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Trump Is the Grotesque Id of the Ruling Elites. His Disease Is Theirs – and Ours

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/07/trump-grotesque-id-ruling-elites-his-disease-theirs-and-ours


This article would be great if it was printed on newsprint that afforded the value of lining a bird cage.


As I posted on the Times:

Trump can only do what his enablers allow. He should have never been able to leave the hospital and should have been committed and quarantined for his own - and the rest or our good. There is a sharing of guilt for each and every of his many crimes and should he be prosecuted for any of them, McConnell, Barr, Giuliani and others should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting.

Beyond removing him from office by voting him out or by more immediate means, it is time for an American Nuremberg trial as well as a reversal of roll-backs in public protections and court assignments. Unless we begin to hold our elected leaders responsible and to address media misinformation and divisive incitement, we will never recover from the division and chaos that are destroying our country.


Largely, of any flavor, the ruling elites perform their evil by destruction of the civilizing forces of education. If you ever get the chance to explore some of Charlotte Iserbyt’s Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, you will be amazed at the assault on the People by the elites.






~https://www.dailyposter.com/p/trump-reduced-enforcement-as-workers/ (but Cuomo indemnified them)

If Trump hadn’t been Murika’s pre-existing condition, DNC would’ve had to cast one outa lard & bad old sitcoms? Their problem was: how to lose again, with the same grift. NYC’s Private Equity Slaughterhouse “medical system” predated Trump. Big unions & blue states forced 1099’d “essentials” to work sick, infect loved ones, indentured us survivors and flipped 35K vacant apartments… He’s our ID.


I’d posted a comment, in total agreement with your’s, then checked my pathetic ‘retirement’ portfolio… Don’t TELL me, Trump’s steroids kicked-in again? Are Nancy & Chuck now claiming pragmatism WINS again? Stock Market’s up 1.7% with PhARMA, FIRE & Tech ALL mysteriously trailing green-washed “It’s too late to STOP Climate Catastrophe™, so we’ll have to find a way to monetize more platitudes, euphemism and obfuscatory pleonasm,” as Bloomberg, Bezos, Gates, Musk… sell us geo-engineered, GE monoculture & carbon sequestration scams while we can’t even discover what resulting crises loom or what our personal finances are?

~https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/08/09/an-examination-of-the-2016-electorate-based-on-validated-voters/ (mind you, the Gray Lady’s pushing this, not me!)

~https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6940e3.htm?s_cid=mm6940e3_w (plague OVER!)




Thank you, Mr. Eskow. It is clear. Globally, we will all keep repeating the same patterns until we can mitigate our extreme individualist behavior, ultimately born out of a frightened Zero-Sum conviction that there is not enough to go around.
related problems:
the felt need for “protection,” which leads to tribalism, nationalism, conformism and group-think (yes, even on the left)
short-term thinking
the need to feel valuable, which gets distorted in most societies as a concern with relative status
Changing our consciousness and our politics must proceed in tandem. And as our consciousness changes, the politics will follow.


I’ll disagree about wishful thinking to conclude the article. Ask how a better healthcare system would work or look like? Start with community clinics by the score, embedded to larger hospitals, spread evenly throughout neighborhoods called individualist suburbs or individualist apartment blocks surrounded with parked cars and pavement, scant shade trees wilting in the heat.

Excellent metaphor of Dorian Gray for those whose motto is still
“He who dies with the most money, wins!”


Now you’ve lent me a wedge to pitch some wonderful books helping me through USA’s surrealist period. Ishmael Reed’s Blues City: A Walk in Oakland (2003) might not be interesting to anyone not already half-in-love with Oakland – Reed seems to have found his forever home out here, and he studies the ground he stands on. It’s a dreamy stroll for engaged locals.

At one of the later-day BPP picnics Reed attends out at Lake Merritt, a teenage panther asks him what he thinks of a passage from Assata’s autobiography. Now I’m partway through that electrifying classic. Like a ruthlessly-paced Stephen King romp, Assata’s tale really hits the ground running (with her arrest on the New Jersey turnpike). The second chapter switches back to the little girl growing up, doggedly drilled by her grandmother in self-respect. In the third chapter, she notices boys…

On an unrelated note, this is the second time I’ve done a triple-take on that photo of masked Orangeman, thinking “Who is that?” It occurs to me: he’s missing his sunlamp simmering sessions and turrning less orange! Maybe he’ll just fade away? (They say old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbilt.)


