“And perhaps a great day will come when a people distinguished by war and victory and by the highest development of its military organization and intelligence, and accustomed to making the gravest sacrifices to these things, will choose to exclaim, “We will break the sword into pieces!” — and will demolish its entire military machine down to its deepest foundations. To disarm while being the best armed, as an expression of elevated feelings — that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a disposition toward peace: whereas so-called “armed peace” such as that which parades in every country nowadays, is a disposition toward hostility that trusts neither itself nor its neighbor and, partly out of hatred, partly out of fear, refuses to put down its weapons.” Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, (my edits) http://bartleby.com/66/83/42183.html
The United States is so dualistic, its rising sign must be in Gemini. It is at once lenient and oppressive, utilitarian and mythic, genuine and fraudulent, placid yet deeply disturbed, egalitarian and hierarchical, peace loving and jingo, brilliant yet desperately blah.
This may have to do with the contrast Professor Allen C. Guelzo notes in his lecture series, The American Mind, available on CD through the Teaching Company at http://www.teach12.com. According to him, Americans are sundered between reason and will, intellect and action.
Which habit would worry you most: failing to act in time or failing to think through the consequences of your action? What would you fear most: analysis paralysis or the unintended fallout of your behavior?
Your response pigeonholes you into one of two categories of American leaders. On the one hand, people like Trump and his cronies who rush in where angels would fear to tread, based on faith, gut instinct, dogma, greed or some other BS; and their mirror-images, so-called “progressive peace activists” who have never had a clue about what they are doing and could care less about the permanence of their failure. On the other hand, people like John Kerry, Bill Clinton and their supporters who never met an idea they couldn’t dissect from now ’til Sunday without doing anything about it in the meantime; and people like my fellow ideologists and I buried in our solitary brown studies.
Each party resents the intrusions and failures of the other; each would rather monopolize political and economic power. The relative strength of these two tendencies must be meticulously balanced. Pre-emption by one or the other has proven disastrous in the past and could prove fatal in the future.
America is in a permanent state of self-contradiction. Change and tradition are equally valued here. The best and worst of art and good taste have been produced in vast quantities, prized dearly and then cast aside as rubbish.
America’s fruitful plains have borne the fairest harvests on Earth, bar none. Yet both at home and abroad, the soil is strip-mined, crops poisoned, fisheries depleted, farm animals abused and family farmers ruined. As a result, much of this bounty is over-processed into a noxious sludge fit only for obesity, incineration and incrustation into the land and our bodies as layers of solid, liquid and gaseous filth.
Strolling across an American landscape is like walking across the bottom of a gigantic, almost empty garbage dumpster. Depressing litter lies everywhere, dropped there by the lowest order of sociopaths, even when the nearest wastebasket is a short toss away.
The plant beds around my neighborhood library were recently mulched with wood bark. By the next morning, this serene layout had been soiled with cigarette butts, waste paper and orange peels, not so much cast aside as carefully positioned for maximum visual impact. Once again, within spitting distance of a trash barrel. Thus do modern-day sociopaths “express their individuality” in the only manner they can get away with, unless they are corporate bureaucrats given magnificent opportunities and Wall street profits to pollute on an industrial scale.
Shameless scoundrels! Trash soccer addresses your butts and your crap with summary dismissal.
American law simulates justice in sporadic fits according to the wealth and notoriety of the accused. Equity under strong courts is the letter of the law; self-promotion through vicious competition is its spirit. When a poor guy gets swept into the Prison Empire run for profit by reactionaries, he is cast into Hell on Earth regardless of his guilt or innocence. The courts offer lofty sinecures for stealth reactionaries and control freaks, and a few humble watch posts for brilliant legal minds — at least at subordinate levels where the ever-reactionary Congress cannot meddle.
