A few days ago I came across a very interesting juxtaposition of two myths: one ancient and one modern which perfectly capture the current situation of the American Republican party. I’d like to share it with the MD readership.
As popularized by Sigmund Freud, the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus Rex elucidates the subconscious forbidden taboo desire of young men for their own mother. The plot of what later became a famous drama by Sophocles, goes somewhat like this: a plague descends on Thebes; Oedipus sends his brother-in-law to the Delphic oracle to inquire about the possible cause, without realizing that the crime for which Thebes is being punished by the gods is his own: he has unwittingly married his own mother. Upon receiving this disconcerting news Oedipus plucks his own eyes out as a sort of self-punishment for his violation of the taboo.
On the other hand, the modern myth of Frankenstein’s monster portrays a mad scientist creating a monster which looks very much like a human being but is in reality a super-intelligent robot with no consciousness, no conscience, no empathy for anybody, now better known as a zombie.
Enter Donald Trump and the Republican party. The Republican party can be portrayed as Oedipus. A plague has descended on it and the name of the plague is Donald Trump: the most successful charlatan-demagogue in the history of US politics. The party is desperately searching for the cause and the remedy to this plague without realizing that that the plagues has been created by the party itself; by its own political blunders and shortsightedness. This is cosmic justice, or better, poetic justice fit for a Greek tragedy.
Trump is indeed the party’s creation, just as the Frankenstein’s monster is the mad scientist’s creation, now unstoppable and coming to destroy it. It was fed by the party and now it is strong enough to destroy its maker. After all, was it not the party’s insane obstructionism, the threats to shut down the government, the calls for the nullification of Supreme Court decisions, the insistence that any compromise and moderation was nothing short of betrayal, the internal coups against party leaders who refused to join the general insanity, that taught Republican voters that government, institutions, political traditions, party leadership, even parties themselves were fair game for overthrowing, for evasion, for insults galore, for shameless laughter? Sen. Ted Cruz set the disrespectful tone and now he too has been overrun by someone even more irreverent and foolhardy than him: Frankenstein: the purer, less ideologically encumbered anarchist-revolutionary. What an irony, the tea-party revolution devouring itself.
Trump did not just happen out of nowhere, nor is he hijacking the Republican party; he is a creation of the Republican party, pure and simple. But to discover the real causes of such a bizarre phenomenon we need to dig a bit deeper. The causes can be discovered in the party’s accommodation to bigotry and racism in its ranks. The majority of Republicans are not racists, to be sure, but in some way they too have been facilitators and enablers; they ought to frankly acknowledge as much. Many of them initiated the virulent attacks on immigrants way before the Frankenstein monster arrived on the scene. How else to explain Romney’s advocacy of “self-deportation,” Marco Rubio’s abandonment of his own legislative principles on immigration? How else to explain the virulent opposition and obstructionism to any legislation proposed by President Obama?
So populist anger, xenophobia, bigotry, and racism were well cultivated, prepared and unleashed beforehand, thus enabling Trump to continue what they started. It degenerated eventually into mindless Islamophobia, something Trump is also proud of; into a mindless criticism of President Obama who from the beginning was branded by Trump—via his “birther” movement—as illegitimate, un-American, a subversive of American values. Trump, together with many extreme Republican politicians have merely gathered the fruits of the Tea Party movement; the standard bearer of all angry frustrated Republicans.
Paradoxically, nurturing sinister forces in the party through which they had hoped to ride into power, the party leaders are now calling for a counterrevolution against Trump. They are panicking because the monster is now too powerful to be stopped and is coming to devour them and destroy their party. Not so long ago they were welcoming his contributions to a mindless debate; a debate which led 16 contenders and debaters (among whom fellow-bullies and extremists such as Christy and Cruz) to fall off the cliff of presidential candidacy. Some of them are now supporting Trump in a last desperate attempt to gain a modicum of power as consolation price, all in the name of patriotism and love of country, of course. The sheer hypocrisy is nauseating.
It has become apparent that the Republican party is presently bent on self-destruction and perhaps cannot save itself. Indeed, Lincoln, who created the party, must be turning in his grave. Once he wins the nomination, Frankenstein will soon be let loose on the land. The crucial question at this point is this: if the Republican party of Lincoln and its ideals cannot be saved, can the country still be saved? Can a Clinton, who has her own baggage and liabilities to carry, or a Bernie Sanders, who has already been branded a Communist and a subversive, pick up the pieces and put Humpty Dumpty back together again? History will soon render its verdict.
The Despair of American Youths under an Overly ‘Critical Society’
A recent tragic incident in the United States has stunned the world. This incident, is not merely “domestic terrorism”, but its root cause, that of a “critical society”, is far more serious than people think.
Payton Gendron, from Conklin, New York, drove a few hours to Buffalo, which is about 200 miles away, to a predominantly African-American, low-income neighborhood, about 3 miles north of the central Buffalo. It is surrounded by residential areas, a university, a nearby Family Dollar store, and a fire station. –
In an act that shocked everyone, Payton Gendron pulled up his rifle and walked into the supermarket, and started killing people, women, the elderly, and cashiers. Not only did he shoot at the unarmed people, but he also broadcast the gory scene of the massacre live on Twitch. This vicious mass shooting incident left at least 10 people dead and 3 others injured. Of the 13 victims, 11 were black.
