The Madness of American Caesar Donald Trump


December 5, 2017

The Madness of American Caesar Donald Trump

by Elizabeth Drew

http://www.project-syndicate.org

The risk of a US military confrontation with North Korea, coupled with President Donald Trump’s increasingly peculiar behavior, has put official Washington on edge. To put it bluntly: the worry is that a mentally deranged president might lead the US into a nuclear war.

WASHINGTON, DC – Much of America’s capital has entered a state of near-panic. In recent days, President Donald Trump has been acting more bizarrely than ever, and the question raised in the mind of politicians and civilians alike, though rarely spoken aloud, has been: What can be done with this man? Can the United States really afford to wait for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to wrap up his investigation (on the assumption that he’ll find the president guilty of something)? That could still take quite a while.

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That’s Fine for RNC, but don’t mess up the world

The question of timing has become increasingly urgent, given the heightened danger that the US will deliberately or accidentally end up in a war with North Korea. That risk, coupled with Trump’s increasingly peculiar behavior, has made Washington more tense than I’ve ever known it to be, and that includes the dark days of Watergate. To put it bluntly: the worry is that a mentally deranged president might lead the US into a nuclear war.

In just the past week, evidence of Trump’s instability has piled up. During an Oval Office ceremony to honor Native-American heroes of World War II, he offended them by issuing a racist comment. He picked an unprecedented and unnecessary fight with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, supposedly America’s closest ally, by retweeting a British neo-fascist group’s anti-Muslim posts. In an effort to win a Democratic senator’s vote for his pending tax-cut bill, he traveled to her state and told lies about her record (though the tax bill was so tilted to the richest 1% of Americans that no Democratic senator voted for it). And he continued to bait North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who seems equally unstable.

At the same time, both the Washington Post and The New York Times ran articles containing disturbing stories about the president’s private behavior. Trump, it was reported, told people close to him that he considers the infamous “Access Hollywood”recording of him joking, off-camera, about grabbing women’s genitals to be a fraud, even though he admitted its authenticity and apologized after the Post released it in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

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The most widely accepted view is that he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, which is far more serious than simply being a narcissist.–Elizabeth Drew

Trump has also been revisiting his mendacious claim about Barack Obama having not been born in the US – the bogus allegation that launched his political career, which, under pressure from advisers, he’d renounced prior to the election. He said in a tweet that he had turned down Time magazine’s suggestion that it would name him “Person of the Year,” because it wasn’t definite. (Trump sets great store by such appearances on Time’s cover). But a Time official said that no such thing had occurred.

The fact that Trump appears to have some mental disorder, or disorders, has created a dilemma for psychiatrists, politicians, and journalists alike. The American Psychiatric Association has a rule that its members may not offer diagnoses of people they have not examined. But, given what some psychiatrists see as a national emergency, many have broken the rule and spoken or written publicly about their professional assessments of Trump’s mental state.

The most widely accepted view is that he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, which is far more serious than simply being a narcissist. According to the Mayo Clinic, such a disorder “is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.” Moreover, “behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”

This definition is all too reflective of traits that Trump regularly exhibits. Another view held by a number of medical professionals, based on how Trump spoke in interviews in the late 1980s and how he speaks now – with a far more limited vocabulary and much less fluency – is that the president is suffering from the onset of dementia. According to the highly respected medical reference UpToDate, a subscription-financed service used by professionals, the symptoms of dementia include agitation, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, apathy, and disinhibition.

Numerous Republican members of Congress are deeply worried about Trump’s capacity to handle the presidency – an incredibly demanding job. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, rumored to be replaced soon, is said to have called Trump a “moron.”

Trump’s heightened erratic behavior in recent days has been attributed to his growing anxiety about Mueller’s investigation into his and his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in the Kremlin’s effort to tilt the 2016 election in his direction – an investigation that could end in a charge of conspiracy. (Trump appears to be the only significant figure in Washington who won’t accept that Russia interfered.) And that increasingly bizarre behavior came even before the news broke, on December 1, that Trump’s first national security adviser and close campaign aide, retired General Michael Flynn, had agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation.

