Monthly Archives: July 2012
Equal Time For Idiots: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence in Constructing Matrix and Those Magical Republicans Turning Darkness into Light
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Ten: Erosion of Reason, Self-Confidence
The Campaign to Create the Matrix Through “Obvious Truths” – Repetition Makes It Possible to Control
This is the second of three parts detailing the history of the Republican Party’s incredibly disciplined, relentlessly persistent, and amazingly cohesive nearly fifty-year campaign to gain advantage and wealth for their benefactors, the corporations and the “Filthy Rich,” through totally concocted untruths.
It continues the exposition of this incredible phenomenon of decades-long and increasing intentional misrepresentations used by one party representing a tiny segment of the electorate to weave a fabric of falsity over the eyes of the American public. Similar to a kind of hypnotic trance, it is a widely accepted but unreal and mostly opposite mental state acting like a filter to reality, blocking out the truth and substituting a fantasy quilt woven of verbal constructions.
The “Obvious Truths”
These constructions–the “obvious truths”–are designed to please the ear, rationalize the urges, and comfort the ego, so that they will become acceptable substitutes for reason and honest perception in a population which has also been intentionally burdened, stressed, and busied through policies intended to keep them submissive and fearful.
The Perpetrators and Their Motive of Fear
This coordination of policy and mantra is a strategic effort, emanating essentially from a sliver of the population, as a terrified reaction initially to a rapid series of popular developments and mass movements with global reach, with the apparent power and possibility of overthrowing a multigenerational structure of power, wealth, privilege, and dominance.
The Fall of “Obvious Truths”
The acceptability of this substitute narrative was shaken only in recent years as it collided dramatically with the system that it had spawned, exposing its roots in the minds of a class and its utter lack of foundation in reality. The story of this lengthy and comprehensive intentional deception, its dramatic collision, and the gradual awakening of the population to the real forces behind the events of their lives and times, revealed in the shock of the disruption, continues.
In Part One—Chapters Eight and Nine, I talked about the fifty-year Republican campaign to convince the media and the American people of certain truisms that had nothing to do with the truth, in fact were almost one-hundred percent of the time the opposite of the truth. It’s pretty amazing what they were able to do.
It’s quite a story what a campaign it was, involving such things as getting people poorer and poorer, requiring them to work longer hours and so on so that they would have less time to think about things. It included other elements such as the way in which people’s minds were either stressed or made busy, and also the way they wore down the American people’s resolve to fight back against injustice
Repetition Makes It Possible to Control.
The Republican untruth, no matter how contradicted by observable reality, was endlessly repeated in the exact same way, by each and every Republican. Always and everywhere when reason would be called on instead the hypnotic truism would be brought out. Pounded home in this manner, the “obvious truth” would eventually take root, sadly, without fail, for lack of anything else countering it able to be remembered.
Democratic Efforts on Deaf Ears
The Democrats, meanwhile, were of course on the opposite side of this seamless coordination of Republican effort. Since their motives were not to enslave, their instinct was to respond, for their part, with reason and explanations that step by step delineated the causes of things. However all those words could not be remembered or take root in the minds of the befuddled masses, surrounded by such a barrage of an organized, disciplined ongoing assault of “talking points” against them.
Policy Was Added to Words to Bring into Unconscious Complicity the New Mental Territories Invaded.
This mesmerism was combined with carefully crafted and timed Republican policies which succeeded beyond all expectation in eroding leisure (i.e., pondering) time, financial power, physical strength, sleep and pleasure time.
Together they created increasing worry and stress time, overwhelmed and busy moments, and mindless paperwork time. It brought in confusional realities and mental “supports.” This precarious mental state left people defenseless against the major thrust of verbal repetition, comprised of simplistic, simple-minded, irrational, then increasingly irrational, but perfectly concocted verbal phrasings that elicited the precise proportions of fear, apprehension, uncertainty, feelings of paternal comfort and of being approved of, unimpeachable direction, comprehensive reinforcement and support, pleasing reward, and congratulation so as to manage, direct, and control the populace.
That’s all I’m going to say now, but, if you didn’t read the previous two chapters or hear the first audio, that will give you a little jumpstart on this. Part Two picks up from the end of Part One, and continues now.
Erosion of Reason
A Herman’s Hermit of Economics
But at the same time, like McCain said, “I don’t know too much about economics.” So he kind of spilled the beans there. Some of the truth actually came out.
So how did that happen? This idea of a special interest, and it being equal for both? It’s basically a smear campaign against Democrats who were trying to do things for Americans. And Americans were being told something different. By who? Well on the TV, on the news media.
So who talks on the news media. Well, it’s the supposed journalists, the pundits, and so on. And they’ve been saying that for decades now, I’ve heard them… “special interest” … that the Democrats have their special interests. So therefore how does anybody know the truth? And you’ve heard it, I’m sure. They say, ”Well, the Democrats and Republicans are the same; there isn’t any difference between those parties.”
How is it that working to benefit people and working to benefit corporations are the same?
