Obama Closes Yosemite

OK, only part thereof. Something Europeans miss totally about the USA, is that it is an empire, a military empire, and obeying orders from above is view as the essence of morality. Yes, the Roman army worked exactly like that, for many centuries… Until it did not. This is what gives to the Trump phenomenon an interesting, not to say disquieting, perspective: as Americans view respecting orders from above the essence of morality (as the Prussian pseudo-philosopher Immanuel Kant ordered) one may wonder what will happen with President Donald Trump? Will Americans goose step behind him as they did with G. W. Bush? 

So President Obama shows up in Yosemite, and a gigantic expanse of cliffs is “closed”, a kilometer high, several kilometers across. What fascinated me was the obedient tune many climbers sounded in a climbing site I read. It was as if God had ordered them to do something, and they felt honored. In a place like France, the order would have been so unenforceable, it would not even have been tried. Many individuals would have made a MORAL point of disobeying it.  

This Entire Landscape Is The Area Which Was Closed To Climbing When Obama Visited For Three Days

This Entire Landscape Is The Area Which Was Closed To Climbing When Obama Visited For Three Days

To give the scale, of this piece of the North Rim of Yosemite Valley, the exposed landscape in the picture  is more than 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) high. I have climbed and run all over it, from left to right, and above, and beyond. Differently from Socrates, who engaged in combat during epic battles, I am reduced to meeker pursuits, to get to examine myself.

What is good about being an obedient little fascist, is that one never has to examine oneself: following Immanuel Kant, one can define one’s morality as following orders. And this is exactly what the Nazis dis, and explained to whoever wanted to listen to them. (The jury of Eichmann in Jerusalem was not impressed by Eichmann explaining he had been moral by obeying Kant, and condemned him to hang. The Israelis had learned a few important things in WW II!)

Now this sort of orders given to an American population eager to please its masters, is not an happenstance: it’s training graciously provided by the Deep State, another occasion for Americans, in this case rather young Americans (most climbers don’t make old bones) to obey orders. I sent the following comment, fully expecting racist, tribal, hypernationalistic abuse of the sort which passes for normal in the Anglo-Saxon world this days, regarding France (and I was not disappointed). Yes, philosophy rests on experiments, just like science:  

I love the way Americans take orders, thus showing they are not worthy to lead the world, civilizationally speaking, as they effectively do. This sort of self-humiliation would NEVER work in France. Instead little American sheep take unconstitutional orders with alacrity, pride and total obedience. They should be ashamed of themselves, instead, and the rest of the world should be afraid. Very afraid. Indeed, who is this Obama? An employee of We The People! Wake up, People, instead of just goose stepping proudly in the sunset of the dignity of the human spirit. The meaning and appeal of real climbing is freedom. Taking orders, the exact opposite.

I know perfectly well that the essence of the USA is the military thing: the Indians did not go away nicely. They resisted. The army exterminated them. General Jackson, commander of the US Army decided to attack them, and Congress was too scared to contradict him. Hence the Cherokee “March of Tears”. The famous Tocqueville saw it, in front of his very eyes, but, as this was outside of his philosophical understanding, did not draw any conclusion on the American character, from that experience (I obviously do). Maybe one of the reason Tocqueville is so popular in the United States is, precisely, that he did not draw any conclusion of the holocaust of the Native American over a full quarter of the US, precisely when he visited them. That makes Tocqueville an All-American boy: very smart on what’s less significant, mute on what is most significant.

Here is the order: “climbing areas will be closed over the weekend. Please see below for area closures for Thursday evening (6/16, tonight) through Sunday afternoon (6/19). There will also be other areas closed Friday evening through Saturday evening. We will keep you updated on the official word for the Friday/Saturday closures.

“All climbing routes from and including Church Bowl east to Washington Column (Washington Column itself remains open) will be closed from Thursday sunset through Sunday afternoon. This includes Bishops Terrace, Royal Arches, Serenity Crack, Son’s of Yesterday.”

Thank you for your cooperation in these temporary closures.


