Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Bitter Epiphanic Cup...

...which too many of us choose to let pass on by.

From me, a god damn decade ago:
The Sieg-Heiliotropists

I Rule Your World.

"Sieg Heil"
German phrase, which literally means "Hail [to] Victory." During the Nazi era, it was a common chant at political rallies.

noun: phototropism in which sunlight is the orienting stimulus

...we want to believe that there must be a better tool, a more perfect voting machine, a more compelling narrative that can be wrapped around the bare, blinding facts of Evolution which will (as I have written before) compel “Conservative Christopaths to grow opposable thumbs en masse, climb down out of the Stupid Tree and stop believing dangerously lunatic trash.”

But there isn’t.

And while all of those are perfectly good ends in themselves, there are no upgrades, patches or new releases that can bulletproof a system against the malevolent intentions of those who come with fascism burned on the board.

The predicament which faces us – which has always faced us – is predominantly a hardware, not a software problem, which is why I suspect we were never promised anything but a more perfect union.

Because no matter how elegant your solution looks in the dorm room or in the Upper Room, there will always be men who will butcher, slag and pervert any system to serve the shadows.

The Sieg-Heiliotropists who strengthen only in dark energy of Authoritarianism, and bend and breed only in the direction of the totalitarian.

Those who will deliberately claw their way to the highest offices a constitutional democracy can offer in order to better rape and raze that carefully constructed system of checks and balances 
so they can build a corporate slaughterhouse on its bones.

Those who will methodically debase and pulverize one of the most radically liberal, compassionate and explicitly altruistic faiths on Earth and sift the rubble to “prove” to themselves that Christ was really --

-- a lily-white, lard-assed, illiterate, queer-hating, ‘Murrican bigot whose greatest beatitude was “Blessed are the swinishly privileged, for they shall inherit…every fucking thing”

And those who will
cheer them on.

I believe that if you examine the long road Modern Conservatives have traveled to come to be where they are today, what you will find most striking and depressing is the degree to which their fundamental ideology has not changed one fucking iota over the centuries.

That the problem with America is not to be found in the -Ism of the Month – in what color Conservatives are choosing to paint their pulpits this generation, or which group they expeditiously choose to hate and blame for the misery of their lives.

The problem is deeper than that. Sadder than that.

Brief driftglass aside --
Until I finally realized that the hard-core Modern Conservative is simply not curable by facts and reason, I used to keep a copy of the “Cornerstone Speech” handy. It is the perfect Anti-Second Inaugural: one of the most famous public declarations of Confederate ideology and intent, delivered by the Vice President of the traitorous CSA himself -- Alexander H. Stephens -- on March 21, 1861.

I kept it on hand as an easy and instant rebuttal to grubby, little wingnut revisionist who wanted to blat on about the abstraction of “state’s rights” being the real cause for the Civil War, and not the concrete and evil manifestation of Original American Sin that was slavery.

Stephens obligingly laid that ridiculous notion to rest over 140 years ago when he said:

“The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution—African slavery as it exists amongst us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact.
The long dead and unlamented Stephens could not possibly have been any clearer: These were butchers, terrorists and fascists who were fighting for their right to remain unapologetically malevolence and to reap the substantial economic and psychological windfalls of their evil system forever.
-- end brief driftglass aside.

But what makes the speech an epic American tragedy is how its loathsome themes have remained a clear and constant refrain for the same people, fighting for some mutation of the same cause, with the same fervor almost a century and a half later.

It is, for them, always a crisp, pre-battle dawn on the Plaines of Meggido, Georgia.
“I was remarking that we are passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world. Seven States have within the last three months thrown off an old government and formed a new.”
And God is always on their side of their filthy enterprise.

“They [The North] were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.”

“With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator.
As with Bush and his delusional “history will vindicate me” alibi for both the catastrophe he has unleashed in Iraq and the unwavering Nixon/Watergate level of loathing he has earned from the majority of Americans, the traitors of the South also argued that the tidal force of history was on their side and they could therefore safely disregard all criticism:
“As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo—it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. … May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. …With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.”
And as with all blood-caked tyrannies who swaddle their malevolence in the mantle of Heaven, they make loud and preemptive assertions that everyone else on the face of the Earth disagrees with them is simply insane.