Now, how did that happen? How did it happen that Democrats who were trying to do things for the average American, for Americans in general, how did it become that they were the same as the Republicans, basically who were doing things for a handful of people in one corporation or a handful of people in the other corporation…or on behalf of some industry…all at the expense of the American people? And I’ll get to that last part later.
Answer: Start with an unthinking media.
There’s something really wrong when you have a media that doesn’t have the ability to reason enough to point out the irrationality of these concocted untruths. For they are broadcast endlessly, repetitively, over and over again, by one after another of Republicans, whenever they get on TV, whenever they get on the radio. Then they are repeated by their lackeys in the media, like Rush Limbaugh or whatever. I wonder how many of you out there are actually thinking: “Yea, that’s what that is…yeah, unions, environment…those are special interests.”
Then paint everyone with the same brush.
I pointed out that Democrats have taken money, much smaller amounts than Republicans, from this or that corporation. But every time there’s a scandal, every time some of this practice leaks out, that is not what we hear.
There was a huge example of this in recent times with the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff was a lobbyist funneling huge amounts of cash into Congress for favors. It was largely Republicans that were involved. Only one of the top eight recipients was a Democrat; the rest were Republicans.
Cover up the culpable.
But was that detail important to the media? No, no, they couldn’t have it sound that way, like we have one particularly despicable political party. It might upset people. So Abramoff gave to both parties we were told–technically true, but deceptive, certainly not informative.
Cobble people’s ability to discriminate, think, act.
And as I discuss later, without clarity on events and in particular who’s at fault, when the waters are muddied and any talk of specific people responsible is covered in social niceties and generalities with relevant details only in the fine print, well people are hamstrung in their ability to do anything to right any wrongs.
You’d Have to Be Abraham-Lincoln Noble
Back to the scandal, so we have one Democrat out of the eight politicians who made off with the most loot. One Democrat and seven Republicans in the top bunch. Do you see that picture? I doubt the percentage of ordinary folks cheating on taxes is that small.
Can we not discriminate differences? Is that too much hard work?
So can’t we make a comparison as to who a better party is, what group is more trustworthy based upon 12 % of the most corrupt being Democrats and almost 90% being Republicans? Does that not sound like the one party made out like bandits and this other guy, a Democrat, was in the room at the time?
“Free computers time!”
I mean, Jesus, if I see a truck fall over in the street and it’s got all these goodies, and they come rolling out…I don’t know, maybe it’s typewriters…. I told you I was old. Let me change that, maybe it’s computers or something. Everyone around me is taking some, taking free computers, and I’m thinking, “Hey, it’s free computers time!”
I mean, c’mon. How noble do you have to be to resist almost nine out of ten people around you? You gotta be pretty damn noble. I’m talking Abraham Lincoln noble, right?
Dumb and Dumber
So anyway, can we have a little rational thought, or comparison?
Treating people like they’re dumber
Or do we just, as media, cavalierly toss out clichéd thoughtless truisms as if the masses don’t matter….as if they are not real and thoughtful deciders in our collective drama but merely pawns to be placated or riff-raff to be kept down. If we find something wrong with one party why must we paint both parties with the same brush? Isn’t that what is done?
Is it any wonder then there is apathy? Any wonder there is confusion and self-sabotage among so many?
Doesn’t the media have any way of discerning any differences? …and that’s what I was setting up at the beginning, wasn’t I?
The dummies in front of us
There’s been an erosion of rationality, and it’s not just of regular Americans. It’s also of those Americans who are in front of us on TV, soothing us with comfortable truisms, which I think many of them half believe.
And by the way who arranges for the televising of these pundits and the news shows and programming like that? Geez, isn’t it like really, really big corporations and rich people who own them…General Electric, Rupert Murdoch, and folks like that?
This new app for creating the news.
The result is a situation where it is doubtful there is much reason involved in what is told. Hardly any common sense or thought into it, it is as if the scripts are cobbled together by computers from random cliches that are currently about and, of course, the always handy “obvious truths.” In the example of bribes paid to politicians, and the Abramoff one is typical, isn’t the media’s take on it slanted? No doubt they would want to derail public anger toward the masters of the troughs they feed at.
So lacking in the most minimal analysis, the insinuation that goes out is that the Democrats, well, they get a little bit of money from a corporation and much more from the American people but that little bit is going to corrupt them equally as much as the tenfold amounts that the Republicans take in.
This also in disregard of the fact that the far bigger “bosses,” if we can call it that, of Democrats is the ordinary folks, often, as in the issue-oriented organizations as mentioned in Part One–those “special” Americans seeking to be heard through unions and groups whose concerns are education, the environment, the elderly, public health, liberty, justice, civil rights, consumer protection, world peace, integrity of government, media accountability, the welfare of the helpless and the poor, and so on.