The reactions I got were the usual abuse, insults and lies (deeply believed to be the truth): France was accused to be a Nazi bastion of cheese eating surrender monkeys. Always amusing from the country which, besides Germany, did the most for Adolf Hitler. OK, I plead guilty for provocation, but what is science, but for teasing out, provoking through experiments the true nature of things, be they human or mineral.

I also understand that Obama has little choice in these matters, or so he feels: the instinct of obedience, called also “peer pressure”, is strong in the empire. And Obama was selected, because he felt it, deep in his bones, to help him “navigate”, as he put it. Thus, when Obama became president, he obeyed. Obama obeyed the powers that be. The empire was safe with him. Thus, some are disappointed by Obama, worldwide, but he is loved in the US: “change you can believe in” was very very small. And next year, the meek progress Obamacare ephemerally proposed will blow-up (it’s already doing so). As the “health corridors” expire with the Obama presidency. But don’t worry: President Trump and his art of the deal, will have to pick up the pieces, and dozens of young Americans are ready to goose-step behind him, lauding all and any “closures” that the government may decide to order.

Patrice Ayme’

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6 Responses to “Obama Closes Yosemite”

  1. dominique deux Says:

    POTUS – the post – is the focus of hatred and worship among Americans, to a degree ill understood abroad. The former may explain the humongousness of security measures, and the latter may explain their ready acceptance. Goose-stepping on issues of substance is another issue IMHO, which you analyze perfectly.

    Your view of a naturally, healthily disobedient French citizenry may be rosy-eyed. Dissent may be more pervasive and a part of self-perceived national identity, but dissenters are, mostly, very happy to take orders – just not those of the executive.

    Also the art of enforcing useless regulations as a training tool, to Pavlov-train citizens into thoughtless obedience, is well known and in wide use in France; it is called “contrôle social”.


  2. Gmax Says:

    Americans are in love with their “First Family”. If one is pro Obama, pro Obamacare, pro Clinton, one is a good person. Otherwise one is a racist Trump supporter. Simple. Then people can spend all their brain energy on the local sport team and memorialize all the sports scores, as you said many times. Those who are angry enough voted Trump and Sanders, and that is called “populist”. Anger is populist. People are more angry than ever because Obama did nothing. Premiums and copay of his Obamacare are through the roof. It is a travesty. So the Obama supporters go back to TV WATCH their sport teams


  3. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    The emperor has no clothes, but lots of imperial guards. Small men adore the Trump and the Golden Calf. Could you please give more details on the Francophobic abuse you alluded to above?


    • Kevin Berger Says:

      What for? I don’t know about the details, but can tell you with a 100% accuracy they are in the general lines of “Je surrender, lol”, “white flags”, “Vichy”, “Rofl, we bail you out all the time”, etc, etc,… Routine.
      The sole US success of the last 20 years has been to seal the reputation of France as a weak, ineffectual, surrender-prone, Nations of cowardly losers… Everything else they have attempted has turned to shit, which is kind of ironic, and yet, aggravating (next time you wish to character-assassinate a country for standing up to a BS cabinet wat, at least, try and not turn it into a costly, inept joke of a strategic clusterfuck).
      And by doing so, they legitimized a new round of that anglo racism toward the French, once for all, and until further notice (that is, until the generations that came out of age with the 2000-2010 internet die off, or a new negative stereotype supercedes, but doesn’t erase that one), that has seeped way outside of the anglosphere and is kind of a global (globish, rather) phenomenon – part of the arsenal of East Europeans, Germans, Dutch, hell, even Russians.


  4. Andy Outis Says:

    Andy Outis: @Tyranosopher A couple thousand words about trolling Supertopo? You must have some kind of time on your hands


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      To reveal that P. Bush was one of Hitler’s closest associate is not trolling, but unveiling the truth which the Nazis’ allies hid. Knowing and revealing to the idiots that the Bush family was, literally, Nazi, does strike me as “trolling”. I have time to think differently from the parrots out there, jackassing away. Those parrots are the trolling idiots.


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