November 12, 2012

A Rage for Life

At the end of last week, I published an entry that was titled, "My Rage Is a Life Force, You Miserable Bastards." The post took a few unexpected turns as I wrote it; in the event, I didn't even address the sources of my rage that I had intended to discuss. Those sources concern the election in general, and the profoundly distorted, poorly understood significance of Obama as a deeply damaging force in our political and cultural life. So I made that article Part I, stating that I would explain the reasons for my rage in a follow-up piece. I should get to that later this week.

As often happens with regard to this issue, my reference to "Rage" in the title of my post has already elicited several email responses (and this, despite the fact that I haven't yet explained the reasons for my reaction). A few of the emails are hostile (summarized: "Arthur, you're so angry. It's really ugly. That's why people don't want to read you."); some of them are sympathetic, but still concerned that my rage is too intense and will likely damage me.

It would take a book (more likely, several books) to explain my thinking about the multitude of questions and concerns raised by this subject. I want to address a few of those questions; here, I can do so only in far too brief a fashion. As it happens, I have written a number of articles addressing aspects of these problems.

One relatively straightforward issue concerns a strategy that I sometimes employ in both writing and conversation. A particularly effective form of argument is to take a term or an idea that a critic or opponent uses negatively, to criticize or even condemn you in some manner, refashion it in a truthful and accurate way, and then use the idea proudly, thus turning the tables on your opponent. In a long ago post, I called this strategy "The Patrick Henry Response":
One of the most effective ways of squelching invalid and illegitimate smears -- that is, attacks that conspicuously avoid the merits of opposing arguments, and merely call a person's character into question -- is to identify their true meaning, and then throw the charge back in the face of the person who mistakes insults for facts and logic.

It's even better if you do it proudly, fully confident of the correctness of your views. Call it the Patrick Henry response. In that vein, I tend to respond more informally than the tone we see in the above excerpt, at least in conversation. If someone accuses me of being "anti-American," and if it's clear he is thereby referring to our non-defensive, imperialist, militantly interventionist foreign policy and its endlessly destructive, counterproductive consequences, I'm likely to say: "Hell, yes, I'm anti-American! Aren't you? Isn't everyone?"

That usually elicits a gasp followed by silence, sometimes accompanied by a stare of disbelieving horror. It's highly entertaining. I recommend that you try it at the earliest opportunity.
This strategy can also be employed for arguments that are complex; I've done so on a number of occasions. One major instance was, "No, I Do Not Support 'The Troops'" -- and I addressed this issue in the opening paragraph:
I have never sought outrage for its own sake; I write what I do because I am convinced it is true, and I am arrogant enough to believe that some of what I write concerns matters of importance. But I am prepared to admit that outrage -- especially when it proceeds from sentimental, superficial, aggressively anti-intellectual cultural pieties that enjoy widespread acceptance -- is a highly enjoyable side effect. Now that I consider the matter, at least insofar as negative reaction to certain of my essays is concerned, outrage is most typically not a side effect at all, but the reaction in toto. This was certainly true of the criticism that greeted, "Yes, I Want the United States to Lose," an article written in early 2007.
When we argue in this manner, we are saying: "What you think is true -- coupled with your demand that I think and speak in a certain way -- is absolutely and completely wrong. The truth, in fact, is the exact opposite of what you claim. I'll explain why." It gets people's attention.

That's a simple issue. The next one is enormously complicated. In a general sense, when I utilize anger and rage -- and when I do so proudly, without apology and without any attempt whatsoever to "soften" my perspective or make it more "comfortable" for the reader -- I'm reacting to the tragic, suffocating emotional repression that is a major hallmark of our culture. I alluded to this in my article last week about the irreplaceable, supreme value of a single life:
There is one final point to be made about all this -- and that has to do with the supreme value of a single human life. In our desensitized, dehumanized age, most people have almost no appreciation for what I'm talking about, and our political establishment and media only make this grievous failing worse. Each of us is unique; not one of us can be replaced. Each of us has a family, loved ones, friends and a life that is a web of caring, interdependence, and joy. When even one of us is killed or horribly injured for no justifiable reason, the damage affects countless people in addition to the primary victim. Sometimes, the survivors are irreparably damaged as well. Even the survivors' wounds can last a lifetime.
The sentence I highlighted -- and my reference to "our desensitized, dehumanized age" -- speaks to this severe repression that makes it close to impossible for most people fully to grasp and understand, to feel all the way to the deepest part of their being, the unique, inestimable value of the life of even one human being.

Very closely related to this is an additional aspect of the same problem, and this takes us directly to the problem of rage. For while it is true that most people become deadened husks of imitation human beings by the time they are adults, there is one emotion they still feel, one emotion that colors their entire perspective and their reactions in many areas. I have described this phenomenon in a number of essays. Let me use an example that sets out how this particular lesson is taught to children, from "Bullied, Terrorized and Targeted for Destruction: Our Children Have Learned Well." In that article, I described how our children are taught to become bullies, how all the central lessons of our culture are directed toward teaching them to hate and to destroy. This is part of my longer argument:
Our children are taught that we equate "manliness" and "strength" with close to complete disregard for other people, with emotional repression and insensitivity to the point of catatonia, and with a willingness to resort to physical violence at the slightest provocation, and even in the complete absence of any provocation at all. We tell those people who suffer great emotional pain and even agony, often when they contemplate the terrible suffering of others, to "suck it up" and to have "thicker skins." The greatest virtue is to feel nothing, or as close to nothing as possible. There is one exception: you can feel unreasoning, unfocused rage, and you are free to act on it. You may lash out in any direction you choose. The innocence of your victim is irrelevant.

