A VACUOUS MIND IS AN EASIER THING TO RULE:
In a few words: The dusk of plutocrats cannot come fast enough. Plutocrats paralyze minds with stupidity. Such is their venom, a neurotoxin. Witness the old, grossly obvious collusion between the USA and Salafism (= the religion of the old ones, fanatical Islamism; don’t forget bin Laden was a CIA employee for decades, and that the Shiite coup in Iran, in 1953, was organized by the CIA; and the USA messed up similarly with Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
Nevertheless, if you evoke this blatant connection many average Americans, and many, not so average, will call you mad, a conspiracy theorist, anti-American, or, even worse, as I am often told, what is for them the ultimate insult, “French”.
Now to deny the collusion between the USA and Arab autocrats is really stupid. But this stupidity has its uses, and of them we will talk. The coup against the democracy headed by Mossadegh, for example, is a well known case where the CIA instrumentalized the Shiites against secular democracy in Iran. Reagan did the same, instrumentalizing the Iranian Shiites, because he needed some conspiratorial cash to wage war in the name of plutocracy in the Americas. Arguably, Bush re-instrumentalized the Shiites again. And that’s just for the Shiites.
But many Americans, especially in the upper middle class, have made into a religion to be stupid. They think, or rather, have been imprinted to repeat like parrots, that it is very clever, to be very stupid. This essay will explain how come they sank so low.
A second apotheosis for plutocracy in the USA reached beyond the ridiculously corrupt in recent years (think Goldman Sachs). However, plutocracy seems to encounter its first serious trouble in the Middle East and Maghreb ever since Constantinople was oppressing everybody with its mad plutocracy disguised in religious fanaticism.
There is hope, at last, that the old core of civilization will regain its rightful place.
By the way, insurrection in the West’s pet Arab dictatorships demonstrates the stupidity of the “Clash Of Civilization” ignoramuses. Everybody wants democracy, it’s not just a right, it’s the nature, the ethology, of the genus Homo. To call some human beings “Muslim”, and then say they can do with reduced human rights, reduced human nature, that is good enough for them, is sheer racism.
Man is a theoretical animal. His main product is theories about everything. When the Dark Side, plutocracy, dominates man, it rules man’s theories, its logic, its sense of reason, its passions, even its appreciation for special entertainment.
Capture of hearts, souls and beasts by the Dark Side, by plutocracy, is a madness of civilization. It is aggravated by its sympathy for a very deep instinct of ecological control, waste and devastation. However, this civilization is our last chance, it will not be refreshed by Armageddon.
So, as revolt rumbles in the distance, what about our Western plutocrats? Were they not the ones pulling the strings of nearly all the dictators in Arab speaking countries? Is not the Egyptian army, with its American tanks, long headed by Mubarak, an Air Force general, like Pinochet, paid by the USA?
True grit, in the West, will be shown when the fight against plutocracy will be joined, by asking for the departure of our own plutocrats (those pulling the strings of Western politicians) and the head of the snake is put back in its cage.
Abstract: AGAINST STUPIDITY, THE GODS THEMSELVES CONTEND IN VAIN, THEREFORE SO WILL DEMOCRATS. Imposing stupidity has proven to be the winning strategy of tyrants.
Thus tyrants, and their goons, support all and any mental habits and traditions which make people stupid.
Make the mind, and the heart, of the many, a collective that is a desert, make having no mind, and having no heart, but a cruel bend, indispensable, and even fashionable (as happened to the Greco-Romans), and tyranny can thrive, because the many have identified to those who lead them: vacuous, cruel, heartless, acultural.
Thus tyrannical regimes are not only stupid and heartless, but they rule by making their populations just the same, or even more so.
This desertification of the greatest mental characteristics of humanity was accomplished in the so called Muslim world, and it’s now being attempted in the West, (once again, and it’s not the first time!). It has been most successful in the USA.
Such is the fundamental deficit of America, a growing mental deficit, which has a lot to do with how Salafism made the parts where it reigned deficient in all sorts of ways. (This was long my opinion, now I observe with satisfaction that is shared by the courageous ElBaradei, see below.)
The stupidity they impose and reinforce, is why tyrants favor superstitions so much. “In God We Trust”, they smirk, and they reach for the Gold hiding behind God.
Superstition robs the mind of the ability to detect what is real, and what is not, an incapacity most useful to abusers. So tyrants force people to revere superstitions, calling them religions.
Thus tyrants replace other, more human, solidarities, which tie people again (re-ligare), with fiction standing above the world. The Internet has allowed to blossom old fashion human solidarities anew, hence the attempts to interdict it, say, by assassination threats against WikiLeaks, or by censorship, as in China, Egypt.
