing either track. We might sacrifice the one for the benefit of the many. Likewise, we might sacrifice the many for the benefit of the few, or even the one.
The trolley is our lives, our nation, the earth itself. Suppose Donald Trump, the alien queen soldier ant, is tied to one of these tracks. He is, after all, the one who has reliably and consistently made the choice to benefit the one at the expense of the many. Now, you have the choice to save the larger community by sacrificing the leader of this invasive species. Could this act be considered part of the natural order, an ecosystem restoring itself to homeostasis?
What wisdom might emerge? What clarity might suddenly awaken? What possibilities might appear upon shutting forever the eyes of this force of death, corruption and dismemberment of the global body politic, rearranging his atoms and retuning them to the earth? If I had the choice, I know which track that train would take. What about you?
When I am hauled before the court to answer for this act of accelerating the natural order, what would be my defense? What could I claim to be restoring? Is this merely an elaborate rationalization for murder or a revelation of how the natural order really operates?
Isn’t murder without prejudice a common occurrence in the natural world every second of every day? Is humanity a part of that natural order or is we not? Would ending oppression, exploitation, incarceration, marginalization and other casual mayhems visited upon innocents, not to mention the biosphere, be sufficient justification for enacting a natural regime of normal murder? Or does my prejudice change everything? What is the moral choice here?
On what grounds do we even call the natural order violent, anyway? How anthropocentic is that!? Could it even be said that I killed him if his stream of consciousness was not destroyed, but instead lives on in the memory of his legions of soldier ants? On what basis could any court—imagining itself superior to and separate from Natural Order– even presume to be an arbiter of what constitutes natural?
Could religious freedom be my defense? Yes! My defense would be that I was performing a religious ritual, a sacred act of merciful reconciliation upon the land, a revival ceremony of restorative justice. Yes, that would be my defense—religious freedom! Take that, Mike pence! Take that, you wedding bakers! I was directed influenced by the heart of Gaia. Mine is an act of creative destruction. I am a wrathful priest of restoration, death’s messenger, guided by the invincible goddesses of love, generosity and faith, carefully choosing my prey on behalf of the great ecosystem and for the benefit of all beings. Yeah! That’s what I am!