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Nederlog

Jun 10, 2016

Crisis: After 3 Years of Daily Crisis Writing
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1.
Winning by Destroying: Trump and Gingrich
2. In the Depths of the Digital Age
3. Trump: The Haunting Question
                          ------

4.
After 3 Years of Daily Crisis Writing

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Friday, June 10, 2016.

This is a crisis log.

First, there are 3 items with 3 dotted links: Item 1 is about an article by Robert Reich: I mostly agree, but guess I am more radical than Reich; item 2 is about "the digital age", from which I selected one passage for review (the summary is that I very much dislike and fear the internet, will not parti- cipate in any of its extensions, and would much like to see it disappear (as is), although I very probably will not live to see this); and item 3 is about the lunatic neofascist Donald Trump (who poses a real threat that may make the USA into a fully neofascistic state if he gets to be president).

Second, there is a fourth item with a link - item 4 - to the crisis index, which explains why I have spent a full three years of daily reporting on the crisis; why I now give this up although I continue with a considerably smaller crisis series ("the headlights", say); and what I will do with Nederlog, that also continues, mostly as before, but with more themes and subjects.

1. Winning by Destroying: Trump and Gingrich

The first item i
s by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:

When I was a boy and lost just about every sporting event I tried, my father told me, “What counts isn’t whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”

Most parents told their kids this. It was part of the American creed. But I doubt Fred Trump passed on the same advice to little Donald, who seems to have learned the opposite: It’s not how you play the game but whether you win or lose.

If there’s one idea that summarizes Donald Trump — his character, temperament, career, business strategy, politics and worldview — it’s winning at any cost. That’s the art of the deal. 

Playing the game well or honorably is irrelevant.

Yes and no (no, because it is not merely a "part of the American creed": it is pretty universal), but this is better if it is a bit generalized:

Since 1980 at the latest (and probably since the early 1970ies, when it was started by Lewis Powell Jr.) the rich have coordinated their actions to undo democracy, civilization, equality and justice, and replace it by authoritarianism,
misery for the many and wealth for the few, radical inequality, and "justice" only for the rich, by a systematic program that they have largely succeeeded in implementing.

The moral foundation of this program to reintroduce tyranny of the few rich
are the notions that (i) profit is the only moral value (ii) winning is everything and (iii) freedom to repress, exploit and degenerate anyone who is not rich, are all that one needs (as a rich man). And indeed that is "the art of the deal" and that is modern Republicanism.

Next, here is Reich - very briefly - on the art of government:

Now that he is the presumed Republican nominee for the highest office in the land, this view is outright dangerous.

Government is about process. Democracy is about law. The Constitution establishes the rules of the game. A tacit social contract binds us all together.

This is quite vague, and I also disagree with the last statement: There was a tacit social contract, but it was set apart and has been intentionally destroyed by the rich since 1980, who indeed increased their riches enormously by destroying the social contract, solidarity, democracy and equality.

The "social contract" implemented by the rich is an a-social contract: Submit, non-rich, or we use the freedom we rich acquired by deregulations
to persecute you, prosecute you (in secret, with you not allowed to say anything to anyone but your lawyer) and destroy you.

There is also this:

When Trump threatens his critics, saying he’ll “loosen” federal libel laws to sue news organizations and unleash federal regulators on those who oppose him, he’s not just bullying. He’s endangering our democracy.

Trump is a lunatic fascist. If he becomes president of the USA, the USA has - democratically, precisely as Hitler achieved power - become fascistic, and Reich - correctly, in my opinion - has warned that Trump is a fascist. He is right, though I prefer neofascism for this latest kind of utterly destructive and totally uncivilized branch of the fascism of the rich.

But Reich is right that one of the first things Trump will do as president of the USA is to withdraw the First Amendment (in practice) and to start libel laws that will allow him to take down everybody who writes to oppose him.

Then there is this:

Trump is the extreme, but his candidacy is the logical culmination of years of win-at-any-cost politics.

Yes indeed: His candidacy was preceded by 35 years of coordinated, mostly successful efforts by the few rich to deregulate all the laws that limited their greed and egoism.