Hence tyrants love Christianity, Islam, the Aztec religion, Moloch, etc., all superstitions endowed with the worst punishments imaginable (once again a cruel stupidity most convenient to tyrants).
Imposing stupidity from the top, by autocrats, is how plutocracy is rendered stable. It’s the ultimate “extraordinary rendition”. One has to be pretty evil to impose one’s own (“auto”) rule (“kratos”). So autocratic, or tyrannical rule is all about the notion of “plutocracy” taken at face value: that is, more than the simple possession of wealth, the notion of the rule of hell, which is exactly what “plutocracy” means: the ancient Greeks had it that Hades, Satan, the dark, invisible side were indeed ruling, in a state of plutocracy.
Imposing stupidity from the top is conflated with the rule of the One (autocracy again). One single individual rules, and thinks for all.
Ruling in the name of Jesus happened to the Occidental Part of the Greco-Roman civilization. That made the Occident incredibly stupid (because burning all other truth was part of the Jesus deal). The empire degenerated into immensely domains, separated and above society (the “curial” crisis), while bishops were left to rule the rest of society, that is, the poor.
That was Rome’s Reagan moment, a senile lapse, directed by, precisely, the Roman Senate (= the old ones, like Salafism). It lasted centuries, until nothing was left, but senility and Alzheimer’s disease, on a civilizational scale (don’t tell that to Obama he would cry, as Reagan was a feel good moment for him, an important notion for this abandoned child, to share among children of alcoholic fathers).
Imposing stupidity from the top happened in the “Oriental Part” of the Greco-Roman empire too, but the stupidity was different: it was even more fanatical, so much more fanatical that the dictatorial system stayed in place (and gave birth to Islam)… And preserved more books. Persia next door (and Islam!) had mitigating effects (this is an understatement: Persia came all out for preserving Western culture! and so did early Islam!)
Imposing stupidity from above has no better example than the Christian rampage of the Late Empire, and deserves its Fourth Century name well: the DARK AGES.
Enforcing stupidity works in symbiosis with imposing terror. Imposing stupidity from the top is the most obvious way to hijack civilization throughout history. Imposed stupidity explains many periods of mental stagnation. It is a wonderful thing, because it has immense inertia: centuries after the Christian fanatics burned the books, a rich would a library be, if it had 63 of them.
Destroying civilization with top down stupidity was made blatant with Salafism, which rendered, in the end, most regions infused with Islam stagnant in all ways (even Spain by the 12C). The Prophet would have been horrified. It also explains why the plutocracy of the USA has been so friendly to Salafism, and the tyrants incarnating it (Mohammed VI, Ben Ali, Mubarak, Saud, bin Laden for decades, various strong men of Pakistan, to just quote a few).
Western propaganda long pretended that what Arab speaking populations got, dictators justified by Islam, the old fashion way, was perfect for them, and ought to be respected.
That was the theme, the underlying hypothesis, of “The Clash Of Civilization”. It was a very stupid idea, and highly unethical. But that idea was highly profitable for the Western plutocrats who promoted that these Western sponsored dictatorships were good enough for Muslims (look at the USA paying, and guiding the Egyptian army, lately to replace Mubarak by his old intelligence chief). Stupid for all, profitable for some, such is the way of the weasel.
HELL ON EARTH MEANS PLUTOCRATS IN COMMAND:
Some have wondered why the American right is so stupid. They should not wonder; playing stupid is part of a very old strategy, the main strategy of exploitation of the many by the few.
As Mohamed Al Baradei put it, (Newsweek, February 7, 2011): “Historically speaking Islam has been hijacked 20 to 30 years after the Prophet, and interpreted in such a way that the ruler has absolute power and is accountable only to God.”
This is my main thesis on Islam, and how it caused civilization to degenerate in all places it came to control, as it made plutocracy the work of God (an idea which the Roman emperors toyed with for centuries, before emperor Constantine implemented it; the idea was implemented in turn, and anew, by a successor of The Prophet, 350 years after Constantine).
This thesis was not invented by al Baradei, or by myself. It was first suggested by those, 13 centuries ago, many of them from Muhammad’s family, who revolted against the autocrat who ordered his version of the Qur’an written…and all other versions destroyed.
It’s also why, when Obama sang the praises of Islam in Cairo, coalescing religion, people, “legitimate aspirations“, and his American man in Cairo, Mubarak, all the plutocrats, worldwide, were singing his praises. Standard Islam served the interest of the established order of the hyper wealthy… among Muslims for centuries…and in the West in more recent decades. (Of course dirt cheap oil also pleased the peoples of the West, so they were accomplices that way.)
