Monday, September 16, 2019

The People Who Rule Us


In an earlier post I riffed on the possible psychological afflictions of Doug Ford as well as the general sorts of people who aspire to and reach high levels of power in our societies. In general, these are people who find it a challenge to decide between a health care system that lets people get medical attention without bankrupting themselves, or a system that bankrupts (in the USA) around 300,000 people a year while letting 45,000 people simply die because they lack health insurance, but which richly rewards a small number of parasites in the for-profit health care system. In the case of Doug Ford (who clearly wants to bring the Hell of for-profit, privatized health care to Ontario) I speculated about the possibly abusive nature of his daddy's household  that produced a gaggle of hopeless drug addicts excepting Doug who appears to be a sociopathic bully. Doug Ford wants to subject Ontarians to what millions of US-Americans suffer through (even the US health insurance industry itself admits to the inferior outcomes of their health care system). He does this but he still wants people to like him and seems genuinely put-out when they do not.

Like many conservatives, Doug Ford lacks empathy. Empathy is probably generated from within the brain. (I'm guessing.) Conservatives lack a lot of things that originate with the brain. The overall product of these deficiencies is a monstrosity that is generally referred to as "stupidity." Greedy, selfish, fearful, bigoted, ignorant, callous, hypocritical, etc.

Now, I know that conservatives (or right-wingers) often say the same things about progressives (or left-wingers). I see the sidebar on my YouTube occasionally showing some right-wing online celebrity "destroying" a "SJW" ("social justice warrior") or a "libtard." Just like I'm doing now, people on the right-wing say that they're the adults in the room and that we on the left-wing are the mentally deficient monstrosities. Non-political types would probably look upon this mud-flinging with scorn if not for the fact that they're all busy watching "Temptation Island/Love Island/The Bachelor/The Bachelorette/Are You The One/Survivor or whatever the hell else stupid shit they're watching.

So fuck them.

Let's play this out. In Canada there are two sides to the global warming debate. There is the side that believes that global warming is real and that it is caused by humanity's constant burning of fossil fuels in increasing amounts since the Industrial Revolution. Then there is the side that believes that global warming is not happening but if it is happening it is not caused by human activity but is the result of solar activity or just the natural variations of the Earth's climate. (But it still might be a hoax, perpetrated by shameless liberals lusting after wealth and power, or, if not liberals, perhaps by the inscrutable Chinese.) This former side tends to be populated by progressives/left-wingers while the latter is mainly inhabited by conservatives/right-wingers.

This is a deadly serious subject because if the proponents of human-caused global warming are correct, the continued emissions of greenhouse gases will overload the planet's absorptive capacities (such as the oceans) and this will result in murderous heatwaves, droughts, food shortages and starvation, gigantic refugee crises, mass extinctions; the heating of the oceans will kill coral and other sea-life; sea-levels will rise producing massive flooding of coastal areas and the forced mass migrations of millions more refugees; the arctic permafrost will melt and methane (a more powerful greenhouse gas) will be released, belching into the atmosphere and then it's game-over for humanity.

But, since it's human caused, we humans had the capability to take steps to prevent or mitigate it. We did not and are not doing so. And so we will all die. (I've tried, lord knows I've tried, to steer progressives into taking action on a number of issues, only to be met with bovine incomprehension or some inexplicable mental blocks that prevent people from being able to differentiate between immobility and action. So, for me, I'm just passing the time on my blog and on other things until life on this planet becomes unviable.)

So, for instance, the subject in the title of this post. "The People Who Rule Us." Since 2017 (if not earlier) I've been trying to convey the utter inhumanity of our prevailing political-economic system and the psychopaths who preside over it. This includes so-called "moderates" like Barack Obama (he of the "kill lists," he of the "we tortured some folks" insanity; he who bailed out the Wall Street criminals while allowing their victims to be fleeced and who orchestrated the destruction of the protest movement that arose in response to that) and Hillary Clinton (who really did want to get into a shooting war with Russia and perhaps thereby bring about nuclear Armageddon) and Justin Trudeau (who appears to have an intellectual grasp of the reality of global warming but fails completely when it comes to the morality and the courage to do anything about it).