In 2014, the United States went into legalistic convulsions to address its scandalous yearly toll of female college students (of the elite) raped without redress. On the other hand, our particular distinction among nations not yet addressed is the high count of American males (mostly poor minorities) who get raped compared to females. This thanks to our fundamentalist Judeo-Christian Prison Empire, which locks up over one percent of the population. Compared to our nation and its grimly enforced mass rape factories, the Bible’s Sodomites were mere good-time Charleys a bit too enthusiastic with how they got off. How would Lot’s God have disposed of our modern-day tormentors along with the rest of us who tolerate their abuse? Besides, doesn’t the Constitution forbid “cruel and unusual punishment?” What could be more cruel and unusual than serial rape institutionalized and rendered routine by the agencies supposed to criminalize it?
Add to this the insane practice of isolating violent convicts and depriving them of meaningful human contact daily for years on end, a form of torture proven to cause severe psychiatric damage in a matter of days. Add to that the remarkable Reagan brainstorm of housing in prisons the most mentally disturbed people with the most criminally minded. You wind up with a textbook case of institutionalized sadism and brutality run amok: an earthly paradise for handpicked psychopaths and hell on Earth for their numerous victims.
The Twin Towers came down during what was obviously a controlled demolition. No building that tall and sliced so lopsidedly would collapse directly onto its own footprint — anyone who asserts as much to me is a damned liar and a fool to take me for such a fool. The first thing Congress made sure of was that families of high-ranking victims would get more compensation. I cannot find a better illustration of Congressional slime even though more examples pile up every day. For instance, why did Congress not honestly investigate those who benefited most from that demolition?
The genocide of Native American and Black peoples by the Euro-Americans was, whether by direct or proportional headcount, as murderous as the Nazi’s massacre of their European victims among Jews and others. Yet Americans consider their society a model of peace compared to the pariah status accorded to Nazi Germany. Pogroms and ethnic cleansings have confirmed the brutality of fundamentalists across the religious spectrum. Taking into account Stalin’s and Mao’s hecatombs, national communism, national socialism, national capitalism and national fundamentalism have proved to be equally vicious. A trait nationalist elites share with psychopaths is that neither party feels the need to consider themselves guilty, repent of past misdeeds or make amends for them. “What we’ve done is done; what they’ve done is unpardonable. We are good; they are bad. End of discussion!”
Green shoots of idealism spring up here and there across a wasteland of hypocrisy, greed and closed-mindedness. Americans have defended freedom and slavery, liberty and tyranny with equal sincerity and ferocity. Hereabouts, progressives maintain the illusion of harmony with conservatives ̶ and liberals with reactionaries – by agreeing to disagree about democracy’s fundamental definition. The former base theirs on equality (meaning relief from abuse by “superiors”); the latter, on liberty (the shameless opportunity for those superiors to define “inferiors” and abuse them legally).
Orthodox politicians and media pundits maintain that “representative democracy” and the vote are sacred; yet ballots are miscounted and/or forbidden by the millions, especially in Dixie. Recent voting scandals in Florida and Ohio are just the tip of an iceberg of Southern crypto-racism that has diffused its chill to the rest of the country. Nowadays, the same kinds of people impede the vote of minorities so that they may “reduce voting fraud” that is nonexistent except in their own case. You’d think such flaming hypocrites would turn into pillars of salt, thunderstruck or just struck off from voter rolls.
No-one cares that American voters constitute a Spartan minority surrounded by a majority of idiot slaves, or that no Greek tyranny was run by such an anti-democratic minority as our corporate slave masters and their thought-police.
As long as Learner topics of passion are not given priority in public discussion, the talent pool of leadership must shrink, decision-makers must grow more stupid, and unintended consequences, more disastrous. Simple arithmetic.
After having repelled a few British assaults, America’s European colonists concluded that they were secure from foreign invasion behind their oceanic moats. Blessed with vast virgin territories to exploit, they invited mass immigration that other, more crowded nations had to resist. This despite reactionaries’ nonstop complaints about waves of foreign immigrants who wound up earning those reactionaries nonstop fortunes. Despite them and their impulsive bigotry, our real-life freedoms and opportunities surpassed those dreamt-of elsewhere.
