By Denis Conroy
Alternative ideas don’t come easily to Americans. It seems that Americans imported colonial hierarchal practices from Europe to cultivate them to their own advantage. Over millennia, Europeans had come to accept the authority of Church, Monarchy or State Principalities to be the places where the ‘rightful-centres’ existed. The ‘rightful-centre’ was always beyond the reach of the masses. Pontiffs and warlords alike had built their power base upon the belief that the common people should accept the fact that the centre of power was somewhere above their heads and that it was the lot of underlings to live the life of fellow travellers.
The Confucian idea, that the centre was everywhere, had failed to penetrate the European pantheon. In Asia, actions and their consequences were measured in language that was neither hierarchical nor internalised within rhetorical borders, but connected to truths that had their origin in humanity-oriented-grass-root realism…ethics. Europe, for its part, went the way of evangelical Christianity by legitimizing religion as the celebrity voice par excellence. Operating in space above the heads of the common folk, Emperors and Popes engaged in the practice of issuing edicts that instructed the commoners on how they should think and respond to the celebrity classes doing their thinking for them.
Branding religion was the event that opened the door to the branding of everything. Patriarchal authority, the central tenet of the Old Testament, reappeared again in the guise of male-dominated New Testament culture when it was integrated into the Roman state. Rebranding regulations to secure the authority of the power-base required a narrative that sought to recluse authority from popular critique. The Founding Fathers in Rome or Washington, became very astute in crafting directives and devices that enabled them to toss their bountiful wisdom to an amorphous flock that would forever defer to their ‘wisdom’. The creation of an inscrutable Machiavellian dimension…secrecy…put in place to coddle the aspirations of the commoners, had the desired effect of separating them from the business of government.
By these means, the State as a force-unto-itself came into being, with lawmakers, merchants and agents of the evangelical stripe committing rank, energy and capital to fulfilling a dream of progress that would see them on a path to seeking mastery over all things…nature included…per subjugation of all things. This was the philosophy that the colonial mind found prepossessing…business-as-usual as a staple operation that would take devotees of their exceptional ilk anywhere they chose to go to, expropriate whatever resources were available to them, while defiling the health of the planet in the process…and think about what we Westerners became and what we did and to whom in the process?
When the genie was released from Europe’s empirical arse-crack, was it because the grass looked greener across the vast expanses of America’s prairies which appeared to be there for the taking? Was the Australian bush an all too alluring opportunity to rebrand someone else’s homeland? Europeans, living midway between science and barbarism went across the world to smote the idyllic ‘innocents’ living midway between paradise and paralysis, believing them to be inferior. With a pugnacious conviction born of arrogance, they swarmed through the greener-grasses with scant regard for life or limb.
So, moving on to present day America…which sees itself as the leader of the free world… who or what can explain the introverted perspectives that draw the national psyche into an ever-expanding empirical loop. There is much evidence available to show that a covert passion for Great-Game memes continues to haunt the power-elites in Washington. It now seems that American presidents may come and go but Henry Kissinger is here to stay. Henry…who served first as Nixon’s national security adviser and then as his secretary of state 1969 until 1974… and nowadays frequently seen slumped in a chair in the Oval Office, looking like a grim medieval gargoyle, whose drooping flesh and demeanour convey an image of intransigence…worthy of Machiavelli’s attention… hovering there to counsel the many presidents who pass through the White House, in the art of genuflecting before Zion. Henry, the Zionist Pope, keen to examine the credentials of all those aspiring to occupy this high office, conjures up the inevitable question; at what point in time did this secondary space and highest office in the land become a Zionist habitat?
Strangest of all, the recent election happened and hardly anybody gave a fig about the destructive consequences of America’s wars abroad. It was like permanent war was o.k. so long as it happens in somebody else’s country…or benefited Israel. The public, before-during-and-after the election, expressed zilch concern for the millions of people their government had destroyed. After all, the American corporate juggernaut was unstoppably hooked on exploiting the globe…leave no paddock unexploited…and the electorate, the fellow travellers… who accepted the propagandized narrative coming per media…from above their heads…would always accept corporate branded salve.
What helped them to ignore the consequences of permanent war was an inhouse injunction…the American narrative had become a religion that represented all that was good for business as gospel…and that was that! Confirming the only ‘reality’ they knew, the fellow travellers passively accepted a piece of the action. America’s brutality in the world at large would continue, signalling that ‘butcher shop’ carte blanche would go on, regardless of who was elected.
The election focused on brand and who would control the narrative. The winner was ‘more-of-the-same’…and that was good for business. The election was merely about people choosing their favourite celebrity, but the one who succeeded failed to fulfil the expectations of the liberal-elite and that meant a ‘wigs-on-the-green’ melee was in the offing. An awareness-deficient electorate left the rest of the world wondering if there was much difference between educated and uneducated Americans.
Where were the voices that might have stormed the barricades with rhetoric that condemned the American practice of sending its apprentices…butcher-boys all…abroad to kill! Kill! Kill! Awareness was absent because the electorate was too comfortable with the hierarchical world above their heads…Wall Street, the Pentagon and the accompanying galaxy of job opportunities available to the educated and uneducated alike. After all, inclusion in the system was all that mattered come payday… and after all, cash cows R us!