None of these people are our friends. They are our enemies. Because we live in an oligarchy. A selfish, greedy, incompetent, inhuman, destructive, immoral oligarchy. And, when all is said and done, they serve the oligarchs before they do anything for us. And the longer we pretend that is not the case the more we will be abused and the sooner the nightmare scenario of global heating and mass extinctions will be upon us.

Nonetheless, it seems to be the case that the most vile examples of our ruling classes come from the "right" or "conservative" side of the political spectrum. As I said in this lengthy post, self-identified conservatives are statistically more likely to be fearful and paranoid. They tend to fixate more upon negatives (threats) than non-conservatives do. They lack empathy. And, on top of those handicaps, they tend to be less intelligent than the rest of the population. (Which is why they exhibit fear and paranoia.)

A normal person (think of the apolitical types I also described at the last link) will grow up in society and recognize the rules of the game and apply those rules to their own circumstances, recognize incongruities between the way society is alleged to work with how they see it actually operating (as well as where these alleged rules conflict with their own self-interest) and make their life choices accordingly.

A self-described conservative will (in general) labour mightily to try to understand the world they've been dropped into. This will be tend to be more difficult for them than for normal people because (as I said) conservatives tend to be less intelligent, have less ability to empathize (and thereby read the signals for proper behaviour) and (for whatever reasons) will be more fearful and defensive towards the outside world. Once they have achieved a grasp of the rules of the game they will hold fast to these rules with all their might. Capitalism is the dominant paradigm? Then capitalism it is. No matter what. And everyone who questions or rejects it is an enemy. They've been brought up in a particular religion? Then that religion is the truth and that's the end of the story. (Such devotion can provide a lot of comfort to such people.) And on it goes; they adhere to traditional gender stereotypes and sexual mores. With cultural pursuits, they'll tend to flock in large numbers to things that represent this most crude understanding of the society they live in. Things such as professional wrestling wherein cartoonish representations of gender ideals, the conflict between "good" and "evil," and etc., portray conventional values but with an acknowledgement of the overall stupidity of its fan base.

One particularly newsworthy example of this enthusiasm for shit-head culture is their love and devotion for the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. He's male. He's white. He's tall. He's famous. He's rich. He used to be sort of good-looking. He fucked hot women. He's racist. He "tells it like it is." In short, all the things they've convinced themselves is the way the world is or ought to be.

I'll say one thing for Democratic Party shill "Driftglass": While he's lamentably blind or indifferent to the noxious nature of his own political party, he is nonetheless right in stating that the leadership of the Republican Party (and corporate hegemons generally) have worked very hard at making their grassroots come to be a festering shit-pile of the dregs of the population. You couldn't see Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover or Dwight Eisenhower pandering to these idiots. Even Richard Nixon (with his "Southern Strategy") was only trying to obtain a solid geographical voting bloc that used to belong to the Democratic Party and which was now in play because of the Civil Rights Act. Nixon founded the Environmental Protection Agency, had a sophisticated (if immoral) grasp of geo-politics, and surrounded himself with intelligent lieutenants. The true decline of the mental and moral fibre of the Republican Party starts with the rise of the vacuous Ronald Reagan and the elevation of proud ignorance and empty symbolism over substance. It fell several notches more with the installation of the contemptible George W. Bush to serve as a figurehead while corrupt psychopaths Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld implemented wholesale looting and mayhem as policy.

Culturally, the Republican Party was assisted by right-wing propagandists (and degenerates) like Rush Limbaugh and FOX News. The former is a right-wing Talk Radio host (with a face that was simply made for the job) who espouses the sort of crude worldview that conservatives cling to, while throwing in his own personal attributes of prurient obsessions, total individual hypocrisy, and titanic selfishness. The latter is a news network founded and run by men cut from the same cloth as Limbaugh in every way and which features such shameless lying ignoramuses as Sean Hannity (and a whole slew of lesser entities who act as show hosts and regular commentators) and whose biggest "star" used to be the lazy, stupid bully Bill O'Reilly, until his serial sexual depredations became too well known and expensive to cover up. (The same thing happened to the network's manager Roger Ailes.)

