Friday, August 17, 2012

Bully Worship: The Universal Religion - 4

The Bully Religion Emerges
In this series we have been exploring a relatively unknown observation about society which George Orwell made.

We noted that Orwell had detected a spirit of bullying that was manifesting itself during his day, which also was enthusiastically supported by a network of followers or participants.

In his day Orwell made an attempt to show that bullying was associated with governments who wanted to lord it over others, and in some cases were willing to make war to do so.

That is not unlike the meaning of this concept in today's world:
"Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power."
(Wikipedia). It is interesting that Orwell also saw that the universal bully religion actually has some of the patterns of some of the traditional religions:
"Upon enlistment, the first act of a Roman soldier was to pledge obedience and devotion to the emperor. Absolute loyalty to authority and to fellow soldiers was the cardinal virtue, and the Mithraic religion became the ultimate vehicle for this fraternal obedience. The Mithras worshippers compared the practice of their religion to their military service."
(Bully Worship: The Universal Religion). To bring it down to current events a bit more, notice the overall glossy photo version of the pattern which we call Jingoism:
Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.
(Wikipedia). Bully worship involves three types of people or entities, the first being the bulling entity, the second being the bully's allies who are worshipfully impressed by, or fearfully respectful of, the various machinations of the bully, and the third type is, of course, the victim of the bully (see The Mother of All Enemies).

The bullying entity can be an individual person or a meme complex, i.e., a group that thinks alike (compare Dawkins a Bully? with Religionist Bullies?).

In this episode we will focus on the politics of bully worship, including how it affects U.S. presidential election campaigns.

We can get the gist of how the bully mentality works within the mind of those affected by the syndrome by considering one egregious example in recent history:
In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.

In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:
This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.
The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.

The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”.
(The Dogma of The High Priest In Chief, @ICH link, emphasis added). The religious based invasion of Iraq in 2003 (conducted by the greatest military power on Earth against a militarily weak nation) is the epitome of what Orwell saw as the bully religion.

The pattern of the bully religion is also showing up in the current presidential campaign with Romney aggressively refusing to do what he should, that is, to show his tax returns to those he wants to vote for him ("you don't need no stinking tax returns, have faith in me, believe!!!").

Also, his budget and the budget of his running mate Paul Ryan would allow the 1% power-elite class to harm their economically weak fellow citizens, the 99% class, by cutting taxes to those 1%, cutting social security, medicare, education, food stamps, while increasing the military budget and invading Syria and Iran.

That evinces the pure dogma straight from the bully religion, whose patron saint and their mentor is Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Music and photos from a land they want to bully:


Thursday, August 16, 2012

When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 3

"I did not say what I said ..."
In this series we ponder how mentally unstable people could get into government.

We Americans are a funny bunch concerning how it is difficult for us to trust politicians, while at the same time finding it difficult not to trust our government to be honest and forthright with Americans and with others.

But we find our eyebrows raising a bit when there is so much fuss by government officials concerning "the WikiLeaks", at least in the sense that having nothing to hide equals no fear of being caught by WikiLeaks for hiding a lot of something.

Then we wonder why the government is leaving no stone unturned while trying to silence an entity that can do no political harm to them because the government says they have nothing to hide.

Therefore, it is all the more natural for the voters to question how a psychopath could attain power in the U.S.A. these days, especially when it involves attaining that power through an election process.

Then there is Bush II and his minions who bolster the notion of psychopathology in government:
''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
(Dumb & Dumber -> Bleak & Bleeker, quoting Karl Rove). And of course there is the definition and description of the term which also bolsters the notion:
The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 2, quoting a psychologist). The "reality" Karl Rove liked to create ended up not being very real.

The same thing is happening with Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential choice, Paul Ryan:
After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.

Ryan had denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, in Ohio.

“I never asked for stimulus,” Ryan said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”

Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.

“I’m not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” the congressman answered.

