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As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/14/west-goes-flames-trump-couldnt-care-less

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" he couldn’t care less about the public good."

  • Robert Reich, last words of the article.

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Hmm ?

There’s a new book out - cultural stuff - by a professional.

There’s an article about this book in the October Atlantic (online).

Strangely - it resonates very strongly with me and the life I’ve lived.

It might even help explain why we are like we are ?

"Henrich’s most consequential—and startling—claim is that WEIRD and non-WEIRD people possess opposing cognitive styles. They think differently. Standing apart from the community, primed to break wholes into parts and classify them, Westerners are more analytical. People from kinship-intensive cultures, by comparison, tend to think more holistically. They focus on relationships rather than categories."

"Starting around 1500 or so, the West became unusually dominant, because it advanced unusually quickly. What explains its extraordinary intellectual, technological, and political progress over the past five centuries? And how did its rise engender the peculiarity of the Western character?"

Guess what - maybe it’s OK to marry your first cousin !

from:

A New Theory of Western Civilization

Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?

~https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/10/joseph-henrich-weird-people/615496/

There must be a reason I dislike so much of civilization. Now I have the proverbial ‘place to stand’ from which to look at this distaste anew/

I’ve always been different - tribal - just like in the article/

How many out there can relate ??

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Many in this country “couldn’t care less” if he lives or dies.

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Let’s call Trump’s actions what they truly are. He is committing “genocide” against the American people in a manner unsurpassed in our nation’s history and, if he is unchecked, unsurpassed in world history.

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“Guess what - maybe it’s OK to marry your first cousin !”

LOL, no thanks, bad choices there too.
I believe Henrich might be on to something though. I’ve believed for some time the super rich’s brains are wired differently than the rest of us (Weird and non-Weird, perhaps). Unfortunately not in a good way, their ever increasing greed is going to destroy us all, does Henrich mention this in his analyses?

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Trump is asked about the killing of Michael Reinoehl----he says the guy needed to be taken out----did Trump order his killing??? Trump is supporting extra judicial killing of people on the left —and he is doing it.

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If he didn’t have the support of the fellow patriots in his party, he probably couldn’t pull most - if not all - of this off.

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“Fellow patriots in his party” ? More like fellow gangsters in his mob.

The GOP has been an organized crime syndicate at least since Newt’s contract on America a quarter century ago and Trump is simply their current godfather who they will protect with their lives.

Trump will continue to blame the victims, be they crippled veterans or refugees from wildfires, as long as his mob protects him and his voters chomp on the raw meat he tosses them.

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I don’t have the book Recon - it looks like a big project out of my depth to evaluate. So I found The Atlantic summary.

What resonates is my life - maybe yours ~

From a young age, the military attracted me. All my life I’ve put people, usually a very small number, say a team of four climbing, first and foremost. I made some money, could have made a lot more - laughed at it - spent it - did my own thing - to this day.

I’ve read extensively on the military - from Sun’s “Art of War” thru Doug McArthur - and tons on the ‘teams’ of Special Forces, both Green & Blue. Those guys wanted something different - I read it as people first - tribal bonding. I’m sure you recognize this.

It’s not clean - this summary. But if this guy’s got it half right, and I think he does, then there is a normal - the normal I’ve always liked best, which is why I am such a fan of say The Apache in the southwest.

The idea is that this bending from the old normal of small groups on the land has been replaced by civilizations - but one civilization in particular stands out - ours - the Western Way - characterized by Christianity’s proscriptions beginning in the year 500, and evolving. This resulted in structure of a sort that in the author’s view put Industrialization on the table - and made the world order we see today, dominated at least for the last 500 years by Catholic and Protestant cultural colonial empires - and surprisingly - the author says Protestantism has effected more radical change than even Catholicism.

You remember Charlie Brown - ‘people follow each other’. Well, it’s true, but there are notable exceptions. Why does someone in the teams decide to forsake promotion - and stay close - to what.

I can understand that - it’s probably what I would have done - have done I guess, in my own way.

Yeah - this guy has got something - and I’m all ears.

I have the feeling that to survive this planetary crisis - we are going to have to stop being so WEIRD -

PS: Consider this, from the Atlantic article:

"Christianity’s insistence on monogamy broke extended households into nuclear families. The Church uprooted horizontal, relational identity, replacing it with a vertical identity oriented toward the institution itself."