I’m not sure why it goes this way for me, I usually avoid this type of article but once read it never feels the way it should. It takes a while to adjust to these terms

Great comments and links. Thank you

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I can never get past, ignoring half the true story to shill an agenda. I’m thinking we’ve been pretty transparent as to our perspective, and then presented contradictory facts as we sobered up? Or are laughed at by better informed posters? How the author believes things will improve by playing oligarchic duopoly’s LOTE game by their rules is still a mystery to me. No SOUP for US (we’d just slurp or scald ourselves and miss work?)

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Well yes indeed, all good points. There is also an unspoken contempt for ideas that border on prejudice and the antidote is never provided. You are so right about the “half the story” thing.

To better days. I really like the first link in your previous post. I’m reminded we can change in amusement too.

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W - I - T (Wordview - Institutes - Technology)

This PNAS article makes the case all three are linked - hence the difficulty getting change without addressing all three. This article is front and center in complexity social scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon’s new book “Commanding Hope”.

Here is a link to the pdf of the PNAS article:

Here the central theme of “Commanding Hope”:

"By far the most powerful set of worldviews, institutions, and technologies in our world today revolves around economic growth - Janus-faced phenomenon that increases the well-being of many people the world over, but only at enormous cost to nature and risk to humanity’s long-term health and even survival. (p.186)

"But continued economic growth, at least at a scale resembling what we’ve known to date, is now fundamentally incompatible with the radically altered material world around us - a world of climate change, collapsing biodiversity, and dwindling natural resources. So the growth WIT [Worldview, Institutions, Technology] is going to have to change drastically - or it, and possibly we, will vanish. Either way, the results for our society are going to be wrenching. (p.187)

“An average real growth rate for the global economy of 3 percent annually generates a GWP [Gross World Product] of slightly over $900 trillion in today’s dollars by 2100. Even if we’re able to cut our carbon emissions per dollar of economic output by 80 percent, perhaps through heroic applications of new energy technologies, overall growth at the rate indicated will still double the world’s already extremely high emissions… In short, the environmental, and in turn political, damage that growth will cause will eventually halt economic growth.” (p. 187/88)


It is worth noting that this summary view is effectively saying exactly what the Michael Moore/Jeff Gibbs/ Ozzie Zehner documentary “Planet of the Humans” is all about.

Yet I was just reading the CD article on the Harris/Pence debate, the Green New Deal and such, and I see from the comments that nothing has changed - it is still generally thought by the left that job creation is worth it no matter the cost - the real cost being not money - but the viability of the environment at large.

Hence the PNAS article - which attempts to show why change is so hard at the paradigm level.

We still obviously don’t get it.

Hence my new book “The Lives of the Stoics”, by Holiday and Hanselman. I feel I am going to need capital S stoicism right now and for the foreseeable future.

PS: I thought Eskow’s article ‘right on’ - so thanks to Richard Eskow.

. . . one that’s even more corrosive to the public health: the disease of toxic individualism.

Oh, really. That sounds deep.

You guys scare me; you really do.

We need to see things differently;
We need a new paradigm;
We need to have confidence that we are up to the challenge;
We need to face challenges united;
We need the right attitude;
We need to be positive;
We need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need . . .

Actually, all our problems exist because we’re smart, frequently violent, uncontrollable monkeys, and what we need, as Mark Twain said, is benevolent despotism.

We won’t get it. Ain’t gonna happen.

Well said, although the Democratic Party leadership should also be held accountable for enabling Trump and Republicans.


It bothers me too. Not necessarily for the same reasons, only that it rejects some of the inherent qualities of mankind as an imposition. In our history and evolution, we made some bad choices and enshrined them as essential to our nature. We pass this ignorance on to our children as a means of survival and a part of being normal.

People encourage other people to think differently when they have no power.

