I Am Sick & Tired of the One & the Other
I am nauseated. Appalled. Not a day passes that the two Western Civilizations do not fire up my ire. The only solace I embrace is that both WCs (WC I & WC II) are more outraged with themselves than I am with them. I ask myself: How may I be satisfied knowing this? I just cannot. Everywhere my eyes see for me, I am reminded of William Blake's couplet:
A mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe,
One should think that with all the attention that is allocated to health, diet and exercise by the proud, greedy and jingoistic, there would be at least some somebodies basking themselves in the sunshine of their lives. But no. Everyone is aflutter. Strained. Running helterskelter. I sense I must break loose...the same sensation that vexed me in Caracas, Venezuela a bit before the city, senseless, careless and hopeless, broke into a bloodcurdling violence that wiped out two thousand people over one weekend. I feel I am smothered by self-serving simpletons who care nothing for the society they pertain to and expect only to gratify—the faster the better—their personal cravings for appointments and trappings. They do not consume to possess; rather, they are possessed to consume and fail to take into account that half the world subsists on subunits each day. When hundreds of millions of earthlings are addicted to such a dog-eat-dog modus vivendi, only this clear-cut conclusion might be drawn: We are living in very dangerous times. (I've got to get out of this place!) Ante bellum?
If any of you reading this essay know what a history book is, you might be fascinated again when you recall that after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic church confined WC I to such a perfect state of betise, five-hundred years, a fourth of its entire existence, were needed before Europeans could come up with an original idea. And when they did, off they went on a binge of study and investigation attempting to stimulate all others to reason and urging them not to kowtow to the ridiculous prescriptions, bombarding and hoodwinking them day in and day out, prescribed by the men of the cloth and their tyrannous churches. Their efforts were often in vain. To refute the fantastic claims of knavish popes and fly-by-night philosophical clerics, a huge measure of intellectual elbow grease would have to be applied. When the Protestant Reformation got under way, when Roman Catholics and Lutherans sought to cut each other's throat, scientists in the north of Europe became more inclined to rebel against Rome. Great scientific, artistic and literary accomplishments were to thrive with the removal of much of the authoritarianism dictated by religious hundred-percenters.
Christianity, the opium of the people, the politically correct panem et circenses, had then kept the world benumbed for five-hundred years, and today it wishes desperately it could only put everyone in quietus once more before the fall of WC I and WC II. Just to calm things down a bit—to give all the opportunity to reflect! To try to recoup! There is no chance for that to hap. We are already experiencing a transitional movement marked this time by an exclusively scientific revival expressed in a flowering of inquiry and scrutiny—a people's front that will make Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Gilbert, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton look like catechumens. The Japanese are realizing the dreams of Leonardo da Vinci. The Northamericans are taking long strides on behalf of biotechnology and electronics' problem solving. The Chinese are revolutionizing their country with their hope for progress. Science is demolishing the fairy tales of religions. Each and every day, the pope must denounce each and every scientific improvement—interpreting scientific discipline as a menace to Rome's sagging potency.
One peril must be thwarted with verve: Science cannot become the domain of individuals who group together to form palsy-walsy social, cultural, economic and political tiers which serve the inclusive general concept that they should dole out political and civil honors according to wealth. Rather, they should be interested in offering a fair shake to their fellows, and ought not to exclude him or her from their scientific power circles with the justification that life demands a philosophy which exalts Science and a select group of individuals (scientists) above all others, and that severe economic and social regimentation, and the forcible suppression of the opposition, are necessary measures to exercise stringent control over the masses who are considered inferior to the nobler and more privileged scientist. Is it highly unlikely that Science will not become a sort of religion?
The pope had a dream. He dreamt that all Christians throughout the world resembled the Italians. That they adored the pope not because he is a Heavenly symbol of Christianity, or religion, but rather for the reason that he is a symbol of Earthly power. An economic potency whose tentacles reach out end-to-end across the globe from its city-state headquarters. He envisaged that his subjugated ones paid homage to him as an extraordinary political and economic influence, and that they, as do the Italians so fervently, would always rally to his side, like blind sheep, regardless of what he dictated from the Vatican HQ. Vatican, Inc, the first global conglomerate, having now kept The Boot simmering in the Age of Darkness Part II, has cultivated a symbiosis between knee-jerking Italians and the whims of an autocratic hierarchy of elderly prelates, mostly Italian, living in sin and the memories of other centuries (laudatores temporis acti). Anti-scientific. Superstitious. High-handed. Italians grovel most accommodatingly for them. They know not what better to do. Why should they? Their schools are the worst in Europe. Their level of instruction between the ages 25-64 is the lowest in Europe. A fourth of the Italian population has an elementary school diploma. Ten percent of the citizenry possesses a university degree. Sixty-six percent of the residents are medium to high illiterates. Only 38 out of 100 read one book a year. Half the homes in the nation do not have a book in them. Ronald Spogli, Bush administration out-going ambassador to Italy said this in his 2009 bitter swan song: “Italy, be careful! You risk economic disaster. You cannot continue in this way and be considered an economic power if your university system continues to be a national tragedy. It is embarrassing that there is not one Italian university in the top two-hundred posts of rated international universities.” Italians are the perfect ones to follow the dictates of senescent, unmarried men dressed in medieval garb. (From Outrageously Offensive Jokes II, by Maude Thickett, Pocket Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc: New York, 1984; pp 81-83. ISBN: 0-671-50362-6: “When the mate of a female gorilla in the Chicago zoo dies suddenly, a replacement is desperately needed. After all attempts to get another male gorilla fail, the zookeeper is frantic. The female's heat is almost over, and it will be months before she can be mated again. Traveling home one day, the zookeeper sees an Italian construction worker without his shirt on. The man is covered with hair. Why not? The zookeeper approaches the construction worker. How would you like to make an easy $10,000 bucks? The Italian asks warily who the zookeeper wants killed? No one. You just got to make it with a gorilla at the zoo. No one would even have to know. What are you fuckin' crazy? Get the hell out of here yells the Italian. Well, if you change your mind, here's my card. When the Italian gets home he is still angry and he tells his wife what happened. Stupid! You know what I could do with an extra $10,000 bucks! Call that nice gentleman up and tell him you'll do the job. Reluctantly he calls the zookeeper. Okay, I'll do it, says the Italian. But I want you to know there are three conditions. The zookeeper is ecstatic. Anything, you name it. One, I'm only doing it once. Fine says the zookeeper. Two, I'm not gonna kiss her. And three, if there are any children, they must be brought up Catholic.”) Italy is floundering in a Chaos of Ignorance. It is no longer a Comedy of Errors (Andrès Glucksmann, French philosopher: “The Italians are the funniest buffoons on a continent without a brain in its head.”)--it is a Tragedy of Errors. Italians illegally build apartment buildings with defective materials in earthquake-prone zones, and when these edifices collapse, they beg for funds throughout the world. Priests, bishops and bankers rub their hands with glee as donations come pouring in. The Italians are the wealthiest mendicants in Europe—not the poor, denigrated, hated, abused ROM peoples. www.transparency.org lists Italy as the most corrupt nation in Western Europe. The New York Times: Italy is a country more used to managing emergencies than plans that might prevent them. Gore Vidal: The Italians have an astonishing ability to cope with disaster which is so perfectly balanced by their absolute inability to deal with success.
It would be nonsensical to reflect on the state of the two Western Civilizations without examining the determinant of religion, particularly Christianity, in particular the Roman Catholic church. And one must not be jumbled so as to think that Italians alone suffer the heavy-handedness of religion. The French, Germans, Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish—many others—are also looped with “theological virtue” meddling in their social, militaristic, economic and political concerns. Perhaps only in the DisUnited States of Northamerica there once existed some sort of limp-wristed attempt to separate church from state—without much success. When we now mull over the disconsolate predicament of Western Civilization I and Western Civilization II, the spectre of religion must be kept in mind as a causal factor accounting for the decline of the Western Civilizations. It would be scoundrelly to do otherwise.
W E S T E R N C I V I L I Z A T I O N I
Loredana, 47-year-old divorced law school graduate obliged to work as a secretary for a multinat in Italy, comes from Naples. She is obese—nervously jovial. Resists pig-headedly to provide for her only child, a 21-year-old university student in Rome. L is Roman Catholic to the bone. Touts a crucifix on a necklace. Like most Italians, she never goes to church. To her way of thinking, the pope is very much more important than Italy's prime minister primarily because the pope's ambit of influence throughout the world is indeed far more efficacious than the puerile antics of any of Italy's political sapheads. The pope is what makes The Boot consequential in the eyes of the world—not a fascist-like Silvio Berlusconi or some other similar clown-like figure. Irrespective of L's mirthful Napolean-like super- patriotism, her rambunctiousness which edges on the rude, and her garlic-smelling breath, I gravitated to her for her intelligence and skittish, conversational wit. Yet, one day, she shocked me in my tracks when she cornered me alone and whispered this: “When are you Americans going to nuke those bastard Muslims?” I wonder which psalm she found that in...?
I tend to think that fifty percent of racist Italy cerebrates the same way but would admit so with a more cautious choice of words, while another ten to twenty percent would concur with L but by keeping their thoughts hush-hush. The preconceptions of the Italians (“We are not racists. We are Italian racists. We hate everyone.”) are a cancer that is metastasizing at an enormous pace now that the global economy is feeble, now that Italy's rock-bottom birthrate has coerced Italians, against their volition, to accept foreign workers to take on the menial jobs Italians (and other European nationalities) decline to assume.
Europe and the British Isles are on the brink. Throughout this continent, there is a malaise consuming the heart and soul of an excessively proud people who for virtually two millennia dominated the arts, the sciences, history, learning, economics and politics—often employing un-Christian-like methods—and lit up a beacon for the world to fix upon. Europe is now flaccid. Almost fagged. It is scrambling to hold out—to stay afloat in the swirl of Science and Progress (contested modernity) that is annihilating its traditions, institutions and...religions.
Three readings of import gauge for us Western Civilization I's descent into obliviousness. The first is WC I's impuissance to reload its shrinking population. It might seem legitimate that a civilization that has endured for just about two thousand years could have learned, by now, how to replenish itself and rest vivacious and prosperous. But no! They just can't. Throughout this continent, without a brain in its head, no notice consumes the least attention of its taxpayers as does the demographic tribulation. The continent itself is super-populated. Most countries in Europe and the British Isles are wearied with water supply depletion, the lack of precious natural resources, and social in-fightings. It is logical that Europe should reduce its population, but it is illogical that it does nothing to stabilize the maturation of its citizenry in order to guarantee that its stock will be steadily, rationally rendered. It is also stunning that transnational resettlements, within this so-called “Union of European Nations,” the European Union, are ridiculously marginal. Uneducated, often desperately poor individuals from Africa, Southamerica and eastern Europe are flooding in to fill the posts that European inhabitants, now once again somewhat prosperous, refuse to occupy. With an immigration which is frequently prey to the depraved lawlessness, injustice and racism of the Europeans, their criminal elements, and pandering, corrupt politicians, Europe's mañana will be fraught with dangerous social unrest and unheard of displacements within the staid social fibres of conservative European institutions still strained from last century's two world wars.
History is another WC I bête noire. The historical baggage that WC I must lug is one that offers no hope to those plugging the holes to keep WC I from plummeting into an abyss of helplessness. There is no stretch in this world where WC I is not famous for its freewheeling depredation and bloodshed. At a time when WC I needs most to join with others beyond its borders in order to cultivate political and economic advantage, doors are being slammed in its face by those whose long memories remember the long rifles of European and British conquerors. The horror perpetrated by European military conquest and colonization for centuries is to this day ingrafted in the psyches of those peoples whose progenitors writhed under the execution of that violence and slaughter.
Thirdly, WC I was not only adept at bringing havoc to those beyond its boundary lines, it distinguished itself in the last century as the foremost suicidal, genocidal element within its own limitations. There is not a nation in Europe, or the British Isles, where you cannot find the blood of centuries squishing under your feet. There are so many war memorials to History's dead, one is led to conclude that there is no use in convincing these war specialists, these nation states, that another possibility exists. Veterans parade the medals of their past atrocities. Politicians laud the battles of the Past. It is as if the people of Europe, expended psychologically and incorporeally, would accept World War III as a natural consequence, as a matter of course, of its bloody history—naturally insisting that the DisUnited States of Northamerica, Western Civilization II, wage its battles for them! Just ask L! Hedonistic Europe—draped in pretty shoes, dresses, gadgets and babble—is so cocooned in itself, struggling to forget its hideous past, that it finds it strenuous to roll over in the morning to go to work. How could it roll over to war, even survival, if it was called upon to defend what little courage and dignity are left to it?
W E S T E R N C I V I L I Z A T I O N I I
Fancy that you are the leading man or woman of a Broadway theatre success that has merited international acclaim. It is five minutes before your next presentation. In your dressing room they are applying the final touches to your make-up and costumery. Your cell squeals. Your mother and father have been killed in a car crash. Three minutes to curtains up. Your manager looks you straight in your eyes and says you will become a theatrical legend when the media learns you still went on knowing about the tragedy. He fills a glass of water. Escorts you to the wings of the stage. Thirty seconds to go... He gives you a pill and tells you to gulp it down. Then he pats you on your back and says: “Just do it!”
Barack Obama, forty-fourth president of the DUS, knows too well too that the show must go on. Of course, he is not alone. His overly-confident demeanour is fused with the backing of a federal police that he thinks is just and efficient, a spy system that he holds to be intelligent, a banking and financial oligarchy he wants reinforced, and a foreign affairs' policy that interferes with governments all over the world and which shakes the hands of Berlusconi and Sarkozy's bagmen. Still, BO is a media publicist's dream. His image reflects the 3-point shot at the buzzer that wins the game. He is an ante-hero with nothing yet to be heroic about! His icon is the symbol of the DUS's desperation to keep the show going on.
But for how long might this hypocritical entertainment proceed? How long can BO fake moves? Pass his ball? How long will we continue to say “Yes we can?” When will we start crying “No we can't?” When 2008 closed its cooked books, it became clear, finally, to most citizens in the DUS and the world, that the Horatio Alger figment of the imagination, The American Dream, was really a nightmare haunted with graft and corruption. That it had been debased for a couple of centuries. That to maintain the wild lifestyles of the richest of the richest, most of the rest of the world had to “kick in” and even remain in their states of destitution and helplessness to keep those richest from getting less rich. With its chums (the other industrialized nations), the DUS cut up the world at whim, established 800 DUS military bases around the globe, overturned governments here and there, wielded the carrot (the Christian Bible and its tenets) and the stick (bombs and missiles), and strongly insisted that the best political and economic system in the world was its own idea: Judeo-Christian “Democratic” Capitalism. The Best and the Brightest? The Worst and the Stupidest. The Central Intelligence Agency? The Central Stupidity Agency. The DUS has done more harm to its fanatically righteous crusade than any enemy might. And it was Plato who promulgated the education of an elite group of leaders! There does not even exist an iota of political prudence (Kant). (With enemies like this, who needs friends?) Left to simmer in its debilitating arrogance, Western Civilization II will implode upon its own con job.
The most stultifying cogent evidence of this is the game plan that has been sketched out on the whiteboard. Already, we can perceive that there exists the formidable urge to nurse the horrific economic flop back from intensive care to where it was before: that is, to restructure it; not do away with it! Substantially, those who prodded the DUS to the muddle it now suffers are the same who have been recruited to rectify the existing, embarrassing financial circumstances. Their minds are out of use. They can go only one way...their way.
There once was economic chat about the cycles of profit and then loss. Remember? “Every sixty years—or so.” Nowadays these time frames have contracted drastically in proportion to the annihilative financial pyramid schemes set in motion by the obsessive amount of avarice and putrescence within the mindset of the political system's components and its bedfellows, the business community. There are wars in progress which no longer can spend the DUS out of its economic miseries. Banks are failing at a brisk rate. The experts are dumbfounded and their fingers are crossed. Politicians are in-brawling within their own lodges but passionately set on placing blame on the opposition. There is no consensus on what best must be done to escape the downward spiralling. Everyone is praying, like the Italians, for a miracle!
When the DUS was King of the World's Economic Mountain, it was indeed far more easy to control the vicissitudes of the DUS's economy, and a great part of the world's that it for so long influenced and so often manipulated. This dream world exists no longer. The uncanny growth of other nations, bent on modernizing their economies and cultures, now confronts the DUS with the incubus of a global, helterskelter competition it not any more is capable of dealing with. An avalanche of maverick capitalism, uncontrollable and ever present, is making of the DUS the recipient of the same medicine it dosed out munificently for decades. The DUS is being swamped with the covetousness and dishonesty that it once meted out itself with its ludicrous sense of superiority and self-righteousness now characterized not as the image of itself as a model that all should imitate, but one for all to put up with or more often than not now...hate.
BO, you don't have a dream. You have a nightmare! You are the leading man in a tragedy whose cast is chock full of imbeciles and criminals. Within the milieu of discord and disgrace in the DUS you are trying to wrangle together the forces that you think will pull back up, by the boot straps, the DUS. But who are these individuals? These schizoid goofballs who attend religious ceremonies on the weekends and cheat and steal as best they can during weekdays? Who are these dimwits who make up your dramatis personae? They are lying lawyers who have born witness to the fact that citizens of the DUS need to pay through their noses to obtain justice...they are stockbrokers and financial “experts” who advise their clients to stash their winnings in secret bank accounts in Europe, the Caribbean, etc...they are mendacious congresspeople and senators most on the take...they are ministers, priests and rabbis who spend more time with their bankers than they do with their flocks...they are ambitious university professors helping the DUS government to invent new weapons of destruction...they are doctors with one hand on the scalpel and the other on their stock reports...and worst of all, they are the millions and millions of DUS citizens who wish they had the same opportunities to pilfer and swindle as do their gangster-faced Robber Baron shining examples!
President Obama, just as E = mc², politics has come, deplorably, to mean Politics = Economy + Religion. You cannot reel around the world preaching honesty, love, honor, and uprightness when everyone outside the DUS knows that the citizens of the DisUnited States of Northamerica are the best rip-off artists in existence. The world is laughing at your slick Pope-like homilies. Nice words. Refreshing bromides. After your platitudes—from high above—have mesmerized your foreign audiences, those same individuals turn their backs on you and the unprincipled DisUnited States of Northamerica. Sorry about that, BO. (Incontrovertible Proof That Citizens of the DisUnited States of Northamerica Are So Sorrowfully, So Sanctimoniously Stupid: www.scribd.com/thewordwarrior.)
BO, I leave you with this quote from Martin Jacques's When China Rules the World, Chapter 8, page 271:
...As a consequence, the rise of China as a global
superpower is likely to lead, over a protracted
period of time, to a profound cultural and racial
reordering of the world in the Chinese image.
As China, draws countries and continents into
its web, as is happening already with Africa,
they will not simply be economic supplicants
of a hugely powerful China but also occupy a
position of cultural and ethnic inferiority in an
increasingly influential Chinese-ordered global
President Obama (President Carter?), you will not be able to get your act together. I doubt you have either the sophistication or strength to deal with the exterior dramatic collisions that will beset your administration, and simply because the DisUnited States of Northamerica has for far too long disregarded the realities of the world in which it exists.
Authored by Anthony St. John
1 August 2009
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