In the aftermath, it was horrifying to discover that the white young man who did the mass shooting was only 18 years old. “This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now”, said Mayor Byron Brown.
After the incident, President Joe Biden urged unity to stem racial hate as a remedy to get rid of the “hate that remains a stain on the soul of America.” Biden said that, “violence inflicted in the service of hate and a vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that through the media and politics, the Internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced”.
The so-called “Great Replacement Theory” alluded to in the speech of President Biden in his condemnation of the massacre refers to the belief that immigrants or other people of color are “replacing” white Americans. Propagated by the media and the Internet, and deliberately exaggerated by political shows and politicians, there are those who become firm believers that the “Great Replacement” is the reality and the future of the United States. The Buffalo massacre is but one of the countless hate crimes. In today’s American society, no one is completely happy, and everyone seems to have different reasons for dissatisfaction, disappointment, and hatred.
The reason for this is that the U.S. is typically a “critical society”, which does not often offer much justice and truth. Instead, discrimination, grievances, conspiracies, and hatred more often than not emerge in such a society seemingly plagued by despair and pain. The real United States might not be exactly like this, of course. Yet, countless people from all over the world are eager to come to America by all means to seek hope there, not knowing that Americans, especially young people who are overwhelmed by disappointment, are not hopeful about the future.
There are many reasons why the U.S. has become a critical society.
Education in the U.S., with its strong emphasis on critical thinking, trains young people from an early age to not only possess critical spirit, but also to have critical point of view. This started with English composition among young children, and continues to dissertation among college students. Such critical spirit is like a contagious disease, which is easily transmissible. In books, in movies, in TV shows and newspapers, in culture as well as in fashion, Americans are always criticizing all the time, trampling. Yet, their critical mind does not come with constructive strength. There is a serious lack of respect for the classics. It is as if only through crushing the past and the traditions that allows them to show their superiority.
The cultural model that balances the critical and classical, empirical and traditional do not seem to be the dominant model in American society, nor an integral part of its popular culture. American institutions of higher learning, which are supposed to be places where the classics are taught, are now the venues that instill radical critical thinking. Therefore, the non-technological departments in colleges there are nothing short of houses of madness. This has led to a pernicious consequence of increasingly polarized critical thinking, turning the U.S. into a very harmful critical society.
In such as overly critical society, it is difficult for people to see the presence of the classics that represent all things positive. Since everything can be criticized, then everything is problematic, where there are flaws everywhere, where everything is imperfect. In an overly critical society, no one is normal, and everyone has a vicious side. If one cannot find shortfalls in a person, then standards will be raised up or lowered down, or new standards are invented, so that everyone becomes the target of criticism. All doubts are noble, and the classics themselves are the best objects of doubt.
The biggest problem with a society like this is that there is no hope, only hate. All that is left is despair. A young man like Payton Gendron is actually just a victim who goes astray in such a society. In an overly critical society, every young adult is in despair.
The U.S. today is already very worrying enough, its future is even more so. With the Internet, disappointment and hatred are ubiquitously amplified. From the country’s power center to its legislature departments, in terms of constructing, developing, and protecting the nation, the professional politicians there contribute less than regular nine-to-five office workers. These politicians expose, create, amplify, and criticize any possible flaws of political opponents without hesitation, in accordance with the modus operandi of professional politicians there. Such amplification and role model effects have made the United States a desperate country.
The world of information is complex, and not everyone possesses the ability to process information objectively, and not everyone should be expected to do so.
In the face of all kinds of information sweeping in, using the “believe it or not” mentality to deal with the survival challenges of the modern information society is a major blunder. The right approach is to recognize and analyze information, but this is too difficult for the average person and requires good training in information analysis. In China, it seems that there is only one think tank that has that kind of training in both critical and empirical information analysis. In this sense, Chinese academia does not always lag behind its counterpart in the United States. As for the U.S., the path of seeking science and technology to solve overly critical problems through specialized information processing is most certainly not going to work. Technology will always be objective, and as it can be used to clarify doubts, it can also certainly be used to create problems.
To bring things to a close, the sole way for the United States to get more people to see the light is for its society to make changes and move out of an overly critical society.
Are Biden’s Troubles of his Own Making?
What a fractious world we live in. The somnambulist Biden has woken up in his nocturnal wanderings to hear complaints about China for its sea incursions close to the littoral areas of allies like Taiwan and Japan. Thus at the “Quad” (Australia, Japan, US and India) meeting in Tokyo, he reaffirmed US support for Taiwan, militarily if need be, to defend Taiwanese independence in what appeared to be a reversal of policy as earlier the US had recognized it as a province of China.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) an economic union of the Quad and other Asia-Pacific countries has been revived — Trump had buried it earlier, aiming presumably higher but missing. Mr. Biden announced its reincarnation as the new Inter Pacific Economic Federation (IPEF).
