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Forum Post: The S&M Election

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 5, 2012, 5:32 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
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By Chris Hedges

I learned at the age of 10, when I was shipped off to a New England boarding school where the hazing of younger boys was the principal form of recreation, that those who hunger for power are psychopathic bastards. The bullies in the forms above me, the sadistic masters on our dormitory floors, the deans and the headmaster would morph in later life into bishops, newspaper editors, college presidents, politicians, heads of state, business titans and generals. Those who revel in the ability to manipulate and destroy are demented and deformed individuals. These severely diminished and stunted human beings—think Bill and Hillary Clinton—shower themselves, courtesy of elaborate public relations campaigns and an obsequious press, with encomiums of piety, patriotism, devoted public service, honor, courage and vision, not to mention a lot of money. They are at best mediocrities and usually venal. I have met enough of them to know.

So it is with some morbid fascination that I watch Barack Obama, who has become the prime “dominatrix” of the liberal class, force us in this election to plead for more humiliation and abuse. Obama has carried out a far more egregious assault on our civil liberties, including signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), than George W. Bush. Section 1021(b)(2), which I challenged in federal court, permits the U.S. military to detain American citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest struck down the law in September. The Obama administration immediately appealed the decision. The NDAA has been accompanied by use of the Espionage Act, which Obama has turned to six times in silencing whistle-blowers. Obama supported the FISA Amendment Act so government could spy on tens of millions of us without warrants. He has drawn up kill lists to exterminate those, even U.S. citizens, deemed by the ruling elite to be terrorists.

Obama tells us that we better lick his boots or we will face the brute down the hall, Mitt Romney. After all, we wouldn’t want the bad people to get their hands on these newly minted mechanisms of repression. We will, if we do not behave, end up with a more advanced security and surveillance state, the completion of the XL Keystone pipeline, unchecked pillage from Wall Street, environmental catastrophe and even worse health care. Yet we know on some level that once the election is over, Obama will, if he is re-elected, again betray us. This is part of the game. We dutifully assume our position. We cry out in holy terror. We promise to obey. And we are mocked as we watch promises crumble into dust.

As we are steadily stripped of power, we desire with greater and greater fervor to be victims and slaves. Our relationship to corporate power increasingly mirrors that of ancient religious cults. Lucian writes of the priests of Cybele who, whipped into frenzy, castrated themselves to honor the goddess. Women devotees cut off their breasts. We are not far behind.

“Anyone who wants to rule men first tries to humiliate them, to trick them out of their rights and their capacity for resistance, until they are as powerless before him as animals,” wrote Elias Canetti in “Crowds and Power.” “He uses them like animals and, even if he does not tell them so, in himself he always knows quite clearly that they mean just as little to him; when he speaks to his intimates he will call them sheep or cattle. His ultimate aim is to incorporate them into himself and to suck the substance out of them. What remains of them afterwards does not matter to him. The worse he has treated them, the more he despises them. When they are no more use at all, he disposes of them as he does excrement, simply seeing to it that they do not poison the air of his house.”

Our masters rely on our labor to make them wealthy, on our children for cannon fodder in war and on our collective chants for adulation. They would otherwise happily slip us rat poison. When they retreat into their inner sanctums, which they keep hidden from public view, they speak in the cold words of manipulation, power and privilege, words that expose their visions of themselves as entitled and beyond the reach of morality or law.

The elite have produced a few manuals on power. Walter Lippmann’s “Public Opinion,” Leo Strauss’ work and “Atlas Shrugged” by the third-rate novelist Ayn Rand express the elite’s deep contempt for the sans-culottes. These writers posit that the masses are incapable of responding rationally to the complexities of power. They celebrate the role of a tiny, controlling elite that skillfully uses propaganda and symbols to, as Lippmann wrote, “manufacture consent.” They call on the power elite to operate in secrecy. The elite’s systems of propaganda are designed to magnify emotion and destroy the capacity for critical thought. Kafka was right: The modern world has made the irrational rational.

“Crowds have always undergone the influence of illusions,” wrote Gustave Le Bon, one of the first pioneers of the study of mass psychology. “Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”

The more we believe the lies that saturate our airwaves, the more we salute our “heroes” in Iraq or Afghanistan, the more we militarize social and political values, the more frightened we become, the more we bow down and clamor for enslavement, the more the elite detests us. We are, in their eyes, vermin. We have to be dealt with and controlled. At times we have to be placated. At other times we have to be repressed and even killed. But we are a headache. Our existence interferes with the privileges of the ruling class.