Defining people by the superstitious religion imposed on them is the number one trick of the plutocrats. It is pretty stupid, but it works. It works because it is pretty stupid, because it forces people to become pretty stupid, because they have to conform (lest they want to be burned alive, a preferred method of Christo-Islamism, sufficiently disagreeable to cause people pause). Once people are stupid like sheep, they can be fleece like sheep, or even devoured like sheep, as the Aztecs had it (OK, they had no sheep), or made into hamburger, like sheep, on various battlefield.
Plutocrats like to flatter themselves, and to justify their rule, by evocating the exceptional worth that, according to them, characterize them. So they call themselves “the best” (aristos), or the few (oligoi). In the USA, they have succeeded, after decades of propaganda, to persuade the population that they, the hyper wealthy, and they alone, create employment and the economy (really a stupid idea, hence worthy, because it makes people more stupid when they start to believe it). American plutocrats evoke their rich autocratic partners, worldwide, and how they bring trade, oil, and other goodies, namely control, and call them factors of stability.
The very outrage of plutocratic exploitation denied can be transformed into a tool to reach lower levels of stupidity. This is why American plutocrats, who give only 17% of their income in taxes (instead than the more than 50% European plutocrats have to pay… except, of course, in Greece) insist to be called “philanthropists”. And the Main Stream Media sing their praises every day.
Thus the leopard has spots, to appear as a play of lights and shadows. Many a philanthropist is just a plutocrat in disguise. Much of the public has learned not to see it: that makes them not just naïve, but stupid.
They learn to tolerate, even to welcome. and befriend, stupidity that way, and learn to be rewarded by it, when they meet their sponsors in special events (for the higher reaches), or just through the TV (for common folks). Some in the most educated public see through it: they see the plutocrat hiding behind the philanthropist. But they have learned to tolerate that outrage, they have learned not to be indignant: that, too, makes them stupid.
Those who stay cool when they contemplate infamy, teach stupidity to their hearts.
In truth most plutocrats just rule according to the Dark Side, that side which tends to view man itself, individually or in his multitudes, as the ultimate problem. That is why they are called plutocrats. Armed with this revelation (“apocalypsis” in Greek), plutocrats proceed to solve the problem by all means as their disposal.
This Will To Subjugate, Hurt And Destroy, is a deep human instinct. It is important, evolutionary speaking, because, for millions of years, it has kept Earth in balance. One way to lead people to subjugation or death is to make them so stupid that their world blows up.
The best example of imposition of apocalyptic stupidity by plutocrats, is the period known as the Dark Ages, that degeneracy that spread throughout the Greco-Roman empire, from Scotland to Iran, and Morocco to Armenia.
Thus the Dark Ages did not happen during what is usually called the “Middle Ages” proper, but well before that. Then the paroxysm of Roman fascism set in motion an apocalyptic Christian wave it tried to surf, with abominable results.
The Roman Catholic emperors destroyed books, libraries, philosophers, Jews, schools, academies, mental diversity, all variants of Christianism, and everybody who did not believe in them or whatever they had decided theology would be. The holocaust was fully on by 363 CE, after an attempted interruption by emperor Julian and his Parisian troops.
Yes, Parisian! Parisians made Julianus, Augustus. And Julianus was a philosopher, who had gone to Athens to study philosophy. Julianus was fully aware of the damage fanatical Christianism, or more exactly, the rule of fascism hiding behind Christianism, preparing for the second coming of the mythical boy Jesus, and his anti-intellectual violence was causing to civilization. But Julianus was promptly pierced by a lance (like “Jesus”). He was probably assassinated in a conspiracy (in Mesopotamia). The (Christian) conspirators covered their tracks well.
The Dark Ages did not start out of the blue. The entire Greco-Roman empire was anti-intellectual. But it got worse, and worse. That’s how it came to be. So imposed stupidity is good at generating fascist empires with a theocratic bend (making emperors into gods happened right away, so Christianism and it’s all devouring mien was the fruit of a four century long evolution).
Marc-Anthony (Marcus Antonius) nailed Cicero’s hands on the door of the Senate (Cicero wrote too well, apparently). Emperor Domitian in the period 80-96 CE, would later kill entire families of philosophers (while sponsoring others; good thinking would make you rich, bad thinking would kill you; Christian theocracy was more of the same, crazy to death: the Christians did not invent anything, they just did it until they got themselves completely insane, as some bishops of Gaul admitted, shortly before surrendering, body and soul, to the Franks).