Democrat “special” interests
The special interest followed by the “small” group benefited by it:
- workers – only people who work
- education – only people who think
- environment – only people who breathe, drink, eat…who don’t want to die
- elderly – only people who get older
- public health – only people who get sick
- consumer protection – only people who buy anything
- liberty – only people who want to decide things for themselves
- justice – only people who would not like to spend their lives in jail for no reason and with no recourse
- free speech and free press – only people who have anything to say to others at any time
- civil rights – only people who are not part of any group whatsoever and also do not have a conscience
- world peace – only people who do not want their families, themselves, to die and who don’t have a conscience
- integrity of government – only people who would like things to go well and to avoid unnecessary misery
- truth in the media – only people who would like to avoid living in confusion
- media accountability – only people who want truth in the media, who would like to avoid living in confusion
- social security – only people who want to avoid being beaten to death by poverty
- welfare of the helpless – only people who know for sure they are never going to have bad luck and who don’t have a conscience
- welfare of the poor – only people who know they will never, ever lack money and who don’t have a conscience
[Hint: Consider the ones who actually fit this category to find the ones who would be a Republican “boss,” would never favor Democrats, and would want to confuse you on all the above. This is a point that will elaborated even further as we continue.]
- “bosses” that have occurred to you, from here down
Media mollifying us that Republicans would actually bite the hand that feeds them.
On the flip side, whereas the media insinuates that Democrats are enslaved by the relatively meager amounts of corporate money directed to them, for the Republicans, who are receiving the tenfold amounts and are virtually exclusively funded by corporations…their entire paycheck paid by the rich folks…the media implies that these folks, miraculously defying human nature, are actually going to go out there and day after day point out the corruption in America that is ever the product of this bloated elite, their sole benefactors.
Talking Points = “Obvious Truths”: “To…catapult the propaganda” – G.W. Bush
“To..catapult the propaganda” – G.W. Bush.
C’mon, c’mon, a little bit of rationality, folks! But however inconsistent with common sense these insinuations and outright assertions from the media, when you have something that’s repeated over and over again, mantram-like…man! Especially if you’re in a confused state, or a stressed state…it’s gonna be the only thing you can think of when you’re coming up with opinions.
These untruths are so firmly woven into the fabric of the Matrix–you’ll see there are others you’ll recognize–that when hearing them you’ll probably say, “Oh, yeah, that’s true.”
That’s what they’ve accomplished. And these nonsensicals are so perfectly knitted into the blanket of that matrix that they’re both mesmerizing and invisible, therefore unchallenged, even by the pundits. They are even, by rational argument, unchallenge-able.
Talking Points = “Obvious Truths”
Now, what do I mean by that…”unchallenge-able”? Republicans at a point in my lifetime included in their coordinated daily attacks on clarity a kind of chanting in coordinated fashion. By that I mean they were repeating the same, as they call them now, talking points.
“You got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the [un’]truth to sink in” – G.W. Bush.
And he’d never give an answer to the question. It would be used like a jumping off point to say what he really wanted to say. It had the intended effect of distracting the viewers from any clear thought on the issue or subject.
It also freed up that time to be used, once viewers were led off track, for the seeding of those now assailable minds. Specifically, Bush was able to use the time allotted for answering questions instead to pound home the talking points Rich-publicans were trying to turn into some new (untrue) “obvious truths” (of course also to reinforce the old ones).
Palin: I’m not going to let the media set me up to answering your questions, I’m going to brainwash you instead!
Oh by the way we had a really good example of that with the Republican vice-presidential candidate last time. I don’t know how many of you have seen it, but Sarah Palin, in the vice-presidential debate, she was so… incredible…in a way…in her brazenness. She’s up there alongside Biden who’s answering questions. And at her turn, she’s saying (paraphrasing) “I’m not going to let you media folk set me up here, so I’m going to talk to the people directly.”
And that’s how it went the whole hour, hour and a half, whatever it was. Whatever the question was, she’d totally ignore it and recite a monologue instead. Well, basically she’s repeating again and again her favorite, most lucrative mantra, her most delicious untruths.
Attacks on our reason…i.e., Republicans to public – “You’re a dumb shit, I’m not going to answer your questions!”
But what if you really wanted to know something? She wouldn’t answer you. So it was also like a one-way conversation.
Here we have politicians, who are always telling us what the truth is, but who will not answer our questions so that we can add our own thinking to the matter. We are prevented from coming to our own conclusions, so also making our own decisions.
Well that’s really an attack on our reason, isn’t it? I mean we can’t ask questions, but you can just tell us what the truth is? And that’s basically what was going on.
It doesn’t either matter which Republican is talking or what TV show they are on, they are repeating the same phrases. Like Sarah Palin, they are using any question, as in a television interview, as a launch point into a rehearsed nicely knit together, truth-sounding, package of untruths. You see this one Republican saying something here, say, then there’s another Republican over there, and if you compare you notice she or he is repeating basically the same thing almost in the exact same words.
And there’s a certain power in something that’s said over and over again in the exact same words. We know this. We’ve seen that power conspicuously in recent times. We can hear Hitler, in Nazi Germany, repeating the same thing over and over again…and using this rhetorical device in targeting Jews, getting people all riled up and such. On recordings from this era we hear their…”Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” There’s a certain kind of comfort in not having to think, all you have to do is chant. And you can rely on these chants because everybody’s saying them, so they have the power, of like, wow, they must be true, because, well, everybody’s saying them, everybody around you. Well that’s a sad state of affairs.