All of which is the least of Mr. Biden’s headaches. There’s a full blown war in Ukraine to consider. And he promptly announced a $40.1 bill military aid package for Ukraine. Defense contractors couldn’t be more pleased. Lockheed Martin stock is up 6 percent in two days as it ramps up production of the Javelin anti-tank missile, doubling it according to the CEO to supply Ukraine.
Congress has now passed a $40 billion aid package. The amount is not trivial. For comparison, India, a country of more than a billion people with the third largest defence budget in the world, spends less than half that sum on weapons procurement.
The real question is going to be Mr. Putin’s response. He might well call it a move aimed at slaughtering young Russian boys, when he himself is asking for peace talks. Even President Zelensky, the quintessential blowhard politician, has been forced to admit that 50-100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying daily.
American interference in Ukraine has a long history. The planning and participation in a coup eight years ago (when Biden was vice president) and the selection of future leaders thereafter are all documented. On lack of European support for it at the time, Victoria Nuland, the then Deputy Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs responded famously, “F–k the EU.” She has the dubious distinction of being the chief promoter of the so-called “soft coup” which led eventually to the fall of the elected Viktor Yanukovych government and thence to the divisions in Ukraine. The results have been the deaths of an estimated 13,000 people and the displacement of millions.
Since 2014 about one million refugees have left the country as a result of wars in the Donbas. Another 1.6 million were internally displaced. Following the latest fighting in 2022, the number of Ukrainians who have left the country has risen by another 6.6 million and another 7.7 million are displaced from their homes to other parts of the country. That in total is over a quarter of the country’s population of 44 million.
It is painful, pitiful, atrocious and appalling that in the 21st century, political leaders instead of resolving disputes have behaved in a manner ending in a human tragedy of these proportions. Let’s just say, none of the participants need queue up for a Nobel Peace Prize, although one had already received it before this and other misadventures.
The WW III that Biden and All Other Neocons Are Leading U.S. Toward
The intensely neoconservative U.S. President Joe Biden is leading the world into a World War III against both Russia and China, but despite the U.S. spending annually around half of the entire planet’s military expenditures (not only in its ‘Defense’ Department but in its Treasury Department and other Government agencies), America is actually inferior to both Russia and China regarding leading-edge geostrategically crucial technologies of both nuclear and laser weapons, and is getting farther behind each year, because for both Russia and China their own national sovereignty is what their enemy, the U.S. Government, aims to conquer, whereas no one poses a threat to the U.S. Government’s continuing rule over its own people (it becomes increasingly a police-state). The U.S. Government is the only and supreme champion of sanctions and coups and invasions for regime-change producing the creation of new vassal-nations throughout the globe, whereas both Russia and China must protect themselves from that or else become themselves new U.S. vassal-nations. So: they are laser-focused on NOT allowing America to grab their nation. Truly, for them, this is an existential issue, NOT a matter (such as is the case regarding the U.S. Government) of growing to become the world’s first and only all-encompassing global empire (a luxury that only America’s billionaires, who control the U.S. Government, require). This basic distinction is the reason why whereas the U.S. has over 800 military bases spread throughout the planet, Russia and China are concerned ONLY about not allowing U.S. forces to be based so near to their borders as to enable a U.S. missile to annihilate their capital’s command-and-control within less than ten minutes and so to enable the U.S. Government to grab control of them so fast that the targeted nation’s (Russia’s and China’s) retaliatory weapons won’t be launched in self-defense.
Consequently, for example, the geostrategically-focused CRUX youtube site headlined on May 23rd “Why The World Fears Putin’s ‘Flying Chernobyl’ Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile”, and reported on Russia’s emerging “Buravestnik” nuclear-powered nuclear-warheaded missile that will be able to avoid all known types of anti-missile detection and tracking technologies and that will be able to fly for any distance because of its nuclear fuel. Though that pro-U.S.-Government, anti-Putin, CRUX-produced video says “Experts have underlined the threat that … this weapon may pose to the environment and human health” due to radioactive waste that’s released into the air during its flight, because there is no space inside the missile to store waste, even America’s National Defense magazine has admitted that “the amount of nuclear waste that this will produce is very tiny, … basically negligible,” which is hardly what CRUX headlines it as being — a “Flying Chernobyl.” CRUX went on to say, “Experts say that Putin’s Cold War mindset has normalised the development of such doomsday weapons.” It’s all regime-change-in-Russia propaganda.
In other words: the neocons’ aim to destroy Russia so fast that Russia won’t be able to destroy America in retaliation, is hogwash that’s probably funded, ultimately, by corporations such as Lockheed Martin, whose sales are exclusively or mainly to the U.S. Government and its allied governments (vassal-nations), which U.S.-and-allied weapons-making firms’ stock-values have soared ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991. It ended only on Russia’s side in 1991, but this supercharged it on America’s side. This unleashed a solely military-industrial-complex-controlled U.S. Government, which demands an ever-increasing percentage of the U.S. Government’s expenses to go toward its military, which, nonetheless, is privately owned and controlled; and its profits have soared.
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