Our government acts in this manner repeatedly. Our political leaders all applaud it, and offer a lengthy series of "justifications" for our unending national cruelty.
This phenomenon -- the deadening of the soul, with the result that rage becomes the predominant emotion -- is in certain ways most acute, and it is certainly most deadly, in our national leaders. This was one of my primary concerns in describing my view of Obama, in the second half of a recent article. I explained my reasons for concluding that, in Obama's case, there is simply no "person" there, no person at all. I wrote:
As I watched Obama last night, I finally understood the answer. The "person" is nowhere to be found: there simply is no person. ... [T]hose of us who recognize the truth of Obama's record, and the truth of his false promises then and now, can understand the absence of a person in the sense I've attempted to describe. Those who wonder if Obama wants to be president at all came close to the truth. I think the more complete truth is far worse, and far more terrifying, and I didn't fully grasp it myself until last night. I conclude that Obama never wanted to be president, that is, he never wanted to do the work, master the details, understand the mechanics of the overwhelming complexities of a massive, constantly metastasizing State. Yes, he wanted to have the title "President" and enjoy the power and prestige that accompanies it (to say nothing of the fact that he and his family are now set for life at the pinnacle of the ruling class). But he never wanted to be president because there were certain policies to which he was passionately committed and wanted to put into action. He wants to be called "Mr. President"; leave the dull, wearisome duties of office to the underlings. That's what underlings are for. We might regard him as the most frighteningly complete narcissist we are likely to see, as well as perhaps the most complete solipsist. There are no policies beyond himself that he deeply cares about; there is nothing beyond himself at all. Outside of himself and his own power, he believes nothing.

At the same time, as I've noted, there is no "person" there, either. When you combine these two aspects, you are left with what might be the ultimate horror in psychological terms: a narcissist, and a solipsist, with no "self." When you care about nothing beyond this arrested, primitive sense of "self," you are left with nothing at all. That also means you are capable of anything. To be more accurate, you are left with one thing: a deep reservoir of rage and hatred. An individual cannot destroy his own personhood in this way and avoid the profound, unrelenting rage that must result. Rage of this kind demands an outlet. Thus, Obama is inevitably led to murder without end, first abroad and now increasingly at home. For a damaged person like Obama, a Kill List is an absolute necessity.
Once again, I ask you to consider the Kill List -- and to consider its full meaning. As I explained yet again in that essay, Obama and his fellow murderers systematically, regularly and routinely select human beings to be killed. In some cases, they do so on the basis of highly dubious information. In many cases, they do so on the basis of no information at all.

This means that Obama and his fellow monsters target people to be murdered whom they know to be entirely innocent. No greater crime is possible. No greater evil is possible. This cannot conceivably represent any kind of "lesser evil." This is the heart of the nightmare. They murder innocent human beings. They murder them every day.

What is the ultimate source of this systematic determination to murder innocent human beings? It is rage, blind, unthinking, unreasoning rage, rage without end and without purpose, except for the dedication to murder and destruction for their own sakes, as ends in themselves. This is the worst nightmare that can be imagined. If Obama and his fellow murderers should decide to act on it still more broadly, they will create a hell on earth. For many people, they have already done so.

When I contemplate evil of this kind, I have many reactions. In moral terms, I condemn the murderers utterly and completely, that is, I condemn all those who select the victims, all those who take part in ordering the murders, and all those who carry them out. I do not ask them to repent and make amends; atonement for crimes of this kind is not possible. I ask for one thing, and one thing only: I ask, I demand that they stop. I demand that they stop instantly, that they stop in this moment, now and forever.

And what do I feel? I feel rage -- but my rage is fully reasoned. My rage has arguments, my rage is informed by moral concerns, the most vital and important moral concerns that we are capable of identifying. My rage is on behalf of life. My rage is on behalf of the victims.

I look at the picture of the young boy at the top of this article -- a young boy who was murdered by Obama and his fellow monsters -- and I feel rage. I look at the pictures here (following a link provided in the comments to Floyd's post) -- and I warn you that as you scroll down, the pictures get worse and worse, so you may choose not to look at them -- and I feel rage. Toward the bottom of that page, there is a photograph of a young girl named Shakira. I looked at it, and I began crying. I look at Obama's handiwork, and I feel immense grief, a grief without end -- and I feel rage.

My rage is more powerful than Obama's. If enough people felt rage of the same kind -- rage for life and on behalf of the victims -- we would stop the murderers.

Yes, I feel rage. Don't you? Don't you think everyone should? Obama's rage is for murder, and for death. My rage is for life, and on behalf of the victims.

One day, the rage for life will triumph. We will almost certainly not see it in our time -- but the triumph will come. The rage of the murderers is finally impotent; death and destruction are not life or positive in any sense. They are the negation of life.

My rage -- our rage -- is for life. Life will have its victory one day. It has to. It must.