This is your brain. Now, this is your brain on deception…
So what does this do, this omnipresent repetition of phrases in response to questions? This chanting of untruths instead of having rational discourse, when people are hearing this year after year and even decade after decade, what does it do?
Well, it adds to the smokescreen of confusion and misinformation that was effectively castrating and making Americans easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans wanted. I mean after all you’re not getting reasoned answers, you’re just getting slogans, and that leaves you confused, especially if it’s combined with a lot of misinformation which challenges the facts on everything, when everything is turned backward and they’re lying about everything.
I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how flagrant that intentional deception was over Bush’s eight years. And isn’t that gonna make you confused? I remember a time when the facts were not so much in dispute so there wasn’t such a huge divide between the Democrats and the Republicans about what the issues were. What was debated could then be what you do about those commonly acknowledged problems.
Equal Time For Idiots: For “Fair” Reporting, Mix Equal Parts Truth and Lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)
Paralysis of Action Because of Misinformation:
Giving stupidity a chance…the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days.
Denial of a Problem…Yea, That’s Gonna Solve It.
So this confusion over the issues has birthed an increasing polarization of opinions over the years about what the issues are. You see, we’re being told by some Republicans that there’s no global warming going on. Nooo. Wow. They are saying that issue, and for that matter virtually every environmental issue, does not exist! Certainly we’d all like to believe that, so even at their own peril adherents will be found for this obvious denial.
A Convenient “Truth.”
And who do they have to back up that refusal to look at the problem? Well keep in mind, first, it is virtually one hundred percent of the reputable scientists studying global warming that are in agreement on the dire reality of it, regardless of the “inconvenience” of that view. Meanwhile, to oppose that position, from the Right they get, say, someone who’s got a degree from a Bible Institute and he says, “Aaaah, there’s no global warming.” And his opinion is equal to that of all those scientists, in the world?
Would You Really Think It’s Debatable If…?
So this misinformation I’m talking about is put out there. And you don’t have the media telling you, “Well these are 100 scientists saying this, all writing statements, and studying these issues. And on the other side of this issue, we have this person who’s studying theology and he got his information from the Bible. And the Bible says there’s no global warming.” Now, if they were to put it to you that way, would you really think there was a debate? Would you really think that it’s like “Ah, maybe there is global warming, maybe there isn’t?” Naw, I don’t think you would. But that’s not the way it’s presented.
Equal Time For Idiots
At a certain point in my life I saw how the media changed its way of presenting topics. They would say they are just providing “equal time” (or that they are “fair and balanced”?), but this was not about candidates at all.
Recipe For “Accurate” Reporting – Start by mixing equal amounts of truth and lies…. (It’ll be fun seeing if the public can figure it out!)
What they began doing is, ok, let’s say that the Democrats basically thought the sky looked blue. But there were some Republicans that were in the camp of the yellow sky movement, the pink sky movement, whatever. And what reason do those Republicans give for saying that? Well maybe it’s because the Bible says it or something. (An aside: that might be the reason they’d give, but typically their real reason would be that an industry that is supporting them is spewing something into the atmosphere making the sky more and more yellow or pink.)
Giving Stupidity a Chance…the only thing about which we’re compassionate these days.
And this method of reporting was actually debated when it started to happen. There were more seasoned journalists who were pointing out, “Hey, this is not giving equal time! We don’t give equal time to an idiotic argument just because it challenges, just because it is the opposite of the truth.”
Erosion of Action
Doubting the Obvious, You’re Paralyzed
But if you do follow this Recipe for the Advancement of Idiot Persons (RAIP), and you have the journalists thinking that’s what they’re supposed to do, or maybe they are being told to do that, or maybe they’re being paid to do that, or maybe they’re getting benefits to do that, or maybe they’re being liked if they do that… by you know who, by people up above them… and people above them happen to want to be liked by people above them and people above them want to be liked by people above them… and people at the top are, y’know, the filthy rich. So… confusion.
So what happens? When you’ve got this kind of smoke screen and this misinformation, it’s debilitating. I mean I felt it.
And what does it do? It makes you doubt the truth about obvious things. And if you doubt the truth about obvious things, then are you gonna take any action? No! You’re powerless, you’re gonna stand still and you’re gonna go, “What am I supposed to do?” It’s kind of like a castration.
Surrounded by Untruth, You’re Easily Swayed
Powerless against the tides
Also, you’re easily manipulated. You’re standing there. Now if you’re just standing there not knowing what to do, and somebody starts pushing you in a particular direction, you’ve got no reason not to go in that direction. Basically that’s putting it in physical terms, but if you don’t have any ideas about what the truth is, you can be told anything. Well, that’s been pretty dangerous in the past.
We’ve had many, many people killed…whether it’s in Nazi Germany or Cambodia or whatever. They were easily manipulated, and they were not fighting back. And they were confused about the truth. That’s what Hitler did.
Why wouldn’t you want a Brooklyn Bridge?
