Two of the most powerful men in two of the most heavily armed countries in the world could well be described as certifiably insane.
Each lives in their own fantasy world and each claims to be making their country great again. They are supported by millions of people who seem to believe in them no matter what they do or say.
The US-American psycho has delusions about winning an election. Everybody around him, including his family and colleagues, has done their best to help him gain some insight into his delusions, but to no avail.
He stands up in front of anyone who will listen and proclaims that others stole an election from him while it is he who in fact has been trying to steal that same election.
However, like many psychotic people, they have these unshakable beliefs about what is true and what is false, and no amount of persuasion moves them.
He spent four years in office and is reported to have lied about 30,000 times on subjects that anyone can check. Yet, his followers seem to be somehow mesmerized by him and can’t shake themselves out of their believer’s trance and wake up. They stand for hours, waving their flags and crosses, and beaming with pride – and when questioned, simply repeat the great leader’s lies like clockwork.
What is bizarre about those lies is the great leader’s ability to accuse the people who question his false facts of representing “fake news.”
At least when you go and watch a magic show, the guy pretends that the coin came out from behind his ear. This one just ignores all the kids shouting out that they can see the coin in his hand all the time. He simply insists it came out from behind his ear. The believers just nod along in agreement.
Is this the same magician who insisted all those empty white spaces we could see in the Washington Mall during his inauguration were full of invisible white people? Or that global warming is a hoax?
Or perhaps he is not psychotic at all, but is more like Hannibal Lector in “Silence of the Lambs,” and is just very very cunning.
In that blaze of lies, wrapped up in the usual political flim-flam, there were enough bigoted dog whistles to appeal to the most primitive instincts of his supporters: misogyny, racism, hate, violence – and fear of “the other” – all underwritten by the basic creed that “might is right,” with God on our side.
He also knew that his administration was filled with careeraholics. He guessed, almost correctly, that they would probably do anything to further their own interests. The only oath of office that seems to count among those people is of the “I’m the effing President” kind.
As for those elected officials in the Republican Party – as long as those angry, white voters remain part of his parade – they will kiss his ass for a vote or two. They are politicians. Bought to you by courtesy of the party of “law and order” and “small government,” Nixon style, Spiro Agnew style.
How to understand those millions of adoring followers?
It has to be a tribute to the brainwashing powers that instill beliefs, based on those same lies, into their already dualistic and destructive minds.
That’s regular TV. Now add the recent growth of anonymous, fact-free cathartic aggression on the internet and then the social media platforms, and you have an inevitable outcome: what they are calling “belief polarization,” explained here. Which happens to have exploded in the USA exactly coincident with the origins of the internet, as you can see here.
So, take that dualistic mind, which functions by comparing and contrasting this with that, this extreme with that extreme. Then pour in endless lies. First to frighten them, and then to angrily expose the fabricated “others” who are denounced as the cause of that fear.
Finally present the savior who will fix it for them, in return for their loyalty and devotion, so that they hang on every blatantly crooked word “the great leader” utters.
If you don’t think that is brainwashing, then whatever it is should not be allowed in front of the children.
Had the USA just spent three hundred and fifty years creating its own King George the 3rd?
Now flip to the other country on the planet which is also bristling with nukes and lies.
Another Hannibal Lecter at work? He has recreated a different fantasy world. His beloved Soviet Union is back – no need to mention the soviet bit. Now his KGB has regained its lost glory and its power to control society, and in particular, the media – with Orwellian precision. No need to shout fake news, you just lock them up. And no need to shout, “Lock her up,” you just do it.
Of course, he had to massage the message a bit. Something really original like Make Russia Great Again. Throw in a bit of Holy Eastern Orthodox Empire? Sounds pretty good. We just need a Vlad the Great to complete the movie script. Aha! At your service.
He doesn’t even need to spend time warming up his audience with gross winks at misogyny and racism.
In that less sophisticated environment, he can go straight to territorial expansion, rape, and genocide. All nicely wrapped up in the jargon of saving the motherland.
Again, millions of his fellow human beings are voting for him too… waving their flags and crosses, and beaming with pride.
Hungary has caught the same disease, with rumblings in France, Italy, and Germany…. The Hungarian leader is now the darling of the US-American MAGA brigade. Their great MAGA leader explained how the Nazi parade in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 included some “very fine people.” A comment later applauded by a former KKK leader.
Adolf must be slapping his thighs in delight.
Now China has joined the fray? What a joke. Another Marxist-Leninist climbing into bed with a fascist!