Consider that the people who hunted Clinton like a wild boar for seven years and cheered hysterically for his impeachment over trivial are now exactly the same people screaming “Bush Derangement Syndrome” whenever anyone even questions their Dear Leader’s infallibility.

Now note how eerily similar those philosophical grandchildren of the degenerate Confederacy sound to its Vice President as he dismisses anyone and everyone who believes that slavery is not a noble institution ordained by God:

“Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics…

“All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind—from a defect in reasoning.

“It is a species of insanity.

“One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics.”
Same as it ever was.

Same as it ever was.

Because, in the end, our problem lies not on our stars or systems, but in ourselves.

In the end, our problem is not that democratic institutions themselves require any substantive modification, but simply that around a quarter of the inhabitants of the United States desperately want to get rid of our pesky Constitutional republic and replace it with a nice, tidy, white, Christian police state.

That around a quarter of our fellow citizens are intractably Sieg-Heiliotropic, and as such are fundamentally and permanently unfit to be Americans.


bowtiejack said...

". . . around a quarter of the inhabitants of the United States desperately want to get rid of our pesky Constitutional republic and replace it with a nice, tidy, white, Christian police state."

Nailed it.

I was musing the other day on where Muslims come from. And, of course, they come from the same place that Mormons, Catholics, Hindus, etc., come from. Their parents were Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Hindus, etc.
And that is where the these troglodytes come from with their Confederate flags and all the rest of it.

A person who is secure in themselves, who has self confidence, can listen to your arguments and reasons.
They may not agree with you, but their response does not involve calling you a "heretic" or a "communist" or threatening you with violence.
Bob Altemeyer has pretty well deconstructed the psychology of these meatsacks.

And you can't reason with them or persuade them. You can only defeat them.
Demographics do your job!

Inconstant Reader said...

How does it feel to be Cassandra?

D. said...

It's not as though we weren't warned and didn't warn others.

Sometimes the American people are that bunch in the vehicle at the railroad crossing who ignore the lights, the bells and the gate being down to go around the gate, serene in the "knowledge" that the train won't hit them or it's just gone past. (Pedestrians, but still.)

Dr.BDH said...

Only a quarter? Seems more like a majority.

Jimbo said...

"Demographics do your job!." I don't think so. The GOP is every much aware of the demographics and that is why they are attempting to take over as many states as possible and then to restrict the vote as much as possible through outright suppression, gerrymandering and physically preventing voting through poll closures and physical intimidation. The conservative courts will do nothing about this and if they do, state governments will simply ignore them (as in WI and NC in this last election). The rest will be accomplished by an apathetic voting population. I am no longer very sanguine that the American population will wake up and take action to save democracy never mind the social safety net and basic human and civil rights.

I hope I am proven wrong.

arcadesproject said...

Christ came to bring men Freedom. But men didn't want freedom. They wanted security.

I think the Grand Inquisitor says that. In a Dostoevsky novel. Maybe it's the Brothers Karamazov.

Robt said...

But I do not care to play a real life game of Monopoly with republicans.

I mean they put Goldman sachs in charge of the banks. Which is why I guess I start out with only a tenth of what the other players get to start out with. The appointee in charge of Community Chest has the cars shuffled that I go to jail all the time. As with the Chance (opportunity) appointee who did the same. Of course once the properties are all bought. There will be no "go to jail" because if I am in jail I cannot land on anything they do not own that requires payment. Sure their is mortgaging any properties I do not own.
Not only being overcharged for walking on their Boardwalk sidewalk, they charge you for a spoon full of cheap whine at a $1,000 per Tea party spoonful.
But when they set the "rules:. And we know and have heard loud and long that they HATE RULES. What they always meant is that they only care for rules they decide based on what is best for them.
Like they are going to do with healthcare.
The make government small enough to drown it in a bath tub but big enough to send the those little people to war to defend the corporate and wealthy interests is the rules they set for us to play the game and lose.
Because the GOP, it is all about winning and never have I heard them tell us what that means.
So OK,
They want to play "Risk" not under their rules.

Like the movie "War Games". It appear to be the fastest way to get to the end with the least pain. Win or lose.