So that you’re easily manipulated to whatever end the Republicans want. And, we’ll get more into what they want, if you haven’t already figured it out. You’re also easily persuaded into firmly believing any untruth the Republicans would contrive. When at any turn they will see an advantage or benefit worth pursuing that requires a change of public opinion, then Americans would be more easily convinced.
Those Magical Republicans Turning Darkness into Light
I’ve even got an example of this from Nixon…I said it’s been going on for fifty years. Nixon was horrid even compared to the Republicans at the time. It’s only when he’s compared to Bush and the even more larcenous Republicans currently that he is seen to have any positive qualities.
The example, however, pertains to the establishment of HMOs–Health Maintenance Organizations–as a solution to the health care problem. He is the one who brought the profit motive into health care, jumping onto the HMO bandwagon after learning through Ehrlichman from Kaiser Permanente’s CEO, Edgar Kaiser, that “All the incentives are toward less medical care, because…the less care [we] give them, the more money [we] make…and the incentives run the right way.” Explained this way Nixon was sold on the idea; we hear him saying on the recording tape, “Not bad” and “Well, that appeals to me.”
Nice trick, Dick!
So, is that the way Nixon presented it to the American public–”I’ve got this great way that will insure you will suffer more when you’re sick so that my filthy rich friends can wallow deeper in dough”? Hardly.
A few days later Nixon rolled out his health care “solution.” In his speech he stressed how this managed care would expand medical care and coverage and be a tremendous boon to the overall health and longevity of Americans.
Giving a helping hand…to your assailants.
And Nixon’s minions in his Republican party and the media took it from there: They turned his deception into talking points and ultimately into “obvious truths.” The American public believed this truism that managed care would lower overall costs. They missed the part that they would not benefit from lowered costs, that lowered costs meant profits that would go into unseen hands, who would then go even further in denying medical care and increasing overall suffering and tragedy so that they could gather even more booty.
From today’s perspective of accelerating medical costs and such widespread denial of coverage and benefits as to require massive corrective legislation, we can see just how well Nixon’s plan to lower the cost of health care and expand coverage worked out for us.
So we see how one Republican molded the American mind to make it complicit in its own abuse, to cause average folks to participate in the very assaults on them.
I will return to this example of Nixon and what actually happened with him later on, because there’s more to be said about it.
Repetition makes it possible to control.
I just want to finish the thoughts about how this process works, this confusion, making people more manipulated, keeping them stressed and so on so that they will be more receptive. And as I was pointing out, when the Republicans need a change of public opinion or want people to believe a particular thing, the Big Lie is employed; in its repetition it makes it possible to control.
Any one remember the wmd’s in Iraq? Ok. So the persistence in selling an invasion into Iraq was so effective…that persistence of repeating the same thing by all the Republicans was an unqualified success due to its masterful coordination. Republicans are known for this cohesion of action.
Having the sole aim of making money keeps a party focused.
By contrast, the joke that goes around is the statement by an opponent, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I belong to the Democratic Party.” There is this feeling among those up against Republicans because of the radical individualism, the radical differences of opinion that Democrats have.
Whereas Republicans can keep it simple and be that much more persuasive. There can be no disagreement or confusion about an aim so singular, so clear—to benefit themselves and the people that are paying to get them elected. That keeps them pretty consistent and gives them a lot of solidarity.
Getting a kick out of those rascally Republicans
Good examples of this acting in lock-step abound in the last few years. How many times have we seen Republicans in perfect array going up against Obama, Pelosi, Reid, the Democrats? Those rascally conservatives were so pleased with themselves. They couldn’t be more proud when not a single one of their hundreds in the House voted for either the Democratic stimulus or budget in Obama’s first year.
“Wtf! Are you in grade school?”
They were so proud of that: they “stared down” Obama (What the f… are they in grade school?). We had Arlen Specter, only lately become a Democrat, who voted in the Senate for the stimulus plan along with the lone two Republican senators–two women, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine.
Now that I think about it…they’re being so cohesive and so disciplined…you just got to wonder if some of them tried to take ol’ Arlen Specter out to the woodshed and that’s why he ran to the Democrats.
The Fall of “Obvious Truths”
How do they get Republicans to be so disciplined? Well, one of the things is, they’ve all got the same aim.
Whereas if you’re a Democrat, you’re going to have all kinds of concerns; the party allows you to have them. Some Dems might be more interested in health care, and some might be thinking education is the answer….
But with Republicans it’s all the same—corporations, you must help the corporations out… “I’ll help you help your big corporation and you’ll help me help my big corporation, and we’ll all continue to get reelected and get plenty of money.”
Republicans in plain sight hidden
So that’s a good way of viewing their differences. But most folks would hardly know that, because Republicans are very effective in avoiding any talk about anything that might give them away. I mean none of the Republicans want to be showed up for what they are really in office for.
But it’s no longer crazy talk.
Of course, this abject distinction between the major parties has become most pronounced over the course of the last fifty years. What I’m saying now doesn’t sound as crazy as when I learned it, when I saw it happening and first spoke of it. I saw this increasing corruption of Republicans to the point of it becoming overt and blatant in the last ten, twenty years…the fall of “obvious truths.”