Concomitantly, the female hosts and announcers at FOX News tend to be young, shapely (usually blond and white) who are almost always dressed in tight mini-dresses and high heels. Since this is a patriarchal society and since FOX News represents the most crude ideas of patriarchy, these women endured (and probably still endure) an environment of the most blatant sexism. Being "conservatives" these women also condemned feminism for being the creation of tiresome, ugly, unpatriotic lesbians. That is until other female celebrities elsewhere began to rise-up against some of the worst sexist behaviour of male bosses and colleagues in the "MeToo" movement. Then the FOX News ladies began to speak out against its extremely sexist environment and were able to obtain some justice while compartmentalizing this instance of the uses of feminism from the rest of that worldview and carrying on celebrating the culture of racism and pro-rich class warfare and US imperialism that the network espouses.

This compartmentalization of values is another way to describe the hypocrisy of conservatives. To be a  true hypocrite one has to fully realize and acknowledge the disconnect between what you preach and what you're practicing. For many conservatives though, there is often an inability to fully grasp the extent of these discrepancies. Mostly because they're stupid. The women at FOX News are at least getting to have well-paying careers that give them a fair degree of fame and some degree of power. Still, they remain essentially oblivious to how sexist abuse is part-and-parcel of the worldview they embrace and how their own selfish use of the tools provided by leftist pinko traitors (such as man-hating lesbian feminist bitches) only invalidates their other beliefs (minorities should stop complaining, poor people should work harder, refugees should go back to where they came from, etcetera).

While these FOX News women at least have the monetary and status compensations for subjecting themselves to Roger Ailes trying to seduce them. What does some right-wing working-class shlub who claims to be a "Christian" get for ignoring that their hero, Donald Trump, is a multi-millionaire conman, who stiffs working people, hires undocumented aliens, openly lusts after his daughter, admits to groping women, commits adultery, is a multiple divorcĂ©, is credibly accused of rape, is demonstrably anti-Christian (look up "Mammon"), and several other things that violate a conservative's supposed morality? They get nothing other than a validation of the other values they cling to (patriarchy, capitalism, sexism, racism). As I said, they struggle through their mental limitations to learn the rules of their society. They absorb only the most laughably crude stereotypes (probably because they appeal to them on a visceral level) and they either ignore or don't notice the inconsistencies between within their sets of values (or between their professed values and their own behaviour) because they're stupid.

Trump and the orphan. uncle. Melania's "I don't care" jacket.

Jeffrey Epstein. Belgian scandal. British Tory's pedophiles. Mass murderers.


Tal Hartsfeld said...

I never could get why so many low-income and "working class" types think Trump is committed to espousing, supporting, and defending the values and concerns of the "common people" when he's obviously simply another wealthy "trust-fund baby" elitist (and a CEO at that), a typical "civilian aristocrat" who (like any other) is convinced of his "superiority" over the average prole.

He, himself, couldn't make it any more obvious, what with his cliche Tweets and statements and pompous self-aggrandizing attitudes.

thwap said...


Working, as I am, with a blue collar Canadian Trump fan, I can say with some confidence that it is based on stupidity, delusion, ignorance and racism.

Not all Trump voters were deplorable. Many of his working class supporters were ignorant of his track record and of the limits of their political system. For many of them, he was the only guy talking about ending "free trade" and bringing the jobs back.

But racism is very much a part of the background noise in most societies and in countries like the USA (and Canada) where there are institutional factors supporting it, it can be a "winning" electoral issue. (My Trumpian co-worker is definitely racist. He thinks police shootings of unarmed Blacks is justified, due to the absence of fathers in Black families. [I'm as mystified as you are.] And he swallows daily doses of Islamophobia from his right-wing websites that I see him reading at work. [Debating with him is a waste of time because all he does is talk louder as he wildly changes the subject multiple times as his talking-points are shot down.])

Of course, Bernie Sanders talked about bringing the jobs back and taxing the wealthy. But in 2016 the corporate media chose to provide extensive coverage of an empty podium where Trump was scheduled to speak rather than of a Sanders rally that was actually happening at the same time.

Bernie's appearances this primary season before a FOX News audience and on the Joe Rogan podcast show that he could be a viable candidate if he actually received fair coverage.

And, finally, it's not that huge waves of working class voters voted for Trump. Many traditional Democrat voters stayed home because they'd received less than nothing from Obama and Bill Clinton and Hillary was promising more of the same and consciously ignoring them to go after "moderate" Republicans.