If Trump gets to be president, he will destroy the USA and he may destroy the rest of the world.

Reich ends as follows:

The only real hope for positive change is to make democracy stronger. The Trump bandwagon is taking us down the road to tyranny.

Yes and no. No, because democracy has been mostly killed in the USA, if only because the main media are no longer a free press that honestly investigates and honestly publishes, but has turned into stenographers for the powerful and the rich, who simply relay their lies and propaganda to the public while pretending to do journalism.

Yes, in the sense that one has to resurrect both
the social contract, solidarity, democracy and equality and put these on a renewed legal basis - but the problems are enormous, for (to name but one thing) 60% of the American people live in the Middle Ages because they believe in the literal truth of Noah's Ark story, and know almost nothing about politics, science, civilization, art, culture or literature. How can you move this utterly ignorant majority to sane choices? Also in view of the vast amounts of propaganda they are fed?

If Trump will become president of the USA, he will get the freedom to change
the USA into a neofascist republic. Whether he becomes president, will depend on the chances of the bankers' rich candidate Hillary Clinton to beat him.

2. In the Depths of the Digital Age

The second item is b
y Edward Mendelson on The New York Review of Books:
This is a long article that reviews no less than six books about the digital age and the internet. I will neither try to excerpt it and quote only one introductory bit of it:
Virginia Woolf’s serious joke that “on or about December 1910 human character changed” was a hundred years premature. Human character changed on or about December 2010, when everyone, it seemed, started carrying a smartphone. For the first time, practically anyone could be found and intruded upon, not only at some fixed address at home or at work, but everywhere and at all times. Before this, everyone could expect, in the ordinary course of the day, some time at least in which to be left alone, unobserved, unsustained and unburdened by public or familial roles. That era now came to an end.

Many probing and intelligent books have recently helped to make sense of psychological life in the digital age. Some of these analyze the unprecedented levels of surveillance of ordinary citizens, others the unprecedented collective choice of those citizens, especially younger ones, to expose their lives on social media; some explore the moods and emotions performed and observed on social networks, or celebrate the Internet as a vast aesthetic and commercial spectacle, even as a focus of spiritual awe, or decry the sudden expansion and acceleration of bureaucratic control.

The explicit common theme of these books is the newly public world in which practically everyone’s lives are newly accessible and offered for display. The less explicit theme is a newly pervasive, permeable, and transient sense of self, in which much of the experience, feeling, and emotion that used to exist within the confines of the self, in intimate relations, and in tangible unchanging objects—what William James called the “material self”—has migrated to the phone, to the digital “cloud,” and to the shape-shifting judgments of the crowd.

As to the first paragraph:

Yes - though I don't have a cellphone and never will have one, indeed in part because I totally reject "the bright future" sketched in the first paragraph:
everyone could expect, in the ordinary course of the day, some time at least in which to be left alone, unobserved, unsustained and unburdened by public or familial roles. That era now came to an end.
It hasn't ended for me, for I just refuse to buy a cellphone, for this reason, and because I do not want to give my soul, my freedoms, my writings, and my computer to the extra-ordinarily sick minds of the totally degenerate secret services.

As to the second paragraph:

This mentions four kinds of things the internet brought:
  • the unprecedented levels of surveillance of ordinary citizens
  • the unprecedented expositions of very many lives on social media
  • the internet as aesthetic and commercial spectacle
  • the sudden expansion and acceleration of bureaucratic control
Here are my reactions:

Surveillance is (=) the incredible growth of state terrorism and fascism; exposition of lives on social media is mere pretense of average idiots who believe the propaganda they are told; the internet has turned out to be THE tool of the government, the secret services and the advertisement data- miners: it is the complete opposite of freedom, creativity, individuality and privacy; and indeed the main consequence of the internet is the incredible - fascistic, tyrannic, degenerate, immoral, illegal - "
expansion and acceleration of bureaucratic control".