So this viewpoint that Republicans are an owned and paid for subsidiary of corporate behemoths is a more frequently expressed perspective…especially since Bush’s ignoble slide and abject economic and diplomatic failure. Around the end of Bush’s “regime” Republicans had declined twenty percent in numbers, and there was talk of them becoming extinct. They had been showed to be who they are. Finally people were starting to realize that, yeah, yeah, you can be lied to…there was a decline of “obvious truths” corresponding to the light that was dawning and the naked Republicans that could be seen scurrying for the doors.
The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two – an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
Invite you to join me on Twitter:
friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel
Getting Sick to Be Well, Part Six: The “Inconvenient” Revolution – Unacknowledged Consciousness Evolution from the WWII Generation to the Millennials … More Suffering, Less Killing
Getting Sick to Be Well, Part Six: The “Inconvenient” Revolution – Unacknowledged Consciousness Evolution from the WWII Generation to the Millennials … More Suffering, Less Killing
Different Levels, Different Defenses
It is instructive at this time to note that Arthur Janov once compared the defenses that characterized the youth of the time—the late Sixties, early Seventies—with those of their parents and older people in general and came up with findings that amplify my own assertions here.
“Mind’s Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me With the Facts!”
Specifically, Janov found that older people—clients of his as well as others of whom he was aware—were characteristically more repressed, more split off, more prone to dissociation, more defended and, most importantly for our uses here, tended to use defenses of denial and obfuscation against inner information and impulses. Correspondingly, they tended to use drugs that repressed and blotted out reality, such as alcohol and nicotine; and they tended to be sexually repressed. They were also more compulsive. They tended to suppress their tension and hold it in for all their worth.
“How Can You Have Any Pudding if You Don’t Eat Your Meat?”
Truth was greatly feared, and all attempts were made to fend off incoming information that might threaten the delusional reality set of the conscious mind. This left them open to the characterization: “My mind’s made up! Don’t confuse me with the facts!” which was leveled at them by anti-Vietnam War protesters. In more recent years, it is no wonder they have engaged in a war against education and against Hollywood, as really they are at war with new information. Consequently, Janov found that the dominant mode of reaction, when threatened, was to act out aggressively against the supposed “oppressor.” Like prenates up against an overpowering womb, they are in constant war with overwhelm.
On the other hand, he found that his youthful clients—under 30—tended to use defenses of excess, release, and addiction, or to be unusually lacking in defense mechanisms. They were more impulsive. They tended to have weak barriers to incoming information, to be open to negative unconscious content, even at the expense of their self-esteem, and to be tension expressers. They were therefore more likely sexually promiscuous than repressed, and they tended to drugs that opened them to information and unconscious knowledge – such as marijuana and LSD.
Consequently they were less split off from their unconscious truth…though it made them uncomfortable…were less repressed, and, if anything, used defenses of masochism, self-denial, and self-inflicted aggression or depression. Truth was more important to them than emotional comfort. They tended to go out of their way to dig up negative information about themselves, and they accepted the low self-esteem and sense of self-worth that came with that kind of openness to truth.
Their delusional reality set — if it could be called that — entailed taking on the worries and cares of the world as their own, since their openness to their own cares and worries allowed them to empathize with others in obviously similar situations. When triggered into their pain, their dominant reaction was to take it inward and to take it out on themselves causing depression. In doing so they showed they would rather hurt themselves than hurt another.
Generation Gaps … Again
I don’t believe you need to be a rocket scientist to see that Janov was discovering an historical — one might say millennial — ”changing of the guard” as regards access to the unconscious, openness to personal truth, and lessening of the tendency to act out early trauma in violent or belligerent ways. The older generation had more tendencies to blame others, to find scapegoats for their ills, and to act out violently on them. The younger generation had more tendencies to look inward and to blame and punish themselves … and to prefer to hurt themselves before hurting another. They would more likely cut themselves than cut another; they would more likely commit suicide than kill.
The youthful generation might also become alcoholic, addicted to drugs, or do something else to injure themselves…rather than act it out on another.
Less Wars, More Suicides
And this “acting in,” as opposed to acting out, is indicated as well in the rise of teen suicides in recent decades. So you might say that the tradeoff we are currently getting is a reduction in the use of wars and racism to solve problems—that is, a reduction in the tendency to act out one’s Pain on others and to scapegoat. But, since the perinatal trauma is still there, and one is even more conscious of it, we have increased suicides. We have not had a world war or dropped a nuclear weapon on people since World War II; but we suffer unceasingly from relatively less loss of life in regional conflicts and the self-inflicted harm of air, water, and food contamination and from radiation poisoning from nuclear power plants. We have not had millions killed in genocides or purges since World War II, but we have suffered lesser loss of life in uprisings for democracy in China, Iran, Syria, Southeast Asia, and the Arab world. We have not had lynchings and racial riots have ceased, but we have suffered less lethal damage from culture and class wars, increased incarceration, creeping fascism, and struggles for economic justice.
Overall then, less death, more suffering. Less killing in wars, more suicides. Less large scale atrocities, more depression. On a collective level, we are taking our conflicts increasingly inward.
