June 28, 2008

Four More Months of This Crap? Noooo...

I don't think I can take it. July, August, September, October...maybe I'll make it through September. Doubtful, though. Very, very doubtful.

I am nauseated, disgusted and deeply repulsed by the fact that almost every member of our sickeningly immoral ruling class is a vicious goddamned racist, especially when it comes to those comparatively poor, weak (and usually dark) foreigners we love to bomb, murder and torture so much:
It's a choice between more of the same policies that have failed us for eight long years or a new direction for the country we love.

We can continue to spend ten billion dollars a month in Iraq and leave our troops there for the next twenty years, or fifty years, or one hundred years; we can follow a policy that doesn't change whether violence is up or down, whether the Iraqi government takes responsibility for itself or not.
Yeah, it's pretty disgusting how, after the world's most powerful nation launched a criminal, genocidal war of aggression against them and then, among many other monstrous acts, deliberately made an autonomous and effective Iraqi government impossible, those Iraqis turned out to be so damned irresponsible. In the Obama playbook, that makes the Iraqis about as bad as half of all Black Americans.

That reminds me, Obama, I've been meaning to tell you something. You truly are a shithead, shithead.

Shucks, you don't like it when I talk the sweet talk? Look, I've given you the lengthy explanation, in "The Triumph of the White, Male Ruling Class: One Fucking Great Country." (I did call Obama a "pathetic little asshole" in that one, but truth is the only defense I require.) If you follow even a few of the numerous links provided in that essay, you will read detailed discussions of the murderous racism that has been one of the foundations of U.S. foreign policy for more than a century -- from Mexico, to the Philippines, in World War II, and on and on. And on to Iraq today. "Shithead" is a term of art, if you will, a distillation of my earlier essays, a condensation offered for the convenience of those 99.9% of Americans who are unable to focus on the meaning of more than one word at a time. Notably crude words appear to be most accessible.

So, yes, Obama is a gen-u-eyne, full-fledged shithead. McCain is too, of course, but Obama claims to be so different, so noble, so above, below, beyond traditional politics. And he turns out to be a 100% shithead exactly like all the rest of them. Well, when you want power, and when you want to be the most powerful person in the world, you do what you gotta do. And what you gotta do is be a shithead.

Speaking of being so different and so beyond traditional politics, this additional excerpt from Obama's speechifying is good for a chortle. I mean, how many gazillion goddamn times have you heard this kind of meaningless drivel?
And that's why at this moment, we must come together not just as Democrats, but as Americans – united by our understanding that there is no problem we cannot solve; no challenge we cannot meet if we meet it as one nation, as one people.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I contemplate the spectacle of most Americans' ignorant, lazy, despicably complacent, relentlessly stupid acceptance of impending tyranny at home, genocide abroad, yet another looming act of barbarous murder and conquest that no one is doing a damned thing to stop, and the thought of being "one" with those people is enough to make me slash both wrists immediately. And my throat, just to be sure.

Your mileage might be different.

In some upcoming essays, I hope to explore in further detail the mechanisms that allow many people to treat insultingly vacuous statements such as the one from Obama directly above as if they actually meant something. In the case of Obama, this problem has become a crippling psychological syndrome, one that causes people who occasionally are not altogether dumb to become pathetic examples of utterly sappy, oversentimentalized, gooey, sloppily awful cheerleading. A few examples are collected at the beginning of "Obama's Whitewash," with links to more.

But in an article I wrote two and a half years ago, I set out what I consider a significant part of the explanation. (Precisely how these dynamics initially take root and the often complex ways in which they operate require a longer explanation, which is the one I hope to get to in the future.) In "The Roots of the Politics of Power," I noted Alice Miller's term "poisonous pedagogy" and her explanation of its meaning:
Poisonous pedagogy is a phrase I use to refer to the kind of parenting and education aimed at breaking a child's will and making that child into an obedient subject by means of overt or covert coercion, manipulation, and emotional blackmail.