With the exception, of course, of dispossessed Native Americans, Blacks abducted from their African homelands, as well as Mexicans and their Latin American confederates: the innocent victims of a series of military and police assaults by the USA because of their Catholic faith and slightly less pale complexion, therefore “inferiority.” All three sets of victims were denied the right every American citizen values most: free welcome into fellow citizenship. A welcome everyone on Earth deserves; the same welcome that held the Roman Empire together, wherever its citizens came from — at least until born-again Huns took over and wrecked everything.
Can’t you see the same thing happening here and now? Shall we sit pat for this Vandal scandal as did the lead-dummied Romans, or will we resist it? True, our poisons are much more toxic. Will we prove strong enough to overcome them?
American business, art and science – even organized religion – benefited from massive infusions of peace. Nonetheless, without really knowing why, Americans nursed racial bigotry, mass poverty, ethnic genocide, slavery and civil war. The main reason they subsidized weapon mentality in blatant defiance of the Constitution? It was to retain a razor-sharp weapon technology against outsiders; this in keeping with the Old World tradition of instant cutthroat by government command.
The proliferation of biological, scalar and nuclear weapons has confounded America’s moat defense. Our sense of strategic invulnerability is fading along with its collateral prosperity and liberty.
From the Korean War to those in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, each new military adventure became more expensive, unjustifiable, corrupting and harmful to our best institutions. Since they were bound to end in failure and disgrace, American reactionaries made their way home to hunt among their own people for their next prey. Indigents, immigrants, minorities, women, children, drug users, victimless criminals, the homeless, mental patients, natural ecosystems — they targeted anyone and anything that appeared vulnerable enough. The most obvious targets for mass victimization in the near future will be the elderly: numerous, ugly, wrinkled, smelly, feeble, decrepit, selfish, non-productive and not too bright. Perfect victims.
Remember, growing apprehension of outside threat multiplies homegrown reaction and poverty, as each weapons elite pledges to protect its info proletariat from elites abroad, allegedly grotesque and horrifying but actually identical in their shared humanity.
Radicals and reactionaries misbehave with boring predictability. Regardless of their origin, ideology, race and other cosmetic distinctions, they believe their society won't cohere unless it confronts a horde of potential enemies. Internal or external, make-believe or real, it matters little who those Others really are.
To leftists, the ultimate foes are the rich. Surly foreign powers and crafty criminals are centrists’ favorite bogeymen. Reactionaries define the enemy as anyone weak enough (in control of few votes and little wealth). All three of them esteem brutality as a cure-all.
These enemies often turn out to be illusory. When real threats do emerge, they tend to do so from out of the blue. Many aggressors, (Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden among many others), were initially funded by the authorities hired to keep an eye on them.
When a new threat sets off alarms put in place long ago to checkmate them with vigorous pre-emptive measures, jingo politicians plug their ears to those warning signs and let the impending disaster unfold anyway, seemingly through sheer incompetence. In fact, they went to great lengths to provoke the violent reaction their real plans require.
In one sense, America’s strategic immunity based on oceanic moats has come to an end. According to our praetorians, we must submit to permanent weapon mentality – even in times of peace – and accept all its overheads. Otherwise, we risk being relegated to second-class status. The question is: second-class to whom? When the United States sneezes, the other powers get pneumonia. During the 1970’s, the OPEC nations reversed their oil embargo, not because their chokehold had crippled the Great Satan, but because it was throttling the golden goose. They realized, a little late, that the real victims of their petroleum price hikes turned out to be the poorest of their allies and trading partners.
Rising crime and prisoner statistics, as well as the official unemployment rate (double or triple what is officially reported) sum up the raw deal of American weapon tyranny. These nightmare sums are nothing compared to the hell we may expect to live through if we let smooth-talking Wimps and Prisms con us any deeper into Armageddon.
Just as peace management would seek to make life as productive and rewarding as possible, weapon management incites inequalities of wealth, creativity and security. Life must become so uncertain that military recruitment appears to many poor children like they’re finally catching a break. Weapon mentality turns a vast labor pool of human drones into willing codependents of repression, warfare and criminality.