But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.
(ABC News). They live in "their own reality", one of the hallmarks of the psychopath who "does not understand or need other people," as Ayn Rand, the mentor of Paul Ryan, described "the perfect man".

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Poet Laureate of MOMCOM - 2

Rimbaud - le Rambo
In the first post of this series we pondered one or so poets.

But specifically, we focused on Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (pronounced "Rambo") as the poet laureate of The Virgin MOMCOM.

Rambo was chosen because no ordinary, everyday poet could qualify for this MOMCOM who is no ordinary, everyday MOMCOM.

No, this requires a poet who recognizes the leading deceiver in the competition to destroy civilization, which to say the least, is no push over.

Many will say that Poe with his poem The Raven reached some mystical boundaries where many feared to tread, but be that as it may, our friend Poe did not cross over the Rubicon so far, did not pass from solid ground into the mist of ages, did not cast all his fate to the wind, and did not become the representative soul of the oil barons of The Private Empire.

To bolster that notion a wee bit today, let's look at a poem from the Rimster ...

A Season in Hell

A while back,
if I remember right,
my life was one long party
where all hearts were open wide,
where all wines kept flowing.

One night,
I sat Beauty down on my lap.
And I found her galling.
And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away.

O witches,
O misery,
O hatred,
my treasure's been turned over to you!

I managed to make
every trace of human hope
vanish from my mind.

I pounced on every joy
like a ferocious animal
eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners
so that, while dying,
I could bite the butts
of their rifles.

I called for plagues
to choke me with sand,
with blood.

Bad luck was my god.

I stretched out in the muck.
I dried myself
in the air of crime.
And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me
the frightening
laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently,
when I found myself on the brink
of the final squawk!
it dawned on me to look again
for the key to that ancient party
where I might find
my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.
This inspiration
proves I was dreaming!

"You'll always be a hyena etc. . . ,"
yells the devil,
who'd crowned me
with such pretty poppies.

"Deserve death
with all your appetites,
your selfishness,
and all the capital sins!"

Ah! I've been through too much:
But, sweet Satan,
I beg of you,
a less blazing eye!

and while waiting for the new
little cowardly gestures yet to come,
since you like an absence
of descriptive or didactic skills
in a writer,

let me rip out these
few ghastly pages
from my notebook
of the damned.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Graphs Of The Age Of Plunder - 3

Highway 61 Revisited
On this date in 2009 this series began to look at graphs which were used to review a major shape shifting change that had taken place in U.S. economics.

Not only that, those graphs detailed a serious escalation of the increase in the wealth of the 1% along with the increase in poverty within the 99% middle class and working poor.

The graph shows the steep climb in military spending compared to a steep decrease in domestic spending on durable goods, which "coincidentally" tracked the same path as the increase of the wealth of the 1% even as the wealth of the middle class and working poor decreased.

In a similar series that followed, Dredd Blog even mentioned that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was using the term "plutonomy" as a better way to describe what these graphs were showing:
The data may be a further sign that the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption. “I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be so dependent on the top 2% of the income distribution,” Mr. Zandi said. He added that, “In the near term it highlights the fragility of the recovery.”
(The Graphs of Wrath, quoting WSJ, emphasis added). We chose the term "plunder" to describe what was taking place, pointing out that deregulation had changed the law that had once characterized such activities as the province of the "robber barons".

The middle class and working poor began, in essence, to be plundered because it was no longer "robbery" since deregulation had made it legal in the sense that it was no longer a crime.

Of course the "it" was the removal of equal opportunity which transferred the bulk of wealth from the 99% to the 1% unfairly and in an un-American way.

Anyway, here is the text of that post from this date in 2009:

I used this graph in a recent post down stream in the series showing that the robber baron age ended by legalizing certain forms of financial robbery, and how foreclosures and job losses went up as the plunder factor went up.

Legalization ended the robber baron age because the laws which made their actions robbery vanished, at which time the age of plunder began.