What made this highly significant was that Flynn is far and away the highest former official whom Mueller has “flipped.” Indeed, the generous plea deal makes it clear that Flynn is prepared to name figures higher than he was in the campaign and the White House.

That’s not very many people. It has already been speculated, with reason, that Flynn will point a finger at Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. But Trump’s several earlier efforts to steer prosecutors away from Flynn were strong signals that Flynn knows something that Trump desperately hopes that prosecutors won’t find out. We may learn what that is fairly soon.

Meanwhile, Americans and the world nervously await Trump’s reaction to this latest very bad turn of events for him

Thanks, Zainah Anwar, for Your 2017 Toast to living honestly


December 5, 2017

Thanks, Zainah Anwar, for Your  2017 Toast to living honestly

by Zainah Anwar@www.thestar.com.my

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So to all those reading this column, do not allow regrets to paralyse your life. There is still time to make the choices you need to make to live the life you want, and not what others expect of you. So, here’s to a new year of living honestly.–Zainah Anwar

AS 2017 comes to a close and we head into yet another new year, I want to share this discussion I heard on radio on the subject of regret. It was based on a book by an Australian palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware, on The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

The pain of those regrets were so huge that she said she knew she did not want to end up like that. It made so much sense and I thought what a good way to start the new year with a new resolve to live life with courage and to make conscious choices to make it worth living.

According to Ware, the most common regret of the dying is their lack of courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them.

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This was the most painful regret because as they looked back, they realised that their lives were shaped and defined by others, and their dreams were unfulfilled because of the choices they had made, or not made. And the older you are, the more your regrets centre on the choices not made.

You regret because this was something that was within your control, but you made those choices to make others happy, instead of you happy.

Some years ago, I heard a radio interview with a gay rights activist who was pressured for years by his father to give up being gay (as if that was a choice) and to get married and have children.

One day, in yet another fight with his father, he said: “How many people must be unhappy in order for you to be happy?”

I thought that was a profound statement. Indeed, it was that statement that finally made his father see the light and accepted his son’s sexual identity. I admired him for his courage and honesty to be persistent and frank with his father and to make that difficult decision to be true to himself.

The second most common regret is, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”. I guess few people die wishing they had worked harder.

It seems this regret afflicted mostly men who missed out on their children’s youth and the companionship of their wives. They regretted that they had not honoured other aspects of their lives, like care giving and being there for their loved ones.

It’s good to know that many younger men these days make the time to care for their children and actually find joy in that.

Some friends even have regular “date nights” with their husbands, making sure that just the two of them go out for dinner to talk – to catch up with each other’s thoughts and feelings and ideas and plans.

The third most common regret is one that I thought only afflicted emotionally repressed Asians. But it seems everyone wishes they had the courage to voice their feelings. I bet many more women expressed this regret than men as women often suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others.

These regrets are mostly over relationships. They regret for not speaking up in their own defence and not treating themselves with the kindness they deserve. They regret for not telling their children, partners, friends how much they loved them. They regret staying in, or leaving, or not pursuing relationships.

Such regrets can do damage to body and mind. At best, you feel like punching yourself for not having the courage to speak out against a hurt, an injustice; at worst people develop illnesses and suffer chronic stress because of bitterness and resentment bottled up for months, years or lifetimes.

Whenever I am angry or upset, I will always ask myself if this person or this incident is worth my time and my emotion getting livid over

Most of the time they are not; and if they are, I will set a time limit to my negative feelings. Usually not more than three days. Then life must go on. Either get the feeling out of your system, or get that toxic person out of your life. Although, I must admit that for those with spouses, this is easier said than done.

An activist friend who works with single mothers said she regretted crying for three years over the breakdown of her marriage. In hindsight, the man was worth just three days of tears. And she should have gotten on with her new life much earlier.

The fourth most common regret is, “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.” Families naturally go into grief in the presence of loved ones dying. But Ware said that person actually wants to live as fully as they can. They want joy brought to the bed, they want to hear laughter, and birds singing.