Remember, every suppressed demonstration, illegal arrest, unresolved act of police brutality and Banana Republican calling for “More repression!” reveals a panicky elite lashing out against political nightmares more frightful than any real mob or insurrection. Picture zombie movie monsters as staggering and starving proletarians to be massacred ASAP. Imagine you and your loved ones being turned into a Catastrophe that requires the firm if reluctant administration of a Final Solution.
Conservatives share an ordinary weakness. They may sustain old values but cannot nurture new ones. Faithful to weapon mentality, they lack peace mentality’s creative spark. It took three hundred years, from the 1200's on, for conservative European elites to adopt the zero in arithmetic.
Progressives cannot propose a new approach to abundance without conservatives resisting beforehand “to (someone else’s) death.” Conservatives won’t let themselves believe that everyone would better off once wealth were distributed more evenly. They refuse to picture the abundance they might achieve by unrestrained sharing. So they feel compelled to misappropriate wealth and creativity on a zero-sum basis. “What I gain, you must lose.”
This despite history’s most persistent lesson: societies remain poor insofar some minority misappropriates its wealth. The smaller in proportion this wealthy minority remains, the more restricted and thus stupid its decision-making, the simpler its social structure and the poorer its host nation.
The genetic heritage of a bigot elite must also suffer. The children of the elite, genetically feebler than sturdier crossbreeds, will suffer higher infant mortality in direct proportion to a restriction of mates worthy to become their parents. A closed elite may eliminate itself entirely this way during the next natural stretch of heightened infant mortality.
Ancient wealth trickled like a mountain rivulet from a god-king to his tiny court hermetically sealed from the unwashed masses. It bubbled along creek-beds of medieval nobility and priesthood carefully walled off from their inferiors. It then streamed between the Victorian upper-bourgeoisie, clerics and general staff. These worthies held the masses at bayonet-point outside the magic circle of wealth. Today, this wealth meanders along meandering tributaries of professionals and officers/bureaucrats who buy off the underclass with a minimal expenditure on bread & circuses, (factory-farmed burger-buns and idiot television).
Before long, all this wealth will flow into the most deserving of seas, that of Learners worldwide. At each stage of redistribution, as if by magic, overall wealth (including that of the rich) increases exponentially.
Natural disasters and warfare weaken peace management. Social harmony is a delicate fabric woven from many strands of mutual trust, cooperation and good will. This web is fragile, it frays under stress and soon parts. During disasters, the distribution of necessities breaks down. That incites people to looting, personal vengeance and other forms of lawlessness. “Civilization is just a question of fodder,” Berthold Brecht. Facing unaccustomed overloads, routine protocols become sporadic, unfair and inadequate; rigidity, uncertainty and centralization set in. Opportunistic Conspirators of Greed proliferate, as does the synergy of their ill effects. Tyranny re-asserts itself as peace technologies whither. As the situation deteriorates, traumatized societies shift from marginal peace to climax weapon production — voila (vwahlah! “There you have it!”) true war fever.
An intermittent pandemic appears to afflict entire societies. While majorities sink into economic and spiritual decline, a dwindling minority amasses unearned riches. Traditional values and sources of security are uprooted until combat itself begins to look promising.
This pandemic of social degeneracy was most apparent during the Great Depression. Even though the carnage of World War I (sic) had converted most info proletarians into ardent pacifists, it had nonetheless converted key elites into fanatical weapon sectarians who made sure this Depression so pummeled info proletarian sensibilities that World War II would come to them as a relief.
The best kind of military recruit is a child from a slum or a village of misery. This Golden Rule of weapon mentality applies just as well to bitter ghetto berserkers as to a sweet majority of street urchins. The lucky ones survive their inevitable abuse. Their parents or guardians do their utmost to help them despite their limited means. Nonetheless, awash in self-loathing, slum children are driven to join something greater than themselves. Hardened survivors, they can handle grinding adversity, harsh discipline and the terrors of combat. Their gang leaders have been street-tested in armed combat. Those children who fail to adapt, die young.