Didn’t Stalin try that? Ah, but this is really pseudo-Marxist-Leninism: with nationalism added to taste. That is like calling yourself a vegan butcher.
So, all that “self-determination” embedded in real Marxist-Leninism – not to mention the UN Charter – is out of the window? And so we take Tibet because we can – I mean because it is ours. And Taiwan, and anything else we can get our hands on.
Of course, we understand that you Russians want Ukraine. So take it. We are with you. We also want subservient populations on our borders, a sort of US, Monroe Doctrine for second-class tyrannies.
So, China becomes another place where the people line up in their zillions, waving their flags in national pride….
Oh, and while we are in Asia, let’s not forget the brotherly love, weapons, and genocide, that Russia enjoys sharing with the criminals who have taken to brutalizing the people who live in Myanmar.
Hard for India to complain either.
Yes, it is true, we talked up a storm about self-determination to get rid of the British, but now it is different. We want Kashmir. Otherwise, the other guys will take it.
They wanted their own country too, based on self-determination, but like us, they also now want Kashmir. So, we can understand why you want Ukraine. Then there’s the weapons you sell us, and that deal on the oil….
And like all those other places who are cozying up to Russia, our people love the fantasy of the good old days, especially when we keep reminding them of the dangers that might be waiting for them just around the corner, caused by “them.” Now we can have real pride in our true heritage: the Gods, the rituals, patriarchy, authority, control, hierarchy, obedience, subservience…. You remember?
Again, so many happy flag-waving people – you could fill a stadium with delirious supporters…. So, you know it is the will of the people.
Ah yes, we Africans wrote the book on fighting colonialism, self-determination, freedom struggles, and getting rid of foreign forces…. Giving ourselves the freedom to develop in our own way, free from any authoritarian yoke!
Right. But now it is different. If you just let all these different groups go their own way, there will be chaos, instability, violence…. Unlike how it is now.
So, we understand why the old Russian empire wants to take Ukraine back…. Seems contradictory, even dishonest and hypocritical, but politics is politics, power is power. What to do?
We can’t leave out Brazil, the other mega country of hundreds of millions of people. Another Hannibal Lector, another fantasy.
If a picture can say as much as a thousand words, what about a little story?
There is a mayor of a place in the Amazon who is deeply connected with all the criminal elements who are into “developing” the rainforest! As one leading newspaper describes his methodology: “The catchphrase that one Brazilian journalist and residents attribute to him: ‘Either you sell the land to me, or I’ll buy it from your widow.’”
Self-determination is in the UN Charter, you say? The one we all signed up to – but don’t even read?
So, what do we say to the Palestinians, the Kurds, the Basques, the Catalonians, the people of Western Sahara, the Rohingya…? Or the indigenous peoples the world over…?
Or to the people now starving because Ukrainian grain is blocked by the Russian invasion?
By the way, didn’t you support all the religions when they insisted that birth control was bad? Didn’t you keep confirming that “there is no population problem” and that you would be able to feed 8 billion people?
Or what do you say now to the Ukrainians being bombed in their homes?
And what about the tens of millions of people who are going to be displaced, or worse, by the climate catastrophe that the people in power are ignoring in their scramble for land, money, and power?
Can you not see that the wretched of the earth are as wretched as they have ever been? With so much more to come?
Or do you just agree with Osho when he explains, “We are living in a hypocrite society”?
Perhaps one day you will accept that the world is being destroyed by the priests and the politicians as Osho explains:
“These politicians and these priests have been constantly in conspiracy, working together hand in hand. The politician has the political power; the priest has the religious power. The politician protects the priest, the priest blesses the politician – and the masses are exploited, sucked; their blood is sucked by both.”1
And that the whole system of electoral politics is just a sleight of hand, another magic show to entertain the people.
Are you ready at last to consider embracing the possibility that if only those priests and politicians could be stopped from exploiting and sucking the blood of these potentially amazing humans, they could create a beautiful world to live in? As in “The Yearning for Utopia – and It Is Possible!” Or even a vision of freedom in spite of this culture of lies?
Would you perhaps consider a solution to this whole Idiocracy?
Or maybe, before it is too late, you will at least appreciate Osho’s depiction of the whole charade:
Government by the retarded, for the retarded, of the retarded.”2
Or, as catastrophe looms, is it possible that we hear an admission that you have no answers? Except, of course: might is right! I’m the effing president – and we’ll drain the swamp next time.
This article is published in Medium