“According to U.S. Census 2013 data, 1.68 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have a PhD. This equates to approximately 2.5 million people. People with professional degrees such as MD or DDS make up 1.8 percent of the U.S. population making the total percent of Americans referred to as doctors equal to 3.16 percent.
The vast majority of adults in the U.S., over 88 percent, have a high school diploma or additional education. Around 31 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, and almost 12 percent have a master’s degree or higher”…which begs the question; how can so many people live with so much carnage? Can it be that the American dream of freedom and independence, for so long the playbook of the straight white man expressing racial bravado in his quest for dominance, is now beginning to show evidence of him falling…in slow motion…upon his own petard?
As America grew bigger and bolder and wealthier, the echelons attached to the running of the state multiplied too. In subtle ways, the business of the people operating in the zone above the level of the common people became ever more numerous and secretive…after 9/11, the main perpetrators of secrecy became the CIA and the FBI, regulating the level of fear to kept the public focused on fabricated threats designed to promulgate the ‘war-on terror’ mantra. In the process, the temporal beast grew an extra dimension of the mystical kind to extend its purview beyond its own borders so that the people could believe that greatness was now a context in which America and Americans could shine and shove it to the world. What was happening abroad was bound to enrich them…and to hell with the consequences.
Americans, surfing the contours of their very own exceptional imperial arse-crack, in quest of ever easier access to mother nature’s assets, deluded themselves into believing that the assets allocated to sand-bunnies and other assorted detritus were mistakes that needed correcting. Deriving emotional security from the possession of their vast stock of ballistic missiles, the American imperial persona descended into a state of amnesia as a convenient way of ignoring the increasing problem of the body-count forever multiplying in the countries they were rendering dysfunctional. American boots on the ground had come to spell venality abroad and valour at home.
What was happening abroad was inconsequential…reportage at home became more heated, but it had little impact on a critique-resistant ‘exceptional’ entity like astigmatic America. Retarded awareness was turning the ‘great’ society into an intellectual cadaver…critique had caught some fatal disease that caused ‘John Brown’s Body’ to mournfully turn in its grave.
As Uncle Sam, in horizontal locomotion style, cast his war-ware across the Muslim world, people came to recognized the familiar appearance of the grim reaper, hidden in the folds of the stars and stripes, as their great airpower transported democracy eastwards. They were aware that death and destruction in their country had long ceased to receive much attention in Western media. America was too busy navel-gazing.
To be too preoccupied with one’s own anatomy or infrastructure is likely to cause serious problems for people who live in glasshouses. America’s post traumatic rage over the result of the 2016 presidential election might have gained something if people had stopped a moment to reflect on proverbial insightfulness for a moment, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.
Ad hominem warfare in America is spreading like wildfire. The population is determined to leave no stone unturned. A veritable ‘kristallnacht’ of sorts, affecting the secondary classes…celebrity classes…more than the ‘deplorable-class’ suggests that the America dream and its affiliations with politic heft and hove is up shit-creek. The current brand of stone thrower lives in that space above the common people’s heads and personifies the American dream from a specific perspective; status, power, money, independence et al… and nothing gels!
But on second thought, perhaps proverbial wisdom needs revision; for example; insular people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw tantrums or missiles.
And there’s more; Wall Street, AIPAC, The Pentagon, The FBI, The CIA, The State Department, T.V. Talk Hosts, Established Media, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and countless other membranous boundaries that represent the hydra-headed social order are all insular to a man (or woman). Insularity however, inevitably means more trouble for the uninitiated masses excluded from the banquet… secrecy being the better part of valour…but?
So, we don’t ever really know what goes on behind closed doors. Nobody ever comes through the door to explain why evangelical America threatens 150 million Russian Christians with nuclear annihilation. Nobody comes through the door to explain why American bombing throughout the Middle East is Guernica writ large in perpetuity…as was the case with Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc. etc., Nobody knows who decides which democratically elected government abroad is next in line for regime change. Nobody, on the other hand, is ever allowed to enter the closed doors that conceal the little men who ruminate over charts, statistics, numbers, surveillance data and funding dossiers that help insular careerists to navigate a path ever deeper into Doctor Strangelove’s hoary entrails where drone strikes and Armageddon is contemplated.
The American Constitution, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington all have their place in history as instructors…and instructors are there to advise one on how to move forward. The great achievement of the new great country which embarked on so many projects to develop infrastructure, failed to acknowledge that developing at so great a tempo left no time to reflect on the consequences of its actions. As it rushed headlong into the future, it lost sight of where it was coming from.
On becoming a country without a past, its memory span disappeared more and more as the locomotion of its enterprise took America ever deeper into an illusion that the country had to keep its foot on the accelerator 24/7 to achieve greatness for all. In the absence of grass-root ethics that might have revealed the connection between object and subject, respecting and being respected, ‘greatness’ became a synonym of pedigree and power… ‘us-and-them’ a code for superior and inferior, exceptional and unexceptional. The America of superman fame adopted the eagle as super-bird, not as a Phoenix rising in a new world, but as a symbol of a bird of prey with a mission to destroy…the corporeal devouring the spiritual! …History does repeat itself!
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest”…………..Confucius, 551—479 BC……..