As deMause pointed out,
Those considered ‘neurotic’ in each age may often be a higher psychogenic mode than those considered ‘normal,’ only they must stand the anxiety of not sharing the group-fantasies of the age. [Footnote 1]
Away From Hubris: Nature Balances HerSelf
In this part on healing crisis, we have seen how perinatal acting out can be of two kinds: totally unconscious and trance-like, or semi-conscious with at least some access. We have looked at how a progression to more access to one’s perinatal underbellies has led to more acting in than acting out. We have seen how it has led to less violence and more depression.
Suffering Beats Dying.
At this point, one could make the point that the tradeoff is worth it: That individuals suffering more emotional pain and trauma is preferable to the horrors of world war and nuclear or genocidal holocaust…put bluntly, suffering beats dying.
This is natural of course, in that this is always the way we have thought of things—that is to say, as if all things were to be considered around the concerns of humans. This is called anthropocentrism—a form of species-centrism—in which Homo sapiens is considered the reason for the existence of the rest of the Universe.
Likewise, with a mind-boggling number of species living or having lived on this planet alone—species numbering in the hundreds of millions, if not trillions—again one might question the validity of choosing the perspective of our species alone in making our analyses.
How ‘Bout We Step Outside?
Yet this is the way we have always done it. And this is the way I have been slanting my perspective so far in this book.
But now let us do something radically different. Let us walk out of ourselves — figuratively speaking — and seek to stand upon that Archimedean point from which we might view the events currently transpiring.
From such an attempted non-species-centric viewpoint let us view this emerging perinatal unconscious as it is currently manifesting in humans. However tenuous our attempt, let us at least try such a new-paradigm viewpoint. For certainly all old-paradigm ones—containing all the hubris of anthropocentrism that they do—have failed in their attempts to save our species and indeed have contributed to such a likelihood.
Let us attempt to see through the eyes of Gaia, now—from the viewpoint of Earth itself—as we look at how the current human predicament may in fact be an example of Nature balancing HerSelf. With both perspectives in mind, we can have a complete picture. We will return then to look at where there is cause for hope, what we are doing wrong as well as where there are positive trends and forces at work, and how we might let go of the self-defeating and instead apply ourselves to fostering the forces of good going on in global consciousness and the globe itself.
1. Lloyd deMause, The Foundations of Psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots, 1982, p. 143.
Return to Of Goths, Gen X, Anti-Abortionists, Pacifiers, and a Hierarchy of Healing … You Make It When You DON’T Fake It: Healing Crisis, Part 5
Invite you to join me on Twitter:
friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel
Getting Sick to Be Well, Part Five: Flaunting One’s Sickness Is Healthier Than Hiding It … Gen X, Goths, Pacifiers, and The Hierarchy of Healing
Of Goths, Gen X, Anti-Abortionists, Pacifiers, and a Hierarchy of Healing … You Make It When You DON’T Fake It: Healing Crisis, Part 5
A Hierarchy of Healing?
This idea that those close to their unconscious conflicts are more likely to act them out blatantly goes completely against one of DeMause’s tenets. He wrote, “The higher the psychogenic mode of the psychoclass, the less it is necessary for it to act out its conflicts.” [Footnote 1]
However this is exactly the crux of my difference with his theory and is a central point I am making. For from my perspective, the higher the mode of child-caring equals the less the defenses. Hence, the more it is likely that that generation’s conflicts will be close to the surface, seeking resolution … like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. We might want to call it a hierarchy of healing theory. [Footnote 2]
In other words, our observing the supposed “acting out” of an underlying trauma does not mean that the group or person in question is actually or, at least completely, “acting it out” and defending against it. It may be that that group is resolving, healing, or integrating it—taking it inward rather than acting it out…in the world, on others…whether to a small or great extent. Using the analogy of Pandora’s Jar, described earlier, they are opening the jar, at least a little. And I disagree with deMause in that I wish to stress that it is healthier by far to do that. Let me explain:
The difference between acting out and resolving is whether the actions are done in total dissociation from the unconscious dynamics, that is to say, in a trance state—as explained earlier in regard to the World War Two generation and the Tea Party—or whether there is at least a modicum of insight into it occurring as a result of things inside of oneself, not completely projected onto the outside.
The attitude that leads to total dissociation and acting out was expressed in a recent 2012 military movie, Act of Valor, which depicted Navy Seals engaged in anti-terrorism activity. At the end, the manner of dealing with pain recommended for these American soldiers and “men of valor” was to (paraphrasing) put all the pain in a box, shut it tight, press it down till it is smaller and smaller, and never, under any circumstances, let it out!
However, in non-acting-out—“acting inward” or taking back the projection—there is a tad of insight, as, for example, in the “overexamined life” of the “uncommitted” and the “self-analysis” of the young radicals of the Sixties generation. Similarly, the rock concert revivication of all current generations except the Fifties and WWII ones, as I’ve mentioned, is about personal experience and growth, and it is not about acting out on another; whereas an example of the extreme other end of that would be engaging, trance-like, in a mass killing against a perceived political enemy, as Loughner did, and as we do as nations in wars.