There was a repeat of the performance of imposed stupidity in the late Middle Ages, by the same suspect, the Catholic church, then, as now, the world’s oldest big institution. Again, European Jews were killed, books were burned, terror and stupidity reigned, civil wars rolled over the lands of Europe.
I CALL IT PLUTOCRACY, THE RULE OF HELL, BECAUSE SO IT IS:
The Nazis echoed these time honored bouts of Christian terror and stupor, during the lamentable abomination of their atrocious rule: burn books, burn Jews, burn anybody not thinking right, steal what’s left. The Nazis were also plutocrats. Both in the conventional sense (their sponsors were immensely rich, and they became even richer by stealing all they could), and in the sense of making hell’s reign come alive.
Thus I use “plutocracy” from the most general, conflated, meaning of the concept of “Pluto”. So for me, and it ought to be the same for everybody, Pluto is not just the “wealth giver”, the god of the underground, and its riches, equal, deep inside, to Zeus in heavens, but Pluto is also the god that could make itself invisible, and another name for Hades, the god most hateful to mortals (the references on this are Plato, and the oldest Western book, the Iliad; Iliad 9.158–159). The rule of Pluto means just that (amusingly it occurs at some point in the Book Of The Apocalypse of the Bible).
Thus in my definition, theocracy, because it is most hateful to mankind’s ethology, is a form of plutocracy. And so are corruptocracy, kleptocracy, military rule, and political fascisms (all and any “oligarchies” are forms of fascisms, by definition, and so is imperialism).
The present world financial system is thoroughly plutocratic, in all senses of the term: it is hidden, it is underground, it is hellish, and it provides its supporters with wealth.
Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia are part of the world plutocratic system, a hydra whose main head is Wall Street. The plutocratic hydra is all around the planet. Even countries such as Tanzania were made part of the world commodity speculative system of hedge funds. Local leaders, enticed by enough riches for themselves, were persuaded to deprive Tanzania of its subsistence economy. Global organizations at the order of plutocracy, such as IMF and World Bank helped along to do so, as does straight buying off. If enough countries do not have a subsistence agriculture, they depend upon international traders, and commodity speculators, and contribute to make these markets wilder, thus more profitable to the creeps who organize them.
SUBTLE IS PLUTO, AND VERY NASTY HE IS. (To apply some anti-thinking to Einstein’s famous saying finding everything right about “The Lord”.)
ENFORCING STUPIDITY IS HOW PLUTOCRACY REIGNS PRIMARILY.
Guns and terror are secondary to plutocratic rule. Ruling over sheep is more comfortable. sheep are cuddly, and they don’t think too hard.
The advantage for absolute rulers of making the populations stupid is demonstrated, in particular, in so called Muslim countries. There the local superstition has enforced, for centuries, a milder form of the Christian Dark Ages (they did not destroy nearly ALL books). Excluding women from a full participation in society has guaranteed that even children are not as smart as they could be. That is why the oilmen of the USA, and their agents in government (CIA ,etc.) have supported Muslim Fundamentalists, for generations.
Enforcing stupidity also occurs in the West. The West was visited by the most severe bout of enforced stupidity: the Roman Catholic Dark Ages.
And the West suffered several drastic bouts of related darkness (Crusades, Franco-English civil war, Inquisition, religious wars, the wars related to 1789, and 20 Century German fascism). Just as the plague can return in a milder epidemic, so did the Christian Dark Ages (it is no coincidence that the Nazis burned books, the SS were dressed in black and killed Jews, after making them wear distinctive clothing, but all this, and much else were deliberate mimicry of Christo-Islamism).
It can be easily be argued that the cognitive failure pertaining to the so called financial crisis of 2007-2008, is symptomatic of a new Dark Age. Unbelievably, the People of the West, who view themselves as the smartest, best educated, have been made to believe that the hyper rich, like Atlas, supports the world. Thus the emperors and kings of old were believed to interface with God. This is the essence of Reaganism (so it makes all the multimillionaires in the Bush and Obama administrations good people, most giving to the economy of the USA).
Meanwhile in Davos, elements of the world plutocratic government are plotting for all to see. Their world governance consists in promoting unfathomable stupidity to drown general cognition into abyssal lies. It works well for them: whereas, before, it was mostly those they had lent money to who were subjugated, now all taxpayers are toiling for the bankers and their private jets, fiscal heavens, and influences on governments. The bankers even told government they had enough to be criticized harshly, and would they please order the media to tone it down!
