Friday, February 5, 2021

Will Elections Cure The Disease? - 5

"Just have an election"
About a decade ago the question presented in the title of this post was set forth here on Dredd Blog (Will Elections Cure The Disease?, 2, 3, 4).

This series assumes, for the purpose of discussion, that civilizations can become sick.

I am not referring to a pandemic composed of physical conditions that render the populace physically sick, such as Covid-19. 

Instead, I am referring to psychological sickness such as denial, depression, mania, and psychosis that isn't physically apparent (in the pandemic sense).

It's a mental realm type of discussion.

A historian who was at one time the most often quoted historian, alluded to this type of sickness:

"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."

(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). Mass psychosis is involved when a large group either kills itself, or kills another group.

Toynbee's study covered about 26 prior civilizations, but the disease did not end way back then:

The Act of Killing focuses on Anwar Congo, one of the self-proclaimed "gangsters" who executed over a million suspected Communists and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia during the bloodbath of 1965-66. Congo, much like his fellow executioners that he remains friends with, has yet to face prosecution for the war crimes he committed as a younger man and lives as a national hero.

Congo is a man who appears to live in an eternal cinematic fantasy. He's always dressed sharp—inspired by his Hollywood heroes John Wayne, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley. What exactly inspired him to murder a thousand people is never quite explained. The only slight ever mentioned that he takes from the communists was their desire to block screenings of his beloved American films. Tapping into this love of cinema, Oppenheimer offers him the opportunity to tell his story by making a dramatic film in which he's the star of his own story.

This does not end up being The Act of Killing itself, but a meta film-within-a-film that allows Congo to tell his own story as he chooses to see it, guts and all. He casts his own friends, adds a romantic subplot where one of his friends dresses in drag, and even has musical finale at the foot of a waterfall where his own victims thank him for murdering [them]. But despite all of these flourishes, he manages to stay true to the story in the recreation of his preferred method of execution.

Demonstrating to Oppenheimer's documentary crew how he strangles his victims with wire, he boasts that he learned it from American gangster films.

(Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala - 2). It's a group thing eh?

Another famous "old timer", who is called the "father of psychoanalysis", was on to this phenomenon:

"If the evolution of civilization has such a far reaching similarity with the development of an individual, and if the same methods are employed in both, would not the diagnosis be justified that many systems of civilization——or epochs of it——possibly even the whole of humanity——have become neurotic under the pressure of the civilizing trends? To analytic dissection of these neuroses, therapeutic recommendations might follow which could claim a great practical interest. I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness. But it behooves us to be very careful, not to forget that after all we are dealing only with analogies, and that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to drag them out of the region where they originated and have matured. The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities. [p. 39]"
"Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature
to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this——hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. [p. 40]"

(Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud, 1929, emphasis added). The gist of it is that "group psychology" of the type we have developed nowadays is not what Freud had in mind.

Our "treatment" or therapy is to have an election (Etiology of Social Dementia - 18). But our forefathers knew that even the realm of psychology was not the only source of knowledge that is instructive, that offers an answer:

An answer from the sages in our past who we are very fortunate to have had, but sages which we have ignored to our great demise in recent times.

An answer that seems today to be totally and completely at odds with the conventional wisdom-hype and propaganda, which is composed of the glorification of the greatest source of the toxins of power.

Our founders were well aware of the question and the answer hundreds of years ago.

They spoke the answer with unmistakable words and with certain clarity:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(James Madison, emphasis added). The visionary who made that statement was the 4th President of the United States, Bill of Rights author, Congressman, Cabinet Member, and who was also called the "Father of the U.S. Constitution".

The above quote is from his "Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491-492.

Notice, in the quote above, how Madison equated or associated the toxins of power with disease epidemic concepts, saying that the war toxin "develops the germ of every other" anti-freedom toxin.

(The Greatest Source Of Power Toxins?).

(Extinction: Peace). Groups don't like to take their history medicine.

The previous post in this series is here.

Perhaps some clues (cultures hallucinating conflicting realities?) are presented in the following video:


  1. "Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who's said he may vote this month to convict former President Trump on an article of impeachment, is pushing back against possible retaliation from the Nebraska Republican State Central Committee by warning that his party must choose between 'conservatism and madness.'" (link)

  2. "By that I mean the amygdala, which is the part of our brain that receives all the sensory input.

    That is, all the sensory input from our ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and skin, before any other part of our brain receives the data, which it then processes with the additional help of our cultural amygdala.

    The 98% of our cognition, which takes place in our subconscious, gets to our 2% conscious cognition only after "the bridge to everywhere"[amygdala] has packaged it.
    " (On The Memorial Daze - 4)

  3. Propaganda is "let's hallucinate our way out of this" ...

  4. I continue to read everything you post here. I don't comment often.

    Elections will never cure the disease, humans ARE the disease.

    The species is infected with ignorance, and lately, stupid.

    Education would be the cure, if you could get the ignorant members of the species, and especially the stupid ones to bother with.

    Elections serve monied interests, ultimately working against the citizenry.

    There are no answers forthcoming from the elected; nor any coming from the monied.

    Ultimately, the cure for the disease will be the eradication of the species.

    Nature is quickly advancing on the path of eradication. The majority of the species remains too stupid and unlearned to even care.

  5. i think BOTH parties are completely off the rails Randy. If you like your leadership supporting ANTIFA and BLM, you're into FASCISM (though they name themselves otherwise) and we've already seen how deluded the right is. i agree with the anonymous comment.

    1. Tom,

      Both are of the rails in the context of this post. But the GOP is worse than the DNC at this point in time.

  6. The despotic minority is composed at times of presidents, senators, house of representative politicians, doctors, lawyers, and military officials.

    An FBI agent or two also (Jailed Capitol insurrectionist was retired FBI section chief).

    Cultural insanity is an existential danger which, once it reaches the stage of metastasizing into the organs of society, is a clear and present danger:

    "In the Study Toynbee examined the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in the course of human history, and he concluded that they rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders. Civilizations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively, and the civilizations then sank owing to the sins of nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority." (Encyclopedia Britannica).

  7. You may change your mind when you catch on to what they're doing Randy. Government is NOT here to help us (commoners).

  8. Elections will not cure GOP (group of psychopaths) madness. "The political concrete is thick and set. Forty years of radio and television propaganda, eight to 10 hours a day of it, and four decades of conservative politics incapable of resisting a slide into angry fantasy, have made a radical cult out of one of our two major political parties, and Republican politicians are now afraid of more than a threat simply to their political lives." (link)