Today I was going to continue writing my series on wellbeing, but a news headline I heard over the weekend has (to my mind) made it important I write this post.
So, the headline was that, recently, a farmer in Egypt was arrested because he named his donkey after one of the senior generals in the military junta. Yup. Thankfully, I live in a country that (so far) can’t label me a political dissident for writing this, but seriously, what a giant dick. I can just imagine the preceding conversation:
Aide: “General, we have it on good authority that some peasant has named his donkey after you”.
General: “WHAT?! This is outrageous. Doesn’t he know how amazingly important and good looking I am? I’m a general and a big man, and I’ve got a moustache that makes me look important. Arrest him to show the world that I’m not just a complete dick”…
Made me think of another, more local conversation that (I imagine) happened as soon As Tony Abbott came to power in Australia:
Tony: “As a christian, it’s important to be true to God’s word. God put the Earth here so that human’s could use its resources and climate change is just scaremongering by people who think they’re smarter than me. I’m smarter than everyone, and I believe in God (and I don’t really believe in science because I don’t understand it and it’s anti-christian), so as one of my first acts as prime minister, I’m going to dismantle the independent Climate Commission.”
Critic: “But Tony, surely the fact that we have an enormous amount of data (agreed on by pretty much everyone who actually knows something about this stuff) that shows that the Earth is warming and that we’re to blame should be paid attention to?”
Tony: “Nonsense, they’re part of a worldwide conspiracy. Only I have the God-given power to see through their lies. Oh, and I’m a really important man. So that’s good enough. I’m actually doing Australia a favour – because it’s all about making money in the short-term so I can be popular.”
OK, in case you haven’t got it, dick is a euphemism for areshole. Hmm. Interesting that it’s all about body parts. Let’s just say ‘Grandiose people who think that they’re more important than those around them based on an inflated sense of entitlement and who, consequently, act in uncompassionate, unpleasant and counterproductive (to the rights or needs of others) ways’; or if it helps: Dangerous Idiotic Cruel Knaves.
If you read my blogs you might remember two articles I’ve already written on this topic. The first was about people who get offended easily and who aren’t able to see things from another’s perspective (because they think that they’re more important) (here), the second was about how, when presented with power and surrounded by people who reinforce their world view, too many people lose touch with their humanity and start behaving like dicks (here). Both of these articles touched on how a lack of compassion plagues humanity. I’ve also written extensively about compassion in politics (here), society (here and here), and in general (here and here); why our redundant survival systems (monkey brains) get in the way of compassionate behaviour (here); and why, because of the constant struggle between our limbic systems and our ability to be compassionate, we’re probably doomed as a species (here). Today I want to expound an urgent need and the potential solution to the world’s problems: the creation of a powerful, secular, apolitical Anti-Dick Police Force.
The anti-dick police would have the authority to take direct action against anyone being a dick. Because it’s comparatively easy to determine if someone’s being a dick, they could act rapidly to stamp down on dicks. Their chief tool would be the use of ironic punishment. Because telling dicks that they’re dicks doesn’t usually work (because dicks usually edit out their ability to hear criticism), and regular punishment is likely to reinforce a dick’s world view, the anti-dick police would remove dicks from positions of power, and force them to live in a situation equivalent to those whom they’ve fucked over. Once the (hopefully former by now) dick realises what a dick he’d been, he (because mostly it’s going to be males) would have to undergo intensive training in kindness and compassion and, with enough demonstrated ability to be nice, would eventually be allowed back into society.
The anti-dick police would have an elite anti-dick squad for taking out high-profile dicks (see above). But it would also have a community presence. Behaving like a dick in traffic, lording it over your employees at work, or just being a dick at home? The anti-dick police would just be a phone call away.
In fact, why stop with the anti-dick police. Screw the war on terror and the war on drugs – how about a war on dicks? These aforementioned ‘wars’ have cost countless billions, destroyed the lives of millions, and done about sweet FA in terms of social good. Instead of reducing foreign terrorism, we’ve being terrorised by our own governments who are trying to convince us to give up liberty and freedom for ‘security’. Instead of educating and treating people who have a drug dependency, we’ve marginalised them by telling the world that they’re evil for consuming a chemical compound (ironic indeed when other compounds like alcohol remain legal and acceptable). Interestingly, both of these ‘wars’ are being waged by dicks (i.e., by people in power with an agenda and who appear incapable of seeing things from any other perspective). Thus, a war on dicks would need to be run from a completely different platform. Instead of telling people that something’s ‘bad’ to further self-interest and establish a power base, a war on dicks would need to come from a desire to actually make the world a better place, by removing the people who screw it up for everyone else. It couldn’t, obviously, be run by dicks. Maybe by a special branch of the anti-dick police?
Of course, the anti-dick police would need oversight. Human nature suggests that as soon as anyone reached the upper echelons of the anti-dick police, he or she would be at risk of becoming a dick. Regular training in compassion combined with peer review of compassionate acts would establish standing within the anti-dick police, and rank would be ascertained by a person’s ability to not act like a dick (an inverse relationship). Any oversight action would also require that people in positions of responsibility within the anti-dick police be highly educated, capable of seeing things from multiple perspectives, and be secular, apolitical, compassionate and humanistic in both their worldview and their actions. This, admittedly, would be tough.
Here’s an idea: Why not start your own grass-roots anti-dick brigade? You can start in your own home by monitoring your own behaviour and arresting yourself whenever you catch yourself acting like a dick. You can apply an on-the-spot re-education campaign in compassion, starting with apologising to whomever you were a dick to, and then attempting to see the world from their perspective. Once your one-person anti-dick squad is working properly, try co-opting your friends, family or co-workers into the anti-dick movement. Start applying the anti-dick philosophy to the way you live your life, not just in your daily interactions with others, but also in your wider actions: how you shop (e.g., anti-dicks don’t buy products containing palm oil), how you vote (see above), how you travel, what you eat, etc. Remember, the anti-dick movement is always secular, apolitical and compassion-based.
Let’s do it together – by forming an anti-dick movement, we might be able to let those in power know that we won’t tolerate dicks any more. With fewer dicks in power, humans, as a species, might have a slim chance of surviving the next 200 years. Keep the dicks and we’re fucked.