In my books For Your Own Good and Thou Shall Not Be Aware, I have explained the concept using concrete examples. In my other books I have repeatedly stressed how the mendacious mentality behind this approach to dealing with children can leave long-lasting imprints on the way we think and relate to one another in our adult lives.
In introducing a further excerpt from Miller, I wrote:
The following is from one of her first books, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware. We should note the revealing subtitle: Society's Betrayal of the Child. As Miller once again makes clear, it is our childhood experiences -- and learning to internalize completely the obedience-denial-idealization mechanism -- that explain so much of our adult behavior.

And those earliest experiences and their resulting psychological damage also throw light on the nature of politics and political debate.
Here is Miller:
There is a good deal else that would not exist without "poisonous pedagogy." It would be inconceivable, for example, for politicians mouthing empty cliches to attain the highest positions of power by democratic means. But since voters, who as children would normally have been capable of seeing through these cliches with the aid of their feelings, were specifically forbidden to do so in their early years, they lose this ability as adults. The capacity to experience the strong feelings of childhood and puberty (which are so often stifled by child-rearing methods, beatings, or even drugs) could provide the individual with an important means of orientation with which he or she could easily determine whether politicians are speaking from genuine experience or are merely parroting time-worn platitudes for the sake of manipulating voters. Our whole system of raising and educating children provides the power-hungry with a ready-made railway network they can use to reach the destination of their choice. They need only push the buttons that parents and educators have already installed.

Crippling ties to certain norms, terminology, and labels can also be clearly observed in the case of many thoroughly honorable people who become passionately engaged in political struggle. For them, political struggle is inseparably associated with party, organization, or ideology.
Since the ominous threat child-rearing practices pose to peace and survival has always remained hidden, ideologies have not yet been able to perceive this situation or, if they do perceive it, to develop intellectual weapons against this knowledge. As far as I know, not a single ideology has "appropriated" the truth of the overriding importance of our early conditioning to be obedient and dependent and to suppress our feelings, along with the consequences of this conditioning. That is understandable, for it probably would mean the end of the ideology in question and the beginning of awareness. Accordingly, many ideologues who consider themselves politically active are like people who, if a fire breaks out, would open the windows to try to let out the billowing smoke (perhaps contenting themselves with abstract theories about the fire's origin) and blithely ignore the flames leaping up nearby.

My hypothesis that Adolf Hitler owed his great popularity to the cruel and inhuman principles of infant- and child-rearing prevalent in the Germany of his day [see the Hitler chapter in For Your Own Good] is also proved by the exception. I looked into the background of Sophie and Hans Scholl, two university students in Hitler's Germany who became famous as a result of their activities in the resistance movement, "The White Rose," and were both executed by the Nazis in 1944. I discovered that the tolerant and open atmosphere of their childhood had enabled them to see through Hitler's platitudes at the Nuremberg Rally, when the brother and sister were members of Nazi youth organizations. Nearly all their peers were completely won over by the Fuhrer, whereas Hans and Sophie had other, higher expectations of human nature, not shared by their comrades, against which they could measure Hitler. Because such standards are rare, it is also very difficult for patients in therapy to see through the manipulative methods they are subjected to; the patient doesn't even notice such methods because they are inherent in a system he takes completely for granted.
Keep in mind that I wrote the earlier essay in January 2006. Given developments over the last year, I find these observations of mine from the end of that piece worryingly prescient:
It should be emphasized that, while the most extreme and dangerous examples of these mechanisms are presently to be found in the United States among Bush's defenders, most of those who criticize Bush are only marginally better. They do not challenge Bush's program on the deeper level indicated by Miller, and most of the political debates we witness are conducted in only the most artificially circumscribed terms. Thus, even those who denounce Bush usually avoid the most significant and meaningful issues -- and in the end, they are helpless to prevent disaster from overtaking all of us.
Tragically, and very dangerously in my view, many of those who so vehemently "denounce Bush" are among the loudest mindless adulators of Obama, thus proving my contention that most of these people never understood the deeper problems involved. In certain ways, I consider the behavior of many of Obama's most enthusiastic supporters to constitute an even greater danger than Bush's adherents represented. That is also a subject I will examine further in the future.