This age of plunder will be with us until the Crawford jail is enlarged and filled.

Paul Krugman writes a piece where he cites to a graph that shows a full stop of the transfer from the wealthy to the middle class, and shows that decline being replaced by a steep rise in the transfer of wealth back to the wealthy.

That reversal began at about the time the Bush II presidency manifested itself upon the world.

Isn't that a coincidence?

Bush II surge of 1% share of income
Then the breaking of the previous record in the disparity of income sharing occurred early in the Iraq war, and not long after the infamous "mission accomplished" propaganda became fully propagated or distributed by the MSM.

The end of this age of the robber barons and the start of the age of the plunder begins at the time of the beginning of the wars, thus, the American people began to be plundered and their treasures began to transfer to the warsters and banksters when Bush II felt his infamous oats and became The Decider.

What astounds us who detect this in minutes or hours, by reading details in the documents available on the internet, is that so many people are surprised at this plunder and have no real clue about its reality.

This age of plunder is so very obvious and clear that even no high school student would fail to detect it, if they were interested.

I will add in closing that the MSM, like high school students, seems to have better things to do than detect the plunder of the American people by the plunder barons.

Isn't that a coincidence?

No, it is not a coincidence, it is a result of the sainthood of Ayn Rand philosophy by and within the 1%, the plutocrats.

The resulting disastrous toll on the stability of the American economy is due to removal of the middle class driven aspects, to instead resort to a "trickle down" plutonomy.

The previous post in this series is here.

The "moral code" this Monty Python piece spoofs is explained in the second video under it:



"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together
in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal
system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -Frédéric Bastiat



Monday, August 13, 2012

Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 3

"The reason I got involved ... Ayn Rand"
In this series Dredd Blog has been showing that the GOP is evolving in the W direction, that is, evolution from left to right (see Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy, Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 2).

Not only that, Dredd Blog has shown that it is not only the GOP, but also the governing powers that be, who are evolving in the W direction, as they take the government, including Democrats, along with them.

The philosophy of these winds that have been, and still are, blowing us off course come from the storm that produced, among other things, what we have called Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy.

In this episode, today, we will talk about the GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and how his political and other philosophies have been shaped by the person he calls his mentor: Saint Ayn Rand.

We will move from there to show how utterly psychopathic, clinically speaking, this philosophy of Ayn Rand, and by extension the GOP platform, really is.

The prior posts in this series used George Monbiot (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy) and Psychology Today (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 2), among others, as reference quotations to support various points.

In today's post we will use some different authors as well as different psychologists, however as you will see, we will derive the same results from those additional sources.

The dichotomy between "the perfect American" and the philosophy of Ayn Rand is stark, yet Randian philosophy is alive within the life and politics of Paul Ryan:
Janesville, Wisconsin, where Ryan was born and still lives, is a riverfront city of sixty-four thousand people in the southeast corner of the state, between Madison and Chicago. Three families, the Ryans, the Fitzgeralds, and the Cullens, sometimes called the Irish Mafia, helped develop the town, especially in the postwar era. The Ryans were major road builders, and today Ryan, Inc., started in 1884 by Paul’s great-grandfather, is a national construction firm. The historic Courthouse section of Janesville is still thick with members of the Ryan clan. At last count, there were eight other Ryan households within a six-block radius of his house, a large Georgian Revival with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I grew up on the block I now live on,” Ryan told me recently. We were sitting in his new, more spacious Capitol Hill office, one of the spoils of being in the majority after the 2010 elections. “My aunt and uncle live across the street from me,” he said. “My cousin is next door, my brother is a block away.” Ryan’s line of the family strayed from the construction business, which is now run by his cousin Adam. His grandfather and father became lawyers instead.

...

In a 2005 speech to a group of Rand devotees called the Atlas Society, Ryan said that Rand was required reading for his office staff and interns. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he told the group.
(New Yorker, emphasis added). So, let's get right to the mind and life of Ayn Rand to find out what makes her, and by extension, Paul Ryan and his politics tick.