Another example of complete dissociation are the anti-abortion folks. They don’t have a clue of the connection between their own unconscious prenatal pain and the feelings they have about unborn others. They are not wrestling with their feelings, they are trying to change the world to conform to their defenses around those feelings—that is, they want the world to suppress that womb time out of existence like they have done to it in their own minds. The proof that it is acting out is that it is all about changing others’ behavior, and it involves imposing one’s inner pain on others forcefully and aggressively—which we have seen in its extreme form with the murders of physicians committed by anti-abortionists
Flaunting One’s Sickness Beats Hiding It—Generation X
The self-analysis of the Sixties Generation was followed by a different mode of struggling with perinatal pain by Generation X, which continues in abated form with the Millennial Generation. It was manifest rather strikingly with the Goth phenomenon and the vampire fascination that began in the Eighties, coincident with Gen X’s coming of age. Goth and vampirism show blatant perinatal dynamics that are not unfelt and completely repressed as in dissociation with its trance-state aggression against others. An example of Gen X perinatal acting out of these dynamics in total dissociation and trance state was given above in the anti-abortionists. But Goth and vampire culture show folks feeling and immersed consciously in these pushes and pulls and wrestling with them, trying to work them out as opposed to act them out.
Hey, It Was Tough!
This is rather clearly shown in looking at the “regression” in Europe, described by psychohistorians, which occurred in the Nineties. This behavior showed a bit of insight…and resolution happening…in that the baby song being hummed was about the very real hardships of being a baby. Therefore, an actual truth about their own lives was being faced there by those singing along with it. The song was not being used to deny or defend against those traumas.
One might suspect that as well in carrying around such blatant examples of regression as a pacifier. For someone in a more defended mode would be highly threatened by such an obvious symbol that they are really needy children inside. More defended folks would be terrified such overt behavior would make them look wussy or sissified—that is, look like that vulnerable, frightened baby that they really feel themselves to be but are doing their damnedest to hide from everyone. Imagine how those Navy Seals described above would feel walking around sucking on a pacifier, for example.
So in actually carrying around a pacifier these youth were not only displaying an insight into their feelings of sometimes being needy babies, on the inside, but are actually flaunting this awareness, as if to shame, or slap the face of, or be “in the face” of a generation of their parents—the Fifties Generation for the most part—who did not see their needs when they were babies—however effortfully and obviously they sought to demonstrate them. Thus the symbols needed to become more and more shocking and obvious.
Look at What You Did to Me!
For example: the jeans with requisite holes around the knees was screaming out, “You did not take care of me; you made me feel like a poor, orphaned, ragamuffin child.”
The piercing of mouths, nose, ears, and even tongues shouted,
“I am in pain, dammit! Can’t you see that when you stick needles in me as a little baby that I hurt? How can you be so insensitive? Can’t you see that when you refuse to breastfeed and thus nurture me orally that I am forever damaged there, ever painful there? What does it take, my sticking pins—safety pins make the point even more that it was when I was in diapers—in myself to make you see that I hurt there?”
“Look, you might think we’re a wonderful family and everything is hunky-dory here; but I wish I were dead! I’ve felt so much pain, from in the womb, at birth, and right after birth, that I wish I’d never been born.
“Also, somehow in courting death, I have the feeling that I might somehow be reborn again into a good life, not like this place of torture and tears, right from the beginning, where my welcome into the world consisted of being drugged, handled like an object or piece of meat, blasted by bright lights, scrubbed by rough cloths, having needles and suctions stuck in me, blasted with noise, made to lie on cold stainless steel surfaces, and then bundled like a tamale so that I could not move…making me feel again like I was back in the hellish womb where in the later stages, for a time that felt like an eternity, I felt unable to move and was suffocating for lack of sufficient oxygen…and the only action that was possible was for me to scream my bloody head off for long periods of time or go into a stupor—which is what I did, alternating between them.
“Can’t you see that I’d rather be dead than live in such a world of insensitive zombies like you. Hell, in fact, to further drive the point home, I’ll even look and act like a zombie, I’ll try to appear as unfeeling and morose as you all seemed to me, especially at my birth. And I’ll go a step further and mirror yourselves back to you by becoming enamored of vampires….
“Can’t you see that you sucked my very life force, my blood, and turned me into an unfeeling vampire like you, by suffocating me in the womb, poisoning me with your toxic blood which you both sucked from me and then forced down my throat!”
1. Lloyd deMause, The Foundations of Psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots, 1982, p. 139. See also “Are Some ‘Sick’ People More Healthy Than Normals?”
2. See also “Are Some ‘Sick’ People More Healthy Than Normals?” on the Primal Spirit site.
Continue with The Consciousness Revolution They Don’t Want You to Notice. It’s Inconvenient for Them, Initially Hard for Us, and Hopefully Not Too Late: Healing Crisis, Part 6
Return to Millennials and Their Opposites – Fifties Generation Tea Partyers … How OWS and Tea Party Movements Are Generationally and Perinatally Different: Healing Crisis, Part 4
Invite you to join me on Twitter:
friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel