Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Enemy Within

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Carl Jung predicted our present sense of malaise as early as 1957 in his "The Undiscovered Self", decrying "...apocalyptic images of universal destruction" brought on by WWII and an atomic age ushered in when the United States dropped weapons of mass destruction on two cities in Japan. In its wake, Jung was fearful that 40 percent of the population —called a "mentally stable stratum" —might not be able to keep the lid on mass psychosis; it might be unable to restrain the spread of "dangerous tendencies", presumably: fascism, fanaticism, militarism, and intolerance. Jung seems to have been less concerned with external threats. The dangerous tendencies he feared were home grown.

The list above is mine —not Jung's, though I believe Jung would have approved. To that list I would add that most dangerous symbiotic cocktail: fear and hate.

Clearly —terrorism is a real threat but no more so than the dangerous and deliberate exploitation of it. Clearly —the subversion of Democratic ideals is a clear and present danger but no more so than home grown subversion by demagogues. What difference does it make to me if my "inalienable rights" are denied me by Alberto Gonzales or by the Taliban? Clearly —terrorist attacks upon the soil of any Democratic nation is worrisome but no more so than a home grown policy that nurtures, feeds, and inspires opposition at home and terrorism abroad. Clearly —Jung's list of "dangerous tendencies" must include our own tilt toward fascism, an unintended result that will have accomplished Bin Laden's goal without his ever having to leave his mythic cave in Afghanistan.

Clearly —the spectre of terrorism has been of greater benefit to Bush than it has been to those who espouse terrorism —those who, we are told, sow the seeds of fear and hate. Hitler, for example, could only seize dictatorial powers after a "terrorist" attack on the Reichstag building in 1933. Hermann Göring would later boast of having ordered the torching himself. Marinus van der Lubbe was executed but when a score of usual suspects were acquitted, an enraged Hitler dismissed the court itself. In both Himmler's Secret War by Martin Allen and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer, the Reichstag fire was the work of SS agents who accessed the Reichstag through a tunnel that connected Göring's official residence with the Reichstag.

Meanwhile, Hitler would raise the spector of communist terrorism and assume new powers. Later, Hitler would start World War II with a lie: that Polish troops had invaded German territory to blow up a radio tower. The culprits —not surprisingly —were Nazi SS in Polish Army uniforms.

We are now familiar with this tactic. Bush attacked and invaded Iraq though his administration knew there were no WMD to be found. Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations was known at the time to have been a fraud —consisting of plagiarized student papers and out-of-date satellite photos. Since that time, Bush has told some five or six rationales for the attack —all of them ex post facto. None of them were cited as reasons for the attack before the attack or at the time of the attack. They were seemingly pulled out of grab bag one by one as the official cover stories were exposed.

When all the various rationales proved hollow, Bush resorted to the Saddam was a bad man tact. But, of course, he was a bad man; but this nation could not possibly wage aggressive war on all bad men. And what difference does that make to the Iraqi in the street for whom Bush is a worse man? Bush's body count must surely exceed Saddam's by now and there is no law, no order —only chaos. With every milestone cited by Bush as progress, the situation has only gotten worse.

Very recently, there were two versions of the capture of Israeli soldiers. In my opinion, the more credible report is that the soldiers were captured inside Lebanon —not kidnapped inside Israel as had been claimed. Even conservatives concede that Bush most certainly encouraged Israel to invade Lebanon. In retrospect the over-reach is obvious: crush Hezbollah while weakening Syria and Iran. Like Bush's own invasion of Iraq, the power of the air attack was over-estimated. When no one else proclaimed an Israeli victory, Bush did. But that was public. Behind the scenes, Bush had changed the rules. He encouraged Israel to accept a cease fire that destroyed forever the myth of Israeli invincibility. As this blog predicted —even as the war raged —Hezbollah emerged stronger and, by proxy, Syria and Iran. On the other side, Israel is weakened, and, by proxy, Bush and his increasingly inept regime.

Is it only a matter of governments deceiving their peoples? Governments lie all the time —especially governments who now more than ever believe that lying to the public is not only permissible but desirable. They have it the wrong way 'round. Assured of their invincibility, they have convinced themselves that they must deceive the public in order to achieve some all important agenda. The arguments they have made to themselves are delusions of psychotic proportions.

This is the very segment of any population that so concerned Jung. This is a sub-stratum that Jung estimated as high as 60 percent of the population. It is these people that Jung feared might not be checked. As Jung feared, we have failed to restrain that sub-stratum of incipient psychotics inside our own country.

After Jung had written of his fears in "The Undiscovered Self", Ronald Reagan would come along and make it okay to be marginal or outright psychotic! Ronald Reagan showed Bush Jr how best to exploit the symbiotic relationship between fear and hate for GOP advantage. It's really a psychological "binary" bomb —a bit of fear plus a dash of hate, stir in a tape from Bin Laden and you've got yourself a fascist dictatorship. Reagan would make it okay to blame victims of Reagan's misrule. Reagan left Bush a legacy of absolving the selfish and self absorbed from all guilt. Reagan gave legitimacy to bigotry, making up —full cloth —a story about a Cadillac driving welfare grandmother. Reagan would make right wing nut cases "...feel good about themselves" and Bush would learn all those wrong lessons. Hitler taught them all.

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