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM MEANS TORTURERS ARE ABOVE THE LAW:
By manipulating cognition with skill, a tool such as the mind of the masses, can come to be, and can be perverted to accommodate a few on top. Many Americans know everything about obese football players stuffed with steroids, but nothing about where they get their oil from, and the terror network to support it (those who don’t think it’s terror can go visit Iraq, or the House of Saud). This is also a moral failure, somewhat reminiscent of that of Germans who did not want to know anything about where the wealth the Nazis distributed around came from. Nor did the Germans want to look carefully about the ethics involved (as they search for oil in Poland, Romania, the Caucasus).
A particular case of this moral failure is torture in connection of getting oil. Now of course, no Nazi ever claimed to billions of people that torture was a good thing, as G. W. Bush did for years, in his memoirs, or in multiple interviews, accompanied by uncountable smirks of the truly evil. even Hitler knew better. The fact that some most influential Americans have forgotten some basic ethical knowledge that even Hitler remembered, is a cause of worry. The failure of international instances to launch a warrant for Bush’s arrest is not a judicial blip, but a cognitive and logical lapse, which affects the entire nation of the USA, and the entire West.
Blips of Western officials cannot be overlooked. For example, the French media has been scrutinizing the friendliness of the French foreign minister with elements of the Tunisian plutocracy.
After all the West is at war in Afghanistan, and related places (such as Mauritania and the ex Twin Towers of the WTC). And that war, against Afghanistan, started even before 1979 (under Carter), and, since NATO is fighting there, allies have a right to interrogate the ethics of fellow officers in the military alliance. To be led by an official torturer ought to be a no-no, because it denies the very foundation of the ethical justification for war. NATO cannot be at war just to promote the oil and military oligarchies, and the usage of drugs and corruption, by implementing torture for all to see. at the end of WWII, an American general had the German population of a city visit the local extermination camp, which was in plain sight. The American generals wanted to force the Germans to see what they had refused to see. By the way, in WWII, fighting enormous evil, allies troops committed no war crimes for all to see (whereas the Nazis did against French and British troops during the Battle of France, in 1940, and later against American troops, there was at least one large scale massacre, in late 1944; the latter was prosecuted, but not the former, because the perpetrators were dead.).
Democracies where the powerful is above the law, for all to see, are assuredly exceptional. They don’t last very long. Maybe the USA claims to be exceptional that way?
The West has been promoting unsavory collaborators, such as Mubarak, and Ben Ali (and the Moroccan clown, etc.). That is part of the reason why Bush is protected. If one respects Bush, the promoter of torture, and Goldman Sachs, promoter of stealing taxpayers on an astronomical scale, then one can promote Mohammed VI and the Pakistani strong men and their nukes.
Not prosecuting Bush is saying that he law is not the same for all, a contradiction with equality against the law. The same is not happening in France, where the esteemed ex-president, Jacques Chirac, to everybody’s regret, will have to face judges in a trial on alleged favors he extended while he was Paris mayor (before he became president, and just after such alleged helps to collaborators became unlawful).
The contrast could not be any more striking: the French state prosecutes an ex-president for nothing much, on the ground of logical coherence, the absolute supremacy of law. The American state, in an extremely grave case which is an insult against Western civilization going back 25 centuries at least (not using torture against citizens), decides that his Guide Bush, grand son of an Auschwitz exploiter, is above the law. Why? Because the USA is “exceptional”, and so are its Guides.
The stupidification of the masses is obvious in the “exceptionalist” theory of the USA, and theories of the so called “republicans”. This is a particular case of nationalism, something which is justified only, well, exceptionally, when fighting barbarians (say).
American exceptionalism, and nationalism overall, generally prevents to understand the real history, and thus the real problems, as it concentrates the collective mind in irrational chants. This is particularly true as one tries to address the global plutocratic crisis (semantically morphed into other concepts such as “economic crisis”, or “financial crisis”, or “euro, or dollar crisis”.
AGAINST STUPIDITY, THE GODS THEMSELVES CONTEND IN VAIN, THEREFORE SO WILL DEMOCRATS.
Such is the strategy of the American billionaires who support the extreme pro-wealth party of the USA, whose extreme figureheads are the “mama grizzlies”, who play on their cuteness on TV, the best known of whom being governor Palin and representative Bachman. Stupidity is also the main force of the pro-wealth Main Stream Media (MSM). for example Fox news run a campaign against PROGRESS itself. Imagine; the most popular TV channel makes propaganda against anybody who is for “progress”. In the Fox registry of insults, “progressive’ is the highest of them all. whereas “French” attracts an amused smirk, “progressive” calls for a condemning frown. In the hands of tyrants, and tyrants-to-be, stupidity is a strategy. And one which is hard to defeat: how to fight and contradict idiocy?
