Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama's America: Is it Jonestown?

On Nov 17, 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan, and several members of his party were shot to death in a Guyana airstrip, by members of Jim Jones "People's Temple" security force, before they could leave in several planes. Also killed with Ryan, were NBC Cameraman Bob Brown, NBC Reporter Don Harris, and People's Temple defector Patricia Parks. Following news of the shooting, and knowing that Guyanese authorities would be forced to act, charismatic and "racially transcendent" leader Jim Jones ordered a mass suicide, with poison Kool-Aide. Among the dead were infants, as well as their mothers. A needle-less syringe was used to squirt poison into the mouth of a one-year old infant, by his mother. In all, 909 People's Temple members died from the mass suicide, their dream of a revolutionary, socialist, "start from zero" society over, in violence, murder and suicide.

Is Jonestown the future of Barack Obama's America? It might well be.

The fatal flaw in what blogger Ed Driscoll calls the "start from zero" impulse is that all alternatives to the tried-and-true tradition of American representative, republican, constitutional democracy are inferior. Even worse, socialism inevitably degenerates rapidly into "Big Man" societies with a Jim Jones figure at the helm. Not all or even most socialist "Big Man" societies commit suicide, but the slow-motion devolution (ala New Wave band "Devo") into social and economic misery is clearly apparent. North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il, complete with creepy songs idolizing him as a demi-God, might as well be Barack Hussein Obama, who also has children singing creepy songs idolizing him as a demi-God. Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Kim Jong-Il all rule with an iron, and likely hereditary hand, nations that are as separate and removed from international trade as possible, with starvation amidst plenty the rule, and worship of the leader as a God-King a facet of every aspect of life.

The Left, and Barack Hussein Obama, largely approve of these "revolutionary" societies because the Left, and Obama, wish to "start from zero" to "remake" society in their own, perfect image. While Christian beliefs have largely vanished from the Left, and certainly Obama himself, debased, "Volk Christian" ideas such as a mutated Calvinism, describing the predestined "saved" and "damned" and the idea of cleansing society from "the original sin" of "racism" hold sway over the deepest beliefs of the Left and Obama. Indeed, Obama himself explicitly holds himself up, like Jim Jones before him, as a "savior" for America, and the World, from the original sin of racism. Explicitly promising, just as Jim Jones did, to transform, in every aspect of daily life, not only America, but the world. Both Jessie Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, have seconded that notion, publicly stating that every aspect of life in America and the World will change under Obama, as both are "redeemed" from "racism" and remade in Obama's image.

The parallels between Jim Jones, who had similar things said about him by Jerry Brown, and Walter Mondale, in the 1970's, is uncanny.

Moreover, G. K. Chesterton's supposed saying that those who cease to believe in God do not believe in nothing, but rather anything, seems proved without a doubt. Indeed the corollary is that those who reject Christianity and it's general rules and value system, seem to embrace a debased and "Volk" version of Christianity absent the restraining aspects of tradition and custom.

But why do so many, otherwise sane and sensible people embrace "Big Men" and the obviously insane ideas of completely transforming society to "end racism" and indeed, consider "racism" (in the narrow sense of anti-Black, Hispanic prejudice by Whites, rather than the other way around) the most important problem facing Western Societies? In addition, why do these attempts to "start from Zero" always end in failure? Is this failure, violent suicide or grinding, miserable poverty, the future of Barack Hussein Obama's America?

First, the embrace of "Big Man" and "start from zero" politics. The West is wealthy, filled with people who have material belongings unimaginable just generations ago, but mostly socially isolated. Great material wealth, amidst grinding loneliness and social anxiety. Job centers are not in the small towns and villages of the past, or even regional centers like Toledo, or Cleveland, or Scranton PA. Rather, they exist in great coastal megalopolis regions, that include outlying suburbs. Most of the jobs in the US, and nearly all of the socially prestigious jobs lie in the NYC, LA, Seattle, Miami, Chicago (lakefront), and San Francisco metro areas. What characterizes life in these metro areas, is long and socially isolating commutes from suburb to the city, or suburb to suburb. Lack of any social mediating institutions such as Churches, volunteer organizations, neighborhoods, and extended nuclear family support network. Gone are the aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and so on that provide comfort and support to isolated middle class men and women.

