August 27, 2012

Beyond Paranoia: The Ridicule Style In American Politics

Kings are paranoid for a good reason.
"And then the conspiracy theorists who come along later have to piece everything together with the Zapruder film and the footage of the Grassy Knoll and so forth, which enables us then to begin to perceive that based on piecing these images together there most likely was a conspiracy.

So it's either that or we see this the way the Warren Commission wanted us to see it, in which case we would have Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone gunman, which would then fit the assassination within the pre-existing celebrity myth of the death of the celebrity by a stalker.

Here we would have Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman who inserts himself into history by assassinating the Sun King. Now, the Sun King is also known as the Oak King. He's the King Noon who battles with his lunar adversary, which in the ancient/medieval myth would've been the Holly King. So you have the Oak King vs. the Holly King, the summer solstice vs. the lunar winter solstice. And that puts Lee Harvey Oswald in the role of the lunar adversary, the Judas vs. Christ, Set vs. Osiris, the boar that kills Adonis. So he fits into that mode.

Although the one bit of cognitive dissonance within that paradigm of seeing him as a lone stalker who decides to insert himself into history by killing a great Sun King is the fact that this scenario with Jack Ruby, who comes in and shoots him live on television. That's another televisual first, by the way, the first live murder caught on television. As far as I know, and all the other stalkers that have killed celebrities, they never generate their own stalkers. This would be a case in which a stalker generates his own stalker, Jack Ruby, which is a little bit odd and doesn't quite fit the theory. And it's one of the main things that leads us to suspect that Oswald was embedded in a larger web, that sends ripples out beyond him and captures them in this mesh of complicated interrelationships.

But, in any event, so we have him assassinating the Oak King, he inserts himself into history, and this is all consistent with what the myth that Jean Baudrillard describes, that America as being based on an attempt to escape from history. The whole idea of America as a Utopian colony that escapes the historical cycles that have hitherto governed all the other civilizations in history, especially European civilizations. [These historical cycles] don't apply here. We don't assassinate our presidents here.

So the myth goes that tends to foster this lone gunman theory that America is based on an escape from history and that it has suspended the laws that normally govern historical processes. Coup d'├ętats are normal all throughout history. They're a normal part of the way history has worked everywhere. But in America somehow it's an ideal new world that has suspended all those old laws. So I think there's a predisposition on the part of our American academic-literary establishment to just stick with the official case of the Warren Commission and just see this as an example of the celebrity myth of the stalker who makes himself famous by killing a famous person." - John David Ebert, "John F. Kennedy Assassination," December 13, 2011. [4:05 - 7:20].

"The story is fashioned this way because Adonis is the Sun and the boar is winter. Indeed, the boar killed Adonis because when winter comes, the sun runs out of heat and dies. Venus, the earth, weeps, because the earth produces nothing when winter obscures the sun." - Ronald E. Pepin, "The Vatican Mythographers." 2008. Fordham University Press: New York. Pg. 120
The day before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, renowned American historian Richard J. Hofstadter delivered a lecture at Oxford University that would later turn into his most famous essay entitled, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics."

The timing was purely coincidental, of course. To suggest that the two events were connected in any way would affirm the essay's thesis, which has been dishonestly used as an intellectual cover by the Establishment media to pour cold water on JFK and 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Hofstadter's basic point was that the intellectual devolution of political discourse on both sides of the political paradigm has one source: the paranoid and conspiratorial mind. He wrote:
"American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years, we have seen angry minds at work, mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated, in the Goldwater movement, how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But, behind this, I believe, there is a style of mind that is far from new, and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style, simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind."
The word "paranoia" is used by Hofstadter almost with a religious zeal, and the defenders of his essay to this day have spread his gospel with an equally fervent sense of historical mission.

To be clear, I admire Hofstadter and appreciate his scholarship. Also, I am not denying the existence of sub-cultures that have their own conspiratorial scriptures to which they pay allegiance even in the face of new revelations.

But the all-out dismissal of conspiracies of power by high-minded intellectuals despite the long historical record that proves that such things are commonplace in the evolution of societies and empires reeks of totalitarianism.

Whenever American intellectuals and journalists bring up 9/11 and JFK conspiracy theories they refer to Hofstadter's timeless essay. His catchphrase, the "paranoid style," has become their default intellectual position because they cannot come up with their own ideas to combat the proponents of alternative history.

The lives of controversial and buried truths, most famously the truth about the JFK assassination, have an energy of their own because they are based on documented facts. If they were based on pure paranoia and cosmic make-believe then they wouldn't persist this long.

Describing alternative historians and citizen researchers as "paranoid" is a lame attempt at suppressing the evidence that vindicates them and their factually based beliefs. It doesn't bother me that intellectual elites reject conspiracy theories because that is their job, but throwing mean-spirited insults at others for holding unorthodox views about modern history goes too far. It reflects a poor mind at work. Ridiculing and belittling the other side is one of the oldest rhetorical tricks to avoid a debate.

In a honest dictatorship there does not exist a need for the perpetual exercise of cunning rhetorical tricks to control the population because force is openly defended when it is used to silence critics and impose the will of the government masters. Honest dictatorships justify their iron grip over society to the people on the grounds of ideology, fighting a foreign enemy, and establishing common security. In dishonest dictatorships the ruling class is forced to be more constraint in its methods and strategies. 

The American dictatorship is the furthest thing from honest. Instead of relying on force, it masterfully deploys humour as a political weapon against democratic critics. Humour is used with deadly effect by US leaders and the press to cast anti-regime opinions as kooky and nutty. Barack Obama has routinely poked fun at questions about him forging his birth certificate.

The best way to make people rethink their old assumptions about American society, U.S. leaders, and modern American history is with humour. Comedians understand the dismissive quality of humour when it is used deliberately as a social weapon, which is why many of them are more alert to the conspiracies in America compared to the rest of the population.

The late greats Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, and George Carlin, as well as living legends Dave Chappelle and Eddie Griffin, all talk about conspiracies in their stand-up material. Comedians have done more to educate society about these subjects than all the historians and writers put together.

One simple reason is their humanity cannot be denied due to the nature of their existence so when they raise uncomfortable truths on stage people listen to them, trust them, and respect them. Millions of people share an emotional connection with comedians because they spill their guts out on stage so the trust factor is big. When other individuals raise the same truths they are ridiculed as paranoid and insane conspiracy theorists because it is less easy to see any humanity in them and thus respect them.

Fantasy literature and films are the two other mediums that have woken the American people up. Last week, Alex Jones talked about the important contributions that Tony Gilroy's Bourne series have made to America's political understanding. They have expanded the boundaries of the lackluster political conversation by raising issues and themes in a thematic and accessible manner.

The Bourne films have, above all, lifted the lid on the reality that in the post-9/11 world the anti-American villains are more often than not internal. The deep state is where all the intense dramatic action is, and the complex network of characters who loyally serve this state are more intriguing from a filmmaker's perspective than a phantom Arab terrorist or a rogue Russian general.