“Those who have put out the people’s eyes,” John Milton wrote, “reproach them of their blindness.”

There are a few writers and artists who give us a view of the dark, corrupt heart of power. The 1972 film “The Ruling Class,” a black comedy based on Peter Barnes’ play, does this, as does Jean Genet’s play “The Balcony.” So does Noam Chomsky, Elias Canetti’s “Crowds and Power,” C. Wright Mill’s “The Power Elite,” Karl Marx’s “Capital,” Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow,” Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” and Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s “Castle to Castle.” The astute explorations of the pathology of power, however, are buried in the avalanche of Disneyfied popular culture and nationalist cant. The elite deeply fears any art, literature, philosophy, poetry, theology and drama that challenge the assumptions and structures of authority. These disciplines must appear to the public only in bastardized forms, packaged as froth, entertainment or sentimental drivel that celebrates the established hierarchy.

Pynchon in “Gravity’s Rainbow” portrays Brigadier Ernest Pudding, the commander of a special psychological operations unit in World War II and a veteran of World War I, as the archetypal member of the elite. Pudding’s glory on the battlefield “came in 1917, in the gassy, Armageddonite filth of the Ypres salient, where he conquered a bight of no man’s land some 40 yards at its deepest, with a wastage of only 70% of his unit.” He holds secret fortnightly trysts with “the Mistress of the Night” where he strips, kisses her boots, receives blows from a cane, drinks her urine and eats her excrement. He dies “of a massive E. Coli infection” that results from his nocturnal coprophagic rituals. Peter Barnes captures the same dementia in “The Ruling Class,” in which Ralph Gurney, the 13th earl of Gurney, accidentally hangs himself in his bedroom while wearing a tutu and playing erotic games with a noose. His successor, Jack Gurney, believes he is God and speaks only of love and charity. This will not do. A psychiatrist is called in to help the new earl adapt to his role as a representative of the ruling class. By the time the psychiatrist’s work is complete, Jack is cured of his God delusion. He now believes he is Jack the Ripper. He assumes his seat in the House of Lords. He rails against the unemployed, homosexuals and socialists. He champions God, queen and country, along with corporal and capital punishment. He murders innocent women on the side, including his wife, and becomes an esteemed member of the ruling class.



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[-] 2 points by Renneye (3874) 7 years ago

This is far and away my favourite Chris Hedges article.

How the elite control the masses has been written about often and by many. What's even more interesting is that Chris has a clear knowledge of the power structure of the ruling elite and how people are 'allowed' into positions of power by rituals of abuse that are performed 'to' and 'by' them, thus being highly compromised, which then subjects them to being 'controlled' via extortion, bribery and threats, using obscene levels of shame, to effectively do the oligarchs bidding, in a game they cannot get out of.

I dare say Chris is at a high level of frustration and disgust with the global elite, at how they have callously raped an entire humanity...and, in my opinion...that impassioned anger has fostered in this article, some of his best work.

It is quite staggering what he is exposing in this article. Not many people...even when they have the information...are willing to be this transparent for fear of being branded as something derogatory.

It is as I had hoped. That as events bring us closer to some sort of breaking point...people with the knowledge and a following will come forward to warn humanity just how twisted the ruling elite really are...despite the harm that may come to them, as activists/reporters who will not bow to the globalist psychopaths.

There are many articles on line about the 'elite global pedophilia rings'. It is disheartening to me how this subject keeps getting shirked. These pieces of shit are supposed to be looking after our earth? Our children? Even currently, there is a massive exposure of 'Jimmy Saville" and the connections he had with pedophilia and government officials and other 'high society' members.

This article is very well written, bold and courageous...and has renewed my inspiration once more.

Thanks so much for posting this PK.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

I've been looking for a link to this article.

Some sites I post on will not allow quotes without a link.

Any help would be appreciated, because I think it should be shared.

[-] 1 points by Renneye (3874) 7 years ago
[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Chris is an American hero. I'm not sure I relate to how he describes Obama as it opens, but he is sharper and more dedicated. Something does ring true though as he starts to decribe our relationship to the false Political hopes that run for president. There is a weird shadow ...Obama justifying war in the debate ...and he says it is for us, for America. The greatness of our hope speaks of War, but we haven't been attacked here ...since it seems like 1920, then Pearl Harbor and our Ship in the Atlantic during WWII. And yet ...there is a huge shadow of Covert CIA Actions for Regime Change in foreign countries, there is this huge shadow of Banana Wars from the 1900s to support our agricultural Corporations.

Yes, Chris Hedges speaks for me. The process of conducting war is far too creepy for me to understand, condone, or for me to tolerate mention in debates. How can these people of leisure send our kids to war to face killing other people including civilians.

And it sickens me that these people claim to follow Jesus or Christian Thought and that they would involve a blessing.

But if Mitt wins, forget I said this. That guy scares me to death.

[-] 2 points by Renneye (3874) 7 years ago

Very Good post Middleaged!

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Thanks. How is it going tonight? When I think of Chris I can sort of use a writers voice to get creative. One of the reasons I think I can become a writer.

[-] 1 points by Renneye (3874) 7 years ago

My thoughts exactly. I'm a little better now that I saw this thread. Felt a little hopeless the last few days, to be frank. I feel like its lifting now. Putting a post together .

Of course you're a writer...your post conveys that quite glowingly. I hope you don't doubt it for a moment! : )

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Hm...sans-culottes is the radical left wing partisans not the knee length pants or pantalons (pants). LOL

"...The elite’s systems of propaganda are designed to magnify emotion and destroy the capacity for critical thought. Kafka was right: The modern world has made the irrational rational..."

"...These writers posit that the masses are incapable of responding rationally to the complexities of power. They celebrate the role of a tiny, controlling elite..."

[-] 1 points by Renneye (3874) 7 years ago

Kafka had a point. The NWO has waged their agenda by making people feel an inexplicable sense of 'un-ease' for a long time now...where right is wrong and wrong is right. Folks tend to furrow their brow and wonder why it is that the generations that follow are so uncouth. 'They' have had their meddling hands in virtually every arena of society...but, the masses are waking!

Ha! Well those writers can posit whatever the 'bleep' they want!

"masses are incapable of responding rationally to the complexities of power."

Translation: The ruling elite are scared shitless of the masses waking up because they know the masses would run a much kinder, just, fairer, healthier, cleaner, greener, compassionate world...and won't put up with a bunch of self-appointed thieving snobs that mass kill to line their pockets. People ARE waking!

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 7 years ago

sadly true,. . many people and power structures seem to have twisted fetishtic interactions.

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 7 years ago

Genet, who like Pynchon and Barnes equates the lust for power with sexual depravity, sets “The Balcony” in a brothel. Clients don the vestments of power, including those of a judge, a bishop and a general. The “bishop,” who outside the brothel works for the gas company, hears the sins of the prostitutes in confession and revels in the power of absolution. The “judge” metes out severe sentences for trivial offenses to maintain law and order. The “general,” who rides his prostitute as if she were a horse, demands self-sacrifice, honor and glory for the state. A bank clerk in the brothel, meanwhile, defiles the Virgin Mary. Revolution occurs outside the doors of the brothel. The actual rulers, priests, generals and judges are killed. The patrons step outside, along with Irma, the brothel madam, who is anointed the new queen, to assume the roles in society they once playacted and to mount the counterrevolution.

Irma, at the close of the play, turns to face the audience. She says:

In a little while, I’ll have to start all over again … put all the lights on again … dress up. … (A cock crows.) Dress up … ah, the disguises! Distribute roles again … assume my own. … (She stops in the middle of the stage, facing the audience.) … Prepare yours … judges, generals, bishops, chamberlains, rebels who allow the revolt to congeal, I’m going to prepare my costumes and studios for tomorrow. … You must now go home, where everything—you can be quite sure—will be falser than here. … You must go now. You’ll leave by the right, through the alley. … (She extinguishes the last light. It’s morning already. (A burst of machine-gun fire.)

The only recognizable basis for moral and political authority, in the eyes of the elite, is the attainment of material success and power. It does not matter how it is gotten. The role of education, the elites believe, is to train us vocationally for our allotted positions and assure proper deference to the wealthy. Disciplines that prod us to think are—and the sneering elites are not wrong about this—“political,” “leftist,” “liberal” or “subversive.” And schools and universities across the country are effectively stomping out these disciplines. The elites know, as Canetti wrote, that once we stop thinking we become a herd. We react to every new stimulus as if we were rats crammed into a cage. When the elites push the button, we jump. It is collective sadomasochism. And we will get a good look at it on Election Day.


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8231) from Phoenix, AZ 7 years ago

Do you think Nader was paid off to keep Gore from the White House? Think about it between paying off the debt and addressing climate change didn't he pose a huge threat to the 1%? Do you think Chris is getting paid by somebody?

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (23261) 7 years ago

Great article. The psychological motivation of the politician is interesting indeed. And, geesh, I'm not sure Obama knew what he was getting himself into, but he leaped in. I only hope now that he can climb out.