They want to know what’s going on outside. They don’t want to stop living until the body stops breathing. Old friends tell stories of a past their adult children are not a part of and this brings joy to the dying.

But there are friends who don’t know what to say to a dying person, except look on with grief that the person’s life is coming to an end.

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I remember my father who passed away two months short of his 100th birthday expressing indignation when his surau friends came to visit and sat there in silence and sorrow.

When they left, he turned to me and said, “Do they think I am dying?” He still wanted to live and to know what’s going on in the outside world.

The fifth regret, says Ware, is a surprising one: “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice, that life is a choice; and they did not exercise the choices they could have made.

Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, that things were all right, when deep within, they longed to laugh heartily and loudly and feel a lightness of being.

We feel the biggest regrets over things that are within our control. That is why it is such a negative emotion.

So to all those reading this column, do not allow regrets to paralyse your life. There is still time to make the choices you need to make to live the life you want, and not what others expect of you. So, here’s to a new year of living honestly.

Why Denmark is a Special Place– It is not just the Mermaid of course


December 3, 2017

Why Denmark is a Special Place– It is not just the Mermaid of course

by Benedict Lopez*

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The Little Mermaid to Copenhagen– The mermaid statue was created in bronze by Edvard Eriksen, and was unveiled in August of 1913.

Eriksen was commissioned in January 1909 by Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg Breweries to create the statue. Carl was fascinated by a ballet at the Copenhagen Royal Theatre based on the fairy tale about the mermaid, and asked the star of the ballet, Ellen Price de Plane, to model for the statue.  Price declined modeling in the nude for the sculpture, and Eriksen enlisted his wife Eline Eriksen (who modeled for several other of his works) to model for the mermaid statue.   A popular story has it that Price modeled for the face and Eline Eriksen for the body, but in actual fact Eline Eriksen was the model for the entire sculpture.  This is easily seen when comparing the statue’s face with photos of Eline Eriksen, and the faces of Eriksen’s other statues.

This mermaid statue is one of the top tourist attractions in Copenhagen, and has become an icon and a symbol of both Copenhagen and Denmark. While the story by Hans Christian Andersen was more than enough to make this mermaid statue known around the world, the Disney movies have only added to the fame and the appeal of this statue.

There are copies of the statue – with some differences – in a number of locations around the world, which in some cases are authorized by Eriksen’s heirs, and in other cases have been allowed to remain without specific authorization from the heirs.

The mermaid statue on display in Copenhagen is the actual original, but other copies and sizes were made as well – which is a good thing, as the original has been vandalized several times, and then lovingly restored using the copies.   Several sizes are available for purchase at the official website for this most famous of all mermaid statues.

While the statue is often seen as being smaller than expected, it is actually larger than it appears, about 25% larger than lifesize.  The spectacular location and the grand features of ocean, harbor and shoreline around the statue contribute to make it look small in comparison.  The original statue here is the only true copy of the statue in this size – according to sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s will, only smaller copies may be produced, with Copenhagen Harbor having the only full-size statue.

https://aliran.com/thinking-allowed-online/2017-ta-online/denmark-progressive-nation-deep-rooted-basic-values/

Benedict Lopez is drawn to the simplicity, integrity and passion for the environment on display in Denmark.

Although I have visited Denmark several times since 2010, I always look forward to my next visit.

I feel comfortable being in the home of Carlsberg, not for the beer alone (although I enjoy a pint or two occasionally) but also for the core values of this country of 5.5m people – values I cherish as a human being.

Like in Sweden, discrimination is prohibited on the grounds of race, colour, religion, gender, disability and sexual orientation in Denmark.

On each visit, I observed as many things as possible as to what makes Danes the happiest people in the world. I personally believe it is the sense of security given to the citizenry by the state.

Sharply in contrast to citizens in many other countries around the world, Danes need not worry about the basic necessities in life like healthcare, education and social security as Denmark is a welfare state. This is made possible because of high taxes, accountability in public expenditure, little wastage, checks and balances in the system and virtually non-existent corruption.