Idiocy builds up brains, just as intelligence does. Al Jazeera an Arab channel based in Qatar, makes Arab minds different, more clever. An idiotic brain is wired differently from an intelligent one. Such is the plasticity of the human mind. In other words: how to teach philosophy to chimpanzees? Thus the prime goal of plutocrats is to foster stupidity, then to use it as a weapon that democrats will contend in vain against. Hence the war against knowledge, and the war against logic.
WHEN DECEREBRATION GETS DISHEARTENING:
Hitler held that lies, if they are big enough, are always believed because normal people lie only on a small scale, and thus do not know what a big lie is, and cannot conceive of it. Just as animals who have never seen man, or a predator do not fear him (a well known curiosity of isolated islands).
Lying misinform people, misshape their brains, on a case by case basis. Making them stupid, misshaping their brains globally, makes them unable to handle information on global basis. If all what makes them salivate is steroid football players, or men in uniform, marching in unison, they will have no brain for the higher mental functions. This mental devolution is well documented in the Greco-Roman empire; the usage of sports and food stamps to dull people’s minds was denounced by Juvenal, but was at its apogee four centuries later. (The USA will not have the luxury Rome had to dominate geopolitically as a super hyper power; the German invasions were consecutive to Roman internal policy choices; even the Huns were invited in! The first invasion which was not much of a choice was the Muslim one, post 632 CE; even then, Constantinople had not paid Arab nations in its employ, which then rebelled, and had cruelly imposed its version of slightly demented, triphasic Christianity.)
Making people stupid is a more advanced theory of lying than the one Hitler wrote about. (That does not mean Hitler did not practice stupidification: he did. Extensively. And that is why Hitler talked about lying so much, to divert attention from what he was really doing on the grandest scale, namely, stupidification! Hitler, like Bush, should never be underestimated.)
I have some family in Colorado, a part of “fly over country” (and it sure is, intellectually speaking). Although they belong to the higher society there, they mostly know nothing about everything, and all their passion is concentrated on the local shopping mall, and ridiculous football team derangement (doing sports for them consist mostly in watching steroid guys bang each other in public, in very tight second skins). They don’t know Egypt from Mongolia, or mental autonomy from pantomime, and they don’t mind. They don’t know culture from the local dog news.
In a further twist, they get afraid of depth, and when culture shows up, even culture of emotional depth that normal human beings operate under, they leave the room, as if they had seen the devil. So they don’t mind having no mind, but they are worried when others exhibit some. In one sense it’s philosophically instructive; it’s like seeing Nazi Germany live.
I have a little one now, a new soul to take care of, in all ways, rational, cognitive and emotional, and I discovered to my surprised dismay, that this decerebration in Colorado extended all the way down to the heart, making decerebration; literally, disheartening. The mind has really become a desert when the heart itself is arid.
To remove the heart of people, not just their brains, to make them afraid of other, slightly different minds, is part of the basics of dictatorship, as so many Tunisians and Egyptians are saying nowadays, and they point to the new “solidarities” they have built, and which allow them to conduct their revolution.
When one has no more heart, one does not care about one’s fellows. Thus, one cannot organize street fighting, and not even street protesting against the plutocrats in command. But not just that: not caring about one’s fellow is good training for not caring about one’s family, or even about oneself. Thus one can see those who do not care about the world lays on couches watching steroid players on the giant flat screen TV, their minds draining away into stupor.
A decerebration to the point observed in Colorado is no haphazard decerebration: enough stupidity prevents to envision even the mere possibility of other outcomes than those presented by the oligarchs.
This is particularly true in the ongoing economic crisis, where the political and cognitive authorities have been lying through their teeth, even about the very nature of the crisis. (Which is nothing new: for example the fascist leadership in Germany lied through its teeth, to the German people, about why it needed to attack and invade other countries, both in WWI and WWII. It was important to lie, otherwise the Germans may have showed less enthusiasm, or even refuse to go out and kill foreigners.)
Nationalism was Hitler’s main propellant. And the propellant of most mass and war criminals.
All really stupid regimes have presented themselves as exceptional. A particular case of this imposition of stupid, and stupidifying, nationalism is the theory of “American exceptionalism”. American “exceptionalism” is therefore becoming ever more interesting, exceptional, indeed, historically speaking, but not in a good way.
