USA vs Reason
Noam Chomsky,” We must bear in mind that the US is a very fundamentalist society, perhaps more than any other society in the world – even more fundamentalist than Saudi Arabia or the Taliban. That’s very surprising.”
(Early in the Twentieth Century fledgling Divines and the Dons at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey brought forth the concept of Fundamentalism. The creators were ambitious and zealous: to defend orthodox Protestant Christianity against the perceived threat of Darwinism and liberal theology.)
“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson, from his book entitled The New Freedom (1913).
Americans began to think seriously with Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth century but we gave it up and the meme died young. Since that era fifteen or sixteen decades of philosophical dark ages have been endured. Generations of charismatics, behaviorists, pragmatists and tinkers with serious thought have appeared and faded out. Jung and Freud sailed here together a hundred years ago with bad news for us yokels about the Nation’s soul and sailed away with even more misgivings. Jung waxed at length about the ‘American Complex’ that defied proscription. It defies still.
Witch hunts in 1650 were echoed again in 1950 with more of the same intent; routing out of dissent and apostasy. America had become a fertile arena for bizarre sects featuring plural marriage, celibacy, co-opted psychoanalysis or witnessing and proselytizing. Many communities flourished, for the most part briefly, during outbursts of religious fervor called ‘awakenings’ or in times like the 1960’s, of social strife. Today eight out of ten Americans say they believe in angels. UFO’s anyone?
Drums of War
* 1947. National Security State Established. “Scare the hell out of them”. Sen. Vandenberg to Truman. Decades of warlike rhetoric and ‘manufactured consent’ ensued. Each succeeding generation less equipped to think beyond the national charade than the last.
War Department renamed Department of Defensive. Massive buildup of aggressive military begins. Hundreds of overseas military bases established. Fewer and fewer questions asked.
“The Russians are Coming“ was the cry. Never mind they were a second rate power; lost 20 million people defeating the Nazi armies. An enemy was needed and one was produced. We believed that at any moment H-Bombs would fall on us.
AND they wanted to take away our money! So another Red Scare shook the folks. Communists!
All around. In our schools and universities. In Hollywood. State Department. Everywhere! In the Army. Oops…big mistake. Wrong target…our heroes. Okay. It’s over. For now. Until we need them again, those *^&#@ Commies.
Got a great replacement for the Reds. Yeah. Even better. Terror. Can’t miss with this one. Could be anyone, anything, anywhere. Neat. Start writing those DOD checks. Bonanza!
American psychologists involved in torture of terrorist suspects. Science uber alles.
A vast section of the American public cherry picks science. It’s okay to ride around in space ships or split atoms to boil water or feed antibiotics to the chickens but whoa! … watch those soft sciences. Biology, fuggedabout it. No monkeys in my family. Anthropology, nix. Ditto carbon-dating, global warming, NDA testing, psychology and sociology, they’re all taboo. Bible stories, now you’re talking!
Revolution in Cuba. What’s this? The guy with the beard taking our stuff. And the mob’s stuff. So what if he gave up his own family’s estates, he’s another *&^#@ Commie. Off to the Everglades! Train some fighters. Get some boats and go down there and shoot things up. We can’t seem to kill the beard so we’ll invade. Sort of. Uh…oh.
Cuba Again, again. Missiles, from those Russkies. What to do? WWlll, nah. Well, maybe. If they don’t take them back. What if we do have missiles all around the Soviet Union, we’re special. See
* Gaddafi hanging in Chad, scooping up uranium? Ronnie says, “Okay, Libya. Bombs away”.
* Grenada: Communists again! Cuban workers seen on the island. Reagan freaks out. Invasion.
* Panama: Noriega, former US asset loses favor; country invaded, asset in prison.
*Bill Clinton bombs Sudan. Many aspirins destroyed.
* Clinton again. Bombs Kosovo. Can’t permit a successful socialist state to exist. No way.
* 1950/1953 Commies again! Jet planes and tanks clash in Korea. Major War. We call it a “Police Action”. China and Russia get involved. TRUCE.
* 1990/2015 The incursions in Middle-East are primarily Police Actions but we call it ” War”. Rowdy bunch there, so we leave. Come back. Leave?
* 1990 Iraq lured into invading Kuwait. Iraq invaded.
* 2001 Nineteen jihadists, most from Saudi Arabia attack US. Afganistan invaded. Oh, everybody does that. For the poppies, you know. Take a number. Wait your turn.
Now we’re broke. Owe everybody on earth. What happened? Had the best system ever seen. Made tons of money. But those foreigners wanted more…they wanted our gold instead of our beautiful greenbacks. What gall! We fixed them. Instead of gold you now get the”full faith and credit of the United States government”. That shut them up from ’72 to ’86, alas, that’s when we became a debtor nation. Now we can’t get a moments’ peace. Money, money, money. There’s no money. What to do? Credit. Lots of it. That’s it. Print more money! Charge it. The kids will pay. Right? Sure.