I recall a 1966 French film, The King of Hearts(Le Roi de Cœur). The German Army and villagers flee from a town after planting a bomb to blow it up as the Allies approach.
On the way out, the door is left open to the local insane asylum. A soldier is sent into the village to defuse the bomb (Alan Bates). The village is now occupied by the former asylum residents.
The vast majority of us in the American gulag can’t figure out what all these nut cases, social predators, and schizoids are doing in here when most of them are out there and seemingly doing quite well—at the expense of the rest of us.
Having been in a variety of countries, societies, times and circumstances, jails and prisons, military and combat situations, I think I can speak on the subject of psychological adjustment and acculturation.
America (U.S. edition) has been operating for just over a mere 200 years. I recall standing in the Parthenon in Athens leaning on a column. It was over 2,400 years old.
Interviewing a Palestinian family in a refugee camp. The “table” coming out of their dirt floor was another column, also much the same age. Standing on the shore of the Galilee in Palestine/Israel. Thinking of bathers and boaters who were in the same waters…how many thousands of years ago?
I had an interest in and had taken classes in physical anthropology—archaeology. I recall a conversation with a professor at the American University of Beirut. I was telling him about some of these experiences.
He laughed, “In America it’s taught as a division of Anthropology? Over here it’s simply History.”
Now I witness the likes of Donald Trump, Bachmann, Palin et al. talk of America with racist and chauvinistic pride. The new kid on the block with an inflated sense of self. Pride in one’s heritage is one thing, hatred and prejudice of others merely for being “others” is a mental disorder. Let’s not trick it up in fashionable politics.
When an FDR Democrat lost the gubernatorial race in Alabama many years back, he flipped to the Dixie Democratic side. George Wallace swore after losing that time that he’d never be “out-niggered” again. He wasn’t. The Donald is not new at the game.
As for the top dog in this fight, the mega-corporations in America have been vying for socio-political control of the nation since their birth, and unlike real people, corporations don’t die.
Using the Big Lie/Big Brother techniques–War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, Ignorance is Strength–their ownership of some 95% of the media let’s them take full advantage of public laziness and comfort of ignorant bliss, and the simplistic answers of “patriotic” and religious fundamentalism.
We have today what is approaching a plurality of citizens who may well kill off what remains of representative democracy and constitutional guarantees to individuals and minorities (all of us, really), placing total control in the hands of the corporate class.
Hyperbole? Well, the corporatists don’t think so…and they’re right on the edge of that power.
We all know these fringe elements, every society has them. But in America, they’re encouraged to proliferate. Fortunately, as a doctor of forensic psychology (PsyD), as well as beaucoup experience in other areas, I don’t think all these crazies being attracted to a corporatist movement has much staying power.
I think the ruling class and their somewhat saner flunkies (to wit: The Republican Party) understand this…at least at some level. Their current damn the torpedoes approach to grabbing everything they possibly can, is probably proof of that.
Corporations realize that given the compromise & surrender policy of the neo-liberals, when a critical mass of the public has finally had enough, they expect to still be able to keep more than half of their criminal booty. And they’re probably right. They figure, if they don’t get the whole schmeer this time, they will the next…
Organizationally, the problem is that the mass of people who identify as Democrats and liberals (or progressives, whatever) are perfectly satisfied to simply vote every so often and have their representatives run the political affairs. That’s part of the problem.
Conservatives, by definition, are driven to control the situation and those around them. They’re at it all the time. The rest of us will always be in the position of having to smack them down every so often as they get too crazy. They have no self-governor; they don’t know when to stop. A driving force of their pathology is obsession and compulsion.
So long as they don’t have complete power (thus rigging the game, as they’ve done with the Supreme Court’s Gang of Five and corporate “personhood”), they’re just a great big pain in the rear.
In any event, keeping them from shoving a cactus up your ass every time you turn around is a constant generational task…