"Loosened from their roots, people gathered in cities. There they developed “impersonal prosociality”—that is, they bonded with other city folk. They wrote city charters and formed professional guilds. Sometimes they elected leaders, the first inklings of representative democracy. Merchants had to learn to trade with strangers. Success in this new kind of commerce required a good reputation, which entailed new norms, such as impartiality. You couldn’t cheat a stranger and favor relatives and expect to make a go of it."

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Heinrich’s book is called by The Atlantic reviewer “Big History”, like Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel”, and Youval Harari’s “Sapiens”, both of which I have.

In short - it all fits.

To reach a bit - it’s why we can’t understand Afghanistan and their Pashtun ways - I would love to hear what Stan McChrystal thinks of this new book in relation to Afghanistan.

PS #2: Jim Mattis - you can see his Call Sign Chaos all over this new look at Big History.

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Great point! But, it all began with Nixon. The GOP has always been full of liars, crooks, and folks who will do and say anything for that dollars dollar bill y’all.

Not a single one of our politicians care in the end. Or at least not enough to do what needs to be done.

And what about the people ?

The people elect the pols -

March 8, 1956, San Antonio

Marion King Hubbert, Shell Oil’s top geologist, forecasts peak conventional oil ca 1970, and so it came to pass. He also forecast peak conventional oil for the world at large ca 2000 - close enough.

1972 - MIT’s Donella Meadows et al - “Limits to Growth” - all curves on track today - close enough.

2009 - Planetary Boundaries - Stockholm - self evident - several boundaries already passed.

Trump is a very sick man.

And what of ‘the people’ - what is their excuse ?

Connecticut is suing Exxon - Exxon has money - and both a storied past - and an infamous more recent history.

W (Western Way) - for sure - since Columbus at least - earlier roots
E (Educated) - who exactly is educated - and in what sense (see above)
I (Industrialized) - yes - for sure
R (Rich) - in what sense - I’ll tell you - dineros
D (Democratic) Touqueville - ‘in a democracy the people get the government they deserve’

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“It is not the function of the government to keep the people from falling into error;
it is the function of the people to keep the government from falling into error.”

  • Supreme Court Justice Jackson

“Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people…”

  • Abe

I think we must change - substantially.

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Who, or whom, took out JFK ?

How was it covered up - and why ?

Who - or whom - attempted to take over from FDR -

How deep must we dig ?

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60% of the forests are controlled by the Fed gov. ----in fact where I live the state land in the mountains is pristine----the fed land burnt about 6 yrs ago and is still kept off limits------Trump is in charge of this land.

I’ve been watching the Air Quality Indexes across Western Canada and the the really bad smoke, the stuff on the ground with a PM 2.5 of in excess of 200 is moving this way across the mountains and approaching Calgary, where I live. It’s 287 in Cranbrook last glance.

Here in Calgary the smoke is still high, producing an overcast and pall - but the air quality on the ground is still good, i.e., less that 50.

I don’t think that will last long if those fires in the three westernmost US states keep burning.

Correct.

It was always there.
It got traction in the late or mid-century again. Then really got moving with Reagan. The rest of the train continued it. Now here we are so far abused that sanity and the playing field are skewed. It has been a long time since someone has been on our side.
JFK? Carter? Wallace, Hopkins, Ickes, Frances Perkins, Eleanor.
What is your best guess anybody?

Doesn’t care? I think intentional. Spread covid to the cities. Burn the blue states. Is anybody really surprised.

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I remember visiting Arlington in’94 - JFK’s site.

I remember the American fathers - holding their son’s hands - whispering at the flame.

I remember like yesterday in junior high in November 1963 - a Jesuit American high school teacher at the front of the class - when word came - I literally thought the world would stop turning.

It didn’t - then again - maybe it did ~

I want a reckoning - not ‘crime and punishment’ - a reckoning - that the truth come out of hiding - that those responsible be identified and their motives see the light of day -

Then the world will begin its revolutions again - and we can move forward.

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Where’s that 3rd party u advocated for during the last election with the Chris Hedges debate? You’ve done nothing along with the others but blah blah blah. Stop posting and get out of the way of meaningful reforms.

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Thank You!

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