An important component of American exceptionalism is deliberate ignorance of, and spite for, the rest of the world. an example: the USA is the only country not to use the metric system Americans have been conditioned to view that such weirdness is not an interesting subject of reflection. So it is not just the rest of the world which is dismissed, but reason, and even the attraction reason exerts on normally constituted human beings, which is dismissed as unworthy of interest. the way one reflects on the last cannibals.
Obama’s own State Of the Union was full of jingoistic silliness, nationalism gone mad (“only the USA cares about its children, nobody wants to live anywhere else, etc.”). Some were outright lies; the USA has the most productive workers, said Obama. (The last 4 or 5 the USA has?) That productivity claim is very far from true. Many European countries have higher productivity.
However many world statistic organizations, to satisfy the needs of American propaganda, massively belittle the GDP of European countries (one trick, the PPP trick, consists in putting the euro at parity with the dollar; that immediately lowers euro GDPs by at least 25%, demonstrating the superiority of the American way of life; then US economists affect concern, and, immediately after lowering, the euro, observe that the euro is weak; mental retardation, here we come!)
Obama’s nationalistic utterances of the wild, or erroneous type, made him instantaneously more popular. However encroaching stupidity is the greatest threat against the economy of the USA, or even the USA itself. And nationalistic stupidity is typically the dangerous crutch of decaying countries; they lean on it, until it breaks. And then they fall flat on their face.
On the good side, the president has stopped to order God to bless America. He has now introduce the subtlety: “May God bless the USA“. The president has learned it is not cool to present oneself as the one ordering god around. The critters in Egypt may then come to believe that the president of the USA orders Mubarak and its “intelligence” services around (does having “intelligence” services mean the rest of the population is stupid?)
Ryan, the republican answering Obama’s SOTU came out with a succession of descriptions of Europe which (even) Paul Krugman, our residential anti-EU skeptic, found ignorant. So Ryan is another mentally challenged arrogant ignoramus, probably with a Reagan voodoo shrine at home. On his knees he worships the emotion of feeling good, rather than the pleasure of thinking good. Obama himself pointed out that it was what was good about the Reagan cult, the feeling good aspect of it. Like a bit of “blow”, presumably, it feels good, indeed. That Reagan eyebrow gymnastics. The sincerity of a (B movie) clown (minus the chimp).
Today’s leaders of the USA know nothing about Europe, obviously. Even “The Economist” found that Obama confused NATO and Europe. But only one American out of five has a passport. whereas most Europeans have travelled to other countries (and, typically, with another language, as only one European out of eight is a native English speaker).
In the posh ski resort of Davos the self described “highest worth” individuals, mix it up with their governmental servants and their top propagandists (Bono, etc.). The admission tickets to the grandly entitled “World Economic Forum” are at least $70,000 and sometimes more than $600,000. There are different levels of access, in Davos, the highest ones are called “strategic”. “Strategos”, in Greek meant general. To whom, are those generals making war? Certainly not on China. The next Chinese president’s daughter is, of course, enrolled at Harvard (for a more poetical perspective on Harvard see Polanski’s movie, “Ghost writer”; Harvard is writing a ghostly script onto the world, indeed). Plutocrats prefer to know who the next president is going to be, it’s more “strategic”.
The plutocrats pretend that they do not know what a forum is. A forum is a public place open to all, as public places are by definition, so that the public could meet and discuss, openly.
As rumbles of revolt are growling in the distance, throughout europe and the arab speaking world, the organizers of the forum suddenly claimed they would have 450 CEOs sending tweets and the like, to inform the masses of their grand schemes in 140 characters. What about sending the plots over/ And are not plots among the powerful against the law to start with?
Or, if the plutocrats are going to persist into calling that gathering of them a “forum”, does that mean that if you cannot spend $70,000 you don’t exist as a citizen, and have no say in world economy, to be determined solely by the filthy rich? Hey, you can’t even enter the forum about the world, so you have got to some sort of Untermensch, some sort of subhuman form. republic and democracy on the forum, but just for them plutocrats. Others are too stupid for input, or even contempt.
Could it be anything more blatant than the Davos plutocratic circus to tell us that we are dealing with a plutocratic gathering making war on the People, wherever they are ? Look at the 5 trillion dollars, or much more, given by the government of the USA, to privately managed banks in the USA alone, in the last 2 years.
Look at taxpayers throughout Europe having to pay much more so that the rich “generals” in Davos can stay rich and in command, making financial war to the planet, and the very notion of progress.
Throughout Africa, the Middle East regimes, and even Asia, immensely rich plutocrats have seized entire countries. The country the Saud family has modestly named after itself being the most well known example. But when the USA sells for 60 billion dollars of weapons to that plutocratic family, and the name is Saud, it shows its hand. its plutocratic hand. Plutocracy knows no bounds, and has organized the world accordingly. A boundless world, with unlimited opportunities for the few, the hyper rich, the strategic ones.
Many chuckle that the the Davos “World economic Forum”, held every year, did not see the 2007-2008 financial crisis come. Some think they are very clever to have noticed this. How naïve. Thus horses jumping off the cliff to escape prehistoric hunters felt very smart, but not for long.
The Davosians are the hunters. They were ready: they had all government officials eating in their hands, when they were not, like Mubarak, or the Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian, Algerian, Pakistani, Afghani, those governments themselves. See the French foreign minister ride in private Tunisian plutocratic jet, while revolution was growling in Tunisia. Her defense? The Tunisian billionaire is her “friend” (truly her employer). Her husband, who was also in the same private jet, is also presently a French minister (Sarkozy has several major plutocrats among his closest “friends”, no wonder that all the French income tax is going to pay the national interest on the debt, in other words, to pay the plutocrats). These are French examples, different in scale from the American examples, but not in nature.
Who profited from the financial crisis of 2007-2008? Those who got to keep all the riches they amassed before 2007-2008, and when then were made whole by the governments, in the name of the People. When the People adulates the rich to the point that making the rich richer by making the rest of the population poorer, plutocracy has not just been achieved, it has become self sustaining.
And how did it do that? By depriving people of their intelligence to the point they have lost not just their dignity, but their sense of self. They identify with their captors, and they call for more punishment, to show their mettle. even beyond that, people have lost their critical sense; watch Obama saying that Sweden had “4 or 5 banks”. OK, I am in the pocket of plutocracy, so, when my little head comes out of the pocket, I shall scream:” Down with Sweden!”
SURRENDER CIVILIZATION TO SAVE THE EARTH? OR FIGHT BACK?
This pathetic surrender of the people, and their minds, to the plutocrats has often happened in history. It is probably an old instinct, akin to that of the prey which does not defend itself, lest it damages the predator, and instead surrenders, and lets itself being eaten alive, as it drowns in endorphins, and forgets reality, to only talk about team sports, food and health (as Krugman correctly points out in “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Goes Eating“… No doubt another old instinct, as one ought to build fat reserves when tough times loom).
That sort of abject surrender of the individual to fate, incarnated by the plutocratic demons of the Dark Side, protects the Earth, but it is fatal to civilization. If there are people no more, indeed, the biosphere has a chance. But it will not be our chance, nor that of our children. Peter singer may say it’s all for the good, but hitler led us down that road before, and we know war is better than to accept that.
However, we have one of those abject surrenders at hand here. Look at the dismal way the Irish are treated: the yoke, because investors played in Ireland, and lost (as I said, the Irish case is generic, it applies to German or French, or British, or American taxpayers, and also all the citizens of these countries, as public services get cut right and left).
Stupidity was imposed from the top by the (mostly) Western based plutocrats, and their lackeys, such as the plutocratic, dictatorial leaders of the Arabs (remember, even Hamas was a tool of Israel, initially).
Fortunately, there are indications of active, productive revolt. It is particularly encouraging that revolt is blowing throughout the Arab speaking world, after 13 centuries of plutocratic friendly Salafism, a religion imposed by a plutocratic dictator (who was assassinated for the horror he instigated, but the horror kept on going, as I pointed out for many years, and Al Baradei said above).
We have, we the human species, at this point of technological evolution, only one chance to keep civilization going, as we do not know enough yet to survive, but have exploited too much of the Earth to keep on going the same as we went before (Rome had a similar ecological problem, and some of the ecological recovery is not yet complete). We have exhausted the readily available resources, civilization will not be born again, lest we get rid of the plutocrats. Right now, the battlefront is in Cairo. The government of the USA, and those of the EU, have to walk their talk. Oh, by the way, that ought to lead to $300 per barrel oil (as the Arab speaking people get their due).
The plutocrats ought to regurgitate the thousands of billions they stole from the People, all over the place, and the money creation system they profit from, investing most of the money the West has in the derivative universe (that include the commodity system, thus food for the planet).
Godspeed to the democratic revolution, it’s going to need it, in the Arab world, after 66 years of American serving dictatorship, and 13 centuries of Salafism. And don’t forget to spread it to the West, that’s where the main vipers’ nest is to be found, a most enlightening revelation to come.