The best preparation for surviving the Apocalypse would be to be born like Jesus, as a homeless child.
By following this simple formula, weapon management can harvest an enormous crop of good infantry at an instant’s notice. The more brutal their childhood, the greater the number of valuable recruits and invaluable small unit leaders. The end products are countless regiments of solid infantry; elite commando squads sprinkled with certifiable sociopaths; a handful of sterling leaders like Booker T. Washington, M.L. King, Jesse Jackson, Cornell West, General/Secretary of State Collin Powell and their high-merit peers; along with throngs of poverty-, ignorance- and crime-crippled victims. Those last are the massive human tailings of a rarefied ore from which – at great wastage – precious battle elites and expert weapon technicians may be refined.
“The first quality of a soldier is constancy in enduring fatigue and hardship. Courage is only secondary. Poverty, privation and want are the schools of good soldiers.” Napoleon, taken from Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman’s On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Back Bay Books, Little Brown & Co., Boston, New York, Toronto, London, 1995. Printed by permission.
Weapon management imposes long-term destitution on any society that accepts it. This fact is papered-over with standard weapon myths we have been conditioned to admire for ages. Anything and everything – bad weather, hostile gods, heretics, magicians and witches, druggies, drug lords and petty criminals, an aging workforce, welfare moms, inferior minorities, guerrillas and now terrorists – can be blamed for shriveling economies that should be thriving but never manage to.
How is it that after thousands of years of civilized experience, we suffer periodic economic collapses for no apparent reason, as if an Olympic runner kept tripping over his shoelaces? And nobody but me finds this strange?
For a maturing society, mass poverty is never the cheapest way to go. On the contrary, it is the most expensive social policy. Let me repeat that for emphasis, since we’ve been told it so rarely in the past (never).
Poverty is by far the most expensive social policy.
No society ever grew rich by fostering poverty. Info elites waste enormous amounts of wealth as they cultivate poverty along with other anti-profit weapons overheads.
By rights, that wealth should be ours to invest in peace. We will be amazed by the quality of peace that Learners can buy with it. Not to mention the hurricane of violence Learners will buy off with a tiny fraction of it.
However, higher living standards breed spoiled, argumentative and self-indulgent people: totally unsatisfactory cannon fodder. Social decadence is not bad per se. But it would be unwise to maximize prosperity and pacifism in one’s own people while the rest of the world kept meeting its needs at gunpoint.
Mass poverty is never the end product of some stupid policy failure; it does not really result from selfish greed, insanity and corruption. Those are mere symptoms of the underlying illness: weapon mentality.
In fact, all money – the entire growth-dependent, zero-sum shell game based on compound interest so dear to politicians, business people, academics and reactionary parasites who make up info elites – is merely a system of accounting for the huge sums of labor and resources wasted to feed global weapon technologies without any profit. “Lack of money” is our favorite excuse to rebuild anti-profit slums in the wake of our destructive wars.
Paraphrasing the late, great Ian M. Banks: the predominance of money betokens the poverty of a society enslaved to it.
There is a chicken and egg problem here: what came first? When orthodox economies go into decline for whatever reason, reflexive militarism becomes an irresistible means to raise wealth back to the top. If massed humans become poor all of a sudden, their first instinct will be to dust off ancient military protocols. Once a society’s expenses surpass its benefits, it will find a new prey population to chew up with its pumped up weapon technology newly acquired.
When I talk about Americans further on, I am also referring to all the rest of you who’ve lost your soul in the naked embrace of weapon mentality. Make sure you are not suffering the same disorder while you slam those damned Americans benighted by it.
They’ve suckled a toxic pap of obsessive materialism and vapid self-gratification from the ample tits of television and commercial advertising. They’ve been taught to obey their conscience only when it’s convenient, common sense only when convenient, good taste when convenient. Political and social transformation will never happen until it is convenient — or never at all, better yet.