People have no meaning in their life. Often, they remain single well into their thirties, or beyond, and lack the discipline and fulfillment that family life and responsibility bring. Meanwhile, the most dominating influence in their lives remain not intimate and supportive social connections to other people, in high-trust networks, but rather the top-down communication of the extremely liberal and idealistic media, in all it's forms, constantly preaching the flawed nature of Western society, and the need to "start from zero" to remake everything in the image of perfection. Which is itself not new, Plato, idealizing the distant Persian Empire, also wished to "start from zero" by installing a Philosopher King, and emulating the Spartan practice of raising children away from their families in cohorts, creating loyalty to the State.

Human beings are the most intensely social animals in existence. It is not for nothing that solitary confinement is considered a very tough prison sentence. Humans need social connections, it is critical to their survival. Meanwhile, Western society is built upon creating only the most minimal social connections, to facilitate rapid social and technological change. This creates a very fast-paced, constantly changing society, that in adopting and accelerating technological and social change, has few peers. But Western society's great weakness is loneliness, so it's no surprise that lonely men and women seek a charismatic "Big Man" to give their lives meaning, and transform society into a far more intimate and connected version.

Jim Jones and Barack Hussein Obama both take advantage of the deep social loneliness inherent in the West, and the desire to fill up empty lives with transcendent meaning, in the post-Christian era. All the other cults and crazy religions, from the Heaven's Gate suicidal cult, to the Branch Davidians, to UFO and Crop Circle believers, stem from Western society's great weakness. Among them, belief in "magic" of either a supernatural leader (Obama, Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite) or aliens or spirits or such, replacing the absent family and traditional religion. It's no surprise that the socially isolating West regularly produces leaders and followers who wish to destroy it. Particularly since comparatively great wealth allows people to afford such desires. Those struggling for existence focus on the next meal, not issue of loneliness and social isolation.

The idea of "racism," by which is usually assumed anti-Black or Hispanic prejudice by Whites alone, rather than anti-White racism by Blacks and Hispanics, as the "original sin" of the West is fairly obvious. The people promulgating such cults are themselves post-Christian, and thus their entire intellectual landscape is formed by Christian ideas and theology, though devoid of actual, real Christianity. The rantings of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, against "racist" America, in his million dollar church, after which he retires to his exclusive, multi-million dollar mansion in a gated community, ought to produce gales of laughter from any sensible person. As would Louis Farrakhan, deeply implicated in the murder of Malcolm X, and raking in millions in the manner of disgraced televangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, condemning a society that provides him wealth unimaginable by the greatest Pharaoh or Roman Emperor. Nor is, of course, Jeremiah Wright so filled with hatred against Whites that he is against affairs with married White women.

For Black practitioners of "anti-racism," the White guilt and rush by White elites to prove their "enlightened" status by falling all over themselves to endorse the agendas of said hustlers, is nothing more than an easy con. Obama, Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan have all made millions off this scam. But why do otherwise sensible Whites fall for this scam, since it's easy to see how much a scam the whole thing really is?

The answer is that far too many Whites have fairly (racist) ideas of Blacks, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, as "authentic" and critically, possessing social intimacy and connections they lack. Nearly every White reporter describing Black churches will comment on the "authenticity" and critically, the "warmth" of the services. Which are objectively, no more "warm" or "cold," no more "authentic" or "inauthentic" than similar services by White churches, such as the Baptists or Pentecostals. This harkens back to the criticism by Spike Lee of the Magical Negro in films such as "the Green Mile," or "Legend of Bagger Vance," or "Radio," in which various "magical" Black characters appear and function solely to create a spiritual and emotional renewal in "uptight" and repressed White protagonists. Lee's point that the Black characters are cardboard cutouts, with no spiritual or emotional lives themselves, or concerns beyond the White characters, is well taken. By any objective means, Blacks are no more "authentic" or connected socially than any other group of people in the West. They too, suffer social and emotional isolation, no less than their White peers. Indeed, if one looks at the rates of crime, single motherhood, and other social ills bedeviling the Black Community, all of which have risen dramatically over the last forty years, one can argue that Blacks are merely the canary in the coal mine of Western society, and far from being redeemers, are themselves in need of serious social renewal by a return to traditional mores and values and connections of the Judeo-Christian West.