Actually, I am very much opposed to all these things. The only reasons I am using the internet now is to read the news, to send and receive mail, and to air my views. That is also all I am going to use it for (and that mainly because the free press is dead and the post mostly ceased to work).

As to the third paragaph:

Happily, I am 66 (and not a lot younger). Happily, I don't have children. Happily, I am a real individual, who is mostly self-created. Since I think the internet is THE tool for a fascist government to subject everyone to complete control and to complete propaganda, I refuse to migrate a phony pretense of an utterly ordinary "self" "
to the phone, to the digital “cloud,” and to the shape-shifting judgments of the crowd".

What I do expect is vastly more fascism, vastly more stupidity, vastly more propaganda, and vastly more economic and political lies, as indeed I have seen these increase and increase and increase ever since 1980.

I am not an optimist, and I think the present schema of sick exploitation by the few of the many has to completely collapse before a better society can be built, if this is possible (for the destruction of nature and the environment goes on and on).

3. Trump: The Haunting Question

The third
item is by Elizabeth Drew, also on The New York Review of Books:

This is also a long article that I will not attempt to excerpt or summarize, and of which I will quote only two bits.

The first bit is this:

As a potential president, Donald Trump presents us with dilemmas and difficulties we’ve never faced before: his behavior is so out of line with what’s expected, and yet we don’t know what lies at the core of that behavior. It’s one thing to say, as numerous people now have, that Trump doesn’t have the temperament or knowledge or curiosity that are the requirements for anyone who occupies the White House. Trying to envision the candidate in the Oval Office and asking whether he belongs there wasn’t required in any other presidential election in modern history.

In fact, Trump is a lunatic who has managed to become presidential candidate only because the free press ceased to exist. It is quite true he does not have the temperament to be president, nor the knowledge to be president, nor the curiosity that is required in any decent president, but the reason that a lunatic like he is now is a presidential candidate is not his doing, but is the cessation of a free press in the USA:

The only papers and media that give something like the real news are alternative news and fringe media. The rest doesn't - but the great majority of Americans only knows the main media, which these days only
give propaganda and lies, while pretending this is "news". [1]

The second bit is this, that also relates to my being a psychologist:

The haunting question is whether Trump is psychologically impaired in some way that makes him unfit for the highest office this country can bestow. The term “narcissist” is thrown around quite a lot about him and there can be no doubt that he’s vain and self-centered—but then so are a lot of people who go into politics. They love and desire the roar of the crowd. I’ve talked with medical people, including psychiatrists, about Trump. They all use a somewhat different term: that Trump has a “narcissistic personality disorder,” which is a problem several degrees greater than mere narcissism. As opposed to being simply self-centered and pleased with himself, the person with the narcissistic personality disorder has an outsized need for approval, and can become seriously upset if he doesn’t get his way. This person, the medical experts tell me, tends to be very immature and has a great compulsion to hit back.

Trump just doesn’t appear to have become a fully-formed adult. He is unable to deal in nuance or seem to understand how much of life, and certainly governing, involves compromise. He wants his way and when he doesn’t get it the result is a temper tantrum of some sort.
Yes, indeed. And I agree he is a narcissist, indeed with a personality disorder,
and of the grandiose subvariety (which is the most dangerous kind). For more, see here.

He also is a psychopath, and those who don't have an academic degree in psychology can verify he is one in these pages (by a psychologist, who has made psychopathy his central subject).

4. After 3 Years of Daily Crisis Writing

The fourth
item is by me and is about the crisis series. The index of the crisis series is here:

As you can see from it (if you go to Index Nr 1) I started the crisis series nearly eight years ago on September 1, 2008 (in Dutch).

From September 1, 2008 till June 10, 2013 I published 190 items in it. I probably would have written and published more about the crisis in the first five years, but I was seriously diverted from it by the XMRV-story (that turned out to be a completely false "explanation" of M.E., which is a disease my ex and I suffer from since 1.1.1979) between October 8, 2009 and October 8, 2011, when I totally gave up on it [2].

I did write some more on M.E. - the best thing in it is a long refutation of modern psychiatry (yes, I am a philosopher and a psychologist) that was downloaded a lot but never answered - and I will continue writing on it, probably once a month as I did the last years, but I accept my life and the chances for a real medical explanation have been ruined on purpose by plenty of psychiatrists (all of whom are sick and degenerate pseudo-scientists: modern psychiatry since 1980 is pure fraudulence) [3].

The main reason I will continue to write on M.E. is that my condition did pick up considerably with the use of mB12 and related vitamins and minerals, after 20 years of more serious illness that were caused by the Mayor of Amsterdam who decided he could put his illegal softdrugs dealers on the bottom floor of the house where I lived, whom he and his bureaucrats also defended for four years in their rights to keep me out of sleep, to threaten me with murder, and to gas me.

Vitamin mB12 and related vitamins and minerals did not cure me, but it did improve my condition from 2012 onwards (rather consistently also, for over 4 years now), and this is also part of the reason why I did start on a daily crisis series on June 10, 2013, when I first read about Edward Snowden.

Since then, I published over a 1000 crisis logs, which did teach me rather a lot about the causes of the crisis, which I had tried to elucidate the first time on December 25, 2012, before knowing anything about Snowden.

I am ending this daily series today.

There are quite a few reasons why I finished the daily series, but the main reason is simply that it is too much work: I need my time for doing other things and I don't have the time I need if I am daily writing reviews of five
articles relating to the crisis, which is what I've done the last three years.

The crisis series will continue as long as the crisis lasts and I am alive and well enough to write, but not in a daily format and not with the considerable amount of factual detail I gave and reviewed in the last three years.

I suppose it will be much more like it was in 2012 and in 2008 and 2009: A part of Nederlog, as before and since, but not anymore in a daily format, and  with much more space in Nederlog to treat other things.

Then again, I will continue to write Nederlog mostly in English and I very probably will write about the crisis at least weekly, simply because it is the most important social development in the world:

The fully intentional destruction of democracy by the few rich and by the governments now mostly in their pay, and its replacement by an authoritarian system of government with enormous differences in equality and income. (I think that has happened since 2000, and will continue to happen until the system collapses economically through greed, egoism and the environment/global warming.)

Also, there very probably will be a number of Nederlogs on more systematic aspects of the crisis that I mostly learned about during the last three years,
but did not have the time and energy for to treat properly next to my daily
writings about the crisis.

So the brief summary is: I continue with Nederlog and I continue with the crisis series but not on a daily basis, but more on a weekly basis (with the high-
lights of the past week), while Nederlog will change a bit in content and subjects.

And as far as I am concerned, I did well in paying most attention the last three
years to the crisis, but I also did well in giving up doing it daily (after writing more than a 1000 daily files), and indeed feel considerably relieved, simply because it was a lot of work.

---------------------

Notes

[1] This is not just an American tendency. It also exists in Holland and in Great Britain, and very probably elsewhere. The main reason is that the free press ceased to exist: it was first destroyed by a lack of advertisement, and
was next bought up by a few very rich individuals, and has since changed itself into a conveyor belt of amusement + propaganda. This also means that any real democracy is dead: A real democracy requires a real free press, and the
free press is dead.

[2] My ex and I are ill since the beginning of January 1979, which also was the first year of our university studies. We got no help whatsoever since 1980, except by a few good medical people (who are in a small minority of medical people). We both have IQs over 140 and both succeeded (with a lot of physical trouble, and without the ability to hear any lectures) in getting excellent M.A.-degrees in psychology. If we had been healthy, we both could have earned very much more money that we did. We could not.

[3] My ex and I owe the nearly complete lack of any help mostly to the degenerate frauds who call themselves psychiatrists. I have never seen a psychiatrist privately; I have never been insane; and I recommend anyone to avoid all psychiatrists like the very plague: Their theories are total bullshit - see here and please note that since 1980 the psychiatrist have increased the number of "psychiatric disorders" from around 50 to 420 - and their person- alities seem very sick to me, for they don't do medicine: they practice fraudulence for private profit (with remarkable financial success).


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