They act as if their misbehavior, apathy and lousy decisions had no consequences. “If you don’t like the way we’ve dumbed-down the news, just change the channel (though we’ve already killed off every real news show). Better yet, sit still and wait for the next meaningless run of commercials. Nothing of significance will change, regardless of what you do, and insignificance will proliferate regardless of what you do.”
It has become a frenzy for them, to pursue mere indulgence to extremes and exult in their blind impunity. Thus do American crooks and bigots thrive, protected by a slapdash definition of liberty.
The “balanced” reporting of American journalism? That just means that evil will always be granted a head start. Whoever can pay more is entitled to lie, cheat, steal and get away with it indefinitely, more so than whoever pays less. The end product of “balanced American reporting” is dollar democracy: one million dollars equal one vote and one voter equals nothing.
Someone else is always to blame for downstream disasters, not us Americans. We never tire of telling ourselves those disasters were aberrations and not the toxic reflux of our rotten habits and institutions. No need to change!
Bismarck remarked that God seems to favor Americans, drunkards and crazies. So Americans appear more often than not to get away with their shit storm. As a result, America has become nation of spoiled brats: the ultimate upshot of every empire before its dissolution.
But the moment God looks the other way, duck and cover! From New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, disasters of biblical proportion show up. At that point, Americans feel so sorry for themselves. And, of course, it must be someone else’s fault. How could that not be so?
This nation’s business would not be so appalling if its citizens matured just a little — without going from childish petulance to churlish senility in the process.
After all, they are only babes compared to the deadly lunacy of Europe a dozen centuries senior and that of the Middle East and China older by millennia. All we have to work with are those toddler Americans plus everyone else end-stage infantilized, who are supposed to transform this world straight away. It will only be a few short years before annihilation overtakes the lot of us unless we grow up miraculously in the mean time. Good luck with that Children’s Crusade!
Until then, Americans (including do-nothing Democrats) act like a bunch of GMO-corn-fed Republicans, which means fascist wannabes who haven’t quite got it perfect yet. Just give the USA enough rope to hang itself with. Ronnie Raygun wasn’t perfect, but almost! What with the Bushes and Nixon and Trump and their toadies in the Supreme Court and Congress; let’s just elect another Weimar Democrat, a plaster figurehead in between them. Decorative but ineffectual, his relative honesty and competence are the most we can handle. Then his successor may renew Hell on Earth. We are blindly taking one step back and three forward into a Thousand Year Reich wrapped in red, white and blue.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, an American Army of mercenaries (anathema to the spirit of the Constitution) is practicing “pacification tactics” with the military occupation of Buffalo, St. Louis and Seattle in mind. But don’t worry, be happy! Just sit on your hands and watch it happen.
Nowadays, Americans only hearken to arrogant nihilism and dogmatic Puritanism — moral vacuity or empty moralism. Mere profit, dogma, fad and convenience are the only ethical bearings that remain open to us. Might as well take a deep breath in a vacuum.
There is a golden mean, a middle ground of good conduct that this country and WeaponWorld despise. Is the road to Hell paved with good intentions? In your dreams, perhaps. In reality, this pavement has been plastered over with Halliburton stock certificates (a Best Buy!).
Conscience, empathy, just plain doing good and shunning evil: those things merit reverence and emulation if only because they cause fewer unexpected disasters. Obey your conscience – even when it seems unfashionable, inconvenient and unprofitable – and achieve unforeseen miracles. Violate good conscience, good sense and good taste, and suffer surprise disaster more often than not. Good ethics and enlightened self-interest turn out to be the most likely behaviors to result in a good outcome. Ignore them at our peril.
After this jeremiad of American failure, I must emphasize a key point.
Given our Gemini commonality, we Americans share more power, glory and genius than any other nation. For centuries, America was settled by the cream of the rest of the world — the best and the worst. If we make wise, heroic and generous use of our advantages (in typically American fashion) we could neutralize our liabilities.
Americans! Relax and let it all hang out. If we adopted the best practices of peace, we could find our outcomes supernaturally elegant and graceful compared to the mess we face today.
The other alternatives will be no fun at all.