Mudcat Café message #1517734 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1517734
Posted By: Amos
08-Jul-05 - 02:27 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
The Psychosis Inherent in Religious Capitalism: Causation in "The Crime of the Century"
By Gerry Lower
May 23, 2005, 19:09

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May 24, 2005 -- "Are Bush supporters literally insane?" With that bold and awkward question, Timothy Noah began a discussion of "Conservatism as Pathology" (MSNBC/Slate, May 9, 2005), in which he essentially asks, 'Is there something inherently psychotic about the conservative mindset?' One can, of course, ask the same question about Bush opponents, "Is there something inherently psychotic about the liberal mindset?

Two Extremes - both Psychotic.

According to Merriam-Webster Online, the term "psy·cho·sis" refers to "a "fundamental mental derangement characterized by defective or lost contact with reality". As that is the case, the answer to both questions would be "yes," because conservatism and liberalism are complementary opposites. When on their own, they have nowhere to go but to their own extremes.

At their extremes, they both produce a blind rejection of empirical reality, of common sense logic and honest human truth. The result of this rejection is a collective neurosis at best and a collective psychosis at worst (Robert Sheer, Nationalism's Psychotic Side, The Nation, May 10, 2005).

At their extremes, the left has had occasion to pursue anarchy and "free" love, as the right now pursues tyranny and "preemptive" war, nothing resembling real freedom and democracy at either extreme (Legalism, Anarchism and Blessed Liberty,, 2003). Progressivism provides the dialectic synthesis of liberalism and conservatism in being more closely aligned with the transcendent values at the core of Jeffersonian democracy (Progressivism and the Two Americas, August 30, 2004.)

All of us make our occasional departures from reality and the self-concept we have assumed in order to survive that reality. We escape our current reality by taking consciousness-altering drugs, buying new Lincoln Navigators, taking "adventure" vacations and going on shopping sprees at the local mall (one of the most prevalent and pernicious addictions in America). Real problems emerge when we make our departures-from-reality into a new "reality," unrelated to empirical reality.

Jefferson felt that it was better to be "exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." In this sense, religious capitalism has no Jeffersonian content at all. The right wing would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending no democracy than those attending too much of it (and any of it is too much of it, if it gets in the way of capitalism's notions of "progress").

Religious Capitalism

Religious capitalism thrives only at the extreme, where it works to control national values, policies and goals in the interest of maximizing its own authority and control, nothing else. In turn, it wants no controls placed over the corruption that is literally inherent in greed-driven capitalism. Rules and regulations are for the ruled, not for the makers of rules.

Under the Bush administration's religious capitalism, America has become the scene for "The Crime of the Century." This became quickly apparent with the recent emergence of a "secret Downing Street memo" which "proves that everything the Bush administration said about the Iraq invasion was a lie" (David Michael Green, Common Dreams, AxisofLogic, May 15, 2005). So damning was this document, it received essentially no mention in the mainstream American press, which seems more bent on preserving the crony capitalism upon which America has come to depend.
"Think about that for a second. Apart from 9/11, has there been a more important story in the last decade than that the president lied to the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, and then proceeded to plunge the country into an illegal war which has alienated the rest of the world, lit a fire under the war's victims and the Islamic world generally, turning them into enemy combatants, locked up virtually all American land forces in a war without end in sight, cost $300 billion and counting, taken over 1600 American lives on top of more than 15,000 gravely wounded, and killed perhaps 100,000 Iraqis?"

If the President of the U.S. overtly lies to the American people in order to pursue, in their names, a devastatingly immoral war in Iraq, if the President of the U.S. can't be trusted and the mainstream press lets it all go by, then what do we, as a people, have left? Bush World, in its entirety, is fabrication built upon fabrication, from credentials and character to competence and contribution. The entire edifice would not last a week without the complicity of an American press that can't do its job for fear of losing its job.

The right half of the American electorate and the mainstream press have had to make an incomprehensible retreat from reality and sanity in order to accommodate the Old Testament morality and ethics of the Bush administration. This retreat is not due to any innate individual shortcomings. It is more due to cultural shortcomings, with traditional religion teaching that individuals need not think for themselves but ought choose faith in an Old Testament world view that has nothing to do with the values of Jefferson's Christianity and Democracy.


Balance of this probably controversial piece can be found here.