After watching Lyin Ayn Paul Rand Ryan at the town prison cell meeting. The allowance level that he gets to lie without challenge is spectacular.
Their is no dobt that Frank Luntz is in charge of taking the applications for filling the seats and selecting the people to ask questions. Where are the republican "joe Wilsons) to shout out at Ryan, "you lie"?

Digital Canary said...

For me, not so great, as I steel myself for imminent loss of employment due to being the Cassandra of my company.
But as a hard determinist, I can't do otherwise; and as a moral agent, I wouldn't do otherwise.

Thanks as always for your (hopefully non) quixotic efforts, Driftglass. You're not alone, and you're and inspiration to me and to others.

Neo Tuxedo said...

The original post was about the Cheney adsinistration, but every God damn one of the comments on it could have been written about the incoming Nightmare Clown Car Crash. The only changes necessary are (a) a different preacher's name in Sandman's warning that the 27%ers are "sharpening their knives and polishing their guns in gleeful anticipation of the Great Christalopithecan Dobsonian Jihad," (b) a tweak of the first sentence in Punkster's second paragraph to account for reality getting even worse over the last nine years, two months and 12 days:

I mean, we are now in a situation where any hope of a decent future relies on the actions of the ex-head of the KGB and China to rein in the psychopaths in our current Administration.

It's only an incoming administration, but He, Trump can give that "ex-head of the KGB" a sprained wrist just by sitting down without sufficient warning, and it's our intelligence agencies that we're relying on to shut him down. He's made himself their enemy, sure, forgetting that the last President to do such a thing became shot through the forehead from behind, but letting them amputate him might be a cure worse than the disease.

As I've said before and will probably say again, I suspect that's the reason you don't offer us solutions: because they all have an honest national discussion as a prerequisite, and an honest national discussion has them as a prerequisite.

The Kraken said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. I too have been shocked at how much recent history resembles the civil war. Doughface Donny is the fruit of their labors.

Herb_Sage said...

This is my first comment to the estimable Drift Glass, who I have Benn enjoying on Prodessional Left Podcasrt for three years.
I have a different model of our b situation than your:
"The predicament which faces us – which has always faced us – is predominantly a hardware, not a software problem..."
Hear me out. It's a software problem. The problem is that we totally underestimate the difficulty to repair faulty human software.
About 7 thousand years ago, the inhabitants of the Great Sahara Grasslands in Africa and the Great Gobi Swamp in Central Asia were in the middle of an enormous environmental collapse and desertification event that formed the basis for the giant swath of barren lifeless landscape from Morocco through the Middle East to Mongolia. Death was in the millions, but over thousands of years, destroying villages and nations sms leaving the survivors insane. In order to survive their hellish environment, they cannibalize their pastoral cultures and developed vertical, hierarchic, brutal, authoritarian, women hating, Earth-hating Nomadic horse-cultures that cyclical ravaged most of Europe, North Africa, and Asia for thousands of years.
Off critical importance, they absorbed the systemic suppression of emotional release, "dischsrge" as the Reichians called it, and embedded it into their culture, which has scattered and diffused it into most of the Old World, and later the Americas. Through military and personal violence and abuse, a shitstorm of half-baked, did and monstrous ideas are passed from conqueror to conquered, parent to child, that includes slavery, sexually instability, self-hatred, disregard for nature, misogyny, racism, etcetera and so on.
The contents of this psychological package are varied and diverse, with different elements usable for the invaders and the invaded, victims and perpetrators. I call it the Great Desert Metavirus, as it passes from person to peoples, cached not in our DNA but in our psychological conditioning.
The reality of this explains the huge prevalence of great movements of social destruction and self-destruction, genocide, war, rapacious land development, as well as mindless blossoming of violence throughout our civilization. This cannot be contained out checked by political structures or social reform. The virus has infected the foundations of our minds and institutions, and can only be exorcised by the reveal of the emotional suppression that keeps it in check. As unlikely as it is, loving each other and supporting our mutual discharging of the whole viral package, person by person.
In this view, crackpot as it may sound, the "Seig-heiliotropists" are not faulty mainframes to be removed and replaced, but corrupted harddrives to be decontaminated. The unlikelihood of accomplishing this is high, but I think that grabbing our political enemies as being recovery human by a much more extreme prices than we suspected, is useful.
Thank you for sharing my soap box.
Vic Stxyn, Herb and Sage