|Following is the first part of a new, previously-unpublished three-part essay about the implications of last year’s US election, written by Glenn Parton, best known for his eco-philosophic and psychological essays The Machine in our Heads and Humans in the Wilderness. The ideas in the essay are Glenn’s, not mine, and you can tell him what you think through the comment facility below, or e-mail him directly. I’ll add my two cents at the end of part three.
Exterminism, by Glenn Parton
The 2004 Election established a new stage of American Empire or Global Capitalism, beyond Fascism to what is best described as Exterminism, because the end of the Bush Republican agenda is not merely the conquest and exploitation of the entire world, but rather, The End Of The World or Armageddon, either by causing World War 3 or catastrophic ecological collapse. This agenda cannot be adequately explained in terms of selfishness, greed, or the endless pursuit of money. Something much more irrational and pathological is going on: there is mental illness in the White House, Congress, Courts, Pentagon, and various intelligence agencies such as the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security. If politically aware people do not stop the self-destructive insanity that has taken over the American political process, the course of world history, and the fate of the earth, then we might as well say that we want to die because that is definitely what is going to happen to all of us, sooner or later.
The Republican Party is getting away with terrible thingsófor examples, state-sponsored torture and murder, and massive poisoning of fish, meat, air, water, drugsóbecause tens of millions of psychologically damaged people are seeking, consciously and unconsciously, deliverance or release from personal suffering through political and social suicide. These people voted not only against their own economic interests, but also against their own survival, and the survival or biological interests of everyone. What is the underlying pathology that has pushed ìcraziesî such as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz to the top? If we donít understand this problem, and solve it, then the replacement of Rumsfeld and DeLay, and Bush and all his appointees is futile because many others will rise.
In a word, fear is propelling us toward global disaster, but in order to understand it we must distinguish between rational fear and irrational fear. If you are in Sudan or Iraq right now, then your fear is rational because of imminent danger. Irrational fear, on the other hand, is the fear of something that is not there, or a gross exaggeration of something that is there; it is a misinterpretation of reality. Another term for irrational fear is paranoia, and the inner mechanism of paranoia is projection (what is inside is experienced as coming from the outside). This means that paranoids are afraid of themselves. What is it that so many Americans fear about themselves?
The answer that this Election provides is that paranoid people fear their own erotic nature because they have adopted (through force) a false morality, an anti-sexual morality that persecutes and punishes them for expressing or even acknowledging this dimension of essential human nature. For two thousand years, Christianity has been trying to wipe out or deny the sexual nature of human beings, spreading sexual sickness across the land, and now many Americans have been made mentally ill by the accumulating effects of self-hatred to the point that they are ready to die, want to die, believe that they deserve to die.
Thanks to the ìgeniusî of Karl Rove and the Republican propaganda machine, the sexually sick have been politicized, republicanized, and neoconed. War and hate-propaganda appeals to those who have wounds that never heal because it offers them a Final Solution to their suffering. Not having the courage to improve their own miserable lives, many are drawn to the indirect and coded Republican strategy of social suicide, called the War On Terror, which is nothing but a detour to oneís own death via the death of everyone. The War On Terror must be understood, at its source, as a war against the true self, whose core is Eros, and it can only be won (in a morbid way) through Exterminism.
Not everyone in the GOP is sexually sick, some are ignorant, while others are too rich to care or think. Nor are sick people only in the Republican Party, or in the Churches, but the Party has become a gathering place for ideologues, with the sickest of the sick as leaders, who are determined to achieve the impossible goal of self-conquest at all costs. 11/2, 2004 (not 9/11, 2001) was a critical threshold in American history, the day that self-destructive people consolidated and expanded control over the lives of everyone.
In response, Democrats, Greens, Socialists, Communitarians, and everyone above Republicans on the evolutionary scale of consciousness should form a coalition of the politically awake with a dual strategy: 1) we need to develop and practice a politics of emergency (electoral politics, petitions, demonstrations, educational films, political conversations, and other acts of resistance) that stops, or significantly slows down, the Republican Party agenda, and 2) we need to articulate and practice a long-range visionary agenda that transcends Party politics.
The political issues that mobilized Republicans and independently sick Americansófor examples, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-sex education, anti-Hollywoodóhad to do, directly or indirectly, with opposing sexual freedom. Those with ìspines of tempered steelî (to quote Zell Miller) are threatened by the breakdown of ìtraditional family values,î with its rigid self-discipline and self-denial of sex, so they are escalating a cultural war against the natural self, but it will not work because the more a person represses sexual desire, the more it grows, distorting and twisting the resisting personality into madness. This Culture War has already organized itself into a Project for the New American Century, which is about suffering to death by means of our own Imperial Will.
With Republican self-loathers pulling the political and economic levers, life in America and elsewhere is going to get ugly fast. Be prepared to work harder and longer for less, for an ascetic culture with a vengeance, with no appeal or sympathetic ear in the corridors of power. Squeezing the joy out of life, reducing its quality, is the Republican plan for converting everyone to the worldview that human nature is ìseriously flawedî (as the patron saint of the neocons, Leo Strauss, said), or that the world is ìa dark and forbidding placeî (as the conservative columnist, George Will, said), leading eventually to the collective conclusion that life is not worth living. The evangelical spirit of capitalism, making the earth a living hell, is the self-fulfilling prophecy of the Apocalypse.
In sum, it was both fear and ìmoralityî that decided the outcome of this Election, or more precisely stated, it was the fear of sadistic morality, fear of a false value system, that is at war with the natural erotic self. No amount of rational argumentation, facts or evidence will influence people who are caught in the self-destructive eschatology of original sin, Atonement, and the Rapture. With nuclear weapons in America still on hair-trigger alert, launch-on-warning, there is real danger of a miscalculated, unauthorized nuclear war, but on a deeper level a nuclear or ecological holocaust has already been born in the deranged mind of Bush Americans, and if we ìstay the course,î then The End Of The World will not be an accident.
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A Culture of Fear
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If I Only Had 37 Days
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