Having travelled the length and breadth of the land of Hans Christian Andersen, I have observed many facets of Danish life. The virtues of the Danes may be summarised as follows: integrity, simplicity and passion for the environment.

READ MORE:  https://aliran.com/thinking-allowed-online/2016-ta-online/accountability-integrity-backdrop-swedish-society/


Government ministers, civil servants and all public sector officials are held accountable for their actions. And when inefficiency, negligence and breach of fiduciary responsibility is highlighted, the minister or official concerned resigns immediately or is reprimanded. Transparency ensures that public expenditure is effectively scrutinised with any leaks in the system immediately plugged.

There is a high level of integrity among ordinary people too, and they seldom hoodwink or defraud others. Seldom does one read about any form of dishonesty, abuse of power or financial transgression.

Simplicity is a virtue the Danes are noted for. About a third of Copenhagen residents cycle to work and the rest take the train or drive to work. Most of those who drive have ordinary cars. In my six years traveling all over Denmark, I never once saw posh makes like Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

In sharp contrast to their Malaysian counterparts, chairmen, CEOs and managing directors of companies in Denmark usually drive to work on their own – without a personal driver. There are no special parking spaces reserved for them at their place of work. All staff park their cars in the same place. Meeting rooms are simple with ordinary tables and chairs; no expensive executive chairs even for the top brass in the company.

Just like in Sweden, simple dressing is the order of the day for the office and meetings, and most men wear a jacket without a tie. Their dress code contrasts conspicuously with many in the upper echelon in Malaysia, who have a passion for branded products and wait for the opportunity to display their opulence.

READ MORE:  https://aliran.com/aliran-csi/aliran-csi-2017/uncharted-waters-1mdbs-fourth-auditor-faces-formidable-task/

The offices of top management staff in companies are simple, quite unlike what you find in Malaysia. No posh office furniture. I have noticed this in many companies in Denmark over the years and this is something we Malaysians can emulate. In Denmark, people look down on you if you flaunt your wealth conspicuously.

I always take the flight to Billund, the home of Lego, via one of the European cities, and the one-hour drive to Julesminde is just awesome. I admire the beauty of the Danish countryside while passing through country towns along the way.

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Each time after arriving in Juelsminde, a small town of less than 5,000 people, I immediately check into the guesthouse. Without wasting any time, I go for a jog on the beach in front of the guesthouse for an hour. The clean fresh air, unpolluted environment and early morning sunrise keeps me rejuvenated as I jog in the mornings and evenings.

I subsequently laze about outdoors reading a book with, of course, a glass of good wine beside me in the evenings, before I go for a satisfying Danish dinner with colleagues.

Danes are passionate about their environment and are moving at an accelerated speed towards zero dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. Much of Denmark’s renewable energy requirements will be met through wind, and wind farms are conspicuous on land and sea all over the country.

All through my travels in Denmark and my dealings with the Danes, I have observed one of their traits, and that is if you are honest and sincere with them, they respect you. I too was always candid in my dealings with them, constantly being the “unsubtle diplomat”.

 

 

READ MORE:

https://aliran.com/newsletters/2017-newsletters/courting-elephant-room-1mdb/

After all, honesty is the mark of self-respect in any human being, and only those without this trait try and boost their self-esteem in other, less edifying, ways.

Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. During the course of his work, he covered all five Nordic countries. An eternal optimist, he believes Malaysia can provide its citizens with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries – not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime.

The Moral Imperative of Quality Education


November 28, 2017

The Moral Imperative of Quality Education

by Peter Mutharika

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Peter Mutharika–President of Malawi

Poor countries like Malawi are doing what they can to improve educational quality and access. But there is only so much that a country with modest means can achieve, which is why global leaders, when they meet in Senegal early next year, must recommit to investing in the education of all children.

 

BLANTYRE, MALAWI – In September, I was among a group of world leaders who gathered in New York City to discuss ways to improve access to quality education. Around the world, hundreds of millions of children are either not receiving basic schooling, or are attending schools but not learning. We gathered to devise a way forward.

The crisis that I discussed with heads of state from France, Senegal, and Norway, along with leaders from the United Nations and global education advocates, is not an abstract problem unfolding in a distant land. It is a crisis that has reached my doorstep in Malawi. The challenge of education is one that my government, like many in developing countries, grapples with every day.

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Quality schooling is key to helping people contribute to the development of their communities and their countries. Without a properly educated populace, it would take decades for developing countries like mine to overcome the profound economic, social, and health challenges that we face.

As one of the co-conveners of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity – which brings together world leaders to mobilize support for solutions to the education crisis – I have long focused on how to improve educational access. Quality schooling is key to helping people contribute to the development of their communities and their countries. Without a properly educated populace, it would take decades for developing countries like mine to overcome the profound economic, social, and health challenges that we face.

To ensure that we do not fail our children, or our country, my government is investing heavily to build a strong and sustainable education system. We have steadily increased education spending, which has risen from 12.5% of the total domestic budget in 2010 to 21% in 2015. This represents one of the highest percentages among developing countries anywhere, and I hope that our example will encourage leaders elsewhere to devote at least 20% of their national budgets to education.

But there is a limit to what economically struggling countries like Malawi can do alone. To make real progress in education, the generous support of wealthier partner countries and global institutions is essential. The momentum we have generated can be sustained only if donor support remains strong.

Malawi’s education sector has benefited greatly from balancing increased domestic investment with external support. For example, more Malawian children are enrolled in primary school than ever before, and the rate of boys and girls completing primary education has increased dramatically, from 59% in 2007 to 80% in 2014. Adult literacy has also improved, albeit more modestly, from 61% in 2010 to 66% in 2015.

Still, Malawi falls far behind the rest of the world on a several key education indicators. Among the list of challenges we face are derelict schools, high pupil-to-teacher ratios, and significant gaps in inspection and oversight capabilities. These and other issues make it hard for teachers to teach and for students to learn.

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GPE Global Ambassador Rihanna at the Élysée, Paris, July 2017

When Rihanna, the pop artist and ambassador of the Global Partnership for Education, visited Malawi in January and met with students and teachers, she put a spotlight on the promise of education. Our country has been fortunate to receive funding in recent years from bilateral donors and international organizations like GPE, which helps countries like mine increase educational quality and broaden access.

Since 2009, GPE funding has enabled Malawi to conduct long-term planning and data collection, and has brought domestic and international partners together for a common cause. GPE’s support has helped us build more facilities, overhaul our curriculum, improve access for girls, and train more educators.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Malawi’s partnership with GPE has been transformative, which is why I am urging donor countries around the world to contribute generously to GPE at its upcoming financing conference in Senegal. By 2020, GPE aims to distribute more than $2 billion annually to help improve education in developing countries around the world.

Without GPE’s support, some 825 million young people risk being left behind without the education or skills to perform well in the workplace of the future. That could lead to growing unemployment, poverty, inequality, instability, and other factors that threaten not just individual countries or regions, but the entire international community.

Educating every child is a moral imperative and thus a universal responsibility. In today’s interconnected world, challenges and gains in low-income countries do not remain local.

When my colleagues and I met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, we recommitted to solving the challenges of educational quality and access. We now need the rest of the world to join us in addressing this global crisis head-on.

 

Why Socrates couldn’t hack it in today’s public schools


November 27,2017

Why Socrates couldn’t hack it in today’s public schools

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-socrates-couldnt-hack-it-in-todays-public-schools/2017/11/24/6a549974-c98a-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html?utm_term=.3762afd97241

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David R. Kahn retired in June from Sandy Springs Friends School in Sandy Springs.

Retired at last, after 36 years teaching at a private school just north of Washington, I’d like to offer some advice from “Mr. Chips.”

In June, when I taught Plato’s “Dialogues” to my last students in my last class, I told them that what Socrates said some 2,500 years ago is just as relevant today. Some of the definitions might have shifted a bit — what Socrates meant by “piety” is not quite what we mean today — but what lies behind the word choices is every bit as important.

Then it occurred to me that the old boy is probably better off dead.

What would happen, I wondered, if we hired Socrates to teach in a modern high school? He probably would get in trouble with the counselors for beating up on the students’ self-esteem — never giving them an answer, just pointing out where their arguments failed.

“If Euthyphro never experiences success, how can he ever come to understand piety? You need to ease up there, Soc.”

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Socrates did not run a student-centered classroom. It’s clear that Socrates was capable of dealing with only one type of learner. The learning specialists would be all over him for that.

When Phaedo asked about the nature of the afterlife, weren’t Socrates’ “questions” a bit . . . constrictive? Had Phaedo been allowed to write a poem, create a mobile, or cut out and paste up the front page of an imaginary newspaper that one might read when one gets . . . wherever . . . Socrates could have appealed to Phaedo’s “multiple intelligences ” and Phaedo could have “experienced success.”

Crito found it difficult to accept Socrates’ definition of justice. It’s a strict one, all right. No problem, says today’s academic adviser: Drop the class. You don’t want it lowering your grade-point average, and you don’t need the dialogue to graduate.

Charmides and Socrates discussed the meaning of self-control. That’s easy, says the school nurse: There is no such thing. Everything is biologically determined. Charmides can’t be held responsible for most of what he does. As soon as we get his medications figured out, maybe then. The counselor agrees. As does the learning specialist.

Timaeus would have been glad to write his three-page paper on the nature of the physical world, due today, but he had another paper due for his creative writing class and he hadn’t felt inspired. And he has a test tomorrow. Plus, those pesky college essays are hanging over his head, so his parents have called him in sick today. He will be in this afternoon for the soccer game, though.

Meno has his college essays done, has no tests or papers coming soon, and is ready and eager to talk about the nature of virtue. But he has a field trip, so he’ll be gone all day. But it’s Tuesday, a “B day,” so Socrates’ class doesn’t meet anyhow. Maybe tomorrow?

No — tomorrow Meno and all of the sophomores are meeting all day with the group from Spartans Are People Too! They’ll break up into small groups, form some affinity groups, paste some Post-it notes on the walls and publish their ideas online. Maybe we could ask Meno to come in after the game?

Nah. He’ll be tired. After all, he’s the goalie. The poor guy. All those balls coming at his head.

Populism and the “Masters of Mankind”


October 31, 2017

Populism and the “Masters of Mankind”

by Roger Farinha*

Author *Roger Farinha immigrated to the United States in 1981 to New York City where he was soon after naturalized, going on to earn his Bachelors in the History of Modern Philosophy from Brooklyn College and his Masters in Liberal Studies from Fordham University. He subsequently lived an itinerant, rambling and searching life, leading up to his book “The Socratic Trucker,” from which adventure writing experience he developed a vision for an American and ultimately global social revival at newamericanspring.org. Today, Mr. Farinha works as diligently as possible, while having to maintain his working class livelihood, to introduce society and the world to this vision.

https://newamericanspringblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/populism-and-the-masters-of-mankind/

If Dr. Noam Chomsky is correct in his book Who Rules the World?, that the movers and shakers of policy on the highest level of the state are merely acting on their deepest interests as the “Masters of Mankind,” their agenda of “all [of the world’s resources] for us and none for anyone else,” and I think he is indeed right, then this group exercises the highest level of influence on present global affairs. If the idea of “conspiracy theory” is beginning to flash in the reader’s mind, I ask him and her to graciously suspend disbelief for the short duration of this article as I logically unfold the implications of this insight which was, in actuality, thoroughly illustrated by Dr. Chomsky in his valuable work.

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The first premise of my essay holds that there is a natural state of inequality in society, from the inequality of talents and aptitudes of individuals, to the inequality of wealth distribution. Let’s begin with that group of human beings who happen, per this state of nature, to sit on the very top of the wealth ladder—which position, as the reader must allow, must necessarily be held. It is even likely that today’s wealth elite has an unbroken lineage from the families of historical wealth, albeit those who have managed to stay on top of the trends of social change and continue to wield control, as I am about to demonstrate in the context of our information age. But while this segment of our human race might actually hold the real reins of power and are therefore our operational social “Gods,” in power if not in truth, let me attempt to explain the constellation of our world today from the perspective of groups of people and their own competing power aspirations, nevertheless playing into the hands of these “Masters of Mankind,” hereafter referred to as “Masters” or “Social Gods” for succinctness. For the central driving force common to all human beings is our will to power.

This essay therefore paints a picture of our current global social constellation from the perspective of the general human will to power, in the context of a world in which wealth amounts to power, and in the environment of a state of social inequality of wealth and its implications for social control:

Due to our information and connectivity age, global populist sentiment is on the rise as the People find themselves able to enter a common culture like never before in human history. This sentiment is merely the open aspiration of the common folk or averaged person to achieve real control over his and her life, opportunity, and flourishing. This yearning is particularly meaningful in America which historically claims to be a nation Of, By, and For the People. President Obama and Trump, for those who have not already got it, were swept into office on waves of populist (of the people) sentiment via their broad based, grass-roots appeal, although Obama squandered his opportunity to truly champion the people’s cause by becoming prematurely globalist. The temptation Obama fell into, of joining forces with a ruling class (hereafter referred to as our ruling elite) who are attempting to move the world forward and into a newly envisioned, historic unity which is not grass-roots in nature, represents a grave mistake in aspirational global leadership. For underlying their vision is a distrust and even a disrespect of the capacity of the common folk of the world to actually transcend their social differences and create a unified world outside of governmental leadership and top down economic pressure. I put the words “ruling class” in quotes in order to suggest that although this group of people are the direct administrators of governmental power, in actuality they only serve the family of the “Masters” mentioned above, so that their elitist vision of a unified world is really only encouraged and made possible through the blessings of the “Social Gods” via the economic privileges they are granted which support their elitist conceits.

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Trump on the other hand, while raw and unpolished and handicapped by his wealthier background, is genuinely trying to advocate for the American people via his more aggressive trade re-negotiations, albeit less competent attempt to return America to a manufacture economy and generally, to its mid twentieth century place of international economic dominance. Economic populists represent the aspiration of the grass-roots of our world for the most practicable control over life and flourishing. Trump, however, similar to other populist candidates in Europe, also represents some of the things that the global ruling elite rightfully despise. For the appeal of economic populist candidates is partly due to the fear and anxiety of their grassroots base as the people experience a sense of being forced into accepting too many differences among one another. Racial, ethnic, class, national and many other boundaries are too radically being blurred, against the survivalist anxiety of the people. Therefore are we experiencing a present global state of populist resurgence, particularly in the traditional democratic states of the world, and it is CRITICAL that the ruling elite reconsider their approach to their admittedly noble aim of seeing a unified world.

The debut of the smartphone is responsible for a new shift in American and even global social consciousness as social media enables people to mentally masturbate with others of their own social-political persuasion. This is only the first, natural reaction of people to the new possibilities of a new reality. For human beings naturally hope that in experiencing new connectivity, they might find that all the world really shared their own, self-centered perspective. This is so because all individuals seek to draw the world into themselves in their ego wish to see themselves as the god of others, the impulse which is at the bottom of our will to power. Reality soon takes hold, however, and the common people soon realize that they must somehow unite under a new sense of group consciousness, our present-day populist manifestations. This consciousness however only grudgingly embraces the whole as sub groups continue to hope that they might magically find that they in fact represented the whole of humanity per their god-complex. The evolution of populism hopefully therefore continues to a truer and more organic unification as group limitations and the general need for compromise continue to manifest, but only if it is lead with vision and wisdom by a social leader of spiritual caliber, one able to speak to and challenge the general human god-complex. For in the absence of such vision, eternal sectional strife and disintegration are just as possible.

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The governing elite as mentioned above, for example, are just as guilty of the illusion that they are the rightful rulers of the world since they are usually more educated, seated above the ignorant rabble and freed of the survivalist struggle. They are the professional ruling class, i.e., higher government officials, mainstream journalists, politically active liberal AND conservative billionaires, etc. They are just as needful of overcoming their ego-auto-eroticism, equally responsible for the loss of the Democratic Party in 2016 due to Obama AND Hilary’s ignoring the economic and social (or populist) anxiety of the American people, as well as the Republican Party’s loss to Trump for the SAME REASON. Not to mention that were the people more intimately connected with their governing class in Europe and America rather than being effectively treated as peasants to be dominated, the disruptive tactics of geo-political thugs like Vladimir Putin would have no foothold in the people to stir the pot of populist discontent. Putin, Bashar Al-Assad, Kim Jong-il, Ali Khamenei and others of course represent the third kind of god-complexes: the aspiration to world leadership through brash force, vailed and unveiled manipulation. These are the “Dictator Types” or “Political Thugs.”

This geo-social constellation is not clearly visible due to the blindness inherent in peoples’ god-complexes. For example, the general human wish to dominate all others, in the context of our new connectivity age, is responsible for traditional, “objective” journalism taking a hit as print news outlets, already stressed by the new digital environment, experienced cancelling subscriptions whenever journalists failed to echo the god-complex-based bias of their consumers. I put the word objective in quotes, of course, because no human institution has ever achieved true objectivism. Therefore in order to survive, journalism had to become more partisan if they wished to secure their market base in an environment of dying print. Eventually, with “objective” journalism compromised and the mainstream news becoming ever more skewed along the most general line of partisanship in America, the liberal verses the conservative, the American people have also grown more and more rigidly partisan in a tragic, feedback loop. This dividing effect which results from our human wish to be the god of others must have played right in the hands of the true “Masters” of mankind, in that the more they encourage division among their inferiors in power, the more they secure their own domination, much as crabs which are higher up in the heap benefit from the competition of the lower. Hence they may well have encouraged general populist infighting among the common people by pulling the strings of the elitist news-editors, who in turn manipulated their beat reporters and journalists via the career carrot to accentuate social differences.

This is why we have been seeing American populist aspirations restricted along liberal verses conservative lines, from the Tea Party to Occupy, from Obama to Trump. This is also why the American people are not seeing genuine representation of their common peoples’ interests as they send ideologues to congress and the house who obstruct one another. The people’s separation also results in electing presidents who, in the context of this obstructionist environment, are impotent against more entrenched, special interests which continue to pillage American wealth to the detriment of the middle class, the very basis of American liberty itself. The usurpations of these “special interests,” by the way, constitute one of the main streams of wealth which continue to feed and maintain the domination of our Masters as the ultimate underwriters of these “interests.” Going forward, finally, I see no reason why this highest wealth class may not attempt to elevate their domination from America to the larger world, via the global economic opportunities available via NAFTA and, more generally, the neo-liberal movement.

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To sum up so far, we have identified four group players in our global social constellation: the Masters, the People, the Ruling Elites, and the Dictator types. There is one remaining group, however, the most malignant in that they are capable of serving as the very instruments of our common destruction. These are the Covert Military Fascists who believe that the world is only fit for domination by the dauntless, the supermen. You will find them at the buttons of our greatest weapons, even of mass destruction, just itching to flex their muscles via their own god-complex-desire to dominate, so that our very global destruction may well be an inescapable result, as inevitable as our heap of crabs must necessarily collapse!

So what can we make of all this? How can we fundamentally change the mad direction of our dog-eat-dog world which might destroy itself through a mindless, competitive miscalculation? As mentioned above, by heeding the leadership of such a person who might speak to the very root of our human cancer in our god-complex itself. May we discover such a voice of leadership as we have providentially found the insight in this essay! As its author, I suggest to you the social re-direction pointed out at NewAmericanSpring.Org.