Post by Roland The Thompson Gunner on Feb 23, 2021 14:17:33 GMT -8
A recent article blew me away. The writing, the ideas, the thinking behind the points. I found them all to be compelling. Put aside the source, Foregin Affairs, This is an interesting take on recent history in the US
From an article entitled Foreign Policy for Pragmatistis by Editor Gideon Rose ----
Humans’ multiple cognitive deficiencies, for example, make them susceptible to lies, which play a major but understudied role in politics.
Ordinary lying, knowingly telling untruths, is common. Big lying, peddling a full-fledged alternative reality akin to the Marvel Universe, is not.
Big lies are the territory of prophets and demagogues, people who hear divine voices themselves or play a divinity for others. They are self-contained intellectual paradigms immune from scientific falsification. As the scholar Nina Khrushcheva notes, the big lie “covers everything and redefines reality. There are no holes in it. You . . . either accept the whole thing or everything collapses.” The bigger the lie, the further it is from reality, the more psychic potential energy builds up in between. And when the collapse comes, the energy gets released in a sudden burst. It was that kind of cathartic explosion that blew over the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Was the riot a political protest that got out of hand? An attempted putsch? A heroic defense of the republic against satanic pedophiles? It was all of these and more, because the event was streaming on several platforms simultaneously—not just the conventional tv networks but also the inner mental channels of the deluded rioters. This was history as tragedy and farce combined; the casualties included a woman who was reportedly trampled to death while carrying a flag saying “Don’t Tread on Me.”
The most persuasive reading of the day is as immersive theater, and not just because the marchers came in costume. It played like a mass live production of Euripides’s Bacchae, the tale of a mysterious cult leader who wreaks vengeance on a city that disrespects him by whipping its citizens into a frenzied nihilistic rampage. Some men just want to watch the world burn. And some crowds just like the way it hurts.
The riot’s practical implications are deeply disturbing. But its theoretical implications are more so. For example, one leading proponent of the big lie in question, Peter Navarro, was a crucial architect of the Trump administration’s trade policy. It will be interesting to see how mainstream scholarship on international political economy incorporates conspiracy theorizing into the heart of its analysis.
Big lies are the territory of prophets and demagogues, people who hear divine voices themselves or play a divinity for others.
Once they seized the Capitol, meanwhile, these terrorists took selfies rather than hostages. Like most of their predecessors in the 1970s, they wanted a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead. But what if among them had been an even prouder boy, one like Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber? Then, the entire U.S. Congress could easily have been wiped out, along with the vice president. It will be interesting to see how the episode affects risk assessments of all kinds. Clearly, it isn’t so hard to decapitate the United States. Just as clearly, it hasn’t happened recently not because anybody prevented it but because almost nobody was trying.
Most disturbing is what the incident revealed about Trump. As Bob Corker, a former Republican senator from Tennessee, put it: “The one plus that comes out of this [is] people have been able to see firsthand what all of us have known, just who he really is.” With that in mind, imagine a scenario in which a few hundred thousand votes went the other way last November, letting Trump win the presidency and the Republicans keep the Senate, fair and square.
In that branch of the multiverse, January 6 in Washington plays out rather differently. The same crowd comes, but it is much, much larger. They don’t want to hang Vice President Mike Pence; they want to hug him. They don’t storm the Capitol; they stand outside cheering as he certifies the president’s reelection. Trump is happy, too. And why not? He gets to be the supreme leader of the world’s most powerful military, in unquestioned control of his party and all three branches of government, with an official propaganda network and a cult of personality that has millions of members who will literally believe him over their own eyes. For four more years.
It didn’t happen. But it could have, easily, with all the consequences one might spin out for everything from foreign policy and trade, to American ideals and institutions, to the future course of international politics. Democracy didn’t prevail. It lucked out. One does not come away from the thought experiment struck by some larger pattern of history, optimistic or pessimistic. One comes away struck by its radical contingency.
They took selfies instead of hostages... because they didn't get a hold of any of their targets. The targets they did get a hold of they seriously injured, maimed, or murdered. They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. Cops inside the crowd, beat other cops while calling them the n-word. I see the point that is trying to be made here, but its the whole putting lipstick on a pig.
Eddie: Yo. Check this. I now claim to be a chick. So get up off my nuts with your harassment, cause it ain't cool harassing a chick with a dick!
Aug 3, 2021 22:46:09 GMT -8
Saskawatch: Congrats on coming out Eddie. Takes a lot of courage to do that. It was obvious to many of us for a long time, but you needed to be the one to take that final step yourself.
Aug 5, 2021 11:06:33 GMT -8