For many years I have been wondering about the relationship between the rulers and the ruled. With a nod to C. Wright Mills, I have decided many those who gravitate towards the State are merely crackpots. Or as Mills termed them, “crackpot realists.”
Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld struck me as prime examples. They appeared to be competent (merely competent) running large corporations. Their expertise didn’t translate into being statesmen. In fact, their marginal abilities to run large corporations (themselves creations of the State) didn’t translate in the slightest into running the government. In those positions they became extremely dangerous.
Although I can’t read their minds, I suspect Cheney and Rumsfeld would consider themselves “conservatives.” Yet leftists can be just as big of crackpots, and if history is any guide, much worse.
Van Jones – a buffoon if there ever was one – is clearly a Communist, which means he is automatically a crackpot. One of the main differences, in my view, is that almost all leftists can’t manage any business, although they are convinced they have the ability to run everyone else’s lives.
These crackpots act as if they are the grownups, which makes everyone less then grownup. Yet grownups are supposed to have some understanding of human nature. I have never seen it from any of these men. They are in fact fools.
I am reminded of the first Bush, who when he finally made his way to a grocery store, was amazed to see a barcode scanner. Clearly our ruling crackpots don’t get out much.
Being fools, they are unread and therefore uneducated. They are unaware of the simplest facts of human nature, to wit, you don’t humiliate people, and you certainly don’t humiliate countries.
There were quite a few people who predicted some kind of blowback against the United States, blowback that culminated in 9-11. Osama bin Laden said the attacks were “a copy” of the humiliation the United States had been visiting on the Islamic world for some 60 years, overthrowing governments, installing repressive regimes, and crushing popular uprisings.
9-11 was a demonstration of what the ancient Greeks called Hubris followed by Nemesis. The original meaning of Hubris was to humiliate someone in public, and the Greeks banned it from the theater as obscene. Nemesis is the goddess of fate and retribution.
In other word, humiliate someone (or countries) and the oppressor is fated to suffer revenge. And revenge, in the simplest of definitions, is the attempt to replace humiliation with pride by humiliating the oppressor.
The worst thing you can do to anyone (or any country) is to strip from them their pride and dignity. That stripping of those things from Germany after World War I (and Germany was no more guilty than any other combatant) led inexorably to World War II. And World War II, for all practical purposes, is still going on.
Do any of our crackpots understand these truths about what happens when people and countries are humiliated? No, they don’t, even though this fact was noticed by the Hebrews, the Greeks (Aristotle noticed it), and the early Christian fathers, such as St. Augustine and St. Aquinas. Not to mention all the modern researchers who have written about it.
Our crackpot realists, most unfortunately, appear to be bound and determined to humiliate everyone in the world. It’s not so much that they will be the ones who suffer Nemesis. It’ll be, as always, the innocent public.