People with power never think differently. They just change tactics. They never waver in their goals or their attitudes.

Life on Earth is a weird experience. The Buddha was all over it, as far as I can tell. The problem is the suffering.

I don’t know what I think the qualities of human kind are, apart from the biological. I don’t find myself much of a mystery on that score. One human quality that I do believe is never discussed because it’s so much harder than changing one’s mind, is the fact that almost everything we do as humans is ultimately motivated by feelings and emotions, not rational or concepts. We use logic to get where we emotionally want to go, and we rationalize our emotional goals and desires.

We don’t have many real needs. We need air, first and foremost, unless it’s extremely cold or hot outside and without shelter you would die from exposure before you died from lack of oxygen. After that, we need water, in that order. Then food. Shelter, clothing (most of the time), medicine when we are sick or injured.

In this society we think we need a lot, and we’re right. But there aren’t enough resources for what ails us. The Buddha had that one down, too, and desire is the source of a lot of that suffering.

I hate to universalize about how all humans are, apart from calling us animals, and monkeys - a little tongue in cheek. Right now there are about 60 known nonviolent societies in the world. We aren’t all the same in a lot of the ways that most of us think we are all the same. From what I can tell, different cultures exist on virtually different planets in different realities.

We do need the Earth healthy and sustainable, or not having it will solve all our other needs. There are no other choices here.

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Interesting. As it turns out we think differently on some of these things. Neither has the power to impose those beliefs on the other in this context, maybe influence. Experience and influence, and maybe perception. Like learning not to touch a hot stove with your bare hand. In most cultures there is someone there to teach us about hot surfaces and it is experience that establishes a natural boundary. Of course we can learn how to deal with making a mistake too, to a point.

I stayed at a Zen Buddhist center once and had tea with Baker roshi (zen master) it was such a change from daily life, some of what I learned I still use on a conceptual level.

I think that is the best part of life, to learn from our natural environment. Emotions and all.

Thank you for reminding me.

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Interesting that an article descrying toxic individualism has offered as its solution individual actions on sn individual basis.

I would have liked analysis of the system that has nurtured this toxin and how to dismantle it systematically.


Finally reading the PNAS article you link to, see that it’s from 2008. These issues have been transparently clear, for a very long time, to anyone who takes an honest and measured look at the situation. And you don’t need to be a published research scientist to grok the reality we inhabit.

For myself, as a 12-year-old in 1971, i determined that i would never drive a car, since the intertwined complexes of automobiles, petroleum, pavement, “development” and war were obviously undermining the ecology, on an obviously accelerating trajectory, with clearly existential consequences. As the old saw goes, “If we continue on the path that we are on, we will likely arrive at the destination toward which we are headed.”

i acknowledge that i read Barry Commoner’s book The Closing Circle, published in 1971 as his direct response to the pageantry and celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970, and advocating for a completely new direction for technological and economic development to avert ecological disaster, but i was already thinking about automobiles and the entire techno-industrial complex (WIT) impact on ecology. i acknowledge that i had been shown The Unchained Goddess film about meteorology (produced in 1958 by Bell Labs, directed by Frank Capra) in elementary school, which included a brief segment on global warming, but my revulsion at the auto-industrial-petroleum-war complex was not primarily driven by concern over climate change. Millions of young people were shown that film, that book was a best-seller, Barry Commoner appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, but those in the USA who seriously tried to shift their own lives, public policy, and the economy onto an ecological path were always a tiny minority.

On the one hand i wonder, “How did i happen? How did i see so clearly this overall civilizational complex and path to total destruction, while so few others seemed to notice?” and on the other hand i wonder “How does anyone not see it? How does anyone just continue on the path of consumerist-industrial doom, buying what is sold to us both materially and ideologically?”

i recognize that the explanations to these wonderments are related to the intertwined complexes of “interested parties” (the industrial, capitalist and financial interests who operate and profit from the existing systems), and human personal and social psychology, which the system operators so transparently manipulate to their own (temporary) advantage.

But still, it remains a wonderment to me, how crass and evil the manipulators are, and how susceptible the rest of us are to their siren song.