The "perfect man" or "Superman" who Ayn Rand chose to exemplify her philosophy of "the American man" was a man named William Edward Hickman:
In her journal circa 1928 Rand quoted the statement, "What is good for me is right," a credo attributed to a prominent figure of the day, William Edward Hickman. Her response was enthusiastic. "The best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I have heard," she exulted. (Quoted in Ryan, citing; Journals of Ayn Rand, pp. 21-22.)

At the time, she was planning a novel that was to be titled; The Little Street, the projected hero of which was named Danny Renahan. According to Rand scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra, she deliberately modeled Renahan - intended to be her first sketch of her ideal man - after this same William Edward Hickman. Renahan, she enthuses in another journal entry, "is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness -- [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people ... Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should." (Journals, pp. 27, 21-22; emphasis hers.)

"A wonderful, free, light consciousness" born of the utter absence of any understanding of "the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people." Obviously, Ayn Rand was most favorably impressed with Mr. Hickman. He was, at least at that stage of Rand's life, her kind of man.

So the question is, who exactly was he?

...

William Edward Hickman was one of the most famous men in America in 1928. But he came by his fame in a way that perhaps should have given pause to Ayn Rand before she decided that he was a "real man" worthy of enshrinement in her pantheon of fictional heroes.

You see, Hickman was a forger, an armed robber, a child kidnapper, and a multiple murderer.

Other than that, he was probably a swell guy.

In December of 1927, Hickman, nineteen years old, showed up at a Los Angeles public school and managed to get custody of a twelve-year-old girl, Marian (sometimes Marion) Parker. He was able to convince Marian's teacher that the girl's father, a well-known banker, had been seriously injured in a car accident and that the girl had to go to the hospital immediately. The story was a lie. Hickman disappeared with Marian, and over the next few days Mr. and Mrs. Parker received a series of ransom notes. The notes were cruel and taunting and were sometimes signed "Death" or "Fate." The sum of $1,500 was demanded for the child's safe release. (Hickman needed this sum, he later claimed, because he wanted to go to Bible college!) The father raised the payment in gold certificates and delivered it to Hickman. As told by the article; "Fate, Death and the Fox" in crimelibrary.com, At the rendezvous, Mr. Parker handed over the money to a young man who was waiting for him in a parked car. When Mr. Parker paid the ransom, he could see his daughter, Marion, sitting in the passenger seat next to the suspect. As soon as the money was exchanged, the suspect drove off with the victim still in the car. At the end of the street, Marion's corpse was dumped onto the pavement. She was dead. Her legs had been chopped off and her eyes had been wired open to appear as if she was still alive. Her internal organs had been cut out and pieces of her body were later found strewn all over the Los Angeles area."

Quite a hero, eh? One might question whether Hickman had "a wonderful, free, light consciousness," but surely he did have "no organ for understanding; ... the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people."
...

But Hickman's heroism doesn't end there. He heroically amscrayed to the small town of Echo, Oregon, where he heroically holed up, no doubt believing he had perpetrated the perfect crime. Sadly for him, fingerprints he'd left on one of the ransom notes matched prints on file from his previous conviction for forgery. With his face on Wanted posters everywhere, Hickman was quickly tracked down and arrested. The article continues: "He was conveyed back to Los Angeles where he promptly confessed to another murder he committed during a drug store hold-up. Eventually, Hickman confessed to a dozen armed robberies.

...

It seems to me that Ayn Rand's uncritical admiration of a personality this twisted does not speak particularly well for her ability to judge and evaluate the heroic qualities in people. One might go so far as to say that anyone who sees William Edward Hickman as the epitome of a "real man" has some serious issues to work on, and perhaps should be less concerned with trying to convert the world to her point of view than in trying to repair her own damaged psyche.
(Romancing The Stone Cold). There is little wonder why George Monbiot said "Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats ..." (quoted from the first post of this series).