Which points out the fatal flaw of "start from zero" efforts, whether it is in North Korea, or Cuba, or Venezuela, or the People's Temple, or Barack Hussein's America. The problem bedeviling Western society is NOT racism: by all objective, measurable means, anti-Black and anti-Hispanic racism does not exist in any meaningful form. Instead, most of the NFL is black, with most positions "reserved" by White and Black coaches alike to Black Players. The number of anti-Black violence incidents in the US during the last ten years can be counted on one hand, while that of anti-White violence by Blacks is substantial. The Duke LaCrosse case, like that of the Tawana Brawley farce, was a gigantic hoax created by anti-Western media, eager to find original sin where there was none in a post-Christian era. Meanwhile the racially motivated, Black-on-White, horrific rape-murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom are not unusual at all. The Bureau of Justice Statistics Page has a detailed breakdown of crime in the US. Black-on-White violent crime is approximately 17 times that of the reverse, and White-on-Black sexual assault is not even measurable.

Solving "racism" by Whites is a problem that does not exist, and thus focusing on the non-existent problem prevents real problems from being fixed. The real problems of the West are a lack of connections, values, traditions, and rules to both moderate totally independent and socially isolated people, and give meaning and values to their lives. The West is very, very strong in changing constantly, but that change is itself a weakness, since it requires loneliness and isolation. Going back to tribal "authenticity" is as stupid and silly as believing Aliens lurk behind the Hale-Bopp comet, waiting to take the castrated "saved" away to a new world. Instead, the social problems of the West, and particularly America, can only be solved by a more adaptable Judeo-Christian set of rules, and critically, mediating institutions that bring people together, in neighborhoods, voluntary associations, Churches, Synagogues, and the like. With rules, boundaries, limitations, but also a life filled with the social connections humans need to survive.

What then, is the future of Barack Hussein Obama's America, should he win (as is likely) the Presidency? Is it mass suicide? Grinding poverty under Big-Man-ism? Will Aliens arrive to whisk us all off to outer space and utopia?

Likely, the answer is a long, ugly, brutal struggle for political dominance, and a revival of Jacksonian politics, with both good and bad. Middle and working class Whites who have social connections, go to Church, or Synagogues, have a family, and particularly extended families, have no need for Barack Obama's new "People's Temple" devoted to erasing "white racism" and creating a "start from zero" Big Man society. They only lose, stuck in their existing socio-economic status, if they are not moved down to provide opportunity for Blacks and Hispanics. "Joe the Plumber" illustrates this nicely. He himself has ambitions to rise in wealth and status. This indeed is what America was founded upon, and remains the "American Dream." Sarah Palin in her rallies touches on this, saying she has no apologies for America or the American Dream.

About half the country falls into this category: working and middle class White men and women with families, who seek not social transcendence from a lonely, media-dominated social environment, but economic advancement. Advancement impossible if resources are devoted to "spreading the wealth" by taking money and opportunities away from the White majority (about 75% of the population) to simply give to Blacks and Hispanics, with a Big Man controlling every aspect of social life, including social mobility. The White working class knows it will lose under Barack Hussein Obama's Big Man society, and the White Yuppie class and Blacks and Hispanics know they will win. But long term, the ability of the family oriented White working and Middle classes to resist the new People's Temple that Barack Obama and his followers seek to build is strong.

"Joe the Plumber" may not have been shot like Congressman Ryan, but his brutal degradation in the Media and by Obama and Biden, with every aspect of his personal life dragged through the mud for asking "the One" a question that was answered honestly (and thus embarrassingly) is similar in tone to the reaction of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Long term, the only solution to this political struggle, which will not end with Obama's victory, is either total revolutionary violence, ala the murder of Congressman Ryan, or "revolutionary suicide." Under the Big Man regime of Barack Hussein Obama and his cult-like followers, expect both.


Anonymous said...

Mcardle's Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

This statement was coined to reflect how the Right essentially went crazy during the Clinton years with all their deranged conspiracy theories and how the Left in turn became equally deranged during the Bush years with their conspiracy theories & how they demonized Bush supporters. I can see you're already getting a head start on the paranoia & wild theorizing that characterizes the party that is out of power. Please try not to go off the deep end. The tone in the right-leaning blogosphere is getting hysterical.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- Obama is not ultimately a pol who promises ordinary programs. Central to Obama's appeal to voters is not Universal Health Care, or a new National Security Policy, or various tax cuts, though all are promised.

No, Obama like Jones, Applewhite, Koresh and others presents himself as a "Messiah" and his followers do indeed depict him as a Messiah redeeming America from it's original sin of "racism."

Now, it's one thing to promise various programs, and only half-deliver. Or renege on some promises and not others. Hillary Clinton, or Cisneros, or Edwards would have been such a politician, focused on slicing the pie to maximum political benefit.

But ... Obama CANNOT by definition be the Messiah and "heal the planet" as he claimed. He does not have that much control, and more importantly the empty spiritual vacuum his followers have is the result of lack intimate family and neighborhood connections, the meaning of tradition and family that have informed human life since the beginning.

There is a reason that all these cults failed. Even the Mormons had to transform themselves from Joseph Smith's polygamist version to one of more settled "tradition" of Brigham Young, and eventually abandon the polygamy that defined Mormonism.

It's telling that event today, Mormons emphasize family and social connections through their temples.

Certain things work with human beings -- Obama's promise of a "new" politics in place of religion has been tried many times and has always failed.

As for Bush and Clinton -- both were basically the same type: lazy, feel-good liberals. Which is why Liberals hate them so much -- the slightly heretical is always more despised than the infidel.

Anonymous said...

"Those who reject Christianity and it's general rules and value system, seem to embrace a debased and "Volk" version of Christianity absent the restraining aspects of tradition and custom."

On this same theme is "How Dawkins go pwned" at Unqualified Reservations.

Anonymous said...

Man, you got some serious projection going there, Whiskey. Jonestown? Are you serious?

Also, you don't know your anthropology or your political history very well. One kind of thing that you're calling Socialism has actually worked pretty well over a pretty long period of time in some countries, without in any way leading to "big man" culture. Look to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and in a more watered-down form, England. No big-man cultures there, no sign of them on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:16--socialism doesn't really work well in those places either, but at least has the advantage of a homogeneous population where everyone is named Jorgensen and all family to each other and so feel somewhat obligated.

In our emerging no-majority multi-racial society it is quite clear that some groups are going to be carrying the weight of others. In many cases those others won't even be here legally. Things will get quite interesting when that occurs.

Whiskey said...

Anon, Sestambi is correct, and as blogger Half Sigma has noted, traditional liberalism is in fact dead.

During FDR's Presidency, the AFL fought entry into labor unions by Blacks and Hispanics tooth and nail. Because the socialistic program of the New Deal depended on maximizing downsides for the majority -- working class Whites.

Moreover, pace Thomas Frank, "What's the Matter with Kansas" is that pressing economic interests: wage erosion on the downside by illegal immigration, lost opportunities in the middle from Affirmative Action, and middle class wage erosion through outsourcing, H1-Bs, and the like make Democrats appeal to Joe Sixpack pretty marginal, particularly when you throw in the economic effect of traditional culture (which promotes upward mobility).

Obama is not promoting himself as the Return of FDR. He is promoting himself as Shaman of the US and World, as City Journal has noted.

FDR style politics can produce generational political advantages. Democrats outside Ike, held the White House from 1932 to 1968. Shamanistic politicians tend to crash and burn. Jerry Brown being one example, but Brown did not propose himself as a "Racial Healer" as Obama does.

Politics can produce alliances and benefits for it's participants in terms of bigger slices of patronage pie. That's about it. It cannot "heal the planet" or cleanse one's soul or provide an antidote to loneliness.

Democrats passed up a sure-thing in Hillary Clinton, who no one loved but was likely a slam dunk over McCain, for Obama -- who promotes himself and is seen as some divine Shaman. That choice is not going to end well, since it never has.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:16. Are YOU serious? You are not only lacking in your knowledge of anthropology and history, you're not even up on current events. Iceland is bankrupt, Sweden,Norway and Denmark are on the brink,plus they have huge social problems due to a large Islamic immigrant population which have not assimulated, do not work are a great burden on the welfare system and are responsibe for most of the crime. Sarkozy is re-thinking France's labor laws, Germany has skyhigh unemployment, and if the EU ever pulls the rug out from under Ireland,they"re toast. Native Dutch citizens are emmigrating in drove due to all of the above, as are the indigenous Brits. Socialism working pretty well in those countries? In a pig's eye, my friend.

Whiskey said...

Sorry, meant the New Deal maximized against downsides to working-class whites. Upward mobility was, in a static/frozen and depressed economy sacrificed, against any wage erosion by the White working class. Because that was where all the votes were. Large scale deportations of Mexicans from the US were a regular feature of FDR's program, btw. New Deal programs specifically excluded all who could not prove citizenship.

Even today, the WSJ reports White Working Class men are 25% of the electorate, the largest demographic group.

Anonymous said...

Excellent essay. Don't pay attention to anonymous commenters who dismiss your analysis as "projection".

Don't have much time to post but I'd like to comment in particular on how liberal urban whites view voting for 0bama as an act of atonement for historical wrongs. It amuses me to no end that they believe his administration will usher in some golden-age of post racial harmony. Having a minority or other "disadvantaged" person at the helm confers no advantage to a society at best. At worst, it provokes a savage backlash. Far from promoting tolerance towards Jews, Leon Blum's election in 1936 probably inflamed French anti-semitism and led to widespread collaboration after 1940. The election of Black congressmen during Reconstruction had an identical effect on Southern Whites between 1870-1890. It doesn't help that unlike the aforementioned politicians, 0bama repeatedly exploits racial resentments to silence his critics. One wonders whether 0bama will be able to get the genie of racial politics back into the bottle come 2009, but what does he care? He's got a nation to heal!

I am firmly convinced that the primary beneficiaries of 0bama's presidency will be far-right political parties seeking to exploit whites' "buyer's remorse". This is sure to set in in the near future, as the current economic crisis worsens circa 2009-2010. If it's a worst-case scenario, we're probably looking at Oklahoma City on at least a yearly basis. And that's not even counting a revitalized militia movement, with Black/Hispanic supremacists conducting retaliatory attacks whenever possible.

Whiskey said...

Nine-of-Diamonds, I think you are right on the backlash. Though IMHO it will play out on the Congressional and Senatorial levels.

Obama, if he wins, will have a very thin team that cannot refrain from picking fights (since they've done that post 1968) with the White Majority. The "Stuff White People Like" who wish for "racial healing" and/or "atonement" dominate the media/entertainment/legal classes but are thin demographically.

I think Obama's team is likely to push "healing" and "atonement" measures like Reparations, more Affirmative Action, and the like, which is IMHO not likely to see resent expressed violently, but rather politically in State Legislatures, and among vulnerable Blue Dog Dems who form the basis for an added Dem Majority.

Pelosi/Reid/Obama are running as faux-centrists, but demanding hard-left "atonement" as you note -- setting up a fight with more Conservative Dems just wanting reelection. "Atonement" might be tolerable in good times, it's never possible in bad times. However, I don't think Obama's team can resist the temptation, since it has been their "Transformational" aim since the beginning. Their backers literally worship/pray to him, Daily Kos posts "Is Obama Jesus" and the like, and Obama himself promises to totally transform America and the World.

He is not, a Huey Long figure. More like a Jim Jones, and those types never end well.

Whiskey said...

Also, thanks for your comment, Nine of Diamonds.

Anonymous said...

Very good article you wrote there! I too, have noticed that Obama sounds and seems so much like a Jim Jones! Socialism justice, the collective, socialism, communism, black theology. He calls everyone who is against his policies, racists, when it is HE who is the racist! He's a horrible, power abusing man! November can't come quick enough! We need to CLEAN house of all the communists O has given power to, including government agencies!