Nevertheless, this psychopathic Randian philosophy is a common phenomenon in the society of the 1%, as we discussed in old posts such as The Fog of War - McWarster McNamara, which links to a video where he says:
Robert McNamara: I was on the island of Guam in his [General Curtis LeMays'] command in March 1945. In that single night, we burned to death one hundred thousand Japanese civilians in Tokyo. Men, women and children.

Interviewer: Were you aware this was going to happen?

Robert McNamara: Well, I was part of a mechanism that, in a sense, recommended it. [regarding his and Colonel Curtis LeMay's involvement in the bombing of Japan during World War II] LeMay said if we lost the war that we would have all been prosecuted as war criminals. And I think he's right. He ... and I'd say I ... were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?
(IMDB, emphasis added). The "holy warrior heroes" once called soldiers, have been a form of the mythical devil bringing hell to innocent men, women, and children, by burning them and their loved ones alive (see also Mother of All Enemies).

I guess that takes the mystery out of why generals today say "winning is not the main thing, it is the only thing", because they do not want to be tried as war criminals.

This shows how the Ayn Rand philosophy has been institutionalized in 1% American society as well as the Plutocratic government they control though money.

Institutions have become not only unable to recognize psychopaths like William Edward Hickman, but because of a vast right-wing propaganda engine the public unwittingly even extols their virtues, as Ayn Rand led the public to do, and still does though sales of her books.

There are several psychological reasons American institutions tend to be unaware of the characteristics of psychopaths and their philosophy:
The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying.  The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.
(Sociopathy vs. Psychopathy). We have institutionalized the "charming ... con and manipulat[ion] of others with charisma and intimidation" to the point that they are "normal" to society:
One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.

And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries—in Britain and the US — roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control
"
(The Deceit Business - 2). In the Dredd Blog series "When You Are Governed By Psychopaths", we were not kidding when we pointed out:
One out of every 10 Wall Street employees is a clinical psychopath, the CFA Institute (an investment and financial analysis organization) reports in the latest issue of CFA Magazine. That makes psychopathy 10 times more prevalent among New York’s financial elite than among us plebeians, for which the accepted statistic is a more palatable one in 100.
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths). Now we know why psychopaths are so difficult to detect, which is that they know how to camouflage themselves, hiding in the shadows, intending to secretly avoid the blame for taking America in the wrong direction.

But what we don't know is why we lift them up into the highest positions of power so they can do even greater damage to us:
"The addiction to oil ... at least to the wealth and to the products made accessible to us by oil ... look at the negative consequences on the environment we are destroying the very Earth that we inhabit for the sake of that addiction. Now these addictions are far more devastating in the social consequences than the cocaine or heroin habits of my ... patients. Yet they are rewarded and considered to be respectable. The tobacco company executive that shows a higher profit will get a much bigger reward ... doesn't face any negative consequences legally or otherwise ... in fact is a respected member of the board of several other corporations ... but tobacco smoke related diseases kill 5.5 million people around the world every year. In the United States they kill 400,000 people a year" ...

"And these people are addicted to what? To profit, to such a degree are they addicted that they are actually in denial about the impact of their activities, which is typical for addicts, is denial. And that is the respectable one. It is respectable to be addicted to profit no matter what the cost. So what is acceptable and what is respectable is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society. And it seems like the greater the harm the more respectable the addiction"
(The "It's In Your Genes" Myth). The reason Romney and Ryan came out of a battleship during the photo op when Ryan was announced as VP, was that should their economic vision be enacted into law, they fear that the military will be needed to protect them and theirs (see Will the Military Become the Police and Military Plan To Become Police).

Even though elections will not cure all of our extreme ills, election practice is one of the many places in our nation that we must heal.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Ayn Rand would have found Mitt's Dad a disgrace, cause he was on welfare: